Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Better Late Than Never

Since the Deuce introduced himself with a lengthy inaugural blog, I thought I might as well do the same. I too am a Caucasian Anglo-Saxon Protestant, born and raised in a rural community in the middle of America. In fact, the geographical center of the nation is probably less than two hours by car from my hometown. I come from a place where it would be unusual not to own a gun, where being proud of America is a part of your DNA, and where willingness to die for freedom is a given. Its a place where folks bitch and complain about the government and politicians, but no one doubts that the United States is the greatest nation on this earth and no one apologizes for that fact.
I was raised on a large farm where we made our living raising corn, soybeans, cattle and hogs. Every day but Sunday was a work day, and sometimes Sunday was a work day. I started working on the farm, helping my father when I was 9 years old. At that age, I fed and watered the livestock ("doin' chores" in the local vernacular), and did assorted odd tasks. At 9, I was too young to operate the machines for raising crops, but in the summer before the advent of selective herbicides like "Roundup", the final act of cultivation was to walk down the rows of soybeans and physically cut the weeds from the rows using a machete-like tool called a "cornknife". I was too small at 9 to hold a cornknife, so my father had me using a large butcher knife for the job! By the time I was 14-15 years old, I was doing a man's work on weekends and in the evenings during the school year and full-days during the summer. Those experiences taught me much about responsibility, perseverance, work ethics, thinking independently and initiative.
Lest you think it was a totally idyllic existence, and it really was almost idyllic, it was often hard going. My father scratched a living out of the land, and many years after selling his crop and paying his bills, he had to borrow money from the bank to pay taxes and purchase the supplies for the coming year. My birthday being in late summer was often a time when there simply was no money left. My mother always raised a huge vegetable garden, and canned fruit and vegetables all summer, putting up literally hundreds of quarts of green beans, corn, tomatoes, pickles, and all manner of jelly. Every year, we would have a beef and a hog butchered. It was always a big day to go and retrieve the cut meat, wrapped and frozen, and bring it home to absolutely fill a big chest freezer to the brim. We even had an underground root cellar ("the cave" as we referred to it) with a potato bin. We would grow and gather several hundred pounds of potatoes that were stored in the cave. This is what we ate and how we lived because there was simply not much money.
Given this background, I hope that it helps the reader to understand as I itemize (as the Deuce did) some things about my self and what I believe:
  • I hold a masters degree in engineering geology and a bachelors degree in geology.
  • I believe that the USA is the greatest nation that has ever existed. I always feel an emotional lump of pride in my throat when I hear the line from the Star Spangled Banner, "the land of the free and the home of the brave."
  • I hate the manner of personal interpretation in singing the national anthem to open sporting events that is fashionable now. There is only one way to sing that anthem. Period.
  • I believe in personal honor and personal integrity, no matter what the cost. If you compromise your honor or your integrity you have nothing, no matter what your wealth.
  • I believe in personal loyalty, no matter what the cost. You can give no greater gift to a friend, family, or institution than your personal loyalty.
  • I believe that betrayal of your personal loyalty by someone to whom you have given it is unforgivable.
  • I believe that family is the highest calling. I have been divorced twice and these are the greatest and most painful failures of my life.
  • I believe in the right to keep arms and bear arms on my person. I exercise this right daily with the affirmation of a permit issued by the state.
  • I believe that every person must accept responsibility for their actions, their situation, and their destiny. I believe that there are few true victims.
  • I believe that charity is most meaningful when it is in the form of a personal service. Simply donating money dilutes the experience.
  • I believe that moral relativism is a weakness in character. We all know or should know what is right and what is wrong.
  • I personally believe that abortion is wrong. I also believe that is is not the function of the government to legislate or adjudicate morality, but rather the duty of the citizens of the nation to determine what is morally acceptable in their communities. The right to abortions should be decided by the citizens of the individual states by ballot.
  • I am well read on the subject of religion, the existence of God, the life of Jesus, the canonical books of the New Testament, and 2nd century Christianity.
  • I believe that Paul of Tarsus was principally responsible for the rise and spread of Christianity - even though he never met Jesus nor when he returned to Jerusalem (so far as we know) visited any of the places of Jesus betrayal, cruxification, or resurrection.
  • I believe that in at least 40,000 years of human (homo sapien) existence, the thought that we stumbled onto the one true God in the last 5000, or last 2000, or last 700 years is absurd.
  • I believe that the order of the universe is too profound to be a matter of chance.
  • I believe in UFOs, really.

I am looking forward to continuing to blog along side The Deuce. Enjoy, comment, or disparage.

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