Friday, December 30, 2011


At year’s end it is nice to put things into perspective. Most times it will tame the passion of arrogance.

These are the rings of and the planet Saturn and little ol’ us.

Have a happy and aware New Year celebration.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

A Buffett Suggestion

I don't know if the following email I received is accurately attributed to Warren Buffett. It doesn't matter. The suggestions are solid, smart, and should be implimented. Perhaps you will pass it on as I am through this blog.

Warren Buffett, in a recent interview with CNBC, offers one of the best quotes about the debt ceiling: 

             "I could end the deficit in 5 minutes," he told CNBC. "You just
         pass a  law that says that anytime there is a deficit of more       
         than 3% of  GDP, all sitting members of Congress are ineligible
         for re-election.

         The 26th amendment (granting the right to vote for 18 year-olds)
         took only 3 months & 8 days to be ratified!  Why? Simple!
         The people demanded it. That was in 1971 - before computers, e-mail,
         cell phones, etc.
         Of the 27 amendments to the Constitution, seven (7) took one (1) year
         or less to become the law of the land - all because of public pressure.
         Warren Buffet is asking each addressee to forward this email to
         a minimum of twenty people on their address list; in turn ask
         each of those to do likewise.

         In three days, most people in The United States of America will
         have the message.  This is one idea that really should be passed
    Congressional Reform Act of 2011        
1. No Tenure / No Pension.

         A Congressman/woman collects a salary while in office and receives no
         pay when they're out of office.

2.  Congress (past, present & future) participates in Social

         All funds in the Congressional retirement fund move to the
         Social Security system immediately. All future funds flow into
         the Social Security system, and Congress participates with the
         American people. It may not be used for any other purpose.

3. Congress can purchase their own retirement plan,  just as all
        Americans do.

4. Congress will no longer vote themselves a pay raise.
         Congressional pay will rise by the lower of CPI or 3%.

5. Congress loses their current health care system and
         participates in the same health care system as the American people.

6. Congress must equally abide by all laws they impose on the
         American people.

 7. All contracts with past and present Congressmen/women are void
         effective 1/1/12. The American people did not make this
         contract with Congressmen/women.

         Congress made all these contracts for themselves. Serving in
         Congress is an honor, not a career. The Founding Fathers
         envisioned citizen legislators, so ours should serve their
         term(s), then go home and back to work.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Profound Wisdom

Some things you read in life are so powerful they must be shared. The following is one of them. I first read this a few years ago and every once in awhile it surfaces to the top of the internet email circuit.

I love it and I hope you do too.

I dreamed I had an interview with God.
“So you would like to interview me?” God asked.
“If you have the time” I said.
God smiled. “My time is eternity.”
“What questions do you have in mind for me?”
“What surprises you most about humankind?”
God answered…
“That they get bored with childhood,
they rush to grow up, and then
long to be children again.”
“That they lose their health to make money…
and then lose their money to restore their health.”
“That by thinking anxiously about the future,
they forget the present,
such that they live in neither
the present nor the future.”
“That they live as if they will never die,
and die as though they had never lived.”
God’s hand took mine
and we were silent for a while.
And then I asked…
“As a parent, what are some of life’s lessons
you want your children to learn?”
“To learn they cannot make anyone
love them. All they can do
is let themselves be loved.”
“To learn that it is not good
to compare themselves to others.”
“To learn to forgive
by practicing forgiveness.”
“To learn that it only takes a few seconds
to open profound wounds in those they love,
and it can take many years to heal them.”
“To learn that a rich person
is not one who has the most,
but is one who needs the least.”
“To learn that there are people
who love them dearly,
but simply have not yet learned
how to express or show their feelings.”
“To learn that two people can
look at the same thing
and see it differently.”
“To learn that it is not enough that they
forgive one another, but they must also forgive themselves.”
“Thank you for your time,” I said humbly.
“Is there anything else
you would like your children to know?”
God smiled and said,
“Just know that I am here… always.”
-author unknown

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Touch Hands

I liked the fact I could post an audio file for the "Night Before Christmas" so here is another poetic proundity that works this time of year on our emotions and expectation.

I sent it to my friend and colleague Carl of inclusion in a radio program.

I hope you like it.

You will have to go to my website to hear it. Blogger will not let me post an audio file. It will let me post a video file. Go figure.



Monday, December 26, 2011

What Now?

Some thoughts today on the upcoming new year.

Beginnings always have an expectation.

What happens next; where do we go from here.

There is an old saying that says we attract to us what we fear the most. If that's true, then it is time to acknowledge that within each of us is an immense creative energy that can find a way out of the fear, the sadness, the despair, the negative conditions for which we often blame others.

Perhaps it is time we see ourselves as creators. Not only the creator of things, but also the creator of attitudes and personal conditions.

We constrict our creative self by placing limits. We inadvertently deny those in need by believing security is having more. Sometimes we delude those we say we love by only loving ourselves through them and not honoring their choice and sacred self.

It is time to listen to the life force of our hearts. It lets us hear the trees, the oceans, the plants and animals and strangers when they speak to us.

That life force is unconditional love, which translates to respect, courtesy and kindness.

It has never been tried on a mass scale.

It seems to me we have nothing to lose.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas everyone! May the light of All That Is be evident in our hearts and actions.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Twas The Night Before Christmas

Hi Folks,

Blogger will not let me download an audio file, so please for this production piece of the Night Before Christmas please go to my website.

It works there.

Have a Merry Christmas.


Thursday, December 22, 2011

Away Again at Christmas

There are many folks today who cannot for one reason or another be home for Christmas. Those serving in the military are certainly the one's who we think about this time of year. We have empathy with the emptiness their families are experiencing.

This is for all who are away from home this Christmas. It is a poem I wrote entitled, "Away Again."

I am away this Christmas,
but I will send my heart
to ring each bell you hear
when reason keeps us part.

I can’t be with you now
to sit there by the fire
and hold your hand in mine
and fill my heart’s desire.

When you awake my love
You’ll feel my Christmas touch.
Know it is my message -
I love you very much.

I can’t be home this year
to hear the season sing
nor be with you to smile
at every little thing.

I can’t be home this Christmas
to decorate the tree
So hang a stocking too
from heart at hearth for me?

When morning comes at dawn,
with every breath I take
I'll hear your sweetened laugh
to take away my ache.

I can’t be home this Christmas,
if only it weren’t so.
Hear my special Christmas wish -
never again to go.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Christmas Thoughts

When we were kids we didn't give much thought on all the meanings and nuances of the holiday season.

     We thought only of presents, not only the ones we would receive, but also of the ones we bought or made for our parents.

     Somewhere in time, in the growing and maturing process, we transition to a different feeling and appreciation for Christmas. Now it’s the importance of family close by and friends visiting, and children's excitement and memories.

     Laughter and holiday gatherings take on an empathic resonance. They seem to amplify the emptiness and sadness some choose to embrace during this festive time of year.  It's one thing to feel the righteousness of loss of loved ones, long or just departed, and it’s another to wallow in the self-pity of our own creations blaming others for who or what we are. If you don't like who or what you are, change it by intent; its truth is in its simplicity.

   There is only one thing we all are equally, other than created, it is our free will choice to be loving and all the actions that mean loving: giving, helping, listening, teaching, honoring and thanking.

    Be only love for that is what you are is an immutable law of the universe and a predominant teaching of the man-child whose birth we celebrate on Christmas.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

The Rude Elderly

Ah…the old, the elderly, the crochety, the rude, the myopic, the negative things I hope all of us will not be as we get older, but I know some of us will be cantankerous and rude in our old age.

That being said, I experienced, in the last few days, the rudeness of my generation and maybe those in the generation a touch older than mine. I therefore feel free to criticize my generation and the generation that is just beyond me.

Some elderly think they are entitled to just about everything; Driving slow in the left lane, being rude to wait staff and intolerant of and stern to little children. Some elderly seem to hate loud noises, teenagers in general and the dress styles of the young.

I don’t know why some of us older folks find joy in the laughter and antics of youth and others are the curmudgeons of old age. Perhaps reason, patience, tolerance and courtesy leave the mind set of some folks when nimbleness, dexterity and smooth skin pass from the body.

Some elderly are filled with joy, wisdom and appreciation of living a long life. Others are angry at being old and they choose to take it out on everyone. 

Monday, December 19, 2011

Iraq War Costs

I’m wondering about the Iraq war on this count down to Christmas. What a dichotomy of thought in this alleged time of seasonal peace.

We. The United States military and whatever other undisclosed agencies have now left or are leaving the country. Well, the military forces have all but left, but the other guys and gals may linger in the intelligence sphere for quite some time.

Anyway, the closing ceremony of leaving last week was not one of cooperation or appreciation.
Iraq’s President Jalal Talabni and Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki did not show for the departure ceremony.  Their names were on two chairs at the event, but the invitation was apparently ignored.

What does that say?

It says that war and death and treasure are never make lasting friends.

What has the nearly nine year war achieved other than multi-national pain, sacrafice and money?

1.   Saddam Hussein is gone.

2.   Over 100-thoussand Iraqi civilians are dead.

3.   Untold millions displaced from their homes.

4.   The countries infrastructure destroyed.

5.   Patchy electricity and water sources are still evident.

6.   Whatever social fabric there was is gone.

7.   1.5 million American soldiers are now vets of that war.

8.   4,487 Americans were killed.

9.   Thousands upon thousands of Americans were left with missing limbs and psychological scars.

The cost to us: One trillion and counting.

This is George W. Bush’s and Dick Chaney’s legacy to and for the operation dubbed, Iraqi Freedom.

My thoughts are not a political statement, they are a practical acknowledgement of the idiocy of war and unbridled and unconstitutional political power.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Howard Stern

I was going to try to keep the next several posts in the holiday mood, but when I heard last night that Howard Stern has been selected as a judge on “America’s Got Talent” I had to go off track.

I have never listened to Howard Stern. My kids did where they were in High School many years ago and back then I was a successful news anchor in New York and Stern would occasionally say on the air that he wondered if I did some obnoxious thing to my female co-anchor at the time.

At the time a lot of kids in their teenage years would listen to Howard on the radio and then chide my kids about his remarks. I choose to ignore it and so did my kids for the most part, but it was still there, lingering in their minds. Stern was a shock jock and teenagers love that stuff.

Go ahead several years and I was working at a different television station and Howard was taping in new television show at that station. We would see each other in the cafeteria and occasionally have a brief conversation.

At that time he would say on his show, “ I don’t think Rolland likes me” and he would continue with some crude remark.

It’s not true that I did not like Howard. It is true that I do not like what he says. I think it is prurient, scatogical and crude. It is not part of my nature and therefore in my likes.

But here’s my point. Based on his history and his penchant for the rude and crude is he even remotely qualified to judge talent?  I think not.

The producers of the television program have sunk to the lowest denominator purely for the sake of ratings.

My suggestion is to boycott the show.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Christmas Poetry

Some poetic thoughts for Christmas.

Christmas time surprises as it jumps out from the cold
   To warm the late December days with frankincense and gold
It heralds in with music, in the silent of the night,
   And when it wakes the child within my memories are all-bright.

Happy thoughts are set to play within the festive light
   And brighten up the shortened days with friends who reunite.
Chums of old and pals of new, all wishing Christmas cheer,
   With cedar sparks from glowing logs to warm the midnight clear.

It’s wrapping hearts in holly green and Rudolph red with bow
   And standing ‘neath a hanging sprig of kissing mistletoe.
Dancing dreams of sugarplums and minted candy cane
   Bring visions of a Christmas tree and a circling tooting train.
I harkin as the angels sing with distant family near
   And I love to hear a child say the names of eight reindeer.
Patina thoughts of Christmas past and shiney ones of new
   Remind me of the Magi three and a child named Jesu.

There’s jingle bells and icicles and packages to tie
   With ribbons tight and wrappings bright of sleighs up in the sky,
There’s hugs galore and candy more and kids with favorite toys
   And shirts and socks and building blocks for little girls and boys.

There’s cards and calls and carols and candles fill the room
  And tins of sugar cookies shine by red poinsettia bloom.
Christmas time indeed surprises in a special wondrous way
   In winter and forever it’s my favorite holiday.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Santa Origins

Santa Claus has quite a history. An ancient Teutonic festival has a person called, "the old man of the woods", dancing around a burning log; The old man was characterized as have a red-nose and a white beard.

When Roman missionaries began to Christianize the lands to their north, the Teutonic festival blended with the celebration of Christmas. The old man of the woods got a new name and became "Kriss Kringle.

Enter Nicholas, a 4th century bishop, noted for his kindness and gifts. He became Saint Nicholas and in time that blended with Kriss Kringle. Eventually Dutch settlers brought this legend to the new world, but dialects distorted the Dutch name Sint Nicholas to Sinterclaas that in turn became Santa Claus.

It was a Washington Irving story in 1809 that probably helped the legend develop even further. He had a jolly Saint Nicholas, smoking a pipe, flying through the air in a wagon dropping presents down the chimneys.

Several years later, in 1822, Clement C. Moore, wrote the poem "The Night Before Christmas".  The wagon became a sleigh and reindeer pulled it through the sky.

With a history like that, the guy has got to be real.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Christmas Folklore

It's time to get into the Christmas spirit. For the next couple of weeks up until and maybe a little beyond Christmas and Hannakah and Kawanza I will be posting some thoughts on this festive time of year. Some of them I've gathered through the years and others will be new.

Today, Christmas Folklore.

In England, it is still common to hear someone say when they hear the rooster crow in the stillness of December nights, that the cock crows for Christmas.  Legend has it that the crowing would scare off evil spirits from the holy season.

Other superstitions say that bees can sing at Christmas and sheep walk in procession in commemoration of the visit of the angel to the shepherds.

At one time in the German Alps it was believed that cattle had the gift of language on Christmas, but it was a sin for anyone to try to eavesdrop.

In Poland the story is told that on Christmas the heavens are opened and the scene of Jacob's ladder is re-enacted, but only the saints could see it.

In perhaps no other land is Christmas more celebrated that in Scandinavian countries. Peace and goodwill is the order of the season. Old quarrels are adjusted and feuds are forgotten.  In each household family members place their shoes in a row. It symbolizes that during the year the family will live together in peace and harmony.

Let us think about the world's shoes and let us put them in a row this year.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Fox News

A warning for Fox News...beware... there are liberals hiding everywhere. Or so they think.

Eric Bolling, the host of Fox’s Follow the Money program suggested the new Muppet Movie is a liberal agenda to influence kids.

I think I heard Charlie Brown say, “good grief!”

Fox News: They decide, they report. Nothing’s changed

Friday, December 9, 2011

Our War Dead

Unfortunately there is an intellectual disconnect between some members of the United States Air Force and the dignity of treating our war dead with honor.

Here’s the story from the Washington Post:

“The Air Force dumped the incinerated partial remains of at least 274 American troops in a Virginia landfill, far more than the military had acknowledged, before halting the secretive practice three years ago, records show.

The landfill dumping was concealed from families who had authorized the military to dispose of the remains in a dignified and respectful manner, Air Force officials said. There are no plans, they said, to alert those families now.”

Shame on these men and woman and officers who allowed this desecration to take place. Shame on the Air Force for fostering a dispassionate climate that tacitly condoned such an action.

All of our war dead must have the honor in death that they carried into battle. It does not matter whether a piece of flesh can be identified to a specific warrior. It only matters that all  remains are honored and buried and marked for further generations to acknowledge in tribute.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Weather Predictions

It is one of those wonderful evenings where the rain continues to announce its presence on the roof and the temperatures fall into the thirties.

The weather folks think we might get several inches of snow by morning. I think not! Two to four is my prediction.
Actually I have experience in weather predictions. Two stories come to mind. Years ago when I was first starting out in my television career I was hired to do the weather in Fort Wayne, Indiana along with some other things.

I did not know a damn thing about the weather so I bought a small paperback book about “How to forecast the weather,” by Eric Sloan.  It worked, for I had that job for a few months before somebody left and I was now the news anchor. My suspicion is that I was better at news reporting that I was as a weather forecaster.

But hey! It worked!

The other story concerns an instantaneous prayerful petition to the Almighty. I was with the late Cardinal Terrance Cooke of New York.

I was covering, in Rome, Italy, the funeral of Pope John Paul the First. I set up an interview with Cardinal Cooke at his official residence in Rome at North American College. It was pouring rain.

I asked his Eminence to join me in prayer. I said, “ Dear God, I need fifteen minutes of no rain to walk and talk with one of your guys in the garden. Amen.

Cardinal Cooke said, with a smile, I hope it works. Fifteen minutes later the clouds parted, the sun shone and we walked and talked in the garden.

When we finished it started to rain again. I looked at the Cardinal and said you see Your Eminence, “The power of prayer.”

He repsonded after a short pause, "No Rolland, it is the power of the press."

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

December 7th, 1941 Pearl Harbor

There was a time, not too many years ago, that a friend of mine, a retired naval officer, then a successful businessman, wanted to talk to one of my sons about attending Annapolis.

         My friend was a good man, a survivor of Pearl Harbor, but he had one flaw. He hated the Japanese and he took every opportunity in business, in public, and in private to say so.

         I told him he could not talk to my son, unless he  could let go of his hatred, for I didn’t want a seventeen year old, at that time,  influenced by such an old festering hate.

         When you hate you create a bond as powerful as love. The great teachings suggest that what you hate you attract to you.  To love your enemies, does not mean approving of their actions, in means loving the part of them that is inherently good and then forgive. Not forget, but forgive.

         My friend thought about our discussion for several months. One week he called to tell me whe was going to visit Japan. And he was going to stop at Pearl Harbor.

         He asked if he could talk to my son. I said “yes”.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011


This is a special day for many folks around the globe. 

There are now seven billion of us on the planet and since there are only 365 days in the year it is probably fair to say that there are lot of us who are celebrating a birthday today.

And I thought I was special.

See what the ego can do.

Have a great day my friends.


Monday, December 5, 2011

Trump's Folly

One of the most asinine events to come out of the Republican campaign to choose a party nominee is to have Donald Trump moderate a debate hosted by the conservative magazine Newsmax.

It’s supposed to take place on December 27 in Des Moines, Iowa.

To their credit Ron Paul and Jon Huntsman will skip the debate citing concerns about the seriousness of the event. This kind of faux debate with the Trump ego moderating is a distraction and diminishing to the electoral process.

Gingrich, to his detriment, has accepted the Trump invitation. He says it has entertainment value. Gingrich currently leads in Iowa, with Paul in second and Romney trailing in third place.

It seems that Donald Trump will do and say anything for publicity. His kind of buffoonery demotes the GOP campaign into the absurd, slapstick and vaudevillian category.

No wonder politics and politicians have such low approval ratings. It is a one-act farce with a Harlequin moderator.

Friday, December 2, 2011

A Starry night

© 2011 Rolland G. Smith

Behold the beauty sown in light
To bright the way of inner mist
Upon the canvas of the night.
Before the darkness goodnight kiss.

The naked trees of winter time
Pay homage in their silent prayer
To All That Is as Source sublime.
Their gowns of green no longer there.

We often ask to see the love
Of something greater than the mind.
A pristine sky and stars above
Are answers when the two combine.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

My President

Someone asked a question on my blog post about “Herman Cain Again.”

The question was who would I like to see as President of the United States?

My President has no name as yet, but he or she would have a powerful command of the English language so that explanations, policies, and choices would be explained in clear, understandable words.

(I will now use the world “he” as generic including both genders.)

My President would be honest and truthful to a fault and would look for the greater good in all-political relationships.

My President would not be politically fearful of making the tough decisions. He will have declared that he would serve only one term to be of pure service to the American people.

My President would strive to return the freedoms, guarantees and protections we have given up out of fear.

My President’s platform would be to establish term limits for all members of Congress. He would eliminate the double standard that Congress voted themselves and require all members to rejoin the Social Security and health care systems.

My President would prevent former members of Congress from becoming lobbyists and make it a law that members of Congress must put all their assets into a blind trust when serving the people.

My President will have come from common stock, not from a political dynasty. He will have traits and qualities of Gandhi, Jesus, Mohammed, and Krishna. He will have the humor of Will Rogers and Mark Twain. He will have the political acumen of Jefferson, Lincoln and Reagan and his campaign slogan will be “COMPROMISE FOR THE GREATER GOOD.”   
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