Wednesday, 20 August 2008

Church Hell as a Kid

I was unfortunate as a kid.....to have grown up in northwest Bama.....in a small town called Anderson. There were three church possibilities....but the "in-crowd" were the Baptists....and sadly, thats where my folks attended.

My earliest memory of life in Anderson.....was attending vacation Bible-school as a kid. There really wasn't anything fond or terrible to comment upon.....if you asked at the end of the week....at age five.....what I remembered....I probably would have said "great cool-aid".

Sunday school became a wasted hour that I endeared year after year. There was a plan book with about two pages of reading....so some unlucky adult dude got stuck with six to ten young boys, and you basically out aloud the two pages over an hour....stretching it as far as you could. I kinda felt sorry for these guys. They got picked and usually didn't get much enjoyment out of the deal.

The church? Well.....you had the old facility and the new one. As a boy.....by age eight, you were condemned to the basement of the old facility. The best you could say....is that come November, it was miserable. The heat never got turned on until precisely ten AM. So you walked in....with a jacket on.....and it was barely 50 degrees. By the end of January....it was barely 32 degrees in that basement when you arrived. The girls? They all got the better heated area and you sat there in some folding chair....hoping for the hour to pass.

Did Sunday school ever make an impression on me? No....it was pretty much a waste.

The second hour? Well...you had to progress over to the main building which was actually cooled and heated. But then you had those damn pews for an hour. My dad tended to pick the pew on the very last row.....as far to the right....as you could go. It was hard to just sit there, and I tended to take a pen with me and just take it apart.....over and over. Extreme boredom was the biggest problem.

Vacation Bible school became an optional thing for me by age twelve and I really didn't care to waste an entire week like that. I can't remember anything positive about the experience except the picnic at the end of the week-long period.

The curious thing about the church was that they really didn't get too many new members or new conversions. If they were lucky.....they might get eight folks a year to baptize. The interesting thing was the fancy stage bathtub that they kept in the back of the facility which all became part of the ceremony at the end of some service.

The "drowners" became the only real entertainment of the entire experience. These were the women usually, who weren't swimmers, and were fairly bad off at handling dunkings. You'd have a bit of a laugh watching this show.

The last time I had regular interest in going to the church....maybe at age sixteen. I can remember going to church three or four times in the last year I lived in Bama.....and lost any interest in the church.

Were the Baptists simply the wrong group for me? Over the years....I've come to believe that. You don't question much with the Baptists....you usually accept everything with very little discussion.....so that was probably a major strike against the church for me.

I look back at the period and the experience and mostly just laugh. Maybe it did cultivate me in some fashion and give me a slight edge on morals.....but the hours upon hours of boredom.....still lingers in my mind today.

Cold War II or Cold War Fraud?

For those who sit around the TV and observe dimwitted Russians....the past two weeks have kinda changed your prospective of things.

The missile treaty that was kinda agreed upon a couple of days ago....basically gives the US the option of putting up one half of the defensive missile shield for Europe.....namely the ten interceptor missiles. The Polish Parliament has to pass this agreement, which most think will occur. The second part is the radar deal, which will likely involve the Czechs. This deal hasn't been achieved yet. If the Czechs don't make the deal, then the whole mess would fall apart.

The Russians have shown tremendous issue over this entire project. Today....they basically hinted that diplomacy alone will not be enough....hinting ever so lightly that they might conduct military action against the Poles

There are three things which one might observe now.

First, the Russians are showing tremendous fear of ten lousy interceptor missiles. We aren't talking about nuclear missiles or even fifty or more missiles of a high-kiloton level. We are talking about missiles which would basically intercept a likely Iranian nuclear EMP-type missile....where a massive amount of infrastructure (all communications and electronic in nature) would be destroyed in Europe with two or three of these. Ten lousy missiles? Thats all? Yes. And the Russians are in a state of fear over ten missiles....interceptor missiles at that.

What makes the Russians fearful? Basically....all of the technology that they are ready to sell Iran...is going to be beaten by the NATO missiles....so there isn't much reason for the Iranians to buy the Russian technology. Another likely worry is that the US is actually setting things into motion that the Russians thought were impossible.

The second observation....Poland is now a part of NATO....so any threat against Poland now invokes all of the European countries and the US. Anyone who thinks that Russia gets a free ticket to threaten anyone will likely miss the key concept of US defense in Europe.

Finally, the observation of the poor overall condition of the Russian military today triggers one to think how many years it would take before Russia might be able to actually take on anyone other than a Georgia-style country. The video-clips of drunk Russian troops running around the Georgian countryside doesn't help these guys. The lack of leadership over these dimwits and hooligans.....from either NCOs or officers.....is very obvious.

So is the Cold War returning? No.....I have serious doubts. I think this is more of a fraud than a realistic situation. There are actually fools in Moscow who think that the mighty Russian military is very much in existence. The same fools believe a real Russian navy still exists. The same fools believe that technology development in Russia kept footing with Europe and the US for the past fifteen years....it hasn't.

We are looking at a very weak Russia where a vast amount of its real wealth and power....is controlled by the mafia or millionaires. Without the natural gas or oil...the country is bankrupt. Without world banks handling their cash flow.....its a country which falters within a matter of weeks. So it is a fraud of sorts. The cold war isn't coming back. One might refer to this as the "chilled but not shaken" war, which might be more fitting in this circumstance. And in this case....a good martini might be an enjoyable thing.

18 or 21?

Several university presidents have come out over the past weekend and voiced their approval to move the drinking age back down to 18. This is basically to stop binge drinking which, they say, is easier to control if the guy is 18....instead of 21.

Which do I prefer? Well....I have a simple program that I'd like to start across the US. Its called "18 and zero". In my program, you get to start drinking at 18....no questions asked....just show the ID card. And when the cop comes to give you the blood test or the break-machine....and you fail....then you lose your license for two entire years, period, no exception. The second time, and I'll keep these listed in a national database since states are not capable of counting.....it'll be three years. And the third time.....thats the end of your license forever.

You will never get another license in the US....forever and forever. You want to travel....call mama or your wife or son or cousin to pick you up. After a year of doing this....they will be sick and tired of it....and refuse to help you. You might squeeze another year out of someone else.....but it'll be luck if you do.

Caught driving within the affected period while you were supposed to be license-less? Well....you just got three years added onto your period (first time, you get caught). The second time? Its a ten-year period before you get the license back. And a third time you might get caught driving when you weren't supposed to? You are finished....no more license.

Its a simple method. If you have alcohol problems....then drink at your house or your barn.

Wanna pay the police officer off? Then you get a $10,000 fine if caught and he gets fired automatically with no warning.

Wanna pay off the judge involved? Another $10,000 fine if caught and he gets fired automatically with no warning.

Wanna a lesser charge? No. No lesser charge possible with my program.

Wanna drink while in college....go for it....but you better walk back to the dorm. You can figure a long period of no car.....will make your life miserable.

This is my plan....with no alternate routes or escapes.

Here's the best part....you bring the 18-year old crowd back in to drink....and they crank in more tax revenue dollars. If they lose their license....then they can drink big-time while the wife drives them to work each day. We make tons of money off these fools. We make revenue coming and going.

Surprised? Shocked? I'd be taking a ton of folks off the road....with very little sympathy to show. I don't even care if they lose their job with the trucking company or the Pepsi distributor. If they are that stupid....they can stock shelves at Piggy Wiggly. I think this is pretty fair.