Sunday, December 27, 2009

Thank you, CIA

The attempted terrorist attack was (praise God) a dismal failure. The terrorist managed only to hurt himself (and one or two heroic passengers who'll get a book deal--and good for them).

That's one.

I guarantee you there are dozens more that are fully thwarted by the CIA, Homeland Security, and the FBI. We'll never hear about them (well, maybe in 25 years after the Freedom of Information Act kicks in). I heard someone complain that they all missed the Christmas bomber, and I appreciate that the nation's security can't answer criticism with a list of all they do to keep the country safe. But they are.

In one sense, it's too bad. By keeping it a secret, we Americans too easily buy into the idea that we're all civilized and that if we just treat the barbarians nicely, they'll become civilized, too. They won't. And because they won't, the watchmen at the gate stand ready; and we who slumber inside the walls do so only because these good men and women sacrifice career, family, and wealth to do what we do not often enough thank them enough for.

So thank you, secret agent men & women. May God bless and keep you in your ceaseless toil!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Intelligence Breeds Evil... And Cats Prove It

I freely admit cats are smarter than dogs. They're smarter than my dogs, anyway.

They're also more sadistic than dogs. To wit: every night, a cat comes to visit our puppies. It slowly walks the top of the fence in sinister motion, sending my brain damaged dogs in apoplectic spasms of barking. They slam out the dog door and rocket through the rent in the screen porch and bay at the thing of evil. The thing of evil loves this, it's tail languidly waving at them in condescending pleasure. This ratchets up the barking and endears the neighbors to us in new and unpleasant ways.

Fortunately, one of them owns the cat.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Bullets and Genderism

Don't ask how this came up (bets on J. asking anyway?) but I was talking with someone about donating organs that would kill you for certain people. As in, if two of my kids needed a kidney to live, I'd give them mine even though I can't live without them. It devolved into who I would give a piece of my liver to if I was the only immediate donor...

...and then it got into the mad gunman brandishing a weapon. I would automatically step in front of any kid (even J.) and almost any woman to shield them from potential bullets. I wouldn't automatically shield a man, even a close friend.

Is that genderism? In our day of equality, should I give the wackjob a shot at the women so they can feel equal? Or should I step in front of the men, too?

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Door-to-Door Program Funders

A young man came to our door this evening with his tub of cheap knick-knacks and dutifully recited his desire for us to fund "a program to help keep me off drugs."

Okay, I applaud the sentiment, but every time I hear a child say this I can't help but think that anyone with the foresight to join such a program probably has the wisdom to "just say no." And it makes me wonder if using drugs is inevitable for our underprivileged youth if they don't join such a program.

I further applaud the entrepreneurial aspect of going door-to-door. If the program fails, it's tomorrow's most effective drug dealers who are a-knockin'.


Further, Sam Jones, the actor who engagingly played Pete Ross on Smallville is allegedly Hollywood's premier drug dealer moving 10,000 oxycodones to Hollywood's elite. There's something ironic about that, but I'm not certain what it is...

Saturday, December 05, 2009

In Your Stuff

I was a reporter for a very brief period during college. With little interest in sports, community, or politics (at the time), the only thing left was reviews and gossip. Reviews I could handle but the repackaging of gossip made me quit. I don't want people getting into my stuff, so why should I, or we, get into other people's stuff? "The People Have a Right to Know" refers only to government.

So leave Tiger Woods alone. What he did or didn't do is between his wife and him. Leave his endorsements alone. Our only business with him is centered around golf.

And, per usual, the wrong attention is being thrust upon Desiree Rodgers, the Obama's social secretary. "Crashergate" may have been partially her fault, but the Secret Service knew she was deviating from past SocSec procedures, so it was their fault for not adjusting hers. Don't try to tear down people just because they're Democrats. Have a good reason or forget it. Same with Republicans or anyone else.

If you WANT to investigate Rodgers, look at her salary and budget. Is she overspending in times of troubled economy or on par with others? The fact that Michelle Obama has a huge budget is a travesty and should be trumpeted. No other 1st Lady had a budget or more than a single aide. She has 27 aides with a $1 million budget. THAT'S our business,and THAT'S outrageous.

And while we're on the subject, which journalistic airhead coined -gate as a synonym for scandal? Watergate was the name of the hotel in the Nixon scandal, not the scandal itself. Word coinage in the sound-byte world is a sad, sad affair. Speaking of affairs, did you hear about...

Friday, December 04, 2009

Farewell and See You Soon, Jim!

Jim M.'s memorial service was beautiful is so many ways. He and Grace have a wonderful family and they shared from their hearts to make Jim's life shine.

The passing and sharing of friends reminds us of how blessed we are. I looked around at the people in Jim's life and saw so many of my closest friends--life friends. What a shared community we have.

Jim was not an old man. 10 years my senior, but certainly not old. It's a reminder that we don't have 8 or 9 decades guaranteed to us and that the special people of our life should know that they are.

And as our hearts reach out to Grace's, we can't help but think what life would be like in her circumstance. I doubt I'd do as well. Lynette is as breath to me, and like oxygen, I can take her for granted. Lord, may I show her regularly how desperate I would be without her and how blessed I am to have her. Knowing this, join in praying for Grace! I can't imagine a more difficult journey.