Challenging Fate

Some days we can, like Calvin, have a pretty fatalistic view of the future. The idea of "fate" can be a very dicey one. Many things have been said about it. Yesterday I came across this Diana Trilling quote that got me to thinking:
"There's much to be said for challenging fate instead of ducking behind it."
I love the idea that fate is something to be challenged and not a force to be acquiesced to.
I wrote a post in 2005 titled Faith and Fatalism. Here is a clip from it:
So what exactly is the difference between true faith in God's sovereignty and a fatalistic view. I think that we can find the answer in the outcome of each. In essence faith causes us to press in, seek, and overcome - fatalism causes us to give up. Faith inspires hope in tomorrow while fatalism offers only fear. Faith affirms God's love for us ... fatalism embraces the worst of our fears.

Fatalism is very subtle because it can mask itself in very religious ways. We can mistake a sort of spiritual paralysis as "waiting on the Lord". We can be immobilized by fear and think that we are living in dependence on God ... all the while not taking risks ... not stepping out in faith ... thinking that God will move when even when our hearts are dark with fatalism.
In my thinking fatalism has never done anything for me except get me depressed. In contrast faith has brought life to my life and has caused me to hope against all hope in the darkest of times. Can you relate to having a fatalist view?

The Best Thing about the Royal Wedding

Father Charles loaned his 42-year-old Aston Martin DB6 Volante MkII to the newlyweds.
The car, the main show for guys on an otherwise chick day, had been previously converted to run on bioethanol made from "English wine wastage" - of which there is no shortage.
Note the "JU5T WED" license plate and crazy "L" (for Learner) on the grill.

Doomsday: Save the Date

Have you seen one of these billboards? Apparently Harold Camping, the 89-year-old president of the Family Radio Network, has set the date for Christ's return. He also predicted the event for September 6, 1994. You can read more about it his prediction here.

I do not expect Christ to return next month. But he may return today.

Unstoppable | ★★★★★★★

I love the subtitle of this flick: 1 million tons of steel;
     100,000 lives at stake; 100 minutes to impact.

Ann and I (well, me more than she) enjoyed this nonstop thrill ride that focuses (obviously) on a run-away train loaded with lethal chemicals. The script is based on a true story but I think that one needs to be able to bend reality a bit to take it all in. Even so, I loved the way that it portrayed very ordinary men who rose above the manipulations of bureaucratic executives and heroically risked all to save many.

If you enjoy intense adrenaline pumping disaster movies you will probably enjoy this one. I liked it and, on a scale of ten, I give it ★★★★★★★.

Rigorous Theology

In a piece titled Creed or Chaos David Brooks recently posted his afterthoughts about "The Book of Mormon", a new Broadway play that he recently attended. I was fascinated by this one section of his piece:
Rigorous theology provides believers with a map of reality. These maps may seem dry and schematic — most maps do compared with reality — but they contain the accumulated wisdom of thousands of co-believers who through the centuries have faced similar journeys and trials.

Rigorous theology allows believers to examine the world intellectually as well as emotionally. Many people want to understand the eternal logic of the universe, using reason and logic to wrestle with concrete assertions and teachings.

Rigorous theology helps people avoid mindless conformity. Without timeless rules, we all have a tendency to be swept up in the temper of the moment. But tough-minded theologies are countercultural. They insist on principles and practices that provide an antidote to mere fashion.

Rigorous theology delves into mysteries in ways that are beyond most of us. For example, in her essay, “Creed or Chaos,” Dorothy Sayers argues that Christianity’s advantage is that it gives value to evil and suffering. Christianity asserts that “perfection is attained through the active and positive effort to wrench real good out of a real evil.” This is a complicated thought most of us could not come up with (let alone unpack) outside of a rigorous theological tradition.
I found Brooks' thoughts to be interesting ones. But as I read them I got the impression (and I may be wrong) that he does not understand that the heart of rigorous theology is the heart. With the heart a person trusts the Lord. With a strong regenerated heart one is able to resist temptation. The heart, and not the head, is able to deal with suffering.

So for me, a theology that is filled with rules and logic is one that I think appeals to a narrow segment of people. I am more drawn to a theology that focuses more on love, mercy and forgiveness than one that prescribes religious rules for living.. although I do recognize that the two are not mutually exclusive of each other.

Political Teasers

Just read that Ron Paul (R-TX), the GOP congressman with libertarian leanings, is expected to announce today in Des Moines that he's forming a presidential exploratory committee. Also read yesterday that Haley Barbour, Mississippi's Republican governor, announced that he was not running. And of course, to no one's surprise, Mitt Romney, one time governor of Massachusetts, formed a presidential exploratory committee a few weeks ago. I am so tired of all of this teasing.

Of course the real problem is that no one is really excited about any of these "announcements". Most of us see through all of the drama and understand that it is all a part of this weird preoccupation that the media, and political junkies like me, have about the candidates. Yet I would like to see something emerge on the national scene that resembles our recent mayoral election here in Kansas City where the candidates were deliberate, respectful and admirable. The campaign focused on issues instead of personalities.

I long to see a primary process that focuses on the many issues facing our country and not the farcical drama foisted upon us by the likes of teaser-candidates like Trump, Palin and Bachmann. I want to see serious candidates with serious answers come forth. I have grown tired of the extremist ideologies of the far left and the far right. I think that America is a right-leaning centrist nation in need of leaders who can work across the aisle and deal with the many weighty issues of our time. We do not need political teasers. Here endeth the rant.

Is Your Back Out of Whack?

Over the years I have I battled back pain at different times. The last notable time was when I moved last summer. Back problems seem to be most debilitating because of their affect on our whole body. With that in mind I give you a few tips from an email I got over last week:

What causes back pain?
The most common causes of back pain are lifting, bending and overstretching. Many times the pain is acute, short lived, lasting a few days to a few weeks and usually caused by a muscle or ligament strain. However, if your pain lasts longer than three months, you should consult a doctor as you may have chronic back pain. Chronic pain or pain with unusual symptoms could be caused by a tumor, herniated disc, osteoporosis, osteoarthritis or other serious diseases and should be diagnosed by your doctor.
What can you do for the pain?
  • For the first couple of days after an injury or strain you should try to rest and make yourself as comfortable as possible. Lying on your side with a pillow between your knees is a good option just remember to get up and move around.
  • Choosing whether to apply heat or ice? While there isnt any strong evidence for either treatment, applying heat or ice for 15–20 minutes every 2–3 hours may help reduce your back pain. You can also try alternating between heat and ice to see what works best for you.
  • Try an over-the-counter pain medication. Anti-inflammatory drugs, acetaminophen, ibuprofen and naproxen can all provide pain relief.
  • Get back to your regular activities as soon as possible. Resting more than 12 days could make your pain worse by causing stiffness in your muscles. Your regular activities will help to keep your muscles strong.
What can you do to prevent it?
  • Your mom was right when she told you to sit up straight. Many people sit for long periods of time which can cause lower back pain. Be sure you sit up straight with your back against your chair and both feet on the floor.
  • Six packs are great when were talking about your abs! Doing exercises to strengthen your core body muscles provides protection for your back.
  • How heavy is your bag? If your bag or purse is more than 10% of your body weight, the best way to carry it is to wear it across your body like a messenger bag.
  • How are you sleeping? Keeping your spine in line with your head is one way to avoid back pain. Dont prop your pillows to a height that will cause your neck to be out of line with your spine.
Have you had back pains? Any advice for those who suffer with painful backs?

Easter Traditions

This cute Shoebox blog cartoon brings back great Easter memories. When I was young my mom always bought us new clothes to wear to church on Easter - surprisingly I enjoyed that. We would also dye eggs and my folks (and my older sister) would always hide our baskets on Sunday morning. It was great fun searching for them. Easter dinner was always a feast made by my dad. He was such a great chef!

When we had children I continued all of those traditions. The images of my kids searching for their baskets warms my heart. Not to mention how they loved to find hidden eggs in our backyard.

What kind of Easter traditions do you remember?

Good Friday Shrugged

Michael Gerson had an interested editorial in yesterday's Washington Post titled: Ayn Rand’s adult-onset adolescence. In it he opines about conservatives and their attraction to the recently released cinematized version of Ayn Rand's book "Atlas Shrugged".
Here is a clip from the editorial:
The appeal of Ayn Rand to conservatives is both considerable and inexplicable. Modern conservatism was largely defined by Ronald Reagan’s faith in the people instead of elites. Rand regarded the people as “looters” and “parasites.” She was a strenuous advocate for class warfare, except that she took the side of a mythical class of capitalist supermen. Rand, in fact, pronounced herself “profoundly opposed” to Reagan’s presidential candidacy, since he did not meet her exacting ideological standards.

Rand cherished a particular disdain for Christianity. The cross, she said, is “the symbol of the sacrifice of the ideal to the nonideal. . . . It is in the name of that symbol that men are asked to sacrifice themselves for their inferiors. That is precisely how the symbolism is used. That is torture.” Yet some conservatives marked Holy Week by attending and embracing “Atlas Shrugged.”

Reaction to Rand draws a line in political theory. Some believe with Rand that all government is coercion and theft — the tearing-down of the strong for the benefit of the undeserving. Others believe that government has a limited but noble role in helping the most vulnerable in society — not motivated by egalitarianism, which is destructive, but by compassion, which is human. And some root this duty in God’s particular concern for the vulnerable and undeserving, which eventually includes us all. This is the message of Easter, and it is inconsistent with the gospel of Rand.
It will be interesting to see how this movie is embraced by conservatives.. especially those on the religious right. I do not think that solutions to the problems that we face are all that easy though. Many conservatives emphatically believe that the government should get out of the welfare business and let religious institutions take over. Others think that the government originally got involved because those organizations dropped the ball.

Politics aside, I suggest that we all take a few minutes on this Good Friday to contemplate the sufferings of Christ on the cross and to remember the nobility with which he died. In doing so I pray that we will each be moved to do something compassionate towards another human being.. even if it goes against our political ideology.


I relate to this thought provoking Shoebox Blog cartoon. What is interesting about it is that the white rabbit is the same in both frames. The only thing that changes is the other rabbit. His perspective is the same because it is all about his opinions about people who are different from him. His statements seem to represent a bit of insecurity. Most opinions do. Ever met someone like him?

Fair Game | ★★★★★★

Valerie Plame Wilson's story is a very compelling one. It definitely has an edge to it and some who are ardent followers of President Bush may not like it. In truth the story made me feel sad as governmental officials outed a CIA covert agent and caused pain for this brave American as they smeared her reputation.

Her story is remarkable.. I loved the way that Valerie came to her senses and joined her husband in fighting for their marriage, their family and for their dignity. These two stood tall as they stood for the truth. In contrast our governmental leaders sank low. President Bush's administration displayed a very dark demeanor as they acted vindictively towards them.
On a scale of ten I give this move ★★★★★★.

Letting Go

My life began to change about eight years ago when I began to let go of my controlling ways. In the middle of a great personal crisis I started making small steps to simply flow with life and not fight against it.

I still struggle in this area but am learning more each day to be content with the life, the health and the things that I have. Letting go of control has been a very healthy exercise.

A few quotes from people that seem to know a bit about letting go.

The key to change... is to let go of fear. -Rosanne Cash

When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be. -Lao Tzu

Courage is the power to let go of the familiar. -Raymond Lindquist

Open your arms to change, but don't let go of your values. -Dalai Lama

Sometimes you have to let go to see if there was anything worth holding on to. -Anonymous

We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us. -Joseph Campbell

The Sixteenth Amendment

Today is Tax Day in the United States.. that day when all tax forms must be postmarked before midnight and mailed to the Internal revenue Service. It is good to remember that there has not always been a federal or national tax in this country. Here is a brief history of federal taxation from Wikipedia:
  • The first income tax suggested in the United States was during the War of 1812 but is was never imposed.
  • The first Federal income tax was adopted as part of the Revenue Act of 1861. The tax lapsed after the American Civil War. Subsequently enacted income taxes were held to be unconstitutional by the Supreme Court because they were not given to the states.
  • In 1913, the Sixteenth Amendment was ratified, permitting the Federal government to levy an income tax without giving all of it to the states. It states:
    The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes on incomes, from whatever source derived, without apportionment among the several States, and without regard to any census or enumeration.
  • Federal taxes were expanded greatly during World War I, after the Wall Street crash of 29 and throughout the rest of the twentieth century.
  • Federal income tax rates have been modified frequently. Tax rates were changed in 34 of the 97 years between 1913 and 2010. 
Interesting to note that the tax rates in the first three years (1913-1915) ranged from 1-7%. Rates hit an all time high of roughly 20-90% in the fifties and early sixties. During the Reagan years rates were about 12-50%. The four years after Reagan rates dropped for upper earners to 15-28% and 15-31%. Currently rates are 10-35%.

Seems that there have always been severe reactions to taxes in this country. Many today do not want to see taxes raised on the wealthiest Americans. Some want to see the tax code greatly modified. Many want corporate taxes greatly lowered. Some advocate a tax on things purchased rather than a tax on income. It will be interesting to see if anything is done to our system of taxation.

What changes would you like to see in the way we are taxed?

Your King is Coming

When I was young I always enjoyed going to church on Palm Sunday. As I entered the church I was given a palm similar to one of those pictured here. There always seemed to be something joyful about that day. The story from the gospel of John:

The next day the great crowd that had come for the festival heard that Jesus was on his way to Jerusalem. They took palm branches and went out to meet him, shouting,

  Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord
  Blessed is the king of Israel!”

Jesus found a young donkey and sat on it, as it is written:

  “Do not be afraid, Daughter Zion;
  see, your king is coming, seated on a donkey’s colt.”

At first his disciples did not understand all this.

The Last Words

Beginning today, at An Eye for Redemption, I will be offering my thoughts about the words that Jesus Christ spoke while nailed to the cross. My last post will be on Good Friday. Please join me each day this week as we remember the week of Christ's passion.

Friday Revelation

I invite you list your blog's details if you regularly visit this blog.
Please feel free to list your blog's name and URL in the comments.
Also, please tell us a little about you and your blog.

What ever happened to the (not George) Foreman?

Read an interesting TechRepublic post yesterday titled Are managers who know how to do the work their team is doing better managers? It reminded me of how I never hear the word "foreman" anymore.. unless I am looking at a cooking griddle in WalMart. Here is a clip:
Management purists believe that if you have the best leadership skills, you don’t need to understand the details of what your team does. Others think that if a manager doesn’t get in there and dig ditches with the rest of the team, then he or she couldn’t possibly understand how to represent that team to upper management.
The author goes on to say that she believes "leadership" to be a skill of its own but acknowledges that "the ideal person would have both leadership skills and intimate knowledge of the team’s duties." I resonate with her thinking to a point.

Consider the case of Gil Grissom, one-time foreman/leader of the Crime Scene Investigation team in Las Vegas. The guy had no people skills, was a bit of a recluse and preferred interacting with insects instead of people. Yet the guy was a great leader because he led the team to succeed because he was a great criminologist.. yeah.. I think that is what he was.

Also consider the case of Dr Gregory House, current foreman/leader of the diagnostic team at Plainsboro Hospital in New Jersey. He also possesses few people skills and people basically listen to him because he is in charge. Oh, and they also listen to him because he is the smartest doc in the group.. even though he is a jerk.

All I am saying is that, in the right environment, a savvy and knowledgeable foreman-leader is preferable to a person who only possesses leadership skills. And sometimes those types of leaders are needed at the very top. Think not? I suggest that you consider top geeks like Bill Gates, Michael Dell, Larry Ellison and Mark Zuckerberg. They may not have the best leadership skills but they had a unique understanding of their business

Now I am not saying that these folks are always the most pleasant to work for. Only saying that these might be the types of folks that get overlooked by upper managers because they do no possess desired leadership skills.. and they also might be very smart jerks.

Solitary Memories

Back in my younger years I loved to listen to Neil Diamond. One of his musical refrains was "I'll be what I am. A solitary man." Not sure why but I am thinking this morning about the memories that belong to me alone. They are the ones that I share with people that I no longer have a relationship with.. my scary first prom dance.. my first kiss walking close to the Jersey Shore.. the loneliness I faced in high school.. the joys of bringing babies into our home.. and all of the memories I shared with loved ones who have passed away.

I think that the idea that we are making memories each day inspires me a bit. It causes me to want to talk about those memories with friends and loved ones while I still can. In a sense life is all about making and sharing memories. Photographs themselves are wrapped up in the idea that we want to remember the cherished times in our lives - it is why photos with people in them are more cherished than landscapes and skylines pics. Think about it. What is your favorite photo? Here is mine! I took it a few years ago in New Orleans. I loved how silly we were both back then.

I will spend a bit of time reminiscing with the beautiful gal in that photo today! Today is a good day to remember because not all memories are solitary ones.

Tax Returns and Identity Theft

The issue of identity theft is a scary one. Criminals regularly do much damage to innocent folks and their malicious behaviors often last a very long time. This ZDNet article titled, Beware: Social Security numbers available online via indexed tax documents, sheds some light on it. Here are a few clips from it:
As of 4/10/2011, I have discovered in excess of 50 tax documents containing any given combination of Social Security numbers, credit card information, names, addresses, tax IDs, and phone numbers being made available online. However, unlike recent leaks of email addresses and password hashes being made available due to hackers compromising systems, these documents are being unknowingly made freely available to prying eyes by the very owners of said information.
To clarify, these are tax documents as they have been/will be submitted to State and Federal government: Names, addresses, income, phone numbers, credit card numbers (stored from e-filing), and worse of all, Social Security numbers. The latter is the most detrimental of all not just because of the individual filing their taxes having their identity potentially stolen, but because of individuals who have children that they use for tax credits.
What you see there is one page from a 1040 form containing 5 names, 5 Social Security numbers, one address, and total yearly income. This whole family — husband, wife, and three children — is potentially at stake for identity theft, and that is if it hasn’t already happened since this particular document has resided on their Web site for quite a while (as noted by the date shown for when the file was uploaded to their site).
The article goes on to say what can be done to protect your information from identity theft. I suggest that we all take note of their suggestions - especially in our electronic filing of this year's tax returns. Have you ever had your identity stolen? Any advice?


Found this article titled Off-the-charts income gains for super-rich to be an interesting companion to this graph. Here is their conclusion:

One can argue about why this is happening. Some say it's the result of a decline in workers' bargaining power as labor unions have weakened, while others blame the rise of offshoring and outsourcing. But despite the best efforts of some commentators, there's really no serious debate about the overall realignment of income in our age: The already super-rich have vastly increased their share of the pie--at the expense of everyone else.

The term super-rich fascinates me. It is like being rich is really no big deal. Yet I have to wonder what causes one to move from rich (i.e. a millionaire) to super-rich (i.e. a billionaire). It doesn't seem that hard work or even luck can move you from rich to super-rich.

When I read about the heads of corporate industry, especially those on Wall Street, making millions of dollars in salary and bonuses I simply shake my head and long for the days when the salaries of average workers were not so far removed from their executive leaders.

I do wonder if the super-rich are merely beneficiaries of the American Dream or if they have somehow manipulated the dream into a nightmare for the average worker. Have those in power somehow rigged the game to be in their favor? What do you think?

The Myth of the Self Made Man

I was thinking about this idea this morning about how no one is really "self made" because we all stand on the successes of our ancestors.. on the opportunities created by the sacrifices of those who came before us. Consider the examples of these "self made men":
  • Thomas Edison: One of the greatest inventors that ever lived built on the discoveries of men like Franklin and Faraday.
  • Bill Gates: The founder of Microsoft could have never developed operating software for computers if someone had not already invented computers.
  • Mark Zuckerberg: The success of Facebook's main man stands on the folks who invented computer languages and internet protocols.
  • Donald Trump: While he has brokered many deals Trump built on the success of his father's real estate business.
I could list many more that illustrate the fact that no one is ever "self made". In a sense we are like bricks building a house - our bricks are not foundational cornerstones but merely bricks that are laid on bricks.. and other bricks will be laid atop of ours.

66 Shelby Ford Mustang GT350 found in a Shed

You just never know what you are going to find when you clean out one of those old abandoned storage sheds. According to this report Bill Fair, a 40 year veteran auctioneer, found a 1966 Shelby Ford Mustang GT350 in a storage shed, about one hour from my place, in Lecompton, Kansas. Here is a clip from the article:
1966 Shelby Mustang found in a Shed
What Fair found was a classic 66 Shelby Mustang one of only 1,100 made, and sold from Carroll Shelby's personal car lot. The fastback was sitting in the middle of a huge pile of junk in a storage unit. It has been there 26 years and was in near perfect condition.

"In the middle of all the trash was a car," he said. Fair didn't really know what his company had just found. A little research showed that similar cars have sold for upwards of $2 million. Fair had been hired by a court-appointed attorney in working with the Texas attorney general's office to take over and clean out the building.
Apparently Fair has been offered $60,000 but the car, now sitting in San Antonio, is expecting to bring the state of Texas $200,000 at auction. Any takers?

It Happens Every Spring

The movie pictured in the image below is of one of the greatest baseball movies ever made. I have loved it ever since I first saw it on TV back in the 60s. The story revolves around a science teacher that accidentally discovers a liquid that causes a baseball to repel wood. It is such a fun movie about how he leaves the lab for his first love - baseball. It makes me think about the many great baseball movies. Here are a few that I remember.

The Natural is my all time favorite baseball movie. I originally caught it at the movies. I love the mixture of baseball, reunited love and the triumph of principles over greed.

The Babe Ruth Story starring William Bendix was one that I first saw in the auditorium of PS 22 in the 50s. I so loved the story of the Babe's rise to fame from a Catholic orphanage.

A League of their Own tells the story of women's baseball during World War II. This wonderful story reminded us about a bit of forgotten history and how the sport continued back then.

Do you enjoy baseball movies? What is your favorite one. What did you like about it?

Trump, Perot, the White House

This morning I heard Donald Trump say that he once rejected the presidential wooings of the Reform Party. It got me to thinking about another person who once had presidential aspirations - Reform Party founder and presidential nominee H. Ross Perot. Thought it might be fun to compare the two men in a rather abstract and uninformed way.
With that in mind I give you a Trump/Perot Rant:
    NBC/Wall Street Journal 04/04/11
  • Wealth: Both men are outrageously wealthy. The upside is that they might be a bit more independent and less beholding to campaign contributors. The downside is the idea that they are lone wolves buying the election.
  • Success: Both are entrepreneurs and have run successful businesses. They know what it is to set goals and achieve them. Not sure that this translates fully because the responsibilities of the Chairman of a company is not the same as that of the President who needs the cooperation of congress to get things done.
  • Outsider: Both of these guys have never held public office before. Hence they each have a following of people who are very upset with the antic of political insiders. If memory serves me correctly, the last real outsider to win the presidency was Eisenhower.
  • Personality: These guys are genuine originals - they seem to be cut from a different cloth. Both are wonderful fodder for Saturday Night Live skits. Trump will have a difficult time being taken seriously because of his TV show and antics like his fight with Rosie O'Donnell. Many people want a president who seems presidential.
What are your impressions of Donald Trump as a presidential candidate? Can you think of other bullet points for my rant? Do you think he would make a better GOP presidential candidate than the others shown in the NBC / Wall Street Journal's poll shown above?
Do you think one day America could tell him "You're hired"?

Top Three Toons

This cute Shoebox cartoon reminds me of all of the great cartoons I have enjoyed over the years.

Here are my top three:

      1) Dilbert
      2) Peanuts
      3) Farside

What are your top three?

Remember back when you knew everything?

Sad to say, once upon a time I had a pretty dim view of my dad because his work involved manual labor - I thought successful people worked in offices. I really did not have a clue about what life was really about. I had no clue about things like the honor of hard work (my dad worked several jobs) and the sacrifices involved in taking care of your family.

Looking back I have to say that most of the lessons I have learned in life have come pretty hard. And maybe that is the point. We can look at others and learn from them or we can, like teenagers, ignore the life lessons that are right before our eyes.

Secondhand Lions | ★★★★★★★★★

Well here I am again writing about a movie that I imagine most of you saw years ago. I had not and last week viewed it for the first time on DVD with my wife Ann. The story revolves around a young boy, played by Haley Joel Osmet, who is dropped off by his wayward mother to spend the summer with his eccentric uncles in Texas. The stellar acting by Hollywood heavyweights Robert Duvall and Michael Caine, as the two uncles, are worth watching this flick again.. and again. One of the great parts of the film was this speech by Uncle Hub (Duvall's character) to the young boy:
Sometimes the things that may or may not be true are the things a man needs to believe in the most. That people are basically good; that honor, courage, and virtue mean everything; that power and money, money and power mean nothing; that good always triumphs over evil; and I want you to remember this, that love... true love never dies. You remember that, boy. You remember that. Doesn't matter if it's true or not. You see, a man should believe in those things, because those are the things worth believing in.
My friend who recommended it to me said that I need to watch it with my grandkids. I agree with him and one day hope to do just that - even if it is simply to teach them about the intergenerational aspects of family and how the love and encouragement of older relatives is so important. I highly recommend it and, on a scale of ten, I give it ★★★★★★★★★.

Coulds and Shoulds

I sometimes think that life is all about the coulds and shoulds. The idea that we can do something is one thing but the notion of whether we should do it is something else altogether. We all know that we should not yell fire in a crowded auditorium even though we can.. the courts agree that it is a criminal thing to do. Yet sometimes the delineation is not so clear.. sometimes the ethics or morality of a should is not evident to everyone.

Consider the recent burning of the Qur'an by a man in Florida. Like Voltaire, many would defend the right of this man to do such a thing.. hard to argue with them.. the logic also holds firm for the burning of the US flag.. and the logic works even if it is in defense of the Fred Phelps group as they picket the funerals of fallen soldiers.

But questions remain concerning the wisdom of such actions. It goes back to the issue of whether one should do something just because they can. I think that the question of should hits to the issue of motive. I think that the actions of one being energized by a love motive will look very different than one being moved by another kind of motive. Love always considers the impact of our actions on others because love is selfless.

In Honor of the Day

It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to open one's mouth and remove all doubt.
[Abraham Lincoln]

Any fool can criticize, condemn and complain and most fools do.
[Benjamin Franklin]

A fool thinks himself to be wise, but a wise man knows himself to be a fool. [William Shakespeare]