it comes to us all

Death comes to us all but to some it comes sooner.

Those were the words SonOne chose to have immortalized in his high school year book. He was at the stage of being fascinated by death, I suppose, that stage of youth when the facts of life are rather limited. By limited, I mean focused primarily on sex, spending and slaphappy fun.

His yearbook is tucked away somewhere, covered with memories and photos of his growing family. But those words from his high school days, “death comes to us all but to some it comes sooner” don’t stay buried under the pile of current events. When a life is squelched before the life is finished, I recall SonOne’s starkly candid words.

Mama used to say that the only things we can count on in life are death, and life until death comes. She said some people include taxes, but there are people who escape those. And some say death and taxes are the only things we can be sure of. But you can’t die if you’ve had no life, so life and death are the two things to count on in life.

When does death come sooner? When a life is unfinished. But what life is ever finished being lived, really? When one is old? But what’s “old”? That age, to me, has always been one hundred years. I don’t know why 100 is the magic age that qualifies as “old” rather than 30 like many people decide. When I was in the grade school, Philly, my classmates talked about the old, 13 year olds in middle school. That was LittleBrother’s age, I was 12 and he surely wasn’t old. BigBrother was 16, big enough to be a bully but not old enough to be mature!

And a person isn’t supposed to begin to get old until around 90, I decided years ago. Why not twenty, fourty or fifty, aren’t they old for some? Sixty? That’s the zero year approaching for me, in the next few years. Seventy, eighty… no, ninety is beginning to get old as it’s closer to 100.

I think about SonOne’s “death comes to us all but to some it comes sooner” when someone passes.
Even if the age is old or beyond, the life is unfinished, death has come too soon.

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May, the month we remember to honor those who have fallen in defense of our country.

Bob Hope, legendary entertainer who lent his talent to entertaining our troops, was a man to inspire. And that, he did.

The other day Glenn Beck, talked about fear for US future economy. He was right, I think, when he said we shouldn’t be afraid. We would do better to be prepared.

“In the world you will have tribulation. Be of good cheer, for I have overcome the world.”

I thought this morning, in those early hours when night’s darkness lingers, about the proposed direction of US, the Change we were promised by the man who is our president. I thought about the opponent of that Change so ominous, AmericaFirst. While the promised Change scares me, AmericaFirst misses the ground that Glenn talked about.

Bob Hope last brought his troupe to Waikiki Shell (Honolulu) to commemorate V-J Day in 1995. Although Mr. Hope was weak, Hope’s strength radiated promise. Men and women related memories of that war before my birth. My memory of their voices have put thought to my current observations. They talked of planes and bombs, of fear and loved ones, of bodies and lives dismembered. Some, quite aged, shared their personal experiences while delegates relayed the words penned of soldiers laid to rest. They spoke eloquently and openly of love of their Country and their love of God.

Of the many who spoke their memories of that war, on that secular stage under Hawaii’s glorious blue sky, there was not one who omitted God.They prayed to God, some not even believing He is.

I was surprised by the freely spoken quantity of acknowledgement of God. Some said it was faith in God that let them cast out fear. Some said it was God’s strength that gave them focus. Some said it was their honor of God that taught them to honor US, our country. Some said a little of each, all included God.

Many men and women spoke that day of that war long ago, on Bob Hope’s stage in Waikiki. They remembered the days, the hours and minutes, fighting in that war. They recalled thoughts while flying high in the air, or lower to the ground, and seeing enemy planes attacking US. The didn’t talk about having courage. Rather, they talked about being grounded in God.

So, where am I grounded?
God first. Like for those who fought, lived and died, God is where the ground is.

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the New Racist

Talk about redefining words! This year, more than ever before, I’m hearing (reading) the word “racist” used in unfamiliar context.

So I reached for my several dictionaries for some light on the word that is now racist. I’m using definitions for the root word race, from Princeton U, American Heritage, and Oxford.

Definitions for race are rather consistent, meaning such as: relating to being of the same genetic stock; geographic/global population distinguished by genetics, common history or nationality; each of the major divisions of humankind. And the word “racist” shows up as a belief that race accounts for differences in human character; prejudiced belief that a particular race is superior. My intention is not to supply you with dictionaries, so these definitions reflect a synopsis rather than detail.

Looking for the etymological roots of the racist word, it is evident that: race has been in use for several hundred hears; racist was first used as a noun in 1932 and as an adjective in 1938; racism came along in 1936; deviations on race originally from Nazi theories. (The word, “sexist” dates from 1965, modeled from “racist.”) Hmm, I thought.

Race is race, something that can be defined. But “racist”? I was surprised to find the word “belief” to be a factor in naming another “Racist”. But in thinking about it, it’s easy to see the word does require grey area thinking, while it cannot be supported by the grey matter of others, as can its parent, “race.”

My Oxford Dictionary of the English Language, 2006 edition (it replaced the old, battered & familiar one) includes helpful notes, for those moments I’m looking for instant clarity without having to do much thinking about it. Here’s the usage note regarding “race”, highlighted in its own box:

In recent years, the association of race with the ideologies and theories that grew out of the work of 19th century anthropologists and physiologists has led to the use of the word race itself becoming problematic. Although still used in general contexts, it is now often replaced by other words which are less emotionally charged, such as people(s) or community.

So, what’s the malcontent for the word racist, you may ask? It’s the vitriol in its use.

“Racist” is used predominately by people on the other side of the political fence (left, or liberal, but I use those words as cautiously as racist), with an emotional axe to grind. Generally speaking, those leaning to the left would have me believe that political preference is “racist.” Of course, “you’re racist” usually means, “I don’t have anything useful to say, so I’ll just resort to name calling.”
“You’re a racist” is used as a response to a variety of statements expressing opposition to the current political status, that have nothing to do with race. For example:I am still surprised when the response to my objection to “stimulus” spending is, “you’re a racist”.
I am also surprised when I state something like, “Obama’s servile bow in Saudi Arabia is demeaning to Americans,” the response is “you’re racist,” because there is lack of substance for a counter. Whether the topic at hand is government spending, constitutional attacks, or making statements of fact (sans opinion) regarding any given religion, the response is, you guessed it! “You’re racist!”
As stated in Oxford’s knowing tome, the word race was maligned first by the Nazi jocks. Race now, apparently, has been hijacked again, to be used for name calling from the Left to the Right.
Racist? If you call me racist because you think I don’t like striped people, I’d ask you to first supply one so we can test your opinion on the matter. But, if you call me racist because I don’t agree with you, or don’t like the policies, politics or pandering of the present administration, you show your stripes, and prejudice.

- by Linda Butts

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Embryos and Taxpayer Money

When it comes to stem cell research, the controversy roars. What makes it to the headlines is objection to embryonic stem cell research. What doesn’t make it is, why the objection?

With federal funds for embryonic stem cell research, there’s the moral question.

Whether people are comfortable with it or not, America is a nation of believers in Godly principles. I’m not saying we all behave as we should but, someplace within, we believe there is an accountability to someone, something higher than any of us. No, not some politician or priest, someone higher. We believe that human life is precious. We have difficulty in wantonly destroying human life, in any of its stages.

Then there’s the question about human life even the most sophisticated politician, medical professional or scientist has no answer to: When does human life begin? It’s in the absence of an answer to that question that controversy is stirred.

We become divided as a nation when those of US who believe life begins at conception must pay for the destruction of life we value. And those of US who believe life begins at some other, undefined point, place no value on what is regarded as a clump of cells, albeit with every marker for human life. We are upset that we are denied what we see as potential gain for mankind, using just clumps of cells, regardless of what ongoing research has shown.

Then there’s the information question.
If you thought stem cell research is confined to embryos, which has been banned for eight years, you’re wrong. If you didn’t look behind media reports about stem cell research you won’t know that adult stem cells are currently being used for procedures oversees, thanks to ongoing adult stem cell research and trials in the United States.

Gains from stem cell research have been phenomenal. You haven’t heard about it? Yes, adult stem cells have been successfully used to treat a range of diseases from heart to parkinsons, lukemia to macular degeneration and diabetes. And we must not miss that adult stem cells are also used to develop pharmaceuticals. Adult stem cells don’t cause tumors, or migrate the way embryonic stem cells do. In the United States, it’s mostly trials and research. Other countries, such as Thailand for reconstructive heart surgeries, practice the gain of American trials on adult stem cell research.

News today brings the lifting of the ban on federal funding of embryonic stem cell research.

That’s the nice way to say Taxpayer money will be used to pay for an Executive Order.

Opposition to public funding for stem cell research falls into basically, two categories. One goes back to the moral divide. The other springs forward to the current financial crisis.

The moral divide, where public funding for embryonic stem cell research is in such hot debate, begs the answer to the question, “When does human life begin?” Without the answer to that essential question, America will be divided against herself. With that question unanswered, will America be ready to address the concern among researchers, the worldwide demand for body part replacement trafficking? That would be a lucrative, unethical enterprise. Are we ready to address that yet?

The second part of the funding question springs to the current financial crisis which poses another challenge: Do we continue ongoing, already funded research? Or do we reach for money that doesn’t exist for a hope, which may detract from what is ongoing and already promising?

Private investors invest their money in adult, but not embryonic, stem cell research. According to stem cell researcher Christian Wilde’s Stem Cell Research Report: CEO of Human Genome Sciences William Haseltine says routine utilization of human embryonic stem cells for medicine is 20 to 30 years hence. Colon McGuckin, recognized stem cell scientist and professor of regenerative medicine in the UK puts the timeline to 50 years.

Private investors don’t put their money in projects without doing their research on the research.

Is this, really, an appropriate time to toss taxpayer money to the dubious future of the hotly debated embryonic stem cell research? The stroke of an executive order presents a quandry. The executive order is as out of control as researches report embryonic stem cells to be.

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Sticking Stimulus to Your Securities

Got securities?

If they’re traded in your retirement account, you could end up being an unwitting source of funds to pay for Stimulus payouts.

If you’re a LittleGuy, two bills in the U.S. House of Representatives has your wallet in its Congressional crosshair to become funding for TARP (Troubled Asset Relief Plan).

What to do? Yes, you must do!

Tell Congress to block the Trader Tax.

Contact your Representative and/or

sign a Petition to Tell Congress to Block Trader Tax at

This month’s Friday the 13th found an ominous bill in the US House of Representatives. It was introduced by Congressman Peter DeFazio (D-OR 4th Dist.), H.R. 1068, deceptively titled, Let Wall Street Pay for Wall Street’s Bailout Act of 2009. This isn’t the only bill worded to impose a financial transaction tax on securities traded in your account, but I’ll get to the other one later.

Think Wall Street is just the Big Boys playing with BigMoney? Think again. Whether you’re a sedentary trader in your retirement account (i.e., 401(k), IRA) or choose your stocks to trade through a broker, the US House of Representatives wants you to fund the Stimulus. Surprise!

The Let Wall Street Pay for Wall Street’s Bailout Act of 2009, or Trader Tax, involves a fiendish scheme to impose a .25% tax on securities you trade. The tax is based on the transaction amount, not the gain. The gain will remain taxable. It isn’t reduced if you loose, either.

If, for example, you purchase 1000 shares of securities at $10, and then sold the same securities at $10 (for no profit), you would owe the government $50 ($10,000 X .0025 plus $10,000 X.0025). The assorted broker and maintenance fees, and gains tax, will still apply. (Gasp! Yes, they really would do that to US!)

You can read the House Bill H.R. 1068 here.

Excerpt from H.R. 1068

• Congress finds the following:

(1) The Bush Administration allocated the first $350 billion of TARP funds in a manner that has outraged the Nation by failing to provide the most basic oversight of the funds.

(2) Congress has declined to block the remaining $350 billion of TARP funds despite the lack of oversight and the record fiscal year 2009 budget deficit estimated at $1.2 trillion.

(3) The Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System has committed more than a trillion dollars to stabilize the economy by bailing out various banks deemed too big to ‘fail’.

(4) The $700 billion TARP fund and the new Federal Reserve lending facilities were created to protect Wall Street investors; therefore, the same Wall Street investors should pay for this infusion of taxpayer money.

(5) The easiest method to raise the money from Wall Street is a securities transfer tax, a tax that has a negligible impact on the average investor.

(6) This transfer tax would be on the sale and purchase of financial instruments such as stock, options, and futures. A quarter percent (0.25 percent) tax on financial transactions could raise approximately $150 billion a year.

(7) The United States had a transfer tax from 1914 to 1966. The Revenue Act of 1914 (Act of Oct. 22, 1914 (ch. 331, 38 Stat. 745)) levied a 0.2 percent tax on all sales or transfers of stock. In 1932, Congress more than doubled the tax to help overcome the budgetary challenges during the Great Depression.

(8) All revenue generated by this transfer tax should be deposited in the general fund of the Treasury of the United States, scaled to meet the net cost of these bailouts, and phase out when the cost of the bailouts are repaid.

But wait! H.R. 1068 isn’t the only bill out to have US LittleGuys empty pockets to pay for Government’s mis-spending.

Sneaky is as Congress does! Not only is the Trader Tax in H.R. 1068 as noted above, it is also listed as a line item in The National Health Care Act or the Expanded and Improved Medicare for All Act (HR 676 Section 211, Sub-Section C, “Funding”).

Here’s H.R. 676 National Health Care Act

What to do? Yes, you must do!

Tell Congress to block the Trader Tax.

Contact your Representative and/or sign the Petition to Tell Congress to Block Trader Tax at

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Land of Free Home of Brave?

Land of the Free, Home of the Brave?

Back when God blessed America we were the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave.

Today, God isn’t wanted any more. America has become the land of the dependent and the home of the paranoid.

Americans have become dependent and that’s quite contrary to independence.
Americans have become paranoid, with only the characters “a” and “r” common to brave.

today’s news:
Healthcare will be provided to all who can’t afford it. Even if you need to press one for English, that = dependence.
NY mayor/Congress concern that not all cargo at each port is checked. = paranoia.
Yesterday’s news brought other ill-wills of dependence and paranoia but it was today’s news that culminated in my thoughts an eulogy to the Great Nation of US.

Now, Today, God isn’t wanted to bless anything. It is preferred He absent Himself from our daily lives as He is denied entrance into the institutions built on values that built the America He was called upon to guide. He is not wanted in a nation of people free to choose, and this Nation America has forfeited her independence for different gods.

BigBrother, Liberalism, BenjaminSpock, PrejudiceRights … whatever you want to call it, America is now dependent on it, and paranoid because of it.

Once, America opened her arms of opportunity to embrace the tired, the poor, the humbled masses yearning to be free. Today she opens her arms to those who have no yearn other than to have someone else do it for them. Education, HealthCare, Retirement, FoodChoices, Safety: America’s BigBrothers will decide for you! America has yielded her freedom to dependency, quite a miserable exchange.

Once, America had sons and daughters with backbone to do what was necessary to gain, and maintain, the independence that was America’s declaration. It was a human dignity thing. Today, Americans are terrified that someone may die, that another may hide a bomb in some ship’s cargo or smuggle nuclear horrors into America’s MoneyDistrict. America quivers with fear, imagining what harm could easily be wrought without all resources focused on what could go bad.

Congress wrings its hands in the reality of a psychologist’s joy of paranoia. Where will the bombs be placed? Quick, we must spend all our efforts thinking where we are vunerable, where a terrorist may strike! The ports aren’t secure! It’s easy to poison the water supply! No terrorists way over there, they’re coming through the borders, they’re infiltrating our Purell!

Once, American was secure in the fervor of her sons and daughters who fought to gain, and maintained, her independence. Today, America’s sons and daughters, the ones who have gumption, fight BigBrother , BigMoney and BigGovernment as much as a nuclear armed enemy.

Dependency erodes America’s freedom to choose one thing over another.
Paranoia steals the the gumption to attack an enemy at its core.
BigBrother, with dependency and paranoia:
Isn’t it time to let God bless America again?

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e Komo Mai

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