What was that John?

25 10 2013

Back in the early 60’s John F. Kennedy asked us to ask not what our country could do for us, but what we could do for our country. Apparently nobody was listening.

Since that time it would seem that people, most of who would claim to be his ardent supporters and admirers, have done the exact opposite of what he asked. They’ve demanded and taken a huge amount of this countries largess and still demand even more.

Once we touted that anything could be achieved by anyone willing to work to achieve it. Yes our government had a roll in that; to keep the playing field level and make sure that doors that were closed to some were opened. The belief that all men were created equally was an ideal and rightfully the fruits of that should be strived for.

Once charity here was a common virtue and great things were accomplished or built out of the willingness of people to do good works for the benefit of others. Almost all libraries, schools, and hospitals started out as church or charitable institutions. Funded by people and organizations they served their communities and did untold good for the masses.

At some point however someone decided that reliance on charity alone wasn’t the proper way of taking care of one’s neighbor, that it was an obligation. That would seem a fair enough pretext one would think. This was a great and powerful country, prosperous, and founded on the highest of ideals. Certainly one would think that the public good worthy of the public resource, wouldn’t they?

What nobody was perhaps counting on was the notion of entitlements and rights. What was once something worth striving for became something expected.  One shouldn’t be demanded of to earn certain things, they should have them provided as some birthright. Some things one should have just because. Those things that charity took care of became an obligation, and that obligation a fulfillment of a demand.

Today we have so many “rights” (read that as entitlements) that we can barely afford the things a government actually exists for much less those things that caused us to be such a great and powerful nation to begin with. Our infrastructure is falling apart. Money once spent on developing our future now goes for things such as cell phones for the poor. Things done for the “common good” of the people, roads, bridges, ports, airports, etc. etc., we can’t find the money for. Our military even struggles now to make ends meet.

We’ve minimum waged our senior citizens into the poorhouse. We’ve virtually destroyed our educational system. We’ve created a monster called political correctness which inhibits thoughts and actions, and stifles innovation least it offends some obscure niche somewhere. And we’ve silence reasonableness in favor of radicalization.

We’ve raised up a generation of people that no longer understand what communism and socialism is and the pitfalls of each. They don’t understand that those systems collapsed under their own weight and now we race headlong toward that very same end, as if it’s all shiny and new.

Even now people in our government seek out new entitlements to add as we go deeper and deeper into debt as a nation. Close to 17 trillion dollars in debt, yet they seek out even more largess for the people. Yet nobody asks what the people will do when it comes to an end.

And it will come to an end, someday. Perhaps soon.

-Al





All isn’t lost. We can fix this….

22 04 2013

The republicans have a relatively few problems but those problems create havoc within the party. The democrats have many many problems and those problems are virtually ignored by their membership. Republicans try to fit everyone into a box and when someone doesn’t quite fit they holler “You ain’t really one of us!” and they turn their back on them at the polls and stay home. The democrats wander around all over the place bumping and banging into each other and they trip and hit “D” on the voting machine on the way down. Until we quit virtually destroying each other we have no hope of winning. We HAVE to start putting forth the best of the candidates we have to offer THAT CAN WIN, not the last one standing after a long bitter fight, because he’s usually the one nobody thought had a chance in the first place… and he usually doesn’t. We need to accept the fact that nobody is perfect, then model ourselves after the Three Musketeers, “All for one, and one for all!” After all, it’s a whole lot easier to get your ideas heard when you are on the winning side and a part of the winning “team”..

Libertarians. Look, you need to come to realize that if you guy doesn’t have a chance in hell of winning in the general election you need to accept that your message is getting out and spreading, so all is not lost. THEN you need to decide which one of the two candidate running will do the least damage to your dreams and ideals, and might just by chance do a couple of things positive to your positions. Quit running home and sulking and sticking your head in the sand about it and help elect someone that at least isn’t going to do major damage to your Libertarian hopes for the future. Go to the polls and vote for that person.

In a world full of evil, choosing the lesser of two of them is at least might buy you some time. The war may not be won in one fell swoop, but if you win a battle here and there all is not lost.

-Al





Spare the rod?

22 04 2013

Lately I’ve seen several stories online about the need or appropriateness of spanking a child (especially in public). I thought I’d give you my two cents.

Now first I must say that while we did on occasion have to use corporal punishment (that would be spanking) with my daughter it was seldom. Perhaps we were blessed, or perhaps we lucky. Maybe we had it right with the way we raised her. Any which way you want to look at it we (mucho credit to her mother) raised a beautiful, talented, loving daughter that almost never gave us cause for concern. She wasn’t perfect, however. Close… and she’ll make an excellent mother herself some day

If there is some constant need to spank a child there is something else wrong beside the need to discipline going on. However, on the rare to occasional need to spank (at home or in public, need is need and time and place don’t come into that) it can be an effective agent in the proper upbringing of a child.

To an extent “Spare the rod, spoil the child” is true. Most of the time a child acts up in order to create attention and/or to bring change to the situation they find themselves in. A “time out” can be effective, but just as often it can be the change the child is seeking which will only lead to the child’s further acting out in order to get their way. Swift, but not too harsh, corporal punishment can grab a child’s attention like nothing else and make them understand that they can’t drive all situations, especially in public.

Rarely done it’s a teaching tool, and a valuable show of cause and effect. Done too much and it will cause resentment and loss of respect. Many children have been brought up thinking there is little consequence to bad actions and bring childish behavior into adulthood. In life consequences can be harsh to extreme, and one is well served in being taught that life lesson from childhood. Life doesn’t give many 2nd chances, and “time outs” are almost non-existent… unless you’re talking about jail.

-Al





Funny story…

25 12 2012

Murry’s Christmas Eve

He sprang from his bed

Headed down the hall

Tripped over a heater cord

But he didn’t fall

He rounded the doorway

As quick as could be

He’d drank too much earlier

And he had to pee

As he finished his business

And started to flush

He felt the air change

It almost gave him a rush

He crept to the top of the staircase

To see what he could see

And there stood Santa

standing by his tree

Now the sight that he saw

Looking over the rail

Gave him such a fright

Down the stairway he fell

Down the long staircase

Bumpidee bump bump

He landed at the bottom

Just one great big lump

Santa rushed over

an took a quick look

At his bruises and bumps

And his broken left foot

Old St. Nick shook his head

Let out a deep sigh

All he could say was

“My my my”

Quick as that Santa touched his finger

To the side of his nose

Murry felt  funny feelings

That began at his toes

A feeling of warmth

Begin to rise

All through his body

Up to his eyes

Soon enough

And much to his surprise

Santa had healed him

And told him to rise

Murry said to Santa

“You fixed me right up

I thought I was a gone’er,

Here, let me stand up!”

Santa looked at Murry,

With a twinkle in his eye

Said, “Your really lucky,

I tell you no lie”

It wasn’t the first time

Santa would say

“That people have hurt themselves

when I’ve surprised them that way”

As a disciple of Jesus

Santa had the touch

That whenever he needed

He could heal someone up

“Santa I wasn’t sure

If I still really believed

I thought my eyes were playing tricks

That I had been deceived”

Santa just winked

“Now Murry” he said

as he moved cross the room,

“get your self back to bed.”

“Now tell everyone this story

if you think that you must

But they won’t believe you

in that you can trust!”

Murry was confused

at what Santa had said

He was dumbfounded

Left scratching his head

“Look now Murry,”

Santa would say,

“It’s Christmas morning

Near break of day”

“Last night you got into the eggnog

In fact you hit it real good!

You had promised you wouldn’t

But you knew that you would.”

“And every knows

what drinking will do.

Do you think they’ll believe

this story to be true?”

Murry quickly realized

Santa was right

No one would believe him

that he’d seen such a sight

He pondered for a moment

stared at the ground

And when he looked back

Santa was nowhere around

He decided right then

As he climbed up the stairs

What all that had happened

No one would care.

Who would believe

a tale such as this?

A far fetched story

A fable at best!

But he knew the truth

of what he had seen

And what he had done

And all in between

And how he had fallen

And landed in a lump

And Jesus through Santa

Had healed him right up

And now there he stood

at the foot of his bed

He knew that this story

was better left unsaid.

And he also made

as he climbed back in bed

A promise to himself

To himself he said

“Next year no eggnog

I’ll be as straight as can be

And if I see Santa again

Standing under my tree” 

“I’ll say look here Santa

I’m a changed man.

Do you think they’ll believe me now?

Now will they understand?”

But he knew in his heart

That it couldn’t be

He wouldn’t see Santa

Standing under his tree

Just how often does

One get to see

Santa Claus standing there

Admiring their tree?

He knew in his heart

what all this had meant

And that it would be

just a onetime event.

And so he lay there

and he closed his eyes

It was really late

and all he could do was sigh

Then it hit him again

That feeling you see

He had drank too much

And needed to pee…

Well, that was Murry’s Christmas

at least his Christmas Eve.

A story that I ponder

Just what do YOU believe?

Did he really see the fat man

from the tip top of his stairs?

Or is the little story

about nothing which you care?

Was it the truth?

Perhaps just a dream…

Maybe just a tall tale

But what did it mean?

I think it has a moral

plain or not to which to see

I know it has some bit of meaning

At least it does for me

There’s something to remember

I hope your memory it will jog

And next year at Christmas time.

You won’t go drinking too much

eggnog

 

.





We ask ourselves why?

16 12 2012

The problem? It’s humanism. The thought that we don’t need God, don’t want God, and shouldn’t even hear about God. That Godly things interfere with our personal wishes and dreams and we shouldn’t be constrained by the limits morality places upon us. That individualism trumps the Golden Rule and you shouldn’t have to do anything for others if there is no personal gain for ones self.

With humanism there is no arbitrator of what is good or bad except what one finds is good for ones self. There is no “higher authority” to answer to. No ultimate judge of what is good and evil.    

A number of years ago we chose a path that led us away from long held beliefs and traditions with the thought that we had no right to interject our own views of truth with the beliefs of others. Surely, we said, they had the right and ability to choose for themselves their own path. That when left to its own devices good would override evil and right would always trump wrong. After all, the good guy always wins in the end… doesn’t he?

We sat back and watched as people told us that it was for the public good that prayer didn’t have a place in the schoolhouse. That the Ten Commandments were some form of ‘establishment’ of religious doctrine that had no place in the public square. And we turned the other cheek with a live and let live attitude and as Christians we shouldn’t force our beliefs on others. We viewed ourselves as upright citizens and obeyed the laws of the land like we were told. After all, we were taught, our constitution forbids the mixing of church and state, and that there were other religions and groups that had different beliefs and traditions and that these things conflicted. It was all good… nothing to worry about.

Now we wonder why there is so much evil around us… why all the misery and hate. Hadn’t been there all along… or had it. Surly evil has existed since the Garden of Eden (yes, I believe) and we have always know men to do evil nasty things to his fellow man… but has it always been so blatant? So out in the open? Is the darkness now creeping further out into the light?

I believe we reap what we sow, and what we’ve sowed for the last number of years is that morality isn’t absolute and that the line between right and wrong is a faded shade of grey. That if it feels good do it. That in the end there is no one to answer to but yourself, so to thine own self be true… and morality is an out of date concept that limits personal gratification. Humanism.

We assigned blame to every act, but not the blame one would think. It’s a reasoning. A mitigating factor, if you will. That whatever we do has a root excuse that takes at the very least a very large amount of the personal responsibility away from what we do. Be it our upbringing, our educational level, of our personal life experience, we always seem to have a cause we can fall back on and say, “Don’t blame me, I did it because…”.

Sure, personal tragedy befalls us all. We all have something negative out there in our personal ‘closet’ where we store up our life experience. But part of being human is overcoming those things.

Sadly, because of what we did over the last many years so many have lost the tools that helped fight off those demons that haunt us. We don’t know how to win the personal battle between good and evil. There is no foundation for the fight. It’s too easy to strike out and give in.

If you want to know what caused Columbine, or what happened in that theater in Colorado, or that elementary school in Newton, Connecticut, you don’t have to look much farther than what we’ve taught to each other… or better what we haven’t taught.

They said we aren’t a Christian nation even though our history, our forefathers, and the basic facts of how our laws were formed and our institutions built speak otherwise. When they took prayer out of the schools we didn’t put our foot down. When they started taking down those commandments from those courthouse walls we grumbled and fussed, but never rose our voices into the chorus they should have become. When we saw the very morals of our communities crumbling around us we barely lifted a finger to even point out the obvious consequence.

We stood aside and watched this happen. We allowed it to happen. We let the genie out of the bottle. We are victims of a monster we ourselves created…

-Al





14 12 2012

Originally posted on Big Al's Dismal Swamp:

Nobody fears going to hell anymore.

 

View original





One forgetful generation…

22 09 2012

I came along at a time when the fight was on to allow 18 year olds the right to vote. The War in Vietnam had been raging for years but looked to be settling down. Nixon was President. With all the turmoil that had occurred over the last several years the forces seemed to be colliding at the right time to make it happen. It did.

I was in that first group of young Americans to have the privilege of voting at age 18. I was proud. I knew it had been a long hard fight and voting wasn’t something that should be taken lightly. I cast my ballot and held my head high.

As an 18 year old I couldn’t see what the fuss had been about, not to allow 18 year olds the right to vote. After all, you could get married, own a business, property, and above all serve our country. Actually, the draft was ending around the same time, but that didn’t matter. 18 year olds were adults and that’s all there was to it and we deserved every right anyone else enjoyed. Period.

Over the years I didn’t think too much about that issue, 18 year olds voting, but when I did it was to acknowledge that I was among the first and I wore it as some sort of badge of honor.

Somewhere, probably in my late thirties and surely in my forties I started to notice that there seemed to be a huge disparity between how young people voted and how older people vote. Youth seemed to be far more liberal than the older more settled crowd, but as that youth aged and became more a part of the ‘settled crowd’ their voting habits changed… well, a large part of them did.

Was it inexperience with life? Were they being somehow influenced by the campus crowd? Was it a peer thing? Naivety? What?

I suspect it’s a little bit of it all. Seems they easily buy into theories and doctrine that in a lot of cases has already been proven false, or at best, unworkable. A lot of this doctrine is still spoken fondly of on our college campuses. Well, what ever it was for many it wore off with age, thankfully.

I suspect that a lot of people believe that old saw about if it feels good do it, and with politics if it sounds good do it. Trouble is both of those philosophies can set you up for a lot of heartbreak and misery down the road.

Sex, Drugs, and Rock and Roll, while a part of the mantra of my youth, came with the flip side of rampant STD’s and the death and destruction of an out of control drug culture. (RIP Jimi & Janice & too many others to name)

With politics it Socialism.

One of the biggest problems we are facing right now is the fact that there is a new generation of voters that’s come along over the last 5 years or so that don’t remember what the world was like before the Iron Curtain fell. They missed seeing the absolute joy on the faces of those that had been trapped by socialism and were finally able to embrace freedom. Just how big a deal that was.

To this new group of voter socialism can sound wonderful. After all, they have recently left home where they were taken care of by their parents and had most of their needs provided. To them the state taking over that roll seems very legitimate.

They fail to realize just how hard somebody had to work to provide for those needs, wants, and desires of their youth, and at the same time don‘t realize where the vast majority of tax dollars come from that would provide for them now. They haven’t yet learned that for every give there is a take. There is no free lunch.

Many are now confronted with the bill that comes with their education. Confronted with the cost of providing themselves healthcare. A slim job market and skyrocketing cost of energy. They had no idea that the world was like this. They awake to the real world, and sure, it’s a scary place. I woke up there myself once upon a time.

They thought they would step out into a world full of promise with a bright future smiling down upon them. The world was supposed to be their oyster, wasn’t it?

At the same time that the forces of reality collide with the dreams of their youth, and are perhaps more confused about the world they find around themselves then they’ve ever been before, they are handed one of the most powerful things a person can have – the ability to vote.

While I’m not sitting here advocating taking away the hard won voting rights of 18, 19, and 20 year olds, I don’t think we’ve been nearly vigilant enough about what influences them.

Maybe it’s the schools. Maybe it’s the evening news… I don’t have the answer to that. But what I do know is that they are a dangerous force in the world of politics and what can happen to our country. There are forces out there that sing a sweet song of promise to this group, and they can easily buy into what those people are selling.

When your young you see the world through rose colored glasses. Right and wrong collide into a world of wishes and dreams. Concepts of what the world should be… flowers and puppies and all men brothers. Everybody is a winner and there are no problems that can’t be overcome if we just put our mind to it. Reality teaches otherwise.

The history of the world is that there are forces out there at don’t want those problems solved… at least not in the manner you might wish them to be. Freedom is something that many oppose. There are people out there that don’t want to be your brother, they’d rather have your stuff. Or at least control of it.

We spent years and years fighting socialism around the world. It’s practice and philosophy runs contrary to freedom and liberty. While it sounds good to release responsibility for some of the harder things in life to the state what you get in return is a net loss.

Loss of the ability to control what is personally best for you and yours. Loss of the ability to excel and be rewarded for that excellence. Loss of control of how you interact with your government and your fellow man.

Nowadays some of the things we find ourselves protesting the most in our everyday life comes from giving up just tiny bits of that control to the state. What you have to go through just to board an airplane is an example of that. We’ve always complained about the long lines and the inane things we have to do when dealing with government bureaucracy. Yet when you embrace socialism you give yourself over to more and more of the same.

Be it ‘Obamacare’ and it’s promise of a better healthcare system, or determining how much a persons “fair share” of what they earn should go to ‘redistribution’ is, we need to be careful of who is the master and who is the servant when it come to our government.

Bureaucracy is a intolerant taskmaster. It has no heart or soul and will always desire more. That’s the nature of the beast. You’ll never find any bureaucracy that isn’t seeking to grow and gobble more power and funding. It loves the collective for it thrives on rules and regulations, not humanity. Individualism is the bureaucrats enemy.

Will we really see a better healthcare system when the incentive to work in that field is gone and there are few or no doctors to serve the need? And just what kind of hoops will it decide we must jump through for that care?

Who gets to decide if you can even get that care? You? Your doctor? The lady behind the desk that’s ready to get to the house cause it’s Friday and her feet hurt?

Is it better that we take from those that have and give to those that have not, or should we provide a way for those that have not to get to be among the haves? Doesn’t growth happen via success? Isn’t a hand up still better than a hand out?

Is it better for a rich man to give his money to the government or to a new factory that will hire more people? A new factory that will earn that rich man more money to be able to build more factories to hire more people.

Socialism is a siren song that can sound so good. Oh, to be taken care of from cradle to grave… your every worry provided by the good graces of the government.

The reality is that under socialism the Russian’s couldn’t even produce enough toilet paper for the masses. Long lines formed for most ever staple. They had the raw ingredients, the factories, the people to run them, yet they couldn’t produce what was necessary, much less any extra.

Why? Because under socialism it isn’t ’your’ problem’ but somebody else’s. Without the freedom to excel, and be rewarded for excellence and success, there is no incentive. No desire to do more. To go the extra mile. Put in the late hours. Take the risk. When the fruits of your labor become someone else’s fruit, well…

Without incentive most will fall to the lowest common denominator. Most will do only what it takes to get by. There is no point to do more. Mediocre is built into the socialist system.

I remember when the walls came down. I remember the joy that people had when they tasted freedom and liberty for the first time. Those same people look at us today with bewilderment. They ask us if we know what we are getting ourselves into. The lived it. They understand.

Like Reagan said, we are just one generation away from losing our freedom. One forgetful generation.

-Al








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