Campaign coup in Gomer

photo by Joe of Joe…

My “Buckeye Back Roads Tour” continued with a stop in Gomer, Ohio (pop. 488). And I stumped, not just in any ‘ole place in Gomer, but rather quite strategically at “Uncle Al’s,” which is, decidedly, the downtown hub of things. Okay, and it’s also the only thing downtown. What’s more, I passed on a campaign card to none other than “Al” himself. [At least he looked like he was probably Al behind the cash register, and all.] If I had a dollar, or an Uncle Al’s pizza, for everyone one of these stops over the years, and there have been thousands

stumping, fires and, well: prophecy…

Cairo, Ohio …photo by Joe

On my recent campaign tour down Old Rte. 30, I stumped in Cairo, Ohio. (Something I’ve done in hundreds and hundreds of towns over the years.) Cairo is a small, rural town made up, primarily, of working class folks. I also captured this sunset that evening. Meanwhile, across the country in California, the sky looks somewhat like this as well in many parts. But this orangish red is from flames. California is on fire. As I type this, 2 million acres have already burned, which is a record — and the state is just now moving into the main part of the fire season. The confluence of natural elements: extended drought, drier air, higher than normal temperatures, more Santa Anna winds than usual, a phenomenal 11,000 lightening strikes in just a couple day period to spark a lot of the fires… Pictures coming out of California make it look like, well, Hell. Question(s): Global warming? Yeah, to an extent, sure. But also, is it God’s warning? California, which often sets the trends for the rest of the country, over time, is now steeped in progressiveness that’s allowing for whole sale abortion, anything goes queer lifestyles, off the charts immodest dress, drugs… This stuff, all of it, is tremendously antithetical to what’s taught in God’s Bible. And to continue in all this is a ticket to a place that’s even hotter than California, for eternity. Wouldn’t you think God would step in to try to get peoples’ attention, before it’s too late? I do. Note: In fact, I believe God might be giving all of America a Nineveh Moment, before it’s too late.

painting and ‘Georgia on my mind’

photo by Joe (the painter)

While “Mar-a-lago Donald” and the “Scranton working class kid Joe” (cough) pull out all the stops trying to pander to the “average Joe’s and Jane’s” out there, I just finished painting part of this porch on, of all places, “Main St.” in Bluffton, Ohio (pop. 4,500). Populist? With a capital “P.”! What’s more, during my coffee break, I set up putting a public notice ($92) in the Atlanta Journal Constitution, a statewide newspaper. It will run Labor Day. How’s that for strategy? (A lot of people will be off that day with more time to read the paper.) This is part of the criteria the Georgia Attorney General’s Office has set up to meet part of the requirement for them to count your write-in votes. While 92 bucks would have been nothing to the Biden and Trump campaigns, for us, well, let’s just say we felt it.

“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…