Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Wednesday June 29, 2005 Another speech

I try to keep an open mind about many things, but I fail to see the justification for invading and occupying Iraq. Last night President Bush kept tying our invasion of Iraq to the terrorist attacks of 2001. He failed to say anything about the weapons of mass destruction (which was supposedly the imminent reason for the invasion). Since Osama is from Saudi Arabia and most of the terrorists who flew the planes were Saudi Arabia, doesn't it make perfect sense that we retaliate by invading Iraq? Meanwhile, Osama has admitted that he planned and had the attacks carried out and we (being the most powerful nation on earth) haven't been able to catch him for almost 5 years now. We seem perfectly willing to spend the blood of our boys and the blood of innocent Iraqis for some unexplained reason. I want to know exactly why we felt the need to invade Iraq - was it for revenge? - was it for the oil? - was it to satisfy our industrial/military complex? I get the sinking feeling that it has to do with oil and that we plan on keeping bases over there for many years (to help keep the peace) (to protect the oil).

Meanwhile, Congressman Cleaver from Kansas City said that those controlling the government are manufacturing contrived distractions to divert people's attention from real threats. He said the real threat to our nation right now is the federal debt. He says that our country is borrowing heavily from China, South Korea and Japan. It makes this nation more financially and politically dependent on outside interests. We're losing our manufacturing base - the rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer. The wealth of the nation is shifting faster and faster to the rich and powerful and the individual finds himself with less and less.

Could the war be a distraction? We keep saying that we must follow our leader during time of war, even if the war was created by him. Our attention and the news coverage is all directed toward Iraq and the subtle internal changes taking place withou our system get less press and often unnoticed. That would be a cruel trick.

Friday, June 24, 2005

Friday June 24, 2005 witty sayings

It's difficult to find something witty to say every day. On those difficult days, you might call me a half wit - or maybe a quarter wit - or nit wit. This appears to be one of those days, my friend. It seems they'll never end. Sayings and bits of songs come wafting through my brain, but nothing seems to linger. It's one of those lazy crazy daze of summer. Nothing much to say today, but I wish the world could have just one day of peace and quiet - just one day when every mind could drift through the day like mine is doing, without a worry in the world. Wouldn't it be great if we could get all the people on earth to just have one day with no quarrels or fights. No arguments, no taking sides, just lying back and being agreeable. It'll never happen, but if it could - wouldn't that be a great example to us all of what could happen.

Monday, June 20, 2005

Monday June 20, 2005 Did you see me?

My father asked my grandson if he had done something wrong and my grandson responded "Did you see me?". In his mind, if you weren't seen then you weren't caught and if you weren't caught then you didn't do anything wrong.

Unfortunately, most of us have carried this concept forward into our adult lives. If we exceed the speed limit and don't get caught then we aren't lawbreakers. If we cheat just a little on our income taxes and don't get caught, it's okay. If we find something of value that wasn't ours and no one sees us, it's all right to keep it. If the clerk undercharges us, it's all right to keep the change. As long as you don't get caught, you are still a good person.

If you start slipping away from what is truly right, it becomes easier to repeat the next time. You can justify lying and cheating in your mind, especially if you never get caught. It becomes almost a game. There is a risk/reward element that plays with your mind each time you try. The ultimate result is that you cheat yourself. You find you didn't NEED to lie and cheat - you just enjoyed the thrill of getting away with something wrong. You lose some of your self respect and become less of a person than you know you could be.

The more you can resist the temptation to cheat "just a little", the stonger you become. You develop pride in yourself. You did good, even if no one was watching.

Sunday, June 19, 2005

Sunday June 19, 2005 Two thoughts

I've had my own computer(s) for over 20 years now. I've been involved in writing programs and using many programs already written. I've been a cad/cam operator and helped instruct many people in how to use various programs. The main thing I have learned by helping other people is to show them WHAT you can do with the program and then HOW to do it. Too often, people say “which button did you push and why did you push it?” They get too wrapped up in the details of HOW before they know WHAT they are doing. I tell them not to watch my hands but to watch the screen and see what the program does. After they see what can be done, then they can spend the time to learn all the details of how to do it. It is much like teaching a youngster how to drive – there are so many details to pick up on that sometimes their attention is diverted from the main purpose of being aware of where they are going.

When I am first introduced to a new program, I want to know what I can expect this program to do before I devote the time to learning how to do it. If the program doesn't accomplish what I want it to do, then there is no point in proceeding further. This approach works well for the student as well as the instructor. For a really involved program, I prefer to become adept at the basic operation before delving deeper into the other bells and whistles available. If the basic operation isn't friendly or doesn't produce what I am looking for, then there is no use in trying any further tricks to dress it up.

When I was in grade school, we had a principal who had the whole school learn problem solving by writing out the problem, writing down “to find:” then listing what answer we were searching for and then writing down “to solve:” then performing the operation of solving the problem. It was tedious at times, but it lingered with me the rest of my life. Before jumping in to solve a problem, make sure just what you are looking for and then find the best way to get that answer. In this manner you won't get lost along the way to finding the solution to your problem. Actually, it makes a lot of sense to apply this to your whole life – if you don't know what you are looking for, you'll never know how to find it.

Saturday, June 18, 2005

Saturday June 18, 2005 Special days

I'm a grandfather now and I know that I should be way beyond the excitement of Christmas and birthdays and father's days and such, but inside I guess I'm still a little boy who marvels at the attention and the toys.

It shouldn't matter any more and there isn't much that I can't buy for myself, but it's the thought and the love expressed that comes across at these times. If you take the excitement out of special days then they become just ordinary days to be forgotten with the multitude, but if you add just a touch of love and remembrance it makes the day memorable and you can relish the memory whenever you feel a bit low. I always loved to see my folks faces light up when I gave them something special. I realize now that anything that I gave them would have been special – it would have been a sharing of love and attention just for them.

Older folks who live beyond their contemporaries and who have no family feel left alone and these special days often bring remorse and despair. They have no one to tell them that they are remembered and loved. The little boy or little girl in each of them need this more than you can know.

When you have left most of your life behind, you look forward to the simple pleasures. It's nice to be remembered and to know that someone out there really cares.

Friday, June 17, 2005

Friday June 17. 2005 Another day

Another day, another dollar - or so the old saying goes.

There actually was a time when men would work for a dollar a day. Inflation must not have been a problem back then. Back then, a penney saved was a penney earned (and a penney amounted to something). My grandfather came over to America in the 1880s and after finishing 4th grade, went to work in a packing plant for 5 cents an hour. Do you wonder why the child labor laws were enacted? Later he was given a man-size job for 10 cents an hour. You worked at least 10 hours a day for 6 days a week with no overtime. So you really did make a dollar a day. You walked to work and you had no leisure time so you didn't have much on which to spend the money you didn't have. There were no movies or radio or television to watch back then - but that was good because there was no electricity either. There were no automobiles, so there there weren't any shopping malls or fast food places to drive to. Since there wasn't any electricity, you cooled your food with an ice box and you used gas lights. Life was simpler? I guess you were too tired to really care about anything else but keeping food on the table and a place to live. Except on Sunday, when you and the whole family had a whole day off. You can bet they didn't fool around with cutting the grass - they didn't really care about having lawns. Sunday was a day to walk in the park ad breathe the fresh air. Life really was simpler on Sunday. You worked hard and didn't get to play much, but you tried your best and tried to build a future for your kids.

But that was long ago and another time. Now we are so concentrated on consuming and enjoying the moment, we often forget to build a future. You really need a bit of both. It's good to enjoy the life you are living and its good to build for the future. The trick is to balance the present wants with the future needs. The good old days were not really all that great - they were just different. We squander a lot more these days - I'm not sure that this is better.

Another day, another hundred dollars.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Where is the outrage?

Where is the outrage?

Where is the anger?

There should be a swelling of protests and marches! We have been duped and lied to.
When Bill Clinton lied to us we set up a special commission to investigate and ultimately brought him to impeachment. When Richard Nixon lied to us, he ultimately had to resign in disgrace. Now that George has had his war and we find out that he intended to have this war from the very beginning of his presidency, why aren't we doing something about it? We have lost 1600 american boys lives and thousands of Iraqi's lives. We spent Billions of dollars and we have not made the world a safer place. We have stirred up bitterness and hatred against us. The reasons for this war as presented to us were that Saddam was evil and had weapons of mass destruction and that the danger was imminent. They lied to us! Saddam was no worse of a threat to us than the leader of North Korea or Iran. There was no reason not to continue to negotiate instead of throwing away all those lives. Why did we go to war in Iraq? Was it for the oil? Why did George and his minions feel the need to do this?

This from CBS news today:
"The Bush Administration began making plans for an invasion of Iraq, including the use of American troops, within days of President Bush's inauguration in January of 2001 -- not eight months later after the 9/11 attacks, as has been previously reported. That's what former Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill says in his first interview about his time as a White House insider. O'Neill talks to CBS News Correspondent Lesley Stahl in the interview, to be broadcast on 60 Minutes, Sunday, Jan. 11 at 7 p.m. ET/PT. "From the very beginning, there was a conviction that Saddam Hussein was a bad person and that he needed to go," he tells Stahl. "For me, the notion of pre-emption, that the U.S. has the unilateral right to do whatever we decide to do is a really huge leap."

The stories are rolling out on the O'Neill book. Now from CNN:
"Suskind cited a Pentagon document titled "Foreign Suitors For Iraqi Oilfield Contracts," which, he said, outlines areas of oil exploration. "It talks about contractors around the world from ... 30, 40 countries and which ones have what intentions on oil in Iraq." In the book, O'Neill is quoted as saying he was surprised that no one in a National Security Council meeting asked why Iraq should be invaded. "It was all about finding a way to do it. That was the tone of it. The president saying 'Go find me a way to do this,'" O'Neill said.

Let's consider an item from the news of about two weeks ago:
A British citizen leaked a memo to London's Sunday Times. The memo was of the written account of a meeting that a man named Richard Dearlove had with the Bush administration in July 2002. Dearlove was the head of the England's MI-6, the equivalent of the CIA. On July 23, 2002, Dearlove briefed Tony Blair about the meeting. He said that Bush was determined to attack Iraq. He said that Bush knew that U.S. intelligence had no evidence of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq and no links to foreign terrorists, that there was no imminent danger to the U.S. from Iraq. But, since Bush was determined to go to war, "Intelligence and facts are being fixed around the policy." "Fixed" means faked, manufactured, conjured, hyped - the product of whole cloth fabrication.So we got aluminum tubes, mushroom clouds imported from Niger, biological weapons labs in weather trucks, fear and trembling, the phony ultimatums to Saddam Hussein to turn over the weapons he didn't have and thus couldn't. We got the call to arms, the stifling of dissent, the parade of retired generals strategizing on the "news" shows, with us or against us, flags in the lapel, a craven media afraid to look for a truth that might disturb their corporate owners who would profit from the war. Shock and Awe. Fallujah. Abu Ghraib.It was all a lie. Many of us have said for a long time it was a lie. But here it is in black and white: Lies from a president who has taken a sacred trust to uphold the Constitution of the United States.

Richard Nixon was investigated for a cover-up of a two-bit break-in. William Cohen, a young Maine Republican, played an important role for the prosecution in those proceedings. Bill Clinton was impeached for lying about sex with an intern. Now we have the irrefutable evidence that George W. Bush lied about the reasons for taking the United States to war. The intelligence wasn't flawed. The weapons weren't hidden. Our elected leaders were lying.

Our leaders say: "Trust me. Would I lie to you?".

Missouri spring flowers Posted by Hello

Tuesday June 13, 2005 Attitude

Work can be a drag or it can be a wonderfully satisfying career.

It's more of an attitude toward work than the work itself that makes a difference.
Once you figure out that you really need to work in order to survive and you have found the best job available to you at this moment, then you need to make an adjustment in attitude and start enjoying what you have to do. At that very moment, you are where you have chosen to be because of circumstances. If not, make another choice. Life doesn't take you kicking and dragging into these situations, YOU make the choices. If another choice is not available at this time, make the most of what life has given you and try to be happy.

Of couse you could just stay grouchy and complain a lot and see what kind of life that brings to you.

Thursday, June 09, 2005

Thursday June 9, 2005 Power failure

Last night I had a power failure from 9 PM till afternoon today - powerful storms passing through. When you're sitting there in the dark without a surrounding sound and without a llight to guide you, you tend to let your mind wander. No distractions, no fill-ins to waste your time. Perhaps we all need a power failure at one time or another in our lives to refocus. We seem to drift forward in our lives, generally following a direction we think we want to go.

Each decision you make in life can be compared to a "Y" in the road you are following through life. You choose to the best of your abilities, with advice from others or following a road map, which way to go. Once you have made that decision, you are now following a new road. There are no "wrong" decisions - there are just decisions to be made at various junctions of your life. Those decisions you made in the past have brought you to this point in life and made you the person you are today. The road ahead is clear and uncluttered and you are free to choose which way to go from here forward. As long as you go forward with your eyes wide open, making your own choices, you'll get somewhere close to where you want to go. Just make sure you are following your path and not someone else's.

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Wednesday June 8, 2005 Simple observations

Sometimes we get so wrapped up in the details that we forget to step back and look at the greater picture. It's like driving to work without looking around and seeing the natural beauty that we're passing through. You don't see the forest for the trees. It's been that way for me through the winter. I wanted so much to just get through the cold and grey days and get to the warmth and gentle breezes and green of spring that I let months go by without really seeing what surrounded me every day. I wished away a portion of my life and I'll never get those days back. Life is so short and passes by so quickly that you can lose days, months, years and even decades while you are focusing on the details. I know, for I have done exactly that. There have been times in my life when I lived for the moment and thoroughly enjoyed each and every day and those memories are sweet, but there have been years where I just existed and let life pass me by unnoticed. You can't unspill the milk. You just have to attempt to not let those mistakes repeat. Before you know it, you reach the end of the line and if you didn't notice what you passed through, it's your own fault.

Monday, June 06, 2005

Monday June 6, 2005 Our government, Our employees

In this era of corporate america we sometimes lose sight of the fact that our government works for US, not the other way around. We were not hired by them - they are our employees. Our government employees perform functions for us that we prefer not to do ourselves. We reward dangerous duty, such as policework or armed forces, and hazardous work, such as firemen, with pension plans and early retirement rewards. This is right, for they are performing work for us that we prefer not to do ourselves. When our employees do not perform in accordance with our requirements, we have the right to fire them and hire new employees. We are fair about it and give them a period of years in each new contract.

Sometimes our employees forget who’s business their running. They sometimes feel that it’s their business and we don’t have rights. That is completely wrong! WE,THE PEOPLE, have established and ordained a constitution and a government to provide for the general welfare of US. WE set up the government. WE set of the court system. This is OUR country. It shouldn’t belong to the special interests unless we all agree to it. Our legislators should be looking out for the health and welfare of their constituents, not for their donors that helped pay for their elections. We should not have a government bought and paid for by the wealthy and directed by special business interests. This should be OUR government watching out for US!

With all this in mind, I wonder why we in the United States pay more for drugs and health care than the rest of the world. With all this is mind, I wonder why we in the United States don’t have universal health care. With all this in mind, I wonder why we in the United States pay more to maintain a huge military industrial complex than we do for education of our next generation. It seems that our government has slipped away from us and is not doing the job they were hired to do. There are other interests directing our government officials away from the common good. It seems to have happened gradually and I’m sure that most of our officials never intended for this to happen, but they find themselves owing favors to contributors and “friends” who helped them finance their elections. They now feel that it is THEIR government and that we are just nuisances that must be put up with while they negotiate their way around Washington.

I hope that someday WE, THE PEOPLE, will wake up and see what is happening and look to hire new employees and find some way to keep OUR government out of hands of all the special interests.

Friday, June 03, 2005

Friday June 3, 2005 Stupid Cleaning!

When you clean one thing, it makes the next thing seem dirty and before you know what you're doing you've taken on cleaning the whole darn area. I just wanted to clean out a file cabinet and get rid of things piled up on it. Once the file cabinet was clean it made the adjoining desk look unorganized. I had stuff on that desk that I was sure I lost years ago. I had stuff on that desk that I didn't even know I had. Where did it all come from? I finally just shoved everything into a box and took it into another room to sort out. That just left me with a dirty topped desk, but at least it looked organized. By the time I sorted out the box and forced myself to throw out perfectly good stuff that was just a few years past expiration dates, I had a fairly heavy trash bag to set out by the curb. Now I have a smaller box of sorted GOOD things to store away somewhere. Meanwhile, I guess now I'll have to clean out the stack of books and papers that were under and beside the desk (because there wasn't room ON the desk). After that, I'll probably have to clean the rug and then paint the walls. Supid Cleaning!