The Challenges

The average career is about 3 years. Many players never make the field, being on the practice squad to challenge the A teams. Some players, who do start, do so for only one year. Professional football is truly a competition.

Every player endures tremendous workouts and game competition. Injuries are par for the course. The vast majority, probably all, play with pain and injuries.

**Many opportunities in life have risks. 

Football is a rough sport. Rugby is a rough sport.  Soccer is a rough sport.  And at varying levels, many sports have their physical risks. And to a large degree, the challenges are what brings many to participate. Competition. Determination. Winning. And the preparation, working at part of a team. 

We used to say, if the sport is too difficult, find something else to do, for not every person is built like a 250 pound truck, or a 320 pound behemoth, or can run the 40-yard dash in less than 5 seconds, turning on a dime.  Every person has their strengths and weaknesses.  Every person is not meant to play at the top of some fields.  If all had the ability, the NFL would have a thousand teams, each with a thousand players, and playoffs would be a nightmare.  We would probably have A, B, C, D, E, F…. leagues.  However, only the best of the best ever play a snap in a regular season game.  That’s what makes so many want to play.  And for many, in college football, even on the Alabama Crimson Tide, will be the last time they play as such a high level.  And they’ll remember those years for the rest of their lives. 

The other day, Tua Tagovailoa was injured on a common play.  At 6’1” and 217 pounds, he has the skills to play at the highest levels.  One of my favorite quarterbacks from the Alabama Crimson Tide, now with the Miami Dolphins, he can run like nobody’s business, throw on a dime, and work as part of a team week to week.  And the players love working with him.  He has the kind of attitude that says we’re going to win:  together.  And that’s fantastic.

How he was injured was very common.  While running in the backfield, looking for someone to throw the ball to, I believe it was a lineman who caught up to him and tackled.  It was a normal tackle.  It looked vicious.  What the defender did was grab Tua and bring him to the ground as fast as possible, probably wanting the sack statistics, to win the game, but also to prevent any passes.  Unfortunately, Tua’s head hit the ground pretty hard.  And this was after the previous week, when his head then hit the ground and he was shaky. 

The game was against the Cincinnati Bengals.  Joe Burrows was quarterbacking that team.  And I remember in Joe’s first season, while doing well as a rookie, his year ended on a serious knee injury.  With the right rehab and attitude, he came back the following year and with the team, nearly won it all.  That’s determination.  That’s at the top.   That’s going for it all within a sport.  And that’s what keeps Tom Brady coming back year after year. And they know the risks. And if they’re going to have longer careers, as Tom has had, then they’ll have to make adjustments. If they’re going to last longer than 3-5 years, then they’ll have to learn the game, the timing, and how to escape potentially dangerous situations. **For instance, Tom Brady learned as soon as he’s in the grasp, he drops to the ground, saving his health for another down: another day.

Here’s a second part of this article.  We’re hearing all kinds of “episodes” about this incident.  Tua Tagovailoa was monitored, checked, then put on a stretcher before being taken to the hospital.  Thankfully, he was moving well and I’m sure they’ll be running tests, checking x-rays and other resources, then sending him back to the team, during which, I imagine he’ll be on injured reserve for a time until the doctors give him a clean bill of health to return.  And we would like him to be healthy.

While we would like all players to stay healthy, the risks are part of the game.  Tua can always decide his best interests lie elsewhere, even go into coaching.  But he stays because he loves the game, loves the competition and teamwork, and wants to win at the highest level.  And he knows the risks. But here’s the thing.  So does every other player in the National Football League.  Nobody gets to that level without a strong desire to succeed. The Cincinnati defender who tackled Tua wants to win big, and he too must endure injuries (Linemen often get concussions and torn leg muscles, which is why they wear those braces.).  All the players do.  And each defender knows that the quarterback is working to take their wins away from them.  And each player knows their ability to remain on a team, play at the highest level, is always being competed against by other players wanting to be in the NFL.  So they all have to do their best. Sometimes, just a couple missed tackles, and/or a couple poor blocks might get you sent down to the practice squad, another player replacing you on the game field. And that might mean future opportunities.

And that’s also is what makes Tom Brady’s accomplishments so amazing.  Every team and every player wants to stop Tom from winning.  Every team and every player wants to beat whatever team he’s quarterbacking.  And he just keeps winning:  big.

If Tua is going to have a long career, and such things are never predictable, we think he’ll have to make some adjustments in how he plays. He’s a fantastic player, a very mobile quarterback, but at just over 6 feet and 210 pounds, and being chased by 300 pound athletes who run like sports cars, he’s going to have to train with a better repertoire. I believe, he’ll need to read defenses better, know when to release the ball earlier, or simply drop when in the grasp to avoid more violent hits. That way, he’s ready for the next play. **In the mean time, we hope he’s soon out of the hospital and back with the team.

**Ever since we watched him play for Alabama, we couldn’t wait to see him in the NFL.

The Apollo Journey

Long ago, yet always in the present.

                The following book was written by the same writer who shared about the Mars expeditions (satellites, orbiters, and rovers):  Rod Pyle, and to him I appreciate the effort.   He certainly could have written a far more detailed book, but what he did with information, some stats, actual words the astronauts and ground control spoke, and pictures, has done much to help us understand the times of the 1960’s and into the 70’s.

                The book is entitled “Destination Moon.”  Written right below that is “The Apollo Missions in the Astronauts’ Own Words.”  While I know the book is only about 200 pages long, with tremendous pictures, and thus cannot fully share the experience….  For I remember, long ago, obtaining CDs on the Apollo 11 mission, and just the time of actual lunar flight, landing, and ascending back to the command module took hours of viewing, a ton of empty time and fascinating perspectives, also concepts and discussions, which helps a little in filling in some within the book.  As such, I’m very grateful to have picked this up, another to be read soon. But I would also encourage readers, if they’re interested, to pick up those CD’s, if they’re so inclined. However, be patient, watch in parts (It’s long.), and have someone who enjoys learning about space and history to discuss the topics. 

                Within the pages are some descriptions of each astronaut, the times they lived, and the efforts to reach the moon.  Most of us have seen Apollo 13 in the movies, and thus far, I’m happy to say much reality was in that show, though some things needed clarity.  For instance, according to sources I read, the explosion was not as the movie shared, but increasing power without the proper changing of equipment (The previously installed equipment had a different power rating for previous purposes.). But we kept going back to the moon.  I wonder how many people know about Apollo 14, 15, 16, and 17.  We learned.  We improved upon previous journeys and landings. We retrieved samples. We walked across and learned. We drove on the lunar surface.  We brought back much in the way of samples to study, also leaving equipment for those back on the Earth to study the moon from afar. And on the last mission: Apollo 17, we had a scientist (geologist) walking on the lunar surface, getting samples and running tests.

                Here are a few pictures many might remember:

**Apollo 14. With each trip, we learned a little more, bringing more in the way of equipment to study. Here, the astronauts had a pull-cart so to speak, equipment loaded up, and walked out towards a couple sites, obtaining information and samples. One thing shared I thought more about. It was easy to get lost walking from the LM (Their ship.). I can only imagine that everything looked similar, and I doubt a compass would work like back on our planet. I suppose, had they walked far enough, it’s possible finding their ship might have become extremely difficult. **Of course, without an atmosphere, they could easily follow their footprints.

Apollo 15. Now, what a way to travel. Your own RV on the moon. Look at the mountain in the backdrop!

Apollo 16. Though we went back, we notice the pictures always seem similar, even though they landed in different locations. I would suggest we set up a long-term facility where astronauts could live for months, grow their own foods in transported soil, drive moon RV’s, and conduct experiments which would give us a far better idea of sending anyone to Mars.

Apollo 17. One thing I’d like to point out, which is obviously from a spectator. It seems to take a lot of time to learn and understand, and that with a moon that orbits our Earth, only 250,000 miles away. Yet, we can obviously learn a lot. We have much we could learn here, with humans, prior to sending any to other planets, for the learning curve seems to require many visits and adjustments. **Mark these words. I believe any hasty ventures with people to the red planet will have serious difficulties.

**Okay, now for the point to this article:

                While sitting here, reading a book about the Apollo missions, going from one to the next journey, it suddenly dawned upon me I knew nothing about the following missions.  The more I read, the more I wondered why I knew nothing about the other missions. I might have frowned. Certainly, I had read about the Mercury missions from before (as a kid looking through books), remembered watching the Apollo 11 landing and some reading after (long after), watched the movie “Apollo 13,” but that’s it.  The following ventures, together with what was learned before, what they hoped to discover, and the ventures with detailed tapes of the astronauts’ times on the lunar surface is just not in our background.  And that got me asking some serious questions.

                While growing up, I don’t remember hearing anything about the Apollo missions.  I wonder if some readers do, and if so, what they had learned.  As we moved from time to time, I had gone to a few different schools, and while I do remember a few posters on walls, even a plastic rocket in one class, I don’t remember reading about the missions in text books, listening to any teacher about our ventures, seeing no tapes of documentaries on television screens (or movie projectors as we had back then), nor shows about the trips, the wonders, the experiments, and more. 

                With regards to the later Space Shuttle missions, I don’t remember those being discussed.  I don’t remember reading about the programs.  And I have to wonder about the reasons.  I do remember once, an amazing day, during a vacation trip, watching a Space Shuttle pass overhead, such that we could see details, and how amazing that was for us.

                In a recent article or two, I shared my current continued learning about Russia, the former Soviet Union, and the writers who’ve lived and shared with the public.  And along the way, I find myself appreciating these writers’ efforts, but also at a quandary as to why part of our curriculum did not entail a far better and more enriching understanding of communism in general and Russia in particular.

                While I have my own theories, I have to ask some very poignant questions.  During those twelve years in school, how much could we have learned?  How much about the space programs might we have read, including going on field trips to space museums?  How cool it might have been to obtain Apollo models to assemble. How much might we have learned about the space shuttle missions, what we learned, and what might be next?  And during all those Apollo missions, all those landings on the moon, and the rides across, what programs detailed both the flights and lunar crossings?  Because, I wonder, a tremendous amount of information, which seems should be shared by all, including learning all we can about our own country, the Revolutionary War, and the years after, should have been a huge part of our growing up. 

                I can imagine writing entire curriculums for several grades.  They would detail the decades and centuries from life in Europe, many in dictatorships, many fleeing in hope, and the long journeys through time.  They would detail colonization of America, the hardships, the hopes, and diary entries by people in these lands.  They would detail the years leading to the Revolutionary War, what went on, and the following years which we struggled to maintain our freedoms.  And we might even read a couple Louis L’Amour books for engaging context.

                The curriculum would incorporate much of the learnings about space, even from the invention of the telescope, and we would all have space night, so we could all look through telescopes and wonder at the marvels of Jupiter and Saturn.  We would put on classroom televisions any available tapes from those Apollo missions, but also about the Space Shuttles.  And if we could, we would share some of Elon Musk’s visions.

                Through real history, more about our country, but also detailing communism, Stalin, and Russia, but probably including North Korea and what that war was about, we would also share the immense problems with socialism, providing readings and discussions. 

                I could get far more detailed, here, for I would certainly want more details about science, about cells and virus construction, perhaps planting gardens so we could all appreciate how seeds grow into squash, peas, kale and more, perhaps leading to discussions about DNA and how billions of molecules determine everything we see in a plant.  I would want animals living in the classroom, with some sort of temperature control so the animals could live during the colder months, but also so books about animals would come alive.  And though all of this, we would certainly teach writing, reading a ton, discussing, and all the more.  You see, learning is very important.  And as I continue to learn, I realize how much more can be brought forth.  Which is why I so strongly support home schooling.  For I more and more realize, with the passage of time, how much more could and should have been shared while growing up. 

And through all of this, writing would be very important. Essays. Research and citing information, with bibliographies. Science fairs. Biographies. Story and Play writing. Poetry. And more. And since the classrooms would be filled with real information, real reading about real events, the students would have a ton to write about. And I have to say one more thing. When a person has read about important and interesting events and times, has discussed to good lengths, has been part of some cool projects, and discovers an entire world of wonder, that person tends to have much to write about. There was something I heard once. It was how can you successfully teach writing if the students haven’t anything to write about. Or, as I see it, provide a quality curriculum so they have more than enough to write about. In fact, they’ll probably be writing even when we’re not looking.

**One advice to home schooling parents who work hard to provide a quality education. The learning together can work together. It might be quite interesting what the parents might learn along the way.

**Photography, designing and making dishes to share in the class, art, commercial designs, singing, using microscopes to study microorganisms, and more should all be part of the learning. Head out towards the coast and walk along the beaches. Observe the sea lions. Talk to fishermen. Go on a deep sea fishing trip. What might be found? And they’ll have much more to write about: Dear Diary….

Possible Impossibilities

Looking back, remembering some “sayings,” and wondering the arrival of conclusions.

Every step of the way, to observe, listen, and ponder, but never fully concluding without due diligence. Taking to time to reflect.

                There are a few “sayings,” from my younger years, that to some degree I accepted as standard beliefs, but remember pondering.  For instance, that no two snowflakes are alike, even though no one has ever seen every snowflake that has or will fall from the skies.  Or that winning in chess against a well-programmed computer would be an impossibility. 

                There was a scene on Star Trek, the Next Generation, where the android Data lost to one of another species.  Everybody thought that was an impossibility.  Which of course, brought back the question regarding computers. 

                Chess is a wonderful game.  Some time back, due to how long chess games can last, I started playing against opponents within a computer program (Caisa), and found we could determine time for moves.  In this way, we limited the length of games.  As such, we could play, without giving up hours upon hours, and learn to determine moves within a much shorter constraint of time.  Often, I chose between 2 minutes and 30 seconds per move, depending upon how much time I had to play.  And I found the strategy changing in this format.  **Perhaps, one day, I might return to playing long games, perhaps even one of those by mail.

                Some time back, around the same time, I also started playing checkers on computer.  It was during that last few years of teaching, when time availed after the school day was over, usually on a Friday before going home for the weekend.  As I remember checkers being a very simple game, I was surprised how good some players were, a couple in fact I could not beat for a time (I imagine, they played chess as well.).  That was an education.  With time, I realized how much more complex the game truly is.  And that’s with pieces all the same.

                Enter Chess.  The pawns are all the same.  However, we also have castles, knights, bishops, the King, and the Queen.  I would like to attempt explaining that which is complex with all the same pieces (checkers) makes far more complex with very different pieces, and different moves (chess.).

                I’ll never be able to do the math, but I would suggest the complexities of options, regarding Chess, is not calculable by human standards.  And I would also suggest that no computer can predict every possible move, for human beings create the programs.  Yes, we can make them far more sophisticated, but can never be fully complete in predictions. 

                When I played frequently (I haven’t played chess for more than a couple games in a year in a couple of decades.), I believe the highest rating I ever reached was 1,500 (For a short time, 1,600) or so, but normally ranked around 1,400 or thereabouts.  However, on occasion, I was able to win against players ranking around 2,000.  And I have lost to players ranking lower than myself.  Because, in every game, every move changes the dynamics.  As such, with the right moves, every game is up for grabs.  That’s how sometimes a novice will win against a superior opponent.  That’s also how, sometimes, a player will beat a computer program, even one geared at the top.  What matters in making the best moves in given situations. And some players study situations.

                This next part of the article might sound a bit “odd.”  I’ll keep part of it short.  Human beings are not that smart.  I know that of myself.   I do very much appreciate the understanding that shines from time to time, and I appreciate how wonderful life is and can be.  However, it always seems that the moment anyone, including myself, thinks they know something more than others, they’ve actually fallen back down.  I think that’s where the saying came from:  pride goes before the fall.  However, we can appreciate the wonders and discoveries.

                Now for the next part.  The comparison between chess and checkers is a small one, but makes the point.  Those, in a sense, are simple games.  Compared to the complexities of life, all the factors, all the possibilities, if we’re talking pure statistics, the differences are tremendous.  With all the people in the world, all the nuances, we can never fully predict tomorrow.  As such, we ought never say we know what the future will be.  I certainly don’t.  Of course, we can say the trends tend towards such and such, but then, we discuss, share, and hope for tomorrow:  today.  For everything that happens happens in real time. And what we do today, each day, impacts tomorrow.

Prayers.

Appreciation and Wonder

Appreciating the simple things in life, thankful for all we have.

                Some time back, someone asked what was at the end of the universe, which many scientists theorized continues to grow, perhaps even faster with the passage of time.  It’s an interesting question.  I imagine many people, young and old, have thought about creation.  When I heard, long ago, that the universe was expanding, I wondered how amazing.  It’s something people ponder upon from time to time. 

                For myself, I gather there are things we can appreciate without ever fully comprehending.  Like gazing at the night sky, looking at all those stars, planets, and shooting stars, perhaps wondering where the latter came from.  Or looking at a leaf, never fully understanding, yet amazed that it provides so much.  Yes, scientists know much of the makeup, about DNA, and the complexities, but the how and why is beyond them… and me.  However, it is a wonder to appreciate:  how a seed has all the information necessary to become all they become.

                Going back to the original question above, we might consider we’re not meant to know everything, nor ever will.  While the question was posed, and I thought for a time, I also pondered location.  In other words, if someone asked, where is the universe and in relation to what else out there?  On another note, into what is the universe expanding?  Or, another way to ask, what is the universe within?  And those are questions I can imagine anyone asking should they take a course on astronomy. 

                But then, I would have to make another point.  I really don’t know much.  I certainly don’t have enough information to intelligently ask such a question.  For when I read about Einstein, listen online to some astronomer’s calculations, and read about satellites in space, I realize we just don’t have enough information from which to make informed calculations:  at least from my perspective and the little information I have. For example, that space is curved, which then brings a host of other questions. For instance, how we perceive in our everyday world, does that change on a much larger scale? Or am I even asking the right question?  And perhaps, that’s as it will always be.  Perhaps as it should.  For we already have so much, and can we appreciate all that has been provided?

                Later, I remembered a story in the Bible.  Many might remember.  It was about the Tower of Babel.  If I remember correctly, and it’s been a long time since I last read this story, a bunch of people got it into their heads to build a tall building that would reach way up into the sky, perhaps the heavens.

                Now, again, I’m not that smart, but I think, had I been there, I would have looked at everyone else, wondering what they were thinking.  Don’t they follow the rabbit of reason along the trail of understanding?  Don’t they see the sky is much farther than we could ever build:  anything?  Perhaps many don’t, some do, and many who do go along to get along.  But they all worked together building this structure, something that would pretty much go up, but they would discover not very far. 

                When I thought about that, I thought that’s many people today.  While I like the idea of sending satellites and probes into space, collecting data, and learning about the cosmos, I know we’ll never know very much.  Like venturing into the woods, going to other countries, heading into space, even landing men on Mars, can be a wonderful time of pondering and reflection.  And we might learn a thing or two.  And how much we might discover, tiny by comparison, but wonders of things that might provide information helpful to us on the Earth.

                However, like the Tower of Babel, if many don’t realize, and think they’re on some grand adventure, that man-kind is becoming more through these experiences, that our species will evolve and one day reach higher levels of expansion and awareness, perhaps going to other galaxies, colonizing other planets, I think they’ve lost the meaning of life.  Perhaps they forgot something we were all born understanding. 

                We have all been given life.  We have all been given understanding, and depending upon how we relate and appreciate, perhaps more understanding occurs.  And I’ll try to say it this way, and again, for each person to consider for themselves.

                I have, for a long time, believed that all “learning” and understanding leads to He Who created the Universe.  And we rely on Him, trusting.  We have been given everything.  We need not attempt to be something we’re not.  We don‘t need to evolve.  We don’t need to build a tower.  We don’t need to find life on other planets. He already knows us through and through.  For He made us.  And He has all the answers.  And I believe the answers are always in His time, because He knows what is best and true.  Prayers.

**That we’re all cared for, all of our lives. We don’t see everything. We trust.

**I do believe, with how wonderful the things we see, the very fact we have so little control over our lives is for our benefit. That our Father above loves and cares for us, and that He’s taking care of everything.

**Yes, we are to work and ponder. It’s part of what makes life so interesting. But there are also things that should cause us to be mindful.

**Long ago, and more recently, I read Genesis, and along the way was amazed how much real scientific information, and history, was so accurately shared.

An Amazing World to Discover Each and Every Day….

Consider one view, then many others, each with something new to ponder.

Billions of people, billions looking, and our eyes making the following appreciation possible.

**We see, the light creating patterns, pixels and parts coming together in our eyes, sending wonderful images in our minds. And sometimes, we remember and smile. How can we not smile when we see beauty created in the world?

**At the end of a day, perhaps stopping by a lake, perhaps fishing or walking, noticing something that changes the perspective from one moment to another. At times, I have lost catching a fish, distracted by dragonflies, owls, and other amazing wonders in the world. And yes, sometimes I still watch a spider as it weaves its web for the evening dinner.

**Appreciating the wonders, realizing the world is looking back at us, sometimes wondering what they see. They’re happy without self-help or diet books. Is that not the look of complete happiness?

**The wonder, the colors, the beauty, the memories. All that exists a part of the scenes.

**Even from moment to moment, sometimes in the first or last lights of the day. To sit and appreciate. Some days are not like any other. Always something around the next corner.

**Sometimes, taking the time to stop. Look. Observe. Then later remembering something we wished was in picture, yet without the camera, a memory. And the memory brings an appreciation.

**There have been times I forgot a camera, staring at a beautiful sunset or watching the ducks along the lake, even far from home. The memories fade, but not the appreciation.

                It’s quite a quandary more people don’t share in the wonders of wonders.  Yet, I have to believe, from time to time, all do.  Even when looking at a leaf.  At some point, whether a leaf, an insect, the clouds, even colors, something must occur to people the incredible reality of creation.  Even one ant, or a bee, or a snail is a marvel.  The DNA common to creatures, with little differences from one to another.

                Somehow, and I’ll try better to share this perspective, we see, with our little eyes, complexities and wonders we could never design on our own, perhaps never even imagine except all that exists around us.  Somehow, light waves, with all their spectrum, bounces off giraffes, trees, and tiny little termites, then enter our eyes (Imagine how sound becomes to us.), forms in the back of our eyes, all that coordinated to look exactly like what we’re looking at, even down to tiny antenaes and cat whiskers, even tree bark and moss.  Every little iota within a 20/20 range, some needing glasses.  Then, our brains compute all of this instantly, instant by instant, all the days long, even that we read wonderful books. 

                The eye is just one of many complex miracles too amazing to explain. 

**There is, as we’ve discussed, another eye. We can also observe thoughts and ideas.

Thoughtful Consideration

Taking the time in life. Observing, pondering, and discussing.

**To see and perceive. We need not be told what we observe.

**The wonder is for each person. Each person perceiving something different and alike.

**Three people looking, seeing something new and different, each one learning something unknown to the other two.

The wonders never cease to amaze. Sometimes, we can just stand and watch: miracles everywhere.

                While having discussed the importance of realization (I’ve often called them “ah haa…” experiences.), I believe it’s very important in this day and age to encourage.  There are so many directions from which we can approach this subject.  For this article, I want to restate the words “expert” and “scientist” have meanings in their truest sense, but these are not terms for anyone to follow: as regards others, without realization and thinking for one’s self with responsibility.  Always.  Every step of the way.  And I’ve often said never to follow “me” and my words without following the rabbit of reason along the trail of understanding. For if I say anything that “rings true,” it’s because it’s already inside the listener, just waiting to be recognized.

                Recently, I have been reading about our efforts to put human beings on the moon and to explore Mars, the two sometimes happening simultaneously.  And as I appreciate the efforts, I wonder what we might find, discover, and utilize with the passage of time.   Like the differentiation in gravitational fields (Apparently, Mars doesn’t have a magnetic field like the Earth, which raises questions, but also allows for experimentation regarding different sets of values.), magnetism, minerology, terrain, atmospheric effects, and more.  Together with other chemicals, the presence or absence of water, pressure through atmosphere, and the interactions of a more active planet (or less), one can only imagine the future and what might be written.  And it’s fun to read the data and current conclusions, or most, of the findings.

                Less and more recently, I was reading about groups of scientists and their efforts to procure support, including funding, for their research.  I want to share two things [[Which I think is extremely important to bring the point across as to why we never fully give our “understanding” and “acceptance of information” to anyone else.]], allowing readers to consider the others:  1) Many scientists enjoy what they do, and to do so requires funding, and 2) To garner the funding for exploration such as the moon and Mars, they must write proposals that will bring in those resources.  *Unless one is Elon Musk, with other profitable projects to fund such endeavors, one will have to appeal to whomever the funding comes from.  And those who provide the funding (which is taxpayers’ money) will have to answer to others, including the public and special interests who often can mold public opinion.

                Thus, if I were an astronomer working for NASA, or a more independent organization, we would still have to consider who’s watching.  Which means our proposals are controlled.  Not only that, but our findings, perhaps even our way of thinking.  In other words, could I write a proposal with something like: we want to learn more about this planet, it’s gravitational field, the minerals, and better comprehend the interactions of all the aspects, perhaps gaining a better perspective on both how the planet developed but where the other spheres became, but also to better ascertain space flight and eventually building living places for more on-site and “in person” experimentation?  Perhaps I could write such a proposal. Would it garner funds? I have to wonder.  However, more than likely, I might have to write something like:  we’re looking for signs of life.  We propose, while better understanding space flight (and orbitals with landing), to search for the elements and perhaps, biologics, that provide a foundation for life and perhaps the presence.  And should we discover such elements, this might provide support for the theories of extraterrestrial life on other worlds.  **And I might find it more necessary for the second proposal due to the manner in which funding arises, in which we create projects, and in which we continue in our careers.  And as such, the very ways in which we live would vet certain types of people out of those careers, but bring others in.  And what would that look like?

                We can do the same with most things in life.  I imagine, the expense of becoming a doctor, perhaps more so in the specializations, that the need to pay off educational loans, work in a career of one’s choice, and survive in a complex world could influence the decisions of each physician.  Of course, I say this because I have watched such things happen before my very eyes.  And it also works in the field of my career choice: a certain vetting going on to match up with politics and created social ideas (Some which was due to influences.).  I imagine in the automobile industry, with firefighting and police, in politics, and more, there are always influences that can alter decision making.

                And we can simplify even more.  Even for attention.  To be heard and listened to.  To be “appreciated.”  To be thought thoughtful.  Even if just to believe it for one’s self.  Even in article writing.  Even in blogs.  Even callers on the radio, who later share with friends:  “I was on the radio.”

We can see, for one reason or another, and we can create a long list, from people just wanting attention, to being noticed, to “experts” and people in “highly important” jobs, there is always a “pressure,” “set of opinions”, and “designs” that cause all too many people to compromise their values and perhaps what they report. After all, I have to believe some scientists would love to explore planets, asteroids, and the vast cosmos for reasons other than life. But the fact that they’re directed, or encouraged, by those holding the funds and special interests (including molded public opinions)

                To me, the word expert and scientist, in their truest sense, have wonderful meanings, but in practice, I can never follow anyone because of a title, and nor should anyone else.  Every step of the way, we listen, read, research, observe, and ponder.  And this is the way, in my opinion, all should live. 

                Of course, when I was in the hospital years ago, I listened to my doctor.  I also asked questions to better understanding, talking also with nurses, then obtaining information on a couple web-sites.  After all, they went to higher education, worked with more experienced doctors, have experience, and they understand many principles I have not spent much time on.  So of course I’m listening.  Of course I respect each doctor, listening to ensure those who think for themselves.  But do I trust them completely?  Of course not.  How do I know all the factors in their decision making, the society and political pressures put upon them, and what is the going societal norms they apply?  And that’s my responsibility.  And for myself, I’ll rely more on their information until I discover enough to warrant questions. 

                Whether we’re learning about history (in this and other countries), about science, about philosophy, about the automobile industry, about pollution, about technology, or anything else, we will never find a source that in 100%.  Why?  Because whoever read, researched, was there, pondered, and so forth is seeing things through his/her eyes, with his/her motivations, and perhaps persuasions by others.  For myself, I’ve realized things that changed previous outlooks, sometimes a little, and sometimes more, and in sharing, I gather others must do their own homework.  For along the way, I’m pretty sure it’s an ongoing discovery process. 

                More recently, I was writing about the problems in obtaining real history, also including Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn’s efforts to find the real history of Russia since so much was destroyed by the political machine.  But even in the best of circumstances, when reading, we’re often getting second hand, even third-hand (or more) information.  And for those “who were there”, they’re seeing from their points of view, with their experiences, and from their motivational purposes, many honest.  But we still have to do our homework.

                As such, even as a teacher, while I taught, the students read, I asked questions.  I shared the concept of understanding the world we live in to better understand the past.  But also to learn about the past to better understand the times we live.  And also to understand human nature, themselves included, to better understand the choices people make.  And while learning, to be patient.  For we can learn of events.  We can learn about the past.  We can learn about so much.  But each person must honestly assess for themselves, for there will never come a time where we can turn off our own awareness, stop following the rabbit of reason, and simply allow others to tell us everything. 

                There’s an old saying:  the price of freedom is eternal vigilance.  There’s something wonderful in this. In freedom, we get to ponder and wonder, a new discovery around each corner, sometimes new for each person.

***I’ve become more aware of a thoughtlessness in myself. I have to be careful, even with sources I trust, to still consider. I have to be careful not to believe, then argue a point, simply because I trust a source, or simply because I’ve always believed in that manner. I still have to read, sometimes read again, listen, and consider. For instance, I’m relooking at reasons for some historical events.

**The wonderful benefit of reading, sifting quality material from less quality, and following the rabbit of reason is better understanding.

**Time and patience also shows there are things we accept on faith: which I believe we’re all born with. Prayers.

Safety and Progress

As consumers, we get to determine what products and services succeed.

Our purchases determine what companies sell, but also what they incorporate.

Some developments are in transition. Some things need research.

Here’s an article about what a writer on 60 minutes shared long ago. 

                Back when, while driving a 1973 Chevy Nova, I wasn’t a careless driver, but also not the most cautious to say the least.  Anyway, after two fender benders, I noticed in addition to the front bumper leaning sideways (I had it repaired.), the A-Frame had been tweaked as well, which meant the car would no longer drive straight without a firm grip on the steering wheel.  And for some reason, that reminded me of a television personality and his research.  For I wondered, with just a fender bender, why so much damage had been done.

                He had once shared cars need better than 3-5 mph bumpers.  For anything harder and they start collapsing, costing more and more dollars.  Fast forward a few decades.  These days, it’s become norm to see no bumpers on cars, but more a smooth surface, which I coined the phrase bubble cars.  From one manufacturer to another, we have bubble cars (They literally look like bubbles in comparison to the older generations of vehicles when style was common.).  However, the front and back ends are plastic, so they compact easier and I might assume cost less to replace.  Perhaps.  But I also wondered what is under those plastic surfaces to protect the car and driver.  The next paragraph explains.

                Well, moving backwards about 15 years or so (from today), I was cycling through a city.  At an intersection, I saw two cars crash.  Well, the one in the back crashed into the one who tried stopping at the red light, propelling him and his car well into the intersection.  After I’d attempted to help both drivers, also talking with the ambulance personnel and police about what happened, I looked at the front driver’s car.  It was intact, save the rear plastic bumper covering, and a sort of Styrofoam looking cover over a real, flat, metal plate like thing.  I gathered, that’s what passes for bumpers these days:  a flat metal bar with white foam-like block over (to cushion).  But the car remained intact, such that, he drove away, refusing the ambulance service.  That surprised me as I was certain the driver in the rear car was travelling over 30 mph upon impact, maybe 50,mph, and the one who drove away would have serious neck and other problems later. 

                The following picture is akin to what I saw.  The black metal piece had a white block of strong foam-like material, which serves to “soften” impacts.  The other picture shows crumple zones designed to take some of the shock.

                I later learned that manufacturers design cars to absorb impacts, which must be what happened, but also if it were struck hard enough, the engine would fall out:  literally.  I believe this is done so in a more serious collision, the engine won’t enter the cabin and crush the driver.  Good thinking.  Times have certainly changed.

                While we like the idea of better impact protection, including air bags and safety seats, there are some things we are encouraging the public to read, research, and share their concerns with car manufacturers, for even air bags and shoulder belt have their limitations. Some designs are better than others, some “safety” parts manufacturers are better than others, and some limitations exists when circumstances change.

                I don’t think I’ll ever purchase a car with a rear camera (Some family members have.), no radar to indicate someone in the blind spot, nor any other technology to take control of the vehicle in various circumstances.  I certainly will never purchase a self-driving car. I’m also not a fan of air bags.  I imagine, with time, such things can be improved, but I believe we can never remove the human equation when on the road.

                As I see it, driving is a serious freedom:  with responsibility.  Every driver should be fully aware of what’s around them:  at all times, pay attention to the road and surrounding elements, and be looking so as nothing unexpected occurs (Unexpected things will still occur.).  And learn to drive defensively.  For myself, I can remember two times that I was monitoring, and had I not been, horrific drivers would have caused my crash, and maybe worse.  As such, I avoided possible collisions so I can write about them.

                Technology is only as reliable as when they work.  I will always look around before getting into a vehicle, will look back prior to backing up, and continue looking around as I back up, change lanes, or make a turn, because I know, things change and if the electronics aren’t working, someone can be hurt, even seriously so.  When driving, I will always check my blind spot before changing lanes.  And other than cruise control, I will always be watching the road, my hands on the steering wheel, and passengers will not distract the driver.  Why?  Because we always need be mindful of others on the road, but also that they be mindful of us. Long ago, in a driver’s training course, we learned only a moment is needed for terrible things to happen.  However, for those who use all the principles of safe driving, taking responsibility for their spot on the roads and elsewhere, things are safer.

                Some technology is excellent, or can be, but any technology that reduces driver responsibility, skills, and awareness is “bad” technology.  And I would hope, all driving instructors and the DMV would require all driving skills demonstrated to excellence. 

**We were fortunate to have learned all the “safety” habits early on, taking a drivers’ education course through our school, but then not having a car for a couple of years, save using the family car from time to time. As such, without all the “new technology” (The window opener was a hand knob which we turned and turned. That also often served for climate control.), we relied on our eyes and awareness, taking our time getting places.

**The couple of accidents I “caused” early in my driving “career”, some might say was just accidents. However, upon looking back, I’m aware of a lapse of attention, even an unawareness of possible problems. That can be helped by taking one’s time, being aware, and not being in a hurry.

**I’m not a fan of any technology that takes the responsibility of looking, checking, rechecking, and 100% observation of the road away or lessens. Nothing replaces personal responsibility. And parents must be part of the instruction process when their children are old enough to drive.

The World of Sports

The lessons we may learn from the passing years.

Ken Stabler and the Oakland Raiders in a different time.

Film on past games available online.

The “old days” of learning plays for Sunday’s game. See the chalkboard in the back?

                Like some of my peers, I started watching football just after Ken Stabler and the Oakland Raiders won the Super Bowl.  It was the year after, we were with some family, and Pittsburgh was playing.  For some reason, I noticed the Steelers’ outfits and wanted to know more about the game.  I think, up until that time, I knew nothing of the sport.  However, after learning more, and liking certain teams, including the Raiders, I later wished I had started watching the year the Oakland won the Super Bowl.  I did purchase a book about the team.

                Decades later:  I finally thought that since the internet has so many programs, and I had watched “The Dog Whisperer” several times, I gathered there might be old football games online.  And while searching, there is was:  The Super Bowl in which Ken Stabler and Fran Tarkenton vied for the highest trophy in football.  And I watched it in its entirety.  Even with Fred Belitnikoff, who actually wore no shoulder pads during that game so he could get an edge on defenders. 

                Those were the days when it was still common for quarterbacks to call their own plays.  During the week, they practiced, learned all the plays, but come game time, all the discussions were on the sidelines, but quarterbacks were the leaders of their offense:  in entirety.  Well, they probably still got some sideline signals.

                What I noticed about this Super Bowl, then watching it again, then watching other games from that era, was the comparative simplicity of the plays (Complex in the times they were designed.).  What I saw made me think how much easier the game was back then.  For instance, there was far less movement of linemen, less stunts, and many plays looked similar to other plays with far less pre-snap moving parts.  However, that’s not the entire case.  I’m sure linemen had different methods and moves during plays, along with all the other players, and what we don’t see while watching is nonetheless happening.  It’s just that, from the beginning, coaches are always looking to get the better hand upon their opponents.  The games evolved during each year.

                Study of plays, discussions, development, computers, and all the other technology has allowed the faster evolution of the game.  What we see today on Sundays (NFL) or Saturdays (College) is a continued growth of ideas tried over and over again, creative assistants coming up with new methods, and a growing understanding of positioning, speed, and timing. And in this day and age, we can look at plays from every angle, and the type player and training allows for ever more creative methods: like back shoulder receptions. Many plays are based upon principles designed on computers, then adapted to the type players teams have.

                And this is a metaphor for life.  What we can learn from sports is there is always growth and development, ways to improve, and something around the next corner that we haven’t as yet seen.  And in the world of sports, we have seen this time and again.

                As a kid and teenager, the best bicycle tricks involved more jumps and turns, among others, but today, we see triple twists, connected tricks at once, and things we never would have imagined possible while young, like a cyclist who rode up a twenty foot vertical wall, and when the bicycle was about to stall, a few feet before the top, he flung himself forward and literally flipped the bicycle around himself to land on top, then 25 feet above.  Talking with a neighbor, he explained that trick is now considered “old.”  When I was growing up, winning 10 tennis majors was unheard of.  In the recent decade, we’ve seen three fantastic players win 20 or more each.  We will always remember Roger Federer.  Things are always changing.

                Regarding the things we can do today, we can improve.  Whether work, sports, or otherwise.  And I’ll add one more thing.  Understanding politics, history, and more.  Under no circumstances do we ever allow anyone to tell us the future is a certainty.  They can tell us the trends and what might happen, as I’ve done.  But the future is never set.  And yes, we believe there will be much suffering, for that seems the way of things throughout the centuries. Life always happens in real time:  moment by moment, day by day. 

                As a teacher, I knew where things were going, but I also had a one day at a time attitude.  I might not be able to get everyone else to see what I saw, to raise expectations and get the best of their students where they could, but I could do what I could with my students (including their peers), but also in discussions with their parents.  For I also knew, they can do positive things in their lives for a better tomorrow, perhaps encouraging others by their examples.  And when I realized things were drastically changing in the wrong direction, I also realized resources are everywhere, and home schooling parents can do so much to prepare their children.  And they can learn the real history of this country, with all the good lessons. 

                The world tomorrow is based in part what we do today.  As it always has been.  Therefore, whether in work, communication, the sharing of ideas, better comprehension, and more, what we do today makes for better understanding tomorrow along with positive solutions.   

**The principles of freedom with responsibility are timeless. What was true at the foundation of America is true today. And those principles will be with us as we work towards a better tomorrow.

**Something I learned from others. When there is a problem, it’s an opportunity to find the solution. In a book, there was a passage about thinking the solution.

A Bit of Perspective

To begin, I must say I haven’t read this book yet: save a few pages. I’ve read three other books by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, including one where he shares the experiences of another prisoner in the Gulag. Together with Natan Shiransky’s “Fear No Evil,” and a bit of research, I gathered some enormous difficulties. But from reading a bit from the first in the series, I greatly realized I’ll never come close to comprehending the enormity of living in the then Soviet Union, and certainly not his life. However, this article, while opening a door for those who do want to read and learn (It seems to be a very difficult read given his quite open discussion and frank sharing of those horrific times.), also is to consider.

                Recently, while looking around at people, also observing what is on television, then talking with a friend, I got a sense of the times we live.  And, being only one person, I have to remember my views are not everyone’s views, but also, there are things we can never fully know and understand.  In a way, that is very good.  For in what we don’t understand, there is hope.  For where we do not see possibilities, there are possibilities. The present and the future are not set:  at least, not as we might see or believe. 

                While driving, I saw a sticker on the back of a vehicle, and I can remember the sort of smile on the driver and passenger as they passed by (It seemed a kind of “dead smile.”).  The sticker was an America flag, but not truly, for it was in rainbow colors.  And this, with much of what we’ve seen, heard, and noticed on television, and what some others have shared, tells a story.  Not a complete story, mind you.  But a story. **And the story is one we’ve been discussing, and one many have observed, but all too many haven’t remained aware.

                Yesterday, while talking with that friend, we both discussed that whatever America was in the early days, the road to possible real American values, morals, and thoughtfulness will have to go through a far different path, for we can never go back.  There is only going forward.  And whatever happens in America, from here on out, will be in real time.  And how, if it happens, people return to the principles of a good life, of morality, and of responsibility, will occur through means and times we cannot fully predict.  Again, because it happens in real time, people in their neighborhoods, people talking with friends and neighbors, people reading and discussing the foundation of America, certain individuals causing mindfulness, decision made that affects the family, and a lot of suffering in various forms, and perhaps quality readings that manage through all the propaganda, the future of this country will be as time progresses.  And to a great degree, it might include what people decide, each person in their individual place.  We hope more and more people: individuals and families, take the responsibility that is freedom. There is no freedom without responsibility.

                To a degree, I have wondered if Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, having gone through all he has, and finally being free to travel, is not one of the freest persons I’ve ever read about: internally.  I say this because he’s been through it all:  growing up in a communist nation, military service, prison, forced labor, starvation, the Gulag, the threat of execution, and the possible belief that things will never change, perhaps even getting worse, and from what I understand, he never lost his understanding and inner freedom of responsibility.  And he’s known all so many in the same boat, still working to free many, but also encouraging the “free” countries in what we are not seeing.

                Okay, to keep this a bit shorter.  What I see in this country, including the type of television programming, the electronic gaming, the horrific public propaganda camps, the internet, everybody with a Smart Phone in their hand, and the look in so many people’s eyes… is slavery.  And I understand, to a great degree, how it’s being done.  And I get that too many people won’t see this.  Most don’t understand that when they get what they think they want, they’re actually losing their freedoms.  And that’s a hard sell. Because there’s a right way to get the things we appreciate, but there are many wrong ways as well. The latter leads to internal misery, but tons of distraction.

                But that’s it.  And in many ways, it’s so subtle.  Except to the mind of reason.  To see people talking the “talk,” absorbed in fashion and the internet, trying to be “someone” (Yes, many don’t know that’s another trap.), looking to be appreciated and loved (That’s another trap.), and in so many ways being something they never realized is part of a propaganda makeup too subtle for most to see, and certainly to escape.  It’s almost like wall-to-wall slavery.  And all too many seem very comfortable in that, like those two driving that vehicle, others hanging with their friends and looking at others as if they’re on top and they see the silliness of others (They don’t see themselves.), happy in their “state of mind,” and all the while, lost.  Many have received the “pat on the back” for being corrupted.

                I believe, though I didn’t understand at the time, that “comfort” is the slave state of mind.  I’ll try to share a perspective.  It’s like seeing the problems then not doing anything about it, but going along to get along.  Not that everyone can fix the problems, but sort of putting blinders on, talking the talk, and being “comfortable” with the status quo, going along with the regulators, and in time, seeing those who are still aware as the problem or trouble makers.  Perhaps a slow process.  But it’s there.  I have seen this time and again.

                Then, we might see it this way, a people at home, watching television, playing video games, looking things up on their Smart Phones, reading propaganda magazines, talking the talk with friends and neighbors, and they’re all lost to themselves.  All enslaved in their minds.  And when they do see someone who truly thinks for themselves, are following the rabbit of reason, are alive inside, they want to keep away from such a person.  Often, they want to destroy such people. Perhaps not physically, although they may want that too, but internally.

                To a degree, I think Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn sees this.  I can imagine, while many will read his books, all-too-many will never really read his books.  But he went through it all.  And while I don’t agree with everything he says, I understand he’s looking from his perspective, but also, there’s much reality in his perspective that people can appreciate, even if a little, for none of us in America can ever fully understand that life.  But perhaps, in a sense, that has the benefit of helping others to understand. For he would rather us not have to go through that life, but at the same time, some realize there exists no other way: with some people.

**I believe there is a ton of hope. I believe there are very good things possible around the corner. People cannot allow themselves to be propagandized and allow the world to tell them who they are. People cannot place Medicare, technology, and having “safety nets” over what is right and true. In other words, principles cannot be set aside for that’s how internal slavery occurs.

**If people don’t know the real history of their country and the world, don’t understand the political and social dynamics that lead to internal slavery and socialism/communism, they won’t understand what is happening in their country when it happens. It’s then more important that those who do understand share, encouraging others to truly think for themselves with responsibility.

**Prayers.**

Speaking with Clarity

The best way to understand is to be honest, which leads to clarity.

**Think of Socrates. There was a man who could never be fooled into believing anything. He was always following reason, and as such, would see right through to what was truly being discussed.

** I wrote the following below, but later thought to place it here. I think it’s an important real concept that needs pondering. Here it is: ***One more thing, and this might be a difficult one to hear, but I have been observing this quality a long time, pondering from time to time. In Proverbs, and other readings, we’ve often come across the word foolish. In one passage, if I remember correctly, the writer (translated) explained sin as foolishness (Or foolishness is sin.). And that got me thinking from time to time. I believe that which isn’t honest, responsible, and looking to do what is right is the mind-set of sin. And if looked at closely enough, that’s irresponsibility and dishonesty. And that makes sense. For in the garden, the serpent encouraged Eve to be irresponsible and dishonest. To not listen to what she knew was right in her heart. And then, Adam went along instead of standing up for what is right. Instead of listening to his Father. So, we might say sin is like an adult not wanting to listen to their conscience, choosing foolishness over thoughtfulness, and sitting in denial, though one day all will be revealed.

**Okay, now back to the article:

                The purpose of this article, as I consider, is clarification and understanding of a term.  In this way, perhaps a dispelling of incorrect ideas, but also thoughtful consideration:

                When people hear the word politics, I gather most think of Washington and the people who work for the government.  I believe the word “politics,” in it’s truest sense, has a very different meaning than government employees working and discussing. With time, observing, and talking among friends a bit, we have the meaning here in its most basic sense.   From that point forward, it’s simply a progression of more people and the complications that are a part.  This last part, the complications, that’s simply an entanglement of more and more people, more parts to the puzzle, more interests, and more people attempting to get into the fray for their own purposes.

                As I see it, politics is the attempt to direct the behaviors of other people, thus controlling, for purposes of their own.  Through the utilization of language (including rhetorical devices) to convince, behavior modification, influence through a variety of means, and even both the possibility and usage of physical force, a person works together with others to bring about a way of things for their own reasons.  Through politics, which is as described, they get others to behave and believe as they want, but at the least, to follow along or not get in the way. **Recent country-wide and world-wide “persuasions” and steps have demonstrated.

                That’s it.  That’s all it is.  There is nothing fancy about that word: politics.  It’s just an invented word. And I have considered, the word itself is a sort of veil, or curtain, to prevent from saying the above, but to give a sort of “aura” to a concept most people haven’t fully understood.

                It can be as simple as “But mom!  All my friends have a skateboard.”  Or, “Everybody gets an allowance these days without working for it.”  Or brother and sister coordinate how they’re going to convince their parents that they don’t need to spend so much time on homework, using creative “discussions,” perhaps a couple friends saying the same things.  I know, as a kid and teenager, what I thought of as “clever” ideas to get my way.  I guess, it’s part of life.  However, parents are there to guide and correct.

                Politics can also be a few friends using social pressure to get the new person in town to go along.  Or to get more “in the group,” such that, they’ll have more sway over the “policies” and way of things in the neighborhood.   It also happens at work when some workers, perhaps with certain management, find ways to coordinate all the other workers in policy decisions.

                Now, I believe there can be good politics.  But, in a sense, as discussed above, we might not call it politics, or at least, not in the same category.  If we did define “politics” by the above, then we would be calling good politics “anti-politics.”  Perhaps “anti-deception.”  But I have to always go back to what honesty is.  For honesty can stand on its own, and often does stand on its own.  Perhaps, the only kind of honesty is that which is of itself:  honestly.  Though one might seek the assistance of others due to circumstances needing support:  for good. 

                Regarding Washington, our government, if the “politicians” are being honest, I believe, they are always working towards individual responsibility, keeping the government and regulations as small as possible, and pushing people back upon themselves.  Under no circumstances, are honest politicians’ long-term goals to deceive, but to wake people up, and return the citizens to the state of our constitution and Judeo-Christian principles upon which this nation was founded.  With difficulties, that can be a long road.  But that are honest politicians’ motivation.  In other words, they are honest, and therefore, are looking to follow the rabbit of understanding.  I believe, they want to work themselves out of a job.  Most would rather be doing something else.  They would rather people be responsible, listen to their conscience, and be both independent and working with others honestly.  But they work because they see a need in society:  due to dishonest politicians but also the unwillingness of a people to stand on their own and follow honesty only.  For if everyone were honest, there would be no need for government. 

                **One more thing, and this I’ve been looking at in various forms in different places.  If a person isn’t honest, isn’t willing to stand on their own two feet and be accountable, that is a state of mind.  I’ve pondered if that’s a sin state, but we’ll consider that for another article.  Maybe.  But if a person isn’t honest, isn’t willing to follow what they know is right in their heart before anything else, and be accountable, that set’s the person up to think in wrong “political terms”:  to make excuses, use language to get their way, and attempt with guile to “fool” the others around them.  Because they’re making excuses and looking to convince others of their errors are okay. Or to blame others.

                **Throughout human history, people have often used language and words to “hide”, or place a veil over what is really going on.  We see it all the time in these days.  I think the word “politics” was “designed” to change what’s really going on into something else:  perhaps something people might aspire to.  No.  There is only honesty and otherwise.  Yes. I would never call government work political. I would say government work is either honest or otherwise.

**One method I’ve used to better understand is to look at principles. For instance, regarding education, I asked myself what would be in a well-educated classroom? Of course, I could see more materials, information, and so forth then I could ever cover in a career, and as such, I can see the value of having many good teachers such that students gain from each. But when I considered what a good education should/would be, then I was also better able to see what is not good education. I gather the same consideration could be in someone running a business.

**Regarding the statement above about dishonest politics growing, I think of it this way. Say there are thirty people stranded on an island. With time, people obtaining food, making clothing and shelter, and working together, a few people “see themselves” as superiors and so want to lead and have everyone else do the work. These few people, say five, start befriending some of the “weak-minded” but physically strong, but also the intelligent but dishonest, in order to “take over” the island. With time, there will be more of “them” but also more of the workers who have been “persuaded” to follow the leadership’s rules and regulations. **There’s much more we can say on this subject, but we always encourage others to follow the rabbit of reason.

*Prayers.