Posts Tagged ‘beautiful’

Reflections On The Life And Death Of Whitney Houston

February 11, 2012

I’m no musical genius, but I would put Whitney Houston in the top ten women’s voices of all time – and certainly one of the greatest voices in American music history.  Barbara Streisand – another of those voices – possessed magnificent depth of feeling; but in terms of sheer power and range and the ability to send delicious chills coursing down your spine, Whitney Houston’s voice was simply unmatchable.

She was also beautiful.  I remember watching the movie The Bodyguard and seeing Whitney’s face filling the movie screen and thinking over and over again what an incredibly pretty woman she was.

Fame, fortune, beauty and talent all in amazing quantities.  If you wanted to know what it was like to have it all, Whitney Houston would have been the one to ask.

I also remember seeing her last year – gaunt, emaciated, sick-looking, eaten alive by drugs – and wondering how such a beautiful woman could so quickly come to resemble a gargoyle.

Now she’s dead, very likely the same way Amy Winehouse ended up dead.

And it’s so incredibly sad that somebody so successful, so talented, so beautiful would destroy herself the way she did.

The quickest path to a fast death is to be a rich drug addict.

But why did she – with all of her amazing talent and resources – take this path?

It is amazing how many of “the beautiful people” have ended this way.  And there is a lesson worth pondering in that.

Imagine being able to have anything in the world that you want and being miserable.

Imagine having everything the world can offer and discovering that nothing in this world makes you happy.

I think about the poor person who buys a lottery ticket and dreams and schemes of what his or her life could be like if he or she just got lucky.  Whitney Houston had long since lost hope of having any such dreams and schemes.  Imagine the desolation of her soul.

To answer the poor person who says, “If I only had a thousand – or a million – more dollars, I would be happy,” my response is, “No, you wouldn’t.  If you had a thousand more dollars, you’d very quickly want a thousand more, etc., etc.  Nelson Rockefeller – the richest man in the world at the time – was asked how much money is enough; and his response was, “Just one more dollar.”  And that’s the way degenerate human nature has rewired itself.  We’re all like that.  We can try to fill ourselves with money or fame or success or sex or food or drugs or any other idol you can possibly imagine.  And it is never enough.

And Whitney Houston had experienced that condition until she was sick to her soul.

God hardwired us to find rest and completion only in Himself.  And nothing else in this world – no matter how much of it we try to fill ourselves with – can possibly make up for the absence of God in our souls.

I remember watching a news program – I think it may have been Nightline but I can’t recall – during the war that was going on in Yugoslavia between the Serbs and the Croats.  Croatians, Slovenians and Bosnians were driven out of their homes by an ancient hatred that the collapse of the USSR allowed to erupt yet again.  And these people – who had been educated, successful people – were relegated to picking through the garbage of American troops to look for food or something of some value that they could sell or trade.

One of these victims of war paused in his scavenging to respond to a reporter.  And I will never forget what he said:

“We are living like animals.  Is this all there is to our lives?  Is there nothing more?”

And see, the incredible thing about that is that Whitney Houston, or Amy Winehouse, or Heath Ledger, or Kurt Cobain, etc., etc. – with all of their fortunes – were asking themselves the very same questions.

What would it be like to have everything the world can offer and still be miserable?  What would it be like to have be able to get anything you want – except hope?

If you wanted to know what it was like to have it all and discover that everything the world could ever offer was worthless, Whitney Houston would have been the one to ask.

There is one way out of this world besides the route that Whitney Houston took tragically early.  Saint Paul described it thus:

“I once thought these things were valuable, but now I consider them worthless because of what Christ has done.  Yes, everything else is worthless when compared with the infinite value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have discarded everything else, counting it all as garbage, so that I could gain Christ and become one with him. I no longer count on my own righteousness through obeying the law; rather, I become righteous through faith in Christ. For God’s way of making us right with himself depends on faith.  I want to know Christ and experience the mighty power that raised him from the dead. I want to suffer with him, sharing in his death, so that one way or another I will experience the resurrection from the dead!” — Philippians 3:7-12

Mock us all you want, secular humanist world, but we have one thing that you will never have if you continue down your same path – we have Jesus.  And we have the hope of resurrection life.

No matter how bad things might get for us, no matter how terrible of a mistake we may have made, we have hope.  Hope of forgiveness, hope of a better tomorrow, hope that Jesus Christ will one day make everything as new.

Whitney Houston began her music career singing in a church choir.  I truly hope that beautiful, fragile soul heard the gospel and believed it before her life turned into something ugly.

Christians can be wretched sinners; in fact, the first necessary condition of coming to Jesus Christ in faith and asking Him to heal you and make you whole involves acknowledging that you are a wretched sinner.  Because it is from that beginning that God begins to work out His resurrection life in your soul.

And once you have tasted that eternal life, you never lose it.  If you have eternal life, how can you lose it?  Which means that if Whitney Houston ever tasted it, she’s in heaven with Jesus right now.

I pray that Jesus called Whitney home to Himself to spare her from more self-inflicted pain.

And I and many others on this earth mourn the loss of one so beautiful and so talented who didn’t know how to find joy in this world.

And I send up a prayer that Whitney Houston is truly resting in peace this night.

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Redistributing Wealth: Why Not Just Be Consistent And ‘Redistribute’ Beauty And Justice, Too?

March 31, 2010

Max Baucus gave us yet another remark from a Democrat acknowledging the REAL purpose of ObamaCare:

“Too often, much of late, the last couple three years the maldistribution of income in America is gone up way too much, the wealthy are getting way, way too wealthy, and the middle income class is left behind. Wages have not kept up with increased income of the highest income in America. This legislation will have the effect of addressing that maldistribution of income in America.”

Well, that and “to control the people.”  And to inevitably lead us into a fully socialist single payer system, or course.

Here’s Baucus on Youtube explaining the need to use Obamacare to redistribute wealth:

We can go back to Obama himself, of course, and hear him talking about “spreading the wealth” to Joe the Plumber.

Redistribution of wealth wants to “spread out” equality, such that we’re all  level.

But we’re NOT all level.  Some people are smarter than other people.  Some people are bigger and stronger and faster than others.  Some people are more creative than others.  Some people have a higher work ethic or ethics in general ethic than others.  Some people work harder than others.  And darn it, some people are just better looking than others.

And since we’re not all level, we see wildly disparate economic results.  When liberals try to “level the playing field” and “spread the wealth around” and “address the maldistribution of wealth,” what they are doing is not merely ignoring fundamental economic realities, but fundamental human realities.

If they’re going to “level the playing field,” they should be consistent, and apply their philosophy across the board.

Even when you get aside from the blameworthiness of the poor (i.e., never bothering to get off one’s butt to look for a job; or never working hard enough or showing responsibility enough to advance to the next level), you’ve still got some issues with wealth redistribution.  For instance, is it “fair” that some people are far more physically attractive than others?  Those pretty people get all the opportunities; whereas, non-pretty people, through no fault of their own, must struggle.  We should redistribute beauty!!!  We should be carving up the pretty people and giving some of their beautiful features to the non-pretty people!!!

I mean, why feel sorry for somebody who never bothered to apply himself or herself?  Who never bothered to work hard, or pursue training/schooling, or made smart choices?  It would seem that that short, fat, butt-ugly guy with the unfortunate flatulence should be the one who merits our sympathy, if anyone does.

Here’s another nice take on the idea of redistributing beauty (I wanted to see if redistributing beauty was my brainchild, and darn it, but it wasn’t!).

That’s the SAME idiotic reasoning that is used to justify wealth redistribution.

We could also move to re-distributing justice.

Let’s take it on the liberal’s argument.  It’s not that black inner-city gang banging kid’s fault that he’s a violent criminal; it’s society’s fault.  That poor kid is a victim.  That poor kid didn’t get the economic opportunities that others did.  He didn’t have a safe home environment.  He didn’t have good public schools.  He was surrounded by poverty and the grinding consequences of poverty, and he was literally conditioned into his life of crime.  So let’s take the punishment that falls on that kid for his crime and redistribute it, spread it out, and make it “fair.”  It seems to me that if that inner city gang-banger murders some innocent kid in a drive-by shooting, Al Gore should go to jail.  Maybe Al Gore and Nancy Pelosi, and we can “spread the justice” between the two of them.

I mean, that poor guy doesn’t have any freedom (metaphor for wealth).  He’s facing life.  And there are all sorts of people outside the penitentiary who have all sorts of freedom.  So we can help that guy out by grabbing you and taxing some of your freedom so we can redistribute it to the convict.

If that welfare queen shouldn’t be held responsible for her “inability” to get off her butt and work, why should the gang-banger be held responsible for his “inability” to live an ethical life?

You know what the liberal will say: “Well, that welfare queen isn’t hurting anybody.”

But she damn sure is: she’s hurting me.  She’s hurting my kids.  Because some jerk keeps seizing my wealth and the wealth I want to leave for my children and giving it to that welfare queen.  She sure IS hurting other people with her laziness and indolence.  And in point of fact the only way she’s NOT going to hurt other people is if liberals stop taking other peoples’ money and redistributing it to her.

Burton Folsom, Jr. points out how this mindset was anathema to America until FDR came along:

Throughout American history, right from the start, charity had been a state and local function.  Civic leaders, local clergy, and private citizens, evaluated the legitimacy of people’s need in their communities or counties; churches and other organizations could then provide food, shelter, and clothing to help victims of fires or women abandoned by drunken husbands.  Most Americans beleived that the face-to-face encounters of givers and receivers of charity benefited both groups.  It created just the right amount of uplift and relief, and discouraged laziness and a poor work ethic.

The Founders saw all relief as local and voluntary, and the Constitution gave no federal role for the government in providing charity.  James Madison, in defending the Constitution, observed, “No man is allowed to be a judge in his own cause, because his interest would certainly bias his judgment and, not improbably, corrupt his integrity.”  In other words, if relief, and other areas, were made functions of the federal government, the process would become politicized and politicians and deadbeats could conspire to trade votes for food” (New Deal or Raw Deal, page 76-77).

The way it used to be is the way it ought to be again.

Folsom goes on to document how A) administrations and courts had throughout history repeatedly ruled “welfare” programs unconstitutional until the New Deal and B) how they did in fact become a political boondoggle during the New Deal.  And that has been the growing trend ever since.

Benjamin Franklin put it this way: “When the people find they can vote themselves money, that will herald the end of the republic.”

Samuel Adams said:

“If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, go home from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or your arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that you were our countrymen.”

Franklin also said:

“Repeal that [welfare] law, and you will soon see a change in their manners. … Six days shalt thou labor, though one of the old commandments long treated as out of date, will again be looked upon as a respectable precept; industry will increase, and with it plenty among the lower people; their circumstances will mend, and more will be done for their happiness by inuring them to provide for themselves, than could be done by dividing all your estates among them.”

These three statements, when combined together, mean: 1) Those who don’t pay their own way are a disgrace to themselves and a disgrace to their countrymen; 2) If you ARE forced to pay your own way in life, you will ultimately be the better for it, both in your provision and in your character; and 3) If we continue on the social welfare spending track we’re on, we will destroy our nation.

Liberals yearn to be more like Europe, just as they always have.  Thomas Jefferson said, “With all the defects in our Constitution, whether general or particular, the comparison of our government with those of Europe, is like a comparison of Heaven with Hell.”  And that is every bit as true today as it was when Jefferson said it.

FDR waged a war on poverty that has been going on for 77 years.  Lyndon Johnson declared war on poverty anew in 1964.  And poverty has been kicking our asses ever since.  We’re no better off than we were before; in fact, we’re worse off.

What has the war on poverty got us?  As much poverty as ever, and a debt of ONE HUNDRED AND SIXTY THREE TRILLION DOLLARS (just add our total US debt with our debt in unfunded liabilities).

There’s that Dr. Phil question: “How’s federal government war on poverty working for you?

Frankly, if we had been “redistributing” pieces out of Brad Pitt’s and Angelina Jolie’s faces to give to the less beautiful, or if we’d been “redistributing” justice by taking freedom from Al Gore or Hillary Clinton to give more freedom to convicts, it would have been morally idiotic.  Still, if we’d done those things instead of redistributing wealth, it would have saved us a few million tons of money.