Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Here's a Joke/Nuts in the Cemetery

Well, there's been so much going on in my life that's been causing me some growing pains and making it hard for me to post, so maybe it's time for something a little lighter.

There were two boys who desired to divide up a bag of nuts between them and wanted to find some quiet and private place in which to do it, so they went into the Cemetery and hid behind a rock and started dividing out the nuts saying
"One for you and one for me.", "One for you and one for me." and so on. After awhile, some nuts dropped and fell down the hill to the Cemetery Fence.

Well, another boy was walking by and heard them as they continued; "One for you and one for me.", "One for you and one for me.", etc. The boy become frightened and ran home to his Grandfather, insisting that he come and hear what he had just heard in the Cemetery.

"Calm down, boy!"
the Grandfather said "And tell me what's frightened you so."

A little calmer, but still excited, the boy continued to explain, "You have got to come and hear what I heard in the Cemetery, for God and Satan are there right now dividing up the souls."

Well, his Grandfather had to take his time because he walked with a cane, yet when they got there, lo and behold, they could still hear it as they stood by the Fence outside the Cemetery; "One for you and one for me.", "One for you and one for me."
, yet soon the dividing up process stopped and one of the boys who were dividing up the nuts said "Ok, that's it. Now let's just go and get the Nuts by the Fence and we'll be done."

Well, wouldn't you know it. The old man somehow learned to run really fast in spite of his cane and beat his Grandson home.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Lead a Horse to Water/Not Pride, but Depression

Here is the Post that I intended to Post on Tuesday, 2/26/2009, but it seemed that God blocked it, for I sensed a check in my Spirit and well, as it turns out, God did not want me not to Post this, but only to delay in Posting it, for it seems that I was supposed to Post two others in the mean time. The best way for me to refer you Googlers to the other related Posts is to refer you to May's Archive, or for the rest of you, just scroll down and read them.

I hope that those of you who are not Spiritual will not mind me inserting comments in my writings about how God speaks to me. I do often sense His guidance in my writing and sometimes I actually listen. LOL.

Anyway, the original Inspiration for this Post came from the Comment Section of the Post, "The Unmotivated Electorate/Voters/Basic Economics", which you will probably want to read if you want to better understand this Post. In short, I suggested in this Post how it might be helpful to set up more Information Centers to help people learn about the Issues and the Candidates that they will be Voting on. The Comments that I am responding to now in this Post can be found beneath the Post that I've just left a Link to.

When I submitted a Comment on May 22, 2009, at 7:53 AM, beneath the above Linked Post, I had Type Written 1 1/3 Pages and only submitted the first 1/3 Page. The other Page has given me some pause and I was wondering the following morning if I should try and rewrite it while Speaking more from the Heart.

Well, once I got going on this Post, I realized that it was long enough to be at least 2 Posts and maybe more. Hopefully, I will one day get around to the Speaking from the Heart part, but for now, I'm just going to respond a little more to a few of the comments beneath the above linked Post.

The first thing that I want to respond to is Griper’s Statement You Can’t Force People to Inform themselves.” (Griper, May 16, 2009, at 10:41 PM). The second time I read this Comment, the second half of the sentence caught my eye; “Especially those who believe they do not need any.” In reading this, I have noticed that he was Focusing on the Proud, yet it is actually the Slow Readers and Slow Learners that I was first thinking of when suggesting these Information Centers and then later I was also thinking about those who Lack Motivation because they are either Stressed, Discouraged or Depressed. The Arrogant and Proud are a totally separate group and are not really the segment of the population that I think these Centers should be focused on anyway.

BB-Idaho said something similar in that “The Black/White People will not attend. They already know all the answers.” (BB-Idaho, May 18, 2009, at 5:37 AM). Again, the Focus is on the Unwillingness of the Proud, yet again, that is not who I think these Centers are primarily for.

In further response to that Comment, perhaps some of the “Centrists” and “Gray Area Folks” “do not Prioritize their Politics as the Overriding thing in their Lives”, yet you know something? As much as the Black and White Folk may not like it, it is the "Centrists", "Gray Area", "Moderates" and especially the ones who “Lack Passion and Conviction” and/or “CAN’T DECIDE that decide the Elections. A lot of what I put in quotes in this Paragraph and the next one is in quotes because this has been suggested in the Comment section of one of Z’s Posts, "This Gospel of Moderation".

Motivating, Educating and Persuading the Electorate is not about changing the minds of the Black and White, Stubborn, Proud, Unbending and Impossibly Resistant. It’s about the “Luke Warm”, Moderate, “Non-Passionate”, “Non-Committed”, “Lacking Conviction”, “Unmotivated”, Undecided Voter, who is not really so Stubborn and Painfully Resistant, just Unmotivated. This is who needs to be targeted. The Stubbornness of the Black and White Thinker and the Extremist is not a concern because that’s not who we should be targeting anyway.

Soapboxgod also said something similar to what’s already been discussed relating to not being able to “Force” the Unwilling. In Soap’s words, “You can Lead a Horse to Water, but you can not Make him Drink.” (Soapboxgod, May 18, 2009, at 12:00PM). When ever I hear this statement, I am always reminded of how in Saudi Arabia, Egypt and similar places, they give Salt to Camels in order to “Persuade” them to drink lots of water just prior to a trip through the Desert and apparently it works rather well.

Here’s the thing. Too often people use statements like this in order to justify their decision to not even try to Persuade. As you can see from the Comments of all three of those mentioned, this practice is quite wide spread. It’s a contradiction, though, because there is no such thing as a Politically Motivated person who does not try to Persuade. They only call on the “Horse to Water” Statement when they don’t care as much about an Issue.

Another similar Quote from this same Comment (May 18, 2009, at 12:00PM) is Soap’s words “People need to have the Fortitude to seek out this Information.” This is a similar Cop Out as the “Horse to Water” Statement just mentioned. The idea is to place the blame on the UNMOTIVATED PERSON and thus justify any reluctance to do anything that’s helpful.

Here’s another Quote, “If educating the electorate is your primary goal, then it behooves each individual party as a whole to guide their members towards books, think tanks, research, etc., which is in tune with said party's ideology, principles, beliefs, etc.” The problem with this statement is that it focuses mainly on “Members”, many of which have already decided to Vote with the Party, yet just as mentioned above, the Audience that we need to reach is not the Black and White/Extremists, nor even those who are simply Loyal to their Party, but the Moderates, who are “Less Passionate”, “Less Motivated”, “Less Committed” and Undecided. To draw those to the Centers, some Advertising outside of the Party Membership is going to be required.

I guess I could also point out that just because a person is not fully Motivated does not necessarily make them Unwilling.

To Elaborate on the actual Title of this Post, sometimes "Lack of Motivation" has more to do with Depression than Pride. I guess I don't have to educate you very much in relation to the fact that Depression is just the Opposite of Pride. Depression involves not Liking Oneself and not Believing in Oneself and just so that you can Understand what I'm getting at, Statements such as "You can't Force People to do anything.", "Black/White People will not attend. They already know all the answers." and "You can Lead a Horse to Water, but you can not Make him Drink." do absolutely nothing to address the issue of Lack of Motivation, as it relates to not pride, but to the slow Reader and Learner and also those who suffer from Discouragement, Stress and Depression.

Statements such as "I can't Force you or Make you." are actually not that helpful when said in response to a humble person who is simply asking for help. In fact, these statements come across as quite Accusatory and they Focus more on Guilt than on Encouragement, but I can assure you by my own experience that Accusations and Guilt never produce much Motivation. Instead they produce just the opposite; an increase in Discouragement and Depression.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

God's Voice Takes Time (Gentleness & Force)

You know, as soon as I finished Posting the Previous Post, I right away started thinking of what I wanted to say in this one. As a quick recap, Yesterday Morning, I felt one of my Posts Blocked "in my spirit" and so I prayed and God told me "In order to really listen, we have to stop talking." Along with that thought, I also realized that it is not just what others are saying that we need to listen to, but we need to Listen to God. For more detail, see the below post, or click on the Link above.

There was also another thought that I got on that day. As I was thinking about our struggle to train our very Stubborn and Strong Willed Dog, the thought that came to my minds was "We can not Get Tired. We can not Quit and we can not Give In." This was different than the "Still Small Voice" that God usually speaks in. This voice was Louder. It was more like a Strong Dictator sort of Voice and that is not usually the way in which God speaks to me.

A couple of paragraphs down, I said something that is More Balanced...

"When it comes to Relationships, though, there is a time for Stubbornness and also a time to Give In. Politics involves a Relationship between the Strong and the Weak and the Rich and the Poor. Somehow we need to find a way to meet the needs of both."

I guess it's like I already sensed on some level that there was another side to the Never Getting Tired, Quitting or Giving In Idea, though it hadn't fully germinated yet. Moving right along to the subject suggested in the Title of this Post, sometimes there is a time delay in the complete revealing of God's Voice. Even though I prayed, a good part of the answers relating to what I should write didn't come until the next day and for me, this really isn't that uncommon.

This Morning, I woke up thinking about the Dog Training again and about something that the trainer said. She was wondering if our Dog, Shasta, responds better to my husband (Ray) than to me. Well, that seems odd, because he is not the one who is the most Forceful. Even now, I'm not sure whether or not she was having a Senior Moment when she said that and didn't really remember how much Ray struggled with the dog the last time it was his turn to work him at the class a couple of weeks ago.

I could never figure out who the dog was responding better too. At times it would appear that he was responding better to Ray, but that is only because he was reluctant to try and do the things that were difficult for our dog and that would cause him to act up and rebel if Ray had tried it. Ray is more Gentle. He is reluctant to really yank on the Choke Collar to the extent that is necessary to "Force" the dog to behave and he is even reluctant to really use his strong masculine voice. When he gives commands, he isn't even really that "Forceful" in his tone.

I am actually the one who is more willing to apply the type of "Force" that the Dog Trainer has suggested, just as she keeps saying to Ray, "Don't worry about it. You are not going to Hurt Your Dog." Well, I take those words more to heart than Ray does and I am harder on him, than Ray is. The Dog Trainer, of course, is even harder on him than me.

Keeping this in mind, it is quite interesting if it is indeed true that the Dog is responding better to Ray than to me, yet it is only in relation to things such as Heal, Sit, Stay, etc.

There are still things that the dog is reluctant to do. He Sits quite well, but he seems to have a mental block in relation to the Down Command. He will do it for a treat, but I can't get him to do it without a treat, while on the lease. Ray, in his Gentleness, has only tried a few times and than stopped trying because he doesn't like being "so hard on the dog". I'm not afraid to be a little more forceful, yet when I do, Shasta jumps up on me and fowls the lease by deliberately tangling his paw in it and yes, the trainer has confirmed that this action is deliberate. This starts a struggle in which I have to yank him down really hard with the lease, while saying a very firm NO!

The dog trainer has struggled with him too, but gets him under control because she is even more Firm and Forceful than me. Ray hasn't been able to enforce this command because he is not even willing to apply this type of Force. I'm willing to be more Forceful, but still can't get the desired result. Maybe I'm not as strong as the trainer. I don't know what it is.

If, in fact, it is true that Shasta responds better to my more Gentle, Easy Going Husband, at least in the things that he is willing to do, than that is quite interesting, because what it tells me is that for the most part, the Dog responds better to Gentleness, than to Force and the Down Command, that he for some reason has an aversion to, will come in time. Apparently, sometimes "Force" doesn't even work on Dogs, to the extent that Dog Trainers think it should.

So what does this say about the original statement "We can not Get Tired. We can not Quit and we can not Give In."? Is this actually always true? And another question that comes to my mind is "Is it actually even possible to 'Not ever Get Tired'?" Let's try and be at least a little more realistic. Shall we?

To Listen, We Must Stop Talking.

In order to really listen, we have to stop talking.

That was the first thought that came to my mind as I prayed Yesterday Morning and asked the Lord to remove the writers block. It's not really that I don't have anything to say. I've actually got a number of Posts that are stored as drafts on the server. The most recent one is one that I really thought I was getting ready to post, yet for some reason, I felt it being blocked in my spirit Yesterday.

The odd thing about the sentence that came to mind when I inquired from the Lord about the Writers Block, or actually the Blocked Post, is that my first reaction to it was to make the decision to try and read a few of the other Blogs out there, for if I'm not supposed to talk, than I should read instead. Right? Yet as I began to do this, I realized that I didn't really feel like reading either and let's face it. When I read, it always makes me feel as if I want to talk and actually as I write these words, I realize that I am talking right now.

So what is God trying to say to me when He says "In order to really listen, we have to stop talking."?

One hint is that sometimes when I just Ramble, as I am doing right now, I have moments in which I pause and pray as I do so. In this way, I am really trying hard to Listen as I Speak and I am also very keenly aware right now that when we listen, it is not just what others are saying that we need to listen to, but we need to Listen to God.

Sometimes we get to the point in which we speak out of our Passion and out of our Strong Desires to be heard. We listen to our own Frustrations and to our own Anger, yet there is something available that is deeper than that. There is a quietness. It is so quiet, in fact, that sometimes one really has to listen in order to figure out what it is saying.

Maybe I shouldn't call this presence "It", yet there are so many people out there that are not really all that Spiritual and these people may decide to tune me out if I call this quietness; this Small Still Voice; the Spirit of God. This is the Voice that both Christians and non-Christians alike are so reluctant to actually listen to.

Aside from the Initial Sentence that I based the Title of this Post on, there is something else that I was thinking a lot about Yesterday. As we've been struggling to train our very Stubborn and Strong Willed Dog, all that I keep thinking is how we can not Get Tired. We can not Quit and we can not Give In.

This can be so hard at times, especially when it comes to life in general. For Life itself can be quite Stubborn at times, as it Refuses to Bend in the ways we need it too in order to make things easier for us.

When it comes to Relationships, though, there is a time for Stubbornness and also a time to Give In. Politics involves a Relationship between the Strong and the Weak and the Rich and the Poor. Somehow we need to find a way to meet the needs of both.

Getting back to the Theme and Title of this Post, though, in our Stubbornness, who are we listening too? Are we Stubborn because of our own Passion and Anger? Are we Stubborn because of what we ourselves want, or are we Stubborn because we are protecting that which we continue to believe in even after speaking continually to God? Also, does God want us to push our ideas on others right now at this time, or are there moments in which we just need to be silent and allow God to work on people's hearts?

There are times in which I actually feel God blocking me from Posting things and it is not because I do not believe in what I'm about to say. How about the rest of you? Do you ever allow God to stop you and say, "Stop!" or "Wait! This isn't the right time."

Sometimes, in order to really Listen, we need to Stop Talking. That's all I'm supposed to say for now, but I'm sure we will be talking quite a lot more later.

Friday, May 15, 2009

The Unmotivated Electorate/Voters/Basic Economics

While I was reading through the Comments again beneath the Previous Post, Reaching the Uneducated and Uninformed Electorate, I was reminded of something that I started to write as part of one of my Comments, but never Submitted and realized that I do indeed have something already written that I could make into a Post. Before I Post that, though, I thought I might just repeat a few of the nuggets that I did write in the Comment Section of my Previous Post.

"Sometimes one's 'Civic Duty' is more to Study the Issues, than it is just to Drive to the Polls and/or Make an Appearance."

Shouldn't there be "more of a Push to Get People to Study...than just a Push to 'Get Out and Vote'"

There was some suggestion of "a Political Library, in which a person can get Literature and Videos relating to any Issue or anything Political that has ever been Broadcasted on TV and/or a training center helping people who are not that good with Computers find the information that they are looking for on the Internet?" and I guess such resources do in fact exist, yet what I could add to this idea now is that perhaps there should be "more of a Push to Get People to Study...than just a Push to ''Get Out and Vote."

In other words, perhaps we need more Advertisements relating to these Resource Centers, instead of these Silly, Not Informative, Political Blurbs that are trying instead to get us to vote this way or that. Perhaps the Push should not be, "Get Out and Vote.", but "Get Out and Study!", for it is your "Civic Duty" to Study, just as much as it is your "Civic Duty" to Vote.

Ok. Here's what I wrote earlier and have not Posted until now...

I have a tendency to apply the basic principles of Economics to things other than Money and it is not as if this wasn't also done in my Economics Class. For example, waiting in line for a Sale only brings the Price Down in relation to Money. The Inconvenience of the Crowds and the Lines, however, is a "Cost" that is now added in place of the Financial Cost that has been removed.

If the Cost is Too High, the product doesn't sell, yet the other side of that is that if the Cost is Too Low, the Demand goes up so high as to create a Cost of a different kind.

Another Non-Money related Economic Principle is that just as if the Price is Too High, Fewer people buy the product, so also if a Job is Harder than the Potential Monetary Benefit, than there will be Fewer People doing the Job, thus the Effort involved has an affect on the Numbers of People doing the Job, which in turn has an affect on the "Availability of the Product"

Inconvenience and Effort, therefore, become part of the Economic System. The problem comes when we start Judging rather than trying to do something that might actually fix the problem. That is by making both Voting and Studying Easier.

Just consider, for example, what if someone decided to Judge those who are "Unmotivated" or Not Willing to buy his product and was more concerned about the supposed Guilt than in the need to Lower his Price. Would he sell more product with this attitude? I'm thinking no.

So also, if we continue to be more concerned about the Guilt of those who are "Unmotivated" or "Too Lazy to Learn", than with trying to make learning easier, will this result in increased numbers of Educated and Informed Voters? I'm thinking no.

Also, just as the Amount of Effort involved has an Affect on the Numbers of People doing a Job and also the "Availability of a Product", so also the Amount of Effort involved will have and Affect on the Availability of and the Numbers of Educated and Informed Voters.

This is Basic Economics and yet unfortunately, the tendency of people is to Prefer Judging to working on ways to improve on situations.

Aside from the Basic Economics relating to Price and Demand and Effort and Availability, another factor to be considered in relation to motivating the Worker, Consumer, or in this case, the Voter is Advertisement. In relation to this, I think I will just repeat what I said earlier in that...

"Shouldn't there be 'more Push to Get People to Study...than just a Push to 'Get Out and Vote'?"

And also...

"Perhaps we need more Advertisements relating to these Resource Centers, instead of these Silly, Not Informative, Political Blurbs that are trying instead to get us to vote this way or that."

In relation to this, I think that we have our focus all wrong.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Reaching the Uneducated/Uninformed Electorate/Voters

Just as I said in my Last Post, "Extremism vs.Moderation, An Introduction", there were two Subjects suggested in the Comment Section of the Post before that; "Reaching the Uneducated" and "Excessive Gridlock verses Rushed Compromise". My Last Post is similar to the Gridlock verses Compromise Subject, yet there is still more for me to write relating to that one. In this Post, we will be discussing Reaching the Uneducated and Uninformed. I added the word "Uninformed" because sometimes even the "Educated" are not as Informed as they should be.

Aside from the thoughts that were expressed on this subject in the Comment Thread of the "Just How Small Should a Government Be?" Post, I was also thinking of some of the initial limits that I noticed in my own Education, most of which I've corrected. I was Educated in Southern California during a time in which this State was lagging behind other States in the quality of their Education.

First of all, I graduated from High School with a valid Diploma without even being required to take a Government Class. I wasn't required to take an Economy Class either. Economics was a Subject primarily taken by those interested in Business, yet when you think about it, how can anyone Vote Intelligently without understanding the Basics about Economy?

If only those who run Businesses understand much, if anything, about the Economy, no wonder People Vote the way they do. Even though I was raised by Republicans, I was a Democrat until I later took an Economy Class at a Junior College and realized that up until that point, I had not really understood the Republican Point of View. Remember, though, I was never required to take this class. I only did it because I realized that it really was something that all American Voters should Understand.

In Relation to the Government Class, believe it or not, I could have skipped this in College as well, for just as in High School, we were offered a choice between History and Government, yet I realized the importance of understanding Government and decided that I better take this Class, yet the point I'm trying to make here is how many others may not have made this Choice, because as Unbelievable as this sounds, it was not required. This reality brings a very important question to my mind. Just how many people are there out there who have Graduated from High School and possibly even College and have never taken a Government Class? And then there are those who don't follow the News and/or don't Understand a lot of what they see and hear when they do.

Can you believe it?! And yet many of those who Live and Breath Politics assume that everyone who's listening to them talk Understands what they are saying. How often do we talk over a lot of people's heads without even realizing it?

So far, I have only talked about those who actually are "Educated" and yet in a lot of ways, not "Educated", but what about those who are not "Educated" at all? What about High School and College Drop outs, or those who finished High School, but never went to College, or what about Illegal Immigrants who were granted Amnesty and yet were never required to learn much about our Culture and/or don't even speak English? If this wasn't so, than why are ballots printed in Spanish?

Aside from the fact that we really do need to try and explain things simply whenever possible, I have even thought of a rather Radical Idea that could possibly get me into trouble, but I'm going to say it anyway.

Most everyone has a Drivers Licence, yet this is viewed as a Privilege, rather than a Right. In order to get a Drivers Licence and earn this Privilege, people have to take a Test. Even though this is a Privilege and not a Right, the Test is simple enough that most everyone can pass it.

There have been times in which I wish that Voting could also be the same way.

One of the reasons why Driving is a Privilege and not a Right is because it can be Dangerous if the Driver does not know what he or she is doing, yet isn't Voting and making Political Decisions without knowing what one is doing Dangerous as well?

Yeh, I know. What I'm suggesting will never happen, but you can't blame a girl for trying. Forgive me, but what I just said makes a lot of really good sense to me.

Anyway, since so much of the Electorate is not quite as "Educated" as they should be, we do need to remember to take the time to talk in simple terms whenever possible.

Extremism vs. Moderation, An Introduction

There were two Possible Subjects suggested in the Comment Section of the Previous Post, "Just How Small Should a Government Be?". "Reaching the Uneducated" and "Excessive Gridlock verses Rushed Compromise". At least those were the Titles I was Considering. Also, as I was reading these Comments, I came across several other things that I could Expand upon as well.

Actually, the "Reaching the Uneducated" Subject is the one that most freely flowed when I sat down to write it out, but I sort of promised Soapboxgod that I would start with the second one, or at least one that had something to do with "Compromise".

I think I'm still working on formulating my ideas on the Subject of "Excessive Gridlock verses Rushed Compromise". The whole idea of "Extremism verses Moderation"/"Remaining Firm verses Compromise" is not Cristal Clear in my mind yet mostly because it reflects a shift in my thinking. Believe it or not, my thoughts have been moving more and more in the direction of things that I used to consider Extreme. I actually sort of surprised myself when I was talking to Repsac3 on one of his Post (Is it Just Me...) about the Tea Parties, Statism and Federalism, or put another way "the Sovereignty of the States" and also about People who are currently upset with both Political Parties.

I'm not going to say a whole lot more about it in this Post except to refer you to the Link I just placed in the above Paragraph. You can comment on it either here or over there. I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Just How Small Should a Government Be?

As I was reading and responding to another of Griper's Posts; "Taxes, Blessed are the Poor.", there were so many issues that came up relating to Taxes that I couldn't say it all in the Comment Section of that Post.

I got thinking about another whole Tax issue when I was reading a Comment by BB-Idaho that was submitted to the Linked Post on 4/19/09, at 2:38 PM. In this Comment, I found it interesting that the Flat Tax Rate that he was suggesting contained an 11% Tax Rate, which isn't much different from the 10% that is spoken of in the Bible. I wonder if everyone really did give 10% of their Income to the Church, if the Church could do a lot of the things that the Government is currently doing.

Another interesting thing to note about Taxes is that when Taxes go up, often Donations to Churches and Charities go down and when Taxes are down, Donation go up.

The idea that the Churches and Private Charities should be taking care of people, rather than the Government is an interesting one that is held by some Republican Christians. The problem is that not all Republicans think this way. Many Republicans just want the freedom to keep their money and let the Poor fend for themselves. They forget that some of the Poor are actually Handicapped or Disabled. Aside from the Physically Challenged and the Mentally Challenged, some people are also Emotionally Challenged in ways that hinder their ability to function in our Society. Due to the basic Selfishness of people in general, if the Government wasn't supporting the needs of those who genuinely do need the assistance, would there be enough money Donated to Churches and Private Charities to take care of these needs?

One thing that has concerned me quite a bit in relation to this is that the Severely Challenged are better able to get Governmental Assistance than those whose Physical, Mental and/or Emotional Limits are more Minor, yet even Minor Limits and Handicaps can prevent someone from succeeding in a Capitalist Society. Remember, we are not talking about Laziness here. We are talking about actual real Conditioned or Genetic Limits.

Below the Post that I Linked to above, we had a really interesting discussion about the Flat Tax verses the Progressive Tax System, as well as the Fair Tax System that has been suggested by Mike Huckabee.  In the Post that you are reading now, I am addressing the idea of expanding the role of Churches and Private Charities to meet more of the needs in our Society.

Before we carry this idea too far, let's consider the fact that the Government also provides Fire Protection and Law Enforcement, so we obviously do need some Government.  Another problem that comes to my mind is whether or not the Church could really handle the burden when people really do genuinely need on going help due to a very real Handicap that prevents them from working not only temporarily, but indefinitely.  Isn't the task of caring for such people a rather large burden to place on a Church?

I guess the question that I am really asking to some of you Republicans is how far exactly do you want this "Small Government" idea to go?  Where should we draw the line between the Reasonable and the Extreme?  Just how much of the needs of Society should be handled by the Government and how much of it should be handled by Private Churches and Charities?  I'm not sure that I know the answer to these questions, but I eagerly await your Responses.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Preaching to the Choir

As I was responding to someone's Comment on a Blog just now, I realized something. Earlier in the discussion, I had commented that while talking about this particular subject with this person, I felt as if I was preaching to the Choir. Of course, I'm sure, no doubt, that the person I was talking too probably felt the same way about me. In the last Comment that I left, however, a light bulb went off in my head and I finally understood something about what he was trying to say to me.

There are many Possible Reasons why Communication between people can fail. One Possible Reason for Failed Communication that always comes to my mind is that one or both of the Communicators are too caught up in an Extreme Position and are not willing to Compromise and find some Middle Ground. This is only one of the Reasons, though, Communication can fail.

When ever there is disagreement in a Conversation, it can always be debated who exactly is the Preacher and who exactly is the Unreceptive Choir, yet sometimes I see these things in a totally different light. Could it be instead that the Individuals in the discussion are simply not understanding one another? When ever we feel as if we are Preaching to the Choir, there are at least two possible explanations: no, actually maybe three. One is that I'm right and the other person is Unreceptive. Another is that the other person is right and I am the one being Unreceptive. The third possibility is that we are not in disagreement to the extent that we think and the problem is that we have not adequately explained our position.

Also in the last Comment that I left on this Blog, I made the statement. "Here's where you and I have trouble communicating. We are both too General and we don't understand each other until we become more Specific."

Here is the Post that the Conversation that I'm describing is on. The Post is about Socialism, yet the discussion eventually lead into a very common subject between Griper and I; Compromise between the Extremes. You can read the entire discussion if you like, but I think that the point at which it really got interesting was in my Comment on 4/4/09, at 6:14 PM. If you start from this point, you will only have to read 12 Comments, instead of 65. At least those were the numbers when I wrote this Post.

Friday, April 3, 2009

God's Guidance/Decisions in Life & in Blogging

I first wrote this Post Yesterday morning and now I'm wondering if I should Post it or not. At the time in which I wrote it, the comments on my Previous Post had slowed down quite a bit and I was wondering if I should just keep Rambling for the sake of keeping my Blog moving and I also wanted to Expand on what I had just said in that Post.

In my last post, I was sort of hoping for comments relating to Experiences within our lives that actually have Life verses those that make us feel as if we are Going Through the Motions, but that subject didn't seem to move anyone to comment on it. I've seen a Parallel to this in Blogging, such as when I Post just to Post, verses when I sort of Feel Led to Post by something deep inside of me. Such Inspirations come occasionally, but not anywhere close to daily.

I guess I didn't want to just let the subject drop because I do sort of want the chance to answer some of my own Questions.

It is the Spirit of God that brings me Life and when I sense His guidance and Inspiration, I feel very much Alive. In my Previous Post, I asked the question "How do I keep a feeling of Life and Energy in the things that I do throughout the day and how do I keep Life and Energy in my Blog?". Usually the answer to this is to remain as connected as possible to God, because He is where my Energy and Life comes from, especially when it comes to Writing Inspiration.

So I guess that this Post is just an expansion of my Previous Post. I expanded on it a little in the comment section and I am doing so again now.

When I made the Statement in that Post that "Some of the Questions that I keep asking myself just don't seem to have answers.", I was thinking about an issue that reflects my continuous struggle with simply making up my mind, such as "Should I or shouldn't I Post to my Blog?". I talked about this in one of the comments that I made beneath my Previous Post and the Post itself addressed the Question of "Significance verses Posting Speed".

I wonder if I should just repeat some of what I said in one of the Comments below the Previous Post. The Question "Should I or shouldn't I Post to my Blog?" comes up often and quite often it relates to whether or not I feel that what's on my mind at the moment is "Significant" enough to be "Worthy" of Posting and thus the Question, "Is it more important to Post often or to Post something that's 'Significant and Meaningful'?" and I continue to be Indecisive on the issue and may never fully figure it out and/or decide which the most matters to me.

The Bottom Line is that when I sense God's Direction and Guidance in my writing, my Blog really Comes to Life, but when God doesn't appear to be saying anything to me that's specific, I have trouble making up my mind what to say.

For some people, God's Guidance is more on going and continuous. For me, it is more occasional than continuous. When I'm not sensing anything that strongly, it's as if God is saying, "I don't care. Do what ever you want" (aside from sinning of course), yet when left on my own like that, I have trouble making decisions.

When I originally wrote this Post, I was feeling as if my most recent Post wasn't really that Significant and perhaps neither is this one, yet I may have at least one Thesis Statement that has meaning. The answer to the Questions "How do I keep a feeling of Energy and Life in the things that I do throughout the day?" and "How do I keep Life and Energy in my Blog?" is to "remain as connected as possible to God".

Anyway, when I originally wrote this Post, it contained the below links because when it feels as if I'm not Posting anything that's really that Significant, I feel tempted to tell my fans what Blogs I've been conversing on, so that they can find me if they want to, for just because I'm not Posting on my Blog does not mean that I'm not writing interesting things somewhere. So here's where I have been lately if anyone is interested. The links are listed in the order of the most recent comment that was below them at the time that I collected the Links some time Yesterday morning.

Which is Most Likely to be True? (Z-Man's Blog) (Among other things - a UFO discussion)
Socialism, Exploitation of the Worker? (Griper's Blog)
Abstinence is Not "Realistic" (Lastrow's Blog)
Thou Shall Not Covet Thy Neighbors' Goods (Beth's Blog)
Who Defines Marriage? (Kris' Blog) (A Discussion about Homosexuality)
Moral Instruction (Z-Man's Blog) (A Discussion about Romantic Love, Soul Mates and Love at First Sight)

Monday, March 30, 2009

Destractions/Broken Focus/Bordom vs. Energy & Life

It is so hard for me to keep my focus. I think that I'm going to finally have some time to Blog and to have enough of it that I can actually do a Post and than I discover that there is a really big project outside that my husband wants me to help him with, or some other thing that needs doing that breaks my focus. I actually respond to comments on my Blog at times with the words, "Once again, I got to run. Catch you with more later.". This is so frustrating. Oh well.

It's not as if I do not have Ideas about what to write. I've got lots of Ideas and Inspirations, yet not every Idea or Thought has Life. It's sort of like life in general and all the activities that fill it. Some of what I do has Life and some of it just feels like going through the motions. The idea in life is to try and fill it with as much as possible that brings Life and not just Boredom.

When I say this, it makes me wonder. What am I saying really? Am I saying that I'm Bored with my Blogging? Am I saying that sometimes I don't Blog more than I do because I'm Bored? When it flows, it can really be fun, yet this sensation comes and goes.

So how do I keep a feeling of Life and Energy in the things that I do throughout the day and how do I keep Life and Energy in my Blog?

Sometimes I wonder if I should just sit down at the computer and begin to Ramble and just see what comes out and I guess that is what I am doing right now. My Blog might actually move more quickly if I was willing to do that once in awhile.

Sometimes I think that my desire to make each Post really Good and Significant and my desire to make each Post Really Mean Something slows me down a little, for the really Good and really Significant and "Full of Life" Posts don't always come as often as I would like them to.

Now we're back to the Question of "Significance verses Posting Speed". Sometimes it feels as if some of the Questions that I keep asking myself just don't seem to have answers.

What a crazy Post, huh? Oh well. Maybe it will just be a Good Conversation Starter.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Impossible Communication/Black & White Thinking/Balance & Extremes

Since this Post Continues to Get a Lot of Hits, I want to Inform those Still Hitting it that I have Posted something Even Better on the Subject in a More Recent Post Entitled, "Black and White Thinking; The Definition is Gray."  Naturally, though, you are also Free to Read what Follows Below.  2/5/20011

The Original Post
 Man! You know what?  Communication can be so hard at times.  I still feel bad about a comment that Griper submitted that I decided not to Post.  He is always polite and my only complaint is that he was getting off subject, but the real reason is because we have been going back and forth for ever and ever over the subject of "Back and White" thinking and when ever I try and clear up this confusion, all that results is more and more confusion.  Even now, I am wondering if submitting this Post to my Blog is going to invite even more confusion and lead to a lot of confusing comments below it.  I almost feel as if I'm at a loss and do not know what to do about it.

I wonder if someone out there could explain better than I can what Black and White thinking is and when it is and isn't appropriate.

Mixed in with this whole Black and White idea is the idea of Balance verses Extremes.  I really do hope that someone smarter than me can participate in this discussion and help bring more clarity to it.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Fast Food Information/Truth Worth Waiting For

It's frustrating and perhaps even a little too bad that I so often feel like beginning a New Post with some comment about my frustrations relating to the Blogasphere and/or the Internet. Everything moves so fast. I just feel like I can't even begin to keep up most of the time. One unfortunate reality relating to it all is that when a very quick response is possible, quite often it is expected. I not only feel this way about Blogs, but about Email as well. When we used to communicate by Snail Mail, to wait a week or more before responding to a letter was more the norm and in a lot of ways that is so much easier than feeling rushed to say something immediately in response to everything that one receives. Everything seems so time sensitive and it can actually create stress if we let it.

If this is true of Email, then how much more so of the Blogosphere? Gosh! If you wait too many days to respond to something you read on a Blog, it will be buried behind a good number of "More Current" Posts and most of those who were originally reading the comments will have moved on.  If you want to actually be heard by several others besides the blog author, then you had better be fast.

Add to this the fact that those who post to their own blog at least once a day get more hits and the pressure continues. How in the world is anyone supposed to "Remember to Enjoy the Journey" under these circumstances.

I finally decided to view it this way...

It's just like Fast Food Information and yet we must remember that people go to Fine Restaurants all the time and even pay more for the food. Why?; you ask. Well, it's because Good Food is Worth Waiting For.

Just think about it a minute. Can we really digest the deepest and most meaningful of insights about life, or even about politics, when we are always in the Fast Lane?  Can anyone really write a well thought out Post with a message that deeply touches and effects people's hearts and minds in a hurry?  Can anyone actually receive such a touch and allow what they've read to really penetrate and touch them, or even take the time to think about and adequately digest what they've read, when they are reading in a hurry?  What are we really doing anyway?  Are we just cramming as much information as possible into our brains so that we can feel smart, avoid boredom, increase our popularity on the web or whatever?  If very little of it is having much affect other than just stirring up more anger and emotion relating to what we already believe, then what's the point?  Remember, if those who hold the opposite point of view are doing exactly the same thing, then there is not much real and genuine communication going on.

If I could get no other message out, other than this one, my blogging might be worth it, yet unfortunately, I can talk until I'm blue in the face and yet no one out there seems very interested in slowing down and taking the time to really think.

As I blog along at my own slow little pace, I continue to hope that there will always be a few people out there who are more interested in well thought out information, whether than Fast Food, cause that's what I am trying hard to serve.  Hopefully, there will always be a few who have the opinion that "Good Food is Worth Waiting For."

Thursday, February 26, 2009

What Brings Happiness/Makes People Happy? Money??

You know, there are several reasons why I sometimes choose to make a comment that I'm about to leave on my blog or someone else's blog into a Post, whether than just a Comment. One is because the comment seems too long to just be a comment. Two is because I need to remain in the habit of Posting to my Blog once in awhile, so that those who follow me will continue to come by to check out what's new and three is because I feel the comment thread my comment relates to has gotten too long. This time, it is the first two reasons listed above that are causing me to make this Comment into a Post.

Anyway, in the next Post down, "Don't Forget to Enjoy the Journey", one of my favorite Commenters, BB-Idaho, left the most interesting link entitled, "Are We Happy Yet?". It contains research in the form of a survey about what sorts of things contribute to Happiness and what does not.

Among the other conclusions, one of the most interesting ones is that contrary to the popular belief by a lot of religious folk that money does not make people happy, well actually, according to the survey, it does. I was always a little skeptical of this idea anyway.

My father used to build custom homes and though he never considered himself rich, we were never really lacking in that department and my class mates at school considered us well off because we lived in one of the expensive custom homes built by my father.

My parents would point out that the "Custom Home" we lived in was furnished with a lot of modest, inexpensive furniture and that we could only afford it because Dad built it himself. My parents were very humble, not too showy sort of people; not like the way people generally stereo type the rich folk. Once Dad had a Million Dollars on the books, he claimed that "Now a days, a million is no longer that much money." Well, actually, that was awhile ago and I think that back in the 70s, it was a lot, or at least it was more than the parents of a lot my fellow class mates possessed. Everything is relative, you know.

Anyway, interestingly, I decided that I didn't like being envied. Envy creates a division between people that blocks genuine friendship and because of this, I considered it more of a negative, whether than something to be flaunted.

As odd as it may seem, when my husband and I got married, he had a Bran New, Bright Red Camero and I actually disliked the attention. I just wanted an ordinary economy car that would not cause me to stand out in any way.

Now, a lot of my readers are not going to fully understand my attitude, because it's actually not a very common one, but it was what it was and it actually took me awhile to realize that for someone who had never owned a new car before, nor much else that is more luxury than necessity, this was a really big deal and it is only natural to feel proud when one can purchase something so special and so much beyond what he's had in the past.

So you see, there are some negatives to having some wealth, such as feeling isolated by other people's envy, no matter what you do to avoid causing it. And than there is the matter of not feeling as close as to your father that works so much and is to himself a lot, as creative people often are. I don't know if not knowing who your true friends are was so much of a problem. For some reason, I didn't feel that one as much, yet the envy thing really bothered me quite a lot. I felt that it created a feeling of isolation that I did not like, especially since I never did consider myself any better than anyone else. Why should I? It was my father who earned the money, not me.

There is another side to this, though, for there are positives and negatives within every human experience.

Before I get into that, though, I'd like to tell you about how the rich and the poor sometimes view things differently and those new to wealth, or even smaller pieces of occasional luxury, view things differently than those who have had money for more than one generation.

An example of the first of these is how my parents used to note that they could always tell, when people walked through the houses as they were put up for sale, who could and could not afford to buy them by the way they reacted. The "lookiloos", who couldn't even begin to afford such a home, just reacted in amazement. Those who were potential buyers were way more critical and not as impressed.

An example of how those new to wealth view things differently than those who have had money for more than one generation is how my husband was so proud of his new Camero, but I didn't think it was any big deal.

One of the differences in attitudes between the rich and the poor that has really stood out for me, though, relates to the phrase "Oh, it's no big deal! It's just money!" Well, this sounds really good and even impressive at first, until one realizes that it is mainly the rich who say these things.

Probably the most key example of this casual attitude about money and things is the way my father treated his vehicles. He was not at all like my husband who is really big on maintenance, never misses an oil change, tire rotation, transmission service or anything else that is recommended for maintaining a car. No, my father actually put a lot of his tools and contractor supplies in the trunk of his new Lincoln Town Car. They used to really tease him about it and tell him how much they loved his fancy "Work Truck". In contrast, when those who have had less money most of their life, finally get something special like that, they treasure it, value it, take great care of it and protect it with their life.

The reality that I learned later in life is that while I was learning that "Money is not what brings happiness.", "It's just money.", "A house is meant to be lived in." and "They are just things.", someone else was learning "The Value of Money" and how important it is to take care of what you have because it was a lot of work to earn what it took to purchase these things.

Getting back, though, to the link "Are We Happy Yet?", though I was taught that money is not what brings happiness and have even listed some of the negatives for you above, even so, there is another side to this picture. I saw with my own eyes what happened to my parents and to the basic mood in the house hold when the economy went bad and they lost a bunch of it. I have also experienced first hand what it is like to struggle financially in my own marriage and witnessed the marital stress that can result. This is why I'm not too terribly surprised that some survey found a correlation between money and happiness.

Though money can not buy a lot of things that are quite valuable, such as love and true friendship, even so, a lot of what money can buy is not without value. Though I'm not much into the showy prestige stuff, money also buys Food and Clothing, as well as a few Intangibles, yes, Intangibles, such as Education and the Opportunity to Travel. Education leads to Knowledge and Traveling leads to very precious Memories. Knowledge and Memories are both Intangibles, so you see, money buys more than just "Things".

Well now, isn't that interesting? I was intending to respond to the entire article "Are We Happy Yet?" and yet I didn't even get past the first issue mentioned, which is money.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Don't Forget to Enjoy the Journey

As I think of things that different people have said to me throughout the blogging world, there is also something that Griper said that really stuck with me. Probably the most important thing that Griper has ever said to me is "Don't forget to enjoy the journey." I have to keep remembering that. Too often I get all caught up in the conflict between Joy and Freedom and Duty. I don't know if I remember all of my thoughts connected with this, but I'll try to come up with at least some of it.

BB's first comment on a previous page relating to our puppy, "Difficult Dogs and Puppies/Tired/Submissive Peeing", reminded me again of the above quote from Griper. What BB said was "Puppies are supposed to bring happiness. Aren't they?", but he might as well of said "Oh come on, Lista. Don't forget to enjoy the journey.", because that is what I heard in my own head.

Another thought was in relation to the verse "28) Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29) Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart; and ye shall find rest unto your souls. 30) For my yoke is easy and my burden is light." (Matthew 12:28-30, KJV)

Now that I think of it, I was going to connect that thought with Griper's idea "Don't forget to enjoy the journey." and talk about how God never meant for life to be so hard, how it is important to allow ourselves a little joy because without it, even our Christian testimony loses it's credibility.

A couple other verses that go along with this are found in the Gospel of John; "10) The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly." (John 10:10, KJV) and "11) These things have I spoken unto you, that My joy might remain in you and that your joy might be full." (John 15:11, KJV)

And then right along with my thoughts on Christ's yoke being easy and that He came to give us life and joy come thoughts about Freedom and Duty. I wish my thoughts on these things were flowing more freely right now than they are, but to be brief, it has been quite apparent in my life that life is really hard when I try to do it in my own strength and when I am allowing myself to be bound by the Expectations and "Duty" that has been imposed on me by others and at times even by myself, but not by God. God is the only one really that we need to please. So many things that we think are important really aren't and in reality what God thinks is all that matters.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Never Negotiate from a Position of Weakness

I guess I really should try to do another post. There are so many thoughts that go through my mind at times and any one of them could be made into a post, yet so often, the inspirations seem to just sprout up and than pass, without any one seeming any more prominent than another.

At first, it seemed that I couldn't get any really strong handle on any single subject, so I thought I'd just introduce each thought briefly and see which ones takes off in the comment section.

Fortunately, once I got started in my writing, my thoughts did flow again and I soon discovered that what I was writing in relation to the basic theme of how I've been inspired by others could be broken down into two parts.

BB-Idaho said something to me once and I wasn't sure how he worded it. I just remember that it was in one of my earlier posts. I had to do word searches looking for it, but finally did find it in the post "Lessons for the Strong and the Weak". In about the 11th comment down, BB says "Never negotiate from a position of weakness. Always negotiate from a position of strength." This is an issue that I keep continually going back and forth on because I've never been quite sure whether people are more impressed with strength, or humble honesty. I don't know. Do people mostly like those who are strong or those who are real? I guess the context of the statement is in relation to the subject of negotiation, yet when I think of my own strengths and weaknesses, what is usually on my mind is things such as influence, impact and trying to deeply touch those I interact with. Perhaps that is another subject, other than negotiation.

Since I don't very often view myself as a strong person on a lot of levels in comparison to most of the rest of the crowd, I tend to go with the humble, honest, genuine and real approach, whether than the "strong" approach.

There are verses in the Bible that relate to this idea.

"10) Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up." (James 4:10, KJV)

"10) Therefore, I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ's sake; for when I am weak, then am I strong." (2 Corinthians 12:10, KJV)

"5) Blessed are the meek; for they shall inherit the earth." (Matthew 5:5, KJV)

"27) But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty." (1 Corinthians 1:27, KJV)

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Difficult Dogs & Puppies/Tired/Submissive Peeing

I wish that I could stop feeling so tired so much of the time. I wrote another post about our puppy a few days ago, but didn't have the energy or drive to proof read and post it. I may later, if I can get out of this gloomy mood. We'll see. The post was about how we have had project after project to do in relation to our new puppy.

The reason why I'm so tired, though, is because our new puppy, Shasta, has returned to his habit of not sleeping through the night. My husband, Ray, just recently built him a box out of Masonite for him to sleep in. He was sleeping in a card board box, but that wasn't working after awhile because he was beginning to eat the cardboard. I'm wondering if the Masonite bottom is not as comfortable for him as the cardboard was. He is restless at night and sometimes doesn't get to sleep until 1:00 or 2:00 in the morning.

It really does seem that Shasta is mostly potty trained, yet he did pee in the house Yesterday. He tried to hide it under the table this time, which is a good sign because it shows that he is genuinely ashamed and knows he did wrong.

I didn't think that we had a problem with this thing called "Submissive Peeing", which is when a dog pees when the "Pack Leader" either arrives home, yells at him or her or is too rough with him or her. I didn't recognize this because apparently, even though I've probably been spending more time with Shasta than Ray has, I'm not the one that Shasta considers the Pack Leader. Though Shasta is difficult for either of us to control, he does appear to respond more at times to Ray's deeper, more masculine and authoritative voice, than to my more feminine, higher pitched voice. He doesn't pee when we arrive home, nor even when we yell at him, but Ray thinks he does it when he plays too rough with him. Apparently, he gets too excited and it scares him a little.

When I play with him and get him all excited by throwing the ball across the floor, Shasta handles this fine and doesn't pee, so I disregarded the "too excited" idea, yet I'm not the trigger. Ray is. Apparently, I'm not the pack leader according to Shasta. Figures. Our previous dog, Casper, favored me, but I guess I can't always be the one chosen. Oh well.

Interestingly, I thought I was going to write about feeling discouraged, but I wrote about the dog again instead. One day, I hope to be past all this puppy stuff and actually have a dog. Maybe one day I'll actually have a life again. Oh well.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Impossible Dogs & Puppies/Play Biting & Jumping

When we arrived back from our trip, late Saturday afternoon, we actually decided not to pick up our dog from the boarding facility. This is when I realized how much I was enjoying our break from him. He is a Samoyed. We named him Shasta and he is the most difficult puppy that either my husband or I have ever owned. We were driving past the facility prior to 5:00 PM and could have picked Shasta up. If it had been our previous dog, Casper (a Samoyed Mix), we would have eagerly picked him up, but when my husband, Ray, suggested picking Shasta up, I told him that I was feeling very tired and needed a break from him. He agreed. The following day, we were both feeling sick, so we left Shasta at the boarding place until Monday afternoon. The first day, he was eager to see us, obnoxiously energetic and demanding of our constant attention.

Shasta has been a very difficult puppy for several reasons. He still play bites too hard, he needs two to three walks a day, he can be quite destructive, he wants to be with us constantly and he still, even to this day, is not yet potty trained.

When I first started this post, I thought I was going to tell you everything about our problems training Shasta, yet it appears that I have more to talk about than can be expressed in one post, so perhaps this is going to be another series. Shasta is getting better, but BOY, has this ever been a long hard struggle!!

Play Biting

There are several trains of thought on Play Biting. Some people say that a puppy should not be allowed to bite at all and others say that they just need to learn "Bite Control", which means that they need to learn not to bite too hard.

"Bite Control" is learned by watching the reaction of the victim. It was suggested that we just yell out "No Bite!", "Stop it!" or even just "Ouch!". With our previous dog, Casper, all that was required was the soft command "Easy". Shasta, however, is another matter. He doesn't respond to any matter of yelling. It is really hard to get him to quit. When he gets all excited, he doesn't seem to be able to help himself. He's gotten better, but is still bad at times.

"Don't bite at all"? I've read at least one comment on the subject that says that this isn't even possible. Play biting is just something that puppies do. This resource suggested that "Bite Control", needs to be established prior to 4 months of age. Oophs! Too late! He was 4 1/2 months old by the time I read that.

I've heard two ideas on trying to get the biting to actually stop. Some people say that all you have to do is hold the mouth closed and say "No Bite!". We tried this too no avail. Occasionally, he would bite softer for awhile, yet in a short time, the biting got hard again. Then I watched the vet use this approach. She held his mouth shut for what must have been a full minute and even lightly snapped his nose once in order to get his attention. She said that you have to keep holding him still until he calms down and stops struggling. This actually worked for her, so I concluded that I just wasn't holding the mouth shut long enough. In order to hold the mouth shut effectively, you have to get a hold of the back of the dogs neck and hold him still. The vet had the advantage of my husband, Ray, also holding the dog. When I tried to duplicate what the vet did, this is when the real battle began.

By 4 1/2 months old, Shasta was already big enough and strong enough to put up a big fight. He thought the whole thing was a game. He would jump up and bite my hands and arms and than jump away so that I couldn't grab his neck. This practice would occasionally rip my cloths, so I couldn't ever wear anything nice in his presence. Once I finally did grab him, I had to push him down to the ground and hold his mouth shut. It was a considerable struggle to do so. Once, I had to pin his head down to the ground with my arm around his neck and even so, he would struggle significantly before he would stop. You would think after all this, it would be enough, yet believe it or not, when he finally did calm down and I let go of him, he jumped up and bit me again, as if very eager and willing for round two in our "fun little dog fight". I was not having fun and you would think that he would know that by the very angry tone in my voice.

The other approach to the play biting problem is to ignore and turn your back to the dog. There were times in which this actually worked, yet even this did not stop the biting at the heels while walking away from him. After awhile, I had to ignore him every time he bit me and never pet him or touch him in any way until he licks my hand. Even this did not produce immediate results, but he has gotten better.


As to the jumping and biting, sometimes I focus more on the jumping than the biting and when he does jump, he gets a knee in his stomach.

In relation to the jumping, aside from the knee in the stomach, another approach is to step on the back paws. Shasta is usually at an angle, though, that makes this approach difficult. Some other approaches are to teach the dog to come and than sit, or to refuse to pet the dog unless he has all four feet on the ground.

I'm considering something else too. What I like is when Shasta stands next to me and leans against me so I can pet him. He doesn't do this near often enough, so what I'm considering doing now is adding this to his treat training routing. He already knows sit, stay, come and lay down. He won't do any of this without a treat, though. Whether than teaching him to come and sit, what I'd like to teach him is the command "Come Here", while emphasizing the word "Here" because it sounds sort of like "Heel". I've just barely started adding this to the training routine. He has to sit, stay, come and then I say "come Here", while patting my legs and when he doesn't respond, I pull him over into the desired position and pet him while saying "Good Boy!" and giving him his treat. Even this position is different than jumping. I'll let you know later whether or not this works.

Like I said before, when I first started this post, I thought I was going to tell you everything about our problems training Shasta, yet it appears that I have more to talk about than can be expressed in one post, so perhaps this is going to be another series. Shasta is getting better, but BOY, has this ever been a long hard struggle!!