Some musings of a great-grandfather

20150704_213145_HDR (2)Last night I had a good time at the Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center (fish hatchery and so much more) in Athens for their Independence Day celebration: Fireworks at the Fisheries. The price was right with free admission for a fireworks show and free fishing at a fish hatchery! As usual when attending such gatherings, watching the people was a major entertainment for my wife and me. Two of the stocked ponds and smaller waterways nearby were opened for catch and release fishing. Even the fishing equipment and bait were provided for those who did not bring their own. There were people picnicking throughout the well-manicured park with a lot of families with children taking advantage of the free fishing. It was fun to watch the kids enjoy their successes, whether or not it was successfully casting for the first time or even catching a fish! Not many were caught and none by me and it’s pretty sad when you cannot catch a fish at a fish hatchery! The event was a very pleasant one and fun was happening all around us. Teasing, mouth-watering aromas wafted through the air of funnel cakes, nachos, French fries, and homemade potato chips. Country music boomed throughout the park as KCKL-FM radio piped in spirited and upbeat tunes. The temperature had moderated due to the stormy morning we had. It was muggy, but at least it was below 90°F. It was a beautiful day to be outside in East Texas! The people seemed complacent and satisfied, as if they had just enjoyed a good meal. The only unhappiness I witnessed was on the part of small children either not getting their way or just from being hot and tired. Even that was not very prevalent! The crowd seemed to be content. The fireworks show exploded in the sky with palms, hearts, double-hearts, and so many more wondrous shapes. The colors were varied and amazing with reds, yellows, greens, blues, purples, and shades that an artist could name. Patriotic music added to the impact of the detonating aerial fireworks with songs which reflected the nature of Independence Day. Small town America at its best!

After the show, while on the way out, it came to mind how that the Caesars in Rome would hold “circuses” for the masses so they would be placated instead of offering them substantial things that could make a difference. The masses wanted entertainment over good jobs and adequate housing. Continuing along that train of thought, I suppose Big Brother was also watching us on camera – for “security” reasons. I could not but suspect that an attempt was being made at placating the people who are supposed to govern themselves, rocking them to sleep. It does not seem unreasonable in today’s climate of “change” being aided by policies of the present Presidential Administration. Even the liberal elites mindlessly fall in step with those who wish to subjugate the free, self-governing people of the USA. The fourth estate, the press, is so important in self-government; yet it appears it has lost its purpose and now aligns with those wishing to subjugate the people by turning them into a people who will believe what they are told, do what they are told when they are told as they are told and on and on and on… We are being buried by a conundrum! And somehow, I am supposed to swallow all of this without thinking for myself. With no apology – I am not wired like that.

Those who exercise power may fool the masses for a while, but just as in Rome, placating the ignorant mobs will become so expensive it will break our Republic. Outside forces will step in as there is not enough money to protect our borders with a well-armed and maintained military. Rather, the military has been weakened by mores of self-appeasement and self-aggrandzation which have become common place in our culture.  Those in power continue to focus upon personal agendas instead of appropriate representative democracy and gorge themselves like live stock for the slaughter. Sadly, they will die the miserable deaths of the congested and bloated, by their own hand at the feed trough of public funding through over taxation.

Kinda rough prediction, huh? Sounds really pessimistic and glass half-empty, doesn’t it? It is. This reflects my reading in history about what happens to civilizations that walk away from the values that made them great. In the 21st century, we are no more immune to this than our ancestors were. Perhaps our masses are more educated and more can read, write and work mathematics, but we are still ruled by the same basic needs as the earliest people possessed. We are still subject to the same desires, wants and emotions. We are still passionate people who try to shape our reasoning with emotion. And when we become ruled by our wants, we become a corrupt people who prey upon each other for self-appeasement.

Was the fireworks show a “circus” to placate the masses? Give me some credit! Nope. I still have some reasoning abilities left. It was a community event to celebrate the 240th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence! And rightly so! My point is that we need to be aware of the politics going on in today’s climate no matter how revolting they may seem. Our choice for the office of the POTUS is distasteful to many of us, but we must maintain being plugged in to the political scene so we can help correct the type of politics going on today. We must not let our masses of citizens become fooled by those pursuing a personal agenda of self-appeasement and self-aggrandzation. Rather, we must seek factual information for ourselves since the press is interested in simply making money and pursuing the goals of those they not only empower but from whom they are empowered. We must pick our way through a maze of dirty back street allies so we can once again walk the grand boulevards of self-government. It is not easy, nor will our hands remain undirtied.

And since you have made your way through this maze of writing, you will think about what I have written. You can ignore this and leave as the fitful exercise of an old guy.  Or you can choose to respond by having a period of self-reflection to consider just where we have been and how self-gratification has corrupted each of us. Then you can join a conversation with those around you to start picking our way out of the mess that has been made for us! Yes! It is our job. It is our responsibility as those who want to be wisely self-governed. Otherwise, we will soon sleep the sleep of death of this grand experiment in democracy. There is a way out. I won’t be easy, but it will be very worthwhile.