Saturday, June 21, 2008

Luke 6:27-36

27 "But I say to you who hear, love your enemies, do good to those who hate you,

28 bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.

29 "Whoever hits you on the cheek, offer him the other also; and whoever takes away your coat, do not withhold your shirt from him either.

30 "Give to everyone who asks of you, and whoever takes away what is yours, do not demand it back.

31 "Treat others the same way you want them to treat you.

32 "If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them.

33 "If you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners do the same.

34 "If you lend to those from whom you expect to receive, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners in order to receive back the same amount.

35 "But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High; for He Himself is kind to ungrateful and evil men.

36 "Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Sweetest Kid / World's Most Fortunate Dad

For a long time now, my family has struggled to get by on my income. For two years prior to struggling, there was no income at all or very little, and that was even harder than barely making it.

Through all of our hard times though, our hungry nights, days upon days of hopeless thoughts of being a failure, or useless, or unwanted and unneeded, somehow my little girl always picked me up and gave me a reason to not only struggle on, but to smile while I was doing so. Eventually all of those thoughts which I had lingered on for so many hours were proven to be false; planted there by someone with less moral character than the typical "dirt-bag".

My little girl helped me push forward, to keep trying after being rejected time-and-again, even though I had proven over and over in the past that my skill, knowledge, passion, and experience for my job sometimes seemed phenomenal to some, even impossible to others. So many past accomplishments and innovative ideas shinned out of my past work history and yet for some reason people kept ignoring my potential, and my family's need of an honest income. Day after day, week after week, I prayed, I searched, I attempted, got rejected, and prayed some more.

I also kept watching that beautiful and wonderful little gift from God smile so joyfully and happily through it all. Nothing ever seemed, or for that matter, seems to bring her down to this day. It is extremely rare to ever see even the look of discontent on this child's face, and though it does happen, it happens less frequent than with anyone else I personally know. I love the happiness within this child's heart, as well as the innocence & goodness.

Through all of my bad times, or what seemed or seem like the very worst times, the fact that God chose me to help look after this sweet little child often makes me feel like the richest man on the planet, even when I'm flat broke with no solutions to my grown-up problems anywhere in sight. Being her Dad is and will be my greatest honor for the rest of my life. Being her Dad is my joy in a bowl of typical life, my sunshine under a storm of looming negativity so bright that it clears it all up in an instant.

God, I truly thank you for my little Alexis, my little 'Love'.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

The U.S. Justice System, as of 2008

I was talking with a guy who works in our fabrication shop the other day and he was telling me how he and his wife were put in jail for a year because of an accusation made by someone who lived in another state. The accusation was that he and his wife were involved in sexual abuse against their children, or that they had the knowledge of it without doing anything about it. He told me that after being in jail for one year, they were released with paperwork which stated that there was no evidence supporting these accusations.

During that year, he lost his job with our facility of course, which had several consequences even though he was rehired after a review of his case information by several supervisors. First, he lost his seniority. As a result of that, he lost his vacation time, along with other benefits he would have had by being employed with the company for more than five consecutive years.

I found myself outraged after listening to his story. I had heard bits and pieces of it from other employees, but never from the man himself until the other day. Most of what I had heard up until that point was only gossip and speculation, all of which holds no meaning to me after speaking directly with him about the facts of the whole ordeal, which I regret to say has completely fouled up my respect of our justice system and how it works in this day and age.

What is worse is that the very next morning when I got up for work, my wife was watching the news and there just happened to be a similar case of wrongful incarceration in the headlines. It seems that a young woman who was married to a U.S. Marine was accused and convicted of his murder and sentenced to prison. She had already served some years for the crime when, by the grace of God, she was proven innocent and released. It turns out that her husband died of natural causes and not by arsenic as originally suspected. There was some sort of foul-up at the lab where the soldier’s tissue samples were tested, those samples were mishandled in some way and contaminated. Not only that, but it was stated in that news reel that the prosecutors likely had some type of awareness of at least the possibility of the woman’s innocence and they still relentlessly fought for her conviction in an American court of law.

My question to all of those directly involved in our justice system every day, such as lawyers, judges, police officers, public defenders, and prosecutors, as well as any and all others involved is this; At what point does handling, or rather mishandling the civil liberties and rights of American citizens become worthy, by law, of being labeled itself as a crime? How do we prevent this sort of thing from happening to other innocent people who don’t deserve to be punished, to be caged up like animals and forced to live in a 6’ x 6’ or 8’ x 8’ room for months, or years, and subjected to the relentless torture of knowing their own innocence and having that truth fall on the deaf ears of both loved ones and complete strangers alike.

I can suggest a couple of ways in which we might at least start to correct the problems with the system. First, in order to be able to make a decision to place someone in jail, the person making the decision should have been required themselves to spend two or more weeks in jail, and not under any special conditions, but exactly as the conditions would be for any convicted offender. Two weeks would be more than enough to make someone really consider if what that person is being accused of is worth being locked up over. It would also make people really feel the need to find the truth because after knowing what it is like, you wouldn’t want to put someone in that situation unless you were, pardon the language, damn certain that they were guilty.

Next, it should be punishable by a sentence equivalent to that of time served for wrongful conviction of an innocent person for any or all persons involved in the wrongful conviction. This should be on the minds of those charged with the unfortunate task of convicting people of crimes, at least during the process of making their decisions. It is far too easy for people to take for granted their freedoms and liberties when it isn’t theirs which are in jeopardy of being taken away. If there were repercussions for making incorrect decisions, then greater care or the greatest possible care rather, would be taken in the matters of making these decisions. I don’t feel that this is asking too much because after all, how often is someone who has been incarcerated later found innocent? This doesn’t happen often now, but it would happen far less if these conditions were placed on the process, because most people, especially U.S. citizens, don’t like the idea of having their freedom and civil liberties taken away from them.

I read in an article in the newspaper not very long ago that our country has the highest incarceration rate in the entire world. It was claimed in that article that 1 out of every 100 U.S. citizens or residents is incarcerated, or was at the time of the writing of the article. That story was stated to be an Associated Press article. To me, that is a ridiculous amount of people to be in jail in a country with hundreds of millions of people living within its borders. It also tells me that if just one person is found to be innocent after serving time, then it is highly unlikely that there are no other innocent people behind bars for crimes they didn’t commit. However, there has been more than just one person cleared of wrong-doing after spending time behind bars, and in the course of one year as well, I’m sure.

I want to know what steps have been taken to address this issue though. What steps have been taken in the entire course of the development of our justice system up to the current date to ensure that innocent people are not imprisoned for crimes they didn’t commit? Is this something which is continually strived toward by those who develop the system? Is this a concern on the minds of all involved in the system on a daily basis? Is this a concern of every free citizen in this country even if the odds of it happening to you are phenomenal? Are the odds phenomenal? If so, will they always be? Should we all be concerned?

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Give Me Liberty, Or Give Me Death!

People in this country would do well to remember those who came before us and what they stood for. They would do well to preserve our Constitutional rights even if it meant fighting and laying down our lives in order to do so, no matter what. Here's one from old Ben Franklin, and one of my favorite quotes of all times:

"Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." - Benjamin Franklin, Historical Review of Pennsylvania, 1759

Monday, March 17, 2008

Police Themselves?!?! Yeah, Right, That Has Been Working...

Ok, now this makes a lot of sense even if Republicans don't seem to agree with it. According to the article, they feel they should be able to 'police' themselves. I think what they meant was 'puh-leeze' themselves though, as they always have in the past that is.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Optimistic Mr. President? Really? How?

My wife told me the other day that she saw President Bush on TV and he said that he is very optimistic about our economy right now. I told her this...

In light of the fact that oil is at $103/Barrel right now, I would imagine he is very optimistic. I would be too if I were in the oil business, but like the other 99.9999% of us, I don't own one single oil well. Imagine that, huh.

This was all on Thursday of last week. The following day I found this article in a local newspaper:

Now if you're one of the Americans who is lucky enough to not have to worry about money, then you can just ignore this whole blog posting, and as long as you don't make inconsiderate comments about those less fortunate that you (especially if you're supposed to be working for us), then I won't be upset with you. After all, most of our citizens are striving to find that financial freedom, even if we never find it.

President Bush can kiss my white, usually broke behind. I'm glad I wasn't at that press conference on Thursday because I'd have to buy a new pair of shoes and pants on account of all of the crap he was dishing out. This country will certainly be much better off once he's out of the White House, and good riddens. I've only been waiting for the day for nearly 8 years now, and I'm looking sooooo forward to election day! Woooohoooooo!

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Happy New Year, Late...

It has been a while since my last post... Happy New Year 2008! Hope the new year is treating everyone good.

This should be an extremely excellent year for me because George W. Bush has to leave the White House, FINALLY!!! This alone will make it the best year in at least, well, eight years! LOL! I can't stand that, that man!

Well, I should be posting some more this year. See you soon.

My Favorite Quotes

"Look! I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me to repay each person according to what he has done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End."
     -The Lord, Our God
     -The Book of Revelation 22:12 & 22:13, The Holy Bible

"Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety."
     - Benjamin Franklin, Historical Review of Pennsylvania, 1759
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