What’s Boeing On? See Ya 2018-

This was going to begin like “Seinfeld”: a blog about nothing, Turns out, there’s a story from our “Sleepy in Seattle” trip.

The Year that Flew By & the Jetliners that Made it Happen

Robert Plant recorded a song with Alison Krauss a few years ago by the title “Gone, Gone, Gone.” That’s exactly how I feel about 2018. Do you recall as a child or younger person hoping for Christmas, Halloween, Summers & birthdays to get here? I can still hear my grandmothers, both of them, saying “Don’t wish your life away.” The statement’s irony manifests at some point along the journey. We go from wishing we were older to wishing we could be a little younger. While I have no desire to be any younger, it would be awesome for time to slow down….just a little bit.

With all the hustle and bustle of the Christmas and New Year’s season, it’s been like being in a time warp. I have felt like Marty McFly speeding through time. On December 26th reality hit at 6:45 am when my youngest son and I boarded the 5 hour & 55 minute flight to Seattle-Tacoma and realized there were not seat back screens. Yes, the reality that it’s just another crappy American Airlines flight stung. These people should never have used the term “Something special in the air.” I’m remained prayerful they would keep us in the air and not drop us plummeting toward the earth.

As if it were not horror enough that they eliminated SkyMall, now passengers are left with the AA magazine filled with things like: Top 10 Steakhouses, Nation’s 10 Best Plastic Surgeons, dating service ads for busy professionals, and $ 3.5 million and up condo high rise ads on Miami Beach. As long as they keep the Biscoff cookies I think I can cope….right Daniela Spearman?

My jet setting friends Michael, Noel & Eileen will empathize with me. Angela may laugh remembering the June ‘18 article I posted to her social media about AA shrinking bathroom size on new planes to accommodate 12 additional seats on certain models. Before long you will have to be a Taebo, Beach Body, or PX90 aficionado to be able to pee on a plane….in a plane I should say? To quote Angela’s social media response: “Why do they hate us???”

While I realize these are first world problems, having a teenager as a travel partner with neither earbuds nor visual entertainment…..let’s just say the pain is real!

Here’ What Been Boing On

(Full scale mock up of an International Space Station capsule. They used this one to train astronauts and to get used to zero gravity. I, of course, took my son’s challenge to pose like a dork).

As part of my youngest son’s 18th birthday, we’ve been hanging out in Seattle & Vancouver. While it may not sound like a bucket list thing, he and I did one of mine this trip and headed to Everett, Wa. to the Boeing plant. Despite what American Airlines does to frustrate passengers, Boeing’s premier approach to aviation technology sets standards among its industry competitors.

Consider some of the fun stuff we learned:

  • Bill Boeing founded his company in 1916…just thirteen years after the Wright brothers flew at Kitty Hawk.
  • The Everett, Wa. Campus features the world’s largest building. At 98.3 acres under a single roof you could encompass all of Disneyland and still have 12 acres left over for parking. The expanse of this place is simply indescribable.
  • Boeing is the United States’ largest producer of exported goods. On the day we toured we viewed $ 8.0 billion of aircraft under construction.
  • Boeing began only 63 years prior to man walking on the moon. From any perspective it’s safe to call that a quantum technological leap. Today’s generation is born into knowing the ease of getting onto an airliner and being on the other side of the globe within 24 hours. Boeing engineers believe that we’ll be able to travel the same distance in two (2)….yes that is TWO hours in the foreseeable future. Please note: security will still take seven hours.
  • A cool $403 mil gets you a new 747. Boeing produces only 6 per year…that fact truly surprised me. This price….also the sticker price…is not what anyone or any company pays.
  • A coat of paint adds 1000 lbs to finished weight.

(These next four images are from Google. Boeing will not let people take phones into the production & tour area. It’s not because of security. It’s because if a device gets dropped on the aircraft, then it can compromise the safety of the finished product. A tourist dropped an iPhone a couple of years back and it was $307,000 mistake).

From Airplanes to Space (Needles)

It’s a cool thing to have visited the top of the Seattle Space Needle originally built for the 1962 World’s Fair. The first time I did this was in 2003 with my bride when we were visiting friends, Pam & Ron, when he was there (the Fred Hutchinson Center) for a bone marrow transplant. As we were waiting to board the monorail to get to the needle, our friend Bertha called to tell us that our friends, Katie & Brandon Dirks had welcomed their son, Baxter, into the world the night before. This also happened be the day the U.S. invaded Iraq.

I didn’t think about it when we saw the space needle, but in 1962 humans had not even been to the moon. For all you conspiracy theorists…it happened…it was not a Stanley Kubrick cinematic stunt. For skeptical North Carolinians; get a clue: Steph Curry is an NBA player, not an astrophysicist. Let’s keep perspective (reference to Curry’s recent media proclamation that the lunar landing never actually occurred).

Being at the Space Needles reminds one of Epcot or The Jetsons. My son said it looked like something from Star Wars inside (noting the very recently upgraded and installed glass floor making 30 minute revolutions at the top 520′ in the air).

Honestly, I could blah…blah…blog on. Therefore, let me conclude this abruptly and leave you with a thought:

Here’s to the New Year. 2019 with its promises, its lessons, its blessings and its challenges are upon us. Here’s to the blessing of family, of friends, of memories to be made. And finally…happy birthday to you, Pierce Gregory “Baboon” Withrow. As your granddaddy would say: “I love you and I’m on your side.”

Change for a Time — the half century club!

If you are a Gen X’er, then you are a product of the “Smokin’ in the Boy’s Room” era rubbing shoulders with the Vaping in the Transgendered Restroom generation (Rick Taylor, comedian).” It’s funny and it’s incredibly true.

Our generation moved from Sesame Street to Hill Street Blues; from Bruce Jenner-decathalete on a Wheaties box to Kaitlyn Jenner in an evening gown; from the end of the Sexual Revolution to Sex in the City (I still wouldn’t know about Jimmy Choo and Manolo Blahnik save for Sara Jessica Parker and Oprah’s Favorite Things list). We went from Terry Bradshaw to Carrie Bradshaw; from drinking OJ for breakfast to knowing O.J. as a convicted murderer….make that a felon. For that matter we’ve gone from drinking straws to vilifying them.

We’ve grown up and away from Count Cocula each Fall to looking forward to everything Starbucks pumpkin latte. And although Boo Berry and Frankenberry also made their annual appearances I, for one, stand with the Count …that dude endures the generations!

And finally, we 50 somethings remember when Bam Bam was simply the Flintstone’s cartoon neighbor and not a reference to cocaine a la Talladega Nights…”help me Tom Cruise….help me Oprah Winfrey!”

In a little over two weeks, God willing, Thaedra and I will be flying home from Dublin with my two best buddies, Tim and Kevin and their wives. We will have celebrated my 50th birthday together both on the continent, around the U.K. and in Ireland along with some of my other favorite and cherished friends, Noel, Eileen, Nancy & Gayle (I’m still hoping) joining us along the way. It’s really an amazing thing to consider that until in 1927 when Charles Lindbergh completed the first successful transatlantic flight this type of travel was not feasible. Lindbergh flew only 41 years before we 50 year olds were born! Jumping on and off airliners is now typical travel protocol.

(My heart & soul…Alex, Pierce, and the unmistakable, lovely lady who loves me despite myself, Thaedra. You three are the biggest blessings of my life.)

(Tim and Kevin…these two guys are the older….much, much older brothers I never had. I cannot verbalize the blessing, dimension and richness of these two men and these friendships bring to life…simply priceless!)

It remains true and becomes increasing reality that humanity’s progress moves faster now than at any other time in history. The best description of this truth I read recently in the first few chapters of Dan Brown’s book, Origin. He includes two intriguing paragraphs.

“It took early humans over a million years to progress from discovering fire to inventing the wheel. Then it took only a few thousand to get to the printing press. Then it took only a couple hundred years to build a telescope. In the centuries that followed, in ever-shortening spans, we bounded from the steam engine, to gas-powered automobiles, to the Space Shuttle! And then, it took only two decades for us to start modifying our own DNA.”

“We measure scientific progress in months…advancing at a mind boggling pace. It will not be long before today’s supercomputer looks like an abacus; today’s most advanced surgical methods will seem barbaric; and today’s energy sources will seem as quaint to us as using a candle to light a room. The Greeks had to look back centuries to study ancient culture, but we need to look back only a single generation to find those who lived without the technologies we take for granted today. The time line for human development is compressing; the space separating ancient and modern is shrinking to nothing at all”

This book made me consider the some of the advances in the last fifty years. Think about what stands out to you as marked advances during our place in time.

The “What had happened was…”

In the very early 70’s I vividly recall my maternal great grandmother’s farmhouse on Hwy. 216 in Cherryville, NC. She had wood burning stoves not only to heat her house, but also as a source for cooking. At the same time microwave technology was being introduced to the consumer marketplace. The Sears Kenmore microwave daddy brought home was as big as a TV set. My wife says she remembers a door to door microwave salesman coming to her home….I have to laugh at the visual this conjures up…some poor guy toting a microwave through the neighborhood. As kids we could see technology and times changing before our eyes and didn’t even know.

(This is the house when I drove by it 2 weeks ago. It’s remodeled and looking good even though great granddaddy built it well over 100 years ago. My maternal grandparents married in the front parlor here on December 22, 1934.)

Speaking of time, how many of my Charlotte friends remember dialing: 375-6711? If you’re from around here, then you remember Joe King’s “Home Federal Saving & Loan time is: ____o’clock; the temperature is ___ degrees.” By chance did you dial this number on a rotary phone?

Remember when food was simply food? I was always jealous of the kids who’s moms brought cupcakes to school for their birthdays. What, pre tel, did you have to do to make this happen? Does this still happen? Between the gluten free and the vegan considerations I’m not sure it’s any longer permitted, let alone politically correct, to serve cupcakes to school kids. We even have gluten free communion (there’s a Jesus, disciples and an upper room joke in there somewhere, but I’ll leave it to your imagination).

We are from the generation when health insurance was sold for the family and not for the dog. For that matter, remember when the dog’s dental care was not on par with yours? Maybe they had all of that when I was a kid and my parents were just cheap.

On the back seats of bus 337 riding to Bruns Avenue Elementary School (4th grade for the sake of full disclosure) we listened to homemade compilation cassettes. Our music included Car Wash by Rose Royce, Le Freak by Chic, Big Shot by Billy Joel…and on and on. Daddy’s black plastic battery operated (6 D-cell batteries) cassette machine made those monotone recordings from radio jams sound awesome, just phenomenal! Hey, it’s what we had.

Techy people say an iPhone X will hold more than 30,000 songs. I’ll get back to you on that one. It is ironic to think about music media evolution. My wife’s late God parents left Thaedra and her brother, Greg, an operating Victrola in their home. We listened to it…skreetchy, scratchy swing band and gospel melodies. I bet you $10 I could plunder through my dad’s junk and find an old Buck Owens or Porter Wagner & Dolly Parton 8-Track tape. For anyone who doesn’t know what an 8-track is; Google it, they definitely played an important role in media evolution. For anyone who doesn’t know who Buck Owens and Porter Wagner are take my word for it, move on.

Remember when Peanuts were either a great cartoon or a healthy snack and not some lethal keep it off the plane killer? Those pathetic little pretzel packs American Airlines tries to pass off don’t measure up. If you’re lucky and get a good flight, then you might get a pack of those Biscoff cookie crackers. I’ll knock you down for those…consider yourself warned.

Like many kids I grew up on the tail end of my daddy’s belt. It’s Biblical…loosely based on Proverbs 13:24. Spare the rod and spoil the child. Dancing around that swinging belt I would have sworn it was child abuse. It was, in fact, the kind of parenting that yielded disciplined and accountable children. Somebody should have told my grandmother, however, making a kid pick his Hickory stick off the shrub before a good butt “whoppin’” was not Biblical. Incidentally, Apple Pages did not recognize whoopin’ as a word. Clearly, the programmers are not Southern.

I’m rather certain my boys have never cracked this thing called an encyclopedia. We’ve gone from World Book to Wikipedia, from Britannica to Bing. If we couldn’t find it in the latest printed edition of the encyclopedia, then we could go to the library and look up subject matter in this archaic card catalog. Thanks to Mr. Dewey and his decimal system it worked rather well.

My youngest son is preparing for his Eagle Scout board of review. It’s an awesome skill: scouting teaches youth to orient a map. I, however, rely on Google maps. If it’s a really adventurous day, then it’s Waze with the Elvis voice prompts…”thank you very much!”

Actually, a lot of what is now bygone reality helped the fifty something generation turn out well. I’m talking about things like beginning elementary school days with the Pledge of Allegiance; getting a filthy dirty when we played outside: mud, scabbed up knees, sweat, and gum ball fights. Robyn Withrow, I’ll never forgive you for making the whole street gang up on me. Lest we forget that our generation may be one of the last to learn grammar…we are from the day when teachers actually taught English. Want to stump a teenager? Ask him or her to conjugate: “to drink” or to differentiate and conjugate “to lay and to lie.” This list could go for days.

People complain about getting older. Some of the most awesome people I know are in their 50s. And like they, I plan to have the time of my life. Sometimes you hear 50 is new 30. I hope not! 30 year olds can keep diaper changes and career climbing; newly arrived 50 year olds keep the AARP cards. If Alex Tribec tries to sell me $15k of guaranteed life insurance for only $39.00 a month, then I swear I’m going to boycott Jeopardy!

The point: a lot changes our life’s time-space and comfort perception. Except for human nature and omnipotent God, things never stay the same. Life is short and getting shorter every day. My theory: take the trip, eat the cupcake (gluten allergies beware, I know), laugh loud, love passionately, forgive, and don’t expect other people to invest in you as you might in them (you get your feelings hurt…really badly!). People who say they have no regrets have neither learned anything nor ventured very far from a comfort zone. Old age will happen as soon as you invite it, either by inaction or attitude, to sit beside you. Work hard, play harder, pray harder . Evidently, living this way scares the crap out of people. I’d rather live full throttle and soak up the adventures ahead than to sit safely inside the confines of a stereotyped convention. We do, after all, only live once.

May our choices reflect our hopes and not our fears. Nelson Mandela

Equal Opportunity Offender: The Gun Control Economy

As my oldest son Alex would say as a toddler: “For you to know” this blog isn’t ultimately intended to express my political opinion and change minds. Alternatively, it hopefully expresses realities concerning market forces behind what happens with regulation. Honestly, I don’t have a dog in the fight. But watching the media is like watching an “adventure in missing the point.” Like you, I want our children to go to school and arrive home safely. Believe me…if I were to attempt to fire a double barrel shotgun, you’d better move the pick up and Google the number for the nearest SafeLite Autoglass installer because that windshield is going down!

Did you grow up in a neighborhood where kids played cowboys and Indians pretending to battle with bows, arrows and guns? Better yet, did you play Cops and Robbers in a more innocent time when police could effectively do their jobs without fear of nearly unlimited repercussion? “Bang, bang you are dead, brush your teeth and go to bed.” Not only is it now politically incorrect for kids to play this way, but it’s going to offend somebody that a Native American Indian is being injured and mocked.

It reads like a rewrite for lyrics from Billy Joel’s “We Didn’t Start the Fire.” Sandy Hook, Vegas, Charleston, Parkland, Umpqua Community College, San Bernardino, Columbine, Pulse Night Club, Bataclan. They’re just a sampling of the the site of the worst of the the worst massacres by gunmen

Under normal circumstances I wouldn’t use CNN as a resource; however, its online article dated 2/19/18 gives an excellent summary of (US) shootings that are, sadly, beginning to define our era and this generation. The URL to the article is included at the end.

A couple of disclaimers: (1) Second amendment rights remain vital to American’s ability to (protect) life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness and (2) to quote a youth group friend of mine from years ago: “the proliferation of guns is an accelerant; (Trent: I agree)

Politicizing Gun Control— what happened to “family values?”

I sound like a broken record: something needs to be done. Gun control should not be a political issue; it is a humanity issue. But, like everything else Washington and the media politicize it for their selfish ratings-profits gains and get re-elected benefit. Rather than solutions we continue to get rhetoric.

Every single time one of these events occur the cycle repeats: Democrats call for gun control; Republicans defend second amendment rights. The media blow up with coverage. Finger pointing goes on: “(W)here’d he or they get the weapons? Guns don’t shoot people, people shoot people; How did the background check not catch this?; an 18 year old shouldn’t be able to purchase that kind of weapon at Wal-Mart; how’d that nutcase remain under the radar this long; why wasn’t the FBI notified?”

The truth is the answer to any one of OR all of those questions remain irrelevant after a life has been taken. What goes wrong in a human life so incredibly tragically wrong and horrible that makes him or her desire to take the lives of other people in highly notable and prolific ways?

Rather than rehash ad nauseam every detail of each potential cause, we know the ones people point to most frequently:

Substitute Parenting (video games / electronic devices): At the expense of sounding like Ward Clever, it’s true to note most families don’t sit down at a dinner table to connect with their children regularly. Youth are left to fend for themselves, grow up on their own, and figure things out…influencers, quite wrongly, by extraneous factors, where quality parenting and loving guidance once molded preceding generations ahead of them.

Virtual relationships (anything that replaces human touch, interaction and deepening one-on-one relationships; i.e., texting-social media): We Skype, FaceTime, Text, Snapchat, we everything else. What we do not nurture is interpersonal relationships any longer. Lack of connecting eye to eye, heart to heart, soul to soul has led to empty spirits and souls longing to be wanted and accepted. When they are not the consequences prove disastrous.

Bullying—piling on the bandwagon quickly. In A Christmas Story when the kids in the school yard fought it out, and that was it….move on. In Grease when Danny Zucko and “Pizza Face” raced for pinks in Greased Lightening it was actually healthy competition. The current generation has the ability to magnify “the fight” against enemies by employing social media, by screen shoting messages & photos, and creating quasi smear campaigns against kids.

We have nowhere for kids to safely express pent up aggression.

Instant Gratification— we live in an entitlement generation. I know two families both of whom experienced the death by suicide of their young teenage sons. During grief counseling last Fall for one group the lady proposed that the boy who suffered death at his hand was the person MOST surprised not to be among us. A similar concept must be true of the people who commit these atrocious killing sprees. There are some things that once they’re done cannot be undone.

The Government

The political right…or some of it…has suggested arming teachers. Is it just me or is that really rather stupid? Maybe some teachers, but all? I visualize my first grade teacher, Miss Boone, with a gun in her top drawer….whoa!

The political left calls for government intervention.

Where has government intervention substantively worked?

Almost every time it attempts to control markets, the potential for a black market arises. It may be crass, but simple economic principles will ALWAYS prevail. Where there is supply and where there is demand these dirty little X & Y axes are going to intersect. Consider, for example:

Marijuana: It is illegal to purchase it in my home state. Of course I live in the holy rolling Bible Belt state of North Carolina. Nonetheless, I could leave my home at this moment at drive you to any of 20 places within 20 minutes and purchase for you whatever amount of whacky weed (or if you live near the Arboretum heroin or meth) you want.

Prohibition: Charlotte and many cities in the southern U.S. are full of NASCAR fans. What a lot of people don’t know is how the highly profitable sport got it’s start. During the 30’s when the feds banned the production and sale of alcohol, bootleggers needed a way to distribute their good. Cars were souped up and engines turbo charged to be able to outrun law enforcement. This fascinating concept eventually evolved into NASCAR.

As interesting as that history may (or may not) be to you, the fact is that when alcohol was made illegal, people still found a way to produce it; drinkers found a way to obtain it. Had I been around I guarantee I would have had a spot in a local speakeasy…that culture had to be something to behold.

Prostitution: this one may make you uncomfortable, but it is, after all, the world’s oldest profession. I’ve known more than a few myself…umm…let me be clear….finding out after the fact they are in the business, my customers renting property from our property management business. Here’s the point: where there is demand for a service (or good in the case with firearms); then there will be supply. It’s crude and crass I know, but true, nonetheless. You cannot legislate morality. It does not work.

Pharmaceuticals: Who needs a doctor and Wal-Greens? Do you want prescription diet pills, Propecia, Viagara, you name it? A very simply Google search, a credit card and little trust that your shipment will get through Customs and you can be thin, hairy, and….well…you get the picture.

Abortion: Let’s just open up this little can of worms. Almost everyone has an opinion. Pro-life or Pro-Choice. Politicians typically promote their platforms and do not hesitate to share stances regarding this. You either support Planned Parenthood and want to see government funding or you don’t. You either support Roe v. Wade or you don’t. There is generally not a lot of common ground, rape, incest, life of the mother excepted. Throughout the history of human procreation regardless of what the law says women have been able to seek ways to “take care” of unwanted pregnancies.

Murder: now this one is going to be a shocker. All the way before Moses got the Ten Commandments from God on Mount Sinai…it’s numero 6, I believe, it’s been morally wrong and civilly illegal to murder. All the way through now we have laws on the books that say murder is illegal. Big regulation from the Supreme Law maker: Thou Shall Not Kill!

Gun Laws: Codified gun laws exist. Take the training class, endure the waiting period, pass the background check, etc. Guess what? Just like the weed mentioned or the booze decades ago if you want it, then you can go out your door and buy it…completely usurping the domestic law.

Usurping the law. Now there’s an interesting concept. What makes anyone think a person resolute on killing is going to be law abiding. Forget mental instability, forget demographic profiling, forget any box into which we try to force a person when we all, after the fact, attempt to explain and rationalize the most tragic “mass shooting.”

It boils down to this: If a person wants to hurt people, then he or she is going to hurt people. The weapon is not the killer; the weapon is the tool. Disagree?

  • Ask the people of Nice, France;
  • Ask the people of the Middle East who live in fear of car bombs;
  • Ask the people who survived the nut case who drove into the crowds in Times Square;
  • Ask the victims’ families from last week’s FedEx attack.
  • Ask the victims of the Boston Marathon bomb from several years ago;
  • Ask the survivors of the Twin Towers at 911;
  • Ask the family of the homosexual soldier who was murdered by being beaten to death on the streets of Wilmington NC outside of a nightclub (c. 1990);
  • Ask the people who witnessed cars attempting to run them down on Tower Bridge in London; ask commuters on The Tube;
  • Ask…



there are so many I couldn’t begin to name them all.

In none of these cases were guns involved. In all of these cases existed evil and the intent to kill.

The world we occupy is frightening.

Back at you Kevin

Maybe the answer is we as Americans and human beings stop the decay of our societal foundation. The second week in February I posted a response to one of my best buddy, Kevin’s post on FaceBook (I’ve got his link at the end as well—worth the read). I still believe today the long term answer lies somewhere in this:

Rights need to be preserved, entitlement needs be harnessed and curtailed, and people (parents) have got to resume responsible parenting. Media is the Anti-Christ regardless of who is in office. Why the *&%$ do people listen to anything these people say (and I could have said the same thing during the Carter-Clinton-Obama administrations). Guns don’t shoot themselves, news stories don’t broadcast themselves, and presidents don’t elect themselves. WE have empowered everything to be in the status quo we endure presently. A killer will kill if that’s the intended desire (Nice, France; Tower Bridge in London; 911; Times Square New York—-and I just happen to be responding to you from the car bomb center of the universe: the Middle East. I went through 4 security checks & borders patrol crossings <machine gun militia> just TODAY so that we could tour holy sites and say prayers (note: Thaedra and I had ridden in and out of the separation wall between Israel and Palestine twice that particular day getting to and from Bethlehem / Jerusalem).

Gun control doesn’t stop a black market (look at the drug problem). What will make a difference, as you suggest, is when people care about something bigger than themselves: the future, our children; and families as God intended them to be. I’m proud you took the time to author this. You’re hopefully showing a lot of people how to be part of the solution. Thanks, Kevin!”


Consider this incredibly poignant fact: there are more firearms in the United States than there are citizens. (I would cite sources, but there is much discrepancy regarding the numbers. I considered many that counted only the guns manufactured and sold since records have been kept; this completely discounts the tens of millions prior to that time).

Write every law imaginable, but how do written words remove more than

320,000,000; that’s three hundred twenty million guns from our streets?

Florida has taken steps to increase the age from 18 to 21 to purchase a weapon, it makes sense to vet persons through background checks, increase waiting periods and data bases if you want to, conceal-carry permits are great: those measures regulate only law abiding citizens.

We All Help Support Part of the Problem Sometimes

Dismantle the Hollywood elite and music industry that influences our culture with extremely violent film making they call “art” by their profession, and then use personal fame platforms to call for gun control (it is potentially the most two faced thing in modern history….I have absolutely zero respect for most entertainment elite).

November 2012: I picked up my wife and several friends up from the Madonna concert in Charlotte. Only months before (July 2012) a nutcase shot ruthlessly into the crowd in Aurora, Colorado. The United States and the world experienced “shock and awe” that this could happen. As Thaedra and the other ladies climbed into my car they were laughing and commenting and talking about the show, but the one thing I’ll never forget is how they commented about Madonna’s use of stage props in her show…just about the entire show…she theatrically shot faux machine guns toward the audience throughout the show. One of the most politically liberal, anti-gun, vocal entertainers of our age “shot” a mixed message that evening…she typically does (remember—-she’s the one who’s thought so much about blowing up the White House). Yes, we bought that concert ticket…and supported Madonna’s behaviors <for the very last time may I add>)

I close with this Madonna story to say… in the United States we live and die by the market economic forces we drive by consumer decisions (even those that transpire in the black market).

What decisions can we make to positively impact the next generation?

CNN LINK: https://www.cnn.com/2013/09/16/us/20-deadliest-mass-shootings-in-u-s-history-fast-facts/index.html

KEVIN’S LINK: https://www.facebook.com/kevin.ray.1029/posts/1999088016785864