The Old Prospector and Justice

An old prospector walks his tired old mule into a western town one day. He’d been out in the desert for about six months without a drop of whiskey. He walked up to the first saloon he came to and tied his old mule to the hitch rail. As he stood there brushing some of the dust from his face and clothes, a young gunslinger walked out of the saloon with a gun in one hand and a bottle of whiskey in the other. The young gunslinger looked at the old man and laughed, saying, ‘Hey old man, have you ever danced?’ The old man looked up at the gunslinger and said, ‘No, I never did dance. I just never wanted to.’ A crowd had gathered by then and the gunslinger said, ‘Well, you old fool, you’re gonna’ dance now,’ and started shooting at the old man’s feet. The old prospector was hopping around and everybody was laughing. When the gunslinger fired his last bullet, he holstered his gun and turned a round to go back into the saloon. The old man reached up on the mule, drew his shotgun, and pulled both hammers back making a double clicking sound. The gunslinger heard the sound and everything got quiet. The crowd watched as the gunslinger slowly turned around looking down both barrels of the shotgun. The old man asked, ‘Did you ever kiss a mule’s ass?’ The gunslinger swallowed hard and said, ‘No. But I’ve always wanted to.’ The lessons from this story are: 1. Don’t waste ammunition. 2. Don’t mess with old people.

EVERYONE IS FIGHTING SOME KIND OF BATTLE

Just up the road from my home is a field, with two horses in it. From a distance, they look like every other horse. But if you stop your car, or are walking by, you will notice something quite amazing. Looking into the eyes of one horse, you will see that he is blind. His owner has chosen not to have him put down, but has made a good home for him. This alone is amazing.If you are nearby and listening, you will hear the sound of a bell. Looking around for the source of the sound, you will see that it comes from the smaller horse in the field. Attached to her halter is a small bell. It lets her blind friend know where she is, so he can follow her. As you stand and watch these two friends, you’ll see how she is always checking on him, and that he will listen for her bell and then slowly walk to where she is, trusting that she will not lead him astray. When she returns to the shelter of the barn each evening, she stops occasionally and looks back, making sure her friend isn’t too far behind to hear the bell.

Like the owners of the blind horse, do not throw others away just because they are not perfect or because they have problems or challenges. Life watches over us and even brings others into our lives to help us when we are in need. Sometimes we are the blind horse being guided by the little ringing bell of those who are helpers in our lives. Other times we are the guide horse, helping others see.

Good friends are like this ………. You don’t always see them, but you know they are always there.

Please listen for my bell and I’ll listen for yours.

Be kinder than necessary to everyone you meet because everyone is fighting some kind of battle.

I’VE LEARNED

I’ve learned…that life is like a roll of toilet paper, the closer it gets to the end, the faster it goes.

I’ve learned…that under everyone’s hard shell is someone who wants to be appreciated and loved.

I’ve learned…that to ignore the facts does not change the facts.

I’ve learned…that the less time I have to work, the more things I get done.

HOW TO STAY YOUNG

1. Throw out nonessential numbers. This includes age, weight and height. Let the doctors worry about them. That is why you pay them.

2. Keep only cheerful friends. The grouches pull you down.

3. Keep learning. Learn more about the computer, crafts, gardening, whatever. Never let the brain idle. “An idle mind is the devil’s workshop.” And the devil’s name is Alzheimer’s.

4. Enjoy the simple things.

5. Laugh often, long and loud. Laugh until you gasp for breath.

6. The tears happen. Endure, grieve, and move on. The only person, who is with us our entire life, is ourselves. Be ALIVE while you are alive.

7. Surround yourself with what you love, whether it’s family, pets, keepsakes, music, plants, hobbies, whatever. Your home is your refuge.

8. Cherish your health: If it is good, preserve it. If it is unstable, improve it. If it is beyond what you can improve, get help.

9 Don’t take guilt trips. Take a trip to the mall, even to the next county; to a foreign country but NOT to where the guilt is.

10.Tell the people you love that you love them, at every opportunity.

AND ALWAYS REMEMBER:
Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.

An Open Letter from a Religious Leader regarding Politics.

(I want to state at the getgo that I did not write this letter, nor is it aimed at anyone in particular that I know. It just seemed to me it was something to contemplate … John)

Dear Friends,

Bigotry is an ugly word, beyond prejudice and stereotype. So I want to make it clear that I have chosen it purposely, knowing that some people who read this message will be insulted. To be clear again: the insult is intentional.

Religious belief has emerged as a central issue in the campaign for president, though it has been just below the surface for many years in local, state and national contests. As the chair of The Interfaith Alliance and as a congregational rabbi in Virginia, I have a particular interest in this issue. It is right and proper to understand what role deeply-held convictions will play in the decision-making of a candidate for public office. A candidate who makes a point of his or her religious life should be expected to respond to questions about the intersection of public policy and the tenets of a tradition. Virginia’s current governor, a devout Catholic, addressed just such questions surrounding the state’s death penalty.

Likewise, integrity and credibility ought to be central to public service. While it is not always the case, in the race for president, there is ample evidence in each candidate’s record that the men and woman running for the highest office in the land have little to hide. Moreover, what little there may be to hide is almost certain to be ferreted out by responsible journalists and investigators. Recall the failed candidacy of Senator Gary Hart and the resignation of Vice President Spiro Agnew.

A phenomenon that violates both sensibilities while pretending to promote each one has emerged in a campaign that includes a group of candidates whose backgrounds are as diverse as America. Governor Mike Huckabee, a Baptist minister, Governor Mitt Romney, a Mormon, and Senator Barack Obama, who is part African and whose father and step-father were Muslim, have been subjected to wild speculations about the extreme nature of their true beliefs and accused publicly of concealing their genuine loyalties. Senator John McCain and Senator Hillary Clinton have been challenged on their “religious credentials.” The kernel of accuracy in these public broadsides does not excuse the exaggerations, fabrications and manipulations of the truth within them. They constitute hate crimes and would be treated as such if leveled against you and me in our private lives.

Of greatest concern to The Interfaith Alliance is the fertile soil these attacks have found around the country. From my own vantage point within the Jewish community, I have seen my rabbinic colleagues asking about documents circulated by groups claiming to be disinterested politically that call into question the RELIGIOUS beliefs and identities of the candidates, with the overt purpose of frightening Jewish voters. The candidates, Republican and Democratic alike, have been accused of supporting proselytization from the White House, polygamy, Wahabi-sponsored terrorism, and the eventual disenfranchisement of Jews from the benefits of United States citizenship.

Generally written in breathless style and peppered with quotations from people of renown taken out of context, these attacks are as objectionable to people of conscience as the notorious “Sturmer” of pre-WWII Germany, which caricatured the Jews and “proved” their untrustworthiness and corrosive influence on society.

If you write such material, you are a criminal. If you distribute such material, you are an accomplice. And if you believe such obvious tripe, you are a bigot.

Support the candidate of your choice. Vote as if your life depended on it. Donate time, money and advocacy to the causes you endorse. But the life of the body politic is a dirty enough business as it is. Do not sully it further with sin of bearing false witness.

And now that I have insulted some of you, allow me to insult the rest of you: broadsides like these are being distributed because of the presumption that they will have resonance. Too many in this country have been thoroughly effective at communicating our distrust of Mormons, or Islam or atheists or evangelical Christians, the list goes on. The result is that political operatives sense fertile ground for exploiting our prejudices to their advantage. I ask that if you see similar materials distributed in your communities, let The Interfaith Alliance know so that we are prepared to respond when necessary.

We have some deep self-reflection to undertake. And we have some changes in behavior to consider. As I think about the history of the Jewish community, I recall that we felt secure only when reassured by the first president of the United States that America offers “to bigotry no sanction, to persecution no assistance.” Every faith community needs that reassurance. But the standard must be private as well as public.

Sincerely,

Rabbi Jack Moline

Board Chair, The Interfaith Alliance

Stock Market Speculators Causing the Big Runup in Gas Prices

Commodities Prices: Speculation Exposed by: Philip Davis posted on: May 21, 2008

Excerpt: “The most exciting thing that happened Tuesday was the testimony of Michael Masters to the Senate Committee on Homeland Security (who have sweeping powers) as he spilled the beans and gave the Senate a very detailed inside view of exactly how speculators are the primary cause of high commodity prices.”

See the full article describing how we’re being robbed by big investment funds:

http://seekingalpha.com/article/78264-commodities-prices-speculation-exposed

I Didn’t Know That – Handy!

A friend sent this to me this morning & I just checked my roll of foil, sure enough! Who said you can’t teach an old dog new tricks?
I’ve been using aluminum foil for more years than I care to remember. Great stuff, but sometimes it can be a pain. You know, like when you are in the middle of doing something and you try to pull some foil out and the roll comes out of the box. Then you have to put the roll back in the box and start over. The darn roll always comes out at the wrong time.Well, I would like to share this with you. Yesterday I went to throw out an empty Reynolds foil box and for some reason I turned it and looked at the end of the box. And written on the end it said, ‘Press here to lock end’. Right there on the end of the box is a tab to lock the roll in place. How long has this little locking tab been there? I then looked at a generic brand of aluminum foil and it had one, too.A New Class of Computer Virus – When a Bounce Isn’t Really a Bounce

Be careful! There’s a class of viruses these days that propagate by “looking like” bounce messages. They instruct you to open an attachment for more information. Don’t. Especially if you don’t recall sending the message in the first place. Don’t open any attachment, especially one accompanying what looks like an email bounce unless you are absolutely positively certain that it’s legitimate.

Health Care Costs in Korea. “We’re getting hosed in the U.S.” –Matthew

Korean Health Care Costs

Tue May 13, 2008 8:26 pm (PDT) (Note: The following is the text of an email sent by the son of a friend of mine. The son is a U.S. citizen teaching in Korea)

I thought you might find this interesting.I went to the Sokcho hospital for my health check-up today.It consisted of:1) Blood test for HIV/AIDS2) Urine test for drugs3) Full chest x-ray for pneumonia/TB4) Height/weight/vision/blood pressure checksIt cost a whopping $50.00…and I don’t have insurance yet. How much would that run in the states?Take care, Matthew”

PS: Another teacher just called me — he won’t be at work today as he has pneumonia. Doctor visit — $3.00, Antibiotics and a huge bottle of codeine — $7.60. I love Korea…we so get hosed in the states, Matthew”