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Posted by on Sep 2, 2012 in Blog, Essays | 0 comments

Thought for the Day: Throw Out All Immigrants?

 

The time has come to get rid of all immigrants!

That’s right — throw them out!

Who do they think they are — taking over our country?

Millions of foreign-looking people arrive on our shores without ever being invited.  They hang onto their old customs.  They won’t speak our language.  They refuse to assimilate into our society.  They take over our neighborhoods.  They steal our jobs.

I don’t like what these new immigrants are doing to our nation.  Wherever they go, crime increases.  Wherever they live, filth and disease follows.  They bring guns, drugs, and violence.

Sound familiar?

Oddly enough, these same toxic words could have written back in 1830 by someone else.

I wonder what this man would think about the issue of immigration in America:

 

American Indian Photo

 

Writers Note:  A poster on Facebook was the inspiration for today’s blog.  The poster shows the face of an Indian chief railing against new immigrants.  I thought the poster was thought provoking, so I put my own twist on the issue. 

 

 

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Posted by on Aug 30, 2012 in Blog, Essays | 1 comment

Why Vince Lombardi Had It Wrong

 

Vince Lombardi carried off the field at Miami’s Orange Bowl after winning Super Bowl II
Photo From: www.thegrindstone.com

 

If pro football had a face of God, it would look exactly like Vince Lombardi.

He’s the most revered sculpture on the gridiron’s Mount Rushmore — and deservedly so.

Lombardi won the NFL championship five of the ten seasons he was a head coach, including the first two Super Bowls.  Despite taking over two cellar-dwelling teams prior to his arrival — first in 1959 with the Green Bay Packers and then in 1969 with the Washington Redskins — he never suffered a losing season.

Lombardi is lionized — not only for the way he coached and his no-nonsense philosophy — but for the man he was.  Lombardi was a larger-than life character who symbolized honesty, integrity, hard work, and faith.  To those around him, he as also father-figure, a teacher, a poet, and above all else — a motivator.

He was also one of the most quotable sports figures in history.

Lombardi shared many powerful words and phrases over the course of his life that resonated with millions, including many people who had no connection whatsoever to the game of football.  Arguably, the most famous quote of all attributed to Lombardi over his storied career reads as follows:

Winning isn’t everything.  It’s the only thing. [See Footnote]

The message is clear — do whatever it takes to win.

But go back and read that quote again.  First, you’ll notice that the prose is confusing.  It’s even contradictory.  After all, if winning is “the only thing,” then winning would certainly be “everything.”  But Lombardi is alleged to have said “winning isn’t everything.”  Got it?

Well, neither do I.  But let’s move on.

The Lombardi quote tersely contradicts another equally famous sports quote, this one from old-time sportswriter Grantland Rice, who famously said:

It’s not if you win or lose, it’s how you play the game.

Vince Lombardi and Grantland Rice are clearly at odds.  The question is — can both men be right?  If not, then who has the more righteous credo, expressive of the virtue that’s most important?

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Posted by on Aug 29, 2012 in Blog, Essays, Politics | 11 comments

Our Leaders are Elected by Morons (a.k.a. “The Undecideds”)

 

Idiot American Voters

 

Our national leaders are elected by morons.  They are called “the undecideds.”

There, I said it.  Because it’s true.

Since the dawn of the television age, every election has been decided by idiots.

No matter what year, no matter which election, no matter who the candidates are — the voter breakdown always follows the same pattern.  About 45 percent of voters vote for the Republican candidates.  About 45 percent of voters vote for the Democratic candidates.  That leaves 10 percent of voters in the middle who call themselves — “undecided.”

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the most powerful voting block in America — the 10 percent of voters who don’t know and don’t care.  These are the rubes deciding the future of our nation.

Let’s meet them, shall we?

Undecideds are everywhere.

Inside bowling alleys.  Blathering on barstools.  Playing on softball fields.  Ordering hamburgers.  Driving in the far right-hand lane and not making the right turn at busy intersections.  Delaying the TSA checkpoint.  Shopping at Walmart.  They come in all shapes and sizes and colors and ages.

Undecideds are usually easy to identify.  The lack any guiding political philosophy.  They don’t read books.  They don’t read newspapers.  They don’t watch news shows.  They can’t be bothered with complex details about any issue, because “it’s boring.”

Occasionally, news does manage to penetrate their skulls, so long as it airs on Entertainment Tonight or SportsCenter or there’s some scandal attached to it.  Then, they’re certain to have an opinion.  They know more about the life of a moviestar or the starting quarterback of their favorite football team than anyone who holds elected office.  They don’t spend a second thinking about issues, but they have an opinion on just about everything.  Just ask them.

They’re the first to start chanting “U-S-A!  U-S-A!” whenever an American athlete competes against someone from another country.  They’re the first to gloat, “America is the greatest country in the world,” even though they’ve never actually traveled overseas.  They’re the first to attack anyone who dares to question the conventional view of America’s role in the world, equivocating dissent with treason.  They think of themselves as the true patriots, even though they probably can’t name their local congressman.

In reality, they’re phonies and frauds.  And, they’re dangerous.

I have a message for all those undecideds who lack political conviction and who are void of anything that could possibly be construed as a personal philosophy.  Listen carefully.  My message is this:

DON’T VOTE!

I swear.  I will have more respect for you for sitting out another election than pretending that you really care for 5 minutes.  If you can’t spend as much time thinking about the future of your country as deciding what you’re going to order off Olive Garden lunch menu, we don’t need you cluttering up the lines on election day and diluting the end results with your indifference.

I hate voter registration drives.  No wait, that’s not strong enough.  I despise them.  I want them STOPPED.

This time of year, registration drives are everywhere to try and motivate people to get out and vote.  My question is — WHY?

Why should we encourage people with absolutely no knowledge of issues and an utter lack of interest in civic affairs to suddenly enter a voting booth and starting checking boxes of candidates they know nothing about?  It’s like begging a 5-year old to show up on November 9th and be an air traffic controller for a day.

Please, someone, explain this to me.

Why are volunteers out there parading around in parking lots with clipboards begging disinterested people to register and vote when these people obviously lack any desire to exercise their civic responsibilities?  These people haven’t bothered to vote in recent years (otherwise, their registration would automatically be renewed).  Moreover, all prospective new voters (such as those who turn 18, or move in-state for the first time) are given the option to register to vote when they obtain a driver’s license.

It all comes down to this:  The vast majority of unregistered voters haven’t been motivated enough to get involved politically in the past.  So, why do we now want them to barge into the current election cycle and cast ballots based on no knowledge whatsoever about the issues or the candidates?

Do we really want these blathering undecideds stepping into the voting booth and canceling out the INFORMED votes of people who are already registered and take elections seriously?  What kinds of decisions are these kinds of people going to make?  I’ll tell you.  They would likely make some very bad decisions and for all the wrong reasons.  They’re more likely to vote for or against a candidate based on they way they look, the ethnicity of their heritage, or who had the best TV commercial.

This isn’t about partisanship.  Even those I disagree with politically are, at least, engaged in the process and can articulate why they support their candidate.  I respect that.  But do you honestly think some buffoon who’s been coaxed into registering in a grocery store parking lot and who don’t follow current affairs, is going to make an informed decision?

Hell no.

He’s likely to vote based on which television commercial he enjoyed most, which candidate amused him, or something his buddy said in a bar after gulping down his seventh beer.

He’s going to make a presidential pick based on the candidate he’d “most like to have a beer with.”Idiot American Voter

The powers that be know how the game is played.  They know the secret to winning elections.  They know that, in order to win, they must reduce themselves, the political process, and the entire nation to the lowest common denominator.

What does this mean — the lowest common denominator?

Let’s say there’s a stadium full of people.  Someone gets on the loudspeaker and announces that everyone has just won a free dinner.  The only stipulation is — everyone in the stadium must agree on what’s to be served.

A vote is taken.  Thousands vote for steak.  Thousands vote for salmon.  Thousands vote for lobster.  The bottom line is, no one can agree on anything.  So, the meal comes down to a vote where finally, there are no objections, and the lowest common denominator prevails.  The verdict?  Everyone ends up eating beans and hot dogs.

That’s what political campaigns have come down to — beans and hot dogs in a voting booth — trying to appeal to and appease that last sliver of the indifferent, who might actually be motivated enough to get off their lazy asses and go out and pull the lever for their candidate.

These are the people who will decide our future.  The undecideds.

If after all the shit we’ve been through the last two years, you’re still “undecided”…..then please:

DON’T VOTE.  STAY HOME.

__________

 

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Posted by on Aug 23, 2012 in Blog, Book Reviews, Essays | 2 comments

Remembering “Doctor Love” — Leo Buscaglia

 

Dr. Love Photo

 

I chose to define courage differently than most.

To many, courage is associated with conflict.  The most obvious example of conflict occurs with war.  Sometimes brave acts are performed by extraordinary people in the most trying of circumstances which, no doubt, merits the badge of courage.

But courage is manifested in other ways, as well.  In more everyday settings, not by brave soldiers, but by common people.  By us and people like us.

Alas, we all have the capacity to perform courageous acts and be courageous.  Our challenge is to avoid taking the easy road in life and pursuing the paths of greatest resistance.  To do the things that are the most difficult.  To stand for the things that are least popular.  To fight for the things that are noble and good.

Indeed, courage can manifest itself in much simpler ways.  It need not be a grandiose undertaking.  It need not be associated with parades of publicity.  Rather, some of the most meaningful acts of courage begin with a simple spoken word, a phone call, a smile, or a touch.  Which is not to say these simple acts of kindness are easy.  Some are painstakingly difficult.  Which is what makes them courageous.

The man I’m writing about today spoke, wrote, and lived with passion.  Sadly, he  is no longer with us.  But his many inspirational thoughts and ideas remain with us.  They have become his legacy.  They were his gift to us.  One of the most profound things he wrote was the following:

“It’s not enough to have lived.  We should be determined to live for something.  May I suggest that it be creating joy for others, sharing what we have for the betterment of personkind, bringing hope to the lost and love to the lonely.”

What a beautiful idea.

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Posted by on Aug 20, 2012 in Blog, Essays, Personal | 2 comments

Pet Sounds

 

Nolan Dalla Cat

Alex — Our 11-year-old stray adopted from a shelter in Washington, DC

 

A few years ago, a famous Italian winemaker came to the United States on a mission.  He was determined to open up a new restaurant in the Seattle area.

The winemaker and aspiring restauranteur was in the process of hiring his staff.  While conducting job interviews with each applicant, he made it a point to pose one rather unusual question to each of his prospective employees.  It didn’t matter if the position was for manager, cook ,waiter, or dishwasher.  The question was always asked.

“Do you own any pets?”

Pets?  This seemed like a very strange question.  Especially for a job interview at a restaurant.  After all, the applicants weren’t applying for jobs in a pet store.

But the winemaker had his personal reasons for posing such a seemingly oddball question.  Immediately after asking about their pets, he watched the eyes and monitored the expressions of all those who were sitting across the table, eagerly hoping to be part of his new restaurant.  He listened carefully to the way each applicant spoke about their pets.  Were they excited?  Were there expressions of love in their voices?  For those who did not own a pet, was there a desire to get one someday?  For those who no longer had a pet, did they grow up with dogs and cats?  If so, how did they feel about them?

Naturally, this was a curious thing.  The winemaker was asked what any of this had to do with owning and operating a successful restaurant.

“Why do you ask every applicant if they own a pet?” he was asked by the person who told me this story.  The winemaker’s answer was intriguing.

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