Thursday, July 07, 2005



from left: Erich Fromme, Thomas Paine, Theodore Roosevelt, George Washington, Jesus Christ, Voltaire

We all pretty much know what we believe. But ever ask yourself why you believe what you do? Did you have an epiphany? Ever think about who might have influenced your thought process? Do you believe the things you do simply because it's what your parents believed? My challenge to you.... Tell me who you are, what you believe, why. Who influenced you, who you admire. Post it on your blog or in my comments (let me know if you blog it).

I am:
descended from a long line of hard working men and women of French, English, and Celtic stock. We have cleared forests for farms, been innkeepers to a President, supplied the Revolution. Successive generations of us homesteaded first Ohio, and eventually Michigan. We have been lumberjacks, woodsmen, miners. Builders of unions, trucks, and busses. We have worked as dockworkers and teamsters. Most of us have lived clean and with deep faith. My father was in on the beginning of the UAW, a boxer on the top team in the army, a war hero, poet, student of history, avid golfer, and top notch fast pitch ballplayer. He was also the best grandfather anyone could possibly be. I have struggled in his shadow most of my life. I am well read, have a broad range of interests, love sports, history, sociology, politics. I am a an outdoorsman and canoeist. An atheist. But mostly I am a father and grandfather.

I believe:
in the principles of Christ. Not that these principles have anything to do with organized religion. They don't.
I don't believe these things because I am convinced of his deity, but because they seem logical to me. Treat others as you wish to be treated. Love your neighbor, judge not lest you be judged, let he who is without sin cast the first stone. It seems to me that this would be a much better place if everyone practiced these principles. It appears to me that Jesus was a mind your own business kind of guy. His message seems to be you worry about how you live your life, the rest will take care of itself. A radical message in this day of church and state meddling in your relationships and bedroom.

in the philosophy of the Enlightenment and the Founding Fathers. I believe in life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. In free speach. In protecting the minority from the tyranny of the majority. That you can't have freedom without democracy, but you can have democracy without freedom.

in the value of community.

the Republican party has gone astray because they have abandoned the men who made the party great. They've forgotten Abraham Lincoln, who said "all men are created equal". Today's Republicans seem to believe you're more equal if you live in the top 1% of income earners. Or if your brand of Christianity has strong southern roots.

They've abandoned Teddy Roosevelt, who understood it was the job of the government to protect the people from the ruthless and powerful, whether a foreign government, or a wealthy trust. Who understood the value and necessity of conserving and protecting the environment for future generations. Today's Republican is more interested in how he can exploit the environment than preserve it.

They've forgotten Ike, who warned us of the danger of the military/industrial complex. I have one word for you... HALIBURTON. Today's Republican party is not only in bed with the military/industrial complex, they are having one hell of an orgy.

we desperately need another Teddy Roosevelt. There is none in sight

that hockey is life, the rest is just details.

that the best pizza in the world is at Nikki's (Greektown, Detroit MI)

tht the best American Fries in the world are at The Whitehouse Restaurant (South Bend IN)

My epiphany came:
in a small bookstore catering to geeks and philosophers. Specializing in the classics and Dungeons and Dragons. In the basement among the used books, I noticed a book entitled MAN FOR HIMSELF by Erich Fromme. I had gradually become disillusioned with the church, not only my denomination, but all the others I investigated. Then I started to read this marvelous book, and I not only began to understand myself, but WHY I was disillusioned. And I discovered a philosophy of life that made much more sense than anything I'd ever come across.... Humanism. I quickly purchased and read ESCAPE FROM FREEDOM and THE SANE SOCIETY, and was ever after hooked on Fromme. He he has certainly been the biggest influence on my view of life.

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