About That Eye Plank…

We’ve all heard about the nastiness of today’s political climate and the countless reasons as to why; social media, devolving of culture, the length of the campaign season or even the candidates themselves.

I’d say they all play a role but that the main driver of vitriol is we the people. We all like to think we value other’s opinions and give them their respective due, but seriously, have you been in a political conversation lately? If it’s between people with opposing views there is apt to be very little conversing going on and lots of judging based on false, negative assumptions.

For example, I hate poor people. Or so I’ve been told. I’ve also been called selfish, heartless, a tool of big business, uncaring, ignorant and my all time favorite, a disgrace to my gender. I’m kind of proud of that one actually.

Why all the hate?  Apparently my preference for free market capitalism, limited government and individual freedom makes me as popular as a heart attack in some circles and justifies an enormous amount of contempt by my morally superior betters.


No boo hooing for me though as I expect this treatment when wading through the noxious swampland of Internet comment sections and am rarely bothered by it. I know once someone starts throwing insults during a political discussion, they’ve lost the argument and I can move on.

What turns my stomach though is when a family member or friend does this. It’s disheartening to say the least, when a person you like and respect and who you assume feels the same in return, attributes to you the lowliest of character traits because of your political philosophy. And this flows in both directions you know; Left to right, Right to Left.

It’s not done so overtly as the coward gleefully spewing vile while hiding behind an anonymous screen name. It comes in our daily conversations with people we know in the form of believing that this person who you say is your friend is coming from a place of bad faith.

Instead of acknowledging that we both want essentially the same good things for society but just have different ideas on how to get there, motives become morally suspect and productive conversation becomes impossible.

Here’s how it works.

What the Right Says and What the Left Hears

 Are you against raising taxes on the wealthy because you feel it’s counterintuitive and will end up hurting those it is supposed to help? That means you’re selfish and only want what’s yours at the expense of the less fortunate.

Concerned that our bloated and unaccountable welfare programs rob people of their dignity and keep them trapped in a vicious cycle of dependency? Oh you heartless jerk, you want to see poor people dying in the streets.

Think there is too much uncertainty on whether man is having an effect on climate change to justify sweeping wide CO2 reducing reforms that will enormously impact jobs and income levels, especially at the lower end? You’re a “denier” being spoon-fed lies by the Koch brothers

What the Left Says and What the Right Hears

 Passionate about raising taxes on the rich because you feel they have not paid their fair share and poor people will benefit from more revenue? Stop spouting Marxist nonsense and get a clue about economics.

Think our welfare programs should be expanded upon because they do more good than harm and exemplify the country’s compassion for the poor? You’re an ignorant pawn of the far Left who wants a society dependent on government and who manipulates people in to voting for things that harm them by luring them with “free” benefits.

Think man is having a serious impact on the planet’s climate and that taking steps to reduce CO2 now will prevent future catastrophe? You’re a Socialist who wants nothing less than the destruction of American capitalism itself.

Demonization of Ideas

 I could go on but you get the idea I’m sure. The first sentence on each issue offers valid starting points on where to begin a discussion and, gasp, possibly learn something new. Unfortunately, many of us instantly jump straight to the second one, which is loaded with character judgement and has 0 to do with the issue at hand. It’s called the demonization of ideas you disagree with and is killing rational debate in this country.

We all make false assumptions about people; that’s human nature and unlikely to change. Can we at least stop questioning the humanity of those we disagree with though? Can we try to remember that every nasty political meme we post denigrating a politician or political party is also painting all your friends/family members who happen to vote for that person or party with the same wide brush?

Whether you believe we are made in God’s image or we evolved from a pool of goo, we all share the common trait of being human. Wonderfully flawed human beings at that but still worthy of courtesy and respect.


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Pure Love


I’ve often thought Molly was put here to teach people about love. She just radiated with it, so much you just could not help but be happy when she was near by. That goofy grin with the frantic body wagging (a tail wag simply would not do), while she practically jumped out of her skin to greet you would melt a heart of stone.

Molly was my mom’s dog, the family pet, for a very long time. So long in fact, that none of us are quite sure how old she really was when she finally left us on Monday. 16, 17, 18? The number doesn’t matter, Molly was the Wunder Dog, that never aged; who strangers constantly inquired, “how old is your puppy?” even up until  very recently.

She was also quite famous around these parts. Back in her beach romping days, she was the house favorite with all the “cookie ladies” who couldn’t wait for Molly to arrive. Those big-hearted women carried ginormous treat filled zip lock bags, which Molly would lock in on from ridiculously far away. If you weren’t careful to unleash her soon enough she’d take your arm off while bolting for her morning “cookie”.

Of course she was also a big hit too at the retirement community my parents eventually moved in to. Everyone there knew and loved Molly and showered her with attention and more unnecessary treats.  It’s certainly a wonder she wasn’t gigantic!

On the surface Molly was all fun and games (and treats) but she had a deep, old soul to her too that could sense hurt and the need for comforting. I remember several years ago spending a couple days at my parents’ house while recuperating after surgery and she rarely left my side. The tennis balls that needed catching, the seagulls just asking to be chased, well they would have to wait because Molly was on duty protectingmolly-bed one of her own.

She did this with my dad too when he was sick and spent many hours in his favorite chair by the window. Molly would either stand at attention while he continually petted her head,  or curl up in a ball next to him while they napped together. They communicated with each other in ways my dad could not do anymore with people and I’m very grateful for that. Good girl Molly.

Yes, Molly was an exceptionally big hearted and special dog. They all are, I know but right now the world seems a bit dimmer without her around.

Rest in peace Molly Dog. It makes me smile that you’re with Pops and getting all the treats you could ever dream of. Plenty of nefarious seagulls to be dealt with up there too I’m sure!

molly-kerchief                                      Photo by Melissa Butler


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Scarcity vs. Abundance

So many of society’s problems today are caused by poverty and it has nothing to do with money or material things. Wait, what? How can this be?

A person can be well off financially but their mind impoverished by zero sum thinking, where life is a game of winners and losers fighting over limited resources. They approach things from a position of scarcity, grabbing what they can before someone else does and never celebrate the achievements of others because that means there is “less” to go around for them.

A scarcity mindset breeds fear and resentment and is a one-way ticket to the Land of Victimhood, where you’re never at fault, nor required to do anything to change your circumstances and thus you forever remain the same. I’ve spent time there and believe me, while the brochures look nice, it’s not a pretty place to end up in. Continue reading

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This is well worth a read and really describes well what is going on in our country culturally and politically. If commenting please do so on the author’s site.

Citizen Tom

Mankind's Eternal Dilemma: The Choice Between Virtue and Vice by Frans Francken the Younger depicts three choices: heaven, earth, and hell (from here) Mankind’s Eternal Dilemma: The Choice Between Virtue and Vice by Frans Francken the Younger depicts three choices: heaven, earth, and hell (from here)

The American news media has a good business model. Suffering, sex, violence, and so forth attracts viewers, but is the news media’s business model good for us? When they show us suffering, what is the first thought of the news media and its too often mindless admirers? It is a crisis! The government has to do something!

Why the government? Well, it makes for a good story. The reporters can point their cameras at somebody and tell us what he is doing or not doing.

Is our government always supposed to do something? Why? When there is a problem, how far ahead does the news media look? Doesn’t the news media always gravitate to the next crisis? Do they actually give much thought to anything?


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Ya Just Never Know….


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The Higher Self


9/11 is a stand-alone word. Technically it’s not even a word and grammatically it’s a hot mess, but no one misinterprets its meaning; the day nearly 3,000 people were viciously murdered by terrorists as the Twin Towers came toppling down. Today of course marks the 15 year anniversary.

My original thought was to do a reblog from last year that focused on what to me signified the most horrific part of that awful day; the jumpers who faced the impossible choice of whether to die from extreme heat and smoke exposure while their skin melted away, or jumping to certain death thousands of feet below. Continue reading

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Alcohol, Sexual Assault and the Death of Common Sense

After Party

It’s not unreasonable to say that loading up on alcohol to the point where personal motor skills are lost will probably lead to poor choices being made. It’s also not absurd to acknowledge that excessive drinking often leads to sexual assault and that a good way to avoid being a victim of it is to not drink so much you can’t feel your face.

Not long ago, say oh, 5 years, the above statements would cause most to nod their heads in agreement and wonder why you are stating the obvious. Today however, speaking such sentiments gets you accused of victim shaming. Continue reading

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I’ll Take The Rose Colored Ones…

Sometimes things seem all shiny and new, don’t they? This photo below of a cool fountain in the Detroit airport struck me that way; fun, bright,and playful.


Another shot of the same fountain with a “negative” effect applied though brings up something very different.  Still very neat, but in a strange way that’s also cold, harsh and unwelcoming.


Life really does depend on the filter your using, doesn’t it?  Choose wisely.

Now off to find those glasses…


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Integrity is For Suckers

One presidential nominee tells a federal court that she is not to be blamed for compromising national security by using a secret email server in her home for classified material, but it is the fault of her her aides for not telling her it was a bad idea.  The other nominee blames everyone for his tanking poll numbers but his own chronic diarrhea of the mouth that erupts daily. Continue reading

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A Cup of Perspective

Cup half full

This past week has been the kind where if my life were a cartoon strip, I’d be the character that had the black thunder and lighting cloud following them around.

Nothing catastrophic going on mind you, all body parts are working as they should and friends and family are ok; seemingly so anyway.  It’s just some every day life events have become unusually complicated and left me feeling like I’d been swimming in a vat of molasses. Continue reading

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