Thoughts about Dallas

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  • We have to stop killing each other.
  • We have to stop believing that killing each other solves anything.
  • We have to realize that anger unfocused only makes things worse.
  • Are things any better because these husbands, fathers and war veterans are now dead?
  • If you find these deaths cause to celebrate, what does that say about you?
  • How does protesting an unjust death by committing an unjust murder make things right?
  • Is this some kind of competition, where the only goal is the even the score?
  • Whose wounds are now healed because of this?
  • When did we stop valuing all lives?
  • How did we get to this place?
  • How do we get out of this place?

If you want to read about the fallen officers you can here and here.

Or share your story via Twitter #bluestories

Please pray for the police officers and their families and everyone impacted by this terrible event. And that we can find a way to heal without further violence.

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Rights Grabs and Other Informative Reads

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How to Spot a Rights Grab. Helen Sedwick gives us the ABCs of rights grabs – an absolute must-read for writers.

‘Highly creative’ professionals won’t lose their jobs to robots, study finds   Will you be replaced by a robot? Not if you’re ‘highly creative’ according to study.

Publishing’s Digital Disruption Hasn’t Even Started  Gareth Cuddy observes that traditional publishers who think eBooks are over may be sadly surprised down the line.

Top Ten Most Common Short Story Names  Neil Clarke muses about the top ten most common short story titles. Who knew?

Giving books to kids before summer break can stem reading losses  Science Daily cites a study that shows giving kids books to read over summer school break can help keep reading skills going.

Happy Monday everybody.

 

WC

Today we honor them

“[W]hat sort of soldiers are those you are to lead? Are they reliable? Are they brave? Are they capable of victory? Their story is known to all of you. It is the story of the American man-at-arms. My estimate of him was formed on the battlefield many, many years ago, and has never changed. I regarded him then as I regard him now — as one of the world’s noblest figures, not only as one of the finest military characters, but also as one of the most stainless. His name and fame are the birthright of every American citizen. In his youth and strength, his love and loyalty, he gave all that mortality can give. … [W]hen I think of his patience under adversity, of his courage under fire, and of his modesty in victory, I am filled with an emotion of admiration I cannot put into words. He belongs to history as furnishing one of the greatest examples of successful patriotism. He belongs to posterity as the instructor of future generations in the principles of liberty and freedom. He belongs to the present, to us, by his virtues and by his achievements. In twenty campaigns, on a hundred battlefields, around a thousand campfires, I have witnessed that enduring fortitude, that patriotic self-abnegation, and that invincible determination which have carved his statue in the hearts of his people. From one end of the world to the other he has drained deep the chalice of courage. I do not know the dignity of their birth, but I do know the glory of their death. They died unquestioning, uncomplaining, with faith in their hearts, and on their lips the hope that we would go on to victory. Always for them: Duty, Honor, County; always their blood and sweat and tears, as we sought the way and the light and the truth.” –General Douglas MacArthur

Today is for those men and women who have given their lives for our freedom – so among the hotdogs, parades and fireworks, let’s say a prayer of thanks. God bless our troops and keep them safe.
WC

Reaction or Response?

On Sunday night when normal programming was interrupted to await an important announcement from the president I was annoyed.  I am not typically interested in important announcements since they generally don’t seem all that important to me.  However, in this particular case it turned out I was interested.

Bin Laden had been captured and killed.  Color me stunned.  Putting aside all the politicizing and chest thumping by the media and others, I found myself reeling a bit.  Shock, yes. Stunned, yes. Happy? I don’t know.

I immediately went to Drudge to see if I could get any actual information since the newscast likened more of a lovefest for the White House than real information.  Drudge didn’t have a lot but he had some. I read quickly as though if I took my time the information would vanish and I would discover it was not real. I tweeted, facebooked and posted a quick post. I wanted people to know right now, as if hesitating would make the knowledge untrue.  Apparently others had the same idea – as I read somewhere that people were tweeting at the rate of 3,000 per three seconds. Yes, you read that right.

What I found especially notable for me at least were my feelings the next day -yesterday.  First thing, I hit the news sites and tried to learn what I could of what had happened. I spent the entire day listening to talk radio – again hungry for information – maybe even a little proof.  The thing that was odd for me was that rather than feeling celebratory I felt weepy. As though this end of a long vigil were not a happy moment but a sad one. Because it brought back the day that started it all. Brought back the helpless feelings of watching fellow Americans being killed.  Brought back the subsequent days of endless searches among the rubble.  Brought back the beginning of the change of the American way of life.

I cried a lot. I felt angry a lot. Yes, it was a good day for America because justice had been served – but I also knew it was not the end – just the end of one mission.  Not to lessen the significance of that action, nor the bravery and expertise it took for our amazing special forces to bring it about – I never could or would do such a thing.  Those dudes are in a phrase, fucking awesome.

We are not out of the dark days yet.  But I feel a little more certain that someday we will be.  I pray that I’m right about that.

But I’m wondering about others – how did you feel when you heard the news? Did you celebrate?  Did you cry? Did you do something else? Did you react or respond? I think I did both, how about you?

copyright 2011

Dear Mr. Gubberment

Dear Mr. Gubberment

When I was a kid I watched lots of old movies – especially B movies. In those B movies there was often some backwoods, gun-toting, paranoid country fella who was on the look out for rev-a-nooers. Lately, I’m starting to understand his paranoia. In the case of the movie character it was generally linked to the fact that the fella had a still producing moonshine somewhere on the back property. In my case it has more to do with not needing nor wanting a babysitter or replacements for the parental units. More and more it seems our government feels duty bound to guide us in our every decision.

I don’t know about you, but I am fully capable of making my own decisions and living with the consequences happily. When it comes to my own life, I quite literally don’t recognize any authority higher than myself. And there are many things I think Mr. Gubberment should have nothing to do with. Such as:

Admonishing me for eating certain foods and not eating others. What I put in my body is my business. You say that abortion is okay because a woman has the right to determine what goes on with her body and yet in the same breath you can tell me I can’t eat a ho-ho, a big mac or chili dog?

Telling me I’m too fat. Well maybe I am but what business is it of yours? If I have to struggle into a size sixteen that’s punishment enough without listening to the big-bootied first lady preach about vegetables. She’s not the boss of me.

Using tax dollars to promote stupid things like, breast feeding, organic vegetables, school lunches and anything else.  Much less giving tax breaks for such things. It’s not that I have anything against any of these things but the government is supposed to be concerned with roads, security and other similar matters. Not how we feed our children or where we buy our food.

Punishing people for being successful. Hey, sure I’m envious of people who have a lot of money. I’d like to have a lot of money too. But I never think it belongs to me because I want it. That is theft. Why then do you get to decide who makes too much money and that you can take it and give it to other people who want it?

Forcing me to buy something I don’t want. Yep, that’s right, not all of us want health insurance. Is this a shock to you? Well, I don’t get sick, have accidents and have an illnesses. I don’t need health insurance. Besides, aren’t all those taxes levied on cigarettes, liquor, and junk food meant to pay for health care services? I also don’t’ want to be forced to buy a hybrid, any green technology, or panty liners. If I want something I will buy it. If I don’t’, I won’t. Pretty simple really.

It’s not that I have anything against you in particular, Mr. Gubberment – government can be a good thing in a civil society. But you have to get over yourself and realize we don’t need extra parents – for the most part, our parents did or are doing just fine. That we know more about our lives and our decisions therefore make more sense than any decision you might make for us (no matter how well intended). That if Americans wanted a king, the American Revolution would never have happened.

Copyright 2011

Whacko Environmentalists – 0 Mankind – 1

Now I’ve been telling you folks that these greenie whackjobs were over the top – maybe now you’ll believe me.

Apparently a whacko nutjob environmentalist thinks that dirty filthy human beings should be gotten rid of and to prove the passion of his belief took hostages at the Discovery Channel’s headquarters (Yes, the Discovery Channel, not BP Oil or a major filthy carbon footprint emitting corporate entity – but the Discovery Channel) . They think he had a bomb strapped to him but the cans were recycled so, it could be that used fertilizer and coffee grounds just don’t detonate properly.

Long story short – the police didn’t mess around considering thousands of lives were at risk and now he is one dead whacko environmentalist. To prove it here are some of his thoughts as voiced on his website (which I will not cite because I don’t think crazy people deserve increased blog traffic), courtesy of ABC News:

Lee writes that the channel should cease its current programming and replace it with a game show about reducing the global population.

The channel, he wrote, should produce a program about “how people can live WITHOUT giving birth to more filthy human children since those new additions continue pollution and are pollution.”

“The world needs TV shows that DEVELOP solutions to the problems that humans are causing, not stupify the people into destroying the world. Not encouraging them to breed more environmentally harmful humans,” he wrote.

“Saving the environment and the remaning [sic] species diversity of the planet is now your mindset. Nothing is more important than saving them. The Lions, Tigers, Giraffes, Elephants, Froggies, Turtles, Apes, Raccoons, Beetles, Ants, Sharks, Bears, and, of course, the Squirrels. . . The humans? The planet does not need humans,” he wrote.

This article describes the ordeal in full.

Well, Mr. Lee, I suppose I should congratulate you on acheiving your objective, at least in part – because now there is one less filthy human being on the planet.  I’m sure the lions and tigers and bears are really jazzed too.

Writer Chick

Does Anyone Want a Solution?

There is a lot of stuff happening in this country and the world today. I suppose that is always the case, although in the last several months it seems worst than it has been in the past. And honestly, much of what is happening I find personally scary and alarming. The deficit, the apparent disinterest on the part of our leaders in what the average citizen is concerned about, states going bankrupt, no legislative body showing any real concern about approving a budget much less making budget cuts, giving unelected officials the right to rule and regulate our personal lives, making the EPA part of a shadow government and in the future will tax us for exhaling, politician’s accosting private citizen’s and being defended for their actions, dissention being targeted as hate speech and terrorism, government taking over entire industries, the blame game left and right…..

In my opinion anyone who isn’t alarmed by such actions and much more is either delusional or has been living in a cave for quite a while.

But I for one, would really like to stop the blame game, the partisan rhetoric, and the gotcha games and pose a very simple question: Does anyone really want a solution? Seriously, let’s consider this shall we? In private life, most people when they encounter problems whether large or small tend to want to solve the problem. They may not always succeed but there is certainly an effort to find solutions to those things that work against us. Whether they are created by another person, a circumstance or a natural disaster. For example, last year we had horrible fires at the end of the summer in my community. In fact, I posted many pictures of the fires, some of which were literally down the block from me. I’m proud to say that my community, the firefighters, the police and so forth focused on the problem and did everything in their power to solve it. It did take a while and not everything tried work but I can truthfully say that a solution was everyone’s focus. And in the end, solutions were found, used and the problem was handled.

So, when it comes to larger problems, national problems, international problems, etc. why then is not a solution the focus? Why is the American public by and large satisfied to just let our leaders lay blame. It’s so and so’s fault because he did this and now this is why I can’t do that? A person elected to be a leader is supposed to be a leader and a leader is supposed to be the guy or gal who knows how to solve problems, right? Whether it is the president of the United States or the local city council member. But rather than solving problems PR damage control is the focus. Anecdotes about conversations with children are offered rather than finding solutions, nice speeches or not so nice speeches filled with excuses and finger pointing.

And all the while, while our leaders fail to solve existing problems they legislate more rules, regulations and attempts at taking over parts of our personal lives. Laws now exist that say American citizens must buy certain products or be fined or imprisoned. The government now must decide what we may eat, breathe, think, say and do. Those are not solutions those are impositions upon personal freedoms.

And then the causes….don’t get me started on those either. When was the last time you saw any cause that was for something rather than against something? In my mind being for something is much more likely to bring it about than being against something is likely to stop it.

I admit that I am a bit of a political junkie and I find the field interesting, fascinating and somewhat nauseating – and I love debate because I think it is debate that brings about different views, and can in reality if done sincerely can bring about real change. However, most political debate is about hating the side you are not on. About smearing and belittling people and degrading them in public forums. And I’m not talking about satire I’m talking about venom, hatred and vitriole.

I wonder if some of the most popular people to attack were on ‘the other side’ if they would be so hated. If Bill Clinton had been a Republican and gotten sex in the Oval Office while he was supposed to be doing the people’s business would he have remained in office? If Sarah Palin were a Democrat, would the ladies on the View be fawning over her left and right? If Al Gore had been a conservative would anyone have gone to see An Inconvenient Truth? If George Bush had been a liberal would his bailouts, prescription medicine initiative, and budget and deficit fall-out been hailed by the media? If Maureen Dowd spewed her venom about liberals would she even have a job? If Chris Matthews loved Chris Christie and got a tingle down his leg every time he spoke, would MSNBC issue his pinkslip?

The point I guess I am trying to make is maybe if we stepped back and viewed any leader whether public or private on the merits of what they were actually saying and doing from the standpoint of truly wanting to add to the solution to the given problem, rather than adding to turmoil would things change?

Personally, I think the time has come for Americans (at least) to stop and think. Forget what ‘side’ people are on and really evaluate if that person is trying to solve anything (particularly those things for which they are responsible for solving) just trying to get you worked up into a lather about something so you won’t notice that they are solving nothing.

No one would accept that kind of behavior in their private lives. Bosses who seek to bring the company down and fire good and effective workers are hated not revered. Co-workers who goldbrick and get paid for doing nothing and resented. Businesses that treat their customers with resentment and condescension don’t long remain in business, pastors and priests who exploit members of their congregations soon find their churches empty, criminals who steal, harm and injure other citizens are thrown in jail. Why do those who supposedly lead get a pass?

At the very least, it may be something to think about.

WC

Want to help cut spending in Washington? Here’s your chance

That’s right folks, you too can have your voice heard. Go to the YOUCUT website and have your say.

How it works:

YouCut – a first-of-its-kind project – is designed to defeat the permissive culture of runaway spending in Congress. It allows you to vote, both online and on your cell phone, on spending cuts that you want to see the House enact. Vote on this page today for your priorities and together we can begin to change Washington’s culture of spending into a culture of savings.

All of us want to be able to do something and this is about as easy as it gets. Vote on the cuts you want and make your own suggestions while you’re at it. You aren’t even required to register as a ‘member’ before you can vote. So quit your bitching about the budget – speak up and vote.

If we have any hopes of ever changing how things are done in Washington by our leaders, then we have participate too. Try it, you may like it.

Writer Chick

Nashville Flood – Praying for you

As I’m sure many of you know – Tennessee has had some pretty scary days of late. According to this article

It started raining in Nashville April 30, and within 48 hours, the city received nearly 14 inches of rain – twice the previous rainfall record and the same amount Nashville typically receives during the entire month of May. Mayor Karl Dean said the cost of the damage is expected to top $1 billion in Nashville alone.

My heart goes out to all those in Nashville dealing with this tragedy. And a special shout out to my blogging bud Grit, who may be getting a too up close and personal view of this situation. Hope you’re okay, my friend.

I too, have experienced the devastation of torrential rains and it ain’t pretty folks. For anyone able and wishing to help, three organizations are collecting online donations and asking Americans to contribute to the response effort:

American Red Cross, Nashville chapter

Hands on Nashville

Second Harvest

Praying for you Nashville.

WC

In the News…

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The AP reports the following two stories, which I find of interest:

The fundraiser for Hillary Clinton, later for Obama and previously for John Kerry has been indicted on bank fraud and aggravated identity theft charges in an $292 million Ponzi scheme. The accused, is Hassan Nemazee, he is charged with fradulently obtaining loans from three banks.

Nemazee was Clinton’s national finance chairman for her 08 campaign, later raised dough for Obama and was Kerry’s finance chairman during Kerry’s 2004 campaign.

Wow, and we thought Clinton, Obama and Kerry had nothing in common. Go figure.

Also…

Forty members of the Senate (all but one, Repulbicans) are pushing to end the bailout nightmare by urging the Treasury Secretary to let T.A.R.P. program expire by year’s end. No word from the Treas Sec yet, and he could let it go on until Oct 2010. The group of Senators pointed out in a letter to Geithner that the money could be used to reduce the deficit (fancy that) among other things.

According to the AP story:

Every Senate Republican except Sen. Judd Gregg of New Hampshire signed the letter. The only Democrat to sign it was Mark Begich of Alaska.

Congress approved the TARP with bipartisan support in October 2008 at the request of then-President George W. Bush during the height of the financial crisis. Bush administration officials initially said the money would be spent to buy up bad assets from financial institutions. Under Bush and Obama, however, the rescue fund has also been used to bail out the auto industry and to obtain ownership interests in banks and in insurance giant American International Group.

“This direct investment certainly was not the intention of Congress in passing this legislation,” the senators wrote to Geithner.

I’ll say that wasn’t the intention! At least you have to give them a little hurrah for trying – although I have a feeling it will fall on deaf ears.

And the picture…well, I have to have my fun, don’t I?

Writer Chick