Friday, August 19, 2016

Advice to my Children's Children

These are insights I wish to pass on to my children’s children. I wish I could have taught my children all of them but some I learned too late. Some of them I whispered into the ears of my children, while others took 60 years to gain enough wisdom to articulate them. Even though I still cannot keep these rules consistently, I know they made my life much better. I give them you, my friends, so that those of you who are still young and lack parents or teachers may use them as you will. Shallow and lacking as they may be, they are a start.


Be grateful – gratitude is the pipeline to God. Gratitude draws in to itself joy and happiness. Gratitude forces us to let go of past hurts and be thankful for the present. Gratitude brings wonder and surprise. Through gratitude we can see grace.

Be kind – you never know whom you are talking to and you never know when the person sweeping the floor or waiting on your table today will be your boss tomorrow. Treat everyone with equal respect.

Be humble - always know that no matter how good you are at something your abilities will fade and a better person will always come along.

Be peaceful - Move peacefully through life. Do not distract others from their goals or interfere with their peace. Shun those who cause drama and disruption. They will cost you peace, focus and stability.

Be Strong - Even though we walk in peace, there is a time for violence. Stand up for yourself. Do not let anyone run over you. Evil will win if good men do not stand up for what is right. Protect the weak and vulnerable. They have no one else.

Be Smart - Always assume you could be wrong. Start from the place of seeking further information. Keep an open mind. Be open to possibilities you have not yet seen. But do not be easily led by others. Just because others believe something to be right or true does not make it true or right for you. You must define your own path.
Be Improving - Know your strengths and weaknesses – work harder on your weaknesses to make them less weak. In the meantime, hide your weaknesses and show forth your strengths.

Be Inspired - There is part of us that is “inspired” by God. Inspired means He breathed into us. We are part of Him and he is part of us. That means we have the ability to create. We create art, buildings, books, and even other people when we have children. But there is more. We have the ability to create opportunities by our intention. By seeing in our minds and imagination what we want and focusing on our desires we will open up possibilities to reach those goals. So make sure your wishes are not selfish or destructive. See yourself as successful. See yourself prosperous – and then work your butt off to reach your goals. Nothing is free and if you take things without effort it cheapens your worth as a person. Labor, work, and ideas have worth. Know your worth.

Be Loving - Know love. Do not hide for fear of being hurt. The joy will always outweigh the pain. To love you must allow yourself to get close enough to be hurt. There is no other way. Like childbirth, the memory of the pain will fade it you let it, but the memory of the joy remains.

The clarion call of the human heart is to love and be loved. Yet, love must be balanced and uplifting and not toxic or hurtful. Let love be supportive, giving strength and freedom to those we care about and accepting no less for yourself.

There are types of love and it take time to tell them apart. There is love that springs from the soul love that flows from the heart, love that comes from the body. Only age and wisdom will allow you to know the difference. If you should get them confused consider yourself human and learn from the experience.

A relationship with God is the most fulfilling and loving experience a person could have, but a relationship with religion is the most hateful, judgmental and damaging of all. It is more difficult the experience the love and acceptance of God when constrained by the rules and judgment of man. Sadly, it is easier to fall into the rules and judgment of men than it is to reach out to the heart of God. God has one rule. Love and do what you will in the light of perfect love. If you love God and love your fellow man you will fulfill all that God desires. Man has a million rules that no one will ever be able to fulfill. When you fail you will be judged. The trick is to know who condemns you. It will always be someone coated with pride, ego, arrogance, and they will always be blind to their own vileness and shortcomings.

Be Wise - No one is perfect but we hope to sin less and less and have greater periods between sins. Be merciful but do not forget what a person’s weakness is. Do not be a fool. Keep enough distance from weak people so that their follies and failures do not affect or reflect on you. There are some people who cannot change. They are the ones lacking a moral compass. They do not feel what is right or wrong. They only want their way. These will be able to lie and convince you because they feel no guilt. These are people who are evil. Evil is difficult to spot. It is cloaked in smiles and flattery, but it always originates from pernicious selfishness. It is without conscious and cares only about itself. It has no thought of the feelings of others. It pretends to care but does not even think of others except as to how they can serve the evil person. Stay away from selfish and self-serving people. Even Satan himself falls into this category, and many people are just like him. It has taken me 60 years to gather to myself fewer than a dozen people I trust completely. Even at this, I feel I have been blessed with the best friends. If you want to know the true heart of a person watch how they treat others who they perceive to be below them or those serving them. If you want to know the true person watch them when things get tough. Between the lightning and thunder the true man is revealed.

Be Fearless - A successful life is made up of taking REASONABLE risks. Never bet the farm. Never try something that will ruin you or your family if it does not work. Take risks to get ahead and try new things if those risks are limited and you can recover if they fail. If you take reasonable risks you are assured of failing at times. Do not let your pride make you hold on to bad directions or choices too long. Do not become attached to them. Let go of them and move on. It does not matter how many times you fail, but how many times you try again. Be resilient.

Be Consistent – Go out of your way to keep your word. The more you do the more powerful your word becomes. There will be those who wish you to bend your word to benefit them. Let your word be as true for one as the other.
Make your plan and stay on the path -

There is a plan for living a good and rich life. You need a good education – a good plan – and a good job, and never take your eyes off the goal. Don’t do things that take you off the path.

Always think three steps ahead. Ask yourself how others will react to your words or actions. Ask yourself what the outcome will be. Then ask yourself what the outcome of the outcome will be. If you can do these things you will have a great life because so few people think more than one move ahead.

You must finish your education, land a good job, and only then should you get married. After these things you may decide when to have children. Doing things in any different order will greatly reduce your likelihood of a successful life.
Never be a one trick pony – be able to do many things because the world changes and what you make a living doing today may not be needed tomorrow.

Most problems in life are of our own making - lack of concentration – lack of thinking about the outcome of your actions. Most of the time it is because what clouded our judgment was “SPAM”. Sex, Power, Arrogance, and Money. These are the downfall of good people. One day they may be your downfall too, so be forgiving. We all suffer from the same diseases.

Understand that we are all connected in ways we cannot fathom. You attitudes will affect others around you. And the ones affected by you will in turn affect others. And the energies will spread like a mist of love or hate from one person to another.
There are areas of personally space and freedom. Theses are “Yours – Mine - and ours.”

Never tell someone how to feel or what to think. Those things are sacred and belong to them alone. Never let anyone tell you how to feel or what to think. Those are yours and just as others have a right to stand up for what they think or feel or believe, so do you have that right. The most we should do is present our case clearly and leave it to the person to change or not. We cannot change another person. Only in the areas of life where you and others have mutual concerns do you have the right and are allowed to argue strongly. Yet, in the midst of the argument ask yourself how much it really means to you and never let winning become more important than what you are discussing.

Changing takes tremendous and constant energy. It is difficult for people to change. If you are a teacher, sensei, or counselor you must apply gentle and constant energy and encouragement over a long period of time to help the person change, even if that person is you. The person must want to change. Even then, it is like bending cold steel, and many times when the strength of will is released the personality has a tendency to spring back.

At every stage of life we think we have arrived, matured, become what we were meant to be. We are wrong every time. We never arrive because we are always learning and changing. Never assume you are fully formed. If you are alive you are not. Also – If you want to know if your journey here is done, if you are alive it is not. BUT – your mission may be accomplished before your journey is over.

Be strong and walk your own path. If you do this and respect others they will call you a leader.

There are great and constant laws in this universe. These laws are how God has created the universe to work. These are my interpretation of the laws I have seen work for me.

1 "As you sow, so shall you reap". Whatever we put out into the Universe comes back to us in some similar form. - If what we want is Happiness, Peace, Love, and Friendship... then you must be Happy, Peaceful, Loving and a True Friend. How you treat others will be reflected in how you are treated. Of course this also has to do with your choice of people, as well as how you treat them.

2 Life doesn't just HAPPEN, it requires our participation. – Very few things happen by chance. We draw things to us. The things that happen and the people in our life reflect what we are inside. If you have several failed relationships they will likely have something in common. A flaws in you and thus your decisions.

3 Because nothing happens by chance we must take responsibility for what happens to us and because of us. Our choices and our attitudes cause our life to happen. If we do not accept responsibility we cannot change the things that need changing. Remember that the masses go in circles but the wise man rises in spirals. History will repeat itself . Over and over the same things will occur in various ways. Most people react the same and make the same mistakes. But the wise person learns each time and each time they act with more knowledge and wisdom.

4 When we change we will see the people, things and circumstances around us change also. Our world mirrors us. Likewise, if you wish to change it is easier to do so after we change our friends and our daily routines/habits.

5 Everyone and everything is connected. Your bad mood, thoughtless deeds, or harsh words will change those around you for the worse and make them feel like you feel. Keep your bad moods to yourself or it will spread and come back to get you. Likewise, your love and respect will spread also and will lift you up as you life up others.

6 Keep your mind focused on better things, spiritual things, things that will cause growth. Most mistakes are made for two reasons. – Lack of focus. Lack of consideration of the outcome of your actions or words.

7 Be here now. Learn from the past but live in the present. Each moment becomes its own world. You cannot fully live if you regret the past or dread the future. Plan. Prepare, think ahead, but live with your focus on what you are doing now. You will get out of a deed or thought what you put into it so put all of yourself in each thought and action. It is your intent that will open the doors of possibility and opportunity. Intend – Want – Work – and Be ambitious creators.

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Islam is not a religion. It is a nation of Violence and it is headed this way.

When people come in to a country and set up their own government with their own laws and when they declare with a clear and loud voice they intend to overthrow your country and make it part of their nation, it is considered sedition and treason - unless of course you are Muslim. If you are Muslim our government will pay to import civil war, and they will pay each Muslim very well.

 A Fox News report this morning disclosed that the resettlement of Syrian Refugees will cost over $1900 EACH - but it turns out that is just to get them here. There is also the cost we will incur PER MONTH FOR EACH REFUGEE.

According to the Center for Immigration Studies - As Americans continue to debate what to do about the humanitarian crisis in the Middle East, this analysis attempts to estimate the costs of resettling refugees from that region in the United States. Although we do not consider all costs, our best estimate is that in their first five years in the United States each refugee from the Middle East costs taxpayers $64,370 — 12 times what the UN estimates it costs to care for one refugee in neighboring Middle Eastern countries. The cost of resettlement includes heavy welfare use by Middle Eastern refugees; 91 percent receive food stamps and 68 percent receive cash assistance. Costs also include processing refugees, assistance given to new refugees, and aid to refugee-receiving communities. Given the high costs of resettling refugees in the United States, providing for them in neighboring countries in the Middle East may be a more cost-effective way to help them.

The Washington Post Nov. 30, 2015 reported - Once they're here, the federal government has an entire office dedicated to resettling them, making sure they get medical assistance and some spending money ($1,000 per refugee), along with English language and job training. It's called the Office of Refugee Resettlement, and it's housed under the Department of Health and Human Services. The

Washington Examiner 11/16/15 reported Obama plans to bring in 85,000-100,000 refugees, starting with 65,000. Hillary Clinton said she would increase the number of refugees Obama had suggested Even those in favor of taking in refugees, such as the director of Human Rights Watch for the Middle East and North Africa, have referred to sharing the "burden" of refugees, Wonkblog's Ana Swanson notes.

 So how much does it actually cost to resettle refugees? The nonpartisan National Conference of State Legislatures dug through the numbers recently and found that the Office of Refugee Resettlement has $1.56 billion to spend in fiscal 2015 — up from $587 million a decade ago.< A note here: Most of that money — and almost all of the increase — went to funding unaccompanied minors crossing the border from Mexico, which spiked to more than 24,500 in fiscal 2013 and led President Obama to call the influx an "urgent humanitarian crisis." The budget line for processing unaccompanied minors increased from $77.2 million in fiscal 2006 to $948 million in fiscal 2015. Excluding this money, funding for refugee resettlement has increased much more modestly. The rest of the money in fiscal 2015 was split up for traditional refugee resettlement, including medical services and cash (about $300 million a year) and social services such as job and language training (about $150 million a year) among all the refugees coming to the United States — of which an estimated 1,500 to 1,800 this fiscal year are expected to be Syrians.

Next year, Obama has plans to let in 10,000 Syrian refugees. There's no tidy way to break down how much the U.S. spends per refugee, according to the Office of Refugee Resettlement's communications department. The costs vary greatly by state, and the office might receive funds from the Department of State, or use some of that money for people who aren't considered refugees, like victims of trafficking. But here's how the main budget items in resettling refugees break down now with our current count of refugees, courtesy of NCSL. Keep in mind that the United States resettled about 70,000 refugees in fiscal 2014: Paying $582 million a year to resettle refugees is an unavoidable upfront cost if the United States wants to keep accepting refugees.

 Islam is not a religion of peace. Islam is not a religion and should be afforded no religious rights .It is a political movement founded on a set of unaltered laws dating back to 700AD supported by a religious book. Islam is a nationalist movement in which its followers are told to conquer and subdue all others and impose Sharia law on the world. It should be considered a nation under a set of laws in the same way our laws are based on Judeo-Christian religious laws and beliefs. The difference is that their laws tell them to kill and enslave everyone else and our laws says to be fair to all. This combination is their invitation to do to us as they did to Europe and the UK. We cannot let this happen for the sake of our children. Obama has become the dreaded dictator and destroyer of nations. We must appeal to those in congress to stop this invasion.

 In a plea to his fellow congressmen, Jeff Sessions wrote, " In testimony before my Subcommittee, administration officials confirmed that our government has no access to Syrian government data to properly vet refugees and has no capacity to predict whether Syrian refugees are likely to join ISIS, as have many, for example, in Minnesota's Somali refugee community. On October 22, 2015, FBI Director James Comey confirmed this in testimony before the House Judiciary Committee, repeatedly stating that the government does not have the resources and lacks the necessary information to fully vet Syrian refugees, and could not offer any assurances that there is no risk associated with admitting these individuals to the country. Our track record on screening is very poor. My Subcommittee has identified at least 26 foreign-born individuals inside the United States charged with or convicted of terrorism over approximately the last year alone. The barbaric attacks in Paris - an assault on civilization itself - add immense new urgency. As the former head of the USCIS union warned in a public statement more than a year ago: "as we know from the first World Trade Center bombing in 1993, from the 9/11 terrorist attacks, from the Boston Bombing, from the recent plot to bomb a school and courthouse in Connecticut, and many other lesser-known terror incidents, we are letting terrorists into the United States right through our front door."

 I my opinion, no Democrat should be left in any national office if we are to stop this madness. Learn more about the nature of this great threat :

Monday, February 16, 2015

Hanukkah Didn't Happen That Way -

Hanukkah Didn't Happen That Way -
In Noam Zion's "A Different Light: The Hanukkah Book of Celebration", pg. 244 there is an excerpt that discusses Hanukah and the “miracle” of the oil. In the myth the Jews re-took the temple and kept the eternal flame burning for 8 days, even though there was only enough oil for 1 day. This, as it turns out, never happened. Recent changes in Hebrew schools curriculum have made it very clear that it was improper and unprofessional to teach the story of the miracle of the oil as having any historical accuracy. According to the new standards: "The myth of the oil is bad history, bad theology, and bad doctrine."
Teaching this myth as history violates the basic principles of Reconstructionist, Conservative, Reform, and Secular-Humanist Judaism.
It is more accurate to say this is a fictional story the rabbis told to explain why we celebrate Hanukah for 8 days.
Hanukkah celebrates the fact that a small number of ill-equipped rebels won a war against a mighty force. They were standing up for the freedom to worship God as they chose. After the war was done, they cleaned the temple and celebrated the holiday they'd most recently missed: Sukkot.
As the years passed, the people did not want to forget how miraculous it was that a small band of Jews defeated the mighty Greek (-Syrian) army, and how great the joy was at restoring the Temple. Somehow, to the original story was added the miracle of the oil.
But there is a huge political overtone to Hanukkah. The descendants of the Maccabees, the Hasmoneans, had significantly corrupted the priesthood and they were the nemesis to the rabbis who were starting rabbinic Judaism. The Maccabees were attempting to combine kingship and priesthood. This is against Jewish law. It was this party who began the practice of Hanukkah as a way to celebrate what they had accomplished as Jewish leaders, taking credit for defeating the pagans. The holiday was for their political advantage. In this light it makes sense that the rabbis would tell the story in a way that emphasized God's role as opposed to the Maccabees' role.
The closest thing the Jews have for “real” Hanukkah story is the Book of Maccabees which was preserved via the Christian canon in the Apocrypha of the Bible. It describes a civil war among the Jews. Antiochus took the temple over for pagan rites and defiled it. The story of the jewish revolt against this king is a very messy and bloody event. When the Maccabees headed the revolt and gained political power, it went to their heads and they wished to be both priests and rulers. Thus, they established their own holiday. The people needed something to commemorate the battle they had won and it was convenient for the Maccabees to use it as self aggrandizement
The story, as it is told now is aggadah, a legend that tells us something about the spiritual meaning of the history without necessarily being intended as factual. You can note that traditional Judaism does not take aggadah as fact, but still treasures it.
Over time myth can be mistakenly taught as history. Families do it all the time. So do religions. True or not, these stories inspire and teach spiritual and moral lessons.

Islam, Terrorist, and Religious Blackmail

In response to the continuing attacks on innocent people by Islamic terrorists, one is forced to err on the side of vocalism. We who believe in free speech will not be silenced, or even quieted, by religious hate, no matter from which religion it may arise. Running a company and page as I do, I have seen more than my share of religious intolerance, from both Christians and Muslims. Love and hate seem to turn on a dime between the poles of the religious life on one hand and a spiritual life on the other.
In my limited experience with this type of hate, there seems to be Christians who seek truth and those who judge. Most, but not all, Muslims wishing to interact with me have approached with a type of judgement and religious arrogance that does not allow dialog. There are exception, and to these men and women we must appeal.
Since we see few Muslims attempting to control the outbreak of hate and murder within their own religion, we must assume consent of the broader Muslim body to the recent killing and destruction throughout the world. This may not be the case, but the world as a whole is quickly developing this view. The Muslim clergy may condemn attacks after the fact but, to my knowledge, they do not turn in those within their mosques entertaining radical or murderous leanings. One wonders how opposed to the inevitable actions they are. Muslims are killing Christians, Jews, and even other Muslims of differing sects. There is no loud outcry en mass of "moderate Muslims" to condemn the recent killings.
As for Islam as a religion, one must ask, how can a movement conveying this amount of death be considered a valid religion? How can muslims remain silent regarding these events? Why do they not stop the terrorists growing within their midst? If Muslims do not rein in the murders among them there will be a time when anyone claiming that belief will be rejected by free societies.
Anyone believing they must kill others who disagree with their beliefs or "disrespects" (a subjective idea) their "god" has an impotent and false god of a belief system so weak it will fall under the slightest inspection. If God is actually powerful he or she is quiet capable of protecting himself or herself. No one needs to kill for a deity if that deity is real. Yes, once Christian had their time or ignorance.
The crusades were a horrible time, but at that time we had swords and spears. Now we have dirty bombs and weapons of mass destruction. We cannot afford this amount of ignorance in these modern times. Societies have evolved and advanced, all but some Islamic societies, which seem to be stuck, both in mode and method, in the dark ages. Let us appeal to those Muslims who are loving, wise people, to influence others in their faith to show the love of God, and not the hate of religion and to drag the violent minded people of their faith into the modern times, where freedom of thought and speech is held as the cornerstone of advancement.
In closing, I encourage all reading this post to continue to have open and free religious and philosophical dialog, even more so now than before. Do not be muted by hate or threat of violence. If we are quieted, the terrorists will have won. We are entitled to our opinions and points of view - even if they offend others. If we give in to the the cries of foul by those who set themselves up as religious judges we will soon have no rights left, neither to speak or act. Even the way we choose to dress will be stifled by religious leaders, no matter what religion they may espouse. DO NOT GIVE IN TO RELIGIOUS BLACKMAIL.

Christianity and Judaism - Cannibalism, Hocus Pocus, and Blood Sucking - Rituals misunderstood

Christianity and Judaism - Cannibalism, Hocus Pocus, and Blood Sucking - Rituals misunderstood
Most religions have rituals that are misunderstood by those outside the particular faith. When the Catholic church announced the belief in transubstantiation (the belief that the bread and wine became the literal body and blood of Jesus) those outside the faith claimed Christians were practicing cannibalism. Then, when they heard the priests proclaim "Hoc est corpus meum" - Mark 14:22 - 'This is my body' those who ridiculed the Christians claimed they were performing magic, and thus the words "Hocus Pocus" were born.
Now, there is an outcry regarding an ancient rite of circumcision still used by ultra-orthodox Jews. The ultra-Orthodox Jewish practice of metzitzah b'peh requires a practitioner to orally suck the baby's penis to 'cleanse' the open wound following its circumcision, making them susceptible to the virus.
Two more babies stricken with herpes after ritual ultra-orthodox Jewish oral blood sucking circumcision in New York City.
Since 2000 13 known cases of herpes have been contracted from the religious practice. Two deaths and two babies suffering brain damage have resulted Department of health warns there being no safe way to perform the ritual that dates back more than 5,000 years.
The department of health says one of the latest infants to contract the virus developed a fever and a lesion on its scrotum, seven days after the procedure. The boy later tested positive for HSV-1. That virus differs from HSV-2, the genital herpes, which is contracted during sexual intercourse.
'A herpes infection in a newborn baby has the risk of leading to severe illness and death,' Jay Varma, deputy commissioner for disease control at the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene told ABC News.
'The reason is that the baby doesn't have the same fully developed immune system as an adult. Instead of staying in the genital area, it extends throughout different organs in the body,' he explained.
He said it's too soon to tell whether the boys will suffer permanent effects.
The identify of the rabbi who performed the circumcision is being withheld by the boys' parents, preventing the health department to step in, they said.
Dangers: Since 2000 13 known cases of herpes have resulted from the practice, two of which suffered brain damage and two others died.
The religious practice that dates back to more than 5,000 years defies warning by the city's department of health which says there is no safe way to perform the oral suction on an open wound.
More modern Jewish practices use a sterile aspiration device to clean the wound or a pipette opposed to the oral sucking.
But some rabbis stand grounded behind the practice, calling it a religious freedom while noting its long history.
In September the department voted to require parents to sign forms consenting to the risks of the practice after the death of two children who contracted the virus through the practice.
The parents of those newly infected boys are said to have not signed those forms.
According to Rabbi David Zwiebel, executive vice president of the Orthodox Jewish organization Agudath Israel of America, two-thirds of boys born in New York City's Hasidic communities are circumcised in the oral suction matter.
The health department claims they've had complaints in past by parents who say they weren't made aware that the oral practice would be performed on their child.

Joseph and Aseneth

The story of Joseph and Aseneth was written between 100 BCE and 100 CE, in a midrash style. This translation is rendered in a modern, easy to read format with history, background, and commentary. Joseph and Aseneth is an epic story of love, desire, sanctification, and forgiveness. It is also a story of religious intolerance, racism, sexism, subterfuge, betrayal, and hate. The story begins after Joseph’s own brothers sold him into slavery. An Egyptian man purchased Joseph to be a servant to his wife. Because Joseph refused to serve her lustful desires, the woman had him thrown into prison on a false charge of rape. The Pharaoh saw greatness in Joseph after he interpreted Pharaoh's dreams, giving the ruler insight that would save his nation. Thus, Pharaoh pardoned Joseph and assigned him a position of power. Joseph, the ever-devout Jew, begins his new career living in a world of polytheists where he seems to be tolerated with more grace than he gives to those “abominations” who are neither Jewish in the racial or religious sense. Aseneth is the daughter of the chief priest of the sun god in Heliopolis. She is a spoiled, arrogant child who disdains all men, and even disrespects her father. Aseneth is cursed with beauty, which draws men to her like flies to a carnivorous plant. Even the son of Pharaoh wants her for himself and plots to get her. But Aseneth loathes and despises men, until she sees Joseph, who refuses to even touch her because she does not worship the same god as he. It is within this setting we begin the wonderful and uplifting tale of Joseph and Aseneth.