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Saturday, October 31, 2015

J.T. Barrett and Today's Culture...

College Gameday is addressing J.T. Barrett's OVI early this morning... They've addressed losing his starting QB job he'd just won back, not having his leadership on the sidelines or on the field, and focused a few minutes on the importance of not putting the keys in the ignition if you've been drinking.

How about the fact that J.T. Barrett is an elite athlete and is drinking PERIOD? How about the fact that J.T. Barrett is only 20 years old and therefore is drinking underage? How about the fact that the night before your first start, at 12:30 a.m., you're out partying instead of treating your body, mind, and team with the respect they deserve? Some of us treated our bodies that way when playing college sports or even high school sports...

What happened to the era of coaches enforcing policies that players take care of themselves and one another the night before a game? It doesn't matter that his BAC was barely over the legal limit. It matters that an elite athlete is using alcohol under age the night before a game and getting behind the wheel of a car. It speaks to the culture of condoning alcohol use in our minors and of the extensive alcohol abuse in this country.

It should never be okay to drink while in season; it should never be okay to drink underage; and it should be emphatically enforced that they not drink and drive. If Urban Meyer and today's revered coaches aren't impressing young athletes with that mindset, then what else are they not teaching them? In light of Rick Pitino's program begin accused of luring athletes with escorts, it truly begs the question: what is the role of today's coach in educating student athletes? They go to college for an education, and it's unclear what -- and if -- they are learning the skills to be successful beyond sports. Football ad basketball are games; life is not.

Friday, October 23, 2015

Demand Expertise

To fulfill so many professions, you have to be trained, educated, and vetted by those with expertise in that area. This is incredibly true in education, medicine, and engineering. It is equally as true in publishing, though self-publishing has opened the door for many who struggle to break through...

So why is it not true in politics? Secretaries of education are appointed without the necessary education experience to understand classrooms of all kinds. Now we have numerous presidential candidates with virtually NO experience in understanding foreign policy, the process of law making, education reform, true middle class or lower class issues, or a thorough understanding of politics in general.

What if they each had to post a resume/CV that showed their true qualifications for public office, especially the office of the most powerful person in the western world? Or better yet, they had to work their way up, like our forefathers intended: mayor/governor/senator or representative/president. Now all you need to be is rich; and the truly wealthy, like several of our candidates, represent only 1% of our population. Very few know what it means to live in middle class America, where the majority of us earn a living.

So I challenge every person, Democrat or Republican or otherwise, to choose your candidate based on the ability to lead this country in all regards. You would expect that from your child's teacher or your baby's doctor. Why not from the person who governs our country? Vote not for personality or passion but for the expertise we demand of our teachers, doctors, and engineers.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Raise Your Voice

Authors reach, on average, hundreds to thousands of readers each when we blog (the Kings, Rowlings, and Pattersons exponentially more). Imagine if we all sent the same message regarding significant issues: tolerance, bullying, body image, texting and driving, mental health. And everyone else who blogs, you have the same power: your voice. It's time we all speak up when an issue warrants it. Amazing things happen when people unite for a cause. What's yours? Do those around you know it? Silence solves little and apathy solves nothing.

Our voices are our greatest weapon.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Same Nation, Same Rights

Once thought of as radically conservative, Ireland makes history today being the first country to legalize marriage regardless of sexual orientation.

I find it bizarre that America, a country synonymous with progress and trend-setting, is still debating same-sex marriage.

To so many, this should not be up for debate. It is equivalent of past debates that fall under the “this doesn’t really affect you” category.

People once opposed women having the right to vote. Men would allow a woman to sleep in their beds, cook their meals, raise their children, care for them in their declining years….yet they couldn’t vote? You could argue that this did affect others – giving women equal say in our nation’s decisions. But it was only a matter of time. Half the nation could not be oppressed.

The right to bear arms has raised many fists over the decades. No! We shouldn’t be able to have guns, to own them and have them in our homes where we can have and do absolutely anything else: cook meth, watch porn, beat your wife/husband/child). Why should we have the same weapons the criminals who might accost us have? And to align with the argument, if you don’t want a gun, if you don’t agree in the right to bear arms…don’t buy one.

A raging war has existed for half a century over whether a woman should be able to have control over her own body. Should a government have a say over whether I cut my hair? Show my face? Open my mouth…or my legs? Many governments do. Don’t get me wrong; I am not an advocate for abortion. Morally, I would choose not to have one. Yet I do not believe the government should have any say over what I do – or don’t do – with my body. And ultimately, if you don’t believe in abortion, don’t have one.

This may ire people to rebut: a child is a life at conception and it is precious. I agree. But…there is always a but. I believe God loves us all and He wants what is best for us as human beings. He does not want suffering or judgment, condemnation or retaliation. He has allowed us to create our world and reap the rewards or suffer the consequences for the choices we’ve made. Even God embraced change…those who live and die by the Old Testament need only consider why there was a New Testament. Ideologies from Old to New changed.

Just as they have now.

The sanctity of marriage occurs when two people who love one another want to make a lifelong commitment. Only a few decades ago, those two people could not be of different color. Today, the barrier is whether any two people can vow to love one another – in a time when over half of the men and women who marry eventually divorce. What right do people who cannot honor their vows have to deny everyone else the right to the same opportunity? The opportunity to no longer hide their relationship, to know what it feels like to hold hands in public. Many people can’t know the ache of wanting to wrap your arms around the person you love but not being able to because someone might see. The right to marry is one step closer to that kind of equality.

So it comes down to the core of the debate: why are some people so opposed to same-sex marriage? Heterosexual couples engage in immoral and illegal sexual practices daily in their own bedrooms. Women sell sex for a living. We have slave trade of children in sex-trafficking rings, and whether to allow people who love each other to marry is our issue? It begs the question, why do they care? And at the risk of being redundant, if you don’t believe in same-sex marriage, don’t have one, don’t go to one, don’t watch one. But honor that sanctimonious soapbox you stand on and embrace the most important adage: don’t judge one.