Category Archives: Uncategorized

The Fountain of Unity: Remembering 911

As we remember the horror of September 11, 2001, it is important to recognize belief in the preeminence of one human being over another remains a threat to our nation.  The difference is today the monster is not only external but internal as well.  We have forgotten how we rallied together as one in the days after the senseless attack on New York City and the Pentagon.  We have forgotten how for a brief moment we stood together as brothers and sisters and defied evil.  No American was superior to another on that day or in the days that followed; all Americans drank from the same fountain of unity.

As we remember and say a prayer for the lives lost on that tragic day, let us not forget to say a prayer for ourselves.  From the ashes of 911, America found itself briefly, but lately, we have lost ourselves again.  To have differences of opinion is common; to debate those differences is healthy; to be unwilling or incapable of working through those differences is foolish and dangerous.  We should not be a nation ruled by hate and mistrust or divided by conservative and liberal ideas, religious beliefs, lifestyle choices, or racial tensions.  As a nation we are united by a Constitution, philosophy, common sense, and decency that says all men and women are created equal and have the right of expression and personal pursuit of happiness.  In America, to believe otherwise is oppression.

The destruction of the Twin Towers in New York City is a reminder of the destructive power of hate and a warped sense of superiority.  It is a reminder that such evil can bring the greatest of nations to its knees.  It is time we drink from the same fountain of unity once again.  It is time we tear the tags, labels, and dialogue of division from the fountain and welcome all to drink – if not for our sake, for the sake of our children and the future of America.

May God bless America and the freedom and shining good she represents for all people.

Jl

©Jack Linton, September 11, 2016

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ILLOGICAL vs LOGICAL THINKING

Illogical Thinking:

Guns don’t kill people – people do – therefore, why should a law-abiding citizen’s guns be regulated? That won’t keep guns out of the bad guys hands. AN UNUSED GUN NEVER KILLED ANYONE!

Drugs don’t kill people – people do – therefore, why should a law-abiding citizen’s access to drugs be regulated? That won’t keep drugs out of the bad guys hands. AN UNUSED DRUG NEVER KILLED ANYONE!

Cars don’t kill people – people do – therefore, why should driving be regulated for law-abiding citizens? That won’t keep bad guys off the road. AN UNUSED VEHICLE NEVER KILLED ANYONE!

Sin doesn’t kill or corrupt people – people do – therefore, why should a good person be restrained by the law of God? That won’t keep bad guys/sinners out of the church. SIN BY ITSELF NEVER KILLED ANYONE!

Logical Thinking:

When living in a civilized society, laws/regulations are put into place for the safety and common good of all people:

When people are killed at a train crossing (270 deaths in 2018), we put up crossing arms for the safety and common good of all people to reduce the number of future deaths;

When people die from drug use and addiction (70,200 deaths in 2017), we put into place regulations for the safety and common good of all people to reduce the number of future deaths;

When people die in car accidents (40,000 deaths in 2017), we put into place regulations for the safety and common good of all people to reduce the number of future deaths;

When people die in sin (God only knows this number), we build churches complete with regulations as to how we should live our lives for the common good of all people to reduce the number that are hell bound.

SO . . . .

When 40,000 (39,773 in 2017) people die a year from the use of guns, why don’t we pass gun regulations for the safety and common good of all people to reduce the number of future deaths? Stricter gun regulations may not save everyone, but the ones it saves might be someone you and I know or love.

IS THERE A TRULY LOGICAL REASON FOR NOT PLACING STRICTER REGULATIONS ON ACCESS TO GUNS, OR ARE WE SIMPLY PLAYING BY THE RULES OF THE LOGIC BEHIND ILLOGICAL THINKING?

JL

Advice for a Hot Southern Afternoon

My first advice is to go inside where there is air-conditioning to write.  Like most well-intended advice, that advice was ignored even though it was my own.  However, I am cutting the introduction drastically for two reasons:  even under my porch with two ceiling fans blowing at top speed, it is 97 degrees with a heat index of 105 degrees, and most readers care only about the list and little about an introduction or any other fluff.  Therefore, here is the list.  If you have any questions, you will find me inside with a glass of sweet ice tea enjoying the air-conditioning.

  1. ACCEPT CHANGE: Change is normal – like sh#@, it happens;
  2. BE SELECTIVE AS TO WHAT YOU BELIEVE ON SOCIAL MEDIA: Do not drink the social media Kool-Aid!  Whether it is media, advertisements, or friends on social media, the goal is to influence how you think.  Do not buy into the hype, gossip, and hearsay!  Take social media with a grain of salt and a healthy dose of skepticism;
  3. BE YOURSELF: It is okay to be different – just do it better than anyone else;
  4. DO NOT GIVE LABELS CREDIBILITY: Labels may complicate your life, but they do not make you!  People who label others are usually insecure and use labels to prop up their lack of capacity to understand their fellow man.  If someone labels you less than you are, say “Bless your heart,” and move on to more important people;
  5. DO NOT EMBRACE SOMEONE ELSE’S MONKEY: Do not allow another person to put their monkey on your shoulders.  It is not your job to carry the weight of the world;
  6. DO NOT EMBRACE OPINIONS: Most times it is best to show the opinions of others the door or tell them to go suck a booger;
  7. DO NOT MAKE GOALS AN END: There is nothing wrong with setting the bar too low.  The problem is not resetting it once you arrive;
  8. LIFE IS A RISK, DEAL WITH IT:  There are going to be risks in life, but it can be dangerous to overestimate or over-dramatiz them.  Humankind has a remarkable ability to cope with a discombobulated world, so don’t sell yourself or humankind short!  The world will end in God’s own time – not yours;
  9. LIFE IS NOT ABOUT YOUR BEST INTERESTS: Other than your mother, few people have your best interest at heart unless it aligns with theirs.  Put on your big girl panties and deal with it;
  10. PROMOTIONS ARE ON YOU: People get promoted for going beyond their pay scale, or they know the right somebody.  Accept it as a fact of life.  You should not expect a raise for doing the job you were hired to do.  Expect a raise when you go beyond the job description and make it more than your employer thought it to be;
  11. RUDENESS IS RUDE: There are many things in this world we cannot control.  Rudeness is not one of them!
  12. RUN FROM NEGATIVE THOUGHTS: Negative thoughts are like weeds in a garden – they suck the beauty from your life;
  13. TAKE CONTROL OF YOUR WORRY: In life there are things you cannot control, things you can influence, and things you can control.  The key to success and peace of mind is to focus on what you can control and not worry about what you can’t control.  As for influence, it depends solely on your focus;
  14. THEY ARE NOT OUT TO GET YOU: It is not always a personal vendetta or conspiracy against you when you don’t get picked for the team, you don’t receive the recognition you believe you deserve, or you get snubbed for a promotion.  Face it, sometimes you are not good enough!  Although it may be a bitter pill to swallow, sometimes you simply do not have the needed skill set, so do something to improve yourself, or find what you are good at and focus on it rather than wallowing in self-pity and/or negativity;
  15. THINK HARD ABOUT THIS: Sometimes responsibility trumps rights;
  16. YOU ARE NOT HERE TO FIX THE WORLD: Some problems are not yours to fix, so move on;
  17. YOU SHOULD STAY OUT OF THE SUN: God does have your best interests in mind.  That is why he made shade and iced sweet tea for a hot humid Southern afternoon.

JL

©Jack Linton, July 8, 2019

Is Your Think Tank Empty?

There are times when under breath or maybe even at full throttle just about everybody uses what my mama called “dirty words,” but over the past several years uninhibited profanity in movies, television, social media, and in day to day conversation has become an accepted norm in our society. Today, the crude, true blue, body part slinging, locker room, defecating grudge that would make an old-time sailor cringe is used by old and young alike. It has become a badge of coolness and honor to dot every sentence with a few expletives. Unrestrained gutter mouth is the cool of the 21st century, and if you have a problem with it, folks who take pride in their four letter vocabulary will blast you with every foul, dirty, nasty, disgusting name they can THINK to call you. AND, therein lies the problem – THINKING! THEIR THINK TANK IS EMPTY!

Go ahead and curse if that is how you must express yourself. I wouldn’t say it necessarily makes you a bad person, but if you are capable of a higher level of expression, I will say it makes you a lazy person. When they get mad or want to be cool, chickens cluck, bears growl, dogs bark, frogs croak, and snakes hiss because they lack the capacity to express themselves any other way. So I must assume since we are all God’s creation, people who indulge religiously in a foul-mouth, repulsively self-serving, toxic manner lack the capacity to express themselves any other way as well. They succumb to their basic animal instincts because their capacity to function at a higher level is compromised. THEIR THINK TANK IS EMPTY, and “wordy durds” are all they have bumping around between their ears!

You can call me a gosh dog-it hummerdiddle if you like, but that is how I see it.

JL

The Reality is Pit Bulls are Dangerous

Recently, there was another vicious attack by a Pit Bull that sent a man to the hospital where he underwent surgery to repair the damage.  I do not have all the facts of the attack, but regardless, this is yet another incident of a Pit Bull turning on an adult or child and causing serious injury or death.  The difference is this time the victim was someone I know, and that hits too close to home for comfort.  Such attacks are all too common in the United States, but when the cry goes up against Pit Bulls and the danger they represent, supporters of these animals jump to their defense claiming the fault lies with the person who was attacked and not with the dog.  The American Pit Bull Foundation claims Pit Bull attacks are the result of human neglect or abuse, and when treated kindly and respectfully, Pit Bulls are no more dangerous or prone to maul or kill than any other breed of dog.  They say responsible dog ownership is the key to reducing vicious attacks by any dog.  I agree responsible dog ownership is important, but between 2005 and 2017, Pit Bulls accounted for over 70% of all dog attacks resulting in a human fatality; therefore, it is time common sense prevailed and something was done to protect people from these animals.

There is no question there are dog owners who neglect and abuse their dog causing the animal to lash out, but there are times when Pit Bulls turn on people who were basically in the wrong place at the wrong time.  Animal abusers should be punished severely, and maybe they are getting their just reward when the animal turns on them, but what about children and innocent people who have done nothing intentional to provoke the dog when it attacks?  Is a child getting his just reward when he playfully pulls on a Pit Bull’s ear or plays with the dog too roughly and the dog attacks?  Does a child who accidentally steps on a Pit Bull’s foot and causes the dog pain deserve to be mauled and have his face ripped off?  Does a mail carrier or meter reader doing his job deserve to be hospitalized with life threatening injuries because he unknowingly ventured into a Pit Bull’s territory?  I think not even though proponents for these dogs will never concede the dog was not provoked and the human was not at fault.

I agree humans (adults and children) sometimes do foolish and stupid things.  That is why society has created safety laws/regulations that require people to wear seat belts, warning labels are placed on lawn mowers warning users not to insert a hand or foot in the discharge shoot, and regulations are passed into law that require motorists to stop at railway crossings.  These laws/regulations are there for a purpose – to keep people safe.  People are human; they make mistakes – they drive too fast, they clean clogged grass from lawnmowers with the engine running, and they get in a hurry and race trains to the crossing.  By nature, they are careless, neglectful, and at times down right stupid.  That is why there are rules, regulations, and guidelines, to keep people safe from themselves as well as others.  Therefore, it is reasonable to assume human beings may indeed sometimes be guilty of lack of care and common sense when handling Pit Bulls or other animals, but isn’t it equally reasonable to assume there should be laws to protect people from potentially dangerous animals that pose a threat to human well-being?  When it comes to Pit Bulls, where are the regulations to keep these aggressively bred animals away from innocent children and unsuspecting adults?  Why do we allow people to be maimed or killed with regularity by an animal that is descended from the English bull-baiting dog that was bred to use its powerful jaws to bite and hold bulls and bears around the face and head?

Aggression is in the DNA of the Pit Bull!  The animal was bred to fight and kill; it was not bred as a lap dog or companion dog.  Strict regulations are needed for an animal, that to this day, can turn aggressive at the drop of a hat and instinctively clamp it jaws around the face of a child or adult and literally shake and rip skin into shreds while crushing bones.  Regulation of such killing machines to keep people alive and well is not over-bearing government; it is common sense.

Some will say I am being overly dramatic, and I am giving Pit Bulls a bad rap.  They will say the Pit Bull is a great, friendly, loving family pet, and to some extent, they may be right – until the animal turns on a member of the family or a neighbor.   It should be common sense that such animals have no business sharing space with people, especially children, but unfortunately too many people do not think that way.  They think of their Pit Bull as a valued friend, a personal bodyguard, and a member of the family that would never hurt anyone; however, let’s look at the facts:

  1. The April 2011 issue of Annals of Surgery warned children with a Pit Bull in the home are at the highest risk of injury or fatality. The report recommended “these breeds (Pit Bulls) should be regulated in the same way in which other dangerous species, such as leopards, are regulated;”
  2. Unlike most dogs, Pit Bulls may not give a warning such as growling before attacking. Also, unlike most dogs, they are not likely to back down once engaged in an attack.  They are bred to kill or fight to the death;
  3. The United States Army acknowledges Pit Bulls are high-risk dogs, and prohibit these dogs in many military housing units;
  4. Pit Bulls consistently rank at the top of fatal dog attack lists. Pit Bulls make up 6% of the dog population, but they are responsible for 68% of all dog attacks and 71% of dog-related deaths.  The viciousness of this animal can be seen in the following breakdown – Human Fatalities by Dog Breed:  2005 – 2017:
    1. Pit Bull                                       284
    2. Rottweiler                                  45
    3. German Shepherd                    20
    4. Mixed Breed                              17
    5. American Bulldog                    15
    6. Mastiff/Bull-mastiff                 14
    7. Husky                                            3
  5. From 2005 to 2017, Pit Bulls killed one American every 16.7 days while Rottweilers were second killing one American every 105 days; and
  6. 50 countries regulate Pit Bulls as a dangerous dog breed. In 39 of those countries, the regulation is a national-level law.

Although Pit Bulls are beautiful animals that appear loving and social, the evidence supports they are a dangerous threat to human limb and life, especially young children.  Denying this reality will not make these dogs any less dangerous or threatening.  There are those who will continue to argue the problem is with people, not Pit Bulls, and though there is truth to their argument, that truth does not negate the facts that these animals are a potential lethal risk to children, neighbors, and anyone who comes into contact with them – even owners.  Therefore, is the ever-present possibility of a Pit Bull in the home mauling or killing a loved one worth the risk of ownership?  For a reasonable and prudent individual, I would think the answer would be NO, but sensibility is a human trait that often defies all logic.  However, regardless of the school of thought a person may embrace, the reality is Pit Bulls are dangerous, and ownership should be strictly regulated or maybe even denied completely.

JL

©Jack Linton, March 19, 2019

Support for a LEGO Wall

Recently, I saw a post on Facebook depicting President Trump building his proposed border wall from a box of Legos.  Other than a brief laugh, I scrolled down the page giving it little thought, but then it hit me like a Lego brick upside the head.  It could work!  Not only could it work, but a Lego wall would be a cost-effective way to get hog-tied American citizens and laughing Mexican leaders off the hook for funding the wall.  A Lego wall stretching the length of the border between the United States and Mexico would still be expensive, but the cost could be reduced drastically from billions to millions by taking advantage of America’s greatest untapped building material resource – old Lego sets and Lego pieces collecting dust under sofas and in toy closets in homes across America.     

Putting a plan to build a Lego wall in action would not be difficult.  Most American families would be overjoyed to donate their old Lego sets and partial sets that no longer interest their children or grandchildren to the wall.  A network of Lego Drop Boxes in malls, Walmart, churches, and government buildings could be set up across the nation to collect Lego pieces for The Great Wall of America.  Legos make sense as a money saver as well as a building material.  By using Legos – new or donated – to build the wall, money for mortar, adhesives, rivets, welding, etc. to hold the wall together would not be necessary since Legos interlock.  Donated Legos would be especially useful to the construction of the wall.  Used Legos not only interlock but are covered with a thin gooey film from sticky little fingers that once played with them.  Try prying apart two interlocked Legos sealed by peanut butter and jelly or banana pudding taffy?  It is almost impossible.  Nuking might do the job, but it’s doubtful.

Labor is the second area in which a Lego wall would save the country money.  Let’s assume every Congressman can assemble Legos (A stretch, but for now please humor me).  Why not put them to work building the Lego wall?  They receive a paycheck for doing little to nothing, so why not put them to work earning their pay for a change?  Of course, such a work force of limited skill sets and questionable work ethics would require constant supervision and mentoring, and that is where pre-school and kindergarten children come into play.  Children are Lego experts, and through their expertise and guidance, the construction of the wall would flow smoothly from beginning to end.  Now, before someone starts shouting about child labor violations, please, listen closely.  Under the Lego plan, communities would organize pre-school and kindergarten field trips to allow children to travel to the wall and spend a day eating peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, mentoring the Congressmen stacking Legos for the wall, and teaching them how to work and play nicely together.  If nothing else, children mentoring Congressmen on how to get along, share, and work together would be a patriotic service sorely needed in America. 

Finally, maintenance for the wall would be easier and cheaper if Legos were used.  Billions of dollars would be saved on maintenance since cumbersome and expensive steel and concrete would not be needed.  When a section of the Lego wall needed repairs, Congressmen would simply pop out the worn piece and fit a donated Lego piece in its place.  There would be no long delays waiting for replacement materials since America’s Donate a Lego campaign would produce an endless stream of Legos for repairs and additional tower construction.  This would especially be true in March and April when most children lose interest in the Legos they received for Christmas and put them aside.  That interest lull is the perfect time for patriotic parents and grandparents, tired of losing their religion and speaking in obscene tongues when they step on a Lego piece buried in the carpet, to scoop up all Legos laying around the house and drop them in the nearest Lego Drop Box.  The beauty of this process is it comes at no cost to the to the citizens of the United States or Mexico.

If you stop to think about it, a Lego wall makes as much sense as anything else happening in Washington these days, so why not give it a chance?  Who knows, it might give us a reason to smile, be nice to each other, and be proud of our country’s leadership once again.

JL

©Jack Linton, January 19, 2019

New Year Resolutions: Fun or Serious

Making New Year resolutions is a time-honored tradition.  It is a time when many people jokingly make self-improvement goals they have no intention to honor.  Year after year, people from presidents to school teachers engage in making such resolutions in the name of harmless fun.  However, there are those of us who take such traditions seriously.  We would never think about lying, even in fun, about anything as serious as how we intend to face a new beginning.  No one is perfect in this world!  All of us have certain undesired traits and behaviors that could stand improvement, and as a Believer in the Sanctity of New Year Resolutions (BSNYR), I – along with mega tens of like believers – am thankful for the chance to address my shortcomings and improve as a human being.  Unfortunately, there are those who have no qualms wasting this valuable opportunity, and they readily show their irreverence for the occasion through their tongue-in-cheek approach.

The news media is a prime example!  They go out of their way to support the ridiculous and embrace the New Year with a facetious simplistic approach.  These perpetrators of fake news wallow in laughable self-indulging septic resolutions that cast a shadow over the first serious event/tradition of the new year.  Sadly, such a mindless jocular beginning sets the tone for the rest of the year.  The remaining 364 days never fully recover from the year’s raucous upside-down beginning.  As dubious as that may sound, the recurring lunacy that follows throughout the year – year after year – is a testament to what happens when people do not take their New Year resolutions to heart.

Therefore, please forgive me if I proclaim my resolutions with a bit more “ump” than the average Joe.  Resolutions are the yearly life blood that spurs me to continuous improvement as a human being, and folks I don’t take that lightly.  But, if your approach to New Year resolutions is little more than fun and games, I say kudos if that tickles your pickle, but for me, I choose to be a bit more impish in my annual reproach to the New Year.  However, regardless of where you stand on this issue, have a joyous and happy New Year, and above all, give your family a hug and a kiss.  That is truly the best way to start the New Year with or without resolutions!  

2019 New Year Resolutions:

1.     I will never walk when I can ride (It doesn’t make sense);

2.     I will buy new underwear (A year is about the limit for Fruit of the Loom);

3.     I will answer my cell phone when I can find it;

4.     I will go to the gym.  (I try to visit at least once a year);

5.     I will travel, travel, travel (Have I said it’s good to be retired);

6.     I will keep my opinions to myself about self-serving meathead politicians;

7.     I will give up uncooked bread and pasta;

8.     I will remember to zip my pants when I leave the restroom (At my age, there is little cause for alarm, but the draft is not good for old folks during flu season);

9.     I will be more assertive if no one is opposed;

10.  I will spend less time listening to FOX NEWS, CNN, FACEBOOK, CONSERVATIVES, LIBERALS, DEMOCRATS, REPUBLICANS, and CRACKPOTS IN GENERAL; and

11.  I will make breakable or adjustable New Year resolutions (It’s more truthful and less stressful).

This article has been approved by the 2019 Believers in the Sanctity of New Year Resolutions (BSNYR) membership board.  All lies and responsibility for belief, disbelief, offense, feelings of betrayal, shock, and repulsiveness in the content is a figment of the imagination and squarely rests on the shoulders of the believer, disbeliever, offended, betrayed, shocked, and repulsed. 

HAPPY NEW YEAR ya’ll!

JL

©Jack Linton, January 1, 2019