Sunday, February 26, 2006

Sunday February 26, 2006 Thank God

I'm not one to push religion on anyone. I believe that every person can believe whatever they want to – it won't really change what truly IS.

But, God and I were having this discussion the other day (actually, I was talking to God and hopefully He was listening), and I remembered when I would talk to Him every day when I was on my trip around the country. Each day was a miracle and the beauty that surrounded me was breathtaking and I let God know how much I appreciated everything He had set forth before me. I don't talk to God as often now and I know that I should. It seems that each time I talk now, I'm apologizing for not having spoken lately. I get so wrapped up in ME and MY events that I forget to talk to HIM. (I know God is far beyond gender and name, God is the all powerful force and reason for all that exists, but I feel more comfortable thinking of God as HIM and God doesn't seem to mind). I thank Him for all the help He has given me and all my family, we seem to have been blessed. I thank Him for smiting me on occasion when I need to learn a lesson. I don't hold any grudges against God for any mishaps that might occur during my life, I trust Him to have reasons for all events. Actually, I think that He lets us pretty much do our thing and observes most of the time. I don't believe that the earth and the human race are all that important to Him in the overall scheme of things, but I do believe that He is big enough and powerful enough to intercede whenever He wishes. The power of prayer (what I call coversations with God) can't be overlooked. You don't get everything you pray for and it doesn't always happen when you wish, but it does seem that many prayers get answered. That's why I talk to Him and thank Him and ask for His help when there is noone else to turn to.

God is really a GOOD guy. I don't believe there is an evil thought that exists in Him. Everything that God is involved with is a good thing and is part of His plan. I believe that any evil that exists is created by the human race. We flounder around and make many mistakes and some of us are not kind to each other. Some of us won't share and some of us take more than our fair share. We have created the politics and divisions of different peoples on this earth and some of us suffer because of that. It isn't God's fault. He just lets us make our mistakes and lets us learn our lessons and if we fail, then it's our own fault.

Anyway, that's kind of what I think about that. You may think something different and that's okay, because God doesn't mind if you do.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Tuesday February 21, MMVI EQUIVOCAL

The word for today is: EQUIVOCAL

1. Open to two or more interpretations and often intended to mislead; ambiguous.
2. Of uncertain significance.
3. Of a doubtful or uncertain nature.

Used in a sentence:
George's reasons given for going to war were EQUIVOCAL.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Sunday February 19, 2006 Backtracking

Have you ever wandered through a dense woods?
You generally follow the path of least resistance, but it doesn't always lead you to where you want to go. It's clearly the easiest path but it deadends at a clearing or a stream or someone's home. You end up backtracking to find the less traveled path to your destination. Your path may have more brambles and bushes and may not be as smooth or easy to follow as the other path, but at least you will get where you want to go. If you travel through life following the path of least resistance, you often end up at the wrong place and at the wrong time. You may lose time and effort backtracking and correcting your course, but it is necessary to do so if you want to reach your goal.

I thought that I had it all figured out. I studied the market and read all the right newsletters and columns written by all the “experts” and set out to conquer the market and accomplish great things with my retirement investments. You carefully analyze all available documents and once you arrive at a sane and logical conclusion, you concentrate your investments in that area and wait for the values to increase. You have no intention of gambling with your slowly acquired nest egg – you want to invest it wisely and safely. Then one day God stretches out his hand and smites thee. He hits you in the head with a 2x4 just to get your attention and then gently destroys your tower of logical investments. You realize once more that nothing is sure and definite in this world and you are definitely NOT in control. It turns out that the experts can be as wrong as you and that all the figuring in the world can't sway the market once a panic takes over the thundering herd. What once was a wonderful bargain worth all your praise is now just a house of cards and stock certificates worth little in the future.

So, I find myself backtracking trying to find the right path to reach my goal. I have less to burden me as I strike out on new trails. I carry a bit more wisdom with me and I am a bit more humble now. I realize that all your eggs in one basket can break more easily when you trip. I'll take it a bit more slowly now and watch each step more carefully.

A word from the once-smitten – be careful out there and don't believe everything you read.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Tuesday February 14, 2006 Life and Death

Death lies ahead for each and every one of us.

For some, it is far away and it doesn't consume much of our thoughts.
For some, it is imminent and the thought of death and it's implications occupies more of our thoughts.
As you get older, you think more often about death.
You have built a life and you wonder what you will leave behind.
You think about what happens after death.

You have spent your whole life building yourself and the way you think. It seems such a waste if all that effort is for nothing. Hopefully, the essential you will continue after your body succumbs to death. You begin to see yourself as two essential elements – the physical body and the thoughtful soul. You realize that your body fails with age, but your mind keeps acquiring knowledge and developing your whole life. By the time you figure it all out, it's all over.
Not fair!

Death is not to be feared, it is as natural as birth. We must know that it is coming someday and plan for it. No matter what lies after death, we should leave no strings untied. We should try to balance our life so there is no hatred or loss left behind. All we leave behind us is memories in those persons we shared life with. If we enjoyed life and shared that joy with others, we did well. Perhaps we will leave a smile in the minds of those who knew us. It would be great to leave the earth a better place by our efforts - if not a better place, perhaps a happier place.

We do what we can do and hopefully die with a smile of our face for a life well lived.

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Saturday February 11, 2006 On a brighter note

On a brighter note, it snowed just a bit last night.

There is just a dusting out there, but it hides the brown and gray. Everything looks clean and bright. There is a crispness in the air and silence in the wind. Whenever it snows, it seems that the snow muffles the sounds of the world around us and we sink into the natural beauty of the moment. It may be cold, but it sure is pretty. Later we can worry about the mush and slush. Right now, we are kids again in a winter wonderland.

Friday, February 10, 2006

Friday February 10, 2006 Don't you get tired?

Don't you get tired of listening about the antics of our politicians.
You get mad when they just don't seem to understand the common man's needs and desires. They have their agenda and it doesn't seem to include us. When one party goes overboard in one direction, we wait for the other party to come up with a logical alternative and draw the political rhetoric back to the middle, but it's easier to cast dispersions on the rulers than to offer sensible suggestions. We end up with each party villifying the other and not having faith in either. We cherish the idea that our representatives are there to represent us and to watch out for us. It seems that we have the best political system money can buy. What's the use? Without the money you can't sway a single vote in favor of the majority. There are just too many special interests with way too much money influencing our leaders. Integrity gives way to compromise and we overlook graft and corruption as part of the price we must pay to get elected. Every person who has been elected “owes” some special interest(s) favors.

The problem is that only rich people have the wherewithal to pay for a campaign and if they don't have the money, they have to surrender their favors to those who do. Whoever we get to vote for is already bought and paid for.

It's sad.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Tuesday February 7, 2006 No monetary sense at all.

WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) -- President Bush on Monday sent Congress a $2.77 trillion budget request that would boost defense spending, while trimming Medicare and other government programs even as first-term tax cuts are extended.

The budget doesn't fully account for expected costs associated with the ongoing wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. White House officials last week said war-related supplemental spending would likely top $120 billion in the current fiscal year.

Bush also seeks to cut projected spending on mandatory entitlement programs by $65 billion over five years, with the bulk coming from measures designed to hold down outlays for Medicare, the health-care program for the elderly, by $36 billion through 2011. Mandatory spending refers to programs such as Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security, in which outlays are set automatically according to the number of beneficiaries and other factors.

We can cut education and health costs and help for the poor, but we need to add money to the pockets of the wealthy and to help fund a war that wasn't necessary in the first place.

The people who make the monetary decisions for this country have no common sense. If they ran my budget, I would be bankrupt and living under a bridge with no food and no medical help and no future.

Wait a minute! They are running my budget!

Monday, February 06, 2006

Monday February 6, 2006 How much is too much?

“The Bush administration will ask Congress soon for another $120 billion to pay for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, bringing total spending since the Sept. 11 attacks to about $440 billion.

The war in Iraq is costing about $150 million a day, while continued fighting in Afghanistan is costing about $27 million a day.

In 2002, White House economic adviser Lawrence Lindsey suggested the cost could reach $200 billion. Mitch Daniels, then the White House budget director, said Lindsey's number was too high, and said the cost would be $60 billion or less. Lindsey resigned a few months later.”

-USA Today

It's beginning to sound like Iran is next on the hit list.
But that's all right, we're rich and powerful. We're the biggest kid on the block.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Wednesday February 1, 2006 The State of George

What is the benefit of a doubt?

The dictionary says that doubt as a noun is a lack of trust.
What is the benefit of a lack of trust?

The news says that many voters gave George the benefit of a doubt in the last election because they thought he was sincere and strong and could be trusted.
Now he gets no such benefit from a majority of the voters.

We are now being guided by a man who we do not trust. We accepted many of his statements and arguments with trust and faith that he knew more than we did about what was going on and that he had a plan to solve the problems. It is obvious now that the only people who have benefitted from his presidency are the rich and powerful. We have lost many of our good paying jobs, we have lost our health coverage, we have added to our debt, our future looks uncertain, but definitely not brighter. We face mounting problems with no plan that will solve them.

His state of the union speech acknowledged no mistakes. He points to those who disagree with him as being unpatriotic. He says we must stay the course (even if the course is misguided and off course). He has three more years to help scrap more of our programs and shift the wealth permanenttly from the poor and middle class to the wealthy.

Trust me, he says. Would he lie to you?
What is his real agenda?