Catchy (Sitting 18) Clippings … October 15th, 2017

Jonathots Daily Blog

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Michael Hinston sat back in a leather chair which had been a gift from a Congressman from Mississippi who had recently remodeled his office, had no need for the extra furniture piece and “saw no reason for it to go to waste.”

In Michael’s hand was a plain manila envelope–the kind you would buy at a dollar store. There was no writing on the outside, except in the lower right hand corner, in small letters, was the name, Milford Hayes.

It did not take Michael any time at all to recollect who Milford Hayes was. Ever since the visit in his office, when he was given the fifty thousand dollars from Caine Industries, he had recalled the conversation with the stranger many, many times.

He hated himself because he hadn’t kicked the bastard out the door.

He hated himself for being part of a political system that allowed such corruption.

He hated himself because corporations thought they could buy and sell politicians like sides of beef.

He also hated himself because he had already spent some of the money.

And unlike more noble souls who could suddenly possess a fit of conscience and give the money back, he had no such resource.

He was in.

Whatever “in” meant.

And apparently, with the arrival of this envelope, he was about to find out.

He picked up the phone and asked his secretary to hold all calls, though nobody was actually phoning him. This was another troubling part of his journey in Washington. He had been elected by rural hometown folks in Ohio, but nobody in the Capitol even knew he was alive.

He had thought he was going to be invited to dinner with the President, but when it turned out that his vote was not needed for an upcoming piece of legislation, apologies were offered and he ended up eating pepperoni pizza with his family.

So now, sitting in his cast-off chair, in his uncomfortable office, with the knowledge in his mind that his wife and children despised their new home, he slowly opened the envelope.

Pulling out the contents, he found a clump of press clippings held together with a paper clip, and a white business envelope with the words “For the Kids” written on the outside.

He set the white envelope to the side and thumbed through the articles. They had one central theme–they were tiny news announcements, reports, opinions and press releases about his friend, Matthew, taking on the Harts fortune to popularize Jesus.

Included was an 8 X 10 glossy picture of a young man with long hair. Scrawled in magic marker across the photo was the name, Jubal Carlos.

Satisfied that he had discovered the essence of the newspaper clippings, he moved toward the business envelope. He opened it. Inside was a note written on 20-pound typing paper, along with ten one hundred-dollar bills. The note read:

It’s time to do something. It’s time for you to earn your money. Your nosy friend has decided to take on the challenge and we must do what is necessary to stall his efforts. The picture is of Jubal Carlos, a freelance musician from Las Vegas who lives on the street with the homeless and the indigent. Your buddy from college plans on using him. Don’t you think it would be a good idea for you to use your congressional clout to have the local authorities investigate him? It couldn’t hurt, right?

I have enclosed some “pin money” for little Alisa and Bernice. Stay faithful. Milford Hayes.

Michael put the letter down and stared at the picture of Jubal Carlos. He didn’t know what to do. The young man in the photograph certainly seemed likeable–a bright countenance.

Why would he want to trouble someone causing no trouble?

Why would he allow himself to be part of some plot against an old friend?

Why should he care what a dead, old billionaire wanted to do with the rest of his money?

But what truly haunted Michael was the thousand dollars. Just twenty minutes earlier, his wife, Barbara, had called to tell him that the school was launching a field trip to New York City. There would be additional expense. The secretary from the school said it would cost $500 for each daughter. Barbara apologized for laying a thousand-dollar burden on his mind while he was at work.

Michael paused, shaking his head. Now, twenty minutes later, he was staring at a thousand dollars in cash. A coincidence? A miracle? A blessing?

Or did Milford Hayes and Caine Industries know too much about his daughters?

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Lawless… November 4, 2012

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I love this country.

And it’s not because I was born here or I think we’re superior or we are the unique bastion of freedom or we have a divine right to lead the world. I love this country because it is the perfect blending of silly and important.

After all, anything that’s too silly ends up in folly. How do I know that? Because I, myself, have followed that path from time to time and have also seen the United States go through seasons of dumbness. Likewise, if one believes one is very important (by, say, repeatedly using “one” in a sentence instead of “you”) then one (or you) becomes self-righteous, officious and annoying. I am aware of this because I have been guilty of a bit of piety, and my country certainly has been adorned in the robes of ritual.

But what is perfect is when silly and important decide to get together and balance one another, so that nothing is taken too seriously and truly valuable things are given some air to breathe and a chance to succeed. It may be what’s missing during this particular juncture of the nation’s evolution. We’re frightened of being considered silly, so we are taking ourselves way too seriously.

But this condition was temporarily relieved from my mind last night when I was driving home from my set-up near Ashville, Ohio, and saw some campaign signs in a yard advertising: Lawless for Sheriff.

Come on. You’ve got to laugh out loud.

Only in America would such a silly name be associated with something so important as “sheriffing” without the constituency laughing out loud every time they read it or heard it. Only in USA would a man named Lawless feel free to run for sheriff–using his own name–without fear that he would be judged and guffawed right out of the office.

It made me think of other possibilities.

  • How about this one? Frank Critical for Supreme Court Judge.
  • I like this one: Karen Wolf for Dog Catcher.
  • Here’s a frightening one: Bill Terrorist for Director of Homeland Security.
  • Susan Graft for State Treasurer.
  • And of course, my favorite: John Mayor for Mayor.

I think it’s so positive. It gives me such hope that we have achieved the first step in a four-step process, to cease being a nation of prejudice, that we can just relax and enjoy the mixture of silly and important.

The first step is: No difference in a name.

Polish, Italian, German … or even Lawless for Sheriff. It doesn’t seem to bother us that much anymore. There’s even one guy running for office in this state whose last name is Gentile. No one is accusing him of being anti-Semitic. No one is asking if he’s circum … spective. We have made a step.

Look at those running for President. Mitt and Barack. Are you kidding me? This used to be a country with Presidents named Richard, Jimmy, George, Bill and Franklin. Mitt and Barack? Don’t tell me we haven’t made progress.

We have achieved step one, so take heart We might just be ready to go to step two, which is: No difference in color.

We are discussing it–nervously. I think we can do it. We may have to totally ridicule those who still go into the human home improvement store with a color chart, but I think it’s not only possible, it’s a necessity.

And when we get done with Number Two–no difference in color–we might be ready for Number Three: No difference in liberty.

People don’t have to follow my book. They don’t have to line up with my lifestyle. If what they choose to do is not detrimental to other human beings, they deserve the right to pursue it. I know–it seems we are light-years away from that one. But don’t give up. And please, don’t insist that we would be better off by having a Republican or a Democrat in the driver’s seat heading towards this destination. People are people and their prejudices don’t change that much simply because they are trailing behind a donkey versus an elephant.

Once we decide there is no difference in liberty–that our founding fathers truly did envision a land where all citizens would be granted equal justice, then we will culminate in the fourth step: Just no difference.

In other words, all of you are my brothers and sisters. This is how Jesus said his followers would be recognized–that they have love one for another. You can’t have love one for another and believe there’s a difference because of a name. Love is impossible if you’re differentiating by the pigment of someone’s skin. How can you give love to someone if you refuse them the liberty to pursue his or her own happiness? No, love is when we admit that even though we may have many contrary opinions, we are nevertheless all brothers and sisters.

So I drove back to my motel last night with a giggle in my spirit, thinking about Lawless for Sheriff–proud of my country because we are no longer name impaired.

You may think that’s silly. I would agree. And as I told you, silly is halfway to linking up with important …and making this whole dream called America a reality.

The producers of jonathots would humbly request a yearly subscription donation of $10 for this wonderful, inspirational opportunity

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