Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Wish or Prayer

Wishes are for children. They never materialize. Wishes evaporate. Prayers are more potent than ephemeral. They are a sincere beseeching of the Uncaused First Cause. I pray for my Mother's full recovery. Wishing her well is not enough.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Sense of Closure

Debris and bodies from the AirAsia flight are being recovered. This jet disaster is certainly tragic. Malaysia Air Flight 370 ended even more tragically. That plane seems simply to have vanished. No bodies have been recovered. No oil slick has been spotted. No debris field has been found. The search has been fruitless since the plane vanished from radar in early March. The deaths of loved ones in an air disaster is heartbreaking, but not knowing their fate might even be worse.

Monday, December 29, 2014

Another Aviation Tragedy

Another passenger jet has disappeared over water. This time it was an AirAsia Airbus with over a hundred souls on board. Weather was terrible. The pilot changed course, but evidently, was unable to save the aircraft. All passengers and crew are presumed lost.Even with the levels of redundant safety systems engineered into commercial airplanes, too often they are lost. Having lost two uncles to airplanes, I will never be eager to fly. My prayers go out to those touched by the Air Asia disaster.

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Mom Needs Prayers

To all those who have been praying for my Mom's health, you have my undying appreciation. To those who visited the hospital, know that you lifted Mother's spirits. To those who have called about her diagnosis, we now are told that she had a major stroke on the right side of the brain. The stroke has affected her left side. She also has a mass of undetermined origins in her midriff. When we have any more to relay, we will. We need and welcome your well-wishes and prayers.

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Pray for Mom

In the few short years "Despot" has been published, there have been many blessings. Many tragedies have also occurred. In January of 2012, some readers may recall that my Father was murdered by his physicians. Now, awaiting the blessing of the birth of my (our) first child, my Mother is ill enough to require hospitalization. We do not know precisely the nature of her illness yet. Extensive tests have been and are being performed. Please pray for the recovery to full health of Sherry Goodman, my beloved Mother.

Friday, December 26, 2014

In the Offing

Anyone who tells you they know what 2015 will hold is only guessing. Their prognostication holds about as much value as spit in the wind. I can tell you with some certainty what happened yesterday. I have no idea what will occur tomorrow. I know some will live through next year. I am sadly certain some will die. I do not know who will be in either category. I just pray for the Lord's protection for those I love in the coming year.

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Peace on Earth

At a time when much of the world is wishing for peace on earth, there does not seem to be much of it. In the Holy Land, an eleven year old Jewish girl and her father were burnt by a Molotov cocktail hurled at their vehicle today by Arabs. In Syria and Iraq, the slaughter continues unabated, even on Christmas Day. Muslims are killing Muslims in these places, but they are also specifically targeting Christians. Areas controlled by the Islamic State are by now either free of Christians or the indigenous Christians who have been there for two thousand years are hiding for their own survival. After another young black man was gunned down by the law in Missouri, rioting has now been rekindled there. In this time that calls for good will toward men, there is precious little of it.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Living Murphy's Law

This was just the kind of morning everyone wanted. First, on Christmas Eve, the water heater breaks. Do you know how hard it is to find a plumber available today? Then, a window blows out. Just what we need. Now, we have to find someone to replace the glass. Hopefully, this will be the last adventure of the holiday season. Wishing you and yours a happy and uneventful holiday.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Lunatics Running Riot

In at least two separate incidents in France in recent days, Muslims reportedly shouting "Allahu Akbar" plowed into pedestrians with their vehicles. Numerous innocents were injured. These attacks may be spontaneous acts of madness. These assaults could be deliberate acts of jihad. I suppose deliberately crashing a vehicle into walkers could be both religiously-motivated and sparked by insanity. The most terrifying aspect of this kind of terrorism is that there is almost no way to protect yourself from it. At some point, we all have to go out of the house, and we can never predict if when we do, a madman or a religious fanatic will try to kill us. France, with her liberal immigration policies that allowed in millions of Muslims from former French colonies, will likely experience more jihadi madness in the future.

Monday, December 22, 2014

An Unusual Politician

Since police are charged with enforcing the laws passed by politicians, politicians in the past have usually courted law enforcement. Through the years politicians have often sought and won office by running on a "law and order" platform. Police and mayors are mostly seen side by side and acting in accord. In the case of Bill de Blasio, this mayor somehow thought it in his interest to speak against his own police department. De Blasio's comments have pitted citizens against cops and the cops against the Mayor. New York is suffering and de Blasio may have put paid to his future in politics.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

A Volcano Erupts

A number of well-known liberals have been spewing hatred against the police. The Leftist mayor of New York City, Bill de Blasio, criticized the conduct of law enforcement after Barack Hussein Obama declared, that Cambridge cops "acted stupidly" early in his Presidency. Is it any wonder that an unbalanced individual took the anti-police rants to heart and decided to act on his anger? The conduct of police is not perfect and at times, not even just, but without law, we have chaos. The cop on the street is the shield against anarchy. When police are murdered in the line of duty, we are all less safe.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Ugly or Lovely

I am perplexed. I read that a woman stabbed eight children (seven of her own) to death in Australia. This was just after I watched a report on the massacre of over one hundred thirty children killed by the Pakistani Taliban. I happen to believe innocent life is sacred and must be protected. At the same time as I am shaken by these very real distant horrors, I am filled with hope for my (our) first child. I want to protect the child my wife is soon to deliver from the grim reality that exists in this world, but that thankfully is not the constant universal condition. There is love and beauty in the Lord's Creation. I want to shield my child in innocence, but I know eventually, the ugly and grotesque will intrude on our idyll.

Friday, December 19, 2014

The Market Surge

A four hundred plus point rally happened on the Dow yesterday. While I would much rather have an up day than a down day, I am less than confident that the bears will remain at bay. If oil continues to collapse, will the rally be sustained? If there is more economic turmoil in Russia, will that help America or drag the US down with it? Will Barack Hussein Obama work with the incoming opposition Congress for greater shared prosperity or play class envy games with executive orders to impose more socialism? The dollar is worth less than it once was, so even though we may have more greenbacks in our wallets, they buy less. I am a long way from sanguine about the direction America is heading.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Sorry for Obamas?

Do you feel sorry for the first couple? Barack Hussein Obama claims he has been mistaken for a valet in his lifetime or as someone at service at a party where he was a guest. Barack says taxis have passed him by in what he wants the viewer to believe was an act of racism. Michelle Obama claims she was asked to reach something at Target by another patron who mistook the First Lady for a Target employee. I have been asked by a short Asian lady to reach coconut oil on a high shelf at Harris Teeter. She knew I did not work there but was a fellow shopper who happened to be nearby when she was not tall enough to reach an item. I gladly obliged. I did not think she had anything against white people for asking me to assist her. I did not feel demeaned in the slightest- just grateful that I could help. I think the first couple is too easily offended. If they want to take umbrage at something, it should not be merely at what only they would perceive at insults, but at something really significant like jihadists trying to kill them and us.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

New Day Cuba

The United States has just welcomed Cuba back into the family of nations. Did the Castros relinquish power? Did Raoul and Fidel suddenly liberalize? Did those despot brothers stage free and fair elections? No, no, and no, the Castro brothers and their gang of armed thugs still have their boots on the throats of Cubans who want to breathe free. America demanded a free Cuba for over fifty years, and maintained sanctions to overturn a violent and hostile regime that exported Communist revolution across Latin America and even into Africa. The dictators in Havana did not loosen the manacles they hold on the Cuban people whatsoever; yet, Barack Hussein Obama has abdicated any pretense of a duty to liberty and human dignity to normalize relations between the United States and one of the world's most evil and oppressive regimes.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Outrage in Pakistan

A school for children has been massacred by the Pakistani Taliban. No religion could endorse or tolerate the deliberate murder of more than one hundred children. The vast majority of Muslims must find the perpetrators of such an act to be monsters in human form. Maybe, this horror will be the spark to ignite the good and decent majority of Muslims to root out those that abuse their faith to initiate evil acts. Cold-blooded murder like this school slaughter can never be tolerated. If Pakistan requests, the US and the West should offer all investigative assistance to locate the masterminds of this spree of carnage. The government of Pakistan will know what to do with them when they are caught.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Sydney Hostage Crisis

A gunman in the heart of central Sydney, Australia, who held more than a dozen people captive in a chocolate shop, is now dead after police stormed the building. Some of the captives are apparently casualties as well. It was not a radical Christian who set off the tragic series of events. It was not an angry Jew making demands. It was not a follower of Wicca, a druid, pagan, or even a deranged atheist putting lives at risk. It was (of course) a Muslim acting in the name of jihad that caused the bloodshed. In this instance, Muslim clerics in Australia denounced the crime, but one wonders if the terrorist had received different religious conditioning in his native Iran, if the hostage-taking ever would have been attempted.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Pro Football Rules

Watching National Football League pregame shows talk as much about domestic violence as the games themselves is disheartening. I realize that only a tiny minority of players have been involved in scandalous behavior. Their actions however have sullied the whole league. Equally disturbing was the display by members of the St. Louis Rams of the "hands up" motion in support of Michael Brown, who was gunned down by a policeman whose gun he had tried to take. Black athletes being paid millions to play a children's game are so persecuted by this terrible country. Try comparing the players' plight to white working men who pay half a month's wages to take their family to a pro game, pay to park, and buy concessions. I can afford to go to an NFL game, but you could not pay me to go. I do not want to subsidize Michael Vick, the dog murderer, Adrian Peterson, the child abuser, Ray Rice, who knocked out a woman, or a bunch of overpaid angry African-Americans who by their actions show that they hold the paying fans in contempt.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Over the Barrel

In spite of seemingly good news about lower oil prices, US stock markets are tanking. Who would have thought that price stability for OPEC might be a good thing? Evidently, the few more dollars we millions of motorists have in our pockets after a fill-up count less than the billions big oil fails to rake into their coffers because gas prices are down. Apparently and against all logic, plummeting fuel prices may end up harming America's economy. I had hoped that with less spent on gasoline, consumers would spend more for the holidays and retailers would prosper. In the event, oil prices are going down but that does not seem to be a boon to the overall economy. I am still hard pressed to see how cartels that restrain the free market help the world prosper.

Friday, December 12, 2014

The California Weather

I know Californians usually bask in sunshine, but of late, the Golden State has experienced real climate horror. First, there has been a prolonged drought that devastated farming. Now, America's most populous state is suffering through seemingly unending rains. These torrents are causing localized flooding and potentially deadly mudslides. High straight line winds have blown down trees and damaged roofs. It seems Californians face one weather extreme or the other, drought or flood, with no safe middle like much of the rest of the Lower Forty-eight.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Protect Innocent Life

A university president is being lambasted for taking the "black lives matter" mantra that is currently en vogue and expanding it to "all lives matter". I would agree with her that the value of life is not limited to a single racial, ethnic, or religious group. All innocent human life deserves to be preserved and protected. I think that part of that protection of innocent life was the US Central Intelligence Agency's enhanced interrogation program. The aim of those measures that are now being questioned was first to ferret out and disrupt future terror operations and then to locate those culpable in attacks against Americans and the homeland like master terrorist Osama bin Laden. Clearly, the so-called "torture" of detainees must have worked as America has not had a major terror attack on our soil since September 11, 2001. Using information at least partially garnered through waterboarding, sleep deprivation, alteration of diet and other pressure techniques our intelligence gatherers used against murdering terrorists, we have protected the United States and sent our Public Enemy Number One to his watery grave. What is done to the guilty to vouchsafe the innocent, the guilty have brought on themselves.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Republican Sell Out

The GOP establishment has allowed a one trillion, one hundred billion dollar budget to be passed. Some commentators state the Republicans went along with many Obama initiatives, including funding Obamacare, to avoid a shut down of the Federal government for which they feared the GOP would be blamed. I do not think that is as much of a factor as the fact that Republican elite no longer consider themselves to be part of a party of small government and personal responsibility. The GOP is now just another quasi-socialist party that wants the Federal government to be slightly less intrusive in commerce and industry and wants to spend a little less and grow the bureaucracy a little slower than the Democrats. Have no doubt though that the majority of Republican lawmakers are now big government progressives. The Boehner/McCain Republicans want massive budgets and the massive clout that goes with them. If you expect the new Republican majority in the US Senate and the burgeoning GOP majority in the US House to fight to put America back on a limited government, Constitutional track aimed at returning to the values of our Founding, you are going to be disappointed.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Crown Heights Tragedy

A Jewish religious student was stabbed in Crown Heights by a black man around two a.m. this morning. New York police attempted to disarm and apprehend the stabber but were forced to shoot him. The assailant died. The yeshiva student was seriously wounded but is reportedly in stable condition. The attacker was reported to be spouting he wanted "to kill a Jew" before the assault. Whether he was mentally unstable or hated Jews for religious reasons is not relevant. What is relevant is that in these dangerous times, Jews must be ever vigilant and Jewish institutions must constantly be on guard to prevent similar horrors.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Pouring More Gasoline

Now is a time when the President of the United States should be doing all that he can to lower racial tensions. Instead, Barack Hussein Obama uses incendiary rhetoric that further ignites passion. Obama told the Black Entertainment Television audience that racism "is deeply rooted in our society". Yes, we Americans are so racist that we elected a black to the highest office in the land- twice. When declarations by leadership aimed at cooling anger are most necessary, Obama does the opposite. Obama's babbling justifies the rage instead of tamping it down. Obama could have done so much to bring the races together, but in the event, divides the US between black and white.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

An Ornamental Congress

The Founding Fathers intended there to be separation of powers between the executive and legislative branches of government when the United States was created. Congress, not the President, was charged with making law. Until the Presidency of Barack Hussein Obama, this notion of separation has prevailed. With his illegal alien amnesty by fiat, Obama is trying to change all that. If Congress is so pliant as to permit this, and the third coequal branch, the courts, allow this overreach to stand, we no longer have America anymore. After more than two hundred years of unparalleled liberty, we will have transformed from a free republic to a banana republic in less than eight years during the course of a single Presidency.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

No Group Immune

Every definable ethnic, religious, or racial group is somewhat insular. It is natural if you are Han Chinese to put the well-being of Han Chinese first. That is not to say you hate other races. It is only logical if you are African-American to rally with other blacks at a time of perceived persecution. It is normal for Jews to rally to the defense of other Jews under attack. There is also a degree of tribalism in every group. It is when the tribal ethos becomes racist that we have to worry. Tolerance of the other is a virtue that must be taught.

Friday, December 5, 2014

A Different Perspective

The recent deaths of two African-American men at the hands of police has stoked racial disharmony, suspicion, and fear. If I were black, I too would be afraid of police, particularly after the Staten Island case. Not indicting any of the officers involved in the death of Eric Garner is a travesty. The Ferguson killing of Michael Brown is a different matter though, as I believe that Brown tried to take Officer Darren Wilson's gun. As a member of a group persecuted for our faith for many centuries, I understand the anger of another group that had been deprived of equal liberty for almost two centuries by a nation that was nominally founded on the notion that "all men are created equal". Those rioting now in parts of America are not recognizing the great strides made in civil rights. This progress should be apparent as we have an African-American in the highest office in the land, that being President Obama.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Not Necessarily Racist

The police in New York who killed a black man suspected of illegal cigarette sales may not hate African-Americans. Even so, the conduct of the cops was so reckless and disproportionate to the alleged offense that they should be fired. Those officers who participated in the fatal take down or were present but failed to intervene to prevent the death should be banned from working in law enforcement in the future. They should be pursued by the decedent's survivors in civil court. If even a tinge of racism is ferreted out by the Justice Department, then Federal civil rights charges should be brought. Law enforcers can not be allowed to become judge, jury, and executioner in this country, particularly over such a minor offense as selling a loose cigarette.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Some Good News

Gasoline prices are falling. My father-in-law will not have to mortgage his house to fill up his Expedition. I will not have to sell a kidney to fuel the Odyssey. No one at the service station will be trying to trade their first-born to gas up their tank. Those nice fellas in OPEC must not be happy to see their revenue shrinking. I am so sad for them. They will no longer be installing solid gold commodes. They are reduced to only purchasing gold-plated fixtures for their bathrooms which are as large as my condo. I pity the oil sheikhs when gasoline prices are falling. It must be hard to give up that second Lamborghini and shut down the Bombardier to only fly first class. How could any self-respecting oil magnate skimp by on a billion dollars a year?

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

The Boiling Cauldron

Has Barack Hussein Obama brought the races closer since his ascension to the nation's highest office? Obama won a Nobel Peace Prize before he had achieved more than winning the US Presidential election in 2008 because world elite who control the Nobel Committee anticipated that the US would replace a reckless cowboy (George W Bush) with a peacemaker. Obama has not advanced peace internationally. The world is as, if not more, dangerous than ever. The Islamic State terror movement has formed and gained strength in the Iraq that Obama abandoned by prematurely pulling out US combat troops. There is a real danger that Sunni fanatics may create a Caliphate to destabilize and threaten the world. Obama, by gutting the Pentagon budget and projecting weakness rather than the will to win has allowed Red China and Russia to rise to the level of military equals to the United States. Iran has become an America-hating power on the verge of a nuclear arsenal, and Obama has not stopped them. World jihad now permeates Africa from Nigeria to Kenya with Boko Haram and al-Shabaab more potent than ever. Because of Obama's lack of resolve, the United States has not even finished al-Qaeda off after Obama did what every previous US President would have done in killing arch-terrorist Osama bin Laden. All these failures internationally are only magnified by the fact that instead of building a bridge between the races in the United States as many of his voters hoped he would, Obama has stoked the fires of discontent from his "police acted stupidly" with the Henry Louis Gates arrest early in the Obama first term. In so doing, Obama also displayed open contempt for the law enforcement officers charged with keeping the peace in this country, and poured gasoline on the fire of black distrust toward cops. Continuing to this day as we see in the Ferguson case, Obama seems more interested in dividing America by race than uniting us as Americans.

Monday, December 1, 2014

A Bosnian Slaughtered

Some of the esteemed minority community members in strife-torn St. Louis beat a thirty-two year old immigrant from Bosnia to death. Did you hear about that in the main stream media? Is it not sadly ironic that this gentleman survived the war in the former Yugoslavia to be smashed to death with hammers by savages in the Land of the (formerly) Free? His name was Zemir Begic and I doubt he will ever be as familiar to Americans as the giant thug Michael Brown who was shot to death in self-defense by a cop he attacked. The most notable difference between to two deceased men is beyond race. It is that Brown was a criminal who gave the police officer no other option but to fire. Begic was completely innocent. It would be politically-incorrect to discuss the true nature of either incident.