Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Davidson At The Federalist: Let Individual States Find Their Own Healthcare Solutions Rather Than the Federal Government---It's Called Federalism

Brilliant Idea:  Republicans in Congress shouldn't tie themselves in knots trying to 'replace' Obamacare. If certain states want to keep it, they can, and pay for it themselves. Other states can find their own unique solutions and funding.
By  John Daniel Davidson @ The Federalist,

WHEN PRESIDENT TRUMP ADDRESSES a joint session of Congress tonight, he should make health care reform the centerpiece of his remarks, and he should make it clear to congressional Republicans what he has in mind. Ideally, he should strongly support repeal, even if a replacement plan isn’t ready to go.

The GOP has talked about repealing and replacing Obamacare nonstop for nearly seven years now. Republicans have won federal, state, and even local elections on promises to dismantle the law. If they fail to do it now, Republican voters might well be incensed—and with good reason.

Republican lawmakers are terrified they’ll get blamed for taking coverage away from millions of Americans if they repeal the law. An analysis presented Saturday to the National Governors Association (then leaked to Vox) predicted significant coverage losses if Republicans switch from Obamacare’s income-based tax credits to age-based tax credits, as outlined a recent 19-page proposal released by GOP leadership. The Vox headline warned “millions could lose coverage under GOP health proposal.”

But lost in the hemming and hawing over the potential political fallout is a simple fact: millions of American have already lost coverage as a direct result of the Affordable Care Act, which regulated their old plans out of existence. Millions more have simply opted out of health insurance coverage altogether because they can’t afford the overregulated ACA plans offered through the exchanges.

So far, Trump has been hopelessly muddled on the issue. During his campaign, he promised to replace Obamacare with something “terrific” that would “take care of everybody.” On Monday, he told reporters that “nobody knew that health care could be so complicated,” and suggested Republicans should just “let it be a disaster,” and blame it on Democrats and Obama.

At this point, letting Obamacare collapse under its own weight is bad idea. It made sense when Obama occupied the White House, but now that Republicans control the legislative and executive branches, it’s their responsibility to do something about it. But they need not craft a GOP version of the law with all the same pitfalls and costs as Obamacare. Instead, they should repeal the law and make a forceful case for health care federalism: states, not the federal government, should be the primary regulators of health insurance.

If States Want Bigger Medicaid, Let Them Pay For It

Of all the damage Obamacare has done, perhaps the most structurally important has been the federal takeover of health insurance markets. Recall that before the ACA, states were largely responsible for regulating individual and group health insurance. That’s one reason the cost of coverage varied from state to state. Some states, like New York and Washington, experimented with Obamacare-like provisions in the 1990s, and in the process nearly destroyed their individual health insurance markets.

Congress could repeal major tax and spending provisions of the law through the reconciliation process, as they are reportedly preparing to do, then invite states to step in and “replace”—or recreate—elements of Obamacare if they so choose.

Even so, repealing Medicaid expansion, the argument goes, would mean snatching coverage away from millions of poor Americans. This isn’t just a Democratic talking point. Ohio Gov. John Kasich, one of 16 Republican governors who expanded Medicaid under the ACA, has been lobbying to save that part of the law.

It’s a legitimately vexing problem. To date, 31 states and the District of Columbia have received generous federal funding for their expanded Medicaid programs, while 19 states have refused to expand. How do you maintain funding for expansion states without shortchanging non-expansion states?

One compromise floating around is to temporarily keep funding for those currently enrolled in expansion states but block future funding. At the same time, the federal government would make new funds available to non-expansion states  to offset the costs incurred by hospitals that treat large numbers of poor and indigent patients.

It’s a horrible idea. The federal government inflates state budgets (and therefore controls state policymaking) enough as it is. The last thing we need are more entitlement programs that enmesh states in federal policy schemes.

Every State Doesn’t Have to Be the Same

Instead, Congress should say to states, “if you like your expansion, you can keep it.” Of course, there would be a catch: states would have to pay for the expansion population based on the old Medicaid reimbursement rates. Traditionally, the federal government only pays about 60 percent of the cost of covering Medicaid enrollees. To entice states to expand their programs, the ACA offered a better rate: 100 percent to start with, ratcheting down to 90 percent by the year 2020. It was basically an extortion scheme, an offer too good for states to refuse. It also strengthened pre-existing incentives for states to game the Medicaid funding system to increase federal funding without actually raising taxes.

Repealing the enhanced funding would not only reduce federal leverage over state agencies, it would rectify the disparity between expansion and non-expansion states. If expansion states really want to keep covering all those newly eligible enrollees, they will simply have to pay for more of the coverage costs themselves.

After all, states are taxing entities. There’s nothing to stop lawmakers in, say, California from increasing taxes to pay for more generous Medicaid coverage in their state. If voters in Oregon want their Medicaid program to cover able-bodied, working-age adults with no children, by all means they should go ahead. Even before the ACA, Medicaid programs varied widely from state to state, with blue states generally offering more generous benefits than red states. There’s no reason that can’t continue.

The same goes for individual health insurance markets. Before Obamacare, states largely had control over these markets. Many states had (and still have) benefits mandates very similar to those in the ACA. Texas, a deep red state, has something like 62 benefit mandates. If states want to make health insurance more expensive by larding it up with required benefits, Congress should let them do it—and let state voters hold state lawmakers accountable.

All of this goes back to a core constitutional principle of federalism. Just because Obama and the Democrats tried to nationalize health care doesn’t mean Republicans should tie themselves in knots trying to make Obamacare palatable—or functional. If they really want it, let the states have at it.

John is a senior correspondent for The Federalist

Monday, February 27, 2017

Ever So Clever


Tamny: Every Commercial Advance Was and Is A Labor-Saving Robot From Tractors to Cars-----More Robots Mean More, Better Jobs No Matter What Bill Gates Says


EVERY COMMERCIAL ADVANCE was and is a labor-saving robot; from the tractor to the automobile to the airplane to the computer.  Economic advance is all about shrinking human input, and that's paradoxically why robots will be the greatest job creators ever.  Not only will they erase the lousy, entry-level work, but the efficiency they embody signals more and more work that matches our individual talents.

 Implicit in the ridiculous worry (Bill Gates the latest) that robots will render us unemployed is a rejection of Say's Law.  In truth, the continued rise of robots is the surest sign of abundant jobs ahead; jobs that we'll be increasingly passionate about.  There would be no need to automate if humans didn't have the means to purchase all the production that will spring from the automation.

Read the whole thing, Forbes.com.

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Several Oscars Getups I Like

TRUDI STYLER AND HUSBAND STING ON THE RED CARPET---TWO ADULTS WITH STYLE take the pre-Oscars. Her colorist has done a great job on her hair. Love the bare shoulders.
HAILEE STEINFELD IN A DRESS A BIT TOO SHEER FOR MY TASTE, but still a glamorous look especially with her pouty attitude coupled with the chiffon.....
CHRISSY TEIGEN WIITH HUSBAND JOHN LEGEND make a good looking couple.  I like her dress, especially the back, but her boobs are way too big and matronly looking....maybe she's just had a baby, who knows? Looking like a cow is not my idea of attractive.  When are all these huge boobs going to go out of style?  So laborious.

Meanwhile, below,  Emma Stone looks terrific. While I'm not wild about the bodice of her gown,  she pulls it off like a pro with her glamorous hair and earrings. She's a winner and has a winning look.
Finally,  I did NOT care for Jessica Biel's, Dakota Johnson's, Kate Hudson's and many other's looks.  

Castaldo @ TGC: The Day I Began to Follow Christ


Many people mistakenly believe such an experience---it is a supernatural one---should suddenly make their lives magically easier and end all personal suffering. When it doesn't and God refuses to be a personal Santa Claus, they walk away. In truth, such a conversion often increases one's life stress. But those who stay the course, proceed in divine Grace, Guidance and Mercy.  One of God's ultimate goals is to grow us up.

 Here's Chris' story:

IT STARTED ONE MORNING. Upon reaching my office in Manhattan, the phone rang. It was my grandfather. In a serious tone, he spoke a brief message: “It’s your Dad; come home.” Somehow I knew not to ask questions. It turned out to be a severe heart attack. The waterline of anxiety quickly rose above my head.

After days of sitting beside Dad’s hospital bed, I left my job at New York Telephone to manage the family business. It was a mid-size printing company with a dozen employees. With a deepening level of stress, Mom’s emotions crashed, and I started having panic attacks. Into this dark valley appeared a new employee named Jan. I soon learned that she was a Christian.

One day, while hanging up the phone with the cardiologist, I noticed a handwritten index card on my desk displaying Psalm 1:3:
The one who delights in the Law of the Lord is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers.
It was from Jan. Each day she selected a Bible verse for me. I normally would have dismissed her notes as religious propaganda from a flaky employee; but now, after weeks of despair, I was attentive and collected them in my desk. Eventually, the day came when Jan invited me to her church. Free to choose, and naturally disposed to decline, I listened to the words proceed from my mouth in response to her invitation. I, more than anyone, was surprised by what I heard. “Yes.”

I knew nothing about Protestantism and, quite frankly, I didn’t care to. Protestants, in my view, were an imitation of the one true Church. As I had told Jan when she first mentioned the idea of visiting her midweek service, “If you own a set of Big Bertha golf clubs, why be concerned with imitation knockoffs?” But now, on account of my Dad’s heart attack and the myriad challenges that it provoked, my stress had grown to unmanageable proportions.

The parking lot of Faith Evangelical Church was packed. In amazement I looked around thinking, “It’s a Wednesday night; these people must get a life!” With a mixture of humiliation and curiosity I entered the building and sat in the rear pew of their “worship center.” Devoid of any wood carvings, arched windows, or stained glass, it was simply a large room with a stage. Worse than austere, it was ugly.

Occasionally, I looked through my peripheral vision at Jan. Her eyes remained closed as she sang. Oh, and did we sing! After forty minutes of choruses that seemed familiar to everyone but me, the senior pastor finally entered the pulpit. With a style combining Al Pacino and a young Billy Graham, he quoted John 15:5-6:
I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. If anyone does not remain in me, he is like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned (NIV).
The preacher continued:
Humanity attempts to produce its own fruit. We run around exploring this and that religion, this and that philosophy, and by the end of the day, when we lay our heads down upon our pillows, our souls are still empty.
In what are you resting? In what does your life find meaning and purpose? What will be there for you the second after you take your last breath and depart in death? Consider the Good News! Jesus the Messiah died for our sins, rose from the dead, reigns in eternal glory, and at this moment is calling you to repent and embrace him.
Everyone on earth faces the same fundamental choice. Will we continue to live independent of Christ, in restlessness of soul, eventually to be gathered like a useless branch into a pile to be burned? Or will we submit to his authority and abide in his peace? The former person dies in a never ending state of alienation; the latter enjoys God’s acceptance now and for eternity. What will it be?
I don’t know how to properly describe what came next. Anticipation surged through my veins and my mind swirled with questions. Then, suddenly, the eyes of my soul opened. They immediately blinked, again, and again, as though they were awoken from sleep by a flash of light. The object of my vision appeared so new and bright that my initial response was to retreat.

As my inner eyes tried to adjust, I sensed an imposing presence. I didn’t see the angelic host or hear them singing. Instead, I felt divine mercy closing in on me. After a moment, this mercy, now accompanied by grace, reached out to grasp my guilt and shame—previously reasons for hopelessness—and it brought to mind three simple words: “It is finished.”

In that moment I finally understood the meaning of Jesus’ cross and resurrection. My search for hope had ended. The Lamb of God had died in my place, not simply as an offering for “sin,” in a general sense, but for me personally. Not Christ accruing superabundant merits to be stored in a heavenly treasury and dispensed to me as I participated in sacramental rites, but the complete satisfaction of God’s wrath and forgiveness of my sins.

The joy of redemption became a reality. At once, I identified with the penitent thief on the cross who encountered the Lord’s promise, “Today you will be with me in paradise” (Luke 23:43), the adopted orphan-turned-son (John 1:12-13), and the rescued rebel delivered from the domain of darkness (Col. 1:13). Why such a dramatic change? In Jesus’ words: “I tell you the truth, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life” (John 5:24).

Similar to converts like Augustine, Pascal, Luther, Newton, and a host of others throughout history, I encountered God in such a profound way that my life was permanently changed. To this day, I don’t have a better way to describe it than with the words of Charles Wesley in his famous hymn “And Can It Be That I Should Gain”:
Long my imprisoned spirit lay, fast bound in sin and nature’s night;
Thine eye diffused a quickening ray, I woke, the dungeon flamed with light;
My chains fell off, my heart was free; I rose, went forth and followed Thee.
In retrospect, I believe this was the day I began to follow Christ.

Friday, February 24, 2017

The Trump Phenomenon---He's Got Nerve!


WATCHED PART OF TRUMP'S CPAC SPEECH TODAY and it was vintage Trump all the way. He reiterated his agenda.  Then he reiterated it again.

 I keep being struck by what a total phenomenon he is, like nothing I've seen in decades, or even during my entire lifetime.    Right, wrong or somewhere in between, Trump is a true leader by my lights.  What I mean by that is:  he defines himself clearly, he tells us where he stands regardless of his increasingly vociferous detractors, then he lets the chips fall where they may.

A true leader defines, then stands his ground. Expect chaos.  Usually that chaos starts to wane in time.  But even if it doesn't a real leader still stands his ground and holds onto the principles he believes in.

The late leadership coach and former Jewish rabbi Ed Friedman writes in his book on leadership, A Failure of Nerve:
A leader needs the capacity not only to accept the solitariness that comes with the territory, but also to come to love it. These criteria are based on the recognition that  "no good deed goes unpunished",  chronic criticism is, if anything, often a sign that the leader is functioning well!
I couldn't agree more. True leadership begins with leading ourselves, expands into the family and community, then on into the career and business worlds. Most principles of leadership apply across the board, and if you can't define yourself to yourself and know what you're about and not about, you sure can't define yourself to others in a widening sphere.

The more you have a self that is differentiated from the larger,  emotional, political and cultural mass, the more able you are to be a true leader.  Mobs are made up of fused masses of people who can't stand on their own two feet and only get their identities from a group. 

Donald Trump certainly knows where he stands on most issues and doesn't hesitate to let the American people know where that is. Trouble is, a great many Americans have had weak to no leadership in their homes, families and workplaces, so areal  leader like Trump scares the hell out of them. Protests, sabotage and tantrums are to be expected.

Leadership in the age of the quick fix----especially after 8 years of the weak but popular Obama---takes a helluva lot of nerve. Nerve without end. It appears Trump is the right guy for the job.

He's got a lotta nerve. May he live long and prosper. May his leadership make America great again!

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Flynn's Replacement Of McMaster As National Security Adviser Is A Steller Pick

Army Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster is a perfect fit for the position of national security adviser, and it is no surprise that his selection by President Donald Trump has delighted many in the defense and national security community.

Trump announced Monday night that McMaster will replace Michael Flynn, the retired Army general who resigned a week ago after he admitted misleading the vice president about the content of a December phone call with the Russian ambassador.

McMaster is a scholar-warrior, much like two fellow flag officers serving in Trump’s Cabinet—retired Marine generals James Mattis and John Kelly.

McMaster is a brilliant strategist who has devoted his Army career to understanding military history and helping America’s armed forces learn from the mistakes of the past in order to fight more effectively in the future....

Notably, McMaster wrote a 1997 book, “Dereliction of Duty,” which criticized top military leaders during the Vietnam War for failing to give their candid advice to the president and secretary of defense. 

As national security adviser, one of McMaster’s key roles will be to provide unvarnished advice to the president.

More recently, as commander of the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment during the Iraq War, McMaster led U.S. forces in beating back an insurgency that was running rampant in the western Iraqi city of Tal Afar, where al-Qaeda had taken control.
Please read the whole piece. McMaster certainly seems like a very fine choice to me. I am especially heartened that he is a scholar, specifically an historian, as well as a warrior.  Hopefully, this job will allow him to apply his many skills and vast experience to the betterment of our country.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Milo Is Confused And Has Forever Crossed the Line With Me


WHAT'S THERE TO SAY EXCEPT A CONSERVATIVE, ANY SO CALLED-CONSERVATIVE, WHO PROMOTES PEDOPHILE SEX between a man and a boy, even an adolescent boy, has absolutely no credibility with me in any way, shape or form.  We live in two UN-parallel universes.  Never the twain shall meet.

Let me say it again.....Never, ever the twain shall meet. Sorry, but with this revelation including Milo's disgusting video, there's nothing left to say except it's disgusting and I'm done with listening to this man on any subject. Yes, yes, I understand he was a victim of pedophilia himself at the hands of a Catholic predator. It's doesn't matter. It's over for me. OVER. Get help, Milo and stop the incessant talk.
Good day. Good riddance.

It's also time, Breitbart cut Milo loose. No amount of explaining or rationalizing makes one damn bit of difference now. Milo needs to go to some kind of treatment program for the sexually abused or on an extended, year-long solitary hike in Scotland.

It's also pathetic how we on the right, including moi, gets so easily seduced. He's far too dark for me.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Sunday: The Messiah, And Partnering With God Through the Covenants


Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Wake Up Red States---The Empire Strikes Back By Taking Out Flynn Who Worked For Obama 4 Times and Will Stop At Nothing To Succeed At Destroying Trump




 It's time Red State voters wake up to the reality of what just happened and the fact that this coalition consisting of the Deep Liberal State along with the MSM and the deeply embedded intelligence community will stop at absolutely nothing to fulfill its sole purpose of bringing down and destroying the Trump administration.
We conservatives need to get wise to this and understand it's only the beginning. Hillary, Obama and Kerry are working fervently behind the scenes.    I want to link to two pieces I think are well worth our time to read and digest before another days goes by:

First, Michael Walsh writes at  PJMedia: The Deep State Empire Strikes Back and it goes something like this:
With the resignation of National Security Advisor Michael Flynn in the face of a howling media mob, the knives are now out not only for other administration officials, but for President Trump himself. Make no mistake about what's happening here: this is a rolling coup attempt, organized by elements of the intelligence community, particularly CIA and NSA, abetted by Obama-era holdovers in the understaffed Justice Department (Sally Yates, take a bow) and the lickspittles of the leftist media, all of whom have signed on with the "Resistance" in order to overturn the results of the November election.

Mike Flynn, a good man who saw the enemy clearly, and had the courage to name it, saw Russia not as an enemy but a geopolitical adversary with whom we could make common cause against Islam -- and who also vowed to shake up a complacent and malfeasant IC -- was its first scalp, and an object lesson to new CIA Director Mike Pompeo should he have any reformist notions. As for the media, having previously failed to take down Trump aides Steve Bannon and Kellyanne Conway, Flynn was the next best thing; their joy today is unbounded
Is this what you thought you voted for in November? Is this how you thought American democracy worked? Is this the country you want to live in?

Welcome to the Deep State, the democracy-sapping embeds at the heart of our democracy who have not taken the expulsion of the Permanent Bipartisan Fusion Party lightly. They realize that the Trump administration poses a mortal threat to their hegemony, and so have enlisted an army of Democrats, some Republicans, the "neverTrumpumpkin" conservative die-hards, leftist thugs, Black Lives Matter and anybody else they can blackmail, browbeat or enlist. They mean business.
Please read the entire piece. I agree the Deep Liberal State means business and will stop at nothing to destroy Donald Trump and his administration---the sooner the better for them.

Walsh continues:
We're in the midst of a rapidly moving spy game here, adrift in the famous Wilderness of Mirrors, and with the major players switching -- or appearing to switch -- sides in a flash. The CIA has never forgiven Ronald Reagan for taking down the Soviets and spoiling its extremely cozy relationship with the KGB. The two agencies had long since worked out a modus vivendi, under which rules they both did their best to keep the Berlin Wall standing, Eastern Europe locked away, and the postwar status quo in operation; it was only when one side or the other broke protocol that civilians ever heard a thing about them.....
It's a well done piece and deserves to be read and taken to heart for what may be coming.

Another piece linked at ZeroHedge today and written by The Saker is  a little more hysterical, but is essentially saying the same thing: Entitled  'It's Over Folks' The Neocons and Deep State Have Neutered the Trump Presidency:

Less than a month ago I warned that a ‘color revolution ‘ was taking place in the USA My first element of proof was the so-called “investigation” which the CIA, FBI, NSA and others were conducting against President Trump’s candidate to become National Security Advisor, General Flynn.  Last night, the plot to get rid of Flynn has finally succeeded and General Flynn had to offer his resignation.  Trump accepted it.

Now let’s immediately get one thing out of the way: Flynn was hardly a saint or a perfect wise man who would single handedly saved the world.  That he was not.  However, what Flynn was is the cornerstone of Trump’s national security policy.  For one thing, Flynn dared the unthinkable: he dared to declare that the bloated US intelligence community had to be reformed.  Flynn also tried to subordinate the CIA and the Joint Chiefs to the President via the National Security Council.  Put differently, Flynn tried to wrestle the ultimate power and authority from the CIA and the Pentagon and subordinate them back to the White House.  Flynn also wanted to work with Russia. Not because he was a Russia lover, the notion of a Director of the DIA as a Putin-fan is ridiculous, but Flynn was rational, he understood that Russia was no threat to the USA or to Europe and that Russia had the West had common interests.  That is another absolutely unforgivable crimethink in Washington DC.
The Neocon run ‘deep state’ has now forced Flynn to resign under the idiotic pretext that he had a telephone conversation, on an open, insecure and clearly monitored, line with the Russian ambassador.

And Trump accepted this resignation.

Ever since Trump made it to the White House, he has taken blow after blow from the Neocon-run Ziomedia, from Congress, from all the Hollywood doubleplusgoodthinking “stars” and even from European politicians.  And Trump took each blow without ever fighting back.  Nowhere was his famous “you are fired!” to be seen.  But I still had hope.  I wanted to hope.  I felt that it was my duty to hope.

But now Trump has betrayed us all.......

From now on, Trump will become the proverbial shabbos-goy, the errand boy of the Israel lobby.  Hassan Nasrallah was right when he called him ‘an idiot.'

The Chinese and Iranian will openly laugh.  The Russians won’t – they will be polite, they will smile, and try to see if some common sense policies can still be salvaged from this disaster.  Some might. But any dream of a partnership between Russia and the United States has died tonight.
The EU leaders will, of course, celebrate.  Trump was nowhere the scary bogeyman they feared.  Turns out that he is a doormat – very good for the EU.

Where does all this leave us – the millions of anonymous ‘deplorables’ who try as best we can to resist imperialism, war, violence and injustice?

Only time will tell if this writer is exaggerating.  I certainly hope it is.

I do think those of us who voted for Trump need to get wise, vocal and support and stand by him now, realizing the wolves and jackals are at Trump's and our nation's door and they're hungry and blood-thirsty.

They tasted blood today and hope for more tomorrow.

We better wise up and fast.  These angry, hateful people mean business.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Lincoln's Providence---An Inspiring Message From Pastor John Piper


By John Piper

ABRAHAM LINCOLN, WHO WAS BORN ON February 12,  1809, remained skeptical, and at times even cynical, about religion into his forties. So, it is a most striking thing how personal and national suffering drew Linycoln into the reality of God, rather than pushing him away.

In 1862, when Lincoln was 53 ears old, his 11-year-old son Willie died. Lincoln’s wife “tried to deal with her grief by searching out New Age mediums.” Lincoln turned to Phineas Gurley, pastor of the New York Avenue Presbyterian Church in Washington.

Several long talks led to what Gurley described as “a conversion to Christ.” Lincoln confided that he was “driven many times upon my knees by the overwhelming conviction that I have nowhere else to go.”

Similarly, the horrors of the dead and wounded soldiers assaulted him daily. There were fifty hospitals for the wounded in Washington. The rotunda of the Capitol held two thousand cots for wounded soldiers. 

Typically, fifty soldiers a day died in these temporary hospitals. All of this drove Lincoln deeper into the providence of God. “We cannot but believe, that He who made the world still governs it.”
His most famous statement about the providence of God in relation to the Civil War was his Second Inaugural Address, given a month before he was assassinated. It is remarkable for not making God a simple supporter for the Union or Confederate cause. God has his own purposes and does not excuse sin on either side.

Fondly do we hope — fervently do we pray — that this mighty scourge of war might speedily pass away. . . .
Yet if God wills that it continue, until all the wealth piled by the bond-man’s two hundred years of unrequited toil shall be sunk, and until every drop of blood drawn with the lash, shall be paid with another drawn with the sword, as was said three thousand years ago so still it must be said, “the judgments of the Lord, are true and righteous altogether.”
I pray for all of you who suffer loss and injury and great sorrow that it will awaken for you, as it did for Lincoln, not an empty fatalism, but a deeper reliance on the infinite wisdom and love of God’s inscrutable providence.

Thursday, February 9, 2017

At Cattail Cove State Park, AZ With the Sinners and the Saints

MANY WINTER MOONS AGO, I met the couple that would become my dear and lasting friends at a B&B in Everglades City, Florida. 

 We were all packing up to leave after breakfast when Peggy and I lingered over coffee and began to chat. Grumpy was eager to get on the road and told us to wrap it up, but we womenfolk wouldn't be deterred. We talked for another hour and at the end Peggy and I had made plans for me to stop to see them outside Denver, Colorado on my way to my summer home in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, and I had extended her an invitation for them to visit me in Wyoming. Since then, we've met in many places far and wide and it's like we've never been separated by time and distance. Guess that's the way it is with friends you love.

The moral of the story is you never know when you might run into a new friend in the most unexpected places. I consider meeting the  My Bad Influences a true blessing. Today we laugh and say our friendship extends from Everglades City to Lake Havasu City, Arizona and many places in between.... Who knows what's next. For now, we hike and play lots of UPWORDS, our favorite game.  They love to whoop my arse and do often.

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Hike to the Saddle of Vulture Peak, Then Getting Ready Soon to Meet Up With Mr. and Mrs. My Bad Influence

A CHALLENGING HIKE IN SUNNY, CRISPLY COOL WEATHER IS SIMPLY THE BEST!  Only thing is I forgot to take some ALEVE in my little pack as a few aching muscles set in. But I had it in my car along with tons more water.  You can't take too much water in this part of the country.

Meanwhile, up in Jackson Hole, winds were so high and severe they knocked out all the power in Teton Village ski area....maybe for days.  Sounds pretty dire....It's the severest, snowiest winter in years, if not decades.  Glad to be out of the ice, wind and cold and in the sunshine.

Getting ready to see one of my favorite couple friends My Bad Influence and his long-suffering, besainted wife for some hiking and game-playing soon.

Monday, February 6, 2017

Psalm 31 And Window Rock, Arizona Monday---Capital of the Navajo Nation

IT'S BEEN A VERY LONG TIME SINCE I WAS A GUEST IN WINDOW ROCK, ARIZONA, CAPITAL OF THE NAVAJO NATION. Even now, it's like going to a foreign country. It's hauntingly beautiful though quite a culture gap from the world I know. I loved going there for a few hours today on my way to Wickenburg, AZ,  then Tucson.  It was chilly and very windy with spotty snow on the ground,  so when I dropped off the high, cold northern Arizona plateau at Flagstaff,  and down into the lowlands----a 5,000' elevation drop--- the warmer weather and sunshine made it a welcome place to be. I love Arizona at this time of year and with all the recent rain, the desert is green and teeming with life and more life.

I missed my usual Sunday post  this past weekend, so I want to add some Scripture from this morning's readings at OneYearBible blog on my sidebar.  Both are worthy of deep meditation and reflection:

Psalm 31[a

For the director of music. A psalm of David.

In you, Lord, I have taken refuge;
    let me never be put to shame;
    deliver me in your righteousness.
Turn your ear to me,
    come quickly to my rescue;
be my rock of refuge,
    a strong fortress to save me.
Since you are my rock and my fortress,
    for the sake of your name lead and guide me.
Keep me free from the trap that is set for me,
    for you are my refuge.
Into your hands I commit my spirit;
    deliver me, Lord, my faithful God.
I hate those who cling to worthless idols;
    as for me, I trust in the Lord.
I will be glad and rejoice in your love,
    for you saw my affliction
    and knew the anguish of my soul.
You have not given me into the hands of the enemy
    but have set my feet in a spacious place.

Proverbs 8:1-11New International Version (NIV)

Wisdom’s Call

Does not wisdom call out?
    Does not understanding raise her voice?
At the highest point along the way,
    where the paths meet, she takes her stand;
beside the gate leading into the city,
    at the entrance, she cries aloud:
“To you, O people, I call out;
    I raise my voice to all mankind.
You who are simple, gain prudence;
    you who are foolish, set your hearts on it.[a]
Listen, for I have trustworthy things to say;
    I open my lips to speak what is right.
My mouth speaks what is true,
    for my lips detest wickedness.
All the words of my mouth are just;
    none of them is crooked or perverse.
To the discerning all of them are right;
    they are upright to those who have found knowledge.
10 Choose my instruction instead of silver,
    knowledge rather than choice gold,
11 for wisdom is more precious than rubies,
    and nothing you desire can compare with her.