Hang on with your Fingernails – the Election will Soon be Over!

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I’ve always considered myself an optimist. But lately I’m leaning toward pessimism. Is it because there is less future ahead of me than past? Is the political climate getting me down? Are the newspapers really more biased today than in the past? Are my opportunities more limited and my energy not what it once was? Has “my dancing heart” stopped dancing?

I know I’m changing when those close to me accuse me of negativity. I reply that I’m being realistic. Today I trust people less and doubt the truth of what I read and hear. When I see people with power and money get off scot-free for offenses that you and I would be jailed for, then yes, I’ve become a pessimist.

I once believed in this country and its laws. I thought that because of the Constitution the most “perfect Union” in the world had been formed. Now I see our laws blatantly disregarded and ignored by those in authority. Men and women of integrity are becoming harder to find let alone to serve. Everywhere you turn there are scandals revealing the dishonesty and corruption in government, sports, and local politics.j0315822

Every day our work and our play is interrupted by telephone scammers telling us we have won a cruise or that they wish to help us fix our computer. The whole purpose for most of these propositions is to gain access to our PC, our bank account or credit card numbers.  Under the guise of our medical provider, some even inquire about our health and brazenly asking us to confirm our social security numbers.

Two years ago, my husband fell for a caller supposedly representing Microsoft. They asked if he had any problems with his PC, which he did. They were all too happy to help him.  When they were done, his computer went black and was never seen or heard from again.

My question to my husband was this: “Why out of millions of users would Microsoft select you?  When you really needed help, they never called or answered your emails. Why you? Why now?”

It took him weeks before he’d admit that yes, he was duped. Whatever they did once they gained access to his PC we’ll never know. Even his backup discs refused to work. The drive remained silent, the screen black.
untitledWe’re still getting those kinds of calls, but they’re now aimed at me. Yes, I’ve become cynical. We’re inundated by people out to get other people’s time and money.

What did those Microsoft Techies accomplish? Not a thing but the evil satisfaction of taking down another American’s device. They didn’t ask for a credit card or personal information. They just wanted to screw us up.

 

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“With these Hands Wonder” 16 x 20 Oil on Canvas

Career politicians are scammers. They lie constantly; and even though their Pinocchio’s are found out, they continue to repeat the same made-up facts defying someone to prove them wrong. Unfortunately, their supporters and the masses don’t care as long as their party wins.

Yes, I’ve had it! I’ll be glad when this election is over. Politicians don’t really care about you and me. They just want the power. They make promises we know they can’t keep or won’t deliver. Will 2017 be any better than the last eight years? Will the quagmire in the Middle East be fixed or made worse?  Will income and wages remain stagnant? Will the cost of living continue to go up while the Feds continue to deny there is any inflation?

The only thing that keeps me going is knowing that God is in control. He hears and answers prayers. He doesn’t promise what he can’t deliver. He is omnipotent. He wraps me in peace while the world is raging. He alone I trust and when I do, I have hope and optimism in the future.

When Lines Blur between Reality and Fiction

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“With these Hands — Wonder” http://carol-allen-anfinsen.pixels.com 

Most People seek the truth. They want to believe in what is real; what is factual. But the media has long given up on gathering facts and are now focused on distortion and white lies. They’ve become promoters of their own personal ideology and political bias, and are focused on manipulating truth. Many participants take words out of context and turn conviction into lies. They prevent their audiences from getting an objective viewpoint or in hearing both sides.

Now unabashedly the FBI and the Justice Department have begun to skirt the law. Even the Supreme Court is ignoring their allegiance to the Constitution and the people dishonoring their positions and personal honor in order to promote an agenda that is underhandedly dark and holds serious repercussions for the future of this nation.

Remember when a handshake was not only respected in a contract or agreement, but engraved in stone because people considered their word sacrosanct and lawful? Now we can no longer trust our leaders who we thought were held to a higher standard. As a matter of fact, most of us don’t trust anyone. We’re afraid of a sales call, of identity theft, of scammers that assault us day and night.

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(Front yard blooms)

Those elected to power are mainly concerned with their own careers. In their personal view and thinking “the ends justify the means.” Their allegiance to the electorate whom they serve no longer matters. How did we sink so low? What has caused this fall of national character into the murky abyss of slime where right and wrong have been muddied in a grab for power?

Prior to her husband’s election as President of the United State, Michelle Obama said “I’m ashamed of my Country.”  After almost eight years of Obama leadership, I can say in return “I’m not only ashamed of my country, I fear for its future.”

We have become a Godless people more concerned with our personal pleasures than in our own honesty and integrity. The decline in American values is evident. We have turned honorable men and women into puppets of the state. Our greed for power has tainted our judgment. Our leaders have become dictators, and our loyal servants have become dishonest politicians grubbing for position and control.

The heart of America is rotting from the core. There are a few glimmers of hope. When a crisis emerges, we still stand together. When people die, we are there to give compassion and support. But even in the midst of this, we are divided. We ignore crime and the law in favor of prejudice and popular opinion. Many segments of the population have become a mob mentality. It doesn’t matter what the laws say, they break it. If they don’t like the outcome, they stand against the enforcers who have pledged to keep us safe. In turn, lawbreakers are shielded by their leaders and mob violence is often encouraged and allowed.

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(These young armadillos visited us early one morning.)

Both political correctness and designated “hate speech” are becoming a law unto themselves setting a dangerous precedent in overruling existing Constitutional law. As a result, people are becoming afraid of spontaneous speech or of expressing an opinion. Free speech is being set on its ear by self-appointed enforcers who label someone’s opinion as prejudiced or hateful. Recently some university students uttered “I hate the first amendment. We don’t want these people (those with opposing views) on our campus.”

These students are too young to remember Hitler and his brutal regime when hate speech was lauded and opposing opinions were stifled. Our Founding Fathers must be quaking in their boots in fear that all they worked so hard to achieve is being destroyed.

We have one of the most important elections in our time coming up in November. Will we disregard what history can teach us? Will we put our personal stamp, our thumb print, in support of lawlessness, dishonesty and Godlessness? Or will we uphold the principles that made America great for all people and not just the few in power?

This division we now feel in our country did not come from the ground up, but from the top down. Good leaders inspire the best in their followers. They lead by example and truth. The chaos in our country and the world has been allowed to happen. The Middle East has been blown apart by incompetence and falsehoods.

Socialism and totalitarianism are not the answer. You just have to examine their roots and results to understand their automatic downfall. Freedom isn’t lawlessness or pitting one group of people against another. Class warfare is a communist tactic. Morally it is bribery with the intent of getting what you want.

Freedom isn’t free just because you want it to be so. Freedom is the result of sacrifice, honor, and hard work. If you’re not up to it, someone else may be and the result is your neck under the boot of oppression. Please friends, vote judiciously and prayerfully.

 

Control – Oh, the Power it Wields!

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Two paintings from my “With These Hands” series: “Hope” on the left, and “Wonder” on the right. Oil on acrylic underpainting (mixed media)

Human nature is embarrassingly obvious. Whoever possesses the power is in control. Politicians seize it in the guise of helping the electorate; but instead, they vote themselves better health care, bigger raises, and huge pensions for retirement income.

They change the laws to suit their contributors. They vote out term limits so they can keep getting re-elected using the same lies they did when they first got elected. If the people in the states they represent feel like they’re getting the benefits, they grant them power for another term.

Today the establishment elite are afraid of losing that power. In their efforts to gain control, they are using lies and corruption to create a climate for take-over. Will the people allow it? In this “government of the people” are the elites once again trying to deceive in order to regain what for them is almost lost?

The whole affair makes me sick to my stomach. Because I support Trump, I’m tired of being told I’m not smart, I’m stupid, I’m a “far right loon” or worse. And this does not come from the democrats, but from the party I have supported not only with my votes, but with my money.

Many are backing off because they shun the labels the media and the establishment sling at them. So rather than be called an ignoramus for following Trump “the clown,” they fall in line behind the establishment candidates. Cowards! If we cease to stand for what we believe and blindly follow behind the demagogues who are beholden to their lobbyists and donors and not to “we the people,” America is lost.

If Donald Trump wins the delegate votes, isn’t it unconstitutional to try to take them away from him after the people have spoken? Romney thinks he has the power to take them away. If he is the shadow candidate, he not only won’t win, Hillary will get the nomination.

The “Rhinos” don’t care who wins as long as they can keep feeding at the trough courtesy of John Q. Public. But surprise! The more they sling mud at the Trump campaign, the more followers he obtains and this has the establishment in an angry frenzy of desperation. Poor little Marco thinks he has a shot at being President, but he’s only a pawn in the game to push Romney to the head of the pack.

The same power struggle happens in marriage. The one who has financial control, usually holds the winning hand. Sometimes money is withheld in order to manipulate or hurt. At other times the power may be used in the bedroom to withhold sex or affection. Power is often used to intimidate, embarrass, or belittle. Weak people are more likely to use this power to hurt others. The perpetrators may be male or female.

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The third in the “With These Hands” series: “Love” all available at http://carol-allen-anfinsen.pixels.com

Greed and selfishness are at the center of all power disputes. Facts are distorted. Reputations are sullied. Self-respect and self-esteem are both destroyed. There are no winners. But in this election year, it is not a game. It’s a matter of life and death. Our country is so saddled by debt it is already on the verge of collapse. Our Constitution is in shreds. Our precious rights and liberties are being eroded to the point of no return and both parties are guilty of their destruction.

You can’t afford to be ignorant when you vote. Study the issues. Read both sides of an argument and determine the facts. If you don’t really care then please don’t vote. The right to vote was earned by someone else’s blood and tears. Some even lost their lives in preserving freedom. At this critical juncture in American history you can’t afford to sit this one out. Remember the saying: “absolute power corrupts absolutely.” We must keep the power with the people.

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“First Daffodil” the hope of Spring.

A Flawed Foundation Weakens the Structure

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“The Perfect Ending” 24 x 18 acrylic on canvas

As I enter the back entrance to my complex, I see cars backed up on both sides of the intersection to the elementary school. Turn signals blink for left on one side and right on the other.  I squeeze past, not with irritation, but empathy. Bus drivers in our area have been negligent putting children at risk and in harm’s way. Parents are simply protecting their prized possessions and trying to keep them safe.

When my own children were spread out between elementary, middle school and high school, I never worried that they would arrive at their destination or return home in the evening. Their bus drivers were long-standing employees that almost everyone knew. I rode the bus myself on field trips and extracurricular activities. The school system and the transportation were institutions we knew that we could depend upon.

“Beach Buddies” oil on 20 x 16 canvas

A whole lot has happened since then. Another school shooting blares across my T.V. screen. A small college town in Oregon this time. What has happened to our once safe nation? Why are the things we have trusted and relied on for ages now vulnerable and exposed to this treacherous form of evil?

I think back to my own upbringing in a similar small college town humorously called “happy valley,” where nothing serious ever went wrong and people seldom locked their doors. It wasn’t because we were “gun free” I can tell you that! We were a Western community, living in the shadows of the Wasatch Mountains. Almost every family owned guns.

In fall and winter there was deer hunting. Families depended on the hunt for food to put in their freezers. Hunting was not simply a sport, it was a necessity. My father and my uncle managed to stock our freezer with pheasant, deer, fish, and other game. My aunt and her husband supplied us with chicken which ran freely in their yard.

In spite of the fact that people owned guns, there was never any violence. Accidental shootings were rare. Sometimes a hunter who forgot to wear a red shirt may have been glazed on the first day of hunting season. What has changed since that long ago time?

  • We have more people in our country, a larger population.
  • Many of them come from foreign countries where this kind of violence is normal.
  • We no longer confine people who may put others at risk.
  • Mental health is ignored and safeguards are not in place.
  • We no longer value human life.
  • Moral depravity has become accepted.
  • Honesty is for “other people.”
  • Deviant behavior is no longer frowned upon.
  • Anti-gun lobbyists try to keep the lawful from owning guns.
  • Criminals manage to skirt the law and obtain them anyway.

One of the first things Hitler did when he came to power was to confiscate all guns. They were needed for the “Resistance” and to protect Germany. When some people complained about what Hitler was doing in their country, they were arrested and jailed. They had no means of escape or protection.

“With these Hands — Wonder” oil on 20 x 16 canvas

The Second Amendment to our Constitution protects this kind of obfuscation for this very reason. Should tyranny come to power, the people would have no means to defend themselves or to preserve their freedom.

Governments, businesses, corporations work carefully to build a solid infrastructure to support their entities through the highs and lows of success or in downturns. Like solid blocks, this foundation provides a strong footing from which to build.

Some would say America’s ground is crumbling; yet, they seem surprised? Have we not ignored the very values that made this country strong in the first place? We’ve pushed the envelope perhaps beyond the point of no return. Once freedom is gone, it is gone forever. Unless we can remember and restore what made America great in the first place, we will never get it back.