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And That's The View From Here

Updated: 2014-09-30T23:20:47.484-07:00


Stale Cookies


I used to wonder about the value of prayer. I once pondered the validity of miracles. At one time in my life I thought children said cute, funny things that really didn't have a much deeper meaning.I was wrong.I don't believe God directly answers your prayers. If you need a new car and really pray for one... it will not simply appear in your driveway. I believe God is more subtle than that. But I firmly believe that people are put in your path that CAN answer your prayers. People that... if you can recognize them for what they are, were put in your path for a reason. These people contain the answers or can point you to the path of salvation. They have the life experience, wisdom, and compassion to help you. But seeing them for what they are is only half the battle, it's also up to you to utilize them.I don't believe in coincidences. I used to... but no longer. I don't believe random occurrences mold or shape our lives. I feel these events are the work of a force beyond our ken.One such event happened to me on one of the absolute worst nights of my life. There was unrest in my home. It was about 2:00am and I could take no more. I took a walk.Sadness filled my soul and tears fell down my face. Suddenly I was surprised by the lights of a vehicle coming around the corner. It was a friend of mine. She slowed down and pulled over. She humorously told me she had run out of diapers and was just returning from buying some. Then she noticed I had been crying.Moment of truth time.I'd like to think of myself as an honest man. But I'm also a private person. What do I say?But with wet cheeks on display, there was no point in pretence. I was caught red handed. I told the truth.To this day I'm glad I did. This woman and her husband literally took me in and became foundation rocks for me. For all these years since, their friendship and guidance has been like a beacon to me. And NONE of that would have been possible without me opening up to the forces in play. Without me recognizing that this was NOT a coincidence. There was a REASON she and I were there together at two in the morning on a fog fill street... there just HAD to be.Another such instance was a story I've told my friends many times. It happened shorty after my ex-wife and I separated.We were at a Little League game for my eldest son. I was sitting on one side of the field. My then wife, on the other. I was seated on the lowest row of bleachers, when suddenly a woman tapped me on the shoulder.She was sitting above me and to my left. When I turned to look up at her, I was nearly blinded by the sunlight behind her head. I could barely see her, but she looked so lovely somehow."Excuse me for asking,", she said. "I know we don't know each other... but is that your wife sitting over there?"When I answered that it was, she said,"I thought so.", and continued, "So you're recently separated, I take it?"After I told her that I was, she informed me she could tell because we reminded her so much of her and her ex when they first became estranged. For the next ten minutes she was able to impart upon me more wisdom than a lifetime of counseling session ever could have if I ever went down that path.She was incredible. She taught me lessons I'll forever remember.Then she was gone.Delmar is a small town. I always felt I'd run into her at some point somewhere. And if I did I'd be sure to thank her so much for all she did. But I never got that chance.Surely, that was not a coincidence. Clearly that meeting was meant to be.Being divorced is hard. I know I'm not breaking any new ground with that statement. Being a single parent is the most important and rewarding task I'll ever undertake. Lately I find myself questioning the wisdom of my ways. It's like a constant state of angst. The end of my marriage was bad. Things were happening all around me out of my control... bad, hurtful things. I had to get out of there, and I did.But what kind of man am I who left that bad situation? Am I a brave person who left the life he had in the hopes of making a better one? Or am I a coward who fled his problems.[...]

An Imaginary Tale


I've always been an avid comic-book reader and when I was a kid there were these fantastic "imaginary tales". They appeared largely in the Superman "family" of books and told stories outside the usual "real" continuity. They were generally far-out stories that fans always wanted to see but could never really happen. Stories like "What if Lois Lane KNEW Clark Kent was Superman?" would appear to quench the thirst of the die-hard Superman fans clamoring for it.These stories were fun, imaginative, and exhilarating. You could tell from reading them that even the creative teams behind the stories relished doing them. It gave them the chance to scratch their creative itches and really stretch their storylines from the norm. But of course, by the time the next issue rolled around, you were returned to your regularly scheduled tale of do-gooding where Lois hasn't a clue. (glasses on / glasses off... she NEVER figured THAT out!?!?!?)In later years the "imaginary tale" vehicle returned in a regular series call "What If..." that was popular for many years. The blog you are reading is about to become an imaginary tale. But one without the fun. It's a "what if" to a large degree, that unfortunately is a little too real. At least that's the view from here...It's a good thing our tax dollars were working for us on that 11th day of September 2001. Tax money wisely spent with our intelligence services... foiling an attack on our homeland that could have brutally killed thousands. But what if that savage attack was successful... thank God it wasn't, but can you imagine our varied and swift responses?I know we would have chased the terrorists responsible all around the globe for as long as it took. I know we'd pursue the so-called "Bush Doctrine" that basically states you're either with us or against us. You best not harbor terrorists, you best not finance their evil aims... or you too will be hunted by the forces of freedom.We would never stoop to the terrorists level, but we would utilize so called "enhanced interrogation" methods to protect our people and the American Way. And this will NEVER be debated because once attacked, Americans are unified and will NEVER FORGET.Our governments main aim and objective would be the prevention of further attacks.Americans are a strong lot tied together by a collective consciousness. There is no "as long as it doesn't happen to me" mentality here. We all suffer together... we all feel the enduring pain.We would have tightened up our borders, and the border patrols. Our federal government would help fund local municipalities in everything from disaster preparedness, building shelters, storing rations... heck even dispensing gas masks and handing out "emergency evacuation plans" to all citizens.On foreign policy our government would be sure to stick to the game plan. Our foreign aid to friends would be just as generous as it has always been. Our overseas humanitarian aid programs would be available to all in need. But we would totally cut off from all aid the countries that harbor or aid terrorists intent on killing Americans or any other innocent human beings.It is with that savings that we would fund all the initiatives and programs detailed above. There would be no deficit spending or tax increases. It would all be done with the savings.But again, thankfully we don't have to worry about all that. If the attack was successful it would have meant we got complacent and let our guard down. That didn't happen... and never will.Also I'm thankful that freedom and capitalism works. Our system of government and the free market we as citizens have embraced and are dedicated to has afforded us much as a people and a nation.In our system of checks and balances you have the freedom to succeed or fail. You have the right and opportunity to try. The "American Way" gives us all many advantages. Our government provides small business loans to fledgling entrepreneurs. Our free and independently owned banks throughout the country also lend money to deserving business's or extends lines of [...]

What's Wrong With These Headlines?


Is it me or are the headlines of the day becoming more and more insane? I'm going to list some of the headlines I've seen over the last 48hrs from some of the leading news gathering organizations in the USA. Then I'm going to write a little tid-bit as to why I think they're CRAZY. But of course, everyone is entitled to their own opinions... maybe I'M the nutty one."Miss California loses Miss Usa Pageant due to Politically Incorrect Answer"... Poor Carrie Prejean... she was asked a question about how SHE felt about same sex marriages and did the one thing she should NEVER do in the PC world... she told the truth! In her mind, in her heart, in the religion she follows, she believes in the traditional meaning of marriage. That marriage should only be between a man and a woman. She NEVER said a disparaging word about being gay. She never said gay people didn't have the right to live together and even share the financial, tax, and insurance benefits of a traditional marriage. She simply doesn't believe people of the same sex should be legally married. And yet she's paid a horrible price for her heartfelt feelings. One judge in particular has been blasting her in the press and in his highly visible blog. It's naive to think he didn't have influence over other judges when it came time to vote. Of course the ironic thing about all this Carrie's opinion is SHARED by the electorate of the state she represents! In November 2008 California residents voted for "Proposition 8" which changed the states constitution to restrict the definition of marriage to opposite sex couples and eliminated same sex couples' right to marry. It's an opinion that is shared country wide. But in the Hollywood world of pageants, it's just not the politically correct answer. They'd rather have her tow the line and lie. THAT would have made her represent the values of America. THAT would have put her over the top and awarded her the crown... LYING."David Kellerman, chief financial officer of troubled lender Freddie Mac, found dead in Va. home of apparent suicide"...A tragedy to be sure. But what financial misdeeds did he take to his grave with him. How bad ARE things out there?"Obama Administration to consider the prosecution of Bush aids for authorizing torture techniques"...REALLY!?!?!?!? I guess President Obama never heard the one about living in a glass house. It'll NEVER happen. Because if it does he and his cronies will not exactly have restful retirements themselves."President Obama signals no meeting with Israeli PM Netanyahu"...He's cool with Ortega. He shakes hands with Chavez. He even BOWS down to the Saudi King! But President Obama will snub Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu. There will be an AIPAC summit in Washington in May. PM Netanyahu was planing on attending and requested a meeting with our president. The Presidents staff issued a vague statement that basically amounted to our leader being too busy to meet with the leader of Israel. A DEMOCRACY. An ALLY in a troubled land. A country in a crisis. NO, the leader of the FREE world is too busy being cool, shaking hands, and bowing."Holocaust Remembrance Day, Tuesday April 21st"...I've been asking my boys everyday this week if they've learned ANYTHING about the Holocaust in school. Nope... not even a mention."Ahmadinejad gives speech at the United Nations conference on racism in Geneva. "...I think this one says it all.... And That's The View From Here[...]

A Meaningful Burger


There are times that try a person's soul. There are moments when your faith is tested. Faith in God... faith in yourself... faith in humanity. They are moments affixed in time that continue to appear in your minds eye for the rest of your life.Sometimes you learn from them. Ever and again finding something out about yourself that you'd rather not bring out into the light. Occasionally though you rediscover something about yourself that's good, something you might have forgotten.These events don't have to be major developments in your life. For me they've been little more than snapshots. Often poignant albeit brief.One such occurrence haunts me to this day. It was at the same time uplifting, awkward, sad, and telling. Ultimately, I still haven't found a place for it in my consciousness. What I take away from it is not easily said... or written about. I'll let the reader of this blog be the judge.It was not so long ago at all. I was freshly separated from my ex, and as I recall it was the second time I was without my boys for the night. Feeling lonely... I didn't much feel like cooking, and of course all the cliches about "keeping busy" to take my mind off my solitude kept parading through my mind.I did have a craving for a burger... a good burger. So I decided to take the "keep busy" advise and get out and get a burger from a nearby local favorite establishment of mine. I decided to call ahead and pick-up the food, as I really wasn't ready to be out in that setting for too long. But the idea of just feeling the fresh air of the night did appeal to me.When I arrived I was promptly told my food was not ready yet. It was the only thing that's EVER happened "promptly" at this restaurant. Famous for good food... and bad service.So I stood leaning against a wall in front of the bar. As the moments went on and the bar became more and more crowded my anxiety grew. I really didn't want to see anyone I knew. I just wanted to pick up my burger and go. It was a big step for me just to be there... I got out, got my fresh air, and really just wanted to be home again.My apprehension was at it's peak when just then I noticed a little girl standing behind her mothers leg. She was all of 5 years old and adorable! Big eye's, curly hair, and all dressed up as if she just left some formal function.She looked so small in the crowd of adults, and she was bored. Her mother stood talking to her friends facing the bar with her back to me.Then suddenly she beamed with the prettiest smile in my direction...then quickly hid behind her mother's leg.She slowly poked her head out just enough to check and see if I smiled back. When she saw I did, she made a "funny face" at me... then quickly hid again behind her mother's leg before sneaking out once more to see my response.We happily repeated our little peek-a-boo game many times, coming up with as many "funny faces" as we could think of. You'd think I might have been saddened by the fact that I was interacting with this unknown little girl instead of my own boys whom I missed so much, but I wasn't sad at all. Instead I was happy to do it! It helped me fill the void of not having my sons there to do it with.Suddenly all the apprehension within was lifted from me. This night was at a time in my life where I lost myself a bit. A time where I questioned everything I thought I knew about myself. A time of little confidence and faith in the world around me. But I was so honored that this anonymous little girl picked me to bat eye's with. That she found my visage... my mug, to be the friendliest face in the place.Through the eye's of a child so much faith was restored in me.Then suddenly her mother turned around, saw me... looked me dead in the eye's with disapproval written on her face. She reached around to clutch her little girl and quickly pull her around to her front where she could no longer see me.The irony was not lost on me. The bitter irony that I was now so isolated. In my "other" life, my past life, the life I had jus[...]

Do Times Change Or Only People?


"If you're not liberal when you're young, you have no heart. If you're not conservative when you're older, you have no brain."The quote above is widely attributed to Winston Churchill, whether he said it or not has been debated. But regardless of who uttered those words, it does present a thought provoking premise.When I was a boy I certainly saw the world differently than it really was. I remember watching Gilligan's Island and laughing out loud at it. I remember totally buying into the basis of the show and never beginning to question how absurd it really was. I also recall the crush I had on Mary Ann. Gosh, she was awesome! Pretty, athletic, smart (in a Gilligan's Island kind of way!). and always smiling. I remember thinking, "What do all the grown-up guys see in Ginger anyway? Mary Ann is WAY better!"When it came time for me to register with a political party... I had no idea what to do! I really had no clue what either party stood for. Instead, it was my parents who dictated that I register with the Democratic Party. They were both Democrats, and "The Machine" in Albany was all Democratic.It was the machine of O'Connell and Corning. A place where if you wanted a job, a favor, or someone to neatly pick up your garbage... you had better be a Democrat. I don't really remember it as a vast liberal bastion. I don't recall it as being particularly dedicated to social rights or having any resemblance to the national Democratic party at all. I just remember it as a machine that simply perpetuated itself. A machine that is in fact still intact today.It will probably come as a shock to many of my friends that I'm a registered Democrat. But as I grew and started to explore my feelings on national issues, and my beliefs on the prevailing social issues of the day, I became aware of the platforms of both major political parties and became proud of my party affiliation.The Democratic party stood for social rights... so did I! Equal opportunity... so did I! As a Jew, how could I NOT stand for these issues?They were the party of Pro-Choice, and stood against the Death Penalty. Me too! They were proponents of gun control, as am I!(On a personal note... I would NEVER counsel ANYONE to get an abortion. I would ALWAYS do everything I could to encourage giving birth... BUT who am I to tell a woman what to do? I'm glad it's legal and performed by doctors in sterile surroundings. We should NEVER return to the "back-ally" abortions of the past. And as far as the death penalty goes... God forgive me what I might do if someone harmed a loved one... I just don't think it's the governments role to lower itself to the standards of killing someone. If just one innocent person is put to death, it's a shame on all of us. Put them away forever...throw away the key. But don't let the government become assassins of the falsley accused.)The Democrats were the party of Roosevelt and Kennedy. Nixon represented the Republicans during the days of my youth. How I distinctly remember coming home from school and my father having the Watergate hearings on the t.v. That was my reference point for scandal in American politics... a Republican scandal.A turning point for me was finding out that Ronald Reagan was once a Democrat. That's right, the beacon for the modern Conservative movement was once a Democrat! That was unbelievable to me. And what's more, I liked Reagan. He was a great communicator. He stood for something. Strength, independence, freedom. He attacked the problems of the day during his presidency with the very values and belief system he proclaimed.And it worked.He watched as the Soviet Union crumbled through his strong foreign policy decisions. He watched the horrible economy he inherited from the inept Democrat Jimmy Carter turn around though tax cuts, and spending reductions. He knew in his heart that freedom would prevail overseas and that smaller government was the answer domestically.He just knew.But how did he know? Where did he get [...]

The Good Old Days


Hello Folks,

Do you remember lawn darts? How many of you tragically passed away playing them when you were a kid? Well if you're reading this, you thankfully didn't.

Remember when your favorite baseball player didn't cheat?

Won't it be GREAT to tell your children and grandchildren your memories about "capitalism"?

Remember when working out was called "exercising"?

Remember when cartoons were only on Saturday morning only?

Does ANYBODY just take a drive in the country anymore?

I could once name more than a dozen American professional tennis players. Are there even that many playing today?

I was once a "writer", now I'm a blogger".

Remember when an open field was the greatest thing a kid could ask for?

Were times less complicated when we were kids? Probably not. Were the pressures of life on our parents all that different then they are today? Not at all. It's just that our parents shielded us from all the stress in our lives. Do parents even do that anymore? More often than not I think parents today are NOT adults. They share their problems with their kids adding undue stress for their children.

The problems children should have are things like, "Why did I get picked last for the kickball game?"

NOT, "My parents can't afford the mortgage payment anymore."

One thing that is different is the news. The national news was basically only on once per day in the evening. Our parents had a choice of dinner time or bed time for the local news. It was easier for them to shield up from the injustices of the world. Now the scary people of the world are brought into our living rooms 24 hours per day, 7 day per week.

We were poor growing up, BUT I NEVER KNEW THAT! I had no idea if my folks lost a job, got demoted, or had some other crisis in their lives. All I knew was that if there was something wrong... it was all going to be ok.

Was life really more simple when we were kids?


But that was because of a generation of good parents. Tough people. Mature ADULTS. They took the sting out of life for us. Kept "adult" issues out of our lives. They showed us how to work hard. Save money. Make gifts rare and special.

They let us be kids.

School was about learning. NOT about how to act. You already learned that at home. School was about facts, history was about what really happened. Not some more politically acceptable version of the truth.

I feel so bad for our kids today who are "on stage" seven days a week. Every night they have some activity... some kind of lessons to take... somewhere to be. We make our kids "keep up with the Jones'".

Remember "family night"? Remember just staying in and playing a board game or watching a movie?

We can still give our kids the life of a child. We can still protect them from the perils of modern society. We can still teach them that what they do when no one is looking is just as important as when they are.

It's in our power, every adult, to make this generation of children the greatest generation. There's still time to make the time to spend with them and show them what life is really all about. Start today.

... and that's the view from here.

Larry Wilson