A Call for Change
John Eldredge is a tireless and gifted man of God who has brought hundreds of men to an understanding of where their relationship with the Father has been missing from their lives.
One of the strangest quirks of life here on this planet is the fact that the one face we hardly ever see is the one closest to us: our own. As we move about in the world every day, our face is always right before us and always just beyond us. Somebody could write a fairy tale about that. It would be an allegory for how rarely we see ourselves, who we truly are, the good and the bad. But in unexpected moments we get a sideways glance, as when passing by a plate glass window downtown, and most of the time we don’t like much what we see.
Notice how we are in elevators: No one makes eye contact. No one wants to acknowledge that we are seeing and being seen. In a moment of forced intimacy, almost claustrophobic intimacy, we pretend we aren’t even there. The reason? Most times we just don’t know what to do with what we see. About ourselves, I mean. It doesn’t take a Nobel Prize winner to see that something dreadful has happened to the human race. So we look at the ceiling or our shoes; we watch the numbers report the passing floors; we hide. This is how most of us approach our entire lives—we hide what we can, work on what we feel is redeemable, and despise the rest.
There is a better way.
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Another better way
So what if Gary Johnson couldn’t answer pop quiz questions from talking head know-it-alls? An impressive majority of “Millennials” don’t care if he couldn’t. Most of them don’t even know who John Kennedy was. If you take them and add the undecided, the Libertarians,and the rest of the fringe you are getting close to a majority. Believe it.
Wouldn’t it be nice to see a change of pace in our national political attitude? Don’t you think that the U.S. is way too involved with countries that we have little in common with and the only real reason we are involved with them, at all, is because radicals and/or communists are trying to overthrow their own government? Why are we bleeding ourselves into future financial disaster when there are dozens of free-world governments who have more at stake over Middle East considerations than we do? Must we be Big Brother to everyone? And must we kiss everyone’s ass to get their co-operation?
Really? Are our young people expendable in the process of policing cultures whose governments don’t even like Americans? If it was your son or daughter who lost their lives “over there,” I’m sure you’d have some poignant things to say in this regard.
Johnson’s V.P running-mate, Governor Paul Weld, is far more savvy politically than Johnson and in their administration he would have plenty to do. An upbeat for Vice presidential responsibilities in a 21st Century environment. Gary Johnson, Mr. Chill, could work on the Fairtax and the moral foundation of our country especially the two dominate minorities; blacks and Latinos.
The issue is blacks in particular where over 50% of violent crimes are committed by black males who make up 7-8% of our total population and are perpetrated mostly against other black males. You don’t honestly think that those statistics are the result of social deprivation or widespread discrimination do you?
How about: you can’t have this job that pays $16.00 an hour for a high school graduate without a criminal record, if you only made it to the sixth grade and you’ve spent two years in jail for a felony. Those who’ve grown up with the entitlement disease are affronted by that kind of reality. How about you can’t raise children without some sort of income source (welfare) and you can’t get much of an education (which is free and widely available) if you have two infants on your hip continuously, and/or you hang out with gangsters because you get high for free, if you do?
If black lives matter so much to black people why can’t they bring social pressure to bear on their black perpetrators, and black social icons, who devote all of their energy fomenting hate and blame against whites and disrespect for morality and civil authority? And speaking of morality, why is the iconoclastic mantra so intense in tearing away at the values of a civilized society where class envy and disrespect for women are on parade in much of our social commentary.
In fairness, blacks aren’t the only ones who have abandoned their children to disrespect, irresponsibility, horrific civil behavior, and repudiation of the Christian example for social mores. What happened to our last generation? Where did this selfish preoccupation with “self” come from? Steve Jobs?
Gary Johnson asks the right questions:
Who is Uncle Si Voting For?
Nick Nero: These 2 would seem to be proof that if you keep endorsing the lesser of two evils eventually all your choices are evil
Garden & Gun Magazine
Camellia, gardenia, and magnolia blossoms are living symbols of the South, and New Orleans artist Suzonne Stirling memorializes their beauty in stunning detail—not in paint or pastels, but in exquisitely colored, cut, and assembled crepe and tissue paper. “I make paper flowers because they make me happy, almost as much as the real thing,” she says.
Don't believe in a higher being? Maybe Houdini's Ghost?
James T. Harris Dumps it in Obama’s Lap!
The Bore Tides of the Qiantang River
Krakow Street Band
Rhett & Link of the Mystical Morning Show: The OCD song
That's Enuff said.
Did You Know?
Many folks here in Levy County and also to our south in Crystal River are not aware that we have a farmer’s and crafts market on the fourth Saturday of every month. It is easy to find as it is adjacent to the Inglis Town Hall and Fire Station complex. That is on CR 40 west of U.S. 19. Now that the “snow bird” migration time is just around the corner this market will take on a new dimensions in the next several months. Give it a try. You’ll be pleasantly surprised.
Let's Talk About Cuba
As most of you know I have a special interest in Cuba. When time permits I do some net surfing looking for positive information and trends affecting the island nation. I speak to my friend Marcos in Habana about every three weeks. The amount of news regarding the U.S. is paltry but this week the first thing he brought up was the presidential election and the fear in Cuba of “that guy” being elected. I assured him that American business will have a lot to say to the politicians regarding any backtracking on economic involvement with Cuba. The United States is about commerce (well, economic exploitation, too). Cuba’s economy is ripe for excellent instant, equity investment with high returns. Today, real estate and development values are based on need and not competition. That will change rapidly and the working people of Cuba will benefit directly. It is already taking place in the private sector with hundreds of “Mom & Pop” businesses springing up daily. When the common man’s standard of living begins to rise politics will change dramatically to accommodate quality of life improvements.
Already, multiple cruise operations are active out of south Florida. It was recently announced, and flights have begun, from Tampa in particular, to airports in Cuba including Cienfuegos and Santiago de Cuba. Keep watching. It gets better every day.
There's a Time and Place for Everything
If you have a family member or know someone with diabetes you are probably familiar with the complications associated with this insidious disease. Many people suffer with foot ulcers. This condition leads to horrific amputations and eventually death.
Back in 2013 a U.S. Congressman broke with his Cuban-American colleagues from south Florida and began lobbying for a Cuban developed drug treatment that alleviates and cures diabetes’ foot ulcerations. I’ve included a link to that article about that situation: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/gail-reed/renewed-uscuba-relations-_b_6537518.html
If you are interested in that article from 2013 you’ll want to read the following article link concerning treatment in Cuba at what is considered a very reasonably priced hospital based facility in Santiago de Cuba, a beautiful colonial town on the island’s southeast coast. http://realcubaonline.com/treatment-for-diabetic-ulcers/
Cuba has a 21st century biotech development section in its state run medical system that is ranked third in the world’s southern hemisphere. Cuban doctors are internationally renowned for their expertise. Often politics does not improve relations or the attitude of foreign governments. The people change the attitude of governments. Our political approach to Cuba is a dinosaur. We’ve unleashed the most effective weapon there is to change Cuba – hope and economic enablement.
Nobody Said It Was Going To Be Easy
Must See Duke Riley Pigeons Fly by Night
That's enuff said.
Have you noticed that more and more, if you're talking to a branch of government, that the person representing said governmental entity on the telephonic connection is next to impossible to understand? You know that they obviously think they have a working command of the English language because they speak their version without hesitation, stammering, or pause, and at a rate that charitably can be described as gibberish. Be it Ebonics or pigLatino it's gibberish. . . but, it is politically correct to have them answering the phone!
Recently, while at the main VA clinic in my area, I found myself at a counter being helped by a clerk who was at one time an "island girl". Her accent had stuck with her on the journey from the mystery island. She was in charge of a very large computer screen and sat hunched over its attendant keyboard much like a concert pianist about to pounce on some Wagner! Sitting next to her was an attractive older Hispanic woman whose English rivaled scratching on a chalk board! She sat perfectly erect and fielded all Latin questions with the utmost of dexterity. When not administering in Espanol she looked about the room nervously as if she would miss some hapless prey attempting an escape. From moment to moment the "island girl" would say something in a whisper to the Hispanic harpy and turn her flat screen sideways so that the Spanish woman could read it by leaning over; almost falling from her secretarial chair. She in turn would translate what the computer screen said and relate same to the "island girl" who would in turn tell someone on the phone the answer to their question. I found this to be quite democratic. Someone who could not read English being aided by someone who could not speak it! Our meager tax dollars at work! And how wonderful that between the two of them they probably make in excess of $100,000 a year!
That's certainly fair, Mr. President.
A few years back I was the master/manager of a small paddlewheel passenger boat called the Island Lady. We ran day cruises on the weekend and sunset cruises every evening. When we first started these excursions it was a regular event to announce the courtship of dolphins over the PA system and have everyone on board, it seemed, rush frantically forward for a view of the cavorting "flippers" as they swam along in the bow wake, surfing just a few feet from the front rail.
Dolphin are coy, clever creatures and just as quickly as they appeared they would lose interest and drop away from the boat. The pilot house of the Island Lady was fifteen feet above the water and on the front of the second deck. A marvelous view of both the surrounding water and the passengers below. Because many folks never got to experience these interludes with nature, we soon quit announcing the porpoise sightings and simply left that discovery to the passengers who were enjoying the view in the first place. Strangely, fewer complaints were registered at cruise end and more people commented about how delightful the dolphin encounters had been.
The lesson here, if there is one, seems to be that people will stampede to see or do something at the slightest prompting and because others in the mob are headed in that direction. The end result however, is that there is only so much room at the front of the boat and that those who care about chance encounters and nature's bounty will obviously see it anyway. Plus, they shouldn't have to risk being crushed in the process!
A view from the front isn't always revealing but it does increase your chances if you're so inclined. You can get your front row seat on the beach at sunrise or on the Gulf at sunset in search of the "Green Flash". A walk on the grassy levees of old muck farms may reveal all kinds of creatures and birds or nothing more than the uncluttered vision of water, plant life, and the blue dome of universe overhead. A midday sojourn in an old growth hammock can transport you to some very reverent, thoughtful meanderings simply by its cool respite and uncanny quiet.
I suppose a view from the front isn't about getting on board first or making advance reservations - it's about perspective and attitude.
I have very bright grandchildren. They Take after their mother.
HONKEY TONK HEAVEN - In memory of you Merle
The world breaks everyone, and afterward, some are strong at the broken places.
Happiness in intelligent people is the rarest thing I know.
Courage is grace under pressure.
Champagne and Reefer
Carolina Chocolate Drops- Cornbread & Butterbeans
The World Got Talent - Don't miss this one.
Have a wonderful weekend.
That's enuff said.
Here’s a flash back to when I started this version of blogging on July 11th, 2012 – more than four years ago. Time flies when you’re having fun. One other thing time does so well is change things, especially those that you thought unchangeable. Enjoy.
Where Does This Road Go?
July 11, 2012
I've thought about this new blog for a couple of months now.
And I've decided to wait on the political commentary and begin with an examination of who I think I am and where I hope to go -- not only in the near future but in the long haul.
First of all I'm a conservative wannabe because conservative ideals hark back to a time when honor was a precious commodity and not just blah-speak for distinguishing the difference between political philosophies.
I'm an active "entitlement" consumer. I collect social security and use Medicare and the Veteran's Administration medical services. I am proud to be eligible for these benefits and shameless in using every last one I can strain out of the system! Beats the hell out of a tin cup and/or kissin' my children's asses for cold beer and travel money.
Experience-wise I'm at the beginning of my eighth decade. I'm a Pisces, which I mention only because there is only one thing that that reveals, your emotional strengths and weaknesses - - your personality template, blah, blah.
I judge others by the manner in which they project their personalities. And by their cogent use of conversation. A good example is Mitt Romney. He's a stiff necked, stuff shirt who can afford to have a speech/thought coach on his coat tails 24/7. (Sorry, I said I wasn't going to do politics didn't I?)
If it's not about money, taking someone else's or making a lot of it, he's in la la land. Watch him closely. He walks like he has hemorrhoids. He is one stride away from beginning a walk in circles. And in closing this line of thought - - - recently I noticed a sticker on the face of the gas pump I was using that read: We voted for Obama in 2008 and proved we weren't racists. Now, let's vote for someone else in 2012 and prove we're not idiots! Like I said, High Road or Low?
Of the many things in this life that I've done, the last survival activity has been close to the top of the top ten. After losing my profession (real estate appraiser), my fourth wife (almost made me obsessive compulsive too! !), and lastly my home, I became convinced that only divine dependence would see me through survival. I was to learn once more that this was the truth, in spades!
I had prepared for the inevitable by building a pretty nice, mobile, kitchen trailer. I cobbled it together with funds from liquidating equipment and tools from the farm. I applied my life's experience with learning to cut straight lines with a power saw and keeping broken down shrimp boats afloat on a shoestring. It served me well and quiet desperation was the perfect motivator.
My Toyota truck was paid for and then so was the trailer which passed the Florida Restaurant Division inspection with flyin' colors. Seven months after starting construction, all hoops jumped through, all permits acquired I was ready to open with eleven dollars in my pocket.
My friends Joe and Linda had provided me with a high traffic road site next to their tackle store. They lent me $300 to buy food and paper goods. I spent that money and came back the following day ready to begin the BBQ business with the $11.00 I started with. I opened and sold two pulled pork sandwiches - - - $9.00 !
God and I had some very interesting conversations during the next several weeks. He listens. And you get still. Shut down the mental noise, stop the silent whining, and you listen and pay careful attention. The answers, solutions and provision come with pefect timing. The long and the short of this story?
Want a miracle? Stop wishing. Get some faith. Accept God's terms and His timeline. Quit whining. When He opens a door for you or saves you from self destruction share that glorious small experience with others. You don't need to rehearse or think twice about how or who. He will put the words in your mouth and provide the individuals who need to hear them.
So, I found security, a new level of patience, and the comfort of knowing and having faith. I'm still of this world, I'm vulnerable to its evil, but I have the shield of God's grace.
Steve revealed: An old fart in years. A youngster pining for adventure at heart. A political satirist. A self styled comedian. A lover of words. Experience on the hoof. Love me or hate but have fun doing it! Jewish lawyers call my secretary. Get out and see the world, its facets are countless. Get faith and keep it.
At the time I wrote this I meant that closing declaration, just above, in a heartfelt way. In all honesty, this was before I took public office for two years. And before I went through some times of drama i.e. heart surgery, recovery, and learning the undiscovered truth about how snakes dress up in people clothing. After fifty years plus, I'm doing what I was called to do. I've written two books and I'm well on the way with the third. Thank you Lord . . .and please, save us from ourselves.
That's enuff said.
Last week two different storm results took place in our neck of the woods. Inglis four miles in from the Gulf got blow downs and plenty of rain. Along the Withlacoochee River the first two miles from the Gulf got an overnight flood and a solid blow-down from tropical storm Hermine. In Yankeetown the storm surge did extensive property damage and came close to ending tragically for some residents there. There was no emergency management presence at all except for Tommy Sholes. Their town council never addressed an Emergency Response plan. Levy County Firefighters went door to door advising residents to evacuate. If not for Inglis mayor Drenda Merritt the streets would still be blocked with fallen trees today. However, being good neighbors Mayor Merritt mustered guys from the Inglis maintenance department and they cleared streets that were blocked. Like I said Yankeetown had no plan and no people except Tommy Sholes. Thank you Tommy, is not enuff said.
Emergency management at the county level and its volunteers did a stellar job of updating weather status and issuing evacuation notices. Unfortunately, an awful lot of our citizens ignored the latter. Another after effect is the number of substandard homes that got exaggerated damage because they are substandard homes or worse, they were grandfathered in years ago and now sit in and below the historic flood zone median. Code enforcement here regarding environmentally dangerous housing is nearly non- existent until abandoned. That is because of citizen resistance, plain and simple, to common sense and long term consideration for one’s neighbors who end up cleaning up the resister’s mess in addition to their own.
Next up on the aftermath menu will be mosquito outbreaks. Standing water is everywhere and tons of water is backed upped east and north of us that will recharge breeding pools for weeks.
On a positive note neighbors, volunteers, the community fire department, and the maintenance crews did everything they could while serving our citizens. The Salvation Army showed up in strength. And, by the grace of God we side stepped yet another climatic full blown disaster. All of us who drew a “Pass Go” card are sincerely sorry for those of you who did not.
That’s enuff said.
James Cotton – Don’t start me talkin’
Cuba historian confirms military taking over operations
Costa Rica tells U.S. to do away with special treatment for Cubans
Don't Waste Your Vote. watch This Funny Johnson Commercial
Jackie Chan: Take That!
I got adopted! Whoopee.
Figure this one out
The brudders celebrate getting a raise to $25 an hour.
Allison Krause and Vince Gill – Whenever you come around