Yes, and No

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February 20, 2021-

One of my co-workers, yesterday, made the curious remark that everyone, from the age of two onward, is responsible for their actions. Yes, and no. A child needs to be taught right from wrong, from the time that receptive language can be processed. It is well to teach the child to not make excuses for one’s actions, also from the time he or she can act independently. However, to the extent that a child is dependent on parents or other adults, he or she is not entirely responsible for what happens in his/her life. This same person made the statement that the recently-retired president, a poster child for plausible denial, was a great leader. I will leave that statement to bathe in its own irony.

It is said that large amounts of money are needed, in order to bring this nation to full recovery from the pandemic-induced economic doldrums. Yes, and no. There are several groups deserving of cash infusions-among them: Workers being, or so to be, displaced by downsizing in the fossil fuel industry; workers suffering workforce cutbacks in the restaurant, hospitality and transportation industries; landlords facing economic hardship, due to the inability of renters to pay their monthly due; renters unable to pay their monthly due, owing to having been out of work; any combination of the above. There are also those, presently due to receive another stimulus check, who are not in as dire straits as the people mentioned above. (Disclosure: I am one of those in the latter group.) While we all could find a ready use for a stimulus check, at some point- and sooner, rather than later, the needs of the nation as a whole have to come first.

One of the codiciles in the American Recovery Plan is a minimum wage of $15 per hour. Yes, and no. Those at the bottom rung of the economic ladder deserve a living wage. It should be enough to allow the worker to pay a reasonable monthly rent and have enough left over, after bills are paid, to set aside savings (in fact, to follow Dave Ramsey’s advice, and “pay self first”, by setting the savings aside before paying any bills.) and to enjoy a reasonable quality of life. Such a Federal minimum wage should not, however, be buried in a fiscal stimulus package, which is supposed to be a one-off. It is worthy of being legislated and signed into law, in its own right. That such an occurrence is at all in doubt is the fault, not of the progressives who advocate it, but of the obstructionists who see their own greed stampede being interrupted.

Finally, at least for this post, there are those who call for education to be privatized. Yes, but mostly no. As a matter of fact, fiscal accountability, discipline and transparency, as many agents of the Internal Revenue Service could attest, is in woefully short supply, across all walks of life. I had to build these skills the hard way; yet many, using sleight of hand and kicking their debt cans down the road, have yet to build them at all. This applies to virtually all school systems, where adminstrative costs (including money spent on the services of Big Testing) siphon a huge chunk of the children’s money. Taxpayers, who provide the lion’s share of the funds available, rightfully expect that their assessments go to the legitimate learning of their children, grandchildren and neighbours. To the extent that charter schools can be the impetus for system-wide transparency and rectitude, long may they be part of the education scene. There is, however, no reason, save territoriality and a laconic mentality, that a public school district cannot do as much, if not more, for the good of our children than a private, or semi-private, institution,

Most coins have two sides, and some are cubes- or polyhedrons.

Dribs and Drabs, On A Final March Morning

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March 31, 2016, Prescott- I woke this morning, to an insistence from the Universe, that I not move too quickly, at first.  So, the shower was leisurely, a “hit the ground running” job request was declined (Throwing myself together, for a forty-five minute drive, at the last minute, would not have ended well, this morning.)

Some readers think I’m too self-centered.  I guess it can look that way, from a distance.  Truth is, not an hour goes by, that thoughts and prayers aren’t with someone less fortunate.  My thoughts right now are with a young lady whom I regard as a niece, dealing with her second severe loss, in less than a year, and with three young people, in different parts of this continent, whose financial woes are presented as intractable.  While I wish I had the resources to get several people straight, my inner Dave Ramsey gets channeled and I can best send them the spiritual energy to make do with what is, and build from there, as I have made myself do- thanks to two men named Dave.

The March lion is a bit tamer today.  It’s a bit cool, but that will change, drastically, as April arrives.  We’re anticipating temps in the mid-80’s here, next week.  Water conservation, at least in my apartment, continues unabated.

My Reading List for April is,at present:  Continuing, and finishing, “Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself:  How to Lose Your Mind and Create a New One”, by Dr. Joe Dispenza ( This is a “get out of your comfort zone” book, lent me by a dear friend); “Atlantis:  Insights From A Lost Civilization”, by Shirley Andrews (This one relies on actual science to extrapolate how things were, in that fabled place.); “Marco Polo:  The Journey That Changed The World”, by John Man (also relying on historical records to tell the story of the man who helped get Europe out of its medieval doldrums); “The Billionaire’s Vinegar”, by Benjamin Wallace (This is the last of the books given me, by my paternal uncle, and weaves a classic tale of fraud, perpetrated on a naive and greedy man of means); “All The Light We Cannot See”, by Anthony Doerr (This is a tale of two young people, in the Brittany of World War II, who are brought together, in the most harrowing of circumstances.)  These, and study of a Baha’i text, will take up my reading April.

The rest of today will be getting errands done, and catching up with friends in town.  The lamb is rearing its head, so I must get going.

A Bit About Frugality

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February 12, 2016, Prescott-  Today’s prompt calls for using a quote from a famous diarist.  Who better for this, than the great Samuel Pepys?

“He that will not stoop for a pin will never be worth a pound.”
Samuel Pepys, The Diary of Samuel Pepys: A Selection

Ben Franklin, William Shakespeare and W. C. Fields all had things to say about pinching small coins.  So did my father, God be with him.

Hon. Pepys, Member of Parliament in his time, looked a tad like William Shatner, and spoke like Mr. Franklin.  His mantra, and mine:  “Waste not, want not”.

I use things to their fullest, and though generous when I have it to share, I really don’t like throwing money in the air, so to speak.  Some regard me as profligate.  That is their entitled opinion.  I honour my commitments and live by the advice of the great financial consultant, Dave Ramsey.

What has this to do with Samuel Pepys?  He, too, was a man of limited means, who wasted nothing, and expected less.  He got to travel a bit, as he served in the Royal British Navy.  I have traveled, more than a bit, because I seek to serve my Lord and because I have wanted to pay homage to my late father-in-law and to the plans my late wife and I made, years ago, which never came to fruition, while she was on this Earth.

Frugal?  Not in substance, but definitely in spirit.  Don’t believe me? Visit my home sometime, and look at my wardrobe. 🙂