Saturday, January 8, 2011

Hebrews 4:16

There is a Saturday morning fishing show on TV, and during a commercial break they work in a biblical devotion. Ok, it's the sabbath, I suppose....

Anyway, this quote they introduce should apply to the majority of the "Christians" I've ever met in my life. The guy on TV says it means to pray specifically, not generally. The idea is that a prayer like, "Bless everyone", isn't a valid prayer. You need to pray specifically, something like, bless my wonderful dog today, make it the best day of his life. Then tomorrow, I'll again pray for tomorrow to be the best day in his life.

Why would I pray for my dog? He's the most important creature in my life. Those of you with a spouse, pray for your spouse if that's what you do. My dog holds down that spot in my life.

I must pull my mother's bible off the shelf and look that verse up. My mother's bible? Yes, it's the bible that her grandmother gave her for confirmation when she was 14 or 15, so it has the handwriting of my grandfathers mother, wishing my mother well in it. One of the things I collect for some odd reason, are handwriting samples. I have one of my father, mother, grandfather, and so on.

Sabbath? Saturday morning? Well, my second wife............... But that's another story for another time.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

I added a most wonderful home touch to my living space

It's a simple radio. A nice, basic, AM/FM clock radio that you can probably buy at Wal Mart for under 10 bucks. How many years has it been since I've had one? I can't even remember, which means it's way too long.

Programming this afternoon was classical music. Classical music is so much better than TV. I can write with the radio on, no chance with the TV on. Right now it's afternoon All Things Considered. Why did I go so long without NPR. Sigh.........

Lead story is about education, and the military. According to the story, there are way too many teens running around out there who can't qualify for the military. Further, of the ones who do qualify, many don't qualify for good jobs, and are only qualified to carry a rifle or wash dishes.

What is the real problem? I have an opinion on this matter.

There is no shame in having stupid kids. There is no shame in having criminal kids. Basically, nobody is responsible for the fortunes of their kids. Responsible in the eyes of society, that is.

Anchor babies are ok. Having a bunch of kids so you get child support or welfare is ok. Is there any penalty for the parent if these kids they are using to support themselves with don't succeed in United States society? Nope.

As long as this is the case, our society will continue to decline.

In my home, both of my parents expected the schools to magically raise their kids for them. Did it work that way? No. Does it work that way? No. Is this the limit of the problem? Regrettably, no it's not. Let's say you're a 4th grade teacher, and Johnny's mom disgusts you. You'd like to try talking to Johnny's dad, but his attitude is children should be seen and not heard, and if Johnny doesn't come home a high achiever it must be the teachers fault.

Really? Yes 4th grade teacher! Johnny has my genes and if he doesn't achieve like I have, or think he should. it is your fault for not teaching him. I pay tax's and send him to school, that's all I'm responsible for.

It's also his fault for not learning, and he will be severely punished. Punished without end, his entire childhood.

Has anything changed in 50 years? Not from what I see.

Speaking of 4th grade............ Allow me to share the biggest impact my 4th grade teacher had on me. And before I share it, allow me to also share something I was exposed to in a Comparative Literature course at the University of Wisconsin.

Ever heard of Edgar Allen Poe? If you have not, you are unusual. Most people have heard of the guy. He's one of America's great authors. What kind of stuff did he write? Horror stories.

Ever heard of E. T. A. Hoffman? Probably not. You have heard of one of his works. The Nutcracker. Everyone has been exposed to a ballet called The Nutcracker, or a child's story, or the simply the music. All owes it's beginnings to a German author named Hoffman. Well it turns out that Hoffman wrote horror stories. And, Poe read those German stories written by Hoffman. Then Poe turned around and rewrote them in English, and to this day most Americans credit him with writing these stories as original stories.

When I was in 4th grade I saw a real cool episode of Twilight Zone on TV. The story they used was the legend of the Flying Dutchman. The way it works is you get in a loop in time, and can't get out. Sort of like walking in a circle when lost in the woods. We were given an assignment to write a story. So, I wrote a story similar to the Flying Dutchman. That 4th grade teacher who didn't like my mother, and didn't like me, made me feel like a criminal. She punished me for doing the same thing Edgar Allen Poe did, as an author. Who was the criminal?

I never wrote anything again until I struggled through fundamental Lit at the University of Wisconsin, 25 years later. It's amazing who they give a license to poison a child's mind to, isn't it?

Ah............. Folk music! Sunday night folk music. It's as good as it was 30 years ago.