It’s been a lifetime… I was just a child, about seven years of age, when I left behind the country of my father in 1976. The story of why my family left the United States and moved to Colombia, and then returned to the United States two years later, is a convoluted one. Suffice to say, when we left, there were some hard feelings. I was too young to fully understand the dynamics and the depth at the time.
I had not heard from any of my Colombian relatives after our departure. It wasn’t that I had any choice in the matter, those were much different times and the ability to maintain contact was limited. I spoke almost no Spanish and they spoke very little English. What’s a seven year old to do?
Anyway, out of the blue about two weeks ago, I was contacted by a 2nd cousin through social media. He was intent on finding his ‘American cousins’. He reached out… and after a few questions about common relatives, came to the conclusion that yes, we were related. Forty-one years… how does one make up for the passage of time?
It has been more than 7 years since the passing of my friend, Earl. I found myself thinking of him earlier today. He was such a nice guy… a great friend… it still hurts knowing I won’t see him again.
I first came to know Earl during my freshman year at Lee High School in Huntsville, Alabama. He was a year ahead of me and we were both in R.O.T.C. together. He was an integral part of a close knit and small group of cadets during our time at Lee. Tall, always smiling, and wearing his heart on his sleeve… he was always a good friend to me. During the summers, we would keep in touch with one another and maybe take in a movie or just hang out.
Our group was close but drifted apart after high school. The comedian of our group was Alvie East. After graduation, he became a mortician and I never saw him again. Raphael Beckman, feisty but loyal, stayed local and has kept in touch over the years. Brett Chafin ended up in Tennessee and now works in the music industry. Earl went off and joined the Army Rangers and would visit when his leave time allowed.
Brett contacted me when Earl passed away. I was devastated. The news shook me to the core. I couldn’t believe the news. Not Earl! Why? What happened? He was only 39 years old! The details of his passing aren’t important. A great loss is not lessened by knowing the details. I was saddened to know his wife and children had lost their husband/father… his parents lost their child… and his siblings had lost their brother.
I called Earl’s folks. I spoke with his father for quite a while. I know my voice broke several times during the conversation. If it was that hard for me, I couldn’t imagine the pain his family must’ve felt. I shared a few stories with his father, Earl Sr., but none seemed to capture the depth his friendship had meant to me over the years. Some friendships are just that way… words simply cannot do it justice.
Earl June Green, Jr. 28 August 1968 – 7 May 2008
I miss my friend.
My brother is a moron. That’s right, I said it. We’re family and I love him, but he’s still touched in the head. Tony is the middle child in our family and he always had to be at the center of attention. I’ve compiled a few stories for your consumption.
Never, and I mean never, go out to eat with my brother. Drive thru windows aren’t safe either. We were out together one day and decided to get something to eat. Pulling into a Wendy’s drive thru, he place his order. “Yes, I’d like a number two combo, large, with a coke. And don’t be stingy with the chili sauce either!” He then turned to me and asked, “Hey, you want anything?”
Seriously? I’m going to order something after he was an ass at a drive thru window? Those guys make minimum wage. Do you think they’d give a damn or think twice before screwing with your order?
“No, thanks, I’m good.” I replied.
He did the same thing once at a Carl’s Jr. After placing his order, he finished by telling the order taker, “And don’t put any of that goddamn secret sauce on it either!”
Good move, Tony! I’m sure they’re not inside, lining up to spit on your order… Dumbass.
My brother has a way of doing things to cause a stink… literally. It’s his way of saying he likes you.
One afternoon I was watching TV when the phone rang. I saw from the caller ID that it was from my brother so I answered.
“Patrick! You know what the hell your brother just did?????” screamed his wife Kelly through the phone.
“Hey, you married the guy. What do you want me to do about it?” I replied.
“Listen to what he just did to me!” she said.
“Ok…” Hell, in all honesty, I didn’t have anything else to do and she was pissed. I figured this might be fun.
“I was in taking a shower, all by myself…” she started out saying.
“Get to the point, Kelly. The sun is going down.” I sarcastically replied.
“Shut it, mister! Shut your damned pie hole and listen!” Yeah, she was mad. Kelly was a Navy Corpsman, a psych tech (Marine Certified) to be exact. She was used to other people’s attitude and she wasn’t having any of mine or my brother’s.
“Go ahead….” I knew this had to be good.
“I was taking a damned shower and all of a sudden this god awful smell started choking me. I was like WTF??? So I pulled the shower curtain back and saw YOUR brother taking a shit! Right there… while I was taking a shower!!!” Her voice trailed off in a high pitched squeak.
“Kelly, did you lock the door?” I asked.
‘No!” she said.
“Then it’s your own damned fault. You know how Tony is…. YOU married him!” I shot back. Kelly hung up. She should have known she’d get no sympathy from me.
Growing up in the Deep South, it was always ingrained into me that manners were important. Rich or poor, even if you had nothing else in life, you should have good manners. Common courtesy was a fundamental part of everyday life.
I moved to San Diego in the summer of 1999 after divorcing my wife of eight years. I wasn’t too surprised at the pace of life being much brisker than Alabama. I had moved around a bit as a child and had experienced life in other places but San Diego took a little bit of getting used to. The typical pleasantries that defined the world I was accustomed were noticeably lacking.
Shopping was awkward when it came time to pay for my purchases. The cashier would almost always ask, “Did you find everything you needed?” My response would habitually be “Yes, ma’am/sir”. That, more often than not, generated somewhat of a pained expression upon the cashier’s face. It happened that one cashier retorted to my “yes, ma’am” with “I’m not that old!” To which I replied that it had nothing to do with age but rather common courtesy. It didn’t matter how old she was. It was all about being respectful towards others.
In the Deep South, ostentatious display of wealth is also frowned upon. You could be in line next to someone wearing overalls, sporting a few days growth of beard, and looking as if they hadn’t a dime to their name… in truth, that person could very well be a wealthy man. They just didn’t ‘put on airs’, as it is locally known.
Dating was another area where I was called out on my social graces. More than a few times, I would attempt to open a door for a lady and she would say something like “I can open my own door.” I made it a point not to ever ask her out again. One thing that bothered me when dating some women here in San Diego had to do with them asking me what I considered to be very superficial questions. Things like, what kind of car to you drive? Do you own or rent? How much do you make?
Wow! I never could get used to that. Before formulating what my net worth could be, wouldn’t be a better idea to get to know me as a human being? What happened to politeness? Were these people not taught manners as children? Was I expecting too much? I married my second wife in 2002. Neither of us knew what the other earned until about two weeks before our wedding day. Our relationship wasn’t based upon financial statements.
Over time, I’ve learned to just ‘go with the flow’. I try not to let the lack of courtesy bother me as much as I did years ago. I do miss what some would call ‘Southern charm’ but still remain true to my roots… to my manners.
Pedophiles want same rights as homosexuals
Claim unfair to be stigmatized for sexual orientation
by Jack Minor –
Using the same tactics used by “gay” rights activists, pedophiles have begun to seek similar status arguing their desire for children is a sexual orientation no different than heterosexual or homosexuals.
Critics of the homosexual lifestyle have long claimed that once it became acceptable to identify homosexuality as simply an “alternative lifestyle” or sexual orientation, logically nothing would be off limits. “Gay” advocates have taken offense at such a position insisting this would never happen. However, psychiatrists are now beginning to advocate redefining pedophilia in the same way homosexuality was redefined several years ago.
In 1973 the American Psychiatric Association declassified homosexuality from its list of mental disorders. A group of psychiatrists with B4U-Act recently held a symposium proposing a new definition of pedophilia in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Health Disorders of the APA.
B4U-Act calls pedophiles “minor-attracted people.” The organization’s website states its purpose is to, “help mental health professionals learn more about attraction to minors and to consider the effects of stereotyping, stigma and fear.”
In 1998 The APA issued a report claiming “that the ‘negative potential’ of adult sex with children was ‘overstated’ and that ‘the vast majority of both men and women reported no negative sexual effects from childhood sexual abuse experiences.”
Pedophilia has already been granted protected status by the Federal Government. The Matthew Shephard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act lists “sexual orientation” as a protected class; however, it does not define the term.
Republicans attempted to add an amendment specifying that “pedophilia is not covered as an orientation;” however, the amendment was defeated by Democrats. Rep. Alcee Hastings (D-Fl) stated that all alternative sexual lifestyles should be protected under the law. “This bill addresses our resolve to end violence based on prejudice and to guarantee that all Americans, regardless of race, color, religion, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, or disability or all of these ‘philias’ and fetishes and ‘isms’ that were put forward need not live in fear because of who they are. I urge my colleagues to vote in favor of this rule.”
The White House praised the bill saying, “At root, this isn’t just about our laws; this is about who we are as a people. This is about whether we value one another – whether we embrace our differences rather than allowing them to become a source of animus.”
Earlier this year two psychologists in Canada declared that pedophilia is a sexual orientation just like homosexuality or heterosexuality.
Van Gijseghem, psychologist and retired professor of the University of Montreal, told members of Parliament, “Pedophiles are not simply people who commit a small offense from time to time but rather are grappling with what is equivalent to a sexual orientation just like another individual may be grappling with heterosexuality or even homosexuality.”
He went on to say, “True pedophiles have an exclusive preference for children, which is the same as having a sexual orientation. You cannot change this person’s sexual orientation. He may, however, remain abstinent.”
When asked if he should be comparing pedophiles to homosexuals, Van Gijseghem replied, “If, for instance, you were living in a society where heterosexuality is proscribed or prohibited and you were told that you had to get therapy to change your sexual orientation, you would probably say that that is slightly crazy. In other words, you would not accept that at all. I use this analogy to say that, yes indeed, pedophiles do not change their sexual orientation.”
Dr. Quinsey, professor emeritus of psychology at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario, agreed with Van Gijseghem. Quinsey said pedophiles’ sexual interests prefer children and, “There is no evidence that this sort of preference can be changed through treatment or through anything else.”
In July, 2010 Harvard health Publications said, “Pedophilia is a sexual orientation and unlikely to change. Treatment aims to enable someone to resist acting on his sexual urges.”
Linda Harvey, of Mission America, said the push for pedophiles to have equal rights will become more and more common as LGBT groups continue to assert themselves. “It’s all part of a plan to introduce sex to children at younger and younger ages; to convince them that normal friendship is actually a sexual attraction.”
Milton Diamond, a University of Hawaii professor and director of the Pacific Center for Sex and Society, stated that child pornography could be beneficial to society because, “Potential sex offenders use child pornography as a substitute for sex against children.”
Diamond is a distinguished lecturer for the Institute for the Advanced Study of Human Sexuality in San Francisco. The IASHS openly advocated for the repeal of the Revolutionary war ban on homosexuals serving in the military.
The IASHS lists, on its website, a list of “basic sexual rights” that includes “the right to engage in sexual acts or activities of any kind whatsoever, providing they do not involve nonconsensual acts, violence, constraint, coercion or fraud.” Another right is to, “be free of persecution, condemnation, discrimination, or societal intervention in private sexual behavior” and “the freedom of any sexual thought, fantasy or desire.” The organization also says that no one should be “disadvantaged because of age.”
Sex offender laws protecting children have been challenged in several states including California, Georgia and Iowa. Sex offenders claim the laws prohibiting them from living near schools or parks are unfair because it penalizes them for life.
Simply put, a bucket list consists of things you’d like to do or places you’d like to visit, before you die. Do you have a bucket list? If so, what are some of the things on your bucket list?
Yeah, I know a lot of folks have opinions on this topic. Women will say “Its my body and I can do anything I want with it.” Some people will invoke religion or religious points of view to sway opinions. Whatever your viewpoint is, consider this… Over a 1.175 million abortions are carried out in the United States each year. Since Roe v. Wade (1973), over 55.7 million unborn children have been killed via abortions. That’s 9 times more deaths than the Jewish people suffered during the Holocaust, yet no one really shows any concern over it. Have we reached a point where human life is so cheap that its gets no more attention than a passing comment or half a thought? Check this ABORTION COUNTER out. It shows the accumulative abortions performed since Roe v Wade in 1973.
The Liberals will bitch and moan about the ‘children’, the ‘poor’, the death penalty, etc… and try to draw comparisons that conservatives are heartless people because many believe in capital punishment but not abortion ‘rights’. They say conservatives cannot be pro-life and believe in the death penalty at the same time. Really? What crimes have the unborn committed to justify their termination? How does the life of an unborn child compare to one sentenced for a capital crime?
Let’s break this down to the basics. Here in the United States, abortions occur as a reaction to an unwanted pregnancy, not as a way to prevent the ‘death of the mother’, ‘rape’, ‘incest’, etc., as often argued by those who promote access to abortions. This year alone, 11, 400 abortions were attributed to rape or incest. This number is astounding. That means only 31.23 out of 2,160 abortions are carried out each day because of incest or rape. Can one really argue that the rest of the abortions were to ‘save the life of the mother’? Highly doubtful! So, I think it can safely be concluded, that abortions are really just another form of birth control. Nothing more, nothing less.
I wish you all a very happy Thanksgiving! Take the time to share yourself with those you love. Count your blessings and remember what is really important in life… your family, friends, health, and God… without Him, all else would not be possible.
Be safe and God bless!