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Essays: 2012 and 2013

2013

 August 20, 2013

"TAKE OFF THE MASK"
If you don't think the majority of the news media isn't biased and controlled by those loyal to this administration--you need to see if you can't exchange the brain you've got for one that actually works.
  
 

As though we don't have issues that are yet unresolved, starting with the economy and going on to jobs, conflicts and war, stifling flaws in healthcare law, government spending, ongoing abuse without a budget, a do-nothing-Congress and a NON-TRANSPARENT administration that continues to delve into greater secrecy by each passing day (so it seems). 

To those items, we are also subjected to the spin and lies regarding how immigration reform would create jobs and be good for the economy,  the shielding of those that should be held accountable for the dark stains on our recent history regarding Fast and Furious, the cover up of the Benghazi terrorist attack, the IRS system of pressuring targeted groups, the DOJ's unlawful retention of private records and the overly zealous and  questionable practice of the DHS acquiring and stockpiling armored, battle ready vehicles  and billions of rounds of ammunition, beyond even the scope required by our military.  I could go on and on. 

With all of this left open, up in the air and draining the American taxpayers of any type of promise for the future---here is what the media focused on and offered up as being the big story of the week:  A clown, at a local rodeo, in the Midwest, wore a mask during a comedic interlude.  While patrons and participants found it to be amusing, a racial group did not.  And in the blink of an eye the career of a rodeo clown ended by being banned for life.  Hearings were held, investigations into the personnel responsible for the rodeo program and punishment was exacted and swift.  Amazing how fast things can be addressed and concluded when it might (I emphasis MIGHT) offend an influential person, a politician and especially if that person is of color.

The mask happened to be a caricature  resemblance (almost cartoonish) of the President of this country.  As if we haven't seen masks of Presidents for decades and decades.  This is nothing new.  For years, during Halloween, the racks are filled with masks that resemble a multitude of people, real and fictional.  Nothing is ever said.  Many of us recall the endless variations of mask of Nixon, the Kennedy masks (both JFK and Jacqueline), the Johnson masks, Reagan masks, both Bushes, etc.  All of a sudden masks that depict this president is a racist thing?  So why such a focus across the nation? 

Please spare me the manipulative attempts to make this into something to further infuriate the nation, to further plant a burr under the saddle. There has continued to be an air of dissatisfaction regarding the verdict rendered by the jury in the George Zimmerman trial.  And that "up-in-the-air" attitude that seems to be lingering, is that the verdict (unpopular with so called civil rights leaders) didn't serve as a catalyst to rile up a riot, no matter the methods or areas in which organizers had hoped to ignite a spark.  So, in the ongoing attempt to create civil unrest, we have moved to the horse corral, the bull riding ring, the bronco busting arena.  There are malcontents that actually tried to instill a sense of racial discord, by looking to a small Midwestern town and its venue celebrating traditions and love of life in the Old West and the Cowboys that tamed it.  To think someone would or could manipulate the innocent and crowd amusing antics of a rodeo clown and his mask, to cause a diversion and attempt to promote racial discord.

Do you ever wonder why race seems to be a part of so many issues today, as part of any and nearly all matters.  And the candid truth is that it seems to be more prevalent since we elected a president who has a darker skin color than the majority of American citizens.  Since he took office and spoke out against the "...stupidly..." actions of the police in Cambridge, the photo op of a "beer summit", the "if I had a son....", the recent comment of "Trayvon could have been me 35 years ago", there has been greater division between the races, than the unification that this president and his administration was expected to deliver. Why? 

Shouldn't things be going just the opposite?  Shouldn't people of color be dancing in the streets?  Come to think of it, there was a time, when first elected, that that is exactly what people were doing. And the dancing continued when the President was re-elected.  So why, when race seems to have overcome all, by Americans ushering in a person into the Oval Office, not once, but twice, and both times, the race of the man was not a deterrent, it was a non-factor.  What other truth could there be?  So, why has the dancing stopped and the focus turned to racism?   

Could it be that things aren't as rosy as he promised them to be?  Could it be that people of color, people of ALL colors, people of ALL races, AMERICANS are finding out they can't pay their bills when there is no work, they prefer to have a home over a free cell phone,    they want to go to the grocery store and buy food, not stand in line with their food stamp card and people are tired of the uncertainty of a sluggish economy that is on government life support.  People, REGARDLESS OF RACE, are tired of the empty promises that do nothing but create one crisis after another.  Each crisis is then partially doused, for the moment, by deeper indebtedness through raising the debt ceiling that in turn, is choking the life out of us and smothering any hope for the futures of our children.   

Could it be that Americans, if allowed to focus on the real issues and not be distracted by some contrived, nonsensical and meaningless incident, might concentrate on the issues of    relevance and start to insist on much more.  Imagine the attention to details, if and when Americans united, regardless of race, and no longer bothered with the distractions deliberately reported by the news media or certain civil leaders and social organizations that draw attention and manufacture turmoil for the precise purpose of distracting the American voters. 

If the American people stopped, took an honest evaluation and understood the truth of the diagnosis as to how ill this patient really is---"this patient" being the United States of America,  if people really took the time to focus and educate themselves---there would be a riot for sure in this land. But, this would not be a riot over race or color and it wouldn't     benefit this President, his administration, this inept congress or any of the media that     is less than forthright in its coverage of the real issues on the Main Streets of America. 

We just might think about the dawning of a new wave in America----instead of those that would divide us, according to race, maybe we should all be intent on a unification process based on coming together through patriotism, love of country AND a coming together.  A coming together because we actually do believe, each of us, regardless of race, color, origin, ethnicity, religion or sex, yes, that we DO BELIEVE IN OUR HEARTS THAT ALL MEN WERE CREATED EQUAL. 

As the Reverend, Doctor Martin Luther King, Jr. said "I have a dream...".  I also have a dream and I want to share it with you.  It's big enough to include you and you and you.  My dream is that, no matter your race, you love this land enough to stand up against any that would undermine her, harm her citizens, make attempts to divide her people by disguising themselves with a mask intended to cover the practice of manipulating facts, burying truth and inundating us with distractions that serve no purpose other than to take our minds and focus off of the Trojan Horse now among us.

And I have one other dream:  A dream that America will once again be judged by the content of her character and not by the actions of the egotistical,  greedy, self serving, overspending clowns on the hill.

We need to insist that the media of print, vocal and camera take off their masks.  If anyone should be upset, it is the American people--ALL the American people.  The masked media and the clowns in Washington have been making fools out of us for a very long time.

 

January 28, 2013

"Politicians: Definitions, Diagnoses and Antidotes"
I'm not sure which came first, the chicken or the egg.  In this case, did the disapproval come first or did the definition of a politician come first? Whichever the case, I was truly taken back when I decided to let Webster and his colleagues to stand as the authorities on defining the people that sit in the elected offices of this nation and in state offices. I checked with 4 widely known and recognized sources for the definition of a politician. I wanted to know "who are these people, how are they defined"?


The two online sources, Dictionary.com and Bing.com, defined this person as (1) one who is active in party politics and (2) "a seeker or holder of public office, who is more concerned about winning favor or retaining power than about maintaining principles" and "someone whose main political motive is self-advancement and whose methods are often unscrupulous". Oh my, what an assessment. This isn't what I was looking for, therefore I proceeded to seek a loftier, more reserved definition from more traditional sources.

First, I checked the Merriam-Webster, to find this: (1) "A person experienced in the art or science of government; especially: one actively engaged in conducting the business of a government", and (2) "a person primarily interested in political office for selfish or other narrow usually short-sighted reasons". And then went to the King's English and checked with the Oxford Dictionary, to find: (1) "a person who is professionally involved in politics, especially as a holder of an elected office", and (2) "chiefly, US, a person who acts in a manipulative and devious way, typically to gain advancement within an organization". My, oh my. Four out of four, with nothing uplifting to say, nothing but biting and debasing words to define those that we refer to as politicians.

So this is where we are? This is what we have come to understand as the accepted term for those that we elect to sit in government, those that are elected to serve this nation. We look to elected politicians to guide our country, to solve problems, to promote the common good for all Americans, in positive manners as the advances related to the welfare, safety and security of all its citizens. Something tells me we're not anywhere near where we want to be with the people we're given, as choices, by the two main political parties. Maybe we had better keep an eye on these, less than admirably defined, people. Maybe we need to rethink our options as to who's in charge of how we select those that become political candidates.

If we are absolutely truthful and blunt, then we have to accept the fact that all that money raised for campaigns, we're not getting much with that money. Today, politicians and their campaigns shell out a vulgar amount of money; one million, two million, seven million, 25 million dollars and more. And some campaigns, such as the two presidential campaigns in the last national election, have spent in the neighborhood of ONE BILLION DOLLARS--nearly one billion dollars spent to acquire the votes necessary to seat one person at the helm of this nation. One billion dollars?

Maybe we should think twice about how we are being influenced by fund raisers, TV ads, campaign rallies, political party hype and other money-based exposures. Maybe we should look for the things money can't buy, such as a solid background of character, honesty, ethics, self-reliance and trustworthiness. Maybe we should look closer at someone who went to school on the merit of their grades instead of riding on the coattails of their family name. And maybe we could entertain those who earn a living by doing something other than being a banker or an attorney, someone that may have come from a manufacturing firm instead of from a high rise on Wall Street.

Maybe we should look for someone that loved their country so much, they took the oath and donned the uniform, either military, law enforcement or first responder. In other words, we might look for someone that served selflessly, wanting to truly make a difference by helping others---not by making speeches---but with their actions. Maybe we should consider asking you to give it some thought, to think about serving. You may be one of the missing pieces that are needed to help steer this nation back on course.

You don't need a law degree, a pedigree or even to agree with me ----you only need a conviction to serve others before yourself, a true desire to enhance the lives of others and a love for this nation and its people that transcends all else, save God Himself.

Now is the time, we need you to join in, to raise your voice, to be heard. Do not look to gain power, to control or make personal gain. Instead hold freedom dear, defend it, preserve it for this day, tomorrow and forever. Speak up America. Make your voice heard. Stand on the Main Streets of America, all across America, and speak out loud. 

2012

Dec 16, 2012


"THE BIG PICTURE IS THIS"

On Dec. 14, 2012, in Newtown, Connecticut, at Sandy Hook Elementary School, first responders, fire and police, showed up, witnessed and reported a scene that no man, woman or child should ever have to deal with---little children's bodies lying here and there with physical wounds that obviously rendered them dead. And among the 20 children, another 6 bodies of adults, these the educators at Sandy Hook Elementary School.

As the first responders, duty bound and compassionate, went about the gruesome task they had to perform, they cried, they had to go off and be alone for moments at a time, they hugged one another, they consoled each other, they gave support to one another---and they cried. And they also stood strong, supporting the moms and dads that would come to identify their children.

A fleet of ambulances lined up at the school to rush the injured to the waiting staff at the hospital.

Not far from the school, Dr. Murphy, head of Danbury Hospital, amassed a team of 80 doctors and nurses to handle the injured. At first, ambulances brought in three injured, all within a 10 minute window. After no further activity for more than 30 minutes, the hospital staff were crushed, they knew there would be no more injured arriving and, to them, that meant there were many that were dead.

Most ambulances left without their lights flashing---there were no injured, there was no need to rush.

Hundreds of parents showed up at the school, many left hand-in-hand with their child or children. Some parents walked away, sobbing, crying out in anguish and holding onto only each other. Their child would not walk hand-in-hand with them---not ever again.

The school teachers, the office personnel, the other students, all the families that enrolled their children at Sandy Hook Elementary and the townspeople have all been affected by this tragic event that took the lives of little people and the teachers that loved teaching these little minds. Such an horrific event can stunt the emotional, psychological and mental growth of anyone, especially the mind of such a young child. This tragedy did not end for them with the last shot fired, it will continue for years, and for some, for a lifetime.

The state of Connecticut, the state of this union, the entire nation has been affected. The nation has been affected by similar horrific events, in times before.

Though the Columbine High School shootings weren't the first of their kind, they were, at that time, the most lethal, in the number of lives claimed. That has long been surpassed. Since Columbine, in the last 13 years, there have been 31 school shootings. Not 31 shootings, but 31 SCHOOL shootings. That equates to approximately one school shooting every 5 months.

Every 5 months! That's a reality that we can no longer dismiss as we argue over gun laws; the right to bear, conceal, amass or other linked arguments over the superior "right" attitude regarding the 2nd Amendment. The second amendment is about protection and defense. It doesn't speak to or about pleasure, sports or hunting. I doubt, though this may be worth a debate, that it took into consideration assault weapons, body armor, grenades or bombs. Let's not use these draconian arguments and big money, lobbying efforts to convolute the attention and focus needed to bring about a safe environment for our children. It's our duty. Let's not argue our way through the blood of these children killed.

We don't need more gun laws, we need better adherence to the laws we already have, we need laws that include education, training, certification and testing. If you are adult enough, sane enough, educated, trained, certified and tested, you should have every right to own the weapon of your choice, within reason. And you should be held responsible, as an accomplice, in the event one of your weapons is used in an unlawful act--whether your weapon was loaned, stolen or whatever.

As for weapons categorized as assault weapons, that's an issue for another day. Why? Because a bullet of any size, shot singularly or in fast-fire order, can injure or kill when it hits its target, whether that target is an adult or a small child.

Let's get a grasp on the bigger picture, once we understand what that is, then we can start refining things down to the smallest details.

The big picture is this: 20 little angels were taken from their moms and dads, their brothers and sisters, their uncles and aunts, their cousins, their grandparents and friends. And they are gone forever---FOREVER.

The big picture is this: 6 educators were taken from their husbands, moms, dads, brothers, sisters, uncles, aunts, cousins, grandparents and friends. And they are gone forever---FOREVER.

The big picture is this: Moms and dads pulled up at an elementary school to pick up their children, instead of their child telling them what they learned today, instead of hearing stories about fun at school, moms and dads heard law enforcement personnel ask them to come identify their once vibrant and loving child.

The big picture is this: An elementary school was invaded by evil. That evil was a 20 year old boy who had weapons that he used to kill innocent, laughing, loving, kind and caring individuals who are now gone FOREVER. What needs to be done to prevent this from happening again? What needs to be done so that we don't forget this has happened again?

The big picture is this: We must not allow the argument of gun ownership overshadow the blood stained bodies left lifeless on the floor of an elementary school in a small town in America.

The big picture is this: No child should ever be afraid to go to school. No parent should ever send their child off to school, with the thought that their child may not come home that afternoon.

We can't talk about this for a few days and then just go on as we have in all the cases of the other school shootings. It's time to take a stand.

The big picture is this: What if your child didn't come home yesterday?  Now, what are you willing to do? 

Please take time to write us with suggestions, comments or questions.

Email us at: talk@mainstreetoutloud.com

September 25, 2012

"IT'S A GAME"

Let me start off by saying I really, really, really love really like football. Love seems like the wrong word. Today, it is my favorite spectator sport and I watch both collegiate and professional GAMEs. I have my favorite teams and have celebrated and died with them for decades. Now with that said:

ENOUGH: Instead of reports that would make you think that the entire sports world is crumbling, how about keeping it real. Yes, of course, there are some super wealthy owners, some highly paid players, some bettors and bookies very unhappy over ONE particular play. And they are making sure that, along with some fans, everyone knows it. There's a mark in the "W" column of one team and a mark in the "L" column of another. Why has this incident, seen by a relative small portion of people in this country, taken over the headlines, the newscasts, social medias and conversations at the water cooler?

The GAME, yes, it's a GAME, is over and all that revenue from the gate, concessions, advertising, broadcasting, print media, team shops, bets, etc. has made it to the bank. The players have all gotten huge checks, cashed them and they spent a night or two as celebrities at dinners and parties. Sports analysts, commentators, athletes and even referees have had a field day with repetitive showings of the play and parroting comments of what happened, what didn't happen, who was wrong, who was right and who got robbed. Social websites are off the charts with chatter and the reaction of anyone that has ever played or watched anything that would remotely resemble a sport, has been just short of
(actually, I can't think of anything it would be short of).

GAME: As I said, it's a GAME and this type of GAME is timed by a clock and when the final whistle blows, the GAME is over. The players, coaches, team attendants all leave the field of PLAY (yes, it's known as the "field of PLAY"), they go to the locker room happy, sad, proud or disgusted, they clean up, dress up and step up to do more interviews and then they go home. The team owners, management team and friends chat awhile and then leave those huge, luxurious private suites and go home.

And, oh yes, the referees that stood over that play, as to what they have had to say, well they haven't said a thing. Why? Because once they change clothes, no one recognizes them anyway. They just aren't as much a part of the event as others would have you believe. They wear those black and white striped shirts so they are noticed. Without the shirts, no one would realize they are even on the field, unless they blew their whistles. That's why they have whistles, to be heard. Yes, you guessed it, without those whistles, no one would pay attention to them.

Referees are there for one purpose, to make sure everyone plays by the rules of the GAME. They don't make the rules, they don't interpret the rules, they don't have any say about the rules. They follow the rules that the league has given them and that's it. By and large, they get it right. When they make a bad call, it is called a MISTAKE---yes, a MISTAKE. That's all it is. Sometimes the mistake is reviewed and corrected, sometimes it isn't. But, whatever the outcome, it's all because of the rules and what, at that split instant, the referee saw or heard. PERIOD.

The GAME is over and everyone went home. The fans will have talked about the GAME until a day or so before the next GAME. The players, the owners, the staff members, the referees, the stadium workers, broadcast people, print media and countless others will all be back next week to play another GAME. The PLAYERS will, again, take to the field of PLAY and the GAME will start when the whistle blows. There will be time outs, half times, entertainment, concessions will be sold, team shops will be busy and when the final whistle blows, another GAME will be over and everyone will go home.

And the talk will be about the GAME that just ended. The blown call that captured the headlines will be nothing more than a mental footnote, if that. And, without fail, this incidence will have been used by all parties, to make their point, gain some ground, solve their differences and everyone will get back to work. As for all those that own, work, PLAY or watch the sport, they'll still complain, but, maybe not as often or as vocally. Nothing really changed. It's still just a GAME.

REALITY: In the real world, people are still unemployed, they can't afford a ticket to the GAME, they have no time for GAMEs. Their homes have been lost to foreclosures, they don't have a home to go to anymore. Far from the sounds of cheering, families have lost pensions and their life savings through no fault of their own. They didn't get a bad call, they were taken to the cleaners by a corrupt financial and political system. There has been no review of the fraud, no reversal of any call. These families don't have a strong players' union and they don't own suites to which they invite bankers and politicians to watch a GAME. Throughout America, where there are no concesssion carts filled with hot dogs, other eats and treats, thousands of children will go to bed, hungry. This is called LIFE and LIFE doesn't have the advantage of instant replay.

And in parts of this world, we have sent American men and women to fight for freedom, to end the threat of terrorism and to keep us safe. There is no whistle to start the GAME, no referees to call illegal formation, off sides, interference or any other infraction. There are no time outs, no half times, no hot dogs or beer and there aren't any cheerleaders, save themselves. When someone throws a "Hail Mary" on this field, chances are someone dies. There is no final whistle and not everyone will be going home. This is called WAR and it's not a GAME.

Keep your priorities straight, put the spotlight on what really matters in life. And, when you have time to relax. Go ahead, enjoy some entertainment and remember, it's just a GAME.

August 18, 2012

"FIRST: AMERICA FIRST"
Beware of those that spew forth the rhetoric that is becoming much too common today. Beware of those that initiate rumors, instigate unrest, promote hatred and advocate violence. Remember that social medias, blogs, open forums and other avenues to be heard are open to all comers. We know there are sick, predatory and evil people that are looking for victims and it's never been easier for them.

Today, all that is needed is a computer, an Ipad or a cell phone and multitudes can be contacted and the potential influence of agendas and evil are only reined in or stopped through education, sensibility, reasoning without bias, the common threads of respect for the rights of others and a sincere belief in the statement "that all men are created equal".

On the August 18th program, I read, on the air, a few excerpts of comments by hate mongers that were posted on a website. They were indicative of the ills that are plaguing this nation. There is there such a thirst, by some, for blood and why is it being fueled by websites, both private and social. Why?

Ask yourself, why would anyone allow such posts, why would anyone add gasoline to what seems to be a slow flame that is burning in this country? What about America? What about fellow Americans? Why would anyone promote evil in a land that is has so many struggling already?

The rage and unhappiness, among so many organizations, political groups, business networks and just individuals that speak through social medias and even social gatherings should be taken as much more than just alarming. Are there as many people working to keep a lid on things as there are those set on instigating an uprising? Are the loose cannons having a field day with spreading their hatred as they gather more followers in what seems to be a thirst for violence?

This isn't coming from one side, it isn't a republican or a democratic movement, it isn't coming from one point of view. It is infiltrating and taking root in many corners of quiet neighborhoods all across America. And it can't continue to be ignored.

The stock piling that is going on of guns, ammo, protective gear, riot material, assault weapons and even combat equipment, by citizen groups, government agencies and your next door neighbor.....more and more of the nation's people are having doubts as to the future of freedom, as we know it.

Is the lid on tight enough or is this about to blow up and turn into something destructive, cloaked in a disguise as the left vs. right, liberal vs. conservative, the haves against the have-nots or even into a racial situation that has the potential of a civil war?

And what about all those that are feeding into the stirring it up? Where will they be if it erupts? What is the real agenda behind such civil unrest at this time?

Some of the people that use the social medias to access multitudes ---no one questions their sanity and lo and behold, they've just become friends and joined in. Do these people have their heads screwed on right and tight? And what about some of the talk show hosts that constantly talk about conspiracy theories, doom and gloom and that stir things that would lead toward a violent action within this nation?

Didn't we learn anything from this nation's inner war, a war that pitted brother against brother, neighbor against neighbor and claimed more lives than any war ever before or ever since? As for civil war; if reasoning goes out the window, then all those, over the past two hundred plus years, that have shed their blood for a free America, an America with "liberty for all" will have done so in vain.

This Republic, this United States cannot become a land divided, nor can we allow our history to be desecrated. We cannot become a nation unworthy of being a shining example of good, of liberty, of peace or democracy. We cannot allow ourselves to become the monsters of evil, from within.

We are Americans and we can make the difference and bring about the change we need in this nation. We can start by educating ourselves as to the candidates running for election. We can make a difference and go to the polls with the understanding that this is OUR nation, we are the people and OUR government is of the people and by us, OUR land is so governed.

We should consider cleaning house and do so time and again, until we have leadership that walks the talk.

We must elect leadership that takes to heart the oath to represent, preserve and protect.

We must insist that our representatives lead by example and that anything less is unacceptable---PERIOD.

We need leadership that has the common good of America and ALL of its people as the heart, soul, root and only foundation as its commitment.

We need leadership that, FIRST, in all matters, puts the well-being of AMERICA FIRST.


July 9, 2012

"They Are Called by ONE Name: 'VETERAN'"

THE U.S. ARMY: Since June 14, 1775. The motto: "THIS WE'LL DEFEND". The song: "Over hill, over dale, We will hit the dusty trail.......You will always know, That those Caissons go rolling along"

THE U.S. NAVY: With roots that go back to Oct. 13, 1775. The motto, though not official, most often cited: "NON SIBI SED PATRIAE" (NOT SELF BUT COUNTRY). The song: "Anchors aweigh my boys, anchors aweigh.....until we meet once more, here's wishing you a happy voyage home."

U.S. MARINES: Since November 10, 1775. The motto: "SEMPER FIDELIS" (ALWAYS FAITHFUL). The song: "From the halls of Montezuma, To the shores of Tripoli,......We are proud to claim the title of United States Marine."

U.S. COAST GUARD: Formed August 4, 1790. The motto: "SEMPER PARATUS" (ALWAYS READY). The song: "From Aztec Shore to Arctic Zone, To Europe and Far East,.....To fight to save or fight and die! Aye! Coast Guard, we are for you."

U.S. AIR FORCE: Since 1907, formed as a separate branch on September 18, 1947. The motto: "AIM HIGH, FLY-FIGHT-WIN". The song: Off we go into the wild blue yonder, Climbing high into the sun,....In echelon we carry on. Hey! Nothing'll stop the U.S. Air Force".

Different branches, all with their unique history--and all with their individual mottos and songs. But, there is a common thread---all have a common purpose---to preserve freedom, to safeguard the nation and insure the well-being and security of all who live in the land called America.

In their common cause, they are not known as the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines or Coast Guard, they are known more mightily as the ARMED FORCES OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. And so too, the selfless acts of individuals, are evident in our history---a history filled with honor, loyalty and duty.

For 237 years, this nation has been defended by some very exceptional individuals. Yet, through all of these years, there is only one name for them, they are not identified as individuals, they are not identified as coming from a certain family, background, ethnicity, color, creed or religion.

They have a common bond---they have served or they still wear the uniform today.  They are locked in a brotherhood and sisterhood that is special to each of them, they are knit into the fabric of one solid union.

These that have selflessly served, without condition, without exception and without regard for self or of personal gain, they have served with honor and loyal dedication.

There is only one name for them, they are not identified as individuals. 

They have born the burden of preserving Liberty, they have carried the torch and kept it lit, they have protected this nation.   

They have answered the call of their nation, they have responded with valor and they have taken the fight to the enemy, whether on foreign soil or at home.  They have prevailed in battle, on land, at sea and in the air.  And though victory has been theirs, they have not come home as boisterous conquerors or as crowned deities, no, they each have, by their own choosing, simply come home as one who did their job.

Today, many have long since been reassigned and are now laid to rest.  Some at peace in foreign lands, some laid to rest at home; all gone but none forgotten.  They are among those, yet today, among those that are known by one name.  

They are known for their commitment to duty, they are known for the results of their successful missions.  They are laid to rest---yet, they are an intricate part of this brotherhood, this sisterhood that seeks no individual recognition.

Far too few of those I speak, remain among us today.  And, too soon, many more will depart from our midst.  They have not asked for glory, they have not asked for riches nor title or fame. 

Oh, that we, as a nation, as the people within this land, could set aside our differences, our self-centered ways and learn the true meaning of our purpose on this earth--to enhance the lives of those we meet---to respect others as we ourselves wish to be respected.

Through all these years, they have all been exceptional in mind, in body and in spirit.  All have been exceptional in that which they have given--some have given all, all have given some.  The strength of this nation, the people of America, the future of our children has been and will always be because of them.

They have all been worthy of individual recognition, yet they enjoy a special common, family-like pride in being known as one within the brotherhood, the sisterhood of all.

They ask you to accept them, not as individuals worthy of praise and admiration, but to accept them and respect them collectively, for the unity and special bond they share with others.

They are the backbone of this nation---and they are called  by ONE name: "VETERAN". 

With honor, they answered the call.

GOD BLESS OUR VETERANS---ONE and ALL.

March 28, 2012

"Main Stream Media: All Men Are NOT Created Equal"
The Main Stream Media continues to be the ill wind that drives the flames of racism and civil discord. Why? There's definitely a big difference between reporting and pointing out injustices & the sensationalism used to stir things up and create a story to draw in a larger number of people.

A latest "so-called" poll suggests that 33% of Americans believe the Florida shooting was in cold blood. As if they were there and have all the facts. They have what the media fed them---incorrect assumptions, racism supposition and hype that has torn a city and a state apart. An incident, pounced upon by the media, twisted into a tale to arouse and divide Americans.

This is a story that has taken on a life of its own--far removed from the reality within the hearts and minds of all the families involved in this tragedy. There is no consideration for the legal process, no respect given for a time of grief, there is only a race to be first with the next headline of where and when the next shoe drops.

There is no time for a family to gather together and reflect on the life lost. The family of the deceased has to deal with microphones, cameras and never ending requests shoved at them, on their door step, in their face. The demands of interviews and appearing at congressional hearings over-ride the events after a loved one is laid to rest. Though time is needed to adjust, to accept and to adjust to a life without a family member, the main stream media presses on.

There is no time for the other family to unite and cope with unfounded allegations regarding the incident that resulted in the taking of a life. Due to public threats, reported through the media, it isn't even safe for the only other person involved, to speak out or to give an account. He now awaits the outcome of a grand jury investigation, influenced by certain groups, that, through intimidation, have stated that justice must be served to preserve the peace. As though this were the land of lawlessness and vigilante justice, the matter of "presumed innocent" has been disregarded by too many people.

While the shouts of racism and discrimination fill the headlines, fuel is continuously added to the ever-intensifying fire. A bounty has been placed on the head of a man that, to this date, was deemed, after an initial law enforcement investigation, to have acted within the guidelines of the law in the state of Florida. Yet, the main stream media reports continue to spotlight everything but the American system of justice--our due process of the law.

And, an innocent family, now lives in fear, due to the misinformation publicly posted in regards to the residence of the "shooter". This misinformation, recklessly stated and served up with no other purpose but to incite others, to provide a location, where an angry and misinformed crowd could go to mete out their own brand of modern day vigilante justice.

Who are we? And when did celebrities, with forethought of malice, become the moral conscience of this land? Is America, "the land of opportunity", becoming a threatening playground for the misinformed, judgmental and vindictive? Have mistruths, lies, bias and self-serving promotions become components that are protected under "freedom of the press"? Shouldn't we hold the main stream media accountable?

The people demonstrating, taking the stage, placing bounties, giving speeches, presenting themselves as leaders, as representatives on behalf of one race or another, yes, those people---who are they? Why are they involved now? Where were these people last week, last month? Why are they always visible when the cameras are rolling? Why do these people claim they want justice, yet, so often, they promote and lead in activities that create civil unrest, incite civil disobedience and the threat of riot in communities, foreign to them, of lawful and respectful Americans.

With those that use the main stream media for self-promotions and the furtherance of their own hatred and discord, does rationale and reasoning stand a chance? And with those that believe and follow the accounts put forth by the main stream media, even when it is proven to be a false account, what does it say about their ability to be truthful and think for themselves in an attempt to live in peace.

Why do we continue to read, listen to and watch this unethical and irresponsible reporting? Not all of it is news or newsworthy. Some of what is fed to us as news, is nothing more than cleverly disguised bias to promote an agenda by manipulating information that you use in the thought process. Turn off the cameras and unplug the microphones--isn't it time for the truth to be discovered according to the accepted, legal process within America. America; the land that proudly boasts that we are a nation under "the rule of law".

If we truly believed that "all men are created equal"---the initial story by the main stream media, subsequent stories, actions and comments by community leaders, politicians and even our president ---would never have mentioned the color or race of either individual.

AND THAT'S THE TRUTH---IN BLACK AND WHITE

March 7, 2012

"Politicians Say...Do They Mean It And Tell Me Who Are These People?
Do politicians really mean what they say? It is campaign time and, it seems, that anything goes, especially when you're being solicited to work on behalf of the campaign to get this person elected or re-elected. They want you to not only work for them, they want you to support them too.

Most Americans would agree that the top issues in the nation, at this time, are the economic crisis we're still dealing with and the unemployment picture that just isn't good for a large portion of Americans. And politicians talk about these issues, without ceasing. They talk about how dire situations with unemployment and the economy---they stress the points and tell you they know how you feel and what you're going through--they're "Just like you".

They ask you to help them at their campaign offices, to make calls from your home phone or use your cell phone, to go out and drive an area (with your car and your gas), post signs, walk a neighborhood and ask for signatures on petitions and, of course, give the campaign more money.

If they really know that the economy is bad and that the average American family is suffering, then why do they ask for money--lots and lots of money, over and over. The "we need your immediate support" never seems to stop, not while they're campaigning; NOT even after they get into office!

Do they really believe the unemployment issue is straining the average American family as they try to find work, any work, to keep a roof over their head and bread on the table? If they understand it, really understand it, then why do they schedule events in the middle of the day, when most Americans are working? They ask you to show up--as if you can just take the day off. Well you could, but it might be permanent. Of course, they might be suggesting that unemployed people go to their functions instead of using that time to try and find a job.

And, who are all of these people that seem to head up special interest groups, attend lots of rallies, demonstrations and special events? How do these people get the time off, or what's their story? They contact you through various sources, ask you to show up, lots of you to show up, because the more that gather, the more the chance that the media will cover their event. They furnish you with signs, tell you what to say, ask you to march, to work, to give and give to some cause that you know little about. They call it a 'grass roots' movement, but that's a loose term when used as a tag for political interest groups that pay hundreds of thousands of dollars to consultants that promote the agendas of politicians and/or special interest groups, also known as PACs. And they all operate off of donations---a free ride on other people's time and money. You have little time for anything other than work and taking care of your family and home, heck, you're still saving up enough for a family-night at the movies. So you begin to wonder: Who are these people that don't seem to work and have all this time available?

Other than those that get paid absurd salaries from donations, many of these people are often retired, with a nice pension, some are people that are independently wealthy, live off of an inheritance, widows/widowers with settlements and political hopefuls that want the photo op and elbow rubbing experience. Some of these people head up causes that others donate to and are one of the paid within those movements. And some, yes---some are living off of government subsidies--subsidies that are supported by you and me. And yes, to be fair, some have government jobs--secure as can be, with big paydays and great pension plans and they get time off for things you can't even imagine.

If you fit one of these profiles, it's easy for you to attend these functions and be a 'campaign staffer', you get lists of people to bother call or write with "join me", "support", "fund raiser" and "more than ever" pleas, bulletins and flyers. If you have to work to support yourself, then you are asked to take time off from your job and show up to promote their cause(s). And, if you can't show up because you want to keep your job and you NEED to work; you'll really be missed, so much so, that if you would send a check or charge your credit card, it'll ease the disappointment. They need your support, so they can win and then they'll "fix" the problems.

If the politicians and the special interest activists really cared about you and me, they might have these functions after the standard day of work has ended for the majority of the working class, after the parents have had a chance to get the family fed and settled.

And those invitations to fund raisers, how special are you to get one of these? They want to meet you, they want you to meet them, they want you to have the opportunity to hear their views, they want to hear yours too---and oh, by the way, at the bottom of the invitation, now that you feel so special, they tell you what your minimum donation should be if you plan to attend. And if you can't make it? Just send the check.

I don't know about you, but for me, I can hardly control myself when I get these invitations. To think they remembered me, that they know how I feel, that they are just like me and that should give me a warm and fuzzy feelings, but instead---I feel like an ATM with legs.


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