One more time
In my previous letters I have used 2008, the end of the Bush administration, to quote the unemployment rate and this is how I did it.
Go to Yahoo and enter [unemploymentrate/2008]. Then go to [U.S. Unemploymentrate 1920-2008 infoplease.com].
The point I was making was 5.8 percent is better than 9.1 percent. How many will agree with me? After all the bailouts and an $850 billion dollar stimulus, why is it not getting better?
The fact is that police are on those numbers like a hungry dog on a bone. However, they both completely ignore the rest of my letter. In it I ask the following questions: How are we better off now than under the Bush administration? What has President Barack Obama done to make this country better? Why should we re-elect him?
So I ask again: You're the experts; please give us your facts.
It all started innocently enough. I began thinking at social parties now and then — just to loosen up and be a part of the crowd. Inevitably, though, one thought led to another; and I soon found myself becoming a serious social thinker.
I began to think alone — "to relax," I told myself — but I knew it wasn't true; Thinking was becoming more and more important to me, and finally I found myself thinking all the time; I was becoming addicted to thinking. That was when things began to sour at home. One evening I just turned off the TV and said to my wife; honey I've been thinking about this: What's the meaning of life? She spent that night at her mother's.
Soon I began to think on the job, knowing that thinking and employment don't mix, but I couldn't help myself. I began to avoid friends at lunchtime so I could read Thoreau, Muir, Confucius and Kafka. I would return to the office dizzied and confused, asking my fellow employees, "What exactly do you think we are doing here? Where do you think we are going?" One day the boss calls me in and says, "Listen, I like you, and it hurts me to say this, but your thinking has become a real problem. If you don't stop thinking on the job, you'll have to find another job."
Well, this gave me more to think about. So when I came home I said. "Honey," I confess, "I've been thinking..."
"I know you've been thinking," she said, "and I want a divorce!"
"But Honey, surely it's not that serious."
"It is serious," she said, lower lip aquiver. "You think more than a college professor and a college professor don't make a lot of money, so if you keep on thinking, we'll go broke!"
"That's a faulty syllogism," I said impatiently.
She exploded in tears of rage and frustration, but I was in no mood to deal with her emotional drama. "I'm going to the library," I snarled as I stomped out the door. I headed for the library. I roared into the parking lot and ran up to the big glass doors. They didn't open. The library was closed.
To this day, I believe that a Higher Power was looking out for me that night. Leaning on the unfeeling glass, whimpering for few lines of Emerson, a poster caught my eye, "Friend, is heavy thinking ruining your life?" it asked. You probably recognize that line. It comes from the standard Thinkers Anonymous poster. This is why I am what I am today: a recovering thinker.
I never miss a TA meeting. At each meeting we watch a non-educational video; last week it was "Porky's." Then we share experiences about how we avoided thinking since the last meeting. I still have my job, and things are a lot better at home. Life just seems easier, somehow, since I stopped thinking. I think the road to recovery is nearly complete for me.
Today I took the final step; I joined a political party, Thank God, I'll never have to think for myself again.
Respect must be earned
Re: Respect President Barack Obama.
The Merrells asked a very pointed and direct question, so I will answer in the same way.
I, and most Americans, will respect the office of the president of this United States when and only when a true American president is elected. It will be easy to do this when Obama is out and replaced by a president who truly has America's best interests at heart.
Not like the one who takes up space in the White House and thinks only of where he and/or the rest of his family (including in-laws) can travel to and vacation next with all of their friends and cronies at our expense!
Success in life
I enjoyed reading Allan Walker's letter appearing in the Nov. 16 edition of your newspaper wherein he shares with us our apparent abandonment of our former national tradition of involving our nation in prayer before, during and after our major military conflicts and the need for the president to return to our traditions and lead us as we seek God's forgiveness and guidance in our current difficulties.
Mr. Walker also shared with us the great need to embrace the Ten Commandments — specifically No. 4 through No. 10 — because of the positive force the commandments have been in our past and the great potential they have for the future.
As I was reading Mr. Walker's letter, I recalled reading an article concerning St. Augustine, a great Christian leader in the 4th century A.D. wherein he addressed the concerns of his day by encouraging people to "love God and do what you want."
At first glance this appears to be the most preposterous proposal anyone could make, but when you think it through, it clearly addresses our desired relationship with God, the Ten Commandments and embraces a new law, the Law of Love. And, in addition, it leads to a life-changing event that assures success in this life and the life to come. It has worked for over 1,700 years and is as timely and appropriate today as it was then.
Glenn N. Musselwhite