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This & That

The name for this blog was inspired by “One-eyed Jack” Williams who had a radio program in Phoenix, Arizona about 35 years ago.... His “Quarter Hour of This and That”. Everyday he started out the program with the statement. “It is a beautiful day in Arizona and I suggest, leave us all enjoy it.” It did not mater if it was raining or sunny, in the middle of a sand storm or cold and miserable. It was always a beautiful day. It is still my favorite way to start the day.

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Location: Baños de Agua Santa, Tungurahua, Ecuador

Thursday, October 14, 2004

Time for a change.

One of the things that bothers me about this election, and too many others in the recent past, is that no mater who wins about 50% of the population will be unhappy. Why do we always have to vote for the lesser of two evils. Why can it not be, in each persons opinion....the best of the best.

When a president takes office he must submit his selection of cabinet members to the Senate to be confirmed. And when he submits names for federal judges he must also submit his choices to the same body to be confirmed. This process can take weeks, months or even years in the cases of some judges. These appointees are being judged by men and women who themselves have never had to go through this process. And I am sure that some of these men or women who are doing the judging would not be where they are if they did.

I propose a new system where we would set up a non-partisan body, perhaps retired judges, that would confirm that each candidate for public office was sound of mind and body, that there were no flaws in the man or woman’s character that would prevent them doing a honorable job, and that all of their skeletons, hidden so well in the closet, were our for the world to see.

Can you imagine what a pleasure it would be to be able to listen to both sides of their arguments as to who was best qualified to do the job without having to watch them drag each other through the mud and worse. All, we as voters would have to do was to determine, in our own hearts who we believed was the best of the two good men.

Today, in the age of technology we can search millions of archives and find out almost everything about a man in a few hours. There is no good reason why the voters are fed bits and pieces of a mans past, some important and most not, just weeks or months before an election. I say let it all hang out in the beginning...if a candidate has transcended his past and can live with it...just maybe the voters could live with it too. If they only knew the truth.

Roberto

Sunday, October 10, 2004

Why is Health Care So Expensive...maybe we are to blame.

I have felt for a long time that if we treat someone like an invalid we will soon have one. No matter the age. And the doctors are treating us as if we were all sick and in the process, making many dependent on all sorts of medicines that probably were not needed and as a result, driving many to the poor house.

For one, I have always had an aversion to doctors....and to lawyers. I just want as little to do with both professions as I can. I have probably been to see a doctor less than 20 times in my life. And I believe, that fact. has kept me from being one of the many who are addicted to all sorts of medicines and drugs. I know there are times when we need a doctor. If you break something you need to get it set....but most of the people who live in the developed countries, go to the doctor at the least discomfort, looking for that fix that can make us feel good again.

I read somewhere “A physician must have compassion and ethics. If not he is nothing but a simple charlatan.” I believe there are many charlatans out there and it is time for us to stop running to the doctor each time we have a pain. At the same time the doctors need to treat with compassion and ethics and stop looking at their patients as money trees where they can practice, at times useless surgery to keep us alive a few months longer no mater what pain and suffering is caused to the patient and the family.

Because the doctors are not God, they sometimes make mistakes. This opens the door for the lawyer to do their part in driving up prices. So maybe we have ourselves to blame. If we stopped demanding so much we could save a great deal of pain and suffering and die when our bodies shut down and while we still had a little self esteem. and dignity.

Roberto.

Saturday, October 02, 2004

Something to think about again....

“I heartily accept the motto...”That government is best which governs least;” and I should like to see it acted up to more rapidly and systematically. Carried out, it finally amounts to this which also I believe, “ That government is best which governs not at all;” and when men are prepared for it, that will be the kind of government which they will have.”

”The authority of government, even such as I am willing to submit to,...for I will cheerfully obey those who know and can do better than I, and in many things even those who neither know nor can do so well,...is still an impure one: to be strictly just, it must have the sanction and consent of the governed. It can have no pure right over my person and property but what I concede to it. The progress from an absolute to a limited monarchy, from a limited monarchy to a democracy, is a progress toward a true respect for the individual. Even the Chinese philosopher was wise enough to regard the individual as the basis of the empire. Is a democracy, such as we know it, the last improvement possible in government? Is it not possible to take a step further towards recognizing and organizing the rights of man? There will never be a really free and enlightened State until the State comes to recognize the individual as a higher and independent power, from which all its own power and authority are derived, and treats him accordingly. I please myself with imagining a State at last which can afford to be just to all men, and to treat the individual with respect as a neighbor; which even would not think it inconsistent with its own repose if a few were to live aloof from it, not meddling with it, nor embraced by it, who fulfilled all the duties of neighbors and fellowmen. A State which bore this kind of fruit, and suffered it to drop off as fast as it ripened, would prepare the way for a still more perfect and glorious State, which also I have imagined, but not yet anywhere seen. “ Quoted without permission from Henry David Thoreau´s essay titled, Civil Disobedience written in 1849.

Seek not outside yourself....(an old proverb circa 175.)

Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote in his essay “Self-Reliance” (1841), “To believe your own thought, to believe that what is true for you in your private heart is true for all men....that is genius. Speak your latent conviction, and it shall be the universal sense.” And continues later on that “a man should learn to detect and watch that gleam of light which flashes across his mind from within, more than the luster of the firmament of bards and sages. Yet he dismisses without notice his thought, because it is his. In every work of genius we recognize our own rejected thoughts; they come back to us with a certain alienated majesty. Great works of art have no more affecting lesson for us than this. They teach us to abide by our spontaneous impression with good humored inflexibility then most when the whole cry of voices is on the other side. Else tomorrow a stranger will say with masterly good sense precisely what we have thought and felt all the time and we shall be forced to take with shame our own opinion from another.”

Everyday our conscious mind is bombarded by thousands of thoughts generated by our physical senses, as well as those generated by our inner soul. I believe that many of these are messages form our higher power or as I prefer to call it, God. I also believe that we were created with all of the worlds knowledge within us or at least a link to it, if we but open the connection. With practice and meditation we can learn to filter out those random thoughts and feelings that have no significance and dwell on those from God. The difficult part is knowing the difference between the two.
Roberto.