Well, first, my regrets and apologies for nothing new on the blog in a couple weeks. You already know I've been less literarilly (I don't think that's a word) productive this year. What I have written, hopefully, has been of value to you.
I've been quite tied up with a client project the last few weeks that came along by surprise in July. I stopped soliciting new clients and business a couple years ago for the careers I've enjoyed for the past 50+ years as an audio engineer/producer, video producer and book publisher (about 12 years of the 50). And, of course, there have been the ancillary careers doing voice-overs, speaking, conducting seminars/workshops and doing some meeting planning/execution. Yes! I've had a diverse and fantastic career. I couldn't have imagined a better career path. And, of course, to tie it all together, I was a small business owner my entire life. I always worked for one of the toughest bosses anyone could have – ME!
So, along comes a new project (actually, at least three projects) from my longest term client and friend. We've been working on his projects for nearly 40 years. That's called loyalty and dedication from both sides – client and vendor. He's approaching 90 and I'm a little over 33 in a 72-year-old body. On the outset, I knew there were going to be some challenges with the project, but it's actually teaching this old dog some new tricks – I like that.
Additionally, I've been completing the coordination and execution of a “retreat” for a small group (50 in attendance) of veteran professional speakers – mostly old friends and new ones – from my 25 years of membership in the National Speakers Association. I have to tell you, I have been blessed, honored and humbled to have all the friends I have from all facets of my life. With the kind of diverse “professional” life I've had comes this wonderful array of people. The universe has truly smiled on me.
We had a fantastic four-day retreat last weekend. It couldn't have been more fulfilling, not only for me but for all those who came from across the U.S. to share our time, lives and experiences with one another. Everyone left with something to enhance their lives with.
One woman, a brand new participant and a wonderful new friend for me, came from Houston, Texas. Yes! She left her home just prior to Hurricane Harvey ravaging southeast Texas. For some time she didn't know if her home would be alright. She couldn't get home when the retreat was over, so she stayed with some family in Virginia. Fortunately, her home didn't experience any significant damage. Michelle's daughter opened her house up to evacuees who had no place to go. When Michelle gets home (she may be there by now) she plans to spend her time helping all those in her region with their needs, recovering from this horrific storm.
So, now, I'm going to include two essays, or maybe they might be considered “Opeds,” I posted on Facebook during the last couple weeks. The first one I was attacked about by a number of people because they didn't actually read what I wrote. They read what they wanted to believe I said, not what I actually said. A number of people did read it and understood my point. So, that's why I called this blog article Behavior & Attitude.
If you read these two pieces – and they are going to be lengthy, so I'm warning you now. Don't delve into this unless you're willing to read what could amount to a healthy chapter of a book. I do my best to be a rational, pragmatic, independent free thinking, positive person. But, I can tell you, I was really condemned by several people because they applied labels and ideologies to me that I never espoused or even mentioned. The essays were both essentially about behavior. How they were read and how I was attacked was about attitude. So, get ready, you might want to get a drink and go to the bathroom before you begin.
Behavior & Attitude
Essay #1 dated August 22, 2017
We must eliminate history because it's BAD! You only learn bad things from history. It's obviously not possible to learn positive lessons from history. Good luck with that. History is bad if you don't learn from it. Apparently, we have a lot of people in this country who haven't learned from history, so they are repeating it themselves.
I'm scratching my head wondering if these Antifa activists, who are so self-righteous, are really any better than those they supposedly oppose. They say they are non-violent, yet, they practice violence. They say they want to stand for what's right, yet, they wear masks and hide their identity - like one of the groups they protest against, except the Antifa wear black, not white, hmmm, like ISIS and other radical groups around the world.
What's the saying about walking like a duck and talking like a duck, etc. Me thinks, "There is something rotten in Denmark" errr - make that the United States. I refuse to lower myself to side with, support or endorse either side of these radical, uninformed, uneducated butt wipes,
Just a casual observation of a rational, free thinking, independent human being who prefers making love, not war (remember that one, Hippie friends) and seeking as much personal freedom, happiness and peace of mind as possible as is our inalienable right. Keep watching the media, they'll fill your heads with human excrement until it overflows from your mouth and ears. And remember, if you read it or watched it on the Internet - it must be true.
One other thing! GROW UP (regardless of your age) and start thinking on your own. You are being used, Somewhere behind every movement regardless of how "righteous" the cause may "appear," there is someone, very powerful, very invisible with an agenda you don't have a clue about. You are simply the pawns, the sheeple, the lemmings who will blindly do all the work and ultimately have no idea what or who you're actually supporting. That power monger and the agenda are seldom good intentioned and often are evil.
(Now, I'll await all my attackers - because I know you're full of the very hatred you protest.)
This resulted in exactly what I expected. I was flamed and attacked, basically associated with White Supremacists, Nazis, Fascists, hate speech, defending the Confederacy and supporting slavery. Actually, my attackers are all very fine people I've known for years. And, all, I believe, college graduates probably with advanced degrees, like me, and all very accomplished in their chosen careers and occupations. For the most part, they were careful with what they said, but it was very obvious what the meaning was.
As I noted above, I've been quite busy for the past few weeks with other activities, so I didn't have a chance to write the following follow-up to my first essay until today. So far, the responses have all been positive, supportive and I haven't heard anything from the earlier naysayers, yet. I hope they do respond.
Essay #2 dated September 2, 2017
I'm Back . . . with more for you to “hate” me for . . .
I'm going to warn you in advance – this is LONG, this is STRONG and this is not going be an apology or in any way refuting what I said about a week and a half ago. So, if you don't want to waste your priceless time reading something you are going to likely misinterpret – STOP READING NOW!!! That's your fair warning. If you continue, I'm sure you're not going to be happy. But, that's on you, you've been warned.
My regrets for not responding to all the attacks against me for my August 22nd Facebook OpEd. And, thank you to those who actually read what I said and “got it.” I'm so glad to know there are still people who don't hold hatred in their hearts and have a disdain for freedom of speech and the right to personal opinion.
Now, to those who attacked me for my commentary – in essence, you were accusing and condemning me of hating, supporting those who hate and supporting slavery among other things. First, let me say this, despite your attacks, condemnation and threats to “unfriend” me, I didn't before and don't now harbor any dislike, hatred toward you nor plan to unfriend any of you. You are my friends, on many different levels and for many different reasons and I appreciate and love all of you. I respect you as intelligent and good members of society. It does pain me that you attacked me for unfounded reasons, but you did actually prove my point.
You see, IF you go back and read what I ACTUALLY said and how what you think you wanted to believe I said, you'll find that – A. I never supported any political position. B. I never supported the message of the parties who had applied for and obtained a LEGAL Permit to voice their opinions in a public location. C. I didn't say anything about keeping, removing or destroying public and private property. I did not speak of any race, color, ethnicity, religion, gender preference, age, etc. D. I neither supported nor condemned the comments of OUR president – actually, I didn't know what his comments were back then. I still don't know, because frankly, I don't need to know or those of supposedly (HA) objective journalists to form my own opinions.
While you were bashing me and spewing your own form of hatred, I was busy coordinating a retreat for 50 positive Americans who have spent their lives and careers doing their best to uplift people, help them live better lives, make the world a better place and become successful in their own careers in the best of the American Spirit. We had an amazing four days and while you were bashing me, they were thanking me for the uplifting time we shared together. Unfortunately, I fear this spirit is dying a predictable death as prophesied 50, 60 and more years ago by people like Orwell, Huxley, Rand, Roddenberry and others.
So, here is the REALITY. I spoke of only one thing – ONE THING! I spoke of the “deplorable” (Hillary likes that word) and hate filled BEHAVIOR of ALL parties involved regardless of whether they had a permit to peacefully demonstrate and exercise their Constitutional Right of Freedom of Speech or those who took it upon themselves to attempt to deprive them of that right. Did you just get the message? I spoke ONLY of the BEHAVIOR. I expressly and explicitly stated that I did not support the views or ideology of either side of that conflagration in Charlottesville or anywhere else that kind of behavior is expressed in public. I can name many. And, I don't give a flying flip how anyone expresses themselves or behaves in the privacy of their own homes or even a closed meeting room.
I mentioned that these Neo-Nazis, White Supremacists, Fascists, Anti-Fascists (Antifa) and others were all displaying the same kind of BEHAVIOR that we've seen throughout history – history repeating itself. If the Antifa group is so righteous, I questioned why they wore black masks to hide their identity – just like the members of the KKK in their white hoods and just like ISIS and similar violent radicals around the world (please note, I'm not singling out the Middle East). These protesters hiding their faces may be pastors, deacons, mayors, council men & women, off duty police officers – maybe even the chief and commissioner of police among others we supposedly respect as pillars of our society.
I mentioned, “down with statues.” I didn't state what statues. There have been all kinds of statues destroyed by illegal manner by people who didn't like them throughout history. Taking down statues WILL NOT – I repeat – WILL NOT change history. This is an illegal act of vandalism and destruction of public and private property. There are legal, civil ways to accomplish this if it's the will of the people. These “criminals” should be arrested and prosecuted. I asked what's next “burning books?” Like that will change history. That's part of the tactics of this kind of behavior.
Actually, history has been “hidden” from us self-righteous western Europeans who came to the New World, stole the land, raped the land, slaughtered the natural wildlife and while they were at it enslaved, tortured, murdered, raped and massacred men, women and children, regardless of age. Yes, I'm talking about the true trustees of this continent, the indigenous people, who were here before we nearly killed them with guns or disease into extinction. But, oh my, we don't want to remember that, do we? But, that history will never go away, either.
So, yes, you hated what I said. You attacked me. You basically called me a racist, a white supremacist, etc. Gee! I guess you don't really know me as well as you thought you did. I don't like labels, but I and those who know me well, would agree, I'm a rational, independent thinking, non-racist, lover of all people. However, “They” - whoever they are – really despise people like me because I don't buy into all the bull excrement force fed to us by the government, owned and controlled by an oligarchy, the press (ALL press – including FOX News) and social media that overflows with hatred.
You don't actually believe we vote for and are represented by the people in the Washington, DC and state capitals faux aristocratic, elite, do you? If you go back into the history of the Constitution, the original document that was ratified didn't include you or me. It was written for the wealthy landowners and business people, to protect them. Slavery was condoned in that very Constitution you wave in my face. There is a lot about history that we, the government and the press want us to ignore.
Now, you're going to attack me for being a Trump lover, a right wing conservative and any other names you can pin on me – mainly because you can't stand to believe there is someone in this country who doesn't buy into all the claptrap we're being fed by the “unknown source and the unknown agenda” through the media and Internet. But, wait, if it's on the Internet, it must be true, right? Why in the world would we want to think for ourselves when someone else (on all sides) is doing that for us?
History, as far as we know it, holds Lincoln up as our greatest president. Yet, he, like Donald Trump was hated and reviled. We remember and recite the Gettysburg Address as a great speech – but, do we realize Lincoln was NOT the keynote speaker that day? He was just supposed to make a few comments. It was actually a man considered to be, perhaps, the greatest orator of the time and who actually thought the event was inconsequential. His name was Edward Everett who wrote and delivered a speech, reportedly over two hours long. Do you remember his name? Do you remember ANYTHING from his speech? Is he regularly quoted anywhere?
Many journalists and newspapers ran stories saying that Lincoln's speech was “silly,” among other derogatory adjectives. At least one newspaper reportedly used the headline, “The Buffoon has done it again.” That demeaning term was used about Lincoln throughout his presidential career. And, now, we demean the man who currently sits in that Oval Office using the same term, buffoon.
Oh yeah, and how many of you realize that there was slavery in the “North?” By that time, most of the northern states had banned slavery, however, there were still pockets of it. And, of course, the famous Emancipation Proclamation wasn't passed as a law, it was an Executive Order from the hands of the reviled President Lincoln. And, it ONLY included the states of the Confederacy and did not pertain to the North. The man credited with winning the war for the North, Ulysses S. Grant, was – here it comes, a slave owner, himself. And, the General you all love to hate, Robert E. Lee, never bought any slaves, he inherited them from his family and wife. And, he had freed all his slaves by 1862. And if you study the Civil War, slavery was a major issue, but it was also about a number of other issues.
Oh yeah! And, now we're going to condemn the man who never lied and led us to liberation from the tyranny of the “Mother Country,” George Washington – who just happened to be – yep – you guessed it, a slave owner. Oh yeah, and one of the guys we credit as the author of the Declaration of Independence and a framer of the greatest document of liberty, the Constitution, Tommy Jefferson – yep – another slave owner. So, down go their statues and they need to be redacted (a great government word) from the history books. I guess we need to remove the Washington Monument and the Jefferson Memorial – and certainly, we don't want a memorial to a “BUFFOON” influencing our future generations and keeping watch over the corrupt U.S. Capitol in direct line of sight of his memorial.
These were flawed men. They were not always right. They made some bad choices. They exercised their beliefs, as they were, during that time in history. NONE of you would be sitting in your comfy nests and man caves right now, with the right to attack me and spew your own form of hatred and venom on me, if it weren't for these flawed men? You attack me because I CHOOSE not to buy into all this Crap (another word is more appropriate, but I'll refrain from using it because I'm a better person than that – in my humble opinion). They ALL made mistakes and, yet, one we consider the greatest, while probably the most reviled, president – penned 272 words that took two minutes to deliver and we all remember and revere to this day. By the way, I researched and vetted everything I'm saying from reliable sources – not the various opinionated Web sites or news outlets. Do your own research.
And just so you know, as in most every presidential election during my lifetime, I've never felt the candidates running for that office represented my views. They were all puppets of the party in my opinion (and the unseen forces behind the parties where most of the money comes from to wage, now, billion dollar campaigns). I did not vote for Donald J. Trump. Like the rest of the “deplorables,” I voted against Hillary Clinton. I wish there had been a better choice, but there wasn't (and hasn't been, in my opinion, as long as I can remember). Frankly, while most of you hate Trump, I consider him a breath of fresh air – I don't agree with him on many issues, but at least when he ran, he wasn't a sell-out to the party. If Hillary even had a chance for my vote, she lost it when she categorized me as “deplorable.” I don't care who you voted for or why. That was YOUR personal choice and I respect you for having that choice and making it. I've mainly voted over all these years to retain my bitching rights. I'm not sure, in the future, I'll waste my priceless time going to the trouble and inconvenience to bother voting. It has never made much of a difference who has been in office. They didn't necessarily represent my views.
And as for all of you who are spewing all your trash talk about “Trump is not my President.” Great! There are sales on airline tickets out of this country all the time. I suggest you should consider following the lead of all the loud mouth, multimillionaire, opinionated, generally good for nothing else other than entertainment, celebrities, who said they would leave the country if Trump won. I'm waiting for them to fulfill their promises – it sure won't be any major loss to this country. Maybe they can go to Bollywood and make their movies and TV shows there. Please, I'm saying this as kindly as I can, Trump IS our duly elected President. Period! That's it! Deal with it! I didn't like Obama – thought, just like Trump, he was unqualified, but he was MY president. I didn't like George W., but he, too, hanging chads and all, was my elected president. I really didn't like Billy Bob Clinton, but he, too, was my president. You may not like the outcome of the election, but it is what it is. DEAL WITH IT!
Wouldn't it be interesting if, instead of doing everything you can to demoralize the president and the people of the country, you actually said, okay, we got him and he's in that office, what can we do to support him and help him be successful as our president? Let me clue you, making him fail is only going to be a failure on your part. Will he make all the right choices – come on! He's a flawed human being, he's not Jesus Christ (who by many historical reports, was a flawed human being). You're all like Monday Morning quarterbacks and coaches. You all think you know what they SHOULD HAVE DONE after the game is over. Well, put your flipping money where your mouth is – if you can do a better job, I want to see your name on that ballot next time.
Frankly, I don't know why Trump is in the People's House (it ain't really ours, though). I think he really does, deep down inside, from his own vision, obviously not yours, want to make America Great Again(? - was it really ever or have we been sold another bill of goods – But, I sure like being here and have supported it and love my country). And, okay, the guy has an EGO – did he really need a full-time job for a measly $400K a year and access to a really great airplane? Heck! He had more freedom and lived better in his Trump Tower penthouse and all his other pads and yachts and his own private airplanes. Okay, so to feed his over inflated ego he wanted to have the title of “the most powerful man in the world.” When he leaves office, he'll have pretty much accomplished it all. What else is there? And, as far as all the critics, most of whom have never done anything noteworthy in their lives except “work for the man,” like start and run businesses, create thousands of jobs, deal with huge failures (part of business, by the way, I know, I've been there and done that) – I don't waste my priceless time listening to them. They have little of value to offer.
So, once again, this is long, probably very boring, and again, I warned you in advance not to read this because most of you aren't going to agree with me – and once more, you're going to read in things I didn't say. But, that's what people do. Many of you will, once again, attack me. Some of you will threaten to break off our friendships and unfriend me or block me on Facebook. That's your choice. I have no plans to end our friendship or unfriend you on Facebook – that will be on you. I respect your intelligence. I respect your rights to express your opinions whether they are right, wrong or hateful from my perspective. I love you as friends, fellow human beings and my fellow Americans. May the Force be with you, however you identify that Force. And I will not “return fire” and attack you.
And, of course, you are all welcome to condemn and attack me for voicing my personal opinions and exercising my freedom of speech. I'm sure I ticked a lot of people off. And, to those who read what I actually said and got it and may be of a somewhat similar mindset, feel free to comment, too. I appreciate positive input.
And, let's all not forget our friends and “brothers & sisters” in the southeast Texas, Houston and surrounding regions. One of the women I was so honored to meet and share this past weekend with at the Retreat I coordinated, is from Houston. She could not get home, perhaps, she still hasn't made it. Her home was not significantly impacted by the storm and her daughter took evacuees into her home who didn't have a place to stay. Michelle is planning to get home and spend her time helping others. THAT is the America I know and love. Thanks, Michelle, it's an honor to have you as a new friend.
As I said, I hope the earlier naysayers take the time to read this latest essay and respond. I have no expectations of whether they respond positively or negatively. I don't expect any apologies nor do I hold any animosity. I respect their right to have their opinion and the same right to freedom of speech I have and everyone should have. We'll see what we'll see.
I invite your opinions and the same holds true. You don't have to agree with me. However, if you get uncivil or use foul language, I will delete your comments. Until next time – live free and be happy. EH