Author: Brian Fulmer
President Trump came under consideration as my Person of the Year. While under consideration I decided to look up some other “extreme” Presidents. I wonder what they would have tweeted while in office.
Grover Cleveland became the guardian of a girl when she was 11. He then married her when she turned 21 and she became the youngest first lady in history.
Andrew Johnson was stone drunk and passed out at his inauguration.
John Quincy Adams skinny dipped and swam the Potomac river nude every morning. A female reporter wanted to interview him and sat on his clothes until he talked to her.
Herbert Hoover permitted his son to keep 2 alligators in the White House as pets. The would crawl around the grounds and terrify everyone.
Grover Cleveland avoided military service by paying a Polish immigrant $1,500 to take his place.
Thomas Jefferson crippled his hand jumping a fence to meet his (married) girlfriend Maria Cosway. Yes, he was married too.
Calvin Coolidge hat 2 pet lions, a pet raccoon and a pygmy hippopotamus named Billy.
James Buchanan was nearsighted in one eye and farsighted in the other. To compensate for this visual weakness, he would constantly open and close one eye at a time, depending on whether he needed to see close or far. He would also cock his head on an angle to compensate for his strange ocular condition.
Lyndon Johnson was very well-endowed and was not averse to proudly proving it now and then, often displaying his manhood to unsuspecting female journalists. Johnson was especially fond of whipping out his manhood, which he’d dubbed “Jumbo,” in mixed company.
John Adams started smoking when he was 8 years old.
Harry S Truman would get up at 5AM so he could practice the piano for two hours.
Dwight D. Eisenhower hated cats and enjoyed shooting any that came near his house. He also had squirrels trapped at the White House and re-located because they buried nuts in the yard.
The song “Hail to the Chief” was written specifically for James Madison. Because he was so small, no one ever noticed him when entered the room.
Calvin Coolidge loved having his head rubbed with Vaseline while he ate his breakfast in bed.
Ulysses S. Grant changed his name from Hiram Ulysses Grant because he hated the initials “H.U.G.” He hated music- all music. He also evicted Jews from certain parts of the country because he believed they were running a black market for cotton between the north and south.
Benjamin Harrison was the first president to have electric lights in the White House, but he was terrified of turning them on himself. He had servants turn on the switches because he was afraid of electrocution.
James K. Polk was plagued by diarrhea all through his one term as president. He finally died of what he called “a derangement of the stomach bowels.”
William McKinley‘s wife was an epileptic. He would sometimes cover her contorted face with a handkerchief during formal dinner parties.
Martin Van Buren liked betting money on the outcome of elections.
Ronald Reagan once broke his leg in six different places when he ran into first base during a celebrity baseball game.
Woodrow Wilson was a gifted mimic and loved to tell racist jokes. He also liked to imitate drunks.
John F. Kennedy confided with friends that he could only be satisfied with three women a day.” JFK’s sexual conquests allegedly include Marilyn Monroe, Audrey Hepburn, Jayne Mansfield, Angie Dickinson, Brazilian actress Florinda Bolkan, famous burlesque stripper, and rap name pioneer Blaze Starr. Jack could be shameless in his sexuality, simply pull girls’ dresses up and so forth. He would corner them at White House dinner parties and ask them to step into the next room away from the noise, where they could hold a ‘serious discussion.'”
George Washington opened a distillery at Mount Vernon. It produced 11,000 gallons of whiskey in 1799 more than any other distillery in the U.S. He also ran up a pretty big bar tab at City Tavern in Philadelphia.
William Taft, our largest president, once got stuck in a bathtub and had to be pryed out by four men and the aid of a pound of butter.
I take no credit for these and do not guarantee their accuracy! Sources:
I am working on my novel titled ‘Healing’. The character is faced with the challenge of praying for an amputee to be healed and for his leg to be restored. Just writing the text challenges me. I find it difficult to even write the chapter – in fiction. Why? Do I not have the faith that God can restore a lost limb? I believe in resurrection of the dead. Why do I struggle to believe that a lost limb can grow back? Is it that it is too freakish to imagine?
Consider where you limit God. Can He heal? Can He restore? What part of your life do you lack in faith for God to restore? Lay it out before Him. Remember that little mustard seed.
Matthew 17:20 He replied, “Because you have so little faith. Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.”
“Mom, I can’t take it anymore. It’s relentless. They won’t stop bullying me! It’s not just classmates, it’s the professors too.”
“Change schools. There are other colleges out there.”
She did. She transferred to another college because of bullying. There was no point in trying to stop the bullying.
She’s not handicapped. She’s not a person of color. Not LGBTQ. She doesn’t have bad teeth. She’s not poor or rich. She doesn’t have a speech impediment.
She is white – you know the privileged class. Middle class. Educated parents – her mom once worked in the White House.
What caused her to be treated so horribly that she had to transfer to another college?
She’s a conservative Republican. True story. You won’t see it covered by the media.
Romans 3:23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God
I listen to music at my desk while I work (I love Spotify!). I have the old fashioned speakers that plug into my computer. They have a separate power button and volume control and since I’m cheap I turn the power off to them each night to save a penny.
There have been several times that I start Spotify and no music comes out. I immediately get angry and I’m tempted to throw the speakers across the room. Seconds before I go ballistic the speakers are saved because I realize that I didn’t turn on the power button. It was not the components fault for not producing sound – it was my fault for not enabling them to do their job.
How often do we do that to God? We get angry because He doesn’t speak to us when it really is our fault that we are not tuning in. Before you get mad at God for being silent, make sure everything is turned on and that you are listening.
Psalm 81:8 Hear me, my people, and I will warn you— if you would only listen to me.
I’ve been seeing the blog post “I Keep a Clean House. Can We Still Be Friends?” for the last couple of weeks. Ok, you know I can’t pass this up. Let’s get to the point: My house is messy (some may say dirty). I’m happy that you have a clean house. You may be a clean freak for all I know. If it makes you feel better, than clean to your hearts desire. I don’t really know why anyone is concerned because they have a clean house or a clean car or a perfect yard. I’m not sure I understand why you’re worried about offending anyone.
I am messy, some may say a little dirty. I don’t always clean up the sink before going to bed. My truck gets washed when it rains. My windows get cleaned when I can’t see what my neighbor is doing. I have a dog that sheds 365 days a year and she is tri-colored so guess what: Her hair shows no matter what color my clothes are!
I wish my excuse was some kind of Spiritual Declaration – “There are starving children in Africa. How can you spend time cleaning when you could be feeding them?” Or, an Artsy Fartsy “I live in my creations. Not in my cleanliness.” Or, “I’m too busy too clean and too cheap to hire help”.
Look, some people just can’t clean. Maybe they weren’t taught to clean. Maybe they are so depressed that they can’t clean (I think most fit here including me). Some are not able to physically. Life is hard and the hard gets in the way of cleaning. I wish cleaning made me feel better. I wish I felt relaxed as some replied to the “other” article but that’s just not me.
If you stop by without warning, I may stand on my (also messy) front porch because I don’t want you to see my messy house. I hope we can still be friends even though I may be embarrassed. I might not invite you over for a visit. Please don’t take it personally. I just need to clean first.
Let’s talk about change. I grew up in the 60’s and 70’s – that’s 1960’s and 1970’s for those of you born after 2000! We had a battle in the church during that time over Rock music. We actually had sermons and books written about it. If you haven’t heard, it’s from the devil himself. Some of the classic reasons were 1) evil lyrics 2) the beat – many called it syncopation 3) lifestyles of the musicians 4) It was bad and loud and it was leading kids to dance, sex and drugs. I clearly remember attending meetings at Youth For Christ which defamed any kind of Rock music and following the meetings we were supposed to go home and burn our vinyl albums.
One of the most popular songs of that era was ‘Stairway to Heaven’ by Led Zeppelin. If you don’t know all the evilness of this song, please google it. There is enough written about it to keep you busy for the weekend. I never bought into all the negative hype on Rock music. Of course there is bad stuff in it but there is bad stuff in everything.
Advance to 2011. Seeker churches are the ‘in thing’: Everyone dresses down in casual clothes, talented musicians play contemporary music, open auditoriums and chairs instead of pews, simple messages of hope and grace. Hey, if it is bringing people into the Kingdom I’m all for it. Don’t tell anyone but one of these churches played the above mentioned songs in church! What would Bob Larson say?!!
There is an irony of course. I’m not sure what those speakers in the 60’s and 70’s would think about playing this music in church. If it is truly Satanic is it still Satanic if Christians are singing it in church? What about that syncopated beat? Drums? I doubt that these performers are old enough to remember those lectures. They probably never burned their vinyl records or played them backwards to hear the hidden messages.
Sins come and go. God stays the same. We all need to get closer to Him. Don’t worry about the irony – just keep walking closer each day. Don’t build idols. Don’t follow anything that leads you astray. God is bigger than Rock music. I’m not sure about Country music but I know He can win the battle over the stairway to heaven.
John 9:16 Some of the Pharisees said, “This man is not from God, for he does not keep the Sabbath.”
Warning: This article discusses peanuts, tree nuts, red dye, milk and dairy products. Anyone who is allergic to these should use caution.
What has caused the explosion of allergies? I was born in 1960 and I didn’t know anyone who was allergic to food. If any of you are that old, did you know anyone with allergies? I visited my kid’s middle school a few years ago and ate lunch in the cafeteria. They have entire tables for allergy free foods. If you want to bring in a snack to a classroom today you need a computer program outlining what is acceptable. Class lists now list banned foods from nearly 3/4 of the class.
I’m no scientist and I didn’t research to see what the theories are. I’m sure I will get some quality feedback trying to educate me. Maybe its linked to climate change? I’m not downplaying allergies. They can be very serious and I feel for people who suffer from them. According to a local pastor, there can be no nuts on his church property or four of the members will die.
What have we done to ourselves and our society to make this drastic change in 50 years? Is it genetic tampering? Chemicals? Pesticides? I’m serious….how did this happen so radically and in such a short time? We are supposed to be the healthiest nation and yet we are obese (me included) and we suffer from every food ailment possible.
What was meant to be a blessing has turned into a curse. Do you know why?
Genesis 9:3 Everything that lives and moves about will be food for you. Just as I gave you the green plants, I now give you everything.
Another week, another protest. Another week and we will see support for the protest and support against it. If you thought the anger would end after the election, you were wrong. Even if Hillary had been elected, the anger and protests would have continued and it may have been worse.
There are three ways to react to a situation, movement or belief. We can protest, support or be apathetic. When we join a side, it is very difficult to see the other side. It goes both ways – that’s why there is very little agreement in today’s political state. All of us are seeing events from “our” side and “our” side only.
Let’s take the Mike Pence speech at Notre Dame. Students walked out quietly to protest his speech. Some of us (me included) blasted them for being snowflakes or hater tots. My side said they were “disrespectful”. The other side declared this a “peaceful protest” and supported the student’s free speech. In their opinion the students carried out a protest in the correct way. President Obama addressed ND students in 2009 and was heckled by anti-abortion activists. Were they disrespectful or were they correct in what they did? Were they disrespectful or exercising free speech?
Who is right and who is wrong? Maybe both and maybe neither. All of us vote by our heart, beliefs, opinions and values. Opinions change and in time, history’s opinion will change as well.
Let’s look at the most famous situation that ended in support and protest:
On a Sunday before Passover, Jesus entered the city of Jerusalem. Crowds gathered to cheer Jesus as he rode into the city. A week later the crowds yelled for Jesus to be crucified. We have always wondered if some of the same people cheered one week and turned the next week. Beside the amazing turn of events in one week, there were two other issues going on: People on the ground at that point really didn’t know what was going on (for real). Many of those cheering in the first week had false expectations that Jesus was coming to be a king and that he was going to free the Jews from Rome. They were cheering but for the wrong reason. A week later the people were paid or told by their leaders that Jesus was a fake and needed to be killed. Those people thought they were right as well. What’s even more amazing is that another group of people sat at home on both of those occasions and were apathetic or ignorant to the whole situation!
If social media and 24 hour news were present in Jerusalem during that week, the city may have been destroyed by protests. On the other hand, the end results probably wouldn’t have changed. There would still be people who thought Jesus was going to save the Jews from Rome and those who wanted him crucified. The only difference would be the amount of hatred, yelling and name calling between the two sides.
Screaming on social media would not have saved Jesus from the cross. The 24 hour media could not have rushed the Crucifixion before God’s timing.
So what is the answer? We study. We learn. We try to be as educated on issues as we can. We have civil debates to compare ideas. We love through differences and we show grace and tolerance. What we don’t do is share hate for hate. We don’t ridicule. We don’t denigrate the other side. We never strike out in violence. I have to confess that I fail at this often. I get too angry and judgmental. I post nasty comments. Friends point it out and I confess and delete and try to do better. Tomorrow is another day. I hope I do better but I won’t promise! Sorry for my offenses and for keeping me in check.
I didn’t want to write this. There are plenty of other sites to read about this show. But I’m not getting anything done so I guess I need to get this out of the way. I’m not going to take time to summarize or comment on filming etc. You can read other posts for all of that.
There are two sides quickly emerging on this show: Those who are adamantly against it on one side and millions of high school girls (and maybe boys) on the other who have watched it and probably read the book and experience some form of it every day.
I’m going to point out my 13 issues with the show but don’t stop until you get to the end.
- The “F” word is used 258 times. I don’t know if that is 100% accurate. It feels like it was said 5 million times to me. If you don’t hang around high schoolers its not the “F” word that we grew up. Our “F” word was really bad. Today it is just a word that comes out with every other word.
2. Gay issues. Regardless of how you feel on this subject it’s here now. Our generation didn’t discuss it past “ewww”. This generation is bombarded with it and they need to make decisions on it. This show has at least 6 people dealing with it and everyone else around them needs to deal with it too.
3. No communication with parents. Zero. Not one kid in this show has an honest life giving relationship with their parents. Is this realistic? If it is realistic we are doomed. I didn’t count how many times parents said to their children: “You’re a good kid”. Yeah parents – your kid is good, it’s everyone else’s kids that are “bad”.
4. No honest supportive relationships with friends. At best they are superficial. At worst they are selfish, hateful, confused and abusive. The relationships are a means to an end and everyone is fighting to get to the top. What is the top by the way?
5. Pre-marital sex. Pretty similar to the “F” word – there’s a lot of it and “everyone” is doing it. No signs of birth control. No signs of protection from disease. No healthy relationships – it’s just jump in the bed.
6. Rape. Not one rape but two. It’s graphic and it’s brutal and it makes your stomach turn.
7. Drugs. This is not a druggy show. There is some drug usage but that isn’t the main point. In some ways the issues would be easier to accept if drugs were the starting problem.
8. Alcohol. What ever was missed in the way of drug usage, alcohol took its place. There was more drinking in this series than I have done in my lifetime. Add this to the previous 7 points and it makes life a drunk driving exercise.
9. There is N0 God in this show. Hear me out – there is nothing close to spiritual enlightenment beyond the spirits in the bottle. Some critics see this as the main reason not to watch this. I see it as a reality in many teens lives. Maybe it is the worst point in all of this mess. Maybe it is the cause for all the other ones. There is no Truth and there are no Absolutes.
10. Jealousy and hatred. Yes. A lot of it.
11. Lack of understanding from adults. Same goes with the audience. The response I get from teenagers about this are totally different from responses I get from adults. Teenagers simply say “Yes it happens”. Adults try to explain everything going on so they can understand it.
12. Lies. I told my kids “if you do something wrong at least admit it. If you lie about it, it only makes it much worse.” Yes. There is a lot of lying with everyone in this show.
13. Violence. Slapping, hitting, hitting again, threats, oh and more hitting. I guess everyone is angry about the first 12 items on the list.
Oh, I forgot. The big issue in this show is a teen suicide. This time it is not romanticized or just spoken about. This is HD living color, brutal, ugly, screaming, bloody suicide. Let me put it this way – I covered my eyes. I couldn’t watch. I probably should have cried. I was already depressed from watching the show – this just put me over the edge.
Friends have said to me, “how can you watch that?” You see if you don’t know me I was one of the parents in episode 13. My wife walked into our son hanging by a wire. My wife was the one yelling to me to come. I was the one picking him up telling him to come back saying “No no no no”. One critic of the show makes a point that his neighbor did this at age 16 so he understands. No you don’t. I had friends that committed suicide. It’s awful. But there is no comparison to picking up a dead child that seemed fine a minute ago. By choice they are now dead. There is no way to understand. Their battles are done, yours are just beginning.
In one minute you are angry about water running over the tub into the hallway. The next you are facing a life devastation that you will never fully recover from. How do you reconcile that in your mind?
Here is a good place to breathe….
I am not a psychologist. I am not running stats on whether this show is helping or hurting the teenagers. I can say if you are a parent you might want to watch this. It is awful and it is depressing and it will make you feel terrible. Do it anyway. You may even want to watch it with your teenager.
Hug your children today and do your best to fight or understand all 14 of these issues. It’s that important.