Mar 30, 2008

Parents are Creating Monsters

We all sit in astonishment as predators come and snatch our children from us, wondering why, wondering why no one can stop them, wondering where they come from, wondering if anyone cares, wondering if God cares, wondering if they're truly of the human race.

They come in the garb of humanity, perhaps draped in the robes of clergy, or suits of respect or wrapped in rough working clothing or the attire of a youth. But all of them have the same desire: they want to kidnap, to rape, to murder, to torture, to kill and to hurt. They are destroyers. They are humans doing inhuman things.

They're doing it to our children and to us.

Some of them are mere children.

And all of them used to be.

I'm astonished at the absolute ignorance of the vast majority of Americans. I guess I shouldn't be, but I am. We read the news accounts and creep back into our wall- papered existence, pretending the evil doesn't exist. And, we debate endlessly, pontificating to anyone who will hear our shouts of outrage and anger and frustrations. Opinions bounce around the e-world like ping-pong balls, never accomplishing anything other than to draw the attention of others who may bounce their word-balls against our screen.

We listen endlessly to the babblings of shared ignorance as fools debate one another and display their stupidity naively to the world of Springer-Lativa gluttons. And we wonder why no one can understand the problem?

It is said that sheep are the dumbest animals under the sun. They can get lost in sight of the flock. They really are stupid. Is it any wonder that Christ likened us to sheep? It was an apt characterization. Americans are being shorn whilst they bleat their cries of bewilderment to one another, too ignorant to see that they have bought the shears and trained the shearer.

Our children are trained from birth to laugh at violence, to see violence as entertainment, or as something done to achieve success, or perhaps as something to do to another in order to win. One only needs to watch the cartoons to understand this. As they get older, the violence gets more graphic. Today, the children no longer participate passively in the panorama of death flowing into their minds from the television, or the movies. No more are they merely engaged with their minds, but now their body, hands, emotions, and mind, are engaged in "killing" someone, or something, or destroying someone, or something. The games provided to our children today mesmerize them, and their little fingers are a blur of movement as they "kill" in the games they play.

In their teens, the psyche imprinting moves to another level. Now, they see movies that are far more powerful than the most effective thirty-second advertising spot could ever achieve. Instead of a thirty-second ad, their minds are pulled into a maelstrom of violence that is equal to hundreds of powerful advertisement strung together.

These "ads" are working even better than the commercial multi-million dollar ads work for the giant corporations imprinting us with their messages. Our kids are hooked on violence, desensitized to it, and see life through a screen of interactive impulses they find difficult, and sometimes impossible, to control in real-life.

American parents want the fiddler to play us to the grave. So, we pay our children to go out and purchase music that will sear their minds, that will hypnotize them into syncopates who indeed "march to a different drummer." The Pied Piper appears in garish costume designed to shock and draw attention, designed to excite the "rebel" and invite the devil. And, with a swagger and John Waynesque demeanor, our children leap into the darkness we've helped finance.

We are shocked and confused, and can't understand when they don garish costumes and do goulish deeds. We express disbelief at their deeds. We wonder how such a "good boy" could go so bad and do such horrible things.

Stupidity's sister is Ignorance and we've dated her too long.

We'd best come to understand that our children are being programmed. We're helping finance that programming. A growing number of our kids aren't able to cope with the programming. Stresses come into every child's life, especially as they reach the teen years. Years ago, most all of America's kids were able to deal with the usual stresses, and even to emerge at the other end stronger. Now, they're cracking. And, instead of working through it, they're dealing with the stresses the way they've been trained. The thousands of hours at the "death games" and the "death videos" taught them how to solve a problem.

We've taught them well. And we financed it.

Will the sheep ever awaken and realize that once they quit paying the producers of "scare movies" and "death games" and "hate rap" and music that glorifies evil and glamorizes death, the predators amongst us will diminish? These producers operate under the banner of "free speech," but their "free speech" is costing us all dearly. You see, once we take away the program, we, the parents, become the programmers. And, once we take over the role of parenting and emerge from our stupidity, shedding our ignorance, we will begin to see children growing up into healthy adults instead of bizarre beings we hardly recognize.

It really is your choice.

It is your choice to give that child the money to attend the latest "gore" movie or "horror" movie. Go ahead and give money for the music that rips the soul from your child and gives it to a man with a painted face who is placing words of hate and evil into his or her head. But, don't weep for that child when his mind is bent by that powerful force. Don't wonder why. Don't blame him. Don't look at her and say "How could you?" Don't look at the dead bodies and become angry at him, wondering how he could shame you with such a despicable act. He was just doing what your education taught him to do.

Don't wonder why your child is an addict when hundreds of hours of music glorifying drug use was pumped into that child's mind–music you paid for, maybe even purchased.

Look to yourself.

You are the blame.
You were ignorant.

And you chose to be ignorant.
You chose to ignore the danger.

A bad date can be dumped, you know.

For a look at a related topic, see the book "Protecting Your Church Against Sexual Predators"

copyright 2007 Voyle A. Glover

Mar 15, 2008

Heparin: The Road to China has Potholes

On November 2, 2007, I underwent open heart surgery. During the surgery, I was administered the drug Heparin. I had an "allergic" reaction to it. Subsequently, my recovery was pretty dicey. I had days in ICU where I suffered from extreme bouts of heat, so much so I had to have a fan blowing directly on me. That diminished, but a week later, I still had periods of time when I'd go through several hours of extreme heat.

Also, I had difficulty breathing. For days, especially in the night, I'd gasp for breath. I recall one night curled up in a fetal position, so weary, tired of the constant gasping for breath and wondering if I was going to make it.

Now, I've learned that there's been a massive recall of the drug Heparin. It seems the product, made in China, had a bacterial agent in it, or the drug was in fact, a counterfeit! Incredible. I'd certainly like to know whether I've gotten something that, in a dozen years is going to do me in, or turn my skin purple, or cross my eyes. One thing is for certain: the reaction I got from Heparin came close to putting me on the other side of life.

All that to say this: In our society, we routinely expect the roads upon which we motor to be hazard-free. We expect that when we top the rise of a road, that it will continue. And, when we are given a drug, we expect it to be free of contaminants. But, that's a "road" that is becoming increasingly filled with potholes, and roads that suddenly end, with no warning signs posted.

Unfortunately, in the world of "Big Pharm," we are at their mercy. They make a HUGE profit off the drugs they sell to us. If drugs were gasoline, we'd be paying $20.00 a gallon. Lots of money in drugs, legal or otherwise. The Drug Industry is a powerful lobbying group, and it's no wonder that they seem to be able to get away with stuff that makes the tobacco manufacturers look like sellers of cotton candy.

Speaking of "legal," one certainly has to wonder how it is that a drug manufacturer can license a company in a foreign country (like China) to produce any drug that will be consumed in America, where there is absolutely no ability on the part of the U.S. Government to monitor the manufacturer for cleanliness, for quality control, or any of the normal demands made by our government on U.S. companies who manufacture products which we consume, including drugs.

Maybe it's time we begin to put some pressure on that cabal of legislators who cater to these companies who are willing to put us at risk. I say it's time to put the careers of those legislators at risk, be they Republican, Democrat or whatever.

Copyright 2008 - Voyle A. Glover

Mar 7, 2008

Grits 'n Eggs 'n Bacon: A Meal to Die For

I love grits.

Mix it with 2 golden eggs over easy, some thick sliced bacon fried crisp, a couple of golden brown biscuits dripping with butter, and it’s a meal fit for a king.

My Grandma used to fix grits for us when we were kids. She’d fix the grits, pile it on a plate, dip a spoon in the center of the pile to make a little crater, then she’d fill that crater with bacon grease. Next, she’d close the crater, then she’d lay on top of the pile of grits, two eggs cooked medium so the yoke was still runny. Then, she’d take a knife and fork and cut up those eggs into the grits and mix it all together, flavored by the bacon grease she’d put in earlier. Finally, she’d take a piece of crisp bacon, break it up into little pieces and sprinkle it across the pile of grits and eggs. Gran would shove the plate over and I’d grab a biscuit, butter it, spread some jam on it, break a piece of bacon in half and make a sandwich.

I’ve eaten hundreds of such meals as a kid and many more as an adult.

Now, my dear Grandma loved us kids and would never have done anything to hurt us. But, she didn’t realize she was laying a foundation that would one day send her oldest grandson to the hospital on the brink of death. Now, those grits may have even been organic, and the bacon may have been organic meat, but it was killing me and we didn't know it.

In November of 2007, I nearly died. I was rushed to the hospital after I came into the Emergency Room complaining of extreme discomfort. I was on the edge of a major heart attack. They discovered I had two arteries with a 98% blockage and two more with over 80% blockage. I underwent immediate open heart surgery.

Lots of mothers and grandmothers and wives who sincerely love their children, grandchildren and husbands are killing them, slowly, one plate at a time. They cook these delicious meals without comprehending the health hazards of those meals. My dear grandmother had no idea how bad that bacon grease was for me. Further, she did not realize that creating an appetite in a child for greasy, salty, butter-laden foods would train me to eat in the manner in which I grew up eating. I ate all manner of fried food, breads, butter and tons of bacon throughout my life.

I paid a heavy price for it.

In America, we’re paying a heavy price for our out-of-control eating habits. (Compounding the problem is the manufacturers who have infused our food with so many preservatives and dyes and foreign ingredients that the affects on the health of the nation are incalculable.) We are an obese nation plagued with heart disease. Every 20 seconds, a person in America has a heart attack, and 250,000 of them die before they reach a hospital. In approximately 33 seconds from now, someone in America will die from cardiovascular disease. Currently, over 6 million Americans are hospitalized with cardiovascular disease, which has been the number one killer of Americans since 1900 (excepting the year 1918).

We are a rich nation and have been for many long years. We’ve had bountiful tables, laden with food. There isn’t a nation on the face of the earth that has the abundance we have. But that abundance is killing us. We’re getting fatter by the day. It is a medically established fact that obesity contributes to heart disease. And, eating to satisfy appetites that have been trained to enjoy all the wrong kinds of foods, contributes to obesity.

We’re committing suicide, one bite at a time.

Copyright 2008 -- Voyle A. Glover

Mar 2, 2008

Barney Fife - A Real Life Encounter with One

Ever known a real life Barney Fife?

Barney was, of course, the bungling, inept deputy on the Andy Griffith show. He was played so perfectly by Don Knotts and kept millions laughing at his inane attempts to catch crooks, or his exaggerated sense of importance.

But, I really knew a Barney Fife once. He was as close to the caricature of Barney Fife as anyone could come.

I met him in the U.S. Navy. We served on the same ship together and even went through boot camp together. While in boot camp, we were all standing at attention for inspection one morning when “Barney” suddenly grunted after a loud noise came from his position in the lineup. We were all supposed to be looking straight ahead, but some of us sneaked a quick peek his way. The inspecting officer had whacked what appeared to be a kind of night stick against “Barney’s” stomach. But, the sound wasn’t one of wood striking flesh. It had struck something else.

Turned out, “Barney” had hidden a notebook of some sort in the front of his pants and covered it with his jumper. He suffered for that screw-up for a week scrubbing latrines and floors on his hands and knees.

He had several other mishaps during boot camp, but they paled into insignificance against the ones he had once he got aboard ship. I got to be a witness to the first big one. The ship was in port in Seattle, Washington, for repairs and overhaul. Fire drills were held periodically. During these drills, the team assigned to a particular area would grab a fire hose and rush to the site, prepared to put out a fire.

Now, we had a Commander who’d come up through the ranks and was tough as nails. He was built like a pro wrestler, always had a short cigar jutting from one side of his mouth, and had glassy black eyes. His voice was gravely and he could make a sailor lose all desire to go ashore on liberty if the Commander happened to be standing near the gangway.

On this particular day, I was standing on the Flying Bridge, way up at the top of the ship, drinking a cup of coffee when the fire drill started. I stood looking down and saw the Commander, in dress whites, with white shoes, standing on the deck just to the right side of the ladder (stairway). He was there to observe and critique the performance of the team. The sailors came running up the ladder with the large hose. Leading the team was none other than “Barney.” He rushed up the ladder, cut to the right, and ran, nozzle in hand, towards the assigned location.

He didn’t see what I saw. I watched (with a large grin, I must confess), as “Barney” dragged this large, heavy, and very dirty hose, across the tops of the Commander’s white shoes and against the bottom of his white pants. The Commander immediately looked down and then his face flushed red. He didn’t move his feet but his head whipped to the right and he glared at “Barney” in disbelief. He simply could not believe someone would be so stupid. Frankly, I had trouble believing it, too.

“Barney” paid a heavy price for that one. First, he got a tongue lashing such as no one aboard that ship had ever heard in their life. It was an incredible array of curse words strung together like machine gun bullets erupting from a barrel, coupled with a finger that must have felt like a steel rod that was constantly poking into "Barney's" chest. Poor "Barney" was put on bilge duty, cleaning out the nastiest part of the ship, crawling down below the grates at the bottom of the ship where oil and filthy water and who knows what swirls around.

He did a few other dumb things along the way, but the final blow for him came within a month or two after he’d ruined the Commander’s shoes. He’d been assigned to clean the Foc'sle deck, which is at the bow of the ship. Ships that are at anchor or sitting beside a pier (which is where we were), would periodically blow heavy accumulations of soot out the stack in order to clean the tubes. (This was a day in which there were no environmental concerns, and today, it is not a practice that is done in modern ports.)

The ship decks would accumulate a fine layer of soot from this, so it became necessary to swab the decks with a large mop. “Barney” was assigned this task. He’d worked for several hours when his buckets of water became so dirty from rinsing his mop, that he needed to empty the buckets and get clean water. The unwritten rule aboard ship is that you always dump dirty water off the “fantail” (stern) of the ship. “Barney” decided he didn’t want to walk the long distance all the way back to the fantail of the ship to dump two buckets of black water.

So, he walked to the end of the bow and tossed the dirty water over, then followed it with another.

Unfortunately, directly beneath the bow was where the Captain’s gig (boat) was tied up. There was a landing there for the Captain’s convenience, with a small ladder leading to the pier. Also, most unfortunate for “Barney,” the Captain and another Captain from a sister ship had just tied up and both men were leaving the gig, headed for the Captain's quarters for lunch. (Even the script writers for Barney Fife couldn’t have dreamed this one up.)

The dirty water drenched both men (Yes, they were wearing their dress whites.). The sailor who ran the gig for the Captain was also furious because it turned the white canvas covering for the gig into a speckled mess.

There was such a furor over that incident that “Barney” tried to go into hiding. But, they found him and within 3 days, he had orders cut for an immediate transfer. I saw his orders. His orders said: “Midway Island, duration of duty.” If you don’t know about Midway Island, I can only tell you that it was, in the mind of every sailor, the absolute worst assignment you could draw. There was nothing there. Liberty was taking walks alongside the beach. The best times were when a ship would come in and you could get to see new faces, talk to new people, and if you were lucky, walk around aboard a ship for a few hours.

The really sad thing is that many of us are Barney Fifes, albeit, in a little different fashion.

We stumble through life, making stupid mistakes, and sometimes getting assigned to islands of grief from which we feel we cannot escape. Millions are snared by the consequences of their choices in life. So many are trapped by bands of guilt and remorse. We’ve often slapped our foreheads and uttered, “Duh! How could I have been so stupid!”

But the real tragedy is that so many are convinced there is no escape, that they are where they are for the duration of life. Indeed, unless there are substantial changes, that will be true.

But it doesn’t have to be.

There is a way of escape from the islands of despair and grief.

That escape is found here: “The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.” -John 10:10 (The Bible).

However, you must know the way to have that life–that abundant life.

“Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” -John 14:6 (The Bible). That is the only way of escape. There is no other way of escape. There is no way to God, but through Jesus Christ.

We don’t have to stumble through this life filled with regrets and feeling abandoned by the human race, or feeling as though we were on an island all by ourselves. We can be part of a family that is more united than any family on earth. We can actually be kin to God. And as kin to God, we can expect far more than a Midway Island kind of existence. We can expect and receive treatment accorded to royalty. For, if we have turned from our own ways and turned to Christ, accepting the sacrifice made at Calvary and surrendered ourselves to God, then we are children of the most high God, the creator of all the universe.

“The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: (17) And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together. (18) For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.” -Romans 8:16-18 (The Bible).

So, come on aboard.

It beats Midway.

Copyright 2008 Voyle A. Glover