Thursday, June 28, 2012

THYME Magazine

Citizen Journalism with a Better Flavor

Volume IV, Issue XXVI

America's Revolution... A Model to Emulate
"I consider it an indispensable duty to close this last solemn act of my official life by commending the interests of our dearest country to the protection of Almighty G-d and those who have the superintendence of them into His Holy keeping." -- George Washington

"If my people...shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face...then shall I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land." -- II Chronicles 7:14

The 'other' Weekly News Magazine [click to read] features the cover headline: 'The Revolution that Wasn't.' Today's revolutionaries would do well to remember at least a very basic history of revolutions.

The French Revolution (1789-1799) created chaos. The Bolshevik Revolution in 1917 led to another dark tyranny.

Rare in history is the casting off of tyranny successfully accomplished and followed by the creation of a system of government that allows for the peaceful transfer of power... through the ballot box.

It is well known that George Washington inspired his men through the difficult days of Valley Forge and the Battle of Trenton... the nation's future very much in the balance. Perhaps not so well known is that Washington had to put down mutinies by Continental soldiers after the war... unpaid by a bankrupt Congress.

Our nation's survival of those days was miraculous. The creation of her Constitutional government was no less miraculous. Today, Federal judges invoking the Commerce Clause participate in an equally miraculous continuation of that same experiment.

Their Freedom is Not Our Freedom

These Observations [click to read] by Diana West in Jewish World Review give clarity to what 'they' want. Universalists believe all peoples prefer freedom to its absence, which is probably true. But they also believe all peoples define "freedom" in the same way. Is that true?

Celebrate Arab democracy? [click to read] by Caroline B. Glick in Jewish World Review.

No summary will do this damning article justice.

True wisdom. ht/Joy

The Revolution that Wasn't

This week the "other" weekly news magazine laments the "revolution" in Egypt, saying: "the generals are still in charge." I hope, for the sake of Coptic Christians and other miniorities, that some stable heads are in charge. One of our Constitution's unique characteristics is that it limits government and affirms the rights of the individual citizen as G-d given. When Jefferson penned the Declaration of Independence, he wrote:

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security." -- American Declaration of Independence

In 1789, the Bill of Rights further asserted: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."

Carefully making the case that human rights com from G-d, the founders codified limits on the state in keeping with that belief.


THYME Interactive [click to read] brings you even more of our famous Nanny State Updates and other  news you need in this crucial election year.

Deists and Atheists? [click to read]. Dr. Roger Shultz discusses the Founding Fathers from a historical perspective. A special Independence Day presentation.


Fighting the Inferno in Colorado Springs

Pray for the Firefighters and Those in the Fire's Path

Photo by Mike Francis, by way of Lynn Mitchell.

The scene above shows the raging fire engulfing apartments, which are home to many Air Force families in Colorado Springs. Colorado Springs is also home to many fine Christian ministries like Focus on the Family and Campus Crusade. We pray this morning for their protection.

"And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it." -- Matthew 16:18

At the Entrance of Heaven, Avon Docks

Peaceful Scene from the Outer Banks of North Carolina

Photo by Chuck Balsamo.

Monday, June 25, 2012

North Fork, Moorman's River Trail

Small River Feeds the Charlottesville Reservoir from SNP

The North Fork of the Moorman's River flows between the Blue Ridge Mountains and Pasture Fence Mountain in Albemarle County...

...beginning in a mossy wonderland.

A red leaf and a green leaf create a Christmas scene in the flowing water.

The trail crosses private land for about a mile. Here an old school bus serves as a hunting camp.

A cattle loading ramp on the side of Pasture Fence Mountain.

Dr. Vivien Theodore Thomas

Breaking Barriers in Surgery and Opportunity

Dr. Thomas pioneered lifesaving surgical techniques.

A Milestone Monday Feature:

Dr. Vivien Theodore Thomas was born on August 29, 1910 in New Iberia, Louisiana. He was the grandson of slaves but completed high school in Nashville Tennessee. He dreamed of continuing his education and becoming a doctor but the Great Depression in 1929 dashed his hopes for higher education.

Thomas had found a job at Fisk University as a carpenter for their maintenance department. He worked through the Summer of 1929 but was laid off in October of that year following the stock market crash. This put his educational plans on hold and eventually he found work as a laboratory assistant with Dr. Alfred Blalock at Vanderbilt University.

The original job description was caring for the dogs being used for surgical experiments. Thomas fed the animals and cleaned their cages. Dr. Blalock took notice of the young Thomas, discovering that he possessed keen hand-eye coordination, a sharp intellect and the ability to think on his feet to solve problems. No doubt, Thomas' carpentry skills and training came in to play here.

Blalock began using Thomas as a technical assistant, having him perform much of the actual work in developing new surgical techniques. Through the 1930's Blalock pushed on into new frontiers in vascular and cardiac surgery. Thomas did essential work in perfecting the surgical procedures. This pioneer work made Blalock one of the leading surgeons of his time.

In 1940 Blalock was offered the position of Chief of Surgery at Johns Hopkins in Baltimore. He requested that Thomas be hired with him. Their 34 year partnership would continue to push the barriers in surgical technique. Their work would eventually lead to learning how to correct the heart defects that caused blue baby syndrome, Their work on crush syndrome led to understanding that would save the lives of thousands of soldiers in World War II.

Baltimore society was even more segregated than Nashville and Johns Hopkins only hired African Americans in their houskeeping department. Thomas was put on the payroll as a janitor but worked alongside Blalock in surgery. He turned a few heads walking the halls in his labcoat. Here many wonder that Blalock so valued Thomas professionally but allowed him to be distanced socially. Both men, it must be remembered, where men raised in the old Southern society. The separation was highly codified in a city like Baltimore [I still have a map of the city from my youth that matter-of-fact labels the white and colored swimming pools in Druid Hill Park]. The recognition of merit over race and the mens' friendship was enough to remove the most insurmountable of barriers.

Blalock didn't object to Thomas initially being 'assigned' to housekeeping but by 1946 he had negotiated his status as the highest paid lab assistant at Hopkins.

Watching Thomas perform an intricate surgical procedure, Blalock remarked "That looks like something the Lord made." Thomas was able to perform complex surgeries with such efficiency of motion that the students said that he made them look effortless. When a young surgeon in training moved in too close to observe, he might unknowingly step into a spot next to Blalock, who would tersely remind him: "Only Vivian is to stand there!"

In 1976 Johns Hopkins presented Thomas with an honorary doctorate and appointed him an instructor of surgery, acknowledging the work he had already been performing for decades.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

THYME Magazine

Citizen Journalism with a Better Flavor

Volume IV, Issue XXV

Cover: Ellicott's Mills in miniature as created by Bob Kirchman in 1971/1972 at age 20. It was refurbished and corrected to reflect current research for the B&O Museum's 'Roads to Rails' exhibit two years ago.

Remembering our Roots

The 'other' Weekly News Magazine [click to read] presents: "The History of the American Dream." If the American Dream is merely about home ownership and material security, we're down for the count. In the late seventies the government sought to make home ownership available to all. In 2007 we got the bill for it.

But if we see the American dream as something more... those desires that drove people to our shores in the first place, we're ready for a renaissance.

The Pilgrims, the Anabaptists and Moravians were drawn to this land by the promise of freedom to worship and live without interference from hostile government interference. Indeed they preferred the risk and hardship it entailed to the relative safety of servitude.

By 1831, Alexis de Tocqueville observed an amazing young nation taking shape and wrote:

"I sought for the greatness of the United States in her commodious harbors, her ample rivers, her fertile fields, and boundless forests--and it was not there. I sought for it in her rich mines, her vast world commerce, her public school system, and in her institutions of higher learning--and it was not there. I looked for it in her democratic Congress and her matchless Constitution--and it was not there. Not until I went into the churches of America and heard her pulpits flame with righteousness did I understand the secret of her genius and power. America is great because America is good, and if America ever ceases to be good, America will cease to be great!"

Though many would seek to obfuscate this heritage, a serious study of history shows that our nation perservered and grew, often against impossible odds, as her founders labored and prayed, trusting in Divine Providence.

The Free Market Did NOT Cause the Great Depression


Great Myths of the Great Depression [Click to Read] by Lawrence W. Reed

"President Herbert Hoover is mistakenly presented in standard history texts as a laissez-faire president, but he signed into law so many costly and foolish bills that one of Franklin Roosevelt’s top aides later said that “practically the whole New Deal was extrapolated from programs that Hoover started.”

"Americans voted for Franlin Roosevelt in 1932, expecting him to adhere to the Democratic Party platform, which called for less government spending and regulation." -- Lawrence W. Reed

The really frightening thing about history is how it repeats itself.

Required Reading:


In light of the President's assertion that 'America is not a Christian Nation' I would like to offer Alvin Schmidt's book Under the Influence, How Christianity Changed the World. There are many legitimate arguments to be made about how Faith and Government should function together but a look at the principles that our Nation was founded upon will show a clear Judeo-Christian influence.

"If no other consideration had convinced me of the value of the Christian life, the Christlike work which the Church of all denominations in America has done during the last 35 years for the elevation of the black man would have made me a Christian." -- Booker T. Washington in 'Up from Slavery' (1901)

Sailcar Outing
AEolus sails down the Baltimore and Ohio tracks. The B&O experimented with wind power but soon moved on to more dependable steam locomotives. [1.] From the Collections of the B&O Railroad Museum, used with permission.

The American Dream and Ellicott's Mills

The little model featured on this week's cover was built to show the extent to which Ellicott's Mills had developed by the middle of the Nineteenth century! It was founded in 1772 by John, Joseph and Andrew Ellicott, who convinced Charles Carroll [the one who signed the Declaration of Independence] to move away from single crop agriculture on his estate of Carrollton. Tobacco was the big cash crop and that was all Carroll grew in the beginning. The brothers built a flour mill and promoted a more diverse agriculture. That kept the region from experiencing the soil depletion that occured in many plantation areas.

Carroll planted wheat and other crops and the Ellicotts milled the wheat. They also partnered with Charles Carroll to build a turnpike which was later incorporated into the great National Road The Ellicotts operated a sawmill and another mill for crushing limestone. This was usd to enrich the fields. They also operated an iron rolling mill. Joseph Scott's "Geographical Description of the States of Maryland and Delaware," published in 1807, tells of the economic diversity Ellicott's Mills had achieved at this early date. "Several kinds of mechanical trades are carried on here; such as coopers, blacksmiths, tanners, shoemakers, saddlers."

In 1830 the town became the first terminus of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad. The first rail cars were horse-drawn and a sail-powered car was even tried on the new iron road. Steam was to prevail as the motive power of choice and the legendary race between the steam engine Tom Thumb and a horse-drawn car was run at Relay, a point on the tracks between Ellicott's Mills and Baltimore. The old station, shown here with some later Nineteenth Century modifications, was built of granite blocks. Locally quarried granite was used to construct most of the buildings in the town. Today the old station is designated as a National Historic Landmark.

When the three Ellicotts migrated to the banks of the Patapsco from Bucks County, Pennsylvania, they found a 'picturesque wilderness.' By the turn of the Century they had established a thriving community. Then came railroads and romanticism. 'Castle Angelo,'  [2.]on a cliff above the Patapsco River, is one great example of American Romantic Architecture. When Mr. Kirchman photographed it, it had been covered in aluminum siding! The siding was applied vertically on the turrets and was 'most unusual to behold.'

Although the Ellicotts, who hailed from Pennsylvania, were Quakers, their adopted home was predominantly Catholic. The Catholic church tower [3.] had an Italianate feeling rendered in the native stone and a few gothic doorways thrown in for good measure. The Friends' Meeting House where the Ellicotts worshipped was far simpler in construction.

 B&O Station
B&O Station.

Patapsco Hotel
Patapsco Hotel.

Arch of the old railroad bridge.

Floods of the Twentieth Century.

Bridge Cornerstone
Cornerstone of the railroad bridge...

...still carrying Chessie System trains today.

The American Dream and B. Banneker

Benjamin Banneker was a renaissance man.

"You're Fired"

The story of Benjamin Banneker is forever intertwined with the planning of our nation's capital city. In 1791 Banneker was in the employment of Andrew Ellicott, who was charged with the task of laying out the monumental city plan concieved by French architect Pierre Charles de L'Enfant, who had been hired to design a capital suitable for the new republic.

L'Enfant based his design on the best traditions of Baroque landscape design and his creation resembled the hunting gardens of Louis XIV's massive palace at Versailles. L'Enfant proved to be very difficult to work with... America's first 'rock star' architect, you might say. George Washington fired him.

Here the traditional story says that L'Enfant rolled up his drawings and left the young country in a huff, taking his designs with him. Ellicott turned to Banneker, who had prepared the actual surveys, and Banneker is said to have redrawn the plans from memory!

Though many modern historians doubt that Banneker recreated the plans from memory, the man's documented accomplishments would be in keeping with those of a man capable of such a feat.

The hunting gardens of Versailles...

...inspiration for our nation's capital?

A simple farmer most of his life, Banneker had the good fortune to know the Quaker settlers of Ellicott's Mills in Maryland. The Society of Friends believed in providing basic education to all people and young Banneker certainly received a solid basic education.

Banneker became a student of astronomy and published an almanac. He corresponded with President Thomas Jefferson on the issue of the status of his fellow African Americans. His letter to Jefferson is well crafted, invoking reason as well as compassion. It appears that Banneker took up the craft of surveying in his fifties, looking to a time when he might be physically too old to farm.

Banneker is said to have observed the workings of a clock and then carved his own working clock mechanism from scrap wood. He published his almanac until 1802.

"Banneker lived for four years after his almanacs discontinued. He published a treatise on bees, did a mathematical study on the cycle of the seventeen-year locust, and became a pamphleteer for the anti-slavery movement. He continued scientific studies by night and walked his land by day. He also continued to keep his garden. He hosted many distinguished scientists and artists of his day, and his visitors commented on his intelligence and on his knowledge of everything of importance that was happening in the country. As always, he remained precise and reflective in his conversations with others. His last walk (with a friend) came on October 9, 1806, he complained of being ill and went home to rest on his couch. He died later that day." [4.]

Banneker's Almanac.

The Ellicott/Banneker map of Washington.

The city today.

THYME Interactive [click to read] brings you even more of our famous Nanny State Updates and other  news you need in this crucial election year.



Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Church 'Out of the Box' in Waynesboro

Unity in the Park (UP) 2012 Brings People Together

Photo by Kelly Thomas
Photos by Kelly Thomas, Moment of Purpose photography.

Photo by Kelly Thomas

Photo by Kelly Thomas

This past Saturday in Waynesboro four area churches came together to celebrate in a local park. Oak Grove Restoration Ministries, Revolution Church, Saint James Baptist Church and Church on the Hill joined together to provide the community with a wonderful day of activities for all ages.

There were live bands, testimonies and the dance group Relentless added a lively worship experience. Choreographed by 23 year old India Eaves, the dance group included the young and the young at heart!

I had volunteered to help and was assigned to security, but the crowd was so nice that that amounted to floating around and helping out. I blew up some balloons, picked up some litter (there wasn't much) and talked with some really fine people. It was a taste of Heaven, as people from different churches and different backgrounds shared their life in Christ. You could see Imago Dei all around.

A nice picnic lunch was provided, and food for the spirit was offered as well. Pastor Chuck Balsamo shared his testimony and shared clearly how G-d has changed his life. That same Spirit I had seen in the little church in Santa Cruz, Bolivia filled that city park. Lives were changed as people turned to the Lord.

Kelly Thomas of Moment of Purpose Photography took these photos and has graciously shared them here.

Photo by Kelly Thomas

Photo by Kelly Thomas

Monday, June 18, 2012

The Complete Bolivia Journal

Santa Cruz, Her People, and Mission of Hope

A young woman texts under a shop awning in the outer rings of the city.

Bob's Bolivia Journal [click to read].

Trying to find one photograph to represent Santa Cruz, I ultimately settled on the one above. It seems to capture the complex picture of a growing city that is, on the one hand, extremely poor; but seems equally determined to grow into a world metropolis. Riding on a muddy street in the outer rings of the city, we drove by this little brick shop with its simple awning. A well-dressed young woman stood under the awning, seeking shelter from the rain. She had her little keyboard slid open and was texting.

She seemed to embody the spirit of her city's aspirations.

M.P. Möller Opus 6301

Restored Pipe Organ at Old Post Chapel in Arlington


This instrument, built by the Hagerstown organ builder in 1935 is located behind sound openings that are screened. Xaver Wilhelmy restored the organ. I helped and was able to photograph the beauty of this instrument that few people have actually seen.

More Photos [click to view].


Friday, June 15, 2012

THYME Magazine

Citizen Journalism with a Better Flavor

Volume IV, Issue XIV

Illegal Immigrants - 12 Million +!

This week the 'other' weekly news magazine features the cover headline: "We are Americans, Just not Legally." And it is the Illegal that should bother us. Articles like TIME's [1.] regularly paint a picture of poor 'Juan' who can't find work in his own country swimming the border to the land of opportunity. Such stories ignore the complex realities of hosting more than twelve million actual illegals. They are not all innocent victims of economic disparity, and those who would exploit them as a potential voter block ignore the great history and traditions of this great Nation of Nations!

I have a frend in Northern Virginia who has researched the issue in far greater detail than I will elaborate. Her research has shown that schools, public services and hospitals in her own metropolis have been strained to overloading in providing services to non-taxpaying persons who are undocumented. They live in rental properties in groups composed of multiple families and are often associated with gangs such as the infamous Mara Salvatrucha, or MS 13.

So how do these people differ, really, from our own immigrant forefathers? First of all, their illegal status makes them skirt the assimilation process that built the United States. They are aided and abetted by politicians who see them as a way to bolster their constitiuancy. These officials regularly stand in the way of voter identification requirements and pretty much identification requirements for anything. The result is a permanent unassimilated group which gets to participate in the richness of this country without having to join in the culture that produced the richness.

This sits well with those who view the world from an opressed -- opressor worldview. Unfortunately it denys the benefits resulting from a culture of opportunity. It pretty much fosters an entitlement culture from the beginning.

This July 4th, go to the Naturalization Ceremony at Thomas Jefferson's Monticello. There you will see the honor and priviledge of Citizenship bestowed on those who have worked to earn it. That is the path that all who seek the benefits of this great nation should be guided along.

Those who do not wish to pursue the path of citizenship or legal residency should not receive the benefits given to those who have. All immigration reforms need to be achieved within the boundaries of this concept.

Thomas Jefferson's Lawn at the University of Virginia was originally intended to open to the surrounding countryside and the farms of Albemarle County.

'Doing Fine' in the Private Sector:
Barack Obama has said the private sector is doing fine

"Tell that to small business owners; a new survey by Citigroup shows that 23% of small business owners have gone more than a year without pay. The study also says that 54% of them have gone without at least one paycheck; 38% of them said their employees had worked overtime without being compensated; and 18% of them had been unable to make a paycheck for their employees at least once. During recent years, 78% of the owners have taken less profit, 70% have been working more hours, and 69% have used their own funds in order to keep their businesses afloat." -- William Bigelow

William Bigelow Writes More {click to read].

Obama Jobs Program: Helping Illegals Compete [click to read].

Keeping Up in Real-THYME Updates
Visit Us on Facebook for the Latest in News & Opinions

THYME Interactive [click to read] brings you even more of our famous Nanny State Updates and other  news you need in this crucial election year.
New Obama Ad: 'Twisting the Record'
No doubt, by now one of your more Progressive-leaning relatives has thrown this spin on Romney's job record at you. Even Annenberg [click to read] says it distorts the facts.

"The ad states that job creation in Massachusetts “fell” to 47th under Romney. That’s a bit misleading. Massachusetts’ state ranking for job growth went from 50th the year before he took office, to 28th in his final year. It was 47th for the whole of his four-year tenure, but it was improving, not declining, when he left."


Saturday, June 9, 2012

Memo to the President from the Private Sector

Seen Along Interstate 64 in Fishersville, Virginia

I photographed this sign on the side of L.E. Wood Equipment Company in Fishersville, Virginia. Mr. Wood sells heavy construction equipment and has had this message on his building since 2008. Some people may think that the private sector is 'doing fine,' but I'm with Mr. Wood in praying for recovery.

Friday, June 8, 2012

THYME Magazine

Citizen Journalism with a Better Flavor

Volume IV, Issue XXIII

National Day of Blogger Silence

Today THYME stands in solidarity with conservative websites around the country in a national day of blogger silence. We will resume our parody of the 'other' weekly news magazine next week. This is a message to readers as well as to elected officials. Lynn [click to read] writes: Conservative bloggers are being systematically attacked.

Ace of Spades

Erick Erickson

U.S. Senator Requests Investigation of SWATtings; ABC Covers SWATting Story; Ali Akbar is Further Terrorized

ACLJ steps up to defend bloggers targeted over Brett Kimberlin coverage

Bearing Drift explains it here [click to read]. The Write Side of My Brain wrote about it here [click to read].

Today we join other conservative bloggers. Twenty-four hours of blog silence may just be a symbol. It is also a message.

Churchville Ave. & Springhill Rd. Hollyhocks

Flowers Brighten Drive Past Gypsy Hill Park






Every Summer they appear!, remnants of a garden planted long ago that continue to brighten the drive into Staunton along Churchville Avenue. What a great living legacy for a gardener!