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.

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No Longer A Prisoner

15 01 2018

Friday, January 12

Lib Mathews
February 5, 1928-January 14, 2018

Dying is not easy. We watched as my mother-in-law slipped in and out of sleep growing frailer by the minute. Sleep was a welcome respite from her struggle to breathe. A caravan of caregivers of every ilk streamed in and out of the hospital room. There were doctors, nurses, therapists; each using their skills to help her, yet knowing she was living her last hours.

 

During a lighter moment the previous day, a nurse practitioner came into her room to check her condition. In a firm loud voice, he asked, “How are you today, Mrs. Mathews? Do you know where you are?”

 

“In the hospital,” she squeaked out.

 

“Good. Do you know what year it is?” he bellowed.

 

“2018,” came her feeble response.

 

“Good, good,” he continued. “Who is the president, the President of the United States?”

 

She paused. You could tell the wheels were turning by her pleated brow and asking eyes.

 

In a weak voice, she replied, “I don’t remember his name but when the wind blows, his hair stands straight up like this,” she said while holding her hand on the top of her head with her fingers extending upward.

 

Saturday, January 13

It’s the end of a long day. Breathing comes harder. She is unable to hold her head up as my wife asks her what she would like for dinner. One need not be a medical professional to discern the steady and quick decline in her condition. I get the sense she is like a prisoner condemned to the gallows for execution who is ordering her last meal. She is, after all, a prisoner. She’ll never go home again. She’ll never feel the sun warm her face or enjoy family gatherings as she has in years past. She’s a prisoner to this bed…this room…this hospital. She’s a prisoner to time. Eighty-nine years of living have brought her to a point where she barely exists, manifest in a tired body, too weak to enjoy the freedom of mobility.

 

Sunday, January 14, 12:11PM

My wife’s brother calls from the hospital-she is gone. She is no longer a prisoner.

 





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.





Mary Had a Little Lamb 2.0

23 06 2017

Mary had a little lamb,

She didn’t have a dog.

She wrote about him every day,

And posted on her blog.

 

She wrote of how he followed her,

Everywhere that she would go,

And how she quickly grew annoyed,

By her constant sheep shadow.

 

She posted how he followed her,

To school against the rules,

And how the children laughed and played;

But the teacher ridiculed.

 

Then, one day, she hatched a plan,

To help her get away.

She tied a bow around his neck,

And sold him on e Bay.

 





The Piggy Poem

16 02 2017

Recently, I was invited to speak at a conference a couple hours drive away so, I grabbed one of our company cars to make the drive. Only problem was, the radio wasn’t working. This gave me two hours of road noise. I really don’t mind the silence because it gives me a chance to think. Sometimes, in times like that, I get creative thoughts. I was able to create the following poem which I call the Piggy Poem. The mind can be a crazy thing.

 

The Piggy Poem  

Five little piggyspiggie-toes

That’s one plus four

Each one smaller

Than the one next door

One is at the market

Another’s at home

While the third one’s eating roast beef

All alone

And the other two piggys

Are try’n to figure out

How a little piggy

Eats meat with no snout.

They keep them piggys hidden

Inside of a shoe

And they might let ‘em out

After a day or two.

And when they let them piggys out again

They’ll smell like little piggys

In a little piggy pen

Then piggy mom and piggy dad

Gonna say

How come you piggys smell so bad?

Then the piggys’ll say

Well you’ stink too

If you were living

Inside a shoe

So the lesson for piggy mom

And piggy pop

If you want your piggys to smell good

You gotta wear flip-flops.

piggy-1





Learn to Lose!

19 12 2016

In the aftermath of the recent presidential election, I have been amazed at the reaction of those who are grieving over the results. Many of those liberals, who claim to be so tolerant, are acting like children who just dropped their ice cream cones on the sidewalk. Protesting, crying, incapable of everyday living, even rioting has been their child-like reaction to a Trump victory. They simply cannot accept the fact that Hillary lost the election. And to make matters worse, universities, or bastions of liberalism, are pandering to their childish intolerance by providing support groups, counseling, therapy dogs and even cancelling final exams.

Time Out

Time Out

 

I believe the grief of many is real, but that doesn’t justify such childish behavior. Instead, it begs the question, why? Why have these children of all ages gotten so upset that they need therapy? The answer is simple. When they, and in many cases, their parents and professors, were just munchkins running around the soccer or baseball field, there were parents and coaches insisting, we don’t keep score. There are no winners and losers. Everyone is a winner. Everyone gets a trophy.

 

Here’s the Biblical truth…you reap what you sow and you have sown, with your liberal, no-loser dogma, a generation of young people, many of  whom never learned how to lose. And, our so-called institutions of higher learning are merely perpetuating this deception. Newsflash…in life, you won’t always win. Someone has to finish second, third…last. Only one applicant will get the job. Where will your support group be when you are turned down for a car or home loan? Where will your therapy dog be when the jerk in the next cubicle gets your promotion? Will your professor be there to help you through your anger and grief when your vacation hotel tells you they have a no pets policy so you can’t take Daisy, the dachshund, along on your trip to Hawaii? It makes no difference who you are, you can’t always have your way; and, those who don’t learn that have some hard times ahead. They will one day learn that those thirty-seven participation trophies in their parents’ attic won’t even get them an empty Starbucks cup.





Following in the Footsteps of My Twin

18 12 2016

Where does this fall on your weird-o-meter? Last week I was doing work for a company in Jackson, Tennessee. Jackson is a small town about halfway between Memphis and Nashville. Because of the distance back to either airport, I planned to complete the work and drive back to a hotel near the airport so I could fly back home the following morning. I chose to fly into Memphis because I knew, from past experience, given the location of the two airports, driving back to the Memphis airport would be much easier.

 

On Tuesday night, my second night in town, I went to what turned out to be a diamond in the rough. It was an Italian restaurant named Baudo’s. Baudo’s isn’t much to look at from the outside, but the food was really good. Anyway, the hostess seated me at a small table off to the side of the dining room. Only seconds after being seated, a perky, young waitress came bebopping out of the kitchen toward me like she had just gotten to work. Actually, she had. I was her first customer. That’s one of the advantages of getting old. You get out to eat early, before the server has been worn down by demanding customers and 500 trips back and forth into the kitchen.

 

“Welcome back!” she said, cheerfully.

 

I told her this was my first time at Baudo’s.

 

“Well there was a guy here last night who sat in this same seat and looked exactly like you. You have a twin.”

 

Okay, there’s nothing unusual about that. I’ve always had people tell me I look like so and so. When I was younger, it was Dan Rather. Then as I got a little older, people told me I looked like Martin Sheen. So, I wasn’t very surprised at this.

 

Then I ordered my dinner…salad with house dressing and veal piccata with mashed potatoes.

 

“That’s exactly what your twin had last night,” she told me.

 

Now, that seemed a little odd but still not that big a deal.

 

The next day, I completed the work and made the two-hour drive to my hotel near the Memphis airport. It was actually in Southaven, Mississippi, about 8 miles south of the airport.

 

Even though I was surrounded by a plethora of restaurants, I decided, for a number of reasons, to stay in and just eat at the hotel restaurant.

 

The waitress was a generation older than the waitress back at Baudo’s, but no less energetic. I forget what they called it, but I ordered a cheeseburger with roasted red bell peppers and onions. About halfway through the burger, which I highly recommend, the waitress came by to check on me.

 

“Is it as good as last night?” she asked.

 

For a second, I wasn’t sure how to respond. Then I told her I hadn’t been there the night before. In fact, I had never been to that hotel before.

 

“Well there was a man here last night, sat right there where you’re sitting and had the exact same thing.”

 

Now that’s a little on the weird side. I was afraid I was going to return home the next day only to have my wife ask me if I enjoyed the back rub she gave me the night before!!