Monday, August 3, 2020

Silence


I get it now.

I get so many things that once were dusty words in history books. The people on those pages have been coming to life, practically against my will. The dates and fashion that kept them locked down in the past no longer separate us. Gradually appearing in the shadows of current events, they are real people who once walked in the shoes I’m wearing now. Only mine don’t have big black buckles on them.

Suddenly, I know how they felt in both the struggle to gain freedom and the fight to keep it.

I’ve been to the birthplace of America a couple of times with my family. We walked Boston’s Freedom Trail where all those guys in funny looking tights put their lives, their wealth and their sacred honor on the line. We stood beside the grave where Paul Revere is buried. The North Church, where he lit “two lanterns if by sea,” is in peril once again, just as much as the upscale businesses surrounding it.

And we’ve driven through Gettysburg where bullet holes still riddle the stone walls of historic buildings, sobering reminders of what can happen when friends and family divide over little things like states’ rights. They say there are ghosts who still linger on its Civil War battlefields. But apparitions like those are as questionable as Covid case numbers. The thing that haunts me about that conflict, which took more American lives than all other wars combined, is this—now I understand how friends can be lost, families can divide, and a nation can disintegrate when unity is undermined. I’ve already seen brother turn against brother and children against their parents. There were probably more tears shed in that war than in all others combined, too.

My history teacher never told me there’d be a final exam like this one.

Bible stories are coming to life for me as well. Fear is written in its pages where true stories of oppression and depravity are told without the gilt edges of censorship. The conflict there was always good vs. evil, leading up to the climax of Jesus’ death. But in a well-played sting operation, Jesus turned the tables on his enemies by rising from the dead and overcoming sin for us. He is alive. But the Church is on a ventilator. The cancel culture of A.D. 85 feels like a mirror image to dictatorships like the one happening in California where now, as then, Christians began to meet in secret to avoid arrest and persecution.

I never thought I’d see the day when governors would order churches to close and stay closed. Or that corrupt politicians like Gavin Newsom would forbid Christians to hold in-home Bible studies. Or sing together. All while mass riots are not only overlooked but validated as important for the mental health of its violent participants.

Suddenly, bullying is not only tolerated, it is encouraged.

So, when John wrote his epistle to the first century church with teaching on how to become a Christian, he wasn't suggesting that born-again believers weren’t born again. John knew his audience. He knew their audience. And just like today, when Christians are afraid to show up at church for fear of being turned in by trolls, the apostle understood the reason. Congregations in A.D. 85 were a mixed bag of Christians and spies.

The echoes of those holy sandals rings loud in my ears right now.

Freedom, that thing which matters as much to God as it does to us, is under fire. Again. And the reason? Because control is a valuable commodity to bullies. We let our guard down while our enemies, both foreign and domestic, have burned their candles at both ends for decades. We took our cherished independence for granted, assuming we were immune to hostile takeovers. After all, we’re the land of the free and the home of the brave, right? But we got careless. Lazy. Lulled to sleep by entertainment and complicity. If the hostilities we are dealing with right now take a turn for the worse, many of us will wonder how and where we missed the warning signs.

Why didn’t we listen to the alarms of watchmen on the crumbling walls of liberty? Because fear sells and liars know this. We have forgotten how to think for ourselves, listening instead to the advice of power-hungry authorities and caving under peer pressure. Or maybe we never knew how. Critical thinking, too, is a valuable commodity because it is rare.

So, what about those shadowy people I just mentioned? That great cloud of witnesses who fought back against tyranny in their own time? And those who didn’t? In junior high when I read about peace loving Quakers who didn’t believe in conflict, I thought they were just fearful. Even disloyal for leaving the freedom fight up to others. Then when America’s enemies were eventually routed, conscientious objectors reaped the benefits of victory. I judged them as a bunch of cowards.

But, this morning, my own conflict-hating stomach is in knots. I watched a video of folks much braver than me who did what has become the unthinkable. As medical professionals who took an oath never to harm, they stepped out on thin ice and told the truth. They walked out in public in our nation’s capital to tell us we can have hope and live free. It wasn’t a popular message in D.C., strangely enough. While hecklers tried to shout them down outside, inside the hallowed halls of Washington politicians made sure their good news was censored. We wouldn’t want people to unite in these United States, especially while we’re being told to be fearful and stay away from one another.

Ironic, isn’t it? Who’s really afraid here?

Mesmerized, I saw a video of a man in an open-air event in communist California. By the time it was over, he’d been hung out to dry in the farmer’s market. His transgression? Bucking government approved fashion trends and letting people see his lips move. He refused to cave before a faceless society. He was mocked. Threatened. Confronted by a police officer who could not tell him what law he was breaking by breathing free outdoors. I was proud of him—from where I watched inside the temporary safety of my own home. Unmasked. Unseen. Unassaulted. Uncondemned.

I want peace. I want my life back. I want to wake up from this dystopian nightmare. But every single morning, it’s Groundhog Day. More liberties, paid for by my relatives and yours as they, too, were attacked by socialist enemies, are stolen. Right out from under our masked noses while we try to keep the peace, not make waves, and live our lives in silent desperation.

It’s the silence that is killing us.

Freedom matters. That’s the reason it’s under attack by people we actually elected to represent us in government, people who swore to protect the Constitution of the United States. It’s under attack by the CDC and Fauci and Birx, health officials who are breaking their Hippocratic oath to do no harm. And it’s under attack in farmer’s markets in California where citizens are held hostage by a communist governor who has them scared to death by illegal mandates.

Freedom is under attack in grocery stores that make announcements to “mask up or get out and do your shopping online.” You are dangerous, you oxygen-breathing resisters. We see you. We can pick you out in a crowd. You’re the one with the face.

Freedom is forbidden in fast food restaurants, too, where asthmatic teenagers deliver milkshakes to self-righteous drivers who yell at them for not wearing a mask. The choice now is "paper or fabric?" Our forced protection against a virus at least ten times smaller than the tiniest opening in a “face covering.” There’s a reason they’ve changed the noun there, you know. Calling them ‘masks’ isn’t specific enough—just ask the Lone Ranger. Face coverings imply that your ability to be seen is a danger to others—and they are one step away from a burqa.

But I get it. You can’t incite a Marxist takeover of a Republic by being obvious. You have to make it look like the rebels are those who resist. You can’t call yourself a communist when Democratic Socialist sounds more politically correct. You can’t capture a population of 350 million people by an overt attack. But you can immobilize them with panic and fear if you use a less-than-novel virus to cripple their courage, shoving propaganda in their faces twenty-four-seven on every TV, freeway, and store in America.

We are being conditioned to accept the unacceptable. And what is that? You already know. And our shadowy ancestors know. If we don’t get their history—which is our history—we will be doomed to repeat it. The goal of the left is to keep us so ignorant that while we submit to illegal mandates and government overreaches, we won’t realize we are surrendering everything.

It’s a white flag assault on our liberties and the future of our children. But we never saw it coming. We never thought our voice mattered. Until it was silenced.

It's time for the Silent Majority to make their voices heard. It’s not too late. It’s actually our time, and our turn. While the pen pauses and history waits to record our choice, we can take back what was given to us by the millions of Americans who gave their all for us. But we have to speak up in whatever way we know how. The warriors are weary. You and I are needed. Our silence won't cut it anymore.

This time, if we value freedom, it's going to be up to us to . . . get it.



With thanks to Simon Johansson for the use of the photo above. The original can be viewed by following this link:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/arksim/4363865976/in/photolist-7DBXjy-Dsuvo-5W7PaV-bApG88-6ArJUh-8gKEk5-56uEoG-2izawhK-ruV7kz-HStHP8-5rvVG7-M1EHwn-2dxFJf8-GWREX2-25w2ewc-2fyEXYG-2gih3Ru-NFXjti-29iZ9B6-2inN7F8-S1rZNG-bopkrK-T695YM-UfyqSs-RiCfkN-2d1LbFy-2hkCBFo-D6Zec7-23V4Tok-E1Bfez-2ikHEP9-RoHmMU-27LkvK7-YVb5Mu-21T2fHu-Fki4ka-YbCG9R-FcwsA2-8tk37z-YfRgok-S8BiWM-24zdpS4-HnkusG-QtNtC2-BNTJyy-76Nbak-CeFnrd-3H51hP-aDdmPV-5PV9MD




Thursday, July 23, 2020

The Greatest Generation


Today is Grandma’s birthday. Her 110th. She’s busy celebrating it with Jesus instead of hanging out here with us, but she’s still on my mind.

She’s been on my mind a lot lately. I know some of her life story. How she was born at home in Charleston, South Carolina, one hot, muggy July in 1910. An only child, she was moved from one end of the country to the other for the next seven years until she lost her mother to TB. Three years later her father adopted her out to an elderly, childless couple (Anne with an “E” style), months before her father died of the same disease as her mom.

She lived in Arizona most of her seventy years, except for the war years between 1941 and 1945 when Grandpa was sent to Australia to fight with the Army. During those four years, she and their two young children were passed around among his relatives who reminded her daily that her husband would probably die over there and she should get used to the idea of being a widow.

She got used to tuning them out instead.

When Grandpa came back, mostly in one piece, they started over again in the Phoenix desert, living in the house Grandma built during the year it took for her husband to recover in a hospital in Texas from war injuries. Twenty years later, when Grandpa came down with melanoma and Hodgkin’s Disease, they sold the family’s homestead, moved north to Payson, and Grandma stayed busy with the Garden Club and the First Southern Baptist Church while Grandpa got well again. She suffered with rheumatoid arthritis and horrific migraines for decades, but still welcomed us to stay with her and Grandpa every chance we got.

She was the feistiest ninety pounds of woman I’ve ever known and I loved her like crazy. She loved Jesus like crazy. I watched her read her Bible every single day and when she died, I asked for one of her Bibles so I could hold the book that held her together through all the rocky roads she walked. I miss her humor and wisdom and acceptance, though that Irish temper of hers was something to be avoided.

The more I know about her life story, though, and walk through mine, the more I understand how she felt.

And I wonder, as I think of Marie Elizabeth Quigley Weatherford Jennings today on the 110th anniversary of her birth, what would she have to say about the world that’s spinning out of control all around me right now? What would she think of lockdowns and panic and mandates? Of mayor/governor sanctioned riots? How would she feel about the destruction of historical statues, the burning of flags, the burning of the Star of David, and graffitied federal buildings?

It’s a rhetorical question, I agree, but it’s still on my mind.

You could probably guess what she’d say about defunding the police, making our Constitution obsolete, requiring untested vaccinations for our military, and forcing children to stay home from school while teachers unite with Marxist ideals and refuse to teach. Not to mention what she’d think about voter fraud and censorship in the media. How would a woman who watched newsreels about the war her husband was fighting in feel about government overreach and manipulated covid numbers intent on enslaving a nation of more than 300 million people?

She’d have a lot to say, I’m sure of it. I’m also sure there’d be a lot of liberals with their noses out of joint afterwards. But what would she think about the hopelessness I feel sometimes when I see the Republic I love with all my heart attacked by Communism within our own borders? And would my spunky, outspoken, opinionated wisp of a grandmother kowtow to the demands of rebellious youth, greedy politicians, and fearful religious leaders the way the media does? Would she stop going to church just because she was in her sixties and a pastor told her to stay home?

I really doubt it. She’d have probably headed the committee to fire him.

This pillar of a woman lived through the loss of two parents to tuberculosis while she was a child, the rejection of her own relatives that led her father to adopt her out to strangers, and was alive during the Flu Pandemic of 1918, as well as World War I. In 1929, six months after she married at the age of eighteen, the stock market crashed. In the thirties, she and Grandpa became parents to two children. One night while they were away from home, an arsonist with a grudge set fire to their house in an attempt to murder them. The man was never found or charged. Grandma and Grandpa lost everything except their lives and their babies.

Then they started over.

Because they had no other choice. If I’ve learned anything from examining what I know about Grandma’s life, it is that you do what you have to do to survive. And you get up and start over. Never give up.

During the Great Depression, she and Grandpa lived out of their own car for years, camped on the side of the road, and borrowed abandoned homes while moving from job to job with two young children in tow. They got back on their feet, never once depending on government bailouts while they were homeless, and Grandpa began his own business as an electrician. The day Pearl Harbor was attacked, Grandpa showed up for duty as an officer in the Army Reserves, and it was four years before he saw his wife and children again.

They lived through horrible times, including a pandemic that no one today had ever even heard about until fear mongers began making comparisons to it this year. The Great Depression was a national crisis, but it didn’t leave her in one. Grandma endured two “wars to end all wars” and watched her husband disappear for four years to fight in one of them. That home she built in the Arizona desert while Grandpa recovered from his injuries in another state? It had no air conditioning. Not even an evaporative cooler. Ever. While they lived on that small ranch, enduring 115 degree summers, they managed forty acres of citrus groves, took care of me and my baby sister for most of a full year when our mother became seriously ill, contributed to their church and community, and raised their own family.

Grandma saw a lot of chaos. I still remember the frown she wore while she watched news reports during the rebellious sixties as college students rioted against the Viet Nam war, demanded the right to free sex and drugs, and burned their bras and the American flag. She was there when television broadcast the assassinations of two Kennedy brothers, the assassination of Martin Luther King, and the attempted assassination of Ronald Reagan. She was part of The Greatest Generation but, if you ask me, all those seventy years she was walking in the shoes I’m wearing now were nothing to look back on with fondness.

She suffered. But she didn’t suffer in silence. The only thing that ever silenced my grandmother was her own death and, even then, as long as people like me know at least part of her story and pass it on, her voice will never be muzzled.

What would Grandma say about all the confusion and chaos and rebellion and lawlessness that threatens to destroy the country her father and her husband fought for in their own times? Well, remember Grandma was a strong Christian lady. A patriot. A survivor. But honest to God, I think she’d point a crooked finger in my tear-streaked face and speak the truth.

“Stand up straight,” she’d tell me. “And stop crying. You’re a child of God, and a citizen of the greatest country in the world. Act like it. And fight for it.”

Thanks, Grandma. Keep talking. I’m listening.

Happy Birthday.


Monday, July 20, 2020

One Hundred Thirty-Two and Counting


I walked into the grocery store, forty feet from the nearest shopper, mask in hand. Dangerous, I know. Selfish, some would say. Or worse. Who knew that the hill I would choose to die on is made of 80% cotton and 20% polyester? With little baby sheep imprinted on it. Baaah.

There was no friendly greeting, but a loud voice yelled across the room from a checkout counter, “You need a mask!” I had one. I showed it to her. Then a booming voice, presumably from heaven, sounded from that giant PA system in the sky. “Put on thy mask!” Suddenly, all the other worshippers focused their attention on me instead of on the carts spaced six feet away from them where they waited obediently for permission to buy their groceries.

I complied. I put on the fabric that would assuage all the fears of coronavirus I had inconsiderately carried with me through the front door. Instantly all those little boogers ran for cover. They knew I meant business. As long as my face was unrecognizable, the virus was confused and wouldn’t follow me down the produce aisle. Catastrophe averted. Thank God I bowed at the feet of pseudo-science and obeyed the illegal mandates of a corporation flexing its muscles at the expense of my feelings and convictions.

We wouldn’t want anyone to think this is a free country anymore, now would we?

It’s difficult to narrow down all the reasons I am opposed to masks, but the main reason is because some people think I have no right to choose whether or not to wear one. Others tell me I do have a choice—if I don’t like the policies of a business which requires them, then I don’t have to shop there. That’s plausible on the surface until you tell me where, in a state that is closing the net on individual freedom faster than Fauci can change his mind, I am supposed to buy food for my family.

The easy answer there is to use pick-up service at my local Kroger’s or Walmart or Tarzjay. Did you know they raise the prices if their shoppers have to shop for you? That they make substitutions without your approval? That they charge you a service fee to be of service to you? And still expect a tip after they tell you to stay in your car while they load it all in the back of your vehicle and smash your tomatoes? So, if I have convictions about whether or not wearing a mask is appropriate for me that go against the current narrative, I will be discriminated against in every possible way, including in my wallet.

I promised myself I’d keep this short, but I’ve discovered it’s a bottomless pit of explanation. Still, I’ll try.

I am not being selfish. I am not being unloving. Or un-Christian. I am fighting for the last vestiges of freedom that many among us don’t even realize they are in danger of losing. Dr. Fauci himself, on one of his many about-faces, said masks offer limited protection but that they are a symbol. Of respect. I agree that they are a symbol, but not of respect. They are the symbol of a war most of us don’t even know we’re involved in. I’m beginning to think they are also a distraction. As long as we keep fighting with each other about whether or not love means putting on a mask, we won’t pay attention to the man hiding behind the curtain.

What comes after compliance to a mask? Compliance to an untested vaccine, forced on us by governmental power trips? Compliance to a Covid-pass installed on our phones so we can be tracked and monitored for the rest of our lives? Compliance to a chip proving we are safe from the virus-of-the-month and are allowed to enter a restaurant? Compliance to freedom from religion that is already threatening to close our churches for good? Take a close look at California’s Christians right now and ask them if they have permission to hold home Bible studies, if that one sounds like a stretch.

But it’s only a little piece of fabric. An inconvenience. A small price to pay. That depends on what you’re using it to pay for.

Put it on and you completely disappear, figuratively and literally. It hides our smiles, which is kind of a waste of all that money we’ve been spending to whiten our teeth. It makes us look grumpy and angry to children—their words, not mine. Wrap your face in it and you look like either a hostage or a terrorist, a zombie or a robot.

Even an N95 mask, with permeation twice as large as the virus itself, is a poor excuse for protection. Did you know the same thing is true of condoms in the presence of the HIV virus? Picture that worn out “mosquito through a chain link fence” metaphor. Breathing through a mask recirculates carbon dioxide and toxins and bacteria the body is trying to exhale, setting the wearer up for serious illnesses. Take a look at Legionnaire’s Disease if you wonder what a dirty, damp mask could lead to—it makes covid look like a bad case of hay fever.

How about the way masks muffle your voice and make your words indiscernible until people finally pull them down—contaminating their security blanket—so they can be understood. People adjust and mess with their masks constantly, fouling the protective barrier we’re told is our only defense against a virus with a 99.2 per cent survival rate. They shove them in pockets, push them down under chins, stuff them into purses, drop them on the floor, hang them from rear view mirrors—this fashion forward clothing article that is supposed to save my life from your deadly germs and offer you peace of mind in return is a fraud.

But let’s just say I’m wrong and trapping my spit in my mask is the difference between life and death for others. There is still death in the mandates to wear them, and it comes at the cost of your right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. A governor, the executive branch of our government, has no authority to make laws of any kind. Nor do the courts. Only the legislative branch can make laws. Mandates and orders and guidelines and suggestions are imposters behaving like laws, enforced as they are by public pressure and police officers, but that still doesn’t make them the law. There is a law that defends people who are discriminated against when it comes to mask pressure, and it carries a stiff fine of $75,000 for the first offense. But even the ADA can’t protect everyone who wants to breathe free and make their own choices for their own bodies and their own health.

If all that were happening is that you can choose to wear a mask and I can choose not to wear one, none of this arguing or shaming or judging would be going on. Masks would quickly become a non-issue. But they are an issue because as states across the country fall like dominoes to governor-dictated orders to wear them, I am the loser here. Suddenly someone else’s choice to wear one based on the opinion that they are critical is the only voice that matters. Mine is silenced behind the mask I am forced to wear against my will.

That’s not all we lose, though. We lose friendships as a divisive issue like this requires either gut-wrenching honesty from people like me, or silent acquiescence from a compliant population. Neither seems ideal when the line in the sand means if I’m not in agreement with you, I’m against you. We are being turned against each other in an arena of personal choice. Masks are a test case to see how easily we can be frightened and manipulated into compliance with inconsistent mandates. For example, is the magic age for compulsory masks two years old or eight? Depends on whether you are in Tempe, Arizona or Gilbert.

If masks work and protect as effectively as some insist, why aren’t the standards standard?

We are being conditioned to feel ashamed of knowing what our rights are and recognizing when they are being violated. From the never-ending commercials and public service messages we are bombarded with daily to the ads sprinkled across blogs and pinterest and even the weather channel apps on our phones, we are in the cross-hairs of an agenda. While Facebook and google, Twitter and YouTube dub themselves the Fact Police, access to their version of truth must be pre-approved or it will be censored.

This is a takeover. It is tyranny on display. We have been lied to from the first fifteen days of flattening the curve to now, one hundred thirty-two since Arizona’s dictator decreed a state of unending emergency. With nothing in his order that says anything about an expiration date, this season’s Twilight Zone will never be canceled until the final outcome is achieved.

And what is that outcome? You are not allowed to ask.

Mask up, Arizona.








The photo above is the creation of Sanickels. Her original photo can be viewed at the following link:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/9137715@N05/6886296803/in/dateposted/


Tuesday, July 7, 2020

Swamp Life


The first ten years of our marriage, my husband Rob and I lived in his home state of Florida on the Gulf Coast. I’m a desert gal and had met a few insects in my life, but nothing prepared me for the regular invasions of Florida’s state bird, the mosquito. My favorite cologne quickly became Eau d’Off, and we went through dozens of cans of it just so we could hang onto our own blood.

We’ve been in Arizona for 34 years now and we’ve seen a few of those little suckers here, too, but usually just in the summer. That’s when occasional rain can transform an empty pot or overturned garbage can lid into a stagnant pool of water and suddenly you’re a target for blood-sucking opportunists.

Stagnant water is a problem because mosquitos can transmit some serious diseases. It doesn’t take long for even a small amount of standing water to become stagnant. If it’s not moving, the oxygen levels drop too low for human consumption or for the survival of plants. Organic matter will rot in the wet stuff and before long it reeks with the smell of death.

Technically, an overlooked pool of stagnant water isn’t a swamp, but there are some similarities. Mosquitos breed well there. They’re unfit for cultivation. Decay is prevalent. And the odor is foul as rotten eggs. Much like this election year and the political stink surrounding our country right now.

Since the first rumors of novel virus began blowing across our desert, I’ve prayed for the truth to come out. That those behind all the lies and manipulation would be unveiled and held accountable. Expose the evil, Lord, I asked. Let people see what’s really going on. Set us free from corrupt leadership.

Hoo boy. You gotta be careful what you pray for.

When our kids were growing up, I often prayed that, among other things, they’d be caught when they were guilty. I didn’t want them to get away with dishonesty. Own it, we taught them. Make it right and move on. The goal was for them to grow up to be self-controlled adults with a good conscience. That meant when they tested the waters to see if they could get away with evil, they’d find out they couldn’t. Not forever.

But there was a catch.

There was something I didn’t understand about that prayer until God began to answer it. Here it is. When your kids get caught and are punished, you suffer right along with them. Sometimes I felt like it really did hurt us more than it hurt them. But you have to let your kids experience the consequences of their actions, even though you’ll be dragged through the mud right along with them, because a child’s heart matters.

So, for the last six months I’ve been praying for the truth to come out and for evil people to be exposed and held accountable in our country. The chaos around us was never about a virus. It’s always been about control. Turns out, a lot of other people have been praying the same way I have, which is a powerful combination. But, as the swamp drains, there’s a nauseating stench filling our nostrils while the depravity hiding in all that murky water is exposed.

That’s one of the consequences I didn’t expect.

I don’t usually live in the world of politics. We stopped taking the newspaper years ago. I know mass media is really yellow journalism and always has a liberal bias. Honestly, I’d rather spend my internet time writing funny stories and mindlessly exploring Pinterest. But I don’t have the luxury of doing those things right now. Every voice matters in the fight against tyranny and the push toward Marxism and Communism that has suddenly reared its ugly head in America.

We’re on a collision course with those evil ideologies which have placed our 244-year-old Republic in the crosshairs of a revolution that’s been brewing for years. Though it’s been in the making for generations, I never saw it until this year because it was hidden behind university classroom doors and in the bedrooms of perverted celebrities, politicians, and millionaires.

And because I didn’t want to know. I didn’t want to smell the stench of a draining swamp. I didn’t want to see the filth hidden in the rotting depths. I didn’t want to believe there could be an apocalypse in my lifetime.

When your prayer is answered and truth comes out, what is also revealed are the horrible actions committed by horrible people. It’s like popping a pimple. How’s that for a word picture? Gross, but accurate. When you ask God to expose the names behind the lies, you’ll be disillusioned when it turns out people you once idolized have been hiding behind masks for years.

I didn’t know until this month what the Patriot Act has done to our privacy and freedoms, because I once thought the world of George W. Bush. I didn’t realize in 2002, during the panicked aftermath of 9/11, that our state lawmakers gave so much power to the governor in our executive branch that, not only does he believe he can rule with an iron fist, I no longer believe we live in a democracy. It’s to the point in Arizona now that if you’re wanting to escape the monarchy in California, don’t come here. You won’t see a difference between the two states.

I’d never heard the word Draconian before. Or Dystopian. Not until I began to experience them both under the misplaced idea that my constitutional and God-given freedoms only matter when there isn’t a virus floating around that’s been declared Public Enemy Number One.

I was ignorant of the machinery behind Planned Parenthood’s schemes. Although, when it comes to that one, I’m not alone. Even those who riot and protest right now for racial equality seem unaware that Margaret Sanger, the founder of PP in 1916, was a eugenist who believed “minorities are inferior in the human race” and created Planned Parenthood as part of a plan “to exterminate the Negro population.”[i]

Not until last night did I realize that the legalization of abortion has led to the harvesting of baby body parts sold “fresh, never frozen” to researchers in obscure, idyllic towns like Hamilton, Montana, where they are used to try to make “humanized mice.”[ii]   Now I know. Enlightenment isn't at all what it's cracked up to be.

Are you nauseous now at the stench rising from draining swamps? I am. There isn’t enough Pepto in the world to make it go away, either. Or essential oils, for that matter.

It’s an ugly, ugly thing to watch the vile existence of hidden depravity emerge right before our eyes and right beneath our feet in this country, knowing its publicity is an answer to the prayer for truth. I prayed that “it” would be stopped. I didn’t know exactly what “it” was when I began praying for the facts to come out so the corrupt would be exposed and held accountable. Now that I know more, I wish I could wake up from this nightmare.

I’m weary of arguing with people over viruses with a 99.8 per cent rate of survival except to add this. Seven years ago I had extensive surgery to remove cancer from my body and when the pathology report came back I was told they were 99 per cent sure they’d gotten it all. Those are slightly less optimistic odds than what we see with a politically charged virus that has governors, mayors, city councils and county officials demanding us all to comply to mandates that aren’t even legal. But the one per cent uncertainty my doctors gave me set me free to live and enjoy my life. The two-tenths of the one per cent uncertainty of coronavirus has so inflated the heads of elected officials, they now declare themselves king of the world. And most people bow in obedience.

It’s no stretch to see that it’s all connected unless you don’t want to see it, and even then I can’t blame you. Keeping your head in the sand might be better than smelling the decay and corruption in the swamp all around us. Until it begins to suffocate you, too.

I, like you, want it to end. I want to believe in the goodness of men. I want to feel secure in the protection of America’s constitution. I want to sleep peacefully at night once more, unafraid of domestic terrorists with their eyes focused on my community. I want to feel hopeful that the future will be bright for my children and their children.

If I want those things, I’ll have to see this prayer out to the end. The swamp isn’t empty until it’s devoid of all secrecy and coverups. Which means I’ll have to suffer along with the rest of America while justice is served, evil is overcome, and the fresh wind of freedom blows through our land once more.

And I need to stock up on a lot more cans of OFF. You may want to do the same. See you in the deep end.

Saturday, July 4, 2020

By The People, For The People


It’s the Fourth of July today. Independence Day. The 244th birthday of America’s declaration of independence from tyranny, oppression, and government control.

Or, as Queen Elizabeth put it so eloquently in a popular meme ~ Happy Treason Day, Peasants.

That clever congratulation isn’t as funny this year as it used to be. Rings a little too close to the truth when the government elected by the people for the people forgets we are not ruled by a monarchy and pulls out all the stops trying to force a police state on us.

So, in honor of our country’s birthday this year, at least here in Arizona, our fireworks spectaculars have been canceled. Because of dry conditions. They say it would be dangerous this July to gather and watch professionals shoot off fireworks. Because the desert is dry. In July. Just like every summer is until our monsoon rains crank up and humidity rises and brush fire videos are filed away in the backroom of journalism offices again.

Did you catch that? It would be dangerous this July to gather . . . That’s the real reason local businesses tucked tail and put away the celebrations. They are afraid of losing their liquor licenses and being intimidated by law enforcement officers who also wonder when we stopped being a free country. Our elected governor also forced water parks to close last Monday. We wouldn’t want anyone to enjoy the Vitamin D boosting, immunity protecting sunshine Arizona offers while swimmers baptize themselves in chlorinated water. In public. Not with other people in the area.

But it’s for our own good. Laughably, that’s the same line my parents once used to keep me under control when I was a child. Appropriate. It feels like nursery school politics right now while the executive branch of our state government, like many others, tells us what to do in the mistaken assumption we must be managed by a parental government.

Is that the America you were once proud of? I didn't think so.

Like you, many of my relatives fought and bled and died over the years to protect and preserve the ideal that created the United States of America in the first place. Here’s a short list:
  • Major Lester Jennings, United States Army, served in Australia and New Guinea during World War II. He was wounded by a grenade and spent the rest of his life living with the consequences of damaged discs. Major Jennings was separated from his wife and children for three straight years fighting for our freedom. He was my beloved grandfather and wept as he told me about the too frequent times he watched his own men die overseas.
  • Corporal John Quigley, an Irish immigrant turned citizen, served five years in the newly established United States Marine Corps between 1892 and 1897. He contracted a tropical, mosquito-borne disease while on tour of duty protecting American ships in the Mediterranean Sea from pirates. He suffered the consequences of that disease for the rest of his life. Nevertheless, after discharge from the Marines, he joined the U.S. Army for two separate tours, was injured in the Philippines during the Philippine Insurrection, and was also separated from his family for three straight years during his service to our country. Though he spent three more years trying, he was never compensated for any of his injuries by the Pension Board of the United States Government and, in all, he gave what he called “the best eleven years of his life” to the American government. He’s buried in an unmarked grave in Phoenix, Arizona. Corporal Quigley was my great-grandfather.
  • Sergeant Robert McLeod served in the United States Air Force for four years, intent on doing his part to end the Vietnam War he’d grown up observing every night, compliments of the media. By the time he finished boot camp, President Gerald Ford had accomplished what seemed impossible to our generation and officially brought the war to a close. Sgt. McLeod, a radar operator, went on to be the eyes and ears for pilots while he was assigned to a remote Alaskan airbase. He and his fiancĂ© were separated for a year and a half straight during his final assignment in Germany. Robert McLeod has been my husband for almost 44 years.
  • I can trace my relatives back to the Revolutionary War where many of them fought for freedom. Some of my ancestors served in the Civil War to protect your freedoms and the union of this great nation. My husband’s father served in the United States Navy during the Korean War. He lost a great-uncle on the beaches of Normandy during that invasion in World War II. Multiple men in his family also fought in the War of the States. And died in the conflict.
  • And I know the stories of the women who loved them. Bravely, they held down their own forts, were shuffled among relatives, and were told daily they’d never see their men again. Left behind to fight for hope that they would be reunited with their loved ones once more, many of those told to expect the worst—experienced it. 
We’re fighting another war now, you and I. It encompasses all the danger and unknowns as all the others our combined ancestors faced while defending freedom. But this one feels more sinister. I think the patriots watching from the past would agree. This one has once more pitted Americans against each other on the battlefield of fear while they wave protest signs as weapons. That’s under good conditions. In other cases, supposed Americans use intimidation, violence, threats, vandalism, and disguise to bring down a nation their ancestors fought for, too.

Spurred on by political leaders who have no backbone and others who will use any means to accomplish their selfish ends, we are in the crosshairs of a political machine that has the potential to destroy not only our amazing country but the very lives you and I cherish.

And while people argue, I among them, about the validity of masks, the manipulated numbers of a virus less dangerous than the vaccine many demand and are willing to force on an unwilling population, and the social distancing experiment created by a junior high student, the real enemy who laughs behind our backs and pulls our puppet strings is keeping our hands tied and our mouths gagged so we will not speak up. Or stand up. Or risk our lives to remain free.

The official fireworks may be canceled. It’s a joke, when you stop to think about their supposed reasonings. If the real reason for putting this new hammer down is to protect our environment, why aren’t fireworks tents prohibited from selling them to the public—the same citizens who are not supposed to gather tonight and shoot them off above a dry desert?

We are asleep at the wheel, my friends. Like rusty machinery unused to doing anything to protect ourselves, we have been relying on the largely corrupt leadership of professional politicians with their hands in each others pockets and in our private affairs. If we don’t wake up and speak up soon, in what ever small way we each can if that’s all we can come up with, this will no longer be the land of the free. Or the home of any brave.

I’m praying that the celebration of America goes on as scheduled. In public. Where people gather.

Because united we stand.

Divided – we will fall.



Monday, June 29, 2020

Weary


I am weary.

I’m weary of being jerked around like a puppet on a string by politicians practicing medicine.

I’m weary of holding virtual, one-sided debates on Facebook and Messenger with invisible people who post links on my page but won’t state why they put them there. It’s like being hit with a paintball by someone hiding behind a wall. Own it.

I am weary of governors and mayors making threats about enforcing mandates and laws they have no legal right to make. The executive branch does not make laws. Congress does.

I am tired of rioters, domestic terrorists in face mask disguise, destroying people’s lives and property and public property while police are told to stand down. It must make our public service employees want to vomit. Or resign. Which they are doing in droves.

I am tired of having the name of a virus shoved down my throat any time I am in contact with my phone or my television or drive down the freeway my tax dollars built while electronic signs tell me to wash my hands and surrender my intelligence.

I am tired of the brainwashing attempts that have taken over every ad and store window in America.

I am tired of the double and triple speak coming out of the mouths of medical people who even to this date admit that they “just don’t know.”

I am tired of people using the excuse “we just don’t know” to keep people enslaved by medical martial law.

I’m shocked by how little any of us know about the constitutional rights left in trust for us by generations who died to protect them. And how easily we have watched, wringing our hands in vain, while political terrorists rip our rights to shreds in full view of television cameras.

I’m weary of the panic. In God we do not trust. In science we trust if it fits with the narrative we believe. In freedom we no longer believe, or we would not submit to the tyranny of politicians who grow rich off our submission and ignorance.

I’m weary of bad news. Of weak governors and mayors who allow their wonderful cities to be stolen and call it “love” and “free expression.” Who sympathize with the frustrations of bored teens and disillusioned college students who drank the kool-aid.

And yet, in all of my weariness and shock and fatigue and disillusionment and boredom and loneliness I have never once thought the best way to express my frustration over stolen freedoms was to terrorize innocent people, vandalize public property, destroy police departments and vehicles, injure other people, and threaten to bring down America.

I am weary. But I am also awake.

I am informed.

I do trust in God.

I do not trust in science or its various interpreters who do not agree with each other yet are convinced we crawled out of a muddy bog and created ourselves.

I am watching.

I am taking notes.

I am speaking out.

I am connecting despite all oppressive attempts to keep us away from each other.

Most of all, I am talking to the King of the universe who sits in the heavens and laughs while the nations rage and imagine empty schemes, counseling together against the Lord. (Psalm 2)

I suggest you do the same. If you, like me,

Are weary.

Thursday, June 11, 2020

One Blood


We hold these truths to be self-evident that ALL men were created equal ~

That they are endowed by their Creator with certain essential (unalienable) rights ~

That among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.


The 244-year-old document that includes these words never once qualified people in its sweeping statement.

All this attention on whose life matters has made me nervous when I’ve never been nervous before. It’s the same anxiety I now feel around strangers and friends ever since a virus turned us against one another. Are you afraid of me? Are you afraid I’m afraid of you? Should I avert my eyes in a grocery store lest you fear I’m a carrier—or a racist?

Doesn’t it seem to you like the real enemy bent on destroying our country, our communities, and our lives uses fear, suspicion, isolation, and division as ammunition? It does to me. And I’m sick of it.

I don’t look at people through a grid of color or size or age. I look at their eyes for sincerity. Their smiles for laughter. I listen to their words for understanding. And when we shake hands or share a hug, our connection makes our differences evaporate.

Once again, color is being used as a weapon against us by people who say they’re speaking for us. They’re not speaking for me. Their words are divisive, not uplifting. Hatred is not a problem of color. It’s a problem of the heart.

Did you know we all trace our beginnings back to the same man and woman? Even evolutionary articles admit that. (https://nypost.com/2018/11/24/turns-out-all-of-humanity-is-related-to-a-single-couple/)

Which means:

We are all one blood.

We are all one race.

We bleed the same color.

We cry the same tears.

We did not evolve from amoeba.

We were created in the image of God.

And this skin thing? Ignorance says color makes us different. But the color wheel we all represent means we’re the same. Our common denominator is melanin—a pigment in our skin. If you have too little of it, like I do, you’re gonna roast in the sun like a pig on a spit. If you have a lot of it, the sun is probably your Facebook friend. And I envy you.

Here’s the truth:

It’s not my fault I was born with a freckled, pale complexion.

It’s also not my fault I have English ancestors.

And Irish ancestors.

And black ancestors.

And Native American ancestors.

All of those.

I could check every box on those medical forms that demand to know what race category they can place me in. I’m pretty familiar with my lineage now and, so far, nobody I can name ever even visited Caucasus. Maybe I should just check “other” and let them wonder since Caucasian doesn’t ring true. I’d bet money the same is true of your ancestry.

So, tell me again—how are we different?

No one has the right to look at me and judge my life because of my color, my size, my age, or my sex. No one has the right to judge me even if they know me. They haven’t walked in my shoes. Or yours. It’s nobody’s fault that our genes look like goulash under a microscope.

And maybe that’s the problem—microscopes. Focusing on things that are insignificant instead of admitting how human we all are. Do you think for one minute the Artist Who delights in and splashes color across His landscape prefers one hue above another?

All I know is that I don’t want anyone to come between me and my friends and family by pointing out the obvious and then having the hypocritical nerve to call us racists.

We need each other. We may not understand each other, but we need each other. All the isolation we’ve just endured is evidence enough of that. It’s past time to come out of hiding and stand shoulder to shoulder again.

I don’t care how much melanin you have. I wish I had more of it so I wasn’t afraid to go out in the sun. Most of all, I wish we’d all stop being afraid of each other. Afraid that every person we see will kill us with a virus. Afraid that every skin color represents an enemy.

And afraid that a country paid for with the blood of patriots will soon destroy itself.

If it isn’t self-evident by now that we all are equal, created equal by God Himself, maybe it’s time to put divisive networks and other media on pause and remember the essential rights gifted to us by our Creator.

Your life, your liberty, and the pursuit of happiness by your children's children depends on it.




I am grateful beyond words and moved to tears by the beautiful artwork seen at the top of this piece. Created by the talented artists Siobhan Sullivan and her sister, Cat Sullivan, they showed with perfection the truth of how we are all one blood and can only find freedom when we are united. Thank you, Siobhan and Cat, for bringing my vision to life.