Can We All Get Along?

I have a friend here in Las Vegas. An intelligent, interesting guy, who I love to converse with outside the subject of politics. I have several friends, just like him.

He’s a rabid left winger, suffering from, in my point of view, a serious case of Trump Derangement Syndrome. Our views on politics couldn’t be more opposite, and his frequent Facebook posts are acutely insulting to myself and other like-minded individuals. I’m sure we all have similar experiences, and I make no claim to be innocent of passing along a few occasional insults myself. We are all human.

Yet, I still try to separate politics from my personal relationships. Like others, with differing points of view, I still consider him a friend, and a good man in many ways. I value our friendship.

Occasionally my efforts to remain friends, despite these notable differences are successful. While at other times, likely more often than not, even with very close relatives, it-just-doesn’t-work. I’ve lost count, over the years, the number of those unfortunate failures.

I note one thing in common with each of them. With no exception, it’s always the other individual who chooses to end our association, one with another. They simply can’t separate political ideology while at the same time maintaining our connection. It’s too important to them. With no patience for me, a deplorable, they refuse to agree to disagree.

To my way of thinking, life is too short for such trivial nonsense. In the wider scheme of things, we will surely come to know, it matters not. It’s especially ironic, when the leaders of their dogma preach “tolerance” and “acceptance.”

Today is my friend’s birthday, and after reading some of their most recent, and outrageous, anti-Republican, anti-right-wing sentiments, I posted the following on his Facebook page.

“Can we all get along?” ~~ Rodney King

Thanks for hanging in there.

I’m back!

Me the Patriot and the Realities of War

Patriotism is as much a virtue as justice, and is as necessary for the support of societies as natural affection is for the support of families.

Benjamin Rush, Letter to His Fellow Contrymen: On Patriotism,
October 20, 1773

As a writer I tend to spread my thoughts around. From notes to myself, emails to others, to Facebook posts and my own personal history (to be shared with my family) and to this blog to be shared with the world.

What follows is a compilation of all those things I think about when I think of patriotism and my love for country and the awful necessity of war.

A little of it may have already been shared here, but things of such weighty measure are often worth repeating.

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Roosevelt and the New Deal

Teddy Roosevelt, our 26th president once said:

It is not the critic who counts, not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena.

It’s one of my favorite quotes and I’ve referred to it in this blog before.

Teddy’s distant cousin and our 32nd president Franklin Roosevelt was many things to many people. Some, who lived in Roosevelt’s time, and especially those who thought themselves benefactors of his policies, loved and adored him. For many, he was the only president they ever knew. He’d been elected to an unprecedented four terms and served for 12 years before his death. Today is the anniversary of his birth.

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The Life Line

I recently came across something on the Internet and thought it an interesting idea. It can be found in various forms, not many different from the others though. I’m sorry to say it comes with no mention of its original author. It is often seen without a title. I have given it one and have rewritten it.

I’ve changed the order of things. I’ve changed the wording, I’ve added a lot and taken away a little. It is my version and from what I’ve seen, I think it’s the best.

I share it here.

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Distractions, Choices and Perfectionism

As is far too often the case, I’ve been a bit remiss in writing in my blog. This will be only my 8th post for the entire year. Despite all my best intentions, what can I say? It happens! Just know, like any good friend, I haven’t forgotten you.

There are always the, what in my life are, “normal” distractions. Here are just a few, listed in no particular order:

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Favorite Quotes Friday – 11-30-2018

Our national politics has become unlike anything we’ve seen in our lifetimes. It seems the gap between opposing viewpoints may be at its widest. It’s the one thing we all can agree on.

With the coming of social media — and specifically Facebook — people who were once friends are no longer. How silly, how short-sided. How pathetic!

Thomas Jefferson had it right.

I never considered a difference of opinion in politics, in religion, in philosophy, as cause for withdrawing from a friend. ~~ Thomas Jefferson

 

 

The Scourge of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse

I’m often reminded the terrible price my family has paid because of alcoholism and substance abuse. It’s the primary reason I’ve never been one to drink or to “get high.” As mentioned in these pages* before, I tried marijuana as a teenager. Just like president Bill Clinton, “I didn’t like it, and didn’t inhale, and never tried it again.” While there were few who did, I believed Bill Clinton. Believe me.

When it comes to alcohol, I admit it… I tried that once as well. I was 19- years old and a new Airman at Vandenberg Air Force Base. I’m not sure why, but I think it was to just see what it would feel like. So — young and stupid — one evening I drank a tall glass of Bacardi Rum. Beyond the silliness and fog of that night, I paid the awful and memorable price the next morning. I learned what it felt like.

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Miss Morgan

A teacher affects eternity. You can never tell where their influence ends.

~~ Epictetus ~~

I’ve reflected here on a few occasions my school days as a self-appointed class clown. A couple of other companions were as equally gifted in our quest for attention. Their stories have been shared here as well. It wasn’t until many years later I came to realize, the attention I sought was a misguided attempt to make up for other things lacking in my life.

I’m not proud to admit, in my pursuit to be noticed, I was especially brutal to my Jr. high school music teacher, “Miss Morgan.” In hindsight I deeply regret how I mistreated and disrespected her … all to get a cheap laugh from classmates, who did provide a few. The woman was a Saint and despite all I dished out she showed me uncompromised patience and encouragement. I didn’t realize it at the time… she really cared, but few kids notice those things.

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Who Are You? Where Are You Going?

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Someday you will read or hear that Billy Graham is dead. Don’t believe a word of it. I shall be more alive than I am now. I will just have changed my address. I will have gone into the presence of God.
~~ Billy Graham ~~

For as long as I can remember Billy Graham has been someone I’ve always looked up to. A towering personality throughout my life. I vividly remember as a 5 or 6 year old boy lying on the floor in front of an old black and white television watching him. I was mesmerized by his speech and his style. There was just something about him that, even as a very young boy, grabbed and held my attention. His message touched me. It’s always been that way and I’ve spent untold hours watching his crusades on television and his many interviews. If Billy Graham was on, I wanted to watch, I wanted to hear him.

As an adult I came to recognize his greater qualities, which is probably something I sensed as a boy. He was genuine, he was sincere and, he was humble. Beyond his words, his life-long example made an impact around the world. He never wavered. A few years ago I found myself once again captivated by his words when reading his book Nearing Home in which he shared his personal experience of growing older. I could relate.

It was not, with any great surprise, I heard of his passing yesterday at the age of 99. And especially no great surprise the huge influence he’s been credited with in the lives of millions over his long life. I was just one among them and am grateful to have had the experience.

I share the following story with the hope you appreciate it’s timely significance.

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On the Road to Somewhere Else


It was early morning 59 years ago today when a small airplane crashed in a lonely, snow covered farmers field near Clear Lake, Iowa. Its story is rich in lore, consequence and unnerving circumstance.

A future country music legend, then just a bass player, gave up his seat to one of those who perished. Another band member would lose a coin toss for his seat. Both would be shaken by those events for the rest of their lives.

Today, travelers on the road to somewhere else, stop at the cornfield to pay homage to the first stars of a new genre of music, and to the memory of the youthful dreams of an entire generation. Nothing much has changed there except for a stainless steel memorial placed in tribute. It marks the spot, where Buddy Holly, J.P. Richardson and Richie Valens were killed, on the day the music died.

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