Monthly Archives: October 2014

Our Children

We had another school shooting on Friday. In case you have not heard yet, this one in Seattle, Washington at the Marysville-Pichuck High School. I did something very stupid Friday afternoon; I read the comments on the article. They were the usual comments. If we put God back in schools or outlaw all guns in the United States this would not be happening. There was a smaller contingent of people who were blaming this on bullying.

First, when these comments were being put up all we knew was two students were dead. One was a suicide by the suspected gunman and the other a student eating lunch in the school cafeteria. We did not know the suspects motivation nor did we know how he acquired his gun.

I am going to make a different proposition to you.

We need to get our moral compass back. I am not saying we need to bring Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Hinduism or any other religion into our schools. You can be a Buddhist, Shintoist, Atheist, or anything else for that matter, but you still believe murder is wrong. I do not care where your moral compass comes from, we all have one. Part of that moral compass is to respect other people and to respect yourself.

Even if we outlaw guns, they will still be on our streets. Suspend all the kids from school you want, there will still be bullies. There have always been bullies, there always will be bullies. I am not defending bullies and I have the most profound respect for people who work to rid our schools of bullies. But the best they will ever do is to reduce the number of bullies. Bullies will never be eliminated.

Guns. It is already illegal to murder someone. In many states the penalty for murder is execution by the state. Do you really think adding 20 years to that person’s sentence for possession of a firearm will stop them? Gun laws work if people obey the law. A law-abiding gun owner will turn in his weapon when guns are made illegal.

By definition a criminal is someone who breaks the law. It is already illegal for a convicted felon to possess a firearm in all 50 states. Has that stopped criminals from committing crimes with firearms? Unfortunately not.

Bringing God back into the schools?

Ok, which God? Do you want to bring Buddhism, Shintoism, Islam, Christianity, or one of the many religions that make up paganism into the schools? Take your pick, it does not matter which god you bring into the school, you will never get 100% of the people to believe in that god.

But, everyone believes murder is wrong. Some people even believe justifiable homicide is wrong (when a citizen or law enforcement officer is found, by a grand jury or court, to have been justified in taking the life of another). We all believe it is wrong to bully someone. We all believe it is wrong to steal. We all believe (those who are not fanatical about their beliefs) that it is wrong to force your beliefs on other people.

Schools are now expelling kids from school for drawing pictures of guns. Is that going to stop gun violence?

We keep passing more rules, more laws; and they do nothing to curb the violence.

This latest suspect had to have been in extreme emotional pain to commit the acts he is alleged to have committed, including suicide. If you throw a high school senior (who is already accepted at a major art university) out of school for doing a portrait of a soldier which included a gun in the portrait – how is that going to relieve the emotional pain this latest suspect was feeling. And, what about the thousands of other kids in schools in this country who are feeling the same or even more emotional pain.

The disease is not the act this young man did. What this young man did is a symptom of the pain he was feeling.

Do you want to stop school shootings? Treat that pain. We all want to protect our kids from everything bad and painful, but that is impossible. What we can do is to teach them how to respond to people who are bullying them.

From time to time I see an article about a kid who stands up to the kids bullying them. A kid who embraces those things they are made fun of for. It empowers them and makes them feel better about themselves. Even more than that, after they see how it disarms the bullies they feel even better about themselves. These kids who stand up to the bullies are always kids who decided to do that on their own, or were encourage by a family member or neighbor to stand up to the bully.

Are we teaching kids this in our schools? No. We are suspending and expelling kids from school for drawing pictures of guns and for bullying. Are we teaching kids that not everyone will like them, AND that it is ok if everyone does not like them? No.

Morality people, morality.

Not religion, not gun laws, not school expulsions, it is morality that will end school shootings. While our society and governments are busy pointing out everyone’s diversity, we need to embrace those things we have in common; and we need to teach them to our children.

We all believe:

1-It is wrong to murder       .

2-It is wrong to steal.

3-It is wrong to attack people who believe differently than you do, just because they believe differently than you do.

4-It is wrong to attack people who look or dress differently than you do, just because they look or dress differently than you do.

5-It is wrong to cheat.

6-It is wrong to lie.

7-It is wrong to be mean to someone.

8-It is good to help those who need your help.

9-It is good to clean up after yourself.

10-It is good to respect yourself.

11-It is good to respect others.

12-It is good to say “thank you” and “please.”

13-It is good to ignore people who attempt to bully you.

14-It is good to honor other people.

Even those who do not deserve to be honored, you honor them, not because they deserve it, but because YOU are a person who deserves to be honored and you honor yourself when you honor others.

That is my solution to the problem. I am doing what I can to teach my young daughter this. Of course this is a free country. You can continue to scream for more gun control, you can scream for more religion. But, this is my advance notice. The next time we have a school shooting I am going to point my finger at YOU.

I will point my finger at the extreme religious right, because you would rather use the deaths of innocent children to advance your agenda, than to stop the madness.

I will point my finger at the gun control advocates. Because you push gun control as a cure-all, even though you know that in countries where guns are illegal they still have gun violence. But, you would rather use the deaths of innocent children to advance your political agenda, than to stop the madness.

When a person aims a gun at a child and pulls the trigger, they do not ask if they or their parents are: religious or atheist, republican or democrat, liberal or conservative, for or against gun control. They are merely killing people, and often they are trying to kill as many people as they can, before they die.

You go ahead and push your agenda, but while you are busy trying to “win” your political or religious argument; that next child killed may be one you know, or worse yet, your own child.

Me – I want to make sure kids know there are people who can help them with their pain. I want them to know that there are peers of theirs that will help them with their pain. I want them to learn how to deal with their own pain, and to share that knowledge with their peers. I believe that is the way to stop the violence in our schools.

It is over used, but this is an epidemic. If we want to stop school violence we have to help these kids – OUR kids, learn out to deal with their pain in a positive way. We need to teach children, all children, morality. We do not need to teach them religion that should be left to their family. We need to take those 14 points I listed above and add to it those moral beliefs we all share and teach that to our children. Then, after we stop this madness, then you can go back to bashing each other for your stances on religions and guns. I do not want another parent to know the pain of having to bury a child. I know that pain.

There will always be tomorrow to argue political and religious agendas. But, for some kid, somewhere in the United States, tomorrow will be too late to teach them how to deal with their pain. And it will also be too late for the other children that kid will murder.


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Ebola Virus – What is Going on?

Ebola, a topic that is everywhere today. I had the longest single post I have ever written ready for you on Ebola. I had links to newspaper and magazine articles, and I had links to talks & speeches by government officials. I also had links to information from doctors who have actually worked with Ebola going all the way back to 1973, when this virus was discovered. I deleted that article. You don’t want to sit reading an article for an hour; you want to know what is going on. Here is the best I can give you.

This virus is deadly, and the experts really do not know exactly how this particular strain of the Ebola virus is transmitted. Originally you had to have a transfer of body fluids (sneezing on someone was enough to transfer the virus).

As we all know, viruses change over time, almost always becoming deadlier. What our government is doing is “politics as usual.” Each side playing to its base. If the republican politicians truly believed their own families were at risk from this virus they would not hold press conferences to say we need quarantine, they would have already created a quarantine. We have an Ebola Czar with impeccable political credentials. But, I would feel better if he at least had a Boy Scout first aid merit badge.

They tell us that a quarantine would actually make matters worse, because then we could not get medical workers into and out of the countries in Africa that most desperately need our help. Bullsh**. Enact a quarantine that restricts commercial and private travel to and from the worst areas. Then fly the needed experts and supplies in and out of the country using military planes. It has been done before.

The expert who wrote the recently published book on Ebola gave an interview saying a quarantine would make the virus spread faster, he said you can’t quarantine a neighborhood, a city, or a nation. He continued saying we can’t have a quarantine because we would be turning our back on Liberia, a country started because of slavery. And that action just would not be right. A very politically correct answer. But, this is not about being politically correct; this is about life and death.

So, once again I call BS. Quarantines have been used for hundreds of years. They have been used to reduce the spread of scarlet fever, the plague, polio, leprosy (which was just announced as being discovered in the Ohio prison system this week), chicken pox, mumps, the flu, and a whole host of other illnesses. It has been done and it works. Even more, for hundreds of years, the individuals quarantined were still given the best medical treatment available at that time. Thirty countries (mostly in Europe) have already enacted quarantines because of the Ebola virus. The politicians can write laws quarantining smokers to areas away from the general public, even outdoors, but they cannot do the same with the Ebola virus? Cigarettes take a lot longer to kill you than the Ebola virus does.

The CDC keeps trying to find ways to blame the two nurses for contracting the Ebola virus. They were wearing bio-suits and following the protocols in place at the time. Before Mr. Duncan, no one in this country had the Ebola virus. And, Mr. Duncan did not tell hospital personnel that he had just recently been to Africa. His systems were flu-like, and that was how he was treated when he first came to the hospital. This should have kept them from getting the disease from Mr. Duncan, it did not. So, obviously this virus has evolved, as viruses have done in the past. Also it is the CDC that gave the travel green light to the medical personnel who were involved in Mr. Duncan’s treatment, even though it was still less than the 21 days the CDC says is the incubation period. One of the researchers who first worked with this virus forty years ago says that a safer period for quarantine is 31 days, not 21 days.

It is my unqualified opinion that the current Ebola virus has evolved and is now infecting people by a means of transmission never before seen in the Ebola virus.

What to do?

This is what I am going to do. I wash my hands several times a day in very warm (not hot) water with plenty of soap.

I avoid people I know are sick, as best as I can.

If I am around someone who is sick, I wash with warm water and soap as soon as I can.

I use chlorine bleach to clean the surfaces of inanimate objects that also may have come into contact with that person.

The best person for you to talk with about this virus is your own doctor.

Listen to government officials (both left and right), but remember that none of them will get truly serious about this until they feel their own families are at risk.

The most important thing to do is to NOT panic.

Our doctors and nurses may not have all the answers, but they will tell us what they know. Doctors and nurses routinely put themselves in danger to provide aid to their patients. If they are not sure, they will choose the more cautious answer for you.

I wish I could tell you more. But I do not have a medical degree. What I can tell you is that I want you safe, healthy, and I do not want you to panic. Panicking will not make you any safer and could put you at risk.

I am going to give you one article to read. Nigeria has not had a new case of the Ebola virus in 42 days. Read the article and see what you think. (I think it is safer in Nigeria right now than Columbus, Ohio).

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Post for Sunday October 19, 2014

I am going to depart this Sunday with my normal topics and discuss a topic that is on all our minds, the Ebola virus. Sunday’s post may also be a little late.

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A Rifleman’s Dilemma

A Rifleman’s Dilemma

by Ken Kirk


We trudged through brush and frozen snow

Hunting men we did not know.

And when we get them in our sights,

What we do now we pray is right.

A fallen comrade by our side,

We prayed for him before he died.

War is ugly in every way,

I hope it ends this very day.


Ken is a Korean War veteran. He served in the United States Army, Hq. Co. 1st Bn. 31st Inf. Regt., Korea 1950-1951.

Ken took part in the landing at Inchon and the Battle of Chosen Reservoir.

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Bonded Forever in Spirit – by Ken Kirk

Bonded Forever in Spirit

by Ken Kirk


A reunion in Virginia

I’ll not forget the day

All the buddies I once knew

Had come from far away

We were all in Korea

It seems so long ago

We fought in that strange country

In the bitter cold and snow

Now we’re back together

In a more delightful place

Remembering the days gone by

We made it by God’s grace

Some of us were not so lucky

To be here today

To shake the hands of pals made

In a land so far away

There’s Danielson, Olmstead,

English and Morvac

Kirk and Bowerman, while Kujawski leads the pack

Bortsheller, Moon, Herlong

And names that I’ve forgotten

You see it’s been so long.


Ken is a Korean War veteran. He served in the United States Army, Hq. Co. 1st Bn. 31st Inf. Regt., Korea 1950-1951.

Ken took part in the landing at Inchon and the Battle of Chosen Reservoir.


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