I sought for the greatness and genius of America in her commodious harbors and her ample rivers, and it was not there; in her fertile fields and boundless prairies, and it was not there; in her rich mines and her vast world commerce, and it was not there. Not until I went to the churches of America and heard her pulpits aflame with righteousness did I understand the secret of her genius and power. America is great because she is good, and if America ever ceases to be good, America will cease to be great.”

- de Tocqueville 1831































Sunday, December 12, 2010

LET THOSE WITH EARS HERE

I know what your thinking.  Doesn't the dufus know to use the word hear instead of here? 
The answer is most vociferously no!  

Why,  oh why,  does the written language have to be so dang difficult?  When we speak we don't differentiate between here or hear,  and yet the listeners understand what were saying,  why?  context that's why.

It might be a shock to you that I did not do so well in English during my formal years of education  (Okay,  it would not be a shock to anyone who has read my blog before).  I didn't do so well in math either.  What did I do well in,  you might ask?  Uummm....  in the one semmester of typing class I took,  I got very good at disassymbling the typewriter and putting it back together before the teacher could catch me.  I did okay at lunch.   Oh, and their (or is it there) was band.  In my senior year of high school I spent four of my six classes in the band room......but I digress.

Back to the question at hand,  why is it so hard to write English?  You Brits are a bit tricky the way you throw in extra letters like u in words like labor and neighbor and how can you possibly justify saying worcestershire with just three vowels?  Of course your not as bad as the French.  Back when I was driving over the road I asked on the CB if any one knew where versailles Indiana was.  Having studied the french revolutioin I knew how to properly pronounce it but my fellow truck drivers  (being one hundred percent American) were totally askance as to the township I was looking for,  until I pronounced it the way it's spelled.  Who ever heard of silent Ls and how does one get shree out of shreve,  as in Shreveport?  

Let's talk about punctuation,  I swear that when I was a child their (or there) was only the period.  Do you remember your father telling you that there (or thier) is no such word as can't?  Thats because the apostrophe hadn't been invented yet.  Okay I understand that the comma is very useful and if anything I now overuse it but when should I use parenthasies instead of comma's  (should I be capitalizing the names of these punctuation marks)  and when do I use the colon or semi-colon? 

I'm starting to think that their (or there) is and has been for some time a conspiracy amongst english teachers to keep the english language as confusing as possible.  I dont know why they would do such a thing.  Is it possible they envey the French?  Certainly it looks as if  the British are moving toward "French-ification"  (a word for Randi to admire).  

Perhaps I could convince someone to come clean and uncover the truth behind This trend of befudduling our language.

 Or maybe I'm just crazy.  

Sunday, December 5, 2010

A Chrismas Poem (Don't Worry it's from my Daughter)

Their  are some things I do well,  some things I do OK at and some things that............let's just say I'm grateful  to my daughter for her love of Christmas and her talent with the written word. 

If I do not write again before the "great holiday" I leave you with this poem from her and wish everyone a very merry Christmas.




A Christmas Poem (a little early, mayhaps?)



Silver bells ring with music so clear,

Across the country for all to hear,

And as their music plays so comes the snow,

The clouds gray compared to the white below.



Silver snow as the moon shines to the ground,

Silver snow falling without a sound,

And in the silver is the gold,

Rich with love and with courage, bold.



Silver ring the bells and silver snow falls,

And the cheer of winter ever calls.

December is the best month of the year,

Whether there or whether here.



Some have snow and some have none,

Some have holidays but that's only some,

I welcome winter with its cheer,

It's the best time of the year.



Christmas, Kwanzaa, or Hanukkah all,

From greatest great or smallest small,

Somehow there's a feeling in the air,

That makes everyone want to share.



Smiles to strangers and hugs to friends,

Kisses under mistletoe; traditions never end,

Lord's birth or just giving,

This shows life is worth living.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

With Out a Net; Will You Still Respect Me.

It has been a year and six months since I first started this blog. I now have seven people who are not ashamed to say that they follow me (the seventh is my best friend who I quilted into following) and three more who comment regularly. I have loved sharing with you who read all my opinions and ideas.  I especially love the give and take we have in the comments section.  Thus said,  for reasons I don't care to discuss I will no longer have my wife edit my blog.  When the idea of writing a blog first hit me (between the eyes,  yes it did hurt) my wife told me that with my lousy punctuation and inept spelling I would not garner respect,  I may not get respect even with a well edited blog,  was my comeback.  I find writing difficult,  it does not come second nature to me although it has been good for my own personal growth and my typing has improved. 

I write this to ask you dear reader if I should continue writing my blog?  It is with some trepidation that I continue.  The written language is not one of my strengths. 

I am not above fishing for complements,  so tell me what it is you like about my blog if anything.

If you like the commentary on this blog than I recommend Atomic Pop and The Water Cooler,  both kindred spirits of mine and astute commentators.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Keyne's Died Sixty-Four Years Ago......Can We Finally Nail Down His Coffin Lid?



When Barack Obama says that most economists agree with the policies that he has put into effect, he is talking about Keynesian economists.  In the thirties, Maynard Keynes and Friedrick Hayek were debating the effectiveness of government intervention in the economy.  The stimulus package of last year is what Keynesian economists advocate to kick start an economy.  There is supposed to be a multiplier effect involved when money is dumped into the economy by the government, ie: people who receive money from the government spend the money boosting other sectors of the economy. Why this has never worked is that the money the government infuses into the economy is backed by debt, creating more debt, inflating our cash flow making the dollar worth less. Picture two Keynesian economists in a deep hole with a shovel (the hole being our debt). The Keynesian with the shovel says, "We need to dig our way out of debt". The other Keynesian says, "Dig up, stupid".  Just as the two with the shovel can not dig their way out, the government has failed every time it has tried to get us out of debt by making more debt, to include President Roosevelt's New Deal.  I know that most of us have been taught in school that the New Deal policies helped to bring us out of the Great Depression.  The fact is that the rest of the world was coming out of the depression while the U.S. was still mired in a sluggish economy due to the policies of President Roosevelt.  Flash-forward to now.  After a year where we have amazingly huge debt spending geared to revive an economy in collapse, mostly due to bad home lending practices (the unintended consequences of government interfering with private loan companies and some greed thrown in for good measure). Can we all see that these ridiculous debt spending policies don't work?  Can we finally agree that the best thing that government can do to help the economy is to get out of the way and stop spending money that we don't have?  Or are there still people that would trust the politician more than themselves?  Yes, there is a role for government.  It is there to protect us from unscrupulous people that would endanger our financial and personal well being.  But, to make villains out of whole sectors of social, political and financial persons and institutions, the way our "beloved" President has, is on its face, absurd.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Politics IS NOT a Four Letter Word; Ignorance........Might As Well Be.

I first started this blog last year with certain ideas in mind.


1)  I wanted an outlet to share with others the concepts, opinions and ideals that I have formulated after listening for many hours to talk radio hosts across the country.

2)  I wanted to be a participant in the "war of ideas" that helps to shape our culture, our society and our nation.

3)  I wanted to demonstrate how politics in Washington (and to some small extent the various state and local governments) affect our daily lives.

4)  I wanted to convey the importance of being involved in politics.
I am grateful to all those who read my blog on a consistent basis and I am especially grateful to you who take the time to comment. I am not at all certain that this post is even addressed to you, as I know that you are active and informed.  Perhaps my regular readers can take encouragement in the preceding words and perhaps there will be those who stumble upon this post that will take my message to heart.

I have often heard people say they do not wish to "be political" or that politics is not something that they're interested in. I say that politics is human nature.  It is the process that we use to get along with others.  The politics of DC are just an extension of how we interact with our neighbors.  Often people are afraid to express their view point or ideas.  People find it easier to share their preference of skin cream or shampoo than to tell people who they will vote for and, more importantly, why. While it is important to have clean hair and soft skin, I think it might just be more important that we are informed and that we inform those around us. Who we choose to represent us in our "representative government" is a decision that has long lasting reprecusions.  Too often have I heard the complaint that they're all bums and crooks. To that complaint I ask how did all those crooks get into office and more importantly how do they stay in office?  I believe that it is the responsibility of the American populace (those of age to vote ) to be well informed on the issues before stepping into the voter booth and pulling the lever (okay, I think I just showed my age by saying "booth" and "lever" but you get the idea).  I'm not egalitarian enough to say you should vote if you're not voting for my candidate.  I would just as soon you stayed home or didn’t mail in your ballot, but since I know that you'll vote for your guy no matter what I say, than I just ask that you are as informed as you can possibly be.

Since our government is supposed to be run "by the people" we all are combatants in the war of ideas. This should be a civilized war where we treat those who disagree with us respectfully, but still try to convince them that our argument is right or be intellectually honest enough to be swayed by theirs.  As Rush Limbaugh has eloquently stated, "Ignorance is our most valuable commodity". Speaking up is our best defense against ignorance, including our own.  It is too easy to sit on the sidelines and think that what we have to say does not matter, but not having everyone involved has cost our nation dearly.

 

Saturday, September 25, 2010

MY DAUGHTER CAN WRITE CIRCLES AROUND ME, THATS A GOOD THING

I wish I could write like my daughter.  This is what I found on her blog today.


I Believe
There are times when we will feel like we are nothing.



Unimportant.


We don't matter.


I went through a phase recently, and I honestly felt like nobody cared. But don't believe it.


The lies that your mind concoct will never be true. You are important, you matter, and there's always somebody who cares. The undeniable truth is that each and every one of us is important.


Imperfect things that we are, we will hurt, and be the cause of hurt, and wonder why. But don’t doubt we’re here for a reason. We will learn, and we will change, and we will scream and hope and pray, but our circumstances are our circumstances. Sometimes they are as unmovable as a mountain, and at others as easy to move as throwing a tiny piece of rock.


This is where we all are, tangled in the delicate threads made by a master’s handed, breaking and being woven again, irreplaceable one-of-a-kind treasures haphazardly tossed in the half-hearted net called ‘existence’. Pain and joy, hope and fear, all mixed together in a gentle balance, falling apart with ease in the face of chaos, yet the chaos makes it stronger the next time.


Such is us, struggling on the path of life. Hardships throng around us, occasionally breaking through our carefully-built yet so easily broken defenses, but we build them up and are stronger. And our strength gives us new opportunities, new chances, maybe even a whole new life.


We will want to give into the current to sweep us away. We will want to leave the path completely, free ourselves of the pain. But what will happen? Tears will be shed, opportunities will be lost, and the suffering we were so desperate to leave will occur with those around us.


Believe. With all your heart, believe. Learning to love is the hardest thing, but loving gives the most chances. When you are hurting, remember that there are those hurting more than you. Do not take comfort from such a fact, but accept it, understand it, and then try to do something to change it. This is where the beauty in each one of us lies.


We are all so drastically different. Yet male or female, dark-skinned or light-skinned, we share much in common. We feel the same pain whether physically or emotionally, we breathe the same air, and we bleed the same blood. Why can’t we love, too?


I am far from perfect. I try so to remember all the good things I have, than completely forget them when I am angry or hurting. But if you have a roof over your head, family and friends, clothes, are you not lucky?


Are you not lucky enough with family and friends?


We each are important. We each matter. So try, try, try, and help me to try, to learn to love. We may never reach perfection, but we will have changed. Hopefully it will be for the better. Learn and grow, ebb and flow, such a cycle, a circle, a place to belong! But remember. Remember, always remember.


You are important, and I believe.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Saturday, August 28, 2010

WHY IT'S NOT A GOOD THING TO MESS WITH MY "OL' LADY".

Okay, it's happened again.  Either the poles have flipped or something else bizzare has happened.  My wife has once again strayed  from the "ranch" and has written a political post.  She takes on someone from the left who calls those of us who oppose the building of  the "ground zero Mosque" , bigots.  I try not to argue with my wife.  Why?  Because she is a master at taking someone apart with words.  Don't believe me?  Check out this argument.  The guy didn't stand a chance.

Soooo, what would you like to see?  A recipe for Chicken Divan or pictures of my kid? 


Yeah, okay, I had to comment on her blog.  The following is what I had to say; I'm just glad that we were on the same side:

Hey Hon.
The phrase I used is the "liberal two step" (I think it was coined by Jon Caldera).  This argument you had with the guy would go round and round until it would be stretched beyond all recognition.  Let me just point out that calling the people who are opposed to the mosque being built at Ground Zero bigots does not refute their argument.  Look into what is happening in Europe.  There are huge Muslim communities who's leaders are calling for Sharia law to be imposed on the Muslim community.  Mosques have been built on ground taken by Muslim empires (as christians, let us not forget where the Dome of the Rock sits at this very moment).  While I agree that the Islamists willing to fly planes into buildings are a minority, there is no one who can say how big that minority is.  No one can say how many Muslims agree with the sentiment of the radical Islamists. Very few Muslims speak up in opposition to these radicals for fear of retaliation.  No one has been able to find out just who is to fund the building of the Mosque.  If it is to be the Wahabist Muslims of Saudi Arabia, then there is just cause to oppose the construction of this building.  I know that I am not a bigot.  What I am is somone who loves his country and I do not want to see it destroyed by enemies from inside or out.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Senior Moments

Senior Moment #1:
 I received my paycheck yesterday at 4:30 a.m.  I came home at 7:00 a.m. and proceeded to do some chores around the house.  Not until 2:00 in the afternoon did I remember my paycheck, at which point I had lost track of it and I am furiously looking for it.  When my wife sits at her computer at 9:00 p.m. that night and pulls out the keyboard tray, the check show up, sitting right on the corner.  Why said check was there?  No idea.  I don't even recall being in that vicinity.

Senior Moment #2: 
Because we are in the process of moving from a townhouse into an apartment, we have to downsize from a king size bed to a queen in order to fit into a smaller bedroom.  We had a Select Comfort queen size bed stored away in our crawl space.  Yesterday, I was bringing up the bed to check on it's usability.  I found all the parts except for the remote controls used to control the airflow into the bed.  Normally, at this point, I would call my wife to ask if she might know where it is but this time I decided to take the initiative.  I searched the crawl space and the area where I had laid out the bed and even the boxes that the bed had been stored in.  I couldn't find them anywhere.  When my wife got home she, of course, finds one.  We continue to search for the remaining remote for the next couple of hours until we give up because I need to get some sleep before I go to work that night.  While I'm sitting in the bedroom, I finally take a look at the remote my wife found and realized that this remote has controls for both the left and right sides of the bed.  I call down to my wife and ask her if, perhaps, there is only one remote for the bed.  She gets this exasperated look on her face as she calls up that yes, perhaps that is the case.

So, there are some questions that come to my mind.

Should I be glad that I'm not the only one in the family having these senior moments and that I shared an endearing experience with my wife?  Or should I be frightened that I can't always rely on my wife to save me from myself?

Should I be concerned that these two senior moments ran concurrently or does it mean that I may be "moment free" for a longer period of time?

Is it possible that the AARP cards that I have been getting in the mail are not a mistake, but rather an omen?

I am SO looking forward to the second half of my life.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Does the Ostrich Feel Safe Up To the moment That He Feels the Teeth of the Lion on His Rump?

There are two things you should know about me.  One:  I am a political junkie.  Two:  I have depression.  The political junkie thing you have probably figured out in the first five minutes of reading my blog.  I hope my depression has not shown through in my writing as easily as my political addiction has.  When I say I have depression I don't mean I get a little weepy when watching sad movies.  I'm talking about a debilitating disease that occasionally makes me want to pull the covers over my head and not come out.  Ever Again.    I'm writing this not to gain sympathy (feel for my wife and daughter, if anyone), but so you will understand the advice I was just recently given and why it may be sound advice.        

Most of the time I'm fine.  Through medication and support, I am generally a happy person.  But at times, because of circumstances or if I forget to take my medication, I find myself in a funk.  A few weeks ago, just such an incident happened.  I won't go into detail but let's just say it was bad enough that it got the attention of my bishop.  After the incident, my wife and I met with him.  After some discussion of career moves and possible training that I might pursue, the subject of talk radio came up.  My bishop's advice was that I should stop listening to talk radio for a time.  It's good advice and if the roles were reversed, I might give that same advice.  But I don't think I can follow it.

At any other time, I would be happy to pull out my Yes CDs or a little Toad the Wet Sprocket, or listen to a little jazz or just set my radio to only music, but right now, our nation is soon to go through perhaps one of the worst times that it has ever gone through and I cannot avert my attention.  You might think that I'm exaggerating the dangers that we are facing, but let me ask you some questions.  How do we pay a debt that is half a million dollars per person and growing?  And what happens if we don't pay it?  What happens if  radical Muslims get hold of a nuclear device?  And what is our federal government doing to protect us, other than suing the State of Arizona for trying to do the job that they refuse to do (ie:  defending our border)?  Who is going to protect us from a government that insists on what kind of light bulb we have in our lamps,  how much water pressure we have in our showers,  how well our toilets don't flush or what products or services we must buy, including our health insurance?

With everything that is happening in our world today, I cannot just ignore it and bury my head in the sand.  Someone, well meaning, said to me, "There is nothing you can do about the evil that is happening in Washington DC or the rest or the world, so just let it go".  The whole purpose of this noble experiment we call the USA is for us to have self determination.  We, the people, have been asleep at the switch.  But it is not too late to change that and that is one of  the reasons for my blog.  In order to write my blog or to take part in the political process, I need to be informed. 

As you can imagine, current events and depression do not mix well and, of course, I can not just look away and pretend that I and mine will be okay.  For one thing, our economy is in shambles.  I think purposely.  And I am now making half the income that I used to make due to a loss of career.  The last two years have been the hardest of my life and to pile on, I have just found out that our mortgage lender has approved our loan modification for, get this, three dollars less a month than what we were paying previously.  So you can see that the bishop's advice would be good for me to follow.  What he doesn't understand is that my psyche (I said psyche not psycho) is just not wired to look away and pretend that everything will be okay.  Just because our country has come back from the brink before doesn't mean it will again.

Okay so much for the bad news.  Now let's concentrate on what there is that we, as the people of the greatest nation ever to grace the face of the earth, can do.  The first thing is to recognize who the true enemy is.  As a conservative, it is easy for me to point my finger at liberals and the current democratic leadership.  Obama and the leaders in Congress are not without fault and let us not forget the excessive spending and the betrayal of President Bush and the Republicans in office two years ago.  As much of the blame as we can place on politicians, they are not the true enemy.  In Paul's epistle to the church in Ephesus, he spelled out who the true enemy is and what is needed to defeat them.

 Ephesians 6: 12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.


13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.

14 Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;

15 And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;

16 Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.

17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:

18 Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;

If you are a fan of Glenn Beck you may recognize this approach.  For truly (yea verily in Bible lingo), if this nation is to come back from the brink, it will be the changes in us that will make the difference as stated in the Old Testament.   

2 Chr. 7: 14

14 If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.

I would not be able to deal with what is transpiring today if it were not for my faith in God and the belief that what happens is because of  his love for me.  I may not, and often do not, understand why I have to go through the troubles that I have, but I will believe in what Paul and other witnesses of the Christ have written.  I would not want to live in today's climate without my faith in a loving God.



              

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Pardon Me, But May I Brag On My Daughter?

 If you have read my blog for any length of time, you would know that I am very proud of my daughter.  Below is a poem I just found on her website.

Butterfly Depths- story-intro 


A rose.  He is closed, the petals tight.  But as days pass, slowly he widens.  He is a wheel now, blood-red and beautiful.  Simple form, but it is elegant.


A butterfly.  She flutters her wings and lands on the rose, still.  Her wings are partially opened, and partially closed, a midway between the two.


A noise.  It rocks the rose, and the butterfly flies away.  The rose is alone again, but he knows that a butterfly will come soon.


For though butterfly depths are small, they make a great impact.



She's thirteen.  I can only imagine how well she will write when she has gained some of life's experiences.

Here's another poem:


Texas Update: Homesick Poem

The world passing,

Just a blur.

Tears I cry,

Never have cried before.



There may be beauty,

But I'd never know,

Because the ones I love

Left now for more.



But a blue sea white with foam,

Past the forest, under the gold,

Through the desert, beyond my know,

That's not close to how far I'll go.



Cold skies gray with rain,

Golden sunshine just cries pain,

Though a heartbreak I do hold,

The way is clear; I must go.



Tomorrow, maybe, will be the day

I make my way home.

No more tears, no more fears,

Tomorrow, maybe, I'll be home.



I'm a tad biased, so if you agree that she is talented, you could go to her blog and encourage her.  I'm sure she would appreciate it and it might keep her off  the streets as she grows older.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Media Bias at its worst

I am always amazed at how people can sense the bias that is shoveled out to us from the dominant  mainstream media but will still use the evening news or the paper that is delivered to their door as their source without skepticism or without checking other sources.  Critical thinking is in short supply  in this country and is one of the reasons why I write my blog.  I do not want my readers to take anything I write at face value.  I try to supply sources that support my viewpoint so that you, dear reader, can study for yourself and form your own opinion whether it is simular to mine or of a divergent nature.  That stated, I give you the following link as an example of how inundated we are by half truths and blatant lies by those media outlets that hide their agenda:  The Dennis Prager Show

If you take note that while Dennis Prager is an excellent talk show host and commentator, there are several points in this article that can be questioned.  Though Dennis makes an excellent point as to the type of biased sources that are used,  there is nothing in his article that refutes the claim the mainstream media is making about our healthcare, except for one ad hominem statement that we are ranked as tied with Cuba.  Don't misunderstand me; I believe that our healthcare is the finest in the world and anyone who studies this issue fairly will come to the same conclusion.  My main point is that one source is not enough to draw a fair conclusion and that you need to be critical of all sources.    

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Leadership

Today I had a small epiphany.
For the last two weeks I have started riding my bike.  I was having a hard time getting started, so I asked someone at church to ride with me.  I have tremendous respect for my new riding partner and it is not because he agreed to ride with me.  He is one of those people that you see in major church callings that you think you could never do.......ie: stake presidency, high priest group leader, etc.  A true leader with exceptional values.  I won't use his name so I don't embarrass him since he is humble and sincere to boot. Held in high esteem and fourteen years my senior, I am slightly intimidated by him but being intimidated has never stopped me before.  For the two rides that we have ridden previously, I have held off on the pace.  I tend to ease up and stay along side riding partners who do not ride as hard as I can, letting them set the pace.  Today my compadre asked me to take the lead and set a faster pace.  I did and he kept up just fine. We got the workout that we both needed.


Today's bike ride taught me some valuable lessons about leadership.

First, it is difficult, if not impossible to lead from behind.  It is difficult to sometimes leave our charges to their own devices, but it is a necessity to achieve everyone's goal.  "John" (I will call my friend, John) needed to be pushed and I needed a harder workout.  If "John" had never said anything, we both would not have gained what we needed.

Second, the best leaders are terrific followers.  I have a hard time respecting any one who can give orders but cannot follow orders themselves.  It seems that too many of the members in congress are of the ”do as I say, not as I do” club.  My respect for "John" has been vindicated by his placing me in the lead on our bike rides.

Third, leading means stepping out and sometimes being on your own for a season.  So many of our political leaders are known to legislate by how they read the polls.  President Reagan, when faced with a poll that was against what he thought was the right thing to do, was known to say that they needed to better inform the American people.

Fourth, you can never know when the mantle of leadership will fall on your shoulders.  This is why it is a good thing to be as prepared as possible.  The ultimate goal of a good leader is to develop the leadership potential in his followers.  American soldiers are known for their ability to carry on after their commanders are killed or injured where other troops are stymied by the loss of command.  The LDS church is excellent for teaching leadership.  The training starts early on when primary children are asked to give talks. Sacrament is passed by our young men (ages twelve and up) and responsibilities are given to kids as leaders in their age groups.

Fifth, the key to effective team work is the interpersonal relationship between the leaders and followers.  Trust needs to develop among team members, especially between the leader and his followers.  The leader needs to know that he can trust in his team to get done what is needed to be done.  Team members need to know that their leader is moving them in the proper direction with the right vision.

Sixth, an effective leader knows the skill level and talents of each member of his crew.  As obvious as this may sound, it doesn't take much thought to come up with examples of bosses and supervisors who often operate blind because they have no idea of who it is they're managing.

In conclusion, my bike rides with “John” are going to be valuable to me both on the physical and philosophical plane.  This may be because I tend to learn on the fly.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Strange

While reading the blogs I follow,  I started reading my wife's blog and did a double take.  I felt as though I had somehow flown through a black hole into an alternate reality.  A reality that had my wife writing the political junk which would inversely mean that I do the personal interest writing.  Come to think of it, just recently, I did write about my childhood.  Hmm; if I start posting recipes, please send for help. 

To be fair, my wife has written political posts before but it has been a long time.  Anyway it's a good post and I urge all of you to click on the link below and read it.  It saves me from having to comment on the described incident.
getting-bad-rap

Thursday, June 3, 2010

The Commander in Chief Goes AWOL

Warning, Obama rant in progess.

Monday,  Memorial Day,  bbqs,  picnics and horseshoes basketball.  Yes, Obama has his priorities straight.  Why should he bother with that age old, worn out, tradition of laying a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.  Maybe he should have asked some of his troops; a general or two maybe.  The tradition of the Commander in Chief laying the wreath has been long held.  It shows respect to the soldiers he commands. 

Who the heck is running his protocal department?  Early in his tenure, he gave the British Prime Minister a gift of twenty-five movies on DVD  (in the wrong format for Great Britian).  A snub in comparison to the gifts The Prime Minister gave Obama.  Just lately, he's returned a bust of Winston Churchill, a gift given to Bush.  Clearly a snub.  Of course, Obama has the right to decorate the White House in any style he likes (within reason) but I would imagine there's enough room in storage for the bust.  It did not need to be sent back.  In March, our "esteemed" President walked out on Isreali Prime Minnister Binyamin Netanyahu who was at the time a guest at the White House.  What is it about this man that he snubs our allies but bows to our potential enemies?

It is bad enough that alliances that have been fostered for years are under threat of being torn asunder by these callous snubs, but when the President snubs the Armed Forces, it becomes personal.  I served in the ARMY straight out of high school.  I felt honored to have been a part of our nation's defense.  I was in the ARMY when Carter was in office and morale was low.  Then Reagan became President and I saw the military transformed almost overnight.  It was Reagan who gave us the effective fighting force that we have today.  As bad as Carter was for our military, it must be ten times worse for those serving under Obama.  I am ashamed and embarrassed by our President, as well as concerned for our country.  Thankfully, people are starting to wake up (even democrats) and ask where this President is taking us.  Let us pray it is not too late to right the ship.    

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Now and Then

My daughter lacks for very little,  if anything.  She has the love of her parents.  She makes friends easily.  People in the church think she is someone special.  We are ready to take her to hang with her friends or whatever planned event she needs to get to.  We just recently bought her a laptop.  She owns a Nintendo DS.  She has the benefit of satalite tv.   If there is anything we can afford to get her (that will not harm her)  we will get it.  You could say she is spoiled (her mother's fault,  of course) and yet there are times when I feel for her.

I grew up in the sixties.  My childhood was simular to the movie, The Sandlot, except I and my freinds were not as focused on baseball.  Football was what we lived for.  The best time for football was immedietly after dinner when we would meet and play in the cooling evening for as long as we could possibly stay out.  There was a park at the end of the block,  three houses from mine.  That park is still there except somehow it seems to have shrunk.  There was a ditch that ran through the middle of the park (now it's a small culvert).  My friends and I would challenge each other into jumping across the wider parts of the ditch.  Bordering the park on the east and west were bullrushes and marsh.  We would place scrape wood in the rushes making trails and collecting cattails.  My childhood was filled with endless summer days out.  My parents weren't concerned about their children being abducted, unlike what parents fear today.  If I had no chores, they were more than happy to have me out of the house.  Gone after breakfast, not to be back before dinner and then back out for football.  If I was offered dinner by my friends parents, then even better.  My friends and I were explorers.  We wandered anywhere we could about the neighborhood.  We caught gardener snakes and frogs.  We were daredevils; riding bikes across a narrow bridge one hundred feet in the air (or so it seemed), jumping off  the top of huge gravel piles to end up sliding hundreds of feet riding a roaring avalanche of fresh gravel.  If we had any change, we would go four blocks from my house to the neighborhood grocery store where we bought licorice whips and candy bars.  We rode our bikes two miles to the nearest swimming pool.  We would futilely try to drain the pool with the best cannonballs we could muster  When in the middle of summer we became bored, we became inventors,  inventing games that Calvin and Hobbes would be proud of.                  

In the fall, when school started, we would walk or ride our bikes.  I took the school bus once and could not stand it.  Today we drive our daughter to school.

I wonder if the world was safer when I was a child or if we were just more naive.  With expanded media coverage, I think our eyes are open to the reality of how dangerous our world really is.  Or has it actually become more dangerous?  Either way, I and my wife will not risk our daughter's well being.  There are tradeoffs, of course.  My wife and I have a much closer relationship to our daughter than I had with my parents.  In time, Rachel will find her freedom as she grows into adulthood.  I asked her if she felt she had a happy childhood and she looked at me as if I was a crazy man (I thought she knew that was a given) and asked me why I would ask such an obvious question.  As parents we do what we need to do to raise our children.  My parents must have felt that it was important that I learned early how to deal with independence.  My wife and I feel that we need to shelter our child a little while longer so that she will be able to grow into the amazing woman we see peeking out of her young face.      

Saturday, April 17, 2010

The Message?

Imagine that you are the parent of nine children.  Three children are three years of age,  three are nine and three are  sixteen, seventeen and eighteen, respectively.  Now imagine that your children get to vote for who their parents are.  The opponent who is running against you has several credit cards and has promised to use those cards to supply the three and nine year olds with almost anything they want. The teenagers will have to work to help pay off the debt.  Given these circumstances, would you, as a loving and caring person, be voted in as their parent?  It is understood that sometime in the future the debt of those credit cards will have to be paid by the kids.  The teenagers would realize that this is not a good situation and would more than likely vote for the more responsible parents.  The three year olds would believe your opponents when they told them that they are "entitled" to all the candy they can eat and  that it is wrong that you insist on a bedtime.  The election outcome may pivet on the nine year olds.  What would your message be?

The situation described above is similar to what conservatives who run  for office face.  One third of the electorate will vote Republican, one third will vote Democrat and the other third will decide the outcome of the election.  We have recently had Republicans who have shifted left to gain office.  They have bought into the notion that they must promise to give things in order to get elected.  Conservatives will never win in a contest of desirable outcome.  We see that these outcomes are not possible.  We also see that the debt incured by promising welfare entitlements is bankrupting the country. Sharing the wealth that other people have earned is a disincentive to those earning it, thus crippling the economy.  Not to mention it is just wrong to give to other people someone else's gain.

Given this situation, can a conservative who remains true to his principles get elected?  Can someone run on the idea that we need to scale back on the "give away" programs run by the Federal government?  An example of what is run by the feds that could be more effectively handled by the states is the Department of Education.  Ronald Reagan tried to eliminate this department that he called "Carter's boondoggle".  He was met with fierce opposition by the very powerful teacher's unions.  We, as a society, have become so used to how much the Federal government is in are lives that there is real fear in losing our security net  (regardless of the tremendous waste that we all know occurs in Washington).

There were two people who were able to get elected to the office of president that did not promise a laundry list of goodies.  One said, "My fellow Americans, ask not what your country can do for you -- ask what can you do for your country."  This was followed up by, "My fellow citizens of the world, ask not what America will do for you, but what together we can do for the freedom of man."  The other said, "Goverment is not the solution to our problem, goverment  is the problem".  In spite of  the messages (or maybe because of them),  they were both very popular.  It gives me hope for this country that Ronald Reagan and John F.Kennedy could talk of a vision for our country that did not consist of our goverment taking care of us and still get elected.

When I talked to my wife about my "nine children" analogy,  she was quite certain that she would be elected as their mother.  When pressed, she explained that she could convey, even to the three year olds,  the ramifications of their decisions.  Upon further reflection, I believe that she is right.

 One obvious reason is the bond between parents and their children.  Their is a bond that we share as Americans, as well.  When I compare the words of Obama to those of Reagan, I notice that where Obama  uses the word, "I", Reagan used words such as, "we" and  "fellow Americans".  Where Obama talks of how America should be,  Reagan spoke of America's greatness.  There has never been a greater nation than the United States of America and that fact has to be part of our message.

We expect our children to act in a proper manner.  I believe that we should expect upright behavior from our leaders as well as ourselves and America will respond to that message.  We have lowered expectations for our leaders and they in return view us as the three year olds in my analogy.  We complain about how crooked politians are and yet we continue to elect them.  Is it for the goodies they promise us?  They certainly think so.  Our message needs to be that there are expectations for both the electorate and the elected .

Sincerity is the key ingredient in the making of our message.  Good parents know that they need to be honest and direct with their children as well as consistent.  One reason President Reagan was so popular is that the people could see that he actually tried to do what he said he would do.  One example of this was his budget proposals.  Every budget he submitted to congress was balanced, as promised.  Speaker of the House at the time, Tip O'Neill, would declare Reagan's budget proposals "dead on arrival" refusing to take responbility for cutting spending.    

Where my analogy does not fit is in the fact that we want as little government involvement in our lives as  possible.  Yet it is the goal of good parents to raise their children in such a manner that they will become independent adults.  If liberals raise their children in the way they run the government, I can't imagine their kids ever leaving home.    

           

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Hey! I'm Up Here.....Someone Please Talk Me Down

I grew up attending an unafilliated Protestant church.  Before the Left Behind books came out, I was steeped in apocalyptic speculation.  The Book of Revelations still remains one of my favorites of the Bible (this should give you tremendous insight into my charactor).  I have noticed that the LDS church doesn't seem to focus a lot of attention on future biblical prophesy.  They rightly focus on preparation for whatever happens.  I am not complaining about my new found church.  I am trying to prepare you for what I am about to write.  You see, I have this annoying habit of putting together future scenarios in my head, stringing together facts and events and trying to fit them into biblical prophesy.  This, by the way, is one of the things I do that drives my wife nuts.  I am not saying that I am a prophet or have any greater insight than anyone reading this and, odds are, I am totally wrong, but it's nice having a blog where I can put down on paper (so to speak) what I speculate. 
One Final Warning:  you are about to enter into my version of the twilight zone,  read it at your own risk.

Since reading about the Antichrist in the Bible, I have an innate distrust of anybody in a leadership role who has charisma.  Of course, this makes it dificult for me to trust anyone in leadership since charisma is one of the prerequisites to being an effective leader.  Speculations on who the Antichrist is has been the game of Christians since Christ last left the earth.  I remember when a friend's mother thought it was Ronald Reagan when he was president.  Her reasoning was that his three names all contained six letters (his middle name was Wilson).  I considered it for about three minutes and than dismissed it because it was, after all, Ronald Reagan - the last good president we have had (I place him as one of the three greatest).  Letters in a name is one interpretation of the six-six six riddle; but another interpretation that I have heard is that it cannot equal seven ( the number of perfection)  no matter how many times six is repeated.  How this would apply is that the Antichrist would be a person portraying himself  and his agenda as perfect or close to perfect but never able to be perfect.  At this point, I think you, my very savvy readers, are catching on to what I'm saying.  Perhaps you have had simular thoughts. 

Okay enough beating around the bush.  I think President Obama might (emphasis on might) be the Antichrist.  Now that I have finally put that out to the public at large, I truly feel as if I'm up a tree in the center of crazy town.

Here's my reasoning:

A)  The charisma thing.  It amazes me how people are taken by his charm and how eagerly they look past all his flaws.  He has very little political experience.  The people he surrounds himself with are leftest to the extreme and yet a country that is supposedly centrist elected him to the highest office.

B)  Although he has such little experience, he comes off as arrogant.  In and of itself, arrogance would not be indicative of the Antichrist but it lends credence to my idea of the assumption of perfection.

C)  There has been some dispute about his having been born in this country.  Okay, I know there are many people born outside of America and they can't all be evil.  I wonder about the possibility ( and this is a stretch but, hey, it's my brain - you have no idea how scary it is to live in my brain) that Obama could have been born near the original location of Babylon.

D)  The UPC bar codes that are on many of the products we buy start with,  have in the middle of them, and end with the numbers six, six, six.  The mark of the beast is ready and could easily be used to ID the population at any time.  The reasoning for using this form of ID is in place.  It involves the control of money.  If we were to get rid of paper money and simply use debit cards, money would be harder for terrorists or other unsavory charactors to obtain.  Of course, cards can be stolen.  But if chips were to be planted in either the forearm or forehead, as referenced in The Book of Revelations, it would be nearly impossible to steal.

E)  Okay, this is a real stretch but bear with me.  The Mayan calender is scheduled to make its big change in 2012.  It's possible that the Mayan's are decendants of the Lamanite's.  Is it possible that the Mayan calender could be inspired by our God?  Truthfully, I don't know, so I leave it for your scrutiny.

Now that we have plumbed the depths of my addled psyche (now you can relate to my wife) let's step back and gain some perspective.  Every generation since Christianity was founded has thought that they were in the last days. It's quite possible that the seventh seal has been opened recently (earthquake's could be our clue), but even so, it could be up to a thousand years before Christ returns.

I have questions about Mormon beliefs regarding the last days.  Most Protestants believe in a rapture (the catching up of Christians) before the Tribulation.  It is speculated that the rapture creates the disruption that brings about the changes necessary for what is foretold in The Book of Revelations.  I know that we are to meet in Jackson County, MO where we will be protected from the tribulation period.  Is it possible that the calling up of the Saints and the rapture could both occur?          
       

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Let Freedom Ring...........................Loudly

Since I started this blog nearly a year ago, I have noticed a trend developing in the subject matter of my posts (ramblings, musings, out and out nonsense..... you decide).  I don't think I intended to focus so much attention on just the federal government.  Clearly there is plenty to write or complain about within the State of Colorado and there are human interest strories that I could give my two cents worth on.  I think there are a few reasons for my compulsion to cover national government events.  One:  I'm comfortable with the subject matter.  This is due in part to the fact that most of the media that catches my interest is of  the goings on in our nation's capital.  Two:  People are closer to the state and local governments, so I feel that they are more informed and don't need to hear me blather on about things that they know all to well.  I do not mean to say that you three (or am I up to four?) people who put up with my ramblings are uninformed.  Quite the opposite.  I  am grateful for those of you who regularly comment.  You are well informed and I love sharing with you my opinions.  And my wife is thrilled that I have an outlet so she doesn't have to constantly be harangued.  Three:  And most importantly,  I feel that the greatest threat to our  freedom comes from our own federal government. 

We, the American people, in our desire for security, are trading in our freedom - this monstrous health care bill is the biggest assault on civil liberties we have seen in our lifetimes.   The dumbing down of the populace has had a deleterious effect.  Civics classes are almost non-existent in the public schools and let's not even go into the drivel that is taught as history. 

Today we have the tools to turn this trend towards socialism around and, let me be clear that socialism is an anathema to freedom.  With the advent of the internet, we have unbelieveable access to information and it is information that is our greatest weapon against the enemies of our great nation. 

A well informed electorate is the cure for what ails us,  That and God is the only thing that will turn our nation back to it's former greatness. 

Thursday, March 4, 2010

A History Lesson - The Legacy of Argentina

The following is from an Email I recieved.  As far as I know, the history is correct.  Of course, the conclussions are debatable but the parrelels are frightening.  The author is unknown. 

A History Lesson....Cry for Me, Argentina


In the early 20th century, Argentina was one of the richest countries

in the World. While Great Britain 's maritime power and its far-flung

empire had propelled it to a dominant position among the World's

industrialized nations, only the United States challenged Argentina

for the position of the world's second-most powerful economy.

It was blessed with abundant agriculture, vast swaths of rich

farmland laced with navigable rivers and an accessible port system.

Its level of industrialization was higher than many European countries:

railroads, automobiles and telephones were commonplace.

In 1916, a new president was elected. Hipólito Irigoyen had formed

a party called The Radicals under the banner of "fundamental change"

with an appeal to the middle class.

Among Irigoyen's changes: mandatory pension insurance,

mandatory health insurance, and support for low-income

housing construction to stimulate the economy. Simply put,

the state assumed economic control of a vast swath of the

country's operations and began assessing new payroll taxes

to fund its efforts.

With an increasing flow of funds into these entitlement programs,

the government's payouts soon became overly generous.

Before long its outlays surpassed the value of the taxpayers' contributions.

Put simply, it quickly became under-funded, much like the United States'

Social Security and Medicare programs.

The death knell for the Argentine economy, however,

came with the election of Juan Perón. Perón had a fascist

and corporatist upbringing; he and his charismatic wife

aimed their populist rhetoric at the nation's rich.

This targeted group "swiftly expanded to cover most of the

propertied middle classes, who became an enemy to be

defeated and humiliated."

Under Perón, the size of government bureaucracies exploded

through massive programs of social spending and by

encouraging the growth of labor unions.

High taxes and economic mismanagement took their inevitable toll

even after Perón had been driven from office. But his populist rhetoric

and "contempt for economic realities" lived on. Argentina 's federal

government continued to spend far beyond its means.

Hyperinflation exploded in 1989, the final stage of a process characterized

by "industrial protectionism, redistribution of income based on

increased wages, and growing state intervention in the economy."

The Argentinean government's practice of printing money to pay off

its public debts had crushed the economy. Inflation hit 3000%,

reminiscent of the Weimar Republic . Food riots were rampant;

stores were looted; the country descended into chaos.

And by 1994, Argentina 's public pensions -- the equivalent of our

Social Security -- had imploded. The payroll tax had increased from 5% to 26%,

but it wasn't enough. In addition, Argentina had implemented a

value-added tax (VAT), new income taxes, a personal tax on wealth,

and additional revenues based upon the sale of public enterprises.

These crushed the private sector, further damaging the economy.

A government-controlled "privatization" effort to rescue senior's pensions

was attempted. But, by 2001, those funds had also been raided by the

government, the monies replaced by Argentina 's defaulted government bonds.

By 2002, "government fiscal irresponsibility induced a national

economic crisis as severe as America 's Great Depression."

In 1902, Argentina was one of the world's richest countries. Little more than a hundred years later,

it is a poverty-stricken country, struggling to meet its debt obligations amidst a drought.



We've seen this movie before. The Democrats' populist plans can't possibly work

because the government will bankrupt everything it touches. History teaches us that ObamaCare and

unfunded entitlement programs will be utter, complete disasters in the future.

Today's Democrats are guilty of more than stupidity;

they are enslaving future generations to poverty and misery.

And they will be long gone when it all implodes.

They will be as cold and dead as Juan Perón when the piper must ultimately be paid.

This is a very good perspective on where we are headed
unless we very quickly change that bunch of idiots in Washington !!!





--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Monday, February 22, 2010

Unconstitutional Charity?

In my last post, I asked what government programs could be considered unconstitutional; and even if they aren't, should we consider keeping them regardless?  The argument breaks down to how the constitution is viewed.  One side believes that our government was founded by men inspired to create an exceptional form of governance dedicated to maintaining freedom through the ages.  The other side views the constitution as a "living document " that changes with time to fit into an ever-changing society.  I believe that our nation's founders were men inspired of God and that the Constitution is sacrosanct and that the federal government should do only what is enumerated in this exceptional document.  Since the 1930s through today our government has spent phenomenal amounts of money to improve our society.  What is often overlooked is the power gained by Congress and presidents; they are essentially bribing the electorate with their own money.

  I recommend that everyone read the following link, an excerpt from the book The Life of Colonel David Crockett written by fellow congressman Edward S. Ellis.  Ellis tells of a bill in Congress that would pay money to the widow of a military veteran.  Davey Crockett stood in opposition of said bill and because of Crockett's speech the bill was voted down. When Ellis asked why Crockett would oppose this humanitarian gesture from Congress, he told of an encounter with one of his constituents who was going to vote against him in the next election because of Crockett's vote on an earlier bill (a bill that would pay to reconstruct a widow's house after a fire). The reason this constituent would be against this outpouring of good will is illuminating and instructional.

 In the speech that Crockett gave in opposition to the bill, he offered to pay a week's salary to start a fund for the widow.  No other congressman would put up their own money. It is far too easy to spend other people's money and without personal commitment, how can it be considered charity?

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Original Intent?

During the town hall meetings last year, it was asked of our representatives and sentators, "Where in the Federal Constitution is it written that the government should run our health care system?"  This is a valid question,  a just question,  a question that is overdue in the asking.  What begs to be asked is what other programs have been started and run by the Federal government that is not enumerated by the Constitution?  Arguably, Social Security,  Medicare,  Medicaid and hundreds of other programs, subsidies and mandates are not in the purview of the Constitution.  Would we be better off if these programs did not exist?  Are there programs that would best be run by the Fed that is not enumerated in the constitution?  I will share my viewpoint in my next post, but I wanted to hear from others first.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Sponsored by the Independence Institute


Rally @ the Capitol to Exempt Colorado from Obama Care!



When: January 19th @ Noon



Where: West steps, Capitol building



Why: To defend state's rights against Obama Care!



Speakers: Jon Caldara, President of the Independence Institute, Representative Cindy Acree, and more to be announced later!

...It's good to remember that the states created the federal government and not the other way around. As Obama Care becomes closer to reality, we in Colorado have the right to say "No." This is a chance for freedom loving people from across the state to come together and send the Colorado General assembly a simple message: Defend Colorado against Obama Care in the legislature, or we the people will do it at the ballot...



At the rally, we will be introducing language for a ballot initiative to amend the Colorado Constitution to excempt Colorado from Obama Care. We need to send a very strong and unified message to lawmakers that while we want them to say yes to defending Colorado, we are also ready, willing and able to move forward with the citizen initative process should the legislature fail us.