Category Archives: Happiness

Brown Wins People’s Seat

Scott Brown casting his vote

Republican candidate Scott Brown is now Senator-elect Scott Brown, filling the vacancy left when Senator Edward Kennedy shuffled off his mortal coil.

Winning with 52% of the vote so far (as of 9:30 CST), Brown will deny Senate Democrats they’re 60th vote for health care. Now if we can shore up the ranks by shaming Ben Nelson (D – Nebraska) into coming back to his real principles.

While health care has passed the Senate already, the bill in the House must be reconciled with the bill passed by the Senate in conference. The big vote sold to Mary Landrieu and Ben Nelson was only to settle the Senate’s version. House Democrats don’t like the Senate bill as it stands, but because of the loss of the Massachusetts seat, their only chance of passing any health care socialization is to accept the Senate bill as it stands. Any edits they make would require the Senate to reexamine the bill and vote on it again.

So the Tea Party movement and the backlash to President Obama’s, Harry Reid’s, and Nancy Pelosi’s ugly ideology have won this battle. The problem is, there is still a war to be fought.

We have won this battle mainly due to a strong upheaval in the populace continuing from the waves of the Tea Parties. But if there’s one thing I know about people who live conservatism, it’s that they just want to get back to their homes and families and work and lives.

Will this victory last? Will we dance back to our houses, clapping each other on the shoulder and then go to bed and sleep the sleep of a clean conscience and then awake and forget what has transpired?

I hope not.

What needs to happen now is education.

We need to talk in our workplaces, in our social clubs. Get in discussions at church and in restaurants. During the half-time shows and at the bar.

We need to cash in on those myriad relationships which make up our broader lives, using the fact that we have credence with our friends based on our friendship to cause them to think. Even a little thought, properly motivated and directed, can go a long way towards straightening out the skewed thinking of so many.

We need to strike at the cult of celebrity which surrounds our current President and demand substance and truth in candidates along with their rhetorical skills.

It’s not that we need to talk politics, we need to talk ideology. Ideology is much easier to talk about because it applies to so much more of life. Politics is just one small corner of the extent of our lives. Politics wants to control more of life, but it belongs in the corner.

Ideology is the big “Why?” of our life. Our worldview informs our entire perception of life, and as such, you can talk about it from any perspective.

How do you respond to a medical emergency? Do you call the government or do you drive to the hospital?

If you see a promotion opportunity at work, do you try to make yourself the better candidate?

Is the government the best source for your pursuit of happiness?

Would you rather the professor gave some of your high grades to the slob in the back row of class so he can pass too?

And most important: Is Jesus a liar, a lunatic, or our Lord?

After all, if our friends haven’t got the bedrock of their life philosophy connected and rooted in the most accurate explanation for the entirety of life, nothing they believe will really match reality. And that’s what conservatism is, the most political philosophy that most accurately corresponds to the true nature of humanity and the world.

So congratulations America, you’ve forestalled oblivion yet again. But what happens tomorrow? And the next day?

Do you forget and go on with life, accepting the tranquil bonds of servitude until you awake yet again and find you’re no longer allowed to amass political power to right the ship again?

Or do you start making changes on all fronts, attacking the lies of our world at every turn. Each time maneuvering, like a chess master always circling the opponents king, to touch the heart of the matter.

We’ve been harmless as doves long enough, now let’s become shrewd as serpents.

If…

A Liberal: He's offended and it's my fault.

If a conservative doesn’t like guns, he doesn’t buy one.
If a liberal doesn’t like guns, he wants all guns outlawed.

If a conservative is a vegetarian, he doesn’t eat meat.
If a liberal is a vegetarian, he wants all meat products banned for everyone.

If a conservative sees a foreign threat, he thinks about how to defeat his enemy.
A liberal wonders how to surrender gracefully and still look good.

If a conservative is homosexual, he quietly leads his life.
If a liberal is homosexual, he demands everyone know it and demands legislative action!

If a black man or Hispanic is conservative, they see themselves as independent and successful.
Their liberal counterparts see themselves as victims in need of government protection.

If a conservative is down-and-out, he thinks about how to better his situation.
A liberal wonders what government program is going to take care of him.

If a conservative doesn’t like a talk show host, he switches channels.
Liberals demand that those they don’t like be shut down (the so-called Fairness Doctrine for example).

If a conservative is a non-believer, he doesn’t go to church.
A liberal non-believer wants any mention of God and religion silenced.

If a conservative decides he needs health care, he goes about shopping for it, or may choose a job that provides it.
A liberal demands that the rest of us pay for his through the government.

If conservative slips and falls in a store, he gets up, laughs and is embarrassed.
If a liberal slips and falls, he grabs his neck, moans like he’s in labor, and then sues.

If a conservative reads this, he’ll forward it so his friends can have a good laugh.
A liberal will delete it because he’s “offended”.

Thanks to IronicSurrealism for this email forward.

AskMen.com has a short article about why we get offended and what we ought to do about it (Caution: AskMen.com has some small images of scantily clad women if you don’t have ad-blocking software in your browser). Here are some of their solutions, read the whole article for their explanations and more solutions:

Find a middle ground to react
Read things in context
Have a sense of humor about it
Ignore it

To Kill A Butterfly

Monarchs hatching

Want to know how to kill a butterfly?

Help it.

Yes, it’s that easy.

You see this newly metamorphosized creature, brimming with potential beauty and wondrous mystery, struggling weakly against the tough confines of it’s chrysalis shell. Moved with pity you gently tear the chrysalis further, freeing it’s hostage, the beautiful young butterfly.

And yet, what is this?

The fair creature is still weak. It’s body not energized with the pangs of struggle, and it’s abdomen still engorged with liquid it must now pump into it’s wings. Without the necessary and draining struggle for freedom from it’s chrysalis, the butterflies strength is stunted and it will not have the strength to pump it’s wings full.

It will fall to the ground and become easy prey to the other creatures waiting for food or it will simply die.

It is good to minimize suffering whenever we can. It is our moral responsibility to strive to help and assist others however we are able.

However, all assistance and relief must be provided with an awareness of the necessity of the situation.

Does a parent do their child good by covering for them when they cheat or break the law? Often, it is a parent’s failure to provide the necessary discipline at home that allows the child to grow up to break the law, and the best thing they can do is to allow that authority willing to provide the necessary correction the freedom to mete out the necessary punishment.

Does a parent do their child good by demanding the opening of the school basketball court to where they are skipping classes and failing everywhere except for their “mad skillz” on the court? Wouldn’t it help the child by standing firm beside others who care and require higher standards from children who obviously have drive and intelligence?

The easy solution is often fraught with foreseeable future failure.

An often maligned conservative standard is to expect more from people. It is completely true that this perspective tends to hurt more than the soft tyranny of low expectations held by many of a liberal bent. However, the people who grow through adversity are stronger people, more independent and more positively beneficial to the independently interdependent system our Founding Fathers devised for us.

It has been said the most difficult part of raising children is consistency, and also the most rewarding. Consistantly providing instruction, correction, support, guidance, and parental leadership will take life from me and cause hurt and pain. But it will reap rewards far beyond any mushy permissiveness or laissez-faire Spockian parental philosophy.

Our dear child is to be a butterfly, and I shall not do more nor less than hold his hand as he struggles through the various chrysalis’ life passes him through. I not ease his way only in giving him the tools he needs to accomplish his own way.

I will not kill my butterfly.

What is our problem?

What makes us so special?

Rather than embarking on a long dialogue, as is my norm, I want to instead throw some things out on the table for you to think about.

First . . . do we really readthe Bible, or do we just preview it through our Americanized mindset? In American culture, my actions are treated as my own, and the consequences are solely mine. However, read the Bible. Truly read it. The story of Achan clearly demonstrates that not only is a person responsible for their crime, but their wife, children, and grandchildren are to suffer for the sin and their possessions are to be destroy. Do I condone this? No, with fulfilment of the law, God brought grace. But guess what? God hasn’t changed, we are still responsible for the sins of those we are connected to (accountability) are our sins still effect those we are around (responsibility), to a much larger extent than our American minds want to accept.

Second . . . what makes us so special (American Christians)? We walk around acting like being an American Christian is a benefit to God. Somehow, we have a general mindset (not when we think about it, but when we just normally act) that God is in debt to us since we are American Christians and he owes us providence and goodwill. I got news . . . I am of no more value to God than a Chinese Christian who is of no more value to God than a Chinese heathen. We act like God owes it to us to keep our country “safe” and prosperous, but God owes us no such thing.

Third . . . are we (American Christians) the ones who decided who is a Christian nation and who gets God’s blessings? Somehow, we feel like we have a direct line to God and can dictate to Him who he should bless (us) and how the world should be run (through our prosperity). However, here is a though . . . maybe God is using, and blessing the Chinese. Here is an even harder thought, maybe God is using the Chinese to reshape the world for the next stage of human development. That is a hard pill to take, but guess what . . . we (as Christians) should rejoice in that because it is the next good  step in God’s good plan.

In closing, maybe we should get over ourselves, read what God really says (not what fits our mindset), and take joy in world event (and prepare for joyous persecution) because God has ordained it for his glory.

Resurrecting Fido: Refusal To Grow

The story about the retirees refusing to allow their pup Lancelot to shuffle off this mortal coil when his natural life ended by ordering Lancelot Encore (cute puppy pictures), the first one-off, made to order, cloned animal, is interesting to me more for what it says about the older couple, Ed and Nina, than what it says about technology.

Cloning is old hat. It’s been going on for some time successfully now. The news nature of this comes from the fact a person was able to pay lots of money and get a “copy” of their preferred pooch. It’s an “Imagine that” kind of thing, nothing more, from the technology side.

But the couple intrigue me.

Have you ever experienced an idyllic situation? The light is just right, the leaves in the trees, the grass under your feet, the water of the river and the touch of sand in the barbeque. We want them to continue forever. We desire to hold onto these minutes and relish the moments as they fly inexorably onward, until we’re packing the car again and driving home and back to work grind on Monday.

There is an undeniable desire to freeze frame life and contain the moments that we find are perfect. But life keeps moving and so must we.

Miss Havisham perpetually in her moth eaten wedding dress with the rotten cake would have cloned her beloved had she the change.

And so the Otto family have become the Miss Havisham of our age. Technology can fix everything, including bringing the dead back to life.

When we insist on living “as things were” we deprive ourselves of our future. When we insist on constraining our lives to some eternal “present perfect” we forego any growth, sorrow, or joy or the other parts of life which are necessary for normal human function.

Humans may wish for an eternal ideal, for that perfect time. However, we need the eternal change and constant motion through which this world functions. To hold onto things which must change, forcing them through our own force of will to remain unchanged, is to deny our own humanity and to fade from the real life which would beckon us onward.

Death is as much a part of life as life itself. Not in an Eastern Yin/Yang way, but in a Western form of closure. We begin, we pass, and we end. Everything in our life follows the same path on different time tables.

And so the Otto family have relegated themselves to the eternal past. They may continue to grow old and pass through this world, but they have achieved no nirvana or eternal blissful stasis.

Lancelot Encore will die too. None are god enough to prevent that. And Ed and Nina will together sit in their moth-eaten wedding dress beside their rotten wedding cake, watching out the window with hope that Lancelot will once again run through their lives.

It’s not happiness, it’s Havisham.