Tuesday, November 15, 2011


Mourning the loss of a loved one is a very personal thing.  What helps one person does not help another.  Time is irrelevant when you mourn.  It passes as always but it has no meaning, all you know is that it is time without the loved one. 

The stages of mourning vary with the person experiencing the loss.  Was it sudden?  Was it expected?  Were you there at the end?  While these are legitimate questions they really have no bearing on how you mourn or grieve.  It is easy for others to tell you what to do, even if they have also experienced the loss of a loved one.  But they cannot feel what you feel, they cannot tell you how or when to move on.  That is something only you can do.

The pain eventually eases but never really goes away.  Sometimes days or weeks will pass and no tears will be shed.  But you cannot put a limit on that time.  You cannot say within 3 weeks I will be at this point, at one month I shall be at another, at six months I'll stop crying. 

There was a time when black was the only color allowed for those in mourning, now it doesn't really matter.  The mourning period was a year.  A year of wearing black, staying away from social functions, being confined to home or church.  How times have changed.  But grief has not.  Perhaps staying away from social activities is not such a bad idea or maybe it actually helps to be around people who are not grieving.  Each person is different and each person will transition from stage to stage in their own time.

Let me grieve in my own way, in my own time.  What helped you may not help me.  Be my friend and let me grieve as I need to grieve.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Legislating Common Sense

With the verdict and sentencing now in for Casey Anthony, Florida is now considering a law that makes it a felony to knowingly lie to police. While on the face it sounds like a good idea, how do you prove it. Liars by their very nature try to be as convincing as possible. Look at Susan Smith who killed her two sons and had the nation believing that a black man had carjacked her and drove her SUV into the lake. When in fact she did it herself.

You cannot legislate for common sense. You cannot legislative against being stupid. People will try to lie their way out of any situation to protect themselves from the consequences of that situation. Our politicans do it every day. Corporate raiders do it every time they buy a company with the intent of breaking it up and selling the pieces for a profit.

Also putting a another law on the books is no guarantee that it wouldn't happen again and again. Oh but this time there would be a penalty, you say. Well there are penalties for driving drunk and driving without a license. But people do it on a regular basis and are being caught on a regular basis.

The problem is that our children and young people are not being taught that actions have consequences. Until that happens other children will continue to be killed by the very people that should be protecting them.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

House Divided

There is an old saying, A house divided cannot stand". Well with modern technology it may be able to stand but can it support the people inside it? Probably not. We are becoming a nation divided. Each day I read news reports where people are complaining about "those people" should not have this, that or something else.

We are becoming the very type of nation that our ancestors left Europe, the Middle East and Asia to escape. The Revolutionary War and the Declaration of Independence came about because they wanted to be free. Free from religious persecution. Free from the class struggles. Free to prove that they were equal. Free to speak their minds without fear of imprisonment.

Have we forgotten this? Surely our ancestors are rolling in their graves at the things we are so upset about today. We don't have to agree with everything we hear. We don't have to try to convert everyone we meet to our way of thinking. Our way of thinking changes based on our life experiences. Our life experiences are different from someone else. How we are raised is different from everyone else because how our parents were raised is different.

If we don't put aside our petty differences and start pulling together on those things that affect us all, our enemies will not need another 9/11 to defeat us. We will have become so divided and disjointed that they will be able to carve us up like a Thanksgiving turkey. There will no longer be a United States of America.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Government for the people?

It has only been 150 years since the Civil War and yet we have forgotten the how polarizing it was. Slave owner versus non-slave owner, states' rights versus federal government. Us versus them. In Lincoln's Gettysburg Address he stated that the civil was was fought so that the government of the people, by the people and for the people should not perish. In every conflict that the US has engaged, even if it was not popular, we entered in on what we felt was the side of right. The enemy was clearly defined, we engaged him and eliminated the threat.

Yet 150 years later we are engaged in another internal struggle, another us versus them fight. However, the us and them are not clearly defined and if you watch the news or read the papers, the sides change places or even change names. Yet the polarizing words "us versus them" carry great weight. Big business versus the worker, the elderly versus medicine, legal immigrants versus illegal immigrants.

Instead of being the voices of reason and providing options and ways to settle these conflicts, our elected officials seem to be fanning the flames of discontent. The reason this seems so shocking to me is that I have labored for many years, under the impression, that by voting these individuals into office, that my voice would be represented. How naive. My vote may have helped elect them to office, but their views and opinions were formed long before the election. They were bought and paid for by the special interest with the deepest pockets or the best retirement package. Many elected officials upon leaving government service, go into the private sector, some via the lecture circuit but others through employment with the very companies they were responsible for drafting legislature to govern their activities.

All political parties foster the us versus them mentality because it is the only way they can stay in power or at least garner some power for themselves. The latest "them" was Wall Street. The housing market tanked, investment firms went under, companies too big to fail were given government bailouts and told to reduce management bonuses and salaries. Once the dust settled and the worst offenders were eliminated, everyone else went back to business as usual and corporate bonuses were once again being posted in the papers.

Yet nothing has really changed. The housing market has not recovered, unemployment is still high the doomsday predictions for Social Security and Medicare are still being used to either reduce spending or increase it depending upon which side of the aisle you are seated. Slowly but surely our government has turned its back on the very people it was formed to serve. The checks and balances that our founding fathers installed have been trampled in the dust and the Constitution itself, ignored.

We no longer have a government for the people and it only took 150 years from the war that was fought to preserve it.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011


Fanatics come in all sizes, shapes, colors and types. There are the religious fanatics such as those who orchestrated 9/11 and those who burn Korans. There are political fanatics who believe that their political party is always right and everyone else is wrong. There are also the patriotic fanatics who take love of country to an extreme level of hating everyone else.

They all have one thing in common. They believe that they are right and that everyone else is wrong. They feel that belief gives them the right and obligation to convert everyone else to their way of thinking or eliminate them. In their world there is only one option to believe as they do or die.

I love my country and believe that the USA is the best place to live in spite of all of our problems. That does not mean that I do not respect the right of a Canadian or Mexican or Iranian to feel the same about his. I am also a Christian but I also respect the rights of Buddhists, Jews, Muslims to worship as they see fit.

Fanatics know no limits. They will do whatever it takes to press their cause. We must be vigilant but not rush to condemn. We must be careful not to become one of them.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Separate But Equal????

I remember when the phrase "separate but equal" referred to the segregation of schools. It was okay as long as the non-white schools were equal to the white schools. Now it has taken on an entirely new meaning, one that is frightening and far-reaching.

We are fast becoming a nation divided. Not along racial lines as many still want to believe but economic lines. It has been reported in numerous studies and editorials that the wealthiest 4% pay less in taxes then the lowest 40% to 50% of the rest of the population. That there are corporations that rake in billions of dollars in profits and pay less than 1% in taxes. There are even some, through loopholes in the tax code who pay nothing at all in taxes.

We are being driven back to the dark ages where the gulf between the haves and the have nots was enormous. The truly sad thing about this is we are doing it to ourselves.

I hope we wake up soon.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Protector of the World????

When did the USA become the world's protector? Every time problems arise that require military action, the USA is expected to run point, take the losses, carry the expense and then receive the brunt of the backlash from home and abroad.

Too many times we have flexed our military muscle in an attempt to sway points of view. Now it has become expected that we will use it all the time. We are being asked to use our military again in Libya at a time when we are already engaged in Iran and Afghanistan. A comment was made on the news this morning that while NATO was taking over the lead on the 'no-fly zone', there were some things that only America could do. Why is that?

In areas that directly affect the safety of the world, of course, America should help in any way possible. In Libya the ruler is attacking his own people, for humanitarian purposes we need to assist. However, we should not be taking the lead and we should be looking to Libya's neighbors to exert force, either military or economic, to resolve the problem. They have the most to gain or loose in this situation.

We can no longer protect the world, when we are not capable of protecting our own borders from smugglers and illegal entrants. While I strongly believe in a strong military and feel that we need to continue to provide our military men and women with the best possible equipment. We also need to keep ourselves safe at home.

Ideally I would like to see only token American forces anywhere outside of the 50 states. We can no longer keep large forces outside our country because our own economy cannot support it. If other countries want a large American presence in their country, then they can help us support that presence. Otherwise, we bring them home.

Lastly our involvement in the Middle East has become the Viet Nam of the 21st century. As in Viet Nam there were no winners only losses. In the Middle East we are engaging in the same type of war and expecting a different result. There is nothing to win there, we cannot remove the terrorist groups responsible for 9/11 because to the people in the region, they are not terrorists.