Sunday, December 31, 2017

Fantasies and Fishballs and the Problems of the World

   It was the world's first convention of all people, the first time every living person could attend a single meeting all together at once.
   The Internet makes everything possible.
   At any rate, I should tell you what they were meeting for. It was New Year's Eve, and, yes, they were there to come up with New Year's resolutions.
   Wouldn't this be a wonderful thing? And, what do you suppose some of the suggestions might be, if there could be such a fanciful meeting?
   No more carbon emissions? Yes, that was discussed, panned by some and favored by others.
   No more mass shootings? Everyone said, "Yes," to that.
   No more abortions? Roundly opposed by some, and strongly favored by others.
   And, so it went. All the world's issues were discussed. War was outlawed. Giving to the poor, enthroned.
   Towards the end of the convention, a voice from far back in the crowd cried out, "We can't do all these things! We can't just make resolutions and expect them to work! We can't just speak and it is done. It's not that easy."
   There was silence -- which means the whole world was silent.
   "Yes, if we could, we would do these things. But, we can't," said the man. "They are fantasies and fishballs."
   "What's a fishball?" someone asked.
   "Well," the man answered. "I guess I'm just trying to say some things don't exist."
   The world took a collective sigh. "Wishful thinking on our part," some said.
   The man -- his name was Jedediah Apperstoneman -- held both hands out, palms down, as if the quiet the masses. "Tell you what, though. It's good of you to come up with all these ideas. It's neat you want to solve all the world's problems. It's wonderful to seek good."
   He paused, and the world paused with him. "Didn't you guys just celebrate Christmas?" he asked.
   "Yes," came a reply in unison.
   "Well, there's your answer," the man replied. "The day is undoubtedly going to come when most every problem you have will be answered. People will live in peace. As soon as the hearts of the world turn to the maker of the world -- as soon as they follow him -- problems will fade away even as one year fades away on New Year's Day. Peace will be born. Happiness and contentment and goodwill will be born. The answers to the world's problems came in the form of a wee baby born all those many years ago.
   "Merry Christmas to all and to all a wonderful New Year," he said, turning and walking out of the meeting.
   And, with that, the meeting was adjourned. But the people all promised to meet again the following year. But, that next year, while they would continue to try to solve the world's problems, they would also look forward to that day when a king would come to rule over them, bringing peace, ruling in truth and righteousness, and taking away the sins and flaws of the world.
   Jedediah Apperstoneman was now way down the path walking away, but he stopped, turned, and yelled back at the crowd, as if they could still hear him. "We may not know whether every problem will be taken away, every flaw,"he yelled. "We may not know all the specifics about what it will be like after the Second Coming. But, we know it will be a much better day.
   "Even as one year passes to the next, bringing the hope of a better day, so this age will pass to the Millennium, which will surely be a better day. That New Year's Day will be the happiest of all."

Saturday, December 30, 2017

Will the Piper Ever Come Calling?

   Is it illusion, or can this country of ours continue forever to find its prosperity by running up a national debt?
  Is it illusion or wisdom? The leaders of our nation, it would seem, think it wisdom. Every time the economy begins to toddle, they inject borrowed money into it. Economic stimulus, they call it.
   Does perpetual deficit spending work? Have we found the equivalent of the fountain of youth? Spend, spend spend, and all our troubles will go away?
   Or, are we a nation deluded?
   To break this down, compare it to family finances. If a family borrowed heavily enough, it might be able "afford" a yacht, a Mercedes, and monthly vacations all over the globe. Looking at this family, you would conclude they prospered, for they would have all the nice things of life.
   Even so, our prosperity as a nation has come to rely on various forms of borrowing. Our new tax code might even be an example, for if we all truly are to be taxed less, that should translate into less income to pay our bills.
   That's borrowing. That's deficit spending. You are getting your prosperity, but will the piper ever come calling?
   And that, you say, is where family spending and government spending differ. The family will have to pay its bills, but the government never will. It can spend, spend, spend  and never have to pay the piper.
   I can think of maybe a few ways families might get away with getting something for nothing. But, generally, the time comes when their bills have to be paid. Exceptions might come with filing for bankruptcy, and paying limited installments that will never add up to enough to pay off medical bills. There is perhaps yet another exception, and I will mention it shortly. Generally speaking though, when the piper plays, you dance to his music, and he comes calling with a price. The piper simply must be paid.
   What about governments? Or, at least this one particular government, the United States? Will it ever have to pay up? Or, is there something magical going on here?
   Well, maybe the scenario the U.S. is in is not so different than what we might encounter in family finances. Sometimes credit cards require you to make payments that don't go far beyond paying the interest. The credit agencies are quite happy letting your card maintain a balance as long as they are collecting the interest.
   So, the interest on the national debt is $266 billion? The CBO estimates that by 2020, our net interest payments will have increased to $644 billion per year. China holds, what, 12 percent of our debt? Russia is investing heavily in our treasury securities (national debt)? The United States owns 29 percent of the world's debt?
   These are not good things. Somehow, I don't think we are too wise. The further we slide into debt, the higher the interest payments will be. Will there be a breaking point, a point at which our ability to pay the interest will be challenged? Will we reach a juncture where we have to go to our Chinese and Russian creditors and ask for mercy?
   I don't know. But, I know I don't like the ship that's sailing and the winds that are wailing. I don't like the piper's music and I don't like him making us dance.
   I've heard the national debt breaks down to $154,000 per taxpayer. I don't like that.

Friday, December 29, 2017

A Balanced Budget Amendment Might be a Little Much

 The national debt should be one of our greatest concerns, one of our most pressing matters. It is a flaw in the way we conduct our government.
   But, then, should we pass an amendment requiring a balanced budget and outlawing debt?
   I think of personal finances, and family finances, and of how it can be necessary - even wise -- to go in debt, at times. You might need to to get an education or you might need to buy a house. If you have a personal restriction against going into debt, it will restrict your well-being and prosperity.
  Even so, as there are times when it is wise for families to go into debt, there are times when it is wise for nations to go into debt. If there is a hard, fast rule against the debt, you might restrict the growth, well-being and prosperity of the nation.
  But, notice that in responsible personal debt, or family debt, there is always a plan to get out of it. If you take out a college loan, it will be with the idea that you will land a job paying enough that you will pay off that student loan. If you buy a house, the mortgage plan will require you to make payments each month and eventually pay the loan off.
   So it should be with our national debt. We should not go into debt without a plan to get out of debt. We should be paying down our debt, instead of wildly spending into the future.
   Go into debt, if it is required. But, get out of debt, as soon as possible. And, have a plan to get out of debt. If we are to have a Constitutional amendment, maybe it would be to say simply that congress shall meet to address any debt that shall arise, and shall draw up a plan for getting out of that debt.

Thursday, December 28, 2017

We Think to Buy Prosperity on the Back of the National Debt

  We would think prosperity is purchased by expanding the national debt.
   I would certainly guess the Republicans are right in this: Once the people see they are paying less in taxes, they will warm up to the new tax code.
   But, it does not go unnoticed on me that if we do pay fewer taxes, the national deficit is going to grow. What are the estimates being tossed around? A $1.5 trillion increase in the national debt?
   I wonder if anytime you set down to figure out a tax plan, the overriding objective should be to pay your bills. You say, We have an $18 trillion debt. How are we going to pay it off? Or, you might at least try to cover the current bills by saying, We have a $4.1 trillion budget. How much do we tax in order to pay for that?
   In other words, your plan should be equal your problem.
   Instead, our nation has fallen under the spell that if we don't tax so much, it will spur the economy. And, government shouldn't be taking all that much money from us, anyway. I do not know but what there isn't truth in both of these arguments. Perhaps leaving the money with businesses and citizens does spur the economy. Perhaps the government shouldn't be taking so much money from us.
  I only know, we have a huge national debt. I only know, we should be paying our bills. Rewriting the tax code would be one way to do that. This was an opportunity. But, we have now squandered that opportunity. We have chosen, instead, to go further into debt.
  We think to buy prosperity by increasing the national debt. What is prosperity? If a family has $150,000 in debts, but they have a yacht and a nice car, is that prosperity? The day will come when that family has to pay for the yacht and the car.
   I would that the family of America should not be like that family.

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

I Wonder if We Should Legalize Drugs and Alcohol at the Shelters

  So, I have suggested we span out each evening, searching for the homeless, and, if the shelters are full, then we find vacant warehouses or commercial buildings, and place the homeless there.
  Some say it is not that easy. First, you would have to hire police officers to watch the now occupied warehouses.
  I say, let the city or county provide the police, even if it means hiring new officers.
  Some say it still isn't that easy. The reason so many people are on the streets, is that they won't come into the shelters because they are on drugs, and drugs aren't allowed in the shelters.
   Supposedly, anyway.
   At any rate, now you are hitting on one of the basic questions of how to take care of the homeless. Do you let the alcoholics and drug addicts in? If you don't, they remain on the streets. And, if you leave addicts and alcoholics on the streets, you leave a big part of the homeless on the streets.
   I suggest you've got to give them beds.
   One idea would be to pardon them for using a limited amount of drugs while they are there. Search them, to make sure they are not bringing in enough to be dealing, then let them in.
   And, lock them up. By locking the doors, you prevent drug dealers from coming to distribute. The drug addict has to leave the shelter each day to get his fix, as he (or she) is allowed no more drugs than are suffice for the night.
   Such a shelter would help separate the users from the homeless who are not on drugs and alcohol, as you could have a separate shelter for the non-users. As is, I would guess a lot of drugs are in the shelters. Perhaps you give the homeless drug tests, but once they are in there, they then return to the use of drugs. I'm sure many non-users do not like being under the same roof with users, thus scaring them back into the streets.

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Simply Offer Everyone a Bed and Your Homeless Problem is at an End

  To solve homelessness, simply don't allow it.
   Oh, no, don't get me wrong. I'm not calling for it to be outlawed. Rather, I'm suggesting we not allow the suffering, not allow that we don't step in and to help. No one should need to sleep in the streets.
  Unless they truly want to.
  What if a city were so intent on helping the homeless that volunteers spanned out each evening, canvassing the city, searching for the homeless, looking in every nook and cranny to bring them in out of the cold.
  "No one will go homeless in our city," would be the cry.
  I wonder, is it so hard to find a bed for everyone? Does it need to be? Are there not empty warehouses, empty commercial buildings, that could be rented at moment's notice -- arrangements having been made in advance? If you have zoning ordinances against it, change your zoning ordinances.
   To end homelessness, simply don't allow yourself not to find everyone a bed.

Monday, December 25, 2017

When Christmas for the Underprivileged Means Christmas for Alcoholics

  "No-no-no, no-no-NO." The last "no" reached a crescendo, leaving no doubt he didn't like the idea. Caring for the sick and the elderly and the homeless and the refugees was one thing.
   But, the addicts?
   "One thing you've got to understand here," he said. "If I had it my way, I'd cut all the addicts off from all welfare. They should take drug tests  to get welfare. I don't cotton to giving them hand outs. They're where they are of their own choosing."
   "Bless them, the same," I said.
   "Bless them?!" He spat on the ground. "What kind of Christmas gift you thinking of giving them, anyway?"
   The idea was to give gifts to all the less fortunate of the world -- gifts that would lift them out of their problems. So, the gift for the homeless would be to solve homelessness. The gift for the war-ravaged would remove them from war. And so forth. More or less, solved all the world's problems for Christmas.
   I tried to explain that to him.
  "Well you won't solve this problem," he said. "You'd have to get the whole world to quit taking drugs and alcohol, and that ain't gunna happen."
   I smiled. I knew he was right.
   Still, getting as near to an answer as possible seemed worth it, so I sat there thinking.
   "I'll tell you what we'll do," I said, even though I hadn't yet come up with an answer, and was  stabbing in the dark as we spoke, trying to come up with something.
   When I didn't continue, he looked up at me. "Yeh? Go ahead," he said, almost mocking me, sensing that I didn't have an answer.
   Suddenly, my memory rushed with thoughts. I had thought this through once in the past. At least, I'd thought through alcoholism, and it might be that drug addiction is not much different.
   "Jim," I said, for that was his name. "Alcoholism is a disability. Being on drugs is a disability. What do we do with people who are disabled?"
  There was no answer from him.
  "We put them in care centers and we take care of them." I paused. "Sometimes, they stay there for the rest of their lives. Sometimes, they need that care for the rest of their lives." I paused, then continued. "It seems to me, all our alcohol-treatment centers are treat-and-release facilities, not permanent homes. May I suggest, alcoholism is a disability. With that in mind, consider that when it comes to other disabilities, the patient can be placed in a care center for life. Why not the alcoholic?
  "I have seen more than one person go into the Volunteers of America treatment center, then come out and return right back to drinking. Permanent solutions might require permanent care. No, not every situation requires permanent care. There are times when the alcoholic will be released, either of his own choice, or because he is healthy enough to leave."
   Jim was fidgeting, shaking in anger. He didn't like the idea of coddling the alcoholics and drug addicts. "You going to pay for this with taxpayer dollars?" he asked.
  I smiled. "Hope not. Government can't afford that. My thought is that we not give them something for free, whenever we can avoid it. For the most part, and maybe for the all part, they can work. Whether we place them in community jobs during the day and have them return to the center at night, or whether we have jobs for them right in the treatment centers, let them work."
  I then told him that just putting them in the treatment centers was only a part of what needed to be done. I explained that we must follow the rules of change, the rules that govern change.
  "You must give them hope, of course," I said. "You must give them belief. They must see that recovery is something that can be achieved. They must see it is possible to become sober. Tell them stories of people who have achieved it.
   "You must build a dream in them, Tell them how wonderful it will be. Remind them how great it is to have a good job, or a lovely wife, if there is hope to find a wife. Remind them of the things they had when they were sober. Build in them a desire, a dream, a want.
   "Encourage them. Take every small victory and hail it. If they stay sober long enough to read 10 pages in a good book, praise them. If they water the lawn, praise them. Praise the victories.
   "Love them. It is said, love is the most powerful force in the world. Express your love. Shower them with it. Make it a sure thing that your love does not go unnoticed.
  "Surround them with as many good influences as you can find. Good music? If you can, then get them listening to, and enjoying music that champions good things. If Elvis Presley's 'In the Ghetto' teaches them to care for the poor, then that is noble music, and might help shape them.
  "Good music, good movies, good entertainment -- these things can help persuade them to do that which is good. Reading the scriptures. Reading good books. Whatever they will latch onto that is a good influence, encourage it. Going to church? If they will go, encourage it.
   "Good influences also means removing them from friends who drink, and friends who party, and friends who aren't so good. It means, taking pornography out of their lives. It means, placing them in a good environment.
   "Give them an example, someone to look up to, someone to pattern their life after.
   "Lead them through the steps of repentance, which are nothing if not rules of change. One, is that they recognize what they are doing. If they are sneaking out to buy a bottle of liquor each night, help them get to the point where they are honest about it. If they are drunk, but insist they are not, work with them to get them to where they will confess they are drunk.
   "Get them to restore those things that are lost, when you can. If their drunkenness is leading them to hurt others, help them see as much, and encourage them to treat those people better. Encourage them to go back to those they have hurt, and seek to make amends.
   "Help them forgive themselves. Don't hang their drunkenness over them. Don't treat them in a condemning way. If they sense you are condemning, they might continue to condemn themselves.
   "Give them peace. For those of you who are religious, consider Christ's promise, 'My peace I give unto you.' He was seeking to change people, and it is noteworthy that he made having peace part of the way he went about changing them.
   "Educate them. Teach them about alcoholism. Let them become experts on what leads to it, and what harms it bears, and how they can escape it.
   "Give them alternatives. Give them other things to be involved with other than alcohol. Fill their lives with other activities, if you can. If they will work, get them into a job.
   "Give them incentives, rewards for when they stay sober.
   "Lastly, and probably as important as anything, give them a place to practice being sober. Practice is one of the most basic principles of change. A person who wants to be a good football player, practices. A person who wants to become a good singer, practices. Likewise, if the drunk wants to become sober, he must practice. I don't know that anything is achieved without practice. In caring for the drunk, this is perhaps where the alcohol treatment center comes into play. There, they are deprived of the alcohol, and they practice being sober. Game day, though, doesn't come until they are released from the treatment facility.
  "Give them agency. You might think placing them in a detox center is the opposite of that. It is not. When they are deep into their alcoholism, that is when they are without agency. That is when they have no choice. They are addicted. They are servants to their bottles. They are not in their normal minds. So, sometimes it is that they need someone to help them out of their prison. Just as a child is ever watched to see that he does the right things, until reaching an age when they can make choices on their own, so it is with the drunk. He must be watched over to see that he does not drink until he has been sober enough long enough to make the choice for himself.
   "The alcoholic needs to be freed from the bottle, before he is free to make his own choices."
   Finally, I pulled up. I'd listed all the things I thought would help. As I ended, I thought on how the goal was to solve the addiction problem, to bring an end to it, and to wrap it as a present and place it under the Christmas tree that Christmas Day 2017. I thought how in this case, although you cannot get everyone off drugs and alcohol, you can come up with the best way to handle the problem.
   I slipped the gift into a box, wrapped it in wrapping paper, and placed it under the tree.

The Refugees and Immigrants Received an Old Paul McCartney CD

   The idea had been to come up with solutions for all the world's disadvantaged groups -- the homeless, the sick, the elderly, etc. -- and place the solutions as presents under the tree that Christmas Day in 2017.
  Christmas wishes for the less fortunate, made good.
  Now, It can hardly be said you are gifting all the less fortunate, if you leave out the refugees and immigrants. So, what will we find to solve their problems?
  Well, it is Christmas Day, so wander over to the tree and peek in their package, before they come down the stairs to open it. That way, you'll know if the problem is really being solved, and you can warn them away if the promise of a real solution is really just a cruel joke.
   As you tear off the wrapping and pry the box open, I see a CD, an old one -- more than 40 years old -- by Paul McCartney and Wings. Slip it in the CD player.
    Someone's knockin' at the door
      Somebody's ringin' the bell
    Someone's knocking at the door
      Sombody's ringin' the bell
    Do me a favor
      And open the door, and let 'em in
  Oh, so it is as easy as that: Let the immigrants in. Let the refugees comes flying in from Syria unimpeded, and let the unwanted immigrants from Mexico and South America come sailing across our southern border without any Trump wall to stop them.
   It would appear this is a cruel joke, then, promising them a solution and then not delivering truly workable solution, just saying, "Come on in." What? Are you also going to say, "Take over our land. Take our jobs. Abuse our welfare system. Bring terrorists with you -- as many as you like."
   If this isn't a cruel joke on the immigrants and refugees, it is on us. Plus, you haven't solved the problem of how to make them survive once they get here. They often arrive without language skills and other skills necessary to find meaningful jobs. They end up working under the table at wages that don't fully pay the rent and don't place enough food on the table to feed their families.
   Pull open the box a little more. There must be more in it.
   There is, but I don't know if you'll like it. I see a document, scrolled up. Unroll it, and read it.
    Dear People of the World, and of the United States,
   These immigrants and refugees are your neighbors. They need your help and they need your care. If you ignore them -- if you shun them -- they are more likely to be a problem. If they feel hated or despised or unwanted, they are more likely to become terrorists. If they are shown warmth and love, they are not so likely to go wrong. If you find them living next door to you, offer them jobs that will sustain them. Show them love. Help them and give them guidance in this land that is new to them.
  The Christmas package did call for screening of immigrants, searching their backgrounds for crimes and indicators of terrorism.
  As for the welfare problem, it needs some change-ups so no one can abuse it, whether they come from abroad or grow up here. That package under the Christmas tree this Christmas morning in 2017 provides a revamping of the welfare program, making it so people work for what they receive. And it pares back on some social programs. It leaves in place the programs that are needed, but puts them out of reach for those who do not need them.

Sunday, December 24, 2017

Cyber Medicine found its way under the Christmas Tree

   Christmas Day 2017. You might be amazed what the sick found under their tree.
   A wonderful health care system -- a new, improved system fit for the 21st Century.
  Not so much chasing around town, from doctor to doctor, trying to figure out what was wrong. Not so many unnecessary surgeries. Not so many misdiagnoses. All but instant diagnoses, thanks to computer technology. And, these were more thorough diagnoses than anyone previously had thought possible.
   All this, and it was not nearly so expensive.
   Much of the year leading up to Christmas, Congress had tried and tried to come up with a better system. So, it was surprising that when the ill and the lame and the sick found their present under tree, it was completely different than what had been discussed for them all along.
   I should tell you how it worked, so you can see it is possible.
   Medicine had gone astray when it got too sectionalized and too specialized. When you have to go to one doctor to look at the circulation in your legs, and he's  on one side of town, and you have to go to another to look at your spine, and he's on the other side of town, sometimes only half the problem gets diagnosed. The first doctor in identifies a problem and the other doctor isn't even visited and a problem goes undiagnosed.
    Remember the parable of the blind men and the elephant, and how one man touched the trunk and thought it was like a snake, and another touched the leg and thought it like a pillar like a tree trunk? When the medical world created specialties, it created doctors blind to the different parts of the problems.
   Enter the Christmas present of 2017. Oh, before we introduce it, we should notice that this is the 21st Century, and there is all this talk of computers taking over from humans. Alas, I fear medicine is an area where computers could be of immense benefit.
   So, the present for the sick, ill and diseased that Christmas morning? Cyber medicine. You walked into a health center, and a technician awaited you. His job was to make sure all beneficial tests were done and all the pertinent information was entered in the computer. An MRI was part of this. Now, whereas in the past, an MRI targeted just the problem area that was suspected, this was a full-body MRI. In the past, it would have taken a technician quite a time to read a full-body MRI, but with computers, it was all but instantaneous.
   Unnecessary surgeries? The computer was pretty exact on when surgeries were necessary.
  And, they took the MRIs as often as desired, many of these being locational instead of being full-body scans. You wonder if chiropractic works? Well, MRIs were taken both before and after, showing whether any bone movement was taking place. And, that was not expensive. Once you own the machine, it is but the cost of the film, or whatever, that is the expense, if I am correct. So, run the MRIs as often as you need and don't charge $2500 a shot.
   Unlike the day when one doctor looked at one part of the body and another looked at another, the computer looked at everything and could better see if one problem was affecting another. Integrated health care had arrived. Everything was under one roof and it was no longer necessary to chase back and forth across town. Misdiagnoses all but disappeared. And, since there was no longer a need for so many expensive doctors, the bottom dropped out of the prices.
   The thing about the present the sick found under their tree that Christmas Day in 2017, is that this really could be done. We could have a health care system like this. All the technology is in place, we just need to do it. 

Saturday, December 23, 2017

For those who Mourn: the Gift of the Resurrection

  This Christmas present was delivered an estimate 2017 years ago, to those who mourn.
   If we could give gifts to the different afflicted groups -- the homeless, the refugees, etc. -- to solve their afflictions, what would we give to those who mourn the loss of loved ones?
   The gift of the resurrection.
    The same who came as a Babe in Bethlehem was resurrected after his death maybe 33 years later, bringing resurrection to all mankind. Those who die will live again. If we would comfort those who mourn, we need but to share the hope and dream of the resurrection. We need but to encourage faith in the gift of living again, a gift given by our Savior.

A Gift for Them that Would also Benefit all Mankind

   The boxes underneath the Christmas tree for the homeless, for the prisoners, and for the immigrants might have gone a long ways toward solving their problems.
   I do wonder about the gift for the mentally disillusioned, however. Selected at the last minute, without much advanced thought, did it provide much in the way of solution, or was it just a gift for the sake of giving a gift?
   I must first tell you what is going on. It is Christmas Day, 2017. Gifts for each group of needy people have been boxed and place under the tree, and are being opened. Yes, this is an attempt to solve a great number of the world's problems. The idea is to come up with answers to each group's problems, and then to box them up and place them under the tree as presents.
   Let's proceed inside, then, to where all those with mental disconnections are opening their present. The gifts for the homeless, and for the prisoners and for some others have come with much advanced thought. Not so for those with mental differences. I'm even struggling for what to call this group, not having thought that through in the past.
  They pick up the box, tear off the wrapping, and inside? Two gifts. One is the gift of choice and the other the gift of understanding -- both to be understood by others and for them to understand what is happening to themselves. These are marvelous gifts, despite coming from a last-day, last-minute dash to the store.
  Let those with mental situations choose for themselves whether they will return to reality. If they remain in disillusionment, bear with them, be understanding. If they choose to come out of their conditions, celebrate that with them. Realize that even as it is with so many things, there will be relapses. For some of these, their condition is much the same as that of those with substance addictions. Understand that. Theirs, too, is an addiction; It is an escape. Just as a person seeks relief in drugs and such, so a person can find relief in separating from reality.
  The Christmas present also included a map, showing how the human mind goes about making decisions. In situation such-and-such, it will reach this decision, and so forth. Never had the thought process been mapped before. Among the principles? One, The mind selects answers based on what will best please the person. We believe what we want to believe, in other words. Two, The mind often locks on the first information in, becoming biased toward that viewpoint at the exclusion of others. Three, We believe others and seek to please them by what we decide.
   If the person with mental situations can understand how the thinking process goes, they can understand where they are going astray, and thus have better choice in deciding if they want to change their thinking process.
   I have said I have not given much advanced thought to this Christmas gift. Actually, I have often thought on how the thinking process should be mapped out. But, I have not thought of making the map just to benefit those with mental disconnections. (Although I have noticed we all have some of the same mental disconnects that those with mental challenges have.)  I think it would be great to have the map, period. All humanity would benefit from it. I have thought to try to map the decision-making process out, but have never taken enough time to really sit down and do it. Anyone could make this map. We've all lived on earth and can analyze how we arrive at decisions. We can look at others and understand what is behind their decisions.
  With mapping out the thinking process, we could predict what we will do and what decisions we will make in each situation. It would be a break-through thing in the history of man to have the thought process modeled and mapped out.
   Such a Christmas present. I think it a marvelous one.

Thursday, December 21, 2017

The Day NIfBoS went Under the Christmas Tree

   It was Christmas Day 2017, and the elderly of the world awaited their Christmas present. The homeless had opened their package, and the prisoners and orphans and mental patients had each opened theirs. In fact, I believe most every group of needy had opened their package except the elderly and the sick.
  It was noon before the gift bearer even made it there. Dressed as Santa, he came down the hall a ho-ho-hoing. Trailing after him was a chorus, all decked out in the brightest green costumes. "Good tidings of great joy we bring, to you and all your kin," they sang.
  Santa sat down next to the fireplace. He sighed heavily. "I sure wish I were bringing you good tidings," he said. This is the day we celebrate the Savior's birth, and that is 'good tidings,' but other than that . . ."
  He paused, a tear welling up in his eye. "I'm thinking I should take a gift away from you, instead of giving you one," he said. He looked around at the elderly, many of them stuck in beds, flat on their backs. They lived that way day in, and day out. "Yes, I need to take a present away, if I'm going to do you any good."
  He dabbed at his eye. "Your prescriptions, your painkillers -- they are opioids. We, as society, do you no good by sending you out of your lives strung out on drugs. We send you out addicted to drugs, and they often cause depression. Sometimes, they cause psychosis, and you end up accusing folks of things that aren't true."
  He paused, looking around, again. "A real Christmas present would be to get you off these drugs. A real Christmas present would be to let you live the end of your lives without being addicted, without being depressed, and still without being in pain. A lot of you suffer from brittle bones, and from lack of coherency." He looked around, yet again. "I just wish I could make these things better."
  He suddenly slapped his knee and jumped to his feet. "I know what we'll do. You might end up continuing on those opioids for a while, and with bad backs for a while, but we're going to do something. We're going to organize something, and we're going to make it about as important as any organization we have. We'll call it NIfBoS. That's short for the National Institute for Betterment of Seniors. You've seen how hard we, as a society, can press for a cure to cancer. This will be the same. We will push with all our heart to discover how to return brittle bones to health, how to make it so those of you dwindling your lives away in beds can hop up and walk around normally. And, we're going to go after pain-killers, just the same, making it a national priority to discover something that doesn't addict and doesn't cause depression. We're going to seek to cure Alzheimer's Disease like we've never done before. We're going to make the lives of our seniors a priority, a pursuit, and a dream, and a cause of which we will not let go of."
   He stopped, for a moment, gazing with fixed eyes at the people. "It's Christmas, isn't it? Funny, that this is the day we celebrate the birth of a person who brought resurrection -- renewed life -- to all the earth's residents. What we'll do for you might not be resurrection, but living longer and happier is a little bit of that. Funny, too, how the Savior went around healing the sick and afflicted. We sure would like to do that with you."
  He leaned over and picked up a well-wrapped present. "NIfBoS," it said on the side. He carried it carefully over and placed it under the Christmas tree.

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

The Prisoners Received a Wonderful Gift Christmas Day 2017

  Christmas Day 2017 was a wonderful day for the prisoners across the country. They woke up to find a new penal system underneath the Christmas tree.
   "Love, everyone," the card was signed. "Love from all the world."
   And, if you will pause to learn what was in the new penal system, you will note that love is what it was all about -- that and repentance. It had always been that the prisoners' release date largely depended on the length of the sentence. But now, when the prisoner reached the end of his sentence, he still could not be released -- unless it was judged he had repented.
   These days, you had things to learn and programs to go through, and your release date wasn't just a matter of reaching the end of your sentence. It was more of a graduation.  Go through the steps of repentance, achieve what was required, master all the things they wanted you to master --
  And, you graduated.
   But, I neglect to tell you about how love was part of all this. To begin with, no one was hired at the prison unless they appeared to have the skill of loving others. The help-wanted ads might as well as read: "Warm and loving people needed. Must be able to smile as you talk to convicts. Must be willing to show interest in their lives. Must be willing to become their friends."
   But, it wasn't just the prison workers. Volunteers were brought in. The whole system depended on such a large of a body of volunteers that you have ever seen. Each prisoner was assigned at least one friend, a person who came in and visited regularly with the prisoner. And, before someone could be approved to be one of these volunteers, they were screened to show they had good capacity to love, care and teach the inmates.
  Here was the idea: If the only friends and influences the prisoner had were their fellow prisoners -- if we limited it to just them -- then the prisoners would be sorely lacking in good influences. To change that, it was necessary to bring in good influences. And, whenever possible, those coming in were to be people who would maintain the relationships after prison. So, being a neighbor to the inmate was preferred.
   Another thing the new prison system did was to provide family training. The prisoner's family was brought in, and the interaction between the prisoner and the family member was observed and both the prisoner and the family members were taught what they were and were not doing right.
  Things like tearing each other down, bullying, and so forth. Things like giving compliments and praising.
  Well, I don't have time to tell you everything about the new prison program. But, I think you can see from what I have written that it was a wonderful Christmas present for the prisoners.

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Under the Tree: The World's Christmas Present for the Homeless

  What wonderful gifts for the needy there were under the tree that Christmas Day in 2017 -- gifts from the whole world for the homeless, for the refugees, for the sick, for those in prison, and for those whose reputations had been tarnished.
   For the homeless: Acceptance. The world ceased herding them away, shifting them from locations where they weren't welcome, to those where they were less visible. Businesses, residents, and communities had not wanted them, fearing their dirtiness and their crime. But, that changed. The homeless were made harmless. A new program, called Friends Behind Badges (or Buddies Behind Badges), flooded the homeless districts with police officers. It was hard for a drug sale to go down when the police were just steps away. But, these were not ordinary police officers. Hired just for this occasion, they were picked for their jobs because of their compassion. They didn't just stand on the street corners, waiting for crimes to go down so they could hustle someone off to jail. No. they mingled with the homeless, befriending them, joking with them, and playing basketball on make-shift basketball courts set up in the middle of the streets.
   Social workers? There were other things going on besides Buddies Behind Badges. Social workers didn't wait for the homeless to show up in their offices, but rather went into the homeless districts and sought them out. But, what impressed me was not the paid social workers, but the volunteers who came. Unpaid and with smiles on their faces, they too mingled with the homeless, offering friendship, care,  comfort, and direction. Some brought work, bringing the things needed to make paper flowers and showing the homeless how and paying them for it. Others came early in the morning, seeking workers for construction and yard work and house cleaning.
  I told you the streets had been blocked off didn't I? (Well, I implied as much when I said basketball courts were laid out in the middle of the streets.) So, they brought in entertainment to fill the streets. Comedians took time to come down and perform. Musicians performed. Actors played portions of their plays in these streets.
  Although there were a lot of neat things going on with the way the homeless were now being treated, perhaps the neatest of all came along about 5 p.m. each day, when cars lined up as people got off work, hustling over to bring the homeless their meals.
  Or, how about later in the evening, when workers walked through the areas they thought the homeless might be, offering to take them into homeless shelters? The thought was that no one needed to sleep on the streets; beds would be found and made available. That, too, was neat. 
  Well, I should like to tell you about the gifts the other needy people received. Come back tomorrow, and perhaps I will. Surely, I can think of gifts for the for the refugees and immigrants, for the sick and the elderly, and for the prisoners.

(Note: The second to the last paragraph was added 12/23/17.)

Flood Seniors with Chiropractic Care?

   So, I wrote that we ought to flood seniors with chiropractic care. Oh, I was careful to say we should exclude those with whom chiropractic care is not a fit, but, nonetheless, I did suggest flooding seniors with availability to chiropractic.
   I still feel that way. Yes, I have backed off on my belief in chiropractic; I don't believe it can do as much good as I previously thought it could. But, I believe it might still bring some benefit.
  I do not know how many seniors would not be a fit for chiropractic care. We look at all those with brittle backs, and we are tempted to say virtually all seniors are outside the circle of chiropractic care. I don't know all the methods of chiropractors, though. I do know there is more than a hard cracking of the spine. There are gentler adjustments. 

Monday, December 18, 2017

We Need Integrated Medicine to Better Care for Bad Backs

  The back is more than a spine, and I find myself wondering if we need doctors trained in three or four disciplines if we want to best care for those with bad backs.
   I wonder if many of those with back problems really have muscle problems more than back problems. If I need  to stand up, is it the spine, itself, that lifts me to my feet? Or, is it the muscles that pull and stretch to lift me into a standing position? I have trouble walking and running and climbing stairs, and they tell me it is because I have a bad back. But, it seems it is the muscles that lift my legs, giving them the strength to walk and run and climb.
   Oh, the back is perhaps as much a part of it as the muscles. But, I wonder if the back sometimes is treated, alone, when the muscles are as much a part of the problem, or more. If I go to a specialist in backs, is he going to treat the spine and overlook the muscles?
  Give me a spine doctor who is a chiropractor, who is a neurologist. Let him (or her) be more than an orthopedic doctor. We need integrated medicine if we are to give the back its best care. The nerves and the muscles and the spine all work together. If all the problems are going to be diagnosed and if the doctor is going to determine which is the key problem and what is the best way to treat it, it seems you must either train him in all the disciplines, or bring three or four doctors together and let them discuss it.
  And, it seems the cleaner answer is to train one person in all the disciplines. If four doctors are weighing in, they would each have to learn the disciplines of the others, anyway, in order to defer to another person's diagnosis.
  Twelves years in medical school then? I don't know, I only know we need to pack all the knowledge about the back into one doctor.
  I think of the parable of the blind men and the elephant, and how one man touches the trunk and thinks it is a snake, and another who touches the leg and thinks it is a pillar like a tree trunk. Our creating medical specialties has its shortcoming. It creates doctors who each are blind to different parts of the problem.

Sunday, December 17, 2017

He Who Seeks to Cover His Mistakes will Forever be Hiding

   The man who is not allowed to make mistakes is not allowed to be human. If we look at the follies and ill decisions of others, we deprive them of that which every person must have: the right to make mistakes -- the right to be wrong.
   Of course, I speak of my past posts on chiropractic. I am now thinking I was wrong. I could go through and delete the posts, but I don't guess I will. He who seeks to cover his mistakes will forever be hiding.

Saturday, December 16, 2017

My Belief in Chiropractic Shifted Tonight

 The difference of a day. Well, make that two. Thursday, I suggested chiropractic care should be available to every senior except when we can see it is not a fit. Tonight, I went online, reading the criticism of chiropractic.
  And, I am now persuaded chiropractic is not as beneficial as what I hoped. Oh, I still wonder if making it available to seniors might be a good idea. If chiropractic does work -- if it can separate the discs so nerves are not pinched, and thus stop the pain -- it is a good idea, yet.
   I think I should like to tell of my experience with chiropractic. I answered a newspaper ad on peripheral neuropathy. When I got in there, they said I didn't qualify for that program as I did not have peripheral neuropathy --- but that I could benefit from regular chiropractic treatment. The doctor showed me before-and-after x-rays of a patient, the first x-ray showing a collapsed disc and the second showing vertebrae where the spacing would not pinch the nerves.
   He suggested he had tried to get medical doctors to come look at the difference. What they were saying doesn't happen, does. That was the thought. Proper spacing between vertebrae can be restored.
   Now, I'm a man with a bad back. I don't want it fused so I can no longer run. I understood that is where I would end up if I went to a spine clinic. So, by holding before me a vision that all would be okay without surgery, I -- get this -- signed a contract requiring me to pay $2700 within a year.
   And, the adjustments began.
   Most of them involved me laying on my side, the top leg bent and he would come down with sudden force on that leg and supposedly force spine parts to move, to create a gap between the vertebrae. A couple things soon began to bother me. First, I couldn't see how the adjustment was targeting my back. How are we adjusting the back when the force is being applied in another location? Second, supposing my back was being adjusted, how come I didn't feel any pain there? If you are moving the disc or vertebrae or whatever, shouldn't moving it through the tendons or muscle or whatever extract some pain?  I'd feel pain in the top inside of my leg, because that is where the force was being applied, but my back was unaffected, no pain being created or felt.
   I last saw the chiropractor Wednesday. He has left on vacation and my next appointment isn't until Jan. 8. He had previously told me he is successful with 90 percent of his patients and indicated the other 10 percent is littered with those who don't do their part by icing their backs and such. Despite that I told him I was not able to function any better after five weeks, he assured me I would be made better, though it would take six months to a year.
   I thanked him profusely. I was desperate to believe -- and still am. When you have a serious problem, and someone is saying they can make it okay, you are quick to believe.
   Pulling up the critical reviews I have tonight has prompted me to reconsider chiropractic. Just the same, I still have hope it can do some good. I might yet go back, come Jan. 8. Although I cannot understand how applying force in a different area affected the back, perhaps it did. And, perhaps the vertebrae can be moved without pain or even a feeling that something has been moved.

Friday, December 15, 2017

We Should Help Them Anyway

  "A journey through a land of extreme poverty: Welcome to America," says a headline in the Guardian. The story speaks of 41 million American's living in official poverty and 9 million of them having zero income.
  Some of the Facebook comments on the story suggest these people should concentrate on getting job skills. I agree, I agree.
   But, it also seems many of them are so addicted to alcohol and drugs that they are somewhat incapacitated. I do not know that we are right to say they have brought upon themselves the situations they are in, and let them suffer.
   I believe we should help everyone. 
   But, before we can get them in jobs, we need to try to help them with their addictions. And, when they are unable or unwilling to overcome their addictions, we should help them, anyway.
   What is the old proverb? Charity asks not the cause, only the need.

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Chiropractic Care Might Unlock Better Health to Millions of Seniors

   I have become a tentative believer in chiropractic, and even as I have done so, I have wondered if it could do wonders for seniors. Is chiropractic a hidden key to their health? Flood them with chiropractic care, and happiness and health in old age might be significantly increased.
   We have a crisis in our care of seniors. In the name of comfort care, we place them on opioids, which can cause addiction, depression, psychosis, and hallucinations. If this is our idea of comfort, we are mistaken. If this is our idea of letting them die in peace, we haven't thought things through very well.
  So, what is the alternative? If we don't want them on opioids, what can we offer them?
  Chiropractic to the rescue.
  If we can take them out of their pain, they don't need opioids. If much of the pain can be eliminated through chiropractic adjustments, doesn't that make chiropractic care a better alternative than opioids? I suggest we try the benefits of chiropractic. We should encourage it, and offer it through our insurance policies. Except for cases when we can see it is not a fit, every senior should have chiropractic care available to them.
  If chiropractic care does work -- and it am tending to think it does -- perhaps as much as anyone, seniors can benefit from it. It is they, more than any other group, perhaps, that suffer from back problems. It is they, as much as any other group, perhaps, that suffer from chronic pain.
  We owe it to ourselves, and to the society we live in, to try this out. If we flood our seniors with chiropractic care, if we bring it into every senior living center, and reach it into every home where there is an elderly person, we will soon know whether it is of benefit.
  We should do this thing. We should look into everything we can to make the end-of-life experience a better experience, and this could be one of them.

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

If We would have Them End Their Lives in Dignity, this is not it

  If we want our seniors to exit life gracefully and in comfort, we surely should make better arrangements for them than what we have. We speak of allowing them to end their lives peacefully, but the system we have created in these past few decades carries them through a process that is anything but peaceful.
  I wonder if it would be wrong to use stronger language. I wonder if the way we treat our seniors is scandalous.
  We pare back on how often we operate on them, often deciding their bodies cannot endure such surgeries. We suggest that such surgeries might keep them alive, but their lives will only be lives lived in pain and discomfort. The quality of life is what is important, and at that point, they have no quality of life, we say.
   So, we seek to bring them peace. We seek to give them comfort. We offer them what we call palliative care -- comfort care. Do you know what that translates into?
   If we are to give them comfort, we must take away their pain. That translates into stringing them out on drugs for the final years of their lives. Opioids can bring depression, psychosis, and even hallucinations. That certainly sounds like a peaceful way to have them end their lives, doesn't it?
  We speak of allowing them to end their lives in dignity. I do not know how ending your life addicted to drugs should be called dignity. I don't know how being depressed and psychotic is a way of ending your life with dignity. 
  Yes, I do think it a little bit scandalous the way we have come to treat our seniors across these past few decades. In the name of giving them comfort, we put them through the worst years of their lives. We would do them better by trying to cure more of their health problems, instead of placing them into "comfort" care.
   Health is always the greatest happiness, and that doesn't change just because you get old. If we could enable more of them to live their final years in good health, that would be wonderful. And, when we cannot bring them health, we should not be so quick to administer opioids.
   I suggest we should rethink the path we have created for those approaching death. A path littered with opioids, addiction, depression, psychosis, and hallucinations is not a peaceful path.
  If we would have them end their lives in dignity, this is not it.

(Note: One sentence added on 12/14/17.)

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Revisiting My Comments on 'the Staff of Life' and 'the Energy of Life'

   "And when I have broken the staff of your life, ten women shall bake your bread in one oven." -- Leviticus 26:26
   Just two days ago, I blogged on how a modern book of scripture (the Doctrine and Covenants from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) said grain is "the staff of life," and I noted the similarity of language from a modern scientist, who said glucose (which is in grains such as wheat) is "the energy of life."
  In my blog, I wrote how I found it interesting that so many years after a prophet of God wrote about grain being the staff of life that scientists would come to a similar conclusion.
  I failed to realize the obvious, that Joseph Smith wasn't the first to use the phrase, "staff of life." The phrase can be traced back to the Bible, itself.
  That lessens by quite a degree the thought that Joseph was prophetic.
   It lessens, but, it does not fully repudiate the prophetic nature of the verbiage Joseph Smith used. It remains that Joseph Smith's revelation did, indeed, say grain is "the staff of life." If that corresponds with something in the Bible, great. And the scientist, Dr. Robert H. Lustig, did, indeed, come along all these years later and indicate that the same food source is "the energy of life."
  Today, the phrase "staff of life" is commonly applied just to bread. "Bread is the staff of life." Both Joseph Smith's revelation and Dr. Lustig's comments used the word differently, not referring just to bread, but to grain, in the one instance, and to all foods containing the carbohydrate glucose in the other, grains being a large part of that. So, in wondering if use of the phrase was prophetic, you must consider that neither Smith nor Lustig used the phrase as it was most commonly used, meaning to refer to bread as the staff of life, but rather both used it for the larger body of food.

Monday, December 11, 2017

Do it Differently than We have Ever Done with a National Park

   Once wilderness is turned into a national park, there might be no going back. I do not say we should not create a national park in Grand Staircase, I only say that if we do, perhaps we should make it a more protected park than we have heretofore known.
   Do it differently than we have ever done with a national park.
   I like it that there are massive areas of land down there that haven't seen an overly lot of footprints. I wonder if we should keep it that way.
   How about a large, expansive national park protection area (including both Grand-Staircase Escalante and Bears Ears), where some parts are allowed footprints, and grazing, and tourism, but others are shielded from such things?
   How about making the helicopter or the air balloon, the way you view most of these sites? If you charged entry fees to cover the expense, it would make for an expensive park, but it still might be a worthy way to protect the park while at the same time opening it to the public.

Was Israel too Quickly Provoked?

  I do not have time to study the specifics of what happened, but I think to offer a broad opinion on Israel's missile attack on Gaza. I find myself thinking of scriptures that call for forgiving your enemies, and I wonder if Israel was too quick.
   I understand missiles were being fired at Israel, and Israel was just responding. I believe only two died from Israel's missile attack, and they were Palestinian soldiers or some such. So, perhaps it was a surgically successful operation. I know Israel has shown great patience with attacks on it in the past.
   Still, I wonder. I repeat, I do not know many of the facts, to be making too solid of an opinion. Still, my general thought is that you should not be overly quick to attack.

Sunday, December 10, 2017

'The Staff of Life' and the 'Energy of Life'

  There is likeness in what is said about the benefit of grains in these two statements:
   "All grain is ordained for the use of man and beasts, to be the staff of life." Doctrine and Covenants (a book of scripture in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.) Section 89
   "Glucose is the energy of life." Dr. Robert H. Lustig
   Grain is a carbohydrate. It is said that grain turns to sugar upon being processed in the gut. Glucose it a type of sugar and a type of carbohydrate. A number of years ago, it was determined all carbs are not bad. There are good carbs and bad carbs. Glucose is a good one.
   It is "the energy of life," as Dr. Lustig puts it. Even so, the code of eating for the LDS people says grain is "the staff of life." I find it interesting that so many years after a prophet of God (I believe Joseph Smith, who received the revelation in Section 89, was a prophet of God) that scientists would come along many years later and come to a similar conclusion.  Yes, it can be noted that grain is not the only glucose carb. Still, it remains that grain is a glucose carb and it is such carbs that are the "energy of life."

Saturday, December 9, 2017

Some Truth in the Thought, Heal the Back, Heal the Body

   I am decades behind the times. I didn't realize we already had replacement disc surgery. I ran into someone in the store who told me her son had had the surgery. I came home and word searched, to learn it has been around for about 35 years (in Europe), and the first one was performed in the U.S. in 2000.
  I wonder on this, on how discs can be replaced, wondering if more good could be done than is being done. I wonder if it is reaching all the elderly possible. Are we reaching everyone possible, period? Is the expense preventative?
  If we have reached -- or are reaching -- the age when spines can be replaced -- any part necessary -- then we are truly entering an exciting age. Messages to and from the brain travel through the spine. Chronic pain from pinched nerves can be ended. Bladder and bowel problems can be lessened. Much of the health of the whole body can be bettered if, with the flip of a switch, so to speak, we can heal the back.
   Heal the back, heal the body. Sometimes, anyway.


Our Outrage Should be with the Law, not Just the Officer

   I watch this video of a police officer killing a man. To me and many others, the killing was blatantly wrong.
   We make laws making these killings legal, then we are outraged when the officer is acquitted. Yes, we should be outraged, but we should we as outraged with the law as we are with the officer.

Friday, December 8, 2017

He who runs the ship must sail the waves

We always want to be the person in charge. But, we should recognize that positions of responsibility come with the guarantee of criticism. At least, in many cases they do.

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Glucose, Which is in Wheat, is 'The Energy of Life'

   I eat a lot of wheat, and that means a lot of glucose.
   "Glucose is key to keeping the mechanisms of the body in working order." --
   "Glucose is the energy of life." -- Dr. Robert H. Lustig in the video, Sugar: The Bitter Truth. (Lustig is a renown opponent of sugar.)
   I do not know how long ago scientists decided there are bad carbohydrates and good carbohydrates, but I see Lustig identifies glucose as a good carb.
   As I write this, it occurs to me that a belief of the church I belong to has been vindicated by this -- by the studies showing glucose is a good carb. "All grain is ordained for the use of man and beasts, to be the staff of life," it says in that section of the Doctrine and Covenants (89) known as the Word of Wisdom. ". . . Nevertheless, wheat for man."
   I would imagine, this point has been made in Sunday school classes, but it is just catching up with me.
  Too much glucose can be bad, however. At least that is what the article says. "While glucose is important," it says, "like with so many things, it's best in moderation. Glucose levels that are unhealthy  or out of control can have permanent and serious effects."
   The article notes exercise reduces glucose levels, and my mind whips back perhaps a year ago, or almost, to a day when after a hard exercise, I found myself wondering if the exercise had actually removed sugar from by body.
   And, my mind chases back to when I ran to the pharmacy to buy monitoring device, so anxious to get it I couldn't wait another day, only to buy it and leave it unopened. Was it a blood-sugar (glucose) testing device? I rush to my room to find it, and it is, indeed, a glucose-testing machine. I do not even remember why I wanted it so bad, or why I was then interested in my blood sugar.
   But, perhaps I should use it. 

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

In the Jerusalem Question, Soft Words are Our Hope

   Even Pope Francis pleaded for the status quo in Jerusalem. But, while the world generally is against Jerusalem being acknowledged as the capital of Israel, perhaps the sentiment of many in America stands in favor of the move by President Trump.
  May moving of the embassy come quickly. But, may the words to the Palestinians be gentle, reassuring them that no offense is intended. As President Trump said, this is the right thing to do, and it is but recognizing the reality that Israel has the right to place its capital where it wants. That is sovereignty. Still, may verbiage to the Arabs be gentle.
  I wonder if some see this as a lost opportunity for seeking peace, they wishing that President Trump would have seen it as a bargaining chip to persuade Israel to give up East Jerusalem in exchange for recognizing West Jerusalem as the capital.
  But, I wonder if it is not best to not make such a commitment on East Jerusalem. I can see the argument for it belonging to the Palestinians, but I can also see the argument for that portion of the city remaining with Israel. That option should not be sold away at this time.
  So, speak well of the Palestinians. Offer them friendship. But, recognizing Jerusalem is the right thing to do. Moving the embassy to Jerusalem is the right thing. It should be done quickly. Not squandering East Jerusalem is the right course to take.
   But, this is also a time to speak in tones of friendship. There obviously will be anger. Whether it can be minimized by soft words, I do not know. But, I know soft words are our hope.

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

'Sugar Kills Everyone,' Screamed the Headline

   "Sugar Kills Everyone," read the 72-point headline at the top of the front page.
   "Doctors, scientists and national leaders meeting Tuesday in an emergency session declared sugar to be the leading cause of disease in the world," read the article. "Although mankind has long acknowledged sugar has harmful effects, the world has never thought it to be anywhere near as devastating a substance as it turns out to be. Tuesday's announcement shook the world."
   Okay, okay, hold those presses. Such a news story might seem wildly insane. Though you have known me to use fiction to make a point, you might think that this time I certainly overstepped the bounds of reason.
   I won't say I fully believe sugar is as bad as all that. But, I will say I wonder. Does it kill "everyone"? I would not be surprised at all if it reduces the life expectancy of everyone who takes it -- which would be just about everyone who dies a natural death.
   Sugar has been linked to a host of diseases. If you would would list them all, and grant that if sugar plays a role in all these diseases, then it should not seem improbable that sugar might be the leading cause of disease.
   So, while no newspaper has ever run a banner headline proclaiming it, I am not so sure but what sugar, indeed, doesn't kill everyone and isn't the leading cause of death and disease,

Monday, December 4, 2017

How was it Overreach to Give Moon House Ruin Monument Status?

   If you wanted to give those saying you exceeded your authority a good argument when they take you to court, you did it about as well as could be done by carving Moon House Ruin out of monument status.
   Of all the archaeological sites on Cedar Mesa, Moon House is often considered the best. It has been called, "literally a vast outdoor museum of Anasazi ruins and rock art." (
  Doll House Ruin, a building believed to have been a food processing and storage facility, is also among the sites losing monument status.
   When you come arguing that Bears Ears National Monument was an overreach by the Obama Administration, saying Obama stretched to include land the Antiquities Act never intended to protect, you are going to have a hard, hard time making your argument that Moon House and Doll House are not textbook cases of sites that The Antiquities Act was created for. That act gives authority to designate as monuments, "historic landmarks, historic and prehistoric structures, and other objects of historic or scientific interest." How does that not include Moon House and Doll House? How is it that you say Obama exceeded his authority by placing them in a monument?
   What are the other comparable sites being removed from monument status that qualify for it? One can see a lawyer, arguing the case in court, listing site after site as qualifying for monument status.
   When you trimmed back the size of Bears Ears, you should have left them in one of the monuments -- or made them each a monument of their own. It seems clear to me that protecting such sites with monument status is exactly what the Antiquities Act was created to do.

(Note: Edited and changed 12/5/17)

The Message Should be More Important than the Messanger

   What if what was said was more important than who said it? What if a new insight on an issue received news attention regardless if the person behind it was a nobody. If the media got wind of a powerful argument that hadn't already made the rounds, they would interview the common person and quote him (or her) for front-page news, just the same as they interviewed presidents, governors and senators.
   Then, they would bring in people to counter the point, and to discuss it -- again quoting from those having good arguments rather than necessarily from established political figures.

Sunday, December 3, 2017

Truth, Ideas, and Goodness should be News Values

   For those in the news business, and those who have studied what makes news, and those who care what makes the news, I give you three new news values.
   Truth should be a news value. Ideas that will make the world better should be a news value. Goodness should be a news value.
   When journalists are trained, they are given a list of news values. I word search, and find this listing from a website call Impact, timeliness, prominence, proximity, the bizarre, conflict, currency and human interest.
   And now, our three new members.
   Truth: Truth is the brightest gem, to be valued more than diamonds. Why, then, not make it a news value? "Falsehood flies, and the Truth comes limping after it," Jonathan Swift once said. Often, those who yell loudest gets their messages out, instead of those who have the truth. News people should make sure those with the truth do not get slighted. Sometimes, they are humble and do not seek the limelight, so news people should seek them out.
   Ideas -- Things that make the world better: Inventions, innovations, great ideas, great thoughts and great thinking and great philosophies, solutions to issues and political problems -- all of these have great news value. Though not traditionally listed as a news value, inventions are played well in the news. Great thinking is not always so fortunate.
   Goodness: If you parade goodness before the world, the world will follow in goodness, at least to some extent. We are copycats. So, if you would make the world a better place, tell the stories of those who do good.
   (Note: Material added and headline changed 12/4)

Saturday, December 2, 2017

We Should Look into Britain First

   These days, knowing the Russians wage a propaganda war of providing false and inflammatory information, we should look to see if they were involved when we see false and inflammatory memes, videos and such.
   We know the Russians do this kind of thing. And, it is concern to us -- and should be a concern to us. So, we should look into it when there's chance the Russians are involved.
  I think of the videos President Trump retweeted. He got them from Britain First. Britain First, born in 2011, is a British political organization. Now, I don't follow Twitter to know, but how is it that President Trump would have even been aware of Britain First tweets, in the first place? Why would he even be running across them?
   Is it okay to wonder if Britain First has any ties to Russia? Knowing Russia has a propaganda machine, and seeing how pervasive it is, and knowing how it has plugged into influencing politics in so many nations, I think it not wrong. We should be looking to learn whether the Russians are influencing Britain First, and, by extension, President Trump.

Russian Propagandists behind One Source; Are they behind Both?

   Last month, I lifted my eyebrow when I read a news story saying, "Tweets by Russia-backed accounts such as "America_1st_" . . .
   The story was about how Russian agents on Twitter tried to deflect harmful news about Donald Trump just before the election. But, what caught my eye most was the name of one of the accounts the Russians had used.
   I thought back to a blog I had written in August, in which I spoke of a meme with the tagline, @_americafirst, that falsely accused Bill Clinton.
   "Now would be a wonderful time to be able to trace the sources of disinformation, propaganda and misleading memes," I wrote in my blog. I argued that false and misleading memes -- disinformation and propaganda, if you will -- are damaging, and we should want to trace down where they come from. "When the investigation into Russian influence in our election was younger," I wrote, "the Intel Community said much of what was done was but disinformation and propaganda. . . . So, doesn't it follow that a share of the false memes might be coming from the Russians? I think we should at least be wary of that, at least be open to the idea and looking to see if it is true."
   Last month, as I read the news story identifying "America_1st_" as a Russia-backed account, I could not help but notice the similarity to the tagline, "@_americafirst"from the meme I had read back in August, as I at that time wondered if such memes were coming from the Russian propagandists.
   Both "America_1st_" and "@_americafirst" were used for disinformation to either help Trump or hurt the Clintons, which falls in line with the assertion that the Russians helped Trump get elected. Both contain the words "America first" (though spelled differently). Both have underscores in their names.
   One has been identified as originating from the Russian operatives. You tell me if there isn't reason for wondering if the other, which I wondered about in August, isn't also from the Russians.
   The Russians used propaganda and falsehoods to influence the election? And the Mueller investigation is looking into it?  There might be some things that we, as the public, can see for ourselves. We don't need to wait for the Mueller investigation to issue a report.

Friday, December 1, 2017

For a Drastic Improvement in Nation's Health, Drastically Reduce Sugar

   If you would make this a healthier nation, perhaps nothing would make a bigger difference than to rid it of sugar.
   It has been said, if sugar were a new product, it would never win FDA approval. And, if you've studied sugar, you surely should believe this statement. Sugar feeds cancer, causes heart attacks, leads to Alzheimer's disease -- and the list goes on.
   Oh, I don't know if we would need to rid our country of sugar. But, drastically reducing the substance would make a world of difference.
   One reason we eat so much sugar, it that it is hard not to. It is everywhere. Even if you didn't drink soda pop and eat cookies, could you escape it? It is hidden in items you would never expect, like hot dogs and tomato soup. It is laced in pizza and cereal and yogurt.
    We could make a far bigger difference in the health of this nation by drastically reducing sugar than by shifting from Obamacare to another such similar plan.

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Of Unseasonable Snow and an Earthquake in an Unlikely Place

 Those of us who believe in the scriptures often wonder whether things happening today are fulfillment of prophecies of things that are to happen in the end of time.
  Yesterday, I heard of a snowstorm in Hawaii, and my thoughts turned to Matthew 24, which says there will be earthquakes in divers places. While a snowstorm is not an earthquake, I wondered at the likeness of a snowstorm being in an unlikely place to that of an earthquake being in an unlikely place.
  As it turns out, snowfalls in Hawaii actually aren't uncommon. The volcanic mountains are so high, snows often top them. The name of the highest peak, Mauna Kea, in fact, translates as "white mountain."
   But, the snow usually doesn't come this early. A snow in late November is uncommon.
   Just one day later (today) after I thought on the scripture of earthquakes in divers places, we get just that, an earthquake in an unusual place -- Delaware. With a magnitude of only 4.1, it was hardly a whopping quake. Still, the fact remains it happened in an odd place.
   "For nation shall rise up against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places." (Matthew 24:7)
   The world is to be in commotion in the last days. Looking around, I would say that is happening some.
  (Blog revised a little 12/1/17)

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

The Best Ideas Should Make the Biggest News

   Books should be news, big news.
   I am not a book reader. Wish I were. But, on the rare occasion I browse through the bookstore, I am excited by what is out there, the information and wonderful thinking crammed into books.
   The information in these books should be news. Yes, books do make some news, when a significant news-maker releases them. But, I am saying books should be making the news for what is in them, not just because someone important wrote them.
   Our best ideas should always be news. If they do not receive attention, the wind and the sand will blow over them. The ideas will be lost. When someone has a wonderful idea, we need to hear about it to learn from it.
   If I were head of a large news agency, I would have at least one staffer whose beat was books -- nothing else. He (or she) would be charged with sorting through the books, and finding the ones with notable arguments, and notable ideas.
   And, when the ideas contained in these books were significant -- which would be often -- we would run the stories in lead fashion, ahead of the other news of the day.
   Even if the writer were an unknown.

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Is it Humane to have them End their Lives Strung Out on Drugs?

   In the past 20 years, the number of seniors being hospitalized for opioid overuse has increased fivefold. Of all the medications prescribed in the U.S., seniors receive one-third of them. They are, perhaps, our biggest users of opioids.
  America, if you have an opioid problem, don't forget to recognize your seniors are a large part of it -- maybe the largest part. If we would be compassionate towards them, we should consider their plight.
   I think of hospice, and of how it means comfort care instead of treatment to cure. That translates, in part, to pain medications. Can you say, Opioids?
   So, when the pain sets in, of course a pain pill is offered. Now, do we suppose that seniors are somehow less susceptible to addiction? And, do we suppose it doesn't matter, for they are so old, anyway? Whereas when those younger receiving opioids, we might become concerned, when seniors are involved we are more likely to not give it a second thought.
   I wonder if more overdose deaths among seniors go lost and unnoticed because we too quickly assume their deaths are due to from old age.
   Whether they are on hospice or not, do we have a tendency to say, Don't bother them with treatments their bodies are no longer able to endure, for they are too frail for those, and are likely going to die anyway. Just give them some pain pills and let them die in peace.
   From what I know about opioids, I'm not so sure this is the best route to peace. From what I know, they, the opioids themselves, come with hazards that prevent many seniors from ending their lives in peace. To me, the more humane solution, when you can, is to fix their problem with curative care so they don't have to end their lives strung out on drugs.

Monday, November 27, 2017

Drama's Highest Hour Speaks of an America Duped by the Russians

   Sometimes I sit back and reflect on just how unbelievable, how storybookish, the drama is. We elect a president like none other. Yes, that is part of it. But, is it possible he colluded with Russia to be elected? Is it possible the Russians pitched hard balls against Hillary Clinton, and the whole nation fell for them? And, now, how do you break it to them gently -- how do you convince a nation they have been duped into hating Hillary?
   By the Russians, the very people Americans have disdained all these years. By Russians, they of the nation that spawned communism and socialism? Even as our opposing nation (America) warned itself of those evils of socialism and communism, was it being duped by the same Russians into hating Hillary? Add this to the storyline: Could Russia's influence have contributed in some way to persuade our leaders to drag the hated Hillary through Congressional inquiries? Did the Russians plug into our hatred of Hillary and feed it and ride it like a bloated horse to an election victory for the unlikely Donald Trump?
   Try that on for a story line. It would be a good one, even in a world of fiction, but to think it might be playing out in real life . . .


Sunday, November 26, 2017

Our Care of Seniors is a Scandal in the Waiting

   Consider how all this sexual misconduct among our celebrities quietly went on for all this time, but only now is breaking as scandal. Sometimes, terrible wrongs go on without much notice until suddenly someone says, Hey, wait a minute, what is going on here?
   I tell you there is another scandal waiting to break: Our treatment of the elderly. As life expectancy has increased, the number of seniors in invalid condition has increased. And, we no longer live in a day where there as so many of their children who can care for them in their senior years. With more people to care for, and fewer family members able to care for them, these days, the senior center is a necessary norm.
   And, an expensive one. In order to qualify, you must pay by forfeiting all the resources you have -- meaning, your life savings. If you have property, the nursing home requires you sell it off to pay them.
  Is this not scandal, that we rob them of their life savings to place them in senior living housing?
  Nor, is this the full of the scandal. We have hospice workers who pledge to be available for them 24/7, who are not. And, can the families sue? Commonly, the care givers have you sign an agreement forgoing your right to sue.
   In some ways, hospice has become a way to get this expensive care paid for when no one else is willing. If you can get on hospice, there can be a way to pay for the care. In some cases, though, this means renouncing your right to curative care in order to qualify, since hospice is primarily for those who do agree not to pursue treatments that might restore their health.
   Is that not sort of a scandal, as well?
   The scandal got a little bit of an unveiling this past week, as Time Magazine carried some articles in the Nov. 27 issue.

Saturday, November 25, 2017

The Authority Must Come from Christ

   No more issue is more important than how to get back to heaven. Donald Trump, the national deficit, climate change -- none of these are so important as what we should do in this life to ensure that we end up in a good place in the hereafter.
   And, what church to ascribe to is a large part of that.
   I belong to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I have often thought that the world should be studying this church, as there are stark indications it is God's church. Now, a person can start a church, and if he or she is intent on honoring God, I would think that starting a church is a good thing. And, belonging to any church that sincerely seeks to serve God is a good thing
   But, even with all these churches started of men, God should be free to start his own. And, if belonging to any Christ-centered church is good, how much better is it to belong to the one Christ, Himself, started?
   The Church of Jesus Christ teaches that there are certain things you must do to get to heaven, or to attain the highest degree of exaltation. You must be baptized, you must repent and keep the commandments, you must be married eternally, you must be sealed to your parents -- who are sealed to their parents, who are sealed to their parents in a chain going back to Adam and Eve.
   I should probably go back to the first requirement I mentioned: being baptized. If a member of a biker club were to say, "Oh, they say you need to be baptized? I can do that for you. Come on over and I'll dip you in the river out back," would that count as being baptized?
   Obviously not. Obviously, if you are being baptized into a group of followers of Christ, the person doing the baptizing needs to be authorized to do so by Christ, which makes this Church of Jesus Christ so important. Is it the only one that says God sent down angels giving authority to baptize? I know of no other such church, other than, perhaps, off-shoots of this Church of Jesus Christ.
   It is almost as if there is not even another church on the face of the whole earth that even claims to have the authority necessary to perform baptism. If baptism is necessary, and if authority is needed to baptize, there might be but only one church that even claims that authority has been been transferred from those of old to those of our day. And, how about the Catholics, you ask? They, too, might claim a line of authority, I do not know. I think to study on it, but it is late. But, the point remains this: You either need to have an unbroken line of authority from Christ's day to ours, or you need a restoration: an angel who held the authority bestowing it upon someone in a later day.

Friday, November 24, 2017

The Freedom to find Truth is the Greatest of Freedoms

   No freedom stands greater than the freedom to pursue truth. Stack all of them up next to each other: freedom of religion, freedom of speech, freedom to bear arms, freedom to move about, and so forth. None is so basic, so essential, as the freedom to pursue truth.
   And, none yields such rich reward. After a long search, when truth is found, the finder is ecstatic.
   Yes, it should be noted, the freedom to pursue and find truth encompasses or overlaps many other freedoms. The freedoms of speech and religion both are partially within this circle. The freedom to invent, the freedom to philosophize, the freedom to read, the freedom to discuss issues -- these also fall either entirely or partially under the umbrella of pursuing truth.
   Truth is the world's greatest prize. It follows, then, that to pursue it is the greatest freedom.

Thursday, November 23, 2017

I am Grateful for God and the World He Provides Me

 I am grateful there is a God, for where there is a God, there is hope. I am grateful for the Father's son, that he died for me. I am grateful that earth life is not an end, but that that there is a hereafter. I am grateful -- hopeful -- that I am not near the end here on earth. I am grateful that I am able to study the world around me, to analyze it, and to wonder on things that would make it better.
  I am grateful for the goodness of so many people, for though there is wickedness, there is also goodness. I am grateful to be living in a day of such scientific advancements.
  Though I do not like health problems, I am grateful to experience things that are part of the human experience. I am grateful when maladies are made better. For those things, I acknowledge my God. I am grateful for health that I do have, and for the ability to think.
   I am grateful for family, for friends, and for work.
   I am grateful for freedom, and to be able to pursue truth.

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Can Chiropractors Heal Bad Backs?

   Can a back be healed -- even by a chiropractor?
   I think on what I was taught this week, that healing cannot come from pills, potions and surgeries. No, diseases come from within and they must be healed from within.
   The body must correct itself.
   Do I believe that? I tell you, I am a fan of modern medicine. I am grateful for all that it does. While I have known those who underwent surgery and did not have good results, I have also known those who have had pleasant results.
   But, healed? I should study on the different types of back problems, and what the surgeries do.
   Does even a chiropractor heal a bad back? Is it ever as good as new? That would be healed. Anything short of that would be something less than fully healed. I asked one of my chiropractors if patients continue to need care throughout their lives, and he indicated they do. That would indicate, then, that those backs never were completely healed.
   So, when it is said that healing cannot come from pills, potions and surgeries, but only from within, must we not consider that surgeries might come as close to correcting the problem as does chiropractic? If so, full healing cannot come from pills, potions and surgeries -- nor from chiropractic.
If you judge a person by his weakness, 
while you will not always judge him falsely,
 you will always judge him unfairly.

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Spine-crushing Football is Just One Part of Our Culture

   If you would reduce the number of murders in America, start by making football safer.
   I only say violent crime in America is partially due to our attitudes, to our culture, to our entertainment, and to our values. Rock'm, sock'm football is part of that. We hoot and holler when someone knocks the block off someone in a football game. Love it. I think back a couple weeks or so ago when an NFL player was reprimanded for a hard hit. His response? Something along the lines of, If I can't do that anymore, it's time for me to get out of this game.
   He gloried in being a rock'm, sock'm, spine-crushing football player.
   I do not know what intentionally hard hits have to do with winning the game. A simple tackle means as much as a hard one. The goal is to win the game, not injure the other team's players. On the scoreboard, a good, clean tackle means as much as one packing the power of a sledgehammer blow.
   We live in a society that glories in violence. Our TV shows and movies are violent. Our comic books are violent. Our video games are violent.
  In how many other nations is ultimate fighting so big? I do not know, but I know it is big here. In how many other countries are dark heroes popular? Who knows, but I know we certainly love them here in America.
   These things add one to another in making America's values, America's entertainment, as violent as any on earth. Tell me of another nation with so many violent movies, or with so many violent video games.
   If you would reduce the number murders, start by reducing how you glamorize and revel in them as you watch TV. Change your attitudes. Change your values. If your entertainment is violence, and you love it, don't tell me it isn't your value.
   If you would rid yourself of violent crimes, rid yourself of violent attitudes. Yes, you could start in a number of places. But, as good a place as any to start is in your football game. Change your attitude there, and it is a start in changing your attitude in other places.

Monday, November 20, 2017

We Shouldn't be Shaking Our Heads, Wondering Why

   I listen to Jamie Mcfarland on KSL, learning that the U.S. is the clear leader in producing mass killers and serial killers.
   Is there something about our culture that leads to this, maybe something in our culture? A gun-culture, maybe? A culture where more people own guns than in any other advanced nation? Or is it because our culture offers so much violence on TV and movie screens? No, maybe we should attribute it to our culture of violent video games.
   No, you say? Then, what? Should we trace it to our own attitudes? We often say if someone wanders through our door in the middle of the night, we will blow him right back out that door with the Magnum handgun waiting on the nightstand.
   What about ultimate fighting? We have as much of that as any nation. And, our love for violence can be traced even into football, where players boast of their hard hits, and suppose the game cannot be played properly without them. We as fans? We find ourselves screaming with joy and applauding those hard hits.
   I do not know how our nation compares to others in all these factors. I only know we are a nation  glorifying violence, and reveling in it. I only know that all our love of guns, and violence, and physically hurting others surely must have some kind of negative impact.
  I only know, if we do end up number 1 in producing mass killers and serial killers, we shouldn't shake our heads and say, Where does that come from? What's up with that?

Is Yemen Worse than the U.S. in Mass Shootings?

   It is said, there is one country having more mass shooting per capita than the United States: Yemen, which happens to have the second-largest gun-owning population per capita.
   But, before you read too much into it, consider that Yemen is a nation at war with itself, rebels fighting government forces. I believe those figures, or at least some of them, are being included. 

Sunday, November 19, 2017

We Might be Close to the Day of Automated Genealogy

  We have entered the age of  driverless cars, and of computers taking over our jobs in the workplace. So, could we be on the verge of automated genealogy? Will the computer search out all our genealogy, sending us notices, saying, Do you want to attach this to your family tree? Do you want to go to the temple for this person?
  Are we entering the age of automated genealogy, when the computer does all the work, and we simply sign off on it?
   What, then, of the endeavor of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints? It has long been considered an impossible task, to go back and connect the family trees of those now on earth, and trace all the names back to Adam and Eve. And, surely, it must still seem impossible. But, if artificial intelligence is employed, we might be somewhat closer to the goal.
   What if the computer took every name ever entered in it? And, through automatic searches, connected the names in a genealogy tree? Of course, this would be limited by how much information is placed on the Internet. And, there is nowhere near enough names and information on the Internet to allow us to do genealogy all the way back to Adam and Eve, at least not for the vast majority of linage lines.
   But, perhaps that could change. Perhaps the day will come when you simply scan page after page of names and records and data, and the computer sorts it all out. It takes the bad handwriting, and figures out what was meant to be written. It takes the names and sorts out where they came from and searches out birth records and grave records for the names, being every lick as accurate as a human could be.

(Slightly edited 11/20/17)
There are no perfect people,
only ones who are charitable.
If you have a person
who is charitable towards others,
that is all the perfection you can expect.

Saturday, November 18, 2017

The Gun Seeks a Society, and the Society Seeks a Crime

   The gun seeks a society, and the society seeks a crime.
   Perhaps, we should say it is the gun owner who seeks friends to play with, for the gun is but an inanimate tool. But, the gun defines its owner --not all of them, but many. Their world revolves around the gun -- or guns, plural, for many have arsenals.
   Not all of them seek friends to share their love of guns with, but many do. Some join militias. Some just talk guns with other gun owners.
   Now, not all those who get together to talk guns are out looking for crimes. But, I will say this: Of those who own arsenals, many --maybe even most -- do so with an eye towards the day their tools will be useful.
   Some are wary of government, and hold that the day might come that they need to rise up in rebellion against it. Some already feel the government is corrupt and in need of a cleansing. I suppose I do not agree that our government has reached such a stage. And, I am much less sure than they that it ever will.
  So, I say, the gun seeks a society, and the society seeks a crime.