Imaginary Fears!

re posting this as it seems to fit in well with the fear and hate being demonstrated by the Republicans at this time.

randomthoughts

This thought comes from an incident I experienced last week at the lake.
Asking the group if they wanted to take a cruise around the lake on the pontoon boat brought this response. “How much gas do you have?” I replied “1/2 a tank.”
One member said “What if the gage does not work?”
I said: “What if someone pulls the plug on the lake and it dries up? What if we get a torrential downpour and we have to all get on Noah’s ark?”
I mean come on people, there are enough real problems/fearsome things in this world we live in without making things up.
A pro-gun person of my acquaintance said to me. “What are you going to do if someone breaks into your house, throw a book at him?”
Another imaginary fear. This one most likely created by the NRA in their quest for more profit for…

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In Response to Officer Jay Stalien’s Essay regarding #BLM

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*Note in a search for BLM pictures i came upon this picture of the Bureau of Land Management. They were out gunned during the Cliven Bundy stand off. But that has nothing to do with this story…. I think.

This essay was pointed out to me on social media as a means of understanding #BLM.

My first reaction was “too wordy”. The poster suggested I sleep on it and read it in the morning it is truly worth the lengthy read.

So after sleeping on it I printed out all eight pages of the piece this morning.

Still working on digesting the whole thing but, initial thought leads me to conclude this man is not writing as an African American, he is writing as a policeman.

The opinions expressed are from his early life experiences growing up in a poor section of Baltimore and his work as a policeman in the hood.

Two opinions he shared bother me a bit. I quote…

“Black lives do not matter to most black people. Only the lives that make the national news matter to them. Only the lives that are taken at the hands of cops or white people, matter.”

As a white man, like Newt Gingrich said, I cannot know what it is like to be a black man in America today, but I can know what it is like to attend a memorial for a murdered black man and witness the wailing and crying for the deceased. The mothers crying for the loss of sons at the hands of anyone, black, white or whatever. These lives do indeed matter to these mothers.

 

Second quote…

Not sure if he is speaking about all blacks or just the #BLM people here but this is what he wrote…

“That most cops dread the thought of having to shoot someone, and never see the turmoil and mental anguish that a cop goes through after having to kill someone to save his own life. Instead they all believe that we are all blood thirsty killers, because the media says so, even though the numbers prove otherwise.”

And again speaking as a white man I don’t think all cops are blood thirsty killers, I do think they have some bad apples who should be cleaned out.

Officer Stalien appears to me to have been prejudiced by his career where he has spent his life working with the worst of society. Much like the majority of cops are good cops, the majority of black people are good people.

Link to original post here….

https://www.facebook.com/jay.stalien/posts/911372818974402

Like I said the post prints out as eight pages and has some redundancy in it. May offer further review if I find something that rings my bell.

Hot Air Balloon Ride

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Sunday July 10, 2016

Only thing I had on my bucket list, a hot air balloon ride, was completed. Thanks to my son’s generosity.

Let me tell you it was exhilarating, the closest thing to an outer body experience I will probably ever have. Everyone should go on at least one hot air balloon ride before they die.

We gently lifted off and were floating through the sky in moments.

Four hundred feet in the air then 2500 feet in the air. Drifting slowly with the wind.

 

Looking down at the world…. above it all. Above all the suffering and grief that exists down there.

 

For about an hour we were free of everything, every grief and every stress that occupies our minds.

We saw the cars on the roads, the trains on the tracks, the deer in the fields and the miniature farms down below.

They all appeared to be toys, something we played with as children.

We passed over the national cemetery in Holly, Michigan. The cemetery our family recently interred Dad and Mom’s ashes.

Standing in the cemetery was an older gray haired man. He was pointing a camera up and snapping pictures of us as we floated by. We all waved joyfully and shouted hellos to him.

I said a silent hello to dad and mom as we floated by.

We floated on, touching the clouds in the sky and then dipping down to skim the water in ponds on the ground. We crossed tree tops close enough to pick leaves from the upper most branches.

A solitary bird flew up to check us out, quickly flying off after seeing we were no threat to his existence.

I did live stream most of the flight and if the link works you can join me in the flight here…

https://www.facebook.com/larry.benjamin.54

Enjoy the flight.

Fifty Years Ago

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A young man was working for the state highway department. He was earning about $2 an hour.

He had a wife and three children. They were buying a house and had a car so they were not destitute but, they were more or less living hand to mouth.

Dad was paid twice a month, 1st and the 15th.

There came a time when mom, bless her heart, decided the kids were coming down with colds. This called for cold meds and vitamins.

This happened to be on about the 10th of the month. Dad had about $14 left in his checking account to last until payday.

Now this was before charge cards, so cash was it.

Mom went to drug store while dad was at work and bought $13 worth of vitamins, “kids need em.”

When dad got home from work she told him of her purchase.

Dad was upset but did not yell or anything ,he just told her “we have about a buck fifty to last us until payday”.

The family did all survive and went on to grow and prosper.:)

 

Dad remembers when working for the highway department the crews frequently left the garage and would stop at a restaurant for coffee and a donut for first break before proceeding to job site.

Dad also remembers occasionally not having 50 cents in his pocket for a coffee and a donut.

On these occasions dad would sit in truck and drink coffee from his thermos while smoking cigarettes.  Missed out on the morning bull session but life went on.

 

Recently Dad dropped off some money in a mailbox of a young couple that don’t have 50 cents for a coffee and a donut tomorrow morning. The money was in an envelope with a note. “Pay it forward”. No name no anything just the money and the note.

Dad feels better now and hopefully the young couple feel better also.

You Are Disposable!

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Was a participant in a group conversation with a young lady last night concerning her work and working conditions. She was sharing her disgust with her situation, low pay and what she considered rude treatment by management.

One of the group pointed out to her that she was a part time employee and the company did work around her school schedule. (also a college student) Not all businesses would do this.

She replied yes I appreciate that but, today I asked why they are working some people overtime and my hours are cut. Why can’t I get some of that time? Her supervisor told her she would be sent home because she is disposable.

Ouch! These words hurt me. This manager needs some training in human relations but, alas the manager has connections in high places in the company so the rude behavior will continue.

 

After a small bit of continued chatter, I said. “Jump up on the table, raise a clenched fist and shout out Union Now!” This brought silence from the group, all knowing this type of action would result in the young lady losing her job.

I then said hearing of this oppressive action against working people bothers me. It bothers me because it has become acceptable behavior in our country today.

 

Another acquaintance of mine recently told me the small shop he works in has recently instituted a rule regarding bathroom breaks. You have to ask permission to go to the bathroom and they have assigned routes to the bathroom from your work station.

The assigned routes he considers an insult but accepts it, the seeking permission bothers him. “Man if ya gotta pee, ya gotta pee, you can’t wait around for a supervisor’s permission” is how he put it.

Both of these events, the you are disposable and the ask permission to go to bathroom are true.

Workers in America are being reverted to a Kunta Kinte state of existence.

It is time to unite and take back our dignity.  Don’t just think about it, do something!

 

“With Out You, There Is No Us”

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A memoir by Suki Kim

 

This book shares the memories of Suki Kim’s time spent with the sons of North Korea’s elite.

 

The author pretended to be a Christian missionary so she could teach English in a school for young men, the sons of North Korea’s elite.

Each week the teachers had a gathering. A meeting where confessions were shared and hymns were sung. These meetings had to be held without the knowledge of the students because anything that could or would be construed as proselytizing would result in expulsion or even worse, possible imprisonment. This closing paragraph from the segment caught my attention .

 

“Our service inevitably included testimonies—tearful stories in which personal things were revealed, as if it were group therapy. Stories—this world seemed full of stories. It was rare for anyone to actually see Kim Jong-il, so everything we heard about him was a story. And my Christian colleagues had their stories too, in their Bible.”

 

Just something to think about.

Now y’all get on with it.:)

Charlie

 

 

Charlie was a cantankerous old fart I had the pleasure of knowing some 40 odd years ago.

Well, he wasn’t really old just 15-20 years older than me but, he was indeed cantankerous. He was also a somewhat private person. Never exposing himself to me or others in our environment.

I surmised he was an ex GM employee that had transferred from some place in New York to Saginaw; foundries in both locations.

Charlie’s wife was a nurse and I think he was a “kept man”. We were in the real estate business and the year or so I worked with him I think he may have sold one house.

 

He was gruff and outspoken, not carrying a bit for what others thought or felt upon receiving one of his barbs.

While I personally felt no dislike for Charlie, I did have a small fear of falling victim to one of his sarcastic blasts. So for the most part I kept quiet when Charlie was among us.

If you were to call him Charlie or Chuck he would immediately correct you, “It’s Charles.”

So, why do I refer to “the pleasure of knowing” him?

You see Charlie did provide me with some knowledge during our time together.

You have to be from Michigan and play Euchre to understand this but one thing he taught me: “If you are going to jump the fence, you had better be ready to play it alone.” This message was delivered with both sarcasm and disgust.

Charlie also taught me the joys of a very dry Martini on the rocks and lightly stirred so as not to bruise the booze.

Probably the best thing Charlie ever taught me was a phrase he uttered one time during a group chat. I do not recall the exact context of the discussion but he said, “It’s not your wife or your life, it’s only your money.”

This phrase stuck with me forever and my wife liked it a lot.

Now, having lost my wife, the phrase really comes home.

Think about it my friends, and every day make sure you have your priorities correct.