Monthly Archives: October 2012

Coaches are human. Politicians, too.

In my state — or at least in East Tenn., UT football matters about as much as religion. Maybe more.

And for years now, UT has been struggling. We’re on our third Coach in about five or six years.

And a lot of folks are calling for his head — same as they do at major schools around the country when the team struggles. I don’t expect you to know our Coach or to even care, but as those who want him fired and those who want him retained have clashed, it’s gotten pretty heated and ugly.

A lot like politics.

And in the midst of this, a college senior at UT wrote a beautiful article about the situation that I think applies perfectly to our political situation.

This is WELL WORTH reading. Who knows. It might even help lower your blood pressure.

Article: Coach Dooley rumor in perspective.

Stan R. Mitchell

Oak Ridge, Tenn.

P.S. Please accept the greatest gift I can give.


Filed under Sports news

My latest thoughts on starting Tim Tebow…

Rex sticking with Sanchez after Dolphins pummel Jets.”

The headline from USA Today says it all. The Jets got pummeled. Rex Ryan, after drafting a big name QB to undermine his starter Sanchez, is now all in behind Sanchez. How stupid is that? You trade for a QB (Tebow) who helps shake the confidence of your starter, and then you say time and time again that you’re all in for Sanchez.

But, I’m not sure it matters. I’m not even sure I want Tebow starting at QB for the Jets, because let’s be clear: The Jets suck. No, I mean, the Jets REALLY SUCK.

They’re terrible.

I think their Coach looks like a buffoon — as if the Sanchez-Tebow situation isn’t bad enough, we’re talking about a Coach who hired a man he doesn’t even like to run their offense. (Link.) Why would you hire someone you don’t like? Even if you respect them? How does this create a team?

I’ve watched most of the Jets games this year in hopes of seeing some Tebow plays, and I’m still just stunned at how ridiculous this team looks. And how conservative their offense plays.

They’re a team of gimmicks, who can’t pull off basic fundamentals. And increasingly, it’s looking like Head Coach Rex Ryan will be out the door, and Tebow will be the main man — even if that takes until next year, because the owner has already said Tebow will be with them a full three years. (Link.)

But whenever Tebow becomes the main man, he’s going to have a shit-ton of weight on his shoulders because this team is going to take some serious carrying by somebody.

(And, no, before you go there, I’m not one of Tim Tebow’s religious fanatical fans.)

Stan R. Mitchell

Oak Ridge, Tenn.

P.S. Please accept the greatest gift I can give.


Filed under NFL, Tim Tebow

Beauty and strength and living our lives

Who would have thought a tree could be used as a symbol on how to live?

Check out this link on one way of looking at how we should live.

Stan R. Mitchell

Oak Ridge, Tenn.

P.S. Please accept the greatest gift I can give.


Filed under Eastern philosophy

Eastern thinking and the idea of just doing things for fun

In our Western culture, we’re inoculated with goals from the day we’re born. Nearly everything compels us and drives us to set high goals.

Commercials, with successful and rich actors.

Movies, stuffed with motivation and ambition, or crammed to the brim with bitter sadness that make us swear we won’t turn out like that.

And toys, such as muscular and tough G.I. Joe’s for boys, and sexy and lean Barbie’s for girls.

All these things, and dozens more, push us to reach, and stretch, and aim as high as we can.

And so we go, and we compete, and we worry, and we … fall short. And yet we know heroes get back up, and so we go, and we compete, and we worry, and we … fall short again.

It’s a murderous and painful path, and it’s one I know well. I’ve lived it and breathed it and have the scars, divorce papers, and saved letters from creditors when I nearly went bankrupt. (Spent a spell living rent free in a friend’s basement, which is one of the most humiliating things a grown man can go through. How many men do you know who can’t afford even $200 rent?)

So I know what I’m talking about with goals and dreams, and I know that even after you win a round — I’ve won a few — you’re already looking to the next goal. The next step. The next challenge.

Why do we do this? Why do we rush and race and hurry off to the next round?

I’m honestly not sure.

It’s partly a rat race. It’s partly insecurity and fear. It’s partly because we seek a challenge. A mountain against which to test ourselves.

Thankfully, in the past couple of years, I’ve learned there’s a better way. It’s Eastern thinking, and there are hundreds of books out there that will help you drop the Western thinking and enjoy the Eastern thinking. (An easy introduction into it is in the P.S. below, which I call the greatest gift I can give.)

Oddly, as you start to read about Eastern thinking, you’ll feel a familiarity to it all. That familiarity, you’ll eventually learn, is the Bible coming back to you. All those verses about “being still,” learning to be humble, not seeking riches, and on and on.

But we lose sight of the Bible in our Western culture. Our million dollar churches with the suits we’re required to wear, and their capital campaigns and cathedral ceilings. Jesus would flip the pews in most of our churches today, just as he flipped the tables of the money changers when he walked among us in his day.

But I’m getting off my point and probably pissing off about half of you (and getting cheers from the other half). As a side note, pissing off people is not a very Eastern thing to do, but I have the rough edges of a Marine to continue hewing off…

My point is this: Eastern thinking has taught me to slow down, and in so doing, to go further. There’s a story from Eastern thinking that I’ve read about climbing a monstrous mountain, and how untrained climbers go much too fast, and thus never finish the climb. Experienced climbers go slow. Take their time. And take a break just twenty minutes into the climb, far before you feel like you need one.

We can, and should, apply this lesson to our lives. Work a bit less today, and make sure you get some exercise and family time in. Don’t spend a full weekend off. Try to do some work from home. Everything in moderation. We know these ideas, just rarely follow them.

But, I’m drifting here… I’ve gone from aiming for a short introduction to going all over the place — Note to self: Good job, Eastern Stan, you don’t need an outline, you don’t need to rush, and you definitely don’t need to go all Western Stan, since Western Stan would beat yourself up, yell at how you suck so bad at blogging, and force you to spend another hour re-writing or just ditching this miserable attempt.

But back to my real point, here is what I want to share. A fellow Eastern thinker wrote a great blog post about having fun with our goals and dreams.

He writes:

While some people like to focus on being disciplined and achieving goals and sticking to their plans, I find this to be meaningless. What’s the point? You’ll fail about a third to half the time, and then feel like a failure for not being disciplined or sticking to a plan or goal.

In contrast, if you do the exact same thing, but let go of the expectation you’ve set for yourself and just have fun doing it, it’s a complete success.

Every waking moment should be just for fun.

It shifts everything. It doesn’t only determine whether something’s a success or failure — it changes your attitude while you do anything, while you’re talking with someone or reading or watching something. Your mood lifts, you are kinder to others, you have a smile on your face.

Read his entire link here. It’s well worth your time. And slow down. And quit beating yourself up.

You’re beautiful. God loves you. And life is so short and precious.

Stan R. Mitchell

Oak Ridge, Tenn.

P.S. Please accept the greatest gift I can give.


Filed under Eastern philosophy, Motivation

Some humor after more political divisiveness

With the debate last night and the arguing that’s getting increasingly old from both sides of political aisle from so many of my friends, I thought I’d inject some humor into our vitriolic world this morning.

So, here’s a hilarious post of five funny things you could do next time you’re out.

Five things I would like to do to a stranger.

Stan R. Mitchell

Oak Ridge, Tenn.

P.S. Please accept the greatest gift I can give.


Filed under Random posts

Do not fall for the spin. We should not get involved in Syria.

The whole Syria rebellion continues to draw in many Americans, who increasingly want us to get militarily involved.

Given this, I’d like to say up front (while I won’t be accused of being unpatriotic) that I think us getting involved is a bad idea.

Let me say that again: America getting involved, even establishing a no fly zone, is a bad idea.

As most of my regular readers know, I’m tired of our country getting involved in conflict after conflict. (I even opposed us getting involved in Libya, though in the end that worked out far better than I would have expected.)

But, I think people need to remember that the moment you set up a no-fly zone, you’re no longer in control. And what I mean by that is you’ll have to have a reaction force nearby in case they shoot down one of our jets — or if one goes down due to mechanical failure.

And when you send in a reaction force, the chance for American casualties escalates greatly. And with casualties comes the demand for more troops and revenge, though we never call it “revenge.”

And let’s not forget this: Every time we get involved, we make other people mad when we don’t help them. (Not to mention we catch tons of terrible PR for “invading” another Muslim country — Do we really need to give al Jazeera more clips of our planes flying over a foreign land?)

So, please, ignore the sad scenes you see and the guilty feelings those in the media are trying to create. Yes, it’s terrible for the Syrian people, but they can handle fighting for their independence.

We, as a young set of weak American Colonies, fought one of the greatest armies in the world for years and years before we received serious foreign assistance. I think the Syrians can do the same, and I further think we want to avoid those living in Muslim lands seeing the sight of more Americans intervening in the Middle East, just months after we finished our exit from Iraq.

But what do you think? If you think I’m wrong, I’d love to hear your thoughts why. Unlike most, I’m actually the kind of person who listens to reasoned thoughts with an open mind.

Stan R. Mitchell

Oak Ridge, Tenn.

P.S. Please accept the greatest gift I can give.


Filed under Random posts

Top four reasons why Newsweek is going out of print

If you hadn’t heard, Newsweek will soon stop printing.

As a small, weekly newspaper publisher, I know the challenges facing print. And I considered writing a three-point post on the major things Newsweek had done wrong.

But, four came to mind off the top of my head.

So, here are my top four reasons why Newsweek is going out of print.

So, I’m guessing putting ridiculous covers on your publication that pisses off 50 percent of your readers, then turning around and pissing off the other 50 percent is probably a bad strategy.

Noted. And good riddance.

Now if we could get rid of about another dozen media outlets that are over-the-top and constantly blowing things out of proportion and stirring up fear and hatred.

Stan R. Mitchell

Oak Ridge, Tenn.

P.S. Please accept the greatest gift I can give.


Filed under Media misconduct