“Now is the time for all good men to come to the aid of their party….”

That sentence was changed to read, “Now is the time for all good men to come to the aid of their country.” It was used by a typing teacher, Charles Weller, and according to The Straight Dope‘s Cecil Adams:

Many typing books now use the variant ‘Now is the time for all good men to come to the aid of their country’ instead, because it exactly fills out a 70-space line if you put a period at the end.

I’m not sure what the “70-space line” rule is used for, but indeed, there are 70 spaces in that sentence counting the period at the end. I guess Mr. Weller didn’t want his students using 68 spaces with the word “party.” Odd.

You know what else is odd? The stuff I think about. Most of it makes no sense to anyone but me, and sometimes I can’t make sense of it either. For some reason or other, the sentence: “Now is the time for all good men to come to the aid of their country” popped into my head this morning while I was driving. I had just heard news about a Taliban attack on a bus carrying employees of an Afghan TV station. 7 people were killed the report said, one of them was a young woman in her twenties, just starting out with the station, it was said that she was enthusiastic, and loved what she was doing. Terribly sad, just terribly sad that her life, and the lives of six others, was taken, for no good reason!

All the violence going on, here and overseas, I can’t comprehend the depth of it, and lately, things seem to be escalating to the point where that’s all you hear on the nightly news. Just bad stuff: folks in Flint, Michigan, unknowingly drinking lead-contaminated water; criminals shooting cops; bad cops unjustifiably shooting criminals; a political system that sometimes looks more like a three ring circus with too many clowns; “idiot” voters; poverty in neighborhoods everywhere. I wish I could numb myself to all the filth I see and hear, unfortunately, it’s impossible.

If you’re a religious person you might be able to find a little peace of mind from time to time. I started a “Bible in One Year” reading plan on January 1 and comparing what happened in the Old Testament to what’s happening today is a little comforting (not sure “comforting” is the right word).

About the only thing I can truly wrap my brain around and find comfort in here on planet Earth is music, and I listen to all genres (almost all). I’m especially lucky in that I can also play a little music, adding comfort to a few folks on weekends. My ability to play guitar is a gift, you might have one or two gifts yourself. Spiritual gifts are mentioned in the Bible:

As every man hath received the gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God. (1 Peter 4:10)

And:

 Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord. (1 Corinthians 12:4-5)

Wouldn’t it be awesome if we could use our gifts for the good of one another? Whatever your gift is, use it for good. I’m certain there’s at least one person you know that would appreciate a little comfort.

When will it all end?

Another senseless shooting at a college in Arizona today, at least I think it’s senseless, how do I know if it is or not? Maybe the shooter was somehow wronged, wronged so much that the only thing they could do to take away the pain was to lash out. Is revenge justified to such extents? Most, if not all of us would say no. Most of us don’t seek revenge, we just suck it up and say to ourselves “they’ll get theirs someday.”

All of this outlaw gun violence has our country split, divided, torn, and troubled. I’m not advocating more regulations, I think we all know that if some deranged and mentally unstable person/criminal/revenge seeker wants a firearm, they’ll somehow find a way to get their hands on one, regulations be damned! That’s just how it is. And when I hear folks mention that we need to address the shooter not the gun, I’m wondering if anyone really knows how to go about doing that.

I’m inclined to believe what my Momma believed, taken from the Bible, Matthew 24:6 “And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.” (KJV) I think all this violence, domestic and international, is a part of the kind of war spoken about in the Good Book. I’m no doomsayer, neither was Mom, but I believe a lot of what the Bible says about such stuff.

My son recently purchased his first gun, a pistol. He’s 22, and had this to say about the problem:

As a gun owner and future concealed carrier, I think guns have their place and can definitely provide protection should the need arise. But that doesn’t mean I think everyone should be armed. Picture a mass shooting in which not only the shooter has a gun, but so does everyone else. Tell me, when people start to draw their guns and shoot, how will they know who the original shooter was? All people will see are other people in the room with guns drawn. Who’s to say they won’t mistakenly shoot at the wrong person.

That’s an excellent point, a pretty much non-arguable one I think. My son’s generation will have a lot to deal with when all us Baby Boomers have moved on. Will they come up with a solution to the deathly dilemma of gun violence against the innocent? I sure hope so!!