The Snuggle House Closes In Madison


After only three weeks the ‘Snuggle’ House has decided that it really can not continue to operate.  The operators have stated the harassment is not worth it, and therefore they have decided to close down.  Exactly what the harassment happens to be was not described.

Perhaps making sure this place was not a brothel was harder to maintain than first thought and they decided to close down.   This whole idea was one of the most tortured business decisions I have encountered since moving to Madison in 1987.

The Snuggle House offered “therapeutic cuddling” for $60 an hour.  Meanwhile a beer at a singles bar is about $3.5o.

Words From A Pastor’s Son Are Troubling


I am continually troubled by the state of our country when it comes to the unrelenting attitude from those who lost the national election, and clearly have a warped sense of judgment about the world in which we live.

With that in mind I was rather taken aback reading the words from a Wisconsin pastor’s son that makes me aware (again) that just because one reads the Bible does not make one a caring or compassionate person.

Just found out that the military might be losing funding for all special pay including combat, hazardous duty, hardship, family separation, and over 26 others by Dec 31 because the senate is refusing to pass the defense budget. That’s a great idea! Let’s take the money away from those risking their lives over seas so we can fund great ideas like welfare, and the new health care system!

Apart from the lack of understanding with the process now underway regarding sequestration and the work that is being done between Congressman Ryan and Senator Murray, and I admit that can be kind of ‘in the weeds’ for many people who do not follow the process closely, comes a far more troubling tone from a son of a pastor.

There is no doubt that Jesus was first and foremost one who cared about the needs and suffering of the people.  It might seem at odds with the military mission this young man has placed himself into but feeding the hungry, and yes helping with medical needs, is very much a Christ-centered undertaking if one takes any amount of time to ponder it over.  Governmental programs that serve those aims are laudable and justified.

But if this young soldier can not fathom there is no way congress will not pay the salaries of those who joined the military it would then be a stretch to think he has the ability to reason about the role we must play for those who are down-trodden and have no way to pay to visit a doctor.

Still it was a troubling message to read from this young person.

Letter From Home “Faith” 12/7/13

Over the past year and a half about once a month (and usually on a Saturday morning during the warm months just about the time we are to leave for the Farmers’ Market) a young person rings the doorbell.  The first time he was so nervous he actually introduced himself as the person who accompanied him, an older man from his church.  The kid wore a suit and tie, and was tongue-tied as he left me some literature, but asked if he could come back some time for another visit..   I was not interested from a spiritual perspective with the Jehovah Witnesses but did not want to be impolite to a young person.  So I said yes.

So every few weeks he shows up, and always accompanied with either a person from his church or with his grandmother.  He always has a Bible verse he wishes to share from the copy he brings along, and then asks some open-ended question so to engage me in conversation.  The first couples times we chatted on the front stoop, but when the weather started to chill down I had them inside the front entrance.

Over time he has grown and become very confident and I have likened his interest and depth about religion to someone his age who can speak at length about their baseball heroes.

While I am not planning to attend his church, and he knows that, we still have a nice conversation.  The same goes for some of my friends who are of the Islamic faith.  I have read much about Islam and Middle Eastern history as it fascinates me,  but again it does not make me desire to change my beliefs or where I worship.

Which leads me to that great-unknown question that has resonated within me most of my life.  Is not the seeking of a higher truth and living life that is God-centered, and in some cases with the Christ as Savior component added in, not all examples that are to be looked at with some balance?    The young person who knocks on my door is of another denomination, and I find it amusing Catholics pray to saints, but when we start rubbing away at the square in most cases everyone gets down to the same basic round nucleus of faith.

Timeless questions for sure.

ABC ‘Scandal’ Reduces Number Of This Season’s Episodes


I am totally consumed on Thursday night by ABC’s Scandal.   From  the first episode of the first season this show with its delightful political intrigue and gritty realism has made for one solid hour of television each week.  So I record it on the DVR and settle back with James for a rollicking good time….minus the commercials each week.

And I must say after the moralizing Vice-President decided to launch her own race against President Grant was announced one had to wonder what could happen next.  Or after her husband was known to be the carousing type of man.  Then when it was not so much women he wanted but men—-and then when he slept with the husband of the President’s Chief-of-Staff.   What more could happen?

In the final moment of the show this past week the Vice-President calls the chief of staff and says “I have committed a sin.”

The camera rolls back over her shoulder as she stands in her office and there on the floor is her husband dead with a shiv in his back.

I nearly leapt off of the couch and ran to the TV.  This was not the scene I was expecting!

Now comes the news of another type I was not expecting.

ABC’ has announced it will air four fewer episodes of Scandal than planned as star Kerry Washington and her new husband, football player Nnamdi Asomugha are expecting a baby. After next Thursday’s episode airs Scandal will take a break and then return in late February with the final episodes of season three.

I am pleased for Kerry and Nnamdi.  But I need my continual story line from what is clearly the best drama on television.

Recalling Pearl Harbor As AP Reported The News

History as it was reported.


PEARL HARBOR DAY – “AP WAS THERE: Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor” : “On Dec. 7, 1941, Eugene Burns, AP’s chief of bureau in Honolulu, couldn’t get out the urgent news of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, which drew the U.S. into World War II, because the military had already taken control of all communication lines. In Washington, AP editor William Peacock and staff got word of the attack from President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s press secretary. In the language and style used by journalists of his era, including the use of a disparaging word to describe the Japanese that was in common use, Peacock dictated … Seventy-two years after their original publication, the AP is making the dispatches available …

“FLASH: WASHINGTON – White House says Japs attack Pearl Harbor. … BULLETIN: WASHINGTON, Dec. 7 (AP) – President Roosevelt said in a statement today that the Japanese had attacked Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, from the air. The attack of the Japanese also was made on all naval and military ‘activities’ on the island of Oahu. The president’s brief statement was read to reporters by Stephen Early, presidential secretary. No further details were given immediately. At the time of the White House announcement, the Japanese ambassadors, Kichisaburo Nomura and Saburo Kurusu, were at the State Department. …

“FLASH: WASHINGTON – Second air attack reported on Army and Navy bases in Manila. … First lead Japanese: WASHINGTON, Dec. 7 – (AP) – Japanese air attacks on the American naval stronghold at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, and on defense facilities at Manila were announced today by the White House. … -2- Only this terse announcement came from President Roosevelt immediately, but with it there could be no doubt that the Far Eastern situation had at last exploded, that the United States was at war, and that the conflict which began in Europe was spreading over the entire world. This disclosure had been accepted generally as an indication this country had all but given up hope that American-Japanese difficulties, arising from Japan’s aggression in the Far East, could be resolved by ordinary diplomatic procedure. …

“BULLETIN — Second lead Japanese : WASHINGTON, Dec. 7 – (AP) – Japanese airplanes today attacked American defense bases at Hawaii and Manila, and President Roosevelt ordered the Army and Navy to carry out undisclosed orders prepared for the defense of the United States. Announcing the president’s action for the protection of American territory, Presidential Secretary Stephen Early declared that so far as is known now the attacks were made wholly without warning – when both nations were at peace – and were delivered within an hour or so of the time that the Japanese ambassador had gone to the State Department to hand to the secretary of state Japan’s reply to the secretary’s memo of the 26th.”

Saturday Song: Buck Owens “Santa Looked A Lot Like Daddy”