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Archive for January 2013

God, how I hate the Twentieth Century

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whitehouseThirty years from now, when you’re sitting around your fireside with your grandson on your knee and he asks you, “What did you do in the great World War II,” you won’t have to say, “Well… I shoveled shit in Louisiana.”

Okay I admit it: I’m old fashioned in a way. This is largely rooted in the fact I grew up on those 70’s TV shows and listened to my grandfather telling about his experiences during the Great Depression and World War II.  I try to get up to speed on modern pop culture and it just does not jive. I would rather read Shakespeare over worrying about every little detail about Kayne West’s pregnancy. My God, how times have changed.  Even on seemingly trivial matters, I differ. I prefer burlesque, brunch and my grandmother’s cooking over more modern preferences.  Then again, I knew what gestation and the menstrual cycle was before I was even 3.   If I had been a doctor, I would have been an OB/GYN.  At a time when most boys are interested in cheerleaders, I did a paper on U.S. foreign policy. I thought the cheerleaders were pretty too.  But “scoring one for the home team” wasn’t my primary occupation. Sometimes people will ask me “Why don’t you write a book?” In a culture where the average attention span is like 15 seconds? Yeah right!

I could have been a world class disc shooter, a history professor, movie maker,                          a baseball/football player (head and heart, but never enough size and talent), an astronaut, fluent in 5 or 6 languages, etc… So what the hell am I supposed to do?

I have dreamed of myself being a frontiersman, a cavalry officer, a pilot and quite a few other things.  It is just that for being a 19th-20th century man, trying to mesh into the 21st century world is the great challenge of my life. Surely God just didn’t stick in this century just to wallow around trying to figure out what I’m supposed to do with my life. Isn’t that how our lives are? Especially for post World War II people, our lives are figured out for us by the time we come out of the womb.  Imagine being born rich and famous.

Someone like George H.W. Bush would have been fine if he had strictly been an accountant or solely determined how many automobiles we should produce every month.  But I wouldn’t want him making basic value judgments about the worth of a life.  Not everything can be translated to a ledger. His son should have gone an entirely different way that didn’t involve high finance or politics. If that had been the case, history would have been different. Imagine if someone had the gumption to kill Hitler and Stalin 10 years earlier. They probably would have been tried and convicted of murder.  But it could have prevented World War II.  But who knows for sure.

In this century, I’m beginning to realize I should be something like a scout for a professional sports team. I’m not Peyton Manning and going the route of player to Graduate Assistant isn’t feasible either.  Basically it will come down to coaching opportunities wherever I can find them and praying that one of the NFL teams that I have written to will give me an opportunity.  Times have changed and hopefully the people who run the businesses realize it.

For over a thousand years, Roman conquerors returning from the wars enjoyed the honor of a triumph – a tumultuous parade. In the procession came trumpeters and musicians and strange animals from the conquered territories, together with carts laden with treasure and captured armaments. The conqueror rode in a triumphal chariot, the dazed prisoners walking in chains before him. Sometimes his children, robed in white, stood with him in the chariot, or rode the trace horses. A slave stood behind the conqueror, holding a golden crown, and whispering in his ear a warning: that all glory is fleeting.”

Written by chrisforliberty

January 13, 2013 at 6:09 pm

Posted in General

The Music of Misunderstanding

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Sir, do you not see?
What?
Don Quixote battles six merchants from Toledo and saves Dulcinea’s virtue!
Who the devil is Dulcinea?

Mozart

All my life, I’ve taken an interest in certain things: the classics, movies, music and anything historical.  In a major way, I’m a 19th-20th century man.  In learning about the greats of the past, I’ve come to realize that I have some common traits with a number of people.  The ones that connect to me most on a personal level whether in terms of my physical stature, mode of thinking, outlook on life would be James Madison, Stonewell Jackson, Annie Oakley, Nikola Tesla, George Patton and Pappy Boyington. There would be others, but in my current frame of mind, these hit home the most.

Because my mindset and the current times are not in sync, my physical existence therefore is not in sync with the times.  So Kayne West is going to have a baby. This is big news today, yet I’m sitting here studying Patton and all the more thankful for it.  I love movies from just about any decade.  My musical tastes are all over the map: Mozart, 1920’s Jazz, MTV, etc… We live in a world where we are just to be interested in one thing.  We can’t figure out why an attorney would ride a Harley Davidson or why a farmer would read Shakespeare. We can’t figure out why a good Christian girl would work at Hooters’ or why a guy works the graveyard shift.

30 years ago, I was ahead of everyone else in terms of technology.  I knew what a modem was before the word was even in existence.  I thought about technologies that would enable people to speak from distant locations, sending each other a written message via computer which would have made it easier in my case since I have hearing loss and doing school news via a linkup that goes out to the whole school as opposed to listening to it on the intercom all the time.  Nowadays, I am glad the technology exists. But my major concern these days is it is technology for the sake of technology.  The Frankenstein effect.

My childhood consisted of fighting the Soviets (in my mind), running all over the neighborhood, hanging out in arcades, my aunt’s barn in Tennessee, my aunt’s bar in Florida, etc… I would prefer that any time over these modern times that kids are living in. But because they have come into a world that didn’t exactly have my experiences, they can’t relate. Long-term, this can have serious consequences.  I have already decided that if I have children of my own, they will not be getting a cell phone at age 3.

Reflecting back on it, given that my grandparents are of the Great Depression/World War II generation, I can kind of see why my grandmother would have been concerned about men having long hair and listening to rock n’ roll. To go from John Wayne to Jon Bon Jovi was a trend towards the decline of Western Civilization.  🙂 I personally have concerns about the constant rush and over-reliance on technology.  What are you going to do when you can’t just go to the grocery store and buy a loaf of bread for $50? It happened before.  See my point. I study history for a reason.  It is so we can relate and interconnect and perhaps learn from each other no matter the time period.

And be not conformed to this world: but be you transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. Romans 12:2

Written by chrisforliberty

January 11, 2013 at 2:24 pm

Posted in Media, Movies, U.S. History

What George W. Bush Should Have Done

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Bushfamily“Poor George. He can’t help it. He was born with a silver foot in his mouth.”  Ann Richards

My first visual memory of George W. Bush was when I watched the 1988 Republican National Convention. I was a huge baseball fan at the time (still am, just don’t follow MLB like I once did). My impression of him was he was out of his element. He didn’t belong in this environment.

Many things have been said about Bush, positive and negative. My basic impression of him was that he was never truly his own man.

He faced the dilemma that many children of the rich and famous have to deal with. Imagine being a George Patton. His own career in its own right was distinguished. But he was never going to be as well-known as the father. His youngest grandson took an entirely different path.

George was married to Laura Welch, a school teacher and librarian. It seems he was interested in being a Cowboy. He never was going to be a 4.0 student, but he was involved in one way or another with different pursuits. Back when he was a teenager, he should have told his dad, “I want to go my own way.” Maybe he could have been a curator. A teacher. Who knows.

Children who come into a world of high expectations face pressures that their parents and grandparents didn’t have to deal with. We are living in those times now. Parents, yes raise your children. But don’t be overbearing. Children should be allowed to go with their heart’s desire and not solely use salary and 401K as the basis for a career or life’s pursuits.

Written by chrisforliberty

January 10, 2013 at 1:46 pm

Posted in Politics, U.S. History

The Evolution of Peyton Manning

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I’ve taken an interest in the life and play of Peyton Manning since he was a senior in high school. To make a long story short, I wanted to play, but just was never big enough or talented enough. His career speaks for itself. Reflecting back on what has transpired, he is a sure-fire Hall of Fame player. Whether he actually is voted in is anyone’s guess. Then again he was supposed to win the Heisman, but it went to someone else. Knowing how political the voting process can be, nothing is surprising.

I am still amused to this day how about this time 15 years ago, the great debate was should the Colts draft Manning or Leaf? The answer is obvious now. But the talk then was Manning will be good like Bernie Kosar. But they should draft Leaf because he has a stronger arm, weighs about 20 pounds more and just looks better in shoulder padsManning.  Manning will have a good career, but Leaf will be in the Hall of Fame.

You can never be sure how things will pan out. You could work hard, do everything coaches ask of you and still be cut. It’s life.

His physical abilities are on par with what you would expect for NFL quarterbacks. Some are faster, throw the ball a little further, etc… So what separates Manning from just about every quarterback?

Generally, a quarterback will learn their own offense and some of their defense. Manning will go as far as to learn every other team’s offense and defense. He can tell you the heights and weights of every player on the team they are facing and then some. He can tell you who went to Notre Dame and who went to Augustana College. This inside information enables him to think ahead of the defense and audible accordingly. Even to pre-snap reads of a linebacker blitzing, but he knows the linebacker will drop back into coverage post-snap. So he audibles the runningback to shift his block to the defensive end instead of the linebacker, roll to the right a few feet and throw.

Ultimately with all other things considered, it is his passion that separates him from the pack. Passion and hard work are no guarantee for the kind of success that we generally expect of ourselves or others. But it doesn’t hurt to have it either.

Written by chrisforliberty

January 8, 2013 at 2:10 pm

Posted in General

War (Or Why We Should Either Love It or Hate It)

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“All glory is fleeting”

I’m a student of history. Always have been. Some of my earliest memories are rooted in history, specifically war. I remember The Black Sheep Squadron coming on the air when I was just a few months old. My grandparents are children of the Great Depression and entered their adulthood on the brink of World War II. So I had a living breathing example of that conflict during a time when I was learning about figures like “Pappy” Boyington, “Old Blood and Guts” Patton, George Washington, etc… Basically it was stories of being a medic in Burma, malaria, being bedridden for a month, how Japanese people were (or thought to be at the time) yellow bastards or maybe a Jewish conspiracy to take over the world. Sound familar? Yet people think I’m crazy because I point these things out.

Yet I’ve eaten dinner with Japanese people while discussing baseball or Madonna. So perhaps it isn’t surprising that I have a certain fondness for Japanese culture and women. No different than my great-uncle (who is a veteran of the Battle of the Bulge) having an a certain fondness for English and French women. Basically it was stories of being in a cafe while on leave, the smell of dead horses and the sight of corpses in concentration camps. Yet people say to this day, “It can’t happen here.” To wit: at that time, Germany was the most advanced nation in the world. They had the finest doctors, engineers, scientists, and were ahead in terms of military doctrine. Yet it happened.

“Fights between individuals, as well as governments and nations, invariably result from misunderstandings in the broadest interpretation of this term. Misunderstandings are always caused by the inability of appreciating one another’s point of view. This again is due to the ignorance of those concerned, not so much in their own, as in their mutual fields. The peril of a clash is aggravated by a more or less predominant sense of combativeness, posed by every human being. To resist this inherent fighting tendency the best was is to dispel ignorance of the doings of others by a systematic spread of general knowledge. With this object in view, it is most important to aid exchange of thought and intercourse.” Nikola Tesla, “The Transmission of Electrical Energy without wires as a means for furthering Peace”, Electrical World and Engineer (7 January 1905)

In our times, we are constantly innudated with stories of global Muslim conspiracies of world conquest or that we are over there to liberate the oppressed. How does it happen? It is actually pretty simple. Just tell the people we have been attacked and accuse those who are opposed to going to war of treason.

Perhaps it would be more enlightening to understand the interesting connections between the Bush family, bin Laden family and the House of Saud. So why aren’t U.S. troops in Saudi Arabia? I will even mention the Project for the New American Century. But it is not my job to do your homework for you. So if you choose willful ignorance even after I pointed out certain details, you have only yourself to blame.

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Written by chrisforliberty

January 6, 2013 at 4:17 pm