Thursday, June 28, 2012

Lady Liberty weeps

Today, the Supreme Court of the United States has, in effect, granted the Congress unlimited power to regulate the behavior of the populace or impose a tax upon them for not doing the bidding of our federal lawmakers.

The 5-4 ruling upholding the so-called Obamacare health reform law has imperiled the life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness of every U.S. citizen.

If the Congress can mandate that we buy healthcare, where does it stop? If we buy food with nutrition content that the "experts" in Congress says is unhealthy for us, will there be an additional federal tax levied, just as they do with cigarettes and gasoline? (As example, see the recent decisions of the mayor and council of New York City among other places). And those are voluntary purchases, unlike our newly-mandated healthcare requirement.

The president argued the penalty for not buying healthcare was not a tax, but his legal team said it was a tax, and a majority of the justices bought into that argument. So, one way or another, this law and ruling are built on a lie to the American people.

After the most recent presidential election, I noted in my date book that I feared for my country. Today that fear came home to roost in a very real way.

Lady Liberty not only is weeping, but is now on suicide watch.

God help us all.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

What rules?

It seems to me I have been hearing a lot of complaints in the sports world from the athletes directed at, the other athletes. That sounds odd, many would say. Their complaints stem from what many consider to be the unwritten rules of their sport. For my formative years, I played baseball. It was a game I loved and played hard. I always played to win.

What you hear also is the loser complaining that the other team broke the code. They kicked dirt in the face of the game. They soiled its integrity. Believe me, as a life-long sports guy there are virtually no unwritten rules in sports. What few there are simply boil down to what some would call sportsmanship. In other words, don't rub it in. What professionals unfortunately fail to realize is those unwritten rules have their origins in amateur athletics. If one team simply is in a class or two above the team they are playing, you don't do all the things you might need to do to win the game against an equal opponent. You don't steal second base when you are up by six runs. You don't bunt to get on base with a six run lead, etc. etc. etc.

There are other sports that have similar good-sportsmanship rules but it still comes down to the same thing. Professional sports shouldn't have any unwritten rules other than not trying to do harm to your opponent. Other than that, play the game with all the fervor you can to crush the other team. That's what your paying fans are paying for. Don't cry foul when you are on the wrong end of a blowout. You're a highly paid professional. Stop them. If you can't, you'll live to fight another day and I'm sure some day you'll be on the other end of the same argument.

Unwritten rules aren't for professional sports. Don't be a crybaby. This isn't little league softball.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Servin' it up

I read recently a review by a restaurant evaluation company (posted online) concerning some of the worst restaurants to work for. They listed all types and styles of eating holes from McDonalds to some of the higher-end eateries like Ruth's Chris. They seemed to not like much about the industry.

Now, I have never worked in the food service industry but I have been in the retail service industry for many years. Their claim of conditions include low pay and few benefits. Okay, I understand that. My complaint with them is those are the same complaints brought up by virtually every other group that works in what is essentially a "starter" job. Retail could also be called a starter job. What is that? It's the first or second job you get directly out of school or when you are in school. It's not supposed to be the job you rely on to put a roof over your head and retire on.

Too many forget that these jobs are supposed to be stepping stones to learn how to work, interact with the public and business associates. Too many who enter these jobs think they are now guaranteed full wages and benefits and then complain when they don't get them. They are also the ones who at 32 years old haven't figured out how to move out of the "entry level" positions. Entry level is just that. Unless you are a constant complainer and social misfit, these are jobs and positions you are supposed to grow and learn your way out of to move up to higher paying positions with real-life benefits.

There are always places to move up within most companies. Unfortunately there are also in every company those who think they should be granted higher pay and benefits just because they show up to work. The world doesn't work that way. If one doesn't want to be stuck in a low-paying job, learn and apply yourself. Being a buss-boy wasn't meant to be a full time job any more than is being a cashier for Walmart; and it never was.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Toothpast on my shower door

My Beloved and I are in a stretch of four days of watching our grandson, Ragin' Cage. Now, as we are not used to continual twenty-four hour parenting at this time in our lives, especially when it comes to a three-year-old who has more energy than an aurora borealis, it can begin to quickly take its toll on one.

You must also remember I have extremely limited experience with children of this age, unlike My Beloved. She is much more able to cope with pouting and tantrums than am I. I am more likely to pick him up and hold him when things aren't working out the way they are supposed to, at least in my mind. How the mind of a 3 year old works is still a mystery to me.

The other morning as I was getting ready for a doctor's appointment and My Beloved was already at work, I had to take a shower. Well, I can't duct tape him to a chair for ten minutes, although the thought crossed my mind. Not three minutes into the shower I have a blue blob of toothpaste smeared across the shower door as he runs back down the hall half naked with his alien-shaped toothbrush. Sigh...

I get out of the shower and towel off only to find him standing in the sink in the other bathroom brushing his teeth and his hair at the same time. He turns around as he sees me in the mirror and gives me a huge blue toothy smile. How can you not fall in love with that.

Still again, duct tape may just be my best baby-sitting tool. I'm just not as fast as I used to be..

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Proud validation

I am a parent. That is one of the things I am and that will never change. Within that title and job description comes all the headache and pride one can imagine. No matter the age of your child, be they a teen to an adult you carry their lives on your shoulders and in your heart. Then at one time or another, you realize you did a good job of getting them ready for life and the choices they make.

Yesterday, my daughter lived up to the values My Beloved and I have tried to instill in her. She is/was a general manager for a small hotel chain. She worked for a private ownership group with a "national sign" hanging on the door.  She was asked to terminate the employment of staff members who the owners decided "did not look good enough or were pretty enough". (Since I wasn't in the room, that is obviously not a direct quote). She was also instructed to hire new staff that more looked the part the owners wanted. Rather than do this as she felt this was an unethical practice, she quit her job.

My daughter has worked hard to become the person she is in life and be able to execute a position in a difficult industry. She doesn't make a lot of money. She could have easily done what the owners wanted and she would still be employed today. To her credit and in a difficult jobs market, she did the right thing. She stood up for her values in a difficult ethical situation. Hire the person who can do the job no matter their physical appearance.

I am a parent that is truly beaming with a father's pride. My daughter is the person today I always knew she would become and she proved that to the world in a challenge to her values and I called her today to tell her that.

I couldn't be prouder of her life.