Stop Pulling the Wagon

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Archive for the ‘Culture’

Take A Knee

September 29, 2017 By: bob Category: Culture, On Bob's Mind, Something To Think About

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colin kapernick
The following was forwarded to me.  I do not know the author but share his/her sentiment.  You do not win me over to your cause, whatever it is, by dis-respecting the flag I served under as a veteran, or my Country’s National Anthem or the country I love and served proudly while in the military.  Period.  Take your protest elsewhere.
TAKE A KNEE!  My honor to pass this on!
Take a little trip to Valley Forge in January.Hold a musket ball in your
fingers and imagine it piercing your flesh and breaking a bone or two. There 
won’t be a doctor or trainer to assist you until after the battle, so just 
wait your turn.Take your cleats and socks off to get a real experience. 
Then take a knee.
Then, take one at the beach in Normandy where man after American
man stormed the beach, even as the one in front of him was shot to 
pieces…the very sea stained with American blood. The only blockers most had were 
the dead bodies in front of them, riddled with bullets from enemy 
Take a knee in the sweat soaked jungles of Vietnam. from Khe San
to Saigon…Anywhere will do. Americans died in all those jungles.There 
was no playbook that told them what was next, but they knew what flag 
they represented. When they came home, they were protested as well..and spit 
on for reasons only cowards know.
Take another knee in the blood drenched sands of Fallujah in 110
degree heat..Wear your Kevlar helmet and battle dress..Your number won’t 
be printed on it unless your number is up! You’ll need to stay hydrated 
but there won’t be anyone to squirt Gatorade into your mouth. You’re on 
your own.
There’s a lot of places to take a knee Americans have given their
lives all over the world. When you use the banner under which they fought as 
a source for your displeasure, you dishonor the memories of those who 
bled for the very freedoms you have. That’s what the red stripes mean. 
It represents the blood of those who spilled a sea of it defending 
your liberty.
While you’re on your knee, pray for those that came before you, not on
a manicured lawn striped and printed with numbers to announce every inch 
of ground taken…but on nameless hills and bloodied beaches and 
sweltering forests and bitter cold mountains..every inch marked by an American 
life lost serving that flag you protest.
No cheerleaders, no announcers, no coaches, no fans…just American men
and women…delivering the real fight against those who chose to 
harm us…blazing a path so you would have the right to “take a 
knee.” You haven’t an inkling what it took to get you where you are…but 
your “protest” is duly noted. Not only is it disgraceful to a nation of 
real heroes, it serves the purpose of pointing to your ingratitude for those 
who chose to defend you under that banner that will still wave long after 
your jersey is retired…
If you really feel the need to take a knee, come with me to church
on Sunday and we’ll both kneel before Almighty God. We’ll thank him 
for preserving this country for as long as He has. We’ll beg forgiveness 
for our ingratitude for all He has provided us. We’ll appeal to Him 
for understanding and wisdom. We’ll pray for liberty and justice 
for all…because He is the one who provides those 
things. But there will be no protest. There will only be gratitude for 
His provision and a plea for His continued grace and mercy on the land of 
the free and the home of the brave. It goes like 


September 02, 2017 By: bob Category: Culture, In the News, On Bob's Mind, Something To Think About

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Senator Robert Byrd










Having said the above I am witnessing in our media and on our streets a form of mass hysteria and hate.  It scares me in the sense that I can see it ripping our society apart. I hear and read about “non-negotiable” demands to erase and tear down any relics of real or imagined links to slavery in our nation.  

It seems that anyone with any cultural, racial or historical ties to slavery by any association or relationship in any way, is marked for removal from the annals of  our nations heritage.

The other day it was announced that ESPN removed a Sportscaster from the commentary at a Sporting event because the man, who had an Asian background, shared the same name as a Confederate General.

Let me share something with you.  I have a 60+ year fascination with history.  

But, don’t take my word for it, study for yourself.  When you study you will find that, take a deep breath, slavery in various forms was practiced by: The Carthaginians, the Romans, The Greeks, The Persians (Iranians), The Babylonians, The Chinese, The Mongols, The Huns (Europeans), England, The Vikings, The Russians, Southern Asian Peoples (including India), Egyptians, Middle Eastern and North African Islamic States, Native Americans (North, Central and South America), The People, Tribes and Nations of Central and South Africa.  Also, many Island Nations including Japan. And, I have probably missed naming a few.

Also keep in mind that the horror of slavery is still practiced in parts of the world.

I could be wrong but the only Continent that I am aware of that has no history of slavery in some part or way is Antarctica.  So, if you can firmly establish that all of your ancestors were Native Antarcticans you are stain free. Otherwise, join the rest of us in the cesspool.  

Virtually all of us have a skeleton or two in our closet if we want to dig a little and drag them out.  

If it is decided to eradicate all statues, memorials, hospitals, schools, parks, highways, malls, airports, landmarks etc. etc. etc. with the names of anybody who has any ties in history to slavery, racism, a now despised group or family heirloom associated with such, you are going to be very busy.

Just one example:  Senator Robert Byrd of West Virginia. Besides being a Senator, he was a former Grand Wizard in the Ku Klux Klan.  I have heard an estimate, probably exaggerated, that perhaps half the airports, schools, hospitals, parks, highways etc. in the State of West Virginia are named after him.  You are going to need a lot of shovels, backhoes, “whitewash” and other equipment to eradicate his name and memory from the state.

But not to pick on just the Senator.  Many, most or all of our great leaders, as well as us common folk, have historical skeletons we would probably just as soon not know about. 

Slavery was abolished in the United States more than 150 years ago.  

The stain of racism is still with us and is practiced by people of all colors.  It will be with us until we all learn to love one another, forgive one another and be enriched by one another.  You cannot erase it by law, edict, marching in the streets or hating one another.  Unfortunately, the latter is what I see being practiced in the media and on the streets.  Pity.

Bob Bandy




March 19, 2017 By: bob Category: Culture, On Bob's Mind, Something To Think About

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home plate

I received the following in my personal email from a friend.  It was sent to me without attribution but I was so impressed by it that I researched it and found that the article is credited as having originally been written by a person named Chris Sperry.  Coach John Scolinos (1918-2009) was a real coach.

I am reprinting it here because it is important and says something really important that I could not begin to say as well.  Enjoy and be enriched by the truth that it gives.  Bob



In Nashville, Tennessee , during the first week of January, 1996, more than 4,000 baseball coaches descended upon the Opryland Hotel for the 52nd annual ABCA’s convention.

While I waited in line to register with the hotel staff, I heard other more veteran coaches rumbling about the lineup of speakers scheduled to present during the weekend. One name, in particular, kept resurfacing, always with the same sentiment — “John Scolinos is here? Oh, man, worth every penny of my airfare.”

Who is John Scolinos, I wondered.

In 1996, Coach Scolinos was 78 years old and five years retired from a college coaching career that began in 1948. He shuffled to the stage to an impressive standing ovation, wearing dark polyester pants, a light blue shirt, and a string around his neck from which home plate hung — a full-sized, stark-white home plate.

Seriously, I wondered, who is this guy?

After speaking for twenty-five minutes, not once mentioning the prop hanging around his neck, Coach Scolinos appeared to notice the snickering among some of the coaches. Even those who knew Coach Scolinos had to wonder exactly where he was going with this, or if he had simply forgotten about home plate since he’d gotten on stage. Then, finally …“You’re probably all wondering why I’m wearing home plate around my neck,” he said, his voice growing irascible. I laughed along with the others, acknowledging the possibility.“I may be old, but I’m not crazy. The reason I stand before you today is to share with you baseball people what I’ve learned in my life, what I’ve learned about home plate in my 78 years.” Several hands went up when Scolinos asked how many Little League coaches were in the room. “Do you know how wide home plate is in Little League?”

After a pause, someone offered, “Seventeen inches?”, more of a question than answer.

“That’s right,” he said. “How about in Babe Ruth’s day? Any Babe Ruth coaches in the house?” Another long pause.

“Seventeen inches?” a guess from another reluctant coach.

“That’s right,” said Scolinos. “Now, how many high school coaches do we have in the room?” Hundreds of hands shot up, as the pattern began to appear.

“How wide is home plate in high school baseball?”

“Seventeen inches,” they said, sounding more confident.

“You’re right!” Scolinos barked. “And you college coaches, how wide is home plate in college?”

“Seventeen inches!” we said, in unison. “

“Any Minor League coaches here? How wide is home plate in pro ball?”………..“Seventeen inches!”

“RIGHT! And in the Major Leagues, how wide home plate is in the Major Leagues?

“Seventeen inches!”

“SEV-EN-TEEN INCHES!” he confirmed, his voice bellowing off the walls. “And what do they do with a Big League pitcher who can’t throw the ball over seventeen inches?” Pause.“They send him to Pocatello!” he hollered, drawing raucous laughter.

“What they don’t do is this: they don’t say, ‘Ah, that’s okay, Jimmy. You can’t hit a seventeen-inch target? We’ll make it eighteen inches or nineteen inches. We’ll make it twenty inches so you have a better chance of hitting it. If you can’t hit that, let us know so we can make it wider still, say twenty-five inches.’”Pause.

“Coaches…” pause, “… what do we do when our best player shows up late to practice? When our team rules forbid facial hair and a guy shows up unshaven? What if he gets caught drinking? Do we hold him accountable? Or do we change the rules to fit him? Do we widen home plate?” The chuckles gradually faded as four thousand coaches grew quiet, the fog lifting as the old coach’s message began to unfold.

He turned the plate toward himself and, using a Sharpie, began to draw something. When he turned it toward the crowd, point up, a house was revealed, complete with a freshly drawn door and two windows. “This is the problem in our homes today. With our marriages, with the way we parent our kids. With our discipline. We don’t teach accountability to our kids, and there is no consequence for failing to meet standards. We widen the plate!”

Then, to the point at the top of the house he added a small American flag. “This is the problem in our schools today. The quality of our education is going downhill fast and teachers have been stripped of the tools they need to be successful, and to educate and discipline our young people. We are allowing others to widen home plate! Where is that getting us?”

Silence. He replaced the flag with a Cross.“And this is the problem in the Church, where powerful people in positions of authority have taken advantage of young children, only to have such an atrocity swept under the rug for years. Our church leaders are widening home plate for themselves! And we allow it.”

“And the same is true with our government. Our so called representatives make rules for us that don’t apply to themselves. They take bribes from lobbyists and foreign countries. They no longer serve us. And we allow them to widen home plate and we see our country falling into a dark abyss while we watch.”

I was amazed. At a baseball convention where I expected to learn something about curve balls and bunting and how to run better practices, I had learned something far more valuable. From an old man with home plate strung around his neck, I had learned something about life, about myself, about my own weaknesses and about my responsibilities as a leader. I had to hold myself and others accountable to that which I knew to be right, lest our families, our faith, and our society continue down an undesirable path.

“If I am lucky,” Coach Scolinos concluded,“you will remember one thing from this old coach today. It is this: if we fail to hold ourselves to a higher standard, a standard of what we know to be right; if we fail to hold our spouses and our children to the same standards, if we are unwilling or unable to provide a consequence when they do not meet the standard; and if our schools & churches & our government fail to hold themselves accountable to those they serve, there is but one thing to look forward to …”

With that, he held home plate in front of his chest, turned it around, and revealed its dark black backside, “… dark days ahead.”

Coach Scolinos died in 2009 at the age of 91, but not before touching the lives of hundreds of players and coaches, including mine. Meeting him at my first ABCA convention kept me returning year after year, looking for similar wisdom and inspiration from other coaches. He is the best clinic speaker the ABCA has ever known because he was so much more than a baseball coach. His message was clear: “Coaches, keep your players—no matter how good they are—your own children, your churches, your government, and most of all, keep yourself at seventeen inches.”

Here’s how to fix what’s wrong with our country today.

“Don’t widen the plate.”


Exiled In The Land Of My Birth

August 11, 2016 By: bob Category: Culture

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Once upon a time there was a war.  

Not the traditional type of war involving uniformed armies using real guns and bullets to shoot at each other.  

This war was about values, family, honor, morality, self discipline and culture.

On one side  were those who believed in tradition and the practice of proven rules, values, principles and self discipline handed down from generation to generation.

On the other side were the “Secular Humanists”.   Those who believed that “anything goes”. No self discipline or personal responsibility was required and consequences were not important as long as they only applied to others who were required to pay the bill.

If you were a member of the first group you were made fun of, mocked and marginalized by members of the second group whose goal was shutting you up and getting you to comply with and accept the agenda of the Secular Humanists.

To a very large extent the Secular Humanists, aka “Progressives” owned the education system, the news media, entertainment industry, courts and justice system.  

“Political Correctness”  was metastasized to the extent that the First Amendment was compromised.  A mob could march down the street shouting “Pigs in a blanket – Fry them like bacon” or “What do we want – dead cops – when do we want it – now” and that was considered protected free speech.   But, if someone questioned  the “official”  position on such things as “Man Made Global Climate Change” and other popular political agenda issues, such as even late term abortion, it was considered “hate” speech.  Such an individual was made the subject of public ridicule and in some venues even subject to legal and civil penalties.

The weapons of the Secular Humanists were varied.  From half truths (lipstick on a lie) to junk science to propaganda and intimidation.  Their desired ends justified their using any means to accomplish their political and social agenda.

I ended up not as a “Stranger In A Strange Land*” but as a “Stranger In My Own Land”. Or, to paraphrase the title of this little essay:  “An Exile In The Land Of My Birth”. 

My only comfort lay in the knowledge that ultimately I would not be a citizen in this fractured land.  

“This world is not my home, I’m just a passing through………” (Albert E. Brumley – copyright 1965)

Bob Bandy

* Stranger In A Strange Land – A Novel by Robert A Heinlein







September 26, 2014 By: bob Category: Culture, On Bob's Mind, Something To Think About

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Recently I was talking with a good friend of mine about his experiences as an Associate Professor at one of the more respected colleges you see advertising on television.  During our conversation he happened to mention something to the effect that we still have our First Amendment Right of Free Speech.  It got me to thinking.

Do we?

It seems to me that as a nation we have “sub-divided”  ourselves into various racial, ethnic and cultural groups that, all too often, seem bent on finding things to be offended by.  Just some of these divisions are political, racial, cultural, economic and lifestyle.

Often, saying something, even innocently, is perceived as an insult or “hate speech’ though no offense was intended.

If  one groups beliefs or code of conduct disagrees with the lifestyle of another groups, they risk being labeled as “haters” or “phobic”.

On most college campus’s, which are in theory citadels of free thought, tolerance and the exchange of ideas, some groups “need not apply” and their ideas and beliefs are ridiculed, mocked and laughed at.  Conservatives, for example, are not welcome and Conservative “guest” speakers are shouted off the stage.  Free Speech?  You might ask Condoleezza Rice.  Where is the tolerance and free exchange of ideas?

Some groups are politically protected, others are not. Free Speech?  Some religions you must speak respectfully of or face potentially life threatening consequences while others, such as Christianity,  are not a protected group and considered “fair game”  and “targets of opportunity” to mock and make fun of.

In my opinion Political Correctness is not an equal opportunity employer.

I also fear that we are, one by one sacrificing our Constitutional Rights in the name of “Big Daddy” Government and Political Correctness.

Are we going the way of Canada and some other countries where you can be jailed if you offend some protected group with “Hate Speech”?

Bob Bandy


Stop Pulling – Start Riding

March 07, 2014 By: bob Category: Culture, Something To Think About

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When I started this blog it was with the view that there are fewer and fewer of us who are pulling Societies Wagon and more and more who are simply willing to ride in the wagon and let someone else do the work of pulling the wagon along the road of life.  

My goal was to perhaps inspire myself and others, with some goodwill and humor, to find ways to spend less time pulling an overloaded wagon while encouraging others to spend more time pulling their own wagon.

However, in the last five years I have noted that the number of people riding in the wagon has grown  significantly, while the number pulling the wagon has shrunk by an equal or greater percentage.

Some of this change is no doubt a matter of choice.  It is well documented that many have simply taken an “if you can’t beat-em, join-em attitude”.  I remember some years back that I owned a T-shirt with the slogan “I have given up in my search for reality and am now seeking a good fantasy”.  

Others have diligently searched for work and opportunity only to find there is little of either available in the environment created by the Clowns, Criminals and Lunatics running an overbearing, overreaching and corrupt government in Washington D.C. that wants to regulate every aspect of life while taxing any kind of success into oblivion.

Many of these folks don’t really think in terms of wagons, pullers or riders and instead have gone into a survival mode where they are not looking to ride in my wagon but have become simply willing to vote for whoever will give them a free ticket for a ride on the gravy train without worrying about who will pay for the ticket.  It is hard to blame them.   

The problem with the above is that what looks like a free ride is in reality often a one way ticket into a form of slavery.  Any time we surrender our independence to the supposed good will of others providing for our needs we become dependent and a kind of slave.

We see this in signs at National Parks that tell us not to feed the animals.  This is because if we feed them they become unable to feed themselves.  We see examples of this in our society in multiple generation Welfare families.

Think about it.

Bob Bandy