Category Archives: history

Just below the surface

​My seven year old son, out of the blue, quivering with tears, just came to ask mom why his parents didn’t want him, and soon after, with the same tears streaming down his face, came to tell me:

“thank you, thank you for adopting me, I’ll always love you, so much”.  

Talk about a tear jerker;  I guess some wounds run deep below the surface even when you don’t see them.

Eliot on the times

Some serious contemplation is required to understand how we ended up with a POTUS like Obama and candidates like Clinton and Trump. 

This is the dead cactus land,
The hollow valley of dying stars,
We are the hollow, stuffed men.

A penny for the old man?
In eyes we dare not meet in dream,
Followed by a whimper.

Where will we go from here?

Render to Caesar.

And this is why I don’t put any faith in our 401k program either: in the end it all belongs to ‘Caesar’ and ‘he’ will do with it as he pleases.

American citizens who do not look to history, I recommend you check this out:  http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/fdr-takes-united-states-off-gold-standard.

This is not new to our country and it will not end here.

if you gave me a handful of rocks and said it was worth a years worth of food, so I took it in payment assuming I could buy food from you with my newly acquired rocks over the next year to stay alive, and then afterwards, you came back and told me the rock was only worth a weeks worth of food and I now came up short by almost a year… who would I blame? True – you were dishonest, but I was foolish.

Our current form of ‘money’ is worth a pile of rocks, and by stock piling rocks, the only thing I’m guaranteed is that someday I’m going to have a pile of rocks.

image

Never a fear of tyranny – from a citizen of America

Has anyone else noticed that with the failure of trying to make the Zimmerman case about race, the liberal media is now running a significantly higher number of stories about gun violence in an attempt to capitalize on fears of the uninformed american people.

Remember when the British tried to disarm us?

It was Noah Webster in a letter to Benjamin Franklin who once said:

“A people can never be deprived of their liberties, while they retain in their own hands, a power superior to any other power in the state… Before standing army can rule, the people must be disarmed; as they are in almost every kingdom in Europe. The supreme power in America cannot enforce unjust laws by the sword; because the whole body of the people are armed, and constitute a force superior to any band of regular troops that can be, on any preten[c]e, raised in the United States (Webster, 1787).”

 

References

Webster, N. (1787). An examination into the leading principles of the federal constitution proposed by the late convention held at philadelphia: With answers to the principal objections that have been raised against the system. Prichard & Hall, in Market Street, the second door above Laetitia Court. Retrieved from Google Scholar.

 

Little house in the Big Woods

When we were children there wasn’t much for entertainment; we had dirt, rocks, sticks and water.  Mix them together and you could make some mighty fine toys.  The closest store was probably 10+ miles away – that doesn’t seem that far by today’s standards, but on bikes or by foot – it was.

The water came from a hand pump well; you’d have to pump and prime it over and over to get anything out – but the water was ice, ice cold, and had a very slight taste of iron… it was a good taste.  Showering involved heating water over a hot stove, and pouring it out of “showering cans”.  I always thought everyone in the world knew what a showering can is – but I’m not so sure now.

The bathroom was a hole in the ground, covered at least by  four walls and a roof – but in the winter or at night it was a daunting, cold or scary undertaking.  At the same time, in summer evenings, it was a great opportunity to sneak out into the night and catch fireflies or raid the garden, although the coyotes, bears, moose and other wild critters that frequently were heard stalking through the night requires great courage to venture forth.

There was very little that we ate that wasn’t grown or raised, that’s just how it was.  The planting, the tilling the weeding the gathering, and the canning.  The vegetables, the rabbits, the chickens, the turkeys, the wild berries, apples, elderberries, blueberries, strawberries.  They were all handpicked, or raked.  I had to help in the butchering, it was part of life.

When it was 20 below outside, it was 20 below inside.  The layers and layers of blankets, cast off when needing to make a run outside to the outhouse; but there was always a warm stove burning in the center of the house built with slat boards and no insulation.

The single pane of glass, frosted over in the winter with cold air creeping through the cracks around the door, around the window, through the wall boards and up through the floor boards.  But the sound of crickets in the summer, like they were sitting in the same room… they probably were.

The root cellar full of fresh vegetables, and lizards; damp, cold, dirt.  Just a whole in the floor of the closet, and a whole dug into the earth.

Life is so much different now than it was then.  Was it better?  It’s hard to say.  You worked hard every day of your life, you slept hard each night.  Our world is a very different place now.  My kids will never understand what life WAS like.  Which brings me to the topic at hand.

I have started reading Little House on the Prairie to my children.  It is amazing the number of emotions it stirs in me, not only as I recall it being read to me when I was a child – we had no other entertainment at night when the sticks and rocks and dirt and water were put away.  But, I remember what it was like to live off the land – Jeremiah Johnson style, I remember what it was like to live in a house that was made of drafty slats, to live in the wild woods, I even, to some extent, remember how hard it was to live – none of the high tech, drive over to the store and run a piece of plastic through a machine and they bring out food prepared and ready to eat.

Not that life today is bad; I’m not sure I could go back to the “good ‘ole days” – but I wonder, sometimes I even yearn for those more simple days.

I am going to love reading this series to my children it makes me homesick for childhood, nostalgic – and perhaps, just perhaps, they will get a small amount of vision as to what life used to be like.

 

 

 

 

What is the real problem behind the “bullying”

Ok – I try not to blog on negative things (too often); and there is a lot of Facebook that I ignore (in fact, most chain posts I ignore); but I really had to comment on the whole “cyber bullying” and the “bullying” conversations that have been very prevalent over the last couple weeks.

Let me start by saying that when I was 10 years old we moved to a new school system and a new town.  First, I was the new kid at an age that is very sensitive to cliques, second I was a nerd (very smart, but a big dork, horrible sense of humor – that I still have to this day and LOVE!), third, we were pretty poor, so my clothes were never stylish, were often worn or second-hand, and if they were ruined (like a pair of shoes I tried to dry in the dryer once) – I had to wear them anyway.

So I was teased, I was bullied, I was made fun of – I was miserable.  I had no friends. I was bored to death at the monotony and foolishness of the public school system.  I was held back, and rarely encouraged.  I was always in trouble due to my boredom and lack of coping mechanisms.  I came home every day and ate handfuls of devil dogs and Twinkies and tons of other junk that we got from a friend that drove a truck for Little Debbie (once the junk was past the sell-by date, they would just give it away).

So, on top of everything else; i got fat, fast!  Once I was fat, there was even more to torment me about.  My blubber, my girl boobs. My lack of skill in sports, on top of that, my asthma meant I didn’t have a chance to ever be considered “cool enough to hang out with”.  It didn’t get any better either – I wasn’t even invited to a graduation party my eighth grade year.  It was a rainy, dreary afternoon, and I came home and cried – because I had no friends.  I hated school, I was miserable and depressed.

Listen, bullying is not new, it has been around since the world began to turn.  The popular or strong pick on the weak or meek.  You know what I did?  The same thing my father did when he was bullied growing up.  I changed my life in my decisions and in my actions; I worked to change everything about my life that I possibly had control over.  I got a full time job at 14 to help buy my own clothes, I started lifting and lost almost 50 pounds, I found a hobby that would interest me despite having no friends; and in the rare instances where the bullying just would not stop: I took care of the problem myself.  You see – I am no stranger to bullying.

There are two types of people in this world:  the people that feel sorry for themselves and do nothing about it, and the people that get up and work to change their circumstances or their own disposition. 

Now, I completely understand the whole conversation about the immature reasoning skills of these young children, and how they are making tragic choices, and in some cases there may also be a clinical side of the issue as well; and trust me, I have a son who has been miserable since the day he was born, and I worry a lot about him, and we work very hard to make sure he is receiving the help and attention and foundation that he needs, and hope by the grace of God, that he will always temper his choices based on the self-worth we have instilled in him. 

But why all of a sudden do we find so many more young people taking their own lives, Why?  Has bullying become worse now than it was in the past?  Absolutely not!  So what has changed? 

Let’s look at the foundation that builds maturity in our children:  their home.  The family is being destroyed from the outside in, and the inside out.

In the family, the divorce rate that continues to rise, the prevalence and increase of pornography, which destroys the bond between husband and wife.  We have families coming apart at the seams all around the country.  Husbands and wives that are so worried and so pressed on all sides for financial needs that both parents are leaving the home, stressing and struggling to continue to uphold the wealth that they have amassed or want to keep or want to gain.  Children are growing up without the foundation of a healthy family, and the pressures, as they have always been, are still there.

If the pressures inside were not bad enough, the family unit is continuously barraged from the outside as well, as things like homosexuality and the challenge of marriage as it was intended from the beginning of humanity are gaining wide spread acceptance and being forced into the minds and hearts of our country.  The immorality and unfaithfulness, the anger and hatred continues to rise in the home as it is pulled apart.

So what are we to do?  Instead of trying to pass laws against bullying (I mean, how stupid can we get!), instead of trying to build martyrs of these children that have made very poor decisions, how about we, as parents become more in tune with our own children, and more in tune with our own families.  The children that are bullying, likely have deep rooted problems that come from the breakdown in their own home.  The children that are being bullied, need to have a strong family foundation for their growth, coping skills and maturation.  So let’s look to make our homes a place where our children can feel comfortable in their growth and finding themselves.

Outside of the home, why don’t we vote for government officials, and laws that will support real family values and help cultivate the integrity and foundation that children need inside of their families, rather than tear them down and destroy them. 

For the children, let’s stop trying to define them by their faults:  If they are liars, or perpetually stealing, or being spiteful, hateful, or desiring (or struggling with) homosexuality, if they think they are fat, or “ugly”, or “slow”, if the family unit is poor; these things provide all the more reason for children to receive our love and support as they work through them in their childhood. 

Please understand too, that parents should not just be about “letting their kids be who they want to be” – It is possible to direct and steer our children towards healthy lifestyles and choices, but still love them and value them in their humanity.   

In the end, If these children have a solid family foundation, if they know they are loved and appreciated and valued by their family, if they receive careful and dedicated medical help when it is required, no matter their lot in life, no matter how miserable they are in the way they are treated, they will feel comfortable in talking with their parents, and seeking parental advice; and parents who are active and engaged can be there for them to help them work through the hardships of their growing years.

I will not boast or brag about how my situation growing up has positively shaped where I am today, but I can tell you that the bullying that I had to endure made me tougher, more resilient and prepared me for the life that was out there beyond the walls of the school.  I can’t say that I would love to relive it over again, but at this point, I can say: “Thanks for making me who I am today!” and to my parents, who instilled in my the understanding of the value of human life (including my own), “Thanks”, and to the Lighthouse that stands on the hill that has continued to guide me every step of the way – Maranatha!

r/Darth Jedi

Quid Est Veritas

Why did the Greeks Analyze and Critique their religion?


Philosophy from its inception has always tried to answer the quintessential question “Why is there something, rather than nothing” as well as the famous question of the Roman governor Pontius Pilate “Quid est Veritas?” (What is truth?). Our reading also describes what it feels to be the ultimate philosophical question: “What is the nature of the cosmos” (Bishop, p. 45)


The Greek Philosophers like Pythagoras, Socrates, Plato and Aristotle had within themselves what Philosopher’s many years later referred to as “our need to know God”. I think one of our strongest desires to know God, is to thus know ourselves. We want to understand God, because, as our creator, we are made in his image (so we are told in the book of Genesis) and the more we know about that image, the more we can understand about ourselves.


As Augustine of Hippo stated, our hearts are restless until they find their rest in God (Augustine), and Blaise Pascal referenced what is often referred to as a “God shaped vacuum”, a space within ourselves that cannot be filled with anything other than an infinite and immutable object – namely God (Groothius, 2006).


Greek Philosophers had this insatiable desire to be filled with knowledge and understanding, but had at their disposal only a general revelation of the origins of humanity. They were, however, given this strong desire to seek out and study the nature of knowledge and the world around them.


It is interesting to me, to see many years later, the Apostle Paul walking into the Areopagus in Athens and using words from their own Philosophers, Epimenides and Aratus, to explain to them that they have this idea of God that has been placed in their minds through general revelation, and that if they truly want to know God, he is not far from any of them.


This is, as C.S. Lewis puts it in his book “Mere Christianity”,


God sent the human race what I call good dreams: I mean those queer stories scattered all through the heathen religions about a god who dies and comes to life again and, by his death, has somehow given new life to men.


The Greek Philosophers, therefore, I believe were analyzing and critiquing their religion to continue the ever relentless quest to answer the question “Quid Est Veritas?” which in bitter irony was the question asked of the man called Jesus of Nazareth, of which, he himself was the answer.


Works Cited


Augustine. (2002, 07 13). Confessions of St. Augustine Bishop of Hippo. Retrieved 12 07, 2007, from Leadership University: http://www.leaderu.com/cyber/books/augconfessions/bk1.html


Bishop, P. (2007). Adventures in the Human Spirit. New Jersey: Pearson Prentice Hall.


Groothius, D. (2006, 05 15). Incorrect Pascal Quotes. Retrieved 12 07, 2007, from The Constructive Curmudgeon: http://theconstructivecurmudgeon.blogspot.com/2006/05/incorrect-pascal-quotes.html

The weight of Gold

I am stuck inside a mud pit with


A pocket full of gold.


This story of my wayward step


Is one that should be told.





One day while walking on the edge


I thought that I would try,


To soil my sole, to take a step


and yet keep clean and dry





And ‘lo perhaps if I should fall


Or something worse unfold


The remedy was right with me


My pocket full of gold.





I walked out deep, I felt no fear,


As you can clearly see


The safety net, that you can get


With gold so plentily





But now I stand up to my knees


And sinking very fast


There’s something that I could not see


But late, at last, I grasp





And with a frown, my head goes down


Below the mirky foam


The weight to bear of gold so fair


Has crushed me like a stone.





© 2007 Jediah Logiodice



– Sometimes the more gold you have in your pockets, the deeper you get stuck in the ruts of life –

The days of past – Nostalgic

We went to the Augusta Museum on Friday. All I can say is wow! Every time I go there, I am just overwhelmed with nostalgic.


Now, let me start by saying that in reality, I am very glad that we have moved so far into the age we are in (I mean, I love technology), but I can’t help but being sad.


I am reminded of the ‘days gone by’, right before me; days that I hardly remember, days my children will never see. An age where both men and women had special skills, working with their hands, bringing forth magnificent works of art, bringing into the economy things that were needed for everyday life, and a few things that even brought pleasure.


I looked over little shops in the corner of a wall setup to mimic where people would heat and bend iron making so many wonderful things – wow, i bet it was hard, back breaking labor – but when you were done, you could admire what you had done, see it, feel it.


I saw wood working shops, where people built desks, cabinets, I saw sewing shops, I saw shoe maker shops.


My head was filled with information on these businesses as they started in Maine, as some grew to the point of having thousands of workers, and then as they replaced these workers with machinery (or in some cases, low-paid Mexican workers from another country).


Even the woolen mill was sad. I had a job in a woolen mill about 15 or so years ago – I remember the sights, the sounds, the smells, the feeling of accomplishment working with your hands. They’re all gone. Distant past – in a museum. My children will never experience the excitement; my children will never experience the aura.


What happened to the days of “White Christmas”, the feeling of home and family?


And while I’m thinking about it, what happened to childhood.


It makes me sad, and I’m getting old, I guess.