Lottsa Stories We each have to tell
Each of us has our story to tell. Though because of our numbers we can only share that story with a few. But because of our numbers we influence many others that hardly even know us, most not at all. Sometimes to be heard we band together to gain a louder and larger voice, mostly to assert ourselves about something we believe deeply about.
In the US voices can be heard on Gay Rights, Abortion, Health Care, Size of Government, Taxes, Poverty, Food Stamps. The Office of the Executive branch taking power, Protecting The Constitution, Immigration, Human Trafficking, even God and Merry Christmas.
Happy Holiday? Say what you want, each Holiday has a specific purpose. The move to swap out Merry Christmas with Happy Holiday is a case in point. New Years is a holiday celebrating the old year and bringing in the new, Christmas is about Christ not about commercialism or any Happy holiday.
If we multiply all of these disagreements by the number people who have strong opinions we get a situation where culture, tradition and belief is constantly embattled by people who believe their rights are being infringed upon. This either or mentality cause no end of conflict and consternation.
January 4, 2014 _ A New Year
New Year resolutions. Mine were simple. Spend more time enjoying my family. Cause the least amount of harm and help where ever I have the opportunity. Summon my creativity to the surface and spread the news that with all its problems and heart aches this is a life worth living, worth being greatful for and worth exploring to the end when ever or where ever it comes.
This New Year I was fortunate to receive an email with the following url -
Beautiful, full of the music of souls filled with creativity and the pain and joy of living. I listened and watched for quite a while. It is hard to describe the beauty of these artists as the music unfolds. Amazing Grace and Auld Lang Syne two of my most favorite. Please follow the url if you haven't already.
At church this last Sunday the pastor talked about culture. He defined culture whether in a Church, a business, a family, or any group of bonded people, as "this is the way we do things". How often have we left our old home, moved on to someplace new and when we arrived said to ourselves "I feel at home here". We get to choose what culture we support but for those we do not it is not as simple or even wise to disparage or try to intervene to change what we don't agree with. There are thousands of cultures, even within a city let alone a state or country. Better to look inward, live our culture and share our story as a positive message of joy and acceptance, honor individual dignity, share what can be shared, protect as needed, and acknowledge the worthiness of all.
All cultures can enter this Culture of Blessing. Acknowledgement of good work, of effort, of a person's value. Allow all the dignity of their efforts. Allow all, dignity. And even if we find ourselves entangled in a negative culture we can demonstrate that honoring the value and dignity of the individual raises all to a new and more rewarding level in our relationships.
Separation - Politics, Religion, and the Individual
We are in an embattled world. The freedom march is strong but so is the strangle hold many leaders have over their people. The beacon for the suppressed was and still is these United States, this Democracy. Yet, make no mistake, our Democracy is under siege. It boggles the mind that some of our leaders are part of this onslaught to convert this Democracy from a land of opportunity to a land of dependency. The basic flaw of socialism is that sooner or later you run out of other people's money. Not my quote but I like it, it fits the occasion. The basic flaw of Capitalism is that without any checks and balances Greed and self serving at the expense of others begins to dominate the landscape. Of course the same applies to Socialism. Humans separated from other humans lose their compassion for their fellow man, they get greedy and ultimately, magnificently stupid, with their own sense of power.
The democrats have the power at this moment in time. They are very busy transforming this country into this land of dependency. I have no doubt of the sincerity of some of them to "take care" of the people. But sincere does not equal intelligence. sincere does not preserve the roots of our Democracy, sincere can and does attempt to deal with our societal problems with well intentioned (sometimes) but most often misguided solutions.
To complicate our situation even further other leaders and cultures throughout the world conspire to tear down the castle of democracy we have built. It is dumb, it is dangerous, but it is real. We cannot police the world and yet we cannot ignore the threats to our way of life. Of course this is a multi-edged sword. Others also feel threatened as "their" way of life comes under attack. Wether this is from example or intervention on our part makes no difference. The perceived threat is real and the actions taken are also real. How to deal with this reality is a complicated dilemma. If we are weak economically we cannot afford the military expense, if we are weak politically we are neutralized on the world stage, if we are fighting amongst ourselves the vacuum we leave behind gets filled by all sorts of creatures and ideology. This is something we will have to deal with whether we want to or not, now or later.
As a general rule the Government does not and cannot substitute for private enterprise. It is not the engine of Capitalism. It is the check and balance system for the excesses of Capitalism. It also (in our Democracy) has its own checks and balances to prevent those who would from destroying from within what our founding fathers so carefully and bravely crafted. These checks and balances are being threatened as we speak. In order to expand this land of dependency our freedoms are being thoughtfully and strategically eroded. Only a relative few are courageously telling the American people how this erosion is taking place and who is behind this strategic initiative.
The Strategic Initiatives
The scandals we hear about, (IRS, NSA, Bengazi, DOJ, the Fed, Banks) are only the tip of the iceberg. When the DOJ joins with the Executive Branch of government to delay, stall, or ignore these scandals, fail to pursue, investigate or prosecute it is easy to see a strategic initiative being implemented that for all intents and purposes neutralizes the House of Representatives and the Senate. However, Harry Reid (the Senate Leader) is not an innocent bystander. He is cooperating with this initiative, he is helping it along (as are many or most of the Democrats currently in office). The impotence of the Republican party to effectively counter balance these initiatives can only be speculated on. I imagine that they are basing everything on the 2014 elections rather than go toe to toe at the present time. To say this is putting all your eggs in one basket is an understatement. If they can articulate a vision of what they stand for, if they can stop squabbling amongst themselves, if they can marshal the courage to fight effectively then this all eggs in one basket thing might work for them.
This huge, outrageous, disasterous, and deadly debt thing is not good. Not only have we burdened our children with a pretty serious problem, this amount of debt as it continues to grow can cripple our country. Ok this is over simplified but consider for a second. We print money to finance over spending (not a discussion item, we are way over spending). The rest of the world gets tired of our manipulation and dumps our debt and refuses to buy any more. Sure they take a hit but we have a bigger problem. We owe everyone but now no one will help us finance our over spending. Several things can happen: collapse of the dollar, loss of the dollar as the reserve currency of the world, serious recession even depression. Lots more poor people than there were before. The elderly take it on the chin, medicare crumbles, Social Security erodes and the ability to maintain our economy slides off the runway.
And the banks lose their free ride. What free ride is that you say? The banks borrow money from the government (rate A), They loan the money back out (rate B). They pocket the difference. Rate B minus rate A. Simple, lucrative, and keeps the banks alive and well. Kinda like a part of the AC Act. The insurance companies agree to take on more customers than they normally would. Ahhh, it doesn't work out (they start losing money, not enough signed up at the new rates). The government steps in and supplies the difference. The issurance companies get whole again, the taxpayer takes the beating.
Something is Wrong, things need fixing, and the government needs to reign itself in. Is this even possible. My personal view is that, yes it is possible, but the odds are against us at the moment. These things need to happen soon: Tax reform/simplification, IRS/NSA reform, Regulation/Agency reform, Spending/Budget reform. Through regulations the Agencies of the Government (IRS, NSA, EPA, FCC, FDA, and others) are nulifying the legislative branch of the government (house of Representatives, Senate). If there was ever a time to vote people out of office and bring new blood in to change the status quo, it is now, this year and in 2016.