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Monthly Archives: August 2012

In The Shadow Of The Blade

In July 1789, the people of Paris rose up and stormed the Bastille, Paris’ notorious prison and symbol of autocratic rule and oppression. They grabbed the warden, beat the crap out of him until he was dead and then cut off his head, stuck it on a pole and marched it around the city. It was probably a bit over the top considering that he was merely a bureaucratic functionary doing his job but the people corrected themselves later by going after the monarch and aristocrats. 
Things really started rolling then, especially heads.
Unfortunately, the revolutionary government became even more oppressive than the monarchy it replaced. It ruled by tyranny in the name of democracy and used terror as a political instrument. Eventually, the people who had started and led the revolution, turned on each other and themselves became victims of the same blood-thirsty tyranny imposed by the Revolutionary Council.

Robespierre and St. Juste used corruption charges to remove Camille Desmoulins and Geroges-Jacques Danton (two of the revolution’s founders), among others, from their positions and had them executed. Shortly thereafter, it was time for St. Juste and Robespierre to feel the sharp edge of the revolution on the back of their necks.

It was tyranny dressed up as a democratic republic but as so often happens, it was all dressed up but had nowhere to go. It became known as the Reign of Terror and it was intentional and chaotic. Eventually order was restored and Napoleon crowned himself emperor, embarked France on European wars that eventually led to his downfall and that, my friends, led to the restoration of the monarchy. Events had come full circle and a lot of people had lost their heads to achieve pretty much nothing up to that point.
France did eventually become a democratic republic which continues to thrive to this day but it was a violent and circuitous route to get here.
So what has that got to do with today?
Perhaps nothing but The French Revolution was started by a disenfranchised populace similar to how many feel today. The people of France had reached a stage where they had nothing left to lose and much to gain by overthrowing violently, what they could not change peacefully. Almost three hundred years later, we have seen the same thing in places like Libya, Iran, Egypt and perhaps a tad less violently but just as traumatically, the former Soviet Union and East Germany.
Like them, we are experiencing a growing discontent with our political system, our governments and the lack of opportunity for too many to share the wealth and opportunities of our nations.
Some will point out that for the most part, the countries I named were all totalitarian states but consider this. The closer a democracy moves to being governed rather than being served by its elected representatives and a privileged few, the closer it moves to its own form of totalitarianism. 
We live in democratic nations these days where the principles upon which many of those same nations were founded have been eroded by cynical politics and special interest on both the left and the right. There isn’t much difference between the attitudes of the French aristocracy before the blade started falling and many who sit in their ivory towers on Wall Street or who rally the troops for more largesse over at Union Headquarters. Caught in the middle are politicians who pay lip service to their oath of office to serve the people while stuffing political support, privilege and cash into their pockets.
It ain’t pretty and people are angry, frustrated and increasingly feeling more disenfranchised. Many believe that their vote no longer counts for anything on election day and too many feel that their political and government institutions have not only been taken from them but have become the enemy. 
That was precisely how the French Revolution started. More and more people spoke out expressing their discontent in pamphlets and flyers. Today we use social media but the end result is the same; we are divided by opinion but share a common, if not always focused, anger and frustration. At some point if nothing changes, the frustration will overtake ideology and we will be united by the fact that we have nothing left to lose and the possibility of much to gain by taking more violent action. 
So far, in our democratic nations, almost all of the violence has been restricted to extremists and those with seriously faulty wiring but our political leadership would do well to remember the lessons of history. Any people who feel they cannot bring about change peacefully will eventually rise up to impose change by any means at their disposal. This isn’t a call for or a justification for revolution. It is a warning that revolutions happen when the people no longer feel they have any other choice left to them.
We’re standing in the shadow of the blade now and it is up to all of us to decide whether it starts falling on necks or we unite to demand integrity, vision and respect from those we elect and who represent us. It’s up to us to decide if we can channel our anger into something positive that is closer to the noble ideals set out in our constitutions and bills of rights or whether we will continue to slide into a revolution of anger and violence we will never control.
Learning to  respect each other again despite our different opinions and ideologies would be a good place to start. Learning to treat listen to those who hold different opinions to our own rather than shouting them down would be an even better place.

Otherwise, we might as well just sharpen the blade and let the chips (and heads) fall where they may.

© 2012 Maggie’s Bear
all rights reserved
The content of this article is the sole property of Maggie’s Bear but a link to it may be shared by those who think it may be of interest to others

I Am Racist!

I know I’m racist because I’ve been told so. I’ve been told I’m racist because I don’t believe Barack Obama has been a very good president. Even though I could care less about the colour of his skin, I’m a racist because I believe he is the ultimate triumph of glib rhetoric over real accomplishment. I’m a racist because I believe his record as president illustrates his lack of commitment to his stated values and demonstrates little more than a love of the spotlight and a lust for power.

The American economy is in tatters. Unemployment is consistently over 8% and this president has ignored not only the spirit of the constitution but the letter of it. It is his Attorney General who stands in contempt of Congress for failing to turn over documents that were subpoenaed in the Fast & Furious scandal. It is this president who supported him in his disdain for the people’s representatives.

I’m a racist because Spike Lee and Michael Moore tell me I’m a racist. These are the same celebrities who in different televised interviews admitted that President Obama has not delivered on his promises but they would vote for the president anyway. Why? Simply because of President Obama’s race. I’m a racist because I believe in evaluating on a person’s record rather than their skin colour.

I’m a racist because I do not support the mindless sanctimony of so many on the left who are more caught up in the illusion of a black man being president than they are in the reality of a nation facing serious issues for which he is both ill-prepared and is unwilling to properly address.

I am a racist because I am offended that this president promised “change you can believe in” but has demonstrated in this election campaign the worst gutter politics of any party on either the right or the left. I’m a racist because I do not support a president who happens to be black because one of his key political supporters admitted on CNN that it doesn’t matter that she deliberately misquoted the Los Angeles Times in a fund raising letter to the American People. I’m a racist because that lack of ethics and integrity matters to me.

I am considered a racist in Canada too because I condemn the neo-Nazi, xenophobic attitudes behind the discriminatory policies of the Party Quebecois and the CAQ which would trample the rights of fellow citizens simply because they weren’t born to a pur laine French family.

I am a racist because I demand and expect all citizens regardless of race, culture, language or heritage to be treated identically under the law. I am a racist because I condemn female gender mutilation, abortion being used to get rid of unwanted female fetuses by some whose culture is highly paternalistic and refuse to accept the right of some cultures to impose their system of law, their values or their faith on others.

I am racist because I am proud that  I come from a multi-racial family that includes blacks, whites, Asians and indigenous people.

I am racist because I believe that the person’s race, culture, religion, gender orientation and hair colour are significantly less important than their character and their values.

I am also a fascist.

I know this is true because I have been called a fascist many times for believing that we each have a responsibility for our own lives rather than a God-given right to expect the government and the taxpayer to pay our way. I am a fascist because I believe that post-secondary education should be available to all who qualify but that the responsibility to pay for it is a shared responsibility between the government and the student.

I am a fascist because I actually believe in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, The American Bill of Rights and the U.N. Charter of Rights. I am a fascist because I believe that taxing one group to give more entitlements to others is simply wrong and that everyone except those who live below the poverty line should pay exactly the same percentage of their income in taxes to support the needs of the country.

I am a fascist because I recognize that government does not create wealth or jobs, it undermines both and promoting class conflict as many politicians do these days is nothing more than a cynical strategy to divide the electorate and win votes.

I am a fascist because I believe that the prosperity of a nation lies in the accomplishment of its individual citizens and not in the hands of bureaucrats and politicians who have a proven record of failure.

I am a fascist because I am offended by the hypocrisy of the left in Canada which repeatedly and hysterically condemns the Conservative government but which remains silent on the repeated ethics and legal violations of its own political representatives.

Since the last Canadian election, the socialist New Democratic Party has been caught twice in improper and illegal fund raising activities and was recently fined more than $340,000 by the CRTC. The left-leaning Liberals have had a Senator sent to prison for misappropriation of government funds and misuse of government resources. It was forced to terminate the employment of a senior staffer who violated the privacy of a sitting Cabinet Minister by using government computers and Internet access to publish details of the minister’s divorce and it now stands accused of misusing a highly respected Liberal senator who they knew was suffering from dementia and had been declared mentally incompetent six months ago for their own cynical purposes.

I am a fascist because I recognize that the Conservative Party has not been fined, charged or convicted of any ethical breach of the rules or the law during that same period. Even in the so called Robocall scandal, which saw the left accuse the Conservatives of illegal and unethical election campaign fraud, the only person charged and fined to date is a Liberal. I am a fascist because I believe that matters.

I am a fascist because I believe that there are too many entitlements for those who don’t need them and not enough real support for the working poor. I am a fascist because I believe it is a disgrace to demand free tuition, public sector and union salary increases when there are people sleeping in our streets and children going to bed hungry.

I am a fascist because I believe that ‘treating’ ourselves to more entitlements using borrowed money is the road to economic ruin and I am a fascist because I believe in less government not more government control of our families and our individual lives.

I am anti-environmental because I believe that global warming is more fanaticism than science. I am anti-environment because I refused to support the Kyoto Accord which was signed by a Liberal government and never implemented.

I am anti-women because I believe that abortion is a highly personal decision that should never be easy for anyone and that the father and the fetus both have rights.

I am homophobic because I think that pride parades and other outrageous behaviour are both unnecessary and insulting. I am homophobic because I fail to see how promoting how different it is, the gay and lesbian community expects to be accepted as a normal part of our society. I am homophobic even though I have spoken out in support of the gay and lesbian community and attacked those who would suppress their right to marry and love who they wish. I am homophobic because I believe gay couples are entitled to all of the same benefits, rights and respect as heterosexual couples.

I know I am all of these things and more because I have been called all of these things and more but I am never offended by it. I am proud to be called a racist by those who put a higher value on race, culture and language than they do on character, integrity and respect for the rights of others.. I am proud that my values prevent me from judging a person by the colour of their skin and forces me to evaluate them based solely on their actions and their principles.

I am proud that I understand that the success of any society is built on the success of the individuals that comprise it and that there is no self-respect or sense of accomplishment to be found in living off paltry government handouts or penalizing others for being successful.

I am proud to be called a fascist by those who lack the intellectual ability to fairly evaluate others based on a consistent set of values but who are quick to condemn those who do not agree with them while being slow to condemn the performance and ethical violations of those they support..

We are divided into left and right, not by choice but by blind stupidity. We have traded away our values for entitlements and to willfully embrace politically correct illusions of principled values. Voting for a failed politician simply because he is black is every bit as racist as voting against a successful politician for the same reason.

If I was an American, I could not support Barack Obama based solely on his record and his broken promise to deliver change in which we could believe. I cannot support a xenophobic Quebecois political party that tramples and restricts the rights of fellow citizens in the name of cultural purity and I have no respect for those who condemn others based on ideology while supporting those who do the very things they condemn. I am even more proud to be called all of these things by people to lazy to inform themselves and who follow like sheep without thought or application of personal values.

I hate hypocrisy and a lack of integrity above all else and quite frankly, my friends, if that makes me a racist and a fascist; I’m ok with that.

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© 2012 Maggie’s Bear
all rights reserved
The written content of this article is the sole property of Maggie’s Bear but a link to it may be shared by those who think it may be of interest to others

Follow The Bear on Twitter: @maggsbear or connect with a friend request on Facebook: Maggie’s Bear

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Democracy! “Everybody Knows The Good Guys Lost”


Everybody knows that the boat is leaking,
everybody knows that the captain lied 
Everybody got this broken feeling, 
like their father or their dog just died 
-Leonard Cohen

Merriam-Webster’s defines democracy as:

a)Government by the people
b)a government in which the supreme power is vested in the people and exercised by them directly or indirectly through a system of representation usually involving periodically held free elections

The Oxford Dictionary defines democracy as:

a system of government by the whole population or all the eligible members of a state, typically through elected representatives

I see more posts, tweets and commentary on democracy than any other single topic. Everyone talks about it including politicians, the media, academics and every day people. Democracy is not a homogenous thing and it takes many forms. In fact, there are almost three dozen different forms of democracy currently in existence.

Some democracies use a first-past-the-post system of allocating representation. Canada and the United States are examples of this approach. Others, like Italy, Israel and Germany have representative democracies and allocate seats based on the percentage of votes received by each political party.

Some democracies, like Canada and Sweden, are constitutional monarchies while others like the United States and France are republics. Some democracies are actually totalitarian and a few are outright dictatorships which seems incongruous to our basic concept of democracy but which is true nonetheless.

One thing they all share in common, however, is that they are too easily corrupted by those who run for office.

The common thread in democracy is that the state belongs to the people and it is the people who manage through some form of elected representation, the affairs of state. Too often, those who run for office lose sight of the simple fact that it is not their function to govern the lives of others but rather to represent us in governing our common affairs.

Elected representation is meant to be about service not ruling. Unfortunately, that is not the norm in modern democracies.

The ‘people’ are partly responsible for this because too many of us have allowed our democracies to be eroded by cynical politics and election campaigns where we are lied to and often bribed with our own money. It isn’t, however, only the fault of the people. I believe that in large part the fault lies with politicians and how they practice politics.

They have turned their backs on serving the people and are focused on power and winning elections to obtain power. They are meant to be the caretakers of our constitutions and defenders of our rights but increasingly are the single biggest threat to both.

The current presidential election campaign in the United States exemplifies just how out of touch politicians have become with their actual purpose. The choices being offered the American people have almost nothing to do with the real and serious issues they face and everything to do with blame, accusation and outright lies. It’s all about winning and in the end, you begin to wonder what it is they think they’re actually trying to win or what they intend to do once they have won.

In Canada, the province of Quebec is also going through an election and the choices being offered border on insanity. The three leading contenders are so completely out of touch with reality that you begin to wonder if they have any idea of what they are doing to the province.

One candidate wants to divorce the province from the rest of Canada without having any plan on how to make up the close to $20 billion a year the province would lose in transfer payments. She has put forward one of the most racist campaign platforms in Canadian history, a string of election promises that would take away basic rights from citizens of the province who are not naturally born Quebec French. Her two main opponents aren’t much better.

One is the current premier who has a record that is more than sufficient reason to turf him out of office. The other is a misogynist, former separatist who is promising to cut public sector spending while promising to increase it.

It’s enough to make your head explode.

I think we need to repair our electoral process. We elect too many who lack the qualifications to represent us and some are just flat out stupid or dishonest or both. In response to another gang shooting on the weekend here, one local councilor proposed that the owners of legal firearms be required to store them at a central storage facility and log them in and out when they want to use them.

More bureaucracy and state control is always the first solution these twits propose. Even the chief of police is on the record as saying the problem is not with legal firearms but with weapons smuggled into the country and acquired illegally. What’s the political solution? Restrict legal gun ownership.

It’s like your surgeon offering to cut off your right arm because you broke your foot.

In the last federal election, the New Democratic Party surprised itself with a result that was far beyond anything they had dared to believe would happen and they became Canada’s Official Opposition to the government. They achieved this success by parachuting unknown candidates into many Quebec ridings, some of whom were barely out of their teens and one who was nineteen at the time. How can anyone rationalize the idea of someone barely out of high school participating in billion dollar decisions?

It’s small wonder our countries are struggling to get back on track.

I think the time has come to establish a means test for politicians. I think we should run criminal background and credit checks on those who wish to run for office and ‘serve’ the people. Perhaps with a proper background check we could avoid the absurd situation in Manitoba where an accused pedophile, who is currently facing criminal charges, is running for public office.

I also think there should be a knowledge test. Would be politicians should have to pass a test on the nation’s constitution and charter of rights. They should be required to demonstrate a solid understanding of how our system of government works, whatever that system is and have a demonstrated knowledge of the issues facing our nations. There is no point in allowing those who have no concept of national defense participate in decisions about military procurement or allowing people who have no understanding of how economies work participate in decisions that have direct effect on the economy.

No properly run business would even consider hiring someone with no experience in the areas of the company’s business but we do it all the time when we elect the inexperienced to office.

Politicians should be required to represent the people in their constituency first and their political party second.

Finally, I believe there should be a minimum age requirement. We don’t need people who are barely out of their teens deciding how our nations should be run, no matter how sincere and earnest they may be. In Quebec, the separatist party recruited a young man who led the recent student protest over tuition increases and he dutifully dropped out of college to answer the call. What real knowledge or life experience can he bring to the complex issues facing Quebec society today?

We have enough ill-informed and inexperienced people in government as it is we don’t need more including some who have not yet reached the legal age to drink in some jurisdictions.

Reform won’t happen, of course. The more corrupted and broken the system remains, the more it works in favour of those who scramble for power like pigs fighting over a few ears of corn in a sty.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t work for the people or for our societies. It undermines the rights of the people and erodes the prosperity and success of our nations. True leaders with vision, character and integrity would understand that. The fact that we haven’t seen any leaders like that for a very long time pretty much confirms the caliber of the choices we have at election time, regardless of what election it may be.

The tragedy is that everybody knows that the system is broken. Everybody knows that the taxation systems of almost all democracies are overly complex and unfair, politics is corrupt and the people have no real choices and have little more opportunity other than choosing from equally bad sides in a losing proposition.

Everybody knows that every major issue that confronts us today can be traced back to how politicians and their parties have mishandled circumstance or pandered to special interest, corrupting our politics and our nations in the process. Everybody knows the people have lost their voice for little more than yelling at each other in frustration rather than uniting to demand and bring about real change.

 
Everybody knows that the deal is rotten but nobody knows what to do about it. . .
 
… that’s just how it goes these days.

© 2012 Maggie’s Bear
all rights reserved
The content of this article is the sole property of Maggie’s Bear but a link to it may be shared by those who think it may be of interest to others
Follow the Bear on Twitter: @maggsbear or send a friend request on Facebook to: Maggie’s Bear

The Redistribution Of Wealth

“There is all the difference in the world between treating people equally and attempting to make them equal. While the first is the condition of a free society, the second means as De Tocqueville describes it, ‘a new form of servitude.”
Friedrich Hayek

 

Canada is a nation that believes in equality and it has proven it by devoting decades to a bizarre concept of redistribution of wealth that borders on insanity. Through various transfer payments from the federal government, both national unity and fair distribution of wealth are meant to be improved across all provinces. The problem is that it hasn’t worked.

One of the largest recipients of transfer payments is the province of Quebec. This year it will receive just over $7 billion in equalization payments plus an additional $10 billion in transfers for healthcare and other social programs. This represents 25% of Quebec’s annual budget but despite this injection of federal money, the province still has a budget deficit. Over and above the transfer payments, the federal government also covers the cost of Old Age Security and Employment Insurance.

Despite this, there is still a significant resentment in Quebec directed towards the federal government specifically and the rest of Canada in general. It’s clear that wealth redistribution has purchased neither cooperative federalism nor fiscal responsibility in la belle province.

It isn’t merely Quebec, however. The Maritimes benefits from the Canadian idea of redistributing wealth and the uneven application of social programs. In the Maritimes, EI is almost a second job for some and is seen as necessary to allow people to continue in seasonal occupations that cannot sustain them independently over an entire year.

Nationally, the idea of transfer payments on the scale applied in Canada simply hasn’t worked. It has penalized successful provinces while rewarding poor economic management in others. It is a solution that only politicians, looking to get elected, could develop.

Now there are demands for wealth redistribution between economic classes. The wealthy are seen as the enemy because they have made scads of money while those with less see their circumstance as the fault of those with money. There are demands that government do something to redistribute wealth even though it was governments who through complex and misguided tax policies that actually helped to create this mess in the first place.

In the end, imposed wealth redistribution is simply unworkable.

It is unworkable because most people, governments included, do not understand the root causes of uneven distribution of wealth and in too many cases, seek to peanlize success and reward lack of achievement and mediocrity.

In the end it creates a climate of resentment and entitlement which only further divides us and which contributes to an overall decline in productivity and economic prosperity for everyone.

I had a very good discussion the other night with a young man on Twitter who was very sincere and earnest in his desire to see the wealthy pay their ‘fair’ share. I asked him what he considered their fair share but he didn’t have an answer for it. When I suggested it might be more fair if everyone except the working poor paid the same percentage of their income in taxes without deductions or tax credits, he rejected that idea.

I had used the example of a person earning $40,000 taxed at 20% who would pay $8.000 in income tax while someone earning $400,000 would pay $80,000. He told me it wasn’t enough. I asked him why and he said because the person making $400,000 could afford to pay more and therefore they should. I asked him why and he didn’t really have an answer other than he thought it was unfair that he had less.

And that is the real idea behind wealth redistribution. It isn’t about everyone paying their fair share, it’s about penalizing those who have much. It’s envy and social greed not a quest for fair taxation for all.

When I pointed out that unions pay no taxes on membership dues or investment income but still have significant influence over government policy, the young man had no answer for that but clearly didn’t see that as unfair. I’m sure the unions don’t either.

The simple reality is that government does not create wealth any more than it creates jobs or economic stability. Government interferes with those things to our disadvantage. What government should be doing is ensuring that everyone pays an equal percentage of their income in taxes and then spends no more than the tax revenue it collects except in exceptional and emergency circumstances.Attempting to redistribute wealth is a fool’s errand. Why should a surgeon, for example, pay a higher percentage of their income than someone working at Walmart? If they both pay the same percentage of their income, the surgeon will pay significantly more in terms of real cash than the Walmart employee but each will have contributed equally, their fair share to government and its needs.

It seems incongruous to me that so many who criticize government for its inefficiency and stupidity also call on government to manage the redistribution of wealth. In Canada, more than $100 billion is redistributed by the federal government and all that has achieved is resentment, expensive bureaucratic complexity and bad economic behaviour at the provincial level.

As the song says, “he steals from the poor and gives to the rich…..stupid bitch.” Some will tell you that government has done that for years at the expense of every day citizens. There is some truth to that but the solution doesn’t lay in doing a 180 and taking from the rich to give to the less well off.

The solution is to insure that everyone pays their fair share and that means everyone gives exactly the same percentage of their income without exception.


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© 2013 Maggie’s Bear

all rights reserved. The written content of this article is the sole property of Maggie’s Bear but a link to it may be shared by those who think it may be of interest to others

Let’s connect on Twitter: @maggsbear or send  a  friend request on Facebook to: Maggie’s Bear

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Roses And Buckle Bunnies

Shakespeare wrote a number of sonnets about love and they remain some of the most romantic ever written. The bible also has some beautiful verses about the love between a man and a woman and Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s, “How do I love thee,” is considered by many to be one of the most romantic poems ever written. These verses have stood the test of time and are still read and shared by those who fall in love.
It got me thinking about how we will be remembered for the way we expressed love. Certainly, thanks to the music industry, there are more songs about love today than all of the poems in recorded history and music is nothing more than poetry put to music. So what are we leaving to the generations to come after us? In a hundred years from now, will they still use some of those songs and verses to express their love for someone?
Let’s take a look at some of the modern expressions of love with which we have been blessed and will leave for future generations.
“She’s a slick nickel she’s right on the money. I wouldn’t give her up for a thousand buckle bunnies” -Brooks and Dunn: Little Miss Honky Tonk
High praise indeed. If you knew what a buckle bunny was, I’m sure you’d be very touched by the sentiment once you got over being compared to a slick nickel, of course.
“When you call my name, I salivate like Pavlov’s dog.” – The Rolling Stones, Bitch
Most love songs are nothing but drivel but this one positively drools. How damp this love affair must be. An extra box of Kleenex would probably serve well under these circumstances.
“You shake my nerves and you rattle my brain, too much love drives a man insane. You broke my will, but what a thrill. Goodness gracious, great balls of fire.” – Jerry Lee Lewis, Great Balls Of Fire
Goodness gracious indeed. His nerves are shot. His mind is shot. His will is shot and his boys are on fire and will soon be shot. Somebody should just shoot him and put him out of his misery.
“I look at you and wham, I’m head over heels. I guess that love is like a banana peel.” – Elvis Presley, I Slipped, I Stumbled, I Fell
Love in the produce department at the grocery store. Careful where you step, love can happen anywhere.
“I wanna write on your face with my pretty knife, I wanna toy with your precious life. Want you to know, I want you to know what love is.” – Dead Boys, What Love Is
Now this is seriously intense love. Some might consider it psychopathic but can love ever be anything other than blissful? Well, maybe if there is no cutlery involved.
“I’m talking about the kind of love that’s gonna wash my clothes.” – Little Johnny Taylor, Part-Time Love
Perhaps not as romantic as some but it is definitely pragamatic. There’s no point in getting mushy over dirty underwear and socks. Just tell her you love her and hand over the Tide.
“Yummy, Yummy, Yummy. I got love in my tummy and I feel like a-lovin you.” Ohio Express: Yummy, Yummy, Yummy
Love as it would be expressed by characters on Yo Gabba Gabba or Sesame Street. It makes it easy to understand for those who have difficulty with abstract concepts.
There are lots of others, of course, iTunes is littered with maudlin songs that positively drip with clichés and bad metaphors. There are songs about lost love, unrequited love, angry love, happy love, pure love, impure love and physical love. Lust is always topical.
Don’t misunderstand, I like love and I’m fortunate to be in love with someone who is also in love with me but the word is so badly misused that it almost loses its meaning at times.
We love everything now (except those who don’t agree with us politically, of course). We love ice cream, shoes, this singer, that actor, whatever passes our fancy. We tell people we barely know that we love them. Even performers are constantly telling their audiences how much they love them. They don’t. The love the adulation of their audience and their audience doesn’t love them; it loves the dynamics of that night’s performance.
We have other words for those moments. We have words that include: enjoy, like, appreciate and moved. Love is just a touch more profound than a slick nickel or a buckle bunny, whatever that is. Love is also very difficult to define.

Various dictionaries define love as an intense romantic or sexual attachment for someone while another called it a feeling of warm personal caring for another as in a parent and child. One dictionary gave up trying and simply described love as the most spectacular,indescribable, deep euphoric feeling for someone.

Margaret Atwood described love as that condition where another person’s happiness is essential to your own. (women are probably better at defining this stuff than guys)

However it’s defined, love is a universally powerful emotion and one most of us have experienced on many levels throughout our lives. Like most, I don’t really know how to define it either other than to look at Maggie or our children and grandchildren. It is easy to understand the meaning of love without the need for words in those moments.

Still, it won’t keep many from trying to put love into verse. Humanity has been trying for centuries, from before the bible, through Shakespeare, Barrett-Browning, Leonard Cohen and a million other poets and song writers. Most of it will be forgotten because most of it is trite or just plain silly like the verses I quoted above. But some seem to be inspired and the verses go beyond the trivial like this song. It is what I live with Maggie every day.

© 2012 Maggie’s Bear
all rights reserved
The content of this article is the sole property of Maggie’s Bear but a link to it may be shared by those who think it may be of interest to others

The Charter Of Common Sense

I have invited people in the past to write a post for this blog with great result. Each brought a unique point of view and sometimes certain poignancy to a topic that made each post well worth reading. I’ve invited a well-respected man to provide posthumously today’s post because I think what he said and wrote encapsulated the entire conversation in every area in which we are all participating.

It’s a very short post but then he was a very thoughtful writer who was able to say in only a few words what most of us struggle to say in many. Ronald Regan referred to these 10 points as ‘The American Charter’ but I think of them more as simply a Charter of Common Sense.

A 10 Point Charter Of Common Sense

You cannot bring about prosperity by discouraging thrift. 

You cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong.

You cannot help little men by tearing down big men.

You cannot help the wage earner by pulling down the wage payer. 

You cannot further the brotherhood of man by encouraging class hatred.

You cannot help the poor by destroying the rich.

You cannot establish sound security on borrowed money.

You cannot keep out of trouble by spending more than you earn. 

You cannot build character and courage by taking away [people’s] initiative and independence.

You cannot help [people] permanently by doing for them what they could and should do for themselves.
William J. H. Boetcker

I originally credited this post to Abraham Lincoln but have since learned that while it is often thought to have been written by him, it was in fact written by the Reverend William J. H. Boetcker. Regardless of who wrote it, what he wrote applies to all of the arguments about entitlement, fair taxation, government intervention and social engineering, self-reliance and employment in which we engaged these days.

Based on writings from so long ago, it would appear that we are not only on the wrong road today but have been for quite some time. Perhaps it is time to put aside the petty bickering in order to take a hard look at where we are and what we are doing to ourselves and to each other and then ask this simple question.
Is this really the society we intended to build?
I suspect that more of us will answer no to that question than will answer yes. There is a great deal of dissatisfaction and unhappiness around these days and perhaps it is time to stop blaming others automatically and start to look at how we, ourselves, contribute to that dissatisfaction.
Perhaps we could each start by accepting full responsibility for our own individual lives and end the belief that life owes us something. It does not. Life is simply life and each life is only as good as what is made of it by the person living it. 
Perhaps it is time to remember that.
© 2012 Maggie’s Bear
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