23.2.14

Man’s Inhumanity to Man

The oft quoted phrase, “man’s inhumanity to man” was first documented in a poem by Robert Burns, “Man was made to mourn: A Dirge.

Burns, 1759 – 1796, authored many poems and songs during his short lifetime. He is widely regarded as the national poet of Scotland.*

Man was made to mourn: A Dirge

Many and sharp the
num'rous ills
Inwoven with our frame!
More pointed still we make
ourselves

Regret, remorse, and
shame!

And man, whose heav'n-
erected face

The smiles of love adorn, -

Man's inhumanity to man
Makes countless
thousands mourn!
     ~ Robert Burns


*Source, Wikipedia


17.2.14

Open Letter to the Kansas House of Representatives

Dear Kansas House Members,

The immediate feelings I had after reading House Bill 2453 were sadness and outrage. Sadness that some Kansas leaders promote discord and distrust; outrage that religious freedom was used as a smokescreen to conceal their own prejudices. As a Kansas resident, I consider these actions to be a threat to our peaceful and civilized way of life.

The notion that religious freedom can be better protected through acts of blatant discrimination is preposterous. I am a Christ-follower, and the guiding principles for my life are found in Christ’s teachings. Love is the basis for everything He taught. Hate and discrimination are anti-theses to the lessons He communicated.

It makes me feel sad that 72 elected officials who represent the people of Kansas voted for this bill. I have to believe that these representatives have either never understood or have forgotten history. Most, if not all, of the terrible things that have happened in history can be traced to either greed or deeply held prejudices.

Our nation celebrates the Civil Rights Movement, but how soon some forget that people, people just like you and me who had feelings, hopes, dreams, and families, were kidnapped, transported to our land, and conscripted as slaves. Then, when the atrocities of slavery ended, legal discrimination began. Consequences of that terrible period of discrimination are still felt in all areas of our society.

As representatives of the people, what rationale or justification do you have for proposing and voting for a law that discriminates against citizens of the state of Kansas? Do arrogance and feelings of superiority serve as barriers to caring about and understanding others? Do you not have the ability to gather facts and think critically about issues? Do you not realize that the law for which you voted endorses oppression? Do you not recognize that oppression is unjust?

Hitler loathed Jews, transvestites, Jehovah’s Witnesses, gays, and lesbians. Mass graves hold the bones of the German citizens he hated.

Mussolini hated races other than his own. Under his dictatorship, life in Italy was a miserable existence for those of the races he targeted.

Hirohito despised other nations and detested the U.S. The Japanese soldiers’ abhorrence of, and disrespect for, others was so intense that, in addition to killing enemy combatants, they beheaded their corpses.

Stalin envied the rich and disliked the educated. His goal was to negate the influence of these people in Russian society. He spied on his own people and forbade the practice of any religion. The price for displeasing his regime was death.

Khamenei detests the “infidels.” His discriminatory brand of religion calls for all of them (us) to die.

We are a nation with an ideal of “liberty and justice for all.” What you did in passing this bill was to chip away at our foundation of freedom and justice.

I believe that Kansas House members who voted for House Bill 2453 owe the people of their districts apologies and promises to be more judicious when mapping the future of our state.

Unfortunately, humility is scarce in the world of politics and apologies will not likely be forthcoming. I can only pray for more sensible decisions in the future.

I have a voice. I have a vote. I will use both during the next election.

Sincerely,

A Kansas Resident
District 0026











10.2.14

Being Critical

My vow to not criticize others is sometimes hard for me to keep, and I most often break my vow when people do things that I consider to be strange. Yesterday afternoon I broke my vow when I stumbled upon something inexplicable. It was then that I found myself asking a computer screen, “How stupid can you people be?”

“Why were you saying such a naughty thing to a computer screen?” you might wonder, or maybe not. I plan to tell you anyway.

A recommendation prompted me to explore a no-fee website that allows people to construct family trees. This fits my budget really well, so I went to work growing my tree. While adding branches, I used the “find” feature to locate ancestors. It was during one such search that I came across several entries made by people I consider to be clueless.

Entering the name “Francis Marion Taylor, Jr.” yielded multiple pages of entries. That meant there was a good possibility the specific gentleman I was trying to locate would be there someplace. My goal was to find the name of the lady he married, Sarah Anna Chapman, so her name and information could be entered automatically on my tree. Thanks to several geniuses, my attempt to locate Sarah proved to be much more difficult than it should have been. In the column for the name of the spouse, “Mrs. Taylor” was entered as the wife for multiple Francis Marion Taylor listings. I had to wonder if it all of these men were married to the same woman. Other similar entries were, “Mrs. F. M. Taylor”, “Mrs. F. Taylor”, “F. M. Taylor,” “Taylor,” and “Wife.”

… and this is why I talked to my computer screen.

Some of my tree people:


(L-R; Top to Bottom) Vera Lauretta (Morrell) Lacy, mother; Raymond R. Lacy, paternal grandfather; Tempa Adeline (Taylor) Lacy, paternal grandmother; Samuel Harvey and Mary Matilda (Palmer) Morrell, maternal grandparents; William Amos and Amanda (Lawson) Palmer, maternal great-grandparents; Yours truly and Hubby on our wedding day; Samuel Harvey Morell and Sarah (Harris) Morell, maternal great-grandparents; Delbert W. Lacy, father.

The picture collage was made by my bro. If he happens upon this post, I will expect corrections if the great-grandparents are labeled incorrectly. The others are correct.


  ~ Clipart: Mountain.com

3.2.14

Sore Behind Sport

One of the joys of being a grandparent is going to sporting events in which a grandchild participates. I have been a spectator at T-ball, soccer, softball, basketball, football, track, wrestling, and rugby. Unfortunately, distance and scheduling prevented me from attending a swim meet.

The best laugh I had at a game was when a team of four-year-old soccer players moved the ball from their assigned field to the adjacent field and thought they scored a goal. They then cheered and applauded their success.

During T-ball games, the only ones really interested in the games were the parents. The players were most likely watching the birds fly over-head or running to wrong bases.

This old grandma played softball in her younger years, so I enjoyed seeing a granddaughter play that sport. My take-away from those games was that girls are just as competitive as are boys (and they look much cuter in uniforms).

I liked going to basketball games because I did not usually have to turn to some male-type nearby and ask, “What happened?” Feeling smart is important by the time one reaches the grandma years.

Football games caused me to clench my fists and grit my teeth. Grandmas do not like to see a grandson knocked to the ground and then watch as bulked-up guys pile on top of him.

Soccer games move fast. No time-outs for coaching. A grandparent’s neck needs to be flexible in order to keep up with this sport. Spectators' heads are almost constantly in motion as the teams move on the field.

The game I understand least is Rugby. I just have to trust that, since there are scores and a winner, someone understands how to assess what is going on out there on the field.

High school track team members usually participate in more than one event. So, even though the meets span a great deal of time, multiple events tend to hold one’s interest.

Wrestling is the sport I’ve named the “sore behind sport.” This has nothing to do with being sore losers or being behind in points and it has everything to do with sitting on hard, backless bleachers for eight-hour meets. The good part of those long days is that a grandson will be on a mat several times.

This year completes my time of being a grandparent spectator at youth sporting events. I could become a great-grandparent spectator at tiny tot sports venues in Idaho and Michigan. However, I think I will just let the next generation of grandmas occupy my place on the bleachers.


A few photos (l – r): Joanna Ruth Walker, “Baby Ruth” softball; Michael Powers, rugby; Michael Powers, football; Ben Powers, (left) football; Ben Powers, (white) soccer; Kyle Donovan, (center back row - tallest) swimming; Ben Powers, track; Ben Powers, (#1) wrestling; and, again, our Joanna Ruth.