Being a Dad

August 9, 2020

Good morning friends.  I wish you all a happy and healthy Sunday.  Even with the pandemic craziness, violence and madness in our streets, time keeps ticking away.  Now would be a perfect opportunity to stand up and let your voices be heard.  It’s time we unite as a nation, country and people.  We need to work together to ensure our children have an amazing, free and prosperous society to grow and live.  Let’s do our best to ensure we’re all around to enjoy their future, as well as our own.  This is for all the fathers, future dads and anyone that will be a parent one day.  It’s also a great read for Moms and everyone else out there.  Thank you for taking the time. 

What is it like to be a Dad?  I believe I’m qualified to share my opinion on this subject.  My fatherly expertise spans the last 29 years.  I can add a few months to that number to cover pregnancy too.  Life and my career field provides more experience, information and knowledge on the subject.  I began talking to my daughter early, while waiting for her arrival.  I even sang and would tell her stories.  It might sound silly, but when she was born, she already knew my voice.  That may also explain why she’d later tell me not to sing while we were driving in our car together.  I have to agree with her, I’m definitely not a candidate for male vocalist of the year (in any category).  Every time we talk now, I gain a little more insight about being a father.  It’s been a learning process and privilege.  I absolutely love being a Dad. 

Being a Dad really begins with you just being present.  It’s a commitment and worth every second.  You have to be there in order to be part of your child’s life.  Too many Dads are not there and this is where they fail as adults.  Parents are the most important part of their children’s lives.  From birth, we are their source of learning, inspiration and order.  This process never ends, but it has to begin for it to have meaning and purpose.  I’ve witnessed some parents take a less than active role in the raising of their children.  It begins with them regularly leaving their kids to be watched by someone else.  I’m not talking about parents who both have to work.  I understand that dilemma quite well.  I am referring to some parents interested in their own pleasures.  They’d rather be out pursuing their own desires, instead of actually being a parent.  Once their child is old enough, these parents have no issue leaving them home or giving them money to go off and entertain themselves.  The child is left to grow up without supervision or direction.  Sadly, there are kids whose father is not there (for whatever reason).  These kids are raised in a world not having the opportunity to learn from a dad.  It’s heartbreaking these kids grow up and sometimes go astray due to lack of proper parental guidance.  Kids need love, support and to be shown the difference between right and wrong.  Mothers and fathers have significant roles in the development of their children.  We need to be there for them, always.     

We have some teens, who are given everything and others who have nothing.  Many of these lack the foundation, support and values provided by parents.  During my many years in law enforcement, I entered homes where active parenting didn’t exist.  I can’t even begin to describe the homes I was summoned where abuse occurred on a regular basis.  The trauma is agonizing.  It is difficult to imagine how a child can succeed when there are many negative factors they must hurdle.  I’ve seen homes without parents, no father, alcohol or drug abuse, mental or physical abuse or parents that just don’t care.  Luckily some kids have supportive family members, while others have none.  It frustrated and hurt me more to see kids end up as wards of the state.  What chance do they have?  Yes, all kids thrive on love, structure and guidance.  They need someone to provide direction, teach them values and character traits like respect and honesty.  A Dad can be an amazing role model and this is where (and when) they are needed the most.  Without parental figures for guidance, kids tend to flounder and are often left to their own devices. 

There are a number of protests (riots) occurring in our country and around the world today.  Many of these take radical turns, involving violence and hatred.  If you look closely; the outrage, violence and disrespectful behavior in our streets can be attributed to a variety of individuals.  Many of these perpetrators are young adults and teens.  Why?  Is it possible some of our young adults did not receive the same skills or traits I did as a kid?  Maybe they were never allowed to fail, were handed everything, always were told they were “winners” or believed all they had to do was show up to receive a “trophy.”  My law enforcement career did provide me with training, experience, knowledge and skills to recognize certain behaviors.  It doesn’t take an expert to see the values and beliefs of these young individuals is lacking.  They portray themselves as victims of inequality and unfairness, instead of assuming responsibility for their own actions and failures.   I don’t know what happened while they were being raised, but their values and sense of right and wrong are misguided.  

Being a Dad can be tough.  I love my daughter and want her to love me.  I am her friend, but recognize I can’t be a push over either.  As her father I learned to balance being firm, a disciplinarian, understanding her needs and having fun.  You have to be ready, willing and able to fulfill all the significant aspects of the “job.”  I don’t mean it’s work, in the job sense, although there are times it is a full time endeavor.  It really is a labor of love.  It is an opportunity of a lifetime.  Dads get to share in the development and growth of a life they helped create.  Your child is literally a piece of you.  Don’t be afraid to step up to the challenge.  Talk, listen, share, teach, do, experience together and watch your child blossom.  Empower them to dream and find their passions in life.  Be an active participant in their lives.  Seize the opportunity to meet their friends and the parents of those friends.  Be involved in their activities, interests and adventures.  Make time to listen to what they say every day!  This is your child’s journey.  You’re their guide to discovering their own path to living a happy and healthy life.  

I was fortunate to have an amazing and outstanding Dad!  He instilled and taught me so many great qualities and characteristics about life and how to live.  It is because of him I grew and matured into a man.  I carry traits like honesty, loyalty, integrity and respect with me every day.  These traits have served me well, during my career in law enforcement and as a Dad.  All of what my father gave me, unknowingly prepared me how to be a better Dad.  I only hope that I can measure up to the high standards he set.  The important traits I received from him provided the foundation for my fatherhood role.  Much of parenting still requires “on the job training.”  They don’t teach you in school how to change diapers or prepare you for handling sick kids.  Those are all perks of being a Dad that you pick up, evolve and refine along your parenting journey.  I have enjoyed every step of the way. 

Actually, there is something I have to mention that I’d alter if possible.  When my daughter was seven, her mom and I divorced.  Not being home with her every day was incredibly difficult.  We had a typical custody and visitation agreement, which never seemed like enough time.  The good part, is although we couldn’t resolve our issues, we made our daughter a priority.  We never put her in the middle of our situation.  We worked together to parent as a team.  We ensured she knew our love for her was stronger than ever.  Her mom worked long hours, as did I.  We arranged our schedules to ensure one of us could always be with her, if at all possible.  That worked out in my favor, as I saw her sometimes daily.  Our efforts to focus on our daughter gave me the opportunity to be an almost full time Dad.  I enjoyed every moment of our time together! 

As much I tried to leave work there, it sometimes followed me home.  The stress or trauma experienced from the events of my shift had the power to affect my mood or demeanor.  I never realized the impact my career had on her, especially from how we interacted together on those negatively charged occasions.  A young child sees and feels everything, especially from their parents.  If my day was particularly dark, it showed through and affected her.  I wish I’d known and understood that back then.  I’m happy we resolved those issues later.  

Be there to encourage and assist them along their own path.  Allow them to experience failure early in life.  Pick them up and let them try again.  My daughter began playing sports at a young age.  It began with gymnastics, then transitioned to volleyball, basketball and eventually softball.  She enjoyed softball and played for several years before entering high school.  The very first day of high school, she came home and told me she had joined a team.  I naturally believed it was softball.  Needless to say, I was surprised when she told me it was the cross country team.  She told me, “As much as I love softball Dad, I felt it was time to do something on my own, but still on a team.”  I had to respect her for making such an amazing decision on her own.

During her years playing softball she learned the value of team sports and building positive relationships with teammates and coaches.  She experienced defeat and losses, but learned that wasn’t the end of the world.  It also made winning that much more thrilling and worthwhile.  Now she transitioned into a new world, where she controlled her own destiny of loss or wins.  Either way, I knew she’d be fine.  Whether your child is concerned with grades, sports, personal endeavors or something else; give them the room to succeed or fail.  Always be there with your fatherly advice, support and love.  Let them live their dream and reach for the stars.  Help them build that ladder of success, physically and mentally.      

My message to you; we, as parents, have the power to raise happy and healthy kids.  If you were raised in an unhealthy, unhappy, parentless or traumatized environment; please do not repeat this cycle of the past.  Be mindful and caring to ensure your children have the necessary tools, skills and love to grow into amazing adults.  If you need help, I know it’s out there.  Just reach out.  I’ve done it and am so much better for asking.  Don’t ever sell yourself short, telling yourself I can’t be there or do this.  The truth is you can be there and you can be a great parent.  Assume your own responsibility, stay focused and positive.  Never retreat or back away from your duty as a Dad.  We have so much to offer our kids.  You may not know it until you sit down and open yourself up to the experience.  It is truly amazing and rewarding.        

Share your knowledge and experience with your child at every opportunity.  Be honest and tell them the truth; even if it hurts.  It’s better if they learn from you instead of someone else.  Build them strong and tough, mentally and physically.  They must be able to stand up for themselves, not in an aggressive manner, but neither thin skinned or weak.  We want our children to be able to support themselves in all situations, whether we’re available to assist or not.  Endow them with spiritual strength and enlightenment.  Teach them and allow them to follow their own path.

Don’t be afraid to let your kids fail.  Challenge them now, so they can challenge themselves later throughout life.  This isn’t an easy accomplishment, as we never want to see our children hurt or sad.  We always want them to be winners and in first place.  The reality is they will not always be first.  Too many times we engineer or control outcomes to give the perception of great achievement, when that is not the case.  Our society has adopted the premise that all kids win all the time.  That’s not true and detrimental to their development.  We especially see it in youth sports, where all the teams and kids receive trophies.  This is a sweet concept, but we are doing our kids a disservice.  We want them to succeed in life.  By making them always seem like “winners” this is just setting them up for future disappointment.  Take a look at what some of our college kids (along with the teachings of some radical professors) are doing these days.     

It is our responsibility as parents to teach and instill values and strong character traits in order to succeed.  Provide them the mental and physical skills necessary to grow into outstanding adults.

Many children are involved in sports, playing a musical instrument or something before beginning school.  We are the people they will watch, learn from and emulate.  Be the best possible parent you can be.  Give them honesty, loyalty, courage and integrity.  Show them it takes hard work, dedication and discipline to achieve great things.  When they do well and succeed, they will appreciate it more than having something handed to them.

I could talk so much more on this topic.  I’m happy my daughter is grown and matured.  We’ve shared those crucial conversations needed to repair our feelings and build our relationship.  We share a special bond of mutual respect and honesty for each other.  I love that!

I hope you understand the fatherly points I am discussing.  Each of us are unique individuals.  We have so much to offer.  Share your wisdom and knowledge with your kids.  Let yourself be a great Dad!  Maybe you know a child who doesn’t have support and guidance they need.  Offer your assistance!  You never know what one step toward kindness can bring.  We all deserve the love of a Dad.  Now, more than ever, our kids need their Dad to provide encouragement and love.    

Please tune in and join me again next Sunday for more!  The healthy life puzzle is always in rotation.  Let’s be healthy and strong mentally, physically and spiritually!

Thanks for your love and support!  Embrace Life!  Be sure to get outside and enjoy nature!

An Easy Life

August 2, 2020

Good morning friends.  I wish you all a happy and healthy first Sunday of August 2020!  We are living in unprecedented times.  Our nation was thriving at the beginning of this year, socially and economically.  We have much to be grateful and thankful for, yet there always seems to be a segment of the population that is never satisfied.  America is a land of abundance.  We enjoy a comfortable and easy life.  Modern day technologies and conveniences make every day living simple and sometimes effortless.  Cellular telephones and internet services bring the world to us at the touch of a button.  Nearly everything we desire can be delivered to our door step.  This is evident now more than ever.  This lifestyle is assisting to create new generations of “entitled” young adults.  Look at what’s occurring in cities nationwide and who’s perpetrating it.  They’re radical views and actions are extreme and dangerous. 

This evolution seems to span all income levels and ethnicities.  Lack of respect, accountability and the sense of being owed something; seem to be the mentality of younger generations.  They believe more should be handed to them and they are exempt from any consequences of their outrage or destructive actions.  Are we becoming a weaker or lazy society because of this easy lifestyle?  The madness and “outraged” way of thinking is infecting our country far worse than the coronavirus.  Despicable politicians, slanted news outlets, social media and radical educators propagate these extremist views and behaviors.  Luckily, this does not encompass all our young or old.  The “silent majority” is still out there.

Our nation has enjoyed prosperity for many years.  We have freedoms, rights and independence that many people, or lands, only dream of attaining.  This country was built on values, principles, hard work and laws that govern and protect us.  These laws ensure we can live our lives, in pursuit of the American dream, while being protected from law breakers.  Like many nations, our country continues to struggle with quality of life issues; such as poverty, equality, hunger, homelessness and other issues.  As America strives to continue solving problems, growing and becoming better, why then is discontent spreading through our society?  This evil is within our own people.  It is imbedded in some government officials.  It’s shared among those in power for decades and new representatives with socialist ideals.  This threat is from power hungry individuals who are no longer satisfied with what they have.  They have been spreading division, malicious discontent and hate during the last three and a half years.  These people are using groups and factions of the population to push their own agenda in order to gain more control and power.  This isn’t a racial or virus issue, although there are those who want you to believe that false narrative.  It’s a political agenda of the rich and powerful, who only seek to maintain their brand of power and control.

Since our country was born, men and women have given so much to preserve our freedom and keep the American dream alive.  Our military, law enforcement and first responders are always on the front lines to defend and maintain our freedom.  Many have made the “ultimate sacrifice” to protect and keep US free.  My Dad was part of the “Greatest Generation.”  He was born and raised as an American, amidst different races, cultures and nationalities.  He served in the United States Army during World War II and Korea, landed at D-Day, traversed Europe and did his duty to help defeat the Nazi regime.  Dad taught me to respect and value all people, because that’s how he lived and what he believed.  I wonder what he, and so many others like him, would say about the abomination that is occurring across our land.  He, and the men and women who served, would be horrified and sad at what we’ve allowed this great nation to become.  Even older generations, who are being bombarded daily by slanted media, are becoming more complacent. 

During my career in law enforcement I developed and honed my observation and investigative skills.  My experience, wisdom and insight grew with age and knowledge.  Over the last several months I have been more attentive to what’s happening across our nation and the world.  There are many views and narratives being spread daily.  I don’t put much faith in many news sources, so I pick and choose where I gather my information.  Social media and news outlets perpetrate their own brand of miss information and hate to push their own agenda.  The wealthy moguls or corporate conglomerates that own or control many outlets have their allegiances.  It is truly difficult to find unbiased news sources.  If news outlets just reported the “news”, we might get some truthful information.  Unfortunately, many news agencies spin their reporting to what they want you to believe.  They provide their own version of “truth.”   If you pay close attention, you will see they (each news source) all use the same verbiage.  They all tell the same story, with the same lies and misinformation.  I search for the truth by reading more, engaging trusted friends and sources to establish what is really occurring.  My observations tell me much can be attributed to numerous stimuli that have occurred over the last few years.  The “perfect storm” (so to speak) of civil unrest was unleashed when George Floyd died.  He was a convicted felon, in the commission of another crime, now being hailed a martyr by some politicians and groups.  His death, while sad and tragic, is now just a catalyst to further a political agenda.     

Hatred and racial disparities are being used to further divide our nation and people.  Now words like “outrage” and “microaggressions” infiltrate our everyday lives.  Today, if you are “outraged” and yelling the loudest, whether it’s accurate, correct or truth, you are hailed by the left.  If anyone has a different opinion or unintentionally makes a negative comment, they are deemed racist or hateful.  That’s a “microaggression.”  We have some politicians performing these antics daily.  Their divisive actions validate it for others.  This behavior is both ludicrous and detrimental to our society.  Do we have it so easy in this day in age, that all we have left to do is complain?  It seems for some people living here, this is truly the case.  We have become a nation teaming with upset disrespectful spoiled brats.  If something doesn’t suit them, go their way or fit their agenda, they immediately complain.  They scream of social injustice, inequality and not given their fair share.   It begins with elected “leaders”, spreads to social media and then erupts into protests and ultimately violence.  If you don’t believe me, look at what’s occurring on social media, coming from news outlets and taking place in the streets across our country.

So what are these individuals (or any American) “entitled” too?  What is our fair share?  My advice, “ask any of the many hard working honest Americans.”  Ask people who go to work, pay taxes and live respectful lives.  These are the people who toil daily to ensure their families have food, shelter and the comforts of home.  These individuals are the back bone of our society.  They come from all walks of life; race, ethnicity, gender and color.   Their hard work and dedication make our nation pretty awesome!  We, as Americans, are entitled to the freedoms and equality our constitution affords us all.  If you want to achieve great things, it takes discipline, hard work and loyalty.  This nation has come a long way since its inception.  Freedom isn’t free or lazy.  It takes work to fulfill dreams, passions and goals.  I’m curious who will be paying the bills when so many want everything for free, yet complain at every opportunity.  Maybe life has become too simple and easy.  

Why do we, Americans, seem to have a worldwide reputation for complaining?  I have been fortunate to have traveled to some beautiful countries on this planet.  I have visited countries rich in history and tradition.  These nations have amazing people, cultures and social customs that are truly magnificent.  Some people live in less than stellar conditions and have far less than we do here.  In countries I have visited, the people are happy, friendly, kind and gracious.  They are grateful for all they have, which in some places is very little.  Americans shop in massive stores filled to capacity, yet often complain when a specific brand or product is not available.  The stores and markets abroad are small and simple establishments.  Countries like Italy, France, England and even Australia have smaller grocery stores with limited selections.  In America we have an abundance of everything, including multiple brands of the same product.  It really is crazy how much we have available at our finger tips, yet still not satisfied.  Our country probably wastes more food daily than people in other lands can ever imagine. 

I’ve witnessed Americans complaining here and abroad.  These individuals are typically loud and obnoxious.  It’s embarrassing.  Have we bred people that are unhappy or disrespectful?  How can you visit another nation and complain about their food, transportation, hotels, service or whatever doesn’t fit a particular need?  It’s rude, disrespectful and it’s just not right.  Why would someone do that?  When I visit a foreign land, it’s like being at a friend’s home.  It may not be like my house, but I respect what is theirs.  This is their land, their culture and tradition.  I don’t complain.  I enjoy and embrace everything they have to offer.  I am grateful to be sharing their hospitality and welcome in their country. 

Life in the United States is pretty damn good!  That’s why so many people would love to immigrate here.  Many nations on this planet are ruled by oppressive governments or individuals.

Countries like China, North Korea, Russia, Cuba, plus nations in Africa and South America are ruled by totalitarian governments.  Communist, Marxist, socialist, fascist governments do not allow freedom or independence.  These tyrannical countries control everything.  Look at what’s happening in Hong Kong.  They monitor your daily activities, regulate what you’re allowed to do, go or say.  Punishment is swift if you don’t conform.  This is a totalitarian system.  We do not want to go down that path.  Some Americans are attempting to sway our nation to that end.  I do not want that life or control for myself, or our nation.

I doubt many of the extremists, agitators and those attempting to push our country to the left (and socialism), have any true knowledge of what that would be like.  They need to visit other countries and see how fortunate we are as a nation.  We (Americans) enjoy freedom and civil liberties that people only dream of in other lands.  Yes, our nation has a dark side to its history (as does the world).  We have progressed in all areas (social and economic) since the 1800’s and even 1900’s.  The current unrest brings us to a turning point for our society.  Do we continue to grow with law and order or do we bow down to a few who are pulling this nation into chaos?     

There are many sad things in our world today.  Poverty, hunger, pollution and oppressive governments come to mind immediately.  Human trafficking, drugs, criminal enterprise, violence and ruthless sadistic people top my list.  Good and decent people work to solve these issues and fight for individual rights.  Other individuals only seek more power and control.  They aren’t satisfied with what they have and endeavor to divide our nation.  The good people of our nation need to make their voices heard.  Do not allow extremists to shout over our rights and civil liberties. 

What happened to the concept that hard work pays off?  Where is the loyalty for our country?  Don’t blindly follow the loud outraged mob.  I doubt these people are satisfied with the freedoms and liberties we enjoy, because they aren’t happy with themselves.  They create negativity, discontent and hate.  If they lived in other nations, where freedom is not allowed, they wouldn’t last long.  Why else do they stay here, when they don’t love America.  Our country has so much to offer.  The malcontents soak up as much freedom and handouts they can grab, then just complain more.

Don’t be fooled by unscrupulous politicians, one sided groups, biased media or anyone telling you what to believe.  I urge you to do own research.  Find the real truth.  We do have honest leaders and individuals in our world that want what’s best for our country.  Freedom, prosperity, law and order only work when we stand unified and strong against the “outrage” and its participants.  They are few and we are many.  Let your voices be heard.  Our parents and grandparents built this country with their sweat and blood.  Our nation has progressed so far, for better lives for all Americans.  Take the time to be thankful for living in USA.  Gratitude has amazing power.  We are truly fortunate.  Do not allow our freedom, rights and way of life be taken from us.  Our children and the world deserve better.  

Please tune in and join me again next Sunday for more!  The healthy life puzzle is always in rotation.  Let’s be healthy and strong mentally, physically and spiritually!

Thanks for your love and support!  Embrace Life!  Be sure to get outside and enjoy nature!

My New Challenge

July 26, 2020

Good morning friends.  Here we are on this final Sunday of July 2020.   It sure has been an interesting year so far.  I can only imagine what’s in store for the ending.  Time (and this year) seem to be flying by in spite of the virus, pandemic, political antics and civil unrest.  I strive to enjoy each day to its fullest.  As I get older, I find it increasingly important to stay mentally tough and physically strong.  I enjoy reading great books, that educate and intrigue me.  I continue to enjoy as much of nature as possible, whether it’s running, hiking or walking.  Sometimes just sitting and letting your mind relax can provide an amazing reset.  The beach and mountain trails always provide strength, inspiration and solitude.  Exercise and activity help keep me motivated and sane.  Get outside, breathe and soak up the energy of the earth.  Who knows what’s in store for the remainder of this year.    

Do you believe challenges in life are good for you?  How do you react when a new challenge enters your path?  Suddenly without warning you have something land right in front of you.  It must be dealt with and resolved.  Do you accept it and move forward, or do you falter and want to flee?  We all face challenges during our life.  They come in many forms and varieties of intensity.  There are several occurring right this very minute.  The world, and especially our country, is filled with more uncertainty due to many of these events.  These can create stress, anxiety, fear and new challenges.

I’ve dealt with a myriad of new challenges during my life and career in law enforcement.   Some of these were daily ordeals, while others involved significant issues, including life or death decisions.  I was never afraid to accept a new challenge.  You should not be afraid of them either.  Accepting each new scenario can stimulate your mind and body.  Each challenge you accept and work through has the capacity to boost your mental toughness and physical strength.  Your hard work increases your mental resolve by building character traits to succeed in life.  It reduces the stress and fear associated with each situation that steps in front you.  Making decisions and taking action is key to either being paralyzed or proficient.  I vote to be energized by the strength to act.

Since I retired six years ago, my challenges have been fewer and far between.  There has not been anything as dramatic or drastic as I faced during my career.   Now, when I need a boost, I challenge myself physically.  Step in my girlfriend with an idea and a new challenge.  This past Monday we began a new mental and physical challenge.  We began the “75 Hard Challenge.” 

Andy Frisella, business owner, author, entrepreneur and speaker, first suggested this on his podcast over a year ago.  He developed it, not as a fitness program, but as a transformative mental toughness challenge.  He believes this is a program that can change your life, starting from the inside.  Google it for all the hot details.

For me, it will be 75 days of more fun, with increased intensity.  The basic premise: eat clean and healthy, no alcohol, two 45 minute workouts per day, (with one session outside), drink one gallon of water per day, read ten pages of nonfiction per day and take a progress photo.  I will let my girlfriend take control of a daily progress photos.  This is all great stuff!

So today, we are seven days into the challenge.  This means there are only 68 days remaining.  Our final day is Friday, October 2nd.  This will obviously carry me through summer.  I didn’t necessarily need a boost, but it’ll help me keep my mind and body focused in positive ways.  This is especially true with all the nonsense and craziness happening all across our country and the world.  Seizing this opportunity may be just what the doctor ordered.    

I have been eating fairly healthy for years.  Deleting alcohol is not a concern and am happy to do so.  I drank pretty heavy in college and into the first half of my career.  I finally wised up when my daughter was born and significantly changed that pattern in my life.  Alcohol was used as a crutch to compensate for my insecurities, stress and pain.  All it really did was cloud my mind and provide temporary relief (at best).  Today I drink less and less, only enjoying occasional wine with dinner.  Mexican food deserves a margarita, which isn’t often.  

I’m not particularly concerned about two 45 minute workouts per day.  We are doing our best to coordinate at least one, if not both together.  It definitely helps to have someone (a workout buddy) to share the workout, the fun and the pain.  I doubt there has been too much pain as of yet.  Maybe just a little soreness here and there.  It’s all good.  I’m just grateful and thankful that my body allows me to run and lift weights.  I might not be as fast or as strong as I once was, but I am smart enough to realize I’m not 20 something either.   I work out intelligently.  I know my limitations and strengths.        

I enjoy reading and began a new book, as part of this program.  The title of the book is “Fortitude”, by Dan Crenshaw.  He is a former Navy SEAL and now a State Representative from Texas.  I am currently about 70 or 80 pages into my reading.  I am impressed by his knowledge, insight, courage and fortitude.  I highly recommend this book to everyone, here and around the world.  Dan definitely delivers, with his current views that are polarizing people and our nation.  He discusses his personal and amazing journey; from youth, to SEAL, to state legislator.  Dan is intelligent, personable and a real American hero.

At the moment, the most difficult part of the challenge seems to be drinking all this water.  I always considered myself to be well hydrated.  Right now I am walking that theory back a bit.  When you concentrate on achieving a specific goal, it becomes clear on what you may have been doing (or not doing) in the past.  Ensuring I get that gallon of water ingested daily is my current chore!  The other consideration is maintaining a close proximity to a place of immediate disposal, as that happens more frequently as well. 

When the first 75 days are completed, there is a second phase to the challenge.  The additional 75 days includes several new elements to incorporate into your daily rituals.  A five-minute cold shower.  This would be definitely welcome during hot summer days.  Timing is everything.  Talk to someone in person.  This seems easy enough, depending on masks and social distancing. Obviously, talking would happen daily at home too.  Perform a daily random act of kindness.  This could be handled by simply saying hello to neighbors, or people you pass on the street or at stores.  Helping others, by opening a door or assisting however may be needed works too.  Often all it takes is just showing courtesy and respect to others.  It really is that simple.  It sometimes seems those two character traits are lost in our fast paced, “all about us” life.  There are some people across our land that could use a dose of good manners.  For now, I am focused on the first 75 days.  I’ll re-evaluate when I get to October and see if an additional 75 days of fun is required.             

The “75 Hard” challenge (now at 68) is achievable with self-discipline, endurance and fortitude.  I’m happy we have each other to provide motivation, support and encouragement.  It will be a challenging endeavor, but worth all the effort.  The gains will be welcomed.  My goal is to remove a couple inches from around my mid-section (I doubt I’ll ever be a 32 waist again), build more strength and endurance, clean up my eating habits and attain more mental clarity.  My plan is to emerge vibrant and energized.  I’ll keep you posted. 

Obviously I’m not suggesting you should attempt something like this.  If you do decide to give it a shot, just be sure your body is fit and ready.  My girlfriend and I had several athletic running events and a big trip scheduled during the last six months this year.  Our events and trip have been cancelled due to the pandemic.  Needless to say we aren’t happy about any of this.  We both needed something to fill the void.  She found “75 Hard” and here we are in the beginning stages.  It’s always empowering to challenge your mind and body with new things.

Young or old, it’s never too early or late to set goals for yourself.  Having plans, challenges or goals help you stay focused, alert and strong (mentally and physically).  Achieving success becomes less of a struggle and more of a workable opportunity.  We all want to be better people, personally and professionally.  We all want to be physically and mentally tough.  You don’t necessarily need “75 Hard” to reach success.  It’s all up to you to discover what works best in your world.  There are plenty of ways to test and challenge yourself.  Don’t be afraid to try.  Hard work and determination are great traits to begin your journey.  You will discover how to build confidence, self-esteem and strength (mentally and physically).  The stronger and tougher you become, the more success and future challenges you will enjoy without worry.  Whatever you do, keep a positive mental attitude.  Don’t allow your mind to control what your body can accomplish.  If you need some help along the way, you know I’m here for you.   

Please tune in and join me again next Sunday for more!  The healthy life puzzle is always in rotation.  Let’s be healthy and strong mentally, physically and spiritually!

Thanks for your love and support!  Embrace Life!  Be sure to get outside and enjoy nature!


July 19, 2020

Good morning friends.  I hope you are doing well.  I’m praying today is a better day, for you, me and our world.  The events of the last several months created stress, anxiety, fear and uncertainty.  Each day seems to be a struggle of managing our thoughts, expressions and ourselves.  It’s not my intention to offend anyone, but I certainly do not want to hold back expressing my thoughts and views.  The lack of self-expression can cause anxiety of its own.  More stress isn’t good or wanted.  I’ll do my best to be gentle with you today.

The last few months have been frustrating to say the least.  Frustration is typically being upset or annoyed due to the inability to change something.  I’m sure we have all felt a bit of this in varying degrees.  It’s getting to the point where I’ve had enough.  I am tired of it all.  The craziness continues, which drives me more to get involved and alter this madness.  Clueless politicians across the country continue to plague us with their moronic and nonsensical decisions.  Governors, mayors and state representatives are at the top of this list.  They are playing with our lives and financial welfare.  They are controlling our freedom and rights without a worry as to the outcome.  It’s time for changes.

Frustration can be an emotional response to disappointment, anger, irritation, fear, control and more.  Stress and anxiety increase when you are deprived, held back, confined, pushed around and lied too.  Your resilience and energy diminish both mentally and physically.  Humans are social creatures.  We enjoy contact and interaction with others.  Our lives have been disrupted, with businesses, cities and states closed.  Our freedom to roam and enjoy life has been removed.  Our lives seem to be on hold.  Outings, events, gatherings and vacations are cancelled, which means nothing to look forward to.  All of this can bring mental and physical anxiety and fatigue.

Some of these events may be the cause of your frustration; the virus, pandemic, protests, news outlets, social media, extremist groups, law enforcement bashing, violence, looting, property destruction and idiots (of all races).  Each of these have taken a toll on me for sure.  It’s been a roller coaster ride of ups and downs.  The list seems to continue and the madness doesn’t stop.  People, groups, businesses, companies, organizations and many political leaders have lost their minds.  Brainwashing and propaganda is apparently taking effect on some people!  It makes me wonder, “What the heck is going on in our country?”  The manipulative divisive division of our population is real.  This is just crazy and scary stuff!  

Obviously there are many other factors that can create frustration.  So, how do we navigate these raging waters of fear, uncertainty and anxiety, without creating more stress?  My best suggestion, be the best possible version of yourself.  Don’t bend to the mob mentality or idiotic ideas.  My opinions and views of life and the world remain mostly unchanged.  Maybe now, due to the current situation, they are a bit more pronounced.  I may not have verbally expressed myself quite as much in the past.  Now, it’s extremely difficult not to make my thoughts known.  I have spent my life and career supporting freedom, equality and justice for all people.  That’s what America is built on.  Our nation has been a work in progress for many years.  Equality is fair and equal treatment for all people.  The push is on to get you to believe that isn’t true.  Don’t believe extremists.  Look at the facts.  They don’t lie. 

So how do we go about relieving all this frustration and stress?  To begin our transformation, we need to bring our mind, body and soul back into balance.  Let’s get started by stabilizing ourselves back on positive ground.  Our bodies are built to operate like finely tuned machines.  When all parts are functioning in harmony, we feel blissful mentally, physically and spiritually.  You have to begin by taking better care of you.  Wake up grateful and happy every morning.  You may ask, “How do I accomplish that when I feel paralyzed and helpless?”  It’s definitely an intentional choice.  This is when you need to invoke some mental toughness.  I make that promise to myself every day as soon as I wake up.  “Today is going to be a great day!”  I thank God for life and another day on earth.  Even when I’m aware the day may bring challenges and uncertainty, I begin each morning the same.  Every day brings new opportunities and is filled with possibilities to achieve happiness.  If I am not ready or watching, I may miss them and they will be lost.  I don’t like “what if’s” or regrets.  I feel better knowing I made the most of each day.

Each morning begins as I roll out of bed and complete a series of stretches and exercises.  This  includes the Five Tibetan Rites.  I was introduced to the rites during my yoga instructor training and certification in Bali.  We began each day with them.  My yoga master, Deep Kumar, shared these ancient teachings with our class.  He is wise and extremely knowledgeable; born and raised in India, with a life filled with yoga.  His expertise, ability and instruction are beyond compare.  I believe and follow his teachings, advice and inspiration.  If you do nothing else, begin each morning with the Five Tibetan Rites.  They will alter and change your life for the better.

Let me take a moment to explain the Five Tibetan Rites.  Simply stated, they are a series of five exercises.  Yoga practitioners (ancient and current) claim they build and restore healthful benefits.  The rites increase flexibility, strength and energy, reduce stress and create clarity, while calming the mind.  They will improve your overall health and wellness; when they are performed daily.  To reap these benefits, it is best to begin each day with these simple solutions to better health.  They are easily found with an internet search.  Please remember, “Rome wasn’t built in a day.”   Be patient and the results will show.  Feel free to reach out if you need assistance or more info. 

Next I transition to meditation, taking several minutes to rest and relax.  This calms my mind and body.  Now I’m ready to jump into my day.   For me, that means it’s time for exercise.  I enjoy and feel better working out in the morning.  It really energizes me and sets the tone for my day.  If you aren’t a morning person, determine what works best for you and your schedule.  I typically workout five or six days a week, which may include running, lifting weights or biking.  

I enjoy going to the gym, spin class and yoga.  It’s been frustrating not being able to go to any of these facilities these past months.  They provide an avenue for healthy exercise and for socialization too.  During the closures, it’s primarily been running and weight lifting.  Luckily I had a few weights in the garage to help keep me motivated.  I believe it may be time for me to branch out and try some new stuff.  Change and modification is always good.

Breakfast follows my morning workout.  Food and diet (what we fuel our bodies with) is a very important part of this total equation.  I begin with a nutritious protein shake.  These are my typical ingredients: one cup of unsweetened coconut milk, one cup water, a scoop of healthy protein powder, a whole or half banana, one half cup fresh or frozen fruit and a generous handful of raw baby spinach.  To add a bit of excitement, once or twice a week, I’ll toss in a tablespoon of peanut or almond butter.  Depending on my recovery on any particular day, I’ll have a small breakfast shortly after the shake.  Lunch is a medium size.  A small afternoon snack is nice, maybe a piece of fruit or some nuts.  Dinner is a conservative size, with protein and vegetables.  Sweet potato, yam, quinoa, lentils or brown rice can be a nice side dish.  There are so many variations to healthy meals.  The sky is the limit!      

I use wonderful affirmations to energize and empower me through the day.  Reciting simple phrases of praise boost me mentally.  I sought counseling, after I retired, to relieve trauma induced nightmares.  My therapist guided me through EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) therapy.  The positive affirmations were part of that process.  When my mind wanders to sad or traumatic memories, those words brighten my mind.  This is all part of the plan to reduce stress and frustration.  Don’t forget to pamper and give yourself love.  My pampering might mean a walk on the beach with my girlfriend or just snuggling on the couch for TV time.  Obviously “pampering” will mean different things to all people.  Just be sure it brings relaxation and bliss to your mind and body!      

Setting goals is very important to creating and maintaining a harmonious life balance.  Select achievable short and long term desires.  They can be as simple as eating healthy, exercising or just getting outside in nature.  Your plan may be related to business opportunities, personal development or vacation and travel ideas.  You are never too young or old to dream new dreams, create passions or achieve life long ambitions.  It really is all about setting a time line, from start to finish.  Mental stimulation is always important.  If adjustments are needed along the way, that’s fine.  Just don’t give up and throw in the towel.  This is all about strengthening yourself mentally.  Planning, learning, solving or reading are all good for your mind.  Believe in yourself.  Discipline is the key.  Motivation is the follow through.  It’s always great to have something to look forward too.  Something that involves the outdoors is always fun.

Nature is an integral part to relieving the stress and anxiety brought on by frustration.  I enjoy incorporating my outside time with exercise or fun whenever possible.  My suggestion is to just make time every day for some fresh air and sunshine.  If you can do more than that, it’s even better.  The beach and walking in the sand or water, hikes in the trees or adventures in the mountains; always relieves stress and anxiety.  Do what creates the most joy for you.  If nothing else, just get outside for twenty minutes a day.  Take a walk and enjoy life.  It’s that simple.

Sleep and achieving the proper rest needed to rejuvenate and revitalize your mind and body is a crucial puzzle piece to good health.  Some people say they can get by on just a few hours of sleep.  This may be true for a limited time period, but our bodies require rest to rebuild and refresh itself.   Down time is very important; allowing our mind and body to basically shut off and heal.  Please do not deprive your body the opportunity to rest and recover.  It will work better the next day if you do. 

Last but not least, don’t forget to maintain your spiritual soul.  I have my beliefs, prayers and rituals.  I’m sure you have your own as well.  Whatever that means for you, take the time to nurture and satisfy those needs.  They are just as important as all the other pieces of a healthy mind and body puzzle.   I know this is a frustrating time for people who regularly attend religious services.  The arbitrary rules and restrictions being dictated by many leaders don’t make sense. Why it’s okay to shop at large stores, eat at restaurants, or protest in massive groups; yet not okay to gather to worship?  This seems ludicrous.  The same can be said for closing hiking trails, parks, camp grounds or the beach.  When did being outside in the fresh air and sunshine become a bad thing?    

I realize I’ve shared a ton of information.  Don’t feel like you need to do everything immediately.  I don’t expect you to do anything like me.  Our bodies are similar in structure, but we’re all different.  Begin slowly and build as you go.  Incorporate all of these ingredients for a happy and healthy life; mentally, physically and spiritually.  Our bodies are really capable of accomplishing so much.  The difficult part of the equation can sometimes be convincing our minds.  Seeing you live a healthier lifestyle would make me happy. When you factor in food, exercise, rest, nature; it all adds up to a better mental and physical you. 

Don’t allow frustration to paralyze you.  Use it to your advantage.  Let it motivate and drive you to achieve your successes and live your dreams.  Do fun stuff with your friends and family.  Do simple things like picnics, hikes or movie night.  There are so many options.  Go on a date night and enjoy life.  Live life and enjoy.  

Please tune in and join me again next Sunday for more!  The healthy life puzzle is always in rotation.  Let’s be healthy and strong mentally, physically and spiritually!

Thanks for your love and support!  Embrace Life!  Be sure to get outside and enjoy nature!


July 12, 2020

Good morning and happy Sunday.  Here we are again, California in lockdown.  I can’t say I agree with our governor on this current situation.  Several other states are dealing with similar situations.  Is this an attempt to further push our nation into economic distress, social chaos and sway the politics of the November elections?  I know there are opinions on both sides.  Some people are concerned about their health, but I hope you’re also concerned about the health of America.  Our political leaders (state and local) are doing an amazing job of spreading fear and uncertainty.  There are a number of state representatives (senate and congressional) nationwide, that are furthering the attack on our country.  These are evil and manipulative individuals.  They are only concerned with one thing: “Control.”

Manipulation and domination of others allows them to gain more power and wealth.  Fear, uncertainty, division and discontent are tools to gain your compliance.  Once you align yourself to their goal, you become more easily led.  They are doing a great job of exerting their “control” of us across the nation.  It began with the pandemic.  Then it transitioned into the protests about racism and inequality.  It’s easy to see some people are fearful.  For example, I run three days a week and pass a variety of individuals.  I typically say “hello” or “good morning” to nearly everyone. Of those, about 75-80% do not respond.  The same percentage will either stand off to the side, at least ten feet away or cross the road, so as not to pass to close to me.  This wasn’t the case before the pandemic began.  Now the media chaos shifts back and forth from the virus and racism. 

Take a moment to examine the cycle of abuse associated with domestic violence.  It begins with control, mentally and physically.  The cycle typically continues into more abusive and violent behavior.  The misinformation and lack of leadership by these state and local officials only serves to create more anxiety and stress.  These individuals thrive on maintaining control of the population.  Having that power is an amazing thing.  They don’t care how their decisions affect people’s lives.  They continue a constant barrage of lies and deceit, about the virus, racism and social injustice.  The anguish is taking a tremendous toll on our population, mentally and physically.

Many years ago my Dad told me, “Don’t believe everything you hear and only half of what you see.  He said, “There are two sides to every story and the truth is somewhere in the middle.”  What he told and taught me is valuable and useful information.  It proved very beneficial during my career in law enforcement.  The search for truth today can be a daunting task, but it’s out there when you look for it.  Unfortunately, too many people instantly believe everything they see or hear.  Their information is from a single source, or outlets that only share the same points of view.  Be honest with yourself and find the truth.  

This planet is inhabited by humans (people).  There are different shades and sizes, but we are all made the same.  As humans we have different views and beliefs.  Face it, none of us think exactly alike.  From birth we each begin our own evolution, education and development.  You discover people with various views and thought processes along your journey.  I highly doubt we will find anyone just like ourselves.  The beauty is we live in a vastly diverse world.  I hope we realize we are equally important and accept each other as humans.  We know, from past and present history, there are good and bad people living on this earth.  This is true of every person and in every nation across the world.  No individual or nation is perfect.  We all have endured good and bad times throughout history.  Some countries continue to struggle with dictatorships, communism, socialism or totalitarian governments.  The sad part associated with human nature is thinking one person or race is superior to another.  The tyranny created by these individuals, or nations, keep people in poverty and social upheaval.  These nations demand you follow the dictates of the government, or suffer severe consequences.  The common denominator of these lands are leaders controlling power, wealth and domination.  North Korea and China are prime examples.

We, the people of the United States of America, are blessed to live in a free society.  The circumstances of the past few months have brought us under the control of a few.  We are experiencing the effects of their domination at this very minute.  We are being told what we can do, where we can go, who we can see and how we will move about if we do venture outside.  Is this really about controlling a virus?  Is there something more sinister involved in these decisions?      

It never ceases to amaze me how we attempt to control everything around us.  Is it possible to stop the spread of a disease or virus or just delay it?  Should we try to slow it down or just allow it to run its natural course?  Is this part of some larger plot or agenda to manipulate the population?  I know the virus has caused sickness and death worldwide.  What I don’t care for is the fear and anxiety some politicians and media outlets have spread.  They skew the numbers to further control our lives.  We still do not have truthful answers to questions regarding this virus.  The CDC and WHO constantly change their views and assessment.  Just when we believed it’s safe to go back to work and have fun, there is a sudden “spike” in the numbers.  Clueless governors and mayors lock down cities and states.  The CDC admitted the increase in total cases was incorrect.  People are confined to home while protestors and looters roam freely.  No, you can’t go to church or have fun.  It’s forbidden. 

Could the sudden increase be because there is more testing taking place?  Maybe all the unruly crowds spread the virus?  Could all this be just to further a hidden agenda.  How many people are actually sick, not sick or in need of hospitalization?  My research says the truth is far from what we are being told.  We can’t stay at home forever.

The population of America is roughly 329,000,000.  The current number of coronavirus cases is approximately 3,324,000 and deaths are 137,089.  How many people are actually sick or hospitalized right now?  Does the reporting and fear it’s creating spark any suspicion?  The statistics show nearly half the deaths were in long term care and nursing home facilities.  Deaths are never good.  Unfortunately, thousands die every year from the flu and other diseases.  I tend to examine things logically.  The chaos created by this virus makes no sense.  I’ll leave it up to you to do the math or your own research. 

The things we can control, like pollution, we tend to just disregard.  Have you seen the before and now after pictures of some of the most polluted cities around the planet?  The air went from disgustingly polluted to clean.  In the wake of a nearly worldwide quarantine and stay at home order, our air has changed.  The lack of vehicles and industry discharging chemicals into the atmosphere has brought a resurgence of clean air.  Just think what would be possible if we actually focused on making changes for the future of our planet.  

Now we can add face masks and gloves to our pollution problem.  People so concerned or fearful from the thought of an unseen disease are now discarding these items everywhere, except where they should be placed.  In many instances, people aren’t even aware of how to properly use these items (typically used in sterile environments).  The idea of people wearing a mask and gloves, alone in their own car, out in nature or while exercising, is both sad and ludicrous.  This relates back to fear and control.

Our control seems to bring unwanted consequences.  We’re offered skewed explanations to make these decisions logical or needed.  Look at what we’ve done with our control of the Colorado River.  The dams we’ve constructed siphon off water at our demand.   You would think that we’ve done this due to the high demand for drinking water.  In reality, the majority of water (80%) taken from the Colorado is for irrigation.  The 1450 mile long river touches seven states before flowing through Mexico into the Gulf of California.  Unfortunately, all of the dams and water shed haven’t left little, if any, water to reach the gulf.

Many young people (teens and young adults) of today have enjoyed a stress free life.  They grew up playing video games, suckled by their parents, without a care in the world.  They haven’t had any real struggles in life.  They went to school, where dissident teachers and college professors filled their minds with anti-American propaganda.  Many aren’t willing to work and believe the government owes them everything.  You’ve seen some of them across the nation in protests.  They are screaming obscenities at the police, harassing and attacking innocent people, throwing rocks, bottles or anything they can get their hands on.  They are destroying property, looting businesses, setting fires, knocking down historic statues and defacing memorials.  These punks spread fear, hate and discontent.  They have no values, respect or integrity.  They are against everything the freedom of America stands for and believes.  These individuals stay in this country because it’s easy to live here.  They thrive from the taxes paid by hard working Americans.  Now these kids are being used to spread a different agenda.      

The problem in this country isn’t race or racism.  The problem is systemic corrupt and unscrupulous politicians.  These people have their own politician agenda.  It does not involve equality, fairness or freedom.  Our nation, and its people, have fallen prey to these divisive and evil people.  Politicians and wealthy elitists have used their influence to push their own goals for many years.  They use main stream news sources, social media and our educational system to further this process.  Local news networks talk about the same stories using the same verbiage.  Then you have independent news outlets at each side of the spectrum, similar to politics, except a bit more extreme.  It is difficult to find anyone who does not twist the news to fit their own views.  Obviously there are some that fabricate their own stories.  They spread lies, hate and deceitful rhetoric to divide our country.        

These people fund extremist groups to spread their propaganda; creating fear, hate and discontent.  Our younger generation have been misled and misguided for years by lies.  Now they believe they are fighting for equality, when it already exists.  Individuals and groups have been working for years to brainwash America.  They want to keep us divided, unsettled and fearful.  This is how they maintain control.  They want you to believe their lies.  The powerful stay in power and get richer each day.  They will do everything possible to seize and maintain sphere of influence.  The only way to end this madness is to get these individuals out of elected offices.  Get them out of our government.  Do not allow them to spread their hateful propaganda. 

They want communities to continue killing each other.  When have these elected officials ever done anything to solve the problems or issues we have faced in America?  The answer is, “Never!”   Gang violence, drugs, murders, rapes, robberies, pedophilia, sex and human trafficking continue to run rampant across the nation.  If law enforcement is defunded, the outcome will be disastrous.  The President is only as good as the support they receive from the Senate and Congress.  Some legislation has been attempted in recent years, but subversive political party influence has rendered these attempts futile.   Do your homework and research what our political leaders vote for and against.  What personal or political agenda are they supporting?  Who is providing them funding?

The true character of individuals is revealed while watching each news or media event.  This has occurred so many times during the last several months.  Governors, mayors, city council people, congress and senate members; from across the country appeared in briefings and news conferences.  I am curious what lies and fabrications some of these people told voters to win elections.  It’s scary knowing some of these fools actually are political leaders in this country.  Violent crime is rapidly increasing in cities across the nation.  Police officers and innocent people are being attacked and killed.  Slimy political leaders make excuses and blame others.  Radical groups and some news and media outlets only act if it favors their agenda.  Nothing changes.

Do not be fooled or misled by their fabrications, lies and deceit.  Maintaining these individuals as elected officials will only lead this country to its own destruction.  Do your own honest and open research.   Take off the blinders that have been placed there from years of internal propaganda.  Allow yourself to see the big picture of what’s occurring throughout our land.  Are there racists living in our country?  Yes, there are some and they come in every color, nationality and profession.  It would be wonderful to rid our nation (and world) of these despicable individuals.             

Cities are already paying the price for removing or defunding law enforcement.  Violent crime has steadily increased over the last few weeks.  During the July 4th weekend there were shootings across the country.  Here are a few stats: Chicago: 87 shootings, 17 killed (including two children); New York City: 41 shootings, 10 killed; Atlanta: 30 shootings and five killed; and Los Angeles: from June 28th to July 4th – 38 shootings, 11 killed, plus one killed by stabbing.  Crimes and violence will only increase if action isn’t taken to curtail the trend.  The answer isn’t defunding our law enforcement.  The solution is to improve and empower them.  Refine the selection and hiring process.  Enhance all levels of academy training.  Upgrade tactical training and ensure recurring education and assessments are completed for all personnel.

Let’s make our voices heard!  Stand up to our so called political leaders who do nothing to protect us or our nation.  If we wait, many more cities will fall prey to these rising violent trends.  You don’t have to agree with my views.  All I ask is that you do your own research before you follow a person, group or cause and before you cast your vote in elections.  Evaluate what any individual or group has done to better our nation.  What are the beliefs, goals or agenda they are seeking?  Don’t believe everything you hear or see.  Make your vote count for a better America.   We are not a racist country or responsible for the past.  Do not allow a few evil people to destroy this great land.  We are All one under God and our country.   

Please tune in and join me again next Sunday for more!  The healthy life puzzle is always in rotation.  Let’s be healthy and strong mentally, physically and spiritually!

Thanks for your love and support!  Embrace Life!  Be sure to get outside and enjoy nature!

More health and less heavy next week!

Independence Day = Freedom

July 5, 2020

Good morning friends.  My daughter suggested I begin todays blog with an Independence Day joke.  She told me, “We need to lighten things up a bit Dad.”   Her first joke, “Why doesn’t the United States begin with a knock knock joke?  Because freedom rings!”  Her second, “What did one American flag say to the other American flag?  Nothing.  It just waved!”  I love her sense of humor and pride in our country.  “Thanks Sweetie!  Freedom is an amazing thing! Let it ring!”

Friends, these are drastic, crazy and sad times.  Our nation is under attack.  If you’ve been attempting to stay off social media, not watch the news or stay away from ultra-extremists, you aren’t alone.  I ask you to remain vigilant to what’s happening in your community and our country.  Take a hard and truthful look at what’s occurring.  A fragment of our nation has broken away from our values and what we as Americans hold dear.  Extremist groups (like black lives matter and Antifa) are pushing to overturn our government and destroy our free way of life.  They are openly calling for the killing of police officers.  They are actively tearing down our history and destroying our nation.  This isn’t about color, race or nationality.  These are anarchists.  When did this behavior become okay in our society?  These individuals are all about creating hate, fear, discontent to achieve their own political agenda.  The lies and fake stories are relentless.   They want you be afraid and fearful.  They want control.

Yes, this began, as it has before, with the death of an African American (George Floyd) by police.  What about the hundreds of Blacks killed across America by other Blacks?  African American men, women and children are killed in shootings by people of their own race, yet there is no outcry for them.  Six Chicago children were shot and killed in a single week.  Where is their justice?  The black lives matter group doesn’t care about them.  These deaths stir no political agenda for them.  This group is all about creating more racial tension where it doesn’t exist.  Far left and right extremist groups are using these events as a catalyst to launch their attack on America, our way of life and all of its people (US).  It’s time we remember our history, where we were and how far we have progressed since our countries inception.  We have fought many battles against formable foes who sought to oppress the world. 

News outlets, social media and extremists have fed years of lies to us, our kids, teens and young adults.  Many young minds have been corrupted to believe they deserve everything handed to them.  Now we are witnessing this divisive agenda play out in real time.  Peaceful protests are part of our rights as Americans.  Violence, looting, burning, destruction of property and vandalizing memorials is anarchist behavior.  Some politicians and billionaires are seeking to gain more control and power.  They only seek to further their own radical agenda for our nation, while increasing their own lust for greed.  Don’t be fooled.  We are facing an enemy from within our own borders. 

Words like “systemic” and “privilege” are used to describe racism in our country.  I’ve lived an active 66+ years on this land and I do not agree.  Yes, there is an element of racism in every nationality, race, ethnicity and color.  It isn’t something attributed to only one people.  Luckily it’s only infected a small percentage of the population.  Individuals want to drag us back into the past to describe what’s happening now.  Our past is our history, but it isn’t who we are today.  If you believe racism is embedded in the fabric of our society, then you either don’t interact with many people or you hang out with the same group all the time.  There may be a person in your group who sways your point of view.  Like all nations, the United States has endured good and bad events since it’s inception.  No place on this planet is exempt.

Our country was formed July 4, 1776, when members of the 13 colonies signed the Declaration of Independence.  With this act, they declared their freedom from England.  This began years of struggle to achieve a dream and create the United States of America.  Our country has grown over the years.  It has endured hardships, wars, internal conflicts and social unrest.  We learn and grow from each event.  Race relations, women’s rights and social aspects of life have progressed in many ways over the last 100 years.  It’s sad the disunity of a few continue to drive us backward.  My profession provided close interaction with some extremist individuals and groups.  It’s sad knowing they exist and harbor such hate for other people.  Their ideals and agenda are scary, to say the least.  Our freedoms allow many things to exist, including evil.  Now more than ever, strong laws, backed by a powerful judicial system, are needed to deal with these law breakers.  Somewhere along our path we have lost that ability.  Now criminals are set free and continue to prey on innocent victims.  Subversive politics and personal agendas chip away at our foundation, as some put their own needs first.

We are a nation comprised of many races, nationalities and ethnicities from around the globe.  We are all humans.  This nation was forged from conflict to establish its independence and freedom.  We have fought many battles and wars to maintain that freedom.  The majority of people work hard to achieve their dreams.  There are a few who believe they deserve more. 

Some don’t work because the government gives them many things for free or close to it.  When a person is handed food, housing, health care, cell phones and cash, what’s the incentive to work? These individuals have been given a free pass for far too long.  Jobs need to be created, along with a better educational structure.  Knowledge and a career build a better more vibrant community.  

Now we have a new generation, who expect everything to be handed to them.  The students of dissident professors or teachers, brain washed into believing socialism is the answer are violently misguided.  Socialism, fascism, communism, or any other ideology, all lead to one end; oppression.  Factions of our political leadership have failed in building a strong nation.  They allow apathy and poverty to thrive.  What people need are jobs so they can work building their own successes.  When you’re handed things, you don’t have the opportunity to develop self-respect or dignity.  You must be a contributing member of society in order to have pride in what you do.  We’ve allowed poverty, drugs and lack of family values to thrive in our cities.  Yes, we have issues that need to be resolved.  We need leaders who aren’t afraid to take action.  True leaders build unity, trust and cooperation among all people.  Violence, destruction or socialism isn’t the answer.           

Do not be drawn into false or fictitious narratives about who we are today.  History is often used (like statistics) to sway people with prejudice and hate.  Extremists use these skewed inaccurate statements to fit their own bias or agenda.  They construct fabrications and spread lies to further their own cause.  People with power only want more power.  They are greedy individualistic manipulators.  These ultra-wealthy billionaires and old politicians want more control.  They will do anything to leverage an increase of their power and financial gain.  They manipulate news outlets and social media sources to spread hateful rhetoric and discontent.  Do not believe their despicable and repulsive garbage. 

Toppling our government or defunding of police departments is not the answer or solution to our issues.  Abolishing law enforcement is both ludicrous and dangerous.  Consider what this land would look like without the Thin Blue Line of defense.  The vast majority of our law enforcement professionals are amazing and hardworking individuals.  They put their lives on the line daily to protect the community and keep us safe.  Most people have no idea what this career entails, but are always quick to judge and evaluate every situation as if it’s a sporting event.   

Change and reform can be good for any institution.  Growth is an evolutionary process for individuals and businesses.  Education and knowledge bring improved hiring, training and tactics used by police.  Establishing national standards of hiring and training, so all police agencies maintain the same policies and procedures, would simplify this issue nationwide.  All agencies and officers would be held accountable to a single standard. 

Several key steps are necessary to better assist law enforcement in creating reform.  Begin by improving the selection process; including background investigations, mental evaluations and physical fitness qualification.  A complete and thorough assessment of candidates social, economic and personal history should be mandatory.  This process will assist to identify potential biased or unsuitable candidates.  This system should be integral parts to the selection, prior to hiring. 

Once candidates are hired, extensive and comprehensive academy training is required.  Trainees must maintain high standards and scores throughout the training.  Testing must ensure recruits understand all phases of training.  This should be accomplished via written, oral and scenario training and test situations.  Continual mental and physical evaluations should be mandatory throughout hiring, training and their career.  This would be a great start to effecting positive and relevant change.  

We live in an amazing country.  We have incredible freedoms that many people around the world only dream of attaining.  We (All of US) are not responsible for the actions of people that forged our history.  We are responsible for our actions here and now.  My parent’s families immigrated to the USA 100 years ago seeking a better life.  Many people still try to enter our nation because they believe it is a land of opportunity. We all want the same thing: freedom.  The United States of America isn’t perfect.  No country will ever enjoy that status.  Humans will always be humans.  The extremist groups crying for their rights don’t realize what they already have and enjoy.  They want to take our nation down a road that leads to socialism or something far worse.  Apparently they believe the ideology they’ve been sold will bring equal rights, leveling the distribution of wealth and status.  What they do not realize, if they achieve their goal; the chaos, disorder and restrictions of freedoms this will create.  A socialist way of government leads to only a single result.  Totalitarianism and total government control.  Only the rich will survive, the middle class will be eliminated and only poverty will exist.    

The youth of our nation are our future.  We cannot allow them to be led astray.  Better understanding is needed to stop and prevent future discontent.  We need to exam the sources of where they learned about extremism, fascism, socialism and hate for their own land.  Weren’t they taught the same values (respect, integrity, honesty) I was by my Dad?  Were there other individuals or outside sources instilling subversive doctrines and evil into their minds?   Extreme liberal agendas have filled our schools, colleges and universities.  Radical teachers and instructors around the globe are spreading the socialist / fascist agenda.  These people profess their own brand of anti-American trash to our children.  Our educational system is in need of reform, so our children can learn, without being indoctrinated.

North America has a unique history, as does the world and all countries on this planet.  When mankind was born and people first lived on this soil, the history of the world began to take shape.  Much has occurred over thousands of years.  Our world and society are no different.  I didn’t write our past history.  None of us were here when our history was created.  Groups like black lives matter and Antifa apparently believe they can erase the past by destroying things from our present.  The things they are destroying don’t control or dictate our present or future.  Many things, like statues, monuments, places, things and people, are reminders of our past history.  Some remind of the good, while others of bad events who were a part of it.  You cannot rewrite or change history by destroying, removing or re-writing it.  Painting graffiti, knocking down statues or defacing monuments won’t change anything or improve our future.  It only reveals what true morons we have living in this country.   You are ignorant if you believe attempting to remove history makes our nation better.  Knowledge is an amazing power.  It gives us the ability to learn, evolve and grow.  Destruction of knowledge and inhibiting the ability to learn is the device of a totalitarian society.

Our present situation can seem daunting, but with strong leadership we can bring our nation together.  The key ingredient that sets our nation apart from other countries on this planet, is our freedom.  We live in a free society.  We are governed by laws.  The order these rules create protect all people, allowing us to live together in peace.   When people no longer obey the laws, our free society crumbles.  I stand for freedom, equality and fair treatment of ALL people.  Now is the time for you to stand up, all of us united, for freedom.  Anarchists, law breakers and extremists cannot be allowed to continue their destructive behavior.  A democracy is all people working together to achieve a common goal.  If you don’t want to work or provide for yourself, or you dislike America, then please feel free to leave.  There are plenty of hard working individuals that would love the opportunity to live here.  That is the privilege this country offers.

Our country has made huge strides for freedom, equality and civil rights.  Life and history isn’t perfect.  We continue to grow and change each day.  Let’s be united, let freedom ring and wave your flag with honor.  Freedom is never free.  Let’s ensure we stand up, defend our country and all the great people within our nation.  God bless the United States of America.  

Please tune in and join me again next Sunday for more!  The healthy life puzzle is always in rotation.  Let’s be healthy and strong mentally, physically and spiritually!

Thanks for your love and support!  Embrace Life!  Be sure to get outside and enjoy nature!

A Domestic Tragedy

Sunday – June 28, 2020

Good morning friends.  I hope you are doing well.  It’s nice to see life sprouting once again.  The closure of businesses and lock down took a hard toll on so many.  The primary cause isn’t because of sickness from the coronavirus.  Being ordered to “stay at home” induced harm beyond an approximate 1% death rate from this pandemic.  We are all well aware of the economic devastation we continue to endure.  What we don’t see, and the media fails to report, are the significant physical and mental health issues associated with the isolation.  Seclusion, fear and anxiety create many unforeseen circumstances.  The situations which result, bring devastating consequences.  Healthy living is based on how we maintain our balance of physical, mental and spiritual health.  The continuity of each is important for all of us.  They are interconnected to bring harmony to our life.  Now, more than ever, we need to realign ourselves and our loved ones with good health.

I began writing my blog over seven-months ago.  My intention; to share information on health and wellness.  I spent over half my life in law enforcement.  This gives me a unique and interesting perspective.  A formal education, along with a life time and career packed with learning gives me new found insight.  This is my opportunity to share my knowledge and experience with you. 

I’m not a psychologist, doctor or extremist pushing an agenda.  I have witnessed an array of life and death events; only a few have the opportunity to experience.  I wouldn’t want anyone to experience many of the sad and heartbreaking situations I have seen.  The years of trauma take a toll mentally and physically.  It’s important for you to know that these tormenting situations exist.  They are part of our everyday world.  We need to understand this in order to assist and help others.

The lockdown and home confinement created catastrophic events.  The quarantine may have slowed the spread of a virus, but the fear and isolation created undue stress and anxiety for many.  Unemployment, financial hardship, food insecurity are a few other factors that contributed to an enormous spike in violence and suicide within homes and families.  I doubt this was anticipated or considered when the initial order was given.  Incidents of domestic abuse, violence and suicide continue to rise worldwide. 

When I became a police officer, I thought what many others think the daily duties would involve.  I dreamt of spending my days chasing bank robbers, car thieves and burglars.  Well that was far from true.  While I did have the opportunity to crush crime and arrest criminals, I (as many other law enforcement officers) spent much of my time responding to family dispute calls.  These incidents are now termed “domestic disputes” or “domestic violence” calls for service. 

I received quick on the job training; becoming a relationship advisor, counselor and referee.  I had no idea I’d be required to receive this education.  The end result was, solving domestic, relationship and often violence related issues.  When a crime occurred, it was my duty, as an officer, to arrest the aggressor or abuser.  Domestic situations can range from mental abuse, dominance, control, yelling and screaming, to physical abuse, aggressive and violent behavior.  There were many occasions that were violent beyond belief or repair.  All of these incidents are sad and trauma filled for all participants.  They are extremely dangerous situations for law enforcement officers to respond to and attempt to resolve.  They pose a significant threat for great bodily harm or death.  Officers must be extremely vigilant while responding and controlling these situations

Domestic violence isn’t just about couples arguing or men abusing women.  The scope and violence is much larger, wider and deeper.  Confrontations involve men and women abusing each other, their children, parents, families and friends.  During my career I witnessed men as more prolific perpetrators, but have dealt with women abusers too.  Each situation is unique, different, sad and dangerous.

Participants can display a variety of emotions, feelings or characteristics during the course of any incident.  They may be calm, depressed, silent, loud, argumentative, agitated, combative, violent or any combination of these and more.  Alcohol, drugs or other mental or physical stimulus may be present and a contributor in escalating the severity of the situation.  Women, children or family members; beaten, battered, tortured or murdered.  The reality slaps you in the face and breaks your heart.  People can be brutal, like savage animals.  Experts render opinions about factors that could cause such an incident by the perpetrator.  Maybe it’s due to mental or physical issues from their life.  I am no one to judge another.  When I witness the tortures a child or helpless person has endured, it causes me to wonder if these criminals have a soul or black hole in their heart.        

Suicide is the other heartbreaking reality I never thought I’d deal with, or with such great frequency.  The loss of friends is devastating.  You wonder what you missed or how you could have helped them.  I had the opportunity to render assistance to humans considering this fate.  It brought a feeling of gratitude when I could offer relief.  While I often never knew where their life took them, I was happy I had the chance to show alternatives and hope.  There were far too many other situations where my response was after the fact.  These were difficult and traumatic for multiple reasons.  It was sad to witness a life lost, that could have potentially been saved.  The trauma I experienced was real and brought the harsh reality of life into view.  Death notifications to family members; due to suicide, accidents or any means; was never easy and always sad.   

Our veterans, law enforcement and first responders continue to turn to suicide to relieve their internal pain and suffering.  We continue to lose far too many of these individuals during the course of their service, at home and abroad.  Why are we allowing them to suffer in anguish and take their own lives?  All of these brave men and women have given so much of themselves to protect US.  When are we, as a people and nation, going to stand up and take action to protect them? 

The loss of teen life seems to rise yearly, as society places increased social pressure on our kids.  We need to let our kids just be kids, instead of rushing them into adulthood at such an early age.  While wanting to grow up is a universal phenomenon, the speed at which this takes place is at an incredibly young age.  Society, social media and the fast pace of the world intensifies for our children each year.  Peer pressure, bulling, drug and alcohol use further compound and destroy our kids.  The closure of schools and doctor offices resulted in a drop of reporting of child abuse incidents.  Now at risk kids are isolated at home.  90% of abuse is perpetrated by a relative, with 4 out of 5 cases caused by a parent.  Children now become the target for frustration and anger.        

Hot lines have exploded with activity over the last couple of months.  Physical and mental abuse, domestic violence and suicide are the driving force.  The grim reality of “staying at home” has increased domestic violence and suicide dramatically.  The Crisis Text Line experienced a 40% increase in volume.  A New York Times article reported suicide and abuse cases are on the rise worldwide.  The percentages in the USA vary from city to city.  Some cities report a 30% increase in law enforcement calls for service.  Social isolation, anxiety and natural disasters are factors that increase anxiety and suicidal thoughts.  A doctor in Walnut Creek, California, reported he’s seen more death from suicide than from the pandemic.  The mental health crisis is real.   Experts believe the numbers will continue to rise over the next year.  Statistics from past major events provide insight into what is in store in the future.  The repercussions of events like this do not simply disappear.

Now civil unrest, demonstrations, riots, chaos, madness and anarchy is added to the situation.  These further cause additional anxiety and stress for the already traumatized individuals.  The uncertainty and lawlessness can manifest into violence or suicide.  The strain, mentally and physically, is often difficult for some to adjust to, deal with or process.  The trauma is real.  The negativity, continuing to circulate, can become toxic until it’s resolved. 

This is an important time to remain focused on your good health.  There isn’t much support from the outside right now.  Once you balance your own physical, mental and spiritual health, it becomes easier to maintain.  When you feel good, then you can concentrate on your family and friends.  Be sure to check in often with people who struggle.  Men often have difficulty asking for or seeking assistance.  I know this from my own experience.  Guys want to maintain that tough and strong persona, but are often in anguish.   We all know them and worry about them.  Like me, they may be hesitant to reach out when they need a helping hand.  Don’t be afraid to ask or offer.  Their life may depend on it.   There are many factors, variables and uncertainty during this time.  It is so easy for one of us to get lost along the way.  Keep all your avenues of communication open and available.  You never know when the time may present itself and action is required.   Be kind, gentle and always grateful.    

Please tune in and join me again next Sunday for more!  The healthy life puzzle is always in rotation.  Let’s be healthy and strong mentally, physically and spiritually!

Thanks for your love and support!  Embrace Life!  Be sure to get outside and enjoy nature!

Father’s Day

Sunday – June 21, 2020

Good morning friends!  Happy Father’s Day to all the Dads in the world!  Today is truly a special day.  We get to celebrate our amazing Dad!  Whether your father is with you, close by, across the country or no longer with us; be sure to express your love and admiration for him.  I am sure he will love knowing you’re honoring of him today.  Our father’s deserve praise and thanks, so don’t hesitate to reach out with all your heart felt love.

I know from experience (as a Dad) our role can be packed with fun, but it also carries much responsibility.  We must be guiding lights of information and integrity for our children.  As a father, it is our job to set the example that our kids will view and emulate.  Always strive to be the best possible version of yourself.  Talk with your family daily.  Be honest, open and always share your heart with them.  Let them know it’s okay to express and reveal their emotions, thoughts and feelings.  Allow them to set goals, live their dreams and discover their passions.  Keep them on a path of goodness.  Teach them about the universe, diversity and God (if you believe).  We have the ability to impact their lives in a positive way each day.  Give them the skills and ability to make our world wonderful.   Most of all, be there for them with love!

Father’s are truly unique and interesting individuals.  They are often the parent who allows that extra hour of play instead of homework.  They buy ice cream, take kids to the beach, teach them how to change a flat tire, or bring them to sporting events.  They enjoy singing along with their children’s favorite songs while driving and holding hands while walking.  Our kids bring us to the park to push them on the swing or spin them on the merry go round.  They want to be close to us.  We, in turn, need to keep our children safe, secure, happy and out of trouble.  A father should be a resource of greatness.  We give them strength to move forward and hugs when they are sad.  Dads have incredible power to share so much of ourselves and the world around us.  Be sure you take the time to teach your kids right from wrong, good from bad, to seek knowledge, truth and empower them to into adulthood.  We need this now more than ever.

My Dad passed away several years ago.  I had the pleasure of enjoying his company for many years.  Not a day goes by that I do not think about him or talk with him.  He was an incredible man and father.  He showed and taught me respect for all humans.  I have a mind full of great memories.  We shared amazing times together.  He worked hard Monday through Friday to provide for his family.  He often did various construction jobs on the side.  I was always excited when he’d ask if I wanted to join him on a Saturday morning.  I loved it and never hesitated to say, “Yes!”  There always seemed to be a variety of people working around the job site; different races, nationalities and colors working together.  It was like a cultural smorgasbord of people.  I learned at a very young age to respect all people.  He would always introduce me and I’d shake hands with each person.  Dad would say, “The world is filled with good people.  There are a few not so good ones out there too.  You’ll know who they are.”  He always treated everyone the same; with respect and dignity.  Everyone like him, as he was “just one of those guys.”  Those were amazing days.  I met some incredible and wonderful people.  They never seemed to be concerned with the past.  They were living in the present; all working for a brighter future.  There are some people today still caught in the past.  Why is that?  If you really want to progress, you need to move forward, not backward.      

As I grew, matured and had my own experiences with the world, I understood what he had been teaching me all those years.  It was easy to recognize there are many good people in this world.  As my knowledge and interactions increased, it became clearly evident there are some evil people mixed in too.  My career in law enforcement was no different.  I treated all people equally and fairly.  I gave dignity and respect, expecting the same in return.  I met good people in many communities.  Unfortunately, life isn’t always pretty.  The majority of my interactions were with people that may not have learned the same values of honesty and respect.  Not all encounters went smoothly.  Evil and misguided people do exist.  You don’t know what choices a person will make, but you must remain vigilant to the outcome.  Individuals on the fringe of society are few in number, yet they garner all the media attention.  The vast majority of people living in America want freedom, equality and peace.  The poor choices of a few continue to play a significant role in where their path take us all in life.  It’s time we shout louder than the few and make our voices heard.  Like our fathers, let’s choose wisely.  

Sad and crazy days continue.  Misrepresentations of the truth lead to more violence and hate.   Some media outlets maintain a steady dose of fear and hype. They revert back to the virus whenever there’s nothing else to fill their agenda.  A few dig up our countries past history as a way to stir more controversy and discontent.  A segment of our nation’s youth and young adults think society owns them something.  Some of these individuals believe they’re exempt from the law.  They (all races and colors) display a sense of entitlement never seen before in this land.  The majority work every day toward a better future.  The others want everything handed to them.  Some groups push to remove authority and laws.  The socialist or Marxist ideology they seek is not a savior, but a destructive force they don’t understand.  The solutions they’ve been fed in school or by others, is nothing but BS.  The agenda of these individuals is to destroy our nation.  This is anarchy, nothing more.  All of our fathers and grandfathers, those who served in World War II, or those serving our country now, must feel betrayed, beleaguered and devastated.       

Domestic terrorists, extremists on the left and right and other fanatics continue their rein of madness.  This is lawless mob rule.  Seattle, Portland and other cities are prime examples.  They are doing a good job of dismantling our society and country one brick at a time.  It’s absolutely astounding how many people are buying into this chaos.  It never ceases to amaze me how individuals from the entertainment industry, sports world or social media spout off silliness they pass off for authentic words of wisdom.  Then we have a myriad of elected political people tossing out opinions that are just as foolish.  All of these individuals make far too much money and do little to no worthwhile work.   Where are their competent solutions to our issues?  Where are our real leaders?  We must have someone out there willing to take a stand for America, our freedom and our citizens.  We, the people of the “silent majority” need to rise up, express our views, take action and regain our country.     

Dads, it’s time we step up and fill that leadership role for your children.  Kids need father’s in their lives.  Our guidance and support is crucial to their development.  This has nothing to do with race, nationality or the color of your skin.  It’s all about being the best possible father.  Be a role model for good.  There are times that means just being there for them with your love.  I was divorced when my daughter was seven.  That didn’t stop me from being there for her as much as possible, and more if she needed me.  I love being a Dad more than anything in this world.  I went to her school plays, teacher conferences and sports event.  I knew who her friends were and made a point to meet their parents too.  I helped her with homework, passed on the character traits my Dad passed to me and made sure we talked.   It’s an amazing and rewarding experience.  I share a uniquely special bond of love with her that is absolutely spectacular.

Our children need both parents in their lives, full time, so we can ensure they develop into outstanding adults.  Parents don’t be wrapped up in your own world.  Be there for your children.  Help them to learn, grow and mature.  They will be our future leaders, teachers and parents.  Do all you can to teach them respect, honesty and integrity in all they say and do.  Let’s ensure they have the necessary skills to make our world a wonderful place for us all to coexist in peace.     

Please tune in and join me again next Sunday for more!  The healthy life puzzle is always in rotation.  Let’s be healthy and strong mentally, physically and spiritually!

Thanks for your love and support!  Embrace Life!  Be sure to get outside and enjoy nature!

Flag Day

Sunday June 14, 2020

Good morning friends.  Happy Flag Day, June 14th!  The “stars and stripes” are the symbol of our countries freedom.  Our nation has imperfections.  No country or government is perfect.  The United States of America has the unique distinction of being “the land of the free and the home of the brave.”  Freedom is an incredible and magnificent standard only some countries achieve.  The rights we share have come at a tremendous cost in human lives.  Our brothers and sisters have sacrificed all to ensure our independent way of life.  There are some individuals and extremist groups, who live among us, that do not share our values or ideals.  These anarchists would rather create chaos, loot, burn and destroy our freedom.  Today we need to stand united, as a nation and people, to support each other and all lives.  Together under our flag, we can banish the oppressive, eliminate hatred and racism, so we can all live in peace.

What does our flag represent?  The original American flag represented the unity of the thirteen colonies.  It commemorated their freedom and independence from England.  On June14, 1777, the Second Continental Congress passed the Flag Resolution.  This designated the stars and stripes as our nations official flag.  The flag is made up of thirteen horizontal stripes, including seven red (top and bottom) and six white.  The thirteen stripes signify the original thirteen colonies.  Today, the blue canton (background) contains 50 stars.  Each star symbolizes a state in the union. 

The red, white and blue colors have their own meaning.  Red symbolizes valor.  This equals great courage in the face of danger.  It can signify standing for your ideals or especially for bravery in battle.  Valor doesn’t have to mean you’re courageous.  It represents the boldness of our country.  White stands for purity.  The pure nature under which our nation was formed has taken on a less than pristine look lately.  Equality and respect need to be re-established for all in order to prove our purity.  The blue canton behind the stars symbolizes vigilance and justice.  We have been a nation maintaining a careful watch for dangers that threaten our land.  We began as a just and fair country.  Now more than ever we need to ensure equal and fair rights for all.

The beauty of our country (represented by our flag) is our freedom.  We enjoy these rights under the protection of the laws provided by our Constitution.  Personal, religious and political freedom are amazing rights to share.  George Washington, and other colonists, wanted a better and free way of life for our country, then and now.  It is up to us, “We, the people,” to again make that a reality. 

There are countries around the globe that do not share the personal rights, civil liberties and freedom we often take for granted.  North Korea, China and Russia are among the largest, while there are other countries in the Middle East, Africa, Asia and South America, that are ruled by dictators or totalitarian governments.  In those countries there are no individual rights or freedoms.  These are authoritarian, communist or socialist politics at their finest.  Total oppression of the population is maintained through force and fear.  If you dare to share your own thoughts, ideas or oppressive government views, you are subjected to torture, imprisonment and often death.  This is no way for any human to live.  This is not how I want to live.   

From the dawn of civilian, many countries on this planet have experienced oppression.  World War II was fought to end the hate and racist regime of the Nazis.  Hitler brainwashed the population with lies, hate and deceit.  They murdered millions of Jews, Germans, Russians and others they deemed inferior.  The United States, along with our Allies, paid a significant price for ensuring the worlds freedom.  The lives sacrificed haven’t been in vain.  We need to ensure the legacy of freedom they provided does not deteriorate.  The anarchy we are experiencing right now is a coordinated effort to subvert our laws, government and free way of life.  I wake up grateful every day to be a citizen of the United States of America.  It’s time for you to wake up and see this activity for what it is; anarchy.  This has very little to do with racism and everything to do with destroying America for all people.  Don’t allow yourself to be brainwashed by the hate and deceit being wrought on our soil.

I fear young adults and teens do not know or understand enough of our American history.  We have made amazing strides for equality and freedom for all.  Our youth have no idea and have not witnessed the oppression and suffering in countries with socialist rule.  Our youth have been led to believe, by teachers, professors and organizations with radical political views, social change can only be achieved through revolution.  These left wing extremist views express the fundamentals of Antifa and black lives matter.  Our children are being recruited into “climate change” or other social organizations.  These groups guide them down the rabbit hole into their socialist ideology.  The ensuing indoctrination makes them believe a revolutionary agenda is the only way to effect change.   Extremists on the right are no better, wanting to topple our government by any means necessary.  We cannot allow these subversives to be the only voices heard.

My Dad served in the U.S. Army during World War II and Korea.  He landed at D-Day, traversed Europe, Battle of the Bulge and into Germany.  The defeat of the Nazi regime and their radical ideals was a heroic triumph for good.  My Dad was proud to be an American.  He loved our country.  He would be devastated to see Americans kneeling during our national anthem.  Some people say it is disrespectful to their cause when we do not support their kneeling.  I believe there are other avenues rich athletes can use to influence their fans.  Too many people see these individuals, as they do actors in the entertainment industry, as their hero’s.  Kneeling in front of the flag during our National Anthem is disrespectful to our nation, military and our citizens.     

Our freedoms are under attack.  We All (races, colors and genders) need to stand together to ensure equal rights for every person.  I do my best to maintain an open mind about people who kneel during our national anthem or in the presence of our flag.  I see this as a display of disrespect to our country.  I avidly support our Constitution and the freedoms it affords us.  The first amendment provides freedom of speech, including peaceful protests and voicing opinions.

I respect Drew Brees for expressing his opinion and taking a stand in support of our flag, National anthem and Nation.  How dare others, especially his fellow athletes, for chastising and bullying him for voicing his views.  Saying he is “insensitive” to their cause is absolute bull!  How dare they!  If you don’t show support and love for the country you are a citizen of, why are you here.  When Drew shared an apology (several), it makes you realize this country is in dire straits.  Did his opinion jeopardize something?  When did freedom and equality for all people become about bending to the demands of others.  The same applies to Terry Crews.  Why does speaking for equality for all people invoke a hate filled backlash and rebuke?  It shouldn’t!  The people responsible for these rebukes are shameful.  Where is their respect and love?  Freedom of speech (a First Amendment Constitutional Right) is not a one-way street, only given to a few.  The Constitution of the United States of America guarantees these freedoms and rights to ALL.  This right allows people to conduct peaceful protests, and even burn our flag, as a sign of discontent.  I do not condone the burning of our flag, or people kneeling during our countries National anthem, but it is their right under the law.  Because we have a Constitution and laws, these individuals are free to exercise their rights.  These rights do not allow extremists or any individual to commit crimes, loot, steal, burn businesses, commit acts of violence or insight anarchy.  These behaviors are not acceptable and should not be tolerated.  

Athletes and actors are paid millions of dollars to provide entertainment.  Why are they placed on pedestals and provided “star” status?  What makes them so special to be paid outrageous salaries?  What qualifies them to know anything more about our world than any of us?  They preach their own agenda and influence others by their “status.”  They sit protected in large gated mansions away from the chaos they generate.  Similar to others like them, it comes down to wealth and power.  Where are the individuals that stand for the equal and fair rights of all people?  They are walking among and next to us.  Why aren’t we listening to people who speak the truth?

One of the many things that make our country great, is the ability to have different opinions, yet still live together in peace and understanding.  We are a mixed variety of peoples, united under one flag, one country and the common goal of living in freedom. 

Yes, this country has serious political and racial issues we need to resolve.  The lazy or corrupt politicians keep spouting meaningless words, but never deliver any positive actions or change.  Many of these career office holders have never made an attempt for significant improvement or unity among our diverse peoples.  It’s easier to point fingers and blame others.  Why are these elected people continually voted back into office?  Don’t listen to their lies and false rhetoric.  These hypocrites and the wealthy keep building their rich and powerful lifestyles.  They continue to spread discontent and a division between us.  The poor and middle class are the people who suffer.  Nothing changes. 

Some protestors are screaming to “defund the police.” These leftist radicals want to eliminate the police, laws and all social structure. They have elected officials throughout our government, working diligently to destroy us from within. Looks what’s happening in Seattle, Minneapolis and other cities.  Without law and order our society, rights and freedoms will vanish.   There will no longer be freedom, only anarchy and oppression.  If you want to regress 200 years and live in a lawless land, why not simply move to another country? This is an extremist worldwide moment. It’s time to recognize this as much more than race issue. If we do not act to stop these groups, we may see dire days ahead.   Do not allow bullies to intimidate or sway you.  Stand tall together, all colors and all people.

We All deserve Respect.  If you are unable to give it, how do you expect to receive it in return.  If you say I’m a racist because I’m a cop, white or any other color, you need to look in the mirror.  Search your own soul for your biases and hate.  My Dad taught me at a very young age to respect all people.  Maybe some people never learned that valuable lesson.  It’s possible some may have received an opposite view.  My integrity and values have never changed or wavered.  All people are good until they show they are not.

We cannot allow extremists from the left or right, domestic terrorists, or foreign influencers spread their agenda of division, hate and discontent.  Their mission is to tear our government and country down by whatever means necessary.  Their direct action forum uses violence and fear to achieve their goal.  They wasted no time in seizing the moment, turning peaceful protests into violent assaults against law enforcement, innocent people, businesses, cities and our government.

If you advocate braking the law, violence, hate or anarchy; you do not belong in this country.  We need all people to stand together; all colors, races and nationalities, to ensure our freedom.  I look forward to our country and people healing.  We have endured hurt, pain and sadness from so many tragic events this year.  We need to put the hate of the past behind us and move forward from today.  If we keep living in the past, we can never move forward into our future.    

Over half of my life has been dedicated to public service.  My years of life and career have brought me into contact with diverse groups of people.  I have met and interacted with people from all races and walks of life.  The vast majority of these people are good, hard working and decent individuals.  I’ve had the opportunity to travel and visit wonderful foreign countries.  The people I’ve met from around the world are good, while many struggle with daily quality of life issues.  They all seek what we have; peace and freedom.  Each time I return home I thank God to be an American.  

We all share a common goal and belief; the right to be free and equal.  Our combined effort, along with ensuring our elected officials do what’s in our best interests, will achieve our desired goals.  Do not sit back, surrender, become helpless or feel paralyzed by the actions, misdirection and misinformation by politics, the news or social media.  I stand united and with respect for all to maintain equal rights and freedom for All people. 

Please tune in and join me again next Sunday for more!  The healthy life puzzle is always in rotation.  Let’s be healthy and strong mentally, physically and spiritually!

Thanks for your love and support!  Embrace Life!  Be sure to get outside and enjoy nature!

Our American History

June 7, 2020

Good morning my friends. Yesterday was the 76th anniversary of the D-Day invasion. Thank you to the brave men who landed on the beaches of Normandy on June 6, 1944. Their valor and perseverance would eventually bring an end to the Nazi rein of terror, hate and racist regime. We owe our thanks and a debt of gratitude to these American heroes and our Allies. They ensured our freedom and way of American life. They saved our world. Remember them always.

It’s been a difficult week for us all.  The death of George Floyd is tragic and sad.  I am sure justice will be served.  The violence, looting, destruction and killings that resulted are both disgusting and despicable.  We need to come together to achieve change to make our world better.  This can only be accomplished with peace.  I stand for freedom, justice and equal rights for ALL people.  I oppose racism and bigotry in any form or fashion, by any person, race, nationality or color.  Violence, criminal activity and anarchy are not a right or freedom of expression.  When I became a police officer, I took an oath to uphold the Constitution and to protect and serve all people.  My oath included enforcing laws, maintaining order and keeping the peace.  Without laws our society would decay into chaos.  My morals and integrity have not changed or faltered.  I was taught respect for all people at an early age.  The color of my skin means I’m human, like every person on this planet.

People, it’s time to wake up!  It doesn’t matter what your race, color, nationality, religious belief, gender or political affiliation.  America, our way of life and freedom is under attack.  What matters most is what we, as a nation, do right now.  We are being manipulated and played into our own destruction.  We are pawns in a game controlled by rich and powerful sources.  It may have begun with the coronavirus and ensuing pandemic.  Was it a natural or manmade calamity?

Soon the lock down order was given.  Social distancing, wearing masks, anxiety and uncertainty followed.  Shock, sickness, devastation and death engulfed the planet.  Just weeks ago we began to immerge from our refuge.  Our future was beginning to improve.  Then, on Memorial Day, a tragic and terrible incident occurs.  It happens in broad daylight, on a busy Minneapolis street, while people film in disbelief.    

The killing of George Floyd happened right before our eyes.  As I watch the video, I ask myself, “why.”  Why would a police officer kneel on a handcuffed persons neck?  It’s obvious Chauvin knew he was being filmed.  He appears so nonchalant during the entire event.  The three officers close by seem unphased by the behavior.  They’re a politically correct poster; a White, Black, Hispanic and Asian. Their combined unacceptable behavior is like nothing I have ever witnessed.  I doubt it’s racism.  It’s an evil neglect of duty.  We learned of Chauvin’s complaint history and the fact both he and Floyd worked security at the same night club.  Did they know each other?  I can’t imagine why their paths wouldn’t have crossed before this encounter.  Does any or all of this appear odd to you?  Is something more sinister behind it all?

Civil unrest begins immediately, which is no surprise.  The media wastes no time in spreading the hate and injustice theme.  Any time law enforcement is involved with an injury or death of an African American, it sparks the cry of racism and police brutality.  I doubt I’ve ever seen this for any other in-custody death involving another race.  The protests begin in peace, but quickly ignite into the flames of violence.  People are urged to get out and protest.  Hold all of law enforcement accountable.  Factions from the far left and right jump in to spread their evil deeds.  This leads us into the mass civil unrest crisis that is consuming our country. 

The peaceful protests are easily hijacked.  Far left groups, like Antifa and black lives matter, quickly interject their own brand of direct action into the protests; with looting, burning, destruction and violence.  Far right groups, like white supremacists, do the exact same thing. Both extremist sides attempt to further their own destructive political agendas.  These groups advocate violence and the destruction of our free society.  The cry of racism, disbanding law enforcement and the collapse of our governmental system is their focal point.  Their political agenda is clear; the destruction of our society.  

So is racism and brutality against any individual race, nationality or people embedded into law enforcement?  My nearly 34-year career, knowledge and experience says, “It is not true!”  I would not have spent my lifetime doing a job filled with hateful people.  I urge you to do your own research of the facts regarding police use of force incidents and people of all races, creeds and colors.  During my life I have seen racism in many forms, from all races, nationalities, people and society.  The hiring of officers encompasses a host of hurdles to ensure integrity and honesty.  The true fact, officers are hired from the same society we all belong to and live in.  There are a few bad in every group that destroy the good efforts of the majority.  These evil individuals must be removed from positions of trust.       

Police work is a brutal business.  It’s not a pretty or delicate job.  It involves placing hands on people, who often do not want to comply or go to jail.  If everyone, especially criminals, were nice and allowed officers to arrest them, force wouldn’t be necessary.  We obviously don’t live in a perfect world.  There are bad people out there doing bad things every day.  There are racists from all lands mixed in our society and the world.  Sadly, there are some cops who share that ideology.  We are slowly finding them and weeding them out.  I pray we find them before more pain and suffering surrounds us all.     

A nationwide four-year study revealed law enforcement officers kill nearly 1,000 people yearly.  The vast majority of these situations involve armed and dangerous individuals.  Fatal shootings are rare when you consider the millions of daily encounters between police and people throughout the nation.  In 2019, 23% of those individuals who died were African American.  It is tragic when anyone dies, especially during police encounters.  Deaths of anyone shouldn’t be a necessary part of maintaining law and order.  Our society has criminals that use force to prey on others.  Protection of life sometimes involves deadly force.     

During the 2020 Memorial Day weekend, there were 10 African Americans killed by other blacks in shootings in Chicago.  The following weekend saw 82 people shot and 22 killed on Chicago streets.  I’m sure research will show similar incidence occurred in other cities.  Where is the outcry for these individuals?  Where is the outcry for this violence?  Be an independent thinker.  Sources for news and social media have their own agendas they are pushing.  Why is division and discontent part of their continual rhetoric?  Take a stand for your community and our nation.   

Is “systemic” racism real?  Is it just a phrase invented by the rich and powerful to further enhance their own political agenda, which is driven by the media.  I know racism does exist in our society.  It is a worldwide crisis and affects every nation.  It encompasses all races and nationalities.  I’m sure we have all experienced some form of racist behavior.  Obviously some groups experience it more than others.  Racism and the division between races and nationalities in the United States took shape at the end of the Civil War in 1865.  You aren’t born a racist.  It’s something you are taught by others. 

Here’s a quick lesson in American history.  Ulysses S. Grant was born in 1822 in Ohio.  He attended West Point Military Academy.  In 1848, he married Julia Dent.  The Dent family were land and slave owners in Missouri.  Grant did not share these ideals.  He believed all men should be equal and free.  In 1849 he purchased a slave from Julia’s brother.  Grant brought the man to the local court house and freed him.  Grant served in the US Army from 1839-1854.  He served with distinction during the Mexican American War.

Abraham Lincoln become president in March 1861.  The south had already begun its succession from the Union.  It was their intent to maintain their slaves and way of life.  The Civil War between the states began on April 12, 1861.  The confederate battery in Charleston, South Carolina, began the war by their artillery bombardment of Fort Sumter (located in Charleston Harbor).  The fort was held by Union soldiers until it’s fall.  Lincoln followed with his abolishment of slavery with the Emancipation Proclamation. 

Grant re-enlisted and joined the military.  Lincoln sought out Grant after he distinguished himself during several key battles.  General Grant was the brilliant commander of the Union Army during the Civil War.  He shared the same views and visons of Lincoln; freedom for all men.  Lincoln had full confidence in Grant to defeat General Lee and the south.  Those goals were achieved on April 9, 1865, when Lee surrendered to Grant at Appomattox, Virginia.

On April 14, 1865, John Wilkes Booth, a confederate spy, assassinated Lincoln.  His plan including killing the vice president, secretary of state and General Grant.  The assassination of Lincoln, ended his plans for emancipation, freedom and reconstruction of the south.  Andrew Johnson became president on April 15, 1865.  Johnson, a democrat, did not share Lincolns views or vision of freedom for all.  The southern states, along with wealthy people in the north were not happy with the outcome and freedoms allowed to freed slaves.  Former confederate soldiers formed the Ku Klux Klan.  It spread across the south bringing widespread hate, torment and death against blacks.  Johnson did nothing to stop this activity.  He served as president until 1869.  Johnson was defeated in a landslide presidential election by Ulysses S. Grant. 

President Grant followed in the vision of freedom for all men.  He added Article 15 to the United States Constitution.  It prohibited discrimination against any citizen for any reason.  He won voting rights for African American men.  Their voting power elected new black leaders from the south.   Grant also sent Union military troops to the south to seek out members of the KKK and bring them to swift justice. 

Some versions of history have been re-written slandering both Grant and Lincoln.  They attempted to paint a more elegant version of the Civil War and the plight of the south.  Some historians want you to believe the south simply wanted their own freedom and independence from the north.  The truth is, it was all about retaining their slaves and this brutal way of life. 

We, as Americans, should be happy men like Lincoln and Grant lived and shared a common vision and ideals for our country.  It’s sad Lincoln didn’t survive to further his dream.  Maybe things could have been different in our present day.  Segregation was ultimately suspended in 1964 with the Civil Rights Act.  We’ve continued to see the struggles of many since then.  It’s been on a long and hard road.  I am not responsible for the actions of those individuals.  We are each responsible for the here and now.  In order to build our unity, we need to respect each other.  Our children and grandchildren must be taught that respect and trust, so we can all grow as one people and nation.

We can’t change the history of our country.  We can only learn valuable lessons from that time period and move forward.  It took many years of suffering and heartache to end segregation.  Unfortunately, racism remains in the hearts of some people.  I have witnessed it in many forms from all nationalities, races and humans.  We are still fighting the same battles today that our countries ancestors fought years ago.  Why?  Now is our time to make a difference together.  It’s not about color or your political views.  This is all about humans existing and living together as one people.  Let’s each pledge to be the positive change we want to see.  It all begins with us as we heal together.

Please tune in and join me again next Sunday for more!  The healthy life puzzle is always in rotation.  Let’s be healthy and strong mentally, physically and spiritually!

Thanks for your love and support!  Embrace Life!  Be sure to get outside an