Friday, May 3, 2013

Texting Stupidity

I was reading an article in this morning’s paper and could not believe my eyes. It was about young people who start texting in the middle of a job interview. I thought, “How stupid is that?”  Answering a text while you are interviewing for a job is the limit of disrespect and thoughtlessness. It is almost as bad as texting while driving but not quite as bad as texting during sex.

People think they can multi task and text while doing other things. Some how we are not teaching the idea that there are times when it is just not appropriate to answer a text. Come to think of it just having your cell phone on during a job interview is not a good idea. I can only think that the person seeking that job tweeted, “Suddenly the job interview ended and I didn’t get the job I don’t know why.”

Texting at inappropriate times is becoming the norm and it is driving me nuts. It happens in theaters, church, business meetings and many other places where it should not. People are doing it automatically during conversations when their phone vibrates buzzes or plays an obnoxious tune. Out comes their phone and the thumbs get busy without missing beat of the conversation. It is so rude to the other people involved. The text can wait but we have so trained our brains to the idea that we must respond NOW!

So much for my rant today, I guess I am an old fuddy duddy of a quickly passing generation of polite people who at least say excuse me for the interruption.

Thursday, May 2, 2013


The people we now call Palestinians are the indigenous people of the Holy land plus a few more mixed in. Most are not Arabs. When I worked in Jordan there was a big difference between the Arabs and the Palestinians. Both groups would let you know about it.

The base group for the indigenous people in the Holy Land is the Canaanites who were residents in the Holy Land long before Abraham arrived about 2000 BC. They were not one nation but many city states that fought each other. When out numbered their plan was to join up with the attacking nation. They did this with the Hebrews, Philistines, Assyrians, Babylonians, Persians Greeks, Romans and Arabs. They intermarried with everyone, Jews included. Doing this they became a melting pot in the Holy Land.

It is correct to say that they have never ruled themselves after their city states fell but they stayed in the land. They did not care who ruled them as long as they could live in peace. They have had a continued presence in the Holy Land for over five thousand years and never gave up their claim to the land.

The Hebrews did have a kingdom for almost five hundred years before they were hauled off to Babylon for seventy years. When they came back they were ruled by Persia and then the Greeks. Around 135 BC they rebelled against the Greeks but were taken over by the Romans. They rebelled against Rome in 68 AD and were destroyed by Rome in 70 AD. Some Jews returned to Judea around 130 and rebelled again. This time the Romans rooted our every Jew in the area and would not let them return. They renamed the place Palestine. The Arabs invaded around 800 AD when all of the Palestinians were Christian and many Palestinians are still Christian. As you know the Jews began sneaking into the Holy Land after WWI when the British took control of the Holy Land from the Ottomans. After world war two they swarmed into Palestine and at first purchased land from locals who were willing to sell. After 1948 they just took what they wanted. Is it any wonder the Palestinians are upset?

There is enough blame on both sides. I pray for a just peace between the two nations of peoples. It is not an easy thing to do because there are those on both sides who a hate the other and want them destroyed. Neither side can do that to the other. When I worked on a dig in Israel I discovered that 90 percent of people on both side want a just peace with two states it is that ten percent on each side that stirs up hate and discontent. SAD! I pray for peace in the Holy Land every day.

Monday, April 29, 2013

GUNS: Rights and Violence

I have been following the debate about guns, both about rights and violence. Both sides have valid points and there seems to be no middle ground. The extremes on both sides of the issue make it almost impossible to reach a logical solution. To make matters worse their paranoia is fueled by each others rhetoric. Those who propose a reasonable plan to provide for both gun rights and public safety are shot down by both sides.

As a Libertarian I have a strong belief in the second amendment and as a Mayor responsible for public safety I am concerned about the people who are willing to do violence like that of Sandy Hook and Boston. It is a tough issue to deal with. The people who suffered the trauma of those kinds of actions require some action to stop it from happening again.

The Second Amendment states:
“A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”

When this amendment was crafted the new United States of America relied totally on the state militia to fight wars. Each state militia required its citizens to provide their own weapons which at that time were muskets. The federal army was very small and not well provided for by congress. Times have changed. Today the state militia is called the National Guard and is well provided for by both federal and state governments, as modern weapons of war are more complicated. We are still relying on them to fight wars. The Second Amendment was designed for our national defense. The up shot of well armed citizenry is that any nations that would dear to send troops to invade us would be met by gun fire from almost every house and cave. I know private citizens who are very good shots.

The other side of the coin is the violence that seems to be happening with greater frequency every year. How do we deal with that issue? I do note that not all of it is committed with guns but a lot of it has been. This is a difficult issue for all of us as a greater population has produced more violent people, most of them men. There have always been angry violent men in this world who enjoy killing people. Ad to that the testosterone poisoning that makes young adult males so aggressive and you have problems. One way or another they will make trouble. They will find someone to sell them guns, purchase enough fireworks to make bombs or use knives to kill innocent people just because they can. How can we control this problem that is now world wide?

Some how we need to be able to think this through and it will not be easy unless both sides of the issue are willing to come to the table and talk sense and at this point that is not happening. We do not need to collect and destroy guns and no one is really trying to do that even though the fear mongers are raising that idea for gun owners to react about. Perhaps the term “Well Regulated Militia” has some room for regulating who can legally purchase weapons of the military variety as some people should not have them. Is it possible to register guns in such a way so that if a gun is used in a crime they can be traced with out people fearing that registering their guns will be used against them? The tricky part is protecting everyone else’s right at the same time. Public safety is important but so is our constitutional rights and both need to be addressed. I doubt that our congress is able to do that any time soon.