7/28/2019

I’m a liberal and it’s A-OK!

Photo by timJ on Unsplash

I’m a liberal and it’s A-OK!

I'm a liberal, but that doesn't mean what a lot of people apparently think it does.

Colin Wood
Jul 28 · 6 min read
It just may take a pair of glasses for some to see clearly. Let's break it down because quite frankly, I'm getting a little tired of being told what I believe and what I stand for
1. I believe a country should take care of its weakest members. A country cannot call itself civilized when its children, disabled, sick, and elderly are neglected. Period.
2. I believe healthcare is a right, not a privilege. Somehow that's interpreted as "I believe Obamacare is the end-all, be-all." This is not the case. I'm fully aware that the ACA has problems, that a national healthcare system would require everyone to chip in, and that it's impossible to create one that is devoid of flaws, but I have yet to hear an argument against it that makes "let people die because they can't afford healthcare" a better alternative. I believe healthcare should be far cheaper than it is, and that everyone should have access to it. And no, I'm not opposed to paying higher taxes in the name of making that happen.
3. I believe education should be affordable. It doesn't necessarily have to be free (though it works in other countries so I'm mystified as to why it can't work in the US), but at the end of the day, there is no excuse for students graduating college saddled with five- or six-figure debt.
4. I don't believe your money should be taken from you and given to people who don't want to work. I have literally never encountered anyone who believes this. Ever. I just have a massive moral problem with a society where a handful of people can possess the majority of the wealth while there are people literally starving to death, freezing to death, or dying because they can't afford to go to the doctor. Fair wages, lower housing costs, universal healthcare, affordable education, and the wealthy actually paying their share would go a long way toward alleviating this. Somehow believing that makes me a communist.
5. I don't throw around "I'm willing to pay higher taxes" lightly. If I'm suggesting something that involves paying more, well, it's because I'm fine with paying my share as long as it's actually going to something besides lining corporate pockets or bombing other countries while Americans die without healthcare.
6. I believe companies should be required to pay their employees a decent, livable wage. Somehow this is always interpreted as me wanting burger flippers to be able to afford a penthouse apartment and a Mercedes. What it actually means is that no one should have to work three full-time jobs just to keep their head above water. Restaurant servers should not have to rely on tips, multibillion-dollar companies should not have employees on food stamps, workers shouldn't have to work themselves into the ground just to barely make ends meet, and minimum wage should be enough for someone to work 40 hours and live.
7. I am not anti-Christian. I have no desire to stop Christians from being Christians, to close churches, to ban the Bible, to forbid prayer in school, etc. (BTW, prayer in school is NOT illegal; *compulsory* prayer in school is - and should be - illegal). All I ask is that those who call themselves Christians recognize *my* right to live according to *my* beliefs. When I get pissed off that a politician is trying to legislate Scripture into law, I'm not "offended by Christianity" -- I'm offended that you're trying to force me to live by your religion's rules. Do you know how you get really upset at the thought of Muslims imposing Sharia law on you? That's how I feel about Christians trying to impose biblical law on me. Be a Christian. Do your thing. Just don't force it on me or mine.
8. I don't believe LGBT people should have more rights than you. I just believe they should have the *same* rights as you.
9. I don't believe illegal immigrants should come to America and have the world at their feet, especially since THIS ISN'T WHAT THEY DO (spoiler: undocumented immigrants are ineligible for all those programs they're supposed to be abusing and if they're "stealing" your job it's because your employer is hiring illegally). I believe there are far more humane ways to handle undocumented immigration than our current practices (i.e., detaining children, splitting up families, ending DACA, etc).
10. I don't believe the government should regulate everything, but since greed is such a driving force in our country, we NEED regulations to prevent cut corners, environmental destruction, tainted food/water, unsafe materials in consumable goods or medical equipment, etc. It's not that I want the government's hands in everything -- I just don't trust people trying to make money to ensure that their products/practices/etc. are actually SAFE. Is the government devoid of shadiness? Of course not. But with those regulations in place, consumers have recourse if they're harmed and companies are liable for medical bills, environmental cleanup, etc. Just kind of seems like common sense when the alternative to government regulation is letting companies bring their bottom line into the equation.
11. I believe our current administration is fascist. Not because I dislike them or because I can’t get over an election, but because I've spent too many years reading and learning about the Third Reich to miss the similarities. Not because any administration I dislike must be Nazis, but because things are actually mirroring authoritarian and fascist regimes of the past.
12. I believe the systemic racism and misogyny in our society is much worse than many people think, and desperately needs to be addressed. Which means those with privilege -- white, straight, male, economic, etc. -- need to start listening, even if you don't like what you're hearing, so we can start dismantling everything that's causing people to be marginalized.
13. I am not interested in coming after your blessed guns, nor is anyone serving in government. What I am interested in is the enforcement of present laws and enacting new, common-sense gun regulations, like Universal background checks, which most Republicans support.
14. I believe in so-called political correctness. I prefer to think it’s social politeness. If I call you Chuck and you say you prefer to be called Charles I’ll call you Charles. It’s the polite thing to do. Not because everyone is a delicate snowflake, but because as Maya Angelou put it, “Now that I know better, I do better.” When someone tells you that a term or phrase is more accurate/less hurtful than the one you're using, you now know better. So why not do better? How does it hurt you to NOT hurt another person?
15. I believe in funding sustainable energy, including offering education to people currently working in coal or oil so they can change jobs. There are too many sustainable options available for us to continue with coal and oil. Sorry, billionaires. Maybe try investing in something else.
16. I believe that women should not be treated as a separate class of human. They should be paid the same as men who do the same work, should have the same rights as men and should be free from abuse. Why on earth shouldn’t they be?
I think that about covers it. Bottom line is that I'm a liberal because I think we should take care of each other. That doesn't mean you should work 80 hours a week so your lazy neighbor can get all your money. It just means I don't believe there is any scenario in which preventable suffering is an acceptable outcome as long as money is saved.

7/24/2019

Heartache can go deep!

Photo by Kevin Delvecchio on Unsplash


Heartache can go deep!

I am an open book for the world to see, on purpose. My mistakes and my triumphs are open to all to enjoy and learn from, or to celebrate with me, as I enjoy seeing in so many of you daily.

Colin Wood
Jul 23 · 5 min read
I've lived at least 5 lives or more in my 50 years. I've escaped near death numerous times...from guns held to my head twice to being robbed twice, to chasing down thieves in NYC streets, to taking risky chances such as bungee jumping, taking off for faraway places, and we'll, always chasing a star I could never get close too, all the while not realizing until these past two years, that what J was always chasing was me. Who was I? What truly made me happy? A little too late now, for some areas of my life, I've found out that it is my children, and the connection I have with one, and what I used to have with my two older. That connection...that kind of love...that kind of compassion is what I was searching for all my life.
Sometimes, some people just want to hurt you too, though.
I made verbal mistakes with my older kids, but never anything so bad that my first wife had 100% reason to fight me for 14 years to get my kids away from me. Although, she knew I loved them dearly. All because in her eyes, no matter my past achievements, or future achievements to come...I was bum with no degree, who couldn't hold down a steady job for more than a few months or a year. Two years at Riverside Dinner Theater in VA. at 30 years old was the longest job I'd ever held at that point in my life.
Fast forward to 2019, and she won. My kids don't talk to me. Meanwhile, I am raising my youngest on my own, and despite all my failures (tons of them...I lost count years ago), despite an inability to work or perform now, I am still being a good Dad. A better dad than ever before, as I dedicate all I have and know to teach and show my youngest all that I lost out on or didn't do with my older kids.
My reward? He is inhuman. Sometimes, I think he stepped off a ship from billions of years ago where they've evolved into incredible beings. Nehemiah is 100% everything a human should be...so far. Amid major turmoil is his mom's life, all that I deal with, this kid excels in every facet of life and most of all truly loving all people and seeing, finding and bringing out the best in everyone he comes in contact with somehow, some way. He has been given the gift of superb leadership and guidance skills to the point, that a 49-year-old man is still learning about life, when I do or say or act wrong, and when I am wrong about info or the way I'm looking at something, from an 11-year-old wiser and more intelligent than I.
Okay, here is the very hard part to admit!!!
I had an affair in my first marriage. It was brief. With the leading lady of many shows, we did together in VA.
She got pregnant apparently about a week before my wife did with our second child. Ethan. Cassidy was 1.5. I was a downright scoundrel because I wasn't man enough to face my own insecurities in my marriage and in myself.
Instead, of turning to my wife and making it work, and changing myself, I was a loud, yelling, and controlling pig.
Of course, Jacob came into the world 3/23/2001. A day before my daughter's Birthday.
Neither the young married woman or I knew if it was mine or not. But, because I shot down her offer to take off to Hollywood for us to take the movie scene by storm together (which, with our combined talents and wit, we possibly could have), she decided to just say the baby is her husbands, which it very well could have been according to her, and we never opened our mouths about our 2 month affair. Some cast members knew something went down, but no one had proof or ever saw a thing between us but on stage.

So, fast forward to 2010, and we find each other on Facebook. I'm wondering what Jacob looks like. Is he mine? I'm married again. Somewhat happily this time. At least, I was in love for sure, but once again the marriage was hanging by threads with a combined household of 5 kids, 2 adults, and 2 cats.
I started to wrongfully chat with this girl again, but then that talk suddenly turned to me leaving my second wife for this same woman again. After some stupid immature dreamy talk, especially since I knew she came from a wealthy family, and she spoke of buying a Vic house in Deposit, NY and moving from Co. Springs with Jacob and her two other kids, I had 3 too at this point, and that all happened in the span of like 2 conversations...yikes.
For once, I did the right thing, and backed out quickly, went to my family at the baseball field and gave my wife, whom I loved more than our troubles, a huge hug and kiss. That was the end of that.
Fast forward 4 years to 2014. This woman is remarried back near her family in VA. Her new husband is ex-Marine and works in computers for the government.
To try and finish quickly. He got mad because now divorced twice, I wanted again to see figure out if Jacob was mine. Pics on their FB were limited. Well, due to his jealousy, which I don't blame him I guess, he got nasty and for the first time ever so did Jacob's mother. They said I would need to wait until Jacob was 18 for him to make his own decisions if he wanted to do DNA and meet me if we were a match.
They blocked me on FB.
This after in 2010 she wanted to do a DNA thingy, but we never got around to it.
2019 - Jacob is now 18, so is my son Ethan, born a week after Jacob was at the same hospital in VA.
I see they unblocked me on FB for the first time in 5 years. I see more pics of Jacob now.
He is the spitting image of my older brother Jonathan and looks a little like me and his brother Ethan. He is definitely mine, and I don't need a DNA test to figure it out at this point.
So, I wrote them very humble and nice to say he looked like Jon, and me and Ethan, and that I know he's mine now, and thanked them for unblocking me to see the pics of him now. I told them my DNA was on 23 & me if he wanted to send in his DNA to match up.
BOOM! Blocked again & no response!!!
WHY???
Just another heartbreak I have to pack away deep in my heart...🤔😣
He is standing on left.

Humanism has lost its meaning.

Photo by mauro mora on Unsplash


Humanism has lost its meaning.

Humanism has been turned on its belly and spanked into submission.

Colin Wood
Jul 19 · 3 min read
Humanism is defined as:
Noun
An outlook or system of thought attaching prime importance to human rather than divine or supernatural matters. Humanist beliefs stress the potential value and goodness of human beings, emphasize common human needs, and seek solely rational ways of solving human problems.
Humanism involves critical thinking and evidence. Aulus Gellius (c.125–c.180) said, that in his day Humanitas was a form of philanthropy — or kindness and benevolence toward fellow human beings.
Other philosophers maintained that it was more about humaneness and politeness, equivalent to the Greek paideia. Humanism has meant many things to many different groups of people and leaders. The philosophy of Confucius (551–479 BCE), a highly-touted way of life in Asia, held to the ideology and practice of the same reflection on humanism as the Greeks.
Fast forward a few years to 2019, and society has seemed to forgotten and pushed aside the original concept of humanism. A way of life that has always awarded mankind and helped move us forward across the Earth.
Some people seem to bend humanism over now, and give it a good spanking and send it to its room each time they step out the door, or get caught on video camera, or feel empowered by a powerful leader to say and do what they want in the name of White Supremacy, the powerful and the rich.
We have men who have historically treated women horribly, grown men destroying young girls’ lives, people who walk by someone dying in the street, and some who feel it is now okay to be racist, and demand that people leave “their country”.
What or who do we blame for what has happened to mankind? We have regressed to the Dark Ages it seems. Wars run amok, hate runs the world, and money controls it all.
It’s easy to blame the man in the Oval Office. Right? Sure, he’s a criminal it seems, he’s a liar it’s proven, and he’s a cheater. He spreads hate and revs his base up until they take action on innocent bystanders and unprovoking individuals in our streets, neighborhoods, stores, and on the roads. He encourages the racist police destroying the image of justice across America to reign supreme.
Guess What? It’s not about President Trump, unfortunately. We can’t put the fall of humanism on one man who just came into the picture of politics a few years ago. I would love to be able to tell you that is the answer. “Getting rid of the pest in the White House will solve all of the worlds’ problems!” Sorry, no can do.
We are each to blame in our own way. Whether you are one that ignores it, hides it, does it, or has been to blame for those type of behaviors that destroy our fellow man’s lives or personas, and even has been killing. Killing way too many of our sisters and brothers, to whom we are all related in reality. Take it back to the beginning folks. We all come from one creator of some sort. Whether it be a God or Aliens.
I spent part of my life being a mild misogynist if that’s possible. But, I grew up, I learned, I listened, and I watched other men behave and I finally awoke a few years ago, and have slowly burned and etched myself into the kind of man I want to and should be.
The world will never be perfect. There are people with genetic makeups and mentally ingrained beliefs that are hard to change, teach, or stop. A serial killer can’t stop until he’s found and put an end to. Due to how human beings develop and errors in our DNA, some of us can’t help what we are. But a high percentage who fall into the traps of dehumanizing others, surely can pull ourselves out of our norm, or what we were taught, and find the empathy, love, care, and paideia in each of us.
Hope must not wane in the days of darkness, but must suffer through and rise to the sun and take everyone that’s willing to go for the ride. Hop on board everyone! Let’s become a new people, and new world and face this new Millenium with a renewed purpose to survive. Treat each other and our planet with love!

The Day New York Stood Still