The Death Penalty

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VA Doctors Claim Immunity from Malpractice

Paid Student Loans

Shop is responsible for damage from botched oil change - Car Talk

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May I ask you a rather personal question?

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Criticism

Criticism is welcome to me. Criticism is the honing stone upon which I am sharpened.

In reading the gospels we are reading something that somebody said to yet somebody else a very long time ago. As quoted in the bible, when Jesus spoke, logically and semantically, he was speaking to the person(s) standing immediately before him. But, if we take it personally, if we take it to heart, he is speaking directly to us (the readers), so that, when he said:

“…Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.”

(Matt. 5:48 KJV)

He was in fact speaking directly to us or, especially, to me – today.

In order to comprehend this, one must first accept certain premises:

1) One definition of father is as the originator, e.g., “George Washington was the father of our country.”

2) God is the Father/Creator of the whole universe, and you, as part of that creation, are thus, his child.

3) You accept Christ as your lord and you become subject to him, (i.e., as one knight accepts another as his overlord), his words become his will and thus a commandment directly to you.

Under these premises, when I read “ye” in the above quotation he is speaking directly to me.

On the other hand, whenever you read “ye” he is speaking directly to you.

Humanity seeks perfection but does it the hard way, pointing critical, accusing fingers at each other, instead of putting forth the effort of perfecting themselves. He did not say: “Make them perfect.” But, rather: “Be ye therefore perfect.”

I’ve given up on trying to make others perfect. It’s just not working. And this begs the question:

Is it even possible for someone to be perfect? And in what way?

I can’t straighten my crooked leg. There is no corrective measure for my lifelong amblyopia. Diet and exercise are hopeless against the ravages of old age. What can I perfect? What about me is perfectible?

Nothing, really, but I hit upon the idea that he meant logic and reason and the taming of the tongue – what pours forth from your mouth must be closely monitored; perfect in all cases. And what of the mind, purged of all sin, all hatred, and selfish motivation? Morally, as the Law is written, I stand condemned; and yet I still continue to strive for perfection. Why? Because God is my judge, and He being perfect, the closer I come to perfection the closer I come to Him. I gain assurance against that condemnation.

I invite you, as a friend, to criticize me:

criticize my spelling, my grammar, and my punctuation; but especially, my reasoning, that I make no error in the eyes of The Almighty.

In this life, on this plain of existence, perfection and it’s attendant assurance of God’s Love is the closest thing to happiness a man can find. So help me in my quest for my own perfection.

Your criticism is more than welcome here.

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The Way of the World

McDonald’s Happy Meal Box

Two little kids fighting over their Happy Meal toys.

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On Building Heaven on Earth

Busy! Busy! Busy! We are all so very busy building our own personal Heaven on Earth. But soon the hand of the Almighty reaches down from the clouds, pinches you by the scruff of the neck and lifts you away, and with a deep, gentle voice whispers: “It’s time to go.”

Everything you’ve ever built for yourself; everything you’ve ever gathered to your self – right down to your socks and underwear, is left behind; detritis for someone else to deal with; and all the works of man eventually crumble to dust.

Most human activity has nothing whatsoever to do with survival, but we continue to struggle feverishly, building our little Heaven on Earth. We can’t decide between what is needed and what is not. What is needed is neglected and what is not is just so much pollution and waste. Most human activity is pointless and silly. I would laugh if not for the damage it does.

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The Mad Bomber

Daily I find myself in two constant states; simultaneously one of both composition and decomposition. Getting old, my body is quite naturally in a state of slow decomposition while my mind on the other hand is forever aswirl in a constant state of composition. There is so much I’d like to express I hardly know where to begin but the hardest part is knowing where to let off because every thought in my head is linked one to another and my world view is just all-of-a-peace within me.

Starting out as a simple essay about a silly found objet d’art that strangely appealed to me it got me to thinking about so many other things. It’s part of The Story of My Life.

Back in the 1970’s homeward bound veterans of the Vietnam War were viewed by many as “ticking time bombs”; (e.g. Rambo, et. al.) and the draft-dodging sissy-boy stay-at-homes and sniveling cowards hiding behind their mothers skirts who inherited their daddy’s businesses were quite naturally piss-your-pants-and-tremble fearful of hiring battlehardened real men. I may be biased. I never wanted to be a veteran. I just wanted to be a civilian and get on with my life. But nevermind all that, even though it explains so much of my impoverished life.

A question sometimes asked by VA psychiatrists: Do you ever have homicidal ideations? Of course, dumbass; I was trained to kill by the U.S. Army.

But again, nevermind all that.

I disremember, but it was perhaps 25-30 years ago when I walked over to the old corner convenience store. (Latinos or New Yorkers might call it a bodega but it’s currently run by some Palestinians.) They sell a variety of dust-covered household staples, snacks, candy, cigarettes, soda, cold beer, and highly suspect milk, bread and rather sketchy bologna. (how would I know how long it’s been on the shelf?)

Anyway – It was about Halloween time and I spotted a cannonball type fuse bomb sitting on the end of the counter. It was part of a candy display. It was a round black cannonball with a short fuse sticking out of the touchhole. I offered to buy it on-the-spot but the guy wouldn’t part with it. I made a mental note to ask the store owner about it later. But years passed….

daBomb

We were at a charity rummage sale for a fallen police officer, the rummage offerings just piled high on tables. Randomly picking through the heaps of household junk I moved a plastic pumpkin, the commercial kind little kids use for Trick or Treating. There was a black sphere inside. I couldn’t get it out. Apparently some kid had forced it into the pumpkin’s aperture and couldn’t figure out how to remove it. I stuck in my hand and found what appeared to be a raised neck or whatever. It dawned on me that that was the remains of the display bomb I’d wanted so long ago. I bought the pumpkin. (My brother has a collection of Halloween props – masks, bloody knives, rats, spiders, etc.) When I got home I cut open the plastic pumpkin and happily retrived -ta da! – da bomb! The fuse was missing so I glued in a short piece of cotton rope to replace it.

While I’ve done some research on the internet I still can’t state conclusively the actual origin of this fuse bomb but my faded memory tells me it was a Halloween display piece from Charms Blowpops (bubblegum suckers), not to be confused with the red, white and blue frozen Bomb Pops, akin to Popsicles.

For the life of me I have yet to confirm the actual name of the candy company that used this in their Halloween promotional store display way back in the mid 1980’s or early ’90’s.

So mop the beads of sweat from your brow – it’s inert.

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Mother’s Day

It’s Mother’s Day once again and time for my annual Guilt Trip. Throughout the whole of my childhood, early adulthood and right on up to her death I’d always missed the opportunity to celebrate and thank my mother on Mother’s Day. I’d been perennially remiss, absent-minded, negligent, a-day-late-and-a-dollar-short, or any other epithets you may throw at me for my failure the meet the deadline for so much as a bouquet of flowers on Mother’s Day.

But it was not totally for want of trying however. Once when I was but seven years old and prodded on by a little friend, I purchased a wrist corsage for my mother as her Mother’s Day gift. It was a pretty blue and white orchid bound with a wide ribbon and packaged in a clear cellulose acetate box.

At the end of a long and exciting day of running about downtown I walked in the door and suddenly realized I’d left my Mother’s Day gift on the bus. The memory is burned into my soul.

Woe is me! I’m a rotter! I am a selfish, negligent and ungrateful son! I’m going to Hell – I, I just know it! Oh Mother! Dear Mother! I am so, so sorry!

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Romance

What is romance? I approach the concept as a subset or genre of books. Being a bit of a febrile non-fiction bibliophile I saw romance novels as a supreme waste of time. Such things as science fiction or fantasy rarely appealed to me. Just as comic books and graphic novels (think superheroes) appeals more to males, romance novels on the other hand appeal more to females. I disparage them all as cunt comics. It’s all pulp kindling to me.

One can tell a good deal about a person by perusing their bookshelf – it often reveals what they truly care about. But most fiction is escape – entertainment – a sort of bubblegum for the mind.

In my reading I made a point of sampling the various genres of books: The Compleat Works of (fill in the blank). One author leads to another, don’t you know; and I’ve read many of those tomes touted as “classics”. Romeo and Juliet is, indeed, (ugh!) a romance.

Some people collect biographies, some history, westerns, some spy novels or muckrakers and social criticism; and on and on and so forth. But I have a friend whose name I won’t mention that had a wall stacked high with bodice-ripper romance novels. On a scale that runs from holy scriptures to hard-core erotica I would classify these paperbacks as only mildly tantalizing – a license to be naughty.

Most would agree that the romantic genre or the very definition of romance is that of an unrequited, unfulfilled or unconsummated passion – generally translated as sex.

An excellent example of what I’ve come to understand as romance is a popular ditty from years ago by Johnny Preston – a song called Running Bear:

On the bank of the river stood Running Bear, young Indian brave
On the other side of the river stood his lovely Indian maid
Little White Dove was her name, such a lovely sight to see
But their tribes fought with each other, so their love could never be

Running Bear loved Little White Dove
With a love big as the sky
Running Bear loved Little White Dove
With a love that couldn’t die

He couldn’t swim the raging river ’cause the river was too wide
He couldn’t reach the Little White Dove waiting on the other side
In the moonlight he could see her throwing kisses ‘cross the waves
Her little heart was beating faster waiting for her Indian brave

Running Bear loved Little White Dove
With a love big as the sky
Running Bear loved Little White Dove
With a love that couldn’t die

Running Bear dove in the water, Little White Dove did the same
And they swam out to each other through the swirling stream they came
As their hands touched and their lips met, the raging river pulled them down
Now they’ll always be together in their happy hunting ground

Running Bear loved Little White Dove
With a love big as the sky
Running Bear loved Little White Dove
With a love that couldn’t die

Now, far be it from me to refer to my friend’s pulp romance collection disparagingly as cunt comics right to her face, but thrice did I ask her, and thrice did she decline, (she in fact simply ignored and passed over) my earnest queries: What one book best exemplifies the Romance genre?

One would think she could have, at the very least, tossed out something like “Gone With The Wind” or “A Tale of Two Cities” or even Pepé Le Pew for all that; but thrice she simply either fell silent or spoke of other things.

She just left the question hanging in the air. In pondering this question it ultimately dawned on me that I had already read it, and quite some time ago.

What one book best exemplifies the Romance genre?

The Gospels of Christ

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My Saving Grace

My saving grace is the understanding that some people are luckier than others. When it comes to the Lottery I couldn’t win an argument. This morning for example, there were three different butterflies visiting the dandelions in the back yard. I went for the camera and they were gone.

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The Poetry Corner

Black olive rings
Rappeling off my pizza slice
On long strands of mozzarella
– Cataro’s!

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