Friday, February 21, 2014

Just Thinking Please feel free to comment below, ( just click on the word "Comments" if the panel is not open).  And don't forget to check out my other blog   Agnostic Thinking 

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day.

Teach a man to fish and he will eat for a lifetime.

Give a man Religion and he will Die Praying for a Fish.

Just Thinking Please feel free to comment below, ( just click on the word "Comments" if the panel is not open).  And don't forget to check out my other blog   Agnostic Thinking 

Monday, January 17, 2011

Jane Lynch Thanks Her Wife at the Golden Globes!

Star of the TV Show Glee, Jane Lynch Won a Golden Globe and Thanked, among others, her Wife and Children.

Just Thinking

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Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Is Gun Control Dead?

According to law enforcement sources, Jared Lee Loughner, the alleged gunman who shot Rep. Giffords and killed five others, including Federal judge John M. Roll, used a Glock 19 - 9mm, Semi-Automatic Pistol that was legally purchased on Nov. 30 at a place called "The Sportsman's Warehouse in Tucson".  This gun and its high-capacity magazine would have been illegal under the Federal Assault Weapons Ban that that an NRA controlled bipartisan Congress allowed to expire in 2004.

It's true, the NRA with its Minions and Million$ has effectively shut down any real chance of gun control in this country.

Unfortunately, it seems, no politician has the guts to stand up for common sense laws or restrictions. 

So while the partisan bickering continues about Sarah Palin and others, our attention is successfully being diverted from the real issue, which is gun control.

Even  Ronald Reagan  both as Governor of California and President of the United States understood the need for effective commonsense gun control.

Remember when Social Security and Medicare were thought to be the "Third Rail" of politics that no one dare touch?  Well not anymore!  Politicians from both sides of the aisle are talking about changes and restrictions. 

But No One Dare - Speak about Gun Control!

No One Dares even think about prohibiting, obviously "Insane People" from buying handguns.

Apparently, we are more comfortable with Mass Killings, like Tucson, Virginia Tech and Columbine than we are with having a sensible conversation about high-powered assault rifles and semi-automatic concealed weapons.

Just Thinking

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Sunday, January 9, 2011

A Deadly Shooting in Tucson Territory!

Democratic Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and 19 others were shot Saturday at a political event near Tucson Arizona.

I think it's worth noting that the congresswoman represents Arizona's District 8.  Yes, the same congresswoman and the same district that were put in the cross-hairs of a rifle sight by Sarah Palin last year.


I'm not so sure.

Please don't misunderstand.  I don't mean to say, or even imply that Sarah Palin, or anyone else on the left or the right is responsible for this tragedy in Tucson.  I don't even believe that.  This was obviously the act of a single loan, mentally disturbed and obviously unbalanced gunmen.

I do believe however, that the recent escalation of vitriolic and incendiary rhetoric in our political discourse is dividing our nation like no other time since perhaps maybe the Civil War.  An Horrendously Bloody War That Had Us Fighting - Region against Region, State against State and Brother against Brother.

All This at a Time, When What Our Nation Really Needs Most, Is Unity and Healing. 

Which is not something very likely to be achieved, when we hear irresponsible rhetoric like...

"Be Armed and Ready"

"Don't Retreat;  Instead - Reload"

"We'll Beat Them with Ballots Not Bullets, 

But If the Ballots Fail, We'll Have the Bullets Ready"

"If need be, We Can Always Use  Second Amendment   Remedies!" (Right to Bear Arms)

You may recall, I blogged about the divisive nature of this type rhetoric back in March of last year. 

Please take a moment to click on this blog link to see how very prophetic the blog post really was...

It is perhaps also worth noting that Arizona is one of only three states that permits people to carry handguns and concealed weapons without a permit. 

It's also the same state where people showed up protesting Obama campaign rallies with rifles and machine guns.

Just Thinking

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Saturday, January 8, 2011

America's Greatest Folly - The War in Iraq!

It has long been my sincere and honest belief, that one day historians will record; The Fall of the Great American Empire Began with the Election of George W. Bush.

Furthermore, I believe that if George W. Bush was America's greatest folly.  Bush's greatest folly was the Iraqi war.

A war that was entered into on contrived and completely false pretenses.  A son's misguided vendetta to restore the honor of his father.

Even though his father wanted no part of it;  little George, who is considered by many to be both physically and mentally the runt of the Bush Litter,  insisted on pursuing it anyway.

For those of you who still believe that the hundreds of thousands of men, women and children lost and the countless billions of dollars spent were somehow all worth it, may I suggest that you watch the following video...

That's right Al-Sadr is back, and Iran's influence in the region is bigger and stronger than ever!

Now, if after watching that video you still don't believe that the war in Iraq was one of America's greatest blunders, then may I suggest you watch it again.

Yes, I realize that's a lot to ask, the video is after all.  Almost 4 Minutes Long!  Well beyond the thirty second attention span of today's digital age.  But please,  Please Indulge Me and Watch It Again.

Don't try and discount it either, by saying - Oh it's from MSNBC or what do you expect it's Rachel Maddow.  Everything in this video is completely true and based on substantiated facts.

I'm obviously not being partisan either.  Since I have stated in this very blog space, on numerous occasions, my protestations about President Obama's expansion of the war in Afghanistan.  Something that will prove to be his greatest folly as well.

So please, if you still don't understand why the war in Iraq is such a travesty watch the video again and learn something.  Pay particular attention to the last 51 seconds!  It Says It All!!

Just Thinking

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Thursday, January 6, 2011

The House Agenda

The newly installed house has just successfully read aloud the Constitution of the United States.   An event of such historic importance and significance that almost none of the 435 members bothered to stay around and listen to it. 

Including those tea partiers who insisted on reading it in the first place. 

It's true, I was watching it on C-SPAN.  The chamber was nearly empty.  Unless it was their turn to read something, they left. 

While it was still being read some of them actually had the chutzpah to do interviews on Fox news.  Exclaiming, what a moving experience it was!

So what's the next historic and important item on the Tea-Party agenda?
Repeal the Health Care Bill,  Says Speaker Boehner!

Since they weren't there to listen to it, they obviously failed to comprehend or understand anything that had been read!

Does not the Constitution set out as its primary goals, to ensure Domestic Tranquility and Promote the General Welfare?

Would not the welfare of our citizens be greatly enhanced by having access to healthcare?

Oh well, Nothing's Changed.  The Hypocrisy Continues!

Just Thinking

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Does Congressman John Boehner Need a Lesson in Third Grade Civics?

Congressman John Boehner, who always manages to well up with tears and Cry Uncontrollably whenever he speaks of his own life, childhood, parents or siblings while repeatedly voting against children's education, healthcare and welfare has just been elected Speaker of the House!

Mister Sensitive, the newly elected Speaker or as late-night comedians have been prone to call him John Bone-Head, 'Weeper' of the House, promised a new era of transparency while vowing to push forward the conservative, right-wing agenda.  First and foremost on that agenda, he declared, will be reading aloud the Constitution of the United States on the House Floor.  He then proceeded to quote what he said was the Constitution. 

"This is my copy of the Constitution. And I'm going to stand here with our founding fathers, who wrote 'We hold these truths to be self-evident That All Men Are Created Equal etc. etc. etc. ...' "

Gee, nice sentiment John, only problem is you just quoted the Declaration of Independence.

As an informed member of the American electorate.  I would like to believe that all elected members of Congress have actually already read and understand the Constitution of the United States of America.  But, apparently not.  So perhaps reading it aloud might be a good idea after all.  I can only hope that they take the time to really listen to, comprehend and grasp its relevance.

Just Thinking

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Saturday, December 25, 2010

"The Atheist Christmas Carol"

While logic and reason may have prohibited me from believing in a supreme being; I have definitely known and experienced the power and the joy, of  both love and hope...

Lyrics by Vienna Teng

"It's the season of grace coming out of the void
Where a man is saved by a voice in the distance
It's the season of possible miracle cures
Where hope is currency and death is not the last unknown

Where time begins to fade
And age is welcome home

It's the season of eyes meeting over the noise
And holding fast with sharp realization
It's the season of cold making warmth a divine intervention
You are safe here you know now

Don't forget
Don't forget I love
I love
I love you

It's the season of scars and of wounds in the heart
Of feeling the full weight of our burdens

It's the season of bowing our heads in the wind
And knowing we are not alone in fear

Not alone in the dark"

Just Thinking   about Love and Hope

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Friday, December 24, 2010

Just Thinking about Faith and Christmas...

As I was attempting to exit the parking lot of my neighborhood Publix this afternoon.  I got stuck in stop and go holiday traffic.  When I noticed this middle-aged man walking slowly through the cars carrying a sign that read...

 "Alone, Broke and Homeless for the Holidays - Please Help". 

You gotta give this guy credit, I thought, cynically.  That's a pretty clever sign!  It strikes just the right chord of sentiment.  It's pity provoking and seasonally appropriate.  Not what you'd expect from the average drunk living under the Palmetto overpass.  So maybe he's an unemployed advertising executive, who's fallen victim to these hard economic times.  Either way, that sign should serve him well.

I don't usually pay these guys much mind.  But then again, traffic is seldom this heavy and I usually don't have to look at them for such a prolonged period of time.  It was Christmas Eve, after all, and unfortunately Publix shared the strip mall with both a Target and Best Buy.  So the place was a mob scene.

As I continued to observe the stranger.  I must admit, my heart began to soften.

Besides, this guy was different.  He wasn't even trying to make eye contact with me or anyone else , which is what they usually do.  You know how they try to stare you down with guilt, but not this guy.  He was looking straight ahead as he walked with a rather lost, blank expression on his face.  I also noticed that he was a gringo, a white guy, even whiter than me.  If that's possible.  He looked very unkempt with strawberry blond graying hair and beard.  A true rarity in my mostly Latin, upscale Miami, neighborhood. He didn't look like a wino or drug addict, but he did look down and out.  He just appeared to be sad and overwhelmed by life.

No one seemed to be paying any attention to him.  Usually I'll see at least one or two people give these guys a little something, but not this time.  This guy was being completely ignored and I was beginning to feel for him.

That didn't last long though, as I began to get more cynical again.  I noticed that his sign was in English. Perhaps some of these people may not even be able to read it.  His clever marketing technique is completely lost on this audience. Should've gone bilingual,  I chuckled to myself.

Then, wouldn't you know it, I realized he was slowly making his way towards my car.  That's when something really strange happened.  Instead of trying to avoid eye contact with him, which is what I usually do in these circumstances.  I found myself attempting to engage his gaze.  Yes it's true, I was actually trying to seek him out.  But he wasn't having it, his eyes remained unfocused as she slowly meandered forward.   He seemed to be oblivious to me and everyone else around him. No wonder it was so easy for people to ignore him, he was ignoring them! 

I don't know why and I don't know what came over me, but I suddenly felt the need to give him something. Was I being influenced by the ghost of Dickens Christmas Future and worried that one day this could be me?  Or was I just becoming a soft touch in my old age?  Whatever it was.  I found myself waving to get his attention but he didn't notice.

So I put a dollar bill in my hand as I leaned over and waved it out the passenger window at him, but he still didn't notice as he slowly past the right side of my vehicle.  I waved and yelled out the window even louder, but he ignored me.  Then some other guy began to yell, but the man kept walking.

Finally a young Latina, jumped out of her car and physically approached him. She stopped him and put a dollar bill directly into his hand.  The man looked down at the dollar.  He just stared at it motionless for a while.  Still not making eye contact with anyone, as he then began to cry.  Next thing I knew we were all getting out of our cars and rushing to give him money.  Not just dollar bills either, but all denominations.  As the man literally began to sob, some of us were so moved that we began to cry as well.

When I eventually got to drive home from this rather Surrealistic Miami Moment, I proceeded  to bask in the glow that one gets when they realize It's Better to Give Than Receive.

Unfortunately, the "Warm Fuzzies" quickly began to fade as the skeptic in me began to speculate.  Had I just been taken?  Were we all in fact, the victims of some kind of shrewd mass manipulation? 

The truth is, I don't know and I hate to admit this, but I'm not even sure I want to know.

Yes, I guess it's true, even agnostic atheists like me, sometimes feel the Need to Believe in Something.

So even if I can't put my Faith in some Invisible Guy in the Sky;

Maybe - Sometimes, I Can Choose to Believe in My Prominently Visible Fellowman.

Just Thinking

And Happy Holidays Everyone!

Please feel free to comment below, ( just click on the word "Comments" if the panel is not open). don't forget to check out my other blog  Agnostic Thinking 

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Don't Ask Don't Tell Is Finally Repealed!

Credit: CBS/AP

It's been said that the end of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell is the biggest civil rights victory in years. It’s an example of America finally living up to it's highest ideals of equality and fairness.

Young gay men and women will now have the "Opportunity" to openly serve in our nation's military.

A Long Overdue Civil Rights Victory for Sure!

The only question is, however, what happens if and when that "Opportunity" to serve becomes an "Obligation" to serve,  i.e. a Military Draft?

Will the young men and women who fought so hard for this victory still be celebrating?

Most young people today, do not know of, cannot conceive of and in many cases have never even heard of,  "A Compulsory Military Draft".  This at a time when reinstatement of the draft is more of a possibility than it has been in decades. 

Our volunteer army is already greatly overextended and having a hard time getting and keeping qualified recruits, while the world becomes more of a tinderbox with each passing day.  Whether it's the North/South Korea conflict, the Arab-Israeli conflict, the situation in Iran.  Not to mention Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Somalia, Yemen.  Etc. etc. etc.

Given the circumstances, can the day be that far away? 
When our Uncle Sam will once again say, Greetings...

And, By the Way,  That's Not a Request - That's an Order!

You Must and Will Serve, You Must and Will Fight,

You Must and Will Kill!

Even If It's in an Immoral, Unjustified War That You Do Not Believe In. 

Fight or Go to Jail!  -  Love It or Leave It, Baby!

Just Thinking Please feel free to comment below, ( just click on the word "Comments" if the panel is not open).

Monday, December 6, 2010

Life's a Funny Proposition!

Just Thinking About Life... 

On the season finale of Boardwalk Empire, HBO's brilliantly written new series.  They chose to close the show with an old turn-of-the-century tune by George M. Cohan.  It's a song that I first became familiar with back in the 1960s, when I was just a wee lad.  (as Cohan might've said)

When most people think of Cohan's music and lyrics;  They tend to remember the light hearted ditties like "Yankee Doodle Dandy". 

The serious being that I am however, always seemed to remember the insightful, darker and more somber songs.  Such as the poignant lyrics contained within the immortal tune...

Life's a funny proposition, after all  

"Did you ever sit and ponder,

Sit and wonder, sit and think,

Why we're here and what this life is all about?

It's a problem that has driven

Many brainy men to drink,

It's the weirdest thing they've tried to figure out.

About a thousand diff'rent theories

All the scientists can show,

But never yet have proved a reason why

With all we've thought

And all we're taught,

Why all we seem to know,

Is we're born, and live a while and then we die.

Refrain 1

Life's a very funny proposition after all,

Imagination, jealousy, hypocrisy and all.

Three meals a day, a whole lot to say;

When you haven't got the coin you're always in the way.

Ev'rybody's fighting as we wend our way along,

Ev'ry fellow claims the other fellow's in the wrong;

Hurried and worried until we're buried and there's no curtain call.

Life's a very funny proposition after all.

Verse 2

When all things are coming easy, and when luck is with a man,

Why then life to him is sunshine ev'rywhere;

Then the fates blow rather breezy and they quite upset a plan,

Then he'll cry that life's a burden hard to bear.

Though today may be a day of smiles, tomorrow's still in doubt,

And what brings me joy, may bring you care and woe;

We're born to die, but don't know why, or what it's all about,

And the more we try to learn the less we know.

Refrain 2

Life's a very funny proposition, you can bet,

And no one's ever solved the problem properly as yet.

Young for a day, then old and gray;

Like the rose that buds and blooms and fades and falls away,

Losing health to gain our wealth as through this dream we tour.

Ev'rything's a guess and nothing's absolutely sure;

Battles exciting and fates we're fighting until the curtain falls.

Life's a very funny proposition after all."

Just Thinking

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