Wednesday, August 29, 2012

A festive visit to the Republican Convention

Last night we were treated to a festive visit to the Republican Convention.  Mrs. Romney was clearly passionate and well rehearsed in her insistence that, despite all appearances, her husband is a human being.  I for one am convinced.  I wish the Romney family all the best, and remain convinced that, given the opportunity, the Romney family is entirely willing and well prepared to repopulate the entire planet should that prove necessary.          Personally, I found Mr. Christie less convincing, although I agree, Mr. Christie is not easy to love.  Mr. Christie suggested that, in his opinion, the civic minded teachers and professional service providers of our country are entirely satisfied with stagnant, insufficient salaries, and that they’re entirely content to continue providing their services well past the age of 70, and that, in any case, they don’t do it for the money anyway. That seems unlikely to me, but we will take Mr. Christie at his word.  Mr. Christie further suggests, that the senior citizens of our country are also extremely civic minded, and would gladly work at some fast food place or on Wal*Mart’s third shift, without insurance or benefits of any kind, well into their 70s, in order to see to it that multimillionaires can receive additional tax relief.  Again I am skeptical, but who am I to argue with Mr. Christie?  And finally Mr. Christie insists it doesn’t really matter how we got here. And this too may be entirely accurate, if it’s also true that the entire country is too ignorant to learn from a series of gross miscalculations which have bankrupted the country for generations and left a huge portion of the population homeless.  SC

The very last thing they want!

The most dangerous threats to our country today are not the few controversial issues that divide us, but the bigots and hate mongers who deliberately inflame those issues for that very purpose. By definition, issues are divisive as a result of varying viewpoints. In a free society, such matters are reconciled through reason and compromise.  In today’s polarized political climate, these issues become invaluable weapons in the hands of those who intend to win at any cost. For their purposes, the peaceful resolution of these passion infused issues is the very last thing they want.  SC 

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Choose one. It couldn't be more simple.

On one hand, the upcoming election is wildly complicated and unpredictable, turning on a poorly turned phrase here, an unexpected stock market bump there, and all variety of unforeseeable circumstances.  On the other hand, it couldn’t be more simple. We’ll either elect people who will continue our recovery, investing in our country, rebuilding the middle class, and  reinforcing the American ideals of liberty and justice for all; or we’ll elect people who will write off the middle class entirely, sucking the last dime from our economy and squirreling it neatly away in their own offshore accounts.  This election can be about a few hot button issues that rarely affect most of us, or it can be about our vision for our future. We can elect people who reach out in civility in search of constructive answers to the difficult questions which confront us, or we can elect those who deliberately widen the growing abyss, finding fault, promoting hatred, and accumulating unimaginable power and wealth.  Which would you prefer?  SC 

Sunday, August 26, 2012

The pure, unadulterated facts as I understand them

The following represent the pure, unadulterated facts as I understand them.  Of course, it’s a sad fact that’s impervious to improvement.
   First of all, assuming just for a moment, that I’ve gleaned some bit of wisdom from my long, illustrious career as a vagrant, I’ll share a few thoughts on living a satisfying life. First of all, set aside a bright, roomy section of your mind and fill it with all your best memories.  Visit it often and never enter without first removing your shoes.  Keep it immaculate and it will serve you well. Share it with your Deity, whatever you perceive him to be.
   Sharpen your awareness of the natural wonders that surround us, and encourage it’s appreciation in others. Be cognizant of life’s cycles, appreciating each new season in turn, while realizing fully that despite our best efforts, time is resolute, and with time, each season will pass. Embrace each new season with hope and optimism, while retaining all that’s best of seasons past.
   Do not be drawn into meaningless, futile, debilitating debates with loud, obnoxious people, especially on Facebook. Just consider the source and when possible avoid their venting. Their noise is a noxious vapor, and repulsed silence is often the appropriate response. I have good news.  Your loudmouth neighbor, your loudmouth in-law, and the loudmouth in your Sunday school class, all have one thing in common; they don’t know squat!  They’re just noisy!  Relax and ignore them, and don’t encourage their clamor.  Be mindful of your example to others; it’s your most effective testimony.  Value truth and consider the cost of deceit. 
   Cherish and reverently exercise your right to vote and keep this country free!  Many people have given their lives in order to secure the freedoms you enjoy today.  Honor their sacrifice.  Honor our veterans and all those who choose a life of service. Honor individuality, revere tolerance and exhort all those who lift up the cause of freedom. Confront ignorance, and be diligent in the advancement of knowledge.  Ignorance and intolerance are almost inseparable, and despite what some will tell you, neither one is a virtue. Positive outcomes are never achieved through negative actions. Respond to others, as you’d have them respond to you. 
   Be open to affection but wary of unwholesome pleasures. And do not be deceived. Deceit is ephemeral; lies and indiscretions will eventually come to light. Every action has a consequence.  When considering any action, before proceeding, think the scenario through to its logical conclusion.  You can never undo a thoughtless deed, and carelessly sewn seeds produce a ponderous harvest!
   Anything that you are unable to do in good conscience and moderation, do not do!  Eat nutritiously and judiciously, consistently burning more calories than you consume, until you’ve achieved your ideal weight, and you will be healthier, more industrious, more prosperous, more popular, profoundly gratified, and gut wrenchingly contented.  It’s what all the ages have striven for.
   In all things, promote liberty for all, and justice tempered with mercy.  In this country, everyone has the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
   Celebrate ethnicity; take pride in your heritage, but value the traditions of others.  Our country’s greatest strength is diversity; honor diversity and keep America strong. While I am generally conservative in my own actions, I am passionately liberal in defense of the choices of others. Personal choices, that’s what freedom is. Remember always that you are as good as any and better than none. Be just, merciful, humble, and be happy.
   Am I happy?  Why, I’m happy as a bug on the bow of a boat!  Have you ever watched a grasshopper at the bow of a boat, when the old steamer is churning along at a good clip, the hull is pounding the cobalt blue water into a fine spray and the shore is sailing by; and that old grasshopper is clinging to the railing for dear life, his little antennae are trailing in the wind, his molars are all catching sunlight, his eyes are glazed over and glistening in grateful satisfaction, and the tobacco juice is streaming out the corners of his mouth and collecting in his whiskers and his ears?  Now that’s happy!  SC

Four essential human freedoms

"We look forward to a world founded upon four essential human freedoms.... freedom of speech and expression...freedom of every person to worship God in his own way...freedom from want...freedom from fear."  Franklin Roosevelt 

Some of the truly wealthy avoid paying their fair share

"We're going to close the unproductive tax loopholes that allow some of the truly wealthy to avoid paying their fair share. In theory, some of those loopholes were understandable, but in practice they sometimes made it possible for millionaires to pay nothing, while a bus driver was paying ten percent of his salary, and that's crazy. <...> Do you think the millionaire ought to pay more in taxes than the bus driver or less?"

-- President Ronald Reagan, June 1985

A few Texas oil millionaires

President Dwight D. Eisenhower

"Should any political party attempt to abolish social security, unemployment insurance, and eliminate labor laws and farm programs, you would not hear of that party again in our political history. There is a tiny splinter group, of course, that believes that you can do these things. Among them are a few Texas oil millionaires, and an occasional politician or businessman from other areas. Their number is negligible and they are stupid."
President Dwight D. Eisenhower

Thursday, August 23, 2012


Go placidly amid the noise and the haste, 
and remember what peace there may be in silence.
As far as possible, without surrender, 
be on good terms with all persons. 
Speak your truth quietly and clearly; 
and listen to others, 
even to the dull and the ignorant; 
they too have their story. 
Avoid loud and aggressive persons; 
they are vexatious to the spirit.
If you compare yourself with others, 
you may become vain or bitter, 
for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself. 
Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans. 
Keep interested in your own career, however humble; 
it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.
Exercise caution in your business affairs, 
for the world is full of trickery. 
But let this not blind you to what virtue there is; 
many persons strive for high ideals, 
and everywhere life is full of heroism. 
Be yourself. Especially do not feign affection. 
Neither be cynical about love, 
for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment, 
it is as perennial as the grass.
Take kindly the counsel of the years, 
gracefully surrendering the things of youth. 
Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune. 
But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings. 
Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.
Beyond a wholesome discipline, 
be gentle with yourself. 
You are a child of the universe 
no less than the trees and the stars; 
you have a right to be here. 
And whether or not it is clear to you, 
no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.
Therefore be at peace with God, 
whatever you conceive Him to be. 
And whatever your labors and aspirations, 
in the noisy confusion of life, 
keep peace in your soul. 
With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams, 
it is still a beautiful world. 
Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.
-- written by Max Ehrmann in the 1920s --

Wednesday, August 22, 2012


Every reform movement has a lunatic fringe.
Theodore Roosevelt


“While I was cooking supper the old man took a swig or two and got sort of warmed up, and went to ripping again. He had been drunk over in town, and laid in the gutter all night, and he was a sight to look at. A body would a thought he was Adam -- he was just all mud. Whenever his liquor begun to work he most always went for the govment. This time he says: --"Call this a govment! why, just look at it and see what it's like. –- A man can't get his rights in a govment like this. Sometimes I've a mighty notion to just leave the country for good and all. Yes, and I TOLD 'em so; I told old Thatcher so to his face. Lots of 'em heard me, and can tell what I said. Says I, for two cents I'd leave the blamed country and never come a-near it agin. Them's the very words. -- "Oh, yes, this is a wonderful govment, wonderful.-- It was 'lection day, and I was just about to go and vote myself if I warn't too drunk to get there; but when they told me there was a State in this country where they'd let that nigger vote, I drawed out. I says I'll never vote agin. Them's the very words I said; they all heard me; and the country may rot for all me --I'll never vote agin as long as I live."--Pap was a going on so he never noticed where his old limber legs was taking him to, so he went head-over-
heels over the tub of salt pork and barked both shins, and the rest of his speech was all the hottest kind of language.”
{selected excerpts from chapter 6 of Huckleberry Finn} 

Tuesday, August 21, 2012


It may not be morning in America, but it’s time to wake up! Yes, this is another political post. This is only Facebook, you’re not obliged to read it. So, you’re frustrated and disgusted with the barrage of negative ads.  I don’t blame you, who isn’t?  But don’t let that keep you from voting.  This election is way too important. I have a few; hopefully productive thoughts to share, and then I’ll leave you to enjoy your America’s Got Talent reruns. First of all, many of you have noticed, politics has changed.  Neither party exists today in its original form.  These are not your granddad’s political parties, they’ve morphed into cutthroat, and anything goes conglomerates, through an unimaginable infusion of money. This has left well-meaning people on all sides, maintaining loyalties to entities which no longer exist. I’m not suggesting you give up your party affiliation, but it’s time to revisit your support. Religion has also become increasingly entangled in politics.  I’d be the last one to suggest that you can separate your religious beliefs and convictions from your political views; nobody can.  I would suggest, before you vote based on some religious bias you picked up from your dear, old granddad’s corn-fed faith, first read Christ’s message for yourself and make certain your views are rooted in Christ’s message of compassion and mercy from actual scripture, and not just some bigoted nonsense that someone passed on because it was family tradition and widely accepted in the community. If you’re entirely fed up with all the candidates, just familiarize yourself with the party platforms, and then support the candidates whose platform best reflects your vision for the country. It’s your country and your future that are at stake.  I’d love to keep this all neat and nonpartisan, but I can’t. We have a president who has taken an economy from the brink of disaster and slowly but steadily achieved improvement, and we have a candidate who has offered only obstruction.  We have a president who believes everyone should have affordable health care, and we have a candidate who once believed that, before he changed his mind.  We have a president who believes women are competent to make their own health care decisions, and we have a candidate who once believed that, before he changed his mind. We have a President who supports sustainable Social Security, and we have a candidate who agrees with the Tea Party’s assertion that Social Security represents an unnecessary drain on their income and should be privatized.  We have a President who realizes that being blessed with citizenship in the greatest country in the world offers benefits, and that people of means should contribute toward the expense of those benefits, and we have a candidate who keeps his money overseas to hide income and avoid taxes.  I support our President and I encourage you to do the same.  SC

Sunday, August 19, 2012


Mathew 6: 19-24
Treasures in Heaven
19“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. 20But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
22“The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are good, your whole body will be full of light. 23But if your eyes are bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness!
24“No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money.”
Most have chosen money.  It may not be morning in America, but it’s time to wake up. Over the last decade our country has become evenly divided and hostility has been deliberately instilled in both sides.  This was not done by people serving God, but by those serving money. The lines have been drawn, the stage set, and the curtain is going up.  The faltering economy, combined with drought, failed crops, shortages, unaffordable and escalating prices, and an unparalleled climate of hatred worldwide, do not bode well for our country or the world.  Over the months ahead, these conditions are likely to become a perfect storm. Make what preparations you can.  If you’re a praying person, I suggest you pray.  SC
This has become a mighty lonely outpost.  Shut off the light when you leave.

Thursday, August 16, 2012


Photos by SC

I'd dearly love to tell ya,
This well dates from biblical times,
But since I dug it myself,
that would be a stretch!

How Dry Is It?

Photo by SC

It's so dry, our grasshoppers have give up chewin!
They're so parched they can't spit ner swaller!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012


We walked back to what's left of the pond,
And Mamma deliberately rolled me in the mud.

Does God answer prayer?

We could argue until the cows come home, over whether or not God answers prayer.  Some of you would enjoy that tremendously. Of course that would be silly and counterproductive.  There is clearly substantial evidence on either side. I will freely admit that the majority of my prayers are selfish, and if they’ve received an answer at all, the answer was evidently no.   Although this debate is clearly relevant, regardless of any evidence of divine intervention on my behalf, for me personally, each and every day of my life is unquestionably more peaceful, productive, and rewarding when I am faithful, thankful, and prayerful, and for me, that is sufficient.  SC

Monday, August 13, 2012

It turns out the proverbial cat is a Trojan horse.

The proverbial cat is out of the bag now.  We’ve seen the VP choice, we know where he stands, and we’ve witnessed his coronation; So much for “Compassionate” conservatives.  It turns out the proverbial cat is a Trojan horse.  SC


Evidently there are actually people in our country today who are comfortable with the idea that, in their war against socialism, the poor and the elderly are simply collateral damage.  Do you believe that? This may be a good time for a reality check.  Take a moment and envision your grandparents or some other elderly couple that you hold dear, rummaging frantically through their home in search of their keys and teeth, and hoping to get a ride into their jobs, at some fast food place or Wal*Mart’s third shift. Have you got that picture in your mind?  Can you see people who’ve spent 30 or 40 years in the workforce, now faced to reenter it, because they’ve had their Social Security and Medicare benefits stolen?  Bear in mind, in many cases these are elderly, semi senile people, arthritic and plagued with pains, and now they’re faced with finding new jobs in an impossible job market, or starving to death and becoming just one more embarrassing statistic. This is not the America I know.  The Americans I know, particularly people of means who profess to be Christians, would be willing to chip in a few bucks each month to make certain this godforsaken scenario never happens. Of course, I could be wrong, come November I guess we’ll find out.  SC

Wednesday, August 8, 2012


My native country, thee,
Land of the noble free,
Thy name I love;
I love thy rocks and rills,
Thy woods and templed hills;
My heart with rapture thrills,
Like that above.

My country, 'tis of thee,
Sweet land of liberty,
Of thee I sing;
Land where my father’s died,
Land of the pilgrims' pride,
From every mountainside
Let freedom ring!

Samuel Francis Smith
July 4, 1831


Tuesday, August 7, 2012


The most divisive, polarizing, irreconcilable issue in our society today is abortion. Abortion is horrendous, and anyone who believes otherwise is misinformed.  But picture a hungry and unwanted child surrounded by squalor, with a halo of flies and a filthy, maggot filled diaper, crying pitifully to a mother who no longer cares.  Picture this mother already pregnant again, and multiply this horrific scene by unimaginable numbers. Picture a 12 year old girl, already the victim of sexual abuse, and now facing the trauma of an unwanted pregnancy while she herself is only an innocent child. This too is abhorrent. The answer is not to hate those who believe each of these scenarios is unacceptable. The answer is to take every peaceful, positive, productive step necessary to minimize both scenarios. If passionate people on both sides of this issue come together in a reasonable, constructive effort to address, not just the symptoms, but the underlying problems, one of our country's darkest chapters is behind us.  SC

There will be tests ahead. Here is your comprehensive cheat sheet.

1 Corinthians 13
13 If I speak in the tongues[a] of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast,[b] but do not have love, I gain nothing. Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10 but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. 11 When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. 12 For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known. 13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.  GOD

Monday, August 6, 2012

Two distinct categories.

There are many, many people in the world today, by some accounts, too many. It occurs to me that most fit neatly into one of two categories: those who freely confess to their own considerable shortcomings, and those who much prefer pointing out the shortcomings of others. I am the exception. While I generally aspire to the more admirable of the two assemblies, I’m entirely at home in either.  SC 

Hate burns brightly, and well-meaning people too often mistake it for light. SC

If you consider yourself a Christian, but find that your actions are frequently driven by hatred rather than love, best consider your motives, because you’re not serving Christ.  The following is an excerpt from Max Lucado’s book, “The Greatest Moments In The Life Of Christ”: “John tells of a time the disciples applied a label.  Jesus and his followers came upon a man who had been blind from birth.  Here is the question the disciples asked Jesus:  “Teacher, whose sin caused this man to be born blind- his own sin or his parents’ sin?” (John 9:2).  Never mind that the man is a beggar in need of help.  Never mind that the man seated in front of them is in earshot of their voices.  How could they be so harsh?  The answer?  (You may not like this) It’s easier to talk about a person than to help a person.  It’s easier to debate homosexuality than to be a friend to a gay person.  It’s easier to discuss divorce than to help the divorced.    It’s easier to argue abortion than to support an orphanage.  It’s easier to label than to love.  What if God did that with us?” Max Lucado

A Better Way

  • Hand in hand, united we stand, in peaceful resistance to hate. Join us.

      • Edward Drapkin Sr. Alas, as more people join your movement, more hatred will be directed towards it. Look at the early Christian church as an example.
        48 minutes ago ·

      • Shannon Casebeer I have and will, and am pledged to reach out anyway. God is Love, and Love will persevere.
        42 minutes ago ·

      • Edward Drapkin Sr. Don't get me wrong. I applaud your efforts and stand with you. I just don't want you to be hurt or caught unawares when the other side fights back.
        26 minutes ago · · 1

      • Shannon Casebeer There is no "other side", there are only those who have yet to join us.
        9 minutes ago ·

        • Edward Drapkin Sr. There are those who have (very successfully) use hate to achieve their purposes. They will not give that up without a fight.
          19 minutes ago · · 1
        • Edward Drapkin Sr. Standing up for what you believe in, especially when you are right, ALWAYS generates a backlash.
          17 minutes ago ·
        • Shannon Casebeer Hate is the tool of the wicked. Hate may prosper for a time, but love and justice prevail.
          11 minutes ago ·
        • Edward Drapkin Sr. True. But while this world remains, There will always be wickedness and hate. That is the way the Creator intended it. We can only guess at His purpose for making it so.
          9 minutes ago ·
        • Shannon Casebeer Micah 6:8 says, "Do justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with your God." As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.

Hand in hand, united we stand, in peaceful resistance to hate. Join us.

Reach out.


Walt Whitman (1819-1892) was an American poet, essayist, and journalist, and, by most reports, gay.  Mr. Whitman volunteered as a nurse during the Civil War.  Does he look like a threat to you?  The most basic of all human rights and needs is family.  How can it possibly be considered “Pro-family” to suggest that some people should be denied the most basic of all human rights? Marriage is primarily about religious considerations and the establishment of a legally recognized bond, or family.  Family ties become legally recognized through traditional marriage, childbirth, civil unions, adoptions, and the documented merging of preexisting families, due to divorce, remarriage, and all variety of unforeseeable circumstances. In chapter 6 of his book, “Mere Christianity” C. S. Lewis writes, “In my view, there ought to be two distinct kinds of marriage: one governed by the state with rules enforced on all citizens, the other governed by the church with rules enforced by her on her own members.” Despite the fact that a high percentage of today’s traditional marriages end in divorce, today’s families are vibrant, healthy, and many faceted, and to suggest that “traditional” families are blessed by God, and others are not, is an outdated and unacceptable perversion of the American ideal of “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” SC  

Friday, August 3, 2012

I Believe I'll Just Go Fishin'!

I've been an active church member for over thirty years, but If being an accepted member of a "Christian" church these days, requires an oath of allegiance to people like Karl Rove, Rush Limbaugh, and the Koch Brothers, the repudiation of the American ideals of “Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of happiness”, and the negation of Christ’s call for justice, compassion, and mercy, then no thanks, I believe I’ll just go fishin’! 

If being a passionate advocate for people’s rights, as afforded them by the U. S. Constitution and America’s historical documents, makes me a Liberal, then by God I’m guilty as charged.  And if my options for eternity are to spend it with either talented, good-natured folks like Nathan Lane and Ellen DeGeneres, or belligerent losers like Dick Cheney and Ann Coulter, well that’s a mighty easy choice. SC

Prejudice, Bigotry, and Narrow-mindedness

Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness,
and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts.
Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime.
~ Mark Twain

Hate mongers, racists, and bigots,

Empower the devil and bring the righteous to tears. 

Social intolerance is no longer just a disease; it’s a plague of biblical proportions.  Many have become convinced that hatred, racism, bigotry and intolerance are all just fine. Many hear them promoted in their churches. Micah 6:8 says: “He has shown you, O man, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.  SC