Sunday, January 29, 2012

Pointing Out The Facts

Ok I am not at all the conspiracy theory type. But I am very tired of the way the media collectively decides to cover or not cover certain news stories.

My current point of contention is with the lack of coverage of Governor Brewer (Arizona) putting her finger in President Obama's face in a contentious exchange. This is not about politics. I am not a Democrat stepping up to defend the Liberal side or, a Republican rushing to the defense of conservatives. In all actuality my point of view is only coming from the perspective of respect.

I am absolutely enraged that anyone would feel justified in showing such blatant disrespect to a person holding the position of President of the United States. It is disgusting and irreverent. Everyone from every party should have condemned her actions.
This is not my image. It was copied from the Arizona Press Action

After the State of the Union address, I was very much impressed by the gentleman who gave the Republican rebuttal. He started off by paying respect to President Obama and complimenting him on the things  he respected about him. And then he launched a full on assault on the president's methodology for fixing the problems in the nation. That is a constructive way in addressing he problems you have with a person's actions.

I cannot imagine trying to lead so many people who hate not only your political philosophy, but also who you are. This situation is just one more example of the fact that racism is alive and well. There is no way that I can be convinced that this woman would have walked up and put her finger in the face of  President Bush or President Clinton. Her reputation is not one of physically getting in the face of others and disrespecting them. She did that because she looks down on President Obama. Her complaints about him were that he spoke with her with a condescending lofty voice? On what planet does that give you the right to get in someone else's face and point your finger?

Why is there not outrage and admonition for this woman? Why does the media choose to ignore and gloss over actions such as her's and the senator that yelled out and interrupted him by calling him a liar in his previous State of the Union Address? We live in an era where any and all behavior is scrutinized 24/7 by news media outlets. The fact that the major networks gave this story 1 minute of coverage was by design. They spent MUCH MORE time talking about how Mrs. Obama crossed a line (unbeknownst to her) and disrespected the the Queen Elizabeth by touching her. Even though it was in a totally congenial friendly way.

In closing I will leave you with some quotes on inaction. I think we all have a responsibility to speak up when we think something is wrong. I make a lot of people uncomfortable by bring up issues that others choose to ignore, or speak about only with like-minded people. I'm not looking for a fight. I'm just trying to grow, understand, become less ignorant, and find others who are doing that also. God Bless.


A person may cause evil to others not only by his actions but by his inaction, and in either case he is justly accountable to them for the injury.
John Stuart Mill

Chaotic action is preferable to orderly inaction.
Will Rogers

I never worry about action, but only inaction.
Winston Churchill

Inaction breeds doubt and fear. Action breeds confidence and courage. If you want to conquer fear, do not sit home and think about it. Go out and get busy.
Dale Carnegie

Iron rusts from disuse; water loses its purity from stagnation... even so does inaction sap the vigor of the mind.
Leonardo da Vinci

The price of inaction is far greater than the cost of making a mistake.
Meister Eckhart

There are risks and costs to action. But they are far less than the long range risks of comfortable inaction.
John F. Kennedy

Monday, January 23, 2012

Life Lesson No. 2347320845710457

I have spent too much of my life hanging on to any number of the following things for a multiplicity of reasons:


But as I awoke this morning these words came to me; "Breathe, open up your heart and soul. All that leaves you is done, or for a future time. That which stays, is what you currently own. It must be dealt with presently. " 

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Administrative Rules Don't Always Match Real World Situations

Dear Ms Coberly,
We are in receipt of the B.A.C. slip sent home January 18th, 2012. We would like to address what we know to be the situation. Your additional notes section states: “While sitting on the bus a second grader started cussing at him so he verbally did the same. He was asked by two other peers to stop but didn’t.”
It is our understanding, that said second grader initiated a slew of racially derogatory insults including using the word nigger repeatedly in addition to insults littered with profanity. Based off of our conversation with our other two children, XXXX did not at any time curse or return racially derogatory statements. According to the letter you had him fill out, he stated “the child had lice.” 
Our concerns are: First, a tremendous amount of valuable class time was lost over the fact that my son told another student that he had lice. The B.A.C. referral form indicates he was sent to you at 8:00 am and returned to class almost 4 hours later. Secondly, he received formal disciplinary action that was assigned to the category of verbal abuse/profanity. If his rebuttals were along the lines of what was written and sent home, it appears that he in fact did not do the same.
We believe that in light of the situation, XXXX seems to have handled himself to the best of his abilities as an11year old child. We work very hard with our children to make sure that they understand the need to respect themselves, and others. We are using this incident as a teachable moment. However, there are adults who would not have handled blatant racist profane encounters as well as he did. Additionally, XXXX has a frame of reference being his own second grade brother to gage the appropriateness of a child in the same age range. In our opinion, that may be what kept the incident from escalating.
We must take issue with the fact that a referral form which is subject to go on his permanent record under the category of verbal abuse/profanity has taken place, if no such behavior took place on his part. We would be more than happy to discuss this issue further if necessary. Feel free to contact us at your earliest convenience. 
Mr & Mrs Soap Box

Friday, January 13, 2012

There is a paralyzed apathy that comes with loss of hope
When everything around loses it's vibrance
All outward chaos fades to silence
The only noise heard is incoherent clatter of unorganized thoughts
I remind myself, it is but a temporary condition

There is a place in my core, that is quiet and still 
Here I can find peace during my most trying times
A place that is ancient and wise; yet simultaneously rejuvenating and new
It is God in me 
Where the most complicated life circumstances are illuminated, revealed, and understood
It is the seat of my wisdom, and where revelation is gained

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

A Sense of Humor Should Involve.....Humor

I have been sitting around all day feeling "some kind of way" about a conversation that I was involved in this morning. I was reading a status update about a report of several men piled in a car in Afganistan. They way it played out was as such: A lady with whom I am acquainted, has a husband working construction in Afganistan. He told her that there were 7 men piled in a car that came to work. The driver then proceeded to get out of the car, pop the trunk, and let 2 additional men out. Now from our perspective as westerners, we associate people piled in a car as a stunt in a circus or some kind of trick where shenanigans are involved. Therefor, I can see how initially it would seem kind of comical. But as I read down her comment log I became nothing short of irritated at the laughter and jokes that were made.

Let's keep this in context these were not clowns in a circus. Body odor and bodily functions were probably the least of their worries. These were men in a developing country who were there to work harder than most of us are willing to work. For longer than most of us are able to work. For money that won't cover what most of our need for survival, let alone any luxuries. Is that funny? When I pointed this out the entire group of people still tried to skirt the issue and laugh. To be honest, I was a bit of a jackass because I just refused to excuse and let it go. I did not play into the normal social graces that we perform to let people off the hook, and press past awkwardness. I just felt that these men were worthy of better treatment than that. So I kept pointing at the elephant in the room. Some admitted to their insensitivity, others were too proud, and arrogant.

Why are we still so desensitized to anyone that is not a part of our group, that we can gloss past more important issues at hand? Why is it that if our skin is not the same color, and our religion aligned, and our language congruent, than someone is less human/worthy? I just can't see looking past someone else's suffering based on any of the previously mentioned criteria. A song I learned as a tot, taught me a very important life lesson. It's a Small World After All. It truly is a small world after all. And, that point of view makes my list of friends, allies, brothers, and sisters a lot larger.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

This Is Not What It Looks Like

I am currently sitting in my thinking chair, wrapped in my husband's big fluffy robe, with warm socks, and a sloppy ballerina bun on my head. I couldn't be more content. As a chronic early riser, I have spent the last ten plus years bounding out of bed getting dressed and being productive. It's habitual, and a good habit to have, I think. I feel a tremendous responsibility as a parent to model behavior that I think will usher my kids toward success. Since I have several son's...the exact number being a crap-load, I felt even more pressure to instill productivity and hard work into their character. It's just always in the back of my mind that someday they may be family men. The pressures of taking care of a wife and children may be on their shoulders, and will call on their abilities to be organized, educated, hard workers. So in auto-piolot I get up and get to business, as does their father so that they see examples that illustrate productivity and persistence pays off.

In a funny conversation one day, my son told me,  "Mom I didn't know you wore pajama's". I guess I didn't realize I was that routine oriented. It made me think. I shouldn't be so legalistic and bound to my routine. There is more to what I am trying to do then trying to look productive. Productivity is not measured by appearances. It is measured by results. There is more to life than getting to the daily grind. There is more to the daily grind than looking busy. My children know that I am sold out for them not because of what I appear to be doing. They know because, they can measure the results of my actions. A huge portion of my day, and perhaps my life is dedicated to making sure their needs are met.

I'm not a push over. I know all about tough love, and put it to use when needed. But, a happy home is my life mission right now. There are times when circumstances are easy, and times when they are super stressful. If it's stressful for me, but I am able to make it happy for my family, its somehow consolation. Let me not present myself as some martyr. I won't live like this always. I fully recognize that my children will grow up and leave home. They may or may not call and visit on a regular basis. But, I am fairly confident that they will love and respect me always. Not because I am perfect, but because I love and respect them.

I am begininning to see that it's the principle of hard work, as opposed to just the example of hard work, that I want to impart in my children. I am finally at a point in life where I am less concerned with the way things look. I am more focused on the way way they actually are. I don't live in a huge fancy house. But I LOVE the house I am in. I love it because it feels good. I am proud of the fact, that when people walk thru my door they say, "I love your house. It's so welcoming." They don't say,  "Your house is beautiful". In essence they are saying they feel the love and welcoming spirit of our environment. That's more important than looks to me, and not easily achieved. All it takes is resources to make something look good. It takes heart to make things feel good. I am happy with the fact that the goals I set in life are slowly but surely being achieved. I think wisdom and a willingness to be flexible will keep me on course.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

The Land of the Free

It was with momentary trepidation, that I began to write this passage. The old heart is still palpating at an above average beat, I must admit. But my fingers keep typing because, the courage of my convictions, I must maintain. So if I end up on a watch list, if I can no longer fly the friendly skies, because I have an opinion that is considered "suspect", so be it. That being said, let me address the last bill that was signed into law in 2011.

Can I first say how difficult it was to find news or information about this bill in the first place? This dramatic 11th hour signing was more like a plot from the television show 24. I am far from an alarmist. But with so much underhanded political controversy going on historically in this country, it's hard to feel warm and fuzzy. I do my best to stay active in political processes, so as to be able to wag my tongue and complain as much as I want to in an non-hypocritical way. But, between the Patriot Act and this new "Defense Bill", it's kind of hard not to be paranoid!

In effect we are now encourage to spy on our neighbors with the government (Patriot Act). And then hope no suspicion falls on us, since we now could be lost in red tape and detained "almost but not quite forever" without due process. That's not to mention the fact, that the stage has been all but set for martial law to go into effect (Defense Bill).

What's worse is that Congress and the Executive branch worked together for once in their lives to get this legislation passed. Congress initially had a provision that would deny U.S. citizens SUSPECTED of terrorism the right to trial and could subject them to INDEFINITE detention. Who can we turn to? Judicial branch don't fail me now! Oh wait, all they can do is interpret the laws that are based off of the Constitution that everyone seems to dance a jig all over anyway.

"I want to clarify that my administration will not authorize the indefinite military detention without trial of American citizens," Obama said in a statement. "Indeed, I believe that doing so would break with our most important traditions and values as a nation."

The problem with statement being that your administration will not be in office forever Mr. President. How will the next administration interpret it? And when did the Constitution become a tradition? Traditions are nice, but are easily broken. Traditions are not rights they are habits. I thought the Constitution was built on inalienable... that is God given rights. If America is now giving those rights I guess they I guess they can take them away. I am not even sure what a call to action may look like at this point. Is it time to pack up and move to a deserted island? Can this even be undone? Will fear prevent the averaged American from standing up and fighting against our eroding liberties? I have no answers and a lot of questions.

In conclusion, just take a moment to think about this irony: The very spirit and processes that formed this country when we claimed our independence from Great Britain, are the very ideals that are now being obliterated by our government. Food for thought...

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

To Russia with Love

I was checking the statistics page on my blog. It lets me know just exactly where the traffic on my page originates. The vast majority of my traffic comes from the United States. Second to that, is Russia. I get very regular page hits from that country and I think it's very cool.

It is prompting me to research and gain some general knowledge about the country. Information that I learned previously is very limited. I was school aged during the President Reagan era. During that time our country was at odds with Russia (The Cold War). As a result, the little information that I did receive was generally negative. Primarily taught, was that there was an ever impending threat of nuclear war. And that tension between our two countries was very high.

Up until about a year ago. I had a neighbor who was Russian. He was an interesting character. Paul was a hard worker, somewhat sensitive, very opinionated, and strong as an ox. It was not until he passed away that I found out that he was about 20 years older than I assumed. {RIP Paul} I never looked at him and said, this must be what Russian people are like, because I would hate to base an entire group of people on my interaction with one man.

So, now I am making more of an effort to learn about a Russia. The peaked interest is mutual. I can't help but wonder how my musings translate culturally. Like I said when I first started blogging,  I could tell you who I am. But with my demographical list comes a set of preconceived notions. I just write, ramble, observer, or vent.

I have always been fascinated by your architecture. It is impossible to go to the ballet and not think about how Russia sets a standard world wide for that particular art-form. And everyone is aware of the Russian/vodka connection. But i am learning so much more as I examine what your country is all about. I think it is so interesting that so many ethnicities and languages are housed in one place. Some Americans are nothing short of offended that other ethnicities speak any other language than English. It just makes me wonder if other diverse populations are accepting or intolerant of other cultures. I have also come to find out the the arts are very important within Russia. I doubt I have blogged about it, but it is a huge interest of mine as well. The next subject I will explore is cuisine. At this rate, a visit may very well find it's way to my bucket list.

Russia, I look forward to getting to know you just as you are getting to know me...Приятно познакомиться xoxoxo.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Happy Anniversary

Well it's been a year since I started this blog. Prior to that, I probably spent about a year trying to decide if I was going to do it. I think it was the right choice. Although my traffic right now is not very high. I am happy that people make their way to my page and tool around.  Some people have even been kind enough to give input which has been much appreciated. If you look to the left, of my current webpage layout, you'll see that four lovely souls were so kind as to follow me. Thank you for that!

It's doubtful that I'm changing lives with my words. But, I feel like as I ramble, I'm kind of figuring things out. Perhaps something I have to say will challenge or change someone's point of view. I'm always slightly apprehensive that someone will come across my words and be hugely critical. But I am trying to take criticism both constructive and even just plain old mean criticism. My thought process being, I don't want fear of someone else's judgements to prohibit me from doing anything. So here I am, sticking my chin out. Putting my ideas and opinions out there.

I still struggle with wording, because I have a strong personality, and if I write things as bluntly as I speak, I fear that my written words will be misinterpreted. I'm one of those people who has a strong personality and a soft heart. I picture myself as one of those characters that you have seen in hundreds of movie plots.  You know the one: In my old age,  all of the people I have loved finally figure out that I am a good person, and I was hard on them, because I loved them.

This blog is becoming increasingly therapeutic for me. It gives me an opportunity to really think on the issues and topics I want to relay. In the end, I force myself to stay true to my opinions and observations, because I want to gain from this experience. For the record I have free counseling through my benefits. I really could go to counseling if I chose to do so. But then, only my shrink would have a chance to evaluate what a nut I am!

If you're reading this, I sure would love more feedback this year.