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Patience/Tolerance - pronounced "REN"

 

Things are starting to catch up with me, to my chagrin, so in lieu of working on the post I had sheduled for today, and am still editing, I am resorting to a post of mine I was reminded of while listening to the news over the past few days.

Therefore, I am only going to apologize a little for the following repost – from September of last year.  It’s a subject about which I am still passionate, and in light of what’s happening now in the Dairy State of Wisconsin (and the cheese is being cut frequently out there – so sorry to my Wisconsin readers!  Feel free to complain in the comments section!), the post is still, unfortunately, timely. 

The repost serves as a heads-up that election time 2012 is rapidly approaching!  Far too quickly if you ask me!  The thunder coming from pompous loudmouths and know-it-all politicians – who purport to speak for any or all of us – is already rumbling in the distance.  God help us all! 

Are you ready for the television/internet/magazine/newspaper advertisements and the onslaught of those “personal” recorded telephone calls urging you to vote – not for the candidate of your choice, but for the candidate of theirs?  Buckle your seatbelts, Gentle Readers, it’s going to be a bumpy 2011-2012! 

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Oh, goody, goody, goody!  The wonderful event I have been waiting for is on the way!  Let’s all hear it out there for the great, fascinating, joy-filled, consciousness-raising, edifying time called. . .(wait for it!). . .MID-TERM ELECTIONS!!!!!  Ah, yes – you can smell it in the air – all that expensive and expansive crap pouring out of the mouths – the very pores – of all those delusional candidates.  Quite frankly, at times like these I can say, along with Lt. Col. Kilgore:  

I love the smell of napalm in the morning. sound bite

Actually, about the only good use that napalm could ever be put to would be a complete burn of all the misinformation, misdirection, malfeasance, manipulation, and malevolent manifestations that make up the once-noble calling of politics.  I could really get started now on a rant that would likely seem, if not actually be, never-ending.  I won’t (so sorry to disappoint) – but it’s only because my one-handed typing can’t keep up with the erupting, (perhaps) inflammatory diatribe that is flying through my brain.

Here is the issue that has been occupying so much of my thought these last few days and weeks. . .when did the whole concept of  (*gasp*) TAXES become synonymous with evil?  Exactly how does the (apparently) large and vociferous (agonizingly so) group of American citizens expect our nation to operate without them?

Now, I am not so ignorant that I believe that there is really a significant number of people out there who feel that there should be NO taxes at all in this country.  But to actually listen to some of the “antis” speaking now, one could be led to think that taxes really are the root of all evil, and a nefarious plot cooked up by the Democratic Party to part all good, hard-working, and God-fearing citizens from as much of their income as possible.  All of us, regardless of our political, social, spiritual, and/or ethnic persuasions, have a right to voice our approval (seldom heard), or disapproval (abundantly heard)!  But, I feel that this huge issue regarding taxes has become so mired in the seamy, underhanded side of politics, that the essential need of our communal dollars to fund the physical infrastructure, and other necessary aspects and needs, of our country and its people, has been completely drowned in an ocean of tea and hogwash.

The knee-jerk response whenever the word “taxes” is heard is “No, no, no!  No more taxes!”  Of course, I understand that what many are objecting to is the misuse and poor management of monies that are already being collected.  The problem comes when the “baby” of needed funds gets tossed out with the “bathwater” of assumed malfeasance!  Mismanagement is very expensive, no doubt about it. But even more costly to us as a nation is slashing or eliminating aspects of our corporate lives that enrich and nourish us and keep us moving ahead all because we don’t want to shell out one more dime of our personal incomes.  (Did you ever wonder why it is that the ones most able to afford it are the ones who complain and are heard the most?)

We are a democratic society.  That wonderful moniker is largely a blessing, but sometimes can be a curse in that we must come up with a consensus on how to operate.  When everyone is allowed to speak, there are few left to listen.  And, unfortunately, the ones who get heard are the loudest and most obnoxious.  It seems to me that those obnoxious voices too often drown out the still, small voices of sanity and reason.  Health care for all costs money.  Good, sound, well-rounded education costs money (and considering the shameful level of teacher salaries these days, it doesn’t cost anywhere near enough!). The better our education, and the better and more available good health care for all, the more able we are to progress and grow as a nation.  Short-changing our public schools, giving in to the self-interests of big business (and letting them decide for us what is best), and holding up as an ideal the possibility of “shutting down the government” in order to get what “we” want (and the devil take the hindmost) is to me the highest form of me-first, uncompromising folly.

Many of you, I gather from what I hear on the news, are going to differ with me.  OK.  That is one of the perks of being an American. (Yay!  You get to disagree with Paula!)  I have these requests of you all, in particular:  just because you may like what a candidate has to say, or agree with what s/he may stand for – listen to ALL sides of an issue.  Make up your own mind (most of you have good ones in there!).  More important:  NEVER RELY ON ONLY A SINGLE SOURCE FOR YOUR INFORMATION!!! Read widely, listen with both ears.  As wonderful as the internet is, it is also a huge problem.  It has become a rather unwieldy, bottomless depository, not only for information but misinformation in equal amounts.  The misinformation is not only endless, it is forever.  There is (as I’ve said before) no “truth filter” available that automatically separates fact from fiction on the web, and once there, it will always be there, ready to be cited and quoted by anyone who chooses to resurrect it.  Consequently there is a virtually continuous stream of junk being spewed from the airwaves and cyberspace that, for those who refuse to take the time to discern the truth, is causing many citizens of our nation to be led, far too easily, very far astray.

OK, I’m tired. . .my hand is giving out, but my brain is still furiously churning on.  In order to preempt some of your objections, I will say that I, too, will listen to my own advice, and listen to ALL sides – as hard as that may seem.  As we await the outcome of election day 2010, let us pray that saner heads all around will prevail, and that pointless rhetoric will not.  Liberals, conservatives, middle-of-the-roaders; Democrats, Republicans, Independents, all political persuasions; Christians, Jews, Muslims, all faiths; all races; all socio-economic brackets — WE ALL NEED EACH OTHER!  We need to stop, breathe, then listen to, and respond to one another with respect and love.  There is no substitute for patience and tolerance (did you know that in Chinese, the character is the same for both words?) in a democratic society.

So. . .Death and Taxes.  Both inevitable, but when their times both come around, (and they will), how will you approach them? 

I hope that each of your lives, Gentle Readers, may overflow with enough. .

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