Sweet home Alabama…

More on our Sweet Home Alabama Tour…   Coming across the border from Georgia, we first stopped in Phenix City, Alabama.   This was once billed at “the most corrupt city in America.”   With the Army’s Ft. Benning nearby, soldiers regularly came to town here.   There were illegal gambling parlors all over, prostitution, taverns everywhere, mob influence…   At Patty’s 50s style diner here, one of the employees, Barbara, told me that in the mid-50s marshal law was declared in Phenix City, with federal troops descending on the town to shut down a lot of the illegal activity…   On the walls at Patty’s are old 45 records, pictures of Elvis Presley, James Dean, Marilyn Monroe…   And a whole wall dedicated to the Andy Griffith Show…   While in Phenix City, I gave a pro-life talk at St. Patrick’s Church.   I said that we’d just crossed the 50 million abortion mark in America and for this to end, pro-life people need to go to the streets and mount a dramatic, sustained protest — like the protests to end Segregation in the South.   While in Phenix, we met with Fr. Thom Weise who spent time with Mother Theresa and Dorothy Day (co-founder of the Catholic Worker Movement).   He had an absolutely great sense of spirituality about him.   Fr. Thom gave us a tour of the town, including a stroll down a scenic river walk.   Fr. Thom, 74, road his push-scooter side-by-side with our son Jonathan along the walk…   The next day, I talked at Mother Mary’s School, an all Black elementary school in Phenix City.   The topic, again, was abortion.   Our daughter Sarah, 14, also talked to the students. She explained she had protested abortion all over the country.   She said she had prayed with others on the street, held protest signs, pleaded with mothers not to go into the clinic…   Sarah exhorted the students to consider doing similar things…   I then talked at an eighth grade class at St. Patrick’s School in Phenix City.   I asked the students:   “If you were president, what’s the first thing you’d do?”   One boy didn’t skip a beat, immediately saying:   “I’d end the war.”   I asked why.   “Because my father is over there.”   My heart fell as I looked at this kid…   After the school events, we got a tour of The Riverside Antique Mall, complete with the first Thunderbird model ever built (1955) and the last Thunderbird model ever built (1995).   Both were cherry red.   The antique mall also has the largest lunch box collection in the world — and I’m not making this up.   (It had just been featured on CNN’s Most Unusual Museums Show.)   These particular lunch pails primarily had scenes from movies and television shows.   The rarest was a metal lunch pail with Hop-a-Long Cassidy on it.   Cost: $600.   I decided to pass on that…   After the tour we headed south, stopping in Montgomery (see last entry), then it was on to Owassa where Jonathan and I passed out a flier to a man out watering flowers in his front yard there.   Unsolicited, he said he had an answer to gridlock in D.C.   “Throw everyone out and start over,” he offered…   Then it was further south to Evergreen, Alabama, where I put up a campaign flier at Piggly Wiggly Grocery Store.   (Ya gotta wonder why you would name a place where people were going to get there food: “piggly,” complete with a big graphic of a pig no less.   I mean what’s that going to do to the average shopper unconsciously?   Anyway… From here,, it was on to Atmore, Alabama, where we parked our camper for the evening in a dirt lot next to a Chevron station, amidst a few 18 wheelers.   It was late.   And after we got the kids to bed, I went into a small restaurant at the station to do some writing.   My table was right below a wall hanging that read:   You might be a redneck racing fan if:   1)   Your drive to the race track takes longer than the race.   2)   You can change a tire faster than you can change a diaper.   3)   You get in and out of your car through the driver’s window. (Incidentally, this is how I get in our campaign vehicle.)

About Joe Schriner

Common man, Common sense, Uncommon solutions. "In an era when presidential campaigns run on multi-million dollar war chests, lavish fundraising dinners and high gloss television ads, Joe Schriner is a different breed of candidate." - The Herald, Monterey, California. Joe at a glance... Age: 56. Family: Husband of 17 years, and father. Faith: Catholic. Home state: Ohio. Graduate of Bowling Green State University. Journalist and author. Also a former addictions counselor, with an emphasis on family systems. Independent presidential candidate in four successive election cycles. On the road campaigning extensively. In between campaign tours, now does part-time house painting and light handyman work to make ends meet (aka: Joe the painter). Volunteer work with: Brown County (OH) Board of Mental Health; Catholic Worker outreach to the poor in the inner city of Cleveland; We Are the Uninsured Healthcare Movement in Ohio. Inner city youth league baseball and soccer coach (won some, lost some). Hobbies: Trying to beat his wife at "Scrabble," weight lifting, swimming, photography, sandlot baseball, soccer, football and basketball with his children. In Joe's words... I'm, for the most part, your average Midwesterner, I told the Duluth (MN) News. I jog in a pair of gray sweats. My favorite spots to eat are your basic diners. Whats more, I cut my own lawn. Oh, and Im running for president. I told the Lancaster (OH) Eagle Gazette that the reason I am running for president is that I am a concerned parent. That is, I don't want to leave a world of climate change, war, abortion, rural and inner city poverty, violent streets, nuclear proliferation, astronomical national debt, little social security, dwindling access to healthcare to our children. What sane parent would? Now, I didn't go to Harvard, Yale, or even Rutgers for that matter. I went to Bowling Green State University where I majored in journalism. I then worked for a couple intermediate-sized Ohio newspapers. I later became an addictions counselor. And in 1990, as a lead up to the presidential run, I took my journalism skills on the road to look for common sense solutions to the societal problems I outlined above. And in some tremendously extensive, cross-country research (that has continued during my years of campaigning), I've found those solutions.        Getting policies enacted... Amidst abject poverty on the Southside of Chicago, I learned how to end homelessness. In Atwood, Kansas (pop. 1,500), I learned how to balance the National Budget. In Grand Junction, Colorado, I learned how to get quality healthcare for all. In High Springs, Florida, I learned how to end global warming, for good. In Eunice, New Mexico, I learned how to unequivocally solve the immigration issue. And it was with this information, and much more, that I am running for president. No big money. No special interest backing. Just with tried solutions to make the country a much better place for our kids. While campaigning for president the past 12 years (and over 100,000 road miles), I've been telling people about these answers in hundreds of talks, more than 1,000 newspapers, a lot of radio, television and in a very up-close-and-personal way on the street corners of America. I told Channel 10 News in Albany, Georgia, that I can get a policy enacted long before I ever get to D.C., if somebody picks up on an idea and tries it in their town. And who knows how far out it will ripple out from there. So in a small way, I said during a talk at Toledo University, I am already president now! The students all smiled, politely. Be the change... I am also a firm believer that this won't be a better world for our children until more of us follow the saying: Be the change you want to see in the world. In this pursuit, my family and I try to live the messages we are conveying, at least the best we can. On a radio station in Indianapolis, Indiana, I said our platform asks some people to consider moving into the inner cities of America to live side-by-side with the poor. So our family moved to the heart of Cleveland, Ohio, where we volunteered at an outreach to the poor. I told the Tifton (GA) Gazette that our family has also set aside a Christ Room for the homeless at our place. And in D.C. we'd do the same thing in the West Wing. Just like I may well be looking for a youth baseball team to coach when I get there. I recently coached an inner city Rec. Center League team in Cleveland. On draft day I picked the kids who looked liked they'd be picked last, first. And apparently I did pretty well with this, because we lost almost all the games. Many of the kids on the team, sadly, didn't have a father at home. And many of these families don't have healthcare insurance either, just like two million other Ohioans. To help try to reverse this, my children and I have done volunteer work for the We Are The Uninsured Movement in Ohio. The reason our children are involved is because Liz and I want them learning as much about helping others -- as they do learning about math, science and English, I told The Mississippi Press. In fact, our education platform calls for a lot more local community involvement with students. I we also propose many more classes be focused on environmental awareness. To do our family's part for the environment, we created a "Kyoto Protocol Home Zone." (I even put a "Kyoto Protocol Home Zone" sign up in the front yard, to Liz's embarrassment.) We live in small places, use little air conditioning, cut the thermostat back in the winter, bicycle or walk almost everywhere within a five-mile radius and we recycle practically everything. And in D.C., we'd do all this as well. I mean, those big black limos alone can be such gas guzzlers anyway, right? Heal the family... "My concern for the environment, for the disadvantaged, for the unborn flows out of my spirituality. I'm Catholic, and trying to live the essence of the Gospel message is what I try to be about," I told columnist Mike Haynes of the Amarillo (TX) Globe News. And part of living the Gospel message is being centered in faith, having time for family, being concerned about others. I'm not the poster guy for all that, but I try. What's more, its Liz and my role to make sure our children have a wholesome and emotionally healthy upbringing. And I have some additional expertise in the latter area. Besides having been a journalist, I was also a counselor who worked with family system dynamics. And it is my contention that the current breakdown of the family in America (parents being physically or emotionally abusive, or absent, or addicted to alcohol, drugs, gambling, media entertainment, work) is creating a constellation of societal problems, I told ABC News in Monterey, California. Because of these dysfunctional family dynamics (and they seem to be everywhere these days), kids grow up depressed, angry and emotionally empty. As a result, incidence of domestic violence, street violence, addiction, mental and emotional problems spike in kind for the next generation, and the next... "So to heal the country, you have to heal the family. Theres just no way around it," I told the Bangor (ME) News. And we have a solid plan to do this, based on research weve done in Arthur, Illinois, Holbrook, Arizona, Carmel Valley, California, etc. Snow shoveling... Now when I'm not grappling with these pressing societal issues, my wife Liz is beating me at "Scrabble" (an issue in itself), or I'm playing racquetball with some buddies, or I'm trading baseball cards with our kids. That is, I'm doing all this in between doing chores for Liz. During a campaign talk in Wichita, Kansas, I was asked what the first thing I'd do as president was. I responded that "wed get to D.C. in January, so it would probably be snowing. If that, indeed, were the case -- the first thing Liz would have me do is: shovel the walk. " That will probably be a new one for the Secret Service. And so it goes... Joe

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