Sunday, August 29, 2010

BECK, the OLD LADY, and the "JESUS" WORD

Greetings from the Ozarks Plateau here in Springfield MO where the weather on this Sunday morning is gorgeous.  The Ozark Uncle is compelled to write about his Saturday and all two of his encounters with the "Jesus" word that occurred that day.  Needless to say this posting won't take long.

Beck-Palin Rally
Joy and I didn't have the grand-girls this weekend so we started a rather lonely Saturday morning with coffee in the living room.  We turned on C-Span and encountered the start of Glenn Beck's Restore Our Honor rally (click on the link to view the entire event) at the D.C. Lincoln Memorial.  For the time we had before leaving the house, I listened carefully not only for content but for word usage.

Glenn Beck speaking on the steps
 of the Lincoln Memorial.
Photograph: Jim Lo Scalzo/EPA
Although the Ozark Uncle's hearing is worsening, he senses that his listening skills are improving.  He has now listened to Glenn Beck videos for two or three times in the last month, and he's still mulling on the content.  Listening to the rally on Saturday, he understood Mr. Beck to say in a round-about way that a divine vision had came to him last year after a Florida rally revealing what God wanted him to do.

Otherwise the Ozark Uncle listened for the "Jesus" word somewhere in Beck's comments about his being anointed but never heard the word used.   During the 45-minutes or so that he was able to watch, the Ozark Uncle only heard the "Jesus" word once.  Sarah Palin didn't use it either but a Christian minister's prayer, the content of which didn't include the word, ended with "In Jesus's name we pray."

Thrift Store Volunteering
Joy and I then left home to spend our Saturday volunteering at the Thrift Haven (TH) thrift store.  We try to get there not long after it opens as 10 a.m. and stay until 6 p.m. when it closes.  The store benefits the Fair Haven Children's Home in nearby Strafford, and the Home is operated by Springfield's Water Mill Church of Christ.  So, the store has a very happy and peaceful environment, and the Ozark Uncle enjoys being down there except the piped in A Capella church music is not one his listening favorites.  He grew up with old time gospel music accompanied by an acoustic guitar.

My wife, Joy, has been the TH volunteer "toy lady" for almost three years.  When she broke her wrist this past spring, the Ozark Uncle went down to help her and he's been going ever since.  Well, back in the hot warehouse off the side of the store, Joy and I sort through all the donations of toys and games, select the best for sale and then pack the rest for shipment to other countries (there's an irony there that the Ozark Uncle has to gloss over for time's sake at this moment).

The Lady
The Ozark Uncle's "station" at TH is close to the door between the warehouse and the store, and early in the afternoon, an elderly lady popped her head in this "employees only" door and asked for help.  The lady was definitely in her 70s and maybe a little older.  Her layered clothing was of the type that disguised any perception of her economic status--she could have been poor and she could have been rich.  Her grey hair was slightly unkempt but neat enough--beauty salons were definitely not a line item in her monthly budget.  Eccentric, that's what the Ozark Uncle perceived.  Please read on.

The lady was looking for a special kind of lamp base and wanted to know what we had in the warehouse.  Well, it wasn't the Ozark Uncle's department, but he proceeded to help her look around the warehouse.  The manager of the day (a former house parent at the Children's Home), strolled through and joined our search.  The lady had a very specific idea of what she wanted, and after turning down several that we found, she selected one lamp base resting in the $1.50 box still unpriced.

Her Visions
As I proceeded to place a price tag on the lamp, the lady started to testify to me.  In a nutshell, she told me of visions she had received from God.  In her visions, God had told her that the people who ran "the government" were going to be replaced soon, and God was going to make a series of changes because of what we've become.

Out of the corner of my eye, I saw the store manager quietly creep away leaving the two of us alone.  The lady went on to tell about her visions for at least another minute, and then there was a slight pause as she looked at me for feedback.

"Have you written this down?" I said.
"No, it's all here in my heart." as you placed a hand on her chest.  "And I'll tell you God says Jesus is coming soon."

I don't know what came over me but I threw both my arms up in the air like an Assemblies of God worshiper.  Excitedly I said, "You said the Jesus word!!" and I spun in a circle.

The Point of All This
The lady accepted my emotional outburst with a seeming mixture of pleasure, shock, and bewilderment.  While she no doubt had told other people of her visions, probably no one had reacted quite like the Ozark Uncle.  We had a few more words of encouragement to each other, she thanked me for my help, and she exited the warehouse back into the store.

Those readers who've read some of the Ozark Uncle's early postings to his other blog, The Brown Perspective, know he can take an encounter like this with the elderly lady and cogitate on it for quite a while.   Well, working in the warehouse at TH is not terribly taxing on one's brain, so he mulled over both the Beck rally and the Elderly lady off and on the rest of the day.

A fundamental question lodged in the Ozark Uncle's brain--Whose vision is more credible, that of Glenn Beck or that of The Lady.  Should one even try to judge whether these visions occurred or not? The Ozark Uncle is certainly not going to try to judge.   The Ozark Uncle is better off having seen some of Glenn Beck's rally and hearing this elderly lady testimony.

Closing Thoughts
Once at home last night, I noted on Facebook that inspirational blogger, Terry Hampton, had sent a link to a CNN interview with a long-time religion journalist, Cathleen Falsani, about whether Obama is a Christian.  Another link that has the interview transcribed is one Obama's Fascinating Interview with Cathleen Falsani.   To all my friends, I try to watch the links you suggest regardless of their political slant.  Please do yourself a favor and watch this seven minute video.  This journalist is framing the debate on the "Christian" question.  My perspective is that if this question is going to be a litmus test, start lining up all those you trust, watch their eyes, and then start asking them how then feel about the "Jesus" word.

Thursday, August 26, 2010


One of today's news headlines compelled the Ozark Uncle to write a quick and half-baked post this evening. He really wasn't ready to write an in-depth Brown Perspective on either the Muslim or the Gay issues although his cerebral oven has been baking a Perspective "pie" all summer about the latter.

Snakes Alive!
The Ozark Uncle never planned an extensive Perspective post on serpents nor a shorter Today's Thoughts post but let's start right here and now and get it over with.  As a child and all the way into his thirties, the Ozark Uncle had an abnormal fear of snakes--not spiders, nor bugs, nor lizards, just snakes.  They appeared in his dreams as nightmares, and he found himself avoiding the possibility of a snake sighting or encounter if at all possible.  He even avoided the Biology class in high school for fear he'd have to dissect a snake.

Ozark Uncle and
Grandchildren with
a Friendly Python-2007
As he got older, the Ozark Uncle questioned himself about his fear of snakes and decided he'd never really gotten to know any snakes personally and was totally unfamiliar with their actions, dispositions, and capabilities. One day, a greenhouse friend, Dianna, gave him a tour; as they went down the first aisle of plants she said, "Now, Oscar, don't you go scaring me."  She explained that Oscar was a garter snake that lived in the greenhouse and helped control the insects.  Then she went about working among the plants with no fear of the little creature.

Not long after, I had to work on my mother's landscaping, and she had quite a nest of garter snakes that resided along the back side of her house.  Their presence bothered me considerably but remembering Dianna's technique, I began to call them "friends" and talk to them as I worked.  Now we got along fairly well but the Ozark Uncle was still far from cured.  The next module of sensitivity training for the Ozark Uncle was to watch documentaries on reptiles to get a sense of their movements, their speed and even their striking distance if they struck at all.  This part was probably the hardest because it took a long while before I became comfortable with the closeup views of their heads and bodies.

Ozark Uncle with 4-year old
Ora and a Friendly King Snake
Still a work-in-progress, the Ozark Uncle attended a seminar at the Springfield Nature Center which featured a snake expert.  This gentleman brought several live non-poisonous snakes including a large snake that he let the children come up and touch.  Well, there was the adult Ozark Uncle in line with these seven and eight year olds, waiting for his turn to touch the snake which he did!  Self-worth shot up like a rocket!  Someone in the audience asked the expert about handling poisonous snakes and his reply was, "I don't know, I've NEVER handled a poisonous snake."

In the Ozarks, if any snake should be called evil, it would be a poisonous snake.  The expert's advice is simply to try to stay away from "evil" serpents.   Some of my readers know that the Ozark Uncle has been Mr. Field Trip for his six-year old granddaughter, Ora, since she was about three.  The Nature Center was a major part of my effort to help allay her fears of reptiles and insects caused simply because she hadn't gotten acquainted with them.

Mayhem Over Muslim Cordoba Center 
The Ozark Uncle's regular readers know he displays an extremely open mind on a wide range of issues.  He feels the need to lift up the covers, read between the lines, and listen to what isn't said as much as what is said.  And he wants to make up his mind, not have it made up for him, and he follows his gut as to whether an information source is credible.  He is always on the guard for hidden agendas which in the media are more numerous than snakes in the Ozarks.

The Ozark Uncle has an elderly friend who, at the moment, is frightened for her children and grandchildren because of the impending Muslim menace.  I tried to call her this morning to console her and intend to try again tomorrow.  Although we email regularly, I want to hear her voice and her hear mine.  There will be comfort come out of our visit.

Rick Mathes & Wife, Mission Gate
Prison Ministry, St. Louis, MO
A couple of days ago, this friend forwarded me a "new" email that recounted questions and answers between Rick Mathes, a Christian prison minister, and a Muslim Imam during a prison ministry seminar.  My friend felt this was a recent event, and she's very disturbed about the Muslim faith taking over our society.

In this supposed discussion during the seminar, the Iman confirmed that Muslims are commanded to kill one infidel (i.e., an un-believer).  Well, if one does a search of the internet for the name "Rick Mathes," several sites pop up that identify this forwarded email as being at least five years old, and the underlying encounter has some question marks as to Mathes' version of it.  For example, research indicated that the encounter occurred at the Fulton Penitentiary here in Missouri in 2003.  The prison staff indicated that no Muslim Imam or cleric could be found for the seminar that Mathes attended so a Muslim inmate used what knowledge he had to answer questions.  No one remembers anything resembling Mathes' claims, and when asked by a reporter back in 2005, Mathes didn't really want to discuss it.

This is not the first time one of my older conservative Christian friends have received recycled missives intending to instill fear and encourage older voter turnout.  The Ozark Uncle is really unprepared to address the Muslim issue or agenda, today, but he senses political agendas all over the matter.  The news magazines that come to the Brown house (Time and Newsweek) both identify the issue as being right-wing fear mongering.  If one were to enter the words "Ground Zero Mosque" into a search engine, one can see immediately that the focus of the headline is in direct correlation with the news outlet.  Right-wing outlets are ratcheting up the rhetoric while all other outlets (presumably labeled left-wing) bring out the inconsistencies of the argument and express concern that some Muslims will be pushed to the extreme side of their religion by the issue.

For the moment, the Ozark Uncle's perception is this--Muslims are like serpents; most are nonpoisonous and they would just like to be left alone to lead a peaceful life.  Some of the peaceful Muslims' cousins are poisonous (i.e., they are terrorists), and they WILL strike again within our borders--the Ozark Uncle perceives it will be sooner rather than later.  They are more evil and more dangerous than a poisonous snake because the terrorists are proactive whereas the snakes are reactive.  Generally, if one doesn't invade a snake's den, she won't come into yours.

To my knowledge there are very few Muslims in Springfield.  The only Muslim friends I had moved to Los Angeles not long after 9/11.  They wanted to be in a safer environment, I perceived.  Here in Springfield, small Islamic Center is off of Division Street and it's on my "to visit" list.  It's like going to the Nature Center to get used to an harmless reptile.  The Ozark Uncle wants to know more about this issue.

For God's Sake Help Gays Get Out of the Closet
Today, the Ozark Uncle had lunch with his granddaughter at Pershing Elementary and then headed to Panera Bread for a large glass of unsweetened ice tea and free WI-FI.  In his Gmail Inbox, the Ozark Uncle had a message from the e-magazine, The Atlantic, with the following headline: Bush Campaign Chief and Former RNC Chair Ken Mehlman: I'm Gay.  Mehlman was quoted as saying

Ken Mehlman
"It's taken me 43 years to get comfortable with this part of my life," said Mehlman, now an executive vice-president with the New York City-based private equity firm, KKR. "Everybody has their own path to travel, their own journey, and for me, over the past few months, I've told my family, friends, former colleagues, and current colleagues, and they've been wonderful and supportive. The process has been something that's made me a happier and better person. It's something I wish I had done years ago."

The Ozark Uncle read the above quotation at 2 p.m. this afternoon on his wife's Toshiba Laptop using Panera Bread's WiFi.  Immediately, he felt compelled to write this post, and it had to be this evening.  He picked up his granddaughter from school a 3 p.m., delivered her to her destination and immediately told  his wife, Joy, "I have to write tonight--everything else off the schedule--I have to write."

Please Read Carefully
During the summer, the Ozark Uncle came to know a Christian who went all the way through a Protestant seminary to learn that the related church would not let him pastor because of his life style.   He is the partner to a close relative of mine; since we met this summer, he has opened up to me.  The Ozark Uncle's long unasked questions about homosexuality simply had to do with the following: when and how do adolescents get involved with the gay life style?  That's all he wanted and still wants to know.

The new Christian gay friend recommended that I read Mel White's Stranger at the Gate: To Be Gay and Christian in America.  Well, the Springfield-Greene County Library doesn't have a copy.  So a copy was purchased from, and of course came in a brown paper wrapper.  It took the Ozark Uncle a few weeks to finish the book which he did last week.

Rev. Mel White
I had not read too far into Mel White's book, maybe 30 pages or less, and I realized he was writing my own story as a teenage Christian except from the opposite sexual orientation.  Just as I felt guilt for my lust and desires for females, he felt an even worse guilt for his desire for males which surfaced when he was 12 years old.  Raised in a very religious home where his grandmother was a Pentecostal minister, Mel White hid his desires for years, and married a wonderful and beautiful Christian woman who he loved and she loved him.  He went on to become a national Fundamental Christian leader and pastor, and also a Christian movie producer.  Eventually he was hired to "ghost write" books for Billy Graham, Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson and Jim and Tammy Bakker.

After all kinds of Christian counseling and therapy treatments while in the closet, Mel was a nervous wreck and finally after many years of marriage, he cheated on his wife for the first time.  His guilt was unbearable and a more sympathetic Christian therapist said "Mel, you have to tell her, today!"  Well, he did tell Lyla White that day--what a fantastic woman!  The couple prayed and tried to work through it for several more years but they finally let each other go after 25 years of marriage.  Still he remained in the closet until 1993 when he was 53 years old!  His lovely wife, Lyla, wrote the foreword to Mel's book and it was heartwarming--I still can't get over her love for Mel and her spiritual strength.

My regular readers know I seldom if ever use the use the word believe and prefer the term perception.  The latter allows more information to come in that might alter a perception but beliefs are much more concrete and immovable.  

Well, here's a rare moment--I believe the Whites' story, and I perceive that there are no telling how many other Ken Mehlmans and Mel Whites still in the closet across this nation.  America, we have to let these fellow Americans out of the closet--men and women.   They are in your churches, your military, your work place, and they are not causing you any harm but they are living a miserable life in the closet.  That's now my perception, and I'm stickin' to it.

My discussion on gays doesn't have anything to do with gay marriage--it has to do with kindness for our fellow human beings.  And the Ozark Uncle wants to learn more about my gay brothers and sisters--Mel White contends you can't be led to the lifestyle, your natural sexual orientation does it for you.  A conservative friend told me there are no scientific studies of this--Mel White says there are.  The Ozark Uncle wants to know more.

(There is an irony to gay marriage -- it's an institution that gays want but a lot of heterosexuals are giving up on--isn't that ironic?)  I saw somewhere the other day, "Fix Marriage, Not Gays."

Are there evil gays like there are evil Muslims (terrorists) or evil snakes (poisonous)?  Yes, but even before his enlightenment this summer, the Ozark Uncle has always perceived that there are several times more sex crimes against women by men than there are against men by men.  And pedophilia, child porn, and sex abuse are evil regardless of the parties involved--that's a major issue and breaks my heart but is not relevant to this discussion.

The Ozark Uncle will no doubt write more on the topic of sexual orientation, and he may lose some friends because of it--he certainly hopes not.  Mel White lost friends and even though Mehlman says he's being supported, one has to know there will be lots of acquaintances who won't be accepting his phone calls tomorrow.

Message to the GOP
Republicans, the Ozark Uncle is a gosh darn independent who is also a fiscal hawk.  He's an old Governmental Accounting professor and knows his stuff regarding budgets.  America needs real Republican fiscal conservatism but would you stop pissing me off?! Stop putting fear into everyone to get votes.  (Note to self: yeah, like they're going to listen to you?)

And here is Today's Thought for Tomorrow's Generation.  Young people, it may take thirty years or more but the Ozark Uncle perceives that you will bring a stop to this political madness.  Watch, listen, and feel for all that is going on around you, and a true path will appear on which you will travel forward as Americans.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

The "N" Word and the "J" Word

by Ken Brown
Springfield, MO

Foreword:  The Ozark Uncle is paradoxical in many ways but particularly regarding religion -- he is a non-Christian who loves Jesus, (h)is teachings and (h)is principles.  The Ozark Uncle tries not to be judgmental but doesn't always succeed.    If readers find places in this post where I seem to judge or not be Christ-like, please call me out on them.  The biggest concern is that the Ozark Uncle, as a non-Christian, is passing judgment on people who call themselves Christians.  I'll accept all criticisms as graciously as possible.

Rights, Rights, Rights--Rights to Say the "N" Word and Rights to Build a Muslim YMCA.
(Saturday night--Aug. 19) Well, on this blog, the Ozark Uncle posted some thoughts about Dr. Laura and her use of the "N" word on air during her Aug. 10 show.  The posting received responses of both agreement and disagreement with her actions.

(Sunday morning--Aug. 20), the Ozark Uncle used Facebook to shared NPR's report on religious freedom versus freedom of speech.   The religious freedom issue relates to the so-called Ground-Zero Mosque and whether American Muslim rights are being imperiled.  Again voices appeared on my Facebook account on both sides of this dilemma.

Sen. Mitch McConnell (R) Ky.
Sunday mornings at the Brown house generally involve drinking coffee while watching Meet the Press as the host, David Gregory, wrestles with politicians trying to get them to "out" themselves as to their true agendas.   He most always fails in his effort.

On this particular Sunday morning, the Ozark Uncle was actually dreading it because he knew the headliner guest, Mitch McConnell, would say absolutely nothing about Republican ideas for when they regain power.  [Note on photo at left: Ok, you caught me being biased.  The internet provided over 100 images of the Senator, and I chose the one that seemed the least flattering.  Also it was the only one with his mouth closed].

P.S. Joy ended up watching the show, and she confirmed that he again said nothing worthwhile.  But she failed to mention one thing--when he was asked about whether Obama was a Christian and not a Muslim, Sen. McConnell said he had to take the President at his word that he's a Christian.  Some media outlets took that to mean McConnell wanted to keep the question in play.  What do you think would happen if Gregory's question was "Senator, do you love Jesus and do you think the President loves Jesus?"  Besides Gregory being fired for using the "J" word, what would the Senator say?

At the end of this blog posting, the Ozark Uncle will talk about Jesus being the important focus for everyone, and the term "Christian" is a rather hollow sounding word.  People sling around the words "I'm a Christian" when many of them don't have the foggiest idea of what Jesus should be in their everyday lives [oops, judgment--my bad].  The Ozark Uncle does try to focus on Jesus even though he's a non-Christian.  Regular readers already know this but one can get a glimpse of the Ozark Uncle's past religious experiences on his other blog site "The Brown Perspective" particularly in his "Baptists Turns Green" posting).

Today's Thoughts for the Ozark Uncle
The Ozark Uncle has only a few Facebook friends who are not Caucasian.  But he wants more diversity in his pool of Facebook friends and his personal friends here in Springfield.  If they wish, black friends can tell me what the "N" word means within their community.  The Ozark Uncle perceives that the use of the word is controversial within the black community and it's their issue to address.

At the moment, the Ozark Uncle's perception on disparaging word usage is like this--he has some close friends who play golf together.  Listen to the group on the golf course and you might hear something like this:
    "Dumb Ass, shut up and hit the damn golf ball."
    "Listen Turd Bird, go over behind that tree and play with yourself--I'll hit the ball when I'm good and ready."

Now, let someone from the trailing group of golfers call one of us "Dumb Ass", and we've got ourselves a situation.  The same is for the "N" Word.

And that's where I'm leaving this "N" word business.  In summary, it's more that the word, it's (a) the context, (b) who is saying it and (c) how it is being said.  In America, everyone has the right to say any word or groups of words they wish, but they don't necessarily have an automatic safe harbor after they've said those words.  We are all responsibility for our actions (including our words).

The "J" Word--Today's Thoughts for Tomorrow's Generation
Finally something good out of Sunday, August 21 (besides a first grader's birthday party that the Ozark Uncle attended).

"Sister" Terry Hampton's regular posting on her More To Live For blog outlined her perception of a disconnect between American Christianity and the ways of Jesus.  My interpretation of her main point is that American Christianity focuses on words in the Bible, not on Jesus and his Way.
Rev. Oswald Chambers
She cites the Rev. Oswald Chambers and his book of daily devotions called My Utmost For His Highest.  [Note: Chambers' wife pulled together the book of his writings after his death].  The 19th Century Scottish minister taught that a complete knowledge of the words in the Bible was useless if one did not have a personal relationship with Jesus.

My good friend, Fern, keeps sending me quotes from Thomas Jefferson.  That reminded me of the Jefferson Bible in which Jefferson extracted all the teachings of Jesus and placed them in a single volume.  In essence, he created the first "red-letter edition."  Those are the passages that get the Ozark Uncle's attention more than any.

A few years ago, the WWJD bracelets seemed to be everywhere.  The Ozark Uncle even adopted the personal motto, "What Would Jesus Do?"  Today's thought for tomorrow's generation is to consider Jesus as a pattern for your life and address daily problems with "WWJD."  Once you're comfortable with and accept his principles and his ethics, start using the "J" Word.   It's not a word you hear every day.

 News channel (Fox, CNN, MSNBC) watchers, listen and count the number of times the "J" word is used.  An interviewee might use it in an occasional personal testimony but it probably won't hear a moderator us it.  You'll hear words like God, Christian, Evil, Devil, and Divine but not Jesus.  Is it a politically incorrect word? 

Saturday, August 21, 2010


Hot in Springfield -- will mow half the lawn that's still unmowed about 7:45 this evening.  Joy said that Russia is having an incredibly hot summer.

Thrift Haven second-hand store -- Joy (the Ozark Aunt) should be home from TH sometime after 6 p.m.  I was up there from about 10:30 a.m. until around 1:30 p.m.  I had to come home and take a nap.  The Ozark Uncle is going to have to get his diet and exercise right if he expects to keep up his quality of life.

Dr. Laura, the "N" Word has a Horrible History with Blacks 

Dr. Laura -- 63-year old Laura Catherine Schlessinger announced this past week that she is ending her national radio show, Dr. Laura, at the end of this year.  This was after she got into an exchange with an African American woman on her live show.  Before the dialogue was over, Schlessinger had used the "N" word eleven times on the air.  I'm still trying to hear a full audio of it, but I perceive that her "advice" to this woman was really more off-color than even the use of the word.   It's now eleven days later and all the evidence is that Schlessinger could rise as a conservative heroine, and her fame and fortune will grow.  Sarah Palin of Alaska has jumped to her defense and through a "Twitter" claimed Dr. Laura is not a racist.  I had to smile at this and wondered if Dr. Laura appreciated Sarah stealing some of the limelight.  

My Thoughts on Dr. Laura
I listened to Dr. Laura on radio back in her early days--it was a time when I needed all the advice I could get.  Since then, I've learned that the best advice is to ignore advice who haven't been in my shoes.  Her advice wasn't all that bad on her show, but her callers were often unbelievably pathetic, and Dr. Laura seemed to chew them up into little pieces before going to a station break.  I imagined these troubled souls becoming even more distraught and helpless after Laura's staff cut them off.  So, if there was one reason I turned her off is that her program format turned me off.  But, if you love Dr. Laura, don't fret -- she'll come out of this with more influence than ever.

The Ozark Uncle perceives there are a growing number of Americans who want to call other Americans whatever they wish--even if it's offensive (First Amendment and all that).  The Ozark Uncle needs to learn how to "Twitter."  He's considering twittering to both Sarah and Laura this question: Is there a name I could call each of you that would immediately insult you?  Here in the Ozarks, most of us don't like to be called "hillbillys"; native Floridians don't like to be called "Crackers." Back in the 1960s, my old college buddy, Ralph Johnson, didn't like being introduced as "my colored friend."  Can you believe I didn't really understand that at first?  Ralph did a lot to help this white boy see through the eyes of someone of another race.

Back to Sarah and Laura, if I were to know what words might push their buttons, the Ozark Uncle wouldn't use them.  There is enough hateful and hurtful things being said among us Americans, and I for one won't be a part of it.  Sometimes it's hard to keep from it, but it's a game I really don't want to play.

To the future generation, the Ozark Uncle says, be considerate of other people's feelings.  I perceive a future when America will again be a caring nation.  But it will be a time when Americans have much less (food and housing, for example).  And it's much easier to care for each other when we're all in the same lifeboat.