I did the original draft of this post close to two weeks ago, but decided to hold off posting it for reasons that will become clear as we go through the new version below. I want to dedicate this post to those former high school classmates who were on my Facebook “friends” list with whom I have had an interesting exchange of comments in the last week. I’m not going to name names. There is no need for that because the relevant parties will know who I am talking about, if they happen to read this.
The whole thing started over a week ago when one of my friends called me Bernard instead of Bernhard. You would think that someone that I went to school with for six years and whose brother I considered my best friend would know my name. At least he did not call me Bernie, which is the name that most people called me back in high school. That is the name I absolutely hate. Even my mother really disliked people calling me Bernie. She often asked me why I put up with it. I explained that I had tried to get people to call me Bernhard when we first moved to Willow Grove, PA, and I started attending North Willow Grove elementary school. That was an exercise in futility. Back in those days I did not enjoy banging my head against the brick wall, so I gave up and resigned myself to being Bernie. I also swore to myself that the first chance I got I would change my name to something people would have a hard time screwing up.
Continue reading A Voice Crying in The Wilderness
That’s the expression one of my Facebook friends, and former high school classmate, used to describe and referred to the shooter in Las Vegas last week. I commented that we have far too many of them and that lone crazed gunman seem to be endemic to American history. We have an unnatural love affair with weapons, the more destructive and easier to use the better. This madman was not happy that his rifle was a semi-automatic. He bought a conversion kit to turn it into an automatic rifle. That’s why he could kill so many people in such a short time before taking his own life. It is apparent that this man put very little value on human life, both the lives of others as well as his own.
My friend Dan responded with the usual “gun control does not work because criminals will always be able to get guns.” I totally agree with that sentiment. I said, in my original comment, that we needed to make some drastic changes in the hearts and minds of humans. Apparently, Dan missed the point. So, I responded to his comment about gun control not being effective.
Continue reading Another Lone Crazed Gunman
Yes! Yes! I know. It has been over a month since I have written anything on either of my blogs. Rest assured, I am well and doing fine. So, what was the problem? I guess you could say that the stream of creative juices slowed down to a mere trickle. I guess we all have spells like that from time to time. Unfortunately, it seems the older you get the more frequent the droughts are. I guess it’s just something I have to live with. The alternative does not excite me at all. I kind of do want to live forever.
I guess I’ve been a creative person, more or less, all my life. I took up acting when I was in kindergarten, but then did not do anymore until our junior class play way back when. I took one more stab at acting my senior year in high school. Doing “the Mouse That Roared” was one of the major highlights of my high school career.
I have also dabbled in the visual arts. I did cartooning starting in junior high school as the art editor for the junior high school newspaper. I did cartooning posters for my mother’s bakery shop back then as well. In my 20s, I took up photography rather seriously. I even did exhibits at several local art fairs. I still have a 35mm single lens reflex camera but have not used it in a very long time. My isolate just doesn’t permit me to do that anymore. I have never been much for cameras that do all the work. I do not like giving up creative control. However, I have finally given up and ordered a simple digital camera online that should be here next week. Hopefully, I’ll be able to make that one work and you all will see an occasional photograph on this blog and on my Facebook page.
Continue reading Pigeonholes and Language
It seems that our Emperor who has no close is at it again. Apparently, he is not happy with the people he chose as his Presidential advisors. So, he is employing that phrase that has become closely associated with Donald Trump: “You’re fired!” He is firing his advisors right and left and it appears that more firings are imminent. Sorry Donald, this is not your reality show. It’s time you realize that and started acting like a President of the United States and not the driver of the clown car in a circus!
I may be wrong on this one. After all, I have never been the greatest judge of what qualifies as mature behavior. But, it appears to me that Donald is acting like a spoiled immature little rich kid. Wait a minute!! Isn’t that what he is?
It seems to me that the American people have lost touch with reality themselves. After all, more often than not, we seem to elect total idiots to run this country. Either that, or complete megalomaniacs like Trump or – my favorite megalomaniac – Richard Nixon. He claimed he was not a crook after the Watergate story broke and he was forced to resign or face impeachment. If being the authority figure behind a criminal burglary is not being a crook, then I have no idea what qualifies you as a crook. In my estimation, Richard Nixon should have faced criminal charges for his part in authorizing the Watergate break-in. He escaped prosecution thanks to his good buddy and Vice President who succeeded him -Gerald Ford. Ford always struck me as a nice guy. Not too bright, but a nice guy. Maybe too nice. We have to eliminate Presidential pardons before the disgraced President is even indicted, let alone convicted. These crooks need to assume responsibility for their actions while in office. Being the President does not give you license to commit larceny, murder, burglary, treason, or any other criminal action while in office.
Continue reading The Madness of King Donald Part Two
There has been a great deal of commotion on both sides of the political aisle regarding healthcare in the United States, especially the Affordable Health Care act passed a couple of years ago which is euphemistically referred to as Obamacare. Trouble is, calling it Obamacare is a misnomer. The final form of that act as passed by Congress is a far cry from what then Pres. Obama and the Democrats in Congress wanted. What we got with that bill was a compromise between the Democrats and those relatively moderate Republicans, a compromise that could be passed in Congress. 20 million people who were previously uninsured could get healthcare coverage. So, I think it is time that the Republicans took their share of responsibility for what both sides consider a relatively bad bill. The conservative Republicans think it smacks too much of socialism and they want to eliminate any signs of socialism in this country. That would include Social Security, Medicare, labor unions, and just about all regulation of large corporations. The Republicans want unbridled capitalism. That may sound like a good thing, but I suggest you read the novels of Charles Dickens to get an idea of what life under unbridled capitalism would really be like. The conservative Republicans tried to paint a rosy picture of the benefits of unbridled capitalism. They are either absolute fools or absolute liars. Either one should preclude them from making the laws that govern this country.
Continue reading A Call to Action
I don’t talk about religion very much on this blog anymore. I tend to save religious discussions for my Christian Heresy blog. I do however often discuss politics here. Since this post is about both religion and politics in the United States, I thought it was better suited for this blog.
Yesterday was the Fourth of July – our Independence Day. Last night I watched the movie version of the Broadway musical 1776 on Turner Classic Movies. The movie was actually better than I expected, mainly because it was less of a musical than I thought it would be. I found the dramatization of some of the debates in the Continental Congress rather interesting. I don’t know how historically accurate those dramatizations were. At one point in the movie, our Founding Fathers were recommending the various and sundry changes to the original wording of the Declaration of Independence. One of the delegates from the South asked for the inclusion of the phrase containing Divine Providence. He felt that the colonies would have no chance winning a war against Great Britain without divine help and that our declaration should acknowledge that. That’s certainly makes sense given the times and the culture of the colonies in 1776.
Continue reading For God and Country
I realize it has been some time since my last post on either of my two blogs. I am afraid I experienced a creative drought. The creative juices just dried up. I am not sure why. I am happy to report that those juices are flowing again and, hopefully, there will be quite a few new posts in the next couple of weeks. This is the second one today. I have already written a new post on Christian Heresy and am working on the sequel to that one. That said, let’s talk about our insane Peerless Leader.
I admit I have had problems keeping my mouth shut throughout my whole life. Lord knows, I have stuck my foot in my mouth, often all the way up to my knee, more times than I can count on both hands and both feet. However, I have now handed my crown for social “saux pas” to the man with the hair like an orangutan. You would think that someone with his business acumen (self-proclaimed) would have the ability to keep his mouth shut when necessary. And that is doubly true of someone who is the Pres. of the United States. Not our Donald! If I were Donald’s wife or daughter, I would close his Twitter account immediately and destroy any and all cell phones he has
Continue reading The Madness of King Donald
This summer will mark the 50th anniversary of what has become known as “The Summer of Love.” In 1967, my generation – or at least part of it – espoused that hippie philosophy of peace and love. That summer was marked by many gatherings of young people all over the country. These gatherings were called “be-ins.” The biggest one was held in Golden Gate Park in San Francisco. Those of you who are close to my age probably remember the anthem of that summer: “If you’re going to San Francisco, be sure to wear some flowers in your hair.” Yes, I did wear flowers in my hair that summer. No, I did not go to San Francisco until a few years later and then only for a visit.
However, I have my own little story of what happened that summer. I was in The Rittenhouse Square in Philadelphia one day at an impromptu gathering of “flower children.” We were just sitting around the park playing music and singing, celebrating life and the summer weather. The police, however, took exception to what we were doing. We were all arrested for disorderly conduct and hauled off to jail. We all posted bond and were given a court date – all on the same day.
Continue reading The Summer of Love 50 Years Later
That when I was growing up in the 1950s and 1960s we Americans were involved in a “Cold War” with the Soviet Union. I suspect that the Cold War had something to do with my parents (and of course, my brother and myself who were small children at the time) emigrating to the United States and Germany, specifically what was then known as West Germany. We came to the United States around the time of the Berlin war, when East Germany, on orders from Moscow, blockaded West Berlin.
In elementary school, we did air raids probably every month. We were all frightened of a nuclear attack by the Soviet Union. That attack, fortunately, never came. But there was a constant state of very high tension between the two countries. I remember seeing Nikita Khrushchev banging his shoe on the podium at the United Nations condemning the United States. I remember the Cuban missile crisis during the Kennedy administration. I remember watching public service announcements on the television networks showing how to protect yourself in case of a nuclear attack. I remember the commercial for fallout shelters for those who could afford them. Boy, if they ever wanted to get rid of poverty by eliminating poor people, that would have been the time to do it.
Continue reading What the Hell is Going On?
Maybe the Republican congressman aren’t quite as crazy as they let on. (Yes, I know. I ended the sentence with a preposition. My English teachers in high school would kill me if they were still alive. Unfortunately, I don’t think they are.) Congress voted down a Republican sponsored bill that would have repealed Obama Care and replaced it with something that would cost 24 million people their insurance coverage. Apparently, there are enough Republican Congressman with some sense that helped vote this bill down. God bless them!
My wife and my son would belong to that 24 million that the proposed bill would have left coverless. My wife’s employer does not provide healthcare coverage for his employee. I am not going to use his name here, just his initials – RC. RC is a very nice person. He has done a lot for Elizabeth over the years that she has worked for him, currently as the owner of the restaurant where Elizabeth is the prep cook, as well as the McDonald’s she used to work at for a long time. One of the reasons that Elizabeth left McDonald’s was so she could go back to work for RC. That’s how much she thinks of him and I do to. He is also a good practicing Christian as is his wife and his sons. However, the prevailing philosophy here in Arkansas as well as much of the rest of the so is that healthcare is something individuals need to pay for themselves what the people that think that way do not take into consideration is that they are not paying their employees enough to cover the premiums for that healthcare coverage and still provide food, shelter, clothing, and other essentials for their family.
Continue reading Scuttling Obamacare