Archive | September 2012

A Fair Day For A Wedding

Life has never offered something that comes with rainbows and chocolate rivers, but we are not foolish to dream such joys. The curveballs that are tossed our way can be difficult to connect with, but in the end, they offer a moment of contemplation that few take advantage of. A simple concept of the curveball that is taught to a young baseball player is to relax and wait for it to float. Once it floats, the bat will crush it. I believe that this analogy has reflected in life recently.

This weekend, my best friend will be getting married. He has been in my life for well over twenty years and has left a remarkable influence on my life. I received the invitation from his bride-to-be about six months ago. I, of course, was in the middle of a long stretch of unemployment, so I was unsure that I would be able to attend. It was a little unsettling to know that I would miss his wedding, but I sent my regards at the time.  Through the summer, my spouse and I used all my skills in creative financing, also known as the house budget, to find a way to reach this wedding. At the end of August, it appeared that we might have saved and pinched enough out of the frugal life of the unemployed that I would find a way to San Diego for the wedding.

I was so excited that I spent some time looking for the correct attire and finding the travel plans to fit the budget.  I was not concerned with a job interfering. My spouse’s part time job was open and the matter was set. Then, the curveball left the pitcher’s hand and I knew that this was going to truly be a test of resolve and patience.

Two weeks ago, I was offered a job that started this week including a training period into this Friday night.  I wanted to laugh and cry at the same time.  We were going to miss a big day in my friend’s life and he would have to celebrate this turn in his life without us. So, we will have to wish him the best in the days to come and hope that once the year settled down that we can all meet under our own circumstances.

On that note, we will express our feelings and sentiments to him, his new bride, and all the guests there to celebrate with him. To our best friend and his bride-to-be, we wish you the best in life. It is a wish that can only be given in word until the time comes when we meet again. This day will be marked in your lives forever and know that this part of your family is with you always.

The curveball may come to anyone when they least expect it, but don’t fret about missing it. Let it come and wait patiently until it gently floats over the plate. Give it a swing and find the sweet spot. No matter what…you will find a wonderful life on the other side.

crudus animus

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A Vote of Confidence

Well, back at the keyboard to catch up on some writing and hoping to put up some solid material. The good news is that I will be back in the workforce at the first of the month. This will place a change in life after ten months of unemployment.  I am pleased with the change and look forward to the next phase of life.  Now, I am on to some conversation about the world.

Every four years, the citizens of this country file into the polls to cast their votes for the nation’s President. It is a civic duty to step into the booth and voice a choice. It is in this moment that the system brings together the majority voice. This choice is passed onto the Electoral College, which posts their choice along with the state, mostly. This system does have a built-in feature that allows the popular vote’s majority to not be the determining factor for declaring the winner.  It is something that has been revealed a few times in U.S. history.  Most recently it was seen in the 2000 election.  It was left to the Supreme Court to step in to make a decision regarding a recount in Florida.

This is a simplified explanation of how the country elects a President, yet it does demonstrate that participation in the system is still necessary.  It is worth the time that it takes to find the polls’ location and go there. It is a right that cannot be taken away from any law-abiding citizen. With that vote, a citizen continues the traditions that were purchased with blood so many years ago and is defended to this very day.  If one wants to honor all those that sacrifice themselves, voting is the best way to continue the dream of holding the foundations of the nation together. That is essential to the future where a better world can be made.

With that said, it is disappointing to see a couple of terrible matters coming to light. The first is dealing with the possible regulations, policies, and laws that have been used in various states to require U.S. citizens to acquire a new form of identification as proof of voting rights or the limiting of poll access to voters by eliminating early voting times that have accommodated large participation in the past. These forms of reduction hold a hinted partisan politics in some cases, but mostly, it is evident that particular groups have been targeted by these changes. When the explanation is given, the legislatures and governors gesture to the idea of voter fraud.  Of course, as insignificant as the number of cases of voter fraud presented nationwide, these kinds of changes are similar to bandaging a pin prick with a full body cast. Has the country come to the point where it must claw back all the rights from the state governments?

Now, as stated, the right to vote has been paid in sacrifice by the honored veterans of the country. An armed force of volunteers is used to protect our country and our interest abroad. They step into the danger of combat to give all of us the rights that we squabble about on a daily basis including the simple right to free speech. It is on this point that it must be mentioned that the Senate decided, this past week, to vote 58-40 on a bill to help support these very veterans.  It was filibustered and failed to pass.  This was not one of those entitlement programs that are slammed by voices claiming that people are dependent on the government. Have these veterans not also earned the right to be supported by the country that they defend with their lives? Yes they have and they are entitled to a repayment for their services.

Finally, a note to my audience: I am an U.S. citizen and I am born with inalienable human rights which are protected in the Constitution and its Bill of Rights. I will vote in the election to exercise these rights. I educate myself on the facts of the political arena and weigh my decisions on those facts. I do not believe that I am a victim and seek to depend on the government anymore than my fellow citizens. I depend on them to protect me for enemies.  I depend on them to provide the proper infrastructure to keep the roads and bridges built.  I depend on them to regulate businesses so that none can damage the environment and the economy because these entities are logically basing decision on the bottom line. That kind of thinking will never serve a community solely.

We are a country of communities and individuals finding a method to work to the benefit of the country as a whole and to the benefit of the individual dreams.  I depend on us to move into a better understanding of what that means as a country.  I leave it to hope that we learn it soon.

crudus animus

Why Pay Taxes?

As an individual citizen of the United States of America, I have paid taxes with each job that I have had in my adult life. I have never had a problem with the philosophy behind paying income taxes. I do believe that some alternatives might make the system work better for the government of the country or states, but I do not hesitate to pay my share of taxes. It ensures that the country will have the proper funds for all the different services the government must provide. Services like defense, infrastructure, and social programs are just a few. These programs require some form of revenue to support them for the future. It is a simple procedure that most civilized countries use to govern the society.

The arguments from both side of the debate center around one simple factor when it comes to taxes. This is my hard-earned money and I should have a say on how it is used. Now, for one side, this is a simple matter that if the taxes are lowered or eliminated, then the money will be used as the citizen wishes. This is a simplified definition, but the point is that the lack of tax revenue starves the government to the point that unwanted programs fail.

As most of these programs work as a safety net for the populace, this side wants to dissolve the net because the government is just giving money to those that have not earned it through hard work. On the surface, this seems a fair argument to those seeking to make our society about the individual.  Individualism walks hand-in-hand with the capitalism ideal that business success and wealth of the individual should benefit from lower taxes.  This ideal suggests that to raise the tax levels for the successful is a punishment of the success. In other words, this style of thinking leads leaders to remove the barriers to capitalism and its free market.

On the other side of the coin, the need for tax revenue to support the government and its proper administration is important to continuation of the country. This angle moves the eyes from the individualism to a community environment. A sense of collective resources being used for the group as a whole boils up from this side. Their ideals that the success of capitalism comes from consumerism, in turn the dependence of the free market on the people must submit to equality through regulations. In the minds of this side, the tax levels should show that the upper income levels pay a larger portion to help support the community.

Now, with all that stated in a very simple form, it would seem that the struggle could remain for years, but it is crazy to think that such a matter could stay in a cyclical pattern. Even my cynical side does not despair when I look at this. We live in a world that is moving forward with progressive thoughts and situations. A simpler way to express the two sides is to say that one side wishes to cling to a hardened status quo while the other side seeks to push our society to a dark chasm of chaos in the unknown future.  However, I don’t believe this is the future if we just open our minds to possibilities. There are so many possibilities to find constructive ways to use the riches of our society. Natural resources safely used and infrastructure projects are just a couple areas.

A spirit of community grew from the dark times of World War II. The world grew to use its wealth to venture into community building and exploration. This idea of coming together has been lost to many of my generation as we are all looking for the entitlement of individual success without helping the community. Perhaps it is time to return our thinking to those dreams of success as a community that the individual can be proud to be part of. Remove the barriers between us and return to the spirit that we are all human beings.

crudus animus

Trying Out The New Recipe

The last few days have left me time to think and consider the options for the future. Much to my surprise, I have recently found my way into a new job. After nine months of job searching, I stumbled into this one as a friend recommended it to me and I quickly earn the position in the initial interview. The point that captured the job had nothing to do with my work experience beyond my ability to represent a viewpoint to the public. It was my strength of character, and possibly, it was my charisma.

A bit of charisma can go a long way with some people?  It is a trait that I have never truly considered to be part of my strengths. I have a long-winded way of explaining matters or positions as my blog is evident of, but it would seem that the years have helped me shape this into a quality of charisma. I have always idolized those with great poise and charisma. The true sign of confidence rises to the top and appears as arrogance at times. I am impressed by those that enjoy this natural quality.

Most of the time, I present a confident manner. If it is a matter that my beliefs are settled in, I will quickly come to the front of the argument or stance with a very strong case. If it is a matter where my opinion is well-defined, I have the fortress ready to defend with topical quips and fact-based evidence.  I have no doubt to hide from, so I speak my mind to the point of stubbornness. It often has to be tempered by my spouse.

That said I have had other times when I am not so confident in my stance or opinion, so I have to contemplate the information. Or I have no opinion on the matter. For some, I have noticed that they will use their charisma to inspire an answer from others or place themselves in the middle of the topic with a leaning to the proper side.  I like to emulate this quality when I can and dream about the time when I can do it more often than not.

So, it brings me to my thoughts about the new avenue that this job brings before me. I am like most people when it comes to the new, unknown path. It is exciting to explore and present a new aspect of your personality. These new people have a chance to see what most may never have a chance to see. These new people have must to teach you. I have so much to learn, and it has a great potential.

As we travel down the road, I can say that life is never a guarantee. Success or failure may come, but it is the pieces of the overall picture that matter the most. My year has been marked by a long drought of employment and a chance to recover myself from the cynicism of the workplace. Although I don’t think that I have burned it all away, I have found that I am able to use what I learned. I have broken down and taken my mind apart to the base parts and reconstructed what I believe can become a viable piece for the future.

I am eager to see what happens with the new engine in the car.  I believe that anyone can find their way out from dark times.  It takes a bit of charisma and a lot of support from those around you that really care. I include those that follow this blog in that sentiment.

crudus animus

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