Monthly Archives: April 2009

Rebel without a reality…

Not to long ago, as I’m going about my rather routine day at work, I run into a coworker who asks me a gun question. It’s no secret that I own a few weapons. My family is primarily employed by law enforcement and the military. Needless to say we had a few guns around the house when I was but a young lad. Fittingly, I own a few as an adult.
When I inquired as to his reason for wanting both an assault rifle and a hand gun (I’d hate to give sound weapons advise to a lunatic), I was shocked beyond belief by his reason. He feared that it may be necessary when Wyoming (and he) seceded from the Union and the new civil war began. I laughed. He didn’t. I’m worried.
Now, I’m not really concerned that Wyoming will leave our great nation. Buffalo, the states most abundant life form, lack the voting power and opposable thumbs necessary to conduct a proper secession. My real concern is that this person believes that election of our latest president will lead to such an event. He thinks that President Obama is leading down the path of ruin and that the states will end up having to go their own way. Did I mention that he is ultra religious conservative.
My issue with his thinking doesn’t stem from the thoughts themselves, but the reasoning behind them. Mostly it’s a complete lack or acceptance both in responsibility and the necessity for change. The conservatives in power over the last 8 years, and building on the previous administration’s (Liberal I might add) mistakes, have done more to damage our nations credibility on all fronts than our newest president has any hope of doing in one term. He’s only human at the end of the day, and he can’t fix 16 years of mistakes over night.
It come down to ideology. Conservative fear change and liberals fear stagnation. What we don’t need right now is one of our two parties crying over a lost election. They are actually hoping President Obama fails miserably, just so they can regain the presidency and the congress, regardless of consequence. What ever happened to public servants? When did political ideology become more important than banding together and fixing our country?
I can tell you that I didn’t vote for President Obama. I felt like he had great ideas, but no plan to execute them. After the election, and over the last few months, I began to see what I think his plan is: Do what ever it takes and adapt as you go. In times of crisis, a rigid plan with bullet points and milestones may not be flexible enough to get the job done. Triage is the way to go. Patch the holes, stabilize the situation, then fix the underlying issues.
This is a scary concept. How do we know where we’re going if we don’t have a map? Well, we know where we’ve been and that did work out, so a new direction is probably best. How do we know it’ll work? Well we know what didn’t work, and avoiding that can’t hurt.
The republican party has been acting like children while the democrats have been marginalizing them . What we need right now is for everyone to step up, put aside the differences in ideology and help fix the problem. We need talent and ideas from both sides of the spectrum. Now is not the time to pout and throw tantrums, or gloat and parade around victorious. Who knows, if they actually step up and lead, they may actually get a job done while winning over their constituents.
It’s a new century kids. The worlds has changed, and it will absolutely pass us by if we’re too busy squabbling to adapt. I say lets put aside the party politics. Lets fix the country. Lets embrace that change, and see where it takes us.


By the way, I told the coworker that I hoped the country ended up in the toilet just so they could say they were right, and that I knew who I was shooting first when the war started. He laughed. I didn’t.


Amendments to the commandments

Those of the Christian faith are celebrating around the world this weekend with family gatherings, ham, Charleton Heston movies, and (if there’s time) church. Our Savior died for our sins (thankfully), and then returned from the dead only to go directly back to heaven (for the record I’m Catholic and actually believe some of this). Miracles abound and all are saved. 2000 years later, there is still a contentious debate about those events as told in our holy text. Even amongst those who believe in them. I’m not here to debate happenings that occurred two millenia before I was born.
Lost in the contradictions and minutia of these debates are the meanings behind that text. God laid down 10 simple rules to follow. A reasonable number, and far simpler than the thousands of laws we have to deal with in society. They’re worded in an almost legal sense, so as not to be confusing to us his children. They’re short, to the point, and unarguable.
What happened? Mortal man got into the mix. We’re faulty by nature and we felt that 10 hard and fast rules should be 10 rule with exceptions and conditions. It’s been a while, but I don’t recall and chapter in the bible where we sat down with God and hashed this out. However, they were amended. Examples:
Thou shall not kill, unless they disagree with you or have something you want (ie- land, gold, animals, or different religion, scientist, free thinker)
Thou shall not steal, unless the person who has what you want is not of your faith or not sufficiently pious. In which case they obviously don’t deserve it and it’s yours by divine will.
Worship the one true God, however money, power, and a certain mouse are also acceptable.
The rest of the bible got it even worse. There are hundreds of versions out there that should say the same thing. I saw a passage in one that said it was a sin to eat my steak rare. Seriously? I’m still waiting on a ruling about how dark my toast should be.
I believe God loves us and wants us to be happy. I love God like a parent and understand when I need a little tough love. The rules are simple and can be boiled down to this. Don’t be an asshole and show some respect to your creators (heavenly and local).
Love your neighbor applies to all of them (actual and metaphorical), no matter what religion, age, color, or sex (assigned or preferred). It’s a universal truth. It’s in every religion, though there always seems to be someone who chooses to ignore that part. The disagreements over God’s name, who Jesus actually was, and how well done a non blasphemous steak should be, are unimportant. We’ll all find out the truth in the end.


By the way, who picks the holiday mascots? Was he on vacation when Easter needed assigning? He did a bang up job with St. Patrick’s day and New Years, but a bunny and eggs? I hope there was a memo generated somewhere about this little slip up.