POINTS OF PONDERATION…..EPISODE 4.22

A semi-regular attempt to address some of life’s minutiae that might otherwise be overlooked…..

I’ve covered this before, but it’s worth reiterating…here in America we are guaranteed Freedom of Religion, not freedom FROM religion. If anything Godly bothers you that much a) just ignore it (you have the freedom to not participate), and b) perhaps search your soul…if you have one. There seems to be no shortage of people who truly believe that the settler’s of Plymouth Rock came here to run from religion, which is blatantly false. Our Founding Fathers codified what those pilgrims really wanted, which was the freedom to worship God in their own way, not subject to the whims of a country’s head of state. Contrary to erroneous progressive gaslighting, those early Americans were more devoted to their faith than any of us. Anyone who indicates otherwise is being intellectually dishonest.

If you can’t be bothered to pay attention to my story or listen to what I’m saying I’ll just end the conversation since it’s one sided anyway. I don’t need the aggravation of your disrespect.

How come it’s okay…perhaps even cool…to “dissent” now, but a year & a half ago it was an “attack on democracy”?? Everyone is entitled to their opinion on a particular subject & we can even disagree without being disagreeable, but the tone deaf hypocrisy is what I find loathsome.

I truly understand my mother’s admonitions to put things back where you got them. I hate it when people come into my space and rearrange stuff. Just leave it alone.

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is one of the most deranged, dangerous, ignorant individuals to ever hold elected office in the United States, and I presume that anyone who supports her is nearly as unhinged. Y’all want to talk about the many shortcomings of Donald Trump?? Okay, that’s fair. He’s a really flawed human being who has made countless errors in judgment. Most conservatives are willing to concede the point. Unfortunately the folks on the other side of the aisle refuse to see their favorite “leaders” for who & what they really are, and I have a difficult time with that level of obstinance.

Is there any doubt remaining that the FBI is dirty?? Perhaps even treasonous??

Speaking of religion…

Get this y’all!! There are actually people out there right now equating “forgiveness” of student loans to the forgiveness that we learn about in church when we study The Bible. Now, I’m walking a tightrope here because I think alot of folks mean well…they’re just naïve. I don’t want to be rude, but the level of ignorance when it comes to sociopolitical & economic issues in this country is deeply troubling. Too many people look at politicians as Santa Claus, and they’ll vote for whoever is promising the most free stuff. The problem is that nothing is free. And those student loans?? Well Jesus isn’t the one “forgiving” them. Christ paid for our sins on the cross, but in this new scam being run out of Washington DC it will you, me, & all of our neighbors that’ll be paying back billions of dollars in loans that we were never responsible for in the first place. American citizens really should be much smarter instead of sitting back and letting politicians & the elitists pulling the strings make us look like fools.

Points of Ponderation…..Episode 2.18

A semi-regular attempt to address some of life’s minutiae that might otherwise be overlooked…..

 

 

 

There’s a teachers’ strike going on right now here in West Virginia. I don’t have a dog in the fight and don’t feel informed enough to offer a specific opinion except that teachers perform one of the most crucial yet thankless jobs in our society and are vastly underpaid in proportion to the importance of what they do. However, I saw the following posted on social media last week and it moved me in an odd way:

It is with heavy heart we announce that this weekend’s performances of Barnum are cancelled. We are so thankful for the support we have received from our community, and nothing can take away all that we have learned and experienced while preparing for this show. It was beautiful, and if you can take a moment to do so, please see it in your heart.

One of the local high schools had a theater production scheduled, with performances all weekend. Due to the work stoppage those shows were going to be cancelled, although eventually things were worked and the shows went on as planned. It is unlikely that many of the students involved are going to major in theater in college or go on to a career in the arts, so this may have been a once in a lifetime opportunity, a chance to do something fun and “out of the box” that they’ll never have again, and they very nearly missed out on being able to do it. What if the next Al Pacino or Kate Winslet was in the cast and performing in the play is the spark that ignites a passion?? What if a labor dispute that has nothing to do with those students would have extinguished that spark before it ever happened?? Life is about opportunities…those we get and those we miss. Baseball fans know the story of Wally Pipp, a New York Yankees infielder back in the 1920’s who, in the midst of a batting slump, came to the ball park with a headache and asked the trainer for a couple of aspirin. The team’s manager told Pipp to take the day off and inserted Lou Gehrig into the lineup. Pipp lost his job that day, while Gehrig went on to play in 2130 consecutive games, a record that stood for almost sixty years. I’m glad that those students didn’t miss out on their opportunity, whatever may come of it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

To be candid, Kathie Lee Gifford has always gotten on my nerves a bit. A little goes a long way if you know what I’m saying. However, while channel surfing one day I happened to catch her warm tribute to Rev. Billy Graham, who had just passed away. What she shared about her relationship with Jesus Christ was one of the best testimonies I’ve ever heard, and it truly touched my heart. But then…a day or two later…I was again channel surfing, and decided to check out her show, which is the fourth hour of NBC’s Today and was being co-hosted by President Bush’s daughter Jenna Bush Hager. And what was the first thing the two ladies did?? They imbibed a big ol’ cocktail (quite strong according to them)…at 10 o’clock in the morning. Now far be it for me to cast the first stone, because I’m sure there are enough people that’d line up to enumerate my many flaws, but it struck me just how easily we can harm our Christian witness. Here is a woman that just a day or two before had made a powerful statement about loving Jesus, and now she was getting liquored up on national television. It is a learning opportunity, and a reminder that what we say & do represents us, our families, and our Lord & Savior, so we need to be mindful about representing those entities well.

 

 

 

 

 

 

I recently chronicled my general thoughts about gun control, but to date have refrained from specific comments on the Valentine’s Day mass shooting in Parkland, FL. When such a tragedy occurs reactions of all varieties are plentiful, although it generally boils down to gun control advocates versus defenders of The Second Amendment. However, no matter which side of that debate a response may be on, the fact is that they are oftentimes emotional & extreme, which is understandable to a degree. The aftermath of any kind of mass shooting inevitably raises the question “Why??”, with answers leading to discussions about gun control, mental health, & the decay of morality in society. What tends to get lost in the midst of arguments about the larger issues are the specifics of the particular incident itself, and in this case that would be a huge mistake, because this time the question of “Why??” seems to have some very clear answers. It is obvious that protections & preventative measures on multiple levels failed miserably and cost 17 people their lives. I have a tremendous amount of respect for law enforcement and feel like they’ve gotten an undeserved bad rap the last several years, but in this situation to say that both the FBI & local police “dropped the ball” would be a glib understatement. And as usual the media can be counted on to stir the pot. I understand that it’s a story they have to cover, but I have an issue with using teenagers to advance a political agenda. I’m trying hard not to blame the kids, although it seems like some of them have been pretty quick to get in front of as many television cameras as possible, which doesn’t strike me as a normal reaction. I am by no means a firearms expert, but I know enough to recognize the half-truths & lies of omission that the press uses to spin a story, and I’m knowledgeable enough to realize that too many people reporting on this & similar heartbreaking events are either quite ignorant about guns or blatantly lie to highlight their biased viewpoint.

 

 

 

Points of Ponderation…Episode 8.16

A semi-regular attempt to address some of life’s minutiae that might otherwise be overlooked…..

 

Family, friends, & citizens of The Manoverse know that my relationship with the ol’ home state of West Virginia has been…ambivalent…at best. Not a day goes by that part of me doesn’t regret taking off for greener pastures while I was young & fearless, yet this is home and I am content to be near family, basking in a boring, uneventful, slow paced, Mayberry-esque way of life. Let me take this opportunity to say how proud I have been these past few weeks watching the people of WV rally around those affected by devastating floods. I have observed all kinds of businesses, churches, & other organizations collect donations wvand travel down to the flooded areas to distribute much needed food, clothing, & supplies. No one asked, and certainly no one forced these entities to put in the time & effort to help communities of strangers over 100 miles away, but they did it anyway because that’s how we roll here in The Mountain State. For the most part we’re not the wealthiest, most scholarly, thinnest, or sexiest population, but we understand what it is to be neighborly and take care of those less fortunate or facing tough times. Please continue to say an occasional prayer for the flood victims, and understand that their lives won’t magically be back to normal in a couple of weeks or months. Many people lost everything and don’t have a trust fund or hidden bank account in the Cayman Islands to buy new houses, clothes, automobiles, etc. I am sure there will be assistance available, but I’m also smart enough to know that it won’t be adequate. I can’t even fathom the devastation.

 

 

 

Unlike some I wasn’t the least bit surprised that the FBI decided not to indict Hillary Clinton. The outcome was expected, although I was a bit surprised by how foolish liberty_in_shamethe powers-that-be made themselves look in the process. I wish I could be more optimistic, but more & more it feels like the fix may be in as it pertains to the 2016 Presidential election. The media has done a wonderful job glossing over Mrs. Clinton’s “imperfections” while amplifying Donald Trump’s liabilities, to the point that otherwise intelligent people sincerely believe that she is a better choice than him. However, just because the result of the “investigation” was anticipated doesn’t make it any less sad & frustrating. I’ve watched this country continue to dive further into the abyss on a daily basis the past several years, yet it continues to be an incredible process to witness.

 

 

 

Okay kids, it’s review time. I know I have kvetched about this before, but please allow me to educate as well as entertain. A person’s wheelchair is a very, very, very important piece of equipment. It’s more than just an apparatus…it’s a lifeline. So please…please…unless you honestly know what you are doing don’t try to “help” an experienced wheelchair user. I’m not talking about someone who broke their leg and might be stuck with crutches and/or a chair for a few weeks. I am referring to a person (like myself) who has a disability and therefore deals with stuff & situations on a daily basis. Do I sometimes need help?? Yes. And I have had to learn to put my pride on the shelf and accept assistance on occasion. There are times that I truly appreciate the kindness of others. Having said that, if I need help I will usually ask, or if someone really wants to be polite & supportive I hope they atleast ask first. Do NOT just come up to me, say “Here let me help you” and grab my wheelchair. Would you just walk up and latch onto someone’s private area?? Would you randomly fondle a stranger’s breasts?? Grabbing a person’s wheelchair is similarly offensive. What frequently happens to me is that people want to lift my chair into the extended cab of my truck. The problem is that’s not how it is done. I end up arriving at my next destination with my wheelchair brakes locked and having to twist myself into a pretzel to unlock them before I can easily back the chair out of the truck. Recently as I was leaving work I received some “help” from a lovely young lady. It was 7am and I was tired. The woman was being nice and she was kind of cute. I didn’t argue. Unfortunately…and hilariously…she somehow placed my chair into my truck completely upside down. I honestly have never seen that before, and the whole way home I just kept thinking “How in the heck am I going to get it out of there??”. Luckily it wasn’t as difficult as I feared, but it could have been a complete disaster. I’m glad that there are caring, neighborly folks in the world. There are times when I am very thankful for a helping hand. But exercise caution…ask yourself if you are really being useful, or if maybe…just maybe…you may be getting in the way.

 

 

And that’s all I have to say about that.

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I was so looking forward to the next Star Trek film, set to hit theaters in just a few weeks. But now I think I might just skip it. It has been made public that the character of Sulu will be an out-of-the-closet gay man in the movie, complete with child and male “partner”. It is obviously a nod to George Takei, who portrayed Sulu in the original Star Trek TV series and first six feature films and came out as gay several years ago. The issue is this…Sulu was never homosexual before. As a matter of fact he has been previously shown as having a wife & child. Now, it is true that the series was on television a half century ago, and it is also true that these new movies take place in an “alternate time line”. That’s all well & good…creative license & all that jazz. It is also said trek2that in this new film, called Star Trek: Beyond, Sulu being gay is shown as no big deal, which is fine. However, I’m just not a fan of this movement toward PC appeasement in pop culture. Ghostbusters was remade simply to have an all-female cast. There is currently a TV version of the classic film Uncle Buck that features a black cast. Annie was remade awhile back with a black cast, as was Steel Magnolias.  The same thing was done a few years ago with The Karate Kid. Harry Potter fans got their knickers twisted recently when a new stage play written by JK Rowling was cast and the adult version of Hermione Granger is now suddenly black. Rowling’s previous low class existence & mindset came roaring back when she whined that fans bothered by the casting choice must be racist. An Ocean’s Eleven reboot is in the works with an all female cast led by Sandra Bullock, although it might actually work because the lead character is allegedly the sister of George Clooney’s Danny Ocean, so atleast they are acknowledging the original (well okay…those films were remade from a 60’s Rat Pack film, but you get my drift). The revived Star Wars franchise seems to be back only so that Luke Skywalker…or a hero that is a close facsimile of him…can be a girl now. I’m not a comic book aficionado, but I am given to understand that Iron Man is now a teenage black girl, Spiderman is an hispanic dude, Thor is female, Ms. Marvel is Muslim, & Captain America is black. Such changes may be more organic in comic books though, especially if new characters take over the superhero role from someone who is now retired or dead. At any rate, people are already tired of Hollywood’s lack of originality, and it feels extra lazy to just recycle an idea with the big twist being that previously white/ heterosexual/male characters are now black, latino, gay, and/or female. Call me all the names you want…closeminded, bigoted, racist, misogynistic, homophobic…because that’s the playbook these days. Just know that I speak truth. I am sure that the powers-that-be pat themselves on the back for being inclusive and embracing diversity, but the fact is that instead of creating new stories with strong characters that are female, black, etc. they are simply putting a superficial façade on the treasured memories of the masses and giving insulting lip service to the issues they allegedly care so much about. Even George Takei thinks it’s stupid to make Sulu gay at this stage, fifty years into the character’s history…and of all people shouldn’t his opinion carry more than a little weight?? Anyway, I watch movies & TV and read books to escape from reality. Can’t we just enjoy a good story without being preached to and indoctrinated with ideology?? Is that too much to freaking ask?!?!?!??