3/31/2015

The Hero Project

Recently, I was watching CBS This Morning with Charlie, Nora, and Gail and as they were talking about The Hero Project, I told myself that this was something that I needed to share with everyone on this forum. It is an amazing project by an amazing American. The story is below and was cut and pasted from their website online. I wrote nothing except this introductory paragraph. I am confident that you will be as amazed as I was and when you are, please share with as many people as you can. Thank you.

Tim Wayne Medvetz (above) has always sought adventure, born and raised in the Great State of New Jersey, Tim realized early on in life that he wanted to see the world {and see the world he did} a lifelong wanderer and nomad, a natural extreme athlete, Tim has traveled all over the world.

He rode his chopper across the country to Los Angeles in 1998 where he parlayed his love of bikes and the open road into a successful career selling and building custom motorcycles for Hollywood’s elite at the world renowned Bartel’s Harley Davidson.

Tim became a member of the notorious Hells Angels motorcycle club and traveled all over the world with the club, some of the best times he’s ever had. Then on September 10,2001 he was racing his motorcycle through the San Fernando Valley when he was hit by a truck in a catastrophic accident that left him physically devastated, partially paralyzed and fighting for his life.

He required 8 surgeries to save his foot, which doctors feared needed to be amputated, 2 metal plates and 20 screws to repair his cracked skull. A 9 hour surgery to repair his shattered back with a titanium cage, plates and screws to put his knee back together and additional surgery to fuse his finger. He was not expected to walk again or to fully recover.

But no one told Tim that.

He awoke in ICU on life support alone and in pain in the hospital on September 11,2001 just moments before the planes hit the World Trade Center. His room was crowded with doctors and nurses, all riveted to the burning buildings on tv, his former home. The world had changed forever and so had Tim’s.

For six long months Tim struggled to regain the use of his legs, work through excruciating pain, and find some meaning in his life. He was adrift, and not accepting the loss of his old body and his old life. One day in September 2002 after a year long self destructive binge sitting in his one bedroom apartment in Hollywood, he looked up at his bookshelf and saw Jon Krakauer’s book “into thin air” wedged in the corner.

The book had been a gift that was given to him four years prior where after finishing he vowed to climb Mt Everest one day. but he was in no condition to make such a journey. So thirty days later he gave up his apartment and booked a one way ticket to Nepal and slowly and insistently began to put his body and his life back together living amongst local Sherpas in the foothills of the Himalayas in preparation for his attempt of the summit of Mt Everest.

It took him 4 years to train, much of it spent climbing numerous peaks in the Himalayas and boxing in a muay thai boxing camp in the south of Thailand to get back into fighting shape.

Tim has climbed Mt. Everest twice, which by happenstance was filmed by the Discovery Channel in a 14 part epic series (Everest Beyond the Limit) one of the highest rated shows on Discovery Channel.

Tim returned to LA and once again found himself at a crossroads. He knew he wanted to keep climbing, he already proved to himself nothing could stand in his way, summiting Everest on May 21, 2007 was about his own personal recovery, but he felt he needed a reason to continue, a purpose beyond his own individual satisfaction.

Again inspiration came from an unlikely place, a news broadcast on veterans day about disabled and disfigured returning veterans struck a familiar and powerful cord. Tim realized he had something to offer these brave soldiers and marines, the chance to put their lives back together through the challenge of climbing.

Tim contacted all of his previous sponsors from his prior expeditions. His goal was to take a wounded veteran with him on his next climbs. He realized that if he could renew his faith in himself on the summit of a mountain, he could help others do so as well.

It didn’t take him long to raise the funds with the help of Chrome Hearts, Equinox Fitness Clubs, Cher Charitable Foundation, Eddie Bauer, and some private financial donors who always believed in Tim from the beginning.

He embarked on two major expeditions in the summer of 2009 to Mt. Kilimanjaro, Africa and Mt Elbrus, Russia with two injured war veterans. Tim with his friend and Cameraman Ken Sauls captured on video all the determination and perseverance of both heroes to provide inspiration and hope for future returning injured soldiers to watch.

There was no turning back this time, in the fall of 2009 Tim founded The Heroes Project, a foundation dedicated to raising funds to help more wounded warriors climb the worlds highest peaks and find a renewed purpose and belief in themselves.

The foundation is predicated on the idea that we can make a difference and change the lives of our wounded veterans, marines, soldiers and their families one soldier, one marine, one family at a time. For Tim and the men and women of The Heroes Project, the real journey is just beginning. Hence The Heroes Project was born.

Click here for more information. 

3/30/2015

Just Leave a Message



According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, US Department of Labor, currently, there are about 150,000,000 people working in the US economy or a 60% participation rate. In 2008, records indicated about 75% of those were employed in the Service Industry or roughly 3 out of 4 which mean approximately 112,500,000 Americans provide services.

Out of those Americans, let's make the assumption that 50% of them have to talk with other Americans on the phone which would be 56,250,000 and 50% of those individuals unfortunately end of leaving messages and that number would be 28,125,000 and for the sake of argument, let's assume that 50% of those messages get ignored, leaving us with 14,062,000 each year that actually do get answered.

Now, let's assume that out of those 14,062,000 messages that actually get answered, 50% of those answered messages are ignored on the other end or by the one who left the original message in the first place. This results in 7,031,250 replied or returned messages that are being ignored ANNUALLY.

If we have 22 working days a month and obviously there are 12 months in a calendar year (at least the last time I checked) we have a total of 264 working days each year.

If we correlate working days with ignored returned calls, we have 26,634 calls per day and since we work (or should be working) 8 hours a day, this result in 3,330 missed or ignored returned messages per hour.

But, let's be fair and share that equally with all our States so now the number is 67 calls per hour that have been return after the original message was left per State and if each State has approximately 10 major cities, then it is 6.7calls/city/state/hour that have been returned by the customer that are being ignored by people on the other end or those people who made the original call in the first place because they were missing some information or needed some clarification... because in the service industry means our employees are always processing something.

Boy... now that this is done and put on paper... I might as well share with you what has gotten me so “riled up” or as they say on the streets, “pissed off.”

Well, according to the LAW, when an American Citizen turns 65 years old they must apply for Medicare Parts A & B unless they have other insurance already and they they are only required to apply for Part A.

So, I applied for Medicare Part A as per the LAW because I had health insurance through my wife's place of employment. Now, she is planning to retire 2 years later, making me 67, if my math is correct, and as per the LAW, I applied for Medicare Part B. But, since my wife is still working, her employer has to provide information as to when I stopped receiving health insurance which I haven't actually stopped yet, because I want my Medicare Part B to overlap with my current coverage by 1 month.

Which is not a problem.... because I asked if I could do that... but, I still need that paper.

So, I got that paper and turned it in to our local SS office (and please don't confuse that with German SS during WWII) and like all pieces of paper, not only did it go to the wrong department and to the wrong people... even though the “right peoples” name was on the envelope written there by the right people herself... there were some questions...

Oh yes... with our American Government... there is always questions with our bureaucracy... and so, the madness (not to be confused with March Madness, although somewhat similar) began.

Weeks later and past the 6-8 weeks I was told that I would have to wait... I still had not gotten my Medicare Part B card nor the piece of paper indicating my card had been applied for... so, like any good American Citizen, I called my local SS office and actually got the same lady that I had talked with during my initial face-to-face meeting.

I mean what are the odds?

She checked into what was going on and came back after 30 minutes of me waiting listening to elevator music (which was not half bad actually) saying that a call had been made to my wife's employer asking for some clarification because right now, it looks like I had no insurance and therefore will be charged with the penalty for violating the LAW.

The penalty BTW is an additional 20% added on to your Medicare Part B costs every month for the rest of your life... and, that would make me feel like I had been wrongly incarcerated.

So, being as polite as I could be, I thanked this lady and very gently, but swiftly called my wife at work and was not going to take any “shit” from anybody telling me she was busy and would have to call me back.

Well... guess what... that is exactly what I had to do.

She finally called and I explained the situation to her and she hung up the phone and called the lady at the main office and after talking with her called me back.

All of this actually took less time that the amount of time I waited listening to elevator music (which wasn't half bad) waiting for the SS clerk (not to be confused again with Germany) to come back to the phone.

Well... guess what... the lady from the main office did in fact get the message that was left by the SS agent and actually returned the call the next day, leaving the EXACT information that was being requested on a voice mail relative to the phone number that had been left on her voice mail.

Well... guest what... nobody in our Government SS office had bothered or taken the time to check the messages that had been left...

Now... CAN YOU BELIEVE THAT?

Well, I couldn't believe it either... so, guess what I did? Yup... I wrote it all down right “chere” in the hope of feeling better... and, guess what... I don't feel any better at all.

3/27/2015

T. G. I. F. Solitude











A Project By Any Other Name


In 1981, I graduate from the Babcock School of Management at Wake Forest University located in Winston-Salem, NC with an MBA degree. 

It was a difficult course of study for me because my undergraduate degree was English. 

My pursuit of this degree was brought about by my position as Executive Director of a Non-Profit and not having any management skills or training.

My MBA course focused on Small Business Management and Strategic Planning, all of which was wrapped around a concept referred to as “Product Management.” Simply put, I was being trained to enter the workforce of a large company and manage a product line.

In those days, if you were a trained Product Manager then you were on a fast track to upper management within a few short years, positioning you to possibly be groomed to become CEO one day in the near future.

But alas, that was not my desire... I just wanted to manage my little non-profit and what I did not realize at the time was that I had been trained to be a “professional manager,” and had the skill sets to manage any organization at all.

Over the years, Product Management changed to Project Management and I soon realized that my previous employments had provided me with over 13,000 hours of actual project management experience as a leader of projects.

Shortly thereafter, I joined the faculty of ITT Technical Institute and was selected because of my education and experience to be a course writer in the area of Technical Project Management and began working with Pearson and Wiley Publishing along with NIIT in New Delhi, India to write these online and onsite courses.

I also became a member of the local PMI (Project Management Institute) group and soon learned about the PMP (Project Management Professional) Certification. It was simply part of what I had learned in my MBA program years earlier and it was then that I made the connection.

The more I looked in project management being a course writer, the more I realized as well that EVERYTHING that goes on in business as well as in our personal lives can be seen and managed like a project.

Planning and preparing for Thanksgiving or Christmas is a project.
  • Getting married is a project.
  • Going on vacation is a project.
  • A semester at College is a project.
  • Teaching a course is a project.
  • Playing a game in any professional sport is a project.
  • Military Boot Camp is a project.
  • Deploying troops overseas is a project.
  • A political election is a project.

And, this list goes on and on and on.

So, what is a project?
It is an activity that has a beginning and an end with processes and systems that operate so that the right output, result, or conclusion is achieved in a timely, effective, and efficient manner.

Projects can have Charters and Sponsors.

Some projects can be on-going, incorporating sub-projects within its boundaries like the publishing of a monthly magazine or daily newspaper.

Projects could be designed to look at other projects and reduce the amount of time it takes for those projects to reach completion. For instance, a new product development project that in the past might have 12 months to complete, now only takes 6-9 months to complete because another project team was Chartered to improve the process.

All projects have life cycles, even those that last for a day as well as those that may last over a year.
  • projects are initiated where the need for that project has been realized.
  • projects have periods of upfront planning.
  • projects commence or roll out as some might say.
  • projects are monitored and controlled by a Project Leader
  • projects conclude, end, or are turned over to a maintaining team.

As you can now imagine, there are many activities going on in your life that are operating as a project that you had no idea were in fact a project. And, all these projects will continue to operated the way they have always operated even though you have this new knowledge.

PMP Certifications are valuable but not always necessary in managing a project. In order to be eligible to sit for the PMP certification exam, you must so many hours of previous project management experience as a team leader. The exam itself tests one's ability at understanding and of course memorizing the PMBOK which is Project Management Body of Knowledge.

The PMP Certification is a good ticket to have and will certainly put you in a position to qualify for receiving a substantial salary increase, but it is not necessary to actually manage or learn to manage a project ALL WORK takes place in the form of a project.

And, while that sounds simple and it really is, there are some other pieces of knowledge that will be helpful for you to know when managing projects that I will share with you in future articles.




3/26/2015

A Confession of Sorts

I was raised on privilege but not necessarily spoiled other than the privilege I received but I did grow up with certain preconceived ideas and ideals with which others did not have to deal, consequently my nature was strongly influenced by my personality and that personality did not want to follow any rules at all unless they were constructed by me.

I learned very quickly how that attitude would work to my disadvantage but it did not seem to deter me at all, even though during my 45 year working career, I was terminated 10 times... and, that in a non bragging way, is being let go every 4.5 years.

It is very difficult to build up retirement with this kind of attitude and to be quite honest with you, no retirement was actually built up by me, so I am a victim of whatever the Feds are willing to give someone like me, who, did in fact work 40 quarters.

I know a lot of things but to say that I know myself is not necessarily true, nor do I know from an absolute standpoint what it is that I actually believe anymore, if I ever believed anything in the first place.

My last employer was an educational institution and I worked there for 3 years teaching courses in business management with only a MBA degree while most of the other instructors had PhDs. My competitive advantage in the classroom was that I could bring in scenarios from the so-called “real world,” which could not and would not ever be found in textbooks.

I also thought that bringing out the negative and putting it on the table like Thanksgiving Dinner would give us a chance to either eat it or replace it with something else to eat.

For 3 years and to about 1000 students I would tell them that if they did not like what I said that they could simply go down to the Dean and tell them... and if, the Dean did not like what I said and I was fired... that I would simply go to the house and sit on my deck from that point on, drinking coffee and pondering the end, less universe while collecting money from the Government.

Well, it took 3 years, but someone finally went to the Dean and I was fired immediately for some damn reason but when I filled for unemployment and my former employer tried to prevent that from happening, they could not provide any evidence at all to justify my termination.

Still, I was terminated... and, that was that... and here I am drinking coffee and pondering the universe.

This happened to me at 66 years of age and I am now 67 years of age and you would think that I would have learned my lesson by now, but I guess I have not...

Why is that, you ask?

Because I am still writing controversial articles that enrage a lot of people... which is exactly what I have been doing all my life and pretty much the reason why I do not have any friends or very few... no, there is really only 1 and I am not counting my wife, so I suppose there are 2... but, don't ask her because I am not exactly sure if I can count on her or not.
So, what is it that I am trying to confess?

I write all these articles, some of which, are intentionally written to create controversy with the reader and the confession then is the knowledge that I am not sure why it is that I do that?

My wife says that I just want to create an argument and that I would argue with anyone over anything... and, while that might be partially true but certainly is her perception, it is not totally true... because part of me sincerely and seriously wants to know if the other person really believes in what they believe or if they are just trying to convince me that they believe in something to see if they can.

There are certain subjects that are for all intents and purposes “hands off” in public forums, such as:
  1. 2nd Amendment Rights
  2. Abortion
  3. Same Sex Marriage
  4. Creation versus Evolution
  5. Atheism
  6. Terrorism
  7. Putting America Down
  8. Pickup Truck & Rednecks
  9. Anti-military
  10. Homosexuals
  11. Racism and/or Sexism
  12. Woman Liberation

It is not that people are not willing to talk about these subjects because they are... they are actually more than willing... but, it is a no win argument, as people have preconceived ideas and strong beliefs for whatever reason and these kinds of arguments will get heated at times. And, rather than seriously arguing they are just trying to find clever ways to put down the other person... in the hope of making he/she look ridiculous...

So, this is my confession and to some degree, I feel like someone who walks into the middle of a crowed room and stands there for a minute or two passing gas and then walks to the corner of the room where that person stands observing behavior.

But, while this is a confession this is not any kind of admission that I am, in fact, out of gas to pass, because I assure you that I am not... and, no doubt, I will write another article very shortly that again steps of peoples toes and off we go...

Maybe before that happens my wife will retire and want us to travel all the time and in so doing there will be precious little time to write at all... who knows for sure. And, I suppose that people could complain about what I have written and my account will be shut down again like it was before... but, I suppose that is all part of the same game as well... and, it is very easy to start again under a new name and email address.

And what goes around comes around make very little difference to me at my age as I will write my thoughts down somewhere even if I don't have an audience... just like I did my poetry... and, in case you are wondering which you are probably not, I have written over 42,000 poems.



3/25/2015

Hump Day Art

Kate Moss 

“Painted Lady” 

for “W” magazine 

April 2015 

by Paolo Roversi










A Night in the Life



I packed up the car with a few items and backed out of the driveway, turning quickly onto the road that would take me to the interstate. I stopped at the Rode Runner Truck Palace to get some French Vanilla Cappuccino and top off the tank.

Once on the interstate, I set the GPS south for Florida... anywhere in Florida would be fine with me I though to myself.

I could not believe how long it took me to get to the Florida coast after I crossed over the Georgia boarder.

Endless land passed by me as I cruised down the lonely highway, past “look-alike” houses, 2 car garages and manicured lawns parched by the sun and in need of water. The road ahead looked like it could and did go on forever and ever and ever. I stared through the windshield and thought of nothing except nothing and the thought of nothing remained inside me for a while.

I stopped at the first coastal city I came to and headed downtown to find a real estate office. The brokerage firm was owned by two females; one of which was the agent and the other was the renovator.

At first, I tried to guess which was which thinking that the buxom blond with manicured fingernails and “killer” hair would not want to get dirty... and, was amazed when I was wrong. Her dark haired associate who talked in a slow Southern drawl was the agent and took me by the hand to the car. Her hand was warm and soft and gentle and I wondered about the rest of her... but, only for a moment when I realized I was sandwiched in between the 2 on them in the front seat of a truck.

The 3 of us drove around all morning and visited several houses and after lunch I finally found the one that caught my attention both inside and out, on the beach side of the road, but needed major renovations.

We walked around the rooms as I listened to the blonde tell me how she would open up these two rooms so that the kitchen, living room, and dinning room would all be in one large space.

I liked that idea but not so much when I heard that new plumbing and wiring would be required along with the new appliances I added in.

A storage room and garage would be added as well as a large deck that incorated an elevated area for a hottub.

It was also decided (actually, I was teasingly influenced) to add a large, custom design bay window for the front in order to provide a good view of the beach and the waves approaching the shoreline.

These two sexy and seductively charming ladies convinced me it was a good investment and only slightly exceeded my budget.

What to do...

What to do...

What to do...

The ocean was mesmerizing as it glistened and glowed and shimmered on its way to the shore... over and over and over again... relentless in its actions... relentless in its pursuits. I wondered how many people had walked these sands where I was standing... walked them alone... or with someone... hand-in-hand... as I would have done or could have done...

I was remembering the story of the starfish... but why?

A young man is walking along the ocean and sees a beach on which thousands and thousands
of starfish have washed ashore. Further along he sees an old man, walking slowly and
stooping often, picking up one starfish after another and tossing each one gently into the
ocean.

Why are you throwing starfish into the ocean?,” he asks.

Because the sun is up and the tide is going out and if I don’t throw them further in they will
die.”

But, old man, don’t you realize there are miles a nd miles of beach and starfish all along it!
You can’t possibly save them all, you can’t even save one tenth of them. In fact, even if you
work all day, your efforts won’t make any difference at all.”

The old man listened calmly and then bent down to pick up another starfish and threw it
into the sea. “It made a difference to that one.”

Why did I think of that story... how silly of me... but, was I that old man and was this the beach but I do not see any starfish today. I just don't understand. Why me? I wondered why it was starfish and not some other kind of creature. What was the reason for starfish I thought to myself.

So, what do you want to do, “ I heard behind me!?

I made an offer and asked the 2 ladies if they would like to join me for dinner...


* * * * * * * * * *


My eyes opened and I looked at the pale wall in front of me as I laid on my side.

I laid in the bed for what seemed like several minutes without thinking.

I slowly moved my tired body to a sitting position on the bed, scratching my head as it turned to see my wife still sleeping on the other side of our Sleep Number bed.

Again, no thoughts...

It was the same every night, I thought.

Every friggin night...

The same dream...
same location...
same females...

Why?

I staggered into the kitchen to make a cup of coffee and looked around at the granite counter top and could not find the Bunn Single Cup...

I just stood there in a daze...

Then, I realized I had taken it downstairs to my office so that I did not “dirty up” the kitchen with my over-anxious but sloppy coffee making, stirring cappuccino mix into the hot coffee.

But, the office while heated was still closed as the vents had been closed off to conserve energy and money.

Back upstairs, I sat my McCafe cup on the stand by the couch, sat down, and instinctively pulled my laptop off the table over into my lap, opened it up... fired it up... and sat there wondering... what to type?

Strangely, there was nothing on my mind this morning...

I blew softly, gently across the opening of the cup to cool it off and after taking my first large mouthful, realized I had added too much Cappuccino mix.

    - TO BE CONTINUED -

3/24/2015

Who is Going to Save our Souls?



I could never imagine women without boobs or males without penises... I mean... what would I ever look at or want to scratch? But, what I could imagine is a world without wars...



My sources tell me that there have been right at 268 wars during the last 100 years which means we are averaging almost 3 wars each year. Another one of my sources tells me that between 1900 and 1944, we conducted 167 wars and that 153 of those 167 wars took place before WWII started in 1939. There is no doubt in my mind and there should be no doubt in your minds either that the inhabitants of this world love to fight and kick each other'/s asses.



So, what does boobs and penises have to do with war... nothing really... it was just a catchy first line to catch the reader's attention... so, now that I have your attention, why do you suppose that mankind loves to fight?



And, I really mean much, much more than just fight because what it really means is that we really like to kill or be killed and since that seems to be true, why?



Wars and killing have always been how territory was acquired where “MIGHT WAS RIGHT” before the slogan of the times... but, our Christian Crusades was not about acquiring land at all, was it? It was more about killing those who believed differently than we did and this war was endorsed and sponsored by the Catholic Church and the Vatican City wherein has always lived the POPE or the religious leader who has a conduit of communications to God.



If I am not mistaken, the Bible indicates that the people of Israel who were being held captive and used as slaves by the Egyptians to break free of their captors, killing if necessary, and stealing whatever could be taken to finance future life in the “promised land.” It does not get much clearer than this where on certain and specific occasions, killing others who believe differently is justified. Of course, religious leaders of today will tell you that this direction was only sanctioned back then and because of very unique circumstances and it would not be tolerated in today's day and time.



And, I suppose that is true and no doubt that is the reason that incest was allowed when the first couple was put on earth to populate the world. And, since Jesus was the only one who was immaculately conceived, then the rest of them at the beginning had to be conceived the old fashion way as one might venture to say.



But, this article is not about incest, it is about war which, no doubt, in many people's minds is just as bad, so I will try to stay focused.



Incidentally, one of my sources, has indicated there are several reasons for these wars...


1. The Male Warrior Hypothesis
Formulated by a group of evolutionary psychologists, this hypothesis suggests that men evolved to be violent and warlike in order to secure access to women and other resources. Essentially, forming violent coalitions with fellow men was a mating strategy
2. War as Predation
Essayist Barbara Ehrenreich spent many years researching the origins of war, and determined that the male warrior hypothesis didn't exactly fit the facts. Instead, she suggests that war grows out of the ancient human fear of predatory animals.
3. The Persuasive Hawk
In debates over conflicts, there are hawks and doves, with hawks favoring forceful actions to end tensions and doves advocating negotiation. Hawks usually win because of inherent biases we all have.
4. Malthusian Overpopulation
Based on Thomas Malthus' population theories, this idea suggests simply that war is the inevitable result of an expanding population with scarce resources.
5. Youth Bulge
A popular theory right now, this idea suggests that violence and wars are the result of a large population of men with a lack of peaceful employment opportunities. The excess youth will be drawn to fighting and be killed, reducing the population.
6. Groupthink
Groupthink theory explains that during a crisis, groups — no matter how smart or well-informed — will suppress dissenting opinions because of the pressure to agree on a plan of action, leading them to make terrible decisions.
7. Bargaining Model
Perhaps, say some social scientists, war isn't a deep-seated urge that or emotional reaction that comes from our evolution. Maybe it's just a form of political maneuvering that we've developed along with civilization.
8. Terror Management
The theory suggests that humans form cultural groups such as tribes and nations because they need to believe in something that will live on after they die. We all fear our own mortality, but our cultures give us beliefs and rituals that buffer us from that fear.
9. The Aggressive Drive
Aggression is a fighting instinct that helps individuals and species survive. In animals, there are innate inhibitions against killing others of the same species, such as the display of submissive gestures.
10. War Is Learned (And Can Be Unlearned)

First proposed by anthropologist Margaret Mead in the early twentieth century, this hypothesis suggests that war is not the inevitable consequence of our competitive, aggressive nature. Rather, it is a social invention that can be unlearned.  Click on source to read more...  Source: 


I cannot imagine war ever becoming an “unlearned” concept, but what I did not see in that list of 10 was the reason why to US goes to war so often which is to protect Democracy and I would have thought that one would have been at the top of the list since we Americans sit on top of the hill that everyone is trying to climb.



Of course, I think some of the wars that America has gotten into has been to control the flow of oil and control governments so that they could indirectly control votes in the United Nations and I also think that sometimes we have engaged in wars because it really is a good profit generator for our Engineering Companies when they are sent into those devastated countries to rebuild. Although, I cannot imagine that our Christian Country would ever sanction killing and bombing so that they could make money after the fact... I mean that would be a “tad” worse than the reason for the Crusades, wouldn't it?



As I was gathering my thoughts to write this article and started doing some research on how many wars were recently fought throughout the world, I began to wonder how many wars were fought since creation... and this is really very interesting but this is what I found:



From the New York Times...

'What Every Person Should Know About War'


By CHRIS HEDGES

Published: July 6, 2003


What is a war?
War is defined as an active conflict that has claimed more than 1,000 lives.
Has the world ever been at peace?
Of the past 3,400 years, humans have been entirely at peace for 268 of them, or just 8 percent of recorded history.
How many people have died in war?
At least 108 million people were killed in wars in the twentieth century. Estimates for the total number killed in wars throughout all of human history range from 150 million to 1 billion. War has several other effects on population, including decreasing the birthrate by taking men away from their wives. The reduced birthrate during World War II is estimated to have caused a population deficit of more than 20 million people.





3/23/2015

Happiness is a Warm Gun


It has been said by those smarter than I we should not discuss politics, religion, sex, or gun control at work and I would suspect that this unwritten rule applies to social media forums as well; unfortunately for myself and no doubt my readers, I have talked about all four taboo areas.

And, it is not because I am arrogant or think that I can cleverly get away with it, I just like to open up discussion and healthy debate over topics that, for all intents and purposes, will never be resolved to everyone's satisfaction anytime in the near future.

Why do I do this?

Well, I could say that creativity stimulates the analytical side of the brain which is actually does, but that would not be the real motive...

And, I could also say that I am 67 years old and not longer care what other people think about what I say and/or write... and, while that is partially (see... I am getting a little wiser in old age using the word partially) true, it is not the real motivation either...

So, what is?

Believe it or not, I want to stimulate POLITE discussion as if we are in a college classroom. I just ended my career and the last 3 years were spent teaching management classes for college students and I really enjoyed being in the classroom.

Part of me wishes that I was still there.

The Second Amendment of the United States Constitution reads: "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."

It would appear, if my research is correct, that the Supreme Court has looked at this 2nd Amendment on 3 different occasions in 1939 (United States v. Miller. 307 U.S. 174. ), in 2008 (District of Columbia v. Heller 07-290), and in 2010 (McDonald v. City of Chicago (08-1521) where the court in a 5-4decisions, the Court, citing the intentions of the framers and ratifiers of the Fourteenth Amendment, held that the Second Amendment applies to the states through the incorporation doctrine.However, the Court did not have a majority on which clause of the Fourteenth Amendment incorporates the fundamental right to keep and bear arms for the purpose of self-defense.

Self-defense is a very interesting defense of the 2nd Amendment because it is so plausible. It is plausible to me because as I read and reread and think about the 2nd Amendment what really sticks in my mind is: A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State... again, indicates to me that our Founding Fathers gave us this right until our newly formed government could establish a military for protection which made and still makes a lot of sense.

But, even with this self-defense purpose, my question would be self-defense against what? We obviously need to protect ourselves from our neighbors on either side of our home and in front and in back but that is what they created privacy fences for, wasn't it? Of course, I am joking here.

We have a drug sell and use problem in this country that seems to be getting worse instead of better and that, in an of itself, breeds crime and violence.

We also “rape” problem in this country which is not isolated just to college campuses.

We have always had “weirdos” and “crazies” in this country brought about, no doubt, by abnormal mutations to our DNA. And no, I am not a Molecular Biologist but I suppose I am jumping to an unwarranted conclusion.

We also have Mexican Drug Cartels operating in the US (to save on shipping costs) that are fighting among themselves which may/may not bleed over in our suburban areas and sub-divisions.

So, self-defense makes sense.

When I was a boy, I was a member of a local Boy Scout Troop and joined the NRA and would go to the firing range at Fort Belvoir every Saturday morning with my troop for target practice; but, that was really my only exposure to firearms until the military.

I have never been a hunter nor do I intend to ever be one but I understand why Native Americans and early settlers needed to hunt for food and clothing. However, I doubt I will ever understand the need to kill an animal for pleasure. And, the odds are not fair actually but would be if the hunter used only their hands to make the kill... or, be killed as the case may be.

I understand that a man (or woman) must protect their family... again, that makes sense; but, what I do not understand is the need to wear a firearm in a holster in public and go into a local store, or a local bar, or a local church with that weapon strapped to your waist or thigh.

Taking a firearm into a bar in my opinion is just asking for trouble, and taking a firearm into a house of worship seems to defeat the purpose of being there, doesn't it?

Should we defend ourselves from violence is an interesting question.

In a militaristic situation, it sorta makes sense, but the war should have never happened in the first place as it is economically counter-productive. And, what are the odds of defending yourself from a sniper?

But, in a non-militaristic situation and predicated upon the fact that the person about which I speak is a devoutly religious person, our Lord is going to “call us home,” when He is ready for us regardless of our desire to defend ourselves; and death and resurrection into heaven is the ultimate desire or should be the ultimate desire of all Christians, should it not?

"The pen is mightier than the sword" were first written by novelist and playwright Edward Bulwer-Lytton in 1839, in his historical play Cardinal Richelieu; and, has been used by LEADERS throughout the world since then to end the need for WARS.

Carry a firearm if you want to Americans, it is your guaranteed right but don't be surprised when that carried weapon is used against you or if you get “taken out” by a SNIPER.

As always, all comments are welcomed and encourage; but, I do reserve the right not to reply to any and all comments.