On Beach Walk: 23

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I like walking the beach as it is good for the body, mind, and soul – and refreshing on my feet.

The sand is smooth from the earlier winds, yet the water is a gentle ripple. The cold night developed an eerie sight of fog-like strands wisping across the water and out to sea.

 

The large cloud bank in the distance appears as a catch basin for the wisps, yet the horizon is a mere midst of fog.

I see myself as walking on the water. The wisps representing my past touch me as I travel to the unknown. Yes, I see my future in this image – no matter if a minute, an hour, a day, week, month, or years – the future whatever and whenever if may be.

I don’t know my future – none of us do. The future as it centers around a bountiful collection of questions beginning with who, what, when, where, why, and how. A mixture of good and bad – fun and serious – happy and sad. Yes, I also see the wisps leading me to all the unknowns as I travel to all the tomorrows of time.

As the beach walk ends, the air was warmer – the wisps were few – yet the future just as much of an unknown as ever. Time will tell all.

My future is what I ponder on this day. Even though unknown walking the beach is good for the mind, body, and soul – and refreshing on my feet.

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Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 360

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We’ve been back on the road with 3-hour trips to northern Indiana to help an elderly aunt. No fun! Also, it’s the reason I’m being behind with comments here, a lack of presence elsewhere, and a mediocre OITS: v360.

I enjoy listening to the eulogies of famous people with a televised funeral – and the recent funeral of Barbara Bush was no exception.

Not long ago we saw Black Panther. Interesting movie – but more violence than I expected. Also on the arts front, soon we will see Treasure Island as a play. Do you have any movie recommendations that are currently in theaters?

My Cincinnati Reds are a bad baseball team. The expansion 1962 Mets were the worst time in my lifetime – winning 40 games. Through Wednesday, the current Reds team is on the pace to win 40 games.

I enjoyed researching the previous post about 1968. Those of us who lived it know how crazy it was.

My golf league will be starting soon. Given the horrible weather that has blessed Cincinnati, my golf clubs are still in our storage area. Yikes!

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The Ohio Primary takes place in a few weeks. Area Republican signs are loaded with descriptors as Conservative, Real Republican, and a few more. However, on a recent 3-hour trip to the north and into Indiana, I did not see any similar taglines. Oh yes, the benefit of living among the Trumpians.

The Cincinnati newspaper compared the reactions by representatives and senators to when President Obama’s ordered bombing of Syria (2013) to President Trump’s recent order to bomb Syria. Of course the majority were inconsistent!

It’s time to give President Trump credit for an accomplishment: A record number of people wishing W was back in the Oval Office.

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To lead you into this week’s dose of satirical headlines, The Onion provides scoop on the James Comey memos.

Weekly Headlines from The Onion (combos welcome)
Conversation at other end of table sounds way more interesting
Local history museum really digging deep to fill two 15-by-20 foot rooms
25-year-old moving into comfortable, rent-free arrangement in parents’ home worried he’s hit rock bottom
Dermatologists recommend regularly checking body for screaming demonic face bulging out of skin
New employee doesn’t understand that’s where Zack sits

Interesting Reads
Linking American racism and Hitler
Hummingbird love-charm trade
Women who secretly fought the Cold War
(Graphic & article) Where the ultra-rich live
(Graphic) Large subscription services
(Photos) A collection of holes

To send you into the weekend, enjoy this song from Gordon Lightfoot. In the words of Garrison Keillor, Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.

On 1968

1968 – 50 years ago; a year of triumph and tragedy; a year of social unrest and cultural changes; the year that some describe as the most tumultuous in history; a year I remember as a 15 year old; a year captured below with randomly ordered events.

 

1968 – A leap year starting on a Monday

1968 – World leaders included Lester Pearson, Pierre Trudeau, Charles de Gaulle, Indira Gandhi, Leonid Brezhnev, Lyndon Johnson, Harold Wilson, Mao Tse-tung

1968 – Vietnam War, Tet Offensive, My Lai massacre, and the end of US bombings

1968 – Assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. (April) and Robert F Kennedy (June)

1968 – Eastern Bloc armies (Soviet Union, Bulgaria, Poland, Hungary) invade Czechoslovakia

1968 – Intel Corporation created

1968- Super Bowl II (2) – Packers vs. Raiders

1968 – Anti-Vietnam War protests throughout the US and the Western World

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1968 – The Beatles White Album

1968 – Winter Olympics in Grenoble, France – the first Winter Olympics broadcast in color

1968 – North Korea captured the USS Pueblo (an American surveillance ship) and its crew

1968 – General Strike in France by students and workers

1968 – Enactment of the Civil Rights Act of 1968 in US

1968 – Dutch Elm disease

1968 – Earthquake in Sicily with 231 dead, 262 injured

1968 – South African Dr. Christian Barnard performs his third human heart transplant

1968 – London Bridge sold for $1 million and re-erected in Arizona

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1968 – US President Johnson surprisingly announces he would not run for another term

1968 – Redwood National Park created in California

1968 – Pope Paul VI bans Catholics from using the contraceptive pill for birth control

1968 – The Poor People’s March on Washington, DC

1968 – Zodiac serial murderer in California

1968 – France becomes the world’s fifth nuclear power

1968 – Several major US cities elect black mayors

1968 – Unrests on college campuses across the US

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1968 – Aristotle Onassis and Jacqueline Kennedy marry

1968 – The Ferry TEV Wahine capsizes in Wellington Harbour, New Zealand_

1968 – The nuclear-powered US submarine Scorpion sinks in the Atlantic Ocean (99 crew members died)

1968 – Hong Kong Flu pandemic begins in Hong Kong

1968 – Student riots threaten Mexico Olympics

1968 – Black power salute after the gold and bronze medalists at Olympics in Mexico City, Mexico

1968 – Completed: The Aswan Dam in Egypt and the Gateway Arch in St. Louis, Missouri

1968 – The border between Spain and Gibraltar is closed

1968 – Riots at the Democratic Party National Convention in Chicago, Illinois

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1968 – The first Big Mac goes on sale at McDonalds at a cost of 49 cents

1968 – The Beatles create Apple Records and release “Hey Jude” as the first single on the label

1968 – Richard Nixon defeated Hubert Humphrey and George Wallace for US President (Wallace is the last third-party candidate to win Electoral votes)

1968 – Boeing introduces 747 aircraft

1968 – Mattel introduces Hot Wheel Cars

1968 – Kymer Rouge forms in Cambodia

1968 – Led Zeppelin performs for the first time

1968 – Allen K Breed invents an airbag for cars

1968 – Yale University announces it will admit women

1968 – Apollo 8 orbits the Moon (first manned mission to do so)

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1968 – US Explodes experimental hydrogen bomb and France explodes its first

1968 – Emergency 911 Telephone service starts in the US

1968 – The first ATM (automated teller machine) in the US (Philadelphia)

1968 – CBS airs “60 Minutes” shown for the first time

1968 – Musical Hair, featuring nudity and taking drugs) opens in London and then New York City

1968 – Popular films include The Graduate, Bonnie and Clyde, The Odd Couple, Planet of the Apes, Rosemary’s Baby, and Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner

1968 – Popular Songs include Hey Jude (Beatles), Mrs. Robinson (Simon & Garfunkel), Hello I Love You (Doors), Honey (Bobby Goldsboro), I Heard it through the Grapevine (Marvin Gaye), Love is Blue (Paul Mauriat), The Dock of the Bay (Otis Redding), People Got to Be Free (Rascals)

1968 – Birth year for Will Smith, Celine Dion, LL Cool J, Cuba Gooding Jr, Guy Fieri, Kenny Chesney, Michael Weatherly, Barry Sanders, Rachael Raye, Mary Lou Retton

1968 – Death year for Yuri Gagarin, Helen Keller, Charlie Chaplin, Robert F Kennedy, Martin Luther King, Jr

1968 – First interracial kiss on US television (Star Trek)

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Learn more about 1968

On Beach Walk: No. 22

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I like walking the beach as it is good for the body, mind, and soul – and refreshing on my feet.

Although a day is a 24-hour period of day and night, sunrise and sunset act as bookmarks to daylight. So today I think about daylight.

While on the Alabama coast, I prefer sunrises. Yes, I’m an early bird, but being one timezone away from home and our location being on the easter edge, I witness many sunrises.

Although the sun is well above the horizon when I walk, sunrise is a powerful metaphor for starts, new beginnings, invitations, hope, a person, encouragement, love, motivation, a journey, birth, strength, inspiration, resilience, and more.

The blend of black, blues, grays, orange, and yellow capture my soul and imagination – yet the presence of clouds is what delivers the contrast. Sometimes an inner voice from the clouds delivers wisdom or bits to ponder.

Dark is the night that takes colors from our sight – all the colors seen as shades of gray – but the new dawn begins to dismantle the gloom.

 

A new light brings a special glow upon the horizon.

 

As the glow brightens, so does my anticipation.

 

The day begins as the proclamator prepares to speak – and then says …

 

Good morning. You are respected, so go forth – respect others and make the day great.

 

Sunrise – the day has started – and another good day for walking the beach because it is good for the mind, body, and soul – and refreshing on my feet.

Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 359

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I knew my Cincinnati Reds baseball team would not be very good, but they have exceeded my expectations of badness. They are more than pathetic. People here complain more about the Bengals while many give the Reds a free pass, but as an organization, the Bengals are much better – an it’s not even close. The Reds fired the manager Thursday morning. I feel sorry for him because it tough to with those players.

Did anyone see 60 Minutes last Sunday? Allegiant Airlines has a significant presence in Cincinnati. After watching the segment about them, I doubt I would consider them in the future.

It’s been a big week for planning our 2019 vacations.

During my teacher days, I was reformed minded and a long-time antagonist toward standards and standardized testing. My cynical side smiled when I read this view of testing results.

Our handbell was preparing an interesting piece for our last song before breaking for the summer – The Day of Resurrection (Jason Krug). Unfortunately, circumstances caused the director to delay that song until the fall. For those who want to hear it, click here.

News earlier in the week of former First Lady Barbara Bush’s death marks a sad time. Besides living into her 90s and being married to the same man for 73 years, I admired her strength and wit – even though I didn’t always politically agree with her . Loved the fact that she was known within the family as The Enforcer. Meanwhile, her granddaughter – Jenna Bush Hager – wrote a beautiful piece for the Today show. Read it here. (Video here @ CBS)

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Cheers to UN Ambassador Nikki Haley for standing her ground after the White House appeared to throw her under the bus. To me, she is one of the few bright spots in the Trump administration.

This is my favorite one of the week. Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) said “I have not” heard President Trump lie. A perfect example of a partisan hack!

A candidate running for a local office in the upcoming May primary. His campaign signs state, “A Real Republican” – which (to me) is code for obstinate asshole.

For those who didn’t see the hair trade deal between President Trump and Kim Jong Un, search the following on Google Images: president trump kim jong un hair deal

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To lead you into this week’s dose of satirical headlines, The Onion shows an image of a man fearing he may never trust again after a treasured picture of a duck turns out to be a rabbit. (I have a personal reason for loving this one.)

Weekly Headlines from The Onion (combos welcome)
Man with backed-up shower drain enjoys luxurious foot soak
Shy balloon spends entire party floating in back corner of room by itself
Grandma defiantly taking scone recipe to grave
Controversial theory suggests aliens may have built Ancient Egypt’s intergalactic spaceport
Woman who choked to death alone in apartment kicked out of book club for missing last 2 meetings

Interesting Reads
How France cut heroin overdoses by 79% in 4 years
The dark side of solar energy
Life in the world’s most polluted city
A Nazi who defected to the Soviet Union then became a hero
Ways people cook pasta wrong
Honey bees and bacteria
(Photos) 50 years of powerful photography

To send you into the weekend, enjoy this song from James Taylor. In the words of Garrison Keillor, Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.

On Religious Liberty

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Before Europeans came to America, Christian traditions and practices were well-rooted in Europe for over 1000 years. Catholicism was the predominant form of Christianity, at least until the Protestant Reformation of the early 1500s The Protestant Reformation was a major schism is Western Christianity that ultimately influenced America – both before and after independence.

Whereas the US Constitution’s First Amendment (ratified 1791) granted religious freedoms for individuals and that government cannot establish religious preferences, I content that American has a long history of battling this ideal by continually challenging it in the name of religious preference.

As the Puritans came to America (1630) seeking religious freedom in their disagreement with the Church of England (Anglicans), they established the Massachusetts Bay Colony in order to establish an orthodox community seeking to save their perception of Christianity from the wayward Anglicans. Puritans saw themselves as the chosen people – the new Adam and Eve with the American colonies being the New Jerusalem – the new Israel.

Yet, I think of Puritan Anne Hutchinson, a well-spoken and well-versed Puritan who Puritan leadership banished for heresy.

I think of Puritan Roger Williams, who Puritan leadership banished, so he went on to establish a new colony of Rhode Island.

In the 1740s, Rev. George Whitefield (an Anglican cleric) came to America. Without a congregation, Whitefield, a vibrant orator, travelled throughout the colonies preaching a message of rebirth and revival to large crowds in towns and fields. Not only did Whitefield help spread Methodism in America, Whitefield and his contemporaries fueled the Great Awakening in America.

Yet I think of those who opposed Whitefield – the Anglicans whose doctrine did not support rebirth and revival. – and the Puritans who challenged Whitefield cause his message conflicted with their orthodoxy.

I think of the Evangelical Baptists from Pennsylvania whose preaching in Anglican-centric Virginia spurred harassment and imprisonment.

I think of the religious freedom voices uniting with the freedom of liberty voices. There’s Thomas Jefferson who drafted the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom (1777) supporting the non-Anglicans. Anglican opposition would prevent its passage for nine years. After this statute became law, it would serve as the framework for the First Amendment (ratified 1791).

As a young America grew, westward expansion followed. As people moved westward, revivals also moved across the frontier to save souls. Methodists rapidly grew in numbers. In time, they engaged is societal causes as orphanages, jails, caring for the poor, education, anti-slavery, and supporting women. They also saw education as an important role in creating good Christians for society. This activism favored a Protestant America in the New World.

Yet, I think of the large numbers of Catholics and Jews migrating to America in the mid-1800s – yet Protestants did not perceive Catholics and Jews as one of them. Protestants now became the persecutors of religious freedom by using schools to deliver anti-Catholic and anti-Semitic views.

I think how animosity between Protestant and Catholics would endure into the 1960s – and is same ways, still being present today.

The 20th and 21st Centuries provides the backdrop for increasing immigration of Muslims to America. Coupled with the presence of second generation Muslims, Pew Research projects Muslims will be the second largest group in America by 2040.

Yet I think about how anti-Islamic attitudes attempt to block the building of mosques in various communities. Let alone the general anti-Islamic rhetoric I hear in conversations and on the news.

I think about how political candidates who are Muslim face increased scrutiny – or as some politicians promote anti-Islamic and/0r pro-Christian views.

I think about today’s conservative Christians promoting anti-religious claims as the attempt to ingrain their beliefs through a variety of religious freedom laws throughout the country.

I think about the extremes attempting to establish a Christian America and those believing in the exclusion of religion from all aspects of public life.

I think about the growing number if Americans with either no religious preference or unabashed Atheism.

I think about the difference between school teaching religion and teaching about religion – with people worrying that the latter is about advocacy and indoctrination.

The US Constitution’s First Amendment is overtly clear. Yet, American has a persistent history of challenging the First Amendment in the name of their religious preference – a history of religious freedom advocates turning into inhibitors of religious freedom. Although the First Amendment has endured, I wonder if people understand it.

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

On Beach Walk: No. 21

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I like walking the beach. It’s good for the mind, body, and soul – and refreshing on my feet.

Although the waves are constant, each wave is different – but patterns of similarities exist – yet waves differ from day-to-day.

Waves have a force – sometime powerful and other times not so much – but they still carry a force – a force washing the water ashore where it meets the beach’s resistant slope while refreshing my feet.

Most of the time the beach’s slope causes the water to retreat to the sea – but without following the same path. Sometimes the water successfully climbs the sand’s crest – occasionally collecting as a mini-lake away from the water’s edge only to swept away at high tide or simply percolate through the sand.

Sometimes the water climbs the crest, but then follows a natural trench – sometimes to the left – other times to the right – but always in the same direction. As the water flows left or right it may meet other naturally moving water on its return to the sea – joining as two rivers into one – but always in the same direction.

Because of these miniature streams, I think of the world’s major rivers as they are all flowing in the same direction. The Nile River going north, and the Mississippi River going south – but in the same direction. Whether the Danube River to the southeast, the Rhine to the northwest, the St. Lawrence River to the northeast, and the mighty Amazon to the east – their directions are all the same … just like the waters on the beach … because water always flows downhill.

Even with a truth through a touch of snark, walking the beach is good for the mind, body, and soul – and refreshing on my feet.