Friday, July 11, 2014

My Sons...


For most of you Friday is a welcome sight as you are looking forward to the weekend, have a few beers, relax and throw some steaks on the grill; however for me, this Friday...not so. Today is Friday and it’s a grave reminder that my time has run out.; as it is HS and MS football season in Hardin County Kentucky and the “dead period” is over which means that two players who bare the same name as I must return to
join their teammates as they prepare for yet another season. As a father it is one of the things I always looked forward to with their older brother as well as when I played and coached them on youth teams. My youngest son...I have never seen him play Middle School football and I likely never will. It's sad but it is a part of the realities of life. I have responsibilities to them as a father which unfortunately keeps me from actually being there to see either of them play. Crazy ain’t it. But that’s what grownups do when you have children that you are responsible for. You make the hard decisions so that hopefully, they won't have to when it's their turn.


 I’ve waited patiently since the X-mas break and visit for the privilege of working with and training my sons this summer prior to their seasons starting. See, it's not about me but them.  Some may have gotten tired of my "Project Build-A-Beast" posts, pictures and comments. To you I say..."Tell it to my balls!" As I really don't give a damn. I got to get up and 5 days a week since 7 June I got to work out with my sons every morning and afternoons. I know some father's that don't have the time to do this nor do they care. And that's ok for them as it's my choice to do what I do for my sons. Not necessarily to make up for lost time but because they are my sons and I want to see them be the best they
can be.


 Life is short and childhood is getting shorter every single year. My father wasn't able to be there for me and help me with sports and or train. I have the knowledge, ability and time to so I'd be a fool not to. I have watched and listened to Rome and Jeff, smile, laugh, argue and throw up (twice LOL) since we started this lil venture. I have watched my younger son's face display disappointment when he was slapped with the reality that he wasn't as strong as he thought he was and then beam with joy when he pressed just over 70lbs over his head. I've watched his form like a hawk and have gone from correcting his every move to "Good rep son" as he'd finish a set. He is smart and he has learned as well as worked hard with me. They were here for father’s day which made it that much sweeter too.

My middle son...I'm just as proud of him too. He came 3 weeks later and dove right into our Cross-fit

football sessions. I was impressed but mostly proud of his strength and desire. He has a good work ethic that I attribute to his own personal desire to excel on the field. Yeah...he argued and cried some too but that’s to be expected. But the pics and conversations they provided me with are some I will treasure for a life time. My sons are growing up fast and I've missed so much. But having my summer cut short by their commitment to football and their teammates are something a father can only be proud of not jealous or angry.

So tonight we will take in a movie Rome and Jeff are dying to see and we will surely laugh and get to bed late. Arise early and hit the road for the airport in Raleigh where their journey back to KY awaits them along with their respective coaches and teammates. Yes they have missed a week but they won’t be behind physically because they put in work this summer. It pains me that I don’t get to see them play as I got to be there and watch their older brother play. On some levels I feel a lil cheated but as I said…as an adult, sometimes you have to do the things you don’t want to do until you get to do the things you want to do. I love my sons with all my heart and they know this to be true. As I am their biggest fan and supporter of all that they choose to do.  So Rome and Jeff…I’ve enjoyed our summer and I’m happy for every day I got to spend with you. I’ve enjoyed the jokes, debates, smiles, frowns, looks and the laughter. I’ve enjoyed the arguing and the whining. I’ve enjoyed being pissed off at you and enjoyed smiling at you. But most of all…I’ve simply enjoyed…just being your father. Love you always your biggest fan…Dad.



 




Sunday, June 15, 2014

A Message On Father's Day


Today’s is Father’s Day and just about everyone who observes this day knows this. So I’ve heard from one of my sons via text this morning as the other four people I call my kids are still sleeping. My thoughts now drift to my father whom I will call in a few hours when I know he is awake and running about. Throughout today there will be hundreds of comments about Father’s, being a man, being shown how to be a man, fathers who aren’t in their children’s lives and how the day isn’t about them. Or one of my favorites is women who wish themselves Happy Father’s day.

As I sit, I think about what my Father has done for me throughout my life as well as what my father did for me. My father didn’t show me how to be a man because I don’t think it’s possible. I say this because I can show you how to throw a football; I can show you how to hit a baseball. I can teach you how to drive and pass your driver’s test. There are countless forms of information on all these things and various other topics but there is nothing that shows or tells you how to “be a man” or just what a man is. It’s all speculation and based on opinion…no factual data what so ever.  So how come this is so important? Why is “being a man” stressed so? Over the years we our society has bought into so many feel good things, phrases or beliefs it’s hard to tell what’s needed and what’s not.

So now my thoughts are on what my father did…better yet showed me and in turn what I have learned from my father. One of the first things I learned from my father was he was the boss and in charge. He was the adult and I was the child. And though I could challenge him, he had the power and authority. He had the ability to listen or to tell me stop talking because I was now done talking. My father showed me what responsibility was. He was well into his military career by the time I was born and so I grew up seeing just that; my father as a Soldier aka Staff Sergeant Dingle. That title became another way to identify my father. While in Germany I would go to my father’s work and hang out with him and his Soldiers. I would watch them work, laugh and interact. They were all men and back then there were even a few women in his unit. My father ensured there was a roof over our heads; we had clothes, food, medical care, educational opportunities. And it wasn’t until I was grown and on my own that I realized just how he provided these things.

Every holiday my father would have these guys and gals (co-workers and fellow Soldiers)  over our home for whichever holiday dinner it was. This became the norm for the 3 years we were stationed overseas. I saw my father open up our home to these people. As an adult I too have done this same thing; inviting others into my home for holiday meals or for the occasional weekend BBQ. I watched my father in the kitchen and on the grill cooking. I watched and I learned. Just yesterday my youngest son was in the kitchen with me preparing for a friend’s BBQ. I watched my father talk and debate with others as well as laugh and smile. But one of the biggest things I watched my father do was serve his country…honorably. I didn’t really get it until I was serving myself and as I grew older and matured I educated myself about things and began to understand just what things must have been like for my father.

My father grew up loved but with a very hard and stern father whom passed away before I was born so I never met him and all I know of him is based on stories I’ve heard from my father, Aunts and Uncles. So my father was a pretty tough and hard dude. He made a life for himself and us his way. My father has talked to me about how he has chosen to live his life and the choices he has made. But of all those choices I do not believe he has ever said he regrets once decision he made. While in Germany and before my birth my sister fell off a 3 story balcony. My father and his friend (both paratroopers) followed without hesitation and with total disregard for their own lives. That love and fearless act is not something my father showed me but it’s something I learned from him. My father, to the best of my knowledge has lived his life with no regrets.

So I sit here on a Sunday morning thinking about how my father “taught me” how to be a man and I realize that my father has “taught” me nothing. What my father did was live his life and be responsible for his actions. He had a job and he did that job to the best of his abilities. My father made me cry, my father missed football games, my father did things and treated me at times in a manner in which I thought was very unforgiving and very unfair. My father could and was at times a very, very hard man. There were no gray areas with him. Black or white…right or wrong. That’s what he believed in and that’s how he dealt justice. I left home at the age of 17 headed to basic training. 3 years later I would leave one more time and I would not be back. I had to find out who I was and I had to make my way in this world much like I heard stories of what my father did. And like him…I found myself serving my country.

So as I have grown into adulthood many of those life lessons that my father taught me whether on purpose or through observations they have helped shape me into the person and father I am today. I don’t think many young boys really appreciate their fathers and what their fathers done for them until they themselves become fathers. Because…like being a man, there is no manual or instructions on how to be a father. It is something one has to figure out. I figured out that I must have to have a job. I figured out that I must be responsible for those under my charge. I figured out that you must be tough but fair. That you must judge with compassion and empathy. I figured out that I must do the right thing no matter how painful or unpopular it maybe. And most of all I figured out you must have principles. You have got to know right from wrong and be willing to follow that path no matter where it leads and no matter the consequences.

So on this day I want to thank my Father for showing me how to live my life; for all the very tough lessons that almost all of them I did not agree with. I do believe that your principles are there for a reason and they are not up for debate nor are they up for compromise. They are what makes you who you are. They are your moral fabric…a foundation etched in stone. And they are what makes you a man…nothing else.  And that is what my father did for me.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

You Come Here Often? Or Shall I Say...STALK MUCH???


Stalking is unwanted or obsessive attention by an individual or group toward another person. Stalking behaviors are related to harassment and intimidation and may include following the victim in person or monitoring them. That’s the definition and it’s pretty clear. Why am I writing about this, because I awoke to a grip of emails saying anonymous folks were commenting on a blog post I did. So I looked over a few and had to laugh inside. How come these women are coming onto my blog and defending my ex? It’s no secret that she and I don’t get along and like the judge said in court "Mr. Dingle, she will never cooperate with you and she will never co-parent with you. I commend you for your attempts and wish you luck in the future.” So here it is five years later and a new crop of ladies are taking up defending Jennifer and have done so via comments on my blog.

The term stalker started to be used by the media in the 20th century to describe people who pester and harass others. So this is the internet, and you have to actively look for things. They don’t just pop up on your screen. Someone must send you a link or tell you were to go. So I ask, why come to my blog page? You don’t know me nor do you want to. So, is it safe to say you’re a stalker?

Pathé and Mullen describe stalking as "a constellation of behaviors in which an individual inflicts upon another repeated unwanted intrusions and communications." I don’t know any of these ladies nor do I care about their opinions of me yet…they insist on communicating with me and the communicating is unwanted as I didn’t solicit it nor are these ladies my friends. Stalking can sometimes consist of an accumulation of a series of actions which in themselves can be legal, such as calling on the phone, sending gifts, unwanted emails, texts, twitter, Instagram or even comments on Facebook or on a BLOG. Hello, this reminds me of people who take the time to type a comment on something they don’t like to express how they don’t like it. Hey genius, how about ignoring it or not commenting at all since ya don’t like it?

There are all kinds of definitions out there that fit many of these women and their actions. Such as…"Stalking is a form of mental assault, in which the perpetrator repeatedly, unwantedly, and disruptively breaks into the life-world of the victim, with whom they have no relationship (or no longer have). Moreover, the separated acts that make up the intrusion cannot by themselves cause the mental abuse, but do taken together (cumulative effect).”

This one is one of my favorites that I found: Rejected stalkers pursue their victims in order to reverse, correct, or avenge a rejection (e.g. divorce, separation, termination). Hmmm, sound familiar? It does to me. Sounds like someone who can’t accept that a person moved on and is happy without them. They can’t handle the fact that this has happened so they create avenues to maintain contact with the individual instead of moving on…like a NORMAL person would.

In contrast, resentful stalkers demonstrate an almost "pure culture of persecution," with delusional disorders of the paranoid type, paranoid personalities, and paranoid schizophrenia. Like someone is always watching or following them. I’m in another state 10 hours away. I could care less what my ex does. My only concern is my visitation and that’s the only time I contact her. But of course you don’t know that because you never see the original message, only her responses.

Some research suggests there is a spectrum of what might be called "obsessed following behavior." People who complain obsessively and for years, about a perceived wrong or wrong-doer, when no one else can perceive the injury—and people who cannot or will not "let go" of a person or a place or an idea—comprise a wider group of persons that may be problematic in ways that seem similar to stalking. And this seems to fit my ex’s cult of followers. They don’t know me and the ones that do only know me based on what my ex has told them.

So there you have it…down and dirty. If you read this you need to do a self-evaluation and rethink why you are trying to engage me, a total stranger, on my blog, which you yourself have sought out (probably because Jennifer told you too)and commented on something(s) you know nothing about. In a very sad, sad attempt at trying to show me. What yall ladies really need to do is tell Jennifer and her scout Dianne to move on and stop concerning themselves with my life, my posts or anything else I do. What’s funny is none of you will and I’m hoping that you comment on this post below which will simply prove my point your stalking…or as the young kids say…YOU’RE CREEPING.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Happy Mother's Day MOM aka Janie Lee Dingle aka Jenna Lee


 It's Mother's day and I'd like to say Happy Mother's Day to my Mom. This is the woman that assisted in me becoming the man I am today. She is probably the sole reason I have a morale compass that works so very well. LOL. My Mom has always stressed that you should do right by yourself and in the eyes of God cause his evaluation of you…is all that truly matters. In this day and age of me, me, me that’s not an easy thing to do. Not because some of us don’t want to do it, but because our society doesn’t always lend itself for us to do the right thing in the face of adversity. So it’s not always easy to “Take the Road Less Traveled.”




 But my Mom has always been a shining example of this simple principle. When my first wife and I departed ways…my Mom continued to stay in touch with her, pray for her, help her out on occasion and wish her well. Even bought her kids the occasional birthday card and what not. All this after she broke her sons heart. Some may say why? My mother would simply say why not? My Mom doesn’t hold grudges nor does she hate anyone. Point in case my current ex-wife. While I was overseas she took it upon herself to call my mom (and have my kids call her too) telling her what a horrible Mom and Grandmother she was for raising a shit bag son like myself. When I called and talked to my Mom I could hear the hurt in her voice although she tried to hide it.



 As she explained what Jennifer said to her as well as what she had the kids say to her all I could think of was something my Mom had said to me quite awhile ago. So when she was finished…I threw those same words right back in her face and she got it…instantly! I could hear the joy and pride come back into her voice and she quickly got on board with what I said. Ok…I’m sure your wondering what I said. So I won’t leave you hanging so I’ll tell you just what I said.



 Anyone who KNOWS Janie Lee Dingle will tell you my Mom is an incredibly spiritual woman. At times I’d almost swear that my Mom, in times of need, has a direct link to God and when she asks…he always comes through for her. This has happened numerous times in my life so much that I have called her on behalf of other family and friends asking her to put in a word because someone was in trouble and or hurting. And it always gets answered. It’s scary and uncanny how accurate it is too. I don’t know anyone stronger. My Mom fully believes that there is good and evil, God and the Devil, etc, etc. And she believes that they both work through us in anyway they see fit. So throughout my life, my Mom was always saying things like “The Devil is alive and busy,” “Jesus is alive and working,” “The devil is a liar,” “Don’t worry…he’ll work it out” or “God sure works in mysterious ways.” These are just a few of the numerous lil quotes that she has stored away. So when I spoke to her I told her what she had told me in the past,



“Mom,” I said.


“Yes,” she replied. I could still hear a hint of hurt that she was trying to hide.


“Mom. You know what that is right?”


“No, what?”


“Mom…that ain’t nuttin but the Devil.” There was a brief pause and silence from my Mom after I said that. I know she was starting to think so I continued.


“Mom you know how you always say he’s always busy? Well think about it…who do I get all my strength from when I'm down and need some words of encouragement? You right?”




"Yes,” she said. I could hear her perking up.


“Well Mom, think about it. The Devil is having a hard time getting to me right now because you are giving me that support I need right?”


“Yeah.”


“Well if he can’t get to me directly he’s jus gonna go where he thinks he can get to me at. And that’s you. Think about it Mom. He knows you’re my support base, where I get all my strength and faith from. It makes sense to attack you if he can’t get to me.”


“Uh Huh….”


“So he’s using Jennifer to attack you, to make you turn on Jennifer and causing you to be upset which he knows will in turn upset me and possibly cause me to lash out at Jennifer. Causing more problems in which he knows how hard I’m trying to save things.”


“Uh huh…”


“So he lost this one Mom cause we can clearly see what he’s doing and it ain’t working. You taught me better than that.”




 As I continued to speak to my Mom I felt a wave of pride in my Mom's voice. The student had become the Master. All her talks and teachings had come to fruition and I was giving her what she had given me sooo many times when I needed it. I was proud of myself and I know she was too. And as we continued to talk and break it down I soon heard that joy and happiness that’s always present in my Moms voice when she’s talking about things, especially spiritual ones. And I can hear the pride in her voice as I used some of the very words she has used on me…told back to her. I could hear how proud she was of me. Like any parent when your child does something that reminds you that you did it right.



 So my Mom…is pretty awesome and I couldn’t have asked for a better one. She has never not been there for me as any mother should. She gave me life and she led me to the path of adulthood with kind words and deeds. My mother could always be counted on to "Do The Right Thing" whether it was popular or not. Sending cards and or gifts to those who didn't and don't deserve it. But see, that's my Mom and that's what makes her so very special. So with that being said, I just wanted all of y’all out there to know just who my Mom is and how special she is to me and numerous other lives that she’s touched. Love you MOM and Happy Mother's Day; God bless you and give you many more.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

I Understand

"Sometimes we need to take a seat away from the table so that we can see it. Its not about knowing you have a place at the table but understanding your place at the table."


It's early Saturday morning as oppossed to late Saturday morning. Laying in bed...thinking, because thats what I do early on a Saturday morning. I spend alot of time thinking and contemplating my actions and the actions of others. Only...in respect to my life.


 I do this because it helps me understand and allows me to move forward. See for me understanding is probably the most important thing a person can do. We spend alot of time with many of our thoughts and behaviors which we in turn act on. And for most when we act we tend to not have all the information needed to turn our thoughts into the correct action. And if said action fails, whose fault is it anyway?

 So when you think about it taking time to understand can save you time and or heartache. But the reason many dont take the time to do this is becuase understanding is a tough thing to do. It requires, time, patience and of course desire. You have to desire to know and have that missing information so you can make the correct action. See, when seeking understanding you have to be open and accepting of outcomes and answers that you might not like. Which for some is why they dont try to understand. Its like it requires you to give up a small piece of yourself and leaves you wide open. For some I think this makes them feel vulnerable thus they dont bother. We are accustomed to getting things now and how we like it. Just like fast food. But understanding doesnt come quick and easy. You maybe required to do some reading and research which could take weeks. Weeks you maybe unwilling to give.

 And fear....I think fear plays a role in this too. We can sometimes be afraid of the answers or where understanding may take us. I really believe it causes you to take the time to do self evaluations and assements of you as well as your character. And...maybe make some corrections every now and again. But you know babysitters...thats what life is all about; growing, becoming wiser, smarter and more well rounded as a person and conversationalist.

 So...today babysitters, I challenge you to practice some understanding when dealing with whatever life throws your way today. No jumping to conclusions, no half cocked ideas and no putting your foot in your mouth. Take some time to let that or those thoughts and or actions marinate around for awhile. Look at the totality of the situation you find yourself in and then think it through. Im willing to bet you will come out on the other side in a much better and heathier place and state than which you entered. "Wisdom...the application of knowledge." One of my favorite quotes because knowledge comes from understanding. And with that...Im gonna say enjoy this beautiful Saturday.

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

What's Wrong With Being a Racist???


Well as I sit at my desk there are at least four articles on yahoo headlines that are focused on Donald Sterling and his off the collar remarks. I partook in a very lively debate a few days ago on my Cousin’s Will’s wall and a few other buddies that I have, we briefly spoke/posted about it. Now anyone who knows me knows I don’t shy away from controversy nor do I seek it out. However I am a strong, very independent and free thinking man and I’m not afraid if my view point doesn’t mirror up with anyone else’s…and I do mean anyone. I like getting folks to think not only about themselves but about how we act and what we do vs. don’t do within our society.

Alright let’s talk about racists. Now, let me say this…if you’re uncomfortable with this discussion or the subject in general, I’d suggest you stop reading now. But if you’re curious and interested in what I am gonna talk about, keep on reading. And if you’re gonna read I ask you to do just one thing, LISTEN FOR UNDERSTANDING….NOT AGREEMENT. Ok, before I get started, I wanna throw out a few definitions so that you can refer back to them as I continue with the discussion

RACE: A division of human beings identified by the possession of traits that are transmissible by descent and are sufficient to characterize persons possessing these traits as a distinctive human genotype.(in other words your GENEs make up your race not skin color)

RACISM: Maybe viewed as an attitude, action (conscious or unconscious), or institutional structure, that subordinates an individual or group because of skin color or race.

RACIST: A person with a prejudiced belief that one race is superior to others.

BIGOT: One who is strongly partial to one’s group, religion, race, or politics and is intolerant of those who differ.

PERSONAL/INDIVIDUAL RACISM: Prejudicial beliefs & discriminatory behavior of a bigot against an individual or group.

RACIAL PREJUDICE: Racial prejudice is a feeling or dislike based upon a faulty and inflexible generalization due to race. Prejudice may be felt or expressed. It may be directed toward an individual or group.

INSTITUTIONAL RACISM: The policies, practices, actions or procedures of military communities, schools, businesses, and other groups/organizations that restrict the opportunities of an individual or group and violates the statutory laws prohibiting such wrongs.

Ok, that was a mouthful. So let’s get back to the title of this. What is wrong with being a racist? And I’m asking this question honestly because I wonder how many people have really looked at just what is a racist. You see in our society we love to use the economizing phenomenon and instead of educating ourselves before we make a judgment we use this perceptual concept, which is the mind’s ability to take in new information, combine it with old information, and formulate new ideas through quick deduction.  It’s sort of a “quick fix” that happens when we don’t have time to fully analyze the new information.  When you hear certain words in our societal vocabulary they instinctively cause reactions in certain situations. Words like racism, sexist, homo, faggot, fag, nigger, bitch, wetback, asshole, rapist, gook, Oreo, etc. etc are imbedded within our culture as some, regardless of the definition, these words and others have taken on a life of their own. Some are positive while most are negative.  So generally when you hear or witness one being used you immediately fill in the missing information and your opinion and perception are formed; especially if a person has used it and directed it at another.

                In America we pride ourselves on being free and all things associated with being free and having freedom. Free to be just what we want and or believe in what we want. Whether it’s free speech or the right to bear arms most Americans fully believe in the principles associated with freedom and go to great lengths to show their support for them. Whether it’s 20 guns locked in your gun safe or a front yard full of cars, this is America and you’re free to do it. This freedom and freedom of speech includes protests, petitions, sit-ins, boycotts just to name a few. The irony to having all these freedoms is…you really aren’t free. We all, on paper have the same freedoms but in reality we don’t.

                Let’s take one such freedom that many Americans CLAIM they will go to jail for and almost die for; that freedom being free speech. The premise of free speech is that it’s a constitutional right and we have the right to use it. Freedom of speech in this country is protected by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution and by many state constitutions and state and federal laws. Knowing this, many Americans feel they have a right to say what they wish because…the constitution says so. So if you call someone say an asshole it’s seemingly protected and you have the right to do so. You also have the right to say the President is a dumbass and not be sent to the “Gulag” for it. But with any freedom we tend to overdo them at times. Well, I guess that’s as good a foundation as I need. Hell, all of you who are reading this have at least a grade school education and enough time walking on this earth to have experienced some of life’s challenges so I need not go any farther.

                This leads me back to my topic. So why can’t a person be a racist if they choose too? And why are we ignoring the definition of that word and only applying it to people we want too? Most of the time when we think of a Racist we think of a Klan member or some other white person who hates and despises anyone who isn’t “white” just like them (whatever that “white” maybe). But when there is someone who is non-white and expresses a view that’s identical or very, very similar many in our society and the media rationalize the behavior and label it something else. If an Asian parent feels that their son marrying a Hispanic female is BENEATH them…then these Asian parents are indeed racist. You could also call them bigots. Why don’t we call them racist? Oh, yeah, because they aren’t white. Because we have been programmed and socialized to believe that racists are white. We will rationalize that the Asian parents only want the best for their son and that they just want their son to marry a “good” Asian girl. This very attitude and behavior can be seen within all the ethnic groups across America.  What I’m saying is that on any given day we hear, witness and truth be told probably partake in some action(s) that is racist. But because of the perception and stereotype associated with that word, we excuse the behavior of our friends, family members and ourselves; instead of calling them out on those behaviors and actions. This reminds me of the whole Chic-Fil-A incident a few years ago. Same type of thing. A person expressed their personal views and were attacked for it.

                Donald Sterling probably is a racist but is that a crime? Nope. I have read that he paid a $3 million dollar fine for denying housing to blacks stating that “they smelled and attracted vermin.” Who the hell says VERMIN? LOL. Anyhoo, denying housing is a crime; he was found guilty or given a plea deal and paid up and I support that 100%. But if you are simply stating that you don’t like someone based on their skin color yet you don’t act on it or discriminate…what’s the problem? People do this every single day and many of you say nothing. Many of you will walk passed an interracial couple and cut your eyes or make comments. Really? And you got issues with Sterling too. We are heading down a slippery slope when we start attacking folks for their own personal views especially IF THEY AREN'T ACTING ON THEM. Again, not talking about those that do act on them. Sterling apparently has been like this for years but it seems as long as everyone was benefiting...we will simply ignore the crazy old man because he's paying us.
              
                 I wonder how many people who are reading this have FRIENDS from different ethnic groups. I also wonder how many DON'T have friends from other ethnic groups. People you'll label as friends yet you don’t interact with them in a social setting. But you are friends on Facebook right? I don’t mean the Indian guy (work friend only) that works in the office next to yours but the Arabic neighbor (friend) whose always at your home for weekend parties that you do things socially with and not concerned to be seen in public with. Are we really saying that if you choose not to associate with people of your choosing...you're a racist? Just because I don’t support gay marriage doesn’t mean I’m a homophobe and hate gays. It simply means I don’t support gay marriage.

                                Our society turns a blind eye to behaviors from some races yet others we attack with vigor as we must right the wrongs being committed; shouldn’t we right ALL WRONGS not the ones we want to right and look the other way on some? Isn’t it ironic that a few months ago Richard Sherman was attacked and called all kinds of names? Many of the same people are probably the ones outraged by Sterling’s remarks and I’m betting some agree with him. Some even felt Sherman deserved the backlash he received and they are probably the same one’s saying how what Sterling said was wrong. The ban for life on Sterling is wrong. And it’s wrong for one simple reason it’s not against the law to be a racist. It’s morally frowned upon, but not illegal. If you hold a sign saying, “I HATE WOPS!” Is that illegal, is that not free speech? You know, we can’t have our cake and eat it too. We can’t say we want free speech but when someone says something that’s clearly covered under free speech, yet we don’t like it we get angry, mad, offended and demand that action taken against them.

                I’ve talked about system/victim focus several times and in several posts when I discussed it conceptually as it applies to things we do within our society. I said CONCEPTUALLY!!!! Victim focus is a reactive problem-solving approach which narrowly defines social problems in terms of the victims.  It sees the victim as the cause of the problems, and focuses on how we can fix the victims and integrate them back into the system.  In other words, there is sometimes a tendency to “blame the victim” rather than looking at the entire picture to determine exactly what the problem is. So Donald Sterling is the victim in this. And what will we do?

a)      First step, identify a social problem: Donald Sterling is a racist.

b)      Study those affected and determined how they are different: He’s rich, old and white.

c)       Define the differences as the cause: He’s old, rich white which makes him out of touch.

d)      Assign someone or something to correct the differences: NBA Commissioner steps in with a fine and ban for life. Problem solved racist gone.

 

The other half of this equation is knowing, understanding and applying system focus. System Focus is a proactive problem-solving approach which broadly defines social problems as being part of, or caused by, the system, organization, society, or community.  We look at the system which produces the victims, and address the problem by determining how we can change or improve the system as well as the victims, to prevent further problems. The System (our society) produced Donald Sterling as our society creates racist people. I’m sure we all know if you place a bunch of children in a room they will all play together. They will not pay attention to skin color until an ADULT points this out and then teaches them that there is a difference. So…racist aren’t born…they are taught. This can also be seen when you travel abroad and how those in the country you’re visiting thinks and views we Americans. Racist are clearly a product of their environment. Calling Sterling the “victim” doesn’t mean he’s right or you agree with him or liked what he said. It means you acknowledge that there is a bigger issue that must be addressed and that Sterling’s actions made you aware of the issues. And that those issues must be dealt with because fixing the individual doesn't solve the problem.

So instead of focusing solely on Sterling we should be looking at other areas not only inside the NBA but the NFL, MLB, cooperation’s, the Government, etc.etc. If Sterling is a racist owner, I’d bet my life there is at least one other owner or CEO or whatever that is also a racist. And I'm sure we all know that there are a lot more. Lynching Sterling isn’t going to stop racist behavior or racism. What will stop it is our society teaching our children and enforcing in them that it starts with them and they should do all within their power not to fall into the stereotypes and not to do the things that will be viewed in our society as racist. When you have a BBQ at your home invite that co-worker that you only speak too at work. Expand your circle of friends. Educate your children. Play different music while riding in the car. Have a conversation with someone that you have nothing in common with. Be a leader amongst your peers because the climate and behavior of an organization is an indicator about the attitudes and actions demonstrated by its leaders. Debates are frequently win-lose, while what you want to accomplish are win-win situations.  You should put out your viewpoints on issues and allow others to come back and state their own views on that particular matter.  This will make way for some new and different perspectives or approaches to develop.  If they feel it was impart their own idea, they will be more likely to embrace it and change.

                Do y’all get what it is I’m saying? What are you personally doing to make things better? What does your circle of friends look like? Who comes to your poker game? Who comes to your cook outs? Who attends your daughter’s birthday parties? We surround ourselves with folks that look like us, sound like us and act like us. And those that are different we simply don’t include. Are we being selective or racist or are we rationalizing our behavior? Donald Sterling expressed his self in a personal conversation to someone he was intimate with and in a relationship with. Behind closed doors not to the media or general public. What you say to your wife, girlfriend, boyfriend, lover, etc is your business not mine. Only when you stop someone from moving forward is when I personally will have a problem with it. I wonder what some of you would think if you heard me speak inside my home or car. Or what I say about people when no one is listening or can hear. I wonder if you’d be quick to label me a racist.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Laying in bed...whats on my mind this morning


Hey babysitters! That’s right...it’s me again. How yall doin? Ahhh yeah....Saturday morning 0552 but only till 1200. What all you got planned for today? I know you’re wondering so let me tell you. I got laundry to do, tighten up two bathrooms and a kitchen. My wife is supposed to be dropping in on me so...I must be prepared. So with that being said...what’s really going on?


I’ve avoiding watchin the news for quite some time since all it does is piss me off. Seems everyone clearly knows what’s right and wrong yet no one is willing to take a step forward and act; at least no one with some power. So the other day I made it a point to connect with someone this week that I’ve never really talked to. One of the MAJs I work with. So as we stood in one of the offices I asked him a very serious question which I think kinda threw him just a tad.


"Sir, I got a question. Can you explain to me why I should care about what’s going on in the Ukraine?", I said with a straight face which he returned my gaze with a somewhat puzzled look.


"Ummm you want the short answer or the long answer," with a slight chuckle.


"Naw Sir I’m serious. I wanna know."


With a more serious look on his face, "Ok...well it’s like this..."


He started with a whisper as we were standing in someone else’s office waiting on my LTC. And so it began he talked and I listened. One thing I learned from this conversation is that the cat is smart as shit. Most of the planners I work with are. But as he began to talk and answer my question I was like, where is all this coming from and how did he know all of it. Many Soldiers will talk ish about their Officers but you know some are good dudes and if that’s the case you need to establish a relationship with them especially if your are a NCO. Me, I’m a people person...I generally like people and will always give a person a chance. Well as my MAJ continued to explain I listened and at times I had to put it into terms that clearly make sense to me and ensured him that I did follow where he was going as well as what he was saying. So this conversation continued until we got back to his office and then we continued to talked. And every now and again I threw in an analogy just to let him know I was still following. And when we were done…I clearly understood why we as Americans should be concerned with what’s going on in Ukraine.

            Now I wonder if anyone in the media has tried to explain it to the rest of America.  Probably not, as it’s their job to inform us and educate us on some level yet they seem to shy away from that responsibility seeing how ratings are more important. And I’m sure I could try and explain it as it was explained to me but that would take a hot minute and a lot more information than I have available on the subject. I’m sure I could explain it as how it makes sense to me in my brain but I’m not sure you’d get it or I'd do a good job but I will try.

The reason we should concern ourselves with Ukraine is based on economics and our status as a world super power. This whole thing started out after WWII with the “Bretton Wood Conference” in 1944. The end result of this conference and agreement within the business community is that the “US dollar” became the official currency which all international business and trade was to use. This was impart because at the end of WWII we emerged as the world super power and also due to the size of our military and that we had the largest and most powerful military….in the world. In other words who had enough ass to tell us no. And so it began, our reign as a “world” super power. Now this translates over to economics and our ability to lend, borrow money and collect debt owed to us. And that's where my knowledge is lacking so I will have to explain it as it makes relative sense to me. 

Ok, here is where I may lose some because again, I understand it in my brain but typing it out is a whole other matter. So fast forward to today much has changed and bonds have replaced gold as the major collateral for lending and or debt. (Think back on movies how the bad guys used to always ask for gold, then at some point they started asking for bonds) We rely on countries borrowing from us because when their economies flourish…so do ours. If other countries see us as weak and what not, they won’t borrow from us and then we will be forced to raise interest rates so as offset the costs of our debt making our lives tougher and more expensive. So…let me try this analogy.
The world is a “neighborhood” full of beautiful homes and yards. So America is this big beautiful house on one particular street; lavish green lawn, beautiful trees and garden, just lovely. We are the envy of the neighborhood (i.e. western world). Now, because we are doing so well we have the ability and time to help our neighbors (other countries) out with their properties.

We give them lawn carrying tips and show them how to make and keep their homes as beautiful as ours. Because we understand…that as long as we keep everyone’s properties looking good, if one of us decides to sell they won’t have a problem doing so and turning a nice profit in the process. Folks from OTHER neighborhoods start to come to ours to talk to us about how they can too can transform their neighborhoods into one like ours (i.e. westernize their country). Now, there are other “neighborhoods” that aren’t as nice as ours and many of them are jealous of our hood (those who despise westerners and our way of life). So every so often someone comes in and starts bullying, messing or vandalizing a neighbor’s property. We form a neighborhood watch (treaties) that say we will always look out for each other and back each other up. So as long as we can show the neighborhood we are the go too house, they will continue to come to us to receive tips and what not (i.e. money).

We have the best security systems, dogs, fences, etc. (aka our Military) money can buy and our neighbors clearly know our house is safe. And we have been known to lend some tips on security and help our neighbors set up their own security systems and swing by from time to time because we are all a part of the neighborhood watch. So when one home does and continues to do well, it benefits us all. Problem is we are always dealing with those from outside our hood and their attempts to ruin what we have. But as long as we are the biggest and baddest house on the street, we will be good. Problem is when our lawns start slipping, security systems get breached and we are vandalized neighbors are gonna start to wonder can we really continue to provide them with tips and assistance. In other words can we continue to lead the “Neighborhood watch?”

So I’m hoping I didn’t confuse you too much but in my brain it makes sense. Ukraine has resources and things that Russia wants. Problem is Ukraine what’s to have a house like ours and Russia doesn’t like that one bit. If we don’t help them out people are going to start seeing us as weak and thus our lending ability will decrease because if we are too weak to stand up for our friends and ourselves one will assume we don’t have the might and or muscle to collect on our debt. And when that happens, we all lose.

So…that’s where my mind is early, early on a Saturday morning. So…this started out as a random Facebook paste but grew into a much longer fire side chit chat. So I’m gonna grab me some coffee and start my morning. I hope this peaks your curiosity and causes you to do some reading and understanding of things on a global scale and understand why we always have to stick our nose into world affairs. Because when our friends do well...we do well and when are friends do poorly...we will eventually suffer and do poorly too. Hope it all makes a lil sense. ;-)