J. “W”, CHENEY, RUMSFELD ( )

I had only one friend in Vietnam. My childhood friend, Deems Webster, was “over there”. And he knew my imminent decision. A letter from Deems influenced my thinking when he said “… this ain’t John Wayne and SANDS OVER IWO JIMA. Don’t come.”
Deems was like a little brother to me. Why was he there and I was not?
In my first job I taught a lot of freshmen. Being at a small school I knew most of the kids by name. In my third year of teaching I was informed a young man named Butch Benton had been drafted and sent to Vietnam. He was killed shortly thereafter. I didn’t know Butch any better than most of my students, but I can see him now in my mind’s eye. He was a tough kid I knew, and a nice young man, reddish hair, standing at the gym’s entrance in his “P.E. uniform” of blue shorts and a white tee shirt that said A.C.C. P.E.
I was beginning to consider volunteering for the military service. One school day, after breakfast, I went into the office of Ira Norfolk, the director of athletics and the men’s basketball coach at Atlantic Christian College. I had served for two years under Coach Norfork as the freshman team coach. Coach Norfork was a retired career marine. He had been at the Chosin Reservoir battle in Korea. I sincerely suggested to him my intentions and asked his opinion. He was very clear in stating that”… I need you more than they do. “While this may have been the answer I wanted, I accepted his advice and thus continued a forty year teaching and coaching career. Several things became apparent over the years. One was that I was not alone in seeking Coach Norfolk’s opinion about military service, and it seems, having seen the worst of war, he did all he could to discourage me and other fellow athletes under his supervision from enlisting.
The years also made me aware of other beliefs. Up until 30 years I was single. My players and students became very close. Certainly it is not the same as being a parent. But you do become very aware and attached to these young people, and I began to appreciate them and to value their worth at a high, high level. Becoming a parent only magnified my love for young people,
and I began to detest any thought of an unnecessary war taking one of them. I can only imagine the loss of a child. I surely don’t belittle the loss family’s bear. As the saying goes “… hate the war, but love the warriors.” If anything has manifested itself in the last ten years of war, it has been the noble behavior of the majority of our troops.
And yet one has to wonder about the cost of blood and treasure of the Iraq war. As the announcement was made of Desert Storm in Iraq I was much older. SCUD missiles and infrared green television screens on daily news, and “success” came quickly. It became obvious that the American military could be very efficient. In short order, we began to hear about how easily and how many had killed. Sentences still ring in my head from the time: “Americans are very good at killing.” Or “…we mowed them down so easily.”
And I did wonder.
Two of my generation’s highlights were the family car and the television set. And from the moment of the first test pattern until now, there has hardly been a day that did not feature Middle East violence. Over and over again we watched something bombed ad nausea. It didn’t make sense that our killing thousands indiscriminately would be taken lightly. (200,000 Iraqi citizens).
As I have mentioned, strong political beliefs have dictated a lot of thought on my behalf, and I was becoming more and more aware of America and what its role should be in dealing with the “bad guys” that always seemed to be out there.” There will be wars and rumors of wars.” But do we have to fight them all? And for everybody. And for what reasons? The loss of any noble young American seemed a high price in any currency.
I had a son in New York City on 9/11. We didn’t know his whereabouts for several hours. I shared America’s anger over this tragedy, and I can understand the desire for revenge.
Any good coach knows the adage” don’t get mad, get even”, but it seems the administration at that time could not wait to join in a new war.
This was a turning point for me. As a long time coach I had developed a pretty darn good BS detector, and it seemed to be flowing. George Senior had been told”… if you go in the Middle East you will own it”. “W” however didn’t seem to be in a listening mood. Brent Scowcroft? Hadn’t he given pretty good advice? Or maybe advice was coming from more aggressive sources: Cheney, Rumsfeld and the like?
My years of watching told me to be cautious about getting into war. And the Bush Administration was moving way too fast for me. It was obvious that not much listening was going on. I doubt my conservative friends would know who Jello Biafra is. Jello said”…even the most Bush- happy, flag suckling jack-arse knows deep inside something is wrong”.
Where these guys stupid? Evil? Was it pure hubris? E.L. Doctorow referred to “…hierarchal warrior nonsense”. Was it for money? Was it to protect the oil industry? Why this a headlong leap before you look?
They bought a guy named “Curveball”. Chalabi wasn’t it? Never in my life and in certainly no more important moment, or with more surety, did I know someone was lying to the country than the “sixteen words”. (“The British Government has recently learned that Saddam Hussein sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa” —-George W. Bush in the State of the Union speech). The main source, “Curveball”.
Watching this performance, mainly from the look on W’s face, was it for me. Holy smoke, somebody better start watching these guys.
But George had his nose open and in we went.
Pretty soon all kinds of crap hit the fan.
This book will conclude mainly as an anti-war statement. And I intend to say much more on that subject later. Yet there were all kinds of blunders appearing, and while the war is the one that seemed to me as most dangerous to our country and world, there was stuff, mostly of ghastly proportion, unfolding at a rapid pace. Try deregulation and the silently unfolding second most serious financial collapse to hit our nation.
I intend to list some of the happenings of 2000– 2008. It’s hard to keep the war out of the politics. Some are interwoven. Chalabi, Cheney, “Scooter” Libby, and Valerie Plame? From Clinton and a rare surplus, to a trillion and a half in the red? Someone explained a trillion dollars this way: If you could initial a dollar bill every second, non-stop for 32,000 years you would have a trillion dollars. The wars “off the books” and the collapse during the Bush W. years created a chilling, galloping debt that will long be with us, no matter who or what. In the words of the great philosopher, POGO, “…it happened during my administration.”

M. THE “FOR BAPTISTS ONLY” HYMN TEST (43)

Many people may not know that Coach Parham’s father was a Baptist minister. Tom spent many hours of his youth in a Baptist Church listening to hymns. Here’s a fun game for people who have shared that experience and want to test their memory of old Baptist hymns.

Match correct hymn phrase with the correct hymn title. There are two parts.

PART ONE

Titles:

1._____There Is a Fountain
2._____In The Garden
3._____Take My Life, and Let It Be Consecrated.
4._____Love Devine, All Loves Excelling
5._____Amazing Grace
6._____Blest Be the Tie
7._____Take Time To Be Holy
8._____When We All Get to Heaven
9._____America The Beautiful
10.____Abide With Me
11.____O God, Our Help in Ages Past
12.____Spirit of The Living God
13.____Come, Thou Almighty King
14.____Standing On the Promises
15.____He’s Got The Whole World in His Hands
16.____Revive Us Again
17.____We Are Climbing Jacob’s Ladder
18.____I Love to Tell the Story
19.____He Leadeth me!
20.____Are You Washed In the Blood
21.____My Jesus, I Love Thee
22.____Holy Bible, Book Devine
23.____How Firm A Foundation
24.____I Am Thine, O Lord
25.____Sweet Hour of Prayer
26.____My Country ‘Tis of Thee

Phrases:

A. “Take my feet, and let them be Sweet & Beautiful for Thee”
B. “And sinners, plunged beneath that flood, lose all their guilty stains.”
C. “Land of the pilgrims’ pride”
D. “Help us to praise: Father, all glorious O’er all victorious”
E. “Glory in the highest, I will shout & sing.”
F. “But I long to rise in the arms of faith, And be Closer Drawn to Thee”
G. “What more can He say than to you He Hath said”
H. “In seasons of distress & grief, My soul has often found relief”
I. “Mine to tell me whence I came; Mine to teach me what I am”
J. “If ever I loved Thee, my Jesus, ‘tis now.”
K. “Have you been to Jesus for the cleansing Pow’r?”
L. “His faithful foll’wer I would be, For by His hand”
M. “Our hope for years to come, Our shelter from the stormy blast, And our eternal Home!”
N. “Hallelujah! Thine the glory. Hallelujah Amen.”
O. “Break me, melt me, mold me, fill me.”
P. “Twill be my theme in glory.”
Q. “Every round goes higher, higher, soldiers of the cross”
R. “When we’ve been there ten thousand years bright shining as the sun, We’ve no less days to sing God’s praise than when we first begun.”
S. “He’s got the little tiny baby in His hands”
T. “for there’s no other way to be happy in Jesus, but to”
U. “When other helpers fail, & comforts flee Help of the helpless…”
V. “Who more than self their country loved, and mercy more than life!” W. “And He walks with me, and He talks With me And He tells me I am His own.”
X. “Jesus Thou art all compassion Pure un-bounded love Thou art.”
Y. “The fellowship of kindred minds Is like to that above”
Z. “What a day of rejoicing that will be! When we all see Jesus We’ll sing & shout the victory”

PART TWO

Titles:

1.______Shall We Gather at the River
2.______Trust and Obey
3.______Joyful Joyful We Adore Thee
4.______Love Lifted Me
5.______Only Trust Him
6.______Have Thine Own Way, Lord
7.______What a Friend We Have in Jesus
8.______When I Survey the Wondrous Cross
9.______The Church’s One Foundation
10._____There Shall Be Showers of Blessing
11._____Stand Up, Stand Up for Jesus
12._____Mine Eyes Have Seen the Glory
13._____At the Cross
14._____All Hail the Power of Jesus’ Name
15._____Take My Life, and Let It Be Consecrated
16._____Leaning on the Everlasting Arms
17._____Faith of Our Fathers
18._____Just a Closer Walk with Thee
19._____Onward, Christian Soldiers
20._____Rescue the Perishing
21._____How Great Thou Art
22._____Just As I Am
23._____Softly and Tenderly
24._____My Faith Looks Up to Thee
25._____’Tis So Sweet to Trust in Jesus
26._____O Happy Day

A. O Lamb of God, I come
B.Take all my guilt away, O let me from this day be wholly Thine.
C. Let angels prostrate fall Bring forth The royal diadem.
D. Jesus, Jesus Precious Jesus, Oh for Grace to trust Him more.
E. She is His new creation, By Spirit and the Word.
F. Lift high His royal banner, It must not suffer loss.
G. Weep o’er the erring one, Lift up the fallen. Tell them of Jesus the mighty to save.
H. Come every soul by sin oppressed, There’s mercy with the Lord.
I. Thro’ this world of toil and snares, If I falter Lord who cares? Who with me my burden shares? None but Thee dear Lord, none but Thee.
J. My richest gain I count but loss, And pour contempt on all my pride.
K. Was it for crimes that I had done He groaned up on the tree?
L. But the Master of the sea heard my despairing cry. From the waters lifted me, now safe am I.
M. Ye who are weary come home.
N. Mercy drops round us are falling, But for the showers we plead.
O. What a fellowship, what a joy divine.
P. He has loosed the fateful lightening Of His terrible swift sword.
Q. Lord of all, to Thee we raise This our Hymn of grateful praise.
R. …for there’s no other way. To be Happy in Jesus but……..
S. Gather with the saints at the river that flows by the throne of God.
T. marching as to war. With the cross of Jesus going on before!
U. We will be true to thee till death!
V. Oh what peace we often forfeit, Oh what needless pain we bear.
W. He taught me how to watch & pray, & live rejoicing every day.
X. Take my hands and let them move at the impulse of thy love.
Y.Then sings my soul my Savior God to Thee.
Z. Thou art the potter I am the clay!

O. BAPTIST HYMN TEST ( )

THE “FOR BAPTISTS ONLY” HYMN TEST (Feb. 02, 2013)
Many people may not know that Coach Parham’s father was a Baptist minister. Tom spent many hours of his youth in a Baptist Church listening to hymns. Here’s a fun game for people who have shared that experience and want to test their memory of old Baptist hymns.
Match correct hymn phrase with the correct hymn title. There are two parts. PART ONE
Titles:
1._____There Is a Fountain
2._____In the Garden
3._____Take My Life, and Let It Be Consecrated. 4._____Love Devine, All Loves Excelling 5._____Amazing Grace
6._____Blest Be the Tie
7._____Take Time to Be Holy
8._____When We All Get to Heaven 9._____America the Beautiful
10.____Abide with Me
11.____O God, Our Help in Ages Past 12.____Spirit of the Living God
13.____Come, Thou Almighty King 14.____Standing on the Promises
15.____He’s got the Whole World in His Hands 16.____Revive Us Again
17.____We Are Climbing Jacob’s Ladder 18.____I Love to Tell the Story
19.____He Leadeth me!
20.____Are You Washed In the Blood 21.____My Jesus, I Love Thee
22.____Holy Bible, Book Devine
23.____How Firm a Foundation
24.____I Am Thine, O Lord
25.____Sweet Hour of Prayer
26.____My Country ‘Tis of Thee

Phrases:
A. “Take my feet, and let them be Sweet & Beautiful for Thee”
B. “And sinners, plunged beneath that flood, lose all their guilty stains.” C. “Land of the pilgrims’ pride”
D. “Help us to praise: Father, all glorious O’er all victorious”
E. “Glory in the highest, I will shout & sing.”
F. “But I long to rise in the arms of faith, and be Closer Drawn to Thee” G. “What more can He say, than to you He Hath said”
H. “In seasons of distress & grief, my soul has often found relief” I. “Mine to tell me whence I came; Mine to teach me what I am” J. “If ever I loved Thee, my Jesus, ‘tis now.”
K. “Have you been to Jesus for the cleansing Pow’r?”
L. “His faithful follower I would be, For by His hand”
M. “Our hope for years to come, our shelter from the stormy blast, and our eternal Home!”
N. “Hallelujah! Thine the glory. Hallelujah Amen.”
O. “Break me, melt me, mold me, fill me.”
P. “Twill be my theme in glory.”
Q. “Every round goes higher, higher, soldiers of the cross”
R. “When we’ve been there ten thousand years bright shining as the sun, We’ve no less days to sing God’s praise than when we first begun.”
S. “He’s got the little tiny baby in His hands”
T. “for there’s no other way to be happy in Jesus, but to”
U. “When other helpers fail, & comforts flee Help of the helpless…”
V. “Who more than self their country loved, and mercy more than life!” W. “And He walks with me, and He talks with me and He tells me I am His own.”
X. “Jesus Thou art all compassion Pure un-bounded love Thou art.”
Y. “The fellowship of kindred minds is like to that above”
Z. “What a day of rejoicing that will be! When we all see Jesus We’ll sing & shout the victory”
PART TWO
Titles:
1.______Shall We Gather at the River 2.______Trust and Obey
3.______Joyful Joyful We Adore Thee 4.______Love Lifted Me
5.______Only Trust Him
6.______Have Thine Own Way, Lord 7.______What a Friend We Have in Jesus 8.______When I Survey the Wondrous Cross 9.______The Church’s One Foundation 10._____There Shall Be Showers of Blessing 11._____Stand Up, Stand Up for Jesus 12._____Mine Eyes Have Seen the Glory 13._____At the Cross
14._____All Hail the Power of Jesus’ Name 15._____Take My Life, and Let It Be Consecrated 16._____Leaning on the Everlasting Arms 17._____Faith of Our Fathers
18._____Just a Closer Walk with Thee 19._____Onward, Christian Soldiers 20._____Rescue the Perishing
21._____How Great Thou Art
22._____Just As I Am
23._____Softly and Tenderly
24._____My Faith Looks Up to Thee 25._____’Tis So Sweet to Trust in Jesus 26._____O Happy Day

MATCH PHRASES BELOW
A. O Lamb of God, I come
B. Take all my guilt away, O let me from this day be wholly Thine.
C. Let angels prostrate fall Bring forth the royal diadem.
D. Jesus, Jesus Precious Jesus, Oh for Grace to trust Him more.
E. She is His new creation, By Spirit and the Word.
F. Lift high His royal banner, it must not suffer loss.
G. Weep o’er the erring one, Lift up the fallen. Tell them of Jesus the mighty to save.
H. Come every soul by sin oppressed, There’s mercy with the Lord.
I. Thro’ this world of toil and snares, If I falter Lord who cares? Who with me my burden shares? None but Thee dear Lord, none but Thee.
J. My richest gain I count but loss, and pour contempt on all my pride.
K. Was it for crimes that I had done He groaned up on the tree?
L. But the Master of the sea heard my despairing cry. From the waters lifted me, now safe am I. M. Ye who are weary come home.
N. Mercy drops round us are falling, but for the showers we plead.
O. What a fellowship, what a joy divine.
P. He has loosed the fateful lightening Of His terrible swift sword.
Q. Lord of all, to Thee we raise this our Hymn of grateful praise.
R. …for there’s no other way. To be Happy in Jesus but……..
S. Gather with the saints at the river that flows by the throne of God. T. Marching as to war. With the cross of Jesus going on before!
U. We will be true to thee till death!
V. Oh what peace we often forfeit, Oh what needless pain we bear. W. He taught me how to watch & pray, & live rejoicing every day. X. Take my hands and let them move at the impulse of thy love.
Y. Then sings my soul my Savior God to Thee.
Z. Thou art the potter I am the clay!
ANSWERS:
Test A. 1B,2W,3A,4X,5R,6Y,7P,8Z,9V,10U,11M,12O,13D,14E,15S,16N,17Q,18A2,19L,20K,21J,22I,23 G,24F,25H,26C,27T (END).
Test B. 1S,2R,3Q,4L,5H,6Z,7V,8J,9E,10N,11F,12P,13K,14C,15X,16O,17U,18I,19T,20G,21Y,22A,23M, 24B,25D,26W

P. FOR DYING OUT LOUD! ( )

Couples our age often talk about death and what happens before we get there. Euthanasia seems to have a lot of appeal. Maybe the Dutch are right. The abject fear that I share with so many contemporaries is rest homes, Alzheimer’s, lingering pain, and the like. One such conversation recently amused me. Choices of suicide in later life reared its head. Living next door to the ocean I suggested I might just “head east.” Then it happened. One person suggested asphyxiation! Their partner pointed out a failed case of one who attached a hose to their car’s exhaust and waited patiently to die. What happened? I inquired? Answer:”… the dumb son of a bitch ran out of gas.”
Our country does a poor job of caring for the elderly. As for the process of dying, we all say the same things: I don’t want to go into a rest home. I don’t want to be a burden on my children. Why do you pay $50,000 a year for something you don’t want?
There is a Living Will. Certainly a proper will. North Carolina has a M.O.S.T. form that helps further define your specific wishes in this important decision.
At my last medical exam I concluded the session with a question of my doctor. What is the latest on how to “die well”? He looked puzzled. Then came what seems to be pretty good advice. My doctor suggested one of my age is probably going to die of heart disease or attack, cancer, or stroke. If you have a sudden heart attack and die, the problem is solved. With cancer
17
If I have been born in India would I be a Baptist? It bothered me early on that the little children, non-Baptist that so many were, were going to hell.
Jared Diamond’s book, THE WORLD UNTIL YESTERDAY, has a chapter on religion. He lists several reasons for religion: 1. explanation 2.comfort 3.anxiety 4.order 5.organization 6.treatment of others, and interestingly 7.justification for war.
Was it Friedrich Nietzche that contended “If there was no God mankind would have invented him?”
Maybe my parents named me properly (Thomas, as in “doubting”). Maybe I was just like the thermos bottle (“how do it know?”), but listening over and over again I began to assume a devil’s advocate attitude (now there is a pun). And early on, and later on, I was probably a definable agnostic. There have been later life experiences that have led me to a kind of faith.
Yet it still bothers me for someone to contend that they KNOW about the “hereafter”.

you generally have adequate time to make a decision on your own, Cancers are defined medically as either curable or treatable. If you have the possibility of being cured then sound medicine is a way to go. Full bore. There are a large range of cancers that are
are treatable. Some of the treatment is not real nice. But you do have time to decide what you are willing to tolerate.
My doctor then said that one you should be most concerned about sudden, severe stroke. This is the illness that causes so many rendered incapacitated, semiconscious, being wheelchair bound or bedridden, mouth agape. Useless.
How to best avoid this possibility? My doctor advised that you and all around you should be advised that in the event of a “severe stroke” you DO NOT WANT TO BE ADMITTED TO INTENSIVE CARE. Why? Because if you wind up there they are in full control. At that point and for whatever reason(s), out come the tubes and medicines.” People can be kept alive for a long time nowadays. BIG BILLS FOR LONG TIMES. Is it Christian-like to do this to people? Geez, we don’t put our pets through this agony. Of course these decisions are up to each individual. Or, in the words of Robert Zimmerman: “…it is not he, or she, or them, or it that you belong to.” IT’S ALRIGHT, MA.”

Q. JEWS TELLING JOKES ( )

• I heard an interview on National Public Radio about the Broadway play entitled JEWS TELLING JOKES. I hope I can do justice to one of the stories told about the Jewish grandmother. As it goes the grandmother and her beloved five-year-old grandson are in the ocean together. An ocean wave swept the child rabidly out to sea. The stunned grandmother
began to pray. “Oh, God not my grandchild. My only grandchild. God, if you grant me this wish
and bring my grandson safely back to me, I’ll never ask for anything else. Please bring him back.”
56
She watched in amazement as a golden dolphin hoisted the drowning child onto the dolphins
back with its tail. Beyond believing what she saw, she accepted the beloved child as the dolphin slid the youngster into her grateful arms. The golden dolphin hovered a few moments near the two. Then, with what looked almost like a human smile, it turned and swam back into the deep. The Jewish grandmother watched silently, then added a shout: “HE HAD A HAT”