151 Band

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Russell For the Win

Runoff Election Pot Stickers
Oklahoma's 5th Congressional District has been and will be for a very long time a GOP stronghold.  Democrats have not been able to field a candidate with the stroke and resume' to stand up to even the weakest of Republican contenders and that trend is not going to change anytime soon.  The GOP runoff saw Lt. Col. Steve Russell soundly defeat former Edmond Mayor Patrice Douglas, thereby guaranteeing a Republican win in November.  Russell is, was and will continue to be one of the strongest candidates the GOP has presented in the 5th District in at least two decades.  And he is going to absolutely dominate the Democrats in the General Election.

This is not to say that Patrice Douglas isn't a nice person, or someone who attends the right church, wears the right clothes and drives the right automobile.  Her handlers in the runoff made a massive mistake in sending out a mailer that appeared to be an endorsement from the departing James Lankford.  They should have known better, but they did it anyway and if it weren't for that dirty tactic backfiring, Douglas would have had a much more impressive and competitive showing.  Granted, it wasn't a landslide, but it was a decisive victory.

Birthday Baby
Today is my daughter's 17th birthday.  Yesterday, she passed her driver's license test so now, she is a licensed driver and she is now a year older.  She and her brother have been through the wringer over the last few years, and her obtaining her license may be a small victory, but it's one that matters to her and yes, she is absolutely giddy.  Madison is a wonderful young lady, deeply emotional, feeling things at the very core of her being and not afraid to share her emotions - particularly if she's upset about something.  This last year, she transferred with her brother from Bridgereek schools to Norman High School and it was quite the transition - a small intimate classroom environment to a jam-packed monstrosity such as Norman High School has been an interesting challenge for her but she has taken it on and is coming out on top.

She's 17 today and I am immeasurably proud of her for surviving as well as she has given the circumstances she's faced. 

Well, have a wonderful day.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Brakes Are Out, No Point In Steering

"Having nothing, nothing can he lose." ~Henry VI

There comes a point in the human pathos when one is pushed so far against a wall, there is nothing left and the aggregate emotional result is quite scary.  We've seen it take place in Ruby Ridge, in Waco, we've seen it even in personal relationships wherein a spouse just disappears off the face of the earth because of incessant fighting, pushing and control issues.  The puzzling part is that there is no magic formula to determine when this will take place because every human being is different, possessing differing levels of tolerance.  For one individual, everything short of physical violence is tolerable, whereas another individual may get fed up with mere back talk.

It is most tragic when it happens to our young people - when kids feel as though they have no alternative but to cut themselves or to get involved in drugs and alcohol or worse yet, to contemplate suicide.  When this takes place, immediately we as adults begin to try to affix blame.  The parents, the bullies, the environment, and even the devil himself is often blamed for a tragedy that probably could have been avoided with a few kind words and an open mind.  You see, our young people want a voice, they want to be heard but they also need to know that there are boundaries - that with that free speech, with that voice there comes responsibility and consequence.  For example, a sassy mouth should get a child into some amount of trouble with the custodial parent, but that trouble shouldn't include torture and abject demoralization.

We're in a really weird place culturally.  The Christian community seems laser focused on church growth rather than discipleship and the birth of video churches on every corner has watered down the reality of the Christian faith and we suffer as a result.  We lack connections, we lack the desire to truly connect with one another on a meaningful level and we end up eating our own wounded rather than nurturing and caring for the least among us.  This impacts us so negatively that we find ourselves constantly facing the difficult decision to completely lose our minds and do something stupid, or lay down and take the lashes our humanity dishes out and we have no real recourse other than a bunch of feel-good dogma, wrapped in Amercan Idolesque video productions.

So, what are we left with?  Each other.  Because when the dust settles, we're all we have left.