DACA

DACA: (n) Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals: a program intended to allow undocumented immigrants who were brought to the U.S. as minors to legally remain

Horror stories.

Whenever you find yourself in a conversation with other folks, and one side tries to justify their position by telling you a horror story to reinforce their point, and then the other group equally intends to rationalize their thoughts by relating a horror story from their perspective, you need to realize that both parties have not thought this situation through to a conclusion.

There are so many issues in our country that fall into this category that it would take many essays to isolate each one.

All of these groups are obsessed with extremes. It is a competition to portray that their members are more logical and super-patriotic.

Meanwhile, there are children in this country who are here because their parents brought them from other countries.

The children didn’t plan the trip.

These youngsters were not in on the deception to be illegal aliens.

No matter how hard you may try to prosecute them, they will always be innocent and unable to be proven guilty.

Yet the validity remains that they are not naturalized citizens.

If you wish to insist that they should be welcomed into our country no matter what the circumstances, then I’m sure you can present a case in which frightened young humans are being terrorized by the state with the threat of deportation—a removal, by the way, to a land they have never known.

On the flip side, if you think that it’s completely irrational to have these children receive blanket immunity when their parents were breaking the law by bringing them here, then you will certainly have a cautionary tale about how some of these unwelcome “nesters” have grown up to commit crimes or continue to flaunt their improper status right under the nose of the law.

My feelings on DACA are simple.

No one should be allowed to stay in this country simply because they look pathetic.

But also, no one should be thrown out of this country simply because they look pathetic.

Here’s an idea.

Offer a crash course—a two-month study of our nation, complete with community service to the neighborhood, a test to become Americans, and if these “offspring without a country” complete this journey without bad attitudes or cutting corners, their amends should allow them to become part of “we, the people.”

Court

Court: (n) a tribunal presided over by a judge

I’ve only been in a courtroom twice. In both cases, I was innocent. In both cases, I walked in innocent and walked out innocent.

But not really.

Contrary to popular opinion from television shows, once you are summoned to the high court, the low court—or even a medium court, you will always be considered suspect.funny wisdom on words that begin with a C

Matter of fact, I have never spoken on the subject before. Why? Because I would not want to deal with what you would think.

Even though I committed no crime, discussing being accused of misbehavior only makes people believe that I found a slick way to weasel out of it—or there just wasn’t enough evidence to produce the desired verdict.

Just as we have faith in our doctors, we also have an unrighteous allegiance to the legal profession—and also the police force.

I do not think it’s good to be critical of those who serve us, but I think it is foolish to contend that their decisions are free of error, and even might occasionally be marked by folly.

Once you find yourself in a court, you must never refer to it again, and you must be fully aware that if anyone finds out about it, they will assume that “where there’s smoke there must be fire.”

It’s very interesting to me that a burning fire produces less smoke than a fire that has been extinguished. That seems to escape us when we’re trying to evaluate, judge and even condemn other people.

So the best thing to do is stay out of court unless you make your living as a lawyer, stenographer, judge or baliff. They are the only ones who seem to escape being tainted by the spirit of the room.

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Cop-out

Cop-out: (n) act or instance of copping out; reneging; evasion

I would like you to join me today in the world of make-believe. It is a place where balloons never lose their air, marshmallows always toast brown instead of black and gumdrops won’t stick together.

It shouldn’t be a realm of make-believe, but because we live in a time when political speak, campaign language and Washingtonian wording has gained predominance, the common man, woman and child have begun to believe they can talk themselves out of anything.

It is becoming more and more usual for people to offer excuses, explanations or pathos than to simply answer a question.funny wisdom on words that begin with a C

Our new heroes are those we say we despise—because politicians and lawyers always register near the bottom on the list of favored occupations.

Yet when confronted with the simple question, “Did you do this?” almost every American citizen, and dare I say, perhaps worldwide, begins to launch into a story, as if taken over by the spirit of Stephen King.

There was a time when we used to believe that elaborating on our failures to try to make them look better was a cop-out.

We hated cop-outs.

We despised excuses for foolish mistakes.

Now we anticipate it. When someone is asked, “Did you eat the last Oreo?” we brace ourselves to hear a three-part series, with a potential sequel to follow half-an-hour later.

It has become acceptable to offer the cop-out, even though we continue to roll our eyes and absolutely reject anyone who does it.

The answer to the question is, “Yes, I ate the last Oreo.” Or, “No, I didn’t.”

None of us need to know the story line of the Oreo, how much it means to you to eat one, or how you are innocent because you were unaware that it was the last one available.

In my opinion, coping out should be so illegal that you should be able to call a cop when you hear it.


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Cherub

Cherub: (n) a beautiful or innocent-looking child.

It takes a lot for me to become motivated to try to lose weight.

It’s similar to convincing an ant-eater that ant consumption is bad for its health. After all, you are named “ant-eater.” To suddenly stop eating ants not only removes your diet, but robs you of your identity.

I.e., if I am not a fat man, who am I?

If I’m not the guy talking about calories while lamenting my metabolism, how would I be able to find myself in a crowded mall?

My identity is wrapped up in my weaknesses just as much as my virtues. I don’t know why we take so much time to lie, cheat and cover up our frailties, when the
y are obviously going to pop up and announce their presence.

But every once in a while, I do become motivated to try to carve away some of the fat from my body. It usually takes a shock. One such occasion happened when a gentleman from a newspaper, reviewing my show and describing my face, wrote: “He is a chubby fellow with cherub-like features.”

I was appalled.

There is no man born on this Earth who wants to be a chubby cherub. Matter of fact, if you told a woman that her blind date was “chubby and cherub-like” she just might call in sick.

I became obsessed.

I went to my bathroom mirror and stood there for at least fifteen minutes, peering at my cheeks–my second chin which was thinking about adding on an addition–and eventually became convinced that I indeed was a cherub. Although that supposedly has angelic proportions, it also makes you look too child-like and too plump.

I immediately started a diet, which didn’t last long because I was motivated for all the wrong reasons.

So over the years I have tried to grow a beard, which was as successful as any other cherub, and I’ve sported a mustache–a goatee which I occasionally have to pencil in because it’s just not dark enough.

This whole story would be very pathetic except for the fact that deep in my heart, I really don’t care.

My confidence is not based on my appearance, but rather, the confidence my appearance may proffer to others.

 

 

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Central

Central: (adj) at the center, of the greatest importance

Is there a center to a box? I always consider a center to be associated with a circle. I suppose you could find the center of a square. Of course you can.

But still, “central” normally is equated with something that’s a circle–like the Earth. There’s a central point on the Earth. I’ve heard about it.
I could have looked it up for you but I didn’t.

There’s a central theme to almost every occupation.

But trying to discover what is central to the human race is difficult because people keep trying to “mash down” the circle.

Some human beings believe it’s their mission to disrupt everything, and therefore provide a climate of chaos wherein allegedly, sense and reason will emerge triumphantly.

I was halfway through writing that sentence and it sounded stupid.

To find deeper truth, some truth has to be honored–otherwise there is no path.

When we begin to question what is central, we start doubting the circle of the Earth and the wholeness of us as a people. That seems dangerous.

We might accidentally start threatening one another with nuclear weapons, or shooting down innocent people in the street–simply because we’ve forgotten what’s central.

Central to our race is a very simple idea: I have to leave you alone and let you be who you are while simultaneously letting you know I care.

It’s a little tricky.

Because if I let you know I care by interfering with who you want to be, then I’ve broken the central theme.

If I leave you to yourself to pursue your avenues but you know I do so because I have no interest in you, then I’ve also failed.

It is that amazing place we land–where we are tolerant, but vigilant.

I love you enough to let you be who you want to be while simultaneously standing guard to make sure you don’t hurt yourself or fail to miss an opportunity.

 

 

 

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By-stander

j-r-practix-with-border-2

By-stander:(n) a person who is present at an event or incident but does not take part

Most people know what an oxymoron is. It’s a statement or collection of words that seem to contradict one another–case in point, jumbo shrimp.

That being said, I will tell you the little known oxymorons is the pairing of the two words “innocent by-stander.”

Although I admit meteorites do fall from the sky and hit people in the head, most of the time there’s a warning and an opportunity before a conclusion.

The warning can be subtle. Sometimes you need to tune your ears to Mother Nature in order to heed the precaution. Even though we consider people who focus on warnings to be paranoid, they rarely find themselves categorized as “innocent by-standers.”

After the warning, there’s usually some sort of opportunity:

  • A chance to say something.
  • A door to do something.
  • A way of escape–a few seconds where thinking can be clarified.

Shortly after that opportunity comes a conclusion. It is random and always certain. It doesn’t care about our status–it just follows through on the warning.

An example:

Driving in Seattle, Washington one summer, I was returning from a recording session when I looked ahead–almost a quarter of a mile–and saw a back-up of traffic. But worse, smoke was beginning to rise in small puffs, letting me know that collisions were going on between cars.

I had a very brief opportunity to avoid being part of a huge freeway pile-up. My brakes were not going to be useful–the person behind would just plow into me.

So as I saw the chain reaction developing in front of me, I moved onto the berm and traveled on it for about a mile, as cars continued to pummel one another in the calamity.

It was very close, but I was able to get in front of the origin of the collision. There was no traffic and I was on my way.

Do I think I’m a genius? No.

Have I always been so observant? No.

But when I haven’t, the problems have piled up on me. 

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Bombshell

Bombshell: (n) a very attractive woman.

Sometimes it’s just not enough to attract.Dictionary B

Even though we spend a lot of money and too many hours trying to become more attractive, we also expend equivalent energy insisting that we are loved for something other than our outward appearance.

I guess there’s a great advantage to being ugly–because you know if you attract anyone in your direction, it’s legitimate.

From time to time I think about the life of Marilyn Monroe.

Whatever she truly wanted to achieve, she failed to accomplish, causing her to misuse drugs and end up the victim of an overdose.

What did she want?

She wasn’t totally innocent–in the sense that she certainly did use her sexuality to gain prominence. But once that was acquired, she was stuck with the perception that she was nothing more than a blithe, flighty, unaware female with a good body, tempting every man to prove that he could be her supreme lover.

The smirks, the snickers and the lascivious smiles that trailed her probably exhausted her already-burdened spirit, and made her wish for anonymity.

Or maybe she was just a spoiled brat, who wouldn’t have been happy with anything.

I don’t know.

Does anybody know?

But since human sexuality encompasses such a small amount of space in our lives, to give much effort to blow it out of proportion is tiresomely vain.

Yes, I imagine the true problem of being a bombshell is that you just never know when it’s going to blow up in your face. 

 

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Blameless

Blameless: (adj) innocent of wrongdoing.

Dictionary B

People were killed because they happened to be in a night club with a man who brought a gun and a nasty vendetta.

It doesn’t make sense.

Human beings who insist on the world being sensible end up either committing suicide or writing really bad poetry.

But we are not blameless.

I want to find my fault in the fiasco. I am weary of studying the scrambled brains of troubled little boys.

None of us are blameless.

All have sinned and fallen short of glorious possibilities.

An attempt to point fingers–especially prompted by political motivations–is what truly enrages our Creator.

So I went off yesterday morning and did what I think I do best. I shared a message of good cheer enjoined with personal responsiblity.

For after all, I will never change the world by focusing on its tribulation.

I am also useless if I quietly intone to others, “Be patient because God is in control.”

I find value in the human tribe when I bring a spirit of good cheer with a simple idea on how to make things just a little bit better.

I didn’t shoot one bullet at the Pulse Night Club in Orlando, Florida.

But legislation is useless. I must share a responsibility to make this world a little bit more pleasant by offering a courtly grace to the next brother or sister I encounter.

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Besmirch

Besmirch: (v) to damage the reputation of someone or something in the opinion of others.

Dictionary B

I don’t often take the liberty of addressing contemporary issues in these essays, but I am greatly troubled by the way our society is handling a particular human being.

Yes, I may be the singular person in America who feels sorry for Donald Trump. He possibly is the only truly innocent person in this whole cavalcade of ridiculous parading around, while turning our Democratic system into a clown act gigging at a whore house.

After all, Donald Trump has always made it clear who he is.

One can watch three episodes of The Apprentice and understand the man. He has two personas: an entertainer who acts as a salesman, or a salesman who greatly enjoys entertaining. Therefore he has dual goals:

  1.  To garner emotion from you
  2. To get you to buy something.

Unfortunately, he has tapped a bitter well in the American culture which spews poison. Once he realized there was a great flow from this poisonous digging, he pursued it–being the salesman that he is. The fact that we are unable to cap it is our problem, not his.

Of all the candidates running for President, Donald Trump is the most transparent.

The problem lies in our own secret rooms, where we still maintain a vigil of prejudice, but try to act embarrassed because this New York billionaire thespian acts it out for us.

So be careful when besmirching the reputation of this awkward soul.

He is what he is, and by the way … that’s all that he is.

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Abrasive

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dictionary with letter A

Abrasive: (adj.): 1. a substance capable of polishing or cleaning a hard surface by rubbing or grinding. 2. rough to the ear; harsh 3. showing little concern for the feelings of others; harsh in mannerism.

“King George is a tyrant.” At one time that would have been an abrasive statement.

“Slaves should be free.”  If you had said that in Congress in 1851, you’d have been dubbed abrasive.

I love rock and roll.” Try that one in 1961 America.

“The Vietnam War is criminal.” You would certainly have been considered abrasive in 1967.

Black people should have the right to vote.” There are probably STILL some folks who think that’s abrasive.

“Women should be allowed to be executives in the workplace.” Once again, that one will polish a rough surface or two.

We throw words around like “abrasive” to discourage people from saying things “untoward” in mixed company.” (We say words like “untoward” when we have not yet arrived in this present century.)

Abrasive is a tough one. Often there are many things that need to be shared, pointed out and even shouted from the housetops, which are just NOT in the present mindset of the popular thinking. But if they’re not said, they can’t be heard and if they can’t be heard, the faith to change things for the better is never launched.

So how do I know when I’m abrasive? Honestly, that one’s pretty simple to me. If I’m saying something because I was personally offended or if I have a hankering to offend somebody else just for the hell of it, you can pretty well guarantee–it’s abrasive.

But words that are said to cry out for freedom, purpose and to protect the innocent may not always be received well, but historically, they will never be proclaimed abrasive.

Perhaps it would take an angel to discern all the subtleties in that process.

Perhaps we need a few more angels.