Stark ReAlity

The Social Media tidal wave is gaining momentum, are you prepared?

Those who deny freedom to others deserve it not for themselves.

Abraham Lincoln



Hi everybody. Can you believe that our year is half over, I just hope the world finds answers to all the challenges we face these days in the second half. Today also marks the beginning of what may be my most interesting and challenging week in 2013. The days ahead will provide me with a variety of activities and the emotions that I am sure will accompany each unique day.

I start off today with many of my normal activities that will be followed by eight hours of fasting in preparation for tomorrows medical procedures. I will be at the surgery center before the sun is up tomorrow where I am assured a restful morning as they put me under and do their magic removal of my kidney stones. I have learned long ago that there is no use worrying about things you can’t change so I am only looking forward to a short recovery and my new normal.

On Wednesday my brother-in-law and his daughter will arrive from North Carolina. He does not get around much these days due to a past stroke. His visit will be especially poignant since it has not been that long ago that his wife, who was one of my dearest friends, passed away. We are at the age where we must replace regrets with fond memories, which we will do.

Then on Thursday we will join our family at my son’s lake house and spend our nation’s Independence Day together. As our family has matured, four in colleges around the nation as an example, we do not get many chances to spend time together so this will be a special treat.

My week will end with the marriage of my grandson who is the first of my seven grandchildren to wed. It is further evidence that the children that we have enjoyed for so many years are now adults. My grandson is  special to me; he is a published poet and is bringing a wonderful woman into our family, a person who brightens up my day whenever she visits.

What won’t happen for the rest of the week will be my daily workout at the gym nor will there be a daily tomorrow and possibly the rest of the week. Hopefully I will be able to put something together by Friday, if I don’t have a great week and I’ll be back with you next Monday.

Now I hope you will bear with me as I share something with you that I wrote on Independence Day a number of years ago. I worry sometimes that too many of us forget the meaning of the day. Here is what I published.

We must not forget

“We celebrate that our Declaration of Independence was signed and published on this day in 1776. The Declaration laid the foundation for what has now become the United States. It stated in part that:

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. --That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.” These words have served us well ever since that day so may years ago. Unfortunately from time to time we start to drift away from these basic principles, we start to behave as if some men are created equal, not all men. We behave as if those who have the most are the chosen and these basic truths do not apply to everyone.

Don’t get me wrong, I am proud of the good things that have been done by many in each of our home nations. I especially have great regard for friends that are making huge personal sacrifices in an effort help provide the foundation for better lives for others. Unfortunately I sometimes think that many of us withhold our support for these principles until we have personally made sure we are more equal, have more of everything than we really need, and because we believe the protection of the rights of others is the responsibility of someone else. Some of us do what we can as long as it does not require any sacrifice on our part.

It was not the words of the Declaration that laid the foundation for liberty and justice; it was the commitment of the people and their willingness to sacrifice. Each of us has the ability to make our own investments in the principles of the Declaration; all it takes is our willingness to do so.”

Today I worry that too many of us view freedom as only our being free of oppression or terror, it is times like these when it becomes more important than ever that we also understand that our founding fathers embraced the concept of freedom to be ourselves. In effect they obligated us to defend the right of others to disagree with us as well as their right to be different than we are, as long as they don’t infringe on our rights. If we don’t defend the rights of others, who will be left to defend our rights?

We are often asked to put more power into the hands of leaders we trust, but we sometimes forget that what we do will linger past the time of our trusted leaders and could very well end up in the hands of new leaders that exercise the power to oppress even us.

Please, fellow citizens, embrace our independence day and remember why we declared our independence so many years ago.



He that would make his own liberty secure, must guard even his enemy from opposition;

For if he violates this duty he establishes a precedent that will reach himself.

Thomas Paine


A woman's guide to understanding men...

1. A good place to meet a man is at the dry cleaner. These men usually have jobs and bathe. 

2. All men hate to hear, "We need to talk about our relationship." These seven words strike fear in the heart of even retired General Schwartzkopf. 

3. Men like phones with lots of buttons. It makes them feel important. 

4. Men like to barbecue. Men will cook if danger is involved. 

5. Most men hate to shop. That's why the men's department is usually on the first floor of a department store, two inches from the door. 

6. Men forget everything; women remember everything. Think about it! How many women's sports use something called an "instant replay?" 

7. Men are self-confident because they grow up identifying with super-heroes. Women have bad self-images because they grow up identifying with Barbie. 

8. No man is charming all of the time. Even Cary Grant was on record saying he wished he could be Cary Grant. 

9. Women take clothing much more seriously than men. I've never seen a man walk into a party and say, "Oh no, I'm so embarrassed; I've got to get out of here. There's another man wearing a black tuxedo." 

10. Men have higher body temperatures than women. If your heating goes out in winter, I recommend sleeping next to a man. Men are like portable heaters that snore. 


The real test of friendship is: can you literally do nothing with the other person? Can you enjoy those moments of life that are utterly simple?

Eugene Kennedy


A College Dean was berating a veteran economics professor for having used the same tests for the past 35 years. "Don't you realize, professor, that the students have been sharing these tests for decades and that all of your students know EXACTLY what's on the test before they sit for it?"

"Doesn't matter," replied the professor. "You must realize that the subject is economics. The answers are different each year!"


Here is my advice.  First, guard the freedom of ideas at all costs.  Be alert that dictators have always played on the natural human tendency to blame others and to oversimplify.  And don't regard yourself as a guardian of freedom unless you respect and preserve the rights of people you disagree with to free, public, unhampered expression.

Gerard K. O'Neill


Stay well, do good work, and have fun.


Ray Mitchell

Indianapolis, Indiana

Management is not responsible for duplicates from previous dailies. The editor is somewhat senile.


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