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OGSB Mystery, Western and Fantasy books with heart

Living Waters – By D. LaRue Mahlke

The Website, ogsbauthors.com has been undergoing an upgrade for the last several weeks. We will begin a relaunch today, offering book-related blogs and information on this site.  When appropriate either of the authors may post here to offer their thoughts about books and the topics about which we write. We even critique each other.

Books with value and values

OGSB is however about books and writing. While on our hiatus, Robert M. Starr moved his The Mountain Valley Wrangler into #63 in Historical Western fiction.

His other books have also been selling more than usual. To make things even rosier, he has some new chapters almost ready for a new Western.  It does not yet have a release date. That is a good reason to sign up on his page now. Take a look at Robert’s page listed on the menu. He’s just the kind of guy you think a Western Novelist would be.

Writers with a Christian perspective

Spencer A. Allen’s book is available on Amazon at this writing and we will begin promotional work on it along with the relaunch maybe some freebie items. Give us your email and we will let you know in a few days.

 

D. Larue  Mahlke has just added several new works and has some new photos of available art. Her use of color and light always just stuns the people who first see it. The Utah Sky hanging over my dining table is a favorite of mine. That is another of hers at the top of the blog.

With the relaunch is a guest author, Michael Wigington. Michael is a gamer, a Comicon guy, and a well-recognized recycling and upcycling expert. His books exist in a world of his own invention and frankly sometimes scare the pants off of me. If what you are looking for is an adventure, we-have-a-guy. Some of you are going to want to chat with him, so if sword-swinging fantasy is your thing, go sign up to follow him on the Guest Author page. We will make sure he gets it immediately.

We promise not to be spammy. The OGSB site does not do sales or advertising of other products on the site. We are not an Amazon affiliate but next to every book cover photo, there is a link to the site where you can purchase it. That is the hardest sales pitch we have. Usually, the site where you will be sent is Amazon. Things change, especially with Guest Authors.

Thank you for your patience and attention.

The OGSB Gang

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OGSB Author’s Easter Post

 

A Scene at an Inn in Caesarea

“I don’t think he carried a sword; a knife surely and he had tools too. He was a carpenter you know?”

The innkeeper was the kind who liked to talk. He had asked a curious question, ‘Did Jesus carry a sword?’ as he served bread and wine.  Although tired, I’d been walking for a long time without seeing anyone. It had been a while since I talked to a living thing. The life of a tutor of my training is one of constant travel and some conversation seemed fine. He had offered a meal and a room. He said he knew about Jesus, I was intrigued. Being dead and buried, then walking around preaching gets a lot of attention. The innkeeper believed Jesus to have been a firebrand.

“But you were one of his chosen, weren’t ya?” The innkeeper pressed his question doggedly. “I saw you once in Jerusalem.”

“No not chosen, but for a long while I traveled with them,” I said. “Now, Peter carried a weapon and he was well trained. Matthew, the tax collector, because of his work he carried weapons. He knew how to use his staff too. Tax Collectors are not well liked. Their weapons were inside their cloak, like mine. You saw my staff too. But Judas was always talking about some sort of fighting and weapons. Judas listened to Jesus talk and never heard a word of what he said about peace. He was not revolutionary, but Judas was. He wore his sword outside his garment and would have made us an armed band of ruffians, but Jesus always steered us from violence.”

“The preacher,” the innkeeper asked, “what was he like? Some of those pious ones come in here often. Their soft hands and need to tell people what to do, don’t make them popular with none of my clients.”

“Oh, I am a man of words and yet they never seem to completely describe Him.  Soft and pious are not words I would ever use talking about Jesus though?”

“Tell me then. What was he like?”

I was curious about his insistence to know more. Was he trying to get me to speak against the guards? Funny fellow. “Jesus was a man who worked with His hands.” I said. “I’ve seen his spit in the dirt and make a blind man see with the mud. He didn’t go wash like the priests, he brushed His hands together and moved on. He washed before eating surely.”

“I figure them stories to be tall tales.”

“They weren’t,” I was bragging maybe, “He did a lot more things like that. He made madmen sane, cured women’s problems, he once cast demons into a bunch of hogs and made them run into the river and drown.”

“You saw that?”

“Yes.”

“He wasn’t just a little prissy priest like the one comes in here and wants free wine?”

“No, he was powerful,” I argued, “Some of the furniture He and Joseph made was heavy, sturdy stuff.”

“My father was like that. He wasn’t a carpenter by trade, but he had calloused hands and could make all kinds of things to work in the fields.” The innkeeper offered more wine, but I covered my cup. He leaned over the table and waited.

“You would have liked him my friend.” I suggested.

“Think so?”

“Jesus was very strong, had the shape of a gladiator or one of the Legion and a similar stride. He was always erect, would look you in the eyes when he talked.” I told him.

“What was that dust up at the Marketplace. I heard he went crazy.” The innkeeper goaded.

“The Marketplace? I was there, it wasn’t a marketplace, it was the Temple, sacred space. It was God’s house and He said God was his father. They had started really being competitive, holding things to buy in his face. Money was being changed loudly and the livestock stink was intense. He had enough of their behavior, took a coil of rope and ran the lot of them off the property. He looked like a gladiator for a moment, they were afraid of Him.”

“He was a revolutionary, no?”

“No, he was not trying to overthrow Roman law or desecrate, he was cleaning out unclean and bad behavior at the Temple. It’s much too beautiful for all the trading and material things. He was a gentle man. He had wisdom of the ages and would take time to listen, then explain the scriptures, give us entirely different understandings of what God’s word said and what the prophets wrote. His words had such impact, such meaning. He would comfort you, encourage you and promise to empower you to do exactly what was right. Jesus, was a man who looked like the Greek statues of gods, spoke like the final authority and had the ability to make you comfortable in your own skin.”

“What of these followers, the cursed Legions and the Priest hate them. That Roman Saul, he has become obsessed about the movement.”

“Now he is called Paul, I know him, we had the same teacher, Gamaliel, who is partial to the teachings of Jesus. Gamaliel is worried about him. I told him the other day, ‘If Paul could have met Jesus, somewhere alone without a crowd where the little rooster didn’t think he had to play that role; it would have been different.’”

“But Jesus disappeared? Right?”

“He ascended into Heaven is how Peter described it. I was not there.”

“What are you guys left behind ‘sposed ta do?”

“Just what I’m doing,” I smiled, “Blessings on you. All He asked of us was to tell others about Him. Treat others with respect and be good examples.”

The shopkeeper was distracted by others in the in, “I’ve gotta get to work. You gonna be around?”

“Just for the night. I have a young man to tutor in Tyre.”

“Wish you could stick around.”

“Keep your ear to the ground. The disciples preach, there are many followers who teach. They get together, eat, visit and study the Old law and what Jesus taught. The word is not for just the Jews anymore. You can live after your death as a follower of Jesus.”

“Hadn’t heard that.”

“Now you have. Jesus said, ‘Seek and ye shall find.’ But it has to be your decision. I must rest for tomorrow. Blessings again.”

“Good talkin’ with ya.”

Authors: W.D.Edmiston, J North, Spencer Allen.

OGSB Authors.com

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Western Adventure with heart from Robert M. Starr

An epic Western Gunfighter novel for Christian readers

OGSBAuthors’ Robert M. Starr published his fourth book, The Mountain Valley Wrangler, a western saga in the style of Louis L’Amour, on February 2, 2020, and this one promises to be a page-turner too.  Starr won writing awards for two previous books. More story details are available when you sign up to the OGSB Authors website sidebar; those signing up an email address and the note WRANGLER in the message block will soon be notified when the details are finalized for a week-long free eBook promotion.  For those of you who can’t wait or who prefer to hold a book in your hands, The Mountain Valley Wrangler is available in paperback or for Kindle readers from Amazon.

Young adults are hero and heroine in Wrangler

“I’ve always loved westerns.  I grew up watching western movies and reading western novels.  And I lived the life of a cowboy on a Nebraska ranch.  My first writing award was for a western novel.  Before I wrote The Mountain Valley Wrangler, I walked the ground that my characters walked and the trails they rode into the Sangre de Cristo Mountains.  I camped beside the lakes where they camped.  I spoke to the children and grandchildren of the early settlers of the Wet Mountain Valley to learn their history.  I “haunted” the files of the Wet Mountain Tribune, and I spent considerable time in the Denver Public Library.  Then I wrote the story of Will Bartlett and his family.  I hope you enjoy it.” Robert M. Starr

Edmiston, the moderator, and Robert Starr are the principal authors on the OGSB Authors website and blog. We have four authors listed and at least three more new books out soon. As the press release mentions above, if you go to our contact page and give us your email, we will notify you of anything new, free eBooks, and we will soon have a contest with real prizes when you sign up.

We also have a great addition coming to OGSB, a fine artist who travels the States and elsewhere painting beautiful landscapes. This is an award winning artist whose work is exhibited in galleries and whose art is highly sought after by a distinguished set of buyers. We will also let you know when her page on this site is completely finished. WDE

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Sam Spradlin and broken glass – Spence Allen

Sam Spradlin was a big man of British lineage, who flew a Hawker Hurricane in the Battle of Britain with a very respectable 14 kills.  Sam followed a nurse from the airfields of WWII to America where they promptly married. He was a pleasant man who loved people. They cared about him because he genuinely wanted to help everyone he came across. That meant he often gave a lot of attention to people who needed help in his auto repair shop. Those who took the most of his time were the auto racers because he was a racer himself. They all knew he had a great sense of humor and looked at the world in an entirely different and humorous view.

Sam shared a building with Chadwick Stang, another Brit, whose expertise was the spinning wonder called the turbocharger. It was an add-on for increased power that had proven itself on several aircraft during the same war were Sam had served. Chadwick however, had served in clean hangers and in places far from battle. The two grandfathers liked each other and at the same time Chadwick was terribly competitive and secretly still a bit awed by Sam the Air Ace – so many years after their war experiences. Often, Sam was the butt of his snide remarks and bad jokes. Chadwick was a bit of a know-it-all and delighted in second guessing Sam. He was happiest when getting the attention of racers who gathered in his office away from Sam. In other words, Chadwick deserved what he had coming.

Chadwick was an engineer and had been an advisor to several aircraft companies on the subject of turbocharger design and manufacture, He sold turbo’s and had several young men either working or hanging out at his shop. They came to learn how to use their turbos and to hear Chadwick brag on the turbo story, his part in it and what racer was using his equipment.  At the time of this story, auto enthusiasts everywhere were discovering that they could add an easy 100 horsepower to their car by adding a turbo. Therefore, turbochargers quickly became the target of thieves hoping to make a fast buck.

One night, two burglars had smashed a window panel at Chadwick’s office and because of a silent alarm, been caught by police while loading turbos into their truck. This was before every policeman had a body camera or it would have shown that for the last two or more minutes of the burglary something funny had happened. The officers arrived quietly. They grabbed the first burglar from behind and noiselessly, pushed him to the ground and handcuffed him. The third officer, who was standing in the dark, went unnoticed by the second burglar, who kept handing boxes of turbos out of the window. The officer took then and waited. The short delay gave the others time to put the first burglar in their patrol car. At a signal the police officers regrouped, grabbed the second man, pulled him through the window and arrested him. Quite the odd little comedy of the absurd! That instance set up the comeuppance of Chadwick Stang.

Chadwick, decided he did not want to call the landlord to replace the window and ordered a piece of glass to do it himself.  He took a long lunch with Sam, dropped by the glazier and picked up his glass. When they got back to the shop, several of the regular hanger’s-on had gathered in Chadwick’s office. He unwrapped the brown paper wrapped glass and discovered it was about on inch too long to fit the opening. There was a round of teasing and harassment from the audience of auto racers aimed at Chadwick for mis-measuring the hole. This put him in his worst state of mind; out of favor with the racers in front of Sam. Chadwick was befuddled, angry at the teasing and very uncomfortable that Sam was watching. He knew Sam would bring this up several times, not just a few days, but years into his future.

Resolved to correct his mistake, he dug in a toolbox, found a forlorn looking glass cutter in the back of a drawer and proceeded to score the glass with a straight edge to shorten it. The technique was to score the glass completely across then turning the tool around tap it with the weighted ball on the handle. The shorter piece was supposed to crack off along the scribed line. A person experienced in this art could cut several pieces of glass in a few minutes without problem. Chadwick, however, was not experienced and failed to properly score the glass. When he tapped the crack, rather than follow the scoring like it was supposed to, the break ran off at a 30-degree angle. The only thing left to do was buy another. Sam took the tool and hammered the piece of glass into several bits.

“Why did you do that,” Chadwick whined”

Sam grinned, “To keep you from taping it together and putting it in the window.” The other men in the room knew Chadwick well and knew his tendency to “cheap-out” when that sort of thing happened. Chadwick was steaming as Sam grabbed the closest receptacle and swept the glass fragments into it. “That’s my manufacturer’s award trophy from Garretson you idiot.” Chadwick was livid. The racers howled at his discomfort.

Sam measured the window and sent his parts runner back to the glazier for a new piece of glass. As the runner left, Sam saw a uniformed service tech enter the shop across the street. The seed of an idea took root and blossomed. He moved away from the other racers. Sam watched for the man to come back out and as he waited, intercepted the runner with the new piece of wrapped glass. Sam took it, walked across the street and caught the service tech just as he came out of the building. The man was someone who he a spoken to on several occasions at a local restaurant and wore a generic uniform with a name patch on the left pocket side of his shirt. He had exactly the right look for Sam’s plan.  In a moment, Sam had the man enlisted in his scheme. Sam went back across the street and waited in the office until the service tech walked through Chadwick’s door. When he did, he was holding the new piece of brown paper wrapped glass.

“Hi,” said the service tech, “Sally sold you the wrong piece of glass this morning, she wanted me to swap with you. This one is yours, if I could get the other. Looks like you haven’t put it in yet.” The man motioned to the empty window pane in the office.

“I don’t have any glass” Chadwick said, getting up and leaving the office. On his way out the door he said, “Don’t know what you are talking about.”

With that Sam knew what to do. He spoke quietly to the service tech who went outside and pretended to make a call on what was then a modern mobile phone; the Motorola Dyna-Tac also called a brick phone. The peanut gallery of racers watched and wondered what would happen next. Just about the time Chadwick came back, the service tech came back too at Sam’s direction. A couple of the men noticed and exchanged whispers, waiting to see what happened.

“Sir, I called Sally, she said if you would just check your glass, you will find it’s too big.”

“I don’t have any glass,” Chadwick sputtered. “Just leave I can’t help you.” Chadwick’s voice had risen several decibels. That and his general discomfort made him look a bit like Barney Fife trying to explain himself to Sheriff Taylor.

“Oh, Chadwick give him the glass, maybe he can do something with it.” At the same time, Sam handed the tech the trophy where he had swept the glass shards. The room erupted with laughter. The tech took the trophy and left.

“Come back here with my trophy.” Chadwick howled.

By then several of the men in the room had figured out it was all Sam’s doing. Sam went out and got in the service truck with the tech and took him to lunch, spurring another round of laughter. The joke was all anyone talked about for a week.

It’s never good to make fun of a person who you think is a push-over; the kind of person who is helpful and kind. Creation has it’s own way of spinning the globe into position for them to point out your foolishness. Kindness and honest effort on the part of other people is not weakness, it’s maturity. The kind, honest and meek in appearance will not engage you in endless debate. But in the end, they will put an end to foolishness and bad behavior. This is a lesson that children and those adults who act like them must often learn the hard way. Spence Allen

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Random Thoughts

Avoid anyone who gives you advice starting with “All you have to do is . . because these people will cause you pain.

Occam’s Razor does not apply to conspiracy theories.

Love is what make’s two people think they are pretty even when no one else does.

Any person, having taken delivery of a dump truck load of 9 yards of earth — and being equipped with only a shovel and a wheelbarrow will have no problem with the suggestion aliens built the pyramids.

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High School

Senior year. A final year of learning supposed to get us ready to enter life as an employable person, able to cope with others and make some contribution to society. Or something like that.
Have you ever noticed in this over psychoanalyzed society how often those four years of high school enter into our adult lives. For instance, movies include all kinds of high school events that spill over into adult behavior and cause by all sorts of bad things. Serial killers; dissed as kids for their disabilities, their weakness or poverty become murderous. Shy teens decide that attempting to better themselves is impossible because they are of the wrong “caste.” Carrie, of course is one of the more calamitous. In how many Criminal Minds and SVU episodes have the high school victims becoming the adult bullies. Former high school heartthrobs are dead at the hands of this person who has become a predator?
Even Hallmark Romances are heavily sprinkled with stories of high school sweethearts who are reunited. They are popular. They feed upon the regret of an audience who all wish some lost love would have worked out.
But twenty years later, many of us are still reacting to today’s events based on what happened to us in High School. We still see ourselves as outside the “cool kids” group. We are afraid to talk to a co-worker because he or she is too pretty. Worst, we refuse to talk to co-workers because we think we are too pretty. Alternatively, we live on those high school memories of long-ago football or Class Favorite successes without every accomplishing much more. High School is a place to make mistakes. It’s not a launching ground that defines who we will be in the future. It’s just supposed to educate us at the lowest level. We should never stop learning and we don’t need school to do it. We never finish learning, and that is the successful way to approach life. We must not have college to succeed, but we must keep learning. Never before has this been easier. Learn something today, it will do you good.

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Welcome to My Blog Page

Hello, and I hope you enjoy a wide range of discussion topics. If it is social, religious, political or just nutty, you may find it here. We are anxious to hear your feedback and hope you will subscribe to the site as well. When really great opportunities come up or we would like specific input from you, we might send you a short note. Sincerely, OGSB Partners. Please follow my blog using the last entry at the bottom of the blog roll.

Thursday Thoughts on Thinking

Marsh Moonlight 1700 By D. LaRue Mahlke – see more on the Arts and Media Page

Avoid the words “I think . . .” when expressing what you know to be true. Those two words are heard everywhere these days and I cannot imagine why. When people add, “I think…,” they assume they are voicing their opinion. But the listener perceives them to be asking permission to have an opinion. The listener then gets the idea to blurt out what they think and why the other person is wrong. When you know what you know, speak of that. If you do not know ask. Thinking is common, it has no real value unless the speaker knows something; anyone can do it. Not always well. If you know something, offer what you know is important, where it is needed. But do not be disappointed if you are ignored or they argue. If you only talk about what you know, at least the argument will be worth the trouble. WDE

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W.D. Edmiston, Robert Starr, Arlington J North, Allen Spence, D. LaRue Mahlke

One of the Best Christian Fiction Westerns of 2020?

The Mountain Valley Wrangler, a clean and wholesome epic

A review by Spencer A. Allen

Yes, in my opinion, it is exactly that. The cowboy has his own legend. Some of it has dimmed lately with styles turning to all-cotton stretch fabrics and running shoes, worn by bright young people with more odd hairstyles. They have no couture and no spirit to share with the humble cowboy.

The lead character Will Bartlett in Starr’s novel, The Mountain Valley Wrangler is a quintessential cowboy. Cowboys were not all gunslingers. But, using a rifle or a pistol was often a skill they developed.  Will had worked with cattle for other people in his youth before he became a ranching man in his own right. He is good with kids, polite to women, thoughtful to their neighbors. He is a fine man to have with you in a scrape too.

Those who think and live that way, or wish they could,  will like this book. My writing partner, Robert M. Starr, writes about the many Western cattlemen who worked in Colorado, Montana, and other snow-covered states.  The running shoe crowd will not know much about a cowboy. But Starr does. He has lived it, done the job, walked the land, and knows the lifestyle first hand.

A fine wholesome Western Romance

A good western cowboy has a big heart. He likes people, horses, dogs, and animals in general. But the cowboy way is equally adaptable by both cowboys and cowgirls. A Western romance is honorable and the boy and girl show respect for each other and their families. A good cowboy can be brash and loud. But he is a little more humble around women but no less recognizable, loyal, or dependable.

There are all sorts of people who work on a ranch. Some are good people, but they are not cowboys.  But a real no-account person is something a cowboy can spot a country mile away, and a good yard dog won’t let them in the gate. There are some of those people in the world of Will Bartlett too. You never know what will happen when the two get together.

Robert Starr’s Mountain Valley Wrangler is set in Colorado. Author Robert Starr knows the area well. He lived there, hiked the wilderness, and walked the same trails. Will Bartlett is “the wrangler,” and is a pure cowboy in his heart. The cowboy way contains a creed and it has boundaries and he knows them. Knowing your limits and when to proceed or not proceed in something allows you to be relaxed and think calmly in any situation. Will learned those rules well, and sometimes the hard way. But you can count on him.

Being a Texan in my youth was also to be a cowboy. One of my favorite books is Texas, a World in Itself by George Sessions Perry.  I’ve read it countless times. In it, Perry wrote,

“[Cowboys]. . . are in a sense an elite corps among ranch hands, unquestionably the proudest men I ever saw. You feel at once that they would not trade places with anyone on earth and that they look upon ordinary mortals. . .  as clearly inferior to themselves. [It is not due to high pay] The astounding fact is that all this enthusiasm concerns a dollar-a-day job . . . handy with a lariat; the carbine and the six-shooter are not strangers to them. Cattle rustlers are likely to find nocturnal egress from the Ranch . . . is sudden death.”

I own horses, cows, done my share of rodeoing, doctoring, delivering, and feeding them all. They seem to be universal on ranches regardless of size. But when I sit down to read, I still read about cowboys of long ago. It was a fuller, richer time, closer to the woods, the mountains, and trees. And of course, the grass, because that is what makes steak taste best. Will Bartlett is The Mountain Valley Wrangler, and I’m sure he would agree with me.

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Thanks for hanging out with us:

W.D. Edmiston, Robert Starr, Arlington J North, Allen Spence, D. LaRue Mahlke of OGSB Authors.

Robert has a new book coming soon! 

Please fill out the short form so we may let you know when there is something new, free, or an Advanced Review Copy.

Courage in Interesting Times

 

Courage is a virtue. Your beliefs, opinions, and well-considered thoughts bolster your courage. One of the reasons to write is to encourage other people, to show them how others solve problems. That is why I write fiction based on real stories. A person who believes what he is doing is right will accomplish what they tackle. Once they have voiced their opinion on something, it is hard to change their mind; and that is more true after they have put some intelligent well-researched thought to it.

 

 

 

 

 

There are other virtues we adopt, like knowing what is right and wrong. Being kind and generous to other people is a virtue as well. Living without bias is possible, even without shouting “I have no bias” from the rooftops. From the news, you would think that was the only way.

If you have courage. You can deal with any tough situation in life. Courage adds individuality and higher quality to the other virtues. But courage needs a creed. Most of us use those in the Bible – some people just hate to admit that.

 

Courage is required to stand by one’s principle and act upon our responsibility to resist dishonest and illegal pressure. Principles and responsibilities are written in creeds. When you know what is right and what worked before you will take action where the less courageous stand down. I know what to do at the scene of an auto accident, what to say to the 911 operator, my decision to be involved, testify, write a report, take the time, was made long ago. Now might be a good time for all of us to consider, what will I do with confronted by people harming others. You have seen on TV, what will you do? Over time, you will find yourself more ready to take responsibility, take action, and know when not to jump in at all.

That is what the characters in my books and the writers of OGSB Authors try to show us in our books. Being empathetic and helping is the good side of the line between good and evil.

 

For the person who wants real courage, the 2020 year is an opportune time to learn. The characters in my books would shake their heads over what you and I must face this year. But it is a time for courage. Think with that second deeper part of your brain about things. Sure, hot stories set in outrage and “can you believe what they did” are everywhere. How would you feel in the same situation? What would you do without the help of a lot of your friends, courageous friends? Most importantly, stop and ask yourself, do I have the intelligence and education to know how to judge what is right and wrong in this incident – or is there a way, a predicate, that guides our decisions by what we have done before? And most importantly, is what I’m being told true? The characters we write about at OGSB are often people who have seen a lot and know instinctively when they are not being told the truth. Why would you join in to promote a lie? Be brave enough to question what you are asked to believe. Fact-check even the juiciest gossip.

Destruction of anything is not courageous. Even is it is on social media. Name-calling is, by the way, the destruction of a person’s image, their reputation, or thinking you know all about them, when you have no real way of doing so.

Finally, understand courage is not throwing caution to the wind. Courage is knowing when something needs to be done and having a logical means to get it done. Be courageous.

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Thoughts on Impeachment and on Our Republic

 

 

I listened to the Senate impeachment trial. I heard the summations from those representing the President, and those summations represent the facts I have heard presented, facts suppressed in the House impeachment in what may have been the most unjust and unfounded proceeding in congressional history.

The only actual fact witness, Sondland, to testify in the House impeachment was finally forced to admit that the only statement he heard directly from the President was that the President wanted “nothing, no quid pro quo,” and that all of his, Sondland’s, additional testimony was based solely on his, Sondland’s, presumptions.

Today, I listened to summations from those defending the President in the Senate trial and from those managers who represented the House. Each of the Democrats offered ‘urgent’ pleas and ‘strong’ arguments that our nation is doomed if we do not remove Donald Trump from office. Finally, I listened to the summation of Adam Schiff.

Had I not known the facts, the lack of factual evidence of any legal wrongdoing on the part of the President (I actually watched the impeachment proceedings in the House; I did not get my opinions from our biased media), I might have been persuaded by Mr. Schiff’s impassioned speech. As I listened, I was reminded of Saul Alinsky’s most famous book, the 1971 “Rules for Radicals: A Pragmatic Primer for Realistic Radicals,” which “includes a dedication to ‘the first radical known to man who rebelled against the establishment and did it so effectively that he at least won his own kingdom — Lucifer.'” One of the primary tactics of those who would destroy personal freedom is to accuse opponents of doing the very things they themselves are doing.

Adam Schiff’s closing argument presented every accusation the Democrats made against Donald Trump, as if each charge had been fully proven and was undisputed fact. Nothing could be less true. Sadly, many Americans, who have not heard the actual testimony and know only what has been offered as factual by the “mainstream media” will likely believe that our President is guilty of “heinous” wrongdoing. That Adam Schiff could lie so fluently and passionately, even eloquently, did not surprise me; I had heard him do it before. But his words made clear the danger our nation faces as the Democrats move farther and farther to the “radical left” of political thought.

As an aside to that concern for truth, and because it seems to have become a universal failing among our government representatives and in our news media, I am concerned and appalled by the constant and seemingly universal failure to understand that we are a republic, not a democracy.  The fact that we are a republic and not a democracy is critical to our freedoms.   Our founders feared a democracy as “mob rule.” The two words are not synonymous; the terms are far from interchangeable, and the failure to understand the difference, as well as the indifference to the reality of that difference between a democracy and a republic, nurtures the seeds of destruction to our freedoms. It may seem to be “nitpicking” to desire accuracy in our language, but “words have meanings” and meanings have consequences. Clarity is important, in our language and in our perceptions. Historical awareness may determine how we respond to the dangers to our way of life.  So, it grieves me to hear our leaders (in truth, they are not our leaders; they are our representatives, answerable to us) so constantly describe our nation as a democracy, whether they be Democrat or Republican, rather than as a republic. Preserving our Republic is essential to preserving our liberty . . .

At the close of the Constitutional Convention of 1787, when Benjamin Franklin was queried as he left Independence Hall on the final day of deliberation—in the notes of Dr. James McHenry, one of Maryland’s delegates to the Convention, an anecdote reads:  “A lady asked: ‘Well Doctor what have we got a republic or a monarchy?’ ‘A republic,’ replied the Doctor, ‘if you can keep it.'”  To be able to keep our republic, we must know what it is, and we must know why it is worth fighting for.

(Note for those of you who might have been lost deep in an underground cavern and just now reached fresh air and blue skies:  The House of Representatives impeached the President; following the Senate trial, he was acquitted!)

Robert M. Starr

I SEE PIGMENTS TOO

Photo – Tony Ross – Unsplash

“I see pigments of myself from the people I meet.” Kimberly Pauig kimpaulig.wordpress.com

Thank you Kimberly. Today Spence A. Allen, Associate Author of OBSB adds his thoughts to a complex world. WDE

Isn’t this a great way of expressing what we call the “take away” these days when we meet new people or ideas.  Some pigments are great memories that add brilliant hues, or some deep rich meaningful color. I’m a happy guy and the colors decorate my day like flags. Looking up the word pigment, I naturally expected it to mention color. But pigment also means the carbons and metals that occur in nature. Pigments of myself then would then be the very makeup of who you are; that you see in others. That’s rather profound. Certainly, we are all individuals, but we are made up of the same natural elements. That would mean that the only “color” differences we really face are not the things of which we are made, but mythical definitions we have “made up” about the value of other people. We make up the pigments of race like a small child makes up imaginary friends.

We are more alike than we are different. It reminds me of the quotation from Major John Bell Hood – played by Levon Hill in In the Electric Mist: “Venal and evil men are destroying the world you were born in. It’s us against them my good friend. Don’t compromise your principles or abandon your cause.”

 I take that quotation as an upbeat approach to good. We all have the same ability, if we ignore the venal and evil of this world, to achieve great success as a person. Not as a people, but singular as a person — an individual. We can be an island of content and goodness if we recognize the piments. We share them with those who do not compromise their principles or abandon their individual goals. We travel this earth alongside them, recognizing the beauty of our basic sameness, while allowing us both to reach our uniqueness.

Spencer A. Allen