How many were shot?

CNN: At least 233 people were killed and 618 people were injured by gun violence in more than 500 shootings across the county during the 4th of July weekend — a 26% drop since last year’s holiday weekend.

Welcome to the new normal. This is nothing short of some war zone figures! Our stance on gun violence would go a long way in reversing this. As we went a ‘long way’ to find the answers.

ancestory.com before there was a .com

quilt section

I just interviewed a local woman for a newspaper article that focused on her passion for genealogy. In the past 50 years, she’s has put together some 14 rather thick volumes of archival material on both her, and her husband’s, sides of the family. Why? She said there are family members who have been “special” in her life, and she wanted to know more about them. In turn, she surmised people in her family had “special” people as well. So as a gift to them, she set out to discover these peoples’ heritages as well. We would do well as a society to slow a bit and collectively explore our roots and value those “special” people, Our Social Security platform, as just one angle on this, focuses on valuing some of these “special” people in a variety of quite tangible ways. Note: The photo is a section of a quilt that was done by a Methodist Church “Ladies Society,” circa 1941. This woman includes several photos of the quilt in her ancestry material, because several of the names are family members. There are 325 names on the quilt.

not being blown around in the cultural winds…

Brandon Lake concert, Bluffton …photo by Joe

Popular Christian performer Brandon Lake performed on a Sunday night in Bluffton recently. He was up for a Grammy in 2020 and his worship song, “This is a Move,” was the top Gospel praise song of 2019. What was most impressive this night was not only Mr. Lake’s performance, but the amount of young people who were singing along, swaying, reaching their hands to heaven, and praying… Pretty amazing, actually, in a culture that’s trying to pull them farther and farther from God.

‘trade imbalance’ of another sort

I was reading this book tonight, specifically a chapter about international trade imbalances. It notes, on a rudimentary level, that “international transaction” is an exchange of goods and services between countries. These are categorized as: imports and exports. Pretty simple. Now, in recent years, we in America have been concerned about trade imbalances that work to our detriment, financially. Yet something that’s way more (eternally) important, is the nature of these international transactions in the light of the Gospel message. An example: China is currently committing nothing short of genocide with the Uighurs. Killing, torture, forced sterilization, “re-education” brainwashing… Yet we continue to have China as a “Favored Nation” trading partner. This means our international transactions with China, both import and export, are helping keep China buoyant. And by extension, helping keep the glaring human rights abuses going. So, simply put: We are, currently, complicit in genocide. Does anyone in America seriously think because we look the other way and don’t connect the dots on all this, that this ‘spiritual trade imbalance’ is going to be lost on God when we’re standing at Judgement. Hardly. It’s time to look at international trade through a keen social justice lens. And we believe our foreign policy position does just that.

Make Nineveh Great Again?

…photo by Joe

I stumped in front of the Dairy Whip in Columbus Grove, Ohio (pop. 2,071), early Friday evening. A man, apparently on his nightly walk, happened by wearing a “Las Vegas, Nevada” sweatshirt. I gave him a campaign card and said I was running for president in 2024. He looked quizzical. I responded: “It’s never too early.” He then smiled. Note: The following is a recent tourism slogan for Las Vegas: “What happens here — stays here.” You have to believe that was the tourism slogan in Nineveh. What’s even (spiritually) sadder is, all of America, at this point, could be defined by that slogan. God’s message to Nineveh wasn’t: “Make Nineveh Great Again!” God’s message was: “Make Nineveh Holy!” For an “average Jonah’s (me)” take on the Nineveh/America phenomena, see…

Cygnet stop.

My first small town stop of Campaign 2024 was Cygnet, Ohio (pop. 554). When I looked up the population later for this post, I also saw I spelled the name of the village wrong on the campaign card I posted at the post office.. There’s a good start for the campaign! Dan Quayle spelling ‘potatoe’ wrong all over again. LOL.

healthcare reform

I just interviewed a former Ohio Northern University professor who advocates for a single-payer healthcare system in America. As just one example, of many, he said a majority of healthcare providers in America average between eight to 20 hours a week of office time just to take care of insurance forms, and such. A single-payer system, he argues, would eliminate a lot of this type of extraneous paper/digital shuffling, if you will. While we were on the road several years ago, I interviewed Dr. Rudolph Mueller (the author of the book pictured here). He, too, advocates for a single payer system. A line from his book: “The [single-payer system] must be publicly accountable, publicly financed, locally administered, and provide quality accessible care for everyone.” Our healthcare position advocates for the essence of this, but we think that instead of being administered from D.C., it should be decentralized from county to county throughout the country. This is much more, what’s called a “distributist” orientation.

…growing “green concrete”

I just wrote a newspaper column titled: …growing “green concrete.” During a stop in Oklahoma City a number of years ago, I met with a man who had turned his quarter-acre lawn in that city into a “permaculture,” with numerous vegetable plants, berry bushes, fruit trees… Robert Waldrop said that all growing green grass was good for is “raising sheep” (unless, of course, you have younger kids who need to play in at least part of the yard). On the front end, Americans waste some $40 billion a year keeping their yards green (toxic fertilizers, weed killers…). Money that could be spent on developing country sustainable agriculture projects. What’s more, if we grew a lot more of our own food at our own homes, this, too, would be substantial savings — that could also go toward all sorts of ending world hunger projects. There, indeed, would be enough food to feed the world, if we in the First World realigned our lifestyles to do just that. Note: At the end of time, we’ll ask: “But Lord, when did we see you hungry?”

…declaring for a 7th run

The ‘mercury’ reads that the temperature is right for another run. [And I continue to do this all without paid political consultants. LOL.] Anyway… I just officially declared today for yet another U.S. presidential run, my 7th. Stay tuned.

…time to cross out “20”

photo by Joe

Okay, barring any “…bottom of the ninth” miracles,” at noon today, or thereabouts, that will be it for me for Campaign 2020. That’s right, I hadn’t conceded yet either. I’ve always been of the ilk: “With God, all things are possible.” I mean, it’s even Ohio’s motto — which is where I’m typing this from. As my last “official” act of Campaign 2020, I just sent a pro-life column to my editor that I was up late last night writing. Why I continue to contend that this is important, in fact the preeminent issue of our country, is simply that, while many have almost become numb to abortion, we continue to live amidst a modern day Holocaust unparalleled in the history of mankind! And this, most assuredly, is not lost on God. What’s more, my campaign, by far, had/has the best formula for ending abortion. Instead, the person being sworn in at noon, has a formula for making abortion as sweeping, and wholesale, as anyone can imagine. And the spiritual consequences for our nation, not to mention for each of our eternal souls, loom ominously. That simple. Biden’s mantra was that this election was “…for the soul of our nation.” He, indeed, is right. But, tragically, it’s not in the context he’s thinking. In fact, he’s 180 degrees off. Note: I want to thank a special supporter of the campaign(s), California’s Joe Moreaux, for the countless hours he’s put into the effort. It will not go unrewarded, even if there won’t be a front row seat to the Inauguration — this time. “God bless you Joe.” And I also want to thank Elizabeth Wood for her ongoing support all these years. Elizabeth, you have been an absolute blessing!