Thursday, December 29, 2011

Wisdom from the Porcelain Pulpit - an Introduction

My in-laws gave me a nice book for Christmas: "Paws for a moment with God - Devotions Best Enjoyed in the Company of a Cat" by Inspired By Faith (ISBN 978-0984332885). Along with the book was a stirred memory of something I used to do long ago, way before the days of blogging.

In my bathroom I keep a book on the toilet tank. I used to call the bathroom the "library with the porcelain seat". Now, I don't read things like "War and Peace" - there's not enough "Preparation H" for that - I read books with very short chapters, books of inspirational quotes, and devotionals. As most of those books go, every once in awhile something - a passage or sentence - would really strike me.

Years ago, when I was an Amway distributor (don't hate me - I said "WAS" - waay past tense), AFTER I got out of the bathroom, I would  get on the voice mail system (a system that allowed you to leave messages to individuals and groups),  and share the passage I had just read. Along with the passage I would add some of my thoughts on how it impacted me and why I felt like sharing it. I would start each message with, "Hi. It's J.P., with more wisdom from the porcelain pulpit." I would receive a lot of positive feedback for what I shared - most likely from the passage itself, and not MY thoughts - and the messages would be forwarded on to other groups.

Awhile ago I started to add short blog entries here called "Stuff My Brain Says". Now I would like to start adding another form of blog entries entitled "Wisdom from the Porcelain Pulpit". These will be very much in the style of the Amway voice mail messages. Unlike the "Stuff My Brain Says" entries, these will be based on those short passages that have inspired me in some way. It is my hope that they will be of inspiration to you too.

© Emittravel 2012

Monday, December 26, 2011

"Leader" of the Free World

I, like everyone else, tend to hang around with like-minded people. It's easier on the blood pressure. These people seem to be really disgusted with President Obama, and for good reason. Yet, I don't think it is necessarily the man they dislike - most would not mind sitting in on that "beer summit" if given the chance. And I don't think it is necessarily his politics they dislike, though for most of us non-Chicago dwellers, politics-as-usual reminds us of scenes from "The Untouchables". I think that people are disgusted because President Obama has shown that he is indeed mortal. He is one of us. "Just a slob like one of us" (with a bow to Joan Osbourne).

How did that happen? I don't think it started with President Obama. You could go back to President Clinton and his MTV interview ("Boxers or briefs?"), or President Kennedy and "Camelot". I'm not sure when it started, or with whom the honor was bestowed, but it did happen: We, as a people, have elevated the position of President of the United States from a co-equal branch of government to Leader of the Free World. We have made the President into more than he is. We have flooded him with praise, and the secret service to go along with it.

The reason the Republicans are having such a tough time at picking a candidate is that we the people are not looking for a competent person to fill the role of the Executive Branch, but god. We want someone who will stop the oceans from rising and (finally) bring peace (whatever THAT is) to the Middle East. 

What we need is someone who will bring balance back to our government: three co-equal branches of government - remember civics class? They each hold the same amount of weight. If the President is the "leader", than so are the other branches. Think of it this way: If President Obama is leader of the free world, then so is Dennis Kucinich (yeah, that feels REALLY good, doesn't it?)

I don't really blame President Obama for being "The One" - he was knighted that by the people. Secretly we WANT someone to take care of us, to provide with cradle-to-grave care (which makes me wonder: if government is to provide everything we need, WHY do we need jobs??)

We can't have it both ways, folks. You can't be mad when "god" and "goddess" spend millions of dollars on themselves: every deity, in every religion, demands sacrifices and gifts be showered on them. Don't they deserve it?

Recently the National Guard was pulled from protecting the borders. The "argument" was that there were too few to make that much of a difference. I think that it's so the illegal immigrants can make it to the voting booths easier. Here is an idea: if we are not guarding the borders, let's remove that fence from around the White House, and the guards who protect it. After all, "god" should be able to protect himself . . .

Maybe it's time we stop bowing. Remember: he takes his pants down to poop like the rest of us.

© Emittravel 2012

Saturday, December 24, 2011

No Christmas In My Stocking

The following is the second of two Christmas poems I wrote when in the Navy. See here for the first. 

No Christmas In My Stocking

As I look out
and see the blue sky,
with its hot desert sun,
the thought of Christmas
is difficult to envision.

Outside the world
is water and sand.
For the water is the sea
and the sand is the far lands
that exist beyond the horizon.

Snow drifts are memories only.
Scenes of childhood
to reminisce the time away.
Snowball fights and ice skates,
homemade igloos and sleds,
and hot cocoa to warm
when the evening sets too soon.

As Christmas day approaches,
and even as it pass,
my prayers, dreams, and memories,
send my love homeward.
Though may gift not I unwrap,
nor holiday meal I share,
I give to you that love,
in the hopes that when home I do come,
it too will be Christmas day.

J.P. Wiegand
©Emittravel 1987

©Emittravel 2011


Monday, December 19, 2011

Stuff My Brain Says #26

If you vote for or against a candidate because of race, sex, or whatever, you have PROVEN that we have not progressed as a people. I just heard commentary where the Republicans are alienating the Hispanic base. You know what? I'd LOVE to hear a candidate say that they don't give a FLIP about race, sex, or whatever, and that we are ONE American family, and they want what is best for America. THAT candidate will get my attention.

If you voted AGAINST President Obama because he is black you are a RACIST. If you voted FOR President Obama because he is black you are a RACIST.

We will not have progressed as a people until we look past race, sex, or whatever, and have actually listened to what comes out of a person's mouth. In other words, and I'm dating myself here, the ideal candidate will be the Unknown Comic!

© Emittravel 2011