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Monday Thoughts

Well, typically Mondays are the sermon wrap-up, but I got that done yesterday. So, what about today? How about a few random thoughts:

1. I think that a dictator who uses chemical weapons is a major, major problem. I thought so in 2003, I think so in 2013. Ten years in, though, we know just how difficult it would be to actually remove that dictator and replace him with a viable democracy. We know clearly from Egypt and Libya the past two years that the first group arising out of the revolt are not going to be friendly to the United States nor to dissident and divergent viewpoints. With that in mind, I think jumping into Syria is a waste of time and effort. We will not commit the resources to actually getting everything done, and anything less will not actually impact the situation.

Unless the goal is to replace the current dictator with the Muslim Brotherhood so that they have the chemical weapons. And get another ambassador killed. No, all in all, there’s no upside here. We should see, though, the value in pursuing the elimination of all weapons of mass destruction from the face of the planet.

2. Something needs to change with the systems around college football. First of all, the idea is that someone can get an education paid for by playing ball. Not that someone can play ball while hanging out on a college campus. Second, there’s enough money rolling into the more famous programs that there should be a way to pass some back, legitimately, to the athletes that make the money come in. I liked the idea I heard on the radio last week: pool it, hold it until they graduate. Leave early, lose money. Third, the NCAA. They get their own thought.

3. The NCAA rulebook for eligibility and athletic programs is a microcosm of the American system and what’s wrong. I don’t have any evidence, but I bet originally the thought was “These are students, getting scholarships. That should be enough money, no professional athletes allowed.” However, people went looking for loopholes to win. So the rulebook started having to close the loopholes that individual honor should have been enough for.

Now the rulebook is so out-of-control, no one can really keep up with it. There’s a job or two at every major college that is just about following NCAA rules. There is talk of seceding from the NCAA to start over with fewer rules. Why? Because if you have no individual honor, conscience, or ethics, there are too many rules needed to keep you in line.

Now, take a look at the legal system of the United States. We’re following the same path: a law for everything. Sometimes 2.

4. Crockpots are awesome. I was wondering how people lived before the crockpot, and then it clicked: they lived slower and threw a pot on the fire in the morning. They didn’t need a crockpot. Duh.

5. Some fast food workers deserve more money, but legislating it across the board is foolish. Further, some fast food workers should be seeking advancement. Of course, since we’ve been outsourcing jobs like a big dog, especially since the 1990s, there’s nowhere to advance. You can’t replace career-type jobs with fast food jobs and have the economy hold up. Doesn’t work. And some people saw this coming with NAFTA and other free trade agreements.

6. If I were the commissioner of baseball, I would shorten the season to make sure the end of the World Series was mid-October. A shorter regular season would increase fan attention and reduce injury. Oh, and I’d ban Alex Rodriguez until Pete Rose’s ban is over.

7. Labor Day evokes mixed emotions. I know the good done by unions, like using real gas alarms in coal mines instead of birds or the 5-day work week. I also know that when I worked for UPS, all the union really seemed to want was my money—they had a full-time guy who lived off union dues (making more than most of the employees) and spent his days helping people who really deserved to be fired get their jobs back. Labor is what makes the country great, organized labor has done great things, but at times it really is as corrupt as organized politics.

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