Friday, November 10, 2017

An Untiring Tongue

     The only muscle that never tires is the tongue. – Old maxim

     Perhaps the aphorism above could be updated for the Age of the Internet, but it carries weight all the same. We’re a talky bunch, we humans. We gravitate toward opportunities to blather, and the two-way Web is the contemporary expression of that desire. For every driveler such as your humble Curmudgeon, who once vowed to limit his emissions to a thousand words but can’t seem to stop at that point any more, there are hundreds, perhaps thousands of shorter-winded denizens who content themselves with leaving a brief comment at each tirade.

     It’s probably therapeutic, at least in moderation. The pre-Web problems of him who “has something to say” were 1) the lack of an audience, and 2) the evaluation of the habit of talking to oneself as a symptom of mental illness. If you simply had to “get it out,” you might slink down to the local watering hole in search of a receptive ear. The problem there, of course, is that your ear would be deemed available by reciprocity. Copious administration of alcoholic potables might dull the senses enough to make that tolerable. However, it would also cause the subject to wonder “What the hell was I saying?” upon regaining his sobriety the morning after.

     The Web doesn’t have either of those drawbacks. It has others, an infinitely capacious (and infinitely retentive) memory being one. But one may launch one’s sentiments into pixels, imagining a huge audience spellbound by them, without any need to lend one’s own attention to the scribblings of others.

     I’m weary. I’ve been writing for the Web for twenty years now, and the conviction that I have nothing new and fresh to say has been growing. Many mornings I sit down before this Furschluginer excuse for a computer, prepare to begin my daily assault on the keys, and find myself thinking “Why bother?” Then I open Outlook, and see that I’ve received a note such as the following:

     I have been reading you forever. You are, like my brother of the Cloth, Fr. Patrick, one of the wisest men I have read or, as it were, known....

     I write to ask you to continue your efforts at BoL - you are a DAILY stop for me, and I am never disappointed. You have the talent God has given you to write. I could only imagine what might have been, had you gone the theological route. But you serve well in what you do write, and you are appreciated. Just wanted to say so.

     Before I say anything else, I don’t deserve such lavish praise. However, the knowledge that I have readers to whom I mean that much is a stimulus to production I can’t ignore. I don’t have many -- Liberty’s Torch only gets between 400 and 500 readers on a typical day – but just as in the famous conversation between Abraham and God the Father:

     So the LORD said, “The outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah is so great and their sin so blatant that I must go down and see if they are as wicked as the outcry suggests. If not, I want to know.”
     The two men turned and headed toward Sodom, but Abraham was still standing before the LORD. Abraham approached and said, “Will you sweep away the godly along with the wicked? What if there are fifty godly people in the city? Will you really wipe it out and not spare the place for the sake of the fifty godly people who are in it? Far be it from you to do such a thing—to kill the godly with the wicked, treating the godly and the wicked alike! Far be it from you! Will not the judge of the whole earth do what is right?”
     So the LORD replied, “If I find in the city of Sodom fifty godly people, I will spare the whole place for their sake.”
     Then Abraham asked, “Since I have undertaken to speak to the Lord (although I am but dust and ashes), what if there are five less than the fifty godly people? Will you destroy the whole city because five are lacking? He replied, “I will not destroy it if I find forty-five there.”
     Abraham spoke to him again, “What if forty are found there?” He replied, “I will not do it for the sake of the forty.”
     Then Abraham said, “May the Lord not be angry so that I may speak! What if thirty are found there?” He replied, “I will not do it if I find thirty there.”
     Abraham said, “Since I have undertaken to speak to the Lord, what if only twenty are found there?” He replied, “I will not destroy it for the sake of the twenty.”
     Finally Abraham said, “May the Lord not be angry so that I may speak just once more. What if ten are found there?” He replied, “I will not destroy it for the sake of the ten.”
     The LORD went on his way when he had finished speaking to Abraham. Then Abraham returned home.

     [Genesis 18:20-33] long as a few readers remain that enthused by my crap, I’ll keep pumping it out. But I’m not going to tell you their names; their continued safety means too much to me!

     By now everyone has read about the accusations lodged against Alabama Senatorial candidate Judge Roy Moore. Judge Moore has denied the allegations fiercely and is contemplating a lawsuit against the Washington Post for publishing them.

     But it’s not just the notoriously left-wing editorial staff of the Washington Post that wants to torpedo Judge Moore’s candidacy:

     Vice President Mike Pence said, via his spokesperson, that Pence believes that if the allegations against Roy Moore are true, then "this would disqualify anyone from serving in office."
     Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell: "If these allegations are true, he must step aside."
     Sen. John McCain: "The allegations against Roy Moore are deeply disturbing and disqualifying. He should immediately step aside and allow the people of Alabama to elect a candidate they are proud of."
     Former Gov. of Massachusetts: "Innocent until proven guilty is for criminal convictions, not elections. I believe Leigh Corfman. Her account is too serious to ignore. Moore is unfit for office and should step aside."
     Sen. Lisa Murkowski said, "I'm horrified and if this is true he needs to step down immediately." She also said she has spoken to Luther Strange about becoming a write-in challenge, ultimately challenging Moore in the Dec. 12 election.
     Sen. Ted Cruz, who endorsed Roy Moore: "These are serious and troubling allegations. If they are true, Judge Moore should immediately withdraw. However, we need to know the truth, and Judge Moore has the right to respond to these accusations."
     Sen. Jeff Flake: "If there is any shred of truth to the allegations against Roy Moore, he should step aside immediately."
     Sen. John Cornyn, who endorsed Moore and is listed on his website, said: "Well I think the next steps are up to the governor and the people of Alabama. I find it deeply disturbing and troubling. If it is true, I don't think his candidacy is sustainable."
     Sen. David Perdue called the allegations "devastating" and said Moore should withdraw if they're true.
     Sen. Pat Toomey: "If there's a shred of truth to it, then he need to step aside."
     Sen. Richard Shelby: "If that's true, then he wouldn't belong in the Senate."
     Sen. Mike Lee: "If these allegations are true, Roy Moore needs to step down."
     Sen. Tim Scott: "If they're accurate, he should step aside."
     Sen. Cory Gardner, chairman of national republican senatorial committee: "If these allegations are found to be true, Roy Moore must drop out of the Alabama special Senate election."
     Sen. Rob Portman: "It was very troubling ... if what we read is true and people are on the record so I assume it is..." Moore should step aside.
     Sen. Susan Collins: "If there is any truth at all to these horrific allegations, Roy Moore should immediately step aside as a Senate candidate."
     Sen. John Hoeven: "The allegations against Roy Moore are very serious and if true, he should step down as a candidate for the Senate."

     Mind you, the alleged impropriety was alleged to have taken place in 1979: 38 years ago. Why did Moore’s accuser not come forward during any of his previous campaigns? Why now? What substantiation does she have to offer? What evidence did she offer the Washington Post? And why are so many Republicans, including many who would be Moore’s Senatorial colleagues if he wins his race, so eager to take sides against him?

     There are persons who’ll treat hearsay – “Well, she told her friend about it only fifteen years later!” – as if it were evidence, much as many persons did during the Clarence Thomas hearings before the Senate Judiciary Committee. But hearsay is inadmissible in court. It should be given no weight by a fair-minded person. A lie repeated by an associate remains a lie. And women – especially young women – lie about sexual misconduct all the time.

     We shall see what develops from this.

     That’s all for today, I think. I have some chores before me, and Joy needs a trip to the car wash. Until tomorrow.


Kauf Buch said...

Mind you: though the WaPost IS a Leftist rag,
I suspect, in *this* case, it’s the GOPe pulling the strings…
…a la MISSISSIPPI COCHRAN and their smearing of Chris McDaniels.

* the timing
* all the accusers *coincidentally* being GOP, all coming out at once
* the bevy of GOPe CongressCritters *unexpectedly* appear, en masse, to decry Moore and call for his withdrawl (and a write-in action for their stooge).

Butch DuCote said...

I for one am glad you trudge on daily to bring us your delightful wit and comment on our ever changing world. You are a daily reminder of what is right and provide a guiding light. Winners don’t quit; quitters don’t win. Chin up, eyes forward, March on.

MMinLamesa said...

Well now that John McCain has chimed in saying the allegations are so serious that no investigation is needed and Moore should immediately pull out.

This has McConnell's slimy fingerprints all over it. He directed millions into the primary to keep Moore out of the Senate.

SWVAguy said...

Francis, you are inspiring. Were it not for you and Ol' Remus, my life (such as it is) would be diminished. Please don't give up on blogging. We need your brilliance.

ligneus said...

I too am a daily reader and I marvel at how you can be so interesting day after day. It will be a sad day when you hang up your keyboard or whatever it is that you do with such things.

On the Moore case

Andrew Pryzant said...

I would not care if it was true. If the only indiscretion the demons can point to is 38 year old, the old pol has led an admirable life. The dirty mofos in DC like to play hardball with our candidates and if we are going to defenestrate Moore over this pittance corrupt progressives time-servers like John Cornyn or John McCain are all we'll ever get. Support Moore. Send him money.

ligneus said...

I guess my 'Moore' hyperlink didn't work.

Aggie - said...


Like virtually all who stop in, I deeply appreciate your contributions to our respective intellectual journeys. They are greatly appreciated and admired. You shouldn't feel compelled to produce continuously though. I'm sure I can say that we will appreciate your wisdom and craftsmanship as deeply as ever if it were offered (for example) but a couple of times a week. Give yourself a break! Reflection and pondering replenish the soul. Kind Regards,