Lion, Ostrich, Shepherd and You


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I write often about the value of not becoming sheep people. I chuckle at the analogy of the ostrich sticking its head in the sand to escape the lions. Since lions never play by the rules, I often wonder how many holes on the African plains are filled with ostrich heads. In any event, when it comes to politics, follow your shepherds, if you must. I prefer to look at reality from my perspective.
 
If you happen to pay federal taxes, this should be of interest to you.
 
Federal Express, a private company, employs 300,000 people and earned $3 Billion last year.

United Parcel Service, a private company, employs 400,000 people and earned $4 Billion last year.
 
The United States Post Office, a government-run business, will now suspend mail delivery services on Saturdays. As taxpayers, you should be thrilled. The Post Office employs 574,000 people and lost $16 Billion last year. Perhaps, without mail delivery on Saturdays, the USPO will lose less than $16 B next year.
 
I won’t ask how much you earn, but I would guess you don’t work nearly as hard as postal employees. In addition to full government benefits, they start at $50,000 per year with no experience, and up to $80,000 per year, with experience.

Who pays that $16 B loss? You do.


Here is another example.

Ordinary people like us argue over whether NPR (National Public Radio) is something we should fund with taxpayer dollars in a time of financial crisis. I have listened to and heard all the arguments. I have my own opinion, but as an American, far be it from me to try to convince someone else that my opinion is superior to theirs.

However, I am neither sheep nor ostrich. Wesley Cook, now celebrated by Hollywood celebrities as Mumia Abu-Jamal, murdered Philadelphia police officer Daniel Faulkner in 1981. NPR gave him his own radio show from prison and offered him a reality show. You paid for him to spew his hatred.
Here's another.

President Obama argued vehemently that waterboarding was morally reprehensible, and beyond the power of the Presidency. He was very eloquent in his position and America bought the argument, along with his promise to close Gitmo as his first Presidential act in 2008. After all, everyone, even a terrorist, is entitled to a fair trial in the USA. Now, with Gitmo still open, the President tells us that killing American citizens abroad who take up arms against us is within his Presidential power. Zapping an American citizen with a drone is okay, but waterboarding a terrorist captured on the battlefield is not.

I offer no response except this. I am politically Independent, and I do not follow the crowd. I will give the Devil his due, but I will not stick my head in the proverbial hole because I might get stressed if my fellow Americans discuss something uncomfortable.
 
I don’t care which political party is in power. I do care about playing ignorant so I don’t upset others. The ethics of our leaders must be discussed in earnest, if we are to maintain our freedom. It is simply ignorant to keep blaming past administrations for present challenges. These items I raised above are happening now, and how we deal or don’t deal with them will determine the future of our children.

There is no need for a political discussion here, and I am not seeking one. However, while I don’t have all the answers, at least my head is not buried in the sand, and I Baa to no one.



Comments

  1. Too many people view politics as a game and they all have a favorite team which can do no wrong.

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    1. joeh: You could not be more correct. It is a game, and a shame. It's not the America I once knew. I do feel better saying it, however.

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  2. I agree. We are not sheeple. We are the People and we absolutely MUST pull our heads out of the sand. These are problems that affect everyone and have NOTHING to do with party affiliation.

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    1. Robin: Exactly! I wish we were able to discuss these issues with respect for the opinions of others. That's how we learn. We seemed to be unable to accomplish that during the last election year.

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  3. interesting post today JJ, i dont class myself as a sheep or an ostrich either i always tend to do my own thing. Im afraid i stay away from politics there all a bunch of circus clowns as far as i can see and i wont waste valurable time getting caught up with it. Have a great weekend, dee :-)

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    1. Dee: You are certainly an individual. You are so right. The Ringling Brothers would be proud of our politicians. Cheers.

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    2. To call politics a circus is to insult the circus!

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  4. I'm not a sheep either, but try to align myself with the person I feel has the better morals. That's not always easy to tell. Lol

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    1. Miranda: That is the key. Following blindly makes one dependent. We need not always win, and there are always two perspectives, but I don't think honesty is too much to ask of our elected officials. Both political parties should search their collective souls.

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  5. How can they allow a murderer to do that? How awful. I don't want my daughter to grow in a world where murderers are idealized. I've just read that a sex offender who victimized 171 kids was sentenced to only 15 years in prison. Appalling. Here's the article:
    http://lacrossetribune.com/news/local/crime-and-courts/a2530b28-7244-11e2-86ce-001a4bcf887a.html

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    1. Julia: It need not be so. However, we will never work out societal problems without the respectful exchange of ideas.

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  6. Hmmmm. "Zapping an American citizen with a drone is okay, but waterboarding a terrorist captured on the battlefield is not." Indeed. Especially given how fluid the word "terrorist" has become. (As in Osama bin Laden on the CIA payroll when the Russians were in Afghanistan, but then. . . .) I tend to watch words fairly closely, considering they are the basic tools of my work (like yours, as writer/broadcaster). But then 1984 was just a few years ago, was it not, Mr. Blair?

    "I will give the Devil his due, but I will not stick my head in the proverbial hole because I might get stressed if my fellow Americans discuss something uncomfortable." I wonder; how many desert holes have Ostrich heads in them? But to tell the truth, you're singing my song. As a journalist with post-graduat training in — wait for it — ethics.

    I first came across the word "sheeple" in relation to the Occupy movement here in Canada, and elsewhere." It is a pejorative word, though I must confess it makes me more sad than angry. Somehow like Jesus weeping over Jerusalem long before his execution. "Sheeple" is a word for describing people whose status is quo; they cannot believe anything other than the status quo is truthful, or acceptable. Or they are terrified by the thought of any other possibility, regardless of how bad their lives are.

    Puck is the one who had it right: "Lord, what fools these mortals be!" So very sadly!

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

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    1. Rob-bear: People (of course, not everyone) can no longer discuss their differences. They can only blindly follow the shepherds they elect and adhere to ideology they don't understand.

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  7. Right on. Politics is a team sport and to the fans the select team can do no wrong, no matter what. And the intolerance to other's views is incredible.

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  8. While I proudly admit that my politics lean right, I have been the first to proclaim loudly about the things that I do not agree with that my own party has done and/or are doing at any given time. I feel no lack of loyalty, only a desire to see true conservative constitutional politics played out. I figure it might be fun to see what would happen if we were true capitalists and actually stuck to our convictions- all while keeping this country that we love as a safe and wonderful place to live for those would like to push themselves a bit. I personally believe that all would benefit greatly- and how funny that is considering how long people have been trying to use socialism to do just that, and all to no avail!
    It's only been very recently that I have decided that I will not be silenced by the 'tolerant' left who have brought me to tears on more than one occasion for daring to voice my opinion. I will not be silenced and I will not tune out. Sometimes it is tempting, but I will not do it!
    I am actually finding that more and more people around me feel just as I do. It is truly heartening in this day and age of such intolerance of ideas to find that many around me are in agreement more-so than not and they desire mightily to do something rather than hide from the truth.

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  9. This was so eloquently written JJ. I was not aware of the NPR celebrated murderer before. These are all very disturbing facts. We should all take a page from you by " exchanging ideas" and not having to "Baa" to anyone.
    Julie

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