Failure, Not Giving Up, Nature, Religious Roots, My Wife & Resiliency of The Human Spirit By Rick London c2012 LTCartoons.com Celebrates 15 Years With New Kindle Book & More

Failure, Not Giving Up, Nature, Finding My Religious Roots,  My Wife & Resiliency of

The Human Spirit By Rick London c2012

LTCartoons.com Celebrates 15 Years With New Kindle Book And Much More

LT Cartoons 15th Anniv Book Click To Enlarge

 

“They’ll never change me.  I won’t  conform”.  That was my mantra starting at age 13, or somewhat like it, and I held onto it  well into my thirties. What I didn’t realize is that I was conforming all along.  Even in my wild daredevil years, my hippie years, my atheist years, my “I’ll never talk to my family ‘cause they don’t deserve me years, my standup comedy in NYC years, my screenwriting in L.A. years, my Scandal Tours in Washington years, I was changing and conforming.  That was a little over fifteen years ago; and though I was dreaming of a quiet mountain or ocean life away from the maddening crowd, I was still young, adventurous and probably a bit too addicted to life’s dramas.  After all I was also very self-absorbed and most drama could easily be “all about me”.

To quote a notable late President, “Make no mistake about it”, I’ll add “I was all about me”, and didn’t think much of what I could do for you, your wants, needs, or much else.  I look back at that scared young man, really a boy in a man’s skin, who was frightened.  Of what, I never found out, but too scared to slow down.

Oddly enough, my beginning of adulthood began (in my mind) upon the founding of my Scandal Tours bus tour in Washington, D.C. in which I did a lot of media interviews nationally and internationally but that is not what refined me. What refined me was dealing with a professional group of people in the hospitality industry. They were a lot nicer than comedy club owners, taxi cab and bar owners (odd jobs during comedy), PR Moguls (I did my internship in 1983 in NYC and they were worse than cab co.  and bar owners.  They had egos the size of Newt’s proposed moon colony.

Fifteen years ago I at my hometown in Hattiesburg, Ms and after a plethora of exciting and some high-paying jobs, I took a job selling advertising for a brutally mismanaged local CBS affiliate (but it was a job) and allowed me to take care of my mom who had contracted cancer and only lived another four years.   I made a few new friends while I was home, and became very close to them. In fact they became like family to me.  I stayed in Hattiesburg, Ms almost another two years just to be near them,and though I had blood family there, I was banned from them (which was a very good thing at that time too). The reason for the ban (according to mutual friends (who always told me what they said was “I shamed them”.  (They never said what the shame was) but I forgave them years ago, which is how I was able to create as I did.  Holding on to family (or other grudges keeps one stagnant. They stop growing from the moment they decide to hold on to their resentments, and eventually die bitter and sad.

I Was Finally "Winning"& Had No Parents To Call (Click To Enlarge

Of course it would be wonderful to see my nieces and nephews whom I was never allowed to watch grow up, but the gift from God is I got a beautiful life, a beautiful smart talented wife, live right on the edge of a mountain and people pay me for something I love to do. That does not replace rubbing elbows with my blood kin, but it surely is as fulfilling as a life as for which anyone could ask. I continue to stay in touch with some of my hometown friends via email and facebook who were so supportive in my struggles there. Life was hard enough without my sales job but I was also launching a cartoon.  This did not bide well in a town not known for its unwavering support of such creative ventures. Hattiesburg has some wonderful people, places, and ideas, but humor and humor in the arts is definitely not their forte’.  In fact laughing, to the last of my recollection was next to a cardinal sin.

I lost my job at the TV station after an argument with the incredibly bigoted manger, and experienced a bit of his venom, before I learned the full-power of my own wrath. I was highly intimidated by him at the time and did not try to fight him. I simply took my unemployment and left.  Today would be a very different story.  He would not want to come close to me now. My wrath and ability to use it is (I’m told) relentless and scary. The good news is I never bring it up unless in defense.  I  tend to be quite peaceful.  I am proud of my ability to use it, speak my mind, “out” people who are doing wrong, and use the system to set things straight if need be. There was a time when I was not aware I had that kind of power.  I know one thing. I wouldn’t want to go up against me; yet I’d sure enjoy being my friend (if I were another person).  I can be a good friend too; in fact much better than a person than purveys wrath.

I formed a team for my cartoons because though I can draw a little, I can’t even close to the vision I have had for my cartoons; which, if I was to do it the way of my vision would be part fine art/part cartoon; and it would appeal to people of all demographics, though not always. But it would never be so erudite that only I got it, or a few friends and me.

In My Younger Days I was Driven & Unpredictable (Click To Enlarge)

I no longer work in corporate America. The corporate America I knew in the 70s-90s for the most part doesn’t even exist anymore.  Besides at 57, though I’m not the brightest bulb in the cabinet, I know more than many in my field.  It did not hurt that I went back to college at age 48, to one of the finest business and IT schools in the country that was/is accredited and offers a full load online.  The only catch was assessments/tests had to be proctored at a local college or public school board.  I started in 2002 right after a major heart attack and finished 3 years by 2008 when I had to stop due to several major surgeries.   I was getting my work done, and at times on scholarship, but after surgeries I was just too slow in finishing assignments.  But I still tried; gathered all my medical records with all the surgeries and they simply couldn’t do it. I know now it was not their fault but the Pell Grant people who were unable to audit closely enough how I was, since WGU did not have a physical campus.

But what an administration and teachers.  Our board consisted of all the governors (except Ahhhhnold) from 13 Western states, Bill & Melinda Gates, Michael Dell, Google, HP, and a host of other household names who set the tone of our curriculum. And you would think online would be a cinch. It was brutal.  But it was worth it.

To emphasize how much has changed; I was a terrible student in my early days at USM and Richland College (in Dallas) and managed to accumulate about 90 hours. Not one of them were pertinent or even counted.  WGU made me start over from scratch, though they did let me take several assessments without classes (and I passed them) based on life experience (but those reminded me of everything every PhD candidate told me about dissertations).

No, I didn’t learn everything, but I learned how to be professional in business; but not perfect.  I tend to get better daily but I step backwards at times. I learned what businesses do right and what they do wrong to clench the deal, and even more importantly to keep it.

I

I Just Wanted Money! (Click To Enlarge)

I am married to the most beautiful, bright, kind woman in the world.  We work in the same home office which is our living room and have the same view of Hot Springs, Ar. main mountain oddly called “Hot Springs Mountain”.  She is studying Judaism online and Hebrew on Rosetta Stone but that is not why she is so sweet.  She was Episcopalian for our first two years of marriage and I certainly never tried to persuade her to pursue my path but it was/is attractive to her so we study and learn it together.  We observe the Shabbat for 24 hours over the weekend and she makes incredible Challah.  Lee kindles the fire…..right after turning off the Kindle fire she’d just fired up. We study and practice Judaism each week. We will start going to synagogue in a few months about once for month just to meet others in the Jewish Community. It’s all exciting to us. It means big positive changes and we’re happy.

Gomez Mill House Museum (Click To Enlarge)

For now, as service, Lee and I are directors of social media for my maternal family museum Gomez Mill House, which is the oldest extant Jewish dwelling in N. America. They are celebrating 300 years next year and Lee and I built their Twitter and facebook page and do that marketing for them and help the director with non media promotional ideas.  That is fulfilling for us.  In my direct maternal line-of-fire lineage are poetess Emma Lazarus “The Great Colossus” (on the base of the Statue Of Liberty) and Benjamin Cardozo (one of the most well known U.S. Supreme Court judges ever and every major law school still considers him the premiere interpreter of the U.S. Constitution 

We read prayers from the Torah. It is bringing me back to my roots (that I never learned) since I grew up in such a secular home. I say secular; I believe my parents were fairly religious but they never demanded attendance of service by the young’ns.  Please don’t get me wrong. I love Christianity and half my family is Christian. My paternal grandparents were Baptists. I didn’t know many Jewish kids growing up; maybe 2 or 3 and still the majority of my friends remain Christian and a mix of others and a few with no religion. I never judge by people’s belief but by character.  I rarely ask their religion unless it comes up. I always celebrated Christmas with my childhood friends. And as much as I loved that, still do, I always wanted to learn my own religion too. And finally G-d is giving me that opportunity (and Lee) and we couldn’t be happier.  We hope to make Jewish friends but we would never give up our friends of other religions (or non-religions).  We really believe G-d doesn’t make mistakes and we are all his children.  And for my atheist and agnostic friends “The Universe doesn’t make mistakes and we are all right where we’re supposed to be doing exactly what we are supposed to be doing”.

Cuz Emma Lazarus (Click To Enlarge)

I now have about 6 online shops with approximately ¼ million products.  Lee has a beautiful nature photography blog (she mountain hikes more than I do but I enjoy when I go along with her several times a week and often I go solo.  She has 30K+ products she has designed which can be seen at LeeHiller.com. Her brand is growing rapidly and she makes new products from her nature/wildlife photography and also from artwork. It is well worth the visit.  Her book “Nature Of Love” with gorgeous photos and love muses to me is available at Barnes And Noble in physical form, and Amazon in physical form and on Kindle. It is worth viewing.

Cuz US Supreme Ct Judge Benjamin Cardozo. Everybody tells me he looks like MSNBC's Chris Matthews. Click To Enlarge

15 years ago, I would have told you I was probably going to end up selling some kind of product in or near Hattiesburg, and die drinking and very unhappy.

G-d had other plans.  I am very happy.  I love my life. Lee and I are non-partyers nor will you ever find us drunk or drugged. I take that back. On the times I have to go to the emergency room for say heart, kidney etc; they will sometimes prescribe drugs that make me drowsy, but not for long periods of time, and never “the party kind” that are sought by “drug seekers” as I cannot take them.  Until my “Embarrassing Experience” a few months ago for the toxic insect bite on a very sensitive place; it had been a year and five months since I’d visited the ER (but it was for a huge kidney stone and you would have gone too. I promise”.

Is life perfect? Of course not, but whose is? The point is, I never imagined it could be like this, and that I would get to call my own shots, doing just exactly what I love to do. But I do.   I have 2 books on the market our 13th and 15th Anniversary Cartoon compilation books available at Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble.   Kindle approved my 15th Londons Times Anniversary today “Where Have All The Hippies Gone?” and  it is also available for free for those with Kindle Prime in their lending library.

A lot can happen in 15 years.  From the time I was born, until the time I turned fifteen, seemed to be the longest 15 years ever in the history of the world.  Now I often think of ways to slow it down so I can savor it.  And low and behold there is.   I look at Lee and say, “Hey baby, wanna go climb a mountain” or “Take a Hike”?  And we do; and time stands still in a paradise we never ever thought we could imagine.

Work hard.  Obstacles happen.  Each is a lesson.  Don’t give up, or better yet if its not working for too long DO give up and change course. Be flexible.  Take risks but not careless ones. I really believe this can happen to anybody.

Regrets?  Sure.  If only I’d known all this when I was sixteen…or even thirty six…but better late than never 🙂

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Rick London is a freelance writer, songwriter, cartonist, entrepreneur, author and designer.  He launched Londons Times Cartoons aka LTCartoons.com in 1997 in an abandoned rural ms warehouse/shed. It has been Google’s #1 ranked offbeat cartoons and funny gifts since 2005 and Bing’s #1 since 2008. He owns other designer shops such as RickLondonWisdomQuoteShop.com and LoveQuoteGifts.com which sell gifts, tees etc with famous quotes and graphics of those who said them usually with an artistic background on each product. he owns Rick London Fame (which features tees, mugs etc of caricature cartoons of famous people) and his own line of cartoon tees of famous people & clothing RickLondonWear.com.  He just launched Race4TheCase.com which features iPad Iphone iPod cases, skins and laptop sleeves featuring his cartoons and wisdom quote gifts. His wife Lee manages numerous sites that can be found at http://www.LeeHiller.com featuring her wildlife nature photographer and home decor and office gifts.  Though you can find Rick London’s coffee table cartoon compilation books at Barnes & Noble, you can find both the coffee table and Kindle editions at Amazon.com.  His Kindle Cartoon Books are $1.99 and free at the lending library if  you have Kindle prime.

 

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“Santorum Wants Your Birth Control” Parody by Rick London Sung To Bob Seger’s “Old Time Rock & Roll”

If Santorum’s elected we’ll be by ourselves,
Birth control pills stay on the pharmacist’s shelf,
A vaginal probe sounds a bit too cold,             

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No assistance from the state’s fund dole,
Five  male hands went up on the House floor,
To let Congress decide who’s a saint and who’s a whore,            
Santorum wants your birth control

                 Rick Santorum wants your birth control,
He’ll be in your bed and there’ll be no rock and roll,
                 But every woman who was ever polled,
Won’t give Santorum their birth control

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We all know it takes 2 to tango
I guess we men will keep our sperm in escrow,
And it sounds so political,
Rick Santorum wants your birth control pills,
This politician whose way over the hill,
Next you know he’s gonna want your soul,                           Click To Enlarge
Rick Santorum wants your birth control.

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But his political rhetoric has begun to take its toll,
He no longer knows the meaning of afterglow,
And I’ll tell you if the truth be told,

Pfizer will Fed Ex you your birth control.

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Rick London is a songwriter, author, cartoonist and designer.  He founded Google’s #1 offbeat cartoon & funny gifts LTCartoons.com in 1997 which have been #1 Google ranked since 2005 and Bing #1 ranked since 2008.  He has over 1/4 million gifts and collectbles, not just cartoon collectibles but gifts for couples at QuoteGiftShop.com which sells famous love quote gifts and RickLondonWisdomShop which sells gifts featuring famous wisdom quotes.  He is an author with books on Amazon and Barnes & Noble.  He is married to nature photographer Lee Hiller-London founder of nature photography blog Hike Our Planet.  They are both avid hikers and animals lovers.

Thomas Jefferson Predicted 2012…And Congress Listened For Almost 200 Years

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     I cut my teeth into political satirical humor while working on Capitol Hill covering politics for national news around 1987.  My first major job was chief writer/editor for Metromedia Washington (now known as Fox News).  Very conservative Ronald Reagan was President, who, of course, now be considered extremely liberal today (he raised taxes every year but once during his years at 1600 Pa. Ave). 

     By the time I had launched Scandal Tours and was producing and writing for a professional comedy troupe: Los Angeles Times http://lat.ms/ScandalLTimes  Chicago Tribune: http://bit.ly/STChicTribune.  There were many many  other articles, news broadcasts, etc. I was 35 years old and still wet behind the ears.  But I surely learned a lot about politics.  I had very little “power” before launching the tour (on about $150 btw) in 1989. Now I was “somebody” in the nicest D.C. neighborhood after slumming it for nearly a decade.  Politicians (on the left and the right), media, fans, friends, etc. wanted my attention.  Why were these people who didn’t give me the time of day while I struggled for so many years, suddenly *all* demand not only my attention, but permanent friendship? It didn’t take long to find out. Most did not even get to know me, or even want to, as long as they could be around me.  It was soul-draining. I’d grown up where earned friends were the most valued commodities one could have. I still feel that way.  And Washington was/is a power town, mainly in love with power. I had that a short while.

    The Internet was very young in 1989, and not much more to it than bulletin boards and emails so I spent most of my time researching in the Washingtoniana Room at Washington’s main MLK Library.  There is where I discovered a  known book called “The Jefferson Bible” (still available on Amazon.com and is even free on the web in PDF form) and probably other major book outlets).  It is a copy of the New Testament, carefully edited by Thomas Jefferson with a razor blade, in which he edited (cut out) all the miracles.  The newly edited editions were handed to each member of Congress and read daily. Why?  Because of what Jefferson felt was the most important thing ever.  That one’s religious beliefs may be important; but the story of how to live is even more important.  And if the miracles are read, even by adults, especially by adults; it is inevitable that the predictable religious debate evolves, “My religion is more true and sacred than yours ‘cause we got better miracles”. 

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 A law was passed that Congress read passages aloud of the Jefferson Bible every day before the business of Congress began until the 1940’s when the practice finally ended app. 200 years after after Jefferson put it into law.  So during that time, each Congressperson got a true taste of what it is like to live as a good  person (from positive teachings with no miracles), without having to disrespect someone who did not share each of their interpretation of the miracles or beliefs.  All the Congress members could see what the chapters, sans all miracles. Not one miracle is left in the Jefferson Bible.  And it worked.  Of course at the end of the day, when Congress convened, each member had the right to talk about, discuss, or whatever he/she wanted pertaining to each member’s religion’s miracles, religions, etc.  This was not because Jefferson hated Christianity, he called himself a diest/Unitarian (Unitarianism falls under the Protestant umbrella) though in England he was an Anglican Christian.  Remember he had just run for his life from England where his very own religion (then Anglican was totally running the government).  He surely wanted no part of that. Hence our Constitution was born.

     People either loved or hated Jefferson. There were not too many ambivalent about him. He spoke his mind.  He had his flaws but he was a very good (and brave) man. Most loved him but it goes without saying that anyone who speaks his/her mind, and it is often against the grain, he/she is going to get his/her share of critics; usually because of fear. Most who hated him had never met him.  Many considered him highly suspect due to his “Jefferson Bible” as they found it demeaning and disturbing. Others understood his desperate desire to keep religion and religious beliefs totally out of the political realm. They considered him a man without faith. He was anything but.  He simply was for living it rather than preaching it and demanding that of Congress…while they were on the job. He lived it well for most of his life. One would be hard-pressed to find someone else of his cognitive abilities and commitments and love for America. Wiki Info On Jefferson Bible:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jefferson_Bible

          The bottom line is Jefferson knew exactly what could happen if religion got too mixed with politics and religious beliefs became law.  Did that mean he hated religion? The opposite.   Anyone who felt like he did, loved their religion enough not to dirty it with politics and that is what happens. This is still the case today.  Don’t believe me? Look at today. It’s being tried now and look at the consequences.   Often, even if the people of the same religion have the same beliefs, but feel it’s being imposed on the people.

       It is estimated that 97-98% of child-bearing age women are on contraceptives. That includes Catholics and other conservative Christians.  Say what you will. Intimidate as you will. Call them sinners as you will. The more you do, the more they are going to go, in droves to the voting booth and vote for the opposite candidate as you suggest.  You probably don’t hear it because they feel intimidated to speak out; but you will hear it from the voting booth.  Don’t kill the messenger.  Just watch the count on election day.

       We, especially Mississippians who did not end school segregation until the late 1960s know exactly what can happen when terrible leadership tells us “what is right”.   We are still paying for that economically, emotionally, and spiritually. If you’ve not lived outside of Ms. As I have (have lived in every major city in the U.S.) you better believe one has to explain oneself (just for being from MS). 

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    Most are not shy (especially when applying for work).  “Could you work with an African-American?” “Do you know what an African-American is?” “Did you think slavery was correct?” “Are you a member of the KKK?” “ Are you aware many went to college and have more education than you?” And these interviewers were frightened to hire me (though many times I was overqualified, ONLY because I was from Ms).  All those questions and many more were thrown at me as late as 1990.  BP is not running that “Come Back To the Gulf” just because the water is ruined (we all know that). And they did not carefully  cast the very friendly African American women yelling in a jovial voice, “Come on back to Mississippi.”.  They pay consultants huge bucks to keep their finger on the pulse of America and how it feels about Ms. and the Gulf.   The “feel good” ad is laughed at in most places.  Again don’t kill the messenger.  I’m purveying how people perceive it and how much they abhor BP Oil.  BP may be intimidating you with their money and you are not even aware.  Make yourself aware and let them know you are extremely angry they ruined your Gulf and hid the oil with a dispersent even more toxic than the oil.  99% of Americans know that.  No scientific conclusions have come in.  The Cousteau family has done their own and the prognosis looks terrible.  Mississippi and Louisiana should be in court vs BP; not going along with their worthless ad campaign (so they can do it again…which is just a matter of time).

     Ms may still be paying, but it has made great strides in progress to become mainstream America. Voting down the Personhood Bill by double digits just about did the trick; that is, until Haley Barbour got off his meds and began releasing murderers left and right claiming “Every experts says since they committed crimes of passion they’d never do such a terrible thing again”.

     First of all, as we all know, though they may have been passionate about getting the crimes complete, these were clearly premeditated crimes; not of passion. But even if they had been, we did a complete research, called every major criminal law school we could find, and there is no such person who ever said, people who commit crimes of passion would never repeat them. Google it. You simply won’t find it because it is not there. They are just as likely as the first time they did to do it again. However, a person with money and connections, as most of these men were, are much more likely to get pardoned under a Haley Barbour off of his meds.  They were right on target.  Ms. Has every right to continue to salute the great Gov. Haley Barbour and “all the good he’s done for the state” that makes it look so promising to the other 49 states NOT http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-503544_162-20032216-503544.html

       It is one thing to be Conservative. I am a lot more conservative than I am liberal, but of course today there are many shades of gray. Nobody is totally conservative or totally liberal anymore unless they are mass killers in Norway or bombers of Oklahoma federal buildings.  Some of us live simple lives, vote, go home and try to do good in our community without feeling the obscene need to force our politics and/or religion onto everyone we meet.  After all, that is America; at least the America drawn up in the Constitution and interpreted by U.S. Supreme Court Benjamin Cardozo, still the premiere interpreter of the U.S. Constitution. Cardozo’s writings must be learned in every major law school before a law student can even think about taking the bar exam. And I tend to believe his teachings more than I do any politician, or my strange Uncle Elmer (the self-learned from the library politician).

      Trust me when I tell you that a Ms. Governor not banning the public honoring of a KKK leader as Haley Barbour didn’t, is not going to endear the tourists and their millions of dollars that could be spent in Ms.  They are much more likely to visit Arkansas or Louisiana. http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-503544_162-20032216-503544.html. In fact they do. Our little non-political town of 30K people, with just about an equal amount of liberals to conservatives lures about 5+ million tourists a year and our politics are neutral; or at least unheard except at the voting booth. All the various religions work well together and have formed Jackson House which feeds, houses and clothes the homeless. They are not at odds because their beliefs are different.  They celebrate that.  Christmas trees are adorned each year with a 6 pointed Stars Of David on top showing such solidarity. Do we get all this tourism because it’s gorgeous here? Well it is but America has a lot of gorgeous destinations.  It’s also because it does the right thing. It learns from its lessons; is not influenced by politicians with ridiculous agendas, and makes lots and lots of money; much of it that would probably go to Ms (given the casinos and all that we don’t have). We don’t honor former Klan leaders here (though we have plenty). We consider them a part of our very dark history who came very close to bankrupting our dear state.

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    But you can’t stop the fear in tourists and their dollars by repeating history.  And that does not mean “losing your religion”. It simply means taking off the “Sunday Go To Meeting” clothes when talking politics.  Live it, for sure. Simply don’t preach it or try to make it law.  Doesn’t work.  Don’t believe me?  Try it again in 2016 and you’ll see the same circus we’re seeing in 2012.

        What surprises me is, after all we learned in school and real life growing up in MS that many are still towing the line of  the far right.  It nearly bankrupted us in the 60’s and it is about to do so again. Am I saying “then vote for Obama”?  Far from it.  Surely you can if that is your desire. To me he’s mediocre but nobody running is even close to being in his league and that is showing clearly in the polls. 

      Everyone in the other party is intent on taking away women’s rights. We, Mississippians know not to take rights away from groups of people better than anyone else.  We learned our lesson, didn’t we? Sure, we have corrupt governors every now and then who try to bring it back, but always toward the end, those emperors have no clothes (or meds).  They are not leading us into a good economy but backwards into the near-bankruptcy the 60s governors led us to.

       If a President as mediocre as Obama’s numbers are ahead of the best of any Republican candidate, it’s time to look within. Why am I really voting for that particular candidate.    Do I like him (or her). Does he or she share my beliefs?   Someone who shared my religion (unless they were really good and understand what a President does, he/she would not get my vote. Why? Because they make all kind of promises before Election Day, and on that day, when elected, do everything possible to show they do not show favoritism to their own religion, and generally end up doing nothing for it.   Well isn’t that what Thomas Jefferson was trying to accomplishment? 

     Not even close. He was attempting to have equal rights for everyone, no favoritism; not even to his own religion.  He was just as keen on giving equal rights to everyone no matter what religion…or lack thereof.

WalMart Could Have Chosen Any State It Wanted To Build its HQ. It Chose To Stay in Arkansas. Wonder why?

       Jefferson didn’t take the time to edit the Bible of his own religion for fun (with a razor blade); I’m told it took him several years to edit out every single miracle and still make it a congruous story.  But he made it work and it was read in Congress daily for several centuries. 

      The bottom line. And to even mention it here is redundant.  To take away any groups equal rights is Unconstitutional, and even worse, they make one’s party the laughing stock of America.  And you see who is laughing at whom.  It’s a terrible way to run a party.  I predicted it as well and was chastised (as everyone tries to “kill the messenger”. 

     Listen fellow Mississippians. We’ve been through it (of taking rights away from groups). We know the consequences. Let the other states who don’t know the “glory of bankruptcy do it”.   Let’s show them we are well into the 21st century. If they wish, they can suffer economically, educationally, emotionally, and spiritually for the next half century, just as we (Mississippians) have done but no longer have to do; that is, if we refuse to be intimidated by loud absurd politicians.

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    Of course we don’t have to. We can stay bankrupt and keep taking rights away by voting for candidates that “we just happen to like because “Uncle Otis” did.  But of course don’t expect much tourism no matter how many TV ads BP runs.  People simply won’t come. And tourism is by far the largest economy in America. Trust me when I tell you most are still frightened to come, for the same reason Jefferson was afraid Congress was going to take rights away from their constituents; and they would be right.  

      To say “Those who don’t learn from history are doomed to repeat it” would be a bit redundant.  Of course we remember the history that nearly bankrupted us…and why.  The question is, are we brave enough to go against leaders trying to keep us in the dark ages for his/her own personal agenda.

       It happened in Arkansas, now a very thriving state that was as bankrupt if not more so than MS in the middle 20th century.  Is Arkansas that much smarter and braver than MS? That’s for you to answer. We learned in Arkansas; and I really don’t think we are that much smarter (or even smarter than Mississippians). We just happen to be aware that the “good old days” were anything but.

       One final caveat. People who have read this whole blog should have a certain semblance of intelligence and I would venture to say most are more intelligent than me.  If you have done so and are not speaking up, it is for a reason. Is it you might feel intimidated by your own political party to say something for which you strongly believe?  And if that is the case, is that any way to live? Are you so used to it that you’ve “surrendered” to their status quo”.  You can stop that now, and better, or Ms is in for another century of near-to-full blown bankruptcy. This does not mean one must become a liberal. Anything but. It simply means one can say, “I have some conservative views that are in agreement with you, and some that don’t, or even better, it’s none of their business” (even though in most their tiny minds that means you are “an enemy liberal”.  Ironically, I’ve lived that most my adult life AS A CONSERVATIVE. LOL.  But projecting that kind of intimidation to control others is the modus operandi of how people live Syria and Iran.

      I encourage you to walk away and invite others who try this intimidation with you or (you simply can’t be a part of our inner circle if you think like anything else but us) to walk away and into the 21st century, because if not, I can promise you 2016 is going to be just like 2012,  except the circus will be bigger and Ms will again be poorer and considered yet more dubious. Let’s expect such stupidity from northern and midwestern states who have never suffered the consequences of removing a groups civil rights, simply because they were born into a certain group. But not Mississippi. We’ve had our history and if we haven’t learned from it, God help us all.   To make these very minor (but seem like major because of political peer pressure) may seem monumental but they are not. One does not have to give up being conservative nor Christian (or whatever your religion). One simply might try some behavior modification. Stop intimidating people into thinking if they don’t vote or believe like you that they are “less than”.  Believe it or not, that kind of behavior bankrupts our state, morally, financially and spiritually. I used to cower to it. Now it empowers me and nobody, and I mean nobody will pull stunts like that on me. I love Mississippi way to much and have no agenda there except to hope and pray it grows, and is equally respected and visited as every other states are without transparent BP ads that “We ruined your Gulf but look how clean it looks. Come on back”.  They are attractive.  It would be great if people believed them. If they did, the hotels wouldn’t have to price their rooms 50% off and restaurants wouldn’t have to nearly give away their food.  That’s another case of cowering to money. Don’t do it.  Stand up to them.  Tell them they stink for ruining our precious Gulf. 

But you say, “Rick, that’s easy for you to say, you no longer live here.  It’s our survival. It’s only your survival because they are intimidating into making you believe it is. Mississippi survived several centuries before BP arrived and with a much higher quality of life I may add. And to show you you’re way off base, Lee and I know people at WalMart (many) and we tell them, “Until you start increasing your organic and GMO-free foods, we’re going to Kroger (with HQ in  Portland, Or); and Walmart is our economy here with HQ right down the road. But they don’t beat us up or intimidate us with it ala BP.  They agreed and started making moves to improve their healthy food section. Even had the CEO appear on Fox, CNN and MSNBC saying so.  They have done so to a certain degree but we’ve told them its not good enough. We’ve told them and they agree. We still buy our dry goods at Walmart as do many of our health-conscious friends, and, we know Walmart is at least trying (to compete with Kroger on healthy foods) and when they get it right, we’re coming back.  But they know they are not going to intimidate us meantime into doing so; they are working hard on THEM, not US.  Surely doesn’t remind anyone of BP, the “Fathers Of Intimidation”.  Every Mississippian I know think they are “just fab”. I think they ruined my Gulf and people’s lives, health, economy etc. and I would have them in court every day, every year and until they left if I had to (and still lived there); not go along with their faux crooked PR campaign.   My point is, nobody regardless of money or power can intimidate you or make you do anything.  You have your own mind and you know what is right or wrong.  Tell your best friend. Tell your boss, your minister, anyone if your conscious tells you something is right they are doing, or wrong.  If you do, you are totally free, and in American that’s freedom is the keyword. Am I wrong?

But don’t believe me, believe Thomas Jefferson. He started the movement with his Jefferson Bible.

Finally, human nature is to kill the messenger and I expect some criticism.  Perhaps nasty jabs and expect it. Many have not grown up and they will be blocked if they cannot debate civilly and with referenced footnotes.   That is fine, and healthy, as long as you’ve learned something. I know I have.  It is an enemy of Mississippi, America, the South or the far right who would discover what I’ve just written, and keep it secret.  To not share it with you would be sinful. It would keep you in economic bondage that many years longer until perhaps you discovered it yourself; and maybe you would one day…but maybe not…. It is time to rethink politics, politicians and just what that all means. And it does not mean anything like what is happening in 2012. That I promise you.  I encourage you NOT to “kill” not the messenger but the ones keeping this information from y0u, and beating you to a pulp like an early Saints game.  And for those who don’t “get it”, I don’t mean literally “Kill” anyone (or do anything else unlawful) but to let them know, “I disagree, and my disagreement does not make me any less a good person. I will not be intimidated. I love my state (Mississippi), and you will not bring me or it down”.  You will be surprised (at their surprise) and obvious fear in their face. I’ve seen it again and again, and the more you do it, the better you get at it, and the more they understand you mean business.  And yes, you can still keep your religion and your politics. Simply keep them separate.  It’s that simple, or so said Thomas Jefferson.

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Rick London is an author, cartoonist, songwriter and designer.  He founded Google’s #1 offbeat cartoonfunny gifts at RickLondonGifts.com  in 1997 which has been Google’s number on rated. He also has shops that sell famous love quote gifts and famous wisdom quote gifts as well as app 1/4 million other designer gifts and collectibles all from his LTCartoons.com collection. He loves nature and hiking the Ouachita Mountains with his wife nature photographer Lee HillerLondon founder of HikeOurPlanet.com.

 

 

“Bayer Aspirin For The Passion In Your Thighs” (Parody by Rick London c2012) To The Tune Of Moody Blues “Music In Your Eyes”

I’ve learned I must have a daughter or son,
Cause just making love causes scarlet letter shame,
Nothing can be deep inside you now,
Bayer’s no longer just for headaches is the claim.

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So if by chance you want to be with her,
Her eyes gaze at you like blue skies,
You must learn to disavow,

Bayer Aspirin between your knees cause virgin thighs.
Santorum says you’ll be in hell slowly burning,

But he says there is a holy way.
You must buy her a new wedding ring,
Or a bottle of Bayer  for her knees.

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Remember sex is a chore only for making babies,
I would love to see Santorum debate Mark Twain

And a woman who has prenatal care…is a just a whore.
Lowest on Santorum’s food chain.

Even if your passion is burning,
Acting on it is foul play,
Only Santorum’s good books are for learning,
Not for hetero-lovers and marrieds that are gay.

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Then there’s Mitt’s proxy baptisms with silent spin,
Who won’t even answer calls from the Holocaust Museum.
And while the kids sit in his 4-door,
The Irish Setter’s 8 hours in severe conservative pain.

And while Obama looks it over,
And only his approval rating doesn’t fall,
While the way offtrack GOP focuses on the evils of sex,

Look’s like Barack’s at the 2012 Inaugural Ball.

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Rick London is an author, songwriter, designer and cartoonist.  He founded Google’s #1 Offbeat Cartoons & Funny Gifts in 1997 (which have been #1 on Google since 2005 and #1 on Bing since 2008). He creates designer gifts at shops like Race4TheCase.com which sells unique IPhone Cases etc and RickLondonWisdomShop.com which offers all types of wisdom quote gifts.  He lives with his wife nature photographer Lee Hiller-London in the Ouachita Mountains of Arkansas and they enjoy hiking, nature, wildlife, etc.   One of Rick’s most enjoyable elements of writing is song parody; and (though it often seems he takes sides); he claims, “The candidates ALWAYS write my songs for me. I simply dictate what they say, and rearrange a few words”.

“Old” To The Tune Of Madonna’s “Vogue” A Song Parody by Rick London

Old by Rick London c2012 Parody To The Tune of Madonna’s “Vogue”

 

(Short note…I’m getting old too; in fact older than Madonna…..I salute her for giving it her best shot) It is interesting

how all of us are slowing down, and yes, I’m a senior now too).

 

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Mighty Old,
Getting’ Old,
So old, old,
Oy vey, old

Just took 2 Plavix for my heartache,
My legs are moving so slow (Butt’s dragging ground)
I see cellulite where I was in shape,
Never learned my lesson public appearances “just say no”.

When I dance I pull a joint in my knee,
Maybe some L-glutamine pills on Ebay,
Should never have pigged out on that Superbowl tray,
Still on my butt on the dance floor, sore.

[Chorus:]

Getting so, Old,
Nausea’s setting in & I’m sick,
Ben Gay, Hey
Come on old.
Menopause no more menstrual flow,
Maybe I’d sound better remixed.

Got my Ensure…my favorite one,

Seemed like yesterday I had the energy of Thor,
And Kaballah for my inspiration,
Now I can’t get up off the floor.

And cone shaped bra so sprite,
With tassels I’d twirl and twirl
For awhile I was even some guy’s wife,
But my new name was Esther and he couldn’t remember it.

[chorus, substituting “groove” for “move”]

Oh I was beautiful and so fit,
Maybe I’ll try Nutrisystems to get re-fit.
Or call Britney Spears my pal,
The only virgin I know is wool,
Oh I want to be young and tall,
And not what I am or….

[chorus]

Old, old.
My CD’s on ITunes U can find it,
Old old,
Menopause with no more menstrual flow.

My garbage I recycle ya know,
And I crush the cans real slow,
My new brand is living green,
Not on Newt Gingrich’s moon trampoline.

How do I look in my tight jeans?
Winning with Charlie Sheen,
Getting’ smelly, walked upstairs,
Remember Playboy…I was bare.

Now its time to say “Goodnight Grace-ee”
For what its worth I’m saving face,
All the cracks I do fall through,
I wish you all a fare adieu

Notice I’m no longer nude,
Needed money, needed food,
Getting old is hard on a starlet,
Getting old, there’s a LOT to it.

Old, old.

Prunes will make you body move
So you don’t get sick,
Old, Plastic surgery if you must,
Or collagen to make your lips grow,
Old, I’ve gotten to
Old.

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Rick London is a musician/songwriter and founder of Google’s #1 Ranked offbeat cartoons & funny gifts, Londons Times Cartoons.  He and his wife nature/wildlife photographer Lee Hiller-London who also creates the popular nature photography blog Hike Our Planet,  live in the Ouichata Mountains of Arkansas and do a lot of mountain hiking.

How Important Is Laughter To Your Health? By Rick London

       How important is laughter to you?  Have you been told that you take life too seriously?  If you knew there had been studies done that the endorphins produced by laughter are identical to those produced by vigorous exercise and most likely prevents cancer, heart disease and a host of other ailments, would you expose yourself to funnier things? Here is a most recent study published in Science Daily & The New England Journal Of Medicine http://bit.ly/LaughterHealth

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     “When I launched Londons Times Cartoons & Gifts in 1997, all I knew was of all the things I’d done for a living (and I’d done quite a few); helping facilitate laughter rated at the top.  I didn’t know exactly why at the time.  Not that many studies had been conducted.  I just knew it was fun.

     As time progressed and my team and I continued to create more cartoons, research was being done that has proven laughter helps protect the immune system. It can change a mood. It can even help prevent or lessen depression.  One must be careful with laughter though.  The type that helps keep us happy and healthy is spontaneous, not forced laughter simply to be laughing.  There are plenty of “self-help gurus who will sell you on the idea that if you simply smile or laugh, even if it is fake, that you’re on your way to “Happy Days Utopia”.  Not so.

     So for what do you seek as your remedy?  As with almost anything else, we don’t live in a one size fits all world.   I would love to say anyone could visit my cartoon page and “presto, they’re happy”.   My suggestion though would be to try a variety of medias.  I happen to enjoy “the absurd” so I can look at any old Gary Larson Far Side Cartoon, Airplane Movie, old Steve Martin sketch (or even his most recent tweets on Twitter), or the original SNL and at least one of them is most likely going to do the trick.

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     At the same time, I have friends who can watch Abbott & Costello, Jerry Lewis, Eddie Murphy or “pick your poison”, and it does the same for them.  After experimenting with various forms of humor, you will eventually know which size fits you best, and, according to many studies, be that much healthier for it (I still think LTCartoons is the best though, but that is just me strictly speaking…please, please oh please visit my site!  🙂 

 

 

 

 

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I am a slightly dysfunctional, very uncoordinated, goofy animal-loving mountain man living my dream in the Ouichata Mountains of Arkansas with my nature/photography wife Lee Hiller-London.  I founded Londons Times Cartoons (LTCartoons.com) & gifts in 1997.  They have been Google’s #1 ranked offbeat cartoons & funny gifts on the Internet since 2005 and I’m humbled.  I have ventured into designing non-humorous items at my other gift shops and that is a lot of fun.