Does anyone practice religion in heaven, and if so, what for?
I know that there are a lot of people out there who are in favor of less government or like Grover Norquist and his followers, no government at all.
But I never hear them explain or diagram what it is that they propose as an alternative.
I will grant you that government is wasteful and has been spending an awful lot of money on that which does not seem to benefit the governed very much. And it needs to be more responsible to the needs of the people it serves as opposed to the needs of lobbyists and corporations and special interest groups…at least that is what I think.
But those who oppose government or what they call “Big Government” as in “Big Brother” or someone or something that is watching us and means to do us harm… or take away our rights, seem to wish to govern by doing nothing at all. At least that is what the 236 Congressmen who have signed Mr. Norquist’s pledge do.
They obfuscate, block, filibuster, delay, and do everything they can to avoid governing. So what kind of government do they and their supporters want should they someday find themselves in the majority of both the House and Senate? Will they govern then? Or quit and leave us without a government at all?
From their proposals so far and from what I have read by others who support them, they are against social programs like Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid any form of Universal Healthcare, Welfare in the form of housing, food assistance or unemployment insurance, and any form of government regulation on anything.
They appear to be for increased spending on the military, defense systems, and homeland security and for the privatization of large government entities or bureaucracies like the post office etc.
But they are never really specific about what they would cut and what they would leave and how much that would save us all on government expenses and what the future American society would then look like. Why is that?
Is it because they know that what they want would not be very appealing to what most Americans expect from a government? As far as I have been able to determine their answer seems to be one of Noblesse Oblige.
“Noblesse oblige” is generally used to imply that with wealth and power, come responsibilities and in American English especially, the term is sometimes applied more broadly to suggest a general obligation for the more fortunate to help the less fortunate
The Oxford English Dictionary says that the term “suggests noble ancestry constrains to honorable behavior; privilege entails to responsibility.” Being a noble meant that one had responsibilities to lead, manage and so on. One was not to simply spend one’s time in idle pursuits.
Is this what “Small Government” proponents want? Government entities for military, and defense purposes and the wealthy and powerful citizens and corporations will provide for everything else through their charity and kindness where and when they see fit?… Like most European governments in the pre-Revolutionary War days did?
I’m just asking because I seriously do not know what the alternative is that they propose? How do they picture the future of American society? Can someone out there enlighten me please? Nicely I hope and without and noble condescension? Thanks.
In school, Students are always falling in and out of love, always grappling with and agonizing over the question, “Does he/she love me?” or the age old exclamations:
I thought she loved me
Why did he say that?
How could she treat me that way?
It’s just not fair!
This is my advice for those who want to know what love is.
And I believe it to be the truest of tests.
And if you ask yourself and answer this question honestly,
It will never fail.
And ask this question both of yourself and your lover, partner, boyfriend, girlfriend, husband, wife, significant other, life partner, parent, child or whomever…and ask it just as it is stated and in the proper order.
“Where is your treasure? What do you treasure? What does your partner treasure?” Now answer it honestly for that is where your/her/his heart is and what you/they love.
Then you must accept the answers.
Does your boyfriend, lover, etc. treasure you? Are you what’s important to them? Then they love you. Their heart is with YOU.
If they treasure something else (i.e.: that something else comes first in their lives) like work, money, car, sport, hobby, mother, father, whatever, then their heart is there and that is who or what they love the most, above all else.
It’s nothing to get angry about. It’s the truth and must be accepted. You can’t change it and it won’t be changed through wishing or begging or imagining or promising or by people saying it is or isn’t so. If you can honestly say that you are the one treasured, the one who comes first, then you are truly loved. And consequently if you can say that about someone else then you are in love. And if two people can say that about each other then they are in love and they have found true love, and it will last. But you must ask and answer the question honestly within yourself. Do not let others answer for you and do not rely on others to answer honestly to you for they will always respond with an answer that they will think you want to hear.
You must discern the answers through your own honest and heartfelt observations. If you do, then the answer cannot be disputed. Don’t sugar coat it, don’t compromise it and don’t rationalize it, if it is not the answer that you were hoping for.
Life is truth and truth is neither good nor bad. It is simply truth… and it is only confusing when we endeavor to confuse it.
Well here it comes: 12/12/12…
The 12th of Never!
So to all of you who once said, “Not until the Twelfth of Never!”
Here it is!
Your big chance to pay out, collect up or break it off.
It’s now or…
And starting on the 13th, you can once again safely make those “Twelfth of Never” promises anytime during the year…with an option for 99 more.
Follow Your Bliss
After 33 years of experience as a teacher, this is the best advice that I have to give to any student, or person, for that matter…
Follow your bliss!
What makes you happy? What are you drawn to? What do you see yourself doing in your dreams? (And for you movie lovers out there) What completes you? (But it should not be another person. We’re talking about YOU remember?)
The late author and mythologist, Joseph Campbell, wrote, “Follow your bliss and doors will open for you” and I believe this is true.
We should direct our students and children to what their aptitudes are not for what WE want for them or for them to be, to complete US.
Happiness is the thing! Happiness is the key. All of us who are older and who have been around for a while all now want the same thing. We want to be happy. We want to pursue and be around those people and things and activities that make us smile and feel joy. We would trade everything we have and everything that we’ve accumulated for happiness.
So we should direct our children towards that which brings them joy; that which fills their heart with a love of life, whatever it may be. There can be no substitutes. When we make substitutes and sacrifices, when we say that this “isn’t what I want but it will do”, when we make decisions based on compromises we close that door little by little until it seems as though there is no turning back.
But I will say this to anyone at any age. It’s never too late to turn around and open that door and follow the path that is right for you. The door is always there and it’s always open, even if just a crack. It never locks.
How would you follow your bliss? Take a moment, put your feet up, sit back, relax and think about it.
Do it now! Happiness awaits!
If we are going to talk about the subject of education, let’s get to the really important lesson that I believe we all need to learn when it comes to women, and that is: it may just be our women who will save the world! Women constitute the world’s largest minority. This is really quite amazing because their minority is so large, in fact… that it’s a majority… but apparently no one told women! So parents of America get to it! Explain to your daughters that they can lead our country and our planet to a better future for us all even without the help of men. It’s time to encourage and empower our daughters to not want to be like our sons but rather to remain who they are, the kinder, gentler, nurturing sex, and take power!
In public school settings, statistics have shown that girls do much better educationally when boys are not around. Why is that? For whatever reason, boys seem to make girls flat out crazier than girls seem to make boys. And boys and men should take note of this. Women actually do better without men! It’s a fact. And how do men do without women? Well, if there were beer and chips and something to watch on television we’d be just fine.
Beyond being in charge, making money, spending it all and sports, men don’t concern themselves with much else, but just imagine what would happen if we started putting women in charge of more things in this world…so sit back, relax, close your eyes and imagine this…
We let women go to school together, study hard, graduate, go on to get their advanced degrees and then put them in charge of everything! Here’s what I think would happen. We’d have no more wars. Governments might argue a lot and stop talking to each other for a time but can you actually see women organizing armies of other women to fight one another while spending all of their country’s money on weapons of mass destruction? I think we’d all have nicer shoes maybe, and more to eat and we’d most definitely have no third world countries. Put a women in charge of a third world country and their first order of business would be to clean all the shit up and at least make the place look presentable. Men are perfectly content with being the president of a shit hole as long as they have a nice palace to live in and the country’s sports teams are fairly decent.
And why is this? Why are men and women so different? Is it because we hale from different planets? Nah! Mostly it’s testosterone levels and the fact that men hit their heads a lot. Watch little boys. Mostly they run around and hit each other in the head while their parents look on and say things like,
“Oh well, he’s a real boy!”
or “Boys will be boys you know!”
or “Hit him again before he gets up you idiot!”
Then their parents are just as likely to sign them up for activities where grown up men organize them into groups where there is more head hitting to be done and ironically that’s when parents decide to start fitting their boys with protective helmets, after they’ve already gotten in all that head hitting during their formative years!
Honestly I think that it’s not so much that boys will be boys but rather that boys make boys…by smacking themselves silly! Girls don’t do this. Women don’t do this.
And here’s a little side note about helmets. They are supposed to protect the head in case the head comes in contact with some outside force. They are not supposed to invite more head hitting just to see if the damn thing works! If women or girls put anything on their heads it’s a cute little hat that serves as an ornament. Boys get fitted with mind altering headgear that’s more often weaponized than it’s protective.
When will we learn that because women don’t hit their heads as often as men do, women simply know better. That’s why we should separate the boys from the girls and put the girls in charge. Then put protective helmets on the boys so that their brains get a chance to evolve unimpaired until we are all, both men and women, living on the same planet and working together towards peace, prosperity and a cleaner planet that looks nice in case company comes to visit.
For the last few days in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy I have been hearing constant police sirens and fire engine horns throughout the days and evenings. These are sounds that in my neighborhood are usually reserved for when the local HS football team wins a big game and certainly not something that we hear on a regular basis.
Whenever I hear them now I am reminded of the Don Henley song and the refrain, “I hear the sirens wail. Somebody’s going to emergency. Somebody’s going to jail…” and I wonder what it is that is happening out there just blocks from where I live.
It has been a time for emergencies and sadly also a time for those who find opportunity in the misfortunes of others. I’m not sure how many of those sirens are for one or the other but I am pretty certain, judging by what I have seen and heard that most are of the help and rescue variety. And although it is unfortunate that so much grief and mayhem is taking place out there it is a comfort to see that man’s humanity towards mankind is winning the day.
People have been pulling together and working hard to help and sacrifice for others even though the stories of opportunistic thieves and looting scoundrels on boats and afoot seem to persist and haunt those good efforts.
It’s hard to know or understand why one person chooses one path or another, but we do make those choices. I think sometimes that no matter what we profess to be under the normal circumstances of every day life, it is in that unsuspecting moment of distress and despair, when we have our world threatened and our lives shattered or turned upside down, in that “New York minute” if you will, when we discover where are true selves reside.
When the waves of distress come crashing down, do what damage they may, then roll back out to sea, will they reveal within our hearts and minds a sense of empathy or of opportunity? Are these the times that try our souls…or not?
Why we choose to step to one side of morality or the other is both personal and perplexing. And is a question whose answer has eluded mankind for quite sometime… but I like to think that the angels of our better nature are ahead in the game and hopefully will someday move so far ahead that we will no longer need to wonder where it is we each stand when it comes to helping others who are less fortunate than ourselves nor will we need sirens or disasters to motivate us to show it.
piano accompanist and teacher
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