Monday, June 29, 2015

Alright, That's Enough...

So, the University of Texas at Austin has a group of students circulating a petition that wants to take down the statue of George Washington.

Why? He was a slave owner..

Enough.

Just enough.

What's next, expect people to apologize because their ancestors owned slaves? Be careful. Most folks, if you dig hard enough both in the New World, and the Old World have skeletons you do not want known.

And everyone has skeletons. EVERYONE...

My family for years hid the fact why my great-great grandfather left Florida and hid in Texas. My generation laughs about it. It seems he beat a man to death and left before either the sheriff or the victim's family found him.

As I have not hidden for years, my actual last name is not Thomas.( it is, but it isn't.)

Makes it sort of hard to do ancestor research. ( actually, there's a distant family member who is doing work right now in Florida.)

At some point folks, enough.

Okay, Don't.

Don't fall apart this week.

If you have money in the market or a 401k retirement don't just jerk it out and bury your money in a giant mayonnaise jar in the hog pen. Not yet anyway.

You are going to hear all sort of stuff this week on the financial front. Positive and negative.

Remember...everyone in the United States is in the same shape as you.

Just keep an eye on the markets. Hang in there......got to remember the market sadly is a gamble. And everyone who has a retirement is involved.

Hang in there folks. Hang in there....

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Economics Lesson

I do not do this often, and I will try and keep this simple.

Greece may default on their debt to European banks this week. They may also leave the euro currency ( hideous money, looks like monopoly money unlike the British Pounds) and go back to the old Greek drachma.

To which you may say...." Why should I in East Texas give a good shit?"

Here's the problem. If the Greeks default, Portugal, Spain, Italy will do the same and go back their money.

Economists are not sure if the banks in those countries will survive.

Once again, one of the big things that cause the start of the 1929 Great Depression was the failure of the banks in Austria.

American economists are already saying that the stock market in America is over valued and so many of our companies have ties economically to Europe, don't think there won't be a panic and a sell off of US Stocks.....and what is everyone's 401k or pension plan invested in? U.S. Stock Market....( example-TRS.....Texas Teacher Retirement also is heavily invested. As are all pension funds..)

Watch Europe over the next few weeks.

Quit watching Fox News or CNN or MSNBC for 10 minutes. All they are doing is fighting for/against gay marriage or the Civil War. Watch BBC World Service or Bloomberg. Watch early morning Bloomberg Surveillance with Tom Keene. Once you get past Tom's poorly tied bow-tie, he's all over the Greek economy.

Friday, June 26, 2015

Just Out of Control?? Part 2

The United States is not a theocracy.

The Mullahs don't run the place like they do in Iran.

You may jump up and down and not like the Supreme Court's decision for religious reasons, and that's fine, but not everyone in this nation believes as you do.

And if today's Court started to rule in favor of Christianity, which version? The one with the most people?

Look, be unhappy with the Court, but I could not from a government point of view see a reason to stop gay marriage. I can't. Not everyone is Christian. Not everyone has your version of Christianity.

Most of our ancestors ( who came here by choice) left Europe to get away from some form of religious difference.

Gov. Abbott and Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton are telling counties and state agencies to stand by for some sort of directions. Abbott is saying that if the leadership in state agencies have religious objections to the marriages, they can stop gay spouses from receiving benefits from the state employee....so far Jefferson and Orange Counties are not issuing same sex marriage licenses.

That will draw lawsuits like you wouldn't believe. And every one will lose...

Instead of spend the money it'll take to defend what will be a losing proposition, why don't you give retired teachers a raise?

Just Out of Control? PT 1

I understand people are happy.

I understand people are mad.

The subject of gay marriage is ALWAYS going to be a subject of a sore spot for many.

It took me a long time to come around. That entire sin business. That entire being "beat into my head' about sexual sins somehow being worse than other sins.

This whole "works" business.

Look folks, and I am going to look at this from a religious point of view and then a non-religious view.

When I get done, you may want to un-friend me.

Yesterday Bristol Palin announced on Twitter that she was pregnant for a second time. To be honest, I do not know if she really knows who the father might be. It might be the Medal of Honor winner she had planned to marry, it might not be.

In the 1960s and 1970s it was a huge stink to get pregnant when I was growing up. Many times the guy was "forced" to marry the girl, sometimes at the point of a shotgun, or were forced according to societal norms. Many of these marriages were miserable, and ended in divorce or long term misery for both the boy and the girl. Often, the girl was " sent away" to the Edna Gladney Home in Fort Worth to have the child and give it up for adoption.

It was a " big-time" sin in those days. Huge.

As I was reading yesterday, I was amazed at the conservatives who supported Bristol., because her politics were " correct."

These would be the same people who would be all over someone like Chelsea Clinton, if she had become pregnant outside of marriage.

Today, the ideas of having a child and not being married have changed so much, we don't even think twice about it anymore. In truth, I don't.

Look we all have problems.

We all have sins we deal with, if you want to call them that. ( And what is a sin to you might not be to me and vice-versa.)

Paul talked about he having problems with sin and not doing the right thing in Romans 7. Even Paul.

My favorite verse of the Bible is and will always Ephesians 2:8-9. For by grace you have been saved through faith; and this is not your own doing, it is the gift of God— 9 not because of works, lest any man should boast.

( And don't talk about James and his view on works.....James and the boys were peeping in on Titus to see if he was Circumcised or not, thought to be a Christian, you must have a part of your pecker cut off, just like Jewish law. ...will discuss James later...)

Folks, we as Christians are going to have to be better about this acceptance business. I was at religious site that has discussed why folks are now " Done" with going to church. 1100 comments the last I checked in 12 hours. And it is a pretty obscure site.

Grace is for all of us, not matter what you perceive the sin is....and unless you are actually hurting someone, you may want to look at your life first. I know I do.

Will discuss America, Texas etc in part 2.

End Part 1

Well, You Knew It Was Coming.

In a 5-4 vote the Supreme Court ruled that it was okay for gays to marry in all 50 states. There was not a narrow written decision. It was wide open. It basically says who you chose as a mate is wide open. ( as long as they are 18+ and human.)

I do not know what it will mean for local judges or justices. The way I am reading the opinion, they do not have a choice to marry or not.

Once again, ministers don't have to marry gays. They can pick and chose who they can marry. Justice Kennedy said today that ministers don't have to marry folks they do not want to marry.

Once again folks, not shocked here. I knew it was coming.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Hell Friday...

I was reminded of a trip the UIL Academic Team took to Regionals in 1996.

In those days Brenham did not have as many hotels as it does today and if you didn't book your room in September for the April trip, you had to scurry to find any room available in the area.

We wound up on staying in the Somerville Inn.

The " Inn" looked good on it's postcard. Clean, pool, old fashion style motel with the doors that open to the parking lot.

When we arrived, we knew we were in trouble. The lobby, which appeared to have blue tinted windows were in fact windows stained with years of tobacco smoke.

My roommate was the " World Famous Science Teacher " (WFTS)

Our room had two double beds with enough dust on them, you could have planted corn, our room had two TV sets. one that worked, which sat on top of the old TV set, which didn't. Our ashtrays were old cat food cans, and there were two bullet holes in our sink. One which had been plugged with what looked like JB Weld.

The WFST came out of the bathroom and yelled at me....saying, " don't you know how to flush a tolièt?" To which I replied, " I've not been in the bathroom yet."

One of the kid's rooms had a tolièt which would not stop running and when the manager came to see what the problem was, he told the occupant" all you need to do is stick you hand in the back of the tank and pull up on the chain...like this."

Luckily, I had brought a sleeping bag with me, and slept on top on the bedspread, as one of the sponsors on the trip got body lice. I don't know how they explained to their spouse how they got crabs on a school trip?

We told the students not to look under the bed, which of course made them look, yes, most had several months worth of used condoms under the bed.

We were sort of naive as to why different trucks and cars with stickers came and left the wing of the motel across the parking lot from us. All had a aTm sticker in the back window.

We snapped about 2am when we saw what we thought was one of our students in her " nightwear" playing frisbee with a some of our kids....she looked so much like one of the kids we had brought...but it wasn't her...it was just a young lady trying to " put herself through college."

The highlight of the trip was the discovery of the now out of business Country Inn #2. ( The restaurant closed due to a divorce arrangement. Damn lawyers...)

We checked rapidly out the next morning when the WFTS looked into the air conditioner vent and saw what looked like a baggie of crystal meth tied strategically to one of the control panels.

Oh, BTW- The Pool? It was a ditch behind the motel...