Thought for the day: Your brothers keeper?

“He has a very kind way about him. I am embarrassed to say this, but first I thought he was mentally handicapped, but after a minute I realized that he is just polite and a good listener, and has been freed of the illusion of self-importance that infects almost everyone you met this week.

I had thought “I can spend a few minutes to be kind to this person.” As I sat down on a milk crate, I realized that this is the exact same thought that this man has with every single person, every day. The distinction being, I thought I was doing some charity, and he is living as a genuine human being.”

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Read the rest of the story at this link;

A thought on Easter….

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It is my personal belief that lives of adults are physically, mentally and spiritually richer if they have a chance to do meaningful and productive work. I was born into a good family in the richest country the world has ever known. As an element of being grateful, I try to have every part we can made in this country, at shops that respect to human dignity of the workers and pay livable wages.

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If I was driven by greed, I could simply have most of our sub-components made in places like China, by workers without rights or freedom. When you buy a part from us for your plane, you can be assured that I put every effort into making sure that all hands that touched it before you were fairly compensated and worked in an environment that I would have a member of my own family work in.

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If the above two paragraphs sound ‘new age’ or ‘liberal’, let me assure you they are not. I am very well read on the subjects of US history and Ethics, and the ideas above are directly taken from President Theodore Roosevelt’s 1902 philosophy, “The Square Deal.”

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I do not expect advantaged Americans who compulsively buy imported products, often people who don’t have a single friend who works in a factory or a blue color job, to understand the above values.  They may never have spent a minute to consider that our country was not built by wealthy consumers employing workers in 3rd world countries, but it could end that way.

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“There must be ever present in our minds the fundamental truth that in a republic such as ours the only safety is to stand neither for nor against any man because he is rich or because he is poor, because he is engaged in one occupation or another, because he works with his brains or because he works with his hands. We must treat each man on his worth and merits as a man. We must see that each is given a square deal, because he is entitled to no more and should receive no less. Finally, we must keep ever in mind that a republic such as ours can exist only by virtue of the orderly liberty which comes through the equal domination of the law over all men alike, and through its administration in such resolute and fearless fashion as shall teach all that no man is above it and no man below it.”

Theodore Roosevelt, July 7th, 1903.

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– The Poverty rate in Florida stands at 20%. This is higher than it was in 1964 when statesmen of both parties decided they would declare “War on poverty.” Argue the result if you wish, The original motivation to end things like 29% of senior citizens  living in poverty was more ethically defensible than doing nothing. Today, Americans essentially ‘vote’ that cheap consumer goods are more important that fellow Americans having jobs. I can’t fix that, but I am responsible for my own actions.

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– The median age of the very poor in Florida may be as low as 12 years old. You can’t wave a magic wand and make that go away, but if you want to attack it, you do something that provides a good job for that kid’s parents, preferably in manufacturing. You don’t need a PhD is sociology to understand that domestic violence and substance abuse go down when employment goes up. Employment is a moral issue. There is no discretionary consumer good I need enough for a 12-year-old American to go hungry so I can save a buck on it.

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– Florida has 15 times as many millionaires as it did in 1964. The top 1% of the wealthy in Florida may be 250 times richer than they were 50 years ago. The average state senator leaves public office with a net worth $880,000 higher than when he arrived, in spite of a $40K salary. The system we tolerate works for the top better than the bottom. We may have accidentally created a dependence on public support at the bottom, but the top manipulates the system and drains the trough at a far faster rate.

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Above, Rick Scott, Governor of Florida, speaks with two children in a Jacksonville pre-school. Mr. Scott was founder and CEO of a health care company that systematically defrauded the US Government (taxpayers) of nearly a billion dollars in Medicare payments. His settlement was the largest fraud case in US history, but included no personal fines or jail sentence.  It seems highly unlikely that the two children in the picture will commit crimes of that magnitude in their lifetimes.

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(In Florida, anyone who takes $101 worth of property from the home of another has committed Grand Theft, and is subject to imprisonment for up to 5 years. $101 goes into 1 billion dollars 9.9 million times.)

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On this holiest of days on the Christian calendar, there are still people who can blame hungry school children for our societies’ ills, while silmaltainiously absolving and admiring the highest levels of the criminally greedy. I am yet to understand how any element in the life of Jesus could be seen as an endorsement of unrestrained capitalism. My personal understanding of the life of Jesus is focused on forgiveness, kindness, and the understanding that I am my brother’s keeper.

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From Rick Scott’s Wikipedia page: “On March 19, 1997, investigators from the FBI, the Internal Revenue Service and the Department of Health and Human Services served search warrants at Columbia/HCA facilities  Four months later the board of directors pressured Scott to resign as Chairman and CEO. He was paid $9.88 million in a settlement. He also left owning 10 million shares of stock worth over $350 million.  In settlements reached in 2000 and 2002, Columbia/HCA pled guilty to 14 felonies and agreed to a $600+ million fine in the largest fraud settlement in U.S. history.”

Video of Grandson’s first flight, 3,000cc Cleanex:

Builders:

Dale Williams of SC sent in this link of his Grandson’s first flight:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ho2uh1cZwmY

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It is a particularly good video, not of the plane, but capturing the day. If you are working in your shop this weekend and wondering if finishing your plane will be a milestone event in your life, look no further than this film and picture having this kind of day with someone in your own family.  Catch the credits at the end to learn who covered the soundtrack.

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Dale sent these words with the link:

“One of the great joys I had recently was that of taking my seven year old grandson for his first ride in my Corvair powered Sonex. I’ve desired to do this for a number of years but waiting for him to be old enough, and me working to build and learn skills that I didn’t yet possess was all part of the process… Besides the satisfaction that comes to us personally from going where the timid fear to tread, there is the part of giving to others in the manner which you have demonstrated by your work, and also the giving to others by sharing what we have achieved, that brings us a greater fulfillment of purpose, – Dale, N 319WF”

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Above,The Cleanex of Dale Williams taxis out at Corvair College #27.

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 For more details on Dale’s plane, click on this link:

New 3,000 cc Cleanex, Dale Williams, SC

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