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Thinking of my parents today, to whom the United States represented freedom, opportunity and independence after World War II. Post-war Germany didn’t hold the hope and future that they wanted for their family, so they packed everything they owned (one trunk’s worth) and their 4 small children, and flew halfway around the world to make this country their home.
It took 18 months of living in a resettlement camp in West Germany, where they had to go through tons of bureaucratic red tape, exams and shots and several false starts before they found a sponsor in the United States who would take a family with 4 children. Thanks to the World Church Service, we ended up being “adopted” by a Baptist church in Chicago where we all learned to become Americans.
My dad worked two jobs until he could save up enough money to buy a used car and move us into an apartment that fit. My mom learned English so quickly and so well that she lost her German accent, as did my dad. We kept our German traditions, and language, and stayed in touch with our relatives who were still in Germany, but we embraced our American-ness. And, after 10 years as legal aliens, we became proud citizens of the United States.
The 4th of July was always a happy celebration in our home. Because America was independent and free, we could be too.
Thanks Mom and Dad. I’m so grateful for your courage and vision, your hard work and dedication, and your love for us. I’m making sure that your grandchildren and great-grandchildren know of your sacrifices and triumphs so they can appreciate how we all got here.
Browsers like Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Bing and others are free.
Social media apps like Facebook, YouTube, Google+, Pinterest, Instagram, and others are free.
Or are they?
When you’re not paying for the service, you’re not the customer. You’re the product.
So we shouldn’t be surprised that these data warehouses (because that’s what they are) have been finding ways to make money with our content. It’s like crack. They can’t get enough of it. They’re addicted and they need more all the time.
And now it looks like they have let the government hook up to their networks and suck up all of our data “in case” they might need it to investigate foreign terrorists. Again, we shouldn’t be surprised. But that doesn’t mean we have to accept it.
The world is a dangerous place to live; not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don’t do anything about it.
“First they came for the communists, and I did not speak out—
because I was not a communist;
Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out—
because I was not a trade unionist;
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
because I was not a Jew;
Then they came for me—
and there was no one left to speak out for me.”
German anti-Nazi theologian and pastor,
founder of the Confessing Church (Bekennende Kirche)
and a president of the World Council of Churches.
By Norman Wolife, President/CEO, Quantum Leaders, Inc., quoted from the Fast Company blog on October 23, 2008.
A friend of mine sent me a wonderful piece called “Catching the Wild Pig”. For those of you who have never heard this parable (and I hadn’t until now), here it is:
A chemistry professor at a large college had some exchange students in the class. One day while the class was in the lab the Professor noticed one young man (exchange student) who kept rubbing his back, and stretching as if his back hurt. The professor asked the young man what was the matter. The student told him he had a bullet lodged in his back. He had been shot while fighting communists in his native country who were trying to overthrow his country’s government and install a new communist government.
In the midst of his story he looked at the professor and asked a strange question. He asked, ‘Do you know how to catch wild pigs?’ The professor thought it was a joke and asked for the punch line. The young man said this was no joke.
“You catch wild pigs by finding a suitable place in the woods and putting corn on the ground. The pigs find it and begin to come every day to eat the free corn. When they are used to coming every day, you put a fence down one side of the place where they are used to coming. When they get used to the fence, they begin to eat the corn again and you put up another side of the fence. They get used to that and start to eat again.
You continue until you have all four sides of the fence up with a gate in the last side. The pigs, who are used to the free corn, start to come through the gate to eat; you slam the gate on them and catch the whole herd. Suddenly the wild pigs have lost their freedom. They run around and around inside the fence, but they are caught.
Soon they go back to eating the free corn. They are so used to it that they have forgotten how to forage in the woods for themselves, so they accept their captivity.
The young man then told the professor that is exactly what he sees happening to America. The government keeps pushing us toward socialism and keeps spreading the free corn out in the form of programs such as supplemental income, tax credit for unearned income, tobacco subsidies, dairy subsidies, payments not to plant crops (CRP), welfare, medicine, drugs, etc. While we continually lose our freedoms — just a little at a time.