Thursday, December 17, 2015

Get a Grip Folks!

Have you ever considered how truly far into the abyss we have fallen? The lack of education has to be the reason. I learned about Christmas around the world and other winter events in school. Apparently I’m part of a lost educated generation.
Christmas has been with us since the Catholic Church established it in the 4th century. The first recorded date of Christmas being celebrated on December 25th was in about 336 AD, during the time of the Roman Emperor Constantine (he was the first Christian Roman Emperor). A few years later, Pope Julius I officially declared that the birth of Jesus would be celebrated on the 25th December.
So Christmas began as a Catholic tradition and eventually adopted by other Christian denominations. So What? Does it really matter who started the tradition? Heck, Judaism started Thanksgiving, with the various harvest festivals, but we all adopted the event and eventually gave it a specific day!
DON’T TAKE THE CHRIST OUT OF CHRISTMAS BY WRITING XMAS!!!!! Oh my!. Xmas is not a secular way of writing Christmas – it comes from the Greek expression where X (the Greek letter chi) refers to Christ.
DON’T SAY MERRY CHRISTMAS! Merry means happy or joyous; why on earth would you not wish someone a happy and joyous day, whatever the day is? Like it or not, December 25 is the assigned day for Christmas. Like it or not, EVERYONE will, unless they die beforehand, find themselves experiencing December 25; this includes, Christians, Jews, Muslims and in fact ALL people. What is wrong with wishing them a happy or joyous day?
ONLY GREET WITH HAPPY HOLIDAY! Why get upset about this greeting. After all, HOLIDAY is a shortened iteration of HOLY DAY!!!!
And then there was the ridiculous uproar about Starbucks© and their coffee cups that were anti-Christian because they removed the ‘Christmas symbols’ from the cups. First of all, they weren’t Christmas symbols. Snowflakes, trees and gingerbread men, are winter symbols, not exclusively Christmas symbols. By the way, did you notice that Starbucks© cups are red and green? Those are traditional CHRISTMAS COLORS!
A few hours more than ten days to go before XMAS. Get a grip folks! If you celebrate Christmas have a happy holy day! If you don’t celebrate Christmas, have a merry day that others call Christmas.
Just remember, if you continue to argue about the day and what to say when greeting one another, Santa Claus, Pere Noel, Papai Noel, Viejo Pascuero, Dun Che Lao Ren, Kerstman, Joulupukki, Weihnachtsmann, Kanakaloka, Hoteiosho – will not come to your house, or if he/she does, you will get a stocking full of coal.
Oh my! I think I started a new controversy. 

Thursday, December 3, 2015

This Is NOT a Second Amendment Issue!

The tragedy in San Bernardino is beyond comprehension!  Unfortunately, it is just one more massacre in a series of masseurs in the United States of America, this year.  The Washington Post reports on December 2: The San Bernardino shooting is the second mass shooting today and the 355th this year.  (A mass shooting is defined by the FBI as a shooting event that has 4 or more casualties).  In the early morning hours of December 2, one person was killed and three were injured in an incident in Savannah, Georgia.

Two things I know:
1)    This is not a Second Amendment issue, because nobody is suggesting legislation to take away guns, from law abiding people – despite what is written, quoted and shared on Facebook.
2)    The amped up rhetoric, hyperbole, hate speech and postings on the internet, have done absolutely no good to resolve anything and have only divided us further.   

What I don’t know is how to stop this insane execution of citizens in our Country where we have always prided ourselves in our tolerance and freedom – which is supposed to be ‘for everyone’ not just those who agree with your point of view – and I don’t think you do either.
Neither side of this argument (Left or Right, Liberal or Conservative, Christian or Secular) has a clue as to how to stop the loss of life by gunfire.  Calling the President or another Social and Religious group horrid and filthy names, has not accomplished a thing other than possibly making you look like a fool.

What to do?  First admit that you don’t have the solution either!  Start reasonable discussions that are free of incitement, and are truly are looking for a solution. 

Benjamin Watson, in his book ‘Under Our Skin, uses the phrase “this is not a skin issue, it is a sin issue”.  Although Mr. Watson was talking about another subject, I will say that the death by gunfire issue, ‘is not a gun issue, it is a heart issue’!

If you really want to stop the insanity, use your efforts to find a real solution.  If we took all of the energy that is used to attack, from one side or the other, and channeled it into a common effort, I am convinced that Americans (not so called hyphened Americans) could find the answer.

As a friend of mine would say “put on your big boy/girl pants and get to work.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

I’m War Weary

I was born in 1943, at Schilling Army Air Corps Base, during a war.  I don’t remember much about that war; my Aunt talked about it and at one time she talked about the Germans and Russians having a big battle.  

My Dad was in the Army and played in the Army band.  I have a picture of me standing beside the ‘Freedom Train’ in Seattle, when I was about 4 years old.  So my first environment was a war environment.

My next recollection of war was when General Eisenhower promised if he was elected President, he would bring the ‘boys home from Korea’.  I later learned the depth, insanity and cruelty of the Korean War from history books and of course M.A.S.H.

After Korea (which actually was called a Police Action) there were several other interventions by the United States Armed Forces and of course there was the  ‘Cold War’ which frightened me as I grew up under the threat of the Atomic Bomb, then the Hydrogen Bomb and who knows what other horrible weapons that threatened to destroy the world, using something called ‘Mutually Assured Destruction’ (MAD), which guaranteed that if Russia attacked the U.S. we would return fire and assure that neither would survive.  Growing up under that threat, defined by the following, was very frightening, even if we didn't understand the total impact that such an action would have:

Mutually assured destruction, or mutual assured destruction (MAD), is a doctrine of military strategy and national security policy in which a full-scale use of high-yield weapons of mass destruction by two or more opposing sides would cause the complete annihilation of both the attacker and the defender. It is based on the theory of deterrence where the threat of using strong weapons against the enemy prevents the enemy's use of those same weapons. The strategy is a form of Nash equilibrium in which neither side, once armed, has any incentive to initiate a conflict or to disarm.

I was in High School when I realized that all the air raid drills of elementary school, where we were sent to ‘air raid ditches’, were nothing more than training us, in case of attack, to “go calmly to the prepared mass graves”.  Talk about a precursor for P.T.S.D.!!!

Next came the Cuban Missile Crisis and of course the undeclared war known as Viet Nam.  Since then, there has been Bosnia, Kuwait, twice in Iraq, Afghanistan, and small attacks and deployments throughout the Middle East and Africa; all because the United States wants to preserve the rights of the oppressed……which is a good thing but ‘too much is too much’!  The time has come for us (the United States) to stop being the lead Policeman for the world.  Cooperative ventures with other Nations are a good thing, but let someone else take the lead, and let’s use the bulk of our Armed Forces to protect our boarders in the same manner that other Countries do.

The issue of declaring war against terrorism is certainly in our best interest but we do not need to be the only, the largest or the primary defender.  Frankly, when I watch the barbaric actions of ISIS or ISIL, I am angered; when I hear supposedly well educated people claim “well the Christians were just as bad” ( as if to dismiss or ignore such acts) I am saddened by their stupidity.  Indeed, the Crusades were awful, and the barbaric actions of Christians and later the Nazis are not to be excused; nor are any violent actions against any religious group or race of people, in the name of another group race or religion, acceptable to me.

Step up, other nations! Arab States….. take note of what Jordan has done!  They are willing to hit hard but can’t do it alone.  ISIS or ISIL is not acting according to what they claim as Muslim beliefs and practices.  They are acting as barbarians and are, attempting to force ‘their brand’ of life on not just non-Muslims, but on other Muslims as well.  I would hope that mankind would have matured, since the Crusades – but maybe not.

Syria, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Iran, Iraq and other Muslim States; can’t you see that the world is turning against all of you because of what ISIS or ISIL is doing?  Show the rest of the world that you oppose such acts too!  Step up, take the lead and wipe this ‘cancer’ out!  If you do, I and many others in America would support you in many ways.  But again, frankly some of us are ‘war weary’ and are not willing to take the lead any longer.

Many detractors will say that our involvement around the world is a Democrat issue and others will say a Republican issue.  The truth of the matter is that the issue is not patrician.  The issue is arrogance and economic; traits possessed by Democrats and Republicans ….. and those who won’t take sides.

“That’s the way we’ve always done it” is the battle cry of the insane, not a responsible leadership of a free Country,