Monday, October 17, 2016

The Challenge for the New Generation

Retrospection is powerful.  Yesterday as I sat through two basketball games my grand daughter was playing, I had this very interesting in-depth conversation with her brother, my oldest grandson. Logan is a highly intelligent, handsome eighth grader and is in double accelerated courses in all subjects.  As he sat next to me, I began to ask him about his subjects at school with math being his favorite. I knew at that moment my DNA had run aground so I began a gentle probing of the depth of his understanding of math. Over the next ten minutes I felt the breath being sucked out of my lungs at the depth, the breadth and the enthusiasm I witnessed from Logan as he answered my probes; each a bit deeper than the previous.

That conversation found its way to my retrospection gene. Through that gene and pondering last night and this morning about the aggregate implication going forward, I began to think about the challenges of Logan's generation.  One cannot begin to grapple with the potentials without factoring in the fabric of the world today in which the Logans of this world are being exposed. Social media is a normal for them. Many of the Logans spent time with their parents and grandparents showing them how to do simple things on their new-fangled smart phones and probably respectfully laugh about it after. I would!  

Drugs both use and trafficking are a new normal. Suicide at younger and younger ages are far less shocking thus part of the new normal.  The endless wars in the Middle East and now the heavy cloud of homegrown terror, school lock downs, etc, are part of that normal.  Then there is this huge elephant called National debt and student loan debt that has tentacles for many painful years.  Today I watch a speech by Obama enticing college age kids to sign up for more Federal funding for education and my mind is processing who will pay for it.  Free college has to equate to, for me at least, one of the stupidest ideas I have ever heard and I can say that in working heavily in college education for a decade.  Who will pay? That, for me, is the question nobody wants to talk about but it will be talked about but too late.

I am sixty-eight years old and from my life and career I have been given tremendous challenges and opportunities to internalize many things from and at a global perspective. Given that insight, it is perhaps my greatest concern as to what the generation of my five grandchildren will be facing in what seems like a world, a political system gone mad for those are the infrastructural institutions and greenhouse careers, families and values.

My view today is far past the Trump / Clinton debacle, the ineptitude of our Congress, President and Supreme Court. My view is about the values and principles my five precious grand children will evolve into and from as their mid life of adulthood looms ever nearer.  Abortions, drug use, same-sex marriages, LBGTQ now a powerful political faction, campaigns driven by incalculable billions of dollars, America is no longer viewed as the strategic global power it has been since World War II due in great part to this last eight years of weak presidential leadership.  

My hope is that my grandchildren will have the same opportunities I did which is founded on the principle of working hard, staying focused, seeking to be the best and to beat the competition thus Winners Win and Losers Lose.  I fear that that is not the mantra of this next generation for their are too many safety nets, bad examples, too many distractions and not enough strong, forward thinking teachers and parents and role models to exert influence.  

The great news for me is that my five are being parented by parents that love them, lift them in prayer, invest themselves in their precious live and live God's Word in their parenting. What a blessing! I believe we all are mandated to ponder and to prayer for this next generation which will be much, much different than mine, the Baby Boomers. This new generation will make less money and generate less wealth and all previous generations in our nation's history.  There is far too much laziness augmented by funded safety nets that somebody will have to pay for. Too many nations own far too much of our debt thus too much of our future. That is a major anchor to opportunities for this next generation.

I love my Logan, Noah, Isabella, Gracie and Hopie more than they will ever know but through that lvoe my concern is heavy for the world into which they will bring children, careers, etc.  It is not our place as Christians to worry for we believe what our God has told us but some times it is hard not to be concerned; I am very concerned.

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Mr Trump Letter

Dear Mr. Trump ..... I would simply ask that if you are truly serious about leading our nation, and I believe you are, that you must, MUST, stop saying and doing things that are handing the White House the Clinton Machine. Your comments and public behaviors and persona are making it harder and harder for me to make a sound, solid case of defense of you as the right person of the two to be the POTUS.
This is not the first time you have read or heard this I know but even during a family birthday party last evening I found myself searching for right words to address logically why you are the better candidate. But Sir, almost daily you say or do something that cause those of us the have faith in you to take pause and ponder what on earth are you thinking and / or doing!
The race is your's to lose as I view it for your opponent has so much baggage to drag knowing even more will pock mark her Administration if allowed access to the POTUS. But it is strictly up to you to show the nation and the world that yes, we can believe in you, trust in your judgement and will be a beacon of honesty and forthrightness as our POTUS.
I think I do not ask for much and I believe I speak for millions of Americans that wish for the person to emerge and steady-state as I describe above. I would gladly discuss this with you if you wish. I am a seasoned veteran of internal politics and you being your own worst enemy. That Sir, is called stupid.
My disappointment with the RNC is unparalleled but you have shown you can go it without them, sadly. But you must build effectively coalitions, stop shooting the messengers and cease with the thin-skinned antics. My college basketball coach would look me in the eyes and strongly tell me to 'grow up and fight the winds before me." Mr Trump, those words are sage and most applicable to your situation for your situation is the situation of this nation's worth and value ahead.
Show us the leader I believe you are; and I and we are looking. You cannot let Clinton beat you; YOU CANNOT! You have media stacked against you which you could mitigate. You have alienated women which you must mitigate. You have to ignite We the People to you purpose and your cause. I believe you can do that.
No temper tantrums, prepare for the next debates, be strong, gentlemanly and statesmanlike; it will pay rich dividends, please.

Feel free to contact me, please

Jim Williams

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

POTUS Gut Check

Last night my wife and I watched the FRONTLINE program in the attachment about the CHOICES IN 2016. It was, as always, excellently produced and researched. It is a parallel of the Trump / Clinton history that shows clearly the founding and inclinations and drives we so blatantly see today.

For me the most resounding reality of watching the FRONTLINE was that truly we have come to a sad state of politics in America is these two are the best this nation can produce to lead it, We the People. If you watch this and leave your political boots and spurs at the front door, you can begin to see that both these people have invested a lifetime in themselves under the pretense of wanting to serve our nation.

Arrogance, narcissism, opulence, above the law, immoral, ungodly are only a few of the traits both these candidates have devoted their lives to investing in. You may or may not like my comments but I have invested much time in prayer for our nation, this election and these candidates which, please know, has not been easy. The Debate was certainly not a surprise to me and especially the apparent wire HRC wore meaning she was being coached from off stage somewhere. True or not true, for me, it perfectly matched the biographies of the Clintons. Trump's fumbling showed clearly he had not prepared for he probably have never prepared for anything in his life. So, at the aggregate, neither of these people surprised me nor can I imagine they will for history is always a great predictor of future behavior!

So as I sit here I find no sorrow, no pity, no remorse, no great, grand hopes for either of the marginal candidates and I find that sad for I should be really excited about the leader of my nation but I find myself with that same bland feeling I felt in 2008 in that race. So maybe I am the problem and everybody is is right or better or smarter!

Here is my fundamental belief! I believe what we are given as choice to lead our nation is precisely what we deserve as a People for as a People, we have for over a generation has pulled farther and farther from God's principles in His Word, the Bible. Societal decay is now rationalized as a "right" and we see how well that is working out. I believe God has had enough of this godless nation and is allowing all of this to happen to remind us of the bad choices we are making as a nation.

Our world is perhaps the most toxic and dangerous in our history thus we need leadership at the national level that is clear-eyed, future thinking and strategic.  It is that prism through which I look for a POTUS and it is the prism that greatly concerns me with these two. Clinton is experienced no doubt and having traveled in 122 countries doeth not a successful leader make. Look at John Kerry for proof.

In other words, America is facing a choice and that choice simply is if we want to "Make America Great Again, it is not Trump nor Clinton that can rightly lead that journey, but God and His People can and must. 

We need a national revival pleading with God to embrace our nation once more!
Please take the time to watch this FRONTLINE:

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

The Election

Good morning. It has been two months since I wrote my last blog and I have chosen to step back from the blogosphere to season, assess and evaluate and thus project this crucial election coming in November.  Never have I felt the stakes greater in selecting the next POTUS as I view the whole demographic, societal and global landscape shifting in a very dangerous vector.  My words are not about a specific candidate but most reading this know now who you will cast your vote for and next to nothing will change your mind.  As I understand it now roughly forty percent will vote for the Republican and forty percent will vote Democrat.  That, for me, takes us to my age old prism of Pareto and his 80/20 view of life on this planet; a view I full embrace and believe.

Of all the partisan mind games, media poison spreading and misquotes and twisting that have been thrust upon us, We the People, perhaps that most concerning for is is a statistical assessment that the Millennials will be the most apathetic generation on voting in the history of your nation.  The Vote is a right earned through blood too many of us take for granted. I will admit there were times in my earlier years that I fell into that same void and for that I am regretful.  That is made more acute to me when I realize I have been more involve, more invested and more concerned about this election than any other in my life. I realize the reason for this is my escalating concern for my young teenage grand children and the world we are creating for them as our legacy.

There are three fundamental sea changes that have brought us to this place in world history and America is front and center in that massive village is choosing via our leadership to step back from leading this village.  The infamous adage, either lead, follow or get out of the way, sums up my view on our position in the international stage for, through this current resident of the White House plus the tepid, do nothing Congress and a very dangerous Supreme Court, America has stepped away from our post WWII leadership. role.  These fundamentals are:  1.  social media.  2.  weakened military presence and use. 3.  a generation of politicians vested in themselves and not for public service.

The advent of Social Media has taken on a life of its own.  I continue to be baffled by the term "radicalize" when referring to ISIL ability to cause a young person to leave family and friends and future to travel to war zones to take up arms, enjoy beheading and mass killing.   I keep hearing it is via social media but I believe that medium is an enabler but not a cause. I believe the cause is a much deeper caustic cauldron we have yet to fathom. But Social Media certainly is part of it allure of some insane pull to go do what we are seeing now daily in our own nation.  Isn't it interesting that something so good on the front end can so rapidly be turned into a vicious weapon!

Our military is stretched my immeasurable deployment with the over use of equipment wearing out and not being replaced and upgraded. I place this wreath squarely at the feet of Obama and this "strange" Secretary of Defense which I sense is simply a pawn to this boss. There is purpose for civilian leadership of the military but it is my belief that the civilian leadership has failed the leadership in uniform and chooses to not see nor hear their concerns and needs. As a Commander-in-Chief, that is unacceptable on a grand scale. The recent coup d'etat in Turkey is recent evidence of how nations deal with populace fears and concerns and I realized as I watched that unfold that the fervor, venom and populational unrest in our own nation is perhaps heading this that same corrective direction.  This POTUS, in my humble opinion, has been a disaster as Commander-in-Chief for his reign will be tagged by historians as an Appeaser instead of a leader. Appeasers are always dangerous!

If the sixteen candidates in the GOP were the best America had to go after one not their on, Trump as a non-politicians, then we are in serious generational trouble. Watching the weaknesses and fear of these Gang wither to him was surprising yes but worrisome even more.  But specifically to Mr. Trump. I have watched him, listened to him, prayed for him, pondered him. I have watched cable news media show their true Liberal bias on a scale I would never have imagined. It has sickened me so much I rarely watch CNN for it is overwhelmingly sickening to me to watch these famous "panel of experts" pander to minorities, against police and attack, not debate, but attack any semblance of a sane, rational comment by a Conservative. For me CNN should be remove from the airwaves and I have always loved CNN's global reach and professionalism; no longer.

I will close by stating that the very thought of another Clinton in the White House is anathema to me and I simply cannot understand how a sane, normal, intelligent human being could be swayed to that cesspool of criminal behavior and corruption via the view they are above the law. But apparently forty percent of Americans are still soaked in the kool aid. I want only the best for my grand children and this election will be a step forward or backward on a scale I could never have imagined. Trump has been duly selected as the GOP candidate and then to watch the GOP plays its evil games to undercut him thus assuring a Clinton ascendancy is worthy of criminal indictment.

So yes, this Election has two generations  riding on it and please do not forget the now $20 trillion debt by our government, the largest employer on earth, that my grandchildren will be burdened with.  Never forget this morsel;  When it comes to free stuff, never forget that nothing is free!  

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Across the Horizon

It has been just over two months since I published my last blog. I decided to step back and just drink the water of our world to assess direction, pitfalls and concerns.  We have just gone through a GOP Convention  and Trump, I feel, presented his case well.  I think the greatest and overshadowing reality is seeing so boldfaced the bias in the  media.  It is not wonder We the People are misrepresented, confused and angry.  The racial reporting by the talking heads and the police hating in print and on cable news leaves no doubt when our nation is residing in a cesspool sadly.

In seeing this bias via observant assessing, my stomach turns on CNN which is really sad yet eyeopening after so many years.  We are now facing a Democratic Convention so I will have more of a sense of the Liberal bias by the media.  In my whole life I have never felt more strongly that the Clintons back in the White House after this last eight Obama years would be a global disaster with corruption in the mainstream.  Perhaps I am wrong and frankly hope I am but my gut and my heart says Trump and the GOP, as divided as it is, must be the new resident.

With all this choppy water with sharks swimming everywhere, my greatest concern is for my grandchildren and their world. Too much national debt and rising, drugs galore, societal values eroding; yes my concern is great for Logan, Isabella, Noah, Gracie and Hopie.

I am absolutely convinced that America has turned so far from God that we are witnessing life without God after so many years of ridding schools, churches and lives of God's principles.  There are those that will read this that will scoff or rationalize I am just an old man ranting but in my heart, I believe my sentence of this paragraph is exactly what is happening.

So we will see what Philadelphia provides but my greater concern is the deterioration for the rest of the Obama presidency as the Middle East melts via ISIL.  This is inexcusable and will be a black mark on the Obama legacy as will the Iran Nuke debacle so prepare for nuclear weapons in the hands of terrorist soon if not already.

Your thoughts on my comments are appreciated.

Friday, May 13, 2016

The Values from the Post WWII Era

 A little earlier I was watching through tears a Charlie Rose interview with Michael Kinsley who now has latter stage Parkisons Disease. I have watched him many times in interviews and contributions and always appreciated his insight and energy. To see the devastation of this terrible disease was cutting to my heart in realizing we are both basically the same age.  In one of his responses to Rose, he spoke of the four stages of life which always interests me. Sadly, he never spoke of Heaven nor anything spiritually but that is a choice he has made. 

Interestingly and thus what caught my attention was about the "value" he had been given and experienced from his parents for he was a typical, whatever that means, Baby Boomer with two parents at home, calmness in the home and time investment by both parents into his young life.  He is a brilliant man thus I found myself probing and prodding the canals of my own childhood looking into the mirror he described to see if I could see mine in there any where.  Mr. Kinsley's childhood and mine are sort of but not very similar.  

Please keep in mind the predicate of my mindset is on the horrific nature of that dread disease for but for the grace of God I would be there as well as would be each of you reading this.  His closing comments fundamentally were about with only minutes of life remaining, what becomes most important?

All the cars, the wealth, the desires that tend to fallow our lives on the journey turn to mist and what you are left with are memories in snapshots.  Wow, think about that!  I have no doubt that when my time is no more on this earth that that next moment I will be transformed to my heavenly home in my heavenly body so it only gets better from here and I believe that in my Faith in God.  For those that do not share that faith, I realized per Mr. Kinsley that one moment after end of life, there is no hope and that really purged me into the reservoir of what the essence of life is and why. 

The values I derived from my childhood are certainly unique to me and quite ununique to Kinsley. He was reared in wealth, two parents doting on him, assured of college at Harvard where his father attended.  He was apparently smothered in love and adoration by both his parents and that yielded a scholar with amazing writing skills that loves his family and even more is that love as the reallity of the Parkinsons looms ever near his time remaining on earth. Watching him through this lens took me to tears and near sobs.

My life, destiny and journey based on experiences is quite different and in fact completely different. Yes I had two parents but being doted on, loved on, energized, pushed, etc, were not the verbs I can recall.  Alcohol was a major force in my upbringing due to my father. My mother was a hard charging, tough love, saving, work for every nickel lady that I admired for her drive.  A value she bestowed on me which lasted me to this moment was "always work hard for your boss and he will always take good care of you."  Well, that did not always hold water through the trajectory of my life but still the value equation was sound and I still adhere to its merit. Another value was always be on time and never quit. Amen to both as those that know me will attest.

There was never discussion nor expectation of a college education as to my parents being financial partners in the journey.  Basketball provided me the means to get my college thus I poured my heart and soul into that venture. The force that fueled I realized in retrospect was the overwhelming desire to leave the place where I was, to be part of something big and good to experience the nations of the world. I knew that by age twelve or so. Happily I can say that I got to experience all of those in that last sentence but it came with a cost and it came with much good so while Kinsley's value source was quite different than mine, I would not change one thing, now, about what I was given to work with.

The Values of the post WWI, the Baby Boomers some call us are a vast list to accomplishments based on pushing and driving to accomplish and then to thoroughly enjoy the pleasures of the accomplishments. Some chose to use their bodies versus their brains and that never turns out well. But what I see lacking so vividly today is a lack of driving, pushing to accomplish and a desire to succeed.  I do believe social media, electronics and the economy are part and parcel to the why but the value to accomplish through hard work is direly missing. My wife and I are so blessed to see that push and drive in both our children and in their chosen spouses so we know our grandchildren are being filled with the Post WWII values still.

So the question, what are your Values you are instilling into your children and grand children for this is a generational matter?

Wednesday, April 27, 2016


Good morning with now cup one under my belt, I am emboldened to venture to the cave of words that I have remained distant from for too long some say. Let me first say that it is still amazing to me to realize in so many ways and places that people actually read what I write and even more strangely to seek my thoughts and advice; kind of creates a glow in my belly when those times fly by.  

Our world is a vineyard of dichotomies and misadventures that is fraught with the minefield of a bitter and embittering election cycle for President of the United States. People may wish or choose to ignore the unignorable but the POTUS election 2016 is epic and will be studied by historians long after I am gone and the ignition cap is spelled T R U M P.

Even inside my family there is angst with any hint of a comment that might have an odor of supporting Trump. It is actually quite funny to me to watch people on tv that will posture their comment with a smirk or insinuation of negative about Trump, worthwhile I wish to add, but then as the words flow you realize that at the root of what I think is a majority of the electorate is that they are less for Trump the man and more for the disgust with the others still in the race. I know that is the category where I reside.  

For me, I cannot envision another Obama-type in the White House but then I could not imagine that Obama that is in the House now being there so the old adage about politics creates strange bedfellows is so very true.

Last night as Trump cleaned out by landslides five states, it is my belief we will see the caustic rhetoric subside, perhaps, as I believe there is a clear view that Trump might actually have a clear path to the convention with going above the 1237.  

The shenanigan pulled by Cruz and Kasich showed the degree of desperation and the results of last night I am quite sure have both of them reeling rightly this morning. For me the real concern I have for my nation is with the Clinton Machine and that is, by any other term, what it is in getting a two-for-one package with huge dollops of corruption, criminal activities, heavy baggage and then then age old Bill issues and societal values that will be rolled out yet again for the camera lights of the world to drink from the overflowing well of salaciousness the Clintons provide. 

Please know I am certainly not over sighting Trump's history of wives and no doubt other dealings we will learn about but it all shapes up to be a Trump / Clinton Duel at El Diablo that the Americans will be sickened by and the world will scoff about and in the end, it will be We as a Nation that will be pushed further toward the scrapyard of greatest we once were.

If there is an absolute reality of this POTUS slug-fest it is this; AMERICANS ARE SICK OF THE ESTABLISHMENT and I am one of those. I sincerely believe the entire Congress should be given a sixty day moratorium under threat of impeachment for nonperformance on any piece of legislation that is not heavily bipartisan with a metric on how much legislation time is spent each day working on crafting. To learn of across the street from the Capitol huge, fancy call centers where Congressmen are directed to spend several hours each day calling for donors since law prevents them from calling from the House, I find that deplorable and rancid of a grand scale.

As I have written many times, there is simply too much money and too many lobbyists in an ever bloating Federal government and I think the conglomeration has surpassed manageability. Look at the VA for just one example.  The VA is a metaphor for what I believe is the impossible task of bringing true accountability to the table thus making it a political pawn in a sickening, embarrassing game. There are so many VA-types that is just inspires this sick feeling in the pit of my stomach at the thought and impact on millions of veterans and their families.

I began this write with BREAKING NEWS for that is a new tv event to get your attention.  Our nation is sick and the populace sees Trump, because he is bold and blunt and not part of the infamous Establishment as a hoped for fix for this ever growing cancer of a government made more cancerous over these two terms with Obama and a truly inept Congress. Americans want change out of sheer desperation and Trump appears the tallest of the pygmies; that is truly sad but very true I believe.

At the root of all of this, I believe, is the result of a nation that has grown more European meaning more godless.  Heroin, abortion, suicides, aberrant behavior and lifestyles have and are becoming the sick norm in our nation.  Never forget Sodom for reference. America has walked away from God; THAT IS THE BREAKING NEWS.

Friday, April 15, 2016

The Rhetoric of our Today

Scorched earth, bodies in shallow graves, Cleveland in flames ... This is representative of the discourse in our America I hear more and more by the pundits, talking heads and the world is listening. As I listen to this poisonous use of the language, I am disheartened and frankly, quite disappointed for when you factor in rhetoric like that against the context of a world that needs the traditional American leadership and assistance and oversight, the real gravity of the legacy of this environment strikes at the heart of who we are or were is probably a better grammatical expression.

As I have sought to distance myself from the never ending BREAKING NEWS and other bright light approach to saying the same thing in different hues every fifteen minutes designed to stoke the fires of worry and concern, cable news, I have found this sense of calm, better sleep and enjoying the other things of my life via my detachment from the news. But the reality still remains that our essence as Americans is under threat from outside as well as from inside.  

We as a nation are growingly, apparently, liking each other much less. The scourge of drug addiction, suicide, premature deaths, bursting jails and prisons, the infamous "Movements" that breed and feed on themselves; all are cancerous polyps eating away at the internal structures of who we are or once were. Social media has been an enabler and a catalyst for people to bash each other, attack other's thoughts and opinions mercilessly. The politics of our time is truly startling and down right distasteful.

In today's WSJ, Mr. Trump has an op-ed that I have read three times. Whether you like Trump or not, forget the man for a moment but reading his words or somebody's words with his name on them, he captures the realities of where we have come.  Ducking and weaving, shuffling, cheating, berating, attacking for the sake and the joy of attacking has become a new norm in America politics it was seem. 

I still believe there is more than enough blame to go around but at the head of the line, for me at least, resides this most ineffective and disruptive presidency under which we now struggle plus this absolutely worthless Congress.  It is simply amazing to just try and figure out what Congress is doing. I would highly suggest taking a few days and just watch the live feeds on CSPAN channels asking yourself what is really happening and and why is this not about the major issues chewing our future as a nation to shreds.  I honestly believe the system and the institution has been so corrupted over time and the precedents and procedures of Congress preempts even the feasibility to working as an effective lawmaking body.

In other words, I have decided our Constitutionally-based three branch system is in need to a major overhaul for when I see smart,  good, well intentioned people go to Washington and become part of the money-fueled swamp of ineffectiveness, then it is, for me, a systemic cancer that triggers and sucks in the newbies lead by the veterans. The blind leading the blind seems appropriate to describe what is a Biblical statement of this current reality.  When I have smart friends that work in the political realm tell me "not to worry for this is all quite normal and it will all work out .." I find myself getting really angry for what is not said is "hey idiot, we got it so not to worry." Well, an idiot I am not and I want answers to my questions and I demand solutions to the problems. 

Please know, I am not angry but just concerned and fed up with the whole mess.  I think Trump has done one thing and that is to cast a bright light on the political class and creates the explosives that implodes all great empires through the ages. For that I give him full credit.  In this lighting of the torches for Americans to see for the first time the depth of the graft and manipulations of the legislative system and body, the too long silent majority are speaking and thus the political class are circling the wagons to protect the class; not to enhance the nation. THAT IS CRIMINAL!

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

The Facets of this Thing Called Life

Yesterday I was deeply moved by watching a television interview by Charlie Rose with the writer for the New York Times, David Brooks. I have always found Brooks to be a clear minded, precise, incisive wordsmith. I have watched him in interviews many times before with each time causing me to drill more deeply into my own heart, life, being. Yesterday was an especially much deeper drilling to the point I recorded the hour interview so my wife and I could watch it together as we did last night.  I will say right up front that I do not embrace the whole of Brook's responses and ramblings but the essence of this comments and the amazing questions tossed to him by Rose put me on a much deeper and, I believe, richer plain spiritually and emotionally.

As I lay in bed after having awoke somewhere around 2 am, I lay there in the quiet darkness pondering what I had experienced viewing the Brooks interview. I even made some copious notes on my planning calendar during the interview hardly none of which I can read this early morning. I decided to start my day about 3:30 am even though I was basking in the black quiet of the laying down time serenaded by the breathing and small movements of my sleeping wife.  Yes, I even found myself in the darkness listening to her breathing patterns with this smile of thanks for the years she has invested in me and the many, many things, places, events we have shared together.  I recommend this therapy and it will only cost you some sleep but worth every breath.

Many years ago I heard of Viktor Frankl that wrote many books about his horrific experiences at Auschwitz; a place I have trod on four different, unique occasions.  Frankl was a brilliant Jewish doctor and reduced, in essence, via his writings after the experience of the daily hell hole of the death camp, to looking at the experience through the eyes of a sociologist meaning its impact on people and how they individually dealt with the unimaginable daily doses of torture, pain and suffering.  As I listened to Brooks' comments, my mind kept retracing the steps to Frankl's learning and teaching.  I will paste in a link that will give you a broader and deeper insight into Dr Frankl's view from the inside which, turned out, was quite learned and unique.  The essence being that even in the midst of an existence a normal person could not imagine, focusing on the value of the work and the contribution from the work was a means to stand above the pain and suffering of the Holocaust.  His work was groundbreaking and relevant to this day I believe.

Perhaps, for me at least, the most predominate take-away from the Brooks interview was framed in the question; What would you do if you were not afraid?  That question literally changed my breathing pattern as I began the personal drilling of my heart and soul with a dull drill bit. My wife has always described me to others as "fearless" which can be a two edged sword as you can imagine. But we all, as humans, have fears that serve to create boundaries, flashing lights and stop signs. True, we can choose to ignore the eminent danger but still, the warning signs are there. So the question, if all the warnings, lights and signs were psychologically removed, what would each of us do differently?

For me, in reflection, I believe what spoke most loudly to me through the hour was about what are the priorities we set for our lives.  Those that know me realize very quickly I am driven, ever hungry to understand, love to encourage those on my journey, love to see people encouraged even in the tough days and times and want the best for every person I know and will do what I can do to be part of getting them to meet their capability and potential. Brooks spoke of men and their masculine and feminine components with both being vital to the man as his life meanders through the cycles and channels of life.  Four major priorities Brooks spoke of for a man; choosing a spouse, selecting a vocation, determining one's faith and integrating into a very personal community. I have found myself, now sixty-eight years old retracing in my own life and journey how very telling and true those four phases truly are for me personally.

There was much spoken of on the topic of emotional connectivity  and sensitivity to others which is where the vital reality of the blending of the masculine and feminine traits meet the grinding wheel of life. I think it was the first time in my life where I fully processed the whole concept of a man having and needing feminine reservoirs from which to drink at pertinent times.  

I have known people, many people, in my life, that have developed such a hard edge to people, issues and events that I came to realize that edge was constructed from the hurts and scarring of past hurts. Brooks also rightly spoke of and with example the amazing implication's success in life and vocation being directly linked to the degree of love that person was imbued with from one's mother. The special type of love is amazingly vital to the channels demanded of effectively working with others as life goes forward. I fully believe that and see that love abounding in my grand kids by their mothers and their grandmother, Alicia, that loves in so many and so deeply ways. I realized in what I get to see within my own family, easily taken for granted, is the arming mechanism for these five grand children's lives and interfaces with thousands of other humans on their journey. It is truly an awesome thought process to seek to fully grasp but I believe absolutely correct.

I will conclude with what Brooks and Rose spoke much about which was C.S. Lewis's works especially in his book, Four Loves. I have researched that this morning and have ordered a paperback copy to read. I look forward to what will be revealed in me and about me when that reading is done.  It is my belief that my faith has been deepened in other's, about life and my relationship with Jesus Christ.  Given that alone the time to put some words from my heart together and the deep pondering these last twelve hours have been invaluable.

We are blessed to walk this journey together though we may not always see it or realize it. I see so many people in my life, now, some imprisoned behind bars, some imprisoned in the jail cell of aging and disease and some by just choosing to imprison themselves via drugs, hate, dissension.  I feel completely free of cells of constraint due in full measure to my belief that there is a life after this one that will far exceed anything I can imagine. I believe, as well, God is not done with me yet as more and more doors of opportunity and challenge continue to be opened and I never met a door I would would not walk through if I believe others would be made better as a result.

We live in a world more transparent that any of us can remember and this both a good thing and ac curse I am realizing. The current presidential campaign is proof positive of that assertion.  But just yesterday via FB an interesting dialog ensued with a former very special, most unique student that I have utmost respect for. I pushed back on a post the put up on FB for it, the post, was not reflective of the person and the woman I know her to be.  Add to that as I preached semester after semester, is that employers now immediately go to social media when assessing the potential hiring of a person so what is on FB becomes a mirror of what the employer sees and assesses.  I addressed that directly with this student and she pushed back on my comments defending her "right" to be who she is and it is "unfair" to be assessed by an employer from a social media post.  Others were chiming in supporting her position. I chose to address this more personally in a private FB message which turned into an amazng, uplifting dialog between two people that respect and admire each other. 

I use that to say that we all need each other even though we may need see it, realize it or even choose to ignore it but the fact still remains, People need  People more than ever before. Thank you for taking the time to read this rendering from my heart. I feel closer to my family, my wife, my friends, my Lord than I have in quite a period of time. I wish you the best and hope something in this rendering has touched your heart as well.

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Attacking the Problem

Daily we are bombarded by this cancer called ISIL.  Daily I am still dumbfounded by the apparent lack of will or capability to vaporize what we are told is a relatively small group, say 30,000 people in a global grouping of recruits that are radicalized; whatever that means.  I see world leaders after a major blast say all the right things, pine about the need to annihilate this threat but here we are several years and many thousands of deaths later reading the same script.  I find it unacceptable and down right ludicrous.

Every problem appears insurmountable until you bring the right people together, identify the real threat decide an end state vision develop a small set of strategies, staff out the strategies and attack the problem.  Why am I not seeing this simple, non-complex approach?  There has to be some much greater forces at work for this to be allowed to go on as long as it has.  I fight the populist view that all Islam is corrupt and thus supportive of the ISIL movement but all evidence to the contrary I will state that if Islam is truly concerned about the view of their religion, then that religion is culpable to be part of the solution. I am looking for that but not seeing it.

I learned a long time ago that if you want to get to the heart of an issue, follow the money trail. Somebody is funding this ISIL movement so I find it hard to believe it hard to identify the funders / donors to this bloody cause.  It takes a great deal of money to fund a war machine so I cannot escape the belief that there are Islamic nations, families, royal families, global donors sending money to keep this movement alive and growing.  Let me underscore GROWING for from the apparent reach of ISIL as evidenced by Paris and now Brussels, the ISIL reach as grown to global proportions.  And STILL there is minimal military involvement by the nations of the European Union in the fight against ISIL. I find that sad and very interesting!

Often I wonder in retrospect what FDR did in the early days after December 7, 1941 and visiting Cuba to attend baseball games I doubt was on an agenda item along with half of Congress to enjoy the weather.  My belief is FDR immediately brought his generals and intelligence leadership together and gave them a timeline for a plan with options back to him for review and selection of core strategies. Why are we not seeing this approach?

Let me be frank, from all outward appearance, the tail is wagging the dog meaning ISIL is rattling the capitols and their leaders to the bone and we seem to be cowering and hoping they will not do their dastardly deeds again. Hey, it is not going away and it will escalate!  How do you handle a bully? By out bullying him.  He hits you, you hit him back with a 2X4. He his you with a 2X4, you stick him with a knife. Hit harder and more lethally until the message is clear. The message obvious is not clear and that is ridiculous to have the greatest war machine ever known to Man be jerked around like a school kid on a playground.  

I wan to see somebody in leadership get really angry. Wonder why Trump is popular? Trump shows that anger Americans are starving for from our government leadership but we are getting dosages of pablum, nice politically correct sound bites to the point it makes me sick.  So if you do what you have always done you will always get what you have always gotten as we are seeing over these last two agonizing POTUS terms.  I say again; the great blame of this global mess resides at both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue.

So you can know, America and the civilized world, whatever that means anymore, is losing yet another war to a bunch of thugs!

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

The Gettysburg Address 2016

Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.

Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.

But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate -- we can not consecrate -- we can not hallow -- this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us -- that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion -- that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain -- that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom -- and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.

Abraham Lincoln
November 19, 1863

Gettysburg is a very sacred place for me for I have blood on that field of battle. Having walked the fields and read many books and the movie GETTYSBURG many times, my heart rate elevates each time I have the honor of the trek to the field. Walking its unique terrain, imagining moving hundreds of thousands of troops into Napoleonic formation assuring mass death and yet these men did as they were taught with great result.  

Each time I trod the fields, the elevations and my mind is a whirl to synthesizing what I had read to the actual locations on the ground, walking the paths of large troop movements on a hot July time in the heavy wool uniforms as massive road marches add color to my mental walking through the battlefield in hopes to grasp the reality my forefathers did for me. I always leave the lastest Gettysburg adventure feeling renewed, refreshed and more proud of my relatives that made that horrific journey into the cauldron of lead and hell for a cause and a purpose.

Today will likely decide the actual people that will vie for leading our nation.  As you read through the text of the infamous Lincoln speech that touched so many so deeply at its enduring application since the Autumn of 1983; in that brief 130 year span, I cannot escape the sense that our nation has transgressed to a nation much like the one that was unfolded in the lead up, during and after the Gettysburg Campaign.

Lack of trust in generals and political leadership was the norm and not the exception.  The balance of a nation's future hung in the balance of the outcome of the Union after the 1863 bloodbath Lincoln so aptly put to words.  There were widely divergent views of the President that swung from love and respect to date and disdain.  There were institutions that hung in the balance Lincoln knew had to be abolished from the face of the earth. Lincoln clearly saw the mandate for close international diplomatic relationships and for me most of all Lincoln knew the nation has to bee joined as never before the forces of our nation to be able to achieve its true greatness.

I believe it very ease to see that the world Lincoln faced with the agenda of hard work to get accomplished via his leadership and fortitude is as viable and distrait today on steroids. I believe our nation has chosen the path of all defeated empires by turning insides, erecting real or imagined walls to protect with the fence. In every case we as a nation have attempted this, we end up in a global war I see that as inevitable unless the walls are opened via trade, diplomacy and must pure leadership

Recently I watched the UN Ambassador from the US indicate that America does not need to lead everything global initiative but for every global initiative, the world want and needs America nearby for we have been the stabilizing forces since before WWII. We have elective via this current President to abandon that sacred high group. That, for me, is criminal and the great indictment of the Obama Doctrine whatever that turns out to be for I still certainly see nothing but more Keynesian economic and monetary policy, broader entitlement safety nets and every increasing Big Government that somebody must pay for which, of course, will be additional borrowing and increased taxes regardless of what they say in the campaign.

If the next generation of POTUS leadership is determined today by Ohio and Florida then so be it. The campaigning has turned mean, sour and unproductive and America is quite tire of the spectacle; this American is. One this for absolute sure shown vividly in this election is that Americans are fed up with the Obama tenure and the gridlock in our nation's Capitol thus the likes of Mr. Trump ride high in that saddle. He may be an irrelevant POTUS in office but he does offer a cool drink of water of chainsawing decades of dead wood embedded in Congress, the White House that has our nation stymied.  The rest of those still standing, for me, clearly represent continuation of the way it has been down this primrose path was have stumble down via the last eight years of ineffective leadership. 

Racism is worse than in the 1960s due in large part to the cadre media outlets such as CNN has collected of African Americans bent on creating negative rhetoric that is creating this atmosphere of race baiting and cop hating.  I must believe our nation is better than this but you know, perhaps we really are not better than this and that is very, very sad.

We need to very new beginning; not more of the same old same old!

Saturday, March 5, 2016

Bizarre Unparalleled

Have you noticed, I have, that regardless of where you go, what you watch, what you read that the bizarre nature of our political system someway finds its ugly way to the center of the conversation? Since I used the term "bizarre" I thought it would be good to get a credible definition so: 


  1. :  strikingly out of the ordinary: 
  2. a :  odd, extravagant, or eccentric in style or mode
  3. b.:  involving sensational contrasts or incongruities 
Strikingly out of the ordinary would certainly find place in the American electorate of late. Everyone has an opinion and almost everyone now has a means to reduce that opinion to words via social media what creates the means to launch tirades, disdain, threats, bullying, angst. Such an amazing medium Zuckerberg created and never forget that he was thinking of high schoolers and young with adolescent stuff but We the Baby Boomer pirated it so we could use it for Big Boy and Big Girl stuff.  What a story!

My wife reminds me often of the many years of our marriage when I was apolitical meaning I could care less about State of the Union address, though CSPAN a waste of time and money and she had to force me to even go vote. That, of course, has changed by roughly 180 degrees. Why? Not sure but I have a drive deep within me to understand the what and the why things happen especially when the future of my grandchildren are in the balance and the cross-hairs.

The sheer mention of Trump or Clinton raises hackles on people. Some of that is probably good and some probably really bad. But for me, I step outside the cocoon of life and look around and ahead of the groundswell to ascertain what and why. I am absolutely convinced that the turmoil that escalates daily it seems is the result of three major rivers driving to confluence around this POTUS election.

River 1:  the disastrous, failed presidency of one Barack Obama and all the racism, cop hating that has become part and parcel off this president in word and deed and action. I do not find warmth in summarizing that as I do but that is sincerely what I feel and believe. This river is gushing and people like Charles Blow, black writer for the NY Time is example of those that foment hate and distrust. I have stated this to him several times.

River 2:  the Media!  CNN, which has long been my channel of choice, has seemingly embraced the power of foment racism with it biased reporting, over abundance of African-American talking heads such as Don Lemons, Suny Hosten, etc, etc with an overabundance of contributors all seemingly bent on deepening and widening the racial divide.  I could not be more disappointed in what Ted Turner's vision how it has been subverted and robbed of objectivity.  The very reason I do not care for FOX is what I now see in CNN.

River 3:  a frustrated, scared, angry long silent electorate that has been unappreciated and unable to be heard.  What has Trump brought? Voice! Giving voice is a powerful force history records.  I must add that what I and the world witnessed two nights ago with Trump, Rubio, and Cruz was disappointing at best and downright sickening at the worst. That circus could well have sealed Clinton into the White House I fear. But what Romney did was beyond bizarre for it was tainted as sick, perverted, mean and distasteful.  I always had respect for Romney but that is now in the past tense but I think it a precursor for what lies ahead.

These three Rivers are meandering forcefully into the hearts and minds of the American electorate and those that would do harm to our nation such as Putin, ISIL, Persia, etc. etc.  I was always spellbound when studying the Civil War and the term "brothers against brothers" was so often used to describe.  Realizing that term is in reality what is happening today via this POTUS election is disappointing.

Never have I been more disgusted and exhausted by this circus.  At this moment I do not want either of these men or woman to lead MY country for they do not deserve the honor of that. Worse, ready for worse, the core issue is a failed Congress, the voice of We the People. What a joke Congress has been during the Obama presidency and yes, I use that intentionally for the Constitution commands cooperation between the three branches. Arrogance, disparate agendas and a strategy of socialization of our way of life are co-conspirators to this mess in which we find ourselves.  Frankly, I am ashamed and embarrassed with my nation and its leadership. 

The sad part is you find yourself wondering just how much worse can this get?  Just watch!  Here is what I and my wife believe!  We believe God has stepped back from a growingly godless nation, America, and allowing us to see what it really can look like. We have turned from Him and His principles on a grand scale. Murders, drugs, abortions, transgender, same sex, dysfunctional families, etc, etc. What else could you expect if you think about it!

Perhaps, bizarrely, something good may in fact result from this circus with far too many clowns in the ring.  I am watching far less news media, seeking to read more objective materials on our global reality. Did I mention North Korea, China and Russia? No, I do not think I did for each is another epistle in and of itself.

Obama's performance, for me, has result unsurprisingly is something much worse than I could have imagined and the legacy will be many years in evaporation. I fear for the world my Logan, Noah, Bella, Gracie and Hopie will find themselves because We the People, their Poppy, did not do all we could to ensure they had some of the success our fathers and grandfathers made for us. 

Saturday, February 27, 2016

A Very Sad State of Affairs Indeed

Yesterday the realities of the POTUS elections found themselves into my home as my wife and I voted absentee ballot here in Ohio and we were faced with the decision about electoral votes in the lead up to the November elections. There in black and white were the selections to choose from which were the same band seen far too much on TV in these last months. So realizing I am taking much more seriously these elections I found myself deeply pondering and praying for God's person for each of the ballot markings.  The sad reality not only for the electoral selections but for all the choices for the many positions caused me to realize a person's true personage, faith and beliefs  are never clearly known if at all.

Very much I would prefer to blanket vote for people of faith but the only way to know that is if you know the person personally which, of course, the great majority of the voting public do not so re rely on a bill board, a word of mouth or a gut feeling not ever really knowing the worth of those we are voting for.  The POTUS electorate has divided our already divided nation to a degree I never recall.  

Social media has provided and enabled people to vent, criticize, challenge, abuse, slam the candidates as well as those having the guts to express a thought or an opinion knowing regardless of who you are or what you stand for or believe, once you reduce your thoughts to social media, just wait for the criticism will begin momentarily. I am not saying that is all bad but what it does do, I realize, is deepen and widen the fissures of an exasperated public toward the process, the candidate and toward each other with what I am sure will be long lasting results.

We all have opinions, ideas and hopes.  That is a great thing. But what social media has done either intentionally or by surprise, is grant written voice on issues, concerns, people which ultimately and sadly creates the embers of anger to be expressed and many times in name calling and downright assaults on integrity, faith, etc. In other words, if we could put the genie of social media back int he bottle, I would vote for that. The sad, really sad dimension for those of us that call ourselves Christian is seeing the poisonous and venomous rants posted when someone states a choice or an opinion. 

Hey, at least we can now have a means to step out of the shadows of silence and disgust and express our thoughts and I think that is a great thing.  But as the far too many debates are televised generating billions of dollars for the networks and advertisers, the net results if an every widening span of angry and frustrated voters breaking into deeply divided factions along party, racial, ethnic, lifestyle, etc, lines then the shooting war unfolds in FB posts at each other and less about the core issues we are processing as correct when all too often after the fact we learn the weapons were wrong, inaccurate or downright biased and intentionally wrong and misleading. But by then the hurts are deeply driven into the heart and friends are divided.

My concern, my core concern about all of this is that all of this now IS our nation. We are an angry, frustrated, divided people for we are now able to see and with an enabled means to express.  I frankly feel the Party system is archaic and needs revolutionized and feel that will be one of the positives that will fall out of this very public debacle.  I do not feel good about a single one of the candidates regardless of ticket; there, I said it. I will not create a list of whys but the snarling, lack of decorum, bullying, attacking, misinformation, knit picking simply has soured me on the whole process. A great part of that souring is the reality of the amount of money these people must raise just to begin the race opening the door then to the candidates being beholder to the givers and that is, for me, criminal but so very true.

My heart is deeply troubled about where we are as a nation. I see America as becoming very godless in beliefs, standards, expectations and drives. Trump examples an interesting chemistry which fundamentally is a metaphor for the long silent majority of Americans and I am one, that is sick and tired of poor POTUS leadership, weakening and overworked military, no regard for the Constitutional system, scandals galore, arrogance on a grand scale. 

Americans want America back and Trump sadly looks like the tallest of the pygmies to create wide scale change in Washington, See, at the aggregate of this whole blog is the degree of absolute sickness of Americans with anything in Washington. Bloated payrolls, ineffective servicing the population. Social Security being robbed, IRS attack dogs, VA, Snowden, ISIL, Iran and the list grows daily. THAT is what Americans want cleared and cleaned up. Do I think Trump can make a difference in turning the propellers into a new direction as POTUS or Cruz or Mickey Mouse, probably not. Why? 

For I believe God has stepped back from America and is allowing us to wonder in the desert and we are seeking a Moses but there is not one to be found. Why? Because God created Moses and his work and it is my thoughts at this juncture not a single one of these men or woman has the skills, courage and vision to lead this nation for we have turned our backs as a nation on the principles, boundary markers the Bible talks about, and have turned to an array of satanic ways and means never before imagined.

Transgender, same sex anything, abortion, movements aimed solely at racial divide thus using race as an agent of change which become incendiary and dangerous; people like Sharpton and worse is the counsel sought by our POTUS and POTUS candidates is, well, deplorable but certainly not surprising is it?  We the People have allowed and fomented this which we see for we are all culpable to varying degrees so, in other words, we are pretty much getting what we have created via lethargy, playing around the edges spiritually instead of boldly taking a stand on these aberrant societal values eradication. So why should any of us stand surprised? I certainly am not for I have been culprit to exactly what I just outlined under the mantra of, well, I am just one so I cannot make a difference thus we have become a nation of wimps and accepting the worst of or fellow humans.

All this has been freshened for me in having conducted two chapel services last night at county jail to about fifty men and as you spend a few minutes with them personally, research crime reports as to what put them into the judicial system you are reminded of the breadth of the death of societal norms. 

Once great athletes and sports heroes locally not tarnished for life due to a needle or crack pipe and a band of friends all lined up to help them down the pathwath of destructive behaviors thus destroying those that admired and looked up to them. Crack cocaine, heroin, meth, prescription drugs, alcohol far outweigh the minority of really mean, cunning, dangerous men and women in our jails and prisons.  Drug addiction is the spear of destruction of the America we once knew and the general population is oblivious to the magnitude of the evil that abounds all around us as accepted behavior. We as a nation are destroying ourselves from the inside thus we do not need Iran, Russia nor any one else for the fatal injection for we are doing it to ourselves.

Yes, I am a most angry American and I refuse to be silent, I think each of us should self examine who we really are, what do we really stand for and what are we willing to do to return our nation to a long gone time.  Two parent homes are now a relic and I am convinced that that is the root of what I have just described. Today multiple partners, missing parents in a familial environment creates a class of confused kids that fall prey to the drug pushers, social media bullying that are part and parcel of the cancer now wholesale consuming our nation's essence of what once was. 

So you see, this is all much, much greater than who you vote for or who you can attack on social media for stating an opinion or a hope. This is about us and it is US that is losing this war. No individual will ever magically lead us out of what we ourselves have walked ourselves into. I learned that from the Japanese many years ago and it is so very true.

Thursday, February 11, 2016

"Good morning, Vietnam"

Most of you will know exactly where that came from which is the Robin Williams line in what otherwise was a sad, tragic movie but through his comic genius made the watchers, like me, forget the gore that was abounding lifted us for a few precious moments.  For some strange reason when the world saw the video of  Bernie Sanders going to Al Sharpton, I refuse to use the title Sharpton likes which is Reverend, that movie line came back to me.  A Liberal voter I am not but then I am not necessarily an assigned voter and never have been. My voting life I have sought to vote my heart for the office seeker, referendum, etc and not align solely to a party. Sanders, at best, I guess, is less bad than his competitor Hillary and believe me, that is a really sad state of affairs in a nation and a world blowing up around us daily.

I believe my greatest worry or concern about this nation resides in the angst and ever-fueled issue of race.  Never in my lifetime do I recall that divide being wider and the deeper I search to understand why it is so bad, the trail of crumbs seems to always lead back to Washington DC and the period of worsening seems to be almost to the date of the swearing in of our POTUS.  There are those that will criticize my comment as me hating Obama or being a racist but those that know me know that is not a proper description of my heart and beliefs.

The sheer use of the term "race" changes the coloration of processing what is trying to be expressed.  Having been a child of the 1960s in Alabama, I saw first hand racism in its raw and ugly form. Having spent considerable time in South Africa post apartheid, I had another dose of racism unfolded before me so I am certainly no virgin on the matter.  But what has been allowed, encouraged, celebrated and fueled in our nation by an array of politicians, celebrities, entertainers, events causes me to really fear a race-driven insurrection feasibility in our nation.

Last night as I was driving to church, I saw a billboard that stated ..." real love is having a CCW" which, of course, means encouraging citizens to seek a concealed weapons certification. What hit me was using the term "love" in such a way was a total turn off to me in that moment.  But then I read the statistics of gun sales gun ownership, CCW applications all linked to more and more violent killings robberies, etc perpetrated usually by African Americans, the calculus incites me deeply.  My thought is that in working with well over three hundred thousands prison inmates in the last several years of my life conducting worship services and seeking to get to know each of these men and women at a spiritual level, my sensitivities are biased in favor of these poor souls.  You never, however can forget, that it is they that put themselves behind those bars by bad choice and most times drug and alcohol fueled and gang driven.

I have said all of that to get to my point.  America has lost our smile, our desire to belly laugh for fear to offending, being on the wrong side of a reality or being accused of racism. Terminologies change from some source and thus today what you say is accepted and the next you are a racist if you use the same term.  Hearing the deafening sounds of my childhood such a Black Panthers, watching on global television such as the Super Bowl, an array of black entertainers we know now with songs and subliminal messages on these caustic, unproductive movements all serve to cause me to want to just turn up my music on my laptop and ignore the whole mess for a mess is preciously what it is.

Ferguson, for me, is a class example of what I am so frustrated about. Endless protests burning, always looting, police hating and killing all, ALL fueled from an over sized videoed thug robbing and assaulting the store owner and then blatantly not acting as a responsible citizen by not following a policeman's order to get out of the middle of the street and then attacking the policeman in being the well known bully Mike Brown was known to be and voila, it is all the policeman's fault, is it society's fault; it is everybody's except where the real culprit resides, Mike Brown.  Again, this incident is a microcosm and a sad metaphor as to where our nation as arrived and I strongly believe its root of the insurrection resides in the White House.

Here is where my heart is this early morning ... I want America, my nation, to be comfortable and to be able to smile about life, about hope, about investing a person's life into something good. Where we are, however, is the enveloping Entitlement mentality and Big, Overreaching Government. It is that term that causes me more and more concern now with Sanders, a proclaimed Socialist, the front runner to replace Obama on the Democratic side. Then there is Clinton that is, well, not worth my time to write words to describe my dislike for the very name Clinton, the Machine.

Then I look at the continuing GOP posturing and jockeying with seemingly every pundit and talking head tearing away at Trump, the overwhelming GOP ticket front runner and you wonder why as we see the flocking, finally, away of the lower level candidates to the exit door.  Whether you like Trump or not, whether you believe a word he says or not; one thing is for sure, his numbers do not lie. He has tapped into the long silent majority of Americans are fed up with the American this POTUS has led us to be which filled with anger, distrust and shadows of darkness about the future. That is sinister, sinful and scary; and it is all in a master Liberal plan I am convinced.  And please know that I am not nor have I ever been a conspiracy theory nut job.

Our nation is sick, broken, broke! Those can will lead the nation to the sunlight are challenged to look beyond the rhetoric of hate and discord so abundantly being cast on We the People. It is not about the number of CCW applications, guns owned and desired, it is not about beating up on people that even smile or question the Second Amendment; it is about somebody having the courage to step up and lead, make tough decisions, implement the decisions through a convoluted legislative system fueled by special interests and money.

I want to laugh again as to Americans!