1 Thing the American People Should Not Be Permitted to Do

Vote for the President

The employees at Wal-mart don’t choose the CEO.

College students don’t cast ballots to pick the president of the university.

Why? Because they’re not qualified.

The job requires a specific set of skills and should not be a popularity contest.

The same is true with the Presidency of the United States.

We can involve the American people in a dozen ways, but when it comes down to selecting the individual to run our nation and bring together the three branches of the government, it should be a decision based on merit, not might.

Just consider the two candidates we have this year:

  • One is a real estate developer who’s built up a formidable following, maintaining his present status
  • The other is an aging politician whose skills are obviously diminished, who is worthy of honor but not necessarily prepared to chair the most important job in the world.

This present virus has shown us that there are governors, mayors, doctors and nurses all over America who have picked up the cross and carried it for the national leadership.

I have no feelings of anger toward President Trump or nominee and former Vice-President Joe Biden. But I do think one is unqualified and the other is over the hill—and that America can do better.

The system needs to be revised.

First, I believe we should have a President from one party and a Vice-President from another party.

Every four or eight years, that should switch.

There should not be majorities in either house of Congress. If bills are going to be passed, we need to institute interaction among the members.

And the President and Vice-President should both be selected rather than voted in. The system can still remain democratic and include the populace in some phase of the operation. For instance, we could boil it down to four applicants who are all suitable.

Since no one can be truly vetted and come out clean anyway, we need to stop being concerned with issues of morality, and instead, be more focused on productivity.

Until the United States is able to pick a leader that represents the history, authenticity and significance of our mission on the world stage, we will be stuck with those who can raise enough money and tell enough lies to wrangle the gig.

The American people are good for many things–choosing Presidents is not one of them.

Just look at our history. Not even fifteen percent of those elected into the role are worthy of mention. Some took us to war, some kept us in war and there is a shameful lack of a woman in the roster.

Foolishness. Pride.

That’s what keeps us pursuing the electoral college, embroiled in a two-party system, and allowing the country as a whole to vote for the loudest.

 

 

Sit Down Comedy … December 6th, 2019

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Sit Down Comedy

Now and then I come across someone or something that I believe to be inadequately named by the New Oxford Dictionary.

So I make up a word of my own.

This week I’ve been thinking about “hero.” Everyone has an image in mind when they hear the term, but we do not really have a word for people who are not heroes, but thump their chests, proclaiming themselves to be.

So I would like to offer my word for such a person:

HEGO

Just to clarify:

A hero is an individual who rises to the occasion and is adequately surprised and humbled by the positive results.

A hego is a person who fails to deliver, but still insists that he* did the job.

A hero doesn’t promise, but still provides.

A hego fails and claims he never promised.

A hero considers the responsibility before agreeing to try.

A hego assumes there is nothing he can’t do.

A hero searches for others better qualified than himself.

A hego believes he is the most qualified without ever searching.

A hero demands no reward.

A hego needs the reward to confirm his worth.

A hero carries his cross.

A hego places his cross on another.

A hero tells the truth because he must.

A hego exaggerates because he must be perceived as great.

Whether in politics, business, entertainment or religion, each path requires a certain amount of honor. When this is provided, a hero can emerge. When it’s ignored and shortcuts are sought, a hego is hatched.

A hero gives of himself.

A hego uses others.

A hero fears being a coward and ends up brave.

A hego believes himself brave and ends up a coward.

A hero steps back.

A hego pushes forward.

A hero lays down his life for a friend.

A hego asks the friend to perform the sacrifice.

A hero seeks peace.

A hego yearns for war.

Bluntly, we could consider the hego to be an exercise in foolishness except for the fact that when our enemies know that we no longer respect the role of a hero, they are more likely to attack whomever has become our latest hego.

A hero believes in others.

A hego believes in himself.

It is my heart that America needs a hero, or maybe two. For after all, we are well-staffed with the hego.

 


*he or she

Iz and Pal (Bedouin Buddies)


Iz and Pal

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Sitting Thirty-Five

Karin found it difficult to discover what to do with herself on the Wednesday before the rally. An uneasy sense of doom and gloom had settled in her soul and was gnawing at the corners of her mind.

She could not shake it.

She resorted to one of her favorite solutions. She purchased a pint of Mackie’s Cherries Fairies ice cream and ate it in one sitting. It had been known to soothe many an aching need. But on this day, even the delicious confection couldn’t aid her in dispelling the sensation that something very idiotic might happen on Thursday.

Karin was not given to depression, but optimism was certainly not one of her strong suits. Her faith in humanity had been shaken early and hard. She found it difficult to believe there were people who could muster either the mercy or the wisdom to bring about a happy ending to any tale, especially one involving two young men in the desert who were defying the structure of their rickety culture.

She actually considered praying for rain. But she always felt funny when she prayed—she could never figure out which parts of faith were childish dreams and what portions might be linked to some divine order. It was difficult for her to imagine why the God of the Universe would take time commiserating with bitching mortals.

But she decided to go ahead and pursue a prayer life one more time—just maybe for an earthquake to come along. A tiny one. Not to hurt anyone. Just strong enough to knock over some file cabinets at City Hall and overturn a few chairs in people’s homes. A convenient earthquake—something to distract the hysterical masses.

The prayer actually made her feel better. For about an hour she grew content with the notion that things might just work out. But for Karin, praying was like Chinese food. It got inside, but an hour later she was fretting all over again.

Scouring her brain for anything resembling an idea that might contribute to sanity, she decided to go and meet the families of the two boys. After all, she had heard Iz and Pal’s side of the story but had never given their fathers a chance to clarify their position or make their case.

Her mind was eased simply by pursuing the research which she so loved chasing down. Today it took her to the hall of records, where she discovered that Amir’s (Pal) mother had died three years earlier from breast cancer. Amir had only one brother, older—Talsan, who attended the university with aspirations of becoming a doctor.

A fascinating piece of information turned up when she perused data on Iz’s parents. There were two parents, but with separate addresses. Karin could find no evidence of a divorce decree or any other children.

It gave her a place to start. She set out into the city on a quest to uncover some truth. Yet a short two hours later, she returned to her apartment, deflated and even more perplexed. The plan, the visit and the result turned out to be a wasteland.

Amir’s father refused to see her, speaking through the door, “I am in prayer. I cannot view a woman at this time.”

Pada was not at home and Talsan was unavailable, attending class. The only person she was able to meet face-to-face was Shelah, Iz’s mother, who lived in a small apartment just down the street and around the corner from where Iz and his father dwelled.

Shelah explained to Karin that although there was no divorce, she and Iz’s father had separated over financial disagreements and contentious arguments concerning raising the boy. She didn’t even know that Jubal was gone. Pada hadn’t told her.

Karin did not know what to do with Shelah. She possessed that Middle Eastern woman surface submission, masking a dark cloud of rage. Karin invited the mother to the rally but Shelah declined, saying she feared a confrontation of great magnitude would occur if she made an appearance. At no time did Shelah ask about Jubal’s well-being. She did not inquire as to his status, his health or his heart.

Karin was desolate. No one really cared for these two boys, just as people. They were viewed as either burdens or bedlam—bothersome or brats. But certainly forsaken and forgotten.

She was exhausted. Sitting down on her bed, slipping off her sandals and swinging her legs around, she lay down flat on her back—but her mind was actively trying to save the world.

She closed her eyes, hoping for relief. Rest was needed—for it would be necessary for her to be alive, sharp and prepared for tomorrow’s foolishness.

 

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The Y Word … July 23rd, 2019

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THE

Related image

WORD


Eighteen, nineteen

Certainly twenty

Full of vigor

Vim aplenty

I remember

I retrace

I recall

My youthful face.

The Y word that should never be spoken or written again is:

YOUTHFUL

How is it possible that a word that can be followed by either “energy” or “indiscretion” is so revered in our society that we fearfully abhor the sight of an aging countenance in favor of one bright and ready, but still filled with foolishness?

And it truly is ironic that arguably the two greatest Presidents we’ve ever had, Lincoln and FDR, certainly did not exude youthfulness, beauty or even a measure of health.

I am not suggesting that the older you are, the smarter you are—nor am I connoting that possessing a youthful spring in your step for as long as possible is not desirable. But when the window for musicians and entertainers begins at thirteen and ends just short of thirty, and the younger the executive the more convinced we are that he or she will be full of innovative ideas, and with the startling realization that investing in anti-aging cream is always a sure shot, it is time for us to realize that we are both addicted to youth and also enslaved by immaturity.

I do not want to hear if someone is youthful.

I do not care if the President of the United States can take the stairs into Air Force One two at a time.

What I want to be sure of is that the birthday candles have nothing whatsoever to do with the fire in the soul, the energy in the brain and the willingness of the heart.

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1 Thing You Can Do This Week To Be a Better Person

PROMISES ARE NOT PROMISING

Though for a brief moment, our pride swells, our hopefulness inflates and our prowess among our fellow-humans may appear to soar, promises leave us with a single difficulty:

WE MUST DELIVER OR WE WILL START LYING

Once we start lying we can’t be trusted. When we are not trusted, we are eventually relegated to a position where people are willing to dine with us but not work with us.

The difficulty with promises is that they become two desolate deserts if we fail to deliver the goods: arrogance and foolishness.

Arrogance because we said we would be able to accomplish something and not only shared our intent but sealed it with the covenant of a promise.

Foolish because everyone wonders why we didn’t account for the thing that brought our plans down.

Yet we continue to promise that we’re going to give the money, win the game, be there on time and even be faithful until death do us part.

There’s nothing that makes us look more ridiculous than an unfulfilled promise, but people continue to feel the need to look powerful while ending up with a powerless claim. Society promotes arrogance–but we are all drawn to humility.

We expect people to overlook our foolishness although wisdom is regarded as a higher virtue.

If you want to do better, stop saying “I promise.” Instead, reply, “I think I understand what needs to be done. Here’s where my ability lies, and it’s available if you’d like me to take a shot at it.”

Nobody ever won a game, won a love, won the lottery or won salvation by making a promise.

So if you want to gain strength or be perceived as intelligent, offer what you have with humility, and apply it with wisdom.

 

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Sit Down Comedy … December 7th, 2018

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The Wise Crack (Up)

Dorkius was also wise.

He just enjoyed his wisdom with a strong portion of practicality. Matter of fact, Dorkius believed that wisdom without practicality was just foolishness with a nasty surprise.

So when his three friends–Santere, a wealthy merchant, Chenaul, a renowned seller of purple cloth, and Beloit, a little person in charge of the maintenance of a huge flock of camels–came to visit him, telling him about a beautiful star sparkling in the sky, Dorkius was already familiar with the phenomenon.

Very impressive.

Like his friends, Dorkius was always prepared to view heavenly wonders, and discuss them for hours over a nice flask of wine and a sumptuous meal. He believed that discussion held the power to calm every fiber of the human soul, and was therefore the ointment of contentment and good health.

But pursuing false wisdom produced a contentious nature which caused one to fear that not enough was being accomplished, and generated the eager itch to follow the unknown. This often left a confused traveler discombobulated, and therefore, ailing.

Even though Santere, Chenaul and Beloit were well-traveled, excellent reasoners, they were never able to out-debate the adept Dorkius.

So when the three came to visit, enthused over the revelation of the star, they insisted that it foretold a great event–a social and spiritual awakening–the announcement of a great ruler who would bring a sense of harmony to the Earth.

Dorkius immediately pointed out to his friends that there was no basis for this in the science of astrology, for such an alignment was unlikely for thousands of years. But Santere objected, noting that perhaps “the heavens felt the need to hasten the pace.”

Dorkius smiled. Chenaul was all to familiar with that particular smirk. It meant that her friend had been amused by some piece of illogical thought and was about to pounce on it with all the aptitude of his intellect.

“The heavens in disarray?” asked Dorkius, as if posing the question to the entire Universe. “My dear Santere, why would the heavens be in disarray? Why would they need to hasten anything, when they, and they alone, hold the vision to all answers? You must remember, my dear friend, that in the pursuit of great knowledge, many imitators, bringing stupidity, will scamper to our side.”

Beloit, who had a wee voice, spoke with great conviction. “But consider this, dear Dorkius. What if it is miraculous? What if it’s the only star of its kind to ever appear in the heavens? What if it is the beckoning light for the King of all Kings and the Master of all Magistrates? What if it is the greatest light we shall ever see?”

Dorkius countered with a fury of anger. He was always annoyed with Beloit’s overly simplistic approach. “And what if it isn’t?” he challenged. “If there were ten chances before you and nine of them were death and one was eternal life, would you take the risk? Is the prospect for a greater and longer existence worth the nine possibilities of losing the one you have?”

Chenaul touched Dorkius’ arm tenderly and said, “It is if it’s the brightest chance you’ve ever seen.”

Dorkius shook his head. He prepared himself for another onslaught of verbal battling and an additional flask of wine.

Instead, Santere stood to his feet and offered, “We have not come tonight, my dear friend, to argue philosophy or to wrangle over the intellect of odds. We have come to invite you to join us on a journey with a great entourage–to find the source of the Star. To find the resting place. And hopefully, to find the King it proclaims.”

Dorkius laughed, at first with great levity, which gradually curdled into a cruel tone. “Are you asking me,” he scoffed, “to drop all I have, all I own, and all I do, to follow a star?”

“No,” said Chenaul, also standing to her feet, “we’re inviting you. Since we feel the star invited us, it seemed unrighteous to leave behind our sweet friend.”

Beloit also stood, and spoke boldly. “I know you don’t like me, Dorkius. We don’t need to discuss that. But I love you enough to want you there when we find the source of the reflection that radiates the heavens.”

Dorkius sighed. “I would continue to reason with the three of you but I think it’s time for Nature and the gods to teach you a lesson. We are mere mortals. We live and die, and all that remains are the values we have taught others, the deeds we have done and the shadow of a legacy that is always fading. I don’t want my last memory to be a foolhardy odyssey to chase a beam of light. Please, reconsider your plan. I know the three of you to be extraordinarily wise. Now, use that wisdom in a practical way. The gods do not call us to chase, but rather, observe, learn and apply. I, for one, will take the beauty of what I see in the sky and report it to those I see around me–encouraging them to enjoy the spectacle. You see, herein lies wisdom–but mingled with appreciation for one’s own circumstances.”

The three wise ones could not argue with their friend. Everything he said had elements of truth, value, some nobility and certainly the safety of sleeping in one’s own bed, in one’s own tent.

But his perspective lacked faith. It lacked vision. It lacked the adventure required by hope–to bring the joy in the human soul.

They all embraced. They shared meditations. And the three mounted their camels and set off on a journey.

That night Dorkius wept for his friends. He mourned for their misguided, meaningless meandering. He went to bed confident that he was safe and sound.

Dorkius was wise, but practical.

And practical is what kept him from seeing the Christ Child.

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Salient…May 28th, 2018

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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There are matters that are too important to ignore or leave to chance. These are salient moments.

Taking into consideration the attitudes and climate in our nation, there are certainly times you might feel like you’re stuck in an elevator with a life insurance salesman, a Mormon missionary and a flasher. It is very difficult to escape without being offended by one of them.

Yet before you fall into a pit of despair or decide to give in to trending thoughts, you might want to consider that there are certainly ongoing principles that need to be honored. Even though it may seem that people break these cardinal rules and get by with it, ultimately, there’s always a reckoning.

There are three words that make the world go ’round: “I was wrong.”

Without “I was wrong” nothing can ever be right.

If you can’t say “I was wrong,” you inevitably resort to lying.

Also, if you’re unable to say “I was wrong,” it leads to an immediate situation: “I am wrong.”

In other words, I continue to be wrong as long as I don’t admit I was wrong.

For most certainly, nothing we ignore ever changes.

Nothing is transformed merely by the passage of time.

Everything must be evaluated, confessed and revised. Otherwise, we cannot separate ourselves from wrong.

I personally don’t mind visiting “wrong” as long as I don’t have to live there. And the only way to keep from dwelling in the condition of being wrong is to admit that you stumble.

Because if you are unwilling to say “I was wrong,” you enter the realm of “I am wrong.” Then the ultimate curse that befalls you is “I will be wrong.”

So no matter what your position is in life, if you’re slow to say “I was wrong,” by the law of nature, you will continue to be MORE wrong as time passes.

You can object. You can try to disguise your iniquity, but your foolishness will be exposed.

So here is your salient moment: “I was wrong” is the only way to ever become right.

 

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