I just got some sad news.

August 26, 2010 on 12:59 am | In Uncategorized | 92 Comments

I got a Facebook message from a Fraternity Brother of mine that someone we knew had passed away.

We went Bethany College, a small college in West Virginia. Bethany had virtually no civilization, there was not a gas station or even a traffic light. We did have one bar, Bubba’s Bison Inn. Bubba, the owner, was a large man at well over six feet tall and probably over four hundred pounds. He had to be that large because he had such a big heart.

Every night Bubba could be found sitting at the end of the bar keeping a bunch of drunken college kids in order. I can recall a time or two when I was the cause of a little ruckus and Bubba ended things real quick. I can also recall the first time I ever drank moonshine was at Bubba’s.

Bubba’s was part of a Bethany education, a special part. I wonder if Bethany will lower their tuition now that there will no longer be a Bubba’s?

Allow me to propose a toast to the memory of my friend: Thank you friend. You were a special part of my life and you helped me become a man. Your memory will live on as you touched so many lives. We will miss you.

So much for manners

August 16, 2010 on 11:15 pm | In Uncategorized | 138 Comments

How often do we hear that manners were so much better in the “good old days”? Today it was proven to me that this is a myth.

I went to a convenient store this morning, one that I often go to, to get a newspaper and a muffin for breakfast. The line was long but a second cashier started taking customers so we were beginning to move quickly. One old man decided he was in to big of a hurry to have to wait to pay for his newspaper and he just put his $1.10 on the counter and announced it was for a USA Today and he left.

There was one line for two cashiers and when I became next in line an old lady walks into the store and she walks right up to the closest cashier instead of getting in line behind me. She paid for gas and walked right out of the store. I walked up to the cashier and made the comment “so much for manners being worse today”. This cashier has worked in this store for several years and thou I do not know her we are familiar with each other. She replied to me that I would be amazed at some of the BS she puts up with. This lady is a very nice lady but I can guarantee that when properly agitated she will let you know just how the cow ate the cabbage.

The way people are drives me crazy. I just do not understand why everyone has a need to feel more important than everyone else. People always use the same excuse, I am in a hurry. Well if you are in such a hurry why didn’t you leave sooner or plan your trip better? There really is no excuse for being rude. I would like to think the old lady just did not know the line was behind me but this happens so often it cannot be true of everyone that does it.

I like good manners and I like nice people. I will admit my faults, I can be just as guilty of this as anyone. The night before last I stopped to get gasoline and all of the pumps were full, I got in behind another vehicle and waited for him to leave. As he pulled out I pulled up to the pump. In front of the vehicle that was before me was a flatbed truck waiting to pull up to a pump. I though he was waiting to pull into the pump next to me as he was facing towards me and was in the same direction as the vehicle on the other side of the pump. After I pulled up to the pump he gestured his frustration to me. He did not flip me off he just sort of threw up hi arms. As the car next to me left the truck driver pulled in there and began filling up. He banged stuff around and made a lot of noise so I would understand he was mad at me. I must be growing as a human because I held my tongue and kept my mouth shut. In the past I would have given him a little something to think about.

Even when chatting online I have started trying to be more polite. I refuse to engage people that try to get into an insult battle with me. I also do not want to automatically assume what the other person means, I try to ask for clarification. I am doing my part in making my corner of the world more polite I hope other people will join me in this.

What about the mosque?

August 14, 2010 on 6:24 pm | In Uncategorized | 28 Comments

I wish that some day we will stop building all houses of religious worship but until that day happens the muslims have every right to build a mosque on private property. The fact that it is near the site where the World Trade Center once stood is irrelevant. In this country each and every individual has the religious freedom that is accorded to everyone else. I must stand up for the rights of peaceful muslims if I would ask them to stand up for my rights.

I have heard the arguments about how it would offend survivors of 9/11 and the families of those that perished. Well I am sorry for their loss but this is not a good enough reason for this country to suspend its constitution.

Another argument that I have heard is that muslims are our enemies and that they have sworn to kill us and 9/11 proves it. Muslim terrorism is the “red herring” of today. There are over a billion people in this world that practice the muslim faith and most of those people truly are peaceful. We should not assume the worst in all because of the actions of a few. Once we do then we are all in trouble.

I have no doubt that there will be some that will attempt to use this mosque to perpetrate evil upon the world, this happens everywhere, I would hope that the good people of the muslim faith will try to prevent it from happening. It is time that the muslim people that do not want violence and terrorism to stand up and make it known to all that this is wrong.

I understand the fear in these people. It is never easy to take a stand against violent people but silence can be taken as an endorsement. If people do not speak out then how will this ever be stopped?

For all people in America that are currently against this mosque I would like to know, are you for enforcing The Constitution? If you are against enforcing the Constitution for these people then you give up the right to ask for protection under the Constitution when you need it. This document is for everyone.

It is about time.

August 5, 2010 on 8:28 pm | In Uncategorized | 462 Comments

A Federal Judge overturned California’s Proposition 8 banning same gender marriage. I have read people on line crying the same lame crap about how we are redifining the word marriage and how this will destroy traditional marriage etc. etc..

I simply do not understand them. Will sex between married heterosexuals be less passionate? Will their romantic dinners stop tasting as good? Is their family time somehow going to be less meaningful? How will the marriage of a same gender couple, that some heterosexual couple has never met, affect their lives, marriage or family?

I love these people that start with the activist liberal judge crap as well. Judges get paid to make sure we all live by the laws we set as a society but they also are charged with making sure the laws that we pass are legal. This is not activism it is fulfilling their responsibility.

For all of the people opposed to same gender marriage because of religious beliefs well, I can understand that. Everyone has the right to believe as they wish when it comes to religion in this country. I would ask that these people simply allow others to not live by the same religious beliefs. We have our rights to believe as we want as well. Bible thumpers can recall that God calls homosexuality an abomination but they forget that God also tells them to “judge not lest ye be judged”. God may tell his followers to be heterosexual but the same God also is telling his followers to live and let live as it is up to God to judge us our sins.

All people that claim to be religious need to remember this: If your religion professes to be a religion based upon LOVE and in the religion’s sacred texts hatred is found then there is something wrong. Love and respect should be afforded to all people and that includes those that we might not like or approve of. America is an advanced civilization, we are all asked to defend the rights of others so that we can all be free to be the people we want to be.

Who is most important?

August 1, 2010 on 8:08 pm | In Uncategorized | 486 Comments

While my son was down here for the summer we got into a discussion about the importance of people. My son has a problem with differentiating between people and the jobs people have.

It was my son’s contention that The President of the United States of America has a job that makes his life more important than that of a homeless person. I tried to explain to him that the President has a more important job but everyone’s lives are equally important. He went home without understanding what I was trying to say. I hope that some day he will come to understand.

Our President has a very important job, there can be no doubt. The fact that there have been many men that have done it tells me that there are many more people that can do it. After a maximum of eight years in office we know there will be a new President and if the President were to die in office or become unfit to serve there is a plan of succession to fill the job. Several times throughout our history this has happened and our country is still strong.

Obviously our country would be better off without homeless people but only from the standpoint that a chain is only as strong as its weakest link and a civilization is only as strong as its weakest person. Doing away with homeless people should mean that we want to help them better their status in life, not end their lives.

I guess we all look down on those that we feel are beneath us and it makes some people feel good to think they are above so many others. Are any of us really better than another? Our education might be better and our jobs might be more important and our families might love us more, however, is one individual life more important than another?

This is a difficult puzzle to solve. We worship entertainers and athletes but how important are they? We pay teachers a reasonable salary but not as much as the doctors and lawyers and scientists and business persons that they teach. Tradespersons have it hard sweating in the hot sun for low wages but how would we get our houses built or our cars fixed without them?

I am not a communist I do not believe that every job is just as important as every other job. I do not believe every person deserves the same pay. A jobs importance seems to change according to the situation. After a hurricane (and I have lived through a couple of them) a roofer is possibly more needed than a doctor. Doctors will still get paid more money because they spent more time learning their profession and there are a lot more roofers than there are doctors. Some doctors save lives and this is very important to a society but the life of a doctor is not more important than that of the roofer.

So far I think most people can relate to what I have been saying but now let us take it to another level. How about criminals, are they less human? Are the lives of convicted murderers as important than the rest of our lives? We execute those that we find to be the worst criminals so I guess many people to not value these people. Does it stop here though? What about the parents that raised these criminals or the teachers that educated them or even the lawyers that tried to defend them?

All of our lives are intertwined and we need each other. Maybe we do not want to think about it or maybe we just do not understand it but each and every life is important in this world. The leader of a country may have a more important job than a homeless person that works daily labor but we have executed the leader of a country before and there have been stories of homeless people doing heroic deeds that have saved lives. Time and circumstances can change the importance or need of each of us but the value of our lives is always equal to the lives of everyone else.

This is a strange world that we live in and all of our lives take funny turns. The next time you want to judge a person take a moment and ask yourself: how did this person get to this point and how did I escape a similar fate?

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