Posts from the ‘Editorial’ Category

To Resolve NOT To Resolve, It’s Not a Question At All

The dawning of a new year and this year, a new decade, is once again upon us. I could swear it was just yesterday we were all anxiously anticipating with trepidation the arrival of the dreaded Y2K virus that would accompany the new millennium. A new century full of potential and pitfalls at our doorsteps was a daunting, yet exciting, prospect. Now here we are knocking on the door of the next decade with the first 10 years already written. Those years have been ones of immense change that no one could have predicted with a crystal ball, not even the famed Ms. Cleo.

No matter how long the previous year seems as we navigate our way through it, looking back, it seems to have passed by in the blink of an eye, good times and challenging ones alike. Perhaps that perception is accelerated when viewed through the prism of age. I can’t swear by this theory, although in my case, it seems to be true. Time does indeed seem to fly when looking back on it.

I don’t usually tend to wax nostalgic, but the past year has been one of immense change, both for myself personally and for the world at large. Change, while sometimes welcome, is not always something that I embrace willingly. I’ve found though, that it comes along whether we are ready for it or not and you better be willing and able to hold on and roll with all that comes with it. The phrase coined by Thomas Paine “Lead, follow or get out of the way”, springs to mind when dealing with life’s twists and turns. Life marches on and you can either find a way to cope and enjoy it, or you’ll be left behind. It’s a powerful force that will not be stopped in favor our of inability to keep up.

In my life, I have the opportunity to interact with a broad spectrum of people. From the very young to those that have weathered many decades, one thing is clear. The world is definitely a very different place with very different mindsets from the one I grew up in. I know that this revelation isn’t something that is new amongst the generations that have come before mine. One thing that has changed drastically however, is the way the world views the future and the potential contained in it. Our willingness and eagerness to succeed and the coping skills that used to be fostered into our childhood lessons aren’t there anymore. I see faces with eyes that seem angry or worried or resigned to life rather than excited by it. The eyes are sometimes in the faces of those that are too young to have so much worry or no hope and drive for the future. So many divert those weary eyes and don’t know how to interact with everyone around them anymore. More and more people don’t look others in the eye anymore for fear of what they might see or give away in themselves.

I don’t mean to sound full of gloom and doom. Like it or not, and I don’t at times, I have never been able to fully extinguish that light at the end of the tunnel belief in my thoughts or in my own life. I’ve always known that every day is different and full of new possibilities. Some of those days will be worse than the one that came before it, and some will be so much better, you feel as if you are floating on air. That is the wonder of living itself. I will confess to wishing at times that life was not quite so colorful or full of the all the things that make me grow, while at the same time making me squirm from the lessons they try to teach me along the way.

The past year and particularly the last 5 months, have seen great changes in my life, some positive and some things that I would not have picked if given the choice. I lost a parent, moved to a new home from one that had been a refuge for the past 21 years and have faced a betrayal that I didn’t see until it rose up out of the blue. The past year has also seen the deepening of friendships that I didn’t know I needed, the memories made with children that are no longer small and constantly surprise and make me proud as they continue to grow into adults and precious times spent with my Dad that are priceless. I’ve learned to bend, learned to adapt. I had no choice and in doing so, have as always, learned about myself, my inner strengths and my resolve. Some things I handled well, others I’d probably do over and in a better manner, but that just isn’t something that we are afforded in life. You live and learn if you’re smart and use those lessons for the rest of your days.

Thomas Paine also said, “We have it in our power to begin the world over again.” I believe he was right in this assertion. We all have within us the ability to make the best of whatever crosses our particular life path. We can make a difference in the lives of those around us if we put the effort into it, but at the same time, the sooner we realize that there are some things that are simply out of our control, the happier we will be. It’s a hard lesson to learn, particularly for me. I’m a nurturer by nature and at times a controller. It’s hard to let go and realize that you can only control your own path and hope that by example and deeds, your life will positively affect those whose paths you cross. I tend to want the best for those around me and to lessen the unnecessary pain of lessons that test the resolve of those I care for when it’s possible or when they will let me.

There’s that word again, resolve.

To me, it’s not something that can be done on the first day of a brand new year. It’s not something to pledge to blindly and stubbornly adhere to when you have no idea what the future may hold. Resolve, to me, is the backbone and strength to weather whatever storms and rainbows that appear along our journey on the road less traveled when they occur. In order to do that, you can’t lock yourself into a particular path or behavior in anticipation of things and events unknown.

This new year of 2011, as usual, instead of making resolutions, I intend to be resolute. To not just proclaim loudly or even privately to myself on a day that is meant to be full of hope and promise and without the constraints of a year yet lived, things that in a few weeks will be left by the wayside. Instead, I want to be resolute in the decisions I make throughout the year and see them through. To be firm and unwavering, yet not inflexible, and to make things happen that will benefit my life and the lives I touch daily. To do and follow through on the things I can actually accomplish right along with the occasional reaching for the stars and to not spin my wheels endlessly on lost causes. I’m resolute in my determination to screw up as little as humanly possible (screw-ups will occur) and to instead progress in positive ways, great and small.

So, once again, on the eve of the brand new year and brand new decade facing us, I resolve not to resolve anything. I’ll take things as they come and adapt, learn and hopefully grow from them as I enjoy all the nuances of life, both the good and the challenging.

To paraphrase the faux-wisdom that I not only have to say on airplanes, but also from a famous movie..fasten your seat belts, it’s going to be a bumpy night, ride and year. They all are, that is the only guarantee in life that we receive. Such is life, it is here to be lived and not observed.

The alternative is simply unacceptable.

Happy New Year!

To Whatever Liberals, Progressives, & Obama Supporters It May Apply, I Want a Divorce

 

Dear American liberals, leftists, social progressives, socialists, Marxists and Obama supporters, et al: 

We have stuck together since the late 1950’s, but the whole of this latest election process has made me realize that I want a divorce. I know we tolerated each other for many years for the sake of future generations, but sadly, this relationship has run its course. Our two ideological sides of  America cannot and will not ever agree on what is right so let’s just end it on friendly terms. We can smile and chalk it up to irreconcilable differences and each go our own way.

 

In anticipation of such an action, here is a model separation agreement: 

 

Our two groups can equitably divide up this country by landmass each taking a portion. That will be the difficult part, but I am sure our two sides can come to a friendly agreement. After that, it should be relatively easy! Our respective representatives can effortlessly divide other assets since both sides have such distinct and disparate tastes. 

 

We don’t like redistributive taxes so you can keep them. You are welcome to the liberal judges and the ACLU. Since you hate guns and war, we’ll take our firearms, the cops, the NRA and the military. You can keep Oprah, Michael Moore and Rosie O’Donnell (You are, however, responsible for finding a bio-diesel vehicle big enough to move all three of them).

 

We’ll keep the capitalism, greedy corporations, pharmaceutical companies, Wal-Mart and Wall Street…. You can have your beloved  homeboys, hippies and illegal aliens. We’ll keep the hot Alaskan hockey moms, greedy CEO’s and rednecks. We’ll keep the Bibles and give you NBC and  Hollywood .  

 

You can make nice with  Iran and  Palestine and we’ll retain the right to invade and hammer places that threaten us. You can have the peaceniks and war protesters.

 

When our allies or our way of life are under assault, we’ll help provide them security.

 

We’ll keep our Judeo-Christian values.. You are welcome to Islam, Scientology, Humanism and Shirley McClain. You can also have the U.N.. but we will no longer be paying the bill. 

 

We’ll keep the SUVs, pickup trucks and oversized luxury cars. You can take every  Volkswagen you can find.  

 

We’ll keep The Battle Hymn of the Republic and the National Anthem. I’m sure you’ll be happy to substitute Imagine, I’d Like to Teach the World to Sing, Kum Ba Ya or We Are the World.  

 

We’ll practice trickle down economics and you can give trickle up poverty your best shot. Since it often so offends you, we’ll keep our history, our name and our flag.

 

Would you agree to this? If so, please pass it along to other like-minded liberal and conservative patriots and if you do not agree, just hit delete. In the spirit of friendly parting, I’ll bet you  which one of us will need the others help in 15 years.   

 

 Sincerely,  

 John J. WallLaw Student and an American  

 

P.S. Also, please take Barbara Streisand & Jane Fonda with you.

 

America Rising – An Open Letter To Democrats

When this video first surfaced a few weeks ago, I thought it was well done and prophetic of things to come. Given the events of the past week, even more so now.

I didn’t vote for what is happening to our country. While I didn’t like the choices for President in 2008, I voted for John McCain. In the spirit of full disclosure, I am a conservative that has occasional libertarian leanings on some issues. I have never in my life been remotely considered to be a liberal. I fear the moves being made in our Nation’s capital that continue to erode our country in ways that a few years ago would have been unimaginable. MY hope and change is that people are finally paying attention and opening their eyes…that they are no longer silent.

That said, I applaude this video put together by those that are now seeing the damage being done to our country and that are having “buyers remorse”. While I wish as citizens we weren’t being subjected to some of the unnecessary hardships being amplified by bad government, it’s better late than never to realize one’s mistakes and move to correct them.

For all our sakes, I almost wish the Democrats continue to pay no attention to the will of those that elected them to SERVE, not dictate, with their unpopular, ill-advised and un-wanted legislation that is killing our way of life and that of our future generations.

The day of reckoning is coming.  As I tell my students, there are consequences for each and every choice we make, each action we put into motion.  It’s past time the lawmakers in this country learned that they will be held accountable for each decision they make.

They work for the people, and the people can fire them.

You Are Cordially Invited to a Tea Party

matson

There is an interesting phenomenon going on throughout our country today.  In ways not seen on this scale since the war protests of the 70’s, people are showing our government that they are fed up.  Americans young and old are sending the message loud and clear that we are tapped out as a nation and weary of yet more restrictions, bail-outs and tax burdens being heaped upon our shoulders and those of our future generations.

It is not a partisan effort, despite what the ultra-left wing branch of the Democratic party would lead you to believe.  There are Republicans, Democrats and Independents alike participating in this show of outrage and frustration.  We are exercising our Constitutional rights as Americans, whatever our political affiliations might be, to assembly and free speech.  We are, as a people, sending a message that while we respect the office of the President, many of us grow increasingly unhappy with the direction the country is being guided or shoved down a path we do not want.

So, today we protest our frustration and convey our disagreement with policies and new taxes and programs that it are being presented as what “we” want.  I for one, am tired of being told what is good for me and to just shut up, sit back and agree with those that do NOT represent my views, despite what they seem to believe.  I’m angry with the bail-outs that were passed “for our own good” even though the public outrage and opinion showed that Americans were soundly against their passage.

Washington and those currently in office better pay attention to what is being expressed by the people that have elected them as our representatives.  If they are smart, they will not put spin on it or tell us once again what they think we meant to say rather than listening to what we are actually SAYING to them.  This is a warning shot for those coming up for re-election that we the people, are paying attention and are discontented with their actions and disregard for what we think.

So, exercise your right to be heard.  Even if you believe no one is listening, it is a sure bet that you won’t be heard if you don’t even try.  In the past few election cycles it has vividly been shown that even a few individual votes do indeed count.  If you choose to sit on your backside, then don’t complain when you are not “bailed out” like the major corporations or fall through the cracks when you thought you’d be saved from your responsibilities and allowed a free pass.

Wake up and smell the tea brewing! 

Washington, you are not doing a good job at hearing the people you represent and that elected you.  This is not just a fluke or something that will go away if you put your fingers in your collective ears and cover your eyes.  To even give the impression, whether accurate or not, that the views of your constituents are falling on deaf ears would be a mistake if you wish to continue to serve the people that elected you.  Change is indeed brewing in this country, although I’m not sure that it’s quite the change the current administration envisioned.  I beg you, do not make the mistake of dismissing or alienating what is becoming a larger and larger section of the American people clammering to be heard..

On another little, purely personal note, I know that the original Tea Party was located in Boston in 1773.  However, we in the South know the TRUE value of tea.  Look in any refrigerator in a true Southern household, and you will find a gallon or two (or four) of the best SWEET tea that you’ll ever taste.  I know that the Yankees amongst us (hear that oh stoic one?), don’t recognize the simple indulgent pleasure in a glass of sweet tea and insist that having sugar on the table will somehow negate the fact that your restaurants don’t have it available on your menus up North.  You just don’t know what you’re missing.  Perhaps it’s why Southerners always have a smile on their face and something to say to everyone, even making actual eye contact as we do!!  We’re just infused with sweetness from birth through our tea! 😉

So, today in Atlanta, our tea party will have sweet tea flowing freely and our voices as proud Americans will be heard loud and clear.  The only question is, will those in Washington be smart enough to pay attention and react by rethinking some of their proposed actions?

Time will tell.  One thing is certain, ignoring it or making light of such a large group of Americans discontent would be foolish and ill-advised on their part.

 

“We in America do not have government by the majority. We have government by the majority who participate.”  Thomas Jefferson

 

**The DHS bulletin released or “conveniently leaked” on April 7th is troubling in the fact that it seems to be a not so subtle hint that our freedom of speech is being threatened at least by threat of intimidation and at worst incrimination.  We all need to pay attention and be vigilant of such veiled threats against our freedoms.

Stomping Our Feet And Pitching a Fit..That’ll Teach ‘Em!!

time_out_chair_11

The world has watched for weeks as North Korea has done exactly as it said it was going to do.  Thanks to the obtrusive capabilities that Google Earth now provides us all to spy on cheating spouses and now Communist countries, even Joe Schmo could peek in on all the activity on the launching pad halfway around the world.

They said they were going to send a “communication satellite” into space.  They hauled out a rocket.  They fueled it.  The world watched and used their “serious” words to tell them not to do it.  President Obama and Secretary Clinton shook their fingers and stomped their feet in our stead, promising all sorts of dire consequences if North Korea stood by their word and dared to actually do what they said they were going to do.  We all watched and waited and whined.  China stood by figuratively giggling at the comotion and impotent threats from the “super powers” and chose to do nothing to intervene.

Yet on Sunday morning, amidst all the tempest in a teapot, North Korea made good on their word.  They did exactly what they said they were going to do and launched their new playtoy for all the world to see, effectively thumbing their nose at all the other kids on the playground.  They provided the potential buyers for their wares, any potential future terrorists (oh, excuse me, the bringers of man-caused disasters), a wonderful demonstration of the viability of their product. 

While the world watched and whined.  Our President promised a STERN united international response.  (What would that be, yet another visit to the UN’s dreaded “Time Out Chair?”)

A lot of good that did.   Somehow I get the feeling that there was no shaking in their collective boots going on.  The North Koreans proved once again today that they are better at playing chicken than we are.

Our President today got up in front of his teleprompter and fired off a very stern lecture toward the North Korean government.  He raged and promised that the UN was going to hear about this!! (shouldn’t they already have known all about it?)  He declared that this will not be tolerated. Of course that statement is like closing the barn door after the horse is running for the hills.  It doesn’t have to be tolerated, it’s already done. 

The North Koreans today put into practice what many people spout off as rhetoric.  They showed in graphic form that it is easier to ask for forgiveness rather than permission.  The only caveat to that is, of course, they don’t plan to ask for forgiveness.  They simply intend to thumb their nose at the rest of the world and do as they please.  A few more ineffective sanctions from the UN aren’t going to deter or even make them think twice the next time they plan to behave badly.

I will admit that one thing President Obama said today was very true.  He declared as he did often on the campaign trail as well, that “Words matter”.

Indeed they do.  North Korea took that phrase to heart and demonstrated it in no uncertain terms.

They said they were going to launch their rocket, and today, they did.

Who is standing by their words now?  The North Koreans that did what they said they were going to do and carried through or the rest of the world issuing their stern warnings and impotent sanctions yet again? 

Unfortunately for us all, the question is a no-brainer and the majority is proving to be the ones drawing the short stick.

Heaven forbid we hurt any feelings or actually take a stand.

To do so would denote that a strength of spirit and will  is still alive and well in the United States of America.  We can’t have that anymore, now can we?

Here a Trillion, There a Trillion

money_money2 

 

A budget of 3.6 TRILLION dollars was passed yesterday on Capitol Hill. 

We pledged to contribute to another TRILLION dollars to the IMF at the G-20 summit. 

We are throwing hundreds of billions of dollars each week, it seems, to BAIL-OUT (not recovery and re-investment) yet another company that is deemed “too big to fail”.  In the process, we are now also seeing the government step into the fray in the attempt to legislate the salaries of private citizens.

Our calculators do not even go up to a trillion.

We are throwing around money like it’s a bizarre monopoly game and it’s not real to any of us.  It’s so far out of the realm of imagining for any average/normal American, that it’s like dealing in fantasy.  I’m not sure that even the politicians doling out our grandchildren’s future have any true concept of the true amount involved.  It’s mind boggling to even consider.

…and yet, we “spend” (at least on paper) more and more each day to “solve” our problems.  Nevermind the problems that we are creating in the process.  The current theory is that we’ll deal with those potential problems when we have to. 

It seems that Scarlett O’Hara’s reasoning has taken over Washington and the Congress and administration, along with many Americans, are now thinking…

Oh, I can’t think about this now! I’ll go crazy if I do! I’ll think about it tomorrow. But I must think about it. I must think about it. What is there to do? What is there that matters?  After all, tomorrow is another day!”

 

 

To put the concept of exactly how much a TRILLION dollars is into perspective, here are 15 Trivia facts about what that amount of “play” money could do…

 

A trillion dollars, in one-dollar bills, lined up end to end, can circle the earth about 3800 times.

A trillion dollars, single-stacked in one-dollar bills, would stand about 679,000 miles high; almost three times farther than the moon.

A trillion dollars worth of pennies, stacked in a single stack, would reach about 79,000,000 miles high; over three-quarters of the distance to the sun.

A trillion dollars, laid out flat with one-dollar bills, would cover an area of nearly 4000 square miles; nearly enough to cover the state of Delaware, not once, but twice; and it could cover Washington D.C. with about 2 1/2 inches of one-dollar bills.

A trillion dollars, strung end to end across the United States and stacked in a single-line stack, would build a wall 115 feet high across the country.

A trillion dollars, even in 100 dollar bills, stacked in a single stack, would reach over 6700 miles high.

A trillion dollars, in 100 dollar bills, lined up end to end, would circle the globe about 39 times.

To spend a trillion dollars in one year, you would have to spend $2,739,726,027.39 each and every day.

To spend a trillion dollars in ten years, you would have to spend $273,972,602.73 each and every day.

To spend a trillion dollars in an average lifetime (72 years), you would have to spend $38,051,750.38 each and every day.

The weight of a trillion dollars, in one-dollar bills, is about 1,093,750 tons; about as much as 15 Queen Elizabeth II cruise ships (Gross Tonnage). 

A trillion dollars in one-dollar bills would take about 32,000 years to count, assuming a counting rate of a dollar per second, and counting for 24 hours each day, seven days a week.  No food, no sleep, no breaks.

A trillion dollars in one-dollar bills, placed on the center line of America’s nearly 4 million miles of roadways in a single-line stack, would create a stack over 1 1/2 inches thick, or 38 layers.

A trillion dollars could purchase over 3 million of the most expensive Rolls Royce autos.

A trillion dollars could purchase over 2.5 million of the most expensive Lamborghini sports cars.

 

***********************************************************************

Money, Money, Money  by Abba

 

I work all night, I work all day, to pay the bills I have to pay
Ain’t it sad
And still there never seems to be a single penny left for me
That’s too bad
In my dreams I have a plan
If I got me a wealthy man
I wouldn’t have to work at all, I’d fool around and have a ball…

Money, money, money
Must be funny
In the rich man’s world
Money, money, money
Always sunny
In the rich man’s world
Aha-ahaaa
All the things I could do
If I had a little money
It’s a rich man’s world

A man like that is hard to find but I can’t get him off my mind
Ain’t it sad
And if he happens to be free I bet he wouldn’t fancy me
That’s too bad
So I must leave, I’ll have to go
To Las Vegas or Monaco
And win a fortune in a game, my life will never be the same…

Money, money, money
Must be funny
In the rich man’s world
Money, money, money
Always sunny
In the rich man’s world
Aha-ahaaa
All the things I could do
If I had a little money
It’s a rich man’s world

Obama’s World Tour..Will It Be A Home Run or Strike Out?

What’s your opinion of the 5 country world tour that President and Mrs. Obama began today and his participation in the G-20 summit?  Will it be a huge success, seen as a failure, or somewhere in between?

What do you think of his 500+ person entourage?