Crooked lines

I know it’s just lines on a road. The new road work done in our community to widen and create pull-offs to help avoid accidents is a blessing. I have one problem with this project. After working on this stretch of road for over a year and creating a new road addition which is quite impressive, they hired a challenged person to paint the road lines.

This is looking east bound

I have to admit my mind has enjoyed creating images of a man driving the paint truck down the road in a haphazard fashion. Just picture the machine weaving in and out as it placed the paint on the road. Now, I realize there may be some rhyme or reason to this application of crooked lines on the road, but it has escaped me for the time being.

This is looking west bound

Of course you know that I would not write about this unless I saw some larger, deeper meaning in the crooked road of life. Pun intended. So, why are the lines crooked? What was going through the worker’s mind when he was placing these lines on the road?

If you have talked to anyone who is involved in the hiring of people in today’s world they will quickly tell you that it is VERY HARD to find hard working, competent people to fill the jobs. I assume the same is true for the line painting company. I will not discuss the possible reasons for this chaotic application of paint to the road but I will tell you the thoughts in my mind are numerous.. I do not remember in my life, road lines as crooked as these. I know it is a stretch, but these lines are a very small sign of our times. Its only a matter of time until the roads are built crooked as well, and then you won’t laugh at me…and then the buildings, and then who knows what else. Maybe we will elect a carny to be president…

Memorial Day

Today is a very sad day for me. It saddens me to think of the countless men and women who have died in war during the history of my country. It digs at my heart when I see veterans of war disfigured, or crippled or mentally and socially destroyed from PTSD. Even today there was a report that the rate of cancer in soldiers from our recent wars is skyrocketing. How many families have had the misfortune of learning that a father, mother, brother, sister or any relative has been killed in one of our many conflicts?

Very few of us realize that our country has been at war almost 222 years out of it’s 239 years of existence. That means we have enjoyed less than 20 years of peace! Our country began with a fight against the indigenous Native American population. Our country’s quest for expansion led to the death of nearly 160 million Native Americans! To date we have lost over 1 million soldiers in war!

Yellow is the time we were not engaged in war

The question, “WHY?”, begs to be asked. I am afraid the answer is not for God and country, but GREED! Could any of us fathom how much profit is made due to military involvement? I am sure the number is staggering! Behind the politics and patriotism is what is referred to as THE WAR MACHINE which flourishes during times of conflict. During war almost everybody is employed, making bombs, airplanes, war ships and creating new technologies to destroy the enemy. During war the rich become richer.

Several years ago I drove a tour bus in a procession through the Arlington cemetery. As I drove through the 642 acres of countless tombstones, the tears rolled down my cheek as I contemplated the death and misery associated with all those stones. It’s time to stop the killing! It’s time to lay down our weapons. It’s time to listen to what Jesus told us, live in peace.

Thoughts about cursing

Have you ever spent time wondering about the nature of human cussing? I’m sitting here eating lunch at McDonald’s and for reasons unbeknownst to me, I started thinking about cussing. Not that I had an urge to cuss or anything like that, but I’m just wondering why we do it. I hear people of all ages cussing all the time, and of course I let one slip occasionally, after all, I am a people. Folks like to distinguish between certain words like darn and dam and various other words but I think the act of cussing is much deeper than that. I constantly hear people using words like freaking and we all know it’s just a couple of letters away from the real cuss word. So, to cuss is not so much about others perception of you, but more about what in our brains makes us want to use words that might offend other people. If the highly religious Rev. Bill says darn, everyone in the congregation gasps in surprise, but if a raunchy comedian says a whole string of expleted-deleted words we are not phased and hardly notice the language used. If Rev. Bill says darn and feels like he said a bad word, in his mind he is cussing. Nowadays it is not unusual to hear a five year old with no idea of what they are even saying, yelling out the f word with virtually no response from the parent. No doubt the words used in cussing evolve and we continually search for words that truly express our anger or frustration or to just get someone’s attention. I remember when the word “shit” or “dam” were never used on TV, those days passed many years ago. On regular network TV the cussing vocabulary has expanded greatly and there are ways to imply that you are using other unacceptable words. HBO has literally no restrictions on language and is the place to go if you would like to expand your cussing vocabulary.

To pull this together, I think we may be the only creatures on the planet that do cuss. Think about it, when your cat sticks it’s foot in a mouse trap, it just screams out. Maybe that is cat cussing..

Why is our Gross Domestic Product (GDP) so good?

Economics is not my strong suit but something seems wrong with this latest quarterly report from the Feds about our GDP. So many events over the last year have occurred which should have lowered the GDP, but it is higher than expected. Here is a chart of the past 20 years GDP in the United States.

You can clearly see the recessions in the data and a general slowing of our economy since 2008. It has stayed somewhere between 1.5% and 2.5%. The recently announced number of 3.1% is an improvement.
However, about half the gain reflected two factors not expected to last — a big jump in stockpiling by businesses and a sharp contraction in the trade deficit. Both of these issues could be related to Trump’s tax policies and removing corporate controls. Below is an explanation of what GDP is:

  • GNP (Gross National Product) measures the output of a country’s residents, regardless of the location of the actual underlying economic activity.
  • Income from overseas investments by a country’s residents counts in GNP, but foreign investment within a country’s borders does not. This is in contrast to GDP which measures economic output and income based on the location rather than nationality.
  • GNP and GDP can have different values, and a large difference between a country’s GNP and GDP can suggest a great deal of integration into the global economy.

This all seems a little complicated to me but it may reflect a growth in the industrial complex and an increase in military spending. In case you forgot, our illustrious leader just gave the military a very large increase. They are already the most expensive military by a factor approaching 10, and corporate America just got a huge tax break. Is it possible that the GDP might be artificially increased by the large amount of money that has been given to the military complex and big business? Just saying…

I would love to hear ideas on this so that I could become better informed on this issue.