Salient … April 30th, 2018


 Jonathots Daily Blog

(3659)

Kim Jong-un is the dictator from North Korea. He is thirty-three years old–at least, we think so. (Birthdays are not nearly as important in the little country, since there’s a shortage on cakes and balloons.)

I suppose we could spend some time discussing his erratic behavior, threats, totalitarian attitude and despotism. That seems to be the favored profile of most commentators and politicians in the United States.

But while our government was slinging threats at this young man as he feverishly plotted to blow the world up with his missiles, there was another plan in the hatching.

Kim took the Olympics to offer an olive branch to his South Korean brethren. He sent a family member down to represent him, and all sorts of athletes and cheerleaders to add a festive coloration to the proceedings. Most recently, he sat down for talks in China, and also with his nemesis, the President of South Korea.

He has made it clear that he’s willing to consider doing away with nuclear proliferation, and is willing to discuss it in a pow-wow with President Trump.

As we posture on being “the greatest nation on Earth,” this young dictator has outfoxed us. If he hasn’t done it on purpose, he has certainly performed a supreme job of lining up a series of accidental brilliant moves:

He has the United States appearing heavy-handed.

He has the full attention of the whole world, simply by appearing to have changed his mind.

And yes–he’s doing his best impression of sanity.

We can claim it’s not real, but he continues to baffle the critics with his compliance. Those who choose to vilify him are beginning to look ridiculous.

It is all part of a very simple axiom, which needs to be learned by every grade-school student in America, and perhaps throughout the face of the Earth:

The first one to stop acting stupid is proclaimed smart.

It works every time.

Two bullies standing nose-to-nose win no friends. Why? Because they’re both bullies. But if one bully decides to back away and cease the brawl, then the entire playground sides with him or her, leaving the other bully the villain.

Will our country be intelligent enough to take even the higher ground than Kim Jong-un?

I don’t know.

But here’s your salient moment:

Strong only projects strength. Weakness always looks stronger–if it has a smarter plan.

 

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Catchy (Sitting 44) A Very Slow Fast … April 15th, 2018


Jonathots Daily Blog

(3643)

It was meant to be a very quiet arrival at Ronald Reagan Airport in Washington, D. C. Over the weekend, Jubal had contacted Matthew, explaining that he planned on returning on Wednesday afternoon at 2:15, and would appreciate a pickup, so he could get right back into the hunt of things. He had briefly updated Matthew on his journey.

Jubal had only spent four days with the Dalai Lama before traveling on to Japan, China, India, and ending up at a conference of rabbis and mullahs in Jerusalem. He had many stories and much adventure but he wanted to come home.

Matthew agreed to meet him in Washington, and contacted Soos to put together the “on-the-ground-plan.” Perhaps that was his mistake–because Soos decided that the return of Brother Carlos was good reason to have a national festival.

First she put the word out on social media, so there were five thousand screaming fans at the airport when he taxied down the runway. She also got hold of Mother Rolinda, who was still pastoring up in Baltimore, even though her burned-out church was being repaired and the local congregation was meeting in the park. Rolinda suggested they hire “The Angels”–fifty motor-cycle-riding dudes and lasses for God, who used to be part of the Hell’s Angels. Soos loved the idea and also thought a local high school marching band would be wonderful once they arrived in the middle of Washington, D. C.

As Matthew arrived at the airport, he became aware that he was once again part of an event. The past few weeks had changed him from a mere curmudgeon to a full-blown people-hater. He had “jailed himself” in Las Vegas for nearly a month. He drank, he slept, he gambled a bit, and he discussed with several prostitute friends whether lemon was necessary to add to the butter for a “good lobster-eatin’.”

So when Matthew drove up and saw all the people with banners and damnably sweet faces, he was tempted to turn around and pretend he had been waylaid in Nebraska due to a storm. (You could always count on Nebraska to provide you such a cover.) But he figured there was some member of the press who would identify him and foil his deception.

A beleaguered Matthew greeted a surprised Jubal Carlos, as they both headed to the parking lot and Jubal was offered a Harley Davidson to ride into Washington. (Matthew opted for the chauffeured Lincoln Town Car.)

Fifty motor-cycle disciples with shiny helmets were escorted into town by the police department as the fans roared and Jubal Carlos waved his fist in the air as if leading a charge at Gettysburg. The five miles into town were quickly covered, since there was such a smooth passage. As soon as the high school band saw Jubal, they burst into what sounded like a John Phillips Sousa march dipped in salsa. Jubal rolled up with his cohorts, jumped off his motorcycle and danced his way to a set of congas which were waiting for him and joined the band in sweet revelry.

Soos estimated there were probably ten thousand waiting for them in the Capitol Square. She had set up a microphone so Jubal could address the crowd and share about his journey.

After about ten minutes of music and everybody getting their fill of Nathan’s hot dogs, Jubal stepped onto the stage and walked up to the microphone. Matthew pushed closer–he wanted to both see and hear. He was curious. He had missed Jubal Carlos. Even though Matthew had no intention of bowing to a divinity, he still had deep admiration for Jubal’s convictions.

Jubal stood quietly for a minute, letting the crowd have its will. All at once, everyone fell silent. Jubal took the moment, added his own pause, and then spoke.

“I have been with the Dalai Lama, to Japan, China, the Ganges River in India, and Jerusalem, where Jesus was glorified.”

The crowd cheered. Jubal looked across the mass as if gazing upon a beautiful horizon. Then he started to laugh, pretended to wipe some sweat from his brow, leaned into the microphone and shouted: “But it sure is damn fine to be home!”

What followed was a scream that could have awakened all the stone monuments in the fair city. Matthew laughed. Jubal was very corny, somewhat predictable, fairly ordinary, and loved by all. Deep in his heart Matthew believed that he was much more clever than Mr. Carlos. Yet it was difficult for Matthew to get any affection, even from the bell-boy if he gave a particularly good tip. Jubal continued.

“I’m not gonna hold you here long, but I am going to tell you what’s next. I’m going to leave this stage, and I’m going to head to that building–”

He turned and pointed to the Capitol.

“Here’s what I’m going to do. Yesterday morning I began a fast. Actually, it’s rather simple. I’m drinking water, some electrolytes, and bottled fruit and vegetable juices. I just wanted you to know the truth before the press calls me a liar because they smell asparagus on my breath.”

More uproarious laughter, leaving Matthew shaking his head. Jubal waited for the giggles to die down, and went on.

“I’m going to sit in the rotunda of that Capitol and stay there, fasting, until this country passes a bill. I think we should call it ‘The National Action of Kindness.’ I know people will say it’s meaningless, but it is time for the United States to lead the world forward by using kindness–before we bury each other in a grave of nuclear ash.”

A chorus of “amens” and a few “hallelujahs” skirted across the gathered. Jubal spoke on.

“I do not know if I will be allowed to stay in the Capitol, and I certainly don’t plan on being any trouble. In other words, I will find my own corner and brighten it. But until we Americans realize that everything we do–every law we pass, every decision we make–has to be run through the concept of kindness, we will continue to hurt one another, destroy our young people and fail to be the shining light to the world. I’m not asking you to join me in the fast. I’m not doing it because I feel like I’m special. No one likes to eat like your Brother Carlos. So pray with me that those fat-cat-politicians will hurry up and do something, so I can get back to continuing my burrito addiction.”

And yes…more laughter.

Jubal stepped away. He didn’t even stop to talk to Soos, Rolinda or Matthew. He slow-jogged his way toward the Capitol, where in a very few minutes, he came to the door and was refused entrance.

By this time, many from the crowd had followed, including all the staffers. They stood on the steps and shouted at the Capitol above them. “Let him in! Let him in!”

Jubal did not say anything at all, but stepped back four paces, crossed his arms and stood his ground. All at once the doors opened, and the guards moved to the side.

Ninety-year-old Medero Fairchild, the oldest sitting Senator, slowly stepped out and embraced Jubal. He put his arm around him and walked toward the guards. They stepped forward to prevent Jubal from entering the Capitol Building. The old man lifted his hand and spoke to them.

“This is my friend. He’s here at my request. You young gentlemen do a fine job guarding us, but now Mr. Jubal and I need to get inside and catch up on things.”

The austere protectors looked at one another and realized that it was foolishness for them to argue with the “Old Eagle of Liberty” (one of Fairchild’s nicknames).

Jubal Carlos stepped inside the Congress with his arm around a ninety-year-old senator from the state of Tennessee. The crowd went wild, and the guards broke form and style and waved at them.

Matthew shook his head. He raced to the car, hurried to the airport, and flew back as quickly as he could to his cave of protection.

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G-Poppers … March 2nd, 2018


 Jonathots Daily Blog

(3599)

They were bombed. Yes, completely bombed out of their minds.

G-Pop is talking about Nikita Khrushchev and Mao Zedong, the first secretary of the Communist Party in Russia and the Chairman of the Communist Party in China, respectively.

They were bombed in the sense that they were intoxicated on the power they felt by possessing an arsenal of nuclear weapons. So inebriated were they on their own power that they frequently threatened the world with destruction.

Fortunately, the world was granted a country called the United States, which possessed a President who refused to take the bait and openly, or at least quietly, lobbied against nuclear proliferation.

Beginning with Eisenhower, then Kennedy, Johnson and even Richard Nixon–all were convinced it was essential that the world be disarmed from the threat of atomic annihilation. It continued with Jimmy Carter and even Ronald Reagan, who tried to negotiate treaties while simultaneously being an usher at the falling of the House of Lenin.

Vladimir Putin of Russia and Kim Jung Un of North Korea are also bombed. They have picked up on the infection of egotistical, maniacal manipulation through the news cycle by threatening humanity with demise.

Here is where G-Pop is concerned: we seem to have lost the American president who stands in the way of these bombed individuals. Unfortunately, some chest-thumping and threats are now coming from the red, white and blue.

We have three leaders in the world who are bombed. At no time in our history has such a precarious imbalance loomed over the precious lives of our children.

It does not do any good to claim to be a Christian nation if we continue to politically and diplomatically live under the pretext of “an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.”

Sanity must prevail, and we can’t wait for a redemption story to come from the Kremlin or North Korea. It is up to our President to follow the examples of his predecessors and control the danger which might accidentally be unleashed just to prove a point.

G-Pop wants his children to know that much of this Earth is negotiated by balancing. It’s not an issue of compromise, but rather, a deterrent to insanity through seeking the counsel of better “angles.”

We are in trouble.

It’s not because Putin is in Russia or Kim Jung Un is in North Korea. It’s because we’ve lost our perspective as a nation on how foolish it is to intimidate–and how such maneuvers can create alarming predicaments which might force us to back up our claims.

Where is the voice of reason?

Where is the realization that military might is best used in exercises instead of filling body bags?

G-Pop is praying for restraint.

G-Pop, who had a grandson born just today, is attempting to encourage “turn the other cheek,” which allows us to keep our good face alive and well.

 

 

 

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G-Poppers … September 1st, 2017


 Jonathots Daily Blog

(3416)

Jon close up

A quick point from G-Pop.

If it is your idea to share your heart, it’s called vulnerable. If somebody else demands you share your heart, it’s called weak.

Human beings need the ability to make their own choice. When you remove this, you tinker with the soul. No human being has the right to tinker with the soul of another.

Yet rather than screaming about choice, it would be a good idea to learn how choice is acquired.

It’s really quite simple:

If you need to be wanted, you always come across as weak. On the other hand, if you need to be respected, you will generally be considered mean.

So at all costs, we must refrain from the need to be wanted–that fussy part of us that tries to pretend we don’t care what people think while simultaneously being addicted to the drug of public opinion. Because the danger is to rebound and try to become tough, demanding that people respect us–and when they don’t, plotting a foolish revenge.

This situation is not different in China as compared to Argentina. The people in the British Isles don’t have different criterion than those in Nigeria. All of us function in the same scenario. In other words, we rise and thrive by avoiding the feelings of needing to be wanted or needing to be respected.

Being wanted and respected is impossible until it is determined that you are valuable. So crawl into your own soul and make pearls–accumulating worth.

Make yourself interesting. Make yourself predictable in a good way. In other words, when the chips are down, you can be counted on.

There you are. If you are going to complain about the system, you’ll never be able to work with it. So how do we become valuable?

1. Stop seeking praise and seek opportunity.

2. Be willing to do important things on your own when others have given up.

3. Don’t criticize people for failing to have the same determination that you do.

4. Do the good deed and don’t hang around for the party.

5. Make sure that when you fail, you make it clear to those around you that you’re going to correct it or improve it.

6. Acknowledge the value in others.

G-Pop wants his children to know that they should not need to be wanted or need to be respected.

The power lies in becoming valuable to those around you–and then they will want you and respect you.

 

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Jesonian–Troubling (Part 3)… July 15th, 2017


 Jonathots Daily Blog

(3368)

jesonian-cover-amazon

I must apologize. I’m still a bit troubled.

It’s the whole “Abraham” thing.

There are supposedly three religions–Judaism, Muslim and Christianity–that are knit together in a quilt based on a person named Abraham. If such a weaving is true, it is sewn with a dynamite fuse, ready to be lit at the least provocation.

A very simple study of the Gospels about Jesus will tell you that he was neither a practicing Jew nor did those around him deem him to be. If he felt he was Jewish, he certainly failed to convince anyone, and if they believed him to be their brother, they probably should not have crucified him.

On one occasion the Jews called Jesus a “Samaritan and a demon” while proclaiming themselves to be “children of Abraham.”

He alarmed them by stating that before Abraham existed, he was around. They did not muse his statement nor ask for evidence, but instead, picked up rocks to kill him, and he barely escaped with his life.

Christianity has many benefits but one of the main missions is to gently untangle itself from the Abrahamic family tree, so as to be able to make peace between these two feuding brothers–the followers of Abraham’s son, Isaac, and those of Abraham’s son, Ishmael.

Where would we begin?

We can commence this very worthwhile journey by understanding that Judaism is a culture, Muslim is a culture, but Christianity is a lifestyle.

So whether you’re from China, the Netherlands, Russia or Argentina, the ideas and message of Jesus will fit into your surroundings. Judaism basically works around Jews, and the Muslim faith has the greatest appeal to those who are Arab. That’s because they are cultures, not lifestyles.

As American Christians, we favor the Jews, not because they have any affinity for Jesus. Actually the Quran contains more respect for Jesus than the Old Testament. No, we favor the Jews because they were dispersed into Europe and they seem more American. Yes, it is another one of our racial bigotries–and when Jews look like Arabs, we are much less likely to be tender in their direction.

So let’s get over the foolishness and back to our theme:

If Jesus is God, then Jehovah and Allah are not.

If God is Jesus, then maybe there might be a little bit of Jehovah and Allah lounging around His man cave.

Christianity has the opportunity to heal one of the greatest family squabbles of all time. We cannot do so by saying we are “children of Abraham.”

In the Gospel of John, he clearly states that we are not born of flesh and blood, but of the Spirit. As followers of Jesus, we are not part of a lineage, but instead, linked by a salvation into what truly can be called the greatest opportunity for peace on Earth, goodwill toward men.

 

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Jesonian… April 15th, 2017


 Jonathots Daily Blog

(3277)

jesonian-cover-amazon

A Saturday many, many years ago, the beaten, bruised and bloodied body of Jesus of Nazareth lay still in the darkness of a borrowed tomb, as his spirit communed with the angels and his mind reasoned over the unfoldings of a truly abundant life.

We are not privy to those thoughts.

Matter of fact, all we know of the life of Jesus comes from four major biographers who borrowed pieces from one another, and each, in his own way, had an agenda to offer insights to please his readers.

There is no autobiography.

So we aren’t sure of the emotion in the words attributed to him. Therefore theologians decipher and agnostics disembowel the remnants of the script left to us of this magnificent life.

Yet every once in a while, we get a deeper glimpse. Such is the case in Matthew the 23rd Chapter, Verse 37-38:

“Oh, Jerusalem, Jerusalem! Thou that killest the prophets and stone them which are sent unto you. How often would I have gathered your children together, even as a hen gathers her chickens under her wings, and you would not. Behold, your house is left unto you desolate.”

The great debate over the centuries has been whether Jesus was Jewish or whether he came, in a certain sense, to abolish Judaism in favor of the New Covenant.

If you study the writings of Martin Luther, you might begin to believe that the Great Reformer was anti-Semetic. Yet in many evangelical churches, there seems to be a return to Jewish traditions, including them with their Christian rituals.

What did Jesus feel about the Jews?

What was the heart of the matter?

First and foremost, you must understand, for Jesus to include Gentiles and Samaritans in his movement immediately made him an outcast from the Jewish religious community.

Matter of fact, the Jewish Council that condemned him to death granted him none of the courtesy that was normally extended to brethren.

The reality that Jesus did not believe that the Jews were special because they were the “children of Abraham,” but rather put forth the opinion that God “could take stones” and make offspring of Abe, certainly did not put him in favor with those of the Zionist profile.

Yet John tells us that he “came to his own and his own received him not.”

When Jesus spoke with the woman at the well, he did use the phrase “we Jews.” It is the only time he did, but he certainly had a kindness and favorability for those who lived in Judea and Galilee.

But Jesus was a man of vision–the Gospel would never reach China or the Native Americans if it were left in the hands of the Jews. The Jewish people had already aggravated the Romans to the point that the annihilation and dispersion of their kindred was inevitable, if not imminent. The Gospel would only survive in the hands of the Greeks and the Romans, who would take it to the rest of the world.

The Apostle Paul makes it clear that when the early church was trying to force Gentile converts to comply with Jewish practices, the former Pharisee condemned them and called them “Judaizers” for limiting the scope and power of the message.

In the two verses recited above, Jesus announces the fate of Judaism.

It is in a coma.

It is left desolate and abandoned.

It is awaiting a day when it can be awakened and all the promises given by the prophets can be fulfilled.

But for a season, it was set aside in favor of salvation and “loving your neighbor” being shared with the entire world.

Basically, if you want to sum up Jesus’ feelings on Judaism, it’s very simple: Jesus loves them.

He just does not believe they’re “chosen people.”

There are no chosen people–just people who choose well.

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G-Poppers … April 7th, 2017


 Jonathots Daily Blog

(3270)

Jon close up

G-Pop listened very carefully as the commentator attempted to explain that the “culture of the Syrian government” is what brought about the use of poison gas on the people.

G-Pop frowned.

Evil is not a culture. Also not a preference. It’s not a religious institution nor a political profile.

Yet we have taken the past fifty years to qualify the choices of folks who live in different countries by attributing questionable actions to their culture.

It’s time for a bold statement. There is only one culture, and that is love your neighbor as yourself.

Within that culture, there are people who have different traditions, cuisine, mannerisms, guidelines and even morals. But there is no way to continue human life on Earth without consenting to a mutual consideration to each other’s feelings. G-Pop thinks we should carry it even further:

  • Love your Earth as you love yourself.
  • Love the animals as you love yourself.
  • Love the atmosphere as you love yourself.

It’s not a bunch of liberal hogwash just to make things prissy. Here’s the truth G-Pop wishes to share: if we do not have an awareness of other people that’s equivalent to the awareness we have of ourselves, we begin to believe they are not flesh and blood like we are, but instead are surrounded by tissue which feels no pain–therefore we can inflict at will.

There is no room for gender bias.

There is no acceptable occasion for prejudice against gays, lesbians and different races. Why? Because that breaks the cultural rule.

Whether you’re from China, Canada, Zimbabwe or Albuquerque, New Mexico, you are sharing a planet that requires respectful give and take.

If you happen to like your beans with jalapenos or if your rendition of Christmas is called “Kwanzaa” or “Hanukkah” that is absolutely fine.

But when your definition of culture differs from the toleration necessary for us to get along with each other in equity, then you’re no longer expressing a regional phenomenon, but instead, a cover-up for iniquity.

 

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