Widows and orphans

When did America become the country of widows and orphans?

When I was a kid, my father never missed an opportunity to watch John Wayne. I grew up in the 60’s and 70’s so we had one TV. At first, it was black and white, then in the mid 70’s, my dad bought a color TV. We were lucky in that Los Angeles had 8 channels, 2, 4, 5, 7, 9, 11, 13 and sometimes 14. There was no cable TV, just whatever that ugly rooftop antenna could pick up, so when John Wayne was on, you watched it.
The movie ‘McClintock’ is still one of my favorites. There is a part where the indian chiefs are being tried by the territorial indian affairs and chief Puma asks G. W. McClintock to read the following:

“We are an old people, and a proud people. When the white men first came among us, we were as many as the grasses of the prairie. Now we are few, but we are still proud. For if a man losses his pride in manhood, he is nothing.
You tell us now that if we let you send us away to this place called Fort Sill, you will feed us and care for us. Let us tell you this, it is the Comanche law that no chief ever eats unless first he sees that the pots are full of meat in the lodges of the widows and orphans. It is the Comanche way of life. This what the white man calls charity is a fine thing for widows and orphans, but no warrior can accept it. For when he does, he is no longer a man, and when he is no longer a man, he is nothing and better off dead. You say to the Comanche you are widows and orphans, you are not men. And we the Comanche say that we would rather be dead.
It will not be a remembered fight when you kill us, because we are few now and have few weapons, but we will fight, and we will die Comanche.”

I think these are wise words. Yes, I know it is a line from a movie, but that is, or at least was, Comanche law. The Native American Indian tribes lived that way. Look at that for a moment. If a man looses his pride in manhood. This is not to say that a man cannot need help. It is not disgraceful to need help. But a helping hand up, not a hand out. When an able bodied man or woman relies on the government for a living, they become slaves to the government. They are saying to the rest of us in America that they are widows and orphans…they have no pride. Any member of government that encourages that mentality is guilty of stealing the pride from the American citizens. Also, if the statistics are correct, and 43 % of Americans rely on the government for some sort of assistance. That means that the remaining working citizens must pay more of their hard earned money in taxes to help pay for the widows and orphans. And you wonder how the government grows so much, that it has to borrow money from China to pay all of those government handouts.

“This what the white man calls charity is a fine thing for widows and orphans, but no warrior can accept it. For when he does, he is no longer a man, and when he is no longer a man, he is nothing and better off dead.”

What that means is that there is a certain amount of pride one obtains when he is self sufficient and does not rely on others to live. When an able bodied person does nothing for him or her self, there is an emptiness, because they are getting something they have not earned.

Which is better, giving a man a fish or teaching him to fish? I say give him a fish… a fish, not a lifetime of fish but feed him a meal, then teach him to fish for himself so he never relies on anyone but himself for that fish. That is the compassionate thing to do. That is the humanitarian thing to do. That is the christian thing to do and that is the conservative thing to do. Otherwise, he relies on the charity of others and what if that charity runs thin? His survival is now endangered. It still reminds me of the story of the kid who helped the butterfly out of the cocoon. Because that butterfly did not fight to get out of the cocoon, it did not shed the fluid in its wings and never became strong enough to fly. That kid had to care for a damaged butterfly that never reached its potential.

“This what the white man calls charity is a fine thing for widows and orphans, but no warrior can accept it. For when he does, he is no longer a man, and when he is no longer a man, he is nothing and better off dead.”

What Puma is refering to is that once a warrior looses his ability to care for himself, his family and his community, he fails to live up to his potential and becomes a burden for the rest of the tribe.

Don’t misunderstand… there are times when a person needs help up. There is nothing shameful in needing help. What is shameful is not helping yourself up. Think of it this way.., a man is walking but falls in a pit and cant get out on his own. Another man comes by and offers a hand to lift him out of the pit. It does require effort to accept the help and climb out of the pit. But if that man decides not to accept the help out of the pit and decides instead to live in the pit, he must convince others to care for him, feed him and protect him while in the pit. 43% of America is in the pit. Are you one of them? Are you asking for a handout or a helping hand up and out of that pit? Are you a slave or a man? Are you a warrior or a burden to the tribe? Decide now before you are no longer given the choice.

The very model of ineffeciency

Remember the musical from Gilbert and Sullivan called ‘The Pirates of Penzance’? There is the very famous Major General song :(http://www.lyricsfreak.com/g/gilbert+and+sullivan/major+general_20631514.html)

In the song, we hear the Major General refer to himself as the very model of a modern Major General. The tune is quite catchy and kind of funny. It, the song, describes a very efficient British officer. (yes, I know it is a musical play) But right now I am experiencing the exact opposite of ‘the model of effeciency’.

Pack a picknic lunch and make sure your cell phone is fully charged. Bring a book and prepare to be … waiting. Prepare to be … bored. Prepare for the most uncomfortable chairs available. Yup, you guessed it, the DMV. It should be renamed DMVF for ‘Don’t Move Very Fast’.

I had an occasion to visit the DMV where I live. It was the very model of inefficiency. It was the standard issue government office where the pens don’t work yet are chained to the desk. The workers are all powerful yet work on old antiquated computer screens and the vision test is taken on a machine that doesn’t work very well. The enthusiasm of the standard issue civil servant was… absent. I think you must first prove a lack of personality to become hired or the job literally sucks the personality from you. And they are all powerful because they control whether or not you can drive. Well now, the news just reported that services at the DMV are increasing. Drivers licences are increasing about 10%. A copy of your driving record is increasing from $2.55 to $10.00. All other DMV services are likewise increasing anywhere from 10% to 400%. The cost of a bloated government increases. While the rest of us have to cut back due to less income, the government never does, NEVER.

If you ever saw the movie or read the book ‘The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy’, you saw the standard issue civil servant in the Vogons. (Or read the description of them). Imagine, every civil servant worker a Vogon and you have the DMV, or almost any beaurocracy.

Now that the extreme left has got their wish and we are all mandated to have health insurance regulated via the IRS, I see Vogons everywhere. Now, I am not saying there are no good people working as civil servants. Of course there are. But what I am referring to is that a government job takes away something from the person. They become Vogons during work hours. I saw the very nice lady at the DMV taking pictures for the drivers licences. But that is all she did. There was no variety, she just said her little shpeel then said ‘look here’ then pressed a button to take the picture. For eight hours a day, five days a week. Day in and day out. The gentleman that administered the driving test takes the same route thru the residential neigborhood behind the DMV office. And right on down the line, everybody has a routine and it seems that they don’t like that routine interupted.

Have you ever watched Mr. Bean? (https://youtu.be/7a_CVFRqYv4). Here we see british comedians poke fun at the british government healthcare system. Now remember, it is funny because it is true. And some people think it is a good idea to governmentize our healthcare system, not realizing that there is an inherent built in waste when government controls and runs anything. Government does not run, never has run and never will run efficiently. If you take an efficient and effective company and suddenly the government takes over, it almost immediately becomes ineffective and inefficient. Take a good close look at the TRUE cost of a beaurocracy.

Watch this. (https://youtu.be/v7XXVLKWd3Q) Here, we see a congressman ask a very telling question. It proves to me how uneducated this congressman is. A few sandwiches short of a picnic basket, this government paid politician actually believes that an island is like a lilly pad showing how uneducated he really is. He is not an anomaly, but a sign of how disconnected our government leaders are. How can our government run efficiently with people that belive that an island can actually flip and drown all inhabitants? How can or government run efficiently when its leaders have never read nor understand the founding documents of this country? And people actually think healthcare will actually run more efficiently and effectively when government controls it, then you must think that an island like guam will flip over. Maybe your radio is on but the antenna is broke. Maybe you are a few fries short of a happy meal. Maybe your wheel is still turning but your hamster is dead.

The mirror

After watching Hamlet, I decided it was time to watch several adaptations of Oscar Wildes ‘The picture of Dorian Gray’. Then, I read the book synopsis and compared it mentally to what I remember of the book. While watching the movie adaptations, I paid particular attention to underlying themes. Of course the main theme is hedonism. Living life with no consequences to bad actions. Lord Henry Wotton was in fact a bad influence on the young impressionable Dorian. In fact, it was Wotton that put such a high value to youth and beauty that made Dorian ‘sell his soul’ so his painting would age instead of him. And it was The special attention of the artist Basil that started Dorian to think his own youth and beauty was deservedly special.

After Dorian came to the realization that his dream or bargain had come true and his picture was changing instead of him that he decided a full life of hedonistic depotchery could be experienced without consequences. Even after the suicide of the woman he loved, and the murder of the man who painted his portrait yet no outside change in his appearance, he decided on an 18 year search for any experience no mater how dark. Drugs and sexual perversions would have no negative consequences on his outer appearance. Those in his presence became almost mesmerized with him much to their ultimate destruction. And yet his painting became a cancerous ugly mass. Like being able to look directly at a mirror that reflects back an image of your soul as he had to live with the discrepancy between his outer purity and his inner depravity, or his outer beauty and inner ugliness.

Now compare this Victorian English novel written in the late 1890’s to America today. In the last seven years or more, we have a minority of citizens that do not like looking in the mirror of their soul. They want to live life of depravity and debotchery with no consequences, just like the young Dorian Gray. Only they can’t cover their painting and hide it from the world so they want the ugliness to be the new normal. They seek to destroy those that point out their souls ugliness like Dorian murdered Basil Hallward. Basil, upon gazing at the ugliness of the painting implored Dorian to seek help to change what had been done. But just as Dorian murdered his friend in a fit of instant rage, those that seek to live a life of depravity will strike at those that point it out.

I instantly think of the law of sin and death.
In I Chorinthians 15:56-58, we read that ‘the sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is the law’ (The New King James). Also, in Romans 8:1&2 ‘There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus. who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the spirit. For the law of the spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death.’ (The New King James) I John 3:4 ‘Whoever commits sin also commits lawlessness, and sin is lawlessness.’ (The New King James).
So let us use simple algebra. Sin = lawlessness. Lawlessness = sin. There is the law of sin and death so sin = death
S = sin
D = death
L = law
L-= lawlessness

so L-=S=D or simply put, L-=D

Dorian Gray lived a life of lawlessness in the eyes of the mirror to the soul, his painting. Those that gazed upon that painting, gazed upon Dorians soul. Those with discernment can gaze upon America today and see its soul. Like Dorian, those with discernment can see the cancerous image reflected back. That reflection is lawlessness. Lady Liberty must be crying at the sight of America today.

In 2 Chronicles 7:14, we read ‘If my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, will forgive their sin and heal their land.’
We have already been given the formula to correct the image of the lawless soul. Step by step God gives us the formula. Humility, prayer, seek God and turn away from lawlessness.

Can you gaze upon your soul without wretching?


The play

I remember in High School in literature class, Mrs. McClaine teaching Sheakespear. I should say try to teach because Sheakespear is written in a foreign language called old english. The words are english but you try to understand a line like “Thrift, thrift Horatio! The funeral bak’d meats did coldly furnish forth the marriage tables”. I, like many other students squeeked by with a C minus…I think.
Well, it was around 1990 that I saw Mel Gibson and Glen Close in a production of Hamlet that got me really interested in that little piglet. I did not understand the language but I could follow the plot from the intensity of the acting. So I bought the play and read it. No help there so I bought the Cliff Notes. That helped a little more so I watched it again then read the college Cliff Notes. All in all I watched it several times, read it several times and finally began to understand the nuances of the play.
Well, it has been well over 20 years and I wanted to see the unabridged production made in 1996 which was over 4 hours long. I have an appreciation for that play and for the plots, sub plots and quips in the play. After watching it again, I focused in on a couple of themes. Hamlet was a smart man that would have been a good leader as his father was. This point was made by Fortinbras at the end of the play. However, Hamlet became obsesed with revenge. Once the ghost of his father told Hamlet that he was murdered by Hamlets uncle, Claudius, and then married Hamlets mother, Hamlet became obsessed with his own idea of justice which was nothing more than revenge. Hamlet himself even fought the idea that the ghost may not have been the ghost of his father but the devil himself sent to distract Hamlet. Confusing isn’t it? But Hamlets thirst for revenge so obsessed him that he sacrificed the woman he loved, the fair Ophelia and his two school friends Guildenstern and Rosencranz (who I think got what they deserved).
The lesson is that revenge becomes an all encompassing cancerous obsession that occupies the mind and saps all of your energy as you sacrifice those that you love and eventually, yourself as well. It isn’t until the end that Hamlet realizes that as he dies from the poisonous bite from the sword of Laertes. We see revenge has also engulfed Laertes as well because he wanted revenge for the death of his father and sister, Polonius and Ophelia (who was driven mad as she saw the man she loved apparently go insane and kill her father, so she committed suicide in her madness).
I also noticed the theme of greed and jealousy. Claudius is the younger brother of the slain King Hamlet. While the King was a leader, his younger brother was a politician who knew how to use eloquent words to persuade people to do things they ought not do. He was so jealous of his brothers power and his wife Queen Gertrude that he murdered his brother the King and married his sister in law so he would become the new leader. His greed and jealousy caused him to fail as a leader and focus only on getting away with his subterfuge, even to finally setting a trap to kill his nephew, Prince Hamlet.
Evil cascades into more evil. The more you get away with, the more you continue to do to cover up what you have done. Think of the energy expelled in maintaining the cover up instead of watching over the country. It can be argued that Fortinbras may not have been able to conquer Denmark had a real leader occupied the thrown, but everyone was focused on Prince Hamlet, Claudius and Queen Gertrude.
Lastly, the idea that death is the great equalizer. How Hamlet observes that the worm cares not weather it dines on the corpse of a lawyer or land owner, king or peasant. We all, at some time die and become dust again. Prince Hamlet wonders if the dust used to make the clay to plug up the bunghole of beer barrels might have been the dust of the great Alexander or Caesar.
We were all born and as such, we will all die. Nobody escapes death. Once dead, you will only be remembered for what you have done and who you have helped. Prince Hamlet remembered fondly the court jester Yorick. The entertainer was not a leader of men or a politician nor a lawyer. Yet Hamlet remembered him with great fondness.
Treat people well and fairly. Do not cheat them or use them but put a smile on their face.
All in all, great lessons for life if you can get past the language. Mrs. McClaine might be proud that I finally read the play or maybe disappointed it took so long to do so. What? Othello? No! One Sheakespearean play is enough, thank you.

Oh, that verse “Thrift, thrift Horatio! The funeral bak’d meats did coldly furnish forth the marriage tables”, I think it means that Prince Hamlet is mad that his father has just died and his mother is already marrying his uncle. There was no mourning period. Literally saying that the leftovers from his fathers funeral is being used at his mothers wedding. Hey, I think I get it.