Obama: "Be Afraid! Be Very Afraid!"


(From pictures sent to snopes.com by an American officer in Afghanistan, with the comment, “He was very warm and cordial.”)

Here’s part of email forwarded to me yesterday:

“I personally do not know this soldier but what he writes
speaks mountains. BE AFRAID, BE VERY, VERY AFRAID!!

Hello everyone,
As you know I am not a very political person. I just wanted
to pass along that Senator Obama came to Bagram Afghanistan
for about an hour on his visit to ‘The War Zone’. I
wanted to share with you what happened.
He got off the plane and got into a bullet proof vehicle,
got to the area to meet with the Major General (2 Star) who
is the commander here at Bagram.
As the Soldiers where lined up to shake his hand he blew
them off and didn’t say a word as he went into the
conference room to meet the General. As he finished, the
vehicles took him to the ClamShell (pretty much a big top
tent that military personnel can play basketball or work
out in with weights) so he could take his publicity
pictures playing basketball. He again shunned the
opportunity to talk to Soldiers to thank them for their

I swear we got more thanks from the NBA Basketball Players
or the Dallas Cowboy Cheer leaders than from one of the
Senators, who wants to be the President of the United
States . I just don’t understand how anyone would want
him to be our Commander-and-Chief. It was almost that he
was scared to be around those that provide the freedom for
him and our great country.
If this is blunt and to the point I
am sorry but I wanted you all to know what kind of caliber
of person he really is. What you see in the news is all
In service,
CPT Jeffrey S. Porter
Battle Captain
TF Wasatch
I went to snopes.com (it took me all of 5 seconds) and saw- as I suspected- that the letter was fake. An Army spokesperson, in fact, stated that the tour was delayed because Obama took so much time meeting the troops.

And, after realizing he violated regulations about troops making political statements, Capt. Porter is asking that his email be deleted, and not forwarded. He is saying that “information put into his hands was untrue.”

Truth seems to matter less and less. It is what “I believe” that is important, and facts seem to be secondary to that sacredly-spoken tenet. We all need to call each other out when we use “I believe” as a preface to personal opinion to which we demand capitulation by others. “I believe” does not always precede a truthful, logical, or even a civil statement. It is jargon which we use in expectation that others will not, cannot, dare not argue with us.

Nonsense, I say! “I believe” should not be a free pass into obfuscation or the perpetuation of lovingly held personal opinions based on whims and culture.

Needless to say, I’m going to be writing some more about Credo statements. Because it’s time for some of them to knocked down.

(it’s easier to swallow than it is to chew..which makes it easy to HATE Obama or HATE McCain if your sources of info are whatever like-minded, non-critical thinkers are forwarding to you. But such a shortcut, in the end, almost always end in choking..)

Right here, Right now..

Call it a vacation, a sabbatical, a semi-retirement. But I’ve got to stop for awhile. I’ll iPhone some small things in for awhile so you know I’m still breathing somewhere!

Slowly, the meetings have begun to be scheduled again- some of the same meetings I intentionally withdrew from last Fall. These are meetings that are necessary, despite my laissez-faire attitude about getting things done over a phone call or two and a lunch. Not everyone works that way, and it is flat-out wrong of me to try to squeeze everyone else into little molds of me! So, there has been a few additions to the numbers of meetings I attend. I don’t like that, but so be it.

The main thing I do it seems- each day now- is look for mom’s hearing aid (metaphorically speaking). I do that because I think the easier I can make it on the staff where she lives, the longer she will be able to stay there. I am trying, in a ridiculous way I know, to fill in a little of what she has lost through Alzheimer’s and..

It ain’t working..

The alternative to where she is now is more expensive, more distant, and it won’t afford the window views onto fields and trees which mom now is able to enjoy. If she has to move, I will probably have to move, too. And I don’t want to do that, not right now anyway.

Nor can I pretend that her illness has not fed into my own long crisis (series of crises) of faith. What to make of the “loving Lord” my mom still talks about , who (in her God schematic of the way God works) is allowing her memories and consciousness to be sucked away day by day? That, of course, leads to a whole series of mental challenges about human suffering for which the Bible has no non-conflicting answers. Theodicy has baffled greater theologians than me; all I can do is reduce it to kindergarten answers, and try to be calm and assuring when mom is crying and asking, “What is wrong with my brain?” (That’s something new, by the way- her awareness that something IS wrong.) Whatever I say back to her, the answer which underlies my words is this: “Don’t worry; in a year or so you won’t know who you are, who God was to you, or that you even have a brain.”

Sounds harsh, doesn’t it? But ask the caregivers of Alzheimer’s patients if it is not also true- that their loved ones became human husks before they finally and mercifully died.

Hello, God?


If I sound FUBAR lately, and I know I do..well, now you know. FUBAR and his sidekick, Irrelevant. I know those are both self-perceptions born of ego, too much thinking, and a summer surge of depression, but they overwhelm me right here and right now.  I’ve lost the ‘me’ within the ‘I’.

Dancing- Where the hell is Matt?

Here’s one of those Internet gems. This one is being passed around in huge numbers- and deserves to be!

Try to define what it is you’re seeing. Try to put in words why this video makes you feel happy and why you’ll probably be watching it again right away. It’s difficult, isn’t it?

Sometimes- rarely, but sometimes- we get to see humans who have set aside their egos and are able to celebrate their common humanity.  Rumi said it this way:

There is a community of the spirit. Join it, and feel the delight of walking in the noisy street, and being the noise.

We are seeing people here of all ages and nationalities being the noise. And note how similar the “noise” looks and feels wherever it is happening!

Go ahead, watch it again now. “I am he as you are he as you are me and we are all together” (The Beatles). That’s yet another way of saying it..

Here’s the Where the hell is Matt webpage. It’s fun. And noisy.

My Poetry Awards begin to roll in..

Special Announcement for all you nay-sayers, doubters, and s0-called critics!

See??? I was right! I knew my poem Kitty, Kitty, Kitty was worthy of real acclaim. These people- Poetry.com– know good poetry when they see good poetry. After all, they have a website dedicated to finding metaphorical wheat among the literal chaff that thousands of would-be but woefully untalented bumpkins submit to them every day.

The Real Thing stands apart from the riff-raffian attempts of pretend poets- and Kitty, Kitty, Kitty is the Real Thing!

Thank you, Howard Ely. You are a great man- the kind of man women dream about and the kind of man other men want to be. I humbly accept my ranking as one of your companions in composition- one of your poetic peers.

(Howard, When you send me my exclusive certificate- the one that is “beautifully typeset on archive quality vellum and mounted on a walnut-finish plaque under Lucite,” please get my name right. One of your screw-up underlings has called me “Audrey Hamilton!” Please, I know you’re embarrassed, but no apology is necessary. All of us manly, exceptional  poets understand how difficult it is to find good help these days, what with leaky borders and the dismal SAT scores so  pervasive in these drug-drenched times.  Why, just the other day I was at a McDonalds and requested some lemon curd for my pancakes..you’d have thought I was a space alien the way the young man behind the counter looked at me! “Dude,” he said, “what freakin’ language you be talkin’ in?” That’s what I’m talking about! And it’s WEBER with one B. Bless you, sir.)

Now..here’s the proof, my doubting Thomas friends:

Poetry.com Header

Dear David,

Recently, I was delighted to inform you that your poetry merited an invitation to participate in The Best Poems and Poets of 2007. Because your work displayed an original perspective and unique creativity, judged to be the qualities found most in exceptional poetry, we wanted to include you in this select group of poets. Congratulations on your achievement!

Commemorate Your Inclusion In This Exclusive Collection!

To be selected as one of the Best Poets of 2007 is a truly remarkable achievement. Your work is included in the same discussion as the greatest poets of our time, and you should be extremely proud of this accomplishment. We are offering a limited edition certificate plaque that commemorates your poetic milestone. This exclusive certificate is beautifully typeset on archive quality vellum and mounted on a walnut-finish plaque under Lucite. These 10 1/2-inch by 13-inch plaques are truly impressive ways to exhibit your poetic achievement.

The Best Poems and Poets of 2007

Poetry Best Plaque 2007

We hope that you will take advantage of this limited-time opportunity. Act now and commemorate your achievement with a beautiful plaque that you can proudly display for all to see! Again, congratulations on being named one of the Best Poets of 2007!

Howard Ely Signature
Howard Ely
Managing Editor

first iPhone post

Once convinced by my soon-to-be son-in-law that the iPhone was among the handiest of human tools, I bought one. I’ve had it for eight months now and here’s my opinion of it:

If I lost it today, I would curse, get in the car, and head for the nearest Apple store to buy a new one.

Now, I learn, I can easily post blog entries from it, too! This is the first one so posted.

Prepare to be overwhelmed with minutia.

God’s Love 3

It’s one thing to talk about it in church

with others who will agree with everything

that is being said about it that day.

And who will be reminded how good it is

for those around them to learn more about it,

and be better people for having done so.

It’s inspiring, to say the least.

Where are we going for lunch today?

But it’s quite another thing to watch

God’s Love

gather in the corner of his beloved’s eye,

drop onto her cheek,

and trickle down to her top lip.

When that happens, you can see

prayers being answered with

his Kiss.

God’s Love

My guess is that

God’s love better resembles a stack of pancakes with

slathered butter, and soaking in Aunt Jemima’s syrup,

than it does the

the horrible slaughter of his own daughter by Jephtha*,

or God’s allowing the ten children of Job to die,

just to win a bet. **

Pass the strawberry jam, please.

*Judges 11: 30-40

**Job 1