Li: ritual, propriety, etiquette. Hsiao: love within the family (parents for children and children for parents. Yi: righteousness--the noblest way to act in a situation. Xin: honesty and trustworthiness. Jen: benevolence, humaneness towards others. Chung: loyalty to the state and authority. --Confucius (Kong Fuzi)
All articles appear in reverse chronological order [newest first]:
I believe the past is relevant, sometimes more than others of course. In most cases we are seeing history being repeated, so it is most relevant.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Racism and Accusations:

RACISMSUCKS

by Glenn Littrell

Being falsely accused of something is without a doubt wrong. The ramifications can be broad ranging and devastating, but does the existence or possibility of false accusation somehow impact the seriousness or existence of the underlying problem? Racism.

If your youngest child ‘tattled’ on an older child after the older child had willfully done something that was very dangerous. What would you conclude was the real problem? What problem would you address first? Who or what created the problem?

The older child's transgression or the younger child's ‘tattle-telling’?

The existence of [A]racism and cancer actually have no connection of value to [B]false accusations or a miss-diagnoses. Both A and B may exist, but they only exist in the absence of the other.

Without racism, there would be no basis for false accusations. The accusation would be without merit and dismissible. False accusations of race, ‘race baiting’, and the use of the ‘race card’ are all byproducts of racism; regardless of who is using them and for what purpose.

The same thing holds true for accusations of ‘reverse discrimination’ and ‘reverse racism’. Even if you hold that such things exist you have to acknowledge they were born out of the existence of racism. By definition they cannot exist without the existence of racism.

But the question has to be asked what is the purpose of such verbal defenses. Is the appropriate response to the existence of racism to expand it application to as many people as possible by widening the net so as to include the oppressed with the oppressor? Is the ‘race baiter’ any worse than the ‘race denier’? Is reverse racism worse than racism?

The use of phrases like ‘race baiter’, ‘race card’, ‘reverse discrimination’, etc., are not meant to advance the discussion so that the issues of racism in this country can be addressed. They are meant to divert the conversation and to diffuse it by those who do not have the courage to resolve the problem.  (click and read post comments for example)

It all starts with racism. Want to get rid of ‘race baiters’, false accusations, over sensitivity to race, racial issues? Then work towards one simple target, one goal. Call out racism whenever it rears its head. Call out  the oppressor before you call out the oppressed who are forced by the oppressor to react, to lash out, to defend. The oppressed, and those in the minority, are in the most vulnerable position and the position that is the least able to suppress the action of those amongst the oppressors or majority.

by Glenn Littrell

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Doing the laundry and cleaning the windows: Allegorically?

by Glenn Littrell
I thought sharing this Facebook post/article would demonstrate how easy we have it now over 50 years ago. You know, as an example for those older people who keep posting those nostalgic post about missing the good-old days, and the younger people who don't appreciate how simple things are for them, like 'chores'.
Then I realized that the old fogies of my generation wouldn't read past the first few lines to reveal the message contained in the last paragraph, and the 'young-uns' probably don't have any idea how their laundry is cleaned and dried today... chores? chores? what are chores?

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Our memories tend to be seen through tinted windows, which, like our willingness to accept everything that agrees with what we want to believe as fact. Before you like or share a slogan or graphic that appears to support what you want it to support think if that little simplification can support your viewpoint, which hopefully is more complicated and thought out with reason, not short-sighted anger or jingle-ism.
Be sure that it is actually promoting what it appears to be promoting, not some subtle hurtful message... and on occasion, consider the source.
Young people are not the only people who need to realize that everything they see on the internet (or news) is
NOT true.

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Friday, June 26, 2015

The Myth of Conventional Marriage:

Circumstance prevented us from having a church sanctioned wedding. In spite of that, as much as because of it, I find our civil union to have been more than adequate. The difference of ceremony was the least important event in the whole process.

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by Glenn Littrell

In 1971 when Kelly’s mother and I were trying to get married we knew there was little chance of us finding a minister to marry us. It was less than four years after the supreme court had overturned all laws against interracial marriage, but bigotry on one side and fear on the other side would have made the search to time consuming for two young people in love and in a hurry. As it was I was home on a three day pass from the Army and we saw little chance of me being able to come back to Indiana from my duty station for at least several months.

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We spent my first day home trying to get myself ‘emancipated’ as an adult so we could get a marriage license. Even though I was old enough to enlist, serve, and go into combat, I was not old enough to get married without parental permission, and that had already been denied.

My wife, while younger than me was old enough to not need permission because of a law that declared women adults at a younger age than men.

With the help of her older sister we got a lawyer and were in court most of the day. With a three day waiting period between license and marriage we had little hope of actually getting married before I had to return to New York. So when the judge declared me emancipated we were overjoyed when he offered to wave the waiting period so we could get married that day. Without hesitation we went to the clerks office in the basement of the City-County Building (City Hall) and were married in a civil ceremony.

We left the next day for New York with little planning. We had no place to stay and faced even more obstacles as I had failed to get ‘permission’ to marry as was technically required of service men. We spent our ‘honeymoon’ in the barracks after my roommate and buddies made accommodations for us. In a few days a married friend helped get us an apartment in his complex off base. The rent was over half of my monthly paycheck.

When I went to inform my Company Commander(CO) of my marriage he raised hell, but decided not to press charges. Had he done so, or if my wife had been discovered in the barracks there could have been serious ramifications. Fortunately I had the foresight not to mention race to the CO. It would become common knowledge in time, but for the moment we were concentrating on surviving the moment. By the time the CO found out it would be too late and he would have to find another reason to ‘get me’ for deceiving him.

We were married for thirteen years, have remained friends for 28 years and still do things as a family. I defy anyone to find fault with us getting married.

It is for the above reasons, and more, that I bristle whenever I here the self-righteous wailing about saving the institution of marriage from the ‘gays’. The idea that gay marriage will destroy the institution and the American family is an idea that ignores the true history of marriage. The so-called tradition of marriage has an oppressive and dark side that is ignored by or unknown to many.

Glenn__Family

Family Picture: Taken almost 20 years after the divorce… still going strong.

 The idea that marriage has always been between a man and a woman is ludicrous: biblemarriage

  • It was once between a man and women (more than one, oddly never between a woman and men)
  • It was once between a man and his property, chattel. Wives were bought, sold, kidnapped, traded for and political possessions.
  • Between a woman and her rapist, conquering soldiers, slave master.
  • Marriage was for the obtaining and protection of property and title. The legitimacy of sons, dowries, and arranged marriages.
  • Marriage was for enslavement. Widows did not inherit property; they were declared wards of male family members along with what should have been their inheritance.
  • Biblically, marriage was (forced) between a widow and her brother-in-law.
  • To protect the institution of marriage African-Americans were declared less than human so the slave owner would not be guilty of adultery when he snuck off to the slave cabins at night.
  • Marriage was between a white man and a white woman. Slaves were denied the right to marry, period. Native Americans and African-Americans were denied the right to marry in church and/or by a priest.
  • When African-Americans were finally allowed to marry marriage was between a white man and a white woman or a black man and a black woman. Not only were inter-racial marriages still prohibited, but so were inter-faith and inter-denominational marriages.

Where the above restrictions were just strong taboos and not technically law they were all at one time sanctioned by the Christian community and most often enforced with violence.

The arguments today, logical and illogical, against gay marriage are the same arguments against Jodi and I getting married in 1971: the sanctity of the institution, the children, it won’t survive the pressure, its unnatural, ‘the bible says’, the family… Bullcrap!
My family has survived not just years of marriage, but also years of divorce. 41 years and still going. I’d proudly put my child's character, accomplishments and intelligence up for scrutiny any time. In these situations the bible says what you want it to say.

It is interesting that the condemnation of matrimony between certain groups is also a root cause of people living outside of matrimony in a manner that is also condemned. What eroded my faith in marriage as an institution was the obstacles to our marriage along with high rates of divorce, adultery, and domestic violence. All factors un-related to if we were of different races. The cry for family values and protecting the family ignores the fact that the survival of the family does not depend on the make-up of a family and certainly does not depend on the makeup of the family down the street, or on the other side of town. My faith is that my family was strong enough to survive the marriage and the more important thing is it also survived the divorce.

The arguments against are moot. They have been proven wrong throughout history. The merit of the arguments are weak and the question that remains, the soul searching question, is the ‘why’ behind the arguments. If you make the argument against gay marriage, it is that ‘why’ that is most important. If the ‘why’ is perceived as a logical one then the logic is flawed and the ‘why’ must be that for whatever reason, it has to come down to personal animosity. If the ‘why’ is strictly faith based then OK, but your faith is yours, not everyone else's. If your faith allows you to judge others then kindly exercise your faith, but limit exercising your faith over others to the members of your faith. My freedom of religion is also freedom from your religion.

mixedM_thumb51 image_thumb1Robert Northrup: “I was married by a justice of the peace 17 years ago. Some churches don't recognize that kind of "civil marriage," only marriages performed by their rules. Have I undermined respect for the institution of marriage by having one that doesn't conform to the demands of some churches? No, and neither do gay marriages.

Simply put, if your faith does not allow for gay marriage then your church shouldn’t perform such marriages. It will probably face some criticism, but such is the consequence of faith, the ability to withstand criticism and doubt. It will also set many on a course to another church or even away from churches in general.  As a result the faith based argument is detrimental; it leads to the alienation from God based on the inability of men to understand or explain God.

The claim that gay marriage rights will lead to marriages between men and animals is so stupid and illogical it is embarrassing. The whole purpose of such statements is to scare the ignorant and fearful.
Similarly the claims that marriage equality will lead to churches being forced by the government to perform gay weddings is so removed from reality it demonstrates a lack of understanding in regards to basic morality and our Constitution. The fears surrounding inter-racial and inter-faith marriages have not led to government intervention or mandates on church performed weddings in the last 48 years.

Circumstance prevented us from having a church sanctioned wedding. In spite of that as much as because of it, I find our civil union to have been more than adequate. The difference of ceremony was the least important event in the whole process.

ssmarriage_thumb1So let’s get this straight…

Charlie Sheen can make a “Porn Family”

Kelsey Grammar ended his 15 year marriage over the phone

Larry King is on divorce #9

Britney Spears had a 55 hour marriage

Jesse James & Tiger Woods (whilst married) were having sex with everyone

…but somehow it is Same-Sex-Marriage that is going to destroy the “Institution of marriage”

really?

Personally I believe that the state or the government should not be in the marriage business. Civil Unions by the state, religious bonding by the church, or both. Your choice is the way it should be. You would think that this would be the preference of the ‘get the government out of my life’ crowd, but political principles always give way to political opportunities these days, and the best opportunities can always be found in divisive religious issues.

GlennDL

This essay was formerly titled If Your Against Gay Marriage,Then Don’t Marry Someone Who’s Gay!September 10,2012. It has been edited, updated and retitled, “The Myth of Conventional Marriage”.

Obviously, things have changed little in some places:

Movie Myths:

I thought you'd want to know some things you would never know without the movies:

  • When they are alone, all foreigners prefer to speak English to each other.
  • If being chased through town, you can usually take cover in a passing parade - at any time of year.
  • All beds have special L-shaped cover sheets that reach up to the armpit level on a woman but only to the waist level on the man lying beside  her. anim (6)
  • The Chief of Police will almost always suspend his (sic) star detective- or give him 48 hours to finish the job.
  • It's easy for anyone to land a plane providing there is someone to talk you down.
  • The ventilation system of any building is the perfect hiding place -  no one will ever think of looking for you in there and you travel to any  other part of the building undetected.
  • The Eiffel Tower can be seen from any window in Paris.
  • All bombs are fitted with electronic timing devices with large red  readouts so you know exactly when they are going to go off.
  • You are very likely to survive any battle in any war unless you make  the mistake of showing someone a picture of your sweetheart back home.
  • Should you wish to pass yourself off as a German officer, it will not be necessary to speak the language - a German accent will do.
  • A man will show no pain while taking the most ferocious beating but will wince when a woman tries to clean his wounds.
  • If staying in a haunted house, women should investigate any strange  noises in their most revealing underwear.
  • Mothers routinely cook eggs, bacon and waffles for their families every morning even though their husbands and children never have time to  eat it.
  • Cars that crash will almost always burst into flames.
  • A single match will be sufficient to light up a room the size of RFK  stadium.
  • Any person waking from a nightmare will sit bolt upright and pant.
  • It is not necessary to say hello or goodbye when beginning or ending  phone conversations.
  • It is always possible to park directly outside the building you are  visiting.
  • It does not matter if you are heavily outnumbered in a fight involving martial arts - your enemies will patiently attack you one by one and the others will dance around in a threatening manner until you have knocked out their predecessors.
  • When a person is knocked unconscious by a blow to the head, they will never suffer a concussion or brain damage.
  • No one ever involved in a car chase, hijacking, explosion, volcanic  eruption or alien invasion will ever go into shock.
    Once applied, lipstick will never rub off - even while scuba diving.
  • You can always find a chainsaw when you need one.
    Any lock can be picked by a credit card or a paper clip in seconds  unless it's the door to a burning building with a child trapped inside.
  • Television news bulletins usually contain a story that affects you  personally at the precise moment that they are aired.

Have your own Movie Myth?  Use the “Leave/Read Comments’ link below to add yours.

How Come? Try thinking about it.

Captureby Glenn Littrell
There is a reason why someone like Michael Jordan does not have to stand up and tell the public how good of a basketball player he is, why Robert DiNiro doesn't have to prove how good an actor he is, etc.

Because it is well known, their talent, abilities and character are publicly recognized and last but not least they are respected for their accomplishments.

African-Americans, Mexican-Americans, Asian-Americans, and American Muslims, as well as Italian, Irish and Native-Americans have in the past and present had to fight for recognition and acknowledgement of their contributions to American culture and greatness. They have had to do this while being oppressed, enslaved, massacred, demonized, hung, incarcerated, and segregated by mostly 'white' America.

The inability, or at least slowness, of their recognition by main stream (or majority of) America has made it necessary for them to stand up and point out that they have awareness of their contributions, that they have a claim and a right to equality and full participation. This is why they have a right to be proud Americans and this does not diminish the right of white Americans to also be proud, but when being proud of our accomplishments and greatness one of the things we should be proud of is an ability to distinguish and acknowledge our shortcomings. Its called humility, and pride without humility is just plain vanity, and too many whites, for whatever reasons confuse humility with weakness.

As a result of segregation in particular the distinctions were already there. What I'm saying is that the reason these phrases came about is that there is history and background that created the need and use of these phrases. Everyone has a right to be proud of their heritage and culture, but many have been denied that right. The need for promoting their pride stems from their culture, heritage, identity and race being oppressed, demonized, etc. It is one means amongst many to encourage their youth to achieve. It is not and should not be a means to denigrate others.

I'm not saying all whites are this way, I'm not saying that being proud is wrong, I'm answering what I perceived to be the question: HOW COME some cries for showing pride are taken as good and some as not good.

And therein lies the problem with 'white pride'.

The phrase "white pride" on the other hand as been used by many, and effectively, as a rallying cry to promote white supremacy and subjugation. It is used in a different context and while some may want to use it now, in a new context, the label Racist is going to be attached to it because of its history whether we like it or not.

The concept of 'white pride', like the Confederate Flag and burning crosses are not symbols of hatred because African-Americans, Jews, Catholics and other minorities made them so. They are symbols of hatred and oppression because white America, specifically racist Americans and passive Americans promoted them as symbols of fear and hatred, either actively or by silent tolerance, .

No person of color burned a cross on a white-man's lawn, waved a confederate flag at a white-man's hanging, or screamed white power at at a white child who needed a National Guard escort to attend grade school. These symbols of hate and fear, were made so by white Americans like the KKK, the American Nazi party, so called Christians, cowards, vandals, and degenerates.

I am white, I am not ashamed of it, nor am I vain about it. I have enough self-respect to not need to denigrate someone else to feel good about myself. I have the humility required to extend a level of mutual respect to everyone on a personal level until they prove themselves unworthy of that respect.

Does white America need a ‘White Pride’ movement?

The purpose of the analogy of Jordan and DiNiro is that for them to seek and need further and constant validation of their talents whenever someone else's stature or talents are recognized, would reflect a gross insecurity, egotism and whiny-ness that would approach some level of being pathetic.

We are all proud on many levels. Proud Americans, proud parents, proud, professional, proud of our culture, heritage,etc., but when your or part of the dominate group, your culture and heritage is taught as the countries culture and heritage, but you feel slighted, or you feel yours is being attacked, because others that are excluded from your group are also taking some pride then that approaches some level of being pathetic.

NOTE 1: Why the hyphenated Names?

Is the use of hyphenated identities divisive. If this upsets you then you don't get what I'm saying, but I will explain that too in hopes that you might get it.

When a woman (or in some rare cases, a man) takes their spouse surname without dropping their maiden name (when being married) this is not a sign of divisiveness. It is an action that comes out of their unification. (Actually, the divisive action might be dropping the adopted surname and hyphen following the divorce... but in reality the divorce is the divisive act)

Punctuation is divisive? Really? Choosing to claim that you are American is divisive? Where were you when the precursor to hyphenated references were derogatory slang and slurs? Hyphenated titles are the alternative to those slurs, which were the product, symbol and tool of divisiveness.

NOTE 2: In anticipation that someone will feel the need to state that most of the atrocities of racism occurred in the distant past, let me point out that most of them also occurred in our lifetime and if you pick up a newspaper you will see they still occur.

Case in point: recently armed agitators picketed a house of worship waving American flags, wearing shirts covered in profanity and shouting hateful rhetoric at the churches attendees. Excuse me, I meant Mosque attendees. Whew! Would have been a bad thing if it occurred at a church.

I only hope, probably in vain, that if some little Muslim girl attending that Mosque, witnessing the American flag and hatred being waved at her, doesn't grow up with animosity towards America. If ten years from now some Muslim teenager burns a flag, or the future Muslim 1st Lady expresses new found pride in American, I wonder if we will remember the proud day we destroyed her faith in America?

I am white, I am not ashamed nor am I vain. I have enough self-respect to not need to denigrate someone else to feel good about myself. I have the humility required to extend a level of mutual respect to everyone on a personal level until they prove themselves unworthy of that respect. GlennDL

UPDATE – 6-29-2015:

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Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Deism:

This is a collection of notes and information on Deism from a variety of sources. It is not meant as a complete explanation of Deism. -- GlennDL

Deism (/ˈdiː.ɪzəm/ or /ˈdeɪ.ɪzəm/, derived from the Latin word deus meaning "god") combines the rejection of revelation and authority as a source of religious knowledge with the conclusion that reason and observation of the natural world are sufficient to determine the existence of a single creator of the universe.

Deism (a theological position) holds that

That one does not need more than personal observation of the world around them to realize that there was a creator. That to know God one only needs reason and observation of nature and the laws of nature to see him. That man’s ability to reason, decide, conclude, learn and communicate were gifts from God to be used, not repressed.

That God gave us the ability to reason in order to survive, succeed and fail on our own abilities. That after the creation he left us, with our reason, and nature, with its laws, to continue on without, or with, minimal intervention by him.

That a religion or believe system put forth by a supreme being for all humanity, for any and all practical purposes, would have to be simple, pure, and understandable, not complicated, coded, hard to understand, or hard to abide by.

There is one Supreme God, virtue and piety are the chief parts of divine worship. We ought to be sorry for our sins and repent of them. God’s goodness dispenses rewards and punishments both in this life and after it

  • God exists and created the universe.
  • God gave humans the ability to reason.
  • God does not intervene with the functioning of the natural world but rather allows it to function according to the laws of nature (God's laws of nature).
  • Rejection of religions that are based on books that claim to contain the revealed word of God.
  • Rejection of religious dogma and demagogy.
  • Skepticism of reports of miracles, prophecies and religious "mysteries".
Early enlightenment thinkers, under the influence of Newtonian science, tended to view the universe as created and set in motion by a creator being, that the universe continues to operate according to natural law [the creators law], without any divine intervention.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

The Evolution of Dad Dancing (w/ Jimmy Fallon & Gov. Chris Christie)

nopantsdayIn honor of Father's Day, Jimmy and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie present The Evolution of Dad Dancing.