Thursday, December 31, 2015

RED FLAG WARNING: Assessment and Predictions

Assessment and Predictions
M.R. Bradbury, The Watchman

It is the end of the first fifteen years of the new millennium.  The human condition remains about the same as when the clock ticked past twelve those fifteen years ago. We still have widespread poverty, hunger, greed, corruption, barbarity, and hate.  At the turn of the century there was hope that maybe, maybe, we’d passed into a new age. One that would usher in a global community where one man respected another and all would rise to meet the challenges confronting our world.  Alas, perhaps, it was but a misbegotten dream, a folly of hope, and blind ambivalence to the true dark nature that mankind still harbored deep within the realms of his soul.

I remember the night of Y2K.  My daughter and her husband came to our house in case the feared meltdown of the PC world actually came about.  We all stood outside and having previously procured some fine cigars and bourbon, we proceeded to watch the sky come alive with fireworks and the sounds of many pans being beaten with metal spoons as the time approached.  When the clock on the TV banged out the countdown we held our breath, clutched our drinks, and steeled ourselves for the TV to go black.  But nothing happened. The TV still blared out the Auld Lang Syne as always.  Relieved that we were not relegated to the 1800’s, we toasted the New Year and New Century.   Then we noticed the old dead pine tree in the yard behind our house had caught fire from fireworks.   Such a great metaphor for the next dozen or so years hence, the old burned away with nothing to replace it with.

I share that story in light that life and love continues onward for each individual and despite the ways and waves of the world, we tend to live as we always have depending on our own efforts at survival.  Looking at the past year with that perspective, not much really has happened to affect how most humans live out their daily lives.  This is very true for Americans.  We have continued in 2015 to rack up every higher amounts of material stuff, that we use occasionally, but not necessary for our survival.  The amount of waste still being generated by the average North American household, including from those of the so-called environmentally aware, is staggering.  Our, myself included, rate of consumption of every possible natural resource from Al to Zn and every compound imaginable can only be seen as catastrophic for the long term sustainability of Earth and our existence. 

In 2015 humans continued to kill one another.  And be not mistaken, it is not the guns, bombs, knives, clubs or whatever tool used that is the cause of these deaths, but the true source of motive remains the angry hearts of the Cains against the Ables.   Boiled down it still comes to the basic premise that came between two brothers; hatred generated by greed, envy, jealousy, and the need to be honored over another.  In this past year we have seen one Islamic group rise to commit horror upon horror, all in the name of their god, sadly expending their resources and energies in a level of barbaric savagery not witnessed since Nazis gassed and burned Jews or the rape of Nanking.  And in so doing, not one bit of improvement in the lives of their own people have occurred, still living in mud huts with poor sanitation and hunger lurking just at the doorway.  The community of free nations with the power to stop the savagery has done little to nothing.  And like a metastasized cancer, this barbarity is spreading abroad in other Muslim nations, where the Muslim majority hide fearfully in their homes while the beasts run wild to destroy and extort fealty to their illegitimate cause.   The civilized world ignores this plague to their peril. 

The year of 2015 also brought into focus the tyranny of thought.  Who would believe in a nation wrought from a revolution that resulted in the most free society in world history would have children begot who disavow the liberties that so many have died to protect?  The rise of ‘safe places’ within institutions of “higher learning”, where unpleasant thoughts can be filtered out and no one must critically think about contradictory theory from their own held misconceived ideas, is a display ignorance, superstition, and bears resemblance to the dark middle ages of Europe where true progressive thought was crushed by petty tyrants only desiring to protect their personal fiefdoms.  The irony of the ‘safe place’, totally missed by those who clamor for such protections, is there is no safe place. None. Zip. Nada.  The minute one exits the ‘safe place’ they will be bombarded with civilization’s crushing realities brought on by the intolerance of human against human.  And those who champion the ‘safe place’ where they segregate from the mainstream of society, only further isolate themselves from reality and thus limit their ability to affect the very change they desire.  The word engagement is lost on this generation. The new word is withdrawal. They are abandoning the quest for change and hermit like hiding away in a filtered, digital game unreality.  Such leads those with corrupt hearts left unchallenged to grow as tyrants.

Lastly, but not necessarily in any greater importance than the others listed above nor those not commented upon, we saw in 2015 the continued practice of infanticide through the abortion of human children.  Planned Parenthood alone proudly proclaimed to have murdered 323,999 infants. How honored they must feel at such a ghoulish feat.  We have in effect conducted a WWI each year since 1972 with the same economic and cultural impact that the war had on all nations involved at that time.  It is pretty safe to conclude given such on going rate, we, and those nations that practice abortion, will never economically recover nor ever gain the moral greatness they once experienced. 

In 2015 the climate change acceptors rallied to foist off their doomsday predictions of a 1.7 degree C (3.06o F) (1) increase in global temperatures in 120 years from now.  Their view is nothing less than the catastrophic end of all living life on the planet should this increase come to pass.  The hysteria was ratcheted up to a foaming frenzy at the big Paris enclave of climate change worshipers.  The result was another, yet another, agreement that could not be seen for all the smoke and mirrors that reflected a big fat nothing.  The real message was from those who have to those who have not, and in the end greenhouse gases will continue to pour forth every bit as much as it has from day three.  The truly tragic aspect of this wasteful attack on the windmills of climate change is missing those environmental disasters that are here now and must be address since anyone of them could result in far greater destruction occurring before we reach 2136. Things like ocean pollution where trash islands as large as Texas float about diminishing the life giving UV light critical to plankton, the keystone source of food for all sea life; Water sanitation throughout the world; Elimination of disease bearing insects; Soil fertility to improve crop production; Cures and antidotes for HIV and a host of other terrifying human diseases. These and others are far greater threats now, today, to humanity than a slight temperature rise far into the future.  If these current challenges are not resolved now, there may well be no one around in 2136 to read the thermometer.

So what holds for 2016’s for citizens of the Earth?  Tragically, humanity will experience more of the same we’ve seen in 2015. We will still see brother against brother, nation against nation, and one civilization against others.  Instant communication will continue to stir the caldron of fear and envy, pitting humans against one another.  Instability in economic, politics, religion, scientific, and cultural affairs is rising globally.  It is as if the tinder is dried and primed for the spark to ignite an all consuming fire, sweeping the good along with the bad and only after it has raged to a smoldering remnant will we know peace once again.

For us in America, regardless of who wins or loses in the great presidential race, not much will change in our daily lives. Birth, taxes, and death will continue to be the order of life, with material accumulation and consumption dominating the years in between birth and death.

We no doubt will redouble our efforts to watch what we say lest some sensitive being is offended and we are ‘outed’ as some kind of disgusting dirty thing to be banished from society.  Feeding at the federal, state, and local trough will continue, unabated, with treats and freebies doled out to whomever is the winning side.  Americans will continue to squander its inheritance with nary a thought to tomorrow or even the next generation.  The multitude of special interests will selfishly fight for their slice with accusations and recriminations, growing more discordant, radical, ugly, and coarse with each volley.   We will find the perennial victim classes continue their efforts at dragging down all to their sniveling level, denying those who can critically think and therefore flourish remain well within the clan, daring not to go against the victim tide, lest they too be “outed” or ‘Tom’d”.

We will at a year from now still be scurrying about like frantic ants trying to buy, buy, buy, buy, and buy more and more and more.  All because we’ve become so big, so massive, so gargantuan of an all-consuming hive of sloth, addicted to the next technical gizmo that sucks down resources like a black hole.  Will anyone stop in the middle of the world's largest outdoor store and scream out, ‘When will it stop?”

Well it will. Just like a baseball that is thrown hard will speed toward its target until inertia fails against the pull of gravity and it hits the ground, so will our human systems ultimately crash.  Reality has this nasty habit of occasionally rearing its ugly head and crushing the dreamers and apathetic.  Since we continue to fail to learn the lessons of the past, not only are we doomed to repeat them, but with each cycle the process become more horrific, with outcomes that numb the human conscious. In 2016 we stand just at the very near edge of something like this occurring. The stars and planets seem to be aligning in such away that the history we have wanted to avoid repeating is about to dump us into the next do-loop. We will be sucked into the great abyss with the rest of the global community, to slosh around in the blood and gore until we too are spent.  Those that survive will say, ‘Never again’, as once was said in decades past, only to do so again and again.

However, there is one outlier that could change everything.  There does remain some reason to hope the future predicted will not come to pass, at least not yet.  Hope remains in Christ Jesus.  Despite the trials and travails being born by Christians around the globe, even in the face of on-going persecution there is light in the darkness.   It is the light of the faithful to pray and obey.  The prayers of the righteous avail much and so by the millions we pray for the staying of the hand of evil by the power of God.  We obey his call to pray unceasing for the least sheep of the pasture who are hungry, cold, unprotected, and wounded. We can pray for the peace of God to come upon those misled into evil, to sooth their savage souls and to turn their energies toward aiding their fellow citizens.  We can pray the eyes of those who are blinded by their ignorance and selfishness will see the light of what is right and true, then make their decisions based on righteousness.  And Christians must pray for courage to stand and be known for who we are, sinners saved by grace and blessed to share the good news of Christ’s offer of salvation, honored to help restore the greatness of our people, and by our action lead them from repression, through redemption, and to restoration. 

Unto The King!


Friday, July 3, 2015

RED FLAG WARNING: Welcome To New America

Welcome To New America
By Mark R. Bradbury, The Watchman

It is has been 16 score and 19 years since the founding of our nation on July 4, 1776.  The men who met in Philadelphia's Independence Hall on those hot muggy May and June days could never have imagined how different the country they founded and pledged their sacred honor to would change in the intervening 339 years. Very much gone is their idea of liberty, justice, and the pursuit of happiness that once burned within their patriot souls.  The old America is gone. The New America has come.

What is this New America espousing so radically different than the Old?  First and foremost is the loss of liberty.  In the Old America, one could freely believe, as he or she desired as moved by their creator. Their faith led them to flee from the religious tyranny of Europe, to find safe haven in a new and challenging world.  Except for a very small minority, most faithful were tolerant, loving the sinner, but hating the sin, attempting to live within the broad bounds that God set for humans.  In the New America, all this has changed.  President Obama in his second inaugural address said, 

“Being true to our founding documents does not require us to agree on every contour of life; it does not mean we will all define liberty in exactly the same way…” 

Today, in the New America, liberty means suppression.  Citizens of faith can no longer state in good conscious, that they cannot perform acts they consider to be antithetical to their faith values.  Rather, they are now forced by the long arm of the law to do that which offends their sincerely held faith values.   In the New America, the slightest sense of offense of one group is grounds for squashing the liberty of others. University speech codes and the plethora of victim identification courses crush objective discourse.  Many residents of New America do not want to hear/read words of an opposing paradigm, but only what tickles their own ears and makes them feel loved.  Thus the First Amendment's liberty of speech, religion, and press is nullified by political correctness run amuck.

The New America is experiencing rabid redistribution of wealth, from those who have to those who have not.  The Old America could not envision laws that dispensed with the rights of accused nor the taking of property as in the days of British Colonial Royal decrees.  As just one example, the New America has such a law, Civil Forfeiture Act, in which innocent citizens are deprived of trial, seizure of property, and must prove their innocence to a non-judicial IRS, a la the French approach to justice. Added to these egregious actions, the tax system created is used to perpetuate the division of classes in such a manner that one born at one level has little hope of rising to a higher level. And even more appalling, the system is set so as to ensure a lifetime of subservience to the state, else lose the 'support' needed for 'life'.  Old America rejoiced at John F. Kennedy’s call for patriotic service to the nation.  New America celebrates what can be gotten from the state. The Old America of self-determination is buried under the weight of the government handout in the New America. 

New America is for the here and now.  Consumption and lust for the material goods of what makes life good is the driving force behind the New America.  Rather than 'build' it our selves as of old, we just buy it from foreign nations, driving up our debt and in some cases enriching our enemies. In the Old America, the leaders of those times were fearful of national debt, as well as the sweet promise of easy credit. Rightfully so it now seems.  In the New America, citizens think nothing of buying stuff well beyond their need and simultaneously, and self-righteously, brag about their recycle tote they wheel out to the curb on trash days.  The Old America really did know how to 'make-do', 'reinvent', 'reuse', and dare we say, 'share'.  In the Old America, if a neighboring farmer's bailer broke down, he could count on help from the fellow down the road.  In the New America, we just go to the bank, take out an equity loan, and buy new equipment made in China.

In the New America, humor is thought to be a string of four letter words.  In the Old America there was Bob Hope, Red Skelton, Jack Parr, Jack Bennie, Lucile Ball, Carol Burnett, Tim Conway, Johnny Carson and so many other great, clean mouthed, and brilliant humorists.  The New America is a humorless society of cynical drones, addicted to their ipads, autos, and themselves. The jokes are dry and witless, couched in political correctness that stifles the laugh reflex.  The music is soulless as well. Rock and Country is gone with songs of superficial angst of a mean boyfriend, swinging around on a wrecking ball half naked, or consists of repetitious shuddering of poorly laid lyrics advocating hate or death to almost any authority.  The Old America was 'This Land is my Land', 'If I had a Hammer', 'My Coat of Many Colors',  'Okie From Muskogie', 'Why I Wear Black', 'Hello Trouble', 'Your Cheating Heart', 'He Stopped Loving Her Today', and hundreds of ballads about hardworking men and women who scratched out a living from the coal mines of Kentucky to the once vibrant fruit farms of California. Old America had a deep, earthy, soul.  New America is about as superficial as wet onion paper.

New America is not a pretty place, especially in the urban centers.  The New America says 'Why should I clean the mess around me. That's the government's job.'  The Old America took pride in doing things its self. It did not need government to clean up the trash in front of people's homes, they did so themselves. The Old America painted their homes and fixed their roofs, mowed their yards and if needed helped their neighbors.  In the New America, we hire it done. Need a green lawn, hire True-Green to spray chemicals every month. Hire a lawn care company to mow. Hire a painter to paint. Fake a claim for insurance to fix the roof and hire someone to do it for you.  In the New America we change data to fit our preconceived hypothesis of millionaire political-scientists who bluster impending climate doom.  In Old America, science upheld the integrity of data, sought real answers to real problems.  Old America solved complex challenges.  In New America when facts don’t fit the line, we simply ignore or change the facts. In New America words no longer mean what they mean, but what the elite want them to mean to fit the politically correct narrative.

In the New America, we want it now. We want it big. We want it better.  We want it safe.  In the New America we want no risks. In the old America we wanted liberty. So we took risks. We didn't take out wagon insurance before leaving Westport, Missouri on the Oregon Trail. We knew it would take months to arrive on the west coast and there was no guarantee we'd get there in one piece. In Old America the achievement was not placing a man on the moon, it was devising a way to get Apollo 13’s crew back with untried solutions and seat of the pants flying. In Old America, we wanted better, but willing to work for it our selves. We wanted more, but always willing to give. Big to the Old America was just enough to keep it simple and affordable. In Old America an open space concept was considered the great outdoors.  In New America open space is the view from a granite topped counter into the vaulted spacious living room with a fake fireplace, LCD TV, connected to the family room and wet bar, leading to the attached three car garage protecting autos mostly not made in America along with staggering debt payments for all the above.

In the Old America, we believed in our selves and our country. We knew we had warts, blemishes and hideous birthmarks. Things we're not always perfect with harmonious relations. But for the most part and for most Old American's we trusted one another and shared our hopes and dreams for a better tomorrow, both for our selves as well as our children and grandchildren. Dr. King gave us a vision of what could be, not the nightmare of what was past.  In the New America, we hardly lift our heads from the latest game app on our iPhone as the TV blares out a scene that our grandmothers would have blushed over. Restaurants are filled with families for a night out together, but each person self absorbed by their iPhone mobile FaceBook/Twitter action.  In New America we talk more and communicate less.   In the New America it is about ultra-sensitivity of person, correctness of speech, safety from uncomfortable truths, trigger words of implied micro-aggressions, and crippling narcissism where my right trumps your right, my hate trumps your hate. The Old America embraced tolerance and real innovative, critical, thinking. The New America asserts repression and ditches tried and true values.  

The Old America was Norman Rockwell. The New America is the Crucifix stuck in a mason jar of urine.  The Old America is dead and gone.  Welcome to New America. Enjoy, while it lasts.

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Red Flag Warning: Tomorrow is Father's Day

Tomorrow is Father’s Day. 

Normally, the holiday celebrates by honoring the deeds of fathers and their critical role in nurturing their offspring into productive citizens of the nation.  However, I would like to make it into something else.  I would like to make it into a day where Fathers honor their children.

I do not know what I did or how it came about, but I have three awesome children.  My oldest serves the senior community through her work at a multi-tiered retirement community.  She helps the elderly manage the daily tasks of life, requiring great communications skills and an ocean full of patience.   She is a stickler for being on time and dedicated to meeting the client’s needs to make their lives more wholesome and safe.  She is courageous in serving others while battling her own health challenges, with perseverance and a calmness that continually amazes me.

My second daughter is both psychologist and researcher of young children with developmental disabilities. I do not fully understand all that she does, but know the work is daunting in its technical and statistical rigor, and most importantly, the work goes to improved outcomes of children.  She is a terrific mother to her own child, intensely loving wife to a great husband, and serves her extended family with a beaming ray of sunshine.

My son, the youngest, years ahead of maturity than me at his age, is a visionary architect.  He designs and manages the creation of big, giant, huge, commercial buildings as well as produces exquisite home renovation designs in his personal side business.   He takes his role as father of two very active children as seriously as he builds multi-storied commercial towers.  He too has chosen a life mate who brings joy to all those who met her, her smile could drive away the clouds of Portland.  She dotes on the children, teaching them the way they should go, and never seems perturbed by their childish messes.

So then how do we honor our children?  We do so by continuing to be a father, not only to our own children, but to others as well.  I know, and my heart grieves, many have had fatherless lives and this father’s day business drives just another painful stake into their hearts.  Likewise, I know fathers on this day may give but not a thought to their children.  In both cases, the concept of ‘father’ is but a negative trigger word bringing resentment and contempt, with the unfortunate outcome of perpetuating the same story over again one generation after another.  The day becomes a festering unhealed wound in the heart of the wounded.

I often then think of how God the Father sees us, His unique and wonderfully made creation, in his own image.  It is then I understand God responds to us every bit as much as we respond to our own children.  Just as I often disapproved of my own children’s behavior and actions, God likewise is not happy with some of the stupid stuff we do.  In His father’s love, he set up certain rules to help us govern our lives and aid in our protection and security.  Nevertheless, just as every earthly father knows their children can chose to run against the rules, so does God the Father.  He cries over our sins, but He still deeply loves us all the same. We are all prodigals, searching for love and acceptance, and when we finally wander back home, God is there to embrace us, making us whole once again.

Perhaps the answer to the cry of the fatherless is to become the father of those who have never experienced their own father or, who are fathers but never experienced fatherhood with their children.  I do not pretend to know how this would work out, but sense it starts with building a relationship as a father reaching out to the fatherless or the absent father.   Look around you and pick someone.  Do you see a child without a father?  Get to know them and earn their trust to be a mentor.  Do you see a father who wants to return to his children?  Reach out and mentor them as well.   Remember too, there are adults who are missing their fathers, so become their ‘father’.  Sharing life’s experiences together can bring a timely joy upon those who cry out for the love of the father.

Friday, March 20, 2015

Red Flag Warning: Google Changes

Since my last post way back in September 2014, apparently Google in its infinite wisdom decided to change everything about the system to manage and post my blog. It took me over two hours to finally reconnect with Red Flag Days. If I can't do so in the future then I'll just abandon this site and find another blog site to use that is more user friendly.  So until next time.....Happy Trails.