A Bad Dad

In January 2018 Conservative FOX News talk show host Tucker Carlson said during his show and wrote on Twitter, “No matter how successful you are, if your kids hate you, you’ve failed.” I saw him say this and began to cry. It hurt me terribly to hear words that I feared were correct. And, I feared my kids hate me.

I have wanted to write this blog for a long time. I’m not sure my motivation for revealing something so personal and so painful. I guess I hope for some absolution. I guess, in part, I hope to let others in my position know they are not alone. But I do know what prompted me to make this writing today.

The above Tweet by journalist Andy Ngo shows a crowd of college aged kids at the University of California-Berkley who formed a human wall to block people from attending a speech by ultra-Conservative antagonistic writer Ann Coulter. These actions repulse me and worry me about our nations future. It also led me to think that were this event in Seattle my three adult kids might be among this objectionable crowd. And this type of thinking is, I believe, at the heart of why my kids ostracize me.

At the time I heard Carlson’s hurtful words I had just come through a difficult Holiday season in which my kids chose not to spend any time with me. It was also my first holiday season in my new home, which I purchased as a single man recently divorced from their mother. I was, and am, proud of being able to buy my own home as a single individual who also happens to be self-employed. You can ask around. That’s not easy to do. And the fact that my kids didn’t want to help mark this special season left me depressed. Carlson’s words made it worse.

Unfortunately my relationship with my kids has only gotten worse. I haven’t seen my 32 year old daughter in 2 1/2 years, or my soon-to-be 21 year old daughter in 2 years. I’ve seen and talked with my 27 year old son with a little more frequency. But it too has been minimal. It is truly the lone hole in my life that has otherwise been pretty happy, and fairly successful.

When they were growing up I was diligently involved in their upbringing. I attended every single parent-teacher conference any of them ever had. Never missed a recital, or performance by them in a play, or a concert, or a dance performance. Their sporting lives were full year round. And I was there. I coached them in Little League softball, baseball, soccer, football, and basketball. For those who have coached a youth team any time in the past 20-30 years you know as I learned, it’s like having a second job. But I did it because I wanted to be close to my kids and to help and encourage them to grow into healthy and happy adults.

I was proud to call myself a strict parent. But aside from the occasional swat on the butt for the two oldest in their elementary years I never struck them or abused them in any way. My youngest was the least challenging of my kids and never was spanked any time in her life, aside from a notable occasion when she was being a precocious 2 year old. It’s notable since it occurred at a Little League field in which my son was playing. Since her mother and I couldn’t get her to sit still and behave I gave the diaper wearing little girl a bare hand swat on her fanny. A nosy, opinionated woman, a mother of one of the other boys playing that day, took offense to my harmless discipline of my girl, spoke up, and harshly said, “Would you mind abusing your daughter somewhere else!” Naturally, I was shocked and angered by the woman and responded accordingly. I told her to “Mind your own damn business!” As for my daughter, I can’t imagine she has any memory of it at all. She was too young.

Those who know me know that I can be a softy, and emotional. Never a day passed without me telling my kids that I loved them. Never a day passed when I didn’t try to show that love in any way I could. As they grew into their teen years I would nearly always invite them to join their mother and I in whatever we were doing whether it was watching a movie, cooking a special dinner, or in my case going fishing on one of the many local lakes near our home. Seldom was my invite accepted. It never bothered me. Because as I told their mother when she asked why I always did this, I always wanted my kids to know they were wanted and that their inclusion in our lives involved any and everything, even if I knew they would decline these invitations.

I was married to their mother for 28 years; though the last two were a slow march toward our ultimate divorce after having learned of her disgusting infidelity. Regardless of how it ended we had a good marriage and a happy family for most of those 28 years (any claim to the contrary is revisionist history). It ended when I could no longer stay with the immoral woman my wife had become. I’m sure the divorce was hard on my kids, especially the two youngest who were still living with us when the shit hit the fan and their mother’s secret life became revealed. In their eyes, I’m sure it didn’t help that I started seeing a beautiful woman almost immediately after our divorce. They would never understand that despite living under the same roof I’d felt alone for 4-5 years, and that divorcing gave me the freedom to see this woman completely guilt free. I’m so happy and proud that Maria became my wife, just over a year ago, in a wedding that my two daughters chose not to acknowledge, let alone attend. And though I believe my kids resent my wife and me for getting together so soon after my marriage ended, they didn’t seem to hold their mother to the same standard even though she didn’t wait until the marriage ended to have another man in her life. My Ex didn’t want to divorce and tried to convince me to stay together, right up until the night before I moved out. But it was my decision because I simply no longer trusted or respected her. Being my decision alone, my kids blame me.

Being a strict dad is a contributing factor to my kid’s currently being out of my life. It doesn’t help that their mother never, NEVER disciplined them at all. This knowledge was confirmed by them in a frank discussion we had at the time of the divorce. According to them, their mother never even sent them to their room as a form of discipline at any time for anything. Being the one and only adult who held my kids accountable for misbehavior was tough for me. Especially as the troubling teen years for the older two ravaged our household and I became the enemy while their mother not only didn’t discipline them, but I found out years later, got HIGH with my sonFinding out that their mother was getting high with a son who was not only being disciplined by me for marijuana we would find in his room or in his possession, and who also faced school suspensions for it, further lowered my view of my Ex and further helped explain our current difficulties. Dad is bad. Mom is cool.

For those who don’t know me another factor that I am confident is a contributing factor in this rift is the fact that my Ex is African-American, and as such, my kids identify as black. Furthermore, in terms of society and politics I am Conservative while my Ex is quite liberal. To call my kids liberal would be generous. They are clearly of a socialist mentality. I wish they weren’t. But I am genuinely pleased to have them be politically aware and involved. I have told them so.

To me the real problem is what has happened in society. The narcissistic, judgmental, facist, behavior of today’s millennials, of which my 21, 27, and 32 year old kids qualify, teaches those of similar thinking that they not only have to oppose thinking different from their own but that such people are the enemy and are evil. So, my kids look at me as the privileged white, angry, racist Conservative that all people like me are.

On the night Donald Trump was elected President I jealously watched my girlfriend (now wife) Maria texting back and forth with her adult kids, talking about the returns coming in. Being such a momentous night I wanted to reach out to my kids too. Knowing they would unquestionably be upset by the election results my first text to them was completely benign and non-threatening. My oldest daughter responded with a very angry text and told me I was only gloating and basically to shut-up and go away. Here was just one more occasion that she broke my heart a little bit.

In being reminded of Tucker Carlson’s words I am not absolving myself of all responsibility for what is becoming the tragedy of my life, the ostracizing from my kids. I have regrets. I especially wish I hadn’t shown anger as much as I did. But aside from that I take comfort from those who know me and knew my time with my kids. During those times I was told repeatedly by admiring friends and family that I was a great dad. Not a bad dad. And though I have far more doubts than I used to have, I know I gave my kids everything I could, to see to it that they were raised with a knowledge of God, and a value system that I cherish. I didn’t do everything right. But I love my kids in spite of everything. I miss them terribly. And I look forward to the time when whatever they hold against me will be replaced by a maturity that is currently lacking, and life experiences that will also teach them that their dad wasn’t that bad, and may even have been pretty good. And, Mr. Carlson, because my kids live and are moving ahead in their lives, and I hope are happy, I am not a failure.

I love them all.

 

Are Seahawks Good Enough? Yes!

Seattle Seahawks

Seattle Seahawks

It’s been five years since my beloved Seattle Seahawks reached the pinnacle game in American sports. But because of being in the Super Bowl 3 times in the span of nine years devoted fans like myself have come to expect them to compete for this ultimate title. In fact since the Seahawks had their chance at an NFL Championship taken from them by the officials February 5, 2006 in their match-up in Detroit with the Pittsburgh Steelers only the hated Patriots of New England have appeared in that game, the first Sunday in February more than Seattle. Bill Belichick and Tom Brady have been to six. Pittsburgh, like Seattle, played in the game 3 times.

The 2017 season was the only time since 2011 that Seattle failed to make the playoffs thanks to Blair Walsh who single-handedly kept them from having an 11-5 or possibly 12-4 season, earning a first round bye, and hosting a playoff game.

Carroll is a Hall of Fame coach.

Then came the 2018 season when some really outlandish national prognosticators predicted Seattle would be a losing team. Sports Illustrated even predicted Seattle would fall to 4-12. Having made the playoffs with a 10-6 record Pete Carroll again showed what a Hall of Fame Coach is capable of accomplishing. After losing Cliff Avril, Michael Bennett, Richard Sherman, Kam Chancellor, Luke Willson and others who helped the team to two Super Bowl appearances and one Championship Carroll has nearly fully remade the team.

If there is any justice in the world, Schneider wins the NFL Executive of the Year Award.

Knowing this history and seeing how General Manager John Schneider has worked miracles in assembling the team this year and last, why would anyone think these Seahawks weren’t Super Bowl contenders again? Simply put, they are.

Let’s look at the roster:

Offense

Quarterback- Russell Wilson is at least among the top five QB’s in the NFL, and when he’s at his best there is none better. And while we hope he never plays Geno Smith gives Seattle the most capable backup Wilson has had in his career. NFL Ranking- 1-5

Running Back: In Chris Carson the Hawks have a third year back who has already rushed for over 1100 yards, last year. They also have last year’s first-round draft pick Rashaad Penny who the coaches have praised this off-season for his fitness and practice performance, and who showed tremendous potential in his limited role last year. He even had a 100-yard game in his only start. Then there’s the third string back who might actually be the best of the group. C.J. Prosise may have been injury prone in his first 3 years in the league since being a 3rd round pick out of Notre Dame. But again this preseason he showed himself to be a very exciting runner, and performed so well he was kept on the team when nearly everyone thought the team would cut him lose. Lastly, the Seahawks finally have a capable fullback again. Nick Bellore will be expected to slam his 250 pounds into opposing linebackers ahead of Carson, Penny or Prosise in a manner not seen since the days of Mack Strong. NFL Grade- 1-2

Wide Receiver- This is possibly the weakest position on the team and yet it includes the only receiver in the NFL to have a PERFECT passer rating with his QB last year. Tyler Lockett is the real deal. Now with Doug Baldwins injury retirement he’ll get a chance to prove it. The Seahawks invested heavily in this position through the NFL Draft, picking three who all made the team. DK Metcalf has huge potential. But the leading receiver in the preseason was 7th round pick John Ursua. But, as we all know, you really can’t count on rookies in the National Football League. Fortunately the Hawks plan on running the ball more than any other team, again, justs like last year. And they have a stated position of desiring to throw the ball to their backs more this year. So having a collectively weak receiver position may not hurt them much. NFL Ranking- 27-32

Tight End- Will Dissley, Nick Vannett and later on in the year Ed Dickson. All are very capable run blockers, which is what the Seahawks need. And if Dissley can duplicate his performance in the first four games of last year when he looked like a Rookie of the Year candidate then this position will be fine. But don’t count on it. NFL Rank- 18-23

Offensive Line- The only question about the capabilities of this year’s offensive line is, can they stay healthy? Particularly starting guards Mike Iupati and DJ Fluker who both have a history of injury, and Seattle’s depth in this area is weak. However, while losing J.R. Sweazey to free agency, replacing him with Iupati, this line was good enough to lead a second-year running back and 7th round draft pick to an 1100-yard rushing season AND lead the league in rushing as a team. So, how bad could they be? NFL Rank- 5-10

Defense

Defensive Line- Jadaveon Clowney, Jarren Reed, Poona Ford, Ziggy Ansah. By the time Reed returns in week 7 following his 6 game NFL suspension for being abusively physical (no offense intended in my wording) with a woman 3 years ago, Clowney will have had time enough to become familiar and comfortable with the defense. And when those two things happen this could be one of the best D-Lines in the league. I really am excited for Ford. I really think he’s going to be special. NFL Rank- 1-3 (…by the end of the year)

Linebacker- With Bobby Wagner widely regarded as the best, or at worst, second best linebacker in the NFL a healthy KJ Wright, and an un-jailed Mychal Kendricks plus a very impressive rookie in Cody Barton this could be the best linebacking unit in the league. NFL Rank- 1-2

Defensive Backs- Safety Bradley McDougald is the only player here the team can positively consider good and dependable. However, I do expect second year corner Tre Flowers to improve on his very impressive rookie season. Third year corner Shaquille Griffin needs to perform better and more consistently. I think he can. But will he? The other safety position seems to be going to Lano Hill. But by the end of the year unless Hill performs up to his high draft position status from 3 years ago he could be replaced by one of two rookies; second round pick Marquise Blair or 4th rounder Ugo Amadi. Both Blair and Amadi have shown fleeting glimpses of promise. And don’t be surprised if the important Nickel corner position doesn’t go to Parry Nickerson. Why else would Schneider trade one of his beloved 2020 draft picks to acquire him on cut-down day last Saturday? Fortunately with the d-line and linebackers expected to put good pressure on opposing quarterbacks this season the secondary may not need to cover receivers for extended stretches of time. NFL Rank- 20-25

Special Teams

Punter- Michael Dickson is the best punter in the NFL. NFL Rank- 1

Kicker- Newly signed Jason Myers was the AFC Conference Pro Bowl kicker last year when he was with the Jets and set a record for the number of 50+ yard field goals made. NFL Rank- 1-3

With six position groups (including punter and kicker) among the very best in the league, and a coach with a history of great success, and a quarterback who knows nothing but winning this Seattle Seahawks team will be no worse than 9-7. At best I think they can go 12-4 and challenge for home field advantage, which is the only way Seattle has ever made the Super Bowl. I’m counting as losses road games against Pittsburgh, Philadelphia and Los Angeles and a home loss to New Orleans. The loss to the Saints coming only because its the 3rd game of the season and Reed will still be suspended and Clowney will not yet be completely comfortable with his new team (remember he didn’t go through training camp or ANY off-season program with Houston).

Will Seattle go to the playoffs, win and go to the Super Bowl? I definitely think they can. Home field advantage is key. It will be an exciting season.

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Have you Felt God’s Intervention In Your Life?

What seems like tragedy can often be God’s gift to your ignorance of what’s to come in your life. I know. I am the blessed recipient of God’s intervention many times in my life. But most recently it was two related tragic events, 1 month apart from the other, that enabled me to be a home owner and a happily married man.

In 2016 I was starting a year for the first time in 30 years as a single man, having divorced a wife who had changed so drastically from the woman I married that she was hardly recognizable, and proved no longer trustworthy or deserving of my respect. The revelation of these many facts that allowed me to write the previous sentence devastated me. I was lonely, depressed and scared. But through my re-found devotion to God and the confidence, or hope, that he would find grace with me I pressed on and tried to begin a new life by embracing the things I loved most.

One of those things I have always done and always loved was camping and all that’s associated with it, the fishing, hiking, hunting, camp fires, etc.

Michael Schuett in a river

The Author hooking something

In my previous marriage we had over the course of the years some camper trailers that made the outdoors more palatable for my family, and I have to admit, for myself as well.

So in starting my new life I committed to getting a new camper trailer. This goal I successfully accomplished in April 2016. It was one of the few happy events in my life over the previous 3 years; and I was excited to take it out. On July 4th weekend the trailer, my then girlfriend, and my teen daughter traveled to Leavenworth, WA for a five day weekend with friends. Only, we wouldn’t make it to five days. We didn’t make it through 3 days.

In the early morning of the third day I woke to take my dog for a walk. My girlfriend got up and out of the trailer to visit the showers at the camp grounds where we stayed. In returning from my 10 minute walk and coming back into the park’s camping area I saw a large plume of smoke just out of my site. It took me a moment to realize the smoke was a fire in a camper. It took me another moment to realize the camper was MINE! OMG- my daughter was in the trailer!!! My heart raced. In my oversized flip-flops I began running. My 100 lbs labrador retriever, who was never particularly good on a leash, wanted to play and tugged on the leash to go the other way. I immediately dropped the leash to let my dog fend for himself. I had to get to my daughter. The flip flops didn’t help my speed, and I soon ran out of them and made my way over the dirt and gravel road in my bare feet. I arrived at the flaming trailer just as some stranger was emerging from the smoke billowing from the trailer’s only door with my daughter in tow. Thank God she was safe. It seemed like hours but was probably more like 10 minutes, fellow campers and I used hoses and fire extinguishers to dose the flames. The trailer was a total loss.

Once again I was crushed. Fast forward four weeks. I was determined to get back on my feet and get my new life started as I wanted it to get started, with a trailer and with frequent camping trips. But, God had different plans for me. I had to wrangle with my insurance company for a fair settlement on the burnt up trailer. But upon receiving that settlement check immediate found a brand new trailer to purchase with it. The insurance settlement would go for the down payment, and I would finance the remaining balance. I had ordered some special accessories for the new trailer, so had to wait for their installation before picking up my new treasure. It was all set. And I was again looking forward to better days.

Then on the morning I had scheduled to drive to the trailer dealer and pick-up my huge expenditure; my truck died. I was on the side of the road, gritting my teeth, and knowing my dreams had once again been dashed. I knew it was the trucks transmission. And I knew how expensive it’s replacement would be. For those who have never experienced the joy of replacing a transmission on a heavy duty, 4-wheel drive truck, its a lot more expensive than replacing a standard transmission in a car. Where a car’s transmission can often be replaced for under $2000. For my truck, including some other minor repairs that were necessary, came to over $5000. I called the trailer dealer late in the day after getting the initial dark estimates from my repair garage and told them I couldn’t purchase the trailer. God clearly didn’t want me to have a trailer, at least not at this time.

If you haven’t been trough it, divorce can be devastating to an individual’s financial well-being. Such was the case with me. Besides losing half of everything I/we owned and tens-of-thousands of dollars, I also had my credit rating severely damaged by a wife who liked credit cards and liked them so much she never bothered to tell her husband (me). I mentioned this because while severely hurt by the divorce I wasn’t destitute. And I had hopes of buying a new home. But I was under the impression that I would have to wait four years or longer to repair my credit and distance myself from my ex-wife’s atrocious spending habits. However, I was wrong. Some two weeks after my truck’s transmission collapse had destroyed my efforts to own a camper trailer I had a chance meeting with an old acquaintance who happened to be a mortgage agent. After relaying some of my tough circumstances he assured me that he could get me a mortgage; though I still needed to wait a few months, but not a few years.

To wrap up this story, I got my mortgage and my house in April 2017. Based on my mortgage agent’s opinion the closeness of my divorce, and damaged credit made my mortgage a 9 out of 10 in terms of difficulty for approval. And most important had I the debt of the trailer purchase not to mention the added insurance expense and trip/vacation expenditures I never would have had the money or the credit rating to get my home. You see, my insurance settlement covered the $5000 repair…but I had some left over. The few thousand left over from my insurance settlement would be all the cash I had remaining in my bank account upon closing of my house.

It didn’t occur to me for some months after moving into my home the circumstances that had strangely twisted tragedy into benefit for me. The fire and the transmission were both unexpected and both in combination were REQUIRED for me to be a home owner. And through God’s intervention I was independently stable, in my own home, and in being so comfortable asked my girlfriend to become my wife. And BTW- my wife and I hope to have a new trailer by this coming Summer.

Perspective. Use it. Or lose it. Thank you Lord for your many blessings.

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We Need More Racists for the Good of our Country

Dictionary Definition of Racist

It’s happened again. 😦

I’ve once again been called a racist. The person writing this hateful charge doesn’t know me, and we have never met. But he took exception to my opposition to the bias headlines of a news story that I felt demonstrated a clear one-sided explanation of a story/dispute. What the story is and the content of my comments are unimportant. I stand by them. They were made publicly on Facebook and Liked or Loved by a huge majority of the hundreds of those reacting to what I wrote.

Usually when this false charge of racism is directed at me I never defend myself by enunciating my life’s deeds or accomplishments. I feel to do so is akin to a true racist responding (as so many do) by saying, “I have lots of black friends”; a claim that is frequently sad and weak and doesn’t excuse a racist’s words or deeds.

But with our nation so politically divided and with claims of racism being thrown about at every little hostility or disagreement I think it might be instructive for all to see and read what this “racist” looks like (rhetorically speaking). If I’m a racist, I pray for our nation’s future that we have more and more racists going forward.

To see an interracial couple today, in 2018, is neither rare nor upsetting to most people. It’s common. And it’s properly accepted. But, in 1985 when I became engaged to a black woman and still in 1987 when we were wedded it was still rare and it was still looked-down upon by many; including my father and others in my family. But in spite of its rarity and the ignorant condemnation we received I married a black woman and remained mostly happily married to the mother of my three black children for 28 years. We lived together for 30 years.

During my first marriage I was fully involved with and accepted by my ex-wife’s immediate and extended family. In fact its true to say my black family was more involved in my and my children’s lives than my white family. We holiday’d together. We travelled together. We laughed and cried together. And sometimes we argued. In other words, we were a pretty typical family. Were it not for my ex’s severe personal failings we’d probably still be married today and I wouldn’t have divorced her. (BTW- these personal failings are sadly common among couples regardless of race. Duh!)

I love them all.

Though half their lineage is white (Caucasian if you prefer) my 3 adult children identify as black. I was always present in their lives. Coached them on various sports teams. Provided a stable home. Loved them, and tried to be the best dad I could be. I’m proud to say I taught them much and imposed strict discipline when necessary. One thing I didn’t and couldn’t teach them was how to be black in America. Individually I told them all this at times when their maturity called for it. I told them that racism still exists in our country, that it’s awful, and that to some degree it will always exist. But I also taught them there is no reason it should ever hold you back. I taught them it’s an obstacle that needs to be overcome and often ignored. The fact that its an obstacle that I never faced was immaterial to their lives. For the wise person understands that we all face different obstacles and we all must overcome our own obstacles in order to progress, be productive and be happy.

Recently I remarried a wonderful, smart, beautiful woman. Incidental to all her wonderful qualities is the fact that she is Mexican. She and her whole family were born in Mexico. While a naturalized United States citizen she remains proudly and defiantly Mexican. And I love her so very much.

In the nearly 4 years since we first met I’ve gained a lot of learning and respect about and for Hispanic people; their traditions, their nature. It’s been quite educational. It hasn’t change my view about illegal immigration, which I oppose. I support President Trump’s efforts to stem the flow of illegal immigration and to deport most violators. My wife has a different point of view on this subject. We don’t talk about this subject….anymore.

This may shock some but in my nearly four years of knowing my wife and her family and friends I have seen more racism and bigotry directed at her and other Hispanics than I ever saw in over 30 years with previous black family, ex-wife, and children. If you think skin color is a trigger for hatred; just watch the reaction to a group of Hispanics speaking Spanish amongst white or black strangers in a public setting. It’s like a magnet for their condemning eyes. And it is sad.

Nearly 5 years ago I met a pretty black woman at a business networking event. My marriage was dissolving and I wanted to get to know her. This was before I met my current wife. Though no romantic relationship ever developed, I learned of the charity for which she worked, became involved, and for three years have served on its Board of Directors. While not specifically targeting blacks or minorities with the food service it provides, black and other minorities are the primary beneficiaries of our service work. African-Americans also make up the largest majority of this organizations workers, donors, and volunteers. It’s a 30-year-old organization that is the 2nd Largest food-distributorship to needy in the state of Washington.

I could go on and on. But what I’ve written are just some of the highlights of a life that is dominated by being-with, loving, serving and living with blacks and now other minorities. So, I’m a racist? Well, being self-confident and proud I would say…I want more of me out there.

President Trump is a racist too, or haven’t you read that? He presides over an economy with the lowest recorded black unemployment and hispanic unemployment ever recorded. And he touts that fact at nearly every opportunity. As everyone knows He was the star of The Apprentice which aired for 15 years on easily the most Liberal television network, NBC. Trump received recognition and awards from many black leaders like Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson. He was in the public eye most of the past 40 years. And prior to choosing to run for President no one called him a racist.

I didn’t support Trump in the GOP Primaries in 2016. Out of the 16 legitimate Republican Presidential candidates that ran in 2016 he was probably my 13th favorite. I didn’t vote for him in the Primary in my state. I never posted support for him in my social media activity. I wasn’t a supporter. I am now.

Of course, if you watch CNN or MSNBC frequently you now know that those who support our President are all racists too. Known proudly as “Deplorables”, so named by Hillary Clinton, we are all said to be hateful and intolerant of blacks and other minorities. And according to the Left we hate immigrants…particularly those with brown skin.

The facts that are lost in all this name-calling by the Left is that these “Deplorables” on average attend church more frequently than do Trump’s opposition and give a higher percentage of their incomes to charity. With both sides lamenting the destruction of families and of family values in our country…based on these FACTS all I can say is we need more Deplorables. We need more racists.

Clarification: For those too moronic or hateful to understand that the title and repeated theme of this blog is intentionally provocative and sarcastic, I feel sorry for you. Yes, this author hates and condemns true racism. It’s an ignorant scourge on people and our society in general. True racism needs to be condemned whenever it rears its ugly face. Additionally, the common and repeated and false charges of racism that we all see and hear today I condemn equally. In most cases its leveled by ignorant people who simply don’t understand another person’s thoughts and actions. But when wielded by powerful elected officials it is simply evil. It’s presumed such people are intelligent enough to know what true racism is. So their use of such a charge on the President and so many others in this country must be interpreted as merely selfish acts designed to hurt their political opponents and to divide the people of this country. It’s working. And it needs to be stopped. All who agree with this post need to Share it.

For evil to succeed, all it needs is for good men to do nothing.

Martin Luther King Jr.

Anthony Bourdain, Kate Spady, Suicide and Depression

Click here for the Suicide Prevention Lifeline

I am once again faced with the sadness of reading about a famous person’s depression and suicide. Like so many others I woke this morning to read of and hear about the tragic death in Paris, France of Chef and CNN show host Anthony Bourdain.

I watched his show maybe once, ever. But knew of him through interviews and commercials. Its not my knowledge of his death that saddens me. Its the suicide. Along with the death earlier this week of fashion designer Kate Spady we are all reminded of how fame, fortune, and accomplishment are not enough to fend off the terrible grips depression can have on people. It’s power can feel overwhelming. And it can take lives leaving behind a wake of incomprehensible grief for those who knew the deceased. As in the examples of Anthony Bourdain, Kate Spady, Tyler Hilinski in January, and Robin Williams a few years ago; one doesn’t need to personally know someone to be effected.

I have never attempted suicide. I have thought about it.

The betrayal of my ex-wife and the associated circumstances that lead to our divorce after 28 years of marriage caused me to fall into an almost deadly depression. For nearly 2 years I struggled to make it through each day. I cried every day. It got so bad that crying become a necessary comfort. I remember times when if it got late in the day and I realized I hadn’t cried that day, I would make myself cry because I felt I had to cry to feel normal. The will to continue living is weakened in such circumstances. The will to end it and stop the pain grows. Obviously for some ending it all becomes the solution they see as their only option. I felt that way, way to often. It’s frightening to think back on those times now.

If I could say anything to help those suffering from depression and suicidal thoughts it would be these two things. Not all people care about you. But some do. Some do very much. The other thing is that you can find salvation, literally, through God, the Lord Jesus Christ.

When I discovered my ex-wife’s cheating and she confessed it and then all the lies and false and incomplete stories came to light I knew right away I would need help. I knew the feelings in me were too strong and too destructive to try and cope on my own. After meeting with and rejecting several counselors and counseling services I turned to my church. My church provided a counseling service I had previously never known about. It provided me a new friend and sound wisdom in the face of irresponsibility and illogical behavior I was faced with every day.

I prayed every day. I read the Bible. I read lots of books. Most of the books I read were self-help books or biographies of successful people I admired. Not surprisingly I kept finding in these books a recurring theme. God was at the center of many people’s success. So, while I always felt I led a good life and believed in Christ; I made a more deliberate effort to pray, read the Bible and eliminate from my character and my behaviors things that were in conflict with God’s teachings. I am also not ashamed to admit reading the Bible and studying it taught me how to accomplish so much more in life and in my relationships. While I had led a good life. I was still doing much wrong, that I didn’t realize. I’ve done much better since. I will continue to improve.

The other thing about depression is that friends and family tire of your depressed state. Initially you can find all the support you can handle. Everyone has a sympathetic ear and kind words of wisdom and support. But as your depression lingers or if it goes away and returns many of these same people ostracize you. They stay away. They no longer want to be part of your problems. You have worn them out.

It’s easy to understand, to a point. Nobody wants to be around a sad person all the time. This sad or depressed person can bring you down and effect your own life. But, there is a difference between a negative person who is always grumbling and having a glass is half-empty view on life versus someone who is depressed. If you are the friend or family member of someone who is depressed, I urge you to hang in there. Don’t turn away from them. And realize you can positively change their life for the better. The perpetually negative half-empty glass type of person is someone you want to avoid. But the depressed person can be helped. If you were there for them at the start of their depression. Be there at the end. You and they will reap the rewards of a closer relationship in the future.

I lost friends and family through my depression. They are gone now and probably don’t care that I have rebounded and am a happy person again. I have found love. And while I now know that falling back into the spiral of depression is something I am susceptible to doing, I am wiser for having come through it and can fend it off on the occasions when it creeps back into my conscious.

So help those that you can. Share God’s word. And if you are suffering yourself be proactive in combatting your depression. Take steps. The pain can go away and happiness can be your end story.

The National Suicide Prevention Hotline is: 1-800-273-8255

 

Nazis, Communists, Homeless, and Bums and other Things I don’t Understand

Today’s world is becoming increasingly hard to understand. Here is a list of my thoughts in no particular order.

 

In Seattle and other cities, you have to pay to park your car on the street beside the curb for a short period of time. But you can pitch a tent on that curb and pay nothing.

 

In Seattle, and other cities, if you stay in that parking place too long you will be ticketed and have to pay a fine. But that tent can stay on that curb/sidewalk indefinitely and pay nothing.

In Seattle last year the city paid over $200-million on homelessness last year and the problem got worse. But rather than take a new approach Seattle’s City Council and Mayor are preparing to spend more and do the same things.

Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan proposed a plan that will provide beds for 500 homeless people each year above what is already available. But with 10,000 homeless people living on the streets of the city and the homeless population growing at 44% over the previous 2 years many more than 500 people per year who are homeless are coming to Seattle; resulting in a net growth in the homelessness population under Durkan’s plan.

The same people this week who are applauding ABC for firing Roseanne Barr (and her whole TV crew and cast) for offending people with Barr’s ugly racist Tweet about Valerie Jarrett are the same people who protested the NFL’s new anthem policy last week and protested lead anthem protester Colin Kaepernick not having a job in the NFL.

Roseanne can Tweet a 2a.m. drug and alcohol induced racist comment, but dozens of national political pundits across the country speak of white privilege, and white people keeping down the black man and other clearly racist claims and nobody bats an eye.

Men are repeatedly and deservedly berated for cheating on their wives. But studies show that women who work out of the home (nearly all women) cheat as much as men and nobody ever condemns them.

People drive in the right lane of a multiple lane freeway inhibiting merging traffic when no right lane exit exists for miles.

Democrats say Republicans are NAZI’s, or condemn the GOP because many Neo-Nazi’s vote Republican. But many admitted Communists and Socialist are part of and vote for Democrats. And Communists and Socialists have killed, murdered, and falsely imprisoned FAR more people than NAZI’s ever did.

Many American youth advocate for Communism, or Socialism while ignoring the historic train wreck of such societies not to mention the current, present-day examples of Venezuela, North Korea, Cuba, the Czech Republics and other authoritarian regimes like Iran.

Democrats say they are for the common people. But they actively advocate, protest and march for the removal or restrictions on the common people’s Constitutional Rights. Under fire by Dems is the 2nd Amendment, free speech as guaranteed in the 1st Amendment, free to exercise of your chosen religion also the 1st Amendment, freedom of peaceable assembly (unless you agree with them) also 1st Amendment, the sixth Amendments right to a trial by jury (choosing instead to condemn and ruin lives via mere accusation on Social media), and of course the 9th and 10th Amendments are to be ignored completely.

President Trump is hated by 1/3 of the country and at least disliked by 1/2 the country despite all the good that is coming out of his Administration such as lower taxes, a strong economy, rising worker’s compensation, record low unemployment, continued low interest rates, rising home prices, illegal immigration border crossings at 40 year lows, a renewed respect for military and law enforcement, peace talks with North Korea, recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s Capitol, defeat of ISIS, and more.

He’s doing a good job.

Countless people spending hundreds of dollars they can’t afford, enduring tremendous pain and permanently scaring their bodies with tattoos.

Liberals continue to perpetuate the myth that homeless people are poor unfortunate people who but for the grace of God go I; when abundant evidence continues to show that the lions share of homeless are people who by choice live on the streets bereft of personal responsibility.

One successful parent is ostracized by adult children for having imposed fair, responsible discipline in their youth; while those same children embrace the other failing parent who imposed no discipline whatsoever, lied, cheated and spent the family into financial ruin. Examples of such are wide and varied. We’ve seen it a lot.

People lament the loss of personal responsibility and family values all while church attendance continues to decline.

People are ticketed for j-walking but in Seattle you can openly indulge in drug use.

Homeless are called homeless and not BUMS which is a much more fair and accurate description because calling someone a bum is mean but calling someone homeless is compassionate.

Having compassion for the homeless is what we’re all supposed to feel according to Liberals even though compassion solves none of the homeless’ problems. We are not supposed to be tough on the homeless and expect more of them because that’s mean, even though doing so would solve a lot of the homeless’ problems.

President Trump is engaged in Peace talks with North Korea and is being criticized for engaging with a tyrannical Dictator.

Drivers do something wrong, like cut-you off, and when you honk your horn they flip you off like you did something wrong.

Men wear shaggy beards that women…for the most part don’t like…and the men wonder why they can’t get a good woman.

Slow walkers. They’re everywhere!

You smile or say “Hi” to someone who walks right by you and doesn’t acknowledge you in any way.

People not recognizing that illegal immigration is a bad thing for our country. 55% of illegal Immigrants that are here are on welfare. Those that are not on welfare are working jobs that would otherwise be filled by Americans or legal immigrants. The people whose jobs they are taking are generally the least educated and most needy in our society. And illegal immigrants are more willing to work for lower wages thus forcing the wages to remain low for everybody else…especially legal Americans.

Failing to recognize the lives of Jesus’ apostles as concrete evidence of his divinity or of their mass psychosis.

People who endure the long, cold rainy Northwest Fall and Winter and complain that its too hot after a few days of 70 or 80 degree temperatures.

And lastly, I don’t understand why those who share my thoughts, feelings and lack of understanding of today’s world won’t share them or theirs more publicly.

Thanks for visiting.

 

 

 

Tell Homeless to Leave

At some point America has to wake up and accept that some age-old values really do have merit and benefit. There are a lot of things that I could be talking about with the preceding sentence. But for now, I am talking about how to deal with homelessness.

I live near Seattle, WA and drive through the city at least 5 days per week. What I’ve seen over the past 5-8 years is a city that used to call itself The Emerald City become something more akin to the Brown and Gray City…or whatever color you would most frequently assign to trash. Because trash is everywhere. And its piles are only growing.

The former pervert Mayor Ed Murray declared a homeless “state of emergency” in 2015. And since that time the number of people who live on city streets, and under overpasses, and in traffic mediums has only grown. Little has been done, and what little that has been done has actually been decreased since Murray resigned in disgrace after numerous allegations of him molesting teen boys decades ago.

What is most disturbing about Seattle’s homelessness is the increased brazenness of those who occupy our streets. As reported in this story from FOX News, many homeless are bragging about not paying rent and living off the welfare services and the generosity of others: http://www.foxnews.com/us/2018/04/09/homeless-residents-brag-about-makeshift-mansion-near-seattles-famed-space-needle.html

The city’s leftist political leadership and charitable organizations have tried lots of things. But one thing they haven’t tried is making homelessness and vagrancy the crime that it ought to be. I’m fully prepared to take the hateful comments that will follow the preceding statement. Because such thoughts are what have perpetuated this national disease.

Let me ask those who would condemn me for my tough statement by asking, what about the current situation shows love and compassion for those affected? Do you actually think letting people live on the streets is good for their well-being? For their health? For their soul, if you believe in such things?

All this so-called compassion and tolerance for the problems the homelessness create shows no tolerance or compassion for those negatively effected by the filth, the crime, the drug needles strewn about the city, the aesthetic decay of the city, or any of the big cities across America ill with this problem. To the contrary. All that’s shown for those who want to stop this Liberal Holocaust is contempt.

Here is what I’d like to see. Start arresting the drug users and dealers, and thieves and vagrants, . If the jails fill up, then incarcerate them in make-shift fenced, and guarded internment camps. Provide them tents, food, and medical care. Deny them drugs or freedom until they have served time enough to get off their addictions or found housing upon their release. Again, I expect a lot of hate coming for such comments. But again I ask, how is what I’m proposing not better, significantly better, than what these poor people are currently enduring?

Expect more of them. Expect them to be humble. Expect them to seek help and be responsible for their own well-being. If you expect more from them, I am 100% confident most of them would live better and would stop being the blight on our city that they currently are.

I would never deny a hungry person food, or a sick or ill person medical treatment. But that doesn’t mean I have to let them live where ever they want, doing whatever they want. We used to have standards. It’s long past time that we embrace those values again and stop tolerating decrepitude.

I pray my proposals are right and helpful.

Thanks for visiting.