Let Your ‘Yes’ Be ‘Yes’, Let Your ‘No’ Be ‘No’. Anything Else Comes From The Evil One
— Matthew 5:37
The Facts Concerning The Recent Carnival Of Crime…
In June 1876, The Atlantic Monthly published a short story by Mark Twain: “The Facts Concerning the Recent Carnival of Crime in Connecticut.” Twain portrays the narrator’s conscience as a shriveled, moldy gnome who delights in torturing the man with feelings of guilt and remorse. The narrator eventually seizes his conscience and rips it to shreds. Having destroyed his sense of right and wrong, he proclaims, “You behold before you a man whose life-conflict is done, whose soul is at peace; a man whose WITHOUT A CONSCIENCE!” Joyously, he engages in the Carnival of Crime. Including 38 murders and arson of a neighbor’s house. Not to mention “swindl[ing] a widow and some orphans out of their last cow, which is a very good one, though not thoroughbred, I believe.”
Today, 145 years later, some people have taken Mark Twain’s “Carnival” story as a challenge, not a warning. Our schools, colleges and universities have spawned a sprawling empire of injury. Poseur intellectualistic charlatans preach a depraved gospel of grievance, greed, and entitlement. Popular media proudly and industriously spread the resentment poison. Weak, wishy- washy, gutless and vain, community and church “leaders” cower from conflict. Truth sacrificed on the altar of cheap vaporous popularity. They lie. Say things they know are not true. Shrink from honesty, run from the light. A nest of vipers, they camouflage evil with a deceptive veneer.
Have you forgotten the fairytale of Hansel and Gretel? Abandoned, starving children find a wondrous house made of delicious bread, cakes, and candy. Unfortunately, the Gingerbread House is a snare to attract and trap innocent children. Hidden inside, the evil witch lurks to catch, roast, and devour them. Through luck, bravery, and intelligence, the clever kids boldly destroy the witch. They escape the enticing fraud. Welcomed home to the modest woodcutter’s cottage, they live happily ever after. No magical Gingerbread House with sham promises concealing ultimate destruction. Ordinary life, ordinary joy.
Is it ridiculous to think that our society may have fallen into the Gingerbread House trap? Is it unexpected that a materialistic culture promising everything to everybody all the time might lead to frustration, envy, and selfish anger?
Did you miss the news that roving bands of shoplifting punks have forced San Francisco drug stores to close? Did you fail to notice that well-dressed, well-fed smash and grab gangs looted luxury handbags and jewelry from mall stores? Then escaped in their own cars. Their own cars.
Are we talking about hungry folks forced to steal a crust of bread? Are these street urchins with rags on their backs, who have worn holes in their shoes walking to school?
When asked for charity, hard-hearted Ebenezer Scrooge replied, “Are there no prisons? Are there no workhouses?” But. That was a couple hundred years ago.
Today, we will spend over 750,000 tax dollars to provide Bob Crachit with 2 bedrooms of “affordable” housing. In San Francisco. The rest of California is a bit cheaper. (In fact, it is much more, that chart is from 2 years ago!) “Feeding America”, one of many food charities, runs 60,000 food pantries. There are 8 major federal food
programs. And countless state relief agencies. Billions of dollars are spent annually. How far are you, right now, from a food pantry?
Grocery stores do not get the smash and grab treatment.
What is going on? Bandits do not steal to eat. Or for nice clothes. Or for automobiles. Or TVs. Or cell phones. They already have all that stuff. For free. These scroungers steal luxury goods. Luxury. Only the best. Fancy leather wallets and handbags. Ridiculous watches. Gaudy jewelry. Would you buy any of this stuff? We cannot afford it, so we would have to save a long time. And think even longer. What is this entitlement, get- mine sickness? Who has the cure?
Is Ignoring The Problem The Best Solution?
Will It Go Away If We Shut Our Eyes?
Shall We Pretend Everything Is All Just Fine?
Should you keep ignoring the problem? Is now a bad time to wake up and smell the coffee? Are you opposed to making our world, your neighborhood, a better place? Is it ridiculous to believe in basic values like, trust, loyalty, courtesy, kindness, thrift, and bravery? Are we fools to be helpful, friendly, cheerful, and reverential? Are you against an America that works for everyone because everyone capable of working works? Have you given up on the American Dream? Have you given up on your own ambition to live your life well and to be a blessing to your family?
It Is Possible To Hate Without Loving.
But Is It Possible To Love Without Hating?
Like you, I find that statement difficult to believe. Nevertheless, we must embrace all truth, whether comfortable and gratifying, or awkward and embarrassing. On reflection, it seems obvious and inescapable that there are some people who do not love, but merely hate. It also seems to me that the people who take the risk of love, also accept the responsibility of hate. So, in the interests of restoring some balance:
I hate cheating, but I love competition and fair play.
I hate money grubbers, but I love financial independence.
I hate government handouts, but I love getting something back for all the tax dollars I have paid in.
I hate getting old, but I love getting up in the morning.
I hate freeloaders, but I love cooperating with other hard-working people to achieve mutual goals.
I hate noisy, grasping, bossy, phony, hypocritical politicians, but I love public- spirited citizens willing to accept office and serve the rest of us.
I hate stupid rules and regulations imposed by ignorant idiots masquerading as super experts, but I love commonsense laws that make life better for everyone.
I hate grinding poverty, but I love the chance to work hard and make the world a better place.
I hate mean people, but I love charitable folks, giving generously of themselves, their time and treasure.
I hate blamers, whiners, complainers, Gloomy Gus and Debbie Downer, who sit on their lazy keisters hypnotized by TV and finding fault with everything that happened over the last thousand years of human history, but I love cheerful men and women who GIT R DONE!
I hate slovenly slugs who won’t make their own bed, wash the dishes, fold the laundry or practice basic personal hygiene, but I love doers, workers, laborers, and peasants (because near as we can figure, all my ancestors were serfs and “of the land”) (except for a few mercenaries).
I hate bitter resentful infantile complainers who won’t raise a finger to help but will happily raise a brick to throw at police officers, court houses and through windows, but I love younger people facing challenges and meeting needs with grace and dignity.
I hate long-term care that evaporates lifesavings, robs dignity and fails to meet real needs, but I love supportive skilled home care that assists folks in their own homes, lets them enjoy the rewards of their working years, and allows leftovers for the kids.
I hate nursing home poverty, but I love planning that secures lifesavings while meeting real needs. Care that you have already paid for. With your tax dollars. Over your working life.
What do you hate? What do you love? It is up to you.
Wherefore, By Their Fruits Ye Shall Know Them
Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.
— Matthew 7:17-20
Is Nursing Home Poverty inevitable? I’m letting you know that you do not have to lose your home, cottage, business, lifesavings, independence, security. Do you choose to give up everything you have earned? Is it ridiculous to think that someone who has been working on issues like this, for people like you, might have figured out a few things? Does it make sense to rely on “My lawyer/financial advisor/ accountant/tax person/banker/best friend/fill- in-the-blank” when none of them have ever pursued a Medicaid application? Let alone succeeded with over 2000.
Well, here you are. What do you think? Is it wise to choose failure? Will you have more choices with less money? Will your spouse be better off with fewer assets?