Women, A National Treasure

I took some time and prayed about what I would say in this blog post. I know that if I were to let loose on this subject I wouldn’t project someone who is approaching this in a calm manner, whatsoever! I am revolted over the war on woman propaganda that is floating in politics…I have SO many things to say, and will try my best to limit this blog post to a tolerable read.

Right now is the time of year that my family and I are all extremely busy with a business that picks up in the fall and during the Holidays. But in this process I am slowly making my way through what has so far been a wonderful book that was written by Chris Skates titled “Going Green”. I will post more about the book once I am finished…But I would like to post an excerpt that I thought of throughout the day today.

“See, the trouble with young ladies like you these days is you forgot what you are. Just like what I just called you. You’re a lady. Women today haven’t been brought up respected enough to remember they’re ladies.”

After explaining the downward spiral that our society has had on women, and the disrespect for ourselves that comes with society, the character named Ashley then asks the question “So what were we meant to be?”, Walter answers by explaining that she is a “treasure“.

Treasure, what a description. My friends have always told me that I hold men to a higher standard. I don’t find it cute, nor funny if a man makes a crude remark. I expect them to open the door. I expect them to respect me, and to recognize the respect I have for myself. Not as self loving, selfish, or self awarding…But because I AM a daughter of Christ, I have a dedication to my Faith that beckons me to understand that who I am is His creation, and I need to respect His creation.

We are told that we are equal. “Equal. Equal. Equal.” It’s what the media repeats, desensitizing us to what’s ACTUALLY happening. Yes, we have made ourselves equal, men treat us like they would their buddies…Sometimes less, because we DEMAND that we be treated the same, or like I said…less.

I don’t deserve the same as his buddies, I am a treasure…

I don’t deserve to be a reusable tool to fulfill his personal needs and then to be thrown away, I am a treasure…

I deserve to be treated with gentleness, with compassion, with respect…Like a treasure…

Men have lost respect in us because we have lost respect in ourselves. That in no way lets men off the hook, but I am tired of us crying over the death of Chivalry while we as women stand over Chivalry with blood stained hands holding a knife.

Michael Moore came out today saying, in essence, that ALL republicans hate the freedom of women. WOW. The hypocrisy is astounding. I have very liberal friends who think so little of themselves that they have given themselves out like a temporary fix for multiple men. They walk away with a broken heart and a little bit less of who they were every time. If I asked them “Do you feel treasured?” I know what the answer would be. Maybe in the arms of men who use them they feel momentary self worth, but when he walks away the feelings left cannot be described as “treasured”.

We turn on the TV and see Lady Gaga, Beyonce, Jennifer Lopez…etc. They preach on raising your glass and being the object of men. Very…individual? I think not. I meet women daily who are content to being exactly what these women encourage other women to be…objects.

The Pro-Choice supporters try to brainwash us into believing that being Pro-Life is anti women? What? If life begins in the womb, and we respect that life it has NOTHING to do with “hating women”, or a “war on women”…I take great offense by this. Their supporters even admit to the child being a life. Take Naomi Wolf, a feminist and Pro-Choice advocate…

“Clinging to a rhetoric about abortion in which there is no life and no death, we entangle our beliefs in a series of self-delusions, fibs and evasions. And we risk becoming precisely what our critics charge us with being: Callous, selfish, and casually destructive men and women who share a cheapened view of human life….We need to contextualize the fight to defend abortion rights within a moral framework that admits that the death of a fetus is a real death.”

So as women who respect ourselves, and in turn respect our bodies, and ALSO respect life, we are told we hate ourselves? I know some individuals are very uncomfortable with the comparison between abortion and the holocaust. Well, the only comparison that I will make today is on the worth of a fellow human. By Naomi’s own admission, it is a life, a human life…So then we are allowed to qualify one life’s rights to be more deserving than another? We ourselves make the choice to remove the most basic rights of a person for our own comfort? Sound familiar? Comparison validated?

Society tells men that because they don’t have ovaries they shouldn’t be involved in the abortion debate. I tell the men I know that they belong on the front lines. We were designed to be treasures, our children are treasures, men were designed to protect treasures. Men who stand up for life are men that realize their role, they don’t let the world define them, knock them down, and demoralize them out of the role God placed them in. Actually, that is the first question I ask most men I meet.

I could go on for HOURS, soon I will make a post on abortion alone…The higher suicide rates, attempted suicides, women’s emotional and physical health, the lies of Planned Parenthood concerning women‘s health…etc. The roll Planned Parenthood has played in sexual abuse, damaging the self respect of women across the US…etc. But for now, I will get back to the point of this post.

How is it degrading for women to support men who have the calling to protect women and their offspring? How is it degrading for women to respect innocent life? How is it degrading for women and men to find women as treasures, valued enough to protect?

Akin made a terrible statement, I agree. But while celebrities like Sandra Bernhard, Whoopi Goldberg, and Michael Moore condemn the ENTIRE right side of the aisle for his remarks, they are currently supporting a President who condones the actions of the Muslim Brotherhood against women. A group that treats women as less than dogs.

When did they speak out for the women raped at the occupy protests? Their bleeding hearts are only under the condition that they have the opportunity to ridicule those of us who TRULY do respect women in an attempt to manipulate you into believing what they are preaching. They find us weak. Where are they speaking out for the young girls who continue to be sexually abused while Planned Parenthood hides the deeds of their offenders? Womens rights? Where are their rights? Where are the rights for the baby girls that Naomi Wolf admits to being living human beings?

I will end this blog post with the following…

Women, I pray that we return to respecting ourselves. Be an ACTUAL individual, not the mindless drones that our main stream media would have you believe you should be. Don’t let women like Sandra Fluke try to manipulate you and speak on your behalf. Don’t let President Obama take advantage of you and treat you like a weak minded woman who can’t find her own truths. You are a treasure. You are an individual. Believe it. Live it.

Men, To those of you that stand for life…I commend you! For those of you who treat women with the dignity and respect that they deserve…I commend you! You were designed to protect the weak. You belong on the front lines of these battles! I pray that you encourage other men to do the same… We need you!

Christ told men to love women as He loves the church, as Ravi Zacharias says, this is the greatest compliment he paid to women…That women are as valuable to men as humanity is to God! When we look at Christ and the respect he had for women it is astounding. Let yourselves be treasured.

“An excellent wife who can find? She is far more precious than jewels.” Proverbs 31.10

MB

Check Mate

  The Game of Chess is not merely an idle amusement; several very valuable qualities of the mind, useful in the course of human life, are to be acquired and strengthened by it, so as to become habits ready on all occasions; for life is a kind of Chess, in which we have often points to gain, and competitors or adversaries to contend with, and in which there is a vast variety of good and ill events, that are, in some degree, the effect of prudence, or the want of it. By playing at Chess then, we may learn: 1st, Foresight, which looks a little into futurity, and considers the consequences that may attend an action … 2nd, Circumspection, which surveys the whole Chess-board, or scene of action: — the relation of the several Pieces, and their situations; … 3rd, Caution, not to make our moves too hastily… ~Benjamin Franklin~
“The Morals of Chess” (article) (1750).

      I sat across from my opponent, coworker, and friend, Eric – amateur chess player, unofficial wine taster, and Imperial Kamado lemon chicken officionado. He was ranked among his peers – but for the life of me I can’t remember his ranking…1650? 1800?  Suffice it to say he was a fine player and a fine friend. 
      
      We frequently went to various coffee shops, played chess, drank a coffee… This particular day, an unexpected thing happened. 

       He was busy practicing his various learned moves and maneuvers, trying out new traps and tricks… I was more of a ‘sure I’ll play you but remind me how the horsey guy moves again…’ player. Not necessarily the most realistic substitute opponent…  I moved my queen… held my finger on her crown (to keep my move unofficial) looked up and down the board… A strange feeling came over me as I withdrew my hand, punched the clock, and avered confidently, “Check Mate.” Despite the fact that I was a complete amateur, I had, to the best of my ability, done exactly as Ben Franklin had advised. My feeble skills no match for his, my lack of experience obvious, the fact that I had somehow ascertained what he was attempting, circumnavigated his defenses, and, with the less than even odds that he wouldn’t see my own strategy, I had won the match.

       “Atta boy, little buddy!” He smiled. Well, for once the coffee was on him.

       Eric and I played recreationally. Garry Kasparov was never gonna be threatened (by me, at least).  I had/have very little interest in chess.  I was just being a friend.  And when it came to religion and Christianity, politics and social issues… well, let’s just say he returned the favor.  As good as he was at surveying the board, anticipating moves, and carefully setting up a perfect combination of defense and offense, he didn’t see the sense in doing the same types of assessments in real life. When the board was put up and the work was done, he just wanted a beer and a movie.

It would be easy to characterize him, and people in general, as careless and it wouldn’t be wrong. Americans don’t just have a right to be involved in politics and the things that affect their livelihood – they have a responsibility. It’s not just ‘the right to vote,’ it’s the responsibility of casting an informed vote. If everyone was involved in educating themselves in order to cast an intelligent vote, then the chess match that the politicians are involved in would be much less interesting. As it is, the general public is so overwhelmingly unaware of the facts, that the average politicians don’t play much more than a game of checkers to win over the masses. “You’re a socialist!” Hop. “You’re a racist!” Hop. “You’re out of touch!” Hop. “You hate American farmers!” Hop. “You stole from Medicare and issued the largest tax hike on middle income families in American history! King me!” Hop hop. It’s like watching a five month checkers match where both players refuse to move their back row. The only foresight these people use is great care to not offend a majority in order to win the election. And the ‘fans’ do not much more than sit in the margins and tweet one line insults at the candidates and their base. “Heard ur guy loves dogs…” (Yeah, choose one. It works either way…) Maybe worse than the ignorant citizen just enjoying life is the politically active person doing nothing more than playing checkers on the side.

Some, then, must assume the role of chess player. Whether novice or grand master, we must engage. In life, in faith, and in politics, we must move more deliberately and cautiously. We must survey the whole board. Rather than fancy ourselves one line geniuses, we need to have a strong opening – necessarily a circumspect attack – a strong apologetic defense. Every time we revert to childish nonsense we lose position and fail to realize it.

And we must arm ourselves with the knowledge of their defenses, offenses, pieces, and players. Hashtags are fun, but don’t sacrifice the opportunity to gain position when you can. Tact is everything.

Someone once said, “People won’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.” Are we really the party of compassion? Is the right of someone to hold a stupid opinion as valuable as your right to your brilliant opinion? Seriously, is it? How can we expect to wow people with what we know when what they see is a cocky self righteous conservative so called Christian? Either it’s giving the other person a false idea of what you really stand for – including the God you serve, or it’s giving them the right one. Do we believe that what comes out of the mouth is what spills over from the heart only when the opposition is speaking?
It applies to us too.

The moral high ground is only ascertainable through the vetting of your own heart. Take inventory. Stock up. Study the Greats. Develop a plan. Don’t get distracted. Be prepared at the end of the match, even every move, to know you didn’t act in haste, that you made the best move possible – that you did everything right. Snide comments and clever insults are nothing more than sacrificing pawns. Even one pawn moved all the way across the board can gain you a distinct advantage. Stop wasting them! Instead take advantage of their careless sacrifices.

The game is on. The stakes are high. Enough petty exchanges. We are the party of compassion. We are more than just a one line insult. We are patriots. We are reason. We are truth. Whether Christian or not, we are Americans.

Are you in it to win it this November?

Prove it.

Check.

~Tim~

The Fox and the Scorpion

“Society in every state is a blessing, but government, even in its best state, is but a necessary evil; in its worst state an intolerable one.”
~Thomas Paine, Common Sense, 1776~

It would be so easy to just leave that sit right there. Agree or disagree, Paine’s quote is pretty self explanatory. The pros and cons of aligning yourself to his line of thinking could be discussed at length. Why did he feel this way? Was it personal to him? Was his belief timeless or cultural?

Briefly breaking it down,as I see it, and, with no context, it would seem to be, ‘Simply Put,’ Common Sense.
Not only is society a “blessing,” but society and government are contrasted! He doesn’t say ‘society is a blessing AND government… but a necessary evil,’ but rather, ‘society is a blessing, BUT government… but a necessary evil.’ It’s as if he’s saying society and government are two separate life forms entirely. Which makes sense on the surface anyway, but it’s more polar than we realize.

Every election cycle candidates get all down and dirty with the common folk. Obama’s just one of the guys. Romney’s just a good ol’ boy like you and me. It’s important to know where these people come from in forming a belief as to how they are qualified, how they will respond, who they’ll protect, and who they’ll attack – and with whom you will align your vote. But make no mistake – despite their image as it pertains to how it was molded and recorded in society, they are striving to become a force that is not part of that society – a necessary separate governing body of power.

I would think that common sense would also dictate that ‘history is the best teacher.’ It would make no sense to disregard a persons societal history when considering him/her for the most powerful position in the country just because the position is separate from society. It’s (their history) integral to the process!

Most if not all of this is already commonly understood. Paine speculates that society is a blessing, that government is evil, that bad government is intolerably evil. Add my thoughts and it’s all very basic. Nothing new under the sun, right? So then if this is all so basic, as I submit that it is, then how under heaven did Obama get in The White House?

The problem is that we have come to see government as the savior. MSM decried Bush and his policies and we bought it. We The People wanted change and were willing to take any change at all so long as it wasn’t another Bushesque candidate. The MSM sold McCain as another 4 years of Bush and a majority of Americans were willing to overlook a complete absence of personal history of his opponent, and a less than impressive senatorial history (to put it mildly) and elect the more progressive of 2 progressives. Objectivity went out the window during every step of the process. Americans were awed by charisma enough that the very few things that Obama was clear on, that under normal circumstances most would consider disqualifying, (no real senate voting record, radical abortion views, avered skyrocketing electric rates, etc.) were either overlooked or somehow justified under the guise of compassion or societal responsibility. What struggling American family would vote FOR higher electric rates? What decent person would vote FOR not protecting a baby born alive being protected by law? What sensible American would vote FOR a candidate that has literally no political voting history? The American people threw ‘Common Sense’ to the wind and trusted a man who espouses bigger government, more regulations, more taxes, higher gas prices, more liberal abortion policies, and on and on and on. Failure to see this one individual – what very little we knew about him – as untrustworthy, inauthentic, and principally unelectable, combined with an unhealthy trust in him, led to him being where he is and to us being where we are.

On the ‘I gotta go there’ front, although the other guy was so similar in political idealism to Obama compared to what the average American apparently wants, he was so demonized by the MSM that maybe the outcome was inevitable. Two candidates basically arguing over whose socialized medicine would be better and only one with the media’s approval… Yeah.

America needs to reset back to factory defaults. I gotta believe that if the frog in the ever warming water pot could be convinced that eventually he’d boil to death that he’d have to hop out. Government at its best is but a necessary evil. All of the founders knew this, set restrictions on the power, scope, responsibility, and put the people ultimately in charge of keeping it that way. They knew and warned against becoming complacent. We’ve done worse than become complacent. We’ve become dependant. Government has become our salvation instead of just, well, government. Paine’s warning goes unheeded as citizens on both sides rely on their idea of government as the one to trust. Rather than insisting the government be held accountable no matter which party is in charge and being involved to insist this happens every step of the way, we think we can find a like minded politician, elect them, then go back to our lives sans involvement. We fail to realize that where evil lurks we must be vigilant.

Would you leave your door unlocked in a high crime area? Keys in your car? Purse on the seat? Kids alone in the park? But we won’t even keep tabs on the one who could single handedly dismantle it all! Now he’s as progressive as a select few warned and far more progressive than most believed possible. The founders believed that ‘power corrupts, but absolute power corrupts absolutely.’ They’d seen this and worked every angle that their remarkable minds could come up with to prevent it from happening to the U.S. They also knew that the type of government that could work would depend on the free will of the people. Which ultimately means the free will to reject it. Most have – if by complacency and nothing else.

That’s why half the government is trying to demonize patriots, the tea party, libertarians, etc. Some have awoken to the idea that in order to keep at least what we have in the lines of liberty and personal freedoms that we must be vigilant and active. The left is not just ignorantly lashing out as fools do.
They are afraid that their patient and deliberate destruction of American values and ethics may someday soon be legitimately threatened. With their uncanny ability to preemtively strike while causing a whirlwind of misinformation and paranoia, they continue inching forward.

And to me they don’t seem the least bit worried. Maybe that more than anything else scares the hell our of me.

Some have awakened. Some proverbial frogs have been made aware and believe that the temperature is rising. Somehow, we are being made aware. And as we awaken, it seems as though the chasm deepens between the left and the right.

Buy I’m convinced that of the many that vote, few are informed. In generically worded values polls, most of us agree. Most of us agree with capitalism – if we don’t call it that. Most agree with the pro-life stance – when abortion is not called birth control. It’s all in the propaganda.

And regardless of what side of the fence we wind up on, we must all remember that the roll of government is like a pencil line compared to the English Channel that we’ve allowed it to become.

There is not one side or the other or even a third party that we can just elect and then just cut loose to take care of us. And the reason is: ‘government, even in its best state, is but a necessary evil; in its worst state an intolerable one.’

I liken the government to the scorpion in the parable of The Fox and the Scorpion…

A flood came and the island was slowly going under water. The fox waited and waited for the rain to stop but it never did. It became apparent that the island was indeed going to be completely under water. The fox decided to swim to the mainland.

After one last look back at his home, the fox headed off towards the edge of the water.
“Wait!” he heard a voice say.
The fox looked and saw a scorpion. “What do you want?” the fox asked.
“Let me ride on your back to the mainland. I can’t swim and if I don’t get a ride I’ll drown.”
“No,” said the fox immediately. “You’ll just sting me and we’ll with drown.”
“No!” insisted the scorpion. “That would be suicide! I’d never do that!”
The fox quickly mulled it over. Reluctantly, he agreed to give the scorpion a ride. The scorpion climbed on the fox’ back and together they went into the water.
About halfway there, the scorpion stung the fox. As the paralyzing poison took effect and the fox started to drown, he managed one last word, “Why?”
“Because,” answered the scorpion, “I’m a scorpion. It’s what I do.”

Eternal vigilance – Nothing less will suffice!

Tim

Catching Happiness

“The Constitution only guarantees the American people the right to pursue happiness. You have to catch it yourself.” ~Benjamin Franklin 

 
When I was little my favorite memories always occurred at the Lake of The Ozarks with my Grandparents. I remember going to sleep at night staring outside at the lake, baking with my Grandma, fishing with my Grandpa. My Grandpa and I had a special place that we would always fish, I swear there wasn’t a day that we would fish in this spot and walk away with anything less than 40 bluegill. Everything was perfect at their house…watching sunsets off the dock on my Grandmas porch swing, going swimming in the lake, watching the boats drive by. My Grandparents lived there for 10 years, and we created some of the greatest memories I will ever have with them at that house. 

Just a little background on my Grandparents…First off, they have a love story that could be a bestselling novel, and they are forever a hero to everyone in my family. My Grandpa was raised with what can only be called a top notch work ethic, but also believing that helping others brings blessings, and well…it’s just the right thing to do. My Grandpa had dreams of becoming a baseball player, one of the greats! He had the talent, he had been scouted, letters from the St. Louis Browns had even arrived. Unfortunately his dream of becoming a baseball player was dashed when he broke both ankles playing baseball in the navy. But my Grandpa never lost hope that he would strive to make a difference in any way possible…

The first years of my Grandparents marriage were what one would consider “trying”. In a two bedroom singlewide trailer fit for sardines they became parents, soon they would become a family of 6. To give you a word picture, in order to sit on the toilet my Grandpa had to hang his cast covered ankle in the hallway…Nowadays these situations would be considered unbearable. But they did it, because that is what life had handed them and they knew they would make something of it. 

My Grandpa then started a heating and air conditioning business, he worked hours that unions would protest, and they scrimped and saved to get themselves off the ground. Eventually they were able to buy a home that didn’t share the square footage of the average minivan. My Grandma did the bookkeeping for the business. They were a two man team trying to make a business from nothing…sacrificing and raising a family. My Grandpas business picked up, he was extremely recommended because he had the greatest service. He on more than one occasion left home on Christmas day, or in the middle of the night to fix a clients heater. Even when I came along, my Grandparents babysat me every day until I started school. I remember sitting on my Grandpa’s lap while he would work separating out wires. I grew up understanding what hard work was because of my Grandparents. 

When they finally retired and purchased a home on the lake we all knew that it was well deserved. I would watch my Grandpa struggle with his knees while he walked up the stairs, always knowing that those knees were the result of his life’s work…They were painful for him, but they were a constant reminder that he had worked whole heartedly for everything he had. He never became a baseball player, or a famous country star, but getting his guitar out on the front deck with his Grandkids, or teaching us all the ins and outs of baseball became his dream. My Grandpa never had an enemy…He is just an all around good hearted person. My Grandma would give you the shirt off her back and not think twice. They never bragged, and we weren’t even supposed to know…but every year during Christmas they would put money in an envelope and give it to someone they thought was in need. They weren’t forced, they had earned their money, and they had made the choice to give…No strings attached…just give. They gave a lot, probably more than I even know. 

My Grandpa is now on hospice for Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. Most of the time he doesn’t know who anyone is, but my Grandpa’s doctors are astonished by the fact that my Grandma was willing to sell their home and pay for a full time nurse, not covered by any insurance just so that he could be home with her. You see, life isn’t perfect…it isn’t always what you had planned it to be. But what matters is what you do with the cards you are dealt. My Grandpa wouldn’t change his life for a million years. Though maybe he would have not used his brand new trashcans when teaching me how to parallel park…But that’s a whole different story.  I watch my Grandpa watch his Grandsons and Great Grandsons play baseball, his eyes light up with hope that his dream has become theirs.  

My Grandparents would tell you that working hard paid off…They were handed NOTHING. It sickens me to think that my President supports a healthcare system with death panels that would probably view my Grandfather as useless spending at this point. It sickens me that my President would say that my Grandfather didn’t build his business. It sickens me that the America, the values, and the beautiful capitalist system that developed my Grandfather into the person he is today is on it’s VERY last leg.

We live in the land of self entitlement.  Everyone feels that they are owed something.  When the facts are, we aren’t owed anything.  We are given life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.  This doesn’t promise happiness, but the Jews that filled concentration camps would have appreciated even our most basic right…Life.  We take this for granted.  So what are you willing to trade?  Are you willing to trade Life and Liberty for a false sense of happiness that WILL wear off once we receive the bill for our selfishness? Just as it has for every other country…

 

Maybe just maybe the success of our nation is due to the fact that the principles for work ethic were taken straight from the bible?  Maybe our Founding Fathers knew that in order to be a successful free nation we could only find that freedom when we were walking in line with the bible?

 

“If anyone is not willing to work, let him not eat.” 2 Thessalonians 3:10

 

“Whoever works his land will have plenty of bread, but he who follows worthless pursuits lacks sense.” Proverbs 12:11

 

“A slack hand causes poverty, but the hand of the diligent makes rich.” Proverbs 10:4

 

“Commit your work to the Lord, and your plans will be established.” Proverbs 16:3

 

The bible is also filled with words encouraging us to give…But because of what we have left our Government to become, even before the days of Obama, we have lost the ability to give as we wish we could. Even beyond the ability, we have verses shoved in our face by individuals who wish to use our Faith against us to justify what they believe to be a stable backing for fair share.

 

To quote the same verse our President used at one point in time…“To much is given, much is required.”. First off…He wasn’t speaking to the financial needs of the people, this was taken completely out of context by our POTUS…You would think he would have done his homework. In the parable He is basically saying “Hey, I’ve given you mercy, salvation, and forgiveness…I expect obedience.”.  Of course “giving” is biblical obedience, but hey…what does the bible say about that??? Let’s take a peek in Corinthians 9… “Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion..”

The bible is harmonious…For some reason we allow those who are offended by the bible to use it against us, and we usually don’t even give them a proper context in return.  Why?

Sorry for my rabbit trail there…My point in all of this is that we have walked away from the original plans, from what works, and we have become what we are today.  Teenagers don’t understand what it’s like to drive your bike 10 miles into town running an errand for their parents.  We have traded the outdoors for game counsels, work for handouts, Marriage for hookups, parenting for appeasing…etc. We are not who we used to be, or who we need to be.  

Biblically we have become content to open the bible on Sundays, attend our potlucks and spend time with our Christian friends…We label this a “relationship” with God, when really that is just systematic religion.  Don’t confuse the two. The verse our President quoted does apply to us, but not financially.  

On a final note, when people ask me about my Grandpa I always say “He is just a beautiful person, he opened the door for my Grandma until he lost the strength to walk.”…My Grandpa didn’t realize that he was chivalry in the flesh, he didn’t realize that he is what made this country great, he didn’t realize that he is what made me proud to be an American. 

If we respect our nation, if we respect the Founders who created a nation that gave people like my Grandpa the chance to live the American dream, to “catch” happiness, then we NEED to stand together in November. We have a chance to reverse the damage, to give our children and future children the opportunity to see the America that we all want and miss…But we won’t get that behind Obama, Rahm, Soros, or any other socialist trying to remove our freedoms.  Other countries have been content to trade Freedom for supposed equal mediocrity…are we?”

Of America and the Olympics

“Equality, rightly understood as our founding fathers understood it, leads to liberty and to the emancipation of creative differences; wrongly understood, as it has been so tragically in our time, it leads first to conformity and then to despotism.”
~Barry Goldwater

I was watching the Olympics and Michael Phelps, for the first time since 2000, when he was 15, did not medal in an Olympic competition. Whether or not I remember the name of the U.S. swimmer who got the gold is probably telling.  But during the post swim interview he was asked how it felt to beat Phelps.  He indicated that it was pretty sweet and to do it in this forum was especially satisfying.
Now nobody likes being a cheerleader their whole career for the guy who will probably be the most legendary name not just in swimming but in Olympic folklore for decades to come, especially when you probably feel you should have made a name for yourself by now but were unfortunate enough to have peaked during the greatest medal run of all time of a fellow specialist, but I still found his answer to be a bit disconcerting. 

I have seen Michael and his teammates before and after races and relays.  They are a true group of friends and seem to have that classic teammate mentality…all for 1 and 1 for all.  Remember in ’08 when the relay team won by 1/100th of a second?  Try as I may,  all I remember thinking was, “He did it!”  Not meaning Jason Lezak, the oldest member of the relay team who had the race of his life…If I recall correctly, the media didn’t help.  Granted the entire country was focused on the same thing – 8 golds in one Olympic games.

For sure the rest of the medalists don’t go unrecognized, but by comparison their moment in the sun might feel like my 20 seconds on an MLB camera feels to me compared to a player.
Still something didn’t feel right in his response.

I fancy myself a model American.  Who, even if they don’t really think they set the benchmark for patriotism, doesn’t think they got it figured out better than most?  As a fan, when my team gets a big head, curses, throws baby fits, etc., I seriously would rather they lose just to learn how to do it graciously.  You could call me an extreme purest.  I will never recognize proven steroid users as legitimate record holders.  Leave the asterisk off the page along with the cheaters name!  Yeah, one of my guys (Big Mac) did Stl. proud.  As a Cardinal Nation fanatic, I could easily get caught up in the defense of his “record breaking season.”  Nope. It’s junk.  When Charles Barkley elbowed his opponent flagrantly in the Olympics, I wanted to come through the set!  If I were the coach, I’d have been the biggest goat of all time.  I would have kicked him off the team.  I have an intense intolerance for people ‘elected’ to represent us who won’t represent us with honor and character!  In essence they misrepresent us.  In baseball, MY integrity is immediately infringed as a Cardinal’s fan because of Mac’s actions.  On the world stage, Sir Charles embarrassed all Americans. 
Maybe it’s that there has been an unspoken code of respect that you just don’t diss your fellow American Olympians – no matter how slightly.  Maybe he just had a faux pas and meant nothing by it.  Maybe it wasn’t as bad as I’m thinking.  Maybe my hunger to be a part of history was left unsatiated when Michael didn’t medal and through association I was Michael, needing encouragement and platitudes – instead feeling like there’s been this secret spite finally welling up from the heart and into the microphone.  Maybe, despite the spur of the moment idiocy of a habitually bullyish Roundball player, I was holding onto the last vistage of an innocent and unrealistically pure belief in an absolute and insoluble fellowship between all American Olympians – where the comments always defend the lesser successful before they express their own success with the utmost humility and American, rather than personal, pride.  Where the anthem plays and Old Glory slowly ascends and they mouth the words while the tears flow freely. 

Maybe those days are gone.  Maybe they were never really there and the ideology of youth slips easily away as the middle age crisis of a mumbling fool collides with a culture in crisis in the middle of the last oasis of the innocence of a dying inner child.

Nah. Nothing so deep. Lochte was happy and on the spot. Spoke his mind and that’s that.

But I’ll contend that it’s all changing. Ever so slowly and subtly. In a country where everyone gets rewarded, despite the fact that a competition with winners and losers is not intrinsically bad or evil, we’ll learn to lose graciously less and less… Subconsciously never realizing that the lack of recognition of greatness is cause for spite. And as our spirit finds that recognition we’ll respond with selfish pride instead of learned humility. And we’ll despise the people we beat and the people who beat us. Because secretly we knew better. Secretly watching the guy next to us succeeding and wanting to believe what we were told – that they are no better than us… But hypocritical knowing when we’re better than someone else… And despising both when every one gets the same prize.

And although we are in the middle of an orchestrated catch 22, we blame everyone but the ones who changed the rules. The ones who systematically and categorically programmed us to engage in class warfare. Yet we seldom blame them. We blame those who succeed and those who don’t. And never ourselves because we’re not taught that.

And some day soon no one will cry when the flag is raised and the Anthem is played. Well feel righteously indignant. Or selfishly individually justified – ironically as with a false understanding of equality, removing our individuality was what they wanted.

And some day soon after that we will be crying over the National Anthem for entirely different reasons.

Tim