Closing My Facebook Account and My Political “Say”

I am about to close and delete my Facebook account. Why? I am tired of all the ads which keep showing up in my time-line to buy things I really don’t want or need and that people whom I have “friended” say little about themselves, not in an egotistical way, and what has been happening in their lives, but don’t hesitate to put a bunch of political stuff up.  Also, it is recommended in About.com.

I tired of politics a long time ago. I tired of the lying media several years ago – I know it’s called editing, but when a person says something in an interview and the statement is aired in such a way that it becomes something entirely opposite of what the person said, to me, that’s lying.

I am going to be political here, which I don’t relish: Since there has been so much posted in Facebook about how bad Socialism is, I would like to call attention to four countries which have Socialism and seem to be doing very well: Denmark, Norway, Sweden, and, my favourite, Finland. Why is Finland my favourite? It is the ONLY country to pay the US the debt it owed due to the war and the US help to keep the Soviets out. And, Finland did that in less than the 20 years it was given to pay that debt. It’s A SOCIALIST country, folks. If that little country, with all the threats it received and all the problems It had with USSR, can be socialistic and, contrary to what Donald the Trump says, a very good friend to the US,  what is wrong with the United States of America that It can’t have some socialism?

If socialism is so bad, why haven’t those four countries dumped it? There are intelligent people there. Also, did you know that at least three of those countries ranked in the top ten as the happiest countries in the world?  Socialism must be terrible, it makes people happy.  We can’t have that. Might lower the prison population and put the US in the top ten best-educated (we now rank 51st) and happiest country in the world.  Heaven forbid!  Also, Canada ranked in the top ten happiest.

Yes, I am certain there are countries which are socialistic and which have failed, but I would bet none of them is in the ten happiest countries in the world. And that the governments didn’t live within their means (much like the US has been doing for the past 70 plus years, so we could wage wars and prop up dictators, which, by the way, has been done by BOTH major political parties ). Any political-economic system can fail, just as capitalism has in the past and, as far as I am concerned, is failing now. (Also, I exclude social systems as Communism, Naziism, and Facism as legitimate socialistic systems.) I have had my say and I doubt many will read this anyway, but, for those who do, if you want to make comments, please do.   In the meantime, I shall go back to listening to Ancient Faith Radio podcasts and Sacred Scripture reading, oh, and reading Bishop Barron’s (the new Episcopal Bishop of Los Angeles) blogs, which I recommend.

My Eyes

CHRIST IS RISEN

 I just wanted to give an update about my two cataract surgeries.  If I did not have help from my sister and brother-in-law, I think I would just now be able to have the surgery for one eye.  As it is, the left eye was done in November, 2013, and the right eye was done in April, 2015.  Has been so strange when going out with no glasses, that I had a pair of sun glasses made – the shade is not strong, just enough to cut down the glare, which I am not used to yet.

The world does look so much better now; that is, the physical world.  I see beautiful greens, blues, reds, and oranges.  With some of the family I made a short trip to Dagupan (it’s on the Philippine Sea).  The Bougainvillaeas were blooming in a bright violet colour, no red or white, and trees were blooming in yellow and orange.  Just very wonderful to see so well.

I thank God that the surgeries went very well and that the surgeon was A#1, best in the country, and that my sister and brother-in-law have been so kind to me.  I am still recovering from the right eye surgery, which is coming along so well that the surgeon said I only needed to see her if I had problems.

DEO GRATIAS!!

Greed, Lust, and TV (last of 2)

I started writing this when my laptop decided it was time to give up and began burning up. Now, I guess I must find a way to get my personal stuff and all the application software which is mine and I downloaded from various vendors off that machine. (I have learned that the laptop is just dirty inside and needs to have the cooling fan, and other stuff, dusted and cleaned. We’ll see.)

To get to the topic at hand. I think I addressed the Lust issue enough in my first writing.

Reading Fr. ted’s Blog today (Wednesday, November 26), I see that I am not the only one talking about greed. As I have mentioned, I think TV, which has been such a great influence on us all (and, don’t let anyone tell you TV is not influential), that we believe that what we see is true and must be a part of our lives.

The commercials we see seem to say that if we don’t buy what is being advertised, we are not part of “everyone”, i.e., we are not conforming and we must conform. Therefore, we must spend more money on ourselves. But, where does that money come from? For many of us, it means that we either use a credit card ( borrowing on future income), or we deprive some one else of something, including what we actually owe.

For some, it means delving into illegal activities. This seems to be especially true for those who are at the lower end of the economic spectrum. What we see, and begin to believe, is that to be a part of society, we must do whatever we can, including those illegal activities, which seems not to be considered illegal by so many, since they help us to achieve what is necessary to be a part of our community.

And, wealthy people don’t always help. I don’t know how many of them are really interested in others. The most I even hear about wealthy people is that they feel they are paying too of their income in taxes. They want more spendable income. Since many wealthy keep 94 to 95% of their income, I think they shouldn’t complain and help others. But then, there is the parable about the poor beggar who sat outside the wealthy man’s house. He never got any help, did he? (Lk 16:20-25)

As I was reflecting on all of the possession I have and was complaining about my living conditions, I remembered something about Jesus – “…the Son of man has no place to lay His head…” (Matt 8:20, Lk 9:58). I wonder if I could be that trusting of people. Probably not; but what about Faith and Trust in God? Can I accept that people will help me? I don’t think so because, again, TV teaches us that we must depend on ourselves and, if we expect others to help us, we need to be in the same “class”. That means owning lots of things, which are supposed to justify our existence. So, when we own all those things, we don’t need to depend on others. Hmmm, sounds like a Catch-22 to me.

I have a long journey ahead and lots more praying to get all that TV teaching out of me. And, I think many of us need to turn off that TV and start reading. Start reading the Bible is a great way to begin. That’s what I have been doing and it is a great help.

(Stay tuned for the saga of the Burning Laptop.)

Greed, Lust, and TV Commercials

After telling people to read my blog, I have not been writing anything. I guess that might be because typing is not easy any more. The arthritis in my hands, especially the left one, makes typing difficult. So I am getting Dragon Naturally Speaking installed on the computer, then I can just speak and it will “type” for me. Also, My eyes are not getting better, yet, and looking at a screen is not so easy, especially if the screen is white. Some one suggested that I turn down the brightness, but then I cannot see anything.
The internet is especially hard to read because all the pages seem to use a light background with even a lighter colour for the font. If these developers were intelligent, they would understand that not everyone, including younger people, can read what is on the page without squinting. I do use larger fonts for myself and I set the screen to have larger than normal items. Sort of messes up how the screen looks sometimes – items fall off the page; little things like that.

A few days ago, or was it weeks ago, I made a comment on Facebook about television commercials. About the only things I watch on TV are on Animal Planet, Discovery, and Discovery Science, and the news, especially BBC. Unfortunately one is not immune to Wall Street and the commercials sneak in. And I do mean sneak – not like the past when there would be a “break”. Now, when the appearance is that the news or whatever is continuing, about five seconds in, I realise it’s a commercial. Then, again, maybe that is age sneaking in.

My comment was how much commercials appeal to one of the seven deadly sins, especially lust. I received some comments back, which apparently try to justify these actions in commercials through longevity or the “everybody does it” reasoning. I am happy that our medical science never kept up that approach. I do not think I would enjoy being bled to cure a fever or having leaches put on me to heal a broken bone which discoloured the skin. But, this seemed to be the reasoning people were giving and using extensively to justify almost pornographic material being directed at the viewing public, including children.
Some remarks even suggested that all the deadly sins were in the Bible, thereby giving some sort of legitimacy to what is happening today on television. I can only say, again, just because these things were happening 5,000 years ago, maybe more, does not make what is done now a good thing to do. They were in the Bible usually because the writers, being inspired by the Holy Spirit, wrote to tell everyone to stop before something really serious happened. The people did not listen and look at some of the troubles they had. King David, beloved by God, sang more songs (Psalms) of repentance than anything else. Look at Psalm 50 (51). He laments and repents of what he did to Uriah. He even states that a broken spirit and contrite heart God will not despise, because God will not accept his offering of a young bullock. And, how would you like your entire country being taken some place else and everyone made slaves?
Just because there are murders and lust and greed, and other sins in the Bible does not mean that God condoned them. As I wrote above, these things happened to the detriment of the Israelites – not always but most of the time. Did not want to get into the Bible so much as to the seven deadly sins. Yes, I know they come from the Bible, but many people who are not so inclined to be reading the Bible seem to recognise lust and greed.
The problems of the current world economy can be attributed to greed. Even news commentators have mentioned that. And, I do not want to hear or read that it is God’s wrath causing these problems. God does not have to get involved. We do this ourselves. It is rather obvious, at least to me that, when people can only think of themselves, there are problems somewhere along the way.
Once when I was in a meeting of staff members at a banque, which shall remain nameless, the Human Resources representative was telling the people that if they did not like the way the banque was being run, they could go elsewhere to try to find a job. The problem was, that while inflation was at 4%, salaries were being increased by only 2% with an effective increase of .75 to 1% (do not forget taxes). When asked why, the representative responded by saying that the banque had experienced greater expenses and losses than anticipated. To which, some one in the group said, then let’s fire the CEO and save lots of money. That brought great laughter from all except from the HR rep!
Is it not true that the CEO is paid these high salaries to take responsibility for expenses and losses? That is what I was taught in business classes. But, then. what do I know? I am just a human being, trying to be a good Orthodox Christian.

Thank you for reading.
(If you would like a recorded copy of this blog, please send me a message either through the comments or at my email address (kebowles [at] gmail [point] com) with Greed, Lust, and TV Commercials in the subject line and “recorded blog” in the body. Thanks, again, for reading.)

Correction to earlier note

In a previous note, I wrote that the 133rd Infantry Division held off the Japanese from entering Baguio. It was the 123rd Infantry Division. My apologies to those who may have been offended by my error. Also, the Division actually captured a Japanese Division. I could not see the entire monument; we drove by rather quickly, very early in the morning, and in the rain, so I am not certain which Japanese division was captured. I do not know what happened to the captured soldiers, either. I guess I could look up what happened in that battle.

Nay and I were on our way to Manila for Immigration, hopefully for the last time.  Immigration was not too bad. Nato help navigate me around from one window to another. I had not advised Immigration of my new addressed and I had to pay a fine of 1,200 pisos (almost $30, US).

I do not like these one-day trips. Have to leave here at 1:10 AM to arrive in Manila (Pasay) around 6AM for morning appointment. Otherwise I would have to go the day before and stay in hotel, which is usually another 50 to 70 USD extra,  I prefer not to spend any more than I must.  Have a difficult time trying to sleep on the bus and most of the highways are one lane.

More about me

When talking about me, most of my writing begins with “I” and that embarrasses me.  Hopefully, by not using “I” so much, this will not sound too aloof.  What can anyone say about himself without sounding egocentrical?  (Is that a word?)  Let me just state my principals and values. Fairness, which most people seem to think is impossible, is paramount for me. I truly believe in “Love thy neighbour as thyself.” If you love a person, how can treat the person anyway but fair? Respect of a person just because she is a human is absolute. Behaviour can be changed.
I would like to be positive all the time, but my writing can seem to be very negative. That may be because I want to try to promote action. For some reason, people in the US are just too complacent. They feel powerless and I would like to see that changed.  As an individual a person may not be able to accomplish much, but that one person can get others involved. And a group is not powerless. Groups must be given attention.
This is becoming a blog and it is supposed to be an introduction. I hope readers find my opinions interesting, possibly informative, and helpful.