I would like to thank all of you who have ordered one or all of my books to be read on your kindle or kindle app. For those of you who didn’t know about them three of my books Play Fair and Win, Parables for a New Age and Parables for a New Age II are available on Amazon.com to be read on Kindle. They only cost $5.99. I feel funny telling people about this but a lot of people asked about them and I think this is the best way to let you know they are available. Thanks again.
For those of my friends who have access to kindle, I have three books available. Parables for a New Age, Parables for a New Age II, and Play Fair and Win. All you have to do is search for my name or any of those titles and you can get them. Another will soon be available named Beyond the Fence, and a fifth will be available by April or May.Thanks to all of you who have already put down the six bucks and read a book and thanks to all of yo who will do it in the future.
Rick Santorum, GOP presidential hopeful, has done it again. The pope is about to issue a statement on global warming and our treatment of the planet. The prominent Republican, Santorum, said the pope should “leave science to the scientists.”
The pope majored in chemistry in college and worked as a chemist for many years and is, in fact, a scientist.
The Red Sox? I think the problem is coaching.
First, it seems the infielders and outfielders are most often in the wrong alignment and routine fly balls and ground balls turn into base hits for the opposition. Next, too many hitters take too many pitches for this not to be a pre-planned strategy. And it is very difficult for even good hitters to hit with two strikes on them. What good is “Getting rid of the starting pitchers” when you can’t hit the relief pitchers? Also, in a one run game with runner on third with no outs, there is no coachng other than swing away after you take a couple pitches. What has happened to bunt, steal, hitto right? When Ramirez on second base with fewer than two outs runs directly into the third baseman who has just fielded a ground ball you know no one has taught him when he is supposed to go to third in this situation. When David Ortiz hasn’t hit anything but an off speed pitch in months and Napoli is hitting somewhere south of 200 and they are both still playing, and when Castillo is even in the major leagues, something is wrong with the man or men in charge. There is a division on the bench and there is little respect for the coaching staff by the players. For example, Wade Miley losing it with Farrell right on the bench in the dugout in full view of the TV cameras. And when Hanley Ramirez doesn’t charge a base hit with a man on second in a one run game, and then he walks to first base without being benched , you know there is something wrong with the staff. And when the prima donnas continue to bail out and swing for the fences in situations that require a base hit, players such as Holt, Betts, Pedroia, and Swihart who run everything out, run into walls, dive after ground balls and into the stands for fouls must be getting pretty fed up with “the veterans” and the coaching staff that can’t make all the players on the team play to the best of their ability.
Fire Farrell, bench Ortiz and Napoli, trade Ramirez, Sandoval and Kelley or the team will lose an already fed up fan base.
Here we go again.
The GOP has somewhere in the neighborhood of twelve or thirteen people making a run at the presidency. That makes it either akin to the 12 apostles or a coven I believe.
Again, it is time to remember that a theocracy is established when a state is governed by immediate divine guidance or by officials who are regarded as divinely guided.
Rick Santorum, and to some extent all the other GOP presidential hopefuls, say they want our government to be run by officials who are regarded as divinely guided. By this they mean themselves I suppose. And the misguided of America shout, “Here, here” and line up to vote for these wonderfully religious men. (No serious GOP candidates are women. It’s the Republican Party for god’s sake.)
As I said last time this nonsense began, the United States is not a theocracy. It is one of the main things that made it different at a time when many of the world’s nations were ruled by one religion or another.
Many of the middle eastern countries, however, are theocracies including Iran. They are, and have for a long time, been governed by their religions.
Looking at the theocracies left in the world and comparing them to the countries that are not theocracies it becomes clear that when a country is governed by religion it stagnates. It stops progressing because laws are not allowed to change according to the times and the countries are therefore ruled by laws written thousands of years in the past. This gives rise to women wearing veils in public, essentially so the angels won‘t see how beautiful they are and want to have sex with them.
It also demands that women be subservient to their men, translating to women not being allowed to go out in public unless a “man” accompanies them (even if that “man” is their two-year-old son.) It demands that women who disgrace their families by becoming raped may be killed by their fathers for their indiscretion, “because God said so.”
So when the Republicans begin pushing religious rules as a basis for how they want the country to be run, I worry.
Believe me, you don’t want the government to be run according to the tenets of any one religion, or even by a team of holier than thou politicians who believe their religions provide the one and only true answer for all of society‘s problems..
The last theocratic state in the United States was Deseret, a Mormon state that stretched from Colorado to southern California and was ruled by religious law.
It is gone now. I hope we keep it that way.
And when Rick Santorum or any of the other religious-right politicians talk about the President of the United States being influenced by a “phony theocracy” not base on the Bible, I shudder.
They are saying they feel the United States should be a different kind of country from what it is. One governed by a theocracy based on the Bible: Based on their religion, which they believe to be the one true religion in the world, all others be damned.
The freedom of religion guaranteed in this country means you have the right to practice any religion you choose. But it also ensures that no one is allowed to force the government to adhere to a set of religious laws.
Believe me, if we begin running this country by religious laws, as some politicians say they want to do, we will stagnate and cease to be a great country.
If you don’t believe me take a look at those once-great countries ruled by religious law such as Iraq, Iran, Yemen, Afghanistan, Syria, Somalia, Sudan, Saudi Arabia, Mauritania, and Oman.
Do we want to be just like them?
Or would we rather separate church and state and live under laws that have evolved since the writing of holy scripture?
If you still want Sharia law or the ten commandments to be punishable by religious law, theocracy is the way to go. But don’t forget that if you lie, cheat, steal, kill, or think your neighbor has a hot wife you could be put to death.
If you are among those who believe the Patriots and Tom Brady are “getting what they deserve,” think about this for a second.
The NFL has been home to racist owners, players who are convicted druggies, alcoholics who continue to drive drunk get in accidents and get arrested, players convicted of assault and battery, players carrying illegal weapons, owners who pay bounties payable for injury to opposing players, and shooting incidents, and gambling incidents, players abusing their spouses, and there are even those who have been accused of murder and only getting off when the witnesses disappear.
And the heaviest penalty ever given out by the league has been for underinflated footballs, and then without even proving anything.
Seems as if there might be something wrong about that.
The problem with poverty, as it is with racism, is pride.
No matter who we are, on some level as we get older, we become increasingly proud of it. By the time we are adults we are proud of who we are, and that is why it is so difficult to change the mind of a racist. He is proud of his racism and doesn’t want to give it up. It is why some police treat Americans of color so poorly. They are proud of their racism and shouldn’t be police. They can’t be changed. They can’t be educated. They are too proud, and we should get them off our police forces.
It is also why adults living in poverty do no better when they are taken from the inner cities and put in a better neighborhood. By that time they are too proud of their poverty to change. I don’t mean poor people want to stay poor. I mean they want to be out of poverty but without changing who they are.
I think of the working man who brings his family to a restaurant and proceeds to be loud, messy, demanding and then as he walks out very obviously picks his teeth with his thumbnail while staring defiantly at anyone who notices. It isn’t how he acts at home, but he is proud that he is not part of the social strata who frequents restaurants and he is determined to show that pride to the point of violence.
When you have a choice of admitting you are an underling or being proud of who you are which would you choose?
I remember the mantra of my own poor family, “I’m poor, but I’m proud.”
I don’t see this as a good thing. In order to walk like everyone else you first have to throw away the crutches that hold you back.
In the 1990’s there was an anti-poverty experiment called Moving to Opportunity. It helped people move from inner city poverty into homes in the suburbs. It was found that the people did no better financially in the new situations.
As sad as that was, new studies show now that there is hope for finding our way out of poverty. The new studies show that children who are moved from poverty situations early on in life, nine or 10 years old, have a much better chance of moving up the social ladder. Teenage siblings however, as well as adults in the family don’t fare as well as the younger children.
The study doesn’t say.
Let me say it for them.
Children at nine or 10 years old have not yet been taught to be proud of their poverty, proud of their underling status. They are more susceptible to change, meaning the pride of being poor and an underling has not taken hold yet, and they are not resistant to moving up in status. They do not adhere to the “us versus them” mantra of their older siblings and parents.
Baltimore as a city , after its riots, said, “We a re a great city. The people are wonderful people. We will police ourselves. We have come together.”
I say, “No you are not a great city. Your teenage children were in the streets throwing rocks at cops and burning people’s cars , property and buildings. You are poor and angry people who complain when the police are too forceful and complain when the police are not forceful enough. And you are proud of who you are.
“ You have not come together, there is not a more divided place on earth right now.
“ What you are is proud. You say you want justice, but what you really want is for a conviction of some cops, any cops – pay back for how you have been treated for years by some cops. You want people to be convicted without a trial or you say you will burn the city.”
What Baltimore is missing is what the studies show are conducive to allowing young poor children to get out of poverty and live a less hassled and more productive life. There are a number of things that the studies say are needed: two-parent families, religious or community influence, multi-levels of people in your neighborhoods – rich , middle class and poor people, better education, and less pride in being poor, angry and unproductive.
Baltimore, and other inner cities, need to demand that those fathers who have been taken from the city for minor drug offenses be rehabbed and be brought back to help their children grow up. These cities need to partner with the police to make the neighborhoods safe from gangs and other criminals so those who can afford to buy houses will buy them in the cities. Religion needs to become more of a force than gangs. And parents need to teach their children it isn’t a good thing to be proud of being an angry underling.
I saw a bumper sticker today that made me think. It said “I love my Irish Setter.”
It reminded me of all the millions of people in this country who love their pets for no apparent reason, just because they decided to love their dogs, cats , hamsters, rabbits, Vietnamese pigs, all of our beloved pets.
There is no real reason for us to do this. Dogs and cats don’t bring in money, they don’t usually work at all. Mostly they sit around and wait to be fed or walked, but we love them anyway. It seems to be just a wonderful human trait to love our pets.
We feed them, kill their fleas and ticks, protect them from adversaries, buy them expensive medicine, and, when needed ,we even take them to the vet for wallet-busting medical procedures.
I was thinking how wonderful human beings are to care for our animals with the love usually saved for members of our families. And when we find them homeless we take them in and search for a good home for them.
Seldom do we hear, “They are just lazy stupid animals. Why should I feed them and make sure they are healthy?”
Seldom do we hear, “It isn’t my fault they have no place to live and have to run around the streets at night eating out of garbage cans.”
Seldom do we hear “I’ll let him eat basic cheap food but not the good stuff. The good stuff should be saved for working animals.”
Seldom do we hear, “We ought to drug test them all before we feed them.”
No. We save that stuff for fellow human beings.
I wondered why it is that we can’t seem to treat our fellow humans with the same love and respect that we show to our animals.
It occurred to me that if anyone who owns a pet compared the amount of money spend on food, health care and shelter for a pets in a year with how much of our taxes go to provide the same service for human beings, it would become obvious which we treat better. (Spoiler alert: The animals make out much, much, much better)
Why is it I never see a bumper sticker that says “I love my brothers and sisters?” and display it with as much pride as we display the ones about loving our Irish setters, German shepherds, cocker spaniels and pit bulls.
I have a question. If you have a pet for whom you provide food, shelter and health care, how inhumane is it that you complain about a miniscule amount of your taxes going to do the same for a human being?
While you are complaining about the president’s newest executive order concerning immigrants, at least you should know what you are talking about.
Around five million immigrants who have been in this country for more than five years and who can prove they’re not criminals and who pay their back taxes will be allowed to not be deported.
The millions who will be allowed to stay in the United States will not receive many of the benefits that Americans receive- like unemployment, food stamps, or health care under the Affordable Care Act. They can’t even eventually become citizens.
If you have a problem with this tell the Republicans in the House of Representatives to pass the bill that has already passed the Senate and is waiting on their desk for more two and a half years.