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View From My Porch


Seven Deadly Sins
Guest Contributor: John Ingersoll

Because of the varied beliefs of the citizens of the US, whether it be from all of the different forms of religion, atheists, or agnostics, as well as the ongoing debate on separation of church and state, I’m a little timid at using the word sin. But maybe for just a few minutes, for anyone that has a problem with that particular word, we can substitute Seven Deadly Problems. Wikipedia defines the Seven as :

[The, Seven Deadly Sins also known as the Capital Vices or Cardinal Sins, is a classification of the most objectionable vices that has been used since early Christian times to educate and instruct followers concerning (immoral) fallen humanity’s tendency to sin. The final version of the list consists of wrath, greed, sloth, pride, lust, envy, and gluttony.]

Now that I’ve gotten through all of my stumbling, is there anybody out there that disagrees that these seven entities are monumental issues in any sort of society ? Other than the possible exception of lust and sloth, isn’t this what we are dealing with in every political argument that we enter into on a daily basis ? In keeping with my unshakable belief that the root of all the problems in our new century come from the crash of social skills among our citizens, and for that matter the world, I have to believe that these seven (or possibly five) poisons are what have grown out as weeds. I’m not sure whether I’d like to nominate wrath or greed to be the reining monarch of this kingdom, but I’m not sure that a society can survive either. To find wrath one needs travel no farther than Youtube and search for any town-hall meeting. Wow…what a piece of video legacy those will be when our kids put them in their time capsules. And ironically enough, should any of our kids act that way in a group we would immediately call for the cancellation of the entire group. But if were going make wrath the CEO of this little deadly company, we’re certainly going to have to consider greed as the choice for COO. Where have we gotten to when we are willing literally trample a person to death (Black Friday 2008) so that we can get the first widget. I would truly like to venture back thousands of years and learn the grunts and squeals of the caveman, so that once the most able of the clan had returned from the hunt with their latest kill, and are preparing to share it with every single member of the commune, regardless of importance or ability, I could see the look on their faces when I explained how things work in the twenty-first century. Wonder what the grunt is for homeless, or pre-existing condition is ? Since envy is the bastard child of greed I’m not sure we could include them in any of the board meetings. And lust, well….I think thats better left to the family and the churches. But then comes pride. You see him ? Big,ugly, probably wrapped in the flag of it’s own particular country, and tattooed with all the slogans that make low self esteemed men feel larger somehow. Sloth, Well I’m only going to say that I rest more comfortably each day knowing that it is not nearly as powerful as some folk or groups would have it be. But before I move along, I’d like to remind everyone that there is not any archaeological proof that the laziest caveman didn’t die full of musk ox the same as his gung-ho brethren . And last but not least here comes gluttony, bouncing, rolling, overstuffed, and mostly miserable. To me, gluttony would be the cancer that grows from the sacred practice of greed. Once we find the object of our greed it is only a small trip to the gluttonous consumption of that object, and only a few steps farther to our “eating” ourselves to death.

Now why did I go way off on this tangent you ask. Because, they are the defining vices that further divide us. To try to work out all of the tons and tons of problem that have seemly jumped out at us all at once, it is simply impossible when at least part of the problem solving group only wants to angrily shout out their own personal desires/needs. No matter how loud I scream that I DESERVE a new Cadillac, it’s really not going to convince the local car dealer to deliver one to my driveway free of charge. And while I know deep within me that I am talking to a brick wall, what on Earth makes me think that I DESERVE a new car when so many of my neighbors are without shoes ? You absolutely cannot make decisions based on single “just desserts”, when you’re living in a cave as small as ours.

So, the next time we walk right into the muck of our next debate, we find ourselves somehow unable to ask “What would Jesus do”, maybe we can at least ask, what would Ugg do…… By John Ingersoll
“Well, if we have more people getting healthcare, then it will take forever for me to get to see my Doctor”. Wow. Oh yeah, I’ve heard it more than once. When I heard this the first time, I had to make sure that it hadn’t come from my mouth, and that my Mother was bearing down on me with an instrument of punishment in her hand. You see, from the way I was raised (or maybe the time) that would have gotten the same results as a barrage of colorful slang. In fact, that is so far removed from my being that I get instantly enter into a dementia like state every time I hear it.

So what happened ? No, it’s not because we elected a moderate President, and then he morphed into a dictator, hell bent on ruling the world, shortly after inauguration. No, it not because the good ole boys had all been in a coma and suddenly awakened. So, what then. I have to believe (no matter how naive it sounds), that those among us who tend to be more conservative anyway, are down right scared. But, aren’t we all. The most liberal of citizen had seen the same economic, and socio-economic catastrophes as the right. The right says they want smaller government, and more “free market”. OK, there’s always the chance that government will or WILL NOT benefit you as a person and/or America as a whole. But, it is the very lifeblood of “big business” to efficiently separate you and your money, while keeping you in a euphoric mood so that the next time you have a little money they can come around for another hand-out. So when you go to the track do you bet on the “maybe” horse, or the blind, lame nag ? They say that they are against “socialism”. But, (again this comes from belief) most of them have never experienced or can’t remember socialism in action.

So what then ? I honestly, and without reservation believe that it is mob rule. Do you remember the “posses” from the cowboy movie days ? One well respected, probably wealthy, individual could walk into the saloon and have twenty buckaroos ready to ride their horses to death and hang some poor slob in a matter of minutes. How did the “organizer” do it ? Well, first of all, as I said he was wealthy. Money may not buy happiness, but it has bought countries full of pain since the beginning of time. Secondly, I said he was respected. Prior to the last presidential race few people knew who Sarah Palin was. But, John McCain was a war hero. John McCain asked Sary to be his running mate. And Sarah, liked the outdoors…I know, but that’s enough sometimes. And finally the “organizer” actually only had to get ONE cowboy interested. If Tex was willing to go then Bub, and Jake sure weren’t going to be left behind to be called “lily livered”. It is so easy to turn frustration into rage. Anybody remember Adolph Hitler ?

So what do the more…um…stable citizens do ? Well, back to the cowboy movies for a minute. It was quite obvious that with two opposing forces lined up at the OK Corral, it was going to be a blood bath. But haven’t you ever wondered what would have happened if Wyatt had confronted each member of the Clanton gang individually. We’ll never have anything other than a bloodbath as long as we have party logos on our lapels, but maybe, just maybe, if we have a conversation about true beliefs and passions, we’ll find some sort of common ground.

Do you really think that the person across the street could care less if you can make your mortgage payment ? I don’t. Not really……

MSNBC: Obama has miles to go to keep all promises.

Last spring I made the promise to my wife that I’d grow enough tomatoes for all of our needs. Now considering that we enjoy a minimalist lifestyle, that would mean that there would be enough tomatoes to have fresh through the season, enough to can whole, make into salsa, make into juice, pasta sauce, etc., etc., AND hell, we could even sell a few. Ambitious you say, not really with the availability of garden space and our dedication. So, as early as possible, we bought the best plants. We carefully planted, nurtured and guarded them. And then it got cold and began to rain. And it stayed cold and continued to rain right through the developmental stage of the plants. Summation? We bought tomatoes off of the Amish to hopefully stave us through the winter.

Rain and cold. Sound familiar? Did any of us really expect the coldness of shoulder, and all of the rain on the parade, that Barack Obama and the Democratic party has received in the last twelve months? Wow. I’m more surprised that they haven’t said I’m tired of this game, I’m taking my toys and going home. Oh yeah, I guess a few have. It is so easy for human beings young and old to follow the media’s cue and only look at the “how many promises has he made come true” graph. We can promise our kids that we’re going on a picnic, but if the car won’t start, the only things the kids remember is that they got jipped out of a picnic. We can promise that we will walk in the “stop cancer” walk next month, but did we not read the weather that it was going to be eight below zero and that the course was up the side of the local mountain. Of course Barack Obama hasn’t done everything he said he would do. Does that mean he’s lying to us ? Well…first of all if he had stood proudly on those platforms two years ago and stated that he would like to see good things happen, and that he would try real hard, but there sure was a lot of things against him, who would be President right now ? Yes, President McCain, you’re right. Secondly, I’m pretty sure that he thought that he COULD take us all to the picnic, and then we could all walk for a cure for cancer. But, he didn’t see the fine print. He also didn’t look the White House over thoroughly enough before he took ownership. Remember that previously occupied home that you thought you looked at from top to bottom ? Yeah, me too.

And not to continue to beat this dead horse to pieces, but let’s not ever forget what he inherited. You’ve all seen the movies where the estranged son is told his Father has died and is asked to attend the reading of the will ? And the previously excited child, is told that his “inheritance” is to pay back the thousands of dollars that the deceased man owed. I had an elderly farmer explain it best. If you tie a cow to a fence post for eight years and allow her to defecate in that same spot, it’s going to take quite a while before you can get grass to grow there again.

Has President Obama failed to keep his promises? I don’t know, I can’t talk right now because it’s started to rain and I’m trying to pack up the picnic.

ABOUT JOHN INGERSOLL: John lives in Kirksville and is a lifelong Missouri resident. Currently he is disabled with a primary diagnosis of Pulmonary Hypertension and is a Health care Warrior. John can no longer walk without assistance and requires oxygen at times. After many long years of working and contributing to our society he finds himself at the mercy of our health care system and he’s got plenty to say about it.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Pequette LaCasse permalink
    March 24, 2010 12:22 pm

    If you tie a cow to a fence post for eight years and allow her to defecate in that same spot, it’s going to take quite a while before you can get grass to grow there again
    True, True
    But after 8 years of S**t the cow would be able to climb up and over that fence to eat the grass on the other side. such as life in our times.

  2. March 24, 2010 6:27 pm

    So, what’s your point Pequette? Are you commenting on the eight years of misery with Bush/Cheney in office?

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