Happy New Year 2018–New Hope for the Holy Land

Happy New Year 2018–New Hope for the Holy Land

New casino for the holy land
Happy New Year from Pete’s Casino

HOPE FOR THE HOLY LAND

It’s now official! The deal to revitalize the ancient city of Jerusalem has been finalized between Sheldon Adelson, the Zionist billionaire casino developer, the Saudi Royal family and the Vatican. Adelson, who has been one of the major casino developers in Las Vegas, is looking for new locations for casino development while at the same time, the Saudis and the Vatican are looking for ways to diversify their economies.

The plan is to bulldoze all the ancient, decayed and rodent-infested archaeological sites of the old city and construct a casino, golf resort and ecumenical Disney theme park. To create an authentic air of grandeur, the Vatican will donate the stolen obelisk that marks the entrance to St. Peter’s Basilica. In exchange for the return of this icon of ancient Arabian civilization, Adelson will name the new casino “Pete’s Basilica.” The obelisk will now mark the entrance to the new golden-domed casino.

The “Moses Red Sea Water Park” will be built as soon as the Palestinian slums and Israeli settlements are demolished. In addition to paddle board rentals, a massive roller coaster ride called “Disciples Thrill” will plunge through the water with such velocity, it will actually part the waters as it races across the bottom of the 5-mile lake.

The Saudi government is purchasing the franchise rights to a number of American fast food chains and modifying the names and menus to reflect a Middle Eastern diet. After beta-testing the names and menus in Riyadh, the Saudis will open these restaurants throughout the park. So far the favorites are: Kentucky Fried Goat, McFalafel’s, and Hummus Hut.

Based on their phenomenal success with the St. Peter’s Square gift shop, the Vatican will open a crucifixion-themed gift shop which will offer miniature Shrouds of Turin. Their unique feature is that when you shake the mini-shroud, Jesus’ eyes sparkle. For those who find their appetite stimulated by crucifixion, the “Last Supper” food courts will feature sacramental wines aged in the catacombs, plus an irresistible goat cheese called “Cheeses of Nazareth.”

Season’s Greetings 2017: An Open Letter to Steve Bannon

Season’s Greetings 2017: An Open Letter to Steve Bannon

Salvatore Mundi

Jessica Habib A.K.A. Joshua or Jesus by Leonardo da Vinci
Recently sold for $450,000,000

An open letter to Steve Bannon

Hey Steve,

I enjoyed your recent interview with the New York Times. You sounded almost rational until you went off the rails with your rant about losing our “sovereignty” in the Southwest due to all the immigrants coming over the border from Mexico.

Sorry, Steve you are on the wrong side on this one. There are more Mexicans actually going back to Mexico than are coming into the States and unemployment is at its lowest level in 10 years. I don’t want to upset you, but here is some really bad news: for the first time in the history of the U.S., there are more white people dying than are being born. Also, in California (one of the strongest economies in the world), there are more nonwhite citizens than white citizens.

You might as well lighten up and come over to the “dark side.”  This white supremacy stuff really sucks and you are wasting your talents hanging out with a bunch of jackbooted losers. Even Hitler and the real Nazis, who set the gold standard for white supremacy, were A-holes who couldn’t even get the ancient symbol of good luck –the Swastika–right. (They printed it backwards!)

Steve! Do you really want to spend the rest of your life holed up in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho watching torchlight rallies and attending weekly Wagner concerts?  The “dark side” is much more fun! Our African, Asian and Hispanic neighbors offer a rich variety of skills, food, culture and music which have enriched our quality of life immeasurably. And besides, you can’t even find a decent K.K.K. rally anywhere. The food is crappy and those new fire-resistant hoods required by OSHA are hot and miserable.

And then there is the issue of tribalism and brain damage. As you know racism, fear, anger and hatred are associated with over-stimulation of the amygdala, which results in the production of certain stress hormones. This can lead to serious illness ranging from high blood pressure to bi-polar disease.  Frankly, Steve, you haven’t looked very well lately. An MRI might be a good idea. If it indicates that your primitive, lower brain stem is over active, there are surgical procedures that can result in a more reasoned and rational thought process. The cerebral cortex is the key to human evolution and as we inexorably evolve as a human race, white supremacy and patriarchy are doomed!

Hope for the Trump Administration

Hope for the Trump Administration

Biker for Trump
Larry heading out to the biker rally at the inauguration

There are growing signs that Donald Trump’s presidency may be the most irrelevant since William Henry Harrison’s, who came down with pneumonia after an interminable outdoor inaugural and died a month later.

Here are some of the signs that indicate the irrelevance of what Donald Trump is saying and why we shouldn’t take it seriously or fall into despair.

Last week I watched a conference on C-SPAN in which Susan Rice, the outgoing National Security Advisor, exchanged hugs with Mike Flynn, her replacement in the Trump administration. Flynn in turn gave sincere recognition to Madeline Albright’s contributions as Secretary of State. I was struck by the cordial atmosphere at the conference.

A few days later I heard John Kerry say that foreign policy under Trump won’t be much different than under Obama. Then I noticed that many of Trump’s nominees for cabinet positions were walking back and even contradicting some of Trump’s outrageous and incoherent claims, particularly on climate change and renewable energy.

Even Rick Perry, who looks so much more intelligent in his new “smart glasses,” admitted that he regrets what he said about abolishing the Department of Energy and that climate change is real. Ironically, there was explosive growth of wind farms in Texas during Rick’s administration.

Regardless of what Trump’s administration attempts to do about renewable energy, fossil fuels are on their way out. Two of the four largest coal companies have gone bankrupt and more and more businesses are seeing the profit potential of renewable energy. The global momentum to deal with climate change is an inexorable process and all the tweets in the world will not stop this from happening.

Of course, not all Trump nominees will end up as moderates or garden-variety Republicans. Unfortunately, his nominee for Secretary of Education, dingbat Amway billionaire Betsy DeVos could screw up the Department of Education even more that it already is. The U.S. is rated below most developed nations in education. Finland was next to the U.S. five years ago and has risen to number one by eliminating homework and having extra-long unstructured recesses.

Season’s Greetings 2016–Antidote to Brag and Gag

Season’s Greetings 2016–Antidote to Brag and Gag

seasons-greetings-2017
Wardwell Chalet Dec 6, 2016

Well, this is a season for peace and reconciliation for the Wardwell family. After a disastrous family feud over the election we have come to terms with the result and are moving forward with our own individual plans for the future.

Larry was stunned when he found out that Donald Trump had read his article in the Huffington Post comparing him to Jesus Christ. In his article, Larry mentioned that Trump and Christ had a lot in common: they were both in the construction business. Christ was not just a carpenter, but also a builder of high-end luxury condos. However, they were very different in terms of outcome. Christ just didn’t have the charisma and negotiating skills that Trump has and ended up a loser and being “nailed” by the Romans.

Trump was so impressed by Larry’s intellectual prowess and ability to communicate the innate genius of Donald’s plan to Make America Great Again, that he offered him a job as speech writer.

Linnea has also made a great connection with Melania, Don’s wife. Linnea has been chosen to lead her Permaculture Initiative. Melania was very active in the Slovenian permaculture movement and was responsible for many sustainable sewage systems. They are planning a demonstration system on the White House grounds with a pond and a swamp that will treat the sewage from the White House. This will support a wildland habit for African game animals that will allow the Trump boys to kill their favorite animals without the need to travel to Africa.

One good thing that has come out of Hilary’s devastating defeat is that, through their connection with the campaign, Devan and Sarah will both be working on an exciting new project sponsored by the Clinton foundation. It’s a job-creating program for young women interested in the hospitality industry. They are developing a new type of sports S and M motel called “Locker Up”. All the interns applying for the program will be personally vetted by the Foundation director Bill Clinton.

Have a great holiday!
The Wardwells

Encounter with the Alamar

Encounter with the Alamar

alamar
The 45-foot schooner Alamar at the dock in Buck’s Harbor, Maine, summer 2016

As we walked down the ramp to the dock at Buck’s Harbor, Linnea and I were delighted to see the Alamar tied up to the dock.  This the boat that John Sims sailed for many summers teaching kids how to sail. Also, Linnea and I chartered the boat for a week with John, our son Devan and a bunch of kids about 15 years ago.

The crew of the Alamar in Maine in 2001
The crew of the Alamar in Maine in 2001
“Captain” John Sims on the Alamar in 2001 on the schooner he sailed for many years with the kids at Alamoosook Island Camp

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We have such fond, even reverential memories of that great boat, it was hard to see it being used as a weekend party boat.

alamar_bucks_harbor_2small
On the Alamar with the weekend crew 2016

That evening as we returned from a walk, we noticed the dock was littered with wet clothing and underwear—a harbinger of what was to come later that night!

About 3 AM we were jolted out of sleep by loud, sub-human sounds (sort of a cross between a seal and an elephant). Two of the crew members had gone AWOL and were rowing around the harbor lost in the dark and were screaming some sort of distress call. Suddenly the Harbor Master’s boat with all its search lights shining was headed toward us at about 25 knots. It swerved just in time to miss us and went chasing after the missing “crew members”. Apparently, the Alamar crew had hijacked the harbor master’s boat and spent the rest of the night chasing down the screaming AWOL sailors.

The next morning, I rowed over to the Alamar to give them hell for disturbing the whole harbor when I suddenly remembered that I had pulled a similar stunt over 50 years ago on Cape Cod in the quaint little harbor of Brewster. My activities resulted in many boats being borrowed and returned to the wrong moorings as the entire harbor was awakened while the police trained a spotlight on us, suggesting that we give up. My associates and I were arrested and banished for life from Brewster…..More details see excerpt:

Excerpt from Confessions of a Closet Yogi: Moonlight Boat Ride

My anger dissolved and I hailed the crew and told them how mad I was until I explained to them that it was my karma coming back to haunt me.

They had a good laugh and headed out to the rough seas and foul weather with their boatload of beer.

What Was Senator Merkley Thinking?

What Was Senator Merkley Thinking?

senatormerkleymconner-interior
Senator Jeff Merkley (left) and Deputy Secy of Interior Mike Connor at hearing October 2016

As we walked into the large meeting room at the local university, I was struck by how crowded it was. There were at least 600 people crammed into a room designed for 500. A week earlier we had received an urgent email urging us to attend a pubic hearing on an executive order by the Obama administration to expand the size of the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument. The room was packed with blue shirt wearing tree huggers, burley Trump troopers, paper shuffling environmental scientists, corporate miners, loggers and decrepit old 20th century ranchers, who wore the coolest cowboy hats and jackets.

Blue-shirted supporters at October hearing
Blue-shirted supporters at October hearing

This looked like a potentially volatile mix of people to cram into one room. All it would take would be for few “deplorables” to get agitated and things could get ugly very fast. I quickly scanned the room for potential trouble-makers. From my days of giving public presentations on meditation in the Bible Belt in the 1970’s, I had learned to spot people who were seething with hatred and keep an eye on them. This was not as easy as I thought it would be. The blue shirt environmentalists and anti-monument people were all mixed in with each other and every time I would spot someone whose behavior exhibited signs that they might be a closet “deplorable”, I noticed that they were wearing a blue shirt.

Suddenly, one of the minor officials sitting on the stage jumped up and quickly announced “now we will pledge allegiance to the flag.” Before I knew what happened, I found myself standing along with the other 600 people in the room who were pledging allegiance. I didn’t say the words, but I was stunned that everyone on both sides of the issue were making the pledge.

As soon as everyone sat back down, a grey haired, uncharismatic looking man in a seedy, dark brown sport jacket got up and methodically explained the ground rules for the meeting. I asked Linnea if she knew who he was and she said Senator Jeff Merkley. I was surprised that a U.S. Senator would get so personally involved in the details of determining who would get to speak. There was not enough time for all 250 people who signed up to speak, so they set up a lottery and each person was allowed to speak for one minute and would alternate one for and one against the monument.