#MeToo! vs. #ItWasn’tMe

September 29, 2018

The recent spectacle put on by the Senate Judiciary Committee proved to be gripping TV, even if it wasn’t much of a real hearing. Like most political hearings, it was used as an opportunity for the Grumpy Old Men who make up most of the Senate to host yet another good ole boys “let’s give a speech” show. It even provided yet another forum for airing out the old excuse, “boys will be boys”, which more than one Senator used by pointing out – “Good grief, we are talking about things that happened when he was in high school and college”.  Apparently, the kind of behavior that was alleged is OK with them if it occurred during that young phase of life. It’s possible that a close inspection of their own youthful behavior might produce similar accusations for some of them.

Now there is an argument that some also made that people change as they mature and that we should look at what they have done as adults, rather then into the deep past of their youth. That line of reasoning holds up a bit better when used against less serious youthful indiscretions, such as having to answer yes to the question, “Did you ever smoke pot?” or in this case, even the question about whether he ever getting really drunk.  It’s still not right, but there are some wrongs that might be attributed to youthful experimentation that the person has outgrown. Other offenses committed by the young are more difficult to forgive, because they may (as was pointed out in the hearing) point to more serious flaws in character. If one is being a bully or a thief when young, that points to a character flaw that may still lurk in the mind and cloud good judgement.

Being labeled a sexual predator really points to several character flaws – a sense of entitlement, lack of concern for others and devaluation of the victims. Having that frame of mind, while in a drunken stupor that removes the last constraint, the fear of the consequences of your actions; is what allows even the most model youth to become a sexual predator.  It would not give one comfort to face judgement from someone who starts the process in the frame of mind that – “I am better than you, I deserve to be here judging you, you are nothing to me, and I could care less what happens to you because of what I do.”

So, what are the Senators and we, the citizens, to do with what we saw and heard. They wavered enough to get the Tweeter-in-Chief to ask for a one week delay so that there could be an FBI investigation. That will likely prove to be a continuation of the Lose-Lose situation that we find ourselves in now. It does create a new hashtag – #WasHeThere. Kavanaugh has testified that he wasn’t even at the party, which several of his friends have corroborated; so, what happens if the FBI finds 1-2 people who say that they were also there and testify that he was there that night? What happens if they don’t? How about if more women come forward to the FBI with stories of inappropriate behavior during his youthful years in high school and college?

I don’t think there’s any way to see this as a win-win for anybody involved? Certainly not the two parties in the recent testimony; and not, I suspect, for many the good old boys sitting on the Senate Committee panel who have exposed themselves to critical public scrutiny and came out worse for it on both sides. Worst of all, not for the American people who don’t need another Justice sitting on the Supreme Court under a cloud of doubt about their moral character. We deserve better than that.

Maybe we need the hashtag #Let’sMoveOn.

Ain’t that the truth…

September 26, 2018

A recent post to the Jack’s Winning Words blog certainly rings true – “Believe those who are seeking the truth.  Doubt those who find it.”  (Andre Gide)

In today’s world of “fake news” and “alternative facts”, the search for the truth can be difficult. Jack wrote that he often checks out things that he sees or hears on the web site Snopes.com. Do you check out things that you read on the Internet or hear in casual conversations, or do you just believe them to be true because you saw it on the Internet?

judge thingsUnfortunately, we live in a world where snap judgments based upon shaky and unproven “facts” are the norm.  Just saying “my bad” later, when your rush to judgement has been proven to be baseless, does not repair the damage that might have been done to someone else and certainly not to the damage that it has done to your own reputation. Once you become known to others as someone who makes hasty decision or acts upon unproven rumors or allegations, you will likely be labeled as arrogantsomeone who is untrustworthy, and that’s not a good thing

It may still seem to be a bit negative, but it is much better to be known as someone who in cautious and slow to pass judgement. Be that person who is always questioning what they hear and seeking the truth, rather than rushing to decisions or action based upon unsubstantiated “facts” from questionable sources. The real “truth” seldom lies on one side or the other of a story, though both accounts are said to be true by the person telling each side. The truth is not what you believe, it is what can seek-truthbe corroborated and substantiated. It is that validation that you are seeking when you seek the truth and it is usually the absence of validation that causes you to doubt those who purport to know the truth.

And that’s the truth.

Forever young…

September 25, 2018

A recent post to the Jack’s Winning Words blog quoted this interesting question – “How old would you be if you didn’t know how old you was?”  (Satchel Paige)

Satchell PaigeSatchel Paige was a black baseball pitcher who played at a professional level in the Negro League and then the Major Leagues. In 1948, he was the oldest rookie ever to join the Cleveland Indians at age 48. He played his last professional game when he was 60 years old with the Peninsula Grays of the Caroline League.

Our minds are interesting when it comes to the issue of age. We never think we are too young or too old for things, but our bodies might not be ready yet to take on certain physical challenges or perhaps they have aged past the ability to take on those challenges. I know that, as I age, I’m occasionally disappointed by the realization that I no longer have the strength or stamina or perhaps the agility to do things that I once would have jumped right into and done. In some cases, I can still enjoy a sport or activity, but at a different level than I did in my youth. Like many others, I Tiger Woodsjoined the millions rooting on Tiger Woods this past weekend as he had a moment of recaptured youth in his PGA Tour Championship win. Even Tiger realized what a special and rare moment that was for him and he’s only 42.

We may feel trapped in bodies that continually remind us of the passage of time or which bring up the pain of past injuries or indiscretions on the playing field or elsewhere. It would seem that the key to remaining happy as one ages is to find outlets for the energy and creativity of our minds within the limitations of our bodies. There are sports and activities that have age appropriate leagues or teams that we can join. There are clubs and organizations providing activities that stimulate and satisfy the mind without overtaxing the body. Though we must accommodate the limitations of aging bodies, our minds can stay forever young.

If you’re into music, here’s Alphaville’s mix of “Forever Young”.

Find God; you’ll be glad you did…

September 20, 2018

From a recent post to the Jack’s Winning Words blog come this challenging question from Zig Ziglar –   “Will you look back on life and say, I wish I had, or I’m glad I did?”

coulda woulda shouldaI’ve posted her a few times about not ending up with a bad case of the “coulda, woulda, shoulda’s” in your life. Most of those posts concerned making good decisions in life. Most of those decisions involve being able to distinguish good from bad, right from wrong or maybe constructive vs. destructive behavior.

A core principle that should guide most of those choices may be stated – “do unto others and you would have them do unto you.” Underlying everything upon which you might base the decisions in your life is the foundation of your faith – what you believe in. Bob Dylan put believeit rather starkly when he said – “you either believe or you don’t believe, there ain’t no in between.”

woman-prayingSo it is in life; you either walk with God or you walk alone. You may both turn to God for help with your decisions, and trust in the direction that He takes you; or you have nothing to turn to for help and find no happiness in your decisions, no matter how things turn out. In the end, will you be looking back and saying, “I wish I had found God in my life”, or will you be saying “I’m glad that I had God in my life to guide me?”


Don’t end up saying, I coulda, woulda, or shoulda; say instead, “I found God”.

You’ll be glad that you did.

Lots to do in Milford today!

September 16, 2018

Today is day two of the Milford Home Tour, with homes open from 11 Am until 5 PM.800 E Commerce There are 6 really nice homes to visit, as well as the Milford Historical Museum and the Log Cabin next to the fire station.

Tickets may be purchased at the Museum at 1124 E. Commerce Rd or at any of the houses on the tour.

For more on the home tour, go to our web site – http://www.milfordhistory.org.

2018 Car Show pictureThe annual Milford Car Show is going on in downtown Milford today, too. Over 350 cars of every type and description will be on display from 9 AM until about 3:30 PM this afternoon. This is a free event.


Finally, there is also a vintage tractor show going on out at the Huron Valley State Bank tractor_show_graphicparking lot at the corner of S. Milford Rd and GM Rd.

This is a free event.



Finally, don’t forget to stop by the Rivers Edge Brewery this weekend or anytime this Resized - Feelgood Tap Sept2018 Historical Societymonth to buy a “feel good tap” beer and support the Milford Historical Society.

The Rivers Edge Brewery donates $1 from each beer purchase of the featured “feel good tap”beer to a non-profit in the area and this month that is the Milford Historical Society.


Milford – a sense of community…

September 9, 2018

In a recent post to his blog, Jack’s Winning Words, Jack Freed posted these words –

“Do you want to live on Flip Flop Lane in Margaritaville?”  (Parade Magazine 8/12/18)  The new trend in housing is to develop neighborhoods which attract people with common interests: singles, children, Boomers—even one for veterans with PTSD.  “The hot word is communal!  People are looking for a new kind of living, real neighborhoods.  “The old has become new.”

Perhaps that is why the little Village of Milford where I live and work has become so popular of late. I’ve posted here before about what a great place it is to live, with a very walkable and useful downtown and a density that allows and encourages neighbors to get to know each other. It is probably just a fortuitous thing that it located far enough off the major highways (about half way between I-96 to the south and M-59 to the north) that it did not attract the attention of the big box stores. Local merchants and locally owned restaurants remain viable in the Village.

I don’t think of the Village of Milford in Margaritaville terms. For me it’s more like the fictional town of Mayberry in the Andy Griffins show Mayberry R.F.D. That image is a romanticizing things a bit too much, but it is a little more like that sleepy little town in South Carolina than like a party town such as one imagines with the name Margaritaville.

While Milford certainly has its little cliques, there is a sense of belonging and community that one feels which seems to transcend any feelings of exclusion. If one was not born and raised in Milford, they will forever be an outsider to those who were; but, that group is now a minority of the overall population of the Village. Things are changing in the Village and, for the most part, that’s a good thing. The changes are mainly associated with the growth of the Village and growth is certainly better than the alternative being faced by many small towns in America which are slowly dying out (quite literally).

We are fortunate in Milford that most “newcomers” to the Village appreciate its historic housing stock and the quaint downtown stores to want to keep it looking that way. There are no restrictive ordinances in place to prevent making updates to the old homes, but most do so with an eye to maintaining the style and appearance that make them so appealing. Inside they be very modern; but, from the street, they still look much like they looked when they were built in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s.

Perhaps the biggest draw to the Village is its walkability – the fact that most Villagers can walk to the stores and restaurants in the downtown area and to the parks and the concerts and the Farmer’s Markets and all of the other activities and events that are staged during the year. Probably 75% of the Village residents live within 5-6 blocks of the downtown area, and 85 % within 10 blocks. Combine that accessibility with a downtown that still has useful places to shop, as well as wonderful restaurants, and a plethora of services locations and churches, and you have the formula to support the feeling of community.

Is it compassion or coercion? Speak up!

September 3, 2018

From a recent post to the Jack’s Winning Words blog comes this quote from Jane Goodall – “The least I can do is speak for those who cannot speak for themselves.”

Jane_Goodall_2015Of course, Goodall was speaking about her life-long work with chimpanzees. Over time Goodall became recognized as the “voice of the chimpanzees”, speaking on their behalf to try to get them protections and better treatment.

Many pet owners (myself included) become the voice of their pets, sometimes carrying on conversations with them by asking and answering questions of them or expressing what we believe to be their feelings at the time. I know that my two dogs Saddie and Skippy have different and distinct voices as I speak for them.

Here is also a tendency on the part of some to try to talk on behalf of others who do have the ability to speak, but who chose to remain silent. These representations of the thoughts and will of others often start with the phrase “Everybody says or everybodydebaters knows…” In those cases, the speaker has actually usurped and perhaps distorted the thoughts and opinions of other.  That happens a loty in politics these days as various speakers loudly proclaim toe be “speaking for all of us”.

In the case of Jane Goodall it was compassion for the inability of her beloved chimpanzees to actually speak in order to communicate their needs and thoughts. In the case of many loud and outspoken people these days it is a form of coercion that drives them to speak on others behalf. They believe that they can take advantage of the silence of others to further their own causes.

So whenever you hear sentences starting with “Nobody wants…” or “Everybody knows…” or maybe “The majority of us believe…”, immediately question the speaker about who gave them the authority to speak on your behalf, or for anyone else for that arrogantmatter. Ask them what statistics they have (and from what source) to back up their assertion that their statement represents the sentiments of some portion (large or small) of the sentiments of the general population. Don’t accept the “I saw it on the Internet, so it must be true” defense of the stupid statements that you may hear. Recent news has shown that unscrupulous actors trying to influence you towards some belief may plant much of what you may see on the Internet there. Certainly almost nothing on the Internet has been subjected to verification of any level of rigor.

So, are you letting someone else speak for you? You might as well be one of Goodall’s chimpanzees. Take the time to think about things, research things and form your own opinion about things. Don’t let others coerce you into allowing them to speak for you. It’s OK to belong to one political party or another, but try to be more like John McCain was,John_McCain-1 have your own opinion, based upon your own moral values and don’t just go along with the party line when it doesn’t fit those values.

McCain was called a maverick for his independent streak; but, in reality, he just decided long ago not to let someone else speak for him. He did not toe the party line when it didn’t feel right to him. We also see stories in the papers about Democrats (mostly new one or those running to replace retiring members of congress) who have stated that they will defy their party line and support someone other than Nancy Pelosi for House Speaker, if their party prevails in the fall elections. They are the John  McCain’s of their party seeking to speak for themselves and that’s a good thing. 

chimpanzeeSo, resolve to speak for yourself and not to let others usurp that role. If you don’t, you might as well sit over in the corner and eat your banana.

The shiny mirror of judgement…

September 1, 2018

I save many of the little quotes that Jack Freed uses in his daily blog Jack’s Winning Words. I save them because I know that sometime in the future they will inspire me to write something. Sometimes I notice that two or three of them just seem to go together and reinforce or strengthen the message behind the quotes. This morning, as I perused my collection of quotes from Jack’s blog these three just seemed to jump out as belonging together.

 “If you could stand in someone else’s shoes, would you treat them differently?”  (Whitney Hess)

“Don’t judge some just because they sin differently than you.”  (From Katie Wiese)

“Everything that irritates us about others can lead us to an understanding of ourselves.”  (Carl Jung)

In one way or another they all speak to the topic of judging others and doing so only from our own perspective. When we see people of different ethnic backgrounds, perhaps arrogantwe begin to question. Do they look different than me? Do they dress different than me? Do they speak different from me? Do they act different from me?  Do they have opinions that are different from mine? Do they sin differently than me?

Since the answer for many, if not all, of those questions that we quickly run over in our minds may be yes (at least in our opinion); we rush to a judgement that they irritate us or worse that we should fear and hate them. Perhaps they have done nothing more than stand in front of us, but we have rushed to a judgement based solely upon what we can see and our preconceived notions about what that mirrormeans.

If we took a moment to really think about what was happening we would see that the shiny mirror of judgement was showing us an ugly reflection of our own sins and shortcomings. Perhaps we would even make the leap of understanding that Jung was alluding to in his quote and “see” the things in ourselves that need to be corrected.

Why do the clothes than someone is wearing or the color or style of their hair irritategirl with nose chain you? Why does their accent when they speak bother you? What possible difference does it make to you if they have tattoos or nose rings or other things that you might not have? Unless they have a weapon and are aggressively approaching you, why do you feel threatened or uneasy with their presence? In what way does their sexual orientation or preferences impact you directly?

All of the things that you may notice about others and which may for some reason irritate you or may cause you to rush to a judgement are things that you should be asking yourself, “What different does that make?”  Those things have nothing to do with what kind of person that individual may be and they may not be any more offensive than the look, clothes, and speech that you present to the world to anyone but you.

Can your rush to judgement withstand the spotlight of the question “Why”?

worriesWhy does that make me uneasy? Why am I offended by something that they have done or maybe not done? Why am I irritated by their accent with which they speak? Why does the color of their skin immediately make a difference to me? Why do I immediately fear them or hate them, when I don’t even know them?

Maybe you should be asking, “What is it about me that makes me feel this way?” What prejudices or preconceived judgement has caused me to jump to this conclusion.? What can I do to avoid jumping to a judgement before I even know them.

Any pause for self-reflection, before you jump all the way to a conclusion, is a good thing. It gives you the opportunity to reexamine old prejudices and forces you to see them forbored what they are. It also give you the opportunity to adjust your attitude before you act. It allows you to use the shiny mirror of judgement for some quick self-examination. Maybe it will allow you to put a smile on the face that you see there to replace the scowl that was there.

So, before you judge others; stare into the shiny mirror and look within yourself.