Sunday, January 9, 2011

9 January 1957 “Q & A Sunday: How Far Have We Come?”

Today I feel compelled to offer the question to my own Q & A. The recent events with the Arizona Congresswoman has even broken through the time barrier here in 1957. I am, to say the least, stunned.
First off, I want to preface this with saying I don’t think either Democrats or Republican’s have our best interest at heart. I think the time when politicians may have tried to stand for the rights of all has passed. As many who don’t like to accept it, the truth is the Big Government AND Big Business are one in the same. Both sides claim a separation, when in reality they are simply two sides of the same coin. It seems to matter little what way it is flipped.
Since the 1950’s the growing power of the Company (the large company) over the good of the small business, small farmer, and small town has increased. In fact, much of what happened in our country after WWII is the complete opposite of what happened in Europe. While they were concerned with the welfare of all and yes, even Socialism in the sense of healthcare and education was important to them. The real kicker is that our country was over there helping them to set up these governments, while in our own, we focused on aiding big business. That is why the ‘glory days of the 50’s’ could only last as long as it did. The first swing into it still saw Mom and Pop stores able to exist. Today, farming, business, food, clothing, even oil and banking happens outside our country.
I am not sure what side of the current Healthcare program I am on. To be honest, I try to stay as much in 1950’s as possible, so pay little attention. I do know that many seem to think Healthcare for all is Socialism, yet Medicaid and Social Security healthcare for the poor is NOT socialism. This, of course, is simply those who have it don’t want to call it that and don’t want to share it with others. I don’t want this to be about Healthcare.
I think what really has hit me today is how dis-enchanted I am becoming with my own country. It almost matters little to me what the arguments are even about, this person’s lifestyle is wrong, this person can or cannot do this with their body, this person can or cannot have affordable healthcare, or even, this town or city cannot have jobs or production. I have got to the point where it is all so frustrating to me that when I conjure up the image of the modern heartless American screaming their values and saying “IF you don’t like it get out” I almost want to take their advice.
But, and here is the rub, to where would I go? I would, if I could, go to Europe. Then I hear of all the marches and troubles in England over the prices of education (however you do see how they are upset enough to voice their opinion while we happily allow our college students to go away, sign up for thousands in school loan debt and then get thousands more in credit cards.)
I guess I just feel used. I feel like the machine which really began with the Industrial Revolution, but honestly really gained speed here in our country after WWII has just used us all like so much fodder.
And, people’s behavior today, people in positions of power, is appalling to me. Even in the underdealings of politicians in the 1950’s there was still a level many would not cross. When I saw this was an image on Sarah Palin’s website before the shooting I was so angry. palinmap Using gun sights, especially three pointed at Arizona, is so irresponsible in so many ways. Again, I am not laying blame on one side, but rather am disparaging our entire system. I am getting to the point where I am not sure if there is even solutions anymore. When so much corruptions controls everything, what can one do?
I see now how much of the government is merely the talking heads of really about five corporations that rule most of the world. The oil, banking, production and so on. Is there any hope?
And, I also am beginning to wonder if such a thing as Capitalism can honestly go hand in had with religion. I see so many politicians who want to claim religion as exclusively theirs and yet, I can’t help think how contrary to the basic tenants of Christianity Capitalism actually is. (excuse my prepositions at the end of sentences, I am just so frustrated). It seems to me in every way the basic Christian rules cannot exist WITH Capitalism.
"Jesus answered, 'If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.'"
-Matthew 19:21
"He who gives to the poor will lack nothing, but he who closes his eyes to them receives many curses."
-Proverbs 28:27
20 But Peter said to him, “May your silver perish with you, because you thought you could obtain the gift of God with money!
-(Acts 8:20)
To me it seems, were Jesus alive today, he would hardly side with FOX news or the Democrats. He would wonder why we begrudge aid for all and why we covet so much. Or why look the other way at the young children sweating away in India and China so that we might have cheap things. Why we choose to make life easier at the peril of the very Earth itself. The whole world is topsy turvy and it is little wonder I find it easy to reside in 1957. I only wish I could bring all those who are sick of the hypocrisy all round with me.
I only hope that any of we homemakers and lovers of the past can take a moment to consider our world. To think of how we got here and who truly is in charge of our government before we turn to hate, name calling or anger. There is so much strife and frustration in the world, yet if we only all realized we, the masses, wanted the same thing, equality, love, and aid from and for one another, maybe we could just by pass all the ridiculousness of the government and make a new world where we already are. I don’t know. What do any of you think? Have any of you ideas or opinions about our current country and our place in the world?
My heart goes out to the families of all those hurt in the shooting.
I will close with this last quote which I find very fitting to the day:
"Then Jesus said to his disciples, 'I tell you the truth, it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.'"
-Matthew 19:23-24


  1. As an American living in the UK, I LONG to live in America again. Politicians are politicians whatever side of the 'Big Pond' you live on. I thought Americans were materiaistic, then I came here and found rampant materialism. I thought when I moved here that I would find people who would be humanitarian, moral and upright. I found selfishness to the extreme- a large population concerned for what it can get out of the benefit system, a peerage system that rarely acknowledges the 'lower classes' exists and a middle class that plays 'Let's out-do the Joneses' to forget they are paying extortionate taxes to support the benefit system and -to some extent- the peerages. Religion is ridiculed or ignored by many here, a shock for a person who grew up in the bible belt. At the end of it though, people are people- good, bad or indifferent- anywhere. Grass is always greener on the other side of the fence... but I would still like to be on the American side of the fence again! :-)

  2. I am disillusioned with our country, too. But, like you said, "Where would we go?" I have lived in Germany, England, and S. Korea, spent a month in Zambia, and traveled all over the place, and while I enjoyed those countries and while they all have their good points and lovely people, I still think America is the best.

    Mrs. T-W has some good points. And, the Bible Belt has changed, I noticed, having lived there in the 70's and then again in the 90's. So much change.

    I, too, Donna, think it was irresponsible for using those rifle sights as markers on that map. I'm one who believes in the right of all of us to keep and bear arms, but that is going too far using those sights for that. Not smart at all. Invites trouble. Puts ideas in peoples' heads.

    Good post as usual.

  3. I live abroad, and I am proud to be an American. Whenever I live outside of the States for a period of time, I am happy to return. I am coming back after 8 months in South America, and I was out for 2 years prior to my last stay in the States.

    I feel like I can trust many of my fellow Americans, and I think a lot of us have a good moral compass. I don't like how everything, obviously, but I feel great coming back "home." My husband is not a U.S. citizen, but he has wonderful things to say about Americans and how our government works!

    The longer you live somewhere else, the easier it is to see your country from an outsider's perspective, of course. There are a lot of things in the States that I truly appreciate.

    I feel like I need to add that I'm a Democrat. Those rifle sights were repulsive.

  4. I don't want anyone to think I am not happy being American, but the more I learn about where we are today and see the way people treat one another today and the hate and retaliation and just nonsense hurled out there as 'news' or 'betterment for the common man' I just want to retreat more and more into the past. I don't know if this is bad, but I know it makes me happier than 2011 so far.

  5. And I promise not to be too much of a downer this year, but sometimes I just get so hit by something that I have to share my upset with all of you.

  6. A wonderful, hard-hitting post-- and it is so refreshing for me to hear someone else call out power-hungry politicians on BOTH sides of the aisle. Like others have mentioned, it isn't just Americans that are dealing with these issues... Mr. Trippy and I have often considered going to Canada, even though they have just as many issues as we do, just different KINDS of issues sometimes. However, we are both proud to be in Texas and ultimately we are happy with our life here (for now), even if we aren't happy with a lot of political and cultural things in our home state & country. Plus, as you know better than many, things in this country mid-20th century were not all grand (McCarthyism, polio, rampant racism & sexism, etc.) and we do have lots of things to be thankful for today. Imagine what people will say about the early 2000's in 50-60 years! Can you imagine baggy jeans and ugly fur-lined boots being considered "vintage" and fashionable again?

  7. You are welcome as my new neighbor here in Denmark. :)

  8. I agree it was completely irresponsible to use that graph. However my understanding is it did not originate with Palin. A HuffPost blogger created it and it was then co-opted by her. At any rate it certainly was in extremely poor taste.
    To make matters worse, the issues brought up, of blaming politicans, gun laws and southwestern politics fail to address the facts.
    My heart goes out to the families of the public servants and members of the public who simply stood together and talked about change, only to be silenced by violence.
    These innocent people have been taken from their lives, and we mourn this loss.

  9. Blogger ate my comment!! It was a good one too. And very long.

    The "gun site" map, isn't really gun sites. They're scope cross-hairs. It's also used on ALL computer targeting systems from tanks to fighter jets, in every country on the planet with a military. And in first-person shooter video games. It really bothers me how the "media" can't get something so simple correct.

    A very good post, overall. Though we do need to be careful about Jesus's words out of context. Nowhere does He say that it's the government's responsibility to care for people. He gave that charge to His followers, the Church. His bride.

    Both Peter and Paul expanded on those teachings of helping the poor and applied them almost perfectly. And that application is still applicable today.

    To deal with long-term need, committees were formed within churches to decide who in the church body needed help. It was pretty much restricted to widows and orphans. But only if they had no other living family members to care for them, or who were doing their duty. Throughout the whole of the Bible it's taught that a family is responsible for caring for its members. Only when that is shirked is someone else able to step in.

    Nowhere is a welfare or nanny state advocated. We are to help each other yes, there's no doubt of that. But we're not to do it to the point that we remove all incentive for the person to better himself. That's what a welfare/nanny state does. It looks good on the surface, but underneath are dangerous currents that never let you go once you dive in. That type of system removes personal responsibility and makes one dependent on an outside entity for everything. That's not good. Man was made to be self-sufficient, not largely dependent on assistance from others. It slowly leaches out the very thing that makes humans unique from all other animals on the earth: Ambition.

    The British college students rioting just makes me mad. They're complaining about their yearly bill going from $4,000 to $15,000. That's still many thousands less than their American counterparts pay. We don't complain about it! We buck up and deal with it. And it won't even affect the students who rioted!

    There's no such thing as a free lunch. Somebody somewhere is paying for it. A welfare state cannot exist indefinitely. By its very nature it's a ticking time bomb that will explode sooner rather than later. It discourages the formation of families, which decreases the population two generations from now, when the welfare state hits its highest amount of expenditures at the exact moment it hits its lowest revenue point. It's a massive Ponzi scheme with a bill now due that no country can pay off. And the European economy is imploding because of it.

    If we don't step back from this road and go a different direction, we're next. The baby boomers are starting to go on Medicare and Social Security at the exact moment the birth rate is declining and tax revenues are going down because there are fewer people paying into the system. That's a recipe for financial disaster like this country has never seen.

    I think the sum of our problems, worldwide, can be illustrated in just a few words. Lack of personal responsibility.

  10. Oh, in no way was I advocating a nanny state, though neither do I think that what we have today as 'understanding and charity to one another' is very 'God-like'. I also feel that proverbs were meant to stand alone within their own context.
    I wasn't blaming only Palin either and by the way, those sights are targets. I am not saying she wanted that, but they represent a targeted area. I have shot guns before and I do know what cross hairs look like.
    I think what bothers me is that I really have begun to see that Capitalism is not God-like, it just can't be. It says you must get more and more and more than anyone. What is wrong with make enough to live on so others may make as well, to me that seems more like something Jesus would preach than to allow 5 companies to literlally control the world through oil and other business.
    There really is nothing I can say, anyway, and as I said, I have just sort of reached that "I am just exhausted with the idea of it all and really, just want to go away" Only there is no 'away' to go to, that was what made me so sad.
    To top this all off no one wants to address Peak Oil. It was odd to me that I had to travel to 1950's to learn about it. And the man who was talking about it ( I think I shared an old album of his talking about it in 1956) was laughed out of his circle only to see in 1970 it was true and most of the US oil was gone. When we run out of oil, which will happen, we really haven't anything to replace it with, that will be a scary time, I am sure.
    I think we are really living on the edge of a time that in the future others will think, "My goodness, didn't they see it coming?" Not unlike before WWII. Oh, well.
    I am sure no matter what we think we all share that our hearts and minds go out to the families of the hurt and slain.

  11. Also, I cannot fathom that God advocates ambition over helping your fellow brother.

  12. Also the European economy is failing because our own country with its banking/ real estate Ponzi scheme crashed and burned and they were heavily invested in our shaky position. It isn't anything to do with their state aid system but everything to do with investing in our system of uncontrolled banking/real estate. That is what has lead to our current depression. Greece, for example, is bankrupt due to that, not because of some odd healthcare bill we just invented.
    And England and Ireland were HEAVILY invested in our country. Ireland was literally buying up chunks of Newbury st in Boston, the high end shopping district, during the inflated real estate market a few years ago. When that fell, it was a major factor in their now bad situation. It had every thing to do with Greed and NOTHING to do with their system of aid/healthcare/school. It just makes me sad that the country seems to be feed un-truths. Again, I want to go away, but to where?

  13. What capitalism has turned into is by no means built on Biblical principles. But the idea of capitalism is. It's illustrated in the Parable of the Talents, and quite beautifully too. Capitalism has existed since the dawn of time. It has many different forms and degrees. At its most basic, I do believe it is the best system because it encourages people to better themselves and to grow.

    America is still the only country I ever want to live in. Yes we have our problems and we're falling apart in many ways. Yet we still have something that no other country has and we still have more freedoms than any other country. My own self wouldn't be accepted or even tolerated in most other countries. That's sad to me.

    No other country is as free as America. No other country has as many choices for where you can live and what you can do and the sky is truly the limit for anyone who's willing to work at it.

  14. Well I wasn't going to comment on this, but it's this comment that changed my mind:

    "The British college students rioting just makes me mad. They're complaining about their yearly bill going from $4,000 to $15,000. That's still many thousands less than their American counterparts pay. We don't complain about it! We buck up and deal with it. And it won't even affect the students who rioted!"

    It may be less than American students pay, but how can anyone be "mad" about their complaint about tuition going up by something like 375%!! American students wouldn't "buck up and deal with" something like that, they'd be up in arms about it. "And it won't even affect the students who rioted!" Well it wasn't only blacks who rioted against racism now was it. People react to things they think are wrong, whether it affects them directly or not. Really!

    I had a lot more to say, however I don't want to be the cause of problems here on your blog. But people need to use their heads and keep things in context. And by the way, as a Canadian, I happen to think that Canada is a great country that gives me choices about where I can live, what I can do, and gives me no limits.

  15. Hey Jackie-- I love Canada! My mom's family came from there, and I love driving up to visit.

    The change in tuition prices in the U.K. IS absolutely shocking. I agree that anyone who feels something is wrong--and a 300+% tuition change could easily fit in there--should protest! In fact, the right and will to react to questionable policy changes or laws is one of the things I love so much about the States.

  16. Isn't' it sad, then, that though our tuitions here have gone through the roof over the past decades, we have done nothing about it. I think, in many ways, the complacency we have because of all our gadgets and entertainment just lulls us into accepting debt. Oh, well.

  17. Wow, how did you get inside my head? I having been saying largely the same thing a lot. There's this odd little website that declares modern culture, basically anything past the 60s, as a decline into what they call the Pit. I wouldn't want the racism or homophobia of the past, but we've lost so much else. It seems like everywhere you turn people are tearing each other apart. Even our entertainment is the same. I recently read a review for a movie that was cited for many critical awards, described as being similar to Saw III. It's kind of tragic.


 Search The Apron Revolution