Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Damned if he Does and Damned if he Doesn't

I am sitting here this morning listening to Morning Joe, and I am getting more and more angry.  It seems that just a month ago after the elections, these folks were saying, "The voters have spoken, the President better listen."  Now Mr. Obama has compromised to include some of the Republican issues (including those "tax cuts" for the wealthy), and these same folks are criticizing the President for moving too far right.  What exactly do these people want?  Do they want a leader who stands for what he believes to be correct or a puppet who follows the polls?   Folks, you cannot have it both ways!  The truth is that these commentators -- this show and others -- are just plain anti-Democrat or anti-Obama.  Let's figure out what is the right thing to do and DO IT regardless of the politics.  Let's stop complaining about everything and DO something productive!

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

World AIDS Day Ramblings

Remember that today is World AIDS Day.  When I started this post, I wanted to make a point, but the topic is so broad and so close to my heart, I decided to just let the thoughts ramble.  If they are disjointed, so be it.  For many folks, this is the one day of the year when AIDS is in on their radar.  For many folks, however, HIV and AIDS are a reality every day.  Many have lost friends and family members to the epidemic.  Many others are living with HIV and AIDS, either short term or for many years.  There are newly diagnosed cases every day in this country and around the world.  You might claim not to know anyone who has died or is living with HIV, though I doubt the reality of that claim -- unless you live in the forest or on a desert island as a hermit.  The reality is that, although you might not be aware of anyone affected, everyone is affected directly or indirectly.  The world has been deprived of the talents and contributions of millions of people whose lives were cut short due to this epidemic.  Families have been torn asunder as mothers, fathers, children, siblings, and others have faced illness and have either lost or are still fighting the battle.  Twenty five or more years of HIV should make its eradication or control a priority for everyone of us, for the medical profession, religious leaders, educators, and the government. 

I sit this morning thinking of so many people == some fighting, some now at peace.  For Tim and David who have been facing the challenge everyday for many years I pray for another year of health and progress.  For all the people I have known who have died (too numerous to list), I pray peace for their souls and their families.  For society, I pray for an end to judgement and prejudice and for every person out there to find a way to get involved.  For our young people, I pray for knowledge and responsibile behavior.  With all of the information there is on the transmission of HIV, there should be no valid reason for our kids to become infected.  Parents, talk to your children about this stuff.  Young folks, you are not invincible - be responsible.

I hope that all of the events and publicity of this World AIDS Day result in at least one life protected, extended, or remembered.  That one life (hopefully many more) makes these events worthwhile.  Don't let the day go by unnoticed.   And in a manner similar to Ebeneezer Scrooge who vowed to keep Christmas in his heart every day, let us each commit to keep HIV/AIDS in the forefront of our consciousness.


Thursday, November 18, 2010

What Marks a Leader?

I have been watching several politically oriented TV segments recently in which people keep saying that President Obama should change course in light of the midterm elections.  How sad!  A true leader does not always do what is popular, but stands firm for what he/she believes to be right.  Is it more important to do what is right or to get re-elected?  If what Mr Obama is focusing on is wrong, time will bear that out.  If it is simply unpopular, too bad.  When did we ever get to the point in society that the boisterous majority sets the course and determines policy?

If popluarity reigned, women would not be voting, gays would not be getting married, African Americans would be living is slavery and using separate facilities, the outcome of World Wars I & II would have far different, and the list goes on.   These irritants and deterrants to a healthy society were (or are being) eradicated because leaders led rather than followed.

It is time that we stopped allowing elections to be decided by popularity or by the amount of mud being slung, and elected leaders who will stand for right, regardless of the political cost.

And that, friends, is my rant for today.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Just Checking In

Hey everyone!  There's not much happening at the moment, but since I haven't posted in a few days, I thought I ought to let you know that I am still alive.  I have been feeling a little bit useless of late -- down to working three days a week and no particular church responsibilities.  That means that, for the most part, I have four days a week to do as I please- the problem is that I haven't quite figured out what "do as I please" means.  I can sit and watch TV and play on the Internet all day, but then I feel as though I haven't accomplished anything.  I can clean, do laundry, or cook -- fun for a bit, but those things quickly lose their appeal.  I can go shopping -- but I don't need anything and I surely can't afford a lot.  I could travel, but that too costs money.  I think I may look at volunteer opportunities for a day a week or so, but I haven't quite decided where or what.  Sometimes I wonder if semi-retirement was the right choice -- that question is quickly settled every week when I hit that first work day -- wishing that retirement was total which also is not feasible right now.  Part of the reason for semi-retirement was to have more time to accomplish the church tasks, but that role changed a month ago.  I'm not really complaining here, just rambling, and searching for direction and renewed purpose.  Stay tuned for updates.   And that is the way it is today.  Have a good one.

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

The Morning After

Well, election night 2010 is over, even though there are still a few results to come in.  It was not a pretty night for the Democrats, but we still woke up today and, God willing, will wake up tomorrow as well.  Now that this bloodbath election is behind us and the 2012 bludgeoning has not begun in earnest, it is time to put parties and animosity aside and to work together to address the challenges that are before us -- jobs, economy, wars, the environment, DADT, same sex marriage, and the list goes on.  This cooperative spirit is needed, not only in Washington (though it is certainly essential there if there is to be improvement), but on every street in every town in every state.  We each need to remember that it is not about what is best for ME or my party or businesses or the poor or the rich or __________, but it is about what is best for the country and what is right.  That means the inclusion and the dignity of all people regardless of religious beliefs, sexuality, or any other matter that actually has nothing to do with governing.   Thankfully, most of the candidates who put forth hate or far out policy points LOST.  We are not a Christian nation nor are we a theocracy nor are we a heterosexual nation.  We are a nation, and we need to remember the phrase, "We the people".  We also need to stop saying, "I want my country back!"  My country, governed by Republicans and Democrats (and some Tea Party folks -- whatever exactly that means) is still here as it has been for more than 200 years.  There have been problems, challenges, failures, victories, advances, wars, peace, and all those ("my country" things) throughout our history, and I believe that if we are true to our founding principles (which were not exclusively Christian), we will persevere and be around for a very long time.  My challenge to you all today is this:  What are YOU doing to make it better?  And that, my friends, is the way I see it today!

Monday, November 01, 2010

Where's the Dignity?

This election cycle is nearly over -- thankfully.  I would like to suggest to future candidates that they pledge to restore dignity, statesmanship, common decency, and professionalism to the election process.  I am so tired of candidates (or others in the political fray) calling others "corrupt bastards", "whore", "facist", "socialist" and so on or telling the President of the United States to "shove" his endorsement or using words like "that sucks".  Is this high school, the bar room, or even the water cooler crowd?  No, these are the people who are being considered for positions of extreme importance in the future of our nation and world.  These people want to govern?  They even even practice decency and decorum!  I wish one candidate would rise above the onslaught of mud, vulgarity, insult, and childish petulence and stand on his or her positions on issues -- not demeaning the opposition, but telling us what he or she (the candidate) will strive to do if they are elected.  What a change and what a positive example for the young people of the US.

Did you ever wonder where the bullying in schools is coming from?  Read the above paragraph!  If we say it's okay to be vulgar, to insult and demean, and to disrespect even the highest office in the land, is it any wonder that kids think it's okay to do that to their peers?  Add to that the rants of the religious right which do nothing but heighten the fears and bigotry that run so deeply in society.  Folks, it's time to reclaim some human dignity here, and I call upon every person who holds or hopes to hold a position of influence or authority to model the common decency and respect that they would like to experience.

And that's the way it is on this Election eve!


Happy November; happy Monday; happy All Saints Day; happy "day before election" day.  Don't forget to go vote tomorrow.  And, of course, vote for the correct candidates -- we need to move forward not backward.  Things ARE getting better!!!  Let's not let it go back to the Bush years -- it was NOT better!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Is it Groundhog Day?

Believe it or not, I've found something more annoying than the political ads!  A product called Hydrolyze has been running an ad for at last the past two weeks or so in which they offer a free sample of their product for "the next 24 hours."  Now, do they think we are so stupid to fall for the 24 hour thing when the ad is on day after day?   That one ranks up there with those that are selling wonderful "as seen on TV" JUNK, and add the line, "We'll send a second one absolutely free; just PAY additional shipping and handling."  How do absolutely free and just pay even go in the same sentence?   Come on, advertisers, do you think that people are that stupid?  Hmmm, maybe that question IS the tie between this kind of ad and the political ads. 

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

One Week and Counting

Here we are - one week until election day and the end (at least for a a short time) of the hateful political ads that are rampant.  Telling me that your opponent is a no good scoundrel without any substantive message of your positions or aspirations does not induce me to vote for you.  Distorting truth, name calling, fear mongering, and the like do nothing but make people angry, disappointed, disillusioned and frustrated, with an ever increasing likelihood of lowering voter turnout.  Now, for me, my decisions are made in all major races and I will be sure to be at the polls next Tuesday supporting candidates of the party that DOES NOT tax the people while giving businesses huge tax breaks, the party that DOES NOT stomp all over the rights and dignity of people who are "different", the party that DOES NOT start unjustified wars and then fund them OUTSIDE of the budget process, nor the party that wraps the flag in a narrow, judgmental, hateful cloak of religion (THEIR religion of course).  Remember as we come down to the wire, YOUR VOTE MATTERS.  Be the change you want to see -- progress or return to what led us to where we are today -- if you don't vote, don't complain about the results.

Monday, October 25, 2010

I'm Back

Well, folks, it's been exactly 10 months since I posted anything on this blog.  I get so wrapped up in Facebooking that I seem to forget this mode of communication.  I have just completed a fourteen month interim position at one of our churches, with the end result  that the church has been transitioned into a cell group associated with another of our churches.  That leaves me at kind of loose ends.  In addition, along this past summer, I applied for Social Security benefits and have reduced my secular employment to three days a week.  That now gives me a four day weekend -- Friday through Monday.  I guess I need to find something to do to fill part of that time, although for right now it's kind of nice to have time with nothing particular to do.  I don't where the next several months will lead me in life, but stay tuned -- it might be an interesting journey.  Hope to be back to regular posting and will be catching up on reading other blog posts.  Of course, you can find me on Facebook!