Friday, March 30, 2012

I Have A Dream vs. Ain't A D_ _ _ Thing Changed?...

For those who know me, you know I am pretty mellow guy. But today I am enraged! First, let me tell you a little bit about myself. I am a 43 year old Christian, conservative, black, male musician. I was raised by my parents to treat all people based on their actions as opposed to their ethnicity or any other factor. I was raised to treat them from the biblical mindset of do unto others as you would have them do unto you. And to lead with love because god loves them. My wife is white. My daughters are white. (I guess that makes them my "step daughters", but we don't use that term in our life. I just don't want any confusion.) My son is mulatto. "Mulatto denotes a person with one white parent and one black parent, or more broadly, a person of mixed black and white ancestry." That's me and my world.

I was listening to Dennis Prager speak about the Trayvon Martin case on his radio show and I was reminded of how far we've come as a nation and how much we have refused to acknowledge. He cited figures from a recent Juan Williams (who is black) article.

Here is a portion:
"The most recent comprehensive study on black-on-black crime from the Justice Department should have been a clarion call for the black community to take action. There is no reason to believe that the trends it reported have decreased since 2005, the year for which the data were reported.

Almost one half of the nation's murder victims that year were black and a majority of them were between the ages of 17 and 29. Black people accounted for 13% of the total U.S. population in 2005. Yet they were the victims of 49% of all the nation's murders. And 93% of black murder victims were killed by other black people, according to the same report.

Less than half of black students graduate from high school. The education system's failure is often a jail sentence or even a death sentence. The Orlando Sentinel has reported that 17-year-old Martin was recently suspended from his high school. According to the U.S. Department of Education's Civil Rights Office, in the 2006-07 school year, 22% of all black and Hispanic K-12 students were suspended at least once (as compared to 5% of whites).

This year 22% of blacks live below the poverty line and a shocking 72% of black babies are born to unwed mothers. The national unemployment rate for black people increased last month to over 13%, nearly five points above the average for all Americans.

The killing of any child is a tragedy. But where are the protests regarding the larger problems facing black America?"

His killing IS a terrible tragedy. But those are frightening figures. Back to Dennis Prager. The thrust of his conversation was about the reaction to the Trayvon Martin killing. The "Hoodie Protest". We don't know if the shooter is a racist. He may well be. Time (I pray) will tell us what really happened and why. Glorifying thug life as the ideal for young black men is not the answer. And the figures above show at least two huge issues in the black community. Blacks are MUCH MORE LIKELY to kill each other than be killed by all other racial groups combined. 93% of black murder is black on black murder. 72% percent of all back babies are born to unwed mothers. These two problems alone dwarf whatever lingering problem of bigotry we face in our nation. Those figures should be generating protest. Sadly there will ALWAYS be racism. But the problem is no where near the top of the list of obstacles to blacks or any other minority in the US.

Like I said, I am a musician. I am a full-time musician in a small market during a bad economic period. I live in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. Not the blackest of environments nor a media center. My wife is white, my daughters are occasionally blonde, my son is obviously mixed and I am making a living. I have not been attacked or harassed, turned down for employment or anything of that nature. When I was in Idaho with my wife I did get bad to funny looks in the supermarket. The looks stopped...when I took off my Lakers hat! I was still black at that point. In my lifetime, I literally know that I have gotten jobs in my one area of expertise and professional grade talent, at least in part, because I AM BLACK. This has been both because I can do the job AND because these organizations (some of them very white and conservative) not only don't have a problem with black people but are OFTEN very specifically looking for cultural diversity. We (black people) are 12.6% of the population and we are a major force is most aspects of pop culture. I hear that even the President of the United States is widely considered to be black. (His mother is white, his father is black.) You can't tell me "Ain't a
d_ _ _  thing changed!"

Things are by no means perfect in America but I would rather be here in this day and age as a black
an than anywhere else. Again, I was raised not to care about what color someone is. And I have lived my life that way. I have had the "N" word yelled at me in public twice in my lifetime. Before marriage, and at a very platonic point in our relationship, we went to an IHOP in Pasadena. Mind you this was a VERY platonic time in our history. We got daggers from the black family that came in at the same time. No chemistry, no contact between us. Two obvious friends going to IHOP. And I have been in the South with my wife and called "Sir" by white men older than me. This was not in the city. It was a backwoods fish fry joint. We honeymooned at Disney World (theoretically in the South) and had no funny looks or incidence of any kind. And upon returning to San Diego a black waitress wouldn't acknowledge my wife at all and the table of black women behind us talked about us with said waitress the whole time we were there. I have been in Atlanta walking around the underground City with two white friends and gotten looks from both races of "What are ya'll doin?" Not aggressive just puzzled. 6 years later I went back with my wife and the four of us went up state and around town and not a look. Maybe this is my fault for taking my parents at their word and example and just dealing with people based on how they are. But race has never meant anything to me. Do I love who I am? Yes, I do. I love being a black man, it's been great for me. I love being from "my people". But my default setting is love everybody. It's just how I am. And I am not hating on anyone, but in my experience, I have seen more racism from blacks than whites. Ain't a d_ _ _  thing changed? No, THAT IS a change and it is a change that Reverend King would give his life (again) to see reversed.

The words of the Reverend Martin Luther King Jr.

"Go back to Mississippi, go back to Alabama, go back to South Carolina, go back to Georgia, go back to Louisiana, go back to the slums and ghettos of our northern cities, knowing that somehow this situation can and will be changed. Let us not wallow in the valley of despair.
I say to you today, my friends, so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream.

I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: "We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal."

I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.

I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.

I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.

I have a dream today.

I have a dream that one day, down in Alabama, with its vicious racists, with its governor having his lips dripping with the words of interposition and nullification; one day right there in Alabama, little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers.

I have a dream today."

Let's truly make that dream come true.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

... and how was your day?

Famous last words...and how was YOUR day? You just never know what someone's was like. So I figure, you can almost never go wrong by trying to make someone's day. When given the opportunity to breathe life or death into someone's existence, breathe life! You never know if you may be pulling someone back from the ledge. So just assume that if you don't have a reason to make them squirm or tow the line they would be better off with something to make them smile. By the way, YOU are looking particularly fit today.  Did you know you are one of my favorite people on the planet?  There are people you know that just make you smile when you think of them. YOU CAN BE THAT PERSON! Have a great time being sunshine on cloudy days!

In fact, now that I think about it, tell us who makes you smile the most! 

Monday, March 26, 2012

Don't forget...Spc. Dennis Weichel, we remember you.

It seems that these days in the USA, we only hear about the military when something goes wrong. When a soldier snaps, it's news around the world. When our troops make a PR error by doing something to a Koran what our enemies would gladly do to US and our Bibles or magazines and the list goes on, if our military didn't stand in their way, it's news. And sure, when there is a huge, obvious victory like the take down of Bin Laden, it's news. But EVERYDAY these brave men and women are in harms way to protect you and me, our families and our right to speak our minds without fear, in a way not possible around the world.

I just received word of this soldier's story.
Spc. Dennis Weichel


This is an amazing story that you need to see, but chances are that if you only see and hear from the mainstream media sources like MSNBC and Newsweek, you'll never hear about stories like this.

The media only wants to report negative stories about our troops and their mission in Afghanistan.Positive stories don't fit the media narrative - they're trying to convince you that we're losing the war on terror - and positive stories undermine that message. But good things are happening as a result of our troops and their selfless sacrifice and tireless work.

This story is about one American - Spc. Dennis Weichel - who CARED SO MUCH that he was willing to sacrifice himself - without hesitation - for an Afghan child who he didn't even know...because it was the right thing to do. His sacrifice is a testament to the goodness and compassion of the American soldier, unmatched throughout the world.

Most of the children moved, but one little girl went back to pick up some brass shell casings in the road. Afghan civilians often recycle the casings, and the girl appeared to aim to do that...according to Lt. Col. Denis Riel of the Rhode Island National Guard.

...Weichel saw the massive truck bearing down on the girl and grabbed her out of the way. But in the process, the truck ran him over, Riel said.

The little girl is fine. Weichel died a short time later of his injuries.

“He was a big kid at heart. He always had a smile on his face, and he made everyone laugh,” 1st Sgt. Nicky Peppe, who served with Weichel in Iraq, is quoted as saying in an Army story.

That is just one of the most recent stories of how our military personnel conduct themselves in the field.

Whether they are in active fighting overseas or if they are stateside they are out there defending us and they deserve our respect, support and appreciation! Please do not disrespect them even and maybe especially if you don't agree with whatever their particular mission is. They are out there defending your right to dissent!

To all those serving in the U.S Armed Forces: Thank you for protecting my family and my freedom! You are doing what so many of us can't or won't do and we love, appreciate, respect and again THANK YOU! GOD BLESS AND KEEP YOU AND BRING YOU HOME SAFE! For those who have been wounded WE THANK AND SUPPORT YOU!! GOD BLESS HEAL AND PROVID FOR YOU!! And for the families of those who have given their all THANK YOU FOR YOUR SACRIFICE! WE REMEMBER AND APPRECIATE YOUR LOVED ONE WHO GAVE THEIR ALL! GOD BLESS YOU AND COMFORT YOU!  TO ALL THOSE PAST AND PRESENT, LIVING AND FALLEN WE REMEMBER YOU!! We love you, we thank you, we DO remember you!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

If I Were The Devil by Paul Harvey

Some things speak for themselves. So I will let this do so...

If I were the Devil...

If I were the prince of darkness

I'd want to engulf the whole world in darkness

And I'd have a third of its real estate and 4/5th of its population.

But I wouldn't be happy until I'd seized the ripest apple on the tree: THEE

So I'd set about, however necessary, to take over the United States.

I'd subvert the churches first.

I'd begin with a campaign of whispers. With the wisdom of a serpent I would whisper to you as I whispered to Eve: do as you please.

To the young I would whisper that the Bible is a myth.

I would convince them that man created God, instead of the other way around.

I would confide that what's bad is good and what's good is square.

And the old I would teach to pray after me, "Our Father, which art in Washington."

And then I'd get organized.

I'd educate authors in how to make lurid literature exciting so that anything else would appear dull and uninteresting. I'd threaten TV with dirtier movies and vice versa.

I'd peddle narcotics to whom I could. I'd sell alcohol to ladies & gentlemen of distinction.

I'd tranquilize the rest with pills.

If I were the devil, I'd soon have families at war with themselves, churches at war with themselves, & nations at war with themselves, until each, in its turn, was consumed.

And with promises of higher ratings, I'd have mezmerizing media fanning the flames.

If I were the devil I would encourage schools to refine young intellects but neglect to discipline emotions...Just let those run wild until before you knew it, you'd have to have drug-sniffing dogs and metal detectors at every school house door.

Within a decade I'd have prisions overflowing.

I'd have judges promoting pornography.

Soon I could evict God from the courthouse, then from the school house, and then from the houses of Congress.

And in his own churches, I would subsittue psychology for religion and deify science.

I would lure priests and pastors into misusing boys & girls & church money.

If I were the devil I'd make the symbol of Easter an egg, & the symbol of Christmas, a bottle.

If I were the devil I'd take from those who have and give to those who wanted until I had killed the incentive of the ambitious.

And what'll you bet?! I couldn't get whole states to promote gambling [disguised as a lottery] as the way to get rich.

I would caution against extremes in hard work, in patriotism, in moral conduct.

I would convince the young that marriage is old-fashioned; that swinging is more fun; that what you see on TV is the way to be. And thus I could undress you in public & I could lure you into bed with diseases for which there is no cure.

In other words, if I were the devil, I'd just keep right on doing what he's doing. Paul Harvey, good day!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Just be nice, ALL OF YOU!!!!!

In the words of Rodney King, Can't we all just get along?" Politics has always been messy and mean I am sure. But what an age we live in. That said, I do believe there is a bit more verbal bombing coming from one side as opposed to the other. I could be wrong but I don't know of  an instance where a liberal has been called out for demeaning language to the degree that conservatives always seem to be for lesser language. As reported by "Truck Driver" on FB here is a bit of disparity in media scrutiny. It's old news now so maybe we can have some reasoned discussion, now that we've all cooled off. Please discuss.
Truck Driver 
Now, here’s a rundown of some demeaning language used by Bill Maher in just a nine day period last March:

■ On March 18, 2011, Maher, on his HBO show Real Time, employed a crude term for a female body part when talking about Sarah Palin: “Sarah Palin finally heard what happened in Japan, and she’s demanding that we invade Tsunami. I mean, she says, ‘These Tsunamians will not get away with this.’ Oh speaking of dumb twats....”

■ A week later, on his March 25 show, Maher insulted Palin and Michele Bachman as “bimbos.” Talking about the GOP field, Maher argued: “If Bachmann and Palin get in, that’s two bimbos, and then there’s Mitt Romney, a millionaire, and Newt Gingrich, a professor. We just need a skipper and a buddy – we’ve got Gilligan’s Island.”

■ Two days after that, on March 28, Maher employed the C-word in talking about Palin during a show in Dallas. According to a favorable review in the Dallas Voice: “It’s that fearlessness — he acknowledged that some people would probably be uncomfortable with some of his remarks about religion, not to mention calling Sarah Palin a ‘cunt’ (‘there’s just no other word for her’) — that makes Maher the most dangerous person in comedy.”

But none of this prompted any of the scolding that has greeted Limbaugh’s transgression. In fact, in the days and months that followed, CNN and MSNBC cheerfully included Maher a dozen times as a guest in their line-up. Only Chuck Todd, filling for Chris Matthews on Hardball, brought up Maher’s vicious comments just one day after the day after his Dallas event: “Any regrets on what you said?”

Maher, predictably, said he wasn’t sorry: “I’m not trying to hurt somebody’s feelings. But if you want me to say ‘I’m sorry, what I said was wrong,’ no, sorry, I can’t go there.”

These demeaning comments have not caused the news networks to sour on Maher, as he continues to make regular appearances and receive pats on the back from CNN and MSNBC hosts:

■ On March 22, 2011 — in the midst of his storm of nasty comments about conservative women, Maher appeared on CNN’s In the Arena. Host Eliot Spitzer did not ask about Maher’s “dumb twat” insult of Palin from four days earlier, or pose any hostile questions to Maher. Spitzer ended by genuflecting: “Your show is brilliant. I love watching it.”

■ On March 29, 2011, Maher made his MSNBC Hardball appearance with Chuck Todd, as noted above. While Todd — unlike CNN’s Spitzer — did ask Maher about how he was “getting hammered in the conservative blogosphere, among a lot of conservative hosts” for his nasty comments about Palin and Bachmann, he was in no way judgmental.

Todd ended that interview by publicizing both Maher’s upcoming show on HBO as well as appearances in Indiana and North Carolina. “Bill Maher, always entertaining to have you on.”

■ On April 12, 2011, MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow hosted Maher, and not once asked about his nasty comments about women. Instead of scolding Maher for his deplorable remarks, Maddow was thrilled to have him: “It is nice to see you....I’m very excited....Thank you so much for being on with us, Bill. It’s really nice to see you. Thank you.”

■ On May 3, 2011, Maher popped up on The Joy Behar Show on CNN’s Headline News Network. Behar fawned over her guest: “I love your show. I watch you every week, and I really get irritated when they put you on hiatus.”

■ On May 17, 2011, Maher showed up on MSNBC’s Hardball, where Chris Matthews touted him as their “star guest.” Maher trashed Michele Bachmann as a “frothing loon,” jabbing that “Bachmann is the candidate for people who find Palin too intellectual.”

■ On June 14, 2011, CNN’s Anderson Cooper interviewed Maher about the GOP debate. Maher unleashed his usual invective, declaring that the Republican candidates “have just horrible, society-killing ideas about America.”

■ On July 11, 2011, Maher appeared as a guest on CNN’s Piers Morgan Tonight, and made the host laugh with a crude reference to Palin and Michele Bachmann. Morgan asked Maher about the GOP nomination: “If you had a choice, gun to your head, which one is it? Palin or Bachmann?”

Maher replied: “I would need a gun to my head. I hope Sarah Palin gets in so that they split the MILF vote.” MILF is an acronym for a “Mother I’d Like to Fuck.” The CNN host ended the interview by telling Maher: “May you remain gloriously uncensored on HBO...Love the show.”

■ On August 3, 2011, fill-in host Michael Eric Dyson had “the great Bill Maher” on MSNBC’s The Ed Show. Dyson touted Maher as “my very good friend.”

■ On October 11, 2011, Maher returned to MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow show, which Maddow eagerly promoted. “The one and only Bill Maher is going to be here for an interview tonight,” she promised viewers. Talking about the radical Occupy protesters, Maher used the occasion to suggest violence against Fox News owner Rupert Murdoch: “If a brick came through Rupert Murdoch’s window, I have a feeling Fox News would be a lot more gentle on the Wall Street people....”

■ On January 25, 2012, CNN’s Cooper brought Maher onto his show to talk about Obama’s State of the Union speech and the Republican nomination contest. During that interview, Maher made a derogatory reference to Mormons, predicting Romney would be the nominee and: “I think Obama is going to beat him like a runaway sister wife.” Cooper winced: “Geez, your runaway sister wife? I haven’t heard an LDS punchline in quite a while.”

■ On February 27, 2012, Chris Matthews was thrilled to see Maher back on Hardball where he talked about the Republican “crazies” and “idiots.” “Hey, Maher, you’re the best,” Matthews flattered. “You’re the funniest, smartest guy around....Thank you, Bill Maher — you’re an Irish guy, too. Thank you for coming on.”

■ That same night, Morgan interviewed Maher again, this time prompted by his $1 million donation to Obama’s SuperPAC. Maher mocked Christianity: “You’re allowed to have your opinion that a Palestinian 2,000 years ago walked on water and did magic tricks and was really — he’s really still his own father and all that stuff.” As always, Morgan was delighted: “Bill Maher, always a great pleasure.”

Obviously, there’s a certain amount of show business in the media fawning over Bill Maher, but it underscores how utterly unbothered they are by his frequent, nasty comments about conservative women. With that as context, it’s hard not to see those networks’ flamboyant outrage at Rush Limbaugh as nothing more than opportunism by liberals out to destroy the most successful conservative in the media.

Please bring your thoughts to the table cordially but by all means bring them!

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Hold on don't you ever let go...

There are days (and eras) and circumstances that make you want to  throw your hands up in despair and just quit. But don't give up! I don't know how things are going for you right now.  But I know these are trying times for virtually everybody. And I say don't give up! The answers may not be easy, they may not be fun, they may not even appear to be helpful! But hold on! You may feel completely alone but you are not! I am not speaking today from a position of strength. I am both preacher and choir and all that is implied by that. I do not know how God is going to turn things around. I don't know why He hasn't done so already. I may not even recognize it when He DOES turn things around. But I will hold on! I will never let go. I will sing a song of strength in the midnight! I will hold on to these words. 

Do Not Worry
Luke 12:22-31

Then Jesus said to his disciples: "Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; or about your body, what you will wear. Life is more than food, and the body more than clothes. Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than birds! Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life ? Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest?"Consider how the lilies grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today, and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, how much more will he clothe you, O you of little faith! And do not set your heart on what you will eat or drink; do not worry about it. For the pagan world runs after all such things, and your Father knows that you need them. But seek his kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well."Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom. Sell your possessions and give to the poor. Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven that will not be exhausted, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

( I WILL do so imperfectly, but I WILL do it!) 

If you are in the midst of the struggle look for the things that encourage you and DWELL ON THEM! Find one bright spot in the universe and stare at it!

Philippians 4:8 ASV
Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honorable, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.
And if you are on top of the world, please do your best to reach down and pull somebone who is struggling up to you!

Monday, March 5, 2012

Respect has left the building...

Respect denotes both a positive feeling of esteem for a person or other entity(such as a nation or a religion), and also specific actions and conductrepresentative of that esteem. Respect can be a specific feeling of regard for the actual qualities of the one respected (e.g., "I have great respect for her judgment"). It can also be conduct in accord with a specific ethic of respect. Rudeconduct is usually considered to indicate a lack of respect, disrespect, whereas actions that honor somebody or something indicate respect. Specific ethics of respect are of fundamental importance to various cultures. Respect for tradition and legitimate authority is identified by Jonathan Haidt as one of five fundamentalmoral values shared to a greater or lesser degree by different societies and individuals.[1]

Respect should not be confused with tolerance, since tolerance doesn't necessarily imply any positive feeling.

The antonym and opposite of respect is contempt.

This is for the ... your name here if you wish to be respected. I am not sure when respect died but I think it was somewhere between my teenage years and and those of my oldest children. I'm 43, and I have heard things said to parents or in ear shot of parents that I would not say in front of my mother to this day. Often when this topic comes up in conversation people say "Yeah, we would've been popped in the mouth." 

Personally , that wasn't the case in my family. I just never would've thought such things were ok to say in front of my parents or any other adult. It would've been disrespectful. I was raised, by a Mid-western, Army brat father and a essentially rurally raised "Southern" mother. You just didn't talk like that. Not that I didn't sneak some language in with my friends on occasion, but I didn't flaunt disobedience etc in front of elders.  (Kids, at least have the decency and yes, respect, to try and be sneaky about  breaking the rules. Don't flaunt and revel in it. I AM NOT ADVOCATING DISOBEDIENCE. I AM JUST SAYING THE ADDED LEVEL OF BRAZEN MAKES THE BAD EVEN WORSE, IN A SENSE.) But today is different. Respectful behavior is considered old fashioned and stifling of one's personality nowadays. I know I am officially old now that I have used that word.   

Not that the good old days were all good. I know better than that. But these days my youngest at 11 is being taught about ageism in school.(School: Please forgive me if the aforementioned child came up with this on his own. I love his school but this issue has me a little set off. He is a very good kid and we have a very good relationship. He tends to be quite respectful. (In real life terms, not just adjusted for deflation) But he has on a number of occasions mentioned that he doesn't like being treated like a kid or like he is less of a person because he is a kid. The implication in context was this. I should have all the rights of adulthood and should be treated as an equal even though I have not gained the knowledge and experience that comes with years of living on the planet.  

Let's get this on record. I DO NOT THINK THAT CHILDREN SHOULD BE TREATED AS PROPERTY OR ANYTHING ALONG THOSE LINES. But I do not believe that children know as much as they think the know or that they know everything they need to know to function in society. Don't get me wrong I OFTEN learn from all my children. MY real children not the soap opera. But there are things in life that are learned through the years and those years lived (well) should come with a degree of RESPECT. 

Who is to blame? TV, Media, Music (my industry), the education system and elders who have not lived well and earned respect (read as the 1960's), to name a few. What do the above say? Parents are idiots. (IF a parent has a clue it will be a small one and only the mother has a chance of having said clue. Who were the last parents on TV with a clue (AND respectful attitudes)? Probably the Huxtables... Look them up kids. SIGH!) 

Birth of the cancer?: On June 25, 1962, the Supreme Court stopped school prayer. The counter culture  was the public execution of God in our culture. (He's not actually dead. He's quite resilient.) At any rate, if there is no one to answer to, if God doesn't exist and so is not there to be respected it's all pretty much down hill from there. I am not going to thump anyone with my bible or anything like that. I am just saying mankind's desire to say "You're not the boss of me!" is a very, dangerous thing. 

(I am not saying the there are no respectful atheists or agnostics.   (One of my favorite people on the planet is agnostic, a very good man and hopefully going to enter this discussion... I miss talking with my friend of similar tastes, talents and values and mostly opposing political and religious views. I hope you read this. I miss talking with you my friend! Talk about disagreeing agreeably!) Nor am I saying that the "religious" have everything locked down respect wise or morally. There is no radar weak enough to let that fly under and I am not under the illusion that it is so. I have just come to the conclusion that our species has a craving for utter autonomy and utter moral autonomy is not the most worthy pursuit out there.

I could go on forever but I won't. The anti-respect culture is just the kind of thing that will bite itself in it's proverbial butt. Because if you don't believe in respect there is no reason for anyone to believe in respecting you.