Sunday, July 14, 2013

Our Heroes Are Furloughed

". . . . we train a man in the art of war and call him a patriot, thus, in the manner of Satan’s counterfeit of true patriotism, perverting the Savior’s teaching. . . ."
-LDS President Spencer W. Kimball, Bicentennial Address, July 1976, "The False Gods We Worship"
Sunburned my head today. 

I shouldn't complain, but the quick walk to church turned out a little differently than expected. We heard that unmistakable crunch of a car accident as we rounded the corner heading to the church. We saw the white car spurt forward and to the right taking out the stop sign. Then there were people on cell phones down the street and a few running out. We did not run as 911 appeared to be in play and several people were already there.

Up at the corner, we found it was elderly neighbors of ours heading to church who were in the white car. A car driven by a young girl from the other ward had hit them on the driver's side. We'll leave the rest of the vehicular accident to the police report. The elderly sister was trapped in the driver's side with the door bent in over her legs. Her husband was sitting on the sidewalk with his bleeding hand wrapped in a napkin and as I approached, shaking like a leaf. With his mobility and minor injuries, most were paying attention to the woman trapped in the car. I thought somebody was going to have to treat her husband for shock and not seeing anyone else doing it, figured it was me. 

I put my hands on his back and talked him to calmness. He was most concerned about his wife, of course. I assured him that she was conscious and saying she wasn't hurt. I asked a couple of people standing by to go get him some cold water and I tried to get him up the slight slope of grass to more shade under the Catholic family's tree (they live across from our church). But the Brother couldn't move. I stood for the next while holding up my jacket for shade as I talked to him and got some others who had known him longer to talk and comfort him. At one point I asked if he wanted to lie down and he did which prompted a bunch of on-lookers to scramble for another neighbor's lawn chair. 

The police came. The fire truck came with the jaws to open the car door and extract the woman. The ambulance came and strapped her on a gurney to take her to the hospital. She wasn't hurting, but her legs weren't functioning which is a little troubling. I didn't explain that to her husband. A paramedic came to check him out and we softly informed of shock. They took him with his wife in the hospital. And I went into church carrying his blood-stained sports jacket to the Relief Society (my wife & her counselors).

To treat for shock, I have the ability of stepping into a strong sense of calm in the face of a crisis. It takes a lot of psychological energy absorbing his shock into my system under forced control. I didn't even think of my head getting burned until the walk home from church when it was so painful I had to hold my hand over my bald spot.  

Having taken in all that shock from the neighbor, I'm afraid some of it came out in High Priests Group. The inanity of the presentation on President Snow and Tithing sent me over the edge. The teacher was parsing what to do with Social Security taxes and explained that he had called the IRS once and got the answer that there are no individual Social Security accounts and it goes into the General Treasury [pretty much true] and then to the International Monetary Fund [wha . . . !!?] Immediately a comment blurted out, "And then it gets wasted!" Rather annoyed, a response jumped out from me, "NO it doesn't!" As the parsing went on ignoring my outburst, I added in, "Well I hope you all have calculated the 'increase' you get from subsidized electricity, water, and roads." Fortunately, I was still ignored. The lesson sort of went on at that point and I zoned out. 

Now back to the quote at top. I was pre-annoyed to begin with because last Friday was the first day of furlough for my son-in-law and every other civilian employee of the Department of Defense. They face a 20% reduction in pay until September 30 unless Congress gets their [literal] Act together. Sure, it's partly the President and Secretary Hagel. But this is the worst Congress ever- corrupted by the tea-party wing attempting to destroy the government because in their warped philosophy, government is always bad (well, except maybe for war and forcing "religious morality") and can't do any good especially with this historically unique President.

In the Farmington Parade yesterday, the theme was a repeat of Centerville's parade on the 4th -that is, honoring Veterans. I'm all for that. But when one group came by with a sign saying "OUR HEROES WEAR DOG TAGS" I couldn't help but verbalize (without yelling), "Our heroes are furloughed!" My son-in-law appreciated it.

Our office hasn't yet been furloughed and may not be. This whole thing is all so wrong. Read President Kimball up at the top again. Civil Service is honorable. So is person-to-person service. There isn't much difference. Governments are divinely ordained for us to be responsible (i.e., exercising agency) to do good in the world

Get over it.


  1. Update: The Compassionate Service Leader just called my wife to report that the woman had a cracked pelvis. She had called their family earlier. The Relief Society is on top of this.

  2. I am furloughed as well. 20% pay cut. I will not vote for any Tea Party candidate. In fact, I plan to vote straight Democratic ticket for awhile.


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