Friday, July 22, 2016

If You’re in Trouble Find a Policeman

I’m sixty five years old and recognize the blessing in being able to call my mother on the phone; makes her claim of being 37 going on 38 much harder to believe, just sayin’.  The other day she expressed her gratitude that I’d served as a police officer; but at the same time was relieved I’d retired as each passing day brought headlines of police officers being ambushed and murdered.

If you’ve been keeping up with the news it wouldn’t be much of a stretch to say there’s a War on Cops. 

Remember when children were taught to find a policeman if they got lost or were in trouble?  “Policemen are your friends” and we all nodded as the lessons were presented in 1st Grade. 

I’ll never forget the first time I met a policeman face to face.  It was the middle of winter and my brother and I had been hiding behind a short row of hedges, giving us cover to throw snowballs at passing cars.  We’d pop up, let ‘em fly and watch as drivers skidded on the slick pavement when the snowballs slammed into them.  It was great fun.

Getting back to my first face to face meeting with a policeman…  We were hunched down listening to the tires crunching snow and waiting for the vehicle to arrive at precisely the right location in relationship to our planned attack.  We popped up, let ‘em fly and at that same moment realized that our intended target was a police car. 

The blood in our legs froze solid as we stood silently, unable to move let alone run.  The policeman stopped, opened the door and quietly walked over to us with a wry smile on his face; we, on the other hand were having trouble breathing.

He placed us in the police car and drove us home, just a couple of blocks.  Most of this part was a blur; but I remember my mother opening the door and talking briefly with the policeman prior to letting my brother and me enter the house.  She did thank him for being understanding and assured him it wouldn’t happen again.  

Hard to believe that one day I’d join the police department and serve for twenty years.  

I remember one night driving up on a bunch of kids who were ‘toilet papering’ a house during football season.  A couple of them ran off into the darkness as soon as they recognized the police car; but others froze in place, much as I had so many years ago.

Interestingly, the house these kids were ‘toilet papering’ belonged to one of their friends; it was something of an honor to have your trees, bushes and house covered with long streams of toilet paper following a big win. 

I explained that it might be a good idea to clean up the mess they’d made, never getting out of the car.  They hadn’t really considered their actions as criminal mischief, at least not until a policeman pointed it out; never mind the healthy grin on my face.

Reading about policemen being ambushed and murdered turns my stomach; officers shot while sitting in their patrol cars or walking up to quell a disturbance as assassins hid behind bushes.  The officers in Dallas were protecting protesters, protesters protesting police when snipers hidden in a multilevel parking garage opened fire.

Dallas massacre of police: FBI investigating anti-police group that attended Dallas mosque
The Hamas-linked Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) and other Islamic supremacist groups have assiduously courted Black Lives Matter, and linked their propaganda efforts against “Islamophobia” to the Black Lives Matter stand against perceived racism. In Dallas last night, we see where this is tending: as Kyle Shideler notes in the March article below, “At the event, MAS leader Khalilah Sabra openly discussed the importance of Muslim support for Black Lives Matter, and urged ‘revolution.’ Comparing the situation in the United States to the Muslim Brotherhood-led Arab Spring revolutions, she asked, ‘We are the community that staged a revolution across the world; if we can do that, why can’t we have that revolution in America?’” And with the mass murder of police in Dallas last night, we’re getting there.” (emphasis added)

These are cold blooded murders, planned in advance using tactical strategy as if it were a military operation; that makes it a War on Cops by an enemy with a long term agenda.

Perhaps one day our children will once again be taught, “If you ever find yourself lost or in trouble, go find a policeman”.  Our country is in trouble as each attack on a police officer is an attack on all of America. 

Pray for our country; more specifically that all police officers make it home after their shift ends.

This article has been cross posted to The Moral Liberal, a publication whose banner reads, “Defending The Judeo-Christian Ethic, Limited Government, & The American Constitution”.

Monday, July 18, 2016

When does Media Spin become a Lie?

There was another ambush of police officers, this time 3 officers were murdered in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.  Many of the media outlets were quick to point out the ‘alleged’ shooter was an ex-Marine who’d served a tour in Afghanistan. 

This was from Yahoo News; but the headline matched most other media outlets.

“BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) – A former Marine dressed in black and carrying extra ammunition ambushed police in Baton Rouge, shooting and killing three law enforcement officers less than two weeks after a black man was fatally shot by police there in a confrontation that sparked nightly protests that reverberated nationwide.”  

There would appear to be no argument the shooter had been a Marine; and as we’ve been warned over and over by the Obama administration, returning military members are considered potential domestic terrorists.

Obama’s Homeland Security isn’t alone in their assessment of returning veterans being threats, unfit to own firearms. 

“Sen Dianne Feinstein (D. Cal.) has long been a fanatic gun control advocate.  Yesterday, she upped the ante by declarating that all military vets, merely because they are vets, are mentally ill. On that ground alone she insists that vets should be denied any exemption to her extremist gun control bill.”

The media must have considered the Baton Rouge shooter’s having been a Marine much more important than his having been linked to Nation of Islam.  Most outlets never even mention it, and if they did it was buried far into the article.

The ‘alleged shooter’, according to the Daily Caller, Gavin Eugene Long, was a ‘former’ member Nation of Islam. 

“Videos on Long’s account show that he was a former Nation of Islam member. He also ranted against “crackers” and made references to Alton Sterling, the black man killed by police in Baton Rouge on July 5.”

You might recall Louis Farrakhan, founder of Nation of Islam, calling for 10,000 volunteers to “Stalk them and kill them”, referring to any White person.  I guess Gavin Eugene Long took Farrakhan up on the offer.  Does that make Farrakhan an accessory to murder?    

Which is more of a threat to society, being a former Marine or being associated with radical Islam?  

Obama refuses to use the term Islamic Terrorist and the lapdog media continues to minimize any link to radical Islam when reporting their version of ‘news’. 

At what point does media spin become a lie? 

This article has been cross posted to The Moral Liberal, a publication whose banner reads, “Defending The Judeo-Christian Ethic, Limited Government, & The American Constitution”.

Sunday, July 03, 2016

I can’t sing the National Anthem

Well, that’s not quite true; I can’t sing the National Anthem without tears dripping down my cheeks and a large knot forming in my throat.  You see, I know some of the story about how this tune came about.

This morning as we closed our church service the closing hymn was The Star Spangled Banner.  I wonder if other denominations have that in their hymn book; I would hope so.

The congregation arose as the choir master stood to lead us, the first notes played by the organist sent a shiver down my spine.  I really did try to sing out, honest; but emotions got the better of me so I let everyone else pay tribute to our nation while I mouthed the words, tears welling up in the corner of my eyes.

I’ve been battling a chest cold and these emotions got my sinuses going full blast.  I didn’t need this; damn it all, now I’m congested again.

As we stood through all three verses my mind imagined the night Francis Scott Key stood watching as Ft. Henry was to be shelled into oblivion by the British Navy.  You see, the British were still miffed for having lost the Revolutionary War and decided to give it another ‘go’ a few years later; historians called it the War of 1812.

The British had given the occupants of Ft. Henry a way out; simply lower your flag and become subjects of British rule.  Their situation was impossible as hundreds of British war ships pounded this insignificant fort all through the night…and yet the flag remained, lighted as it were by the bombs bursting in air.

The British commander was perplexed and couldn’t fathom why they didn’t surrender; there was no way they could win.

Francis Scott Key said he remembered what George Washington had said. He said, “The thing that sets the American Christian apart from all other people in the world is he will die on his feet before he'll live on his knees.”

In the morning, by the dawn’s early light, the flag could still be seen from the deck of the British war ship, tattered and leaning at a peculiar angle it remained standing to everyone’s amazement. 

Apparently each time the flag had been knocked down a brave man would stand it up in spite of the horrendous shelling.  Many died keeping that flag upright and standing and as far as I know their names we never recorded.

I guess some of our youth haven’t been properly taught the importance of our flag and some of what goes into being a citizen of this great nation.

Years ago during a baseball game someone recorded what has been called “the greatest play in baseball”.  It happened on April 25, 1976 when a couple of malcontents jumped onto the ball field in the middle of a game and tried to light an American Flag on fire.  Rick Monday, an outfielder for the Dodgers ran over, grabbed the Flag and saved it to the delight of most everyone watching.

Far too many folks go about disrespecting our country through their hostility when destroying or demeaning the Flag.  Some stomp on it, like home grown terrorist Bill Ayers, good friend and supporter of Barrack Obama.  Others use it like toilet paper while displaying obscenities at the camera.  Heaven help them should I happen by while they disrespect the Flag in my presence. 

I wish I knew the name of even one person who died at Ft. Henry while holding up that Flag, a symbol of never giving up in the face of insurmountable odds.  Perhaps they’ll forgive my not being a better historian; certainly they’ll understand my not being able to sing out this morning.

But I know the words to that familiar tune; yes I know them all too well as my chest swells with pride and my eyes fill with tears.

The Star-Spangled Banner
1. Oh say, can you see, by the dawn’s early light,
What so proudly we hailed at the twilight’s last gleaming,
Whose broad stripes and bright stars, through the perilous fight,
O’er the ramparts we watched, were so gallantly streaming?
And the rockets’ red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof thru the night that our flag was still there.
Oh say, does that star-spangled banner yet wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave?

2. On the shore, dimly seen thru the mists of the deep,
Where the foe’s haughty host in dread silence reposes,
What is that which the breeze, o’er the towering steep,
As it fitfully blows, half conceals, half discloses?
Now it catches the gleam of the morning’s first beam,
In full glory reflected now shines on the stream;
’Tis the star-spangled banner! Oh, long may it wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

3. Oh, thus be it ever, when free men shall stand
Between their loved homes and the war’s desolation!
Blest with vict’ry and peace, may the heav’n-rescued land
Praise the Pow’r that hath made and preserved us a nation!
Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just,
And this be our motto: “In God is our trust!”
And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

This article has been cross posted to The Moral Liberal, a publication whose banner reads, “Defending The Judeo-Christian Ethic, Limited Government, & The American Constitution”.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Don’t Support A Ban Assault Rifles

I saw this poster on Facebook and had to respond.  How do you gently explain to one of your ‘friends’ that by supporting the progressive agenda to remove military style weapons from private ownership and use, that such a ban does absolutely nothing to protect honest citizens, and in fact puts them at even greater risk?

To start with, the term Assault Rifle was a creation, a scary and frightening name made up to sway the public's opinion in order to push through legislation which would eventually remove any military style weapon from the private sector. The left continues to push their anti-2nd Amendment agenda at every opportunity as they rely on knee jerk public reaction after any violent incident. In the Orlando attack the media reported that the weapon used was an AR-15 Assault Rifle when in fact it was not. Facts are not a strong suit for reporting any more when it comes to pushing an agenda.

All that said, do you really believe that criminals (to include corrupt government officials), mass murderers, psychotic drugged out nutcases or radical Islamic terrorists are going to abandon the use of any weapon regardless of it having been banned?

So what you are demanding is that law abiding citizens give up their right to defend themselves from criminals (to include corrupt government officials), mass murderers, psychotic drugged out nutcases or radical Islamic terrorists. 

The 2nd Amendment was included as part of the Bill of Rights to protect individuals from that day when their government became so corrupt as to turn on its citizens. We are getting ever closer to that day and you are joining in with that corrupt government's recognition that an armed citizenry is much more difficult to enslave. History has shown that a disarmed citizenry is far too easy to control.

“That the said Constitution shall never be construed to authorize Congress to infringe the just liberty of the press or the rights of conscience; or to prevent the people of the United states who are peaceable citizens from keeping their own arms...”  -- Samuel Adams, in “Phila. Independent Gazetteer”, August 20, 1789
I'll leave it at that and hope you come to realize the importance of individuals having access and ownership of advanced weaponry, even to match the standard issue weaponry being used by the military.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Thinking of my father

The movie, Big Fish, caught my attention while flipping channels.  The story had progressed nearly to the end, the part where the son arrived at the hospital, finding out his father was near death, having suffered a serious stroke.  The young man volunteers to sit by his bed all night and gives his mother a chance to go home.

If you’re familiar with the movie; his father wakes up momentarily and sits up wild eyed saying something that sounds like, “the river”,   His son reaches over as if to hit the Call Nurse button but instead waits to find out his father’s request. 

“Tell me how it ends”, the young man wasn’t prepared with a response.  The father had never told his son what he’d seen in the old witch’s eye so many years earlier, a prophecy of how he was going to die.

The son being familiar with the many fantastic yarns his father had shared begins to carefully create the vision his father never told him about, pausing as details sprang to mind in such a way as to fit with other stories his father conjured up throughout his life; all having to do with the river.

According to his son’s interpretation his father was no longer constrained by oxygen tubes and able to move about, points to a wheel chair and stresses the need to escape from the hospital in order to return to the river…

Interestingly, I found tears streaming down my cheeks, an uncontrollable transference of emotions as thoughts of my own father came crashing down on my consciousness.  

One of the earliest memories of my father is linked with a trip to Jones Beach out on Long Island, New York.  We’d gone to the huge Olympic pool and dad was standing in the water making sure I didn’t drown; but the memory had to do with how much hair covered his chest and back, more like a friendly bear than a human to my young eyes.

Dad’s getting up in age and his physical strength and mental awareness are cause for concern as Alzheimer’s robs the best of him.  Dealing with these feelings, the movie progressed; but I was already lost in my own thoughts.

I can’t turn the clock back and my father’s health continues to deteriorate; that is not within my power to change. 

However; for a moment I can visit an earlier time, like when I first saw him playing ball with other young fathers on a field of dreams, a battered old First Baseman’s ball glove on his hand.  From that moment I wanted a First Baseman’s glove, to be just like dad.

I got into a fight during Painting Time in Kindergarten because the other kids didn’t know how to apply paint properly to the blank sheets of paper.  I tried to show them how my father applied paint to our garage, big sweeping horizontal strokes; but the teacher was unaware of the proper way to paint as well.   

One chilly winter day as my father was attempting to get me off to meet the school bus and noticed I had no jacket.  He grabbed a brown jacket belonging to my brother; but my jacket was blue, certainly he should have know my jacket was blue, so I refused to wear the brown one.  Getting chased around the house was going to make me miss the bus so I ran out the door before dad could catch me; I wasn’t wearing that brown jacket and he couldn’t make me.

Many years later I recall sitting down for lunch at Sharpstown Mall with dad and some of his friends from work to tell him I’d joined the Houston Police Department; now that was a day to remember.  Dad wanted me to be an accountant, had paid the first two years of college and was totally blind sided by my decision.  It was the first, perhaps the only time dad was unable to speak a word.

These thoughts and a thousand more rushed through my mind as the movie played on. The young man carried his father to the river as everyone waved good bye, the river where it all started, the river where it all must end.

So this is how it is and as it should be…

And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse.   Malachi 4:6  

I considered saving this to be published on Father’s Day; instead the idea occurred to me that Father’s Day should be celebrated more often, just as we should celebrate the birth and life of Christ everyday. 

This article has been cross posted to The Moral Liberal, a publication whose banner reads, “Defending The Judeo-Christian Ethic, Limited Government, & The American Constitution”.

Monday, May 23, 2016

Erasing Christianity a piece at a time

In case you've just awakened, as did Rip Van Winkle, from a hundred year nap, sitting under a huge tree that had been a sapling when you first closed your eyes; a few things have changed.  The sun still rises in the East, grass is green and thunder follows lightning; but the foundations upon which our society sprang have been under attack for quite some time. 

Let me bring you up to speed…

Printed books have for the most part been replaced with digital versions which can be accessed with the touch of a finger anywhere in the world.  Books can be accessed and purchased at a reasonable price, downloaded and saved for when you have time to read.  There’s no reason to take up space on a bookshelf with a hardcover copy of Moby Dick or any other classic now that they’re all digital.

I have the Standard Works as part of the LDS app; the Old Testament, New Testament, Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants and Pearl of Great Price on my laptop, tablet and cell phone.  It took all of a couple of minutes to download these from the Internet. 

Some other items came with the; General Conference talks going back about forty years, teachings of Latter Day Prophets, and even James Talmage’s,  Jesus the Christ.

None of this makes a lot of sense; I forgot, you’ve been asleep under a tree for the past hundred years.  

We have electronic devices which would make Guttenberg die with envy; all that work spent making the written word accessible to the masses and nobody wants books in print, go figure…

Click on the item and it shows up, click another icon and the recorded version plays while you read along.  The ability to have Jesus the Christ read to me via the miracle of modern computers makes for an enjoyable ‘read’, following the text as the words graced my ears. 

“Christian and unbeliever alike acknowledge His supremacy as a Man, and respect the epoch-making significance of His birth. Christ was born in the meridian of time; and His life on earth marked at once the culmination of the past and the inauguration of an era distinctive in human hope, endeavor, and achievement. His advent determined a new order in the reckoning of the years; and by common consent the centuries antedating His birth have been counted backward from the pivotal event and are designated accordingly. The rise and fall of dynasties, the birth and dissolution of nations, all the cycles of history as to war and peace, as to prosperity and adversity, as to health and pestilence, seasons of plenty and of famine, the awful happenings of earthquake and storm, the triumphs of invention and discovery, the epochs of man’s development in godliness and the long periods of his dwindling in unbelief—all the occurrences that make history—are chronicled throughout Christendom by reference to the year before or after the birth of Jesus Christ.”  James E. Talmage, Jesus the Christ, Chapter 1

As the Introduction moved along I was reminded that certain elements within our society don’t like references to the Ten Commandments, morality, family values and especially Jesus Christ or Christianity; anything which reminds them how far down the toilet they’ve gone.

Several years ago my friend Mike Landfair, aka Mover Mike, wrote about a visit he and his wife made to the Portland Art Museum and his observations.

“The artifacts from indians on the Columbia river and later artifacts from the Etruscan and Roman empires are all dated "BCE" or "CE". We asked one of the curators as we were leaving, "What's with the BCE and CE?" Didn't it used to be "BC" and "AD"? Turns out it did. Seems some groups were upset with "Before Christ" and "Anno Domino - In the year of our Lord" . Now artifacts are labeled Before the Common Era (BCE) or Common Era (CE). It's the same dividing line between BCE and CE as BC and AD. I don't know how they explain that!”

Jump forward a few years and observe how much further we as a society have fallen.  The Ten Commandments have been ruled unconstitutional and the courts have ordered them removed from public places.  Parents who home school their children are being dragged into court for brain washing their kids with Christian principles.  More recently the courts have sided with the Obama administration and ordered all bathrooms and changing areas open to transgender perverts.

Can you imagine how Talmage would have written that introductory paragraph in this day when the foundations of our society and culture are under steady attack?  I don’t think he’d have changed one word, not one word.

The Meridian of Time is linked with the birth of one individual, an individual who changed the path of mankind for time and all eternity, even Jesus of Nazareth, the Creator of Heaven and Earth, the Only Begotten of the Father, the Christ.

Mike pretty much covered, “It's the same dividing line between BCE and CE as BC and AD. I don't know how they explain that!”

This article has been cross posted to The Moral Liberal, a publication whose banner reads, “Defending The Judeo-Christian Ethic, Limited Government, & The American Constitution”.

Saturday, May 07, 2016

Mother’s Day Thoughts

Sunday is Mother’s Day, a chance to consider the many blessings we should be grateful for.  Years ago my friend Tim Andersen would be asked to give the Mother’s Day talk at church, something of a tradition that we looked forward to.  He was the youngest son in a large family and his older siblings were much older so his parents had one more child in order to give him a playmate more his age; which is why Dean Andersen came to be.

I saw Dean at the Houston Temple going through the men’s dressing area this past Thursday.  Knowing a little about his family and his brother Tim’s brave fight with Leukemia, a fight that Tim eventually lost; made for a quiet moment as I considered the eternities and how Tim must be carrying out ‘the good fight’ on the other side of the veil.  We quietly acknowledged with a nod and a smile how much we missed Tim without saying a word, interesting how that works.

I used to catch a plane and visit my grandmother, Granny as she was known to everyone, each May, it being her birthday and Mother’s Day, take her out to dinner and let her know what a special lady she was in my life.  As she got towards the end of her life she didn’t want to go out to restaurants, preferring instead a quiet dinner at home.

Prior to visiting I called her next door neighbor and good friend, Robert, to arrange for a meal to be brought in; his knowing the local eateries and needless to say I’d reimburse him for what ever costs were involved.  I also made sure that Robert and his sister Judith would join us.

Upon arriving Robert and Judith were there waiting, a fabulous meal having been delivered.  There was a tray of Black and Green Olives, Celery, Radishes, sliced Bell Peppers with a bowl of Ranch Dressing Dip in the center.  I noticed a tray of sliced Roast Beef, freshly steamed Green Beans, New Potatoes and a loaf of French Bread.   I asked Robert how much I owed so we could settle up.

“Thirty Bucks should about cover it”, was his reply.  Hell, the tray of fresh vegetables cost at least that much as I crooked my neck and gave him a look of incredulity, to which he reassured me, “Thirty Dollars”.

During the prayer, prior to enjoying the meal I made sure to offer thanks for the food that had been graciously prepared; but decided to bless the, “wonderful liars who claimed the meal only cost Thirty Dollars”.  Robert and Judith nearly fell out of their chairs, not having expected such a straight forward expression of gratitude.

While working and going about locksmith calls it was a pleasure to call Granny on my cell phone; mostly to let her know I was thinking of her, and a chance to chide her as well.  I’d ask how she was feeling, knowing that becoming ancient comes with regular pains and set backs. 

Her answer became standard, “Simply splendid”; she wasn’t going to talk about anything negative so “Simply splendid” was code for, “let’s talk about what’s going on in your life”.  

I’d tell her I was driving on the wrong side of the road, honk the horn and pretend to be annoyed with oncoming traffic to which she'd gasp and scold me for being such a difficult grandson, all the while laughing at the thought.

One time when I called her neighbor Judith answered the phone, “Wadsworth residence”.  I knew right away who it was as I asked irreverently, “Let me speak to the Old Bat”.  

I might as well have shot the woman as I listened to the silence on the other end.  Granny had exceptional hearing and right away burst out, “Give me the phone, it’s my grandson!”    Not sure if Judith understood what a special relationship I had with Granny that permitted such a conversation to take place; but I miss those encounters more than can be expressed.

I suppose that’s why I enjoy calling my own mother during the week to let her know I’m thinking of her.  Life can be tough the older we get so a simple phone call might be the only ammunition against a worn out body and limited function.    

We sent mom a box of fancy dipped strawberries, something simple that would arrive in time for Mother’s Day.  Dad will enjoy them too, maybe more than mom; but they will know we love them and care about them.

I have a box of dipped strawberries for my wife and another box for my daughters who have children of their own.  If I’m lucky they won’t mind sharing one with this old man, let me thank them for all they do in their callings as Mothers.    

There really isn’t any job description that covers what Mothers are required to do; basically “what ever is needed” and do it with a loving heart.

This article has been cross posted to The Moral Liberal, a publication whose banner reads, “Defending The Judeo-Christian Ethic, Limited Government, & The American Constitution”.