Thou Shalt Love Thy Neighbors Pet? …or not

Pets are wonderful companions, house mates, hunters, guards and yes even the object of our affections. My question is, if they are so important to us then why aren’t we better stewards of our charges. I currently don’t own a dog or a cat but I am still treated with their “gifts”.

Like today as I was working in my yard and found an attachment to the bottom of my shoe in the form of feces, dog one would assume, by the aroma which wafted through the air. Later I was treated to some partially hidden cat leavings in my flower beds. But how did I find them. Whilst digging with my hands and spreading mulch. Yes it’s as smooth as hand lotion, just a tiny bit more aromatic.

I don’t believe in harming domestic animals(that is of course unless they are cows, chickens, rabbits, pigs etc) nor do I condone cruelty to animals just to satisfy some warped sense of superiority.

I would however like the people who “love” their animals, respect the boundaries of those of us that choose to live without the feces, urine, digging, chewing and climbing of those loveable creatures.

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The Trump post-presidency would be ….??

It’s no surprise that the President of the United States is the most powerful person on the planet. It is also no surprise that many former presidents have been prolific working to bring about positive change and raising the social and moral conscience of the people they once served as president. Like retired athletes and solider’s some help provide homes for the poor, and encourage the wealthy to benevolence. There also those who continue to pad their respective accounts as “talking heads” and continue to enhance their respective areas of influence. They revel in the spotlight. Hyper-egos that require daily feeding, hyper-egos that suck the air out of a room and leave little else, hyper-egos that pale by comparison to that of Donald Trump.

With rare exception, presidents are on the most part are full of themselves. On a world stage the “Leader of the Free World” must reflect confidence, worldly presence and intellectual and physical strength but by the same token must know that humility, compassion and empathy are just as important. (how to be a nice guy without being a punk) There is no room for unlimited power in the hands of a bully.

That is how I view Mr. Trump. He’s like a WWE evil star that all the fans love to hate. They purchase his memorabilia and buy into the shallow words that confuse leadership with oligarchy, or physical power with strength of character. Last November the electorate choose Mr. Trump, he has become the most powerful person on the planet. That comes with the office but, what about his post presidency? He will still wear the crown.

The next president will take a back seat to “The Donald” as he will leave with the same sphere of influence he entered the office with, but enhanced with all the political open doors, national secrets, global political access, and endorsement desirability that no other post-presidency has ever enjoyed. The question is, will Mr. Trump use his omnipotence for the betterment of the Republic? Perhaps go quietly into the night, or fearfully, rage against the dying of the light and attempt to govern beyond the office?

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Memorial Day 2015

image037Memorial Day 2015

According to The Polynational War Memorial since 1900 there have been 265 wars around the globe. Nearly every portion of the globe has felt the sting of armed conflict, apartheid, slavery, forced exile, genocide, and injustice. We all hope, that as a nation we are always on the right side of a cause.
Causes notwithstanding, remembering our nations dead is our just duty.

    When John McCrae in Flanders penned
    Had hoped that field of patriots dead
    Would be that beacon, the banner red
    Could be that last, that field of dead

    That soldiers bled would be the last
    To perish from the canons blast
    The war that ended all wars more
    That bloodied field, and moor, and shore

    But greed and avarice and bigots breed
    Then did fear and hatred seed
    Another world at bloody war
    That fowled field and moor and shore

    Then those patriots of every creed
    Would bleed and die for another’s need
    In hopes again that nevermore
    Would trouble field and moor and shore

    The guns fell silent a short time there
    When atomic power did fill the air
    But “quiets time” was not long lived
    When fear and hatred again survived

    My faith is strong, my nation great
    Again it fostered greed and hate
    It’s mine the oceans, sea, wind and land
    My god has granted me this stand
    From Golan to Sahara’s sand
    From New York to the Silver Strand
    From Asia’s crown to Ireland
    My god has granted me this stand
    It gives me right, it gives me cause
    To raise up arms and prove my laws

    Again wage war, must take a stand
    Protect us all, our motherland
    Perhaps again let this one more
    Be the war to end all war

    But keep in heart and mind and soul
    Our hero’s Sleep
    Or bodies bent and broken keep
    The hope the prayer that nevermore
    Will bloody field or moor or shore.

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Looking toward the new year…

As we say hello to Groundhog Day and so long, farewell, aufedersein, and goodbye to Christmas, Hanukkah, The Winter Solstice, Kwanzaa or any other collective expression of mankind’s  concern for the life of our planet, a checklist if you will of thing that are still undone.  Things that should give us all pause.  Especially those who profess a faith in a benevolent deity.

Peace in the Middle East

Unwanted genital mutilation

Rape

Honor Killing

Global Warming

Peace in Africa

Eradication of Malaria, Small Pox, Yellow Fever…(far to many curable diseases to mention)

Honest wages for honest work

Racial prejudice

Fear of compromise

…and on, and on.

Whether or not you subscribe to the Bible, or the Koran, the Old Testament or New, the   Tanakh or the B’rit Hadashah.  Or, perhaps nothing at all, one cannot argue that the greatest gift anyone can give, is the gift of love.

Loving your neighbor is the first step in curing the ills of our planet.

Shalom/bill

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Guns, Guns, Guns…

Guns, Guns, Guns…

 

So let’s see, Mr. Wayne LaPierre would have an armed guard in all of our public schools. That’s a great idea. And it will be a bargain. Especially as we begin to drive the school bus over the fiscal cliff.

There are approximately 130,000 public schools in the U.S. Not including benefits, a sworn officer’s salary can be between $35,000 and $78,000. That is between $4.55 billion and $10.14 billion annually. Okay you say that’s only what it cost to fund the war in Iraq for a week (at the height of the conflict). And if you consider a DOD budget that percolates around $600 billion per year, $5 billion or even $10 billion is a bargain. So now the reality check.

Sequestration, Fiscal Cliff, No Tax increases for anyone. How do you pay for it Mr. LaPierre. And, suggesting that every other prophylaxis, except some gun control is just plain wrong.

The distribution of weapons and ammunition require better control mechanisms.  To try and  justify 100 round magazines, or unrestricted purchase of combat type ammunition or lack of licensing for gun owners is folly. Straw sales rule the day. Over 40% of all gun sales are transacted at gun shows which require NO background checking. Prove you are eighteen, have the money, and out the door you go with your own carbine that was solely designed to kill another person.

The AR-15 and many of it’s cousins are designed to rapid fire a bullet at over 3000 feet per second and are generally accurate at 500 plus yards.  That’s not a weapon for self protection.   It is a combat arm.

No matter how it becomes “sporterized“, or made to look like other long guns, it’s still a combat weapon with only one design purpose. To kill another human being.

In your home, with an AR-15 as a “self defense” weapon  you stand as much of a chance shooting someone in the next room or even the next door neighbors house if you miss your intended target. A shotgun is a far better in home self protection weapon.

I don’t suggest that a class of weapon be banned however, limiting some types of ammunition, banning high capacity magazines for both long guns and hand guns and requiring licensing for ALL gun owners.

To own, carry, use, posses or have a gun of any type or any fashion should require having a license. We need to have a license for everything from piercing someone’s ears to driving a car. We have to have a license to cut someone else’s hair. Yet we do not have to prove any level of competency to purchase, own and use a gun. Many of which are designed for only the singular purpose of killing someone.

There are enough guns in this country for every man, woman and child yet only about 1 in 3 people own a gun. With all other things being equal, the more guns there are in the public domain, the more guns will fall in the hands of people who would commit crimes.

The more shameful truth is that we kill each other at an alarming rate. We kill our brothers and sisters, wives and husbands, neighbors and friends. And at a greater rate than any other method we kill ourselves with guns. We must stop the madness.

Shalom/bill

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Okay, It’s time to retire…really!!!

Opening up jobs for people who really need them is most important to stimulate and economy and promote fiscal health. Entry level to advanced, all positions are needed. The shame is many are filled by retirees that just want to keep busy and don’t need the cash.

Sure, no one want’s to just give up a lifetime of experience in the workplace, however the longer you stay there the longer it keeps a fresh face from entering the workforce. Surly one doesn’t suggest that if you cannot afford to completely retire that you just tuff it out. But, if you are only working just to keep busy then I say, quit working for pay. Move out so someone else can move up. And if you get tired of bowling, golf, fishing and basket weaving go down to your local USO, or Hospital or Garden Club and volunteer your time to keep busy.

Shalom/bill

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Fiscal Cliff vs Thelma and Louise

It’s time to pull a Thelma and Louise with the fiscal cliff. Sometimes doing nothing is just the right thing to do. It has been hyped just as was Y2K. When the clock struck 12 on Dec 31, 1999 the world did not end. When the clock strikes 12 on Dec 31, 2012, guess what? Nothing will happen. The IRS is not going to knock on your door and ask for $2200, the military will not stop functioning, and none of the fundamental services which we use will cease to function. Keeping in mind that the billions and billions in cuts are projected over the next 10 years, beginning in 2013.

The ending of the Bush era tax cuts will just return us to positive cash flow. As Paul Krugman, Professor of Economics and International Affairs and Nobel Prize Laureate in Economics pointed out, the Bush tax cuts were one of the biggest fiscal mistakes in our history. If you just let it happen the Grover Norquists of this world become powerless. Tax pledge, down the toilet. Then Republicans and Democrats will be forced to … dare one say …COMPROMISE… Let it happen and everyone in Congress is free. Free from campaign promises, free from critique, free to actually work for the betterment of the Republic.  Be sure they will in quick time, because everything that is trimmed or scaled or added or reduced is done from a “clean slate”…think of it…no one to point a bony finger at. Just honest work on trimming the budget and reasonable tax cuts and tax restructuring.  It’s not “giving up” or “sacrificing” .  Everyone needs to make their fare contribution, rich and poor alike.

Shalom/bill

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Show me the money…..or NOT!!!

Campaign contributions can be hard find if a candidate doesn’t fall in line.  It seems that the banking industry is “paying back” President Obama for his non-pandering ways. That is, some large businesses and banking institutions are shifting their campaign contributions to the Romney camp or Republicans in general. I would say, small wonder.

The once “bailed out” have shifted their dollar vote to the buy-um and sell-um camp of venture capitalism. One can only guess it’s because Obama was able to squeeze in some legislation that big business and the banking industry feel is too restrictive. These being the same folks, that if it were not for bail outs would have bankrupted the nation. Remembering they were Too Big to Fail.

It’s not hard to see why many large institutions like Goldman Sachs have some overt perturbations about the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. They might just have to actually do some work instead of just “rolling the bones” on iffy investments or vague financial instruments. Is the fear that some oversight on Hedge Fund managers or the ether of the Derivatives Market might stifle growth, or just stop enriching money managers on the backs of working class Americans?

Also not hard to see is why AT&T has shifted the lion’s share of support to the conservative camp. Could it be that AT&T has gotten its collective panties in a wad because the Obama administration didn’t bend to the merger god’s by rejecting the proposed wedding of AT&T with T-Mobile? It’s a sure bet that neither of them are getting a Virgin.

All too often the nexus between business and government neglect to offer relief or protection for the greatest majority of consumers. Lenders including credit card issuers stack the deck against the borrower. Legal mumbo-jumbo on credit agreements baffle the card holder and require a team of attorneys to decipher. Mr. Romney and many in the private sector as well as the congress have vowed to repeal Dodd-Frank if elected. Keeping in mind, not only is Mr. Romney beholding to Bain Capital but to institutions like Goldman which financed many of Bain IPO’s as well as his personal finances. Dodd-Frank attempts to offer, albeit imperfect, protection for the consumer and the economy from a repeat of the banking industry implosion.

It was greed soaked brokers, and the banking industry itself that ushered the deepest economic collapse since the Great Depression.

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Chick-No-Gay

Chick-Full-o WHAT!!!
As the Ol’ Bard might have said “Much ado about nothing”. Seems many are trying to pull a “reverse” on the old political cannon that “All politics are LOCAL politics” to; insignificant local politics should be elevated to the national level. Attempting to align national politicians with Chicago Alderman Joe Moreno blocking a building permit is just grabbing at straws. It only serves to stir the ever growing pot of vitriolic and useless banter.
As a nation we have far more important things to worry about than one fast food monger, Chicago politics, or gay marriage. Hell people, we’re STILL AT WAR.

The chick-no-gay folks seem to have lost their collective way when it comes to tolerance and forgiveness. Also, their freedom of speech fulcrum seems to ignore that freedom of expression is a two way street.
Conservative Christians and other right wingers seem to forget too that not offering the “Peace of Jesus” to everyone without requite, is an act of denying the single most important tenant of Christianity.
Love the Lord above all others and to extend that love to everyone without requite and without measure. You know…just like IT says. Bring into your house the alien, feed him, give him your cloak, expect nothing in return and then invite him back.

One more item than seems to escape the language of the day is Forgiveness. The Lord himself tells us that we must be as He is. All forgiving. We are all challenged to look beyond the weakness of others.
In any event, for all those who eat at Chick-Fil-A, enjoy your meal and pray that the extra revenue generated by all the “eat in’s” might trickle down to the worker bee’s punchin’ the clock. I’m sure it sent Dan Cathy crying all the way to his broker. Likewise, gay couples will most likely not alter their lifestyle, nor will a “kiss-in” change anyone’s economic future.
As an old friend used to say “hell, eat more opossum”.
And, if Jesus were here today would he chastise gay men and women or would he chastise those who do not follow the tenant which He himself gave to us. Perhaps He would just ask us to recline, and share the loaves and fishes in the Peace of His Word.
“Give to Cesar the things that are Cesar’s…”
You know the rest…

Shalom/wpn

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