backroad stumping… final push

selfie by Joe

While Trump and Biden barnstorm the swing state, I headed to downtown Tiffin, Ohio, as part of my Buckeye Backroads Campaign travels. It was Saturday morning, and I passed out campaign cards in front of this bustling coffee shop. (*Who needs the million dollar ads, huh.) It’s my ‘bailiwick’ (pun intended) to do these corner whistle-stop stumpings. And I’ve done them in hundreds and hundreds of towns over the years. Also… Notice the mask. Full transparency: I’m not a Cincinnati fan (Cleveland, actually), but there are a lot of Cincinnati fans in these parts. Now if I could just remember to wear the mask right side up! I need a staff.

A moment of spiritual sanity

It happened the other night after one of my son’s soccer matches. The game was over. Fans, including myself, were filing toward the exits, when I felt this nudge to turn around. I did. And I was met with the above sight. My son’s team had won, but nevertheless, the opposing coach had gathered the boys (all who wanted to, of course) from both teams for a brief prayer time. I found out afterward that the coach had thanked God for the match, prayed for my son’s team going forward, and prayed that all the boys could remain healthy in the midst of the pandemic, and so on. Yeah, in the midst of this world wide pandemic, extreme social unrest, increasing natural disasters… there was this moment of spiritual sanity in the Midwest. Quite refreshing, actually. Note: I talked to the coach afterward, and he said he tries to do this after every match.

voyeurs’ to (football) violence?

Joe

I just wrote a newspaper column on the heels of a tremendously violent helmet-to-helmet hit on Texas Cowboy QB Andy Dalton Sunday. While he got a severe concussion from it, it could have snapped his neck. I note in the column that in 1978, New England Patriots receiver Darryl Stingley had his neck broken on a play, and he was paralyzed for the rest of his life. What’s more, virtually every year at a pro/college/high school level, players are killed, paralyzed, physically maimed in other ways, and mentally afflicted with CTE (chronic traumatic encephalopathy), (CTE) results from the repeated hits to the head that football players take.  In fact, according to a recent CNN.com article, 99% of deceased NFL players’ brains that were donated to scientific research, had signs of CTE. (This is a neurodegenerative brain disease that leads to memory loss, confusion, impaired judgement…) In some circles, we tacitly bemoan the extreme violence on the one hand, while with the other hand, we’re buying tickets, turning on the TV to football, buying the football team clothes… that all keeps it going. Note: While I’m a huge Cleveland Browns fan (and given their play most of the past 20 years, that’s been hard, LOL), the sport needs to change. In Philadelphia, for instance, they play what’s called “rough-touch” football (shown, for instance, in the movie Invincible). Whether it’s this, or other ways to tone football down some notches violence-wise, we owe it to the players now, and our kids coming up in the next generation, to do this differently. Note 2: I, personally, love football and played quarterback in high school. What’s more, given how the Browns have been playing overall, I’m surprised they haven’t called me. For a look at someone (me) who, with a little work, could be a franchise quarterback for some team, see…

bombs away… NOT!

blogspot.com photo

I was just interviewing a history professor at Ohio Northern University. He teaches a class on Public History and said that, more and more, contemporary America is developing a marked protest climate. He said, for an amalgam of reasons, that more and more people are speaking their mind demonstrably. He said that in class, one of the examples he uses, is that of the Enola Gay. That is, to mark the 50th year anniversary of the ending of World War II, the Smithsonian was doing an installation of World War II memorabilia, and wanted to include the Enola Gay airplane that dropped the atomic bomb on Hiroshima to help end the war. However, pacifists, Japanese Americans, even some veterans groups… protested. And under pressure, the Smithsonian nixed the Enola Gay idea. Note: In our travels, we stopped at a once secret Wendover Air Force Base in the Utah desert where the Enola Gay had been stationed before going overseas. It had been housed in “Hanger 5.” And although the hanger is empty and rusting now, the gravity of seeing the sight was stirring, even eerie. Our military position paper reflects a paradigm intended to tremendously minimize the possibility another Hiroshima (or Nagasaki) ever happened again.

debate topic: climate change

joe’s home

It’s important to get this… During the debate the other night, the topic of climate change came up. Biden, who calls it the biggest “existential threat” of our times, lives in a $1.2 million “beach house” with, I’m sure, central heat, central air-conditioning for the five bathrooms, six bedrooms (including three master bedrooms), and so on. And with Trump: Mar-a-Lago. Need I say more? Meanwhile, in the heart of middle America, I’m typing this with the thermostat turned back to 65 in a modest three-bedroom (no “master bedrooms”), and one bathroom, home. We, primarily, use fans in the summer, dry clothes on a clothesline, bicycle/walk a lot of places around town — all to reduce our carbon footprint. Think about it: Biden’s lavish beach house. Trump’s lavish Mar-a-Lago digs. Is there something wrong with this (climate change) picture? Note: For a look at our energy policy, see…

rebuilding and realigning

Mennonite Disaster Service rebuild

In the past couple weeks, I’ve written about multiple topics for a couple newspapers… I, for instance, interviewed a man who goes all over the world with Mennonite Disaster Service to help with rebuilds after natural disasters. He’s 78, retired, but not. That is, he said he hasn’t ‘retired’ in doing stuff for God. Rebuild, yes. But more, he and the other MDS volunteers, want people they are helping to see: the hand of Christ swinging the hammer… I also interviewed a local Crime Task Force commander who heads up a group of area detectives fighting: child pornography, illegal drugs, theft, scams, and so on. In regard to child pornography, he said it is fairly prevalent in his jurisdiction. And what’s more, he said society in general seems to be helping fuel it. That is, as an example, he pointed to child Beauty/Fashion Shows that started up several years ago. The commander said pedophiles don’t just have hard core child porn on their hard drives, they also have a good deal of child “erotica” photos, and such, in their files as well… I also did a feature piece on a local councilmember who died suddenly last week from a fall. He was 77. He served on council for a phenomenal 39 years. Faith was number one in his life and he carried his Christianity into the public square through “serving,” his wife told me. Note: It’s my belief there’s too much federal over reach into our states and local communities these days. And more power/decision making should revert back to a local sphere (i.e., these local councils, and such). For more on my take on this, see…

Debate topic: coronavirus

I not only listened, but took notes, during the debate between Trump and Biden last night. Some thoughts: Trump, given all the wildcards with Covid-19, has been earnest about dealing with it and has marshalled a lot help from multiple sectors. Has he responded perfectly? No. But, I mean, who would have? For Biden to wholesale trash the efforts, for the most part, is ludicrous. If Biden’s hallmark is “uniting,” you would acknowledge the good, and respectfully offer things to build on what’s already been done. Note: But, while the virus is, indeed, real, the threat has been tremendously overblown (99.5% recovery rate). It has become a “feardemic,” if you will, continually talked about in the left leaning media. What’s more, the shutdowns are moving us toward a worldwide economy that’s about to collapse. This, in turn, would set the stage for a ‘New World Order’ to evolve to fix things with, shall we say, a charismatic (yet tremendously evil) leader at the helm. Read: the Anti-Christ and his system. And, well, if you, for instance, don’t take the vaccine with the digital identification ‘mark,’ of course you won’t be able to “buy or sell” in the new system. Any of this sound familiar? (Revelations 13:17). The Catechism of the Catholic Church also describes a rise of the “anti-christ” and his system at: CCC 675. And this mirrors, not only what’s written about in Revelations, but what well could be playing out before our very eyes right now.

false (phone) idol

photo by Joe

On a Buckeye Back Road Tour stop in Kalida, Ohio, I came across an actual pay phone. (For those of you under, say, 35, Google: pay phone.) When you were out and about “…back in the day,” you actually had to find one of these babies in order to make a phone call to someone. Now it’s an I-phone 12 with 5G. But is the latter the ultimate “smart phone,” or, well, the ultimate “dumb phone”? You see, these phones call, text, stream, Google… In turn, many people have become hopelessly addicted to their I-phones. Quality time with God, with family members, with friends, with community volunteering, with work… all get shorted, more, and more, and more… The Book of Revelation talks about a “false idol” that evolves, and that practically everyone worships. Uh, wouldn’t take an Old Testament prophet on his game, so to speak, to figure out that that’s (worshipping) what many of us are doing with these phones (personal computers, television sets…). Note: I’m a former addictions counselor and know how insidious, and destructive, addictions can be — both emotionally and spiritually.

write in stuff

photo by Joe …in Joe’s Campaign Headquarters

A couple months ago, as I’ve done in each campaign, I spent some late nights refreshing my memory on the criteria for being a write-in presidential candidate in each state. (It varies from state to state.) I then put together this blackboard schematic per: deadlines to cross reference with rather large folders of reference material from each state. You can bet Trump and Biden aren’t doing this — and, frankly, they’re lucky. [Just trying to keep up my populist image. LOL, sort of.]

false reasoning

Wikipedia photo

I was watching some of the Amy Coney Barrett Confirmation Hearings today. And, I must say, the senators, almost all of them, came across as highly intelligent, polished individuals. It was all quite impressive, except for one thing(s). The highly intelligent, polished, Democrats in the room were for the wholesale killing of babies and a LGBTQ agenda that will, as with abortion, be a path to Hell for eternity for many. And the Republicans, well, most are for turning desperate refugees away at our borders, and being tremendously poor environmental stewards — to name a couple. In my spiritual meditation reading today, one part read that it “…is hard to think straight among worldly people… Their false reasoning seems so logical at times. Yet how can they be right, if You [God] disagree with them?” These senators, on both sides of the aisle, no matter how good they sound, or look… sometimes represent things that are totally antithetical to God’s gospel message. And we, all of us, need to be able to see through this.