Our Flag Deserves Better

I had a friend tell me that our flag is just a piece of cloth and the anthem just words. That he put his faith in the constitution and nothing else.
Well…..

Flag
Under this flag our nation fought a war of freedom, a war to free slaves and give all those living here freedom and equal rights. While we still fight to ensure those freedoms are applied equally to all, our flag represents the perfect idealisms of those freedoms even as we deal with our own imperfections as individuals and groups.
Under this flag we have fought oppressions of the worst kind. Going to the world’s assistance time and again.
When Francis Scott Key heralded that “our flag was still there,” he merged the physical symbol of the nation with the universal feelings of patriotism and courage. Francis Scott Key’s song established the flag as the expression of our national identity.
You can’t separate our flag from the military anymore than you can separate the national anthem from the flag.
Kneeling in protest in front of the flag during the playing of the national anthem is offensive and disrespectful to our flag, military and country. The NFL players, coaches and owners who protest by kneeling during the playing of the national anthem and then do nothing to resolve the issues of the protest are hypocritical.
They have the money and resources to bring more attention and possible resolutions to their cause. By taking a knee and doing nothing else they are doing nothing more than whining. They are just entertainers on their stage bellyaching and bitching. Until they put their money where their knees are they need to shut up and stand up.
Where can they put their money? Ohhhh. Plenty of places.
They can start by donating to the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund. The LDF works to even the field for African Americans.
From their website:
The LDF seeks to ensure that the job selection process does not negatively impact African-Americans, reduce employment barriers to those with criminal records, decrease disproportionate incarceration and sentencing as well as racially biased exercise of discretion by police and prosecutors, increase equity in education by increasing graduation rates (K-12 and college) among African-Americans, foster adoption of racially equitable and research-based approaches to school discipline, achieve more African-American engagement and fairness in the next round of redistricting, and ensure compliance with the Voting Rights Act, NVRA, and other voting rights laws.
They can donate to the ACLU. Remember these folks? Fighting for the civil liberties of everyone.
They can help enact legislation that makes policy makers face their own racism. This one is pretty simple with 60% of those behind bars being either African American of Latino it’s obvious that law enforcement is disproportionately targeting people of color.
They can donate money to police departments for the purchase of body cameras. Most police departments are underfunded and would welcome them.
There are several states looking at creating legislation that would make body cameras a requirement for law enforcement. But legislation must include clear paths to review footage of any incidence. This protects both sides.
They can help establish independent civilian oversight agencies for law enforcement departments. This would provide independent reviews of complains instead of solely relying on the police to investigate themselves.
These are just a few examples of places they could invest their time and money.
From the book “Our Flag” published in 1989 by the House of Representatives…
◦ “On July 4, 1776, the Continental Congress passed a resolution authorizing a committee to devise a seal for the United States of America. This mission, designed to reflect the Founding Fathers’ beliefs, values, and sovereignty of the new Nation, did not become a reality until June 20, 1782. In heraldic devices, such as seals, each element has a specific meaning. Even colors have specific meanings. The colors red, white, and blue did not have meanings for The Stars and Stripes when it was adopted in 1777. However, the colors in the Great Seal did have specific meanings. Charles Thompson, Secretary of the Continental Congress, reporting to Congress on the Seal, stated:
◦ “The colors of the pales (the vertical stripes) are those used in the flag of the United States of America; White signifies purity and innocence, Red, hardiness & valour, and Blue, the color of the Chief (the broad band above the stripes) signifies vigilance, perseverance & justice.”
The flag, printed colors and shapes on cloth. The flag that has flown over our country in various configurations for over two hundred years. The flag that our countrymen have fought under for freedom and against oppression. The flag that the world has looked to in their times of need. The flag, our flag, is more than colors and shapes on cloth.
Much more…
Thanks for stopping by. Until next time.
JB

Why the Hate? Through love and conversation darkness is driven out and opposing sides are brought together.

Love and Conversation conquers hate and divisiveness.
Racism had reared its ugly head in Charlottesville, VA. But now its time for love and conversation to take over. I have a hard time understanding the hatred people have against someone based solely on the color of their skin. Hatred in and of itself is hard enough to understand, but hatred without basis? Why?

Hatred
NO HATRED

Isaiah 58 tells us what God expects from His people.
To be humble, feed the hungry, house the homeless, provide life’s necessities for those that can’t help themselves, be kind to our neighbors, honor the Sabbath and stop condemning the defenseless.
That’s a simplified list. Simplified for me.
No mention of race, color or economic status. Just to love our neighbors no matter who that might be.
Over the last few days I’ve read and listened to many different people trying to figure out where this country stands on racism. What I’ve found is that most people don’t know where we are.
Are there problems in the inner cities? Obviously yes. Are there problems in the rural areas? Yes. But, for most of America, I don’t believe we’re locked in racial divide. And I do believe we, the American people, can stand as one and resolve the issues still dividing us.
I say this because I know where I come from, how I was raised and what I am now. Having been raised in a racist home in the 60’s and 70’s I know what racism looks and acts like. How it sounds and feels. It’s ugly, destructive and full of hate.
With the hate coming to the surface we, as a country, have the opportunity to come together and defeat this ugly, divisive and fundamentally wrong ideology.
But will we?
Will our leaders use this moment in time to galvanize opposition of these groups or will it be lost in the mass of confusing voices.
With mixed signals coming from the president wanting to lay blame on “all sides”, instead of using the moment to bring us together against the hatred, we are in danger of losing any momentum that was to be had.
Hate groups have decided to be quite and let the anger against them settle and with this any galvanizing moment we might have had has been lost.
But we, the American people, can and will still stand united against their hatred.
To stand against hatred not with more hatred, but with love. You don’t defeat hatred with more hatred for only light can drive out darkness and only love can drive out hatred.
Using this man as an example, 58-year-old Blues musician Daryl Davis, conversation and friendship defeats their hatred. Not rocks, hate filled shouts or fists, but sitting down and talking over coffee.
http://ijr.com/the-declaration/2017/08/948022-man-spent-decades-befriending-kkk-members-hundreds-left-group/?utm_source=Facebook&utm_medium=Owned&utm_term=ijamerica&utm_campaign=ods&utm_content=Culture
Using Daryl Davis’ playbook, conversation will ultimately turn more hearts to inclusiveness then all the hate filled speeches and thrown punches.
Love and conversation.

Conversation
Love and Conversation

Thanks for stopping by. Until next time.
JB

I’m Angry. I’m Sick of Politicians. I’m Sick of the Hard Line Politics.

I’m angry. I’m tired of all the bs on capital hill.

I’ve been a lot of things in my life. A son, brother, husband and father to start with.
I’ve been broke. I’ve had money, lots and I’ve been everywhere in between.
I’ve been a student, a teacher a coach and a mentor.
I’ve been a democrat. A republican. An independent.
Now I’m a combination of them all.
I am me.
And I am mad.

Angry

I don’t know if it’s because I’ve gotten older and am now looking at the disaster that this country, my country, is becoming.
Or if it’s because of the general apathy.
You have the hard left and the hard right yelling and screaming at the top of their lungs that the other side is crazy and going to doom us.
Democrats
Republicans
Liberals
Conservatives
I’m sick of the false promises and lies.
None of our representatives truly represent us anymore. None. They work for the highest bidder. The lobbyists. The corporations. The billionaires.
Our representatives constantly lie to us. And we keep voting them back in because our representative isn’t that bad, its always the other guys. That and my representative gives me stuff. A job, more benefits, cookies, name your freebie. Sad…
We have a president that acts like a teenager at times. Seriously, stop the tweeting. Stop wearing your feeling on your sleeves. Man up! Geez…
I have a headache, my back hurts and I’m tired. But, I go on. I read, listen to the news and think. Then I make the mistake of getting on Facebook. Why didn’t the news tell me the world was ending?
Do any of you fellow Facebooker’s check any of the stuff you share? Read any nonpartisan news? Listen or watch any nonpartisan news? Some of you scare me, not in the sense of physical danger, but in the sense that people can be manipulated this easily. Do a little research before sharing that explosive bit of news…
Reminds me of a quote by John Naisbitt, “We are drowning in information but starved for knowledge.”
How inept can the Trumps be? It seems that every week there is something coming out about one of them.
This Russian thing is the size of a Blue Whale now. It has dwarfed the Elephant that was in the room. Do I believe the Trumps are in the pocket of the Russians? No. Not yet. Could I change my mind? Yes. Before I do I want proof. Concrete proof. One way or the other. I want the Mueller investigation to provide us with answers.
I’m not talking about weather or not the Russians tried to interfere in our elections, that’s been answered in the affirmative. I’m talking about weather or not the Trumps are being paid off by the Russians. Weather or not they are acting in treasonous manners.
If they are then they should be prosecuted and if convicted, then depending on the depth of their crimes, jailed or ……
If not, then let the Donald step down go away, let them be the Trumps in the private sector, out of sight and out of mind.
Speaking of ineptitude. Can anyone tell me if there has ever been this much ineptitude in the senate? Has there ever been a more inept Senate Majority Leader then Mitch McConnell? Why is he still the Senate Majority Leader after this series of gaffes? He should retire immediately.
The republicans cant stand success. They have horrible leadership and despite all of their talk, no plan, no MAP, management action plan. Nothing.
Fire them all.
What happened to the days of bipartisan politics? Where there was a give and take. Perhaps you didn’t get everything you wanted, but you got something. Everyone could go away with a piece of the pie and the American people benefited from the outcome.
Rant over for now. At least until I look at Facebook again. Why do I punish myself this way?
Ask yourself this question today. Did the American people win today? If the answer is no then find out why and do something other then cry on Facebook.
Contact your representatives and ask questions. Tell them what you think. Before you do prepare a list of questions and what you expect. Above all, be respectful. If you’re angry be in control of your anger. Let them know you’re angry, but be respectful.
Thanks for stopping by. Until next time
JB

 

How to spot a misleading graph. Educate yourself, its the best defense against a world that seeks to deceive.

They used a graph! Now what? How do you interpret the information you just received?

Deception abounds! From product promotion to politicians making outrageous claims. But! You can arm yourself with the ability to see through their claims with just a little information, especially when graphs are included.

Graph
Graph

Watch the video below to learn how.

Thanks for stopping by. Until next time.

JB

 

 

How many of the Ten Commandments do you think Americans break each month? This was a question asked on Family Feud and the answers were hilarious.

The Ten Commandments! How many of these do you break each month? The real answer, of course, is to many.

Ten Commandments
Ten Commandments

How Many of the Ten Commandments Do Americans Think They’ve Broken This Month?

I’m thankful for a savior that intervenes for I am a sinner.

Thanks for stopping by. Until next time.

JB

Live your life to the fullest. Make your “Dash” as thick as a brick. What? You don’t know what “Dash” I’m talking about.

The “Dash” I’m talking about is the one on your tomb stone. You know the one between your birth year and year of death, 1923-2000. That one. Live your life to the fullest and make that dash mean something.

Dash
Volunteering

Linda Ellis wrote an amazing poem about the dash. You can find it here: http://www.linda-ellis.com/the-dash-the-dash-poem-by-linda-ellis-.html

Living your dash to the fullest involves you getting outside of yourself. It means living a meaningful life. Giving of yourself.

Putting others before you. Lifting others up.

Are you getting the idea now? Follow this link to read more on becoming a better person. Here is a snippet from Be the Better Person “Lastly. Be the better person. Be the better person in every conversation. Be the better person when you leave a tip, drive your car, negotiate the next contract, when you leave home, when you’re at home. Be the better person.”  Leave me a comment below.

There are many ways to make your dash as thick as a brick. It can be as easy and small as getting involved with your church. Volunteering your time in some way. Getting plugged into a small group at church, you would be amazed at how you can impact others as well as being impacted yourself.

Volunteering is the easiest way to grow your dash and by growing your dash you will grow as person. A win-win situation. There are many opportunities in your community to volunteer. Leave me a comment if you need some ideas.

Grow your “Dash.” Get outside of your self and make a difference.

I would love to here from you, so leave me a comment below. I’m thick skinned so don’t be afraid to write what youre feeling, but please don’t use profanity, thats the quickest way to get deleted from the comment section.

Thanks for stopping by. Until next time.

JB