About Me

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Jim Killebrew has 40 years of clinical psychological work for people with intellectual disabilities, and experience teaching, administration, consulting, writing with multiple publications. Dr. Killebrew has attended four Universities and received advanced degrees. Southern Illinois University; Ph.D., Educational Psychology; University of Illinois at Springfield, Counseling Education; M.A., Human Development Counseling; Northeastern Oklahoma State University, B.A., Psychology and Sociology. Dr. Killebrew attended Lincoln Christian Seminary (Now Lincoln Christian University). Writing contributions have been accepted and published in several journals: Hospital & Community Psychiatry, The Lookout, and Christian Standard (multiple articles). He may be reached at Killebrewjb@aol.com.

Welcome to my Opinion Pages

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Friday, November 15, 2013

Honesty and integrity


 
 
Honesty and integrity
 
Honesty and integrity are prerequisites to character. I remember a debate back in the Clinton era when people like James Carvel and George Stephanopoulos who were running the 1992 Clinton campaign succeeded in convincing most of the American people that "character" in a politician did not matter. In fact it was made into a joke with the phrase, "It's the economy, stupid." Of course we all know they really did believe that character did not matter, given the "bimbo" eruptions, stains on the dress, lying to congress and impeachment that plagued the nation for the next eight years after James and George put their man in office. To omit character from an individual is to admit that person has little, if any, honesty and integrity.
 
Recently we followed the politicians in New York running for Mayor who had been charged with "sexting" pictures of personal, unmentionable body parts to young women. Even after having resigned in disgrace the practice continued a year after the resignation. Now, during the election people were to reject the idea of character and integrity in favor of electing the guy to the high office of Mayor of New York City. It seems a case of some people having stratospheric gall, or that people are so gullible as to accept anything pushed down their throats. In either case, when we stamp out character from any walk of life, even political life, we are endangering those around us who must live and work with those who have experienced a "characterdectomy".
It is interesting how those same people are maligning Christianity in today's culture.  Christian living practices honesty and integrity. To accept Christ and His lifestyle is to be "Christ-like" and walk in His ways, not the ways of the world around us. Honesty stands above even riches, glory and fame. To maintain one's honesty and integrity is a far greater calling than to step on others to gain wealth or notoriety.
 
 Proverbs 19 starts by talking about honesty and integrity. The first verse reads:
 
 "Better is a poor person who walks in his integrity than one who is perverse in his speech."
 
 Honesty and integrity have been maligned over the past several years. Integrity is doing the right thing even when no one is looking. A life lived with integrity is a life that is deemed honest in all dealings with everyone around us. Reputation is formed and trust is gained. We seek out those whose reputations reflect their honesty; we know that when we do business with those people we are not likely to be cheated. As integrity grows within the person, his way of life becomes obvious for all to see; he is said to have a good and true character.
 
 It is from character that a person's decisions are made. Each day, almost every minute of the day we make decisions. Each decision we make has consequences that result in influencing or affecting another in some specific way. When we have gained a reputation based on integrity and honesty and have formed a character of good report, the direction of our decisions are mostly for the common good of others.
 
 The opposite of that is true as well. When we choose to ignore our "higher calling" and practice the more "perverse" way of life, we fall into a pattern of life-style that leads us into a downward spiral that oftentimes leads to despair and self destruction. The Apostle Paul refers to that "sin nature" and some of those outcomes such as "…hostility, quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, divisions, the feeling that everyone is wrong except those in your own little group, envy, drunkenness, wild parties…." (Galatians 5:19-21)
 
 Having internalized the Christian way of life by accepting the work of Jesus and His sacrifice by the shedding of His blood on the cross, we are free to yield ourselves over to His leading as He works through us to lead us to this way of life that produces integrity. The good news is that by yielding ourselves to Him through faith, we have His promise that He will continue to provide us the help to grow toward abundant life. He promised never to leave us, "I [Jesus] am with you always, even to the end of the age." (Matthew 28:20)
 
 Christian living should contain elements of:
 
 Submitting your life to Christ;
 
 Being receptive to the leading of His Spirit;
 
 Growing by practicing honesty and integrity in the Spirit;
 
 Giving all the glory to God.
 
 As we examine our politicians or those who govern our lives, isn't it just common sense to expect the person to have a decent level of decorum with a high measure of honesty, integrity and character?
 
 Jim Killebrew

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Obamacare: Where is the Adult in the room?

 
The news is full these days of the debacle of the Obamacare  implementation.  Millions of people are learning their policies are being canceled, employer mandates were delayed, but apparently when resumed tens of millions more Americans will find their employer will force their employees into the exchanges for their insurance.
 
Aside from all that, as well as the deception through a series of repeated lies from the President and his Administration, the law is forcing millions of American citizens to purchase insurance products from private providers for products the government has decided the individual needs, even when the individual does not want the product.
 
Now, even the democrats who voted for the law are trying to walk back from their actions.  Especially those who are trying to get re-elected next year.  Why are they trying to distance themselves from their law?  Because the law is toxic and they didn't have to read it first to know that.  The first flaw was the fact they passed it without having read it.  That alone indicates they didn't provide due diligence in the interest of those they were elected to represent.  Blind trust and allegiance to one's party affiliation and the "promises" made by those whose political ambitions will likely profit by passing certain legislation is not leadership nor representation, it is haphazard stumbling into a morass of ever-sinking quicksand.  Our current situation seems to be proving this as a fact.     
 
Even beyond all of that, the President has a long list of scandals basically unaccounted for.  Benghazi, fast and furious, circumventing the laws such as deportation of illegal immigrants by exempting certain classes of those he wants to keep in America even though under the law they would be deported.  He has also changed the Affordable Care Act by exempting many classes of people from the law, all outside of Congressional involvement, and now making promises to the American people they could keep their policy if they liked it, knowing all the while it was an untrue promise; and this was done prior to his re-election during his own campaign.  Through that deception he led the American people who voted for him to vote under a false pretense that led to a possible outcome built on a false promise he knew he couldn't keep.
 
In other circumstances if a person promises people certain levels of services or particular products that are not based on the truth, and do not deliver what has been promised, a crime is committed and the person making such claims and taking people's money based on that claim is usually arrested, indicted, tried, and if found guilty, sent to prison.  In this case, not only are millions of people being vacated from their insurance policy, it is happening because the federal law has precluded those policies because they have failed to meet the standards established by the Affordable Care Act.  Insurance companies are being forced to cancel those policies because the government declared they are sub-standard and in the words of the President, "lousy policies."  This, despite the fact, that the individuals who purchased those policies chose the coverage they wanted based on their preference and budget; notwithstanding the government's mandated requirements.  Consequently they have "changed" and are thereby exempted from being "grandfathered" as was promised.  
 
Each day some new revelation emerges that reveals another building block of information that exposes his promised plan of initiating a "fundamental change" for America leading toward building massive governmental control and socialism.  We are now learning that as the waiver for the employer mandates are lifted, it is likely that the larger majority of insured who receive their insurance through their employer will likely have their policies canceled as well.  The employer will be unable to continue with the premiums since they will rise to a cost-level that will be unsustainable by the employer.  Therefore, the individual employee will likely be forced into the exchange established by Obamacare.  At that point people will not be able to keep their policy, they will not be able to keep their doctor or clinic, but will be subject to the prescriptive healthcare established by the dictates of the various plans designed and implemented by the government.
 
It is time for Congress to take hold of this issue and either delay or appeal the law and formulate a bi-partisan select committee to develop a system that is fair and affordable that allows the individual to have direct input into their personal plan that outlines the provision of their personal healthcare managed in concert with their physician and themselves.  Provisions for portable plans across state lines and pre-existing illnesses should be a part of those plans as well.
 
It is time for the adult in the room to stand and take charge of this situation.  Past events have proven neither the President, his staff, nor the democrats in Congress have the qualifications to be that adult in the room. 
 
Jim Killebrew

Monday, October 21, 2013

Modern Church and cultural relativity

Over the past few months I have been having conversations with some who believe Christianity has been changed significantly since the time of Jesus.  The premise has been, a sort of "cultural drift" regarding the Church that presumably has tainted the original intent and establishment of the Church.  A popular thought is that through the years the teachings of Jesus, or at least the functionality of His purpose, has changed significantly resulting in a Church that is hardly recognizable when compared side-by-side with the First Century Church.  Indeed, the multi-cultural influence coupled with the passage of time with its incremental change has diluted the Church teachings to say the least, and at most, has changed the Church entirely from its foundational teachings from Jesus.
 
Offered are the examples beginning with the changes that started taking place even with the Apostles in the First Century.  The entire discussion of the Jewish Christians who maintained the obedience to the law plus the faith in the Messiah.  The Apostle Paul spent a great deal of time and effort writing his epistles outlining his reasoning for not depending on the law (works) in regard to salvation and sanctification.  Even though this was addressed in the first century by the Apostle Paul and the Apostle Peter at the time, it is very evident in religions around the world today that followers depend on works more than faith in what Jesus did on the cross once, for all.  If it started that early in the Church, so goes the reasoning, then it is reasonable to assume that changes will continue throughout the ages.
 
Throughout history we have seen the influence of culture on the Church.  With each impending influence it appears there is yet another incremental change that either adds to or takes away from a fundamental teaching of Christ.  Even in great moments of history we see significant shifts in the message and the Gospel.  From the politicalization of secular Rome with Constantine, to Christianity becoming the state religion of Rome, and the establishment of the "Vicar of Christ"  with total power of Christ centered in the "Rock of St. Peter" as the Pope over the "Universal Church" through Catholicism, all the way to the "Reformation" with Martin Luther protesting what the Church had become through years of change.  Even in the nineteenth century we experienced the "Restoration Movement" even then sometimes referred to by a few as "Campbell-ites."  From the establishment of the Restoration Movement to now we have splinters, many of whom continue to preach "unity", even though that has not always been achieved.  Indeed, other great "movements" have ensued in the past 150 years that have tried to return the Church to the original, or at least reawaken the spirit of the Church.   "The Great Awakening, the second Great Awakening, the Restoration Movement, the Spiritual Renewal movement, and the Third Wave movement of church fellowship."  (Steven Chapman)
 
Beyond even those few examples we see hundreds or thousands of variations of denominational practice even to the point of disassociation with each other.  That doesn't even count for the thousands of sects that are culturally relative throughout the world.
 
In order to marginalize the authenticity of the Church, some would like for us to believe that the church has been subverted throughout history by cultural change and the different arguments from various factions that have contributed altering, and somewhat, contradictory interpretations of doctrine. By having such altering movements through history and cultures the Truth established by Jesus is said by some to have been altered to such an extent that it is difficult, if not impossible, to unravel the current Christian world view from what it is now back to the original founder of the Church.  So the conclusion of that thought is that we have incrementally moved from the true representation of Christ beginning with the time He was waving at His disciples as He ascended, and each subsequent year afterward.
 
To many it has the sound and logic of relative truth.  In some people's mind it sort of makes sense given all the arguments and doubts the early church had as recorded in The Acts. Jew verses Gentile; circumcision verses non-circumcision; speaking in different languages as a sign of the baptism of the Holy Spirit; miraculous healing with the touch of a hand, or even having a shadow fall over you; or eating/not eating clean/un-clean food. Even the very debate that the Apostle Paul so eloquently presents in relation to the law (works) versus faith in the work that Jesus alone did on the cross. If we have been so fully corrupted by the subsequent years and the multiple cultures in which men have created and lived, then there would be no way to uncover the real representation of Christ since it would have been so far removed.
 
One thing in the above analysis has been omitted:  God's Power!  I believe that God’s power and timeless message will stand firm until He decides to return and claim His own.  God looks at mankind and our having fallen in love with our sin nature. Knowing that we cannot do anything to save ourselves from our own sin, we are still in need of salvation.  God knew that if redemption was going to be completed at all He was going to have to do it Himself. He gave the first clue as recorded in Genesis 3:15.  So here comes Jesus who presents Himself as a perfect sacrifice and does His work on the cross. God judged it and counted it perfect; accepted Jesus’ sacrifice and raised Him from the dead. Satan was defeated, death was cheated, and we, covered by the blood of Jesus, now can walk across that once-deadly chasm that separated us from God and stand directly in front of His Throne because we are covered by the blood of Jesus.
 
 Now as we stand in Jesus, covered by His blood, saved by His Grace our faith in Him urges us to walk in Him. How do we do it? We follow the Apostle Paul’s example and declaration: “Live by the Spirit and you will not carry out the desires of the flesh. For the flesh has desires that are opposed to the Spirit, and the Spirit has desires that are opposed to the flesh, for these are in opposition to each other, so that you cannot do what you want.” (Galatians 5:16-17) Find a Bible and read the entire book of Galatians to discover that you can be free in Christ, led by His Holy Spirit, and grow to maturity in Him.
 
 I believe that we can truly know what God wants from us. He wants us to worship Him, accept Him and seek Him. I believe that God transcends all cultures and even our time-line that controls generations. He uses the power of His Word to convict us of His Truth and our simple job is to accept it or reject it. It is our “Free Will” that hinders us. We choose to hide ourselves in everything else, including our respective cultures, to refrain from submitting to Him. But when we do finally see Him and accept His grace and become obedient to Him, He gives us His Spirit, along with power, to live in the reflection of Jesus. We must, however, continue throughout our entire lives to exercise our “Free Will” and submit to Jesus and have faith in the work He did on the cross and His work saves us; as we continue to submit to Him He gives us His Spirit to grow us through the power that comes from the Holy Spirit.
 
So, what I am trying to say with this little piece is even with such variances and incremental changes throughout the past twenty-one centuries, the Church has stayed in tack through the power of the Holy Spirit pointing to the Grace of God and the work that Jesus did on the cross.  I believe that has survived through the ages and we can still be called "Christians" because the power of God's Holy Spirit has protected the Word through the ages and continues to testify of Jesus and His work on the cross relative to our salvation and growth.  Even with the incremental changes passing through various cultures, God has not, nor will He, allow His Church to be destroyed or buried under cultural relativism even though the modern church of various religions have built the "broad" road through their front doors.
 
Jim Killebrew


Monday, October 14, 2013

Republicans are to blame?

 


What is the magic the liberal media possesses that allows them to consistently remain so stealth with making people believe their facet of information-reporting is truth, when clearly upon close examination, or even superficially examined, it is not.  The majority of people believed their health insurance would be cheaper, it is not.  They were told they would be able to keep their insurance if they liked it, that is not true.  They were told they would be able to keep the doctor they liked, not true.  They are even finding out if they choose to remain uninsured they will have to pay a fine.  They are told the more the government spends it will lead to prosperity.  We hear from the liberal media we can "stimulate" the economy with government money collected as tax from the people rather than letting people keep their earned money and stimulate the economy by spending it themselves. 

 

Even with all this, it appears the liberal line continues to be the winner in the current debt ceiling debate.  Somehow the liberal media has found a formula for saying one thing while meaning another, and persuading a majority of people to accept it as truth.

 

So if I understand it correctly, in order to reopen the government the Republicans must agree to increase the debt ceiling so that higher amounts of money will be spent on more stuff. They need to agree to raise taxes and let the progressives spend as quickly as they can as much as they can. Republicans need to step aside, capitulate to the progressives everything they are demanding and leave Obamacare completely alone to be implemented the way the president and the Democrats want.

 

Never mind most Americans are not in favor of Obamacare; never mind many Americans will be cut back to less than 30 hours a week propelling them into more than one part time job just to support themselves. Never mind most Americans will begin paying twice or three times the amount of money for the same or less insurance. Just to keep peace in America and keep the progressives happy the Republicans are expected to give in to the progressives.

 

Finally, the Republicans must be willing to put together a series of empty sacks to pass out to each grandchild of each American grandparent in the country because those children ultimately in the next generation will be left holding the bag.

 
Jim Killebrew

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Transformation or conformity



The other day a news report stated that people have been shown to be desensitized to the reality shows on television.  As each individual or "team" tries to outdo their opponents to "win" the prize, they use whatever means necessary to best the others.  Sometimes that even takes the form of dishonest dealings with each other, deception, lying or cutting corners in order to win.  That report showed that people who watch those reality programs often have become desensitized to the bickering and the arguing and other things that are happening in those programs and it has become the new normal.  Without even realizing it, the people watching the "reality" shows actually begin to adopt the methods and outcomes they have seen on those shows into their personal lives.

 

It is not surprising that Christians often times get caught up in these programs as well.  People who watch often identify with a favorite person or team and become emotionally involved by rooting for them to perform better so they can win over the others.  We read in Romans 12 that we should not be conformed to the world order of things; instead, we should be transformed into the likeness of Christ.

 

"Therefore I exhort you, brothers and sisters, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a sacrifice – alive, holy, and pleasing to God – which is your reasonable service. Do not be conformed to this present world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may test and approve what is the will of God – what is good and well-pleasing and perfect."  (Romans 12:1-2)

 

The word "conformed" in verse 2 in the original language (suschmatizesqe) can be either a passive or middle voice, but is likely passive since it did not directly indicate specific persons, ("conform yourselves").  Viewing the process of being conformed as a passive notion implies it is a process that may be in part, subconscious.  However, it also carries the implication of a "permissive passive" that suggests it is not entirely subconscious, but at the same time a realization of some consciousness from the individual that the conformity is taking place as the person engages in the act of doing or watching.  So it can be taken as a combination of both ideas  

 

The words in the text "test and approve" is a verb (dokimazw) that indicates we should test what we are seeing or doing and look for the positive outcome, especially as related to what is pleasing to God.  Not only are we to "test" what we watch or do, but we should "approve" of it with the same mind as God would likely use to "approve" of the specific behavior.  So we are to "test so as to approve." 

 

A social psychologist named, Charles Cooley defined what he called the "Looking glass self" he first used in a book entitled, "Human Nature and the Social Order," 1902.  He described consistent observations of persons acting or behaving in ways they thought others' had perceived them.  The person's "self" was formed and developed through interpersonal relationships and from the perceptions of others.  His "looking glass self" was the formation of a personal conforming to what persons thought others' were thinking about them.  People are so willing to have others' thinking good things about them, they will change their behavior to please their friends thereby "conforming" to the expectations of those whom they value.

 

Think of a group of teen-agers who see the "stars" setting the trends.  A recent example is the behavior of Miley Cyrus who developed a character of "Hanna Montana" but has more recently tried to transform herself into seemingly an adult soft-porn star.  Her more wholesome persona as Hanna were copied by millions of young girls who wanted to be just like her.  The process of "conforming" usually happens when most of a young girl's friends try to emulate the behavior of the stars, but the girl who resists is brought into conformity by the interpersonal relationships experienced by the person perception of what the other girls think about her when she doesn't morph into another "Hanna."

 

Of course Cooley may have identified this phenomenon through observation and labeling the "looking glass self," but the Apostle Paul recognized it almost two thousand years ago noting that as we interact with others forming interpersonal relationships and watching the world go by, we are always in danger of conforming our "self" with those around us as we try to please them and keep them as our friend.

 

Paul, having recognized that phenomenon wrote that Christians, with the help of the power of the Holy Spirit, should "transform" their "selves" and "renew" their minds by testing those things around us happening in the world, and approve their "self-concept" with consistency to God's will.  This results in living a life that is "good, well-pleasing and perfect."

 
Jim Killebrew

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Obamacare implementation extended

 
So the President decided to suspend the Obamacare implementation until 2015 instead of 2014 because of the hardship it is placing on businesses of 50 or more. It seems to be hurting the economy and adversely affecting the job market. They have found it is causing a rise in premiums for personal insurance and if an individual fails to buy the insurance they will be fined. The end result is that it is costing more money than was expected. By the way, it is the law of the land; passed by Congressional democrats, tested by the Supreme Court and found Constitutional. So can the President simply change the law that explicitly states a timetable for implementation? Doesn't that make it a new law? I thought Congress formulated the laws and the Administration implemented and enforced the laws. Finally, even by expanding the time for implementation by one year (after the mid-term elections) will the effects of implementation be any different in 2015 from the impact if it had been implemented in 2014?
 
 Jim Killebrew


Friday, June 21, 2013

NSA surveillance

 


By now most everyone has discovered the advertisements on their face book account or their email accounts.  When we use Google or other search engines for searching something like a book or any item, we begin to find advertisements on our pages that are similar to items we have purchased urging us to look at those similar items since we liked the item we bought.  Some have thought this is a convenience thinking someone else has done the legwork in searching out those things that match our personal likes and dislikes.  It is a technology that can be used in many different forms.

 

The current debate regarding the National Security Agency (NSA) surveillance practice has sparked a nation-wide discussion regarding the protection (or reduction) of civil liberties.  A giant data storage facility has been built in Utah where a vast amount of personal data may be stored for each individual citizen in America.  Telephone calls, emails, social media postings, locations of telephone usage, incoming telephonic messages, items purchased, travel plans and a myriad  data-set of information that outlines specifically the routines, practices and desires of each individual citizen.  Regardless of the motives now for collecting that enormous data-set, it is the future use that may have the greatest impact on our individual lives.

 

Many are concerned the personal information may be collected in an effort to control future behaviors of people.  Privacy is important to Americans even if they don't think of their privacy too often; privacy is just assumed to be protected since the Fourth Amendment ensures that it will be.  The Fourth Amendment states, "The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized."  With the large digital footprint each American leaves behind during each daily walk of life affords the "data-watchers" the opportunity to build a profile of personal information that would nullify the Fourth Amendment at the very moment the information is exposed.  That leaves the individual in a position of being controlled by the person or entities who possess that personal information and threatens to release it publically.

 

During the NSA debate of spying on individual Americans, the Administration has insisted no one is "reading" the information being collected.  Yet we know that currently technology has the ability to "read" the meta-data to establish categorical data showing trends, correlations and similarities.  Hence, Amazon can recommend other books by the same author who wrote the book we purchased at Amazon.  If that is a reality presently in commercial ventures , what kind of tracking and trending can the giant computer facilities in Utah accomplish?  So it is feasible to believe the Administration when it says, "No person is reading this collected information", but it that also true for the computer reading and categorizing the information?  It is only a short leap from collecting and storing the information to analyzing and using the information.

 

Think of some future date when some Administration more unscrupulous than any we have ever seen is in power and have all the stored information available for use.  How easy would it be to have the Director of National Security to have the computer generate reports on the life of every opposing Senator or Representative or Federal Judge to uncover some embarrassing incident from their "digital footprint."  Not just the particular Senator, Representative or Judge, but each member of the official's family, spouse, children, siblings, grandchildren.  Possession of that kind of power could cause sway over decisions for laws or other positions of power.  Use of such information just lying in storage accessible to those in power have unlimited uses to gain and maintain control to make people virtually dependent on those in power.   

 

From a Biblical viewpoint there is precedence (or prediction) that some sort of identification process will be used at sometime in the future for people to engage in normal commerce.  In the Book of Revelation in the Bible we read, "He also caused everyone (small and great, rich and poor, free and slave) to obtain a mark on their right hand or on their forehead. Thus no one was allowed to buy or sell things unless he bore the mark of the beast – that is, his name or his number."  (Revelation 13:16-17)   This passage in Revelation is not presented here to imply in any way, shape or form that the NSA  surveillance practice is the process described in the Bible.  It is merely presented to remind us that we are living in a world where this process has been invented and the conditions are now available to implement such a process.

 

Christians need to remember that our faith in Christ is our assurance that He has already won the battle over all evil.  We may be subjected to such man-made surveillance processes, but in the final analysis ours will be citizenship in the Kingdom of God rather than the oversight of the kingdom of man.

 

Jim Killebrew

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Profiling

 


Just when you think you have heard it all something comes along to make you stop and say, "huh?"  It seems a couple of New York's politicians have gotten together and introduced a bill that will preclude the police from describing any perpetrator in terms that would even remotely "profile" the person.  When a crime has been committed and the police have a description of the perpetrator, the law would only allow them to broadcast a description of the perpetrator's clothing.  No longer would they be able to describe the person in terms of ethnicity or any description that would disclose any physical characteristics such as tattoos, limps, disabilities, missing limbs or any such physical characteristics that might be offensive to any person having any of those characteristics.  If the police violate that edict they would be subject to discipline.  Even the Mayor of New York City commented this practice would hinder the process of catching the perpetrator.

 

My suggestion is that henceforth when we become aware of anything even remotely as stupid as this, we arrest the people who thought of such politically correct requirements and charge them with aiding and abetting the suspected criminals they are seemingly trying to protect by forcing these kinds of practices on law enforcement.

 

Jim Killebrew

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

The pie

 
A liberal thinks the economic "pie" is finite because they are socialist thinking and believe it can never grow.  A conservative, on the other hand, believes that through free market capitalism the economy can continue to grow and the wealth spreads naturally, hence the pie gets bigger and bigger as people work, invest and grow their businesses.  The greatest killer of "pie-growth" is to adopt the values of a liberal's economic principles.  By the way, the most effective "stimulus" is for each American who pays taxes be allowed to keep more of the money earned.  Money in the hands of millions of Americans across the land that they have earned create a great boon to the economy when they spend it on products and services.
 
Jim Killebrew

The robber

 
When a robber takes the wealth of a person by force and tries to play Robin Hood with the money, the people receiving the money make a hero out of the Robin Hood.  What they don't realize is that the people who have the wealth establish more ways to secure their wealth.  In fact, they will move their wealth to places where they know it is safe from the robber.  Ultimately the people who are being fed by Robin Hood begin to suffer because the wealthy have greater security for their money and they remove it from circulation by placing it in investments in other more safe locations.  When the government practices the "Robin Hood" tactics of taking from the taxpayers and giving it to those who do not pay taxes, why do people believe there are different consequences from the "Robin Hood" experience?
 
Jim  Killebrew

Friday, June 14, 2013

Happy Father's Day

 
I had the good fortune to have my Dad around me throughout my entire young life and even into adulthood.  When he passed away all of my kids had already been born, so he was able to see and know his grand children.  That was also true with my brother and sisters; they had all grown up and had children of their own and Dad was able to see and know them all. 
 
I write that because I believe that is a blessing that many people are not given.  It was a blessing for him to live long enough to see his family flourish; it was a blessing for us because we were able to learn valuable lessons of life just from being around him.  His was a generation that seems decidedly different from the upcoming generation.  There was glitziness in his generation, of course, but I am not so sure it was as magnified and self-centered as much as it seems to be today.
 
Having lived through the "great depression" identified with the crash of the stock market in 1929, Dad knew what it meant to "live by the sweat of his brow" and work long, hard hours to provide for himself and his family.  His generation had been dealt a hand that really held no personal, individual power that would result in vast winnings.  His world was changing fast through the industrial revolution, horseless buggy, flight through the air, electricity, automation, explosion of energy through oil and the beginning of modernization.  Radio had come into its own, communication had shrunk the world in a way that gave him more information more quickly than his Dad had enjoyed.  But just as he and millions of other Dads across the country had managed to stand ready to take a toddling step, tragedy struck at Pearl Harbor.
 
Uncle Sam made the call and tens of thousands of men just like my Dad ran to get the job done that needed to be done.  Later in our history, this generation was to be called, "The Greatest Generation."  I think those "knock-out" years that leathered the skins of those men having survived the depression and the World War created within them a sense of responsibility that had its foundation firmly planted on honor, character, morality, solidarity of trust and a sense of passing those values on to their children.  That is what I witnessed growing up under his tutelage. 
 
We were poor, but my Dad worked every day.  His consistency was rock-solid, always working, doing the job he had been trained to do and sticking with it to complete a "career."  From my earliest age I can remember being taught the value of work.  His advice:  "Do not do just what is expected by your boss, do much more than that and exceed your boss's expectation."  He thought that was the code to live and work by and it would always make things better than what you expected.  I believe it was good advice.
 
Values that focused on family, spiritual matters, hard work, telling the truth, holding fast to the principle of your word being your bond, trusting in others to keep their word and helping others who had needs were presented every day.  I remember going with my brother and sisters door-to-door collecting small bits of change from people for the "Milk and Ice" fund.  We would turn the money into those in charge to buy those commodities for poor people.  Dad and Mom always led the way to worship on Sunday morning (and in those days Sunday and Wednesday nights too), never just sending us kids to Sunday School by dropping us off at the door.
 
My Dad was an average guy, worked all his life, lived through the depression of the 1930's, fought in the World War II, raised a family, took care of his elderly parents when the time came, and lived to see his grandchildren.  He never received any awards that I know of, he was never on television, he never wrote a book, he was never elected to a high office, he never made enough money to be termed as "wealthy" and he is not now mentioned in any history books.  All in all however, his was a life that showed humility, character, a sense of justice, a positive regard for his neighbors, and a quiet determination to make things better for his family and his fellow men.  I believe his is a life deserving of honor, and I do.
 
Jim Killebrew