Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Doctor's excuse?

The Land of Gray
(by R.P.Edwards)

Nothing here
Is black and white
We live in shades of gray
And darkness never fully comes
Nor glaring light…of day
You see, we love opinion
And ours, the filter true
But one day “ours”
Will bow…to His
And then…what will…we do?

Just a quick blurb before I head out to the job. 

Doctor.  The word/occupation evokes (at least it used to) thoughts of dedication, education, expertise, integrity, nobility, trustworthiness…healing.  Alas, as we mature we have become aware that the selfless profession is not always occupied by such.  There are quacks, frauds, opportunists, phonies and fiends and, although we hold to the belief that these are the exception, we are ever reminded that fallen flesh, in hospital garb or no, is still…fallen flesh.

Enter the “docs” at the Wisconsin brouhaha who have been caught merrily going about giving “doctor’s excuses” to the many who don’t want to be penalized for missing work in order to harangue the governor over--what they consider an untoward act--his pledge to balance the budget (yes, yes, the whole collective bargaining thing too, which he feels is part of the “necessity”).

So, we have polished medical professionals, symbols of sanctimony, acting immorally (it’s called “lying”) in order to combat the distasteful (though upfront and “legal”) acts of duly elected officials.  I guess it’s the old “the ends justify the means” kind of thing and, sadly, it is merely one more confirmation that our nation’s ills…begin in the soul.

However, on the lighter side (since “shades of gray” is the theme) perhaps the mental anguish caused by the actions of the few (governor and kind) are indeed a proper pretext for the physician’s script.  Yeah, that’s it; mental anguish, anxiety, depression; all valid reasons for some time off to convalesce.  And, while we’re at it, perhaps a prescription for Prozac should be included.


Friday, February 18, 2011

Wisconsin Whiners

Cheese heads?
(by R.P.Edwards)

You won the Super Bowl
Wisconsin, that’s enough
Rounding up your mouthy mobs
Talking tall, and tough
Wah! You hate the cutbacks
But voters had their say
So suck it up
And do your jobs
Before Pittsburgh…mobs Green Bay

In an unprecedented move the final score of the latest Super Bowl was reversed, making the winningest team in Super Bowl History--The Pittsburgh Steelers--able to boast of not just “six” championship titles, but now… “Seven.”

When the news was first announced the general consensus of pundits and populace was that some gross infraction had been discovered--in other words, cheating--was in play.  But no, commissioner Roger Goodell (a bit disheveled due to some heavy handling) made it clear that it was not the game itself that determined the final outcome; but rather an enormous mob of Pittsburgh fans that had descended on Green Bay and, after taking over Lambeau field, these had demanded this extraordinary action.  Their spokesman declared, “Yes, we don’t dispute the score, but, doggone it!, we deserve it!, it’s hurting our tourist and trinket industry and, if we don’t get our way this backward state will rue the day…they came to play!”

Commissioner Goodell (straightening his tie and smoothing his jacket) went on to say that although the unruly malcontents had also demanded the revered Lombardi Trophy be renamed after Pittsburg icon, Chuck Noll; this, he said defiantly, he simply would not do.


Without delving too deeply into the wherewithal’s (because, frankly, I don’t feel like it) I have been forced to notice that there is an upheaval in what should be the happy state (duh…Super Bowl?) of Wisconsin.  Why? Because the Republican Governor and likeminded majority in the houses…are waiting to pass some legislation that will help the Badger State get into the black.  In other words: live within their means.

Yeah, I’ve heard the chief executive passed some tax cuts (to inspire business, says he) and that the Union employees attached to the government teat are being asked to tighten the belt substantially but, apparently the general populace of Wisconsin wanted this fellow and his plans…to have sway.  Thus, “majority rule” comes to mind.

Enter now…the mobs.  Apparently the teacher’s Union is quite upset; so much so that many of the “mentors” are playing hooky (“do as I say, not as I do”) and there is an influx of my AFL-CIO buddies (I am a Steelworker, after all) adding their loud AMEN! to the tea-pot tempest…turmoil.  Hoping, naturally, to twist arms.  And then (this is so rich) some of the democrat electees are on the lam; in other words; not to be found.  They won’t let the majority have a quorum in order to vote.

Okay, my measured take:  Unions.  I’m a Union member.  I like the idea of representation.  I like the idea of a “stand alongside” guy who will come to your defense.  Why? Because contrary to the beliefs of some; humankind is a “fallen” race; with a tendency towards…evil. Indeed, that’s why we have laws.  Anyway, locally I like the Union, but nationally…not so much.  Why? Because they continually chafe against my Christian values (I.e. they are always supporting candidates who are anti-life and weak on the traditional family) and, I figure if you’re wrong in the God issues; well, your other paths are bound to edge ever towards the cliff. 

But, above and beyond the pesky “Christian thing,” the PEOPLE of Wisconsin elected these guys!  That means they must want them to do what they said they’d do.  So, let them have at it and, if it doesn’t work out; vote somebody else in! 

Listen, I live in Illinois.  My reelected governor and I do not see eye to eye on many things. But, he and his…are in.  So, they’ll do what they do and, if we slide further into the abyss (as I suspect we will) perhaps my learned neighbors will reevaluate their decision…via the ballot box.  But, I’m certainly not going to march to Springfield and stamp my feet. 

So Wisconsin…man up!  Representatives…come back.  Teachers…go teach.  Give the Gov a chance and, if it doesn’t work out; vote he, and they, out.  And, oh my, what a shame that the sweet victory of the Packers has been erased by the actions…of the mob.

For your amusement; the video "The American Kings" (a commentary on the Supreme Court) has been reworked.  Enjoy:  The American Kings


Thursday, February 10, 2011

Godless Disney?

“Not” the Magic Kingdom
(by R.P.Edwareds)

I looked about in Heaven
And Pluto was not there
No Mickey, Minnie, or the rest
A sigh, and much despair
For it seems their earthly masters
Made crystal their desire
They wanted not, the pearly gates
They chose instead…the fire

It seemed hopeless.  The mighty entertainment corporation known as Disney, had felt slighted; slandered, libeled and, using all the tendriled tools at their disposal they were ready to crush the insignificant blogger who dare cast aspersions on the “Happiest Place on Earth.”

The defendant; a middle-aged nearly-nothing, slouched and trembled under the withering examination of the prosecution; a certain Jafar (of Aladdin fame) being the chief counsel.  “So, let me clarify your position (with the question both hands were firmly planted on the testifying enclosure and the bearded fellow leaned ever closer until a mere hand’s breadth separated the two) you say that it’s because of what the subsidiary displayed on the screen; this is why you printed your slanderous piece!?”

“Well, well, yes, that’s what…”

(The lawyer spun quickly away in the direction of the jury, even as he then pointed back at the stammering scribbler)  “You mean to tell this jury (sweeping his hand from the defendant to the twelve stern faced citizens [a curious assembly: Cruella de Vil, Maleficent, Ursula from “The Little Mermaid,” Scar from “The Lion King,” Sid Phillips from “Toy Story,” and some of the lesser villains of Disney fame to finish the quorum ) that it was not because of what they said, or did, but rather because of a modest and necessary disclaimer that you wrote your most offending, and dare I say “damaging” drivel ?”

“Well I; it seemed to me if they had modified it just a bit…well, well.”

“Your honor, I have no further questions and, might I conclude by apologizing to the court for this colossal waste of your time.  I apologize to the legendary characters in the jury and to you (turning to bow) honorable judge Hook.  The verdict is obvious.  This “Layoff Letters” fellow is guilty.  Guilty as charged.  He must print a retraction at once and, might I suggest, be ever banned from the joyous theme parks of which he has shown himself…unworthy.”

(The defendant returns to his seat and sinks into the hard-backed chair.  At the motioning of the Judge’s claw the lawyer for the condemned rises; straightens his somewhat formal--though quite out of fashion--attire and, using his rather large, though unlit, Mahogany Calabash pipe as a conductors baton, he motions for the current CEO of the corporation in question to take the seat of interrogation)  “Mr. D,” he begins, tamping the bowl slowly, rhythmically upon the upturned palm of his left hand. “We are all aware of the wonderful achievements of the Disney corporation; be it in live action film, animation, the rather new computer generated features; not to mention the incredible elements of the theme parks, world wide.  Now, tell me Mr. D (the inquisitor begins to walk slowly, left to right, then right to left; the pipe’s gentle smack alternating with the biting click of his hard soled Rockports) doesn’t it take an incredible attention to detail to produce these seamless offerings?  I mean, don’t you have to check, and recheck, and recheck each minute detail of the films or functions to make sure that your final product is as near perfection as possible?”

“Well, yes.  That’s quite correct.  As you may know; it takes years to produce a feature film.  It takes teams of skilled artisans to conceive and construct and, of course, we’ve learned the value of checking everything time and time again until our product is, as you say, as near perfection as possible.”
“Now, tell me, Mr D.  Isn’t it true that the Disney Corporation, along with their own production, they--you--are very jealous of the franchise; the “name” if you will?”

“Well, yes, that’s true.  We are very careful to allow only pre-screened and qualified vendors, or sub-contractors, to say or do or produce anything…in our name.”

“Mr. D (the pacing stops and Holmes faces the CEO; the pipe turned upright and brought very near the mouth) who owns ABC Family?”

“Why…why Disney, of course.”

Pipe clenched between upper and lower bicuspids (right side) a folded paper is produced and handed to the executive.  “Please read this aloud to the court.”

“The preceding CBN telecast does not reflect the views of ABC Family.”

“Mr. D (removing the pipe and using it as a pointer) is that the disclaimer used following the ABC Family broadcast of “The 700 Club?””

“Well…well, I’d have to check.  But I’m pretty sure it is.”

“Mr D (stepping closer, pipe in the other hand) the phrase, “does not reflect;” implies a diametric opposition; does it not?”

“Well, I don’t know about that. I…”

“Let me give you an example.  If you were to proclaim that you were, say, a vegetarian.  And then I commented, “Your views do not reflect mine.” Couldn’t you (now walking towards the jury; pipe tapping once more) deduce that I was “not” a vegetarian.  Most probably a carnivore of some sort?”

“Well, I suppose.  But I…”

“If I were to say that I favor traditional marriage; that is, one man and one woman, and you were to respond, “Your views do not reflect mine” Couldn’t we presume that your take on matrimony is somewhere outside…the traditional?”

“Well, yes, I guess you could say that.”

“Mr D (the pacing stops and, from a place adjacent the farthest point of the jury box he leans and continues) you’ve never watched “The 700 Club” have you?”

“Well, a little, here and there.”

“You see, Mr D. (the lawyer’s eyes drop to seemingly fix on the pipe in his hands) when the mighty, meticulous Disney; the creator of masterpieces; the perfector of performance and product; when the mighty Disney says that whatever views are expressed on a certain program are not reflective of their own.  Well, by simple deduction, (eyes are raised to meet the others) the opposite must be true.  Isn’t that so?”

“I…I guess I can see that.”


Dear reader, thank you for the allowance.  I just thought it terribly funny.  You see, as a near mindless diversion we sometimes watch reruns of a comedic lark titled, “Whose line is it anyway” hosted by a before The Price is Right, Drew Carey.  This program immediately follows a broadcast of “The 700 Club” on, you guessed it; ABC family.  And, the disclaimer mentioned in my little fiction…is accurate.   They say, “The preceding CBN telecast does not reflect the views of ABC family.” 

Now, truthfully, I haven’t watched Pat Robertson’s child for years but, without apology, I used to be a regular contributor.  And, I’m sure the essence of the show has not changed.  They speak of the Love of God.  They reach out to share the gospel of Christ.  They back up their words by physically aiding the distressed.  They, simply, believe in helping, hearing, healing; being the voice, the hands, the arms…of the Savior.  And, although there may be a thing or two I might not agree with, the overall product is good, wholesome, nurturing.  And, for ABC Family and Disney (by association) to say they don’t adhere to “anything” that comes out of the broadcast: well, that’s just silly.

Now, understand, there’s a history here.  CBN used to own “The Family Channel.” They sold it years ago and it eventually ended up, by a different name, in Walt’s treasure trove.  And, if I’m not mistaken, there’s some kind of “you have to” arrangement to keep the religious show on the air.  But really, even if they rub you the wrong way, shouldn’t the simple modifier of “necessarily” be placed between “not” and “reflect?”  For, to imply that absolutely “everything” in a program “does not” reflect your views; well, to the simple such as I, that means you, by your own admission, are the opposite...of they.  And that, dear reader, means Disney is…Godless.


Saturday, February 5, 2011

Savior and Lord?

First, the mirror
(by R.P.Edwards)

Look into the mirror
Before you cast the stone
Before you speak of error
Be mindful of…your own
But love includes correction
A pointing to…the way
And soothing misdirection
Is akin
To satan’s…say

Following are a few excerpts from President Obama’s remarks at the most recent National prayer breakfast.

“And it was through that experience working with pastors and laypeople trying to heal the wounds of hurting neighborhoods that I came to know Jesus Christ for myself and embrace Him as my lord and savior….

…My Christian faith then has been a sustaining force for me over these last few years.  All the more so, when Michelle and I hear our faith questioned from time to time, we are reminded that ultimately what matters is not what other people say about us but whether we're being true to our conscience and true to our God.  “Seek first His kingdom and His righteousness and all these things will be given to you as well…

 …When I wake in the morning, I wait on the Lord, and I ask Him to give me the strength to do right by our country and its people.  And when I go to bed at night I wait on the Lord, and I ask Him to forgive me my sins, and look after my family and the American people, and make me an instrument of His will.”

Now, as a Christian, when the president mentions embracing Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior; well, that gets my attention.  When he quotes the “Seek first His kingdom…” scripture; that is a natural draw. And, when he contritely speaks of asking for forgiveness of his sins and requesting help to be “an instrument of His will,” well, that’s disarming and endearing.

But then, alas, I am mindful that none of this translates to Biblical views on the moral issues of our day.  Indeed, under His watch and direction, babies are wholeheartedly slaughtered in the womb, and God‘s sacred definition of marriage…is muddied.  And, to make matters worse, since he links the Lord with his doings, he associates deity…with the damnable.

Oh, how I wish he had merely feigned admiration for the teachings of the Nazarene!  If he had but spoken of a personal faith in “a” god, and that Christianity was merely a facet of his broad definition. But no, he calls Jesus, Savior and Lord, and thus ties his conscious acts with those of the beloved Son of God.  Dear reader, this is gross error and it must be brought to light.  And, oh, how I wish his spiritual counselors (some of whom I think actually are) would man up to the measure.  But, perhaps they too, are quite deceived.

Now, please understand, I believe a person can be a Christian--receive the forgiveness offered by the atoning sacrifice of the Christ--and still be terribly wrong in other areas.  Indeed, the south was full of “believers” during the Civil War years; yet, their justification of the horrid institution of slavery had nothing, NOTHING!, to do with the Word made flesh.  Oh, they may have ascribed to themselves a righteous cause, but “His” hand could not bless, for they were in error.  Even so, President Obama (and the many in power who make the proclamation), since he and they are so terribly wrong concerning the sacrifice of God’s children, it is only natural to assume that the Lord’s full blessing cannot attend to their prayers in the measure desired.  Repentance; true repentance, is a requirement of absolution.  And abortion, make no mistake about it, is a vile, heinous, sin. It’s a stench in the nostrils of the Almighty.  And, to claim His “Lordship” and then endorse that which He hates; well, that invites His rebuke.

To conclude: Mr Obama is my president.  It is not unusual for his name to be mentioned in the family‘s evening prayers.  But…words, no matter how eloquent and moving, must be backed up by corresponding action.  Yes, the words are wonderful, but the actions…betray. My impossible hope, however, is that in all the speaking…there is a grain of sincerity.  For if there is; if he truly does want the Lord’s direction; then the direction will eventually come. And, might I suggest speeding up the process by dropping the counselors, and simply picking up…the Book.

Here’s a link to the Transcript: Prayer Breakfast


Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Ode to Chicago

Ode to Chicago
(by R.P.Edwards)

Here’s to Chicago
The thorn in our side
Dragging us under
Out with the tide
The boil on our buttocks
The wart on our nose
Demanding attention
Wherever it goes
Here’s to Chicago
Corruption assumed
Downstate convictions
Are ballot box, doomed
Declaring a mandate
A nod and a wink
Proclaiming sweet fragrance
While sniffers cry, STINK!
Here’s to Chicago
Lincoln betrayed
Pity the president
In Illinois laid
Touted by pundits
But by actions, disowned
Perhaps ol’ Kentucky
Should bring their son…home

A bit of frustration.  We, of the “other” Illinois, are pushed once again through the Cook County mold.  Alas, no matter our conservative tendencies (fiscally, and in “right and “wrong”), the northern kingdom rules.  And so, taxes rise and leftward morality is given the “Lincoln approved” stamp. 

And so, if you want ease in your abortion; come to Illinois.  If you want the “marriage” label expanded to include your sexual whim; come to Illinois.  But, if you want lower taxes; perchance to plant and grow a business; don’t come to Illinois.  You’re not welcome. 

The local forecast, here, in southern Illinois, is a plunging thermometer.  A bitter, biting, possibly killing cold.  And it comes, as usual; from the north.


Tuesday, February 1, 2011

The Parsers

The Parsers
(by R.P.Edwards)

Parsing, parsing
Here we go
Find things
Nobody knows
Hidden meanings
Worlds of do
So often found
By those…
Who choose

I hear sleet bouncing off the “stuck in the wall” air conditioner.  Yes, it’s the “super storm” and so far it’s (at least in my local) a bit of a let down.  Promised a foot of snow; getting a bunch of ice stingers.

Anyway, to the news.  Yesterday, federal Judge, Roger Vinson, said the Obama Healthcare Bill was a no go because of the “individual mandate.”  Following are some snippets:

“The Act, like a defectively designed watch, needs to be redesigned and reconstructed by the watchmaker…
Regardless of how laudable its attempt may have been to accomplish these goals in the Act, Congress must operate within the bounds established by the Constitution.  Again, this case is not about whether the Act is wise or unwise legislation. It is about the Constitutional role of the federal government.  For the reasons stated, I must reluctantly conclude that Congress exceeded the bounds of its authority in passing the Act with the individual mandate…Because the individual mandate is unconstitutional and not severable, the entire Act must be deemed void.”

Seems it all hinges on the “Commerce Clause” in the Constitution.  Ready for it?  Here it is:
To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with Indian Tribes.
Those who say “you can;” they stretch the words without end.  Others (at least 26 states worth) say, “It‘s limited.”  The good judge agrees with the latter.  And, since the “individual mandate” is central to the legislation; it has to go.

My take: Of course it should be tossed!  Requiring everyone to enroll or be penalized; outrageous!  But, do I think the “benders” will sit idly by?  No.  I hear that even now some political higher ups (who elects these guys?) will try and arm twist their way to victory. 

Final thought:  Apparently the plaintiffs also wanted the judge to issue an injunction stopping the “Act”…in the act.  He didn’t go that far; thinking it unnecessary.  He quoted Justice Scalia on the matter:
…it must be presumed that federal officers will adhere to the law as declared by the court.”  I see that Judge Vinson’s resume also includes being a man…of faith.

Here’s a link to the text:  The Ruling