A Room With a Southern View

Thoughts on Life and Liberty from an Average Middle-Class Kentuckian

I’m Unique, But You’re Different

i6HviS3N5H2hwTZS0BuP2KbqjHuGfuDGNS5oW2WvhrwWe are all unique, one of a kind, individuals.  We all know this. We all accept this. And most of us see that uniqueness as a good thing. Right?

We’ve been taught that being unique is a great thing. “Stand out from the crowd,” they say. “Be your own person,” they say.

So why do we yearn to be part of a clique? Part of a  club? Part of a group of like-minded individuals? (Isn’t that kind of an oxymoron?)

Truly unique people are usually seen as a little crazy.  Sometimes they’re even outcasts.

It’s lonely at the top…  or at the bottom…  or outside…

In America, we idolize freethinkers for their courage to stand alone; then we want to be just like them. Huh? Does anyone else see the irony in that?

In the real world, we don’t love our neighbors as we should. We focus on the differences and put up walls. We don’t truly value uniqueness.  We try to impose our values and habits and morals and image on those around us.  We are drawn to people like ourselves.  Yet, there is no one like us. We are unique.

And there is the eternal human struggle.

Let’s promise ourselves today that we will look past our differences and find common ground as Americans, as Believers in a higher power, as Humankind, or whatever we can discover in each other that can bring us together instead of tearing us apart.

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President Trump

Well, our voting is done and Donald J. Trump was declared the winner, whether you like it or not. If you’ve read any of my writing probably figured out that I am a Constitutional Conservative. So yes, I voted for Trump. In fact, I wanted Trump to run decades ago.

I’ve followed his career and political commentary since I was a Business Major in college. Not to say that I agree with everything he says and does, but I admire his business savvy and agree with most of his politics.

I think he’s smart enough to know that he has a lot to learn about being President of the United States. He seems to be filling his Cabinet with some smart and shrewd folks who are more accustomed to the political arena than he is.

I just want to say that I’m so proud of you voters out there that took the time and effort to seek the truth amidst all the lies and misquotes and half-truths and misleading news stories. I’m afraid the days of unbiased news coverage are long gone. But thank Goodness [or Google] for smartphones. Everyday people now have the power (and yes it is true power) to record and post the raw video of events to the internet.

One such event that really intrigued me was the Democratic National Convention. After Hillary was announced as the party’s nominee a large portion of the attendees walked out, leaving about 60% of the seats empty. There was a small contingent of Hillary supporters (or paid extras) front and center cheering and waving. And that was what America saw on the network news, making it seem like the conventional hall was full. Just more smoke and mirrors. I watched the raw video on Youtube.

So again, thank you to the truth seekers out there, no matter who you voted for. Please continue to educate yourselves. Inform yourselves. Don’t accept the narrative on the network news as truth. Seek and you will find. There are people with boots on the ground out there recording. Raw. Unprofessional. Unedited. That is where you’ll find the truth.

Much of this election was about people. Real people. Working Class people that fuel the great machine that is the USA. People who chose the raw, unedited, sometimes inappropriate comments of a non-politico over the slick fine-tuned scripts of a Washington insider.

Now, some people are angry. There are protesters in the streets raging against the machine. To them I say–

Throw away your bottle, and get some Pull-ups. Either grow up and contribute to a solution, or get out of the way and let the grownups figure it out.

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We Were Made to Be Courageous

Just as the Casting Crowns song says, “We were made to be courageous.”  In this politically correct world where people compete for the Most Tolerant award, Truth is seen as a liability. Even Christians fall for Satan’s lies.

Don’t get me wrong, tolerance can be a good thing. But just like all good things, it should be practiced in moderation with common sense. In other words, there are some things we shouldn’t tolerate. That may seem like a no-brainer, but it seems the Liberal/Socialist/LGBT ideology is spreading into traditional conservative arenas.

It concerns me to hear about churches accepting openly practicing homosexual ministers. Yes, gays need Jesus too. And God loves them as His children, just as He loves me. But the “gay is OK” mindset is just not Biblical.

No one tells a minister that it’s OK to continue with his lifestyle of adultery, fornication, pedophilia, pornography, or bestiality. Sexual sin is unacceptable– unless you are speaking of homosexuality. Then it’s “hate speech” or “homophobia.”

Personally, I see no difference. One sexual sin is as bad as the next. But I think Satan has convinced people, many Christians included, that homosexuality is not a sin. Sorry folks, the Scriptures say otherwise!

Then there’s the complaint of gay-bashing, which some of you probably think I’m doing here. I’m not. I think the reason so many preachers talk about homosexuality is because of how accepted it is now. Therein lies the need to counsel people more often about that issue.

If society decides that pedophilia is acceptable (and there’s a movement fighting for that) then preachers will start speaking out more and more about that. The growing acceptance of homosexuality makes it a hot topic for sermons, not because it is a worse sin, or because preachers are picking on gay people, but because preachers want to speak to their congregations about relevant topics.

That is not hate speech. It’s love speech. We Christians are commanded to love people. And love doesn’t mean being tolerant of everything coming and going!  Part of love is showing people the error of their ways, and guiding them in the right direction. We don’t say, “I hate you because you’re a sinner.” We say, “I love you, therefore I hate your sin because it’s going to separate you from Christ if you don’t stop it.”

So we Christians should be courageous. Speak the truth from the Scriptures. Be Biblically correct, not politically correct.

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Have Your News With a Grain of Salt

Are there any unbiased news sources left?

I try to get my information from a wide variety of news sources because I think that’s the best way to get to the truth of a story. But it’s getting harder and harder to get at the truth.

The bias in news reporting today is untenable and rampant. I find myself trying to read between the lines of news stories from sources such as the Washington Post, CBS, The Hill, CNN, Fox News, and Breitbart. It seems to me BBC America is mostly unbiased, but I have to be careful.

Most news stories I read, in my opinion, should be characterized as op-ed, not journalism.

Are the days of Woodward & Bernstein gone forever? Spin doctors pass themselves off as journalists. They are more concerned with taking a political stance than with bringing out the truth.

Years ago, when I studied journalism, one of the first and most enduring lessons we were taught was — tell the facts and just the facts. We were taught that there is no place for bias in professional journalism. I think I know some folks who need to go back to school.

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Washington Times Poll: What Has Been the Biggest Debacle on Obama’s Watch?

On Thursday July 17, 2014, WashingtonTimes.com posted their Question of the Day: “What has been the biggest debacle on Obama’s watch?”

Our choices are Benghazi, Obamacare, VA problems, IRS targeting, and Border problems.

I found it difficult to pick just one among the given choices.  Each one of these topics has its own merits as the “worst,” with far-reaching effects. Dan From Squirrel Hill’s Blog lists over 700 examples of Obama’s “lying, lawbreaking, corruption, cronyism, etc.”  I’m sure a list such as this could be gathered on any President. They all lie, cheat, and push the envelope of the law. They all do favors for their friends.  The biggest complaint I have with Obama is that he seems to hate America and all it stands for.  He seems to hate Democracy, free markets, religious liberty, freedom of speech, states’ rights, etc.   He hates the legal and procedural limitations put on his position.  He seems to believe he may act like a dictator or monarch instead of an elected official.  And under Obama’s tenure, the radical Liberal minority seems to have a greater influence than the other 85% of the population.  The majority no longer rules.

I’ve created my version of the Washington Times poll below.  I added “other” so you can add something else that might concern you more.



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Money Can’t Buy Happiness ???

We’ve all heard the idiom, “Money can’t buy happiness;” and it’s true that there are many very wealthy sad people. If one is inherently sad, money won’t change your attitude. There is a level of happiness that transcends money. But I also think that idiom is invoked by poor folks to keep the specter of hopelessness away, or by people of means who are just insensitive to the plight of the less fortunate.

Most everyone can find others who are worse off, if they look hard enough. And everyone can find things in their life to be happy and thankful for, if they look hard enough. However, to attribute all sadness, hopelessness, depression, and worry to an attitude problem is just wrong. Many people have good reasons for feeling sad and hopeless.

Don’t you think the unemployed person who is losing their home to foreclosure would be happier with more money?

What about parents who have to feed their children cheap processed foods rather than fresh organic produce and lean meats? Don’t you think they’d be happier with a little more money?

What about the child who has never had a birthday party because her parents can’t afford it? Do you think money would make her happier? And how do think her parents feel, knowing they can’t give their child a birthday cake or presents?

Look at photos on Facebook, Instagram, Flickr, etc. How many sad faces do you see in those photos of Caribbean cruises, Hawaiian vacations, guided Alaskan hunting trips, fishing trips to the Great Lakes, new homes, new cars, new clothes?

I’m not promoting materialism. I do believe ‘stuff’ alone can’t make everyone happy, but it can certainly add a new dimension to our lives. It greases the gears.

Would I be happier if I had plenty of money to easily pay for things such as our electric bill, water bill, insurance bill, gas for our cars, medical bills, school clothes for our kids, healthy food for my family? Well, do I really need to answer that?

Every time I hear someone say, “Money can’t buy happiness,” I think, “Do you know what it’s like to not have the money to pay for basic things like electric, water, and groceries? Do you eat processed crap because fresh produce costs too much? Do you not take your children to the doctor when they get sick, because you don’t have the money to pay the doctor and put gas in your car to get there and back? Do you have to borrow money when your car breaks down and it’s $400 to get it fixed, and then wonder how you’re going to pay back that $400? Do you sit at home all summer, or do you go on vacation with your family? Do you wear old worn out clothes just so you can buy school clothes for your kids? Is it 85 degrees in your house because you can’t afford air conditioning? And do you sit wrapped in blankets in a cold house during the winter because you can’t afford to pay the electric bill?”

I really didn’t intend for this post to be political, but politics and the decisions our politicians make effect everything we do. In the USA today the people who are suffering most from inflation and taxation are the hard-working lower middle class. This is the ‘hidden poverty class’ in our country. People who qualify as ‘poverty-level’ get help from everywhere. Here in Kentucky an annual income of $50,000 will provide a family with their basic needs plus a little extra. In 2011, I would have said $40,000. So in a matter of three years families need an extra $10,000 per year to just maintain their standard of living. That extra $10k is going for more expensive food, fuel, electric, insurance… things we can’t do without.

I’m not a materialistic person. I don’t need or want to be rich. I just want to have enough to maintain what I’ve got.

Can money buy happiness? Sometimes. It certainly makes life easier. It brings opportunities. I’m angry that wealthy politicians in cushy jobs continue to take away the dreams that my family has worked so hard for.  I’m tired of Socialists trying to kill the American middle-class.  We need politicians who love the American dream, who strive for a free market economy, who want to see a strong independent middle-class, and who support our Constitution.

Whether you know it (or want to admit it) or not, we are in a war for our way of life. The time is closing in when we all will have to choose which side we want to stand with, there will be no neutral ground. If you think politics is distasteful and you want to just sit back and watch, then realize that in the fight for America — if you’re not for her, you’re against her.


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I Think Therefore I Am, the Basis for Diversity

Most people have heard the adage, “I think, therefore I am.”  I believe Rene Descartes was speaking about the sentient nature of Mankind.

I have a slight adjustment to Descartes’ statement:  “I think [X] therefore I am [Y].” The [X] is the variable that represents each person’s individuality, and the [Y] represents the results of [X]. For example, “I think [Jesus is the Messiah], therefore I am [a Christian]. Or, “I think [there is no God], therefore I am [an atheist].”  Who I am determines what I think. What I think determines who I am. There is no separating the two, no matter what you’ve heard.

Each of us comes to an opinion from our own unique perspective. Everything we are colors that perspective. Our lifestyle. Our upbringing. Our relationships. Our religious beliefs. Our friends. Our family. Our heritage. Our culture. Our social status. And a thousand other things that make us unique. When we dismiss others’ opinions we are also dismissing everything that makes them who they are.

Yes, I am a Christian. I consider that a fundamental and intrinsic part of Me; but I don’t force my beliefs and opinions on others, though I speak them readily.  As Americans, we have a right to our own opinions.  And I believe many doctrines from various Christian denominations are merely people’s opinions on what the Bible means.  I’ve heard some folks say, “If you aren’t a member of the ******* church, then you’re going to Hell!”  And I say, God is the Judge of all; let Him do his job.

When we take away a person’s right to an opinion, we strip away their humanity.  Individual opinion/belief is a basic human right.  I am so very thankful that our United States Constitution recognizes that right.  I strongly believe the drafters of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights were guided by God in their endeavors, as God also grants us free will.

My fondest wish is for people to respect each other as individuals with differing beliefs, opinions, situations, and habits.  We are all God’s children, all citizens of the same Earth.  Look past hate, see the person.  We don’t have to agree on everything.  We can agree to disagree, and respect diversity.

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