Archive for the ‘Letters to the Editor’ Category

Writer criticizes Antioch council for dysfunction and knee-jerk reactions

Thursday, June 25th, 2020

Dear Editor:

The following comments were submitted and read during the Antioch City Council meeting, Tuesday night, June 23, 2020:

Mayor and Council,

I cannot begin to express how disappointing it is to watch you work as a group. Dysfunctional does not begin to describe the Council as a whole.

The Council is constantly knee-jerk reacting to whatever event seems to be occurring on any one day.

First there is a curfew based on no real emergency but based on what you think might happen in Antioch. A real emergency is required. You sunset and defer to the county who then immediately

sunsets their curfew. Have any of you read the state and federal Constitutions?

Then you remove a planning commissioner based on comments made on his personal Facebook page. All of which I thought could have been better stated by the commissioner. But you react and make a First Amendment violation.

Then you move on to an immediate need to review the Police only to have some 700 people give you an ear full of “what are you all doing”. The play by some Council Members to gain control of the evaluation was precluded by a better decision here.

Have you learned nothing from your non-reflective reactions, recently?

Don’t you all understand that reacting is not being proactive? That responding doesn’t generally

produce a positive result. We don’t need your reactions; we need leadership. Reasonable, competent leadership; and we need it now.

Simply stated I’m not going to support any of you for re-election if I don’t see some major improvement in your actions and decisions between today and November.

Show us you have learned something from the past few months.

Mark Jordan

Antioch

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter

Letter: private investigator, former cop and councilman writes Antioch police force needs “some improvements”

Monday, June 22nd, 2020

Editor:

Antioch needs to reform its overall sworn police and operations! The police operations and its personnel are generally carried out and handled properly, but there definitely needs some improvements with both. I speak from my personal, vast 50 plus years’ experience, education, training, investigations, and facts (not preconceived ideas or popular notions)! That is about 75,000 hours of my public safety related investigations work.

In many of my investigations the absurd and unrealistic Police excuses for abusing and/or killing individuals that they claimed presented a danger to the Police, included – an unarmed completely naked man killed, an unarmed person running away from the Police killed, an unarmed person pulling up his pants killed, an unarmed driver backing up shot several times in the back of his head, an unarmed man dancing severely beaten and the K9 also sicced on him, an unarmed man furtively moved killed, an unarmed man holding a cell phone killed, an unarmed man hiding next to a vehicle killed, etc. In each of these cases the officers’ police department, and D.A.’s Office, who jointly investigated (to include in Antioch’s) claimed that the officer(s) acted properly, and no accountability was required.

Along with other cities Antioch’s public safety operations and police operations fall short in some areas. Antioch’s police abuses, misconduct, and even unwarranted serious injuries and killings of some of our civilians over the years warrants an honest review and correction, long overdue. It is my belief that over 95% of our sworn Antioch officers are good, honest, hardworking, and deserving of our support and individual recognition. The rest deserve to be individually disciplined, removed from the police force where appropriate, and even criminally charged whenever warranted.

I have also thoroughly investigated some Antioch police-contact incidents where civilians were physically abused, their constitutional rights violated (decided by the court), some killed, and even some were lied about in court. When the police and administration were informed about such then the wheels of injustices and cover ups commenced, including with former Police Chief Cantando who did little to nothing about it. This included where an Antioch black male was arrested, charged, and later further victimized in trials by an officer! Fortunately, he was quickly acquitted by the jury, and won a civil settlement from the city. I also believed and reported that the officer perjured himself in the case several times. When complained to former Chief Cantando he did little about it. And, some of those who were complained of were thereafter even promoted, and some have retired afterwards with higher rank and its related increased retirement pay.

I believe that if appropriate, required, complete, and thorough internal Police investigations had been carried out then those responsible would have been held accountable via various levels of discipline and accountability. When some of those Antioch Officers responsible were asked at depositions they revealed that they were not even asked about what they did until years later – just before they appeared under subpoena! It was and is within the Police Chief’s responsibility and authority to have initiated such, but the former Chief Cantando did not. If he had spent more efforts and energy on his Chief’s responsibilities, and less on his reported then personal efforts, then perhaps Antioch’s police operations and personnel would not need as much current reviews and changes now required. Antioch’s citizenry deserves better and rightfully now have risen and have demanded needed changes!

I have worked through current Chief Tammany Brooks over the recent past concerning information that I had received about some criminal events and those involved, to include gang members’ operations, drugs and guns trafficking, and gang killings occurring in Antioch. Fortunately, the current Chief Tammany Brooks properly responded and acted on those pieces of information and facts. I encourage every member of our community to communicate with our police and its management in efforts to address Antioch’s public safety environment. This includes supporting hiring more police, not having less as is mistakenly suggested, and improving its overall police personnel accountability.

I stand by my many public written letters and personal appearances over the years before the city councils supporting the police overall, and still do about most of such. I believe that no one has publicly done so more than I have over the years. That is a fact. And, I still believe that we need more Police manpower, and their budgeting needs to be reworked also!

Ralph A. Hernandez

Antioch

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter

Former cop & Antioch Police Crime Prevention Commissioner, now private investigator shares concerns about police reform ad hoc committee

Wednesday, June 17th, 2020

Dear Editor:

Following is the letter I sent to the council.  My goal is to educate the council and have them conclude this ad-hoc commission is not needed.  Feel free to print this letter so the community can be educated also.

Dear Mayor and City Council,

My name is Jesse Zuniga, I moved to Antioch in 1989, from the inner Bay Area.  I served as a police officer for the City of Hayward between 1983 -1994.  In 1994, I lateraled to the City of Tracy where I served as a police officer until I retired in 2002.  I also served as an Antioch Police Crime Prevention Commissioner for two terms.  Since moving to Antioch, I have worked in partnership with our police department and city government to maintain a safe and clean community in order to improve the quality of life for our residents.  I have been a private investigator for nearly 20 years, and I serve as an independent panel investigator for the Peace Officers Research Association of California (PORAC’s) Legal Defense Fund.  My firm provides independent and neutral legal investigations for PORAC’s legal defense fund when police officers are accused of misconduct or criminal behavior.  I travel throughout the state conducting such independent investigations.

I am aware of the “Ad Hoc Police Commission” that has been proposed by council members Lamar Thorpe, Monica Wilson and Thomas Smith, our city attorney.  I would like to provide you a summary of educational and valuable facts to consider before implementing a “police oversight commission.”

In my nearly 20 years of subcontracting as an independent investigator to PORAC’s legal defense fund, I have conducted hundreds of investigations involving first responders in both San Francisco (SF) and Oakland.  Both of these Bay Area cities have independent police oversight commissions.  I can attest to the fact that these oversight commissions are comprised of civilians and attorneys that have little knowledge about police practices.  Oversight police commissions are judging police officers’ tactics, practices, training policies and providing a sense of reform within their police organizations.  These commissions are often implementing policies and procedures that put the safety of first responder at high risk, because these policies conflict with state and federal laws and the California Peace Officers Standards and Training regulations.  Oakland PD was mandated by the Federal Court to implement a variety of reform procedures in the early 2000’s that led to officer deaths, following the infamous Oakland Riders trial and the establishment of new policies by their police oversight commission.

The California Peace Officers Standards and Training (POST), provides exemplary training and guidelines that conform with state and federal standards to keep officers and the community they protect safe.  The POST training standards and guidelines are also supported by State and Federal Law. Police chiefs and sheriffs implement rules, regulations, policies and procedures that conform to the POST training standards and State and Federal standards/laws.  Law enforcement agencies often submit their rules and regulations/policies and procedures to POST for review and approval by the POST commission.  POST also conducts frequent audits and provides oversight to each law enforcement agency;  the POST audit process is very strict.  The strict standards that a police agency must meet are being evaluated by professionals in the law enforcement field to ensure officer safety and the safety of their constituents.

My experience with the SF and Oakland oversight commissions has shown me that civilian oversight commissions often make decisions based on personal bias’ or perceptions instead of reviewing a situation objectively and adhering to the POST standards, state and/or federal law standards.  The personal, emotional and political decisions of oversight commissions have proven to be costly to their cities and detrimental to the safety of their law enforcement personnel.  Commissions make decisions to impose discipline upon officers based on personal feelings or agendas, which often violate the Peace Officer’s Bill of Rights, the California Government Code, the agency’s policies and procedures and state and federal law.  The officers in question have the right to appeal the commission’s decision via an administrative proceeding or a court of law.  The expense of the appeal process is incurred by the city who imposes the discipline.  Frequently, the employee is reinstated by an administrative hearing officer/court judge.  Upon reinstatement, the city must make the employee whole by way of full reimbursement of lost earnings and benefits.  Because the administrative and court process can take years, the costs range from hundreds of thousands of dollars to millions per employee.   In many cases, the commission’s decisions will override the imposed legal disciplinary recommendation by a police chief or sheriff.  We saw this recently in Oakland.  The Oakland commission used a predetermined outcome regarding a police officer’s use of force, which was in conflict with the police chief’s recommendation.  The former Oakland police chief’s decision was based upon the POST standards, state and federal law standards.  The commission’s predetermined disciplinary outcome did not meet the legal standards; the commission attempted to strong arm the former Oakland police chief following the commission’s decision.  The chief’s refusal to violate departmental policy, along with state and federal law led to the unilateral commission decision to terminate the Oakland police chief.  The former chief has filed a lawsuit against the city of Oakland and if the chief is awarded compensation or the city coordinates a settlement agreement, either can prove costly to the city of Oakland.  Antioch’s city attorney Thomas Lloyd Smith was a member of the Oakland commission that terminated the Oakland Chief.  Mr. Lloyd has served on the Oakland oversight commission since October 2017 and his term expires in October 2020.  Mr. Lloyd has first hand knowledge of the adverse affects the Oakland oversight commission has had on the Oakland community and police department.

Poor political decisions by an oversight commission have negative affects on a police organization and will create low morale that will lead to an exodus of police officers.  The recruiting/hiring process and training new officers is costly.  Subsequently, applicants are less likely to seek a job opportunity where the city government and commission do not support their officers’ and community members’ safety.  Cities like Oakland and SF have been struggling for decades to retain qualified officers, therefore, those cities have lowered their hiring standards, which attracts less desirable applicants that cannot meet the strict hiring standards of other agencies.  Antioch has benefitted from the hiring of the experienced and highly qualified officers who have left Oakland, SF and Stockton due to the unsavory political climates created by their oversight commissions.  

A few years back, the Antioch Police Department suffered from poor political decisions.  The results of the poor political decisions led to officers leaving the Antioch Police Department to work for other Bay Area agencies where the officers were valued as professionals.  I have been involved in investigating several administrative police disciplinary matters within the Antioch Police Department.   I also have professional relationships with many current officers, some of which came from other police departments.   Recently, the Antioch Police Department’s morale has improved, community relations have improved significantly, community based policing has been implemented in a successful manner, and accountability within the police department is equal amongst the ranks.  Implementing an oversight police commission can diminish all of these positive gains.

I would like to provide a summary of checks and balances already in place, and to provide some educational facts regarding the 6 points outlined on your ad-hoc commission meeting agenda:

  1.  “Prevention of excessive use of force by police officers against members of the public, including banning police from using carotid artery restraints and chokeholds;”  The application of the carotid restraint is a technique that is only used in extreme circumstances where a combative suspect needs to be subdued because the suspect’s active resistance and the use of other techniques and or tools have proven to be completely ineffective.  The carotid restraint is rarely used and has proven to be effective when an officer’s life or community member’s life is at risk.  As with any technique or tool used, there can be negative implications.  Although the risk of death is present when applying the carotid restraint, statistics show that death as a result of the carotid restraint is very minimal and is not as lethal as discharging a firearm.
  2.  “Demilitirazation”, elimination of military equipment from the police department.  Police agencies nation wide have had to Implement military style equipment and tactics in order to match the military style weapons and military type body armor criminals posses and often use in mass school shootings, malls and places of worship.  In 1997, TWO bank robbers in North Hollywood armed with AK-47s were responsible for shooting multiple officers and citizens during the botched robbery.  The police officers carrying handguns were outgunned by the robbers.  The Los Angeles SWAT team was deployed and one suspect wearing body armor was shot 28 times before becoming disabled.  The 1997 North Hollywood incident created the nation wide implementation, demand and need of military style weapons and tactics by police in order toprotect law abiding citizens and law enforcement personnel.  It is not reasonable nor responsible to take police departments back to the days of carrying revolvers (which carry six bullets) while criminals are armed with AR-15’s, AK 47’s, or many other assault type weapons that can carry or fire 30, 50 or hundreds of bullets in seconds, or bullets that can pierce a typical police bullet proof vest or concrete walls.  The use of armored vehicles, military style weapons and military type protective gear is necessary to protect the police officers while they risk their lives protecting their communities.  Criminals engaging in violent assaults in a community while using military style weapons must be met with equal or superior tools to neutralize the threat.In 2009, four Oakland police officers were killed by one suspect who was armed with a military style weapon.  One officer was killed during a traffic stop and the other three officers were SWAT team members who were ambushed by the suspect.  Had the Oakland SWAT and the Alameda County SWAT team members not been equipped with the approrpiate military gear there may have been more officers or community members killed by one suspect.  Luckily, Oakland Police and the Alameda County Sheriff’s Department SWAT teams and patrol officers were properly equipped and trained to neutralize such a violent suspect without further loss of life or harm to the Oakland community.   I am confident you would not want Antioch PD to suffer such a loss or be ill prepared to handle such a devastating and dangerous act of terror in our community.
  3.  “Required use of conflict de-escalation approaches by all sworn officers when interacting with the public”.  De-escalation tactics are taught and used everyday by police officers.  People must understand that when an officer implements his/her de-esclation tactics there are two critical points that need to occur for the de-escalation tactic to be successful.  First, the suspect has to mentally recognize the de-escalation process and second, the suspect has to agree and engage in the de-escalation process.  If the suspect refuses to recognize or engage in the de-escalation process then the de-escalation process is rendered unsuccessful and useless.  Once the de-escalation tactics are refused by the suspect, the officer must recognize the refusal and immediately implement other tactics to control the situation in order to protect the suspect, the officers or community members.
  4.  “Increased accountability, including the process of receipt and review public complaints against the police for excessive use of force, racial and/or ethnic profiling, and other police misconduct”.  California POST and the state and federal laws are already in place to seek accountability that is within the law.  The law already allows for a review of public complaints pertaining to the use of force or other personnel complaints.  This is called a “pitches motion” and it can be filed in court.  There is also a public records request process, however, there are legal standards implanted by the state and federal government that must be met by the police agency prior to releasing the information requested.  There are also legal standards for the reporting of racial and/ethnic profiling that must be met by a police agency.
  5.  “Improvement of police officer candidate recruitment, screening, training, and hiring practices including an analysis of policies concerning implicit bias, candidate diversity and candidate background checks; and” .  California POST has strict standards for the police hiring process.  Applicant have to pass a series of physical and medical exams, an intense multi phase psychological exam (which will expose the exact objectives you outlined), a polygraph exam, and an intense background check tho include behaviors that are seen from the time an applicant was a child to adulthood.  The criteria is so strict that most applicants fail the background, psychological exam or the polygraph, which disqualifies the applicant from proceeding with the hiring process.
  6.  “Police Department budget appropriations” . The police department manager/chief has checks and balances for the budget process.  The police budget is overseen and approved by the city manager, the city treasurer and ultimately the city council.

It is my hope that after reviewing the summary of information provided, you can agree that there are many substantive and strict legal checks and balances already in place.   If we are to seek equity and accountability, then let’s demand that of everyone, including those who engage in behavior that is detrimental to the safety of our community.  As council members you took an oath to represent all members of our community and your constituents.  Creating a police oversight commission will only increase costs and decrease safety for our police officers and our community.

Thank you for your consideration,

Jesse Zuniga, Jr.

Antioch

 

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter

Writer complains about waiting 7 hours for out of state phone service to schedule free COVID-19 test, not having comment read during Supervisors meeting

Wednesday, May 13th, 2020

Dear Editor:

Please run this scathing letter that I wrote about my terrible experience in not getting a COVID-19 test late last week.

But the other part of the story is that it was not read into the record during Tuesday’s Board of Supervisors meeting. Instead it will be “shared” with the supervisors, according to Jami Napier, Chief Assistant Clerk to the BOS.

In an email response she wrote, “This email will be shared with the Board of Supervisors. We are not reading emails into the record at this time.”

I responded, “Shame on you!  The agenda states that written comments will be accepted before and during the meeting.  I feel that I am being marginalized by the county. I feel cheapened. I cannot even get a Covid test; and then you do this to me.  Written comments should also be read into the record. Bad!”

Board of Supervisors Chair Andersen:

The county is playing with the lives of citizens, especially seniors when the county announces free COVID-19 testing for anyone regardless of one’s health, and the county’s out of state telephone message service is unable to properly handle the avalanche of incoming calls. Shame on the county and the telephone service!

Thankfully neither I nor my wife have COVID_19 symptoms, but last Friday I was on the phone 7 hours futilely waiting to make an appointment to line up appointments for free COVID-19 tests.  No one answered my call.  Incredible!

Later that day I talked to Supervisor Federal Glover who confirmed with that the health department is swamped with calls and is working to resolve the issue. That’s all that he could do for me and my wife. What a bummer!

The problem is, what if someone like myself or my wife, really has COVID-19 symptoms?  What do they do then if they cannot make an appointment like I attempted to do?  I suppose the answers to those questions is, wait for one’s maker, death!

This situation is unacceptable. The county and supervisors should be held accountable and correct this problem now!

Sincerely,

Daniel & Leslie Borsuk  

Pittsburg

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter

Letter writer: Lessons from the coronavirus “trials and tribulations”

Sunday, May 10th, 2020

Dear Editor:

Long after the Coronavirus secures history book infamy, we hope that practical lessons endure from the trials and tribulations.  We know, after all, that to ignore history is to condemn oneself to repeat it. Collectively, then, we need an organizational health infrastructure reset button and, individually, we need a self-accounting of our everyday habits and mindsets.

Consider first our investment priorities. The U.S., on average, spends 186.6 billion dollars a year on counter-terrorism measures. By contrast last year we allocated a billion dollars for pandemic prevention. Consequence? Congress has now pumped trillions for economic stimulus recovery. Go figure it.

Global accountability is in order.  China, for one, must confront the issue of transparent case reporting. Granted, this is a a novel virus and it’s easy to finger-point but the W.H.O, CDC. NIH and whole assorted alphabet soup of mega health organizations demand serious self—examination, on where the ball got dropped. National and regional and state governments, too, must evaluate why the world response was a dollar late and a day short.

Face it, we are woefully unprepared with our global health infrastructure and therefore sitting on a time bomb. Remember, this could be just a preview.   As a human race we are inextricably inter-connected thru easy travel, instant digital communication, and global markets. This pandemic should amplify our awareness that an outbreak anywhere is, in fact, an outbreak everywhere.  We’re literally one air passenger away.

Individually, too, we each play a part in world health as a fence is only as strong as its links.

SOCIAL JUSTICE: Do we blithely accept a health system that leaves tens of millions uninsured; or do we join the 21st century?

REDIRECTED ATTENTION:  Do we continue to support the effect-not-the-cause philosophy of pharmaceuticals or do we vigorously commit to a prevention approach to combat our raging national epidemics of diabetes, obesity, heart disease and hi-blood pressure.

PRIORITIES: Do we show indifference for Mother Earth’s fragile ecosystem; or do we act as mindful stewards of our priceless inheritance?

VALUES:   Do we worship the fleeting Almighty Dollar above all else; or do we instead seek the imperishable currency of God, family and country?

Yes, by any measure this pandemic is a gruesome ordeal, but we have to be open to grow, learn and extract lessons from it. The fabled evangelist Vance Havner said, “God uses broken things. It takes broken soil to produce a crop, broken clouds to give rain, broken grain to give bread, broken bread to give strength. It is the broken alabaster box that gives forth perfume. It is Peter, weeping bitterly, who returns to greater power than ever.”

Walter Ruehlig

Antioch

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter

Letter writer – removed commissioner had conflict of interest, City should have Code of Conduct program

Sunday, May 3rd, 2020

Dear Editor:

Recent activities brought a flurry of insights and observations which again has divided our City. It is great to be on the sideline at times seeing the arrows fly to and from. The division of community and most of all, reacting to what is considered was with cause. It is particularly important before you attest one’s character, you ensure that you are in the correct position to do so.

The public spoke adamantly for and against this commissioner. The public, many of them constituents of those elected, brought their concerns in during this emergency, public meeting and in private to the mayor and/or councilmembers.

There are two questions which were not brought forward by our city council or staff. These questions bring forth a bigger issue than that of what transcended on social media.

Appointments are not elected positions and as such, we rely on those elected to best review candidates interested in openings throughout the City. When an appointee has had financial ties to the City in which there was financial gain, the candidate should not be considered. When a commissioner is already in a seat of authority, the mayor should remove the commissioner immediately. This is to ensure the commission is unbiased.

Therefore, the first question is: why did the mayor and city council allow a commissioner whose had financial ties with the City to remain in a role of authority?

During council discussion with the city attorney, there was a question implied but sadly not stated well. The question brought forward was in the area of training. I believe the question better stated is, have all commissioners taken a Social Media Code of Conduct program in which there is a test to ensure they understand the implications of any conduct not aligned to their role would then lead to their immediate removal?

In today’s world, it could be blurry to understand one’s view as personal to one that of an appointed role. City staff noted there is a three-day conference where commission members attend which outlines their roles and what is expected of them. But the real question should be, did this commissioner complete the City of Antioch Code of Conduct program?

Furthermore, does the City of Antioch have a Code of Conduct program for their employees, elected official and appointees?

I am not providing an approval or condemnation of this commissioner. I can however state that if you’re going to shame a person, do so with a clean conscience knowing that you provided the tools for their success or they decide to take another path.

If you continue to pull back the layers on this subject and those involved, there will be more to discover which will cloud and divide this City even further.

Sincerely,

Gil Murillo

Antioch resident

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter

Letter writer says county requiring face masks is unlawful but will comply, for now

Wednesday, April 22nd, 2020

My fellow Americans. In these trying times we must be ever vigilant of our surroundings but most importantly our common sense and gut reaction. My father, being of few words always press into our psyche.

“Think to do. Don’t do to think!”

With that I publicly declare, especially with this apparent plandemic.

“I do not assume! I do not consent!   However, I do under duress follow these recommendations under the purported information we are being fed.  Therefore, let it be known I will not give up my God-given rights indefinitely! And I hope neither will you. This plandemic shall pass. And I will fight with all my might to regain my rights.

Please feel free to mirror these sentiments and tell ten people that tell ten people.  You are not alone with these observations. We are being conditioned and trained for the new “normal” over a flu.

Not on my watch!

“One can lose one’s rights for a stick of gum.  But it takes a bloody nose to get it back!”

Fernando Navarro

Antioch

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter

Writer offers suggestions for “winning the war” against the coronavirus

Thursday, April 9th, 2020

Dear Editor:

Our epic and titanic struggle against Corona Virus is likened to waging war, but unlike other conflicts the current enemy is invisible.  Not only are the lines between civilians and combatants non-existent but the physical enemy, the deadly virus, is unseen. There’s mental enemies, fear and depression, that are likewise ghostly.

The doctors daily address the need for social distancing, sheltering at home and using masks. On top of their advice, common sense dictates we keep our immune systems as strong as possible partaking in a daily routine, sound nutrition, hydration, exercise, and sunshine. What, though, of the insidious psychological foes?

It is said that idleness is the devil’s workshop.  We’ve got our work cut out then because threatening boredom, coupled with a constant barrage of grim cable and internet news, can grind down the spirits of the best of us.

Physics offers some hope in telling us that two things can’t occupy the same place at the same time.  As darkness recedes to rays of light, as cold subsides to warmth, fear recedes from hope, negativity shrinks from positivity. When my two children were teenagers I found that the best way to limit their piss and vinegar was to keep them so engaged with activity that they didn’t have time for acting-out nonsense, though that’s not to say that even that sensible teenage prescription was foolproof!

No arguing, activity can do catalytic wonders and I offer here a short list of tips that have helped me in the never-ending battle for a positive disposition during these times of trial and tribulation.

  1. Establish some needed normalcy thru a daily routine.
  2. Set the day’s compass upon rising with prayer and meditation.
  3. Indulge often in laughter, the best medicine.   Crazy as it sounds, Job 5:22 says ‘you should laugh at destruction and famine.’
  4. Rediscover family board games. It could be a refreshing break from each of us satiating on electronic gadgets.
  5. Explore a new or old hobby. As example, my wife has of late spent considerable hours revisiting family tree research and matching family photo albums with internet sleuthing.
  6. Read a good book.
  7. Bring a smile by surprising an old friend or family member with a phone call or gift basket at their door.
  8. Bookend the day not with distressing cable news but be inspired reflecting on reasons for gratitude or by Scriptural reading.

In war, the enemy takes no quarter. Our foe is relentless and the scourge virulent, so our charge is one of physical, mental and spiritual vigilance as we each soldier on.

Americans have an indomitable spirit. We’ve triumphed over two world wars, 9-11, a great Depression and a Great Recession, this too shall pass with us coming out victorious and the stronger and the wiser for the ordeal.

In the midst of tough times we must reject the dead weights of worry, resentment, fear and sadness and own the wings of hope, appreciation, peace and humor. Our Mother Country, the Brits, call it a stiff upper lip.

Our ultimate triumph lies in embracing the truth that occasional ‘trouble is inevitable, misery is optional.’

Walter Ruehlig

Antioch

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter