The Amish on driving

Continuing to catch up on the last couple months…  My son and I recently traveled south an hour to Mt. Victory, Ohio, where we did a series of short videos around Amish beliefs (Mt. Victory is replete with Amish people.)  I noted, among other things, that the Amish buggy or bicycle to, for one, be good environmental stewards.  (Think: global warming.)  What’s more, they believe getting in, say, a 2,000 pound vehicle increases, exponentially, your chances of killing someone.  And they take the 5th Commandment seriously.  I noted in the video that some 33,000 people were killed on America’s roads last year.  That would be the equivalent of, say, a 747 airliner going down in America — every day!  Think about that.  And if you want to think more about our rather unique position paper on transportation, see…

Awakening Minds Art; “Mathew 25 moment” in Columbia

Catching up on the last couple months…  I did a newspaper interview with the director of the local Awakening Minds Art Program.  It is in some 19 counties of Northwest Ohio and is, primarily, designed to use art as a medium to help special needs youth and adults.  The director, Sarah Crisp, pointed to, for instance, Jared Willis, 16, who, physically, has a degree of “dwarfism,” and is a bit mentally delayed as well.  (He had just won the program’s “Your Colors Change the World” award for some of his art.  He has, in time, become quite an artist, and by extension, a much more confident and optimistic youth these days.  Rosalyn Carter was a big proponent of getting much more funding, and help in general, for mental health issues.  Our administration would pick up that torch in a major way — looking at mental health issues on a par with physical health issues…  Our foreign policy would focus much more — than the U.S.’s current paradigm — on worldwide poverty.  (Some half the world populace lives on $2 a day, or less.)  During this time, I also interviewed Bluffton University’s Professor Paul Neufeld Weaver.  He is the director of the university’s Cross Cultural Program.  He, for instance, takes students to a tough metro-neighborhood in the country of Columbia.  They distribute food to the homeless, to drug addicts, to gang members, to prostitutes…  The professor refers to it as a “Mathew 25 moment” for many of the students.  What’s more, hopefully, just as many of the students come back with a much clearer understanding of the face of abject poverty, and such, in some of these countries.  And by extension with this one, they then also get behind more non-profit and governmental initiatives to help in these poorer countries.

Eisenhower to Korea; Trump to Latin America?

Was just reading part of the book: Eisenhower In War And Peace.  It explained when Eisenhower was running for president, the Korean War had entered its third year — and “it loomed large in voters’ minds.”  During a campaign speech, he promised a “personal trip to Korea.”  He believed to better assess the situation, he had to be on the ground there.  Conversely, I couldn’t help but think if, say, Trump traveled to Latin America to see, first hand, the cartel violence on the streets there, the abject poverty on the streets there…  he wouldn’t be so apt to be adamantly turning away people desperately trying to flee all that.  I’ve been to Juarez, Mexico, and have seen all that.  We can’t turn our backs on these people.  We just can’t.

Deep Water Horizon; oil addiction

Today is the eighth anniversary of the Deep Water Horizon catastrophe in the Gulf of Mexico.  It is believed to be, by far, the largest marine oil spill in history.  The total discharge was 4.9 million barrels.  And they were finding oil plumes the size of Manhattan in the water.  It wasn’t long after this that the Obama administration sanctioned more off shore oil drilling.  And the Trump administration is ramping this up even more.  Uh…  As a nation we’re addicted to oil.  Period.  And burning oil, among a number of detrimental things, is causing rapidly increasing, and also quite catastrophic, global warming.  This kind of increased off shore drilling only “enables” our addiction more.  What we should be doing is weaning ourselves off of oil, if not just going: “cold turkey.” Our kids are counting on us to do the right thing.  For more on our position on energy across the board, see…

Picking a Cabinet

I was reading some of The Available Man (Warren Harding) today.  The book noted that in choosing his Cabinet, Harding wanted to “…have a popular group of the best minds around him.” With my Cabinet, I don’t know so much about “popular,” but I would want the “best minds” around me — if those minds were linked to solid spirituality.  What’s more, they would need to be “minds” in step, not necessarily with the mainstream, but rather in step with doing the right things, period. For instance, “traditional farmers” these days are lacing their fields with toxic pesticides, herbicides and fertilizer.  By extension, we’re ingesting food with this stuff in it.  And by further extension, cancer rates are spiking.  So…  My Secretary of Agriculture may well be an obscure, but agriculturally right on track: small organic farmer.  In fact, see our position paper on agriculture to see this flushed out more.

urban youth; Guatemalan boxer; finding God

My son Jonathan and I volunteered at Rally Point, a ” Youth for Christ Outreach” in Lima Wednesday evening.  After the meal, we listened to a man from Guatemala give his “testimony.” He was on a trajectory to be a boxer on the Olympic Team there — when he was shot in the head. Although quite an athlete, he was also caught up with some gang members.  And he got caught in the cross-fire in a gang-related shooting.  He lost his right eye.  He said while lying in the hospital bed, he gave his life to Christ.  That started him on a trajectory where he was all in for God, the same way he’d been all in for boxing. He subsequently did a series of “Youth With A Mission” trips, met his wife in America…  And now he has five children (including an adopted child from Ethiopia); is involved with an outreach ministry into hardscrabble areas of Lima, Ohio; is the manager of a local Walmart; and he and the family  live in the small town of Ottawa.  There were some 50 kids in Rally Point this night.  This man (Josua Gomez) was so dynamic, you could have heard a pin drop in the place the entire time he was talking.  For more on our take on urban youth, and such, see…


Mexico: Border Wall; or Receding Border?

The “border wall,” NAFTA… are hot topics right now with the Trump administration in regard to Mexico.  But here’s something not being talked about in regard to Mexico.  In the book Mexico in World History (Oxford Press), its noted that the Mexican Territory used to encompass the land from what is now Texas, through what is now the whole southwest U.S., all the way north to the Oregon Country.  Then President James Polk (elected in 1844) had “expansionist” aspirations, ginned up a reason for the Mexican/American War, and, between 1836 and 1853, Mexico lost half it’s land — as this former land was ceded to the U.S. following the war.  Translated: America, in wholesale fashion, stole the land.  And now, we’re hyper-sensitive about, for instance, some Mexicans coming back into, well, land that should be rightfully theirs in the first place.  You know, we say America was built on “Judeo Christian values.”  However if you squarely look at us stealing this land, if you squarely look at us stealing all the land from the Native Americans (not to mention killing 20 million of them), it, well, doesn’t exactly “square” with “Judeo Christian values” at all.  That is, if you’re reading the New Testament.  What’s more, if we stole the land — shouldn’t we be coming up with creative ways to make amends for stealing it?  My presidency wouldn’t be about more “expansionism,” but rather it would be about reversing expansionism in some creative, tangible social justice ways.  America First?  That’s what got us into these spiritual problems in the ‘first’ place.

issues in modern america

I attended an “Issues in Modern America” forum, of sorts, yesterday at Bluffton University.  Students in a class by that name had designed display boards around various societal topics and explained the data, and their views per: solutions to the “issues” they outlined.  One man, who is a 2nd Amendment advocate and did his display on guns, nevertheless said in the current climate he would lobby for another dimension to gun background checks.  That is, he’d lobby for a standardized psychological test to help red flag people with mental disorders.  Our administration would be on board with the latter… A sophomore did her display on heroine.  She explained opioids are often a stepping stone to heroine, as addicts’ tolerances increase… Yet another woman did a display on the national/global epidemic of obesity.  She said 17% of American youth, for instance, are now considered obese.  And she blames a lot of it on sugar addiction, being continually parked in front of a virtual world, and little physical activity.  She proposed, for instance, that schools be open after hours for youth to have another option for a venue to exercise more.  Our administration would be open to promoting this as well, for, not only exercise, but for a variety of other reasons.  See our position paper on education…

Tariffs on China; forced abortions in China

The Trump administration just slapped tariffs on some Chinese imports in an attempt to achieve more trade parity.  The question is:  Should we be trading with China at all?  I was listening to a U.S. human rights lawyer on a Catholic radio show last night.  She said statistics indicate that for every one abortion in America, there are 23 abortions (a significant number of them “forced”) in China.  (China now has a “Two Child Policy.”)  Our administration would look at these forced abortions as the height of human rights abuses.  And we would consider a trade moratorium until, at the very least, the forced abortions ended.  One could look at it, in fact, as one BIG sanction.  For more on our stance on China, and our take on foreign relations in general, see… [for the China policy, go to #3.]

sociological constructs; hatred; Native Americans

For the past couple weeks, I’ve been reading the college text book: Essentials of Sociology.  If you’re going to be president, understanding the “essentials” of sociological constructs would seem important, huh.  Just sayin’.  Anyway, this morning I was reading a chapter about “Inequalities of Race and Ethnicity.”  It was noted, among a lot of things, that:  “When state machinery is harnessed to hatred, as it was by the Nazis — who exploited the schools, police, courts, mass media, and almost all aspects of the government — prejudice becomes practically irresistible.”  Ok…  U.S. “state machinery,” if you will, was harnessed to hatred of the Native Americans at the beginning of this country, as an example.  This “prejudice” led to one of the biggest genocides in the history of mankind (20 million people killed), and the wholesale taking of land (every treaty with the Native Americans was broken).  And none of this has been made right on any type of significant level.  Our administration would propose it be made right, in spades! See our position paper on Native American issues.