Posts Tagged ‘Texas’

Christian child

(AP Photo/Hussein Malla)

People occasionally tell me that what I describe as an upside down crazy world is nothing more than me overreacting to everyday events.  Maybe so…  I am passionate about what I believe and about caring for others.  My thought however is that if news stories were puzzle pieces that fit together to form a larger picture, that picture would not be a pleasant one.

My problem in today’s upside down crazy world is that too many of the normal stresses and strains on the cultural fabric that makes up our civilization have been exacerbated by corporate greed and government malfeasance as is exhibited by the reckless borrowing, foolish spending, and cultural degradation of today’s world.

While these trends are not new and have been out of control for decades, the ever increasing rate of deterioration is increasing at an increasing rate.  We are literally witness to a nexus in history, I think.  Americans have been blessed and live comfortable controlled lives, largely protected from the worst tragedies in life.  My concern is that we have surpassed a breaking point and our comfortable existence is now at risk.  None of us care to acknowledge just how serious things like the national debt, an uncontrolled border, corporate theft, or a lawless government are.  We just go on with our lives and hope that things will get better.  Even my family continues to go to work and pay the mortgage.  I am still even contributing to my 401K regardless that I have very little faith that 401Ks will survive what may be coming.

I guess, like many people, I hope I can make it the five and a half more years I need so that I can get my money out of the system and use it to set up the economy I will depend on in retirement.  Sure, I have taken steps to mitigate the risk, but as my characters Catherine, Megan and Annie learned in Phoenix Republic when their comfortable world simply ceased to exist, collapse builds for a long time but takes place in the blink of an eye.

Consider, if you will just a sample of news stories from the past week.  A caliphate now exists in the heart of the Middle East.  Syria, Iraq, and Now Israel are embroiled in fighting.  If you don’t believe that this is a battle for civilization you are living in denial.  Again today another story talks about Christian’s being threatened with the worst possible fates.   ISIS Has a Deadly Ultimatum for Christians

Gov. Rick Perry Says Texas May Soon Take Steps to Secure the Border — With or Without the Federal Government’s Help

(AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

Tens of thousands of desperate people are flooding across the US southern border all but unchecked.  The United States government not only refuses to enforce the law, but is actually encouraging the situation.  States like Texas are now forced not only to careg for the illegal immigrants, but to take extraordinary steps to try to stem the flow by guarding their borders on their own.

Gov. Rick Perry Says Texas May Soon Take Steps to Secure the Border — With or Without the Federal Government’s Help

We have The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) talking about the increase in income disparity between investment holders and wage earners.  As most of us earn and live off of wages in the USA and in Europe the vast majority of citizens are finding it more and more difficult to maintain their standard of living.  The problem is an increasingly out of touch elite class continue to talk about taxing their citizens while ignoring the other half of the equation which means reducing the cost of government.  All the while, the economy continues to decline which also puts pressure on average citizens.  As the article points out there is a point where civil unrest is unavoidable.  The only question is where is that redline?

When life is too broken in too many places it is easy to just give up, but my thought is that even now one must prepare and try to be a blessing for others.  Life will go on even if the current paradigm fails.  All that giving up means is that one will be more dependent and more at risk than otherwise they might have been when that time comes.  Even in a crazy upside down world there are things to live for.  We have family and loved ones to cling to and to protect.  We have faith and we have hope.

What will your world look like in a year, or two, or five?

 

Resources:

http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2014/07/19/isis-to-christians-convert-to-islam-pay-us-leave-or-die/

http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2014/07/17/gov-rick-perry-says-texas-may-soon-take-steps-to-secure-the-border-with-or-without-the-federal-governments-help/

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-07-18/oecd-fears-middle-class-civil-unrest-coming

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Justina Rally

(Photo credit: Keith Mason/Personhood USA)

The interesting thing about writing a blog is that it documents your thoughts, view of life and the world around you from a historical perspective.   In looking back over the past few months, it’s apparent that my outlook is pretty pessimistic.  The truth is there are stories every week about the innate goodness of people.  Americans are standing up for people they don’t even know all the time simply because it is the right thing to do.

Last week thousands of people got involved in the case of Justina Pelletier, a fifteen year-old girl who was essentially kidnapped by Boston’s Children’s hospital because doctors at Children’s disagreed with the doctors at Tufts Medical Center about the girl’s diagnosis.  Regardless that both hospitals are renowned medical institutions Boston’s Children’s Hospital violated the parents’ rights to make decisions for their child.  In an incestuous arrangement with the Massachusetts Department of Children and Families, custody of the girl was given to Children’s.  Only when thousands of Americans began calling state representatives and the hospital did the Children’s back away.  The world is a dangerous place, but when we stand together we can make miracles happen.

The primary point of writing these articles has been to relate current events to my novel.  Phoenix Republic is economic collapse story and thus it does have some dark moments.  It also has its share of hopeful elements, however.  While I wouldn’t try to make the case that I am Mary Sunshine, I really don’t think of myself as a pessimist either.  I think it’s important to talk about what current events might mean to every day Americans.  Yes, I am very concerned about Americans holding onto our freedom.  I lament that our form of government is being fundamentally transformed.  What was designed as a republic is rapidly morphing into something that resembles an Oligarchy, ruled by elitists, who are quite certain they know what is best for all of us.  Yes, I believe that the United States, as Republic of free men and women is in danger, but I also believe in Divine Providence.  I also believe that more Americans are waking up and standing up every day.  While the present disaster that is our current state of affairs in America is disconcerting and the country is in trouble, Americans are an amazing people.  If we can win enough hearts and minds to embrace freedom over collective coercion, we can once again reestablish America as a free country.

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This week I watched Frank Crapra’s  Meet John Doe.  Watching this wonderful old black and white film, made me realize how there is nothing new under the sun.  The movie is set in the Great Depression.   It is about an elitist progressive class working to corrupt a freedom movement that sprang up out of a newspaper stunt.  What’s wild is that I realized that I was really watching a current events movie.  While the times are dire, Americans, pulling together realize that they can make a difference, regardless of overwhelming odds.

We may be have two distinct cultures as I wrote about in A Tale of Two Americas, but even the approximately forty percent of progressive America still have our traditions in common with those of us who are inclined to be self-reliant and want to be free of government overreach.  The vast majority of us desire the same things.  We want an equitable country where everyone has a chance at living a good life.  Americans differ on how to achieve these goals, but at least the fundamental underpinnings of American life is something with which we can all agree.  My belief is that Americans are basically good, regardless of the superficial arguments made in Washington DC and in the media.  There may be progressives in the establishment political parties that wish to keep Americans at each other’s throats so that they can hold onto power, but I believe the truth will prevail in the end.  The whole reason for writing Phoenix Republic is to remind readers that each of us has it within us to achieve greatness.  Working together, even a small minority of committed men and women, determined to live free, can impact the hearts and minds of a nation.

The issue we run into in the United States is that we are all human, and we all have human weaknesses.   Progressives believe that citizens must be collectively forced to behave in a way that is beneficial to society while the freedom movement is about believing in individuals to make those decisions based on individual morals.  I often mention that the country is too broken in too many places to fix and that the social contract has been shattered.  While I believe this is true I also think that where there is life there is hope.  Over the past few months I have posted and pontificated at length about any number of gloomy news stories.   What I am thinking today is that while Phoenix Republicis about a dark economic future, but it is also about family and pulling together.  It is about standing on principle for what is right.  It is about faith and loving one’s neighbor.  To prevail over really bad outcomes, we must all find common ground and find ways to live and let live.  The good news is that there are stories every week about the innate goodness of people which show that there people doing what’s right for people they don’t even know.

Additional Resources

http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2014/03/03/good-news-in-the-justina-pelletier-case/

http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2014/03/04/the-8-year-old-boy-who-did-something-incredible-for-a-soldier-now-wants-to-help-other-military-families/

U.S. Capitol. (Image source: Shutterstock.com)

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about two Americas.   Regardless of political persuasion, an honest person would likely agree this is true.  If you are like me, you don’t like that this is true, but it is.  Socialist America is dominant today, but many Americans believe the progressives have pushed too hard.  With over regulation, they have intruded too far into our lives, and with quantitative easing along with trillions (A trillion equals a million millions) of dollars borrowed, they have stolen too much from the American people.

Socialist leaning Americans don’t seem to care, but I suspect that many of these Americans simply don’t understand for what they are advocating.  They are by and large good people who care for others.  Like any of us, these Americans want everyone to have a better life.  They want good paying jobs, healthy food, and safe place to live for people everywhere.  I know that I want these things for everyone.  The problem is how to accomplish this goal, and what the unintended consequences might be.  The real issue is that progressive leaders in both parties have lied for so long and mischaracterized so many issues that honest debate is all but impossible today.  Democrats like Harry Reid and Barack Obama have called leaders of the Freedom Movement any number of names and blamed them for anything and everything negative that has taken place in this country in recent years.  What many Americans may not realize however is that Republicans like John McCain, Mitch McConnell and Orrin Hatch are saying the exact same sorts of things about the Freedom Movement and its leaders.   Instead of thinking about the political fabric in America in only dimension, left and right, may I suggest a two dimensional model?  Both Democrats and the Republican establishment are more interested in controlling people than they are about doing what is right for the country.  I believe that what we are seeing is the birth of a new paradigm.  The national conversation of import now, is the debate around authoritarianism versus libertarianism, or if you like, being managed by so-called experts versus freedom and self-governance.

In Phoenix Republic, Americans in the novel were involved in their day to day live to day lives.  Like most of us, those who cared about politics typically thought of it as a Republican versus Democrat team sport.  What is interesting is what happens when people are really pushed up against a wall by circumstances.  Characters in the novel learned that whatever team they supported politically, it did them little good when reality overwhelmed the narrative provided by the media and elites in the political-industrial complex.

We are indeed two Americas!  Unfortunately the media controlled narrative is rarely substantive.  It is a team sport with Americans on either side of the debate more interested in playing gotcha and blaming the other side for all evils, either perceived for real.  America is a great a noble nation, populated by amazing people.  At least Americans are amazing people when we want to be.  Far too often however it is too easy to shirk our duty because we have bills to pay and kids to look after.  Life’s a challenge in the best of times.  All I know is that we are approaching a nexus in history.  I can feel it in the events that take place each day.  I can see it in the attitudes of our countrymen and women.

If we can’t talk honestly about things as men like Senators Mike Lee and Ted Cruz are trying to do, then I want a divorce!  I am not saying that the country should split up but rather that we need to find a way to give states back more sovereignty.  The federal government should do dramatically less and states whose citizens wish it can do more.  Socialism should be a state by state decision, not something forced on all three-hundred million people at gunpoint.

I don’t bear socialist Americans any ill will, but I cannot live with them. I get that life isn’t perfect, but socialism is slavery. Americas have all been turned into slaves of the corporate / political class. Political elites, acting for GE or Chase bank or any other Wall Street entity have stolen my children and grandchildren’s money and future. Some say what we have isn’t working. That is true. What they don’t realize however is that what we have is socialism and not capitalism. Trillions of government dollars stolen from ordinary Americans and given to bail out the corporate elites and billionaires is just evil. It simply cannot continue.

If you even possibly agree with any of this article, share it with others.  It is so critical that Americans begin really discussing how we can best be governed.  We must find a peaceful way to live free. I refuse to bend to socialist slavery, even if my brother and sister Americans demand it, even if those I love insist on it.  The beauty of the American experiment is that we don’t have to.  The answer to our dilemma was designed into our constitution by the founders.  Federalism is the key.  States whose citizens want government managing their lives can be paternalistic while states that embrace individual freedom can exist free of government overreach.  We just have to accept that we are different people and stop trying to force others to exist under our paradigm.

Additional Resources:

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2013-11-02/how-world-really-works-documentary  (Editor’s note:  I am not sure how I feel about this video.)  I agree that political and corporate elitist are working together against the best interest of the United States.  I am not sure that this video advocates for collectivism, but I did see some collectivist themes presented.  Regardless, it is good food for thought.  Things are changing fast.  It is imperative that we know what is happening around us.

http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2013/10/30/this-is-what-the-fed-had-to-say-today-about-its-multibillion-dollar-policies/  It seems clear that the current system is in trouble.  It is a time in history that we must all be really awake.

Come and Take It I had dinner with a colleague on Friday who was visiting Texas from another state.  With her was her dear friend who was visiting the US from England.  My dinner companions were very nice; we a lovely time and the discussion was lively.  I was intrigued when at one point the discussion moved to the Second Amendment and the right of Americans to defend themselves, if necessary, with deadly force.  This same spirit of self-reliance was seen by freedom loving Americans this week standing up for the Second Amendment  in front of the Alamo.

Our English dinner companion appeared to be a little surprised to learn that in Texas is isn’t at all surprising for average citizens to routinely carry a weapon as they go about daily affairs.  I explained that although many Texans don’t carry a weapon daily, most of us do believe it is our individual and personal responsibility to defend our lives and property.  It is not only our right to defend ourselves, but it truly is a duty to defend not only ourselves, but those around us as well.  In effect, the individual citizen truly is the “First Responder.”  In our republic the citizen is supposed to be an active participant in governance and in self-defense.

She asked a couple of questions before sharing a story about a man in England, who as I write this article, is standing trial for killing someone who broke into his home.  It occurred to me that the difference between this situation happening in England and the same event happening in Texas is all about how citizens in each culture view things.  Moreover, it goes to the root of the disconnect individualist and collectivist Americans have in how we view the world.  In authoritarian governments, such as exist in much of Europe including England, people have become subjects dependent on the government for their needs, including their safety.

From a cultural perspective there really are two Americas today.  While there still are millions of Americans who believe we are individually responsible for ourselves, our prosperity, and in fact for defending the lives of our families, there is an ever increasing number of Americans who see the world very differently.  This other American culture has a collective viewpoint.  This perspective is oriented specifically to the idea that someone else is responsible for their well-being.  These people are comfortable with government defending their lives and property, making economic decisions that impact their lives, and even in making medical decisions regarding who lives and dies.

To be brief, some people are only comfortable in the role of a child and desperately desire to have someone else in the role of the parent.  They want someone else, an expert perhaps, to be responsible.  While this analogy is probably a little derisive to those holding a collectivist viewpoint, I really don’t intend it to be.  I am only using the parent – child metaphor to highlight the relationship regarding who holds responsibility for a person’s well-being.  Going back for a moment to our English connection, consider the historical idea of a King being sovereign over his subjects as contrasted to the American concept of a Republic where citizens are sovereign.  America was constructed around the idea that men and women are capable of ruling themselves.  Think about it.  Regardless of where your comfort level is concerning your individual responsibility for your own welfare you cannot serve two masters.  You are either sovereign or you are not.  At the end of the day you can be responsible for your life, or you can delegate that responsibility.

The problem America has today is that we want to think we are free, but too many of us don’t really want the responsibility.  Face it, life is tough.  Life is scary and bad things can and do happen to good people.  For many of us, it is comforting to think that there is a government safety net for those who need it.  My point today isn’t about how to best achieve the best result with regard to public assistance, but rather about the ownership of decision making.  By its very nature the government accrues to itself the decision making authority that should belong to the individual.  It is only fair for those paying the bills to make the rules, right?  Anyone care to guess how many times we might have heard this line growing up:   “As long as you live under my roof, you will do as I say!”

How many conversations have you had with someone about some tragedy or another, where someone will say, “The government should do something about…”  That is the child within each of us that wants mommy and daddy to make the world right.  When I look at the world today, what I see is a nation, the vast majority of which are nice hard working people who genuinely want to stop others from hurting or in some cases even from facing the consequences from their own behavior.

When debating someone about the Second Amendment and gun-control, I often have someone ask me why I need a weapon, or if not that, why an assault rifle.  The obvious reply is the Constitution of the United States guaranteed my right to any weapon I can afford, but that doesn’t address the person’s core issue.  What they are really saying is that they have trust issues with other people in society having the right to a weapon.  Most of these people are really nice and only want violence to end.  They have ceded the right to self-defense to government and with it their responsibility to defend themselves.  They have faith that someone else will be capable of defending them.  They believe that if only guns were not allowed the violence would end.   Presenting statistics that prove America has an extremely low gun violence rate, once you factor out gang-related murders in cities with absolute gun control in force, is meaningless because of the emotional impact of tragedy’s hyped by the media.  These horrific events are just too great for them to cope with emotionally.  It makes them nervous when they see someone who still embraces their God-given rights.  Regardless that a criminal will not adhere to the law, they simply want mommy and daddy to make them feel safe.  It is tragic to see the results of what a crazy person with a weapon can do, and all of us just want it to end.  Many Americans simply want to feel safe and that someone is caring for them.  The same emotion applies to the government’s so-called war on poverty or the government’s takeover of medical care.  This week’s battle in Washington DC over healthcare clearly illustrates that many Americans have outsourced the responsibility and the duty to care for themselves to government.  They don’t want to have to think about any facts, they just want their lives to continue without any impact from reality.

The differences in this country are not about Republicans or Democrats, they are about world view.  In Phoenix Republic Americans must learn to cope with what to do in a world where mommy and daddy cannot be trusted to help them.  If you pick up the novel, let me know how you would react in the same situation as Megan, Annie or Kate.  The point of the story is about individuals maintaining their dignity and their faith in challenging times.  Even without an economic disaster, all of us face hard times at one point or another.  Maybe it is a good idea to think about how we would want to react as people and as Americans.

Additional Resources:

http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2013/10/19/thats-what-americas-about-armed-gun-rights-activists-rally-at-the-alamo/

http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2013/10/14/food-stamp-glitch-leaves-walmart-shelves-bare-like-a-tornado-had-came-through/

Phoenix Republic - The Lone Star Gambit

A novel about adversity and personal redemption.

Phoenix Republic is a political thriller describing an economic pivot point that follows three sisters as they struggle with the destruction of Western culture’s credit driven way of life.  Following an economic collapse and the fall of the U.S. dollar, three women from Texas each struggle to overcome personal failings as they make their way back home to the Texas ranch where they grew up.