Friday, November 28, 2014
Monday, November 24, 2014
This week is the annual reminder that despite being the self proclaimed greatest nation in the world, basic problems still exist in these United States of America. For whatever reason many people in the United States live in poverty and go hungry every day. That problem is magnified around the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays. All over the country churches, auditoriums etc. open up to feed people who simply need a meal. Meals are also delivered to those who don't have transportation to get to a facility.
The generosity of the American people is appreciated to help those in need. The generosity of people fills the gap where other organizations or governments are unable or unwilling to assist. Locally I donate to an organization called Gleaners. One of the features of Gleaners is a food pantry where people who need food can come by to get basics such as canned goods, bread, vegetables, etc. I have volunteered to work at Gleaners and saw people of all races, colors, and ages walk in to obtain food. It is a humbling experience. It's also a reminder that WE have a long way to go before we can rid these United States of America of the plague of poverty.
Yes, everyone who is able needs to work at a job that can provide them the means to purchase food. But, in those instances where willing workers are unable to find a job, a mechanism needs to exist that allows people the opportunity to eat. So as we enter into Thanksgiving week, as you pass that holiday kettle (that seems to be coming out earlier and earlier each year), drop some change in the bucket, or donate what you can to your local food bank.
Tuesday, November 18, 2014
Monday, November 17, 2014
Over the past ten years I have substantially decreased my television viewing time. I first cut back on my TV watching because I tired of paying $100 plus to cable TV companies for the honor of constantly flipping through channels in a hopeless attempt to find something to watch. So I cancelled my cable and resulted to watching commercial free TV with the assistance of antennae devices. After a 4 year exile period, I finally went back to cable solely for the purpose of being able to watch sports.
Over the past few years I started to watch a few dramatic television shows with my spouse. In terms of background I grew up in the 1960s where married couples were depicted on television as sleeping in separate beds. Fast forward to 2014 and now television depicts same sex relationships to include intimate moments that would never have made it to the screen in the 1960's due to censorship rules.
I recall growing up during the 1960's hearing about parents being warned to monitor what their children are watching on television. After recently coming across four separate television shows depicting same sex relationships, now I understand why those cautions were expressed way back then. Television now seems to be promoting same sex relationships as being the new normal. I do wonder if our youth are watching these shows, what impressions these TV shows are making on them?
As was the response back then, parents were told to simply change the channel if you didn't like a television show. No one is making you watch it. So, that is what I've chosen to do. I have chosent to not watch television shows that feature and promote same sex intimate relationships. It's very easy. I just push a few buttons and watch something else. I miss all the commercials of the advertisers for those shows also which is another benefit.
Maybe the "different" lifestyles are what some people want to watch on TV. People do whatever people want to do. That is something that has become clear to me over the years. Whether it runs against biblical teachings, is illegal by man made laws, it doesn't matter. If people want to do something we simply do it and take the punishment for violation of any rules/laws.
So, I've made my choice. I have no desire to watch television shows which graphically display the intimate details of same sex relationships. Send me a note if you come across a network that presents a variety of dramatic shows depicting the everyday lives of African American families or other diverse programming that isn't related to same sex relationships.
Tuesday, November 11, 2014
Today we pause to pay respect to the veterans of the past and present. Veteran's day is a reminder of one of the faults of human beings. Ultimately we don't posess the ability to resolve conflicts without turning to acts of violence and destruction of each other. Our final solution is to annihilate each other in as vicious a manner as our minds can conceive. We've used all forms of weapons from spears, axes, arrows, cannonballs, bullets, bombs of various destructive power, atomic bombs, and biological weapons to terminate the lives of our "enemies".
Our enemies often are those whom we really are not familiar with on a personal basis. Instead our government's leaders have educated us that we have enemies who pose a threat to us. Sometimes our government uses such terms as "weapons of mass destruction" in that education process.
Those who carry out the protection of our country become our veterans. Our veterans are the ones who pay the ultimate price for our violent ways of resolving conflict. Lives are lost, body parts destroyed, emotional scars created. All because human beings have decided that war is the ultimate answer to our disagreements or desires.
I am under the view that wars have ended the lives of men and women who would have contributed to improving our world. People who could have helped find a cure to cancer. People who could have helped create alternative forms of energy. The list goes on.
So, we pause to honor the veterans of the past and present. We're sorry that you had to serve in armed conflicts due to the imperfections of human beings. We still haven't reached our potential. Maybe we should also utilize veteran's day as a reminder that we owe future generations actions that will make veterans day only a reminder and testament to the past.
Monday, November 3, 2014
Some 30 years ago in a college Political Science class, the instructor made a profound statement. He said that it doesn't matter if a Republican or Democrat wins an elective office. In our instructors view, neither "party" had the answers to the problems of the day. His opinion at the time seemed an outrageous viewpoint. For years we had been taught that there was a Democratic way and a Republican way of resolving problems.
Time has shown that political parties by themselves do not have the "answers" to human problems. Yes, there have been some specific approaches taken by the two major parties, but none of those approaches have solved human based problems.
Currently we have a Congress that has been highly touted as being a "do nothing" Congress. Stuck in gridlock and playing political games where lack of any progress is the only result. We pay these Congressmen a salary to basically accomplish nothing that makes our overall lives better. It sounds like an ideal job for those who want to make $100,000 plus and enjoy the perks of a political office while accomplishing little. There are those who try to make a difference. Apparently we need more of those type people.
As you vote, look for that candidate who seems to be "different" in a positive way. Avoid those candidates who are talking the same political chatter that you've heard time and time again. If we're lucky, maybe half of those who win their election will actually work to effect positive changes. If not, we will try it again two years from now.
Saturday, November 1, 2014
I was typically bypassing all the "human interest" stories in the Comcast news home page when I saw one with the subject title, "Aging is Bad Enough". I didn't read the article as I've found most of the "news" on Comcast's home page isn't news but what I call "gossip literature". It normally has no redeeming value except to take up space. It's human chatter because we as humans can say and do whatever we want to.
But a title of "Aging is Bad Enough"? The topic itself assumes that getting older is the worst thing that can happen to a human being. It assumes that somehow the years from birth to age 30 are our only reason for living. If we somehow make the mistake of living beyond 30 we have doomed ourselves to endure a terrifying existence for the remainder of our desolate years.
If getting older and aging is a terrible thing, where are all the euthanasia companies that can help us end our miserable lives after we pass age 30?
Aging is just another part of the human process. There is nothing "bad" about aging. Regardless of the media being dominated by images of "youthful" looking people, if you are past age 40 celebrate the fact that you are still living. The alternative is daunting to think of.
We all want to have bodies that function well, but like old cars, our bodily mechanisms wear out as they get older. The warranty runs out and then we are on our own. Don't let that spoil your life. Next time you see something that says aging is bad, laugh to yourself, order a glass of wine, and slowly sip it as you celebrate being retired and not having to work every day as the "young" folks do.