Posts from the ‘Belief’ Category

You Are Cordially Invited to a Tea Party

matson

There is an interesting phenomenon going on throughout our country today.  In ways not seen on this scale since the war protests of the 70’s, people are showing our government that they are fed up.  Americans young and old are sending the message loud and clear that we are tapped out as a nation and weary of yet more restrictions, bail-outs and tax burdens being heaped upon our shoulders and those of our future generations.

It is not a partisan effort, despite what the ultra-left wing branch of the Democratic party would lead you to believe.  There are Republicans, Democrats and Independents alike participating in this show of outrage and frustration.  We are exercising our Constitutional rights as Americans, whatever our political affiliations might be, to assembly and free speech.  We are, as a people, sending a message that while we respect the office of the President, many of us grow increasingly unhappy with the direction the country is being guided or shoved down a path we do not want.

So, today we protest our frustration and convey our disagreement with policies and new taxes and programs that it are being presented as what “we” want.  I for one, am tired of being told what is good for me and to just shut up, sit back and agree with those that do NOT represent my views, despite what they seem to believe.  I’m angry with the bail-outs that were passed “for our own good” even though the public outrage and opinion showed that Americans were soundly against their passage.

Washington and those currently in office better pay attention to what is being expressed by the people that have elected them as our representatives.  If they are smart, they will not put spin on it or tell us once again what they think we meant to say rather than listening to what we are actually SAYING to them.  This is a warning shot for those coming up for re-election that we the people, are paying attention and are discontented with their actions and disregard for what we think.

So, exercise your right to be heard.  Even if you believe no one is listening, it is a sure bet that you won’t be heard if you don’t even try.  In the past few election cycles it has vividly been shown that even a few individual votes do indeed count.  If you choose to sit on your backside, then don’t complain when you are not “bailed out” like the major corporations or fall through the cracks when you thought you’d be saved from your responsibilities and allowed a free pass.

Wake up and smell the tea brewing! 

Washington, you are not doing a good job at hearing the people you represent and that elected you.  This is not just a fluke or something that will go away if you put your fingers in your collective ears and cover your eyes.  To even give the impression, whether accurate or not, that the views of your constituents are falling on deaf ears would be a mistake if you wish to continue to serve the people that elected you.  Change is indeed brewing in this country, although I’m not sure that it’s quite the change the current administration envisioned.  I beg you, do not make the mistake of dismissing or alienating what is becoming a larger and larger section of the American people clammering to be heard..

On another little, purely personal note, I know that the original Tea Party was located in Boston in 1773.  However, we in the South know the TRUE value of tea.  Look in any refrigerator in a true Southern household, and you will find a gallon or two (or four) of the best SWEET tea that you’ll ever taste.  I know that the Yankees amongst us (hear that oh stoic one?), don’t recognize the simple indulgent pleasure in a glass of sweet tea and insist that having sugar on the table will somehow negate the fact that your restaurants don’t have it available on your menus up North.  You just don’t know what you’re missing.  Perhaps it’s why Southerners always have a smile on their face and something to say to everyone, even making actual eye contact as we do!!  We’re just infused with sweetness from birth through our tea! 😉

So, today in Atlanta, our tea party will have sweet tea flowing freely and our voices as proud Americans will be heard loud and clear.  The only question is, will those in Washington be smart enough to pay attention and react by rethinking some of their proposed actions?

Time will tell.  One thing is certain, ignoring it or making light of such a large group of Americans discontent would be foolish and ill-advised on their part.

 

“We in America do not have government by the majority. We have government by the majority who participate.”  Thomas Jefferson

 

**The DHS bulletin released or “conveniently leaked” on April 7th is troubling in the fact that it seems to be a not so subtle hint that our freedom of speech is being threatened at least by threat of intimidation and at worst incrimination.  We all need to pay attention and be vigilant of such veiled threats against our freedoms.

Easter Ain’t What it Used To Be

easterbaskets

I was raised to respect traditions.  I went through my childhood relishing in the fact that while the world around me was changing at a rapid, sometimes scary pace, some things in life would always stay the same.  Some things were so important, they always took precedent over any other in my life.  You could always depend on their very essence and the spirit of thought behind them.

It was a comforting thought to hold close.   Precious traditions to look forward to were a safe harbor I could count on regardless of circumstance or location.  While the manner or details of their execution might by necessity vary a bit  in form from year to year, the basic tenant of their existence never changed nor wavered.

As a result, I brought up my children with the same value system from my youth.

Even as parents around me found themselves too busy or too “sophisticated” to bother with silly things like building memories, a few of us still insisted on keeping to the things we knew were important.  Traditions like ensuring Santa always had homemade cookies waiting for him on Christmas Eve or throwing a special birthday party at home for our kids complete with games and/or crafts and handmade goodie bags filled with treasures where much thought had been given to their selection, started to become few and far between in modern day families.  It was easier to let Chucky Cheese or the latest mini-golf adventure park handle all the messy “details” of marking the birth of your child rather than being bothered with all that planning yourself.  Family time was quickly being relegated to whatever bits and pieces that could be crammed in around all the REALLY important stuff.  You know the ones, important things like working 80 hours or more a week for that 3rd or 4th car..for the 4 vacations a year or 2nd little getaway home.

Traditions got lost along the way in the rush to acquire more and more “stuff”.  We sacrificed what we thought were non-consequential little bits of our lives along the way so that we could hurry up and wait for all the “good stuff” to get here.  The only problem with that theory was, those “little bits” start to add up to a lot of time and missed opportunities we can never get back with those around us.  Hey, it was all for the greater good though..right?

Wrong.

Just take a long look around at what is happening in our country and in the world today.  Every day on the news there is yet another tragic story of a person or family suffering directly and personally, or indirectly through the actions of a stranger, from the effect that loss of family and tradition has had on society.  People are slipping through the cracks.  We seem to have lost our way in the rush to “improve” or “re-invent” something that didn’t need replacing in the first place.

Traditions matter.  To have something that can be counted on in some form or another from year to year, makes a huge difference in how we handle life’s little (or big) ups and downs.  We all need a support system or something to depend on as being solid…a foundation to quiet our souls when we need to believe in something.

That’s what a tradition is for.  Whether it be something silly that only you or your loved ones count as important or something as vital as a group we identify with and celebrate our mutual beliefs, traditions give us a place in ourselves that can never be erased.  They provide a warm secret spot within our thoughts where we can retreat to anytime the world seems to be collapsing around us. 

Traditions don’t have to be centered on religious beliefs.  It’s not a matter of money.  Special traditions don’t have to cost a penny, they can be from the heart.  They don’t have to be grand gestures.  They do however, have to be consistent..even in times of strife.

So,  even though traditions have to be changed a bit this year at my house, they will be celebrated nonetheless.  I’ll pull out my grandmother’s recipe for a traditional heavy lemon pound cake and make it to celebrate my Dad’s birthday, simply because it’s what he asked for.  I don’t care about the current trend of low-fat, low taste healthy, only eat what’s good for us, that is in vogue.  Tomorrow, as part of an Easter celebration, we’ll enjoy without guilt, a taste from our past and smile.  In that way, my Grandmother (Nana) will be with us as well.  I have no doubt that stories of past Easter dinners at her house will abound for my children to hear yet again and pass along one day to their children.  Tradition will continue.

I’ll put together Easter baskets with special treats or little gifts for my kids to find when they wake tomorrow morning.  I have never bought a pre-made pre-put-together store bought basket in my life.  No matter that they are going to be 23, 20 and 14 this year, they will be almost as excited as when they were little to see whatever has been “left” for them by a Giant Bunny that has hopped by overnight.  Forget the fact that they all stay up most of the night and that Mom in turn, will have to have little if any sleep in order to make sure a surprise is created..it’s worth it.  Their Grandmother (my mom), even though she’s not in good health, will still have her house filled with special decorations and more treats for her grown children and for the grandchildren.  Tradition will live on and be something they carry on with their families one day because they recognize the importance of something to count on, even if it’s silly.

To start the day I consider Holy, I’ll also fall back to my upbringing.  Even though I rarely attend church regularly anymore, the convictions and beliefs I grew up with are strong within me and are passed on to my family.  There are years I will attend a sunrise Church service at the mountain, other years I feel the need to be amongst a congregation of those I know and respect, and some years I spend the morning in quiet reflection and remembrance of what I believe.  Whatever form the day takes, it comforts me to know that some things never change, in spite of the turmoil in the world around me.  I don’t know the answers as to why things happen the way they do, many times to those most innocent or undeserving of the chaos, but I have an abiding faith that there is a reason for every event that happens and that I don’t have to know the reason.  Tradition of spirit and of your own soul is perhaps the most precious gift of all to nurture and not neglect.

So, Easter ain’t what it used to be anymore for many of us.  It makes me sad to see so many traditions falling by the wayside in society.  The loss of family time as stores remain open in the name of political correctness or convenience is troubling.  The cost to the family from the increasing isolation and loss of human contact in favor of digital ways of interacting…the loss of our very humanity in a way as a result, is a shame and dangerous for some of those amongst us.  Especially for ones with dangerous violent tendencies, such isolation has shown just in the past month with so many tragic shootings, what happens when people cut themselves off from others or when we don’t want to “interfere” in someone else’s business.

Traditions are important.  So go hide an egg or two, have a meal with your family or a neighbor that is alone, go to church..heck go to a baseball game.  Start your own tradition if you didn’t grow up with one and cherish it from this point forward.  Give yourself and those around you a glimmer of something to look forward to in years to come.

Give the gift of something solid to hold on to, of something to count on, to yourself.  In these uncertain times, it’s vital…whether we realize it or not.

Recognize the value of small things around you.  Small things are the ones that make the most difference to us all.

These Are The Good Ole Days

anticipation

 

Anticipation.

 

Function: noun
1 the act of looking forward; especially : pleasurable expectation
2 visualization of a future event or state

 

These are just a couple of the benign definitions of the word “anticipation”, the clinical version of the word. We learn from an early age to anticipate events in our lives, both good and bad. We start to look forward in life and not backward. Some indications you’re anticipating something special are universal.  That sensation when you feel butterflies in your stomach, the feeling of being on pins and needles..unable to sit still without thought or movement, hoping that time will hurry and pass so that we can get to the “good” stuff, while at the same time praying that time will stand still…we all know the symptoms. I love to enjoy that time and find ways to heighten and savor the curve ahead of a special time.  In doing so, when what I’ve been yearning for so intently is finally happening, it’s not merely good, but spectacular…memorable.

When we are young, we learn to look forward to special treats. Remember the feeling of waking up on a summer’s day and knowing that “sometime” during the course of the afternoon, the ice cream truck might make a trip through your neighborhood? You prepared for it. Made sure that you alerted Mom to the possibility that you’d need money at a moment’s notice. You stayed almost on point, listening for the bell that heralded it’s arrival. You looked forward when you were young to any special treat promised for good behavior. Vacations or trips were planned and before you ever loaded up the car to head out, there had been weeks of preparation and sleepless nights when you absolutely couldn’t wait to leave and get started on your adventure.

If we are really clever, as we get older and travel along life’s paths, we learn how to use anticipation to draw out the time prior to good events we know are upcoming. We use anticipation almost as foreplay in the days leading up to special times we hope to cherish and remember always. We think about what special unexpected things might happen. We ponder the variables that could either enhance or detract from our experience. We dream of what might be, both when we are awake and sleeping. The time seems to crawl, but by the same token…that in itself can be delicious in piquing the senses if done correctly. We anticipate…we feel fully alive. It’s exciting, it’s vital to life itself to look forward to things.

We look forward to our first love, our first kiss. We look forward (hopefully) to our wedding. The birth of our first child is a time of worry, joy and hope.  Those feelings don’t diminish with all the children that follow, they are simply enhanced. We look forward to special vacations, to graduations. We anticipate with excitement and sometimes nervousness our new jobs, new relationships, anniversaries and the promise of a new home .

There are so many things, large and small, in life to look forward to and absolutely savor if we pay attention.  So many events to anticipate if we don’t wish our lives away by hoping that the time we have flies by rather than enjoying the journey to get there.  We need to learn to look at the paths we travel as part of the joy of living, even when times are hard.  Those lessons in anticipating our future and the possibilities it holds are valuable as well.

Some of us remember when Carly Simon brought the word to life in a song. She gave it texture and locked it in our minds, it was a theme song for many teenagers and 20 somethings as to what our lives would hold. (Of course, this was BEFORE the song was forever linked to ketchup slowly oozing it’s way out to give us something thick and tasty to eat…hmmmm, cum to think of it, that IS a great imagery of anticipation! Never mind. *batting my eyes*) Okay, back to my basic point…learn to feel anticipation again.

There are no guarantees in life of how something will turn out, learn to look forward to the possibilities anyway. Keep that childlike magic alive of wanting and yearning for something that is to come so that you don’t grow old and stagnant in your life. Don’t over plan or try to regiment every detail of life as we tend to do as adults.  Instead, try going with the flow and letting your dreams guide you. Take chances and go after the things that are important to you or rare in their occurrence without fear or second guessing.  Even in these difficult times, trust your intuition.

LET yourself feel the butterflies. Be on pins and needles, laugh out loud or share secrets with someone. Beforehand, daydream and “feel” whatever you’re most looking forward to in your most private thoughts. Want it, need it,  and embrace the special time before something special is about to happen, then enjoy the heck out of the actual event. Learn to live in the moment when you can…when the times allow for it, take a few chances. Let go and give yourself permission to reach out and grab what you need or want.

Take time for yourself.  It’s vitally important for both mental and physical health, especially in these trying times.

I know I always will. It’s amazing how time really does fly and the events in life you look forward to, do indeed arrive. Spectacularly.

 

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Anticipation

Carly Simon

 

We can never know about the days to come
But we think about them anyway
And I wonder if I’m really with you now
Or just chasing after some finer day

Anticipation, Anticipation
Is making me late
Is keeping me waiting

And I tell you how easy it is to be with you
And how right your arms feel around me.
But I rehearsed those words just late last night
When I was thinking about how right tonight might be

Anticipation, Anticipation
Is making me late
Is keeping me waiting

And tomorrow we might not be together
I’m no prophet and I don’t know natures way
But I’ll try to see into your eyes right now
And stay right here
‘Cause these are the good old days.

Come Play With Me

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I love to play…

with words. (What did you THINK I was going to say?? I don’t kiss and tell! Well, not the details anyway…but I digress.

Okay, back to the subject at hand. Anyone that really knows me, as well as every student I’ve ever had from kindergarten through high school, has heard me speak often and passionately about the art of using language well. I’ve always had a love affair with words, both in written form and the spoken variety of communication. I firmly believe that if you have a good command of language that the world is yours. I believe it opens doors for you that might otherwise be left closed. I KNOW for sure, the way you present yourself through the way you speak…whether to possible employers, friends or potential lovers, often times makes a huge difference in your life or the paths you end up traveling.

I will admit to being “somewhat” of a grammar snob. I’m not sure if it’s the teacher in me, or if I became a teacher to try to improve my little corner of the world where I can…but I will often look at the way someone communicates before I let them too close to me. The constant misuse of words or misspelling of things like “there” and “their” or “your” and “you’re” drives me absolutely nuts. I realize that no one has perfect grammar, even me (stop laughing!! I’m perfect in other areas!)…but if someone obviously takes no care in how they express themselves, I know myself and know that either consciously or unconsciously, I’ll end up distancing myself from them so I don’t start correcting them. (which I still do on occasion when I just can’t stand it anymore)

Beyond that, if you have an interesting vocabulary, it’s just plain sexy. The “art” of flirting is slowly dying. No one takes the time anymore to practice verbal seduction or to use double entrendres that are meant to convey more than one meaning in conversations, either casually or with a more intense intent. Everything seems to be rapidly moving to the obvious, in-your-face type of communication, that frankly tends to leave me cold. Now granted, there ARE times when graphic, raw words are hot…times when they can and are used to enhance situations or to heighten the senses. I too, like to employ those words and phrases. They are not however, over-used in my world. When I utter something in this manner, it’s because I mean business…because they drive the point (so to speak) home with great gusto.

Word play. Some words have texture.  They convey depth just from their mere use. I have so many favorite words. I love to write. I compose everything from love letters, to short stories, to erotic tales. I find great pleasure in putting words together in a way that paints a picture in another person’s imagination when they read them. There are some words that are innocent enough on their surface, but when used can bring to mind images of much more.

You can write that you are  “eating a strawberry”…or instead, you can be about to “savor a succulent, ruby red, ripe strawberry dripping with juice”. (I love the word “succulent”) Some words are so rich and full of potential. They can bring more than one thing to mind when used. You can be “interested” in someone, or “immersed” in them. You can “think” about someone all the time, or instead, you’re “consumed” by the mere thought of them. The difference in what comes to mind is amazing depending on the word or phrases used. The meaning can still be totally innocent, but the possibility of more is there. It makes the mind wander or wonder. It engages the soul and captures the attention of whomever it’s directed at.

Learn to play with your words (ummmm…extra hint here…playing with your food can make for some pretty lively communication too, especially when naked, but that is a subject for another day). Make your conversations interesting. Practice the lost skills of seduction and flirting. If nothing else…try to learn a new word every few days that you can work into a conversation. Use these new skills not only with lovers or partners, but with friends or people at work. You’ll find that people start to look at you differently. Stretch your language skills. Take a few chances…pay attention to your grammar or the way you express yourself.

You might just be surprised at the changes that come your way or in the people that start to pay attention to you that might not have before. If nothing else, you might just have some fun along the way. Employ the flirting in the bedroom or over a romantic dinner.

In the new age of online interactions, don’t be so ridiculously obvious. Don’t come (cum) up to a total stranger online or on a dating site flashing all your goodies (or in the case of many of you, your shortcomings or goods WAY past their expiration date) with an accompanyingoh, so attractive offer of…Wanna F*CK?? Trust me, anyone that takes you up on that right off the bat, is either desperate or challenged in some way. Take a little time, “try” to act as if you might be interested in more than seeing their tits or penis…you never know, you just may find something special. Everything doesn’t have to be serious, but you don’t have to treat potential “conquests” as trivial, disposable objects either. By all means, do NOT lie, but at the same time…don’t be a goober or an insensitive bore either. Learn to use your WORDS!

So boys and girls, go ahead and play amongst yourselves. Whisper something sweet and suggestive either figuratively in prose or by way of the spoken word. Lean in close and take a chance with a well placed clever hint or amusing play on words. Be a rebel. Dare to be intriguing and beguiling. Practice your skill, hone your talent…tantalize and tease…tempt and be tempestuous. Learn how to leave something up for interpretation, leave them guessing as to the possibilities of what could be. Paint vivid, full pictures in the imaginations of those you meet and interact with. At the very least, don’t be predictable, dare to stand out from a very large crowd.

 Put at least the same effort into the manner of your contact with others that you would in choosing your next car or place to live.  In these times where we are depending more and more on electronic modes of socializing with others rather than engagaing in face-to-face interactions that are more vibrant and alive, albeit more work, language skills are even more important.  Don’t be left in the dust. Have the courage to be remarkable and don’t settle for being a pale verision of what you could be.  One more in a herd of those being left behind and losing their basic language skills.

Trust me, we’ll ALL thank you for it.

 

Reality, The Final Frontier

 live-love-laugh

Common Sense has been dying a slow death in our society for years.  However, with growing pressures attacking us from all sides in recent times and economic woes escalating, the slide for those not able to face simple reality in many areas of their lives appears to be on the rise at an alarming rate.

The time has come to try and let a little common sense start to creep back into our lives, even if it’s bit by bit.  It’s time to learn to cope with the new realities in all our lives and with the changes that are here to stay in the world around us all.  It’s a matter of survival and is vital to any sense of happiness and well being we can hope to have. 

Progress toward finding contentment has to begin by paying attention to the ways in which we look at and handle our relationships with others.  Many basic life skills and truths are being abandoned or sacrificed in modern times in favor of wearing blinders to avoid large areas of real life.  That avoidance only serves to ensure we don’t actually have to deal with the emotions or reality present in our lives.  Real change can only begin when you come to the realization that no one can make you happy, but YOU.  To depend on someone else for your sense of self or put the responsibility on others to make yourself happy, is a recipe for disaster.  Happiness by default is an ultimately unattainable goal to reach for.

 

In your life, there will come a time when you have to admit a few things to yourself…if you dare.

 

The sheer force of your will is not enough to cause life around you to always be as you think it should be or in your comfort zone. You can only do what YOU can do in situations, both in your life or in events that concern you.  Ultimately you cannot make anyone else do the things you think they should or the things you need for them to do for your peace of mind. You cannot control everything around you all the time. There will be situations in which you have to trust enough and go with your gut feeling and/or let someone else take the lead, even if you believe it’s not the shortest path to where you need to go or you can’t see the outcome from the beginning. You WILL fail from time to time.  Deal with it and learn to do it gracefully when needed. If you don’t fail, at least now and then, it stands to reason you’re not playing fair somewhere along the line. 

Even someone that loves you or that you love with all your heart, will at times disappoint or hurt you. It’s up to you to decide what you do about it and whether the hurt is a temporary and sometimes necessary curve in the journey, or whether it’s a detour that won’t ever lead to where you want to be. If the person is truly important to you and your life, weigh these choices carefully before you act. Some bridges can never be recrossed once they are traveled over. There will be times though, when enough is enough. Learn to tell the difference.

Not every day will be a good one. Some days will swing from the highest highs to the lowest lows with remarkable speed simply because of an unexpected phrase or thoughtless comment expressed from someone you trust, love or depend on. These comments are probably not thought twice about, much less ever meant to upset you. Try to remember that hurt feelings are not fatal.

Remember when someone acts in ways that confound or confuse you out of the blue, that they might in fact be coming from a place of fear in themselves and their behavior is a protective measure on their part. Don’t always make it about yourself. Stop to consider what else may be going on beneath the surface and why. Also stop to remember why they are in your life in the first place and that you want them there for a reason.

Tell or show people how important they are to you often, just because, and don’t expect the same in return or be hurt if the people around you don’t bestow on you the same courtesy and thoughtfulness. Love and respect can’t be mandated or scheduled for others by you. Love is, at times, only a silent player much like the wind…some days it’s a gale, some days a mere breeze. You can still feel it in every fiber of your being without repeated flashy demonstrations of it’s existence. Learn to appreciate all the subtle nuances of it’s presence as well.  Those nuances are just as precious, sometimes even more memorable.

People love and express love in their own unique, individual ways. None of these ways are perfect, nor can they be judged as right or wrong. Just because someone doesn’t love you exactly the way YOU want them to, it doesn’t mean they aren’t giving you all they are capable of giving. If it’s not enough for YOU, it is then your problem, not theirs. Only you can decide to walk away or not at that point. Don’t get involved with someone expecting to change them or for them to change for you.  Females, as a group, are notorious for this belief.  They then wonder why they are always searching for more.

Whether you consider yourself religious, spiritual or a freak of nature that is on this Earth by mere coincidence of atoms colliding…the Good Book still has some common sense rules of humanity to live by. Treat others as you’d like to be treated, don’t always envy what someone else has and don’t take for granted the good things in your own life..are three of the most important ones to hold close and put into practice.  Karma, fate or destiny (whatever you choose to call it) will indeed come full circle if you choose to tempt it too many times. Don’t cry over spilt milk and never make the mistake of assuming that getting said milk without ever any commitment to the cow will be without consequences.

Bottom line, growing up is not for the faint of heart, neither is maturity. Courage, responsibility and honor are not givens in your character, but are instead developed in the way you choose to live your life and how you treat others.

Try not to be trivial or sleaze your way through life.  Decide to make a difference where you can, while you can. Make your mark on this world instead of being like gum on the bottom of someones shoe.

If these simple common sense concepts are too much for your meager brain to handle or for your corrupt soul to fathom, then trust me…you won’t care for much I have to say if you press me or act like a stupid juvenile when you’re supposed to be all grown up (in years anyway). Playing dumb or trying to be “cute” all the time without ever being real, wears thin very quickly. Have some substance, purpose and backbone in all that you do, even during play.

~Kath

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~The art of living does not consist in preserving and clinging to a particular mode of happiness, but in allowing happiness to change its form without being disappointed the change. Happiness, like a child, must be allowed to grow up.~

Here a Trillion, There a Trillion

money_money2 

 

A budget of 3.6 TRILLION dollars was passed yesterday on Capitol Hill. 

We pledged to contribute to another TRILLION dollars to the IMF at the G-20 summit. 

We are throwing hundreds of billions of dollars each week, it seems, to BAIL-OUT (not recovery and re-investment) yet another company that is deemed “too big to fail”.  In the process, we are now also seeing the government step into the fray in the attempt to legislate the salaries of private citizens.

Our calculators do not even go up to a trillion.

We are throwing around money like it’s a bizarre monopoly game and it’s not real to any of us.  It’s so far out of the realm of imagining for any average/normal American, that it’s like dealing in fantasy.  I’m not sure that even the politicians doling out our grandchildren’s future have any true concept of the true amount involved.  It’s mind boggling to even consider.

…and yet, we “spend” (at least on paper) more and more each day to “solve” our problems.  Nevermind the problems that we are creating in the process.  The current theory is that we’ll deal with those potential problems when we have to. 

It seems that Scarlett O’Hara’s reasoning has taken over Washington and the Congress and administration, along with many Americans, are now thinking…

Oh, I can’t think about this now! I’ll go crazy if I do! I’ll think about it tomorrow. But I must think about it. I must think about it. What is there to do? What is there that matters?  After all, tomorrow is another day!”

 

 

To put the concept of exactly how much a TRILLION dollars is into perspective, here are 15 Trivia facts about what that amount of “play” money could do…

 

A trillion dollars, in one-dollar bills, lined up end to end, can circle the earth about 3800 times.

A trillion dollars, single-stacked in one-dollar bills, would stand about 679,000 miles high; almost three times farther than the moon.

A trillion dollars worth of pennies, stacked in a single stack, would reach about 79,000,000 miles high; over three-quarters of the distance to the sun.

A trillion dollars, laid out flat with one-dollar bills, would cover an area of nearly 4000 square miles; nearly enough to cover the state of Delaware, not once, but twice; and it could cover Washington D.C. with about 2 1/2 inches of one-dollar bills.

A trillion dollars, strung end to end across the United States and stacked in a single-line stack, would build a wall 115 feet high across the country.

A trillion dollars, even in 100 dollar bills, stacked in a single stack, would reach over 6700 miles high.

A trillion dollars, in 100 dollar bills, lined up end to end, would circle the globe about 39 times.

To spend a trillion dollars in one year, you would have to spend $2,739,726,027.39 each and every day.

To spend a trillion dollars in ten years, you would have to spend $273,972,602.73 each and every day.

To spend a trillion dollars in an average lifetime (72 years), you would have to spend $38,051,750.38 each and every day.

The weight of a trillion dollars, in one-dollar bills, is about 1,093,750 tons; about as much as 15 Queen Elizabeth II cruise ships (Gross Tonnage). 

A trillion dollars in one-dollar bills would take about 32,000 years to count, assuming a counting rate of a dollar per second, and counting for 24 hours each day, seven days a week.  No food, no sleep, no breaks.

A trillion dollars in one-dollar bills, placed on the center line of America’s nearly 4 million miles of roadways in a single-line stack, would create a stack over 1 1/2 inches thick, or 38 layers.

A trillion dollars could purchase over 3 million of the most expensive Rolls Royce autos.

A trillion dollars could purchase over 2.5 million of the most expensive Lamborghini sports cars.

 

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Money, Money, Money  by Abba

 

I work all night, I work all day, to pay the bills I have to pay
Ain’t it sad
And still there never seems to be a single penny left for me
That’s too bad
In my dreams I have a plan
If I got me a wealthy man
I wouldn’t have to work at all, I’d fool around and have a ball…

Money, money, money
Must be funny
In the rich man’s world
Money, money, money
Always sunny
In the rich man’s world
Aha-ahaaa
All the things I could do
If I had a little money
It’s a rich man’s world

A man like that is hard to find but I can’t get him off my mind
Ain’t it sad
And if he happens to be free I bet he wouldn’t fancy me
That’s too bad
So I must leave, I’ll have to go
To Las Vegas or Monaco
And win a fortune in a game, my life will never be the same…

Money, money, money
Must be funny
In the rich man’s world
Money, money, money
Always sunny
In the rich man’s world
Aha-ahaaa
All the things I could do
If I had a little money
It’s a rich man’s world

Let Me Be Clear…As Mud

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“Let me be clear, the government has no interest in running GM or the car industry. The government has no intention of running GM.”

Translation:  Well, other than firing the CEO, telling them what to cars to make, mandating a merger with an overseas company, having government backed warranties and withholding any more funds if you don’t do everything we tell you to do, the way we tell you to do it…we won’t be running the car industry.  Of course none of that would fall into the category of full oversight of the company, does it?

As a country, we have been edging down a slippery slope for weeks now.  The pace is picking up and we are now starting a full blown slide down said slope and straight to hell in a handbasket.  The question many of us are starting to have is, where will it all end?  Will it end at all or is this just beginning of a fundamental change in our country and of the constitution set up to define it.  We are approaching or already in very dangerous territory and not even pretending to tread lightly anymore.

The firing (okay, technically if we use the administration’s current wordplay game of semantics, the “strong suggestion that he should step aside”) of GM CEO Rick Wagoner today signals a shot across the bow to American companies, both private and public.  If you accept or are forced into taking government funds, your job security is now dependant on the whim of those in Washington.  We are putting CEO’s and boards of companies, private and public alike, on notice.  If the powers that be don’t agree with the way you run your business, with the products you produce or in your plans to restructure the company, all bets are off.  You can now be taken over by the federal government.

There is a lot of blame/credit to go around on every side.  This is not a partisan issue.   In the car industry and large financial firms especially, the rousing battle cry of a company being “too big to fail” is what caused a lot of the chaos we have gone through and have yet to experience.  That premise has proven to be a fallacy in thinking.  In the case of GM and AIG in particular, after sinking billions upon billions of dollars into the death stars of these corporations, the only option for GM still may be to declare bankruptcy and restructure as they should have months ago.  AIGwas the poster child for public outcry last week as Congress on both sides of the aisle, whipped up outrage and mob mentality as a means of diversion over bonuses that were paid.  The only problem was, many of those so outraged in the Administration, Congress and the Treasury Department, knew of the bonuses to come ahead of time and tacitly signed off on them weeks before they were given out.   When the constituency was paying attention and started an outcry, then the backpedaling and un-constitutional passage of a tax bill by the House occurred.  Bus tours were arranged by an offshoot of ACORN to intimidate executives scared for their families to give back money that everyone in power knew they were going to receive.

Over the past 2 to 3 decades, we have all experienced and enjoyed the times of excess run amok in our society.  Many of us learned to live above our means rather than to stay within our attainable financial boundaries.  We became spoiled and used to having all we needed or being able to attain it through credit lines that freely flowed.  We had a false sense of security and thought our lives would never change.

Corporations in America and around the world were no different.  As long as the profits were flowing in, everyone prospered and took full advantage of the times.  The fat cats lived high on the hog and every angle was worked to it’s full advantage even by the most casual investor.  We were told that the Stock Market was golden and the only way to go in saving for retirement was through our 401 K’s.

Then things ground to a halt.  The market started the plummet to half it’s former glory.  Credit dried up.  Everyone panicked.  The world markets also started to show the cracks that had been hidden for years.  Jobs were slashed at an alarming rate even in industries that had been considered untouchable in the past.  Spending, by necessity, also had to be curtailed as we all learned our lives as we had been living them, had changed.

As in any situation, as we are finding out, if you put a harsh light on a problem, it’s many imperfections and flaws start to show.  Many of the companies that for years appeared to be bastions of stability, have been revealed to have been concealing many fissures and fatal flaws that were allowed to get worse over many years.  Any  house of cards, when it gets high enough, will tumble to the ground if the underlying structure is not sound.  Tumble we did and we are still in free fall.

So with today’s actions, not only was free enterprise and capitalism put on notice in America, we as citizens were too.  If we are smart, we will sit up and take notice and continue to pay attention to each little bit of control being given over to the government.  The bits and pieces of what are seemingly small things right now, will start to add up.  Left unchecked, we will surely look back in a few years and wonder where our country and freedoms went.

 

“Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men.”  Lord Acton, 1887