The End
dannyogden
The time has come. I've finally done it. I am putting a done stamp on this blog. I created this Live Journal, never intending to actually use it as a personal blog. After some years writing under my pseudonym, I've decided it's time to move to self-titled blog. There is coming a day when I will be published and have readers that want to find me. This Live Journal no longer serves.

You can follow my new blog at http://nlflowers.wordpress.com.

Thanks to everyone who has followed and engaged with me on the Danny Blog. I hope you will continue to follow me on Wordpress.

The End

For the Bible Tells Me So
dannyogden
I hear a lot of Christians expressing strong opinions about healthcare, immigration, and foreign aid. I thought it might be helpful to give Christians a refresher about what the Bible says on these subjects.

"When a stranger sojourns with you in your land, you shall not do him wrong. You shall treat the stranger who sojourns with you as the native among you, and you shall love him as yourself, for you were strangers." -Leviticus 19:33-34

"Thus says the Lord of hosts, render true judgments, show kindness and mercy to one another, do not oppress the widow, the fatherless, the sojourner, or the poor, and let none of you devise evil against another in your heart." -Zechariah 7:9-10

"You shall allot it as an inheritance for yourselves and for the sojourners who reside among you and have had children among you. They shall be to you as native-born children. With you they shall be allotted an inheritance." -Ezekiel 47:22

"Open your mouth for the mute, for the rights of all who are destitute. Open your mouth, judge righteously, defend the rights of the poor and needy." -Proverbs 31:8-9

"Come, you that are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world; for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me." -Matthew 25:34-36

These holy books don't belong to me, but the message belongs to us all. There is a moral imperative for those with abundance of wealth and health to provide for those whose need is great. It happens also to be good domestic and foreign policy. It is in our national security interest to carry out this moral imperative as a nation. It is both smart and right to take our excess and give it to the needy. I don't need the Bible to tell me so, but if you do, it is right there, for anyone who has eyes to see it.

Reflections at 33
dannyogden
I woke up this morning, 33 years old, from a dream about going back to high school. I've had dreams about going back to high school at least a hundred times since I graduated; forgotten homework, conversations with teachers, leaving school without permission, etc. It's a metaphor for leaving college. I like to think I live life without regrets, but I think my greatest regret is not having finished my education. Of course, that's an absurd notion. Your education is never finished. I learned more in the last 10 years of living life than I ever did in any 10 years in school. Life is the great teacher, and its lessons are written on the years.

When I was a young pup, I liked to think I was special. I liked to think that I could speed things along, achieve success sooner. I couldn't wait to get on with it. Maybe if I had been born with a trust fund, I could have, but I was born into a lower middle class family in a rural environment. I had to work hard. I've achieved much, but I'm still unfilled in many of my dreams.

Well, I'm not done, yet. I have years more to achieve the fulfillment of a life, and I've achieved the best parts; a partner, a life filled with love & friendship, and a career. It's been an adventure, and there's still more territory to explore. I'm approaching midlife, and I feel very optimistic.

Quote for the Day
dannyogden
"It seems to me to be equally plain that no business which depends for existence on paying less than living wages to its workers has any right to continue in this country. By "business" I mean the whole of commerce as well as the whole of industry; by workers I mean all workers, the white collar class as well as the men in overalls; and by living wages I mean more than a bare subsistence level-I mean the wages of decent living." --Franklin Delano Roosevelt

USPS
dannyogden
There is an idea that has been posited, with which I a agree, that natural monopolies are best served by the government. Government tends to poorly serve in other areas of business such as building cars or manufacturing clothing. There was a time when the only means to convey messages and packages was via letter carrier on horseback. In that time, the Post Office Department was created by Benjamin Franklin under the Second Continental Congress. The Post Office Department later became known as the United States Postal Service. The postal service served the US well and exclusively for over 100 years. Even when the United Parcel Service and other private ventures came onto the scene, they could not serve rural areas, and they continue to, as a private enterprise, choose not to serve certain areas.

That said, as a liberal, I am appalled at the sacred cow the USPS has become to liberals. Last year, the USPS took a loss of $5B on $66B in revenue. That might sound shocking if it weren't for the fact that the tax-payer subsidized USPS has had 19 consecutive quarters of losses. This despite almost half of their revenues coming from direct mail marketing. That's right. The single largest revenue block for the USPS is junk mail. They deliver 84 billion pieces of it to US taxpayers, costing them an additional $1B in disposal costs. My point is this. The USPS is no longer serving a natural monopoly. There are other delivery services on the scene. They have competition. The USPS no longer has a right to exist.

I say all of this realizing that the USPS is the second largest employer in the United States after Walmart. While it is not in the best interest of the United States for so many people to be employed by a single employer, the USPS may be 'too big to fail'. I acknowledge that the USPS has been up against a radical shift in the way people communicate goods and information in a digital age. I will also acknowledge that congress passed a law preventing the USPS from raising postal rates without congressional approval, a requirement that none of the USPS' competitors in the private sector have to abide. The congress also passed a law requiring the USPS to pre-fund all employee pensions for 75 years. That's right, at a time when the private sector is cutting pensions, the congress chained an anchor around the neck of the USPS to provide pensions for employees that haven't even been born yet. There has been a concerted effort by conservative ideologues to sabotage the USPS. I'm a fire-breathing liberal. I believe natural monopolies should be served by government. I support federalizing all the power companies, water companies, and cable companies. But mail delivery isn't a natural monopoly any longer, and the USPS is not going to be saved by adding banking or any other service. The USPS needs to get a lot better at providing the services that it does, and the congress needs to remove the hamstrings on their ability to compete in an open marketplace.

Everybody is a Genius
dannyogden
"Everybody is a genius, but if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid." -Albert Einstein (attributed, but not substantiated)

The Eternal House
dannyogden

When a man wishes to build a truly great house, he builds a tomb.

My new Tumblr blog is up.

http://theeternalhouse.tumblr.com/

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Superstitious Teachings
dannyogden
“Fables should be taught as fables, myths as myths, and miracles as poetic fantasies. To teach superstitions as truths is a most terrible thing. The child mind accepts and believes them, and only through great pain and perhaps tragedy can he be in later years relieved of them.” - Hypatia

Pride & Ignorance
dannyogden
No one should be shamed for being ignorant, but no one should be proud of it either.

Optimism
dannyogden
Optimism is not seeing the glass as half-full. Optimism is feeling like you are dying and realizing that's what it feels like to be alive.

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