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].

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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.

Monday, July 16, 2018

Remember when…

by Glenn Littrell

Many people tend to look nostalgically at the past as being all roses and ice cream in comparison to their dissatisfaction with the here and now, always lamenting back to when we drank straight from the water hose, were supposedly watched over by neighbors, and the streetlight was our guide to when it was time to go home. But do these selective memories reflect better times? Or just better moments? Nostalgia

Yes, we weren't required to wear a seatbelt, but the impact of a child standing in the front seat being launched into the dashboard at a moderate speed of 15 miles an hour led to devastating results. Yes, we could say what we wanted if we were in the right group, or if we were the biggest person in the room. Back when we could be verbal bullies and obnoxious people was that a worthy character trait to want to return to? Where the good old days so grand when segregation, racism, sexism we're so prevalent. Was it such a great time?

Nostalgia has a place in some context but not all context.

It seems to me that nostalgic memories are usually subject to wishful thinking whether it be the memories of an optimist or pessimist.

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Patriotism is not a contest:

4thjulyiconAll too often when events like going to war, 9-11, holidays, or controversial issues like school prayer or flag burning comes to the front of the national stage, Patriotism all of a sudden becomes a “contest”. A chest thumping, foot stomping, in your face, holier than thou, "if you disagree with me you must not be patriotic", contest.

Unfortunately, as the extremist churn out their one-sided messages many of us get caught up in the ‘Patriotism as a contest syndrome’, falling in line behind over-simplified slogans and catchphrases that galvanize us more to that slogan’s single issue than to our real, more well-rounded beliefs. This ‘patriotism as a contest syndrome’ only serves to divide us and prevent us from having educated discussions, solutions, or compromise.  This form of “sunshine patriotism” is just as damaging now as it was during the early days of our American Revolution.

imageA common argument that is put forth by the extremist, and picked up by the moderates, is that soldiers served, fought, or died for the right to protest as if this meant that protesters were doing a disservice to those soldiers. This is a prime example of single-issue rhetoric being used to distort the argument. Yes, soldiers served, fought, or died for the anti-war protestors right to demonstrate, and the pro-war protesters right to demonstrate, and for all our rights, the right to vote, and the right to bear arms, the right to representation, and many more rights.  Not all soldiers who have served were of a single mind, political belief or religious persuasion.  Many were not volunteers and some served reluctantly.

        Because they served, fought, or died for our rights, those rights are now our responsibilities. We have a responsibility to vote, to bear arms in times of conflict, to participate in the process of representation. We also have a responsibility to exercise our freedom of speech in its many forms and when our conscience dictates that we must speak out for or against something, it is our responsibility to do so. These rights and responsibilities are not limited to those who only fall on a certain side of an issue.

When the framers of the constitution defined some of these rights, they could not foresee what the future might hold for these rights and responsibilities. They could not have seen the developments in firearms that would make assault weapons capable of discharging hundreds of rounds a minute, nor could they foresee technological advances that would make pornography so easily available. When they framed the Constitution, however, they were aware of the potentially deadly and criminal use of firearms, and pornography did exist in their times.

Well aware of potential abuse or misuse of our many rights, they saw these rights as inalienable, and they weighed these inalienable rights against the consequences and defined those consequences as tyranny.

They included the rights to free speech and assembly knowing full well that it could lead to criticism of the government. They included them because they had seen and exercised these rights in their fight for freedom by a demonstration against the government through speech, flag burning, demonstration, and armed insurrection and through prayer to their god. They spoke for the separation of church and state not because they were atheist or unreligious, but because they were religious men and had seen first hand the evils of allowing one to influence the other.

They chose the acknowledgment of these inalienable rights over the choice of tyranny because the extreme use of one is favorable over the slightest existence of the other. When we disagree with the actions or anticipated decisions of our government, it is our obligation as a matter of conscience to express that disagreement; it is our right and responsibility. Legal discord and assembly are as American as apple pie. 

‘Patriotism as a contest’ is a despicable display of ignorance and disrespect for our constitution and those who died for it. Patriotism is not flag waving and chest beating and shouting down those who disagree with us. Patriotism is the defense and preservation of our Constitution and should be preceded by service, civic involvement, and conviction to our responsibilities and our neighbor’s rights. The willingness to defend to the death the rights of our neighbors in spite of our differences, that is an example of Patriotism

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Wednesday, June 20, 2018

An Immoral and Failing Policy of Zero Tolerance:

by Glenn D. Littrell indianaglenn@gmail.com

Image may contain: one or more people and textToday I have let myself get caught up in (or carried away by) a Facebook debate surrounding the "Zero tolerance immigration policy" of the current administration. Like many politically charged Facebook issues, the debate while often civil is very often contentious, emotional and nasty. If I have behaved in the latter behavior I apologize for whenever I crossed the line. I will not, however, apologize for my point of view.

I would like to point out that, as often is the case today, most issue debates continually and quickly transform from an issue debate into a political debate… which is unproductive and to a large degree senseless.

Immigration Reform, the issue: The irony of the debate is that regardless of which side everyone falls on the overwhelming majority of us agree that we need immigration reform, and we need it now. For many of us the difference is what reforms we want and what concession do we accept or make, not who wins or loses politically.

imageImmigration Reform, the politics: For far too many of us, probably most of us, we are waging this argument solely on the bases of who we support politically, party or person, and not on the merit of the issue itself. Specifically, how do we treat people crossing our border illegally? Do we treat them humanely while enforcing the law or do we treat them punitively?

I for one say that we enforce our laws with consistency and compassion. I say that we acknowledge the suffering and hard choices these people faced in getting here, even if in the end we have to send them back or relocate them. I say that we recognize that those who have lived their life here after being brought here as minors, younger than the age of consent and responsibility, those that have never known another home, be afforded a path to citizenship. Most importantly that we seek to do as little harm as possible.

In regards to questionable, false, or immoral defense of this policy:

  • Immigration Law: It has long been a MISDEMEANOR federal offense to be caught illegally entering the US, punishable by up to six months in prison, but past administrations have not always referred everyone caught for prosecution. Those apprehended were swiftly put into immigration proceedings and, unless they met the threshold to pursue a valid asylum claim, can be quickly deported from the country.
    The Law mentioned (The Flores Settlement Agreement) and cited by Trump only applies to unaccompanied children.
    There are more humane and cost-efficient alternatives that have proven effective. The Family Case Management Program which President Trump TERMINATED, allows families to be released together and monitored by caseworkers. Despite claims that families won’t show up for court, the program has a 99% success rate of court attendance.
  • Image may contain: textA zero tolerance policy: Zero tolerance policy is the tool of the authoritarian, the dictator, and on a smaller scale the unimaginative, repressive, insecure person. It reeks of injustice and takes us back to a time and practice that could see a starving man go to prison for 20 years for simply stealing a loaf of bread.
  • The Flores Settlement Agreement (the so-called 1997 law): The law did not dictate the separation of families. It has been litigated and amended repeatedly. IT ONLY applies to UNACCOMPANIED children and victims of child trafficking.
    Its application has always been the exception to defined practice (rule).
    It is now the 'rule' not the exception applied in special circumstances and is being applied to children with their family, not just unaccompanied children. Its present application is the result of Trump and Sessions zero tolerance policy.
  • Who passed the law? The Flores Settlement Agreement (the so-called 1997 law): And for the record, it was a Republican Congress that passed the law and Clinton who signed it, so there's plenty of blame for the law that was passed, but that isn't the law being applied today... it's the Trump zero policy. It has been applied in a more human manner before now and should be going forward.
  • False comparison of immigrants to current criminals in prison: The premise is faulty! Current criminals (hopefully) had a trial, representation, and opportunity for bail. They were arrested, charged, tried and SENTENCED to jail, not held in a detention center. Comparing misdemeanors to felonies is apples to oranges, asylum seekers are not breaking the law, asking for help, refuge, or sanctuary is not criminal. So if you get pulled over for a broken taillight you're fine with your children being confiscated? Misdemeanors! Not felonies! In many cases, presence in this country is just a violation, not criminal, and not a felony. In any case, we have laws and procedure, and rights. These rights like it or not are "inalienable' and endowed by our creator. The document that declares this also says "ALL MEN". It doesn't say only Americans or only native-born... it declared these truths to be for ALL as well as being self-evident.
  • imageBlame Obama defense: So that's the limit of your indignation and outrage? A sarcastic, pointless and trivial dig at Obama?
  • Blame Hillary Defense:  Quit stretching for Hillary and some sanctimonious justification. Your children, maybe not you, would be traumatized by being taken from you suddenly under suspicion, even legally justified. If you can't see that, or that this could be done more humanely, or that some provisions could be made, I'm at a loss.
    The only people who seem to still be upset over Hillary losing are some Democrats, most Republicans, and all Trumps supporters. The rest of us try to roll with the punches.
  • Comparisons to children being dropped off at daycare: That is ridiculous! Daycare versus days, weeks, or months of detention. It is just plain hypocrisy to suggest they are the same… what would you do if you were told you couldn't pick them up for weeks?!?!?!
  • Image may contain: textKids in cages better off than they were in Mexico(or wherever): ...if you can acknowledge that having their kids taken is better than their life back in Mexico, then why can't you recognize the desperation that leads them here seeking help. Have some mercy for their situation.
  • Comparison to family separation for military families: Come on. I'm sure they were not suddenly placed in foster care, I know most of them are still with family, in the majority of these the separation was voluntary, and most of them had time to prepare, adjust and think about the separation, and virtually all got an unhurried hug at separation. If you can acknowledge the difficulty of military separations why can't you empathize with these children?
    Image may contain: textAll these things are being denied these people who come here seeking help and an opportunity. As a former military parent and child in a military family, this comparison is so off base it is offensive!
    Stop seeking moral justification for supporting a terrible policy that could be changed easily. Better yet just admit that as long as it's not your kids your fine with it... family values defined!
  • The legality of our ancestor immigrants: I've researched family histories for 30 years and can assure you that most Americans are surprised to find that some if not all their ancestors either came here under no legal authority (just the cost of passage) or they came here as criminals.
    If you have a record of your ancestor's arrival then send me a copy or quote it completely and I will point out the one word in the document that had a completely different legal meaning back then.
    If you don't have such a reference then tell me the migratory movements of your ancestors from arrival to the present and I can probably find where they, like so many ancestors, illegally entered French, Spanish or Native American lands. Better yet, did they own slaves? Legal but immoral. Or did they fight in support of treason against King George or later as a traitors act of succession and rebellion? Image may contain: 1 person, text
    Whether you know your family's history or not it is a fact that this country was built by immigrants, some were expelled from other countries, some fleeing from other countries seeking sanctuary, some being enslaved. Our founding fathers were lawbreakers in the simplest and the most technical sense of the word. Lawbreakers in the service of illegal but moral acts. Our legal system was inequitable and immoral to some while providing preferential treatment to others in defiance of the letter and intent of our legal founding documents.
    We have falsely imprisoned many, interred others and committed genocide in the cause of sanctimonious expansion, protectionism, and security... only to condemn these errors decades later, but we grow and move forward by making some attempt at being better.

In summation, we would be better served by discussing solutions to problems, to debating the issues without seeking justification for immoral or unnecessary acts, and with an eye towards practicality with empathy and compassion.

Seek solutions from your critical mind and an open heart instead of your loyalty to a specific person or ideology.


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Thursday, May 24, 2018

I wonder what most of these ‘patriotic’ NFL owners did during Vietnam.

We seem to be more concerned about protecting and celebrating the flag than we are about protecting and celebrating our fellow human beings.

There is a word for that: Idolatry.

Facing the flag, remaining silent and reverent, taking a knee… are all a show of respect. Displaying a giant flag horizontally on a football field or racetrack and ‘shaking it’, using the flag in advertising, wearing the flag at country music concerts, flying tattered flags, decorating the flag with eagles and political slogans… are all violations of an unenforced flag code. That’s being disrespectful.
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Have you ever considered that many of the people who spit on soldiers and called them names during the Vietnam Era are the very ones trying to give lessons in patriotism to Colin Kaepernick and anyone who agrees with him? Haven't you ever wondered what happened to all those hippies? It always been my suspension that once the draft ended, and Carter and Ford forgave the draft dodgers, that most of them took their college draft deferments and joined the Republican Party (Nugent, Limbaugh, Cheney, TRUMP, etc.).


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clip_image001When did kneeling become a sign of disrespect? Don't we kneel when we propose, don't we kneel when we pray, don't we kneel when we visit a grave site of a loved one, don't coaches have their players gather around and kneel when they want to speak to them as a group. In the Army when the drill sergeant or CO called you around to give you information wasn't it common for him to tell you to take a knee?

During the second Iraq war when a company commander and his troops were approaching an area of conflict and there was a mosque in the area and civilians were out in front to protect the site, the commanding officer to show respect and non-aggression towards the mosque, told his men to take a knee. Disrespect?

In recorded history kneeling or taking a knee was seen as a great sign of respect even more so than bowing to lords, master, potentates, kings, popes, and generals.

So why is it that all of a sudden a young man who takes a knee is considered a sign of disrespect. What is it about his taking a knee that in spite of his stated reasons and intentions he is vilified. All of this is overlooked, ignored or not recognized by those who choose to view his action through a narrow lens.

He was not taking a knee to protest the national anthem, he was taking a knee during the national anthem to protest social injustice, and to bring attention to social injustice.

Personally, there are things in the national anthem that do deserve criticism… the glorification of war, the condemnation of enslaved blacks fighting for their freedom, the endorsement of slavery. Read all the verses.

As a son of a veteran, a nephew of seven veteran (veterans of World War II and Korea), the brother and brother-in-law of veterans, and a veteran myself, I do not see any disrespect in this man's choice to kneel.

I do not claim to speak for any of these veterans other than myself, but I know that we all took the same oath and it was not to protect the constitutional rights of just the people we wanted to be protected, nor was it to protect the constitutional rights that we favor. We took an oath to defend and protect the Constitution and therefore all the constitutional rights of everyone not just ourselves, our preconceived opinions, or changing opinions, but all opinions.

Glenn Littrell

Image may contain: 2 people, text

Is America less patriotic than in the past?

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/teachingnonviolentatonement/2017/10/mike-pence-devout-christian-hes-not-following-christ/#MBWXqv6cebkj1jC1.01

Sunday, April 15, 2018

My illegal 7-day pill box and your gun rights

1pb
Intro: Part 1


Every week when I sit down with all my prescription drugs and fill my 7-Day pill box with them I am breaking the law. Whenever I leave the house and I put my lunch time pills in a small plastic pill bottle I am breaking the law. If police had any reason to search my vehicle, me, or my house I could be arrested for illegal possession of prescription drugs. We're not talking about opioids, Vicodin, Valium, OxyContin, or even pain pills, we're talking about cholesterol medicine, blood pressure medicine, and heart medicine.

We’re talking about all prescription drugs. Most of which have no street value, no narcotic effect, their sole purpose is to keep me alive, both in the short term in the long term, but unless I carry them in the original prescription bottle, properly labeled, I am breaking the law.[i]

How can this be? Don’t we all have a god given right to pursue good health and prolonged life? Doesn’t

the Declaration of Independence guarantee a right to pursue “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness”? Doesn’t a right to self-defense extend to all physical threats? Is someone threatening to do me bodily harm any more dangerous to me than the threat of a life altering stroke, the slow death of cancer, diabetic seizures resulting from a faulty pancreas?

Laws against me carrying benign prescription drugs are necessary because less than 2% of the population breaks the law.

In most states where this applies even though I:

  • might be taking pills for mental disorder I can still purchase a weapon,
  • might be taking pills for a behavioral problem that might contribute to domestic violence I can still buy high capacity magazines
  • may have committed domestic violence I can legally buy high capacity magazines and a modification kit to turn my semi-automatic into a fully automatic tool of mass destruction
  • may have threatened violence I could still legally purchase, carry, and stockpile a weapons stash,

…in most States where my fully loaded 7-day pill bottle is illegal it would be legal to carry a weapon, concealed or openly.

I’m not advocating for the outlawing of guns. I’m arguing for more rational and reasonable access to my daily medications.

I am not arguing for the abolition of laws concerning controlled substances. I’m arguing for rational and reasonable measures to address mass killings and violence.

I am not being hypocritical by taking opposing stands on the restrictions of gun ownership and the use of my 7-day pill bottle (the present, opposite, position of the laws is hypocritical), I am pointing out the hypocrisy of fighting for unfettered gun access but not fighting for unfettered access to my legally prescribed medication.

My steady and consistent position is that in both cases there rational and reasonable solutions between the two extremes: its called compromise.

As a lifelong gun owner, I cannot see how it is so unreasonable to even consider trying to find a solution that might help hinder these mass shootings and epidemic levels of violence.

Many people would defend the laws against 7-day pill bottles as necessary to fight the devastating drug epidemic. Oddly many of the same people will rationalize against even the most benign regulations to slow the flow of dangerous weapons into the hands of irresponsible, impaired or dangerous people.

End of part 1


[i] Technically you break the law the second you take a pill out of the original prescription container… for that two seconds it takes to get the pill out of the bottle into your mouth you have been breaking the law.

Monday, January 22, 2018

Government Shutdown: Plenty of blame to go around… and around, and around…

clip_image001Let's be clear: a government shutdown occurs because of a failure to compromise, negotiate in good faith, and to lead, or in the case of controlling the branches of government (Supreme Court, the House, the Senate, the Presidency) the inability reach a consensus.

The Democrats are wrong to tie DACA to this Continuing Resolution(CR). The CR is a win for everyone on CHIPS, by tying DACA to this CR they are allowing the optics of the clip_image001argument to be about children and the troops vs. DACA. On the other hand if they passed the CR and moved on the optics would be about DACA vs. The Wall… a more solid position for them. Win-able, but once again the Democrats fail to properly brand their position.

clip_image001[11]The Republican'ts are showing their usual hypocrisy: in 2013 when they shut down the government (after previous, repeated threats) over Obamacare (the law of the land) and its perceived threat to the deficit, after that they now totally ignore the still growing deficit with corporate giveaways and deficit growing spending.

The President has continually contradicted his own position and aggravated the situation by flip-flopping continuously. Stirring the pot by saying one thing publicly and then reversing and contradicting himself the next moment. Having to re-explain his often stated and emphatic position time and time again. Constantly ‘blowing things up” No leadership, so sad.

clip_image001[13]Yes, there is plenty of blame to go around. In every shutdown that has caused servicemen to not be paid on time the troops get played as a bargaining chip. Both sides have caused shutdowns and playing the 'shoe -on-the-other-foot' blame game to an advantage, neither party or no president has pushed for legislation or policy that would deal with the temporary loss of pay problem.

It isn't that the troops are denied payment, work and sent home. The problem, is even though they continue to work the people who cut the checks are furloughed, thus their checks are late.

See also

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Martin Luther King, Jr., Peace And Memorial Park:

GlennDL 

The Landmark for Peace Memorial is a memorial sculpture at Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Park on the north side of Indianapolis that honors the contributions of the slain leaders Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Robert F. Kennedy. The sculpture, which features King and Kennedy reaching out to each other. It was designed by Greg Perry. Untitled picture
GlennDL (8) 

IMG_0862
On the next day while speaking in Cleveland, Robert Kennedy gave an even more inspirational speech on ‘The Mindless Menace of Violence’. Nine weeks later, Robert Kennedy, like his older brother President John F. Kennedy and Dr. King, would also be assassinated.


On May 14, 1994 President Bill Clinton delivered a speech at the groundbreaking ceremonies for the Landmark For Peace memorial at 17th and Broadway in Indianapolis.     read the text of his speech.

Martin Luther King “I Have A Dream”

Martin Luther King “I’ve Been To The Mountain Top” part 1

Martin Luther King “I’ve Been To The Mountain Top” part 2

GlennDL (10)

MLKday 11/+35

Sunday, January 7, 2018

Acceptable News and Opinion Sources:

If you’re interested in the truth you don’t just seek out facts or opinions that agree with your point of view… you seek out all facts and entertain opinions contrary to yours. You don’t name call or categorize those who disagree with you. You don’t portray those you disagree with as less thoughtful than you and you don’t differ to people you consider infallible.

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Know the difference between opinion and news. Determine to what degree you accept opinion when it is offered with facts. Understand that it would be virtually impossible to cover, report, or editorialize the news without the presence of some bias… that’s human nature.

You can accept the above list as gospel or totally disregard it*, you have the right to be as bias as you want, but at least have a semblance of rational and reasonable fairness in what you post. Too often those who complain about the ‘mainstream media’, the ‘liberal’ or ‘right-wing’ press fail to acknowledge that they are not complaining about ‘media bias’, they are really complaining about ‘media not biased enough’ towards their bias.

*For example, I would label CNN as ‘OPINION’. The designation of ‘opinion or news is not to identify the source as either or, but is in reference to what seems to be their dominate presentation. In this regard I see CNN as predominately opinion oriented, liberal. I also would lump MSNBC (which is on this list) with FOXNews (which is not on this list) as being too ‘hyper-bias’, sometimes to the point of being utter nonsense or damaging to public discourse. Now since I have disconnected my cable service for the last year it could be that MSNBC (as well as others) could have changed their act.

Below is the original unedited chart from MediasBiasChart.com . I have tried to simplify it and limit my list to mainstream news sources with minimal to some bias that are still considered fair and reputable.

mediabiaschart

For other fact checking information I have collected click here and scroll down past this article.