"Imagine there's no heaven
It's easy if you try
No hell below us
Above us only sky
Imagine all the people
Living for today...."
Our thoughts and prayers are not enough. In the face of the latest mass shooting, we must insist on government intervention with some common sense reforms to curb violence. At some point we need to decide whether we are willing to sacrifice the lives of our citizens to our devotion to a document whose authors lived hundreds of years ago before a society like ours could even be imagined. I'm not talking about gun control, the President can waste his time with that one; to take a page out of the liberal playbook, "The politics are settled, it's the law of the land". I'm talking about going after other "freedoms" that should be examined.
"The Roots of Violence:
Pleasure without conscience,
Knowledge without character,
Commerce without morality,
Science without humanity,
Worship without sacrifice,
Politics without principles"
Barack Obama's arrogance was never on greater display than when he infamously declared to Eric Cantor that "Elections have consequences, and at the end of the day, I won." It may well be that at long last we have arrived at the oft heralded "end of the day", and the consequences the President referenced are upon us.
"...they have put no difference between the holy and the profane..."
Like Pavlov's salivating dogs, the predictable liberal calls for gun control in the wake of tragedy seem to have moved to the realm of conditioned response rather than any reasoned connection to reality. The shooting of two journalists by a disgruntled fellow employee elicited the all too expected cries for increased gun control for the rest of us who don't shoot our co-workers. Short of abolishing the second amendment, it's hard to envision the law that would have kept a legal gun out of this man's hands. Imagine if you will if somehow we could have kept this angry black man, a homosexual unafraid to play the race or gay card, from having a gun while his more "privileged" white counterparts were allowed to have one. How would that have played? And having been denied a gun, do we honestly believe that this horrible excuse for a human being would have chosen instead to just write a biting FaceBook update? No, of course not. He would have found a machete, a bomb, an axe, or a car to express his rage, and unfortunately you can't regulate rage.
With Hillary Clinton's disastrous press conference in Las Vegas on Tuesday, the bright orange pantsuit she wore is likely to replace Monica's blue dress as the most iconic piece of wardrobe in the Clintons' legacy. We are visual creatures, and while words are important, a picture is indeed worth a thousand of them. That being the case, one needs to ask why none of Hillary's advisers thought to question the advisability of her wearing an outfit not far removed from the prison jumpsuit her enemies would like to see her wearing.
"If I were a magician, I'd hand out broken compasses.
It's all about misdirection."
The last thing the Washington establishment wants is someone who will shake things up, an unknown quantity, someone who won't "play the game". Ironically, people see in Donald Trump, this man who has been running the game for most of his adult life, in this of all men they see some kind of white knight who is bigger than Washington. That would be a little like putting the Godfather in charge of the FBI, since he can't be corrupted.
"Narcissus does not fall in love with his reflection because it is beautiful,
but because it is his. If it were his beauty that enthralled him,
he would be set free in a few years by its fading."
Dr. Carson delivered his best line of Thursday's debate in his closing remarks when he took a good natured jab at the other candidates' constant self-aggrandizement in proclaiming how they are the only candidate that's done this, or will do that, or has held this position, or can beat this candidate. Dr Carson pointed out that he was the only candidate that had separated conjoined twins, operated on a fetus still in the womb (without the intention to harvest organs), and performed a hemispherectomy; that is removing half of someone's brain. That these things have little to do with being President, I think was Dr. Carson's point. All the candidates have impressive resumes, but there is a difference between self advocating and self worship. Carson concluded his remarks with a reminder that freedom is not free for any of us, and as such he was hopeful that he would not be the only one who would pick up the torch of freedom. With this simple statement, the good doctor attempted to rouse us from our twilight sleep; there was no messiah on that stage, no single magical person who could fix all the nation's ills, no perfect president. There is no single surgeon whose gifted hands can carry that torch of freedom alone, they will always need our help.
"Pleased to meet you,
Hope you guess my name,
But what's puzzling you
Is the nature of my game."
The Rolling Stones
Like a bull in a china shop, Donald Trump is creating havoc in the Republican party; and like the timid shop-keeper, Reince Priebus and his fellow establishment Republicans wring their hands over the effects that Trump might have on the elections. Like that bull in the china shop, we hear the china crashing, but all eyes are on Trump, and that suits him just fine.
"I done wrestled with an alligator, I done tussled with a whale,
Handcuffed lightning, thrown thunder in jail;
Only last week, I murdered a rock,
Injured a stone, hospitalized a brick;
I'm so mean I make medicine sick."
Few men are able to so use poetry as a vehicle for posturing their threatening bravado as did Muhammad Ali. I remember his not so veiled threats against Howard Cosell, and how they always left you uncertain as to whether he was joking around, or if Howard was in actual danger of being beaten to a pulp. In a boxing ring, it's good to have that kind of mystique around you. You want to be unpredictable, fear inspiring, maybe a little bit crazy. The same is true in the mean streets of our cities, which no doubt explains the "Ali style" use of taunting, posturing poetry by so many of today's rappers.
"What is truth?"
In this response to Jesus's declaration that He had come to be a witness to the truth, Pontius Pilate exemplified the futility of depending on political leaders to lead us into truth. Pilate's cynical question demonstrates a hopelessness regarding the knowability of Truth, and the sense that the question is hardly worth asking, as it has no answer. In the presence of the Son of God, he does not wait for a response to his rhetorical question, but leaves to address the political situation. Pilate was like most other politicians before him, and the ones who would follow; for him the question of what truth is was pointless; the question he concerned himself with was "What is politic?"... what would further his political ambition and agenda. Likewise today's politicians are generally agnostic where truth is concerned; the standard they raise instead is their ideology, and their ideology finds its center in what will sell.
Hollywood has a term that it uses when a TV show has essentially run out of ideas and it's time to start thinking about pulling the plug; it's called "jumping the shark". It has it's origin in the "Happy Days" episode where Fonzie, donning his trademark leather jacket, goes water skiing and jumps over a man-eating shark. I'm not sure what the plot line was, but suffice to say that it was not exactly in line with the entertaining writing of previous shows, and demonstrated that the show had little left to offer.