Friday, September 29, 2017

Exactly…What is the Establishment?

Exactly…What is the Establishment?
Let’s consider for a moment that you are Joe or Jane Doaks….you live in a rural area of the country and your neighbors convince you that you are the person they would like to see most to represent them in the government.
You are flattered, you consider it and give in, find some supporters, make convincing speeches about all of the good you are planning on doing, manage to get elected and soon find your way to the hallowed halls of the congress of the state you live in or to the Congress of the United States.
Welcome to the club.
Because, that’s exactly what it is.
A club. An industry.
In case you haven’t realized it, politics is an industry.
Just like the medical, legal, banking or any other type of business.
Look at the US congress.
You think all of these members sit around each day and study and contemplate how they should be voting on the legislation that will affect you and me?
Think again.
Look up this web site for something I bet you never knew anything about.
The members of this industry are required to drive in money to support their respective parties.
If they want to stay in office and retain the support of their party.
Looking at this report, you will see a time schedule that wants these members to spend four (4) hours per day bringing in donations.
This compares to the two (2) hours per day suggested for meeting or discussion with the folks they represent.
It soon becomes obvious that regardless of the political party, the first responsibility of the congress person is to get re-elected, and not to respond to the wishes and whims of the people who sent them to political office.
Yes, friends, what we have here is an industry.
They work together, party together, vacation together and even stay together long after they leave office as lobbyists.
And you better believe they look out for each other.
Not for us.
Not for you and me.
The notion that they care about the average citizen is absurd. They don’t.
They care about themselves.
Why do you think the current president is having so much trouble with his own party right now?
Because he is not one of them.
He did not pay his dues and come into politics like the rest of them.
He is, (shudder!!!) a businessman.
Heaven forbid he should be in office.
He is a threat to all of them. Not just the opposition party, but also to his own party.
No one expected him to win the election last November.
All of you ‘deplorables’ need to just calm down and go back to the mines and let us (the media, the entertainment industry, the political establishment) run things because you are too simple minded to think for yourselves, much less run a big old country like the United States.
Sometimes I think the national motto should be changed to ‘Do as we say, not as we do.’
Are there some honest politicians out there working for us?
I am sure there are, but they are few and far between.
They also do not last long when they fail to toe the party line.
Nope, they have their perks…wonderful retirements, unbelievable health care. Dispensations of the rules we have to live under on a daily basis.
It’s a great industry, isn’t it?
Try getting anyone of them to discuss the value of term limits.
Never happen.
Try to get any congress person to discuss cutting the budget and actually doing it.
Never happen.
In 1984, under the presidency of Ronald Reagan, a business man named Peter Grace actually produced a report called, the Grace Commission.
Take a look at this and see for yourself.
Mr. Grace estimated that fully 1/3 of all government revenue (taxes) was wasted due to inefficiency and mismanagement.
His report was shelved and none of his recommendations were put into effect.
One can only guess as to how many oxen were gored by his recommendation.
The problem, as I see it, is one of an apathetic voter base who does little or nothing to force their elected representatives to make any serious changes in how the political ‘industry’ operates.
Shame on us.
We need to get off our couches, give up the nachos and do something.
We have this great tool, called the internet.
Lots of good information, some good, some bad, but lots of it.
It takes time and effort to sort through it to find the truth.
Then we need to talk to people, our kids, our church, our neighbors.
If they have a different opinion, fine. Take time to look at their point and see if they are valid or if you are actually correct.
This is not a sprint for the salvation of this country.
It is a marathon.

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Death to Traitors!!!!

Death to Traitors!!!!

Many of you may be aware that I am a history buff (or nut, depending upon your viewpoint) and am finishing up my Masters in history at Sam Houston State. The other day I posted a long blog on how I felt about many of the current conditions taking place in this country. I received a number of very positive responses, so I thought I would press my luck and delve a little deeper into one issue which is on a lot of our minds.
In 1775, all the colonists (not slaves) of this country were British citizens. Subject to the authority of King George III.
If you went against his authority or against the British government, you could very well be deemed a ‘traitor’.
Do you know what the punishment was for being a traitor to the English Crown was at that time?
But not just an easy type of death. No, you were first hung by the neck until you were almost dead. Then you were laid on a bench or table (in public, I might add) and you were ‘drawn and quartered’. Your stomach was opened and your intestines ripped out and sometimes set on fire while you are still alive. Then to top it off, your arms and legs were tied to 4 horses and then the horses were whipped, which effectively tore your arms and legs off your body.
By this time, you would, of course, be dead.
Women were only burned at the stake for treason. Bags of gunpowder were often tied around their necks so that they would explode and kill the person instantly rather than suffer the flames.
So, isn’t this information uplifting?
Well, in July of 1776, 56 men signed what we call the Declaration of Independence in Philadelphia, which was the equivalent of affixing their signatures to their own death warrants.
These were not soldiers, Army Rangers, Navy Seals or paid mercenaries.
These were lawyers, shop keepers, merchants, printers and ordinary people, who had had enough of King George and his oppressive policies.
England was the greatest country in the world at this time, with the largest navy and armed forces.
They had colonies scattered throughout the world. Hence the saying of ‘The sun never sets upon the British Empire’.
England needed colonies to sustain itself. It is an island with few natural resources and they needed the colonies for timber, tobacco and other profitable exports. They also considered that if the colonies were allowed to rebel against them then others would follow.  
In the hot building known as ‘Independence Hall’ that July, the windows were kept closed to prevent British spies from overhearing of the forth coming plans for independence.
All of these men could have been arrested and executed for their signatures on that one piece of paper.
Well, we all know the story and the outcome of the war, don’t we?
Against all odds, George Washington was able to defeat the mighty British army and its navy and gain our independence.
I suggest you read the kind of obstacles which had to be overcome in order for this to occur.
All of this leads me to the point I am trying to make.
We have learned a lot since 1776, and we still have a lot more to learn, don’t we?
But, we must learn as a nation…..not as a divided entity fighting for different objectives.
We will never solve any of our major problems, unless we agree to work together as Americans, not as individuals. As one of those 56 men so aptly said… ‘United we stand, divided we fall.’
We owe allegiance to our country, and to our flag and to our national anthem.
If it had not been for the courage of those 56 men in Independence Hall in 1776, we would not have a national flag or a national anthem.
If it had not been for the many thousands of men and women who have given their lives and their health (even today) in the belief that America is worth fighting and yes, dying for….then that flag and that anthem would not be there.
You want to protest? I don’t blame you. So do I. But where and when is where you and I may disagree. A sporting event is a form of entertainment that I pay for, it is not the place for you to demonstrate your political viewpoints and spit in the face of all of those I have described above.
For those taking a knee in our football games, look at the back of your helmets.
There is an American flag stuck back there.
If you are so upset with our flag, my flag…then let me suggest this to you.
Rip that sucker off and in place of it, stick the flag of any nation in the world, any nation in the entire world that will pay you the kind of money your receive for a GAME, and let you voice your opinions freely and openly as you are allowed to do in this county.
All because of the guts, courage and fortitude of 56 men in a hot building 241 years ago.
Can’t think of any country whose flag you could stick back there in place of our American flag?
Funny, neither can I.

Monday, September 25, 2017

A Call to Arms

A Call to Arms….
A couple of days ago, on a Facebook post made by a friend of mine, some lady somewhere was discussing the upcoming Supreme Court debate over the baker who refused to bake a wedding cake for a same sex couple. Needless to say, I weighed in and was denounced almost immediately for my ‘narrow’ views which must mean I hate Jews, Blacks and Gay people. In short, I am a ‘racist’ and probably a ‘sexist’ as well.
Well, I am a 75 year old white male, Christian, heterosexual, who served in the Army and was a cop at one time. I hunt, fish and eat meat and yes, I wear cotton shorts and tee shirts. I feel sure my identity will probably make someone, somewhere mad.
Look, I don’t care if you are a Jew, Muslim, Black, Brown, Gay, Trans, or what ….just leave me alone. Do not attack me . I’ll listen to you, if you will also listen to me…just because we don’t agree, doesn’t mean we can’t get along with other. Ask anyone who has been married for a long time about this. OK?
If I had a bakery and someone wanted me to make a cake that went against my beliefs, then I would suggest you find another bakery.  There are plenty out there. I don’t go to a Jewish deli and get mad because I can’t get a ham sandwich any more than I would go to a Mosque and wear my shoes throughout the building. If I was a single man, I would not expect to find a new female date at a gay club. This is called respect for others. I respect them, please respect me. I don’t cram my beliefs down your throat, please do the same for me.
I do not care if you want to be in love with a chicken and want to be married, God bless you. Just don’t presume to think I think that cuddling with a Rhode Island Red would be all that great. More power to you, if that makes you happy. It doesn’t work for me.
If I want to say ‘Merry Christmas’ during December, then let me. I won’t stop you from celebrating whatever holidays you choose. If I want to pray before a ball game, then let me. You can as well, we need all the prayers we can get. If I want to stand and sing during the National Anthem, you better believe I will do so. If you want to sit it out or refuse to stand, then don’t get mad at me because I don’t choose to come to your event.
Currently we have this big thing going on about Hobby Lobby using cotton plants in their fall store displays. Come on, folks when will we stop? It’s a plant, not a symbol. You and I are not that different, you have probably been called names you don’t like…well, so have I. When it happens to me, I consider the source. If I open the door for some woman (or anyone for that matter) in my building, it doesn’t mean I think they are incapable of opening the door, they are probably in better shape than I am, it just means I am trying to help. Don’t look for fault and slights in every word, phrase and action….you will waste your entire life being angry over stuff that does not matter.
Are we divided in this country? Sure, we are, but yelling at each other and setting fires to property or destroying stores where they are needed is not the answer to our problems.
Have we made big mistakes in history? Of course we have, slavery was wrong, but it happened. The Holocaust was wrong but it happened. Who killed more during the Crusades or the Spanish Inquisitions? Who knows? We cannot do anything about past behavior, but we can sure do something about future behavior. Mankind has been dealing misery out to other humans since time began. Let’s face it, we (you and me) are not perfect, we make mistakes. We marry the wrong people, get the wrong jobs, invest poorly, get drunk, hurt people’s feelings, talk when we should be quiet and remain silent when we should speak up.
If I have ever done anything to hurt anyone reading this, please accept my heartfelt apology, I would not intentionally do so. I confess to being a mortal man who says and does things that may cause offense. I only ask that you allow me to explain what I meant and allow me to understand why you feel the way you do without us becoming combative. I find it hard to talk rationally to anyone who is beating me over the head with a club.
You can eat all the vegetables you want….good for you…..but let me eat what I want to..ok? You can protest all you want as well…good for you. Just don’t burn down my neighbors business that they worked hard for so many years.
You can rally and speak out against every form of social injustice that you can think of, it’s ok with me. But then let me come to a rally on your campus to hear someone from my side of the table who wants to speak and may have a different point of view that yours.
I did NOT like President Obama, but he was the President of our country and I respected his elected position. I never once suggested that he be assassinated or get killed, why can’t the current President get the same amount of respect? You can always vote him out of office in 3 years.
Am I a person who has experienced white privilege, I would have to say that I am.
Growing up in the segregated South in the 50’s and 60’s gave us opportunities that others did not have. We cannot undo the wrongs of the past, but we can fix and improve the future.
How? By working with people, talking to people and most of all helping people.
Not just people like ourselves, but people who need help, encouragement and the one thing that keeps all of us pressing forward….that is HOPE.
The human condition is not perfect, all of us…have done things we are either ashamed of or that we regret. What we can do is to be tolerant of others and listen to those voices we hear crying out and then we get up off the couch, turn off the television and our cell phones, unplug the computer and go out into the world and try to make an impact on one person at a time.
Taking a selfie at a rally is not the same as collecting school supplies for needy kids or making lunches for the homeless in our cities, is it? You must ( I must) do more than just talk about helping, we must put feet to our words if we want to see any change in our country and our relationships with each other.
God Bless all of you….