Why are there more cowards today than heroes? Because it’s easier to take the cowards way out.
When we hear the word "coward," we envision those whimpering away out of fear under the guise of convenient escape. But there’s other cowards. Some run from trouble; others run from themselves. Those with no spine avoid taking a stand and slither from sight, rather than join the fight and leave those they promised to support battling on their own. A coward is afraid to question the source of rumors and crippled into inaction.
They chasten friends and allies and align with their foe. The fear of the crowd dictates they that lay all moral character to waste, since there is safety with others like them. Heroes courageously seek out the truth. Those who bow to group appeal at the expense of principles are cowards.
In today’s world, it’s not uncommon to be forsaken by friends, allies or family. If we choose a moral cause or political side they dislike, forgoing intercourse, cowards hide to please the majority. If the cause is unpopular or difficult, they show their jauntiest face to endear the masses.
When you reach for support, they can’t be found. The majority over-ruled trust and morality. Cowards do only what’s “safest” for them.
There are many despicable acts of cowardness, but none no more contemptible than character assassination. This is the ultimate ad hominem used by a coward to avoid doing what is right or to appease the crowd. Although slander is a punishable crime, it is the coward’s best weapon.
They disable someone to discredit their moral standing by destroying their credibility and reputation. Few know the consequences until they are on the outside looking in. It is then they comprehend the damage done by a person or a group that wants to spoliate anyone for their own personal benefit.
We are developing more cowards than heroes. It’s a product of our political left DNA, especially in cloistered communities. The righteous morality that made us live in the likeness of our Creator, led us to bravery. But now our politicians produce more cowards each generation through progressive engineering that restricts religious exposure. They restrain free will and regulate moral character to fence in our horizons with immoral laws and dare us to defy them. This is born in our classrooms, invades our families, friendships, workplaces, politics and courts which procreates more cowards.
Character assassination involves spreading rumors and innuendos and deliberate misinformation that taints one’s morals and reputation to defile integrity. It is common in our political campaigns today. Spinning information that has a half ounce of truth, but a pound of false actuality is commonplace. Candidates present misleading partial facts, avoiding actual context, to damage an opponent. How many times have we heard President Donald Trump "paid too little tax or none at all in a certain year?" Yet that accuser failed to reiterate that he did not owe any taxes.
The left claims Trump is a party hack for the GOP when they ganged up with progressives to derail his campaign!
The greatest group of character assassinating cowards is traditional media. This has replaced all ethics in their playbook. News headlines claim brutality is prevalent when it involves a minority or a controversial innocent.
This is followed by banners about investigators who are dismissive of the facts. The media has become a coward for other cowards. They are a pawn of far left candidates to do their dirty work under the mask of the Fourth Estate. It’s common to spin a progressive talking point into factitious public news.
Cowardness has even replaced moral professionalism in our court system today. The exemplary legal battles of Perry Mason and DA Hamilton Burger demonstrated the ethics and morality of the legal profession. Many of us were influenced by their respectful disagreements during courtroom proceedings. Our great legal profession has turned into a kangaroo court of insults, false truths and ad hominem insults to deface and destroy the character of the opposed by each attorney. This is far easier than actually practicing the real law of those great orators of ancient Athens and Rome.
Enlightenment thinkers illuminated our global horizons. Yet they’ve been the subject of carnage by cowards more than any others in history. They were chastised for setting trends to change the tide of antiquity into futuristic progress. They were scorned for refuting an immoral and cowardly society with laws that deprived men of their natural rights. Some met the gallows and others met the fate of character assassination to silence them. Their reputations endured fatalistic carnage until history exonerated them.
The greatest act of character assassination in history occurred in our nation against the patriot who started our revolution, Thomas Paine. Few know he is not named a founder and was denied entrance to the Convention in 1776 for his opinions on slavery and universal suffrage. Yet without the genius of Paine, we’d be subjects instead of citizens today. Ben Franklin printed his book Common Sense for free, which Paine used to enlighten the patriots. He got nary a shilling for his work, which he read to the war-torn troops during the Revolution. Yet he was banished to France in 1777. He was buried in New Rochelle, N.Y., in 1809, and only eight people attended his funeral. He died forsaken.
Bertram Shaw wrote, “Insults cast afar only demonstrate how spineless a person you are.” Those who chasten one’s character covertly or openly achieve temporary goals. To win a quarrel, election or get even with one who thinks differently by tarnishing their reputation has harsh legal and moral emanations. Only cowards of the worst kind stoop that low. And they will pay dearly the very day their victim is emancipated. Today, cowardly indignation is strangling too many feasible solutions to remedy legal, political, social and global injustices. Cowardice destroys while heroism creates remedies.
America’s political divisions have transformed our morals and ethics into a graveyard for personal attainment. The distrust we have for government has spread to our communities and every crevice of our lives. Everyone is affected by those using straw men to do their dirty work for them. It’s easier to impute to win than to seek a truth through discourse. Heroes seek the truth. Cowards hide from it. They are the first ones to lose their liberty and the last to admit it. Like Rome, we will fall from within through moral decay if those of us who are heroes do not stand up against the cowardly enemies of our beloved republic.
We need more heroes! All change starts in our own back yards.
William Haupt III
Chicago will be the first band to play at the Suncoast Credit Union Arena located next to the Barbara B Mann Performing Arts Hall.
The band performs at 7 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 29 at the South Fort Myers venue on Summerlin Rd.
“This will be the first concert at the new arena,” said Mann Hall’s general manager, Scott Saxon, in a press release announcing the show Tuesday. “We are extremely excited to showcase this brand new facility to the audiences of Southwest Florida. Chicago is a legendary band and the perfect concert to christen the Florida SouthWestern State College facility.”
Tickets were still available as we went to press on Wednesday, but hurry this show will probably sell out.
When the NCAA turns a blind eye to criminal behavior while punishing players who legitimately make money for themselves, something is seriously wrong.
The NCAA is a toothless and increasingly useless organization, as shown by its decision last week in one of the worst cases of academic fraud in college sports history.
The NCAA announced Friday that it wouldn't punish the University of North Carolina for sham classes that were used for decades to keep hundreds of athletes eligible. Even though the practice disproportionately benefited athletes, the NCAA decided it couldn't punish the university because other students also took the classes.
The rulings come on the heels of the FBI arresting 10 people, including assistant coaches at some top-tier college basketball programs, in an alleged bribery scheme involving apparel companies. The NCAA subsequently announced the creation of a committee, which includes former University of Florida Athletic Director Jeremy Foley, to study how to guard against corruption in college basketball.
The committee's charge should be expanded to consider whether the NCAA should even exist in its current form. The North Carolina case shows how the organization cares more about protecting the billions of dollars in profits generated by football and men's basketball than its supposed mission to protect student athletes.
As if to drive the point home, the NCAA on the same day as the ruling announced a student transferring to another school in the state was ineligible to play men's basketball for a year. The student briefly attended classes at Ohio State University and stopped when the coach there quit, but the NCAA ruled that was enough to bar him from playing at North Carolina State University for a year.
Here in Florida, we have seen plenty of similar examples of the hypocrisy and moral compromises in big-money college athletics. Some that happened at Florida State University are detailed in a book by New York Times reporter Mike McIntire titled "Champions Way: Football, Florida, and The Lost Soul of College Sports."
McIntire writes of cases such as an FSU teaching assistant who alleged she was pressured to give special breaks to athletes in online courses. FSU, like other schools including UF, hides behind student-privacy laws to prevent reporting on whether such problems are prevalent.
UF deserves credit for suspending nine football players facing charges on credit card fraud, despite the negative impact of the team's season. The actions stand in contrast to the tenure of former coach Urban Meyer, who won two championships but also led major programs under which players were arrested.
The NCAA largely allows universities to police themselves for arrested players or academic fraud, but take a hard-line approach on athletes who receive outside money.
When the NCAA turns a blind eye to criminal behavior while punishing players who legitimately make money for themselves, something is seriously wrong.
Gov. Rick Scott’s spending priorities for 2018 continue to take shape as he enters his final year in office with a major statewide election on the horizon.
The Republican governor wants the Legislature to increase spending on environmental programs by more than $220 million next year. Scott planned a visit to the Audubon Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary in Naples for the announcement.
Scott wants to spend $50 million on Florida Forever, a popular land preservation program that conservationists have said has received too little money in recent years. He wants nearly $40 million more for state parks, a $36 million uptick in beach restoration programs to $100 million, and $55 million for springs restoration.
Scott’s record on the environment has been controversial on issues ranging from climate change to offshore oil drilling. Early in his tenure, he called for major budget cuts to the state’s five regional water management districts, and in non-election years he called for budget reductions in the Department of Environmental Protection.
President Trump and Republican lawmakers have plenty of legislative disagreements, but there is one issue that entirely unites them: tax cuts.
It isn't getting the fullest attention it deserves from the liberal news media here, but there hasn't been this much unity among Republicans on a transformative economic issue since Ronald Reagan.
Trump has become much more focused on his tax cut agenda in recent weeks, drawing strong reviews from the GOP's establishment economists -- from Lawrence Kudlow, one of the GOP's chief voices on economic policy, to Kevin Hassett, formerly with the American Enterprise Institute, who is now the president's economic adviser.
"Trump has seized and energized the tax cut issue," Kudlow wrote this week in his newspaper column. "Almost daily, he is pounding away on the themes of faster economic growth and more take-home pay, arguing that his plan will make America's economy great again.
"This is Trumpian leadership at its best," he said.
For much of this year, Trump has talked about his economic revival plan in generalities. But lately, he has been amplifying his rhetoric and discussing the impact of the tax cuts with more specifics, as he did this week in his White House news conference and in several speeches.
"Under my administration, the era of economic surrender is over," he told the National Association of Manufacturers.
Trump's first targets are those businesses that moved to countries like Ireland to profit from lower tax rates.
"We will eliminate the penalty on returning future earnings back to the United States, and we will impose a one-time low tax on money parked overseas so it can be brought back home to America where it belongs," he said in a speech in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania last week.
He also shot back at Democrats who said his tax plan would mostly benefit rich Americans, reminding them that Democrats passed a similar plan proposed by President Kennedy to, as JFK put it, "get America moving again."
Trump would do well to remind Democratic leaders, who are playing the tax-cuts-for-the-rich card just as they did in the 1960s, to remember Kennedy's response: "A rising tide lifts all boats."
Kennedy never lived to see his tax cuts enacted -- it was President Lyndon Johnson who pushed them through a Democratic Congress, producing a wave of stronger economic growth and increased tax revenue to boot.
Democrats never talk about the Kennedy tax cuts, nor do they mention President Clinton's capital gains tax cuts, which led to an explosion of growth in the high-tech industry and a sharp increase in capital gains tax revenues, too.
Doing so violates their sacred oath to always seek higher tax rates to pay for higher government spending levels, which always results in anemic economic growth, lower incomes and a weak job market.
Hassett is telling fellow economists that if companies had not moved their profits overseas, the median household income would have grown by $4,000 over eight years.
Some economists doubt his figures, but others say that Hassett's numbers are close to the mark. And Trump has been been using them in his speeches.
"When the U.S. has a more competitive tax system and we reduce the amount of profit-shifting, it makes sense to me that wages will be higher," University of Maryland economist Phillip Swagel told The Washington Post.
The U.S. economy runs on capital and when tax rates are cut, that frees up more capital for investment, new jobs, business expansion and higher incomes.
When President Reagan cut tax rates across the board in 1981 in the face of a severe recession, the economy was up and running two years later.
By 1983, the economy was growing by 3.2 percent in the second quarter, 5.6 percent in the third and 7.7 percent in the fourth.
In 1984, quarterly GDP figures were up by 8.5 percent, 7.9 percent, 6.9 percent and 5.8 percent, according to the U.S. Commerce Department and the Federal Reserve. He won re-election by carrying 49 states.
Trump is following Reagan's footprints with largely the same kind of economic policies: reducing the number of income tax rates from seven to three brackets, cutting the tax rates in each and lowering the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 20 percent.
Earlier this week, Kudlow sent this message to Republican lawmakers: "Play hardball, GOP. JFK did it. Reagan did it. And now you have Donald Trump doing it."
If the Republicans can deliver their tax cut bill, Trump will sign it in a New York minute. Then watch this economy soar.
I confess, I had some unholy anger toward people who vandalized a Saint Junipero Serra statue in California recently. It was a somewhat familiar scene at this point. At the Old Mission Santa Barbara, Serra's image was decapitated and covered with red paint.
"Ho-hum," you may be thinking. We've seen this sort of thing happen after the shameful violence and hatred on display in Charlottesville over the summer. But the sadly unremarkable nature of the story seemed only to highlight what Pope Francis said in celebrating Serra's life when he visited the United States two years ago this fall. His words shed light on our current situation.
The pope's theme was indifference, as it happens. He spoke on the steps of the Basilica of the Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, adjacent to The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C., acknowledging how overwhelmed we can get by existence. He said: "Our daily routine can often lead us to a kind of glum apathy which gradually becomes a habit, with a fatal consequence: Our hearts grow numb.
"We ought to ask ourselves," he continued: "What can we do to keep our heart from growing numb, becoming anesthetized? How do we make the joy of the Gospel increase and take deeper root in our lives?"
Isn't that a question that gets right to the heart of our current ills?
Perhaps the example of Serra, a Franciscan missionary who wanted to bring the joy of the Gospel to the world, can help us see there's another way of living.
Pope Francis again got it exactly right: "Something deep within us invites us to rejoice and tells us not to settle for placebos which always keep us comfortable."
We do seem to live in hope that someday everything will click into place, that circumstances will become perfect or secure with, say, the right president. But life -- as history makes quite clear -- doesn't quite work that way. And maybe if we tear down some statues of people we've decided didn't do their best, we'll feel better about not doing our best in imperfect situations?
In the case of Serra, the ignorance of the vandalism adds to the scandal. In the wake of the crime, Gregory Orfalea, author of "Journey to the Sun: Junipero Serra's Dream and the Founding of California," wrote for Angelus magazine about the respect Serra had for the Native American tribes.
He writes that though "far from perfect," Serra "was different." He "was a brave advocate of the indigenous: opposing colonial overlords, ministering to California tribes he thought better Christians than the Spaniards, constantly clashing with the Spanish military, chiding the Spanish governor of California, Felipe de Neve, for refusing to refer to Indians as 'gente de razon' (people of reason)." He instructed the viceroy that should he be killed, no one should be punished. His was an otherworldy sense of mission and forgiveness.
Pope Francis said: "Father Serra had a motto which inspired his life and work ... 'siempre adelante!' Keep moving forward! For him, this was the way to continue experiencing the joy of the Gospel, to keep his heart from growing numb, from being anesthetized. He kept moving forward, because the Lord was waiting. He kept going, because his brothers and sisters were waiting. He kept going forward to the end of his life. Today, like him, may we be able to say: Forward! Let's keep moving forward!"
That's probably the very opposite of the kind of destruction we see in the damage of Serra's statue at the old mission.
Saints aren't saints because they are perfect, but because they demonstrate heroic virtue in a world beset with evil and complexities. They see goodness, and they work to help others to do so as well.
Getting to know Serra before tearing him down could help us in our own times.
Kathryn Jean Lopez
Last week, the Fort Myers Beach Chamber of Commerce announced that the 12th Annual Fort Myers Beach Pirate Festival scheduled for Oct 6-8, 2017 will be held, however, it will have a Modified Format and Schedule.
“Because of the continuing effect of Hurricane Irma on the businesses and residents of Ft Myers Beach and all of Florida, and due to the outpouring of support we received from a previous cancellation announcement, we feel it is in everyone’s best interest to hold the 2017 Pirate Fest with a modified schedule.” said Jacki Liszak, President of the Fort Myers Beach Chamber of Commerce. Liszak added, “The focus of our island right now is getting our business and residential life back to normal and we are working with limited resources. We feel that with a modified schedule and format, our Pirate Fest Weekend will still bring much needed stress relief and normalcy to our residents and guests while allowing our businesses to rebound from the Hurricane’s financial impact.”
The event will go on; however, there will a number of elements that we will not be able to provide this year. In addition, the event will be spaced out along Old San Carlos and there will be NO admission fee!
The 2018 event is full steam ahead and currently scheduled for October 5-7, 2018. Pirate Festival Entertainment and Vendor Coordination Belinda Hadcock is happy that there will still be an event, “There’s always a silver lining,” said Hadcock, “and we’re going to take advantage of this year’s event changes to bring an even bigger and better Pirate Fest to Fort Myers Beach next year!”
Yes it’s that time of year again, Halloween is just around the corner and Cape Coral Masonic Lodge #367 located at 244 Santa Barbara Blvd, Cape Coral, FL 33991
is holding it’s 4th Trunk or Treat on Sunday, October 29, 2017 from 12:00 PM to 4:00 PM
THE ADMISSION FOR THIS EVENT IS FREE!
This annual event offers a safe way for you and your kids to enjoy trick or treating in one location,
Once again, they will be accepting canned goods and other non perishable food donations at this event for a local food bank. They have previously donated over 2,000 lbs of food and we look forward to continuing this tradition! They encourage each family to bring donation(s).
What to look forward to:
CAR SHOW WITH PRIZES!
KID FRIENDLY GAMES!
KID FRIENDLY HAUNTED HOUSE!
& MUCH MORE!!!
If you would like to donate candy for this event or you would like to participate as a Vendor or if you have a vehicle and would like to be in the car show, please email any questions and inquiries to...
or call the Lodge directly at:
Octoberfest officially began last week in Germany, running from Sept 16th to October 3, the biggest celebration in our area each year has been held at the German American Social Club located on Pine Island Road in Cape Coral, and this year the club plans on another great festival that will be held the last two weekends in October, we will cover that event in our next issue.
A new player in the local Octoberfest celebration is the Millennial Brewing Company located at 1811 Royal Palm Avenue in Fort Myers. They were planning to start their celebration last Thursday but due to Hurricane Irma and the subsequent cleanup, they have move the party and will host their Oktoberfest event starting at 4 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 12, and closing at 8 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 15.
We spoke with owner, Kyle Cebull, he told us that part of Royal Palm Blvd will be closed off for the event and a huge tent/pavilion will be set up right in front of the building with 350 seats, they are expecting over 7,000 people over the 4 days and attendees could bring additional seats/chairs.
The 4-day festival is expected to include an experience right out of Munich, throughout the official Oktoberfest event in Munich, entire pavilions of people will break out into song all together! It's truly a sight and sound to behold, they will be replicating this throughout the festival right here in Downtown Fort
Myers! German music will be pumping throughout and they will be putting the words up on the screens so everyone can join in the fun!
They will be launching their Millennial Octoberfest Beer, will have an authentic brewery and beer pavilion tent and other Bavaria-inspired decor, beer, food, live music, merchandise, camaraderie and games for people of all ages and the event is pet friendly.
Additionally, a portion of the weekend proceeds will be donated to the Sidney & Berne Davis Art Center.
For more information Call: 239- 271-2255. Or online at: MillennialBrewing.com.