Monday, December 26, 2011

Absence of Religious Expression

I've been rather despondent about writing this particular blog post, due to content matter. This last holiday, it seemed there was little religious influence at all. It would seem in the name of tolerance, religious expression has become nearly mute and invisible, or a muddled pile of mishmash. Oh, there are trees and Santas, but few creches and even fewer menorahs. My daughter and I were trying to find just little decorative odds and ends and both of realized the retailers where we had found these small items just a few short years ago, this year, had very little even on the shelves. As I said, there was tinsel, wrap, tree decor, Santas and snowmen, but little else. Now, a few days after Christmas and the day following the last day of Hanukkah, I feel I have a better perspective, or at least can verbalize the one I do have. Although I kind of miss the days when every religious festival had a few items on the shelves, I was truly saddened to read so many posts and hear so many accounts of the celebration of MishMash. MishMash is like Christmas tree ornaments that look like Hanakkiahs and a Star of David tree topper sort of thing, and we certainly can't omit Santa on one knee at the manger . . . and the discussions over a Christmas Tree, which for the most part were anything but heartwarming. It does seem that regardless of what anyone is celebrating there is still lots and lots of materialism and consumerism. It seems the mishmash celebration is even more anti-beliefs than a purely secular celebration. I've come to feel that the celebration of MishMash seems to be offensive in the name of tolerance. Even young Mr. Tebow, more famous for his "down on one knee in the end zone" than his actual football skills, when asked about how he celebrated Christmas . . . Something to the effect of: Oh, I haven't even done that yet, we're waiting til after my season ends. How nice. Leave it to us, people, to find a way to ensure that we ourselves are blessed with gifts in celebration of our own opinion and of our own interpretation and self-expression of our faith or lack thereof; and weave just a bit of mockery into the festivities while we're at it!
And I, of course, like the others, believe my priorities are in order.

Glory to G-d in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men. New Testament

Monday, December 12, 2011

GOP Update

I just can't help but discuss this topic. I wish Rick Perry had been more well spoken in his statement, because he made a very good point about Newt Gingrich, and I think it bears discussion here at write-wing. I simply must address Newt's infidelity. Oh, I heard him tell us, "Now he's a 68 year old grandfather and we should judge him for who he is now." Well, I've met way too many of the GOP that are still judging way too many of us that did something stupid years ago, and let me add . . . Newt didn't just cheat on one wife, but on two, and he left each of them after discovering horrendous health issues. That's right, the man that pursued the impeachment of William Clinton for a tryst in the oval office, actually cheated on his first wife and asked for a divorce while she was recovering from cancer. Sounds like morals a little similar to John Edwards rather than the party of "family values." Now the next time around is a bit more poetic. He was still dead wrong, but the woman that broke up his first marriage was on the receiving end of the next round of infidelity. And to look at his present wife just really nauseates me that she can face America, knowing what she did, as if it's all okay now, because I think Newt became Catholic and the first two marriages have been annulled by the Pope. I think that's how it worked for one of the Kennedy's. See Newt just doesn't really seem to be all the GOP claims to be about. He just really falls short of the whole "Family Values High Road" and yet, I haven't heard any of the GOP refer to Newt as a RINO. I don't get it . . . I can only imagine what the Newt supporters would have to say if someone outside of the GOP abandoned an ill spouse, much less left that ill spouse for their adulterous partner. I know if I'd left an ill or disabled spouse, the GOP would still be casting stones. Now, I'm all about forgiveness, G-d knows I needed it and still do on occasion, but I do agree with Rick Perry on this issue. What good would an oath of office be from a guy that promised to love, honor, and cherish in sickness and in health? If a man will cheat on his wife, he'll cheat on his business partner, and I have no idea how he would treat those of us beneath the title of "partner."
And he saith unto them, Whosoever shall put away his wife, and marry another, committeth adultery against her. New Testament

Monday, December 05, 2011

Doing the Math

We, here in America, treat this entire economic calamity as if we are not a part of the problem, and in that perspective have also determined, someone else needs to come up with a solution. The old saying, "if you are not part of the solution, you are part of the problem . . ." Well, according to the going trend here in America, most of the citizenry appear to believe we are all simply victims of the error or lack of responsibility of someone else. That simply isn't true. I can prove mathematically why our economy is where it is and not likely to change, regardless of the smoke that's blown out of DC or Wall Street. The economy will not recover doing the same old thing and it cannot sustain what we are doing. After crunching the numbers, here's what I have and it has nothing to do with the top 1% or the 99, although there are percentages and fractions, it's why the 99% cannot continue to sustain itself or be sustained. I will say this, though. I think the 1% should be ashamed to collect any social program, since taxation is a requirement of citizenship! I've heard them defend it though! Now, back to the math. 1 in 9 Americans are over the age of 65, so that means 1 in 9, which is a little over 11% are eligible and most likely collecting Social Security with or without other pension options or inheritances. 1 in 5 Americans claim a disability. That is 19% of our population, but about half of them are over 65, so only about 10% of the would-be workforce are disabled . . . Keep in mind, though, expense wise, everyone on disability for two years under or over 65 is eligible for Medicare, which is an abyss of it's own. One in six Americans are on food stamps, which is about 15% of the population and one in 10 is unemployed, which is 10% of our nation's work force. We certainly cannot omit the percentage of Americans that do not even belong in the work force, unless Newt Gingrich gets his way, which are children and that figure is 26%. A number of the boomers have done such a fabulous job of teaching values that a vast portion of those between 18 and 25 are not working full time, either, but are wracking up student loans . . . America has incarcerated 1% of it's population and that cost is minimally $18,000 per year. Just when all this seems overwhelming, let's factor in the work force that also requires tax dollars. Eight percent of all jobs in America are government jobs, so that means even of the few that are working, some 12 million paychecks are provided by tax dollars. So, how does this add up or break down? I, personally, know of two situations in which women are in their 90's living on social security and doctor's appointments are basically their social life, and they have the benefit of family inheritances that include not one but two horizontal inheritances. By horizontal inheritances, I mean from siblings or contemporaries that were childless. Let's consider that for just a moment. The boomers remember grandparents or great grandparents that literally did not pay into a social security program at all. Not because they were dead beats or tax evaders, but rather the Social Security System did not exist until 1935. My great grandparents were in their 50's and their kids all raised. When social security was started, it was figured to be funded by the next generation. So when the first generation collectors turned 65, families were larger their kids were all paying in. In that next generation, though, someone got the idea they were paying in for themselves . . . And for those that had no children and lived to be 85 or more, the deficit was already established. The idea that someone is paying in for themselves does not make it a mathematical or economic fact! Now, fast forward to the present. I actually know families in which there are two generations already retired and doesn't every family have at least one person with some sort of disability? Let's not forget the incarceration rate in this country and the decline of employment . . . We've got basically, in a good economy, a work force of about 150M. Now figure, subsidizing nearly 10% of that figure, as well as another 10% of that figure has simply fallen off the stats, because unemployment is figured upon those collecting. Once someone has searched and collected until they are no longer eligible, they are no longer part of the statistics . . . If my math is anywhere close to right. Roughly speaking, we have about 35% of the country, supporting the other 65% and we're still not changing our ways. The real problem here, is the inheritances that are being given to nursing homes will no longer exist for the next generation, and the generation after that will inherit only debt.
The fact is: someone is going to have to bite the bullet, pay the taxes, pay FICA withholding, refrain from debt, and not collect any social benefits . . . and not be in the top 1%. Somebody simply has to take the high road!
. . . Y'hhsuwah said to him, What is your opinion, Simon? from whom do the kings of the earth get payment or tax? from their sons or from other people? And when he said, From other people, Y'hshuwah said to him, Then are the sons free. But, so that we may not be a cause of trouble to them, go to the sea, and let down a hook, and take the first fish which comes up; and in his mouth you will see a bit of money: take that, and give it to them for me and you. words of Messiah in the New Testament

Thursday, December 01, 2011

I Sense Another Political Shell Game

While the country divides over the Tea Party, wild GOP candidates, poverty and OWS, I read and hear of several situations, and see pictures that indicate we are heading to a place of being protected by force. I've been reading the opposing views of legislation that indicates some of our representatives believe even citizens should soon be abler to be detained without being charged. Of course, there have been some ways to already make that happen in our country up until now, but can you imagine what America could become if we could be detained without being charged? I remember when the USA Patriot Act was first passed, these thoughts came to me. It was the foundation to build a new America, a scary America, and now we see more folks are ready to act upon it. I have to admit, from what I've read, President Obama says he will Veto this piece of legislation if it passes, and that will make me pretty pleased with him on at least this one issue. The fact that our Congress is even passing this around to look at, tells me, we've already gone too far away from the Bill of Rights. I grew up hearing how scary the world was and really had very little freedom for a kid in that era, and let me tell you, once I tasted freedom, two things happened. First, it took me awhile to even be able to handle it. I made some mistakes, but second, I knew I'd never ever be able to live without freedom again. I still feel that way, all these years later. With the number of laws already on the books, we all know we're about 1/2 step away from being criminals anyway. I've heard pundits declare that OWS should be treated as a mob and handled like Kent State. That made me realize, we've had a taste in the past and clearly the possibility of martial law for years. I know martial law is coming, and it looks like it will be arriving wrapped in flag-draped "conservative" politics with the blessing of the self-declared moral high roaders.
. . . but when the wicked beareth rule, the people mourn. a Proverb of Holy Scripture

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