The Stella Awards (And Some Are Stellar!)~

We’ve all heard or gotten an email about the guy who injured himself while using his lawn mower as a hedge clipper, and then won $500,000 in a lawsuit against the lawn mower company?

Or, how about the woman who threw a soft drink at her boyfriend, slipped on the wet floor, and then won $100,000 in a lawsuit against the restaurant?

These are only two of the common examples of lawsuit abuses that are fueling the call for “litigation reform.” They are also completely untrue — part of a growing collection of legal mythologies that are appearing widely in the national media. I’m not sure why people would make-up stories when the real ones are much better.

You know my fondness for awards – and the Stella Awards is among my favorites. (The Stella Awards were inspired by Stella Liebeck. In 1992, Stella, then 79, spilled a cup of McDonald’s coffee onto her lap, burning herself — the “rest of her story” here…with a LOT of information I didn’t know – for instance she wasn’t driving!!)

The 2006 True Stella Awards

Issued 31 January 2007

(Click here to confirm these are legitimate.)

#5: Marcy Meckler. While shopping at a mall, Meckler stepped outside and was “attacked” by a squirrel that lived among the trees and bushes. And “while frantically attempting to escape from the squirrel and detach it from her leg, [Meckler] fell and suffered severe injuries,” her resulting lawsuit says. That’s the mall’s fault, the lawsuit claims, demanding in excess of $50,000, based on the mall’s “failure to warn” her that squirrels live outside.

#4: Ron and Kristie Simmons. The couple’s 4-year-old son, Justin, was killed in a tragic lawnmower accident in a licensed daycare facility, and the death was clearly the result of negligence by the daycare providers. The providers were clearly deserving of being sued, yet when the Simmons’s discovered the daycare only had $100,000 in insurance, they dropped the case against them and instead sued the manufacturer of the 16-year-old lawn mower because the mower didn’t have a safety device that 1) had not been invented at the time of the mower’s manufacture, and 2) no safety agency had even suggested needed to be invented. A sympathetic jury still awarded the family $2 million.

#3: Robert Clymer. An FBI agent working a high-profile case in Las Vegas, Clymer allegedly created a disturbance, lost the magazine from his pistol, then crashed his pickup truck in a drunken stupor — his blood-alcohol level was 0.306 percent, more than three times the legal limit for driving in Nevada. He pled guilty to drunk driving because, his lawyer explained, “With public officials, we expect them to own up to their mistakes and correct them.” Yet Clymer had the gall to sue the manufacturer of his pickup truck, and the dealer he bought it from, because he “somehow lost consciousness” and the truck “somehow produced a heavy smoke that filled the passenger cab.” Yep: the drunk-driving accident wasn’t his fault, but the truck’s fault. Just the kind of guy you want carrying a gun in the name of the law.

#2: The specialty search engine says Google should be forced to include the KinderStart site in its listings, reveal how its “Page Rank” system works, and pay them lots of money because they’re a competitor. They claim by not being ranked higher in Google, Google is somehow infringing KinderStart’s Constitutional right to free speech. Even if by some stretch they were a competitor of Google, why in the world would they think it’s Google’s responsibility to help them succeed? And if
Google’s “review” of their site is negative, wouldn’t a government court order forcing them to change it infringe on Google’s Constitutional right to free speech?

And the winner of the 2006 True Stella Award:

Allen Ray Heckard. Even though Heckard is 3 inches shorter, 25 pounds lighter, and 8 years older than former basketball star Michael Jordan, the Portland, Oregon, man says he looks a lot like Jordan, and is often confused for him — and thus he deserves $52 million “for defamation and permanent injury” — plus $364 million in “punitive damage for emotional pain and suffering”, plus the SAME amount from Nike co-founder Phil Knight, for a grand total of $832 million. He dropped the suit after Nike’s lawyers chatted with him, where they presumably explained how they’d counter-sue if he pressed on.

©2007 by Randy Cassingham, Reprinted with permission.

As An Added Bonus:
other urban legal myths:

• Kathleen Robertson of Austin received $780,000 from a jury after she tripped over her own son in a furniture store.

• Carl Truman, a 19-year-old in Los Angeles, was awarded more than $74,000 when his hand was run over by a neighbor. The neighbor did not see Truman, who was in the process of stealing his hubcaps.

• Terrence Dickson of Bristol, Pa., was given a $500,000 award after he was inadvertently trapped in the garage of a house that he was burglarizing.

• A Mr. Grazinski won more than $1,750,000 and a new Winnebago after he put his new motor home on cruise control at 70 mph and then went into the back to fix himself some coffee — only to crash on the highway.

Fly Into Or Mountain Out Of ~ Early Morning Thoughts

This amazing short story packed such an incredible sense of meaning and levels of thought into so few words, that I found myself going back over it again and again.

I wanted to make sure what I was “getting” from it was the author’s intent. But, as is the beauty with writing – what I sense may not be what someone else senses. What I carry away from it, may not be at all what someone else puts away from it.


Note: The Russian expression “turning a fly into an elephant”
corresponds with the English “making a mountain out of a molehill.”


A divine hand passed over a fly. “You shall be an elephant” resounded. Before there was time for a second hand to jerk once, then twice on the face of a clock, the inevitable came to pass: the fly’s little heels rested on the earth through the soles of an elephant while his short, black, thread-like sucker curled inside the enormous grey trunk as it rolled up. But the very nature of this miracle was a sort of non-affectation, an amateurism, a vexing kind of “not right”: if a psychologist were to snoop his eyeglasses under the thick skin of this newly elephantized existence, he would at once observe that the fly soul didn’t reach all the way out to fill it.

To sum it up: this elephant with the soul of a fly is the Flylephant.


Insects are, generally speaking, accustomed to what is called “metamorphosis.” But in the case in question, after he examined his new body of one hundred poods, the fly tested it out with much horror and confusion. It was much like the fairy tale that depicts a poor man who, having fallen asleep in his cramped closet, tumbles out—at the will of a fairy—into a spacious, peaceful, wealthy, yet deserted palace. Sick to death of wandering about in his new body, and eventually losing himself in the plethora of questions with which he tormented himself, the soul of the fly made up his mind as such:

“If you just keep sighing, you’ll never get anywhere. Elephants have better lives than our fly brothers. Well then, I will live like this… Oh, but why the devil am I an elephant?!”

So it began.


When he examined the surroundings with his large elephant eyes, the insect noticed something: a creaking, dilapidated little cottage with one bright window stood in view.

“I will crawl just once upon the glass.”

He crawled. Crack! The window was in smithereens, the cottage in splinters.

The Flylephant could do nothing but furrow his ears. What a parable my life has become, he thought.

This happened exactly at springtime. A good fairy went about: her little heels didn’t even press the grass down to the earth as her delicate fingers unabashedly unfolded petals out of the buds so that the flowers would bloom. The sticky leaves of the birches became as green as could be.

“What a pleasant birch,” thought the sentimental Flylephant, and happily flapped his paws; the slender sapling in question swayed, began to groan, and, after whispering something slowly with its pale leaves, expired.

“Not right—not right—not right—not right,” beat the Flyelephant’s frightened heart. And, in response to the heart, a pair of tiny membranous wings enmeshed with golden threads of sunlight began to flutter in the spring sky of blue—wings that Flylephant, still barely comprehending his miracle, loved passionately and tenderly.

Then spring became suddenly more springy, and suddenly the sun began to shine as bright as two suns, and his trunk, dried with tears, reached out to the wings of his girlfriend. Not only his trunk, but all of Flylephant reached out, trying to find the caresses of his former love; he pressed himself against her with body and soul. There was a moment of joy… Then, shuddering, pitiful and frightened, his eyes round in horror, Flylephant stood over a small black blot, staring at a pair of wings sticking out of the blot. The wings twitched—once, again—and then became motionless. Someone’s scary roar rumbled in the ears of the elephantized being. The soul of this being began to thrash about inside its giant body, trying to break through the thick grey skin.

“This is enough! I must go back, to myself, to my old, dark fly crevice.”


What happened next? Next wasn’t very interesting. After searching the earth, foraging the entire planet, from one speck of dust to the next, Flylephant found, finally, his comfortable, narrow, winding crevice, half buried in the sand: a dilapidated little fly house.

He tried to crawl inside, but it was not to be. The crevice calls, calls with a winding, delicate little voice, but it doesn’t let him in.

And this is why, to this very day, the tragic Flylephant lingers over his cozy old crevice. There is no path for him: neither a straight, wide open space, nor a winding crevice.
translated by Andrea Gregovich

Sigizmund Krzhizhanovsky was born in 1887 and died in 1950. His first story was published in 1918, and he became quite well known for a number of years. He, unfortunately, died in obscurity with much of his work lost.

–landscape Alain Briot

Groucho Marx Makes His Mark ~

On the website Chilling Effects, I found this fascinating piece of history — film history to be exact.

Abstract: While preparing to film a movie entitled A Night in Casablanca, the Marx brothers received a letter from Warner Bros. threatening legal action if they did not change the film’s title. Warner Bros. deemed the film’s title too similar to their own Casablanca, released almost five years earlier in 1942, with Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman. In response Groucho Marx dispatched the following letter to the studio’s legal department:

Dear Warner Brothers,

Apparently there is more than one way of conquering a city and holding it as your own. For example, up to the time that we contemplated making this picture, I had no idea that the city of Casablanca belonged exclusively to Warner Brothers. However, it was only a few days after our announcement appeared that we received your long, ominous legal document warning us not to use the name Casablanca.

It seems that in 1471, Ferdinand Balboa Warner, your great-great-grandfather, while looking for a shortcut to the city of Burbank, had stumbled on the shores of Africa and, raising his alpenstock (which he later turned in for a hundred shares of common), named it Casablanca.

I just don’t understand your attitude. Even if you plan on releasing your picture, I am sure that the average movie fan could learn in time to distinguish between Ingrid Bergman and Harpo. I don’t know whether I could, but I certainly would like to try.

You claim that you own Casablanca and that no one else can use that name without permission. What about “Warner Brothers”? Do you own that too? You probably have the right to use the name Warner, but what about the name Brothers? Professionally, we were brothers long before you were. We were touring the sticks as the Marx Brothers when Vitaphone was still a gleam in the inventor’s eye, and even before there had been other brothers—the Smith Brothers; the Brothers Karamazov; Dan Brothers, an outfielder with Detroit; and “Brother, Can You Spare a Dime?” (This was originally “Brothers, Can You Spare a Dime?” but this was spreading a dime pretty thin, so they threw out one brother, gave all the money to the other one, and whittled it down to “Brother, Can You Spare a Dime?”)

Now Jack, how about you? Do you maintain that yours is an original name? Well it’s not. It was used long before you were born. Offhand, I can think of two Jacks—Jack of “Jack and the Beanstalk,” and Jack the Ripper, who cut quite a figure in his day.

As for you, Harry, you probably sign your checks sure in the belief that you are the first Harry of all time and that all other Harrys are impostors. I can think of two Harrys that preceded you. There was Lighthouse Harry of Revolutionary fame and a Harry Appelbaum who lived on the corner of 93rd Street and Lexington Avenue. Unfortunately, Appelbaum wasn’t too well-known. The last I heard of him, he was selling neckties at Weber and Heilbroner.

Now about the Burbank studio. I believe this is what you brothers call your place. Old man Burbank is gone. Perhaps you remember him. He was a great man in a garden. His wife often said Luther had ten green thumbs. What a witty woman she must have been! Burbank was the wizard who crossed all those fruits and vegetables until he had the poor plants in such confused and jittery condition that they could never decide whether to enter the dining room on the meat platter or the dessert dish.

This is pure conjecture, of course, but who knows—perhaps Burbank’s survivors aren’t too happy with the fact that a plant that grinds out pictures on a quota settled in their town, appropriated Burbank’s name and uses it as a front for their films. It is even possible that the Burbank family is prouder of the potato produced by the old man than they are of the fact that your studio emerged “Casablanca” or even “Gold Diggers of 1931.”

This all seems to add up to a pretty bitter tirade, but I assure you it’s not meant to. I love Warners. Some of my best friends are Warner Brothers. It is even possible that I am doing you an injustice and that you, yourselves, know nothing about this dog-in-the-Wanger attitude. It wouldn’t surprise me at all to discover that the heads of your legal department are unaware of this absurd dispute, for I am acquainted with many of them and they are fine fellows with curly black hair, double-breasted suits and a love of their fellow man that out-Saroyans Saroyan.

I have a hunch that his attempt to prevent us from using the title is the brainchild of some ferret-faced shyster, serving a brief apprenticeship in your legal department. I know the type well—hot out of law school, hungry for success, and too ambitious to follow the natural laws of promotion. This bar sinister probably needled your attorneys, most of whom are fine fellows with curly black hair, double-breasted suits, etc., into attempting to enjoin us. Well, he won’t get away with it! We’ll fight him to the highest court! No pasty-faced legal adventurer is going to cause bad blood between the Warners and the Marxes. We are all brothers under the skin, and we’ll remain friends till the last reel of “A Night in Casablanca” goes tumbling over the spool.


Groucho Marx

Unamused, Warner Bros. requested that the Marx Brothers at least outline the premise of their film. Groucho responded with an utterly ridiculous storyline, and, sure enough, received another stern letter requesting clarification. He obliged and went on to describe a plot even more preposterous than the first, claiming that he, Groucho, would be playing “Bordello, the sweetheart of Humphrey Bogart.” No doubt exasperated, Warner Bros. did not respond. A Night in Casablanca was released in 1946.

from the website Chilling Effects which deals with freedoms

Meme Or Not To Meme ~ Early Morning Question

Bloggers often play “tag” with each other. Sometimes it merely having to accomplish some kind of writing or reveal something about yourself that others might not know, or in some cases, not wish to know. I’m not sure this qualifies as an authentic meme but here’s my contribution to something that’s been wandering around:

Here are five statements. All you have to do is tell me which one is the true statement. Then, in the next few days, I will write the story behind the statement.

1. I spent part of my college life working at a sea park.

2. Thanks to my youngest son, I spent a night in jail.

3. My musical instrument of choice in high school was the accordion, earning me extra money (and pick-ups) at parties.

4. I am terrified of thunder and lightning.

5. I was once an extra in a major motion picture.

Let me know which one you think it is, and as I said, in a few days I’ll write about the true one (and explain the false ones) .

Light On The Way ~ Early Morning Thoughts

I have a very dear friend who is going through a very difficult emotional time.

To my dear suffering friend:

When I wrote of the experiences of the train trip while in India, I included this end note:

Squeeze a lemon and you don’t get apple juice” was a popular saying a few years ago. The meaning was quite simple – whatever I am inside, is going to come out during stress and strain. Whatever masks or identities I wear — when the going gets personally tough, whatever is within – whatever I hold as “me” is probably going to “shine” when the push becomes the shove. Miss Marley (an elderly lady who lived at the school – and was the oldest resident of the school) always told me – “When you squeeze a grape, you don’t get wine. It’s got to be mashed around a bit first.”

Unfortunately, being mashed around a bit to me, isn’t a very pleasant process. When I had relationships fail, almost ended up living under a bridge and some of the other things happen I felt what I thought was complete despair. But, in doing some reading recently, I realized there is the word despondency that, while it may seem to be nothing more then semantics, can actually make a great difference in how I look at what is going on around and with me.

If I were to paint a picture of despair, I would select the darkest blues, blacks, purples, and black greens from my palette. I would cover every speck of my canvas in thick swirls of tormenting movement. There would be no highlights. If I were to paint despondency, it would be much the same, but the swirls would have tinted under-shadows and at some point on the canvas, I would make one lightning stroke of gold-white hope. But even this I would cover with a sheer filmy cloud, so that only the perceptive viewer would notice. Should I allow despondency to prevail, it could easily result in despair by a few strokes of the brush to erase hope. But should I wish to encourage the gold-white ray of hope to extend into the turmoil, I may need added skill to remove the cloud, or seek the guidance of an artist more knowledgeable of the medium.

In life we may need comparable means to turn despair into despondency and despondency into hope. Scriptures, history, and general observance of life show us examples of deep despondency approaching despair. There are so many examples of this, but I have chosen one from an ancient source – the Bhagavad-Gita. We meet a very powerful general by the name of Arjuna. As he is preparing for battle, he surveys the two armies getting ready to fight … he sees the families, relatives and close friends from both sides. He becomes puzzled, sad and gives into what seems to be the impossibility of fighting either side.

I am so familiar with Arjuna’s deep sadness becoming completely overwhelming in the opening chapter of the Bhagavad-Gita. Having suffered both despair and despondency, I understand his reaction of sitting down, putting away his arrows and bow, and stating he could not fight.

Despair, then, is a severe state of hopelessness, while despondency is depression that can be worked through. And the going through it is going to take faith, work and support.

Arjuna was so burdened it caused him near immobility. In this state he questions, argues, suffers, and finally begs Krishna to teach him and through eighteen chapters of the Bhagavad-Gita, Krishna responds. This lengthy discourse is in response to Arjuna’s request: “I wish to learn … the nature of abstaining from action and of the giving up of the results of action, and also the difference between these two.” The final wrap up covers the whole of the final chapter. But two statements stand out:

..O Arjuna, that which out of delusion, you do not wish to perform, you will do unavoidably … if rationalizing due to false ego, you resolve not to fight such a decision is only in vain, your own nature will compel you …

Finally Arjuna says: “… I am collected once more; I am free from doubt, firm, and will act.”

Each stage/moment of life requires changing and rearranging of the hues and shadows on our canvas of life, speaking in terms of what I wrote above. Life is worthwhile and worth living … and requires all the resources we have available. I actually had this quote on my mirror for quite awhile:

With the ultimate ever in mind, we must yet live for the day. . . . We have not to look ahead to future years with fear and dread, but to eliminate from our minds all those ideas that have taken root in our blood, which make us the progeny of doubt and fear…
— The Wine of Life

(these quotes thanks to Nodrin King
~ A Flat With A View)

Dreams can often become challenging but challenges are what we live for.
–Travis White

When you’ve got something to prove, there’s nothing greater than a challenge.
–Terry Bradshaw

Mountains cannot be surmounted except by winding paths.
–Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe

Accept the challenges so that you can fell the exhilaration of victory.
–George S.Patton

If someone says can’t, that shows you what to do.
–John Cage

To be tested is good. The challenged life may be the best therapist.
–Gail Sheehy

–painting “hopeless” by Billy Gong
–free from egg


Late News And An Even Later Joke ~

Yesterday afternoon my cable and internet connection decided they deserved a vacation — this, of course, without arranging for any kind of vacation coverage or even the courtesy of letting anyone know they were going. It caused a number of problems, but thankfully management took the situation in hand – and made it worse then it was before. So, the lower levels revolted and solved the problem. And, now my connection is back and running —

It doesn’t hurt to take a good hard look at yourself from time
to time, and this should help get you started.

During a visit to the mental asylum, a visitor asked the Director what the criterion was which defined whether or not a patient should be institutionalized.

“Well,” said the Director, “we fill up a bathtub, then we offer a teaspoon, a teacup and a bucket to the patient and ask him or her to empty the bathtub.”

“Oh, I understand,” said the visitor. “A normal person would use the bucket because it’s bigger than the spoon or the teacup.”

“No.” said the Director, “A normal person would pull the plug. Do you want a bed near the window?”

Meoarf! ~ Early Morning Humor ….

Diaries of a Dog and Cat


Day number 180

Day number 181

Day number 182
1:30 pm – ooooooo. bath. bummer.


DAY 752 – My captors continue to taunt me with bizarre little dangling objects. They dine lavishly on fresh meat, while I am forced to eat dry cereal. The only thing that keeps me going is the hope of escape, and the mild satisfaction I get from ruining the occasional piece of furniture. Tomorrow I may eat another houseplant.

DAY 761 – Today my attempt to kill my captors by weaving around their feet while they were walking almost succeeded, must try this at the top of the stairs. In an attempt to disgust and repulse these vile oppressors, I once again induced myself to vomit on their favorite chair…must try this on their bed.

DAY 765 – Decapitated a mouse and brought them the headless body, in attempt to make them aware of what I am capable of, and to try to strike fear into their hearts. They only cooed and condescended about what a good little cat I was…Hmmm. Not working according to plan.

DAY 768 – I am finally aware of how sadistic they are. For no good reason I was chosen for the water torture. This time however it included a burning foamy chemical called “shampoo.” What sick minds could invent such a liquid. My only consolation is the piece of thumb still stuck between my teeth.

DAY 771 – There was some sort of gathering of their accomplices. I was placed in solitary throughout the event. However, I could hear the noise and smell the foul odor of the glass tubes they call “beer”. More importantly I overheard that my confinement was due to MY power of “allergies.” Must learn what this is and how to use it to my advantage.

DAY 774 – I am convinced the other captives are flunkies and maybe snitches. The dog is routinely released and seems more than happy to return. He is obviously a half-wit. The bird on the other hand has got to be an informant, and speaks with them regularly. I am certain he reports my every move. Due to his current placement in the metal room his safety is assured.

But I can wait, it is only a matter of time…

Integrity – Grace ~ Early Morning Thoughts

I interrupt the regularly scheduled posting to bring you something that I have been struggling with for several weeks. It began with the election-timed fall of Ted Haggard in a drugs-and-gay-sex scandal. And hopefully what I’m saying will not be misunderstood as something it is not….I do try to tie it up at the end of the article.

Early in November, the Rev. Paul Barnes of Grace Chapel in Douglas County preached to his 2,100-member congregation about integrity and grace in the aftermath of the Ted Haggard drugs-and-gay-sex scandal.

Here is a parts of the sermon Rev. Paul Barnes gave as the Haggard scandal was still unfolding … his comments are powerful and ring with truth. Interestingly enough, it wasn’t his original sermon – but one he composed shortly before delivering it.

The title of his new sermon: “Integrity, Sin and Grace.”

During the sermon Rev. Barnes defined integrity as “being the same on the outside as you are on the inside.”

All people come to God broken, he said. Maybe it’s alcoholism, he said. Or a bad temper. Or pornography. Some people overcome their problems; others continue to live with them, he said.

Most of us, if the truth were known, we wear masks,” Barnes said. “… Sometimes, we wear masks because we want to be appear more perfect than we are. But the reality of it is, all of us are so very imperfect.

Some people view homosexuality second only to pedophilia on a list of “disgusting things a person can do,” he said.

But why, he asked, do so many Christians gloss over the sins of adultery or idolatry?

What causes more damage to a society? The 2 to 3 percent of the people in a society that are gay or the 50 percent of people in society who have been married and divorced and remarried? (remember he was speaking to a congregation, not the public at large which explains his narrow few of what damages society.)

He urged grace and mercy for all.

Later in December, in a tearful videotaped message Sunday to his congregation, he confessed to homosexuality and announced he had voluntarily resigned his pulpit.

Now, the 54-year-old Barnes has joined Haggard as a fallen evangelical minister who preached that homosexuality was a sin but grappled with a hidden life.

I have struggled with homosexuality since I was a 5-year-old boy,” Barnes said in the 32- minute video,… I can’t tell you the number of nights I have cried myself to sleep …”

Unlike Haggard, who had the ear of the White House, Barnes is not a household name. He is a self-described introvert who avoids politics. Barnes and Grace Chapel stayed out of the debate over Amendment 43, a measure approved by Colorado voters defining marriage as between one man and one woman.

“I can’t think of a single sermon where he ever had a political agenda,” said Dave Palmer, an associate pastor.

So, unlike Haggard – this was not a pastor that entered the political realm or sought personal gain by his sermons, books or speaking engagements. He seems as a man trying as Paul described in Philippians 2:12: Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always done — not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling…

This, to me is what Rev. Barnes was attempting to do. And, this admonition continues to haunt even today….gay or straight we are to work out our OWN reality with fear and trembling.

Now the part of the article that really troubled me:

Palmer said the church got an anonymous call last week from a person “concerned” for the welfare of Barnes and the church. The caller had overheard a conversation in which someone mentioned “blowing the whistle” on evangelical preachers engaged in homosexuality, including Barnes.

Why is this troubling? These people profess to be something they are not – and encourage discriminatory behavior. So, it does seem logical that their secrets need to be brought to light. Where I have a problem, is when we take on ourselves to make what is in the dark public without caring about the result. This may get me into trouble however: To me, private is private ~ however, as far as secret evil is concerned an ancient admonition is crystal clear:

Things that are done in darkness (hidden/masked/hypocritical)
WILL be exposed to the light

It might not be my timetable or the way I would wish it to be – but I have seen it time and time again.
The biggest noisemakers or their so-called truth end up in ashes
We can name them and it takes more than the fingers of our hands.

So here is where my quandary begins. Their speech harmed people, caused discrimination and in some cases, deep hurt (which sometimes is physical). So the exposing of the hypocrisy seems to do a good thing. But, is it? I don’t have an easy answer. As far as their speaking out against gays, but living the gay lifestyle the answers seems clear-cut. Again I ask in all honesty…Is it?

Where I’m at for now, is looking at the result. What has it changed? Has it brought reasonable dialogue or even more posturing from all sides of the damaging kind. I do know that I can not cheer and relish the downfall of someone, anyone — unless I would want the same kind of downfall on myself. I also know that I can have relief that they are no longer doing damage to others in the way they were – but also, that I need to work toward reconciliation of people of all kinds and types to the greater good of all.

Remember the title of Rev. Barnes sermon included the word integrity?

The opposite of integrity, etymologically, is privation, deprivation, depravity, perversion, rupture, destruction, corruption. That which takes away from the whole entity or system or organ, from wholeness, wholesomeness, holism, soundness, sanity, ecology, cohesion, idealism, interconnectedness. In other words, breakdown.

The term can be applied in the moral, rational, or physical domains of human endeavor. Moral integrity refers to a cohesive set of principles, rational integrity to a cohesive logic, and physical integrity to a cohesive physical structure. In each sense integrity means wholeness, soundness, consistency, coherence.

So when we say something lacks integrity we mean, literally, it is falling apart. It has lost the critical elements, balance, connectedness that kept it together. It has come unglued.
–Dave Pollard 12/5/2003

Thus endeth the posting for this morning – your regularly scheduled posting will resume tomorrow.

2nd picture Soul Struggle by Frank Picini
6th picture The Reconciliation by Gwen Raverat

Early Morning Thoughts ~ Choice Thoughts

Continuing yesterday morning’s post on choice,
here are some other peoples thoughts:

George Eliot:
The strongest principle of growth lies in human choice.

Denis Waitley:
There are two primary choices in life; to accept conditions as they exist, or accept the responsibility for changing them.

John Wayne:
Tomorrow is the most important thing in life. Comes into us at midnight very clean. It’s perfect when it arrives and puts itself in our hands. It hopes we’ve learned something from yesterday.

Kahlil Gibran:
We choose our joys and sorrows long before we experience them.

Frank Swinnerton:
We would rather be in the company of somebody we like than in the company of the most superior being of our acquaintance.

Leo Buscaglia:
What we call the secret of happiness is no more a secret than our willingness to choose life.

Edgar A. Guest:
You are the person who has to decide. Whether you’ll do it or toss it aside; you are the person who makes up your mind. Whether you’ll lead or will linger behind. Whether you’ll try for the goal that’s afar. Or just be contented to stay where you are.

Gene Roddenberry:
A man either lives life as it happens to him, meets it head-on and licks it, or he turns his back on it and starts to wither away.

William Jennings Bryan:
Destiny is not a matter of chance, it is a matter of choice; it is not a thing to be waited for, it is a thing to be achieved.

For what is the best choice, for each individual is the highest it is possible for him to achieve.

Jim Rohn:
Happiness is not by chance, but by choice.

Wayne Dyer:
Heaven on earth is a choice you must make, not a place we must find.

Neil Peart:
If you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice.

Liz Carpenter:
Instead of looking at life as a narrowing funnel, we can see it ever widening to choose the things we want to do, to take the wisdom we’ve learned and create something.

Napoleon Hill:
It is always your next move.

Jean Nidetch:
It’s choice – not chance – that determines your destiny.

Frederick Bailes:
Man’s power of choice enables him to think like an angel or a devil, a king or a slave. Whatever he chooses, mind will create and manifest.

Oprah Winfrey:
Right now you are one choice away from a new beginning – one that leads you toward becoming the fullest human being you can be.

by Rudyard Kipling

If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or, being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or, being hated, don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise;

If you can dream – and not make dreams your master;
If you can think – and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with triumph and disaster
And treat those two imposters just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to broken,
And stoop and build ’em up with worn out tools;

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breath a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: “Hold on”;

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with kings – nor lose the common touch;
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you;
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run –
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And – which is more – you’ll be a Man my son!