Happy Anniversary Mom and Dad

February 24, 2017
Lady Liberty

We waited for hours to board the ferry to Liberty Island. I had never seen the Statue of Liberty up close so I was struck with awe as we neared the island and the colossal size of the statue became apparent.

No wonder this man-made edifice has been a political icon ever since it was conceived. If you study its history, legends overlap fact and fiction. It is a symbol of freedom, a welcoming arm to the immigrant, and a marvel of neoclassical art mixed with the French structural engineering of Gustav Eifffel. Everyone admires what it stands for yet different ideologies claim to be the true follower of its message. It is a pure example of something universally right yet confusing when it boils down to the details. It's like everyone wanting a perfect meal but not everyone agreeing if it should be French, Italian, Japanese, Chinese or even vegetarian. It rightly is the symbol of the complex and dynamic America.

The politics of today can raise your blood pressure when you hear comments and jeers from people of opposing viewpoints. Seemingly innocent side comments or jokes can be magnified insults. People are so sensitive about their party allegiance. Everyone believes they have truth on their side and unless you agree with them you are misinformed or just totally ignorant. Families are divided. Friendships are shattered. But I suggest it need not be so, if we accept a few observations.

  1. We are not as smart as we would like to think. Better leave room for the possibility that we may be wrong.

  2. There are very intelligent people who are more knowledgeable and can defend their views better than us ... and they are on the other side.

  3. We can never have all the facts.

  4. If we do not listen to opposing arguments, we will never know where others are coming from. There will never be reconciliation.

  5. News items are never purely objective.

  6. Even photographs can be Photoshopped. Even unadulterated photos can influence perceptions if taken seconds apart.

  7. Isolated incidents are easily blown out of proportion when we compare it to the vast majority.

  8. Statistics and polls can be manipulated by the pollsters. Take them with a grain of salt.

  9. Just because a person is not a polished speaker it does not mean his opinion is not credible. He may have other strengths.

  10. When we start parroting our favorite talking head, we are in danger of losing our own identity. When he makes a mistake we will be defending him instead of addressing the issues.

  11. The louder we shout whose side we are on, the harder it is to admit we are wrong.

  12. We have to accept that there are evil people (lobbyists) who are paid to promote an agenda and they have substantial marketing budgets to do their deed. We need to discern their propaganda and the mouthpieces that promote it.

  13. It's easy to be a bully and lash out at everything that irritates you. It takes a lot of maturity to be silent and respect other opinions.

It's good that people are engaged in politics because for democracy to work, it needs an informed majority. But let's engage in discussions more than personality attacks.

There were a lot of trials in the building of the Statue of Liberty. Several times construction came to a halt because of internal bickering and funding problems. And yet this wild concept of a gigantic symbol of freedom back in 1875 has turned into a modern marvel that droves of people, like me, would pay $18 for the privilege of waiting in line for several hours.

When the dust of arguments clear up. I am confident that the symbol of liberty and freedom will still be standing to challenge us to new heights because in order to progress there needs to be change. In order to change we need to listen to a multiplicity of opinions. In order for opinions to be expressed, people need to have the liberty to do so.

Whew! Sorry, I said a mouthful, didn't I? See what the Statue of Liberty can do to you?

TGIF people!

50th Anniversary Dinner
Contributed by Mike of New York

A husband and his wife were celebrating 50 years together.

Their three kids, all very successful, all agreed to a Sunday dinner in their honor.

"Happy Anniversary Mom & Dad" gushed son number one, a surgeon, "Sorry I'm running late. I had an emergency at the hospital with a patient, you know how it is, and didn't have time to get you a gift."

"Not to worry" said the father, "the important thing is that we're all together today."

Son number two, a lawyer, arrived and announced "You and Mom look great Dad. I just flew in from Los Angeles between depositions and didn't have time to shop for you."

"It's nothing," said the father. "We're glad you were able to come."

Then the daughter,a marketing executive, said. "Happy Anniversary! I'm sorry but my boss is sending me out of town and I was really busy packing, so I didn't have time to get you anything."

After they finished dessert, the father said, "There's something your mother and I have wanted to tell you for a long time. You see, we were very poor. Despite this, we were able to send each of you to college. Throughout the years your mother and I knew we loved each other very much, but we just never found the time to get married."

The three children gasped and all said, "You mean we're bastards?"

"Yep," said the father, "and cheap ones too!"

TGIF Videos

Honest Trailer: Oscars 2017
Sent by Josh of New York City

This honest trailer does a fine job in showing the hype in Hollyweird. It may be politically touchy for some.

A Day in Pompeii
Sent by Don of Kelowna, B.C.

If there was a webcam on August 24, 79 AD., the eruption of Mt. Vesuvious could have looked like this.
Do you realize that the apostle John was the only apostle left alive when this happened? No wonder he was inspired to write Revelations.

Peacherine Rag
Sent by Tom of Pasadena, CA

Don't ask me what the title means. I just know it's pretty entertaining.

Thanks to Tom of Pasadena, CA


Thanks for your column today. Your thoughts are so good and so worthwhile. I like to think I'm right! but I might not be. And even if I am right, the other guy should be able to say what he thinks and I'd better listen. That's what grown-ups do.


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