I really was starting to get better; recovering from my temporary and involuntary obsession. Over the last two and a half months since I discovered the Twilight universe I read all four books four times. I did slide two other completely NON-fiction books in there during that time too, so don't get too worried about my mental well-being. I'll check off my fifth reading of Twilight later today as I wait in line for the movie.
I came incredibly close to seeing a midnight showing last night in Syracuse, but since I already have my two tickets pictured above for tonight and tomorrow afternoon plus one more scheduled show on Saturday I figured that I could be patient for one more day.
Thursday, November 20, 2008
Sunday, November 9, 2008
A rather heated family feud ensued about two weeks before elections this year among my immediate and extended family. It all began after my ultra-conservative aunt sent the following email to the whole family:
Here is a creative approach to redistribution of wealth as offered in a local newspaper...
Today on my way to lunch I passed a homeless guy with a sign that read "Vote Obama, I need the money." I laughed.
Once in the restaurant my server had on a "Obama 08" tie, again I laughed as he had given away his political preference--just imagine the coincidence.
When the bill came I decided not to tip the server and explained to him that I was exploring the Obama redistribution of wealth concept. He stood there in disbelief while I told him that I was going to redistribute his tip to someone who I deemed more in need--the homeless guy outside. The server angrily stormed from my sight.
I went outside, gave the homeless guy $10 and told him to thank the server inside as I've decided he could use the money more. The homeless guy was grateful.
At the end of my rather unscientific redistribution experiment I realized the homeless guy was grateful for the money he did not earn, but the waiter was pretty angry that I gave away the money he did earn even though the actual recipient needed money more.
I guess redistribution of wealth is an easier thing to swallow in concept than in practical application.
Political satire as delivered through the medium of comic strips has long-been one of my favorite means of this type of expression. I found this one today, though it is not at all new, and think it fits the above story well.
At any rate, the email started a written war of epic proportions from all of the liberals in the family who felt that they had had enough. They were each abusive in their own way – more, I think, from previous and similar emails they had received from this particular aunt. They each also hid behind a façade of peace that was anything but peaceful. I’ve always held strong that just because you offer up a disclaimer of, “I don’t mean to offend” or even, “You know that I love you, but…” these statements don’t pave the way to unleash whatever horrible things you might have to say simply because you’re going to say them “nicely”. It reminded me of the absolute joke that is the positive discipline process. Here, please allow me to butter you up so that you’ll brown nicely when I throw you in the sweltering oven in just a moment.
I too, had had enough and made no pretense of any niceties in MY email. I know that there were some who responded in their own way by only contacting this aunt individually – as was both appropriate and respectful. I purposefully chose the platform of including the entire group in my own email so that we could all be assured to be embarrassed by this kind of behavior. I ran each one of them through my own little ringer – including the aunt. There were different reasons that I was upset with each and every one of them. I am no peacemaker, and this was not a group of people having a debate. It was textual mud-slinging with no intent past mere soap-box moments. Arguments for arguments sake.
This election season literally turned brother against brother in this country and it makes me sick. These states are not “United” as Barak would like us all to believe. He would like us to believe all of the things he says. He is a politician, after all. He is undoubtedly a man of hope, I won’t deny that. But he is no more so, however, than any other candidate we’ve ever seen in this nation’s history. He is just better with rhetoric and as such, was able to persuade the majority vote. I don’t begrudge him his victory, but I do look with mournful eyes at those loved ones of mine who helped enable this. That is part of the pain this brings me now; knowing that I have lost something very important to me in some people I have held respect and admiration for.
Worse yet, there is an air of humor and mockery coming from supporters of Obama’s policies and I don’t know whether I am more afraid that they don’t understand what they’re supporting or possibly worse, that they do understand and still support such potentially destructive ideas. Pathways to hell are frequently paved with good intentions. You might not guess it from what I have just said, but it is still true that I am every bit as much an idealist as I am a realist. Idealism, however, can be every bit as dangerous as a loaded gun being pointed in your direction. It can have the same ultimate effect. History is a wonderful teacher of what ideals like Obama's lead to.
We have all heard and seen the interview with “Joe, the Plumber”, but what I can’t understand is how anyone can really listen to this interview and not believe that they are supporting Socialism by supporting Obama. Marx, Stalin, Obama. Don’t even think for one moment that I’m kidding.
Joe: Your new tax plan is going to tax me more, isn’t it?
Barak: It’s not that I want to punish your success. I just want to make sure that everybody who is behind you, that they’ve got the chance at success too. I think that when you spread the wealth around, it’s good for everybody.
You either understand what this means, or you’re kidding yourself because you like the guy, but this is Socialism, pure and simple.
Read up, my friends and family, on what exactly has been voted for. Karl Marx once spoke regarding America where he said something along the lines of them not being able force Communism on us all at once, but if they started us down the path of Socialism that little by little we would succumb without even knowing what or how it had happened. Socialism is the bridge between Capitalism and Communism. Again, not kidding even a little bit.
Socalized medicine is no different. I hope you have enjoyed seeing whatever doctor you liked, pretty much whenever you liked. Get ready to pay the same as you are now, possibly more, and three hour lines to see a PA.
Churchill said it best, as usual, "Socialism is a philosophy of failure, the creed of ignorance, and the gospel of envy, its inherent virtue is the equal sharing of misery." There's your equality. You can't simply "hand-out" better situations, people actually have to make some decisions in their lives. Well, actually, now they won't be required to. We have elected President Robin Hood to steal from all the evil rich people (didn't you know that having money makes you a bad person and an even worse person if you don't give it away?) and give to all of the good poor people of this country (conversely, didn't you know that being poor makes you a humble, decent, hard-working person?). Money reveals character and we've already seen exactly what handouts more often than not reveal: complete dependence and reliance upon that handout. I am a Christian and I will only teach a man to fish, not steal them from my neighbor because he got up off his ass and went out at 3 o'clock in the morning and what? how? he has the most fish? Well, that can't be fair that he has the most. I should go take some to give to my other neighbor who rolled out of bed hungry at the crack of noon. May I never be too grown-up for sarcasm.
I had no pony in this race, folks. Just because I am opposed to Obama does not mean that I was a McCain supporter. I don’t think we’ve had a Presidential race that wasn’t up to “the lesser of two evils”, so to speak, in a few decades. Yes, I was unquestioningly more supportive of John McCain, but there was a long string of mistakes and policies that made me disappointed that he was the Republican nominee.
So, why am I now choosing to bring all of this up? Because many of the people I have been closest to throughout my entire life I am learning are so fundamentally and philosophically divergent from America’s foundation that I am, as earlier stated, sick over it. I think a lot of these controversies come from what everyone eventually ultimately asks themselves, “What is this country all about?” I’ll make it as simple as I can and from my own experience: If you’re a Mormon and you want to know what is true of your church, read the Book of Mormon. If you’re an American and you want to know what is true of your country, read the Constitution. Neither was written with any “blinders” on and I cannot throw my support behind anyone who believes so or wants you to believe so. There are very few things that I am absolutely certain of in this life, but of this I am: God’s divine inspiration was behind both documents and God wears no blinders.
I will continue to live my life as I have always done and pray for personal peace for myself and others and as always, we'll see what happens. If you know me well at all, you know that I don’t write notes when I’m angry and frustrated, I write novels. And since this is my blog and I like to keep it a predominantly harmonious place, this is likely to be my only rant of this scale. Thanks to anyone who persevered through to the end (whether you agree with me or not).