Tag: Church

Police, PR, Andy Griffin & Barney

Police, PR, Andy Griffin & Barney

Police, PR, Andy Griffin & Barney

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Only if life were so simple that we could hand Otis the keys to his prison cell, so when he was sober again he could let himself out of prison and get about his day.

Only if, the cops had one bullet and kept that bullet in their shirt pocket instead of the gun.

Andy never had to deal with terrorist and Barney, well he never had to deal with a hardened criminal that would have shot first and asked question later.

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The truth is that many of us want Mayberry RFD.  Many want to go down to the local fishing hole with our son or father spending the day hooking worms and pulling the hook out of the mouths of the fish that fell for the bait.

THE ANDY GRIFFITH SHOW.  from left: Elinor Donahue as Ellie Walker, Don Knotts as Deputy Barney Fife, Andy Griffith as Sheriff Andy Taylor and Ron Howard as Opie Taylor in front in episode
THE ANDY GRIFFITH SHOW. from left: Elinor Donahue as Ellie Walker, Don Knotts as Deputy Barney Fife, Andy Griffith as Sheriff Andy Taylor and Ron Howard as Opie Taylor in front in episode “Christmas Story” . Image dated October 18, 1960. Copyright ©1960 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. Credit: CBS Photo Archive. File: T21041_47

Andy was the optimist, there was good in everyone and, everyone was innocent until proven guilty.

Barney was a small city cop that had the heart of a big city cop, with the pessimism to match.

Sunday mornings in such a town would have been about getting the family up and dressed in their Sunday best and all sitting in the pews attentively listening to what the preacher had to say. After church, pleasantries with the other “saints” would be exchanged and in some church’s most likely Fried Chicken on the grounds would be in order.

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Most certainly if not enjoyed as a group, each family might retire to their own home to enjoy Fried Chicken, homemade ice-cream (you know the kind without listeria) and lemonade on the front porch, “family time.”

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Where have we gone astray?

I think it started with radio, and then TV, and now we have so much technology that the world has become a small place. All the evils of the world have pervaded the threads of our humanity, which cause many of us to rail against it and some to simply shut down and ignore it.  We seek refuge in the few places that seem untouched by “life” and Church is such a place.

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The old Hymns of the 1800’s still comfort some of us, and for a little while we focus on things other than their evil but, our own sins, and how we might do better and of course, give thanks to God.

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Today, on the way to church, at the bottom of a hill sat a cop with the latest in technology LIDAR “light detection and ranging” equipment.  This device can accurately determine your speed down to the .00 “hundredth” of a mile per hour.

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If this does not look like hunting to you maybe you should go hunting.

While Mayberry and Andy are nowhere around, at this time of the day the road is occupied by a high percentage of folks headed to church.  The cars are full of families with the mother making sure that Johnny has matching socks, and not the pair with the holes in them.

Mary is trying to apply that last bit of makeup before they arrive, as she wants Steve to notice her. Dad is trying to get to church just one day on time; without getting into a fight with the wife or children about things that have to be done before Monday.

While going to church should be a joyous occasion, it seldom is as we are a people that either stay busy, to keep up, or get left behind. We forget why we are up on Sunday morning to begin with, and why we are going to church?

Since the family has left the house a little late, it is important not to catch the lights and hitting the brakes while going down the hill seems counter-intuitive as the speed picks up from 40 to 45 in a few hundred feet anyway!

Enter into the picture a modern day Barney Fife.  Young guy wearing a freshly pressed uniform, clean car and sporting the most modern technology available, purchased with tax dollars from those he is “hunting.”

I simply do not understand why cops have an image problem?! 

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If it takes high tech toys, pointed at cars going down a hill to determine when the driver has exceeded some magic number to earn a ticket of $200 plus dollars, while on their way to church, why do it? Is it to make this guy’s day, or increase revenue? Does he have some imposed quota of tickets that he must reach or is it simply a friendly competition with his fellow officers to see who gets the most tickets written in the month?  What motivates someone to sit at the bottom of a hill, waiting for some poor slob to not hit the brakes while going down the hill?   I can tell if someone is driving stupidly without the gadgetry, can’t you?

Sitting at the bottom of a hill shooting Laser up the hill is disingenuous at best, and I would think simply in bad form.  At what speed does one get pulled over in a 40?  Is it 43, 43.5, 44, 44.5, 45?  What, what is the magic number that one has to hit before Barney pulls out his ticket book?  Maybe its 44.788?

Make no mistakes about this blog…  I want the cops to do their jobs.  “To protect and to serve!”

If someone comes through there at 50 weaving in and out of traffic, I want them stopped!  That does not take LIDAR to figure out.  If someone is driving recklessly, they need to be held accountable.  If on the other hand someone gains a few miles an hour going down a hill on a Sunday Morning, when there is little traffic, and you need LIDAR to figure out exactly how fast they were going, that is simply DAFT!

Here is my challenge to you the policeTreat others as you would want to be treated.  Very simple idea I know but I think many have forgotten this, possibly because they are sitting in a cop car on Sunday Morning hunting with high tech toys rather than sitting in a pew somewhere learning that we are all sinners and all fall short of the glory of god. While the golden rule is not part of the Bible, it really should be.  Let he who is without guilt cast the first stone, is in the bible.

To you the people who see this same kind of behavior, here is what you can do.

Firstly there is technology that will beep at you, if you are speeding.  I have this in my vehicle and I use it driving anywhere.  People in my car tell me it is annoying but let’s face it, how many times have you missed a speed limit sign because it was behind a tree or bush?

Another thing is a radar detector.  I am not telling you to get one to speed, I am telling you to get one so you can even out the technology gap a little.  Radar itself will give you advanced warning, laser will not tell you anything, other than you have been tagged. Laser however is line of sight so, while they see you and “target you, if you are observant you will hopefully see them and wave, with all of your fingers….  “lead by example.”

In combination with your beeping GPS and radar detector, and eyes; you should be able to avoid giving money to the city.

The pitiful part of this is that I believe that it is all about money and little about protecting and serving.  That is why I would push for money from tickets not go into their coffers but, into education or, infrastructure.

I would challenge the Sergeants that have underlings; have them lighten up.  I can tell if someone is driving badly without any technology, I see it daily.  Do you really want people to see your guys sitting at the bottom of hills shooting lasers up the hill? Are you that damned desperate for funds that you have to ticket little old ladies on their way to church for failing to step on the brakes while going down a hill?!

To the Barney Fife’s of the world; I don’t know what drives you whether it be adrenaline, or you hated your parents but remember, one day this will be you.  You will not always be the one behind the LIDAR.  If you get stopped, are you going to pull out your badge and hope for some “good old boy treatment,” or possible professional courtesy, much like the shark that won’t bite a lawyer? You in fact are no different from us, and that is really the point of this blog.

There is this “us and them mentality” which you promote by doing things like sitting at the bottom of a hill shooting LIDAR up the hill.  Tell you what, Drag your sorry butt to Church when you are not on duty.  Go enjoy that fried chicken with your peers.  Let people in the community see you, and interact with them in a manner that is not judging.  You are no better than the rest, and when you think that you are, you are on the slippery slope.

Protect the people like you are supposed to do, which is what you signed up for.  To protect and to serve, not to hunt and to hassle.

I would also challenge the people to do one more thing.  Get a dash cam.

Not long ago I was pulling into a restaurant in Addison Texas.  Screaming out of the parking lot was a Dallas police officer who had been working radar in the parking lot, camouflaged by the other cars and trees. Had I not been keenly aware my situation and stabbed the brakes, she would have hit me head on!  Now, how do you think that would have gone down in court?  She was totally at fault, but it would have been her word against mine and possibly, possibly and unbiased third party cop, to see the evidence and maybe a witnesses but, had there been a dash-cam no contest.  Her zeal for catching some speeder on Belt Line just about ruined both of our days.  Had we collided without a camera, I feel that it would not have gone well for me. Maybe, and I hope that I am; wrong.

After the screeching stopped, our eyes met, she lowered her head breaking eye contact, and slowly pulled out onto the road.

No one is perfect and the dash cam would have made my life easier had I not been able to get that car stopped in time.

These cameras have come down in price and are certainly affordable.  If you see, as I have seen, cops driving stupidly, send the video to their boss.  They too need to be accountable.  I have listened to the scanner while I travel and seen some do some rather stupid things, including speeding excessively for no reason other than they can, because they are mistakenly under the opinion that, they are the law!  Once on camera, they will quickly find out that they are, not the law, but the man (or women) that has been hired by you to “protect and to serve!”

All cops should be required to wear active body cameras, not necessarily to point out your guilt or theirs but, to protect them from the people who would wish them harm, or by besmirching them, or accusing them of wrong doing.

At the end of the day we are neighbors, families and communities and what we each do for a vocation should not be an issue or divide us from each other.

Let’s get the Ne’er-do-wells off of the street, and if they wear a uniform, let’s get them a new vocation, as the man in blue should garner respect, not because you are told to respect them but, because they have earned it. 

Sitting at the bottom of a hill, hunting church folk is not going to do it!


© All Rights Reserved 2015

Open letter to #OU

Open letter to #OU

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Open letter to OU

  • Does Racism exists? 
  • Is it more rampant today than it was in 1968?
  • Should the folks at the OU fraternity be brought up on charges for their chant?
  • Should their fraternity have been demolished?
  • How do we battle Racism?

One would have to have been in a coma for the last 50 years, or brain dead, to believe that racism is not alive and well in this country; as well as around the world.

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The racist song or chant repeated by the members of Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity that has sparked such a furor, “and debate” across the country is the following:

Song to the tune of: “If You Are Happy and You Know It”

There will never be a N***** in SAE

There will never be a N***** in SAE

You can hang them from a tree, but he can never sign with me

There will never be a N***** in SAE

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McCarthyism lives on.

Not too many years ago I would venture a guess that this song or others like it had been chanted or sung by many others before them.  What makes this time different? Why do I say that?

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This is a very old tune, a very very old tune that I would guess has been sung by many many people in this fraternity, and possibly others.  If this were a recent creation it most likely would have been done in rap music style which of course the oxymoron would have been priceless!

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Today we have people looking for their 15 minutes of fame.  Today each and every person that carries a cell phone can be a photo journalist or video journalist with a waiting a ready audience to give them their reward, “views!”

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When a fight breaks out and some person is getting pummeled by more than one person, do we step in and stop it?  No, we record it and post it, to see how many hits we can get with it!

Worse than that, in this 24 hour news cycle we have the cable media finding these “nuggets” and broadcasting them to further promote the “human condition.” While building their ratings!

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Yes, Racism exists and it should be no secret that we find anyone that is different from us a candidate for some sort of bias.  If there was an all-white or all-black school, those in the school would find someone that acted differently from them, and mock them or bully them, because that is what we do.  Our human nature is to build ourselves up, at the expense of others.

The extreme racism that exist within the Black Panthers; Americans and others only are aware of it because it makes for ratings to put someone spewing hate like that in the national spot light!

The New Black Panther party meets with the PAC in Soweto.

Racism is really hate.  It is easy to hate, much easier to hate than to like or heaven forbid Love; as we are instructed to do by our creator.  Since we are taking God out of everything, and everywhere, it is no surprise that the human condition it deteriorating.

Had there been no easy way for that person who took that video in the fraternity to take the video and then gain the national spot light, we never would have heard of this.  It would have come and gone, as it probably has for years, and nothing ever would have been said.

Here is the rub, even though what they did and said was abhorrent; I would argue that they have a right to say and do it. 

Just like the advocate for the Black Panthers can stand on a street corner and proclaim to the world that “he hates white people, he hates crackers!  He wishes every Cracker was dead!  The old, the young, the men and women and even their babies!  He wishes their cracker babies were dead!” Spittle and foam spew out of this person’s mouth as he screams to the eager cameras recording his every utterance, like he was some sort of messenger from some place important!

He too has a right to say what he says.  We can flip the channel or turn off the damned idiot box, but he has that right!

If we dissolve Sigma Alpha Epsilon for what they did and or said or we kick them all off campus, we are not teaching anyone anything other than you really don’t have freedom of speech, if you are white!

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What if I wanted to rent that building to put a place of worship and study for Christians, or Jews, or pick a religion?  What if that too was considered hate speech because now we can obviously pick and choose what is ok to say, and what is not.

You could argue that what those members said was horrible but, what if others find Christianity distasteful?

I for one think that the University missed the mark.  That should have, and could have been used as a teaching moment, instead they invoked the Zero Tolerance policy which means zero thinking!  They took the path to cover their ass, instead of using it as a way to teach future generations around the globe how to deal with racism; at its roots!

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They picked the ostrich approach which people have picked for generations.  How is that working for you?  You would think that we are capable of learning.  One would think that college folk would be smarter than the rest of us poor peons, and be able to think outside the box!

Had I been asked, I would have immediately reversed that decision and put their letters back on that building.  I would then use this as a way to teach, and I would apply the opposite of hate while I did it.  The color of skin is an easy way to delineate between us, and make some an easy target for hate.  Some make it easy to make stereotypical snap decisions about a group of people, by the actions of a few.

I read in the news recently that in the middle of a basketball game, the home team stopped the game in the middle of play, walked off the court and came to the aid of one of their cheerleaders!  You see, some people were bullying this cheerleader and they “the team” were having none of it!  This Cheerleader has Down syndrome and she is one of their own!  Someone is teaching something good there.  Someone is doing right by these kids!

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Those people in that fraternity are “one of their own,” and even though their condition cannot be cured or controlled by medicines, their condition could be changed and needs addressing.  If my hunch is correct, that chant is as old as the school; and most probably represents a bigotry of a time gone by but, like many traditions has hung on because no one had the integrity to challenge it.

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Those people are part of a culture and that culture needs help, just like the folks in Ferguson need to wise up and read the tea leaves.

The guy was guilty of charging a cop, while trying to take his gun!  You don’t do that and expect a good outcome!  Even the overly biased DOJ had to admit that Darren Wilson was correct in his actions! 

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The hate in Ferguson needs to be dismantled, and if external agitators are found to be there, they need to be encouraged to leave. Racism is a cancer that grows in the heart and hate is it accomplice.  Unlike cancer however; you cannot simply cut it out.  Education and a lot less of the people who foment racism for a living will be needed to heal these wounds.  Add to this some time, and lack of the public spotlight on those craving attention will go a long way towards healing this nation after these last few years of torment.

As for any gathering anywhere, know that you could be recorded. There is in fact no safe haven for your privacy in this world today.  Orwell had it right, it just took a little longer.

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Technology has made privacy just about a thing of the past.

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Each and every street corner has some sort of camera.  While I don’t want to sound like an alarmist or conspiracy nut, your own phone, tablet or computer could be capturing your activities and sending them to some huge data facility used to store terabytes of terabytes of data!

Full disclosure: I am a writer of Sci-Fi so… Orwell is my kind or person.

While being mindful of the fact that your privacy has limits, doing the right thing is doing it with the knowledge that nobody is seeing you do it. 

-Best to you and those that you care about!

Copyright 2015 All Rights Reserved

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Are you called?

Are you called?

Are you called? Is this God that some worship, real?

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Let me preface this blog by saying that I am not, and hope to never be one of those “Bible Thumpers” that the South is rife with.

01-creationist-bible-thumper-e1282174135888 Yes, yes I can and as any thinking person would, should!

There is a time and place.

Shopping in a local store during the day an elderly man approached me. “Do you know Jesus?” he asked!

Immediately my red flags of “crazy person alert” sprang into action looking for places and or reasons to leave.  This guy was probably 80-ish, about 5 foot nothing and was sporting the “old man shuffle.”  Having gotten over my first reaction and sizing this man up as someone who had either escaped the home or, who was “thumping and imaginary bible” or as someone who was genuinely concerned for his fellow man ending up devoid of our savior.

After listening to him for a moment I elected to think more of the latter and not so much of the two earlier choices, besides; “I could move much faster than he had he gotten totally nuts.”

As it happened however he was “preaching” to the choir.

Firstly I have never met a stranger.  If you are nice to me, I will return the favor and kind.

I have always been a “good person:”

Can you be a good person without god? Some would tell you yes, and some would tell you no.  If you have read many of my blogs, you know that I am not a fan of preaching speculation as fact.  The answer is that “I don’t know.”

The religious ilk would tell you that you cannot be a good person without god. God is responsible for everything good and the devil for everything bad.  That dichotomy to me is too simplistic of an answer much like “Jesus” is most always the correct answer for any question asked in Sunday school.  Not buying it.

At my earliest remembrances, God has always played a pivotal role in my life.  I did not always realize that it was God doing it.

The most expensive .50 cents:

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While visiting my grandfather one summer, there was a stash of coins placed on a piece of furniture and before we departed, I took 2 quarters.  I was not aware at the tender age of 4 what theft was, or that had I simply asked; my grandfather would have most likely given me the whole amount of what was there, he was that kind of person.

Before we got home from Minnesota to Texas, I was lamenting what I had done.  Why, I was still not sure, I just sensed that what I had done was wrong.

You must understand that in the 1960 .50 cents was a lot of money.  That represented a good handful of candy from the local Stop and Go! Never however; was candy so bitter to me. Had I traded my soul for candy?

The theft of those two quarters plagued me through my childhood.  Had I confessed my crime I am not certain what my parents would have thought or done, and had I had the opportunity to confess to my grandfather, I know now that he would have embraced me and told me not to worry about it.  That however is now, fifty some odd years after the fact.

I say fifty some odd years later because I never confessed my crime.  Not catholic so no asking some “father” for forgiveness.

In my late teenage years my grandfather came to live with us.  His neighbors reported to us that at the age of 84 he was up on his roof repairing some damage to it.  My parents could not stomach the idea of him falling or getting hurt and nobody would know.

After he was moved in, I went into his room when he was out of the house and placed some coinage on his desk.  The pain of the theft of many years ago was lessened but, strangely enough; returned some years later!

Actions have consequences:

It was not too many years after arriving at our home he passed away during the night.  I grieved for him for many years.  Every Saturday night I would come into his room, and he and I would watch wrestling together.  He would get so excited yelling at the TV screaming, “kick him!” or some other armchair quarterback commands!  I knew that it was all choreographed acting but, if he thought it was real, so be it.  It was simply quality time between him and me. The rest of the family seem to tolerate him but I genuinely loved him.

Years after his death that damned .50 cents haunted me once again.  I would argue that I paid it back many times over, “stop worrying about it!” I would tell myself.   Still, to this very day I still think about it from time to time but, not with the usual pain that it once caused me.

You see, everything that you have ever done was supposed to happen as it did to teach you something.  I truly believe that.  In a dream, which I still remember to this day were the undeniable instruction to let it go, it was a teaching moment and you would not be who you are today had things transpired differently.

You could argue that my subconscious was talking to my semi-conscious as a defense mechanism or you could argue that God was playing a role.  You could even argue that it was the spirit of my grandfather.  I will never know on this side of heaven but, I am finally at peace with it, and any other transgression that I have perpetrated in my life.  The lesson was to learn to forgive myself, and if I ever found myself in that situation again, asked for forgiveness from those that I have “trespassed” against.

Truthfully, that .50 cents has done more to dissuade me from ever even thinking about doing something that is not upright.  The price is simply too high!

Some will read that and laugh at my stupidity.  “It was only fifty cents for crying out loud!”  To me it was not the money but; the simple fact that I took that which was not mine.   If you are one of those laughing at this, I suggest self-examination.

Were you ever a teacher’s Pet?

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One of my favorite teachers was my fifth grade teacher.  She was very impressed with me for some reason.  I was I guess “teacher’s pet” but I never intended to be, nor did do anything special to get there.  In the fifth grade we still did “show and tell.”

At that age I was in the middle of teaching myself electronics, as I was fascinated by radio and TV!  How could a man in some distant location speak into a microphone and his voice come through some small tinny speaker many miles away!

How could a movie or news program be transmitted from one place and show up on the TV screen and how did making moving pictures actually work,!  I was 9 and there was no such thing as cable.

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I was not aware of the first satellite for TV, fax, radio and phone but in 1962 the first one was launched by name of Telstar.  Live audio from the Vietnam War was broadcast over the radio.  Some reporter was there as live machine gun fire could be heard in the background.  I was entranced!

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Today we have a wealth of information a mouse click away.  Back then, you had to get to know Dewy.  I did.  During show and tell I would give “lectures” about the things that I was studying. Not to show off but, I found it fascinating and why not share that with the class.  I still remember one day explaining how radio wave propagation worked, complete with diagrams, names of the different layers of the atmosphere and how they were affected by the sun!  I actually remember explaining what “refraction” was and how radio waves “skipped” off of the different layers.  That was not my first such lecture, and this one she had invited the principle to sit in without my knowledge.  At that time I had never met him, and dismissed his presence as I went about “doing my thing.”

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To quote Humphrey Bogart, it was the beginning of a beautiful friendship.  For the rest of my fifth grade and through part of sixth, he and I were friends, a truly good man.  He passed that year and the school went from Webb’s Chapel Elementary to Neil Ray McLaughlin Elementary, which it still is today.

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On the last day of that fifth grade class I was asked if I would like to come up on that following Monday and assist her with cleaning out the storage room, and organize things for the next year.  No thinking was required.  Monday morning I showed up early and spent the last and final day with her.  Before parting she offered me a present.  This present was an unexpected Bible of the King James Version with an inscription from who it was given by, and to whom it went.  I don’t think many other version existed then, thinking back, I think I know how she got the idea.

Easter of that year; we were all asked to draw what Easter meant to us.  I was a budding artist, even back then so I put all of my juice into creating the happiest looking fluffy bunny with psychedelic eggs in a basket and with some on a “trail” on a bright spring day.  I even remember playing the song in my mind as I was working “Here comes Peter Cotton Tail….” As I was putting the finishing touches on my masterpiece my song and vision of what I was drawing was shattered as I heard one of the girls sitting next to me start to snicker.  As more of the others started to snicker I looked up to find they were snickering at me and my “creation!”

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What was so funny?  As I looked around the room the vision of what they drew is still indelibly etched in my mind! Every one of their pictures were macabre, dark with a black sky and some bearded white guy with blue eyes on a cross.  It was Terrible! Is this what Easter meant to so many?  Instead of a favorite “candy holiday” they thought that some guy nailed to a cross was what it was!  It was clear at that point that I was un-churched, and I was mocked by the entire class.  If there were any other bunny’s in the room, they quickly disappeared; as I was the first one noticed.

As the teacher came back into the room to find the laughter and the mocking of my Bunny, she quickly took control of the situation.  The moment passed by the next day, but not for me.  That stayed with me even to this day.  I don’t hold them in contempt; it remained relevant as I learned that one cannot afford to be so wrapped up in one thing that they are no longer part of this world. The Munster’s were popular in the day and I envied Grandpa, and his basement; with all of his laboratory stuff and even the trap door!  Things are easy to understand and wrap your head around; people, not so much.

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That summer I plowed through the bible which I still have to this day.  The Bible had the distinctive smell of leather and the paper was so thin that one had to be really careful with it. I have to admit that King James was a little hard to read and understand; truthfully I understood little of it.  My favorite book at that time was Psalms, with Proverbs running a close second.

Gaining a basic understanding of Christianity that summer, I was no longer susceptible to the “Christian” traps of the world of which I lived.

So, was I called or pushed?

As I read the Bible I found some of the things in there; “crazy talk!” I went about studying it, making notes about how the flood , the ark.and snakes that talked! I reasoned that snakes could not ever talk and where did Cain’s Wife come from?

The flood has been scientifically proven as impossible and… Lets talk about the ARK!

One of my Church of Christ friends told me “you just have to have faith.”  BS!  Having faith in talking snakes and why the hell would God put a fruit bearing tree in the Garden of Eden where Adam and Eve lived and then forbid them to eat of it?  That to me is like giving a child a big red sucker and say, don’t eat it. Crazy talk!

Another told me when arguing the age of the earth that it was a little over 4 thousand years old and I the scientific minded person retorted, have you ever heard of Carbon dating?  “That has been proven to be not reliable!”  What about the dinosaur bones?  “Don’t you think that the God of the universe could create those bones and put them there?”  For what purpose would he do such a thing? Blank stare…

Firstly, carbon dating is incredibly reliable.  What kind of Kool-aid was this guy drinking?

One argument with a preacher of the Church of Christ, why don’t you have music in your church?  “Because the bible tells us to make beautiful sounds with your voice.”  What about celebrate with the harp, the trumpet etc.?  “We don’t go by the old testament.”  What!  The Old Testament is a preface to the new, complete with prophesies foretelling of events to come, they go together!  “Well that is the way that we believe.”  End of argument, end of story.  Here, drink some of this purple drink and then it will all make sense.

The simple facts are that Science and the bible must necessarily be juxtaposed! If God created all things or had a hand in it, he must be the greatest physicist, scientist, biologist etc. that ever was and is; or it is all evolution, from ooze to youze, and there is no God!  Science and God must necessarily co-exists!

ark

Many people over the years have become strong Christians by way of trying to de-bunk Christ.  The problem is that many had a hand at writing the bible and while some take it completely as literal “the world was covered by hundreds of feet of water,” science has proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that it never happened. Noah made this huge ship 500 some feet long, without a rudder, and put two of every kind of animal in it, and lasted through massive storms for over a year!

Nice story but, scientifically impossible.  Wooden ships of that time “the copper age” leaked like crazy.  There was no caulk in the day so the boards were made with trees and shaved with copper tools to fit together and lashed with rope made out of plant bark.  Looking at the technology of the day found in a well preserved ship, there is not a possible way one could have been made that size with what they had to work with.  It simply could not be constructed to be viable.  Secondly, a boat built like that without a rudder would capsize in any kind of rough water.  Again science today has proven that time and time again.  So how do we reconcile Genesis? Allegory.

It is a story meant to teach principle, not history.  How many people get lost in such things and therefor don’t believe anything in the bible? Staunch supporters of “every word in the bible is factual history and was spoken directly by god” need to give it a little more thought. There is a dichotomy between some “believers and science types.”  Some science type toss out God and the bible as that which is written for those with low IQ or low cognitive abilities. If it brings you comfort and you don’t mind tossing away 10% of your money, and time to propagate a myth, have at it.  I am off to hunt for the “god particle.”

Conversely, some religious types take the bible as the end all be all to everything and do not know anything of science and do not want to know anything of science.  Why?  Because their “faith” is so weakly constructed that they fear that learning anything about science, would threaten it. Or, they are simply too damned lazy.

The Truth is the Truth:

If you don’t have the intestinal fortitude to look at all the facts; me personally, I discount you.  One must look at all of the facts through an unbiased eye and put them together.  Once you learn the total truth, embrace it and talk of it boldly.

I once was trying to speak with an overly religious person about science.  I asked him if he had an open mind.  He said “sure, I have an open mind, as long as it does not conflict with anything in the bible I am open to discuss it!”  Holy Hannah, you have got to be kidding me!  Take the blue pill my friend and don’t waste any more of my time.  That is probably one of the most ignorant sentences that I have ever heard.  If your faith is so weak that you will not consider that what you “believe to be true” in fact may not be true, “You are deluded!”

Safety in numbers:

There is currently well over 3000 different denominations of Christianity!  Tell me, how the hell does that happen?

For years the early church would not allow you to own a bible.  They ordered them destroyed.  Why?  Because you are too stupid to understand the bible as written, so they must spoon-feed what they want you to believe.  That is how the early church screwed up.  That is why we had the reformation as Martin Luther read the bible for himself and said “Whaaaaat, this does not gel with what we are taught.” It was in fact a way to control the masses.

So, he was most probably the beginning of the problem of the 3000+ and the self-aggrandized “all knowing preachers” spewing who knows what from the pulpit.  The good news is he put light on the real problem that the early church was corrupt, ignorant and most probably consisted of megalomaniacs!   You must know that the early church was not only a church, it was the school and the government, a taxing authority.  If they control what you know along with your spiritual knowledge and kill anyone with a dissenting view as a heretic, they are pretty much in control of the world, or their part of it.

Finding a church is not easy.  It must be scriptural based.  If they teach anything that is not in the bible they are in error.  If they add things like “you shall not drink,” they are in error.  “You must not dance or wear jewelry,” they are perverting the bible, and you should find another church.  Man cannot saddle their preferences on you as sin, or blasphemy, or what have you, if it is not in the bible, it aint so!  They in fact will be forced to pay a special price for perverting the text, according to scripture.

As long as they preach from the bible, and nothing else; they are good to go.  Everything that they teach must come from the bible, if it is not, you are wasting your time and worse, you are being lied to.

There is money to be had from faith.  Sadly there are preachers out there that will tell you only what you want to hear and not what you need to hear.  If I only tell you good things that make you feel good, you will come back every time the church is open because you feel good when you leave.  Conversely, if you are uncomfortable in the pew, you will either not be a regular attender, or you might look for one of these “feel good” churches.

So those churches that are multi-million dollar churches, what do you think that they preach?

The smaller churches that are struggling, why is that?

As a side note: a church is not a building but, the “saints that are in it.”

If you struggle like so many of us to understand the bible and who you are you were most likely called.  If you think that you are a good person and don’t need to wake up early on Sunday to go into a building full of hypocrites’, the chances are good that you have not been called yet, or you are denying the call.

The absolute bottom line is to do your own research.  Question everything.  Don’t take my word or anyone else’s word for it, do your own research!  You must know what you believe and why you believe it!  If you start the process, sooner or later it will all become clear to you.

To those that disagree with something here, By all means comment. I will happily discuss anything on any of my blogs but keep in mind, if you are terse, I will most likely not give you the time of day.  Respectful discussion is always welcome.

-Best to you and those that you care about! 

Copyright 2015 Timedok All rights reserved.

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#Pornography, #Sex and #You

Pornography, Sex and You

  • What does it say about “us” as a people who gaze upon, look at, or otherwise idolize pornography?
  • What exactly is pornography?
  • Kiddy porn?
  • Words

Tackling the first question first, it makes us human.  We must first understand that we are what we are and, that is race of beings that are programmed to procreate.  From pre-biblical times to today we are no better than rabbits; sex is first and foremost on our minds.  The difference between us and rabbits, we attach mores to sex and we have the tools to keep from actually procreating. Whether it is prophylactics of different kinds, or even abortion after the fact, a large percentage of us are fulfilling our “instincts” without actually making babies.

Another part of our race is just “doing what comes naturally,” and then evading the responsibility of what comes afterwards by, leaving the person who “got pregnant;” or by letting the state pick up the tab for medical expenses, and the subsequent care and feeding of same, after the fact.

We try and educate our progeny at the tender age of pre-pubescence, only to surrender to the fact that they will find a way, so we offer them free prophylactics.  We alter the law in such a way that a minor can get an abortion or birth control without the parents consent.  In fact, we respond to an amoral situation with an equally amoral response, by offering abortions and dehumanizing the baby by calling it something other than what it is, a baby.

We do the same in death as well, once you die you are no longer Sally or Joe, you are a body.  The body was found at…. The remains were located at….

Reading social media the idea struck me that we think of anything that titillates as porn.   We have “Food Porn, Library Porn, and in fact anything that is over the top, we could add the word or suffix “porn” to it. I think it safe to say that we could call anything that overly gets our juices going “porn.”

There is a huge dichotomy that exists today between the evangelicals and other religious sects, “that are above this type of thing” and “people.”  In fact, if you are ever hauled to court for having something deemed illegal by your peers, whether it be porn or pot, you may very well be judged by some of the largest hypocrites on the planet.

Outwardly, they will condemn you, point their fingers at you and judge you to be subhuman.  Then they will return to their home with their collection of things or pot or other drug of choice that if the world knew about, would judge them as “unclean.”  Jesus said if you hate your brother; you have committed murder.  If you have ever been titillated by such a thought, or picture, you are no better than the guy or gal that got caught!

Child pornography is probably one of the most insidious types of pornography out there.  The very thought of it makes me physically ill.  As a thinking person, I was curious why and or how it had that effect on me.

As a parent, we guard our offspring and indeed see all offspring in a way that makes our parental instinct come in to play.  Then there are the predators out there that don’t see the boundary issues involved, and indeed see children as a sexual target. There are indeed sociopaths that don’t have any empathy for others and “do what feels good, when it feels good.”

History is rife with these types of people.  Read about the rape of Nanking.  

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nanking_Massacre

Most “decent” people understand this and I think each case that comes to court needs to be handled in such a way as to understand the person who committed the crime.  Did the person download the stuff off of the internet, or did he or she take part in the creation of and dissemination of the material.  Were there pecuniary motives involved? Just how amoral is this person? Are they mentally unbalanced? Can they be rehabilitated?

Having worked on thousands of computers in my career, I have seen my fair share of pornography.  I am not prudish but, I have no problem deleting that which might be illegal to own.  Had there been evidence to my satisfaction that this person was involved in the creation of such, a different call would have been made.

There are in fact huge stores of such material on the internet, gigabytes of downloadable data. With the extreme bandwidth we have today there is simply no way that one person could evaluate each and every photo to make certain that it is “legal.”  One such person downloaded such things like one might collect baseball cards.  As it was loaded with viruses, deleting it saved me and them the time to sift through it.  I am not the world’s policeman and have no interest in saving you from yourself.  Writing about it, making you aware is as far as I go.

There is a huge difference between porn and nudity and that dichotomy exists in all age groups.  Artist through history have danced on that line, and it is no different today.

One artist friend painted a child in a pond and the child’s bare bum was slightly exposed to the viewer.  The creation of the child was from her mind, not from an actual person.  As a “humanist,” I stood close enough to that painting in the gallery to eaves drop on what people were saying.  A large percentage saw what I saw, an innocent child playing in the water; a few saw child pornography.

We have come to be so overly sensitized, that we think that is child pornography!

The painting depicted an innocence of spirit.  A time and place free of sin to be as God created us in a perfect environment.  That is what it felt like to me and I very much liked the painting. It reminded me of the Coppertone commercial of the 60’s where the dog is pulling down the bathing suite of a small child exposing the tan difference.  To me it “exposes” innocence, a time that most of us wish we could go back to.  To a few it is pornographic.  To the few who think that is pornographic, I would encourage self examination.

So, in that light allow me to elucidate on what pornography is.  As an artist myself, and a writer, I have given this much thought.

If I paint someone in a sexual act, that is pornography.  If I give the illusion of some sexual activity either pre or post sex, it could pornography or it could be art.  Now let me draw your attention to the fact that “pre” is not a nude in the bath tub or shower, unless of course there was a guy in close proximity with an erection.  One could even make the argument that could be art.

As an artist, we try to paint a picture that will evoke some emotion.  That is why I constantly implore my readers to examine, why they (like or hate) something, rather than simply experience the emotion and go on.  When you understand “why,” you will come to know the person in the mirror much better; and that is enlightenment.

A good photo journalist will take pictures that tell a story.  I was at a cemetery on Memorial Day. Off in the distance there was an attractive young lady sitting on the ground with some picnic stuff, at the foot of a grave.  There she was, all by herself, sitting as close as she could to her dead loved one.  I snapped the picture from an extreme distance and for a moment, felt her emotions as the waves of loss and grief washed over my soul.  Tears filled my eyes as I allowed my self to experience her loss as it brought back memories of my loved ones that are no longer here.   Even at that distance, I could see her cheeks were wet with tears.

While I fully intend on painting that one day as I would like others to appreciate what I saw; that is what makes art, art. That also makes a “good” picture.

If I paint a nude lady walking into a body of water by herself, I have created art that depicts innocence, a purity of person and heart.  You can see yourself, walking into that water, feeling the warm sun on your upper torso and the cool water swirling around your legs as the water makes its way ever higher as you traverse further into the water. You can just about envision the warm wet sand between your toes as you yourself walk deeper and deeper into the warm blue water.  There on the bank, under a morning sun is your blanket, clothing and towels, along with some drink and food for after your swim.  There is no one around but you, some birds, and the sound of the water as it bathes the shores in the light summer breeze. After your swim, you can lay on the blanket basking in the warmth of the sun as the breeze dries you.

If you were looking at that painting you would see art.  You might picture yourself there for just a moment, or longer…. before the reality that you are in a cold sterile museum, snaps you back to reality.

Now, let’s add one thing to that painting.  Let’s add to the blanket a partially exposed dildo.  By the inclusion of a sexual toy, I have created pornography, both in painting and guess what… with words.

Pornography is not subjugated to the visual media alone.  I am often amused by women who look down upon men who look at pornography.  They call them pigs and all sorts of demeaning names and then go back to their romance novel!  Folks, I can paint with words as easily as I can with oils.  Pornography is pornography, whether you gaze upon it, or you read about it while creating the images in your mind, it is still pornography.

50 shades of grey is pornographic, titillating and could be used as a springboard to conversations with your partner about sex. You can also use it to sit on your soapbox and much like the ladies of the twenties railed against alcohol, you can rail against porn.   Don Quixote had windmills and you, maybe blowup love dolls!

My point to this is not to chastise, my point it to make you aware of the hypocrisy and to learn that we are all the same and well some of us “pretend” that we are better then the rest, even you judges out there, you are kidding yourself.

There are two kinds of people, those who masturbate, and those who lie about it. 

A perfect wife was once described as someone who is a whore in the bedroom, and an angle in the kitchen!  That really speaks to our “human nature” doesn’t it?  Sometimes one thinks about their wife in those regards and then as a parent.  The truth is, that all of those parts are juxtaposed together to make us.  The mouth you kiss in your bed is the same mouth that kisses your baby goodnight!

When we are in the world, doing our thing, our “angel” side is showing, most of the time. What happens to those who suppress their “other side?”

We read about it all too often where some young boy was assaulted by a bishop, or some other “person of the cloth.”  We read about teachers who have sex with underage children.  We read about rapist and other sexual predators.  We even hear about peeping toms.  What about the employee that goes postal?

I am actually for legalizing prostitution.  People who don’t have someone should be able to buy someone, or rent them for a while and it is the oldest profession. Like the Bunny Ranch, I am for that kind of place in all major cities.

The key is to first “know yourself.”  This blog is all about enlightenment.  Enlightenment is knowing “who you are!” You can hardly understand your neighbor or wife or husband, if you don’t know who you are!

How many men do you know of that have left their wife of a number of years, for another guy?! How the hell did that happen?

When we repress parts of ourselves, other parts come out in different ways.  I am not speaking about mental illness here, I am speaking about the actions of normal healthy people who artificially suppress their emotions or feelings or strong convictions to appear as something that they are not.  I see this most in folks who are Church going, every Sunday, every Wednesday night, people who are holier that thou! They are taught to hate the sin, not the sinner.

Without clearly understanding “sin” they develop their own idea of what sin is, and then mentally flagellate them-selves.  I have often wondered what affect this has on their mental status. Those who practice Calvinism often deal with Depression. How shocking is that?  Here is a guy from the 16th century who basically think we are all dirt bags and that is the best we can ever be. We do it to ourselves and then spend tens of thousands of dollars on therapy and drugs to make it another day.

Then one day we read about them or get a letter in the post, telling us that they are no longer with the church as they left their family etc etc…

Do you know the difference between reality and fantasy?  Most do, but sadly some try to make it come to fruition.  Solomon comes to mind.  This is a man that the bible tells us had everything.  He had hundreds of wives and hundreds of concubines.  He had riches beyond our wildest dreams and yet, he was unhappy.  He tried to live his fantasy.

Divorce in this group of people is just as high as people who never set foot in church. Allow me to tell you why I think it is a good idea to attend church.  I do not think that anything magical happens when you go to church.  I do not think that drinking grape juice and eating crackers makes you any better than your brother.

I do think that thinking about “sin” makes you more self-aware of your “sins if you will” and thus makes you more aware of who you are.  It is only after you know “who you are” can you make any sort of substantive change. 

None of us are perfect and being around others who struggle with “sin” is actually one way to become more self-aware. 

Here is the $64 question, when is pornography sin, or is it at all? 

One should define sin to really have a clear understanding of what it is.  Sin comes from an ancient sport dating back at least 5000 years.  The ancient Egyptians developed Archery and sin was “missing the mark.”  In Abrahamic terms, it is violating Gods will.

Call it what you will, there is a moral code of conduct that each civilization adopts from its laws and mores. Utilizing a Venn-diagram, where do you fit in?

While this is not about mental illness, I am convinced that it could lead to it.  Without a check every now and then to make sure you are still in the middle of the road, “normal” your thoughts and feelings and actions could actually be outside of the Venn-diagram of what is considered “normal.”

The curmudgeon comes to mind, or possibly the “crazy cat lady.”   Those that live by themselves, who only have to consider “themselves,” can quickly drift outside of what we in polite society would call “normal.”   We hear about it all too often where someone was found dead in their home filled with too much stuff. They replaced “stuff,” for interaction with people.  The more they did it, the more they became a recluse taking solace in collecting anything from newspapers to cats!

More attention needs to be paid to mental health in society.  These folks who mass murder should have been treated before it came to this.  Who knew?  You should have known; if you knew them at all you should have known! We poke and chat away on social media but when is the last time you sipped tea on the front porch with your neighbor?

How many times a year do you hear about a murder suicide and the interviews of the neighbors describe the perp as a nice “stay to him or herself” kind of person?

If we spent less time on the computer, or in front of the TV, we might have spoken with that person and have known that they lost their job, their wife or husband was having an affair etc etc.  Are we not supposed to love our neighbor?  How can you do that if you don’t ever see them?

Again, an extended family through your local church is not a bad thing.  I don’t think a mega church is a good place for this.  The Mega church to me seems too much about money.  Smaller 100 family type churches are more intement. You can actually form bonds within the church that can last a lifetime.

There is this lady that lives in the Tundra of Alaska, by herself most of the time.  She has been on some TV shows here and there.  I would love to speak with her at length about how she got there, what she does and who she is.  From her appearances on these shows, she still seems sane, but at what moment will she go “Jack Nicholson?” We are social creatures, designed to be around other people.

Some people replace normal sexual relations with pornography. Why, it is safe.  There was a running joke when I was young about a cucumber; that it would still respect you in the morning.  George Carlin had a routine about “dinner and flowers for one; don’t ever let your other hand know….”  George was a genius, and probably not very well appreciated.  Pornography can, and in most cases will ruin a marriage.  As we age, we no longer look like the folks in the pictures.  As we progress in life, we loose that romance and become “used to one another,” allowing our “all” to be exposed.

Not only do we not look like anyone in those pictures that litter cyber space but, we don’t act like the guy on the white horse! We become too obsessed with self, to put our partners needs ahead of our own.  We are wrapped up with work or kids or “life” to take time out to live life.

We let our all hang out and by that I mean fart, belch, leave the bathroom door open when going to the bathroom etc etc.  Some things should not be “let out.”  To me anyway I feel like keeping a certain modicum of “dating etiquette,” even after many years of marriage is one small part of success.   Chivalry should not now or ever be dead.  If your wife wants to open her own door, get her to open yours.  Someone needs to show some chivalry. 

Pornography, like romance novels, “in my opinion,” becomes sin when they cause you to stray from your partner.  It is too easy for us to become slaves to such things, to idolize such things. 

“That which you gaze upon you become.”

There is a genuine danger by putting it out there with another person.  Perhaps your idea of sex is not what some would consider normal.  I don’t know what that might be but let’s draw on a reference from an episode of House; as an example.  House, in case you are not familiar, was a program on TV that featured Hugh Laurie as a brilliant although weird and wonderful doctor.

In the episode I am speaking of, the opening scene is of a rather brutal sexual encounter that looks as though it could be a rape in progress until we later learn that they were roll playing and were turned on by rough sexual play. She was also killing him with some sort of chemical as I remember but, that is a different part of the story that takes us away from the point at hand.

Now for argument sake, let’s say that you think that role playing might be a huge turn-on, and you talk with your partner about it and he or she rejects you, and now thinks you are completely insane!

Ok, forget role playing, how about a scene from 50 shades?

Communication with your spouse or loved one is “key” to a happy marriage.  Build upon what drew you to them in the first place.  Don’t go for the big changes all at once, start small and build upon it.  If the other person is getting something out of it, you can lead the way.  Have a goal and make small adjustments to meet that goal.

Dating web sites are well past my experience level at this stage of the game but, I suspect that this might be a “value add” if they address such things as sexual turn-on’s. 

Fantasy is what sells romance novels, and why pornography is so prolific! Fantasy is a large part of who we are as a people and if you don’t embrace it and deal with it, well you may need some therapy later in life to deal with your large collection of bottle caps, race cars, baseball cards or newspapers!  You are in fact replacing something that you are missing with things that are safe! Well most of these are fairly innocuous, some however; replace what they are missing with actions like rape, bestiality, necrophilia and yes homicide. 

Some take it to other extremes in the form of religions or other cult like activities or become totally off the track with things like the WACO cult, or the purple Kool-Aid folks.

We are sexual creatures and that part of us makes us whole.  When you remove it, or attempt to remove it by becoming celibate for religious reasons or societal reasons behaviors and other actions also change.  Case in point… If you have ever worked in an office full of women you no doubt have heard one frustrated employee speaking to another about a co-worker or boss using the phrase, “she just needs to get laid!”

They are most likely spot on!  It happens with all of us and without sex we don’t deal with life stresses very well, and our social behavior becomes modified.  It can take the form of aggression or… it can take the form of being overly flirtatious.

There are chemicals released right after sex called Prolactin.  This hormone disengages a man’s sex drive almost immediately after orgasm. The naked women with you after sex is simply your mate or spouse or what have you as this chemical tells the rest of the brain and body to think about other things, sex is off the table for a while.

Endorphins are also released that calm you down, give you a feeling of euphoria and can make you sleepy.  That is why right after sex, most men crash and burn.

There is another hormone known as the cuddling hormone.  Oxytocin which makes you that big teddy bear that will do what it takes to get her into the sac. This hormone is also responsible for stimulating the prostate gland and making things more sensitive.

These same chemicals are released in the female thus relieving the “sexual tension” that many, if not most of us experience from time to time.

Aggressive workouts also release some of these same chemicals and that is a key component to health and longevity.  That is also why certain people take exercising to an extreme.   This is a good reason that people in middle school should really double up on exercise.  They are being flooded with new hormones as puberty kicks in and they often manifest themselves in aggression among other behaviors.  You don’t need a $150 an hour shrink for your middle school child if he or she is acting out. Get them into tennis or running or kickboxing, or cheer leading and make sure that they have what they need, time and privacy to take matters into hand.  Dealing with hormones is a daily chore for most of us.  As kids begin to deal with them, know what is happening and give them space.  If that does not work, get the child whisperer on your team. (a shrink)

For those that rail against pornography as it demeans women and makes them somehow less than human, objectifies them etc, I would point out that these women who posed for those photographs, for the most part, knew what they were doing.

I was on the Internet before it was the internet.  Porn was one of the first things that people put on it, just like porn was one of the first pictures ever taken with a camera and a movie camera.  We are obsessed with it and we as a people should stop burying it under a rug and deal with it!  Does porn fit into polite society, no; but show me a polite society.

Early painters painted cherubs, which were nude children depicted as angels and there have been many many artist using nude children in paintings and pictures in a non-sexual way.  Like most things “context is king.”

If someone draws or paints children in sexual situations, do we call it child-porn and does it fall under the same laws as actual pictures of the same?  Yes and No, but it is non-the-less in many cultures acceptable to some group of people.  I would proffer that those groups are one step away from allowing actual children to be harmed in order, to fulfill their fantasy.

There is a Japanese maker of technical equipment that I use in my lab from a company called Tenma.  If you Google Tenma, you will come up with the test equipment of which I speak.  You will also come up with some fictional character from MANGA that is of a 16 year old girl that is often posed in erotically suggestive ways.  On eBay these statues of her dressed as a school girl and anatomically correct go for $100 plus.  Who buys them is anybody’s guess.  Why they are created is another story all together and the answer would be, supply and demand.

I would also point out that those that shave their pubic areas are probably two steps away from this “child attraction”, as they either like the child like appearance of the shaven genitalia, or; they ah… don’t like hair in their, ah …teeth……  Too racy??   All I am saying is be aware…   This is the slippery slope that we all must look at when we “like or don’t like” something.  You can “man-scape” or “woman-scape..” all you like but, I would challenge you to “know why” you are doing it.   “To thyn own self be true.”

Sex sells and the line of demarcation between art and porn is always moving.  I was looking at some 60’s hobby magazines the other day and could not help but notice the young lady in the bikini on the cover used to sell the magazine to model airplane enthusiast, of the 60’s….

Recently “like this December 2014” Playdough sent out in their toy an extruder that is so phallic in nature that someone had to be blind to not see it.  Let’s think about this.

  • It had to be designed and passed by some marketing folks.
  • It had to be sent off to someone to make it
  • Again it had to be gone over in marketing to design the box cover and associated marketing stuff.
  • Someone had to see this in a board room somewhere before it was created and sent to how many stores in the world.
  • How this made it to the customer is beyond me.

The bottom line, and this may surprise you, I think that porn has its place in society. 

Like romance novels, porn, skin flicks and the like bring new ideas into your dusty bedroom.  They may start a conversation between you and your spouse or mate or whatever that might surprise the both of you.  Maybe a little spanking or role playing is what you need to get you active again in looking forward to coming home.

These shows on Cinemax are usually lame but if it gets the oxytocin going, what harm is it?  Don’t let your bedroom life become stale as sex is really one of the perks of living.

-Best

Copyright 2015 Timedok All rights reserved.

Ego and Widgets

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I have never met anyone that was puffed up by their ego that could be objective about anything.  When we get a case of the “by gods” we loose ourselves to anger, arrogance, and objectivity.

 

Seeking that which would validate your opinion vs. looking for the truth; no matter what it is, is by nature our folly.  We are so prejudiced by our “feelings” to the point of severing ties with people that we care about who happen to see things differently.  We will go so far as to sever relations with those who think differently than us, because of pride.

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There is strength in diversity.  A bunch of like minded people will convince each other that they are correct and everyone else is a fool.  We see this all over the globe in all sorts of situations.  Once we make up our minds about something, we for the most part stop looking for the truth and will vehemently fight for our particular slant on the facts.  When facts are provided that would disprove our opinion we tend to argue the validity of the facts and even question things like the scientific method.

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The early church did this with Galileo.  They believed that the sun revolved around the earth and the earth was the center of everything.  As the early church was the de-facto authority for any questions about any subject; anyone who dared to disagree with them may very well face the noose or the sword. They were the government, the school and of course the one and only way to heaven. Very prideful people which reminds me of a story…

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There was this fellow that built a business.  He built it by the sweat of his brow, constantly honing it, making gentle course correction to achieve optimal penetration into his particular niche.

 

A lot of the employees were either impressed by him or alienated by his sometime brute force approach to problems.  When the business became too much for one person to manage it was decided to bring in an assistant.  The board members (people who provided the seed money) insisted as they were looking out for their investment.

 

For a while things were rocking along nicely until the two disagreed over policy or procedure.  One person being stogy, and rigid, and self righteous; while the other person wanting to try something new or different. Words were said that should not have been said and the lot was cast when forgiveness was not asked for or offered until it was too late. These facts were not told to the employees but they all knew something was up, as one of them would be gone for long stretches at a time.  The product was not as radiant as it once was, and the customers were really not getting what they were paying for; as the quality was lacking.  The machine in fact was broken because of arrogance and pride.

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The Board of directors, keeping up with the P&L, took stock of these numbers and were very much concerned that their investment was going down the tubes.  Having absolute power over the main players, they decided to get rid of both of the managers, as neither one was capable of getting past the events that had transpired.  While they were there; neither one was doing their jobs with any alacrity, so they were handed their hats and asked to leave.

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The value of the stock was slipping and the competition was picking up new customers as people are not only apathetic but fickle. We are quick to judge and form an opinion and then act on it, with virtually no facts, no truth, just hearsay.

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One of the leaders started over again, and the other just simply left as he knew that his actions had damaged the company, their product and the satisfaction and trust of the customers.

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The Board of directors looked long and hard to replace the leaders but the niche market for these widgets is narrow and hard to find qualified people who understand this particular widget and all of the intricacies that go with it.

 

In the meantime the employees picked sides and when the leaders were let go, many went and looked for other employment with other companies as they did not trust the board of directors or agree with their actions.   Some stayed however as they were not there for the leaders, but the product, and how much the customers needed and enjoyed the product. They were of course saddened to see the managers leave but the true focus of the company was not on the men that started it; but the widget!

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In time the company got production going again.  They hired new employees and found new customers to buy the product.  Some of the old employees were unhappy with this and sent terrible hurtful letters to those that stayed, because those that stayed were not willing to strike and walkout like they were.  The people that stayed were looked upon as “scabs” or strikebreakers.  The employees that left were truly angered by those that crossed the picket line as their battle should be everyone’s call to action (or so they thought).  Those who crossed the picket line cared for the greater good, the customer and the survival of the company.  They did not want to see another Hostess episode after all.

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The widget factory survived because the majority of the people trusted the board of directors and knew that the widgets must be made and sent out on time.

 

The employees that left still had bitter feelings toward the company and those people that stayed behind, relations were severed.  I think that they even took a dislike to the widget which they once were very fond of.  When they saw one another in the street, they snubbed their once fellow co-worker.  Had they trusted in the “board of directors” and not given their allegiance and “faith” to a single human being, the widget factory would never have experienced this loss of production, hence lack of profit and the customers would not have had to go look for widgets of unknown quality elsewhere, and relationships that were built over years and years would not have been destroyed.

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When ones ego gets too inflated, it pops. When it blows up, there is lots of collateral damage, innocent people get hurt.    When you use the nuclear option to settle an argument with your neighbor, you may very well take out the entire city.

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Your perception of the facts may be inaccurate. You were not there when the original “event” went down, so you really don’t have anything but conjecture and hear say to act upon.  For some that is enough.  Before you kill off Little Debbie by your willingness to act on few facts, please keep in mind that like Hostess, that company has been around for years and has graced the lunch box of many children for generations.  What would the world be like without Little Debbie, or the Widget?

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-Best to you and those that you care about.

 

 

 

We The People, Man or Sheep and God?

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Pondering that phrase for just a moment, one has to ask; just who are these “we the people?”

In order to answer that simple question, one must first know the person in the mirror, who are you? What do you stand for “if anything?” Why do you stand for that? What do you believe and more importantly, why do you believe it?

Frequently I ask people who profess a belief in God, why do you believe that there is a god? (Hint: I just do, is not an answer.)

The issue at the heart of the matter is simply this, if you cannot articulate why you believe in what you believe in, you can be easily manipulated. In fact, if you are a religious person and your faith is not grounded on solid principles and facts, and your understanding of scripture vs what someone tells you; When you most need it, it may not be there. When something happens to shake it, it could very well be shaken! Know why you believe what you believe.

When I ask the simple question “why”, it pisses people off. Why is this person a perfect candidate for this office over that guy? Mostly their answer is curt and they cannot respond intelligently; because there is no intelligent answer. They have chosen a team whether it be red or blue and the rest of the reasons be damned! That line of thinking has us $16 Trillion in debt and climbing!

Since we the people are a competitive lot, we are being played by those who understand who you are, better than you do. They understand how to play to your emotions, instead of your logic. If they played to your logic, they would loose as that would make you think. They would prefer that you don’t think. (Just drink your beer and watch your sitcoms and of course your Football, leave running “ruining” the country to us!)

They win by playing to your emotions and they do that by pointing out all that is wrong with the world and convince “we the people”, that it is the other guys fault. Which of course is not true; truth be known, it is the fault of a flawed system, and an apathetic country that has a broken “give a damn.”

So here is your challenge; next time one of your friends tells you how great their guy is, ask them why do they think that. Avoid getting excited, avoid profanity and finger pointing. Calmly and rationally ask, “Why do you think that?” The odds are good that they will not know why, and dismiss you as a trouble maker or use the phrase “we should not discuss politics, women’s-lib or religion,” as those subjects are too volatile. Note that I used women’s lib, as that was the phrase back then in the day, when this phrase was crafted, the real issue should be abortion.

The reason I want you to ask why is this, if enough people ask why, a small percentage of those asked may actually “think.” If enough people “think,” this country would be a much better place, and I for one want to leave it better than I found it. Don’t you?

These topics should be debated in the open and frequently. If we as a people cannot have an open discourse on these topics, we are doomed as a people. Why, because we can be manipulated. If these topics are used to scare people, “manipulate through fear,” than the assholes win!” If we openly and honestly discuss these topics with logic, rather than emotion, it is like turning the light on in an otherwise darkened room to prove to your child that there really is no monster under the bed. If we understand the topics and deal with them then “they” loose power over us.

Gay marriage is another hot button to manipulate the masses, and race is another. Don’t buy in to the company line, it is crap! Most people don’t give a dam about gay or straight. Love is great wherever you find it. Just don’t do it in my living room! A straight couple would use discretion and so should you. And race, Holy crap that issue died in the 60’s. The only people screaming about race are the black activist and certain Hollywood self-appointed assholes! This country needs someone to heal it, not to further divide it, stop with the race bating! I would hazard a guess that the largest racists out there are the ones screaming the loudest! Tune those assholes out too! Do not give them power over you! They don’t disserve it.

Don’t let small minded people stir the pot or have power over you. The majority of American’s are not racist, and are in fact ok with the issues talked about. Are there a few who have issues, certainly, but they are their issues, not yours. Don’t marry their crap! Don’t buy into the left’s rhetoric to scare the masses; it is simply that, crap!

There truly is a war on babies not only in this country, but in the whole of the world. Some babies are killed because they happen to be “a girl.” Some are killed because they would be an inconvenience, and still yet others are killed because the person had unprotected sex and is a child herself and does not want mommy and daddy to know that their little girl did the nasty with Bobby down the street. News flash, your parents were kids once and most probably made similar mistakes. (Have you ever done the math as to how old you are vs. how long mommy and daddy have been married? Oh wait, they don’t teach math anymore.)

I digress, Mistakes are a human condition, killing your baby is a mistake that will haunt you. You will have to live with your actions, for convenience sake, for the rest of your days, which would be far worse than telling your parents that you made a booboo albeit a big one. The guilt will either consume you and drive you to seek therapy for ever,( which is not cheap) or you will rationalize your actions away, several times a day until you build a habit of rationalizing that, and other bad behaviors as “ok.” The hard thing to do is often the right thing. Besides, your parent’s look of disappointment will disappear when the grandchild is born. They would have to be monsters if there were any other reaction. Parents love (or should love) their children unconditionally. If we were “persona non grata” for screwing up as a child, than maybe CPS is a better option.

Instead of throwing millions of tax dollars at planned parenthood (a baby killing machine,) maybe we should invest in a CPS type related business that provide safe places for mommies who made a mistake, and who happen to have the misfortune of having monsters for parents.

It is time that we should discuss these topics; we should debate them on their merits. They should not be political fodder as they currently are; they should be something that each state deals with through their constituents and the democratic process.

The issue with this is that each of these topics are so emotionally charged! That is why they are perfect tools for manipulating you. We need to shine the light on them, one by one and remove the emotional element from it and see it for what it is. It is only than can common sense be applied.

As children, we are manipulated by our emotions by our parents, teachers and other authority figures. Guilt, fear and the promise of reward, will manipulate most people. “If you do that you will get spanked, if I do this I will get candy!” “If you don’t go to bed, Santa will know it and will not bring you presents!” If you speed you will get a ticket. If you drink and drive you will go to jail (which you should,) and if you sin, you will go to hell for all eternity! Really? Do they ever stop manipulating you? Once you understand how you are manipulated guess what, you take the control away from them. And how do they control you again….”right, through your emotions.”

BTW any Christian should know that we are saved through the Grace of God, Jesus died for your and my sins and knowing this and confessing this will most certainly save you from that toasty place dreamed up by Dante.

Some religions/churches manipulate you in this fashion. When the coffers are lean they preach this.. Malachi 3:8 – Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings.. Then it becomes time to guilt you, or play to your compassion for the starving kids in the Congo, help pay for someone’s kid that wants to go on some mission trip to the UK, as there are evidently no Christians there. This fund or that fund is getting low, please pray about it, and see what “god” calls you to do.

Last time I prayed about it, I distinctly heard a voice telling me to get money up for a mission trip to Hawaii, as the surfers there evidently really need to hear the word… Yeah right….

“Free advice here; before you go to church, write the check for the basket. Then leave the checkbook at home.” If you are like most people, donations are a budgeted item, and we are charged to be good stewards of our money, that includes what we give to charity. Don’t be guilted into giving more than you can afford. People are human, and without realizing what they are doing, will manipulate you through any means to reach a desired outcome, even if it is into your pocket book, leaving you in a bind. If your preacher or church has a habit of doing this, find another church. The preacher man is no closer to God than you are. He is in fact no more perfect than you are. He has studied the bible more than you, perhaps, understand church doctrine better than you, “perhaps,” but his prayers do not get to God any faster than yours. He in fact has no direct line to his Holiness! He is simply a man and he puts his pants on one leg at a time just as you do. You can respect him as your spiritual leader, but do not worship him, and realize that he has flaws, warts and an ego. There are more than enough tools out there to understand scripture yourself, look for the truth for yourself! One question you may want to ask your preacher, rabbi or what have you is… , you guessed it “why?” Why did you become a preacher, etc….

Some will say that they were called, but I find that answer too easy. Something else happened in their life somewhere in the past that led them here, which is ok; it is just one more way that one should know themselves. If I am to trust this man with shepherding me spiritually; I really need to know that he knows himself. Once you know who you are, than and only than can you be honest with yourself; and others. Honesty and Truth are two valuable commodities that are far too scarce in this world.

One of my pet peeves is going into a sanctuary, trying to get into the right frame of mind and spy on the wall one of those large thermometers made out of paper, with $$ signs on it. We are this close to our goal…. I am reminded of Jesus turning over the tables of the money changers and I too, develop righteous anger, and I depart! The sanctuary is just that, a sanctuary from the trappings of this world, and should not be a place of worldly things…in this case money! Money is nothing more than a tool, and end to a means. If your church is about money well, you should probably find another church. The only way to change bad behavior is not to accept it, or acknowledge it. Vote with your feet!

The truth can be daunting; it may not be what you expected. One must not look for the truth already “knowing what the truth is” but understand that it could be something totally different than what you expect. Use the scientific method, build a hypothesis from what you know, and what others may tell you; and then seek to prove it. Whatever it turns out to be, embrace it and move on.

C.S. Lewis set out to prove that there was no god. Through the process, he found God and is now one of the heroes of the faith! I can’t say this enough, Seek the truth!

Know why you believe what you believe. Find the truth and embrace it, no matter what the truth is. Remember that the “truth has no agenda, people usually do.”

-Best to you and those that you care about!