When one is broke?
I have been so fortunate in this life. Not in the money/riches sense, but in the helpful friends and family sense.
These most recent trials involving my roommate’s surgery (and subsequent loss of income), coupled with my own health issues (heart, rash, suspected clot) AND repair of the shower leaking through the ceiling (with an insurance deductible, and the insurance company promising they would pay for a hotel room – they didn’t(!) They said the hotel wouldn’t take it (!?)
I’ve a Sister stepped up without my even asking, with the deductible. That was eaten by the plumber and the hotel. And other friends have come forward to make certain I would have a positive bank balance(!)
The insurance company said, as the hotel refused their method of payment, that we could subtract the hotel charges from the deductible. Making today’s visit from the adjuster forty-one dollars and change!
We actually have that.
Will wonders never cease?
But, back to the question. I’ve been told by my generous friends that there is no balance sheet, and, when I am able, to pay it forward.
I’m on permanent disability, and have no savings left, nor credit! Exactly HOW am I supposed to pay it forward?
And, I have some other payments due shortly with which my friends traditionally assist.
(As an aside, I certainly do not feel worthy of such help, or friends. How they made such determinations is beyond me.)
To all of you (and you know who you are) I have undying gratitude and thanks for all the help you have given me over the years.
I just don’t know why I deserve such help, or how to pay it forward?
I don’t pretend to even understand it.
Historical examples include Socrates, who took poison voluntarily; Numerous Samurai, who committed seppuku because they violated The Bushido Code.
It’s not always about suicide, though.
And sadly, the antithetical, so-called ‘honor’ killings…
There are select folks in service to the United States, who have it. Like this example given us by my friend Old NFO.
As compared to a certain Presidential candidate.
By The Book
Phillip Jennings is an investment banker and entrepreneur, former Marine Corps Captain who flew missions in Vietnam and, after leaving the Marine Corps, flew for Air America in Laos. He won the Pirate’s Alley Faulkner Society short fiction award in 1998. He has a degree in business administration and is the CEO of Mayfair Capital Partners. He is the author of two novels and one non-fiction book.
He authored the following article which appeared in the May 26, 2016 edition of USA Today. It is short and should be required reading for everyone.
Secretary without honor
When I hear people say Clinton emails don’t matter, I remember a young Marine captain who owned up to his career-ruining mistake.
Apologists for Hillary Clinton’s alleged criminal mishandling of classified documents say that it doesn’t matter, that she really did nothing wrong, or nothing significant. But the real question is not so much what she did as how she has responded to being found out.
Once during the mid-1960s when I was on active duty in the Marine Corps, I was the air liaison officer for a battalion of Marines aboard 11 ships in the Mediterranean. As the air officer and a senior captain, I had a rotating responsibility for the nuclear code book, kept in the safe in the operations room of the lead amphibious squadron command ship. I shared that duty with another captain, a squared away young man, liked by all he commanded and the son of a very high-ranking Marine.
On the day our ships were leaving the Mediterranean, we met the new amphibious squadron near Gibraltar and made preparations to transfer security codes and other sensitive material to the incoming Marine battalion. The young captain was on duty and went to the operations office to pick up the code book. He was alone in the office. He removed the code book and placed it on the desk while closing the safe. In a rushed moment, he stepped across the passageway to retrieve something he needed from his quarters. Seconds later, he stepped back into the operations office and found the operations sergeant having just entered, looking down at the code book.
Against all regulations, the code book had been out of the safe and unattended. It mattered not that it was unattended for only seconds, that the ship was 5 miles at sea, or that it was certain no one unauthorized had seen the code. The captain could have explained this to the operations sergeant. He could have told the sergeant that he “would take care of it.” He could have hinted that his high-ranking dad could smooth it over.
But the Marine Corps’ values are honor, courage and commitment. Honor is the bedrock of our character. The young captain could not ask the sergeant to betray his duty to report the infraction, no matter how small. Instead, the captain simply said, “Let’s go see the colonel.”
That captain had wanted to be a Marine officer all of his life. It was the only career he ever wanted. When he reported the incident to the colonel, he knew he was jeopardizing his life’s dream. But he did it.
The results went by the book. The amphibious squadron stood down. Military couriers flew in from NATO. The codes were changed all over Europe. The battalion was a day late in leaving the Mediterranean. The captain, Leonard F. Chapman III, received a letter of reprimand, damaging his career. He stayed in the corps and died in a tragic accident aboard another ship.
I saw some heroic acts in combat in Vietnam, things that made me proud to be an American and a Marine. But that young captain stood for what makes our corps and our country great.
Clinton is the antithesis of that young captain, someone with no honor, little courage and commitment only to her endless ambition. This has nothing to do with gender, party affiliation, ideology or policy. It is a question of character — not just hers, but ours. Electing Clinton would mean abandoning holding people accountable for grievous errors of integrity and responsibility. What we already know about her security infractions should disqualify her for any government position that deals in information critical to mission success, domestic or foreign. But beyond that, her responses to being found out — dismissing its importance, claiming ignorance, blaming others — indict her beyond anything the investigation can reveal. Those elements reveal her character. And the saddest thing is that so many in America seem not to care.
And I cannot understand why people are letting this slide… NONE of the veterans I know are, that’s for sure…
I hold out that someone, somewhere will eventually grok honor…
It does seem as though it is missing from the national character, though…
I have a book that a reader sent me a year or two ago – and I apologize but I don’t remember who sent it – It’s about a guy who took it into his head to semi-retire into the Alaskan outback, near or above the Arctic circle. You know, just go out there and build a cabin and live.
Now, that’s more-or-less the plot of Into the Wild, and I think we know how that story turned out. But this older guy, Richard Proenneke, wasn’t some overindulged and suicidally starry-eyed kid. He was an old Alaska hand and actually knew what he was doing. He built a cabin that was a literal work of art – after he got old and retired from retiring, it became a tourist attraction for really hardy tourists. It makes the Secret Lair look like a particularly disreputable shed. And he made nearly every part of it from native wood or stone or bone – hell, he carved wooden door hinges.
Every single thing he had that he couldn’t make himself had to be flown in on a little bush plane and it could only happen a few months out of the year, so space and weight were real factors. And I was looking at the photographs reproduced in the book – Proenneke was a photographer, and my only complaint about the book is there aren’t enough photographs – and in one shot of the cabin’s interior I saw…a roll of paper towels.
And I had me a chuckle. Now, here’s a package of six paper towel rolls, which I just bought today…
It doesn’t weigh hardly anything, of course, but it’s bulky as hell. I suppose you could open the package and distribute the rolls around the plane, but my point is that if it needs to come by bush plane, you’d have to really want that roll of paper towels. Seems like there are more important things to which you could devote that plane space.
Except maybe there aren’t. When I was first alone out here, experimenting with ways to make due with virtually no income and really studying the difference between a want and a need, I learned that the line between the two is not always clear. Some commodities, while of course you can get along without them in the sense that you won’t actually die, are themselves so useful that it almost doesn’t matter. It’s not a question of life and death, it’s a question of quality of life. Indoor plumbing: Have I ever wasted a moment wishing I hadn’t devoted all that precious Lair space to an indoor toilet? Nope, not so much as a millisecond. To the best of my knowledge, and leaving poisonous spiders out of it, nobody ever died from using an outhouse as I originally planned. But a flush toilet is just such a massive improvement that, if you’ve got the water pressure, only an idiot would decide not to go ahead and dig for a septic system. Electricity’s the same way: Not a necessity of life, but look at all the things it makes possible.
Those are big things. There’s a myriad of little ones, like paper towels. It’s good to pay attention and learn what those things are, because it’s the little things that mark the difference between living and just surviving.
PAY ATTENTION – my personal motto.
I’ve found in my years that had I paid attention (or more attention) perhaps things would have turned our better or differently. Perhaps not.
But almost always were worse for having not done so.
(via my dear friend Rev. Paul)
With all the bad press aimed at police departments around the country – and sometimes bad things do happen – we don’t hear enough about the good things they do.
The Officer and Harley: A Lesson in Kindness
It’s a parent’s worst nightmare. Your child is off somewhere in the world without you and something goes wrong. With children who have developmental disabilities or mental illness, something is bound to go wrong at some point. So you craft action plans. You practice what to do. You get their care providers on the same page. You hope your action plan will work if and when needed. Many times it will. But there’s always the possibility that one time, in some ordinary place doing some ordinary thing, something will go awry. Then what?
The Anchorage Police Department has a volunteer training program to help its officers make the best possible decisions when encountering people with autism, fetal alcohol spectrum disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, brain injuries, depression or any other condition that can affect a person’s behavior and how well he or she might respond to police.
For parents, the worst nightmare isn’t the meltdown. It’s how other people will react, and then how your child will react to them. Will the others — store clerks, passersby, waiters, managers — be well-meaning helpers who unknowingly muck things up even more? Or maybe they will be disrupters and increase stress and tension as they try to firmly get matters under control. What then? What if the police show up and rattle off a bunch of questions or issue orders at your child, who can’t handle being addressed in that way? Will your child run off? Lash out? What if an officer tries to put their hands on your child, who cannot tolerate touch?
The worst nightmare is that someone will get hurt.
Harley Hamilton, a senior at West High living with downs syndrome and autism, gives Anchorage police officer Matt Fraize a side hug at Sagaya City Market on Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2016. Watching at left is DeVon Brentlinger, one of Harley’s caregivers.
Hamilton asked a friend, Angie Fraize, an Anchorage police officer who serves with her on the Governor’s Council for Disabilities and Special Education, what to do. Fraize helped coordinate a coffee date for Harley with her husband, Matt, who is also an Anchorage police officer. The goal? Get Harley to understand police as helpers, as safe people she can trust.
“The face of law enforcement is changing with the times. But we have to. We have to show people that we are human. That we are dads and moms,” Angie Fraize said over coffee last week. She grew up with an uncle who had Down syndrome, and one of her two daughters has the condition.
Matt Fraize, a large man who once played football for the University of Washington, showed up in uniform to the coffee date with Harley. He asked if he could sit with Harley and her mother, who suggested, “Harley would love for a handsome man in uniform to sit across from her.”
Harley hugged officer Fraize, beaming during the half-hour visit that ended with a ride home, without Mom, in the police car. During a second meeting, Harley tried to tickle officer Fraize, nuzzled his side, gave a friendly head-butt and a quick kiss to his right shoulder before they walked over to his patrol car, holding hands.
“A lot of us are parents of kids with special needs. And so we get it. We have the same fears for our children,” Matt Fraize said.
Heroes like Officer Fraize need all the good publicity they can get. This is a wonderful program.
I commented on Rev. Paul’s posting of the above story that news of a positive nature is not considered news. The dictum ‘if it bleeds, it leads’ came to mind.
I hope that most of the men and women in blue are of Officer Fraize’s mindset, rather than the stormtrooper/Gestapo/’us against them’ mindset. Too often, it’s only police misconduct that makes the news.
As the good Reverend said, this story needs to go viral! So I’m doing my .02 worth. 🙂
Billy Shakespeare said that.
I’d a recent experience, wherein I left a blog post comment @ one of my blogfriend’s™ blogs. A few minutes later, it occurred to me that I’d addressed him by someone else’s name!
And there was no method in his blogging software by which I could make a correction.
(I did go back and make a second comment, apologizing.)
This reminded me of a year-or-so ago, when a kind soul sent me a few dollars on my sidebar Paypal link. (hint, hint). It was late, I was preparing to retire, and had taken my evening meds. (HALF of the medication I am prescribed has possible side effects of memory loss!)
And I thanked him profusely, using a wrong name!
Then, I sent him another email, apologizing. Hopefully, I got it right the second time(?) I’ve not heard from him ever again.
At least, in the few significant personal relationships I’ve had in my lifetime with the opposite sex, I’ve not uttered another woman’s name whilst in flagrante delicto!
I don’t think? I wasn’t on this kind of medication, then…
I don’t know…
♫…nowhere to hide…♫
Wirecutter linked me to RT Question More.
Who posed (in part) this idea…
To me, the US – and most of the supposedly free West – increasingly looks like a truck being systematically filled with Semtex.
But it’s easy to counter cries of alarm with the fact that the truck is stable – because it’s true: you can hurl more boxes into the back without any real danger. Absent the right detonator, it is no more dangerous than a truckload of mayonnaise.
But add the right detonator and you’re just one click away from complete devastation.
We can see how fragile the U.S. is now by considering just four tendencies.
The Four Tendencies
1. Destruction of farms and reliable food source
2. Weak economic system
3. Americans increasingly on mind-altering drugs
4. Morals in decline
There used to be a time (in my mind, anyway) that this constitutional republic strove to be the best. The best physically, academically, militarily. The best as a shining example to the rest of the World of individual liberty, rights and responsibilities.
A truly Norman Rockwell Nation.
We fed the rest of the World. EVERYONE relied on AND TRUSTED, the Dollar! People didn’t ‘just take a pill’ for every perceived ailment. And, while differing dogmatically, we strove to treat others as we ourselves wished to be treated.
The times, they are a changin’.