The War over St. Nicholas


I’m going to copy and paste another writer’s “The Origin of Santa” because it is the best timeline of events that I have ever seen compiled. I stumbled on this while reading reactions to Fox New’s assertion that Santa was white and that Jesus was white, both assertions being patently ridiculous. Both were native Middle Eastern and clearly must have had dark brown skin. Many of the Christian values people embrace today are good values, but as could be seen on Fox News the white supremacist agenda overlaid on these values is just plain wrong. What follows is the historic account of where Santa Claus really came from.

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Alms for the Poor

You know I sometimes wonder about people of various religious faiths, but somehow I never wonder about those, like myself, who have alternate views. I mean, I don’t pray or go to church and believe the whole mystique is built around aliens publicly manipulating and teaching people thousands of years ago. Regardless of so-called beliefs, they all revolve around helping others in need and not around hoarding wealth. It seems to me that true charity is character driven and not inspired by religious beliefs as such. There are good and bad people in all categories. Continue reading

For Sale – Part 5

ParatrooperBill is an army vet who left the service after seven years. He was prematurely discharged after having a parachuting accident where he was injured. The discharge was not voluntary but it was honorary. He appears perfectly fit, is a hard worker, and is a kind, trusting, and honest man. His Korean wife ran up all their charge cards and put him deep in debt and then divorced him and returned to Korea. Bill’s house is being foreclosed on and he had to declare bankruptcy. He wants to own a home where there is space to set up his own business. He also has a good paying job. He sleeps approximately 3 hours per day and likes to keep busy. Continue reading

Identity Theft

I went to my credit union yesterday to straighten out a little problem. When my debit card information was stolen and used, I immediately reported what was going on and my credit union refunded my money and put a watch on my account. I am awaiting new plastic. One thing was refunded to me twice and I would rather take care of that sooner than be surprised about it later. Our conversation follows, starting after I walked in the door. Continue reading

Holiday Wars

Our first year in Thailand on Christmas morning, the old Thai lady from two doors down came up to me, sang a verse of “Happy Birthday”, and handed me a wrapped gift. (It was the only song of celebration in english that she knew.) I was amused because it was the recognized birthday of Jesus, not me. Thailand is a country that is 96% Buddhist and they give gifts at year’s end as so many cultures have done throughout history. This phenomenon, and all year-end holiday rituals that we practice as “Christmas” predate Christianity. Continue reading

Only So Much to Give

(This follows directly from yesterday’s post, “Having it Made.”)

Our prospective home buyer will be a good fit with the home we looked at yesterday. While my vision can be summed up by, “There’s nothing wrong with this house a bulldozer won’t fix,” our new friend was able to point out, say, a wood-burning stove, the creosote build up within, how the stove was modified to cause that problem buildup, and how to correct it. I can hit a delete key to replace a word. He can see a problem in a house, know the root cause, correct the problem and clean up the mess. As usual I am going to help someone out and they are going to end up helping me much more down the road.

You can look at life as nothing more than going around setting up dominoes in both your private and public life. A specific domino has its own mass and is charged with “will” which can be positive or negative. So go now my children and set up many large positive dominoes because one day, trust my word, things will shake up and when those dominoes fall you want them to fall in your favor. (They won’t listen, you can’t tell kids anything.)

This deal will be fine. Our new friend is an army vet and a good capable honest man. He wanted the interest rate on his loan to be higher but I am impossible to negotiate with.

Of greater concern is a new “case.” (This is turning into episodes of a bad TV drama.)

Back up for a second.  We are doing this through a real-estate lady who informs us of people who need financial backing. Something I bothered to set up recently.

This new situation concerns a mother with three children living with a guy who has no job and who smokes and drinks her paycheck while she is at work leaving no money for things like food for children.

I must tread carefully here because my heart can be bigger than my wallet. There is already someone in my care whose well being I am responsible for, she being my wife. This brand new thing will have to wait until the army guy gets settled and we see how things feel moving forward. It really sucks to care about people because at some point someone needs you and you cannot help them, but you still want to.

So much easier to stay home and watch TV. You can feel anger about the bad thing and feel warm and happy about the good thing. All in the comfort of your own home.  Pass the chips.