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Blue Spider's Coffee House

Truth, Love, Beauty and all things Virtuous

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September 2014

Lyrics to Old Songs: Whiffenpoof Song

Bing

To the tables down at Mory’s
To the place where Louie dwells
To the dear old Temple bar we love so well

Sing the Whiffenpoofs assembled
With their glasses raised on high
And the magic of their singing casts its spell

Yes, the magic of their singing of the songs we love so well
“Shall I Wasting” and “Mavourneen” and the rest
We will serenade our Louie while life and voice shall last
Then we’ll pass and be forgotten with the rest

We’re poor little lambs who have lost our way
Baa, baa, baa
We’re little black sheep who have gone astray
Baa, baa, baa

Gentleman songsters off on a spree
Doomed from here to eternity
Lord have mercy on such as we
Baa, baa, baa

 

For Today, Why Do I Have To Be Me?

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Oh there are days when my soul is flat and the rains and the wind seem to never weary, when I have to ask myself while wallowing in my own self pity, why do I have to be so me sometimes. My habits, my routines, and my priorities of late have become my greatest foes, seemingly gargantuan stumbling blocks on my way to something bigger and better than my current self. Nevertheless, I continue to fool myself as I come and go, believing that going on another day this same way will bring about a some other outcome.

Maybe I have let the current challenges depress as they seem to prolong and I am unable to take leave of them as quickly as I wish. Fooled by my own reading of the moons and planets, I had forecasted that these challenges should have passed a long time ago. But who am I to say when challenges should come and go. Who am I say when  particular challenges are good or bad while I am in their midst.

I am not the only one who knows me and I certainly have no clue what awaits me at my end. So much is still to be learned and so much is in my grasp, if I would but break the fetters of well-worn, well-intentioned habits and listen to the soft whisperings that hint at tiny adjustments to my dull and speedily passing days. At any time I am always free to choose and change my current path. I am free to seek my daily wages, even when outside the world continuously seethes and rages.

Serbian Kindness

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“Kindness is the only service that power cannot command and money cannot buy.” -Serbian Proverb

The Depth of Empathy

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One who really understands and practices empathy doesn’t solve another’s problems, doesn’t argue, doesn’t top his story, make accusations, or take away free agency. He merely helps the person build his self-reliance and self-image so he can try to find his own solutions.-Marvin J. Ashton

Tribute to the Passing of A Friend: Death and the Family Bonds Beyond the Grave

butterfly-768202-printSo it is that in our bodies are the seeds of weakness and decay and also the seeds the death. When physical death comes to us it is not only the separation body and spirit, where the body returns to the earth and the spirit enters the spirit world, but it is also the separation from our loved ones—children and friends that we leave behind.  We would not be human if we did not weep or mourn our losses. We do not like to part from each other. We are creatures of passion, of sympathy, of love and it is painful to part from family and friends. How truly painful, almost beyond comprehension, would it be if we could not ever experience those relationships again? But we do and will and this is the good news of the resurrection.

Parents and Families Need Support: Why Criminalizing Spanking is a Bad Idea and Hypocritical

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“….Then there is the terrible, inexcusable, and evil phenomenon of physical and sexual abuse. It is unnecessary. It is unjustified. It is indefensible. It terms of physical abuse, I have never accepted the principle of “spare the rod and spoil the child”. I will never be forever and grateful for a father who never laid a hand in anger upon his children. Somehow he had the wonderful talent to let them know what was expected of them encouragement in achieving it.

 I am persuaded that violent fathers produce violent sons. I am satisfied that such punishment in most instances does more damage than good. Children don’t need beatings. They need love and encouragement. The need fathers to whom they can look with respect and fear. Above all, they need an example.” –Gordon B. Hinckley

It is clear that physically abusing a child is wrong and this is one thing that I believe most people would agree with no matter their skin color, their politics, religion, etc. I believe it is a scourge not only in our country, but around the world. And I also do believe consistently beating a child as a means of discipline, even it is meant to be for their own good is wrong as well.  Despite these beliefs, I would not go as far as to propose criminalizing spanking as some now are encouraging because of the Adrian Peterson incident.

I believe that is swinging pendulum too far in the other direction and I do not think many of those people promoting this idea really care that much about children or the family for that matter. I also think it is extremely hypocritically for a society to criminalize spanking but do very little about child pornography. When was the last time child pornography was a national news event that was talked about for days on end by ESPN, CNN, MSNBC like the Adrian Peterson incident has been. And the ultimate hypocrisy in our society trying to criminalize spanking is our legalization and promotion of abortion, which is child abuse of the first order. Is anything more abusive than violently taking away a child’s right to be born and to live?

Parenting is hard and our society does a lot to make parenting even harder. So of the thousands of decisions parents makes on behalf of their children to provide for them and shape their characters and personalities, there are bound to be mistakes and breakdowns, especially when a parent is young. Parenting is a learning experience. While you can parent from some generalities, each child you bring into this life comes with such unique personalities and intelligence that is there is a lot customization that has to go on to be an effective and loving parent to each of your children, and this takes time. In addition to this, to be a good parent requires learning to be unselfish, patient, enduring, and long-suffering. These are attributes that many of us do not naturally have and they are not attributes commonly glorified or encouraged in our modern secular society and they are not attributes that you can legislate and force on a parent.

I can’t imagine, otherwise good and loving parents, being treated like criminals and deviants on par with child abusers for an occasional spanking or swat. This also potentially pits children against their parents, where you would potentially have children reporting on their parents to the state. Children should not be put in this position especially when they oftentimes think they are being treated unfair and their ability to reason and sort out consequences is not fully developed until they are out of high school. Children ratting out parent is eerily reminiscent of communist states like Cambodia in the 1970’s and North Korea now. This I would consider one of the defining characteristics of a dystopia.

I can remember one instance when I was 17 years old and was giving a lot grief to my parents that year where I had said something very rude and hurtful to my mother while she was in the kitchen cooking dinner for everyone and she had had it and she swatted me with the wooden spoon in her hand. The swat while surprising me did not hurt and actually made me laugh and still makes me laugh to think about it today, but under these proposals people are making to criminalize spanking, I could have reported my mother to the state for that incident, despite the fact that I could count on one hand all the times my mother ever swatted or spanked me in my 18 years at home versus the countless selfless acts she did on my behalf and still does on my behalf.

Some experts state that spanking creates anxiety and negative feelings in a child and that is why you shouldn’t spank a child and it should be criminalized. The problem with that conclusion is that it is oblivious to the fact that most forms of punishment create anxiety and negative feelings in a child. Being told no or being prohibited to do something you want to do in my experience is not always a positive experience (even as an adult I don’t like it, even though a lot of times it is for my own good). How many times did I wish my parents would actually spank me, even as a teenager, and get the punishment over with, than have to go through listening to a lecture and seeing their disappointment and sometimes be grounded.  There is no common sense, mercy or any real understanding of a parent-child relationships in these proposals and contrary to achieving any social justice, I see these proposals creating a lot of injustices and doing very little to help create and support happy families.

Life

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Let me but live my life from year to year,
With forward face and unreluctant soul;
Not hurrying to, nor turning from, the goal;
Not mourning for the things that disappear
In the dim past, nor holding back in fear
From what the future veils; but with a whole
And happy heart, that pays its toll
To Youth and Age, and travels on with cheer.

So let the way wind up the hill or down,
O’er rough or smooth, the journey will be joy:
Still seeking what I sought when but a boy,
New friendship, high adventure, and a crown,
My heart will keep the courage of the quest,
And hope the road’s last turn will be the best.

Henry van Dyke

No Star is Ever Lost

Star

Have we not all, amid life’s pretty strife,
Some pure ideal of a noble life
That once seemed possible? Did we not hear
The flutter of its wings and feel it near
And just within our reach? It was And yet

We lost it in this daily jar and fret
But still our place is kept and it will wait,
Ready for us to fill it, soon or late.
No star is ever lost we once have seen:
We always may be what we might have been.

Adelaide A. Proctor

A Fool with Tools Is Still A Fool: Science and Human Dignity

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“…science and technology are not ends in themselves. They’re enormously valuable tools. But they’re tools that can undermine human dignity—and even destroy what it means to be “human”—just as easily as they can serve human progress. Everything depends on who uses them, and how. Fools with tools are still fools; and the more powerful the tools, the more dangerous the fools. Or to put it another way, neither science nor technology requires a moral conscience to produce results.”-Charles J. Chaput, The Devil and Politics

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