Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Merlin once told me that there are two kinds of people, spectators and players

During a nap dream yesterday, an old Birmingham friend named Merlin (first name) showed up and said he wondered why I had not been to see him? I said something about my blog and he said he did not read it. 

I woke up, wondering what that could be about?

Then, I recalled that he had told me shortly after I met him, which was shortly after I had started practicing law in Birmingham, that there are two kinds of people, spectators and players, and he aimed to be a player.

I'm slow on the uptake sometimes, when something is hidden in plain view - that blogging is spectating.
In that regard, something from yesterday's Citizen's Voice section caught my eye but did not seem to fit into my post yesterday, so I didn't use it. 
“If you are thinking about running for office next year, please have a thick skin and ability to handle criticism. We have too many in there now that think they are wonderful because the dozen people they grew up with tell them they are. Get off Facebook, quit whining on the radio, and actually get out once in a while and talk to actual citizens. You might find out a few things. Or stay in your privileged circle and get beat next year. Your choice.”
I think I can say, as a 9-time candidate for local office, that I get out and about where I live and talk with people on the street and restaurants and sports bars and elsewhere, and pick up news and stories and rumors that elected officials tend not to hear, nor want to hear.

I think I can say, as a 9-time candidate for local office, that I caught more public flack in any one of those 9 races (5 for mayor of Key West, 3 for county commission, 1 for school board), than all the other candidates in all 9 of those races caught combined. 

I think I can say, in any one of those 9 races, I caught more public flack than 5-term Key West mayor Craig Cates and each of the 6 city commissioners combined caught during all their terms in office.

I think I can say, 90 percent of the public flack Cates and the 6 city commissioners caught came from me.
If I were mayor, the people of Key West and the Florida Keys could get up in the morning and read online that day's "state of the union" report, for free. They would not have to use their credit cards to pay 50 cents to read it online, which is what the Citizen charges, if you do not have a paid subscription.

The daily state of the union report would reveal what goes on in city government and during city government meetings, which is not reported by the Citizen and other local mullet wrappers.

The daily state of the union report would contain a praise and bitch section similar to Citizen's Voice, but far more comprehensive. Citizen contributors would not be limited to just a few words. Their words would not be massaged to suit my tastes. My replies to them, and my other musings, would not be massaged to suit their tastes. 

Contributors real names would be in plain view, unless that would put them in jeopardy. For it has been proven over the years, nay, over the decades, that whistleblowers are an endangered species in Key West and the Florida Keys. And in America. And beyond America.
Perhaps the daily state of the union report might gain attention on the mainland and beyond U.S. borders. The daily reports might draw comments from far and wide. And might draw visitors from far and wide, who otherwise might not have given Key West any more thought they they would have given an armadillo in Antarctica. 
Up here in political hotbed Alabama ...
former Alabama Supreme Court
Chief Justice Roy Moore

From a childhood friend, moderate Republican, who voted for Hillary Clinton last year:

Sloan.  Go to Today.com and see today’s interview with the first accuser.  She is quite believable, so much so that Kayla Moore should be puking her guts out.  

I replied:
She's believable. 

And, she votes Republican. 

How do Moore, his wife, the high and mighty evangelicals, and the moral majority Republican Party dodge this one? 

God is watching their response.

Where Donald Trump failed to destroy the Republican Party and the evangelicals and the white supremacists in America, Roy Moore just might have succeeded.

From a life-long Republican living in Key West:
Did you read the three major Alabama newspapers today endorsed Moore's opponent. Don't see how he can win

I replied:

I see how he can win, but I hope he doesn't.

Same reason Trump won.

Same voters.

Maybe if Moore is elected, that will destroy the Republican Party.

But then, maybe not. The Republican Party would rather have the Devil elected, than a Democrat. They proved that last year. Although, the Devil was the Democrat candidate, too.

A win win, for the Devil..

Facebook post from the New Age yesterday, 
We all know that spending time outdoors is good for you on both a physical and mental level, but the benefits of spending time specifically at the beach have just been revealed.
That incredible feeling of peace and calmness that you experience at the beach is now being referred to as “blue space.” That’s what scientists have dubbed the effect that the combination of soothing smells and sounds of water have on your brain. The blue space is enough to make you feel at ease in a hypnotic sort of way.
When you notice how relaxed you feel at the beach, it’s not just all in your head. Science says that it’s a change in the way your brain reacts to its environment leaving you feeling happy, relaxed and reenergized.
Overall, this blue space effects you in four different ways.
1. Going to the beach reduces stress
Water is nature’s cure to life’s stressors. It’s full of naturally occurring positive ions that are known for having the ability to make you feel at ease. So whether you jump in for a swim or simply dip your toes in the water, you’re sure to experience a feeling of relaxation. That’s one instant mood booster we could all use from time to time!
2. The beach boosts your creativity
Feeling like you’re in a creative rut? Well, scientists now believe that the solution to this is the beach. Being in blue space allows you to clear your head and approach problems or projects in a more creative way. Much like meditation, the beach triggers a feeling of calmness that allows you to tune everything else out and reflect on what it is you’ve been needing to focus on.
3. Going to the beach can help reduce feelings of depression
Much like the effects that the beach has on feelings of stress and creative ruts, the beach also provides some relief to feelings of depression. The hypnotic sound of the waves in combination with the sight and smells of the beach can put you into a meditative space. In turn, you can clear your mind and reflect on life in a safe space away from the chaos of your daily life.
4. Overall, spending time at the beach will change your perspective on life
And that perspective is going to change for the better! Nature in general has always been a factor in healthy happy lives, but the beach in particular is so good for the soul.
So grab the SPF and pack a picnic, because it’s time to head to the beach!
Or perhaps it was from a local Chamber of Commerce member:
Sloan Bashinsky
Sloan Bashinsky I myself feel more at ease, peace, swinging in my lightweight hammock strung between 2 Australian pine at Fort Zachary Taylor State Park in Key West. But that beach, and all the other well-used beaches are artificial sand and the shore waters contain MRSA bacteria which finds its way into open skin scratches, wounds, and then becomes life or death battle.
Sloan Bashinsky
Sloan Bashinsky Don't know if it interests you, or the journal in which that article was published, but there is a powerful earth energy vortex under Key West, comparable to the Sedona, Sangre de Cristo, Andes, Himalaya vortexes, but it seems to be inverted and draws in entirely different kinds of pilgrims and it energizes and enhances that glitter to draw in even more of same.

moi at Fort Zach

sloanbashinsky@outlook.com

https://www.paypal.me/sloanbashinsky

Monday, November 20, 2017

heart fires burn brightest - Tuscaloosa Dispensable Church pre-turkey day Sunday homily


My niece, Sloan Elizabeth Bashinsky,
my 1st wife, Dianne Lawson Baker, and moi
at Dianne's home 2 days ago

Dianne responded to the Roy Moore part of yesterday's post at this website:

Has Roy Moore confused Icarus with the Holy Spirit? Captain Precious and other pre-Thanksgiving homilies

  1. Law professor Clint McGee called Roy Moore “Fruit Salad”, a name that stuck through Law school. Apparently Mr Moore could not be swayed by reason. 
  2. Professor McGee taught criminal law when I attended law school at Alabama. He had a sharp wit in class. I felt it a few times. He started out his legal career (I heard back then) defending Nazis at Nuremberg. He was so good at it that he was switched over to prosecuting Nazis. During a nap dream yesterday, the Birmingham judge in my court case a few days ago, told me that he agreed with my view of the 19th Amendment. On waking, I didn't recall what 19 was about, so I looked it up. It granted women in America the right to vote. Perhaps the women accusing Moore should be believed. Perhaps Professor McGee should be resurrected to prosecute Moore.
Other photos 2 days ago at Dianne's home:
My Key West homeless girlfriend Kari told me on the telephone yesterday, that she felt really strong that I should stay in Alabama through Thanksgiving, and spend more time with my family here. I told her that I would take it up with them.
Kari Dangler

Not long after, Dianne's and my older daughter, Nelle, and her husband, John, arrived from Starkville, Mississippi, where they live.
John, Nelle and moi
at their lakehouse getaway
on my 75th birthday last month

I told the three of them what Kari had suggested, and they said, Sure. Great. Nelle said she would get my airline reservation to Key West changed to next week.

John and Nelle said they are having a gathering at their home starting this Wednesday. Their daughters, whom I have not seen since mid-1998, are coming from out state. John's mother and sisters and other relatives and friends are coming. John and Nelle are turning their home into a hostel. Would I prefer sleeping on a couch or an air mattress? An air mattress, said he who not all that long ago was sleeping nights on a metal bench in the front lobby of the Key West police station.

Dianne said she is driving over to Starkville, about 2 hours west of Tuscaloosa, tomorrow afternoon (Tuesday). I said I will follow in Nelle and John's spare car, which they had loaned me, and I will  come back to Tuscaloosa with Dianne on Friday morning and start driving her Porsche again, until I fly back to Key West.

Nelle giving me Porsche "shakedown" driving lesson 
on September 7 

Thanksgiving afternoon, Mississippi State plays Mississippi in Starkville on national television. I'm going to the game with John and Nelle and maybe some of John's family. John is Mississippi State's Athletic Director. Before that, he was their head baseball coach. He gets to sit way up high in the luminaries condo. I ain't never sat that high up at any kind of sporting event. 

Nelle said it might be cold in that condo. I said I have my padded arctic coat, double-lined skull cap and ski gloves with me. I won't be cold. Maybe I'll borrow Nelle's cowbell to rattle a bit. I think maybe every person in Starkville has a cowbell. A designer cowbell. Among other courses of study, Mississippi State is the state agriculture school.
I told John that pro and college football teams should not be allowed to pay on Thursday after playing on Saturday. Not enough recovery time. Too dangerous for the players. John said, well, it's Mississippi State's only time to be on national TV without a lot of other games competing. I said I understood that, but in the future schedules need to be changed so that there is no Thursday game following a Saturday game. Talk to the powers that be about that.

Nelle texted her daughters that I will be at the family gathering, and they texted back that they are looking forward to meeting me. Nelle got the airplane reservation moved back a week. 

John's father was one of my favorite law professors at the Alabama School of Law. I bet he and Clinton McGee, if they were still in this life, would have a few words to say to Roy Moore.

John's family is Jewish. Nelle converted to Judaism quite a few years ago. Converted from not being particularly religious. I'm 1/8th Jew, which makes Nelle and her sister, Alice, 1/16th. I told Nelle, John and Dianne yesterday, that when people ask me what I am (religious sect)?, I say, "Human."

When I asked Dianne yesterday if I should go to a costume shop and try to find a pair of red satin devil horns to put on my head at the gathering, when that seems called for?, she said, No.

I called Kari and told her about all of that. She seemed really happy for me. I said that I thought this is about the dream she had right after I got to Tuscaloosa last Monday. 

In Kari's dream, I was in an airplane at the Birmingham airport, headed back to Key West. The plane tried to take off, but it was not able to get off the ground. Kari yelled at me that I needed to take a later flight! The dream had freaked her out. She thought it was about me being killed in a plane crash. 

Given premonitions Kari had in the past, I felt a real plane crash was possible, but the dream might have another meaning, I told her, and maybe time would show the meaning. Yesterday, I told Dianne, Nelle and John about Kari's dream. After we had agreed that I will stay another week.

I dreamed last night of going into heart surgery. It seemed like it was going to be complicated. The surgeon began by slicing open the top of both of my feet. I asked if that's where the anesthesia was going to be put into me? I didn't get an answer. The dream ended.

My cell phone buzzer went off. Kari calling. 4 a.m. Just to chat. It was raining in Key West. She had to pack up her stuff where she was sleeping outside and beat it to cover. No, she'd had no dream about me that she remembered. Then, why'd you call me so early? Just to talk. You need to get up and start on your blog for today. At 4 a.m.? Yes. I'm turning off my phone. Good bye.

I was not able to go back to sleep. I got up and started on my blog. 

My G.I. tract is being wrenched by all of this change.

Historically, I don't do large gatherings well.

Maybe being in Alabama another week is the heart surgery.

I need lots of help.

Meanwhile, maybe the Pope should come to America, a great many of whose citizens claim is a Christian nation, or at least one nation, under God:
Jesus ministers to leper




Pope Francis will be offering several hundred poor people — homeless, migrants, unemployed — a lunch of gnocchi, veal and tiramisu when he celebrates his first World Day of the Poor in the spirit of his namesake, St. Francis of Assisi.
Francis begins the events Sunday with a Mass for an estimated 4,000 people in St. Peter's Basilica. Afterward, about 1,200 will join him for lunch in the Vatican's audience hall, where they'll be serenaded by the Vatican gendarmes' band and a children's choir. The rest will have lunch at nearby pontifical colleges.
Giuseppe Capurso, a homeless man from Bari, says he'll be there for the event, even if he doesn't expect much.
"I am like in a tunnel, where I can never see the light at the end," he said from the small room he shares at the St. Giacinta homeless shelter.
Francis has championed the plight of the poor, saying in one of his first public encounters after his 2013 election that he wanted a "church that is poor and for the poor." He has built showers, a barber shop and laundry for the homeless who live around the Vatican, and on his birthday has invited a few to join him for cake.
On Thursday, the Argentine Jesuit made a surprise outing outside the Vatican walls to visit the makeshift health clinic set up for the week leading up to Sunday's Mass that is offering free visits with cardiologists, dermatologists, gynecologists and experts in infective diseases. The Vatican called it a "field hospital" — the term Francis himself has used to describe the church he wants: one that welcomes in the poor and wounded and gives them merciful aid.
In a letter announcing the day celebrating the poor, Francis called his namesake "an outstanding example" of how deeds, and not just empty words, are needed to address the challenges posed by poverty. St. Francis was the 12th-century founder of the Franciscan religious order who renounced his wealth to live as a beggar.
"Tragically in our own time, even as ostentatious wealth accumulates in the hands of a privileged few — often in connection with illegal activities and the appalling exploitation of human dignity — there is a scandalous growth of poverty in broad sectors of society throughout the world," the pope said.



.- On the first World Day for the Poor, Pope Francis said caring for the needy has a saving power, because in them we see the face of Christ, and urged Christians to overcome indifference and seek ways to actively love the poor that they meet.
“In the poor, we find the presence of Jesus, who, though rich, became poor,” the Pope said Nov. 19. Because of this, “in their weakness, a saving power is present. And if in the eyes of the world they have little value, they are the ones who open to us the way to heaven.”
“They are our passport to paradise,” he said, explaining that it is an “evangelical duty” for Christians to care for the poor as our true wealth.
And to do this doesn't mean just giving them a piece of bread, but also “breaking with them the bread of God’s word, which is addressed first to them,” Francis said, adding that to love the poor “means to combat all forms of poverty, spiritual and material.”
Pope Francis spoke during Mass marking the first World Day of the Poor, which takes place every 33rd Sunday of Ordinary time and is being organized by the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of the New Evangelization.
Established by Pope Francis at the end of the Jubilee of Mercy, the World Day for the Poor this year has the theme “Love not in word, but in deed.”
In the week leading up to the event, the poor and needy had access to free medical exams at a makeshift center set up in front of St. Peter's Square.
Archbishop Rino Fisichella, president of the Council for Evangelization, led a Nov. 18 prayer vigil at Rome's parish of St. Lawrence Outside the Walls the night before the big event. After Mass with Pope Francis, the poor will be offered a three-course lunch at different centers and organizations around Rome, including the Vatican's Paul VI Hall.
According to the Council for Evangelization, some 6-7,000 poor from around Europe, as well as some migrants from around the world, were estimated to attend the Mass along with the organizations that care for them.
In his homily, Pope Francis said no matter our social condition, everyone in life is a beggar when it comes to what is essential, which is God's love, and which “gives meaning to our lives and a life without end. So today too, we lift up our hands to him, asking to receive his gifts.”
Turning to the day's Gospel passage from Matthew recounting the parable of the talents, the Pope noted how in God's eyes, everyone has talents, and consequently, “no one can think that he or she is useless, so poor as to be incapable of giving something to others.”
“God, in whose eyes no child can be neglected, entrusts to each of us a mission,” he said, explaining that God also gives us a responsibility, as is seen in the day's Gospel.
Francis pointed to how in the day's passage only the first two servants make their talent profitable, whereas the third buries it, prompting the master to call him “wicket and lazy.”
Asking what sin the servant had committed that was so wrong, the Pope said above all “it was his omission.”
Many times we believe that we haven’t done anything wrong, and so are content with the presumption that we are good and righteous, he said, but cautioned that with this mentality, “we risk acting like the unworthy servant: he did no wrong, he didn’t waste the talent, in fact he kept it carefully hidden in the ground.”
However, “to do no wrong is not enough,” Francis said, adding that God is not “an inspector looking for unstamped tickets.” Rather, he is a Father that looks for children to whom he can entrust both his property and his plans.
“It is sad when the Father of love does not receive a generous response of love from his children, who do no more than keep the rules and follow the commandments,” he said, noting that someone who is only concerned with preserving the treasures of the past “is not being faithful to God.”
Instead, “the one who adds new talents is truly faithful...he does not stand still, but instead, out of love, takes risks. He puts his life on the line for others; he is not content to keep things as they are. One thing alone does he overlook: his own interest. That is the only right omission.”
Omission, Francis said, is also a big sin where the poor are concerned, though it has a different name: indifference. This sin, he said, takes place when we feel that the brother in need is not our concern, but is society's problem.
The sin typically shows up in our lives when we choose to turn the other way, or “change channels as soon as a disturbing question comes up, when we grow indignant at evil but do nothing about it.”
“God will not ask us if we felt righteous indignation, but whether we did some good,” the Pope said.
Asking those present how we can please God, Pope Francis said when we want to give someone a gift, we first have to get to know them. And when we look to the Gospel, we hear Jesus say “when you did it to the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.”
These brothers, he said, are the hungry and the sick, the stranger and the prisoner, the poor and the abandoned.
In the poor, “Jesus knocks on the doors of our heart, thirsting for our love,” he said, adding that “when we overcome our indifference and, in the name of Jesus, we give of ourselves for the least of his brethren,” only then are we being faithful.
An example of this attitude is seen in the woman who opens her hand to the poor in the day's first reading from Proverbs, he said. In her, “we see true goodness and strength: not in closed fists and crossed arms, but in ready hands outstretched to the poor, to the wounded flesh of the Lord.”
Choosing to draw near to the poor among us “will touch our lives” and remind us of what really counts, Francis said, explaining that this is love of God and neighbor.
“Only this lasts forever, everything else passes away,” he said. “What we invest in love remains, the rest vanishes.”
Pope Francis closed his homily saying the choice we all have before us is whether “to live in order to gain things on earth, or to give things away in order to gain heaven.”
“Where heaven is concerned, what matters is not what we have, but what we give,” he said. “So let us not seek for ourselves more than we need, but rather what is good for others, and nothing of value will be lacking to us.”
sloanbashinsky@outlook.com