Archive for September, 2010

Wolves in preacher’s clothing

September 30, 2010

Ted Haggard, Paul Crouch, and Robert Kazanja are men that have come under fire for alleged acts of immorality similar to those lodged against Bishop Eddie Long.  One writer described them as “…men who pretend to be preachers, but are wolves waiting for young boys they can entice into a sexual relationship…”   Preachers are not the only wolves out there.   Almost a quarter of a century ago, an Atlanta TV personality was trolling for young male sexual partners.   My recollection is that police in Columbus, Georgia arrested him.    As the story developed, we learned that he would seek these young men in cities outside of Atlanta so he wouldn’t be recognized..  After the Columbus arrest, police chief’s in other cities recognized him and reported similar incident reports written by their officers.   The talented TV personality lost his job, his family and his life.   After leaving TV, he died  from a brain tumor.  Wolves pretend to be many things they are not in order to get what they want.

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More thoughts on Bishop Long

September 29, 2010

What if he’s innocent?    Many are quick to judge anyone accused of sexually immoral or criminal conduct.  In some instances, the accusers are lying, but the damage already is done.  My Canada based friend says if Bishop Long is innocent, he wonders how 4 different young men could be telling remarkably similar stories.     One possible explanation:   they all have the same lawyer who’s filed the  civil suits in their behalf.   Even if a jury finds Bishop Long innocent, the accusations always will be a part of his life.   It’s a cliche”, but true…You can’t unring a bell.

An inquiry from Canada about Bishop Eddie Long

September 28, 2010

The Bishop Eddie Long story apparently has universal appeal.  A friend who lives in Canada recently messaged me to ask what I thought about the allegations against Long.   The same lawyer is representing 4 young men who have filed civil suits alleging the 57-year-old minister coerced them into sexual relationships.  They’re asking a jury to award them money from Long and the New Birth Church with more than 25-thousand members in metro Atlanta.  I wrote my friend that I want to see and hear the evidence before deciding..  However, I’ve always been skeptical of “ministers”who wrap themselves in religion for their own personal gain.  My skepticism began in the early 1960s with New York Congressman Adam Clayton Powell.   When Powell was accused of wrong doing, he’d deny it and shield himself with religion.   Powell’s Harlem constituency kept sending him back to Congress.     In more recent history, the late Bishop Earl Paul Paulk of Atlanta used religion to take advantage of several women in his congregation.  I remember interviewing Paulk backstage one evening before he came out to preach.  After we tore down the camera, I overheard him say to one of his associates, “…let’s go out and shear the sheep…”  Because of prejudices based on my experiences, I doubt the defense in the Bishop Long case would accept me as a juror.

It felt so good

September 27, 2010

 She’s one of the younger participants in the Dragon Dash 5K.  We’re running near Jasper in Pickens county about 50 miles north of Atlanta.  It felt so good to run in a light drizzle with the temperature at 66 degrees.    It was the first cool afternoon this Fall. Can it be only a week ago that we were hurting in 93 degrees heat on a Sunday afternoon?  You can see evidence of the rain alongside the road.     The only people I saw trying to shield themselves were these finish-line volunteers.  Standing to hand out finish cards doesn’t feel nearly as good as running in the rain.  Cue Johnny Ray:  “…just walkin’ in the rain….”  Cue Gene Kelly: “…dancin’ in the rain..”    Cue: the composers among the runners:  “…it makes me feel so good…just runnin’ in the rain..   feelin’ soakin’ wet…it’s a feelin’ I won’t forget…”

So how does this make sense

September 26, 2010

A  convicted triple murderer was  on Georgia’s death row when he attempted to commit suicide a few days before his scheduled execution.   He used a shaving razor to slash his throat and elbows.  Corrections Department medical personnel treated and saved him.   His execution was postponed.   The convicted murderer’s attorney went to court to argue that his client could have suffered brain damage from the amount of  blood he lost.    The judge told the lawyer that he had not shown that the death row inmate was incompetent and would not halt the inmate’s date with the needle.        It’s now supposed to happen Monday.     Why, you may ask,  did the state save him from death by his own hand only to execute him by lethal injection a few days later?   Any thoughts?

Pointing Diogenes in the right direction

September 25, 2010

I went to a grocery store in Smyrna, Georgia to get a few things.   I checked out, put the stuff in my vehicle and drove a short distance to an auto parts store. .   My car computer had warned me that the coolant was low.   After putting the coolant and funnels into a shopping basket, I reached into my fanny pack for my wallet, but it wasn’t there.    I told the auto parts clerk that I must have left it in my van.   I was wrong…it was not there.  I  began to feel the stress of a lost wallet as I came back into the parts store..   I searched the aisles thinking it might have fallen out of my fanny pack while getting my coolant and funnels.    It hadn’t.     The last time I remembered having my wallet was when I paid for the groceries at the Kroger store.  So I went back there.   The checkout clerk told me she hadn’t seen my wallet.   So I went to the customer service desk.   Two people were in line ahead of me.  I waited.   I was thinking about the red tape and time involved in canceling credit cards, medical cards and replacing my driver’s license.  Customer service rep Virginia Gunn’s face lit up when she saw me.   Ms. Gunn held up my wallet.   She said, “one of those young boys over there found it out in the parking lot.  I hope everything’s there.”    I was so relieved and anxious to get back to the auto parts store that I left without getting the finder’s name.  I’ll be going back  to show him my appreciation.  If Diogenes were still searching for that honest man, I could point him in the right direction.

Booze claims more victims

September 24, 2010

A 72-year-old Metro Atlanta man was in court today for sentencing.    Six months ago, he had 4 drinks before getting in his pickup truck to drive home.   He went the wrong way on the expressway.    A newlywed 19-year-old woman had just picked up her Marine husband at the airport.  He was coming home from a dangerous tour of duty in Iraq.  The 72-year-old’s truck slammed into their sedan.   The young Marine died.  His bride was badly injured.    She and the Marine’s other relatives were in court  for the sentencing.   Until this incident, the 72-year-old had a completely clean record.   He was convincingly remorseful wondering why it could not have been him who died instead of the Marine with most of  his life still before him.   This is just another example of alcohol’s tragic effect on people’s lives.   You’ve heard the cop outs:  “drink responsibly, don’t drink and drive, and prohibition didn’t work.”      The judge sentenced the 72-year-old to 15 years in prison and another 15 years on probation.   Because of his age, he could be eligible to be considered for parole almost anytime.

My wife explains rapid deceleration

September 23, 2010

You may remember this picture from an earlier posting.   A UFO hit my windshield with such force that it shattered.   On reflection, I wondered why the mini-vans air bags did not deploy.   So I asked my wife who knows about such things.   Gisela’s a retired engineer.  She tells me it’s not the impact that causes the air bags to deploy, it’s rapid deceleration.  Since I slowly braked and moved into the emergency lane, the air bags remained in place.  Now there’s little doubt if a vehicle hits another object close to its density, size and speed,  it’s often accompanied by rapid deceleration and the air bags will deploy….she says!

How about those long legs!

September 22, 2010

Katrianne Nichols

Katrianne Nichols is just one day shy of being 3-weeks old.  The medical folks say our preemie grand-daughter is doing well.  On September 1st at 6:44 p.m., via C-section, she weighed in at about 2 pounds.  Today, the scales marked her at 2 pounds and 8 ounces.  My wife is in Albuquerque helping the parents adjust.  We still don’t know when Katrianne will be coming home.     It appears she has those “Ann Miller or Cyd Charisse” legs.    Thank you Lord for the miracle of her life.  For those who’ve never heard of actresses-dancers Miller or Charisse, please check them out via your favorite search engine.

Thoughts on growing older

September 21, 2010

As I move slowly toward my octogenarian years, I’m struck by how slowly I’m moving.    Since I continue to run, I have a daily barometer that reminds me of what’s happening.     I try to use some of the training techniques that served me well in the past, but they don’t recapture the speed or endurance my body once enjoyed.  There also is the matter of balance.   I don’t fall as much as I once did, but the falls I do take are more like “splats” instead of the “football rolls” that we learned in our youth.  I also have to be careful not to let my ego overload my judgment.   For example, Sunday I had a choice of going around a steep rocky incline or climbing it.  Hey, just a few years ago, this would have been a snap, but as I started  and  got a foothold on some rocks, I began to tip backwards and literally walked backwards rapidly for a few steps before regaining my balance.   That was enough to remind me that the mind may be wiling, but the body isn’t what it used to be.     I went around.   Thank God I’m still moving…however slowly!