Sunday, February 04, 2007
This isn't a good idea. I'm already convinced that the required Homeland Security measures required for getting a license in a new State are an invasion of privacy, harrassment of law-abiding citizens, and useless for policing illegal ALIENS! (They aren't immigrants, they are illegal ALIENS. See my earlier post on the baloney required now to get a driver's license in a new state, and then what happened to my wife's granddaughter .. the car she was riding on was hit by a vehicle driven by an unlicensed and uninsured illegal ALIEN! Lot of good the Homeland BS department, eh?
Just say "NO" to Big Brother .. no more invasion of privacy in the name of the unPatriot Act.
Monday, January 29, 2007
Monday, January 22, 2007
Abou Ben Adhem (may his tribe increase!)
Awoke one night from a deep dream of peace,
And saw, within the moonlight in his room,
Making it rich, and like a lily in bloom,
An angel writing in a book of gold:—
Exceeding peace had made Ben Adhem bold,
And to the presence in the room he said,
‘What writest thou?’—The vision rais’d its head,
And with a look made of all sweet accord,
Answer’d, ‘The names of those who love the Lord.’
‘And is mine one?’ said Abou. ‘Nay, not so,’
Replied the angel. Abou spoke more low,
But cheerly still; and said, ‘I pray thee, then,
Write me as one that loves his fellow men.’
The angel wrote, and vanish’d. The next night
It came again with a great wakening light,
And show’d the names whom love of God had blest,
And lo! Ben Adhem’s name led all the rest.
The prophet Micah wrote this:
What is good, O mortal, and what does the Lord God require of thee? But to DO justice, to LOVE mercy, and to walk humbly before your Creator!
Sunday, January 21, 2007
This command by Jesus - bless and curse not, restated by Paul in Romans 12.14 - is amazing, difficult, simplistic and impossible!
There are those who are Christians who teach that our words have creative power. Therefore, for those who believe this, if you speak only positive things, your life will be filled with positive things; and, if you speak curses, your life will be filled with curses.
Interesting, but I know more than one person who constantly talks about having cancer, fearing flying, yaddah, yaddah, yaddah .. yet, they are in good health and in their 80s. And, I also know truly good persons who have died unexpectedly at very young ages in comparison. I mean, people who truly love others more than themselves, etc.
But, in spite of this, there is a real warning that we need to consider about cursing. The mentality behind cursing other people, cursing businesses, cursing government, cursing circumstances .. this mentality is a self-destructive one. It is an easy mentality to slip into, but it will end up destroying us if we continue in it. It destroys integrity and influence. It is a victim mentality. It is non-productive, most certainly, but even more so, it is destructive, because it is speaking curses upon other people and circumstances that we are not responsible for. Thus, if God is the Creator of the circumstances we are cursing, perhaps we are cursing Him. Dangerous ground.
On the other hand, if we get an attitude of blessing .. blessing our mean neighbor, blessing our stingy relatives, blessing those we do business with .. perhaps even having an attitude of blessing those who we are paying when we write out the check to pay our bills.... after all, if we can bless others, we are obviously blessed ourselves, and we will end up being blessed even more. Hey! If you are able to pay your bills, you are blessed!!!
We are blessed with good health, we are blessed to live in the USA, we are blessed to have heat and airconditioning, we are blessed to have great health care, we are blessed to have three good meals per day, we are BLESSED!
Monday, January 15, 2007
Haitians are worth understanding. They are incredible people. In case you don't know it, the suicide rate in Haiti is one of the lowest in the world. Even though Haiti is the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere, they have the best attitude toward life that I have ever seen in a culture .. well, attitude toward accepting one's "lot in life", that is.
I learned a long time ago that if I speak truthfully about the problems and deficiencies of a culture / people group, that some people think I'm speaking hatefully about that culture / people group. This just isn't true, but I've also learned that it is just too much for some people to really think .. they prefer to go around spouting judgements and opinions based upon their willful ignorance. Anyway, if you are one of those kind of people, you'll probably think I hate Haitians after reading this article. Which will prove my point, eh?.
Anyway. I speak fairly good Haitian Creole. Can get around the country without a translator. Stay in the homes of the poor. Have been in country at least 25 times. Port-au-Prince, Leogane, Fouche, Les Cayes, Jacmel, Gonaives, Veudreuil, Cap Haitien, Bassin Bleu .. I've visited perhaps half of the country, and know some areas (Leogane, Callebasse, Petite Place Cazeau) very well.
So, why does the nation continue to struggle economically? That is the main point of this article. Because of my love of Haiti and the Haitians, I've studied their culture and history diligently. And, I've sought to understand the fundamentals of economics, looking for answers for Haiti.
One of the most important things I've learned about economics came from a Tom Clancy novel. He stated a foundational principle of economics so succinctly and clearly: The more times a dollar changes hands in a day, the more dollars there are in an economy! It seems so simple, and yet so profound and complex. It is, because why economies change or remain stagnant are not the sum of one cause .. there are complexities in a nation / culture which contribute to what is.
So, in my reading about economies, I came across a great article about Hong Kong, which has the fifth strongest economy in the world, according to that article. Why? Under the English Governor (colonial government), the government stuck to it's job: security, infrastructure and enforcement of contracts.
This made it possible for the peoples' natural entrepreneurial abilities to take over and build a thriving economy. Understand, Hong Kong is overpopulated and has no natural resources to speak of. And, like Haiti, it is an island nation. Haiti too is overpopulated and has no natural resources. So, would it be possible for Haiti to become like Hong Kong and have a strong economy? I believe so.
HOWEVER, certain conditions will have to exist before this can happen. There will have to be a stable government that provides equal justice for all, enforces contracts, provides security for the people and provides infrastructure. WoW .. these are all things that the government has never been able to provide in Haiti.
It seems that Haiti is the poster child for that principle "power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely". Every man who has become President of Haiti has manifested some level of corruption. And, only a handful have died natural deaths .. most have died violent deaths while in office at the hands of political enemies.
There is a clan mentality in Haiti. The Haitians joke about the reality that when a Haitian gets a job in the government, soon all their cousins are driving Toyota SUV's! It isn't that government jobs pay that well. It is that the government workers take bribes to do their jobs and they take care of their clan. Well, it seems the President usually has the same mentality. When it comes to law and government, there really is not a national identity or psyche among the Haitians. Just stating reality, not putting them down.
So, if the Haitians want to see their economy change, the mentality toward the government and justice for all must change. This will probably take a couple of generations of specific educating. And I suspect it might have to be under the rulership of a benevolent dictator. Sorry. I just know Haitians too well.
Wait. There is one more thing. I know this about Haitians, too. Haitians are very industrious and have an entrepreneurial spirit. There are perhaps 1.5 million Haitians in the USA, and they are very productive financially. Given the opportunity in Haiti, Haitians will prosper and build a strong economy. They just need the security of a stable government that provides justice, security and infrastructure.
I probably shouldn't write this .. but, I'm sick and tired of George's leadership. Make no mistake, he is a leader. It's just that I'm fed up with the direction he is going.
I'm a social libertarian and a fiscal conservative. Libertarian means the government should keep its nose out of our personal lives except to incarcerate criminals (HOWEVER, "no knock" search warrants do NOT cut it .. cops make toooo many mistakes).
Anyway, George first got my dander up by using the National Guard in Iraq .. The National Guard are CITIZEN soldiers whose purpose is homeland security, not the fighting of foreign wars. They have a civilian mentality .. they have families .. they have jobs and obligations of civilians, rather than having their lives ordered around military duty. It is the Regular Army which is trained to fight foreign wars, not the National Guard. George, of course, can't understand that ... probably doesn't care.
Early on I suspected that W's real reason for going to Iraq was to make up for his father's stupid mistake when he pulled out of Iraq .. nothing like a kid getting even for his daddy!
I also came to the opinion early on in W's first term that Evangelicals would ONE DAY (probably not soon .. they are slow learners) become very embarrassed for supporting W so strongly. Why?
Primarily, the reason we should all be afraid of W is the unPatriot Act. We have no idea how seriously our privacy and freedom has been damaged by this secret "law". Let me give you an example ..
A few weeks ago I had to apply for a Georgia license. I had a perfectly good Pennsylvania driver's license, recently renewed for another 5 years. But, since I moved to Georgia, I had to get a GEORGIA driver's license! Anyway, guess what? I had to provide a certified birth certificate or a passport in order to PROVE I was born here in the USA!!!!!!
Now, while I was in harms way in South Vietnam, fighting for "American freedoms", BoBo was partying here in the good old USA. Guess who has to prove he was BORN here in the USA? BoBo? &%#* NO .. I have to! Why? "HOMELAND SECURITY"!!!! ROFLOL .. Yeah right!
Let's see... have they stopped the flood of illegal immigrants entering the USA? NO! Have they stopped the flood of DOPE entering the USA? NO!
BUT, in the NAME of stopping these criminal dangers to the security of the USA, they are invading the privacy of law abiding citizens! Hey, BoBo .. you and your unPatriotic politicos can kiss mine! I know what this is about. Momma didn't raise no fools. This is NOT about securing the USA .. this is about getting the government's nose into our private business. And, it is WRONG.
Well, I have to stop here ... anything else I might say could get me into serious trouble with the "law" .. because we don't know for sure what all the penalties are for criticizing the unPatriotic Act .. seriously.
Sunday, January 14, 2007
My wish list: I'd love to visit New Zealand, Australia, Japan, Antigua, St. Croix. But, I doubt it will happen. We do plan to take a cruise this year that will visit Belize, and I hope to visit Haiti again this year. However, the security in Haiti is terrible. The kidnappings continue, and lawlessness reigns.