List of Previous Titles

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Where shall we go for our vacation?

With Summer firmly upon us people are looking forward to spending their vacations abroad. With ever more problems afflicting the world, we were talking about safety being a factor when considering where to go. Tourists have come to grief in Egypt where they were specifically attacked; they have died and suffered as a result of being on a cruise ship; and they have been seriously inconvenienced due to strikes and political upheaval in various places.

Last week we were reacting to the barbaric action of a monster who took the lives of nine gentle people who were in prayer and bible study. Since then I have been concentrating on the role of the gun. It is the only article that is available for purchase by members of the public, the purpose for which is to kill living animals and people. A knife has many uses. It can be used to slice and to butter bread, and to do many things of a domestic nature. It can also be used to kill, but that would be extending its use beyond its principal purpose.

A gun has only one objective: to extinguish life. Everything else is leading up to that ultimate end. I have heard people say as part of the debates that inevitably follow gun outrageous that they do own a gun, but that they are responsible gun owners. What's that? You own a gun presumably so as to kill something or someone. In far too many cases, those responsible gun owners end up killing their own family members, by accident.

I also said in my blog from last week, the gun has killed people not only in prayer, but in many other walks of life where people were simply going about their daily live in peace. This week, June 26th, 2015, we have to reckon with the deaths of 39 people who were simply sunning themselves on a beach in Sousse, Tunisia. They were practically naked. You don't get less threatening than that. They were thirty-nine people who were visiting the resort area  in Tunisia, bringing trade to the country to make it possible for the country to thrive. They reacted to the invitation of the Tourist Council to come and enjoy our country. For that they were gunned down in absolute cold blood.

On the 18th March, 2015, an attack was also launched on tourists in Tunisia who were visiting the Bardo National Musuem. It was said that the attackers were part of an element who do not want visitors in Tunisia.  They killed 21 people in that incident, but yet the 39 people came to Tunisia anyway. Many people will wonder why they did that, having such a recent horrid example to think about.

I think that it's common thinking, following some tragic event, that the situation will be greatly tightened and now will be the safest time of all to go while security forces are on full alert.

 It may be time to discard that trend of thought.

With the world in such turmoil answering the question as to where to holiday has become a real crap shoot.

Copyright (c) 2015  Eugene Carmichael

Saturday, June 20, 2015


The Oxford Dictionary defines "to forgive" as, cease to feel angry or resentful towards; pardon an offender or offense; (forgive us our mistakes); remit or let off  ( a debt or debtor).

This past week (June 14th-June 20th, 2015) in the United States, a 21 year old monster walked into a church and joined a bible study group and spent a hour with the group in study; then he stood and declared I'm here to kill you. With that he systematically shot and killed nine gentle people in worship, leaving one person alive to act as witness to his atrocity.

In committing these acts he laid bare to the world a new level of  human barbarity previously unseen and unknown, except as practised by the nazis. His actions were carried out as a result of hatred, and his objective was to start a race war in America. That is just not going to happen, in spite of the fact that America has many more monsters just like him. It is not going to happen because family spokesmen have done the most incredible thing while face to face with the monster: they have declared that they forgive him his actions and that they hope he will repent before God.

I believe they mean what they say! I just don't understand how on earth they could find the feelings necessary to pardon the monster for his deliberate and hateful actions that have taken the lives of their family members. He has not asked for their pardon, nor has he done anything at all to even suggest that he regrets his actions.

Although he is a white man and his victims are all black, that alone does not make his crimes any worse than a white man who shot white chilrdren, or any of the many other unspeakable gun crimes against innocent victims in America. For some reason America just doesn´t get it. They insist on their right to own as many guns as they want, and practically any type that they want. Meanwhile, people around the world all look on at such events taking place in America, supposedly the leading nation of the world, and we shake our heads in complete bewilderment. We fully expect more and more outrageous events committed with guns, but we don´t understand why Americans react with such surprise when they happen.

If Americans insist on the right to bear arms, especially in unlimited numbers and varieties, then so be it. They should simply expect that from time to time those guns will be brought out to kill other Americans while they are having a hamburger, or watching a movie, or studying at the library, or shopping for groceries, and, while they are simply in worship in the House of the Lord.

I have observed these events in horror, but were it not for the fact that surviving family members have expressed forgiveness face to face with the monster, I would not have been surprised at all. I expect more atrocities, and much worse because it seems to me to be some kind of perverse race. The next one, that is probably being planned right now will eclipse in horror the last one.

America, you have met the enemy, and the enemy is You!

Copyright (c) 2015  Eugene Carmichael  

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Bad luck or no luck at all?

I was having a conversation with a friend about playing the lottery. I said that I have been playing for about ten years, and that if I didn't have bad luck I would not have any luck at all. It's true that I have not won anything of significane during that time, but when I do win the Euro Millions I will probably just about get all the money I have paid in it returned to me, even if I win millions.

That, of course, is a bad joke. The moment my words left my mouth I regretted uttering them. I am a positive thinker, so I was surprised I would and could say that I am unlucky. What I need to do is stop and count the ways in which good luck has been firmly on my side.

The most obvious example is that, when I was born I was given a maximum life expectancy of 47 years. That was common to all males born in my year in Bermuda. As the group of us approaced our 39th year we started dropping like flies. This was partly due to lifestyle. That ole devil rum got many of them, and a variety of costums got others. Unfortunately, my wife at the time met her premature death in her 42nd year due to complications of an illness and its treatment.

I chose to change my lifestyle completely, but still it took a massive dose of very good luck to allow me to have recently celebrated my 75th birthday.

In 2012 our house stood in the middle of a five county-wide fire that took 800 firefighters on the ground, aided by 47 air water bombers to extinguish. The fire ran right over and around our house, but never actually touched the house. That exceeds good luck and can be called a modern miracle.

I sit at the head of a clan of three children, two daughters and a son; three grandchildren, and two great grandchildren. All of them are a part of the solution to the world's problems, and that too adds to my growing good luck portfolio.

Good luck is something to be hoped for, but by its very nature is not something that can be engineered. If I am so fortunate as to win the present Euro Millions jackpot of 119 million euros, a lot of people will be very happy. I certainly don't need that much money for myself, but through a constructive social program I would use such a pot of gold to better the lives of people who could really use a break to simply be put in the position that I am in at the moment.

I am a happy, healthy, and a very lucky man indeed. I wish everyone was!

Copyright (c) 2015  Eugene Carmichael  

Sunday, June 7, 2015

You, Me, and Mr. Al (zheimer)

Growing old is both wonderful and very frightening. On the one hand you only get to be an old person if you have extremely good luck. You are living through, and making history. I tell my children and grandchildren, and my great grandchildren that I lived life during a time when the world did not have even one computer, or smart phone, and worst of all, there was no facebook. They all answer in unison with the question: How? That, young ones is a good question.

There are so many things waiting to kill us. A simple drive to the supermarket is fraught with danger, and once there the things we put in our shopping cart are out to get us. Butter or margarine, eggs or not, killer cigarette suspects, etc, etc, etc. If what we put into our own bodies don't cut our lives short, then there are the terrorists who want to use us to try and make their very bizarre points. There are so many barriers to old age that it is one of life's modern miracles that more and more of us are crossing the 100 year line, and in good health.

There is one thing, however, that gives me real cause for worry, and that is the possibility of losing my mental faculties to Alzheimer's disease. As our bodies age parts begin to suffer as a result of wear and tear. It should be no surprise that the brain will start to lose its operating sharpness. I have been told that the memory is the first thing to lose its edge, and once that starts there is no way to slow down the process, let alone to reverse the slippage. I suppose that once we use our minds less we lose the sharpness. Perhaps a case of use it or lose it.

During my working years as an insurance accountant I held a head full of numbers. I had instant recall with telephone numbers. I calculated sums in my head without effort, whether plus, minus divide or percentages. I was my own computer. Now, I have to stop and think hard, and usually I resort to my handheld calculator and computer.

I don't know if it is true or not that the slippery slope into Alzheimer's syndrome is something without control, but a long time ago I noticed that certain people who had reached an advanced age, but who remained busy using their minds seemed wonderfully healthy. People such as musicians, particularly classical concert performers were outstanding in their control over their faculties at eighty and ninety years of age. Clearly they were constantly using their brains, so I am following their examples by, among other activities challenging myself to write these blogs to put my opinions in written form. I am astonished by the number of followers I have. Each and every one of you are so precious to me, but I do this principally for my own personal mental health. 

My late mother-in-law, who was a delightful woman, spent much of her time doing crossword puzzles to the extent of professional level. Her mind remained sharp to the end, which is more evidence that by using her mind she held off Mr. Alzheimer and remained in control.

I suppose that I could do all sorts of research to see what the scientists have to say but I do not set myself up as any kind of expert or guide in matters of this sort, but the common sense angle appeals to me, and so I have deliberately set myself on a course of physical fitness by attending the gym twice weekly, and Pilateus once a week. I read, write, and I pay attention to images; I live in a land that is foreign to me so I study the language every say, and I am determined to fight on.

Use it or lose it!

There's hope for us all.

Copyright (c) 2015  Eugene Carmichael