On being done with NFL (for now at least)…

Everything is stupid.” – Ben Shapiro

… and that is a true fact.foreverythingthereisaseason

Tonight is Thursday Night Football and my Chicago Bears are taking on the Green Bay Packers…  And I just don’t care anymore.   Thanks guys. 

The Flag and the National Anthem
The flag and the national anthem are (supposed to be) signs of national unity.  They are something that should be nationally treasured and respected.  They are something we should all be able to come around – despite all the other craziness going on in the world – and say for the two minutes it takes to complete The Star Spangled Banner, “We are one people, one nation; we are united”.  And then we can go back to apparently hating each other for all the wrong reasons (politics) instead of the right ones (being Packers fans).
How do we do that?  How we’ve always done it.  You stand.  You doff your cap.  You put your hand over your heart.  And you’re quiet.
That. Is. Respect.
This is the flag over 360,000 men fought and died under to preserve the Union and end slavery; it is the flag the world saw lead the charge against fascism in Europe during WWII and rebuild that continent after; it is the flag the world saw defeat communism and tear down the Berlin Wall; it is the flag the world sees time and time again in times of global crisis rising to the occasion in no small part thanks to the tears, sweat, and blood of the men fighting and operating under it.

Standing at attention has been, is, and always will be a sign of respect for that flag and our National Anthem.
Kneeling is not.  Never has been.  It’s been a sign of subservience, subordination to a higher power.  You bend the knee to kings and queens because you have to – not because you respect them.  You rise and stand when the President walks in the room because it is a sign of respect.  You rise and stand to give a standing ovation when someone has done something exceptional because it is a sign of respect.  You stand at the table when an elder or a woman enters the room (or we used to – we’re kind of uncultured savages now) and wait for them to be seated because it is a sign of respect.
Standing = respect.  Period.  Kneeling = disrespect in regards to this whole situation.  The player who started it said as much at the beginning (see below).
Men and women have died to protect your right to do and say as you will – and that includes disrespecting the flag/National Anthem…  But having the Right to do something doesn’t mean you should do it.
All that to say – historically it is a sign of respect to the flag, our nation, and those that have served in defense of what we stand for as a people.  It is disrespectful to kneel; to say otherwise is to attempt to change definitions because you don’t like them – and that is at its very core dishonest and wrong in the extreme.

The Protest
You are entitled to your own opinions, but you are not entitled to your own facts – and the fact that this protest was founded on disrespect for our nation, our flag, and our national anthem means something.  You can choose to disregard that if it makes you uncomfortable, but that doesn’t change the facts.

“I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses Black people and people of color.”
~ Colin Kaepernick

This protest was initially a sign of disrespect for the US Flag and anthem – from the instigator’s own mouth.  Not only was it an emotionally charged protest – it was one based on a factually inaccurate narrative, one that has been proven to be statistically incorrect time after time.   Are there bad actors in any system?  Undoubtedly.  Does that mean the system is inherently wrong and/or racist?  No.

But since the time of the initial incident – a preseason game a year ago – the protests have grown in size with many of the reasons varying, but with the underlying premise that the US and police are inherently racist always being present.

And now, no one is sure what the protest is about…  apparently by disrespecting the flag you are somehow respecting the first amendment and insulting a President you disagree with?

The Players
You get paid millions of dollars to play a game…  To entertain us…  To take our minds off all the crap that goes on in the world for 3 hours a week, 16-20 weeks a year…  You are overpaid entertainers who I want to enjoy watching perform.  You get paid to do that.  You do not get paid to make political statements…  in fact, as pointed out below, the rules prohibit you from doing that.  But whatever.
You have chosen to take a game that people across the spectrum enjoy immensely, and have made it divisive.
In the beginning one, then a handful of players, made a decision to disrespect the flag/National Anthem to being attention to an issue that was emotionally charged and based for them (despite years of research, facts, and analysis pointing to an opposite conclusion).  And then, when someone (the President) pointed that out and escalated it (which was going to happen – you don’t get to make political points and then complain when politicians latch on to them), players on every team in the league decided that instead of trying to show unity through respect – they were going to disrespect the flag en masse in order to voice political displeasure with a man…  Disappointing.
Bottom line – you made football political and now you are reaping the consequences of your actions.  You’re completely entitled to freedom of speech and of expression, and if your bosses are cool with you violating the rules of the game and disrespecting the flag and National Anthem to do it – go for it!  But don’t think there aren’t going to be consequences, and don’t think that if your boss tells you to check your politics at the door you have the right to ignore them – you don’t.
Maybe you should remember that we want to watch football and leave politics at the door for a few hours every weekend.  Maybe you should appreciate the fact that you make millions of dollars to play a game.  Maybe you should take the platform you have OUTSIDE the game itself to go and make your political points like the rest of us who don’t bring politics to work because IT’S NOT THE PLACE FOR IT.  And maybe you should use reason and facts to determine what points you want to make…  and maybe you should find respectful ways to do it.  Just maybe.

The President
Hey…  Donald Trump was… Well, Donald Trump again!  And the left lost its mind…  again.  He saw something he thought he could win on, and by God, he grabbed it by the horns.  Giving a speech in Alabama he went after those football players who have decided to protest whatever it is they’re protesting by calling for their owners to fire them over what he perceives as disrespect for America, its veterans, its flag, and its national anthem; as well as advocating boycotting until the NFL or owners did something about it.  Receiving the ultimately predictable blowback from the Left, the Donald doubled down on Twitter as he is apt to do.
Now…  Do I agree with the general sentiment expressed by the President?  Yes.  Do I think the President of the United States should call for the firing of anybody?  Yes – those public officials in the service of the Federal Government that refuse to implement legally issued orders, etc.  Outside of that – no.  He shouldn’t.  It’s in bad form, and he could have been perfectly fine just saying he disagreed with their actions – most of us do.  But he didn’t, and it is what it is now.
The President will have his defenders who say he was completely justified – I don’t think he was in the firing and boycott comments, but he will have them.  And there will be his detractors who say he shouldn’t have said anything and protests should be all about him now…  this is how stupid things have gotten.
Maybe the President of the US should stick to governing…  maybe he should work more on trying to get tax reform passed, etc.  Just maybe.

The Owners
Couldn’t for once you guys just do your job and tell your players to follow the rules?  You guys have a mess on your hands – the NFL has a ton of problems, and you guys aren’t helping.  I would suggest you start by getting a new Commish, and establishing a uniform code of conduct where you guys actually don’t have to spend so much time in court fighting suspensions and dealing with fallout because of the actions of your players on and off the field.  And maybe instead of buying into the idea that you need to join in the fight with the President and the players – you try to be the bigger men (clearly those two parties aren’t going to) and leave the politics at the door?  I don’t need to see you on the field, I don’t need to hear your statements – I need you to put a product on the field and on my television I want to watch again.

The NFL sucks – bottom line.  This is an organization that just fails all over the place when it comes to its rules and the enforcement thereof.  Roger Gooddell shouldn’t be getting an extension, they should be finding somebody competent to lead the organization that is suffering mightily from issue after issue.

This is the organization that doesn’t have a uniform way of dealing with players that have legal issues.

The organization that has terrible processes in place for disciplining (or not disciplining) players who’s conduct off the field is detrimental to the game.

The organization that has done a terrible job dealing with the CTE/concussion issue.

The organization that allowed – in violation of its own rules (Rule 5, Section 4, Article 8) – Colin is a crappyquarterback-nick and subsequent players to make political statements during game-day without punishment.

The organization that refused to allow the Dallas Cowboys to wear decals honouring the slain police officers last year.

The organization that refused to allow – and threatened to fine – players who wanted to commemorate 9-11 with apparel, etc.

This…  this is a craptastic organization that needs to get its stuff together.

Instead of allowing itself to be drawn into the political arena – it should enforce its rules and maintain a strict apolitical policy: it should stick to football.  The game we all want to enjoy without all the outside stuff.
Go get a new commissioner and get stuff straightened out – you’ve got a long way to go before fans view you the same again (check your ratings the last few years, you might learn something).

The Commentators / ESPN / et al.
Hey, guess what guys?  President Trump didn’t make this an issue.  He didn’t polarize the sport.  He wasn’t the one to turn football into a politically divisive issue.  The players and you were.

Did he make it worse?  Yeah, he did – but then you had to up the ante.

People don’t turn to you for political insight – you’re sportscasters, sports journalists, etc.  Cover sports.  And when people try to make sports political – remember that no matter what, you’re going to alienate half your audience so maybe you should stick to….  SPORTS!  So stop your handwringing.  Stop blaming the President for the mess you helped get us into.  Start covering sports again – maybe we’ll come back and watch you again someday if you figure that out.
Also, I’ve had people who I generally like to think have two brain cells to rub together accuse the President of doing this because he’s racist – and that he only ever attacks people of colour.  Now, either they have no integrity or the shortest memories/attention spans known to man.  This assertion is so blatantly false it almost merits no comment – but they get to make that false claim over and over again without being called out on it: not gonna happen.  This president calls out anybody and everybody that disagrees with him – for better or worse (as is generally the case).  He spent the campaign going after everybody in the media, his competition, Hillary Clinton, etc….  ANYBODY AND EVERYBODY.  Trump isn’t racist – never has been, never will be.  He’s done the work in his business and personal life to prove it – if you’re going to ignore that, please just shut your cakehole. 

* I respect the fact that good friends of mine disagree with me on some of this
          I will point out, that whether or not kneeling is a sign of disrespect is not something I’m willing to budge on.  You don’t get to change definition because you don’t like them, it is a sign of disrespect.
          I am also willing to discuss this – but if we disagree, I expect the discussion to be well-reasoned, factual (you don’t get to make your own facts up – come correct or don’t come at all), and as absent emotional outbursts as possible.

But as for me…  Like I said at the beginning: I just don’t care anymore.
This last Sunday was the first time I can remember not turning on a single NFL game…  It was sad for me.  This was the first Monday night I didn’t check to see who was winning.  It was the first weekend I just didn’t give a flying rat’s tail about my fantasy football teams.
Thanks, guys.  You’ve taken one of the great passions of my life and crapped all over it.
In my life I am passionate and knowledgeable about very few things: politics and football were two of them.  And I liked the fact that there was nothing political about watching my Bears take on whoever.  There was nothing political about who I drafted in fantasy football and made games I could otherwise give a hoot about interesting.  And you had to go and mix the two.  Again, thanks.
Football is a game, and while it is a game I enjoy – I will not be party to making a plethora of people who think it is alright to disrespect the flag (or warp the meaning so that they feel they’re not) richer than they already are….  for playing a game.
My personal boycott of the NFL started last Sunday, and will continue until such time as it is practice across the league to recognize that respecting the flag and the National Anthem are important and not optional; and that politics is not something I have to hear about before, during, and after a game.
I want to enjoy the game again… and you’re making it impossible.  I hope to be able to come back someday, but until then I’m hanging up my Bears jerseys and making time on my Sunday for more napping..  I’m out.


On Not Being Cursed…

Verse of the Day:

This is what the Lord says:
“Cursed is the one who trusts in man, who draws strength from mere flesh and whose heart turns away from the Lord.
That person will be like a bush in the wastelands; they will not see prosperity when it comes.

They will dwell in the parched places of the desert, in a salt land where no one lives.
But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lordwhose confidence is in him.
They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream

It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green.
It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.”
~ Jeremiah 17:5-8 ~


So this wasn’t part of my regular Bible study, but recent events made me think of it: Republicans in different camps are upset with a good number of people today for a variety of reasons – one side is perturbed that President Trump didn’t even attempt to negotiate a deal re: the debt ceiling, another that we increased the debt ceiling at all, one that blames Speaker Ryan and Republican leadership for failing to see this coming and get in front of it, some at Messrs. Ryan and McConnell for just rolling over, and some (ok… most all) at the GOP led Congress for not getting anything done in 6 months after they’ve been saying for seven years ‘If only we had the House, Senate, AND the White House we could get stuff done”.  Not going to lie – I fall into a couple of those camps myself.

But it made me think of how much hope and trustpsalm1463 and faith we as people put into politicians….  and how much we really shouldn’t.
It’s something people on all sides of the political spectrum do: President Clinton was going to save the Democratic Party, President Bush was going to restore prestige to the Oval Office, according to President Obama – he was going to stop the rise of the oceans or some such nonsense, etc… I personally  yearned for the day when then-Governor Sanford would run for President – he was going to save the country with his sound policies, but he couldn’t even save his marriage because of his unsound morals (talk about a heart-breaking disappointment); then there was Governor Romney – probably the most qualified, morally upright person to run for President in recent memory; then there was Messr. Ryan (actually – he was before Gov. Romney, and I won’t lie – I’ve had a policy crush on Messr. Ryan since his early Roadmaps…  it was so dreamy) – I personally had so much faith and hope placed in him that his transformation as head cat wrangler Speaker has been soooooo disappointing I have a hard time finding the words to explain it (understandable seeing as he has a caucus that’s stupid to the nth degree, but still); and somewhere in there was Gov. Walker and Senator Rubio – both who I still think have bright futures.  And lastly I figured while the GOP controlled Congress wasn’t going to do anything substantive I might as well embrace The Donald – he may not share many of my convictions, but at least he ticked off all the right people.  And there was no way he was going to deal with Mme. Pelosi or Messr. Schumer….  And then yesterday happened.  GRRRRR…  I give up.  😉
Recently people put a good deal of faith in Donald Trump: he was going to build a wall, drain the swamp, take the national debt seriously in an Andrew Jackson kind of way; he along with a Republican Congress were going to repeal Obamacare, revise the tax code, etc…  And we know how that’s going right now.

But there is so much faith put in these folks, that I think we forget that’s what they are: merely human.  Individuals who are gifted with power, but who still have to deal with being deeply flawed people.  And when we put that much faith in men, we’re bound to be disappointed – which will lead to feelings of frustration and anger, and we too often take those out on the folks around us, or let it go into the ether that is social media…  And that just leads to the society we have today where everybody is angry so much of the time that we need to just take time away from it all.

It’s not worth it.

I could stop there really, but I won’t.   Still – it’s not worth it.  There is so much out there we should be doing, so much of God’s love we should be showing to our neighbours, that we really need to stop placing so much trust in people (maybe especially politicians – if you don’t give them that much power over your emotions/etc., maybe they won’t be that important overall) and start putting it back in the Creator of all things.

Look, I’m disappointed in a government that slowly encroaches on more and more of my life, I’m disappointed in a Republican party that lets it and doesn’t move on big issues to reform/reduce the size and scope of government, I’m disappointed in a President that is petty and doesn’t seem to have any core beliefs, I’m disappointed in a media that doesn’t care about the truth or the facts – only their agenda… And often that disappointment slips out as anger – it’s something I’m working on (maybe not hard enough(?)), work on it with me?  If we all work on it together, maybe we’ll get to a place where no matter what the douchebags in D.C. or Olympia or wherever do – we can still be filled with joy and be pleasant to one another.  Maybe.

Now, from today’s study:


And that is a true fact.

On The Ending of an Extra-/Un-Constitutional Era(?)…


Today President Trump issued a statement outlining the end of DACA, and I don’t think I could be happier with this President right now; he has kept his promises and he’s found a way in this instance to do it in such a manner that gives Congress time to make changes to the law so that it is – in some people’s views – more compassionate.  (Update: under the president’s statement – nothing really changes…  the government just stops handing out papers that aren’t legit anyways.  He could/should have gone further to actually faithfully execute the laws of the land.)

DACA at its best was a well-intentioned un-Constitutional exercise of Executive authority – something that even President Obama had the intellectual integrity to admit…  several times; he just didn’t care in the end.  At its worst it was an ill-intentioned attempt to win votes.  I imagine it falls somewhere in-between the two.

But either way – it was an un- and extra-Constitutional abuse of Executive powers.  The US Constitution clearly – CLEARLY places the entirety of onus on the Legislative branch of our government to craft immigration policy:

The Congress shall have to power… To establish an uniform Rule of Naturalization…
~ U.S. Constitution, Article I, Section 8, Clause 4 ~

DACA was clearly not included in any immigration law passed to this date, and as such is not a legitimate execution of said law – something the President of the United States is sworn to do.

Now, the President and many members of the Congress have expressed a desire for the program to continue, but as the President’s statement concluded – it’s the legislature’s job to make it law.  Allowing for the gradual phase-out of the program – where the first allowances begin to expire in six months and extend out for up to 24 month – gives the Congress ample time to pass a lawful version of DACA; heck, they could pass the exact same thing that’s in place right now if they wanted to – I’m just not sure this Congress is capable of passing even gas right now.  But again – THAT IS THEIR PREROGATIVE – and to circumvent that is to circumvent the law: I have no taste for that, and neither should you.

For all my friends: this is a policy issue – nothing more, nothing less.
Good people can disagree on immigration policy, believe it or not – there is no need to demonize or assume the worst about somebody because they opine contrasting viewpoints.  None of us is a better person because we want stricter border control, or because we want to take in more refugees or what-have-you – there are legitimate concerns and points on these across the spectrum – let’s respect each others’ right to differing opinions.  I have many I hold dear that desire a much stricter immigration policy and many that believe immigration should be reformed to be more expansive – and none of them are evil people because of it.  Could we have a policy discussion without assuming the worst about everyones’ motives, please?  Please?!  For the love of all that’s holy?!
  I’m begging everybody here!

For my friends on the Right: I imagine if Congress takes this on and successfully passes it but is unable to repeal Obamacare, pass tax reform, or build a security structure on the southern border – you won’t be too happy.  Nor should you be – promises were made, and the impotence and incompetence of this Congress should be punished.  Unfortunately – the left’s policy agenda is worse than the feckless agenda of Republicans today. Do with this majority what you will.  In regards to DACA, you should take time to acknowledge that most of the recipients have been here a long time – a good deal of them not by their own volition.  We perhaps should take that into account when drafting a policy prescription, and perhaps we should work together to figure this out.

For my friends on the Left: stop lying already, and stop acting like the world is coming to an end every time the President does something you don’t like – we dealt with it for eight years, you’ll make it through at least another three.  I’ve seen far too many posts about how the President is kicking out hundreds of thousands of children – that is false and you know it: DACA recipients were mostly in their 20s.  I’ve seen you try to make an equivalence between abortion and illegal immigrants (“You can’t be pro-life and anti-DACA, HYPOCRITES!”) – get real, and get smart – that’s a crap argument and as dishonest as it gets, and if you don’t know it I worry for your mental well-being.  I’ve seen you tell me I can’t be a Christian if I don’t agree with you on immigration policy and DACA – PUH-LEEEEESE, apparently unlike you I can accept that in order for a government to function the law must be followed and enforced, and as a Christian we can have different ideas on what national policy should be – you don’t get to tell people what their faith dictates policy-wise.  This all comes down to the fact that President Obama said time-and-time again that he didn’t have the authority to do this but he did it anyways, and now we have a President that actually believes in his proper role in governing.

For eight years we had an administration that ruled through Executive Order on the big things – this is what happens when you embrace such a form of governance: the other guy is just going to come in and undo what you liked…  If he’s inclined – he may try to do stuff you don’t like too.  You want DACA to continue?  Urge your Representatives and Senators to work together to create a constitutional, legislative fix.  The President said he’d sign it – he even gave them quite a bit of time to do it; so stop acting like he’s the big evil bogey-man because he believes the law says what it says and means what it means.

All that to say: finally.  The President kept his word and has consistently – if ham-handedly – tried to carry through with what he said he would if elected.  And, as stated above, he did it while being gracious and compassionate and allowing the system to figure itself out to reach a more amicable, legal decision.  Bully for him!

Now, in other things – join me in donating to these places for Harvey relief:

JJ Watt’s Houston Flood Relief Fund (He’s gonna make sure it goes to a good place)
Houston Food Bank (I don’t know what % goes to folks on the ground – but it’s a great place to give from everything I’ve looked into)
Church of God Ministries (100% goes to help on the ground)
Salvation Army

While the Southeast floods, the Northwest burns – I’m still looking for places to give here….  Donated to the local Salvation Army because I know they do good work.  If I find more, I’ll share it.

On A Cup of Morning Joe And Other Things…

One of my favourite memes…  EVER.

Verse of the Day:

No one calls for justice;
      no one pleads a case with integrity.
They rely on empty arguments, they utter lies;
     they conceive trouble and give birth to evil.
~ Isaiah 54:9 ~

So the other day President Trump pardoned controversial figure Sheriff Joe Arpaio (SA); I would have shared my thoughts earlier, but I had a fantasy football draft to prepare for and attend – priorities people!

On the pardon itself
*shoulder shrug* Meh.
Everyone knew it was coming, and yet the media did what it does best: blew everything out of proportion and acted like the world was ending.  The coverage that night was ridiculous, and it continues to be.  As I’ve stated before: to me intellectual honesty and integrity are pretty key, and I’ll get into why this whole thing is stupid. on so many levels.

Regarding the President
He was going to Pardon SA from the beginning, and anyone who thought differently is living in a fantasy world – one that many of us may enjoy, please pass whatever it is you’re partaking in.  This was completely consistent with the President’s views that immigration law was poorly enforced by the last administration (it was), and that stricter enforcement was necessarily a good thing: this is not racist, this is not discriminatory – it is a policy preference for the laws of the land to mean something and be enforced accordingly.

Regarding Sheriff Arpaio
I can honestly say I don’t know much more about the man than what’s been in the news and what’s on Wikipedia – and I don’t care to; in the grand scheme of things – priorities, people!
But, what you can find about him is that almost since he was elected Sheriff in 1992 he has been a contentious figure; with many siding with him because of his hard-nosed stance towards criminals in jail and those here illegally, with many siding against him for many reasons mostly failing into the category of civil rights abuses (perceived and otherwise).
I’m not a big fan of that kind of thing; most of the time I (publicly) steer away from controversial fellows like that because it doesn’t foster good-will, harmony, and national unity (though I understand their necessity and usefulness from time-to-time) – something I think we need more of, and I’m a big fan of Vice-President Pence’s advice:

“If there’s a line you don’t want to cross, you don’t even walk up to it — you stop three feet in front of it.”

*advice maybe we should all take to heart – I know I should more often*
Now, maybe there were lines SA was okay approaching and/or viewed as worthy of crossing – that’s for him to say; the courts clearly disagreed with his interpretation of what law enforcement should be doing, and the legal process played out like it should have…  And a part of that is the President having the power to pardon if he deems proper; he did.  End of story.

Regarding the Right
Two parts here – there is the portion of the Right that seeks to be admired by the public and the media and can’t wait to be the first to condemn President Trump because it will score them political points, and there is the portion that can’t get enough of The Donald.
On the former, nothing new to see here: the decision may have been politically unpopular, and political animals will do political things – it’s what they do.
On the latter, it’s a victory lap that perhaps they should not be taking part in.  Your guy got pardoned, be thankful and move on: I know the left and the media aren’t going to let it go – don’t let them drag you into the muck.  Also, there is an incredible amount of posturing involving the moral equivalency of the previous administration, the ‘they did it first’ argumentation, etc. – I’ll get into that momentarily – don’t worry about it, but…  The President has the Constitutional Right to pardon and commute, if you had a problem when the last President did it – you should have problems now; have the integrity to be consistent in your application of political principles.  And another thing: none of this is conducive to promoting better community and unity, so let’s focus on that when and where we can.  All that to say…
What’s done is done, move on.

Regarding the Left / Media
Seriously?  You have problems with this pardon, but you had no problem with the previous administration deciding that our Constitutional form of government didn’t suit their needs desires so they were going to unilaterally change immigration policy?  You have problems with a law enforcement officer attempting to enforce the lawfully passed laws of the land in regard to immigration, but you have no problems with people who break those laws (even Justin Trudeau of Canada has a problem with people who do that – where’s the condemnation there? I mean, he is a racist, right?).  Where were you when the last President was commuting the sentence of a traitor and pardoning one who leaked national secrets?  If you didn’t say anything about Manning and/or Cartwright – shut your cakehole, you have no room to condemn – and this applies doubly to the media.  The coverage on this was bordering on apocalyptic and that is just embarrassing for the media and the left when they refuse to provide wall-to-wall coverage on these – it is an indictment of an ideology that has one thing, and one thing only in mind: the march of leftist policies no matter the cost.  Also, you have no problem calling for civility in discourse, but the second someone disagrees with you on immigration policy (or any policy for that matter really) you publicly denounce them as racists?  As fascists?  This doesn’t help your cause, it just makes reasonable people think you’re unreasonable, self-absorbed jackasses without a reasonable worldview or any rational context – I have friends that immediately called President Trump racist for pardoning SA and believing immigration laws should be enforced, and it made me cringe.  Get over yourselves already.  Believing that immigration should be regulated and the laws surrounding it should be enforced is not racist, it is not fascist, it is reasonable.  It is reasonable to disagree with the current law, but if you don’t like the law – change the law; if our elected officials choose not to change it – get new ones at the ballot box.  But until then, the law is the law is the law – and we are “a government of laws, and not of men” as John Adams once aptly pointed out.

I think that covers most everyone and everything – maybe I’ll think of something more later on.

But my conclusion is we all need to take a deep breath, re-evaluate how we’ve reacted to situations in the past and now, find a way to assess our opinions without attacking people who have different policy preferences, and then watch some football (or baseball) for the love of all that’s holy!  There are Husky and Duck fans to rip on for goodness sake.  😇

On A Troubling Double Standard…

Verse of the Day:

Lord, the God of Israel, there is no God like you in heaven or on earth—you who keep your covenant of love with your servants who continue wholeheartedly in your way.  You have kept your promise to your servant David my father; with your mouth you have promised and with your hand you have fulfilled it—as it is today.
~ II Chronicles 6:14-15 ~

Today I wonder what the generation that gave birth to the greatest experiment mankind ever conceived would think of us and what we have become – I wonder what every preceding generation would think…  And I’m speaking in reference to the America we live in where a high school coach that kneels in prayer is fired and a player that prays is mocked, while a football player that kneels during the national anthem is deifiedimg_1298 (I’m not linking to anything because I couldn’t figure out which douchiest love-fest for this craptastic quarterback I should use, so I used his stats from the last two seasons) and a high school coach that encourages his entire team to do the same in honor of said player is cheered and celebrated.  To be honest, I know what the Father of our country would think about the former, he made it pretty clear:

“If I could have entertained the slightest apprehension that the Constitution framed in the Convention, where I had the honor to preside, might possibly endanger the religious rights of any ecclesiastical society, certainly I would never have placed my signature to it, and if I could now conceive that the general government might ever be so administered as to render the liberty of conscience insecure, I beg you will be persuaded that no one would be more zealous than myself to establish effectual barriers against the horrors of spiritual tyranny and every species of religious persecution.”
~ President George Washington ~

From a guy who supposedly found little solace in religion personally, he sure took religious practices in the public and private sphere awfully seriously.  Also, I’m pretty sure we know where he stood on those objects that were symbols of national unity – they were things he gave his entire adult life to after all.

I was pretty disheartened today when the most overturned Court of Appeals, the hallowed (sarcasm, Sheldon) 9th Circuit (though that part is heartening – they are so wrong so much of the time it would be comical if we didn’t have to live with their terrible decisions for any period of time) ruled that the Bremerton High School had rightfully fired him because he somehow forcefully proselytized by quietly praying by himself after the game (you’ve really got to read the opinion – it is so ridiculous you will be amazed!).  Give me a break.  We have to deal with schools that have transgender reveal parties for five-year olds that parents can’t excuse their children from and children in the first grade can get sent to the Principle’s office because they misgender someone… and that’s okay?  But a coach can’t pray by himself in public because… it’s wrong?  It’s forcing an ideology down someone’s throat?  It hurt your widdel feewings?  It will make you grow purple polka-dots on aquamarine skin?  Grow up.  I am so ready to give up on the general public and move to the wilderness right now… because I’m an outdoorsman (I’m not an outdoorsman).

The double standard here is so painfully obvious, and those that don’t acknowledge it are willfully ignorant/oblivious: many of the same people that are perfectly fine with this coach’s firing (or even openly appreciate it) celebrate Kaepernick’s open insult to one of the few symbols that should unify us as a people, and think somebody should be forced to hire him; at least Kap has a reason for not having a job – he sucks at football, that coach didn’t – he just exercised his First Amendment Rights and got fired for it.  How intellectually dishonest can we be as a society?  Do we even care?  Or is it really all just about pushing an illiberal agenda where there’s no room for the public embrace of the faith that has helped this Nation grow as much as it has?  I have a feeling I know the answer, it’s just so sad.

I pray that the Supreme Court has the good sense to do what needs to be done, and overturn the 9th AGAIN.; I pray that common sense returns to the people of this land; I pray we find a sense of morality grounded in our Creator’s wisdom again; and I pray for the people in the path of zombie hurricane Harvey.

In closing, here’s a link to some ways to help victims of Hurricane Harvey which has just made landfall in Texas.

I’ll catch you on the flip side…

On The Day That Was Yesterday When Stupid Seemed To Reign…

Verse of the Day:

“Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.”

~ Proverbs 19:21 ~

I’ve got a lot of plans…  I hope and pray they’re in alignment!

Now, On Other Things

Wow…  What a busy, stupid day yesterday.wha

ESPN cancels a reporter’s appearance at a game… because of his name?!  President Trump was… well, Donald Trump.  The media, pundits, and elected officials lost their minds (again).  The Bundy’s were acquitted.  And the Chicago Bears’ coaching staff still refuses to acknowledge that Mike Glennon probably isn’t the answer to anything other than “What QB got paid the most for showing almost nothing this year?”.


In “Ways People Couldn’t Be Stupider” today…  ESPN determined it was in everyone’s best interest to shuffle their announcer deck so that a young Asian-American announcer named Robert Lee wouldn’t have to announce a game at the University of Virginia on opening week.  Defending this move, they claimed they were merely trying to protect their staff from ridicule.  Well, they succeeded – kind of.  Instead of mean-spirited memes or other things (that naturally occur in sports anyways…  ALL THE TIME), they are victims of their own hubris, and are being excoriated by virtually everyone over this stupidest of moves.  Honestly, I didn’t think we could get this dumb as a society – clearly I was wrong.  Not only does it hurt ESPN in the now, it exacerbates the (correct) perception that ESPN is moving well beyond sports (the arena it should be focused on) and expanding ever more rapidly into advancing leftist political agendas; there’s a reason I don’t watch ESPN anymore, and this is just the most recent example.  #dontwatchESPNanymoreitsbadforyourbrainpan

Then…  Last night the President did what only Donald Trump can do: he was himself.  This was the Donald Trump that ate through 17 4 much more qualified candidates (and 13 other guys/gals) in the Republican primary and then surprisingly (not really) squelched Secretary Clinton’s presidential aspirations in the general.  It was the Trump that rallied people across the country and rallied them around #DrainTheSwamp, and his supporters couldn’t get enough of it.  And the left and the media and the entrenched apologists for a do-nothing Republican Congress couldn’t take it…  It was kind of beautiful to watch – any time a crowd embraces and chants the idea that “CNN Sucks” I become happy.  Any time pundits respond to this like it’s the first time they’ve seen Donald Trump be The Donald and try to question his capacities, etc. – I am amused and entertained.  The unhinging of the left, the media, and those Republicans who can’t bother to keep their campaign promises (that one vote short came about because a guy who ran hard against Obamacare to get re-elected cared more about sticking it to the President than about the American people imnsho) is something that should be on display for all to see.  And that group of people – guilty of the worst kind of insular group-think – who keep floating the idea of unilaterally undermining the proper election results by removing this President are worse than the Russians they claim did the same thing (wait, we haven’t heard about that in a while since they don’t have anything…  Kind of funny how the media, left, etc. move from manufactured crisis to manufactured crisis in order to undermine this President).  All that rambling to say – this rally wasn’t as great as the President’s fans think it was, but it was nowhere near as bad as the media and others are trying to pan it to be – and it certainly wasn’t anything new.  People who expected Donald Trump to stop being Donald Trump because he was elected President need to disabuse themselves of that notion and at least try to understand the appeal of him to the everyman – something I gather they never will.

I kind of covered the melt-down of the left, etc. in response to yesterday’s rally above; suffice to say it was hilarious and epic in its disproportion.  Maybe if the media started doing its job instead of acting like they were an opposition party; maybe if pundits – I’ve got nothing here other than they should cease being scaremongers, acting as if every time the President opened his mouth the world was ending (Clapper was especially trite the other day), and calling anyone that supports the President a racist, homophobic, transphobic Confederate Nazi scum (or something to that effect).

The Bundy’s were acquitted… And how that happened I will never know.  While I agree that the Federal Government is increasingly expansive, and has usurped much power that should have never fallen into its hand, and is about as responsive as the British government was to the colonists back in the 18th century – there are laws, and by all accounts the Bundy’s broke them.

Look, we may agree with the plight of the Bundy’s and be sympathetic to their cause; that doesn’t mean what they did was right or legal.  I chalk this up to people being fed up with the government, but I find little solace in a jury deciding to acquit individuals who broke the law because they don’t like the law.  We have elections, and the power of redress in our States through initiative and petitions – that’s how you change laws you don’t like.  Super irritating to be on the side of law and order, only to have half your side abandon those principles when it doesn’t suit their wants.

And lastly – what is going on in Chicago?!  How have we not given Mitch the opportunity to take snaps with the first team yet?  John Fox refusing to even give the inkling it might be on the table leaves me flabbergasted, and it needs to stop!  Mike Glennon may be a great guy and an exceptional teammate; he’s not looking like the best quarterback on our roster and it’s time to see what else we’ve got before the season starts!  #FirstTeamRepsforMitch


On The World Being A Little Less Funny Now… (and more)

“All the world’s a stage,
And all the men and women merely players;
They have their exits and their entrances…”

On Sunday, August 20, 2017 the world became a less funny place.  One of its great humourists, Jerry Lewis, exited the stage one final time leaving behind a legacy he and his family can be proud of.

“I’ve had great success being a total idiot.”

I can’t claim to know too much about the man himself, but from what I can gather he was a consummate professional – dedicated to his craft, and making himself the best he could be at it; he also seemed to have a heart for serving others as his life-long work with the Muscular Dystrophy Association (maybe donate one more time in his honour) and his desire to help children in need; and he was funny.

Not Will Ferrell ‘I’ll cringe while I laugh at your jokes and wouldn’t think of letting my niece and nephew watch or listen to you’ funny.  Not profanity-laced, crude modern-day stand-up funny.  Just funny.  Good old-fashioned, innocent funny.

Some years back when my niece was born, I felt the need to go out and buy several DVD sets of things I didn’t want her and my nephew to miss out on; included in those are three of the greatest duos of all time imnsho – Abbott & Costello, Hope & Crosby, and – you guessed it probable – Lewis & Martin.  These were the groups I wanted to share because they’re some of my favourite entertainment memories; those winter nights when mom and dad would go to Hollywood Video and rent us movies, it would often be these guys.  And one of my favourites!  Scared Stiff

This here is my kind of funny.  And it’s the kind of funny I’m glad I can share with everyone.

And now there’s less of it in the world…  You will be missed, Mr. Lewis, but you have left a mark that remains.  Thank you for the memories.


In other news, the President gave a speech last night outlining the new strategy moving forward in Afghanistan…  and it was surprisingly good.  When CNN has a hard time finding anything bad to say about it, and Senator Graham has nothing but praise for President Trump – hell has frozen over with the jihadists in it (I wish).

“The consequences of a rapid exit are both predictable and unacceptable,” Trump said. “We cannot repeat in Afghanistan the mistake we made Iraq.”

I appreciate what the President had to say, and that he was man enough to admit that he has changed his mind (as did the last President) based on the advice given to him.  While the worst people have been able to say about the speech is that President Trump didn’t give enough specifics – that is something I’m more than okay with.  He didn’t say exactly what he’d be doing and how long we’d be doing it – it’s best not to telegraph that info so the enemy can just wait us out… like they did when President Obama set an arbitrary withdrawal date of 18 months.  Apparently unlike our last President, this one occasionally learns from history.  President Trump has also done infinitely better than President Obama in not playing armchair General, and disseminating authority and decision-making power to the people who are qualified to do it on the ground – and this sounds like more of the same; which has given us yuuuuuge gains in the battle against ISIS so fat this year.  I look forward to seeing what our men and women in the armed forces can accomplish with the gloves taken off and the Generals in charge.


Today’s Verse:

A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for a time of adversity.

~ Proverbs 17:17

And Another Thing…

The home of the First and Second Battles of Bull Run – Manassas, VA – has had to cancel its Civil War Weekend for safety concerns.  This is getting stupid, people – and it just keeps adding to the reasons people are the worst: so just stop it.

Civil War re-enactments were one of my favourite things to go to when I was younger; I loved learning about the era and the people and the events that shaped and changed the course of our country.  Just stop already.

On that note – have an awesome Tuesday!

On Charlotsville, Intellectual Honesty, and Integrity

“When I talk to anyone or read the writings of anyone who has any axe to grind, I feel that intellectual honesty and balanced judgement have simply disappeared from the face of the earth. Everyone’s thought is forensic, everyone is simply putting a “case” with deliberate suppression of his opponent’s point of view, and, what is more, with complete insensitiveness to any sufferings except those of himself and his friends.”

~ George Orwell ~

I have an axe to grind…  That much I’ll admit to, but first:

The events of this last weekend in Charlottesville were terrible, an example of the worst mankind can offer: it was on both sides, and it needs to be addressed on both sides by all of us.

A recap:

  • A rally to protest the proposed tearing down of a statue of Robert E. Lee and renaming of Lee Park in Charlottesville was scheduled; permits were obtained and all community obligations were met for holding said rally by the planners – who were ostensibly a hodge-podge of groups that included neo-Nazis, KKK, alt-right extremists, etc.);
  • The planners of the rally and Charlottesville Police, knowing something like what happened would happen purportedly met/communicated well in advance and put together a contingency plan to prevent violence from taking place;
  • Counter-protests were planned by community members, BLM, Antifa, and more;
  • Friday night a heinous rally and march took place with people showing just how despicable their ideology and driving forces were in a display reminiscent of old Klan rallies replete with (tiki) torches and anti-Semitic slurs;
  • The day of the rally the safety promised to the rally holders was nowhere to be found as a situation was allowed to escalate quickly with few (inadequate) to no safeguards in place;
  • The planned rally (with proper permits, etc.) took place, and was met by counter-protesters (no proper permits, etc.);
  • Violence ensued, perpetrated by both sides but culminating in an evil individual allegedly (for legal reasons) associated with the white nationalist movement driving their car into the crowd of counter-protesters, killing one and injuring many others;
  • President condemns evil and blames both sides for violence;
  • Media blows up because President refuses to blame just one side and call them out;
  • President issues more robust statement two days later, says what needed to be said… should have left it at that; and then…
  • President holds a completely unnecessary press conference where he issues some factual statements, doesn’t go far enough for the second time in three go-rounds in condemning the alt-Right, and lambasts the media for “fake news” (correctly imnsho);
  • And in the latest update – Steve Bannon was fired.  Whether in relation to this incident or not, I can’t say – but it’s good riddance; he shouldn’t have been allowed to grace the West Wing’s doorstep as any kind of advisor.

My take (in order, mostly chronological):

  1. tumblr_m9g4hcmqz51qzd722o1_500
  2. Maybe this should have been #1…  But there’s a lot of people to be hitting our knees for: that hearts and minds are/can be changed, that a community can heal, and that we remember the more we have in common as Americans than the differences we have as politically motivated beings;
  3. Evil was on full display last weekend. It should not be excused, it should not be tip-toed around – it should be named for what it was.  The hateful ideologies and identity politics espoused by white supremacists, the KKK, neo-Nazis/Nazis, Antifa, and BLM are terrible and have no place in civilized society; I condemn all of them for what they are – evil.  Anyone who approaches things with vile hatred in their hearts and minds, and seeks to do harm is evil – I draw no distinction between groups that believe, behave, and act in that manner (nor should anyone).  And now my more extensive thoughts;
  4. As a community we need to reject tribalism like that on display this last week and the last couple of years. Any group that claims ultimate superiority over another based solely on differences in race (white supremacists/KKK, BLM), political ideology (Antifa, Alt-Right); any group that asserts special and superior status because of some cultural sub-set/group/race; any group that feeds into identity politics; etc.: these types of groups miss the mark by more than is acceptable. Groupthink of this kind is the grossest distortion of political and social reasoning; it is a betrayal of our status as the reasoning, responsible, self-governing individuals we were Created to be. The rise and promulgation of these ideologies is a throwback to darker days, and it saddens me that we haven’t learned from the past;
  5. I don’t feel like statues should be taken down or parks renamed (I agree with Sec. Rice), but if that is what the elected officials – or citizens through referendum/initiative – in a locality or State decide to do: that’s up to them. I agree with the assessment that once you start doing that, where it ends no one knows; and that we’re better off leaving monuments alone so that history is not forgotten. Also, I have little regard for people who claim to be “oppressed” or “discriminated against” because of statues/monuments/art/street and park names – these things do not oppress or discriminate, and feelings are poor reasons for policy.
  6. A side note: I have no fondness for rallies or protests (loathe may be a better word). They are at times a public good (think MLK Jr.), but are more often public nuisances (think idiotic protests by people that don’t like the outcome of an election, any of the ‘Occupy’ crap, think marches where violence against law-keepers is propagated, heck – I attended a Tea Party rally once and thought it was a giant waste of time afterwards, rallies for statues, etc.) that serve little to no purpose other than to get a group of people worked up over something – which feeds into our basest, most tribalistic impulses (and apparently recently leads to property damage and harm to our fellow man)… the only place I can think of that being a good thing is at a sporting event…   Today no one’s rights are being trampled on, nobody’s life is in danger – it is just now popular and acceptable to claim that opinions of your opponents are harmful, despite whatever facts and figures declare otherwise.
  7. Know thy history. National Socialist Party of America v. Village of Skokie was a landmark case in US First Amendment Law, and it was a good decision.  We may not like groups, we may find them and their values odious and repugnant – as I said above the very worst mankind has to offer; but that does not mean we have the right to prevent them from gathering or being heard.  The planned rally was legal, and as much as we may not like it – they should have been allowed to carry about their business unhindered.
  8. Counter-protests/rallies are completely within peoples’ Rights as well, as long as they too went through the proper channels – I feel that given the situation their requests would have been expedited/approved, but I don’t believe they went through the process to get them. Also, these counter-protests/rallies have a history of turning things violent – especially in the last election cycle where there were numerous incidents with counter-protestors attacking people gathered legally to express their civic rights. That being said, when something like this is going on – is it really best to insert yourself into the situation knowing your presence will most likely only make it worse? A better example was set when the NSPA set about its plans for a march through the predominantly Jewish neighborhood of Skokie, the community there did something constructive and created a Holocaust memorial museum instead of showing up to exacerbate matters.
  9. This may be controversial and upsetting to some, but I feel that certain elected officials in the region had political points to gain by enabling a certain narrative, and that by not allowing law enforcement to implement strategies that should have better protected people – they got what they wanted.  I’m not sure why, after being aware of the plan for quite some time, law enforcement was not better able to implement the plan they said was in place to keep people safe/why they were given the order to stand down as long as they were – but it is my opinion that it was partially politically motivated; and putting politics above safety in this situation was deadly and beyond the pale if it is the case.
  10. In the end one group (BLM, Antifa, etc.) showed up to start trouble with another group (neo-Nazis, white nationalists, etc.) they knew would be there, and the group that was there was all too willing to accommodate them – I think Ben Shapiro accurately likens it to the old red vs. brownshirt fights in the past (his podcasts the last few days do a good job discussing this situation if you’re interested). Anyone that suggests any ONE side was to blame for the whole affair is being intellectually dishonest and I don’t really respect/care about their opinion at that point. I’ve seen posts from friends saying – literally – ‘isn’t it nice to punch Nazis’… and the only acceptable answer is, ‘no’. We live in a nation where we are free to be as dumb as we want to be in our opinions, where we are given the ability to voice whatever stupid idea pops into our head free from the threat of violence, where stupid is as stupid does – and that’s all I have to say about that.
  11. Regarding the President’s first statement: he didn’t go far enough. Apparently he had something similar to the statement he gave later in front of him but chose not to give it, and that is terrible. He should have named names, he should have called out the organizers, the neo-Nazis, and the white nationalists…. He should have also named BLM and Antifa. These groups are everything that’s wrong with identity politics, and they promote and breed the kind of behavior that took place at Charlottesville. We need strength and moral clarity from the President of the United States, and while I agree that there were many sides at fault – they needed to be addressed by name up front; the delay was unnecessary and disappointing – President Trump needed to do better then, he has to do better from now on.
  12. Regarding President Trump’s second statement and press conference – he said what needed to be said. And the media refusing to cover both sides of the problem is a continuance of the disturbing trend by news agencies to promote only one viewpoint; there is a reason I, and many many others, do not trust them. They too need to do better. (when even NYT reporters are Tweeting it, you should take note)
  13. And finally, the people who were involved in the violence ought to be sought out by the authorities (not over-zealous individuals) and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law as Attorney General Sessions has indicated will be done; the individual who drove their car into the crowd and murdered a woman ought to be tried as the perpetrator of domestic terrorism if possible (me being by no means a legal expert…).

Now, as to intellectual honesty and integrity.

First, the difference: for the purposes of this Honesty is the adherence to facts, Integrity includes being honest, but also having strong moral principles, and having an internal consistency.

We are now engaged in a vicious cycle where both sides have engaged in an escalation of rhetoric that increasingly paints vast swaths of opposing ideology in the vilest of terms, and as that continues – more and more of the public are drawn into a war they didn’t want any part of, or even knew was going on. While the left insists that everyone that disagrees with pretty much any of their policies is a racist or Nazi or any other number of ist’s and –phobe’s; the right responds by lumping the entirety of everyone not them into the regressive left/libtard/unpatriotic buckets… And the rest of us are just over here asking what happened to everybody until we get bucketed with one of the groups – either by choice or by default. It’s not a good system; it doesn’t work for anybody but those on the fringes who are looking for ways to reaffirm and advance their own views.

And almost nobody is being intellectually honest or discussing this with integrity.

There is evil on all sides, it will always be with us. But we need to have the wherewithal and courage to discuss this and other issues with moral clarity, integrity, and intellectual honesty.

We need to be willing to address and call out the wrongs not only in the groups that we oppose or are in disagreement with, but to do the same with those groups that appear to be in alignment with us and/or our policy objectives; we must also not adhere to the notion that the enemy of my enemy is my friend. – “the enemy of my enemy is my enemy’s enemy, no more, no less”. But we have come to accept that the means justify the ends; that in order to advance our opinions it is okay for us to shout down, demonize, and physically harm those that disagree with us or express a conflicting point of view. So much so that we drive a wedge in our supposedly civil society to the point we are no longer able to talk about things in a civil manner because everyone is a libtard or a Nazi or a racist or a fascist, etc. – bottom line is they’re not good people, heck , they’re not even people a reasonable person would talk to.  And once you get to that point, you can’t have a conversation with someone so evil – now can you?

Too often, each side will discuss the evil in the world when an opposing party is responsible: when BLM marched with violent slogans and targeted law enforcement officers with slurs that encouraged violence upon them that incited attacks and assassinations against our police, when people who were angry over election results rioted and destroyed property and hurt people, when you burn campuses because you might hear an opinion you disagree with, when violent factions show up to places where they know they will cause mayhem – the Right was correct in their anger at President Obama for refusing to call out those who should have been held responsible in the first two instances and instead offering platitudes about coming together and condemning all violence (he even blamed guns and cops for these – an embarrassing display of political posturing) and they are correct in their anger with the media and the left for refusing to call out the violence of their own protestors at events; and when white nationalists/the KKK/the alt-Right etc. choose to put all their ugliness on display – the Left (and a large portion of the Right) are righteous in their anger when President Trump refuses to name groups and offers the same platitudes the former President did.

But righteous indignation from either side is disingenuous when we refuse to acknowledge the plank in our own eye; I have a hard time taking the media and the left seriously with their complaints over President Trumps original statement about the events in Charlottesville when they were perfectly fine and praised the milquetoast statements from the previous administration, or tried to find any way to pan the responsibility to other parties. I have an equally difficult time with members on the right that called out President Obama over the aforementioned statements while being perfectly fine (and even defending at times) the original statement from President Trump. Both were wrong, both were morally reprehensible, both needed to do better, and both did not. And we all need to acknowledge that. We don’t get to cherry-pick when violence is okay and when it’s not. We don’t get to cull those instances that only favour our chosen side and ignore the balance. We don’t get to espouse those kinds of opinions, give sanction to the idea that squelching unpopular and even evil opinions and speech through violence is acceptable, and claim to be freedom loving members of a civil society. It just doesn’t work that way, and – again – if you think it does you are lacking in the honesty and integrity departments.

Surprisingly – or not surprisingly once you look into him – George Washington had a lot to say about this… I’ll probably cover that more specifically once I finish a couple of books I’m reading. All that to say though…

In closing: moving forward we (it would be helpful if the media would as well, but I’m not going to hold my breath) should strive to reject these ways of thinking: as a people we must, we must, we must be intellectually honest – first with ourselves, then with the groups we belong to, then with the remainder; we need to embrace and confront the world with moral clarity; and we must act with integrity, striving for consistency in the application of our ideals.

“The integrity of the upright guides them, but the unfaithful are destroyed by their duplicity.”
~ Proverbs 11:3 ~

It’s the only way things are going to change for the better; my prayer is that we all do better.