“Kids down here look just like shadows…” –Springsteen

photo by Joe [pre-pandemic]

This week I wrote a piece for the newspaper on a Youth For Christ (YFC) outreach in a hardscrabble area of Lima, Ohio. This place, as you see here (pre-pandemic), is usually bustling with youth activity, especially with it being a “safe space” in the neighborhood. However, it closed for awhile. And now only 10 youth are allowed in the building at a time. The director told me they recently got a grant for some nice outdoor picnic tables, umbrellas, plants… for a court yard. Kids now do Bible studies, art projects, homework, board games… at the tables. And Rally Point is currently trying to solicit a local volunteer electrician(s) to put some flood lights up so the youth can stay later in the evenings. The director said incidence of youth depression, drug use, suicides… are up since the pandemic hit. And places like Rally Point are scrambling to try to help. Note: Rally Point also has a fence-enclosed, outside basketball court. And a couple years ago, my son Jonathan (who plays on the Bluffton High School basketball team) undertook fundraising efforts, then joined with a master electrician who volunteered his time to put up a flood light for the court. It all went well. Note 2: Several years back, we intentionally moved to a hardscrabble area of Cleveland (the poorest city in the country at the time) to join with a Catholic Worker group to do regular outreach into the neighborhood. We saw, first hand, how desperate some kids can become in atmospheres like this. Trump never lived in this type of environment. And for all his “working class Joe” Scranton rhetoric, most likely Biden never lived in this type of desperate environment either.

joe ‘zooms’ in Ohio, literally

selfie by joe in Beaverdam, Ohio

While the Democrats and Republicans were doing Zoom Conventions (sans the Trump/White House lawn thing), I was ‘zooming’ (sorry) around Ohio on yet more of my “Buckeye Blitz Tour.” This night I headed down the Old Lincoln Highway, stopping in Beaverdam, Cairo, Gomer and Elida. [My son Jonathan was actually playing a soccer game in Elida tonight, so, in an attempt to be ‘fiscally responsible,’ I combined trips — to save money.] It was a productive night. Jonathan’s team won, and I had some good stumping experiences. Stay tuned… Note: At one point in our campaigning over the years, we actually did a Joe Campaign Tour down Old Rte. 66. It was quite a ‘kick.’ (Sorry, again.)

a “thin blue line” is emerging

“blue line” flag …photo by Joe

What’s starting to dot towns around the area is what’s called: “blue line flags.” I just wrote a story for one of the local newspapers about this. The flag is meant as a show of solidarity with the police all over the country. And the blue line is symbolic of the “thin blue line” between law abiding citizenry, and lawlessness/chaos. While there are, indeed, a few bad police, as there are a few bad people in virtually every profession, overall police are, not only upstanding, but a tremendous benefit to the community. But now they feel like they’re constantly under a microscope, often have their hands tied when responding, and so on. And given all this, how many are simply going to get out of the profession, and how many younger people are not going to want to get into the profession? A climate of lawlessness is growing in our metropolitan areas, and the next venues will be suburbia and rural America. If I were president, I’d step in to immediately quell this — through a number of different, and assertive, channels.

Democrats are evil

catholiccitizens.org photo

I’ve been listening to the Democratic National Convention on and off the past few nights. I’ve also listened to a steady stream of media “analysts” (and I use that phraseology loosely) saying how Michelle Obama “…knocked it out of the park” with her talk; her husband, Barack, was charismatic with, as usual, exemplary oratory skills; Kamala Harris’s talk was not only “history making,” but a rallying cry for the party, and Joe Biden conveys a “deep sense of faith”… In who? Satan? These people are for the absolute wholesale slaughter of defenseless human beings in their mothers’ wombs. Just on this one point (and with the Democrats there are many more), it doesn’t get any more evil than this! Period. Note: There are some “Democrats for Life” in the party, but they, at this point, are an extremely small faction.

It’s happening again…

I’ve been reading this rather voluminous book the past several weeks on and off. Churchill’s was virtually the lone voice, during most of the 1930s, trying to warn England, France, et. Al., about Hitler and his real intentions. But virtually everyone else stayed in denial about it, wanting to believe Hitler was really, for the most part, benevolent. Churchill knew better. Behind the scenes, Hitler was feverishly building the Nazi war machine, but on the surface he presented as merely a charismatic diplomat. Yet we all know the rest of the story, huh. However, what’s not known as well is this: In 1917, the Blessed Virgin Mary appeared to three children in Fatima, Portugal. She had a series of “messages” for them. (This apparition, by the way, has been approved by the Catholic Church.) One of the things she said is that World War I would end shortly . But if mankind kept “offending God” (with the sins of the day), a second World War would occur as a “punishment” from God. And if, in fact, this second world war was going to happen, there would be an “unknown light” that would appear in the sky just before the start of the war as a sign from God that the war was imminent. And on Jan. 25, 1938 this mysterious light thing did, indeed, happen — and was in newspapers all over the world. World War II started shortly after… When you connect the dots, mankind’s ongoing collective sinning (vs. repenting and changing) gave rise to Hitler. And so it is now… The Blessed Virgin Mary has returned and is appearing to people around the globe trying to warn us of a Third World War (this time with nuclear weapons), if we don’t change, quick. Objectively, mankind, overall, is many times worse spiritually (abortion, gay marriage, transgenderism, internet porn… to name just a few), than people of the 1920s and ’30s were. And in ‘Churchill fashion,’ if you will, I, too, have been trying to warn people of all this — instead of Hitler, it will be the rise of the actual anti-christ this time, as an example — through a series of videos and writing that I refer to as America’s “Nineveh Moment(s).”

permaculture

heirloom tomatoes

Just wrote a newspaper story about a local man who recently moved here from Portland, Oregon. He’s renting a place that, when he moved in, had about a third of an acre of well-manicured backyard lawn. Not anymore. He set to work putting in a good sized raised bed garden (heirloom tomatoes, zucchini, pumpkin…) ; a wild flower garden, with milkweed plants for butterflies; he planted a couple pear trees; put in a couple grape vines; and for good measure, planted an oak tree sapling that will be providing a good deal of shade and a great wind break — in about 25 years. And he’s doing it to help reverse the environmental devastation that often comes with your basic green lawns. For instance, lawns receive the most toxic fertilizers and pesticides of any “crop” in America. This all destroys valuable top soil and leeches into the groundwater. Lawns are also the most irrigated crop in America, averaging getting 200 gallons of drinking water per person per day. And overall, we spend $40 billion a year just to keep our lawns green. Note: What this man in Bluffton is establishing in his backyard is what is referred to as a “permaculture,” which is, basically, an interdependent eco-system. (He also did keep part of the grass.) Our administration would turn the White House lawn into a highly productive permaculture and try to inspire the same throughout the country. For more on this, see…

soccer season, maybe

I just did a story this week for the newspaper about Bluffton High School’s first intra-squad soccer scrimmage last Saturday. The coaches set it up “under the lights,” played the National Anthem at the beginning of the match, and it was live streamed for the town — because no spectators were allowed to attend because of the pandemic. Last year the boys team went to the State Championship game with thousands in the stands. What a different world nine months later… Our Jonathan was Second Team All-State last year in soccer as a junior. And who knows what kind of a senior year this will be for him with all the changes…

criteria, Christians, crime and cars…

Catching up on the last couple weeks… Late at night, I’m continuing to review the criteria, from state to state, to be an “official” write-in. Each state’s criteria is different and there is a jumble of protocol to meet (some difficult, some not so difficult)… During the days, I continue to write for two local newspapers — often about stories that tie into various parts of our platform, and so on. For instance, we’re staunch “religious liberty” supporters. And last week, I covered a ‘town square’ prayer vigil for a young girl who had been Life Flighted to a Toledo hospital the night before and was in critical condition. Christians from around the town gathered, prayed and read from the Bible. It was a heartening display of Christian solidarity. [The girl was an active youth group member at a local Assembly of God church.]… I wrote a column that expressed that defunding the police was “…left of ludicrous.” What we should be doing, I wrote, is ‘funding’ the police way more, in tandem with citizens stepping up way more with community initiatives to supplement local police work. In our travels, I researched citizen “Crime Alert” block programs, citizen Mediation programs to cut down on police work and court dockets, community “Crime Stopper” programs… I also researched an Indio, California CHIP (Citizens Helping Indio Police) program that had citizen volunteers driving about in squad cars handling minor things and calling in more significant things. This was helping cut down on police burn out, and helping make Indio safer in general. For more all this, see our position paper on crime… Also during this time, I wrote a story about a local Cars & Coffee (see photo) monthly gathering where classic cars sit side by side with, well, your more run of the mill local cars whose owners have, nonetheless, kept them up quite nicely as well. For instance, a classic 1957 Nash might be parked next to a 2007 Volvo. Our platform calls for Americans to value and maintain things much more, as opposed to the “planned obsolescence throw-away culture” that seems the predominant paradigm these days.

Enter to Win!

I headed out this morning, face mask on, to Columbus Grove, Ohio, to do some impromptu campaigning. Not having the millions for advertising (go figure), I often use bulletin boards to get my name/message out to multiple people. (I can’t tell you how many of these I’ve put up all across the country over the past 20 years of campaigning.) What’s more, not only do I personally sign them, but I try to come up with some “localized” comment for the card as well. By the way, it’s the: “Columbus Grove Bull Dogs.” What’s more, I actually try to strategically locate the campaign card near other postings that might, say, play off it. For instance, on this one I’m trying to get across, subliminally, that I’ve “Entered to Win!” Okay, so, like, not everyone is going to get that. But it entertains me. LOL, sort of.

populist painting, small town newspapers, and ballot access (kinda, sorta…)

Catching up on the last 30 days… To keep my “populist” image going, and to put food on the table as well, I’ve been doing some house painting. My son Jonathan is working with me this summer. And when he’s not doing that, he’s practicing soccer. He’s a senior this year, was named 2nd Team All-State last year, and their team went to the State Championship Game. This year I’ve just got my fingers crossed there will be a season at all… I’m also continuing to do free lance writing for two local newspapers, with many of the articles tying into various aspects of the platform. For instance, I did a story on a small town local merchant who, during the shutdown, was on the verge of losing the business — as are many small business owners across the country. Our position revolves around downtown revitalization in these small communities and, over the years, we’ve researched a number of models to help affect a shift back to this. I also did a story focusing on a family here, and how they, in part, survived the Great Depression. A lot of resilience, a lot of thrift, and a lot of prayer. Note: It is also crunch time for ballot access, which, it looks like, will be “official write-in status” for me. (Unless there’s some kind of a miracle.) So late at night, I’ve been going over the criteria, filling out forms, and so on, so I can be an “official” write-in.