TEN SURE SIGN THIS NEW YEAR’S GOING TO BE ALL RIGHT

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Practicing family law can often be a draining, mind-consuming, mishmash of nightmares and emotional traumas.  It can also fill the heart with promise and appreciation of what the human spirit is capable of.  And, at other times, when one doesn’t want to cry over spilt custody disputes and sour relationships, the humor surfaces.  The lightness of being that, when allowed to breed, swirls from one heart to the next.  These ten kinda funny items crossed this desk in this past year of heartbreak and ecstasy:

1)      In Florida, a 92-year-old woman fired bullets at her 53-year-old neighbor’s house and car when he refused her demand for a kiss.  One can’t help but be reminded of H. L. Meneken’s apropos comment that “It takes such a small amount of loving to make a woman happy that any man who won’t do his part is a cad?”

2)      In New York, the founder of a Muslin-oriented TV station was convicted of beheading his wife.  This fit well with the purpose of the couple opening the radio station in the first place, which was to counter negative stereotypes of Muslims.

3)      Dorothy Parker once commented on her divorce:  “I put all my eggs in one bastard.”

4)      In 106 B.C., at the appropriately-named battle of Arousio, there were 80,000 Roman troops and 40,000 camp followers, which included some wives and mostly prostitutes.  Historians have explained that the lack of television left the soldiers with a lot of time on their hands.

5)      Former 007 actor Roger Moore once said he was an only child because his parents achieved perfection the first time.  Funny, my parents had six kids and they could never seem to get the hang of it.

6)      Robert Lelux offered this simple explanation of family life:  “Family is the consolation prize for those who can’t surround themselves with better people.”

7)      In Wisconsin, police were called to handle a dispute between two newlyweds.  The couple had made love four times that day; the wife demanded more, but the husband wanted to call it a day.  They discussed the matter, disagreed about what they discussed, and then fought and yelled about it.  Wife concluded the argument by beaning husband with a nightstand.  The fracas generated three uniquely awkward situations, all of which were guaranteed to inhibit romance:  hostile neighbors, pesky police, and a husband with a headache.  Wife went to jail for the assault, and the bloody husband got stitches at a nearby hospital.

8)      Problems with relationships are not relegated to Californians alone:

  1. A deaf man in South Carolina filed for divorce because his wife was always nagging him in sign language.  No word whether she was mute or not.
  2. A woman in Colorado divorced her husband because he forced her to duck under the dashboard whenever they drove past his girlfriend’s house.
  3. A woman in Georgia divorced her husband because he stayed home too much and was much too affectionate.
  4. An Idaho man filed for divorce, claiming his wife dressed up like a ghost and tried to scare his elderly mother out of the house.
  5. A man in Hawaii wanted to divorce because his wife served soup for breakfast and dinner and packed his lunch with pea sandwiches.
  6. A man in Maine dumped his wife because she wore earplugs whenever his mother visited them.
  7. A Pennsylvania woman got a divorce because her husband insisted on shooting tin cans off her head with a slingshot.

9)      An Oregon man was arrested after his nine-year-old son wrote a paper in class saying his dad shot him in his buttocks with a BB gun because he was standing in front of the television.

And, lastly….

10)  An Ashland, Kentucky, city ordinance stresses the importance of family values:  “No person shall knowingly keep or harbor at his house or her house within the city any woman of ill-repute, lewd character, or a common prostitute other than wife, mother, or sister.”

Happy New Years to one and all!!!

PEACE AT HEART, NOW, FOREVER

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It’s all there ever was, and it’s all there ever will be, and it’s right now.  But we don’t have to think about it too hard.  All we have to do is be.  Just like the Beatles song.  Be in the moment at all times, and nothing bad we’ve ever done will matter because there will no longer be any fuel to that fire.  It is in the past, where it shall remain.

And we can do that right now, this New Year, today, forever.  We don’t have to remain locked in the life and pain of past and future when there is so much rich living to be enjoyed right now, at all times.  It’s really easy to avoid the suffering of anger and resentment that the past fills our ears with.

And all that stress and worrying and concern about some future somethingorother that we may or may not ever reach doesn’t have to be a severe emotional anchor through the heart of our moment-by-moment existence.  Because we can leave all that there and then.

Tomorrow, right now will be all we have.  It was all we had yesterday, it was all we had a year ago.  Think about it.  What did we do with that special moment, right now, at that time?  Did we fuel it with the rage of negative thoughts and emotions and send negative reverberations through any and everyone we came into contact with?  Or did we fill the world with our high-vibrating brand of peace on earth, by being it, now, at all times?

If we messed it up then, well, we don’t have to bring it into today and mess today up as well.  Because today we started over.  We lived it again as if each new moment is a new year and a new beginning.  We lived now in the now, not in the past or the future.  And we found the magical and mystical state of peace that is at the center of every human’s spirit, and shared that most intense of frequencies with everything and everyone we came into contact with.

So why not make every second of our life a New Year and a new beginning and a new thread in the fabric of peace of heart and planet.  And why not start right now, forever…

PEACE, LOVE, AND JOY IS WHAT FAMILY IS ALL ABOUT

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Now is the perfect time to tap into the magic of the season.  It’s a time to put down the thoughts and emotions and to just be and experience what could be human behavior at its finest.  Peace and love and joy are not words to wrap poetry around.  They are conditions that we must strive to achieve.

Peace is the perfect middle ground.  We don’t need to think about peace, we just need to be.  Peace is achieved when the mind is put to rest and the emotions dried up and we learn to totally appreciate whatever it is we have at that moment.  It is not achieved by logging our thoughts into the future or past, or by delving into the emotions of future and past.

Stress, worry, or concern for future uncertainties will always destroy a peaceful presence.  Anger or resentment from past experience can only destroy our most powerful moment of peaceful perfection, which is now.  Peace is a state to be achieved by locking all the senses into the moment at hand.  It is the perfect way to spend the holidays with family.

Love is an overused word that begins and ends in the heart.  We cannot begin to love others until we know how to love ourselves, and we cannot love ourselves until we truly discover the spirit of our heart being.  This Holiday Season, stay locked in heart, now, all the time.  Introduce ourselves to our spirit, and be grateful she is still with us.  Then let the heart resonate with Life Source Energy, filling spirit and every cell of the body with the pure light from Creation, and just be.

The joy that we experience is then resonated in every step and word we make.  We don’t have to think about it, because that is who and what we have become:  love, joy and peace.  And this is how we make this a much healthier and happier Holiday Season, for us, and for those we cherish so greatly, including our precious family members.

SUPREMES TO WEIGH DEFENSE OF MARRIAGE ACT

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This past Friday, the United States Supreme Court considered ten cases that stood pending before the court, that could have a sweeping impact on the definition of marriage in the United States and on same-sex couples’ right to wed.  However, many legal experts believe that two of them are most likely for the court to actually consider.

The Defense of Marriage Act, or DOMA, as it is called, has recently been struck down by two federal appeals court.  This means the Supremes are all but obligated to at least look at one of the cases to settle the dispute between Congress and the courts.

The case that appears most likely for the justices to pick is Windsor v. United States, which challenges the Defense of Marriage act, a law that Congress passed and President Clinton signed into law in 1996.  DOMA prevents the federal government from recognizing same-sex married couples, even those in states that allow gay marriage.

The Windsor case was filed by Edith Windsor, a New York resident who paid hundreds of thousands of dollars in estate taxes after her wife died because the feds wouldn’t recognize their marriage as valid.  New York is one of nine states (plus the District of Columbia) where gay marriage is legal.  The plaintiff argues that the federal government is discriminating against her by not recognizing her state-sanctioned marriage.

The main issue in the case appears to be equal protection under the law, which is guaranteed under the 14th amendment.  In her pleadings, Windsor argues that by singling out same-sex marriages and treating them differently from other marriages, the federal government is in violation of their rights.  Windsor further argues that since marriage has traditionally been regulated by the state, the feds have no business interfering with New York’s definition of marriage.

Should DOMA be struck down, the decision will widely affect gay couples who marry in states that recognize same-sex nuptials.  Most importantly, however, they would begin to qualify for the same federal marriage benefits other couples receive, such as Social Security benefits and tax breaks.

MARRIAGE ACT STUDIED BY U.S. SUPREMES

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Last week, the United States Supreme Court scheduled a closed-door conference to review several cases that seek to overturn the Defense of Marriage Act that was overwhelmingly passed by Congress and signed into law by former President Bill Clinton.  The reason for the meeting is quite simple.  The Court must decide which, if any, should be placed on the court’s schedule for arguments next year.

The outcome is crucial.  It carries important social and economic consequences for gay, lesbian, and bisexual couples who are unable to file joint income taxes, access Social Security survivor benefits, inherit a deceased spouse’s pension, or obtain family health insurance.

The federal trial courts that heard the cases ruled the act violates the civil rights of legally married gay men and lesbians.  Two appellate courts agreed, making it highly likely the high court will agree to hear at least an appeal.

There have probably never been so many gay rights cases knocking on the Supremes door at one time.  The Supreme Court was also scheduled to discuss whether it should take two more long-simmering cases dealing with relationship recognition for same-gender couples.

The first is an appeal of two lower court rulings that struck down California’s voter-approved ban on same-sex marriage.  The second is a challenge to an Arizona law that made state employees in same-gender relationships ineligible for domestic partner benefits.