Remembering D-Day

d-day05During World War II, one of the innumerable government agencies, the Writer’s War Board, couldn’t come up with a working definition of the word democracy. Here’s what E.B. White wrote in the the New Yorker:

Surely the Board knows what democracy is. It is the line that forms on the right. It is the don’t in don’t shove. It is the hole in the stuffed shirt through which the sawdust slowly trickles; it is the dent in the high hat. Democracy is the recurrent suspicion that more than half the people are right more than half of the time. It is the feeling of privacy in the voting booths, the feeling of communion in the libraries, the feeling of vitality everywhere. Democracy is a letter to the editor. Democracy is the score at the beginning of the ninth. It is an idea which hasn’t been disproved yet, a song the words of which have not gone bad. It’s the mustard on the hot dog and cream in the rationed coffee. 

Don’t forget today, those that died for our freedom and our right to democracy. Don’t forget, especially, those brave souls that braved the beaches of Normandy and turned the tide of the war, facing off with evil and defending what is good and right and true and honorable.

Debates and Racism Over Coca-Cola Super Bowl Ad

If you didn’t watch the Super Bowl last Sunday (or turned it off out of embarrassment), you missed an ad put out by Coca-Cola that has sparked much debate and criticism.

In my family, we prefer Coke over Pepsi, even though only one of us can taste the difference. A big reason is because of their ads. Commercials and expensive advertising must work; we drink Coke because of those cute polar bears and vintage Santa Clauses. Their ads are catchy and classy, as opposed to Pepsi whose ads tend to be trashy and inappropriate by comparison.

coca-cola_polar_bear_always_cool_1993-610x809

On Sunday, February 3, 2002, during the Super Bowl, Pepsi-Cola North America unveils a new Britney S..

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And let’s face it: if I drank, I’d choose Budweiser for the same reason.

But Coke’s newest ad, which you can watch on the video above, was anything but classy, according to a lot of people.

For a whole minute, Americans from all nationalities and languages joined in in singing “America the Beautiful.”

My wife and I made no comment about it, that I recall. Except I might have mentioned how pretty it was.

It’s touching to see Americans of all races come together and be united as one, though we may differ on subjects of religion, politics, and attire.

And it’s heartbreaking to read comments online like:

Not a fan of the CocaCola commercial. America The Beautiful should not be sang in any other language other than English. Sorry not sorry. 🇺🇸 -BudLightBro (@BudLightBro)

I will be drinking Pepsi after your Super Bowl commercial. We welcome all people but being American should be an honor. @CocaCola #tcot -M Mahathy (@mmahathy)

I am truly disappointed in @Coca Cola for the offensive#SpeakAmerican commercial last night. Speak English!— Janice Rounsaville (@janicehr55)

Read article here.

Calvin, of Calvin and Hobbes once said “If you can’t speak English, then I say, shut up!”

He was six. I doubt he’d still say that today.

Some even went so far as to say that terrorists should not be singing our nation’s songs.

It’s too bad that we as a nation are weary to take up arms against our real enemies over seas, but will attack our own under the pretense of assumption and bigotry.

I don’t see people complaining about Disney’s “Let it Go” sung in 25 languages going ultra-viral. Why? Because it’s beautiful.

Like America.

“Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

What are your thoughts on the whole Coca-Cola ad debate? Share your thoughts.

Country Music Part I

country-music

I was a big fan of country music from my freshman year at high school up until about two years ago. After listening to so much of it, though, I came to the realization that they all sound pretty much the exact same. There’s just not much variety in that genre. But there are still a few country songs that I like to return to every once in a while and that actually stand out from the rest. Here are a few of my favorites:

Letter to Me by Brad Paisley – Did you know that Anne Banks from the movie Father of the Bride is married to Brad Paisley? Anyway, this song is fun and relatable for any guy who grew up as an all-American. Takes listeners through the ups and downs of adolescence as Paisley writes a letter to himself and sends it back it time to when he was seventeen. It’s also a reminder to us to appreciate what we have now, right before us.

Sweet Southern Comfort by Buddy Jewell – It’s a little more hokey than most people might care for, but the lyrics are majestic, and takes listeners back to the small town America that most of us missed. This song makes me cry over the kind of life I wish I’d lived, catching catfish on the river, playing in the mud, and sitting under weeping willows. Not that I’m not thankful for the life I did live, I guess the grass is just greener on the other side.

Have You Forgotten by Darryl Worley – Yeah, it’s’ a controversial song, and makes an unpopular political statement, but man, seriously! I think we have forgotten how it felt that day, “to see our homeland under fire and her people blown away.” Never forget. Thank you, Mr. Worley, for your courage in making this song.

My Front Porch Looking in by Lonestar – I’ve purposefully listened to this song no less than a hundred times. Another song that encourages its listeners to love and appreciate their blessings. Love, love, love this song, and always makes me thankful for my wife when I hear it.

Chicken Fried by Zac Brown Band – The only other country song I love more than “My Front Porch Looking In” is this song right here. I’m sure you’ve heard it on the radio a dozen or so times. But give it another glorious listen. Just do it. And see if you can’t sit outside in your jeans with a cold beer just once more before the winter hits. Or maybe we’re too late, but spring will be here soon. Also, I love the tribute they pay to our heroes on the front lines. After all, that’s what gets me coming back to country music every now and again.

 

Book Rec.: Rawhide Down

RAWHIDE-IMAGE

I love nonfiction books that point you to a specific point in time that may have lasted from several minutes to an entire day, and every facet of that event is digested and rolled over and over again, analyzing that particularly momentous moment in history. In the case of Rawhide Down, the event on display lasted merely 1.6 seconds.

Del Quentin Wilber captures the near-assassination of former President Ronald Reagan as though the book stood as a telling photograph of that entire day. Not a beat is missed as all hell breaks loose and the players on the stage of this dramatic occurrence freeze, Matrix-style, as the author walks his readers around the commotion, pointing out the structure of the armored limousine that would provide safety to the president and his body guard, Jerry Parr. The would-be assassin goes unnoticed hiding behind a noisy heckler as he steadily fingers his $45 RG 14 revolver, loaded with explosive bullets. Wilber goes into the history of the Secret Service agent Timothy McCarthy who was hoping to avoid duty that day so that he wouldn’t get his new suit wet in the rain, and that he never would have known he would become a human shield for the president, taking a bullet to the chest.

Acts of heroism from others such as officer Thomas Delahanty, press secretary James Brady, and Drs. Benjamin Aaron and Joseph Giordano are put on display for us to give our thanks to and honor, for saving the president’s life that day in March 1981.

Here is an excerpt from the book, which I highly recommend anyone to read.

President Reagan has just been informed that he will be undergoing surgery at the George Washington Memorial Hospital in D.C.:

Looking up from the gurney, Reagan spotted Jerry Parr, one of the few familiar faces within view. “I hope they are all Republicans,” he said through his mask. Parr smiled, but he was too anxious to laugh. Reagan would repeat the line later, to better effect.

One nurse monitoring the president’s vital signs was startled by his attempt at humor; given his condition, she didn’t think it was a good time to be joking around. Another nurse was amazed at how calm Reagan seemed. And everyone working around the gurney was impressed by his courtesy. 

“I don’t mean to trouble you,” the president said to one of his doctors, “but I am still having trouble breathing.”

Get it here on Amazon.

Let’s Talk About Obamacare

Cruz_924_620x350

With just five days to go before the healthcare bill is put into effect, officials from both sides of the aisle are scrambling to get their affairs in order, make last-minute decisions, and rally supporters, either for or against the new law.

But no one has taken such a bold and decisive stand against Obamacare like Texas Senator Ted Cruz, who has been carrying on an old-fashioned filibuster since last night and continuing until noon today or until he is “no longer able to stand.” This filibuster included a couple of bedtime stories to his two daughters who were getting ready to go to bed. A couple of stories were from a children’s Bible.

Whether you watch CNN or Fox News, we seem to hear a lot about what the politicians think about Obamacare, with a few snippets from everyday American’s here and there. I’m not much interested in what politicians (or News commentators) think about President Obama’s new healthcare law. I am curious, though, what everyday people like you and me think about it, and how we perceive it’s going to affect us, be it for good or for bad.

I just love talking politics. I guess that’s the reason for this blog post. I really want to hear what you all think about Obamacare, your fears, your excitement, how it might help you, how it might hurt you.

I ask that when placing your comments below, you keep them brief. State your opinion on the new bill, and, if you’re comfortable, your party affiliation. And remember, no one’s going to change the law by posting a comment on this blog, so don’t try to do so. Also, please be courteous and respectful to fellow commenters and to our President, as he is in a place of authority over us, whether we agree with his ruling or not.

Here’s the Great Thing About Abortion

my-choice

This past week I conducted a minor experiment. I crossed over from pro-life to pro-choice. Now, I kept this experiment completely internal – I didn’t tell anyone for two reasons: 1) I didn’t want to freak anyone out, and 2) I think there are a lot of closet pro-choicers out there, so I chose to be one of them.

I admit, I was hoping to find different results than what I anticipated simply for more engaging content for this blog post. I threw out all of my pro-life notions, my biblical and fundamental world views, and thought like an abortionist. (Except for one instance where I shared a hand-drawn picture on Facebook that was of a baby inside a pregnant woman and the caption read, “Coexist.” I just couldn’t resist.)

Anyway, I spent the week reasoning out, like a pro-choicer would, the benefits of abortion. I considered things like population control, selective breeding, accidental pregnancies, etc.

And, to be quite honest, it all narrowed down to just one thing. Me. The only reason I could possibly justify abortion was because of Me – My wants, My needs, My timing, My convenience, My mind, My body, My uterus (not really), My choice. Me.

Try as I might, I couldn’t really get on board with the whole population control issue. Ten minutes on Google Earth reminded me just how large this planet is, and we are nowhere near overpopulation. I fiddled around with the idea that I wouldn’t want to bring a baby into this dark, evil world…

Let me stop right there. Allow me to elaborate on this one. Christians are the first group to stand up against abortion at all costs, right? And Christians maintain that, according to the Bible, this world is full of evil and the days are only going to get darker. Most Christians also believe that all babies and children before a certain age go to Heaven. You would think that Christians would be okay with abortions – but we are not – because an abortion simply cannot be seen as anything short of murder – especially in the eyes of God. Christians are to be a light in dark places and stand up against such evil acts. So those who think they are saving a child from an evil world by killing him are only contributing to the darkness that we are trying to fight.

So, obviously, as a pro-choicer, I couldn’t get on board with that idea. That’s why we raise our children up according to the wisdom and conduct of the Bible.

Honestly, a rape was the only occurrence where I could come close to justifying an abortion and that’s why, I believe, pro-choicers fall back on this in almost every  abortion discussion. Although the issue of how many rapes result in pregnancy is highly debated, no matter the number, it does not come close to the total number of abortions that take place.

But, even as a pro-choicer, I don’t believe that shooting a child who witnessed a crime is justified. So logically, I cannot believe that taking the life of a baby that was conceived by rape is bringing justice to anyone. If we truly want to avenge those who have been raped, let’s talk about capitol punishment for a while…

So, clearly my experiment wasn’t very successful in finding any common ground with pro-choicers. I want to hear from you. I am opening up the floor to discussion. If you support abortion in any way, or are on the fence, I truly want to hear from you. Leave a comment below. I want to hear your reasons for being pro-choice if they differ from my result: “It’s only about me.”

Along with possible spam and inappropriate messages, the only comments I will delete will be from pro-lifers talking disrespectfully to anyone.

 

Growing Up

kids-growing-up-too-fast

Hollywood and the White House push a lot of ideas onto the culture, and the more the culture accepts them, the more liberalistic and popular those ideas become. One major theme running rampant through Hollywood right now is this theme – this idea – to not grow up.

Adam Sandler and his band of sidekicks have helped make the typical thirty-year-old male a victim of life’s realities and responsibilities. I was shocked to see that Grown Ups 2 got the green-light and is now coming out in theaters for a nationwide release. (It’s predecessor received only a 9% approval rating on rottentomatoes. I’ve never seen it, nor do I plan on seeing the sequel… I heard enough fart jokes on the playground to last me while.)

Amongst other movies, another one coming out is about a 29-year-old woman who decides to quit her job and move back in with her parents to relive her youth, shedding the responsibilities of her life.

The government also bows to the yearnings of the youth and the youth-minded, capitalizing and promoting popular themes such as sexual “freedom”, legalization of marijuana, allowing grown men and women to remain on their parents’ health insurance, entitlement. After all, these are the next generation of voters, so the ice cream samples must keep coming, right?

I got in the car the other day and a woman was sitting in the car next to me with her kids and she was blaring 50 Cent from the radio (or someone, I don’t know). She couldn’t grow up enough to play child-friendly music for her kids. You don’t have to look very hard to see parents neglecting their kids in public while they text or play games on their phones.

This generation suffers from an arrested development. I don’t mean the TV show, although I think many people are just as dense and self-centered as those characters. We’ve traded in responsibility and life for meaningless pleasures and selfish gains.

The finger is pointed at me as well. Just the other day I was having a conversation about what movies I can’t wait to show our kids. That seems innocent, but at the heart, it’s a selfish mindset. Next, I’ll be planning out their careers and choosing their colleges. It’s what want.

In what ways can we swim against the current and act in more grown-up ways so that we stand out to our neighbors and co-workers? How can we be more responsible? With the words you choose to use? Your attitude toward bad situations?

Mark my words – the ideas that the culture is embracing will pull us down a drain that dumps us in a nation filled with pot heads, sex addicts, and gluttons, if we’re not there already. I believe wholeheartedly that a zombie apocalypse is coming. But not like The Walking Dead. You can see the early signs of it, can’t you? Tuned-out “gamers” (because of Super Mario Wii, I have been found guilty of this), stoners, tweet-fanatics, facebook junkies, etc.

I’m not sure exactly what I’m saying here. I guess there’s a lot of things that can come into play. Like how we as a people are not motivated to achieve, dream, imagine. We’re simply just a bunch of kids waiting for the next best toy to come around – you know, something else to distract us from life.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 13,290 other followers