December 17, 2005

A view of the home front while observing the war on Terror

To many on the American home front, it is becoming more problematic to keep the home fires burning while observing the War on Terror. Paying through the teeth while the gas gouge is in full swing is only one example of the pain the average American is presently enduring.

Another example is the growing scarcity of well paying jobs.

Just recently it was revealed that General Motors will be cutting 30,000 jobs

While we observe this war on Terror, the average American is being laid off and left out to hang with this struggling and sorry excuse for a "robust economy".

Sure, gas producers and private military contractors are not complaining. And for those of us who do complain about the current state of economic affairs in America, we are viewed as annoying bugs that those who are fairing financially well desire to shoo away from them with the back of their hand. That reminds me of the attitude those in the Administration have toward all who question their actions in Iraq. One gets the feeling that anyone who may take issue with them over their past and present actions are just a trivial annoyance to them.

Another sad state of current affairs on the American home front is the prescription drug plan instituted by our President. Many I know are confused at best and frightened out of their wits over the ultimate outcome of this much touted plan put into law by those in the Administration:
" Report Asks if Some Poor May Lose Coverage "

The above linked article goes on to report: "Government auditors said Friday they are uncertain that all poor people now getting medicine through Medicaid will be able to get their prescriptions filled beginning Jan. 1.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services is automatically enrolling them into the private plans. However, even if 1 percent are overlooked during the transition, 60,000 people would have problems getting their medicine".

Who will be the one to stick up for those who will be left defenseless and disappointed because of this new drug plan? In another recent article, the headline reads:

Neediest may be hurt by new Medicare drug plan

"Some of the nation's oldest, sickest and poorest people could wind up being hurt instead of helped by Medicare's new prescription drug benefit, health advocates warn.

They fear that some people -- including patients in assisted-living homes, the mentally ill and those with chronic conditions such as AIDS -- could face higher costs and bureaucratic obstacles that make it harder to get the drugs they need ".

I have been concerned that in the end a mess might ensue when this prescription drug plan was first being discussed and touted.

These are only a few of the views from the home front that we as Americans are faced with every day. But what of those whom we love and who are absent from the home front due to the war on Terror?
Mission Accomplished

The question utmost on many people's minds is:

Just when is the mission truly going to be accomplished? When is the United States military going to get out of Iraq?

The way I see it, in order to answer these questions, we must first understand what we are doing there.

This is not a simple task.

We are told we are there because reconstruction must be completed. So let's see how the reconstruction effort is going shall we?

This from the Christian Science Monitor, dated August 26, 2005: the headline reads

" Iraq reconstruction shows limited progress :Need for extra security, money lost to corruption, hinder rebuilding efforts".

The article goes on to relay "A series of recent reports by the US government, non-governmental agencies and private organizations shows that despite spending more than $9 billion in Iraq in the past two years, the US has had only "limited progress" in important sectors such as oil and power".

This is only one news item I have found while stumbling across many. I am sure you can get a much clearer picture from reading the article in it's entirety.

All of that money and time, not to mention the loss of life equals limited progress with the reconstruction effort.

Can someone please tell me how reconstruction in Iraq is to be completed in a bloody war zone? Such efforts would appear to be in vain.

From this perspective, how are we to believe the situation will get better in Iraq to the extent that our military can come home?

When having this question put to them, those in the administration act as if we are whining cry babies. They act as if we are being unreasonable by asking any questions about our mission there and when it will end.

This is not the way for any Administration to act. After all, how many of those in our current administration watched their sons or daughters march off to risk their lives for this war effort? We have valid questions but I take it our questions do not matter to them.

While defense contractors are enjoying a rosy and vital economic status since this war began, the rest of us are struggling to pay taxes and keep gas in the tank so we can get to and from our low wage jobs. That is, if we have one. Where is the outrage at all these issues? We should all be seeking God in this hour and asking him for guidance during these chaotic and dark days we live in.

With this said, I believe as I have said before, America is in for dark days ahead. If we believe that we can escape God's hand of judgment, we are mistaken. Do you believe that this war is a good thing?

Do you believe that God himself condones our actions in Iraq?
Do you believe that it is a justified action that those in the current administration have undertaken?

James 1:27

Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.

In Isaiah 58:6, God says :

6 Is not this the fast that I have chosen? to loose the bands of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, and to let the oppressed go free, and that ye break every yoke?

We are to be currently engaged in setting the captives free by first telling them the good news and secondly, by helping and not hurting them. How different this is from innocent people being killed in this bloody war the American administration has chosen to undertake. The Iraqi's didn't cause the terror in the United States, yet they are being treated as if they did. They have been punished as if they have. We are to be yoke breakers. Instead we are placing a heavy and painful yoke on the necks of those innocent souls we have harmed since the beginning of this war.

7 Is it not to deal thy bread to the hungry, and that thou bring the poor that are cast out to thy house?

Again, this is easy to understand. Our Lord always makes it that way. Instead of taking away from people, we are to be adding to them, for their good and all to bless them. We have done the complete and total opposite in doing what we've done by force in Iraq. Those stripping the clothes off Iraqi's and taking photographs of them to taunt them is a disgrace. Those who have done such things should be ashamed. But they had their orders and they chose to carry them out. Those who gave the orders for our military to do these things, as well as those who actually participated in such atrocities should be ashamed.

8 Then shall thy light break forth as the morning, and thine health shall spring forth speedily: and thy righteousness shall go before thee; the glory of the Lord shall be thy rereward.

These are our rewards for doing as the Lord has instructed. We will enjoy good health and be filled with understanding and wisdom and joy. The very glory of the Lord will be our reward.

The bottom line:

Among other things, I believe that this war on terror is serving to ultimately wear down and weaken our military. Many see this fact and are asking why those in power are continuing to let it happen. If we were dealing with and fighting an enemy who threatened our freedom and way of life, then it would be in every way understandable. But since this is not the case with Iraq, many are right to sit in awe and silence when they think of this war on "terror".

How is a weakened military in America's best interest?

It is not

But it is in the interests of some, I am sure of it.

If there is another terror incident in the USA, will a draft be implemented?

I believe that an attack on America is the only event at this point that would perpetuate a draft, I believe this wholeheartedly.

We are told that if we do not defeat the terrorists on foreign soil *Iraq* then we will have to fight them here. It was the United States that invaded Iraq's turf, and not the other way around. No friends, something does not add up and hasn't made sense to me ever since the administration's "effort" in Iraq commenced.

What about the negative implications of this war on terror? Where is the debate when it comes to these things? Foremost among these negative implications we can see a weakened United States Military and a tremendous debt to the United States of America.

We most certainly have suffered casualties as a result of this war on terror.

On the one hand:

The numerous lives and limbs of those who have only done what they were ordered to do. These men and women have trusted our administration that they would not put them in harm's way unless absolutely necessary.

On the other hand,

The strength of our military has suffered. Our military of these United States has been weakened in a major way.

Are these two things in the best interest of Americans?

I think not.

December 7, 2005

Drug Addiction: Shattered Dreams, Wasted Lives Pt 6

Lies and Manipulations

A drug addict lies in order to protect and coddle their addiction. They believe if they tell a lie to you that they are doing it for a "good" reason. Their main reason truly is to get you to back off and leave them alone. But a lie is still a lie and when they cross the line and resort to telling an untruth, they are still a liar no matter how they want to justify or dress up that lie.

I have had experiences with drug addicts as friends and drug addicts as family members. When confronting an addict, what I get is always the same. Their problem really is not their own, they will not acknowledge it nor own it. Their bad behavior is NEVER the problem, it is another's behavior that is causing them grief. Usually they blame the problem on their wife or husband. Sometimes they will toss the blame on another family member. Any old port in a storm will do just fine to them. They are masters at playing the blame game. And they will continue this "passing of the buck" until they make your head spin. When you confront them about their behavior, they will stand and argue with you until you finally tire of their denial to the point that you are willing to accept whatever they say. This is only IF they wear you down to that particular point. But if you stand your ground, they will most likely attempt to have the last word, turn on their heels and walk away from you in disgust. In dealing with a drug addict, I have seen this happen and it is truly annoying to those who are being walked away from.

As I said, lies are told by the addict in order for them to continue using, however, some or many of these addicts are master con-artists as well. They are in active addiction and there seems to be no rhyme nor reason for their constant and steady stream of lies. You should also know that some people who suffer with troubling personality or mental disorders are prime candidates for drug abuse.

There are some addicts who simply do not care about the lies they tell. But there are some addicts who are sorry for the lies they tell.

When you go down the path that leads only to destruction, it is a lonely one indeed. The addict finds that their lies always catch up with them eventually.

I have known some addicts who lie over the most colossal things and I've known addicts who lie over the most trivial of things.

No matter what type of addict you are dealing with, in order for them to even start the process of recovery, they must face the TRUTH. This means admitting that they DO have a drug addiction. And they have coddled and preserved and fed that addiction until now it is a behemoth that they can't even dream of controlling. After sincerely admitting this, they must then take an ACTIVE and not PASSIVE role in their recovery.

From my observations, many drug addicts eventually DO confess the truth of their addiction, but seldom go on to take an active roll in recovery.

They may say, "Yes, I have a problem". Then you, their family member or spouse are SO overjoyed at this turnabout, only to wonder a few days later when they don't come home, what that confession they made to you was really all about? Many addicts seem to take a passive and unproductive role in their recovery. These are addicts who don't care to get clean yet. They have not suffered enough yet. Do they feel BAD? Do they have no shame? A drug addict already feels bad about themselves deep within. Truly, I believe they are walking lumps of shame. To not have shame and guilt eating at them would mean that they have no conscience. They usually act cocky and arrogant and in control of themselves and those around them . But this is only a mask they wear that is covering that part of themselves that they cannot show to those around them. Inside, they are spoiled, frightened little children.

But we must remember that they themselves have chosen to give themselves over to drugs. The decision to go down this painful and destructive path was made by them and not by us. Just say no That commercial always irritated me. Telling someone that has never tried drugs to JUST SAY NO is one thing. But this does not pertain to someone who is in the throws of active addiction. These people have long since said YES and are now repeatedly saying YES to drugs. This is why it's so hard for an addict to quit. The addict cannot QUIT for their family or any significant other. They must choose to stop for themselves.

An important aspect of them choosing to stop for themselves is realizing and BELIEVING what value God places on the life HE gave them. They SHOULD stop because of the pain and agony they are causing those who love them, but the love for the drug overshadows any caring they have for another person, and even though it's sad...more often than not, the love for the drug even overshadows them caring for themselves.

I have known drug addicts who get into a cycle that leads to the absolute destruction of their lives as well as the lives of those who love them.

The drug addicts that I have known start out their Monday's going to work and working until payday. They get their checks, cash them and go STRAIGHT to fetch their drug of choice from their dealers. They then indulge in drugs until the money is gone. Usually this takes a few days and by Sunday they are out of commission until they again get the money it takes to further support their drug use. This is the cycle of addiction and what a web drug addiction can weave in the life of people today.

From my observations, a drug addict who is without money will do anything in order to GET money to buy more drugs. Thieving, lying and stealing are all used in order to keep them high and in control. I have known drug addicts who won't think twice about stealing from loved ones who think the world of them. This is what these people do, for GUILT is NOTHING compared to the addiction that drives them and directs their steps.