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Right to Work… for Less

 

Written by – Mikey-B  (Profile/Bio: http://www.thekmfp.com/team/mikey-b/)

Here in good ole Missou-rah, a debate has been hitting the chambers of the state congress – the fight over “Right to Work”.

RW1Now, if you live with someone that works in construction, you know what Right-to-Work is; if you don’t have a tradesman frequenting your abode, then chances are you view that “Right” to “Work” phrase as something you should get behind.

This is MY take on the so-called “Right to Work” and the toll it could take on our economy here in the Show-Me State.

First thing we need to remember is that in any type of market, be it the auto market, housing market and yes even the job market, the value of something is worth whatever someone is willing to pay for it. Remember that truth as you go through this. THE VALUE OF SOMETHING IS WHAT SOMEONE IS WILLING TO PAY FOR IT!

Okay, so a little background on what “Right to Work” is; Unlike the sound of it, it DOES NOT give anyone a right they didn’t previously have. There were no people that wanted to hang drywall or twist wire nuts and were told “No sir, you don’t have a constitutional right to WORK”. Nobody got shooed away because of color, religion, sex, etc., that necessitated this legislation.

“Right to Work” is to bust unions – plain and simple.

Anything that anyone spouts off in a speech or a column that says otherwise is the equivalent of a modern day snake-oil salesman. And just like those shysters of the past, these proponents of “Right to Work” are trying to sell you something that WILL NOT help you in any way, shape or form, and will leave you with less money than you started with.

So what exactly is “Right to Work”?

“Right to Work” makes it ILLEGAL for a company to hire exclusively union employees.  No more “closed” shops. Now, there’s nothing saying that a company right now, HAS to be union. No law what-so-ever. There’s no law that says if you wish to be non-union, that you can’t have a job.

So the question becomes, “Why?” Why have this legislation? What’s the motivation?

The reason is, to weaken the leverage of collective bargaining. Unions set the scale in the trades. They hire representatives to negotiate with business owners issues of pay, insurance benefits, vacations… you get the point.

Now of course, business owners want to spend as little as possible in an attempt to put more green in their pocket. Honestly, you can’t blame them for that. That’s business. That greed is the basis of capitalism.

RW2So, why do they agree to pay what they pay? Because ….. the value of something is what someone is willing to pay for it.

The union representatives are there to ensure that that value is reached.

Do they try to get more than what their guys are worth? Of course they do! Would they really being doing their job if they didn’t?

So business owners come to the table trying to low-ball, union reps try to high-ball, and through BARGAINING they meet in the middle. Voila! The scale is set. All business owners and workers in that particular field of occupation know what the going rates are.

If the business owner doesn’t want to pay that, he opens a non-union shop and hires people who ARE WILLING to work for less. They agree to it. No one forces them. Even if they only agree to it because they need the work, both the worker and the owner know that if the option to make more money or better benefits or whatever comes along, they’re probably going to take it.

So I ask again, “Why have this legislation?

If “Right to Work” passes, business owners can hire people… workers to come into union shops that aren’t IN the union.

Why – so that that person (who is NOT covered under collective bargaining) can negotiate their OWN terms. You think the business owner is going to accept ANY terms that are above what he is already paying? Why would they? The only terms they’re going to accept are terms UNDER scale.

When this happens, they can bring more and more people in for less and less. So much so that when the union rep’s go to the bargaining table, the owners KNOW that they don’t have to concede ANYTHING! If the union strikes, so be it. They have workers that can’t strike.

Now, the biggest argument I hear for the pro- RTW’s is that it will lower the cost of goods. Cars, houses, factory made gizmos….they’ll all be cheaper.

But why should the cost go down?

Customers have proven that they are willing to pay the already set price. Remember, the value of something is what someone is willing to pay for it. So, just because it costs that business owner less to provide whatever product, it DOES NOT mean they are going to charge less for it. It means they will put more coin in their bank.

Simply put.

RW3Now, will “Right to Work” create more jobs? Sure it will. Where one worker was, that made say…$30/hr., that business owner can now have two guys at $15/hr. Twice the labor for the same price.

What a deal… for the OWNER – but what about the worker?

The guy who used to be able to support his family with his skill now can’t afford to. Not only does he make less, the cost of things HASN’T gone down and due to other factors that cause inflation, as the prices go up, there’s less chance he’ll be able to get a raise to help pay for it.

This causes a state of poverty, when a person can’t afford to provide adequately for their family. It’s no wonder that of the ten states with the highest level of poverty, EIGHT of them are “Right-to-Work”.  The rich get richer and the poor get poorer.

Sure, more people are working. But chances are they are also working a second job because their main one doesn’t pay enough. They are made to work longer hours, because owners are willing to pay time and a half. It’s still cheaper than what is was before. These workers who bust their butts on a daily basis, trying to do nothing more than support their family, will have no choice but to succumb to whatever scale the owners decide.

Workers wanting to start their own company will be too indentured to open the doors of their own company. It might seem like I’m writing in outlandish “could be’s”, but look at Florida compared to Missouri.

Florida is a “Right to Work” state. The cost of living is higher in Florida and the average tradesman makes nearly HALF of what they do in Missouri. The cost is HIGHER, because…. people are willing to pay that price.

It’s not lower because it costs business owners less.

It doesn’t just apply to tradesmen though. It’s ANY field that has unions. Teachers and cops, butchers, car makers….all of them. Blue collar workers. Average people. People who want to simply live modestly.

“Right to Work” is NOT about helping Average Joe Citizen. It is nothing more than an attempt by Big Business owners for a chance to put more money in their own pockets by crippling the very people that work for them.

It doesn’t grant ANY rights. It’s a scam.

RW4I urge everyone to end “Right to Work” laws. Call your representatives. Tell them to vote “NO”. Protect our carpenters and electricians. Business owners as a whole have a history of treating their employees like third rate citizens. It’s the EXACT reason unions were formed in the first place – to keep business owners from taking advantage of employees.

“Right to Work” IS that dangerous. Your silence tells corporate big wigs it’s okay. It lets them know that you are willing to “pay” that price.

Is that really what you think our middle class is worth? Nothing?

Vote down “Right to Work”. Tell them loudly that that sort of legislation is wrong. If you don’t, well…..the value of anything is worth what you’re willing to pay for it.

 

(Mikey-B ARCHIVES: http://www.thekmfp.com/category/mikey-b/)   

Our Mission Remains

 

Written by – Mikey-B  (Profile/Bio: http://www.thekmfp.com/team/mikey-b/)

As I sat with my family this past holiday season, my kids began asking questions of my days in the Navy. What was it like? What kind of ship was I on? What was its name?

MR1I answered each question, reliving the moments spent away from them with my other family – a crew of not just fellow shipmates… but of brothers. A crew of men whose personalities were all completely different – with one exception: EACH man had the spirit of our great ship’s namesake – Henry Talmage Elrod.

Henry Talmage Elrod was born in Georgia in 1905. After high school he received degrees from the University of Georgia and Yale. He then entered the Marine Corps and became a pilot.  On December 8th, 1941, hours after the attack on Pearl Harbor, Japanese aircraft attacked Wake Island (Wake Island sits on the other side of the International Date Line. It was Dec. 7th in Hawaii).

Captain Elrod’s VMF-211 Fighter Squadron lost most of their 12-fighter planes due to bombing before being able to take off. “Hammering Hank” – as he was later nicknamed – was able to take off and, upon being airborne, SINGLE-HANDEDLY attacked a group of 22-hostile planes.

Odds be damned in Elrod’s eyes.

He shot down 2-enemy planes and then flew a series of low-lying strafing runs on Japan’s Imperial Navy. During one such bombing run, he sank the Kisaragi (A Destroyer Class), becoming the first major warship sank by a small fighter type of aircraft.

His aircraft was eventually disabled by hostile fire and upon Elrod’s return to shore he took command and reorganized remaining ground troops to defend the beach. For two weeks of intense fighting and being overwhelmingly outnumbered, Elrod and his fellow soldiers kept the Japanese at bay. On December 23rd, 1941, while protecting his soldiers delivering ammunition supplies, Hammering Hank was mortally wounded.

His bravery and tenacity led him to receiving the rank of Major and being awarded the highest military honor, the Medal of Honor.

The story of Elrod is gallant. It is the type of story that movies are made. While his bravery and unrelenting aggressiveness in the face of superior numbers is impressive, it was just his flesh. His true heroism and spirit was passed on to FFG-55.

MR2Named for Henry T Elrod, the USS Elrod (FFG-55) was commissioned in 1985. By the time I was assigned to serve on the Elrod in 1997, the ship already had a solid reputation. Known as “the little frigate that could”, this small warship was known by the fleet not to be treated like any other frigate during “war game” operations.

Although our technology, maneuverability and armament was vastly inferior to the Destroyers and Cruisers we were being matched up against, during these operations we held a winning record.

We were supposed to be a target for the Navy’s “true” warships. We were supposed to be used as training for the “big boys”.

But these ships forgot one important fact…

The crew onboard had the spirit of Major Henry T. Elrod coursing through its veins. There was no fight we couldn’t win. There were no obstacles we couldn’t overcome.

From the commanding officer to lowest ranking “paint scraper”, it was understood that the word “can’t” is NEVER an acceptable answer. If gear would break, you fixed it. Sometimes that meant, due to the scarcity of parts, you might have to “engineer” your own part.

You found a way.

Your clothes might not be the sparkliest and hell, could still be damp coming back from laundry …suck it up buttercup, there’s work to do.

I learned this within minutes of landing onboard. When the helicopter landed on the flight deck I grabbed my stuff and was ushered inside. A man cast a shadow over me and without my asking grabbed my nearly 80-lb sea bag and threw it on his shoulder like it was filled with cotton.

I’ve got this. I’m taking you to the chief; we’re having a problem with the SPS-55 (surface radar) that needs to be fixed. My name is Petty Officer Lenda. Let’s go.”

The sheer size of this man told my brain that maybe I shouldn’t question him, but as I tend to do to this day, I spoke anyway. “Am I going to be able to get my things in order and settle in before going to see the chief?

His response summed up the crew of the USS Elrod, “Do you think Hank worried about where his clothes ended up when there was work to do?

MR3In my mind I was thinking, “Hank? Who in the world is Hank, and why would I care about HIS clothes”, but I had poked the bear once and was smart enough not to do it again.

As my time spent onboard lengthened, so did my respect for fellow frigate sailors. There are life lessons to be learned here. Work hard, train hard, educate yourself, don’t turn away someone in need of help, FIND A WAY – they make great clichés for Facebook posters, but onboard the Hammerin’ Hank, they were the only option.

Seldom did a day go by that a member of one division not seek the help of another’s and it was NEVER not given. It wasn’t just all business all the time though.

Some of the best times were spent hanging out on the fan tail smoking cigarettes and pondering all of life’s mysteries. Listening to stories from the older salts.

GM1 always had a personal log of some of the oddest entries. Like how many times he ate peanut butter and jelly for breakfast because he refused to eat powdered eggs.

Conversations with ET2(SW) Warchol about our ex-girlfriends and their beautiful scandalous acts.

Watching GM3 McEntee (Mac) stand a knife in a freshly poured Guinness before taking a huge, well deserved drink.

Conversations and moments that weren’t just guys talking and hanging out… but strangers becoming brothers. The men of that ship and that time have had more influence on the person I am today than any others at any point in my life.

I don’t keep much contact with those guys these days but if any man, from plank owner to today’s crew were to ever show up on my doorstep, I would without question take them in, give them a soft bed and some warm food.

MR4I’ll always be thankful for my time on board the USS Elrod and its crew will ALWAYS hold a special place in my heart.

On January 30th, 2015 the great USS Elrod will be decommissioned. Having spent 30-years serving the finest Navy the world has ever seen, the Hammerin’ Hank’s final mission will end. The Oliver Perry Class frigates are outdated and room must be made for the new style of frigate, the LCS (Littoral Combat Ship).

All things eventually grow old. Systems must be overhauled and replaced with newer designs and better equipment. The only constant is spirit.

Although the USS Elrod is being decommissioned, the men that manned the rails of the Little Frigate That Could are still alive and well. Either as civilians now or still serving, their attitudes and mindsets have been forever changed for the better.

They will take the tenacity and ability to adapt and overcome with them on every endeavor they may face. Hank’s courage will NEVER be sidled, nor will the honorable men who served his namesake.

My sincerest hope is that the powers that be will grace future Navy men the chance to continue Elrod’s legacy and name one of the new LCS’s for Henry Talmage Elrod. It’s more than just a name. It’s a standard that must be upheld. It’s a way of combining new technology with old-school grit.

MR5It would send a message to the entire Navy that “can’t” will never be tolerated. It will honor a man that died defying the odds, the men who took up his charge and the men of the future, lucky enough to embroider the command name on the shoulder of their uniforms. It will ensure that the spirit of Henry Talmage Elrod will live on.

If the Navy chooses not to name another ship after ole Hank, then it is up to the crew members of the USS Elrod to keep Henry’s story of heroism going. From the commissioning crew to the decommissioning crew. Tell your children his story. Tell the young men and women out there YOUR story. Keep that fight going. Never surrender it.

The mission is not over boys. The mission remains.

 

(Mikey-B ARCHIVES: http://www.thekmfp.com/category/mikey-b/)   

Oh Christmas Tree… You Glorious Ugly Bastard!

Written by – Mikey-B  (Profile/Bio: http://www.thekmfp.com/team/mikey-b/)

*This column is dedicated to all the mothers out there who orchestrate the chaotic Christmas season, and specifically to my mom and girlfriend. I love you both and truly appreciate your efforts. Thank you Mom for making my childhood Christmases so wonderful and thank you Mindy for doing the same for our children*

This time of year you can walk into just about any house in North America and you’re bound to land eyes smack-dab on a Christmas tree. From a huge spruce to a Charlie Brown tree, households place them on full display.

CT1Some folks like to go with intricately outfitted trees. Every branch, ornament, light, garland strand…..everything is perfectly where it needs to be. The colors match the existing living room décor. The tree’s location is placed so that the aesthetics are at maximum viewing potential.

To some, these trees are beautiful. They could be transported to the finest hotel lobby and not a beat would be missed. I call these “designer trees”, and while the price tag on them would disagree with me, they are – in my mind – worthless.

To me, their beauty is next to nothing; but then again – I view Christmas trees differently.

When I was a kid, I knew without a shadow of a doubt my mother would spend hours combing through every tree at every lot throughout the greater St Louis area to find the “perfect tree”.

That one is a little sparse at the bottom…..that one isn’t green enough….Excuse me sir, is this a ‘Blue Pine Spruce or a Marigold Fir’ ….You want HOW MUCH for that?!

Inevitably, she’d end up with the first one she’d seen or at least that’s what it seemed like to me as I caught frostbite. Finally we’d end up at home; the tree placed in its stand and the daunting task of stringing the lights was upon mom.

This was epic!

Us kids would sit on the couch and watch as she’d cuss her way through her chore. As she was losing her mind trying to find the ONE light causing the rest of the strand to not light up and arguing with others as the actual need for blinkers AND lights that stay solidly lit, me and the other kids would giggle our little asses off watching her turn five shades of purple.

This lead to our tree every year having spectacular lighting from the bottom to about the middle of the tree and more of a …. “fuck it” approach on top.

Then came the hanging of the ornaments…

There were some ornaments that anyone could hang on the tree and some that were firmly specific as to who could have the honors. Our ornaments rarely matched, mostly because whenever mom would buy a new set and place them on the tree, the set quickly lost members as our cat – seconds after mom threatened to take its life – would climb the tree and launch ornament after ornament from its branches.

CT2This led to mom’s battle cry “YOU LITTLE SONUVA BITCH!!!!” It was on. Mom barreled towards the tree and the cat – feeling the impending danger – would haul ALL ass, leaving glitter adorned glass shards in its wake. Only the truly strong ornaments made it to their sophomore Christmas year.

Now as mom unpacked the ornaments from the previous year, she’d sometimes pause. A small joyful tear would crest in her eye and she’d smile.

As I looked on, I would watch as she would pull from the box an ornament I had made years ago at school. It had a picture of me in it, wearing some God-awful shirt. I had placed the ribbon around it myself, so it wasn’t anywhere close to being even and you could see the spot where I had used too much glue, which had now crystalized into a dingy yellow glob.

Then she’d pull the teddy bear ornament I tried to make out of cookie dough the one year. He had long lost one ear to the cat’s antics. His face was barely legible when it was created and now resembled a Jackson Pollock piece.

His left bottom paw was also missing because one year I got curious as to what raw cookie dough tasted like…..three years after it had hardened. I never said I was the smartest kid.

This ornament to this day sends my mother into an internal struggle to hold back an onslaught of tears.

As a kid I never understood this, but as a father I get it. In fact, if you have kids, there’s no need for me to describe it further…you just know.

After sufficient time had been spent strolling down memory lane and all the ornaments had been hung, we’d debate on whether or not the tree needed tinsel. Some years got it; other years didn’t. There was never any rhyme or reason to it and could have just as easily been decided with a coin toss, but really, where’s the fun in that?

At long last, the tree was complete. We’d turn all the living room lights off and as a family, gaze in wonderment of the glow from of our tree. We were proud of our tree…always.

CT3It wasn’t going to win any awards on any home fashion show but that never mattered. Unmatched ornaments both of the store-bought and homemade variety randomly placed, uncooperative lights flashing in no apparent pattern and sparse branches that had been mauled by our family pets all led to one ugly ass tree.

This tradition holds true to this day. In fact, as I write this, regaling in my own childhood holidays, it is done so with the barbaric empty threats made by my girlfriend to our family pet for messing with our own tree.

Some things will never change.

Our tree has ornaments on it that make no godly sense as a collection to the outside world. Old mixed with new. A teddy bear sits beneath our tree with the year “2014” embroidered on the foot – a gift for our newest family member.

Our tree is indeed ugly, but it is ours. It contains both a mental scrapbook of the past and a wonderful hopeful future.

Go ahead and keep your designer trees, for me…I’ll take the ugly trees….The Glorious Ugly Tree.

 

(Mikey-B ARCHIVES: http://www.thekmfp.com/category/mikey-b/)   

Re-Gifting – “The UFO”

Be sure to check out this section for a “Hot Topic” that is trending in the world of news, entertainment, pop culture or really anywhere else.

We will introduce a weekly topic on Monday, and then rotate the order of my regular columnists expressing their personal views each day for the remainder of the week, giving you a slightly – or radically – different perspective each day.

(This week’s HOT TOPIC fits the season, and is… “Re-Gifting”)

 

The UFO – by Mikey-B

Tis the season…Have you ever gotten a gift that was so….NOT you?

HT1Picture this: A friend or family member hands you a gift. You open it with all the excitement of a little kid and…. a bread-maker?

You’re stuck there trying to act appreciative as the eyes of the giver are glued to your reaction. I say “try” to act appreciative but let’s get real, you have NEVER once made bread, nor have you ever in your entire life had the urge to make bread.

Awwwee….A bread-maker!…..Thhhanks.”.

It’s the thought that counts, sure. But when the thought is so far off the mark as to anything you would ever need or want, what’s a person to do?

The answer? Re-gift that fucking bread-maker!

There’s an art to re-gifting. For starters, always remember who gave you the gift in question to begin with. Nothing says “Buck you fuddy” like giving the same gift back to the original giver, or even have them present when you give it to someone else.

A good choice is to give it to someone that you’re “supposed” to get a gift for, but you don’t really know.

The company secretary for example, provided you’re not working at the family store. Or, give it as a “white elephant” gift.

Such is the case of the best re-gifting story I know…

Years ago, my Aunt (CMFL) was given an ornament by her boss to “show his appreciation for all her hard work and dedication”. Now to say this ornament was ugly would be an understatement. It sort of looked like Santa’s most hated elf had some bad Mexican food and puked, then took said puke and rolled into a ball, attached a string to it and sprinkled some glitter on that bitch, then claimed it to be an ornament.

Since that fateful Christmas, the “Ugly Fucking Ornament” has been re-gifted throughout our family. It first started when my Aunt received the “UFO” and placed it back into the box from whence it came, washed her hands, and brought it to our family’s Christmas get-together as a white elephant.

HT2It was received by one of the family members and ….because our family doesn’t exactly “pull punches” was agreed upon that it was in fact the ugliest  fucking ornament created in the history of man. So ugly in fact that – when the chance came for people to trade to get said ornament – we were opting instead for faded board games with missing pieces rather than touching that ornament, if even by accident.

Before all the “goodbye’s” and “Murray Christmases” were handed out, the UFO secretly made its way onto my sister’s tree in such a discreet location that it wouldn’t be noticed by her until after the season and it was time to pack away the Christmas gear.

The hideousness of the UFO, as well as the audacity of the perpetrator that hid it, haunted my sister….for one year.

When Christmas rolled around once more, the UFO was again re-gifted – once again as a white elephant – and as we all left my sister’s house, we were all threatened with bodily harm if the UFO was found on her premises.

To ensure peace and tranquility, a man who shall remain nameless, after donning the necessary protective equipment, slipped the UFO into one of the bags my mother was to take home. Mom kept the UFO for a couple years.

Not because she wanted it, but because after two years of re-gifting the UFO,  the entire clan was on high alert, and NO ONE would be left holding the UFO at the end of our Christmas festivities. This type of vigilant effort to repel the UFO prompted what would become a source of a great family debate, as my mother packaged the UFO and sent it back to its original owner, my aunt – via mail.

Was it fair to use the U.S. Postal Service as a means to re-gift the UFO? Did it cross some unwritten code concerning the UFO? If the postal service found out they had unknowingly been a part of this transgression, what would be the length of fines imposed?

Mom felt the risk was worth the reward… the reward of NOT being the owner of the UFO.

HT3The UFO then went into hiding for a while, when it was finally found rolling around the trunk of MY CAR!  I love my aunt to death, but I’ll tell you now….THAT’S ONE SNEAKY SHIT!

That brings us to this year. I have already “disposed” of the UFO into the care of an unsuspecting family member. I shant reveal who. That is for them to discover. And when they do, it is my sincerest hopes that the Ugly Fucking Ornament does not end up in my care once again.

But if it does….you can bet your sweet ass, I’m gonna re-gift!

 

READ THE OPINIONS OF OUR OTHER COLUMNISTS:

(Barbara Anne’s TAKE: http://www.thekmfp.com/re-gifting-to-gift-again/)       

Manson’s Wedding – “I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Ca-razy!”

Be sure to check out this section for a “Hot Topic” that is trending in the world of news, entertainment, pop culture or really anywhere else.

We will introduce a weekly topic on Monday, and then rotate the order of my regular columnists expressing their personal views each day for the remainder of the week, giving you a slightly – or radically – different perspective each day.

(This week’s HOT TOPIC lightens it up a little to look at Charles Manson’s impending nuptials)

 

I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Ca-razy! – by Mikey-B

Oh Charlie, you crazy bastard you. Well evidently the general masses in good ole ‘Merica have gone too long without hearing about the swastika-adorned forehead villain we all love to hate…Charles Manson.

The 80-yr. old former criminal mastermind who thrilled us all when he uttered the words “Look here Geraldo man! I could have your head in a box tomorrow if I wanted to” on live TV, is now going to get married.

HT1…there’s no punch-line there.

A woman(?) of legal age is actually going to marry him.

Awe, isn’t that just fucking precious. Marriage is such a beautiful thing, ain’t it? Never mind the fact that Charlie has been in prison since ’72 and this scraggly white trash split-tail wasn’t even born until ’88. It MUST be true love.

Why else would …well, ANY 26-yr. old marry an 80-yr. old man whose been imprisoned his entire fucking life?

She’s in it for the mone…uh….well no, that doesn’t work. Oh well I’m sure they’ll have some good years together and make a caring, loving home when he gets released….IF he gets released from prison.

Y’know? In the year 2027…when his next parole hearing comes up. He’ll be 93.

Ok seriously, is the dating pool really THAT spread thin? I mean when your standards are so low, that you have to resort to picking dudes up at a prison. Old dudes…in prison. She couldn’t find herself a nice serial rapist in his 40’s or something?

While you’re debating that little gem, think about this; what if they actually allowed conjugal visits?

They don’t at that particular prison but if they did….could you imagine what that would smell like?

WOW! Oh, and here’s another interesting little tidbit; she had to talk Charlie into it! She wanted to get married last year and Chuckie laughed it off, saying it was just a big scam. For fuck’s sake chick, is your honeypot THAT bad?

HT2She’s from the Midwest. There has to be some toothless mullet out there with a grease-stained wife beater putting the finishing touches on his ’86 Firebird, just setting the beavages of the Del Vista Rae Trailer Park into moist frenzies.

No? That guy is still too unattainable for you sweetheart? I mean we know why Charlie’s doing it, but this broad…just how fucked up is you bitch?

You want to know the really funny thing about this? ~ The conservative Christian crowd out there….the “morally correct” folks who believe every law in the grand USA should coincide with their Biblical interpretations… Duck Dynasty fans….Yeah those people?

They still think it’s better for this Charles Manson wedding to take place than two law-abiding MEN.

Y’know; wouldn’t want to ruin the sanctity of marriage. THAT’s the real joke!

 

READ THE OPINIONS OF OUR OTHER COLUMNISTS:

(Barbara Anne’s TAKE: http://www.thekmfp.com/mansons-wedding-hey-mom-guess-what/)
(KMFP’s TAKE:
http://www.thekmfp.com/mansons-wedding-well-hes-white-anyway/)  

Soul-Mates?….Not so Much

 

Written by – Mikey-B  (Profile/Bio: http://www.thekmfp.com/team/mikey-b/)

How do you know if the one your with is your soul-mate?

You find them attractive both inside and out. You’re best friends and rarely fight, and even when you do, it’s over silly shit that you know will pass because – over the course of time – ANY two people are bound to have an argument or two.

SM1But are they your soul-mate?

Well folks, let me give you the answer. …No. They are not your soul-mate, and the reason is….soul-mates DO NOT EXIST! It’s a made up phrase – made to make people feel all mushy and gushy inside. There’s no mystical force that makes you love another person, and – honestly speaking – would you really want there to be?

When people say that their significant other is a soul-mate, what they are really saying is that they have absolutely zero control over who they want to be with. If that person treats them like shit, cheats on them, abuses them mentally or even physically….they HAVE to stay with that person because some cosmic blue print out there will not allow otherwise.

When you got together with your “soul-mate”, it wasn’t because you did anything to make yourself attractive. Your ability to relate with the other person, mutual interests, humor, political and religious viewpoints, the way you dress, the way you handle yourself in public and private…y’know, everything you control that makes up who you are as a person …it means nothing.

Their soul is tied to yours regardless of how you treat them or how they treat you. If you believe in “soul-mates” that is…

Wouldn’t it be better if the reason you’re with the person is BECAUSE of the choices you make. You want to see them happy, so you do things for them. Not because some mysterious aura surrounds the two of you.

You care about their opinions as much as your own and as such you talk to them with respect. You want to see their face light up when they smile, so you joke with them, serenade them and pull them close when you dance.

The point is, YOU see to it that the mutual love between you stays strong, not some bullshit unknown force. You are the master of your own fate, and friends if you don’t fully embrace that fact, then you are going to be let down.

Relationships take work. If one person puts in all the work and the other puts in nothing, that relationship WILL eventually collapse.

People don’t break up because everything was good.

Show me a person that broke up with someone for the solitary purpose that they didn’t think the person they were with was their “soul-mate” and I’ll show you someone who is either trying not to hurt someone’s feelings or doesn’t want to admit just how shallow they are themselves.

Truth is, there’s a great many of us out there who are shallow.  Ever heard someone say “Yeah, he’s/she’s great. He’s/she’s got a really good job.  He/she treats me like a queen/king, he’s/she’s good-looking, loves kids/dogs/cats etc. , he/she challenges me emotionally and intellectually…..but there’s just something missing.”?

Yeah, you know what’s missing? Probably a decent sized cock or a nice firm rack. We are THAT shallow as people.

But you can’t say that and appear to be a good person, so we make up some horseshit not my “soul-mate” story. And as a listening public we’ll accept that too.

Look folks, it’s okay to take pride in your feelings for your “boo”. There’s nothing wrong with admitting that the reason you love someone is because even though they’re not as bright as you’d like them to be, they give great head.

SM2And having a significant other that knows their way around your jiblits is important to your simple ass.

Or if you’re with someone because financially it benefits you, then if that’s your thing, more power to ya.

But don’t give me this “soul-mate” crap. Call it what it truly is, which if you’re lucky, is two people that find each other attractive both emotionally and physically and as such are willing to be loyal to that person and take that each other’s happiness personal and ACTIVELY work on having a healthy relationship.

Something you can take real pride in….not something you had no control over anyway.

Stop with the “soul-mate” shit!

 

(Mikey-B ARCHIVES: http://www.thekmfp.com/category/mikey-b/)   

Bus Dad – “Who’s the Bully Now?”

Be sure to check out this section for a “Hot Topic” that is trending in the world of news, entertainment, pop culture or really anywhere else.

We will introduce a weekly topic on Monday, and then rotate the order of my regular columnists expressing their personal views each day for the remainder of the week, giving you a slightly – or radically – different perspective each day.

(This week’s HOT TOPIC pertains to the father in Collinsville, IL who went on the school bus to confront his daughter’s bully)

 

Who’s the Bully Now? – by Mikey-B

We hear it almost daily – “Bullying”. This kid got bullied and did something horrific, either to themselves or snapped and did something to others. Schools take time out of their lessons to implement anti-bullying programs. YouTube videos are made of bullies getting a proverbial shit sandwich shoved into their deserving faces.

HT1Bullying is not a new concept. It’s been around since the dawn of man. It’s a part of every species on Earth. Every person out there has been bullied in one way or another. Bullying is a part of life. It’s a part of life that we are increasingly failing to educate our children properly…at least on how to EFFECTIVELY deal with.

Bullying is about a show of force. It is about imposing the will of one being onto another being they perceive to be weaker. It’s ugly and barbaric.

It’s also a highly effective tool and one that is used every day in an array of circumstances. Parents bully their own kids. “If you don’t clean up that mess, I’m throwing your stuff away!

I know it might seem like an odd example but think of it in its simplest terms. A bully takes a position of power – be it physical, mental or emotional – and then threatens the other person into acting the way they want. We love our kids, but we bully them all the time.

Our parents bullied us. Our kids will bully theirs. Teachers bully. “If you don’t do your homework, you’re going to be in trouble”.

Our military bullies. “If you don’t act right, we’ll come over there and blow your shit all to hell”.

Cops and prosecutors bully. “If you don’t tell us what we want to hear, you’ll go to jail”.

My long drawn out point here is – Bullying is NOT all bad. Again it is a highly effective tool. It’s so engrained in us that when we as parents see other parents NOT bullying their kids, we hold our exasperated breaths.

Why are you trying to reason with that child?! You’re the parent! You MAKE that child behave!

See folks, our kids see bullying in all its forms, every damn moment! They learn that when you use the techniques of bullying properly, you get the results you want. When bullying is done to produce positive results, everyone is okay with it. When bullying is done with the greater good of both the victim and society in general in mind, we’re okay with it.

The kind of bullying we DON’T like is when someone we care about is bullied for reasons that are counterproductive to our own wishes and are done so for no other reason than to torment the victim.

HT2When this happens, we do what we’ve always done. We stand up for ourselves. We run and get a bigger bully either in the form of a teacher, an older brother, a parent, a cop…etc.

So when you ask, is it right for a parent to go onto a school bus and encounter the bully that has been tormenting their child? My answer is simple.

Of course it’s the right thing to do.

Yes, the school is going to get up in arms. Yes, there’s going to be backlash for his actions and Yes the child that was bullying other kids is going to get bullied into ….NOT negatively bullying anymore!

 

READ THE OPINIONS OF OUR OTHER COLUMNISTS:

(Miss Meza’s TAKE: http://www.thekmfp.com/bus-dad-bus-bully-beatdowns/)
(Barbara Anne’s TAKE: http://www.thekmfp.com/bus-dad-somebody-had-to-do-it/)  

Riddle Me This…

 

Written by – Mikey-B  (Profile/Bio: http://www.thekmfp.com/team/mikey-b/)

There are a couple of things in this world that I truly love. One of them is music. Another one is the words that many artists throughout the years have put to that music. Still another – is the writers at this website.

RM1And lastly (as far as this article is concerned) is riddles.

They all have one thing in common. They stimulate my brain, my heart and if the beat is funky enough…my feet. So as we get closer to our KMFParty this Friday night, I thought I’d combine all my loves into a goofy ass riddle to send my fellow writers and especially the man who made it possible, a message.

See if you can figure it out, and if so leave a comment below with your guess. I hope everyone who reads the words of this website has a great Thanksgiving and good luck on the riddle!

 

  1. Someone told me long ago, there’s a “KMFP” before the storm. I know, it’s been coming for some time.
  2. All the roads we have to walk are winding and all the lights that lead us there are “Barbara Anne”
  3. Where you going, what you looking for? You know “KMFP” don’t wanna play no more with you. It’s true.
  4. Go on now go. Walk out the door. Just turn around now, ‘cause you’re not “Liberated” anymore.
  5. More than anything, my wish for you, is that this “KMFP” becomes all that you want it to.
  6. Throw your soul through every open door. Count your “Heili” to find what you look for.
  7. Everyone’s got to face down their demons. Maybe today, you could put “KMFP” away.
  8. “Mikey B” is a runaway train you can’t wait to jump on.

 

  1. I’ve listened to preachers. I’ve listened to fools. I’ve watched “Mommy Moments”, who make her own rules.
  2. With the lights out, Jen’s less dangerous. Here we are now, entertain us.

 

  1. From my heart and from my hand, why don’t people understand “KMFP”
  2. I can see it in your walk. Tell ‘em when you talk. See it in everything you do. Even in your thoughts You got the right stuff, KMFP
  3. RM2“TJ Aguilera”, why don’t you come to your senses, come down from your fences…and open the gate

 

  1. Be yourself. Give KMFP a chance. You’ve got to want to be free
  2. Will the real Life of Brian please stand up. I repeat, will the real Life of Brian please stand up. We’re gonna have a problem here.
  3. You are the “KMFP”. Young and sweet, only seventeen. “KMFP”. Feel the beat from the tambourine, oh yeah!
  4. I wish I was special. So fucking special. But I’m Mike B. I’m a weirdo. What the hell am I doing here?

 

 

Okay folks, that’s the riddle. Leave your answer/guess in the comments section. I’ll leave hints daily for those who are actually as goofy as I am and will take on this challenge.

Or, just come to the KMFParty this Friday and ask me…I’ll tell ya.

 

(Mikey-B ARCHIVES: http://www.thekmfp.com/category/mikey-b/)   

Rearview Mirrors

 

Written by – Mikey-B  (Profile/Bio: http://www.thekmfp.com/team/mikey-b/)

I consider myself to be overall, a lucky man. Where others have had demons such as drug abuse, I’ve been able to sidestep these landmines. That’s not to say I haven’t had my share of troubles, in fact I’ve navigated my way through some valleys that might have ultimately consumed others.

RM1So why, then consider myself lucky?

Because of those struggles, I have been taught a life lesson that seems to be amiss from a growing population. The lesson is this, where a person is now in their life, is NOT the complete definition of who they are.

This last week, I witnessed a couple conversations that I found more than a little disturbing. While at an old friend’s house, I met a new friend/acquaintance of his. As we were being introduced my friend was explaining where this new friend lived.

He lives DOWN the street from blah, blah ,blah….I made the mistake from saying ACROSS the street once”.

With that, the new face decided to explain the need to be clear, “Yeah, I don’t live in those damn Section 8, ghetto ass apartments!”  Mild laughter ensued from two of the three standing there. I alone abstained.

Why? Because why do I care where this guy lives? Since when did someone’s address dictate their character?

To be honest, had I not lived in the very Section 8 apartments merely 4-years ago and had NOT been taught my lesson, I might have joined in the derogatory thought. But I had been there. I had been taught.

My first thought wasn’t “This guy has his shit together”, it was more to the effect of “Is THIS how I was viewed when I lived there? …Was I a joke?” and more to the point… “Do I want to be that guy who looks down his nose at someone based on where they collect their mail?

No one actively seeks out that behavior, and I’m no different. I think the problem comes when we get too far removed from certain plights in life. When I met my friend decades ago, he himself lived in a complex that wasn’t considered the best neighborhood. Yet here he stood, sharing the air of his new friend.

I wonder if the “Section 8” housing that centered our discussion had been the same that his parents had raised him, would the laughter have been solo? Now, I don’t write this as a means to show superiority in moral thought, instead as an appreciation for my own traveled road.

Later in the week, another friend of twenty plus years started a discussion, this time on social media, which centered on the “douchiness” of a person that wore a certain brand of shirt. A brand admittedly usually reserved for a younger crowd.

Our very own KMFP wrote an article a while back that explained the art of “judging” a book by its proverbial cover. I have openly defended his position on this subject, in that – the clothes we wear CAN give an insight into the person wearing them.

RM2In other words, if you’re say… in a store, and you see someone wearing a football uniform, you would reasonably assume that they were a football player. Or if they were wearing Harley leathers, that they rode a motorcycle.

There’s nothing wrong with that thought process. It’s human nature when encountering people to “size them up”, using the easiest clues that are given. If you happen to pass a NEGATIVE assessment on someone based on their attire, then so be it and as callous as it might sound, sometimes is the best policy… the key word being “sometimes”.

If you’re walking down the street and you see a man in a blood-soaked apron carrying a huge knife, he might just be a butcher who went outside to grab a smoke….he also could very well be a psychotic murderer looking for his next body to hack up. If you see this guy coming and decide to get yourself clear of the situation, I see nothing wrong with that.

Maybe he is a harmless butcher, but do you really NEED to find out?

The problem I have is when you start using the tag on their clothing to make your decision. If that same football player is wearing a rival team’s colors and you ultimately decide they are an asshole…then the TRUE asshole is you.

If the brand on the butcher’s apron is what sways your decision…you’re a dipshit. And, if the name on the t-shirt a guy wears is what you use to define “douchiness”, then you’re acting like a pompous jerk.

Again, if the “jeans and t-shirt” look is something that historically has brought you disdain and you wish to “judge” accordingly, right or wrong…more power to ya.  I’d be lying if I said there aren’t certain styles out there that don’t scream certain stereotypes.

I’m not saying that’s right, but stereotypes are based in samples of reality.

My issue is when you are okay with the “jeans and t-shirt” look, but ONLY if the brands on said “jeans and t-shirt” match what you deem worthy.

My thought is if you’re looking that close for a label, what do you think of me in my Gordman’s jeans? Are my Goodwill sunglasses what you use to sum up my character? Again, the friend who posted this was once a kid who was accepted into our circle, and – to this day – I could not tell you what clothes he draped on himself.

RM3Now I’m not saying I think less of these two friends. In fact, they are still two guys I admire for the fortitude of their character. They are both truly unique guys and both guys I am proud to call my friends.

Besides, how hypocritical would I be if I decided to condemn them for actions I don’t agree with, when both of them have seen and heard me at my worst and still stuck by me?

I know their true hearts. I know they are both solid dudes. I DO think however they should pause as they cruise forward down the highway of life.

Pause… just long enough to check their “Rearview Mirrors”.

 

(Mikey-B ARCHIVES: http://www.thekmfp.com/category/mikey-b/)   

Early Christmas – “Christmas can Wait!

Be sure to check out this section for a “Hot Topic” that is trending in the world of news, entertainment, pop culture or really anywhere else.

We will introduce a weekly topic on Monday, and then rotate the order of my regular columnists expressing their personal views each day for the remainder of the week, giving you a slightly – or radically – different perspective each day.

(This week’s HOT TOPIC is “Early Christmas”, as in its continued takeover of the preceding holidays)

 

 

Christmas can Wait! – by Mikey-B

It’s a beautiful sight,

To see all that’s bright,

HT1And feel the crisp air on your face.

With lights all a’glow,

And flurries of snow,

In this time of “Blessings and Grace”

 

Jesus is great,

With his fat bearded mate,

But there’s something that I just don’t get.

With all of the sales,

And holiday wails,

There’s over two months of this shit?

 

Fright Night just ended,

Now holidays blended?,

It’s more than I can dare stand.

Is this really the spirit?

Do our kids need to hear it?

Just to place some gifts in their hand?

 

The Turkey’s not basted,

Thanksgiving’s been wasted,

To make room for presents and gifts.

For Black Friday Ads,

HT2And abandoning dads,

To get what’s on junior’s list.

 

We leave family dinner,

To be the beginner,

To fight with the mobs at the store.

‘Cause Suzie’d be gladder,

If we held our bladder,

And rushed ourselves right out the door.

 

So she could have Barbie,

Or some other malarkey

To prove what the season is for.

Excuse me for sayin’

But with all of this prayin’

Shouldn’t we get something more?

 

Is this really the lesson,

That we should profess in,

To teach our little crotch fruit?

“Say ‘good bye’ to grandma,

And don’t forget grandpa

So mommy and daddy can loot”?

 

HT3So look you fat bastard,

You’ll have time to plaster,

Your “holiday” message around.

There’s no need to vacate,

The stuffing on our plates,

To buy your “cheer” all over town.

 

Give the elves a vacation,

From making PlayStations,

At least ‘til Thanksgiving is done,

When December is new,

And the turkey’s all through,

You can have your time in the sun

 

Then you can feed,

All of our children’s greed,

As long as they remain nice,

You can have all your jingle,

‘bout Christopher Kringle,

And even gross eggnog on ice

 

But for now stay away,

Just park your big sleigh,

HT4And patiently wait your damn turn.

Keep all of your wreaths,

And your presents beneath,

Our overly outfitted ferns

 

Just let us surmise,

Over warm pumpkin pies,

What all of our families can bring.

True love and true laughter,

And joy to the rafters,

NOT the gifts, you supposedly bring.

 

READ THE OPINIONS OF OUR OTHER COLUMNISTS:

(KMFP’s TAKE: http://www.thekmfp.com/early-christmas-its-all-about-that-jesus-bout-that-jesus/)
(Barbara Anne’s TAKE: http://www.thekmfp.com/early-christmas-a-little-bit-more/)  

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