Thursday, April 21, 2016

Left and Right

Left vs Right:

But wisdom is proved right by all her children…Luke 7:35 NIV

I have to make a confession. I thought the above scripture was from Proverbs. But, it is something that I have often thought of. I always heard it as “Wisdom is known of all her children.” Meaning that once you look at the accumulation of evidence the wisdom of an action or thought will be apparent.  For instance “Obama was born in Kenya and is actually a radical Muslim.” This is not wisdom nor is it known of or proven right by wisdom or evidence.  “The only reason people attack Obama is his race.” Again, this isn’t wisdom or true. See Hillary or Bill Clinton. See Ronald Reagan on the other side. Does that mean nobody hates the president because of his race? OH No, believe me that’s exactly where some of the hate comes from. But, not all of it.

Black lives matter: Yes they do. But, in making it an us vs them type motto I fear the exact opposite of the stated purpose is being put into play. We talk “at” each other instead of “to” each other these days. If you truly want the people you are trying  to persuade to consider your cause then making them defend themselves instead of listening to your point is more than likely not the best way to do it. On the other hand if you only want to have your side to pat you on the head then go on with your bad self.  Nothing will change and you can wallow in your self righteous indignation.  I knew two ladies I worked with a long time ago in the Etowah Count Courthouse. I noticed them one day as they were talking.  They were not listening at all. One would talk and you could see the other nodding and bouncing and just waiting for her friend to shut up so she could talk. Finally, when the other woman finished the one waiting said “okay” as if “finally.” Then she started to talk. J It wasn’t a woman thing it was a human thing. It’s what we all do to an extent.


Abortion is murder:  Truth is if men got pregnant you could get an abortion out of a vending machine. Sorry, it’s just true. If you really want to change things then support young mothers and try to make a way in society instead of slapping labels on them and telling them how sorry they are. Truth is that the far right wing is one reason  that some young women do abort. You put pictures of young black men in hoods on your facebook pages and say the cops made a righteous kill. You support bombing men women and children back to the stone age. You want to deport young kid’s parents and yet you say you are pro life or pro family or Christ like. You’re Not! You’re pro birth. Period!

White priviledge: You think that just being born “of color” gives you a moral superiority over those of us born white. It Doesn’t! You don’t know my struggles. You don’t know how many times I’ve been told to go the back of the line because I was not rich or powerful or had a birth defect. It’s MONEY that matters. I cringe when Will Smith or Jada Pinkett (and I love Jada) yells about racial injustice as if they have the same experience that a poor black lady in the projects has. Are they in the projects? Are they supporting black families? Or do they just want to play the race card and sit in their “ivory tower” Pun intended.

Obama is horrible: Really? Truly? You do know that he inherited a country on the brink of depression right? You do know that George Bush had the nation in two war’s and was cutting aid to military families right? You don’t? Well, I worked for the army back then and let me tell ya. We couldn’t even get @#$% toilet paper for the schools and day care’s on post because good ole George the patriot’s administration was cutting funds to the families while the fathers and mothers were sent into a war zone. I still remember mothers and fathers running to the t.v. in the day room’s of the centers because their husband, wife, mom, dad were in the unit  that was taking fire and being reported by Fox or CNN or other networks. Love Bush? Ya know where I’d like to stick Bush? Nuff Said!

Guns: Really people? Back off. I was raised in a family of hunters. I don’t hunt. I’m a hypocrite because I would never shoot a deer but I’ll eat the hell out of some steak. J  However, why not have guns registered and make sure felons don’t have the priviledge of buying legal guns. Sorry to my fellow liberals but it’s not the hunters and home owners and people registering guns that are the danger.  So, lets keep em legal and regulated and stop demonizing each other.

Here’s a shout out to my folks in Bama: Look at how bankrupt the state of Alabama is because you have given one party the absolute rule over your state.  The next  time a politician tells you he/she is fighting Obama ask them what the !@#$ that has to do with making sure the people of Alabama have clean water and good jobs and decent roads and schools. IT’s a shell game folks.

Medicaid: Health care does need to be reformed. I agree there are some major flaws in Obama Care. But, the heart is in the  right place. I was recently (at least to me it was recent) between jobs. It was horrible. My child has Asthma. If it were not for Medicaid I would have been more of a basket case than I was. I work with older people who have to have dialysis treatment just to live. People who don’t make enough to afford insurance or don’t have the blessing of working for an employer who can provide insurance. Employers who honestly can’t afford insurance. Hospitals and doctors threaten to leave and close up because they will go broke.  Please wake up!

The Border: Let me tell ya I’m glad Taco Bell was open late the other night. The Burrito’s hit the spot. Oh, that border. Never mind. J

Seriously, I do understand both sides of the debate.  However, no matter which way you come down at least have a little compassion on the poor families and children at the border. You might with good reason be alarmed at the ease in which gangs and drugs are crossing. But, do you really think that if it were you on the other side of that border and your family was hungry that you wouldn’t give it a shot? Really? I would!  One other thing from a social workers perspective. We are not standing at the border giving out free social security and Medicaid benefits to everyone who crosses the border illegally. The people who cross are having to work two and three jobs and live two and three families to a residence just to stay afloat. Now you can argue the merits of doing that. There are  arguments to be made. But, I just wanted to assure you that us liberal social workers are not handing out Medicaid and SSI benefits like candy. Just so you know.

Gay Marriage: Why is this an issue? You have evangelist standing in the pulpit while their third wife beams with pride talking about the sanctity of marriage. If Vegas and multiple divorce hasn’t damaged or destroyed marriage then Bob and Tom entering into a legal adult union isn’t going to destroy it. If the church doesn’t want to recognize it then it doesn’t have to. A church I attended in my youth didn’t recognize divorce and remarriage. So, there are people in the other churches preaching on marriage when their own marriage is a sin in the eyes of some other “Christian” denominations.  Chill out folks. Time to be big boys and girls.

Bathrooms: Honestly, I never let my child go into a public bathroom by himself until he was 12 years old. Even now I stand anxiously at the door. So, if you are afraid some pedophile is going to accost your 3 year old daughter in the restroom then I think you’re an idiot. Because your 3 year old daughter shouldn’t be going into a public restroom by herself in the first place. But, (and this will bug my liberal friends) there is an easy way to handle this. If you have a penis then use the men’s room. If you have a vagina then use the women’s room. If it’s a restroom that specifies both men and women can use it then lock the door. Got it? Good! Move on.

Just Vote: Please Don’t! Telling someone to “just vote” is like telling them to just shoot the arrow without looking. It does matter. Look at the issues. Think about what’s important to you. Hold both parties accountable. Then vote. Honestly? I’m becoming more and more cynical about voting. I do vote and will continue to do so. But, I’m not silly enough to think that anybody who rises to the level of senate or presidential candidate  is a pure and clean servant of the people.

Just some ramblings and as always. I could be wrong. J Thanks for the honor of reading my occasional rants.  Peace.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Life before, during and after.

Do you believe in life after death? No, I don’t mean are you a Christian, atheist, or new ager or Wiccan or Unitarian. I mean what do you really believe? I have always been fascinated or haunted by the reality of those two little dates on a tombstone. Born: ….Died:….

What does it mean? Wow, that’s fast. Since returning to my native state of Alabama around 2005 after living in Hawaii and Colorado and points in between I have been surprised and at times dissappointed in the meanness of religious and political views of people I have loved and respected my whole life. I have kept from commenting to often because I don’t want to hurt or belittle or distance myself from people I grew up with. Fell in love with in my youth or have the same family blood flowing though my veins. Still, some of the statements concerning the refugee the “illegal” children and homeless and poor among us make me want to say at times “Have you lost your #$%&* mind?” Have you really forgotten where you came from? Are you now that rich? That comfortable? That sure of your own rightousness? But, I don’t. I can’t. I can put it out here like this and maybe I’m a coward. I don’t think so. But, I also can’t help but wonder. What do I really believe. Some are able to say “Well, the bible says it, I believe it and that settles it.” Now, I can give lip service to that. I can say amen to that and get a pat on the head from family, old school mates and friends. But, as my momma always said: God already knows me so why do I care what you think? J So, I can’t lie to you. I don’t know for sure. I still wonder. I have really, really different feelings on things than the ones I  was taught in Sunday School or the political right wing absolutes of most of my home state. I also don’t lean left so far my brains fall out. I don’t apologize for my skin color or the so called “white privilege” birth. Nobody ever apologized for my cleft lip and pallet (not that they should) so I’m not apologizing for any so called priviledge of being born a certain Irish or European background. My maternal grandparents pretty much raised me and they were poor, applachhain survivors of the great depression. I haven’t forgotten. So, to me all people matter. All God’s children are important. Anyway, I recently finished a book on the subject of what comes next. So, here’s my “book report.” J


What Dreams May Come
Richard Matheson
First Published 1977
Tor Books 2004

I listened to the audio book format since these days I have a long although peaceful drive to and from work. The Robin Williams movie “What Dreams May Come” is based on this book. I honestly don’t remember that much about the movie. I remember the last part where Robin rescues his soul mate from a hellish afterlife and cut scene to a little boy and little girl meeting after both were reincarnated. Richard Matheson in his day was a prolific writer and also a contributer to the original Twilight Zone t.v. series. Richard Matheson wrote another book I believe called “The Path” where he expanded some of his beliefs and opinions about the “afterlife.” I have not read that book. This is a work of fiction but based on extensive reading of the author. I have the ebook along with the audio book and I can tell you the listing of resource material the author supplies is extensive. Since the book was written in the 70’s many of the resources are from early to mid 20th centaury so it’s also a very valuable resource to see how this subject was treated before the internet and made for t.v. and ghost hunter type stuff muddied the waters.

The main character is Chris Nielsen who has been killed in a car accident. The story opens with his brother receiving a visit from a very reluctant psychic who far from trying to take advantage simply wants to be rid of the whole affair. The spirit of Chris Nielsen is very persistant in wanting to tell his story and pretty much hounds the psychic until she channels the account for his brother to read.
Ann who is the wife of Chris is grieving so horribly that she just can’t seem to go forward. They were so close in life that even though she has children she just loses all hope. She isn’t religious and doesn’t really accept that there could be such a thing as life before or after death. It makes her grief all the more crippling.

There is a scene at the gravesite where her teenage son has brought a psychic or a medium who sees spirits. The medium sees the spirit of Chris but Ann is not comforted at all. As a matter of fact she is angry and calls him a fraud. Later in a scene at her house Chris has gone to the bedroom. He comes down the stairs and sees the same psychic trying one more time at the sons insistence to convince Ann that Chris still exist and isn’t annihilated. However, this time the medium sees a pale robot like shade that only he can see. This creature is a product of the medium and perhaps Ann’s own subconscious making. Chris is disgusted and tries to get through to the medium that this creature isn’t him. Creepy scene and you would just have to read it. It’s hard to convey because the way I have told it sounds like a grade b horror movie. I assure you it isn’t.

The afterlife in this telling is shaped by the thoughts and desires of the deceased. I would recommend (although, it’s Christian themed so you may or may not like it) “The Great Divorce” by C.S. Lewis. At least on the shaping afterlife aspect. Other than that this book has nothing in common with the Lewis book. What Dreams May Come is not a religious book.

The afterlife in this book has a summerland type environment but also hellish regions depending on the spirit and thoughts of the deceased person. Ann eventually takes her own life and that is when Chris begins his journey with the assistance of his spirit guide. There is also a brief encounter with his deceased father where while civil also makes a point. The fact that you are related by blood doesn’t always mean (and that’s okay) that you are spiritually connected in a soul mate or even group soul way.
There is a library where you can read the “true history” of earth as opposed to the text books and accounts that we have here. Reincarnation is also touched on and reasons for reincarnating. It’s not a book about reincarnation per say but it does have something to say on the subject. Especially at the end.
The book is a little dated and I found myself glad to be listening instead of reading through it. But, as I get older I get more easily distracted so some of that my be me instead of the dating of the book. I do highly recommend the book and I think the author has something important to say.
I once read an account of someone speaking about the bible. It might have been the American political commentator George Will but I’m not sure. Anyway, the quote was about the bible. It could well apply to many things including this book. The quote: “Important, if true.”

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