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“In God We Trust” – Well, at least we used to

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I think I will have a few regrets, but hopefully only a few, when I finally depart this earth.
Of the, if not THE, greatest will be that my generation destroyed a country by our lust for power. This lust led us not only to a great country ruined, but also to convince a great majority of the Rising Generation to believe Socialism is not only ok, but should be honored and glorified. A belief that replaces God with the government (since we apparently no longer have trust in God – interesting for a country with “In God We Trust” on its currency…).

By dictionary definition, Socialism is “a system of society or group living in which there is no private property” or “a system or condition of society in which the means of production are owned or controlled by the state” or “a stage of society in Marxist theory transitional between capitalism and communism and distinguished by unequal distribution of goods and pay according to work done”. I think a careful read of the last part of that sentence is telling – key on the word “unequal”. Communism is “distinguished by unequal distribution of goods and pay according to work done”. Sound like anywhere you know? It seems we are attempting to achieve, if not already having achieved, what the U.S.S.R. never could. Regardless, under any definition, it is the stealing from one to give to another. Stealing? Yes, when taxes are used to redistribute wealth from one segment of the population to another, vice to pay for services needed by all, it is stealing.

“From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs…” was popularized by Marx and Engels in The Manifesto of the Communist Party. This will never of course be achieved in this country because so many are convinced the “from each according to his ability” part is unnecessary. Why waste to energy. The State will take care of me. However, it creates a state where those that ARE willing to do what they are able are robbed of the fruits of their labor to provide for those not willing – regardless of ability.

There are numerous ways to categorize people in. For the sake of this commentary I will use these five. The Power Hungry. The I Want to Work But Can’t Find A Job. The Why Work, the Government Will Take Care of Me. The Working. The Employer (aka, Rich).
Here’s how the five play out:
The Power Hungry say, “vote for me and I’ll take care of you”.
Some say, “OK” and become the Why Work, the Government Will Take Care of Me.

The Power Hungry steal more money (in the form of increasing various taxes) from the Employer and the Working to pay for the Why Work, the Government Will Take Care of Me.
The Employer lays off some of the Working because he can’t afford them due to the decreased sales (since, due to higher taxes, the Working don’t have as much money to spend) and increased taxes on the Employer thereby creating more I Want to Work But Can’t Find A Job.
The Power Hungry say to the new I Want to Work But Can’t Find A Job, “vote for me and I’ll take care of you”.
Some of the new I Want to Work But Can’t Find A Job give up for lack of jobs and become Why Work, the Government Will Take Care of Me.

The Power Hungry steal more money (in the form of increasing various taxes) from the Employer and the Working to pay for the Why Work, the Government Will Take Care of Me.
The Employer lays off more Working because he can’t afford them (see above) thereby creating more I Want to Work But Can’t Find A Job.
The Power Hungry say to the new I Want to Work But Can’t Find A Job, “vote for me and I’ll take care of you”.
Some of the new I Want to Work But Can’t Find A Job give up for lack of jobs and become Why Work, the Government Will Take Care of Me.
Etc. Etc. Etc.
And around and around we go.

In the end, the Power Hungry (aka, government) control all and the rest are slaves of the system. Welcome to the New Dark Ages.

Regrets and apologies (oops, sounding like BO) to the Rising Generation.
Now that you know, you CAN turn it around. Unless you are already one of the…

>>> The day is at a close, the night is drawing in and my cigar awaits – ’til next time…

I’m Old Fashioned

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I’ve heard this song many times sung by the Dowden Sisters.
I realize I’m not THAT old but I believe I can relate.
I think I’m old fashioned.
Too bad “the fashions of men” are no longer.
“Progress” is not always a good thing.

The Old Fashioned Meeting
by Herbert Buffum

O how well I remember in the old-fashioned days,
When some old fashioned people had some old-fashioned ways;
In the old-fashioned meetings, as they tarried there
In the old-fashioned manner, how God answered their prayer.

Twas an old-fashioned meeting in an old-fashioned place,
Where some old-fashioned people had some old-fashioned grace;
As an old-fashioned sinner I began to pray,
And God heard me and saved me in the old-fashioned way.

There was singing, such singing of those old-fashioned airs!
There was power, such power in those old-fashioned prayers,
An old-fashioned conviction made the sinner pray,
And the Lord heard and saved him in the old-fashioned way.

Twas an old-fashioned meeting in an old-fashioned place,
Where some old-fashioned people had some old-fashioned grace;
As an old-fashioned sinner I began to pray,
And God heard me and saved me in the old-fashioned way.

If the Lord never changes, as the fashions of men,
If He’s always the same, why, He is old-fashioned then!

As an old-fashioned sinner saved thru old-time grace,
O I’m sure He will take me to an old-fashioned place.

Twas an old-fashioned meeting in an old-fashioned place,
Where some old-fashioned people had some old-fashioned grace;
As an old-fashioned sinner I began to pray,
And God heard me and saved me in the old-fashioned way.

Twas an old-fashioned meeting in an old-fashioned place,
Where some old-fashioned people had some old-fashioned grace;
As an old-fashioned sinner I began to pray,
And God heard me and saved me in the old-fashioned way.
And God heard me and saved me in the old-fashioned way.
And God heard me and saved me in the old-fashioned way.

>>> The day is at a close, the night is drawing in and my cigar awaits – ’til next time…

A few quotes on Education

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We are coming of Spring Break and into the final quarter of this school year.  I thought, why not a few words of wisdom concerning education to carry us to through the last stretch.  Something to think about…

It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.   – Aristotle

You can educate yourself right out of a relationship with God.   -Tammy Faye Bakker

The most important part of education is proper training in the nursery.   -Plato

Education is not preparation for life; education is life itself.   -John Dewey

A human being is not attaining his full heights until he is educated.   -Horace Mann

Data is not information, information is not knowledge, knowledge is not understanding, understanding is not wisdom.   -Clifford Stoll

Much education today is monumentally ineffective. All too often we are giving young people cut flowers when we should be teaching them to grow their own plants.   -John W. Gardner

Education… has produced a vast population able to read but unable to distinguish what is worth reading.   -G. M. Trevelyan       [or, I would add, what is worth watching]

The great difficulty in education is to get experience out of ideas.   -George Santayana

If someone is going down the wrong road, he doesn’t need motivation to speed him up. What he needs is education to turn him around.   -Jim Rohn

The goal of education is the advancement of knowledge and the dissemination of truth.   -John F. Kennedy

If a man neglects education, he walks lame to the end of his life.   -Plato

We are born weak, we need strength; helpless, we need aid; foolish, we need reason. All that we lack at birth, all that we need when we come to man’s estate, is the gift of education.   -Jean-Jacques Rousseau

>>> The day is at a close, the night is drawing in and my cigar awaits – ’til next time…

Randomness or Weariness

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So, working on taxes.  Not happy.  Which I think is kinda a requirement when doing taxes.  Don’t get me wrong.  I’m all for paying my fair share. Whoa! Almost sounding like a liberal there. Wait. No. I’m ok. Libs are for OTHERS paying THEIR “fair share.”  Hard to keep this stuff straight sometimes.

So, where was I?

I have been somewhat remiss in my blogging.  My excuse?  No, I have not run out of things to say.  By far.  I’m going with illness and work. Of course, had my wife taken proper care of me I would not have gotten sick.  Of this she is well aware.  Mainly because I made her so.  Work on the other hand is work.  For some reason the payroll department seems to want me to show up to “earn” my pay (sorry, my wife’s pay – I suspect I will get that wrong many times today).  Sigh!  Maybe switching to Liberal wouldn’t be so bad.  I’m sure somebody out there wouldn’t mind having their money stolen and given to us for my wife’s benefit.  Off topic (although I’m not yet sure what the topic of the day is).

Where was I?  Working on taxes.  Boy is that a fun thing to do.  You are always caught between loving and hating the thought of a large return.  Loving it because it is “found” money.  Hating it because when you think about it, and you should, it is YOUR money that you lost in the first place.  While it is never fun to write yet another check to the government so it can waste even MORE of your hard earned money, getting a refund of your interest free loan to those bureaucrats is not the best thought either.  Although I am nowhere near the end of this year’s journey into the annual tax nightmare, I have no doubt I will be writing that check.  To all you Libs out there, you are welcome.  To all you conservatives out there, where the heck are you?  What’s the deal leaving me to continue to fund bridges to nowhere, midnight basketball and mating habits of African Bullfrogs (or was it Australian?).  Next time get off your sofa and vote!  I blame YOU far more than the bottom-of-the-pyramid Libs.  They are just sheep.  Pawns with no desire to educate themselves.  Apathetic.  Easier to just follow their government shepherds and eat whatever the mass media feeds them.  But enough of that.

So many things to discuss.  So many things in this country that need tweaking or a major overhaul.  So many things I am just not in the mood to discuss today.  I am tired.  Illness?  Work?  The problems of this country and the world?  I don’t know.  Just tired.  The more I venture out and view the actions and interactions of my fellow man, the more tired I grow.  Maybe not tired.  Maybe weary.  At church today we were instructed on the parts of the whole.  Not to despair at whatever part you are to play.  The example, for those of you that have ventured into the world of the Bible, was of a physical body.  The foot, the hand, the ear, the eye.  Each has a reason for being.  Each should except its role and understand it has an important part to play.  The idea is that we individuals also have a specific role to play.  A role in the totality of mankind.  I sat there and thought about that (yes, I can think and pay attention at the same time).  I thought many of the problems we have in society may very well come from many of us not “playing” our role.  Not satisfied with being a foot or an ear.  Always thinking that someone else has a better role to play and against all the talents with which we’ve been blessed we try to be something we are not.  Why is that?

For some odd reason we look up to the White Collar workers – the doctors, lawyers, professors, etc.  We look down on the “unskilled”, Blue Collar workers – the garbage man (sorry, sanitation engineers), custodian, cook, etc.  Why is that?  When we come home from work in the evening on “Trash Day” are we not glad the can is empty and prepared for another week of our rubbish?  When we go out for a nice evening on the town or a Sunday breakfast are we not glad there is a cook in the kitchen of our chosen restaurant?  Are we not happy the end of each work day does not include having to take our waste basket to the dumpster?  Someone will be there after we leave to clear it out.  We all have a role to play.  We should be not only thankful for our own, we should be thankful for that of each of our fellow man.

That said, I see much of the problems of society and the world stemming from individuals that want to play a role for which they are not suited.  As mentioned, we all have God given talents (and yes, God still gave you talents whether you believe in Him or not).  To be truly happy in life, it behooves us to make a determined effort to recognize and appreciate what ours are and make it our life’s ambition to select an appropriate role.  A role that uses the talents we have.  Not only for our benefit, but the benefit of all.  Not only would we be happier, but mankind as a whole would be far better off.

So many want to be something they are not, should not and often cannot.  But for whatever reason – envy; desire; pressure from peers, parents, others in authority – they insist their “lot in life” is not theirs.  They MUST be something they are not.  They MUST be something for which they are not prepared.  For which they have no talent.  If an individual’s talents lie in a specific area and they fail to use them, something in the play of mankind is not getting done.  A role is not being played.  This tends to throw everything out of whack.  Take my word for it (or not, don’t really care all that much today), everything is out of whack.  The play is not following the script.  This leads not only to unhappiness on the part of the individual but a “disturbance in the force” (yes, I actually said that).  There is currently a major disturbance.  I believe my weariness derives from this disturbance and, in part, my lack of time, talent or treasure to fix it.  I know, I know.  Who the heck am I to take the world on my shoulders?  I’m actually not.  My weariness stems from the knowledge that neither is anyone else.  So many of us are not fulfilling our role.  Nobody individually is able to solve the problem.  However, as each domino falls due to someone not fulfilling their role, those around it, fulfilling their obligation or not, are also brought down.  This leads to the state of affairs in which we now find ourselves.  Sigh…

Ok…  back to taxes.  The topic or the task?  As long as everyone is of the understanding that I am (sorry, my wife is) being robbed and my (sorry, her) treasure is being wasted, I will get back to the task.  However, if I learn in the future that some of you out their actually believe I am (she is) not paying my (her) fair share, I shall delve DEEPLY into the subject and pelt you unmercifully with the facts.  You WON’T like it I assure you…

>>> The day is at a close, the night is drawing in and my cigar awaits – ’til next time…

Seeing and Believing

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The Point:  “Seeing is not Believing.  Believing is Seeing.”

Judy (an Elf) ~ The Santa Claus

While Judy was obviously speaking of Santa Claus, I would argue this applies to the reason for today.

One need not see God, or Jesus, his incarnation on earth, to believe.  One need only believe to see.

Merry Christmas to all