When he was small, we played basketball. The hoop was lowered to 6 feet. I didn’t play defense and purposely didn’t make many shots. When he was a little older, he learned how to shoot, dribble and the rules of the game. As a pre-teen, I would still not block his shots and would let him score when he could, as well as, for him to feel excited about even winning a game now and then. As a young teen he was competitive and really tried to beat Dad. My height and weight advantage still gave me the upper hand, but I didn’t have to “trick” him into thinking I was actually trying. The games were close but still the outcome was predictable. Then he got taller, then he got stronger, then he got quicker and then he got very good. I got older, less stamina and my speed seemed to disappear as quickly as my larger waist appeared. Now at almost 17, he is kind to me…lets me score a few and doesn’t try his hardest. He amazes me with his skill, far more than I ever had, his competitiveness, trash talking, and his ability to turn it off when appropriate. Yes, now he still will play a game with his Dad, not because it is a challenge, not because our skills are equal but because it is still fun to beat Dad, still fun to show me how good he is and still fun to hang out together. It may just be a game, but it mirrors life, as we watch our children go from a blank slate to one that masters skills and learns how to be successful. So, every time I get the opportunity to lose a game to my son, I thank God for the time together and the opportunity to see him succeed.
The Constitution grants the right to vote & the right to bear arms. We have rules that require citizens to be of sound mind, be competent and not be a threat to society in order to possess a firearm, even requires a license if going to carry outside of the home. Many in Congress want to make these rules stronger to reduce the number of people who own a gun. These same Congressmen want to reduce the criteria that allow people to vote. They want to remove identification, citizenship, and now even reduce the age. The responsibility to vote, the consequences of a vote, and the future of our country is heavily related to elections, yet many want to reduce these requirements. It would be interesting to see just how many citizens can’t name the three Branches of Government, or understand what a Senator, Representative and even President does, or how a bill can become a law? If the Constitution grants rights to citizens but allows criteria to be in place in order to exercise these rights why not think about some criteria, including proper identification or some knowledge of what they are voting for in order to exercise one of the most powerful rights existing as a citizen, the Right to Vote?
What I find hypocritical is that many politicians talk about “Fair Share”. Those in states that have high state taxes seem to be complaining the most. The Tax Reform in 2017 only capped the deduction of State Taxes at $10,000. Personally, I feel it should have been eliminated. Those that get a deduction on their Federal Taxes for what they paid in State Taxes is really what is not fair. Federal Refunds come from the Federal money which is made up of funds from every tax paying citizen throughout the country. Individuals that live in states with high state taxes choose to live and elect politicians that keep taxes high. For those of us in other states I don’t feel it is fair that my Federal Tax Dollars are given back to reduce their high state taxes. Either move to a different state or elect politicians that reduce your state taxes. I think about the millions of Federal dollars that are refunded for State Tax Deductions because of Just CA and NY and a handful of other states. It seems those that complain don’t really want “fair share” they want the rest of us to pay for their choices. If we really want a Fair Tax system… we need to look at a simple “Flat Tax” …eliminate all deductions and everyone pay the same percent. If you make more, you pay more, but everyone is treated the same. The answer is not increasing Taxes Rates on those that already pay more than others, it is simplifying the Tax system so everyone is treated equally.
This was my first blog I ever wrote… January, 2014…sadly, 5 years later not much has changed..even worse.
This week we saw some cold, frigid weather; and of course the continuous back and forth of politicians blaming each other for why our country has issues that need to be addressed. We as Americans are some of the most Honest, Hard Working, Caring, give-the-shirt-off-your back individuals on the entire planet. Don’t get me wrong, there are wonderful people all over…even in the countries that we consider “enemies” of the USA.
God created people. We are good by nature…some choose to do bad things.
Contrary to what many in the media want to project and fill the airwaves with, most Americans get along with one another, respect one another, Love one another. Yes, regardless of Race, Religious Affiliation, Life Choices and Personal Beliefs…we do get along. We don’t all agree but most people in this country are kind, caring and willing to listen to others that have a difference of opinion.
It is sad to see what is happening on a National Scale in Washington…it filters to politics on all levels..then filters to everyday America.
When a person is surrounded and constantly bombarded with anger, negativity, blame, and the feeling of hopelessness bad things can happen. We are ALL responsible for what is happening to our Country. We are about to start a year of candidates that will be running for various national and local politics as we head towards the elections of 2020. I would like to see a candidate start a debate by saying to their opponent..”Just so you know, I love you as one of God’s children, respect you as an individual and appreciate the good that you do in this world. Yes I do disagree with you on many topics but I am willing to have an open, honest discussion about our differences so the voters can decide who they would like to represent them.” I would like to see the reaction of the moderator and the audience if a debate started that way.
The sad part is most neighborhoods, coffeehouse discussions start this way without having to preface it. Most folks enjoy a good discussion and respect opinions of others. Something seems to get lost when a person runs for an office or is already elected and trying to do their job.
Even those that seem to not be able to stand the sight of one another in Washington have more in common than they believe. If we start with what we have in common than the differences don’t seem as bad. There will Never be a time when every person believes the exact same thing. We are not robots, not machines. We have opinions. We look different, sound different and yes, we think different. However, at the core of our existence we believe in many of the same things. Even for the people who don’t believe there is a God, they believe in what the Ten Commandments states, they just may call it common sense rather than rules from God. I may never convince someone there is a God but I know in my heart God still loves them. I may never convince someone of my political and philosophical beliefs but I know we can still respect each other and work together to find common ground and do good things.
The recent NY law regarding Abortion has generated a lot of discussion, which is good. We should never stop discussing this topic as it is one that encompasses not only political ideology but one of faith and one’s foundation of life. One approach, especially to women that are considering abortion due to their economic situation, or that they do not want to be a mother or that it is not a good time for them or whatever their individual situation may be, is a simple question. “If an adoptive family can be found and ALL of your medical costs during the 9 month pregnancy would be paid for, would you allow your baby to live?” We need to change the narrative as a society. If a woman chooses to give a baby up for Adoption instead of choosing Abortion that woman has then allowed a creation of GOD to experience life and also they have allowed that baby to Bless not only the adoptive family but all those people who that baby will ever come in contact with. A woman who chooses adoption and not abortion is a hero. On top of that, many states have open adoption so if the birth mother wants to be a part of that child’s life she can be. I imagine we can get both Democrats and Republicans to agree to make sure ALL health costs are paid for during pregnancy if a woman chooses adoption and not abortion. We need to change the conversation because it is a heroic choice to allow a baby to be adopted instead of aborted. If we can change the narrative maybe we can change hearts. It would be nice one day for a state legislature to cheer for the heroic choice a woman makes and for buildings to be lit up for the choice of life instead of the darkness of death. Never stop discussing and never stop praying.
Something to think about… there are 535 members of Congress (House and Senate) salary is at least $174,000 unless party leaders at $193,400 and speaker of house at $223,500..totaling more than $93,139,000 just in salaries. (93 Million a year!) add in staff and what their allowance is for office furniture, health care and other perks and the money that tax payers spend on Congress is unbelievable.
We elect Congress to work together, to write legislation, and find common ground among both political parties. The only way to hold them accountable to do their job is to wait 2 or 6 years and either re-elect or vote them out. They are collecting their pay check no matter what.
I would like to see leaders from both parties set an agenda at the beginning of each session with the top 3 agenda items and the time frame to get it done… such as ..12 months to Balance the Budget, revise Health Care, and have Immigration Reform.
Personally, I would like to see some of their salary withheld until the end of the year to see if they accomplished their goals. If Congress cannot commit to getting things done in a reasonable time frame (as the rest of us with jobs are required to do) then we should not pay them to just wait out their term.
Although the Constitution says, “The Senators and Representatives shall receive a Compensation for their Services….and that Senators and Representatives set their own compensation”….
How about lower their salary and then they can get OUR Tax money paid to them for each of the top agenda items they accomplish?
Here is a radical idea, not really radical for those of us who truly believe in GOD, including those in Washington such as President Trump, Speaker Pelosi and the rest of Congress. Not one member has said they do not. The next time members in Washington have a meeting start with a group prayer where those in attendance ask GOD for help. As those responsible for running our Government please ask for guidance, wisdom, and the strength it takes to be kind to each other in spite of differences. Please ask to understand that members on both sides of the aisle want to help our country but just may have different ideas on how to do it. Please ask GOD for humility and the knowledge to use the lessons given to us by our Creator to love our brothers and sisters and work together for the greater good. And we, as citizens of this great nation, need to also pray. We need to pray for those that were elected, whether we voted for them or not. We need to pray for their success and their health. We need to pray that GOD becomes the center of society and the foundation for the actions of people. We need to pray that the News Media, Hollywood, Social Media, etc., start using their platforms to spread the good that is throughout America and not just some of the challenges we face. For those that do not believe in GOD, it is your right. However, the majority of people alive on this Earth do believe, including those that you elected to office. Without putting GOD back into the central part of our society it is very unlikely peace within our own borders can ever be achieved. Feel free to share if so inclined and maybe the message of prayer can spread to those that need it the most. GOD Bless America.