You’re a Socialist…

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IF YOU, YOUR PARENTS, OR YOUR GRANDPARENTS…

  • receive Social Security,
  • are on Mediicare,
  • are on Medicaid,
  • went to public school or college,
  • drive on public highways,
  • have your house protected by a fire department,
  • are protected by the police,
  • drink safe water,
  • use a sewer system,
  • use safe medication,
  • eat safe food,
  • use a safe banking system,
  • believe in Christ,
  • etc.

YES, YOU ARE A SOCIALIST.  And, when the President or any other politician accuses anyone of being a Socialist, know that they are attacking you, your parents, your grandparents and your children.

HERITAGE TOMATOES AND HERITAGE THOUGHTS

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A native of northern Ohio now living in Florida, I am enjoying freshly grown tomatoes now.  I have already eaten this guy’s ripe brother.  This tomato, a Brandywine, is a heritage variety which means it has NOT been hybridized to be picked early, stand up to machine picking, and long storage times.  I grow it because I can remember what a tomato tastes like.  I also know that it’s flavor contributes more than a red color to a salad, a burger or a BLT.

Every time I bite into the Brandywine tomato I am transferred back to the time in which I learned to appreciate the taste of a freshly picked, ripe tomato.

I had lived in northern Ohio where tomatoes were grown for processing and canning.  Baskets of these bright red tomatoes were loaded and stacked five baskets high on trailers hauled by tractors from the fields where they had been picked by hand and driven through town to the canning factory. 

When the first tractor, pulling the first trailer, loaded with those ripe tomatoes entered town, word spread like wildfire through the town’s kids.  Any child tall enough to reach a tomato basket on the trailer headed for Patterson Street where the tractor driver would have to slow to a craw so as to and not lose his load of tomatoes while making the turn headed to Stevenson Street.  

Here the game, a tradition for decades, began.

The object was simple: the children were to grab a tomato to eat; the tractor driver was to make them pay a price two fold.  Unbeknownst to the rookie children in this game, the tractor driver had a basket of rotting tomatoes hidden between his legs on the tractor.  As the children attacked, he threw these tomatoes at them with incredible accuracy.  If you were hit, the rotting tomato would smush all over you and your clothes. If he missed, you’d grab your tomato, retreat to the shade of a tree and devour its deliciousness.  The proper technique was to gently pierce the skin with your teeth and suck the juice out of it.  In that way you could enjoy the fruits of your victory without leaving telltale tomato juice on your clothes.

Remember that I said the tractor driver would make them pay two fold?  Yes, if you got hit it would be embarrassing, but it also would be very messy.  You would be literally be covered in smushed tomato and tomato juice.  And your parents would notice and demand an explanation of how this happened.  I have never heard of a satisfactory explanation that would be accepted.  I have heard “the tomato fell on me from the trailer, I fell on the tomatoe, I was carrying groceries for a little old lady and the tomatoes mushed”.  And yet, I cannot remember a single incidence of a child being punished for this pilfering tomatoes.  I have heard of them being punished for lying about how they got covered in tomato juice, but not for participating in what had become a tradition.

In today’s world, there would be police, investigations into whether the child stole the tomato, investigations into whether the tractor driver had committed a crime by throwing a rotting tomato at a child, investigations into whether the canning company and/or the farmer was liable for the stained clothes.  There would be crime scene tape around the tractor and the tomato laden trailer.  There would be media coverage including interviews with anyone who needed their time in the spotlight.  There would be police chiefs, mayors, governors, state and federal legislators from both parties, religious leaders, non religious leaders, shopkeepers, psychologists and neighbors. While all this is going on, the tomatoes would rot in the sun.  And, no one would have the taste of a real tomato to remember.

*****

So, here I sit under the shade of a palm tree with my bright red heritage tomato in my hand, the juice sucked out, preparing to take a delicious bite having my heritage thoughts.

The Chair

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There will come a time in your life when your significant other will ask you to go shopping with her.  Do not bring up the game you wanted to watch or mowing the lawn.  You are not being offered a choice. 

You will eventually end up in the woman’s section of a department store.  Once there a clerk will kindly offer a chair to enjoy while your partner shops.  Quietly, but firmly decline because if you sit, you will be in the department for hours on end while the clerk helps the shopper.

Instead, ask your significant other what she is looking for, size, color, etc.  she will look at you with new respect and love for being so interested and helpful.  Once she has selected something she will want to take it to the changing room to try it on.

Once she is in the fitting room, go to the clothing racks and select three other items in her size.  When she comes out to show you how the article looks on her, she will ask your opinion.   say something safe like “it’s a nice color for you.” or “it looks good on you.”  Then say “I thought you might like to try on these three.”

Repeat until she is so tired from trying on clothes that she offers to take you for a drink.  There is also a chance that it will be the last time you are invited to go shopping.

The Problem with Organized Religions

is that they define themselves primarily by their opposition to “the other” which leads to their history of hatred, violence and genocide.

Does your church define itself by “the other” in any way?  I.e. our religion is the one true way to believe?

Do you define yourself by “the other” in any way?  I.e. I am a Democrat; not a Republican.

Is the problem solvable?  And, if it is solvable; what is the first step in that solution?

ASK ANY PARENT!

(An open letter to Congress)

When dealing with children or those with the mentality of children, you do not give choices, second, third or fourth chances to obey the rules. By giving multiple chances to obey what they know are the rules, you are teaching them that the rules don’t have to be followed; and they won’t follow the rules because they believe they didn’t have to follow them the first time.

The Democrats have given Attorney General Barr several opportunities to testify before their committees. He was given a chance, as a courtesy, to appear voluntarily. He has declined. He should have been subpoeneaed immediately. If he refuses, as the Attorney General of the United States who should be the epitomy of the rule of law in these United States, he should be impeached. He is defying the law. Failure to immediately make him responsible for breaking the law will encourage him and others to proceed as if their is no law.

Children know that if you break the rules, you will be punished. They also know that if you don’t punish them each and every time, they can continue to break the rules. They know that there is no sense in obeying the rules until they have had their second, third or fourth chance to obey.

“Sticks and Stones….”

Well, the week before Thanksgiving I was installing shelving along the wall of my garage.  I stepped off my seven foot step ladder two rungs too soon.  I did a perfect one point landing on my hip and broke it.

I immediately looked around hoping no one had seen me.  No, well that was good news.

Being a coach, I started the check out.  Vision good. Head turns right and left; up and down – good.  Left arm full range of motion – good.  Right arm full range of motion – good.  Left leg “aaarrrrggghhhhhhh!” – definitely not good.  Right leg “aaarrrrggghhhhhhh!” definitely not good.  Use upper body to move lower body.  You guessed it “aaarrrrggghhhhhhh!”.

Which takes us back to the what appears NOW to not have been such good news.  I am lying on my back in the middle of the garage floor.  The garage door is open but a good distance from the street.  My wife is in the kitchen baking Christmas cookies with “Jingle Bells” and other holiday songs playing from the living room.  My cell phone which I always have with me is charging in the bedroom.  I decide to exercise my one and only option and wait as my body becomes aware of what I have done to it and increases the frequency and intensity of pain messages to my brain.

Fortunately within fifteen minutes my wife comes to see if the dog is with me in the garage.

“Have you seen the dog, and what are you doing” she asks?

Fortunately by now the pain has overridden what would have been “Admiring the ceiling of the garage with its dingy shade of white” smart ass remark.  “I stepped of the ladder too soon and fell.”

We repeat the first aid questions. The only difference being that she has to move the left leg herself which illicits “aaarrrrggghhhhhhh!” from me.  And, before I can stop her she tries moving the right leg.  Again,”aaarrrrggghhhhhhh!”

“Should I call 911?” she asks.  This is not really as dumb of a question as you might think.  You must remember she is talking with the male of the species with whom she has lived for over fifty years.

“Let me think about it.” I reply.  Mind you I have been lying on the cold, hard concrete for twenty minutes but still I go through the possibilities.  Could my five foot wife drag me to the car and hoist my six foot frame into it?  This would not be likely in any universe.  What about rolling myself into the trailer for the lawn mower and using the lawn mower to get me to the hospital?  That lost plausibiity at the thought of me rolling anywhere.  Neighbors?  Out of town.  Finally, I reluctantly give the what should have been the obvious answer “Call 911”.

Before she leaves to call 911 she turns and asks, “Do you want me to bring you nicer clothes?” as she walks back into the house.

The Secret to Finding Happiness

To introduce an experiment, I asked my students if anyone had found any money in the last month? Their ears perked up. They looked at me to see if they needed to call the principal because i had cracked up.

I asked again, an not a single student raised their hand.

Everyone wants happiness, but very few find it.  The reason is that they are not actively looking for happiness.  We are going to test this theory.

You assignment is to for the next week actively look for money.  Obviously, you may not steal it.  (I always point that out because for them it is not so obvious, and they would like to say that I told them to steal.)  Again I got the crazy looks.

In every class some students always find money.

Do you look for happiness?  Where do you look?  Do you look in the newspaper?  Do you look to your spouse?  Do you look to nature?  Do you look to a pet?

Where you look is not important.  What is important that you start to look and keep on looking.

GOOD LUCK!

HONEY, DEARIE, LUV

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Dear Service Providers: (aka doctors, nurses, receptionists, clerks, waiters, waitresses, etc.)

Unless you are my mother, grandmother, boyfriend, girlfriend, lover, spouse, or child, you should not be calling me or anyone else in a business situation “honey”.

The reason is that unless you are in one of the those relationshhips listed above and are entitled to use that term “honey”, you are using it in a derogatory manner.  It sounds like you are talking to a child not another adult or even more importantly a client.

If I were to address any female employee by the term “honey” it maight be consider disrespectful if not “sexual harassment” in the work place.

Because someone is in a less powerful position than you, it does not give you the right to call them “honey”.  That is, of course, unless your intent is to make yourself feel important.

In addition, the use of these terms is unprofessional.

Thank you for giving this your consideration, Dearie.

 

Torches and Pitchforks at the Castle Gate

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Why are the federal and state governments facilitating the acquisition of military style weapons and equipment by local police forces?

I suggest that a review of recent legislation and court rulings provides a possibility.  In random order these are:
– Citibank writing the language dismantling of Dodd-Frank law,
– cuts in SNAP,
– refusal to extend unemployment compensation,
– the failure to prosecute those shooting the poor and black,
– 47% comments,
– cutting of educational funding,
– laws which allow major corporations to pay no federal income tax,
– voter suppression of elderly, poor and youth,
– the increase of wealth by the wealthiest compared to the middle class and the poor,
– a military system which uses primarily the poor,
– corporations have the same rights as people,
– money is free speech ergo, Jimie Dimon,
– reduction of retiree’s pensions,
– attacks on unions,
– opposition to a living wage,
ad nauseam.

Basically, there is a movement in which legislation and policy are aimed at aiding the wealthy (like Congress) to increase their riches and power by taking from the poor, the working poor, women, the youth, the aged, and the middle class.

The numbers affected by this sea change in wealth distribution are growing exponentially.

The frustration and anger are growing exponentially.

There will be a point where rage will erupt.

The wealthy and the powerful have been careful not to attack the firefighters, the police and the army.  They have been systematically preparing the national guard and local sheriffs and police departments to “handle” any protest which they will call insurrection.

The one percent will be ready when the torches and pitchforks appear at the castle gate.