Tuesday, May 10, 2005

'Pastor Hall'

N.C. Pastor Accused Of Ousting Members Resigns

WAYNESVILLE, N.C. -- The Baptist pastor accused of running congregants out for not supporting President Bush resigned Tuesday night.

The Rev. Chan Chandler had called a meeting at the East Waynesville Baptist Church but did not announce an agenda.

Congregants of the 100-member church say Chandler endorsed Bush from the pulpit during last year's presidential campaign and said that anyone who planned to vote for Democratic nominee John Kerry needed to "repent or resign."

They say he continued to preach about politics after Bush won re-election. That led to a church gathering last week in which the nine members say they were ousted.

Monday, May 09, 2005

‘Dear God’

In the “you think you’ve seen everything” department...

It’s bad enough that, after barely winning two national elections, George W. Bush behaves as if he has a “mandate” to govern the way he has (further dividing the two major sides... instead of attempting to bring people together) Now we have this from North Carolina:

Democrats voted out of North Carolina church weigh next move.

Upon reading the story, you will see that several members of a Baptist church have been kicked out of their congregation because they are suspected of not voting for President Bush in the last election.

It’s always bad for people when they attempt to get between God and Dubya.

As we know all too well from talking politics with our “conservative-Christian” countrymen, who support Bush blindly... dissenting opinions are not allowed.

Even though Bush is no “conservative” and is hardly “Christian” in any of his actions some of the blinded have the advanced disease rather bad...

As does “Pastor” Chan Chandler of the East Waynesville Baptist Church in North Carolina, who has been pushing for an anti-Bush purge of his congregation since before the last election (also barely won by President Bush).

Naturally — after making this decision and ousting the members — there has been no attempt by the good pastor to explain any of his actions either to his own congregation or the media, which has thankfully taken an interest in this act of hypocrisy.

Nope. God has spoken on the matter.

This is not only typical of the “do as I say, not as I do” mind set found amongst Christians today it is also typical of what these pompous asses and so-called “conservatives” do when they get into positions with a bit of authority.

As Bush not only talks to God but also channels and speaks directly for God through his governing of our nation... so does Pastor Chan Chandler talk to God and act directly upon God’s authority against those less righteous than himself in his congregation.

As we’ve learned about phonies and zealots like these, they resemble the character Frank Burns from the sitcom M*A*S*H... always knowing what is right for their lessers while also not having to live up to their expectations regards everyone else (rank hath its privileges); Jim Bakker, Jimmy Swaggert... Jim Jones.

This guy probably has so many skeletons in his own closet that, when the door is opened, one is covered in a large pile of bones.

It’s an awesome responsibility to know what God wants. Just imagine: Having to make these kinds of decisions for people who don’t know any better.

The good news for the self-righteous is that, if anything ever goes wrong with their decisions over the lives of other people (and it almost always does), they can simply say, “It’s God’s Will.”

Tough to be God these days, I would imagine... evidenced by the small margin of victory for his candidate, a sitting president in war time, in the last election (the smallest margin of victory since Woodrow Wilson). God doesn't have near enough “conservative Christian” do-gooders to be able to punish all the ones who deserve it.

Thankfully, however, God has Dubya and people like Pastor Chandler to carry some of the extra burden regards these sorts of righteous and otherwise Godly duties.

It’s tough for Dubya and the good pastor to be all-knowing servants of God. They HAVE to teach us heathens to do things the right way or else suffer at their hands... on God's authority, of course. The pressure can be intense, as the pastor is finding out.

But that’s okay with Pastor Chandler. He doesn’t mind. He is as righteous as the focus of his worship: President George W. Bush.

Friday, May 06, 2005

‘English as a Second Language’

I understand Jorge Bush is going on another European excursion. While it’s always nice to have him out of the country one wishes they would just keep him. But, unfortunately... they don’t want him.

That’s a shame. Although Europeans are not Bush’s favorite sort of foreigners he does like foreigners better than he likes his own fellow Americans.

Perhaps it’s a language thing. Bush speaks Spanish but I haven’t heard he speaks French or German all that well. We DO know he has a passion for Farsi. Although I haven’t noticed he speaks that language.

He does say “religion of peace” a lot. Maybe that’s English our Muslim friends understand.

We know that he doesn’t speak American English — as he would say — “too good.”

For years, many of us simply believed he was just bad at expressing himself in English. But, it’s now starting to appear that he really isn’t all that interested in the language.

He’s so bored with Americans and their language that he has even made up some of his own words; “strategery,” “resignate,” “subliminable,” etc.

Perhaps Bush’s favorite language is Spanish. Jorge likes Spanish so much that he is inviting everyone who speaks the language into our country and encouraging more to come here illegally so they can speak it in this country.

El Presidente Jorge Boosh never passes a chance to speak Spanish to an audience. I know he does so in English but, since I can’t speak Spanish, I wonder if he is always inviting more lettuce pickers into the United States?

“Come one, come all... all lettuce’e pickers’e to Aztlan for free medical care’e.”

How do you say “lettuce picker” in Spanish?

“How do you say, in Spanish, “20 million lettuce pickers”?

Well... Jorge DOES know how to say “vigilante” in English. Or, is that a Spanish word?

Maybe the reason the economy isn’t working for Americans who speak English is because of their stubbornness about learning Spanish and Farsi.

It’s just a theory.

I’m sorry Jorge is bored with Americans and the English language.

But, then, I’m kind of bored with his apathy about it all.

Sometimes I just wish Jorge liked our language as much as he does the others. I could forgive him for speaking it badly if he were at least trying.

If the first casualty in war is “truth,” we know — after five years with this guy — that the first casualty in politics is “language.” Although I thought that meant the WAY English is spoken. I didn’t think it meant ANOTHER language altogether.

I sure do hope that in the next election we get somebody who likes to speak English. Wouldn’t it be nice if the next president liked Americans more than other nationalities?

What a refreshing change that would be.

Thursday, May 05, 2005

'Happy Birthday to Me'

It’s been a longstanding joke in the house that I always cut my own age by a few years and always add a few years to Michelle’s (she is four years older than me, you see).

So, when I turned 45 on Wednesday, I announced that I was really turning 42. In my math, this would make Michelle almost 55.

As for the children, I always mention that they are one year younger than they actually are on their birthdays. This always drives them crazy.

So, the family decided to seize the joke for themselves yesterday and got me a birthday cake that said “Happy 42nd.” Although, I suppose, it would have been a better joke if they had upped my actual age by a few years.

But at least my family has a sense of humor about things.

For myself... I spent the day watching movies on my new computer (I recently learned I could do that) and drinking Heinekens, not necessarily in that order of priority.

The family decided to give me the one thing I’ve been begging for over the years: A day of peace and quiet.

It was nice. It was also everything I’ve always dreamed it might be.

But... that’s all over now.

If I don’t forget how old I actually am — or die of old age before my next birthday — maybe they’ll let me have another day like that next year...


Tuesday, May 03, 2005

'Show Boat'

After another long absence another show has been produced. It’s really been aggravating not being able to do the show and stay on the schedule I want to. I don’t know if I’m past this problem now... but I’m hoping.

The new show is available HERE

One feature, which is good stand-alone entertainment, is this song by David Ippolito, “The Guitar Man from Central Park.” Jesusland is great songwriting, highly entertaining and very funny. I encourage you to check out just this song if you don’t have time to listen to my whole diatribe.

PS: I apologize to all those who wrote in requesting that I not produce any more shows. The temptation was just too great.

Monday, May 02, 2005

‘Runaway Bride’

There's something about the eyes

It was marvelous television.

I got up early Saturday morning trying to accomplish producing the audio show and, instead, ended up following the saga of one Jennifer Wilbanks, aka, “Southern Belle, aka, “The Runaway Bride,” aka, whack-job.

Like millions of others, for the four previous days, I had followed the tragic-appearing story of the woman who was about to be married, in a grand and opulent ceremony, but had mysteriously disappeared while out jogging.

I usually follow these types of stories. Like usual, I watched the police press conferences, I traded opinions and speculation with others on my favorite message board, I prayed for the grief-stricken family and the woman’s safe return, I suspiciously eyed the groom.

At the scene of the incident police helicopters flew about, detectives searched for clues, dogs sniffed for a trail, searchers looked for a body and the local waters were dragged.

All of these familiar and horrid circumstances — for her family, me and millions of others across the country — turned into a sense of relief early on Saturday, as it was learned that Jennifer had been found safe in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

The network coverage was intensive and the atmosphere amongst the media, family and elsewhere was jubilant. A tragedy had been averted. There was no body discovered hidden under some brush, in a shallow grave or floating in the river. This would not be the sort of case that we’ve become all too familiar with.

Not at all.

Upon her contact with the police and family we learned, from Jennifer, that she had been kidnapped while jogging. The perps had been a Mexican man and a white woman who had grabbed her, cut her hair and thrown her into a blue van... letting her go only after they had traveled to New Mexico (over four days) where they dumped her off at an Albuquerque 7-11.

But, the good news was she was safe. And, for an all-too-brief period of time... that was ALL that mattered.

The family, back in Georgia, invited the press into their home, declared that the “wedding is on” and invited the whole town to the ceremony. Several of Jennifer’s 14 bridesmaids-to-be gushed into microphones shoved at their faces.

Back inside the family’s home dozens of Jennifer’s relatives watched the network coverage, along with the media, while the nation anticipated the FBI press conference from Albuquerque on Jennifer and awaited more details about her harrowing experience.

That’s when, during the press conference, the FBI announced Jennifer had admitted to them that she made the whole story up, and that she had disappeared on her own and had run away because of the pressure of the impending wedding ceremony.

Jennifer’s family members and friends were suddenly stifled when the microphones were shoved at their faces, the network anchors were also mostly shocked into silence after the news was learned. Reporters at the scene stumbled and mumbled as the coverage continued and cameras rolled with them not in command of their next utterances.

A heavy and relentless downpour began suddenly in Georgia, as if to clarify the sudden shift in mood. Nobody ran for cover in the rain. They just meandered about with shocked looks on their faces.

It was riveting television.

Later, we were able to see Jennifer being escorted through the Albuquerque airport, her face covered in a Juicy Fruit-colored blanket and a gaggle of reporters and cameras following her to the plane for her first-class ride back to Georgia.

Blanketed whack-job

Turns out Jennifer had gone “jogging,” cut her own hair to throw everyone off and change her appearance, while she hopped onto a Greyhound bus for Las Vegas. When she began to run low on cash she had gone to Albuquerque, found a payphone at a 7-11 and made her thrilling 911 phone call.

Having been raised in the South... I’ve met Jennifer many times over in the form of friends, family and acquaintances. When Southern women are raised up spoiled and indulged the way Jennifer obviously has been... they can be truly destructive individuals.

Jennifer — in a fit of selfish behavior — managed to cost local, state and federal agencies thousands of man-hours and hundreds of thousands of dollars. She cost the businesses who locked up to search for her many dollars in revenue. She cost her wedding guests — invited to attend the overblown extravaganza — their work hours, vacations, plane tickets and the expense of their accommodations. She cost 14 bridesmaids and 14 groomsmen the expense of their costumes. She cost her family and millions of others untold grief, doubt, worry and dread. She cost her parents whatever it costs to put on a wedding with 600 guests, an expansive cake, limos, a band, catering, the facilities, etc.

For some reason, Southern families always ignore and excuse this eccentric behavior. Southern men not only tolerate this Southern Belle crap... they actually admire it, protect it and even marry it.

So... there’s no doubt in my mind that the groom, John Mason — who was suspected as a “killer” and made to look the fool on nationwide television during Jennifer’s trip to Vegas — will STILL marry the spoiled brat.

The apologists out there are already spinning Jennifer as the “victim.” She will, no doubt, be portrayed as having some sort of disorder (used to be called “spoiled”) that will excuse the same sort of behavior by others.

She’ll end up on Oprah, where everyone in the audience will “feel her pain.”

No doubt there will be interviews, a book and a TV movie deal.

Jennifer’s act of destructive and self-indulgent behavior will be the gift that keeps on giving... and costing.

I’ve always thought the reason no foreign armies ever invade the United States was because everyone here is armed to the teeth.

But, maybe, it’s because of the damage one single spoiled American woman can cause.