My PC Has Gone PC!

27 05 2018

Who could forget this modern marvel?

The personal computer first became available in 1981. At the time, I was the safety director for the City of Durham, North Carolina and as my co-workers were surrendering their IBM Selectric typewriters for new IBM computers and struggling to learn new terminology such as MS-DOS, RAM and floppy, I was doing all within my power to avoid letting anyone put one of those infernal contraptions on my desk. My hope was to be able to complete my working career and reach retirement before this new technology was forced upon me. Of course, that didn’t happen. Technology moved faster than crap through a goose.

 

Not only was technology trucking along at warp speed, the world was also changing socially. The workplace was no longer accepting of “blue humor,” and rightfully so. The office is not an appropriate venue for off-color jokes or innuendo, particularly in mixed company. Long gone is the pin-up tool calendar hanging in the maintenance manager’s office. And while these are positive changes, somewhere along the way, progressives (see definition below) decided to take it to the extreme and, political correctness was born, and with it, the nation of the offended.

 

Anti-Ridiculous, Not Anti-Progress

Until recently, I considered myself a rebel. A holdout against political correctness. An advocate for normal speech. By that, I mean, I still use gender-specific terms like freshman, ladies and gentlemen, and husband and wife. I still refer to a dead guy as a dead guy and not a permanently static post-human mass. I still call a lady a lady. And don’t even think of inviting me to speak at your commencement because I will invoke the name of Jesus while on your campus. If someone is deaf, I will say he is deaf. Oh, but then some hyper-sensitive progressive would likely correct me, saying, “He’s hearing impaired.” Excuse me, libiot, Merriam-Webster (FYI-that’s the paper version of Wikipedia.) defines deaf as, “lacking or deficient in the sense of hearing.” He lacks the ability to hear! He’s deaf!

 

Anyone who uses a computer is familiar with spell-check and auto-correct-those helpful yet annoying features of Microsoft Word that automatically correct our spelling errors or replace the words we want to use with those Microsoft thinks we want to use. Well, recently, I had an experience that I couldn’t believe, although I shouldn’t have been surprised. It was one of those head-smack’n moments when you suddenly realize the absurdity of something and smack your hand against your forehead.

 

I was using my work computer to write something about confined spaces. I typed in the word “manhole.” Immediately, a red underscore appeared below “manhole” along with a message box. The message was suggesting I use gender-neutral language such as “a utility access hole.” How dare it! A machine telling me to be politically correct! I won’t take that from my mama; I’m certainly not going to take it from a plastic box full of doo-dads and doo-hickeys held together by screws and solder.

This is PC run amok!

 

As a result, I no longer consider myself a mere rebel. I am now a crusader against political correctness. I suppose it’s only a matter of time before artificial intelligence takes over completely. Hopefully, I’ll be raptured before that happens.

 

Progressive: a left-leaning loon who goes to extreme measures to shove their own ideology down the throats of normal people. Progressives can usually be found loitering in large clusters at college faculty lounges, newspaper offices and Barbra Streisand film festivals.

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I Could Care Less!

20 05 2018

I could care less. That’s not right. Yet, so many people say it that way. The correct term is, I couldn’t care less. To say, I could care less, implies that it is possible for me to care less than I do. It says, I have more care to give. If I’m trying to express the fact that something is of absolutely no concern to me, then I would want folks to understand that I could not (couldn’t) care any less than I already do because my bag of care regarding a given issue is empty. I have no more caring. I couldn’t care less.

 

Think of it this way. I could not care any less about the royal wedding than I already do. If so then I could care less. But, because I am at the abyss of caring about the royal wedding, it is impossible for me to care any less. Therefore, I couldn’t care less about the royal wedding. I couldn’t care less what the bride was wearing. I couldn’t care less how much was spent on the wedding. I couldn’t care less where everyone sat. I couldn’t care less who was invited. Any questions?





Don’t Blame the NRA

25 02 2018

I saw that several companies have recently cut ties with the NRA. I was particularly disappointed to see Delta and Hertz among them, as I have availed myself of their services on many occasions, and nearly exclusively in my frequent travels over the past 30 years. I am a two-million miler with Delta and a President’s Circle member at Hertz.

 

Don’t Blame the NRA

These and other companies have chosen to boycott the NRA in the wake of the recent school shooting in Parkland, Florida; but, I feel the decision is not based on doing what is right but, instead, is based on greed. The decision-makers at Delta, Hertz and others are smart enough to know the NRA had nothing, whatsoever, to do with that or any other shooting. The NRA is no more complicit in school shootings than Delta Airlines was in the underwear bomber, who tried to bring down a Delta plane on its approach into Detroit on Christmas Day, 2009. Or, you could look at it another way. It’s like blaming the National Association of Airline Passengers for the 9/11 terrorist attacks. The National Association of Airline Passengers is a non-profit organization, as is the NRA, which advocates for the rights of citizens, as does the NRA. So, does that mean that if a plane crashes into a school, we should boycott them? Of course not. That would be ridiculous.

 

The NRA, whose mission statement includes defending the United States Constitution, advocates for safe and responsible gun ownership. What’s wrong with defending the Constitution? The NRA didn’t put the gun in the hands of the shooter any more than Delta or Fruit of the Loom put explosive material inside the drawers of Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab.

 

A Decision of Greed

Delta and these other companies initiated this misinformed boycott for business reasons only. They did it to protect their image from what they perceived was an indictment of the NRA on the part of the majority of Americans. That is greed and for that, I resent their actions. Rather than attack an organization who is not complicit in violent acts, our efforts would be better spent if we work together to identify the problems and search for answers. If you were able to get rid of every gun in the world, then those who want to hurt school kids could simply walk into schools wearing underwear stuffed with explosives.

 

In the case of the Parkland shooting, there is plenty of blame to go around, but none involves the NRA. How about all the tips about this kid which had been reported to law enforcement including the Broward and Palm Beach Sheriff’s offices and the FBI? These included numerous tips from neighbors, child protective services, classmates and teachers. How about the four deputies who cowardly sat outside the school for four minutes while the six-minute shooting took place? School officials had been warned numerous times about Cruz. The NRA didn’t tell any of these entities to ignore this young man.

 

Given his mental state, which had become well-known, this kid should never have had a gun. Yes, we need to get a better handle on who can own a gun, but over-reacting by blaming the NRA is counter-productive.

 

Stand Up for What is Right

Back to the subject at hand-I am fiercely loyal, so I won’t be flying American Airlines or renting from Dollar anytime in the foreseeable future. Heck, by the time I get this posted, they may well have joined the boycott, as well. Both Delta and Hertz have been good to me over the years and I’m not going to boycott their boycott, in spite of their cowardice. I believe their actions will backfire and, when that happens, I hope they will be as quick to renounce their decision as they were to join the boycott. But regardless, I now plan to join the NRA…not in spite of any boycott, but because I support their mission to defend the Constitution and advocate for gun safety. Rather than condemning the NRA, we should call on them to use their resources to further promote gun safety since it wouldn’t be reasonable to think taking guns away from gun owners will stop gun violence. Join me, Delta, Hertz and others, and stand up for what is right.





I Hear You, God!

18 02 2018

Much has been made of Joy Behar’s comments last week in which she mocked Vice-President Pence for his Christianity and accused him of being mentally ill. Unless you watch FOX News, you probably aren’t even aware of the latest controversy stirred up by this comedienne, turned co-host, on ABC’s The View. “It’s one thing to talk to Jesus,” she said. “It’s another thing when Jesus talks to you. That’s called mental illness, if I’m not correct.”

 

Certainly, this is something so politically incorrect, the major networks, least of all the owner of her comments, ABC, would not want viewers (and sponsors) to hear.

 

Her comments demonstrate her intolerance for conservatives and conservative views. But the comments also reveal the blatant hypocrisy of her and her boss, ABC, who have made no effort to apologize to VP Pence, or Christians in general. Assuredly, if she had commented that former President Barrack Hussein Obama said he was told by Muhammad that he should release Gitmo-held terrorists back into the wild, or place nearly 2 billion dollars into the hands of our terrorist enemies, she would have immediately found herself among the unemployed and ABC would be falling all over itself to apologize.

 

But her follow-up comment, which has gotten less press, is, to me, even more revealing. Apparently, under pressure, she attempted to walk back her earlier comments by stating, “To call us intolerant or to call out ABC…I find a little hard,” she said. “I give money to the church. I actually help Christians with my pocketbook.”

 

Why does she give money to the church? Is it because she’s a church member? Does she attend church? Does she pray? Does she consider herself a Christian? Or, the $64,000 question, does she believe that her good deed of giving to the church will buy her way into heaven? I mean, I donate to the Police Benevolent Association but that doesn’t make me a police officer.

 

I don’t know the answer to any of these questions. I don’t know what is in her heart, but her words reveal a lot of what is in her mind. Without making any judgments, I fear she does not have a personal relationship with God. To me, that’s the most troubling part of this entire fiasco. She doesn’t seem to understand God or what it takes to be assured of her salvation in order to attain her reward of eternity in heaven. Perhaps heaven isn’t on her radar; I don’t know. What I do know is that I can pray for her. I can talk to God and ask Him to show her the light. And who knows, He may come back and tell me He has it under control.





High Bid’s a Winner!

28 01 2018

Last year there was a TV commercial for one of those dating web sites that singles use to get out of, or at least share, their singledom. I’m pretty sure the dating site was eHarmony. Anyway, the young lady in the commercial said the reason she chose eHarmony over other sites was, “because you have to pay to be on there.” Whaaat? She felt there would be a higher class of people at eHarmony since they were all willing to fork over some cash to meet their mates. According to her logic, if it’s free, either it must not be any good or you’ll have to cull out a bunch of penniless losers to find a nugget worth dating.

 

Let’s Cool This Place!

So, a friend and former co-worker once told me of his grandfather’s church. It was a small wood-frame, country church…one of those churches that’s been around for a hundred years. It was a church where every Sunday morning during the summer, congregants sat waving paper fans on sticks with a picture of the Last Supper on the front and an ad for the local funeral home on the back side. The preacher, two minutes after beginning his sermon, pulls a handkerchief from his pocket and begins to wipe the sweat from his face, as he brings a sermon as hot as the air blowing through the open windows.

 

It was during a meeting of elders that a decision was made to air condition the church. “There’s no reason,” they reasoned, “that we can’t, or shouldn’t, try to make this place comfortable.”

 

So, they sent a letter to local heating and air conditioning companies requesting bids for the project.

 

The Bidding Process

Now, I have worked in government and I understand how it works. For a government entity, such as a state or municipality, the law requires anything beyond a certain amount to go out for bids. In North Carolina, the threshold requiring informal bids used to be $5,000.00. The entity would then select the provider who submitted the lowest bid. There’s an old joke about a city employee who collapsed at her desk but died while the city was waiting to get the lowest bid for the ambulance service.

 

Well, this is a private church; so, there is no requirement that they go through the bidding process. But, the logic is the same-you want the work completed satisfactorily at the lowest price-hence the bid requests.

 

So the bids came in-they sought, and got three. Two of the bids were similar…in the $8,000 range. But, the third bid was over $11,000. So, the church elders, applying some form of twisted logic, decided that if the high bidder was so much higher than the others, it must be because they provide better equipment and do better work. So, the decision was made to accept the highest bid.

 

Now, that’s just the beginning of the story. My friend went on to tell me how the following year, the church elders, pleased with the improvements to make the church more comfortable, felt it was worthy of an exterior makeover, as well. So, they decided to put aluminum siding over the weathered boards. The church spent a few thousand dollars to install the siding; but then, the following year, for whatever reason, they bricked over the siding. Wait a minute…is this a church or our government? Maybe they’ve been watching too many eHarmony commercials!

 





LET ME OUTTA HERE!

21 01 2018

 

Kids will be kids. http://www.cbc.ca

Last Wednesday morning it began to snow and the snow didn’t stop until it was nearly a foot deep. Or, as my good friend, Jim, would say, “axel deep to a Ferris wheel.” Then, true to form for the South, the next morning, the sun shined bright, the temperature rose to nearly sixty and everything began to melt. As you might imagine, after two days of unrelenting, copious melting, the ground is good and soggy.

 

So, today, Saturday, on my way to the store to do my weekly grocery shopping, I drove past a park and noticed there were a number of parents with their toddlers in the park. The little tykes were having a blast playing on the swings, sliding down the slides into the mud pool awaiting at the lower end, and doing what kids do in a park. I thought to myself, why would responsible parents bring their one, two and three-year olds to play in a park when the ground was so wet and muddy? Then (smack my forehead), like the floor when I fall, it hit me…these parents had been shut up in the house with these little hellions for three days and were at the end of their rope of tolerance. They were dying to get out of the house. Also, I’ll point out, this park was in one of the more “progressive” neighborhoods with “Resist” signs in the front yards of the older refurbished homes owned by young parents who believe spanking is a form of child abuse. Guess they figured they had better get out of the house before they snapped and betrayed their theory that little Aaron and Moonbeam should never experience spanking. Regardless of their parental theories, I can’t say as I blame them.

 





Idols and Statues

21 11 2017

Recently, I was having a conversation with one of my favorite people-one of my sons- about the statues that are being removed or destroyed all over the country. He wasn’t terribly concerned because, he felt that all statues are idols. A statue, like anything else, is what you make it. Statues are erected for many reasons; they commemorate historical events, or pay tribute to influential people. Many people view statues as art; some, as we are seeing in the news, view a statue as an object of hate; others see them as no more than a lump of granite or bronze without appreciating the talent required to make them. And, yes, there are some people who will worship statues. They have chosen to put an inanimate object before God. But, regardless as to how one might view a statue, it is a choice they made. So, yes, a statue can be an idol, but only if one chooses for it to be.

 

Merriam Webster defines idol as a representation or symbol of an object of worship. An idol is anything one puts before God. That could be a car or truck, a job, a craving for money, success or power and so on.

 

Not Exactly the Family Truckster

I once did safety consulting for Porsche. Inside a garage in the facility, awaiting delivery to their new owners, were two 918 Spyders, each valued at over one million dollars. That’s a lot of money to spend on a car and I’m glad for those who have the money to own one. I don’t, for one minute, begrudge anyone from enjoying such luxury. And I’m sure there are different reasons as to why one would spend a million dollars on a car. It may be because they like the feel of the car when sitting in the driver’s seat. You don’t drive a 918 Spyder-you wear it. The attitude of some may be, I have the money, why not enjoy it. But then there may be some who love their new Spyder…literally love it as much as they do their own family.

 

But it need not be a million dollar car that is the subject of one’s worship. When I was just a kid, around 12 years old, a particular school teacher at the local junior high school, and her husband, owned a Morris Minor. The Morris Minor was a British made car built from 1948 until the company stopped production in 1972.

 

I was in my front yard, along with a friend, and we were throwing a baseball. An errant throw went past my friend’s glove and sailed toward the street. At that moment, the school teacher, whom I was just about to meet for the first time, drove by in her Morris Minor. The ball bounced off the left rear fender and left a small dent. The teacher stopped the car, jumped out and looked at the dent. She then ran over toward me with a look on her face that said you just hit my 918 Spyder with a baseball. I could see her rage manifest by her cracking voice and the red moving from below her collar upward until it reached her hairline. She reminded me of an old Popeye cartoon in which Sinbad the Sailor squeezes Popeye until his head looks like a radish. She was extremely angry, but not as much as her husband, who was also a school teacher, was when he came to my house later that evening to voice his displeasure to my parents. He ranted about how long he had had that car and how much it meant to him. I remember hearing him say something about the car having 300,000 miles on it and how he had already…now I’m not making this up…bought a plot so when it finally died, he planned to have it buried. In other words, your object of worship need not be a million dollar car.

 

The Golden Calf

The Israelites grew impatient while waiting for Moses to come down from Mt. Sinai; so, they decided to take matters into their own hands and pooled their earrings, bracelets and other items of gold, and melted them down to cast into a calf. Now, they could have left it at that and things would have been okay, but when Moses returned to camp, he saw them dancing and paying homage to this idol-this false god, they had created. They could have placed it in the center of the camp, on a granite base, as a statue… not to worship, but to honor God, or even Moses for that matter. Or, Aaron, the ring leader, could have taken it home and used it as a door stop or used it as a paperweight. But no, they had to worship it. They reveled in it. They expected it to provide them with blessings they felt they weren’t getting from God. But that’s when things went downhill for these people.

 

An idol, regardless of the form it takes, is a choice. People choose to pursue worldly interests and ignore the one true God. People see hate or adoration in a statue. People put personal desires ahead of everything else in their lives. Worship the one true God and put your faith in Him. That will get you to heaven and make America great again.