Saturday, March 16, 2013

Cornerstone #2 Preserving a Positive Future for our Children.

 The United States of America is imperfect (as are her leaders and citizens), and we might fill volumes criticizing her (them).  On the other hand, she is arguably the greatest country in the history of the world, and we might go farther by protecting her and the foundation that helped her become the greatest country yet.  And of what is made the foundation of America?  What conditions helped create her greatness, which if protected and enhanced might make her greater still?   May we suggest four cornerstones of her foundation that we need to preserve and enhance:

Cornerstone #2:  Preserving a Positive Future for our Children.  The second cornerstone of the USA is that we are far-sighted enough to leave the country in good shape for our posterity.  The founders said that they were creating a new government to "secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity."  A country can only stay free if it can think far enough into the future to make a good long-term plan to keep its children free.

This cornerstone is in jeopardy as evidenced by the following:  The massive national debt that we are bequeathing to our children as their "inheritance".  Debt is a form of bondage, slavery and servitude.  It is not freedom.  We have sold our children down the river.  Many of us are focused only on making it to the next paycheck, let alone thinking about our children's freedom from debt in the future.  We don't want to pay higher taxes.  We don't want any of our benefits cut.  We send these messages to our congress and representatives, and they can't agree on a budget because there is no way to do what we want them to do.  We want the impossible, which is to continue to live above our means without it ever catching up to us.  By our mandate, they increase the debt that our children will have to shoulder.  We don't want to face the music, so we push the weight of the chains of slavery onto our children.

What you can do to protect this cornerstone:  Help America wake up and stand on her own two feet and take her lumps like a, woman.  As other countries have had to undergo austerity measures to manage debt, we have seen rioting and unrest.   When we have to endure hardships and austerity, let us have an attitude of strength and fortitude, with trust in our ability to meet our challenges and best them.  Let's do something different, new and American! Like write our congress and representatives and demand that our benefits be cut, and our taxes be raised.  Never heard of people doing that?  That's because we haven't been thinking about the long-term freedom of our children.  When we listen to politicians, let's cheer for those that are balancing the budget, instead of buying into the fear that the "fiscal cliff" is going to be our doom (meaning we shouldn't make any budget cuts).  Don't buy into fear.  Believe that America can have a balanced budget.  And that's only the first step. Even with a balanced budget, we still have a whopping debt that we are financing and leaving to our children.  That's not good enough.  We actually need to pay that debt off (you know, reduce the principal, not just pay the interest on it). That means paying off all that "free" stuff that we already used up.  That means paying more and getting less.  This is really hard to do, and will require us to be well tempered.  We have have heard Tom Brokaw call the generation of World War II "The Greatest Generation."  I say, let's call it the greatest generation "so far".  The greatest generation in my mind is the one that can leave a free and prosperous nation, debt-free, to their children, and that generation is yet to come.  We have to face the music sometime; it is unavoidable.  The sooner the better, because if sooner, we avoid getting into more debt and making things worse.  Let us be the generation that stands up and starts the process of turning this ship around.  As you help the USA prepare for the measures of austerity that are unavoidably before us, there is one rather critical thing to learn:  how to produce your own food.  People can share housing, can carpool to share gas and cars, and cut corners on all kinds of luxuries, but people need food.  So plant a garden.  Plant a tree.  Get some chickens.  Even if you live in a high rise apartment building, put some vegetable grow boxes in your windows, or under some grow lights.  And get all your friends to do the same.  A people that can produce food and survive are much more likely to be even-tempered under austerity measures.  Stand up America, and stand on your own two feet.  Free your children from bondage!

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Preserving the Four Cornerstones of the Foundation of the USA #1 Kind and Loving People.

 The United States of America is imperfect (as are her leaders and citizens), and we might fill volumes criticizing her (them).  On the other hand, she is arguably the greatest country in the history of the world, and we might go farther by protecting her and the foundation that helped her become the greatest country yet.  And of what is made the foundation of America?  What conditions helped create her greatness, which if protected and enhanced might make her greater still?   May we suggest four cornerstones of her foundation that we need to preserve and enhance:

 Cornerstone #1.  A core of loving, caring people who aspire to follow Christ and/or hold Christian values.  (If you are not a Christian believer, you might feel tempted not to keep reading, but be patient.)  Could it be that some of the values that you hold might be Christian values?  Do you believe that people should be kind to each other, treat one another as they might like others to treat them, and reach out to the poor and downtrodden?  These are Christian values.  It may come as a surprise to some that it is a requirement of a happy, wholesome society that it be comprised mostly of kind and loving people.  Consider for a moment if a society were comprised exclusively of mean, heartless people.  In spite of whatever laws were passed, they would find ways to kill each other, steal from one another, and cause each other pain.  If you took all their knives and guns away, they would kill each other with whatever was left.  They would infiltrate the government (no matter what brand of government it was) and create corrupt laws.  The powerful would thrive and the weak would suffer and fear.  On the other hand, if a society were comprised exclusively of loving people, all the adults might walk around armed to the teeth without endangering one another.  The government would run smoothly, without corruption, no matter what brand of government might be in place.  The poor and weak would be cared for.  Please note that the issue is not about being Democrat, Republican, Whig,  or any other political party.  It's about valuing human beings.  It's about respecting, valuing, and helping one another.  The USA prospers in national happiness to the extent that the people have love for each other.  People learn to love each other as children at home and in beneficial organizations such as religions and service groups.  Don't wait for your government to do something about this.  The level of loving kindness in our nation is something that the government can't change; it doesn't know how to help people love each other. You can't legislate happiness into a nation of rude, angry people.

This cornerstone is in jeopardy as evidenced by the following:  There is a growing level of disrespect and intolerance in the public arena, especially in cyberspace.  There is less cooperation between political parties. Our media and video games are full of violence, bullying, and arguing, making our children more prone to these acts of unkindness.  People are increasingly distant from one another.  For example, it's less likely than in past years that a neighbor will take a bowl of soup to a sick neighbor, or even be aware that the neighbor was sick, or even know the neighbor at all.  We like to think of ourselves as loving people, but chances are that we don't leave our digital devices long enough to even notice those around us.  Most crucially, our children don't see examples of loving kindness, because their parents are too busy and angry.  Our next generation can only be happy if we teach them the principles of happiness, which, whether you are Christian or not, are the principles that Christ taught.

What you can do to support this cornerstone:  Please see the very first blog on this site.  Be kind even when it's hard to do.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Trending: Gun Control and the 2nd Amendment

Feelings on this topic run wild.  We invite you to take a deep, full, slow breath.   Engage your rational mind.  Then read the following and act on your conscience.

We all want to protect children.  We want to preserve life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness for our families.  The question is, what actions are most likely to protect our children, our homes, our freedoms, and our nation?  Is it better to have guns around or not?  You have probably heard both sides of the issue already.  Below are some questions.  This is your chance to think clearly, and you will find that in your heart you know the answers.

1)  Imagine yourself as a criminal.  (Perish the thought!)  As such, you don't keep laws.  Are you going to obey gun laws and turn in your guns?
2)  Imagine yourself as a criminal.  (Perish the thought!)  As such, you want to steal, rob, or kill.  Supposing that two neighboring towns have very different gun laws.  In one town, almost everyone has a gun.  In the other town, gun laws prevent people from having guns.  In which town would you choose to do your dirty business?  Would you rather confront armed or unarmed victims? In which town would the children be most safe from your demented plans to kill a bunch of children? (Take another deep breath.  That's an emotional question, but it deserves to be asked.)
3)  Imagine yourself as a criminal.  (Perish the thought!)  Would you vote for gun control or not?  Why?
4)  Imagine yourself as a police officer.  You're responsible to keep 10,000 people safe in the area you patrol.  Armed with your pistol, nightstick, and taser, you respond to a disturbance down a narrow alley.  Somebody opens fire with an illegal machine gun.  You duck behind a garbage can and pull out your pistol.  You know it will be at least 5 minutes before back up arrives. At this point, what do you hope about citizens in the area and their firearms?  Are your hopes more along the lines of "I'm the trained police and I've got the situation covered?"  Or more like, "I hope people start shooting this guy from every window in the alley?"  Do you feel adequate to keep 10,000 people safe on your own?  Do the people bear any responsibility to keep themselves safe?
5)  Imagine yourself as a police officer.  Someone has opened fire on the local elementary school.  You get a call and you're only 3 minutes away.  You rush to the scene.  How many children could be killed in those three minutes?  Do you feel that you have the situation well in hand?  Would you hope that many of the teachers, administrators, janitors, and lunch workers are carrying concealed weapons? 
6)  Imagine yourself as a police officer.  Would you vote for gun control or not?  Why?
7)  Imagine that you are yourself.  Easy, right?  The power went out in your neighborhood and some people have started looting houses and businesses.  Would you feel more reassured and safe with gun laws, knowing that you don't have a gun, and that the looters technically shouldn't have guns, either (assuming that they are law abiding citizens)?  Or would you feel more reassured and safe without gun laws, knowing that the looters might have guns, and you also have your guns?  Would you feel safer with a sign on your door to deter the looters that says, "Protected by Acme Alarms Inc." or "Protected by Smith and Wesson"? (For those that don't know, Smith and Wesson means guns.)
8)  Will school children be safer with gun control or without it? 
9)  Imagine that you are yourself.  Easy, right?  Would you vote for gun control or not?  Why?

The above questions were chosen because they are examples of things that are easy to imagine in our current day and experience.  We are blessed that in recent memory we have not had an invasion on American soil, nor have we had the government try to take away our inalienable rights.  However, we have no reason to believe that human nature has evolved so much that war and tyranny are purged from humanity.  We hope that these things would never happen in the USA.  It's hard to imagine these things.  But the 2nd Amendment is like an insurance policy: you hope you don't ever have to use it, but you always want to have it just the same.  If our military were ever spread too thin around the world, and a country dared to invade, would they rather invade a country of unarmed people or a country of armed people?  If ever we got a faction in the government who wanted to take away our freedoms (perish the thought), would they find it easier to do that if the country were armed or unarmed?  How would we fight to get our freedoms back if we didn't have weapons?

Take another deep breath.  Keep your rational brain engaged.  Then contact your government leaders.  Talk to your neighbors and friends.  Help people find reason and reality in spite of all the media hype.  This insurance policy called the 2nd Amendment is not negotiable.  Hold on to it like your life depends on it.  It probably does--either yours, your kid's, or your grand kid's. Pass on to the next generation the freedoms that others died to give you. 

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Long-Term Priority One: Create a Loving, Respectful Society

We invite you to join us in encouraging respectfulness in our nation.  America was founded on the blood of martyrs who gave their all to create a nation in which people could be free to disagree about religion, politics, and all manner of ideas.  These rights were to be preserved by putting power into the hands of the people: among others, the power to share dissenting ideas, the powers to elect and depose leaders, and the power of firearms so that each citizen could prevent any person or government from trying to deny him or her of  inalienable rights.  America, from its roots, has had spirited disagreements.  Spirited disagreements allow all the important information to be viewed, making for a better end result.  And what a great government we have been handed!  We must preserve it and pass it on as a burning torch to the next generation.

As you can see, we at I Protect the USA support the sharing of ideas freely.  However, we sense a growing negative spirit, especially in cyberspace.  We notice a high rate of name-calling and put-downs.  Put-downs go beyond saying, "I disagree with your opinion, and here's my opinion."  Put-downs say, "I disrespect you and I attack you verbally."  This strategy often inflames the anger of the other person and makes it more difficult to come to a mutual understanding and agreement.  This creates a negative war of words and little positive effect.  This doesn't help America progress.  We suggest the following if you want to create an America with more positive feelings and greater ability to resolve conflict (in order of priority):

1)  Love and respect your children, especially focusing on filling them with joy during the first 5 years of life.  Children who are consistently treated with love and respect naturally grow up to love and respect others. Notice how you treat them and talk to them.  Does it feel positive?  Treating children better is the most crucial priority for creating a better world. 

2) Help others love their children.  Speak kindly to women who breastfeed, to parents who wear their children around and play with them.  If you see a parent treating a child unkindly, add positive energy to the situation by saying something like, "You have the most adorable child there!"  When they fix you with a stare or angry comment, come back with, "Oh.  Today's a tough day for you.  I'm sorry if I troubled you.  I'll just leave you and your little one alone and be on my way.  I hope your day gets better!"

3) Show respect and love for everybody else, in all aspects of life.  If somebody cuts you off on the freeway, instead of flashing the bird, try flashing the I Love You sign, and smiling. Try speaking respectfully to your friends and neighbors.  Treat your in-laws, your ex, and people that frustrate you with respect.  In cyberspace, try speaking with respect about your government leaders, people of other religions and worldviews, and people who disagree with you.  Be respectful even when others forget to respect you.  Our collective actions create our nation.  Act well. 

4) Give your time and money to loving, respectful products and activities.  Those who make movies, video games, TV shows, etc., make more of whatever sells well.  Whatever you choose to buy or watch is your vote of what we should have more of in the world.  Vote well.  It's the only world we've got.