Friday, February 26, 2010

A lesson in here somewhere…

Neil Boortz had several links to read; but one of them, an article by Laura Misjak in Flint, Michigan had me shaking my head trying to get a grasp on reality. City will compensate employees for 2 furlough days read the headline.

“The city’s attempt to save nearly $500,000 instead simply gave some employees two extra days off — with pay.”


“…However, the city’s largest employee union challenged the furlough days, claiming they violated its contract.”

Let me get this straight, the city of Flint, Michigan is close to bankruptcy and, in an attempt to stay on top of things, had their employees, who happened to be union employees, take two days off without pay; but because the union didn’t approve a change in their contract which stipulates a minimum 40 hour week the employee union demanded compensation for the two days already missed.

I’ll set the tone; government employees should not have the same “union” protections as private sector unions. I’ll wait a few moments for the shouting to stop before continuing.

Way back, according to my history lessons, workers in factories, mines and other private sector industries were at the mercy of greedy capitalists; dang, this sounds familiar. Workers were forced to accept poverty level wages, work exceptionally long hours in conditions that were dangerous and unacceptable; often to the point of endangering life itself.

Unions were organized to give leverage to employees, an enforceable means of improving the minimum standard of living. If the greedy industrialists were to stay in business they would have to negotiate with unions. There were often times brutal strikes and anti-strike retaliations, general unrest close to all out war which, over the years has led to government involvement to quell civil unrest. I’ve summed up a hundred years of history in one paragraph; might have left out a bit, look up the details if you wish to be enlightened.

There is a slight and yet important difference between employees working in the private sector, often referred to as the free market system, and employees working for a government entity. The task masters over government jobs and their employees are both “We the people” as opposed to some greedy capitalist slave owner in the free market system. Somewhere an important thought is attempting to surface, will it arrive in today’s article is the challenge.

I’ve no problem with public servants, a general term for local, state or federal employees, forming associations, call them unions if it makes you happy, to act as liaisons in order to negotiate better packages for their members, such is not without its merits; however, the right to strike or otherwise “hamstring” operations of their own local, state or federal government by demanding unreasonable compensation, you heard me, unreasonable compensation is unconscionable.

I’m not a lawyer, thank goodness I’ve some decency left in my bones; but somewhere in the clutter of thoughts, lessons of life and other pure crap which I’ve garnered over the years is the notion that public servants, upon deciding to become public servants, have accepted certain hard to grasp realities.

One of those realities is that the job they wish to serve in, while critical to the operation of whatever local, state or federal organization it may happen to be attached, the job is an extension of the generosity of that organization; it is not the same as a job in the private sector, regardless of the similarities, dangers or required skills. The job, in essence, is a reflection of “We the people” and therefore a reflection of the both the employer and the employee; each is dependent on the other for survival.

The purpose of a job in the private sector is to help the greedy capitalist owner/employer increase productivity and profits; businesses are driven by the possibility of making a profit. (Make a note to congress, hiring incentives are really stupid; profits drive hiring. )

Government entities on the other hand are not driven by profits, or at least they should not be oriented in that same mind set. Government entities are established to serve “We the people”. Each job created under this limited purpose is an expense which must be paid for out of the public treasury, an expense to “We the people”.

Unfortunately, and I say this from experience, many government agencies look for opportunities to increase their spending abilities as if they were a private sector industry intent on achieving profit margins far greater than their current or foreseeable expenses in order to facilitate expanding services and entitlement programs.

As an example, city governments depend on “extra” income from traffic tickets issued through their police departments; including such “forecasted” revenue in their budgets. The same is done through other increased “fees” for service, fees which incrementally are altered upwards to accommodate foreseeable budgetary needs, short falls and other fiscal needs.

When our national economy was blossoming forecasting of budgets could be depended upon to cover basic services and entitlement programs; however, such is not the case at present. Shortfalls have hit across the board in most local, state and federal budgets due to extreme changes in revenue sources; a long way of saying unemployed people can’t be taxed, foreclosed on properties which had been counted as dependable sources for the purposes of taxation left unexpected holes at every level of government and the agencies which serve “We the people”.

Rather than cut back on entitlement programs some are cutting back on basic services. I read recently of at least one city in California considering a fee for each time 9-1-1 emergency calls are made. My purpose for mentioning unconscionable fees such as charging someone who needs a public servant in an emergency has to do with just that, the idea that some things are unconscionable.

Holding your fellow citizens up, you could call it highway robbery; you get the idea, when they are crying out for help is unconscionable. It’s like the bad joke about the state trooper who, upon finding a fellow upside down in a terrible car wreck with his arm hanging out the window, blood dripping from his finger tips asks, “I see you’re in a bad way, nice watch; how much is it worth to you?”

How much different is it for an employed public servant to demand full pay from his fellow citizens in these extreme economic times; remember that part about “We the people” being both employer and employee? Is it unreasonable to expect everyone to adjust accordingly or should the City of Flint, Michigan file for bankruptcy as a means of getting out of an unreasonable contract with union employees? I’d go a step beyond unreasonable and call it unconscionable, “I see you’re in a bad way, how much you want for that watch?”

Thursday, February 25, 2010

What would I do without my cat calendar?

Somebody gave us a cat calendar for Christmas, the kind where you tear off a page to get your daily cat related comic strip and sometimes a reminder of important dates in history. Did you know it was Mohammed’s birthday; at least it will be after the sun goes down?

In honor of such an important date maybe we should select one of our neighbors to strap on explosives and blow up a local shopping mall. How’s that for diversity in our tolerant society?

I was reading in the Book of Mormon last night and ran across what I refer to as ‘a Gospel in a nutshell’ passage; perhaps an over simplification; true none the less. To qualify for this distinction, the verse or combination of verses should be able to stand alone as it informs the reader that Jesus is the Christ, the savior of all mankind, and do this as if all other pages of scripture had been lost or unavailable for consideration. If you found this remnant of the scriptures you’d have at least a partial grasp at/of what God intended for you to understand regarding your eternal relationship to Him and His only begotten Son.

More often than not, when referencing a particular scripture I’ll cut and paste from the scriptures on line via; but when I can scan from my own scriptures and capture the image on a single pass I find it adds a personal touch, as if I’d let you read over my shoulder while sharing something I think is very important.

For your perusal I invite you to read Mosiah 3:3-11. ( Clicking on the image enlarges the image)

Run that by me again…

Sifting through the blogosphere this morning, I ran across an interesting blip on the screen. Say Uncle , a blog which keeps me up to date on 2nd Amendment issues and other firearms related subjects, found a quote which bears remembering:

“The problem with quotes on the internet is that it is difficult to verify their authenticity”

—-President Abraham Lincoln

Isn’t that great, almost like the stuff we get from the New York Times or other solid main stream media outlets. I’m glad Al Gore invented the internet or gems like that might have been lost.

"Speaking of health care reform”; at one time I had a partner who would change the subject when he figured the previous one had been talked out, so, speaking of healthcare reform , Nancy Pelosi had this to say:

“Inaction and incrementalism are simply unacceptable.” Imagine, setting the tone at the opening of a summit intended to reconcile differences between the Democratic (socialist) agenda on health care reform with the GOP ( * ) ( which could mean Republican or Conservative; it might even include the wistful Tea Party movement, what ever that is ) Madam ( a term reserved for ladies of the night who pander their wares ) Pelosi could easily have said, “You ‘other’ folks go sit down in the back some where and try not to get in the way.”

If the progressive movement is to take advantage of this moment in time, a moment when they have a significant majority and a chance to pass anti-American legislation, that means socialism for anyone not paying enough attention to the shift in language over the past several years, the self declared crisis in health care reform must be acted upon without delay, or from what I’ve observed; clarity of thought as pertain to constitutional restrictions on government usurpation of power.

Have I mentioned my tendency to extend sentences into paragraph form as a means of punctuating my thoughts? English teachers tried their best and failed, not because I didn’t know better; I enjoy run on sentences, they’re much more fun than following the rules.

I just realized, I could become a congressman; “Rules, we don’t need no stinkin’ rules; that constitution thing just gets in the way.”

Obama himself spoke into the microphone at the opening of this mornings dog and pony show, “We all know that this is urgent”. There ya’ have it, direct from the “Mr. Never Let a Crisis Pass” himself. It must be urgent, the president said so; it’s settled.

I don’t get it, the whole idea of “our” health care system being broken. 85% of Americans are covered by some form of health care, either self insured or through their employer and, for the most part, are satisfied with the results while the other 15% fall into the “It’s Broken!” part of health care reform. That just doesn’t feel like a national crisis worthy of destroying a free market system that is working for the other 85% of the people.

Maybe the crisis has to do with who is in charge of the system, a free market or government; but that would mean throwing away America’s foundations in favor of socialism and everyone knows that socialism has failed where ever it has been implemented. I just don’t get it.

There are several issues that bother me regarding health care reform; but I’ll try to boil them down to a limited few.

Constitutionally speaking, Congress and Obama are demanding that almost any piece of entitlement legislation, health care reform leading the way, be paid for through some form of taxation. Those able to pay taxes; however, the folks who are being told they will be paying (*) are being told to shut up and sit down.

My friend David over at Third World County has, as his banner, “In a democracy (‘rule by mob’), those who refuse to learn from history are in the majority and dictate that everyone else suffer for their ignorance.”-third world county’s corollary to Santayana’s Axiom” That about covers what has happened to our Republican form of government.

Next on the list of issues would be the spiraling debt being created by our “responsible” and honorable leaders. What kind of idiot actually believes that spending money we don’t have will solve our problem of being in debt? Suppose, just for a moment, that such a mindset wasn’t totally corrupt and spending money we didn’t have wouldn’t come back to bite us in the butt because we knew we’d all die before that debt could be collected, is it morally acceptable to pass such a debt on to the next generation?

If you answered, maybe or I’m not sure you probably have an Obama for President bumper sticker proudly displayed on your car. No is the answer; it’s neither rational to spend money that isn’t available nor is it morally acceptable to expect the next generation to pay for such irresponsible expenditures.

Last on today’s list, certainly not the end of issues with how government has taken on powers never intended or permitted by our constitution, the use of the word ‘reconciliation’ with regard to health care reform, a supposed debate on the merits of various party affiliation and the not to be mentioned use of the ‘nuclear option’, a way to bypass any Republican attempt at filibuster should any meaningful negotiations fail to materialize. What a load of horse dung, pardon the expression.

Reconciliation, when used in the congressional sense, was intended to preserve a working government when budgetary issues could not be resolved; it was never meant to skirt open debate on important social issues. To call for an underhanded measure like the ‘nuclear option’ reconciliation adds to the lack of transparency in government, one of the thorns which stick in the voter’s side and cause frustration each time congress is in session holding closed door meetings, dealing under the table to accomplish acts which are both improper and immoral.

Other than that today will bring sunshine and joy to everyone, back to you Chet.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Top of the Music Chart and more...

Eric Cowperthwaite, an acquaintance on Facebook asked, “What was the #1 song on the day you were born? Copy and paste this to your profile…write the answer as a comment…”

So I wrote in his comment section. “Mule Train by Frankie Lane was at the top of the charts when I was born. He's more known for Ghost Writers in the Sky and Rawhide. Rock and Roll had yet to be born, guess that makes me”

Interesting side point, I watched one of Gene Autry’s cowboy movies, Riders in the Sky, just last week. The song was sung at the beginning and end of the show; the way Gene made most of his movies. You’ll notice how I spelled “Riders” in my original comment; must be one of those “hearing challenged” things that surfaced as in imperfect memory.

Another goofy challenge going around Facebook has to do with movies. Linda Sanders posted, “It’s movie line week here on Facebook. Cut and paste this to your status, and in the comment box write your favorite line from a movie and see how many people know the movie and the lines! Don’t forget to comment on your friend’s movie lines.”

“We don’t need no stinkin’ badges”, came to mind since it may be one of the most often borrowed and then “changed to fit” lines from a movie, at least to my knowledge; just change the last word and it becomes quite useful.

There’s a “B” movie, Fakers, I caught the other day when I got tired of watching Ice Dancing competition at the Olympics. I’m not alone on this; some of you may have increased your movie watching during other Olympic events like Curling; gosh and oh by golly that was exciting. “It’s a beautiful day in the neighborhood”, watching Mr. Rogers put on his sweater and soft shoes while waiting for the next “rock” to go tearing down the ice.

Back to the movie, Fakers; here’s the short version , “Nick Edwards owes £50,000 and has no way of paying-off wannabe crime lord Foster Wright. This is until he stumbles across a lost sketch by legendary Italian artist Antonio Fraccini. Problem is it's only worth £15,000. A plan is hatched to forge the drawing, and sell it to five Mayfair galleries within an hour before anyone cottons onto the fact that there's a scam going down.”

Okay, so the movie isn’t all that great and there’s mild nudity, a woman being sketched while half naked; but it has to do with an artist so it really was done tastefully. I liked the way it finished; all the pieces of fakery coming together when needed the most, a reason to smile. The link to watch the movie trailer didn’t work so unless you purchase the movie at some clearance table trying to get rid of low budget movies you may never get to see this one. I tried to find it on Videos on Demand and it wasn’t listed, not even when it was playing on their cable system that same day; go figure.

Spring training has started; Astros pitchers and catchers are tuning it up. Baseball may not cure the economy, stop Iraq from building nuclear warheads to take out all the infidels or do anything about global warming; but it makes for a better diversion than Curling. “We don't need no stinkin' Curling!”

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Government’s Something for Nothing Health Care Reform

I’ve nearly given up attempting to explain why Health Care Reform has nothing to do with lowering the cost of health care, why it has no relationship with health care insurance offered by the private sector and why folks who don’t understand will never understand; as the line from City Slickers so aptly stated, “The cows will get it before you do.”

That having been said, Obama and the progressives are pushing their Health Care Reform package as if it were a way of lowering the cost of health care and a means of getting health insurance for those supposedly unable to afford health care insurance from those greedy private sector companies more interested in making a profit than taking care of those in need. I’d intended to write that last sentence in all capital letters, shouting at the top of my lungs; but it hasn’t worked in the past and, as I’ve found, only acts to annoy those attempting to read; the folks who insist on something for nothing probably can’t read to begin with so why waste my time shouting at them?

Neil Boortz posted an article about pre-existing conditions which illustrated why insurance companies can’t insure folks who already have something which will be a drain on the insurance company; as he put it, “If you call Geico and try to insure your car after you've wrecked it, you're unlikely to get coverage for that wreck.” Why would health insurance be any different? The answer, it isn’t; which is why pre-existing conditions make it difficult on folks attempting to obtain medical insurance.

Many folks suffer under the delusion that everyone should be eligible for insurance; health care is a right according to progressive reasoning. I should note the use of such an oxymoron, progressive reasoning falling into the same category as military intelligence, jumbo shrimp and honest lawyers; I know, that was a cheap shot. Again, Boortz summed it up, “To claim a right to health care you are claiming a right to the time and property of some other person.” No, this isn’t a right, it may well be a worthy goal; but it is not a right.

Insurance is a business based on percentages; the purpose of any business is to make a profit by offering a product or service which the public will purchase. Businesses which are able to make a profit stay in business while those who fail to understand this principle become government employees or run for office. I may have read that in one of Heilein’s books; either that or I’m becoming profound in my own right.

I wrote an article a while back about a woman who expected something for nothing as pertain to my locksmith services; asking me to make her a key that would fit her door lock, a key which she didn’t have, and at the same time expecting me to repair a pre-existing condition, the internal workings of her door had been broken. The entitlement mentality when applied to an entire society will bankrupt the treasury very quickly.

I found a quotation from the French historian Alexis De Tocqueville which many would prefer had never been recorded.

“The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public’s money.”

Now, add to that another thought which he wanted everyone to remember.

“The Indian knew how to live without wants, to suffer without complaint, and to die singing.”

America’s founders could have written into our framework a means of preserving itself beyond historically inevitable self destruction through irresistible temptation to continually dip into the public treasury in order to satiate the entitlement mentality of so many. Our founders failed to include a provision to halt in its tracks the ability to elect weak or corrupted/corruptible representatives whose only way of getting elected is to squander the public treasury through bribes, paybacks and pork barrel spending. We need to make it more difficult for the leeches in our society to vote.

Think about how the leadership of our cities, states and national government would be if folks knew that being on the dole meant they couldn’t vote. Those seeking office would have to pander to those who paid the bills rather than those dependent on their neighbors. Instead of demanding entitlements, those on the dole would ask for generosity; quite a bit of difference between demanding and asking for consideration. Did I mention that I believe in Santa, the Tooth Fairy and the Easter Bunny?

We should be grateful our government has, at its most important elected and appointed positions, men and women who are aware of the American legacy of self reliance and honor our constitution, a divinely inspired document to limit government abuse and protects individual rights. If such were not the case we’d be in serious trouble, having spent money we don’t have on entitlement programs paid for by taxing hard working industrious individuals and businesses; sure glad nothing like that could happen here in America.

Snow Forecast in Houston

One of my routines upon getting up in the morning is to check the local weather to get an idea of how to dress, working outside as a mobile locksmith makes it important. Yesterday there was talk about a slim possibility of snow or freezing precipitation; but a strong emphasis that in all likelihood it would not make the Houston area, staying well to the north and west.

This morning's forecast has been altered slightly; Houston could get as much as half an inch of snow some time later this afternoon. I looked at the fancy weather maps and noticed how the “freeze line” was moving ever closer to us as the front advanced. Rush hour might be a real mess as those still employed navigate Houston streets this evening.

In other chilling news, Obama and Democrat strong arms in congress have decided to move forward with yet another version of health care reform . Erica Werner’s AP article brought out the sad fact that Democrats are willing to push through far reaching legislation in spite of a total lack of bi-partisan input and against the wishes of the American public.

“Democrats in Washington either aren't listening, or are completely ignoring what Americans across the country have been saying,” said Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky. “Our constituents don’t want yet another partisan, back-room bill that slashes Medicare for our seniors, raises a half-trillion dollars in new taxes, fines them if they don't buy the right insurance and further expands the role of government.”

I don’t think there’s enough chicken soup to go around if this piece of socialized America gets passed. The storm is headed our way, watch your wallets.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Odds and Ends February 22, 2010

We watched an interesting movie, Temple Grandin , about an autistic young woman who came to grips with her special challenges. This one is a roller coaster of emotions; getting to be an old softie the older I get. We used the Video on Demand function on or cable service; but this might be one to add to our collection.

During one of our Sunday morning meetings mention was made of an upcoming basketball tournament and the need for volunteer officiators. I heard the comment, “Church basketball is the only gang fight where they start off with a prayer”. Think on that for a moment, a little like hockey but not as much protection.

I have a planter box in my kitchen nook full of freshly sprouted tomato plants. Spring is just around the corner; needless to say I won’t be planting them in the garden this week as we have a “slight” chance of snow tomorrow here in the Houston area. My guess is we won’t see any of the white stuff, just some more rain, any snow falling to the ground will be north and west of us.

Two of our Hobo Kitties , Brother and Cousin Head Buttr’, have been testing their opportunities to enter the house as mild temperatures of late have permitted me to leave the back door open. They will venture in cautiously and then exit, return and even enjoy the cat bed we placed under the kitchen nook table, its corners treated with cat nip, and then scurry outside at the hint of danger.

Head Buttr’ looks so much like the Princess , her sister/cousin; never were quite sure what the family tree looked like. Brother has been getting over a butt whuppin’, the skin nearly healed on his hind quarters where he got chewed up pretty good. They both live to have the back of their heads scratched; a chance to mingle with us without too much commitment.

Bubba, our senior kitty and inside cat of thirteen years, has a look about her which, if translated would come off as, “Hey, who keeps leaving the back door open? Can’t you see the Hobo Kitties are getting inside?” Bubba then takes up a position on the edge of the den next to one of the floor speakers as a warning to pretentious kittens, occasionally spouting off unpleasant remarks in their direction.
I had an interesting dream the other night having to do with Lucy’s camera. Some how it got left at a friend’s house, in the dream, and they engraved their name on it, believing it was theirs. Upon realizing the mistake they offered to replace it with a camera which had been recently given them on an out of the country business trip. It was a fancy SLR camera; but when you looked through the lens, instead of seeing a normal image it showed something from a hundred years earlier. I’m working on a way to write a short story out of that; should be fun.

Two friends from church are battling cancer; perhaps battling doesn’t properly cover what is happening, at least not with both of them. One went down to the local funeral home and made final arrangements while the other is looking for a way to come out on top, extend life and beat this thing.

I wish I could wave a magic wand and take away their pain and worry; but adversity is part of life, the refining process. I read an article by Kristine Frederickson the other day on the subject of adversity where she shared some interesting thoughts. Here’s a taste of that article:

“Imagine yourself living in a house. God comes in to rebuild that house. At first, perhaps you can understand what He is doing. He is getting the drains right and stopping the leaks in the roof and so on: you knew that those jobs needed doing and so you are not surprised. But presently He starts knocking the house about in a way that hurts abominably and does not seem to make sense. What on earth is he up to? The explanation is that He is building quite a different house from the one you thought of; throwing out a new wing here, putting an extra floor there, running up towers, making court yards. You thought you were going to be made into a decent little cottage; but He is building a palace.”

Have you ever noticed how folks drive down the road, some are always preparing to stop while others are looking for a chance to go? My own observation; but think about it, are we more worried about our yesterdays to the point where we forget about tomorrow? Let me have a glimpse of tomorrow, a chance to let the engine roar a bit, put it in gear an stay out of my way. Brakes, we don’t need no stinkin’ brakes!

Friday, February 19, 2010

The S Word

Nickie Goomba's friend Victoria Jackson wrote on the F word ; her daughter being advised not to use the word Fart in public. Okay, so there was reference to Rahm Emanuel’s use of the F word, and it wasn’t Fudge; but that was simply a means to an end.

Having been a police officer, sitting through many roll call bulletins, techniques for farting on queue had to be developed so as to acknowledge bulletins coming from the Chief’s office as opposed to those from city hall. You got points for being adept at this, trust me.

My partner, never to let an opportunity “pass” without comment would immediately ask, upon hearing the familiar buzz, “Sgt. Who?” This led to a minor change in social workings; instead of asking, “Who Farted”, from then on until the present it’s, “Sgt. Who”, the S word.

Imagine, grown men giggling about passed gasses. Twenty plus years of damaged social graces results in a flawed assessment of what’s funny. When my grandchildren hear me say, “Sgt. Who”, they quickly respond with, “That’s gross, Pepaw!” We all laugh and get on with life and I don’t think “Sgt. Who” is any better or worse than what my friend from the country used to call, “Barking spiders”. He’d pretend to step on the escaping spider by tap dancing his shoe on an imaginary spot on the floor; hope to never grow up and forget how to have fun.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Cell Phone Health Risks

I read an article on Electromagnetic Fields, by Dr. Mercola, which pointed out the dangers of cell phone use to the human body ; similar to the dangers of tobacco use and not widely known. I tried to copy all or part of the article; but for some reason that function was blocked.

Several important issues are worth mentioning as a “carrot” that will entice you to go read the original article. Cell phones are not a danger to the operation of airplanes by interfering with flight controls or communications; the real danger has to do with microwaves bouncing around the cabin and destroying humans inside the airplane; bet you didn’t know that.

Never use cell phones or laptop computers on airplanes because the metal skin of the plane acts just like a microwave oven and irradiates the body. It doesn’t matter if the plane is in the air or on the ground, the potential damaging emissions are the same.

The Cellular Telephone Industry Association (CTIA) paid big bucks for a research program that would give them a clean bill of health; much to their surprise the information came back just the opposite. Here’s where I wish I could have simply cut and pasted from the original article.

“A nearly 300 percent increase in the incidence of genetic damage when human blood cells were exposed to radiation in the cellular frequency band.

A significant increase in cell phone user’s risk of brain tumors at the brain’s outer edge, on which ever side the cell phone was held most often.

A 60 percent greater chance of acoustic neuromas, a tumor affecting the nerve that controls hearing, among people who had used cell phones for six years or more…”

There’s more; children should NEVER use a cellular device except in a real emergency because they are more vulnerable to damaging microwave bursts emitted by such devices. Their skulls are thinner ( hard to believe, I know ) and their still developing brains and nervous systems allow penetration all the way to the mid-brain, where tumors are more deadly.

I only put in a small portion of the warnings regarding damage to humans who use cell phones, warnings the CTIA are aware of, and yet how many of us have considered this aspect of our daily routines as life threatening? If you think the tobacco industry fought to keep their “customers” in the dark regarding the dangers of their product, how much is being kept from the public, either through intentional silence or straight out cover up now that we live in an age of cell phones and WIFI connections? GO READ THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Half a Sermon on Obedience

I read on the Fox news site about a pair of UK church leaders getting into hot water for preaching “Wives, submit to your husbands”. I didn’t get to hear the sermon and what was reported may have been only half the sermon, the other half being that the husbands would have been following the example of our Lord to such an extent that both husband and wife are living their lives in obedience to the commandments.

There was a line thrown in from one angry woman, “How can they talk that way in the 21st century?”

The answer to that is fairly straight forward, God’s expectations for His children does not vary according to the times. The commandments have not changed and those who claim to be above living in obedience to God’s laws might take a few moments to consider the path they’ve chosen.

There was a link provided to the original article by David Wilkes , which attempted to explain that the word “submit” had been misinterpreted, as if women were not equal. I suggest you read the two linked articles; not that it will diminish the rush to opinion.

I wonder if this story would have gotten any press had the sermon led off with the idea, “Husbands, treat your wives in accordance with their being Heavenly Father’s daughters”; no I don’t think that would have merited any space in the paper. What would society do without a little more contention?

By the way, tomorrow is Valentine’s Day. There’s still time to treat your “better half” with a symbol of affection; flowers, a box of chocolates, a simple card or some other expression of your desire to honor your relationship. The old time card is one of many shown in The Stock Solution’s Vintage Valentine Art Collection .

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Appreciating Snow

With a title like that I’m guessing there will be an accumulation of hate mail from the Mid-Atlantic states as another wave of snow heads their way on the coat tails of last week’s horrific blizzard. Fox news website had a mild distraction this morning, Wilson Bentley’s Pioneering Snowflake Photography , a slide show of various images taken prior to Bentley’s death in 1931.

I did a little more looking and found a site dedicated to Bentley’s work along with a quote which set the tone for his efforts.

"Under the microscope, I found that snowflakes were miracles of beauty; and it seemed a shame that this beauty should not be seen and appreciated by others. Every crystal was a masterpiece of design and no one design was ever repeated., When a snowflake melted, that design was forever lost. Just that much beauty was gone, without leaving any record behind."

I’ve watched shows on television explaining the scientific reasons for the formation of snow and the temperatures which are associated with the various shapes. I’m sure there are plenty of other sites; but for a fairly simple explanation the one from the Lansing State Journal, dated October 8, 1997, covered my limited need to know.

“The shape that a snow crystal will take is dependent upon the temperature at which it was formed. The temperature in the highest clouds is around -30°F and they are made up exclusively of ice crystal columns. The other three shapes are formed in a narrow temperature range. When the temperature in the clouds is 3° to 10°F the star shaped crystals form. From 10°-18°F the plates form, and from 18°-23°F columns form. From 23°-27°F needles form and from 27°-32°F the plates reappear. As the snow crystals grow they become heavier and fall towards Earth. If they spin like tops as they fall then they may be perfectly symmetrical when they hit the Earth. But if they fall in a sideways fashion then they end up lopsided. Falling snow crystals clump together forming snowflakes. Each snowflake is made up of from 2 to about 200 separate crystals.”

I did save a couple of Bentley’s snowflake pictures, artwork of intricate design which fell in front of the camera lens, a moment in time saved for folks to appreciate or to ignore; your call. Please enjoy the beauty and consider, if you will, its importance in the overall scheme of things.

The idea occurred to me, at some point the question of Intelligent Design could surface as a tangent to my topic, appreciating snow. Some might bring up the idea that God, or Deity by any other name, is responsible for every aspect of Creation. Should that thought be considered, even if for the briefest of moments while you enjoy the beauty of a single snow flake then my purpose for posting today’s article has served its purpose.