cool dude

Pontius Pilate was a really cool dude.  Remember, he was the guy who asked the Son of God “What is truth?” We still don’t have an answer to that question, but at least we could usually figure out what was false. The advent of social media has made that virtually impossible.

Exhibit A:

Every time a new school shooting pops up, the NRA races to jumpstart sales by making murder a virtue. Like Moses descending Mount Sinai with the Ten Commandments, our Forefathers gave us the Bill of Rights; and right up there is the NRA’s Golden Rule: the holy, blessed, sacred, Second Amendment.

Wrap it up in a flash of patriotism and fear, and watch sales skyrocket.

As to that quote, well, this is what Washington actually said:

“Among the many interesting objects, which will engage your attention, that of providing for the common defence will merit particular regard. To be prepared for war is one of the most effectual means of preserving peace.

A free people ought not only to be armed but disciplined; to which end a Uniform and well digested plan is requisite: And their safety and interest require that they should promote such manufactories, as tend to render them independent on others, for essential, particularly for military supplies.

The proper establishment of the Troops which may be deemed indispensible, will be entitled to mature consideration. In the arrangements which may be made respecting it, it will be of importance to conciliate the comfortable support of the Officers and Soldiers with a due regard to economy.”

But please, please, don’t believe me; look it up for yourself.

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Happy Anniversary

It was just a year ago that Americans celebrated the Inauguration Of Donald Trump as the 45th President of the United States with the largest crowds and the biggest galas and parties the world had ever seen. Yes, America was Great Again.

Now we face the first Government Shutdown in which one political party controls the Senate, Congress and the White House since Jimmy Carter.

Congress has “kicked the can” on passing a spending bill several times, opting for one short-term fix after another. Republicans and Democrats settled on compromises – twice – that President Trump rejected.

It’s all about DACA. Trump wants to kill it once and for all, Democrats refuse to turn their backs on the 800,000 people who still want a tiny piece of the American Dream. Republicans countered by holding CHIP, and all the children that depend on it, hostage.

So in order to avert a shutdown, the leadership of both parties crafted a compromise. First Trump said yes, then he said no. So the leadership of both parties came up with a second compromise. Again, the President said yes, then he changed his mind. It’s all about DACA.

So now, everybody loses. Republicans, Democrats, Dreamers, and kids. Even the President has canceled his Inaugural Anniversary Mar-a-Lago Gala. Wait. He changed his mind about that too…

“Well, if you say who gets fired it always has to be the top. I mean, problems start from the top and they have to get solved from the top and the president’s the leader. And he’s got to get everybody in a room and he’s got to lead. When they talk about the government shutdown, they’re going to be talking about the president of the United States, who the president was at that time. They’re not going to be talking about who was the head of the House, the head the Senate, who’s running things in Washington. So I really think the pressure is on the president.”
– Donald Trump, 2013

Wake up, dreamer

Hey, you. Person who is reading this right now. Imagine if you woke up this morning and found out that you were not an American. You just found out that you were actually born somewhere else. Your parents brought you to America, and you had no idea a huge part of your life was just a great, big, fat lie.

What would you do?

I mean, what action would you take right now, this very minute? You thought you were from California. Or maybe you thought you were born in Texas. Perhaps you’ve called New Hampshire your home all your life.

I know, I’ll call 911, turn myself in, and move to Mexico! Or Cost Rica! Or Guatemala! Or wherever the hell some piece of paper in some file cabinet in some office somewhere says I was born…

DACA provides you with the only option that makes even the slightest bit of sense.

You’ll fill out some paperwork, and pay a $495 application fee – which pays for the program, not someone else’s taxpayer dollars – and wait for the government to do a background check. You’re either in school or have graduated and you have no criminal record, beyond the level of a parking ticket, so you can stay here, for two years, so you can get everything done to make sure you’re here LEGALLY.

If the president has his way, you won’t be able to do any of that. What will you do then…

“And this I believe: that the free, exploring mind of the individual human is the most valuable thing in the world. And this I would fight for: the freedom of the mind to take any direction it wishes, undirected. And this I must fight against: any idea, religion, or government which limits or destroys the individual.” – John Steinbeck, East of Eden

omg, don’t take the lord’s name in vain

There are a lot of rules and regulations in the world of religion. All three Abrahamic faiths include taking the lord’s name in vain as one of their great, big, fat, no-nos. But there’s a lot of confusion as to what exactly it means to take the lord’s name in vain.

Is swearing the same thing as taking the lord’s name in vain? Pastors say God damn in their sermons all the time. God damn the person who commits abortion, for example. That’s not wrong, is it? If somebody wins the lottery, and they yell Jesus Christ! I won! Is that a sin? What about if you get a paper cut or stub your toe or hit your head while you’re under the kitchen sink trying to fix a leak?

I think you should get a pass on all those circumstances.

But if you swear on the Bible in a court of law and subsequently lie your ass off, that might be a bad thing. If you go on TV and tell people God will make you rich if you give them money, that’s a bad thing. If you set off bombs or fly planes into buildings in the name of God, that might be a bad thing.

As for all the gray areas, I think it’s best not to judge someone else’s actions, especially if you don’t know their circumstances or motivations. My solution is pretty simple. Don’t judge other people. If you think it’s a sin, don’t do it.

“Ever heard the story about a cat that accidentally caught a mouse in his sleep? Me neither.” – Dr. Mike Murdock

Respect is earned, not given

I will endeavor on this site to express my opinions without trashing anyone who doesn’t share my perspective. This is especially the case when it comes to Millennials, with whom I’m apparently at odds with nearly all the time.

Case in point. Millennials love to post cute pictures with clever sayings that express their innermost feelings. One of their favorite quotes is “Respect is earned, not given.”

Would you teach a child that she should withhold respect for her mom and dad until they’ve earned it? Would you tell her the same regarding her teachers at school? Her friends and classmates?

I submit it would be better to respect others unless or until they do something to lose your respect.

This is not the easy way out. Quite the contrary. It’s much harder to give respect to other people who don’t look like you, talk like you, worship like you, vote like you, or even order their coffee like you.

But it’s the right thing to do.

Man, proud man,
Drest in a little brief authority,
Most ignorant of what he’s most assured,
His glassy essence, like an angry ape,
Plays such fantastic tricks before high heaven
As make the angels weep.

William Shakespeare, Measure for Measure