November 2009

Fore! Game On!

Part of me is intrigued with the Tiger Woods jaunty line drive into a fire hydrant and part of me is not. I genuinely do not care who schtupps who, although I did Google the alleged “schtuppee,” Rachel Uchitel and found her appropriately fetching. Memo to Rachel: Wear contrasting panties when photographed in a parteee mode. Didn’t your sorority sisters teach you anything!?!

No, what would perplex me about the whole affair, if true, would be the why question. Why have two babies with a woman (your wife in this case) if you are not going to be there to finish the “round,” so to speak? Ah, there’s the rub. Indeed.

One of my favorite-all-time sights is to be walking down Park Avenue and up ahead I spot a guy in his 50s, early 60s. He’s got this “What in the hell have I done?” crazed look in his eyes as he holds the hand of his runny-nosed progeny and beside him his new model wife pushes a pram with a crying baby. It absolutely warms the cockles of my heart. It is too funny. Best of luck, fella! Have another one! No doubt his other children are just finishing college.

Last Saturday night I was in Sanford having dinner at the German Restaurant, the Willow Tree. Lots of Oompa-pa-pa music and laughter. We then headed around the corner to The Sanford Wine Company and listened to a great, genuinely sublime singing duo (They’ll be back the weekend of the 13th). In walk two couples. I’d guess the men to be in their late 50s, professionals, either doctors or lawyers. You can tell by their shoes. You can. The gals were in their 40s. Pretty. I intently watch the interactions of each couple.

One woman (no ring) is all over one of the guys. They’re out dancing and she’s listening ever so intently to every word “her” man utters, laughs uncontrollably at his wit and has her hands all over him. It’s sweet. It is.

I turn to the barkeep, whose been slyly watching the same show and say, “Well, it’s obvious they haven’t been married ten years,” and we both knowingly, Ha! Ha! Ha!, laugh. No wife, no woman finds her man “that” amusing given enough time. Sigh.

I’ve repeatedly read that the seven-year-itch is really closer to a four-year-itch, that we evolved with the need for the male to stick around at least that long to ensure the survivability of any offspring. If the seven-year-itch is accurate, I’d venture two children have been born of that relationship. Statistically speaking.

If I were to give marriage counseling, and that, in and of itself is hysterically funny, regardless, I’d give women two pieces of unsolicited advice regarding how to achieve a long term relationship. My advice to men would be much more lengthy and nuanced.

To women, I offer two things for a long(er) relationship: Laughter and fun. There is no real way to get around it. Life is genuinely sorrowful. It comes at you relentlessly, by the wheelbarrow load. How do you counteract that?

Aside: I am going to write an essay on what percentage of our daily life we should be happy. Happy 50% of the time? 75%? 40%? 25%? Happiness, as a daily (hourly) pursuit, is a relatively recent phenomenon. Our ancestors did not necessarily “feel” that was life’s goal. But what the hell did they know?

So all around us, all of the time, relatives are dying, cousins are getting breast cancer, nephews are shipped off to Afghanistan, children are deconstructing, jobs are lost, homes in foreclosure, failing businesses, divorcing neighbors, parents are becoming sponge-brained shells of their former selves and are now moving into the bedroom just vacated by your college-bound child, the chickens ain’t laying, the milk has soured and the roof leaks. And that, perhaps, is a good day. And that doesn’t even begin to touch on an environment that should have us all weeping, a government out of touch with reality and the infinite tragedy of an America at war all the time, forever. Sigh.

Men, shallow creatures that we are, are easily (genetically?) distracted by the shiny new bauble that sparkles and shines and sits dewy–eyed enthralled by the mush that spews forth from our mouths. So sad but true, ladies. Men, perhaps more than women, require fresh ears to give them validity—that our meager lives amount to something more than HE was born, HE bred and HE died. Ha! Ha! He! He!

And laughter, when all is said and done, is just the tonic for the human condition. Irony makes me laugh, caustic S.O.B. that I am. Yet irony is but one “type” of humor. I like it all. Infantile, middle school boy humor that centers on bodily functions, noises and secretions. You bet. Ethnic humor. Humor that takes a stereotype and turns it on its ear. Slapstick humor. Sexual humor. Mmm-Mmm Good! Puns. Word plays. I don’t even so much mind when I’m the butt of the humor (Gawd only knows I so deserve it at times). Sheer goofiness. Un-huh. Irreverence. Nearly my favorite. Humor that sees the precariousness of the human condition and laughs at it. Humor that deflates the pompous, inflates the vulnerable and conflates what it means to be human, to be alive. I love a woman who sees the humor in life and that the joke, perhaps, is on all of us.

Tiger is in the “rough,” to employ an overused golf analogy. And the world is all atwitter about this and that as it pertains to his life and marriage. And part of me says, “Are you kidding? Obama is getting ready to drive America further into the ditch, into the morass called Afghanistan and we’re focusing on whether Tiger has his driver out, swinging away on an, uh, unsanctioned, uh, hazzard?”

But then I’m reminded of the time when Arnold Palmer and his wife were on the Johnny Carson TV show and Johnny asked Mrs. Palmer if they had any pre-tournament rituals for luck? Mrs. Palmer said yes, she, “Kissed Arnie’s balls for luck?”

Quicker than lightening, Johnny said, “I’ll bet that keeps his putter up.” Evidently, the Mrs. didn’t see the humor. Ladies: please see earlier paragraphs on the importance of laughter.

All I know, is if the “typical” man while hurriedly exiting his home crashes into a fire hydrant at 2:25 a.m. and the wife within mere seconds, mere seconds is out with a nine iron clubbing out the back window we cannot automatically assume it is to rescue the poor fool. We only have her word, after all, that he was knocked out, bloodied from the actual car accident. Fore! Game On!

On Whose Authority?

I’d like to explore this Thanksgiving, 2009 if the individual is ever absolved of the responsibility to think for him or herself. How do we reach a moral or ethical decision? On what exactly do we determine what is appropriate or inappropriate, right or wrong, good and bad? On whose authority should we act?

Shakespeare observed, “Why then ’tis none to you; for there is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so.” There is a part of me that completely agrees with this perspective. Yet, child molestation is not made acceptable by thinking it is permissible. Rape. Intentionally polluting out environment, most wars, stealing an election, violence against the harmless, no amount of thinking will make such acts ethically acceptable. To me.

Obviously killing falls under the “thinking makes it so” category. We kill during war but we call it self-defense or “Manifest Destiny” or “Remember the Alamo” or “My Country Right or Wrong.” We kill to protect ourselves, even our property. We execute killers. We kill time. We kill ideas. We kill creativity. Spontaneity. We even kill ourselves. So there is a great degree of “relativity” on how we apply the Do Not Kill admonition.

Is there a moral code for how we “should” act that is in any way separate or distinct from human beings? The Ten Commandments are a human construct, an understandable attempt at creating order out of a world of chaos. I’ve countless examples of religious doctrine passing for divine wisdom. Why we have to attribute humane behavior to a supernatural spirit has always made me chuckle. Can we not attempt on our own to be “better” without insisting that some nebulous otherworldly spirit is responsible, is pulling our strings? God is watching. And the Boogey-Man is in the closet. What’s the difference?

I’ve said for years that a gift one generation can give to another is to let go of shopworn ideas, of questionable values and odious behaviors that while once acceptable and normal are no longer so.

I have a family example that illustrates this perfectly. My grandfather was a martinet. He instilled fear (love, too) in his sons. He punished with a belt and taught his sons that such violence was acceptable, normal and permissible. He was so fearsome that his brother sent his children over to be disciplined by Gramps. My father started out his family and, as the twig is bent so grows the tree, he thought that hard, physical, emotionally confrontational parenting was how you did it and my brother bore the brunt of just that for the first four years of his life. My brother says today, “Thank gawd for sister Susan, she saved my life! Dad had something else to focus on after she was born.”

Decades later my father welled-up with tears describing how he treated his first child. He changed his behavior. My father let go of how he was raised, of his parenting examples and literally became a much kinder and gentler man (parent) as a result of some personal epiphany he had in the mid-1940s. I was never aggressively touched, not once, by my father. Father let go of the baggage of an earlier generation and we (children) all led better lives as a result. What a gift. Thank you, Father.

My point in this example is that we all make decisions all our lives based on how we were raised, what we learned from our parents, what their values were and how we saw them applied.

Literature, fiction is a fabulous tool of moral persuasion. It’s a gift. By reading a book (play, poem, novel, etc.) we can literally submerge ourselves in another’s life and experience what they experience. Think Charles Dickens, Nabokov, Whitman, Orwell, Voltaire or Julia Alvarez. Fiction offers us the ability to live a variety of “morals,” to try them on for size, to see their applicability from the “safety” of our over-stuffed den chair. Literature has arguably been the most illuminating of life-changing tools. No wonder book burning, book banning, censorship is such a familiar and persistent phenomena.

Reading on your own, thinking for yourself is probably the most revolutionary act we can all freely participate in. At least in America, in the West.

We come to conclusions about “moral” issues based on what we observed as children, what we have learned by living as a adults, what we have gleaned from our efforts at self-education (reading and such) and from what our “trusted” authorities tell us is so. An illustration of a trusted authority follows.

On June 18, 1452, Pope Nicholas V “authorized Alfonso V of Portugal to reduce any Saracens (Muslims) and pagans and any other unbelievers to perpetual slavery.” Slavery was sanctioned in the papal bull Dum Diversas.

This act, according to some historians, started (the imprimatur of) the slave trade of West Africa.

On January 5, 1455, Pope Nicholas V again wrote to the same Alfonso. “It followed up the Dum Diversas extending to the Catholic nation of Europe’s Dominion over discovered lands during ‘The Age of Discovery.’” “It sanctified the seizure of non Christian lands and it encouraged the enslavement of native and non-Christian peoples in Africa and, later, to the New World.”

History is another avenue available when determining one’s moral barometer.

Why would you automatically believe what your church is telling you about the morality of reproductive choice or homosexual rights when that very same institution has been on the wrong side of the dime so many times in history? Why? Why?

From slavery to how the Earth moves through the heavens, Pope after Pope after Pope claimed moral authority and people died, people suffered.

Faith is good, I practice it myself. But faith does not absolve you from not thinking through why and how you live (lead) your life. There are many ways to determine answers as to how one lives morally.

What we learned at momma’s knee, what we learned in “kindergarten,” life’s experiences, life’s possibilities through fiction, and our trusted moral authorities are all factors in making us the moral person we are.

Because the Pope (or any religious authority) issues a dictum prescribing your moral choices does not prevent you as a sentient human from legitimately asking, “Why are you right now condemning homosexuals, for example, when your moral authority has so often wrongly censored so much of humanity, condemning so much of humanity to suffering, humiliation and death? And the morality of that is?

Answer that and then judge, condemn others. This time of Thanksgiving.

A Little Fascism For The Girls?

I nearly always have a chapbook with me to jot down ideas, observations, overheard quips, personal insights, article ideas and just stuff that makes me laugh (or rage). I also track my weight, distance and times of my bicycle rides, quarterly cholesterol numbers and during my recent bout with the flu, a daily, sometimes hourly recap of the illness. I’m trying to lose four pounds off my gut (vanity thy name be man). Ah, vanity. Men are as vain (if not more so) as women but it is considered unmanly to acknowledge such a timeless verity.

Here are few recent chapbook entries:

July 5th (5:11 AM) – Question: Whether it is better to have been created or to have evolved? I got out of bed to write this down. I will definitely write on this idea.

August 26th – Things we wish we never hear: “Did your husband get his girlfriend pregnant?” Or, “Get your girlfriend pregnant?” Adds a certain tension. Ha!

August 28th – Things my Mother didn’t teach me: “Don’t drink through the swizzle sticks, Dear.” I had to read that bit of decorum. Just recently I might add. How gauche is that?

August 30th – Moral Crime Scenes. They need police tape around them, too.

September 2 – “Not letting the perfect be the enemy of the good.” Liberal B.S. dealing with healthcare reform.

September 12th – How do you get the kind of women you want to be around? This is a question that should be legitimately asked of men, too.

September 12th – That strikes me as socialism for the business class.

September 12th – All it was, was that Casey couldn’t be bothered and the little Darlin’s death was an accident don’t-cha see. This will be the “exculpatory” argument (such as it is) at the sentencing hearing.

September 13th – Let’s play like Gods.

September 22nd – Even your fun is stressful! Jeeeez!

September 22nd – A metaphor. Life around a crumb. Little teeney ants set up a colony–their entire universe around a “crumb” in my cabana cushions.

October 20th – Another answer for yes. Does a bear s— in the woods? Is a 40 pound Robin fat? Are there pedophiles in the priesthood? Yes, yes and yes. I was thinking about the “Sins of the Fathers” visited upon . . .

October 25th – The problem of having the wrong doctor? That killed Michael Jackson as surely as any other cause.

October 25th – On Cruise ships. It’s not a “sailing” experience they crave. Is it time to eat yet? Soooey!

October 27th – While watching “Inherit the Wind” I learned that the earth was created by God on October 24, 4004 B.C. at 9:00 A.M.

It was an entry from October 8 that will consume the remainder of my words this week. I was watching TV and there was an advertisement for a product I failed to note but basically the visual image was of women liking men. And I thought to myself, “Why is this necessary? Why do we require advertisements that depict women actually enjoying the company of men?”

This is a man’s world. Where we have arrived is a product of male behavior. History validates that fact. Have women in the West made incredible strides towards equality in the last 150 years? Yes, of course. That is historical fact, too.

Do I feel women have been treated shabbily by men, seemingly, since we first “hooked up?” Yes. Is cruel, indifferent and brutish behavior a fact? Was sexism institutionalized and a cultural norm throughout human history? Did (do) our religious institutions and secular authorities oppress women? A resounding YES that women have been suppressed, oppressed and marginalized.

My grandmother could not vote, once upon a very short time ago in America. America gave the vote to former slave men decades before they afforded women the same consideration. Emancipated black slave men were considered more worthy of the vote than the white wives of America’s 19th & 20th century legislators. Go figure.

As a student of history, I’ve wondered how could any of this occur? Why would men not view or consider women their equal? It is inexplicable. Was it because women are physically smaller, that they have the babies and are, as a result, at times more vulnerable? But where did the stigma come that women were unworthy of educating, lacked the mental horsepower or were too flighty and “emotional” for serious consideration, to be at the decision making table.

And these are just the “benign” facts concerning the status of women. A cursory examination of the male/female dynamic frequently has violence as a real and probable outcome. Again, it is inexplicable to me when I hear that “rape” too often becomes a battlefield tactic, if not an outright war strategy. In Africa, during the Balkan conflict of the 1990s, anywhere on the planet where authority breaks down (or, authority is actually sanctioning), the first victims are frequently women. Do not the perpetrators of rape have mothers, sisters—daughters even—who give them sufficient pause to say, “What am I doing? There, but for grace of God is Mom or Sis or my brother’s daughter?” But, no, that does not seem to be so much the case.

You talk with women and you’ll hear, “Oh, some individual men are just fine (my boyfriend, my son, my brother, etc.) but as a sex, men leave so much to be desired.” And then you have marriage. Can you count on two hands the number of genuinely “happily marrieds ” you know? Okay, one hand. But then again, it’s proven everyday that we really do not know what goes on behind closed doors. Smiling faces . . .

The history of the sexes is a long history of female oppression and subjugation by men. That is undeniable fact. Such a profound, sad loss for our species. Imagine how much further advanced we’d be if all those thousands of years, men and women had been pursuing dreams, harnessed, working together as genuine equals?

And that is why the debate over reproductive rights is so abhorrent and unfortunate—it is part and parcel of the historical suppression of women. The historical issue is: who owns a woman’s body, her uterus to be specific? The woman herself? Or, . . .?

Anything less than confirming the individual woman, alone, has complete control of her body is undeniable sexual totalitarianism of women. A little necessary fascism for the girls? It’s for their own good, don’t-cha know. Spare the rod, spoil the . . .

Hey, a little Sharia Law might be just what all our uppity American women require. Lobotomies next? Why not? They obviously can’t think for themselves. Doesn’t history (his story) suggest as much? And the men say . . .?

Such Is Life.

My brother’s third wife recently died of alcohol poisoning. Over 20 years she poisoned herself to death with alcohol. Alcoholism is an illness that “many” of us, myself included, don’t have much tolerance or sympathy for. If Martha had died over 20 years fighting cancer, we’d say, “What a fighter she was.”

I’d see her around town, at the grocery store, glassy-eyed, yet with enough presence of mind to be chagrinned upon “running” into me in an obviously inebriated state. Martha hated to disappoint anyone, particularly me because she rightly understood that I am a judgmental person. What she didn’t quite grasp was “So what, I think you’re a drunk, you’re still a human being I deeply care for.”

All my brother’s four wives have been remarkable women, I’ve truly loved’em all. Talented beauties they were and are. People sometimes say to me, “Four times! How can someone be divorced four times?” I laugh and inwardly think, “Well, everyone of my brother’s marriages ended for explainable, understandable reasons.” Marriage is a crapshoot in many respects. Whether you marry young or old, once or several times, each time is with a unique individual that you really don’t know, perhaps, all that you need to know when actually marrying. But isn’t that wonderful, too, and marry we do.

Martha’s alcoholism began after divorcing my brother. Uncle Stevie, which is how I refer to my brother, worried that in some way, shape or form he contributed to her drinking problem. In reality, being married to my brother prolonged her life. My brother didn’t drink a drop of alcohol for nearly 20 years as a result of getting so sickenly-bombed at my cousin’s wedding when he was just 21 years old. So disgusted was he at how sick he became that he became a model of sobriety for two decades. We laugh at this. Moderation, I say to my brother. Ha! Ha!

The marriage ended, as all marriages do for familiar and unique reasons and the “governor” was now gone and the drinking began. Whether out of sadness or disappointment, whether to mask or dull the pain, whether out of guilt or the sheer need for a drink, the long slog to an addictive alcoholic death began. And the guilt we all feel for not “stepping in,” for not intervening, for not doing enough to save Martha’s life, an unspoken sorrow.

Intellectually, I know better. And, I am not so troubled by “guilt” as some I know. I really do believe, “The cowards never started and the weak died along the way,” but when the deaths are of people you love and they were “weak,” thoughts do surface that if only I had said “X” or acted more forcefully “when,” things just might have been different.

I have attended Al-Anon meetings, which are for those affected by an alcoholic in their lives. My son is an alcoholic and it is for me a tragedy and an on-going sorrow like no other in my life. I’d give my right arm today, this moment. I’d let my arm be macheted-off and I’d have to “belt-up” the bloody stump myself and make it to the emergency room on my own, if that would balance some cosmic scale such that my son never had another drink in his life. I’d do it in an unthinking heartbeat. Alas.

There is a part of living that I think most reflective parents can agree. As a parent you are no happier than your most unhappy child. Life with a child alcoholic is one constant, “What if?” What if I had intervened earlier? What if I had better screened his peers for “X?” What if I had said no to “X” and yes to “Y?” What If I had given more? Or, given less? Did I not do enough? Love enough? Was I too hard? Not hard enough? Where did I fail as a parent? And no matter the time of day or year, I can find myself asking, “What is the point of all this sorrow?”

And, of course, there is no point. It just is. I know that. Mythologist, Joseph Campbell said that life is about embracing it all. Sorrow, too. But I must note that Joseph Campbell never had any children, sick children in particular. While Campbell is correct, in my opinion, about acknowledging and accepting the enormous amount of sorrow associated with life and living—it goes with the territory of being human—a sorrowful child is like no other pain a human will ever experience.

Your babies come into life with such promise that it makes the more reflective among us shudder with what an awesome responsibility that is. The gift of life is just that and for that life to end up in an alcoholic hell is, well, an ongoing purgatory for the parent, too. No matter the degree of detachment you put in place to protect yourself.

There are situations in life that are beyond our control. And, I do genuinely believe that how we talk to ourselves is critical to our own mental health in such matters. But you know what? Even if you are able to rationally understand that you are not “responsible” for that person drinking or doing drugs, that all of it really is beyond your control, the associated sorrow nonetheless can be, at times, crippling in its sadness.

No public meeting or self-help clinic or private counseling session, no bookly wisdom or “kindly advice” can ever eliminate the bubbling, just below the surface thought of, “What fresh hell is my child now, this moment, experiencing?”

Martha is dead. My son lives. What sorrow.

And Icarus fell to the sea and the farmer continued, unaware, in his fields. Such is life.

Pie In The Sky, Head In The Sand.

I was talking with my daughter about religion last week, something I do not remember doing so much with my father. I think, if I were to conjecture why that was the case, was that Father thought it all just so much nonsense and not an intellectually worthy pursuit. I can hear him say, “What’s the point? Humans believe in superstition. To conjecture about the ‘true’ nature of God a futile endeavor. And to speak as if you do know God’s nature sheer hubris.” And back he’d go to whatever history or science text he was reading for pleasure at the moment.

There was a point in my life, a small window, when I wasn’t so sure about whether there was a God or not or if he had any “good” intentions for humanity. I was so infatuated with a number of Catholic girls that I wavered, so beautiful were these exquisite specimens of Catholicism that I knew heaven must exist. Somewhere. Indeed, beauty is that powerful. Sigh. That was my 13th summer.

By age 14, I was wisely back to the more ecumenical approach of seeing superb beauty in all the divine Methodist, Jewish and Lutheran girls of Sioux City. A plethora. A cornucopia. Big Band maestro Benny Goodman used to regularly play in Sioux City and it is reputed that he said my hometown had the most beautiful women in the world. I am sure he was looking at my mother. But I am prejudiced.

But other than that one brief, infatuated summer, I simply do not subscribe to a personal god. Atheism is all the intellectual rage of the moment. There are so many books out now calling into question the “reasonableness” of organized religion, what with our relentless history of “God” inspired tragedies and travesties that have been foisted off humanity that the percentage of people questioning their beliefs in a personal God are on an uptick.

I wouldn’t be too worried, however, if I were a minister or priest. And here is why.

My daughter and I were talking about what is it about religion that, regardless the evidence, regardless the facts, people still subscribe to the most utter nonsense, that if you took God out of what you were discussing (the equation) most rational people would automatically say, “You gotta be kidding me.”

My daughter said, “People want to believe in the hereafter. They simply cannot absorb the idea that “this” is it. That we have this wonderful gift of consciousness only to see the bright light that is each of us gradually dim and then go dark.” I get that, I do.

“Wouldn’t it be loverly,” is the line from “My Fair Lady” that I want to belt out. Wouldn’t it though? Seriously. “Golleee, Gomer, I’ma gonna live the righteous, good life according to (Fill in your specific religious denomination here) and then, after death, live foreveh and eveh in heaven in beatific awe of God.” Sweet. So sweet. Except a growing number of human beings are finding such nonsense, well, just that.

Many humans find uncertainty untenable. I find it a gift. Regardless. What did Ralph Waldo Emerson say on such matters, “”A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of small minds.”

I was thinking about the correlation of religion to conservatism in America. How the two appear inextricably intertwined and just why that is.

What is the connection between the Pie in The Sky (life forever in heaven) faithful and the Head in the Sand Luddites better known as Rush Limbaugh Dittoheads and Glenn Beck Teabaggers (America’s unthinking, simplistic conservative right)?

Well, both groups willingly assign their thinking to someone else. Thinking can hurt. It does. Particularly if thinking how your cherished beliefs don’t add up, how they’ve held back human development or that your solutions for a better America are too frequently naïve, poorly thought out and outright harmful to the nation.

Isn’t it nice to have someone do your thinking for you? It is so convenient. It is such a burden—to think independently. Better, easier to sit in the pew and listen to the minister castigate homosexuality and Gay marriage. If the priest says women are incapable of leadership positions within the church, well, there you have it. Who am I to question discrimination? If it’s an abomination that a woman has the inherent human right to own her own body and make personal choices (birth control) about it, what more is required of my judgment. I should consider that there might be another side? Not me, fella. Besides, I’m going to heaven and you’re not (for believing in women’s equality, reproductive freedom and homosexual human rights, among other things).

I’m going to heaven because I have the revealed word of God? As my father thought, “Such hubris.” If there was a personal God, he’d slap such silly certainty from your goofy grin. Try a little humility, folks.

Pie in the Sky certainty leads directly to Head in the Sand simplistic denial of what confronts and ails America. Space does not allow what I feel needs to be done to right the ship of America. Here’s one big issue to me. Ten percent of America’s population today cannot, is incapable of or, will not sustain themselves. During a recession, the number balloons upward? That’s 35 million Americans. What realistically do we do with 35 million “underperforming” Americans? Seriously? The Head in the Sand crowd say, “You know what? Frankly my Dear, I don’t give a damn. Get a job! Let’um eat wallpaper paste and water. And, fer gawd sakes, don’t-cha eveh raise my taxes.”

If I were Pope of America for a day, I’d convene a national conference and we’d talk about where we want the nation to be in 40-50 years. Roughly, how many impoverished is a good number for America to sustain? Fifty million impoverished Americans? Seriously. What can we do as a nation to collectively reduce the number of nonperforming and underperforming Americans? Would the government promotion of universal, free, safe and accessible birth control be good public policy—among a number options—in reducing the number of impoverished children born to America’s poor? We might even pay folks not to reproduce until they can sustain any offspring on their own. That would be far cheaper than a lifetime of/on welfare. Golleee Gomer, ya think?

But, you assert, I cannot consider such solutions. Regardless the facts, regardless what is good for the nation, my pie in the sky—head in the sand approach to life will not allow me to entertain such options, regardless of how America suffers. Because I am Righteous and I am Right.

I’m sure. But your feet are of clay (Dan.2:31-32). As is your thinking.