...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.
Wednesday, October 31, 2012
Haiku I used to read to my kids.
Tuesday, October 30, 2012
They may be less attractive, they may lean a little this way or that, they may have parts missing, or even holes in the roof or siding, but there they sit, a reminder to us of times past. I brake for a barn of this type, and the next time you see one, gaze safely as you drive by, or maybe stop and take a good long look.
In a way they remind me of humans, who get older, and change in appearance and stability, but yet continue to provide a vital contribution to the understanding of what has gone before. Enjoy these barns, all of whom are Sentinels of Time, aging in place, across the plains of Iowa.
This is my mom and me in 1943 in front of the house on East Sixth. I would have been 1 1/2 years old.
|Fifth grade (probably)|
|I got the glasses in sixth grade so this was probably taken in Atlantic, Iowa|
|Ginny riding my cousin John's pony in Adel|
|Not sure when this was taken but I am sure we had a struggle to get her in a dress.|
|Jay and Ginny and Boots in Jackson, Nebraska.|
Boots was a beagle puppy who was run over on the dirt road that ran in front of the house we rented.
|Ginny's Christmas Doll house.|
Monday, October 29, 2012
BG laughed at me when I got on his chair to check them out.
BG knew how to get me to warm up to them. He showed them where the treats were.
Hearts United for Animals (where I used to live) to pick me up and bring me home. I warmed up to him pretty fast. BG told me that he has 10 dogs and a cat. Wow, what a guy.
I wasn't sure about him at all, Nosiree, not at all.
So he went back to the cat, who loves men and would not give up on him and I made out with my old friend. Still not sure so the tail stayed down.
I decided to crawl back up on BG's chair to say good-bye. It was a nice visit.
Sunday, October 28, 2012
|L. to R. Forrest "Pappy Heuer, Harold Leighton, Kenneth L. Smith, John Harris Watts, Tom Corothers, ? , Jerry Marsengill|
OK, I am being just a little bit different with this post. Rather than an individual I am saluting a group. A group that has been around for a long time but which represents the very best of our society. The Masonic Fraternity's origins are shrouded in mystery. (In actual fact they aren't, it is just that the mythology surrounding it contributes to the mystery.) But there really is nothing mysterious about the fraternity.
Its stated purpose is to make good men better. Get it. They start with good men. Bad people need not apply. The candidate for Masonry is investigated to see if he will be a good "fit", if his motives are pure and if they can work with others to improve themselves and the world.
To become a Mason there are two requirements; First you must believe in a Supreme Being, and second you must ASK to join this Society of Obligated Men. It does not matter what you call the Supreme Being. (Men of all religions meet together and the discussion of religion and politics are prohibited in the Lodge.) And while restrictions have been relaxed in recent years and people may suggest that you might want to petition the Lodge, there is still a petition which must be filled out to request the privilege of joining the Fraternity.
There is always a philanthropic facet to these salutes. From Wikipedia.
The fraternity is widely involved in charity and community service activities. In contemporary times, money is collected only from the membership, and is to be devoted to charitable purposes. Freemasonry worldwide disburses substantial charitable amounts to non-Masonic charities, locally, nationally and internationally. In earlier centuries, however, charitable funds were collected more on the basis of a Provident or Friendly Society, and there were elaborate regulations to determine a petitioner's eligibility for consideration for charity, according to strictly Masonic criteria.
Some examples of Masonic charities include:
In addition to these, there are thousands of philanthropic organisations around the world created by Freemasons. The Masonic Service Association, the Masonic Medical Research Laboratory, and the Shriners Hospitals for Children are especially notable charitable endeavours that Masons have founded and continue to support both intellectually and monetarily.
If you Google How much money do the Masons give to charity you get this answer:
In the USA, the Freemasons give approximately $2 million US dollars per day to charitable causes.
I also found this on a site which tells a lot about what Masons do for Charity.
Ok, for all of you Masonic Conspiracy nuts. I must say, you were right!! I'm a Mason, and I heard something in a Lodge last night that blew my mind, so this morning I looked it up, and apparently it is correct!
So, here is the big Conspiracy.....
Masons, and there(sic) appendent bodies contribute close to $5 million per day to Charity work nationwide! This includes things like the MMRL cutting edge heart chemistry research and the Shriner's Hospitals for kids.
But, it doesn't stop with just a couple of big ones. It also includes Many Others such as the increasing children cancer survival rates from 10% to 70% at a research center in Minnesota. It includes schools for young women. It includes sponsoring organ donation. It includes hearing devices for kids.
But, it doesn't stop there either. Not even close. Each little sub-group and sub-sub-group of Masonry has their own pet charities. Things like the Royal Arch Research Philanthropy that is currently donating funds to Univ. or Connecticut and organizations like Autism Speaks. Then there is Cryptic Masonic Medical Research.... scary name, but not when you realize they are funding the Indiana Center for Vascular Biology and Medicine (ICVBM), which is located at the Indiana University School of Medicine in Indianapolis, Indiana. WOW!
So, is it all Medical Research and Hospitals? NO!!
Lodge community and family relationship renewals. Some areas are seeking out ways to better connect with families and communities and help in ways specific to each community. Here's a Lodge funding Special Olympics and Community Learning Centers.
Here in my town alone, Mason's help to organize and fund Springtime Tallahassee as a community event and parade, plus the Scottish Highland Games, plus the Mother's Day 5k.
So, $5M per day from Masonic interests and endeavors, is it all about the money? NO!!
What else do Mason's do?
Just one Shrine Temple
What about Driving kids and their families to the hospitals? Fundraising for crime victims? Replacing Christmas Presents for robbery victims? Participating in Church events? Escorting Fallen Police Officers? Volunteering in Retirement Homes? Helping with Hospice Care? Visiting folks in the Hospitals and just sitting and talking? Conducting Clown Schools, and providing Clown Services free of charge?
What about the personal things each and every Mason does on their own time, as a person, but also as a good and upright Mason? Things like visiting their homebound brethren? Things like pitching in to remodel someone's home? Things like taking an acquaintance into one's own home when they fall on hard times?
I have personally seen every one of these things done right here in my own town. The $5M per day number was shocking to me last night. Shocking in a GREAT WAY, but still shocking, but now that I think about it, the $5M per day is probably small in comparison to what 2 million US Masons do on a daily basis, voluntarily, by their own will and accord, as part of their daily duties, and they never consider it as charity. They just consider it part of their lives without giving it a second thought.
This Masonic Conspiracy thing is larger, and more rampant than even I imagined, and Thank God that it is!!
Freemasonry is an institution calculated to benefit mankind
Masonry is an art, useful and extensive, which comprehends within its circle every branch of useful knowledge and learning, and stamps an indelible mark of preeminence on its genuine professors, which neither
chance, power, nor fortune can bestow
We represent a fraternity which believes in justice and truth and honourable action in your community... men who are endeavouring to be better citizens... to make a great country greater. This is the only institution in the world where we can meet on the level all sorts of people who want to live rightly
Although I hold the highest civil honour in the world,
I have always regarded my rank and title as a Past Grand Master of Masons the greatest honour that had ever come to me
Michelle Obama Audrey Hepburn Princess Diana Harry S Truman
John Shelby Spong Nelson Mandella Rachael Maddow Matt Damon
Jehan Sadat Jane Goodall Mohandas Gandhi
Eleanor Roosevelt Lyndon B. Johnson Michelle Obama
Helen Hayes Marion Wright Edelman Bishop Gene Robinson
Bishop Desmond Tutu Rachel Carson Helen Keller
Martin Luther King, Jr Dalai Lama Dag Hammarskjold
Saturday, October 27, 2012
I took the obligatory picture of my meal and posted it to Facebook to make everyone jealous. In addition there was a lovely salad, delicious bread and puff pastry, and a tiny sliver of pecan pie for dessert. It was wonderful and easily the best meal I have had in several months.
here. Our group was a little smaller than usual due to many conflicts but it was nice to be with the group and we all had a great time.