Saturday, October 29, 2005

Be Neither Cynical nor Gullible

I have often NOT walked lock step in agreement with things our government does in my name. I trust but verify. The government in their infinite wisdom has done too many stupid things. I try hard to differentiate what they are in today's news. Thru a rearview mirror it's much easier. So, I try not to be taken in either by the left or right wing reactionaries to every event. I try to decipher my core and assess things from that vantage point.

I know Hutterites. They are OK. But this is really wrong.

In World War I (just to begin in the 20th century, and as a single example out of thousands from that era) a young Hutterite -- Hutterites are a German pacifist sect who immigrated to America to avoid conscription by the Kaiser and settled principally in the Dakotas -- a young Hutterite boy who refused military service for reasons of religious conviction, nevertheless agreed to do everything required of him by the Army except put on its uniform. Taken to the prison at Fort Leavenworth in the dead of Kansas winter, he was suspended for weeks by wrist-manacles from a pipe in a cellar with a foot of water on the floor. When he caught pneumonia and died, before his grief-stricken mother could arrive by train to claim her dead son's body, the Army buried it. In a uniform. L. Neil Smith, "You Can't Fight a Culture War If You Ain't Got Any Culture"

Friday, October 28, 2005

A Hard Freeze

Last night it reached 27 degrees. This is the first real hard freeze we have had this fall. It comes at the end of the high holy days. I’m sort of a messianic Jewish believer. Except I’m not Jewish. You figure it out.

I always think about this time. Is this the end of the year or is it the beginning of the year as was celebrated earlier this month on the Hebrew calendar. I think about this new year thing 3 times during the year. Now, Jan 1 (or around the winter solstice) and March 15th, my birthday.

I can make a competent argument for each of them why they should be celebrated as the New Year. I’ll save my arguments on the other two for when they occur.

The New Year should be celebrated now because all things are now done. Everything old is over. Anything from here on out counts only for next year. The freeze out has stopped all old year activities. You can’t start again in the last year. You can’t salvage anything from the last year. It’s all over.

Everything from this point forward looks to a new future. The old is past, frozen, dead and behold all things are become new. What makes this even more impressive metaphorically is the lack of evidence in the new. No matter what you do it means cleaning up messes left over from the last year. It means preparing the soil for new planting. It means putting away everything you used for last year’s crop. The old is gone.

It’s that way with relationships. I don’t mourn much for relationships that freeze over. Many were only seasonal. Some were great. Like the good tomatoes I planted. Next spring I might try them again but I can’t mourn for those gone now.
I cultivate relationships until they either bloom and bear fruit or they are uprooted after a frost and tossed into the recycling bin. A few, I keep carefully in a pot and bring into the sunroom for winter. I have a geranium which is 35 years old, a hibiscus which is nearly as old, a couple citrus trees which are 10 yrs old, a corn plant (Dracena) which may be 40, a philodendron fully 20 yrs old. I have plants I carried with me since college.

They are nurtured and protected from frost, by me. We have had a few close calls. One year the furnace went out in the greenhouse and everything froze off. I spent 2 years nurturing them back to life from the scraps.

So it is with friends and acquaintances. Some get tired of me, Some I get tired of. Some I nurture, even keep them in the sunroom of my heart, and preserve them. Some I allow to freeze off. Much of it is a choice they make. I learned long ago not to force myself on anyone if they don’t want me to.

Some people are like roses. They push me away, they reject me, they make it difficult. I won’t force myself on them. I will allow them to bloom, enjoy them for what they are and prune them back to let them find new growth without my tending. I wonder often if those most beautiful flowers have thorns or if the thorns have beautiful flowers.

This is a great deal about our relationship to God. Sometimes we just need to bring ourselves to the place where he will bring us into the SON ROOM of his heart. Drop the thorns. Bloom because he keeps us watered.

So, Happy New Year. Again. This is the beginning of the beginning of the beginning. And the end of a long hot spell that’s turned cold.

It’ll warm up again.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Iran's Leadership MUST GO, one way or another

About the time anyone thinks you can appease the Islamic Fundamentalist Neo-Nazis You need to see what the Current President of Iran said.

Middle EastMahmoud Ahmadi-Nejad, Iran’s fundamentalist president, on Wednesday declared that Israel should be “wiped off the map” and warned Arab countries against developing economic ties with Israel in response to its withdrawal from Gaza.

Then the Europeans who believe in the peace bunny (next to the Easter Bunny) were “Concerned”. Badly Timed they said.

But they said the rhetoric was aggressive and badly timed, and would serve to confirm western suspicions of Iran’s more confrontational approach that were raised by the new president’s speeches at the United Nations last month.

However, European diplomats suggested the comments would not derail efforts by France, Germany and the UK to get Iran to return to the negotiating table and halt work at its Isfahan uranium conversion facility. One diplomat said the EU3 had made a point of keeping the nuclear issue separate from Iranian support for militant Palestinian groups during two years of talks.

“As the Imam said, Israel must be wiped off the map,” Mr Ahmadi-Nejad said, citing Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the founder of Iran’s Islamic revolution.

The president told an audience of students there was “no doubt the new wave [of attacks] in Palestine will soon wipe off this disgraceful blot from the face of the Islamic world”.

“Anybody who recognises Israel will burn in the fire of the Islamic nation’s fury,” he said, in remarks aimed at Arab states

Let’s be clear, Iran is part of the Axis of Evil. Those who make friends with Iran must be on a side not our own. Those who supply Iran with Nuclear devices and parts are our enemy and the enemy of peace.

Israel's only sin is that they exist. The same sin they commited against Hitler.

Iran must be stopped, destabilized and a change in government initiated. Iraq is a prototype for this. I have hope that in 2006 perhaps a grass roots movement will affect this needed change to take the Islamic Facist Neo-Nazis out of power once and for all and restore the great country of Persia to it’s rightful place on the planet in all it’s glory.

After all it was the King of then Persia that sent the Jews back to Jerusalem with money he provided to rebuild the temple walls. That can happen again but not with these nuts in power. It's time for a change!

Pat Robertson, do you have the number of that hit man?

A Brief History of Man that Explains EVERYTHING

History began June 17th, 9995 BC.

Humans existed as members of small bands of nomadic hunter/gatherers. They lived on deer in the mountains during the summer & would go to the coast & live on fish & lobster in winter.

The two most important events in all of history were the invention of beer and the invention of the wheel. The wheel was invented to get man to the beer. These were the foundation of modern civilization and together were the catalyst for the splitting of humanity into two distinct subgroups: Liberals and Conservatives.

Once beer was discovered it required grain and that was the beginning of agriculture. Neither the glass bottle nor aluminum can was invented yet, so while our early ancestors were sitting around waiting for them to be invented, they just stayed close to the brewery. That's how villages were formed.

Some men spent their days tracking and killing animals to barbeque at night while they were drinking beer. This was the beginning of what is known as "the Conservative movement."

Other men who were weaker and less skilled at hunting learned to live off the conservatives by showing up for the nightly barbeques and doing the sewing, fetching and hair dressing. This was the beginning of "the Liberal movement". Some of these liberal men eventually evolved into women. The rest became known as 'girlymen.'

Some noteworthy liberal achievements include the domestication of cats, the invention of group therapy, group hugs and the concept of Democratic voting to decide how to divide the meat and beer that conservatives provided.

Over the years conservatives came to be symbolized by the largest, most powerful land animal on earth, the elephant. Liberals are symbolized by the jackass.

Modern liberals like imported beer (with lime added), but most prefer white wine or imported bottled water. They eat raw fish but like their beef well done. Sushi, tofu, and French food are standard liberal fare. Another interesting revolutionary side note: most of their women have higher testosterone levels than their men. Most social workers, journalists, dreamers in Hollywood and group therapists are liberals. Liberals invented the designated hitter rule because it wasn't "fair" to make the pitcher also bat.

Conservatives drink domestic beer. They eat red meat and still provide for their women. Conservatives are big-game hunters, rodeo cowboys, lumberjacks, construction workers, firemen, medical doctors, police officers, Marines, athletes and generally anyone who works productively outside government. Conservatives who own companies hire other conservatives who want to work for a living.

Liberals produce little or nothing. They like to "govern" the producers and decide what to do with the production. Liberals believe Europeans are more enlightened than Americans. That is why most of the liberals remained in Europe when conservatives were coming to America. They crept in after the Wild West was tamed and created a business of trying to get MORE for nothing.

Here ends today's lesson in world history.

This was forwarded to me via E-Mail by AJ Skurdahl. I laughed out loud. I thought you might enjoy it. So...

Oh, and, so you don't misunderstand, "It's a Joke Boy, a Joke I tell you, I'm only Jokein you Boy" (Foghorn Leghorn)

I'm sure there is one just as funny poking at conservatives. So, Poke Away.

Monday, October 24, 2005

I'm here from the Government, But NOT to Help You

In the last year we have had 3 maybe 4 major catastrophes worldwide. Hundreds of thousands are dead and hundreds of thousands more injured, hurting and displaced.

There’s a phrase constantly repeated among victims of these crisis.

That phrase? We are disappointed with the response of _____________ to the victims of __________________.

Those blanks include US Government and Rita or, FEMA and Katrina

However, the aftermath of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita reveal a press corps at an emotional state of development more akin to rebellious teenagers than rational adults. In other words, there is little hesitation on their part to challenge President Bush's authority, but when he fails to provide the security and comfort they privately desire, their response is outrage and disappointment.

or, The Indian Government and The Pakistani Earthquake.

Frankly speaking, I am disappointed with India’s response to the earthquake victims in Pakistan

Now that Wilma had hit Florida, just wait for the phrase, We are disappointed.

If we have 50 more catastrophic events in the next 10 years these same pundits will be saying the same things.

Government has little power to really be of any real help. Governments are not designed to bail everyone out after every calamity.

People of the world must soon discover that we are on our own, that no one is coming, that government help is illusory. This is not a new understanding. It's a natural cycle.

A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves largess from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates promising the most benefits from the public treasury with the result that a democracy always collapses over loose fiscal policy followed by a dictatorship. The average age of the world's greatest civilizations has been 200 years.

These nations have progressed through the following sequence:

* From Bondage to Spiritual Faith
* From Spiritual Faith to Great Courage
* From Courage to Liberty
* From Liberty to Abundance
* From Abundance to Selfishness
* From Selfishness to Complacency
* From Complacency to Apathy
* From Apathy to Dependency
* From Dependency back into Bondage

Alexander Fraser Tytler, 1748 - 1813
Scottish professor of history at Edinburgh University, a.k.a. Lord Woodhouselee
The Decline and Fall of the Athenian Republic, published in 1776
I don’t know when we came to the place that we decided collectively to put all our faith in government. “My hope is based on nothing less than republicans and democrats.”

Well, bad news. No one is coming. You are on your own. Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain. Go ahead, be disappointed. It doesn’t matter. The illusion is over. The wizard of OZ has no power to do anything for you. It's time to grow up and take responsibility for ourselves.

If we cede power to the government to help us they will also dominate us.

Color me Unimpressed with Wal-Mart AGAIN

Over and over again Wal-Mart takes bows for minimalist actions of good. They have a great PR department.

Now, they are getting lots of unquestioned publicity because the big spenders are giving their employees phony baloney health insurance. Don't buy it. Check it out for yourself.

The average cashier at Wal-Mart makes $15,000 per year.

The deductible is $1000 per person. So a 3 person family has a $3000 deductible. On 15M per year.

Read This:

The plan would have most individuals pay about $25 per month, and $65 for a family. A single parent would pay $37 per month. The plan has a $25,000 cap for a worker's first year with the insurance.

Wal-Mart Watch, a group that has called for Wal-Mart to offer better pay and benefits, said the new health plan is designed to meet the needs of only young, healthy people. Group spokeswoman Tracy Sefl also said it is impractical to expect Wal-Mart workers to be able to afford to pay into health savings accounts.

So, the big shots take the existing plan, jerk everyone around a bit, cap benefits, and get lots of favorable press.
They make me sick.

OH and,

Shares of Wal-Mart rose 11 cents to $45.83 in morning trading on the New York Stock Exchange.

GREED IS GOOD, Wal-Mart Proves it

Conservatism is still Conservative

When I was a young man I supported Goldwater for President. Now Liberals point to Goldwater's late in life conversion to liberal principles they love.

I just want to remind all of us what we fought for in the 60s.

The Goldwater Doctrine

"I have little interest in streamlining government or in making it more efficient, for I mean to reduce its size. I do not undertake to promote welfare, for I propose to extend freedom. My aim is not to pass laws, but to repeal them. It is not to inaugurate new programs, but to cancel old ones that do violence to the Constitution, or that have failed in their purpose, or that impose on the people an unwarranted financial burden. I will not attempt to discover whether legislation is 'needed' before I have first determined whether it is constitutionally permissible. And if I should later be attacked for neglecting my constituents' interests, I shall reply that I was informed their main interest is liberty and that in that cause I am doing the very best I can."

Barry Goldwater, "The Conscience of a Conservative"

Goldwater was right even if he turned left late in life.

They really are out to get you

About the time you think that the great debate is not engaged, Jesus, God, etc. You must read this.

There is a huge percentage of the population who has no belief in any kind of spiritual dimension at all. While Christians argue over the color of the altar vestments and Sunni's kill Shites and liberal Jews are trying to assassinate Ariel Sharon there are huge numbers of people that just think we are all nuts.

This debate is permeating the church. Is Jesus the only way or not?

Read the whole thing and the 270 comments.

At some point all spiritual pursuits will be outlawed if these people have their way.

Sunday, October 23, 2005

I want my Civil Rights Back

Things aren’t the same since Terrorism set in.

I wanted to mail a letter the other day. I looked in several places for a mailbox. They have removed even more. Why? Bombs can be placed in mailboxes.

I flew out of O’Hare the other day. The TSA has become a keystone cop force filled with Barney Fifedom.

Same with security in courthouses.

Cameras on every street corner. Sending tickets.

We have communities that are closed now. Gated. Why? Terrorism.

Office buildings used to be open. Now, you go thru security to keep an appointment.

Parents live with fear of their child’s capture by sexual predators who’s locations are now plotted on the internet.

Kids in school are virtual prisoners for the same reason, Peggy works in a school and you don’t walk in and check with your kids without passing security.

Gun’s continue to be restricted. When I was 13 I paid $27 for a 22 single shot rifle. Try doing that today.

Try depositing or withdrawing any large amount of cash. The assumption is you are a terrorist or a drug dealer. Maybe I just like working in cash.

Go ahead and light up a cigarette anywhere and you are treated like vermin.

Drink too much and if you are over .08 it’s jail.

There is virtual religious persecution of Christians by Atheists and the ACLU.

If you don’t wear your seat belt you can be arrested.

We are all going to be forced to buy or refit our TV sets to digital and the reception will be poorer. Why, Money. Selling Spectrum. Short term gain, long term loss. Of course the government plays the trump card for all dumb decisions.
First responders need the bandwidth.

Is there a limit to the harassment? Is there a point at which the civil liberties of Americans supercede the terrorism fear?

I'm sick of being stepped on.

Last Week's Rants, Raves and Opinions

On Say Anything, A blog I write for from time to time, I wanted to review what last week's entries which were:

Dead Driver Ticketed
Fargo Police Protects the World
Bush Optimism
Ratholes of Aid
Burning Bodies
Greenspan, WHAT?
Screw the Vets
Spike Lee - Idiot
Straw breaks camels back