Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Entitlement Programs?

Entitlement Programs?

I don't know who says what to whom and where, but I heard an 83 year old lady speak today as to what she has heard. She said she is 83 years old and draws 195.00 dollars per month Social Security, and I'm guessing Food Stamps. She had heard that Romney and his side kick wanted to do away with "Entitlement Programs". That left me to wonder just as she does, how are they called "Entitlement"? Investment maybe, mandatory none the same that the deductions have come out of people's paychecks for years. So how the hell do we call them "entitlement programs?" Are the ones entitled to this money government squandering and multinational corporations? I don't keep abreast of some things like I should, but I've heard a lot of this term floating around. If it is Obama's tactics or Romney's plan, I have no idea, don't care which. Hell holds a special place for those who create fear from the old and weak, and it stokes brighter and hotter for those who would cause them to suffer and hunger.

So if they, and I mean The Powers That Be, can get programs that are sometimes abused but most times aren't taken away, it will be the doom of most, including the top. Not the masterminds though who are evil to the core, but the middle and upper class, you bet. I hadn't given much thought but this lady talked and what she said made sense. She is 83 years old, so she has seen a lot in her lifetime, and that scares them more than the Hell that await them and those who follow. So what does this mean in actual break down sense. Her logic was perfect.

We cut of the Food Stamps, Social Security, Welfare (not sure if that is the same thing), Medicare, I'm sure there are other programs that I don't know about. How much of this money goes back into circulation? All of it. It doesn't sound as bad as it is, unless you think about this.

No Food Stamps means:
less food purchased and more hunger. This equates to less Super Market sales which means less stockers, less stores, less cashiers, less trucking, less fuel, less packers, less warehouses, less staff, less salesmen, less printers, less printing companies, less managers, less advertising, less commercials. The upside : less trading on Wall Street, less speculators, less regulators, less chemical sales. But it will lead to more in some areas. More disease from malnutrition, more deaths, more hunger, more instability as people move into the mode of survival of the fittest.

Social Security (and other programs similar):
Less product sales, less electricity, less water, less fuel, less manufacturing jobs (what's left), less delivery business, less medical services and jobs there, less retail stores and jobs there, less shipping and jobs there, less wholesale and jobs there, less medicine and jobs there, less managers, less investment and jobs there, less advertising and jobs there, less TV services and internet services and jobs there, less banking and jobs there, less revenue from taxes collected, less property ownership. But it will do more in some areas: More deaths, disease, more instability, more government to regulate the ones desperate to survive, more deficit.

Medicare & Medicaid:
This too will have a large effect creating less healthcare and all jobs in and associated with healthcare. That includes all industries related, advertising, trucking, shipping, schools, medicines, hospitals, less research and development, less investments, less financial, less taxes, less management, less profit, less investment. It will create more death, disease, instability.

This is the tip of the Iceberg and one would be impressed if they set and consider jobs in each area that will not be lost, plus the human humanity. I've crammed thousand upon thousands of jobs in each small category, and I'm sure I missed a few. If you think your job or you will not be in the mix, think again. From the Janitors to the CEOs, and all in between, jobs will be lost and you will find yourself in the heavy mix of things. Unless you are at the tip top of the heap, and those probably will never read this, you will be affected. Here is a hint, six figure incomes are nothing, and that could be wiped out... completely. The independent business will go first followed by small and medium corporations. Hows that for Free Trade?

There are those who abuse the system at the bottom and at the top. We see one out of a thousand or more and they present them as the majority when they're not. Most politicians that make it to DC are out of touch with reality, groomed from the start. If they are real people, people who make choices everyday, balance a checkbook, had real jobs that require work, they are whisked away into that cloud of deception that goes with the job. I seriously doubt that all the lower end of the chain that abuse the system could match just one of the abuses linked to the top of the chain when added together. It isn't the task at hand or the one who is pulling on the chain who determines the strength.

But the real cost of this fantasy entitlement debate is what is lost, humanity. It has long been my estimation that a nation is like a chain, no stronger than it's weakest link. It isn't the length or the size of the chain that holds humanity and makes us strong, but rather all the links that bond together. I'm not exactly sure just how we measure our success anymore as a country and as individuals, maybe I was taught differently. How successful are we that can watch our old suffer, our children suffer, our weak suffer? How strong are we when we see someone weak that we can't lend a hand? How good are we when we allow some to live in agony that don't deserve too?

Now, as a Christian I'll address a few things. We all know the Grace part and that works alone will not do, but note the word alone. For the Paul said people, he does address works without faith is dead, but also faith without works is dead too. It is by Grace that we are saved and that we live, but by acceptance of Jesus and His laws. He does demand we repent, which means we will work on correcting the things we do wrong, and repent means we are truly sorry for it. Repentance is to turn away from sin, and sin is missing the mark which Jesus set. You can't do that with a prideful heart. You can't do that with a boastful heart. You can't do that with excess, aka Gluttony. You can't do that without love for the other. You can't do that with turning an eye. Where your heart is there will be your eye. So what are you seeing? Are you the Good Samaritan? Do you help those who are in need. Do you see that little children do not suffer? It goes a bit deeper than an anti-abortion rally. I think certainly we remember the rich man encounter, the tax collector, the religious man encounter, the not being impressed how the Synagog

Now for the Old Testament people, seems a lot of preachers preach those books. It is sinful to covet, that is, want what the other has. That means keeping up or competing with the "Jones" is a sin. Not paying a proper wage is also a sin, as well as not paying a workman his worth. It is an unforgivable sin to call someone useless. It is a sin to see people hungry, sick, or destitute when you can do something about it because of excess God has allowed you to gain. Pride should have nothing to do with success. The Bible is full of those who fell to pride and arrogance. Telling Lies. 

And so now the whole ensemble. Read the Good Samaritan and apply that. Read how you are not suppose to judge, see someone in need that you can help, love your enemy. Fight evil with good. It is not that you or I have earned anything, but rather that God has allowed us to have or do what we have or done. We are to administer grace, mercy, love, compassion, and as I've heard so make say, "Take up their cross". Today's times, I wonder if they are taking up their cross to crucify or be crucified. I do not believe that when Jesus said to take up the cross He meant to beat people with it. So the bottom line is the Lukewarm thing. You either are or aren't a Christian. Some things are hard to do, and some are even harder that the Bible teaches, it isn't pick and choose and it isn't graded on the popularity scale. Now I see political things where Christians are Republican and all unbelievers are Democrats. That is blasphemy in it's worst form. Do you really want to answer to God for that? I don't. Just as it was in Jesus' day, I seriously doubt He would like any party in Politics, but they all wanted to use Him. I apologize on behalf of the Christians who fall for those who shout out loudly like in the day of Barabbas, falsely claiming Christ as their own, He can be yours too, and He is nothing like some of His alleged followers. Please bear in mind that someone can stand in a barn, moo, eat, drink, sleep... but their not a cow and probably won't give milk either. May God forgive us for what we have and are becoming.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Letter for a Friend.

  This is to a lady who is having a battle. I can't find your email.

   So I'm told you have all but given up the fight, and we both know it is a fight. I've been where you are, but you already know that, and why I was asked to talk to you. If you ever want to talk my number is 865-674-6318, and if it's long distance drop me an email and I'll call you. Thing is, everybody needs somebody sometime. No matter how strong we are, or how faithful we are, sometimes we need to lean a bit on a shoulder. And that is ok to do. It doesn't show weakness but only that we're human.

  I'll be the first to say that cancer sucks. Thats pretty much the bottom line. The treatments and side effects suck too. I think the most pain I ever felt at one time was a heart attack, but the worst thing is cancer between the two. The heart attack you know isn't going to last forever, but every second seems like a lifetime. With cancer, every day seems like the rest and after a while you loose track of what day it is. People who haven't had an affliction like cancer probably can't understand, but we do. The hole seems deeper and deeper each day while the mountains grow higher and higher. It's hard to fight what you can't see. Harder to express to someone what you feel, even with this I hold back.

  At some point it all seems pointless to try and stand, yet it isn't. There are days I would just like to lay there, just as you probably feel the same. Between the damage from the 2nd cancer and the first cancer advancing, and the heart feeling sicker, I know where you are, and it is tough as Hell. The easiest thing is to just give up sometimes. You look around at the world as it spirals down, all the ignorance that is taught, and you ask yourself why fight. Whats the use. If one doesn't get depressed then they're either on drugs or not paying attention, but there is one more way to fight the depression.

  I know at times you want to scream and it seems that God doesn't care. Sometimes it feels like He doesn't exist and sometimes we get mad at Him. If your like me you listen to Christian Contemporary and on that people preach sometimes some of the dumbest stuff. I've gotten to where I turn it off or put a CD on when they start that crap. Especially the ones who say GAWD use me. That'd be ok except what if He decides the tropical islands are full. What if He decides your best use would be in prison, sick, or in a land where your hated. Then comes the even worse crowd. The GAWD is punishing you people who live in glass houses. The third ones are the idiots who say God will give you what you want if you pray hard enough. If you have faith He will keep bad things from happening to you, and make everything great. I bet Job would like those crowds...not. For the most part, as an Indian Chief once said, "Its easy to be brave at a distance." Then there are the few, the real Christians. The ones not boasting, not pointing fingers, not making a show, but actually caring.

  So here is the thing. Its OK to be mad. Its ok to question... even God. There isn't anything that isn't normal on that. It's normal to want to stop, especially when the pain comes, and that is too often. Look around though at those who love you. Do they actually know what you are going through? No, but they feel pain too, just a different kind. They fear. Maybe this is what we were born for, I hope not, but one never knows. I figure what if. What if the Hell you are going through helps someone else. What if the fight you fight gives another the courage to fight the good fight. What if someone finds peace observing your war. What if someone finds God through your suffering. What if you draw closer to God through all the long days and nights. I know nights are pain, thats why I'm up late too.  

  Great people are not born but created through strife and endurance. You fight a battle you may or may not win, and that my friend puts you in the minority of great people. I will guarantee that win or lose the physical, it doesn't matter, not really, not in the great scheme of things. In 100 years we probably will not be remembered, as it should be. The greatest people who ever lived are usually not. It isn't strength that wins the war, it's durability. Even then we all loose eventually. Even if you were healthy the clock starts ticking from the moment your born. Life is passing by and death draws closer each breath. So whats the point? Breaths are pointless, of no real value. It is what is done between those breaths that matter. There is the value. God grants the number of breaths we take, and grants us the right to do as we see fit. IE: Freewill.

  So here is my weird way of looking at things. Read this a few times : I do not matter. Tomorrow does not matter. Yesterday does not matter. What I do matters, and what I do today matters. It matters to others and it matters to God.

  I know you have faith and that sometimes it stretches a bit thin, or at least mine did and sometimes still does. I use to look and read the walk in the sand thing, you know, the one that says Jesus carries us, with doubt. In know deep inside that hold a special meaning for you, it does me. You are not and never will be alone in your suffering, unless you choose to be. You, I, and everybody else were sent here for something, something only you can do. Society brain washes us that there are degrees of things. That only a few have something important to do. That talents are graded. The truth is, all are equal. All are important to God, and that is all that counts. There is something that He gave each of us that only we can do, and they're all important. Maybe it's digging a ditch or being a doctor, but they are equal to God.

  I have come to believe that we are looked upon from a loving God, not some pissed off bully wanting to abuse His creations. I can't speak for Him but maybe, just maybe, the suffering He allows us to go through is minor in the grand scheme of things. It sucks but it is what it is. What I can tell you is that whatever this life brings, one day if we're faithful and with grace, it is worth every second. I can tell you this life's misery is nothing compared to what comes next. Here is the thing though. It is His decision when that time comes. He respects us enough to allow us to do as we choose between breaths, but He calls the number of breaths. I think we are to fight. Fight the misery. Fight the injustices. Fight the evil. Fight the lies. In all that fighting though, love God. Love people. Love truth.

 Your knocked down and it's ok to rest sometimes, but get back up. The easy things and ways are usually the wrong things and ways, and it's easy to just stay down. It doesn't seem fair because it isn't, but life seldom is. You are in a world of darkness but never forget, this is your time to shine. I guarantee that you are a light for others. We all have darkness sometimes in one way or the other, yet if we could see we are all connected. Through that connection though the darkness be different, the light from another shines through.

   Cancer can limit what you do physically and sometimes mentally, sometimes even spiritually if we let it. Sometimes it takes longer to get back up, knowing you'll be knocked back down. Cancer has a lot of power, but what it cannot take from you is your spirit. It cannot take from you the things you came into this world with, love. It cannot take from you the truth. It cannot take from you your faith. It cannot take from you your God. Not without your consent and I'm sure you will see like I do, I'll be damned if I'll let it. You have something special to do. Maybe it's the newsletter, maybe it's something else or both. This is your time though to shine. Be that light in the darkness, not for yourself, but for those you love. Those you may not even know. Listen to the song:


Wednesday, September 12, 2012

The Thing Is...

    Driving past the point where fact becomes fiction and fiction appears to be fact is the truth which remains when all else fade away. The problem is the aftermath it leaves in it's wake as we travel. Truth does not become a lie and a lie does not become the truth, though sometimes it can seem that way.

  Sometimes we tend to stress the fact or perspective we wish to make so thin that it no longer becomes relative and becomes a mere shadow  of what the truth is at best, opposite at it's worse. We see this everyday and if you are like most, do  it as well. People see human traits in humans but those of us that are in the country see animals that are similar to some human traits. Be it a pig squealing or a sheep bleating, the whole lot runs never looking to see if it was real or a false alarm, even unto their death. While there may be a bad point to the steering, sometimes there is a good meant that turns bad.

  I keep seeing this over and over again in research, and that makes me look at me to keep myself in check as best I can. This world has many things that can drag one off the path. Without hearing we cannot speak and without speaking others may not hear, yet I am not talking about verbal and physical. It is in the quietness and stillness that we hear and that we speak. One must close ones eyes to see and look with the spirit. The heart can be deceived and the brain can be as well, but the spirit is strong provided one hears and speaks. Some will understand that and some will not.

  I smile a lot and sometimes people ask me how, so I pass along something I learned. When you awake give thanks in the silence of your heart for the day. Need a little help there? Get up a few minutes early and take out a paper and pen. Think of five things or people you are grateful for, they can be animals too. Just five. Quietly give thanks, even if it is to say thank you. Each day add something to that list. Eventually you will see a need for just stopping long enough to say thank you for that day, knowing that nothing lasts forever in this world, it isn't meant too. Eventually you will no longer need that paper. You won't have a stupid smile on your face but a smile of thankfulness, real and complete. You will still stay sharp as a tack to things around. You will speak loudly without saying a word.      


  Seems we live in the world of excess, of which I am all too well familiar with. I am reminded of this point as I research Gluten, then again, I can walk around here and be reminded by the cars sitting here. We have movies and phrases that even support and encourage us to reach new heights, infinity and beyond, and loads more. Truth is, in this world there are limits and they are there for a fail safe, cross that limit and it becomes anything can happen. People will lie, steal, cheat, while others may have good intentions, to reach what is excessive. Some do wrong things for right reasons while some do right things for the wrong reason.

  So we as mortals should find balance rather than excess.