Shall We All Walk in Lockstep?

I remember an Apple commercial from the 1984 Super Bowl. In it, a crowd of drone like listeners were watching a dictator like leader on a screen as he droned on about what they needed to do, to think, etc. Suddenly, in walked a person with a hammer who shattered the screen and set everyone free. The whole point was about not being in lockstep, about being an individual, a free thinker. It was an extremely popular commercial and is pointed to as the commercial that started the fad of watching Super Bowl Commercials.

Now we have this Phil Robertson controversy. I don’t think I need to review the situation, because unless you have been under a rock, you know about it.  Suffice to say that he stated his beliefs about homosexuality by saying he thought it was a sin. He didn’t say that Gays should be shunned, killed, or even viewed negatively. He even said he was not here to judge. BOOM. GLAAD and A&E ( the network that Phil’s show, Duck Dynasty, is on) loads up their knee jerk reaction cannons and with READY, FIRE, AIM accuracy,  condemns and then suspends Phil from the show.  ( By the way, I would have more respect for A&E if they had canceled the show. Being the money grubbing cowards they are, they took this step to save their weak kneed asses. At least if they had canceled the program they would have shown that their money was where their so-called principles were. )

Regardless, the message is clear from GLAAD. GLAAD, a group who should support an individual’s right to think and act as an individual; a group who should encourage differences and acceptance of differences; a group who really shouldn’t give a DAMN about what others think about them or their members.  This is a group who should understand the bravery in stating one’s opinions and going against the grain. NOPE. Their point is, agree with us totally or else. Support our lifestyle completely or else.  Think in lockstep with us or else.  Or else, or else, or else.

I have gay friends. I don’t know what ALL of their opinions are about this. I have seen several of them who have posted on message boards. The funny thing is that they don’t agree with Phil being suspended. They understand that it is just AN OPINION. They understand that he can’t control how they feel about themselves, what they do, how they live any more than they can do the same to him. They haven’t given him that power and they don’t want that power over him. They are people who understand how it is to NOT be in lockstep with everyone else. They understand that they will never get 100% acceptance from everyone about how they live any more than anyone else can. We ALL do things others don’t agree with. That’s the BEAUTY of living in a FREE country where you can think for yourself.  All they, like all of us ask for, is that no one does HARM to us because of what we believe.

Apparently, A&E and GLAAD didn’t get that memo. Apparently, they haven’t seen the 1984 APPLE commercial about being an individual.  I suggest they take a look at it, because we don’t want to be in lockstep with them, or anyone else.

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I Don’t Need Your Approval and You Don’t Need Mine…

Alright. Today was the day I finally had enough. The whole Phil Roberston and A&E Network thing sent me over the edge. A man comes out, in an interview, states his views about homosexuality based on his religious views, even says he doesn’t judge people because of it, and, in a knee jerk reaction, he get’s “suspended” by the network. Of course, the outrage from the Conservative community ( of which I am part) is followed up by the support of A&E by the Progressive community. Let the hypocrisy begin. This is what we have come to in this country. Before I get into my views too much, let me share what I have heard from both sides.

First, the Conservative side.
1. Phil said this in an interview when he was asked a question. He did not volunteer the information until he was asked.
2. He did not condemn homosexuality, he said that in his view it isn’t normal and he doesn’t accept it. He also said he didn’t accept other things like promiscuity, prostitution, etc.
3. He did not claim to be saint, in fact he discussed his checkered past.
4. He left judgment up to God.
5. A&E knows what Phil is, what he believes, and they still choose to make a lot of money off of his show.
6. He has a right to Freedom of Speech.
Now, the Progressive side:
1. You have a right to your opinion but that doesn’t mean your opinion doesn’t have consequences.
2. Celebrities should be held to a higher standard when it comes to Freedom of Speech. They can’t say what they want because they are in the public forum.

3. This makes Gay and Lesbian people feel bad.

4. This is not a freedom of speech issue.

5. His opinions make him a homophobe.

Okay, so with all of that out in the open, let’s move forward. Let’s talk about freedom of speech and freedom of association first. It used to be that when people said things you didn’t like you would say, ” Okay, that guys a jerk. I am not going to hang out with him, watch his show, buy his stuff, etc. ” Then you would move on with your life, forget about it. You may say something about it, but then that was it. He got to live his life and you got to live yours. Not now. Now, when someone says something you don’t like, you have to get him fired, file a lawsuit, or go curl up in the corner with your jammies and pacifier because you just can’t get over the fact that he said it. The purveyors of political correctness have made us a nation of people who just can’t accept diversity of viewpoints. It’s just like the guy with the Obama/Biden bumper sticker on his car. It pisses me off. Every day when I run I give that bumper sticker the finger. But, it doesn’t ruin my life. I don’t ask him to take it off. I don’t tell the town that he shouldn’t be allowed to have that bumper sticker on his car because it pisses me off.  If I ever meet that guy, I probably won’t want to hang out with him because I have a feeling he and I will disagree A LOT.

Okay, Progressives will say, but that’s not an example of someone using “hate speech” against a group. Alright, let’s talk about ” hate speech.” I understand that racial and lifestyle slurs should not be used. We all get that. However, nowadays you can’t even say the name of certain cities without being called a racist. Just ask Al Sharpton and any other MSNBC host. So, the definition of ” hate speech” has now been stretched to include anything you say that I don’t like or don’t think I like. The Progressive left has gotten quite good at making anything a Conservative says hate speech. They call them ” dog whistles.” So, now, whenever a Conservative speaks, according to Progressives, it’s hate speech. So, if I wanted to, by Progressive edict, I could call that bumper sticker “hate speech” against me, a middle aged white woman. By the way, if we want, we can claim that calling someone a “stupid redneck” is hate speech. Yes, those tolerant Progressives who said that used hate speech.

Now, where does it say in the Constitution that famous people don’t have freedom of speech? I didn’t see that exemption. Now, I will agree that politicians should watch what they say. They want us to vote for them after all. And, I do agree that the Secretary of Education shouldn’t single out “White suburban moms”  as the ones who don’t like Common Core because “their kids aren’t as smart as they think they are.” I mean, insert the word “black” for white in that comment and you have a national incident.  He should be able to keep his stupid comments in check.  I also agree that the President should not comment about potential crimes because the alleged victim ” looks like he could be my ( his) son.”  These comments appear that the government, tax paid official favors one group over another. Aren’t they all serve ALL the people? I also think that certain liberal Senators should not call their opponents terrorists, slave owners, bigots, racists, etc. These comments are not conducive to polite political discourse.

As to your opinion having consequences. I agree. But there is a difference between calling your boss an asshole and getting fired versus saying something about your religious beliefs and getting fired. Especially when the people hiring you KNOW your opinions and basically hired you because of them.  By the way, I don’t just include Phil Robertson in this. Alec Baldwin, while stupid and arrogant, should not have been fired for a comment made in public while he was not on the air. Bill Maher, while a total jerk, should not be fired for saying stupid things on his HBO show. If you don’t like what they say, don’t watch. Flip the channel. Move on.  They have said things much worse than what Phil would ever think of saying. If their ratings go down enough, they will end up off the air anyway.

Let’s address the homophobe comment. This is trotted out every single time someone says they don’t agree with the Gay and Lesbian lifestyle. It’s like the “racist” label. They use it because they KNOW it will shut down any conversation or diversity of viewpoints. Just because I don’t like something doesn’t mean I fit those labels. I have been called a racist for not agreeing with President Obama. I didn’t agree with Clinton either, but somehow that didn’t make me a racist. But, because Obama is half black, that changes the whole paradigm. ( By the way, which half am I racist against????). It’s actually okay to disagree with people who are different from you without being labeled in this way. Phil didn’t say that gays should be stoned, shunned, or discriminated against. He just said he didn’t approve of their lifestyle. Horrors. He also doesn’t approve of infidelity.

I think what we have forgotten in this country is the main gist of my blog. I don’t need your approval and you don’t need mine. If you want to be gay, be gay. I don’t need to approve. If I want to be heterosexual, I will. I don’t need your approval. I also don’t need your approval to be a Conservative Catholic who has my set of values that you may agree or disagree with. If you don’t like what I believe in, that’s fine.  You can go ahead and live your life and I will live mine. I choose my friends on a variety of factors, none of which are their sexual preference or even their religious views.  I will defend your right to your opinions and I hope you will defend mine. More important, let’s defend the right to have a true diversity of ideas in this country. Agree to disagree, but don’t let’s not shut each other up. If we do that, we have become exactly what we don’t want to be.

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What I Learned This Week

I have learned some interesting things this week. I really didn’t expect to have so much going on except for cleaning at home and working at the local high school. I knew that there was a lot going on in the news, but didn’t really consider what affect that would have on how people would respond to each other. I guess I should have known since it was the same last year around the election. I should have remembered but I wanted to forget.

One thing I learned is that because I am retired there are people who think they support me. Mind you, I am living off my retirement earned from 31 years of teaching along with my husband’s salary, but somehow there are people out there who feel I am equivalent to those on public assistance. Never mind that I contributed to my retirement, paid taxes on it once and am paying taxes on it again. Never mind that I have to pay medical insurance out of that. They REALLY think that I am living off their tax dollars. So, I am going to put this in BIG letters for them.

RETIREMENT IS SOMETHING YOU EARN FROM WORKING AND CONTRIBUTING. Welfare, food stamps etc, are what you are GIVEN because you can’t make it without public help, whether it’s because you have bad circumstances or you just don’t feel like supporting yourself. Can we PLEASE get that straight?

The second thing I learned is that our President can negotiate with terrorists, the Russians, the Iranians, but NOT Republicans. He doesn’t feel he has to negotiate because, darn it, he’s pissed at the Republicans. He feels that his election means that he gets everything he wants. Did he forget that Republicans were also elected to represent their constituents? Did that part of the structure of the government escape him while he was at the fancy college? You know, the one where he learned about our 57 states? Did he forget that bothersome part of the Constitution that says all funding bills for the government originate in the House of Representatives?  Or is he just an arrogant narcissist with tendencies toward dictating? I think I know.

I also learned that he can get rid of or ignore any law HE doesn’t like, but that Congress has to blindly accept any law THEY don’t like. Somehow, laws passed by the Democrat led Senate HAVE TO BE permanent. Laws passed during the Bush era are temporary.  You know, like the drug and immigration laws. Oh, and I love the part where laws don’t apply to them. No sir.

I knew that Democrats were hypocrites, but this week I learned that Mr. Obama is one of the worst. He was the one who said during the Bush presidency, that raising the debt limit was unpatriotic. My how things have changed.  ( Oh, and Democrats, if you want to start quoting spending during the Bush years, may I remind you that Madame Pelosi was in charge of the House during that time.)

I learned that liberals don’t give a darn who gives their talking points as long as they agree with them. For example, they like to quote the fake Indian from Massachusetts, Elizabeth Warren, regarding the budget resolution. They will believe a woman who falsely claimed to be an American Indian in order to get into school when she says it’s all about Republicans being against free birth control. Hey, just because she lied about her ethnic background to serve her selfish purposes doesn’t mean she can’t tell the truth now, right?

Oh, and liberals, just because she said it, let me say it’s not at all about birth control. As far as I am concerned, that provision of the health care law isn’t even worth thinking about in the larger order of things. It’s about being forced to purchase a product or be penalized, about my health care costs going up while my coverage will go down, about how the law was “passed” by reconciliation with no debate by Harry Reid and his minions, and about the government having control of such a large part of our lives.  It’s also about not being able to afford it as a country.

I learned that liberals, when they have NO argument, still continue to resort to hurling insults. Facts have no meaning to them. Quite frankly, they are INSULTED by facts. I guess facts are racist. Just like anyone who quotes them.  A conversation with a liberal goes like this:

Me: Obama care has cost us so many jobs already. Businesses are only hiring part time employees because of Obamacare.

Liberal: Racist! You hate Obama! You hate Black people!

Me: No, but I am seeing my health insurance rates skyrocket. I am concerned that our country cannot afford this.

Liberal : Racist, you want black and Hispanic people to die.

Me: Today is Tuesday.

Liberal: You hate black and Hispanic people on Tuesdays! Racist! I think you hate Gay people too.

Me: Really? Just because I have an opinion that differs from you? I thought you liberals were tolerant.

Liberal: Republican c**t. ( Actually the word the person cleverly made up was “republic**t )

Unfortunately, I know some people who will take me to task over these lessons. They will tell me I don’t have a right to my opinions. They may not continue to be friends. Oh well.

Finally, I learned one last lesson. This lesson was that even though 60% of the people in this country don’t want Obama care, there is only one person’s opinion that matters. We know who that is. Can’t wait till HE’s  retired. The one difference is that he will not have contributed one dime to his retirement. Not one.

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D Day…

D Day….

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D Day…

Dad

Today is the commemoration of D Day. For those of you who
don’t know what that was, it was a key battle that helped turn the tide of
World War II. Against all odds, the men of D Day stormed the beach at Normandy.
They did it in the name of our country and yes, their faith in God. On this
day, I want to remind everyone that these men never questioned their service,
the danger to them, or how hard things would be.

They didn’t say, ” Not
me, I’m not going to do it,” or “It’s not my job.” They didn’t
ask for free “stuff” from their country. They didn’t say, ” What
difference does it make?”

Our leaders didn’t say, ” Hey, I just found
out about this when you did, from the news.” They didn’t go to sleep while
the battle was on. They didn’t say, ” It’s someone else’s fault.” They would have moved heaven and earth to protect their men and women and bring them home if they could.
They didn’t plead the 5th. Above all, NONE of the people involved used the
pronoun ” I” to describe the glory of their service. They gave credit
to others and to God, ( because at that time, it was not a court martial
offense to talk about faith while in uniform.) Not many of these brave souls are
still alive, but I guarantee that those that are and those who have passed are
sad to see the state of our country and the dishonesty and lack of moral
clarity of our leaders. They are praying now, praying that those of us who
value their sacrifice WILL NOT succumb to the soft tyranny of the administration and the Washington beauracracy. They stood up with courage and conviction. We should do the same.

I write this is honor of my father, William F. Miller, who was a veteran of WWII and spent a lifetime in the Air Force. He never talked about his service, didn’t show pictures of himself to make others impressed. He just did what he needed to do.  He never said, ” I, I, I…” like so many people do now.

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It’s Irrelevant….

Thanks to the Obama Administration and its spokespeople ( and Obama himself) I now have a new strategy anytime anything occurs in my life that I don’t like or that I want to ignore. It’s a simple answer….it’s irrelevant. You know, the same answer that officials of the Administration gave for questions about where the President was during Benghazi and whether or not the IRS broke any laws in singling out Conservative groups to block from tax exempt status.

Here are some examples.

I’m on Route 50 going 75 mph. A cop pulls me over. ” Ma’am,” he says, ” The speed limit here is 55.”

“That’s irrelevant,” I’ll respond. “What the law says about the speed limit is irrelevant.”

I’m sure the cop will understand. After all, if it’s good enough for the IRS to tell me the law isn’t relevant, it will work for me. Do you think I could use that line to avoid paying taxes? HMMMMM…..

Here is another example.

Let’s say that I have been asked by a friend of mine to watch their purse while they go to the bathroom. While watching the purse, I decide to go grab a cup of coffee at the counter. After all, I am tired. When my friend comes back and discovers her purse is gone, she may ask me where I was when it was taken. ‘Irrelevant.” I will answer. ” Totally irrelevant.”

Another version of “It’s irrelevant” is a personal favorite of mine. It was uttered by Hilary Clinton when she was asked why the Americans in Benghazi were killed. “What difference does it make?” was her answer. Let’s go back to driving. Suppose I have a fender bender with someone and my insurance company asks me why it happened. “What difference can that possibly make?” I’ll answer.” A fender is damaged whether it’s because of icy roads, neglegence on my part, or maybe I just wanted to hit that other car. Fenders are still dented.” I’m sure the insurance company will understand.

While not a version of either of those answers, I also plan on using the total ignorance response Obama uses for every situation. That’s such a good one because no matter what happens, I can just say I didn’t know about it or that I JUST found out about it right now.

Or maybe I could just blame all my shortcomings on Bush…..

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Special People…

It’s not very often that you meet people who impact your life so profoundly that they become the touchpoint that you use every so often to pull yourself out of an attitude about a bad situation. Sometimes, these people are obviously there, are in and out of your life, and you don’t even realize the jewel that those people are.

I had known Liz Haslup’s family when she was young ( her name was Abbott then). I taught her sister Suzie during my second year of teaching. We met up later on when she and I worked together as teachers. Ultimately, we ended up sharing an office space in the central office of the Talbot County Public Schools. We were curriculum specialists who shared details of our lives, our childrens lives, and the situations of our job. I respected Liz because she had so many of the qualities I aspired to; hard working, intelligent, positive, well liked, and well respected among her peers. Her son Charlie and my daughter are both the same age and both athletes. We used to joke that someday they might become good friends or even more. The “even more” didn’t happen, but it was fun to think about that then. ( They are friends, however.) Her husband, Dave, had been a sports star in his years at Easton High School and in college. At some point, he played modified fast pitch at the same time as my husband, Jimmy. We enjoyed being friends.

I was there working next to her that day that Dave started having problems. I remember Liz talking about how he was having some trouble slurring his words and driving. At the time, they thought it might have been a mini-stroke. Liz discussed how doctors were going to run some tests. I remember thinking at the time that it probably was something small that they would figure out and things would be fine. I’m sure Liz and Dave thought that also. Liz kept plugging away at work. You would never have known that anything was wrong.

I was also there the day that Liz found out the ultimate diagnosis. ALS. Lou Gehrig’s disease. I’ll never forget how she bravely told those of us in the office the news. If it had been me, I would have been a puddle on the floor. Liz was strong and said, ” It is what it is. We’ll get through it.”

As the years went on, the disease progressed. There were visits to Johns Hopkins, medical techniques and advances tried, hope and then lack of hope. I stopped working next to Liz as I left the central office and went back to the school level. We promised to keep in touch, but didn’t see each other much. As things got tougher with Dave, I would see constant updates on Dave’s condition on Caring Bridge, an internet site where loved ones can share messages about those in critical medical circumstances. Their son and my daughter grew up, entered high school. I would see Liz and Dave occaisionally at a baseball game. He was always there in his wheel chair with a warm blanket on him. Year after year, his condition was deteriorating. Through it all, Liz kept a positive attitude. Her line of inspiration was to “find the silver,” meaning to find the silver lining behind the clouds. Again, if it had been me I would have been a mess. She turned her energies into taking care of Dave, thanking friends who helped them, and keeping a positive message going to all of us.

Eventually after a very long, brave battle, ALS took Dave Haslup. His ordeal was over. His fight was an inspiration to so many. His son, Charlie, grew up to be a strong young man his father was extremely proud of. Dave got to see Charlie in the Yankees uniform as a member of the Yankee farm team.  I wondered about Liz, how her life would change. What would she do now that Dave was gone?

I don’t talk to Liz much, but I see her posts on Facebook. As well as continuing to do an amazing job at work, she continues to post strong positive messages for all of us. She also runs the Dave Haslup/Lou Gehrig Athletic Scholarship Foundation! They just completed their 10th Annual/1st Memorial Golf Tournament plus a fund raiser at Chili’s.

I don’t see her enough. But, every time I see a positive post on Facebook from her, it helps me put things in perspective. If Liz can find the silver, so can I. I told her she needs to write a book about her and Dave so that those of us who don’t realize how wonderful life is might figure it out. I hope she does!

If you want to donate to this scholarship fund which helps students in Caroline/Talbot County pay for education at Chesapeake College, here is the info:

Dave Haslup/Lou Gehrig Athletic Scholarship Foundation, c/o Midshore Community Foundation,  102 East Dover Street  Easton, MD 21601

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