Friday, January 15, 2016

"Lots of people talk to animals.... Not very many listen, though.... That's the problem." Benjamin Hoff, 'The Tao of Pooh'

Good Friday morning. I hope you and yours are well as we tackle this day, January 15, 2016. I typically listen to the BBC news for a portion of my commute in the mornings. From time to time they have some pretty outlandish reports on that feed. Or, that's how I interpret them. I heard one this week about a researcher in England who is working on coming up with a way to translate dog barking into a language. He hopes to see it developed into a utility, maybe similar to a smart phone application, where eventually people will be able to communicate with dogs. That way people will be able to understand what dogs are thinking about and the dogs might be able to help point out some solutions to the mess we humans have made of this world. I kid you not, this fellow was dead serious. He said once we begin actual dialogue with dogs we can move on to other animal species although he did admit that it might not be that interesting to communicate with a grasshopper. I was trying to keep my truck on the road but this kind of stuff really does crack me up. I believe he was addressed as a doctor but to me he sounded more like he may have needed one. I heard growing up all my life how this old world was going to the dogs. I wasn't exactly clear on the meaning but maybe Granny Mac was on to something. (Here's what this source, '' has to say: "The origin of this expression is believed to be in ancient China where dogs, by tradition, were not permitted within the walls of cities. Consequently, stray dogs roamed the areas outside the city walls and lived off the rubbish thrown out of the city by its inhabitants. Criminals and social outcast were often expelled from cities and were sent to live among the rubbish – and the dogs. Such people were said to have “gone to the dogs”, both literally in that that was where they were now to be found, and metaphorically in the sense that their lives had taken a distinct turn for the worse.") Now we know. But I'm pretty sure Lassie knew that already. All the dogs playing Lassie were males because male collie coats are much more vivid and full. There's other reasons as well but I had better stop there. Sorry. Just the facts.

For the first time in I don't know when I chose not to watch this year's presidential State of the Union speech. I had read all about it before. I understood his desire was to convince the nation of how successful he had been during his time in office. In the last press briefing before the speech his spokesperson was asked how is it that in poll after poll the American people are not buying the President's rosy and optimistic reading of how good we have it. The spokesperson's response was classic. He blamed it in large part on what he called an avalanche of negativism by those running for the Republican nomination for President. It's not unusual for this administration to blame others for almost everything imaginable. That has been the top down approach since the get go. Let me help you with why they think that we don't feel better off and why we are not overflowing with confidence as it relates to our nation's current health and well being. Essentially, if you track their answers over time they actually think that most of us are not intelligent enough to see all the wonderful accomplishments achieved by President Obama. Sorry folks. I'm not buying it. Period. Call me stupid but I believe we need more than a slogan of hope and change. We need real change beginning with a restoration of the values that have made us the great nation we have been in the past. Amen.

Here's an interesting exercise if you think you are up to it. Google 'SOTU editorials'. I did. The hits you receive back give the editorial opinions of a plethora of news sources from newspapers to broadcast media and every other source imaginable. Read some of them. They will astound you. Some think it was one of the greatest speeches ever. Others believe it to be more of the same, lofty words with no reality to back them up. Some agree passionately with the President's story of how things are after his time in office. Others think we are in great peril as a direct result of the President's failed leadership. Interesting. Obviously, there are differences of opinion here. I just wanted you to know that I haven't recently completed naysayer school nor am I trying to win an award as a voice crying in the wilderness. Looking at those running for the office he currently occupies makes me wonder what God is up to. We may be closer to the return of our Savior than we think. Now that's something we all can dwell on. I do hope that you will have a most wonderful Saturday and that on Sunday, the day we call the Lord's Day, it will find you and yours meeting with others to worship God and learn more about Him. Lord willing I will do my best with God's help to clock back in come next Monday morning. May God bless us all and May He bless our great country. Amen. ....More later.

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