In Defense of Religion…

You know it’s bad when I have to start a blog off with this title.  And yet here I am.  Those that know me well know that I don’t claim any brand of religion.  I grew up in various forms of the Christian church.  I’ve had some awesome times while in church focusing on my spiritual life.  I’ve met some life long friends.  I wouldn’t trade my experiences for a life void of it.  And yet I had my reasons for leaving.  I don’t see myself going back.  But my faith and recognition of a supreme being, an architect of this universe has not wavered.  In my view, we are what the rock band The Police called, “Spirits in a Material World.”

Religion has taken some hits as of late.  Comedian and self described atheist Bill Maher makes it his business to go after religion on just about every HBO broadcast show that bears his name.  I agree with probably 90% of what he says about certain religious doctrines, whether it be from Judaism, Christianity or Islam.  (The main three in America)  It’s the other 10% that I don’t agree with that bothers me.

Reza Aslan was right when he said that Maher lacks ‘religious sophistication.’  He tend to lump all ‘religious people’ into a mixing bowl defining them as lunatics and fairy tale believers.  He leaves no room for nuance and complexities.  As Aslan mentioned recently during a commentary from CBS Sunday Morning,

“…But if we’re going to have an honest discussion about religion, let’s first begin by understanding what we’re even talking about when we say the word “religion.  … religion is not just about the things you believe or the rituals you follow. It’s about who you are as a human being — how you see the world and your place in it. …Consider this: around 70 percent of Americans describe themselves as Christian. Now, does that mean 70 percent of Americans go to church on Sundays? Or that 70 percent of Americans read the Bible regularly? Or that 70 percent of Americans could tell you much about Jesus Christ other than he was born in a manger and died on a cross?  … for a great many of that 70 percent, the phrase “I am Christian” is synonymous with “I am American.” In other words, it is a statement of identity, as much as it is a statement of belief.”

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This isn’t just Maher’s shortcoming.  It’s the problem with many atheist who go on the offensive slandering people of differing faiths.

I have been arguing Aslan’s point for years, even when I was in church!   Christianity in action is as vast as the planet we live on.  Christian sects and denominations both emphasize and de-emphasize differing parts of the bible in a way that suits their preferences.  Biblical scriptures have been used as a means to free slaves and justify slavery.  I once stood up in church and said, “There are two different Jesus’ in America. Ones a progressive and the other a white supremacist.”  It’s the same with Muslims and the Koran.  Differing sects value and dismiss aspects of their holy book in a way that is satisfactory to their own internal ethics.  Therefore, it is unsophisticated and indeed pointless to argue religion and religious philosophies as a world view, as opposed to targeted discrimination, crimes,  and ‘human’ atrocities.

As an example of targeting and respect, I take religious folk to task often when I believe they use their religious doctrine to oppress others.  And yet there are times as a sports official that I work in Christian environments.  When I go to a school that happens to pray before sporting events, I don’t have to bow my head.  But I do.  Every prayer in this case revolves around being thankful, praying for the safety of the participants, (children) and often attitudes during competition.  I am for all of these.  I respect the spirit of that prayer.

Religions are neither good nor bad.  It’s people that build or destroy.  Religion is often a justification for either.  I have yet to see a Koran behead a man.   The bible never enslaved anyone.  These are books, whether one believes the words within to be sacred text or not.  Blaming religion for crimes and injustices is like blaming Facebook when a spouse cheats.  If many atheist had their way they would eliminate all religions yesterday.  But that wouldn’t take away the tendency of man to separate, discriminate or oppress one another based on other factors such as class, ethnic background, eye color, height and any other difference we have between one another.  It’s just how we roll.  Humans tend to want to be a part of something. Being a part of a group makes people feel significant and validated.  That’s neither good nor bad. It’s benign.  The issue is a lack of respect for others; dismissing other faiths/beliefs with an, ‘I’m right you’re wrong’ attitude.

People have used religion to justify and execute their own prejudices for thousands of years.  Religion is used as a method  to get rich by many of it’s leaders.  But so are politics.  I’m reticent to curse religion by definition.  Simply because as much that can be said against it, equally true people are religiously motivated to serve humanity and better our world. They feed the poor, visit the sick, fund worthy projects that serve the least of us, and so forth. They pray for others as means of offering comfort and support.

This brings me back to the atheist and the original point of this blog.  They should not be put in a box either.  Some tend to their own business and leave religious folk alone.  But far too many lately have turned into a vicious gang of bullies looking to defame and crush any and everyone who chooses to have faith in something beyond themselves.  Just like a religious zealot, these god-less zealots stand on high pointing a ‘superior’ finger at entire groups who don’t share their views. Their jokes, condescension and ridicule are no more refined as the religious bigots they abhor.

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To those I say:

What makes you so great?  What gives you moral authority?  You who had no say whatsoever in your own existence, when you were born, what family you were born into, or what country.  Neil Degrass Tyson speeches may challenge the life span of the earth as compared to the bible, but they have not nor will they conclude beyond reasonable doubt that there is no supreme being behind what is seen and unseen.   Science is not an enemy to origin, only towards certain dogma.  You can’t explain the origins of LIFE…or why if life reproduces after life, (reproduction) what are the origins of original life. Can you explain intuition if it’s not spiritual?  What is the point of natural life as we know it?  I don’t know and you sure as hell don’t either!  In essence you have FAITH that there is no supreme being.  Scientific discoveries are ever expanding.  But it merely explains what was already there before ‘discovery.’ What is understood today will be expanded upon further or even refuted 25 years from now. And yet you stand unwavering not just against religious dogma, (which I happen to stand with you on) but the existence of supreme altogether. Sorry, you are not exempt in this faith game.

The most effective way to oppose the degradation of people in the name of religion is to target our attacks.  There is no ambiguity when it comes to ISIS for instance.  They are a bunch of rag tag psychopaths. Just because they claim to be Muslim doesn’t mean there is a Muslim problem.  It’s an ISIS problem.  I don’t care what Christians, Muslims or Jews think of homosexuals, black folk and many other issues in society. I do care about actions that hurt, harm or discriminate against people.

For the rest of what is left of civilization as we know it, people are going to believe different things.  Blaming their beliefs solely for their actions is not going to cut it.  I suggest non believers start from where you are and ‘evolve’ in learning to find commonalities.  Educate without all the personal hate.  Enough with your high horse already!  If your dogma can’t handle this, then your atheism is too a religion.

Transformations and Other Necessary Changes

Many a day I have quietly obsessed about my weight.  I have been successful at reaching goals as well as frustrated with what seemed like little or not movement in the direction I’ve wanted to go in.

As I approach 47 years old, I’ve faced many changes in my body.  A life long athlete, it’s often said that as we get older, ‘confidence is the last to go.  And the mirror is the last to know.’   In other words there is a bit of rebellion in us that says we can do what we used to, at the same level without any falloff.  I’ve always prided myself in being able to compete when people of a younger age.  Being an sports official has helped.  And I can honestly say, there are no high school, or college age ballers that can out-run me on the court. As an official I’m going to be in position to give myself the best chance to make the right calls.

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Still, after 7 surgeries, a few grey hairs, and a history of horrific back spasms,  I can’t deny that often it may take me quite a bit  to recover and be ready to officiate night after night during the season.  Frankly, there have been countless days where I’ve awaken and said to myself, “I can hardly move.  How in the hell am I going to officiate tonight?”  Between the aches and pains including a well worn set of rickety knees, it may take an entire day of preparation.  But when its time for tip off I go out there and taken care of business.

One of the surest ways of staying healthy is by keeping unnecessary weight off my frame.  I’ve gone up and down with my weight as I said before.  And again that is challenging.  During the day time, I eat relatively small and healthy without a problem.

However, I work most nights, and when I get home I want to eat big time.  (And I don’t mean veggies and fruit either.)  Eating after a long night of managing high level competition and competitive people is a comforting exercise.   This includes tasty meats and starches along with a cold brew.  Normally the night ends with some type of sweet.  This exercise is far more mental than physical.

The results may mean that I am in essence fighting against my own cause.  So what am I to do?

Though I’ve done many things to fight excessive weight gain, my new mantra is to totally take my focus off of weight.  I took a long walk today.  (6 miles to be exact)  And while thinking about it, I figure that weight is not a problem but a symptom.  A symptom of food choices, age, the amount of exercise, genetics, and perhaps other factors I cannot think of.  Some items are within my control while others are not.  The best thing I can do for myself to alleviate the unnecessary stress (stress being another internal homicidal factor) by focusing on what I really want out of my body.

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What I want is to be in shape; meaning able to do my job and enjoy normal physical activities;  Gain strength and maintain a certain level of flexibility and elasticity.  Being physically in shape can help me complete my earthly task and serve in a fashion that I am capable of.  As much as I enjoy sports and working with youth, being in shape allows me to gain a certain level of respect and credibility from the get go.

So, instead of being weight conscious, I have decided to be health conscious.  Meaning I am going to control the things I can control. I may as well face that I like to eat.  And sometimes the things I like to eat are not that good for me.  That being said, it doesn’t mean that I can’t consciously take steps to make sure that I move a lot more.  Walking that 6 miles today took me a little less than 90 minutes of my time.  My thinking is, if I can keep a daily regime of exercise, stretching and strengthening of my body, (even outside of my officiating activities) I will be more healthy and the weight issue will take care of itself.  Don’t get me wrong, I ref a lot of games.  But my body has become used to that.  I can’t measure that activity the same way I used to.  So I have to do more.  This is what I promised myself I will do starting today.  I am committed to doing some cardio, strength training and or stretching every day in addition to the work out I get every night officiating.

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Therefore I am determined to reject being weight conscious, and affirm health consciousness.  I am going to challenge myself to move and stretch, to work more.  I am going to walk this journey and make each day a day to win.  I am going to live with a liberated sense of self and allow my spirit to direct me.

With that said, excuse me while I attend to a piece of sweet potato pie.  There is still plenty left!  And ain’t nobody in this house helping me to eat it!

Things of Faith, Man and the Search for Universal Truth

My faith journey has come a long way.

From a theological perspective, I was raised in the Judaea Christian traditions within various denominations. Through the years I have been taught by the church, inspired, motivated, fooled, disillusioned, angry, resentful, ashamed of, and even restored.

Regardless of my personal experiences with dogma and the organization of religion my faith in the Supreme has never diminished. My belief system is simple and complicated, spiritual and natural, scientific and unexplained.

I could never subscribe to the atheist belief that there is no Supreme Being. To me atheistic thinking dismisses a serious explanation for the origin for life. In other words, I haven’t seen evidence of any life form without their first being life to reproduce itself after its kind. Even if creationism from a religious perspective is not a viable option, just a look at the sun, moon and the stars, all of the living creatures, the way the cycles of the earth rotates, lives, nurtures, replenishes and sustain itself with its inhabitants; I find it illogical that all of that which we behold and witness is without thought, planning and design. In this way I don’t judge the concept of atheism. What I can say is that I don’t get it.

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As much as I like Bill Mahr and admire his political satire, I think he sounds like a fool when he arrogantly dismisses any possibility of a higher power. His brain is so creative, that he can actually talk himself out of acknowledging his own lack of having anything to do with it. He depends on air he breathes to live, and yet it does not keep him alive. Think about it. Oxygen is all around those dying every day. At some point everyone will take in their last breath. And all the oxygen on the earth can’t give you another breath once that last one has been exhaled. With all the riches, wealth and resources in the world one cannot give him more life. Nor does anyone have the power to ask and receive it initially at the beginning of a natural life.

A study of the massive sophistication and depth of DNA alone should prompt one to believe that this world, this universe, even our humanity was intentional. This is why I believe the atheist argument comes up horribly short. There is just too much genius around us that we had nothing to do with to call it all random.

What Mahr and I share along with others who believe as he does however, is the disdain for those seeking to validate and promote ‘God’ only as they see Him in such a fashion that it boxes his breadth and scope down to moral, theological and geo-political bents. I too scoff at the limitations and lack of critical thinking skills people subject themselves to in order to follow a bunch of laws and standards written by mortal, flawed, and often agenda driven men. I can resonate with his frustration of people who refuse to observe and work through critical issues with a reality based point of view as opposed to choosing to hide head-in-sand and quote scripture so as to eliminate the need of such deeper or even more simplistic considerations.

I get it. But that doesn’t answer the questions of life, the potential and capabilities of the human mind and body, the spirit world, and the universe. The fact that in the wild a lion and a deer will drink from the same water brook and if the lion is not hungry, not only will he not so much as bother the deer, but that the deer instinctively knows it. Man, in all of his ingenuity, intellect, skill and passion have only learned and understood so much of it. He certainly hasn’t been able to define it.

My basic understanding of myself, my surroundings, my instincts, makes me curious, and awestruck on the subject of the Supreme Being. Though I have identified my beliefs through Christian lenses most of my life, I have studied various religions and beliefs among men. Lessons from Christianity as well as other faiths have helped me greatly. Still I’ve rejected many pieces of doctrines. Through it all here I stand; still seeking, still desiring, and still stretching to find the source of my own significance.

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As of now I don’t really claim any specific religion. Though if you pushed me, I would still lean towards a very loose and selective portion of Christianity. Not for any special reason. This is simply the environment I was brought up in and therefore most familiar with. It’s second nature. I love gospel music and can often find myself blissfully swept away in its messages of worship, submission and hope. One of my mentors the late Rev. Fred Shuttlesworth was a Christian man who lived the most dedicated and faithful life I have ever seen in a human. Yet I admire and respect the life of Malcolm X especially after he split from The Nation of Islam and went in a direction that he believed was more beneficial to his perspective of the way he saw his Creator. Am I to say that Shuttlesworth knew God because he called him Jesus or that Malcolm’s aligning himself with Allah did not? There is hardly no religious sect that does not have within it members who believe and have evidence that their prayers have been answered. There are unexplained ‘miracles’ happening everyday regardless of faith type. Thing begs to question, “Does the Supreme have an exclusive name?” Only religious people think so. Or is He so awesome and self-assured that He is not hung up on and limited by that kind of thing? – Man actually giving Him a name that will sum Him up. Even as I write this I only say ‘Him’ as a reference point. I don’t know that The Supreme has a gender.

This proves that the biggest hindrance to understanding The Supreme is defining the revelation of His presence and purpose solely through a religious bent.

I have learned to settle in and take what I believe one step at a time; one lesson at a time; one experience at a time. And with those I focus on that which I am comfortable with. Which are a basic set of principles that I live by. (At least try to live by most of the time.)

Faith

Faith is first just an acknowledgment and recognition of a centralized presence. I don’t believe He/She/It needs to be called Jesus or any other religious or secular name. I believe in this Power that is so brilliant beyond measure, beautiful, and peaceful. The Universe has been created in such a way that it would take perhaps a million lifetimes just to scratch the surface of what is really going on out there. Names are too limited to describe The Ultimate. That is about as far as I am willing to take it as of now.

Do I believe this Universal entity cares about what happens to me personally? Yes. This is because I don’t believe all of this is by chance. If I’m correct then there has to be a purpose. Anyone who is aware of his purpose cares about fulfilling that purpose. With that I am able to give thanks and blessings many times per day to The Supreme for all that I am blessed to behold.  Sometimes, I even submit a few prayer request along the way.

Personal Purpose/Destiny

This is a tough one. Because most people either believe that they have a specific purpose on earth that a higher power has in mind or they don’t. Others believe we make our own decisions no matter what. I fall in the middle of both world views. For example, none of us had anything to do with us being here. That includes when we were born, where we were born, or to what family. We couldn’t decide what color we were going to be, whether male or female, and so forth. There are so many things that were not in our original control.

And yet as the species on earth we call mankind, we have the ability to create, build, reproduce, expand, grow, and it goes on and on. Our decisions shape the direction of not only our lives, but those around us as well as those who come after us. Decisions made by only a few throughout history have led to generational worldwide rewards and consequences.

With this I believe that many, but not every aspect of my life has been fully intentional. I am thankful for my time, my space, and my opportunity to do whatever it is I am supposed to do. I am abundantly grateful for everyday believing that my universe is saying something to me and beckoning me to respond for my own benefit, and the benefit of others. I believe that if enough of us do that, we will experience even greater awakenings, recognition, and access to this Universe.

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Morals

Morals are a very subjective from person to person. I believe that morals must come from within, not just what is taught within a society to preserve order; though order is necessary. Some people are comfortable with doing things and living by certain principals that others are not. My morals are a combination of what I have been taught as a youth, as well as what I have grown to understand as an adult. Since I am still growing, segments and pieces of my moral code are still being refined. What has remained consistent is to live by a standard in which my conscious remains clear of guilt and that my life is one of freedom and not bondage. I believe that many of the unhappy, unsatisfied and destructive people on earth are ones whom live against their own conscious. I can’t speak for those whom seem not to have a conscious at all. Still I have to live by my own. I desire that my life continues to project that which is less harmful but more liberating to me as well as my environment.

Who is The Supreme Being/God?

I absolutely don’t know the answer to that. I believe that God is spirit as I am though much greater. I don’t believe God is fixated by what we call he/she/it like most organized religions i.e. Christianity, (Jehovah, Christ) Islam (Allah) and so forth. I believe that mankind has had various reasons for wanting to segregate God into something they are comfortable with. Certainly having a book such as the bible for instance, makes following God or expressing faith more focused. For now I choose experiencing and receiving whatever it is I may learn and absorb whether it be from a religious context or not. My trust is that The Supreme knows how to get a message to me when it’s time. And that I will receive it as long as I stay open. I’m not afraid to fail at this. I embrace all of the possibilities and resources imaginable at this point.

Organized Religion

In spite of my critique, I am not down on organized religion as a whole. I believe that Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, Zen, and many others has served millions well over the centuries. Organized religious morality has influenced many peaceful societies as most of them promote treating one another in a loving and civilized way. Most promote growth and spirituality. Most promote submission to a higher authority and less self-seeking. Most emphasize sacrifice and giving towards something much bigger than the individual person who claims its faith.

Most have had their downfalls as well. So many wars, forms of oppression, and crimes against humanity result from religious beliefs and zeal. This is not only true of Christianity and Islam. Human sacrifices for instance took place long before Columbus set foot on the shores of the Americas. Nobody’s hands are clean. There has been and continues to be both good and bad.

            Tian Tan Buddha

Afterlife

Since I don’t believe that our lives are our bodies, I don’t believe that life ceases without the body. I believe our bodies are Earth suits. With them we move about upon the land or the sea. The earth is our bodily home. We live here for a time and season. It is here that we eat, sleep, love, share, learn etc… Perhaps our earthly time is training for something else that has nothing to do with our bodies. I just don’t know. And I don’t know that anyone really does.

I know many people whom I trust said a relative who have died or have been released from their natural bodies visited them in a spiritual form. Perhaps those who are ‘dead’, in body, help watch over us who remain. Perhaps there are differing dimensions that continue in cycles past our earthly lives. I don’t have a clue!

But I’m OK with that right now. For now I want to concern myself with the form of life I am experiencing now. And I will have to let the other work itself out. It’s definitely outside of my pay grade. If I can make this one count for something good, then I trust things will work out in the end… well, if there is one.

In Faith, Me

 

Penn St., Empires,and the Love of Money

The love of money is the root of all evil.  I Timothy 6:10

Looking at all of this spinning going on in College Station PA., several things come to mind.

1) The University doesn’t give a damn about the boys that were molested by their employees on their university property.  The reason they don’t want Joe Paterno speaking is because they are afraid he could say something that would open them up to paying a shitload of money in multiple lawsuits.  The lawsuits are coming so they can forget getting out of that.

Still the money is all they can think about as they decided to let JoePa finish the season.  They are so delusional it’s unreal to watch.  I still have my doubts that he will actually show up on Saturday.  While the university still wants to cover his ass giving way to his ‘legacy,’ the fact of the matter is that they lived on borrowed time years and it’s time to cash in the chips.

Look at how they are wording it this morning saying that Paterno ‘decided to retire’ at the end of the season.  What?  Is he STILL in control there deciding what the hell he wants or does not want to do?  Seriously?

2) Paterno is even more delusional as he thinks he can just zone in on football as if that will steer the attention from the heinous crimes committed on his watch.  His piss poor bullshit statement last night that we need to ‘say a little prayer for the victims,’ shows a man clearly in a bubble.  Nobody would have had to say any prayers if the most powerful man in the entire area did his moral obligation.  If he would have saw to it that Sandusky was never around the campus again but rather faced the authorities and the parents of these young boys.

3) Don’t tell me the obligations were only moral either.  You mean to tell me Sandusky didn’t take any of these kids outside of state lines to Penn State games?  He didn’t molest them in team hotels?  If he did it in the locker rooms he did it certainly across state lines on the schools dime.

4) The Penn State students who gathered at his home and at the administrative offices to show support and slob on his 84 year old nob shows the level of tribalism that is possible in this country regardless of the circumstances.  It’s utterly shameful and despicable!

5) Amateur athletics as it relates to NCAA sports is a sham.  This is yet another example of how the university, and others within the system turn their backs on innocent little boys for the sake of the estimated 50 million annual dollars that the football program brings to the school.

The NCAA silence on this matter is deafening!  I guess they are still too busy chasing after Reggie Bush’s Heisman Trophy or looking for guys who sell their jerseys for tattoos to fuck with JoePa!

6) How in the hell was Sandusky allowed to continue to stay around the campus with access to children?  Just answer me that!

7) Heads need to roll and roll quickly!  Mike McQueary wanted to keep a football job and get paid so bad that he didn’t say anything either.  He shouldn’t be on the sidelines either.  At the end of the day all he could think about was his own ass.  His time too is up!

Paterno knew what was up and cared only about protecting his name and his brand.  He is the Cardinal Law of Penn State University.  For me I could give a damn about all the money of fame he brought to the school.  What I see of his true legacy is that he did that at the expense of many young boys who’s lives are damaged forever because his pride and brand were on the line.  If his football legacy is more important to him or anybody else than the legacy of damaged young people who could not defend themselves then I say fuck him and his legacy!  Is the game of football more important than the lives of these children?  I’ll say a ‘prayer’ that he steps the fuck down since the university’s board of trustees still lack the stones to do it themselves!

Blue Strikes Back, or If My Whistle Could Talk

Real Talk:  I love what I do.  Sports’ officiating is not only a fun job, it’s an important job.  Whether the games are played by little kids, teenagers, or adult men/women, the officials play an important part in managing games that mean a lot to its participants.  They uphold the integrity of live competition. 

As a fan of sport, and a former participant as a youth and adult, I understand the fun, the passion and the intensity when competing.  Often part of the art and drama of sports is the give and take between players/coaches and officials.  Some try to bully officials.  Some are more cunning.  I welcome some give and take because it’s a part of the game.  I expect players to gripe a little in the heat of battle.  I expect coaches to try to ‘work’ me into giving them the next call to their advantage.  Games are as much psychological as they are physical.  You have to have thick skin in this business to be successful as a competitor or official.

 

Still, every once in a while I find it funny how some of the players and coaches I work with take the give and take a little too far.   Most good officials take a lot more than they give in the first place.  We can’t get caught up in too much conversation even as we try to respect dialogue.  There are times when the chatter I hear is ridiculous.  The verbal assaults can clearly get out of hand.

While doing men’s basketball game recently one team in particular whined and bitched throughout the entire contest.  Several comments were made not only questioning our abilities as referees, but also our character.  Two of their players ended up being tossed from the contest.  And even after the game they persisted to make excuses for the ass whoopin’ they just endured.

But what if the tables were turned?  What if there was actually equal access to criticize?

I posed this question to one the whining players who kept at us as my partner and I were changing to leave the gym.

“You know what?   I can do what you do.  But you can’t do what I do.  You’re not qualified to do my job.  But what if I in the course of the game could talk to you the way you talk to me.  What if I critiqued your every move on this court, your missed shots, turnovers, every time your man scored on you?  What if I walked up and down the court saying, ‘What a lousy pass that was?  Your defense is shit.  You can’t shoot so why do you continue to try?  Coach, your game plan sucks and you can’t coach worth a damn!  Hang it up!’  Believe me I see it every week!  It’s not like I don’t notice.  But you spend so much time critiquing my every call or no call.  He had no answer for that. 

I’m umpiring a youth fall baseball league in a well to do area.  Some of the kids on the teams are sons of St. Louis Cardinals, Rams or Blues players.  Some of them are pretty good while others not so.  Some of them are good kids who love to play the game.  Some think they are automatically following in their father’s athletic footsteps. 

 

Anyway, I’m behind the plate and this one kid has Albert Pujol’s stance down to the tee.  (Not Albert’s son) He’s posin’ it real good but refuses to swing unless the ball crosses the middle of the plate.  I’m calling corner strikes and he’s huffin’ and puffin’ openly showing off his disapproval.  Later towards the end of the game, one of his teammates ducks out of the way of a pitch on the inside corner of the plate like it’s a missile.  (STRIKE!)  He turns and shows his frustrations with some grunts and rumblings under his breath.  Then he barks, “Hey – where was that blue?”  My response,  “It was in the strike zone that’s where it was.  Besides that, you are up 17-2.  Swing the bat and stop ducking the ball like you’re scared.”  He struck out and that was that.  But what if I said what I really wanted  to say.  It would have been pretty much the same except I would have added.. ‘Smart ass lil fucka!  Now shut yo punk ass up before I take my belt off and whip ya right here at home plate!’ on the end of it.  Here he was 11 years old trying to ‘big time’ me in front of his teammates and the fans. 

Fortunately, for the most part I’m good at holding my tongue while managing the game professionally.  Every now and then I still lose my tempter.  I’m working on it.  But I bet for those kids/adults who act a fool, if officials can just have one contest where the talking was equal, they would choose their words much more carefully.

Suicide, Is It Ever a Viable Option?

Suicide:  Let’s talk about it.  I know someone who recently had a suicide in their family.  As the family started to put the pieces together, they learned that the young man had elaborately planned his demise.  This in spite of the fact that his secret was revealed prior to the day of decision and help was offered. 

So I have a few questions as it relates to this:

Is suicide ever a viable option for the hopeless?   What would you say to someone who told you he/she was contemplating suicide?  Would you try to convince them not to go through it?  If so what would you say?  Would you use bible scriptures or call the authorities? 

Have you ever thought about or considered suicide?  I am not ashamed to admit that I’ve been there.  I have strongly considered it before and planned it as well.  I consider it a miracle that I am here today. 

Have you ever thought about it or planned it?  Will you share?

From what I see, the stories of these kids who have killed themselves because of bullying have been sensationalized.  But several folks young and old end their lives daily and we hear nothing of it.

 Suicide is real and it’s here in a serious way.  So let’s talk about it!

Message to the Tea Party.. What you mad?

I didn’t write this but received it in an email.  A perfect letter to the so called Tea Party!

They sould call themselves the NazTea Party!

We had eight years of Bush and Cheney, now you get mad!

You didn’t get mad when the Supreme Court stopped a legal recount and appointed a President.
You didn’t get mad when Cheney allowed Energy company officials to dictate energy policy.
You didn’t get mad when a covert CIA operative got outed.
You didn’t get mad when the Patriot Act got passed..
You didn’t get mad when we illegally invaded a country that posed no threat to us.
You didn’t get mad when we spent over 600 billion(and counting) on said illegal war.

You didn’t get mad when over 10 billion dollars just disappeared in Iraq .
You didn’t get mad when you found out we were torturing people.
You didn’t get mad when the government was illegally wiretapping Americans.
You didn’t get mad when we didn’t catch Bin Laden.
You didn’t get mad when you saw the horrible conditions at Walter Reed.

You didn’t get mad when we let a major US city drown.
You didn’t get mad when we gave a 900 billion tax break to the rich.
You didn’t get mad when, using reconciliation; a trillion dollars of our tax dollars  were redirected to insurance companies for Medicare Advantage which cost over 20 percent more for basically the same services that Medicare provides.
You didn’t get mad when the deficit hit the trillion dollar mark, and our debt hit the thirteen trillion dollar mark.

You finally got mad when the government decided that people in America deserved the right to see a doctor if they are sick. Yes, illegal wars, lies, corruption, torture, stealing your tax dollars to make the rich richer, are all okay with you, but helping other Americans… oh hell no.

BUT YOU ARE 100% MAD BECAUSE WE HAVE A BLACK PRESIDENT.

Classification:  UNCLASSIFIED
Caveats: NONE