Sunday, September 29, 2013

Gold Star Mother's Day

September 29, 2013
Colorado, USA

Gold Star Mothers DayIn the words of Gold Star Mothers Monument sculptor, Andrew Chernak: The loss of a child in any circumstance is a grievous blow to a family, but, uniquely so to the mother who bore that child. One group of Mothers that especially stands apart from the norm are the Gold Star Mothers of America's fallen heroes. They are patriotic, loyal, and sympathetic. They understand our nation’s freedom is not to be taken for granted. The grief and loss these women have endured never leaves them, yet the Mothers rise above their pain in tribute to life going on. The Mothers have collectively served millions of hours in volunteer work, personal service in our nation's Veterans hospitals, and to the Veteran and his family in their community. In serving this way, the Mothers have turned their grief into a positive force. If you want to know quiet greatness, spend a little time in the presence of a Gold Star Mother.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Lest we forget...

September 20, 2013

Today is POW-MIA Recognition Day. It is always the third Friday in September.

This is not a "remembrance" day. This is a "light-in-the-window" until they all come home day. Never Forget.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

226 Years ago today

September 17, 2013

Today is Constitution Day - 226th anniversary of the signing of the U.S. Constitution -- the oldest written constitution in operation in the world.
Sad will be the day when the American people forget their traditions and their history, and no longer remember that the country they love, the institutions they cherish, and the freedom they hope to preserve, were born from the throes of armed resistance to tyranny and nursed in the rugged arms of fearless men.
~~ Roger Sherman, signer of the Declaration of Independence

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Respectfully Remembering 911 USA

September 11, 2013
Colorado, USA

Thousands of lives were suddenly ended by evil, despicable acts of terror.

The pictures of airplanes flying into buildings, fires burning, huge structures collapsing, have filled us with disbelief, terrible sadness and a quiet, unyielding anger.

These acts of mass murder were intended to frighten our nation into chaos and retreat. But they have failed. Our country is strong. A great people has been moved to defend a great nation.

Terrorist attacks can shake the foundations of our biggest buildings, but they cannot touch the foundation of America. These acts shatter steel, but they cannot dent the steel of American resolve.

America was targeted for attack because we're the brightest beacon for freedom and opportunity in the world. And no one will keep that light from shining.

President George W Bush 2001

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Rerun: Arbitrary Discrimination

September 3, 2013
Colorado USA

In response to the article referred to below I am reposting the opinion piece We live in a world that practices arbitrary discrimination - so what? originally published April 2013.

UPDATE 9/1/2013: Here's yet another example of politically correct gayness run amuck - it's disgraceful. Anatomically speaking - Why is no bride-no groom-no cake so offensive? I don't know. I think gays who push acceptance of their lifestyle on others need to get a grip and come to the realization - not all of us care about their sexual preference and a good many of us do not condone it and we cannot be compelled or coerced into acceptance - don't care, don't condone it and if that's pissing on your cupcake - I say again Boo Freekin' Hoo! They should be ashamed of themselves. If I were the baker and the florist in this instance - you'd get your flowers and your cake probably free of charge but I guarantee it would be the poorest effort I could make of it and your special day would be remembered for it no matter what it cost me. But hey! That's just how I roll.
Source: Breitbart.com - Oregon Bakery Threatened For Refusing Wedding Cake for Lesbians Closes Its Doors

April 22, 2013
Colorado USA

If no shoes - no shirt - no service is OK...
If no tie - no jacket - no table is OK...
If no kids allowed is OK...
If no more than 3 high school students allowed at one time is OK...
If no backpacks or coolers or large purses allowed is OK...
If no strollers or wagons allowed is OK...
If no sack lunches allowed is OK...
If no servicemen in uniform allowed is OK...
If no t-shirts with allegedly subversive messages allowed is OK...
If no dogs, cats, birds, turtles allowed is OK...
If no person over/under the age of ??? allowed is OK...
If no skate boards, skates or scooters allowed is OK...
If no camping in the park allowed is OK...
If no glass containers allowed is OK...
If no out of town checks allowed is OK...
If no urinating in public allowed is OK...
If no spitting tobacco on the sidewalk allowed is OK...
If no sunflower seed/peanut hulls allowed is OK...
If no loud pipes allowed is OK...
If no cell phones allowed is OK...
If no dancing in the fountain allowed is OK...
If no person under this ??? height is OK...
If no skinny dipping allowed is OK...
If no smoking allowed is OK...
If no drinking allowed is OK...
If no marijuana (yes Colorado - it is coming) allowed is OK...
If no cussin' allowed is OK...
If no protesting on this corner allowed is OK...
If no cameras allowed is OK...
If no baggy pants allowed (see Shreveport LA) is OK...
If no prescription drugs allowed is OK...
If no thongs allowed on the beach is OK...
If no knives allowed at the concert/on the plane is OK...
If no ID no entrance allowed is OK...
If no guns allowed is OK...
If no boys allowed in the girl's room is OK...
If no girls allowed in the boy's room is OK...

Sooooooooooooooooooooooo....

wait for it...

wait for it...

wait for it...

Why is no groom (anatomically gender defined man) - no bride (anatomically gender defined woman) - no flowers NOT OK?

Get my drift? I hate to be the bearer of what is apparently a rude reality check for some but we live in an indiscriminately discriminating world. Most rules/laws/restrictions are arbitrary. Most rules are unfair to somebody. Most discrimination is arbitrary. Most rules governing discrimination are arbitrary in and of themselves.

The list at the beginning is just a small sampling of no-other-way-to-see-it arbitrary business and/or social behavior restrictions. Society discriminates based on apparel or the lack of it or the quality of it. Society discriminates based on height, weight, age, religion, ethnicity, cultural activities and countless other characteristics in spite of laws that say otherwise. Society discriminates based on nuisance factors like noise, smells, language, and erratic behavior caused by chemical influences. There is hardly any rule out there that does not offend some religious body or non-religious body or special interest group or qualify as anti-something-or-other-based discrimination. Virtually all rules are anti-liberty or anti-freedom. Virtually all rules negate some right. The government is the biggest practitioner of discrimination - all while forcing small businesses to comply with mostly arbitrary non-discriminative practices/ordinances/laws - whatever. Talk about hypocrisy!

FYI: If you are crying discrimination these days - you are likely just a whiny-butt and need to get over yourself. In my world - no whiny-butts are allowed. The word NO is not necessarily indicative of discrimination - it is simply one of life's little disappointments most of us cowboy up and overcome starting at about the age of two.

So, if I go into Starbucks wearing an anti-gay/lesbian sentiment t-shirt after they have announced they do not want my pro-heterosexual business can I sue them if they do not sell me a cup of coffee? Because - I am thinking that might be a nice little paycheck for me. Hello... ACLU?

Is discrimination right? Is it fair? Is it proper? Is it socially acceptable? Who the heck cares! Is there some law that says we all get to live in a rose garden?

This is how I operate in polite and often far too politically correct society. 1) If I enter a restaurant or other business with a legally-owned and licensed to carry firearm on my hip or in my pocket and the management asks me to remove the firearm or leave... for some arbitrary you are scaring the sheeple reason... I will politely take my leave, check to make certain I did not miss the no firearms allowed sign on the door and likely will not patronize that business again. 2) If an establishment like Starbucks (yikth!) announces they do not want my business because I do not condone the gay agenda I am not going to patronize that business. 3) If a concert venue says no knives - well, I will not carry my little frog sticker that evening. 4) If the dress code of an establishment does not allow boots and jeans and Harley jackets I will choose another, more tolerant establishment where hopefully the atmosphere is more relaxed and bean sprouts are not on the menu. 5) If there is a little boy icon on the restroom door I am going to keep looking until I find the door with a little girl icon on it.

Discrimination is the prejudicial and/or distinguishing treatment of an individual based on their actual or perceived membership in a certain group or category.

If discrimination is a crime - we are all guilty of it. Without a doubt, we are all victims of it. When one ventures out into the real world - we encounter discrimination at every turn and how we choose to deal with it determines how efficiently we move through the world. If we balk at every perceived offense, we will spend all our time battling triviality.

Hopefully, we all make discriminative choices daily - otherwise we would fill our lives with people with whom we have absolutely nothing in common. Life is about choices. If one did not discriminate between brands or prices then one would likely come home from the store with at least a dozen different brands of toilet paper. Sooner or later you have to discriminate based on quality or price or need - Charmin or economy brand. It's the same with people. When one chooses the young, pleasant checker at the discount store over the old, rather grumpy checker in the next lane - is one guilty of discrimination? When one chooses a seat in the theater and then moves because one does not like the look or ethnicity or age of the people who decide to sit beside one - is one guilty of discrimination? If one chooses to associate with people who only hang out at the country club and agree that only people of a certain caliber should be allowed entrance - is one guilty of discrimination? Likewise, if a guy in a suit enters the biker bar one frequents - and one begins thinking - well hell, there goes the neighborhood - does that make one guilty of discrimination? If one chooses to be a Unitarian over being a Catholic or a Baptist - is that discrimination? So if one chooses to associate with people who do not pose a conflict with their religious beliefs, morals or principles - is that somehow more discriminatory?

What's interesting in the discrimination debate is we rarely hear the road travels both ways - as does the road for prejudice or the less contentious and not as likely to grab notoriety as a headline - the road for tolerance.

Here's a good example of arbitrary discrimination in the semi-private/public world we live in. I have a sign on my front door for those who mistakenly believe my front porch is a port of public access and my privacy open to arbitrary intrusion. Can you believe I have actually had a discussion with a particularly pushy religious sort who believed my front porch was public property and my front door a depository for religious paraphernalia which I found personally offensive? But I digress. Basically, I got tired of climbing the stairs to accommodate a host of oddballs rudely and indiscriminately interrupting my day. The sign reads something like this - please respect our privacy - no soliciting, no surveys, no politicians, no proselytizing, no census takers - leave your litter on the door if you must and move on. When I lived a bit further south the sign included no salesman and no preachers - just for clarification. Is that sign discriminatory - you betcha it is and it evolves to include other groups with whom I would rather not have contact. That means if gays start ringing the bell - their name goes on the list. I have considered posting a sign that says if you are not selling chocolate get the heck off my porch but I didn't want to scare the neighborhood kids who stop by peddling everything from over-priced cans of nuts to assorted sports buttons to magazines I do not need for one fund-raiser or another.

The fact of the matter is: no matter what you do it is a certainty somebody out there is not going to like it and it is a certainty that somebody out there is doing something that you do not like. I deal with that every day because more often than not if I take the trouble to write about something and offer my opinion - there's somebody out there who feels duty bound to disagree with it. In fact, I am banking on that very thing most of the time.

So why should a florist (see story below) be forced to provide flowers for an event he/she does not condone or face a lawsuit from two fronts? Would a Muslim butcher be forced to provide bacon for a red neck wedding breakfast or face the wrath of the courts?

Here's the gist of the referenced story: A Washington state florist is being sued by the ACLU on behalf of a gay couple as well as the attorney general of the state of Washington (under consumer law) because she refused to service a gay wedding based on the conflict it poses with her religious beliefs. If I approached a florist and they refused to do flowers for a biker wedding - I would simply take my business to a more accommodating florist and likely do a little adverse advertising - but sue? Nah... it's not like any florist has a corner on the market.

When I had a small business which offered limited customization, I often had to tell a customer that an item was not available in blue or pink or purple - not because I could not do it but because I did not want to do it in those colors. I refused to paint peaches or plums or roses rather than daisies and sunflowers and strawberries. Again, this was not because I could not do it but because I did not subject my product to the whims of the consumer. I often had to tell a customer that an item was not available at any cost two days before Christmas because I would rather get my tree up for the grand kids. I often declined to reconstruct or custom produce items to convey or not convey a religious or cultural sentiment. I guess being uncooperative in that regard could have been misconstrued as religious or cultural discrimination but it was also my business. I repeat my business. Basically I looked at it from the perspective - if you don't pay the bills - you don't make the decisions.

I gotta tell ya I despise this contentious debate and consider it perversely unproductive. I am heartily tired of special interest groups demanding more equality and more recognition and more respect than their due.

Unfortunately, gays and lesbians in the states that have legalized civil unions believe because the government has recognized their union as legal for tax and insurance or whatever benefit purposes that everyone should condone the union including on moral grounds. That's like saying 1) if you ride a motorcycle, legal-licensed-insured - everyone has to condone the biker lifestyle, 2) if you legally carry a firearm - everyone has to condone it, 3) if you legally abort a pregnancy - everyone has to condone it, 4) if you legally spout a perverted message of hate and discontent from a pulpit - everyone has to condone it, 5) if you legally consume and distribute drugs - everyone has to condone it - not only that - they have to accommodate what they consider aberrant behavior. As far as I am concerned if you force a person or business to comply with your legal behavior when they are not mandated to condone said behavior (morality cannot be mandated) then you are treading on that person's rights - or practicing reverse discrimination. Reverse discrimination works exactly like reverse prejudice and reverse racism.

Weddings are allegedly all about love and compassion and great memories... I am assuming that gay marriage/civil unions are all about the same things. Why would you sully that special day by trying to arbitrarily bend a person or business to your will? What good comes from forced acknowledgement of anything unless you are basically tyrannical in nature? If that's the case - happiness and satisfaction will always be impossible to obtain. Tyranny in any degree is not the source of happiness - rather it is a base, subversive satisfaction of the lowest form.

If one requires tolerance - one should practice tolerance.

As far as I am concerned this petty action against a small business owner is nothing more than homosexual headline-grabbing, grand-standing. It is the practice of moral extortion - a bit too commonplace for my tastes these days - particularly in this debate - probably for no other reason than the happy couple needs to fund their Puerto Vallarta honeymoon/vacation. It is shameful.

Almost done. The world is an imperfect place. Unlike government entities, people have a right to choose what they will or will not tolerate. There is no rule that says if the government loves you the rest of the world has to give you warm fuzzies. I am not anti-gay. I am not pro-gay. I am mostly ignore-gay. That's not discrimination - it's disinterest.

With all the flower shops in the world why cry foul because one does not want to play house according to an arbitrary pinhead rule? Hmmm... I wonder if I approached a florist owned by a homosexual and asked for arrangements for a politically incorrect and necessarily insensitive anti-gay agenda rally - how cooperative that florist would be with my blatant disrespect of their lifestyle? Would they refuse to service my request and if so, how outraged would they be when notice arrives from the attorney general and the ACLU that I had filed a discrimination law suit.

Admittedly, that's a fairly far-fetched example because most people do not waste time and money and energy making a mountain out of a mole hill -- well, when I say most people - I mean people who are not politicians trying to make a name for themselves, people who are not has-been actors trying to grab the limelight and people who do not typically identify with contentious special interest groups.

You cry discrimination! I cry sticks and stones! I say Boo-Freekin'Hoo - whydoncha pull your big girl panties up and get on with your life!

Respectfully yours in unfailing allegiance to the USA,
Dissident Daughter
Because: Silence is the most insidious form of consent
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Source: Reuters: Washington state florist sued again for refusing to service gay wedding