More Thoughts On Horse Slaughter

samfinden:

Interesting post about horse slaughter by my friend and fellow author, F.J. Thomas. Please give it a look.

Originally posted on MUSINGS FROM THE LEADROPE:

Earlier this year, I wrote a post entitled “A Solution To The Slaughter Issue“, in which I proposed the rescues start a “Rescue Registry”. In my blog post, I suggested that they could not only limit breeding to a certain extent, but also provide an incentive to rescue by offering large events with a pay back. Basically, they could offer a nationals and a “Mustang Makeover” type event for rescued horses.

Although I covered a lot of territory and offered at least a partial solution, I didn’t completely reveal the rest of my solution for the hot topic of horse slaughter. A couple of weeks ago however, I was reminded that I need to write the next blog post!

On a Sunday afternoon I was headed with a friend to a Cattle Sorting practice in Resaca, Georgia a couple of hours away. As we drove along I-75 South, just…

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Let’s Go, My Traveling Companions- Onward and Upward

There’s an awful lot to be down about right now. If you’re a devotee of the sort of radio programming that I’m partial to, you’re likely glad that the sky hasn’t fallen yet! Luckily, information I accept has to pass the proverbial smell test- a lot of “news” in our sound-bite society doesn’t hold up under scrutiny. If you’re blissfully and intentionally ignorant of consequential current events, I’d recommend that you ease into it, checking the validity of your sources along the way. Welcome to the real world.

Like it or not, there are things much more important than what Bruce Jenner prefers to be called. There are real problems, ones that directly impact YOU. Your bank accounts. Your paycheck. The schools your child will attend, and what they will be taught there. Your security. Your right to bear arms. Your freedom of religion, and the practice of said religion. Notice, though, that I didn’t say your right to not be offended? That’s not a right. That’s a Utopian pipe dream.

I’m certainly less qualified than some to discuss politics, being that I didn’t spend my formative years learning the in’s-and-out’s of political science at a college. There are some who think that my perspective is lacking, that because I don’t have an indoctrination certificate or a bunch of $5 words, I’m an ignoramus. Maybe so. Others may decry my failure to serve in the military, my failure to go on unemployment, my failure to accept an Obamacare subsidy- that all of these leave me with a one-sided view of things. They might be correct, and my mental horses fade to the “Gee” side more often than not, though I do put some effort into at least peeking through the left-hand door from time to time.

Currently, we’ve got what we deserve in Washington, in Baltimore, in Ferguson. Now I, out in Montana, didn’t elect the disturbingly irresponsible mayor of Baltimore, (who told her brave police officers to give the “protesters” some “room to destroy,”) but a few generations of that sort of thinking did. The longer we ignore things in other parts of the country, the longer we say “It’s not my problem,” the sooner they become problems everywhere. Pretty soon, the criminality in Baltimore and Ferguson, where miscreants have looted and burned down their own cities based on what is, at best, muddled and incomplete evidence and at worst (as was the case in Ferguson) an outright lie, will manifest themselves in other places. Nero’s tuning up somewhere over the US, it seems. If you didn’t understand that reference, put down your Playstation controller and pick up a book.

We’ve got an entire generation of kids who know nothing but government provision. They’re trained to be on the dole from an early age. Maybe their mother lost her husband, who was a hard-working man that provided for his family. Or maybe their mother is easy and lazy. Maybe it’s in the middle. I know that times are hard, and social welfare programs do have a place. But when internet access and smartphones are purchased by the taxpayers and used as a campaign bribe, there’s something wrong. And we deserve it, because we as a nation have put the policymakers in office. Sometimes we’ve done it over and over again- it’s baffling. We’re smarter than this, friends.

Let’s talk about Climate Change. Or Global Warming. Or Global Cooling. Or Climate Chaos. It’s not proven, as evidenced by the fact that the progressive left keeps changing it’s parameters for study. It’s a tool for control and regulation of industry and “evil” capitalists. You know, the people who make jobs. That’s right, capitalists make jobs. Which make money. For them and for you. Take Baltimore, add jobs and some God, and it starts to look like Williston, North Dakota with less wind. Sure, there are still problems, but if everyone has a decent reason to get up in the morning (like a family that counts on a wage that you earn while working hard, so that you’re not a drain on your neighbor’s bank account by being on welfare when you’re fully able-bodied,) there will be more incentive to act responsibly.

Again, a coal mine closure in Kentucky or Craig, Colorado might not be a big concern to a Yooper or a Nebraska corn farmer, but it ought to be. A coal mine in Gillette closes because a coal-fired power plant in Washington just can’t stay afloat with the new emissions regulations. Both towns go downhill, because nobody needs or can afford a heavy equipment mechanic, a movie theater, or a natural-foods grocer when there are no jobs, because McDonald’s has replaced its $15/hour cashiers with $1/hour kiosks that don’t screw up your order. And there’s less available electricity now, so prices necessarily go up and these displaced workers have a disproportionate amount of their decidedly smaller incomes going toward filling their basic needs. Now it’s decision time- on the dole? Or move somewhere that hasn’t yet been encumbered by the marked-depressing forces of progressive policy? One means that our Michigan or Nebraska disinterested party sees another demand for his tax dollar, and the other means that the displaced coal worker might wind up competing with you for your log truck in Michigan or your combine seat in Nebraska. A little bit of each is tolerable and absorb-able, though we’re saturated with the former already. A lot of each, like in Detroit, Baltimore, Cleveland, etc., leads to a dire situation. Call me Chicken Little. And we deserve it because we’ve allowed it to happen.

Somebody always pays- right now, we’ve passed the buck to our great grandchildren. Hmmm. You’re welcome, kids.

We’ve reached a startling point where more people are in the cart than pulling it. You might think about your acquaintances and not see a problem- I hang out with hardworking folks who get their hands dirty, and you probably do as well. But do you discuss this sort of thing? Or do you pass it by as something that you can’t change? We can affect change. It’s not going to be fast, and it’s not going to be easy. We’ll likely be shouted down and disagreed with, indignantly put aside or pseudo-righteously slandered. That’s fine. Boil it down to money and irrefutable, unemotional hard facts. The vitriol in most leftist arguments seems to stem from a fear of insufficient funding, and it often comes out as a tantrum or a heart-wrenching story. So follow the money- where does it start, where does it end, and how many programs, offices, administrative institutions and otherwise-redundant parties get their grubby mitts on it in between?

Again, some social programs are necessary, in my opinion. But when criminal aliens get healthcare priority and our brave veterans don’t, we’re obviously in need of an analysis. When job-creators are vilified and office holders are put on a pedestal, our system needs a little tweaking. We need to want it first, to expect the right thing. We need to educate ourselves, our neighbors, our friends. Not indoctrinate, just educate. Facts are just that when viewed without spin. Find the numbers you need to know and make sure they’re pure as the driven snow. Raw facts. Use logic and reason- they work. Push your “screw it” level a little further each time, stay in it. Read left-wing manifestos and right-wing hit pieces, but draw your own conclusions. And don’t leave it for someone else- it’s important that you are represented.

If we all work to make ourselves better, to help our friends and families become better acquainted with intentional thought rather than catchy sound-bites, there’s hope. But if we’re a country where we choose popularity and touchy-feely-ness over actual reality and principle, we’re in tough shape.

I think we deserve better. So let’s go- let’s demand better. Onward to a little better tomorrow. Upward to a lot better future.

Keep your heels down!

Whoa Podcast Interview

I got a chance to visit with John Harrer from the Whoa Podcast this week. He’s an interesting guy that takes the long view on writing, horse training, and life in general.

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Please head on over to www.whoapodcast.com and give it a listen. And, in honor of his Bakersfield home base, put on some Buck Owens or Merle Haggard.

Keep your heels down!

Squaring God with Sex as a Single Man

It’s tough to tell what’s worse: letting your body get the best of you, or letting nothing occur at all. I’ve been on both ends of this teeter-totter, and done both with the abandon that comes from a “Grip it and Rip it” mentality. Now, as an older (possibly wiser) man, I’ve got some experience to draw on, to look back upon, that helps me ease toward the center.

Balance. That’s what we all strive for, right? We balance our checkbook and hope to stay in the black. We try to even out potholes in the driveway for a smoother ride. Corn needs water, but not too much. Thermostats are adjustable to achieve balance between the winter wind outside and the furnace in the basement. But what about things that are not so easily measurable?

I’m talking about the balance of faith, my faith in God, against the desires of my human body. It’s a tough thing to talk about, a tough thing to think about. Oftentimes, I don’t do either. Our world places a high priority on the things we can see, desire, and take to bed. Less prominent, but more important, are the things we keep to ourselves. The thoughts that eat at us. The guilt that gets ignored. Today, I’m in a mood to evaluate. Maybe somebody who reads this will wind up doing a little introspection of their own- if that happens, then I’m glad to have helped.

First off, this isn’t a judgment on anyone but myself. This isn’t politics or business, it’s my desire to be closer to God. To live the way He wants me to, while still enjoying myself. To find a woman who makes me a better man without compromising in any way. Maybe my standards are too high. Maybe I’m doing it wrong. I’ve done a lot of things in a lot of different ways, and they haven’t left me where I want to be.

Sleeping around didn’t work. Trying to build a life with someone who didn’t value God didn’t work.Playing house with divorcees is miserable in the morning. Hanging out with party girls at night is annoying. Going at a snail’s pace isn’t my style, either, though. Kisses and hand-holding are fine in the eighth grade, but make for a really long night. The opposite is tougher, still, when you wake up in the morning and wonder, “Why did I do this? She’s not even my type.”

I’m a flawed man, and I get that. My character defects are kept at bay by abstaining from drink (coming on eight years now,) from sex, and, recently, from social interaction. If a dog runs away every time it gets out of the kennel, you’ve got to keep it in the kennel or train it to stay in the yard. I’m tired of keeping the kennel door closed. God is helping me train for obedience, but sometimes it’s like the training manual is written in Mandarin-Chinese. I’ve got to learn to translate it.

The good news here is that God knows my heart. He can’t sweep my sins under the rug, but he can and does forgive me for them. He doesn’t care that I’ve run out of the yard- He’s just glad I’m back. But if I don’t make strides toward living obediently, He’s going to know that I’m not serious about following Him. I struggle with how far, how long I can stay away. Who even thinks like that? I do. I struggle with His ear-scratches and “Good Dog” praises not measuring up to the tasty roadkilled deer in the neighboring ditch. It’s bad for me, but I can’t help myself sometimes. I stay in the kennel.

At the same time, I’m up for just about anything that will bring me closer to Him. I’ll study the bible, spend lots of time in prayer, and talk to God. I’ll get to where I’m at the high end of the teeter totter- the supposed payoff, when you’re weightless, your knees don’t ache from squatting, and you’ve got the best view on the playground. Then, inevitably, I’ll come down again. Sometimes I wish the dog-gone thing would break, or rust itself solid in the up position. I can climb to the top, but not the bottom. That’s where I started.

This has been going on for years- I see what’s supposed to happen. I see the vision of it, and it doesn’t have a set hair color, eye color, figure, etc. It’s got God with it, though, blessing it. It’s got talent and excitement where I need it, and it’s got steadiness and loyalty as well. It’s got a house that’s now a home. It’s got no baggage. It’s a fantasy.

We’ll see what happens. Maybe the dog will decide to stick around next time I let it out, and maybe it’ll run off and be relegated to the kennel once more. God’s got a bunch of good translators around, and one of them will make sense to me. I’ll keep after it, keep trying. I’ll do my best to make the yard as appealing as possible.

7 Ways To Show Love To Someone With Anxiety/Depression

samfinden:

A little off topic for me, but this is worth reading. Please check it out.

Originally posted on Be Brave, and Talk:

The hardest people to love are the ones who need it most.

In honour of Valentine’s Day, here are some ideas for showing love to friends and family members with anxiety/ depression:

1.) Give Compliments:

Chances are, someone who suffers from anxiety/depression also struggles with self esteem. Help her challenge her feelings of self loathing by giving her sincere, specific compliments. Being specific is really important, because it will make her more likely to remember what you said later. It will also make her more likely to believe you. For example, instead of saying, “You’re a good mom,” you could say something more meaningful: “You are so patient with your children. I love how you encourage them to keep trying. They are so lucky to have you.”
One thoughtful, genuine compliment has more power than 10 careless comments that feel like flattery. Put your heart into what you say.

2.)…

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