March 2, 2015

2nd Sunday in Lent, 2015

Posted in Personal tagged , , , at 12:35 am by gruundehn

For the second week in a row I have missed church. I overslept again and my bad sleeping habits are getting to be a pain. And yet, because my poor sleeping drains my energy, I have a hard time doing what I know needs to be done to fix the problem. But, I must do what needs to be done. So, I will.

I was expecting to meet with the surgeon about my arm this coming Wednesday, and so went down to the VA last Friday to get the x-rays done. No order had been placed for the x-rays and it turns out my appointment had been cancelled due to a funeral the surgeon was to attend. I have no problem with the surgeon attending a funeral but the rest of it – yeah, a problem. The surgeon forgot to place the order for the x-rays during my last appointment, just before Christmas, and so I wasted my time going to the VA hospital instead of doing some grocery shopping. Oh well. The real issue is why no one called me to let me know the appointment had been cancelled, the VA had my correct phone number. The VA hospital here in Tucson is rated as best I the system but maybe it has started on a downward slide. I hope not.

Next week I see a psychologist about the possibility of an eating disorder. The more I think about it, the more I believe I jumped the gun on this idea. However, I started this, however in error or not, and I need to see this through just in case. I do remember that a psychologist that the A hired to do an evaluation on me several years ago told me that I have an addictive personality, which is why, perhaps, I jumped so readily to the idea of an eating disorder.

If you wish to do so, please pray for: Katharine the Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church, Kirk the Bishop for Arizona, Steve and the other clergy of Grace-St. Paul’s Episcopal Church; for those in the military especially those in combat zones, especially Ronald Berryhill, Christopher Gallo, Michael Hannan, Andrew Harris, Dona Heath, Frederick Jenning, Jordan S. Marks, Eric Osche, Mark Pundt, Terrence Robinson, Laramie Struble, Brian; for those in need especially Catherine Brown, Alysha Collins, Walter Collins, Jay Elliston, Phyllis Garver, Oma “Sam” Guard, Janet Kells, Jean Keplinger, Brett Lange, Steve Mattix, wen McCaffrey, Christine Nelson, Suzanne Nystrom, Danielle Phillips, Jane Pundt, Doree Ramey, Barbara & Sam Reynolds, Susan Southwick, Cathy Wolfson, Ed, Lee, Eva Brown, William Brown, Mildred Gregory, Francesca Jarvis, Julie LaRue, Maribel Ortiz, Brenda Pentland, Peggy Southwick, Amy, Jerry & Rondy, Monica, Roman & Danitza, Nate, Nichole, Nick & Emily, Phil; for animal companions in need especially Jelly Belly, Pepe; for those who have died especially Kaye Bernard, Jeffry Jahn, Michael Piech. I also ask that you pray for the millions of people who have been murdered, driven from their homelands and otherwise persecuted by Muslims throughout the world.

What I’m writing: I’m still working on Imperial Investigator but with my sleeping problems, I’m not getting very far.

What I’m reading: Sister Fidelma and various religious books.

What I’m watching: Various DVDs and Blu-rays with nothing taking up a lot of time.

February 26, 2015

Lawyers yet once again

Posted in Politics tagged , , at 1:04 am by gruundehn

Lawyers have made the various legal codes so complex that an average person cannot understand them; indeed, lawyers have a hard time understanding those legal codes. Lawyers, and especially that pernicious subset of lawyers: politicians, control this country as a result. You can be walking along the street, minding your own business, and get arrested for some crime you have never heard about. Which is a result of the plethora of laws. Which is why I say we are no longer the Land of the Free but instead are the Land of the Not Yet Arrested.

The mindset of lawyers (and I have been told that I have this to some degree) is: Unless you plan for any contingency, regardless of how remote the chance, you have not planned well enough. Unless you have prepared for a hurricane in Des Moines you are negligent.

And lawyers have gotten this mindset percolating throughout society which is why so many lawsuits happen. And which is why society has slowed down on improving products and procedures and instead gone to preventing such lawsuits. Business does surrender to lawsuits, regardless of the merits, because it is cheaper to settle than fight. However fighting might prevent a thousand similar suits but that is rarely a consideration in such decisions as far as I can tell. And each settlement emboldens lawyers to continue their attacks on randomness.

If you flip a coin ten times and it does not come out five heads and five tails a lawyer’s first thought is that the coin is somehow defecting, a statistician will look at the outcome and determine what the odds of that outcome are before continuing to discover if there is another factor involved, other than a chance cluster. If the outcome isn’t alternating heads, tails, the lawyer’s first thought is that the coin is somehow defective, a statistician will look at the pattern before deciding if further investigation, to determine is another factor is involved, is required.

How many lawyers does it take to change a light bulb? None, they sue the manufacturer for a defective product instead.

OK, that’s a bad joke – and I admit I love bad jokes. But, like most jokes it has an element of truth in it. And lawyers are not a bad joke, they are just bad. A few lawyers are needed, I presume. But the practice of law has become a road traveled by too many people and too high a percentage of them are control freaks. And we, and especially our future generations, are the worse for that.

February 23, 2015

1st Sunday in Lent, 2015

Posted in Personal tagged , , , , at 12:44 am by gruundehn

I haven’t been sleeping well, a continuing issue with me I know. But last night I slept well – I went to bed and read some going to sleep about 9:30 PM and slept for about five hours, was up from about 2:15 AM to about 5:00 AM and slept solid to about 12:30 PM. Obviously then I missed church. I must have been trying to catch up for all the nights I slept only three or four hours. I like sleeping but I hate missing church.

I haven’t been getting a lot done lately. I have been working on many projects but I keep wasting time on YouTube and hours go by before I know it. Technology is great until it isn’t. Computers make it easy to write and easy to waste time. When I started writing it was with a pencil on a yellow notepad, the kind you buy at an office supply place even yet today. My first computer was a TRS-80 with 4K of memory and data storage was a cassette tape. Yes, that is right 4K of memory. This computer I am working on now had 8G of memory or about 2000 times the memory; it also has a disc drive for external storage. In other words, the two computers can be compared only by courtesy as they are so different as almost to be different types of equipment – apples and oranges so to speak. And I have four or five older computers that I no longer use that are still so much better than my old TRS-80. But if my computer went down, I’d no longer be able to write as easily, try editing by lining out and re-writing something – it’s hard. I don’t have a typewriter anymore which would make it slightly easier to write but no less hard to edit. And setting up one of my old computers and transferring my writing to it runs into the problem that writing programs are forward compatible but not backwards compatible – that is I can transfer something written on an old program to a new one but going the other way runs into problems as the writing will probably use features of the new program that can’t be used on the older one. So, I’d have to re-write anything basically from scratch. I’d rather not have to do that. So, I hope that my computer never goes down until I have already transferred to a new one.

If you wish to do so, please pray for: Katharine the Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church, Kirk the Bishop for Arizona, Steve and the other clergy of Grace-St. Paul’s Episcopal church; for those in the military, especially those in combat zones, especially Ronald Berryhill, Christopher Gallo, Michael Hannan, Andrew Harris, Donna Heath, Frederick Jenning, Jordan S. Marks, Eric Osche, Mark Pundt, Terrence Robinson, Laramie Struble, Brian; for those in need especially Beth Banks, Katherine Bernard, Catherine Brown, Alysha Collins, Walter Collins, Jay Elliston, Phyllis Garver, Oma :Sam” Guard, Janet Kells, Jean Keplinger, Steve Mattix, Gwen McCaffrey, Christine Nelson, Suzanne Nystrom, Danielle Phillips, Barbara Pritchard, Jane Pundt, Doree Ramey, Barbara & Sam Reynolds, Susan Southwick, Cathy Wolfson, Ed, Lee, Eva Brown, William Brown, Jody Gebhardt, Mildred Gregory, Lucinda Iverson, Francesca Jarvis, Tony Jones, Julie LaRue, Jim Larson, John Lawing, Gloria Murphy, Maribel Ortiz, Brenda Pentland, Brian Roussel, Peggy Southwick, Tanya Tinajero, Beverly Wright, Amy, Annie M., Cyrus, Janet & Ishmael, Jerry & Rondy, Joel, John, Karl, Leah, Monica, Roman & Danitza, Nate, Nichole, Nick & Emily, Phil, Stefano, Sunny, Sharon & David, Wendy Joy; for animal companions in need especially Jelly Belly, Pepe; for those who have died especially Frank Q. Daniel, Sydney Zarow, James Angelo, Ruth Ann Williams, Juan Carlos Mendez Macias; for animal companions who have died. I also ask that you pray for the millions of people who have been killed, driven from their homelands or otherwise persecuted by Muslims throughout the world.

What I am writing: I am still working on Imperial Investigator and hopw to get back to other unfinished works soon.

What I am reading: Sister Fidelma and various religious books.

What I am watching: Dogfight and other DVD / Blu-ray programs when I think I have the time.

February 19, 2015

Advocacy by cardboard sign

Posted in Politics tagged , , , , at 12:20 am by gruundehn

Look around when you are out and about. Quite often you will see a group of people standing by the road waving cardboard signs, and sometimes poster board or other material signs. On these signs will be written a short, often pithy, phrase since anything long and intelligent could not be read. And because these phrases are so short they are often wrong in the sense that they do not tell the full truth or meanings are implied but not said.

As an example: A few months ago I was waiting for a bus at Speedway and Campbell and a protest against circumcision showed up. One protestor was wearing a Darth Vader costume and holding a sign that said something like “Don’t support the evil empire” with his crotch region covered by a bloody cloth (at least it simulated blood). Given that the Jewish religion is famous for requiring circumcision, was it a hard leap to see a condemnation of Israel in that? Was such intended? But how many people would look at that sign and conclude that Israel is the evil empire?

Another example: Just this last week a group called Predator Masters held a convention here in Tucson, Protestors showed up blaming the organization for coyote hunts when, according to published reports, the organization had nothing to do with those hunts but those hunts were organized and conducted by individuals who may or may not have been members of the organization. It was easier to put the name of the organization of the sign rather than ten or fifteen individuals even though those individuals were guilty for the despised hunts and the organization wasn’t.

There is no protection against these signs, and while there should be no regulation by government or protests in general and these types of signs in specific, there should be a way to force these protestors to be more accurate and less libelous. There is, lawsuits by the libeled. However that never, or almost never, happens because if someone does go after the libel then they are castigated for going after “the little people” and bad publicity ensues.

And this sort of protecting libel will continue because the news media, which should be about accuracy, need advertising money and a campaign of defending “the little people” sell newspapers, magazines, and air time. Which brings in advertising money.

So the solution is stymied and the libel continues. Maybe if the various people who see those libelous signs reflect on them, seeing the libel and acting against it, this sort of thing will stop. It is hard work and I doubt that it will happen since people normally have too much to do to take the time to tr to force honesty in these advocacy groups. And that is a same.

February 16, 2015

Last Sunday after Epiphany, 2015

Posted in Personal tagged , , , , , at 12:40 am by gruundehn

The season of Epiphany, where liturgical churches celebrate Jesus’ encounters with the world outside of Judaism ends this Tuesday and Lent begins. Lent is the season of preparing ourselves for Easter. It references the 40-day wilderness Jesus had immediately after John’s Baptism of Jesus and upon his return from the wilderness Jesus began collecting disciples and going about his ministry. One difference between Western churches and Eastern churches is that Western churches do not count the Sundays as part of the 40 days of Lent and the Eastern churches do. Thus western churches always start Lent with Ash Wednesday. Eastern churches have no such start as far as I know. There are other calendar differences but that will do for now.

Last Monday I got some bad news, for me terrible news. As I have been mentioning, I was interested in the Community of Solitude – notice the past tense there. I had been going to a Roman Catholic nun, Sister Pascaline (I had her name wrong at the start, I misheard it as Pascalese) and she suggested that I make a copy of Luke 4:14-18 and contemplate it after I woke up but before getting out of bed. I did so and one morning I was thinking about it and wondered if I was captive to food – i.e. do I have a food addiction? I mentioned it to her and the next week she said that she had done some research and that research led her to conclude that this addiction (presuming it did exist, I was having more doubts the longer I considered it) had to be dealt with before spiritual direction went forward as it would be a stumbling block. So I mentioned this to the individual in the Community of Solitude that I had been communicating with. Last Monday I got an email from him saying that the Community of Solitude was cutting me out and I should wait a couple of years before trying again. I asked about appeal and that was denied. Naturally I was angry and hurt. I forced the anger to burn hot until it was burned away, I couldn’t go out into the woods and beat up rocks with sticks until the anger was gone so I did this instead, and emailed him back and cut myself off completely from them. I told him that he had told me on at least two different occasions that the Community of Solitude did not accept or reject but was willing to work with someone and help them along their spiritual journey. And here they were rejecting me and refusing to help me along my spiritual journey simply because I had a problem. Now this is my perspective of the incident and I will admit that there is a possibility that another viewpoint could see it different. I still feel lied to.

I had to make an appointment for the surgeon to check on my arm and so I tried to call the VA Medical Center here in Tucson, which is normally an extremely good VA Medical Center, however I was never able to get through and make the appointment as every time I called I got disconnected before I got the appointment. So, I went down last Tuesday and made the appointment there at the clinic. I also visited my normal clinic and asked about having an evaluation concerning the possibility of a food addiction. I hope to hear from them about this soon – I want to get this matter cleared up and settled. If I do have an addiction, I want to get started treating it and if I don’t I want to know that for certain.

If you wish to do so, please pray for: Katharine the Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church, Kirk the Bishop for Arizona, Steve and the other clergy of Grace-St. Paul’s Episcopal Church; for those in the military, especially those in combat zones, especially Ronald Berryhill, Christopher Gallo, Michael Hannan, Andrew Harris, Donna Heath, Frederick Jenning, Jordan S. Marks, Eric Osche, Mark Pundt, Terrence Robinson, Laramie Struble, Brian; for those in need especially Beth Banks, Katherine Bernard, Catherine Brown, Alysha Collins, Jay Elliston, Phyllis Garver, Oma “Sam” Guard, Janet Kells, Jean Keplinger, Steve Mattix, Gwen McCaffrey, Teresa Mendez, Christine Nelson, Suzanne Nystrom, Danielle Phillips, Barbara Pritchard, Jane Pundt, Doree Ramey, Barbara & Sam Reynolds, Susan Southwick, Cathy Wolfson, Ed, Lee, Eva Brown, William Brown, Kerry Cumley, Jody Gebhardt, Mildred Gregory, Lucinda Iverson, Francesca Jarvis, Tony Jones, Julie LaRue, John Lawing, Maribel Ortiz, Michael Piech, Brenda Pentland, Peggy Southwick, Tanya Tinajero, Beverly Wright, Amy, Cyrus, Janet & Ishmael, Jerry & Rondy, Joel, Karl, Leah, Monica, Roman & Danitza, Nate, Nichole, Nick & Emily, Stefano, Sunny, Sharon & David, Wendy, Joy; for animal companions in need especially Pepe; for those who have died especially Sydney Zarow, James Angelo, Ruth Ann Williams, Juan Carlos Mendez Macias; for animal companions who have died. I also ask that you pray for the millions of people who have been killed, driven from their homelands or otherwise persecuted by Muslims throughout the world.

What I’m watching: Some DVD or Blu-ray videos since I can’t make my satellite receiver work – the remote seems to have gone dead.

What I’m reading: Sister Fidelma and various religious books.

What I’m writing: Still working on Imperial Investigator and I need to really start working a lot more on it – I need to finish it and get back to some of the other books I need to finish.

February 12, 2015

Constitutional Convention

Posted in Politics tagged , , , , , at 12:24 am by gruundehn

There is a provision in the Federal Constitution for a Constitutional Convention to suggest Amendments that must be ratified by the States just like Amendments proposed by Congress. And some are dubious about such a convention as they believe it would be controlled by Progressives who would not respect individual liberty and force a new Constitution that would not have the protections built into it or added onto it later but would force the citizens into a form of slavery to the Federal Government. And it is true that such a Constitutional Convention probably would be attended by such activists but the check of the Amendments needing to be ratified by the several States, and such ratification can be hard. Just think about the Equal Rights Amendment or the latest Amendment that finally passed after about 200 years in the process.

The number of Blue States is not great enough for such Amendments as might be proposed by a Convention attended by primarily Progressives is not great enough to give automatic passage to such Amendments. As a result they will be debated and even if the news media does have a philosophical bent towards their passage the conventional media will not be the sloe arbiter of what news gets discussed and what debates happen. The internet is still able to be a force for the individual – which is perhaps why the Federal Government is so keen to regulate it.

Does the Federal Constitution need to be amended? Of course. But what I think those Amendments should be and what you think they should be may be completely different. Which is why any proposed Amendment need to be seriously debated. And it needs to be an open and honest debate.

One such Amendment that I think needs to happen is one to define what happens if a proposed Amendment is accepted by a State and then rejected – or vice-versa. (I would prefer that the last legal act on an Amendment be the one accepted and count towards ratification.) Other amendments that I think would be useful include a Constitutional definition of what the Militia is and to what standards it is to be trained to. Title 10, Chapter 13 of the US Code defines the Militia but the standards are nowhere described even though the Constitution requires it. Plus, stricter and more obvious limits on Federal power would be nice.

As I mentioned before, the word state was a synonym for nation two hundred years ago and maybe changing the name of the country to The United Nations of America would bring Federalism back into balance. Just maybe.

But the point I want to make is that while Progressives may want to dominate such a Convention and force Amendments that fit their philosophy (and no one else’s) there are protections. First: Of course, is the selection process – the State Legislatures need to not select Progressives, except few enough so that they do not constitute a majority nor a significant enough block as to be a major influence; Second: The States when going through the ratification process have to watch out and be careful. When the Progressives took the Senate of Congress away from the State Legislatures the States should have been more resistant but they weren’t and problems ensued.

February 9, 2015

5th Sunday after Epiphany, 2015

Posted in Personal tagged , , , , , at 12:25 am by gruundehn

I slept good last night; unfortunately too well as I overslept and missed church. Since I intend to grow in the Community of Solitude, missing church is a bad thing.

I don’t know how many of you follow your local politics – but if you don’t, you should – but you know from previous posts that I do follow Pima County politics. So, last Tuesday during the weekly (actually three times a month) public meeting of the Board of Supervisors they voted to start allowing the public more say into the budget process. There will be three meetings, each of two hours and each covering a different part of the County Government. I intend to make my voice heard, and that of the Pima County Libertarian Party but I’m not going to be able to speak at each meeting as I would have too much to say for the three minutes I’d be allowed. So I am going to have to write everything that I intend to say and let the County Administration post my text online with the material to be presented. Which means, I hope, that the County will let me have the material to be presented in enough time for me to do this. I hope it works.

Sister Pascaline dropped me, temporarily, I hope, because of some comments I made about eating. I’ll have to see a counselor about eating disorders and find out if I have one. She had told me to make a cope of a passage in Luke Chapter 4 and contemplate it before getting out of bed in the morning. I did and wondered if I was a captive to eating – thus her concern – but on further reflection I think that my problems are procrastination and laziness. Eating, if there is a problem, it is that I nosh when bored or just not doing anything else. I doubt that is an eating disorder but she is concerned so I will check it out. I do need to continue with a spiritual director and I like Sister Pascaline and want to continue with her so I can continue growing in the Community of Solitude. But, there might be a problem there. Brother Gordon asked me if I wanted to continue or drop out and I may have given him the wrong impression, I don’t remember what I emailed back but he hasn’t responded since then so I am thinking I gave the wrong impression.

I retired from the work force three years ago, although I hadn’t worked for several years before that. I expected that my days would be just lazing around but I think I am busier than any time since I was on active duty. I like doing all of the projects I am doing and I don’t want to abandon any of them but I wish that there wasn’t so many of them. I’ll get through them but it is amazing just how different retirement is from expectations.

If you wish to do so, please pray for: Katharine the Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church, Kirk the Bishop for Arizona, Steve and the other clergy of Grace – St. Paul’s Episcopal Church; for those in the military, especially those in combat zones, especially Ronald Berryhill, Christopher Gallo, Michael Hannan, Andrew Harris, Donna Heath, Frederick Jenning, Jordan S. Marks, Eric Osche, Mark Pundt, Terrence Robinson, Laramie Struble, Brian; for those in need especially Beth Banks, Katherine Bernard, Catherine Brown, Alysha Collins, Jay Elliston, Phyllis Garver, Oma “Sam” Guard, Janet Kells, Jean Keplinger, Steve Mattix, Gwen McCaffery, Christine Nelson, Suzanne Nystrom, Danielle Phillips, Jane Pundt, Doree Ramey, Barbara & Sam Reynolds, Susan Southwick, Cathy Wolfson, Ed, Lee, Eva Brown, William Brown, Francesca Jarvis, Tony Jones, Julie LaRue, John Lawing, Maribel Ortiz, Brenda Pentland, Peggy Southwick, Tanya Tinajero, Beverly Wright, Amy, Cyrus, Jerry & Rondy, Joel, Karl, Leah, Monica, Roman & Danitza, Nick & Emily, Sid, Stefano, Wendy Joy; for animal companions in need especially Pepe; for those who have died especially Juan Carlos Mendez Macias; for animal companions who have died. I also ask that you pray for the millions of people who have been killed, driven from their homelands or otherwise persecuted by Muslims throughout the world.

What I’m watching: Just news programs, the occasional Simpsons and America’s Funniest Home Videos.

What I’m reading: Sister Fidelma and The Rebirthing of God – which is a wonderful argument for Celtic Spirituality in the modern Church.

What I’m writing: Still working on Imperial Investigator but that is just a temporary title, I’ll come up with something better when it is done, I hope.

February 5, 2015

Federalism

Posted in Politics tagged , , at 2:43 am by gruundehn

Reading the Federal Constitution I came across something that I have not seen discussed. This does not mean it hasn’t; just that if it has, I haven’t seen it.

What is a State?

Well, there are two basic definitions: 1) One of the self-governing divisions of a country; 2) A Nation. And if you look at the English language of the late 18th Century and early 19th Century the first definition did not exist. A State was a Nation but the first usage has become so commonly used that the synonym for Nation is more or less ignored and the term “nation-state” is used instead.

So, the United States of America seems to have consisted of thirteen nations that gave up certain limited powers to a federation. The States were not considered to be Provinces which would be a division of a nation imposed from above and the States of the United States of America were not created by the Federal Government but the other way ’round as it were.

So what happened?

Power hunger happened.

There was little power or renown is being an officer of the Federal Government. And politicians want both. With increasing frequency Federal politicians tried to make problems that were previously considered local into something that people turned to the Federal Government to deal with. And during the Progressive Era the Federal Government effectively took the States out of the running by taking them out of the Federal Senate. It used to be that the Senators were elected by the individual State Legislatures. The State Government had a say in what the Federal Government did and could protect themselves from Federal overreach.

So we started with what could be called “The United Nations of America” and if this terminology had been used then the relationship between the two levels of government would be well defined and I think we would be better off as a people.

February 2, 2015

4th Sunday after Epiphany, 2015

Posted in Personal tagged , , , , , , , at 12:48 am by gruundehn

Lent is coming. There is a website based upon the idea of March Madness called Lent Madness where Saints go against each other in brackets and eventually there is only one. I haven’t played it yet but having looked at it, it does look interesting. Do a search for Lent Madness and check it out for yourself.

The Super Bowl is on now but I am not yet watching it. I am recording it and intend to watch it a bit later. Right now I am writing this between watching Mythbusters and enjoying it. I have two more Mythbusters to watch and a Flash to watch as well, but those will get watched tomorrow. I like Flash I grew up enjoying the comic, I always say that DC Comics did more with that one-trick pony” than should be thought possible. I always enjoyed the ways that Flash used nothing but speed to solve various problems. I also am starting to watch Arrow which the TV series based upon the Green Arrow comic book series. Both Green Arrow and Batman used a wide variety of gimmicks to fight crime and it was the wide variety of gimmicks that intrigued me. The TV series, and I have only just Season 1 so far, does follow that idea. I like it so far and intend to collect the rest of the series.

I am meeting with Sister Pascaline on Wednesdays and while this is a new experience for me, it does seem to be helping me get my head together. However, this is based on just two meetings.

The stylist who I go to for my haircuts moved the to a different salon. Her old one, which she says did not treat her nice, was within a short walking distance, the new one I have to take two buses to get to. However, as I told one bus driver as I was trying to get unlost, “I will not abandon competence.” Tammy is good and I enjoy talking with her while she cuts and washes my hair and trims my beard. She does a good job and I’ll stick with her.

I write my stories because if I don’t, they might drive me crazy. However, I seem to rarely finish a book before another one starts occupying my mind. I haven’t gotten very far and already another story is starting to take ahold of me and I have no idea what to do with the new one because I just dreamed the first brush of the story. The idea is that in the future Humanity goes out amongst the stars as part of a multi-species empire, say about a billion people off-planet. The story revolves around one human who is part of the crew of a small spaceship, and the only human on that ship. He is taken to Earth and told that a female will be joining him as Earth is totally empty of humans. A woman is provided to help him repopulate the Earth but no other humans are ever brought to Earth to help with the repopulation. And that is about as far as I got. I don’t know why the humans are gone, I don’t know why no other humans are provided to help repopulate the Earth, I don’t know how the humans were taken But I have the story idea and I keep pushing it back so I can finish Magic in the Monastery and Imperial Investigator.

If you wish to do so, please pray for: Katherine the Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church, Kirk the Bishop for Arizona, and Steve and the other clergy of Grace-St. Paul’s Episcopal Church; for those in the military especially those in combat zones especially Ronald Berryhill, Christopher Gallo, Michael Hannan, Andrew Harris, Donna Heath, Frederick, Jordan S. Marks, Eric Osche, Mark Pundt, Terrence Robinson, Laramie Struble, Brian; for those in need especially Katharine Bernard, Catherine Brown, Alysha Collins, Jay Elliston, Phyllis Garver, Oma “Sam” Guard, Jean Keplinger, Steve Mattix, Gwen McCaffery, Teresa Mendez, Christine Nelson, Suzanne Nystrom, Danielle Phillips, Jane Pundt, Doree Ramey, Barbara & Sam Reynolds, Susan Southwick, Cathy Wolfson, Ed, Lee, Eva Brown, William Brown, Kerry Cumley, Francesca Jarvis, Tony Jones, Julie LaRue, Maribel Ortiz, Michael Piech, Brenda Pentland, Peggy Southwick, Beverly Wright, Amy, Cyrus, Jerry & Rondy, Joel, Karl, Leah, Monica, Roman & Danitza, Nichole, Nick & Emily, Sid, Stefano, Wendy, Joy; for animal companions in need especially Pepe; for those who have died especially Carlos Mendez Macias; for animal companions who have died. I also ask that you pray for the millions who have been killed, driven from their homeland or otherwise persecuted throughout the world by Muslims.

What I’m writing: Imperial Investigator and plugging steadily forward.

What I’m watching: Today the Super Bowl but normally just news programs and the occasional Simpsons.

What I’m reading: The Rebirthing of God. A look at how Christianity should evolve to meet the modern world. I haven’t read much but it does look interesting.

January 29, 2015

Land of the Free, Home of the Brave

Posted in Politics tagged , , , , at 12:29 am by gruundehn

I doubt I’ll be popular with this post. In the National Anthem there is the line: “O say does that Star-Spangled Banner yet wave o’er the land of the free and the home of the brave?” and I always answer, in my thoughts, No. America is no longer the Land of the Free because we stopped being the home of the brave. Now America is the Land of the Not-yet Convicted.

There are so many laws and “regulations having the force of law” that it is probably impossible to exist for a day without violating one or more. And we let it get this way, because we were bought by “free” stuff and honeyed words. Everyone wants to be fair, so why not let the government impose someone else’s idea of fairness to the detriment of not only our idea of fairness but to the detriment of future generations as well. And not just fairness but safety and other similar concepts as well. Who wants to live in an unsafe world?

But the world is unsafe and cannot be made safe. All we can do is decide where the line is between safety and other aspects of our lives. But the line never gets put in place, there is always a clamor for more safety even if we have gone past the point of diminishing returns. If a million dollars buys an increase of safety of ‘x’ percent, then fifty million dollars does not buy a 50x increase in safety. All that happens is that you surrender some of your power to someone else.

And it is the same with other concepts. A campaign is started “for the children” (that being the phrase of the decade) and through browbeating we give up some of our freedom in return for, for what? Any increases in our lifespan are due to better medicine and better nutrition not due to government rules. Insurance companies do a better job of ensuring workplace safety, equipment safety, etc. than the government can because the insurance companies want to prevent claims, so they can save money. Governments have no stake in the issue so the government does not have to worry about if their proposal works or not.

Like cowards we let government get away with stealing our freedom because we don’t want to be called names or be told we are against child safety – especially if the proposed regulations have nothing to do with child safety. We do not pay attention to what the government is doing to us because we are busy with work or some other aspect of our lives. But it is the government that is doing the most to destroy our freedoms and the freedoms of future generations.

If government was not so intrusive, the ordinary citizen could keep up with what the government does without slacking off on other parts of life. As it is, government not only is too big for us to monitor (which is perhaps a major reason for government growth) but too inefficient in what it pretends to be doing. In our cowardliness we have given up our freedom, and continue to do so, for ineptness that would make the Three Stooges cringe – at least they got problems solved.

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