Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Forgiveness follows Punishment

A writer writes!

I just watched the news conference of NBA commissioner Silver banning the Los Angeles Clippers owner for life.  Although the owner according to human rules may have the right to express his personal viewpoints (right or wrong), the hatefulness of the Clippers owners views required action.  Yes, private conversations that we have may not be what we would say in a public forum.  But, hateful comments that become public have to be addressed.

What is more offensive is there has not been an apology put forward by the Clippers owner for the remarks he made.  He has not apologized for the unneeded distraction from the game of professional basketball.  He has not apologized for making the distraction people turned to for an escape from the world, being drawn back into the ugliness of the world.

But the Clippers owner did much to show us that the public persona of a person does not always represent who they really are.  So, we thank him for his ignorance as it has solidified the thought that humans should not be put on Godly pedestals.  People make mistakes.  The Clippers owner needs to explain why his views of Black people are what they are. We are under no obligation to go to him and ask "why?"

Maybe one day he can be forgiven.  Some would say he should be forgiven now.  But, punishment must come first so that he understands the seriousness and hatefulness of his statements.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Racist Owner - Deja Vu

A writer writes!

The uproar over the NBA team owner's racists remarks continues.  But, I don't understand why people are surprised.  There has been no great cultural change in the United States of America that would rid racists of their views.  Where in the past racist people would have expressed those views openly, in today's environment to protect their economic base, racists try to keep those views to themselves or only express them around other racists they trust.

Just think about those celebrities in the past 10 years, whether they were a talk show or a cooking show host, who were tied to racist comments.  They either lost their livelihood or were forced out of the position they held.  So, must follow the racist NBA owner.

The NBA commissioner can not condone the statements or behavior.  To do so would condone racist thoughts.  The racist owner needs to find another outlet for his racist money.  I'm sure the owner will look into what other avenues can he pursue to be in a position to be an overseer or plantation master.  Caution.  If you see this guy coming your way with a smile on his face saying he has a business proposition for you, run away as fast as you can.

This can't be a 2014 business owner can it?  Sounds more like a year 1714 or 1814 cotton plantation owner instead.

Bye NBA owner.  Oh, and please leave your racially mixed "girlfriend" at the door.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Dealing With The High Cost of Gas

A writer writes!

Yesterday $3.81 was the price of a gallon of regular gasoline.  I recalled years ago when I told a friend that I simply refused to buy gas if it went into the $3 a gallon range.  I said I would be pushing my car on the highway in the fast lane rather than paying $3 for a gallon of gas.  Now here I am buying gas routinely at $3.50 and over and thinking nothing of it.

How do we deal with the high cost of gasoline today?  Well, here are my tips/suggestions.  Use discount coupons from grocery stores, or get gas from the "members only" stores such as Sam's Club and Costco.  Use any money saver that doesn't cost you money.  If you have to join a gas station's membership roll to get cheaper gas, and there is no cost to you, join that club.

Plan your trips for errands and store visits so you can cover all of your stops in a straight back and forth route or a circular journey.  There's no need to go out to a store come back home, then go back to another store that was near the one you visited first.  That is wasteful driving and you're wasting high priced gasoline.

Actually walk to a store if you are only going to purchase a few items that you can easily carry back home.  You will save gas and exercise at the same time.  In this case the high cost of gas will actually help you with your plans to stay healthy!

Use the internet to research items instead of driving to a store to look around.  Let your fingers do the walking.  If you are just tired of being stuck in the house, plan your people watching, walking around the stores day, for a day when gas actually has gone down several cents.  Then you can refill your gasoline tank at a lower cost on your way home.

When it's time to purchase a new car, make sure your new car gives you better gas mileage than your current car.  If you can find a  car that gives 40 miles per gallon, try to ignore the fact that it has an ugly design.  Think of all the $$$ you will be saving in gas costs.

Go on strike against gas purchasing, but don't let yourself run out of gas!  Only buy enough gas to get you safely back home.  For entertainment value, ride your bicycle down to the closest gas station and watch the faces of people as they fill up their car's gas tanks with the expensive gasoline.  It's the best free drama show around.  To make it a family experience buy a bag of chips, popcorn and sodas and take the whole family with you.

Through careful planning you to can beat the high gasoline prices.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Loan Company Pimps out U.S. Presidents

A writer writes!

One of the more comical commercials on television is one that features actors dressed up as Abraham Lincoln and George Washington, performing acrobatic acts.  They run on top of trains, and escape bad guys chasing them.

One wonders how the descendants of George Washington and Abraham Lincoln feel about their ancestors being portrayed this way.  One would also hope that elementary kids do not actually believe that these former Presidents were these acrobatic heroes the commercials depict them to be.

How a loan company would come up with an idea to use former Presidents in such a  manner is beyond me.  It is border line disrespectful to use them in such a fashion.  It would be akin to a movie where a wheel chair bound President Franklin Roosevelt is shown as being Professor X, the teacher of the X Men mutant superheroes.  Hey, maybe I've just given someone an idea for a new movie!  Well, we've already had one movie where Abraham Lincoln was also a secret vampire hunter!

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Humane Catch and Go Fishing?

A writer writes!

I was in a burger restaurant having a meal.  The television was tuned to a show about fishing.  I noticed that after the two fisherman on the show caught a fish, they then photographed it and then released it.  Catch and Release is what it is commonly called.

It occurred to me what is so humane about getting a fish stuck on a hook, and having the inside of the fish's mouth cut so it bleeds.  Then the fisherman takes the hook out of the fish's bleeding mouth and without any type of treatment to the wound lets the fish swim away.

When I was watching the episode, I thought what would we think if we were the victims of the catch and release?  Can you imagine the fish, sitting by the docks or in boats, seeking their human prey with human poles and human hooks!   Once hooked, the fish take the hook out of the bleeding mouth of their human prey.  Imagine having a hole in your mouth made from the human hook and the hook being drawn out of your mouth, now spurting with blood.

Then the fish lets you go without even giving you a band aid or an antiseptic wash.   So you the human walk away bleeding and filling pain in your mouth.  No thank you to this catch and release scenario. Under this concept you can be caught and release several times.  Each time with a dose of pain and bleeding involved.

So fish, when you see humans coming for a fun game of catch and release, swim away in the opposite direction, FAST!

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Managing Our Distractions

A writer writes!

Most of us have every day life routines we follow.  Some are mandatory, such as working at a job to make money to support ourselves and our families.  Other routines are maintenance related, such as taking a shower or eating breakfast.  These mandatory and maintenance related tasks can consume most of our time.  The time we have left is our discretionary time.  We relax and hopefully enjoy ourselves during this discretionary  time.

During the course of our mandatory and maintenance related activities, we may find ourselves distracted by either external events or our own personal thoughts.  These times of distraction may sometimes lead us to go in a direction that is not beneficial to us.  While at your job, you may become distracted by a personal phone call to you, a personal text, or even gossip talk that you may here.  Distractions are unplanned and planned events that we all have in our lives.

How we manage our distractions can either make our day go well, or lead to  negative actions during or after our mandatory routines are completed.  Personal contacts you receive at work could impact your ability to focus on your job, leading to errors, or reduced productivity.  Gossip could lead to your having negative emotional reactions to what you hear, impacting again your ability to focus and be productive.

How can we manage our distractions?  First, do not allow information to come to you  that can wait until you are no longer at work.  Let your friends, family and others know that unless it is an emergency, they should not contact you at work.  A quick hello and hope your day contact is fine, but anything more serious will need to wait, unless it is a life and death matter.  Take time during the day to take a moment to simply say a prayer.  Focus your thoughts on communicating with God and ask Him to help you keep focused on what you need to do during the day.  Try to avoid people dragging you off your personal quiet work beach into their stormy day.  If someone has brought personal drama to the workplace, try not to get dragged into their drama.  You can offer help but at an appropriate time that is part of your discretionary time.

When you are on your discretionary time, try to ensure that the activities you have chosen to pursue are those that  truly involve what you should be doing.  All of us need time to relax and enjoy life.  There are many optional things we can do to relax. Vacations, attending concerts, following our hobbies, or attending sporting events are examples.  The world and man's imagination sometimes presents activities that may not be what you personally should be getting involved with.  These may involve illegal activities or at the minimum immoral activities. Yes, we even have distractions that come up in our personal discretionary time.

We should always first turn to Godly principles on how we should conduct ourselves in our personal discretionary time.  That focus can keep us from turning to negative distractions that even exist in our personal discretionary time.  As with your mandatory time, try to keep people and even your own thoughts from dragging you into a direction that does not fit into the principles of leading a life dedicated to doing the good things God wants you to do.  Doing so takes practice, focus, and prayer.  The more you do positive acts, the less time exists for negative acts to establish a foothold in your life.  Once in awhile, stop and take a personal assessment of those positive and negative distractions that exist in your life, especially in your discretionary time.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Top Stupid Award of All Time - Most Beautiful People

A writer writes!

One of the items on the "news" today (which is why I don't watch much television) was a feature on a magazine that tomorrow will announce the annual Most Beautiful People Award.  The title itself is misleading.   We know that the magazine does not scour the world and all of its billions of people to find "the most beautiful" people.  Also, what is beautiful to the selectors in the magazine, certainly does not represent the viewpoints of billions of people on the planet Earth.

So what is this award supposed to stand for?  Basically it stands for human beings being totally bored and having nothing else to do but create contests that have no value.  It is also some "celebrities" agent's vehicle to get publicity for their client.  And unfortunately there are many people who will pay attention to the magazine, or "news" story, because they too are bored and have nothing better to do.

The Most Beautiful People award is another example of people doing things only because they can. It fits into the category of a contest where the person consuming the most hot dogs in three minutes is somehow a world champion in that category.  So what!  People should be offended that a magazine and a major television network would even have the stupidity to put forward an article and TV feature telling people what is beautiful.  It's like telling us, hey dummy, I have chosen for you what is beautiful.  You just acknowledge my decisions and then go away!

The most beautiful people award needs to be merged with the ugliest dog award.  Combined we can create a list of "who cares" items that we can throw back at the magazines sponsors and any other media source that continues to insult our collective intelligence with these worthless topics.

I know, let's create the most dumbest news story award.  Everyday the media presents us with many entries!

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Easter Sunday

A writer writes!

Easter Sunday.  Tomorrow throughout the world those who believe in Jesus Christ being the Son of God will pause to commemorate His resurrection from the dead, after being crucified by men. Jesus did as He said he would and arose three days after his crucifixion.  Jesus is the Son of God, given to this world to pay the ultimate sacrifice, His life, for our sins.

I am no theologian.  But, imagine a parent, a Father, Our Creator and what He felt seeing how the world treated the gift that He had given us.  His Son, Jesus Christ.  Endowed with the power to perform miracles.  To heal the sick. To even raise someone from dead.  He was crucified on a cross by elements of this world. Jesus knew that no one could save him from the trials He was meant to endure.  It is said that one of His disciples, Peter, attempted to fight off those who came to capture him.  But, Jesus told him to cease those efforts.

Many years later the world continues to be a place of chaos.  We have pockets of life and behaviors that typify what Jesus taught.  Love thy neighbor as you love yourself.  But, the images of war, hate, violence, intolerance, and blatant evil acts still surround us.  We don't begin our day globally with a prayer thanking God for the gift and sacrifice he gave us.  But, tomorrow many of us individually will pause to do so.

Religion and our understanding of the nature of God is something that we all do not agree with.  For those of the Muslim faith, Easter does not have the same meaning as it does to Christians. But, whatever our faith,we all must admit that there is a greater force than man.  We need to understand that life is not all about us and what material accomplishments we can amass in our time on earth.  Whether you celebrate Easter or not, just take some time to reflect on the fact that we were created by a God who gave us His son in a human form.  If we follow the principles preached by Jesus Christ and remember how He died so we could continue to live, we can live a better life.

I long to see a world where every day you hear about or see a reminder of God and that we are His creation.  Whether that be a return of allowing prayer in school, prayer at work, prayer before our sports contests, or prayer before news reports, we do need to reaffirm that God is first in our lives. Until that day, we as individuals need to continue our personal acts of living our lives following the model of our Savior Jesus Christ.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Outlwawing Hate Groups in the United States of America

A writer writes!

In the past few days there was a hate crime incident in Kansas.  The perpetrator of the crime advocated hatred of Jews in past video and audio statements.  He was also a member of an organization that was against various people based on their race or religious affiliation.

There are already Federal statutes against hate crimes. But, ironically it is not illegal to form and be an active member of an organization whose sole purpose is to espouse hatred of people due to their race, sexual orientation, or religious affiliation.  Freedom of speech is the reason why such groups are allowed to form and express their "viewpoints".  What benefit do these organizations of hate and intolerance bring to society?  Does freedom of speech support and allow for hatred to exist?  I don't think this was the intent of the freedom of speech doctrine.

Would it be wrong to outlaw the existence of hate groups? Especially those groups that advocate the extermination of people due to their race, sexual orientation, or religious affiliation.  Is it so difficult to make a stand that organizations that solely exist to spread hatred and support violent acts against people will not be allowed to organize and exist?

Prior to violent actions individuals have thoughts and beliefs that fuel their follow up acts.  Allowing people to organize into groups to fuel their hatred is like giving an arsonist a box of matches during a drought in a national park.  A wild fire is bound to be the result.

Some would say, how would you weed out the freedom of speech groups versus the hate groups?  My response would be, any organization that advocates extinction of people is not supporting those people peacefully coexisting in the world.  If it looks like hate, sounds like hate, and the actions support hate, guess what?  Is is pure hatred and evil.

Monday, April 7, 2014

World Humbled by Malaysia Flight 370

A writer writes!

March 8th, 2014.  That was the day Malaysia Flight 370 began what seemingly was its last journey.  Since then the reality is that none of the self proclaimed "Great" countries in this world have stated that they know where the airplane is located.  This cannot be true!  Are these the same countries that launch spy satellites into the Earth's orbits, shoot missiles into the sky to demonstrate military capability, send men to the moon, and send robotic vehicles to the planet Mars?  No, there must be a mistake.  Countries that call themselves the greatest in the world, surely can locate an airplane that contained over 200 lives of various ages, genders and races.

Well guess what world?  You once again have been humbled.  We are not the smartest species alive.  Despite all the technology and "smart" people in this world, we have collectively been unable to locate a passenger airplane that reportedly may now lay at the bottom of one of the world's oceans.  This event demonstrates the limitation to our skills and any false hope that we as people can solve any crisis.

Our Creator, God, knows where the airplane is located.  Maybe if we had collectively as countries of the world prayed to God for guidance on locating the plane, this event would have long been over.  But, we did not.  Instead we relied upon our human technology to come to the rescue.  So, now we are almost a month since the plane was lost.

For the sake of the family of the passengers, I pray the plane be located quickly and those steps needed to determine the cause begin.  Those families have suffered numerous times over the past month.  It is time to begin the steps of closure.  But, we have to start with God in control, not human beings who still falsely believe that we as humans can solve every problem without God's help.