Moral Rot

10 03 2019

In case you missed it, democrats in the Virginia House of Delegates recently proposed a bill that would allow the murder of an infant outside the womb. The bill, similar to one passed to rousing cheers in New York, was endorsed by Virginia governor Ralph Northam (D) who stated that, in the event a child survives a failed abortion, they would keep the child comfortable while awaiting the decision by the mother whether to keep it alive or let it die. Is this what we have come to – infanticide? Have we grown so callous to life we are willing to allow a newborn baby to lie unattended until it is dead simply because the mother doesn’t want to keep it?

 

We are witness to an erosion of morals in America. In a single generation, we have seen the wide-spread acceptance of shameful acts like homosexuality and same-sex marriage. Democrats recently floated the idea of legalizing drugs and prostitution. Lying and cheating has become as natural to some as taking a breath. We have seen the removal of anything remotely related to God from our schools, courtrooms and other public institutions. We have seen fellow citizens express a vile hatred for a duly elected president, and anyone who supports him, through acts of assault and violence. We have seen the increased snubbing of the sanctity of marriage and other God-ordained institutions.

 

Isaiah 59:2 says, “But your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God, and your sins have hidden his face from you so that he does not hear.” And if that doesn’t get you to thinking, consider what John says in Revelation 21:8- “But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the detestable, as for murderers, the sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, their portion will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death.”

 

Franklin Delano Roosevelt famously said, “We have nothing to fear but fear itself.” All due respect to FDR, he was wrong. King Solomon, the wisest man who ever lived, other than Jesus, said, “When there is moral rot within a nation, its government topples easily. But wise and knowledgeable leaders bring stability.” (Proverbs 28:2 NLT) Perhaps we should be fearful of God abandoning America and her ensuing downfall.

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Don’t Drink the Kool-Aid

10 02 2019

Most younger people are unaware of the origin of the meaning of the term, “Drink the Kool-Aid.”

According to Reference.com, the phrase is “a derogatory term that refers to people who blindly follow someone or something without question, such as devotees of a particular politician.” It is tantamount to being called a lemming or, one who unthinkingly joins a mass movement, especially a headlong rush to destruction.

A Short History Lesson
By 1978, a cult leader by the name of Jim Jones had established a commune in the tiny South American nation of Guyana. Jones was a former Methodist minister turned atheist, a civil-rights activist, communist and it’s also important to note, he was a socialist. In November of that same year, Jones had ordered the murder of visiting U.S. congressman, Leo Ryan, who was there to investigate reports of abuse and atrocities at the commune known as Jonestown. Following the congressman’s murder, Jones knew the end for him and Jonestown was at hand. So, he executed a plan in which he told followers to serve or force-feed cyanide-laced Flavor-Aid and Kool-Aid to their children before drinking the deadly potion themselves. Jones, having observed the convulsive suffering that brought death to his followers, chose death by bullet. The final result was 918 dead, over 300 of which were children.

A logical question might be, how could any person convince so many to kill their own children and then take their own lives?

People are looking for someone, anyone, who will step up and take the lead. They want someone who will get up on a soapbox and preach what they want to hear regardless of how ridiculous the sermon may sound. Adolf Hitler proved that when he convinced an entire nation it was good to annihilate an entire race of people.

Enter Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez
If you’re looking for a recent example, you need look no further than the 2018 mid-term elections in which an unknown, barely out of her teens, extreme radical with extreme ideals ran, successfully, to defeat a veteran New York congressman. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (AOC), like Jim Jones, is a socialist, who actually won the election in the same way President Trump won the White House-by saying what appealed to voters. The difference is, Candidate Trump’s promises were attainable, as we have seen on numerous occasions, while AOC’s are not.

The ignorance of AOC was obvious during the campaign, but New York voters were willing to ignore her youthful inexperience and lack of knowledge because they liked what she said, even though her proposals for utopia were completely unreasonable and impossible. But, none of that mattered and she now has a seat in Congress.

Recently, the Democrats pushed her out in front of the cameras to hawk the Green New Deal. This has revealed not just her own naivety, but that of several democrats who have fallen in line behind her. They drank the Kool-Aid! The plan sounds pretty good until you start to think it through. For example, start with the green initiatives which include phasing out all use of fossil fuels. That means instead of internal combustion engines, we will have electric cars, trucks and trains and no more airplanes. How do they think electricity is generated if not by fossil fuel? Solar and wind cannot generate the amount of electricity that would be needed under the plan. Not only will that bring commercial and civil air travel to a halt but what about our military? This will also wipe out entire industries along with millions of jobs. And don’t even get me started on cow flatulence! When cows eat, they poot. So, is the green plan to stop feeding cows and place them on the endangered species list?

This is just- to use her own vernacular the tippy top of the iceberg. And all this is supposed to occur within the next 12 years; otherwise, according to her, the world will cease to exist.

Surely the Democrat Party is not so stupid they won’t try to reign in this rookie congresswoman with her unbridled, utopic, yet impractical, ambitions. This young woman is standing on the trap door to the looney bin and is threatening to take the United States in with her when she falls. Wake up America and think about what these people are trying to sell us. If you decide to go along with these hair-brained plans after you have made the effort to educate yourself, that’s one thing. But, if you jump on the train without learning the issues, then you’re as ignorant as she is. Educate yourself. Be informed. Use your own brain rather than that of someone else. Don’t drink the Kool-Aid simply because it is served by Democrats and you happen to be one.





Happy New Year, Y’all!

1 01 2019

Here in the South, as with anywhere, we have a number of traditions and superstitions surrounding New Years Day. One such superstition, of which I was unaware until my return home following my years in the U.S. Coast Guard, was that it is considered to be bad luck if the first man who enters your home in the new year has red hair.

I count, among my favorite next-door neighbors of all time, Pleasant and Esther Harrell. Esther passed away, I believe in 2011, but Pleasant, a fellow veteran, passed away on January 2, 2007. They were an older Christian couple who would do anything within their power to help you. I mentioned them in an earlier post, “Hey, That’s Larry!” https://billtaylorcsp.wordpress.com/2011/03/19/hey-thats-larry/

Well, it was around 7:30 or 8:00 New Year’s morning 1978 and Esther was knocking on my door. She explained this red-haired man superstition and told me that her red-headed brother (or could have been her brother-in-law) would be coming over later in the day for their annual New Year’s celebration dinner. She wanted me to come over and just walk through her door so the first man to enter her home would not be one with red hair. I was happy to do it every New Years morning after that, until we moved away anyway.

I still miss my neighbors and am reminded of Pleasant and Esther every New Year’s morning.





Some Days You’re the Table and Some Days, You’re the Toe!

31 12 2018

Tim Burton has nothing on my wife and me. Christmas 2018 was our own nightmare before Christmas.

It all started when our fully decorated Christmas tree fell over…not once, but twice. I finally solved the problem after realizing the trunk of the tree was too small for the stand I was using, but not until after breaking two of my wife’s favorite ornaments. At least my leg lamp and “fra-jee-lay” ornaments survived unscathed.

“It’s a major award! Must be from Italy!”

The following week, my wife fell, in a cold rain, shattering her right wrist. The injury was so bad, she had to have surgery the following week; four days before Christmas. She was given a nerve block for the surgery and we were told that when it wore off, after possibly as long as 32 hours, her pain would return with a vengeance. On the morning following her surgery, my wife was in the bed asleep while I was in our den reading when suddenly, I heard one of those help, the monster has grabbed me! screams. The scream was loud and terrifying. I tore from my chair and ran at full geezer-speed, which is toward the lower end of the speed spectrum, slightly faster than pushing a Chevy Silverado out of the mud, to get back to my wife. My fear was, the nerve block had worn off and she was in the throes of severe pain. As I made it through the bedroom door, I felt a searing pain in the back of my right thigh and went straight to the floor. When my wife realized I was on the floor at the foot of the bed, writhing in pain, she assured me she was okay. “It was only a bad dream,” she told me.

I told her I was having a cramp. When she realized there was no bone sticking out and all my body parts were still intact, she began to laugh at the situation. But the cramp wouldn’t go away. I soon realized I had pulled a hamstring and limped around the house the rest of the day, caring for her. A clear case now of the lame helping the lamer. I’ll leave it to you to decide which is which.

But, we’re a strong family and everyone pulled together so we could enjoy a good Christmas celebration in spite of my wife’s drug-induced stupor. Merry Christmas!





Scared Granny

4 11 2018

The Boeing 727 “Whisperjet”

It was fall of 1988 and I had just begun my consulting career. I was flying out of Columbus on my way home from a project with Owens-Corning Fiberglass in Newark, Ohio. As I got to my aisle seat on an Eastern Airlines Whisperjet (Boeing 727), I saw my seat-mate, for the next hour, was a grandmotherly-type who had already taken her seat by the window. Following a cordial exchange of pleasantries, I pulled out my current read and was quickly immersed in the pages of something, I’m sure was exciting.

 

The lady sitting next to me seemed to be a bit fidgety as she focused all of her attention on the flight attendant, who had begun giving the obligatory safety instructions.

 

“You’ll find these instructions printed on the card in the seat pocket in front of you,” advised the flight attendant. “We suggest you remove the card and follow along.”

 

Granny, beside me, watched as she pored over the safety instruction card as if she was trying to memorize it. She craned her neck, looking toward the rear and then forward, to see the exits as they were pointed out by the flight attendant. She strained to lean over me to see the white lights on the floor that led to red lights. She was really into this and I’m thinking, either she hasn’t flown very muchor she’s an industrial spy for McDonnell Douglas. It was about then that the plane began to push back away from the gate. The sudden movement startled her and she jumped like she had just touched a spoon to one of her fillings.

 

Soon, we were hurtling down the runway and picking up speed fast. The wingtips began to flex upward, giving rise to the nose and soon, the rest of the aircraft. As we became airborne, and the weight of the plane lifted off of the landing gear, the landing gear struts, which were just below our seats, made a perfectly normal “bump” sound as the struts extended. At that, my nervous neighbor reached over and grabbed my left forearm, digging all ten fingernails into my skin like a cat clinging to a mouse.

 

I turned to her and asked if she had ever flown before. With a trembling voice, she said, “This is my first time and I’m scared to death. I wouldn’t be flying now,” she continued, “but it’s the only way I could get to Charlotte in time for my granddaughter’s birthday party.”

 

I tried to reassure her and told her the flight would be good practice for her return home.

 

“Oh no,” she exclaimed, “I’m not doing this again! When I go home, I’ll be sitting in a Greyhound!”

 

Now, that’s a woman who loves her granddaughter!





First Date

20 10 2018

Yesterday morning, after my wife got out of bed and stumbled zombie-like into the den, I told her happy anniversary. Fully aware we had just celebrated our wedding anniversary in August, her gaze suddenly went from “wake me when it’s time for breakfast” to “your senility is showing.” I reminded her it was fifty years ago we had our first date. She was less than overwhelmed. Maybe she just needed coffee.

 

Not many people, I would suppose, celebrate a first date anniversary, especially after 50 years! And, as far as I know, Hallmark hasn’t come out with a first date anniversary card. I guess most people who have been married for 47 years may not even remember their first date; but, I do. In fact, I remember the first time I laid eyes on my wife-to-be. It was the first day of our junior year of high school and I walked into Coach Perry’s Home Room doing what most of the other boys were doing-scoping out the girls who would share class with me over the next 9 months. After all, I was a sixteen-year-old walking sack of hormones. All were familiar faces with whom I had shared classes throughout my scholastic career, except for one. I saw one new face. A pretty face. She wore a navy-blue skirt with a light blue long-sleeved blouse and navy-blue shoes.

 

I suppose, one could argue this date of which I speak was more an outing than an actual date. You see, the local Lions Club sponsored an annual light bulb sale in which high school kids would volunteer to help by going door-to-door hawking bulbs to raise money to provide services for the blind. I asked her if she would like to go with me. Wondering to myself if I had a chance to really get to know this new girl, unbeknownst to me, she was already practicing her new signature…Mrs. Billy Taylor. Mrs. Carolyn Taylor. Carolyn M. Taylor. So, while it wasn’t a date in the truest sense, it was the night I fell in love. But what makes it significant enough to remember so vividly after half a century? Well, they say, every journey begins with the first step and that date was our first step. Without our first date there would have been no Brian, Eric or Mark, without which there would be no Rachel, Brooke or Amanda in our family and thus, no Anna, Abbie, Graecyn or Cody.

 

Then, it was just six says later when I asked her to go steady. “Go what?” the millennials might ask. Ahh, the lost art of courting. I guess in today’s vernacular, we were “hanging out.” But the die had been cast and the makings of a family were born.

 

I like to compare it to the most significant days in the history of the world-without Christmas there would be no Easter.





The History of the Brussels Sprout

14 10 2018

A recent Facebook conversation with my niece prompted me to write the following just to get the record straight.

 

I have never heard anyone say, “Brussels sprouts? Yeh, they’re okay.” Nope, either you love ‘em or, you hate ‘em. Put me in the hate group. I hated them as a kid and later in life, I thought perhaps I would give them another try, thinking my taste may have changed. No, no, no. I hated them even more so than I remembered. On the other hand, I have a niece who will sit bare-butt on a block of ice for as long as you feed her roasted Brussels sprouts. So, what’s the story of this repugnant crucifer?

 

The original Brussels sprout is native to the Mediterranean region. The Romans grew them even though they hated the putrid taste and weren’t quite sure what to do with them, or even what to call them, so they just kept them until they would begin to rot, like a little ball of kimchi. They tried everything under the Tuscan sun but never could find a way to make them palatable. But, these ball-like whatever-they-weres had potential, or so they thought. It’s like when I empty a glass pickle jar; I don’t know what I’ll use it for but am sure that one day, I’ll need a jar so, I hide it from my wife along with the other 147 empty jars I’ll need one day.

 

What is This Thing?

For lack of a better name, the common term “jeest” (ancient Hebrew word meaning “thing without a name”) was used to refer to Brussels sprouts. Eventually, Romans discovered if they left the Brussels sprouts out in the sun to dry, over time, and after the stench went away, they would become rock-hard. They were the perfect size to fit into the pocket of a sling such as the one David used to drop Goliath, so, they began to refer to them as stones. First Samuel 17:40 tells us that on his way to fight Goliath, David “…chose him five smooth stones out of the brook, and put them in his shepherd’s bag…” Some Bible scholars believe that when facing Goliath, David reached into his bag and accidentally pulled out a Brussels sprout, or “stone” instead of a rock that he found down by the creek.

 

When the not-so-well-known Greek explorer, Achilleus (meaning “lipless”), traveled north to explore Europe, he took with him a dozen tow sacks filled with these raw uncured vegetables. The Belgians, known for having a voracious appetite and, like the English, a willingness to eat anything, found them to be quite tasty, albeit, a tad bitter.

 

Famed Belgian botanist Dietger Jones bought all the sprouts Achilleus had and, in his Brussels lab, began a long and tedious cross-breeding process which eventually resulted in what we know today as the Brussels sprout, hence the name. The king of Belgium, King Willy, then passed an edict proclaiming the Brussels sprout as the national vegetable of Brussels demanding, under penalty of death, that all Belgians be required to eat Brussels sprouts with every meal. But not all Belgians found them to be good-they too were in the hate group-and so many opted for the gallows-a quicker and much more merciful death. It was shortly thereafter that an English-born immigrant, Dewayne Sidelinger, the original Duke of Earl, founded a new company he cleverly name Duke’s and created a concoction designed to mask the flavor of Brussels sprouts. Duke’s became the world leader in the manufacture of what would become known as A-1 Sauce, the recipe for which was stolen by food magnate Baldwin Kraft who turned it into a household name.

 

So, as the late Paul Harvey would say, “And now you know the rest of the story.” Also see: https://billtaylorcsp.wordpress.com/2015/05/17/internet-recipes-yech/