Friday, January 21, 2011

What people say

Last night I watched John F. Kennedy look out across his audience and say: "Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country!" Wow! When I saw it live, that statement had a profound impact on the rest of my life. In all these years since then I have done as much as humanly possible to not be a burden on society. He also reinforced our responsibility as a nation to not neglect the poor and downtrodden who need a hand up. I've done my best to honor that too. It's amazing how one man's words can influence us isn't it?

Throughout the history of the United States there has been controversy and disagreement. From a country made up of all the other nationalities and opposing cultures of the world I suppose it is to be expected isn't it? So why do we act so indignant when the politicians we voted in have differing opinions of just about everything? Isn't that what our government is set up to do? I don't particularly like it myself but at the same time I remind myself what all the bickering has brought. We've got a balance of power with separate governing bodies, the House, the Senate, the Judicial and then we have a President too. Of course there's going to be differing ideas and how to implement them, even among members of the same political party.

In light of all the words spoken these days I am still looking for someone to say something as profound as John F. Kennedy did back then. I remember the words of another man very well too and I think a lot of folks would do well to think about them. "Love your neighbor as yourself and Do onto others as you would have done onto you." I'll be watching and listening...........

Thursday, January 20, 2011

A new day is dawning

Well, here I am back at it with my nose to the old grind stone after a couple days off for minor surgery. Its amazing to me how simple the medical professionals make their jobs look. Calm, steady, confident, knowing most of the time just what to say to quell any anxiety. At least that was my experience. Amazing!

The annual treasure hunt is going very well indeed. As of this writing the elusive medallion remains unretrieved and the treasure still awaiting the winner. Dozens upon dozens of hopeful treasure seekers have faced the elements to look but, so far to no avail. That's part of the game though. If it were easy no one would think twice about it and no one would learn about the danger of carbon monoxide poisoning. One of the first winners from over two decades ago stopped by the other day. It was a real pleasure to do a little reminiscing about times gone by. I can remember the day he won like it was yesterday. The cold weather of winter had been warming ever so slowly and the snows were melting into the streams causing them to slightly overflow their banks. The medallion was hidden between two wooden posts on the guardrail of a bridge. Hundred's had been there before him but he took a tire iron and broke away the accumulated icy crust. There it was! He was so excited he could hardly talk. Pictures of the winner were in newspapers all over the country. Tens of thousands of people read about the treasure hunt, the winner, the fun it was to find and the danger of carbon monoxide poisoning. I know because I received thousands of letters from people across this nation that had followed the hunt with immense curiosity through all those months. It took me over a month to read them all and send answers. As enjoyable as the treasure hunt was, the most satisfactory part was reading several letters describing how CO poisoning was discovered and injury avoided or stopped. The hunt has served its purpose.

I feel like a new man today. Thanks to some very professional medical folks and the tireless efforts of the treasure hunters. Yeah, its a really good day.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Golden Globe awards

The Golden Globe award shows for entertainers are just plain fun aren't they? Of course Ricky Gervais adds his own twist to it all, guaranteeing more than one gasp from the group for his risky humorous comments. Is all that fan fare my cup of tea for an evenings viewing? Not particularly. As entertaining as all of those people are I just can't relate to that much pricey, showy self indulgence. Not after spending my life making ends meet by buying from stores featuring a top price of $10. But is is fun to watch a little bit. Kind of like kindergarten when the teacher steps out of the room. No inhibitions.

It's the actors and actresses that bring entertainment to our lives through movies and TV shows. They bring relief to our everyday fight with the hurdles we face in life. Escapism takes on many faces and its these folks that put on a mask and bring us into their story enough to forget, if even for a short time, whatever it is that consumes us. They have to do it good enough for us to believe in their make believe world that holds no consequence for us. The actors do all the work for us. They get shot, blown up, assaulted, loved, starved, adored, cry, laugh and get a finger cut off while we sit and watch, sensing but not suffering their situation. I'm told it's good for us, not replacing the need for books but adding to our experience through our other senses. I've had a lot of fun with movies and TV shows. I am grateful these people dedicate their lives to my entertainment. I still think that in many ways they are just a group of big kids dressing, most of the time as adults. It must be a difficult life for them because of all the problems we hear about concerning their private lives. Drugs, divorce, infidelity, stuff like that. Maybe they need a night like the Golden Globes to affirm that they are not alone and just goof off together. Kind of like one of my class reunions.

Just the same, I'm glad they have such a big to do every year. I can see they enjoyed their jobs of making believe and it gives me assurance that I have maintained my own sanity. Congratulations to all the winners.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Tucson shooting blame

The shooting and murder in Tucson Arizona were unspeakably horrible. my heart goes out to all the victims and their families. It must be very difficult for them. I'd like to address all those misguided people who are trying to point the finger of blame at someone other than the killer.

I'm not a psychiatrist but to me it appears to be that this guy was really messed up in his own thinking. He wasn't a follower of anyone. He took it upon himself to buy a gun and ammunition without provocation, no one brought them to him. He planned the crime alone, no one guided him. He went to the scene of the crime by himself, no one brought him there to kill. ALONE, ALONE, ALONE! How many times does it take for people to hear that and believe it?

If there were stronger laws concerning gun ownership, he'd have found a way anyway. If he'd have listened to liberal NPR or conservative talk radio 24/7 he'd have gone on a rampage anyway. Whether he was a democrat or republican he'd have done it anyway. Neither president Obama or Sarah Palin's words set him off. It all resulted from his own twisted thinking. To me it is as obvious as it can be that he was intent on his mission of chaos for only reasons he can possibly understand in his own twisted mind.

I believe that all those people, from the local sheriff to the top political talk show hosts should just shut up and stop using this terribly emotional time to push their otherwise unpopular agendas.
Gun abolitionists want to blame this on his ability to buy a gun. "Stop people from buying guns!" they say. Some people blame this horrible event on too much freedom of speech, "Make laws restricting talk radio!" they say. Some people blame this on open, emotional political discussion, "Make politicians stop arguing!" they say. Do you honestly believe that any of these actions would have stopped this guy or anyone else like him from his shooting spree?

Discussion of events leading up to this crime and others like it in the past is an excellent idea. There are probably some things that be done to help prevent them in the future. We can take a careful look and see what can intelligently be done, but using tragedy to push a previously held agenda is simply heartless to the pain of those victims who are going through it personally. That sort of pandering should be unthinkable, just like the crime itself. .............
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