TW Peck's Weblog

random thoughts & perceptions on just about whatever strikes me fancy

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Posted by twpeck on March 21, 2010

The news media and political junkies are all holding their breath this day with the question on their minds…will the Health Care/Reform bill pass?

I understand this is a “big” moment and there are many sides to the issue, but it really gets down to those who will pay more and those who receive more as a result if this law passes.

Taxes in the US have become less about getting services, such as military & police protection, to a transferring of resources from the “haves” to those that “have not”. One wonders just how long the “haves” will stay put when what they have is consistently being taken away.
So, with bitten fingernails and sweaty brow, the “haves” and “have nots” wait to see how much more will be transferred, or not transferred.
Seems like we should come up with a better system. Oh, yeah, we have, called voluntary giving.
Maybe all those who think that they should have a tax increase to cover entitled services should do so voluntarily. You know, NOT take deductions and just pay the maximum amount, or better yet, decide to live at a certain level and give away anything beyond that to a “have not”.
I anticipate that day, but don’t expect it.


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Tough Day at Work

Posted by twpeck on March 18, 2010

Today was a tough day at work – lots of demands and such little time to compete them.
It is days like today that I am so glad for. I have the robes of Christ to hang onto and I sense His hand holding me even stronger. It is such joy to know that no day can be tougher than Jesus.

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Helping with homework

Posted by twpeck on March 15, 2010

Helping the kid with homework was much more fun when she was little and I knew the answer. Now that she is getting older, I have to go figure out what the question is in order to help her figure out the answer, and by that time she has already got it done and has moved on to the next problem.
I now understand why my dad worked evenings.

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the Flu

Posted by twpeck on March 11, 2010

I have the flu, or something like it.  My ears are plugged, my head aches, I have a fever and just want to sleep (been doing that ALL day). It feels like every muscle in my body aches.

I hate being sick.  Thanks Adam and Eve.  Thanks a lot.

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Its too hard

Posted by twpeck on March 10, 2010

We are engaged in a great struggle at home.  A school book report.

It has been a battle to get the book read, to get the project started, and the deadline looms to finish.

During the conversation the most oft used word is “its too hard” to do, well, anything.

I agree.  Its too hard.

I have always avoided the hard when I could.  That is why I cut the lawn with a power mower instead of scissors.  Once considered getting a goat or sheep but what I would gain in “not hardness” of cutting the lawn I would lose in the “hardness” of taking care of the animals.  A mower was the least hard option (not cutting one would think was the easiest but I have a wife…)

In all of this project, though, for some reason, I have become the evil taskmaster.  My suggestions are automatically rejected (though implemented when suggested by others).  It is a role a dad has to play sometimes.

It is hard to be the cajoler, the orderer, the one who says “no fun ’til done” enforcer.  It is hard, but the harder way would be to allow a failure due to lack of effort.  The failure would be easy now on the book reporter, but harder later.

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The Rights of Man

Posted by twpeck on August 8, 2009

Modern society has come to view a “right” as meaning something a person wants to do.  We hear the word “rights” bantered around rather flippantly, usually taken to the personal level.  I have a “right” to be angry.  I have the “right” to do this or that.  I have a “right” to have something that someone else already has.

The proper idea of rights flows from those three words in our Declaration of Independence (penned by Thomas Jefferson) which states that one function of  government’s is not to impune the “inaleinable rights” of “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness”.  This is not a call for hedonism, but a call for government to not interfer with those rights.

Yet, clearly, Jefferson saw that these “rights” were broad concepts not detailed listings.  He would be aghast at the expansiveness of government “entitlements”, which forcibly takes the property of one person to give to another.  He would be shocked at the compacting of religious expression that has encroached from the federal to state to local area.  He would be weeping for the complexities of the federal laws that overlap and intertwine and impact the daily lives of every citizen.  America today is not the nation he would have desired or even dreamed.

The call to “rights” in the Declaration is not a a call to hedonism, but for order, to safeguard the universal rights of all men (and women), and to offer freedom instead of oppression. The preamble clearly states that the purpose of the Consititution is to “establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity”.

Today, we have lost the true concept of freedom.  a scant 40 years ago a liberal democrat said “ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country”.  In our day and age of “rightism”, the reverse has become true.  People are asking not what they need to do but what the country should do for them.  This will be the death of the republic and Jefferson’s dream of democracy.

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Groups as family

Posted by twpeck on August 13, 2008

It is 6:15 AM and I am in the lobby of the motel awaiting the rise of the rest of my family.

Yes, we are on a little vacation in Northern Michigan.

The weather has been beautiful: warm and sunny (though we had a short downpour last night), but it has been a nice vacation so far. Only a couple of bumps (trying to make those important decisions about what to go where and when and who, etc.).

It is a fascinating process to watch “group” decisions work their way out. More fascinating when it is a multi-age, multi-agenda event. The family is a “group” that is put together not for a project or a purpose, but thrown together through the providence of their birth or marriage. Sometimes it is a beautiful thing to watch, othertimes get out the raincoat and boots!

It has been pretty beautiful so far. We are all learning about give and take – mostly giving, and that is probably the biggest lesson for the youngsters. The younger we are the more we take and the less we give and it these times that important lessons about learning to give – meaning the world is not centered on you but that you are part of, an element of, the world around you.

Unfortunately, there are lots and lots of people who don’t learn this until they are older (I really started to realize this in my late 20s when I got married and started having children – children are insipid in their selfishness and stingy in their giving – look at the effort given to make a baby smile or stop crying!). There is phenomenon out there called “kidults” – adults who have clinged to the taking stage and have not embraced the giving stage.

We have few of those in our family. Most likely many families do. So just invite them to a big family vacation where they will be thrown with everyone else for a few days and make sure there is a little child or baby or two. Might make them move from less kid to adult, might not, but it will sure make for some memories.

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Posted by twpeck on July 23, 2008

Sometimes the hardest part of life is waiting.

A couple of weeks ago we went to an amusement park. It was a couple hour drive and Amy brought a friend. Neither slept the night before – they could not stand the wait.

I remember one Christmas, hanging out at the top of the stairs waiting for morning to go down and check out the look. I could not stand the wait.

Some waits are more difficult. Like the wait for the test results, the wait for the last breath of a loved one, the wait when a relationship is broken.

The wait shows our vulnerability to time, to events, to circumstances. There is so much that is out of our control, so much that we cannot grasp, so much that we cannot manipulate or steer to our liking, but it is the wait that makes us grow in wisdom because it forces our patience, and a lack of patience is so often the worst times and decisions we make.

Well, I am in a wait right now and I am hating it but growing from it.

Bible verse to ponder:
(Psalms 69:3) I am weary with my crying out; my throat is parched. My eyes grow dim with waiting for my God.

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Income Gap

Posted by twpeck on July 6, 2008

I have read lately that the income gap – the difference between what the “rich” are paid versus all the rest of us  is a “growing”.

I say, so what ?

In my last blog, I talked about the concept of “fairness”.  People extort this term when someone else has something they don’t have but want.

The “cause” of this gap, consistently, is sounded as:

a – terrible tax policy (is it the purpose of taxes to even out income?)

b- the rich exploiting the poor

c – the poor management of the economy by Bush (used to be Bush and Congress but now that Democrats control both houses, this rhetoric has disappeared)

What is NOT discussed, ever, is that the opportunity to move from poor to rich remains.  There are still an awful lot of rich people in the US who come from poor backgrounds.

To my liberal friends worried about the plight of the poor, my response is this: then give more of your money away to the poor.  If one looks at that statistic, then the liberals fall very far short of helping others, and this is one of the fallacies of liberalism – that it cares more about people than conservatism.

I remember during the campaign between Mr. Kerry and Mr. Bush, Mrs. Kerry (who inherited the Heinze Ketchup fortune – not gained it through her own effort) lamented for a “poor” woman who had to go to Canada to get prescriptions because they were too expensive in the US.  The implication being that it was the responsibility of the “government” to make sure that this woman could get her prescriptions cheaper.

The most irritating part of this is that Mrs. Kerry was probably carrying enough money in her purse to cover this “poor” woman’s RX for a year.

If Liberals want income redistribution, then let them do it voluntarily.  Don’t force others to pay for your pet projects.  If you think that the “government” is not getting enough tax dollars, pay more on your own.  You don’t have to take a deduction.  You don’t have to take a credit.  Pay the 25 -30% of your income.

Gee, that seems fair to me.

Bible thought for this entry

2 Corinthians 8:13-14: For I do not mean that others should be eased and you burdened, but that as a matter of fairness your abundance at the present time should supply their need, so that their abundance may supply your need, that there may be fairness.

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