Sep 27

Do You Pay Taxes? How Can You Support Someone Who Doesn’t?

How can anyone support a man who brags about how successful and rich he is, yet admitted he doesn’t pay taxes “Because I’m smart”? Do you pay taxes? I know I do, and the rate is higher than Mitt Romney (who did release his taxes). Why won’t he release his tax returns? What is he hiding? The IRS says they have no problem with him releasing them.

How can anyone support a man who says he will MAKE companies bring their businesses back to the US while he and his children are using 12 different countries to outsource all of their own retail products?

How can anyone support a man who cheats people who work for him by paying them only a portion of what he agreed to, and who bullies them into agreeing to a settlement or he will have them tied up in litigation for years – bankrupting them or causing them to close.? He is even cocky about it, saying he uses “loopholes” the countries allow, and then brags about it as “good business”. Many businesses do this, but they are not running for POTUS, and not asking taxpayers to do what they won’t.

How can anyone support someone who wants to represent ALL Americans, yet is disrespectful to women, people with disabilities, minorities, the POPE, and even Gold Star families? A man who says he has made sacrifices too, and then rattles off his business successes, does not have compassion for anyone other than his own self, and perhaps his family, and can not understand how anyone else feels or is suffering.

How can anyone believe the Law and Order is the same as Stop and Search? They are totally different terms. Stop and Search, an unconstitutional practice, means that you single out a person (usually of color) and can search them for any reason whatsoever. Maintaining law and order means that everyone (including Congress, law enforcement, and “entitled” people) is required to follow the law, and respect each other’s rights. If they don’t they are then tried according to the laws of the land. That is how order is maintained.

How can anyone not see that there are areas in our country that need to be looked at and changed?

Can they not see that, although we have a constitutional right to own guns to hunt, and protect our home and family, we do not have the right to use these guns to instill fear?

Our police departments consist of men and women who, for the most part, want to help keep law and order, and help those in need. They do not go out each morning wanting to hurt someone, and a good day is one where they don’t have to draw a gun. Don’t you think an “open carry” law makes them even more cautious and fearful, and more apt to make a wrong snap decision based on their desire to go home to their families at night? For them, anyone with a gun has the power to do them harm.

trump-and-taxesThere is a deep need for EVERYONE to come together and talk to each other, and get their fears and thoughts out. It should start on the local level and spread upward. Do you think Donald Trump will go along with this? No, his attitude is, shoot first and ask questions later – which is what is causing many of the problems we have now.

How can anyone believe that a man who can’t stand for anyone to “be mean to me” without retaliating can possibly work with leaders of the world to keep the peace? If his temperament is his best quality we are in real trouble if he has the ability to start a war.

This man is not a good businessman! Do you think he would have had his degree of success if he did not get “a small loan” of $1 million from his father, plus additional loans totally $14 million? How many small businesses were able to start out that well?

He has taken advantage of the loopholes in the laws to cheat others out of what he agrees to pay them. He has (literally) built his empire on the backs of the little people and small businesses.

How do you think a man who grew up as a rich, spoiled kid who evaded service with five deferments, yet still managed to play sports, has the courage to face serious decisions that will benefit people he has never even interacted with, except to hire? He does not represent YOU, he represents himself and his interests.

How do you believe lowering taxes on the wealthy, who have increased their wealth over the last few years by using the same loopholes, will lower our debt? When you see a CEO, like the one from Wells Fargo who made multi-millions by deceiving bank clients, and did not get convicted, do you think Trump will have him prosecuted?  He threw 5,000 low-level people under the bus, and still is allowed to keep the multi-millions of ill-gotten money. This is what will continue to happen.

Do you believe Donald Trump will go after Wall Street bankers when he owes so many of them himself?

Donald Trump has been sued over 3,000 times!!! What does that tell you about the man? There has to be validity in a large percentage of these claims. Most business never get sued, especially if they are honest. He has bilked not only his contractors, but people who trusted him with their education, and people who donated money to his “Trust”.

Taking money from a trust (which he has not donated to in years) in order to purchase two life-size self-portraits and pay your legal fees, does not instill confidence that he won’t try to bilk the citizens of this country out of as much as he can, while allowing the “loopholes” to continue to benefit his businesses.

OPEN YOUR EYES BEFORE YOU DOOM OUR NATION. Stop listening to all the conspiracy theories about Hillary Clinton. Look at who you are getting your information from and question what they are saying. She has devoted her life to helping children, and many others to get health care and helping others to stop living in poverty. What has Donald Trump done to help you?

We are already a strong country. Help make it stronger by paying attention to what is said. Do you want to keep living in fear, or do you want to stand up and say that it is not only politicians who can be dishonest. There are “businessmen” who are dishonest too. Speaking your mind can be refreshing, but using your head before you speak shows you are in control of your emotions – and mature enough to handle what is needed.

Think about it!


#notaxestrump  #howcanyouvotefortrump #openyoureyestoaconman

Sep 22

Not Just Presidential Race

This election is not just a presidential one between Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump.  We have to stop the obstructionist thinking that pervades in the GOP. Our country deserves more, and better, than this. They took an oath, and have not done their jobs for 8 years.

Take care to research the people you put back in office. Just because you know their names, or they have always been elected, does not make them the right person for the job now.

VOTE, but take your vote seriously.



Jul 22

Integrity of Our Leaders Is Essential, Whether You Believe It or Not

I watched what I could of the GOP Convention this year, thinking back to 1980 when I went to the Indiana State Convention and could have gone to the national convention. Although there were some similarities, there were more differences – and they were major differences. Integrity of our Leaders is essential, and I saw more of it in the past than in the present.

In 1980 there were issues brought out, and solutions put forth as to how to go about solving these issues. In 2016 there was a lot of rhetoric, problems brought out, and name calling, but nothing was established as to how to go about solving problems.

There were video cameras in 1980, but there was no fact checking instantly. We waited for the newspaper came out the next day, and depending on their political slant, if the lies were caught or ignored. Now fact checking is quick, and there were many facts that either were stretched or non-existent.

Despite the idea from the GOP that plagiarism was not important, it comes back to integrity. Although I do not put the blame of plagiarism solely on Melania Trump, she is not a politician and I blame the poor job of research and writing squarely on her speech writer, I do have a problem with her saying she wrote it herself and lying about it. It goes to the main theme of this candidacy – “to lie is alright, no one will care anyway. I can lie as much as I want, and those around me can too, and it won’t make a difference.”Integrity - World is watching

I agree with some of the things the GOP says, we do need to work on improving our immigration problem – but building a wall is a wasted expense. As many drug lords have already said, “We’ll just dig tunnels.” A wall is a temporary determent, but not a solution.

We need to improve relations between police and the communities. This is done by each side working together, and getting to know each other as people and not as a group. Blaming any movement – like Black Lives Matter, or LGBT, is simply pointing fingers and not solving anything.

Have we lost our memory? Back in 2008 we were definitely in a recession, and almost to the point of a depression. Things were pretty dismal then, and it was due to Bush/Cheney and NOT Obama. Despite the “Do Nothing” Congress, and Mitch McConnell, who seems to take pride in his obstructionist tactics, compromise with the Democrats would have accomplished a whole lot more, and helped the government move forward. The entire GOP is deficit when it comes to integrity. They forget they were elected by and FOR the people of this great nation, and not for the lobbyists and corporate money.

The fact that the GOP chose to support the party, without thought to the fact that the MAJORITY of the people elected President Obama, showed that they all lacked the integrity to stand behind their constituents. It showed they were more concerned for getting re-elected than in doing the right thing. Luckily, President Obama was able to turn things around despite them, and unemployment is down and the economy is doing much better (I’m not saying it’s great, but it is better). This is a fact, and no matter how the GOP wants to whitewash it, the facts are the facts and the professionals agree.

Once again, the fact that so many GOP stated they would never support Trump, yet got behind him when he threatened to bully and retaliate against them, or they saw he had the votes to get the nomination shows the lack of integrity they seem to possess. A man of integrity would stand behind his principles, despite the repercussions.

The Trump campaign has been built on fear and misinformation. He has used fear of immigrants, fear of terrorism, fear of blacks, fear of gays, and fear of the white man losing his position of power from woman and minority groups, as a basis for his campaign.

He has supported tax breaks to the rich and corporations – because it helps him. He has supported the abolishing of unions – because it will help him. He has pointed out that Hillary Clinton is a criminal over things she did that other Secretary of States’ have done, or she had no personal control over, and she has not been found guilty of, despite lengthy investigations – yet he has been sued a record number of times over the past 3 decades (3,500+ times) and his supporters don’t even blink at this. With that many attacks there has to be some truth.

Integrity plays a HUGE part in a leader’s personality. If it doesn’t help Trump, it is of no consequence. He will hide behind the loopholes as “good business,” yet never give a thought to how it affects others. Thousands of people can attest to the fact that he does not negotiate, does not keep his promises, and treats people as if they are not important.

He has bankrupted many small businesses who contracted with him. His common practice when it came to paying for work he contracted with is to refuse to pay them full payment (due to not enough income – despite him saying he is extremely successful), and bullying them into taking a much lesser amount or he will keep them tied up in court forever – costing them more in legal fees. He does not care whom he hurts, as long as he got a “good deal for his company.”

If you were a contractor how would you feel?

We gauge our leaders on how they treat others, does this sound like a leadership quality to you?

Trump has even spoken out and said he will have his vice president run the country for him. Why are we electing Trump if he is not going to be doing his job, and delegating it to someone else?

My fear is this man will not only put us in a war with our enemies, he will alienate our friends. Then we are fighting alone. How many of our sons and daughters are we willing to lose simply because an immature man with a thin skin needs to stroke his ego?

It all boils down to the fact that Integrity Is Essential for our leaders – for us to trust them after they are elected to work FOR US and not for themselves.


Jul 04

WE are Going To Change America

This Independence Day is the best time for this blog. It is what this holiday celebrations is all about. Our forefathers fought to gain independence from tyranny, bigotry, hatred and fear – and that is exactly what we are fighting for now. We are in a new revolution, and it’s time we realize it and do something about it. WE are going to change America – and it is doable.

Over the years, when times get hard and I look at all the negative things that happen in my life, I ask myself, “In the overall scheme of things, does this really matter?” It really helps me to put things in perspective. In the overall scheme of things, our voice really does matter, and all the smokescreens and bullshit that is slung to prevent us from seeing the true picture has to be muddled through.

Now, whether you believe in psychics or not, what this woman says in this video has actually helped me to put it all in perspective. By showing us that if we look at the craziness that is taking place in politics today, we can’t blame Donald Trump for what has happened within the country, or the GOP. It’s been going on for a long time – much before he started to think about putting his name on the White House.

I know those who know me will think I have gone start raving crazy when I see any good to come out of Trump’s bid for Presidency – but there really is a light there. What Donald Trump has done is to take all the misogny, bigotry and hatred that has been under the surface and brought it out into the light. He feeds on bringing out the fears in those who are not strong enough to see that fear itself is the enemy. If allowed to remain hidden these fears and thoughts just fester and grows angrier.

By bringing these attitudes out into the open it makes us all aware that things have not changed as much as we had thought, and there is much work to do. It also exposes those who feel, or have felt this way. Donald Trump speaking out has allowed others to do the same and in doing so show their true character. His voice has allowed others to come out of the cellars, and it is an ugly thing to see.

We are getting a glimpse of the true character of people who will support Trump. Some see him as a savior to eliminate the fears he continues to feed them. Some see him as a businessman and not a politician, as a breath of fresh air. Some see him as an alternative to another Clinton (especially a woman) in the White House. Some even support him, although in their hearts don’t agree with him, because it is politically and financially feasible for them to do. Most don’t look past the words and see they are shallow, and they don’t care. They choose not to see any lies because it would force them to look inside themselves. That in itself is a fear.

We have an opportunity to really take a look deeper into the character of those we have elected, and continue to elect, and see them for what they really are – many of whom are greedy and self-serving. Is that the type of person you want to represent you – DO THEY REALLY REPRESENT YOU? Is an immature person with a volatile temper and old-fashioned ideas really someone you want to represent you?

Getting out the vote is so very important in this election. The candidates themselves are simply a smokescreen. What we really need to do is to take back our country to a representative government of, by and FOR the people – not for the party, or the special interests.

We see the problem for the snake that is really is, and it’s not just one candidate, or one state, or even one election.

WE ARE GOING TO CHANGE AMERICA – not Donald Trump, or Hillary Clinton, or even Bernie Sanders. WE HAVE THE POWER. Let’s exercise it.

Convince your friends to get out and vote (no matter who they vote for). Form car pools, go in groups, not only exercise the right – EMPOWER yourselves to make this country greater than it is. Together we have done great things, and we can again.

There is a revolution – it’s the people vs the status quo. Vote out those we feel in our hearts are not doing the job we pay them well to do. Don’t listen to the commercials and news stories. Look at the records. How did they vote on women’s issues? How do they vote on veteran’s issues? Are they voting to help those in need – the elderly, the poor, the sick, or are they voting their special interests? Does their record reflect how you feel? If so, vote them back in, but if not, vote them out.

It’s a simple solution – but it has a mighty impact. VOTE – and get everyone you know to vote too. THAT is how we are going to change America.



#changeAmerica #WEcanmakeAmericagreater #gettingoutthevote

Jun 29

Take Our Country BACK? What About Moving Forward?

I keep hearing from Donald Trump supporters that we need to take our country back. Back to what? To slavery? To before women had the right to vote? To Medieval times when men were the lords and the women were their property?

Even taking us back to pre-1960 is a kick in the ass for those who fought to protect our country and keep it safe – either as soldiers in war, or protestors in the Civil Rights movement.

I keep hearing them say Ronald Reagan would support this – yet from his own son’s mouth you will hear him say that President Reagan would be ashamed of the way the tide is turning back. He fought President Gorbachev to “tear down this wall” that separated Germany from East Germany. Do you think he’d support a wall to separate us from Mexico?

aMERICAGranted, there are many illegal immigrants coming into this country through Mexico and South America – most are trying to find jobs or fight oppression. This is the reason most people immigrated here. We live in the greatest country in the world – NOW!

Instead of sending our jobs to India, why can’t we send them to Mexico? The cost of living is low there, and you would be employing people who would otherwise be trying to come here. Of course, Mexico does not want to change their way of living. Their citizens come here to make money they send home to spend – which improves their economy, and the government can sit back quite content, they don’t have to work to bring industry in.

I remember when times were tougher, race relations were poorer, women were feeling as if they were empowered to become anything a man can. This was a good feeling. It wasn’t the best, but it felt good. People started to not see color, but see individuals. Men still resented a woman boss, but learned to respect them for their brains and ideas.

Our country is not perfect. There may be others in Scandinavia that appears to be better, but this is still the country the majority of people want to either emulate or live in.

What I have seen in the last year is shocking. I’ve seen people who are usually very nice making statements that are racist and hateful. The spirit of the country has taken a turn, and it is not making America great. There is a need for people to stop looking at color of skin and start getting to know each other. Stop looking at the type of religion a person practices and appreciate their similarities. Instead of living in fear of someone or some religion, learn to understand what they and their religion is all about. There are good and bad in every race and religion. Most people are good. Unless you have reason to suspect someone is doing evil, don’t assume they are bad or doing evil.

If we are always looking at the dark side you never see the sunshine. We can’t live in fear. I remember in the 1960s when we had fallout shelters, and everyone was afraid China and Russia. My father sold survival packs, filled with tablets (chocolate flavored), and other items that were supposed to help us stay alive for a certain length of time (I don’t remember the details anymore). NOTHING HAPPENED! There were no bombs, there was no invasion, and we were safer than we are today.

I see no reason to even want to make America great again, it already is. I would like to see it better though – and that is possible through releasing our fears and opening up to new ideas – and change. Change is hard, but it is necessary to improve things.

Instead of making America great again, why not making it easier to live in?


#livinginfear  #makeAmericakinder  #Americasspirit


Apr 05

How Do You Handle Criticism – As Rejection or a Challenge?

Criticism is very hard for anyone to hear, but each of us chooses how we handle it. I am one of those people who see criticism as a challenge. I listen to what the person has to say, and then weigh the reasons why they said them. If I feel they are criticizing out of fear, anger or jealousy I may dismiss their opinion. If, however, I feel they are criticizing out of concern, or to help, then I will do what I can to correct the problem.

When I wanted to start a local newspaper I heard a lot of people tell me I wasn’t going to be successful. Many people had tried it before and not been successful. These people are not me. I looked at this as a challenge. I am always up for a challenge, and usually end up showing I am more capable than they thought.

People often judge others because of their looks, their income, or their education.

Many people who are considered plain have wonderful minds and their outward appearance did not hinder them from doing good for others. Eleanor Roosevelt is a prime example. She was not especially attractive in terms of Donald Trump standards, but was the most beautiful person on the inside – and this was recognized by leaders of countries and organizations all over the world. Her mind, empathy and realistic approach to life and world problems paved the way for many wonderful changes.

challengeThere is a story that Mr. and Mrs. Leland Stanford showed up at the office of the President of Harvard University wanting to donate money in memory of their son, who had attended the college for a year before he passed away. The secretary kept the couple sitting in the outer office for hours. There were dressed plainly, as if they came from the country. The couple were finally allowed to enter the office and speak to the head of the university. He was rude, and arrogant, dismissing them and thinking they could not afford to give anything of any merit. When Mrs. Stanford asked how much a building would cost the president said one of the buildings was 7-1/2 million. She turned to her husband and said, “”Is that all it costs to start a University? Why don’t we just start our own?” Her husband nodded. The couple left with a bewildered look on the president’s face. They returned to their horse farm in Palo Alto, California, where they started Stanford University in honor of their son.

No one can deny that education is important, but not all people who became successful had much formal education, or completed their formal studies. They used their mental resources to make their fortune, learning as they went along. examples of these people are: Steve Jobs, founder of Apple; John Glenn, Astronaut; Mark Twain, Author; Henry Ford, Industrialist; Winston Churchill, Prime Minister of Great Britain; Albert Einstein, Physist.

Looks, income or education to not make or break a person. It is what they have burning inside them that spurs them on. Many call that passion. Each of these people were criticized, looked down upon, scorned and rejected – yet they became successful because they chose to look at this criticism as a challenge, and not as rejection.

How do you handle criticism?


#handlingcriticism #facingrejection #prejudicecanmotivate


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Apr 01

Take the Time to Laugh and be Fools Today

Sometimes we all get a little too serious, I know I do. The economy is not where we want it to be, we sometimes struggle with everyday life, and we are surrounded by negativity everywhere we turn. That’s why it’s so always good to put some of that seriousness aside and do something crazy. Let’s allow ourselves to take the time to laugh and be fools today – April Fool’s Day.

Einstein sticking out his tongueAlbert Einstein often took time away from his work to enjoy the world around him. He loved to laugh, and get away from the serious work of understanding the universe and how it works. He saw the value in taking a break from reality, it gave him a different outlook – a new perspective, when he returned to being serious. One example was the famous photo, taken by Arthur Sasse in 1951, showing Einstein sticking his tongue out at when asked for a picture. Einstein liked this photo so much he sent it to his friends as jokes and on cards.

So, in honor of this day, set time aside time for pranks, and don’t be afraid to laugh and be fools. We only live once.

I have researched some quotes that should make you smile – if not outright laugh. Laughter is good for your health, and we should do more of it. I’ve even included a video of 10 funny April Fool’s Day pranks you must try (some are a little old, but fun) –


“The first day of April is the day we remember what we are the other 364 days of the year.” – Mark Twain

‘Looking foolish does the spirit good.” – John Updike

“However big the fool, there is always a bigger fool to admire him.” -= Nicolas Boileau-Despreaux

“Let us be thankful for the fools. But for them the rest of us could not succeed.” – Mark Twain

“It is better to be a fool than to be dead.” – Robert Louis Stevenson

“Wise men talk because they have something to say; Fools, because they have to say something.” – Plato

“There is nothing in the world so irresistibly contagious as laughter and good humor.” – Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol

“The greatest fools are ofttimes more clever than the men who laugh at them.”  – George R.R. Martin, A Storm of Swords

“A fool with a heart and no sense is just as unhappy as a fool with sense and no heart.” – Fyodor Dostoyevsky, The Idiot

“Laughter is poison to fear.” – George R.R. Martin, A Game of Thrones

“A learned fool is more a fool than an ignorant fool.” –  Molière

“Everyone gets scared at times. It’s only the fools who won’t admit it.”  – Jennifer A. Nielsen, The Runaway King

“We fool ourselves so much we could do it for a living.”  – Stephen King, Duma Key

“I love people who make me laugh. I honestly think it’s the thing I like most, to laugh. It cures a multitude of ills. It’s probably the most important thing in a person.”  – Audrey Hepburn

Enjoy the humor you will find today. Laugh and be fools, love and live!  Happy April Fool’s Day.


#laughteristhebestmedicine #humorinlife  #enjoyAprilFoolsDay

Mar 30

It Takes Courage to Speak, and to Listen

“Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak.  Courage is also what it takes to sit down and LISTEN.” – Sir Winston Churchill




This quote by Winston Churchill is especially true during an election year, where those who try to speak up are often silenced if they do not agree with what others’ perceptions are. Do it anyway. Unless we utilize our Constitutional rights to freedom of speech we may stand the chance of losing them.

He also says that it takes courage to sit down and listen. Many are so stubborn as to believe they are right and others are wrong, but have not taken the time to really listen to what others are saying. It takes courage to change your mind, and admit when you are wrong. We are not all perfect, and we can make mistakes. Admit to them. Own your right to change your mind.

Mar 28

Does Media Slant Our Perceptions?

Do you believe that the media spends more time on some subjects that are not newsworthy, while ignoring other things that are? Do you believe our media steers their stories to such an extent that it will slant our perceptions, and we then form opinions that are actually false? I certainly do.

I have never understood the draw of the Kardashians. They are lovely women, but I don’t see them as role models for girls who already think their bodies define them as a person. I have never seen them do anything charitable, or to help anyone but themselves. I would love to have their publicist, but come on – there are so many good things happening in the world why do we dwell on narcissism and negativity? The fact that you see their name everywhere, for no reason other than to promote them, shows our media has a false sense of what is newsworthy.

Follow the money. That is where the news goes. Publicity is not always news.

During this presidential campaign it is obvious that Donald Trump dominates the news. His is a showman, and knows the value of publicity. He seeks out every news station for a free interview over the phone, or in person. He tweets nonsense because he knows he will be talked about. He lies, he stretches the truth, he incites people to draw on their base emotions, and some people like the fact that he speaks his mind (not a good quality in a leader). You can’t, in all honesty, say that he doesn’t know how to get attention. The louder he speaks, and the more bizarre his comments, the more people he gets on his side – and the more media coverage he gets. He doesn’t need to pay a

On the other hand, Bernie Sanders has a growing movement going, and he can’t get any attention at all. The media undermines or minimizes his impact – which makes people who would normally support him vote for Hillary Clinton simply because they don’t believe Bernie is electable. It is quite possible that Bernie would get more votes if he got more media attention – but his profile doesn’t bring them money.

There used to be a time when journalism was about TRUE stories of events that actually are taking place. Hollywood and celebrities were not the center of focus, and what someone wore on a certain day to show off their body was not news.

Our media today is not journalism. What they print is often not newsworthy, but it does bring income to the network. Often the stories are slanted to meet the opinions of their bosses, and not based on truth – and they don’t care.  Fox News is a perfect example of how their news is more editorial than news, and they don’t even take the time to fact check. CNN has also made some significant changes in their style of news. Whereby they used to be renowned as independent and trustworthy journalism they have moved to sensationalism reporting – not journalism.

As long as the networks care more about where they get their money they will continue to slant our perceptions to please their monetary supporters. It is up to us then, to find alternative ways to get our facts.

Using the media to slant our perceptions is actually buying attention, and votes. We are fed as much propaganda as those flyers dropped down on the people in Saigon by the Viet Cong during the Viet Nam war. Are we going to continue to listen to the propaganda, or have we gotten so lazy as to allow the media to feed us their version of the truth to slant our perceptions?

The choice is ours, but the ramifications can be devastating.


#newsvsjournalism #slantedreporting #paidmediacontent #ourperceptionsoftruth

Mar 18

Is Kowtowing to the Party Best for Our Country?

It appears to me that politicians are more concerned about kowtowing to their party than to their constituents. Since when did we vote a particular political PARTY into office? Our representatives are supposed to do what is best for our country – and ALL of its citizens?

I understand politics, and I am not naïve that political parties do everything in their power to tilt the balance of power in their favor, but never being one to bow to anyone when it goes against my own personal convictions, I am amazed at what I am seeing.

Take for instance Sen. Lindsey Graham, one of the leaders of the GOP Senate. He has been extremely vocal about his distaste for the character and principles of Sen. Ted Cruz. He has stated that, if Sen. Cruz were to pass out on the Senate floor there would be no one who would go to help him. He said, “If you kill Ted Cruz on the floor of the Senate, and the trial was in the Senate, no one could convict you.” Now he is supporting Cruz for President (much against his own good judgment) because he doesn’t want Donald Trump.

Choices that are not the best for the country.

Choices that are not the best for the country.

Dr. Ben Carson and Gov. Chris Christie, who had extremely negative things to say about Mr. Trump and his views, yet have aligned themselves with him (albeit there are rumors Trump has offered a position in his administration for their support).

I am humbled because I didn’t think Trump was a viable candidate, and would not get this far. I underestimated the fact that his appeal is to the underbelly of our country, and they are the most vocal. I still have faith in our people, and they will see that the direction Mr. Trump and Sen. Cruz are taking our country is not only a frightening idea to other countries, but is not the best for our country.

I have a grandson who is part Latino. I have many friends who are black, some would not be considered what Donald Trump calls beautiful (I am included), some are Mexican, some are Muslim, Jewish, and even non-Christian. How would we fare in this type of administration? We don’t have prison camps and gas chambers yet, but it doesn’t seem so far-fetched now.

We are faced with the decision within the GOP as to whether to choose the misogynist; bigoted; self-involved;  LEAST qualified; immature person of Donald Trump, or Ted Cruz – who is instrumental in shutting the government down more than once; stopped a bill to raise the wages for our military; is ready to go to war without negotiations; believes women belong in the kitchen; and wants the United States to become a Christian nation – I just pray that neither one get the opportunity. Is this best for our country?

Being a leader of the greatest country in the world requires leadership qualities the ability to encompass all races, sexes, creeds and ideas in his/her decisions. Neither of these GOP candidates have a record of telling the truth, as long as a lie will work. They are selfish, and are not capable of compromise or learning the art of negotiation with other countries. These are not qualities for a U.S. President.

What is even more astounding is that they don’t have quality advisors (Donald Trump even said on the “Morning Joe” show on MSNBC that he has no advisors other than himself because “I have a good mind.” There is NO ONE in the world that is capable of handling a job of President of the United States who does not look to, and heeds the advice of, people who are more experienced than they are in military, domestic and foreign affairs – no matter how good a brain they have.

Come on people. Read material that is not put out by our top news agencies or newspapers, which have a bias toward one candidate or another. Use the brains God gave you to weigh the pros and cons of each candidate. Look at their past performance, and listen to what they are saying. Many of us will be too old to have to live under extremely bad circumstances that these men can create, but our children and our grandchildren will be alive, and they will be asking why we allowed this to happen. I want to see our leadership chosen for what is best for our country, and All of its citizens.

Mar 10

Why Do We Enjoy Watching Others Suffer?

There seems to be compunction in humans to get some perverse pleasure in watching others suffer, and see those who have reached success go through tough times. People have made their careers (if you could call it that) by searching the lives of people who are the top of their game for signs of weakness, and then exposing these secrets for others to delight in.

I find it heartbreaking to watch the media frenzy surrounding the pictures, innuendos, speculations and outright lies that surround celebrities like Lady Gaga; Tiger Woods; and Jennifer Anniston. Even if I don’t particularly like a person, I don’t want to see their private lives smeared in public. What gives us the right to delve into the private lives of others just because they have money or fame? They do their jobs, make a few public appearances to promote themselves and their work, and that should be enough. They have a right to privacy just as you and I.

Paparazzi_Swarm_Hillary_Duff-01Paparazzi (meaning buzzing insects) stalk celebrities to take pictures of them at their most unflattering times. They hound them for answers to personal questions as if it’s any of their business. I’ve periodically caught shows like TMZ spend hours going over some small fact that shows a celebrities weakness.

Just because they are good at their craft does not mean anything past their performance is the right of the public. The worst thing is what it does to the children of these celebrities. They did not choose the limelight, and often the parents just want to be left to some semblance of a normal private life.

Gossip is such a horrible thing, and so many people get hurt from it. We’ve all experienced the heartbreak caused by rumors, spread by people who have nothing else to do than delight in watching others suffering.

“Focusing on the failures of others allows us to hide from our own weaknesses”(author unknown) is an excellent way to describe what is really going on. We look at the lives of celebrities as being perfect, and dream of a life for ourselves just like it. Those beautiful people could not possibly know what it’s like to walk in your shoes!

There is no such thing as a perfect life. Everyone has flaws, and everyone experiences heartbreak. Imagine what your life would be like if you were betrayed by your spouse and the local newspaper spread it on the front page, put it on the radio and television, and you were hit in the face by it wherever you went? It’s not bad enough you have to endure the pain, but you have to do it in front of everyone. Not only that, but your family and friends are made to suffer along with you – getting asked questions from perfect strangers about your life. There is no time to work it out alone and in private.

The questioner makes it appear that they are concerned, where in reality they are simply satisfying their need to rub it in and be superior to the one in pain.

I find Paparazzi and tabloid “journalism” disgusting. There is so much going on in the world, and in our lives, that we don’t have to take pleasure in the pain of others. These people are not journalists, and this is not news. If they really wanted to take their craft seriously, find the good things that are going on in the world and report about them.

Every block of every town in the world has something wonderful going on at any given minute. There is no lack of material to cover. Hurting others in order to “earn your bones” seems like a seedy way to earn a living.

It is my belief that tabloid journalism has done a great deal to topple our society and drawn us away from the compassionate side of ourselves. We delight in the struggles of others, and don’t see anything wrong it that.

What does that say about us as a species?


#gossip #tabloidjournalism #thesufferingofothers


Toni Lawrence is a freelance writer from Michigan. You can visit her website at If you enjoy these articles, you may want to subscribe so you can be notified when another post is available. Please like us on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and other social media, and Like our page on Facebook.

Mar 06

Are We A Bullying or Arrogant Nation?

I wrote this article a couple years ago, but it still is relevant today as it was then. Are we a bullying and arrogant nation, and take for granted much of what we have.

I get emails passed along to me daily. Some I pass to others and some I delete. Every once in awhile I get one that makes me so angry I have to sit down and vent. A lot of these are pieces of propaganda – from both sides of the fence. Since I am a registered Republican, and have campaigned the last three presidential elections for Democrats, I usually ignore them, because I am not exactly enamored with either side on the majority of their legislation. It usually ends up riddled with worthless pork, and negotiations of any type have been almost non-existent. I realize that I have to do my own research to get the facts, and not listen to people trying to push forward a political agenda riddle with propaganda.

When Mr. Obama was elected I had high hopes that our nation would finally have the opportunity to come together – as we did during 911. I was so disappointed when, right out of the chute, the GOP decided to stall or deny ANY legislation coming from the White House. This is not trying to work together, this is retribution because THEY did not win the election, and they don’t want a black man in office. It’s pure and simple.I must think differently than other people because I still hear people blaming Mr. Obama for the lack of cooperation.

I am proud that Mr. Obama has used this lame duck time to push for things he had wanted all along. I think he has done an excellent job turning our economy around (it’s still got a lot of work to go, but we are not facing a depression anymore) and making us once again an admired country – especially considering the rude and arrogant behavior the GOP has used on him.

When politicians start looking out for ALL the people, and not just their own personal interests; running for re-election; and their own party agenda, then our nation will finally be what our forefathers had intended.

Although I admire and respect the 95-year old hero who supposedly wrote an email a while back, I do not fully support his position when he condemns Mr. Obama for making the statement that we are an arrogant naton. This is something I have told people for years!

ARROGANCEWe are an arrogant nation. We live in the greatest nation in the world and we think all other nations should be in awe of us. We are the top of the mountain, and look down on other nations who do not believe as we do – or don’t have the same customs, as being wrong. Who gave us that right? I don’t recall reading in any “good book” about the United States being the masters of the earth.I never read that the white race was superior to others (Jesus was a Jew born in the Middle East, he wasn’t “white” either). I read in the Bible that Christ said, “God is Love. He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.” -1 John 4:8.  Doesn’t that mean, if you do not know God if you do not love your neighbor (meaning ALL men)?

We are the envy of other countries, and our citizens, for the most part, are kind people with good values (although lately I am worried that the underbelly of our citizens is showing).

We are always the first to help out in case of emergencies, and although we don’t believe we ask anything in return, perhaps our jumping in immediately and overshadowing the local people’s efforts could be seen by other cultures as taking over. We think our methods and ideals are the right ones, and everyone else is wrong.

We, as a whole nation, take for granted the lifestyle we are lucky to have become accustomed to, and that others wish they had. In our efforts to show how powerful and mighty we are we often lose sight of the problems that are in our own back yard, or how other perceive us.

Mr. Estes, the WW II veteran in the email, condemned Mr. Obama for telling the world we are no longer a Christian nation. He was not telling them we are not Christians, just that we are no longer JUST a Christian nation. We have embraced people from all walks of life, all countries, and all religions – or at least we used to.

Although I am a Christian, I am not so blind as to believe that other religions don’t have wonderful and kind people who are just as loyal to their beliefs as Christians are. What is un-Christian behavior is the hate and intolerance many so called “Christian” people seem to have for those who do not believe as they do. After all, a Christian is someone who walks in the footsteps of Christ, and he embraced EVERYONE, even those who were non-believers. Think about this: there are so many different divisions in the Christian faith, and so many different styles of worship, that there is no one who can say for absolute certainty theirs is the TRUE Christian faith.

We all pray to the same God, but call him/her by a different name. No real religion professes violence! That is a concept of individuals with an agenda. If all nations follow the teachings of the Ten Commandments – and they all do in one form or another, then we all are one under God, no matter how we choose to worship. The best way to understand is to learn about each other.

More people have died from wars fought under the banner of “religion” than for any other reason. Greed is the essence of all wars – some one person or nation wanting more than they have. Religion is the excuse. The Crusades are a perfect example of man’s inhumanity to man, and even those who professed to being “Christian” were cruel and inhumane. There were no bounds of cruelty spared in the name of “Christianity.”

Until we all embrace our differences, and learn to understand that each of us has within us a “soul” that God gave us, we will always be in danger of losing our focus. God gave us freedom of choice, and from history we have learned we have not taken that responsibility seriously. God, being all-knowing, was fully aware what was going to happen before we were all born, and he chose to bring mankind here anyway. He made ALL people, ALL colors, and ALL sexes, and allowed disease and pestilence to inhabit the earth. He saw all life – animal, vegetable or human, as PERFECT in his eyes – yet we think we know better than him!

Mr. Obama has the wisdom to speak the truth, knowing it would bring controversy. American ARE arrogant – which does not make us bad people. We have fought hard, for ourselves and others, to be able to stand up and reach out a hand to help others. We have lost our men and women to war, slavery and persecution in the effort to be able to become one nation, UNDER GOD. By calling us arrogant that does not discount the efforts of our people, but it does say that we have a long way to go to learn tolerance.

In his address to other nations he acknowledged their perception of us – one that has been tarnished greatly in the last decades by the deeds of those who were supposed to represent ALL the people of our country. He wanted other nations to know that we are proud of our country, but we also need to grow and understand that other countries are also proud of theirs. We tend to think of ourselves as “better” and that is not the case. There is NO nation in the world that has not suffered hardships, war, poverty, slavery or grief in an effort to be free and independent people.

My generation, the Baby Boomers, have had it so good – due largely to the sacrifices of the generations that came before us. Our children have had it even better, and it is my hope that their children will also see progress. My husband fought in Vietnam, and I raised my family on military bases for many years. I understand the plight of the military, and I understand the sacrifices of the families who have had to fend for themselves while their loved ones defended our country from evil – but evil is not all the people of one nation or religion, but the greed and power usurped by a small group to promote themselves and their agenda.

Yes, Mr. Estes, we can still love our country and not agree with its policies. We can disagree with our public officials, and we can speak out against them. That is what you, and millions of others like you, have fought and died for over the last 300 years.

The best diplomacy is admitting you are not perfect, that you do make mistakes, and that you wish to embrace others and try to work out your difference. What Mr. Obama did was a major step on bringing warring nations to the conference table than anything that has been done in the past 15 years. We can only go forward from here.

Love our country, love YOUR religion – but don’t be arrogant enough to believe it doesn’t have room for improvement.


#arrogantnation #loveyourcountry #embraceourdifferences

Mar 02

Who is to Judge Award Winners?

I don’t pay much attention to the Hollywood award ceremonies, or even listening to the gossip. I am not one who likes to listen to rude comments about people, even if they are true. That’s why I often wonder who is to judge when it comes to putting together the list that ranks the talents, or fashions, of the “A” list in Hollywood.

I ADORE watching the red carpet shows before the events. I have always been a fan of designers, and fashion. I even thought about being a dress designer when I was young, and used up many sketch pads just drawing dresses I considered beautiful. It was my way of living a real fantasy, even though I never thought I was physically up to the part.

What qualifies Kelly Osborn Melissa Rivers as fashionistas? Having money certainly can afford you the luxury of designer clothes, but having those clothes does not make you an expert, or someone who is to judge other’s clothing.

There a lot of people who are heralded as designers that I, personally, question their talent. What I think is a beautiful dress someone else may not, and what looks fabulous on one person looks dull on another. Who’s to judge?

As a matter of fact, fashion is now, and has always been, a matter of personal taste. I agree that not all clothing looks good on everyone – no matter how skinny they are (I also wonder why someone would spend thousands of dollars on one dress and not do their hair for those big events, but that is a personal pet peeve of mine). Fashion is art, and art is always subject to opinion.

leonardo decrapioThere is a Hollywood list that notes certain Hollywood “stars” as being over or under-rated. I don’t agree with all those on the list, and wonder where they got their qualifications to state whether an actor’s talent was over-rated, or had potential. This list is subjective – and when people put articles like this out they ought to put it in the editorial section, and put their name on it, since it is not an exact science and again – subjective.

Robin Williams was on one of these lists of over-rated actors, yet I find him to have had a wide range of talent. His behavior is bizarre, but he has held down serious roles as well as comedic.

There are a lot of actors on the list I have never heard of, and many who could be listed, in my opinion, on both sides – but if the public likes them and I don’t, that doesn’t mean they are not talented.

It has been observed that many actors often receive acknowledgement for their current work, even if is not their best work, simply because they did not receive it for past work that should have been acknowledged. Example: Paul Newman won his Oscar for “The Color of Money,” yet it was not his best work. Taking into account all the work he had done, this was not even on the top 10 list by most critics. I have to say, however his performances have always been top notch – but you can’t beat his work in “Cool Hand Luke,” or “A Long, Hot Summer.”

Russell Crow won his Oscar for “Gladiator,” and it was an excellent movie. His acting was superb, but he also was excellent in “A Beautiful Mind,” and several others that have gone unnoticed.

If Hollywood has a problem with an actor’s behavior off the screen they will be snubbed for awards for their work. Example: Robert Downey Jr. in “Chaplin.” So, the awards are not based on performance as much as on sentiment.

If the decision were mine, I would not give an award to ONE person in one category, but to all those who put forth an exceptional performance that year. I’ve never been a fan of singling ONE person out for recognition when so many have contributed to the efforts. Make the list the top 10, and honor them for their outstanding work.

But then again, the 11th person would be snubbed, so I guess there is always someone who is left out.

So, who am I to judge?


Just my random thoughts! My next ranting will be probably be about “Reality Shows.”


#whostojudge  #awardceremonies  #winnersandlosersofawards


Feb 24

Not My Father’s GOP Anymore

When I worked for the GOP on Ronald Reagan’s campaign the prevailing thought was that the mission of the Republican Party was to cut down on the Federal government and allow more power to the local levels. They were for protecting the middle class, and furthering our conservation efforts. Where has that GOP gone?

My father was a Republican in a family of Democrats. I followed in his footsteps and from the time I could walk in front of the polling booth with a diaper that said, “It’s time for a change” I was involved somehow in the political process.

I became a precinct committeeperson when I turned 18 and served on committees within the county – even being elected as a delegate to the State convention in 1980. I saw how politics worked from the inside – and I did not like it. This naïve Young Republican saw the power, and what happens if you buck the system. I am sure it was the same in the Democratic Party.

Afterward I decided not to choose a party, but worked on campaigns for people I believed in. I stayed politically active, and even remained a registered Republican, but my heart was no longer with the party – but the person who I felt was the most qualified.ronald reagan

Part of the Mission Statement for the GOP in 1980 was: “We will reemphasize those vital communities like the family, the neighborhood, the workplace, and others which are found at the center of society, between government and the individual. We will restore and strengthen their ability to solve problems in the places where people spend their daily lives and can turn to each other for support and help.”

“We seek energy independence through economic policies that free up our energy production and encourage conservation. We seek improvements in health care, education, housing, and opportunities for youth. We seek new avenues for the needy to break out of the tragic cycle of dependency. All of these goals—and many others—we confidently expect to achieve through a rebirth of liberty and the resurgence of private initiatives, for we believe that at the root of most of our troubles today is the misguided and discredited philosophy of an all-powerful government, ceaselessly striving to subsidize, manipulate, and control individuals. But it is the individual, not the government, who reigns at the center of our Republican philosophy.”

Where have these principals gone? The candidates keep pointing to the GOP of Ronald Reagan, but this is not Ronald Reagan’s GOP. Even his son says his father would not be happy with this current crop of supposed leaders of the party and their policies.

Where has the party that wanted to conserve our environment, and help bring people up from poverty? What happened to the “individual and not the government” in their own mission statement? From where I stand, they are more concerned about what people are doing in their own bedrooms than our infrastructure. They want to encourage fracking, yet see the resulting sinkholes that destabilize the ground. They want to pay millions of dollars for a pipeline that crosses the country, yet does not employ more than a handful of people permanently, and benefits no one in the U.S. They want to tell people who are poor what they can and can not eat; take health care and Social Security from seniors and veterans; and tell a woman what types of birth control to take.

To me, the decent politicians in this country have been replaced by sexual perverts who abuse their power and waste our tax dollars. What values are they advocating? It’s certainly not Christian values – Jesus would never treat the poor, sick, elderly or veterans like they do, yet those who profess to be Christians are following them as lambs to the slaughter. They talk out of one side of their mouths while doing exactly what they are outlawing.

One of the things Ronald Reagan disliked most were hypocrites – yet these same people are pointing to him as their role model. Obviously, they didn’t learn what he was teaching.

My father and Ronald Reagan would be turning over in their graves at where the party they loved has come to.


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#GOPmission #notmyfathersGOP #RonaldReaganwouldnotapprove

Feb 21

Americans Don’t Want Something for Nothing

So many conservatives are saying those who don’t agree with the GOP want something for nothing – especially supporters of Bernie Sanders. That is not the case. It’s a case of labeling people as a group instead of individuals – or seeing one small group of people as indicative of all within that label.

I recently read the slogan, “I am so tired of suggestion I want something for nothing. We just want something to show for our tax money other than war, bailouts and corporate welfare.” I totally agree with this statement. I pay taxes like most Americans, yet don’t get what I was promised my money was being collected for.

I am continuously getting into arguments on Facebook with people who have been friends with me for many years, yet see me as a bleeding liberal. On the other hand, these people, whom I know are kind-hearted, believe that by voting for an immature person who professes (and even encourages) hate and bigotry. I do not hate these people because they don’t agree with me, they are still my friends, but I do argue with them in the hopes that they see “the light” – in other words my way of thinking.

Not all corporations are greedy, and many take care of their people, but corporate greed has done a great deal of damage to our country and economy. CEO’s salaries have gotten way out of line with what they used to be while labor costs have not risen accordingly. Investors like large returns on their investments, but by taking a smaller return they are providing jobs for Americans – and not adding to the unemployment and food stamp lines.

I don’t want something for nothing, I want what I have paid into, and I want my tax dollars to go where they are supposed to – infrastructure, education, social programs (that offer a hand up and not a hand out), etc.

I want to be able to afford to pay my mortgage and food without having to work three jobs. I don’t want to support Wall Street bankers who abusliving danishlye their clients. I don’t want to see politicians work for corporate interests and their rich supporters when people like me are who elected them and whom they are supposed to serve. I want to see hard working Americans – who are the vast majority in this country, get what they deserve and have worked for.

I see nothing wrong with trying to emulate some parts of Denmark and their style of living – or any other country that has certain programs to help their citizens. We can incorporate the good in other countries without making our country weaker, or not so great. The Danish people actually adore us, and like our lifestyle – but I like the fact they are the happiest country and would like to find out why. Evidently Denmark has it together (for the most part) – with child care, health care and free education. They are a “market-based economy, with a really strong safety net – and really high taxes.” There is no minimum wage, but the unions barter for salaries that works for the benefit of all (big macs are cheaper there than in the US). On the downside, it also has the highest tax base in the world – which is how they can afford these programs.

Am I for higher taxes if they do what they are supposed to – yes, but not at the rate of Denmark. Unfortunately, with the politicians we have I don’t believe the money will go where it is intended – just like lottery money. Here in Michigan it was supposed to go to improve our educational system. Well, it does go to education, but it replaced what the state was already providing instead of adding to it. In Indiana the money went into the general fund – so it was spent on whatever politicians think is necessary (like multiple votes for things they had already voted and denied).

I like Bernie Sanders. I like his enthusiasm. I like his panache. I like that he is actually thinking about what we really need in our country. He is not your average politician –which is the reason people are supposedly voting for Trump. He is his own man, and he is not greedy. He tells it like it is – and it isn’t pretty. He, too, says what’s on his mind – but what’s on his mind is not hurting other people, but helping them. He has no visions of grandeur, or turning other nations against us.

If it comes down to it, however, and Bernie does not get the nod for the Democratic Party, I will vote for Hillary because the field left in the GOP scares the hell out of me. If I choose not to vote at all it is a vote for the GOP.

I do not want our children and grandchildren to go to war – and that is where we are headed if we vote Republican (I want to note that I am still a registered Republican, and have worked on many Republican campaigns in my life). The party now is not the party I grew up with, and I don’t like the changes.

We are NOT a Christian nation, and never were. Our founding fathers did not advocate Christianity, which is why they wanted a separation of Church and state. If we choose some of the current leaders in the GOP they may make changes that are “Judo/Christian,” and quite frankly even then I don’t believe they will be hanging with the Jewish part of that for too long either.

“Christian” values are no different than the values of most other religions. We all believe in God (some call him/her by a different name but it’s the same God); we believe in sheltering our families; we believe in helping others; etc. The more extreme don’t believe in any of this – but they are the exception and not the norm. To single out certain individuals because of their race, religion, sexual preference, etc. is not the credo of ANY valuable religion.

The Republican Party was established because they wanted LESS government. They wanted more power on the State and local levels, where the voters had more say. They were not intruding into our bedrooms or our health care. They did not force religious values in our schools.

Somewhere along the line we lost our patriotism, we lost our ability to stand up and fight for what we wanted because we voted in people who took that away from us. Instead of voting them out we simply did not vote at all – and this is what we get. If we sit back and say our vote does not county anyway, we get what we vote for.

Never, in my 60+ year of life, have I been more frightened for our country. Now is the time for everyone to get out there and vote. If you don’t, the one we least like to get in will succeed – and you have only yourself to thank.

Getting what you pay for is not getting something for nothing. It’s getting value received for value given – and THAT is the American way!


#somethingfornothing  #supportBernie  #feelthebern


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Feb 07

Is Infidelity A Marriage-Breaker?

I know of many people who had spouses/partners who cheated on them. Given that situation, I often wondered what I would do. Is infidelity a marriage-breaker? Does it have to be?

I know some spouses who left their partner because of infidelity, while others stayed. Does that mean the one who stays is weak, or that the one who leaves is stronger? That’s definitely a cause for debate. An article on parenting in Parents magazine blog has an interesting slant.

Marital-Infidelity-12We hear on the campaign trail that Hillary Clinton showed her weakness for staying with Bill after the Monica Lewinsky scandal. Many say that she stayed with him because it served her political agenda. Have you ever watched the two of them together? They are deeply in love. You can see it in their eyes when they look at each other, and when they talk about the other. Perhaps she stayed because she loves him, and despite how much pain he caused her, she wants to be with him. I can’t imagine how humiliating all that must have been. I believe it took a strong person to be able to get through it.

Staying with a partner who has caused you pain is probably more difficult than leaving. Leaving may be the easy way out. Either way, it is painful. Either way, the decision is up to the person, and not up to people who are giving advice.

I often wondered what I would have done. We had four children. Would leaving him be in their best interests? Children in a relationship need to be considered – although the spouse’s hurt can not be dismissed. Surviving infidelity takes a lot of consideration and work. What is best for everyone concerned?

Forgiveness is difficult. It takes time, but in the end it frees you from the weight of the anger. Can you forgive someone who humiliated you? Can you ever learn to trust them again?

People are human, they make mistakes. Depending on the degree of the mistake, it may be in your best interests to work on your relationship – especially communication. Find out the reason the spouse felt the need to be unfaithful. If it’s something you can correct, or work on, it may be worth it to try.

In the end, however, we are not the judge of others and their feelings. We can not assume when we are not involved. Hopefully in your relationships you have been able to work through your problems without making a giant leap that could endanger it. Is infidelity a marriage-breaker in your case? Only you can make that call.


#infidelity #isinfidelityamarriagebreaker #unfaithfulness

Jan 29

When Opportunity Opens Another Door – Walk Through It

Life is full of twists and turns. Very few of us escape without going through the highs and lows – celebrations, joy, disappointments and grief.  We have wonderful moments that are embedded in our memories for a lifetime, and we also have tragedies that can make or break us. Through it all we usually will find that when one door closes opportunity opens another door. I believe everything happens for a reason, and although it may not seem so at the time, we learn from everything that happens to us.

Twenty years ago I lost my husband in a hunting accident. I had four children, three of whom were under 14, and I had just started working for a local weekly newspaper the week before his death doing cut and paste ads and layout.

Although I had college credits, I did not have a degree, nor any education in design, experience in advertising, and had never worked for a newspapers. To make a long story short, I took a small portion of the insurance money and purchased a computer, teaching myself graphic design and layout. It came in handy when two employees sabotaged the newspaper’s new computers when they were fired, and the paper was due to go to print that day. They may have underestimated my ability to get the paper out anyway – but I did!

After a couple years of learning the behind-the-scenes of newspaper publishing, and because I saw people were influencing the owner’s editorial and paper content toward their personal agendas, I decided to strike out on my own and start my own weekly newspaper. I informed my employer of my intentions, and assured him I would not take his advertisers. I wanted to be above board with him (and because I kept my word we remain friends today).

when opportunity knocksWith the help of a couple friends, I ran the paper out of my home for the first year, and it was successful – and popular. I then moved to a small office. Unfortunately, even though I did the majority of the work myself, print newspapers were becoming dinosaurs and financially it became too much, so I changed gears.

I never thought of the closing of the paper as a failure. It was a free paper, and most people at the beginning didn’t give me a month before I would fold. I never let someone tell me I couldn’t do something, it just spurred me on to prove them wrong.

I had to earn my acceptance into the Michigan Press Association, and I was able to make some significant changes in the community, expose graft and corruption in the local landfill, and save some jobs by getting people together to mediate instead of argue.

My tenure as a newspaper publisher may have only been four years, but it was the most gratifying time in my life. I learned I could succeed at anything if I wanted it badly enough. I set a goal, and attained it. It brought me the confidence I needed to become an entrepreneur in other ventures, and gave me the confidence to strike out and pursue one of my life’s passions, to become a writer.

Life is comprised of challenges, and I am a firm believer that everything happens for a reason. If my husband hadn’t died I may never have had the confidence, or the funding, to strike out on my own. It may be a cliché, but for every door that closes opportunity opens another door. You just have to be ready to walk through it.

Jan 19

Music Memories That Will Never Pass

Music plays a large part in many of our lives. It can heal the pain, at least for the moment; it can bring you joy; it can motivate you to move (and even exercise); it can spiritually life us; and it touches our soul in a way few books or movies ever can.

Before there was television and the big screen, there was music.

So many stand-out people in the music industry have passed recently – David Bowie; Natalie Cole; Glenn Frey of the Eagles; Dale Griffin of Mott the Hoople; Celine Dion’s husband, Rene Angelil – who discovered her and was her agent; Otis Clay, soul singer and member of the Blues Hall of Fame; Country singer Craig Strickland; and Robert Stigwood, manager for Cream and the Bee Gees before producing a string of popular musicals and films including “Grease.”

Each of these people contributed to hours of entertainment for us, and will be deeply missed. They bring back so many good memories.

Music_QuoteI am not musically inclined – although I certainly try to sing whenever I get the chance. I am especially known for cranking the volume up in my car and driving down the street singing at the top of my lungs. I don’t care if others hear me, or laugh at me, I just enjoy the way the music makes me feel. I even had a game when the kids were little that drove them crazy – they would say a word or phrase and I would come up with a song (of course I sang it) that had those words in it. It was stump mom, and I usually won.

Growing up in the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s I was fortunate to be living during the ground floor of some of the most innovative music that will ever be introduced. I sat on my living room floor and watched the Beatles perform on the “Ed Sullivan Show,” and it was on that same stage I watched Elvis swivel for the first time on national TV (or at least his top half).

We always carried around a radio (no, boomboxes or MP players were not invented yet) wherever we went, and we all had a collection of singles and LP’s that we would play until the grooves wore down.

When I was sad or in a funk I would play Barbara Streisand, Neil Young or Barry Manilow. I would put on a sad song that would allow me to feel the pain, and wallow in my misery – and then the next song would bring me out of it.

I had just graduated from high school when Woodstock took place, and boy did I want to pick up and go see some of the greatest musicians, and listen to the best music that ever was played.

When I was in college I got into the Columbia Record Club, where they send you 12 free albums if you purchase one a month for a year. It was a bad decision, but I was able to get Janice Joplin; The Doors; the Beatles “Magical Mystery Tour” (which we tried to play backwards to see if there was some devil-voodoo thing happening); Chicago; The Who; and so many more that are classics today. If I still had those original albums today they would be worth some money.

I can still sing the words to most of the songs back then. It was a magical time – in our country and in music. I don’t believe we will see an era like that again. Now, many of the players in these bands are passing away, and it feels like part of me is going with them. It’s not like when Janice Joplin and Jimmy Hendrix passed it was sad but different. Now that I am in my “golden” years the passing of icons I grew up with makes me more cognizant of my own mortality.

Musicians pass, and new ones come in. They are not being replaced, but simply being relegated to a higher position. Their music, however, will live on forever – on a variety of different technical devices.

I just wish I could figure out how to get the music I have on CD’s into my MP3 player, and work it (It doesn’t have any buttons!). The music goes on, but I may have to resort to sitting in my car and listening to the oldies on the radio.


#music #musicicons #musicmemories

Jan 17

Is Being Passionate Good or Bad?

Passion is the light that guides your way. Having passion – an intense feeling of excitement, or a strong and barely controlled emotion, can be both good and bad. Being passionate shows that you are deeply involved in whatever event or topic is taking place. There certainly is nothing wrong with having deep feelings of emotion.

My sons are passionate about the Denver Broncos NFL football team. They attend as many games as they can, have rituals and superstitions (They even banned me from watching the games one year because when I watched they lost, and when I didn’t they won.) that they are (almost) religious about carrying out before each game. This type of passion is fun, and does no harm. It’s a healthy passion.

I am passionate about my family, politics, education, and a variety of other things – as you can tell from my blog posts. Sometimes I do get carried away in defending my passions, but that only mean that I care deeply about what I believe is integrity and a good and honest code of ethics. I do not use being passionate as an excuse to do harm.

I am passionate about improving conditions, and leaving things better than what I found them. That includes people. We ARE our brothers keeper, and that means we treat them the same way we would like to be treated ourselves, and go out of our way to be kind and show compassion when we can.reason guides us

Being passionate is not a bad thing – unless we use it to harm others, or allow others to do harm and sit back and watch.

I recently saw a video on Facebook where a man picked up a dog and threw it off a bridge. It died on impact (hopefully it died and did not linger). There was another person who filmed it – and then must have thought it was funny because he put it on Facebook. This was nothing but evil – and a lot of passionate people who believe animals have the right to be treated well and fairly were outraged – as they should be.

I saw a video of a military veteran who stopped his car and confront a group of people who were using the flag (or a representation of the flag) to protest against the government. The veteran did not have a problem with their protesting; he had a problem with their misuse of the flag to do it (the flag was upside down). He was passionate about the misuse of the flag that he, and many others, fought for and defended. Those who didn’t see military service would not understand that passion. I believe he was right.

People are passionate about the fact that Michigan Gov. Pence would allow thousands of people to drink tainted water in Flint, and do nothing to help them – until he was confronted. People’s health was being harmed, and his policies were allowing it to happen. Those who fought to get him to give the town assistance, and ask for federal government disaster relief, were passionate about their cause – and they were right.

People have a right to have their own deep-seeded feelings about religion, race and morals, and we don’t have to agree with them, but we do have to acknowledge that they have the right to their own thoughts. What is wrong, and when being passionate is bad, is when people act on their personal feeling in such a negative way as to do harm to others. You have a right to your feelings and opinions; you do not have a right to act in such a way as to attack those who differ from you. Is hate speech free speech?

What makes matters worse is when leaders – either by speech or by force, incite in others who have their like-mindedness, to do harm (either by endorsing what they do or sitting back and allowing it to happen without response). They will agitate the crowd into a frenzy – by definition an intense and usually wild, and often disorderly compulsive or agitated activity. They are either taking advantage of those who are easily manipulated to react as they wanted, or they are taking their passion into a negative and evil course. Either way – it’s bad, and very destructive.

Being passionate can have two sides. Using your passion to improve conditions, or simply to have fun, is a good thing. Taking your passion to destroy or do harm is not. A negative response never turns out well.

Which way are you taking your passion?


#beingpassionate #passionatereactions #passiongoodandbad

Jan 10

Reasons I Can Not Support Donald Trump for President

I have accused Trump and Republican supporters in the past of only getting their opinions from Fox News. They counter that CNN, MSNBC and others are just the flip side. That may be true, which is why I get my news from many different sources. I’ve also studied our Constitution, and history – ours and other countries. Knowing what has come before allows us to learn and not make the same mistakes again.

I’ve been reading about Donald Trump for many years, and can’t find a lot of positive about the way he conducts business, or his personal life. He criticizes people for outsourcing, yet his entire clothing line was outsourced. He criticizes people for bad personal conduct, yet his is no pillar of integrity. He has hired people from other countries, yet his wife is an immigrant and he still criticizes immigration. You can’t condemn others for something you do yourself – you are not exempt.

Donald Trump’s business practices of utilizing eminent domain to get property he wants – even if it means casting out people who have been in their homes for generations, is inhumane, and shows greed is more important than human life. His need to place his name in EXTREMELY large letters on everything shows a need to be recognized and accepted – even perhaps feared. It also shows an immaturity level that should not be part of our leadership. The fact that he was to have a comback for everyone who criticizes him also shows a lack of self-esteem.

He is a great showman, I’ll give him that, he may even be a good manager, but he is not a great business model, and definitely not a great image for our country. Leadership

I agree a business leader, and not a politician, would be perfect for our country. We need someone who understands business; how to deal with employees; has excellent negotiating skills; and keeps an eye on the bottom line while maintaining integrity and balance in all other areas. The right one, however, has to also be kept abreast of world issues and who actually has taken the time to find out what really is happening in the world. Getting all your information from television news, as Trump has admitted to doing, is not a leader who takes the time and effort to do some homework. Ask him the names of world leaders. Ask him where a certain country is located on the map. Will he be able to greet other leaders in the style that does not show disrespect to their culture?

You can’t represent the majority of the people when you only listen to those around you, who only agree with you, and have never had to work for a living to know what it’s like to struggle.

A leader accepts viewpoints from all sides, and weighs the pros and the cons. He does not surround himself with “yes” men, because he won’t get another point of view that may be different – but work better. A leader accepts everyone, does not belittle anyone, does not judge on the basis of looks, and sees the value in all of us. Donald Trump is not a leader.

As for welfare – I don’t collect it, but I know a couple people who have and it’s not that great. They have to go to school, and show they have applied for employment, before they can receive it.

I HAVE had to resort to food stamps a couple times (when my husband was in the military), it is no walk in the park to qualify, and it’s embarrassing to have to use them. Very few people on them eat like kings, they don’t give you enough for that, and they have to support their families. If they buy a piece of steak, it’s to cut up into more than one meal, usually a casserole or stew, and that’s rare that you can buy a piece of beef. True, a few (very few) abuse the system, but statistically most on food stamps and welfare are people who WORK for a living and have children, but just don’t bring in enough to support their families; are older and on Social Security; or disabled.

Unless you have been in that position you can’t judge. Perhaps a trip to the DHS office, and talking to the people who sit in there waiting for an appointment, will change your mind – maybe just talk to the woman who does your nails, or a server at your favorite restaurant, they can tell you how hard it is to make it with even two incomes, let alone one.

I cry when I read people making comments about those on welfare or food stamps because I know they’ve never had to struggle that hard – or been at the end of their rope and had to resort to that. Sometimes struggling makes us more conscious of what others are going through. Most who are able don’t stay on them very long, and many have even gone on to great things. Welfare and food stamps are not meant to live on, but to help as we try to struggle to move on.

I don’t want our leader to send our kids to war just because he has a personal vendetta against another leader or country. War is the last resort, not the first one. It’s obvious the ones who propose accelerating the wars we are already in will not be sending their children (Donald Trump got 5 deferments so he didn’t have to go – my mother was the head of Selective Service (the draft board) in our county and later the State of Indiana, and she told stories of how rich kids got out of it.).

Having lived a military life I don’t want to see more families have a chaplain and an officer knock on their door because our leader does not have the integrity and personality to understand that negotiating works better than bullying. Personality plays a big part in leadership.

We are STILL the greatest nation in the world, that has never changed, but as in all countries throughout time, we have our struggles – and we come out of them bigger and stronger than before. We can NOT live in fear of people who are different from us – if we did we would NEVER have taken in people during the potato famine in Ireland, or Jews escaping from the Nazis. Yes, we are not perfect, but we can’t progress by impeding any type of negotiation or compromise – or by classifying everyone who is different from you as the enemy.

We are lucky enough to live in a time when we can easily research other cultures, and speak to them via social media. We fear most what we don’t understand. Not all Muslims are to be feared, just as not all Irish are drunks. Stereotyping people does not make it true.

Do I think we should take from the rich and give to the poor? NO, I believe if you earned it you should keep your share of it, but I do think the gap between the executives in corporations and the profits could be lowered. NO ONE is worth hundreds of millions, especially while their employees are working at minimum wage. I realize you have an obligation to your investors, but get real – if you didn’t take such a large salary your investors would still have their money.

Our tax system is ridiculous. I believe that a fair way to go is to have a flat tax system – where everyone pays the same percentage. I don’t believe in ridiculous earned-income incentives any more than I believe in large tax loopholes. That puts me in a quarrel with a lot of people, but it would put us back on the road to a middle class again, and where people aren’t angry that the rich get away with so much more.

Anyway, these are the reasons I can not support Donald Trump for President (and more). I could go on forever, but I’ll save that rant for another day.

GOD Bless America.

#Icannotsupportdonaldtrump #donaldtrump

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