4/18/ thru 4/21

Campaign trail week in review… We continue to follow Rte 40 east toward the coast. Rte. 40 parallels Old Rte. 66 through the section we’re currently on. And last Saturday at Holbrook, Arizona, I stopped at Joe and Aggie’s Cafe for a cup of coffee. (Joe and Aggie’s is the longest running family restaurant along 66.) Steven Gallegos is part of the third generation to work the restaurant and said his grandad, Joe, who started it all in the late 1940s, is now the oldest living resident in Holbrook at age 92. Steve also bent my ear a bit about the Social Security system, explaining a bad car wreck several years ago left him with three broken vertebrae. His doctor said it would take a year, or less, to heal. He said that at the time the Social Security criteria to draw benefits was that the injury had to leave the person disabled: a year, or more. Steve said he was bitter about this, especially because he felt it was a legitimate claim. And after all, he had already paid a lot of money into the system… An interesting feature of Joe & Aggie’s restaraunt is that each table has a rack of used humor novelty books, like: A Liar’s Guide for Fisherman; The Outhouse Book… The book I picked up was published by Apricot Press: “When you care enough to give the best… but maybe they don’t deserve it.”… Speaking of books: In Holbrook, Arizona, I also interviewed Bob McCarthy. He showed me a book his mother, Thecla McCarthy, just had published (www.PublishAmerica.com) titled: 10 Embassadors to Costa Rica. Bob had been one of those ’embassadors’ at age 10. It was then that he, his nine brothers and sisters, mom and dad went to Costa Rica in 1964 as part of a U.S. Rural Development AID mission. The father trained mechanics and heavy equipment operators to help build and repair roads on the rural Nicoyan Peninsula there. The family was in Costa Rica two years, and Bob told me the experience was invaluable to him in regard to learning about another culture, learning another language, and seeing the face of Third World poverty, first hand. As a result, he is now more apt to help with humanitarian outreach to the Third World and he has a number of Hispanic friends in the area because of his ability to speak Spanish, and to understand the culture… Our administration would propose a U.S. Department of Peace, with many more of these types of initiatives into other countries. In her book, Mrs. McCarthy wrote: “People and families are always on the move escaping wars, oppression and injustices. These people move under duress, force, to find freedom and remain free. Why not voluntarily move [as the McCarthy family did] to help prevent war and poverty?” Good question… We then headed west to Gallup, New Mexico, where we came across Danny Osborn. In the small town of Belen, New Mexico, Mr. Osborn is involved with the “Brothers of Joseph.” This is a group of Catholic men who meet regularly to talk about the dynamics of being the ‘spiritual head of the family,’ and they have set up a mentoring program for some of the newer “brothers.” Mr. Osborn said the men are focused on being “good leader servants” to their wives, their children, in the work place, in the community. Their mission statement, for example, includes exhorting men, “on a daily basis,” to take time with their children. And the mission statement continues in regard to wives: “It is very easy to forget that very important friend who takes care of our children, cleans our house, cooks our meals, washes our clothes, and keeps us from doing stupid things.” [I read that last sentence to my wife Liz who immediately said, in regard to the last item: “You should see about joining that honey.”]… We headed further west on Rte. 40 where I spent time in Albequerque with my children flying a kite in a park on the west side. (With all the wind here in this high desert area — the kite stayed up forever — there should be wind turbines all over the place!) Later that night, I gave a talk to a prayer group at Holy Rosary Church, also in Albequerque. I said while in New Mexico several years prior, I had researched the non-profit “International Good Neighbors Council,” which has 28 chapters, half in the U.S., half in Mexico. Director Stanley Evans told me each chapter picks a yearly charitable project to perform on the other side of their border. (We can sometimes forget we need help in America as well.) And in all this, I said to the prayer group, that Mexico and the U.S. are growing closer. (This would be another excellent model for the U.S. Department of Peace.)… We then headed further east, stopping in Santa Rosa, New Mexico. During a Communion Service at St. Rose of Lima Church here, Sr. Jean exhorted the congregation: “Let’s try to make Jesus look good today!” After the service, I gave a talk there about getting more involved with Pro-Life issues. That is, flooding legislators with letters, flooding the local newspaper with letters-to-the-editor, flooding the streets with protest signs and prayers… “Let’s make Jesus look good on this one as well,” I said. Later this day, I told the Santa Rosa News that our administration would push for the development of a “North American Union,” like the evolving European Union. That is, we’d like to see a formalized union between Canada, the U.S., Mexico and Central America. I said the “NAU” would be about promoting the “common good,” whether that would be working closely on joint environmental projects, more cultural exchanges, mutually advantageous business ventures, more collaborative humanitarian aid projects… “After all, we are all brothers and sisters in God,” I said to the newspaper… We then headed further east into the dusty plains of Texas, stopping first in the small town of Vega. There we attended a Wednesday evening Church of Christ service. The pastor mentioned the New Testament Bible parable about “The rich man and the beggar Lazarus.” A cliff note: The rich man “dines sumptuously” every day, while Lazarus lies at his gate — pretty much ignored. (Although one could surmise he got a few scraps occasionally — or he probalby wouldn’t have stayed at the gate.) The rich man eventually dies, and goes to Hell. The poor man dies, and goes to Heaven. The pastor said between them is a chasm that can’t be crossed. I said I had recently read the Cotton Patch Gospels by the late Clarence Jordan. And in this series, Jordan writes that that ‘chasm’ is created by us, not God. That is, by living our comfortable suburban lifestyles and ‘dining’ sumptuously on food, entertainment, central air and heat, nice vehicles… with little real regard (just an occasional scrap) for scores of children daily dodging hunger, drugs and violence in America’s inner cities, and billions living in desperation in the Third World — we have, indeed, built a “chasm.” A chasm that may well be switched around (as far as living conditions) in the next, and much longer [read: eternal] life. And I told the Church of Christ pastor this night, point blank, that as long as the pastors and priests go on living these comfortable suburban lifestyles themselves in America, and not confronting their congregations who are living the same (read: “rich” in comparison to the inner cities and Third World), there is little hope for this to change… The next morning during a talk at Immaculate Conception Church in Vega, I said to the congregation that 24,000 people die of starvation in the Third World, every day. And I urged people to sacrifice a lot of their lifestyles here, so people in the Third World can have the basics in food, medicine, shelter… I said this is as much a Pro-Life issue as abortion. Afterwards, Fr. Antony Punnackal told me he had just given a talk the day before to the local Kiwanis in Vega. In the talk, he pointed out that in the year 2000, Planned Parenthood had made $68 million from abortion procedures and ove
r 40 million babies have been killed by abortion in America to date… There was a Bible Study after Mass at Immaculate Conception that Liz and I sat in on. At one point, there was a discussion about womens’ roles in society and in the home — and how that’s changed considerably of late. Liz referred to the book she’s currently reading titled: Home Coming (Beyond Feminism and Back to Reality). The crux of the book is that God has endowed women with a phenomenal amount of talent to be tremendously effective in raising children and maintaining many aspects of the household. However, with the current societal paradigm shift, these talents are often getting transposed into the work place and the children are being raised, primarily, by: Day Care, the school system, television and computers. In other words, in few circles is motherhood looked at as a “sacred vocation,” the way it was intended, said Liz. And as a result, the family unit is breaking down and children are growing up empty and troubled. (All we have to do is look at the mounting constellation of social problems (drugs, sex, violence, materialism… in the past few generations.) Later in the prayer group, one of the women referred to something she didn’t particularly agree with. Her exclamation: “BULL COOKIES!” That’s what they say around here, at least the church going ones: BULL COOKIES. Liz and I smiled, then headed further east into ‘George Bush country.’ Undaunted, we stopped in tiny ‘Bushland,’ Texas, where I approached a man on the street and said I was running for “president of the United States.” I then handed him an “Average Joe” Mobile shaped refrigerator magnet with our website on it. At first he looked a bit perplexed [As many of you know, I’m not exactly a household name yet], then collected himself and said: “I’ll look you up…” Then it was off on our ‘steel steed’ again. Next stop: Groom, Texas. I Groom, we stopped at the “Cross Project.” This is billed as the biggest cross in the Western Hemisphere, standing 19 stories high. The Project also has striking, life-size bronze depictions of the Stations of the Cross and a seperate bronze statue of Jesus on his knees crying — and holding an aborted baby in his palm. I also interviewed the Project’s chaplain, who is also a Baptist minister in nearby Alanreed, Texas. His name: Jim Bible. (How’s that for the name of a pastor, huh?) The grounds also has a replica of the Shroud of Turin. In regard to authenticity of the shroud, literature here explains the actual shroud contains pollen grains from the Tumbleweed Gundelia Tourneforth (not to be confused with the “Texas Tumbleweed”), which is only found in March and April in the region of: Jeruselum… I was asked to give a talk this weekend at a Firefighters Appreciation Dinner in Alanreed, Texas (“pop. 52 people, 104 dogs, 88 cats, 2 skunks and a few snakes”). [That’s what it says on an Alanreed postcard, honest.]… Yes, we continue on down the “back roads.” And frankly, it doesn’t get much more ‘back road’ than this. Stay tuned. Note: Throughout the week I’ve also been working on an update to our “Hispanic Immigration Position Paper,” which is based on a tremendous amount of cross country research the past several years. It should be up on the site sometime next week.

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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