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Archive for November, 2015


Call him an idiotic, naive flake–he’s being called worse things in the current hostile American climate because of his comments in his performance with his sons on the night he received the prestigious Gershwin award. (See here for details.)

We need artists, creative visionaries, independent, non-corforming thinkers and peacemakers like Willie Nelson more than ever.

This is because he’s got more integrity and courage in his little guitar-picking finger that any of his chest-thumping attackers–and certainly more than any American politician alive.

(This message was approved by Jesus Christ, the visionary Prince of Peace.)

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Your Survey of the Day, From Forbes Magazine, 1938

Your Survey of the Day, From Forbes Magazine, 1938

(CNN) — “Donald Trump thinks the United States should accept some refugees from Syria due to the ‘unbelievable humanitarian problem.’

“Trump has made anti-immigration rhetoric a cornerstone of his campaign, but the Republican presidential candidate said Tuesday evening that though the migrants could pose a security risk — floating the idea that there may be individuals with ties to Islamic militants — he supported allowing them into America.

“I hate the concept of it, but on a humanitarian basis, with what’s happening, you have to,” Trump said to Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly.”

— Donald Trump on Sept. 9, 2015

So weeks ago he was all for taking in the Syrian refugees, telling O’Reilly, “You have to.”

But that was then. All that has changed since September is that one killer in France may have posed as a Syrian refugee.

(Repeat: “may have.” That story has never been confirmed but is being spread by fear-mongers with aversions to stuff like facts as the gospel truth.)

At any rate, Trump flips and flops more than your average dolphin, but so it goes politics–even though he keeps telling us he’s not a politician.

Here’s Flipper’s new and improved position on taking in Syrian refugees:

Washington (CNN)Donald Trump says he’s now more against allowing Syrian refugees into the U.S. than ever, warning it could be a way for terrorists to sneak into the country.

“We have no idea who these people are, we are the worst when it comes to paperwork,” Trump said Monday on CNBC. “This could be one of the great Trojan horses.”

Trump has been saying for weeks on the campaign trail that the U.S. should not accept refugees from the civil war torn country, and he says he’s only standing by that position stronger in the wake of the horrific terrorist attacks in Paris.

At least six of the suspects in the Paris attack have ties to Syria, according to French affiliate BFM, and at least one is believed to have entered Europe with refugees.

“We cannot let them into this country, period,” Trump said Monday. “Our country has tremendous problems. We can’t have another problem.”

————

That other leading presidential contender and politician who claims he’s not a politician, Dr. Ben Carson, is not helping the refugee debate by misstating the facts about who the Syrian refugees are.

He, and so many others who are either ignorant of the facts or willfully misrepresenting them, keep spreading the lie that “the majority of Syrian refugees are “young males.”

According the break-down of the registered 4 million refugees, women in fact outnumber men, and children 11 years and younger, male and female, account for 38.5 percent of all the refugees.

Read that again: 40 percent are children under 11 who’ve never bombed or killed anybody, but who’ve been displaced by the real killers who should be the objects of our fear.

————

I can understand why some people would be apprehensive about taking in the Syrians–even Trump expressed apprehension when he was all for taking them in.

But I can’t understand how this country of ours keeps reacting out of paranoia and knee-jerk emotionalism to every crisis that pops up.

But then, history has a way of repeating itself–ugly American history included.

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My faith has always been based on the belief that we’re all broken people, all living in a broken, violent world of people in need of God’s endless love, extravagant grace and tender mercies.

My hope and prayer is that we seek peace with even-handed justice and not with evil for evil.

    Lord in your mercy, hear the cries of people who are suffering and so in need of your mercies, whoever they are and wherever they may be.

    Help us to keep our own violent impulses in check so that we don’t become the evil that we abhor.

    Let your will for peace with justice prevail.

    Amen.

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    Psalm 46
    God is our refuge and strength,
    an ever-present help in trouble.

    Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way
    and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea,

    though its waters roar and foam
    and the mountains quake with their surging.

    There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,
    the holy place where the Most High dwells.

    God is within her, she will not fall;
    God will help her at break of day.

    Nations are in uproar, kingdoms fall;
    he lifts his voice, the earth melts.

    The Lord Almighty is with us;
    the God of Jacob is our fortress.

    Come and see what the Lord has done,
    the desolations he has brought on the earth.

    He makes wars cease
    to the ends of the earth.
    He breaks the bow and shatters the spear;
    he burns the shields[d] with fire.

    He says, “Be still, and know that I am God;
    I will be exalted among the nations,
    I will be exalted in the earth.”

    The Lord Almighty is with us;
    the God of Jacob is our fortress.

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I tell my Belizean friend David (Pops) Awe that he should re-name his breakfast cafe “Papa’s,” since “Papa” was Hemingway’s nickname.

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I’ve suggested he hang pictures of himself alongside pix of his look-alike Papa Hemingway as an extra attraction to his tiny hole-in-the-wall cafe on a back street in downtown San Ignacio.

But so far he’s not going for it, nor is his daughter Lisa, who is the actual owner of Pop’s. Being the great raconteur that he is, Pops just hangs out at Lisa’s outstanding breakfast establishment and shares yarns with folks about his days growing up in BZ–or anything else you want to talk about. He’s a fine conversationalist.

(His brother Jaime Awe is a recently retired archeologist and is the foremost expert on Mayan history and culture in BZ. See more on Dr. Awe here.)

And it seems to me that he looks far more like the great American author “Papa” Hemingway than some of the people who’ve won the annual Hemingway look-alike contest at Sloppy Joe’s famous bar in Key West.

You be the judge.

I think my Belizean friend “Pops” Awe looks way more like Papa Hemingway than some of these dudes from one of the annual look-alike competitions. So what say you?

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Dr. Ben Carson is all the rage among folks who admire him not only for his undeniable brilliance as a neurosurgeon, but also because they are swept away by his high-mindedness–his good, Christian morals and values.

But here’s one thing, among many things about Dr. Carson, that I can’t get past.

A strange portrait from Dr. Carson's home: two happy guys who got together and are will save the world once and for all.

A strange portrait from Dr. Carson’s home: two happy guys who got together.

He claims in an anecdote, which rings with about as much truth as his bizarro Pyramids theory, that he was almost robbed at gunpoint at a fast-food joint near prestigious Johns Hospkins.

He claims he told a guy who had the power to blow him Home to God, “You got the wrong guy; you want him.”

With that, Dr. Carson coolly and calmly directed the bad guy to go threaten the poor dude drawing minimum wage by cashing out chicken pieces.

Thank God the bad guy didn’t walk over and shoot down the cashier in cold blood. With that ugly scenario the story wouldn’t have been useful to building The Legend of Billy Jack Carson.

I suppose the story is meant to illustrate the good doctor’s Hemingwayesque “grace under pressure.” Whatever else he would do or not do, a Hemingway character, with Hemingway’s own famous death wish, would not freak out.

He’d probably even light a Cuban cigar and then pistol-whip the robber. It’s the stuff of a good, fictitious yarn.

But seriously, people of God–where is God’s grace in Dr. Carson’s reaction to the robber? He seems to take utter delight in the admiring grins and laughs the story gets at the expense of the cashier and other victims.

What doesn’t get told in the anecdote is the reaction of the minimum-wage working slug, who supposedly ended up facing a robber with a deadly weapon re-directed over at him, thanks to the good doctor.

Honest to God–if you had coolly directed an armed robber over to me in a Popeye’s Fried Chicken, I’d probably be severely pissed off at you for being a jerk.

And that’s what I can’t get past, that he was thinking of only himself with scant regard for the other guy, who was probably too dry in the mouth to order him back to the doctor.

What about his story–the cashier and the other people who were victimized by an armed robber?

Such yarns of Dr. Carson’s always leave a lot to the imagination, but what’s always missing is his concern and response to the others.

I suppose we’re left to imagine that the doctor, being the compassionate physician as well as the swaggering John Wayne that he so wants us to see him as, immediately went to the aid of the cashier and all the others in that fried-chicken joint.

Think about it: they probably needed a doctor’s presence after being traumatized by the gunman who gave the fearless and invincible Dr. Ben Carson a pass.

Armed robbery is an act of terror, every time, which you wouldn’t sense from this yarn of Dr. Ben’s, all wrapped up as it is in pleasantry like a good campfire yarn.

Maybe we’re not supposed to think about “the rest of the story” at all–we’re only supposed to think up to a point.

In politics–and Ben Carson is proving to be a shrewd politician–too much thinking can put a strain on the brain. You go for the little brain teasers, and verification of facts and truths be damned.

I’ll give Dr. Carson his due as a neurosurgeon, but as hard as I’ve tried to like and respect the whole man for his integrity, I’m having a real hard time with him. Even though, as a lifelong political observer, I know that he’s eventually going to fade away like that whopping political sensation Sarah Palin anyway.

But this is what’s bothersome: it seems it’s become too much to ask for us as Americans to admire any kind of man who knows who he is and what he is–a man who can accept the limits of his mind and manhood without being like the guy who walks through the dark valleys of life fearing no evil because he’s the toughest S.O.B. in the valley.

It’s not enough to be a Dr. Albert Schweizer, a gentle man and a good doctor (and ordained preacher) who gave up the good life to go to Africa and save scores upon scores of lives and doubled as a peace advocate who won the Nobel Prize for Peace.

Real men don’t fake it.

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Nothing like the calming influence of a good, strong horse to fortify you with inner strength and peace.

More about the non-profit Spring Reigns of Life here.

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Many was the night I tossed and turned and prayed and, frankly, worried away the hours wondering if my only son Adam McKay (left) was safe and sound wherever he was in Harm's Way. Bless you the vets.

Many was the night I tossed and turned and prayed and, frankly, worried away the hours wondering if my Marine Adam McKay (left) was safe and sound wherever he was in Harm’s Way. Bless him and my brother Charlie and all you who are beloved vets.

Trains lead to ships and ships to death or trains,
And trains to death or trucks, and trucks to death,
Or trucks lead to the march, the march to death,
Or that survival which is all our hope;
And death leads back to trucks and trains and ships,
But life leads to the march, O flag! at last
The place of life found after trains and death—
Nightfall of nations brilliant after war.

–From “Troop Train” by poet Karl Shapiro

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