Monday, May 19, 2014

Unreasonable People

I put off writing about the sale of my rent house to accommodate the actual closing, that part of the sale when the buyer and seller sit down together, sign off on a stack of papers and everyone walks away happy.  Well, it didn’t happen, at least not today and not with the folks who claimed they wanted to buy the house.

I should back up and explain that our renters forgot to take some of their personal property; no big deal, we put those items in boxes to be picked up later.  There is an inexpensive desk that still needs to be taken away that we’ll leave in the garage; either that or put it on the curb for trash day.

As soon as our renters moved out the local neighborhood thieves decided the opportunity was ripe for a visit.  They punched out a window to have a look around, deciding the only item worth stealing was the outside air conditioning unit which they surgically removed making it much easier for us to replace since the wiring and copper tubing was cut cleanly. 

During the past week or so we’ve been down to the rent house making minor repairs to sheet rock, cleaning and preparing the house for the new owners.  We held off installing a new A/C unit until the new owners would take possession of the house; no reason to tempt the local thieves.

We got a call last week from the buyer’s realtor asking would it be okay for these folks to take advantage of the weekend to start moving in and would we install the A/C unit since they were having the electricity turned on early Saturday morning.  This is a young family buying their first home and so we told our realtor to go ahead and supply them with a key and we’d have the A/C unit put in Saturday since there would be somebody at the house to secure the property.

Saturday the A/C unit was installed and the house was nice and cool while I was there replacing the broken window left by the local criminal element.  The house was wonderfully cool when the new family showed up with their young children.  We had a chance to exchange pleasantries and walk through the house so they could see the progress made on the list they’d presented for repairs. 

They were so happy to enjoy the moment as their dream of home ownership began to materialize.  I explained that the new grass for the back yard where the pool had been would be delivered the following Thursday because the only sod available that day was below grade “pick over quality”.  Since they hadn’t turned the water on as yet putting new sod down would be a wasted effort and they agreed that waiting until Thursday was a good idea.

I left them to begin the process of measuring for window coverings and getting used to their new home. 

Sunday afternoon my son went down to finish some drywall patch work.  The phone call went something like, “Dad, they took the new A/C unit; it’s gone”.    My son has a way of keeping conversations simple.  Many years ago I got a call from him, “Dad, do we have a second fire extinguisher?”, that kind of simplicity. 

Apparently the new family hadn’t bothered to have the water turned on so they decided not to start moving in until Monday.  They called their realtor who called our realtor; but the new A/C unit, the one that had already been installed and worked; well the A/C unit didn’t put up much of a struggle when the local thieves carted it off, and they took the original box it came it too.

The only reason we’d installed it prior to closing was to accommodate the new owner’s schedule for move in; what do you say to folks who don’t appreciate you did them a huge favor by letting them move in prior to closing?  They didn’t offer to split the cost and it never crossed their minds to consider I’d installed a fairly expensive piece of equipment just to make their lives more comfortable. 

Did I mention that my homeowner’s insurance policy has a $1400.00 deductible per claim?  Yea, do the math and you can see making a claim won’t help since each claim makes your insurance rate go up. 

Sunday evening we all got together down at the house to consider how to proceed; their realtor, my realtor and even the police officer who made the theft report.  Their realtor kept demanding a new A/C unit be installed prior to closing (did I mention that closing was Monday morning at 10:00am?).   Their realtor then demanded the house be professionally cleaned prior to move in. 

Lucy and I had planned to clean the house ourselves after all the drywall work had been completed; that dust from repairs settles on everything.  Something in their realtor’s tone of voice, her attitude of demanding this, demanding that; well it rubbed me the wrong way.

Thank goodness my realtor was there and stepped up to the line, explaining the reason the A/C unit was put in prior to closing was on account of a request from the buyers to start moving in early.  There was a moment where I had to bite my tongue and walk outside to keep from handing their realtor a real piece of my mind.  There’s a term for this type of woman, it rhymes with Witch.

I explained that no A/C unit would be installed until after closing and after funding had been provided.  At that time the A/C unit would be installed and not before. 

“Well how can we convince the lending firm to release funding without knowing the A/C works?”   The conversation went down hill from there as the official Walk Through became a sticking point, “We can’t release funding until we know the A/C unit was installed and works properly”.

I think there’s a law against leaving dead realtor carcasses rotting on the driveway.  I’m glad I keep a shovel handy just in case the need for a shallow grave pops up.  She’d never be missed and it might help the new grass in the backyard; that new grass where the kid’s pool had been could use some of the fertilizer she was spreading.

Interestingly, closing was to proceed as planned, 10:00am on Monday. 

We got a call from our realtor asking to go down to the house an hour prior to closing for a final walk through.  They had a representative from the lender present to verify the house was ready to be transferred, that all repairs had been completed and so on.  He asked about the A/C unit at which time I explained the unit would be installed just as soon as closing was completed and funds had been released.

You’d have thought I was holding him up at gun point.  “Well, we can’t release funds until the job has been inspected.” 
My words, “I don’t do business with unreasonable people.  Either we close as planned, the A/C unit gets installed and you can check its efficiency later or we don’t; but I’m not putting in another A/C unit until we close.”

Their realtor started to play games, demanding a completed installation; but I stopped her mid sentence.  I told her, “This is unacceptable”, and went outside, leaving my realtor to explain how the cow ate the cabbage.  A little while later they all came outside and said closing was still on for 10:00am; but would we paint over the patch repairs inside the house…  No, painting the house wasn’t part of the deal and we’d been told the buyers planned to do the inside with a different paint scheme because they didn’t like the light green and blue.

I called Lucy to let her know I was on my way home to pick her up so we could get to the closing.  I ‘vented’ my frustrations, mostly the attitude of the other realtor’s demanding ways.   The fifteen minute ride home permitted me to relax and prepare to move on with closing.

As we were about to leave for closing the phone rang; our realtor let us know closing wasn’t going to happen; the buyers had backed out.  She reminded the buyers that they’d forfeit their earnest money so it will help cover some of the cost for the second A/C unit, the A/C unit we’d put in to make life easier for the new buyers. 

Lucy and I looked at each other and we had the same kind of relief; not a major let down as we thought we might have had, as we should have had; but a feeling a mild relief.  We found that remarkable.

In the movie, City Slickers II, after our heroes wandered all over hell and back only to find the treasure they’d sought was only a box of gold painted lead; that moment when they felt foolish for having spent so much time chasing after a worthless box, they looked at each other and commented, “You know, I really don’t feel as bad as I thought I should...”, that moment.

I don’t think we were supposed to sell the house, at least not to this family and certainly not with the realtor these folks had picked to represent their interests.  I don’t like doing business with unreasonable people; which reminds me...

I have a very nice house that was put on the market a few minutes ago.  Reasonable people may contact; Ellen Mangrum with Stay Realty 281-761-1633.  (free plug for Ellen)

This article has been cross posted to The Moral Liberal , a publication whose banner reads, “Defending The Judeo-Christian Ethic, Limited Government, & The American Constitution”.

Monday, May 05, 2014

Christian Socialism – a true oxymoron

The Pledge of Allegiance was written in 1892 by a fellow named Francis Bellamy, a Baptist minister and it was formally adopted by Congress as the pledge in 1942.  Bellamy felt strongly that it should be used in the public school system and used Columbus Day to kick start its use as it coincided with the opening of the World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago.

“In Francis Bellamy’s recollection of the creation of the Pledge, he recalled “At the beginning of the nineties patriotism and national feeling was at a low ebb. The patriotic ardor of the Civil War was an old story ... The time was ripe for a reawakening of simple Americanism and the leaders in the new movement rightly felt that patriotic education should begin in the public schools.”

Here is Bellamy’s original rendition:

“I pledge allegiance to my Flag and the Republic for which it stands, one nation indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”

Louis A. Bowman, an attorney from Illinois, was the first to initiate the addition of "under God" to the Pledge and according to historical records:

“President Eisenhower sitting in Lincoln’s pew, the church’s pastor, George MacPherson Docherty, delivered a sermon based on the Gettysburg Address titled “A New Birth of Freedom.” He argued that the nation’s might lay not in arms but its spirit and higher purpose. He noted that the Pledge’s sentiments could be those of any nation, that “there was something missing in the pledge, and that which was missing was the characteristic and definitive factor in the American way of life.” He cited Lincoln's words “under God” as defining words that set the United States apart from other nations.”

President Eisenhower later in 1954 had “Under God” added to the Pledge of allegiance to bring America back to God.  This desire to remind citizens of our nation’s reliance on the Lord has become something of a sticking point in these latter days.

Francis Bellamy is also listed as a Socialist, a Christian Socialist to be more specific.  Matthew 25:31-46 is a major component of Christianity and is considered the cornerstone of Christian socialism.  

I’ll trim that scriptural reference down to a bite sized chunk which most of us are familiar with:

“For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.”

Somehow these passages from the mouth of Jesus intended to enlighten individuals, to impress upon everyone the need to implement the Golden Rule, provide for the sick, the afflicted, the penniless, the imprisoned; somehow Christian Socialists have read into the Bible that instead of individual benevolence, government can force individuals to take care of the sick, the afflicted, the penniless, the imprisoned.  Instead of calling it benevolence it’s called Social Justice, the redistribution of wealth from those who unfairly obtained that wealth to those who otherwise would have had an equal opportunity to be modestly successful were it not for this, that or the other.

Talk about opening up a can of worms; after looking up and finding Christian Socialism, it links with the Fabian society “which favoured gradual change rather than revolutionary change” and the term “social justice”.

“Classically, “justice” (especially corrective justice or distributive justice) referred to ensuring that individuals both fulfilled their societal roles, and received what was due from society.”

An important thread to all of these ‘feel good’ socialistic romps is the use of force, mild in some cases; but force all the same.  How else to ensure that individuals fulfill their societal roles and receive what is due from society?  Force of government by exacting that which under other conditions would not be given. 

Clearly showing benevolence to those in need is not the same as having a representative of the government exact donations for those less fortunate and it certainly isn’t anything preached by our Lord, Jesus Christ regardless of the cherry picking of scripture proposed by Christian Socialists.

“The important thing to keep in mind is that the people who have created their government can give to that government only such powers as they, themselves, have in the first place. Obviously, they cannot give that which they do not possess.” 

With this simple thought process as found in Ezra Taft Benson’s talk, The Proper Role of Government, we are forced, pardon the use of the word, forced to recognize a foundational principle of sound governance and yet so called Christian Socialists would have us believe that good intentions trumps the rule of law.  It only works if you ignore the truth, something which our nation has been doing far too long.

And so we see that the Father of Lies, Satan, doesn’t call Black White or White Black; instead he paints portions of truth as if it were all true and entices good men down the path leading them to destruction through deception staged as if it were the truth. 

You’re either a Christian following the teachings of Christ or you’re a socialist, content to enslave your fellow citizens by having government obtain social justice by force, to include theft of earned income and property all the way to loss of freedom and imprisonment for resistance and even death should the resistance merit such force.  There is no such thing as a Christian Socialist; that’s an oxymoron.  

You claim to be a practicing Christian Socialist…what other lies are you telling yourself in order to hide from the truth?

This article has been cross posted to The Moral Liberal, a publication whose banner reads, “Defending The Judeo-Christian Ethic, Limited Government, & The American Constitution”.

Out with the old, in with the new

Yesterday during our Sunday School lesson on the Old Testament we discussed how Israel was commanded in nearly every aspect of their lives right down to items to be worn and their purpose.  It was the Lord’s way of transforming them into His.  Being a stiff necked people and easily distracted it was important that the land they conquered, a land which had previously been occupied by idolaters, that land must be cleansed of those idols along with the people who followed false gods.

“Thou shalt not bow down to their gods, nor serve them, nor do after their works: but thou shalt utterly overthrow them, and quite break down their images.”  Exodus 23:34

And as the Israelites took control of this newly conquered land they were again reminded not to entertain any of the customs found, not to marry outsiders or consider anything which would open the way for corruption.

“But thus shall ye deal with them; ye shall destroy their altars, and break down their images, and cut down their groves, and burn their graven images with fire.”  Deuteronomy 7:5

The tactic of destroying altars and breaking down images is being used against the Lord’s people in our day, a siege if you will, of idolaters against believers.  Who will win?

The Ten Commandments have been banned from the public square, crosses which stood for years on public lands have been ordered removed to satisfy the demands of Atheists or others ‘offended’ by outward symbols of religion.  Supposedly these assaults on Judeo-Christian America have been carried out to conform with constitutional restrictions separating church and state, something which isn’t in the constitution; but our Supreme Court managed to extract it from among the smoke and mirrors.

‘“It is a sad day in our country when the moral foundation of our law and the acknowledgment of God has to be hidden from public view to appease a federal judge,” said (Alabama Chief Justice Roy) Moore, suspended by the Alabama Judicial Inquiry Commission last week for refusing to obey (U.S. District Judge Myron) Thompson’s order.”

Abraham Lincoln once said, “A house divided against itself cannot stand”; but he was referring to the slavery issue as Southern States withdrew support from the Union.

More recently the Supreme Court seems to have reversed direction, or at least altered the course by upholding the right of city council members and others in public meetings to open with prayer in a 5-4 decision. 

‘“The inclusion of a brief, ceremonial prayer as part of a larger exercise in civic recognition suggests that its purpose and effect are to acknowledge religious leaders and the institutions they represent, rather than to exclude or coerce nonbelievers,” Kennedy said.”

Sadly, history recorded the Democrat Party’s (Socialist/Communist Party’s) intention to remove God from the public square during its 2012 build up for the presidential elections.  Long time Democrats, hard working Americans who’ve followed after their parents and grandparents footsteps, believing the Democrat Party still stood for Judeo-Christian core values were left scratching their heads in disgust as a small but very vocal portion of progressives took charge of the proceedings.

“The Democratic National Convention has removed any reference to “God” from the party’s platform, or as some call it, the party’s 24,000-plus word mission statement.”


“Delegates approved the final version of the platform Tuesday afternoon including language that supported same-sex marriage and almost unlimited abortion rights for women.”

A curious dichotomy exists in America, one which makes us weaker and eventually will destroy our foundations.  Elements of a godless society are intent on silencing people of faith.  The State must reign supreme and to accomplish this God and references to religion and faith must be removed until the people recognize that all benefits, rights and powers are gifts of the State.

It will be interesting and challenging in the years to come as the battle for America continues to divide and separate the wheat from the chaff; humm, wonder where that came from? 

We The People are caught up in the ancient war between good and evil.  Will we play the part of the Lord’s chosen people and follow Him or will we be Canaanites establishing false gods and idols, all the while tearing down images of the Ten Commandments, committing all manner of abominations to include abortion and same sex marriages or any other deviant practices which act in defiance of God’s Plan of Happiness

Each day we get to decide who we will follow, the Lord votes for us doing what is right, the Devil votes against; but we make the deciding vote.  In modern terminology I guess you could say, “It’s out with the old and in with the new”; but that doesn’t say which side will win, now does it?   If this were a Paul Harvey moment I’d close with, “Good day”.

This article has been cross posted to The Moral Liberal, a publication whose banner reads, “Defending The Judeo-Christian Ethic, Limited Government, & The American Constitution”.