Back at Lewis and Clark grade school, Mrs. Gregory was our music teacher. She played the piano while we sang all sorts of songs: current hits, campfire songs, rounds and more. She actually taught us most of the songs from Fiddler on the Roof. One of those songs is entitled, "Tradition". If you're not familiar, it talks about the traditions of a Jewish family from that era and a few things stick in my mind. 1) This was the only thing I knew about Jewish life since I grew up in the whitest white town in the world...no ethnic or religious minorities to be found. And 2) When I was singing the 'boys' part about what they could expect growing up, I was amazed that anyone could live without having a say in you life's path. Those lyrics were "...at 3 I went to Hebrew school, at 10 I learned a trade. I hear they picked a bride for me, I hope she's pretty." Wow. I couldn't imagine life like that, but it was tradition. That's how you lived, and that's what marriage was.
Traditional marriage is getting lots of press these days. Everyone on one side argues that traditional marriage has been the same since time began. Not even close! Marriage has traditionally been about forming alliances, merging powerful families, paying off debts, producing a male heir, etc. A man, especially if he had power or money, could pretty much choose who he wanted, and the woman's family (or more likely a girl) would be thrilled that their daughter would be marrying into wealth or power. Love never came into play.
Up until recently, it was still a man's world when it came to marriage. Tradition said that a man made all the decisions and controlled all the family's money (even money earned by the woman). Tradition said that the woman had to perform her 'wifely duties' even if she didn't feel like it and if the man forced himself on her, it was all perfectly legal. Tradition also said that it was almost a man's duty to 'keep his woman in line' even if that meant smacking her around a bit.
Other traditions have come under scrutity lately. Several colleges have banned or kicked out fraternities after hazing incidents became public. The Citadel is under fire after the hazing of several freshmen. I can read your mind right now: "...back when I was in school we hazed the freshmen. We had fun, they expected it, and nobody got hurt. Someone always has to ruin the fun." Well, that fun included deaths from alcohol poisoning, sexual assaults and other fun stuff, so someone decided to re-examine all those traditions and do away with some.
As I've said before, it's mankind's responsibility to look at everything. Things that are working for society, keep or tweek. For things that have served their purpose but aren't working for society anymore, get rid of or fix it. Traditions are great, but after a while all traditions can use a little tweeking, especially if their not working for everyone.
as the kids say....smh....shaking my head......
Every generation thinks that theirs is the most enlightened and the most advanced ever seen on planet Earth. They're pretty much right. Scientific and social advances keep humanity moving forward in positive ways. Mankind keeps re-evaluating the ways things have always been done and improve upon the things that are still working, and get rid of the things that are no longer valid. It's the way things have been since societies first started soming together.
Then why is America moving backwards? I know the calendar says 2015, but it feels like it's 1520. Sure, every poll shows a clear majority of Americans agree that same-sex marriage should be legal (closing in on 60%), but apparently the will of people isn't enough for some legislators in a bunch of red states who want to make sure they don't go down without losing every battle in addition to losing the war. They want to legalize discrimination...how nice! They want to make it legal for business-people to be able to pick and choose who they want to do business with. I think we went through this before....it was called 'the Jim Crow era'. You remember that, right? One group through another group was sub-human and used religious teachings to show that mixing between those groups was an abomination. You remember what happened, right? It was ruled to be unconstitutional. Thank God.
Well, these days, some lawmakers have decided that their consitutional rights are more valid and more important that the consititutional rights of gays and lesbians. And they want to make it so that if you feel the same way, you can refuse to serve them. So let me get this straight: if you are a LGBTer, you are committing a sin. And somehow, you've determined that this is the only sin in a whole book full of forbidden things that you've deemed important enough to single out. So, murderers and theives are okay? How about those who work on the Sabbath? If you've ever committed adultry or not honored your father or mother? How about someone of another faith because they clearly have another God before Him? And those are the commandments...not just random rules and laws in the Old Testament. You would think the violation of the big 10 would be more aggregious, right? I guess not.
What about the arguements we've heard? What if someone went to a kosher caterer for a non-kosher event and ordered bacon-wrapped scallops? The don't carry that item, so it's discrimination, right? wrong. You can't force someone to carry an item on their menu just because you want it. Can you go to Hardees and order sea bass? No...they don't carry it. And besides, 'people who love pork" is not a protected class under the Consititution. The arguements are getting sillier every day, but the politics is getting scarier. We had a lawmakers in Wyoming who added the language to a bill to protect LGBT rights "when hell freezes over". That was an official bill. His constituents must be so proud. A Texas lawmaker complained to a judge about the implimentation of same-sex marriage, obviously upset about the sanctity of marriage not being held up. Oh, yeah, he's been married 5 times, so he's a perfect example of those vows meaning something. And in California, public proposal is being floated to allow for the execution of anyone found to be gay or lesbian. I thought this was America and I thought this was 2015.
I understand you may not like the person down the block from you being in a same-sex relationship. Your religion may frown on it You may frown on it. But you can't discriminate against them. Have you EVER committed a sin? Sure you have. Do you think it's right for someone to discrimiate against you if you ever ate shellfish or shaved or did anything else forbidden in the Bible? You can't pick and choose. All sins are equal in the eyes of the Lord. It's the eyes of some Americans that have me worried.
We just moved out of Standard Time and into Daylight Saving Time. First of all, there's no 's' at the end of 'saving'..it's one of those words people always get wrong and then it becomes part of common vernacular....like safety deposit box....although the real phrase is safe depsoit box, but don't get me started.
DST was proposed in some fashion by Ben Franklin in the 1700s, but the concept wasn't adopted by the US until 1918 as a way to use less energy during WW1. The idea was that people would get home, it would still be light an extra hour, so you'd use 1 less hour of electricity to light your home before you went to bed. Interesting concept, and it probably worked, because, other than lights, there probably wasn't anything else electric to use energy in the teens and Roaring 20s. But that's it. That's the whole reason we mess with the clocks and people's sleep cycles. We have the audacity to think that mere mortal men can control time, going to the past and future like Marty McFly in a Delorean, just to save a few kilowatts. A century ago it was a new concept. Today it's just outdated. If saving energy is the whole reason, let's look at some studies. in 2006, Indiana inally adopted DST, but since then, they've seen energy use go UP by 1 percent after the clocks change. In 2007, the whole country added 4 weeks to DST...they found energy use went down one-third of 1 percent. So...it's pretty much a wash. You might come home and not need the lights, but it'll be hotter for an extra hour and guess what uses more electricity, lights or an air conditioner? Plus, when you get up and it's dark for an extra hour in the morning are you going to turn on more lights or stumble around in the dark? I thought so.
Daylight Saving has nothing to do with farmers, although that's the popular wives' tale. Do you think cows care what time the clocks say or are they just going to get up and want to be milked when the sun rises? Same with the farmers doing the milking...do they get up when the clocks says they need to, or do they get up when it's time to go to work?
It's outdated, the reasoning behind it is flawed and I don't know one single person who likes DST....so why do we still have it? Won't someone stop the madness and tell Mother Nature to take control of the clocks again. It's not like the whole world does this anyway. North America and Europe does...but South America, Aisa, Africa and Australia think we're time-traveling fools. If we don't get out of this time loop for logical reasons, why not escape DST for our collective health. The day after DST starts, studies show that there are more traffic accidents, heart attacks and workplace accidents than any other time of the year. Suicide rates also go up the weeks following the clock change and studies also show that when we get an hour less sleep than normal, people tend to eat an average of 200 calories more that next day.
So...thank YOU Ben Franklin and thank YOU Woodrow Wilson and thank you GW Bush for your contributions to this folly we call Daylight Saving Time. I'm not happy with any of you but I don't expect you to lose any sleep over it.
Yeah, I know the Super Bowl is in the rearview, but I wanted to talk for a minute about ‘deflate-gate”. You remember that…the issue that everyone was talking about for the 2 weeks leading up to the game…where the Patriots were caught with footballs that were under-inflated, so they be thrown and caught more easily? Now, I’m not a huge fan of the Pats, although I don’t hate Tom Brady like many people apparently do, but I couldn’t get worked up over this non-event.
If it’s eventually proven that Brady or coach Bill Belichik knew what was going on, it might change my opinion somewhat, but as it’s been said many times, “if you’re not cheating, you’re not trying.”
I’ve either been playing or watching sports since I can remember and I can’t think of a sport where someone doesn’t try to get an advantage of their opponents either by bending or breaking the rules. Here’s a few examples…..
Baseball – The Neighborhood Play – where the middle infielder comes close to tagging the bag for a force-out but never really touches the base.
Also….signs. Signs are hidden by the coaches and catchers because they assume the other team is trying to steal them. But…if you’re caught trying to steal them, then people get mad at you!!
Football – The clock’s running down and you don’t have any timeouts left…what do you do? Fake an injury…fall to the ground. You’ll be penalized 10 seconds…but at least the clock stops
NASCAR – If you ain’t rubbin, you ain’t racin. How many of your favorite drivers have been penalized cash or points because their car failed inspection after a race? Just about all of them, that’s who. Do they set the cars up illegally on purpose?….of course…they just hope not to get caught.
Little League Baseball – a Chicago team just had their title taken away because they brought in players from outside their district to help them to victory. And do I have to remind you of the player from a few years ago that was 14 but everyone claimed he was 12 so he could play?
Cycling – pretty much every Tour de France winner for the past 30 years has been under suspicion or found guilty of blood doping or other forms of cheating.
I won’t even bring up steroids or other performance enhancing drugs…that’s too easy.
Does everyone cheat? No. Some sports are worse than others…and in some, like Golf, you’re supposed to report your own rules violations…which most golfers do. The bottom line is that most fans know their teams or sports heroes try to get any advantage they can, and sometimes rules get in the way. If it’s your team, you’ll probably give them a pass. If it’s a team that lots of people hate….oh, like the Patriots…then everybody will want heads to roll.
It was 70 years ago this week that the concentration camp at Auschwitz was liberated. Hopefully the world will never see its like again.
It was 30 years ago this week that a bunch of stars got together in Los Angeles and recorded "We are the World". It sold 20 million copies and raised awareness of a problem that most people didn't know existed or didn't want to acknowledge....that hunger exists.
It was 20 years ago this week that the OJ Simpson murder trail started...and didn't end for 9 months. We all remember how that ended. The jury believed the rhetoric and silver tongues of Johnnie Cochran and The Dream Team more than they believed the relatively new science of DNA and set OJ free. The glove did not fit...so they must acquit! It didn't matter that the DNA evidence proved that the blood on the scene belonged to Simpson. It didn't matter that OJ was wearing plastic gloves so the leather gloves wouldn't slip on his hands. It didn't matter that he led police on his white Bronco chase...which no innocent person would have done. All that was thrown to the side of the road and justice was NOT served. How did that make you feel? Did you feel as though the jury let their emotions get in the way of facts? Like a group of people refused to see what was right in front of them? That the community that had alays rallied behind OJ had their heads in the sand out of blind loyalty to what they've been taught all their lives.
That's the way I felt...and I still feel that way today. Yes...about OJ....but also about several other issues we take up during The Morning Show. Let's take Climate Change. Literally thousands of climate scientists agree that Man is influencing the climate negatively, but that's not enough to convince the non-scientists among us to believe them. They will point to the fact that even though 8000+ scientists think one way, that doesn't negate the 2...yes 2!... scientists that disagree wih the majority. Those in power who refuse to answer questions about Climate Change will answer with some variation of "...I'm not a scientist, so I'm not qualified to answer that." Well, I'm not a scientist either, but I'm smart enough to listen to one....or in this case, 8000+. Also, as one comedian likes to say, you're not an obstetrician either, but that doesn't keep you from answering questions about women's health.
Politicians like to complain that 'our children and grandchildren will have to pay for what 'the other side' is doing right now. Well, if you were truely interested in making sure future generations were taken care of, making sure tey have a place to live should be job one.
Like the OJ jury, the science...the facts...are right there in front of you. The OJ jury decided NOT to listen to facts, but instead listen to other voices telling them that the facts were somehow skewed or twisted to fit an agenda. 20 years ago, a killer went free. Don't let pride or politics lead to the death of our planet as well.
I’ve never read Sun Tzu’s The Art of War, but I’m sure there’s something in there about picking your battles…wisely. If you go into a battle, knowing ahead of time you have no chance to win, they why waste the time, effort and resources?
That was the basis of a recent article I read about Democrats and The South. The offshoot was this: Democrats, stop wasting your time trying to win any more Federal seats in Dixie. Sure ,a stray House seat may go to a Democrat, depending on how the district lines are drawn, but by and large, votes for the Senate and the President for the foreseeable future will most likely be all-GOP from Texas until you reach the Atlantic. The basis for that hypothesis? Voters in The South are heavily committed to the 3-Gs as far as issues are concerned: God, guns and gays. The article said that no matter what the Democrats say or do, they’ll always be on the opposite side on those 3 social issues, so why even pretend and go through the dance?
It kinda makes sense.
Mary Landrieu was the Democratic Senator from Louisiana for 3 terms before she was beaten in this election cycle. As the final days of the campaign were nearing, polls were showing she was going to lose big (she did) so the Democratic National Committee decided to pull all advertising from the state to save money, instead of pouring it into a losing proposition. Was that smart? Yeah, it was. They could have spent countless millions and she still would have lost, and the Democrats would have lost the money for no good reason.
So, should that strategy be expanded to a larger scale? If you look at, say, South Carolina for example, it’s one of the reddest of red states. There’s no way a Democrat wins the Senate or gets the 7 electoral votes for president…so why bother? The other states in the South are pretty much the same thing, so again, why bother? Should Democrats put up a candidate just for show, knowing they have no chance? Should a party have to spend millions on a race they know can’t be won just so it appears as though the 2-party system is alive and well? A lot of this goes into my regular argument against the electoral college, because if you’re a Democrat in a red state like ours, there’s no use in casting a vote in the presidential race…it’s just wasted.
Of course, the counter to this argument is that things go in cycles, and it wasn’t but a generation or 2 ago, that the South was as Democratic as could. If you give it up now, you’ll never have a chance to flip it back to blue. That’s a valid argument. Someday, things could change, depending on the social climate and the cultural arguments that monopolize politics. Someday, maybe. But that someday isn’t today. And as divided as Americans are at this moment, someday is probably a long way away.