May each of you have the heart to conceive, the understanding to direct, and the hand to execute works that will leave the world a little better for your having been here. -- Ronald Reagan

Friday, January 1, 2016

Reflections on the Past Year, Personal, Cultural, Political and a Prayer for This Year

It’s fortunate this past year was mundane for me. Nothing terribly impactful, painful, or upsetting. Those things in the small circle that I directly influence or am influenced by was ordinary and comfortable for the most part.

An exception was at work. I really had no direct experience with Millennials as a group until this past year. Heard stuff on the peripheral but didn’t pay much attention.  I was given a new team. Part of my job as a team leader is to critique work and offer ways to improve. Most of this group were Millennials, and every bad thing I had heard about them proved true. This is the first time I disliked people as a group. Up to now there’s been dislike of certain individuals (and I’m sure vice versa), since I think it improper to lump people together for judgement or criticism. Millennials though, are so indoctrinated, so much a product of groupthink, they are essentially all of the same mold. With observing them, an individual must stand out and show there is something unique about them for me to see uniqueness. This just turned the way I relate to people on its head. They don’t take criticism at all, even when it’s worded, ‘this is what we can do to improve on this kind of situation’. They have zero respect for experience or authority. They are the smartest people in the room. Anything anyone has to say, other than praise (mostly unfounded) is rejected without consideration.

They expect to be only adored and praised, regardless. I send out motivational and life improving observations daily. I was providing feedback to a Representative and I said this issue ties right into a motivational observation I had sent out recently, and she said, “I don’t read them, I don’t need any motivation, maybe you do, but I don’t.' Here’s a woman in the middle of middle age, is on the edge of obese (for me a health issue), and does average work in an entry level job. She has shown no interest in improving her position or quality of work/life. This is what stunned me. All but a couple of people of about sixteen were like this.

Working with them, I’ve found they have no idea of history before the day they were born, no interest in anyone or anything beyond what directly impacts or influences them, have no interest in current events except maybe for the Kardashians or the Housewives of Wherever. Apparently there’s several Housewives of Wherever shows. They actually talk about these things, and importantly, as if there’s universal truths or insights into human behavior or something on these and similar “reality” shows.  When I’ve actually offered up a true universal truth, from thousands of years of observation of human behavior, it’s rejected as stupid or untrue. I’m stunned.  

I’m getting an inkling now of what the generation following them is like, and it’s even worse. There’s culture and social writers saying there’s a change, they’re more inclined to traditional modes of behavior or belief systems. Don’t know what those guys are looking at. College students getting University Presidents fired because they don’t like something allegedly said, “safe zones” where they don’t have to hear any alternative ideas to what their professors have indoctrinated them to believe. There’s a building at some university called “Lynch” which is the name of one of the founders of the university. They want the name of the building changed because “lynch” is, well, racist you know.  There are petitions of remove the 1st Amendment, most specifically the freedom of speech part. Only they should be allowed to say what they want. The myth of white privilege. Universities are founded on the back of slavery and white privilege. It’s too stupid and crazy to continue. The “adults” should expel these knuckleheads. It costs a huge amount of money (the cost of Leftist greed, not an improvement of education) to go, and this is what the outcome is?

I’m so convinced this is the tipping point of Western Civilization in general and America specifically.

Part of the tipping point is a US President that has opened the borders, imports people from countries that are enemies of the US with no effective vetting process, illegally granted amnesty to millions that have invaded this country. He makes anti-Christian statements, but pro Muslim statements. He is an anti-Semite, and sides with terrorist groups against Israel. He has demonized Christians, Whites, Conservatives and Republicans, making race relations even worse that they were in the 1960’s. Hillary Clinton has violated dozens of laws, lied about them, been caught and still no trial, yet still getting massive support from the main stream media and her political party. Anyone else would be on trial or in prison by now. Bill, a serial abuser and exploiter of women, probable rapist, is given a pass. Black celebrity Bill Cosby did the same thing and is getting pounded, by the Leftist Jurassic Press and good Leftists everywhere. And there’s worse this president is doing, and in his last year of office it’ll be a full on blitz to destroy as much as he can that is good about America; its energy production, and the 1st Amendment, race relations, foreign policy to name a few.  

Wacko Leftists and Islamist terrorists killing people, and it’s a gun restriction problem. I say wacko Leftists because reading the backgrounds of the mass killers, I don’t see any of them members of the TEA (taxed enough already) party, any church going Christians, no Conservatives, no Republicans, yet the Jurassic Press always starts out finding a way to blame one of these groups; often stating there are ties to those groups, then burying the retraction. Speaking of murder, Planned Parenthood is caught murdering babies and selling body parts and not only given a pass, but getting more government funding. Passed by Republicans no less. That and their supporting amnesty and open borders with the Democrats. And the Republican Establishment wonders why they don’t have the support of Republicans in flyover country? Good grief. Is there a measurement for how dumb those guys are? 

This is heading in a direction I hadn’t intended so I’m pulling it back.

Movies I saw this past year. It was a weak movie year. Zombies and vampires and teddy bears oh my. My fav observation about Zombie movies I make, (given how I think about the Millennials and the following generation) is they are so popular because they identify with the characters. (Brain dead except for motor movements.)  “American Sniper” was amazing, reverent and touching. The usual demented Leftists called it a movie praising murderers. The colossally fat, stupid one percenter Michael Moore leading the charge of insensitivity and stupidity. Saw the new “Star Wars”, and while it was fun, it was also overly PC. Small slender woman kicks ass on men that are trained in fighting and combat, that are bigger than her, flies spaceships for the first time better than trained pilots, knows more about the electronics and the engine of the Millennium Falcon than Hans Solo who’s ship it is and has been flying it for years and years…yeah yeah yeah. Had the same problem with the new “Mad Max”. Hardly anything to do with Max, most everything to do with the female character the story was actually about. “Bridge of Spies” with Tom Hanks I thought was good. I’ve read several reviews since by conservative reviewers that reviewed it as one of the worst of the year. Apparently I watched something different with the same title. “Man from U.N.C.L.E.” was splendid fun and I hope there are sequels, but for some reason I doubt it. My favorite movie was “Kingsmen: The Secret Service" which was stylish, clever, fun. Saw it when it came out and have streamed it twice since. Fun fun fun. “Unbroken” was heartbreaking and inspiring at the same time. Highly recommended. Bond movie was fun, but it’s time to fire Daniel Craig. He bad mouthed the movie, the production, the character. He’s made $millions upon $millions then criticizes the US, our lifestyle and our politics. Time to go hypocritical ingrate. Saw the “Age of Ultron”, a mistake. Super tired of all the comic book characters brought to life.

It turns out the most creative film is TV series. “Justified”, “Major Crimes” Agatha Christie’s “Perot”, and I know I said I’m fed up with comic book stories, but like “Gotham”, “Arrow”, “Flash”. For “reality” shows, “Diners, Drive Ins and Dives”, “Fixer Upper” (love love love that couple!), and a few others. “Blue Bloods” is amazing, especially since the family lives up to Christian values and ethics, has a family meal every week, prays together, is smartly written, and just enjoyable. All that and it has survived several seasons.

Read a few books. Best among them “Christianity & Liberalism" published in 1923 about how Liberalism is becoming the new religion in many churches. Sound familiar? "Jesus - A Pilgrimage” by SJ James Martin…fabulous Journey in the Holy Land. If you haven’t read Martin, pick him up. "Ordinary: Sustainable Faith in a Radical, Restless World", we need to recognize God in the ordinary. Down to earth religious writing. Read some mysteries. Most fun book of the year was “Ready Player One”. Clever fiction, Dystopic future, with gamers, bad guys and the story is chock full of 1980’s references which is the most fun part. Easy read and highly recommend.

The list of what I read and saw at the movies is in the right column. Oh, by the way, if you want a good chuckle with classic rock ‘n’ roll, stream the “Minions”. A hoot!

For the upcoming year, I pray our church prospers and all get along, I don’t have to take any more grief from Millennials at work (I’m off that team, but we have many of that generation working here). I pray that the slaughter of Christians in Africa and the Middle East by IslamoNazis is stopped, that the imperialism of Putin/Russia is stopped, and Christians in this country stand up to the Secularists and the Democrat Party to protect freedom of religion. I pray Ted Cruz is elected President.

I pray for the health and happiness of all who desire it. Sadly there are many that find pleasure in misery. I pray these attitudes and beliefs that bring that on, is banished from their souls, and they find what is good in life, friends and liberty. 

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