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Hillbilly Politics

Not Really Politics

Ted Williams was all the rage these last couple of days in the blogosphere and on cable news. In case you happen to be living under a rock this past week, Ted Williams is the homeless man who was a former radio announcer with a “golden voice” who fell into trouble with drugs and alcohol. Williams lost everything in 1993 and became homeless, only to have his life change this week when a video of him demonstrating his God given talent on the side of a Columbus, Ohio highway went viral.

Well, within a couple of days of the above video getting national exposure, Mr. Williams was offered a job as an announcer for the Cleveland Cavaliers, and was even invited on The Today Show and asked to do the opening voice-over for the show.

So, why has America fallen in love with Ted Williams? Simple. Continue reading

Christmas is my very favorite time of year. Why? Well, I think that Ebenezer Scrooge’s nephew, Fred Holywell, nailed it with regard to why Christmas is such a special time of year when he said the following:

There are a great many things from which I have derived good, from which I have not profited, Christmas among the rest. But I’ve always thought of Christmastime as a good time, a kindly, forgiving, charitable time; a time when men and women seem, by one consent, to open their shut-up hearts freely to their fellow creatures. So though it has never put a scrap of gold or silver into my pocket, I do believe that it has done me good, and I say “God bless it.”

So, in the spirit of Mr. Holywell’s sentiment, I would like to provide six of my all time favorite Christmas videos just to put everyone in the Christmas spirit.

Pretty much everyone remembers the hilarious Saturday Night Live skit where Jimmy Fallon, Horatio Sanz, Chris Kattan and Tracy Morgan sing “I Wish it Was Christmas Today”. Well, the video below shows Jimmy Fallon and Horatio Sanz starting off the song, but then Julian Casablancas of The Strokes finishes off the song. What is so amazing about this video, is that it demonstrates how a silly little ditty can become an awesome song just by having a cool rock star donning shades–accompanied by a great band like The Roots–singing it.

Continue reading

First, I’m really glad to be blogging more regularly. I’ve missed you all terribly and it’s good to be home though I’ve been very busy with and very excited about a new business venture.

This is the first and only time I’ll discuss this on this blog and I’m so fired up about it I can barely sit still to write.

It involves the travel industry and in the short time I’ve been involved it has been amazingly productive and a lot of fun. Think of it – a way to recession-proof your income!

This is something you’ve just got to see. Go here, click #1 and watch.
If you have any questions feel free to ask here or you can email me at skgtravel@yahoo.com.

Thanks and enjoy!

Yes, it is true. I somehow found my way out of the political wilderness to return to the blogging world.

My apologies for such a long absense.  I could give you a lot of excuses for why I’ve been gone so long (workload, family, wedding plans, burnout, etc.) but they would all be just that – excuses.  I’ve missed you all very much.  I’m also so grateful to Stephanie for keeping the door open to welcome me back in. You are a wonderful, talented, beautiful person Steph. I thank you for your support and friendship.

You will all be hearing from me more regularly now that I’m back. The Obamanation and his administration have done and continue to attempt to do a great deal of harm to our country and the Constitution.  I plan to have a lot to say about it.

Love to all,

Steve

It’s been a strange weekend that culminated in some revelations; several as a matter of fact. With the world full of premises, often left unquestioned it’s very easy to find cynicism and anger taking over one’s life. That reached a crisis point, so to speak, over this weekend, as I found myself in danger of crossing that unseen line and allowing cynicism to take over my life.

Of all the mundane places for such a crisis to take place, this one happened in a grocery store. A woman in her mid to late forties came up to me and asked for some money to buy some food. I turned her away because I didn’t have any at the time because I rarely carry cash. But that’s not the real reason I turned her away. In my mind I was thinking she’s a boozer or some other form of addict and I wasn’t giving up my money to feed her habit. I went on about my business and finished my own grocery shopping and at the register, I punched in $20 over… which I didn’t really need the cash myself but thought it might come in handy for hubby to have a little cash on hand, perhaps to eat lunch at a fast food joint or something with the cold weather, perhaps buy a lottery ticket which I don’t do as often as hubby likes.

Outside the store, my path crossed that of the woman’s again. She asked again for food money. Again I turned her away with the same excuse. But then, in a split second argument with myself, I pulled out the $20 I had gotten at the register and handed it to her. She looked at it in total shock because all she was asking for was a couple of dollars. She looked dumbfounded and I suppose my own expression was pretty much the same. She stammered a thank you and turned away.

I came home and put away my groceries and went back to work on Christmas presents. I’ll scrape up a few dollars to buy some cheap toys for the grandsons (they’re easily pleased so anything of their interests will do). Last year, I made the boys housecoats. I made them a little big for growing room and they wear them every day since and they still have about another year of room in them so I went a different route this year for them. They treasure those coats because mammaw made them. One day, I suppose, like my children did before adulthood, they’ll just have to have the latest gadgets and fashions and so on but for now, it’s special when it’s made from the heart. Christmas this year will be almost totally homemade.

Given the other crises this family has experienced over the last 6 months or so, especially of the financial kind, it has become increasingly easy to become so cynical that one is unable to function the way God intended. I was in danger of this happening to me. Perhaps the money was to buy alcohol or drugs, although I doubt it. I believe the person was in real need. The story here isn’t the amount of money but taking on faith that this was a person who was in need and I chose to help when even a week ago my cynicism would have gotten the better of me. When you’re experiencing financial hardships yourself, it’s also easier to become so self-absorbed you don’t focus on anything else. I had to remember: No matter how hard things become or rough the path to something better, there are times when we need to stop and lift up somebody else to keep them going, too. Sure, I could have used the money myself in a dozen different ways but I will never be so hard up that I can’t find anything in me to give to someone else whether it’s money or simply a helping hand to lift someone up after a fall.

As a nation, we’ve become more cynical and less caring or trusting. We continually look to government to be our conscience because we just can’t take the time out of our busy busy busy lives to tend to it ourselves. Giving that $20 to the government would not have affected that woman’s life in any way except perhaps indirectly and even that unlikely. Some things demand the direct approach and it’s up to us, as individuals, to choose to act. Such things are individual actions.

Did I also tell you that the woman had an accent although she spoke English well? That should have been a big red flag, right? It wasn’t so all you libs can get your knickers out of wads now.

Mexico, among other Latin American countries, has some really archaic laws still on the books. I can see why some people are desperate enough to cross the border illegally due to those laws. However, along with those who are desperate, there are a huge number who are taking advantage of the laxity and committing heinous crimes… everything from murder to identity theft… with little fear of suffering the consquences. Commit a crime, you get deported and able to return via the same route as before, making criminal activity rather profitable if you’re not a citizen of the country in which you committed the crime.

Government is too concerned with giving away to worry about that. The big deal with immigration is also a fine line between actually helping and inviting anarchy. I have little trust that the government, as it exists at the present time, can tell the difference since it seems to be most concerned with amassing power. Just because I’m letting go some of my cynicism doesn’t mean I plan on being an “easy mark” for every bleeding heart cause somebody dreams up. Conversely, too much cynicism and distrust leads to an inability to find solutions, one way or the other.

I believe there’s an answer in compromise; helping people without “giving away the store” at the same time. Perhaps if there were stricter punishments put on the lawbreakers who commit the heinous crimes no matter how hard the country of origin protests. Perhaps if we put more pressure on the originating countries to make their own laws more equitable to their citizens. There are any number of ways this issue can be solved but it’s going to take a lot of work to bring it about in a way that is acceptable to everyone, or at least the majority. There is no pleasing everyone as some will not be happy without it being all their way.

Brush off some of the cynicism heavy on your own shoulders and perhaps we can find a way. Have more faith in the power of the people to find the way forward rather than government; that there is still good in the world and that it is up to us, again as individuals, to show it.

Someone, whose blog I read quite often has in his signature: “One man with courage can become a majority.” I believe that works as well for women. Faith will bolster courage far better than cynicism or distrust.

It’s been a rough few month, economically, for the Hillbilly household with intermittent work and little money. After today, I thank God for the adversity and the opportunity to approach the holiday season differently. With little money and most Christmas gifts being given this year of the home made variety, I can avoid this.

A Wal-Mart worker died after being trampled when hundreds of shoppers smashed through the doors of a Long Island store Friday morning, police and witnesses said.

The 34-year-old worker, employed as an overnight stock clerk, tried to hold back the unruly crowds just after the Valley Stream store opened at 5 a.m.

Witnesses said the surging throngs of shoppers knocked the man down. He fell and was stepped on. As he gasped for air, shoppers ran over and around him. […]

Read the rest via the link above. Avarice knows no bounds. I can’t imagine anything is worth this; the sheer lack of regard for other human beings in pursuit of things that tomorrow will be old fashioned is beyond my understanding. If killing someone in pursuit of saving a buck is worth it, please don’t ever ever ever say another word against the war against terror.

For some reason I’m reminded of an old song we used to sign in church when I was much younger. The only phrase I can remember at this point is: “A piece of bread will buy a bag of gold…”

I may not have much gold but I know how to bake bread, on an open fire if necessary. I count my blessings and thank God for the knowledge to do these things because that bag of gold will provide no nourishment nor fill my stomach when it’s empty.

Yes, indeed, we may be having rough times in the hillbilly household and I thank God for them. We have food, shelter, and knowledge to provide for ourselves, in hard times as well as good. Life is good when you have these things.  Everything else is just… nothing that really matters.

For your holiday cheer via an email I received:

You know what would really irk the Democrats…

  Bush should resign now.

  Then Dick Cheney becomes President

  Then he appoints Condoleeza Rice as VP.

  Then Cheney resigns two weeks later and Condoleeza Rice, A Republican,

  Becomes the first BLACK – WOMAN President!!!

 :lol:

Follow Your Heart

by J.C. Phillips

I received a rather rude email from a local minister who took umbrage with my failure to support Barack Obama for president. I was disappointed that rather than do what Jesus would have done and offer a reasoned and well-thought out rebuttal to my column, this man of the cloth simply called me a bunch of ugly names. I am certain this was just one of those moments a good man failed to put his best foot forward. Although something tells me he is even now wishing he had talked about my mamma. There is, I am sure, a great sermon somewhere in this episode just waiting to bust out one Sunday morning to thunderous applause. Maybe I’ll get an invitation. 

The note did, however, bring to my mind a few questions I would like to ask my Christian readers. If you are not a Christian, please feel free to continue reading and if you are so moved to share your thoughts as well. 

Note to all: If you wish to call me names afterwards, please limit your notes to 25 words or less and please use spell check.

Americans are blessed to live in a society where we have the freedom to choose our political leaders. We have the freedom to debate, to question and to disagree, even to change our government because ultimately our leaders are beholden to “we the people.” This incredible blessing is more than America’s experiment with democracy; it is God’s gift to the world. As such we have a responsibility to be both politically involved as well as religiously faithful.

Politics, of course, demands compromise. However, as Christians, we are taught to be uncompromising. In all things we have, as a friend of mine put it, “an obligation to surrender our will to the will of Christ in our lives. One’s spiritual/religious beliefs should direct every decision that is made. There is no decision too small to surrender to God.” To help discern God’s will, we have help in the spirit that speaks to us through prayer, and scriptural study. 

How then do we as Christians reconcile our religious beliefs with our support of political candidates that engage in immoral behavior? What of candidates that endorse policy that is in direct contradiction with our Christian teachings?

The Bible, of course, is full of great leaders that were guilty of huge moral failings. In many ways, the Bible is a commentary on man’s transgressive nature and the willingness of God to forgive us in spite of our failings. Christians learn early on that none of us is without blemish, that we are redeemed by faith and the grace of God. Judging a candidate based on his or her falling short seems, well, unchristian. The sins of a man’s past ought not disqualify him from leadership or public service.

More problematic is when a candidate continues a pattern of immoral behavior. Such a leader has betrayed both the public and our Christian trust and should be voted out of office. 

Of more concern are candidates that express political beliefs and propose policy that is counter to tenets of Christian faith.

The political world calls them wedge issues, the most obvious examples being abortion and homosexual marriage. But for Christians, aren’t these more than distractions? Are not the sanctity of life, the origin, purpose and nature of marriage and the requirement for believers to defend our families from those who would destroy them the essential fruits which our saving faith produces? 

All of us – regardless of our political affiliation – attend Bible study during the week and sit in church on Sunday praising God and his word. We then go to the voting booth to pull the lever for candidates that promise to work against those things we claim to believe. We feel a responsibility to vote and writing in a candidate with no chance of winning seems a waste of that responsibility. We shrug our shoulders and say it was the lesser of two evils, but it was evil nonetheless. We console ourselves that we simply followed our hearts knowing the heart is a notorious liar, which is why we are instructed in all things to follow Christ.

Will we look back and wonder that perhaps it was our Christian voices that did the devil’s own work? 

No doubt my inbox will be full of responses. Maybe my minister friend will be one of them.

He’s a good man, who writes excellent articles although I believe this is the first I’ve actually passed on.

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