Friday, December 23, 2016

The God of Gods

There can really only be one way to God, His way.  This may sound a bit difficult but when you consider the motivations of a god then you may start to understand, just a little, about the reasons for life.

Christian, Jew, Muslim or Sikh if there is a god at all then there must be only one.  If you chose not to believe that’s OK but only if you allow others the same privilege.  Logically, if there is more than one God then there is a greatest among them and it is He that we should worship.  It is the greatest that has the power over all the others and controls their powers, their passions and their sins.  

A power so absolute that all else shadows in His eternal presence.  This one God so great, omnipotent, omnipresent, He is filled with love and charity for his children learning at his feet.  His lesser gods toiling within the muck of Terrestrial tutelage, often and ignorantly ignoring his council as he patiently and lovingly attempts to instruct His children on how to make it home.  

Living is the reason for this life.  We all live to varying levels of comprehension regarding the purposes of life.  Where did we come from? Why are we here?  Where are we going after this life, are the three short questions that all sentient beings must ask if they are to ever begin to understand the meaning of life.

We had a Pre-Mortal life, we existed prior to this life.  We have a life on Earth.  We are being told how to return to our reality.  This time on Earth is probationary and finite with the reward of an eternity of increase for all those who listen and obey.  

This One Eternal God knows us, cares for us and loves us to such a perfect degree that He wants us to open our eyes and our minds, allowing our spirits access to His understanding and perspective, knowing that if we follow him, all that He has will be ours.  Like any loving father would want to do, share his knowledge and wisdom with their children.

This One Eternal God is no respecter of persons but perfectly administers the affairs of all mankind, giving us the freedom to chose and allowing all to chose.  Hardships, mishaps, grief and terror seem to flourish but there must be opposition in all things in order to retain freedom of choice.  It is this choice to chose that gives us the ability to grow and develop, learn and succeed, fail and flounder but the choice is always there.

If that choice is universally given then it must be universally allowed.  Letting the good have choices means that the not so good will also have choices.  The not so good often make bad choices and those choices affect the good but when we have faith that God loves us all then there must be a way to continue to chose despite our weaknesses and inability to see the correct paths before us.

Like the singular choice of stepping off a cliff, you have that right to chose until you chose to jump. Choices have consequences, mitigated by our understanding to some degree but virtually every law must be obeyed and followed if we are to be recipients of God's greatest gifts.  Gifts reserved for his most faithful and obedient children.  Again like a loving father who sees the progress and problems of his many children, knowing that he will bless all, not all will be equally blessed.

This One Great and Eternal God even provided a means for all to return home, through his Son Jesus Christ, who took upon himself the sins of all, allowing us the opportunity to make amends, to show remorse and understanding of the principle of choice, knowing that through Him we are able to chose to forsake our ignorance and replace it with faith and action to improve ourselves and chose more correctly.

It is within this short season of celebration that we focus our minds upon that same Jesus Christ who obediently followed through on his Father's plan to save his brothers from the ravages of sin.  Like the cliff all choices have consequences but the consequences of sin are eternal in nature and must remain with us until the debt of our disobedience has been paid.

Christ paid for our mistakes, our sorrows and our grief,  He bled in the Garden to wash away our sins but only if we chose to obey and take advantage of that gift.  Christmas is the celebration of the child Christ and our opportunity to recognize the loving embrace of our Father above for allowing His son the choice to be our Savior.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Rogue One ....The Trump Story...

Image result for trump and star wars cartoonPolitics has transcended the media roles of multiple genres in its fight against Trump.  With the new Star Wars movie “Rogue One” the inferences toward malicious motivations may be a bit far fetched.  With references to the insinuations of Storm Troopers rising from the World War I German assault troops called sturmtruppen and the more insidious conclusion of direct association between Trump and Hitler the ideas born of irrationality have indeed found a following.

“Erika Franklin Fowler, an assistant professor of government, has noted that 2012 may be remembered for its record-setting negativity. Fowler directs the Wesleyan Media Project, which monitors and analyzes televised campaign ads and found that three-quarters of ads aired during the last presidential race “appealed to anger.””

Anger, it seems sells support and drives voters to some degree that any move away from that strategy is not a consideration for either party who really wants to win.  The same tactics in the 2012 election were used and doubled at the 2016 elections.  It may seem like a sad harbinger of days to come, especially with three quarters of the past ads in favor of using anger to promote and encourage supporters.  Anger is hard to beat and hard to replace.
Trump was no exception, nor was Hillary, both were heavy investors in the current process of using Hate and Anger to bolster their specific claims against their opponents.  Hate and Anger rely upon the emotional responses of latent and dormant fears that when spoken or heard find a fertile field to grow and expand.  For the most part everyone has some hidden fears buried within their psyche and for most those fears are kept in check until the voice within speaks, releasing any previous hold, allowing the fears and hatred to bubble to the top.

Once exposed and unconstrained the hate is allowed to flourish and expand changing the rational mind to irrational.  Changing the peace within to the turmoil of insecurity and anxiety, with the added problems of the illogical and the absurd, taking hold as if they were positive attributes, altering the minds ability to think and ponder judiciously.  Once unleashed the hate and anger is transformed from the depths of the mind to the forefront of our consciousness exposing every facet of our cognizance to the disastrous assumptions that carry little or no weight of reality.  Hate and anger only serve to create more hate and more anger. 

For those who are boycotting the new Stars Wars movie, be my guest boycott to your hearts content.  It is your decision to make and to be honest the movie is probably not that good anyway.  From a cinematography standpoint have any of the Star Wars movies been that good?  I enjoyed them and loved the original effects portrayed but what will they really be missing if they decide not to attend?
There are excellent examples of how hate and anger portrayed effectively can transform a relative peaceful existence to a whirlwind of exploitation and corruption.  Northern Ireland helps us see those effects from both sides of the conflict with the Irish and the British forces fighting for years and to some extent still bubbling below the surface, waiting for the next explosion to bring the battle back to the forefront. 

We all know what happened during WWII and the evil that was perpetrated upon the world when Germans and Japanese attempted to rule the world.  The problems with the Middle East show us that Hate and Anger have been alive and well within the area for centuries with no indication of any substantive change in the future.  It seems as though Hate is the motivator with any past indiscretions being forgotten long ago.
When asked about the feud between the Hatfield’s and McCoy’s no one really understood the events sufficiently to be knowledgeable enough to describe why the two families were feuding.  Historically the problem started with a Union supporter returning from the Civil War and his attack by Confederate sympathizers.  There was also a Hog in dispute but beyond those specific instance it was Hate that promoted the proliferation of the problem.

Look at our streets, if you can navigate around the potholes it’s the Hate, the ever present Hate and Anger that drives the crime, especially in relation to race relations.  They may have a good reason to hate, there may even been a justification based on economic conditions and past wrongs but when the rational mind is forsaken for some long term derision the ability to rationally consider alternatives is simply not there, leaving only the singular attitude of disgust to support the future actions and reactions.

Politically the consequences of using hate filled rhetoric is effective and may be the only way to win an election.  Changing the process may be too difficult and time consuming with the real risk of losing election after election while those changes are instituted with no guarantee of long term success.  Hate has been effective and for those with political designs will almost assuredly move toward what works rather than risking it all on the unproven process of positive electioneering. 

There seems to be an overall move toward wanting less hate filled politics. Regardless of what is wanted the move toward change has been mostly unseen leaving the electorate being forced to endure and hope only.  There may be a move in the future but I doubt that any change will be made until the general attitude of the people force those changes.   Perhaps it will be the same people who voted for Trump.  They defied all the odds and prognosticators and won the unwinnable.

This process will take more than boycotting a movie.  This process will have to include a majority of our population and with them the cooperation of our politicians and leaders.  So basically there is very little chance that any changes will be forthcoming.  In the meantime I think I will fork out the 10-15 dollars and sit through another Star Wars Movie.  Meet you at the Theater.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Global Conditioning

Image result for Global warming trump cartoonThere is an Ice Shelf in frigid Antarctic, ready to slip away from the pack ice.  At Roughly 70 miles long and as wide as a football field and one third of a mile deep this is a massive example of glacial calving.   “Should Larsen C, the name of the ice shelf, throw off a Delaware-sized iceberg, it wouldn’t be terribly unusual in and of itself. Ice shelves naturally shed large chunks as part of their natural life cycles.  That’s just part of life for an ice shelf, says Ala Khazendar of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. That’s how they behave.”
Knowing that something is occurring and understanding why softens the inevitability of the consequences of that occurrence.  But when an ice shelf the size of the State of Delaware is about to fall into the ocean the speculation that follows will inevitably create its own firestorm of controversy.  As stated above, “That’s just part of the life cycle of an ice shelf”, but when taken from the contextual position of human interference the implications are nothing less than life threatening.  
Even though the scientist proclaim “that’s how they behave” the event has triggered a new round of hysteria with claims of rising sea levels and global warming with new calls to intervene and manage our affairs more judiciously, with the unspoken conclusion that had we done more in the past we could have prevented this tragedy from ever happening.  That may or may not be true.   The problem is there is not definitive process of understanding the why and what of global events only the conjecture of what might have happened in relation to what was known at the time.
The question that needs to be asked is in relation to what we believe the status quo of the earth is or should be and when we’ve made that determination how do we curb the natural course of life to fit within our myopic and static view?  In other words, when was the climate of the earth balanced with the needs of humanity and how do we sustain that hope?
As I have stated in the past, I do not discount man’s role in altering our earth’s climate patterns, nor do I discount our efforts nor our desire to effect change that would normalize what many consider to be abnormal patterns.  But again the questions that need to be asked are in many cases ignored.  When we have a massive ice shelf ready to float free of its icy surroundings the common response is “OMG, its Global Warming”, or more specifically “Do I need to use less water or lower my thermostat…?” With the end result always pointing to a selfish corporate policy of waste and corruption and the only way to solve the global disaster is to raise taxes, take away our rights and force us all to live with less.
There is an argument that might have some merit in relation to attempting to stem the tide of these massive global incursions but again a question needs to be asked, what is considered normal behavior for nature and who is to say what is normal or abnormal?  Has there ever been a “normal” in relation to human interaction with the weather?  Have we actually advanced enough to understand both man’s significance to all things Earthly and our impact negatively?
Anything is possible I guess and with enough information and know-how man can accomplish great things.  The science fiction writers have for years touted man’s ability to control nature rather than being controlled by it and that would have to include all facets of the natural realm including massive ice shelf’s, hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes and may even include the occasional rogue asteroid careening toward earth.
Is our time the perfect time to set as a standard or is there a better time period to use as that global weather pattern needing to emulate and duplicate?  Are we only concerned with populated areas or areas of economic importance while disregarding the rest of the globe to fend for themselves?  Who will lead the way in the decision to decide what our weather should be and should always be?  It seems to me that the Global Warming believers would love to have a hard core process toward “normal”.  A new level of regularity could be the harbinger of all things governmental, with the overall process of standardization the responsibility of all, with the associated taxes, fees and regulations that are required in order to sustain that new level of “normal”.  
It may be normal for this ice shelf to crumble into the sea but when taken as a part of the whole this one instance may need much more scrutiny and inspection prior to the global determination of a forced Marshal Law pushed onto the world's governments and a true One World Order to establish and maintain the world as it should be.  If we are truly in a disastrous turn and we are all going to die then perhaps it is prudent to enslave the world’s population with the intent of forced compliance in relation to saving the world from ourselves.
Too much?  Crazy, impossible?  What is the end result for the Global Warming crowd?  Do they know when and where this will end?  The over simplified promises of the past Kyoto and Copenhagen accords allow us some incite but the process of determining an end game can only come when a specific target is acquired.  My entire premise depends on understanding where we want to be and why?  But first we need to decide on when.  When was our weather stable enough to duplicate and preserve for the benefit of man in general?
For thousands of years man has had to deal with the weather. It has always been a bit too cold, too hot, too windy, or too whatever and those variables change with almost every person making any definitive move toward standardization a very difficult process.  Who is to say what is too cold or too hot, too much rain or not enough?  When you finally decide, the political pressure needed to sustain the will of those who made the decision will be monumental.
As an example, In California we have been in a drought for many years and as a result we have been told and mandated to reduce our water use.  Politically you would think that when water shortages are in play the number of housing starts would be reduced to balance the current resources with the water availability but in this case the amount of water is never mentioned as a criteria for housing starts leaving me to wonder if the water shortages are a real concern or just a political ploy for inclusionary mandates to grab power and control.
If our levels of water availability are critical and require political interventions than why not reduce the greatest source of water usage within the residential community.  Greater still is the agricultural use of water, 40% of all water used in the state is used by agriculture.  It is very hard to make a final determination of who uses what, there are numerous statistical figures that claim agriculture uses up to 85% of the available water helping me to understand that this is ultimately not about the water but about amassing control and power.  This is not about global patterns of weather or climate, this is about power and the ability to create a system of control.  More taxes, more controls and less freedoms for all concerned.
I do not discount entirely the premise of Global Climate Change, man does have some negative effects on that process.  There are differing reports that claim increased global heating of the world with others that claim for a coming ice age (Weekly World News By Hideaki Tailor on January 30, 2012) but I do discount the political avenues used in the past in order to manipulate the population to acquiesce its rights and freedoms to the spurious political causes toward control and manipulation.    
Regardless of what you believe let me suggest that we never cow to the political pressure to give up our rights or freedoms for the spurious positions of the largely unknown effects of Climate Change nor to those political leaders who use fear to motivate us in those directions.  We should all be better stewards over our environment.  We should all take personal responsibility to manage our own resources with a global presence of mind to unify our efforts with those of others but we should fight against those who would suggest we return to a more “simple” time. We should fight against those who tell us to minimize our lives so they can continue to spend, pollute and preach.  
They would have us return to the horse and buggy days while they continue to fly and ride with impunity.  They are in power because we allow them to stay.  It’s time we realized our power and time to exercise that power for the good of all men everywhere.  Just ask Trump, look what we did for him!

Sunday, December 4, 2016

The Christmas Raisin

The Christmas Raisin: a true short story.

I don’t recall ever being told how the tradition got started but I do remember eating the special rice pudding every year of my young life and enjoying the sticky goodness of the overly white, sweet goodness, never getting enough to satisfy my craving.
The year was 1962, I was six years old and I do remember having to practice the duck and cover while crawling under my desk at school.  Our teacher told us that we had to be prepared for a nuclear attack, I didn’t know what nuclear meant but it was fun to get out of my seat and squirm under my desk.

“The Nevada bombing a few days ago should remind all of us that we need to be prepared” the fear in my teacher’s voice told us more than her words as we scrambled to beat the clock and shield our small bodies.

A few days after that Christmas vacation started and we were free for two wondrous weeks, two weeks of exploring the orange groves that surrounded our home and down to the creek where we hunted for crawdads and kept a sharp eye for the elusive wild pig that sounded its warning but was only occasionally seen.  Two weeks of playing with my friends, Brent Moore, Charles Drysdale, Brad Zitsh and my little brother Wayne, no school, no homework, no problems and only a few days before Christmas what a glorious time.  

Christmas meant family, lots of family, parties and food, the food was everywhere.  We would start by visiting my cousins or they would come to us; going to grandmas and grandpas house, both sides and again the food, always the food.  Everyone had their favorites, my little brother loved the divinity and would take handfuls putting them in his pockets and stuffing his little face, every one smiled as they saw him try to sneak the sugary treat and not caring that he took too much or would get sick as he did almost every year.  

My favorite was the rice pudding.  I loved the texture, the lumpy look of ricey clumps, but mostly l liked the surprises hidden within and the contest of being the lucky one to find the magic treasures.  I had never won before but I knew this was my year.

A Danish tradition and a Hansen family favorite we always made rice pudding for Christmas Eve dinner and within the pudding one penny, one almond and one raisin.  Each had an important meaning but I didn’t really understand except the idea of simply being the one to earn the acceptance of the rest of the family for finding the treasures within.

I have since learned that each hidden gem had its own clairvoyant meaning and promise of future events but at the time all I wanted was the lovely, sweet rice and the chance of being the victor.  If you were the lucky one to find the penny you were promised wealth for the coming year.  The almond meant luck and who ever found the coveted almond would be the recipient of a lucky year.  It was great to get the penny or the almond but everyone wanted the raisin for the raisin meant long life and with long life came happiness and joy.

I really don’t like raisins but I knew the raisin was the most desirable and most wanted of the three.  If you were lucky enough to get the raisin the entire family would encircle you with praise, hugs and kisses all around and for that short time you would be the center star and for me at six years old that was the center of everything.

On Christmas Eve the entire family came together at my grandparents’ home in Montebello California.  Their home was small but it had a large room off the kitchen where we could all sit and talk, eat and enjoy the festivities of that special day.  After a dinner of turkey and ham with all the fixings we would clean the room, move the chairs and tables and I would rush to the pink chair and sink deep into the feathery pillows and feel the secure comfort of grandpas’ favorite recliner, until he emerged from the kitchen drying his hands, he would give me a happy frown, reach down with his arms and pick me up placing me on his lap, not as comfortable as the pillows but much more satisfying.

The adults would be given their small bowls filled with the yule pudding and then the kids.  I looked at mine and I knew something was missing.  I couldn’t see into the white goodness, but I knew that there was no penny, no almond nor a small wrinkly raisin; I would not be winning tonight.  My eyes, that a second ago were filled with hope and wonder lost that sparkle of anticipation, my mouth turned into a small frown, I could still enjoy the rice pudding I tried to tell myself but even that wonderful whiteness would not make up for the impending loss of not winning the penny, the almond nor the raisin.

As my grandma raised her bowl of rice pudding in the air and announced the rules of the contest, a speech repeated each year like the preamble of the constitution or a reverent prayer, my grandpa quickly pulled my bowl from my tiny hands and replaced my kiddy bowl with his adult bowl, giving to me his portion and his chance for winning.

“Start eating everyone” my grandma announced stoically.  

With spoon in hand and ready to dig in my heart stopped a beat as I noticed my grandpa not eating, waiting, watching me with his tired but loving eyes.  I looked at him, his smile bright and knowing, encouraging, he nodded his head and I took a tentative spoon full, tasting the enchanted creamy delight as it melted in my mouth, forgetting for that moment the penny the almond and the raisin.

His arms encircled my small body as he hugged me and held me tight, his own bowl of rice pudding gently set aside, watching me, encouraging me, loving me.  It was at this moment in my life that I understood love, I could feel it as I sat on his lap, his eyes wanting me to win, knowing perhaps that I would win and me not really caring if I won or not, all I wanted was for this moment, these feelings to stay forever.

Near the end of my bowl of yule pudding I did find the raisin and with the dried grape the adoration of everyone in the room.  It was a grand experience, the hugs, the kisses, the warm eyes of all, but most of all the realization that I loved my grandpa and he loved me, a feeling I would never lose, a relationship that would endure throughout his life and still endures in mine 40 years after his death as he sat by his typewriter writing a letter to me.  He died loving me, writing me and enjoying the benefits of giving me an insignificant gift of a little piece of dried fruit. The raisin may have been mine on that event filled Christmas Eve but the promise of a long and fulfilling life was his and is mine as I remember that special gift from a very special man.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

A Trump government

Image result for good government and Trump cartoonHave you ever tried to write with the purpose of being profound?  I have tried and for the most part failed in my attempt toward creating anything insightful, especially when that was my initial intent.  The process of profundity requires a level of understanding that most do not possess and may never possess, at least in this life.  That is why we rely upon others when wisdom is needed.

The problem with wisdom is in knowing when something is wise or profound.  Many proclaim to have the ability to espouse or council but in the end, most who pontificate do so from a level of ignorance based on a desire to “look the part” rather than knowing and living by example.  This creates a significant void and upgraded confusion in relation to what is considered wise, further convoluting those few who truly do know. 

Most rely upon the open opinions of others, a close circle of friends or web generated search that pits a position or problem with the statistical criteria wanted rather than the wisdom needed.  This process only exacerbates the search for the wise and opens new avenues to the labyrinth that is life rather than the hoped for singularity of desire that often is the result of a wise and thoughtful answer.  In other words, it is the hope toward the wise that our problems be minimized not expanded.

We all recognize the need for wisdom but very few are willing to pursue the course needed to obtain that wisdom for ourselves.  We are more than willing to take the advice of those who agree with our desires and opinions but fail to see the need to change our lives in order to grow in wisdom.  It is precisely this avenue of growth that needs to be undertaken in order to grow as individuals.  The alternative is what causes the wholesale adherence and acceptance of “bad advice” and the consequential effects of listening to that “bad advice”, or a society of sheep that simply follow the edicts from above because of an unwilling populous to think for themselves.

There are many, about half the country that believe we have made a serious choice in electing Donald Trump for President.  The problem with this scenario is not specifically against Donald Trump but in the process of losing and not being able to conform to the long held electoral process.  The same result would most likely be apparent with any similar candidate.  The rush toward a judgement based not on any form of wisdom or thought is by definition irrational and is the process of this current unsubstantiated angst against Trump and all things conservative or Republican.  Will Trump be a good President, no one really knows but the possibility that he will is the same as almost every president since Washington (the first President, in case you don’t remember your grade school lessons).

How an individual rises to the occasion of his predicament will only be visible after he succeeds or fails and no amount of selfish predetermination or prognostication will change that yet written future.  

There is a point of interest that comes into play when negativity is infused too early and to vociferously.  Any chance of Trump being an effective President may be damaged by the very negativity permeated, creating a self-fulfilling prophesy that no one except for the very elect and capable could overcome.

If their motivation is to destroy the electoral process and destroy the chances of Trump rising to the occasion of the Presidency then the negativity instilled will most likely have the desired effect.  But if they want a “good President” then perhaps it would be wise to follow the admonition of positiveness while differing those opinions until he has had a chance to govern. 

Like most the option of differing the gratification of personal gain should take a front seat to the needs of this great country and to the principles of selflessness and service.  Failure to do so will only create a short term scenario, a moment in time that will outline a failure of one individual, but will also outline a national failure for all those involved in the insidious plan of destruction. 

What are the risks of supporting the process of creating a “good President”?  What will they lose by allowing President Elect Trump from becoming an effective leader?  The issues at stake are more fundamental than most understand and requires a serious self-reflection of our motivations and incentives.  This goes well beyond being a Republican or Democrat and goes beyond the liberal or conservative labels, we need a cohesive and functional government that at least tries to govern effectively and that means that the infrastructure of this country is sound and safe, the money supply is stable and the armies are ready and able to defend our liberties. 

The Constitution's Preamble says the federal government was established (and the Constitution was adopted) to “form a more perfect union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity.

These are not liberal or conservative they are constitutional mandates of what are government should do.  These are the fundamental laws of this country and those laws for too long have been forsaken and ignored.  The least we can do as Americans is to give Donald Trump the support he needs so that he can either succeed or fail on his own. 

Nothing is more egregious than forcing the failure prior to the effort.  As a teacher it pains me deeply when I hear the negative words, actions and demeanor forced upon children by their parents as they wrongly intervene in the positive growth of their children.  Parents are far from perfect but for the most part they try to provide a positive environment but for those cretins who abuse and exploit the tender minds there is little forgiveness in my heart. 

The acts of negativity are exactly the same and are born of selfishness and egotism.  For those who want Trump to fail just because he’s Trump show no regard for anything other than self-interest and only want to proclaim success over the failure of those they hate.  Hate is not a laudable or commendable trait in any forum and should be excised from our vernacular and our actions. 

For those who truly hate Trump, perhaps it’s time to turn that hate into something  more positive and helpful and then and perhaps only then will we have a unified country…Hate is no way to run a government nor our lives.