Sunday, October 31, 2010

Our most divisive President ever?


Two liberal Democrats have written a scathing piece in the Washington Post about Obama's lowering of the presidency even below that of disgraced former president Richard M. Nixon. Read the whole thing here.Via Theo Sparks

How Great Thou Art

Friday, October 29, 2010

Are we Americans in a trance?

Are we Americans in a trance? Judith Acosta, who writes this thought-provoking piece at The American Thinker blog, thinks we might be. Thanks to fungle jungle for the tip.

Doing things out of fear, unrestrained consumption, having no clue about what is really attractive or beautiful, and being exceedingly self-centered are some of the trances examined by Acosta in this terrific piece.

Thinking about our founders

Do you know the name of the publication Patrick Henry wrote when he announced, "As for me, give me liberty or give me death?" The Henry writings were entitled "The Illusions of Hope."

Who is the only American who presently has a national holiday named in his honor? George Washington? Abraham Lincoln? Thomas Jefferson? None of the above. It is Martin Luther King.

Tom Brokaw wrote a fine book entitled The Greatest Generation. It was about the men who served during World War II. But was it really the greatest generation of Americans? What about the one that produced Jefferson, Adams, Washington, Henry, Madison, Hamilton and so many other founders of our nation?
These are some of the thoughts presented in a book I am reading entitled The Founding Fathers.

Just sayin


via American Digestt

"Sit in the back!"

Cartoon found at Theo Spark
Did you catch this from Obama the other day? He actually told the Republicans they would have to "sit in the back" if they decide to "come for the ride." Can you imagine what would happen if a politician with paler skin were to makes such a statement?

Needed: a change of archetypes

Washington Rebel linked to this piece in the Wall Street Journal by Shelby Steele, whom I always find to be hitting the nail on its head. This piece is no different. This election, according to Steele, is a referendum on president-as-redeemer. For Obama to pivot back to the center, as Bill Clinton did after the 1994 elections, he will have to do no less than change archetypes.

46 billion Earth-size planets

Researchers are reporting in the journal Science that they now believe there are as many as 46 billion Earth-size planets in our galaxy, and perhaps billions more farther out in the so-called habitable zone. What are the implications of this discovery? How does it relate to our Christian faith? Is our God capable of creating such a huge universe? Why not?

Move over, Jack and Harry!

According to the London Daily Mail, Mohammed is now the most popular name of newborn baby boys in Britain.
Via The Camp of the Saints

The nation's closest Senate race?

Colorado candidates for the U.S. Senate are nearing the finish line of this long, brutal campaign. Democrats are looking for help from Planned Parenthood, which is making personal calls to women who are identified as being "the right age, the right religion and the right zip code." How much longer will abortion be a winning issue for Democrats? Democrats are also depending on "gay activists" to gather voters. And the Democrats will surely not forget to appeal to racial and ethnic groups.

Meanwhile, Republican candidate Ken Buck is speaking to small, but enthusiastic gatherings out on the eastern plains. Buck's message is job development and reining in government spending. Tea Party activists are helping him.

Update: I neglected to mention college students. Democrat candidate Bennet spent the last days of the campaign in Boulder, at the University of Colorado, and Fort Collins, at Colorado State University, to see if the professors had brainwashed the students on those campuses sufficiently to vote for him.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Michelle Malkin on voting fraud


Via Moonbattery

The characters in our Halloween story

While we're thinking about Halloween, the artists at Falling Smile, Inc. are fast at work with their pencils creating cartoon characters for the big day. We begin with the three evil goblins
And, of course, there is Matilda the Vampire
Followed by Mr. Please Don't Hurt Me
Followed by Mr. Robot Assassin
and last, but not least is mighty Mr. Buffs. Feel free to click on any of the images, if you have the courage to see them up close.

Practicing being scary


You can't just go out and do Halloween. You have to practice being scary.

Pat Conroy on being a writer

Pat Conroy writes in My Losing Season about what he envisioned being a writer would look like, when he was still a college student considering writing as a career. From the self-confidence he developed as a starting point guard for the Citadel, he learned that like the point guard, the "novelist needs a strong ego, a sense of arrogance, complete knowledge of tempo and control of the court."

"A writer must notice everything; experience life more deeply and spiritually than anyone else; and let every cell of his body take in every stimulus that comes along. I wanted to develop a curiosity that was oceanic and insatiable, as well as a desire to learn and use every word in the English language that didn't sound pretentious or ditsy. I would write about everything that hurt or touched me or bedazzled me. A writer, like a point guard, is not allowed to show fear. I ordered myself to be brave. I had to turn the writer's eye inward to find the gargoyles and stunted trolls that ate me alive."

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Another inspiring story related to basketball


I have been immersed in the game of basketball since reading Pat Conroy's My Losing Season. I was delighted, then, to see the Denver Post feature this article today about Denver Nuggets coach George Karl. Coach Karl had to miss the final games of last season, because he was battling throat and neck cancer. With the help of two wonderful females, his young daughter, Kaci, and his beautiful "life partner," Kim Van Dera, he appears to have licked cancer for a second time.

Karl compares the pain and suffering of the cancer treatment experience with losing in basketball. "The job is about turning losing into a teacher," Karl explains. "Good, positive energy is a part of healing yourself." "Patience and perseverance can become a strength through the process." But, it is a long season, and Karl doesn't have the time nor energy nor voice to debate with players. He plans to be more "demanding" and less "diplomatic." I like the sound of that.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Harry's name is already checked!

Some voters in Nevada are finding that Harry Reid's name was already checked when they went to vote early in Boulder City.
Via Moonbattery

On Fate.. and the Hand of God

"Fate hides in veils and appproaches from behind with cards marked and chess pieces disfigurerd. You never know when a door you left unlocked will usher in a lost exterminator, a deposed queen, or.. the love of your life." "My fate, a work of tortuous process, received an imperceptible notch, a marking of inevitability and mystery that makes me believe in both magic and the hand of God."
Some quotes from Pat Conroy's My Losing Season

Choices


Via Theo Sparks

Tancredo, a hero to Africans


Did you know that Tom Tancredo, candidate for Governor of Colorado, is a hero to the people of Sudan? I didn't, until I read this wonderful post. Tancredo, leading among Hispanic voters, has been labeled a racist by the left. He was the primary sponsor of The Sudan Peace Act, which, after garnering bipartisan support, was later signed into law by President George W. Bush. That act focused on stopping a decades-long genocide as well as the slave trade and the Sudanese government's use of force to support slaving.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Dealing with Adversity

Novelist Pat Conroy grew up being abused by his father, who also beat Pat's mother and siblings. Then, when Pat played college basketball at The Citadel, he had a coach whose talent was to destroy morale. Do you have someone in your life who is Hell-bent on destroying you? Who loathes you? Who demeans everything about you? Who yells at you, rages at you? Who makes you think that hope is vain and the future unthinkable?

What are you going to do? Pat finally found a voice deep inside of him (the Holy Spirit?) that urged him not to listen to people who were bad for him. Conroy asserts in his non-fiction book My Losing Season that the voice he heard was "the truest part of me. It was the most valiant flowering of my character, a source of pure light and water streaming out of unexplored caverns deep within me." Conroy writes about these "miraculous visitations" that brought him "breathtaking assurance."

Playing basketball one summer with one of the best players in the country, Pat learned "to be alive in the moment, to be open to every possibility and configuration, and to make that moment his, again and again." Conroy learned to open himself to all the possibilities around him, to hold nothing back, to put himself on the line.

Once again, I am being fed most nutritiously by Mr. Conroy.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Non-partisan?

The "non-partisan" League of Women Voters moderator of a Congressional debate in Illinois gets a surprise from the audience:
Read the whole story here.

The Politics of Destruction

Dan Haley has written an excellent piece this morning in the Denver Post about the horrendous effect that negative tv commercials are having on our political process. Haley writes:
These grossly unfair ads only lead to a deeper distrust of government and politicians.

The ads are so over-the-top creepy and misleading that they begin to strip away a candidate's humanity, which makes it easier to hate them.

It can't be good for democracy if, by the time a candidate wins office, half the electorate wants to pop him in the face.

One of our letter-writers, Paul Kaempfer of Aurora, has grown so tired of political ads in the Senate race that he plans to cast a vote for a third-party candidate. "Congratulations to the campaign managers of both Ken Buck and Michael Bennet," he wrote. "They have mutually convinced me that both candidates are completely unqualified to serve as U.S. senator."

The entire process has turned him off, and understandably so.

So here we are, another year in which the politics of destruction has torn down two otherwise good men — both of whom are qualified and competent to represent us.

If there aren't some changes to the process, you have to wonder: Who in their right mind would ever want to run for public office?


When we moved out here to the country three years ago in July, we made the conscious decision not to hook up the television set for anything except movies we rent, so, thankfully, I have not seen any of these ads. I have long ago been turned off by the politics of destruction. Yet, the ads appear to work, in terms of achieving the result they are aiming for. But, as Haley writes, they are also, at the same time, achieving other results that are not good for our country.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Got it?

Biden shows us how to lie with smoothness and ease

Joe Biden is a man who lies as easily as most of us breathe. Watch him as he claims that the reason Democrats are losing is because $200 billion is being spent on ads against Democrats!
from The Blaze

A new verb

Joan of Argghh! has a good suggestion this morning: we should now make NPR a verb. As in, I was going to say something honest, but I realized I might get NPR"d, so I kept my mouth shut.

Pat Conroy on Loss

From Conroy's book My Losing Season: "Losses make their approach with all their capacities to wound intact." "Loss is a fierce, uncompromising teacher, cold-hearted but clear-eyed in its understanding that life is more dilemma than gain and more trial than free pass."

Friday, October 22, 2010

Hickenlooper talks about the "backwards thinking in rural western communities"

I think Tancredo just gained a few more percentage points. Hick's comments about backwards thinking rural westerners begin at the 1:55 point in the tape.

Face it, we peasants are just "whack jobs" who need psychiatric treatment!

Bob Belvedere, at his excellent The Camp of the Saints blog is also commenting on the tactic the left is now applying: accusing us peasants of being mentally ill "whack jobs." Belvedere has studied how the same tactic was used by the left in Russia during the last fifteen years of Soviet rule. People expressing opposition to the Soviet rulers were put into psychiatric hospitals, where they were
"subjected to ‘various forms of restraint, electric shocks, electromagnetic torture, radiation torture, entrapment, servitude, a range of drugs (such as narcotics, tranquilizers, and insulin) that cause long lasting side effects, and sometimes involved beatings… inhumane uses of medical procedures such as lumbar punctures’. Others were stripped of their offices and privileges and, in a sense, declared unfit for anything but manual labor. Some were sent to the Gulags."


I think Belvedere is on to something. Have you noticed how the American left has portrayed Sarah Palin, Christine O'Donnell, Sharron Angle, and now, Juan Williams?

"Anxiety-induced Obama Underappreciation Syndrome"

Charles Krauthammer, himself a psychiatrist, has noticed that "Dr. Obama" has "diagnosed a heretofore undiscovered psychological derangement: anxiety-induced Obama Underappreciation Syndrome." Obama has noticed that we are fearful, and "the fearful brain is hard-wired to act befuddled, i.e., vote Republican."

But Krauthammer advises us to fear not, for on November 2 "the American peasantry will be presiding."
from the Washington Post
Cross-posted at Kingdom Triangle Network News

News of the Day

Item number one: FreedomWorks, the pro Tea Party group, was victimized by a highly sophisticated cyber attack this morning just moments before Glenn Beck announced a major fund-raising drive for the group. FreedomWorks is headed by former House Majority Leader Dick Armey.
from the Wall Street Journal

Item number two: You're right, Harry, it does no good for you to tell us:
From Breitbart.tv

Item number three: Once again, Peggy Noonan and Rush Limbaugh are saying exactly the same thing, although Peggy does it prettier. She points out in one of her best columns ever, that the Tea Party groups are saving the Republican Party in this election, and that this election is all about one man, Barack Obama.
from Peggy's Wall Street Journal column today
Cross-posted at Kingdom Triangle Network News

Thursday, October 21, 2010

It all begins with thoughts.

I found this prayer at the blog Holy Experience. I like the prioritizing, starting with thoughts and ending in actions and protection.


Breathe in me,
O Holy Spirit,
that my thoughts may all be holy.

Act in me,
O Holy Spirit,
that my work, too, may be holy.

Draw my heart,
O Holy Spirit,
that I love but what is holy.

Strengthen me,
O Holy Spirit,
to defend all that is holy.

Guard me, then,
O Holy Spirit,
that I always may be holy.

Amen.

Cross-posted at Kingdom Triangle Network News

Fox News Protects Juan Williams' Freedom of Speech

Roger Ailes comes through like a champ: "Juan has been a staunch defender of liberal viewpoints since his tenure began at Fox News in 1997," Ailes said in a statement, adding a jab at NPR: “He’s an honest man whose freedom of speech is protected by Fox News on a daily basis.” Ailes is the Chief Executive of Fox News.
from the L.A. Times
Cross-posted at Kingdom Triangle Network News

A Star

More News of the Day

Charles Johnson is reporting at Little Green Footballs that Juan Williams has been given a new contract at Fox News to work there exclusively. His new contract is reportedly worth two million dollars.

News of the Day

Story number one: Cliff Stewart reported on The Kingdom Triangle Network News blog that Juan Williams has been fired by PBS. Williams had concurred with Bill O'Reilly, who said on his Fox program that "the cold truth is that in the world today jihad, aided and abetted by some Muslim nations, is the biggest threat on the planet." Williams admitted that when he sees people at airports in Muslim garb, he gets nervous. That statement got him fired. O'Reilly is now leading an effort to suspend immediately taxpayer funding of NPR.

Story number two: Rush Limbaugh says the problem in Washington D.C. is "greedy authoritarian elitist snobs" of both parties. In the Governor's race in Colorado, the Republican Party has become a non-factor. Rush warns that the same thing will happen nationally if the Republicans take the predicted November Tea Party victories to mean that they should now "work with the Democrats," instead of working for the American people.
Cross-posted at Kingdom Triangle Network News

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

America's Best Novelist?

I want to tell you about a truly wonderful book, Pat Conroy's Beach Music. It is about love. The characters are so amazingly well developed. A man loses his wife to suicide, then raises his daughter, whom he adores. There is alcoholism, the Viet Nam war, the Holocaust, the sixties, the Jewish and Catholic faiths, mountain folks and "well bred" city folks, life-long friends, Hollywood; all seen through real experiences of the characters in the novel. If there is a better novel about American life in that time period, I am not aware of it. Never for one second did I get to a boring part. It flows from heavy to light and back to heavy again, but never boring. You do not want to miss one sentence.

Before reading Beach Music, I read Conroy's South of Broad, which takes place in Charleston, South Carolina. Once again the character development was superb, as was the story line. Thank you, Pat Conroy!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

News of the day

Over at Scott Ott's Scrappleface blog, we learn that Ahmadinejad has promised to reveal any secret nuclear plans his country might be considering.

Meanwhile, Obama plans to hire cloud fluffers. It will be a way to improve our environment and the economy at the same time, as "collective bargaining units" are up there fluffing up the clouds for us.

And lastly, a new Gallop poll has found that the generic Republican is up by ten points over the generic Democrat. But the generic Republican is warning his supporters that they should not get overconfident, and the candidate plans to stay on message, a vague, but hopeful message, repeating the names Obama, Pelosi, and Reid every time the generic Republican talks about his opponent.

I love satire like this. Wouldn't it be fun to write for The Onion, Scrappleface, or some similar satirical publication?

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

"I Want Your Money!"

"Welfare for All!"

Jerry Brown, the Democrat candidate for California Governor, bucks the "jobs" trend. Here is his solution:
"The conventional viewpoint says we need a jobs program and we need to cut welfare. Just the opposite! We need more welfare and fewer jobs. Jobs for every American is doomed to failure because of modern automation and production. We ought to recognize it and create an income-maintenance system so every single American has the dignity and the wherewithal for shelter, basic food, and medical care. I'm talking about welfare for all."
Cloward and Piven would be so proud.
from the wonderful blog Moonbattery

Be there!

Give up? No Way!

Dick Cheney appearing gaunt and frail


Dick Cheney appeared "gaunt and frail" at a conference in Bakersfield, California. Leftists celebrated.

Sharia Law


Via Theo Spark

Barry Goldwater on Socialism


from David Harsanyi's blog
And we did not elect this man because? Well, one reason was this t.v. ad placed by the Lyndon Johnson campaign.

News of the day

"Last week the American Postal Workers Union had to postpone its national election of officers because so many of the ballots were lost in the mail." (Kevin Hassett, Bloomberg News)

"I recognize that my strong suit is not compromise. But I also believe these times demand leadership." (Tom Tancredo, candidate for Colorado Governor)

The religion of peace is alive and well in Montreal.


Obama gives $400 million to terror group Hamas

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

The Mad Kung Fu Fighting Mailman


Nine-year-old Greg likes to write and draw in his spare time. This is his story about the imaginary Mad Kung Fu Fighting Mailman. Greg's words:

"The mailman, shown on your right, surprisingly is a hero. Whenever something goes wrong, he is always there to help. He does his taunt, and Kung Fu fights them till they die from it. He has no real identification. Some say it's Kevin, some say it's Melvin, but we just call him the Unknown Banana. Things have been going good, despite the fact that The Unknown Banana was captured yesterday by the gangs of New York. We just hope he comes back."

The Unknown Banana was drawn in pencil by son Greg. His pants are an American Flag. His arms are in the shape of bananas. In the lower left The Unknown Banana gets involved in gunfire on top of New York skyscrapers. In the lower right part of the drawing, The Unknown Banana is being herded into the back of a bus. I sure hope he survives this ordeal for later posts. The story is written as though in a newspaper. The column on the right is an unrelated story in his imaginary newspaper.

Friday, October 08, 2010

Bob, the businessman

Well, soon I offended just the right amount of people, and was canned by the three county commissioners. I immediately commenced on a mission to gather enough signatures to have a recall election of all three commissioners. I walked the streets gathering petitions. As I walked the streets, I learned that my favorite store, The Greenery, was for sale. The swarm of hornets known as the local medical society eventually got the commissioners also to fire my best caseworker, who worked with seniors and disabled adults, a woman named Judy McDaniel. Judy had been trying to convince me to get on with my life after losing custody of my daughters in the divorce from Lil. We decided to scrape up enough money in 1977 to buy The Greenery. Most of the money came from Judy, who sold her Porsche.

When we bought The Greenery, it was located one block off the town's Main Street. It was a store filled with high-end gifts, and right at the beginning of the house plant craze, we decided to emphasize house plants. Soon we realized that the most potential customer traffic was on Main Street, especially in the summer, when tourists swarmed Durango. We moved the store to 8th and Main, right in the heart of the business district. We became a full-fledged florist, and added greeting cards. I don't mean just a few greeting cards. This was the period when Hallmark Cards was being challenged for the first time by a number of alternative card lines. We soon developed perhaps the largest selecton of alternative card lines anywhere in the nation. Tourists would stand in the store for hours laughing and listening to classical music, and come to the counter with a fist full of greeting cards from companies they had never seen before. We expanded the store to include a basement full of plants, and two more stores, one a candy store underneath a theater, and the other next to the famous Durango/Silverton Narrow Gauge Train depot. The train is one of America's treasures,

In the Spring we began selling bedding plants. That is when I learned about politics, western style. The only other place people could go to purchase bedding plants was in a greenhouse the owner of the local hardware store put up every Spring. I decided we could compete with him by personally hand-selecting bedding plants from various Colorado growers, and bring the plants back to Durango every couple of weeks. The plan worked successfully until one day the police arrested me for having the plants too far out on the sidewalk. It seems that there was an ancient ordinance that stated that merchants could not sell their wares more than nine inches beyond the exterior of the buildings where their shops were located. Oh, by the way, did I mention that the owner of the hardware store was also the mayor of Durango? We continued selling the plants and collecting tickets for violating the city ordinance.

Then, Wal-Mart came to town, in a newly built mall south of town. Catty corner across the street from us was JCPenney, who decided to join Wal-Mart as an anchor tenant in the new mall. Although there was 12,600 square feet to fill inside the store, Penney had an atrium out front, where we could legally sell our bedding plants. We moved our store into that space, with its $5,000.00 per month rent. We renovated the space, which had featured orange walls on one side, and chartreuse walls on the other. In the fall the local banker visited the store and told us how proud he was of what we had accomplished. He said if we ever needed a line of credit, the bank would be glad to help. "A line of credit," I asked, "what is that?" (we had never borrowed a penny to operate and grow the business to this point). He explained that the bank could loan us, say, one hundred thousand dollars, and all we would have to do is pay it off in twelve months. I looked at Judy, and she looked at me. We had just had a discussion with each other how we had spent all our money renovating the place, and had little or no money left to fill it with merchandise for the upcoming Christmas season. We signed on the dotted line the next day.

Durango had been a boomtown from when we bought The Greenery in 1977 to 1980, when the friendly banker had made his appearance. However, something was happening in far off Texas and Oklahoma in the early 1980s. The price of oil dropped to below $20 dollars a barrel. Tourists from those two states, normally Durango's biggest draw, did not come to Colorado in the summer of 1981. Then, it also hit Denver, where the rest of Durango's tourists come from. The occupancy rates of Downtown Denver's skyscrapers diminished to record lows. Denverites stayed home, too. We struggled mightily to pay the rent each month until our five-year lease ended in 1985.

Directly across the street the landlords renovated their building, as tourist traffic resumed to its previous levels. We moved from 12,600 square feet to 3,500 square feet and, more importantly, $2,000.00 a month less rent. Nevertheless, we continued to struggle, because we still had that bank loan to pay off. We tried putting the store up for sale, but got no takers. Finally, I decided in 1990 that I would go back into social work. I was hired as a caseworker by Jefferson County, the largest suburban county west of Denver.

The two things I have done in my life that I am most proud of are being a foster parent and doing child protection casework. Nothing can beat true intimacy and love; sharing your heart and mind and soul with another human being.

An Activist Social Worker in "Respectable" Jobs

Despite now working in "respectable" jobs, first with the Colorado Department of Human Services, then as Director of two county human services departments, my activist streak lasted into the middle 1970s. I was elected President of the Denver Chapter of the National Association of Social Workers, then later elected President of the Colorado Association of Social Services Directors.

In the early 1070s, I was one of those who was mesmerized by the ">Watergate" scandal. I don't think I missed a minute of the Senate hearings. I was so impressed at the work done by Woodward and Bernstein, as memorably reproduced in the movie href="">All The President's Men. I held the journalism profession in the highest regard. When I became Human Services Director, I had a regularly scheduled meeting every Friday with representatives from two newspapers, two radio stations, and one television station in Durango. I answered questions with candor and openness. Because of that, controversies erupted all over the place.

Every Saturday I hosted a program called Senior Saturday on the local CBS radio affiliate. Each week I interviewed for the program a senior citizen whom my caseworkers had told me was an interesting character. One day I taped the show at the local nursing home, I Interviewed a woman whose last name was Thayer. She was 99-years-old! She had come to Durango via covered wagon over the majestic Wolf Creek Pass. An old man whose room was directly across the hall from Ms. Thayer's, entered the room to listen to the interview. I watched in horror as the 6 foot two inch Head Nurse roughly pushed him across the hall back into his room. The next day at work I called together all the caseworkers who had clients in the nursing home. They all told me they had had similar experiences. I asked them to document each incident. We filed eleven "grievances" with the state, and the nursing home lost its Medicaid and Medicare funding. The local medical society came at me like a swarm of hornets! I had never realized how much money there was to be made by medicating residents of nursing homes. Two years of hearings ensued. Lawyers in three-piece suits from Philadelphia argued the case for the nursing home. It turned out that the nursing home was owned by a vending machine company out of Philadelphia! The nursing home finally agreed to rectify the problems. They fixed up the joint so you would never know it had been the urine-soaked place it once was. Guess who became it's administrator? Lil! Guess who brought his own mother to live there a decade later? I!

I also tangled with the Superintendent of Schools over his regime's failure to report child abuse to our department, and with the Community Centered Board for allowing disabled adults to be improperly paid. The Community Centered Board, I learned the hard way, had powerful politicians and lawyers on its board, including an ex-Governor. One day in my weekly meeting with the press, I told the press that disabled citizens there were being paid ten cents an hour to tie fish hooks. I said the board could, if it wanted, find jobs that would pay minimum wage, and thus take many of the disabled off the welfare rolls.

Thursday, October 07, 2010

Crooked geometry

As you can tell, my life did not follow a straight line to where I find myself today. Does anyone's?

Here's a quote I saw somewhere on the internet. I am sorry that I don't know to whom to attribute it.
"Even in brutality and sorrow, beauty often shines brightest in the soul brave enough to deny evil a foothold. It is the theme of redemption, the symphony of resurrection."

Attracted to the religion of the left

I ended the last post by asking a question: How could a young man who was baptized as a follower of Jesus Christ have such misplaced priorities? I have mentioned my disillusionment with white churches as they missed out on the civil rights movement of the 1960s. When Lil and I moved to Kansas in 1964, we immediately looked for a church home. We found what we thought was a dynamic pastor who led the First Baptist Church in Topeka. One evening we were invited to his house for a barbecue. He was aware that I was a social worker working with people of all races. He called me aside and said, "Bob, have you ever seen a black woman you thought was attractive?" He then proceeded to tell me he had never seen such a creature. I was so angry and appalled at his stupid bigotry, I grabbed Lil and said, "Let's go," and never again attended another white church service until I began dating Colleen thirty-four years later.

On the other hand, I found the efforts of the Alinsky-type radicals to bring about justice and hope for America's forgotten people to be worthy of my energies. It became my religion. I would lend myself to people less fortunate than I, determined to change the status quo. I believed that God would give me the courage to plow forward and conquer any obstacles standing in the way of improving the lives of those I was trying to assist.

At the same time there was a "peace movement" gaining momentum. I did not respect the organizers of the "peace" movement, whom I saw as cowards. When at Hardin-Simmons I enrolled in the Army ROTC program in 1958. After completing the two year program, I told my parents I was considering enrolling in the final two years of ROTC. Unbeknownst to me, my mother contacted our pediatrician, who wrote the draft board a letter about my childhood suffering from allergies. The next thing I knew, I was declared "4F," meaning that I was ineligible to serve. That is when I decided to consider going to graduate school in social work.

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Misplaced Priorities

I entered Hardin-Simmons University in Abilene, Texas, in the fall of 1958. It was culture shock from day one. I don't think I fully understood anyone until halfway through that first year. For example, my roommate, a gifted pianist named Rex Wilson, told me he was from Snashional. Only later that year did I realize he was saying San Angelo. One day we walked across the campus, and he introduced me to three different people in three different locations on the campus. To the first one he said, "This is Bob, my roommate. He is from Iowa (pronounced with a long a). To the second he introduced me as Bob, from Idaho. To the third he introduced me as Bob, from Ohio. To Rex, people from all three of those states were just "yankees" anyway, so what difference did it make?

The saddest moment of my young life was when my best friend in high school, Tom Rivers, was killed in a car crash my freshman year at Hardin-Simmons. He was returning to school at Drake after a semester break. He was in such excellent shape he did not die right away, as all the other people in the accident did. A week later he died. I attended the funeral, sitting next to his mother. I was furious at the priest, who used the occasion to preach against sin. He obviously did not know the young man whose life we were celebrating.

It was love at first sight when I started attending the University Baptist Church. I could not believe the joyous singing. I was baptized and later became President of the Baptist Student Union. But, all was not right. Here I was at Hardin-Simmons University. Sammy Baugh was the football coach. Were there any black athletes on scholarship? No! Why? I started asking questions, but I was not getting answers that I liked. Why were there no blacks in the churches? I traveled with either the basketball team or the golf team to east Texas, and saw ridiculous separate drinking fountains. I watched television news and saw what was happening across America. My second job after graduation was as a child welfare worker. My supervisors did not like the fact that I watched the Huntley-Brinkley Report every night and then talked about what I saw the next day at work. My supervisors called it The Frontley-Pinkly Report (front for Communist front, and pink for Commies).

Then, John F. Kennedy came to Dallas. Although he was assassinated by a leftist Communist, there were people the next day quoted in the Dallas Morning News who were happy to see him killed. I left Texas in 1964 to go to graduate school in social work at the University of Kansas, and I was ready to get radicalized.

But wait, I'm going too fast. After graduation with a major in psychology and a minor in history, I married Lillian Pattillo, the prettiest girl at Hardin-Simmons. I was 22, and she was two years younger, and had just graduated from a certified Registered Nurse program in Abilene. Her father was a Baptist big shot from California. After a wonderful courtship, we embarked upon our honeymoon at Lake Murray in Oklahoma. It did not go well. Just like that, overnight, we went from romantic lovestruck kids to a couple who fought about everything, even on our honeymoon! Too damn young, too damn immature. We moved to Topeka, Kansas, where I began my first year of graduate school at The University of Kansas in Lawrence and Lil got a job as a nurse.

My "field placement" that year was at the V.A. Hospital in Topeka. Every Saturday I attended a seminar taught by none other than Dr. Karl Menninger, probably the foremost psychiatrist of his day. Psychiatrists from all over the world came to Topeka to study under him. I was assigned to work with alcoholic veterans and their families. Do you know what the fad treatment was in those days? Does the name Timothy Leary mean anything to you? That's right, a doctor would sit with a patient and put the patient on a LSD acid trip. Most of the veterans liked it better than alcohol!

The second year I was assigned to an elementary school in the "low income" area of Topeka. I worked with kids who were on the verge of being kicked out of school. I worked with them in a group, and tried to develop relationships with their parents, in order to encourage the parents to get involved with the school. Near the end of the school year two things happened that brought me great joy. One of my group members, the baddest, biggest black boy in the school, beat out a brainy diminutive blonde girl for the school spelling bee championship. Our group put on a play on Abraham Lincoln's birthday. The heretofore "worst behavior problem" in the school played the part of Abe. It changed the image of the group members significantly.

Dr. Roy Menninger, son of Karl, was the consultant to the Head Start program that started up the next summer after I graduated with my Masters degree in Social Work (M.S.W.), and I signed on. Never one to keep my thoughts to myself, one day I asked "Dr. Roy," "How is it helpful for us to sit here each week celebrating our superiority over the families who are sending children to this Head Start program (one of the first Head Start programs in America). He did not like the question. Luckily, I was saved from any further confrontations with "Dr. Roy" when an unlucky event occurred in June in Topeka. A tornado hit the ground and plowed its way across Topeka from southwest to northeast, lifting only at the state capitol, but still taking off some of the gold dome on its way back down to resume its destruction across town. I spent the summer helping families apply for emergency assistance to rebuild their homes and neighborhoods.

Lil gave birth to our first child, Laurie, shortly after the tornado came within one block of our modest house. We doted over Laurie as much as any parents ever doted over a child. She was my pride and joy. Two years later Marisa, our second child, was born, and we were just as proud of her as we had been of Laurie.

That fall I became Director of the Northeast Neighborhood Counseling Center in the Kansas City, Kansas ghetto. We counseled families and fought for innovations in education and hiring programs. A couple of years later I became a community organizer ala Saul Alinsky! My job was to organize poor people of all races to stand up for themselves and join together to help each other.

One night Lil and I were out to dinner together in Kansas City, Missouri. About ten p.m. a cop flashed his lights at me. I pulled over, the cop asked for my license and returned to his car. We waited for what seemed like a half hour. When the cop came up to me, he said he was taking me down to the station because I had a slew of unpaid parking tickets. I was indignant, and protested that I had no unpaid anything. It turned out that I had cosigned for a teen boy to buy a car. Since my name was on the title to his car, the tickets were traced back to my license. Nevertheless, I was "booked," and once again, there I was, back in the pokey! This time it was not a fun experience. I was put in a bullpen with quite a few other law-breakers. A drunk black man was brought in to the bullpen. The cop wound up and slugged the man in the stomach. Alinsky had been organizing the community to put a stop to police brutality. Now I had seen it up close and personal. I knew the Methodist minister that was working with Alinsky and actually counseling Chief Clarence Kelly on eliminating police brutality. I made my one phone call. I got out in the wee hours of the morning, and we got the cop fired a few days later.

That organizing job expanded into a ten state program where I was a regional director of the National Self Help Corporation. Our objective was to organize people enrolled in the federal government's WIN program, short for Work Incentive Program, in order to ensure that job opportunities were real and relevant. That job brought me to Colorado, as well as to Indian reservations in the West.

Things were not any better between Lil and me. I engaged in an extramarital affair. Where was that guy who had been baptized in the church as a born again follower of Jesus Christ? I had a new religion: the left wing "change the world" religion of Saul Alinsky. We did get back together, and moved to Denver, where I took a job training caseworkers all around Colorado. Three years later, I took a job as Director of Human Services in La Plata and San Juan Counties in beautiful southwestern Colorado. Our marriage lasted only a few more years. The saddest day of my life was when she was awarded full custody of our daughters.

Golf, basketball, track and street-fighting

Okay, on to high school. Only two things mattered to me as I entered Central High in September of 1955: Judy and basketball. Our team (the junior varsity) went undefeated. The varsity had a different coach, and was lousy. A movement got underway in the community to demand the ouster of the varsity coach, who was best friends with Judy's father.

Fearing we were getting "too serious," Judy's father had forbidden her to continue her relationship with me. Nevertheless, I would wait on summer nights for her phone call, then sneak out of the house to meet her in exciting forbidden rendezvous. Apparently, people were writing the varsity coach cards and letters demanding that he quit. One of the letter-writers made his cursive "n"s similar to the way I wrote my letter "n"s. The coach accused me of being the letter-writer, which was absurdly incorrect. He forbade me from being on the basketball team. i was absolutely crushed.

I decided to get serious about golf. I soon became the second best junior golfer in the state. I qualified for the National Junior Championship in Maryland. I played a practice round of 27 holes on the day before the tournament was to begin. My playing partner was the number one player in Iowa. I beat him that day, only because he was not playing well. The best player in the world at that time was another teenager named Jack Nicklaus. Jack knew my playing partner. He spotted us drinking lemonades in the clubhouse and asked if we wanted to play 18 holes with him, since he had just arrived and did not know the course. My friend said sure, but I begged off. I knew my shaky confidence would be destroyed. A large gallery quickly developed. Jack drove his drive into a sand trap next to the green, some 350 yards away from the tee. (I would have been lucky to hit it 250 yards). Nicklaus proceeded to set a new course record that afternoon, on his first trip around the course! I did well enough in golf to win a scholarship to a school in Texas, which I will write about in a later installment.

One day Mohammed Sadden, a six-foot-three inch athlete who was our best high jumper in track came up to me at the beginning of a school day in front of the principal's office. "Your friend Judy is a slut," proclaimed Mr. Sadden loudly. Even though he was six-foot-three and I was five-foot-ten, I wound up and threw a leaping punch at his face. Someone broke up the fight, but we agreed to meet after school on the lawn of the Lutheran Church across the street. I swear the whole school turned out for this event. Mohammed wanted the rules to include only boxing. I quickly realized that would favor him, with his long arms, so I said "No, anything goes!" And so it did, for what seemed like a half hour, before the police car arrived to take us both down to the pokey. We were put in separate cells, but I was released right away to my parents, while Mohammed continued to smart off to the cops and sing jailbird songs. By the way, I think he is now a lawyer back in Sioux City! We became friends after I realized he was right about Judy (just kidding, if you're reading this, Judy).

My best friend in high school by far was Tom Rivers. I admired him so much, and enjoyed his family so much. If I was not home watching Johnny Carson or George Gobel or Perry Como at night with my Dad, I was at Tom's house. Tom became the best long distance runner in the state. He won a scholarship to Drake University in Des Moines.

A 1940s early childhood

For the first fifteen years of my life, my family lived in a modest two story gray stucco house. I have mentioned a couple of times the alley that ran adjacent to the house. The bedroom I shared with my sister was on the second floor above that alley. On the other side of the alley lived a family whose adult son did not like his mother. When he drank too much alcohol, which seemed to occur daily, he could be heard saying to his mother "Ahhhh, Shaddup!" He would drag out those two words. I would be the chorus, repeating those two words until I cracked up my sister.

My own father would often get similarly frustrated at my mother, although alcohol was never a factor. His nickname for her was "Bump." When "Bump" would become unreasonable or selfish, one could hear my father exclaim, "Goddamn it, Bump, just stop it!" Dad, like my sister and I, found Mom's behavior maddening at times. For example, I loved to read. If it was a sunny day, and I was using a lamp to read, Mom would come over and turn off the light and move my chair across the room to "God's light." This was a vestige of her experience growing up during the Great Depression, I am sure. "Waste not, want not," was a motto she lived by. By the way, to this day, when I see one of my kids reading in poor light, I urge them to turn on a light.

Mom had several sisters. The ones I knew best were Aunts Dorothy, Midge, and Harriet.
Midge was like Mom in never wanting to throw anything away. She lived in Washington D.C., and had an important job as Executive Secretary to the Secretary of the Army. I remember once going out to a restaurant with Midge and her husband Walter. Walter was very smart, but very annoying. He invented many items for the corporation he worked for, proudly wearing his photo badge that evening at dinner. He would never think of demanding to be compensated for his inventions. I did not like the way he treated Aunt Midge. He belittled her. Then, when we arrived at their house, he went straight to the family organ and played love songs throughout the evening! The house was jammed waist high with newspapers, with a narrow passage to traverse the pathways.

Aunt Dorothy also had a prestigious job as Executive Secretary to Nevada's U.S. Senator McCarron. She arranged for me to attend a Senate debate on civil rights between Senator Hubert Humphrey of Minnesota and Senator William Knowland of California. Midge arranged for me to have a tour of the White House. They were redecorating, and I got to sit in the chair formerly used by President Harry Truman, in the room where things were being stored.

Aunt Harriet? Well, I remember two things. One, after her husband died, she gave me his used hair brush as a Christmas present. Two, I remember her stripping naked in our car to change clothes for wherever it was we were going.

Take me out to the ball games.

As a young boy, I played outside every day until darkness befell the neighborhood. Were there fewer pedophiles then? I know of no such evidence. The difference is primarily the news media. Today's news media loves to focus on the sinsational. In the 1940s, the news was rosie and upbeat. America was a place where anyone with a dream could make it big.

And, dream I did. If you were looking for me back then, the first place to look would have been one-half block down the alley, shooting hoops behind Gary Asmussen's garage. Actually, it was much more than shooting hoops. I was the offense, defense, play-by-play announcer, and I drew up the brackets for the games that would lead to the championship. Most of the time I was the only player one could physically see, but to hear me (the play-by-play announcer), you'd think there were full teams and a crowd at each game.

I was also captain and founder of the "Northside Sparrows" baseball team. This was back way before Little League Baseball was invented by some parent trying to live vicariously through his son.

If the weather did not permit outside games, (I do not miss Iowa's winters) I wandered over to Tom Graham's house for a game of pool. Tom's dad was a doctor, and thus could afford to purchase a pool table. Mr. Graham was very kind. He would take us to football games in the fall, and to the fountain at Toller Drug Store for milkshakes after the games.

"Tell Me a Story"

When I was a boy growing up in Iowa, we did go to church every Sunday, the First Methodist Church in Sioux City. I loved the hymns. This one kinda reminds me of a typical Sunday hymn there.
Dad served as an usher. I did not realize how boring the actual church service was until I went to college in Abilene, Texas and started attending Baptist churches. There will be much more on that in later installments. What made me think about this aspect of my childhood was this post I read today at Julie's Work in Progress blog.

Fall photos of my home

Fall is definitely in the air here. It won't be long now until we get our first frost. With that in mind, I took a few pictures this morning.

On the sunny south side of the house, a tomato plant continues to produce delicious tomatoes above the trailing petunias. Farther in the background are the bamboo plants that seem to have no limit to their growth, even though I never water them. That is a peach tree on the right. It bore no fruit this year, because of the long, cold Spring.
The marigolds and petunias and a few cosmos are hanging on along side the garage. Yes, that is a punching bag hanging in the background.
To make sure an unexpected frost doesn't get them, I dug up my impatiens plants, put them in pots, and placed them inside in my bedroom.
In case you didn't know that about me, I like flowers. This planter with petunias and a dracena are on the back deck looking eastward.

Truman, Korea, and Eisenhower

I think I zipped through my account of my pre-teen years a little too fast in yesterday's Remembering. Let's talk a little more about those pre-teen years today, before getting to the teen angst.

When I was growing up, the news media consisted of radio and print. The people of our nation had just fought and won a World War. News coverage was ultra-patriotic; exactly the opposite of what we get nowadays. My parents did not much like Harry Truman. They did not like the liberal Ronald Reagan, either. Check out this video of Reagan campaigning for Truman and Hubert Humphrey in 1948! It just goes to prove once again that if you are not a liberal when you are a young adult, you have no heart; if you are not a conservative when you are fifty, you have no brains! Reagan showed himself to be a fearless fighter for the people he loved: the American people.

After having endured two World Wars, my parents and many other Americans did not want to get bogged down in another World War. They sided with the insubordinate General MacArthur. They did not believe in just containing Communism. They wanted victory. They liked Ike. I remember going to see and hear Ike and Tricky Dick Nixon at the Sioux City auditorium.

Television was a new thing then. Howdy Doody was the most popular show. Here was Ike's campaign commercial:
Simple as that, folks! Nothing complicated: Ike was the guy who engineered victory over Germany and Japan. He'll do the same in Korea. Let's quit pussy-footing around!

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Remembering

It all started on August 13, 1940. I was born in Sioux City, Iowa, a city of 80,000 people on the cliffs above the Missouri River on the west side of the state. By the way, Gene Autry was one of the heroes I worshiped as a boy growing up in Sioux City. The others were Tom Mix, The Lone Ranger, Hopalong Cassidy, and, of course, Roy Rogers. Roy and his horse, Trigger, actually came to the Orpheum Theater, and I got to shake hands with Roy and pet Trigger, or, was it the other way around...I can't remember.

Our family consisted of my sister Ruth, 6 years older than I, and Mom and Dad. Mom was a stay-at-home Mom, while Dad was at the time of my birth trying to learn how to be the manager of a local office of the Equitable Life Assurance Society. He worked long hours at that task, and was often not home until late at night in those early years. It was stressing him to the max. A few years later he gave up trying to manage people, and became a very successful life insurance salesman, working mainly with rural Iowa clients, who bought life insurance from him, because they realized he sincerely cared about them and their families. He was 37 when he became the father of me, his only son. I believe he was five years older than Mom.

Dad's mom was "Grandma Alice." She lived alone in Goldfield, Iowa, near the center of the state. Alice had at least one sister, my Aunt Nell, living in that same town. The sisters lived well into their eighties. I remember Grandma Alice as a sweet, smiling person. We got together with them several times a year, along with an assortment of my aunts and uncles and their kids. My Aunt Nell used to tell me there was a birdie in the house. She would whistle like a bird, then ask me to find the bird. I would look everywhere, while all the adults laughed, thinking this stupid kid had been bamboozled by the clever Aunt Nell.

I never knew Grandma Alice's husband. When I was a teen, Mom explained to me that he had committed suicide by shooting himself. Dad was the one to find him in a river bed, when Dad was a teen. Mom made me promise not to ever talk about this with Dad, but she did want me to understand that this event was the reason Dad was often sad. Alice raised three boys and two girls.

I did know both of Mom's parents. "Grandma Davis" was what I called Mom's mother. We never visited her house, but she often visited ours. I don't even know what town she lived in, although I think it was Davenport, Iowa, on the banks of the Mississippi River on the east side of the state. She was of German heritage, and had a tougher exterior than Grandma Alice. She had raised five daughters during the depression, while her husband, Fred, roamed the countryside looking for card games. He did show up at Lake Okoboji whenever our family went there for a few days of fun in the summertime. I guess Okoboji was just about the "coolest" place in Iowa, a pretty lake with an amusement park.

My parents neither drank nor smoked. Dad had a sister, Bess, who lived in Seattle. One summer we visited Bess out there. There was a regatta on the Puget Sound. Bess had a doctor friend who owned a yacht, and invited us all out on his boat with other friends during the regatta. Dad nudged me and told me to watch him put one over on all the drinkers on the boat. I sat next to him, while he was served drink after drink, pretending to drink the alcohol, but actually pouring it into the Puget Sound when no one but I was looking. He had more fun that day than any of the people who were using alcohol to have fun, a lesson not lost on his son.

Do you notice that I am writing more about my Dad than my Mom? That is because he was the one I felt closer to. He was the one who put up a basketball hoop in our tiny basement, and encouraged me, a third-grader, to dream of one day playing for the University of Iowa, where he had been a track star. He could beat the guy over the first two hurdles who won the Olympic Gold medal (the guy was portrayed in the movie Chariots of Fire). Unfortunately, sadness again entered Dad's life when someone ratted on him, and he lost his amateur status and eligibility to compete in track. You see, to help his mother feed her large family, Dad played semi-pro baseball in the summers.

I experienced Dad's speed first-hand, when I, a sixth-grader, was walking with a friend through the alley next to our house. Dad reminded me that I had an unfinished chore, and I stupidly showed off for my friend by giving Dad the middle finger. He chased me one block down the alley, a half-block down the hill, and one-half block around the corner to a parked car. He would have caught me much sooner, but he had stopped to look for just the right piece of wood for my well-earned consequence. We ran around and around the parked car until justice reached my rear end. I never again disrespected him.

Being a fast runner was the most important thing in the world to me, as I entered kindergarten at Hunt Elementary School. Only Joanie Burroughs could beat me in a race. I loved my third-grade teacher, Mrs. Green, whose son played for the Iowa Hawkeyes basketball team. By third grade, I was already a basketball fanatic.

By fifth grade, in Miss Zerbe's class, I had added baseball to my obsessions. That year I had a traumatic experience while attending a "softball" game. I put softball in quotes, because that dang thing was not very soft, when I was innocently walking back to my seat with a freshly purchased bag of popcorn, and the center fielder's throw to the plate was wildly errant enough to bean me on my noggin! I suffered "dizzy spells" for some time after that and missed a lot of school that year. I was home listening on the radio when Bobby Thomson hit "The Shot Heard 'Round the World." The Giants were my favorite team, and Leo Durocher my favorite manager. Once when Dad had a sales convention in Chicago, Leo Durocher was on the same elevator with me and Dad. Durocher graciously took me around the hotel lobby asking players to give me their autographs, before they left on the team bus for their game with the Cubs!

Another kind of obsession had hit me in the fourth grade, when I found myself becoming attracted to members of the opposite sex. That Spring I left May baskets at the front doors of both Mary Knoll and Judy Hamilton. If the girls could catch you, you had to let them kiss you. Somehow I lost my vaunted reputation for speed on that wonderful day.

In sixth grade cocky Bob met his match: Miss Bingamon. Miss Bingamon put up with no crap. If us guys were fooling around in the boys bathroom, that was no barrier to Miss Bingamon. She would come right on in and bang whomever she adjudged guilty against the bathroom wall. Thus, her well-earned nickname: Miss Bingbang! I was afraid of her, and that fear manifested itself most embarrassingly one day when I was giving a book report before the class. Yes, I peed my pants.

Pants also figured large in my seventh grade, which was the first year in junior high school. Because I had a reputation for being cocky, especially when I had a basketball in my hand, some guys from the "other side of town" bragged that they were going to "pants" me after school. "Pantsing" was when guys would take off your pants and hang them on the flag pole at school, or so I was told. My house was a long way from North Junior High, and I took a different route home every afternoon after school, until the threats died down and I became good friends with some very tough hombres on the basketball team.

Eighth grade was notable for my first love affair. I fell head over heals in love with Judy Kyle, who had long legs that she loved to cross and uncross whenever my eyes were turned in her direction. In ninth grade Judy became the lifeguard at the pool at the Boat Club, where my parents joined in order for my mother to play golf and my father to meet clients, while flailing away at the little white ball. I took up the game, and got pretty good at it.

In tenth grade we made the big transition to Central High School, "The Castle on the Hill." I'll pick up there in my next installment.

Green Smiley Faces

Today Sara proudly showed me the green smiley faces she has earned at school. Colors change if behavior isn't good. Green means you get "beach bucks" to use when shopping at school (monopoly money). She has earned nothing but green all school year so far.

Red means you sit out ten minutes and get zero beach bucks. You get it if you are "snotty, mean, or pull someone's hair." Yellow isn't as bad as red, because you do not have to sit out for ten minutes. Interrupting teacher aides can get you a yellow smiley face. The worst is black. You don't even get a smiley face if your color is black. No one has yet gotten a black, which means "you're out of here!"

Sara told me, "I'm never going to be a bad kid at school, because if I am, they'll kick me out, then you'll home school me and make me do 25 lessons a day." She knows we would not "kick her out" of our home, so her incentive to "be a good kid" at home is not as strong. Colleen and I will have to put our heads together to figure out how to rectify that situation.

By the way, why do we use the color black to denote something bad?

Monday, October 04, 2010

Franklin Graham: "Islam wicked and evil"

Rev. Franklin Graham, the son of Rev. Billy Graham, called Islam “wicked” and “evil” on Sunday during a televised town hall-style discussion about American’s feelings about the religion.

“They want to build as many mosques and cultural centers as they possibly can so they can convert as many Americans as they can to Islam,” Graham said on ABC’s “This Week.”

Graham went on to profess his love for “the Muslim people,” but said he has “great difficulty with the religion.”

“Especially with Sharia law and what it does for women – toward women, toward non-believers, the violence that is given in – under Sharia law,” Graham said.

Graham also said the Islamic center near ground zero should not be built, although he said Muslims “absolutely have the right to build a mosque or cultural center in this country.”

Graham made his remarks as part of a discussion led by Christine Amanpour that included Islamic activist Daisy Khan, former GOP presidential candidate Gary Bauer, two 9/11 families, and various figures with a range of views on Islam and its role in the United States.
From Politico

The way things were; the way things are.


Picture found at Infidel Bloggers Alliance

Let this photo be a fair warning. I am thinking about writing about my life. I need to examine my past in order to figure out why my present is bringing me such sadness. I'll probably start writing tomorrow.

Friday, October 01, 2010

Rock of Ages

Proactive response to repeated trauma

How does one avoid being psychologically or emotionally traumatized when experiencing frequent traumatizing events? From what I have been reading about trauma, a person experiencing trauma can react in one of three ways: proactive, reactive, or passive. Proactive would seem like the way to go. What would that look like? For the Christian, it would surely mean constant prayer, seeking God's guidance prior to, during, and after taking a proactive action step.