Monthly Archives: September 2014

New Orleans and Me

I grew up in small towns in Mississippi and Georgia, got my accounting degrees at the University of Georgia, lived in Atlanta for several years and Montgomery, Alabama for several months.

In 1977, at the age of 32, I moved to New Orleans for health reasons.  I remember my first taste.  I walked into Coliseum House, a mental hospital in a suit and tie.  I had been in Mississippi helping Daddy make a timber sale of well over a million dollars.  After that deal was consummated, I set about trying to organize the family timberland into a formal business.  A bipolar episode ensued and thus the trip to New Orleans.

Somewhat soon after I entered the hospital, a fellow “prisoner” remarked, “You’re not going to make any deals in here.”  And I thought to myself, “He’s absolutely right.”

While my introduction to New Orleans was less than awe inspiring, it actually turned out to be a pivotal point in my life, eventually…

After hospitalization I moved into an all-adult apartment in a suburb of New Orleans.  My brother, Paul, came to town to visit and stayed with me for several years—first in Metairie and then at his request, Uptown.

With Daddy putting up the cash we purchased a condominium on St. Charles Avenue on the traditional Mardi Gras parade route.

We moved in right before carnival season in 1980, and I’ve lived in Uptown ever since—this area simply shines in my mind and heart.  At 3201 St. Charles Avenue, all one had to do was walk out front during the Mardi Gras parades and they were there—forecast in the distance by the marching bands announcing their presence.

Later, I would court and marry my second wife who was a former New Orleans debutante.  She would introduce me to a social scene that lasted from 1982 till our separation in December, 1998.  Since then my social life has been a mere shadow of my years with her.  But slowly, New Orleans has taken on a new shine, one of spiritual awakening, one of purpose and meaning that I never had before at any time in my life.

New Orleans is a place.  But it is also an idea, an emotion and a wholly different and unique city, especially since Katrina.  We have our own words (such as “making groceries”), characters, music, architecture, food and love of the moment—all present in some way throughout its history.

We now have our charter schools, thanks to Katrina and concerned citizens.  We are trying to be better, and have even won a Super Bowl along the way since that devastating hurricane.  But Katrina was a defining event for our Crescent City.  We weren’t killed or vanquished—not all of us—and we came back stronger, not only in football, but in education, business, music and perhaps most important of all—our own concept of our city.

I now call New Orleans “home” because I have a deep connection with this place—everything from the symphony to the Saints—and a whole, whole, whole lot more.

The Ripples of the Radio Interviews Will Travel Far

I have been doing a number of radio interviews concerning my most recently published book, Glimpses of Heaven on Earth. Several years ago, while promoting How to Achieve a Heaven on Earth, I got nervous when doing such interviews, but now it is an enjoyable experience.  In fact, I find my efforts to try to motivate people to join me on the path toward Heaven on Earth, inlucding living the ten elements which I deeply believe will be present in that ultimate destiny, to be quite fulfilling and joyful.
The longer on-air or taped sessions are my favorites.  Then there is no concern that the most essential points might be left out and there is plenty of time to go back and forth with the host.
As I say during each of these interviews, my calling is calling, not to dwell on what “was” or “is,” but rather, what can be–Heaven on Earth.  It’s a spiritual calling to me and my hopes and prayers are that many, many others will take up this challenging, yet satisfying calling.  The theme of my calling runs through my books, but it is also wonderful to express it verbally on the air.  Somehow, I sense a little bit of momentum beginning to build.
These radio and television dialogues are not for vanity or celebrity at all, far from it.  They are part of the purpose of my life.  Perhaps it’s like a voice in the wilderness, but someway that ripple will travel far.  Why?  Because of God’s enduring, steadfast love and the predestination of Heaven on Earth for all humankind. If you’d like to listen in on one of these interviews, just follow this link, then select the yellow highlighted button, then check off my August 29th interview, scroll to the bottom and press play. I hope you enjoy it!

Each Life is Precious: Let us travel together toward heaven on earth!

If the United States is to be successful domestically, we must think globally and at the same time have a deep realization that we are in The Innovation Age.  It is up to us – humankind – with God’s enduring, steadfast love, to reach for the ultimate destiny – Heaven on Earth.

To illustrate how global action is needed domestically, think about education.  With globalization we are competing with South Koreans with superb education systems – and so many other such nations.

The present and the future will be most propitious for knowledgeable people and people people; and, if a person has both of these qualities, his or her ambitions will be most assured.  Of course, the embodiment of Copthorne Macdonald’s positive values while shunning the negative values will allow meaning, purpose and fulfillment in a person’s life.

Each life is precious, a gift from God.  We must be all for all in order to fully express our appreciation for our gift.

Let’s discover ourselves and others in an honest, sensitive, loving way – recognizing that superficial differences hide our common nature.

Each person is a treasure, meant to flourish in multiple ways.  Our time is not meant to be concerned with selfishness, envy, greed, hate and revenge.

We must see the truth in love.  In the Presbyterian Church I learned in Sunday school that, “Man’s [and woman’s] chief aim is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever.”  The Bible also says, “God is Love.”  So, love is basic to each of us and all of us.

Wonder and awe are found as we examine the mysteries of ourselves, others and everything else.  Harvey Cox in “The Future of Faith” wrote about these three mysteries of our being.

It’s important to delve beyond the superficial, seek wisdom, shun negative values as well as hope and pray for love – for us, others and God,

Why should we do the right thing?  My basic underlying belief is that’s the way for humankind to traverse that wonderful journey through The Innovation Age to The Spiritual Age – heaven on earth.

How do we do the right thing?  Seeking the wisdom-associated values – empathy, truth, honesty, justice, cooperation, peace, compassion, universal well-being, creativity and general knowledge – while shunning the negative values – selfishness, greed, envy, hate and revenge.

Bill Cassidy Has the Momentum–Keep It that Way!

The momentum of the Mary Landrieu versus Bill Cassidy, M.D. campaign apparently has shifted toward Congressman Cassidy, M.D., a serious, educated, honest, wise, and capable public servant.  He’s ahead in the polls, money, and recent money raised, and he’s not a close associate of President Obama.  This is in contrast to Senator Landrieu, who has a $2.5 million home in Washington, D.C., leading to questions as to where she really lives (Washington, D.C. or Louisiana).
Senator Landrieu votes with the democrats (91 percent), President Obama (97 percent), and cast a deciding vote in allowing Obamacare.  Bill Cassidy opposed vigorously Obamacare, and stands by his decision after being able to read it completely.
When elected as a senator, Bill Cassidy could swing the senate to a republican majority, a critical need during the last two years of President’s Obama’s second term.  Senator Landrieu would perpetuate the incompetence and worse of the Obama Administration.
Do we want a senator with the intelligence, persistence, wisdom, capability, and honesty of Bill Cassidy?  Or do we settle for democratic politics as usual, full of taxing and spending as our national debt spirals upward and Senator Landrieu acts like she has a blank check book?
Fiscal responsibility is important, individually, and especially at all levels of government, including the federal government.  If we want the standard of living to rise in Louisana–and the rest of our beloved nation–we must realize that entitlements can’t be supported with runaway spending like Senator Landrieu has and will support (as she has her whole career).
Let’s increase the momentum and elect Bill Cassidy, M.D. in a telling blow against the worst president in my lifetime and perhaps the entire history of our country.
We each have an important role to play in changing history by voting for Bill Cassidy.  We can!  We must!
All this is especially critical for the middle class and poor–the ones that have been devastated by the Obama Administration supported by Senator Landrieu (97 percent).

Our Current Toxic President and Hope for Tomorrow

We are in The Innovation Age and all humans and human-created entities must innovate in a positive, kind, wise manner on that beautiful journey to heaven on earth.

We’ve had a toxic president in office for far too long, with two and a half long years ahead.  He has been the most divisive president in my lifetime and he threatens America and its people in so many ways, from financial woes to foreign policy incoherence.

It’s going to be of vital importance to our American people and the world for republicans to prevail at all levels in 2014 and 2016 in order to get about doing the enormous reforms of all kinds in the wake of the democratic failures and unwillingness to address our nation’s challenges in a prudent manner.

Thoughts on the Ukraine Crisis

I recently read an interesting article titled, “Why the Ukraine Crisis Is the West’s Fault,” which appeared in Foreign Affairs,(September/October, 2014).  The writer did a good job demonstrating that the West’s pursuit of Ukraine into NATO and the European Union has been an unnecessary provocation of Russia.
It is noted that historically, “Napoleonic France, imperial Germany, and Nazi Germany all crossed [Ukraine] to strike at Russia itself…”  The author likened the current Western policies regarding Ukraine to China forming alliances with Canada and Mexico, or the Soviet Union putting missiles in Cuba.  Great powers should not be unnecessarily intimidated.
Currently Russia is in decline in both its population and a major industry (oil and gas), coupled with its weak democracy.  But its people support President Putin in this matter due to the history of foreign aggression.
I agree with the conclusion stated in this well thought-out piece, that the United States and its European allies, “switch gears and work to create a prosperous but neutral Ukraine, one that does not threaten Russia and allows the West to repair its relations with Moscow.  With that approach, all sides would win.”  I highly recommend a full reading of the article from this fine magazine. Click here for the online version.

Vote for a candidate with Wisdom, Honesty, and Conservatism!

If you want your vote to further promote a toxic atmosphere in Washington D.C., vote for Senator Landrieu.  She has been quite regularly (97 percent of the time) supporting the incompetent liberals surrounding our incompetent president.
To convert the Uniited States Senate to a republican majority and bring sense to the legislative arm of our federal government, vote and support Dr. Bill Cassidy for the U.S. Senate.  We Louisianans didn’t put President Obama in office.  Why in the world should we have Senator Landrieu voting for his agenda,including casting a key, deciding vote for Obamacare?
Vote for competence, wisdom, honesty, and conservatism in an enthusiastic break with the past; in short, vote and support Dr. Bill Cassidy!