Silent Night, Holy Night: A Shepherds Tale

Silent Night, Holy Night: A Shepherds Tale


Scott Atkins


         It was a silent, and peaceful, night as the shepherds gathered their flocks in the hills surrounding the small town of Bethlehem, a very long time ago.  The stars shone brightly, high above the land, with one star, in particular, shining brighter than all the rest.  This star seemed to have a life of its own, as it had an unusual light to it that made it appear strange, and even eerie.

          Ethan, the youngest of the shepherds, had been walking among his flock, as they bedded down in lush, green grass for the night, and had noticed that his flock seemed restless on this night.  He, and the other shepherds, had taken great care to ensure that no predators were nearby before bedding down their flocks, so he couldn’t understand their restlessness.  Then Ethan noticed the star on this night.  He had been watching it for several evenings, and it appeared to move closer, and closer, to where they were, each night, until it seemed to rest over the town of Bethlehem.  Tonight, it acted like it was about to explode, and he wondered if the star had anything to do with his sheep being restless.

As Ethan walked along, he came upon Ira, the oldest and wisest of the shepherds, and he mentioned the condition of his sheep to Ira.

“I too, have noticed that my flock is uneasy, this night”, said Ira.  “I have considered the star, and I believe that it may be the cause of the problem with our flocks.  I also feel that this night has a strangeness to it, as if something important is about to come to pass.”

“What do you think it is?” asked Ethan.

“This I cannot say”, said Ira, “The important thing, right now, is to keep our flocks calm until whatever happens, happens.”

Ira and Ethan parted ways, and went to tend to the calmness of their flocks.  Ethan continued to stare at the star, and wondered what was about to happen, or if Ira was just trying to make him feel better.

As Ethan returned to his flock, he encountered other shepherds who were just as puzzled as he was.  They all expressed the same concerns that Ira had mentioned, for they all had been watching the star for many nights, as well.  They all had become fearful of the star, and one shepherd even said that it was a sign from God that the world was about to end.  Ethan didn’t believe that, because he doubted that God would send a star to announce the end of the world, but would just do it as he did with the floods, many centuries before.  But Ethan did start to wonder if some miracle was about to take place, and the star must have something to do with it.

It was nearly midnight when Ethan next came upon Ira.  Ira was standing with several other shepherds, many of whom Ethan had spoken to earlier, standing at the fire, watching the star, which had become increasingly brighter.  The shepherds were becoming more, and more, fearful of the star, because they didn’t know what it meant.  The one shepherd, who claimed that it was a sign of the end of the world, was even more confident that he was correct about the meaning of the star.  Ethan asked Ira what was happening, and Ira replied that he didn’t know, but the star was acting as though it was about to explode.  None of the shepherds could remember any of their elders teaching about a sign of things to come, or of a star, and it made them even more afraid of it.

Ethan was about to ask Ira another question, when they noticed that all of the sheep calmly got to their feet, and turned to face the town of Bethlehem.  At that same instant, the star burst forth with a powerful light that shined like the sun at noon, illuminating everything around, and the Heavens opened up in all of the glory and splendor imaginable.  The hills were also filled with angels singing praises to God.

All of the shepherds trembled with great fear, for they still didn’t understand what was happening and still thought the world was coming to an end.  But an angel, who identified himself as Gabriel, came and spoke comfort to them.

“Shepherds of the hills, do not be afraid, because I bring you peace, and great news!  Today, in the City of David, a child has just been born, and he is the Son of God!  The things that you now witness, were prophesied to your ancestors many years ago, and have now been fulfilled!  Oh, how your forefathers longed to see this day that you now witness for yourselves!  This is what you must do; go into the city and find a stable.  In the stable, you will find the Son of God wrapped in blankets, and lying in a manger in a livestock stall.  When you have found him, worship him, for he is the Son of God!  Go now, leave your flocks, and go worship this child, your King, and savior of mankind.”

As Gabriel joined the angels in singing, “Glory to God in the highest, and glory to the newborn King”, they were suddenly gone.  The shepherds were alone again, and they stood in confusion, and amazement, at what had just happened to them.  The star had returned to its earlier physical state, and was not as bright as when the angels appeared to them.

Ethan was the first to recover from his state of shock, and asked;

“Was that a dream, or did it really happen?”

“That was real”, said Ira, “and we need to do as the angel instructed.  I do remember hearing of this Messiah to be born here, and I praise God for allowing me to live long enough to see it happen!”

Many of the shepherds objected to leaving their flocks, which had now gone to sleep following the angels departure, for fear of wild animals to freely kill many of them, while still other shepherds were still too frightened by the events of the evening, let alone go into town to possibly be frightened by unearthly visitors again.  Finally, it was decided that Ethan, Ira, and a couple of other shepherds, would go into Bethlehem to find the child, and worship him.

As the group entered the town, they noticed that the star appeared to be guiding them to the stable the angel told them about.  They walked through the town, noticing that it seemed very quiet all around them, and came to the stable the angel told them to find the child in.  Once there, they looked up and saw that the star was directly above them, as though God, himself, was watching over the newborn baby.  The light of the star made everything seem unreal, but very warm, safe, and secure.  It was not the place a King should be born, but the place seemed to be perfect for the event, though they couldn’t explain why.

The shepherds entered the stable and found the child exactly as Gabriel had told them.  The manger was in the middle of the stall, and a very lovely young mother sat dutifully next to the manger, looking at her newborn son, while her strong, kind husband stood behind them, also looking proudly at the infant.  The child was wrapped in blankets, and was lying on a bed of straw meant for the feeding of animals.  There were cattle, donkeys, and some sheep standing around the manger, all looking at the newborn child as though in worship.

The shepherds asked permission to approach the manger so that they may worship their King, and the father said to come forward.  They approached the manger and fell to their knees in worship.  Ira said that he hoped that he would live to see this day, and wept at the sight of the child he was worshipping.  The baby looked at them all, and appeared to be giving his blessing to them.  The child also looked happy that they had come to him.  The star gave an unusual warmth to the scene in the stable that was as if God was pleased with the worship of his son.

After a while, Ira, and the other shepherds, returned to the hills to tend to their flocks, but Ethan stayed behind to continue his worship of the child.  He found that he could not pull himself away from this child, as though he were meant to be here this night.  He knew that he should return to his flock, but he felt that they were being watched by angels while he worshipped the baby, so he decided to stay longer.

Ethan finally introduced himself to the parents, and they do the same in return.  Ethan told them the story of what happened in the hills, and how he came to them.  He thought that Joseph and Mary would think he was crazy when he told them of speaking to Gabriel, but Joseph told him that he and Mary too, had been visited by angels recently, and that they believed everything he told them.  Mary explained how the birth of Jesus came about, and Ethan once again praised God, and worshipped the child even more.  Mary explained why the name Jesus, or Emmanuel, would be given to her son, and Ethan decided that there was power in the names, but felt that there was much more to the names than he could explain.  Ethan stayed a while longer, talking with Mary and Joseph, and playing with baby Jesus, before returning to his flock.

Ira was waiting for him, as Ethan returned from town, and asked him questions as he welcomed Ethan back.  Ethan told him all about his visit with Mary and Joseph, and playing with baby Jesus, after the others had left to return to the hills.  Ira listened attentively as Ethan told him about the visits of the angels to May and Joseph, and how the name Jesus meant that he would save the people from their sins.  Ira told Ethan that he remembered this child, and everything they witnessed that night, had been prophesied to their people centuries before, but had long been forgotten.  He also remembered the stories of what this child will do in the future.  Ira seemed very happy with all that had happened this night, and he went back to his flock to reflect on the events of the evening.

Ethan could never forget what happened that night, and was able to maintain contact with Mary and Joseph, until Joseph’s death, as he was also from Nazareth, and even witnessed the teachings of Jesus as the years went by.  He knew of the miracles that Jesus had performed, and knew of the hatred of the rulers against Jesus because of them.  He also knew how much the rulers hated that Jesus taught a religion based on love instead of rules.  Ethan had become a believer in what Jesus was teaching, because he remembered that night in the stable, when he fell and worshipped this King.

Ethan was in Jerusalem, for Passover, when Jesus was handed over to be crucified, and even witnessed the crucifixion.  He remembered listening to Ira, the night following the birth of Jesus, telling how Jesus would live, die, and raise again, according to prophesy, so it was no surprise when he heard that Jesus had risen from the dead three days later.  As he pondered on all of the events he had witnessed, he came to conclusion that this truly was the Son of God, because he was there at the birth of Jesus, had witnessed his teachings, his death, and heard of his resurrection.  However, he couldn’t understand why God allowed him the blessing of witnessing all of these things, but felt that he was truly blessed to have been there for them.  He praised God for it all, then, returned to his flock.

The End


How Dumb Can They Be?

Howdy, folks!  I’m so sorry that it’s been a while since I’ve been on here, but it’s been a crazy year this year.  Between school and work, I have no diea where the year went to.  Last I knew, I was getting the deck furniture out and now I’m putting it back.  I didn’t even get to sit in them!

I was speaking about work being crazy this year and that would be due, in large part, to the stupidity of the employer to not monitor their supervisors and their rude treatment of the employees assigned to them.  On second thought, they may allow such stupidity to exist because they are that dumb to begin with.  Over the summer, we lost many quality security officers due to the demanding, and most times rude, treatment of them.  Keep in mind that I work for a contracted security company and we are assigned to the employers security force.  We basically work the 2nd and 3rd shifts, where the employers security force doesn’t want to work, as well as doing the “other duties as assigned” that they won’t do either.  We are supervised by a Site Supervisor and a Shift Lead Officer (who belongs to my company), but from Monday-Friday we are supervised by a company Shift Lead Officer.  If anybody has ever worked in an environment such as this, you would know the hostility that exists in the minds of the employers security team against “those contractors who are trying to steal my job“.  I’m not trying to take anybody’s job;  I’m just trying to make a dollar or two to pay the bills.  So there is the dynamic for what I’m about to relate to you as to an event that took place recently.

I was an Emergency Medical Technician from 1997-2005, and though I know longer serve in that capacity, I still hold the training.  With this in mind, recently, a man went down at work due to a diabetic episode.  I was working at one of the security desks when a supervisor popped in and said he needed one of us for a episode outside of a work area in the production area.  I grabbed the medical bag, and oxygen tank (as trained to do by the employers lead officer), and followed the supervisor.  On the way to the scene, the supervisor told me that the employee was a diabetic, and by the time he finished saying that, we were there.  I saw the employee seated in a chair actively seizing from very low sugar (hypoglycemia).  Being a trained, though no longer certified, EMT, I knew that I needed to control their movements so that they wouldn’t fall out the chair and create a bigger injury.  I also knew that the person would go postictal (resting state from the siezure) and that I could then get a set of vitals, try to get some oral glucose in them, and call the company nurse to the scene.  Ahhh, if only the perfect world could have existed that day.  The employee went from siezing to postictal, to normal, to angry, to combative, to siezing, to postictal, to….. all in just a matter of moments.  It was like boom, boom, boom, and it repeated itself like clockwork.  I have never seen anything like it (and I have seen a LOT of siezures in the eight years I rolled with the ambulance’s).  I finally (after what seemed like an hour, but was only a couple of minutes) told someone to go get the nurse.  I have no idea who it was that went, because I was still struggling to keep the employee in the chair, but a couple of minutes, and more siezing, later, the nurse showed up and took over.  Now all that I had to do was write a report on the incident.  This is where the story returns to the title.

I wrote a very detailed report to document everything that I did so that there wouldn’t be any confusion from the hierarchy.  Again, if only a perfect world existed.  I used the word writhing to explain the employees movements in the chair.  Writhing means uncontrolled, or involuntary, movements during extreme pain or seizure activity.  The hierarchy didn’t understand that.  I also explained why I didn’t use my radio to call my partner or the nurse.  The hierarchy didn’t understand that.  So…the 3rd shift employer lead officer comes in, the other night, and begins to talk to me as though I’m the dumbest person in the world in regards to the medical incident.  He asks me what writhing ( like saying with only placing an R after the W) is, and I explained it to him.  He didn’t like the explanation and treated me even more like an idiot.  He then asked me why I didn’t use the radio and why I took the oxygen tank when I’m not authorized to use it.  These I explained to him as well, but he didn’t like that either, and again talked to me like I was a fool.  At this point, I had had enough.  I looked him dead in the eye and said, “Look, I was an EMT for 8 years…”, he interrupted me to say “You were an EMT.”, to which I continued, “Yes, I was an EMT, and though I’m not any more, I still have the training to handle that situation without going outside of my scope of practice as a first responder.”  I continued, “You may not like it, but just because I let my certification go, it doesn’t mean that I became instantly stupid.  I know what I’m doing!”  As I was looking at him, while letting him get a dose of his own medicine, it dawned on me (besides the fact that I might have just committed insubordination), by looking at his face while it lost all of its color, that nobody had ever stood up to him before, like I had just done.  I wasn’t cruel, mean, loud, or even threateing about how I did it, but he simply asked me to change the word writhing to something else and in a sheepish way.

So…what makes an employer, or their supervisory levels, feel that they have every right to mistreat their employees or customers?  They may be our employers, but they are not my owners.  I used to let people walk over me in my younger days, because I didn’t want to rock the boat and lose my job.  Well, that backfired on me once, because I lost a job that I didn’t rock the boat when I should’ve.  I made a pact with myself that day to never again allow anybody to walk on me again.  My name is Scott Atkins; not Side Walk.  Anybody who doesn’t like that can complain to my complaints department, located under my rear belt loop and identified by the mistletoe hanging at the spot.

I know that we live in a day and age where an employer thinks, “They should be lucky to even have a job, because I can replace them with someone else if they don’t like how we treat them.”  This thinking is totally wrong!  I don’t recall seeing in my employment handbook where I agreed to be someones whipping boy.  Nor do I recall seeing, or agreeing to, allowing the employer to treat me in a way that they wouldn’t want to be treated themselves.  As much as people want “Seperation of Church and State”, they need to remember that the Golden Rule is on the churches side, and that if they want to be treated well, they had better wise up and get to using that most basic of priciples.  Employees have rights too.  You don’t have to belong to a union to have them either.  Everyone is covered by the fundamental belief that we are “endowed by our creator with certain inalienable rights; that among them are the right to Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.”  The Declaration of Independence says that we have the right to not be treated in a way that dishonors us, because an employer only dishonors themselves by their treatment of their employees.

This principle goes beyond the workplace, too.  Why be an a-hole to people?  If anyone thinks that by acting like an ass will bring them then respect they deserve, they are wrong.  Besides, you just never know who that person is that you’re treating badly, and that person may be the one you have to turn to for help some time.  Think you’ll get it?  Probably not.  My suggestion is to get back in the faces of the supervisors who treat you badly and let them know that you have rights and you can look at filing intimidation charges against them if they don’t knock it off.  That sill get their attention really quickly.  So be nice to those you know or not, even the ones you don’t like, because you may have to turn to them for help and they may laugh in your face.

Bill of Rights 101

I have been watching videos of people claiming that the United States Constitution is a propoganda tool, too old for todays standards, worn out, out of date, etc.  I have heard them proclaim that we need a new system of governing that fits the patterns of today.  What a mess that would be!  They do not know what is even in the Constitution, nor can they even quote the very first amendment.  These people love to omit certain key words from amendments that the parrot, yet they claim to be authortative on the subject of what the Constitution says.  So I have decided to rewrite the amendments that really matter, omit ones that do not need to remain in the Bill of Rights any longer, and put them in terms that are already in them, but edit it so that even a democrat can understand.  I will add the original text prior to rewriting the amendments.  Let’s begin, shall we?

Amendment 1 – Freedom of Religion, Press, Expression. Ratified 12/15/1791. Note

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

This is the logical first amendment.

The Federal and State governments cannot start their own churches, nor can they interfere in the churches worship, freedom of the people to speak freely, the press, or the right of the people to sue any government agency if that agency has wronged a person in any way.  However, the right to speek freely must not contain death threats, or threats of violence in any way, or treason.  The press must present only facts, and they must be fair and diligent to both sides of the issue, so that the people can decidefor themselves which is right or wrong.

Amendment 2 – Right to Bear Arms. Ratified 12/15/1791. Note

A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

The people have a right to keep firearms for the safety of their homes, family, or property.  They also have the right to use them for hunting, or competition shooting.  The government shall not take that right away under any circumstances.

Amendment 4 – Search and Seizure. Ratified 12/15/1791.

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

We have done away with the 3rd Amendment of Quartering of Soldiers, and this is the new 3rd Amendment.  I think this is pretty self explanatory as is.

Amendment 5 – Trial and Punishment, Compensation for Takings. Ratified12/15/1791.

No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprivedof life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.

Amendment 4 – American Citizens have the right to refuse to answer any questions that they feel are wrong to ask, with exceptions of Treason, or war crimes;  No person can be tried twice for the same crime; Citizens cannot be deprived of fair treatment by the law, no matter their political nature; The government cannot force a person from their homes under “Rights of Eminent Domain” or any other form of public use.

Amendments 6 & 7 are included in New Amendment 4.

Amendment 8 – Cruel and Unusual Punishment. Ratified 12/15/1791.

Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.

This is NEW Amedment 5, and it is self explanatory as well.

Amendment 9 – Construction of Constitution. Ratified 12/15/1791.

The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

Amendment 6 – Congress shall not take away any powers of the States to govern themselves, nor can they override their decisions, nor can the Federal Government sue a State Government for enacting laws that they feel are right for their citizens.  Neither government can take away rights from the people based on the people frustrations with that government.

Amendment 10 is a now a part of Amendment 9

Amendment 11 – Judicial Limits. Ratified 2/7/1795. Note History

The Judicial power of the United States shall not be construed to extend to any suit in law or equity, commenced or prosecuted against one of the United States by Citizens of another State, or by Citizens or Subjects of any Foreign State.

Amendment 10 – The Courts will not excercise in allowing the Federal Government to sue a State Government, or a state to sue another state or the federal government.  This only serves to harm the tax payers of that state or the entire nation.

Amendments 12 (Choosing a Vice-President) and 13 (Abolishing slavery) are not needed in a peoples Bill of Rights.

“Amendment 14 – Citizenship Rights. Ratified 7/9/1868. Note History

1. All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to thejurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

2. Representatives shall be apportioned among the several States according to their respective numbers, counting the whole number of persons in each State, excluding Indians not taxed. But when the right to vote at any election for the choice of electors for President and Vice-President of the United States, Representatives in Congress, the Executive and Judicial officers of a State, or the members of the Legislature thereof, is denied to any of the male inhabitants of such State, being twenty-one years of age, and citizens of the United States, or in any way abridged, except for participation in rebellion, or other crime, the basis of representation therein shall be reduced in the proportion which the number of such male citizens shall bear to the whole number of male citizens twenty-one years of age in such State.

3. No person shall be a Senator or Representative in Congress, or elector of President and Vice-President, or hold any office, civil or military, under the United States, or under any State, who, having previously taken an oath, as a member of Congress, or as an officer of the United States, or as a member of any State legislature, or as an executive or judicial officer of any State, to support the Constitution of the United States, shall have engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same, or given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof. But Congress may by a vote of two-thirds of each House, remove such disability.

4. The validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law, including debts incurred for payment of pensions and bounties for services in suppressing insurrection or rebellion, shall not be questioned. But neither the United States nor any State shall assume or pay any debt or obligation incurred in aid of insurrection or rebellion against the United States, or any claim for the loss or emancipation of any slave; but all such debts, obligations and claims shall be held illegal and void.

5. The Congress shall have power to enforce, by appropriate legislation, the provisions of this article.

For this amendment, we shall delete articles 2-5, so that we can define what an American is.

Amendment 11 – A citizen of the United States is defined as one who is born within the lower 48 states, Hawaii, Alaska; or was born in a U.S. Territory or on a military base, or at an embassy.  A person of a foreign nation who became a U.S. Citizen, or naturalized, is also a U.S. Citizen.  These people shall have exclusive rights provided under the United States Constitution, and / or the constitution of the state in which they reside.  Congress of the federal or states cannot violate the rights of the citizens of the United States.  People who are here illegally do not share in the rights of the Citizens of the United States, but must be treated as human beings, and dealt with by due process of the law.

Amendment 15 (Races no longer barred from voting) is omitted.

Amendment 16 – Status of Income Tax Clarified. Ratified 2/3/1913. Note History

The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes on incomes, from whatever source derived, without apportionment among the several States, and without regard to any census or enumeration.

Amendment 12 – Congress shall collect income taxes provided that they are equally collected from among all wage levels and at the same rate.  Congress shall also establish a small budget and shall not go beyond it without consent of the people under public referendum.

Amendments 17 – 25 have been omitted.

Now I feel that we can live with 12 Amendments that we can understand, rather than 25 that we only know a few of.  I can understand the original text of the Constitution, but there are people who truly believe that only a lawyer is allowed to interpret it.  Hmm…..the Israelites also had the “Holy of Holy’s” which stated that only the Chief Priest could enter.  In England, during the Dark Ages, people believed that only the priests could interpret the Bible, too.  I don’t recall ever reading where only a lawyer can interpret the Constitution.  I find that ridiculous when a politician can’t even read a bill before they vote on it.  It was Nancy Pelosi who said “We had to pass the Healthcare Bill to see what was in it.”

Now with evidence of our political system being in shambles like this, is it any wonder that we need to replace a few parts?




What Has Happened to America?

Can someone please tell me what has happened to America?  What happened to the “Land of the Free”, the “Home of the Brave”, the land where people work for their living, and the place where people were honored to be called Americans?

This video is more about the audio then what was seen, because it depicts a shift to the side of stupidity in this country.  When people say that we need to open our borders and welcome anyone who wants to come here, and that we can handle everyone who wants to come, it’s not welcoming immigration.  It’s welcoming tragedy.  If we are looking at nearly 10% unemployment already, and well over a million people out of work, coupled with an ever increasing homeless rate, Would one of the liberals please tell me how it is that we can support millions more?

The big topic nowadays is to “redistribute” other peoples wealth.  The funny thing about it is that the people who are demanding it, are totally unwilling to redistribute a penny of their money.  Abraham Lincoln once said “It has been my experience that those with few vices, also have few virtues.”  Where is the virtue of spreading someone elses wealth around while hording yours?  At a college in California, some people were attempting to demonstrate the stupidity of such an idea by asking liberal students in favor of redistribution, if they would be willing to redistribute points from their GPA’s in order for failing students to be able to pass their courses.  Of course, their answer was a resounding “NO”, because they all said that they had worked hard for their GPA and it wouldn’t be fair to lose those points for someone who wasn’t working very hard to pass.  So why don’t they think that people work hard for the things that they have and that they shouldn’t have to give up their money to people who won’t work at all?

For some reason, people in America today feel that it is “evil” to have wealth, or that it is cause for embarrassment instead of as a means of success of a business venture gone right.  People think that they should be giving money to the ones who hold out their hand for money.  If there are 50 people walking along a sidewalk, and they all have $10, and they come upon 100 beggars, and they give them all $5, how much money will the 50 people have at the end of the line of beggars?  If they gave them less, they would be called “cheap” by the press.  So the 100 beggars walk away with more money than the 50 walk away with.  Is that fair?

But to say that we need to not only say that we need to open our borders, but that Obama is paying people’s welfare is crazy!  He’s not paying anything!  We the tax paying people are paying the welfare for people like the woman whom Savage was talking to, and trying to make that point.  What happened to America being a nation of intelligent people?

Can someone please help me find the America that used to be great, and remove this imposter?



I just love this time of the year because it makes us think of what we have and what it took to get them.  It’s not just a time for purchasing fireworks to marvel at, although I love a good mortar shaking the night sky as much as anyone else does.  I enjoy watching fireworks go up and explode into pretty colors, but I have to ask what each firework cost that goes up in smoke with every shot fired.  “There goes $100…that one had to be close to $500…..oh, and there goes another $200….”  I usually wind up my evening with an estimated total of what the fireworks cost somebody to shoot off.  I also forget to add the man hours to pay the firefighters, technicians, and computer geniuses who make the show happen.  I believe that there is more to it than just fireworks.

Yesterday, I came across a person who told me that he refused to join the military because he “had something against combat”.  This man also admitted that he had a brother who had just returned from Afghanistan after being shot in combat.  But then he continued to talk about his own abhorrance to war and the military.  I was stunned that he gave his brother approximately 30 seconds worth of time, which he added that his brother was fighting for what his brother believed, before continuing on his quest to regale me with his anti-war opinions.  I’m standing there thinking “He doesn’t get it!”  Unfortunately, this person was working behind the counter at a local Cracker Barrel, and I was a customer, or I would have let him have it right there in front of everyone.

It’s utterly amazing that people just do not realize that our freedoms are not free.  No man is “born” to be free, especially when there is someone else who was born to take away that mans freedom.  Freedom is payed for with the blood of someone else who was willing to die for his right to be free.  Just go take a look at Arlington National Cemetery sometime, and you’ll see row upon row of white crosses that mark the graves of those very people who sacrificed their lives for freedoms sake.  Better yet, go to your local cemetery and visit the old section that contains the graves of Civil War veterans who fought for a principle of freedom here in America.

Today, my own daughter was discussing her opinion as to why war is wrong, and that nobody should kill anyone to be free.  Her opinion is the one that her teacher was putting into her head, for three days, at school this year, in her history class.  Even though she is my daughter, and I love her very much, I had to make her realize just how big of a fool she is for thinking that way.  It went this way;

My daughter – “Why do we have to kill people to be free.  It’s murder, and the Bible says so.”

Me – “The Bible says not to go and kill someone you’re angry at.  But God led the Israelites into battle, and war is not murdering someone.”

Daughter – “It’s still murder.”

Me – “What if it was a case of you or them?”

Daughter – “It would depend on who’s faster.”

Me – “Then you just made yourself a hypocrite, because you just said that if you were faster, they’d be dead.”

Daughter – “That’s not what I said!  It’s still wrong to kill, even for freedom.”

My next point now has her mad at me, because I made her look like a fool.  I asked her if King George just handed us our freedom when we asked for it, or did we have to fight for it?  She tried to say that we didn’t have to fight for anything because war is stupid.  I said “Then we would still be controlled by another nation if we didn’t stand up for what we believed was right.  When you fail to defend your opinion, and allow someone else to control what you think, do, or say, you’re as good as dead because you are a slave to someone elses opinion for what they think you should do.”  This is the point where she rolls her eyes, mutters something under her breath, and stomps off.  This is also the point where you know that you have defeated a persons belief in something by using logic and facts, where they are using a Utopian opinion that has never had a positive ending.

Suppose that Jesus had said to God, on the night he was to be betrayed; “Father, I know I’m supposed to go and die for these people, but that is stupid!  Have you seen these people? They’re morons!  They could care less about us!  So why don’t I just go on a vacation to an exotic location, and lay low with my homies for a while, and then try to teach them again later on?”

Suppose that our Founding Fathers had said “We all know that we want freedom, but how will we live without tea and crumpets?  It’s not like the King will ever come here to keep an eye on us.  We can still be British, and do what we want when he’s not looking, can’t we?”

I’ll close with a thought that really summed up, for me, what freedom is all about;

“That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is
the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new
Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers
in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and
Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established
should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all
experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are
sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are
accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably
the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is
their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new
Guards for their future security.”

Thomas Jefferson was a supporter of the crown before he wrote this passage in the Declaration of Independence.  We’re still unsure of what took place to alter his opinion, but history records for us these words that he penned.  Freedom is not simply asked for, it is fought for.  The Founding Fathers knew this, they knew that their own lives, and the lives of their families, were at risk as well, and they were willing to die as men fighting for a noble cause than to die as mice in a trap.

That is what freedom means to me.  Now, what say you?


Did you ever have “one of those” days?  I have, and that day has been going on for four days now.  It’s like the movie “Groundhogs Day” where Bill Murray relived the same day over and over again.  Every day seems to be Monday, only a little worse each day.  This day has been perhaps the cuope de grace of them all.

     First, I take medication for ADHD, and have to take my “happy pill” an hour before I go to work so that it is in full force by the time I get to work.  I forgot to take it before I left for work, so my wife had to bring it to me at work at around 4:30 p.m..  Now this pill is a 12 hour pill, so, you guessed it, I was up until 4:30 a.m. before I fell asleep.  Then I was up again at 7:00 a.m., and was up for a couple of hours before falling asleep again until noon.  I work 2nd shift in Security, and five hours just isn’t enough sleep for my job and be totally alert.  But I slugged it out all night, and I’m still awake.  Barely.

     I arrive at work today at 2:45 p.m., and as I am creeping around the parking lot, looking for a place to park my truck, I hear what sounds like somebody dragging an exhaust pipe on the ground under their car.  Unfortunately, it was coming from my truck!  So I pull into a space in the middle of the lot, not as close as to the building as I had hoped to be, and get under my truck to see what the problem was.  I expected to see my muffler, or exhaust pipe, hanging precariously from the truck to the ground, but everything was where it ought to be, which puzzled me.  So I get up from off of the ground, wipe off my uniform, and notice that I’m in the middle of the lot with three minutes to get inside and clock in before being late.  I make it inside to clock in, and the phone circuits were all busy.  It took a couple of minutes to finally clock in on time.  Barely on time.

Part of my job is to just stand in the lobby of the company that I work for, in front of the security desk, and greet people coming in, or saying “good night” to those departing, while my partner sits at the desk watching the cameras and aswering the phones.  Remember, I have only had five hours of sleep, so I’m getting pretty tired standing there.  It’s boring anyway, but when you’re pooped, it’s torture.  I’ll take waterboarding over this any day.

Later on, it is time to do our security rounds around the inside of the building.  The building where I was tonight is around 1.48 miles worth of walking, with stairs to climb.  It also takes about 75 minutes to do the round.  Being sleepy makes it feel like I was on an Army 10 mile “ruck” march.  I get back to the desk with significantly less “pep” than when I left to start the round.  It was one of those days.

So now you’re asking “What does this all have to do with the title; Perspectives?”  Well, I’ll tell you.  At around 9:00 p.m., my wife calls me to inform me that a man whom I knew from where we used to attend church, had passed away today.  I wouldn’t say that we were friends, but were friendly to one another.  I didn’t know him enough to be friends, although I had his wife in my church youth group when I first began helping with them in 1992.  She and I were friends, and I liked her husband, but we were more acquaintances than friends.  He had just had a heart transplant a month ago, and was on the road to recovery, but developed Sepsis yesterday, and was too far along with the infection for the doctors to be able to do anything.

His death really put my bad day into perspective when I began to think of what his wife and kids were going through.  I can see her sitting alone, staring at the wall, wondering if it all was really happening, and wishing it was just a bad dream.  I can see his children wondering why daddy will never wake up again.  I can see them at the funeral, in a couple of days, feeling the punch of reality when they place the coffin over his grave.  I can see them all crying as people try to console them, and comfort them, when they want none of it at all.

My day is now placed in proper perspective.  I guess that my Monday times four isn’t so bad after all.


Well, I have begun my blog, as my friends have requested.  I hope that it doesn’t make a bad impression on anyone, because I would hate to lose any possible readers to my little world.

I guess that I should explain what my blog will be about.  As I go through life, I notice things that get my attention.  These things range from what I see to what I hear.  It even means the things that affect me the most.  There are many things in my 43 years of life on this planet that have given me the views that I have.  Things like my military service, living in a small town as a kid, visiting foreign nations, living in a large city, etc.  I have been employed in many different positions, and have gained valuable knowledge from that as well, and that knowledge has sharpened my world view as well.

I like to bring humor into my writings as it softens the reality of what I’m going to hit people with.  I enjoy the writings of Dave Barry (Daves World), and try to pattern myself after his style, but with a style of my own as well.  I discern the truth from everyday news stories, or events, and like to put it in ways that maybe somebody didn’t think about before agreeing with the original decisions made.  In other words, I like to discuss politics, and life in general.  That was a long way around the barn to go in the front door, wasn’t it?

So for those of you who read this, the first of my blogs (and hopefully not the last), I hope that you will return to read more of what I write.  I like to talk to people in any way possible.  So please come come back once in a while and maybe I can make your day a little brighter.