Common sense intellectual Yogi Berra once said that when you come to a fork in the road, take it!
This country is at one of those critical junctures in its history.
As I have written many times, the choice is clear and it will determine our history for the next 50 years or more.
I see that choice as one between dependency–read neo-slavery or serfdom and freedom–the responsibility to provide for one’s self and family.
The other sees dependency as a way of life–a profession so to speak at someone else’s expense.
In the recent debate Romney missed more than the Benghazi cover-up.
Obama coined a phrase months ago that high unemployment, a declining economy, increasing inflation, a reduced role for America abroad–would all be a new normal for the American people.
In other words, we are to eat our peas, like good children and listen to the wisdom of our Great Half-white Father who knows more than anyone else in this country…if not the world.
We can all learn to endure long lines at the doctor’s office, months of pain while waiting for elective surgeries, lower pay checks, a plunging stock market, real terrorism abroad and maybe at home.
That’s what Canadians and the British have to do.
We can add this new phrase to the litany of Obama’s predecessors that have led us to this mess.
The term evokes memories of Woodrow Wilson’s New Freedom.
Then there was Harry S Truman’s Fair Deal, followed by LBJ’s Great Society.
I once called that the Big Deal.
Now we have the New Normalcy.
It was Wilson’s short-lived successor, Warren G. Harding who won the 1920 election with his pithy slogan of a return to normalcy.
Wilson’s foreign escapades that included America’s first military expedition to Europe, as well as his domestic polices–read the Federal Reserve Act, the Graduated Income and Estate taxes, had so disrupted American life that they wanted to return to the good old days of William Howard Taft, Wilson’s predecessor.
What the American people did not understand then, this was Marxism’s first beachhead on American soil.
Since then creeping socialism of all the faces that will go on Mt. Costmore–namely TWW, FDR, LBJ and BHO.
However this is all the reality of American socialism and all the other socialistic systems around the world.
They take a relative prosperity where some do well and in our case–millions prosper and they level, not only the playing field but prosperity itself.
The key is to lower expectations, personal and individual freedoms, life expectancy and the will to live.
This is just like Europe today or Soviet Russia, the Peoples’ Republic of China and even Nazi Germany.
An Obama re-election is an invitation for a Weimar-type government that will have to print trillions of dollars to pay for its exorbitant projects and programs.
This result is endemic to every socially manipulated society that has ever existed.
To apply this to our country and expect a different result is a form of psychological delusion.
In other words people who promote such a system are devoid of reason, and have no understanding of history, politics or religion.
In other words they are severely mentally ill.
What else will happen under the new normalcy?
We will have to get used to having 15-20 % of our population unemployed.
If ObamaCare stays as the law of the land, we all will be at their mercy.
Their bureaucratic czars will have life and death control over all of us.
What really frightens me–with the push for palliative care, assisted suicide and limited screening for breast and prostate cancer–try getting a mammogram from Planned Parenthood–is the president’s fondness for the Green Movement.
There is far much more to being green than wind, solar and other alternate energy sources.
The true greens believe that mankind–all of us—are responsible for endangering the planet with our squandering of our “limited” resources.
Our deadly carbon footprints herald the need for the elimination of about 5,000,000,000 of the world’s population.
They want gas to be $6-10 dollars a gallon–much less pollution.
They think we will stop using our cars.
The New Normalcy will stress less is better and if don’t comply, they will ration it as they did during WW II and punish us to boot.
That’s why the mandate is the linchpin of ObamaCare.
Greens don’t like people.
But they like controls–birth, population, gun, food water and maybe even air control.
That way they get to decide who is allowed to live.
Health care will be the perfect vehicle to accomplish this goal.
Hitler was obsessed with Blut und Land.
Euthanasia was the first step in his culture of death.
Obama and his gang are obsessed with earth and wind.
You just watch as I have said before—euthanasia–first passive and then active will be the rule of the day.
And they will keep the sinister statistics.
It won’t be Paul Ryan throwing Granny over the cliff.
It will be Donald Berwick or some such other glorified bureaucrat signing the refusal for your life-saving or extending care.
It is already taking place in the Netherlands.
Doctors are unilaterally making these decisions.
Old people are afraid to go to the hospital.
Those that have money now will either bribe the government for exemptions or they will try to pay out-of-pocket for their medical treatment.
One thing is certain Obama has his special interests and there is a hefty price tag to be a friend of Barack’s.
But many will pay it.
That’s how things work in what’s left of the Soviet Union.
This escape hatch was nailed shut in Hillary/Care in 1993 by stiff jail sentences for any doctor who would dare to accept cash directly for medical treatment.
Once they control one’s ability to see a doctor, they have us forever.
And my Catholic Church, blinded by social justice, can only fathom the attack on its religious liberty.
Obama has shown such a disrespect for Congress and the Supreme Court that he has circumvented it on over a 1000 occasions, with executive orders, his system of czars, executive privilege and maybe even a fiat or two.
When people finally wake up from their five-year slumber, what’s next?
Forget Posse Comitatus!
This is the choice that awaits us.
All of the above is the worst case scenario.
America still has a lot of good people who understand the nature of our internal threat.
I just hope and pray that the president will not pull some trick in his Chicago thuggery handbook to overthrow the validity of a Romney victory.
Al Gore tried it in 2000 when the left-wing Florida Supreme Court tried in vain to usurp the constitutional power of the Secretary of State to certify the elections totals.
We will know the answer on January 8th.
I will holding my breath until then.
The one really poignant moment in the recent debate between Vice President Joe Biden and Republican Paul Ryan was when each gave his understanding of their Catholic church’s teachings on abortion.
Biden’s was of course nothing deeper than the old bait and switch of pro-choice–that became the Mario Cuomo Notre Dame Doctrine that gave our lexicon the phrase—personally opposed but…
The vacuity of that statement has fallen by the wayside as Biden’s Democratic Party has virtually abandoned any pretense they had to support both sides in this argument.
Most Democrats have never met an abortion that wasn’t suitable or useful for their political futures.
This should not surprise anybody because the very first “pro-choicer, was a Democrat.
I am talking about Stephen Douglas, the Little Giant of the Lincoln-Douglas debates in 1858.
He also ran for the presidency in the pivotal 1860 election.
But the issue was not abortion but slavery.
He was indifferent to the morality of enslaving another human being.
Of course the linchpin of the slave movement was the belief, seconded by the Dred Scott decision in 1858 that black people were not human–they were property and could legally be owned and sold and even destroyed.
He called this property right–popular sovereignty and laid a historical foundation for the pro-choice movement.
The people of any community were free to vote on having slaves or not having slavery.
Democrats today has dispensed with any pretense of allowing people to vote on it.
There is only one acceptable choice and it’s a thumbs down for the baby.
They, not only support abortion rights but actively promote it through their auxiliary organization, Planned Parenthood, which as has as much to do about true parenthood as the Nazi Party once did.
Abortion has been a thorn in the side of American society since the Roe v. Wade on January 22, 1973.
Since then abortion has become the most verboten of all subjects for polite conversation.
It has divided political parties, households, churches, and has even lead to arguments in Catholic men’s Bible study groups.
Its wicked cords of recent history have knotted America’s moral structure in a conundrum that is subtlety more complex than that, which tore the nation apart in the 19th century.
Like its ante-bellum counterparts, the house of abortion abolitionists is torn between those who wish to rip abortion from the public and legal landscape by its root and branches and those incrementalists who believe a piecemeal policy is the only realistic way to go.
Because of the failure of its political leaders to make any real progress in the last 40 years, Roe is still deeply embedded in the historical landscape.
This is true because too many practical politicians, who lack the courage of their pro-life sentiments, have allowed for certain “exceptions” to abortion.
Unfortunately Ryan’s distillation of his Church’s teachings, erroneously allowed for the usual exceptions–rape, incest and the life of the mother.
The only reason anyone should be against abortion is that it takes an innocent human life, albeit it in its nascent stages.
To admit any exceptions undermines the thrust of Thy Shall Not Kill, which literally is a commandment against murder…a specific kind of killing.
I know what Ryan really meant to say–I can’t believe that he or any real Catholic would ever be in favor of these exceptions.
Otherwise he would wade out into an ocean of reality where the ends justify the means.
This is much more Machiavelli than it is Jesus Christ, who despised the violation of any type of human innocence.
But the political realities at this juncture do make it a virtual impossibility to ever secure a majority would oppose it.
While these exceptions amount to no more than 19,500 out of 1.3 million unborn babies annually, these innocent victims are deserving of public protection, without consideration for the relative circumstances of their conception.
Politicians with exceptions fail to understand that to allow the slaughter of these innocents undermines the rationale for their opposition to all other abortions.
The sad fact is emotional appeals have high standing in this debate.
Few people can envision “forcing” a young woman to bear her father’s child or that of a total stranger.
It would take the heroic act of a real saint to bring these children to term.
Yet sometimes we are called to perform acts of moral heroism and saintly courage.
Mothers and fathers and sometimes, even total strangers will risk their lives to rush into a burning building to save the life of a child.
Police officers, firemen and women do it every day.
We cannot allow ourselves to be intimidated by a pro-abortion media that wants the abortion privilege to reign in American culture.
Of all the exceptions it is the life of the mother that poses the most difficulty for the Church and for pro-life people.
The secular media has unfairly painted the Church in misogynistic hues for the last 50 years.
Church leaders have had to walk on eggshells to avoid lending any credence to these vicious attacks.
I recently re-read The Cardinal, a 1950 book by Henry Morton Robinson
It included a graphic scene where the aspiring young Monsignor Stephen Fermoyle was asked to permit a craniotomy, that is, the crushing of a baby’s head upon delivery, to save the life of his unmarried sister who had been in labor for three days.
Under great emotional duress, he told the doctors to save both of them.
Of course only the baby survived.
I believe that the foul taste of seeing this depicted in the subsequent movie 20 years later might have helped fuel the underground swell for Roe.
Monsignor Fermoyle’s decision was very difficult but often the morally correct decision is not the easy decision.
The other side knows this is our Achilles heel.
Onion Magazine recently printed a satirical article about a new anti-abortion pill that killed the mother without harming her fetus.
The Church’s opposition to abortion is based on the principle of the sanctity of all human life.
A person cannot will the death of one as a means of saving the other.
I recognized years ago that this is a tough sell for a growing secular culture.
Taking my inspiration from The Cardinal, I wrote my second play that was produced in 2010, entitled A Perfect Choice.
A young father rushed home from Vietnam to confront his wife’s difficult delivery.
Like the doctors in the Cardinal, they suggested they crush the baby’s skull to save his wife’s life.
Not because of his Church’s teachings but more humanly for his fear of his wife, who was the devout Catholic, he told them to save both because she would never forgive him for sacrificing their child…even for her life.
Well they both die.
His surviving child, age five, doesn’t understand why her mommy had to die.
She blames him for taking her for denying her a mother.
The whole play takes place in a single act some 30 years later on the eve of the dawning of 2000.
The moral principle of double effect applies in cases where the death of the child is only the secondary result of, for example, radiation treatment for the mother’s cancer.
The mother does not have to sacrifice her life for her child but many have, such as St. Gianna.
None of the “exceptions” are easy choices but they all demand exceptional courage and the solid application of Catholic principles on the sanctity of human life.
Being a Catholic is never easy.
Abortion separates the believers from the pretenders.
Americans are fascinated by a good debate.
It often combines the acumen of a scholarly exchange with the strategies of a boxing fight.
If one has a dog in the fight, there will be groans when the opponent draws blood and cheers when one’s candidate delivers a knock-out punch.
The candidates bob and weave like fighters, vying for an electoral championship.
Their rhetorical skills traverse the political landscape from flyweight–think Joe Biden–to heavy weight–think Ronald Reagan or John F. Kennedy.
Historians will tell us that the quintessential contest was the Lincoln Douglas Debates, held in seven different Illinois towns in 1858.
In that debate, which was for a United States Senate seat from Illinois, Douglas, the little giant, at 5’4″ and the foot taller Lincoln from Sangamon Co. went at it in regal style.
The debate served as a harbinger for the 1860 election, the most pivotal in the nation’s history, since its very first one in 1788.
The first debate I ever encountered and only briefly was the very first televised debate in 1960.
This historic occasion launched a new era in, not just in TV history, but more importantly social and political history.
I watched maybe five minutes and immediately assumed Richard Nixon, whom I knew something about, was winning in a resounding fashion.
That’s what the people listening on the radio also thought.
Little did I know or understand the amorphous idea of public opinion and the visual powers of television.
The most memorial debates I watched since then were Reagan/Carter in 1980 and Reagan/Mondale four years later.
I vividly remember the first Gotcha Moment, when President Carter, the worst president in my lifetime…until now…spoke of discussing nuclear policy with his 13-year-old daughter, Amy.
Right then I knew the race was over.
The most interesting debate for me was the one the other night between, Mitt Romney. and President Obama.
I have feared this election for nearly four years because it will have life and death consequences for me and my wife.
His entire presidency has worked at cross purposes with everything that I believe to be true.
I am talking about the life issues–he is the most extreme pro-abortion president we have ever suffered.
His opinion of my life and those around me is based on a relativist foundation that easily dispenses with those who are not useful to the state,
At my increasing age, the only way I can fight that is to stay healthy.
His attempt to completely control the health care of all the American people is the most egregious usurpation of power in this country in my lifetime.
His squeezing of Medicare and his long-term goal of eliminating all supplemental plans by making it unfeasible or even impossible for them to stay in business, will leave me and my wife with no real effective health care.
While there may not be an overt clause in the 2700 page document of ObamaCare, like Hillary Clinton’s ill-fated attempt to penalize doctors for accepting cash payments from their patients for medical care, that scenario is still quite possible.
This will amount to a passive euthanasia policy that raise specters of Nazi Germany.
Am I smoking some sort of funny weed?
I suggest every one read George Will’s recent column about death panels.
Obama’s extremely poor performance in the 1st debate has put that on hold…at least for the time being.
I and 67 million other Americans watched the debate and were surprised a bit on how poorly prepared and even interested the president seemed.
He seemed to be caught in a 2008 time warp.
His proposals were just warmed over overtures to failed policies of his failed administration.
Let’s face it—his ideas just haven’t worked and they really can’t work because they are not of this world.
He did everything to convey boredom…except look at his watch as H. W. Bush had in 1992.
Romney on the other hand seemed to be having fun.
I think the debate was his from the first moment that he used Obama’s 20th anniversary to poke fun at himself.
That was something Obama could never do because his inner arrogance and hostility to any sort of criticism forbids him to have a legitimate lighter side.
And when he does attempt that it fails dismally because it is not natural for him.
Romney’s attack mode, though gracious and not at all belligerent, also surprised me.
I thought back to early April when I saw that same fire and business-like quest for success in Donald Trump.
While Trump would have been a blundering, almost obtuse candidate, I prayed that someone would come along and capture that fire and take it to this president.
I really didn’t think it would be Romney.
Someone finally has to tell the country that their emperor has no clothes.
The Emperor’s New Clothes is a Danish fairy tale written by Hans Christian Andersen and first published in 1837.
It was the story of an emperor who cared only about his clothes and about showing them off.
One day he heard from two swindlers that they could make the finest suit of clothes from the most beautiful cloth.
This cloth, they said, also had the special capability that it was invisible to anyone who was either stupid or not fit for his position.
The emperor then allowed himself to be dressed in the clothes for a procession through town, never admitting that he was too unfit and stupid to see what he was wearing.
For he was afraid that the other people would think that he was stupid.
Of course, all the townspeople wildly praised the magnificent clothes of the emperor, afraid to admit that they could not see them, until a small child said:
But he has nothing on!
Our president is as naked to the country and our futures as he was the day he was born in_________.
You supply the state or country of your choice.
When it comes to ideas, policies and an understanding of the world, Obama has nothing to cover his public and moral nakedness.
The numbers expose his failed presidency!
Like the emperor in the tale, no one has ever pointed out his failings since he was a toddler.
Was this a result of being pampered by grandparents who tried to assuage his parental abandonment?
Whatever the case no one…especially in the mainstream Washington Press Corps has ever vetted him on any serious matter.
Romney was the first to attempt that in a public forum and the president was unprepared to parry his thrusts.
The part I liked best about the debate was when Romney would not let Obama continue to repeat the falsehoods that his campaign has generated and repeated ad infinitum.
It was his equivalent of there you go again.
A lie unchallenged becomes part of the public record.
Romney threw so many facts at him that Obama was literally overwhelmed and without his teleprompter he had nowhere to go to even attempt a skillfully retort.
The Monday Morning Democratic quarterbacks were out in full force the next day to continue the Danish fairy tale.
Al Gore was creative when he said it was the altitude–is that anything like being brainwashed as what happened to George Romney in 1968?
A member of the Democratic campaign staff accuses Romney of lying everything he opened his mouth.
I read the next day that this will be the new Obama strategy to protect his White House stay.
What was the story about the kettle and the pot?
Others said Obama’s slow…maybe lazy style as he admitted to Barbara Walters on The View could not process all of Romney’s data.
Some said he was such a deep thinker that he needed more time to process all of Romney’s points.
He has had four years to process the complaints!
Only a few were honest and said he had a bad day.
I know the next debate will be harder and the contrast probably not as great.
But if Romney can bring the same enthusiasm in the Town Hall format, he brought to Denver, a draw will be the best that Obama can hope for.
I also know Romney is in a dog-fight, Chicago style, and Obama’s punches will probably be below his belt.
I suggest Romney fit himself for a Kevlar athletic supporter.
He has to avoid them at all costs by not being sidetracked on gay marriage, contraception or even abortion.
That has to another part of Obama’s strategy because he knows that it is always the economy…stupid!
George Will on the death panels: George Will: Romney’s trifecta : Stltoday
I read the book, The Moviegoer just recently.
The main character day-dreams constantly.
He has trouble engaging in lasting relationships and finds more meaning and immediacy in movies and books than in his own routine life.
It was Percy’s first, most famous, and most widely praised novel.
I was somewhat disappointed because there weren’t that many movie references that supported the theme of his book.
Movies have always been a big part of my life.
I just love movies.
I have been a regular moviegoer since I was about eight years old and my mother took me to the movie theaters–we had two of them–in Forest Hills.
It was always a double-feature–usually cowboy movies, starring, Randolph Scott, Alan Ladd or John Wayne.
The first movie I can remember was a war movie–The Sands of Iwo Jima, starring John Wayne.
It was probably my first experience of a war in any sense.
I had a vicarious experience that both excited and frightened me.
That movie and others like it were probably the main reason I did not want to go to Vietnam many years later.
Yet I enjoyed the thrill of battle on the screen.
I still go to movies and thanks to modern technology I have a large collection of DVDs that keep my interest alive.
There is nothing like the freedom of knowing that I can see almost any movie, past and present at any time I want.
Movies has served as a metaphor for my life.
I have experienced so many different emotions watching films of all kinds.
Unlike most men–for most men who won’t admit it–I just love chick flicks–films that appeal to my inner feminine side I guess.
I just saw the film, adapted from a Nicholas Sparks book, The Lucky One that made me tear up at the end.
I guess I am obsessed by a happy ending.
But isn’t that what is essentially the promise of Heaven?
Movies help me to communicate to others about many ideas, feelings and observations I have made over the course of my life.
It is difficult for me to talk with some people or tell any of my warehouse of personal stories without using a popular movie for illustrative purposes.
They punctuate my personal stories with an intimacy that makes them almost real or should I say reel?
My favorite comedy is What About Bob, starring Bill Murray as the eponymous Bob Wiley and Richard Dreyfus, who played his beleaguered psychiatrist, Leo Marvin.
Bob is a consummate neurotic..a pan-phobic–just like me…
That’s why they had to get a zany Bill to play the lead role.
He is so much like me in his fears, doubts and infectious good nature that I can watch the movie three or four times every year and still find it enlightening.
One example should illustrate this.
Midway through the movie, he follows Marvin up to Lake Winnipesaukee where the doctor was vacationing with his fam as Bob called them.
(Yes this is the same place Mitt Romney vacations. Maybe Bob still lives there.)
Marvin’s daughter asks Bob to go sailing with her and her friends.
He politely refuses…not because he doesn’t want to go–but because his fears of something new paralyze him into inaction.
The very thought made his lips numb.
But her sad, wistful look immediately energizes him.
The next sequence shows a close-up shows Bob looking like a natural sailor with the wind blowing through his bushy hair and the sun shinning brightly on his smiling face.
Think Leonardo DiCaprio on the Titanic!
As the camera recedes we see that he is tied to the mast.
This happened to me in a way.
Years ago on a trip to Seattle on a trip, the rest of my party wanted to go up in the Space Needle, which was featured in an Elvis movie many years ago.
I had no need to go up in the Needle.
I don’t do heights very well and it was 791 feet high
That’s why I am afraid to fly.
I have used up about 350 of my 1000 deaths just flying.
I was even more terrified as we approached the tourist attraction.
It seemed to be that the circumference of the needle was pin-thick–maybe for or five inches at best.
A small breeze would have it wavering in the wind like the flag over Iwo Jima.
To make matters worse the elevator was on the outside of the Space Needle, making sure that I could see my death seconds before impact.
I turned inward and closed my eyes the whole way up!
My brother-in-law took pictures to blackmail me for years.
Once we got inside the restaurant, I told him that there was no way I could stay up here.
He told me he had a way.
He took me by my shaking hand into the bar and order me a Mai Tai, which I quickly gulped down.
Things felt just a little bit less scary but the high anxiety was still there.
So he bought me another one.
I didn’t drink it quite as fast but it seemed to do the trick.
On the trip down I would have hung over the side of the elevator car if he had been open and told the world that I was flying…flying into the face of my fears, fortified, not by ropes by sweet alcohol.
Two of my all-time favorite movies are The Eye of the Needle and Three Days of the Condor.
Donald Sutherland plays the Needle, which had nothing to do with Seattle.
It was a reference to his stiletto-like weapon that he adroitly used several times in the movie.
He is a Nazi Spy, working undercover for Admiral Wilhelm Canaris’ Abwehr.
He had proof that the D-Day invasion was really for Normandy and not the expected Port Calais.
His boat is shipwrecked on a small island, where acress Kate Nellington lived with her paralyzed husband.
The Needle lets his stoic guard down and falls for the winsome and sexually frustrated wife.
During their brief sexual congress she discovers his true origins and in the final scene tries to stop his escape to a waiting submarine.
During the climactic final scene, Nellington has the Needle cornered on the beach.
As she holds her ancient pistol on him, I was mesmerised by the look in her eyes–one of complete femininity–vulnerable yet strong, resourceful enough to conquer her own passion for him and save the day for the Allies.
This was one strong woman.
Robert Redford starred in Condor, his CIA code name for his work as a book-reader in an intelligence cell in New York City,
After he is the only survivor in an international hit on his team–he was literally out-to-lunch–he has to kidnap a sultry independent woman–photographer Faye Dunaway.
In her apartment as he tried to collect his thoughts and plan his next move, he takes time to critique her art work hanging on the walls.
Her B&W stills show stark scenes that he observes that had no people in them.
Thinking out loud he wonders what kind of person would take pictures without people.
That happened to me years ago.
I knew this female photographer who had similar kinds of pictures–beautiful and poignant pictures as Redford would have said but empty…cold and very, very sad.
And finally where would I be without some of the great lines in movie history?
As Marlon Brando spoke through the wad of cotton in his mafia mouth in The Godfather…I want to make you an offer you can’t refuse!
But my favorite is that of chain gain boss, Strother Martin, who says to a Cool Hand Luke–Paul Newman…What we have her is a failure to communicate.
I just hope that will not be the case to whomever reads this post.