Archive for November, 2011
by L. J. Martin
Are Sundays good for America and Americans?
In this day of relegating religion to the back burner or worse to no burner at all, it’s appropriate to look back upon what we’re missing. What’s the value of a Sunday in church, or temple, or a synagog or other religion Saturday; in addition to an attempt at cleansing one’s soul?
A Sunday (or other day) gathering of friends and those who somewhat think alike has not been replaced in any form, unless, of course, you consider Friday or Saturday night in the local bar, or your bridge club, or poker party. Most of those gatherings have a less admirable motive, and often as not a less admirable result than Sundays in church.
It’s my belief that carrying grudges is bad for one’s health. That frowning is bad for one’s health. And conversely that renewing friendships almost always results in smiling, and happiness, and certainly better mental health and a resulting improvement in physical health, as most certainly the two are co-dependent. And Sundays in church were such a gathering, a time for extended hands. Even if you had a grudge to settle with another, Sundays in church brought you together with some common interest, and would, more than likely motivate you to extend your hand, and by doing so, settle most grudges. Sundays were a day not only to worship together, but to come together weekly and form a cohesive group. A day, a time, to start anew, for renewal of your identity as a tribe, if you will. I’m only an occasional church goer, but have never had a bad day in church…even when getting chewed for not attending regularly. Sundays were good for one’s health.
Your financial well often resulted from an interaction with those who extended a helping hand, if only in the way of trade with each other during the balance of the week; trade with others whom one trusted as a result of seeing the weekly renewal of belief in doing unto others as one would have others do unto you. Otherwise, honest and moral interaction. Sundays were good for one’s business.
And speaking of morals, we are all a sum of our experiences, and one would assume that experiences in Sunday church might just be more valuable as example setting, particularly for youth, than those in most other social gatherings. Our young people are certainly not getting those examples in that other weekday gathering…in most schools in the country, which have excluded all references to God, church, and consequently to morals. There’s no question in my mind that without a constitutional amendment that any reference to God, including that in the Pledge of Allegiance, will be driven from our schools. Morals, as a result of the teaching of our schools, will flitter away as surely as have penmanship and the three “R’s”. Sundays were certainly good for one’s morals.
So what have we lost as the country moves away from religion, and from those weekly Sunday gatherings, the weekly interaction with friends, and yes, with those who need to renew friendships?
I fear that we’ve lost the cohesiveness of tribe, of interdependence, and eventually of country.
And it’s been compounded by not only our failure to interact religiously, but in areas as basic as language. Language in this country was always a commonality that brought us together. No matter from where one originated, one learned to speak English so one could interact with other Americans, now we’ve allowed that to be undermined by bilingual classrooms and ballots. We allowed another wedge to be driven between us in the guise of so called political correctness. Sundays and all other days are days for interaction, that a common language allows.
We need a constitutional amendment to reaffirm that this is a country of religion, is English speaking, and was founded as such, and that a moment of silent interdenominational prayer at a football game does not destroy the separation of church and state. In many ways, it reaffirms that basic tenant of American government; and just as our forefathers didn’t want a state religion (Anglican), prayer is a commonality of all religions, and a moment of prayer does not insult the state but rather reaffirms us as a people who are as diverse as our religions, including those with no religion. Those with no religion can be silent for 30 seconds upon occasion if for no other reason than to respect the beliefs of others, be it Sunday or Friday night high school football.
I’m thrilled to see a menorah, or a nativity scene, or any other reference to religion in any public venue, including public buildings and public gatherings, and to be told Felice Navadad, so long as the speaker or displayer understands that Merry Christmas is as common to all of us as is Hanukah or whatever one believes, so long as that belief stems from do unto others, and almost all religions do. And be it on Sunday or any day of the week.
And Sundays or any day which involves a gathering for moral reasons is good for America and Americans.
Merry Christmas, and yes, Happy Holidays. And happy and productive Sundays.
L. J. Martin is the author of 28 published works and dozens of articles in national publications. He is the author of the conservative blog http://fromthepeapatch.com, with millons of annual hits. His wife is the author of over 55 works of fiction and is an NYT bestselling, internationally published novelist. The Martin’s live in Montana and winter in California. For more see www.ljmartin.com.
“I do verily believe that if the principle were to prevail of a common law being in force in the United States (which principle possesses the general government at once of all the powers of the state governments, and reduces us to a single consolidated government), it would become the most corrupt government on the earth.”
– Thomas Jefferson
(1743-1826), US Founding Father, drafted the Declaration of Independence, 3rd US President
Source: Thomas Jefferson to Gideon Granger, 1800. 10:168
A single “consolidated government” is exactly what the Federal government is becoming. The states dependence upon Fed money is the subjugation of all state, county, and city governments to the Fed, the new “consolidate government” of the U.S.A. Obviously Jefferson feared exactly what we’ve let happen.
Ineptitude, Lying, Cheating…to win big in today’s D.C.
Came to me on the web. It’s nice to know how our president rewards those who have ruined the American economy…
Be sure to read the “where they are now” at the end !!
Here’s a quick look into the three former Fannie Mae executives who brought down Wall Street.
Franklin Raines was a Chairman and Chief Executive Officer at Fannie Mae. Raines was forced to retire from his position with Fannie Mae when auditing discovered severe irregularities in Fannie Mae’s accounting activities. At the time of his departure The Wall Street Journal noted, ” Raines, who long defended the company’s accounting despite mounting evidence that it wasn’t proper, issued a statement late Tuesday conceding that “mistakes were made” and saying he would assume responsibility as he had earlier promised. News reports indicate the company was under growing pressure from regulators to shake up its management in the wake of findings that the company’s books ran afoul of generally accepted accounting principles for four years.” Fannie Mae had to reduce its surplus by $9 billion.
Raines left with a “golden parachute valued at $240 Million in benefits. The Government filed suit against Raines when the depth of the accounting scandal became clear.
http://housingdoom.com/2006/12/18/fannie-charges/. The Government noted, “The 101 charges reveal how the individuals improperly manipulated earnings to maximize their bonuses, while knowingly neglecting accounting systems and internal controls, misapplying over twenty accounting principles and misleading the regulator and the public. The Notice explains how they submitted six years of misleading and inaccurate accounting statements and inaccurate capital reports that enabled them to grow Fannie Mae in an unsafe and unsound manner. “These charges were made in 2006. The Court ordered Raines to return $50 Million Dollars he received in bonuses based on the miss-stated Fannie Mae profits.
Net windfall .. . $190 million!
Tim Howard – Was the Chief Financial Officer of Fannie Mae. Howard “was a strong internal proponent of using accounting strategies that would ensure a “stable pattern of earnings” at Fannie. In everyday English – he was cooking the books. The Government Investigation determined that, “Chief Financial Officer, Tim Howard, failed to provide adequate oversight to key control and reporting functions within Fannie Mae,”
On June 16, 2006, Rep. Richard Baker, R-La., asked the Justice Department to investigate his allegations that two former Fannie Mae executives lied to Congress in October 2004 when they denied manipulating the mortgage-finance giant’s income statement to achieve management pay bonuses. Investigations by federal regulators and the company’s board of directors since concluded that management did manipulate 1998 earnings to trigger bonuses. Raines and Howard resigned under pressure in late 2004.
Howard’s Golden Parachute was estimated at $20 Million!
Jim Johnson – A former executive at Lehman Brothers and who was later forced from his position as Fannie Mae CEO. A look at the Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight’s May 2006 report on mismanagement and corruption inside Fannie Mae, and you’ll see some interesting things about Johnson. Investigators found that Fannie Mae had hidden a substantial amount of Johnson’s 1998 compensation from the public, reporting that it was between $6 million and $7 million when it fact it was $21 million.” Johnson is currently under investigation for taking illegal loans from Countrywide while serving as CEO of Fannie Mae. Johnson’s Golden Parachute was estimated at $28 Million.
WHERE ARE THEY NOW?
FRANKLIN RAINES? Raines works for the Obama Campaign as his Chief Economic Advisor.
TIM HOWARD? Howard is a Chief Economic Advisor to Obama under Franklin Raines.
JIM JOHNSON? Johnson was hired as a Senior Obama Finance Advisor and was selected to run Obama’s Vice Presidential Search Committee.
IF OBAMA PLANS ON CLEANING UP THE MESS – HIS ADVISORS CERTAINLY HAVE THE EXPERTISE – THEY MADE THE MESS IN THE FIRST PLACE.
I guess President Obama failed to read President Lincoln’s original creation of the holiday Thanksgiving:
“I do therefore invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next, as a day of thanksgiving and praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens.” Abe Lincoln
Sherman Frederick in the Las Vegas Review-Journal:
In what I think almost all Americans would call “odd,” President Barack Obama delivered his weekly address with a speech entitled: “On Thanksgiving, Grateful for the Men and Women Who Defend Our Country.”
In the text of his speech, he referred to Thanksgiving as a “celebration of community.”
Holy cow! Is that one screwed up view or what?