Posted in Inspirational

Memorial Day

Today we honor the memory of the men and women who have given their lives protecting the freedoms and benefits that we as Americans possess and enjoy every day. We honor also the men and women who have been and who are presently engaged in aiding and fighting for the oppressed people of the world and representing the heart and soul of their country to the rest of the world. My grandfather was a WW1 veteran. My father served during the Korean conflict. I have many classmates who fought in Vietnam. My son is serving overseas at present.

Thank God for our brave brothers and sisters, sons and daughters, mothers and fathers, who volunteer to put themselves in harm’s way in order to uphold the ideals that have made our country the world leader in every measureable category.

As we honor these wonderful men and women we must remember that they do not exist in a vacuum. They have families; wives and husbands and sons and daughters, mothers and fathers and sisters and brothers. These family members have signed on to support their soldier, often picking up and moving at a moment’s notice. They live knowing that their loved one could be sent into a combat zone or dangerous situation at any time.

The military families are held to army standards, submitting to inspections and subject to many rules and regulations that most of us would balk at. If our spouse’s job required that kind of scrutiny and compliance most of us would steer our loved one to a different career in a hurry.

In the past the support for our military families was plentiful, as family and friends and whole communities chipped in with time, companionship, and financial support when needed. Over the past half-decade, however, families have become separated as our society has become more migratory. People move more often, losing the benefits of long developed roots, roots connecting us with our emotional, spiritual, and financial safety nets. Often the suffering and needs of the military family go undetected while they suffer alone.

The sacrifice made by our military families cannot be forgotten. If you know someone who has a deployed spouse, especially a mother or father with a young child or children, you could take time to drop in on a regular basis. Sometimes just having an adult voice in the house can relieve a world of stress for someone who spends the majority of their time chasing the rug rats around the house.

If you are close you could offer to watch the kids for an hour while he or she relaxes or takes a run. Offer to do some shopping for them when you go yourself. Most important, make sure that they have a friendly ear and a shoulder to lean on. It can make such a difference for them just knowing that they are not alone.

It is so important for the safety and well-being of our soldiers who are deployed, as well as to how they can concentrate on their often life and death decisions, that they know that their families are well and have the support that they need at home.

As the father of a deployed soldier I have seen the effects of separation to his family and the hardship that it creates for him when his family is struggling with a problem at home. I take my responsibility for helping very seriously, but I alone cannot give my daughter-in –law and their three children all the support that they need. It takes a cooperative effort to be there when they are down or discouraged or hurting with the separation from their Daddy.

Not only do the guys and gals who are over there defending our comfortable butts need and deserve to know that their efforts and sacrifice are appreciated, their families need to hear a big thank you in the form of support and appreciation for what they do.

Thank God for our wonderful young men and women of the military and thank God also for all the wonderful family members who make such a large sacrifice themselves to support the huge sacrifice made by their soldier.

There was a time when our whole country joined to take up the slack in time of war. We were a real country then, not just a bunch of people who live here. Maybe we could become a country again.

Posted in Political, Taxes

If Not Government, Who?

I was thinking today, as I walked along enjoying God’s wonderful spring pageant, that, as Christians, we should be careful if we are of a conservative bent and join in the call for a smaller and less obtrusive government. Is this bloated and intrusive federal presence in our lives exactly what we have asked for? If the government were to shrink its protective blanket who would take up the slack?

I think that the government is like matter seeking a vacuum. All it takes is a small need that goes un-remedied for the government to seek to fill that need. Unfortunately the people that we elect are generally not versed in a wide variety of technical and practical expertise. Most of us tend to specialize in a particular field and rely upon the rest of society to do their part and fill the other specialties.

The more that you have people overseeing processes that they do not fully understand, the more you leave yourself at the mercy of multiple personal agendas that may or may not reflect the greater public good.

The truth is that we need a certain level of regulation and oversight to maintain a functioning and inclusive society. The innate good in everyone seems to be a lot more evident when they know someone is paying attention.

How much that oversight intrudes into our lives in the form of rule and regulation is directly related to the amount of responsibility each of us is willing to take to ensure that the basic needs of our community are filled. How much we are taxed depend upon how many holes we leave to be filled by others. If we fall short on individual charity then we are compelled to provide cooperative or governmental charity. We are making that choice.

The only real alternative to the “nanny state” would be more responsibility assumed by the general population for the welfare and support of those that cannot help or support themselves. It would also require a greater responsibility for a large segment of society to do more to live within their means and work harder to improve their situation without expecting something to be given to them for merely existing.

None of this can happen overnight. It has to begin somewhere. I think that we Christians, as well as other people of faith regardless of affiliation can make a good start and set the right example by drawing closer to that which drew us to believe and re-learning the true meaning of charity and compassion and the other lessons that have been gleaned from thousands of years of learning and gathering knowledge. We are fools not to profit from the hard lessons handed down by our forefathers.

Both sides have overseen periods of unsustainable growth based on false expectations and artificially inflated markets and the ensuing reality checks when our soaring economy comes crashing down around our necks.

The scary thing is that the big enabler in all of this financial chaos is us. We put the people in place that allow it and then we keep returning them no matter what they do because they tell us that their failures are someone else’s fault. Or that they will do better.

Posted in Uncategorized

All The News

Is it just me or do the various news shows sometimes step out-of-bounds in their zeal to report every bit of information that they uncover? There was a time when journalists and law enforcement were on the same side, but it seems that news outlets currently are doing everything that they can to make law enforcement a losing proposition.

What brought this once more to prominence in my mind was a story that I watched on the local fox station news broadcast about a default setting on smart phones that allows GPS information to be uploaded with the photos sent to the internet from the phones. After telling us how bad guys are using this to target people’s homes and possessions, they told us how to find the menu path to turn the GPS tracking off. If they had stopped there, it was a good story and a good heads up to us all about the dangers of blindly posting to the internet.

They didn’t stop there. They continued the story, explaining how the flip side to the danger is the hidden benefit that the authorities can use the same privacy glitch to track down bad guys, and in fact have been very successful doing just that.

This is where I have a problem with the reporting. We have learned how to combat those tech-savvy thieves that are prowling for our identity information and that is very helpful, but we know that once we close that avenue they are going to find another. They are extremely intelligent, if twisted, individuals. This is an ongoing struggle that I suspect we have seen just the tip of the iceberg.

Now, though, we must also worry about all those bad guys who might have been caught except that channel 12 just told them how to avoid capture and let them in on the fact that there was indeed an imminent threat of that very thing.

Thanks a lot, Ms. Reporter-On-The Spot.

I see this all the time anymore, both nationally and locally. If they have the information they have to write it report it. To heck with discretion and common sense. From how to make explosives to where the best places are for a sexual predater to be successful.

What ever became of responsible reporting?