Just Let Me -- G -- Indoctrinate You!

Thursday, December 31, 2009

Dear America,

Re: Solutions According to G

Usually this day finds many of us recommitting to ourselves and our bodies for another year.

We all know how it goes, gonna eat more vegetables, get more exercise, drink more water and go to bed early yadi yadi yada.

AS much as G is all over that, again, I cannot help but wonder if we were all on the Biggest Loser this season, just how much coming together in unison to work out the massive issues facing our country could be overcome as one body -- as in a resolution for America.

I know, I know, we run the risk of getting into aspects of just wanting world peace and wishing everyone could just get along, but if we really go deeper -- to the root of what ails us -- we all know the solutions are not on the surface.

And let's face it, the outside -- the America showing -- is but a reflection of some kind of wicked combination of lack of faith, or fear, or misguided trust; and then again, it could simply be a serious case of low self esteem, looking for quick fixes or a way to hide.

In any case, we cannot get better as one body unless we actually do the work -- and year after year, we all know that but seem to blow it off with an even firmer resolve to do better again next year.

Clearly, things have come to us real easy in America; growing up glutton is who we have become -- and now we are paying the price, and yet no one wants to take responsibility for actually taking the hard steps to change our ways. 

Every one of us finds it way too convenient to point the finger to someone else; it was our mothers who  gave us issues with food, our fathers who gave us issues with relationships, our brothers and sisters who made us insecure, our schools who made us ignorant and banks who made us broke,  amidst a government which has recklessly grown and taken over our world -- corrupting our very foundation along with the entire system --protecting the virtues of entitlements vs. the business of self-reliance and raising responsible citizens.

Over the years, we have basically grown to be gluttons in areas we shouldn't be -- fame, food, frivolity and filth -- instead of living the abundant life firmly planted in principles based on simple sacrifice, savings, spirituality and substance.  And more important, this doesn't have anything to do with which political party you play with; it is every body's issue, what happens to one of us happens to us all and while our whole entire body America is afflicted and affected -- cosmetic changes will not even come close to cutting it.

Only an unwavering commitment to face the reality that we are in trouble as a society -- all solutions begin with admitting we have a problem -- while our future rests in how well we come together as individuals to form this one body we have all come to recognize as We the People of the United States of America

If we protect our faith, our family, and our freedoms first, all else shall be added in accordance to our beliefs -- reflected by that which is in our heart, providing our society with a soul worthy of recreating itself -- and thereby sustaining us with the perfect foundation for taking the first step over the mountain we face.

But therein lies the real issue; no body really wants to stop -- you know, being gluttons. 

  • Generally speaking, of course, it feels good to eat too much (teaching our children to eat too much too).  
  • Generally speaking, it feels good to skip church and go around believing its all about me (teaching our children to lose faith altogether). 
  • Generally speaking, it feels good to make a lot of money and spend it (teaching our children we can never have too many things). 
  • Generally speaking, it feels good to sit and watch TV (teaching our children...you know the drill...)
It takes work to start over; to commit to a better body; to replenish our weary souls; to save money; to be mindful of what we give our attention to -- what we watch on TV -- as who really cares who makes it to Barbara's top ten list of the most fascinating people in America if that includes Lady Gaga yadi yadi yada.  Are you kidding me?

It takes work being of good health.
It takes work being of happy spirit.
It takes work being of sound mind.

No one can go the extra mile for us, the only way we get over the mountain is by our own two feet taking us there.  Relying on other people to coach us, motivate us, support us, or 'make us want to' can't touch it either -- okay, perhaps a little coaching and motivation is a good thing, but with any addiction, the individual with the problem must want to make the change, otherwise, all efforts will be thwarted and of no use.  Nothing can take the place of pure determination and just doing it by yourself and for yourself.

Quite honestly, going cold turkey might be the only way it can be done; as G just doesn't see it getting any easier or looking any sweeter any other way.

The beauty is, the joy in starting over with a brand new year offers us many reasons to celebrate and look forward to even in spite of the work that lies ahead.  It feels good to have goals and a direction, if only starting with eating more broccoli, being more polite, finding more patience, and looking upward more often to lead the way.  The act of making a decision to being a better person just feels good -- and usually, with a little patience and time, it begins to show. Those happy endorphines kick in and we begin to feel a change we can believe in.

No matter what we do, or what we commit to, we must trust that as a people we all share a little bit of everything in mind when faced with a new year -- and that would be a good thing.

This is the time we must have faith in the humanity and community that surrounds us -- including the liberals who know not what they do -- for Lord knows, they say the very same thing about us.

Yes, it is a mountain in front of us; yet history tells us many wondrous things happen around mountains -- angels appear, commandments fall out of the sky, flags get unfurled and planted firmly at the top, while pioneers somehow get over them and build a nation.  Whether it is a mountain of paperwork and bills, a pantry of junk food, or hips that don't fit in a favorite pair of jeans -- we can get through this.

And just maybe, the biggest glutton of them all will be noticing us; perhaps our new routine, our good habits, our tight abs and glowing smiles, all our efforts in making 2010 the best year ever -- Washington will not only take notice, they will be so jealous of our spankin' hard bodies and sound minds and houses built on rock they won't dismiss us as some fleeting urge for shaping up just in time for the next State of the Union address only to fall back to our old wicked ways the day after -- because little do they know, we know better.  And with every day, we just get stronger and more committed.

And just maybe, somehow,  they might find a few bad habits of their own and join us --  if not, it's easy, we make change come to us come November bada bing bada boom -- as I should hope we refuse to be gluttons for punishment, if nothing else.

Hope and change, hope and change, hope and change -- and just one foot in front of the other -- I think we can, I think we can, I think we can. -- and before you know it, America moves mountains entirely -- again.

Make it a Good Day, G

May we leave 2009 with the blessings of greater understanding and deeper connection to ourselves, our families, and to our beautiful country --
May we look forward with great anticipation and expectancy to the birth of a brand new year, reuniting us in spirit, in common sense, and forging onward in our resolve to climb every mountain ahead with grace, love, gratitude, perseverence, and faith (and perhaps a little motown thrown in to ring in the year)

To you and yours, God bless us every one.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Dear America,

We cannot question the fact that miracles still happen; wonderment still occurs; extraordinary events take place that we cannot explain through logic, common sense or even science.  Things happen and no one can explain why or how -- we can only sit back and go wow -- we have witnessed something truly great.

The Christmas season reminds us of the quintessential occurrence of such wonderment year after year; yet, if we look around, we can find it even amongst us simple folk living a life on God's great earth.

I have spent the last eight days of nearly uninterrupted time with my girl -- playing Scrabble® and Monopoly® -- on "old-fashioned" board games -- along with LIFE® and a fabulous little puzzle featuring an annoying red block surrounded by "the enemy" which must ultimately find it's way out on a little gift from Santa called the Ipod Touch®; no board, no dice, no little alter ego figurines to march around -- only a quick flick of the thumb required -- and if I might add, fricking addicting. 

But the amount of time with my baby girl...enjoying the days of Christmas hunkered down while keeping most of the outside distractions out, sleeping in and staying up late, eating every meal together, staying in our jammies all day long, playing games and reading in bed until our eyes can't stay open a minute longer -- wonderment happens. 

As parents, we get snippets of time like this on rare occasions -- almost like a blue moon (by definition, two full moons within a month).

And as rumor has it, this December finds us celebrating such a thing come New Year's Eve; that's got to be something pretty special.   According to the Farmer's Almanac, a blue moon occurs approximately once every 2½ years -- and the next one on New Year's Eve will be in 2028.

So keeping things in perspective and looking forward a bit, the next blue moon then should be on the horizon of America voting for our next President...of course, if we make it that far... 

...And Lord knows what America will look like jumping ahead nineteen years; we have an idea certainly, things like medicare and medicaid and social security will most assuredly be a thing of the past...while this current health care legislation eclipses any and all likelihood of being deficit neutral and debt reducing come ten years down the line, let alone the decade after that. The Lord IS the only One who knows really.

It could be said then, the opportunity and ability to change our circumstances and our children's future only comes around once in a blue moon, or so.

A few stories have pulled at my heartstrings over this past week while being sequestered with my girl. 

The saddest one being the death of a Salvation Army Major, Philip Wise; upon Christmas Eve, while dropping off his wife for her turn to ring the bell and collect donations, and in the midst of the eyes of his three children, his sixteen year career within the organization came to a sudden horrific end during a robbery.

How this can happen here in America, I do not know; but as a mom, all I can think about is the children.  While my girl fell asleep with visions of sugarplums dancing in her head, these babies belonging to Mr. and Mrs. Wise were utterly blindsided and crushed by a senseless act of terror upon their father.  How could this have happened and how on earth does a family find the strength to recover? 

The motto for the Salvation Army is "doing the most good;" if inclined to do a little good for benefiting music programs, apparently a passion of Philip Wise, through the Salvation Army, you can contact them directly on their web site at Salvation Army USA • AND Gifts can be made directly to the family of Major Wise by sending checks payable to The Wise Family Memorial Fund to Centennial Bank at 13910 Cantrell Road, Little Rock, AR 72223-- Donations to the Wise Family Memorial Fund can be made using account No. 500114452.

The next story is about another man, Russell Hayes. His story is one that hastens us not to question when something extraordinary is asked of us; and simply begs us to answer by our service to something greater than ourselves. Click in and have a read if you haven't already heard...a story of one man's mystery touched by the hand of God, connecting him to a family half way around the world through his allegiance to the Army he once served -- and though long past retired, called for his return, to Iraq of all places.

The beauty of once in a blue moon can be seen in the spirit of how we are all connected in the line of duty, not understanding the good that can come of a situation when confronted by the horrors of a war torn country and a helicopter pilot called in after he already had served his time.  How could it happen?  Why was this being asked of him?  Why now, Lord?

His wife simply said, "Why fight it? Maybe God has a reason for you to go to Iraq."

Little did he know what was in store for him; oh my, we are so small minded sometimes, aren't we?

"according to your faith will it be done unto you"
Matthew 9:29

Our lives touch each other in ways we do not know; when revealed, whether in the moments that happen in our simple every day to the moments we find only once in a blue moon, we find ourselves on our knees in God's grace, realizing we live in community and not alone.

There is only one more story I wish to unveil today -- that being from the life and times of a small family upon Christmas Eve and the birth of a child.  No, we are not returning to the story of the baby Jesus -- where G left off a week ago Monday -- but we are awfully close to it in a manner of speaking. 

The mother basically experienced a cardiac arrest and died while in labor with her third child. The doctor had to go in with an emergency cesarean section to save the baby -- a boy -- only to find him without a heart beat. 

a miracle happened,
both of them came back to life
One minute the father was watching half of his family die right before his eyes and the next, he is smack dab in the face of a miracle (make that two).

Today, G finds herself in a rush to sense the magnitude of life on earth and our ability to connect the dots of once in a blue moon experiences -- not only in small ways like devoting eight days and a lifetime to the little ones in our care -- but also in our responsibility on a grander scale -- from uniting communities through the avenues of the Salvation Army to the uniting of cultures on the other side of the world in links unimaginable by the United States Army.

We are all a vital part of the community we call AMERICA; in a way, some could say a country like ours only comes around once in a blue moon, but today I am reminded, we are most certainly called to protect it every four years -- which means --  it takes nearly two.


Make it a Good Day, G

this New Year's Eve -- with the blue moon and all -- only coming around so often...
do nothing else but be with the one (s) you love -- nineteen years until another one comes along.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Dear America,

happy monday

this is what was in my head when I woke up...

oh happy day, Christmas morning is in five days.

In the advent of one of America's most precious celebrations, the birth of the baby Jesus, already the streets here take on more of a holiday feel.  No, we don't have an all encompassing blanket of snow upon the ground -- like the entire east coast from DC to Boston (making almanac history in and of itself) -- but it just feels different somehow. 

From my perch -- high on a hill gazing out over my kingdom (right...on the second floor of a modest condo that is) -- overlooking the usual commercial fair, one can't help but notice that less people are commuting, there isn't the usual hustle into the Starbucks below, the bright yellow school buses passing by at 7:25 are nowhere to be seen, as something seems to be happening...

The feelings and traditions for all of us at this time of year are unique to each of us, sure.  Just because we wake up to the smell of Christmas cardamom bread with a lavish spread of orange frosting and plates heaped in bacon, doesn't mean we all do.  But as the day begins to come a little closer to us, our natural impulses to get excited, mirroring our memories as children, seem to swell up inside us all over again, as something seems to be happening...

Over the weekend the history channel was showing documentaries surrounding things of the season -- things like angels, the days leading up to the birth of a Savior, and the background story of Mary and Joseph. And one thing still sits with me this morning, in this morning while sipping my coffee and stirring the memories of Christmas past with the Christmas coming, as something seems to be happening...

It was a stable.  It was a simple carpenter and his bride to be.  It was not in a castle, or a temple, or within the walls of a king's domain  -- it was a stable.  Surely, upon the advent of God bringing forth His One and only Son, he could have chosen anywhere he wanted, in a host of different circumstances, for all of posterity and memory to ring in in celebration for millenniums later, couldn't He? For surely He knew, something was happening unto the world that would change everything.

But no, He chose a mother who would live on in the highest as the virgin Mary, bringing the world a Savior -- and a doubting carpenter, not even sure what he was getting himself into and taking every ounce of power of an angel to convince him to be the father -- and all within the humble setting of a stable, fit with hay and a few blankets, as something seemed to be happening and there was no room in the Inn.

Angels of the Lord came to the shepherds in fields nearby, and to the trembling keepers of their flocks, the angels said,
"Do not be afraid. 
I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all people.
 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you;
he is Christ the Lord. 
This will be a sign unto you: 
You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger. 
Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel,
praising God and saying,
 'Glory be to God in the highest,
and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests." 
Luke 2:8-14

Then after the angels disappeared, the shepherds turned to each other and said,

"Let's go to Bethlehem and see the thing that has happened,
which the Lord told us about."
Luke 2:15

The thing, they said.  The thing.

Yes, something seems to be awakening inside us this morning.  And the closer we get, the harder it will be to sleep.  We are coming upon the day that celebrates the birth of baby who changed time, elevated human consciousness, and continues to this day to transcend the trappings of the earth and bring us good tidings, if not also a little peace on earth -- not for a day, not for a week of Christmas vacation, but for all time and in every way, forever and ever.

Jesus is five days away from fundamentally transforming America -- thanks be to God, no one can ever take the Spirit and the Reason for the Season away.

Make it a Good Day, G

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Dear America,

There is this thing going on within my family; it's really just the typical family feud, you know, the kind that generates atom bombs dropping out of our mouths over politics and religion -- but long distance? via email? Not sitting across the dinner table with the conversation followed up with a piece of pie and whipped cream?  Without question, this modern way certainly holds a fair share of limitations of making a point, a connection, or even so much as a simple compassionate understanding of our differences. 

Funny, as things change, things always stay the same.

I have a family member who said this,
"Well, when I was a republican [sounding in utter disgust that she was]. I believed that we were morally superior! [exclamation included]  I wouldn't doubt that you and your father have the same belief today! [yet another exclamation]  At this point, age 69, I believe moral superiority depends most on each individuals positive self-awareness and active support/contribution to resolving our massive social problems.  While people need to be responsible for themselves, if they are not given the tools or opportunities to do so/grow so, the idea itself is moot."
So what you are saying really, is that G baby, as a conservative, is a pompous, self-righteous, arrogant daughter of an SOB, born and raised in ignorance, superficial superiority and offer nothing good to society? Very well then, besides my first response of imploring everyone to  -- keep moving, there's nothing to look at here -- somebody please pass me the pie, this may take awhile.

Let's just start with the aspect of "depends most on each individuals positive self-awareness and active support/contribution"...yeah, that would be good, let's start there.

Oh my goodness, we're back to family values!  Isn't that ironic.

We start with those who influence you the most, right from the start, with dear old mom and dad.

You are so right, my favorite relative of mine in this moment -- our security, our beliefs, our faith, our ability to rise up as a human being all begin from the moment we are born into a family; the weight and responsibility to grow good citizens and a morally sound child begins at home.  We've been here before -- a nation of good parents creates a nation of good children and then they grow up to be a nation of responsible adults; it's not that complicated.

Where you have me lost my dear loved one is where you began the sentiment -- you preceded where it all begins with an objective I'm not too familiar with -- that being a MORAL SUPERIORITY --  "I believe moral superiority depends most on each individuals positive self-awareness and active support/contribution..."

By definition, what you are saying in essence, is that a person's ambition should be that of taking a higher station or authority over another, morally speaking, in a not so holier-than-thou sort of way?

Have you misspoke?  G loves the idea of "active support/contribution"...but "moral superiority"...

Isn't the very context of having a "moral superiority" an outright expression of a dichotomy of values in the first place? 

Wouldn't it be more correct to say we wish that everyone just simply had morals and values and worked towards building a nation from that foundation; why the bother to wonder who's is better than who's?  While the superiority factor alone conjures up all kinds of faults dating back throughout history, who in their right mind would want to go there?

No, it may have taken a few bumps and bruises from previous generations of people who knew no better, but our nation wasn't built on the idea of superiority; we try our hardest and do our darnedest to give everyone a chance, starting in the place where it counts the most -- in the home -- to promote equality, the ability to grow up to be anything you want to be, fair and square, with as much of that responsibility to the welfare and future of each child falling on the shoulders of the parents who raise them. It's not that complicated.

As one example, even when society gave minorities a home at a very low cost -- what we call "the projects" in most every major city -- the system failed.  Hmmm?  Why?

It's not because they didn't have a roof over their head.
It's not because they couldn't go to school.
It's not because they weren't smart enough.
It's not because they didn't believe in God.

It's because somewhere down the line a parent(s) failed to teach and guide and shelter and protect and love and honor and give the moral support required of them to raise their child fully and into a child of good character.

But "moral superiority" -- that simply has no place on American soil -- that's how I was raised.

Proud to be American? That's affirmative.

Is G proud to live in the greatest country in the world, a country that can take credit for creating the very idea that is firmly planted in our heritage -- and should be stamped upon every forehead -- that only in America can one truly become anything you want to be, do anything you want to do, live anywhere you want to live, with all the freedom in the world -- as long as you don't harm somebody, of course?  You betcha.

Obama came from modest means, right?  He came from a broken home and still got to the best seat in the house.  Oprah, from modest means and after years of abuse, sits at the head of the boardroom of one of America's wealthiest business conglomerates to date; while over the years she has carried more influence upon the hearts and minds of our nation than anyone in modern history.  And Tiger -- in spite of the lack of showing sound moral character and far be it for me to judge (yet thee without sin cast the first stone...)  while currently taking an indefinate break, he rests soundly on the laurels of being the best golfer of all time. 

Musicians, sports phenomenons, talk show hosts, politicians, activists, educators, ministers, mothers and fathers, come from nothing time and time again and become something -- and sometimes not just something -- but the very best thing.

Some people do come from despair, come from nothing, a heartbreaking home and horrific parents -- but the commonality to rise up and become something, in spite of it or to prove something, is in all of us.

"While people need to be responsible for themselves, if they are not given the tools or opportunities to do so/grow so, the idea itself is moot." liberal relative 101
RIGHT ON, my dear one!
The opportunities are there; from birth, it's called having parents teach us right from wrong. And every parent can do it quite favorably if they put their mind to it and make it so -- you know, grow so -- unless of course you are telling me, liberal relative 101, they are inferior in some way, shape or form. 

It's called having a parent instill in you the need to go to school; in America it is free and equally offered to one and all, even girls.  While the education budget continues to grow, the commitment at home hasn't faired so well over the years.  And white middle (to upper) class is equally at fault; money and gifts and a liberal dose of too much freedom does not take the place of good old-fashioned time;  time after school making sure they do homework, time involved knowing who their friends are, time over family dinner including talking about your day, time taking control over the remote and stop babysitting with TV, and time certainly putting your children to bed at a decent time -- surely, the best time of all, being tucked in tight with a kiss on the cheek.

It's called having a parent take you to church; but if not part of the 66% of American families sitting in a church pew on a typical Sunday morning, then the duty falls directly and handsomely down to the parent to guide and teach by their own example.  Gangs are not the new gospel. Drugs are not the spiritual high that our children need.  While we know from experience, violence from a hand across the face to a household built in fear can surely be saved by the grace of God and surrounded with the love and support of a benevolent congregation.

Affirming A Good Education

The 2010 Department of Education budget page highlights the following:
ED currently administers a budget of $62.6 billion in regular FY 2009 discretionary appropriations and $96.8 billion in discretionary funding provided under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009—and operates programs that touch on every area and level of education. The Department's elementary and secondary programs annually serve nearly 14,000 school districts and approximately 56 million students attending some 98,000 public schools and 34,000 private schools. Department programs also provide grant, loan, and work-study assistance to more than 13 million post secondary students
And when you include ALL public and private expenditures on education, recorded for the year 2007, the United States totalled $972 Billion Dollars (not absolute/per wikipedia)...but my point, I don't think the money is what holds us back.

Parents only need to be responsible to a point -- then the government takes over? 

Individuals need to be accountable only to a certain age -- then the nanny state can take over?

Aren't the tools already within us -- the aspirations to be something, produce something, build something, and just simply be of value -- if not for the world, but for our children, and if not for them, for our own self-esteem and purpose unto itself -- you know, to grow so, equally within each and every one of us? 

Please, I beg of you, tell me the color of our skin or lack of any kind does not change that which God hands out to everyone of equal portion?

My sixty nine year old relative who sparked the conversation of today grew up in a different day than mine.  A whole generation separates us -- and clearly, we are worlds apart on many things.

I grew up being walked home, all the way up Perry Street, by a little black boy named James Rutledge in the fourth grade and thinking nothing of it.  Busloads of minority students would be integrated all the way across town to my high school in a suburban Southern California neighborhood everyday; graduating from the same teachers and the same education as me.  Affirmative Action ensures post secondary education is extended to those who may not otherwise have an opportunity for anyone who strives for furthering their personal goals. In today's America, some jobs and contracts are only set aside for companies held in ownership by minorities, fighting against issues of racism or sexism; while litigation against any company not holding to the principles of maintaining the privilege of being an Equal Opportunity Employer, is at an all time high.

Everyday America gets better at being better people, and building a stronger nation, providing equally under the rule of law.  Our Christian roots gave us the foothold, while these values continue to pave the way and enlighten us of ways we can improve even more with each rise of the morning sun.

But nothing.
And I mean nothing.
Nothing can take the place of the moral responsibility of one human being to another, of a parent to a child.

Morality is an equal opportunity cornerstone to character; real superiority lies within all of us to grow it.

If nothing else, be good today and
Make it a Good Day, G

here's a link to a happy ending that is worth a read and a tissue;
Not everyone makes a good parent right from the start; but angels unaware are everywhere.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Dear America,

Remember all of the commercials leading up to the big round up of countries?  It was a campaign built around the ethereal, star-like black hole spinning, as if we were going to get sucked in, then miraculously blossoming into this HD-sized Pink Zinnia that opens up right before your very eyes, finishing with a world plea, let's make change happen and turn Copenhagen into "Hopenhagen."

Today, we have environmentalists and activists requiring tear gas, with hundreds arrested and credentials removed -- nothing like a peaceful protest to bring about change.  Can't we all just get along?

While developing countries either walk out or just start dropping bombs out of their mouths:

Chinese chief negotiator Su Wei complained the process was "not transparent" and warned of "very grave consequences if we do not resolve this issue."

or this,
In one of the first speeches by a head of state, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez railed against what he called "the imperial dictatorship" of the West and said poorer nations would buck the diktats of the rich...
"There's a group of countries who think they are better than us in the South, in the Third World," he said before taking a dig at US counterpart Barack Obama for receiving the Nobel Peace Prize after announcing the dispatch of 30,000 more troops to Afghanistan.
Chavez said rich countries had rushed to spend heavily to save their banking system yet were Scrooge-like like when it came to averting a far greater peril.
"If the climate system was a bank, they would have already saved it," he quipped.
Both comments were via the yahoo news page, from Richard Ingham's, Police Battle Climate Activists Amid Talks Rancour.

The irony of course, with Chavez claiming "if the climate system was a bank..." ah, hello?  Earth to Chavez, it is, duh.  And Scrooge-like, please... we say Merry Christmas, and have a resume to back it up.

Even still, some people have turned "Hopenhagen" into "Constihagen"...G only wishes she could take creative credit for that little number.  At lightning speed, the world just can't move fast enough.

Well allow me to add to the hysteria this morning and remind everyone of the ingenious list collected by Dr. John Brignell, of the ongoing, scientifically proven,self-induced and zealously promoted catalogue of all the things Global Warming ALARMISTS claim to be true and otherwise will adversely affect you, if not today, certainly tomorrow, or maybe five to seven years from now...

Courtesy of the man himself, Dr Brignell, A complete list of things caused by global warming, bon appetit:

Acne, agricultural land increase, Afghan poppies destroyed, poppies more potent, Africa devastated, Africa in conflict, African aid threatened, African summer frost, aggressive weeds, Air France crash, air pressure changes, airport malaria, Agulhas current, Al Qaeda and Taliban Being Helped, allergy season longer, alligators in the Thames, Alps melting, Amazon a desert, American dream end, amphibians breeding earlier (or not), anaphylactic reactions to bee stings, ancient forests dramatically changed, animals head for the hills, animals shrink, Antarctic grass flourishes, Antarctic ice grows, Antarctic ice shrinks, Antarctic sea life at risk, anxiety treatment, algal blooms, archaeological sites threatened, Arctic bogs melt, Arctic in bloom, Arctic ice free, Arctic ice melt faster, Arctic lakes disappear, Arctic warming (not), asthma, Atlantic less salty, Atlantic more salty, atmospheric circulation modified, attack of the killer jellyfish, avalanches reduced, avalanches increased, Baghdad snow, Bahrain under water, bananas grow, barbarisation, beer and bread prices to soar, beer better, beer worse, beetle infestation, bet for $10,000, big melt faster, billion dollar research projects, billion homeless, billions face risk, billions of deaths, bird distributions change, bird loss accelerating, bird strikes, bird visitors drop, birds confused, birds decline (Wales), birds driven north, birds face longer migrations, birds return early, birds shrink, bittern boom ends, blackbirds stop singing, blackbirds threatened, Black Hawk down, blood contaminated, blue mussels return, bluetongue, brain eating amoebae, brains shrink, bridge collapse (Minneapolis), Britain one big city, Britain Siberian, British monsoon, brothels struggle, brown Ireland, bubonic plague, budget increases, Buddhist temple threatened, building collapse, building season extension, bushfires, butterflies move north, carbon crimes, camel deaths, cancer deaths in England, cannibalism, caterpillar biomass shift, cave paintings threatened, childhood insomnia, Cholera, circumcision in decline, cirrus disappearance, civil unrest, cloud increase, coast beauty spots lost, cockroach migration, cod go south, coffee threatened, coffee berry borer, cold climate creatures survive, cold spells (Australia), cold wave (India), computer models, conferences, conflict, conflict with Russia, consumers foot the bill, coral bleaching, coral fish suffer, coral reefs dying, coral reefs grow, coral reefs shrink , coral reefs twilight, cost of trillions, cougar attacks, crabgrass menace, cradle of civilisation threatened, creatures move uphill, crime increase, crocodile sex, crops devastated, crumbling roads, buildings and sewage systems, curriculum change, cyclones (Australia), danger to kid's health, Darfur, Dartford Warbler plague, deadly virus outbreaks, death rate increase (US), deaths to reach 6 million, Dengue hemorrhagic fever, depression, desert advance, desert retreat, destruction of the environment, dig sites threatened, disasters, diseases move north, dog disease, Dolomites collapse, dozen deadly diseases - or not, drought, ducks and geese decline, dust bowl in the corn belt, earlier pollen season, Earth axis tilt, Earth biodiversity crisis, Earth dying, Earth even hotter, Earth light dimming, Earth lopsided, Earth melting, Earth morbid fever, Earth on fast track, Earth past point of no return, Earth slowing down, Earth spins faster, Earth to explode, earth upside down, earthquakes, earthquakes redux, El Niño intensification, end of the world as we know it, erosion, emerging infections, encephalitis, English villages lost, equality threatened, Europe simultaneously baking and freezing, eutrophication, evolution accelerating, expansion of university climate groups, extinctions (human, civilisation, logic, Inuit, smallest butterfly, cod, pikas, polar bears, possums, walrus, toads, plants, salmon, trout, wild flowers, woodlice, a million species, half of all animal and plant species, mountain species, not polar bears, barrier reef, leaches, salamanders, tropical insects) experts muzzled, extreme changes to California, fading fall foliage, fainting, famine, farmers benefit, farmers go under, farm output boost, fashion disaster, fever, figurehead sacked, fir cone bonanza, fires fanned in Nepal, fish bigger, fish catches drop, fish downsize, fish deaf, fish get lost, fish head north, fish shrinking, fish stocks at risk, fish stocks decline, five million illnesses, flesh eating disease, flies on Everest, flood patterns change, floods, floods of beaches and cities, flood of migrants, flood preparation for crisis, flora dispersed, Florida economic decline, flowers in peril, food poisoning, food prices rise, food prices soar, food security threat (SA), football team migration, forest decline, forest expansion, frog with extra heads, frostbite, frost damage increased, fungi fruitful, fungi invasion, games change, Garden of Eden wilts, geese decline in Hampshire, genetic diversity decline, gene pools slashed, geysers imperiled, giant icebergs (Australia), giant oysters invade, giant pythons invade, giant squid migrate, gingerbread houses collapse, glacial earthquakes, glacial retreat, glacier grows (California), glacier wrapped, global cooling, glowing clouds, golf course to drown, golf Masters wrecked, grain output drop (China), grandstanding, grasslands wetter, gravity shift, Great Barrier Reef 95% dead, Great Lakes drop, great tits cope, greening of the North, Grey whales lose weight, Gulf Stream failure, habitat loss, haggis threatened, Hantavirus pulmonary syndrome, harvest increase, harvest shrinkage, hay fever epidemic, health affected, health of children harmed, health risks, heart disease, heart attacks and strokes (Australia), heat waves, hibernation affected, hibernation ends too soon, hibernation ends too late, homeless 50 million, hornets, human development faces unprecedented reversal, human fertility reduced, human health risk, human race oblivion, hurricanes, hurricane reduction, hurricanes fewer, hurricanes not, hydropower problems, hyperthermia deaths, ice age, ice sheet growth, ice sheet shrinkage, icebergs, illness and death, inclement weather, India drowning, infrastructure failure (Canada), industry threatened, infectious diseases, inflation in China, insect explosion, insect invasion, insurance premium rises, Inuit displacement, Inuit poisoned, Inuit suing, invasion of alien worms, invasion of cats, invasion of crabgrass, invasion of herons, invasion of jellyfish, invasion of king crabs, invasion of midges, island disappears, islands sinking, Italy robbed of pasta, itchier poison ivy, jellyfish explosion, jets fall from sky, Kew Gardens taxed, kidney stones, killer cornflakes, killing us, kitten boom, koalas under threat, krill decline, lake and stream productivity decline, lake empties, lake shrinking and growing, landslides, landslides of ice at 140 mph, large trees decline, lawsuits increase, lawsuit successful, lawyers' income increased (surprise surprise!), lawyers want more, legionnaires' surge, lives saved, Loch Ness monster dead, locust plagues suppressed, lush growth in rain forests, Malaria, mammoth dung melt, mango harvest fails, Maple production advanced, Maple syrup shortage, marine diseases, marine food chain decimated, Meaching (end of the world), Meat eating to stop, Mediterranean rises, megacryometeors, Melanoma, Melanoma decline, methane emissions from plants, methane burps, methane runaway, melting permafrost, Middle Kingdom convulses, migration, migratory birds huge losses, microbes to decompose soil carbon more rapidly, minorities hit, monkeys at risk, monkeys on the move, Mont Blanc grows, monuments imperiled, moose dying, more bad air days, more research needed, mortality increased, mountain (Everest) shrinking, mountaineers fears, mountains break up, mountains green and flowering, mountains taller, mortality lower, Myanmar cyclone, narwhals at risk, National Parks damaged, National security implications, native wildlife overwhelmed, natural disasters quadruple, new islands, next ice age, NFL threatened, Nile delta damaged, noctilucent clouds, no effect in India, Northwest Passage opened, nuclear plants bloom, oaks dying, oaks move north, ocean acidification, ocean acidification faster, ocean dead spots, ocean dead zones unleashed, ocean deserts expand, ocean waves speed up, Olympic Games to end, opera house to be destroyed, outdoor hockey threatened, ozone repair slowed, ozone rise, penguin chicks frozen, penguin chicks smaller, personal carbon rationing, pest outbreaks, pests increase, phenology shifts, pines decline, plankton blooms, plants lose protein, plants march north, plants move uphill, polar bears aggressive, polar bears deaf, polar bears drowning, polar tours scrapped, popcorn rise, porpoise astray, profits collapse, psychiatric illness, puffin decline, pushes poor women into prostitution, rabid bats, radars taken out, railroad tracks deformed, rainfall increase, rape wave, refugees, reindeer endangered, release of ancient frozen viruses, resorts disappear, rice threatened, rice yields crash, rift on Capitol Hill, rioting and nuclear war, river flow impacted, rivers raised, roads wear out, robins rampant, rocky peaks crack apart, roof of the world a desert, rooftop bars, Ross river disease, ruins ruined, Russia under pressure, salinity reduction, salinity increase, Salmonella, salmon stronger, satellites accelerate, school closures, sea level rise, sea level rise faster, seals mating more, seismic activity, sewer bills rise, severe thunderstorms, sex change, sexual promiscuity, shark attacks, sharks booming, sharks moving north, sheep shrink, shop closures, short-nosed dogs endangered, shrinking ponds, shrinking sheep, shrinking shrine, Sidney Opera House wiped out, ski resorts threatened, slow death, smaller brains, smog, snowfall decrease, snowfall increase, snowfall heavy, snow thicker, soaring food prices, societal collapse, soil change, songbirds change eating habits, sour grapes, space problem, spectacular orchids, spiders getting bigger, spiders invade Scotland, squid larger, squid population explosion, squid tamed, squirrels reproduce earlier, stingray invasion, storms wetter, street crime to increase, subsidence, suicide, swordfish in the Baltic, Tabasco tragedy, taxes, tectonic plate movement, terrorists (India), threat to peace, ticks move northward (Sweden), tides rise, tigers eat people, tomatoes rot, tornado outbreak, tourism increase, toxic seaweed, trade barriers, trade winds weakened, traffic jams, transportation threatened, tree foliage increase (UK), tree growth slowed, trees in trouble, trees less colourful, trees more colourful, trees lush, tropics expansion, tropopause raised, truffle shortage, truffles down, turtles crash, turtle feminised, turtles lay earlier, UFO sightings, UK coastal impact, UK Katrina, Vampire moths, Venice flooded, violin decline, volcanic eruptions, walrus pups orphaned, walrus stampede, wars over water, wars sparked, wars threaten billions, wasps, water bills double, water scarcity (20% of increase), weather out of its mind, weather patterns awry, Western aid cancelled out, West Nile fever, whale beachings, whales lose weight, whales move north, wheat yields crushed in Australia, wildfires, wind shift, wind reduced, winds stronger, winds weaker, wine - Australian baked, wine - harm to Australian industry, wine industry damage (California), wine industry disaster (US), wine - more English, wine - England too hot, wine -German boon, wine - no more French , wine passé (Napa), wine - Scotland best, wine stronger, winters in Britain colder, winter in Britain dead, witchcraft executions, wolves eat more moose, wolves eat less, workers laid off, World at war, World War 4, World bankruptcy, World in crisis, World in flames, Yellow fever.

Dare I say, you had me at Afghan poppy destruction; bring it -- and then let's bring home the troops. 

Yet some things, just make you wonder ...like are the trees really going to be less colourful -- or more? -- or are they just "trees in trouble" and need a time-out, which is it?  Find a spine, pick a temperature, pick a side, and stick to it; as a mama,  first rule of thumb to all good parenting skills easily spills over to success for sound debate.

And although the debate is over, by the looks of things, me thinks we are already experiencing a few sour grapes; hard after awhile believing your own hoax is a hoax, keeping up the appearances without sounding bitter, isn't it?  Isn't it?

But the maple syrup, tell me it isn't so; oh I suppose the propensity for the wine to get a wee bit stronger will more than make up for the loss, we can only hope.

Quite honestly, I'm wondering why the trial lawyers haven't put a stop to the nonsense already, as global warming seems to fall in their favor, if you like making money off of the plight of others that is -- hasn't affected them before, don't see why it has to stop now -- couldn't they file a cease and desist motion lickitty split and wipe out Copenhagen with a Notellhagen, at the very least, enforce a gag order?

While I would be remiss not to mention that
  • the smaller brains
  • the rift on Capital Hill
  • and the slow death
are occurring simultaneously as we speak.  check, check and double check

Finally, as much as G likes the idea of glowing clouds, according to the list of all the things evil at the hands of man, global warming would ultimately bring our own demise and lead to the end of the world as we know it.  Oh thank the Lord and kiss the ground. Hallelujah, Lord Jesus.

We humans, who are first on the list of extinctions above, are but a speck in time, a blip in the eye of the Beholder; is God shaking his head at us, rolling on a cloud in hysterics, or making room?

The world may never know.

Make it a Good Day, G

Imagine a beautiful song like that with a click on Dear America. Imagine now, God being good for us, that there really is a heaven, and there really is religion too, and there really is a way to take care of the planet in concert with simple conservation, preservation and innovation in a way that doesn't break the bank, the rules, or an entire belief system built upon faith, liberty and freedom. 

plus, watching a video with Lennon and Ono,

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Dear America,

The emphasis in the good old days was everything local; we had no other choice. 

All we had was each other and our families providing for everything we needed in the small world of our own village.  It could take days to travel to the city, weeks before mail arrived, months between sugar shipments, and years of toil before real wealth could be accumulated -- maybe even generations.

Locals only, wasn't all about being cool, it was a way of life.

You would think a liberal would like that, no?  Everything from local vegetables from the farmer's market to local hemp clothiers to local energy from the sun to local preferences of a community over those of a lifestyle miles away and separated by climate, priorities and different needs; the less is more approach was the foundation of the creation of our Federal Government through the brilliance of our founding fathers.

Most of the powers were limited to the federal government, establishing the greatest liberty of the creation of law and order to the states, and the ultimate responsibility to its citizens to be of sound character. The thing is, it started at the local level with all good intentions on keeping it there. 

I love the idea of buying local. 

Matter of fact, every Christmas season, the Cedros neighborhood district -- a unique array of shops catering to the funky, artsy, imported, collectibles, and specialty boutiques here in Solana Beach -- hang banners to remind locals to stay closer to home for holiday trinkets and jingles; through the localized efforts to ban together to support one another in business, the shops come together in unison tooting their own horn and advertising their local wares.

While they are always there, the little nudge during the holidays brings attention to the ease and availability within walking distance or a five minute drive -- not to mention the added flavor of a stroll through the neighborhood, running into people you know, amidst the twinkly lights and smells of gingerbread cookies welcoming your noses and pocketbooks over the threshold and under their spell. 

Everything can be found within the confines of the neighborhood, why go anywhere else.

This may be an oversimplification, but that was exactly what the founders had in mind; keep the attention to details at the local level.

A gem of an idea can be found in Ron Paul's, The Revolution, A Manifesto:
"Our peculiar security is in possession of a written Constitution, " Jefferson advised us. "Let us not make it a blank paper by construction."
If the powers at be believe they have the power to believe the Constitution is nothing more than a blank piece of paper, a blank slate -- then by interpretation is would be nothing more than a blank check -- and certainly it would no more protect a free society than destroy it.

What do we have today, all but every special interest group -- every particular community need and every specific racial conquest -- all masquerading around Washington seeking special attention under the unlawful and tempestuous nature of our highest crime...having fallen victim to a single phrase within our nation's framework -- "general welfare."

How is it conceivably possible to have the same needs and concerns in Solana Beach as in New York, NY as in Flagstaff, AZ as in St. Paul, MN as in Cleveland, OH as in Miami, FL as in Savannah, GA as in Salt Lake City, UT as in Boulder, CO as in Napa Valley, CA as in Chicago, IL? 

Let me answer that for you, it is just not possible.

Sure, we as a nation had to band together to settle some minor details, things like slavery for instance.  The country could not productively, and with clean conscience effectively operate, with the south wanting it and the north abhorring it.  It had to come to an end, but how -- and just how would they all come to an agreement in the Constitution when the opinion was so polarized at the time?

It's complicated; it came slowly and in bits and pieces.  First, it limited importing slaves within a certain time frame altogether; second, counting a slave as "3/5ths" of a person -- a compromise was reached with giving the south authorization to have their slaves returned from the north -- but in the end, our country's foundation was passed.

Now, with good question we can ask ourselves, why wasn't slavery just simply abolished in plain and direct language? 

We can answer that with another 'it is just not possible'; to pass something where half say yea and the other half say nay could have been enough to abort the whole thing ; in order to adopt the Constitution, exceptions had to be made --

but in the end, I believe these guys new exactly what they were doing. 

With the south's giving in a bit, counting slaves as something "less than human" ultimately gave the north more power through the apportioning of seats to change the damage over time, and still allowed for a rule of law to take it's rightful place. 

Had slavery been written and allowed for by the Constitution, even for a "limited" time, issues would surely have arisen down the road -- for calling for a change, at some designated time into the future, falls to the duty of man to correct.  Not to mention we all know from past experience just how difficult it is to rescind or eliminate legislation once it is passed -- the temptation for some to keep slavery forever probably stood far too great a concern to take a chance.

But in the end, we all know now that it took a battle for the unalienable rights to be written in blood and stone.

What we have going on right now is a battle between the Conservative and the Statist; as illuminated through the work of Mark Levine in Liberty and Tyranny.  Here's a few highlights,

"For the Statist, liberty is not a blessing but the enemy.  It is not possible to achieve Utopia if individuals are free to go their own way."

"The Statist, however, misuses equality to pursue uniform economic and social concerns."

"President Barack Obama made this point when lecturing the Weslyn University graduating class of 2008 during his campaign: '[O]ur individual salvation depends on collective salvation.' But salvation is not government's to give."

"The Statist wants Americans to see themselves as backward, foolishly holding to their quaint notions of individual liberty, private property, family and faith, long diminished or jettisoned in other countries."

Yes indeed. Freaky, isn't it?

The modern society is wreaking havoc upon the limitations set in place through the remarkable and timeless and priceless document recognized as the rule of law in America -- our Constitution.

With conversations of right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness turning into congressional debates over simply the 'right to life' -- entitlements, health care, cap & trade become just a few of the un-enumerated rights misunderstood by the government -- becoming the overbearing, bureaucratic nightmare our founding fathers fiercely fought against.

It has been barely a year under the progressive statist in the Oval Office; Mr. Levine's book nails every American principle under "liberal assault on Constitution-based values, an attack that had steadily snowballed since President Roosevelt's New Deal of the 1930's and resulted in a federal government that is a massive, unaccountable conglomerate, the time for re-enforcing the intellectual and practical case for conservatism is now."

To be a real liberal, you would have to be against the conglomerate wouldn't you, no matter who it is?  Or does the conglomerate of a different color (having nothing to do with race) heralding particular social and economic change trump the usual anti-business and anything corporate America mindset?

To be a real liberal, you would have to be against the modern horrific cement monument of a thing we simply call the mall.  To be a real liberal, you would have to be even against the SUV to get you there --and for that matter the entire operation of GM, GE or anything having to do with the GDP.

To be a real liberal, you would have to ride your bike or walk wouldn't you, in order to call upon the local fish market, the local farmers market, the local bookstore, the local doctor, the local church -- oh scratch that last one, don't need it and it's not on the list.

But the thing is, as business conglomerates go, a government monopoly is a government monopoly is a government monopoly; the only difference is you are taking real money from real people and giving it to those who don't deserve it...and might as well consider the abolition of slavery null and void.

From the back cover of Mark Levine's book:

"We all declare for liberty; but in using the same word we do not all mean the same thing. With some the word liberty may mean for each man to do as he pleases with himself, and the product of his labor; while with others, the same word may mean for some men to do as they please with other men, and the product of other men's labor.  Here are two, not only different, but incompatible things, called by the same name -- liberty.  And it follows that each of the things is, by the respective parties, called by two and incompatible names -- liberty and tyranny."
Abraham Lincoln
And James Madison gives us this to add,
"Liberty may be endangered by the abuse of liberty, but also by the abuse of power."

I like going to the Cedros district to shop; I prefer it actually. 

If we truly take care of the life and times within our circle, our communities, our own neck of the woods, and demonstrate a life starting from the individual and that which is inside us, radiating such a life from a place of honor, integrity and life force from the center out, our world would transform.

Our local businesses would thrive and grow; and from a position of prosperity and well being, we are more inclined to share and give back to those in need all on our own.  It is a natural progression.

As we give back and help rebuild the lives around us, communities blossom, businesses expand, and a nation is built not from oppression, taxation, regulation and fear -- but as a natural progression of building wealth, sharing what we have, and living from a place of value right from the start, from the inside out. 

This is what makes a truly prosperous nation --  a nation grounded with a homegrown, moral compass all on it's own, not one that is forced upon the people from a government corrupted by it's own loss of good judgement, fiscal responsibility and abuse of power. 

It is by good example we set forth as parents to teach our children well, so that they can teach their children well and so on and so on; creating a country linking the states, linking the cities, linking the neighborhoods, linking families who show moral courage, holding steadfast to the principles that have taught us well, making our family the best it can be in order to preserve the America we know and love -- which in all of it's simplicity, is precisely what the framers had in mind. 

The individual is where it begins and ends; an entity that through the means of conglomeration and cooperation has the power to create a nation as good as United States of America -- and hopefully has the strength to keep it.

You could almost say the Fed had nothing to do with it; but that would be an exaggeration, or is it?

Make it a Good Day, G

"Society has always seemed to demand
a little more from human beings than it will get in practice."

George Orwell

Monday, December 14, 2009

Dear America,

"Without carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, there would be no organic molecules synthesized by plants. The less carbon dioxide there is in the atmosphere, the fewer organic molecules synthesized by plants. All animals depend on plants to synthesize essential organic molecules. Without the organic molecules synthesized by plants, the animal world could not exist. Without plants, there would be no biosphere. Several million years ago, a disaster struck the terrestrial biosphere: there was a drastic reduction in the percentage of CO2 in the atmosphere. The flowering plants evolved to be most efficient when the percentage of CO2 in the atmosphere was about 1,000 parts per million. But the percentage had dropped to a mere 200 parts per million. Plants tried to adapt by evolving a new, more efficient way of using the little remaining CO2."
We adapt to our surroundings.

Plants do it.

Birds do it.

Even fish and people do it.

It's all part of the master plan, designed by the grace of God, and has been the M.O. of life here on planet Earth for centuries...no, to use the terminology of Al Gore, for millions and millions of years, only this time it is actually true.

The excerpt in quotations above came from:
In Praise of CO2: 'Earth is the Greenest its been in Decades, Perhaps in Centuries'

Written by Marc Morano

...it came with about ten other articles just like it in my G mail this morning via the handsome and ever so diligent patriot papa of mine xx

A motherload of reading material -- including links to the infamous emails out of the CRU of East Anglia -- if you venture through the Science and Public Policy domain, preferably starting with their blog page @ http://sppiblog.org/ , you will find your mouth watering over an overwhelming amount of tasty little tidbits detailing opposition to the rather suspect aroma coming out of Copenhagen.

All it is, really, is food for thought -- something that isn't on the mainstream menu of offerings -- nothing to be afraid of.  Sometimes trying something new can be a bit scary; it's not what everybody else is eating...it looks funny, smells different, and just by name alone, makes the mind take a step back and go ew.  Sometimes it calls for you to be a wee bit more adventurous to step out of the normal epicurean boundaries; while other times, we have no choice -- it's all that remains back in the kitchen.

While the plant world is gasping for air, being force-fed another lesson on evolution in order to survive, this era of political correctness and the science of global warming brings a whole new understanding to the meaning of plant food.  After perusing the halls of Science and Policy, makes me want to run out and get a bag of Miracle Grow® right now; my poor babies on the deck are out there, making do, without so much as a decent dose of CO2 to feed their weary souls.

And if nothing else, I will be talking to them now more than ever --  there's always that.

We left off on Friday whispering in your children's ears with a sweet nothing or an endearing something; blessing them on their way off to school at the very start of their day -- a day out there, in the real world, without you.

As most of you know, occasionally G likes to catch Joel Olsteen on Sunday Mornings - - and in a world where there are no accidents, yesterday's message was all about "Speaking the Blessing"!   And exactly that, he showered us with a message of life, faith and victory -- that Divine Providence endures, prevails and ultimately triumphs in our world when we speak in ways that lift us up and provide nourishment and strength to our young, to the downtrodden, to the weary, to a nation hungering for something more.

Remembering back to the day the unemployment figures for November were announced, I stopped then, as I do today, recollecting the tone and words chosen, the slight drop was "unexpected". 

Unexpected?  really?  Is that the mindset we are going to choose?

Given we -- correction, they (the Fed) -- spent $787 Billion on a STIMULUS Plan, don't you think it would come along with a side order of EXPECTATION?

The skies opened up again with another storm front passing through over the weekend;  for me, rain feels like a blessing every time.  But I gotta share my girl's latest rendition of our baby BooBoo's world when confronted with having to go outside on a rainy day -- she says in her squeaky and quirky BooBoo voice "I don't like tinkling in the rain, mama, makes me feel like the world is tinkling on me." Out of the mouths of babes, the both of them; her interpretation of a moment according to a dog's world made me laugh. 

Attitude is everything, isn't it.

After World War II, we had no trouble as a country -- filling up with great expectation -- the nation rebuilding into the industrious, economic, free enterprise giant that soon became renowned throughout the world.  Our spirit, our faith, our love of country was everywhere and often.  Similar to the days dating back to The Revolutionary War and even The Civil War, we the people united in a common cause, a cause that was greater than our own, and from which we grew stronger as a nation for it.

The thing is, as a nation, history proves we have been pretty good with "speaking the blessing".

When we speak with victory as our cornerstone, we grow smarter, stronger, leaner, meaner and rise to the occasion with great expectation. Whether we are on the side of God or if God is on our side, our belief system and government was constructed to be so intertwined with our faith --  so full of life and victory and blessings -- there was never room for any doubt. 

Nothing of value fell to the level of "unexpected" -- that is just not how we were made -- that kind of thought is simply not in us.

But today, it's like we are living in a new age of diminishing America's greatness; and if we aren't careful, this pandering to the lowest common denominator may ruin us.

It used to be when we went into war -- we spoke with winning words, bringing down the enemy and bringing home the troops in victory.  When we went to market -- we handpicked words that enlivened the spirit of competition, sparked innovation, allowing every person the pursuit of a piece of the American pie.  When we went to school -- we debated, we challenged thought, we taught the importance of all opinions, all experience, all scientific discovery and had at our fingertips a library illuminating a world of literature, the real and the make believe, to reinforce it.

Everything inspired us. Nothing discouraged us.  We walked our talk and talked our walk -- and all blessings that sprung forth were not only expected, but were affirmed by our words...Thy Kingdom Come, Thy Will Be Done to name a few. Going down in defeat just didn't stand a chance, ever.

As Americans, we are born and raised to speak the blessing naturally and without cause for regret, worry or concern --  words of prosperity and all that is good and right and sound is supposed to slip off our tongue effortlessly and seamlessly from one to another; as if we live in perpetual victory -- like fields of little flowers we stand tall with our face to the sun -- vibrant, united and proud.

Today, as we sit uncomfortable and country-challenged, it requires us to be even more diligent, more in tune, to what words we choose.  In as much as G finds it difficult to embrace the ideology and methods pouring out of Washington these days, as an American, trusting in our inherent ability to evolve and make the best of things goes without saying.  This too shall pass and we shall rise and be all the better for it, right?

There are scientists who believe we are suffocating the environment with not enough good clean CO2 for our plants to breathe; oh sure, they'll adapt, but wouldn't it be nice to look at the big picture, not just the snapshot through the lens of an inconvenient bias, and come to making changes intelligently, with sound business practice, and with good reason -- stand tall and keep your face to the sun.

There are preachers who believe America's best days are here, and stand so forward thinking they look beyond the sun,  reminding us of the one, true Source and Everlasting Light -- whispering a message of hope and faith in our ear -- stand tall and keep your face to the sun.

There are fathers and mothers speaking the blessing from life experiences and lessons of the ages -- all we have to do is stop and give a listen -- stand tall and keep your face to the sun.

Our discussions of the last week have been all about what gains our attention, what words we choose, and went so far as to dare to question where we are being led; as parents and as true patriots, our vigilance must always be on guard.

How do we remain steadfast in living a life of great expectation and all the while mindful of what we may be losing along the way?  Are we making a better America or is she getting caught up in the redistribution and reinvention of a global agenda -- leveling America off with the rest of the world?

Is that what we get for creating a world, in attitude and invention,  living the American dream -- a dream generations of immigrants flocked to this land to find -- and ultimately pass on to their children with great pride and thanksgiving?

Is that the kind of unexpected gratitude we gain from the United Nations -- for being there all along the way, doing whatever it takes, whether we could afford it or not, standing as the beacon of hope, leading and never following --  now being reduced to some kind of evil Imperialistic giant, being force-fed to evolve into a new global economy at the loss of our own?

Don't we have a law against that?

and as a mom,
what do our babies get out of that?

Make it a Good Day, G

oh my little babies...
 shhhh, stand tall and keep your face to the sun.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Dear America,

"Certainly his actions hurt me, and they caused consequences for me,
but they don't in any way take away my own self-esteem,"
she told ABC's Barbara Walters.
"They reflect poorly on him."

That was Jenny Sanford, Wednesday night appearing on Barbara's 10 Most Fascinating People of the Year.

This morning, she filed for divorce.

G has been there; matter of fact, G remains single today, raising a child, and with every ounce of my being building a home with the blocks of character in tandem with the man I left nearly twelve years ago.

Similar but not quite the same, my connection to her sentiment "they reflect poorly on him" gives me chills; that was my response to it when coming to my own rescue for a past that feels like a lifetime ago.

Given that my parents have been married fifty years -- of course you would already know that if you followed G during the summer when gallivanting around Yellowstone Park marking the anniversary with them at the foot of Old Faithful -- it would also be a given that the reflection of failing at the one thing I thought I would also live to see -- the milestone and badge of honor of a marriage blessed with the same -- had the potential to destroy me. 

Perhaps it is the Aries in me that gave me the ability to stealthy swing from bliss to defeat, defeat to shock, shock to indifference, indifference to peace, peace back to bliss on a dime way back when; truth be told, it's more like on a wing and prayer that gave me the strength to forgive myself for the fall from grace and lay the stepping stones to a new life.

No easy task for anyone -- but that's not the direction today; the thing is, with a child, every move we make is reflected back through their actions, demeanor, character and attitude.  Good parenting cannot fail even when our heart is broken; we simply do not have time to selfishly lose sight of our responsibility to our children amidst a shattered dream; the shards must be picked up and pieced back together to allow for real character to shine through.

While our culture seems to cling to stories of the Hollywood stars, politicians, and athletic phenomenons appearing to have the world by a string only to have it lost in a whirlwind of scandal and infidelity and loss of character -- perhaps our true failure comes from falling under a spell right from the start. 

Perhaps it is what we wanted to see in them that remains left in fragments on the floor; leaving only flaws reflecting poorly on them and certainly, and ever so hopefully, not upon us.

But what is it our children take in from this all too familiar scene played out over and over again in the tabloids and on TV?

We live by example; we grow up as a reflection of our parents and our environment; we make children from that which and all that we are; and it is within our children we show the character we live by.  We teach them through a happy marriage; and if we fail at that, we must teach them through the walls of a broken home.  It's as simple as that.

Good parenting does not take a pass simply because we don't make good soul mates.

...okay, pretend you just stepped out to walk your dog, like G just did...we're walking...we're walking...another storm is moving into the area so it's brisk and cloudy with a slight chance of showers.  Brr

...then it happened.  A light bulb moment.

...what if the rule was for every story we show on the lack of good character we must show a story that does?  Think about it.  Two days ago, my girl was so sick and tired of all the disappointment, all the yuck in the muck, all the virtues of a society gone bad at the detriment of finding anything worthy of substance, of value, of something that could lift her up and elevate her to a higher level of living -- she proclaimed enough was enough!  Mayday. SOS.

This is where we as parents step in; not only do we step in, but we do our best to reflect that which we want our children to mirror -- aren't our babies and the potential of our ever-evolving community in which we live worth it?  While with all of it's rhetorical attributes aside, I'm  really not asking.

So to follow the new rules, we would see little ole Tiger and his sweet Swede Elin be paired with Uncle Teddy and Auntie Lettie from Chattanooga -- after thirty five years, surrounded by children and grandchildren with a simple life, a living faith, and a loving heart welcoming another Christmas all together as a family, certainly around a fire place if the reality was there.

Instead, we get this,
"One of Tiger Woods's alleged mistresses, Jamie Jungers, 26, has told how she had "wild" sex with the wealthy golf star, including during 10 visits to his home, British newspaper the Sun reported Thursday.

She recounted how their relationship started in Las Vegas eight months after Woods married, and continued despite Woods telling her that his marriage to Swedish wife Elin Nordegren was fine..." Agence France-Presse December 11, 2009

Or this,
"CHARLESTON, S.C. – South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford blames his own moral failures for his wife's desire to divorce him.

He says Jenny Sanford is gracious and remarkable and has been patient and selfless since he publicly revealed his affair with an Argentine woman in June." by Bruce Smith, Associated Press Writer, December 10, 2009
What is our world coming to?  Is our culture becoming so insensitive to the values we are teaching our children -- and seemingly just crossing our fingers that they turn out alright -- that we stop teaching to be of good character, stories of real people with sound principles and values, altogether?  The emphasis has clearly grown to side with what ails us -- not in what nurtures, and feeds, and nourishes a young hungry soul for that which is good. 
It is bad enough that generation after generation we are seeing not only more of what we brush off as merely dysfunctional families -- almost laughing it off as simply our culture's mild sign of decay, a few flakes on the shoulder -- we are now watching it upon the big screen and the pages of yahoo, the macrocosm loss of every principle in the book. 
What are we teaching our children and shouldn't ABC, CBS, NBC, TMZ and YAHOO fulfill some of it's duty to bearing some responsibility of teaching both sides -- highlighting good with bad -- finding more news to the values that we hold dear than illuminating the raunchy, the absurd, the wicked and the immoral?  Showing the titillating nature of the news of our times may be considered selling our culture short of an opportunity to really shine in the face and earshot of our children. But time will tell now won't it.
My mama and I share our personal preference and love of wearing a cross. It's really nothing more than wanting to display for all the world to see where we aspire to live our lives from -- a reminder to the cross we bear at times in a world that doesn't always go our way -- it affirms daily a belief in something greater than ourselves and our ability to transcend the secular world in a flash, on the fly, and whenever we need "reinforcement" to get through the day.
Low and behold, on a rainy Monday afternoon this last week, my girl came to me and asked me if she could wear one of my crosses (hold on a second, I'm pulling a GlennBeck and needing to grab a tissue); but you gotta understand, she came to me and asked.  I didn't push or prod, I simply led and I did; that's all it took.
I'm not surprised by her modeling herself after her mama; it's what we do as kids, as I remember for myself.  We follow and learn and grow and turn into people much like those who sit around us at the dinner table, in the church pew, on the sidelines and in the front seat.  And we don't usually grow too much outside the family boundaries, unless of course we are graced by an angel or something very close to it -- the story of Michael Oher comes to mind.  (Thank you for the gift of The Blind Side, in theaters now.)
We usually can't make those kind of leaps on our own -- we usually don't grow much further from the tree -- we usually don't become something we're not or something that wasn't inherent to who we really are or where we came from...and from what I see and as time goes by, it is becoming increasingly hard for society to fake it.
Our character comes from values and principles instilled in us from our parents, and perhaps a mentor, minister, teacher or coach.  It takes work and effort to build a kind of character worth repeating itself in a new generation; it takes real, unadulterated stories that teach values -- not victims, villains or a veneer of a society that once was.
The latest book I'm reading is a collection of fables; and talk about the value and influence of story time  -- Aesop, a Greek slave, told stories to the king featuring animals as the main characters, in an effort to teach a moral platform without essentially hurting any one's feelings -- an indirect and delightful way to make a point, don't you think? 
Here's The Jackdaw and His Borrowed Feathers:

A Jackdaw flew over the wall into a garden where peacocks walked.
No one was around.
But there on the ground lay some beautiful peacock plumes.

Quickly he gathered them up,
"How fine I will look dressed up in these peacock feathers!" he thought.
He stuck the longest ones in his tail and some shorter ones on his head.
Then he flew back among the crows and starlings and sparrows. 

He strutted around proudly.  He made believe he didn't even see the common birds.

"I really am too fine to talk to them," he decided at last, and flew off to the peacocks.

But the peacocks saw at once that he was a Jackdaw dressed in their feathers.

They came up angrily and pecked their plumes off him.  And along with the borrowed feathers,
the Jackdaw lost some of his own.

It was a sad-looking bird that flew back over the wall.

He was glad to get away with both eyes in his head.

Now he was ready to be friends with the common birds around him.

But the starlings and crows and sparrows remembered what airs he had put on before.
And they would have nothing to do with him.

Moral: Borrowed feathers do not make fine birds.
Who are we as a people, what kind of Americana-Birdus of a Feathurus are we?  What are we made of and what do we pass on to our children of value, of character, of worth in order to carry this generation triumphantly on to the next? 
If we don't teach it to them, they will look for it from the outside, they will look for it disguised in opulent lifestyles and empty souls, they will look for it to be fulfilled by things, material and immaterial, to fill their void.  They will not learn to respect who they are -- and have enough moral courage and inner strength to give them the guidance and security to become who they are destined to be. 
This is the job that evidently, and the more society dictates, can only be filled by the one person we see in the mirror -- and two if you happen to be one of the lucky one's --  broken or not, the reflection we see in our children tells the whole story.
Make it a Good Day, G
Before sending them off to school, bless your children with a story, a fable, a poem, or simply a whisper in the ear with something that brings light and love -- in a lesson taught by animals or a thought that makes them smile; our chance to be better parents starts over in each and every new day, thanks be to God.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Dear America,

You know what's a beautiful thing, besides the weather under this glorious southern California blue sky, is that we share much of the same thoughts throughout the country.  We feel each other and gravitate to those who share the same concerns, the same worries, the same love of country, the same pressures to raise a family, the same faith or something quite similar to -- we feel much of the same things.

They say the inherent need for human touch is vital to our well being and security; I believe it to be true more than ever.  While being able to actually reach out and touch someone via the Internet does not allow for the physical connection, emotional and intellectual minds can come together and find peace.

If you noticed the latest addition to my page includes the characterization and belief system created by the brilliance of Glenn Beck's 912 Project.  I think I'm going to keep it up for awhile.  It comes on the wave of my latest attachment to an organization called simply, As a Mom; a "sisterhood of mommy patriots". I latched on to it only yesterday and already find myself returning to a deeper sense of calm.

I didn't need anything more than feeling the sense that I am not alone.

Last evening, after my girl and I ate breakfast for dinner -- our favorite thing to do combining comfort food and the smell of bacon -- my girl just stopped me, dead center in the middle of the room, and gave me a hug.

It was a good hug.  It wasn't the kind with the pat on the back; it was a solid thirty seconds at least of both arms wrapped around me and mine around her and we both just stood there.  Now, given it was initiated by my little teenager, that in and of itself makes a mama's heart sing; but more than that, in all of it's simplicity in the moment it stood as the very reminder how important it is to teach the importance of touch, and the strength we can gain from it, in a matter of seconds. 

My girl, at some level, recognized this; and whether for her benefit or mine, that reach, that extension, proves as humans we yearn for it, rely on it, and sometimes we just need it.  I didn't ask her if it was her need to be hugged or her sense that mama needed some love that propelled her to wrap herself up and around me.  It didn't matter.  But through her action we both stopped and took it all in...

Our children have been used in the discussions of the day -- from both sides of the aisle -- to impress upon the opinions of constituents and fellow members of congress of what changes must be made and why. What immediately comes to mind is how our children must be feeling, having been the subject of what debts we burden them with or what our world will simply look like when they are all grown up.

and later in the evening I got my answer -- like someone shaking me to the core -- my baby girl actually turned to me and said that she "didn't want to hear any more about it." She was so sick and tired of hearing the news of climate change, Obamacare, the deficit, the national debt, death and taxes -- she wanted none of it and just wanted it all to stop.

It became a teachable moment for both of us, again (don't we love it when we become the student and the child, the teacher).  She is old enough now to understand the bigger picture and questions how things may or may not affect her years down the road; but the realization that she feels the trouble of the world too is unmistakable and without question, commands our attention as parents.

As a mom, we feel everything through our children; we wish they would never feel pain, never have their hearts broken, never be without, and never lose their faith.  We ache when they ache and smile when they smile -- and if they feel stress, yes, we stress.

How do we thoughtfully and carefully maneuver the world and it's events and challenges around the lives of our children without ultimately scaring the living daylights out of them?  They hear things.  They see things. Matter of fact, they say children see more and know more than we may think at any given time; those spectacular little creatures that they are. 

The thing is, the decisions we make today ARE being handed down to our children and on some level they actually know it; scratch that, they feel it.

I am reminded of the importance of our mindfulness through the words of Daphne Rose Kingma, in a little book of hers called Heart & Soul.  It should be noted the book's intent was for the rediscovery of a deeper connection in our intimate relationships, but I think one of her observations applies here:

"There is no neutral moment or action in our experience.  Everything we do, every action we enact, every nuance of movement, each word we utter either creates the further illumination of our souls, or moves us in a direction in which, in a moment of dark unconsciousness, our souls can be utterly compromised.

The potential for loss of soul -- to one degree or another -- is the affliction of a society that as a collective has lost its sense of the holy, of a culture that values everything else above the spiritual.  We live in such a spiritually impoverished culture -- and in such a time...
In such a world the soul struggles for survival; in such a world a man can lose his own soul and have the whole culture support him, AND in such a world, conversely, the light of a single, great soul that lives in integrity can truly illumine the world."

As parents to our children, we are given this great responsibility of choice every day; what power we have to create their world securely and with accountability -- with love and understanding, peace and grace.  Yet, along side this parental right and loving obligation, we must also be on guard for what they absorb from outside sources --when not under the protection of our home -- or within, and under the influences of television.

For our children hear it, know it, see it, fret about it and feel it.

The makings of the day and the legislation of our lives within the walls of congress are testing our culture, compromising our values, and causing so many of us to STOP and share in the same thoughts.  I find comfort and joy in both the season of honoring the birth of the baby Jesus and in the arms of fellow patriots whom I don't know.  Just knowing we share in the same thoughts wraps a warm blanket of hope and faith around me.

I find myself at peace and give great thanks this morning for the "minute-moms" around me and the father of Re-founding America, Glenn Beck.  I would wrap my arms around each and every one of them this morning if I could; and I'm pretty sure it's not because G wants a hug -- I'm quite certain it comes from a place in my heart that feels the need to show how grateful I am for them, for their influences on a culture gone wild, and their ability to connect like minds and affect change for the betterment of the whole.  Giving thanks for the people in our world who love us, nurture us, teach us, enlighten us, protect us, save us or just plain touch us with their soul is what life is all about.
I would like to think that was why my girl stopped me smack dab in the center of the living room and cradled me in her arms -- coming full circle thirteen years later and dozens of times over -- it doesn't even begin to tell you how proud it makes a mama feel each and every time. The power to illumine is inside each of  us -- including our children.

Is there a chance today our congress may finally feel that way too -- that they may return to a level of integrity, find a deeper connection to the American people, revealing a much higher consciousness -- worthy of transforming a culture back to it's founding values and principles?

I have to believe they, Congress, are mamas and papas like us; understanding the responsibility of raising America with "honesty, reverence, hope, thrift, humility, charity, sincerity, moderation, hard work, courage, personal responsibility, and gratitude" (9:12) -- and a little less fear, control, manipulation, deception, waste, fraud, overhead, redistribution of wealth, corruption, darkness, and loss.

Perhaps today will be the day Congress STOPS the madness, becomes illumined from within, and blankets the nation with a feeling of warmth, security and the return to grace...a girl can only hope.

Make it a Good Day, G

Hug a tree, your children, your dog -- just reach out and touch someone and let them know you care and redistribute the wealth that's inside you -- or not, the choice is yours.