Brevis Ipas Vita Est Sed Malis Fit Longior – Adversity

Father Mulcahy 3The title is Latin for “Life is short, but trouble makes it longer.”  Recently I was reminded of the power and blessing of adversity.  One of the comments that struck me was, “You will all experience your own Gethsemane’s.”  Gethsemane is a garden at the foot of the Mount of Olives and became famous in the New Testament for the place where Jesus went to pray and, according to the New Testament, completed the atonement.  Gethsemane remains a symbol of hope for people experiencing trouble, difficulty, or adversity.  However, the thought of us experiencing our own Gethsemane individually intrigues me as a concept.

One of the scriptures that holds a lot of hope for me comes from the Doctrine and Covenants Section 121 7-9:

7 My son, peace be unto thy soul; thine adversity and thine afflictions shall be but a small moment;
8 And then, if thou endure it well, God shall exalt thee on high; thou shalt triumph over all thy foes.
9 Thy friends do stand by thee, and they shall hail thee again with warm hearts and friendly hands
.

Nowhere is recorded how long Jesus spent in Gethsemane; one might presume the time was longer than an hour, but less than 8 hours.  Beyond that, I cannot guess and will not venture an opinion.  However, the thought that adversity will be but a small moment rings like an eternal truth in my mind.  Let me elaborate on this point, my wife and I spent 6-months homeless, living out of our car, showering at her mom’s apartment, and working as often as I could find work.  During this time, I was studying for a master’s in business administration and struggling with depression for feeling like an absolute failure for not being able to provide a home for my spouse.Adversity is an advantage to embrace, not an annoyance to avoid. | Art Coombs Art Coombs

Yet, as I look back on this homelessness period, it seems but a small moment.  While I know mentally that the timeframe was six excruciating months, the truth is that the adversity felt like a moment even during the adversity and the months following.  My friends found during this time were such an incredible solace; my wife’s family and even my studies became lifts to my spirit and a balm to my mental processes.  How grateful I am for the adversity that has shaped me since this event and the incredible people who supported my wife and me.

Interestingly, in M*A*S*H 4077, the final episode “Goodbye, Farewell, and Amen,” the poignancy of Father Mulcahy’s predicament with losing his hearing has become more meaningful since this episode of homelessness.  Indeed life is lived forward and understood backward.  As Father Mulcahy said, “What good is a deaf priest?”  The value is found in learning and living, but the learning and living is the adversity shaping us physically, mentally, and spiritually.Grit - Defined

Long have I pondered what a piece of clay must think as it is placed on a potter’s wheel, and if it realizes that when the potter is done, the adversity on that wheel will make it something beautiful, useful, or both.  Whether you believe in god, God, or gods, what are the adversities in your life making out of you, and will you recognize yourself when the potter is done?  Will you care what the potter has made you?  Those two questions lay on my mind, not with weight, but nonetheless with power.  A final question struck me as Father Mulcahy was marrying Klinger and Sun Lee, will we respect the potter for the work invested in creating us through adversity?

30 Best Adversity Quotes To Regain The Courage | Brainy ReadersIt’s no secret to those who have known me that I did not like serving in the US Navy and the pressure cooker of the USS Barry (DDG 52) from 2000-2004.  I have often cursed and shook my fist at the sky over the experiences during the US Navy.  Yet, even now, the experiences in the US Navy are felt as a small moment, and time does help heal wounds.  Better still, time tends to soften the edges, and one of the other things I have found is that how we choose changes how we remember.  I loved being “haze grey and underway” in the navy.  Many things were better while sailing that worsened to the point of breaking while in port.  More to the point, being “haze grey and underway” was always an adventure, fun, and never dull, even while pulling five and dime watch standing, doing maintenance on a pitching deck, or even climbing the mast while underway to fix something broke.

Adversity QuotesMajor Winchester leaving M*A*S*H in a garbage truck reminds me of my time in the US Navy, very appropriate.  As soon as Major Winchester came to M*A*S*H 4077, I watched to see what pranks could be done to Major Charles Emerson Winchester the third.  I loved watching Charles become the butt of a joke.  Yet, even as I type, I cannot help but wonder, was a garbage truck appropriate; is it disrespectful of the potter to see another person struggle and heap more scorn upon them?  Charles’ life changed dramatically and horribly; his ways of thinking, the path of his life, and even his belief in his own self-worth were constantly challenged and scrutinized.  I can understand Charles’ experiences more now than at any time previously.

Having been homeless multiple times in my life, one of my greatest difficulties is seeing someone putting up their petition for help and not being able to help.  I know there are a lot of scams out there, but that has never mattered to me; not being able to help bothers me greatly.  The war in Ukraine, the orphans left after war and storms, the hunger and depravity in this world, those individual adversities we see all around us.  I always want to help.  Long have I thought if I could relieve an ounce, a dram, a smidge of suffering, I could sleep better at night or know I succeeded at something.  Life has taught me how to fight, then it taught me how to think, and then my body was injured, and I am left stuck somewhere in between—proving that adversity comes in many shapes, colors, sizes, and types!Adversity Quotes

Please know, I am not maudlin or melancholy about my life.  I have some great stories, met some truly amazing people, and lived to tell those tales.  All I ever wanted out of life was to be “an interesting old person,” and if I can keep reading and thinking, and especially writing, I should be able to tell some of those stories.  If I died tomorrow, I could say I lived a rich, full life, with no regrets.  I have no complaints and look forward to learning a lot more.  Bringing up another exciting facet of adversity, the learning that comes through adversity.

For example, did you know you do not teach adults?  Anyone who tells you differently does not know what they are talking about.  Teaching only happens to children, and if those kids are like me, barely even then.  For adults, you help them see their life experiences in a new light, applying existing knowledge to current situations to improve how they think.  You do not teach adults; they teach themselves; as an adult educator, my job is to help them learn how to think.15 Quotes About Overcoming Adversity Never to Forget

I know a kid, now an adult, who had been molested, beaten, and suffered greatly.  Growing into a scrappy adult, this child had experienced the horrible and survived.  Sure, you might teach this kid how to reach a formulaic solution, but the core knowledge of life, this kid held a doctorate.  Adversity had trained this kid how to think, how to act, how to understand, and how to fight back.  While other kids learned how to wield a bat and hit a ball, this kid was learning how to throw punches, duck, dodge, and handle pain.  While some kids learned how to cook, this kid already knew how to cook and could make meals out of practically anything.  Adversity taught this kid, and the student was worthy of the master’s teachings how I have longed to be as apt a pupil to adversity’s teachings as this kid.A Layman's Blog: Pasternak on adversity.............

When considering the potter, as we are placed upon the wheel, then into a kiln, are we clay, easily molded, or a rock choosing to be chased off the potter’s wheel for refusing to change and be moldable?  A young adult uttered the saddest commentary on life I have ever heard.  My father did it this way; his father did it this way; his father did it this way; going back as far as family memory can relate, I am doing it this way.  When I saw the stubbornness of this person, I felt like weeping for the potential lost to generations who choose not to change.  Adversity gets us asking questions; for me, those questions are always about how I improve—improving myself, a process, an environment, the situation, anything that can be changed to drive improvements.John Wooden Quote: "Adversity often produces an unexpected opportunity. Look for it ! Appreciate ...

Another book referred to the “captivity of the fathers.”  In the movie “Fiddler on the Roof,” Tevia sings the song of “Tradition!”  Is adversity trying to tell us there is a better way, and tradition is trying to hold us back?  In previous articles, I discussed how a friend of mine related that he is the first generation of his family who could read, and his children and grandchildren are graduating college because as a child, he was forced onto a bus, driven to Oklahoma, and forced into school and off the Indian reservation.  He experienced traumatic adversity as a child of seven.  The blessing of that adversity has lived and made him every day since, but to make him, the traditions of his fathers had to be forced out of his mind by formal education hundreds of miles from his northern Arizona home.  I weep for that little boy but cheer for the man he became and cherish my friendship with a man who had to justify two worlds.  Beware the traditions of your fathers so they do not become captivity your children must suffer to escape.

Not for any other purpose than trying and making the adversarial moment something I do not have to repeat.  I have repeated too many adversarial moments; there must be a better way to live!  For example, I was forced into bankruptcy twice!  I hope to learn from my mistakes, and if anyone knows how to raise money, improve earnings, and live more fully within one’s means, I am all ears!  If you know how to monetize a website, I will trade for this knowledge and assistance.  Bringing up another powerful tool of adversity, placing us into situations where we can help and will choose to be helped.Adversity Opportunity Quotes. QuotesGram

One of the reasons why some adversarial incidents last as long as they do is because we are proud people, and giving help is easier than accepting help and multitudes of times easier than asking for help.  My first time homeless, I had to get off the streets as walking the streets all night was interfering with my ability to work a complete shift.  Plus, it was cold, and those nights in Auburn, Washington in October and November were miserable!  So, I asked for help from a church, and asking for help was one of the most challenging events in my life.  In fact, asking for help has never gotten easier with time or experience.  I would rather get beat with a brick stick than ask for help; is it any wonder that pride is one of the seven deadly sins?Adversity | Adversity, Lds quotes, Church quotes

To ask for help, I felt I needed to have a plan to repay the money.  I demanded that I stick with that repayment schedule, even after being told, very kindly, that I did not have to repay and that there was no debt to repay.  How often do we make the pains and problems of adversity worse because we struggle to ask for help or feel a need to repay debts when there are no debts?  The reality is that when adversity appears to drag on and on without end, being a relentless taskmaster, many times I am the problem making adversity worse.Adversity Quotes By Famous People. QuotesGram

Bring us back to that garden near the Mount of Olives and the suffering of Jesus Christ.  Leaving me with a final question, how do I know when enough is sufficient?  I do not know how to answer this question, nor am I sure I am asking the right question; I merely know that adversity is not occurring because the intelligence’s of the universe want to see me struggle, adversity is not happening because I committed a crime or deserved being punished.  Adversity is a tool that helps us gain strength and I am weak, and the only way to get my attention is to put me in situations where I can grow through the things I suffer.  But help is always available; this is another lesson adversity teaches.  Help, assistance, support, we are not left bereft of these in our times of need, and this is a comfort and a hope.

Knowledge Check!Let us choose to be more charitable, relieve suffering where we can, ask for help when we need, and choose to make today a little better than yesterday through our involvement in the world around us.  I am not asking anyone to go broke helping those putting up their petitions, and it does not matter where the money goes.  Be the hand reaching out, and you WILL always find a hand reaching out to you; this is the final lesson adversity teaches us.

© Copyright 2022 – M. Dave Salisbury
The author holds no claims for the art used herein, the pictures were obtained in the public domain, and the intellectual property belongs to those who created the images.  Quoted materials remain the property of the original author.

The Proper and Improper Role of Government – Part 3

Bait & SwitchThere many ideas I embraced as a child that brings me short mentally and cause some discomfort.  The biggest of these was the support of labor unions.  As a kid, I thought labor unions were the best thing since sliced bread.  I learned in K-12 how the labor unions had ended child labor, gave us weekends, Federal holidays, and the 8-hour day, among other tremendous and notable accomplishments.  Until I lost my job to a labor union guy who took four times as long to complete work, complained horribly and sent me to the unemployment line.  I never understood what he had to complain about, times were hard, and I lost a good job to a labor union member.

ApathyBecause of the hold, the Labor Unions have on government, the line between government policy and labor union influence is generally so blurred that confusion is bred as to why things work the way they work in government.  Unfortunately, every country with a representative government and labor unions has the same problem.  Labor unions are entirely Marxist in their ideology, but to keep the masses happy, instead of communism, we get rampant socialism instead.  J. T. Murphy writes specifically eloquently on the ties between socialism and the labor unions.  Frankly, I have never understood how a labor person can swear they love freedom and America while supporting tooth and nail their labor unions’ Marxist and socialist agendas.

Inflation and Socialism, plus the Captivity of Debt

Public Employment Retirement Costs Are At "Tipping Point"Public-sector labor unions are the number one reason many states in America have seen their credit ratings drop.  The debt of the retirement packages and pensions is a millstone around every state’s neck.  This is an absolute reality proven time and time again.  The pension crisis is so large that Forbes keeps coming back to this topic several times a year.  If you would like a primer on the public pension crisis, go here.  The public pension crisis is mentioned solely because it remains the number one budget item for too many states.  With that much money owed, the debt runs the state’s fiscal decisions, not people, and brings up the captivity of debt.

Look up the principle of “usury” in historical texts, and you find usury occurs when interest is charged on money borrowed, which creates captivity.  TheWalletcoach.com eloquently details how debt is captivity.  The oldest of historical texts, the Old Testament, is vehemently against charging usury of brothers and family members, but strangers being in debt captivity was okay.  Today, the confinement of debt, specifically the public pensions, leads the politicians like a goat to slaughter. But, unfortunately, none of the politicians can find the time to formulate a plan, gather their fellow politicians, and fix the problem.  Debt, to the height of the public pension crisis, creates inflation and leads to socialism, as the government runs out of other people’s money to pay for the failures of previous politicians to be fiscally literate and fiscally responsible.  Add in the labor unions’ consistent sticky hands, and the local and state governments are in deep trouble.  Add in the Federal Government’s debt obligations, and money trouble is a catastrophe!  Please note that catastrophe is not an “If” or “when;” it is a current issue right now!National Debt Graph + Bush-Reagan Voodoo Video - zFacts

16 March 2019, Tom Del Beccaro, writing an opinion piece for Fox News, produced the greatest missive I have ever seen tying the principles of debt captivity to inflation and governments becoming socialized!  Historically speaking, Mr. Del Beccaro is 100% correct that the socialization of Greece and the fall of the Roman Republic are both tied to government debts. However, the Founding Fathers in America knew history, were literate, and they feared what would happen to this Free Republic (if we can keep it) when the government is allowed to rack up debts!  Every single publication I have on the Founding Fathers, and the Founding of America, come back to the bondage of debt and the problems with government debt. However, when the population demands “free benefits” from the government and uses their voting power to elect only those who keep the “Gravy Train” coming, socialism has been achieved in all but name!Government Largess

That fact alone should scare every member of the American Experiment into correcting their government!  Yet, what do we find, the exact opposite!  Frightening does not entirely cover my feelings here!

Socialism, Taxes, and The Workplace

Gravy TrainReturning to the pattern discussed on 16 March 2019, Tom Del Beccaro, writing an opinion piece for Fox News, discussed how taxes are a knee-jerk reaction to “keep that gravy train running.”  Therein lay the root causes for how socialism has been promoted in the workplace and how high taxes will eventually go!  I have written about this relationship for a long time, but please allow me to refresh memories.

In the United States, the Government Agency tasked with employment, employment laws, and employer responsibilities is not the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB); by statute, it is the Department of Internal Revenue Service (IRS).  The NLRB is only there to handle labor unions, labor union growth, and labor union law.  The IRS defines what an employee is vs. a contractor or knowledge vendor.  Worse, the IRS rigidly protects this relationship as a key to preserving the government’s interest (tax dollars) in keeping socialism in the workplace.  Some of my earliest articles deal with these exact principles and the socialized employee structures in which each worker and business is demanded to participate.Gravy Train 2

Upset with how your employer treats you, both on and off the employer’s property, there is only one place to put the blame, the IRS.  The IRS states the employer can invade your privacy, in your home, as an extension of “Risk Control” because your employer agreed to the IRS’s demands to pay taxes.  Your rights, freedoms, and liberties are curtailed, culled, and clipped in the workplace because the IRS demands the employer play ball with them, and your liberties are the price you pay for a paycheck.  Every time I see a labor union complaining about how the employer treats them, I want to shake the stuffing out of the leaders, for it is not the employer but the IRS that should be struck down and disbanded!  Yet, the NLRB will always side against the employer, and the labor union, a Marxist organization, wins, the IRS wins, and the employer and non-union employees lose. As a result, socialism in America becomes more powerful and influential.

Socialism and Mothers in the Workplace

As a means to improve the strength of the family in society, several religious organizations would love to see mothers provided the power to stay home.  Yet, socialism, as a fundamental operating principle, that all able bodied people must support the state, K-12 educators can rear kids, and the government acquires drones who do as they are told.  High fuel prices are no longer discussed on the nightly news because the government needs every able-bodied and disabled person working and asked the media to find something else to discuss.Plato 2

Why does the current president keep ducking questions about inflation; because the higher inflation goes, the higher prices are demanded, and the more people will rely upon the “Government Gravy Train.”  Unfunded liabilities (kited checks) are acceptable to socialists as a means of controlling the populace and keeping people in the game.  Higher taxes from inflation are good when it controls those in society who would raise their heads and ask questions under the thumb of totalitarian control.  If mothers returned home, how fast would demands for improved schools become the big issue in local politics, again?Gravy Train 3

My wife, a single mother due to divorce, while raising her two kids, relates stories of gathering mothers in Seattle to fight the school board and win.  Bewitched (1964-1972), the TV show reflects several times where Samantha got involved and changed local politics.  It used to be expected in local politics for mothers to have the ultimate last word on worthy politicians for whom to vote.  Yet, by increasing prices, mothers had to go to work.  It is now standard for politicians to get elected whose only desire is to keep socialism going, stealing liberties and freedoms while pontificating that the other party is at fault for your suffering.

Knowledge Check!I repeat, only for emphasis, the IRS remains the most influential, nefarious, and deadly threat to America.  America, what I am proposing will be a culture shock. It will turn many people onto their heads. It will appear anathema, all because we, the citizens, have watched the government become stronger and us the citizens weaker for so many generations.  But, the reality remains, we own the government, the government has been abusing us, and the time of big government to solve all the problems from a broken shoelace to fixing the weather has to end!  We must believe, gather knowledge, and act as a conjoined whole to make the necessary changes.

© 2021 M. Dave Salisbury
All Rights Reserved
The images used herein were obtained in the public domain; this author holds no copyright to the images displayed.

NO MORE BS: Literacy and Liberty

Gadsden FlagThere is a legal axiom that everyone should know and fear in the biblical sense, “Ignorance of the law is not a valid excuse.”  When I first heard this hypothesis, my initial thought was, “How totally bogus!!!”  As I have learned, as my literacy levels have climbed, and as my understanding has deepened, I understand the principle in this axiom more completely.  The principle is not to sow doubt and fear in a populace but to promote learning because liberty is both precious and easily removed.  As a point of reference, the preciousness and removal of liberty have been studied. Through their ignorance, those who are illiterate of the law are more susceptible to be disadvantaged by the law.

How did the housing bubble happen?

Sure, the government reduced regulations, played with interest rates, and created the problem.  Banking is a business, and the first rule of business is to return profits to the investors, so the banking industry dove headfirst into getting people into homes.  State governments helped fuel this problem with deregulation, tax breaks, and incentives, increasing their debt levels to invest in housing people.  I will fully support that everyone involved possessed altruistic motives: altruism, the belief in or practice of disinterested and selfless concern for others’ well-being.

Detective 2Except … research supports the conclusion that despite fairness doctrines written into laws, illiterates are more disadvantaged in legal dealings.  Never forget, functional illiteracy was a desire of Dewey in the late 1860s as a means of reducing the power, liberty, and freedom of populations through K-12 education.  We must start understanding the origins of the problem to empower and plot a working solution.  Academic research is purposefully vague and inconsistent on the lines of congruence between functional illiteracy and individual wealth and economic mobility, all while taking advantage of the inconsistencies where the law is concerned.

Stevens (1985) reviewed the data and found a relationship barrier, “the crudeness of the literacy/illiteracy measurements, and a finer distinction was required.”  The data he used was from the 1870s and showed that literacy barriers were dependent upon age; the older the person, the less likely they were to be literate and more likely to be taken advantage of by the law.  Does this sound familiar where the housing bubble was concerned?

Root Cause AnalysisJen Deaderick, writing for the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER; 2018), provides vital insight into how hard and deeply the housing bubble affected lower-income people and minority populations.  One of the more brutal consequences of the housing bubble was the extreme credit card debt carried by lower-income minority populations and how these populations have never recovered to 2007 income levels.

Demos and NAACP co-authored a research report declaring how credit card debt in lower-income and minority households is seen as a “safety-net.”  While these populations are actively working to pay down their credit card debt, the credit card usage remains high, and the pay-down and usage cycle hinders wealth growth.  I have now asked this question of school boards in several states and with teachers in high schools, “Why is economics not taught in high school?  Especially how to budget money, creating money, money intelligence, etc.”  The answer is always the same, “That is a good idea, but there is no time or interest in teaching those uninteresting topics.”  I have found that teachers are some of the highest credit card users in the various professionals, far outstripping commissioned salespeople.

Returning to the premise that functional illiteracy, chiefly where finances and the law are concerned, sees a tremendous and disproportionate abuse of lower-income and minority people at the hands of contractual law.  According to the law hypothesis stated above, their illiteracy is their fault, and thus the abuse is their problem.  Yet, if a person’s illiteracy was purposefully inflicted upon them by, say government, who is responsible for the illiteracy?

Oops!I fully submit that after K-12 Education, a person is recognized as an adult, fully responsible for their actions or inactions based upon what they learned in school, to become a productive member of society.  I have learned and am still learning tough and difficult lessons regarding personal literacy and financial decisions, literacy and law, liberty and literacy, and much more.  Yet, I read, I try to expand my mind, I make choices and suffer or enjoy consequences based upon those choices.  I understand the process because I have wanted to know more.

Research on reading shows that a vast majority of Americans never read a book after high school, including those who go onto college.  Worse, many students in junior high and high school never read a book; but complete reading assignments using search topics and Google.  Why; because being literate is considered “nerdy,” “reading is difficult,” “reading is not intellectually challenging,” and the excuses run on ad nauseam and ad infinitum.  All of which has been the aim of the acolytes of Dewey and Wundt since the 1860s.

Stevens (1985) expressed an idea important to literacy and freedom.

It is obvious that if literacy skills are required to exercise voting rights, for example, the worth of liberty for the illiterate person is severely diminished.”  In the decisions of State v. Sweeney (1950) the Court argued for “equal opportunities under the law,” but added: “lt is not possible for constitutions or legislation to make all men equal in understanding, intelligence and education.”  State legislation tended in the direction of equality of education even to the point of “compelling the youth of our country to take advantage of these opportunities.” But the Court acknowledged that “in every phase of our social and civic life, the uneducated man is at a disadvantage.”

Detective 4Except the case can be made that the State, with the Federal Government’s aid, has created the uneducated person, purposefully to abuse a population for political power.  When teachers tell a student they cannot learn, need Ritalin, are dyslexic, as agents of the State, they are declaring the student’s potential—locking the student into a life of purposely being taken advantage of by contractual law and other forms of law.  Who gave the teachers the right to demand a student be placed on harmful drugs to exist in a modern classroom, the State.  Who gave teachers the authority to diagnose a student as “dyslexic,” the State.  Why were teachers granted this power; why was the power stripped from parents; because Dewey wanted to control populations through literacy ability.  Dewey considered a literate person a danger to society, following an unnatural god, and possessing the power of a tyrant because they knew their language and could express themselves.

My next younger brother, Steven, is an imaginative, brilliant, and incredible person.  But, he got frustrated when trying to learn; the more frustrated he got, the more unbearable to be around he became.  Years of being told to shut up, sit down, and pay attention, has left him a shell of a person.  Teachers actively refused to answer his questions because he has a problem correctly describing the question in words.  He does not have a learning disability.  His brain works differently from the rest of a classroom population.  When he found a teacher that could help him, that was the height of his education in K-12.  He was passed onto another teacher to “be their problem” until he dropped out of school in frustration.  Unfortunately, in my family, two other brothers followed the same pattern.  Three lives have been blighted and wasted because the teachers measured potential by poverty and failed to educate, the school boards refused to teach and educate, and the State supported the teachers and school board.

Theres moreHow often does this story repeat in your family?  How often does this story repeat in your school?  How often does it repeat in your community, state, and nation?  The short answer, “Too bloody often!”  These are the people to whom the law abuses, contracts are a noose around their necks, voting ballots are a blur, and who will never leave the captivity of illiteracy!

Would you, the audience reading this blog, be surprised to find yourself in the same category as my brothers?  Abused by contractual law, abused by other laws, held in captivity due to your limited education and poor literacy abilities.  I am not judging you or your potential; by merely reaching out to find information and reading this blog, you are trying, and I commend you for your efforts and will help your progress any way I can.  But, we all have been abused, seen our potential limited, and lost liberties and freedoms based solely upon the education received at the hands of the State.  Surprised; I was when I started researching these topics.  Now, I find myself feeling more like a soaked chicken with a raging case of hemorrhoids.

Scared Eyes!Your command of your language has been intentionally limited, and each successive year, it has been reduced.  For example, while insignificant, my knowledge of literature is greater than my sister’s, and her command of the language is magnitudes greater than my youngest brother.  Want an interesting experiment, next time you have multiple generations of your family around, ask them what words mean and how to use them in sentences.  You will find similar generational gaps in literacy, even if those family members do not read.

I met an incredible family in Northern Ohio, 18 kids born to the same husband/wife team.  When the younger kids need help with homework, they call a big brother or sister.  Dad is a construction worker, very skilled with his hands, brilliant in planning and carrying out projects, but never considered “worthy” of higher education.  Mom is well-read, intelligent, and a savvy thinker, but the school boards deemed her potential.  In both cases, the school board was exceedingly wrong, but the hold was too powerful to shake.  Their story is replicated, maybe not with as many kids, from Maine to Washington, from Florida to Montana, and every stop in between, and it remains abhorrent to me!

LookYour potential to learn is not governed by what a teacher or school board has determined.  Your potential is only limited by you and your choices.  If you know someone who struggles, please help them, for you will find that empowering a mind to learn is the most incredible feeling in the world!  To know you have brightened a mind to shake off the shackles of captivity gives you the confidence to improve your own understanding and to repeat the feat!  Please, help end the abuse of the law, through literacy which increases liberty and freedom!  Because we are all connected, increasing liberty and freedom for one person increases liberty and freedom for everyone.  The truth is apparent, “One raindrop raises the sea!”

Reference

Stevens, E. (1985). Literacy and the worth of liberty. Historical Social Research, 10(2), 65-81. https://doi.org/10.12759/hsr.10.1985.2.65-81

© 2021 M. Dave Salisbury
All Rights Reserved
The images used herein were obtained in the public domain; this author holds no copyright to the photos displayed.

NO MORE BS: The Captivity of our Fathers: A Paradigm for Freedom!

Note: Today, I am revisiting a previous topic in an effort to improve base knowledge on key principles to freedom.

RememberTo remember is to do something necessary or advisable, which brings honor to the past and freedom to the present.  Remembering is the power to become aware that you are more than the singular person and many others have held a hand in making you, your personality, strengths, and weaknesses.  A greeting card reads, “I am a strong person because a strong person raised me.”  Remembering is also the power that propels the person from their starting point into a glorious future.  Ralph Marston has the last word on remembering, “Remember why you started, remember where you are headed, think how great it will be to get there, and keep going.”

The Church of JESUS CHRIST of Latter-Day Saints, revers as scripture “The Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ,” in which the reader is encouraged to “Remember the captivity of your fathers” (Mosiah: 27:16; Alma: 5: 6; Alma 29:11-12; 36:2, 29).  The captivity originally spoken of was physical captivity. Where a group of people had been militarily taken over by their enemies and were in physical bondage, slaves pressed into cruel service.  But, as this theme evolves, the reader is encouraged to remember other types of captivity their fathers have been subjected to, as a means of more fully enjoying the freedoms and opportunities they possess, because of their father’s captivity and their father’s release from captivity through action.

To the person escaping Cuba as Castro came to power, the captivity of communism and the celebration of freedom in America is a tangible memory and powers many a child of Cuban heritage to act and appreciate their freedoms dearly-won through their father’s actions.  The release from concentration camp captivity powered and motivates even to this day the children and communities where freedom now rings.  The captivity of those in the USSR powers the minds and freedoms of those living in Russia.  Problems still exist in all these communities, but the release from captivity is worth remembering.  By remembering, honor is paid to those who suffered that captivity, by the growth and development of those present and into the future by actions made today.

CaptivityCaptivity comes in many shapes, by many names, and is visible only through the suffering of those held captive.  Some captivity comes from external forces, including military conquest, law, religious beliefs, and more.  Some captivity arrives through individual choices as consequences, including sex, food, drugs (legal and illegal), alcohol, TV, Social Media, or any excessive habit-forming action.  Consider the captivity caused through debt.  For example, our children’s children’s children’s children have not been formed yet, but they are already in captivity to the National and State Debt burdens carried right now!  Is this fair to them?  We get benefits, and they get captivity, all through government refusal to act responsibly; how are those retirement benefits?

During a conversation with several older adults, I asked a question about illiteracy’s captivity.  I asked how many generations back in their families does it take to find an illiterate family member.  One fortunate person claimed it was more than 8 generations, and another said three, a couple said four, but a very elderly person in the back said 1, his parents never learned to read or write in their own native language or English.  This man is a Native American from a tribe in Northern Arizona; when I met him, he was in his late 80’s.

LiberationAs a child of 8, he was separated from his tribe, family, and the reservation he knew, loaded onto a bus, and sent to Oklahoma for a “White Man’s” education.  He spent 10-months of every year for the next 10-years going to school in Oklahoma.  During that time, he never received a single letter from his parents.  He was not allowed to speak his native language, and all native culture was forbidden.  He credits this traumatic period of his life as the crucible for all the good that has come to him through education.  His children and grandchildren all completed college, becoming engineers, lawyers, doctors, nurses, and more.  He had two great-grandchildren just entering college, and his first great-great-grandchild was soon to be delivered.  He told stories of his parents’ captivity to his children and grandchildren, and they are better people for remembering the captivity of their fathers.

On the topic of remembering his fathers’ captivity, specifically illiteracy, he remembers every day in gratitude, even though his parents’ thirst for learning meant he endured such harrowing experiences to go to school.  His fathers’ captivity drove and motivated him to ensure his progeny would not suffer the same captivity.  Who taught you to read?  Who taught them?  How has being taught to read released you from captivity of the mind, fear of the unknown, or superstition?

Tank Man - Tiananmen SquareAnother example is a similar question about our fathers’ captivity; how many generations back before your fathers never left a small land plot?  Whose only views of the world were restricted to that single plot of land due to law, debt, religion, melatonin, or some other chain.  One answered, his family had hated his grandfather for leaving a place of comfort in Scotland, for a rough life in America’s western states.  Many of his family only ever saw the titles, the land, the benefits and wanted those things.  The family desiring these things never saw the captivity, and the family remains broken and separate to this day.  Captivity of appetite is still captivity.

What was the captivity the grandfather escaped from if he had land, titles, money, servants, etc.; freedom to grow, change, and become.  As long as his family stuck to his fathers’ same life and ways, they would have a comfortable physical life.  Herein lay the captivity, and this gentleman tells his story as a caution about researching family history.  I have always held this story, not as a caution but as a parable regarding individual choices.  Born into freedom and plenty, but requiring ceaseless toil, members of this gentleman’s family preferred captivity and luxury to hard work and accomplishment.  Meaning that by weaponizing history, choices are made, and captivity can be lusted for, and the consequence is a lost family.

Government Largess 2I see the welfare state in America that strips pride and accomplishment and replaces it with appetite suppression, and I see millions in captivity to the government dole.  Captivity that breeds wasted and blasted lives, people who have potential are dying under government handouts, forever stuck in subsistence living and not knowing how to escape their choices’ captivity.  Where but for the work requirement for welfare assistance, that same person would know and understand different lessons and potentially choose a different path; thus, discovering that captivity is broken through work.

I see the captivity of thought, children raised in homes as rigidly controlled as Nazi Propaganda mills, controlled by the captivity of their parents’ hate and choices, and becoming leeches and vermin to America’s health.  Consider upon the state of these children and weep for their lost innocence and America’s future.  These are the children in the streets since May 2020 throwing bricks, lighting fires, attacking helpless victims, and causing such tremendous violence upon the American Soul.  Look upon these children in mental captivity and remember, “But for the grace of God go I” (John Bradford).

Other types of captivity our fathers suffered and our children are suffering include mental/physical/sexual abuse, drugs and alcohol, criminal activity, gangs, single-parenthood, the loss of the nuclear family, technology, and so much more.  Why should a person remember the captivity of their fathers?  Because by remembering, we recommit to not passing along that captivity to our children or communities.

Detective 4Recently, I was part of a discussion on technology; I mentioned captivity and technology and was mercilessly attacked for suggesting that technology is a form of captivity.  Thus, I put it to you, dear reader, is technology a form of captivity or not?  Are video games addicting and represent a form of captivity or not?  Are the needs for technology a type of captivity leading to large debts, broken families, and changes in how people think and act?

The Old Testament carries a similar theme to remembering our fathers’ captivity when Israel’s children were commanded to remember the Passover.  Yom HaShoah (יום השואה) and in English as Holocaust Remembrance Day, or Holocaust Day, is another holiday set apart for remembering the captivity of our fathers and recommitting to freedom from oppression.  Buddhism has Bodhi Day, upon which the full day is set apart for remembrance and meditation.  Catholics have All Souls’ Day as a day for remembering the past, honoring the lives of loved ones lost, and recommitting to a brighter future.

These holidays are mentioned, and more exist, to help the reader understand the importance of remembering our fathers’ captivity.  America’s fathers have fought much and bled much, suffering incredible injuries, all to make the future better.  Can we, the recipients of these sacrifices to shed captivity, do less and lose this great Republic, without suffering our fathers’ indignation in the future?

Washington at Valley ForgeConsider the frozen feet and fingers of Valley Forge; what was a little frostbite when compared with the glorious vision of freedom to the soldiers on duty there?  Consider the bloody battles of the Civil War, the fear, the anger, the soul-shattering pounding of the guns.  Both sides considered themselves correct, both sides wanted a vision of freedom, but only one side could win, and in winning bring complete freedom to all the people of America.  Consider the soldiers, sailors, airman, and marines in Afghanistan, South Korea, Africa, and every other place America sends her military might, can we sit at home comfortably and not feel gratitude for their sacrifices, the heat, and cold they suffer, the wounds, the physical and mental strain?

LinkedIn ImageRemembering is an action, a thought process with the impetus power to drive an individual’s commitment and effort.  Let us not forget our fathers’ captivity and by remembering act in a method that will secure liberty, justice, and freedom for our children’s children.  America is in danger of being lost; this great Republic, blessed with a Constitutional form of government, is in danger.  I, for one, refuse to sit idly by and lose this precious country.  I implore you to remember the captivity of your fathers and join me in voting intelligently, join me in throwing off the shackles which threaten to bind us down in captivity to communist and socialist styles of governance.  Join me in taking back America!

© Copyright 2021 – M. Dave Salisbury
The author holds no claims for the art used herein, the pictures were obtained in the public domain, and the intellectual property belongs to those who created the images.
All rights reserved.  For copies, reprints, or sharing, please contact through LinkedIn:
https://www.linkedin.com/in/davesalisbury/

Remember the Captivity of your Fathers: A Paradigm for Freedom!

RememberTo remember is to do something that is necessary or advisable which brings honor to the past and freedom to the present.  Remembering is the power of becoming aware that you are more than the singular person and many others have held a hand in making you, your personality, your strengths, and your weaknesses.  A greeting card reads, “I am a strong person, because a strong person raised me.”  Remembering is also the power that propels the person from their starting point into a glorious future.  Ralph Marston has the last word on remembering, “Remember why you started, remember where you are headed, think how great it will be to get there, and keep going.”

The Church of JESUS CHRIST of Latter-Day Saints, revers as scripture “The Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ,” in which the reader is encouraged to “Remember the captivity of your fathers” (Mosiah: 27:16; Alma: 5: 6; Alma 29:11-12; 36:2, 29).  The captivity originally spoken of was physical captivity, where a group of people had been militarily taken over by their enemies and were in physical bondage, slaves pressed into cruel service.  But, as this theme evolves the reader is encouraged to remember other types of captivity their fathers have been subjected to, as a means of more fully enjoying the freedoms and opportunities they possess, because of their father’s captivity and release from captivity.

To the person escaping Cuba as Castro came to power, the captivity of communism and the celebration of freedom in America is a tangible memory, and powers many a child to act.  The release from concentration camp captivity powered and motivates even to this day the children and communities where freedom now rings.  The captivity of those in the USSR powers the minds and freedoms of those living in Russia.  Problems still exist, but the freedom from captivity is worth remembering, and by remembering, honor is paid to those who suffered that captivity, by the growth and development of those present and in the future.

CaptivityCaptivity comes in many shapes, by many names, and is visible only through the suffering of those held captive.  For example, during a conversation with several older adults, I asked a question about the captivity of illiteracy and asked how many generations back in their families does it take to find an illiterate family member.  One very lucky person it was more than 8 generations, another said three, a couple said four, but a very elderly person in the back said 1, his parents never learned to read or write in their own native language or English.  This man is a Native American from a tribe in Northern Arizona, when I met him he was in his late 80’s.

As a child of 8, he was separated from his tribe, his family, and the reservation he knew, loaded onto a bus, and sent to Oklahoma for education.  He spent 10-months of every year for the next 10-years, going to school in Oklahoma.  During which time he never received a single letter from his parents.  Was not allowed to speak his native language, and all native culture was forbidden.  He credits this traumatic period of his life as the crucible for all the good that has come to him through education.  His children and grandchildren, all successfully completed college becoming engineers, lawyers, doctors, nurses, and more.  He had two great-grandchildren just entering college, and his first great-great-grandchild was soon to be delivered.

On the topic of remembering the captivity of his fathers, their illiteracy, he remembers every day in gratitude, even though his parents’ thirst for learning meant he endured such harrowing experiences to go to school.  The captivity of his fathers, drove and motivated him to ensure his progeny would not suffer the same captivity.

Another example, similar question about the captivity of their fathers, how many generations back before your fathers never left a small plot of land, whose only views of the world were restricted to that single plot of land.  One answered, his grandfather had been hated by his family for leaving a place of comfort in Scotland, for a rough life in the western states of America.  Many of his family only ever saw the titles, the land, the benefits, and wanted those things.  The family desiring these things never saw the captivity and the family remains broken and separate to this day.

What was the captivity the grandfather escaped from if he had land, titles, money, servants, etc.; freedom to grow, change, and become.  As long as his family stuck to the same life and ways of his fathers, they would have a comfortable physical life.  Herein lay the captivity and this gentleman tells his story as a caution about researching family history.  I have always held this story, not as a caution, but as a parable regarding individual choices.  Born into freedom and plenty, but requiring ceaseless toil, members of this gentleman’s family preferred captivity and luxury to hard work and accomplishment.

Government Largess 2I see the welfare state in America that strips pride and accomplishment and replaces it with appetite suppression, and I see millions in captivity.  A captivity that breeds wasted and blasted lives, people who have potential dying under government handouts, forever stuck in subsistence living and not knowing how to escape the captivity of their choices.  Where for the work requirement for welfare that same person would know and understand different lessons and potentially choose a different path; thus, discovering that through work captivity is broken.

I see the captivity of thought, children raised in homes as rigidly controlled as Nazi Propaganda, controlled by the captivity of hate and choices of parents, and becoming leeches and vermin to America’s health.  Consider upon the state of these children and weep for their lost innocence and America’s future.  These are the children in the streets since May throwing bricks, lighting fires, attacking helpless victims, and causing such tremendous violence upon the American Soul.  Look upon these children in mental captivity and remember, “But for the grace of God go I” (John Bradford).

Government Largess 4Other types of captivity our fathers suffered, and our children are suffering includes, mental/physical/sexual abuse, drugs and alcohol, criminal activity, gangs, single-parenthood, the loss of the nuclear family, technology, and so much more.  Why should a person remember the captivity of their fathers?  Because by remembering by recommit to not passing along that captivity to our children or communities.

The Old Testament carries a similar theme to remembering the captivity of our fathers, when the children of Israel were commanded to remember the Passover.  Yom HaShoah (יום השואה) and in English as Holocaust Remembrance Day, or Holocaust Day, is another holiday set apart for remembering the captivity of our fathers and recommitting to freedom from oppression.  Buddhism has Bodhi Day upon which the full day is set apart for remembrance and meditation.  Catholics have All Souls’ Day as a day for remembering the past, honoring the lives of loved ones lost, and recommitting to a brighter future.

LiberationThese holidays are mentioned, and more exist, to aid the reader in understanding the importance of remembering the captivity of our fathers.  America’s fathers have fought much, and bled much, suffering incredible injuries, all to make the future better.  Can we, the recipients of these sacrifices to shed captivity, do less and lose this great Republic, without suffering the indignation of our fathers in ages past?

Consider the frozen feet and fingers of Valley Forge; what was a little frost bite when compared with the glorious vision of freedom to the soldiers on duty there?  Consider the bloody battles of the Civil War, the fear, the anger, the soul shattering pounding of the guns; both sides consider themselves correct, both sides wanted a vision of freedom, but only one side could win, and in winning bring complete freedom to all the people of America.  Consider the soldiers, sailors, airman, and marines in Afghanistan, South Korea, Africa, and every other place America sends her military might, can we sit at home comfortable and not feel gratitude for their sacrifices, the cold they suffer, the wounds, the physical and mental strain?

Image - Eagle & FlagRemembering is an action, a thought process with impetus power to drive commitment and action in an individual.  Let us not forget the captivity of our fathers and by remembering act in a method that will secure liberty, justice, and freedom for our children’s children.  America is in danger of being lost; this great republic, blessed with a Constitutional form of government is in danger.  I for one, refuse to sit idly by and lose this precious country; I implore you to remember the captivity of your fathers, and join me in voting intelligently, join me in throwing off the shackles which threaten to bind us down in captivity to communist and socialist styles of governance.  Join me in taking back America!

© Copyright 2020 – M. Dave Salisbury

The author holds no claims for the art used herein, the pictures were obtained in the public domain, and the intellectual property belongs to those who created the pictures.

All rights reserved.  For copies, reprints, or sharing, please contact through LinkedIn:

https://www.linkedin.com/in/davesalisbury/