Monday, September 30, 2013

Shut it Down

The problem with a government shutdown is not in it actually shutting down but in the accumulation of debt because it fails to actually shut down.  This may sound a bit like double speak but when you look back on all the other shut downs the employee’s, the government workers, contractors, special interests etc… always get paid what they would have been paid had they never been furloughed.

The insanity of our current governmental practices makes any attempts toward change by either party an almost impossible scenario of laviathonic eventuality.  The hope of change from shutting down the government only prolongs the inevitable juggernaut that rolls over and crushes everything in its path.   A few weeks or a few months make no difference to the trillions spent annually and the billions spent daily to the relative few who are sidelined by the temporary shutdown (it’s really only a slowdown).

There are some who will suffer but then what government really cares about those few in any regard; governments routinely push aside entire groups in order to sustain their own existence, knowing that the programs, the process or the agency is ultimately more important than a few misguided groups that supposedly believe in the inalienable rights guaranteed under the provisions of some constitution or document of ancient design.

Shutting down the government never really shuts down the powers in charge, it only relegates those in need to a deeper and a more desperate need, transforming that once simple need and dependency to a profound addiction based on a newly found hatred toward those affecting the attempted change.  That change is almost always initiated by the more conservative, trying to garner support for what they perceive as a runaway process of spending and entitleism.

Sorrowfully those attempts have never turned the public ideals toward their cause leaving them scrambling for support and running for cover.  Especially now in 2013 the call for fiscal constraint is tied to the affordable care act (Obama Care) and the desire to defund the before mentioned act in order to save the people from the evil of death panels, higher costs, less choice and longer lines for all that is health care will most likely fall upon not only deaf ears but ears filled with the fluff of discontent and the idealism of social reformations that entice those that profess to hear only what they want to hear, leaving the rational to query without recourse over the insanity of it all.

Idealistically the notion of a closed government rings with a sense of victory, even if the reality is nothing more than a wistful dream.  A closed government brings to mind the idea that the monster can be defeated and the hoards of regulations can be overcome, even if only for a few days the victory may be worth the ultimate failure of losing the war, a war that was in essence lost a long time ago.

There are no conservatives really, no banner flying, died in the wool constitutionalist that live and die for the sanctity of what our founding fathers established; there are only posers who ply the language to garner the votes to stay in office, never really standing tall and leading the charge toward their spurious but oft spoken beliefs.  The war is lost, so let’s bloody the opponent’s nose, let’s cut a few cuts and help them to remember and maybe, just maybe a leader will arise who has the courage and the fortitude to be believed and more importantly actually deliver us from the socialistic junta of despair.

Like a cyclone fed by the hyperbole of global warming our government is on a certain path to self destruction and un-sustainability.  It may take generations to complete the logical demise but this socialistic path has never worked, will never work and will eventually implode bringing with it the Constitution and the United States.

So let the government flounder, but do not give in, do not buckle under the pressure of those oily mouthed constituents, the free loaders, the special interests…come to think of it I’m a special interest group: married, religious white male in his late 50’s underemployed with kids still at home…so every other special interest but mine. 

You let the government stop so let it stop!  Keep it stopped until you get what you want.  Keep it closed until you force the Senate to acquiesce to your demands.  If your goal is to stop Obama Care now’s your chance, don’t blow it, and don’t get scared, ride it out, the house is on strike, so act like the heroes you think you are and maybe, just maybe we can actually get some real change, for a change. 

Wouldn’t that be nice?

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

The Quest for Beauty

The quest for beauty and personalized perfection has been a constant theme throughout history.  Even I the most humble of them all (too much?) let’s my own vanity get in the way, stopping to gaze in a mirror as I pass making sure I don’t have any jam on my face or my hair is in place.  We all have a vain side I suppose but the incidents of extreme vanity are on a precipitous increase.

What used to be only reserved for the few outlying tribes from various countries the practices to attract the opposite sex has become almost mainstream.   Intrigued by the old National Geographic magazines that my parents used to get I would thumb through the photos, I really only read the articles, and look at the bazaar and unusual practices depicted, the half naked women or in some cases the completely naked women and men with scares or tattoos covering their bodies and rings through their noses and ears.

The faces of young men and women with their lips stretched to unbelievable extremes surrounding some kind of plate or object that in their culture spawned some sort of sexual attraction.  The women of Thailand, formally from Burma, Kayan Tribe wrap their necks with rings making them look like they have impossibly long necks.  What happens actually is the collar bones are somewhat displaced pushing them down and making the neck look longer.  Have you ever wondered what would happen if they removed the rings and do they sleep in those things? Not too farfetched perhaps but look at the models we revere and the style of their bodies, their long necks, their long legs their emaciated continence, are we that much different?  

We look at the styles of today and we see the same extremes practiced but in most cases there is no religious or cultural significance only a desire to be different, but in that desire toward uniqueness a commonality emerges and society begins to accept and emulate.

Ear piercing used to be for women and pirates, now it’s for five year old boys whose parents want their child to be “cool”.  Stretched rings extend the lobes to unreal proportions as larger and larger gauges are inserted to supposedly push the boundaries of acceptability.  Nose plugs and rings, eye brow studs and nipple piercing for both men and women are now considered almost normal.  Normal is a word that suggests a majority and that word most definitely fits the use of the Tattoo.

Ancient cultures used to use tattoos as a religious expression to ward off evil spirits and instill “good luck”, San Yak tattoos are still inked in the traditional way using long needles dipped in ink by Buddhist monks and holy men and set deep into the skin to create amazing and intricate work.  Today we have special machines and amazing artist that use the skin as a canvas to show their talents, letting the user showcase that work for evermore.  The incident of tattooing (sounds like a star wars term) is so pervasive it’s hard to find individuals without at least one inked adornment.

Tattoos are not just for colorful expression but have real value to some.  Women who have gone through mastectomies have often opted for a recreation of their areola through colored ink to give the impression of what used to be, giving them a sense of normalcy.  But even that has taken on a bazaar twist with unaffected women and some men opting to expand their natural pigmentation to enhance the area making them seemingly more attractive to the opposite sex.

Butt implants, breast implants, facial reconstruction, not just for those in need, in fact the statistics of “plastic” surgery as an elective  procedure far outweighs the incidents of true reconstruction supporting the overall premise of a vain and self absorbed society.

 A few blogs past I called for a week for women not to wear makeup and thought what a great idea, let women have a week off from all the pressure of having to put on all that stuff and let men have a chance to see women as they really are, it was a complete and utter flop, no one even commented on the plan and I must say I was disappointed but I’m starting to understand that even for a week those women would feel completely exposed, naked and even ashamed to go out in public. 

We spend a considerable amount of money and time to create these illusions of who and what we are.  We alter our faces, cover out skin, expand or minimize our natural features, just so we can look in the mirror and think we look good.  Nothing is really going to change I guess and I was a bit na├»ve to think that my simple but expanding blog (now over ten thousand readers to date, share with a friend…sorry for the shameless plug) could affect such a dramatic change.

History does teach us about the past and the past suggests that the bazaar generally becomes the accepted.  Those that want to be unique act and plan toward that end with the eventual outcome of creating a new “normal”.  That’s seems to be the case with these increasing self masochistic tendencies. 

I must admit that even I, the humble one has considered a tattoo of sorts from time to time, nothing outrageous, but the trend to join in is a powerful draw to many and that quick view in the mirror has tempted the best of us to follow the crowd but my advice is to stay strong, avoid those temptations, keep your skin free of holes and pictures, enjoy the god given freedom of liking who you are.  A few lip piercings, butterfly on your ankle or a two inch size nose ring will never really change who you are so why bother?   



Saturday, September 21, 2013

One free Do-over

In the grand scheme of things what would you do if you could have a do over, a new beginning, a life to live over?  What would you do different, would you turn right instead of left, go up instead of down, work longer hour or shorter hours, what would you really do if you had the chance to live your life again?

It would be like failing an important exam and having the teacher give you another chance to study and retake the test, using the old test as a guide to where you went wrong.  It is an interesting mental exercise.  As we think about our past decisions we are forced to evaluate their effectiveness grading them as success or failure, knowing with hindsight that a wrong decision put us on a path relegated to the appropriate consequence of that choice.

The beauty of hindsight is that it is perfectly clear, 20/20 vision they say, or is it?  When we look at the past what are we really seeing, what level of perception do we have to those events that brought us to the point of our present existence?  There is perhaps a reason for the homespun saying “learn from the past or be destined to repeat it…” which brings up an interesting dilemma in relation to our hypothetical desire to relive, or redo our life.  If we could jump back in time what would happen to our memories of the future, would they dissolve and vaporize with the erasure of time or would they stay with us allowing us to use those memories to sway the new future toward a better tomorrow?

Even assuming we retained our memories what good would they really be, especially in relation to the new reality that we have just created, negating perhaps those thoughts to the new options and choices that multiply exponentially with every new decision.  One move different to the left or right and the entire spectrum of choices change and the entire existence remembered would be forfeit, or so I think if one could actually attempt to relive that life.

The multi-verse theory postulates an unending stream of alternate realities that encompass any and all possible scenarios.  Whatever choice you think you could have made or will make another you will make creating an unending and ever expanding cycle of realities, but that is not our reality and in our reality we only have this one life, the one chance at each moment to make that choice, forever suffering or enjoying the consequences of that singular action.

There is no going back, no redo’s or mulligan’s, no gimmies, all we have is the now and now is all we’ll ever have.  We can look to the past for clues but clues are all we will be given to help us choose.  The problem is that the future is unknown, the parameters always changing; with nothing staying constant long enough to devise a system that will ensure 100% success for those future events.  So in essence we’re back to square one, living with the past decision that brought us to point of wanting a redo, but now we know that’s never going to happen.

The mental exercise is still valid however, with the understanding that we can learn from our mistakes, realizing that our perception of a “mistake” may change as we see the future unfold, also realizing that what we thought was a mistake was really a challenge, an opportunity toward that illusive scheme called perfection. 

Human nature dictates that hope reigns supreme and the desire for “smooth sailing” is innate to all who live.  Fortunatly life is unpredictable and the winds of change are impossible to foretell, leaving us with the only option available, to do the best with what we have, trying to weight the pro’s and con’s, but ultimately reacting to those gusts and billows with as much skill as possible trying desperately not to let our sales get overfilled, capsizing our lives completely.  Fortunatly because it is the unknown that allows us to thrive and grow, knowing that only through adversity will strength be achieved.   

It may be fortune that smiles on us but I have yet to see a fortune without toil or sacrifice and it is that balance of life that causes the most grief.  Lost jobs, new jobs, relationships issues, political upheaval, loneliness, death, sickness and the myriad other situational issues that seem to frown on our daily lives making us wonder when do the smiles come?

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Princes or paupers

Have you ever wondered about the subtle differences between the way we act and the way we want to be perceived?  Often and all too common are the juxtapositional motivations that cause actions not necessarily wanted but sought-after none the less, as a means to mitigate the discrepancies of what we are with who we think we should be.

There are those who have balance and find that calming peace of serenity at the joining of these two often divergent motivations.  They have balanced and justified their actions and their motivations and find them to be one in the same.  Too often our actions are divergent points of pressure that move us away from who we really are and into the realm of misgiving and misguided guilt.  That guilt is a process that either grows or shrinks as our personal actions dictate.  It is our unconscious hope that our actions always align with the real person and not the “natural man” fighting to emerge and destroy the spiritual man within.

Each of us has these two opposites fighting for supremacy and it is truly the great man who masters and controls that battle.  There are but a few who have completely mastered these eternal struggles with the spiritual leading the charge to show supremacy over the Natural tendencies that are so prone and active in all of us.

The fight is often once sided due to the evil incursions by others, so traumatic that the spiritual you, may have little choice over the physical demands caused by that trauma.  Self inflicted and habitual practices also prove effective in squashing the spiritual power, shutting out those soft whispers of encouragement with the over bearing screams of self fulfillment.  That still small voice is however always there, always guiding and encouraging even if our own ears have failed to listen, our pursuit of selfish and pleasurable endeavors booming over those quite but ever present words.

It’s as if we were born to royalty but did not know it.  Some cruel trick to test our loyalty to a crown we don’t recall.  Being a prince when you know you’re a prince is hard enough but can you image the struggle of acting like a prince when all you have is the word of a mother or father telling you that you are of royal blood?  You don’t have the perks of royalty, not the wealth or celebrity, nor do you have the support and protection; all you have is the promise of a name and lineage to guide your decisions.  Do you act like a prince regardless or do you forsake the words of promise and follow a more mundane existence?

If we believe we have a spirit, a conscience then we must suspect, at least in a small measure the divinity of our creation and if there is a glimpse of the divine within then our actions must be in accord to our principles (prince scruples), for it is only through our actions that our royalty will be realized.  Are we of royal birth or just a common mistake of nature?  Do we have a reason for being alive or are we simply trying to stay alive as long as possible fearing the endless darkness and finality that is death? 

What is your purpose in life?  Why are you here?  Where did you come from?  Where are you going after death?  These are real questions that separate us from the rest of creation.  Man has devised a universal understanding that there is something more to life than simple existence.  In virtually every culture, every society,   from the first to utilize stone tools to the lost Micronesian tribes in Bora Bora, from ancient Mesopotamia to modern America the undertone of belief has always been connected to a supreme creator, making this notion of princely potential a universal constant not just an encouraging word from a worried mother to her sons ears.  We are the children of God and with that lineage come the very real responsibility to overcome those natural tendencies. 

We may doubt and say we strive to be good but without a god to guide why bother, eat, drink and be merry for tomorrow we die…the motivation toward goodness has to come from God or at least the belief that man is more than a genetic mishap of proteins and electrolytes from some ancient pool of goo and grime.   The coincidences of life are too astronomical and the chance meeting and conditions so unthinkable that creation at least shows some form of possibility.

There are scientists who proudly claim that we are all there is.  There is no life out there; it happened here yes but in order for nature to duplicate those conditions the statistical value far out ways the possibility of a repeat performance.  I often ask my students to tell me how many stars are in the sky.  Some come back with hundreds and hundreds and some with thousands, only a few ever get the reality of saying there is really no way of knowing, trillions and trillions, one student said.

As the sands of the seas the stars shine their light telling us all that we are not alone.  These stars shine over planets that circle those suns in perfect harmony to the billions and billions of other stars and planets, balanced in perfect accord to the principles of a divine mission for all of us to understand our own sense of royalty.   With that understanding perhaps I can start to overcome some of those pesky habits that divide my loyalties from what I do to what I really am, a prince in the Royal Courts on High.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

A cows life.

This was a good day on the farm.  The sun was shining, the grass was green and the cows were lining up to be milked without many disturbances or altercations for position.  It had just rained so the ground was little muddy, especially where the cows were waiting for their turn to be milked, their legs covered with the brown mud and feces with a few  cows almost completely covered after falling.  They would have to be washed before the milking process but that was better than having to wash every cow, that took precious time and time was money.

Each cow plodded along, one after the other their mammary glands overfilled, engorged by the lactating hormones that were routinely used to increase milk production.  Each cow moved carefully their glands filled to capacity making walking difficult but today was a good day to be a cow.

There were days of extremes, especially when the cold came and the lines outside the milking stalls made them wait in the frigid weather, their hides soaked, their bodies covered with mud, their temperaments foul as they jockeyed for position, hoping to be near the front of the line, knowing that those in the front would get released early and able to enjoy the temporary feelings of emptiness and be able to return to their stalls where it was warm at least.

Those at the end the line had to wait, the excruciating pain never ending as their sacks of milk sagged and pulled, filled to capacity, the pressure and the discomfort ever constant except for after the milking.  They waited in the cold, in the heat of the summer, the sun burning their bodies but those at the end of the line had to wait the longest, knowing that the machines the sucked the liquids from their utters often had to be cleaned making those at the end of the line more prone to the elements and less healthy, more risk of getting sold to less reputable farms or even worse for the meat their bodies would provide.

Every two or three years the owners would evaluate the stock, choosing who would stay and who would be sold, the cows never knew until they were pulled from the line, unceremoniously milked and separated from the herd, never to be seen again.  Every cow knew what was happening but the fear of being chosen kept the rest inline, stomping on any emotional cries of separation.  When a cow was chosen to leave that was that, get back in line, fill the gap, get milked and get back to the barn to relax, feeling the milk surge, filling and pushing, the never ending cycle of producing, eating, sleeping, getting milked and if you were lucky being chosen to breed.

A cow was only good for a few years at best, and if their milk production had been consistent they were chosen as breeding stock, pulled from the line and sent to a warmer and more comfortable field with stalls that had pads, floors that were cleaned.  The Studs or bulls would visit daily and the hope and fear that filled the minds of every cow was that they would be fertile enough to produce a calf, giving temporary relief from the daily milking. 

They allowed two months, two cycles of the moon and if the cow could not conceive they were taken away and another put in its place.  The bulls were regularly tested for sperm count, their lives somewhat better than most of the cows; their duties were simple but no less tenuous.    Three cows a day, every day with only the occasional gap when the stalls were full with pregnant cows, they looked forward to those days off, but they did not occur that often.  A farm was a business and cows not producing were a liability.  A bulls life could be good and last for years but only if they could maintain the grueling schedule and demands of insemination and success, if not they were taken away as well, never to be seen again.

This was a good day to be a cow, especially for those in the front of the line.  When milking was done the cows were released into the field and allowed to mingle with the other cows, even a few bulls were wandering the fields their stalls filled with caving cows, enjoying their short lived respite with the rest of the herd.

A few groups sat or stood together, their faces close to each other, their voices low and protected.  They talked of stories of the past when cows were free, not penned in or used as food.  One of the older bulls whispered remembering a time when he was young and lived in a house, he remembered his parents and also remembered the invasion, the decimation of the human population and the herding of those that remained when it was discovered that the aliens loved the taste of human milk and flesh.  But at least it was warm; it was a good day to be a cow.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Big bother is no brother of mine

A few weeks ago I went on a ride along (not in the back seat but as an observer) and what I observed brought to mind a few questions and concerns about who we are becoming as a people and as a society in general.  It may have been somewhat mundane for the officer but for me it was an eye opening experience that solidified the idea that we have lost our way.

With an incredible amount of patients and professionalism the officer showed me the underbelly of a beast that is slowly but inexorably devouring our spirituality, consuming our morals and digesting our very souls with its insatiable hunger and desire to overtake, overshadow and destroy all in its path. The hapless and lost meandering the streets, most thinking all is well fall prey to the appetites of this great beast and simply provide fodder as they unknowingly feed its deprivation.

From a drunk and stumbling man to two innocent but foolish girls drinking in their car it was a continuous ride of the same, a seemingly unending parade of hungry souls willing to do almost anything for what they believe will bring them pleasure.  No peace, no tranquility of mind only the overriding drive toward lasciviousness and desire.  This is the motivation of so many these days that the police are overwhelmed with crime, hatred and a blood lust so pervasive that I fear nothing can be done to stem the feeding frenzy that is to come.

With expert skills the officer negotiates the thrills and dangers each night and with his partners patrols the city streets like heroes looking for those telltale signs of delinquency, intervening, interceding and interrupting those crimes as best as possible while knowing that they are understaffed, underequipped and hamstrung by liberal politicians that mandate policies that not only put them in danger but endangers everyone they are trying to protect while those that govern are safe and protected in their ivory towers never concerning themselves with the reality of what they have created, happy with the outcome as long as there remunerations continue.

There is nothing in the future to indicate a change that will reverse these trends. Today it was reported that the gap between the very rich and the rest had widened to its most extreme for the last 100 years with only more of the same to follow.  Evan as a teacher I see the signs posted blatantly on the walls of life as neon loud posters strewn the streets in warning.  We can all see the behaviors the insensitivity and the lack of compassion poisoning our children’s minds while we drink from that same fetid well self-medicating ourselves into oblivion. How can we save our children if we can’t save ourselves?

We have the tools and the technology and in the patrol car each officer has a computer and through that connection a massive and extensive data base connects his patrol car to all the others and with it the information needed to investigate millions.  The Big Brother scenario may have seemed like a science fiction fable but those in charge have all the information and the use of that technology is being used to control not assist. 

They know how old you are, where you live and where you used to live, they know what car you drive and what color it is and beyond the police connection we can only imagine what they know about our buying habits, our propensities and our secrets, they probably know us better than we know ourselves.

While we try to live in a world filled with crime and corruption those who are placed as fiduciaries are probing and prodding, pulling and pushing, leading us along like sheep to the slaughter, milking our God given freedoms until we are bone dry and lifeless, sucking our sanity and draining our spirits, letting us die in obscurity as they leap and sing, laughing over our bodies and the bodies of our children, never considering or even thinking about the carnage left in their wake.

Many will die and more will suffer thinking they are boldly in pursuit of fame and desire seeking their fortunes at the expense of their own celestial riches. There are millions who blindly live day to day, plodding along waiting like an addicted gambler hoping for the numbers to fall in their favor only to be gravely disappointed in the end.

There are those who proclaim the words of warning, courageously battling those that would have us fail.  The David’s against the Goliath’s, battling daily, never ignoring the cries of those in need.  They stand as sentinels, armored with truth and goodness knowing perhaps of the futility of what they do but also understanding that good must prevail over evil and that God will stand with those that stand against evil.  Like a modern day Moses their arms are raised toward the heavens guiding our eyes toward His will with the understanding that nothing will vanquish the goodness of God.

It may have only been a few short hours but that ride along opened my eyes to the challenges of overcoming and enduring, knowing that without these courageous few the front lines of life would be forfeit and the rest would fall in short order.  It is the police, the firefighters, the pastors, the teachers and the honest among us that hold that line against the evil monster that would consume us all.  If we are to be victorious, and I believe victory will be ours, we must never surrender, never give up, never give in, never doubt the goodness of God and always know that truth and righteousness will prevail.


Monday, September 2, 2013

Workers Day

Happy retail sales day!  Yes, this is the same day as Labor Day and yes it is the same day set aside to commemorate the herculean efforts that made this country great.  Most industrialized nations have similar holidays but most celebrate on or near May first in connection with International Workers Day.  If that sounds a bit socialistic, that’s because it is.

After 364 days of general slavery for most the world turns it head and allows the “worker” to have a day off, except that day off has turned into one of the most highly prized days for retailers, often surpassing all but Black Friday as the most profitable day of the year and the irony is that in order to sustain those lofty economic numbers the slaves who so ardently sacrifice throughout the year are forced to work even longer hours on this supposed celebration of labor.

I guess if you really think about it what better way to revel and celebrate then to be fully engaged in the virtue of that pursuit.  Therefor the very act of working on Labor Day should be lauded as the ultimate tribute for those who work.  Taking this strain of logic even further perhaps we should only allow those who do work to participate in the holiday merriment, but only after their shift is over of course.

Even though Labor Day was started in response to Labor Unions and the socialistic designs to foster some celebrity for those in the trenches it has become, at least in the United States a day of extra labor.  The summer is at its end, high society no longer has to wear white (I don’t understand that one unless it has something to do with traditional tennis and the all-white uniforms of the past), most schools have already begun, having abandoned the other tradition of starting after Labor Day, choosing to start in the middle of the hottest part of the year, no explanation for that one either, and as the dog days of summer roll to a close most take the day to prepare for the coming year.

Lowe's and Home Depot are packed, malls are bustling and restaurants turn a happy profit as homes are cleaned, gardens are transformed, cars are washed and cloths are bought in hast on this last opportunity to get out and spend.  Evan for those who are not laboring and getting paid this is indeed a true labor day where everyone it seems is doing more than going to the beach, park or lake simply to sit back and eat chicken wings and hot dogs in leisure.  There is nothing leisurely about Labor Day and the trend seems to be moving toward more work not less, a fitting tribute to a day dedicated to the humble worker.

The real question is do you really care?  Does this day hold any special meaning other than another day off to do your own work or for those that are forced to work, just another day like all the rest with the exception of course of not being able to choose not to work, if not working at all was ever really an option? Keep in mind that work is a good thing but the whole idea of making a national holiday for workers and then making them work just seems a bit counterproductive. 

From the retail side of things and a far cry from the socialistic goals of the holiday not working or not staying open and forcing the workers to work is counterproductive so in the end Labor Day is exactly what it’s supposed to be, a day of extreme labor where only those at the top of the socialistic circles benefit from the “holiday” aspects of the holiday.  

Let me be perfectly clear there isn’t a lot of difference between the union lead ideals of Labor Day and those of big business, they both use the workers for their own advantage, they both want to make more money on the backs of those who put up the labor so they do not have to.  The exception to these two extremes is the small business owner who really does choose to work and slave and sacrifice it is for these hard working people around this world that Labor Day should be celebrated.

My simple suggestion is to frequent these establishments, support these businesses and use your hard earned money to bolster their efforts, not the purveyors of modern slavery, not the company store minded bosses that make life almost impossible but those who work in the trenches and supply most of the jobs, a majority of the income and GDP and overall opportunity for the millions of workers that they support.  Go to the mom and pop places, go the little boutique around the corner, go to the mechanic that works on your car…ooh wait I almost forgot, it’s Labor Day and their all closed so they can have a day off…