Relationships and Communication

An important part of life is developing relationships. A critical element in any relationship is communication, and it happens at all levels and stages of the life process!  Like most other things in life . . . sometimes it is good, other times it is not so good; sometimes folks are made to feel good, sometime someone walks away scared.

Over recent days, I have been involved in a number of conversations . . . some pleasant, some not so pleasant . . . I have also observed others in conversations . . . I have also talked with one person in a fractured relationship where all conversation has ceased and there is now anger, doubt, distrust, and pain.  I ache for her . . . I want to find a way to help her and her family.

A while back the phone rang . . . it was Ali and Abi . . . wanting to Face Time!  I delighted in the fellowship with them (honestly, I always delight in them).  They both loved and enjoyed the attention and love, and consequently ended up squabbling a bit over air-time and Mom had to step in and settle it down.  She did it well.  After we finally said our goodbyes, I thought about relationships and how important communication is.  I prayed for these beautiful little sisters as they grow up to become dearest friends.  As I thought about it all, I scribbled some notes as I thought about it:

The Three A’s . . . They make us better!




These three A’s are like high-octane gasoline that makes the human spirit run at optimum capacity!  They are the essential ingredients that convey love from one person to another.  In fact, when they are absent, a person tends to become defensive . . . and tries not to let anyone in. Here is what each one looks like:

 Acknowledgement: Being willing to accept and agree that the other person is having the experience they say they are having.  If the person says that he or she is not feeling well, then you must acknowledge it.  In fact, the more you acknowledge and validate it, the more they will trust you!  Everyone wants someone to understand how they feel. Yet, oftentimes when we try to explain or express how we feel, we get advice . . . and all we really wanted and needed was simple acknowledgement. 

Acceptance:  We all need to learn to simply accept each other . . . just the way we are . . . not the way we want or hope they will be.  We must accept each other: warts, wigs, worries, wants, and weeds.  The Bible assures us that God loves each of us . . . and that He loves us just the way we are!  It also testifies that He loves us too much to leave us the way we are!  But changing us is His business . . . our business is to acknowledge and accept each other as we are . . . and then as He changes us over time!  We all get a makeover . . . with God!  It Seems to me . . . when one feels accepted, he is motivated to do his best!  Yet, how often do we affirm the very behavior we don’t want to see, while neglecting the behavior we do want to see?  We talk about what they are doing wrong and neglect to talk about what they are doing right.

Appreciation:  The art of expressing to the other person what you like about him or her.  “I really like how you do that!”  Do it often . . . Do it sincerely . . . Do it as a compliment . . . Do it in an encouraging fashion . . . Do it in a positive and genuine manner.  Build up others . . . remember, there are plenty of others busy trying to tear them down.

There are 5 levels of conversation; and considering these three A’s, think about how they play into relationships.

Level One: Frivolous Level . . . It happens like this: “The Cowboys won” . . . “The Texans Lost” and “Looks like rain”; Simple, everyday conversation that does little for anyone.

Level Two: Factual Level . . . It happens like this: Simply the sharing of information, like a newscaster does.  Not talking about who got beat, but talking about how badly they got beat; uses lots of facts, stats, and technical data.

Level Three: Fellowship Level . . . That place where we are willing to talk about our ideas, beliefs, and philosophy.  This is the level where we begin intellectual intimacy . . . where we risk sharing our thoughts, without first knowing how the other person will respond.

Level Four: Feeling Level . . . We begin to feel emotional intimacy by talking about what we believe, our hopes, fears, insecurities, dreams, and aspirations.  We only share these things with people we believe can accept and appreciate how we feel.

Level Five: Freedom Level . . . Two people who have grown to the point where they can completely and comfortably share their deepest needs, feelings, and concerns . . . all the while knowing that they will be respected, affirmed, and received.

Communication . . . it is critical . . . but it is certainly a challenge!

Relationships . . . are important . . . but they take work, respect, and wisdom!

Emergency Notifications . . .

She began receiving a series of emergency notifications sent to her iPhone as alerts . . . all of which had a call to action.  The messages were along the lines of:

KIDS’ NOSE DOCTOR: The kids have stuffy noses and they need a good doctor to help.  KIDS’ NOSE DOCTOR: A bug got up the kid’s nose.  Help is needed to get it out!

LITTLE THROAT DOCTOR: Sallie needs her throat checked.  She asked if we could please take her to the hospital.  LITTLE THROAT DOCTOR: I have swallowed a big bug and need to have it taken out.  LITTLE THROAT DOCTOR: HELP! We need a throat doctor! LITTLE THROAT DOCTOR: My throat is hurting. Could you please take me to the hospital?

LITTLE EAR DOCTOR: There are some problems with my ear and I need to go to the ear doctor.

FACE PAINT: The babies are going to the fair tonight and need your help to paint their faces. FACE PAINT: Come help all the babies paint their faces.  FACE PAINT: The babies are playing dress-up and need help painting their faces.

FOOT SPA: Foot spa is ready. It’s time to change our toenail polish.  FOOT SPA: Foot spa is ready; let’s make our nails more beautiful now!

PET DOCTOR: The dogs need their shots. 

Nana (a/k/a Sandy) called chuckling telling me about the messages.  She was really laughing. Here is how it happened. Ali loves to play with our iPhones and iPads.  Nana let her play with her phone on our last visit.  While she had use of Nana’s phone, Ali downloaded a number of different games and Apps she found appealing (did I mention how darn smart that kid is?) onto Nana’s phone. After we came home and a few days passed with no activity, the games and Apps began sending messages to Ali.  Some of those messages are identified above.

Sandy and I delight in being grandparents!  It is a great experience.  We have been accused of spoiling the girls.  We confess our guilt and defend ourselves with the bold statement: “It is our job! We are and have always been people who do our job and we do it well!  We are not about to stop that life-long practice anytime soon.”

I wonder what our grandparents would think of grand-parenting today and the technology.  Of course, everything was quite different when I was a small child and folks just didn’t live as long as we are today.  All of my grandparents passed away when I was quite young and I have only a few personal memories of them, and that makes me sad.  I feel as if something special was lost.

Just thinking . . .

Boris . . . the Russian

The first time I saw the guy, I just naturally liked him.  There was simply something quite likeable about him.  He was short, rather scuffy looking, and in need of both a haircut and a change of clothes. He carried that old, beat up guitar around like a baseball bat, and had a quick smile.  Without a word being exchanged, you simply knew this dude had been around and had something clicking.  Like Yogi used to say, “Just a little smarter than the average bear,” and that is true about Boris.

Trying to do the Lord’s work can place one in situations to meet a lot of folks, all of which are living at various levels of the food chain.  Ministering at a place like Charlie’s Place places one in a situation to meet many folks who are living at or very near the bottom of that food chain. That was certainly true with Boris.  Charlie’s Place is a halfway house and those participating in the program are trying to get cleaned up and deal with an addiction that has had a troubling effect on their lives.  Most all of the participants have children, a spouse, siblings, and parents in the shadows, and everyone is confused and hurting.  Their lives are just a mess. The group I/we minister to walks in on Saturday night and we tell them that God loves them in spite of what they have done.  We tell them that, amazingly, God loves them just like they are . . . but He also loves them too much to leave them the way that they are.  We tell them that He can . . .

. . . turn their struggle . . . into triumph;

. . . turn their mess . . . into a message;

. . . turn their defeat . . . into victory;

. . . turn their stain, chain, and pain . . . into gain; and

. . . turn their wrong . . . into a song.

We tell them that God not only knows where they are . . . in geography, but that He worked it out for them to be there, and we honestly believe that He sent us to check on them.  We gently talk about some of the dangerous situations in which they have placed themselves (drunk driving, dark night back alley transactions, compromising their own honor and integrity trying to satisfy the addiction, etc.) and we talk about the Giver of life, the Sustainer of life, and the Protector of life—and how it is a miracle that they are even still alive and present on that Saturday night.  It is pitiful to watch their heads bow and their eyes dart down as they consider the reality of that truth and remember those terrible things.

We tell them that God knows exactly where they are spiritually, and yet, He declares that He stands and knocks on their heart’s door . . . wanting to enter in and fix them and set them free from their hopeless existence and put them on the road of life abundant.

We tell them that God knows exactly where they are relationally, and we tell them that God ordained both relationships and the family and that He has a marvelous track record of fixing fractured relationships and restoring dysfunctional families.

It was in this place . . . this setting . . . this situation . . . where I met my friend Boris.  It has been interesting to learn his story.  Here is part of it.

With the end of the Cold War, and the dissolution of the USSR, many citizens of that communist region were permitted to leave the motherland, and come to the brave new world.  Boris was one such immigrant; yet, he soon learned that his problem, his life struggle, his addiction could not be overcome simply by a change in geography.  Those painful things could only be changed from within.  Our group was able to introduce Boris to the One who could meet his needs and help him change . . . not only who he is, but also change what he does.

He carries that ugly, old, beat-up guitar around for a reason . . . the dude can play it and sing, and he will do both anytime, anywhere he is asked.  The dude loves all things Elvis . . . and his specialty is doing Elvis inspirational songs (and in spite of a heavy Russian accent, he actually does quite well).  One evening Doc Edwards pointed out to me that Boris should not be able to play a guitar . . . he went to work drunk one morning, and put his left hand into a table saw and lost the ends of the fingers of his left hand; yet, he certainly can use those nubs to play chords!

He has been many places and done many things since arriving in the USA in the early 1990’s.  As much as I like him, it is obvious that he has always been something of a hustler . . . on both sides of the ocean.  In fact, I learned just last week that soon after his arrival, he met some folks connected with a Seventh Day Adventist school near Dallas (where Sandy’s dad had gone to school more than 60 years ago). The school had given him a scholarship and had put his photo on the cover of its magazine as “Our First Russian Convert.”  After some discussion, he confessed that he had lost the scholarship and was asked to leave the school because he was bringing beer into the dorm and selling it to the younger students.

Yet, I am amazed at what I am seeing take place in Boris’ life.  He is certainly experiencing a variety of new challenges and struggles, but he successfully completed the program at Charlie’s Place and has been living clean outside for over six months now.  I don’t believe that he has missed one Saturday night at Charlie’s Place since he was released.  He not only shows up, but he is always eager to stand up, speak up, and fess up . . . and to play and sing something from Elvis’ Gospel collection.  Boris has become an inspiration for the new participants . . . they all think the dude is rich with his little gray Camaro; his job; his sweet girlfriend, Tammy; and his freedom.   Perhaps they are right, all things considered!

When asked about the first time he tasted alcohol, he says it was as a baby, as his grandmother kissed him and the vodka from her lips touched his lips.  Boris comes from both a family and a nation that struggles with alcohol, but today he is a new creature in Christ and he has a new family!

I am debating bringing Boris into the company and putting him on the payroll.  I am just trying to determine if I have enough energy to stay out ahead of the rascal!


Funny . . .

I am not sure why I do, but I enjoy FaceBook; I just enjoy the social media thing.  My primary interest is keeping in touch with family and friends who I don’t get to see often.  I enjoy the photos posted (well, except all of the dogs and cats photos, but I suffer through them knowing that folks love their pets).  I enjoy most of the photos of the people I see posted.  There are occasionally good, helpful, and even inspirational posts, which I also enjoy.  Sometimes there are personal opinions . . . some of which I like and some I don’t care for much.  Sometimes there are some really rude, stupid, and even vulgar posts, which I find offensive and pity the one who posted.  Some posts are charming, others are informative, and others are tattle tales (my darling wife announces to the world where and when we have dinner together with a bunch of other information, most of which ought to be kept private).  And then . . . there will be a post that just makes me burst out in laughter.  I love those.

Here is one I discovered last week . . . and I found it quite funny!

13        13        13        . . . it went like this . . .  

As I walked along the sidewalk in front of the State School, I heard a loud chant of, “13…13…13,” from what I envisioned to be a large crowd of people behind the fence.  I was curious about it, but was unable to investigate because, for some mysterious reason, there were many sheets of plywood attached to the metal fence that surrounded the home.  Finally, I spied a knot-hole in the plywood and took a peek.  Just as I put my eye to the hole, some idiot jabbed me in the eye with a sharp stick.  Dang, that really hurt!  Immediately, the chant changed to: “14…14…14.”

Face Book is much like what Forrest Gump’s mama said about life, “it is like a box of chocolates, and you never know what you are gonna get.”  But, the difference is that you can turn FaceBook off, while life just keeps on moving!



Mama’s House . . .

This morning I received a text from my dear friend, Donna Burnett, in which she said, “We had a houseful here yesterday.  Good food and lots of fun.”  Of course, yesterday was Easter and Donna is a mom and grandmother who is truly skilled at accommodating and serving a large family, and she does it beautifully.  Donna and Neal spend much of the winter months on the coast and return to Plainview for the spring, summer, and fall.  Donna had announced to the family last week from Rockport that they would be home in time for Easter . . . and that is just what they did; and the family gathered at Mama’s house.

As I reflected on her message and the thought of that precious family gathering around a table of food she had lovingly prepared and their rejoicing over the miracle of the resurrection, it took me back in time when my large family would gather at my mom’s house.  It made me a bit sad as I thought about it and how things have changed through the years. 

Then my thoughts turned to what wise women Dorothy and Sandy are and how much I appreciate both of them and their vision.  They have jumped through some hoops and made some sacrifices (and made me jump through a few hoops, too) trying to create a place and an environment where our family can continue with that family tradition.  I look forward to that time, and it actually is not far off! Sandy’s house remodel is nearing completion and . . . Dorothy’s house is pretty much perfect (after I help get the back yard back in shape); the possibilities are endless! For years we have hosted the July 4th celebration in our coastal home and have taken everyone out on Aftermath for a boat ride, dinner, and fireworks-show over the water; but, with Aftermath being sold, perhaps we might just start a new tradition in Burnet!

There is no place like Mama’s house for the holidays . . . I am glad that Dorothy and Sandy are both mamas!


Another Terrible Tragedy . . .

Monday in Overland Park, an upscale suburb of Kansas City, MO, a nut-case with a shotgun, killed three innocent people, including a 14-year-old boy and his grandfather . . . His Motivation?  None . . . other than ignorance, prejudice, and hatred.

The shooter, 73-year-old Frazier Glenn Cross (Miller), was arrested by police and is scheduled for an initial hearing this afternoon. Mr. Cross has a long history of being a white-supremacist and a former Ku Klux Klan leader (once the subject of a nationwide man-hunt).  Reports are that he had posted online ranting such as “No Jews, Just Right.” 

What should society do with people like this man?  The death penalty?  At his age?

I would argue that he be given a life sentence of scrubbing and tending to a Jewish cemetery . . . all the while required to learn the names, family members, and the story of each person buried there.  If he refuses to cooperate, then he is denied food, water, bathing, a bed . . . just a few of the things he denied to the three individuals he shot in cold blood yesterday.

The ugly and evil three . . . ignorance, prejudice, and hatred . . . Oh, the untold damage the devil has caused the human race with these three!

The police said Mr. Miller fired the shotgun outside the Jewish Community Center of Greater Kansas City around 1 p.m. on Sunday, killing William L. Corporon, 69, a physician, and his 14-year-old grandson, Reat Underwood, who was auditioning that day for a singing competition.

The authorities say Mr. Miller drove from the community center to a nearby Jewish assisted-living complex, Village Shalom, where he fatally shot Terri LaManno, 53, an occupational therapist who was visiting her mother. He was charged with premeditated first-degree murder in Ms. LaManno’s death.

It seems to be too crazy to be true . . .

Most every family has its very own family remedies . . . most of which have been handed down from one generation to the next.  This is especially true in both the South and rural areas.  My family certainly has had a number of remedies; and, frankly, it was important that we did because we simply never had money to spend with doctors or pharmacies.  Some of the remedies were just awful . . . one in particular was Castor Oil, which my mom believed to be the cure-all!

I suppose much of the thing with these remedies had to do with being a caring parent with an ailing child and limited resources.  It was at least an effort to help and show concern.  I learned a new remedy last night, and it is too crazy to even be true; but, it honestly is!

For the past year I have had a great deal of lower-back pain.  I mean intense pain that really limited my ability to walk.  The pain ran from my lower back (which felt like it was on fire), down through my buns and into my hamstrings.  The pain literally tried to pull me to the ground. In desperation, I visited two different Chiropractors and I bet I spent $2,500 on those visits and adjustments.  I had a few massages, and bought a variety of products that were highly recommended.  The pain would come and go.

Sandy scheduled service on her car and asked me to drive it in to Corpus.  I agreed to do that and yesterday was the day.  When I arrived at the dealership, they said they had scheduled a loaner for me.  It was a small car (BMW 325i 4-door sedan).  As I got into the car, my back caught on fire . . . terrible pain.  I drove across town and was barely able to get out of the car, and then to even walk.  Ugh . . .

I finally got home, took some pain pills, and headed to the pool to work out the pain. The pills and the work-out helped, but when I got out of the pool at 6:00 p.m. and dressed, the pain returned.  Sandy and I had scheduled a 6:30 p.m. dinner with friends at the Yacht Club, and I was concerned that I would not even be able to climb the stairs into the Club.  My instinct was to try to cancel, but it was to be our farewell dinner with our dear friends, Neal and Donna Burnett, as they plan to return home on Sunday and won’t return to the Coast until October.  I met Neal and Donna in the parking lot and we entered the Club together.  Of course they noticed my painful and restricted movement, and we discussed the struggles of aging.  Soon Sandy joined us and we were seated.  As we ordered dinner, Neal asked for honey mustard dressing on his salad. As the conversation resumed, Neal said that he often woke during the night with intense cramping in his legs, and he would hobble to the frig and take a spoonful of honey mustard dressing.  He assured us that by the time he returned to bed his cramping was gone.  Sandy and I chuckled and asked how on earth he had ever made such a connection?  He replied that someone had told him about it.  Now, it is pretty important that one understands that while Neal is a great fellow, he does have a colorful sense of humor and has been known to do some leg-pullin’ through the years.  Yet, Donna is a precious and serious lady and can be trusted in all matters.  She readily verified the story as being true.  Her word was good enough for me.  I turned to the waiter and asked for a serving of honey mustard dressing.  In just a moment it was placed on the table.  Just knowing that I was being hustled, I took a spoonful of it and placed it in my mouth.

I know it is too crazy to be believed, but in less than 10 minutes my back pain was gone . . . and I mean G O N E!  This morning my back feels as good as it did when I was a kid!!

Here is the only way I can get my mind around this thing:

  1. My back pain has obviously been being caused by cramps:
  2. There is some ingredient in honey mustard dressing that has a powerful and sudden impact on cramps; and
  3. By golly, some home remedies do actually work!


Thanks Neal!  I am sorry that I laughed.  I will always remember and use your magic cure, and will always tell folks I learned it from you.

Just one more reason I love you, my friend!



Not just an everyday lunch . . .

I was working-out and looked up and saw him limping toward the pool.  I had been encouraging him to come and work out following his accident, and he had been talking about coming and said he thought it just might benefit him . . . but he seemed to always have an excuse.  As I watched him approach, I thought, “perhaps,” but then I realized that he was empty-handed, so I understood that he didn’t intend to get into the pool.  As he neared, he pulled a chair close to the pool and plopped down.  He said he had come to observe and check it out.  His visit was simply a matter of research.  As he sat there, he announced that he thought it just might be a good thing to get a sun tan, so he proceeded to pull his pants legs up to his knees, and he leaned back to soak up the sunshine.

As the hour of 2:00 arrived, I told him that there was a lady’s aerobics class scheduled to meet between 2:00 and 2:45 and perhaps we ought to leave for a while as that particular group of ladies tend to feel they own the pool and it is simply better if I excuse myself from their scorn as they reflect their sense of infringement on their time and space (it is really not their pool, nor do they have exclusive use, but they act as if both are true).

Seeming reluctant to leave after hearing that there was a group of ladies on their way, he asked where we might go.  Knowing that he has not been eating properly, I said we could go to Charlotte Plumber’s and have a bowl of shrimp gumbo.  That pleased him and I told him I would run to the locker room, change, and come back and get him. All the while I was away I  hoped that leaving him unsupervised at pool side for ten minutes with a pool full of women didn’t prove to be an error in judgment.  The simple truth is one never knows with Charlie!

I returned and things were okay, so we walked to my car and I drove to Charlotte Plumber’s.  As we entered, the hostess greeted us and asked about our seating preference.  Ever in charge, Charlie quickly announced that we “wanted a table by a window overlooking the bay.”  So she took us back.  As we entered the back room, I saw them sitting, enjoying their lunch.  They were really having a good time.  I was concerned, but agreed to being seated at the table next to them. The older lady in the group had her back to us and was involved in telling her lunch companions a long and detailed story.  As she finished her story, Charlie turned and leaned onto their table, and somberly announced in his loud voice, “I don’t believe one word of it.”  There was instant silence and I thought, “Uh Oh.”  Then suddenly they all busted out in laughter, clapping their hands, and hooting!  One of the ladies looked Charlie in the eye and asked, “Honey, are you married?”

Charlie never hesitated a second and replied, “No Ma’am, I ain’t married but I am going steady with a pretty little gal.”  His declaration set off another round of laughter, and soon we were all new best friends.  We learned that they are from Corpus Christi, had all been or continued to be nurses, and they were there celebrating the older lady’s birthday.  They were celebrating her birthday in style and having great fun.  Their laughter was infectious.  In just a short while we talked about a number of subjects . . . and mainly about some things that are right in the world. We invited them to visit our Church and they genuinely appreciated the invitation.  They responded with an invite for us to visit St. John-the-Baptist Baptist Church with them.  We talked about their good work as nurses.  Then I told them about my friend, Linda Sweet, former First Lady of Mt. Olive Baptist Church, in Snyder!  They delighted in hearing about her and her goings on (what my family affectionately calls “Linda stories”).

We laughed, hooted, hollered, and carried-on for a while.  After a bit, I looked around I discovered that the other diners in the restaurant had all quietly abandoned their own tables and had come to our room and quietly become an audience to our carrying on!  As we brought it to a close, many of the other diners began to applaud our little group.  We all hugged, had a photo session, and said our good-byes.  We had a great time and grand fellowship.


It is amazing what can happen when we choose to ignore all the silly, foolish things that have so often divided people throughout history.  What a sweet thing when we just simply choose to join others in their laughter and happiness.  It is good to be reminded that we have so much for which to be thankful, and one thing that is above all other things is that we know the One who broke down those barriers and walls that have historically divided people and have now made us One . . . with Him being the head!

What a fun lunch!  What a lovely experience!  As we left, I thought about that place in Revelation where Jesus said, “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone will hear my voice and open the door, I will come in and sup with him and he with me.” 

It Seems to me . . . that Jesus expressed something important about the sort of relationship He desires and seeks with us . . . when he used the word “sup” (short for supper) . . . I think He meant our relationship with Him could and should be like the interaction that occurs over a special meal . . . just like the great time Charlie and I had over our lunch with these dear ladies! What is the hold-up on that happening?  It Seems to me . . . that He is simply waiting on us to reach out and get it started, as the Scripture testifies.  He is always ready and waiting with His arms and hands out-stretched in anticipation . . . “aw, the joys we often forfeit.”

I am not sure what I am doing for lunch today . . .

Today is the day . . .

The story is told of a short, bald, rather homely, plump, and nerdy sort of fellow taking a sex therapy class in Southern California.  Of course, as the name suggests the class was for folks having sex problems and those who generally attended the classes could best be described as moody, sour, withdrawn, and self-focused.  However, the little fellow in the story had a bounce in his step, a glint in his eye, a smile on his face, and he walked around humming a tune.  Finally, one of the ladies in the class, exclaimed, “We are unhappy and hurting people. We live with dysfunction and are here seeking help.  Dude, the class is for people with problems!”  The little fellow exclaimed, “Lady, I have problems and they, too, are sexual in nature!  I am married to a woman who only lets me have sex one night a year!”   In shock, the lady asked him, “Then, why are you so darn happy?”  The guy looked her with a wicked smile and replied, “Because today is the day!!”

Here we are April 1, 2014 . . . for good or bad, this is the day that the Affordable Health Care Act becomes the law of the land!  Is it a good thing, or is it a bad thing?  Many argue that it is simply a new wrinkle to socialized medicine.  I am not sure that is accurate, because it seems to me . . . that the meaning of socialized medicine is a system in which the government operates health care facilities and employs the health care professionals.  That model is in place in England (British National Health Service hospital trusts), Finland, Spain, Israel, and Cuba. Another such example is the USA’s Veteran’s Health Administration which provides medical services to veterans in government-owned and operated facilities at no cost to the patient, and with all services, treatments, and medicines being provided by civil servants and paid for by the taxpayers.

The tragedy of this thing that is being called “Obamacare” is that no one even knows what it is or what it does!  We all heard the declaration made in response to a reasonable question being asked about what it is and what it does: “We will just have to pass the bill, so you can find out what is in it,” and that is just exactly what the morons did!  My assessment is not related to the bill itself, but the stupidity of elected representatives passing a law they have not even read, but took the precaution of exempting themselves personally from it.

Where am I on healthcare?  I believe that every American citizen certainly ought to have the right to reasonable medical treatment (it is a tragic thing to be sick and need help, and there is no help to be had).  However, I also believe that the government ought not be permitted to tax one person heavily and use their money to secure medical services for those who spend the bulk of their money on alcohol, tobacco, lotto tickets, and such.

There is a serious dilemma in the USA today over this issue.  So what is the solution?  It Seems to me . . . that there is an equitable, viable, intelligent, and workable solution to the problem . . . but government action, involvement, and dominance in the arena is not the answer.  The truth is that government is inefficient, expensive, wasteful, politically-charged, and constantly manipulated.  Every time in history, without exception, when the government has tried to run anything, it has failed miserably.  Every time!

A few examples: Housing: What the government has done to the housing market is criminal with Fanny and Freddie.  Recent events prove absolute failure.  Look at the Public Housing Program and its history of failure after failure.  Economics: It is also criminal what the government has done to the economy and the value of the dollar with its stupid FIAT system, printing presses, and liberal spending.  Education: The educational system of our nation is pitiful and shameful.  Washington should never determine what the education system is or how it is operated.  Medical Services: The simple truth is that the cost issues we face today are largely the result of government standards in Medicare and Medicaid programs. 

The Solution? I am not certain that we have not already crossed a line from which we can ever recover, but if a recovery is even possible, it will never be achieved by government.  The truth: Anytime in history when this nation faced a mountain, it was the American worker and ingenuity of our free-enterprise system that solved the problem . . . in spite of our fumbling, stumbling, and ineffective government (World War II is a terrific example of that great truth)!

Tragically, over recent years, government domination has discouraged and pushed the American worker and the ingenuity of our free-enterprise system far back into the shadows.  My question today is, “Can they reemerge and come to the rescue once again?”

If not, I suspect that our national goose is cooked!

But, then this is the simple musings of an old country dude ……. But then, I am a dude who is smart enough not to vote on something before I know what it is that I am casting my vote!