I Saw the Light

September 28, 2008

 I saw the light, I saw the light.
     No more darkness; no more night

           Elections, bailouts and war are taking the backseat today. Today the glass is half full. Hank Williams put Sunday morning feelings into words when he sang “Now I have traded the wrong for the right; Praise the Lord, I saw the light!” At least for today….For today there is the hope of a glass half full. The sun is shining, living in the most wonderful nation in the world, loving and having the love of family and friends, and most important of all, having the freedom to choose to see the light. There are those among us who hate; yet so many, many more who love. There are those among us who steal; yet so many more who give. There are those among us who are homeless; yet there are so many more that are not. There are those among us who are hungry; yet there are so many who are not. Life is a struggle, no doubt about it, but today the glass is half full.

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What Will We do Now?

September 26, 2008
                                                   By John Haitt
 
’cause we rode it long,

We drove it hard

And we wrecked it

In our own backyard

What do we do now, what do we do now,

What do we do now, what do we do now?

 

What will we do now? Our economy has many of us fearful of what tomorrow brings. Human nature dictates that the blame needs to be placed somewhere. And there is plenty of blame to go around. The people facing foreclosure blame the banks; the banks blame Fannie and Freddie; Fannie and Freddie blame the government for pushing easier terms for homebuyers; and the government blames Wall Street investment firms who traded in all of this weak paper. And it will be the taxpayer who gets stuck with it in the end. The buck stops with the taxpayer. We, who made our mortgage payments, paid our bills, lived within our means and did nothing to deserve this kick in the pants.  Are we innocent bystanders? The answer ….we let past administrations dictate policies which, in the short term, produced a booming economy.  We enjoyed the fruits of this economy without seriously questioning future implications. All it takes is good people doing nothing. And we are about to make that mistake again. The name of this mistake is BAILOUT.

Our democracy allows us both the privilege to succeed and the right to fail. This is what drives our economy. When the government intervenes and places an artificial ceiling on our privilege to succeed, or an artificial floor under our right to fail, it dilutes the opportunity to learn from both our successes and our failures.  By bailing out those who face foreclosure, by bailing out companies whose balance sheets are rife with faulty loans, we erode their ability to learn from their failures. Henry Ford said “Failure is only the opportunity to begin again more intelligently.”  Will Wall Street and all those involved in this crisis learn from their mistakes if we bail them out? Will they begin again more intelligently? I think not… I think not if they do not get the opportunity to fail.  

Let’s not wreck it in our own back yard.

 

Any thoughts?   Any lyrics more appropriate?

September 20, 2008

And I have two infant daughters and I thank God I have no sons
Now they say the war is over, but I think it’s just begun.”

 


the ballad of Penny Evans  by Steve Goodman

 


This morning as I read the newspaper (antiquated as it is), an article caught my interest.
A young soldier phoned home, and since his mom was out doing what moms do, he left a message.”Mom I’m alright. Don’t worry about me. I love you and miss you.” As you may have already guessed, he died shortly after the call. On the news of her son’s death, the mother’s reaction was that of grief, but also of pride. Pride that her son was a good soldier, pride that he fought for his country, pride that he was making a difference. I cried a tear for this soldier and his mom. I, too, am proud of our soldiers. So much has changed, though, since the heartbreak of the war about which Steve Goodman wrote his most powerful song. No longer would the young widow pray “Thank God I have no sons”. We send our women into battle just as we send our sons. And some things never change. Young soldiers die. We must look beyond the rhetoric and see the individual sacrifice…the mother who has lost her son or daughter; the child who has lost his parent, the wife or husband who has lost their spouse. We also cannot forget the lives lost for our country on 9/11. Every American life lost in the Trade Center, at the Pentagon, in each of the planes, was lost in the name of our country. Where this war on terror leads us I do not know. I do know that there are those in this world who are so filled with hatred that it would be foolish and naive for me to espouse the sentiments of John Lennon’s song, “Give Peace a Chance”, though I will never give up on the idea. Never! Bill Clinton said it best. “The real differences around the world today are between those who open their arms and those who are determined to clench their fists.” Maybe the answer is “blowing in the wind” or maybe the answer is to open their fists. Let’s just not forget John or Jane who have given the ultimate sacrifice, and let’s not forget the toll it has taken on the families. And let’s not forget Penny Evans.