My late father was fond of many truisms. One of his favorites was, “Keep your words sweet; you might have to eat them.” Being one who has far too many times made a meal out of self-baked Alpha Bits, I fully testify to the aforementioned statement’s accuracy.

This came to mind yesterday when learning of John McCain’s battle with brain cancer. Cancer in any form is hideous; brain cancer is an unspeakable obscenity. Given McCain’s age and health history, it is impossible to envision this being anything but a brief, final battle before his ascending into eternity.

As a career moderate, one willing to work both sides of the aisle, McCain has garnered more than a few detractors at each end of both aisles. On the right, McCain has been routinely pilloried as the RINOs RINO, a squish benignly or actively bulldozing every hill upon which red pill poppers choose to make today’s final stand; tune in tomorrow for the new indignation du jour. On the left … eh, it’s the left. What aren’t they indignant about? But I digress.

It’s sadly predictable how, in a world where “Obama is a POOPYHEAD!” and “Trump is a MEANYPANTS!” passes as political discourse, the armchair politicians have not universally disarmed themselves in favor of prayer and support for a man now fighting his greatest battle. Be it damning with faint praise via tacking a grievance diatribe onto a get-well wish, or proclaiming McCain’s condition as karma come home to roost, haters gonna hate. And how. Hope they never take ill.

Like it or not, we are known by the company we keep. Those who herald the snarkbelcher for being cool and edgy and speaking truth to power abandon all claims of innocent bystanding when the worm turns. Make no mistake; the worm will turn … after it metamorphosises into a dragon.

Those who blog, post, and tweet as they please with total disregard for the humanity of others will in time discover that which they believed granted immunity from their own words’ consequences was transitory. The day will come when that rock solid, self-made (to whatever degree it actually was, this as opposed to whatever degree we perceive it to be) career will both blow up and throw up in our faces. That immovable object of a third party or outside corporation we’ve built upon? It will move, downsize, change direction, or simply fold altogether. That in-demand, on-demand skill set we have laboriously acquired? Seemingly overnight it will become faded fish wrap, dated and discarded. Your status as the hot hand, the heartthrob, the heavy hitter? As The Eagles succinctly put it decades ago, where’ve you been lately? There’s a new kid in town. Everybody loves him, don’t they. And he’s holding her … and you’re still around.

Remember conservative new media’s early days when all were welcome? Now, CNM is CNN minus a spot on the local cable network, stratified and tied to a totem pole. Used to be we called ourselves an army of Davids. Well, Goliath is still standing, and our slingshot ammo consists of yelling at Jake Tapper on Twitter.

Relying on the new corporation, same as the old corporation (ratings/website hits are KING!) albeit with a different philosophical core as long as it is a solid business model for attracting advertisers, is a risky proposition. An endless drone of opinion pieces makes for an entirely unsatisfying intellectual meal and a dwindling marketplace. Now, there are people in CNM who practice fundamental journalism. They read the bill. They study the transcript. They attend the meeting. They ask direct questions to those directly involved. But these people are the rare exceptions in a morass of clip and comment sludge.

The failure to treat political opponents as people instead of crash test dummies will inevitably consume both its creators and its supporters. As surely as if we signed it ourselves, that which we sign off on will be attached to our names. Therefore, be cautious and circumspect. Fire; a cleansing one but fire nonetheless, is coming. Don’t get burned.

Be careful what you sign.

The taste of your sweet breath
The salt of morning tears
Again I say good-bye to you
Hold on tight
So good to hurt so bad
So sad to ride away renewed
Go on laugh
Go on cry
It’s alright

There’s something wonderful about love
There’s something wonderful about love
There’s something lost about me with you
There’s something blind about the chosen few
There’s something wonderful about love

It’s been an odd week in social media, one in which the conservative side of the aisle poured out its love and money to The Popular Girl™ as compensation for the horror of being widowed at a young age. Next to losing a child, as brutal as it gets. This duly noted, giving a very well-paid political talking head over $400,000 for the college education of a two year old and child not due to be born for another two months gives pause for thought as to whether people engage their brain before thinking with their wallet.

Was I meant to be yours
The will of Christ above
Do you believe true love is blind
‘Cause I don’t know
When I get home come spring
Won’t you be glad to be mine
Just don’t laugh
Please don’t cry
Just say so

There’s something wonderful about love
There’s something wonderful about love
There’s something dark about destiny
There’s something blue about you with me
There’s something wonderful about love

Strange sights abounded this past week. A full-blown liberal in every sense of the world, a staff member of the despised on all fronts both collectively and individually Obama administration, was hailed as walking atop the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool each day on his way to work. Said individual, regardless of his personal strengths, would have at best received an “unfortunate” cluck over upon his death were he not married to the aforementioned Popular Girl™. No GoFundMe page, no tribute torrent, no maudlin memorials. None. Meanwhile, conservatives continue to tear each other to shreds over Donald Trump and Pope Francis, who according to some will shortly have an armwrestling contest to see which is indeed the Antichrist.

Sorry to call so late
The planet turned four times
You’re on my mind but you’re nowhere
In my world
Please kiss the little bird
God bless the cozy cage we share
You kill me
You thrill me
You threaten my dreams, girl

Life is unpredictable, simultaneously cool and cruel. Paraphrasing Shakespeare, the quality of sympathy is not strained when it comes to Mary Katharine Ham. But neither should it be misplaced, defined as cash donations for one who like so many in conservative new media has become what they profess to oppose, namely a cyberspace recluse living behind corporate media’s castle walls albeit ones with conservative runes carved above the impenetrable self-satiated door.

Do not let the present sorrow obscure reality. The conservative blogosphere was founded on the principal of citizen journalists directly addressing not only fellow citizens with the truth, but also a corrupt mainstream media ensconced in its ivory tower, never so much as acknowledging let alone addressing the public.

That changed when the first third-party paycheck arrived.

It used to be that monetizing blogging consisted of placing a Google Ads link on your site. Now, we have Salem Media owning HotAir and RedState and Townhall and Twitchy, the leading example of a third-party entity taking over what once were blogs and transforming them into corporate media mouthpieces albeit ones with a usually conservative bent.

There are very, very few blogs and bloggers left; genuinely independent voices offering news and analysis. (As a side note, I am honored to write for one on this site.) Instead, we have countless casual format columnists drawing their material from the same mainstream media sources they insist are cesspools of liberal bias, adding nothing except “me too” or “f u.” They excel at making themselves the focus of attention, especially when some real or imaginary slight comes their way. Their call to battle is cry outrage! and let slip the tweets of butthurt. Promoting the conservative agenda is a side issue. The primary focus is self-promotion, moving ever further up the ladder in pursuit of exposure on the selfsame mainstream media they insist they exist as its opposition.

Everyone enjoys an attaboy from others; a retweet or a blog post link. But how many conservative new media high rollers return the favor save for other at or above their exposure level? They excel at asking us to laugh when they laugh and cry when they cry. But return the favor? Not so much. Say something about this, and you are immediately set upon by a wolfpack of sycophants and wannabes hoping that by doing so they will curry favor with the elite. Excuses made for the select abound: they’re too busy, blah blah blah, how dare you speak to them in that manner. Let them be and quit making a fuss knocking on their ivory tower’s door!

Again, conservative new media has become what it once professed to oppose.

There’s something wonderful about love
There’s something wonderful about love
There’s something liberating death alone brings
There’s something funny about a lot of sad things
There’s something wonderful about love

Love remains; mercy triumphs in the seeming failure of the cross. The bloodstained wood is followed by the empty tomb. Throughout our temporal sorrows and joys, forgiveness and understanding through our shared humanity, led by the Man of Sorrows, should guide our way. But do not be fooled; do not substitute a pity party for sympathy. The poor and the orphan need our help. Others need love, not fulfillment for love of money.

youtube http://youtube.com/watch?v=6aJqf1_kAa4?rel=0&w=450&h=253

What a mess this world is in
I wonder who began it
Don’t ask me
I’m only visiting this planet

— Larry Norman

youtube http://youtube.com/watch?v=o0MIFHLIzZY?rel=0&w=450&h=253

The news cut through social media yesterday and today, the liberal Obama staffer husband of conservative new media darling Mary Katherine Ham killed while riding his bicycle. Sympathies to Ms. Ham, and to the couple’s young daughter, now left fatherless, plus the couple’s unborn child who will never know his or her father.

Life on Earth is an endless parade of magic and loss, the joys of life and love running parallel with the sorrow of goodbyes. It focuses, or at least ought to focus, our attention on what matters: faith, family, friends. Far too often, priorities are skewed in favor of the temporary and temporal. We rant about that which, or who, offends us; we rave on behalf of that which, or who, floats our boat. We argue the meaningless, then are immersed in utter astonishment when the unfortunate fellowship pays a visit.

A side note. I am mindful of Ms. Ham’s lengthy and deep connection with Salem Media; she is a former writer for Townhall and current writer for HotAir along with being a frequent guest on Hugh Hewitt’s show. I am equally mindful that Salem practices complete separation between its political and religious divisions. Here’s the deal.

Salem has a bunch of Christian-only websites and radio stations/programs. Okay, fine.

Salem has a bunch of politics-only websites and radio stations/programs. Um, okay.

Now, the assorted political pundits who talk and/or write for Salem will claim the mantle of Christian at the drop of a hat. Well, except for Allahpundit at HotAir with his whiny-ass atheism and Dennis Prager & Michael Medved’s Judaism. But they’re conservatives, so nothing else matters. Right, Salem?

Now, ask any of the Salem politicos to so much as breathe a word about Christ, or especially to support those serving Christ, on their show and/or website. “What? WHAT?!! We can’t do that. It might turn people off who follow us for our politics! We’ll talk about Jesus over here … maybe. Now go sit in your corner and quit bothering us.” I have personal experience with this, having received nothing but silence or cheap shot insults back when I tried to reach Hugh Hewitt and his radio show producer Duane Patterson about perhaps coming on the show to discuss my book. Of course Hewitt can promote his religious tomes all he wishes. Also worth noting is the time a couple of years back when Daniel Amos leader and Christian music giant Terry Scott Taylor was in a very bad place financially. Patterson was informed of this. He was begged to have Hewitt say something about it on air on behalf of the fundraising campaign mounted by Taylor’s friends and fans. Did he? No. Hypocritical? You betcha.

But don’t say so out loud. At least not on social media. Point this out and you’re a malcontent. A troublemaker. You don’t understand. You can’t mix religion and politics! Well, we can … but we don’t.

Of course not.

Well, how important are your politics now, Hugh Hewitt and Duane Patterson? How much comfort will Donald Trump not knowing the names of Islamic terror groups leaders bring to a young widow? What assurance of faith and life eternal will come from hosting a Presidential debate, Salem Media? To the point, how do you justify building a platform, then failing to use same to promote the Gospel of Jesus Christ?

You will see and hear much weeping on Salem websites and radio shows over Ms. Ham’s loss. Which is proper. But once the moment has passed, it will be business as usual.

Which is everyone’s loss.

youtube http://youtube.com/watch?v=-MonUvXjDrY?rel=0&w=450&h=253