...the Government of the United States, which gives to bigotry no sanction, to persecution no assistance, requires only that they who live under its protection should demean themselves as good citizens in giving it on all occasions their effectual support. Geo. Washington Feb. 22, 1732
Each time a man stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope, and crossing each other from a million different centers of energy and daring, those ripples build a current that can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance.
Robert Kennedy, South Africa 1966.
Saturday, July 31, 2010
Friday, July 30, 2010
On his next visit the doctor gave him a shot, but that
didn't do any good.
On his third visit the doctor told the man to go home
and take a hot bath. As soon as he was finished
bathing he was to throw open all the windows and
stand in the draft.
"But doc," protested the patient, "if I do that, I'll get pneumonia."
"I know," said his physician. "I can cure pneumonia."I Dream of Jeannie
Two men were adrift in a life boat following a dramatic escape from a burning freight vessel. While rummaging through the boat's provisions, one of the men stumbled across an old lamp. Secretly hoping that a genie would appear, he rubbed the lamp vigorously. To the amazement of the castaways, a genie came forth!
This particular genie, however, stated that she could only deliver one wish, not the standard three. Without giving much thought to the matter the man blurted out, "Make the entire ocean into beer!"
Immediately the genie clapped her hands with a deafening crash, and the entire sea turned into the finest brew ever sampled by mortals. Simultaneously, the genie vanished to her freedom. Only the gentle lapping of beer on the hull broke the stillness as the two men considered their circumstances. The other man looked disgustedly at the one whose wish had been granted.
After a long, tension-filled moment, he spoke:
"Nice going! Now we're going to have to pee in the boat."
Just about all my life I belonged to the Reformed Lutheran Church. When I married my wife, I converted to her church, which at that time was called the Lutheran Church in America.
In order to do so, I had to attend classes. At one of the first sessions, the minister conducting the class said,
"What must we do before we can expect forgiveness from sin?"
I replied, perhaps too quickly.... "Sin?"
During a wind storm an elderly woman was holding on to her hat while her skirt was blowing up around her neck. A gentleman approached her and said: "Pardon me Madam. I do not intend to be forward, but did you know that your dress is blowing up in this high wind?" "Yes, I know," Said the lady, "I need both hands to hold onto this hat." But, madam, you must know that your privates are exposed!"said the gentleman in earnest. The woman looked down, then back up at the man and replied, "Sir, anything you see down there is 85 years old. I just bought this hat yesterday!"To The Nines
One day, on 9/9/99, a man woke up at 9:09 a.m. in the morning, jumped on Bus #99 and went to his favorite restaurant on 9th Street. When the cashier rang up his order, it totaled $9.99.
"Oh, wow, this is an omen!" the man said, so he bought a pair of cheap binoculars at the 99¢ store, pulled out 99 cents in fares and took Bus #99 to the Race Track. As he approached Gate No. 9, he said to the ticket agent: "I would like to bet $999.99 on Horse No. 9 in the 9th race."
"Why those particular numbers?" the ticket agent asked.
"Nine seems to be my lucky number today," the man said excitedly. "I'm really on a roll!"
Feeling confident, he sat through the first eight races until Race No. 9 came up. Sure enough, he was on a roll.
The horse came in ninth.You Know You're Living In 2010 When...
1. You accidentally enter your password on the microwave.
2. You haven't played solitaire with real cards in years.
3. You have a list of 15 phone numbers to reach your family of 3.
4. You e-mail the person who works at the desk next to you.
5. Your reason for not staying in touch with friends and family is that they don't have e-mail addresses.
6. You pull up in your own driveway and use your cell phone to see if anyone is home to help you carry in the groceries.
7. Every commercial on television has a web site at the bottom of the screen.
8. Leaving the house without your cell phone, which you didn't have the first 20 or 30 (or 60) years of your life, is now a cause for panic and you turn around to go and get it.
10. You get up in the morning and go on line before getting your coffee.
11. You start tilting your head sideways to smile. : )
12. You're reading this and nodding and laughing.
13. Even worse, you know exactly to whom you are going to forward this message.
14. You are too busy to notice there was no #9 on this list.
15. You actually scrolled back up to check that there wasn't a #9 on this list
I Work In A Zoo
This guy needs a job and decides to apply at the zoo. As it happened, their star attraction, a gorilla, had passed away the night before and they had carefully preserved his hide.
They tell this guy that they'll pay him well if he would dress up in the gorillas skin and pretend to be the gorilla so people will keep coming to the zoo.
Well, the guy has his doubts, but he needs the money, so he puts on the skin and goes out into the cage.
The people all cheer to see him. He plays up to the audience and they just eat it up. This isn't so bad, he thinks, and he starts really putting on a show, jumping around, beating his chest and roaring, swinging around.
During one acrobatic attempt, though, he loses his balance and crashes through some safety netting, landing square in the middle of the lion cage! As he lies there stunned, the lion roars.
He's terrified and starts screaming, "Help, Help, Help!"
Thursday, July 29, 2010
If we want success for our country, we can't accept failure in our schools.President Obama
Wednesday, July 28, 2010
At its state convention in Des Moines last month, the Iowa GOP adopted a new party platform that includes the repeal of mandatory minimum wage laws, the elimination of the U.S. Department of Education, and even clarification on the definition of manure. Out of the “387 enumerated planks and principles,” Newsweek’s Jerry Adler found the most “startling” section of the platform calls for “the reintroduction and ratification of the original 13th Amendment.”
Only in Iowa - Read the whole thing here.
...Iowa is currently “the only state where this type of plank has been introduced into the GOP platform.” While chances are indeed remote that such a measure would pass, should the Iowa GOP and “Thirteenthers” successfully push their belief, “every act of federal government since 1819,” including the abolition of slavery, “would be delegitimized.
Amazing just amazing.
Link to Newsweek article which concludes
As far as their platform goes, we should all be willing to defer to Iowa Republicans on the definition of manure as natural fertilizer. So long as they keep it on the fields, where it belongs.
Theresa and Dave gave me these green tomatoes so I could have some Fried Green Tomatoes. I love them. But the real reason for this post was to show you what I did after I had my toe re-bandaged. I had been stuck in the house for a little over a week and I had to pick up a prescription so I took the country road north to go to the pharmacy. First went past the horse farm
Then down the hill to what my aunt's used to refer to as "Grandpa's bottom. Rich bottom land that does a good job growing our Iowa corn.
Tuesday, July 27, 2010
In 1981, I was installed as Grand High Priest of the Grand Chapter of Royal Arch Masons of the State of Iowa. The remarks I made at that time are reproduced (with one sentence added) below. I am posting it because I fear no one listened. At that time we had over 10,000 Royal Arch Masons in the State of Iowa. Today the number has dropped to 2,800. Something needs to be done. I still think the following ideas are a part of the solution. I just hope it is not too late
Most of us are proud that we are Masons. Many of us wear the emblem of the fraternity on our rings, belt buckles and coats as a mark of that pride. Many of us are proud of the fact that we are also York Rite Masons.
We are proud of our membership in the York Rite but I ask you – Do we show it? Do we convey our pride in our organization to each other and to the non-member? Do we show our pride by attending meetings and getting involved in doing everything we can to support the programs of the presiding officer and the Companions and Sir Knights who are working in the various degrees? Do we make the effort to show new members that we are supportive of the York Rite by being on the sidelines even when we don’t have an active part in the degree?
Some Companions and Sir Knights do –others carry the title only and do nothing to support the Lodge, Chapter, Council or Commandery.
“Apathy is a dread disease – even nations die of it.” The York Rite will also die from it unless a general turnaround occurs.
You as a presiding officer or a future presiding officer have a lot to say about the enthusiasm of your membership. If you show no pride in your work – if you do not have a planned program that fosters participation from a crew of willing workers, you will see less and less participation in the Rite and eventually you will see the organization wither and die on the vine from lack of good nutrients.
What are some of the nutrients for a successful York Rite Organization?
PROGRAM – I put program ahead of ritual for growth. You must have good ritual and good ritualists are important but in this day and age good ritual alone will not generate the pride of membership necessary for growth and the continuance of the fraternity.
Program – properly planned and publicized will help generate the pride of belonging which will attract new members to our ranks. Something every other month will help. Not only that, it will help the Companions and Sir Knights to feel the desire to participate in the York Rite. In our modern world, people are crying for something to get involved with – something they can be successful at so they can have the pride of accomplishment. The York Rite can give them that.
RITUAL - Good ritual well rehearsed and performed with realism and drama will also generate pride. Nothing is worse than going to a meeting and seeing people who do not care about the job they do as ritualists. We have impressive degrees and Orders and they should be presented that way. The words are important but the drama and the meaning are much more important.
Our candidates have seen much good drama with exposure to television, movies and plays. They know what good acting is and a ritualist is essentially an actor. He is taking part in a play – a play designed to convey great moral lessons and he should always remember that fact. Nothing will turn a new member off quicker than sloppy ritual – delivered in a singsong or unnatural manner. Ritual with many promptings or mispronunciations or non-articulated delivery. Nothing will generate more enthusiasm and pride than good ritual dramatically presented full of important meaning for his life.
INTEREST – Officers and members must display an interest in the Rite and its meetings if they expect new members to become interested. Interest isn’t just showing up at meetings, it is active support of the Rite, its programs and members
DEDICATION – Without this important ingredient, the principles of our Rite will soon be lost. The Rite will become like something written down and stored on a shelf or studied by the College of Rites once or twice a year – a historical rite and not a living viable one active in today’s world.
ENTHUSIASM – The capstone of our ingredients. It is not enough to have a good program and ritual, to display an interest and to be dedicated. We must be enthusiastic. We must work together as officers and members to generate enthusiasm among all members, enthusiasm which will keep our Rite active and viable. We must be more than caretakers – we must be disciples.
The potential of the York Rite is tremendous. Our brothers of the Scottish Rite have learned the lesson of Pride and Enthusiasm long ago and display it in their daily lives. It is time that we did the same.
Monday, July 26, 2010
"Harry Truman's integration of the armed services represented the most significant institutional advance for the civil rights of black Americans since President Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation."
Sunday, July 25, 2010
Saturday, July 24, 2010
Friday, July 23, 2010
Any Last Words?
A man is struck by a bus on a busy street in New York City.
He lies dying on the sidewalk as a crowd of spectators gathers around.
"A priest! Somebody get me a priest!" the man gasps. A policeman checks the crowd but finds no priest, no minister, no man of God of any kind.
"A PRIEST, PLEASE!" the dying man says again. Then out of the crowd steps a little old Jewish man of at least eighty years of age."Mr. Policeman," says the man, "I'm not a priest. I'm not even a Catholic. But for fifty years now I'm living behind St. Mary's Catholic Church on Third Avenue, and every night I'm listening to the Catholic litany. Maybe I can be of some comfort to this man."
The policeman agrees and brings the octogenarian over to the dying man. He kneels down, leans over the injured and says in a solemn voice:
"B - 4.
I - 19.
N - 38.
G - 54.
O - 72."
Last week, we took some friends out to a new restaurant, and noticed that the waiter who took our order carried a spoon in his shirt pocket. It seemed a little strange, but I ignored it. However when the busboy brought out water and utensils, I noticed he also had a spoon in his shirt pocket, then I looked around the room and saw that all the staff had spoons in their pockets.
When the waiter came back to serve our soup I asked, "Why the spoon?"
"Well," he explained, "the restaurant's owners hired some Efficiency Consultants in order to revamp all our processes. After several months of statistical analysis, they concluded that the spoon was the most frequently dropped utensil. This represents a drop frequency of approximately 3 spoons per table per hour. If our personnel are prepared to deal with that contingency, we can reduce the number of trips back to the kitchen and save 15 man-hours per shift.
As luck would have it I dropped my spoon and he was able to replace it with his spare spoon. "I'll get another spoon next time I go to the kitchen instead of making an extra trip to get it right now." I was rather impressed.
I noticed that there was a very thin string hanging out of the waiter's fly. Looking around, I noticed that all the waiters had the same string hanging from their flies. My curiosity got the better of me and before he walked off, I asked the waiter, "Excuse me, but can you tell me why you have that string right there?"
"Oh certainly!" he answered, lowering his voice. "Not everyone is as observant as you. That consulting firm I mentioned also found out that we can save time in the restroom." "How so?" "See," he continued, "by tying this string to the tip of your you know what, we can pull it out over the urinal without touching it and that way eliminate the need to wash the hands, shortening the time spent in the restroom by 76.39 percent."
After you get it out, how do you put it back?"
"Well," he whispered, lowering his voice even further, "I don't know about the others, but I use the spoon."
Do you know your HYMNS?
Dentist's Hymn..................Crown Him with Many Crowns
Weatherman's Hymn...There Shall Be Showers of Blessings
Contractor's Hymn..............The Church's One Foundation
The Tailor's Hymn......................Holy, Holy, Holy
The Golfer's Hymn............There's a Green Hill Far Away
The Politician's Hymn...............Standing on the Promises
Optometrist's Hymn..........Open My Eyes That I Might See
The IRS Agent's Hymn.................I Surrender All
The Gossip's Hymn.....................Pass It On
The Electrician's Hymn.................Send The Light
The Shopper's Hymn....................Sweet Bye and Bye
The Realtor's Hymn. . . . . . I've Got a Mansion Just over the Hilltop
The Massage Therapists Hymn . . . ......He Touched Me
The Doctor's Hymn......................The Great Physician
AND for those who speed on the highway - a few hymns:
45mph....................God Will Take Care of You
65mph....................Nearer My God To Thee
85mph....................This World Is Not My Home
95mph....................Lord, I'm Coming Home
100mph.... ........ ....Precious Memories
School Is Out For Summer
And then it wasn't. And just like that it was the first day of school after summer vacation.
The kids had all arrived in the high school sophomore English class, and were chatting away, making new friends. THEN&In walked a very stern looking English teacher and a hush fell over the room as the kids scurried to their seats.
The stern teacher silently panned his gaze across all the kids.
After about a minute or so, he spoke: "From the outset, I want you all to know that there are two words that are absolutely unacceptable in this classroom.
You cannot use them as you recite, or in any of your papers, tests, or homework. Using these words even once, will get you a failing grade for that quarter.
The first one is "gross".
And the other one is "cool".
Are there any questions?"
After a few moments of silence, this gawky teen at the back of the room raises his hand, and the teacher calls upon him.
In a pubescent croaking voice, the kid asks...
"So, what are they?"
In the year 2010, the Lord came unto Noah, who was now living in Australia , and said: "Once again, the earth has become wicked and over-populated, and I see the end of all flesh before me. Build another Ark and save 2 of every living thing along with a few good humans."
He gave Noah the blueprints, saying, "You have 6 months to build the Ark before I will start the unending rain for 40 days and 40 nights.
Six months later, the Lord looked down and saw Noah weeping in his yard - but no Ark.
Noah!" he roared. I'm about to start the rain! Where is the Ark ?"
"Forgive me, Lord," begged Noah, "but things have changed. I needed a building permit. I've been arguing with the inspector about the need for a sprinkler system. My neighbors claim that I've violated the neighbourhood zoning laws by building the Ark in my yard and exceeding the height limitations. We had to go to the Development Appeal Board for a decision. Then the Department of Transportation demanded a bond be posted for the future costs of moving power lines and other overhead obstructions, to clear the passage for the Ark 's move to the sea. I told them that the sea would be coming to us, but they would hear nothing of it. Getting the wood was another problem. There's a ban on cutting local trees in order to save the spotted owl. I tried to convince the environmentalists that I needed the wood to save the owls - but no go! When I started gathering the animals, an animal rights' group sued me. They insisted that I was confining wild animals against their will. They argued the accommodations were too restrictive, and it was cruel and inhumane to put so many animals in a confined space. Then the EPA ruled that I couldn't build the Ark until they'd conducted an environmental impact study on your proposed flood. I'm still trying to resolve a complaint with the Human Rights Commission on how many minorities I'm supposed to hire for my building crew. Immigration and Naturalisation are checking the residential status of most of the people who want to work. The trades unions say I can't use my sons. They insist I have to hire only Union workers with Ark-building experience. To make matters worse, the Tax Office seized all my assets, claiming I'm trying to leave the country illegally with endangered species.
So, forgive me, Lord, but it would take at least 10 years for me to finish this Ark. "
Suddenly the skies cleared, the sun began to shine, and a rainbow stretched across the sky. Noah looked up in wonder and asked, "You mean you're not going to destroy the world?"
"No," said the Lord. "The Government beat me to it."
Headline of the day: There was a shootout in The Gap. There were many casual-tees.
A new doctor had arrived in town. He could cure anything and anybody. Everyone was amazed with what he could do - everyone except for Mr. Thompson, the town skeptic. Grumpy old Mr. Thompson went to visit this 'miracle doctor' to prove that he wasn't anybody special.
When it was time for his appointment he told the doctor, "Hey, doc, I've lost my sense of taste. I can't taste nothin', so what are ya goin' to do?"
The doctor scratched his head and mumbled to himself a little, then told Mr. Thompson, "What you need is jar number 47." So the doctor brought the jar out, opened it, and told Mr. Thompson to taste it.
He tasted it and immediately spit it out, "This is gross!" he yelled.
"Looks like I just restored your sense of taste Mr. Thompson," said the doctor.
So Mr. Thompson went home.... very mad.
One month later, Mr. Thompson decides to go back to the doctor and try once again to expose him as a fake, by complaining of a new problem.
"Doc," he started, "I can't remember anything!"
Thinking he had the doctor stumped now, he waited as the doctor scratched his head, mumbled to himself a little, and told Mr. Thompson, "What you need is jar number 47, it's......"
But before the doctor could finish his sentence, Mr. Thompson was cured and fled the room.