Song: There’s no Calvin like John Calvin

(Sung to the tune of “There’s no Business like Show Business.”)
300px-john-calvin
The Elders, the Deacons, the Choir, the Church,
are generally known to be a stodgy bunch,
and yet,
The Elders, the Deacons, the Choir, the Church,
all smile and laugh when they go into lunch.

And if you wonder what should make it so,
Just ask them and they’ll tell you that they know,

There’s no Calvin like John Calvin, like no Calvin I know.
Everything about him is appealing,
Everything that doctrine will allow.
No where can you get that happy feeling,
when he’s revealing what we avow.

There’s no ‘vinists like Calvinists,
They smile because they know

Even though the Baptists are a bit confused
When Jesus calls you, you can’t refuse
When they get to Heaven they’ll all change their views

Cause God’s running the show,
Yes! God’s running the show.

Our Book of Church Order, our hymnals, our schools,
are carefully designed so they ensure,
Our Book of Church Order, our hymnals, our schools,
are all kept theo-log-ic-al-ly pure.
If there’s some doubt about whether we do,
There’s only one thing left to say to you.

There’s no Calvin like John Calvin, like no Calvin I know
If your pondering deep religious questions.
Counting angels dancing on a pin.
He will answer all of your objections,
Upon reflection, you will give in.

There’s no ‘vinists like Calvinists,
Elect right from the start.

Even though the world may see us sore oppressed,
By schisms rendered, by lies distressed.
All in all it’s really hard to be depressed,

When Christ lives in your heart!
When Christ lives in your heart!

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Bushido: The Way of the Warrior

warrior1
The code of Bushido is the ethical code of conduct developed during Japan’s feudal period. This occurred at about the same time that the code of Chivalry was developed in Europe. The development of both systems was directly related to the structure and purposes of feudalism, a social, governmental system wherein certain noble families controlled most of the land, and maintained private armies of professional soldiers. In Japan, these soldiers were called Samurai. For almost five hundred years, various Japanese lords, called Daimyo, warred with each other for land and for political and economic power. They employed thousands of the Samurai warriors, who swore loyalty to them alone. To hone their professional skills, outrageous license was granted to the Samurai. A samurai could kill anyone who was not a Samurai for any reason whatsoever, or for no reason at all. It was reported that Samurai would cut off the heads of passing peasants merely to test the cutting edge of their swords! Soon, these excesses led to the threat of anarchy. To forestall this, some form of noblesse oblige had to be imposed on the Samurai. The code of Bushido was the result.
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Where Will I be in Fifteen Years?

Where will I be in fifteen years?
You sure ask complex questions.
I can’t exactly pin it down,
But here’s a few suggestions: Continue reading

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On Sexual Behavior

May we assume that every adult has the right to do what they want in the privacy of their own home, with whomever they wish, provided that all involved parties have attained their majority, are agreeable, are acting of their own free will, and are not likely to cause any serious damage or injury physical or psychological to themselves or another? I do not presume to pass judgment upon individuals such as these, because I do not feel I have the moral authority to do so. I do not believe that government has the right to pass judgment upon anyone acting within these boundaries, because I do not believe that government is competent to do so. Finally, it is my desire to ensure that I protect and preserve the above stated right for my own use, and for that of future generations. Continue reading

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Contract Law and the U.S. Constitution

From a popular tutorial on contract management, we may learn the following:

“A contract is…a formal written agreement between two individuals or organizations for the procurement of commodities and services.

Every contract consists of the following five elements:

  1. Mutual agreement – a meeting of the minds where both sides agree to an offer and an acceptance of that offer.
  2. Consideration – each party to a contract receives something of value that it wants, and, in turn, gives something of value in exchange for it.
  3. Capacity – both parties must be legally competent, at least 18 years of age and acting within the law. They not only need to be legally of age but they must have the mental capacity to contract. They must be authorized to commit their organization.
  4. Legal Purpose – for a contract to be enforceable by law, it must be concerned with a legal purpose or objective. A purpose or objective must be considered a lawful, rather than an unlawful, pursuit.
  5. Certainty of Terms – the terms of the contract must be sufficiently clear to permit the court to conclude that a contractual agreement was intended and to determine from the document what the terms of the agreement were. It must be written very clearly and specifically. In a court of law, a contract is construed against the preparer.”

We must insist that our United States Constitution be viewed in the same manner. It is nothing more and nothing less than a simple contract between the People and their government. Our mutual agreement is such that we promise to give our allegiance and support to the government and they agree to protect our rights and safety and conduct the government in accordance with the specifics of the contract, the Constitution. In consideration, the government receives delegated powers and authority from the people, and money in the form of taxes, and the people are supposed to receive a good measure of safety, security, liberty, and the ability to pursue happiness as they otherwise conceive it. Mature, sovereign, powerful, intelligent, honorable beings that have the capacity and the will to enter into and dissolve such contracts make them for the legal purpose of living in freedom and peace.

When considering the certainty of terms we do so to ensure that the provider, (in the case of our Constitution this means the government) is properly bound by the terms of the contract. When we say that the contract is construed against the preparer, we understand this to mean that the preparer has the responsibility to ensure that the terms are specific and well defined. When this is not the case, the benefit of the doubt goes to the other party involved, (in the case of our Constitution this means the People). The founders of our government and our Constitution added the tenth amendment, which is provided as a further protection against misinterpretation saying, “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”

Finally, when one party to a contractual agreement fails to provide the goods and services promised, the other party has no obligation to fulfill their part of the agreement.

When one party to a contractual agreement fails to provide the goods and services promised, the other party has no obligation to fulfill their part of the agreement.

That is right. It is for this reason governments take punitive action against criminals, because they have failed to fulfill their duties as citizens.

It is for this reason that we originally separated ourselves from the government of King George, who had in onerous and numerous ways failed to meet his contractual responsibilities to his people by “taking away our charters, abolishing our most valuable laws, and altering fundamentally the forms of our governments.”

As we consider and celebrate our United States Constitution this week, I exhort you by saying that when considering contracts it is not necessary to read between the lines, but to read the lines themselves and understand what they say. Our Constitution is not a living document, it is a legal document and should always held and enforced as such, and whatever is necessary to be done to uphold it must be done and sooner, much sooner, rather than later.

Louis William Rose

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Sonnet: Mike 1984 – 2016

Come tell me there is something I might say,
a string of magic words, some fated rhyme,
whereby I might turn back the hands of time,
and usher in a former favored day.

Bring something that will hold my thoughts at bay,
to close the door upon my fevered past.
Some potion to eradicate at last,
the tortured scenes that all my memories fray.

It did not seem too high a price to pay.
A little folding of the hands to sleep,
not knowing my descent would be too deep,
that I’d awake no more to my dismay.

My Lord, although I’ve gone so far astray,
I trust in You to all my fears allay.

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Poem: Twelve Hours

I go to bed
Turning around
There at the foot
I lay my head
On doggie’s paws
She cleans my face
To let me know
That I am loved

I turn again
My pillowed mind
Set free to roam
To dream of things
That yet will be,
Or might have been
Deciphering what
Awaits for me

The morning calls
Me to my feet
I say my prayers
Stumbling about
I dress and eat
Waiting outside
A foggy future
Bittersweet

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All Lives Matter, If You Don’t Think So, Maybe Yours Doesn’t Matter So Much

Life is cheap. That’s the truth. Hundreds of thousands die every day, some violently, some ignominiously, some of old age or sickness, some in infancy or the prime of life. All tragically. Today you are alive, and your life matters, at least to you. Yet, the Bible says in James 4:14, “you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes.” Yet, as short and tenuous as it is, life is still precious and beautiful.
lives Continue reading

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So Many Religions – Why Christianity?

My dear friend, Dr. Levitt asks,”So only the Christian Religion is the one and only true religion? Only Christians know who is the one and only God? Jews? Mormons? Hindu’s? Buddhists? Muslims? Atheists? Everyone is all wrong but Christians? Isn’t it a bit expected that you live in country that is 80% or so “Christian?” Do you really think you would take the same position if you were born Muslim, Hindu, Jewish, etc?”

First, let us set the boundaries. I maintain that I live in a metaphysical world, not an existential one. So unless you agree on that basic premise, all that follows is moot.
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Liberty and Non Aggression

Liberty is expanded by the free exchange of information and freedom of association. Nevertheless Tyranny is easier. I observe this constantly as a parliamentarian. The right to bear arms protects the right of free speech, religion, association, and petition, all constantly under attack. But everywhere I go, I observe those who would subjugate others for their own purposes.
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Poem: A Thousand Different Lights

To see you in a thousand different lights,
And watch the shadows play upon your face.
To revel in the myriad delights,
That sun and stars would delicately trace.

To sense your every mood and temperant,
Observe you comprehend and then respond,
with feelings pensive or ebullient,
That I might share with you a closer bond.

To touch you in a thousand different ways,
To make you laugh, or stir you with desire,
To gently chid you, or to sing your praise,
To comfort you, to cheer you, and inspire.

To understand you is my goal in life.
A husband needs to know about his wife.

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LGBT Rights and the First Amendment

In Jacksonville there once again is an initiative to support the amendment of Jacksonville’s existing Human Rights Ordinance to add protection for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals in the areas of housing, employment and public accommodation.

From Muhammad Ibn Abdullah to Joel Osteen the world seems awash with false prophets.  This is why it is so important to be able to say whatever we want, to believe whatever we want about God, or not to believe, to publish whatever we want to publish, to associate with those whom we wish, and to shun those with whom we do not.  All this, as well as the ability to petition the government, encompasses the entirety of the First Amendment. Yet these rights precede and supersede the authority of any government.

Romans 2:1 says “You, therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgment on someone else, for at whatever point you judge another, you are condemning yourself, because you who pass judgment do the same things.”  It seems to me that this is a pretty broad statement and as such must include what we regard as sexual sin, lust, adultery, fornication and homosexuality.

If we condemn others, we condemn ourselves, because we do the same things.

It should be obvious to the cognoscenti that this ordinance will be passed into law. In my opinion solutions for the presumed difficulties that it may present will be found and implemented.   If I was a baker I would gladly bake a cake for a same sex couple, and as a Realtor I will be happy to rent to them.  Every business and civil encounter will find me eager to provide and protect their rights as citizens with the same passion with which I will plead with them to repent, and share the Gospel of Jesus the Savior who died for their sins and mine, and rose victoriously from the dead.  This is our right and privilege and no ordinance will ever prevent that.  For we must obey God rather than men.

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Freedom of Speech: An Educational Video

Nine years ago and after amost fifty thousand views,  comments keep coming in on this video, more pertinent today than ever.

When the Islamic extremists burned down the Danish embassy in 2006 because of a cartoon, I expected the American press would respond with a plethora of cartoons lampooning Muhammad. I expected to see the dancing Muhammads on Saturday Night Live, and Jesus and Muhammad doing stand-up routines on Leno and Letterman. But they were all strangely quiet, at least at first.
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Poem: What Do You Do?

What do you do when it costs too much and you can’t afford to pay?
Do you hunch your shoulders, and turn your head, and quietly walk away?
Do you think how different it would have turned out if you’d known what you know today?

What do you think when they’re serving up the artificial cream?
The margarine, and the diet drinks, and the textured soy protein?
Do you think that they might have meant something else when they spoke about haute cuisine?

What do you say when you get the word that they have to let you go?
Do you pack up your desk, and wish them well, and put on a gallant show?
Do you think what should matter is what you’re worth, instead of just who you know?

What do you do when you wake at night and the one you love is gone?
Do you tear your hair, and wring your hands, and pace until the dawn?
Do you think it was “better to have loved and lost” or to wish you had never been born?

What do you do when you realize its over and you’re through?
That your body is shot, and your hopes are gone, and you haven’t got a clue?
Do you think the Man with the hole in His hand has room in His house for you?

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Poem: The End of Moose and Squirrel

BorisnatashaMost days I sit in rocking chair on porch outside my dacha
I throw back vodka shots and reminisce with my Natasha
But while inside my alcoholic brain fond memories swirl
I still have dream to someday bring an end to moose and squirrel

Those two! I hear they’re doing well and living in Orlando
While I starve on the pension of a soviet commando
I give no heed while comrades their pathetic insults hurl
I have a plan! A plan that spells the end for moose and squirrel

Boris will prove once more he’s still a no-goodnik’s no-goodnik
I’ll lie and cheat and steal and show them this dog’s got a new trick
I’d sacrifice it all to gain that greatly valued pearl
That I might live to see at last the end of moose and squirrel

B. Badenov,
Pottsylvania, 2015

As transcribed by Louis William Rose

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Poem: Reaping

The constant dreams that fill my head,
Of horrid things I did or said,
Make me to turn upon my bed,
To search in vain for sleep instead.

I walk about throughout the day,
Mouthing the words that I must say,
To keep the rabid wolves at bay,
Distressed to think I’ve lost my way.

The time has all run out you see,
While there is yet eternity,
To reassure and comfort me,
My grand designs are not to be.

The City on the Hill I’d planned,
Was built, alas upon the sand,
To leave me with but one demand,
That death at last should take my hand.

 

Galatians 6:6 Let the one who is taught the word share all good things with the one who teaches. 7 Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap. 8 For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life.

Matthew 7:26  And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand.

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On Racism and Eclecticism

Race relations is a favorite subject of mine, because it is the only significant political debate that can be conclusively proven to be based on a fallacy. The fallacy is that there is such a thing as race in the first place. Imagine the thought of stratifying an entire civilization on the basis of appearance! Where is the queue for the fat, bald men? I need to get in line. The Romans enslaved the Greeks, the Egyptians enslaved the Jews, the English and then the Americans enslaved the Africans. The English, by the way enslaved scores of other peoples across the globe before their sun finally set. At every turn some guilt ridden half brain offered the lame excuse that it was “all right you know, because they’re not like us at all, they’re an entirely different race”. Race is the Big Lie, the biggest lie, the one that has provided an excuse for everything else. The truth is out now, most recently with the announcement of the Nobel Prize for genome research. The National Geographic Human Genographic Project conclusively proves that we all have sprung from a common ancestor. There is no such thing as race. What does exist are cultural factions, groups of people that share the same history, music, cuisine, rituals and yes, more often than not the same general appearance. These cultural factions, nations if you will, have often worked for their own advancement at the expense of the well being of other nations, and sometimes have enslaved them, or attempted to annihilate them. Many nations continue to do so. I believe that the media explosion can make a difference. Through the dissemination of information and entertainment across a worldwide multicultural network we may all come to know each other a little better, and realize that we are all humans living on a very small planet. While this may mean the end to the lie that is racism, it will probably not mean the end of serious armed conflict. There are plenty of other ideas that people are going to have to fight about over the next century.

The Greeks and the Romans appear to have made great strides in eliminating the animosity between them. It has only taken 1700 years. As for the Jews and the Arabs, well, at least the treaty with Egypt is still holding. In America, racism is a virulent cancer of ignorance within the body politic. I believe it will continue to flourish as long as we continue use the vocabulary of racism, and make our arguments or apologies within the framework of a racist worldview. For America, the dilemma is this. Many African-Americans may consciously or subconsciously be repelled by the idea of swearing allegiance and buying into a political and social system that in the past so brutally abused and excluded them.

I am unimpressed with the term “black man”. I am not a white man nor do I see the sense in describing myself as one. I am a Christian man, I am an educated man, I am a compassionate man, and I am a passionate man. To say that I am a white man or a black man is akin to saying that I am a sweat gland man or I am a pimpled man. If your allegiance is to those with skin whose color is the same as yours, we have no basis for reaching out to one another. The color of a man’s skin must be as incidental and unimportant as the color of his hair (or the lack of it). Men should not seek to be Black leaders or Hispanic leaders, or White leaders, but leaders of Men.

As a young boy growing up in the City of New York, I occupied a large portion of my time reading biographies of great men. Among others I read about George Washington Carver, Jackie Robinson, Paul Robeson, Adam Clayton Powell, and Roy Innis. I was encouraged to listen to a wide variety of music and have listened to, among others, Cab Calloway, Louis Armstrong, Ella Fitzgerald, Pearl Bailey, Johnny Mathis, Nat King Cole, Count Basie, Stevie Wonder, Fats Waller, Fats Domino, Chubby Checker, Jimi Hendrix, Duke Ellington, Mahalia Jackson, Ray Charles, and James Brown. I had my attention directed to great actors, athletes and politicians, among others, Sydney Poitier, Dick Gregory, James Earl Jones, Roy Innis, Bill Cosby, Red Fox, Quincy Jones, Adam Clayton Powell, Ralph Abernathy, Muhammad Ali, Arthur Ashe, John Shaft, Shirley Chisolm, Thurgood Marshall, Andrew Young, Clarence Thomas, Condoleezza Rice, Colin Powell. Many of these people changed the very core of my being, the way I think and react. Do I admire them because they are black? I admire them because they are great. So should we all.

Cultural diversity is a gift to be celebrated, but political assimilation must be recognized as a first principal. A democratic republic cannot exist if its members wave different flags and speak different languages. Racial prejudice must be replaced with political prejudice. Racists must become the ones that we are most prejudiced against. Their views must not be heard any longer. They must be legislated against, their rights curtailed, their activities made illegal, their assets seized, and their philosophies ridiculed from the podium, pulpit, and in the press. We, as a nation, must not be concerned with which skin color you pledge your allegiance to, but to which flag. Democracy has proved itself over and over, to be the highest form of government to which humans can subscribe. We must tolerate only those who will support and swear allegiance to it, or to its allies.

Individually, we must fight our own fight against racism, and that within our own minds. It is an old truth that “what we do not know, we fear, and that which we fear, we hate.” Americans should strive for eclecticism. While we celebrate our own culture and the traditions of our parents, we must learn to delight ourselves in the culture, the music, art, literature, the food, dress, and traditions of our fellow citizens. Let us all celebrate Kwanzaa as well as Saint Patrick’s Day. More importantly, let us celebrate the Fourth of July and Memorial Day as days that bring us together as one nation.

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The Civil Liberty that Protects all Others

It was certainly ironic and fitting that a legislator who voted against allowing guns in a certain place should be shot by a gun in exactly that place.  Yet that was the fate of Clementa Pinckney, state senator and pastor of the Emanuel A.M.E. Church in Charleston, South Carolina.  No matter how good and Christian a man Pastor Pinckney may have been, his vote to prohibit the carrying of firearms in churches was a violation of his oath to protect and defend the Constitution.

Why do people so blithely agree to give up the one civil liberty that guarantees all the others? Without the right to be armed, freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom of association, the right to privacy, the right to vote, are in jeopardy. Then slavery comes, and the worst abuses of power. Slavery in this country would have been impossible without ensuring that slaves remained unarmed. The first gun laws in this country were passed to prevent freed slaves from owning guns, right along with laws designed to prevent them from voting. North Korea would be impossible if the citizens there were armed.

I will not yield an inch to any government, to any populace in respect to these rights. It must be Liberty or Death, and every man and woman who loves liberty should rightly stand up and shout “Liberty or Death!”, proclaiming the terrible price that will be paid by those who attempt to restrict these rights. They are NOT negotiable, they are NOT to be the subject of legislation. They are NOT for sale at any price, and those who think they are must be stopped at any cost.

No one, no government, no majority has the right to disenfranchise humans of their natural rights.

The right to the defense of the integrity of one’s person by employing necessary force up to and including deadly force is a basic right of every human just as basic as their right to be free, to speak their mind, to practice their religion, to work, to own property, and all the other basic rights of man. This is why we fought a war to establish the republic.
Personally, I think there are still enough of us left who would be willing to fight again, if necessary.  Has it become necessary?

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Poem: Ham, Eggs, Grits and Cheese

hameggsHam, Eggs, Grits and Cheese

How many of a morning have I spent with these?
In quiet contemplation at my home,
Or in some crowded urban luncheonette alone
A cup of coffee with some milk to wash them down

Ham, Eggs, Grits and Cheese

A hearty company of flavors sure to please
Too often of them did I thus partake
At times forsaking ham for sausage, hash, or steak
With every season seemed I’d gained another pound

No longer easily up the stairs to sprightly bound
And harder still to tie my shoes each day I found
Gone are the days when I might carry on with ease
My love affair with Ham and Eggs and Grits and Cheese

 

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Poem: Remembering Copake at Iguaçu

When I was young I saw a waterfall

A single stream into a crystal pool
For twenty feet or more
There in the water childlike lovers play

The scent of pine is heavy in the air
Its pungent sweetness carried by the mist
While rushing water sprays
The peal of lover’s laughter in my ears

Iguaçu dominates my senses now
White rising vapors fill the eastern sky
That panoramic sight
Cannot obscure my view of Copake Falls

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Poem: Ethics

platoaristotleI read a book of Ar … istotle,
When life for me was still brand new.
I thought I should achieve … perfection,
When all my studying was through.
Much older now, I still … engage in,
The acts I know I should eschew.
I know I’m really not … supposed to,
But every now and then I do.

Chorus
Woo Hoo, Yes I do,
Every now and then I do.
Boo Hoo, Sad but true,
Every now and then I do.

I had a little fen … der bender.
They sent a check for what was due.
Mistakenly, they sent … another.
I had my bankers put it through!
I never meant to keep … the money,
Or interest that should thus accrue.
I knew that I was not … supposed to,
But every now and then I do.

Chorus

A customer who comes … to visit,
Pays with a twenty he’s through.
But as you put it in … the strongbox,
You see he’s give not one but two!
You wonder should you tell … your partner,
She’ll ask to share the revenue.
You know you’re really not … supposed to,
But every now and then you do.

Chorus

You stop to buy a cup … of coffee,
You think you’ll have a doughnut, too.
You see a tall brunette … in high heels.
She takes a second look at you.
You know you’ve got a wife … and family,
You know you’d promised to be true.
You know you’re really not … supposed to,
But every now and then you do.

Chorus

I hope you’ve found illu … minating,
This casuistry for your review.
But if you are anti … cipating,
The answers then take this in lieu.
At times our pride can o …vertake us,
We speak as if we think we knew!
You know we’re really not … supposed to,
But every now and then we do.

Chorus

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Poem: At The End of the Short, Hard War

He awoke with a start and shaking himself
to ward off the morning cold,
he arose from his bed on the concrete shelf
to see what the day might hold.

After coaxing his fire to life, he checked
how much coffee was left in the can
that he’d found in the back of the trucks that wrecked
moments after the conflict began.

He considered the coffee more than he deserved
(though it wasn’t the best he had tasted)
as he pondered the things that had been preserved
after all of the rest had been wasted.

The brilliant white flash, the shock of the blast
and the subsequent fireball,
all the horrors he witnessed were more than surpassed
by the fact he’d outlived them all.

With his parka zipped up and a rifle in hand
he stepped cautiously from his abode.
All alone with his thoughts in a desolate land
through the massive destruction he strode.

For a very long time he had lingered bereft
of a partner who might meet his need.
And he wondered aloud was there anyone left
who’d be willing to harbor his seed?

That his future looked bleak with no hope of surcease
was a prospect he could not ignore,
yet took heart at the thought that at least he had peace
at the end of the short, hard, war.

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What Role Does Poetry Play in Society ?

“Such is our pride, our folly, or our fate, That few but such as cannot write, translate.”
Sir John Denham (1615–69), English poet. To Sir Richard Fanshaw upon his translation of Pastor Fido.“

Poetry is what is lost in translation.” Robert Frost (1874–1963), U.S. poet. Quoted in: Louis Untermeyer, Robert Frost: a Backward Look, ch. 1 (1964).

Samuel Taylor Coleridge wrote, in Biographia Literaria, ch. 22 (1817):

“In poetry, in which every line, every phrase, may pass the ordeal of deliberation and deliberate choice, it is possible, and barely possible, to attain that ultimatum which I have ventured to propose as the infallible test of a blameless style; namely: its untranslatableness in words of the same language without injury to the meaning.”

With a word the universe was created and man along with it, endowed with the ability to speak forth ideas and, by extension, more concrete realities into existence.  Rhetoric, “the art or study of using language effectively and persuasively”, and poetry, one of its refined manifestations,  is no less than an attempt to emulate the glory of God by manifesting truth and form where before there was nothing.  Priest, poet, and blacksmith, these three, stood before the king in ancient times.  Priests and blacksmiths are easily identifiable but how do we describe the poet?
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Poem: I Want to be Good to the Ladies

I want to be good to the ladies,
For the ladies have been good to me.
The gifts that they gave me were precious,
And most of the time they were free.

When I was a lad and much bolder,
The ladies were gentle and kind.
And now that I’m quite a bit older,
They smile and they say they don’t mind.

It’s true on occasion I’ve stumbled,
Having not been the man I should be.
I confess that some ladies have reasons,
To have doubts about my bonhomie.

Dear ladies, I beg your forgiveness.
My goal is to make it all right.
So, I thought I would call up and ask you
If you had any plans for tonight…

For the ladies on Saint Valentines Day 

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Poem: First Memory

Sitting in his chair watching the man with big pockets
he slaps the wooden tabletop, high, dry, and cool.
Brown shiny wood, very good for his hands to slap
so early in the morning on a new day.

A cup of cold milk is put before him.
But it’s all about the big pockets
All about his hands slapping the smooth wood
The cup tips and the milk spills across the table

Hands slapping his head, his chest, his back
Pulled from his chair and dropped to the floor
Then picked up and roughly stuffed back
Another cup of milk before him

He has to drink it now
Drink it now before anything else
Before big pockets, before shiny wood smooth
Before joy, before love, before all

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Sonnet: Government

What do you mean when you say government?
An entity once held in high esteem?
Realization of some patriot dream?
A rule of law some said was Heaven sent?

Its reputation badly tarnished now
with statesmen promulgating globally
their deconstructionist philosophy
by which they may each promise disavow.

Small wonder should a citizen repent
that he had pledged his own allegiance to
a flag bestrewn with stars, red, white, and blue
when it no longer means what it once meant.

Let all who everywhere love liberty,
Stand up and fight till all at last are free.

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Sonnet: The Sonnet Form

The Sonnet Form

Folks say the sonnet form is out of date.
I cannot say that I myself agree.
Though modern poets’ verse is often free
of form or even simple rhyme of late.

Yet here and there we find occasionally,
a Cummings or a Parker who would state
their sentiments of love or hope or hate
within the sonnet form most succinctly.

Don’t you agree that it’s a noble trait?
To so constrain yourself when desperately
you seek to share the pure philosophy
within your heart to which all men relate?

If all this talk of sonnets makes you weak.
I still believe it’s how most people speak.

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Poem: Rhonda Running Fast

eflections of her stormy past
aunt her loveliness
ur farmer’s daughter running fast
ow is come her test
ream sweet Rhonda, dream
nd carefully wish for what you really mean

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Poem: New York, 1964

Could I return from far away,
to snow forts where the young boys play.
Where school let out for half a day,
to hear what words the priest might say.

The fall felled leaves red, gold, and brown,
lay heaped in piles upon the ground.
In spring I’d hear the happy sound
of schoolgirls ring the Maypole round.

Might I return there once again,
where summer sun my strength would drain.
From all my labor I’d refrain,
until the streets filled up with rain.

Though I have traveled far of late,
I still remember New York State.

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Sonnet: The Life I Miss

It was so raucous, with them all around
at times I thought, like some pneumatic drill
alone inside my room, devoid of sound
the memories within are louder still

The constant conflict seemed too high a price
combined with expectations unfulfilled
my wounded pride too great a sacrifice
to salvage what our words had all but killed

So burdened down with charges unredressed
(I wonder now how I could be so blind)
That I would fail to see what I possessed
To cast it off and leave it all behind

Regret with bitter irony underscored
To think I miss the life I once abhorred

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Poem: Blind Dating

Sanguine anticipation,

a fantasy convivial, caught my imagination, awaiting her arrival.

What mysteries within her, would she elect to proffer?

What gems of wit and wonder, had I within my coffer?

How grand the hope that hovers, and leads us like a tether,

that strangers could be lovers, and share a life together.

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Management, Labor, and the Union

We recognize that there is a fundamental difference between management and labor. Being part of labor means that, at least for right now, you are destined to make your way through life with a little less than you’d hoped for. Not quite enough education, not quite enough capital, and not quite enough influence to make things go your way. You are a member of the working class instead a member of the leisure class. An employee instead of an employer. A worker instead of a supervisor. You have heard it said, “It’s a dirty job but somebody has got to do it!”. Well, that somebody is you. You are the person actually doing the work, and while you care about getting the work done, what you care most about is your well being. Management on the other hand, is not doing the actual work. They are supervising and making sure that the work gets done. Making sure that you do the work. And while they may care about you, what they care most about is seeing that you get the work done. That is the fundamental difference between management and labor.

Sometimes what’s best for you may not be what is best to ensure that the work gets done. Sometimes management may act as if they couldn’t care less, as we all do at times, about whether you’re getting a fair shake or not. As long as the work gets done. After all, it’s your fault that you’re a worker isn’t it? You could have gotten a better education when you were younger, or saved your money and opened your own business. Isn’t that right? Then you could be the supervisor. But you’re not.

You have to ensure that you will be treated fairly and with respect, because you are the one who does the work. Here is how to do it. First of all, take pride in your work. Do the work you are supposed to do in return for what you are paid. Next, decide that , as far as you are able, you will not allow yourself or other workers to be treated unfairly or disrespected. Be bold enough to take advantage of the communication lines between labor and management. Don’t be quiet. File a grievance if you have to . Don’t leave it for the other fellow to do it. Finally, make a conscious effort to act jointly with your fellow workers to make sure that your place of work is a good place to work, where the needs of everyone are taken into consideration, as we all give our best effort to get the job done. There is a price to be paid for all this . It may mean having a conflict or misunderstanding with management. It may even mean finding another job. But if every worker will decide that their first loyalty will be to their fellow employees, we can have a work place that we can look forward to coming to every morning. When that happens you can be sure that all the work will get done and management will be happy too. Are you a member of the union? The real union? The one where the dues are paid in reputation, and backbone, and caring? Isn’t it time you joined? Isn’t it time you made it clear to your coworker that they need to join too? Then you’ll see what a union can really do.

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Poem: The Nardos in My Room

nardos

The Nardos in my room, bring forth their sweet perfume
As if to say Amor, of this you can be sure
More blooms we shall display with every passing day
Do not be sad

When our brief time is past, our fragrance will at last
Adorn the minds of those who ventured by and chose
What life was offering and with it everything
That could be had

My friend do not ignore the wonders at your door
Embrace them while you live and at the end you’ll give
Your own heartfelt applause because you’ll know there was
No more to add

 

Written at Cabildo Suites in Buenos Aires, Argentina

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Poem: Texting and Driving

TextToday to text and drive is deemed taboo.
Get caught and a citation will ensue.
But I remember things I used to do,
Without a cell phone to send text to you.

I’d read a magazine or paperback.
The steering wheel became my reading rack.
I’d tear out pages from the front to back,
And thus where I left off I would keep track.

On mornings when against the clock I’d race,
I’d use a wind-up razor for my face.
My breakfast plate was perched on my briefcase,
I drank my coffee, ate, and left no trace.

I’d compose memos, collate reports,
Or change my socks, my shirt, my tie, my shorts!
Or contemplate and memorize retorts,
To hurl at bosses who were out of sorts.

Young ladies driving with me might distract,
Played slap and tickle, to be more exact.
At times I’d win a kiss or else a smack,
And through it all I never drove off track.

So texting while I drive seems a bit tame,
And writing verse while motoring, the same.
I hope my driving skills you’ll not defame.
If I press “Send” and crash, I’ll take the blame.

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Poem: The Lace Dress

The lace dress lay so softly on the bed.
My friend has gone away and left it there.
That she should leave it lying there outspread,
was no surprise for it had seen much wear.

It fit her well and served her faithfully,
In happy days and seasons filled with care.
Her child and then her grandchild at her knee,
clung to it’s folds and found a comfort there.

My friend’s lace dress lay softly on the bed.
A favored gift which she at last outgrew,
and cast aside, so that she might instead,
refresh herself and put on something new.

In loving memory of Juliana (Schatzi) Olkowski , December 12, 1912 – June 30, 1994

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A New Name for the Redskins

Washington_Traitors_Helmet

Certainly appropriate for the city where in they are based.

Go Traitors! Go away, please…
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Thoughts on the Militia for a New Republic

We constantly hear about the second half of the Second Amendment, an independent clause which guarantees us the absolute right, free from any legislative impingement, to keep and bear arms. All laws to the contrary in my opinion are unconstitutional, and may be reasonably viewed as null and void.

However the founders did have a reason for this as we read in the amendment itself. Continue reading

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Marriage and A Bird Feeder

BirdfeederLet me tell you about something I did for my wife Jamy while she was away.  A few years ago she bought a wooden bird feeder, a simple thing stapled together and it had battery operated Christmas lights stapled around the roof.   It stood a long time on a pole in the front yard. Eventually the lights stopped working. The squirrels would occasionally circumnavigate the baffle hanging above it and pounce on the bird feeder to eat the seeds and suet as squirrels are wont to do.  So after a few years it began to fall apart.  Jamy is a Master Naturalist, and spends quite a lot of time in the forest, in state and national parks all over the Florida.  Before she left for another one of her road trips she asked me to repair it. Continue reading

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Why I am Unfit to be an Elder or a Deacon in a Bible Believing Church And Some Other Thoughts on the Church and the Law

A version of the this article was originally published in THEOOSE an online Christian Magazine Sep 14, 2002 

I have broken all of the Ten Commandments countless times with a deliberate will, in my heart and mind, and also in reality with the exception of murder, which I have come pretty close to actually accomplishing a couple of times.  Amazingly, I was never arrested or tried for any crime, nor did I ever contract any incurable disease.  I am not likely to be a candidate for elected office, or even attached to an ongoing campaign, because I am not shy about sharing my past when it seems appropriate to me.  I try not to brag about my past mistakes, although there are several amusing anecdotes I might relate.  I do not make a point of recounting long lists of conquests, drugalogues, or high-speed car chases.  But I decided around the age of forty, that I would say what was on my mind, and to tell the truth about myself as far as I was able, and to tell what I thought was the truth about others, when I thought it might be of some good. Continue reading

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Why does a gentleman stop and allow a lady to pass before him?

As a human, w81507_ladygentlema_lge are all born of women. I had a mother (despite persistent rumors to the contrary) and have an obligation of reverence and gratitude to her. This obligation applies to all women, for I would have all individuals give honor and respect to my mother, and therefore am willing to provide it to all the others of her sex.

As a man I am grateful to the benevolence shown to me by women who have found it in their hearts to love a less than perfect (tragically flawed in fact) man. This gratitude is extended to all women who by their very nature love freely and benevolently, if given the chance.

Finally, the euphoric beauty to be found in women of all ethnicities and ages is cause for rejoicing and contemplation by men. Every woman, every one, carries that spark blatantly displayed, carefully or profoundly hidden but yet is it there and may be observed if one will only stand and wait.

Therefore men of honor stop and allow ladies to pass by, so that they may behold them both coming and going in wonder, awe, and reverence.

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Villanelle: To Say it Using Just a Villanelle

It was a story much too long to tell.
So carefully, he chose the words to say.
To say it using just a villanelle.

He’d met her, but he didn’t know her well.
A married woman, she was known to stray.
It was a story much too long to tell.

His longing for her had begun to swell.
What phrase would bring her heart within his sway?
To say it using just a villanelle.

With eventide he heard the distant knell.
He thought he’d leave it for another day.
It was a story much too long to tell.

But offering the key to her hotel,
Smiling, she turned as if to lead the way!
To say it using just a villanelle.

So deep in love those fallen lovers fell.
Together hand in hand they walked away.
It was a story much too long to tell.
To say it using just a villanelle.

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Sonnet: To Those Who Rush to Praise Us

To those who rush to praise us when we say
they should do what is right in their own eyes.
All men or women having their own way
to live precisely as they would surmise.

To those who laud our liberality,
our tolerance of every faith, and creed,
and every sexual proclivity,
we ask the same consideration cede.

Each man the lord and master of his home.
This is the view we fervently avow.
If he be familièd or live alone;
at this they gnash their teeth and knit their brow.

The warrior knows how to deal with these,
who finally prove impossible to please

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A new verse for “The Mikado”

MIKADO 1AIn Gilbert & Sullivan’s “Mikado”, Koko a tailor under a death sentence is appointed Lord High Executioner with the reasoning that before he can cut off someone’s head, he has to cut his own off . Nevertheless, he has a list. The song has been used since its inception to comment on the politic of the day.

As someday it may happen that a victim must be found, I’ve got a little list, I’ve got a little list

Of society’s offenders who might we be under ground and who never would be missed, they never would be missed

 

There’s the Congress bent on spending every dollar but their own
And the tyrant who usurps the law with just his pen and phone

And the Neo-Fascists on the the right who’d crush you if they could
And the Leftists who’d enslave you (but of course for your own good)

Still it really doesn’t matter whom you put upon the list
For they’d none of them be missed, they’d none of them be missed

You may put em on the list, You may put em on the list
for they’d none of them be missed, they’d none of them be missed

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Poem: You’re Not the Same Color as Me

racism
You’re not the same color as me.
Is that supposed to matter?
Because it’s so easy to see,
I’m also bald, and fatter
than you and I know it’s a fact,
they beat and killed the others.
But does that mean that we react
as if we aren’t brothers?
You know that you’re different than me.
Our history, our nurture.
But couldn’t that help us as we
raise up a brighter future?
I have a solution to state.
Race is a vast illusion.
Kept going by people who hate,
and fear, and want confusion.
Abandon that concept today.
Don’t cling to ethnic factions.
Trust isn’t about what we say.
It’s all about our actions.

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To Those who call Abortion, Murder

2 Kings 17:17 They sacrificed their sons and daughters in the fire. Some claim that abortion is murder. To restate this, there are some who claim is that there are rooms all over America, where individuals are murdering innocent children with the consent of their mothers.To date, between fifty and sixty million innocent children have been murdered. I am not making this claim, let us be clear about that. But for those who do, I would like to consider the ramifications of such a statement. Continue reading

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Sonnet: A Hero’s Death

Lord, let me die a hero’s death I pray.
To meet the sudden blast and never flinch.
And should my company flee in disarray,
to stand my ground and not give up an inch.

Lord, let me die a soldier’s death I pray.
Found at my post with weapons near at hand,
While carrying out the orders of the day,
And well prepared to heed the next command.

Lord, let me die a servant’s death I pray.
Life spent in service to my fellow man.
Your burden lightly on my shoulders lay,
That I might have a part in God’s great plan.

Lord, grant that as I live and die, I may,
Your Holy will more faithfully obey.

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Poem: My Childhood

kidlou

A good running start, you might say.
A nice quiet town, my own room.
They tried very hard, but one day,
I had to escape, that cramped womb.

Why I didn’t stay like my friends.
Who always obeyed, or more so
than I ever did, at loose ends,
my parents at last, let me go.

ladlou

The day I broke free, from their grip,
I didn’t believe, what they said.
The price I would pay, for my trip.
The pitfalls that lay, up ahead.

I couldn’t say now, if it was
worth all that it cost, to play fool,
to do it my way, diplomas,
aren’t given to grads, at this school.

ynglou

So here’s to you mom, and dad too,
for all that you did, for my good.
My soul was too wild, to subdue.
You did everything, that you could.

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I Am a Royal Ambassador for the Heavenly Kingdom of The Living God

With scripture proofs

2 Corinthians 5:16 From now on, therefore, we regard no one according to the flesh. Even though we once regarded Christ according to the flesh, we regard him thus no longer. 17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. 18 All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; 19 that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. 20 Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.

I am a Royal Ambassador for the Heavenly Kingdom of The Living God. (1Pet 2:9)

  • I speak with God, I am indwelt by God in the person of the Holy Spirit. He is literally, actually, here now next to me, walking around with me inside this wrecked hulk of a body I currently call home. (2Tim 1:14)
  • He talks to me in all manner of ways, and I hear his voice (Heb 3:7).
  • I know Him and of Him just as surely and far better than I know you. He does not tell me everything, nor does He do everything I ask of Him. (John 10:14)
  • He has written me letters (2Tim 3:16).
  • Just as any other ambassador, I have immediate access to the King (Heb 4:16).
  • Just as any other Ambassador, I have a commission,  a portfolio, and a foreign policy that I am to promulgate. (Matt28:19)
  • Just as any other Ambassador, I can suggest courses of action to the King, including the sending of aid, or even military force, but just as any other Ambassador, it is the King who has the final decision as to what action He will take. (John 15:16)
  • Just as any other ambassador, I have diplomatic immunity, and know that whatever the future brings, I have been give a full and complete pardon from the King, insulating me from any judicial prosecution (Col 2:13-14).
  • Unlike many ambassadors, I am a Royal Ambassador.  I am a member of the Royal Family, an heir to the kingdom. (Gal 4:7).
  • Because of all this I operate freely in the metaphysical realms and require no ritual, no spells or incantations, no arcanely devised talismans, no staff or wand, having only to speak a word, at the King’s command, and it is done (John 14:12-13).

I like to say that I was born a Catholic, saved a Baptist, and finally enlightened as a Presbyterian.  I am a member of the Presbyterian Church in America (PCA) and am a student of it’s doctrines and practices. For those of you who would care to make an detailed study of these matters, I direct your attention to the Center for Reformed Theology and Apologetics.

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On Plato’s “Symposium”

Originally published on the Florida Student Philosophy Blog

Apollodorus

How appropriate that Plato should frame this work as a tale told second hand.  From his pen, we are hearing the story as told by a disciple of Plato named Apollodorus who had heard the story from Aristodemus who was present at the symposium in question.  Apollodorus has verified the account with Plato, and so we may consider it fairly accurate. Still, we are reading about it approximately twenty-four hundred years later and are also twice removed from the actual event.

Apollodorus is particularly ready to tell us because he has already recounted the story to his friend Glaucon while on the road to Athens.  Glaucon had caught up with Apollodorus by formally hailing him as “The Gentleman from Phaleron.”  I read in the footnotes that the joke is that men like Apollodorus are not addressed in this manner except in formal situations, such as when they are assembled at court.  Of course, this is how members of Congress are addressed today and calls attention to how much the Greeks still influence us.

Apollodorus makes much of the idea that philosophy is the only worthwhile pursuit in life and that focusing on the mundane activities of life as Apollodorus once did and as his friend does now, dooms a person to a life of failure. Unimpressed with this sentiment, Apollodorus’ friend urges him to begin to recount the speeches given at the symposium.
Continue reading

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