Saturday, September 23, 2006

I'm thinking the Pope is smarter than we think.

Well it's been a couple of weeks. Pope Benedict quoted an ancient text about Islam being focused on a mission of violence. So some of their fanatical members responded by saying, "we're not violent!" and then burning down a few churchs and killing a Nun.

Coffee club comments mostly focus on what a dumb thing it was to say. Or how ignorant he must be to have offended all those people. But think about this. I can only assume that an organization as big as the hierarchy of the Catholic Church must have dozens if not hundreds of folks on board who's only just is to be "aware!" To feel the pulse, the heartbeat of different societies. Couple that with historians who can quote you line and verse of the development, rise and fall of societies and civilizations for thousands of years. I can't believe that anything his holiness says hasn't been gone over with a fine tooth comb for potential faux pas potential. That each phrase is considered as to what effect it will have on the different groups that make up both the Catholic church, the catholic church (not a missquote or a misstype...look up the word catholic!), or the rest of the political, religious, and sociatial groups.

I think time is going to tell us that his words were carefully chosen and that it may have a much better outcome of finding a solution to some sort of peace than any butt kissing politically correct, count the votes drizzle that comes forth from the mouths of other political and religious leaders. I'm not Catholic, but I think PB is on to something. I think his plan is to meet them face to face. To challenge the 1.1 billion peaceful ones to get out their and shut down the fanatics. In this I support him, and pray for his success every day!

Is this the last great Saturday of the Summer?

WOW, it's bound to happen. We're actually a few days behind. But try as we might, no amount of positive thinking is going to change the fact that any day now, any moment, it'll be time to put on the long underware for another season. It's been a great summer, mostly supported by the almost lack of mosquitos. I remember years where they took over as early as June 12, and made the rest of the season worthless. Yet this year we could be out most every evening and hardly see a one.

2006 the year of the NON mosquito. It needs to go down in the history books.

I hope that you got out for one more ride, for one more walk, or just for one more sit on the porch. I don't mind the change in seasons, but I'd like to hold onto this summer for just a little longer.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Clinton get's the first "A" from me!

Did you see Bill Clinton being interviewed on Larry King Live on CNN last night? I think it was his most shining moment! For a transcipt visit here: IF only all the political parties in the USA and perhaps the World could sit down and talk like this! And just to let you know, I'm not particularly a BC fan, however I'm getting a lot closer!

Friday, April 14, 2006


I was at a very interesting seminar last weekend in St. Paul, MN. One of the topics covered was the human brain and how many decisions we make each day. How many would you guess? (course that's adding to your decision load for the day ;-) According to the speaker and several authors that she quoted, the average adult in the USA today makes about 35,000 decisions each day. Most of them rather simple ones. Where will I sit, what will I have to eat at each feeding, how much, am I thirsty, should I call to let them know I'm late. Along with driving a car and what lane to be in, looking for other drivers, etc. HOWEVER kids who are in residential treatment programs make about 3,000 decisions a day.

WOW what a difference, we also talked about how folks who are just coming out of military duty, and folks in nursing homes, also have much less day to day decision making responsiblity. So imagine you're decision load going up by a factor of 10 or 5 or eve 3. This is why parents with kids at any stage of development MUST take steps to see that many decisions are made for their young ones. It's easy to push them forward and tell them to, "decide that yourself!" seems it's very important to only increase the decision making load a little bit each year that a youth is developing. It was an interesting day. How many decisions do you force upon people around you who might not be prepared to make that particular decision, or to make that many decisons in a day? It's really made me rethink how I interact with folks of every age.

Good Friday 2006

Today is Good Friday. I remember all the years of my childhood when everything stopped about 3pm in the afternoon. Most everyone found their way to a Church for a somber hour with the song, "Go to Dark Gethsemane" as the closing song. Then the rest of the day was spent in a quiet, medatative mood. Of course waiting for the anticipated Easter Morning and it's powerfull uplifting message.

I go to a Lutheran Church where on Christmas Eve we sometimes have 470 people scrambling for seats. Weekly averages run in the 120-150 range depending on the season. Yet last night at the Maundy Thursday service there were hardly 50 people in the congregation. Then 14 or so in the choir. It was a wonderful service with the theme being Holy Communion. It was well worth my time both in the experience of remembering the events of Holy Week, AND in the learning details and history about Communion.

So the question is not why didn't these people come on this important religious day, but rather, what can we do different to encourage more people to attend? In what way can we make attending on a more than 30% (average) basis more of a desire? I guess we could do seminars on solving these problems, but it makes me sad to see the efforts put in to deliver a service. By the organist, the choir, the minister, the cleaning staff, the secretarial staff that puts together the bulletin and service sheets. I'm sad that folks who identify as being members of our church both don't attend regularly AND don't tell us why they don't.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006


This morning (April 12, 2006) on Minnesota Public Radio was a long piece about the Migrant Health System which is headquartered in Moorhead MN. BOY do I take exception with what the announcer was saying. First of all he was talking about how poor the migrants are that come to this area.

Talking about the fact that they make only 7,000 per year each. HMMM I wonder what planet this guy is on. First of all he's not taking into consideration that they do this in about 4 places through the year. The folks that would work in our sugarbeet fields also went to Wisconsin to pick Melons, and California to pick vegetables and owned homes and worked in Texas. One year when they left (and we had paid them some 30,000 dollars for their 2 months here) they went to town and bought an almost new pickup. I was tangling with an activist for migrants back in 1979 on KOA radio from Denver in the middle of the night in August that year.

It just happened that I knew the talk show host (we had both gone to Brown together). So after hearing the garbage that was coming out of this activist's mouth I just had to call in. When the host realized it was me, he introduced me and qualified me to the activist and the audience as being a 4th generation sugarbeet farmer in the Red River Valley, and someone who he knew to tell the truth. I explained to this guy the facts of our hiring this family (which we had had work for us for many years, who always came back here and who I knew since I was a little kid). I told him how much we paid them and then mentioned that with that money they went to town and bought an almost new pickup for 9,000 dollars. He of course instantly responded with, "well they move around the country, they need good transportation!" I countered with, "I absolutly agree with you Sir, however I thought that the THOUSAND dollar paint job was a little over the top. I don't have much financial sympathy for someone who pays a grand for a paint job on a 9,000 dollar pickup (remember it was 1979) when I'm driving an old Ford with a shift on the column!

But back to this morning's story. Anyway a featured "migrant" was a woman who had been in Moorhead for the last four years. (insert record scratching noise here) WAIT A MINUTE, STOP THE MUSIC. A migrant is a person who "migrates" who travels from place to place in a years time to find work, usually moving with the harvests or seasons. If this lady was in one place for FOUR years, she was NOT a migrant! So then what qualified her for free medical care at the Migrant Health Center? The fact that she was of Hispanic descent?

I don't fault this woman for seeking out health care, and I don't mind that it was provided to her for a co-pay of 8 to 20 dollars. What I DO NOT LIKE is the fact that we're not calling this what it is. This is a poor woman who needs health services NOT a MIGRANT farm worker passing through the Valley. I've had health coverage every month of my life since I was 15 years old. My premium started out at 12 dollars a month. Now I'm going to be 55 and my premium is approaching 600 a month. Can I dump my insurance and just show up at one of these places and get a voucher for care for under 20 bucks? It time we equalized the system. If everyone is insured, or covered in some fair way, then I only have to pay for my insurance, not participate in a wealth RE-distribution scandal. WHERE ARE POLITICANS WITH BACKBONES???

Saturday, March 25, 2006

In the book The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy talks about an SEP field. SEP stands for Someone Elses Problem. In the fantesy it's about how a space ship can land and activites happen and although people are looking right at it, since it's so far out of the realm of possibilites that they can accept to be reality, that they just don't see it. Although that's a fantesy created from the mind of an out of the mainstream guy, it certainly is relevant for todays situations. How often do things just get ignored because we choose to make it SOMEONE ELSES PROBLEM?

We're far advanced from the passerby witnessing an accident and then hurridly looking away and continuing on their journey because they don't want to "get involved!" Now it's a matter of ignoring poverty, racial injustice, hunger, you name it. All these things are going on around us and most of the time we don't even see or acknowledge it. I'm the KING at it when it comes to being in a small group and all of a sudden an overly ambitious Mom or Dad pulls out the next coupon book where I can win a mo-ped or a trip to Minneapolis or whatever for just a dollar donation. I think it's a rude thing to do and I don't give in anymore. I'm able to just smile and close up my papers and head out the door. HOWEVER on the other hand I do acknowledge and work for solving so many of the big SEP's that other ignore. Have you made something SOMEONE ELSE'S PROBLEM today?

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Apathy is going to bring us DOWN

Abdul Rahman is just a regular Afghan guy. Only problem is that this regular guy decided to become a Christian. He was a Muslim, probably a good one! At some point he made a decision to accept Christ in his life. When he was questioned by Afghan police about something unimportant, they caught sight of his Bible. They asked him about it and he told them he had become a Christian, 16 years ago. NOW UNDER Muslim law in Afghanistan, he faces charges of being an infidel and being put to death.

His only hope to not be murdered is to be judged as being insane, because under Muslim law he's not responsible for his actions if he is not of sound mind.

How many billion dollars have we spent to support a government that would let this happen? This is a time for EVERY Christian person in the world to stand up and SHOUT THEIR OUTRAGE. This is unbelievable. Get a hold of your congressmen and ask them how they can support this, because if they keep quiet they are support this. UNBELIEVABLE You MUST TAKE ACTION! Talk to your friends, bring it up in your groups, contact your congressmen. Don't let this pass by.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Fear of Flying/Fear of Frying

OK I admit it, very view of the people who know me will believe it, even if you don't know me and just listen to my daily radio programs you're going to be surprised. I am a white knuckle flyer. It's a secret I've been keeping for decades now but finially I have the nerve to tell you about it. From my first flight taken back in the winter of 1973 to my last flight to Germany in the winter of 2005, I'm a total fraidy cat! If you'd like to find out more about the many airplanes I've been on, will give you lots of pictures and some stories of my experiences in the air. Click Here

I wish I had maintained a Diary of every flight I've been on. Countless take-offs and landings, sometimes many on one flight. (Denver, Rapid City, Sioux Falls, Fargo, Winnipeg was the worst) Each time I get on a well maintained, excellent service record, highly trained staff, government licensed, inspected, guarded airplane, I make my peace with my Creator and fully plan to hit the ground going somewhere close to terminal velocity. Yet I can get on friends private propeller driven, 1970's constructed, wing flaps held on with a bent nail and radios not working, seldom inspected, using old winter gas, flying boxkites and head out in the middle of winter, or 120 degree desert days in Southern Nevada, and not even take along a bottle of water. Go figure. Just know that if you fly with me on a commercial flight, you'll think you're flying with a different person, cause I'm sure it's the last hours or minutes of my life. Bon Voyage!

Thursday, March 2, 2006

Kids need more free time!

I see that the local school board just came out with their schedule. State law now says that school can't start till after Labor Day and will be out around Memorial Day. Tourism and Vacation planning seems more important than our childrens preparation to lead the world. Makes me shudder to think what it's going to be like as this century unfolds in front of us.

Back in the 80's...remember those old days? I was living in California, Torrance California to be exact. The home of Toyota and other Japanese owned, USA based companies. Our young teenager was in one of the better public schools in the area. He was 1 of only 3 non-oriental rooted students in his class of 20 something. He felt special because when public school got out, he was free to come home, ride his bike, play video games or just look at the funny clouds that the polution grouped in the sky's above our townhouse. See most all the other kids in his class had to continue their studies at a private Japanese learing center. For almost two extra hours each weekday AND for 1/2 a day on Saturday those students were being put through extra learning drills. They were schooled in Japanese, but also in English, History, Math, Science, Media, EVERYTHING that would give them a ONE UP in becoming future leaders of their individual worlds. HMMMM, from Chris' point of view, he was the winner, but to me it looks like he AND our entire country are becoming the loosers.

My German foreign kids were used to being at school in the 7am hour, out of school at 1:30, then home for 3 to 5 hours of study. And they do that for 10 months of the year. Butts in chairs for more hours just has to contribute to a more highly educated workforce. I think we're slipping!

Talk to any employer and their major complaint? Going through worker after worker to find one that has the same work ethic as they the owner/boss has. What has happened to the folks that want to work for works sake? Who take pride in a job well done even if it's not their chosen career? I remember in the 70's I hired a young man to clean my store. His career was to be a piano tuner and he was developing that busines, but he sure did a wonderful job of keeping my store clean! Every day he would use one of those old mops and wash/wipe from one end to the other. Never complained, always had a great attitude and took pride in his "job of the day!" Now I have work that goes undone from year to year even though I'll pay a PREMIUM to have it done. No one shows up saying, "Have you got some work, I'll do anything, I need some money." They're to busy to stop and do physical work, that would interfere with their free time. Sorry I'm ranting about this, but I look around me and see SO MUCH that could be done, and I've got cash in my pocket to get it done. I've got job offers posted at the employment office AND the University. But alas, no one calls so I'll end this and go do some physical work which is good for me anyway but would sure be happier to pay for that so I can continue my core business. Where have all the good men (and women) gone?


Well it's a sad day for the community I live near (Crookston Minnesota). There's an old hotel in the center of town. It's in terrible disrepair but the frame is sound, it's even got an elevator shaft. Last night the county announced that they're going to tear it down. It will probably cost them a half a million dollars to do it. Here's the sad part.

If they put the same amount of money into a group/company/developer/individual, that individual could lever it into more than enough to make it a grand living space (yes for lower class incomed individuals)(GEE they need to buy food and clothes and gas and videos too!!) for many people, AS WELL AS having a ground floor area that could be rental of retail, restuarant, or civic use space. Our downdown is dying, and no one has a backbone to develop a vision to save it. Those that try give up quickly because of all the mountains that are put in their way. Taking out this core feature that occupies 1/4 of the major downtown block will leave the center of the city looking even more sad and open. Visitors and residents will then see the back sides of the other 3/4 of the block, a sight best left to movie makers and deliverymen.

If blame is to be put, I put it square on the shoulders of the local media. There's no one out there doing the job that media was supposed to do. In our neighbor city of Grand Forks, 2 giant building project happened almost simultaneously. Although I don't see eye to eye with talk show host Scott Hennen on a lot of issues, (who now is on the air on WDAY in FARGO) I can tell you that those two projects went through because EACH AND EVERY DAY he was on the radio pitching their value to the community. OVER AND OVER AND OVER AGAIN he kept hounding and cajoling, interviewing and correcting citizens who "didn't get it!"

MEDIA is supposed to be for the underdog, they're supposed to stand up and fight for the little guy, to take the higher-ground path even when it's against the financial powers that be. But in out town, money drives the media. No one is going to say or do anything that might cause even one business man to hold up even one dollar in advertising. And because there's no one shouting for the high ground in our town, the residents have become complacent. No one cares, no one shows up, no one (or almost no one) writes letters of support, or donates their hard earned cash to such projects.

It's always been said that a strong willed media keeps our country free. It's such an old line but so true about the power of the pen (microphone?) overcoming the sword. In our town the destructive swords sweep across our landscape because no one with power is using their pen! It's a sad day for the community I live in.

Monday, February 27, 2006

F.A.S Do you know what it means?

False Authority Syndrome. This is a real and actual disease which I have diagnosed in many people over the years. As time goes on here I'll elaborate on it.

Goodbye XX Olympics

Well it's over. I watched the winter Olympics more this time than any other time in the past. I was actually whooping and hollaring when Apolo got the gold and then did so well in the relay! That's never happened to me before. Am I becoming a sports enthusiast in my middle age? And how do those skiers "learn" to do those acrobatic moves. The first time must be a real mind bender! So thanks to the Curlers and the Skiers and the 1/2 Pipers and especially the Skaters! A lot of folks have been complaining about the coverage and saying that the Canadian station put out a better feed. OK. Being a technical guy and seeing all that they delived to my TV I have no complaints about that or even any "comments of improvement."

Here's my only complaint. There's a WAR going on and yet I never heard one comment about, "I did it for my brother in Iraq." OR "this is for the troups." OR even "HI to our troups." No matter what your feelings about this war, we've lost well over 2000 brave soldiers. How many thousands more have severe injuries both physical and emotional/mental. AND NOT ONE WORD!? Shame on someone. Did you hear anything? Please let me know.

Friday, February 24, 2006

"Show me the money....I mean Poor!

This is a quote from the Crookston Daily Times Editorial section by N. Ostgaard under an article headed: "Growing hunger poses a problem for Minnesota, nation" in it she said: "Unlike government programs, food shelves depend totally on donations from corporations and individuals, grants and volunteer workers to keep them running."

OK let's get this on the table right now. I'm pretty much a Democrat AND I'm a Christian (if you're telling me those 2 things can't exist in the same vessel..let's save that discussion for another time) I feel a great responsibility to take care of those who either can't, OR have fallen on tough times. HOWEVER I disagree with the previous comment. First of all I've only been to 3 food shelves in the area so I don't have a wide exposure to this, BUT at all three there have been stacked to the ceiling boxes of GOVERNMENT cheese and other commodities so I don't understand the comment. WHAT I DO UNDERSTAND is that many of the foreign kids that I have hosted for a year of school have gone and spent a day "volunteering" at a food shelf and finally I stopped having them do it for just ONE reason. They would come back and tell stories of family after family that came and got free food, and they helped them carry the food to their vehicles. They were telling me about sports cars, new sports cars, and nice SUV's...about stereos that they only were able to DREAM about having and yet here were these people getting free food. At the same time I'm in the grocery store with my kids showing them how to save money by buying generic rather than name brand and watch for sale items of things that we normally use. Top that off with my questioning of them asking them if any of these people were smokers and it was almost 100%. HMMMM. So do I think we should stop these programs. NO NO a thousand times NO, BUT I do think we have to find ways to provide for the needy without supporting the lazy. AND IT SEEMS that if someone is capable of coming up with 5 or more dollars a day to smoke (150/month $1,800.00/year) , they don't need my help to eat. But no one wants to take on such issues because it seems not politically correct. When did it become NOT PC to try to stop corruption? Why do we not try to make these programs better rather than ignoring them because we're afraid of what others might think? It's time to speak out. I still have faith in our legislators, we're just NOT TELLING them what we want!

First Post

Good Morning, It's February 24, 2006 at 9:37am. And it's a case of, "I can't take it anymore!" There are so many things going on around me that I disagree with that I need a place to post my observations, perhaps share a bit of my experience and let the world know what I think. It's not my goal to create problems, I hope I don't come off as arrogant. It's not my goal to play ONE UP with anyone! Sometimes it's just troublesome hearing about different news items, local, regional, and even national and world wide events, and seeing folks just accept it. What happened to the SPIRIT of our Forefathers? If we're going to be strong leaders. If we're going to follow what I interpret as biblical instruction, we can't just stand by and let things happen around us! So this is my attempt at moving others to take action!