Just Let Me -- G -- Indoctrinate You!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Dear America,

One thing that is still lingering from yesterday's discussion on What Price Happiness? is something that was given little attention in Naomi's lamentations upon the spiraling effects of Western feminism -- that being, our connection to a Higher Power in our daily life; I am quite certain, those who partake and value being in relationship with a God of one's choosing -- daily, joyously, solemnly, respectfully -- without fail, and no matter what, would find happiness to come as the existential icing on the cake.

In my experience, watching and listening to the "Western Feminists" of our time, more often than not, there seems to be an unspoken rule that showing reverence to a small town God diminishes the intellect, shows ignorance rather than renaissance, and bestows upon It's followers a lifetime of restrictions and commandments -- surely a relationship without benefits to speak in a modern term we might all understand.

There was a moment in Naomi's article when she highlights a brief interlude with an Indian woman -- concerned that "Western feminism is coming," pointing to the wake of an even greater concern, "the loss of the deepest personal attachments...[saying] they want to be spared what appears to them to be the brutal transformation of roles and general damage to relationships."  ...good luck with that India...now that we're on the precipice to a better trade agreement and symbiotic working relationship, let us know when you figure that one out...

Needless to say, over there, harmony for the whole is a much greater influence upon how they live and operate, than the selfish creation of happiness for simply one's self.

A place that may provide another way of looking at this, may be found within an organization known as AS A MOM.org : a sisterhood of mommy patriots, as they call themselves.  Here, if I'm not mistaken, and I am most certain I am not, a plethora of happy mommies congregate, daily.

No, not saying they don't have issues; but the overall belief system, the one that binds the "sisterhood," is a firm faith in God and Family -- while some days, not necessarily in that order.

I would be willing to bet, the preponderance of happy mommy patriots outshines the not-so-happy, simply for one thing, and one thing only -- God; in times of triumph or tribulation, the faithful are stewards of the greater good, followers by God's grace, who humbly go wherever Spirit leads them; if aligned with the values and characteristics of Christ, Omniscience finds you -- and uses you, in harmony, for the good of the whole.  They have little time to argue, or question, what the Lord knows best, so they simply get on with life, living it, as best they can,  moving to effect others to do the same, and maybe even affect change.

In the same vein, having just received my 2011 Calendar Girls in the mailbox -- the Clare Boothe Luce Policy Institute, founded in 1993, celebrates American Conservative Women each year, giving a powerful, hand-held tool for organizing the daily grind, while extending a complimentary nod to the twelve most notable and powerful women in the conservative movement.

It's nice to be surrounded with like-minded women -- and likewise, the Luce Policy Institute strives for the advancement of conservative women, traditional values, and all the economic freedoms and liberties that a life safely held under the arm of a limited government can muster; by reaching out to young women across America on college campuses -- the Institute leads the way in providing a real choice, one that offers a valuable and positive environment, along with leadership training, through daily efforts mounting an effective, conservative activism campaign -- all to combat the proliferation of the liberal bias normally associated to places of "higher learning," of course, with left wing intellectual elites at the podiums leading the charge, the Institute has their work cut out for them...

To find out more information, and ways you can get involved, go to the Luce Policy Institute, @ cblpi.org, or contact Michelle Easton, current president and honorable happy sender of my calendar (THANK YOU!), located in Virginia, at (888) 891-4288. 

The calendar reminded me of a famous quote of Clare Boothe Luce (1903 - 1987):
"No good deed goes unpunished."

Funny girl. 

Again, Luce is an example of one of my longtime held beliefs, epitomizing "Western Feminism" before there ever was such a thing; once again, another conservative woman proves, we don't have to wait for it to become popular, to become "a movement,"  we just go out and do it -- be it -- make it -- stand up for it.  There she is....Ms. America... wife, mother, and oh yes, congresswoman, U.S. Ambassador, editor of Vanity Fair, among other things in her happy little life, but all the while, a woman of great FAITH.

The quote on her page -- and she is Ms. July, by the way -- comes the call, "courage is the ladder on which all other virtues mount."  Indeed. Does she stand as a mom, and as a leading lady of courage, or what?! Wouldn't she be surprised to have been the inspiration behind the "Luce Ladies", at cblpi.org.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mEoKR-WFaFc

We don't need a "Western Feminist Movement" to validate what we do, or lead the way in creating our own happiness -- being either a liberal or conservative woman, it should make no difference whatsoever; we just need the courage TO DO, all else, as a good dose of hardcore faith teaches us, shall be added unto you.

Make it a Good Day, G

Before I leave you today, here's another zinger from Clare:
"there are no hopeless situations, only men who have grown hopeless about them."  Is that a little "western feminism" at it's best, or what?!  ... and funny thing,  long before Woodstock, hmmmmmmmmmm...

Monday, November 29, 2010

Dear America,

What Price Happiness?

That is what grabbed me mid Sunday afternoon with a football game in the background.  It was the title of a rather intriguing contemplation, from an author I normally cringe at the thought of reading what she will say next, Naomi Wolf; but this time, color me surprised -- and pleasantly, I might add.

Where she really got to me was really towards the end...long after making profound comparisons of Freud, neuroscience, Betty Friedan -- and The Feminine Mystique (1963), and that of Simone de Beauvoir --  and The Second Sex (1949) ...all chiming in with their own morning alarm "that women too possessed selves that were not defined by others..."

Naomi intermingled relationship with ourselves, the world, and specifically, the last forty years, answering to a study that found women to be "less happy" now than before woman's lib; she didn't want to believe it herself, and low and behold, set out to disprove the findings, or at the very least, try to understand the why and comprehend the how.

Of course, for this American Girl, it wasn't until she rounded about to the discussion of happiness itself -- what is it, and how it might be defined, when -- of all things -- she turns to the founders for a little help.  As she explains in short history first, the Declaration of Independence which pronounces one of America's most treasured beliefs, as evident by what we might find here, in streets paved of gold, I'm sure  -- is the timeless phrase of "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness."

Naomi immediately addresses the fact that this patriotic tidbit, this "promise of America," is far from being "personal" -- no, no -- and she is right on the money here. She goes on saying,

"personal gratification is not what happiness meant in the eighteenth century.  It had much more of a connotation of the fortunate condition of using one's fullest capacities in the service of the larger good.  Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, and even Jane Austen all use happiness in this sense...this is a nice place to start redefining."


As we come to find out, happiness rests on the shoulders of a life that is full, if not, overflowing -- and how we best manage ourselves through it with any sense of grace, reasonable dexterity, with perhaps a greater consciousness holding us all together; the modern world is a good trick to pull off, especially, if one wants to bring in the joy of parenthood, while "using one's fullest capacities in the service of the larger good."

If only we really did just that, is all I have to say.

Somehow, we complicate even the simplest of things.

"Should we consider that the very burdens of our freedom -- our having problems of our own choosing -- are gifts as well?  Should we see that defining a credit card as perhaps the easiest route to happiness may have hidden costs?  Should we outgrow the oppression of the very idea of "perfect"? ...Maybe you find it in spite of, not because of, cultural "happiness" scripts."

Yes, Naomi "I'm not half as afraid of you as I was before" Wolf.

I love it when the left and right meet in the middle of happy town, USA, sipping a latte and eating a gingerbread man head first.  This is a good day.

Truth be told, the article is from last April! nestled in a MORE magazine, of which, I was using to craft together my own intimate collage of inspiration -- creating a muse of my own, so to speak -- in keeping with the detail of stoking my fullest capacities for the maniacal week ahead.

Let's just say, having various pots on the fire, I am being challenged in the process of maintaining the right amount of heat on one, while an unwelcome char is happening on another...while those in between, are simply  not getting stirred often enough.  But I'm cooking!  I'm cooking up a storm!  And that makes me happy.

The gift of the feminist movement is finally returning home -- with a brand spanking new Viking range waiting for you.  We are coming full circle, after years of bearing false witness to the traditions that kept things simple and sane, returning to a greater understanding of how all the moving pieces of life come together successfully, not only for ourselves, in our own little world, but in the service for the larger good, is what it's all about, man. ya dig?

Black Friday and Cyber Monday does not define my America -- and certainly, to be as clear as I possibly can be, it is a far cry from defining my pursuit of happiness in my free time, as well;

I am happy, having a roof over my head, when the skies are so clear, it dips to freezing, even here in sunny, southern California.

I am happy, that my local VONS sold turkeys for $8.00 -- not by the pound -- but the whole entire bird!

I am happy, that when it came time to saying our prayers last night, my girl piped up and said "for Korea...both of them" -- and expanding on that with a question to me, asking if it was appropriate to pray for North Korea, too?  To which I said, "of course, and maybe more so"...distracted by some kind of Godfather flashback in my mind, "keeping your friends close, but your enemies closer." And if the good Lord willing, maybe they will change their ways, saying a little prayer couldn't hurt (good news, free will leans both ways -- bad news, free will leans both ways).

I am happy, that I am capable of loving this world, and my country, with enough passion to heat the sun for lifetimes to come...yes, if in doubt, global warming, is all me.

I am happy, that I can create a home, and a life, that inspires me, that enlivens my spirits, to bloom wherever I'm planted; my mama taught me a lot of that, from the experience of being uprooted from time to time as wife of an officer and a gentleman -- or maybe, having dated back to the time her own childhood, her father being a contractor, who made a life building a home, living in it, selling it, and earning his keep living to the fullest of his capacities -- both men, in service to a greater good, interestingly enough.

I am happy, that when it came time for my mama to choose a career, the most important one was Mama -- having also worked in her own capacity as a teacher over the years...but when push came to shove, her primary duty was to the family, and the rearing of children, who in turn, would go out one day to make a life, living to their fullest capacity for the greater good -- and if nothing else, to do no harm.

I am happy, that I am not ashamed of living a life from faith -- similar to Naomi's sentiment of vanquishing the need for "cultural happiness," so must we awaken to the modern takeover of our faith in this world...

"...the kingdom of Christ is not of this world...The greater the difficulty, the closer it drives us to Christ. Only in Him do we find refuge.  We truly become pilgrims and strangers.  We carefully examine and cling to the basics of the faith.  They become an anchor in the storm.

Ironically, peace and prosperity have the opposite effect.  When all seems to be going well, we tend to forget that we are engaged in warfare.  The intensity of faith that gets us through the tough times tends to languish when life is easy.  The Church becomes assimilated into the culture and cultural Christianity replaces authentic faith.  The distinctions between Church and culture become blurred." 
from William Wilberforce, in a revised edition by Bob Beltz, Real Christianity
It doesn't have to be Christian -- but God help us, let It be Something; we have lost our authenticity -- whether it be about our connection to the Creator, as maker of our free and wondrous world, and Inspiration to live to our fullest capacity for the greater good -- or in finding our own happiness.  The foundation of being morally, ethically, conscientiously, and virtuously coming from a deeper place in our soul, is keeping us from being our cultural, and oh so personal best, at home and around the world.

Life in the last forty years has become so modern, so easy breezy beautiful COVERGIRL, so life in the fast lane, so I have an app for that  -- whether masculine or feminine -- the roots underfoot never stood a chance.

We are dying on the vine, we are letting our children fall in between the cracks, we are not sustaining LIFE and all that is required of it, as the ever so humble, respectful, gracious servants, the pilgrims and strangers we once were.

If we don't teach our children, of the importance of all the little things that add up to a great big wonderful life, who will?

If we don't build the character inside them to become the next great something, something, who will?

If we don't stop and thank God once in awhile, that oh my gosh, look at all the people who can rush out and buy a flat screen TV the day after Thanksgiving without thinking twice about it -- or break all records today on the wide world web, because even though shipping's a hassle, it's free today...

We are about to descend into another war and we run out, stampeding over our neighbor to buy every electronic we can get our hands on? -- because if it's buy one and get one free, all the better?  really?

Today, call me fickle, but I revel in a new appreciation for Naomi Wolf -- the power to live from a place of our own choosing is fundamental in this land we call America; keeping all the pots on a slow simmer, basking in the glow of a warm, inviting fire... blushing in the light of a life well satisfied and savory, sexy and saintly, is a real calling, and a huge task, requiring every bit of our full capacities in every which way to Sunday and back; a heritage where Martha Washington meets Martha Stewart, intercepted perhaps, by Mary Tyler Moore, Rhoda and Gloria Steinem...but we are onto something...indeed... I can just feel it.

The pendulum is swinging -- trading the Cosmopolitan for the simple goodness of an Old Fashioned, yummy; move over MadMen, women have come into their own, again!  And this time, we might just know how to have it all without losing touch with our kids, unbuttoning our blouse to the store bought boobs, or misplacing our faith (somewhere with the car keys) all before work in a career we love...and be all giddy happy about it...ah, maybe giddy is taking it a bit too far...but a girl can dream, can't she?

For we recognize, America's real bounty, is neither packaged or tied up in a bow; it is unleashed in our duty to "Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness" and our ability to align with that spirit of "using one's fullest capacities for the larger good," each and every one.

this reminds me of a saying birthed out of the seventies too:  happiness is...

Make it a Good Day, G

My gift to you today, recipe for an OLD FASHIONED: get a short glass, drop a sugar cube to the bottom and drizzle just a wee bit of water, just enough to dissolve...add a couple hits of Angostura Bitters, an ice cube, and Bourbon Whiskey, stir.  Maraschino Cherry, optional. Sip and be really happy...for awhile. 

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Dear America,

Happy Thursday.
My favorite day of the year is here.

FOR AS MUCH as it is the indispensable Duty of all Men to adore the superintending Providence of Almighty God; to acknowledge with Gratitude their Obligation to him for Benefits received, and to implore such farther Blessings as they stand in Need of: And it having pleased him in his abundant Mercy, not only to continue to us the innumerable Bounties of his common Providence; but also to smile upon us in the Prosecution of a just and necessary War, for the Defense and Establishment of our unalienable Rights and Liberties; particularly in that he hath been pleased, in so great a Measure, to prosper the Means used for the Support of our Troops, and to crown our Arms with most signal success:

It is therefore recommended to the legislative or executive Powers of these UNITED STATES to set apart THURSDAY, the eighteenth Day of December next, for SOLEMN THANKSGIVING and PRAISE: That at one Time and with one Voice, the good People may express the grateful Feelings of their Hearts, and consecrate themselves to the Service of their Divine Benefactor; and that, together with their sincere Acknowledgments and Offerings, they may join the penitent Confession of their manifold Sins, whereby they had forfeited every Favor; and their humble and earnest Supplication that it may please GOD through the Merits of JESUS CHRIST, mercifully to forgive and blot them out of Remembrance; That it may please him graciously to afford his Blessing on the Governments of these States respectively, and prosper the public Council of the whole: To inspire our Commanders, both by Land and Sea, and all under them, with that Wisdom and Fortitude which may render them fit Instruments, under the Providence of Almighty GOD, to secure for these United States, the greatest of all human Blessings, INDEPENDENCE and PEACE: That it may please him, to prosper the Trade and Manufactures of the People, and the Labor of the Husbandman, that our Land may yield its Increase: To take Schools and Seminaries of Education, so necessary for cultivating the Principles of true Liberty, Virtue and Piety, under his nurturing Hand; and to prosper the Means of Religion, for the promotion and enlargement of that Kingdom, which consisteth "in Righteousness, Peace and Joy in the Holy Ghost.

And it is further recommended, That servile Labor, and such Recreation, as, though at other Times innocent, may be unbecoming the Purpose of this Appointment, be omitted on so solemn an Occasion.

From the first G. Dubbya, as in George WASHINGTON, 1777; he proclaimed the first NATIONAL Day of Thanksgiving, celebrating the victory of the American Revolutionary War on this day.

How the times have changed in matters of our humility, and grace, respective of the blessings "under the Providence of Almighty GOD....so necessary for cultivating the Principles of true Liberty, Virtue and Piety, under his nurturing Hand..."  It was an utter joy to be of this nature, of this "promotion and enlargement of that Kingdom."  We, as a people, were living a life connected to the Holy Spirit in our livelihoods and family and government, from the inside out.  

It might help for us to pray for more of that today -- Lord knows, it wouldn't hurt, right.

Make it a yummy good day with family, friends and a grateful heart for all that we have, for we have so much;  let us give thanks and praise for who we are, for a faith that knows no bounds, for a history that teaches us everything we need to know... in order to build a future and sustain a nation... firm in our principles and values... for generations to come. 

My very best to America today, and always, G

A special Johnny Cash is playing  a click away on "Dear America" theater today...watch it.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Dear America,

First let's clean house a bit:

The opening page of yahoo, told of a different headline than what was really going on... declaring, oh my gosh... something that is terribly untrue -- oh, the shock, the horror, be still my broken heart.

Bristol Palin was not "out for revenge" on the "haters" -- and she did not think ill of Jennifer Grey winning the shiny sparkly globe of dancing jubilation, okay; when she said she had "the time of her life" it wasn't a dig, alright.  She was gracious and probably, very happy it was all finally over.

And you know, I really can't understand the controversy; when you have a show that allows voters to stem the tide, and sway a certain way, for whatever reason -- popularity or skill -- then you just have to two step with it; it's what it is.  You think Emmitt Smith got the big dancing ball by just his dancing shoes?   Against Mario Lopez? ...who were side by side with identical scores in the end? when it came down to "popularity" -- or who's got a bigger "fan base."  Pulleeze.

 America, we can't be a bunch of poor sports now, we've come too far, for too long, to have a bad attitude and snide comments get in our way.   Fair and balanced means anything goes, competition doesn't play  favorites, except sometimes, maybe it does!

Some could say, Jennifer Grey had a clear cut, pointy toe advantage  -- is that fair?  really? to have made history making the moves on our dear Patrick Swayze so long ago?  Who came from the family jewels of a rather famous father, a dancer and choreographer, Joel Grey, no less.  C'mon.

All is fair in love and dancing, especially when it is made for TV (and you know who really benefited, was ABC -- if anyone wants to get after somebody, how about we take a look see at the corporate media mogul over there sitting pretty on a table for what, five million, sipping champagne).  FYI, just guessing on how many people actually watched the series...I have NO idea, so don't quote me.

So, having said all that, I feel better; but let us move into other feats of journalistic wonderment, and review an article simply titled: FOUR IN 10 say MARRIAGE IS BECOMING OBSOLETE...November 18, by HOPE YEN, of the Associated Press.  Hmmm Hope, is that really what is happening?

Oh, and it's not just Hope who carried this drumbeat, much of the media picked this story up...kind of like a big mass of haters, sneering at the sacred tradition with contempt, as if marriage is soooooooo nineteen eighty-nine.

The article went on to note "in 1978, just 28 percent believed marriage was becoming obsolete..." after claiming it was "indeed, about 39 percent of Americans said...obsolete" only a sentence before. So in thirty two years, the idea that marriage is becoming obsolete is up by 11%.

after decades of divorce, Hollywood, and the ever so popular use of a cultural and relationship killing phenomenon -- none other than the arrow through the back by way of a sordid affair of the heart and soul, or after decades of children being raised with virtually one parent, trading weekends (myself included in this group) at about the rate of "29 percent of all children under the age of 18",  or after distancing ourselves from God, as a culture, slowly, recklessly, mindlessly, over the last several years to maybe an entire century -- the IDEA that MARRIAGE is becoming OBSOLETE is only up by about ten percent???  THAT IS AMAZING ...have God's grace on thee.

Personally, and being a half full kind a girl, I don't know how we did it.

I think that is remarkable, given where we have taken our culture, meandering the streets of dirty dancing, drugs, selfish ambitions, personal careers at the expense of family, greed, loss of spirituality and a connectedness to Something greater than ourselves, only to name a few.

Having said all that, Hope does make some alarming, but well thought out observations of the changes we are making, as a people: pointing out the effect of the "changing views of family are being driven largely by young adults 18-29, who are more like than older generations to have an unmarried or divorced parent...have more liberal attitudes when it comes to spousal roles and living together before marriage."

Hope also mentioned the number of people who would be sitting around the table this Thanksgiving could be in the range of about twenty people -- a family more than likely piecemeal-ed together with extended family, friends, step parents and siblings, and maybe even both parents -- but then again, maybe not (got about a fifty-fifty chance).

The thing is, not until you get about two-thirds of the way in do we discover a number that really counts:

"Still, the study indicates that marriage isn't going to disappear anytime soon. 

Despite a growing view that marriage may not be necessary, 67% of Americans were upbeat about the future of marriage and family. 

That's higher than their optimism for the nation's educational system (50%), economy (46%), or its morals and ethics (41%)...

about HALF of all currently unmarried adults, 46% say they want to get married. Among those unmarried who are living with a partner, the share rises to 64%."

You can read more at http://pewsocialtrends.org

Make no mistake, and let me be clear, now:  67% of Americans were upbeat about the future of marriage and family, according to the same survey, the same study, who declared Four in Ten say marriage is becoming OBSOLETE.  wow.

I guess it's all in how you look at it.

Funny could it be that the same haters of Bristol Palin (who really hate her mom) be in the same group as those declaring marriage as going away some time soon??  perhaps even, hoping and wishing and praying that marriage itself might meet it's ultimate fate, dancing off the stage, in a runaway bride sort of way, along with any and all family tradition whatsoever, in a warped Cinderella style Disney destiny...

Now, could it be that those who are upbeat about marriage and family --  the 67% crowd -- might actually be the ones who were voting for the underdog, in droves, that kept Bristol dancing, and smiling, all the way to the very end?  Just sayin'

And looky here, full circle, isn't this just a perfect week to give thanks and praise for what really works in society  (and what doesn't) in everything from marriage, to family, to faith, to humanity rising to the levels it really needs to be, in order to make a more perfect UNION...we can always strive AS A PEOPLE OF MANY OPINIONS and VIEWS to be better, in all we do, in all we say, in all we think about, as we go about dancing about in our own little world.

We can only hope, and give thanks,  and maybe even try a little harder from now on.

Make it a Good Day, G

Monday, November 22, 2010

Dear America,

Good Morning America! The sun is shining, the air is clear, all is right with the world.

Oh, if I were a boy... I would have played football.  And given my Monday through Friday positioning, high upon my own little soapbox throne, you just have to know I would be on offense, and then realize a half a second later, yeah that's right... I'd be playing quarterback....so let's just get that out in the open now and fugetaboutit, it's really not about me.

Where am I off to this morning, God only knows; but let me say this, sometimes we miss the point entirely when navigating the field of controversy, opinion, solutions, in deciding our ultimate future, or in simple matters of the every day.  What happens in front of us can be so deceiving from what really happened; sometimes a glimpse of something, doesn't reflect the whole truth; sometimes, miracles are made in split second timing, while real long term advancement can only be made through the exchange of heartfelt convictions, both sides offering their very best offense, along with a steady stream of defenses rising to meet the needs as the seasons change, as the game shifts, and moves, and makes an afternoon of it, and if really lucky, the makings of a legend.

Epic feats of courage and excellence, day in and day out; a commitment to the whole team, and especially to yourself, to be everything you can be.

Sure it's only a game of football, but and how!  Come every Sunday, from the lazy days of summer, bouncing into fall, and into the dead of winter, we are hunkered down in an annual celebration for months on end; okay, maybe not all of us.  For some, ho hum, football doesn't even come up in conversation, let alone provide any fodder for family ritual and relaxation; but really, take a moment with me, if you will, indulge me.

You know what's really made in America?

Things like the last 10 seconds between Houston Texans and the New York Jets: Mark Sanchez to Santonio Holmes, TOUCHDOWN.  This, after having been down by four and going 72 yards in 45 seconds to make it happen.

This doesn't exactly tell the whole story though, does it?  Anyone who watched the entire game would tell you, the Jets lost a sixteen point lead in the game, as Houston came firing back on all cylinders, just moments before. Jets went from winning at 23-7, to being down by four in a gridiron second.

But remember this is America, anything can happen; and this is made for TV, made in America, FOOTBALL at it's best. Just when you think it's all over, it ain't over.

Who should be cheering on the sidelines on this fine November morning... America, that's who...opa!  

Yeah, yeah, we can't all be Jets fans, and really, I'm not one of them; I could care less about this team.  But boy, does this girl love the come back; does this girl love the dynamic of being down and out with seconds to go; does this  girl love it when the writing on the wall is wrong; does this girl love it that, even when the best of strategies are in play, sometimes reality takes over, other forces join in...and when it's all said and done, you just have to be ready for anything.  So what does this all boil down to?

Living with convictions and principles that will withstand the test of time; keeping to what we know, keeping to the foundation, and building upon that, day in and day out; sticking to a pattern that works, conditioning like there is no tomorrow and being prepared for whatever might be thrown our way.

This also reminds me that the end result can be deceiving; the end game, the stats, may not relay the whole truth.

As an example of this in a world of nukes and matters of international affairs, there is more than meets the eye going on with the New START Treaty.  Obama, in his Saturday radio address, apparently was making his point using a tried and true Republican to make his case, to rest his strategy upon someone hailed by all, in a tactic to sway Senator Jon Kyl to bend (over) --  the decision to wait for the new session of congress before signing to a deal that could potentially harm America's defenses has Obama sidelined and steaming.

Now, this matter is definitely over my pay grade, but a group who studies and weighs the strategies left, right and center -- and one of my favorite sideline coaches laying out the field of global governance against America, is The Heritage Foundation.  A must read is this morning's Morning Bell...

After getting quite the summation by the folks at Heritage, and in the unlikelihood of world domination by evil forces coming to my town anytime soon...I choose to wait with Kyl, too.

We know, even in the best of times, even when ahead by ten, or merely down by one, things could change.

What is the big rush for Obama?  Why now?  Does he need a win that bad that he is willing to jeopardize America's security -- give in too much, relax our defenses, and let the world back us into a corner, or worse?  Again, what's the rush when so much is at stake?  Why does this administration constantly fall back on the coming of a crisis, the appeal of mounting fear, to gain traction and popular opinion to forge ahead -- even if it risks everything we know and love?

We have seen what happens with a rush to judgment (the police acted "stupidly"...), a rush to legislation (health care pushed through late Christmas Eve -- and we all know why now -- as out of the 2300 page playbook, we only like perhaps five), a rush to fix things or cast blame  (whether it be the oil slick removal, an over priced stimulus  package, over leveraged buyouts of unscrupulous car companies, the building of a mosque near Ground Zero, the trial of Ghailani in NYC -- and to think...getting off on all 280 counts, except one)...you get my drift.

None of these actions were based on the real playbook for America, none of these things.

The Constitution... our Declaration of Independence... our Federalist Papers... our Gettysburg Address... and most of all, in this moment, our Common Sense... gives us the ability to stay true to the strategies that work, the foundation laid by our founders,  and gives us everything we need to know.  The truth is, we have strayed from the ultimate playbook; and we don't even recognize it anymore, as it is masked under a false sense of security carried out by an administration who might sound tough, might say the right things, might be all bells and whistles, cheerleaders and props, but the substance is simply not there.

You Barack Obama are no Ronald Reagan.  To walk around in the same realm as that guy, to even sprint for a minute in his cleats, you gotta another thing coming; no, correction, you've got a whole line of offenses coming, with we the people running defense all the way to the end zone.   I don't even care if that analogy doesn't  make sense --  it's a beautiful sunny day! not a cloud in the sky! and it's a Monday even!  Day after a great day of football (and God! ...being Sunday and all)...

...but it's the audacity-in-chief, the cocky quarterback standing at the fifty yard line wondering which way to go, and against the home team no less, that just chaps my deri'rere; you believe, dear president, that by uttering Reagan's name a few times, clicking your heals, that it would be enough to win us over, like magic, a miracle, a Hail Mary with ten seconds to go.  The truth is, only a few games really go down that way -- and a season is a long,      long       time.

The making of a franchise, with America's name on it, doesn't rest upon short term gains with long term repercussions; we are in it, to win it, no matter what it is, based upon the tried and true, a strategy that has endured for centuries. (And a new START Treaty, rushed into action,  is probably not the best of times to test this)

WE condition ourselves to believe in miracles, yes, but we play for the every day of getting the job done -- methodically, conscientiously,  painstakingly and joyfully; whether it happens in this season, or the next, we do not jeopardize our future relying on highfalutin highballs to simply make a good play once in awhile and be gone next year on an injury.

We are in it for the long haul, what is best for the team, the whole team and nothing but the team -- except perhaps, a charity or two.. or try three hundred -- maybe even troubling ourselves with a genuine concern for the community at large, giving back what we can, and more -- and even going so far as teaching our children a thing or two about good sportsmanship, humility, the reward of hard work, and the disgrace to fall from having it all to landing in jail to having it all again (with an added bonus of God's grace on thee, thank you Michael Vick)...

Today, it's all about America, and America's favorite past time, all rolled up into one yummy pigskin -- now, if we could only weave bacon into this, it would be a perfect day.

Make it a Good Day, G

Friday, November 19, 2010

Dear America,

Oh as the world turns, now just where are my bonbons?

Again, through the miracle of television, we get revision of the facts; we get flooded with lights, camera, action from all points of view -- except from the one that really matters; we get spellbound and entranced, watching the charades continue in disbelief, out of utter curiosity; and then bam, the unthinkable happpens, taking us all by surprise, never having seen it coming...or did we?

You know, a good soap does this to us over and over again; this would be highly entertaining right now, if these kinds of antics weren't tossed around on the world stage IN REALITY!

My favorite part yesterday -- and there were so many -- was at the tail end of his two-minute hail to me, the chief, speech (almost done with the same flare as a certain "mission accomplished" banner, but whatever) when he said, paraphrasing of course, 'before I leave you today, let's give a shout out and embarrass a couple of guys, who were key in making all my GM dreams come true...ah now don't be shy...come on now Ron (as in Bloom), and the other Ron...stand up and be proud Americans...'

The one who should be embarrassed -- for even just opening the door -- should be you, Mr. President.

What YOU really meant to say was thank you Rattner, as in Steve Rattner -- the one who just so happened to be paying millions, maybe billions before all is said and done, to the State of New York, the SEC, and anyone else who might come along to stake claim (kinda like China with it's shares of GM).  Hand it over and nobody will get hurt -- except maybe a reputation or two, but who's cares about that, right?

You know, if it wasn't all so creepy -- I might be standing with Obama, too, on this lovely day after the largest IPO known to man; but I simply can't.

I just can't help but imagine what tricks he pulled, what cajoling, what arm twisting, what tactics using some combination of 'what part do you not understand' and 'really? seriously? like you have a choice' -- to make this great day for Government Motors happen? you know what I'm sayin?

I mean, for Rattner (and just love how the name fits into the storyline) to have been found guilty, on a variety of counts, profiting in the millions, based on his ability to master the dynamics of the kickback?  THAT is a story made for T.V., doncha know. somebody pass me a mocha cream, stat.

(and don't think the timing isn't suspect to a little gerrymandering too ...brilliant...)

Ron Bloom, and his merry band of car czar wannabes,  did squat, really.  The deal was brokered, done, signed, sealed and call it delivered on the back of a semi-trailer, with the paper still on the windshield.  All Ron had to do was get in it and drive -- and real fast, I might add.

I am just stunned that the president was able to get that line off with a straight face, that's all.  That is work of a true genious;  that deserves a daytime Emmy; that is surely one for the show and two for the money -- you know what I'm sayin?

Okay, so to sum it all up; everybody seems to have escaped this episode unscathed  -- except perhaps, the Rattner, and those of us on the outside, those of us sitting home with melted chocolate on the fingertips and nowhere to go but hide, I mean, wait, wondering, will we ever learn?  Is our happy ending in the next season of let the good times roll?  What about me, we all say in unison from behind the curtain? What about the tax payer...who must sit back and watch the world happen around us, to us, without so much as a thank you?  I didn't hear him say, thank you to US.  Did you?

Did you hear an earnest plea to sit tight, our day is coming?  Did you get any sense of security in when our vigs would appear out of thin air?  Did you hear confidence in the free market system? Or through the miracle of TV, find a blind man behind the wheel giving us worn out assurances that His vision for America's future -- her "fundamental transformation" -- is coming to fruition, piece by piece, auto parts and widgets and all, oh my... 

What we heard was ...and I'm paraphrasing again... 'we told them we would stand by them, if you do this, this, this and this....(blah blah blah)...new leadership, fresh thinking, and shared sacrifice...(blah blah blah)  And they did. and it was good. and tomorrow, we may not be able to rest with ease, but we can sure rally around the shares today and be glad in it.'

While G's hemorrhaging on the nit picky and sugar overload -- along with the accompaniment of the debonair Dr. Killdare, looking aimlessly into space -- let us ponder in an awkward long pause just how the president fudged a wee bit on reality.   Giving himself and GM the best light, he had the audacity to raise claim to have cut the government stake in GM (and I quote this time) "by nearly half."  No, Mr. President, try more like 37% -- a fifth grader could tell you it is closer to one-third than one half, but again, details...you say Bloom, we say Rattner.  Whatever.

So bring on the jammies to settle in for the long winter, the stock, while at about $34 (ooh that's almost 1/3rd) will have to rise to $52.00/share (ooh that's nearly one half)  for us to see the light of day on this one; and with the way things are changing, with the way this world keeps turning, one life to live may not be enough to see this happen.  details, shmeetails, Rattner and rat-tales, let's just hope the Bloom isn't off the rose, just yet.

At least we've got each other, what a box of bonbons and a warm blankie can do; in the meantime, we can live vicariously through the lives of made-up TV -- or even be really bad and watch the horrid display of the uncouth, naughty, or just plum one-ups-man-ship in reality shows -- or sit back and wait for the next press corps meeting.

In any case, it will be an event  made for you and me.  craving nuts and nougat now... reality just bites sometimes, doesn't it.  doesn't it?

Make it a Good Day, G

can we count the number of czars taken off the air for unscrupulous, unspeakable, un-American acts...that should keep us amused for awhile.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Dear America,

Just an everyday commoner. Yes indeed.

As you should know, I'm taking this as a sign.  Maybe even a sign from God, but that would be getting ahead of myself, now wouldn't it.

Go Kate; as in Kate Middleton, engaged to be the next princess of Great Britain.  Middleton, it just sounds British, no? The d's roll into the t's and it becomes this fluttering alliteration of sound and substance that permeates from the back of the throat through hundreds of years of history. I could listen to a Brit all day.

And they were so cute, the two of them, just gushing over their announcement of eight years and coming.  Diana must be smiling and crying all at the same time.

But let's get back to the commoner.
Isn't it brilliant that we are receiving her into our hearts when all points of light seem to rally around the common man.  And not just here in the states, but everywhere; the common man is either rising up against the travesties of an overzealous government, demonstrably and orderly, as in the Tea Party movement, or they are rioting in protest across the world's stage.  Either way, the commoner is king, demanding attention, forcing the government elite to change their wicked ways, somehow, some way.

However, a frightening reality is beginning to take shape; are we, as a world order, already too tied up together to make a break?

The common man questioned the timing and ability for America to make a break from the tyranny of jolly old England over two hundred years ago -- they agonized over making the decision -- and to think, things were all so simple then.

But now look at the world, one country goes over the nation-to-nation call allowance and we all know about it...as we begin screaming, those were my minutes!...how can you talk so long!....who are you talking to and what are you up to?  Get your head out of the I-phone and can't we talk about this first?  Can't we just talk, like two reasonable, mature nations all wanting the same thing for everybody else, but you know, privately, on our own, without peeking on the text messages back and forth?  While, with all that being said, you know how the game of telephone ends, what began as "look forward to seeing  you in Germany on Sunday, and France on Tuesday" turns into "took Ireland to the cleaners on Monday -- and can we dance in Greece Wednesday?"...you know how it goes.

The thing is, the way this world is being re-engineered, once one line gets dropped, we all go. Game of Dominoes anyone?

Whatever ever happened to the cry of locals rule?  What ever happened to the hippies of yesteryear, who preached the gospel of buying local, making our own goods, community gardens and teaching our own children in the communal school of life and partnership and profit sharing?  Where are these people decreeing a sense of urgency, returning to, quite possibly, our agricultural roots?  Where are the anarchists who just want to be left alone, to live off the land and love one another, peacefully?

Realizing we manifested from Divine Providence, out from the inherent birthright endowed by our Creator, firmly grounded in the principles of freedom and liberty for all, rising out of necessity to liberate the common man from over taxation without representation, and surely a life of serfdom, according to the ties that bind dictated from the top down from Kings, Elitists, and Parliamentary rule -- domineered from the Church of England, no less -- I just have to wonder, HOW DID WE GET HERE?

I am just so mad.

I am just so mad... bullocks, piss-off, oh bloody hell, and away with you and this madness. 

this is simply not the way it was supposed to turn out...

there are things going on now in this world that do not make sense.

How can we logically and reasonably control what goes on in the backyard of China, when we don't even have a handle on our own?

How can we dictate a total world order, when in fact our local neighborhood elementary school is upside down and ass backwards, being told how to teach from the top down from  the principles office or 3500 miles away -- with some kids not even being able to hang a flag on the back of their bike?

How can we solve local traffic issues, building permits, city redevelopment, pension problems, bank loans from a bureaucracy that lives in a whole 'nother world, and in airy-fairy land where sky's the limit, money's no object?

How can we teach our children to be connected to something bigger than Facebook -- to Something greater than themselves -- a faith that inspires loving, honorable, gracious, joyous, continuous creation in every day life, connected to the Source of all things?

I believe (and again, what do I know...) the world needs to just get a hold of themselves right quick -- and it's not by linking arms, bank accounts, currency, and family share plans.

It's called having all the world get on their hands and knees in prayer -- I mean, look at it this way, Muslims are doing it right now, right?  They are all doing the Hajd thing right now, in Mecca, or the promised land, bowing in prayer...right now, as we speak.  What do you think they are praying for?  Do you think 'world peace' is up there? Do you wonder if they hope and pray Iran isn't really going to make a bomb, and make matters worse, use it?  Are they praying for a good poppy harvest? or the war in Afghanistan to come to an end, or if maybe the Cowboys have a chance in hell to bring their winning streak to two?  Do they pray for just Muslim children, or all kids?  In any event...

We all pray; some of us do it with a Christian God, others, not so much; some follow Mohammed, others follow Jesus, some don't believe in anyone but themselves -- and that is their prerogative -- to each their own, right.   But we are surrounded by belief systems, whether in place for centuries, or only in the last thirty days.

Some even turn over their faith to a bottle; in any case, we must bow our heads in prayer to whatever that is for you and call upon the Almighty One to save us, guide us, bring us back to the time when we were One with It, to the extent that every action we made, we aligned ourselves with It before ever making a single move...for our fallen human condition these days is, after all, of our own making.

But to think we can fix ourselves by simply trusting in each other, to ban together, holding onto each other for dear life, pulling everyone down in the process, gasping for air, impetuously turning one country's chance for a life raft into a global catastrophe of Titanic proportions...we will sadly be mistaken.

There is a way to have world cooperation; there is a path holding each other to a higher consciousness, in relationship to satisfying our needs on a global scale; there is a logical, orderly way of living with accountability, with just the right amount of impetus to do the right thing for all parties involved; there is way.

The bottom line, is that the golden rule is still golden.

We have done it before; and we can do it again.

"Mere morality is dwarfish
compared to the results of true faith.  
Morality as an answer to the pitiful state 
of the human condition
reveals a total misunderstanding 
of the enormous problem of the fallen human condition."

yes, my favorite Brit these days, William Wilberforce

We need to bring the conversation and our attention down a notch, or two.  

This is simply not our world to play with -- we are on loan; and if I may be so bold (say it like a Brit, it sounds better) we struggle with our every day totally, and absolutely, coming from the wrong perspective; primarily, we come up from the earth, from a lower vantage point, which over time, manifested into a rather feeble attempt to run the world according to man; at this juncture, I do believe there is no need to push the envelope any further... we should all get it by now; we have failed as human beings, thoroughly, and miserably.

Between our phony faith, that narrowly gets us by, over the last several decades... to the continuous days of reckoning from forces beyond our control through radical "jihad" against the heathens of the world...  to the return of tyranny, taking away our liberties, in epic proportion... to all the world grappling with the reality that we have done it to ourselves, all at the same time, for a myriad of reasons under a host of liabilities in each our own season -- we are linked in ways we never conceivably thought possible.

In light of what is happening the world over, a namby-pamby faith is simply not going to cut it, people.

Prince William was ready to take his faith, in Kate rather, to the next level; in front of the world he made his intentions known.  So sweet.

And just what, pray tell, do we do for God?   What have we done for Him come lately?

As a people of faith, WHAT DO WE DO in our every day, to show our thanksgiving, to sing His praise, to bow to our knees in humble prayer; it is not enough to simply say, I'm a believer (even if in song, and yes, of course it's playing on Dear America, duh!) -- we must take a leap of faith and show it, prove it, give it our highest honor and our deepest reverence.  We must live by it, walking in the image of God, whether a follower of Christ, Mohammed, the Buddha, Whatever you wanna call It, if only It be little old youIf that's the best that you got, then as long as you bring no harm, honor that, I'm not here to convince you of anything, not that I really could, right...

The thing is, in this day, this I know -- our world will fall to pieces without the proper foundation for goodness and charity and liberty and freedom to grow and prosper.  It's as simple as that. 

A spiritual re-birthing is what needs to happen; we need to be more fully engaged with that which really makes us tick; our marriage made in heaven begins with a commitment to principles and values worthy of a lifetime -- till death do us part -- and then not really, as for many of us, we believe in everlasting life...which is kind of a nice thought given where we are today, isn't it.  isn't it?

Cheerio and 
Make it a Good Day, G

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Dear America,

What is really in the heart and who, in fact, really knows?

If you believe in God, that would be the only answer.

What motivates, what inspires, what begins as the root intention and blossoms into the desired outcome is a possession of a man's heart and only truly known by God; everyone else, is just guessing.

Such is the case with Pat Cadell last night, when being persuaded to expand upon his years of political punditry and polling -- on behalf of the Democrats I might add -- with Neil Cavuto; Cavuto prodding into what he means exactly, when it comes to recommending our president only stick around for one term...

Well, simply this: if in fact he has America's best interests at heart, Cadell believes all partisan bickering and warfare should be swept aside for the good of the country; this is the time, this is the chance, to really change America for the better;  that this is a "unique moment in this country's history" when the president could put all politics aside and do something honorable, and bring the two parties together for the sake of our future -- AND if that requires this sitting president to only go one round, so be it.

Now I happen to like this guy, Cadell, very much.  I have enjoyed listening to his take on the mid-terms, and have opened my own heart to the liberal view, through Cadell's eyes, at a number of times, if only to be enlivened by an honest to goodness debate based upon the merits of an issue.  Anyone can have that kind of conversation with a guy like Cadell.  And I like that.

But this is where I find myself grappling with reality and Cadell's fantasy world -- there is not one bone in my body who recognizes this inherent, political will and spirit of public service within a certain someone who is this president of the United States.  This person does not exist.

But what do I really know.

Hmmmmm WWWD?

Let's venture back to 1797, in the year of the Wilberforce,

"The bottom line seems to be whether we are willing to give even when it really costs us.  In the same way, are we willing to do the right thing when doing so might actually result in the loss of personal prestige or human praise?  It again all boils down to what is happening in our hearts..."

"Authentic faith is not interested in being able to put on a virtuous mask.  It demands truth in the inner person.  The person of faith stand in the presence of the One who searched their hearts.  The true believer attempts to live in an atmosphere of benevolence and works to avoid any action or thought that would distort or diffuse its purity."

There is the root cause, the intention, back behind everything we say  or do in this world -- and only God, or the back of your mind, really knows what it is.

"when we keep our "minds on things above" (Col. 3:2), we have no reason to be envious or hostile toward those whose focus is on worldly fame and fortune."

"a good barometer of the authenticity of our faith is how we respond to the attacks of those who treat us as if they are above us.  True humility handles such treatment with grace.  When we do not retaliate against those who offend us, we open the door to reconciliation with our adversary."
We see the character of the man by his response; as we witnessed in the last thirty days leading up to the mid-terms, we watched a president go on the attack, belittling the opposition, ridiculing the policy, with every tactic from name calling to flat out lies and misrepresentation; he couldn't help himself. His insecurity was showing; his thin skin became unglued; the audacity to put his foot in mouth in retaliatory rhetoric diminished his true power.

The writing was on the wall -- and, since trouble never takes a holiday, he went into action;  the president lowered himself to the level of chief name caller, among other unrighteous things, forgetting -- or simply not caring -- that on the flip side, he would be facing his adversaries front and center on a brand new playing field when it was all said and done.

You know who is pretty secure with herself,  Sarah Palin; G has gone down this road many times before, but I can't help myself in this moment, to recognize that her inner Palin is aligned with her outer, while essentially acting as a conduit of faith in everything she touches.  She can no more separate the inside Sarah from the outside anymore than she could forget to breathe -- at least, from this girl's angle.

How do I know this?  By how she responds to the world -- how she reacts to the ridicule from both left and right -- how she doesn't ever let us see her sweat; she is a woman of faith,  and nothing else really matters.  She wears an armor of a special nature encapsulating an unconditional, authentic, everlasting faith -- and all else that may bring harm must filter through eyes of God first.  She is a servant of a higher purpose under Heaven, so there is no need to concern herself with the thoughts of man; she moves on, doing her own thing, unscathed and unharmed, in the realm of let this mama grizzly be, kind of way.

Strangely enough, you know who else seems to be having a second coming around, the Dubbya; get a load of this guy, masterfully putting himself out there but on the down low -- humble pie and all get out.  Talk about becoming a master of survival and example of true grit sincerity!

Bushie is having a field day -- he is speaking on behalf of his own intentions, long hidden from view from an unforgiving public, only to have a chance to possibly redeem himself, if only to explain why -- what brought him to the onslaught of "Decision Points" within his presidency? What stirred in the back of his head? What did he pray about before sending our troops into war?  What did this man truly believe to be right action and why?

How can we tell of his authenticity?  By his response.  Over the course of his presidency, and in light of the last couple of now, dropping by every news channel and daily talk show, every moment, the sincerity of a man shines through.  I am more proud of him now, I think, than when he was president.

His natural humility; his disarming affect on those of us watching and upon the few asking the baited questions (all, except possibly Matt Lauer) -- he is the picture of security and greater understanding; he calmly takes the hook, firmly answering without second guessing if he's saying the right thing -- he simply, genuinely, responds (whether with a laugh, or a tear in his eye).

For Obama, what we witness, is a mass of confusion and fumbling -- what we see, is a contradiction of actions and words -- what we experience, inside, is a prevailing doubt of a man we do not  recognize anymore.  The sad truth is, our president seems to be making his own troubled waters as he goes along; he does very little to align with the right thought, the right action, at the right time to bring a sense of calm and security for America.

While the international front continues to wreak havoc..... upon the areas of free trade -- having the audacity to upend even agreements already made.... along with the dawning of a new age of nuclear bombs in Iran.... along side President Karzai jeopardizing the war front by turning relations upside down (again)..... all awhile, annoying the global market by printing money (again)...... and not without showing stronger allegiances to the Muslim  community, even if that means trampling all over our own founding principles -- like in being unable to intelligently respond to a girl's question for his position on "jihad"....... and then after being renowned for discrediting American businesses outsourcing in places like India only to turn around to promote new business relations there as if you haven't said a word ..........all this and more .......brought to you by How to Lose a Country in Ten Days; having only narrowly escaped the damages from a mid-term "shellacking" it's time now to come home, joy to the world, and come clean in the midst of the aftermath.

But will you, Mr. President?

Will you apologize to republicans for lowering the office of the president to the level of chief name caller throughout months of campaigning, and really, really be the bridge for both sides of the aisle?

Will you apologize to the American people for pushing through, against their will, a nationalized corruption of the best health care system on earth?

Will you apologize to our children for the leveraging of their future through the recent 600 Billion dollar monetizing of our debt, the 865 Billion dollar no holds barred stimulus with no return, the trillion dollar health care bill that is yet to be paid for?

Will you apologize to all tax payers, that you had no idea what you were thinking, that you will permanently keep the Bush era tax cuts for all, large and small, for the betterment of the business community, knowing that it will bring the much needed confidences to invest, hire, advance, and create new businesses everywhere?

Pat Cadell is almost begging you to consider second thoughts about a second term -- in great hope for you to reach in and find the fortitude and conviction of a president who truly wants what is best for his country to show through, right now, as we haven't got time to waste.  But having said that, it's your call to make, dear president (this isn't necessarily a good time for rash decisions or jumping to conclusions either; take a minute, if you must).

But make no mistake, Cadell, Obama is doing, and saying, exactly what is in his heart -- every president goes through the agony of transferring what is on the inside, out; only a long wait, for the passage of time to be made and placed into the history books, will we ever truly come to know what is inside a man's heart...of course, God knows, right now.  But just so you know, what you are asking of him goes against everything he knows and loves.

For the rest of us -- if America succeeds, it sure would put a damper on the whole global market economy thing going on in the underpinnings of the underworld, seen and unseen.  And one thing is for certain -- there is no way for a sitting president to stand for both.  just sayin'

Make it a Good Day, G

Monday, November 15, 2010

Dear America,

"Is there any doubt that the handwriting is on the wall for where we are heading?  If we look around, we will see the outcome of these trends in countries that are ahead of us in teaching the logical conclusions of such cultural drift.  We see in such cases that manners have been corrupted, morality has sunk into depravity, indulgence is out of control and above all, faith has been discredited and unbelief has become fashionable.  When a culture reaches this point, it becomes so out of touch with truth that masses of people deny outright the existence of God.  God's will for the nation has been abandoned and man has been made God."
 William Wilberforce, adaptation by Bob Beltz, Real Christianity

My guess is you'll never guess when that was first published?

Try 1797.

And it wasn't even about the United States, it was jolly old England he was speaking about.

But it could have been Anytown, USA -- and not some odd two hundred years ago, but more like just last week.

The book makes quite the case for getting the masses' head out of our proverbial a** -- with a greater sense of elegance, of course.  But his point, throughout every phrase, exclamation and lamentation, is that "a nominal faith" will not save us; "it will take a vital faith for Christianity [our culture, society...whatever] to survive at all..."

..."When the cement that has held a nation 
no longer exists, 
the state soon dissolves into anarchy."

We, as a nation, and as a people, are being surrounded by wake up calls; and likewise, it is how we choose to respond that will make all the difference.  Will we roll over for five more minutes?  Will we keep hitting the snooze button?  Will we just rationalize not showing up today because we owe it to ourselves to have a day off, a day to play, a day to play hookie?  We've been good; we're a good person, deep down; I deserve it...what's a little white lie gonna do really?

Few books these days have the ability to really touch us -- speak to us.  This is one.  Buy it today.

In a word, we have issues -- and it's not for lack of intelligence, or understanding of history, or misrepresentation of the facts.  

Oops. Scratch that; maybe it is.

We just think we are so hot these days, don't we?  We just think, I am, therefore, I AM!  Who needs a God anymore?  Who needs to live from the soul, in relationship to that which gave us everything?

We are simply too smart, too studied, too full of ourselves and what we know -- we can do it all, without any help, without living from a higher consciousness and spiritual connection to that which is greater than ourselves, any day, everyday, bring it.
Granted this version of Wilberforce is a force to be reckoned with; it's a modern take that almost takes your breath away; but can you just imagine it?  Wilberforce was thinking this stuff over two hundred years ago; he got to the core of a touchy, cultural phenomenon without mincing words or sugarcoating his disfavor -- basically calling everybody out and saying, get over yourselves, will you!  with an attitude of just look at us, look around, don't you see what is happening here?  

Delving deeper he simply says, if you think God is satisfied with this "cultural Christianity" thing we got going on, then you got another thing coming; adding, it's not enough to be born into Christianity and be done with it -- deliberate and contemplative attention to the details is absolute and required. [kind of like it's not enough to be born in America, that makes you an American...it becomes so much more than that, over a lifetime.]

Describing "true Christians" in terms of "it is a joy for them to serve the Lord.  They don't live lives out of obedience out of some heartless obligation to a punitive deity.  They live joyfully in the blessing of the life God designed...this kind of faith is filled with happiness."
And really, not just Christianity, but in all faiths -- the key is found in the connection to God, any God, and being in relationship to It, day in and day out, thankfully, graciously, adoringly, lovingly, and living in the company of others coming from this spirit of understanding and grace, in every way.

So much of what was done by our founding fathers was connected to this core belief -- as they lived it, breathed it, embodied it -- as these truths to live by were transcendent and inherent by nature, endowed by our Creator.  The culture of the time, and in turn our government, came out of the forces of Divine Providence meeting up with the minds of men who deliberately elevated the essential element of the common man, the individual, becoming the cornerstone of a nation, and forever remaining the vital piece of the puzzle .
It was entirely up to the individual to make the connection with God -- as England had already taught them everything they needed to know; and to live by this connection not out of obedience to a "punitive deity" but to live joyously, finding purpose, vibrantly connected to the Source of all Good in order to create the new world with It.

It was an idea ahead of it's time; it was an idea obligating the individual to do his duty, to live right and good; it was an idea that allowed for the perfect pairing of freedom with unalienable rights, to grow into productive, active, participants in the life and times.  As long as we stayed in relationship with God -- and passionately so -- our culture could live in peace and harmony throughout all the days to come.

What we are witnessing today -- as in 1797 -- is the watering down of this Christianity, the very root of our beginning; and, if we are not careful, perhaps this will be the cause of our ultimate demise.  We have allowed modern conveniences and conforming to culture, rationalizing bad behavior and succumbing to vices, to take over right action.

Wilberforce claims that to live in authentic faith, requires right action, with a passion, and a real desire to please God -- from our heart and soul, never ceasing.  It is not enough to call ourselves Christian and not live by It, to not center our world around Christ and His teachings.  It is simply not enough.

But now, we have a culture who would rather discredit Christianity, bury it as just some old world teachings we no longer have any use for -- we have evolved beyond the need for belief in anything but ourselves, more loyal to our things than our faith, firmer allegiance to our careers than our God, finding our savior through an impoverished  lifestyle that simply can't be bothered -- for who's got time for It really --  all we want to do is roll over and hit snooze.  It's Sunday, after all -- yesterday -- my only day to rest, for Christ sake.  

Wilberforce believes that what is asked of us is an "unconditional surrender"  -- that when we live from this position of letting our lives be in the hands and heart of a loving God, we act according to our faith, we benefit in proportion to this faith, and create a life of happiness resting in the knowledge that this life on earth is temporal, that our true destiny is eternal life -- this life on earth is just a "passing through."  Above all, we will gladly do anything in this life to show our love for God, and take care of each other, authentically, reverently, overflowing in the spirit of this true faith.

"we are headed toward a society
that incurs the multitude of evils 
that result 
from living with 
no religion at all."

Many barbarisms of our past have been stricken from society simply with the influx of living according to true faith; culture is strengthened in every way imaginable when connected with each other by an authentic, real Christianity, illuminating a higher purpose to live by, inspired to please God, content in our own humility, and satisfied with the simple life; the more our culture finds it's way further and further away from this reality, the greater our chances to falter.  History proves it, time and time again.

As it was in 1797, don't kid yourselves, it can happen here, in a heartbeat.  It would behoove all of us not to roll over and play dead.

Nations have fallen on the decline of faith before, so..."Let this be a warning.  It would be a tragic mistake to think that even though the moral fiber of our country has deteriorated, our prosperity and wealth will keep us from drifting further.  Nor let us imagine that the fate of Rome might never be our own."

Yeah, like we really have that "prosperity and wealth" thing going on to fall back on...that's a good one.

Make it a Good Day, G

and just so you know -- just as in the making of good Christians (substitute Jews, Hindus, Muslims, Atheists, any belief system far and wide) anywhere and everywhere -- for future reference, it's not made a good day until YOU make it one.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Dear America,

Happy Friday.

The world is getting a wee bit heavier these days, isn't it.  isn't it?

It's kinda weird -- as the life as we know it keeps on changing, in leaps and bounds at times, almost overnight --  and yet, strangely enough,  it feels as if we are all stuck in slow motion, just watching it happen to us.  Sort of like being caught in the dark of night, when we believe the boogey-man is chasing us -- our scream can't find it's way out; our entire system goes into overload, we can't react, respond or even utter a word with any sense of timing, let alone with our energies matching the urgency of the moment.  We are in shock.

So, I could be thinking about the G20 disaster that's going on as we speak; or, I could be thinking about the fate of the Bush era tax cuts that are less than sixty days from expiring; or, I could be thinking of the trade agreement that was on the table and ready to go with South Korea, and other fabulous destinations, that have been churned up all over again, jeopardizing hopes of success; or, I could be thinking about the Fed and whatever they were thinking in pumping 600 billion dollars into the market, to the disappointment and concern of nations far and wide, as well as the little people here at home...

fearing unintended consequences at every turn.

All we need now is another natural disaster... or a shout out from a radical cleric to kill Americans from half way round the world -- oh wait, we got that.

If you really think about it, the initial reaction on board the Carnival Splendor Cruise must have been kind of like this  -- talk about the end of the world in a flash; just when you think it was safe, to let your guard down, to perhaps relax for the first time in many moons and splurge with pure decadence at sea, catastrophe happens.  And in a very big way.  Can you even imagine?

No, it's not like their life was ever in danger, but come on.  It was lights out in a manner of speaking upon nearly every facet of life; and on top of that, you were plum stuck; there was nothing to do but wait -- and very uncomfortably at that. 

So much for the escape from the world, no?  How sad is that, when a concerted effort to leave all your worries behind for six days, five nights, turns into your worst nightmare.  And to think of the people who were just getting their sea legs, finally excited about getting a whack at the midnight buffet, when bam! all systems alert! mayday, the unthinkable rocks the boat.  I guess, given that it occurred off the coast of Mexico, and not Iceland, is the good news -- but the bad news, it happened off the coast of Mexico.

What didn't surprise me was the turn out of support -- the U.S, Navy, the Coast Guard, the Port of San Diego -- all went to work without hesitation.  They heard the call out for help and were on it, in a heart beat. 

Doesn't that give us a sense of relief; no matter what, no matter where, help comes.  Something comes to the rescue to save the day -- or at least, try.  In the midst of the some of the greatest concerns and economic struggles, the lights are still on and somebody is still home within every level of emergency preparedness and management...I mean, our congress has yet to even approve a budget -- months behind -- and the guys in the proverbial cape still come!

They say in a storm, or when faced with apparent immediate danger, cool heads prevail; and how.  Especially cool heads in uniform, yummy.

But what surprised me most is what happened when I opened up the morning paper, two pages in was a full page thank you from Carnival, to all who came to their aid, with bold letters declaring,

"WHEN THE GOING GETS TOUGH, THAT'S WHEN WE SEE THE BEST IN PEOPLE...we see people rise to the occasion and come together as one...To the brave and dedicated members of the U.S. Coast Guard, the U.S. Navy, and the Port of San Diego, and the good people of San Diego, we sincerely offer our deepest gratitude for your help and support...Thank you.   Thank you.  Thank you. "    CARNIVAL

These days, when the going is tough all the way around, a little bit of sincerity sure goes along way; it's not like the thanks needed to be spelled out; it's not like the Navy only comes to get a pat on the back -- we just act out of the goodness of our hearts, out of our duty to each other, that if we were in their shoes, we sure would love somebody coming to our rescue too.  But boy, does a full page spread work wonders, elevating the corporate world to heights of grace and class -- and from the embodiment of luxury and elitism, like a cruise line, wonders never cease.

I caught wind of the origination of how the "x" came to symbolize the kiss recently -- it something that piqued my interest as I use the x as punctuation frequently, in either a text or email.  It's become a habit where I almost don't even think about it anymore; sometimes, I have to catch myself, and remember who am replying to, as you can't just throw kisses around haphazardly, you know.

But anyway, via Yahoo.com, linked to an article on Match.com, Laura Schaefer took a moment to lay out "10 quirky facts about kissing" -- and the x spot was one of them.  As she says,  in the middle ages, people who couldn't actually read used the "x" as a signature -- and then, as a show of sincerity, they literally picked up the parchment and kissed it... over time, the "x" came to represent the kiss itself.  Fascinating isn't it.

Carnival Cruise Lines leaned over and kissed the boo boo, wrapping us up in their arms to help make us feel better, in words that screamed apology and gratitude after the unthinkable, an unimaginable fate of 5000 wayward sailors stuck on a ship of horror -- sure, hardly life or death, but it did take everything from everybody to survive the hardship and just get through it.

Sincerity goes a long, long way -- that, and the full reimbursement, along with a chance to cruise again -- of course, an idea that might come after a cheeseburger and a good night's rest -- at home...just need a moment to shake this one off...  the irony....kind of funny, huh.

But how's that for steering us a little off course on this happy friday...it's bright and sunny here today, not a cloud in the sky, while the water is deep blue, and I think, if I'm not mistaken, actually smiling back.

Make it a Good Day, G

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Dear America,

It was this time last year we watched the Health Care legislation being forced upon us -- against the will of the people -- and specifically upon a group of hold-out Democrats, who we all thought, ideologically championed life over the selling of their soul...

that was the case until a certain congressman named Bart -- Bart Stupak, of Michigan --  compromised himself and our dear America, in every stretch of the imagination, just in time for Christmas.

One man, just one man, paved the way for a monstrosity of health care entitlements to take hold  -- you know, the one being hailed only by a slim margin of Obama/Pelosi/Reid die-hards, having been kicked to the curb over the mid-term elections in utter embarrassment of it all, that now sits, lifeless, waiting for the Republicans to file in and do something about it.

Mitch Albom, an author I very much admire normally, wrote for The Parade weekly magazine in the Sunday paper had, to my disappointment, a totally different take -- simply titled, Mr. Smith Flees Washington, with Bart's disheartened mug looking down in shame.  Not for anything he did, of course, but for what "Washington" has become.

As Albom quickly pointed out  (although quite certain he would not agree with my angle) -- if not for the executive order that President Obama flashed under Bart's nose, the one that would, in theory, prevent federal funds to be used for abortion, the entire political landscape would be different;  kind of like how the leftist pundits, and maybe even a few staunch GOP elitists, having unfairly gravitated to the belief that "Palin cost the GOP the Senate"  -- you might say, Stupak cost the democrats the mid-terms!

For it was this moment in time  -- after months of townhall meetings, after months of laying the grassroots groundwork for the Tea Party, after months of being denied and dismissed as the able bodied electorate who firmly disagree with the direction this country was headed -- that changed everything for the American people.

Stupak, in one fell swoop, became an overnight (bad) sensation and made us sick to our stomachs; while in Washington, he received a not-so-kind reception in the House, having even been called "baby killer" from the floor one day.  I don't believe the right has any regrets for that, they should have chosen a higher road to take to communicate their true feelings, but no matter now -- a simple look at the glut of unintended consequences seems to speak for itself.

As we have all came to know, and continuing with Albom's narrative, Stupak decided to leave Washington shortly thereafter, realizing that he was just not cut out for the divisiveness and ugliness that has taken root, saying "every boundary of decency has been crossed." 

well yeah, but sorry to say, you're right there along with it, Bart.  are you kidding me?

Later, Albom adds this for color,

"Stupak sighs. 'Remember Mr. Smith Goes to Washington?  Those days are gone.' "

Hold up while I get my tissues...

Last word from Albom comes with a heavy dose of nostalgia going down with the sweet syrup of a wish, posing a modern day can't we all just get along message, ending with a question:

"Can we become real-life Mr. Smiths and change the ugly tone of our national conversation?"

Maybe we could, Mitch, if we sent real-life decent people to Washington.  Maybe we could, Mitch, if, once we send them, they don't change and get caught up in earmarks and perks, and make the back room deals and turn on a dime -- or 300 million.  Maybe we could, Mitch, if we actually had real-life Mr. Smiths get there in the first place; while once there, perhaps even after NINE terms, we would still find them clinging to the exact principles and values that got them there.  Perhaps then, we might have something to write home about.

Stupak sold out -- and for what?  To make it appear that he never wavered, never faltered, never fell from one of his highest tenets of his policy and politics -- that being pro-life?  The Executive Order is, at its best, a  feel good action that does nothing more than sound legitimate, even if in the real world of appropriations and funding, it does nothing to protect real life from somehow finding a way around it...it is Washington, you know. 

Bart caved -- and he knows it -- and that is why he is about two steps out the door already.

He is disappointed way more in himself than the environment he is leaving behind  -- way.  It is written all over his face. 

Washington is a mess, yes; but I see a different version of Smith coming in to save the day.  It might be more like a Mr. Paul or a Senor Rubio -- or someday, maybe even a Mr. Christie (who's so close I could taste it); but clearly, Washington will not change until we change the people we send there (stealing a line from the Carly for California campaign...yes, this girl is still crying over that).

While, as luck should have it, we don't even need to send them there to affect change -- case in point, a Ms.Palin; now, anytime you wanna have a conversation about the difference one woman can make upon a political landscape, call me.

Ever since she burst out on stage, overshadowing the tired Senator from Arizona in a nano-second -- she has swept the American people off our feet -- "never mind if you disagree with [her] voting record" or not, piggybacking on an Albom thought once again.  Love her or hate her, she has turned heads and is (nearly, solely, contagiously) responsible for the revolution we see going on in Washington, and in every corner of America, today. 

The GOP was bowing their head in shame, as a whole -- and Palin changed everything, overnight; while for America, she has never been quite the same since.  We find once more, America, to be a place where reality and nostalgia meets on a red, white and blue silver screen -- and it's got a name, too -- it's called pulling a Mrs. Smith without ever having to be there, in a yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Clause, sort of way.

How ironic for Albom to pick Stupak as the source for his lamentation, of all people, of all moments of the last two years, after Pelosi hit a new low saying that "we must pass it [Health Care Law] in order to know what's in it!" , after all that's been said and done and manufactured and destroyed... we get Albom comparing Stupak to Mr. Smith -- the Mr. Smith.

that's a good gig if you can get it.

happy wednesday with just a girl and...

Make it a Good Day, G

"I think that, over the course of two years we were so busy and so focused on getting a bunch of stuff done that, we stopped paying attention to the fact that leadership isn't just legislation. That it's a matter of persuading people. And giving them confidence and bringing them together. And setting a tone. And making an argument that people can understand. And I think that we haven't always been successful at that. And I take personal responsibility for that. And it's something that I've got to examine closely as I go forward."  Obama

Oh, we understand.  And, we get it.  Where we went wrong, is having mistaken you to be a Mr. Smith, and...it's just that.... over the course of two years we were busy watching -- so focused on watching a bunch of stuff get done, we stopped paying attention to the fact that our leadership makes legislation.  That it's a matter of persuading politicians to run with the will of the people.  And giving them confidence we will re-elect them when they truly listen, when you bring both sides of the table together.  And setting a tone. And making an argument that a politician, such as yourself, can understand.  We haven't always been successful at that.  And take personal responsibility for that now...it's just something we have got to examine closely as we move forward. 

Monday, November 8, 2010

Dear America,

So he's half way round the world and he's still messing with the press.

Not Obama; but the White House Press Secretary, Robert Gibbs, who was in his usual meltdown posture having been trumped by the self-appointed king of correspondents in India -- he tried to pull rank on Gibbs, by disallowing "the White House 8" from entering the meeting room, with Gibbs threatening to pull Obama out of the meetings if the guy didn't back down (right, but it looked good), bringing it to crescendo of words and grimaces.

I just find it amusing -- but then I'm easy these days, nearly everything makes me laugh in a punch drunk sort of way, as my life is so full of 'woe is me's' --  I can just about find humor and cling to anything that moves, thinks, breathes, or is remotely disguised as funny in a heart beat.

Similar to my Sunday morning experience when I caught a bit of Meet the Press with David Gregory; right off the bat he was interviewing Jim DeMint, Gentleman and Senator from South Carolina, grilling him about the Tea Party -- and it came to me; the difference between the right and the left with regard to reading the tea leaves is a matter of whether the teacup is half empty or half full.

Gregory is so ready to throw hot water all over DeMint, beginning with taking the liberal stance asking something like this:  so like, is the Tea Party, like, controlling the republican party, or something?

What gives?  Talking to DeMint like they were all just a bunch of stupid puppets...

What could he say to that, right?

"Hardly" -- with a chuckle -- is how.  While I'm thinking to myself, what a stupid question.

The Left really doesn't understand the Tea Party Phenomenon at all.  They just don't get it.

Since the beginning, after constant degradation of the Tea people as "astroturf," "racists," "extremists," or "tea baggers" --  or at best, passing the entire movement off as having no credibility, validity, or future, dating back to the good old days when it began to take root and spread across the nation, like an annoying weed that keeps popping  up in between the bricks  -- our press has basically joined in and vilified the Tea Party with abandon.  Free, fair, unbiased press -- poppycock!

Let's just go into the second question, did the Tea Party cost the GOP the Senate?

wait for it...

"that is a very silly thing to say, David," with a fair amount of giggles added on for good measure.

Seriously, that's what DeMint said; moving right on in to remind dear Davey boy, and the rest of us watching the early morning stand up but sitting down routine, the real truth; the GOP was nearly DOA just two years ago.  David, did you get hit on the head recently?  What's with the short term memory loss?  Hello.

Yes, David, there is a Santa Clause, and it's name is "Santa T" to the GOP -- the stocking is half full here, if you haven't noticed -- the Tea Party saved the GOP from a well deserving death... given just how far this country has fallen away from our founding principles, our limited government, and our loyalty to the common man, and the party emboldened to protect it.

The GOP is supposed to be the actual party respective of this very element, fortified in understanding and ranking, in taking our rightful place; for just who sits on the seniority list trumping every branch of government?


The left brain think tanks and liberal journalists should have seen this coming; they should have been smart enough to figure this one out long ago, given our history (but heck, I guess it's only their nature, they can't help it, they are blinded by their own enlightenment, and bent on progressing, pressing forward, no matter what cost).

Instead of embracing the Tea Party, and celebrating the grassroots movement founded simply upon the idea that America has been "TAXED ENOUGH ALREADY"  -- one that embodies a feeling all Americans could readily share and support, I mean, who likes taxes? They -- the press -- moved in by taking the position of opposition, trying to show them in a bad light, attempting to highlight the ridicule and amplify an argument of class warfare versus simply joining in, in a spirit of one for all and all for one.

The TEA Party is for all Americans -- left or right, black, white or brown, young and old, for ALL, whether you accept it for yourself as true, or not.

No, the press decided they would rather be a wedge, a cog in the wheel, a manufacturer of untruths creating an atmosphere that only heightened a sharpened civil divide.  The press negatively impacted the mindset of America at the Tea Party's first blush -- and they know it; and unbelievably, they are still doing it!

DeMint just had to laugh, though...that's a good one, David, ha ha ha...

Just as the entire Tea Party is basking in the aftermath of the "shellacking."

The Tea Party is doing backstrokes; we've been whopping it up, splashing around, and having a good old time over the course of the last several days.  The Tea Cup is half full and we are swimming in it -- and sticks and stones might break our bones but words will never hurt us. nana na na nana 

The Left can make fun of the Tea all they want; but the best thing the press could do now is join us -- as to go against the founding principles of this great nation, to run counter to the high tide of enthusiasm in our crystal clear Constitution and Declaration of Independence endowed by our forefathers, is a stand defiant, going rogue, almost villainous, maybe even criminal; for when it comes to protecting the rights and liberties for which we stand -- WE, as in America -- compromise on nothing.

What is happening within our very own government is a high crime -- one of the highest kind; for it is a crime against country, our faith, and our future.

America is not a well worn slogan just waiting for a new image; our fundamentals have not changed.

What the Tea has refreshed in us is a link to our past, an understanding of where we have been, freely giving way to an expression of what we want in our future.  The tea leaves have spoken to a vast majority of us, whether or not the press is with us, or not.  We are not afraid and we know what we must do to save ourselves, our children, and most of all, America, as a whole, each and every one of us, as individuals, who are lucky enough to call her home.

There is simply no logical reason for the out of control taxation --  the answer, our only protection, comes by way of the people's representation.  What we realize, now, is that we were all clinging to the wrong things, for the wrong reasons, and without thinking.  We were careless with our liberty; but make no mistake, it won't happen again (another reason the press should hop on board).

We are America -- and by definition, it stands for freedom in every which way to Sunday -- even to Sunday's Meet the Press, after church, of course.  The Free Press should be lapping it up, the Tea, along with all the rest of us who know better these days -- for the Tea is akin to our authentic selves.

I am just now getting into a new book, by William Wilberforce, an Englishman from a couple of hundred years ago.  We'll get more into him, and the book itself, later, no doubt -- I don't want to spoil it and give away the name quite yet yet.  But one of his earliest realizations goes like this:

"It makes no sense to take the name of Christian and not cling to Christ.  Jesus is not some magic charm to wear like a piece of jewelry we think will give us good luck. He is Lord.  His name is to be written on our hearts in such a powerful way that it creates within us a profound experience of His peace and a heart that is filled with His praise."

The thing is, it makes no sense to take the name of American and not cling to Her like there is no tomorrow, especially right now.  We have reason and good sense telling us to hold onto Her -- for we are witness to life without authentically living within the boundaries of her kindnesses and offerings for far too long.

THIS is what happens when we abuse America's good graces, when we run amuck as human beings taking for granted everything under the sun.

The Left seems bent on believing it is some kind of backwards thinking; while the press continues to grant them some kind of weird higher authority through mass producing and elevating their liberal definition of America for all who will listen.  What they both chose to ignore, or discredit, is the groundswell building underneath their feet -- the House is only part and parcel of the foundation being laid; it is simply a sign we are getting our groove back, as Americans. 

The Tea Party did not cost the GOP the Senate; it gave them a taste for success to spill over into it; the Tea Party does not "control" the GOP,  "hardly" -- it speaks on behalf of we the people  -- and by the looks of things so far, only the GOP has taken a sip, sitting there waiting patiently now for the cream to come around.

...cream... in the tea, is an English thing, you know...

Only we, the people, are at the discretion to pass it on -- while, as luck should have it, the people give way to an even Higher Authority for direction (at least in their heart of hearts, time will tell if we will choose to improve in this area, or not).

on that note, gotta go (say it like a Brit).
G suddenly has an urge for some tea... so cheerio... pinkies out... good show old chap, Gregory, good show indeed.

Make it a Good Day, G

baby, baby baby baby...oh....thought you'd always be mine...
sing it Beiber...on dear America...for a lot of reasons.

 On a heavier note:
 You know what "extremists" the press should worry about, the kind that say this:
"Don't consult with anybody in killing the Americans," Anwar, the Yemeni Cleric, said. "Fighting the devil doesn't require consultation or prayers seeking divine guidance. They are the party of the devils," he added. It is "either us or them."  I think it was Sunday, the post American turned Islamic leader, Anwar said this, yeah yeah, it was Sunday, or does that mean it was Monday, in Yemen?  Does it really  matter?