Sunday, April 26, 2009


Labels are fine in the right places. Warning labels on machinery, very practical. Ingredient labels on the food we buy, necessary to avoid all kinds of problems. Labels on our clothes telling us how to wash them, necessary to avoid some embarassing situations. There are numerous places where labels serve a useful if not necessary purpose. However, labels do not belong on people.

Liberal, conservative, right, left, hawk, dove, etc, etc, etc,. I could go one ad nauseum about the labels that are attached as early as childhood to people. Why do we need labels? I think I can tell what people believe in by talking to them and listening for a while. I don't need to label them. I either agree with them or not. But that doesn't define that individual for me. People are complicated and they hold numerous beliefs. With some exceptions just because you disagree with someone on one issue doesn't mean that you will disagree on all issues. Although if someone is coming at you with a gun or knife drawn, the differences are more than philospohical and you need to take appropriate action.

I fear that we are so far removed from the America that our founding fathers envisioned that we have lost sight of the fact, that the right to differ was one of the reasons our ancesters left England, France, Boliva, the middle east or the far east to live here. Freedom to speak our minds and to believe how we feel most comfortable believing is the right of every American. It doesn't mean that one way is more correct than another. Our flexibility and willing to change is what has allowed us to flourish and why others want to live here.

However, living here is not free and comes with some conditions. You learn our language and abide by our laws. That is not to demean your culture but if you are planning to live here for an extended period of time, it makes sense to me, that you would want to be bi-lingual, that English as a second language would open more worlds to you than just being able to speak one. I, personally, believe that it insults the host nation, if you don't at least try to learn some basic conversational language. If I decided to move to Spain or Greece to live or stay for an extended period of time, I would at least learn enough to know how to order food, get a cab or bus and know that I was going to end up at the right location.

You hear about having to live in a Global community. That is true more and more businesses are operating in countries other than where they were founded. At one time, English was the language of business. Now if makes more sense to know Hindi, Catonese, Spanish, and a smattering of other languages just to put your new employer, employees and/or vendors at ease.

But I digress from labels. Whether you are a hawk or dove, lean to the left or right or center, it does not make you any less an American. Nor does it necessarily make you correct or incorrect. It means you have your opinion and I have mine. At some point in time all options will be tried, even those that haven't even been thought of. Will they all work? Probably not, but at least we will have tried something different that hadn't been tried before. That might lead to something that does work.

So enough with the labels. We are all Americans and as Americans we can disagree with each other without pulling out guns and killing each other (ooops a thought for another blog).

Oh, a parting thought to the Governor of the State of Texas, if you really think you would be happier becoming part of Mexico or even a soverign country of your own, have at it. But I would think long and hard about it. America may not be perfect, but I wouldn't live anywhere else. Politics change with the wind, what is in today, will be out tomorrow. The glue that binds Americans together is tougher.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Driving Tips

Okay, I 'm sure this has to be wrong in any state but I'll keep an open mind. I am driving to work, minding my own business, staying within the speed limit, school is in afterall and I out my left mirror and all I can see is a chrome grill, and a turn signal. Okay, I am not officially freaked out. My first thought, emergency vehicle, must pull to right and yield. Small problem, no place to go. The vehicle drops back and pulls in behind me and guess what, no emergency vehicle but a rather large SUV in a bright red. We stop at a light and I give the vehicle a real good look, right at that moment, the person driving claps her hands together as if in glee. Psyco!!!!!!!. The light changes and I proceed on my way, now worried that the car behind me contains the means to my end.

The next thing I know she pulls around me and speeds off in the left turn lane. Eventually she makes a left turn but only after several moments have passed. Now when I learned to drive, the left turn lane was just that, a lane for making a left or right turn off the traveled road. It was not to be used to travel any length of time or miles.

In some cities, she would not have gotten too far before she had a head-on collision or at least verbally attacked.

Not every mile of unoccupied roadway is meant to be driven on for a long period of time. I know that the police have more important things to deal with, like real criminals but there should be a way to identify people who do this on regular basis. I have often wanted the ability to push a button from inside my car, that would spray paint or attach a sticker to the offending car for all to see at least until the culprit stopped and could remove it. Another feature would be a camera that took a picture of the culprit's license plate number and hopefully the offense in question, so it could be posted on you-tube or some other such public place where anyone could see and comment.

Of course, the ACLU would probably not agree with this because I am sure it violates some kind of privacy law. But it would be something to think about.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Comment on Tea Parties

Today across the nation, Tea Parties were held supposedly to demonstrate outrage at where our tax money is going. The analog being the Boston Tea Party which protested the taxation without representation in King George's court.

Well the last time I checked, the people voting on the spending of our tax dollars were duly elected. Possibly without revealing their true intentions but were duly elected by the majority of the people that they are supposed to be representing.

Obviously, the President, whom many attending these tea parties blame, cannot be removed for 4 years. But the Congress can be changed and probably will be to some extent during the next election. But consider this, no one said it was going to be easy to turn this country around. No one said the choices would be easy. But we are Americans, we have always pulled ourselves up by our boot straps and gotten the job done.

Lately, we have become a nation of whiners, complainers, blame the other guy, etc. We as a nation have failed to take responsibility for our actions. Instead of insisting on the truth, we sadly sit by and morosely wail about what this country is coming to. How can this happen to us? We let it happen. We blindly accepted as truth the rantings of people who really did not know as much as they and we thought they did.

We have become a nation of 'I got mine, who cares about everyone else'. Well if you don't care about your neighbor and he happens to be recruited by a radical organization, who do you think he is going to come after. The guy who got his first. A bit far a field but not by much. Look around your neighborhood, how many houses have been foreclosed, how many of your neighbors are out of work, how many properties have been on the market for months or even years before they finally sold.

Do we need to watch how our tax money is being spent, of course we do. But you don't resolve anything by following pundits of the flash and dazzle. You research. Everything is on the internet. Even things you don't want there someone can find. Get informed, listen to many voices, not just those that shout the loudest.

The truth is out there, it isn't pretty and wrapped up in a pink ribbon. Not everyone is going to like it or even agree. But it is what we as Americans believe in, it is our right to know the truth or as much of it as we want to know. But don't blame someone else for your shortsightedness. Don't trot out the old revolutionary war cry and try to make it work for today.

This is still the greatest country on earth and I for one would rather live here than anywhere else. Do I like paying taxes, no and I grumbled the entire time I was working on them. However, without taxes there would be no schools, no roads, no police, nothing that we so casually take for granted.

Use your common sense and be part of the solution, not contributing to the problem.

Dreaded Word

Is there no word in the English language that strikes more fear than....Cancer. I remember the first time I heard it mentioned in the same sentence as my own name and I don't remember much about the conversation after hearing the word Cancer.

My family has a strong genetic predisposition for this dreaded disease. My grandmother on my mother's side died with it and two of my mother's brothers died with cancer. It has also struck nieces and nephews.

Two years ago during a routine colonoscopy a growth was removed from my sister and was determined to have cancer cells in it.

When I was much younger the incident above occurred and luckily it was only some pre-cancer cells and was easily taken care of.

Now my mother had a growth removed from her bladder and it too was cancer. The doctor says he got it all but who can say.

My mom has a positive attitude and is a tough ole lady so she will fight it if it returns. I wish that I felt that confident myself.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Easter Thoughts

He is Risen. No three words carry so much weight in all the world. Not even I love you has such power and strength. It is the season for joyous renewal whether you are Christian, Muslim, Jewish, or any of the numerous religions that cover the world.

This is the time of year when you feel that you can still accomplish much in the world. If small little seeds can bring forth beautiful flowers, then certainly I can accomplish something maybe not as beautiful but just as meaningful. Spring is the time of year, when the earth renews herself, shakes off the sleepiness and drabness of winter and renews the flowers, trees and shrubs to bring forth new life. When the birds, bees and mammals mate and begin new families. The world becomes alive with new life, new scents, new joy.

When you think of all that Jesus accomplished in a fraction of the lifetime alloted to us, then just think what wonderful things we could accomplish in our lifetimes. We all have the ability to do great good or great evil. It is our choice. We have seen much great evil as a world, we have also seen much great good. Unfortunately, the evil gets more press and it appears that nothing good is happening.

This is our opportunity, yours and mine, to change that. Do one small good thing each day. Perhaps that person you allow to check out ahead of you at the store or that you give your parking space to, will remember that act kindness and pass it on. That one small act can lead to another and another. You would be surprised how it changes the tone of your day if you start out by doing something good for a stranger.

You can also change the tone of your life by releasing the hate for past hurts. It does not resolve the wrong and you cannot change what has already happened. The only person who is hurt is you. Haven't you hurt long enough? Let is go as Christ forgave those who took his life, let it go. You won't become Christ but will be closer to the person he wants you to be.

He is Risen. His was a triumph over death to provide us the means to triumph during our life.