Empowering or Depressing?

I (not so recently) finished the book Empires of Light (by Jill Jonnes). The book is about the struggle for the monopoly on light. It delves into the complex relationship that Thomas Alva Edison, Nikola Tesla, and George Westinghouse had with the element known as electricity.

A relationship built with Edison’s hard-nosed, bull-headed work ethic discovering the lightbulb, Tesla’s dreamy imagination, um, dreaming up his AC engine, and George Westinghouse closing the deal with his business skills. These three men are to be credited with the finalization of the enlightening of the world, as far as electricity is considered.

The previous paragraph purposes to politely place a falsehood in prettier packaging. As opposed to the feel of the paragraph above, Edison, Tesla, and Westinghouse weren’t friends, not really.

Most people think of Thomas Edison as a man of character: a true american with that lovable can-do spirit. Not so. Once Edison created his famed lightbulb, he proceeded to try to electrify the U.S. (and eventually desiring to light up the world) with his Direct Current power grids. The grids would have need to be located every square mile, in order to work, thus forcing many people in the US to not have anywhere to move, let alone live.

Edison didn’t adapt as his adoring fans would think. No, instead, when Nikola Tesla brought Alternating Current to the scientific community’s table, Edison trashed it horribly. He published an article titled WARNING! (I couldn’t find a page to link to.) which basically condemns AC as a horribly powerful, and terribly dangerous current, that would never be safe to use. Edison stayed grounded in his old ways as Tesla blew past him.

Tesla eventually got hooked up with Westinghouse, who was invested in the business after already being successful in the railroad business. With his business like mind, and Tesla’s creative genius, the pair moved AC along quite nicely.

When it came time for the world fair in 1893, it was the perfect opportunity to display AC and clear it’s smeared name. First Westinghouse would have to get the contract with the fair, which J.P. Morgan was also striving for.

The dogfight that ensued was all but bloody. Two acclaimed businessman going toe to proverbial toe over the most promising asset in the world at that time.

It got me thinking: Why is peace not desired? Why didn’t Edison try to have a civil discussion with Tesla about their respective electrical currents of choice? They could’ve seen each others points, and moved on from there. Instead when they talked, Edison abused Tesla, and mocked him.

Why did Westinghouse have to fight to gain the contract to light the fair? Why couldn’t Morgan and Westinghouse join forces to show off some pretty awesome American technology?

Money is obviously the reason. Edison fought the idea of Alternating Current because it would blow apart his corner on the electrical market, thus lowering his monetary claim on the element of electricity. It did. But look where electricity is today? Wouldn’t you say it was better that we found AC? Edison was only concerned with money, not advancement of the world. Morgan was the same.

In a world where money is necessary to regulate society, money rules. It is the be-all end-all (however that goes), because it is the medium of value. So then when people try to use there scientifically (or otherwise) brilliant minds for good, there’s always someone who wants monetary gain. Profitable application of a concept is something I enjoy as much as the next guy, but I wish sometimes scientists, businessmen, and others who have opportunities to oppose, would join forces instead, and see the power of teamwork succeed, and better society, and the world!

But I don’t want utopia. Don’t even get me started there.

I thought “empowering” would be the word to title this article, because the knowledge of  how to work together. Unfortunately, I do not have a solution for the desires of the flesh (otherwise I’d be rich beyond my wildest dreams! HAHAHA, ahem, ahem), but I think now the title is more apt. Does the knowledge that money rules the world empower you to give it away more freely? Or to combine efforts to better the situation, thinking of money secondarily?

Being a great book about an interesting story Empires of Light gave me some interesting thoughts.

William Wilberforce, Wow!

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A miracle, according to the New Oxford English Dictionary, is a surprising and welcome event that is not explicable by natural or scientific laws and is therefore considered to be the work of a divine agency.

With that definition, I’d have to say that William Wilberforce’s life was jam-packed with miracles. Left and right you can see divine influence, without too much assumption. The story of a man who had the guts to stand against all of the nastiest people in the country–in the world, really–wasn’t one of glamor, or glory. No, the hardships were extreme, and the consequences dear, but the results are still in effect.

In an attempt to tell of two main miracles in William Wilberforce’s life, I’d have to start at the beginning. He was born into a moderately well-off family, and didn’t want for food or shelter. That leads to the first miracle: Wilberforce was very spoiled, because of his “societal class,” and he grew into a charming party animal. Friends with all, and well-practiced in the art of public speaking, he was geared for success in a life of politics.

As he grew beyond childhood (making beyond ten being a miracle at that time in England) he was sent to his aunt and uncle’s home. They continued his upbringing, and he was converted, during his time with them, to a radical Methodist. At the time that was considered to be, well, radical. The “Methodists,” or “enthusiasts” as they were derisively dubbed, were scorned for their enthusiasm towards evangelical activities. They were considered uncouth by the elite of the culture and society. [Look up George Whitfield] This is miracle number two: Wilberforce, until this point, had lived rather frivolously, due to his significant monetary benefits. He was able to do anything he wanted, and he wanted to have a good time. He was smart but lacked direction. In this section of life God gave him direction. This helped Wilberforce realize the incredibly evil contrast between his life, and the lives of the slaves.

Further into his life, Wilberforce has gained a reputation. He is a witty, charming, and kind politician fighting for the rights of all men, because all are equal. He’s proposed and passed bills to stop public burning, and has reduced the laws punishable by public hanging by nearly half and half again! He’s becoming quite accomplished, but he knows his work is nowhere near finished. Slavery is still rampant at this time.

To properly frame the situation I have to explain a bit. When I say slavery, or racial injustice, you think of the Civil War maybe? The whites in the South? The Triple K? Or the Brown v. Board of Education case?

Take all of those horrendous things and defenestrate them. Now think of the very worst racial injustice you’ve heard of and double, if not triple it. The process is disgusting.

These slaves were stolen from their homeland of Africa and forced to lay horizontally stacked, one upon the other, until you couldn’t fit anymore because of the ceiling. Then, if they weren’t dead at the end of the trip, because of indescribable horrors, then they were taken to fields in America, or in any other colony that the British could use them at, to work until they broke, or died. It was a lucrative trade that many were loath to part with, but at it’s core it was evil, and many sensed that.

Wilberforce fought for years upon years, and slowly chipped away at the massive institutionally accepted evil, and eventually gained some credence. Many of his friends laid their professional lives on the line for his cause, and helped him fight the slave trade. Eventually, after endless trials and underhanded schemes being thrown at them by large corporations (such as the British East India Company, which essentially governed India) Wilberforce prevailed, derailing what at the time was probably the most integral trade in the British Empire.

To correlate everything, I’d like to point out that Wilberforce never would have been so empathetic with the slaves if he hadn’t become a radical Methodist when his mother sent him to his aunt’s. That event alone was life-changing, and -shaping. He was changed from the well-educated, charming ne’er-do-anything-of-import that he was, to a deep thinking and pious man.

He also wouldn’t have been so self-condemning, if he hadn’t had his previous life as a well-to-do British elite.

The implications are astounding, aren’t they? Let’s go step by step, taking a few liberties.

God places Wilberforce into a rich family, Wilberforce grows; he learns academically–earning degrees necessary for a career in parliament–and personally–he develops his personality: wit, charm, and eloquence. Then, Wilberforce throws everything for a loop. He doesn’t have any ambition. Everyone likes him, and he just wants to enjoy life. God says, “No, you’ve got bigger things to do,” and sends him on his way to his Aunt’s by manipulating extenuating circumstances. Wilberforce becomes a Methodist, this leads to the cure of the world’s most deadly disease: slavery.

It’s amazing to see that through one man, God changed the world, taking in stride Wilberforce’s own decisions, and using them for the benefit of the world.

That shows me, more than anything else, God will forgive any sin. Not only that, but he’ll use that sin to the benefit of you, your family, the world?

The possibilities are endless. Luke 1:37, Luke 18:27.

For anyone looking to read more on William Wilberforce, the book that I read is Amazing Grace by Eric Metaxas (above). It was comprehensive, as far as I could tell, and well written. And if you don’t want to read a scholarly work such as that, then Wikipedia is open 24/7 🙂

J. Edgar Hoover Wouldn’t Approve of This Message (PART 2)

Picture 5When writing about a bad guy, I’ve stated before, you must make him realistic. He must be lovable, as well as hatable. He must have qualities, or goals, that are noble, and worthy of praise.

J. Edgar Hoover was exactly such a man. He was a fine, upstanding citizen, raised in the early twentieth century. His goal was to organize, and run, an exceptionally efficient organization, known as the FBI.

Hoover was quite efficient in all of his ways. He discussed, with an advisor, that wanted criminals would have less of a chance of escape if he deputized more agents. Shortly thereafter Hoover developed the Ten Most Wanted list. Hoover’s desire to lower the odds for criminals translates to one of the best law enforcement agencies in the world. The FBI is also one of the most feared among gangs, the Mob, and the Mafia.

The start of Hoover’s problems (or the problems Hoover caused), was closely related to his beginning at the FBI. When he became the director, Hoover started throwing the bad guys in jail. To quickly summarize, Hoover was dealing with the most famous gangsters, killers, and kidnappers of his time. They were dealing with an organization that they thought was porous in its law keeping. Hoover surprised them, and they all went to jail. Hoover got his first taste of perfection, and victory.

He locked up Ma Barker and her boys, Herman, Lloyd, “Dock”, and Fred. Alvin “old creepy” Karpis joined them sometime around the late 1920s, and the early 1930s. Technically the FBI never locked up all of them, as most of them committed suicide before they could be captured.

Hoover also killed, or put away, “Pretty Boy” Floyd, “Baby Face” Nelson, John Dillinger, and Bruno Richard Hauptmann (Charles A. Lindbergh Jr. kidnapper.) “Machine Gun” Kelly, Al Capone. All of the famous bad guys.

During the Prohibition, Hoover and the FBI were quite active. Drinking is something that many people do, and the fact that it was illegal doubled if not tripled the number of drinkers. People like illegal things. (Not to mention, selling it to addicts would make any bootlegger a fortune.) Point is, there were a lot of shoot-outs, and since “the manufacture, sale, or transportation of intoxicating liquors within… the United States… is hereby prohibited,” the FBI had a certain amount of jurisdiction, as the law was passed over the entire country. Thus making it federal law.

All of the success lead to the “G-Men”. No, not the New York Giants, but the Government Men. The name stuck, after a cornered “Machine Gun” Kelly reportedly cried out, “Don’t shoot, G-Men, don’t shoot!”

G-Men craze came in the form of children wearing G-Men pajamas, and playing with toy G-Men machine-guns. There was even a G-Men magazine, and subscribers of said magazine were taught how to get finger-prints using flour, and they were taught the G-Men secret whistle (two long, and one short).

During all of this Hoover developed his micro-management skills. He made sure that the FBI had a perfect reputation, and, most importantly, he made sure that the FBI got all of the big publicity cases. If Hoover knew one thing, it was how to play the system. Big publicity, equals free advertising. Hoover got the FBI’s MO out through the newspapers, and he didn’t have to pay. The MO was “We’re large, and we’re in charge.” It struck fear in the hearts of small crime-fighting operations, and criminals alike.

During the cold war, Hoover was definitely an anti-communism guy. Another one of the good/bad sides of him. He hated communism… so much that he was radically against it. When President Harry S. Truman signed the Executive Order 9835, in March, 1947, I can see Hoover dancing a jig with sheer glee.

The Executive Order initiated the Federal Employees Loyalty and Security Program. It applied to all two million federal workers. Anyone who was believed disloyal could no longer work for the federal government, although the term “disloyal” was never defined. Any employee could be dismissed, and any applicant turned down if there were “reasonable grounds for belief that a person is disloyal.” (This is the type of power that the Founding Fathers did NOT want the government to have.)

Keep in mind that during the cold war, the entire country was commie happy. Everyone was a communist if they did anything out of the ordinary. You were a commie if you sat at the same table every time at the local diner. You were a commie if you sat a different table every time.

The FBI investigated 14,000 employees, on the aforementioned grounds, and J. Edgar Hoover still wasn’t happy. He described communism as a disease that the USA needed to constantly guard against. With Executive Order 9835’s wording leaving everything to interpretation, Hoover was able to place wiretaps in peoples phones and such, if there was even a bit of suspicion.

“Mr. Hoover, sir, there’s this one guy who doesn’t look like a commie, doesn’t act like a commie, doesn’t eat like a commie, doesn’t talk like a commie–”

“Say no more,” Hoover would reply. “Wiretap his house, just in case.”

Hoover’s critics would constantly cite the small number of communists in the USA. Hoover would always reply, “It took only twenty-three men to overthrow Russia.” He obviously believed it could happen here.

That was one example of Hoover’s over-reaching paranoia. Hoover was good friends with Senator Joe McCarthy. Go figure. McCarthy was one of the worst kidney-punching sleazeball ever. He developed a low-blow type of politics. It’s called McCarthyism, defined as, “the practice of making accusations of disloyalty, especially of pro-communist activities, often unsupported or based on doubtful evidence.”

Point being, Hoover, and McCarthy, were both insanely against communism. Problem was that they both used the issue to investigate or eradicate political enemies, or anyone they deemed pee-pee ants.

Hoover was doing the wrong things, but for the right cause. It’s the ultimate bad/good, good/bad struggle that every author wants for his antagonists. Unfortunately for you, my tired reader, there’s more.

Bye for now,

Ian, the writer soon to be searching for a book, or several articles on concise writing.

 

J. Edgar Hoover Wouldn’t Approve of this Message

J. Edgar Hoover

I have recently (within the last month) read two books on the man known as J. Edgar Hoover.

He was evil.

As a writer, I strive to create really good bad guys. Antagonists must be authentic, not your everyday, I’m-gonna-take-over-the-world-for-no-reason-other-than-I’m-a-megalomaniacal-megalomaniac type bad guys. I strive to make them three-, four-, even five-dimensional. If they appear human, and are lovable, and hatable, I feel accomplished.

One way I try to get the readers to love my bad guys is by making the bad guys’ goals charitable, noble, worthy, and honorable. If I have the bad guys trying to accomplish something that is right, or that they think is right, I’ve got a even more conflict for the reader. “Is the good guy doing the right thing? Is the bad guy going to win? Do I want the bad guy to win? Do I want him to lose?”

Readers eat that stuff up. They like to worry about the characters. (At least that’s what all of the books on writing fiction tell me.)

Either way, J. Edgar Hoover would make the best bad guy ever!

John Edgar Hoover was born in Washington D.C., January 1st, 1895. Quite punctual, as usual. Well, he hadn’t any “usual” yet, as he was just born, but… well, it set the standard I guess. He lived in the same house for the first 43 years of his life, a very Hoover-esque thing to do.

He was a good kid, always kept his nose clean. “As a youth I was taught basic beliefs,” said Hoover. “For instance, I was taught never to put another book above the Bible.” Hoover never drank with any of the other high school students, instead he found companionship with his family.

Another lovable quirk was the fact that he had a stutter. As a perfectionist, he knew this was unacceptable. In order to avoid it, he developed a machine-gun-like manner of speaking. (Awwwwww! Iddindatsocute?)

After graduating high school, Hoover took a job as a messenger and file clerk at the Library of Congress. He learned the incredibly complex card-index system, and learned it with a hunger. He worked at the Library for four years while earning a degree in law at George Washington University.

Hoover was a man with a plan, and a man with a purpose. Many recall that he seemed more purposeful than most anyone else. His niece, and superiors were among the ones specifically quoted in the books.

In July, 1917, he his law degree, and took as a clerk in the Justice Department (JD). Within three months, he had gotten a promotion. Over the next seven years of his career at the JD, Hoover would get promotion after promotion. After two years on the job, he was considered the JD’s expert on aliens.

In August, 1919, Attorney General A. Mitchell Palmer appointed Hoover the head of a new division, the General Intelligence Division (GID). Its job was to “research” (spy on) political groups that the government deemed too radical, and thus dangerous. U.S. political groups!

Using his index-card experience, Hoover created a filing system for the GID. The index contained information on 100,000 individuals who were considered political extremists. Within a few months this file had grown to 200,000 individuals. By the files third year of existence the number exceeded 450,000. Not content with this list, Hoover created a list of the 60,000 most dangerous.

I’d like to point out that this man was already overreaching his bounds. The GID is a department of government that is highly unnecessary, and I believe is part of the reason Hoover was in on the Watergate Scandal. He felt that the government had power, and he was twisted by that power. Twisted so much, that he did things that he never should have done. Watergate was just one of those things.

Hoover also hated communism. Another good point in this strange man. He wrote, “Communism is the most evil, monstrous conspiracy since time began.” He preformed a study on it, and quickly established himself as the nation’s number one authority on the subject.

Look up the “Palmer Raids”, and you’ll see what kind of control freak Hoover was. Hoover was in charge of planning them, and the total control factor really shows up. He arrested many, many, many people on suspicion, and it was one of the most shameful times in America. America is a country that advertises freedom, but this was an act worthy of some Nazi, or Communist state.

One year after the Palmer Raids, in August, 1921, Hoover, just 26 years old, was named the assistant director of the Bureau of Investigation (the FBI before the F, which is followed by “ederal”).

Now, before we go any further, I should explain about the old Bureau. The one with BI for it’s initials. (BI stands for Bad Intellect)

The bureau was a place that was full of irregularities, such as a system used in one Field Office, but no system whatsoever in another Field Office. The Agents were awful, getting into trouble left and right. Drinking a lot, and even drinking while on the job. The FBI, I mean BI, was finding more criminals inside its walls than outside. Hoover was ticked.

He set out from day one to fix the BI’s horrible system. He was taking over at a time when people where beginning to seriously question the bureau’s integrity. Image was everything to Hoover, and he was ready to get busy.

Hoover noticed an extreme lack of focus in the personnel, and made them one of the top most priorities. Yes, plural, the Bureau wasn’t a very well run organization. In fact, it wasn’t a very organized organization.

Hoover started by firing all agents who had a criminal past, or whose character was in question. Those who weren’t fired were retrained in “the way of the Hoover” as someone put it. Agents Hoover disliked, but he couldn’t fire without causing suspicion, where driven out by short-notice transferring. The agents reffered to it as being “on the bicycle.” Any agent on the short-notice list would be ordered to pack his bags and report immediately at his new post. It would go on and on until the agent resigned. Still others weren’t fired, but they quit because they didn’t want to work under the strict rules enforced by Hoover.

Hoover also installed an entrance exam. Citizens of the U.S. who were white males, between the ages of twenty-five and forty, had 20/20 vision, good hearing, and good health were eligible to apply. Those who had law or accounting degrees were given preference, as Hoover thought they’d be more professional in their evidence collection. Hoover believed the un-professionalism of the Bureau was the leading cause of its failure to win any cases.

Hoover was also the first directors to train the agents in the use of weapons. The agents were trained how to be an expert shot in revolvers, rifles, shotguns, and machine-guns. They were also taught how to launch tear-gas bombs accurately.

When Hoover became the director of the FBI (it was the FBI then), he set the standards to include all of the Bureau’s employees, including typists, file clerks, and lab techs. No drinking on or off the job. Unseemly behavior wasn’t tolerated. No coffee breaks, and personal property at desks was completely prohibited.

Hoover also installed a inspection system called the Internal Inspection Division. Agents from the IID would show up at Field Offices at least twice a year, and give out merits to FBI agents who preformed well, and give demerits to those who didn’t. Merits could result in a promotion or a raise, and demerits could result in a transfer to an unpopular location, and then finally to dismissal.

Hoover said, “I want the public to look upon the Bureau as a a group of gentlemen. And if the men here engaged can’t conduct themselves in office as such, I will dismiss them.” Before long, the agents were considered men of goodwill, and great character. This was due to the strict rules, and Hoover’s ever-watchful eyes. He found that the TV show, the FBIhad a scene in which an FBI agent was alluded to driving a little above the speed limit, and he ordered the speed reduced.

Each script for the show was reviewed by Hoover himself, and every detail during the filming process was watched by a hawk-eyed agent. If an actor held a weapon incorrectly the agent corrected him. If an actor had anything criminal in his past, he wasn’t allowed to act in the show. The actor that played Inspector Erksine was hand-picked by Hoover. Everyone that was on the set was background checked. Even the electricians, and the carpenters used to create sets, had to be cleared by Hoover.

All so that the FBI’s reputation would be saved. Hoover was a man who knew how to work the political system. Don’t back down. Stand your ground, and make sure you hold all the cards.

To close part one: Doesn’t Hoover sound so relatable. He works hard, he learns quickly, he’s simple, and he brilliant. He’s assertive, and meticulous. Maybe not your favorite boss, but he’d be a great son, right? Perfect, and self driven.

This adds to my bad guy analogy. Hoover was a very well kept citizen, who grew up in Washington, D.C. He was raised so that he had strong morals, and was fine man. He loved his country, and hated communism. So far, so good.

Hoover, as I have said, was a control freak when he took over the FBI, and that was something that would permeate the rest of his career. Overall, Hoover is likable, for the most part. He’s a good guy who fixed a corrupt FBI, right?

Wrong.

TO BE CONTINUED

 

It is What It is, and It Ain’t What It’s S’posed to Be.

Republicans-vs-Democrats

 

party  |ˈpärtē| Noun ( pl. -ties)

2 a formally constituted political group, typically operating on a national basis, that contests elections and attempts to form or take part in a government.

The problem with today’s political system is that it’s all about politics. You laugh, but I’m only half kidding. Meaning I’m half serious. You see the picture up there, and it makes you laugh, but it’s not kidding either. It’s very serious. It means what it says.

Translation of the Photo: a) The parties hate each other. b) It’s ALL about the parties, not the candidates. c) why did the democrats pick the donkey as their logo?

The one thing that is funny, is that the parties don’t matter any more. It used to be (or so I’m told–I’m still climbing the Hill, not even close to over it) that you could count on your politicians. You could count on them to do what they said, considering that if they didn’t, it would be lying, and you, the moral citizen, would take it upon yourself to relieve this lying scumbag of his title.

Used to be, that if you believed in what the Democrats brought to the table, you’d vote for them, along with the other citizens who believed in them as well. If you believed in the Republican party, you’d vote for them.

Then it got ugly when people started “being” Republican or Democrat. People chose sides. People started hating the other party, as if it were a professional sporting event, and it was the biggest rivalry game on the face of the earth: “The American Thunder Elephants, versus, the USA Butt-Kickin’ Donkeys!”

It reached the point where Republicans couldn’t say or do anything to win over any of the Democratic voters, let alone the Democrats they were supposed to “work with” on any political problems. They were unable to convince anyone that they weren’t the crazy radical Rightists that they had been labelled.

Same goes for the Democrats, they were branded, by the Right, as power-mongering, America haters. They were evil in the eyes of all Republicans. Maybe the Right was right, and the Left was right. Maybe both were what the other said they were. Maybe not.

Both sides have good people, and both sides have bad ones, that’s just human nature showing up. Human nature makes it impossible to be perfect, thus, nothing is perfect. Things really started heating up when the Progressives got involved. They were trying something bold.

In his book, Common Sense, (which inspired this post,) Glenn Beck says:

Many people will hear the word Progressive and immediately think of liberals or Democrats–but they’re not synonymous. Progressivism has less to do with the parties and more to do with individuals who seek to redefine, reshape, and rebuild America into a country where individual liberties and personal property mean nothing if they conflict with the plans and goals of the State. If the Progressive cancer were limited to defined political systems, it would be fairly straightforward to isolate it, treat it, and eventually be free from the disease. But it’s not. It’s infiltrated both political parties and the entire political class–the bureaucrats, lobbyists, trade unions, and corporations that all look at the government as their own personal ATM machine. The Progressives weren’t interested in taking over political parties, because that kind of thinking was too small; they wanted their movement to engulf the entire country.

I like that paragraph, because I think it says well what has happened. There are no parties anymore. Regardless of what anyone says, the parties are irrelevant. They are just masks now, hiding what the politicians’ beliefs really are.

It’s convenient, is it not? The fact that the parties have reputations that are so well known. Republicans are very Right. Democrats are very Left. They are predisposed on every issue. Any member of the party, before saying anything must ask his-/her-self, “What has the party said in the past?” or “What will they think?”

So, isn’t it convenient, then, for the Progressives, that both of the parties are representing them, and they don’t have to do a thing. They have both parties believing that Progressivism is the way to go, if not in name, then in ideology. They have it so, good, moral, thinking, and serious voters are voting for someone they don’t want in office. People who are strongly against Progressives are forced to choose Progressive Republican Candidate Jones, or even more Progressive Democrat Candidate Smith.

They have those choices, or they can vote for a small party candidate, and practically waste their vote. The vote is only wasted because of the ignorant I’m-Only-Gonna-Vote-For-My-Party-‘Cause-The-Other-One-Is-Evil People can’t see across the party line. They’ve got their political blinders on, and they aren’t going to vote for anyone else. Thus, there’s a total of about five votes for the small party candidates (or at least that’s all the good the votes do, in the Grand Scheme O’ Things).

The country was founded on a principle. The political system was founded on a principle. The principle was, and is, the fact, that man can govern himself. The Founding Fathers asked themselves this, and they decided we could.

The principle is necessary to the political system. It’s based on man’s belief in morality, and a strong, strong foundation in God. It is a necessary part of the American Experiment. We must keep ourselves in check. We must make sure that our fellow man is held back, if he cannot restrain himself. And above all, we must make sure, that we clean out the garbage of the government very regularly. We have to remain founded in God, in order to realize what is right, and what is wrong.

The principle of self-government is quite ingenious, as it is self-cleaning, and self-regulating. It works like this. The people vote for the best candidate. That would be the one who appears to be the wisest, the most intelligent, the most inclined toward the moral side of things, the most godly, the most up-standing citizen.

Then, while the candidate is in office, we find that he is truly a man of character, we see he keeps his promises, we see he does what we want him to.

Or, we see he is a power-hungry, sneaking, lying, slithering, skulking, little scumbag, who doesn’t do anything anyone tells him, and is clearly in it for the glory, and self-promotion, rather than for the betterment, and support of the beliefs of his voters. He cares nothing for the voters he ditched on Inauguration Day. He just wants more money, or more friends in high places, or more political status.

“No matter,” say we, the citizens of America, because we know. We know that next time voting season comes around, we’ll be ready for this liar. He won’t last another second in office. We’ll vote for anyone but him.

The problem is the Progressives. They’re game-changers. Game-breakers, if you will. They changed the rules. It’s harder to vote for the right guys now. You have to use your Morality Meter, and scan the politicians faces for their true meanings. You have to read their eyes, and read in between the lines, you have to find out what they’re really getting at. If you aren’t careful, you might, in the process of trying to remove a scumbag, put one right back in his place!

The Progressives broke the system, but evil always loses. That’s why Glenn Beck’s news company (TheBlaze) has the motto, “The Truth Lives Here.” Because truth always prevails. The truth is always right, it’s always the truth.

“You will know the truth,” Jesus said. “And the truth will set you free.”

You need to stay true to your beliefs. In the land of the free, I have a right to disagree, but I can’t change who you vote for. That’s your decision 100 percent. Vote based on character, and morality, rather than looks, and appearances. Vote for someone who will be your servant. That’s what the government is: a servant.

Show ’em who’s boss!

 

Chariots for China

Eric Liddell. Oh, Eric Liddell. Let me count thy wonderful deeds!

Okay, enough of that.

Eric Liddell is known for his racing. Albeit strange, his running style won him many a race. His formula was simple: Run as fast as you can for the first part of the race, and ask God to help you run faster the second part.

Eric’s decision to forgo a race that was held on Sunday was quite shocking to his countrymen. He chose not to race in the event he was favored in, thus giving up a chance at a “sure” gold medal.

Eric ended up winning a gold in the event he was the given the least chance in. He was held in great regard by many who had disowned him after he had “dishonored his country”. And many of the others had stuck by Eric through the whole escapade.

After Eric’s success at the games in Paris, he decided to go back to China, where he had been born as a missionary child.

He returned to his birthplace, and started to help his parents do missionary stuff. One funny thing is that the head of the Anglo-Chinese School insisted that Eric and his family live in the French concession, in a huge house. Eric was, in fact, a British hero.

Eric begin his work as a teacher at a high end school. The founder of the school started it because he realized the need for mission work to the rich. He saw the poor being helped, but not the rich. I personally thought this was pretty ingenious. You don’t throw your net over someone else’s net. (See “I don’t understand fishing metaphors!” Cloudy with a chance of Meatballs)

Anyway, after a while Eric married a Canadian doctor, who wanted to be a missionary to China. Her name was Florence.

Then they had two girls in quick succession. Patricia and Maureen.

After five years or so, Eric was asked to help in a town that was in a war zone. China was still in the middle of the Sino-Japanese war. (If you say, “Huh?” you’re not alone. The Sino-Japanese war is also called the Forgotten War.)

He prayed about it and decided that he would go and help the town. He was quickly enrolled as a nurse’s assistant, and quickly became busy.

He became proficient in first aid, and was able to treat minor injuries, and the like. He would also travel to neighboring towns in order to help others have access to the hospital. (It was the only one for miles, and the Japanese had confiscated most vehicle, carts, etc.)

There was one time in which he was to retrieve a man who had been slashed across the face and neck, nearly decapitated, by a Japanese soldier. Eric and a man who had come along with him, rode the man back to the hospital on Eric’s bike. Along the way, Eric’s convoy was shot at by some Chinese men who thought they were Japanese.

Eric realized then that they were in a real war zone. Riding a bike could get you killed, albeit a case of mistaken identity.

After a bit of serving in the towns, Eric was granted permission to return to the English concession, and continue working at the school as a teacher. He lived there with his wife and daughters, and then they went back home on the basis that it was too dangerous for a wife and children in China. The Japanese had already regulated travel out side of the concessions, and Eric knew it was time for them to return.

It wasn’t quite time for his furlough, so he stayed it out, but then was restricted from returning by the Japanese. They said that the foreigners would be aloud to return to their homes, as soon as they were notified.

But the foreigners were soon notified otherwise. The Japanese had decided to put them in an interment camp.

It was run so as to keep the Europeans happy, but it wasn’t perfect. They had to fix the sewage system, and there wasn’t a lot of space. only about a football field’s worth for a few thousand people.

Through it all, Eric led the discombobulated upper class through the hardships. Many of the interns were not used to the hard living as Eric was. In many of the small towns in China, he had slept on wood floors. Hay was a luxury.

Eric was always smiling, and organizing games, classes, and youth group activities.

Eric died in the internment camp of a brain tumor. He was 43, and the only consolation for his wife, was that there was no cure for a brain tumor in 1945, and she knew it.

In all of the written accounts of the internment, there is a reference to Eric, or Uncle Eric, as many of Eric’s little friends called him.

Many remembered him as “constantly smiling”, or “The best christian man I knew.” There are countless other accounts with similar praise, as Eric was truly filled with God’s love, and he showed it in every action.

Eric Liddell was remembered in Scotland, his native land, by an award, that went to the first place racer in the top collegiate competition.

He is, and should be, remembered by all, as a man who truly loved God.

He gave his life to him, all 43 years of it. That’s pretty special 🙂