Saturday, March 31, 2012

the viewing

It wss 3:15 a.m. Saturday morning and I was wide awake in Chipley, Florida.

Didn't know why I was awake, so I asked my Lord, “Why am I awake?” I didn’t really expect an answer and thought I would soon be returning to bed. Instead, I was told to “Write.”

So I am writing about the one thing on my heart right now – the viewing service of Georgeanna Victoria Shores held last night in Marianna, FL about 20 miles away.

This viewing was the first one I have ever attended where no one cried. Not one person. Instead it was a celebration of 1) the life of Georgeanna Victoria Shores and 2) her relationship with her Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. While these two things are listed separately, they are deeply intertwined.

You may read GA’s (that’s how I knew her, as GA or Georgeanna) obituary here or here.

In her obituaries you will find out she was only 66 years 7 months and 19 days old when she died. She spent 45 years of her life with my friend Lenny Shores – more on that later.

What you won’t find in the obituaries is that as she approached death, she wished she had been less of a Martha – see Luke 10: 38-42 here - and instead had spent more time in building her relationship with Jesus Christ. That was the message at the viewing last night for all of us in attendance and for those we will touch in the future.

What GA did not know, was that the testimonies given last night about her life demonstrated her relationship with Christ. GA loved sacrificially as Jesus did.

She brought His example into the lives of all her loved ones and also into those she did not know at all. She and Lenny had three sons and one of them spoke last night on how during the many moves they made as a Navy family and as a missionary family, never once did she complain about Lenny’s many deployments at sea for six, nine, or twelve months. Not once.

I met GA’s husband Lenny at Al Asad AB, Iraq in early 2008 – February or March. One day a few weeks after meeting Lenny, he was talking with GA on the phone and he called me over to the phone and said with an odd look on his face, “Georgeanna wants to talk with you.” I replied, “Are you sure?” He went back to the phone and asked, then handed the phone to me saying “Yes.”

After confirming who I was she made the statement, “You are the man I have been praying Lenny would meet in Iraq.” How could that be, I wondered and asked. She replied, “I – and my church – have been praying Lenny would meet a Godly man in Iraq, a man who loves the Lord Jesus Christ.”

Suddenly I understood. Lenny and I had had already had a number of theological discussions with many disagreements (what do you expect when you put a Pentecostal and a Southern Baptist together), but one central area of agreement – Jesus Christ was his and my Lord and Savior.

I did not consider myself then or now a Godly man, but instead a struggling sinner who knew (knows) Jesus as my personal Lord and Savior. Finding a real (serious) Christian brother (or sister) in Iraq was not an easy task other than the Navy Chaplin there. Then I met Lenny and he was the Godly man put into my life ... via GA's prayers.

But I digress. You see it was GA’s love for Christ and her love for her husband and her concern about his walk with Christ that led her to pray that he would find a Christian brother who would be a friend while in Iraq. Because of GA’s love for Christ and her forthright prayers, Lenny and I became friends. We remain friends, loyal friends, to this day.

During GA’s last visit to her church she was no longer able to walk and arrived in a wheelchair. I don’t know if this was her “Last Good Day” – something you may read about here, but something unusual and special happened a little later in the service.

Georgeanna got out of wheelchair and did not simply stand, but danced with the joy of knowing Jesus and asked the pastor for permission to address the congregation.

Her address was one of of the need to love and love deeply and her hope that all would come to know Jesus and join her in heaven with Him. Left me to wonder what I will be doing and saying on my Last Good Day.

She selected a number of songs to bring her love for Jesus to the forefront for everyone at her viewing – a viewing where I observed no one filing past her casket.

The songs were
Open the Eyes of My Heart Lord
I Sing Praises to Your Name
Lord Be Glorified
Change My Heart Oh God
Amazing Grace
What a Friend We Have in Jesus

However, she had also asked that all of her grandchildren and family would sing a special song to her and for her that she and everyone used to sing at Christmas to Lenny’s mother.

This song, “Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer,” reflects the very real joy she experienced in this life in her faith walk. A joy that only hints at the joy she is now experiencing in eternity with Christ - a joy shes wants for everyone.

I will think often on how GA lived her life and the many testimonies of her children, mother-in-law, grandchildren, and others. And one day I expect to meet her again in Heaven.

It's now almost 6:00 a.m. in Chipley, Florida and I intend to grab another hour of sleep. Have a Good day.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

FaceBook War

“Riley - you're a ‘pathetic lying pigheaded ignorant bigot’”

The above was a most recent post to me on facebook from someone whom I do not know. The individual was someone I thought I could “converse” with via facebook postings.

It was not to be.

The original posting was a link to an article titled (in FB’s social reader) In Defense of Rush Limbaugh while the original title was “Condemnation of Rush Limbaugh Shows Our Hypocrisy” which I read. I found said article to make a number of valid points, but recommended Mark Steyn’s The Fluke Charade as a companion piece of writing that I found to be more objective.

This suggestion was not well received as the reply to my posting was one where it was stated “Rush had no business make those remarks about Ms Fluke” and then complained Rush's apology to Ms. Fluke was "sandwiched between McCarthyesque smears of her "femmernism" and "node sympathies to gays, lesbians, and -- eewwwww -- transvesterites."

I wondered (in print) what he meant when he said “Rush had no business making those remarks?” After all, if he was referring to Rush’s characterization of Ms. Fluke as a “slut” and a “prostitute” I would agree Rush used poor taste and was out of line – even boorish.

Instead he defended Ms. Fluke as a well-informed third year law student. Then the name calling began when he stated, “the smear campaign really only works for the slenderly-educated cretinous bigots Limbaugh appeals to.”

I had been found out. Rush appeals to me, and for that I was now labeled as a “slenderly-educated cretinous bigot.” Wow.

Since he was a self-identified liberal, I replied I was surprised how long it had taken for the name calling to begin. I know, I know, I shouldn’t have replied that way, but I have often heard how liberals resort to name calling instead of replying with actual facts and arguments that I did not resist plus I was surprised it had taken so long.

I also noted Ms. Fluke “enrolled with the express intent to attack Georgetown's religious views on employer provided health insurance. Among the changes she seeks is coverage of “gender reassignment” surgeries.” Stating these facts turned out to be very offensive. How offensive you ask?

Offensive enough get this reply where the liberal now “take[s] a wild guess – you have “issues” with transgender?? .. that’s a pity ..”

What was I to say? Here is what I said, “You missed the point – in its entirety.”

Have you ever been called “Sherlock” with a negative connotation? I was and then provided with the following question, “when you close your eyes at night, do all the voices in your head keep talking??” Then came an absolutely astonishing remark, “even Iranians are cool with SRS” which is sex reassignment surgery. This was an incredibly naive remark as I discovered when checking to see if he was right.

He was right. Sort of as SRS is “the Iranian government’s “solution for homosexuality.” If “solution for homosexuality” sounds a bit like the “final solution” for Jews to you, you are not far off. There are a “number of stories of Iranian gay men who feel [fear] transitioning is the only way to avoid further persecution, jail and/or execution.” (Source Wikipedia)

Then actual humor set in as he reminded me “NEWS FLASH (from the 21st century: .. the Earth is round ... the Earth revolves around the sun .. ketchup is not a vegetable .. The Pope is not our sovereign king ..” Me? I chose not to reply.

Liberals can be terribly conflicted as when they name call, but try not to at the same time as his next comment reflected his conflict. “Riley -- the question is not whether you're an ignorant bigot .. the question is simply whether you can use that information for positive personal growth .. i'm rooting for you .. break the chains that bind and free your mind, instead ..”

Since I stuck to my guns he has quit rooting for me and I remaine in his mind an ignorant bigot.

This is what it is like to converse with many liberals – not all. But little if anything is done to restrain those like “my name caller” herein.

I decided to fight back (gently) and posted two links, both from Don Colacho’s Aphorisms. The first was number 2,962 “Unlimited gullibility is required to be able to believe that any social condition can be improved in any other way than slowly, gradually, and involuntarily.” I assume that did not set well with a liberal who wants things changed NOW. The second, number 115, went this way, “The prejudices of other ages are incomprehensible to us when our own blind us.”

I admit it. I am a Don Colacho fan and am certainly aware that I have my own blind spots and I appreciate Colacho’s aphorisms almost always coupled with his faith.

Of course the liberal fully understood (not) both aphorisms and asked, “which one of those quotes would rationalize your championing Limbaugh's contempt for women, or do you need to turn to the Pope for that level of inspiration??”

To be clear (again) Limbaugh’s remarks were not appropriate when he called Ms. Fluke a “slut” and a “prostitute,” but Rush’s comments do not compare with “comments from the misogynistic left that cannot be reprinted here and non-apologies from the same. I have actually read what has been said on both sides and their is no comparison.” That was pretty much my reply – including the misspelling – in defense of Rush. Also said that “while I admire many of the Catholic faith, I am not Catholic” and wondered where he got such an idea.

I should not have asked because I got an answer - another one of those answers.

“I just assumed you were pimpin for The Pope or at least his bishops on the no contraception nonsense .. not sure whether the Pope is a bigot about LGBT (i haven't really looked into that) .. i suppose that bigotry may simply be borne of good old-fashioned medieval ignorance ..” Notice the bigotry he has assigned to me is now coupled with ignorance.

Then we had a welcome interlude (from my perspective) when an independent more reasonable liberal interjected, “Way too much name calling, and personal byplay.”

He got shut down in a hurry. There was no attempt at reasonableness, instead there was this, “bigotry is ignorant by definition .. if Rush thinks that entitles him to demonize feminism and the LGBT community and Riley thinks that entitles him to defend Rush, it doesn't make the bigotry any less ignorant and i make no apologies whatsoever for pointing that out ..”

Then, while pointing out he has not suggested I nor Limbaugh should be denied equal protection under the law goes on and on about our ignorant bigotry. (I wondered how long that will last.) Of course this is while noting our bigotry comes from “deny[ing] legitimate healthcare benefits for women (and legaliz[ing] discrimination against the LGBT community).” It just never ends.

Our independent liberal had also asked the reasonable question about women’s views on the issues at hand which I took to be about the government telling businesses and institutions what and how healthcare insurance should be delivered. After stating why, imho, I thought Sandra Fluke to be a liar, I provided a link here about Obama’s drop in popularity which also showed a poll on the birth control debate.

Surprise – the majority of women in this country do not support Obama’s mandated healthcare and this is especially so for religious hospitals and institutions.

Also replied, “once the name calling begins, it only continues as [the liberal] is now calling me an "ignorant bigot" ... while stating deliberate falsehoods” about my position and repeated my conclusion that Ms. Fluke is a liar. I also provided a link here on why I believe Ms. Fluke is a liar.

This resulted in a question with a predetermined result where I was described as a pathological liar because I believe Mr. Fluke lied. He did this by asking, “what do you suppose the probability is that either (a) Ms Fluke lied to congress or (b) you and the conservative echo chamber seeking to discredit Ms Fluke are pathological liars?” Of course he takes this position because he is “a realist (vs. delusional).” Why he felt he had to state that after posing his self-evident (in his mind) question is beyond me.

Of course he mentions at length (MUCH IN CAPS) my (not his) obsession with “gender reassignment” and concludes I am a “lying pigheaded ignorant bigot” noting “the list of descriptors is a little longer here, as i have more information to work with now.” I have to admit it. I laughed – out loud – at that last, as I found it very humorous.

Of course he also somehow equated the New York Times poll, mentioned above, to a conservative poll and stated “i could care less whether a majority supports slavery .. it would still be wrong” when it was a majority of women in the United States that rejected Obama’s contraception mandates.

I decided on one more post and to then let him have the last word. He was not listening or reading with comprehension anyway - he is a true believer (see Eric Hoffer).

In my last post I made the point Ms. Fluke had not given sworn testimony, as he had posited, to a Congressional hearing. Instead she spoke to a panel of only democrats in a setting meant to appear as if it were a Congressional hearing. It was not. I also stated I still find Ms. Flukes stories to ring false.

I made the point I did not understand why he thought I was obsessed by gender reassignment issues as I had not discussed it. I thought he appeared obsessed with the issue – in some Goodwin Law version of his own making.

I ended with, “Cheers & Many Blessings.”

Recall my earlier, much earlier, comment when I noted, “Ms. Fluke “enrolled with the express intent to attack Georgetown's religious views on employer provided health insurance. Among the changes she seeks is coverage of “gender reassignment” surgeries.” He remembered. And that he considers obsessive somehow.

For not realizing that was obsessive somehow to him, he ends with the following for me, “Riley - you're a "pathetic lying pigheaded ignorant bigot."

For Rush, “i give him 3 weeks” for his show to last.

Gosh, that really hurt. Not. But it is all incredibly sad.

In reality, I should have simply spent more time in my Bible and chess studies and walking with my bride.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Fake, Flake, Fluke

Recently wrote about Ms. Sandra Fluke’s testimony before congress here, but it is worse than what I thought.

Ms. Fluke is both a fake and a flake.

First of all she is a fake victim. At a Fake Victim story we read
prior to attending Georgetown she was an active women’s right advocate. In one of her first interviews she is quoted as talking about how she reviewed Georgetown’s insurance policy prior to committing to attend, and seeing that it didn’t cover contraceptive services, she decided to attend with the express purpose of battling this policy.

Can anyone say, “Setup.” In the same article one discovers Ms. Fluke is not 23 years of age, but 30 years of age instead. Fake.

Fluke attended Georgetown to pursue a role as an agitator … she has succeeded in agitating, but she has not obtained her goal of persuading Georgetown to cover contraceptives. Instead she has succeeded in having the government force religious institutions – Georgetown University among them – to cover contraception. She may have actually exceeded her expectations, but I consider that a fluke.

At the DailyCaller we learn Ms. Fluke is a flake as well. It is there one discovers Ms. Fluke’s flakey degree in Feminist, Gender, & Sexuality Studies. If she didn’t start out as a flake she ended up as one and one with a chip on her shoulder as well.

How flakey was she? Well, at Cornell she “organized activities centered on the far-left feminist and gender equity movements.” Her organizing activities were insufficient to placate her Feminist, Gender, & Sexuality Studies angst. She was also involved with activities supporting abortion (no surprise there) while working “to recruit other women’s rights activists to campus.”

Got the picture yet – she is one serious flake, obsessed with her Feminist, Gender, & Sexuality Studies “issues.”

I am not surprised Obama has called her and encouraged her; after all she is the female version of an ACORN community organizer – a Fake, a Flake, and a Fluke.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Red Meat & Baloney

Reading the comments at a article, two in particular caught my attention.


The first was for me a red meat comment by DINORighMarie (DRM) who asked if anyone else caught the following comment by Ms. Fluke at the 2:25 mark:
….when you let university administrators or other employers, rather than women and their doctors, dictate whose medical needs are legitimate and whose are not, a woman’s health takes a back seat to a bureaucracy focused on policing her body….

DRM had exactly the same thought I had when I heard this portion of the testimony, that this is the essential objection to ObamaCare as it is exactly what will happen. The only difference is the need to replace university administrators with government employees/bureaucrats.

One other major difference, under ObamaCare you would have no choice to go to another university. This is because the final goal of ObamaCare is for the government to control all of medical care in order to control the costs which will necessitate controlling who receives what medical care and who does not.,

The second was the comment identifying the sob story about an ovarian cyst as baloney. DRM noted
Also, contrary to this sad tale of woe, most insurance *does* cover medical prescriptions of ANY kind – if the doctor follows up with justification, as a medical need. They don’t second guess a doctor who has a diagnosis and supporting paperwork. Unless the medicine is experimental or not approved for the use indicated, of course. Which, in this case, it is not. Even a Catholic insurance will cover this, if there is a proven MEDICAL need. No insurance company wants to risk the liability! (emphasis in the original)

While I have only been around for 64 years, this has been my experience as well. I know of no exceptions. DRM reaches the conclusion that, “The whole thing is made up, bull, baloney! Totally trumped up. This “student” reminds me a lot of Anita Hill, somehow.”

My conclusion is a bit different. Something happened. However, in this sad tale of woe as related by Ms. Fluke, if someone were able to dig into the actual facts I am convinced they will find the tale spun by Ms. Fluke is indeed baloney.

It would be interesting if someone in the media actually did the research and found out the true and real story. Of course it will not be the main stream media, as they have a vested interest in supporting anything remotely helping Obama.

Also with birth control available for $9 to $20 per month without copay Ms. Fluke’s arguments ring entirely false to begin with.

NOTE – Comments at are often educational and thought provoking.

School & Jada Williams

Miss Jada Williams, you may only be 13 years of age, but you deserve an introduction to Mr. Paul Graham. You and he have a lot in common via your essays.

He wrote a very interesting essay titled “Why Nerds Are Unpopular” that in many ways parallels your essay. I think you would really enjoy it and also think you would really understand when he writes

Public school teachers are in much the same position as prison wardens. Wardens' main concern is to keep the prisoners on the premises. They also need to keep them fed, and as far as possible prevent them from killing one another. Beyond that, they want to have as little to do with the prisoners as possible, so they leave them to create whatever social organization they want. From what I've read, the society that the prisoners create is warped, savage, and pervasive, and it is no fun to be at the bottom of it.

Oddly enough, his understanding of the public school system occurred in the eighth grade for him – when he was twelve and thirteen – the latter being the age when you wrote your essay.

You observed in your essay that,

When I find myself sitting in a crowded classroom where no real instruction is taking place I can say history does repeat itself. … The reality of this is that most of my peers can not read, and therefore comprehend the materials that have been provided. So I feel like not much has changed. Just different people. Different era. The same old discrimination still resides in the hearts of the white man.

Paul Graham observed

And as for the schools, they were just holding pens … . Officially the purpose of schools is to teach kids. In fact their primary purpose is to keep kids locked up in one place for a big chunk of the day so adults can get things done. …

… Kids are sent off to spend six years memorizing meaningless facts in a world ruled by a caste of giants who run after an oblong brown ball, as if this were the most natural thing in the world. And if they [the kids] balk at this … they're called misfits.

Jada, you continued with

My advice to my peers, people of color, and my generation, start making these white teachers accountable for instructing you. They tooled this profession, they brag about their credentials, they brag about their tenure, so if you have so much experience then find a more productive way to teach the so called ‘unteachable.’

Clearly the two of you are coming at this – public schools and public education – from two different directions. Nonetheless, it is uncanny how similar your language sounds on an emotional or visceral level.

Personally, I saw the connection between public schools and prisons when I entered a medium security prison as part of an outreach program. The corridors, bells, guards (hall monitors), and doors were incredibly reminiscent of junior high school and high school for me although I loved school and learning.

I was very interested to read what you said on the Glenn Beck TV show about your ‘white teachers’ reference here was not about race, but was simply using the language of Fredrick Douglass as it could have been so easy for you to say, “Darn right it’s about race.” You didn’t and made sure everyone knew it was about education or the lack thereof. (H/T

As it is, if your essay had removed the one word describing teachers (white) it would have been spot on without any explanation necessary as it would have then applied to the educational establishment as a whole.

I wish you all the success in life that Paul Graham has had and look forward to seeing your own website up and running one day –