Friday, February 6, 2015

Tribute to my Father in Law...a Truly Great Man

During the age of what many call the Greatest Generation there lived the quiet and unassuming lives of those that served.  Not only in the defense of our country but to those they married, their partners, their children and also to those in the community; those sacrifices helped to mold their lives in such a profound manner as to create within each of these men the overwhelming desire to continually push forward, never letting up, dedicating their lives for others.   Forged perhaps because of the conflicts of war and the sacrifices endured but even more from a deep inner soul innate from birth to know the differences between good and evil, right and wrong, they made the tough choices and we are the beneficiaries of their greatness.

My Father in law was one of these great men.  I am grateful for his example and the many words of wisdom whispered in my ear as I learned to be a father and needed advice.  My gratitude is eternal toward him and for my mother in law for helping to raise my son when we had to make the hard choice of letting him leave home at an early age to further his education.  They were his parents away from home, they did their duty well.

Royce Bonds is the quintessential personification of what the “greatest Generation” is all about.  His life, his demeanor, his humor and his dedication all tell the story of who he really was; a loving, hard working, driven man who worked and served others.  He was charitable and stern and lived his life according to the principles of his chosen beliefs.  He never faltered and stayed true to the very end.

As his oldest and only son in law I am uniquely thankful for the way I was accepted into his family of five competing boys and one extraordinarily beautiful girl.  I remember him pulling me aside, just before our wedding and he asked me, with a tear in his eye to take care of his most precious daughter.  His voice faltered and cracked but he didn't tell me, he didn't threaten, but softly and kindly asked me to watch over her and care for her. 

In his eyes I could see the love he had, the worry and excited prospect of giving his daughter away.  I learned from that one instance how precious a child can be and in his case how prized and grateful he was for his one and only daughter.  That one lesson helped me to raise my own family, looking into their little faces as each made their way into life, their eyes looking into mine with that innocent understanding of faith and security. 

Royce taught us all how to be numbered among the greatest generation, how to work, how to love and how to serve.  My prayer is a simple one; help us to be more like him.

Royce Bonds one of the Greatest of the Greatest Generation. 

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Prevention Kills

Over the past few months I've been spending quit a lot of time visiting a Chiropractor.  In addition to these visits I have also been spending a lot of time with the more conventional side of medicine, neither has provided the relief I had hoped for but I still have hope and therefore I continue my visits.

On the one side, the Chiropractic side, the manipulations continue as he (it just so happens to be a he but could just as easily be a she) continues to crack my back, stretch my neck and attempt to realign my body in ways that make me wonder if my body was ever aligned that way.

The mainstream Medical side continues to poke and prod, inject and prescribe, again with marginal results in relation to my ongoing maladies.  Just recently I underwent a procedure, an injection,  a very long needle, was places into my lower back, through my coxes and up toward my forth and fifth vertebra in order to attempt to relieve some of the chronic, lower back pain suffered from a sports injury years ago.

The Chiropractor is pursuing the same goal as the Medical doctors but in a decidedly different comportment.  He (again it could just as well be a she) believes that the body is a connected unit with each muscle and bone interrelated in such a manner that when one is out of line the others have a tendency to misalign as well.  This method prompts them to manipulate your bones and soft tissues in such a way as to realign and restore your mobility back to some past perfect state.     

Modern Medicine relies almost entirely on pharmaceuticals to provide the relief and supposed cures for what ails us.  The medicines are truly remarkable but the side effects can be, and in many cases are often just as bad as the original problem. There attitude toward homeopathy is almost non existent with their approach being segmented and separate from each issue, with each problem dealt without association of any other issues.

The injection I received the other day has had no immediate side effects and the claim is that about 70% of those undergoing this procedure will experience some relief from the ongoing issues of back pain.  It is estimated that between 70 and 100 million Americans suffer from significant and chronic pain with most back pain emanating from the lower regions of the back.  That is approximately 1/3 of the entire population of America, considering that there are hundreds of thousands that suffer silently and never report their pain and are therefore unrepresented in the above statistic.

The problem is not in how the disease is treated ….but how those who treat it characterize those that do not prescribe to their adopted method of practice, hence the growing rift between “mainstream Medicine” and everyone else. 

The above mention of a disease in relation to a specific injury creates issues unto itself but it’s considered a disease primarily due to the numbers of afflicted and not by the strict definition of a disease, which for those who really care is:  

disease dis·ease (dĭ-zēz') A pathological condition of a body part, an organ, or a system resulting from various causes, such as infection, genetic defect, or environmental stress, and characterized by an identifiable group of signs or symptoms. )
The obvious split between the Chiropractors and the MD’s are palatably vicious with claims on both sides that bring to mind medicine from the old west with hawkers and manipulators selling and claiming miraculous cures simply by ingesting some home made concoction.  The MD’s are hostile towards the Chiropractors to such a degree that even my doctor warned me from getting “manipulated”. My Chiropractors  is seething with frustration over the insensitivity of the rhetoric from the MD’s over their staunch and immovable inability to accept anything to do with Chiropractic and in the same breath promoting the use of physical therapy as a “mainstream and acceptable mode of treatment.

The similarities between the accepted “Physical Therapist” and the not acceptable “Chiropractic” are far more numerous than any differences with the majority of both modes of treatment dedicated to the increased movement and mobility though safe and proven methods.  Why then do the MD’s despise the Chiropractors?  Politics is the answer.

Let me further expand my answer by describing another similar situation in the early to mid 1960’s.  A DO (doctor of osteopathy) is a Doctor just like the MD but forty or so years ago they were at war with each other.  Just like the chiropractors of today the DO’s had to fight for their rights to survive and for acceptance.  The Medical Board and MD’s in general wanted to put them out of business.

In the past the philosophical differences between the two groups, the MD’s and DO’s and the current differences between the MD’s and the Chiropractors (DC’s) prevents them from seeing the benefits of each others skills and actually harms patient outcomes because of the open animosity that prevents an open dialogue that would only expand the patient options and improve the overall health of all concerned.

These issues are not unlike the differences between democrats and republicans.  Not one is entirely right and neither has a monopoly on what should be followed or believed and in fact it is my contention that they are both severely flawed because of their inability to accept and understand the positives of the other.

I’m not suggestion that MD’s are Democrats or DC’s are Republicans but they might as well be, especially in relation to their current attitudes toward each other and the open futility of expecting either side to act civilly or rationally for the benefit of those they serve.  And their in lies the crux of the issue, they have failed to realize that they need to serve us for our overall benefit and continue to selfishly exist for their own well being, over and above the health and welfare of the public at large.

Perhaps in politics there is some hope, not much but  the Osteopaths did it and I assume in the future the DC’s will do it as well the only problem is hoping that the DNC’s and the RNC’s can do it, I doubt it. 

Monday, January 26, 2015

Angry Birds (crows) down for the count.

The weirdest things happened to me this morning.  As I was driving into the parking lot of a local high school I looked up in the sky through my front windshield and saw two huge, black crows dog fighting.   There massive wings folding and unfolding as they maneuvered through the air, narrowly missing the light poles and oncoming traffic, like my car, missing me within inches as they battled furiously over some furry object held fast within the talons of the primary bird.

I've seen birds war over food before.  I've seen seagulls swoop down and steal a sandwich out of the hands of my daughter and I've seen a pelican narrowly miss the tip of my son’s finger with its hooked beak but I have never seen such a display of desperation as I saw this morning. 
The two blackened creatures tumbled and rose, flying haphazardly in every conceivable direction, defying gravity as they fought, escaped and tangled with such furry that I was certain that both would perish, oblivious to the dangers that raced past and the obstacles that lined the highway.

Temporarily out of sight, I turned right and then right again into the parking lot of the school.  My car slowed while I prepared to park and out of my periphery those same gigantic birds swooped low over my windscreen, their wings actually touching the glass.  I could hear the soft scrape as their feathery wings wiped my window, the feathers cleaning a streak of glass of the dust that covered my car.

Just as fast as they had descended the two antagonists rose sharply into the air and with a final thrust of effort the attacking bird seemed to ram the defender causing it to drop its booty.   I watched it fall, the legs and tail spiraling haphazardly from side to side and up and down, the fur blown by the wind as it crashed, almost purposely on the very spot that was previously cleaned by the warring birds, now awash with the gooey remains, my windshield now needing a new cleaning.

I don’t know if you would describe these events as weird but they were unusual, the word weird means strange, eerie and even creepy.  The used and battered being that bombarded my windshield, had it been alive, would assuredly think the incident peculiar and scary and if it wasn't dead before the fall it would have been after the back and forth in the air and most definitely after the impact.

Seeing a strange event in and of itself is not the point of this story and as you know by now it seldom is; my ulterior motive is to bring to light the often futility of what humans do on a daily basis and the pointlessness of what has become common place.  We fight, we disagree, we argue and chastise, judge and attempt to censure the ideas and desires of others just so we can have some semblance of prominence over another.

Our philosophies may be different and those differences seem to be growing not only in numbers but in severity and with that severity the punishments for non-compliance.  I may think I’m right and I will defend my position but when did it become fashionable to degrade those that were different, who thought differently or acted a bit out of the norm?  Oh wait; it’s always been that way.  Man has never been tolerate.  Man has never been able to abide the differences that make up our world.  Just look at history and you will see the evidence of racism, bigotry, chauvinism and a level of an incipient hatred that has no teacher but is born and seems to be a natural tendency rather than a learned trait, hence the warning “that  the natural man is an enemy to God….”

And so it is that like those vicious and greedy birds, the struggle of man continues, Neighbor wanting what they don’t have, Countries plundering in the name of sovereignty, political parties postulating possessive power in order to sustain or retake position and the individuals of all races, creeds and stations forgetting the simple solution of their divine origins following instead the adversary and universal antagonist without regard to the eternal splendor of that forgotten golden rule. 

Perhaps it would do us good to stop, for just a few moments and reconsider our Natural selves and consider the effects of being more civil, more loving, more charitable and more divine.  Those two birds could have shared, stopped fighting and battling over that poor creature and had a meal together, but crows, I think, don’t have the capacity to understand, Humans, I think, do.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Liberals Vs Conservatives

Many have asked what it means to be a liberal.  As a liberal you may even ask yourself what you believe, what you espouse and what you stand for.  The definition of liberalism is in short the belief in the value of social and political change in order to achieve progress.  That sounds great, and who could possibly argue with these lofty goals and desires?

The Conservative believe in the value of established and traditional practices in politics and society.  Why would anyone want to change what works and in the same vain this level of belief has a lofty and laudable goal of establishing a pattern of success that can be replicated.

When compared to the definition of liberalism, conservatism is not necessarily opposed to change and I don’t think that liberalism disagrees with standards of behavior and only wants change for change sake but the reality of political rhetoric you are almost forced to come away with the opinion that both are evil and both create the assumption that by believing in one you are incapable of accepting or even appreciating the other.

The reason this is a must read for Liberals and not for conservatives is due primarily in the definition that requires change in order to achieve social and political progress.  The first question has to be:  is change imperative in order to progress?  The answer is yes but one has to ask what kind of change and when?

Let’s look at the educational field and the past forty years.  Education has become a poster child of the liberal ideal of change with changes that have gone full circle in such a degree that the only viable visual would be a spinning yoyo moving forever up and down, revolving on its string, up and down but never changing its relative position to the hand that wields it.

I have been a special education teacher for many years and have seen the pendulum not only swing from side to side but up and down and all around, just to find the entire process starting over again with no progress in scores, student preparedness or value for dollars spent, which has to be considered as a gauge of effectiveness.  Our educational system has increased it’s spending fairly steadily starting with statistics of about 1% of GDP at the turn of the century and ending with current spending of nearly 7% of GDP.

That is a lot of money. For 2014 the total GDP was 16,768,100,000,000 that equals 1,173,767,000,000 education dollars or that equals 3,354 dollars per person not students, everyone.  With 120 million students those same dollars if only spent on the students would equate to nearly 10,000 dollars per child per year.  Where does all that money go?  I wonder what I would do with an extra 30,000 per year…

Evan though the face of education has changed dramatically over the years and spending increased by trillions the overall outcome has not changed significantly and in some circles has declined not only in US standards but in comparison to world standards to the lowest level since the Second World War with student preparedness in relation to societal needs at an historical low. 

From a conservative viewpoint the idea of changing for change sake works only rarely and is about as effective as throwing darts blindfolded at the stocks list to determine what to buy.   Could we have saved trillions over the years by simply staying an educational course and still had the same results as we have now? 

The reason that education is used as a model to represent liberalism is the concept of change just to change and the opposing view of “if it’s not broke, don’t fix it” is so well exemplified within the educational world.

Let’s all just agree that we’re not perfect and that change is needed in many fundamental areas.  Changing however just to change creates just as many problems as those who fail to face their fears and decide to run away thinking that by running away their problems won’t follow. 

Conservatism like liberalism is not perfect nor does it provide the end all philosophy that will ensure security and happiness for all, but when comparing the two and in relation to the old saying “teach a man to fish….” The overall outcome from a “proper” education speaks volumes in relation to the end game of what society is and where it’s going. 

I am a conservative but the reason I stay with certain ideals is for the simple reason that they work.  The reason I stay with certain moralities is because I see the long term value of living my life according to principles that have proven effective and disdain those fly by night philosophies that make claims of freedom or peace without the requisite costs of sacrifice.  Nothing is free and nothing earned without work has any real value.

Liberals would take from me to give to another, what right do they have to take what I’ve earned (I haven’t earned that much but I like to think I deserve to keep what I’ve earned, especially when it’s given to those who do not know the value of work).

Liberalism would take from those who are “rich” thinking that because of their success they should be compelled to give to those who are not.  When put into the following context perhaps those liberal desires can be minimized:

Take an individual who takes his money and invests in a start up company.  He has no idea of its future wealth and that initial investment in most cases came from his previous hard work (most of the Wealthy in our country earned that wealth).  That investment skyrocketed and he became a billionaire.   What poor person is worse off because of his investment?  What homeless person is homeless because of his initial investment? And what neighborhood is considered poor because that one man decided to invest his money in a company rather than simply saving those dollars or giving those initial investment dollars away prior to investing.

The simple answer is none…

Then why does the liberal think it’s OK to make changes, for change sake without the requisite understanding of the end result?  Change is good, necessary and an important aspect of everyone’s lives.  Without change we stagnate and eventually die from atrophy, but the road to change should be subtle and planned not sporadic and haphazard just so those who initiate those changes can be seen as revolutionaries. 

We had our Revolution and the changes made then worked, continue to work and will sustain us if we follow those same, proven precepts. Long live the US constitution. 



Thursday, January 15, 2015

It's Just a Little Lie

Generally speaking when an individual makes an excuse for behaviors not inline with the norm, everybody knows that the diatribe of lies and pretext is nothing more than an attempt to justify and excuse those very same actions.

Everybody, literally everybody has fallen prey to the ever so present trap of trying to excuse away the stupidity of our lives.

You would think by now, with all that we have accomplished and learned that humanity would stop making excuses and realize that they never work and the very attempt creates such a negative impression for those that have to endure listening that we would have replaced that activity with one of honesty and truthfulness. 

Quite a few years ago, I think it was on the TV show 20/20  they caught an appliance repair person (noticed the way I used person and not man, even though it was a man, I am so politically correct it hurts) denying that he had ripped off the client by saying he had replaced a part when he had not, it was recorded on camera.  Even after he was shown the video and the proof,  that was irrefutable, he continued to lie and deny any wrong doing.  It was so blatant it was funny.  Are we really that afraid of being caught doing something wrong that we will continue a lie even when it is undeniably undeniable? 

I can understand children lying and staying with that lie; they haven’t yet learned that truth can be discovered and have yet to learn of consequences or penalties but for those who are older and more experienced the resoluteness in holding to a “story” is beyond belief and shows an unreal level of selfishness and denial to the basic tenets of society. 

Along this same vain of thought are those who deny obvious truths for political, religious or other unknown reasons, staying with a belief that is so evidently flawed that any continuance belays their own level of sanity. The problem with that last sentence however is the perception of what constitutes truth and what is obvious to some is inky speculation at best to others, creating such a mess of contradictions that the word “truth” has no barring and no place within the languages of any who choose to speak.

The worst part, for me anyway, is the way others deny what is so obviously obvious and refrain through non action to intervene, actuate or interfere in anyway toward the mitigation of wrongs by others, and in so doing support, condone and then sustain those actions, giving credence in a substantial manner to those very actions they claim to abhor.  

Do I have to be more specific?  OK, in recent weeks the issue of ISIS has come again to the forefront of the news with bombings in France and just recently the almost bombings in Belgium, thankfully thwarted, but not one group or leader within any of the Muslim community has denounced those actions as EVIL.  Even more poignant is the lack of protests against those that terrorize the world.

Of the approximate 1.6 billions Muslims it is estimated that today one half of all Muslims are either radicalized or leaning toward radicalism.  Even with that huge number that leaves an additional 800 million that could be marching, could be speaking out, could be supporting the war on terror on the side of sanity, but nothing, not a word, not a whimper, except for those who complain that their religion is being attacked. 

The “Religion of Peace” is in no way peaceful if those who follow that religion do not subscribe to the very basic principles that govern peace.  If the statistic of population is correct and half of all Muslims are radicalized to some degree than their motivations are not for peace but terror only, and the overriding responsibility of those who subscribe to the peaceful tenets of Islam need to step up and admit to their culpability.

Like the appliance repairman (yes I reverted back to my politically incorrect but more truthful labeling and description) who continued to lie, even when caught red handed, which by the way refers to those who were caught with blood on their hands, they continue to lie and deny the very existence of truth, making truth, any truth a worthless and meaningless endeavor.

The real tragedy perhaps is the loss of our goodness and our morality and the loss of what used to be considered sacred, especially now that millions upon millions skirt the meaning of truth and replace it with whatever is convenient and expedient at the time just so they can continue to hate and terrorize.  This is truly a war, not just of ideology and belief but for the very soul of man.  We may not be fighting directly but each of us are engaged fully against an adversary that will do whatever it takes to destroy what little truths we have.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Sexy or SMEXY?

Do we really know the difference between what it means to be Sexy or have we really just been fooling ourselves into thinking that we're more than we think we are?

There is a new word ... SMEXY...I think it defines the true nature of what most of us think and do when we are trying to be Sexy.

Next time we think we're sexy...Perhaps we should think twice and realize that what we think, is not necessarily what really is.  How often have you been watching one of those singing competition shows when you say to yourself or to the person next to you "how did they ever think they could sing, Didn't their mother ever tell them how bad they were?  Or like republicans who want to be noticed so they cave into the Socialist contrast.  Or Democrats who chronically promise the heavens while only delivering know what I mean...there not being real.

The same think happens with trying to be too Sexy, we just look like idiots, embarrassing ourselves and all those around us.   So my advise is keep it real, don't be something your not and for heavens sake stop trying to be Sexy when Smexy is all you got....

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Idiot or Master Planner?

The controversial aspects of the Presidency or any governmental leadership at or near the top have both its supporters and detractors.  There are some who say these leaders have no real influence on society as a whole while others are adamant in pointing to the good or evil influences of those same leaders.  History is the guideline for determining past influences but even historical records can be flouted and changed making even our past, subject to interpretation, as I think it has always been.

But the determination of what makes a president influential depends almost entirely on the pulse of the people at the time of their reign.  How a nation or people feel about a leader after the fact really makes no difference in understanding the profound influences that leader had during his or her tenure in office. 

If you’re liberal you look upon Franklin Delano Roosevelt with extreme admiration for the very same reasons that a conservative might look upon him as the devil incarnate.  The same is true with Ronald Wilson Reagan (even though he was an actor that was his true given name) who had a polarizing effect on his detractors and a magnetic influence over those who looked up to him and his positive outlook.  In both instances the history of how we felt has nothing to do with what we currently believe, even if what we now believe is exactly what we think we believed back then…Wow that sounds positively Freudian…or maybe it just makes no sense whatsoever.

The point I’m trying to make is that during a leaders leadership the mood of the people is strongly swayed though an emotional response to whatever stimulus is portrayed though the media, discussions and feelings about whatever issues are forefront in our minds at the time, and has very little to do with the facts or the reality of that particular time. 

There is an important distinction that needs to be addressed and that is that facts are not disputable.  There may be disagreements about what constitutes a fact but when a fact is formalized and quantified it morphs into a truth and truths are not debatable.  You may not like the truth or you may not be able to “handle” the truth but truth is a constant and I should mention a rare event in our world of constant information overload.  So even though facts may not have much of an impact on our current opinions of a sitting leader those facts when constituted do show the reality of those impacts and influences.

What does that have to do with how leaders influence their respective countries?  I’m glad you asked.  This is obviously my opinion and sense I am the author of this piece then I have the right to bloviate and pontificate, even if just a little.  President Obama has had a profound influence for both those who follow him religiously and for those who for religious reasons do not.  The fractured electorate may be some indication but they seem to always be a bit fractured and are almost always on the verge of a complete severance of sanity so they cannot be used as a good example of that influence. 

On the other hand the people in the country have been splintered and separated far more so than in recent generations, giving strong indication that during his leadership his words and his actions have influenced the way we as a people act and respond.  We are less inclined toward kindness and goodness, we are more susceptible to negativity and race related issues.  We are more selfish and less giving.  Is all this directly related to Obama, probably not but one could make the inference because of him, we are what we are.

History will record whatever those in power want to portray but the reality; ok my reality is that during these past 6 years our country has plunged into immorality, selfishness and separatism in such a dramatic way that the only standard factor of influence has to be Barrack Hussein Obama.  It is his example and the influences of those he surrounds himself with that have created the issues of our day. 
Rush Limbaugh wished that he, Obama, would fail as a president and at the time I thought that was a mean thing to say, give Obama a chance.  But Limbaugh is right; I wish he would have failed instead of succeeding gloriously at almost everything he believed in.  Obama has succeeded in creating a level of hate between races that hasn’t existed since the sixties.  He has transformed our government into a weak and untrustworthy partner for those other countries who have relied upon our goodness and mercy (don’t go there, I know we have issues and we’re not a perfect country but there is no one even close to what we are in the area of support, democracy and individual rights, no one, so forget about your stupid little quips about Sweden’s health care or Holland’s drug laws…)

Obama has taken a bad situation and thrown mud over it, spit upon it and then stopped on it ‘tell it can barely move.  He spouts honesty and openness but is the most secretive and divisive leader in three generation, since Woodrow Wilson.  He has done nothing to increase our security and in fact has gutted our military and increased our dependence on foreign oil by supporting failed solar projects hamstringing coal production and stopping important oil projects.  He has overseen the expanding debt to an unprecedented 6.5 trillion and for those in special education classes that’s 6,500,000,000,000. And to those who say so what?
  President-elect Barack Obama said Tuesday the deficit appears on track to hit $1 trillion soon. Speaking to reporters after meeting with top economic aides, Mr. Obama said: "Potentially we've got trillion-dollar deficits for years to come, even with the economic recovery that we are working on."
— Associated Press, Jan. 6  ......What economic recovery?

He knew back then what a trillion was and he knows now what 6.5 trillion does and will continue to do to our economy and yet he has acted not toward reducing those numbers but toward inflating them, a purposeful act.

Under this president (that would be Obama) our country for the first time has more Americans receiving government aide than those who are employed full time.  At the same time he has gone on a spending spree that makes drunken sailor look like an altar boy, using the printing press to finance his spending, saddling future generations with a debt so large that it may never be repaid and causing our credit rating to hit an historic low.

From Benghazi to Travon Martin, to Obama Care, he has divided the country and in that division has succeeded in conquering his detractors while literally transforming foundationally the precepts of this once great country.   I too wish he had failed but his successful presidency has overcome and has dominated every aspect of our lives changing who we are, what we are, what we can do and possibly who we can become. 

Can we as a people overcome what has been done to us?  That is the question of the day.  I think we can but it will be a fight and a struggle to overcome what has been placed in our way.  The worst part is that most of our leaders actually like what Obama has done, it only makes their jobs easier, even if it continues to make our lives less livable.