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

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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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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Interloper… November 9, 2012

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Interloper (n)–one who interferes or meddles in the affairs of others, often for selfish reasons, while intruding into a trade, usually without a proper license.

I am an interloper.

I’m quite proud of it. I have come along at a point in history when the battle lines have been drawn among my fellow-travelers and we’ve been encouraged to pick sides, much like we did as little children at the playground, determining our companions merely based upon our likes and dislikes, and therefore choosing up a team that resembles us but isn’t necessarily qualified for victory.

I am an interloper.

Last night I came to Jeffersonville, Ohio, and interrupted a community which I am certain was pretty content in pursuing its present level of activity and the energy of its ongoing belief system. I interfered. I asked a minister in that town to open up his church to a program offering music, humor, dialogue and ideas which might be just a little bit foreign to the community chest. And you know what? I did it for selfish reasons.

I am weary of living in a country whose people square off against one another, continuing a Hatfield and McCoy style of interaction based on generations of misconceptions and often-disproven theories. I want to be happy. I find a way to do so without the help of others, but would certainly welcome additional friends on the journey.

I interrupted the local newspaper, which I’m sure doesn’t normally advertise such an event, especially one coming from a religious institution, out of fear of showing favoritism for one congregation over another. They broke out of their mold, interviewed us and put their findings on the front page.

Also, I refused to accept the findings of the region, expanded the definition of inspirational music and ideas–and yes, I did it without a proper license. No one has given me permission. No political or religious institution has offered me credentials, and no one has summoned me to the occasion. I choose to do it, I continue to promote it–and I am determined to be the last man standing.

I am an interloper.

I am exhausted from listening to people characterize all conservatives as brash brothers and sisters of Rush Limbaugh and all liberals as baby-killing whale-lovers. I have traveled this country back and forth many times. I have dined with conservatives who only want to make sure the progress we make is not to the detriment of their families, offspring and even the heart of God. I have supped with liberals, who have sat in tears only because they desire to see the needs of the poor and less fortunate met, while we attempt to lift the bottom line. There are good people out there on both sides, who really would like each other if they were not forced into despising the other camp.

I am an interloper.

I have no written authorization to do what I am doing–not even a note from my mother, who I am sure would also disapprove.

I spent an hour with strangers last night. We talked.  We reasoned. We laughed. We cried. They kept looking for ways to confirm that I was either a liberal or a conservative and at the end of the encounter, had to surmise that I really was trying to access the Spirit and the truth that would make us free.

I don’t always succeed, but I can identify failure, even when it’s mine. I have given myself permission to correct my own stupidities without feeling diminished. I stand ready to interfere in the present climate of a country which is bound and determined to stubbornly destroy itself with the doctrine of opinion. I have few opinions but I have tremendous aspirations.

I am an interloper.

I will be coming soon to your community to interfere in the affairs of your region, while redefining the trade of ministry–without any papers or vetting coming from a political party. If we do not rise as a nation and object to the existing stalemate of staleness, we will gradually just slip away from significance and be viewed by history as an ignorant people who only honored arrogance.  We can do better.

I am an interloper.

I welcome you to become an interloper, too. To do so you, will have to realize that conservative people have something to offer, as do those with a more liberal twinge. The balance of this condition is found at the end of the Pledge of Allegiance:

” …one nation under God…”

Truthfully, that’s all true conservatives want. They would just like to have the assurance that the Creator would be included in the affairs of His creation.

“…with liberty and justice for all…”

That is at the core of the honest liberal–just a request that we grant people the freedom to be themselves even if we don’t completely agree–as long as it is not detrimental to the pursuit of the common good.

And when you allow these two forces to exist together in a great debate of discovery, you end up with a word that makes this country immutable:

“…indivisible.”

You can’t divide us, because we refuse to be disconnected from one another over some silly issue.

I am an interloper.

I will not join the confusion. I will not participate in the foolishness. I am here … to meddle and interfere.

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5ive … March 17, 2012

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Barack, Mitt, Newt, Rick and Ron (alphabetical order)–the five left standing, as it were, desiring the post of President of the United States.

The United Church of Christ, Mormon, two Catholics and a Baptist, respectively, are their religious affiliations. They all love to talk about God. I do not know when, in our body politic, that the pursuit and discussion of the Divine gained such prominence, but now it seems the main arm wrestling occurring over issues is being decided by who, presumably, God likes the best.

Is God a Republican or a Democrat? Since these five individuals are so intent on invoking the name of the Most High, I just wondered whether they would be willing to run on God’s platform, based upon what we know about His character and concerns. Yes, would Barack, Mitt, Newt, Rick and Ron have the intestinal fortitude to abandon previous stances in favor of the universal mindset of the Almighty? Because as I see it, God’s political position would be in four parts:

1. God is no respecter of persons. That means He wouldn’t play one race or group of people against another to gain support, but rather, would promote the notion that no one is better than anyone else, and that the human race is born with complete equality of possibility. Granted, some people choose to use their birthright as emotional toilet paper, to degrade themselves instead of uplifting their situation, but that has nothing to do with the fact that God placed within all of us the ability to overcome our weaknesses, and to temper our strengths, to keep us from feeling dominant by circumstance of birth. Yes, I wonder what these five candidates would think about running on a platform of NO PREJUDICEnot in theory but in practice.  It would mean we would have to take Iran seriously as a sovereign nation and therefore negotiate with them instead of threatening them.

2.  Where the Spirit of God is, there is liberty. How popular would it be to run a campaign with a plank in the platform that proclaims there will be no limits placed on liberty. In other words, anything that inhibits the rights of an individual in our country to express him or herself equally with anyone else would be anti-God. Such a concept would be considered pure idealism and debunked as impossible because we extol our particular rules and regulations, while eschewing the restrictions of our opponent.

3. God is love, and perfect love casts out fear. Would it be possible to be President of the United States if you weren’t able to scare the voters into selecting you as their savior from terror? If you removed apprehension and worry from the equation and had to run a race for the White House based upon NO FEAR, would you be able to do it and still gain enough attention from the electorate to get them to the polls to choose you? Certainly some great men in history have said, “We have nothing to fear but fear itself,” but we have not heard much affirmation of that concept of late. After all, frightening the peasants is a great way to get the serfs to pay taxes to the castle. It is rather doubtful that any of these five individuals would want to renounce that practice in entirety.

4. And finally, God is light and in Him is no darkness. Would Republican or Democrat be willing to present himself to the American public based solely upon his ideas or aspirations, without trying to attack his adversary? And that would include, of course, allowing their names to be sold off to Super Pacs, running negative ads against any competitor who dared to surface. Could we actually have a political climate that was free of darkness, free of deception, free of lying–in other words, transparent as much as human beings are able to become? Would this quintet of wannabes be willing to remove darkness from the table and enlighten us?

So let’s take another look at a platform that really would represent the spirit of God rather than invoking His name to evoke controversy.

  • No prejudice. That means gays, women, Iranians, Jews and immigrants.
  • No limit on liberty. That means gays, women, Iranians, Jews, immigrants–and you and me.
  • No fear–skipping the step of terrifying people, but instead, informing us on the legitimate information available to make an intelligent decision.
  • No darkness–precluding the instinct to exterminate our opponent with vile threats and less-than-truthful assertions. Are we prepared to speak the truth in love and let it make us free?

So in the midst of all this discussion, where the political parties think that God is more concerned about a woman’s menstrual cycle than He is her personal freedom, we might want to stop for a second and consider what our government would become if it really was one nation under God, indivisible. Are we ready for such a step? Or is there still enough carnality left in us that a spirit-led administration, inclusive of everyone, would fall flat on its face and be deemed impractical?

So I don’t mind you Republicans being conservative. And you Democrats, feel free to pontificate on your issues with great aplomb. I would just request that you both be a little bit more careful in assuming that the Father in heaven has signed up as an advocate for your particular side.

Because He would lobby for no prejudice, no limit to liberty, no fear and no darkness.

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Sitting One

 I died today. 

I didn’t expect it to happen.  Then again, I did—well, not really.

No, I certainly didn’t expect it.

I’ve had moments of clarity in my life.  Amazingly enough, many of them were in the midst of a dream. For a brief second I would know the meaning of life or the missing treatment to cure cancer.  And then as quickly as it popped into my mind it was gone. I really don’t recollect dying.  Just this unbelievable sense of clear headedness—like walking into a room newly painted and knowing by the odor and brightness that the color on the wall is so splattering new that you should be careful not to touch it for fear of smearing the design. The greatest revelation of all? 

Twenty-five miles in the sky time ceases to exist.

The planet Pluto takes two hundred and forty-eight years to circle the sun. It doesn’t give a damn. 

The day of my death was the day I became free of the only burden I really ever had.  TIME.

Useless.

Time is fussy.  Time is worry. 

Time is fear.  Time is the culprit causing human-types to recoil from pending generosity. 

There just was never enough time. 

Time would not allow it.  Remember—“if time permits …”

Why if time permits?  Why not if I permit?  Why not if I dream?  Why not if I want?  Why does time get to dictate to me my passage? 

It was time that robbed me of my soulful nature.    It was time that convinced me that my selfishness was needed. 

I didn’t die. The clock in me died, leaving spirit to tick on.  

So why don’t we see the farce of time?  Why do we allow ourselves to fall under the power of the cruel despot?  Yes, time is a relentless master—very little wage for much demand.

I died today. 

Actually … a piece of time named after me was cast away.

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