Sharpening our wits on the grindstone of Life: <i>Another week in the trenches...</i> .comment-link {margin-left:.6em;}

Sharpening our wits on the grindstone of Life

Friday, March 18, 2005

Another week in the trenches...

If you’re reading this, then you survived St. Patrick’s Day. Everyone in my circle made it through alive, although a few of them probably wish they hadn’t.

Now that things have settled back into some semblance of normalcy, it’s again time for me to embark on a well deserved sabbatical.

This time I’m retracing the steps of Sam Houston on his way to his historic battle with Santa Ana.

Scoff if you will, but it’s therapeutic for me to hike through modern rural Texas (no, that’s not an oxymoron. They have the “internets” now, you know). It helps restore my perspective.

In my past tracings on the Sam Houston trail, I’ve imbedded in my psyche many images that I occasionally conjure up when an understanding of these modern times eludes me.

A church that was built by its congregation decades - if not a century - ago, decaying idly in a weed infested field.

An old man sitting on his porch plaintively strumming blues on a guitar.

An old one-room school house, abandoned and vandalized, on the edge of a soon-to-be ghost town.

The original seat of the first Texas government, nestled in an open field in the shade of the interstate. And there’s not even a gift shop. Or corrupt politicians.

So while I’m off rejuvenating, it’s up to y’all to keep on fixing the world. However, I will leave you with a few thoughts before I go. Feel free to discuss them amongst yourselves.

Of course, by now everyone knows about the Major League Baseball players testifying before the congressional committee about steroids. What I don’t get is, why was Mark McGuire so emotional. I mean, he didn’t take the 5th, but he gave about as much information as if he did. So why was he so close to tears?

Pope John Paul II is likening his suffering to that of Jesus. And I thought he was just really, really old. Sure he’s got bad knees and a hip, and okay, Parkinson’s disease. But I don’t recall any spears in his side, or lashings, or crowns of thorns. He also calls himself a “patient among patients”. Yeah, right. All patients get their own hospital wing, with personal round the clock staff, and their own PopeBulance. Puh-lease!

Texas House Bill 3 343 allows the internet sale of lottery tickets by the Texas Lottery Commission through debit cards and other electronic means. This bill will go hand in hand with the new bankruptcy laws being pushed through in Washington, by allowing gambling addicts further ways of increasing their debt so the banks can collect more of their money when they go belly up.

Speaking of “bankruptcy reform”, isn’t forgiveness of debts in the Bible? Funny how the same hypocrites who constantly spew about abortion and gay marriage are the same ones who’ve conveniently set aside their moral standards to push this legislation through. It couldn’t have anything to do with the $7.3 million in political contributions from the banking industry over the past two years, could it?

While we’re on hypocrisy and political payoff, how about the proposed Texas House budget, which includes a new sales tax on bottled water, but none on beer, wine and liquor? The Texas Liquor industry donated $726,000 to Texas politicians in 2004. The bottled water industry? None.

Then there’s the lady who chained her scooter up outside the vehicle registration office while she went inside for plates, and the army blew it up because they thought it might be a bomb. Well, it didn’t have a license plate, did it? My advice to her? Don’t buy a lottery ticket this week.

Or the Treasury auditors who posed as IT techs and got IRS employees to hand over usernames and passwords that gain access to taxpayer data. I thought it was dangerous to use my personal and financial information on the internet. Now it seems I gotta keep it away from the government in order to prevent identity theft.

I could go on, but I gotta go put new gels in my boots. Have a great weekend, y’all, and we’ll do this again next week.


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