Did we really execute two people last night?

September 23, 2011 on 12:22 am | In Uncategorized | No Comments

We are a civilized people living in an advanced society. Capital Punishment is a link to the barbarism of out past. Life is precious, all life. Life is to be respected even the lives of those that have no respect for others.

I am the only person that has lived my life. I am the only one that knows why I am who I am. I do not know what would make a person come to murder another human being and I do not know why I have not. I hope that nothing ever causes me to cross that line but what would it take?

I was fortunate to have grown up with many advantages. I had loving parents that stayed together until my Father’s death. I was educated and able to find gainful employment. I have held a job nearly every day of my adult life. I think I am a pleasant and likable person as I have had the honor of having some very good friends.

Having the advantages in life that I have had does not stop some people from becoming murderers and lacking them will not cause some people to become murderers. I do not believe that anyone has found a formula for what makes a person capable of killing another. I know there are things that can raise the probability.

Due to EPA regulations concerning contractors working on homes containing lead I had to take a course on lead safe work practices. During the lecture we learned that the number one indicator for which children will end up with Attention Deficit Disorder or wind up in the Juvenile Justice System is lead poisoning. This information has caused me to contemplate the number of people that become criminals just because they lived in a home that had lead paint and they ingested some of it.

Can our government kill a person that became a killer due to lead poisoning that our government caused by not outlawing lead in paint until 1978? It was known in the 1890’s that lead was poisonous. Europe outlawed the use of lead in paint in the 1920’s and Sherwin Williams stopped using lead in the 1930’s. (I use Sherwin Williams and this is one of the reasons)

Killing is wrong. A state sponsoring killing makes us all murderers. Today I feel guilty that I was not able to stop both of the murders that happened September 21, 2011. I did virtually nothing in the past but from now on I will commit myself to trying to make a difference. It is unlikely that I will, in fact, make a difference but I feel as though I must try.

Life can be broken down to basic principles and one of my favorites is that we cannot make a situation better by making it worse. If a person is murdered it is a tragedy. It causes pain for the family and in the community. Giving the murderer the death penalty may satisfy our animal instinct of revenge but it is not justice. The murderer has a family and they suffer even though they are innocent. The pain is spread to more people and this is not better. There is no such thing as closure and nothing will bring the dead back.

Human Beings the animal are evolving into Human Beings the civilized members of an advanced society. So long as we continue the barbaric practice of Capital Punishment we will remain animals.

Has it really been ten years?

September 12, 2011 on 1:28 am | In Uncategorized | 1 Comment

I reckon today cannot go by without saying something about the events that took place ten years ago. We all know what happened so there is no reason to go into that. Most of us have an opinion as to why it happened and what it means. I just wonder if we have answered these two questions correctly.

What took place ten years ago got a lot of people to discover their patriotism. It also caused some people to over react and their patriotism turned into hatriotism. The people that planned and carried out the horrific acts are the people that we need to blame. When we begin to blame “those people” that is when we crossed the line.

There is no such thing as “those people” and no one group should ever be blamed for anything. We are all in some group and we all hate being stereotyped, but for some reason it is easy to do to someone else. Allow me to share a secret with everyone. It is even easier to forget about stereotypes. It is easier to not hate.

Placing blame and finding someone to hate is an easy way to go through life without ever needing to accept our own inadequacies. I have made plenty of mistakes in my life, plenty. Some have cost me money and some have cost me love. When I was young it was easy for me to find someone else to blame for the problem and hate them for the results. Now that I am older I have learned that I was part of the problem an others had an equal right to hate me.

It is easy to blame Muslims for 9/11 and it is easy to hate their religion. What is hard is to look at the events of the world through the years and come to the conclusion that we are all partially to blame. Each and every one of us are brothers or sisters to the world and it is up to each of us as individuals to help our brothers and sisters.

A couple of years ago while I was watching ESPN I heard Lou Holtz say something that made so much sense to me. For those that do not know Mr. Holtz was a legendary college football coach and is a commentator on ESPN. Mr. Holtz was talking about football players that commit a penalty that costs their team valuable yardage when he said, “Sometimes the people that need our love the most deserve it the least”.

People that do not feel love are the people that are most vulnerable to finding a cult or a gang or a religion that will take advantage of them. Love is a powerful motivator and those that go through life searching for it will do anything for whomever is the first to give it to them.

If we are going to solve the problem of terrorism in this world then we must first stop hating and then begin loving. It is not too early and we cannot afford to wait too long. The time is now to show everyone that we meet that they are important and they are loved. Stop thinking of others as “those people” and begin to include them with us. It sounds simple but it is the only way to begin the healing.

One of those days.

September 7, 2011 on 1:43 am | In Uncategorized | 3 Comments

One of those days is just exactly what Labor Day is, By that I mean that Labor Day is one of those holidays that most people look at as a day to get together with family and friends to burn meat on a grill and get drunk. Again too many people forget what the holiday means and why we celebrate it.

I know there is a history of Labor Day but I do not want to get into that. Everyone that wants to know can read about it for their self. I will say that Labor Day, much like Memorial Day, celebrates brave people that fought and died to keep America safe and free.

Obviously Memorial Day is about soldiers that died on battlefields fighting foreign armies. People that fought and died in the struggle for workers rights did so right here on American soil. They faced a domestic enemy but the dangers were just as real and perhaps more important. Every working American owes a debt to these people that were willing to put not only their jobs on the line but also their safety and sometimes their lives so that corporations would have to respect workers.

Life before unions was tough for working America. Unions gave us a 40 hour work week with a liveable wage. Unions created the middle class in America and without them we would still be a third world country. If we lose them we will become a third world country again.

There are many things that I do not like about unions but there are many things I like about them as well. I cannot think of anything that I like everything about so my feelings towards unions would be typical, I guess. I do know that if unions were not there forcing BIG BUSINESS to take care of workers, no one would.

Right now in America we have politicians looking to bust unions and stop people from collective bargaining. We cannot allow this to happen. No matter how we feel about unions take a moment and ask how we feel about everything unions have given us. Earlier I mentioned the 40 hour work week and a liveable wage but let us not forget, employer sponsored health care, worker and job site safety regulations, child labor laws, lunch and break times, paid holidays and vacations, and the list goes on.

It is easy to think of a union worker as lazy and overpaid, but seriously how hard does a CEO work and how over paid are they? I own a business that uses non-union labor and you can take my word on the fact that everyone I have ever hired was over paid and under worked. Problems are not unique to unions so let us not blame all of America’s problems on them.

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