Saturday, April 30, 2005

Some Customers . . .

My locksmith business is service oriented more than product oriented. Yes, I furnish a working key which is the reason these customers called in the first place. I provide the magic ingredient of knowing how to produce that working key. I ask questions to identify the exact wishes and needs to a particular job and then provide options to either meet or exceed their original request based on price and practicality.

Last week I got a call from a whole sale car agent. His accent led me to believe that he was from one of those countries over near Iraq, Iran or Syria. He’d gotten my name from the local Ford dealership who had recommended my services based on price and ability to complete the job. I was to make an ignition key for an old Ford Torino that he needed to take to auction. He was in a hurry and wanted me to leave the key on the driver side front wheel and that he would have my money in the office with a friend. I made the ignition key and threw in a trunk key at no extra charge, got paid and left my receipt.

That was a week ago; today he called and the first thing out of his mouth was a complaint. He had to have the car towed to auction because the car had no gas and I had not made a key for the locking gas cap. In the same breath he wanted to know how much I would charge to make a key for an ignition switch on a 1992 Acura because somebody had installed a new one and the key was different from the door key. I quoted him my wholesale price and you would have thought I was bargaining for his first born child. I let him go on for a few minutes, listening to how outrageous my price offer had been. I told him that I had no intention of arguing or lowering the price as I instructed him to call some other locksmith and promptly hung up on him.

I could have been just as insulting; but I hardly know the fellow. Maybe he can have the car air lifted back to the Middle East where it could serve as a suicide bomb delivery system with him as the driver; but he would still need to have the ignition key, that is unless he wanted to have the car left on the side of the road and wait for the right opportunity. In either case I would recommend he use the Acura; it’s a lot harder to find a Torino that still runs.

It has been over an hour and he just now called back, after finding that the price I quoted was indeed the most reasonable in town. I told him to take it somewhere else and hung up on him, again. Some customers are worth missing out on.

Friday, April 29, 2005

Just a stupid bird

I was driving on the freeway yesterday and watched as a couple of pigeons misjudged their path across the busy roadway and got caught up in the draft of an eighteen wheeler. I was far enough back to see that the lead pigeon was able to adjust and made it while the other was not as fortunate. I watched a puff of feathers and the bird arched lifelessly to the pavement. It only took a moment and my eye went back to the lead pigeon. Did I imagine that it had gone back to check on the other bird? I had the sickening feeling, if only for that moment, that maybe they were a pair and that now the one would be alone without its mate.

It’s a human trait we assign to other species that causes us grief when maybe there is none. I know that the scriptures teach that God knows each sparrow’s falling, and somehow the passing of a dumb pigeon, something that I had to witness, makes the loss more personal even if there was no “relationship” as we know it, between the two birds. I felt the other pigeon’s loneliness vicariously as it flew back across the freeway, back to where it had started only moments earlier.

In seconds I was down the road and continued on to my next locksmith job. I wonder how long the mourning period is for pigeons, or for humans who have witnessed such an event. I’m not saying that I felt bad ever since, just that in my quiet times since then I wondered how to put that “moment’s” feeling into words.

Thursday, April 28, 2005


The Italian journalist/hostage who had the car shot out from under her during her escape from Iraq, the one who claimed that the vehicle was only going 30mph as it approached the checkpoint, the woman who claimed to be targeted by US Troops; yea, that one. It turns out that the entire incident was captured on a fixed position satellite in real time. According to the data gathered the vehicle was going 60mph, not 30mph as claimed when it sped toward the check point. There entire incident took only seconds and the information backs up the statements made by the US Military’s. I guess it would be too much to ask for an apology from the Italians.

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Dumb Waiters

I was talking with Rainee this morning, an old friend of mine; not so much that we have known each other for such a long time, she’s 83 years old. I call her a couple of times a week to make sure she has things she needs or just to talk and put a smile on her face. Today Rainee was telling me about some man who gets home late at night to the apartment below hers and then puts on so much aftershave lotion as to make her wonder. “I could take it if he wanted to empty the trash…” she said, “… but that aftershave is just too much for me.” She reminded me of my grandmother and so I told her about the special relationship I had with that wonderful woman.

As a young boy I would be treated to a special weekend with my grandparents when they lived in New York City. I would take a train into the city, sleep over at their apartment and then go to the zoo, a show or whatever they had planned for my visit. At night I would sleep on the sofa and listen to the sounds of the city; trains as they moved along the tracks of the elevated a block or so away, traffic on the boulevard and things like that were all exciting sounds for a boy not familiar with them. There was one sound that startled me the first time, a loud banging and thumping that seemed to come from inside the wall. It would start up high and vanish into the lower levels only to be repeated half an hour or so later. “That’s the dumb waiter”, I was told; a fancy name for a garbage shoot. I found it amusing, so many people would empty their trash at all hours of the night, bouncing empty cans and bottles all the way to the trash bin in the basement. At one time it really had been a “dumb waiter”, a small platform where items could be placed and then hoisted up to a given floor where they could then be off loaded.

So, today I had a chance to revisit that old apartment in New York, look out the window into the night sky as trains stirred in the distance, cab drivers yelled at red lights that were taking too long to turn green and empty dog food cans that banged and thumped their way past my ears as they descended to oblivion in an ancient convenience known as a dumb waiter. I wonder what memories will be awakened the next time I call Rainee.


While listening to the talk shows Neil Boortz heard something that ran contrary to his own knowledge, “The Democrats have no agenda” Of course the statement was made relative to the fact that the Democrats are offering no solutions to current issues facing the country and are instead acting as obstructionists to any pro-active plan submitted by the Bush administration or the Republican majority.

“The Democrats most certain DO have an agenda. It's just not an agenda that they are anxious to promote. The Democratic agenda can be succinctly stated in just a few words: Make Americans ever more dependent on government, and thus dependent on Democrats.” , from Neil Boortz. No need to rewrite his article, Neil said it very well as he continued…

“The war on individuality goes hand-in-hand with the Democrats goal of increasing dependency on government. People who celebrate their individuality are people who are far more likely to become successful and independent. They follow their own dreams, not those of the masses; and in so doing they become more self sufficient and less dependent on government. In case you haven't noticed, Democrats aren't particularly fond of the idea of people becoming less dependent on government.”

“There's another nasty little problem with the concept of individuality ... at least its a problem for Democrats. When you recognize (dare I say celebrate?) the concept of the individual, you then have to recognize that individuals have rights. Individual rights, not group rights. This would include the individual right to life, liberty and property. Democrats haven't yet made any objections they might have to the right to life apparent, but they take a back seat to nobody on their lack of respect for concepts of individual liberty and property rights. The one property right most troublesome to Democrats? That would be the right an individual has to the fruits of his labors.”

To better understand the Democrats Agenda it might be better to identify the fact that Democrats are the Progressive Party now; so what’s a Progressive? We used to call them Socialists or even Communists; but that would spoil their image so we call them Progressive now. The agenda is the same as it has always been; all you have to do is look up Karl Marx on a Yahoo search and read the Communist Manifesto. In 1958, Cleon Skoussen, former FBI agent, revealed in his book, THE NAKED COMMUNIST, the long term goals of the communist agenda. This information is also contained not only in the Congressional Record (August 1963), but also in the Communist Manifesto itself.

I recommend taking a few minutes to do your reading assignment, no different than Neil Boortz does at the end of his column.

Saturday, April 23, 2005

Interview with “Insurgent”

According to reliable sources the following interview was recorded regarding attempts on the White House.

D.R. - By your own admission the plan was the White House all along, is that true?

Insurgent - The record is clear, The White House was the target and I failed.

D. R. – If you had the chance to do it again would you still go after the White House?

Insurgent - The White House and President Bush are the reason I will never rest.

D. R. - Have you anything you would like to say to the American people?

Insurgent - I really did throw my Vietnam War medals over the fence and now the Swift Boat people are on my list too. Have to run, doing a Heinz Ketchup commercial over at Martha’s Vineyard with Hanoi Jane.

D. R. - So, America, there you have it.

Insurgent - Dan, why are you holding that ice cream cone like it was a microphone and when are you going to cash that check we sent you?

D.R. - I wanted chocolate, oh, the money isn’t important. I hate George as much as you do. I’d have done it for free.

Friday, April 22, 2005

Last Day to Drop Classes at MIT

I saw where the students at MIT were dropping a piano, maybe two pianos, out of a window to mark the last day for dropping classes. Excuse me for mentioning the thought; does this come across as pure waste to anyone other than me? I can remember being mildly disturbed when I would see some crazed guitar player destroy his instrument at the conclusion of a song. The idea of shoving a piano over the side of a building just to watch it crash to the ground is beyond my ability to chalk such waste off as a foolish student prank. I wonder how many schools would jump at the chance to have a crappy practice piano donated to help a financially strapped music program. I have a better idea, let’s throw a few students out the window and watch them as they hit the ground. The other MIT students could time the event, make charts to see if gravitational fields are affected by loss of common sense, graduate students could write papers and compare whether freshmen bounce any differently than upper classmen and professors would have room in their classes to accommodate one or two replacements.

“So bye, bye miss American pie…drove my Chevy to the levy but the levy was dry... them good old boys were drinking whiskey and rye…the day… the music… died”

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Angels and Demons

I actually do listen to my children, not that I admit it all that often. My oldest loaned me a Dan Brown book to read last year, Angels and Demons. I told her that I had enjoyed The Da Vinci Code and that “one day” I would get around to it. A year went by and I had not opened the cover, letting it sit in front of my computer while I read all kinds of politically oriented material. I had a chance to visit my parents this past weekend and so my daughter made it clear that I had time to read while at the airport or on the plane and that I had no reason not to read Angels and Demons now.

It was a great read, fast and furious as the pace never let up. This sounds like a critics review and I plead guilty to that. If you get the chance, not that you have to read it while waiting at an airport or locked away at thirty thousand feet for a couple of hours at a time, Angels and Demons is worth the effort. For those who can’t resist, the last two words in the book, “have you?”, unless you want to count the credits.

Monday, April 18, 2005

Dr. Seuss Trees

My digital camera was on the fritz this past weekend when I went to visit my folks in Florida. I’m not sure what was wrong with it; all the same I wasn’t going to let the opportunity to take some pictures pass me by. I bought one of those “one time use” cameras at the local drug store. I haven’t “finished off” the roll, something that might get me kicked off the family tree.

There is an unwritten rule that has to do with putting a camera away for later use; not sure exactly how it’s worded since I’ve been digital for several years now. My dad knows that you can’t put the camera up if it has so many shots left on the roll as he takes pictures of the concrete driveway, the trash can or maybe the toothbrush holder so that he can remove the completed roll, take it to the drug store for processing and feel good that nothing was wasted. I think it has to do with the Great Depression mentality, “finish what’s on your plate” and saving aluminum foil on the odd chance that one day it might come in handy.

There are still 7 pictures that need to be exposed before I can have my name firmly established with those of my ancestors. I suppose I could find something worthy of the task. Finishing the roll is not that easy once you’ve already returned home from the trip for which the roll was purchased to begin with.

Did I mention that I took some pictures of the trees on my folks street that survived the hurricanes? I thought there was something wrong, not being able to put my finger on it right away. I studied their overall appearance; huge trunks that reflected a light grayish brown high into the air, large elbows turned and bent off in various directions with patches of green here and there blowing their bright green leaves. There was too much sky showing through where the canopy of leaves would normally have been lush, it now was stark, nearly naked compared to the memories I held. That was it; the hurricanes had stripped these once proud trees of their leaves and smaller branches. I was witnessing a come back, if you will, as the new growth sprang from wherever it could.

It reminded me of the trees in the Dr. Seuss books. Maybe Horton the Elephant would attempt to hatch his egg in a tree like that while waiting for the Maizee bird to come back from vacation. I hope the pictures come out, the ones where the wind caused those patches of leaves to form pom-poms that bobbed and swayed forming lion’s tail tassels in the surrealistic moment. The next time I go visit I imagine that those trees will have figured out a way to be restored to full foliage and grandeur; but for a short while they could only be characterized as imaginative products of a children’s story book.

I wonder if the mailman has come yet, I could take a picture of his truck pulling up, dropping off some letters or putting the red flag down; then I would only have 4 more to finish off the roll and I could go get them developed.

Friday, April 15, 2005

Taxes, Just a few thoughts . . .

It’s time to send off a packet to the IRS this afternoon. We did our local corporate and home property taxes earlier in the week. I read Neil Boortz and the articles he has today about sum up how I feel about taxes with a couple of his shot groupings, starting with a statement by former IRS commissioner T. Coleman Andrews. (well worth reading)

There is a good piece on
The Fair Tax and how it could replace the current income tax system. The government will always need substantial sums of money to operate; it’s only a question of who or how to obtain those funds. The second most obvious part of government is who or how to allocate those funds. Until we start pulling in the reigns on those spenders we keep electing then I don’t see much hope for survival. The idea that every American deserves this that or the other so that they won’t feel neglected or “used” is a gimmick. Socialism is the thought process of defeatism which assigns guilt to those who do well based on the false assumption that wealth is created at the expense of others and that the only way to have more is to steal it rather than work harder or smarter.

One subject that continues to be avoided is the issue of property tax as a means of supporting government while also acting as a confiscatory means of property redistribution. The issue of Eminent Domain is important, that is true; however, property taxes are a subtle means of guaranteeing that eventually all property will be owned by the government entity in charge of such taxation policy. Until property taxes are outlawed there is no such thing as true private ownership. Public School systems have entrenched themselves as a cancer on our society through the property taxes imposed to facilitate their never ending needs. It would be a wake up call indeed if one morning the tax base was pulled out from under the public schools and they were told that they were no longer needed or wanted; that we had found other viable sources to educate our next generation. Our local governments need to be pulled away from the property tax trough also. The “wants” have taken the place of “needs” and society had become spoiled to things it could do without.

The missing link not mentioned yet would be Social Security Taxes, which are no different than any other income tax. I keep hearing about how this that or the other should be fixed or left alone or it will be bankrupt in so many years. The government is not going to stop paying for “entitlement programs” that are currently associated with Social Security and so I would dissolve the Social Security program entirely. It’s all a big lie to begin with. It never was a retirement fund and it certainly is not an investment. It’s a welfare program to assist those who didn’t plan ahead or who’s funds for their senior years were insufficient; can you say “entitlement”. Medicare and the Prescription Drug Program are extensions of this same mentality of “I’m Entitled because I paid into the system”. Horse Patootie, isn’t that the line used by Col. Potter in MASH, the television show?

President Bush would have been hanged in effigy, tarred and feathered and then drawn and quartered had he presented anything so cold hearted as doing away with Social Security; look what happened when he suggested a minor adjustment. Putting a magnifying glass over a lie is enough to make congress twitch much less expose a long held lie such as Social Security is the peoples program.

The socialist segment of our society will all have heart failure at the mention of doing away with the sacred cow of the masses. This country must wake up and figure out that Social Security is just a form of income tax that goes directly into the general tax fund. The money that is spent to pay for entitlements, that include what appears to be small retirement accounts for those who paid in ( but in truth are not), along with many other entitlements to those who simply fall under the current focus goals of the program could as easily be entitlements under any number of government sponsored wealth redistribution programs. I cannot stress enough my disgust at such outright theft under the guise of helping others.

It’s time to stop the madness of enslaving ourselves to these intrusive tax programs. The income that is now stolen up front by our own government will be returned to it’s rightful owner, the wage earner, for either expenditure or investment based entirely on his or her discretion and ability to plan for future retirement; which is as it should be. Those who can’t understand how this “fair tax” system works need to go live in Europe or some other socialist country where their citizens are already enslaved by total wealth distribution.

In summary, in case you are one of those who skipped the middle and went straight to the end, do away with the IRS and replace it with a Fair Tax based entirely on spending habits, do away with property tax to restore the concept of private ownership and last but not least do away with Social Security since it’s only a variation of the income tax. Okay, get out your pies and milk shakes to throw at me. That’s my heartless way of doing away with the socialist designed self enslavement system.

Thursday, April 14, 2005

Good by God, I’m Going to Florida

I like the old Mark Twain line, the one where it was hard to tell where the emphasis was being placed. “Good by God, I’m going to Missouri” could mean that he was ecstatic at the opportunity of going to Missouri or, on the other hand it could have meant a great trepidation as he looked upon Missouri as a place where even God wouldn’t have gone.

This weekend I got some reasonable air fare from Houston to West Palm Beach; just a short drive from there so I can visit with my parents. I can’t be gone long, being in business for myself and being a “one horse operation” makes extended trips impractical. I will work half a day Saturday and catch a non-stop flight that gets me to Florida a couple of hours later. I have a rent car waiting that will take me the rest of the way, about an hour or so; putting me in their driveway around 10pm. I will have that evening to hug and kiss, catch up and share emotions generally before passing out on the sofa. Sunday is a total visit day and then around 3am I will drive back to catch another plane so that I will be back bright and early Monday available for work.

I have no living will, no sense in wasting that money. I wanted to let everyone know my feelings on the matter. Life is to be lived until every last ounce of energy has been exhausted. “Endure to the end”, does not include suicide or euthanasia as a means of avoiding an unpleasant experience.

I was listening to a motivational tape about a fellow who was “sitting on a fence” during a job interview. He couldn’t commit and kept coming up with scenario excuses for holding back on that commitment. “I could be driving those extra miles to work here, get into a wreck, break my leg and then where would I be?” The interviewer had grown tired of the babbling and proposed a variation of the lame “possibilities”. “Okay, so you have the wreck; only instead of breaking your leg, let’s say your neck gets broken and you end up a paraplegic with no hope of ever working again, never doing anything remotely similar to your current life style. So What?!” The interviewee got rankled for having been made fun of and stormed out.

The point is that there are no guarantees with this life we have been given. Today is great, tomorrow may not be so great. Life is to be cherished in all its forms. I choose life. If I have to lay in a coma, read to me, play all of my music; remember to play it loud because I doubt if they put hearing aids on comatose patients. Remember, I would be a patient, not a "soon to expire body" so I expect to be placed in either a hospital, a rehabilitation center or a nursing facility; not a hospice where I can await my “final glory”. If some judge or doctor claims that it is hopeless so just "pull the plug", fire the doctor and shoot the judge. Use my old police service revolver; that would make good news copy for the press corp.

So, not being one who enjoys the sensation of flying; merely the aspect of time management, I say, “Good by God, I’m going to Florida.”

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Personality Check

I read a short blog by Catscape where some yo-yo wanted to analyze President Bush based on the songs that may or may not be on his ipod. It got me wondering what kind of institute the quacks would place me in after reviewing my library of songs. Heck, why limit it to the ipod; there’s my library of movies and I even have some of those things called books. What kind of personality would emerge on the Freudian scale of fruit cake to nuts?

I’ve been glancing back and forth between this document and the ipod list of albums and artists. I have Patsy Cline next to The Mamas and Papas, Enya’s A day without rain next to the London Philharmonic’s Mozart Festival, Santana’s Abraxas next to Canadian Brass playing Ain’t Misbehaving. The list goes on; Eric Clapton next to Eric Kyle and the Beads. So who the heck are Eric Kyle and the Beads; a friend of mine from way back has a band on the side and they make music. They may not be on the top ten list but they are no different than writers who’re trying to get published. I have Mendelssohn in between Harry Chapin, Blood Sweat and Tears followed by Bob Dylan, the Byrds, ELO and Maureen McGovern with all their greatest hits. How about a little Mr. Tambourine Man mixed with Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto? That ought to shake things up.

I saw a neat over priced special offer on Bainbridge’s site where he had linked to the
Definitive Heinlein. I suppose out of courtesy I should have referred to him as Professor Bainbridge; what the heck, he spent a lot of time and effort to obtain that PhD. My uncle has a PhD in English and I still call him Uncle Larry, so on second thought, leave it alone. Uncle Larry added an “e” to the end of his last name; maybe he was trying to avoid any association with the rest of us nut cases; but he prefers being called “Doctor Sterne” or Lawrence too. People are always asking if Howard is related and I have to wonder about that. I told Lucy that if I had lots of extra money I’d think about purchasing the complete collector’s set of Heinlein; but that $2500 was a little steep for duplicating things I already have in paperback, even if it comes in a hardback with fancy artwork. Maybe we should leave that Pandora’s Box alone, let Laura Croft do her fancy spandex thing and just enjoy the music. I turned on the Swan Lake so that I could write with style; is it helping? Oh, well, it was worth a try. I think Scott Joplin and Rachmaninoff would work well together; kind of a disjointed rhythm that goes nuclear at times, that about suits me. By the way, I changed from Swan Lake to the “Rach 3” with David Helfgott at the piano. That’s a neat idea, I’ll have to ask someone who knows music composition if Rachmaninoff could be mixed directly with Joplin; that would be interesting to hear.

Have I frightened anyone yet; didn’t think so, you bunch of psycho’s. I’ve read the profiles on most of the folks who check on my blog from time to time; you may end up being my cell mates, correct that to read, “fellow roommates” there at Happy Valley.

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Republican Party Census Document

I got a fancy fill in the blank form today in the mail from the RNC. I thought there must be a catch since I do not send gobs of money to those folks; I was right, it was a cleverly disguised fund raising tool. Most of the back of that form had to do with how much I intended to donate to their cause and how I intended to pay; leaving spaces for my Visa, Master Card or American Express credit card information. Rather than list each and every dumb question I will give only a couple.

Do you support President Bush’s initiatives to promote the safety and security of all Americans? Yes No Undecided

Do you support President Bush’s pro-growth policies to create more jobs and improve the economy? Yes No Undecided

The rest of the questions read about the same. I was tempted to throw it in the trash until I found one line on the back that explained that the RNC was paying 11 dollars per form to have this tabulated; which they wanted to be part of my voluntary donation on the back. I decided to include my own list, not that I expect the RNC to adjust the mass mailing forms based on my opinions; just another opinion that floats out over the waters, not much different than the rest of my blogs. Here is that letter:

April 12, 2005

Republican National Committee
310 First Street SE
PO Box 96994
Washington, DC 20077-7556


I filled out your questionnaire that came in the mail; however, there were some issues not on the form or worded in such a way as to make the answers obvious. Please read on.

The purpose of the Federal Government is to protect the citizens; that is its primary responsibility. There are many who would, if they had their way, destroy this nation. I leave it to the President to do all that is necessary to accomplish the safety and security of the nation.

I do not support the “window dressing” that is being used in our airports and called security. It would not stop a serious threat and only acts to inconvenience those who use these facilities on a regular basis. The lack of common sense approach to screening potential terrorists is reprehensible. The actions of the ACLU, high on my list of those who would destroy this nation, have made it nearly impossible to properly screen a particular segment of the world’s known terrorist producing peoples. Racial Profiling should be instituted so that every single person of Middle Eastern appearance should be screened. Those who don’t like being subject to a reasonable search of baggage and person based on Racial Profiling should either not travel or they should get used to the scrutiny since the origin of terrorism seems to come from that area of the world. Airports security personnel show no common sense in almost every aspect that is visible to the public.

This was a bad week to ask about economic issues; I have been filling in forms for local and federal taxes. The government’s idea of “tax cuts” defies logic; continued taxes at the same rate rather than raising that rate is not a tax cut. I am disappointed with the current administrations spending habits. None of the questions in the survey came close to the issues that I would ask. I do not believe that it is ever the government’s money to give away to begin with; it belongs to the taxpayers. With that understanding I am more than a little incensed when tax money is used as handouts; regardless of the well intentioned motives. The government had no business “rewarding” the victims of 9/11 with cash payouts. The government had no business donating tax money to the Tsunami Relief Effort. The government has forgotten who’s money they are giving away. This is not to say that there was not a need; just that such donations are to be done privately and by those who rightfully have the control of those funds, individuals or companies. I did not include corporations in that mix because those entities fall under the umbrella, similar to that of government, of being responsible to shareholders and therefore do not have the privilege of being magnanimous with other people’s money either.

I do support the President on making schools more accountable; however, I do not see that as a real attainable goal. The public school system has, in my opinion, failed; to include the higher levels of social indoctrination we used to call universities and colleges.
I am forced to pay for a system that puts into play positions that are radically at odds with the America I was taught about. The socialist/communist agenda is in full operation and in my opinion the only way to slay that dragon is to cut its head off and make sure it dies. I am in favor of total dissolution of the public schools and have them replaced with private schools or home schooling. No, I’m not on powerful drugs at this time. This would do away with property taxes and other forms of taxes that are earmarked for schools. Those who desire an education will figure out a way, those who are just showing up will still be able to get menial low end paying jobs; in other words, there will be no difference in the long run.

The fact that President Bush and the RNC have to ask whether or not religious or charitable groups should be able to do more is a result of the socialist/communist agenda that is already in place to destroy this nation; starting with the foundation. If these “folks” have their way any and all reference to faith will be burnished from our history; making a clear path to a country where the State takes the place of Deity. Abortion is only one of the tools which the godless have used to pervert our society and so these so called “partial birth abortions” are the next step towards legalized euthanasia. The social changes which would have us believe that there is no harm in “civil unions” being compared on equal footing with the sanctity of marriage is yet another of the perversions being foisted upon this country.

I cannot place the issue of Social Security in that same bracket since I see that program as simply another tax that goes directly into the general fund. I am of the opinion that it is not, nor has it ever been a retirement program. Those who have fallen for that particular lie must have attended the public school system and believed the clap trap being published there. Social Security is part of the “Welfare State of Mind” that has to exist in order for the socialist/communist agenda to take over a capitalist economic system. Medicare and the “entitlement programs” are an extension of the same philosophy.

There is a danger in placing our nation’s troops under the direction of the UN because by doing so they are no longer serving the expressed interests of the United States of America. The “World Order Folks” would have us loose our sovereignty to the UN; which is nothing more than a social club of second RATers and thugs. It would be in the best interests of the United States of America to withdraw any and all support from that organization. Those monies currently being thrown down that bottomless pit could be used toward our own defense; which we have been so graciously donating to those truly in need, Iraq, Afghanistan and Bosnia to start with on a seemingly endless list.

Those were the highlighted issues with their respective “Yes”, “No” or “Undecided” fill in the blank answers. Here are some of the issues that I would have wanted to see as priorities of the RNC; working under the delusion that my opinion might be shared and acted upon by our current or future elected officials.

The Executive and Legislative Branches of government have had to take a back seat to the Activist Judiciary from the lowest judges to the Supreme Court. The rule by majority has been supplanted by a very small minority, those being judges who have decided that they know better than the electorate. This is one of the foundations that has been steadily eroding for the past 60 years, more so in the past 40 years. If left unchecked the end result will be total tyranny judiciary decision rather than the voice of the people.

Finally on this list of social issues, there should have been a question asking whether or not the United States of America believes that life is still one of those Inalienable Rights guaranteed to each and every one of us by our Creator. It was so important to the founders of our nation that it was a part of the first document to define us as a people when we declared our independence from another nation. The recent history of our nation would tend to indicate that Life is not as important; at least not when abortion, euthanasia and the “right to die” segment of our society are in control.

Now, since you took all that effort to ask me for my opinion, let’s see if this was only “window dressing” or if you really did want to hear from me. The old saying, “Fish or cut bait” might be in order.


T. Fraser Stern

What Kind of Idoit…

Today’s gripe session is dedicated to the folks who set up the schedule for Major League baseball. I haven’t looked at the entire season; not sure I could handle that all at one time. Sunday the Astros had a day game in Houston and then had to get on a plane for another day game with the Mets up in New York City on Monday. That would not have been so glaring had the game been a night game. The real issue comes up when there is a hole on Tuesday; no game at all, followed by a game on Wednesday. Can someone tell me the reasoning behind that? What, did they want to schedule some time on the Circle Line or a trip to the Bronx Zoo?

This may be a jump in deduction; maybe the folks who set up the freeway merges are related to the game schedulers. The freeway design folks had to have an engineering degree; tell me I’m right here. So why is it that there are four lanes of traffic moving at 60mph having to negotiate a chance at one lane in the middle of a curve? It makes almost as much sense as having the Astros catch a plane for a game that should have been a day later. I don’t think you have to have a degree in anything to schedule a ball game, not that it’s helped our engineers design freeways. Maybe they both used the “It’s five o’clock and Friday; just put it over there somewhere so we can get the heck out of here.”

Sunday, April 10, 2005

Soda Boy and Popcorn Girl at the Senior Prom in 1968. The picture has been repaired about as much as could be done short of getting into a time machine and reshooting it. See story below. Posted by Hello

Best Job I Ever Had

Larry Dierker was doing the “color” during today’s Astro’s game against the Reds. He brought up an interview he'd done years earlier for his Sunday baseball column in the newspaper. He mentioned the name of a ballplayer, one I had never heard of, or for that matter, neither had the other announcer. I couldn’t tell you his name now and I heard it only fifteen minutes ago. The ball player had been up to the “bigs” for a “cup of coffee” one year. In one Saturday game he’d done very well, a home run and several RBI’s. Dierker asked him, “Was that your best game ever?”, commenting on that brief major league stint from some twenty years earlier in his youth.

“No, the best game I ever had was in Alabama when I was in Triple A”. (I’m winging it here on details because up until this point it was just someone talking in the background while I was paying attention to the Astro’s game.) “There was a pop fly hit near the 1st base line that went into the stands where I caught it. I landed in the first row on top of a young lady. I was worried that she might have been injured and asked her a couple more times; but she said she was alright. The next inning I went over and asked her again, still worried that she might have been hurt. Then in the next inning I asked her out on a date and a little later on we got married.”

The best job I ever had wasn’t the twenty years with the Houston Police Department or the twenty five plus years I’ve been a locksmith. Those don’t match up, not even close to the job I had working in the commissaries of the Astrodome when I was a kid in high school. I was the “soda boy”; filling up tray upon tray of soda for the vendors to take out into the crowds. It was there that I met my “popcorn girl”, Lucy. She often worried that those lousy looking uniforms didn’t help with her looks and wondered what I saw in her.

The supervisors of our commissary wanted to play match makers and got a couple of tickets to a movie for us. We had some ice cream at an old Rexall drug store downtown, the kind that may not exist anywhere now. It had a small dinette on one side where we could sit and talk before the movie. I remember getting half way down the block towards the movie house when it dawned on me that I’d forgotten to pay for the ice cream. You might say I was distracted at the time, running back to the drug store so they wouldn’t think I was avoiding payment.

The old movie house had the “art deco” look to it; fancy carpet, chandeliers and there was some kind of elaborate wood work trim to picture frame the viewing screen. It was an old Doris Day movie, “Capri”, not much of a movie as I recall. The movie house has long been torn down and replaced. “Capri” came on the television last year and Lucy and I sat there laughing at how goofy most of it came off; holding hands as we sat on the sofa together. Now that I think of it, “Capri” may have been the best movie I ever saw, never said it was well made; just the best movie I ever went to. Come July it will have been 34 years we’ve been married; that and the 4 years we dated off and on before that make her my life long companion.

Friday, April 08, 2005

Who is Mae Magouirk?

The first time I heard or read the name Mae Magouirk was the other day on a blogsite, Civilization Calls. I then read it in Wide Right Turns. This morning I read a blog by Mover Mike and decided that it was time to dig a little deeper to find out what was so important about Mae Magouirk. In case you are wondering, this is a blog about Mae Magouirk. (Remember the song, “Alice’s Restaurant”? Repeating something so that there can be no doubt is effective)

“Two weeks ago, Magouirk's aorta had a dissection, and she was hospitalized in the local LaGrange Hospital. Her aortic problem was determined to be severe, and she was admitted to the intensive care unit. At the time of her admission she was lucid and had never been diagnosed with dementia.

Claiming that she held Magouirk's power of attorney, Gaddy had her transferred to Hospice-LaGrange, a 16-bed unit owned by the same family that owns the hospital. Once at the hospice, Gaddy stated that she did not want her grandmother fed or given water. “
"Grandmama is old and I think it is time she went home to Jesus," Gaddy told Magouirk's brother and nephew, McLeod and Ken Mullinax.”

I believe that Beth Gaddy is, at this time, guilty of Attempted Murder of Mae Magouirk. It makes no difference that she wants dear old grandma to be with Jesus. Naturally if she had said, “Put the old bat down, she’s taking up too much of my valuable time!”, or “Just shoot the old bag full of drugs; just so I don’t have to hear her nagging me anymore.”; things like that might upset the community. “How much extra would it cost to speed the process up, I scheduled a tennis match for 3:45pm?”, no, that’s way too callous, how about, “This wouldn’t be necessary if the damned Aorta had blown out properly.”

While we’re in the mood for filing charges; let’s not leave out the good folks at Hospice La Grange who are accomplices in the Attempted Murder of Mae Magouirk. It would be hard for them to refute the fact that they knew that Mae Magouirk did not fit the requirements for admission to their facility. Mae Magouirk was not “terminal”, at least not until Hospice La Grange got a hold of her and began starving her to death. Did I mention that the same hospital that had Mae Magouirk as a patient also ownes Hospice La Grange?

Oh, I almost forgot, Judge Donald W. Boyd, of the Troup County Georgia Probate Court, who has willingly acted against Mae Magouirk by providing a “legal” means of committing murder by providing guardianship rights to Beth Gaddy. Beth Gaddy had already made it clear that she has no intention of following the desires or the written living will of Mae Magouirk and so Judge Donald W. Boyd is an accomplice up to his black robe in what can only be called Attempted Murder at this time. Should Mae Magouirk die as a result of the intentional depravation of liquids and nourishment then they would have to be charged with Murder.

In case you forgot that everything up until this point has been about Mae Magouirk; from here on this blog is about everyone who breaths air, swallows water and depends on food each day to make it to the next day. I can’t think of how to say it better than the way Ron Panzer was quoted.

Ron Panzer, president and founder of Hospice Patients Alliance, a patients' rights advocacy group based in Michigan, told WND that what is happening to Magouirk is not at all unusual.

"This is happening in hospices all over the country," he said. "Patients who are not dying – are not terminal – are admitted [to hospice] and the hospice will say they are terminally ill even if they're not. There are thousands of cases like this. Patients are given morphine and ativan to sedate them. If feeding is withheld, they die within 10 days to two weeks. It's really just a form of euthanasia."

What was the line from the Star Wars movie where Yoda is working to teach young Skywalker how to confront the Dark Side? Skywalker was showing off his bravado and claimed that he wasn’t afraid. Yoda replied, “You will be!” If you haven’t figured it out yet, the justice system that was originally put in place to protect individual rights has been perverted beyond recognition. If you are not afraid of what the courts are doing, right this very minute, then very soon, “You will be!”

Here are the “Final” Credits; just like in the movies, even better, some have links.

Beth Gaddy, granddaughter of Mae Magouirk.

Gaddy went before Troup County, Ga., Probate Court Judge Donald W. Boyd and obtained an emergency guardianship over her grandmother. (Let's all e-mail the good judge) West Georgia Hospice / Hospice LaGrange permalink to Mover Mike's blog permalink to World Net Daily's article, By Sarah Foster

Thursday, April 07, 2005

Daylight Savings Time

The idea of short sheeting the bed has long held as a good practical joke for freshmen dorm pranks. After about the third time around it tends to lose its edge. I see where the important topic of Daylight Savings has taken a small spotlight in Congress; as if Congress has somehow figured out a way to actually add one hour of daylight and pulled a fast one on our Creator’s twenty four hour period. Let’s just make it Daylight Savings all year long and that way I won’t have to take my car in to have the clock adjusted twice a year.

Maybe after Congress figures out how to set the clocks they can figure out how to spend less than they take in; now that would be worth getting up early for. Then they could figure out a way to . . .

Baseball Glove Vase was not enough see story below. Posted by Hello

What Went Wrong?

When my first child was born I went to the local florist shop and bought a small bouquet of flowers to place in the room for her mother to look at until being released from the hospital. Lucy smiled when she noticed that the “vase” looked remarkably like a baseball glove. I was simply making sure that the child would have every opportunity, that she would be exposed to a proper environment from the get go.

When Bonnie was serving a mission from the Church I would send her at least one letter each week to let her know that I was thinking of her; making sure to include the latest baseball news on the Astros. I know that without those tidbits she would be unprepared to face the challenges of life; things like Bagwell getting his hand broken by a wild pitch, keeping her informed of the team standings and even including clippings from the sports pages. I don’t think she appreciated my efforts to lead her to a greater understanding of the importance of baseball in our very existence. Sure, the Gospel is important; but incomplete with out a working knowledge of baseball.

I was watching an ESPN advertisement a few minutes ago. A little girl was standing in front of her class doing a presentation of her science project. On the wall behind her she had an assortment of pictures, all on baseball. She was explaining about the importance of middle relievers and how the game hinges on the specialty pitcher’s role in the game of baseball. It was the kind of thing that any father would have been proud of. Then I thought of how Bonnie went upstairs to watch a DVD the other night before the first pitch was even thrown to start the season. My heart was broken for having failed as a father; I had failed to teach the sacred nature of opening day and would someday have to face that Great Umpire to explain the balk.

Bonnie doesn’t know the ERA of Roger Clemens. She hasn’t got a clue as to what pitch the batter is looking for when the count is 3 -1, or the simplest thing like the infield fly rule. With everything I’ve tried to pass along; letting her listen the Dodger games late at night from the West Coast while she was sleeping, setting the presets on her car radio to KPRC “Home of the Astros” and letting her know who was traded during the off season. Maybe I should purchase those little baseball towels and hang them in the bathroom along with a clock that plays “Take me out to the ball game”, with Harry doing his, “A one, A two, A Three” at Three o’clock; maybe that will help. Gotta’ run, time for the pre-game show, catch up with this later.

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Baseball season blog

The Astros split their first two games of the season with St. Luis to get things rolling in 2005. We get to watch most of their games; except half of them are on a really poor quality picture, our local station 52. The good part is that the other games are on FoxSW which is why everyone should have a big screen HDTV; awesome. I listened to spring training games on the radio; now it’s the real deal and I catch it any way I can, radio when I am working and television when I can sit for a while. It was a long winter waiting for baseball to get going; worth the wait.

Business has been good this week and so I haven’t had much time to sit around and blog. With any luck I will stay busy for a while and only have time to comment on everyone else’s blogs; that would be terrible. “Please don’t throw me in the briar patch”, is that permitted or has that been scratched from the PC list?

Sunday, April 03, 2005

Here's a link to something Short and Sweet ; a couple of chapters of Pecaw's Gift I posted. Posted by Hello

Saturday, April 02, 2005

I’d Like My Pen Back

I finished a lock job a little while ago. I had to make keys for a 1995 S-10 Blazer for one of my regular customers. The code number on file with GM had been incorrectly stored and so the key that my friend had cut at the local parts counter didn’t work either. I’m not saying that my friend is cheap, but I think he may well be a kindred spirit.

When it got time to complete the transaction he borrowed my pen to write the check. He then walked over to test the key before handing me the check or my pen. When he was sure the key functioned he joked that the motor wouldn’t turn over; the fact there was no battery hooked up had anything to do with that. He then handed me the check and started to walk away. I reminded him that he had kept my pen, a nice Cross gold tipped pen.

Way back when, I observed a red light violation and pulled the car over. The driver was wearing a three piece business suit and made it a point to express his opinion that it was impossible for him to have run the light, that I was mistaken and should move on to something more important like fighting crime. I continued to write the traffic ticket as he rambled on about his level of importance and how he would definitely be in court to fight “this outrage”. I was pleasant and handed him the ticket to sign along with my pen. He continued to serve up his opinion of how he just doesn’t make those kind of mistakes as he handed the ticket book back to me. I stood waiting for him to return my pen as he placed it into his pocket. “Well, what are you waiting for?”, he was being held up even longer and wanted to get down the road.”

“I’d like my pen back, Sir.” I pointed to the Cross pen he had in his pocket, right next to another one that was very similar.

“I’ll have you know that is my Cross pen….”, he babbled on for a few moments more about how he doesn’t make those kind of mistakes.

“Fine with me, Sir; but that pen has my name engraved on it. If you can explain why your pen has T. F. Stern engraved on the side you can keep it.” I smiled a Cheshire cat smile in his direction. He handed me my pen, after having inspected the engraving.

His buddy sitting in the passenger seat did his best to muffle a laugh as I retrieved my pen and I thanked the driver. You know that fellow never did show up in court about the red light ticket I gave him.

Saturday Musings

I was catching up with the local newspaper stories in the Houston Chronicle this morning. The headlines are a good indicator of what they, the publishers of the paper, want us to read about; call it an “Interesting set of Priorities”.

A Vigil by the Masses”, did cover an item that most would find interesting and important with coverage of the Pope’s failing health. Along side of that on the front page, “A senator fires back at Delay remarks”, “Democrat says statements about the Schiavo case were threats that violated the law”, were also in large bold print. On page four; obviously not a front page headline, “Berger admits destroying materials”.

I’m not a Catholic, all the same I have a great deal of respect and admiration for the leader of that church. Pope John Paul II has given solid advice regarding the standards by which to live, never backing down on his principles regardless of how the secular world considered much his wise council to be relics of the past. While this man’s body is in the last stages of mortality he deserves the respect accorded any head of state; one who has lived an honorable life.

Moving on to the second earth shattering headline I read where Sen. Frank Lautenberg of New Jersey has claimed that Sen. Tom Delay from Texas, “broke the law when he assailed federal judges involved in the Terri Shiavo case”, alleging that “Threats against specific federal judges are not only a serious crime, but also beneath a member of congress.” I read further down into the article where the damning evidence was there for all to see. Here are the horrible and criminal thoughts expressed by Sen. Delay, “The time will come for the men responsible for this to answer for their behavior…look at an unaccountable, arrogant, out-of-control judiciary that thumbed their noses at Congress and the President.” Some how that just doesn’t come across as a threat; now, had Tom Delay brandished a gun, or even worse, held up a Bible as his intimidation weapon; well, then we would have had the Waskally Wabbit.

Turning to page four is a small piece to explain that contempt that Sandy Berger has for the integrity and security of the United States of America. Former National Security Advisor under President Clinton, had been caught taking classified documents out of the National Archives by stuffing them down inside his pants; however, this milk toast version of the “facts” had those documents inside his suit. Berger did finally admit that it was not an “honest mistake” as he had been claiming; right up until he plead guilty to “unauthorized removal and retention of classified material”, a misdemeanor; escaping the felony charge that could have, and probably should have been filed against him. He will be fined $ 10,000 and prohibited from entering a federal building where secure documents are housed. The short piece glossed over the part where Berger had destroyed certain documents by shredding them out of existence. I would love to hear Martha Stuart take on this; how long was it that she “couldn’t leave a federal building, prison?” Let me take that one more step, how about the folks at Enron and Arthur Anderson? Wasn’t there a flap over the destruction of documents to thwart some kind of an investigation?

I got one of those “mock” Sprint Cell Phone ads in my email a while back making fun of the whole Enron/Arthur Anderson mess. There was a picture of the familiar “Sprint Phone Guy” holding the cell phone out to explain: The Arthur Anderson Partner was on his cell phone when he said, “Ship the Enron documents to the Feds.”, but his secretary heard, “Rip the Enron documents to shreds”. Turns out it was just a bad case of cellular. (I will post it.; Correction, Have posted it in Stern's Stories because I couldn't get Picaso/Blooger to post here- my shoulders are shrugged and my hands are in the air, palms up.)

Now as I sit back and read my Houston Chronicle it turns out that it’s just a bad case of headline priorities. The relative importance of any story has nothing to do with facts or real value as a news item; it has everything to do with skewering your opponents and protecting those who least deserve that protection. It’s a good thing my wife gets all those coupons out of your newspaper or you’d have one less customer. I wouldn’t use your newspaper to line the bottom of my parrot’s cage; he might start repeating this garbage and next thing you know he’d be a senator from New Jersey.

Friday, April 01, 2005

The Devil You Say!

To begin with, I know, that’s a terrible way to start a serious piece of writing, I am writing this to help sort out my own feelings now that Terri Shiavo murder has been completed. I cannot express all of the emptiness that I feel, some anger, some disappointment, and some things I have yet been able to identify. Maybe somewhere a little further down the page I will understand more and be able to express the reasons. In any case I am intentionally avoiding the talk radio shows, the major news media broadcasts and especially the internet blog sites that I normally check on a daily basis.

I will compare the murder of a fellow citizen, Terri Shiavo, by her own country’s system of “justice” with what Nazi Germany did to eradicate their own “less than desirables”. I am aware of the rule of statistical data wherein if a topic is talked about long enough the odds of a reference being made to Nazi Germany increases eventually so that it reaches “1”. Some post graduate law student must have had nothing to do that afternoon and his friends must have thought him to be a genius for having come up with that one. Nazi elitists also murdered the vulnerable and did it in the name of “helping” those poor wretches along to a better place, a place where they would no longer be in pain, retarded, hindered by a body that functioned poorly or from a mind that was incapable of reason or advanced thought. Come to think of it, why was it such a bad thing, at least by our own standards they should all be given “hero’s” salutations, laud and honor.

When we can say in casual conversation that it was a blessing for Terri to die from starvation and dehydration because it will improve the quality of her life, as if she had been tortured and whipped in one of Saddam Hessian’s brothel prisons, instead of being nourished and cared for on a daily basis with her father and mother reading to her; then something is terribly wrong with our society.

I listened to the attorney for Michael Shiavo as he tried to “sell” this euphoric transition, twelve days into the forced starvation; “the soft music playing all around her as she holds her Teddy Bear under her arm, surrounded by all the people who really love her and only want the natural process to be a beautiful experience”. (paraphrased) It made me want to vomit as the smoke and mirrors floated out across the airwaves. Death is a beautiful and natural event; why can’t you conservative hypocrites see what a wonderful thing it is we are doing here for this poor wretched person? Terri’s brain has been totally inactive for years, she feels no pain and can only be thought of as in a PVS? The doctors have done exhaustive examinations and they know what is best. PVS, isn’t that the stuff my yard man used to put in a sprinkler system? If she was brain dead and felt no pain then why did they have to give her morphine to ease that non-existent pain caused from starvation and dehydration?

All I could think of was the scene in the movie, Soylent Green. The character played by Edward G. Robinson knew his time was about up so he choose the assisted suicide option. He checked into the place where you get to die; making it easier for his fellow citizens who are all starving because there isn’t enough food to go around. He pays in advance so that he can die with his favorite music being played, watch a pretty sunset that gets plastered on the wall as they “help you along” to death. (As a matter of interest, even in this macabre setting they didn’t starve him to death, it was much the same as when our dog had to be put to sleep after he got hit by a car.) After that the Charlton Heston character watched as they rolled his friend’s body in a linen sheet and tossed it, along with all the other “dearly departed”, into a garbage truck to haul them away to the “food making facility” that made Soylent Green food bars for everyone else to survive on.

It would have been touching had Terri Shiavo’s actual wishes and desires been written down; watching as her “care givers” were prohibited from even moistening her cracked lips with a damp cloth or letting her suck on chips of crushed ice, such a beautiful and natural State assisted final farewell to all her friends and loved ones, all except her parents who had been told to leave. We have only a judge’s decision based on hearsay testimony to go on; hardly enough evidence to provide rock solid decisions when condemning a human being to death. “But we’re not killing her, we are letting her die of natural causes.” Try letting your pet dog or cat die of natural caused starvation and you would end up behind bars for cruel and unusual treatment; PETA would be on the prosecutor’s table handing them court case documentation to nail the door shut.

I heard the question asked on whether or not it would be murder had someone gotten past the heavily armed guards, gotten into Terri’s room, pulled a pistol out and shot her to death; thereby speeding up the mandated decree of death? Would such a charge have been applied to the person who could not stand to watch as Terri died from starvation and dehydration? Yes, the courts would have been cheated out of their power and so it would have been murder and charges would be filed. I have news for you, it was murder in either case.

I’m not so sure that any form of assisted suicide is appropriate; so I am damn sure that murder is way off the scale of appropriate conduct, acting as an individual or under the auspices and direction of the State. For argument’s sake, let’s say I did go along with the notion that in some rare circumstances that assisted suicide might be the humane and decent approach to ending a tormented life that was known to be in its final and terminally un-repairable stage.

The owner of that life, interesting how that came out, would have to have their faculties about them, mind you, not someone else speaking up for them as a proxy. They would have to state clearly and distinctly that they were aware of the situation and provide more than hearsay to proceed. In any event, starvation and dehydration would still be considered dereliction of duty, neglect and murder; even under the circumstances associated with a stated desire to die with dignity.

I had a close friend of mine who was going to die because her body had truly been used up and only had weeks to live in terrible pain. She already had to have kidney dialysis regularly and the rest of her organs were failing too. She consulted with her doctors, her friends and even her clergy for guidance on how to approach the end of her life. She decided that she would discontinue eating and allow death to take her. She continued to drink water as a means of abating the terrible thirst and as a means of keeping her mouth moist. She was able to speak to us and converse until the last day of her life. Her mind was severely hindered due to being deprived of nourishment during her last few days; rambling on about things without any ability to put thoughts into a meaningful pattern.

If I had been the one who had made such a decision to end her life, acting without her expressed desire, I would have felt guilty for having shortened her life, even if by only one day. I would have to carry that with me into the eternities. I still wonder if she, yes I wonder if even she had the right to quit trying to live. Life is a gift from God and so my doubts about having the right to end it prematurely, even so much as by one day, is valid; that is unless you are one of those who have taken the side that there is no God, there are no such laws as God given laws and therefore there are no consequences for having broached such a non existent law.

I refer to a favorite scriptural case of logic regarding the concepts of God's law and consequences as found in the Book of Mormon.
Second Nephi, Chapter 2 verse 13:

"And if ye shall say there is no law, ye shall also say there is no sin. If ye shall say this is no sin, ye shall say there is no righteousness. And if there be no righteousness there be no happiness. And if there be no righteousness nor happiness there be no punishment nor misery. And if these things are not there is no God. And if there is no God we are not, neither the earth; for there could have been no creation of things, neither to act nor to be acted upon; wherefore, all things must have vanished away.”

The entire chapter is worth the effort as it covers quite a bit of ground. There is more; however, it will suffice that in one simple explanation the scriptures make it clear that the choice is always left up to each individual, verse 27:

“Wherefore, men are free according to the flesh; and all things are given them which are expedient unto man. And they are free to choose liberty and eternal life, through the great Mediator of all men, or to choose captivity and death, according to the captivity and power of the devil; for he seeketh that all men might miserable like unto himself.”

What will it be like here in our United States of America a few years down that road? Will we be going through the mental wards “assisting the insane” out of those anguished bodies? If we are involved in a traffic accident and our legs are mangled beyond repair will the doctor’s put us out of our misery rather than prescribe artificial limbs and the needed therapy necessary to imitate the function of those lost limbs? Will we have our doctors simply “snuff out” those babies born with birth defects? I forgot, they are already doing that; killing these miniature people as they come forth and depriving them of the right to take even their first breath, “live birth abortions” is what they call it. Most people could not watch; hell, they start puking their guts out after seeing still pictures of the process. The “doctors”, forgive my disdain for the use of that word by such evil ones, upon seeing the child’s head take a set of piercing forceps and plunges the sharp ends through the head so as to destroy the brain. It’s not murder because the fetus, not a baby, never took a breath and so had no rights to life to begin with. I forget the ratio of abortions to pregnancies but its enough to make me gag; something like 1 in 3, correct me if I am wrong. I’m not talking about the extreme case of pregnancy as a result of rape or a life threatening situation to the mother, these are matters of inconvenience; what we used to call murder is now abortion.

The cultural stigma associated with sex out of wedlock has been erased primarily due to our constant bombardment in our entertainment sources. Not only is sex not a problem, pregnancy is not a problem, it can be inconvenient for sure; but it’s not a problem. You might have to explain a few things but it’s not like you’re going to lose your job, your friends will understand and who cares what happens to the fetus, after all, it’s not like you were murdering a “real person”. If you really want to make a baby; one that you plan on keeping, then just do it all over, no big deal.

Is it just me or does this sound a little too surreal? This is America, land of the free. Free to choose our life styles, free from the burden of religion because we have that wonderful separation of Church and State. We are free to travel down what used to be “forbidden roads” because there are no consequences when there are no sins. Sins are something that the religious right hangs onto so that they can preach and point fingers. This is America, we have made a choice and there is nothing in the Constitution that you can prove that says anything about God. God is just another way of saying you need a crutch because you haven’t the intelligence to debate subjects on their own merit. Right or wrong are ancient concepts made up to keep everyone from having a good time.

I read where a mother had an ultra sound test which showed that her baby was “severely deformed”, according to her doctor. Rather than have the abortion which the doctor prescribed as a means of avoiding such an unpleasant child rearing situation, the mother opted to continue through the pregnancy. The baby’s severe deformity was a cleft palate. I have a good friend of mine who had surgery to repair his cleft palate. Oher than a slight scar on his lip I can’t imagine depriving him of the right to life; well maybe, his sense of humor is a little bold at times. Who are these doctors that they have taken upon themselves such authoritative smugness to determine which gifts from God are of value and which aught not be accepted? Are we any better than those Nazi butchers if we permit these actions to be carried out in the name of humanity? We have taken a step in that very same direction today.

Our medical “professionals” made it a point to provide at least some of the ammunition that was used to commit the murder of Terri Shiavo. I heard it over and over that Terri was in a “permanent vegetative state” with no chance of improving. How did our medical professionals ever learn to talk in such a way? They had to be taught this prevarication somewhere. Human beings are not vegetables, not now, never were. So somewhere it became popular to compare non functioning brains with something common; failing to recognize the dangerous path being taken once the remarkable gift of human thought contained within the human body and closely associated with what the medical practice calls a brain. Once that activity is “as useless” as a head of lettuce what’s to keep us from discarding it? The answer, nothing.

To arrive at where we are today has taken years of indoctrination, to have doctors violate their oaths to heal into some perversion of that oath, a mentality that permits one human to diagnose another human beings value and then recommend that death is better than life. Who is that has been teaching the medical profession such “progressive” ideas?

I would have to say that there is a good percentage of our populace that has ignored the concept of God, the concept that life is a gift from God, that man is incapable of creating life without the miracle provided by God. Life is not a spontaneous outcome based on infinite possibilities of chance all coming together to form a living breathing master being that we call the human race. To believe such is more asinine than the fellow who is about to lose his house and car because he hasn’t got enough money in the bank so he goes an purchases a lottery ticket. If only the numbers all fall into place and I win the jackpot I can pay for a new house, a new car and everything will be wonderful. There is a much better chance for him to watch as his car disappears down the street on the back of a repo wrecker and he starts living under the bridge when the bank forecloses on his overdue mortgage payments.

“There has to be a separation of Church and State!”, we hear it all the time. There is no place in our schools, our government houses, our courts for God. Those fools from the past may have been so blind as to inscribe our money, our national monuments with such poppycock; but we are not so foolish as to blindly follow down such a path. I know that Franklin D. Roosevelt said some really important things when he voiced his, “Day of Infamy” speech; but there is no need to ruin it for the sake of accurately recording the entire speech word for word. “So Help us God”, was thrown in because it was a popular talking point at that point in our history. Never mind that Franklin D. Roosevelt was a major reason why this country has so many socialist programs. That because of those social programs there was a temporary immediate relief from the ravages of a Great Depression. Instead of thanking God for restoring prosperity many have the mistaken and misguided “belief” that it was Government that provided for their needs; it starts with the letter “G”, what’s the big deal who gets the credit? Since Government took the place of God then there was not such a big change when the courts stepped in and removed God entirely from our schools, our community or anything that the common citizen might use. We have no need for God today, at least not as a nation, so there is no need to place “So help us God” on the WWII memorial. It is part of the great lie so that we as a people lose sight of our origin, our God. Who is it that is the author of such lies?

Then there was the mockery of a custody hearing to see who had more of a right to speak for Terri; her “husband” or her parents. The mockery had to have started quite a while back when Terri was placed in a Hospice rather than housed in a clinical environment for the purpose of maintaining and improving her functions. It sounds like a decision had already been made at that point. The mockery continued when it became clear that the courts, the representatives of our social consciousness, provided that this was a “right to die” issue rather than a “right to life” issue.

Had it been a right to life situation it might have been covered as one of those Inalienable Rights mentioned in the Declaration of Independence; in which case the United States of America, that being the Supreme Court, would have or could have stepped in and declared that Terri Shiavo’s rights had been trampled on by the courts in Florida. They could have and should have declared that Terri was a Ward of the State and then determined who best would serve to protect that unalienable right to life; they turned their backs on her instead. They could have made it a matter of taking up for one who is silenced and could not speak for herself; but that never happened because of our nation’s new fascination with a so called right to die, die with dignity.

When it became an issue as to whether or not Terri had “claimed” the desire to die, something which in my opinion was not properly addressed, why was it not important to have that in writing or at the very least corroborated by way of other witnesses to that specific request? Why did it take several years for Michael Shiavo to “recall” those “wishes”? Why did he place Terri in a Hospice rather than a place designed to rehabilitate? Was it a matter of convenience to have her out of the way? He has made no secret that he had been living with another woman and has two children by her. In a time not too far back these children would have shamed both adults by being called “bastard children”, in other words, born out of wedlock. The stigma being assigned to the parents, not the children. In our politically correct society we must not hurt anyones feelings and so, again, where there is no sin there are no sinners.

One of the most troubling thoughts regarding this whole mess is that We The People have evolved, if that is the proper word, to the point where it is now the law of the land that unless we specifically demand the right to live, that we have decided on a right to die.
I have no way to express this other than to say that the world has been turned upside down, left is right and right is left.

My sister worked as a nurse employed to take care of people in a hospice setting. While she did take great efforts to treat them with every human care possible; there was no thought to exceed “natural” bodily function to prolong their lives through artificial means. These people knew they were going to die soon and had entered into a conscious decision to follow a path which had a certain known conclusion, death. Terri may never have been a part of that decision making process; we have only her “loving husband’s” testimony on that. We do know that he had selected a good place to abandon his wife. He did take up his own life again, so to speak, living with another woman and having children by her; but, he loved his lawfully wedded wife enough to keep her safely maintained. At what point did we as a people find that such extra marital situations became something less than an abomination, which then became “something we just didn’t talk about” in civilized society and then into something so common and ordinary that many of our neighbors might accept?

“White” does not change into “Black” in the blink of an eye; no, it takes great care to soil it a little at a time. Every situation can eventually be taken apart to find the source of truth or fiction, right or wrong if you will. It’s a little like how a computer works, everything is either a “1” or a “0” to a computer. We humans have to complicate things with rationalization for when we wish to stray from right and wrong, truth or fiction.

It has always been that way; just look to the answers given in the Garden of Eden. When they were discovered to be naked, they were asked. “Hast thou eaten of the tree whereof I commanded thee that thou shouldst not eat, if so thou shouldst surely die?” This is the first recorded case of sin, something for which they both knew a specific penalty had been assigned. Adam’s reply was, “The woman thou gavest me, and commandest that she should remain with me, she gave me of the fruit of the tree and I did eat”. The woman Eve was asked why she had partaken of the forbidden fruit, “The serpent beguiled me, and I did eat.”.

Both of them attempted to pass off their inappropriate actions by blaming it on another in order to make the violation appear less damning. “Henry down the street cheated on his wife and so it can’t be that terrible; after all, he still is President of the local Rotary Club and he does keep his lawn trimmed so neat.”, gives acceptance of terrible actions as if they were common place. “Ed Kennedy may have a problem with drinking, driving across bridges, leaving out of wedlock dates to die; but he writes one heck of a good piece of legislation that will help the local UAW; after all, you can’t expect him to be perfect, now can we?” We all attempt to mitigate circumstances in order to appear less guilty.

Guilt begins to lose its stigma when the “sin” for which that guilt is assigned gets redefined, each time the edges worn down in order to make it so that eventually the original “sin” no longer exists and therefore there must not be any penalty. (Without going down a path which is not part of this thought process, I might add that my reference to “original sin” in no way implies that Adam and Eve did anything other than disobey a specific command, eating of the fruit led them to be subjected to death; their perfect bodies were now corrupted and therefore would deteriorate and eventually they would die. We as mortals are all subject to that mortal death. In no way does that imply that their being naked or that any sexual contact that eventually brought about the human race was anything other than proper.) I ask again, who is it that has the ability to sway good people so far into wickedness, all the while telling them that it is the only way to learn for themselves good from evil, pain from pleasure and become as the gods having a knowledge of all things?

I fear for our country because so many of us have made a choice to ignore most of what I have placed within the text of this meandering attempt to sort out my feelings. I am of the opinion that when we as a people no longer wish to obey God and follow the simple laws that he has issued, for our benefit I might add, that we no longer can expect or count on His blessings. When that happens we will have nobody to blame but ourselves.

“Forgive us for we know not what we do”, I think not, that only applies to ignorance. I hardly think that what happened to Terri was done in ignorance; more an act of arrogance to the law of God and men than ignorance of it. May Terri find the peace she deserves and may God find a way to work in such a way as to save us from our own poor choices. May we learn to appreciate the gift of life and to “preserve us a nation”, under God with liberty and justice for all. In the sacred name of Jesus Christ, Amen.