Thursday, November 20, 2014

“Obama Is About to Commit an Act of Constitutional Infamy” 

I need to get ready to get to Burnet with my novel Pilot Point.  Yes, the Pilot Point Gun Show Tour is about to resume.

But I cannot let pass without comment that, as Peter Wehner writes, Obama with his executive amnesty is about to commit an act of Constitutional infamy – really a coup against the Constitution as well as against the American people and their just-elected Congress.  It is certainly the most brazen attack on our Constitution in my lifetime.

And why?  What Labour did to Britain shows the way.  The U.K. electorate was too English and Tory for Labour’s tastes, so they imported Labour voters.  The U.S. electorate is too American for Obama’s tastes, so he is importing Democrat voters.

At least Labour did not tear down the rule of law to do so.

And that leads back to the issue that is even more important than Obama’s attempt at social engineering – if his executive amnesty is allowed to stand, it would set a precedent for a monarchal President that the Founders took pains to avoid and ruled out in the Constitution. 

And this alarms even some Obama supporters, as it should.  To his credit, Jonathan Turley (an Obama-voter, btw) is among those concerned:

As the liberal law professor Jonathan Turley put it last night, this is a “particularly dangerous moment” for the president to defy the will of Congress yet again, just 15 days after an election in which the American people registered their emphatic (anti-Obama) judgment. “What the president is suggesting is tearing at the very fabric of the Constitution,” according to Professor Turley. “We have a separation of powers that gives us balance. And that doesn’t protect the branches — it’s not there to protect the executive branch or legislative branch — it’s to protect liberty. It’s to prevent any branch from assuming so much control that they become a threat to liberty.”

Any attack on the rule of law and any threat to liberty invites consequences, doubly so when it is so opposed by Americans and by the opposition party they just, for the most part, elected. 

And as I predicted just after the election, this could indeed get very ugly.

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Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Announcing the Pilot Point Gun Show Tour! 

I’ve taken my new Texas novel Pilot Point to two gun shows.  And the sales and the experiences were so good, I’ve decided to make a tour out of it.

So I hereby announce the Pilot Point Gun Show Tour!

Yes, if you haven’t heard of a book tour of gun shows, I haven’t either!  But I am already having fun doing this.

I intend to add appearances, but here is the schedule so far.  (Tentative shows are ones where I expect to be able to get a vendor’s table, but I am on the waiting list for one at this time.)

November 22-23:
(tentative) Burnet Gun Show - VFW Hall, Burnet, Texas

December 13:
Aransas Pass Gun Show – Aransas Pass Civic Center, A.P., Texas

February 28 – March 1, 2015
(tentative) Saxet Gun Show – Robstown Fairgrounds, near Corpus Christi, Texas

I am already posting photos and updates of my Gun Show Tour frequently on Facebook, so be sure to like Pilot Point on Facebook.

And, of course, for your Advent gift giving needs, Pilot Point is available on Amazon for as little as $2.99.


Tuesday, November 18, 2014

I REFUSE to make merchandise of Christmas to sell my novel! 

A hamburger joint I (still) like put up Christmas decorations the day after Halloween.  Santa has been in the mall for two weeks already.  Heck, the old sell-out is now busy selling cars during football games.

Enough!  It is time to take a stand for the sanctity of Christmas and of blessed St. Nicholas!  I am trying to sell my novel Pilot Point, but I refuse to make merchandise of Christmas and of St. Nicholas to do so!

However, for your Advent gift giving needs (And most so-called Christmas gifts are really given during Advent because most lack the self-control to actually wait until the Christmas season . . . which begins on Christmas Eve when a chorister at Kings College sings “Once in Royal David’s City” and don’t you forget it.), may I suggest Pilot Point?

With the Kindle version only $2.99 and the paperback only $13.41 now at Amazon, it is an excellent gift to give for those on a budget.  And with themes of loss and belonging and of God entering lives in his providential timing, it is a thoughtful gift for . . . this time of year and any time.

And if there are any Texans or Anglicans on your list, how many Texas novels have an Anglican flavor to them?

Plus I will not hijack St. Nicholas to hawk my novel.  He asked, but I told him he has enough to do already.  But I did ask him to like Pilot Point on Facebook.

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Monday, November 17, 2014

Obama, Gruber, and Obamacare: Lies About Lying 

If you are a habitual liar, what do you do when you are caught in your lies?  You could do the right thing, confess, and come clean.  Or you could double-down on your lies.

When asked directly if he or his administration had, as Gruber insisted, intentionally misled the public and oversight organizations like the Congressional Budget Office when they crafted the Accordable Care Act, Obama’s reply was terse and direct. “No,” he said. “I did not.”

So “if you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor,” “If you like your plan, you can keep your plan,” and that little promise about premiums going down were not lies?

How stupid does Obama think we are to keep believing his lies upon lies?  Pretty stupid apparently.  Which is right in line with the Gruber videos . . .  which seem to increase in number by the day.

If Obama were a CEO instead of POTUS he would have done a perp walk by now and would be well on the way to prison for fraud.

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Friday, November 14, 2014

Paris, Texas (1984) 

This month is the 30th anniversary of the U. S. release of the great movie, Paris, Texas. 

Yesterday, it was mild shock to stumble upon this (and a reminder that I am getting old).  I was also pleasantly surprised, when reading at wikipedia (spoiler alert), that the movie was an inspiration for U2’s The Joshua Tree and that it was perhaps the favorite movie of Kurt Cobain.  Its influence is greater than I had thought, and rightly so.

I have only the vaguest memory of what prompted me to watch this movie in the 80’s.  I think I read a review that interested me.  And I know I was very interested in Nastassja Kinski if you know what I mean, and I think you do.  I am pretty sure I did not see it in the theaters but on VHS.

I do know I was captivated and moved.  This Texan appreciated the starkness of the settings and of the screenplay.  I appreciated both the simplicity of the story, and that the movie took its time and with small details in telling it.  There is the simple genuine interaction between the characters.  And then the conclusion . . . I cannot recall any conclusion to a movie that so moves me.  I still cannot recall it without my eyes getting moist.

Now as you can probably tell, I am not much of a movie reviewer. (Heck, as my friends can tell you, I rarely watch movies anymore.  I do not have the patience and attention span for most of them.  For me, life is too short to watch most movies.) Roger Ebert has written an excellent review (spoiler alert).  So feel free to read that.

There is a second reason I am noting Paris, Texas.  The movie was an important influence on me as I wrote Pilot Point.  The image of man alone in the desert, the importance of the road, themes of the torments of repeated loss and of the risk of reaching out, attention to detail while keeping the story simple and unhurried, the technique of meeting the main character in the middle of his utter aloneness and then slowly finding out what led to it, a conclusion that is moving yet marked by uncertainty – all these aspects of my novel were influenced by the masterful use of the same in Paris, Texas. 

Pilot Point is a very different work than the movie with a different structure and plot.  And I certainly would not presume that it is a great work like this movie.  But I am among those who owe a debt to Paris, Texas.

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Thursday, November 13, 2014

No, Not Everything is Political 

Okay, stop laughing.  I know that headline seems slightly ironic coming from me.  There have been numerous very political posts on this blog in its ten years, which I will address in due time.

But even I know it is a mistake to politicize everything or to see everything as political.  Further, that can lead into grievous error.  The 20th Century heresy of Liberation Theology comes to mind, in which the Gospel of the Kingdom was mangled into a Marxist message.  Politicizing everything can lead to bad art and literature as well. (Yes, I do think there is such a thing.)  Some of the absurd and even obscene performance art of recent decades is a case in point . . . funded by your taxes, of course.  (There I go being political again!)

Which leads me to my novel, Pilot Point.  It may surprise some readers to be informed it is not a political novel.  Further, it is virtually devoid of political content.  (The only reason I do not assert it has no political content at all is that I know I can be very political.  So, considering the author, something political may have slipped in that I did not notice or cannot remember.)

I think Pilot Point would have been harmed by any significant political content.  If I may say so, it is a subtle, painterly novel in which the “still small voice” would have been drowned out by any trumpets of politics.  And my purposes in writing it were far removed from politics.

Now, as for this blog, when I began it ten years ago, I did not intend for it to become as political as it has.  But I cannot deny it did and that for two reasons:

1. I find politics interesting.  So there.

2. As the election of Obama approached in 2008, I saw that with my experience I was better equipped than most to see what was coming and to warn of it.  And, along with numerous other bloggers, I felt it was my duty to inform and warn as the “mainstream” news media had put aside its role of informing for the purpose of propagandizing.

I never did presume that my warnings would make that much of a difference.  But I felt it was my duty nonetheless, not unlike the watchman of Ezekiel 33.

But if the danger to this country diminishes significantly, I will likely reduce the political content of this blog.  Likewise if this country becomes so far gone that it is time to give it over to its own devises.  Because some things are more important than politics, much more, and I do not want my political bent to distract from that.

In fact, I am already pulling back a bit from political content here, believe it or not.  My twitter account is frequently an outlet for my political ranting, and I often decide to leave it there and not bring it here.  So if you just can’t get enough of my ranting . . .

But, yes, although I seem at times not to recognize it, politics is not everything, and not everything is political.

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Wednesday, November 12, 2014

God With Us - a new series and a sad verse 

After Trinity 16, I posted that I was touched by the Gospel for that Sunday from Luke 7.  Jesus interrupts a funeral procession by raising the  deceased.  And the people joyfully exclaim, “God hath visited his people.”

After reflecting on this and also talking on the subject to some young adults, I’ve decided to begin a series – God With Us.  That refers, of course, to Matthew 1:23 which quotes the prophesy of Isaiah 7:14:

“Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel” (which means, God with us).  

I think the name Immanuel, God With Us, points to a key theme of the Bible and of its portrayal of God acting in history.  One of God’s purposes is that he would be with us and us with him.  And scripture unveils how he is bringing that about.

I want to begin this series by briefly looking at what is surely one of the saddest verses in Bible, Genesis 3:8, which comes just after Adam and Eve fell by disobeying God.

And they heard the sound of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God among the trees of the garden.

Before the Fall, Adam and Eve had perfect communion with God.  So much so that they recognized “the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden.”  God so frequently came and talked with them that they knew the sound of him approaching.  And that sound had surely been an occasion for joy.

But now, with Adam and Eve having fallen, it was an occasion for fear.  And instead of openness between them and God, they now hid.  The relationship between God and man was so harmed by the sin of man that it was not the same anymore.

And it has not been the same ever since.

But God has not left it at that . . . as we shall see.

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