Critical Thinking: The Other National Deficit


critical-thinking

Yesterday, someone messaged a meme to my inbox on Facebook and without even questioning it, I reposted and retweeted!

Shortly thereafter, someone responded with a Snopes.com calling my meme an urban myth. I have been a writer, researcher and journalist in some capacity since I was a young child. So, it is very rare that I don’t research something that is sent to me before I pass it on.

But this time, I allowed my critical thinking muscle to remain asleep and posted without question. There were a few demands that I apologize or retract but I did not because in the world of instant social messaging, these things will happen and it’s not like I’m CBS or CNN. I mean they rarely retract even if their message error reaches millions!

But, for some reason, this little incident got me to thinking about how so many of us in American society have lost the Art of Critical Thinking; especially in these trying and uneasy times, and particularly with our oh, so social lives.

Think about it!  We don’t even log into Facebook anymore, it just stays open!  But every single day, we immediately begin going through our “friends” updated status posts; deleting, responding or ignoring.  We check our Twitter to see what’s been tweeted and if we like it we retweet.  We go to our Linkedin page to get the latest business trends; Pinterest and Instagram to see the new pics and suggested boards to repin, take a look to see what our favorite bloggers have to say and make sure that our email backlog hasn’t grown too much.

We are certainly a Social Networked Nation. But, for the most part, we are socializing, twitting, facing, linking up, listening to and being influence by virtual strangers that we have placed enough trust in to believe what they post.  Never mind that we have never met said “friend” face-to-face” or had as much as a personal phone call.  And I would like to think that this behavior is strange except it’s not anymore.  It has become the “new normal.”

But, I’m not complaining!  I have made fast and true friends via Social Media.  I have cried with, prayed for and celebrated along with dozens and dozens of my “friends.”  I have confided in, railed against and even “blocked” others.  I have made good “friends” and lost them over something I said in a post.  I have made bad “friends” that I have lost immediately.  There are even quite a few people with whom I have remained “social” with since I initiated Social Media back in 1993.

Back then, it was chat rooms on AOL.  That was when the internet was purely dial up and you were charged by the hour for your time in chat rooms as well as by the phone company . I remember running up a $600 phone bill from hanging out chatting and playing online games from six one evening until 6 the next morning. That bill broke that habit once and for all.

My next venture was to a site call Ryze.  It really was the predecessor of Facebook because it was the first site where you could chat and instant message on a board that others could see.  I joined that site back in 2004, prior to George W. Bush’s first election.  It was a rousing time politically and conservatives and liberals did battle.  It was truly a fun time and I met many friends that I have remained connected with even as we transferred our online lives over to Facebook in 2008.  So, having meaningful and long term online relationships are nothing new to me having been involved in Social Media for the last 20 years.  So much for history back to the purpose of this blog post.

Social Media has turned us all into news sources.  In fact, we are becoming a nation of reporters.  Our need to have instantaneous reports has led to a surplus of information; some good and some not so good.

In order to fight against rumors, hearsay and gossip, some have managed to create websites that debunk erroneous transmissions, while still other sites have popped up to debunk the debunkers!

At the end of the day, we no longer have to research because we can Google and Wiki our way to the truth. We don’t have to parse between what is right and what is wrong because others are doing our thinking for us. We need only to decide what it is we want to hear and most likely someone, somewhere on the internet has said it the way we like it.  And we will accept it and pass it on as if it’s the truth.

I would love to believe that only I have made this mistake but unfortunately, we all do it at one time or another!  I have found myself debunking the posts, blogs and updates of many people over the past 20 years as I’m sure you have.

Usually if I see a few friends posting about something, I find interesting, I will click to see what’s up. Frankly, Facebook is now my major source for news and updates, then I will Google for verification.  I’m not big on sharing information that has not passed the smell test. But, occasionally, someone that I “trust” will send me a blurb and without hesitation, I just pass it along.

In 1987, at the 8th Annual International Conference on Critical Thinking and Education Reform, Michael Scriven & Richard Paul defined critical thinking as “the intellectually disciplined process of actively and skillfully conceptualizing, applying, analyzing, synthesizing, and/or evaluating information gathered from, or generated by, observation, experience, reflection, reasoning, or communication, as a guide to belief and action.

In its exemplary form, it is based on universal intellectual values that transcend subject matter divisions: clarity, accuracy, precision, consistency, relevance, sound evidence, good reasons, depth, breadth, and fairness.”

So, in short, there are five essential traits that define a critical thinker:

  1. Critical thinkers break arguments into basic statements and draw logical implications.
  2.  Critical thinkers locate ambiguity and vagueness in arguments and propositions.
  3. Critical thinkers determine if the premises are reasonable and identify information that has been omitted or not collected.
  4. Critical thinkers determine if the premises support the conclusion.
  5. Critical thinkers weigh the evidence and arguments.  Contradictions and lack of evidence decrease the weight of an argument.

So, I have determined that 80% of the time, I am a Critical Thinker.  My goal is to be one all of the time!

 

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The Measure of a Man: A Non-discussion of Race in America


Earlier today, someone expressed disappointment because I described another person on a social network as ‘some white guy.’   I referred to him as ‘some white guy’ because I didn’t appreciate the consistently erroneous posts he was making regarding Black crime in America as well as other comments on various threads.

Apparently, my use of the term made her “lose” a modicum of respect for me. I kind of felt like I was supposed to feel guilty and apologize for using a bad word or something! I responded personally but that wasn’t enough for me. So, I did a status update but somehow I couldn’t respond to her in 150 characters without sounding snide or smug, so I decided to blog it out! 

Her comments, and the recent hullabaloo surrounding Glenn Beck’s MLK Celebration, got me to thinking about race in this country.  Not so much about why we need to start or continue the dialogue but really more about why we haven’t gotten to the stage when the dialogue is no longer necessary?

With the election of our first Black President, not since the days of the ‘Black Codes’ and ‘Jim Crow’ laws have Americans been more polarized by our racial differences. But the good, and the bad, thing is that it is no longer just a matter of Black and White. Today, we navigate the racial highway with Middle Easterners, Hispanics, Asians, and a rainbow of nationalities, colors and creeds. So, why do people still feel the conversation is only between Caucasians and Negros?

Two major historical events have made this a two-man fight for all time. The first event was Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation freeing American slaves. The second happened on summer’s day, in 1968, when one Dr. Reverend Martin Luther King stood on the Mall of Washington and gave, what is undoubtedly one of the most moving and stirring sermons on freedom in history, his “I Have a Dream” speech.

Often White’s, especially conservatives, are proud to point to the fact that it was Abraham Lincoln, a Republican, who freed the slaves. Not to pour water on anyone’s party but the reason for freeing the slaves was to economically hurt the ten rogue states in the south and thwart their efforts by eliminating the free labor that was helping them gain their (successful at one point)  independence from the United States. It didn’t help when Abe made them compensate former slaves for their work.

Black’s hold Dr. King in particular esteem for his work, and the ultimate sacrifice of his life, in an effort to gain equal rights under the law for the nation’s Black population. Never mind the fact that King was  not the first man or woman to lose his life before and during this era but in was in actuality one of many who marched, fought, were jailed and killed.

But, just as White’s don’t own the legacy of  President Abraham Lincoln, Blacks don’t own the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King.  If one truly takes the time to read King’s speeches you would find that, although his mission was to the Black Community, his ministry was to the world.

Dr. King understood that racism and oppression were not uniquely American institutions reserved specifically for Blacks and when he said the now famous words, “”Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last!” he made sure to include all of God’s children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics.

Reverend King’s ‘Dream’ was not one in which people ignored color and race for he knew that God created us in a variety of beautiful hues and tones  on purpose.  His ‘Dream’ was one in which the color of one’s skin would not be an indicator for how we decide human capability and destiny; one in which we did not ignore our differences but could find a way to celebrate our commonalities.

Today so many people think that if they claim to be colorblind, this will relieve them from the burden pursuing the real issues that divide us.  Those issues are not apparent on the outside, but reside deep within; where our spirit rises up to meet our humanity. 

But, are they truly colorblind?  Do they tense up when a group of young Blacks enter an elevator or pass them on the street — while patting themselves on the back because they have a few Black friends and neighbors?  One wonders if a group of Asians or young White teens were to approach, would they be just as apprehensive?   Store clerks still raise their eyebrows and look nervously about at Black shoppers, no matter the expense of their garb.  Even Black clerks are more prone to be polite to White, Asian or Middle Eastern shoppers than they are to their brothers and sisters of similar color.

Only today, at Fernbank Science Center in Atlanta, a security guard denied a group of Black daycare students the right to eat at lunch tables inside the facility while allowing a group of White children the privilege of sitting at those same tables and enjoying their lunch. The Executive Director called it a case of “bad” Customer Service and closed the conversation.

Claiming to be “colorblind” is NOT the opposite of being a racist. And being ‘politically correct’ does not mean you are not biased in some way.  Resting easy with another despite outward appearances such as color and being able to openly be yourself within any culture and among any people group without fear of respite — are the real barometers — not some arbitrary pretense over language.

Acid-head Flashbacks to a Time That Never Was


Dealing with most Left-wing Liberals and Obama Progressives is like being on a roller coaster ride during a bad LSD trip!  It is sure to be a memorable and frightening time; and most likely when it is over, you will want to throw up.  Eeewww!  The thought just made me spit up in my mouth–a little.

One minute they demand that “in God We Trust”, Christmas (including Nativity scenes and the term ‘Merry Christmas’), the “Ten Commandments” and anything pertaining to Christianity, be removed from schools, courthouses, department stores, office buildings, parks, private businesses and major corporations.  

We are, however, allowed to attend “interfaith” celebrations (as long as there is no mention of Jesus), continue watching ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’, teach our children about “the Grinch who Stole Christmas’ (after all he’s a hero), send our children searching for eggs laid by a bunny; and believe in the Universal principles behind the Ten Commandments (we just can’t look at them?).

I can’t imagine anyone taking issue with a baby in a manger surrounded by little lambs; calves and three wise men from the East.   Now take note that these three men were from Persia (present day Iran) and instead of arming themselves to blow up the minute they entered the manger, they instead brought with them expensive gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh

I am still baffled by whoever, in their right mind, would want to remove a document that admonishes people not to kill, steal, lie or commit adultery, from courthouse and school walls. It would seem to me that this is exactly the message you would want to convey to both children and criminals. But, oh, yeah…It’s Christian!

Progressives believe that Christianity should be eliminated from every bit of public life because it is an infringement on free speech; separation of church and state and a kitchen sink full of bits and pieces that are meant to make Christians feel degraded, foolish and out of touch with the rest of society!  They constantly remind Christians of the need to keep their religion behind closed doors during the week and in church on Sundays.

If I were them, I’d want my enemy as public as possible; even worshipping in the town square! At least then I could use some sort of camera to lip-read their prayers to make sure they weren’t praying me off the planet!  But, I digress.

Although Eighty-three percent of Americans identify themselves as Christians (33% worldwide) our Chief Progressive, Barack Obama, has told the world that “America is not a Christian nation”.   What?!? Eighty-three percent is better than a quorum so if we aren’t Christian, then what exactly are we in the Progressive world.

With only 4 percent of Americans identify themselves as adherents of all non-Christian religions combined — including Jews, Muslims, Buddhists and a smattering of individual mentions, Obama broke with tradition deciding to forego the National Day of Prayer (established by President Harry in 1952) ceremony at the White House and had Franklin Graham (son of Evangelist Billy Graham) kicked to the curb from the Pentagon ceremony.

Both a crescent-shaped moon and Barack Obama ushered in Ramadan; one with an amazing light show from the sky; and the other with a televised video extending his best wishes to Muslim communities in the United States and around the world. One month later, Obama decided to uphold White House tradition and host an Iftar dinner in the White House State Dining Room.  Iftar is the meal that breaks the dawn-to-dusk fast for Muslims during Ramadan.

Amazingly, since the uproar over the NYC mosque, Liberal Progressives ‘from sea to shining sea’ have found their collective religious voice to  bellow from soap boxes and mountaintops; that to prevent the building of a mosque two blocks from Ground Zero would be an infringement on the “freedom of religion” of Muslims.   

One cannot help but take note that it seems as if the liberal progressive brand of ‘freedom of religion’ is offered to everyone EXCEPT Christians. And for that you really do have to pause and wonder, “What is it about the message of Jesus Christ that sends (not a tingle but) a full-on electrical shock up the legs of Liberals? 

I find it dumbfounding that most liberals, even those who call themselves Christians, have managed to buy the progressive party line and talking points ‘hook, line and sinker’. Abortion is not murder; it is choice. Welfare is not middle class workers carrying the burden of a segment of society who (for whatever reason) will not work.  People don’t kill people, guns kill people. Government healthcare is your right.  It is the government’s job to regulate everyone including business and they know what is good for you.  Big business is bad and so much more.

I’ve been having a running argument with a very liberal, non-religious young man on my Facebook page. You see, he loves to tell me that because of my Christianity, I have a ‘misinformed mentality’; throws about the term ‘fundamentalist’ like a Yankee pitcher and cannot help but comment on my lack of tolerance whenever he gets the chance.  He tells me that because I agree with the opponents of the mosque that I am a bigot.

Here’s what I say: America’s past and future is that of a Christian nation with a high tolerance for people of other religions or no religion at all.  Christmas comes after Thanksgiving and I’m going to keep saying Merry Christmas, and I may even dress like an ancient Jew on Christmas Day.  I am building a HUGE nativity scene for my front yard and a cross with Jesus on it for Easter.  I will post the Ten Commandments in my front yard if I want to, but I am definitely giving my son moral teaching outside the US school system.

The past you’re flashing back to does not exist but mine does and we need to take ten steps backwards before we fall off the cliff.

I don’t know if Obama is a Muslim but if actions speak louder than words, he acts like he’s a Muslim!  I will continue to voice my opinion on these topics until the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob takes me away.  I would tell progressives to go to Hell, but I don’t have to.  They and their hallucinations are already half way there!

The Tao of Poop: Meth in the White House


vanjonesweb_resized400X266As Independents and moderate Democrats take to the hills faster than a California brush fire, Barack Obama is becoming to the Liberal elite media, what honey is to a bear: Something they love to lap up, but at the end of the day, if you have too much, it actually makes you sick.

If you wonder why they’ve avoided any significant reporting on the brotha’ from another planet, Van Jones, Special Advisor for Green Jobs at the White House Council on Environmental Quality and founder of Green for All, an advocacy group that works to bring green jobs to the underprivileged, and author of The Green Collar Economy (or any of Obama’s other “Czars”), it’s because, frankly, they don’t really know what to say.  I mean, they are truly dumbfounded!  His credentials LOOKED good!

Van “hoof-in-mouth” Jones has openly spewed his contempt for the United States for years and yet not one Liberal spoke up when he was appointed by Obama.  The silence from the Left is deafening following Jones’ latest gaffe.  Not even Pelosi, who opens her mouth more than a frog in a fly factory, has uttered a word in his defense.

Not enough that he supported the killer of police officers.  Not enough that he is crazy enough to openly back the belief that President Bush was responsible for the 9/11 tragedy.  Not enough that he publicly called a significant portion of the United States population “assholes.”  Not enough that he called a living President of the United States a “crack head.”  These acts and statements make him fit to serve as advisor to the man who holds the highest position in our country?  Somebody’s on Meth in the White House!

According to White House press secretary Robert Gibbs, Jones “continues to work in the administration.” Why?  If ANYONE in the Bush Administration had been so openly stupid every media outlet on the planet would have been demanding a resignation.  Jones said: “If I have offended anyone with statements I made in the past, I apologize.”  Okaaay…

Day after day the leftist media outlets are seeing that Obama is truly a deceitful, America-hating supporter of not just one racist (Reverend Wright); not just one Communist (William Ayers); but has managed to subjugate the Constitution and illegally surround himself with a cadre of presidential “appointees” who make Stalin look like the Olson twins in comparison.   

From his stance on creating a “culture of death” to his gangsta’ takeover of healthcare, the Liberal media is finally discovering that the “man of change” they paraded to the American public and stuffed down our throats, is actually a horror they helped to unleash. And for that they have no excuse.  How do you back pedal from a monumental mistake like this? 

You don’t!  You ignore it and pretend that it isn’t happening.  You find the best turd in this pile of s**t and act like it’s the best thing since the cable television.  You parade, before an ever enlightened public, every pitiable person with a sob story to tell in this burning heap to try and make it look like “your guy” is actually doing something good.  At least that’s what you do if you have NO scruples and NO morals yourself.  Welcome to mainstream media!

When supposed “legitimate and unbiased” observers like Eva Paterson, president and founder of the Equal Justice Society, a group known to support liberal views, reports in the Huffington Post (a decidedly liberal blog) that Jones has apologized; changed his radical ways and is the subject of unwarranted conservative attacks, I only need look to his most recent video and read HIS own words.

It is little wonder that people no longer wish to pay to read mainstream media tripe and newspapers are fading faster than Madonna’s looks.  If mainstream television news continues on its present path, it will likely see a similar demise. Katie who?

The very thing the Obama Administration purports to cure (partisan politics, racism, cultural division), it actually supports; using the bully pulpit, subversion and oppression in an attempt to silence the opposition. 

And the Liberal media is either too afraid or too stupid to speak out against it or even report on it.  So, what makes this Administration so special?  Nothing at all — except the president is a Black man!  And to speak out against him makes you a racist!

History is rife with tin-can dictators (and their media supporters) who believe that 51% is enough to make the rest of us into mindless slaves incapable of rising up.  But they’ve been wrong before and they are wrong today.  Just watch the tumbling polls and be prepared for 2010 and a one-term president named Barack Hussein Obama who will depart the White House in 2012!

Is American Freedom Obsolete?


american-flag-2aFresh off the latest leg of his “World-Wide America Apology Tour” Barack Obama has told the Universe that America is NOT a Christian nation — but it IS a Muslim one. Under HIS reign this may very well become true.

In what I found to be a less than stirring speech in the Great Hall at Cairo University to crowd of about 3,000, Mr. Obama completely ignored actual history as well as current events when he once again, apologized to the Arab world for America’s past actions.

Based on how Mr. Obama speaks, one would think that the United States has been going into pristine, economically and politically sound countries and running amok. He ignores the billions of dollars American taxpayers have pony’d up to assist people who’d just as soon see us dead – but only after they’ve had a decent meal, drank clean water and been treated with the latest medical technology — provided by you – the infidels!

We build new infrastructure in their countries, while ours crumbles. We build schools and hospitals in their countries and then complain that our own healthcare and educational systems are failing. We feed the world, while children go to bed hungry in our own back yard. If a natural disaster happens anywhere in the world, we rally the troops and rush out to aide. When a natural disaster happens in the United States, we must, primarily fend for ourselves. When was the last time you saw a headline touting how some Third World nation had written a check repaying the United States of America for its financial sacrifices?

In total Rock Star fashion, Obama flashed his pearly whites for the cameras while sublimely stating that “no one country should dictate to another”. Unless you happen to be Israel (or America), of course, then EVERY single, mug-hutted, thug potentate on the planet can dictate to you about what you should be doing to protect sovereignty in your own nation. Now that’s supporting freedom! The Secretary of sASS, Hillary Clinton, can even tell you that you are no longer allowed to “naturally” grow. All Hail the UN!

Obama, in his misguided effort to “improve” America’s image, called America a “colonialist” nation and stated that we did not start off that way.  Does he even know American history? I’d like to get a copy of his Ivy League GPA!  Colonists “colonized” the New World and even re-colonized America when they began the push to spread West throughout this country.

“My job to the Muslim world is to communicate that the Americans are not your enemy,” says Obama. Of course he got a standing ovation! What else could you expect while giving a speech about freedom in one of the least free countries on the planet and dissing one of the freest countries in existence today?

Ahem. (TAP ON THE SHOULDER)  Mr. Obama. Your job is to uphold the Constitution of the United States and to protect our shores from our enemies. The Constitution assigns the following powers to the President:

1. Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces: The President of the United States of America is the head of the U.S. Military. As Commander in Chief, he can authorize the use of troops overseas without declaring war. To declare war officially, he must get the approval of the Congress.

2. Make treaties, with two-thirds consent of the Senate.

3. Receive ambassadors and other public ministers from foreign countries.

4. Appoint ambassadors, Supreme Court justices, federal judges, and any officials as provided for by the Congress, with the approval of the Senate.

5. Give an Annual State of the Union Address to Congress. It is not your job to take over private or even public companies. It is not your job to “redistribute” wealth.

It is not your job to tell American’s how to educate their children. It is not your job to sanction same-sex marriages. It is not your job to promote abortion. It is not your job to trounce the Second Amendment. It is not your job to traipse around the world disrespecting your own country!

In his election speeches, Mr. Obama invokes his love for America. No such declarations were forthcoming in his  foreign speeches. Not once did he express an ounce of national pride. He never mentioned his own supposed Christian heritage but loudly proclaimed his Islamic roots. He correctly quoted the Quran (no teleprompter in sight) but never mentioned the Bible.

A recent article in Russia’s Pravda declared that “the American decent into Marxism is happening with breath taking speed.” According to the article, “The final collapse has come with the election of Barack Obama. His speed in the past three months has been truly impressive. His spending and money printing has been a record setting, not just in America’s short history but in the world. If this keeps up for more then another year, and there is no sign that it will not, America at best will resemble the Wiemar Republic and at worst Zimbabwe”

When a Russian newspaper correctly calls out the American President on liberty and freedom and IS SPOT ON, “Oh we got trouble (yes we got trouble) right here in River City (Right here!).”

When Treasury Secretary Timothy (the Dodger) Geithner, tells a Chinese audience of students and professors that China’s investment in America is safe and the entire audience bursts into laughter, we’ve got some major issues.   For goodness sakes, even the Communists think we’re a joke!

Obama, Emmanuel, Geithner and their friends — not the American sheeple — now own banks and car companies. They are also going after insurance companies, energy companies and health care companies. Don’t think for one minute that you will realize (or even see) one ounce of return on your tax payer dollars because you don’t own a thing!  

Oh, I’m sorry. You do own the debt, which you, your children, your children’s children and their children will be paying off for the next 500 years. That is if China doesn’t foreclose on us and take us fover because of the billions of dollars in loans we can’t pay back or if Russia (which is quickly reverting back to ITS Communist roots) doesn’t blow us off the planet before that.

If this lunacy is allowed to continue, in the future you WILL be told what kind of car you can drive and how much you can drive it. You WILL be told what energy to use and how much of it you can use. You WILL be told who you can use to provide your medical needs and how much you can use them. You WILL pay for babies you did not choose to have and unborn life will be slaughtered against your will and using your money to do it. If you are lucky enough to make a profit in your business, it WILL be taken away and given to those “unfortunates” who have chosen to drop out of school and have no discernible skills.

And for the record, I am NOT against Welfare. There are times in a person’s life when one needs a hand up and a hand out. I am against Government Assistance as a way of life. I am against Welfare as the family business.

Forget about your First Amendment Right to Free Speech because you’d better not protest the Obama Administrations actions or policies.  If you speak up, you are at best a complainer; at worst, both a racist and a domestic terrorist who should be put on a National Watch List.  If we don’t do something to change the devastating course this country is on, we are headed — fully — into a “Plantation Nation” where the only people who are truly free are the Liberal (and some RINO) politicians who are trying to enslave all of us.

Welcome to the United Socialist States (USS). All Hail your new Supreme Leader, Barack Hussein Obama. Now bow down. I mean bend over. And don’t forget to smile!

Lady Liberty’s Bloody Nose


statue of libertyBarack Hussein Obama keeps telling us that he loves America and Lady Liberty.   So why, after everyone of his foreign speeches, do I feel like I’ve been kicked in the chin?  Perhaps because his actions both, here and abroad, are those of someone who does not love this country; his home that has been so good to him and his friends and family. 

If he treated his wife Michelle (whom he also claims to love) the way he treats the country he says he loves, he’d be in jail for Domestic Abuse and speeding head long into divorce by now.

If he loved Lady Liberty, he’d take HER out on a date once in awhile and woo HER with sweet words, actions and deeds.  Instead she is his unwilling victim.

He verbally insults her, slaps her in the face and then puts her on display — black eye and all — for friends and foes alike to gawk.  He steals her money and spends it — whooping it up with his friends — and when she protests, he calls her a weak and useless complainer.  When he isn’t ignoring half her children, he is telling them how ignorant and racist they are simply because they want more than he is offering for their Mother country.

Lady Liberty has been very, very good to Barack Obama.  She has loved, supported and educated him.  She has made him a very rich man.   And yet, he goes around the world cheating on her and telling everyone who will listen what a “bitch” she is.  Then he comes back home, throws his shoes in the corner and expects her to cook dinner and clean.  She is allowed to work for him, but he doesn’t feel the same responsibility towards her.

Abuse occurs when one entity in a relationship tries to dominate and control the other. An abuser doesn’t “play fair.” He uses fear, guilt, shame, and intimidation to wear the victim down and gain complete power.  Abuse is used for one purpose: to gain and maintain total control over the victim. 

  • Control — Abusive individuals will make decisions for you, tell you what to do, and expect you to obey without question. You are treated you like a servant, child, or even a possession.   You have no vote in important matters.
  • Humiliation — An Abuser will do everything to make you feel bad about yourself, or defective in some way. After all, if you believe you’re worthless and then no one else will want you. Insults, name-calling, shaming, and public put-downs are all weapons of abuse designed to erode self-esteem and create a feeling of powerlessness.
  • Isolation — To increase your dependence, an Abuser will cut you off from the outside world. You may have to ask permission to do anything, go anywhere, or see anyone.  
  • Threats — Abusers may threaten to hurt you, your children, other family members, or even pets. He may also threaten to file false charges against you.
  • Intimidation — Intimidation tactics, designed to scare you into submission, include making threatening looks or gestures, smashing things in front of you and destroying (taking apart) your property.  The clear message is that if you don’t obey, there will be consequences.
  • Denial and blame — Abusers are very good at making excuses for the inexcusable. They will blame behavior on their childhood, a bad day, and even on their victims.  They may even minimize the abuse or deny that it occurred. They will commonly shift the responsibility onto the victim: Somehow, the abuse is your fault.   Based on an article at: http://www.helpguide.org

The only difference between Barack Obama’s Domestic Abuse and a typical Abuser is:

  1. He never apologizes after an attack.
  2. There is no guilt over what he has done.
  3. He does not fear the consequences of his behavior.
  4. There is no honeymoon period in between thrashings when he is actually nice and kind.
  5. There is never a break between the beatings.

Poor Lady Liberty is limping around with a swollen ankle, a bloody nose and a black eye; beaten and bruised.  She is being unjustly accused of all sorts of crimes.  She stands alone — without a hero — waiting for the day when someone has the guts to stand up for her.

If Obama Is the Answer … Then What the Heck Is the Question?


iron curtainNorman Thomas, six times candidate for president on the Socialist Party ticket, said  the following:

  • “The American people will never knowingly adopt socialism.  But under the name of ‘liberalism’ they will adopt every fragment of the Socialist program, until one day America will be a Socialist nation, without knowing how it happened.”
  • “The difference between Democrats and Republicans is: Democrats have accepted some ideas of Socialism cheerfully, while Republicans have accepted them reluctantly.”
  • “I no longer need to run as a presidential candidate for the Socialist Party. The Democratic Party has adopted our platform.” 

The election of Barack Hussein Obama, has ushered in Thomas’ dream of a Socialist America.  Against all believable odds, a Socialist America, lead by Barack Obama, is indeed coming to pass.  Most American’s do not want or support Socialized Medicine. But, our illustrious leader and his cronies do — so the American public will once again be forced to submit to programs and policies that “We the People” not only do not  accept but are vehemently against.  

“We the People” will not be offered the oppotunity to vote on this issue (as we should be able to in a Republic) because a handful of politicians, who happen to control our government, and a litany of loud talking Liberal activists — do want this policy.  We will have to bend over, cheeks spread wide and take in another loathsome and cumbersom government program that will plunge our country further towards the brink of destruction.  And yet we wait –silently — teeth clinched in pain, as Dr. Obama says, “Can you cough for me?”

Two thirds of US citizens DID NOT vote for Mr. Obama (How many votes did Barack Obama and John McCain each have? — Wikipedia.)   And while it is true that Obama did indeed triump in the election, his win is hardly a sweeping National approval of his mandates or his ultra-Liberal policies as Democrats would have us believe.

Commandant Tax Cheat, Timothy Franz Geithner, wants Congress to bestow on him the ability to independently determine when a major company is in trouble and then take it over — for our own good of course.  At best this is Socialism — at worst — Communism.

Our government leaders forced the retirement of the head of General Motors because he disagreed that the company needed to go into Bankruptcy (putting tens of thousands of Americans out of work and onto the Welfare rolls.)   Since when did the president of the United States hav the authority to intervene in a private business matter?  Not only is it unconstitutional, it is absolutely illegal and amounts, basically, to theft of property!  The American people did not want this!  Most of us don’t even agree with bailouts of private businesses.   But no matter, now we are saddled with Goverment Motors, which we, of course, share with a foreign power — Canada.  More KY Jelly, PLEASE!

I’m not rich.  But, even a blind duck can see that overtaxing those who spend the most; employ people and contribute to the economic development of our society is plain stupid!  Instead of proposing something reasonable, like an across the board Flat Tax, President Tax and Spend wants to penalize you for using your brains and motivation to get ahead in this world.  If you are old enough to remember Jimmy Carter and the dark ages of the late 70’s and early 80’s, the nightmare of double digit interest rates alone should frighten you into becoming more Conservative on the economic policies for this country.

If Obama and his Socialist friends were to focus on what “actually works,” they would make school choice the law of the land, crack down on drugs and gangs, lower taxes in urban areas to encourage the growth of the private sector, and a host of other free market solutions that have been advocated for decades. Instead, we get the same old tired bromides about government intervention.”  American Thinker, June 1, 2009.

Yes folks, believe it!  We have “Change!”  But is it really a “change” that we can live with?

Life on Purpose!


mountain climberEveryday we are faced with the choice of whether or not to see the world through our own flawed lens, or whether to see it the way it really is; through God’s eyes.

Conventional wisdom tells us that the world sucks!  If you focus on the failing economy, prejudice, bigotry, crime, pollution, abuse and lack – then yes, our world sucks – BIG TIME!

But, if we are to truly succeed in this world, then we must always go to the highest place in ourselves.  We must make a habit of cutting through the BS and the nonsense and strive towards the penultimate place in our souls.  We must accept culpability for our own state of being – or we can ignore our own faultiness!

What does this mean?  Well, I’m glad you asked!

Today, you are a product of every, single decision you have ever made in the past.  The life you live now is not the result of what your parents did to you; what people said about you or even what may or may not have happened to you.  It is a product of who you believe yourself to be and how you react to what you believe to be the truth!

Let me climb off my high horse for a minute!  In the past, I have been a chronic shopper.   I have scores of clothes and items that still have price tags on them!  My Mother was a chronic shopper.  I shopped for shopping’s sake.  I didn’t’ even care if I was buying for me – as long as I was spending.  If you gave me a dollar, it had a half-life of ten minutes in my wallet!   My out of control spending resulted in no discernible savings on my part.   So, that when I had an emergency; I had a crisis.   When my car broke down; I had issues.  If a check was an hour late; I had problems.  Paying late charges weren’t an issue for me – it was a privilege that I took in order to stretch myself beyond my means.

I blamed everyone!  I blamed my parents; who could not afford to pay for my college.  So, I had to pay for myself.   I blamed my clients; obviously they weren’t paying me enough.  I blamed society; a Black woman is third class.  I blamed Black people; why can’t we hire our own?  I blamed God; if I was in this situation, He could not love me?  I blamed men;  What?I’m giving you what you need – give a Sister a break!  I blamed my siblings – I helped you b@##$$’s why can’t you help me?  But, in the end the blame laid itself at the true perpetrator – ME!

I couldn’t accept that I was the architect!  I wanted to look like everyone else; be like everyone else; act like everyone else; have what everyone else had.   And even though I was founded in God, I was not founded in myself!   And then I turned 40!

I was no longer the cute young thing.  I was the woman who looked younger than her actual age; an anomaly and a phenomenon. It was then that I made some critical decisions about how I wanted to live my life and what I wanted to be known for. (Dangling participle)

The Changeling

What I wanted was my authentic self. But, where was she?  What would my life look like if I could no longer indulge myself in my excuses?

What I discovered is that true courage is not doing what you think is right – it is doing the thing you are most afraid of in the midst of your fear – Changing!

I learned the lesson of adaptability.  I learned that change, whether it is one’s job, location or predominant beliefs — is not a bad thing.  It can lead to a path of outrageous happiness and joy!  Greed can be used for good, but change is better!

Dr. Wayne Dyer states that the top eighteen reasons that people cannot or will not change for success are:

  1. It’s too difficult.
  2. It’s too risky.
  3. It will take too much time.
  4. My family drama.
  5. I don’t deserve it
  6. It’s not in my nature.
  7. I can’t afford it.
  8. I have no support.
  9. It never happened before.
  10. I’m not strong enough.
  11. I’m not smart enough.
  12. I’m too old.
  13. I can only do what I’m doing now.
  14. The “rules” won’t let me.
  15. I lack of energy.
  16. My personal family history (divorce, abuse, youngest, oldest, middle child.)
  17. I’m too busy.
  18. I’m afraid.

And in Dyer fashion he proposes the following:

Become Aware

  • Always go to the highest place in yourself.  Be aware of what you are trying to achieve.  Awareness knows that you can do ALL things through God.

Recognize that all excuses are misalignments

  • Think like God thinks.  We don’t have to die to be able to do this and God never uses excuses.  He never claimed to be too tired to create a star.  You are a star!

Become contemplative

  • Contemplation is the highest form of activity.
  • What you think about, you become.
  • The Science of Success assumes your continual and positive use of your thoughts.

Become a willing human being

  • How willing are you to rid yourself of excuses by taking total responsibility for your life? How willing are you to surrender all to God and shed the things you will not do?  How willing are you to arrange the pieces that come your way and make them work for you?
  • Be willing to contemplate God. Remember the great and good things He has already done for you.
  • Detach yourself from the outcome. If it is yours, it will come to be.  If it is not yours, there is something better on the horizon!

Live a passion-filled life

  • If you have passion, the Universe will find a way to make your dreams come true!
  • If you have passion you will focus on your best life!
  • If you have passion, you won’t give up, no matter how hard the road may become.
  • If you have passion, you will NOT live without your heart’s desire!

Don’t complain/Never explain

  • You are what and who you are.  If you don’t like it, that’s not a good thing.   If you have to justify it – that’s even worse.

God always says “Yes” and “Amen”.  If you can visualize it – you can have it!  Think on the things you want to have.  Think on those things you want to be.  “They that keep their minds stayed on you (God) will be cast in perfect peace.”  Who you are and what you have is completely up to you and God.  Now go out there make your life a great success.

If you’ve never heard this before: I love you and I believe in YOU!

FEAR IS NOT AN OPTION


Are-you-living-your-life-on-purpose-Calgary-PsychThe gulf between fear and perceived reality is a minor one for me because I can choose what I want to believe!

I am not afraid of the dwindling economy.  I am not afraid of terrorists.  I am not afraid of the credit crunch.  I am not afraid of my home being foreclosed.  I am not afraid that I will be out of work forever.   I am not afraid of running out of food.  I am not afraid of running out of money.  I am not afraid that my son cannot attend his school. I am not afraid of home invaders or robbers.   I am not afraid of the IRS.  I am even not afraid that my car will break down.  I am simply not afraid.

Fear is not an option in my life.  I have a promise from God that “All things will work together for good, for those who love Him…”  And I am standing on that promise!  I no longer live in the economy of this world and so, I am no longer afraid of its repercussions.   I give because I want to – I have to – give!

I stand confident on that promise!  I believe that God would bankrupt Heaven on my behalf!   I believe that if I were the only human on Earth, he would have sent a Savior just for me!

He created the Heavens so that I could have something to look at.  He created flowers so that I could have something nice to smell.  He created the mountains so I could have something big to climb.  He created the seas so that I could have something vast to swim.  He created the sand so something would feel warm on my skin.  He created the Moon so that I could read at night.

I choose God’s Word over the “Wisdom” of our American culture.  I choose Life!

I choose to not be afraid.  I choose not to take a path that will leave me shaking in my shoes.   I choose what I will think about.  I choose what I will become.  I choose who I am today.  I choose truth above the lies that this world’s society presents to me.

I choose.  I choose.  I choose.  And in the end – I will win.  Because God said so!

When Friends Are Just Not Enough


I recently received the news that a dear friend and mentor had died. When I tried to inquire as to the how and why, I was told that the family did not want it discussed. The obituary in the local newspaper asked that donations be made to a substance and alcohol abuse program. Later, another mutual friend texted me and suggested that the death had been suspicious — a possible suicide. I didn’t sleep for two nights contemplating what depths of sadness and pain could drive my pal to do such a terrible thing. I’m not sure whether the rumor is true or not but as I thought over the past year’s worth of conversations, this made a little bit of sense.

“Victoria” (not her real name) was prone to dark periods where she would do nothing except go to work and home; work and home; work and home. If it wasn’t about work, she wasn’t talking to you. Sometimes she wouldn’t return phone calls for weeks on end. When asked where she’d been, the response was usually something akin to “trying to climb out of a dark hole.” She’d always made a lot of money but times were getting tight. She felt too many people depended upon her success and deep pockets. She wanted some peace. I knew she was over extended and having business and financial problems but in the current dreary market — who isn’t? She was totally stressed out — pretending not to be — and living in abject fear of losing. What? I just don’t know.

The idea of clinical depression crossed my mind a time or two, but I never brought it up. Usually, after a lengthy cheerleading session, I would receive a “thank you” text for helping lift the veil. Life would go on as usual for a while.

In the days just prior to her death, I had a strong sense to call her. The thought kept flitting in and out of my mind but I ignored it. You see, I’ve recently relocated to another state and my life has been wrapped up with the move, rebuilding my business and my toddler. I kept pushing that thought away with “I’ll do it next week.” Except now there is no next week. I wish I’d stopped and made the call. I’ll never know now, if a positive word from me could have changed the outcome. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t feel guilty or anything, I just wish I had taken the time to follow my gut.

Suicide is a permanent solution to what is usually a temporary situation. When one is emotionally and mentally invested in things (money, houses, cars, possessions, social standing, what others think about you) that don’t carry much lasting spiritual import, we can get out of balance. Top this off with depression and it is a recipe for disaster. Most of us can feel blue, down, frustrated or sad for a moment but we snap out of it. Depressed people do not just “snap out of it!” In fact, they are very adept, a lot of times, at hiding that they are even in it.

What many of us consider setbacks, inconveniences and solvable problems, depressed people find insurmountable. I don’t say these things only as my opinion. For more than 20 years my entire family has dealt with a addicted, manic-depressive, suicidal relative. There have been many late nights into early mornings spent waiting anxiously in hospital emergency rooms and dozens of police/ambulance calls and involuntary commitments. Often when we think of emotional problems we think in these extreme terms but so many more people suffer silently without all the drama — until they break. Fortunately for us, when my relative is on the correct medication, life is better for us all — not perfect — but certainly better.

Suicide is never the right choice! Oh yes, it may take the committer out of the picture but it leaves behind broken and shattered lives; families torn apart with grief and friends wondering what they could have done to prevent a tragedy. Whatever you might be going through is only temporary! It will pass! And if you don’t think it will pass, please, please, please find someone to talk to. And if you think you know someone who might be suicidal, depressed or both — certainly intervene! Speak up! Do something!

I loved my friend and I will miss her for the rest of my life. She was a great person. She was a kind person. She was a generous person.  She was a troubled and lonely person who had apparently not founded herself in the things that are truly important.   She had placed so much of who she was into the things that did not count towards who she was that when this economy started to fail — she felt like a failure.  She was not a failure. Life failed her and so did her friends — including me!

I am selfish. I want to hear her laugh. I want to talk about my plans in my new home. I want to pick her brains for ideas. I want to bounce my ideas off her. She won’t see my son walk. She won’t hear him talk. Aunt Victoria is no more.

I just called my Mom and asked her that if I ever got to the end of my rope would she pull me in? Of course, she said “Yes.” I can sleep better now.

Peace.