Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Cure or Disease?

Today's Link

The Saying of the Day
A government that is big enough to give you all you want is big enough to take it all away.
~Barry Goldwater

Picture of the Day
My Sister Dawn on Tessie

I saw a cancer patient on TV the other night. Her cancer was in remission but she looked terrible. The experimental drug she took to cure the disease had all kinds of side effects. There was increased pain. There was hair loss.. Her skin became very dry. The drug could have killed her. But the cancer was gone. She was recovering. As horrible as the cure was the disease was worse it would have destroyed her.
This set me to thinking about our current economic woes. Our depression or economic turn down or whatever you call it. Just suppose the depression is not the disease but a truly horrible cure. A cure with all kinds of side effects which are not pleasant.
Then the stimulus package would be a cure for the cure.
Before you decide I’ve flipped my lid let me explain.
The disease is extreme self centeredness which manifests as greed and a grab for pleasure. A condition that puts the individual at the center and the world exists to serve him. He is entitled to pleasure and government and other people exist to give to him or her.
Some examples:
CEO’s who to in order to keep their high salaries and good dividends in their company stock close the factory and send the jobs out of country. Tough that the workers are out. Let them fend for themselves.
Workers who won’t let the company cut back on any of their hard earned benefits even if the company goes bankrupt.
Companies that buy up other companies not to make a better product but to rob the pension fund.
Millionaires who to obtain even more money swindle others out of millions.
Rich people buying six or even seven houses because it feels good to do so.
A large per cent of the population doing “ recreational drugs” because it makes them feel good. They don’t care about the huge criminal population they support or that their money pays for the murder of judges in Columbia. Pleasure above all.
Husbands and wives looking for even more pleasure cheat on their spouse and then leave for somebody that can make them happier. The kids are left confused and pulled in every direction. Who cares.
Athletes on steroids making millions in football and baseball while average people just get buy. They provide the circuses for our pleasure.
Doctors who no longer care about patients just the bottom financial line. Pushing specialized surgery out of reach for much of the population.
Conservatives talking about morality and goodness and having neither.
Liberals willing to give somebody else's money to the poor but keeping their yachts , houses, and private jets.
People who buy houses not to live in but to sell again at a higher price pushing housing costs above the reach of the average guy.
Banks and loan companies exploiting the mortgage market.
Oil and gas companies pulling in record profits while the little guy can’t afford to drive anywhere.
Workers who couldn’t care less about the product they create as long as they get paid well.
Governors who sell Senate seats to the highest bidder.
A national increase in drunk driving convictions. Really happy people running over others.
Our National elected leaders that at one time counted among their number 29 spousal abusers, 7 people arrested for fraud, 19 bad check writers, 117 whose business went bankrupt, 3 arrested for assault, 71 whose credit is so bad they can’t get a credit card, 14 arrested on drug related charges, 8 arrested for shoplifting , and 81 caught drunk driving. They make the law. We elected them. Sorry to tell you both parties are included in the numbers and one Independent. But the promises they make we believe.

Everywhere you look Greed and self centeredness.

But an economic depression cures this disease.
People that had five houses find out what it’s like to have none.
People who looked down on the guy on welfare are now the guys on welfare.
CEOs who ran their company into bankruptcy are now out on the street ( unless the government bailed them out and even let them get big bonuses )
Workers are discovering that the union can’t help when the company is gone.
The cost of housing is coming down.
People are rediscovering old values.

It is a hard and painful cure. But my grandparents and parents learned from it.
They learned :
To share what they had with others.
Buy as little on credit as possible.
Be loyal to the company you work for and give it your best.
If you move up don’t forget the little guy.
Work for the common good.
Personal pleasure is not as important as personal responsibility.

There is one other side effect. People so committed to themselves give more and more power to the government in exchange for it giving them what they want. At the same time they look for scapegoats. It’s the fault of illegal migrant workers, it’s the fault of the evil Republicans, it’s the fault of radio conservatives, it’s the fault of nasty Democrats who spend too much, and on and on.

So in the last great depression while we were learning and changing the Germans turned to Hitler and gave him all the power. He scapegoated the Jews.

Perhaps, by the time the stimulus package kicks in we will have begun to heal.
If not we will be down here again or worse.

News from Pigeon Falls
The little town in my basement where the trains still run, dragons fly, and life is back to normal.
Nancy got up this morning and went to make herself some toast only to find that all the bread in the house had gone moldy. She just bought the loaf yesterday so it made no sense. Well she thought she could still have a nice fried egg but when cracked open the egg it was obviously rotten. In fact she had never smelled anything that bad. She poured a glass of milk only to find it was sour but the refrigerator was working fine. Then she noticed that she had a rash on her arm and it seemed to be getting worse.
She called Carol who sometimes helped out at the Coffee Shop and went to the clinic. Both the Nurse Practitioner and the Physician’s Assistant were at a loss. They had never seen anything like it. As they watched it it kept changing colors and getting itchier and itchier . Old Doc Simons wouldn’t be back until Thursday so they took pictures and sent them over the internet to a Doctor in Iron Mountain.
Nancy went down to the coffee shop. The moment she entered the building the rash disappeared. That in itself was a little weird but she also felt like a heavy load had been lifted from her shoulders. She couldn’t understand what was happening to her. This was certainly an unlucky day.

Wrap UP
Today the sun was shining again. Then it is going to get warm enough to have an ice storm. Will it never end. Today I visited everyone of my links and left comments on many of them. It took over three and one half hours . I do this once a week. The rest of the week I just visit the people's blogs who commented on mine the day before. In the afternoon ,between reading blogs, Betty and I cleaned out another cabinet. A lot of stuff went into the garbage and we organized everything. My sister Dawn called to tell me she was right the last time we talked and I was wrong. Now I need a breathing treatment.


Blogger jinksy said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

3:31 AM  
Blogger jinksy said...

Totally agree with your views on greed etc, etc. A return to 'The old days' may not be such a bad idea. One of my pet moans, is that children now expect to be shunted to expensive out of school classes, to the detriment of ordinary family life, childhood imaginatve persuits and quieter games. I can't agree with the go!, go!, go! attitudes parents instill in them from birth...Sorry, first attempt so full or typos, I had to start again!

3:34 AM  
Blogger Living on the Spit said...

WOW...well you hit the nail on the head with this one. What a powerful post that the whole world needs to read.

Can we get a copy of this to the powers that be in Washington? They all need to read this one!

3:35 AM  
Blogger Nessa said...

I love horsey pictures.

4:04 AM  
Blogger Carletta said...

You said a lot Dr.John and you said it very well.
I especially liked what you said about what your grandparents and parents learned.
Jinksy said a return to the old days might not be so bad - no it wouldn't. It's sad that but I don't think we can get back there.

Loved the picture of your sister in her little yellow dress.

I posted a picture today of a B&O caboose you might like.
My post is at Carletta’s Captures.

5:15 AM  
Blogger Lori's Minute said...

Will you post a new video of the new organized kitchen? That way when you need something you can look at the video to see where it is!

5:24 AM  
Blogger Finding Pam said...

Very well said. The one thing I remember about my grandparents was that they always helped those in need. Anyone that came to the back door got a biscuit and a cup of coffee and maybe an odd job or two. What little they had, they shared.

Life was simple. When we start caring more for others than ourselves then we can truely make a difference.

I hope Nancy's rash doesn't mean something awful for her.

6:11 AM  
Blogger Jeni said...

Excellent post! All very true. And why can't we return to having a simpler life anyway? Begin by teaching children the simple difference between satisfying one's needs vs one's wants. That of course also means denying those sweet children of every pleasure in life they think they want and instead, providing them with the basics that they actually need. My kids thought I was a terrible old scrooge when I used that method on them but it did teach them that everything they thought they wanted was not a necessity to having a happy life.
Also, wanted to commend you on putting up blogger Suldog as your blogger choice of the day. Excellent! He puts out a really great blog.

7:46 AM  
Blogger Caution Flag said...

My parents were children during the Depression and they can stretch a dollar from coast to coast now without being cheap. As much as my husband and I have cut back, I still don't think we've learned enough yet about the value of our money. I do wonder when we will grow up.

8:27 AM  
Blogger Akelamalu said...

Well I'd never thought of it that way Dr. John but what you say makes perfect sense!

8:43 AM  
Blogger Carver said...

Great shot of your sister on her horse. Interesting analogy you began with.

I was offered a year of high dose interferon after I had my lymph node dissection for stage III melanoma. I chose not to do it because of the possibility of lasting side effects and also it didn't increase my chances by that much. I opted for surgery and close follow up alone.

I realize that I had a choice and a chance that in spite of being high risk for recurrence, I might get my cake and eat it too. By that I just mean that I could avoid the interferon hell and still have a shot at survival. So far so good.

That said I did end up with lasting side effects after surgery so I didn't get a cake and a steak and a bottle of bordeau. I think you made good points about our economic situation and the search for solutions. Something has to give and there is never a totally free ride.

Sorry if I rambled.

8:56 AM  
Blogger Melli said...

Greed is definitely the disease... But I don't think we've reached the cure yet... This doesn't feel like 1929... at least not to me. I still have my house, I still have my car, I still put gas in it when needed, and I still have food on my table. (and PLENTY of it!) I thank God for all of it and I share when I see the need. Now I didn't LIVE through The Great Depression, so maybe I'm confused... but I thought EVERYONE was affected. Maybe not? Maybe some people fell right in the middle between RICH who lost all when the stock market crashed ... and poor who never had anything and lost what little they did have? Is that where I am? I personally am not "suffering"... and so I don't "feel" it. I AM watching my children (closely) go through tough times that we are NOT in a position to help them with right now... But I had also come to the conclusion before all this started that my children had been SPOILED and that I needed to pull back from backing them up so much... I felt THEY needed this learning experience... and I do think a couple of them are getting it. (of course, we would never let them end up "homeless" or anything like that... and God knOws we don't want them to end up back in our house YET AGAIN - but if necessary that is what would happen...) But we do think they need to learn what real priorities are... and I'm NOT sure they've gotten THAT down yet! I think they're getting there. But I don't think they're there yet!

AND ... I myself need some reminders of where I came from! I HAVE lived through down and out tough financial crisis! But I'm at a point in my life where I do almost feel "entitled" to have the comforts I have. And why? I don't deserve any of it! Maybe I have forgotten how to set the EXAMPLE for my kids... *sigh*

Oh, I hope that little green fella comes back soon so Nancy can GIVE him the silly coin! Maybe if she took it out and tossed it in a field, he would just come along and get it???

9:06 AM  
Blogger Melli said...

And YES! *in reference to Lori's request* Would you PLEASE rectify the situation with a video of the cleaned up counters and cabinets!? LOL!

9:11 AM  
Anonymous quilly said...

Greed and selfishness! I'm not even certain it can be called selfishness because people think it is the norm to be all "me first"!

And Nancy is suffering from a Leprechaun curse!

10:47 AM  
Blogger Suldog said...

Thanks for the link! It's one of my lesser efforts, though. Please come back when I'm warmed up :-)

Great quote. As a Libertarian, I've always firmly believed that, of course.

11:19 AM  
Blogger Jeff B said...

Ah yes, the human condition in all its ugliness. This is a struggle I'm afraid we will visit over and over again until His return.

12:12 PM  
Blogger PS (PSanafter-thought) said...

Yes greed, and not just among the rich and famous, but also on main street and in the country side. Almost all of us started looking at a greedy lifestyle and mindset as somehow "normal" or at least something to strive for.

12:41 PM  
Blogger Diane said...

a lot of what you say makes sense. just want a safety net for the truly poor, and to pay attention to them....

1:29 PM  
Blogger Dragonstar said...

I have to agree with what you say about greed - very thought-provoking.

Poor Nancy had better find a way to get that coin back pdq!

2:03 PM  
Blogger juliana said...

yes, greed and selfishness have brought the world on the verge of disaster.

i wonder if the poltergeist can help nancy with this leprechaun

2:35 PM  
Blogger Melli said...

NOW I am just totally SNUBBED! Wow! How quickly they forget... not EVEN a comment on MY blog today! *sigh*... sniff... I know... I'm just a little peon! It's okay!

4:33 PM  
Blogger Noe Noe Girl...A Queen of all Trades. said...

Dr J-thanks for the Lent tip~ I can make that happen! I will pass this on to Marlene as well as we were discussing it! You are the best.

4:40 PM  
Blogger Melli said...

Awwwwwww... John Linna -- YOU are a sweet talker!

5:27 PM  
Blogger patterns of ink said...

Wow. Good post, Dr. John,
Plenty of food for thought. I agree. I don't post about politics anymore at POI but I do have a second "secret" blog where I have shared similar thoughts about the cure being perhaps worse than the disease.

I had a friend whose cancer was so hopeless he volunteered for experimental treatment which quickly went wrong and took him. He was okay with that, but in you analogy, I'd agree that there is so much "wrong with the way we think" right now that maybe the hardship will prompt a "redo," and we'll be better off in a generation or two.

5:29 PM  
Blogger Peter (Worldman): said...

I like the Barry Goldwater quote.

On the CEO's: A few years ago the boss of a big Swiss heavy industry company had to leave. They paid him a separation pay of 130 million dollars. This upset many, practically everybody. When he was questionned why he got such a big amount, he came with a simple answer: Well, it is just an amount so that I can keep up the standard of my life.

The same year, the workers of that company got a salary raise of 1 %. So that they can keep up the standard of their lifes.

9:05 PM  
Blogger Margaret said...

I agree. In fact, a few years ago I read a book predicting last year to be the start of another "Great Depression." I spent the last few years getting Jon through college, paying off debt and preparing for it.

Looking forward to it even!!

8:13 AM  

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