And a (calamitous) river ran through it…

atmospheric river rendition @ lajolla.com

The Bible’s “Book of Jeremiah,” at one point (Jeremiah 11), references “Judah’s Broken Covenant.” The cliff note: God tells Jeremiah to “broadcast” to the people of Judah that He’s going to bring “calamity” on them because they keep following “…their evil desires,” and not His commands. Now… Playing point guard for “evil desires” in America, would, most decidedly, be: California — and its over-the-top liberal bent when it comes to abortion, gender fluidity, et. Al. And if that isn’t bad (read: evil) enough, at the heart of California is a Hollywood, which is beaming images of all the latter sin behavior, and much more (violence, sex/immodesty, rampant materialism…), out into the world at large. Well, as I type this, yet another ‘calamitous’ atmospheric river is hitting California. The series of these this winter have been record-breaking and wreaking all sorts of havoc out there. I heard a Weather Channel personality recently say that the flooding in California is reaching “Biblical proportions.” Hmm. I wonder if anyone is “…following the bouncing ball,” on this one. A device (bouncing ball) used, ironically enough, in “motion pictures.”

Staring down the (missile) silo of WWIII?

Bulletin of Atomic Scientists photo

We could well be experiencing the opening salvos of World War III. The Gaza Strip looks post-Apocalyptic at this point. Fighting is escalating incrementally between Israel and Hezbollah to the north in Lebanon now. The U.S. is fighting Iran-backed Houthi rebels. And Pakistan and Iran have begun trading cross border punches. U.S. State Department spokesperson, Matt Miller, said Washington is trying to prevent a full-scale war in the Middle-East. A full-scale war that, as is ramping up regionally in the Middle-East, could then, quite conceivably, ignite into a full-scale World War — with nuclear weapons. The missing piece? While virtually everyone is looking at this through the lens of geo-politics, we should rather, primarily, be looking at it through the lens of: spirituality. That is, Mother Theresa, now considered a Catholic saint, emphatically repeated, often, that “…abortion could lead to World War III.” You see, there has been a world-wide “War on the Unborn” for some 70 years now. The abortion numbers are absolutely staggering. So, at what point does God finally say: “That’s enough!” Then He takes His hand off the world, and let’s it self-destruct — a natural extension of evil reaching a crescendo. Note: No other 2024 presidential candidate is drawing this corollary. Instead, they, quite metaphorically, keep trying to rearrange (geo-political) deckchairs on the Titanic. You remember, the ocean-liner whose owner claimed “…not even God can sink this ship!” Yeah, right. Note 2: For our position paper on abortion, see…

Mars madness; construction here on earth, “social security” in its truest sense

Schoonover Observatory: Lima, Ohio

In the last year, I’ve done a number of newspaper articles about next year’s “Total Solar Eclipse,” slated for April 8, 2024 — with the “…path of totality” being almost directly over our area. Hundreds of thousands of people will travel here from all over the globe. While I’m accepting of astronomy, and, indeed, believe it’s a worthwhile pursuit, in moderation; I, in no way, feel the same about space travel, not to mention the lunacy of a U.S. Space Force. Our stance is that we should be focusing all that money, and all that brain power, on solving the problems (poverty, environmental degradation, etc, etc…) on this planet. Sheer, common sense… One of the articles I wrote in the last month is about “Community Relief, Inc.” This is a local, Christian based non-profit that does all kinds of home repair/construction to help low-income people in about a 75-mile radius. *Much closer than going to Mars… This area also has what’s called the Mennonite Home Communities of Ohio. These are four “campuses” of senior living facilities. And besides a quite expert staff, MHCO also has a cadre of community volunteers who help on multiple levels. I just did an article about a master woodworker in Bluffton who is developing a series of Woodcarving Classes for the MHCO residents. Why? “To pay it forward,” he winked. Note: Our position paper on Social Security is heavy on helping seniors feel “socially secure” in our communities in general — like it was in the “old days.” To look at that paper, see…

Fentanyl overdoses, New Mexico, an answer…

…photo by Joe

Catching up on the last month… Fentanyl overdoses specifically, and illegal drug use in general, in America, are skyrocketing. We point fingers at the drug cartels south of the border, but, frankly, there are three fingers pointing back at us (read: U.S.) in this case. A number of years ago, we did an extensive, multi-state “Border Tour” looking at immigration issues, and such. In Las Cruces, New Mexico, I interviewed a sheriff’s deputy who had been in on a number of big shipment drug busts there. However, he said that’s just the half of it. That is, he continued, we are the ones “…creating the demand for the drugs on this side of the border.” So, besides his detective-oriented work, he also volunteered with a local DARE Program to help cut down on the “demand” in at least some youth… Rosalyn Carter recently died. She was quite a champion for increased mental health care help in our society. Our administration would, indeed, be in line with this — including much more help for those with substance abuse issues. (I was an addictionologist earlier in my career, and to cut down on relapse recidivism rates, we need to ramp up treatment options and length of stay in treatment.) Not only does drug addiction destroy individuals, but it creates a constellation of societal problems: domestic violence, crime, broken families, violence on our streets, increased drain on the healthcare system…

stepping up the ‘Joe’ marketing

photo by Joe, banner design by Joe, window banner design by Cafe Press…

That’s right, while the other guys (and Nicki) are touring about in Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina… in their big, new campaign motorhomes, I designed a magnetic banner (myself), slapped it on my 2005 Equinox, and headed out to… paint a porch on Jackson St. in Bluffton. (Call it a hunch.) And, right again: We’re doing this all without paid political campaign consultants… And when I wasn’t painting this last week, I was writing some articles for two small newspapers in the area. And late at night, I’ve been updating our website. In addition, I’ve been planning some campaign tours to go out into Ohio. While I’ve campaigned extensively all over the country over the years, I will be focusing on just Ohio in the upcoming months. I mean, Ohio’s tourist slogan is: “Ohio: The Heart of It All.” So, I mean, if the polls are showing I’m doing well in ‘The Heart of It All,’ who knows how far that will spread. Have I mentioned I’m doing this without paid political consultants? LOL.

ICAAP; Voter Friendly Campus; ‘phoneless’

ICAPP members …photo by Joe

Continuing to catch up on October… I went to the campus of Ohio Northern University to cover a local Mayoral Debate. Prior to the debate, I met with some ONU students who were part of the campus group Institute for Civics and Public Policy (ICAPP). They bill themselves as “non-partisan,” and are all about trying to raise awareness of issues, and such, on campus. They also work to increase voter turnout on campus as well. In fact, they’ve been so successful with the latter, that ONU is now designated as a “Voter Friendly Campus.” It is one of only 20 colleges to achieve this designation… The Mayoral Debate was a lot more civil than the 2nd Republican Debate! ICAPP had co-sponsored the debate along with the local Lions Club… During this time, I also did a story about what could best be described as a Norman Rockwell type character barber. He’s 78 and doesn’t have a land line in his shop, nor does he have an I-phone, period (“Too distracting,” he said.) “How do people make appointments?” I asked. “They just walk in,” he smiled.

collateral damage? Global responsibility

Continuing to catch up on October… A couple weeks post the Hamas terrorist attack in Israel on Oct. 7, Israel continues to hammer Gaza with air bombardments, in preparation for a ground invasion as well. Because of all the Palestinian innocent citizen deaths in this phase of the war, it, indeed, looks like “collective punishment.” Americans watch this from a distance, and think it has nothing to do with us. It does. What’s come to light (and was pretty much already clear) is that Palestinians live in, perhaps, the most densely populated place on the planet, and some 57% live below the poverty line in the Gaza Strip. We in the First World could have been doing so much more in the way of sacrificing to help these people. And the tremendously stepped-up aid, the tremendously stepped-up global caring, might have helped short circuit what is now exploding. Our foreign policy would spin around the latter paradigm. See…

In their “Wheelhouse;” LSO’s; heat event?

The Wheelhouse …photo by Joe

Catching up on the month of October… I did a series of stories on “The Wheelhouse (…a Christian Bicycle Cooperative.” Started some five years ago, the group of volunteers here have just crossed the 1,000-mark for bicycle rehabs. The Wheelhouse, in turn, gives the bicycles (including a helmet and lights) to people in the area homeless shelter, at the addiction recovery halfway house, and so on. These people, often, don’t have cars, much less driver’s licenses, but they need transportation to get to work, to get around the neighborhood, and so on… I also wrote an article about a local high school graduate who has now been in the Navy the past 10 years. She is a “Landing Signal Officer” on a U.S. aircraft carrier. These LSO’s used to use bright flags to guide fighter jets onto the deck, now it’s the Fresnel Lens Optical System, which utilizes a series of light beams to let the pilot know if they are coming in too low, too high, or off center… I also wrote a column titled: “Sodom and Gomorrah Part II?” I note that recently it’s been reported archeologists found the ancient cities of Sodom and Gomorrah. And what’s more, all archeological evidence point to those civilizations experiencing a major “heat event.” Hmm. I note that our global society is, most likely, way more evil than those two cities at this point (wholesale abortion, gender fluidity, euthanasia…). And I wondered in the column how close we are to experiencing a global “heat event”…

Debate aftermath: And now… the whole truth

me

Okay, the next few entries will be a series of thoughts in the aftermath of the 2nd Republican Debate last night… First, several candidates said variations of: “…we live in the best country on earth!” Erroneous hubris. When Mother Theresa came here, she called it the most “spiritually poor” country she had ever visited. When Pope John Paul II visited here, he said our nation embodied “a culture of death.” Some 4,000 abortions a day; gender fluidity; transgender mutilation; a culture now awash in extremely sinful media entertainment; a culture now awash in constant violence; absolutely terrible environmental stewardship that too, now, is leading to deaths… And I’m just scratching the American ‘sociological surface.’ Wouldn’t it have been refreshing if someone had told the whole truth last night at the Debate? Problem is, I sincerely don’t think any of them know the whole truth — on either side of the aisle, for that matter. Here’s the whole truth, in my Declaration Speech audio…

gas hike (sorta); natural farming; 1,000 miles

circa the early ’60s

I just interviewed a 78-year-old man, for a local newspaper article, who worked at this gas station when he was a junior and senior in high school. He said, among other things, that a good number of people grumbled when gas went from 17 cents to 19 cents. This was also, apparently, before Ralph Nader released the consumer report on the dangers of Corvairs. For a look at our position paper on transportation in the modern era, see… I also did a story on a local farmstead where they do everything naturally, no artificial pesticides, herbicides, fertilizers… One of the farmers said that the “food chain web,” and natural bio-systems in general, exist for a reason. And using some of this artificial stuff can throw the balance of nature off. We’d agree. For a look at our position on modern agriculture, see… I also did a story on a local man who had a high school friend killed in Vietnam. One day, he got on his motorcycle and traveled 500 miles to the Vietnam War Memorial Wall in D.C. Once there, he went to his friend’s name, took a piece a paper and a pencil and etched the name. Then got on his motorcycle and traveled 500 miles back. First stop: His friend’s mother’s house, where he gave her the paper with the name on it. For our position on the military, see…