Archive for November, 2011

Thanks, Guys

Friday, November 25th, 2011

Well, yesterday here in the U.S. was Thanksgiving, a day when we’re supposed to reflect on what we have to be thankful for from the past year. The origin of the holiday comes from when the ill-prepared settlers of this “brave new world” were saved from starvation by the generous help of the natives that they later turned on in a near genocide. Like with so many things in United States history I get to be thankful for the aid of those Native Americans because their selflessness and compassion made it possible for me to be here today, but I also have to be embarrassed because of the subsequent abhorrent acts of the settlers greed, ego, and utter lack of humility.

And given all of that, God and I had no trouble this year with agreeing on something for which to be thankful: We’re thankful for the Occupy Wall Street Movement, for those individuals out there putting up with police brutality, illegal arrests, and tear gas, to exercise their basic right to protest and to point out the greed, ego, and utter lack of humility of those corrupting the system so that the obscenely rich can continue to win the class warfare that they’ve been successfully waging since Nancy Reagan pushed her husband to national office.

One thing in particular struck me in God’s comments about the OWS protestors, she told me that they reminded her of Jesus turning over the tables of the money changers at the temple of Jerusalem. I guess bankers have a pretty long history of screwing things up. God may not be one of the 99%, but she’s definitely on our side.

Buddy, Can You Spare a Loophole?

Friday, November 18th, 2011

Here in the U.S. income taxes are at the lowest rate they’ve been in something like half a century. Because of that and because of a series of disastrous relaxings and removals of regulations that were put in place after hard won economic lessons, our federal budget deficit is at an all-time high, and the ability of the government to take care of the people is in serious jeopardy.

Yet the Republicans keep insisting that we must not increase revenue.

The Democrats keep offering to cut some of the programs that they fought hard to get in place. They put forward plans that reduce spending by several times the amount of revenue increases that they ask for. They sell short their current constituencies in a desperate attempt to keep the government alive without putting in hock the next several generations.

But the Republicans won’t have it.

I asked God, point blank, what was going on. He put it in terms that I could understand. Roughly, Republicans are the party “of the poor and for the rich.” They’ve managed to all but eliminate the middle class while transferring all the wealth to the rich. Quite simply, the Republicans are now adamantly opposed to any tax increase because they know the only ones that can still afford them are the rich, and the rich, well that’s their minority, the one that they’re there to protect.

For Your Country

Friday, November 11th, 2011

It’s Veteran’s Day here in the U.S. A day we honor those who have put their lives on the line hoping to make the world a better place. A lot of them have gone off to war and come back mentally broken.

I asked God why he spent time with me when he could be out there putting these brave souls back together, helping them to get their lives in shape. I thought he might tell me something like, “they have their own crosses to bear, I cannot do it for them.” Or maybe, “I give them what help they are ready to take.”

Instead he told me that he hangs around me because I amuse him.

Well, God may be a selfish pig (and so am I at times), but let me at least take this moment to say, “Thanks, Vets.” Thanks for all your sacrifices and I’m sorry for all the times you’ve been put in harm’s way for stupid reasons.

Room at the Inn?

Friday, November 4th, 2011

I was trying to decide what I wanted to write here when God came up behind me, leaned down close to my ear and whispered a number. Seven billion. And of course she was right, that’s what I’ve got to talk about.

According to some of the best projections and analyses, on Halloween this year, the human population of the Earth reached seven billion. It’s a staggering number. And out of those billions, sixty-percent are in Asia. Is there something about Asia that makes people especially fertile? Living in the U.S., as I do, it’s pretty easy to be egotistical and boast about all of our accomplishments and superlatives, both real and those merely jingoistically tossed out by our frenzied media, but when it comes to population, we’re merely third. And not just barely edged out by numbers one and two but soundly crushed. Number one, China, has more than four times our population, and number two, India, has more than three times the number of people that we do.

Carbon emissions are one thing, but I’ve got to figure that just the heat given off by seven billion people is making a contribution to global warming. Well, maybe not enough to measure but still, I wouldn’t want all of us stuck together in one room without some pretty good air conditioning.

Seven billion. Wow. I just can’t really get my mind around that. I’m pretty sure that it’s more than we need, but then, we’ve never really been big on having just what we need, have we?