The P Word … May 21st, 2019

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WORD


Today I have two words. Each one individually could fit our category, but together, they become a negative fiasco. So the P word—or words, in this case:

Political Pundit

I hope you can see my point.

Politics, as a whole, rather than being a launching pad for the discovery of truth, has become a rocket jettisoned into the landscape of reasonability.

And a pundit is someone who already has decided, and makes the circumstances fit the philosophy, and the questions conform to stump answers.

Let me further unpeel the onion of nonsense by stating that a conservative approach to life is incapable of providing all the answers.

Likewise, as we take off the rose-colored glasses, let us admit that being liberal doesn’t always honor the kind of hindsight essential to balancing power.

So since both suffer from inadequacy, a little humility might be in order with the body politic—and certainly, the absence of anyone who becomes a champion for one thinking.

Alas, we don’t do it that way. Instead, once we decide on our political position, we become pundits of the party line. This has degraded our national dialogue down to hurling grenades of insults.

We are crazed.

Until we stop accepting politics and funding pundits, we will be a nation under the control of whoever can fund the most outlandish plans and suit up the prettiest announcers.

Political pundits: two words that need to be removed from our lingo.

We don’t need politics.

Just get the facts and make decisions based upon our Constitution and the convictions of our national soul.

We don’t need pundits.

Because once we discover what direction we’re going—whether conservative or liberal—what we are looking to achieve is unity, not dissent.


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Sit Down Comedy …February 22nd, 2019

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For the sake of our “Sit Down Comedy” today, I shall refer to this as my Mull-it-Over Report. It is the ongoing investigation done on my life by the people around me, who constantly draw conclusions about my veracity and authenticity.

There is also a Mull-it-Over Report on you. You may not be aware of it yet it persists.

For even though human beings are not supposed to judge, it truthfully ends up being one of our favorite pastimes. We love to consider, reveal and scrutinize the lives of other folks, secretly convincing ourselves that we are in much better shape than them.

This is not limited to strangers you meet, but actually more prevalent among those you consider to be friends and family. Matter of fact, some people discover this Mull-it-Over Report being prepared by friends and loved ones and become so offended that they begin grudges which may last decades, or even until such time as death does its part.

It would be ridiculous for me to turn to humanity and say, “Listen, I know you’re doing a Mull-it-Over Report on me, but I want you to give me the results of that investigation and let me boil it down to a summary before you pass it along to the masses.”

Even if I told everyone I had an attorney-in-general who was going to be my reviewer of the final conclusions, I would never be allowed to tamper with what other people have decided to testify about me or against me.

I have two options:

A. Make it a moot point by living a solid, honest life.

B. Or make it a moot point by letting everybody know I don’t give a damn.

I do not have the possibility of controlling the thinking, reactions or determinations of those around me who have decided, for whatever reason, to investigate my doings and come up with the Mull-it-Over Report.

It would be similar to having children in school and waiting for their six- or eight-week report card, and then discovering that the school had allowed the students to take the tally of their grades and rewrite it into a summary which they would present to their parents. Although it would be popular with the young ones, the school system would be errant in allowing it, and the parents, daft in permitting it.

No, even though I may be nervous by the notion of a Mull-it-Over Report on my life, it is ongoing, irreversible and definitely without edit.

What is even more frightening is that the story goes that God, Himself, is keeping such a record on each and every one of us. (I don’t know about you, but I just got a chill down my spine.)

Since I can do nothing to avoid the Mull-it-Over Report being completed and passed along about me, it may be a bit ridiculous to think that anyone who is a public servant of the United States, entrusted with the care of the Constitution, should have the right to appoint an individual who is commissioned to write the Cliff Notes on a government report about him and his associates.

Here’s what we know. If you are working with several people who were in your business who are indicted, convicted and sent to jail, there are only two possibilities:

1. These people are working at your behest, with your blessing and your orders, since you are their honcho.

2. Or, you have a benevolent spirit which causes you to look on your business as a ministry to help those who are criminally minded—to rehabilitate.

 

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Dear Man/Dear Woman: A Noteworthy Conversation … November 12th, 2016

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Dear Man Dear Woman

Man: Checks and balances.

 

Woman: What about them?

 

Man: They’re crap.

 

Woman: What an un-American thing to say.

 

Man: It’s not un-American to find a flaw in the system. You can still honor the traditions of our republic.

 

Woman: OK. I’ll buy into it. What makes them crap?

 

Man: Too many checks to create balance. We base this whole political organization of our government on the mindset of men who were frightened to death of kings and courts, and highly suspicious of each other.

 

Woman: Why were they suspicious?

 

Man: Because each colony was an entity unto itself. The idea of being united was tenuous, if not comical. So they put so many provisions into the Constitution to protect themselves that the government struggles to make any progress for the common good.

 

Woman: We have made a lot of progress in America.

 

Man: Have we? It took one hundred years after the Declaration of Independence to free the slaves. It took another hundred years to give those same people voting rights. And it appears like it’s going to take a hundred MORE years to start treating them like they’re white.

 

Woman: Oh, you’re just mad because Hillary lost.

 

Man: Speaking of that, how could a woman of your intelligence vote for Donald Trump?

 

Woman: Because I didn’t want the Clintons in the White House again, and even though I know there’s some chauvinism involved with President Trump, I’ve dealt with chauvinism all my life. I was just not certain that Hillary would be President instead of Bill.

 

Man: Well, I’m not gonna argue with you. I’m just explaining to you that this process of checks and balances in this country–where the President can only do certain things because Congress interferes and the Supreme Court comes along and overrules everything–well, the idea is overly cautious and clumsy. Let me give you another example. It took a hundred and forty years for our country to give the right to vote to women, and another hundred years before a female was even considered for President. God knows how long it will take for a lady to hold the position.

 

Woman: So what are you suggesting?

 

Man: I’m suggesting we choose our leadership more carefully instead of making it like a high school popularity contest, so that they are evaluated and hired similarly to the way people get jobs in the private sector–because they are qualified and experienced, not based stubbornness and how pretty they are.

 

Woman: But you do want to give people the right to vote, right?

 

Man: Absolutely. But let’s understand. The two candidates who ran for President this year should have been evaluated on their resumés instead of their stamina and determination.

 

Woman: And what would have happened?

 

Man: I don’t know. It’s just that the President of the United States should be the CEO of this great corporation instead of being at the mercy of the partisan inclinations of a Congress which is working harder to get elected than they are at passing laws to benefit the citizens.

 

Woman: How about the Supreme Court?

 

Man: I would like to know what nine people we know of who have the wisdom to overturn the Congress and the President.

 

Woman: So what do you suggest?

 

Man: Less checks will bring more balance. People have to have jobs. You can’t tell the President that he or she is the leader of the country and undercut him or her right and left with the priorities of some junior congressman from North Dakota.

 

Woman: But it’s worked for all these years.

 

Man: Has it? Some of the best programs in our country came through the inclinations of a single person who we chose to be our leader. The Emancipation Proclamation was Lincoln’s baby. Social Security was spawned by FDR. The United Nations was originally conceived by Woodrow Wilson. And much of the War on Poverty was the hope child of LBJ.

Woman: I see your point. So how will this work?

 

Man: Well, honestly, I’m curious about the Presidency of Donald Trump. Will we accidentally stumble into some more realistic ways to open the door to good legislation because we have disrupted the normal passing of the torch from one old politician to another old politician?

 

Woman: Interesting. What you’re saying is, there was a need for this particular interruption because we have stymied the country with gridlock with the two parties. We’ve actually endangered the well-being of the people the government was meant to serve.

 

Man: I think so. There are three major problems that need to be changed. We’ve got too much culture. We have to decide if we really are “one nation under God.” Number two, the gender bias is killing us. Having an ongoing conflict between men and women never gives us a moment’s peace. And third, we certainly need to cease the class warfare–the poor against the rich and the rich against the poor.

 

Woman: That’s a tall order.

 

Man: Yes, but if we don’t take on the tall order, we’re going to greatly suffer under the short-comings.

 

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Good News and Better News … July 11th, 2016

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Reformation 2Yesterday I was bestowed the great honor of sharing my traveling message with the dear hearts of the Reformation Lutheran Church in Reading, Pennsylvania.

There are certainly folks who would contend that Martin Luther did very little to reform the Catholic Church, but instead, ended up starting his own ecclesiastical order. Matter of fact, some people will tell you that he retained the worst of the Mother Church while losing the more endearing portions–like Bingo and delicious fish frys.

But undoubtedly, there is a need for the religious system to be reformed and become more like the church that Jesus envisioned. What would that church be?

If you recall, after his resurrection Jesus gave Peter a simple instruction about how to empower the believers: “Feed my sheep.”

Although it’s true that politics, entertainment and religion attempt to feed the populace, each one tends to focus on only a part of the human experience, leaving other aspects unattended.

Humans are heart, soul, mind and strength.

Emotions need to be fed. This is what Jesus meant by “blessed are the pure in heart.” We must cease being afraid of our feelings, and air them out to see if they have any validity.Reformation 4

Feed the soul. The spirit of humankind lives off of a truth that makes us free to pursue wisdom. When the truth is diluted or hidden, we become religious instead of soulful.

Feed the mind. The brain retains. To get rid of faulty retention, there has to be a renewing, with fresh information and invigorating dialogue.

Feed the strength. We have bodies. They run on fuel. The more we feed our bodies the correct fuel and exercise, the healthier we feel.

As I spoke to the folks in Reading yesterday, I realized that they had arrived at the church weary from a week filled with bad news. They needed to be fed.

So emotionally, we told them that nothing happens until we show up, and nothing is over until we give up.

Reformation 3Spiritually, we shared that nothing of quality begins on Earth unless we understand that judging one another closes the door to fellowship.

Mentally, we challenged them that a God who loves us wants us to be happy instead of sacrificing our dreams to restricted religious regulation.

And physically? Well physically, we told them that the doorway to good health is to start off by enjoying the life God has given us and finding pathways to make it more abundant.

We can become the reformation church if we realize that those who come through our doors need to be fed–heart, soul, mind and strength.

That’s the good news.

The better news is that we don’t need to make up a program or draft a fresh constitution. Jesus has already laid out a terrific platform for complete human growth through his Sermon on the Mount.

Reformation 1

 

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Dear Man/Dear Woman: A Noteworthy Conversation … April 9th, 2016

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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Dear Man Dear Woman

 

Dear Man: So what did they tell you?

Dear Woman: They told me that women are beautiful, but very emotional. What did they tell you?

Dear Man: I was told that men are handsome and strong.

Dear Woman: Well, since “beautiful” and “handsome” are literally in the eye of the beholder, that leaves emotional and strong.

Dear Man: That it does. And what do those two words mean?

Dear Woman: Well, emotional means having lots of feelings.

Dear Man: And for simplicity, strong means having lots of muscles.

Dear Woman: So I guess the thought is, when feelings are needed, women are handy and in everything else, men have the edge because they can lift the weights.

Dear Man: Here’s my question–can anybody achieve anything without emotion? Can the football team win the national championship without great feelings and energy to propel them?

Dear Woman: And can anything be accomplished as a human being without utilizing strength? For instance, can a woman actually go through the difficulty of puberty, struggles in the economy, birthing and raising children–without possessing tremendous physical fortitude?

Dear Man: Of course not. But we’re led to believe that I’m emotional and you are strong. So if you decide I’m overly emotional, you can just beat the crap out of me.

Dear Woman: Well, I personally wouldn’t do that…

Dear Man: I know that. But deep in the recesses of your primeval brain is the notion that you could take me down.

Dear Woman: And equally deep in your evolution is the information that you may only be able to get what you want by crying and expressing your feelings.

Dear Man: So what’s the truth?

Dear Woman: Well, that’s easy. None of us can live without emotion and strength. To be a human being, you must know how to tap your emotions, and be able to be strong in the hour of trial.

Dear Man: Exactly. So maybe the problem is the words we use.

Dear Woman: I’m listening.

Dear Man: What I mean is that emotion without purpose and direction is useless. If you add purpose it becomes passion.

Dear Woman: And strength without the willingness to include endurance is just macho energy because it doesn’t hang in there and last to the end. So what I’m saying is that an emotional and strong football team doesn’t win the game.

Dear Man: No, it’s a passionate team–one with great endurance–that lasts through the fourth quarter and takes the day.

Dear Woman: Do you realize, there’s no Bible for the boys and another for the girls. There’s no Constitution for the men and another one for women. In our higher forms of reasoning, we already understand that we need to be human beings and not just genders.

Dear Man: Well said. So maybe the best thing we can do is teach our children–and maybe ourselves–that women are not emotional and men strong, but instead, that human beings are learning to use their passion with endurance.

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G-Poppers … March 4th, 2016

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G-Pop got a message. His son was worried about the present political climate in our country.

G-Pop shares some of his concerns.

Yet, the whole situation reminds G-Pop of a teacher he had in high school–Coach Dunne.

The coach was young, charismatic, energetic and loved by all the students. So obviously, he had a great influence on the attitudes on campus.

Coach Dunne was also the guidance counselor–and all of the 118 people in G-Pop’s class made their way into Coach Dunne’s office to discuss with him their dreams and aspirations–even G-Pop.

He remembers it like it was yesterday. For you see, Coach Dunne had an approach:

He sized you up, and then he almost prophetically shared where he thought you should go with your talents, appearance, abilities and inclinations.

He had three favorite phrases:

1. You seem to be…

2. You look like…

3. You would be happy doing…

His words were cushioned with mostly praise, but also tarted with exhortation. He was convinced he knew your destiny.

So to G-Pop he said, “You seem to be a nice young man who’s interested in God. You look like you might want to pursue music, but I’m just not so sure you have the right stuff to make it.”

And then Coach Dunne concluded by saying, “You would be happy doing the work of a minister.”

G-Pop didn’t want to be a minister.

So he told Coach Dunne that he planned on pursuing music and creative arts. The guidance counselor shook his head, expressing great doubt.

Dunne thought he was doing a good thing by guiding students with his wisdom. G-Pop called it “Dunning.” It’s the belief that we can judge what’s right for other people based on their appearance, IQ and general demeanor.

This is directly reflected in the atmosphere of our political parties:

The Republicans contend it is their mission to bring all cultures and all ideologies under submission to the Constitution and Judeo-Christian principles.

The Democrats, on the other hand, believe that the poor, the indigent and the disenfranchised are being subjected by billionaires and a cruel society into an existence of poverty and degradation.

Both of these organizations are obsessed with the idea that human beings can be evaluated by the “Dunning” process. Both parties want to keep people in their culture, in their families, and bound to existing limitations.

It is utter foolishness.

And until we have leadership that tells the truth and does not try to force a reality on the populace based upon race, creed, gender or orientation, we will have a society that is splintered, separating the citizens by culture.

This should have been the message of Coach Dunne:

A. Be human.

In other words, find reasons to have commonality with everyone around you.

B. Do something of your own choice.

In other words, take a risk that what you think you can accomplish can actually be achieved.

C. Live with it.

Don’t get defensive if you fail. Don’t get prideful if you succeed.

Because the truth is, not one of us can live off our ancestors–and we sure as hell can’t control our children.

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Ask Jonathots …December 24th, 2015

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Do you think it would be a good thing for the United States to have a woman President? Why or why not?

With no disrespect to your question, the issue of the Presidency of the United States has nothing to do with gender or race.

It requires a leader who represents all the people in all ways possible, keeping an eye on better choices which will progress our humanity.

It shouldn’t matter if it’s a woman, a black, a gay person or any particular inclination.

There are four things I think are necessary to consider in selecting a leader of the United States–a champion for our cause and a motivator for the free world. Is he or she:

1. Idealistic enough to pursue the heart of the Declaration of Independence instead of merely discussing the mechanics of the Constitution?

Let us never forget that the Constitution originally insisted that black people were less than whole individuals. But the Declaration of Independence said that all men were created equal. Without this kind of idealism, we will begin to believe that maintaining the status quo is ultimately better in order to keep peace.

2. Able to endure suffering.

If you’re going to be the President of a diverse nation, a certain percentage of those people will be angry with you at all times. To secure the freedoms and rights of a minority does risk being attacked by the majority.

3. Living a life of good cheer.

I’m not talking about being able to tell jokes at an expensive dinner. I’m speaking of a sense of joy about one’s own life and expressing great hope that things can become better instead of always focusing on the next torpedo which just might sink our dreams.

4. Non-partisan.

Our country is neither conservative nor is it liberal. We require the spirit of Abraham Lincoln, who refused to accept dividing the country simply because the North did not understand the lifestyle of their Southern brothers and sisters.

If you show me candidates who possess these four attributes, their genitalia does not matter, but rather, their gentleness. 

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