Not my Dad's GOP

Senators Mike Mansfield (left) and Dirksen conversing in 1967

My Former Republican Party - The Democrats left my parents. Trump’s GOP has left me.


To see how far it’s fallen, let’s remind ourselves of where it once was.
  1. Immigration: At a 1980 Republican primary debate in Houston, candidates George H.W. Bush and Ronald Reagan were asked whether the children of illegal immigrants should be allowed to attend public schools for free. Mr. Bush said they should. “We’re creating a whole society of really honorable, decent, family-loving people that are in violation of the law,” he lamented. Reagan agreed. Instead of “putting up a fence,” he asked, “why don’t we . . . make it possible for them to come here legally with a work permit, and then, while they’re working and earning here, they pay taxes here.” For good measure, Reagan suggested we should “open the border both ways.” Where, in the populist fervor to build a wall with Mexico and deport millions of human beings, is that Republican Party today?
  2. Trade: “It is the maxim of every prudent master of a family, never to attempt to make at home what it will cost him more to make than to buy,” wrote Adam Smith in 1776. “If a foreign country can supply us with a commodity cheaper than we ourselves can make it, better to buy it of them.” Two centuries later, Milton Friedman noted that trade protectionism “really means exploiting the consumer” by artificially limiting choice and raising prices for the benefit of domestic producers. Adam Smith and Milton Friedman were once canonical conservative figures. Free trade was once a Republican conviction. In one of his final radio addresses as president, Reagan warned “we should beware of the demagogues who are ready to declare a trade war against our friends—weakening our economy, our national security, and the entire free world—all while cynically waving the American flag.” Where, in the tide of Tea Party opposition to the Trans-Pacific Partnership and all those other “disastrous trade deals” that Donald Trump never fails to mention, is that Republican Party today?
  3. Foreign policy: In 1947 Harry Truman asked Arthur Vandenberg, the Republican chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, to support his efforts to shore up the governments in Greece and Turkey against Soviet aggression. Vandenberg agreed, marking his—and the GOP’s—turn from isolationism to internationalism. Since then, six Republican presidents have never wavered in their view that a robust system of treaty alliances such as NATO are critical for defending the international liberal order, or that the U.S. should dissuade faraway allies such as South Korea and Saudi Arabia from seeking nuclear weapons, or that states such as Russia should be kept out of regions such as the Middle East.
Comments: Images: Top, Middle, Others via Google images. Everett Dirksen was a Republican whom I admired: a champion of civil rights, fiscal and social conservative. We need to rediscover and promote conservative ideals!


The rise and fall of the Red Delicious

The Awful Reign of the Red Delicious


At the supermarket near his home in central Virginia, Tom Burford likes to loiter by the display of Red Delicious. He waits until he spots a store manager. Then he picks up one of the glossy apples and, with a flourish, scrapes his fingernail into the wax: T-O-M. “We can’t sell that now,” the manager protests. To which Burford replies, in his soft Piedmont drawl: “That’s my point.” Burford, who is 79 years old, is disinclined to apple destruction. His ancestors scattered apple seeds in the Blue Ridge foothills as far back as 1713, and he grew up with more than 100 types of trees in his backyard orchard. He is the author of Apples of North America, an encyclopedia of heirloom varieties, and travels the country lecturing on horticulture and nursery design. But his preservationist tendencies stop short of the Red Delicious and what he calls the “ramming down the throats of American consumers this disgusting, red, beautiful fruit.”
Why the Red Delicious No Longer Is  (August 5, 2005)


Consider the fate of America's favorite apple. It emerged from an Iowa orchard in 1880 as a round, blushed yellow fruit of surpassing sweetness. But like a figure in a TV makeover show, it was an apple that its handlers could not leave alone. They altered its shape. They made it firmer and more juicy. They made it so it could be stored in hermetically sealed warehouses for 12 months. Along the way, they changed its color and hence its name -- to Red Delicious. The only problem was the American consumer, whose verdict on the made-over apple has become increasingly clear: Of the two words in the Red Delicious name, one can no longer be believed. "They eventually went too far and ended up with apples the public didn't want to eat," said Lee Calhoun, an apple historian and retired orchardist in Pittsboro, N.C.
'Perfect' Apple Pushed Growers Into Debt (NOV. 4, 2000)


Nearly a half-century ago, the farmers in these dun-colored valleys east of the Cascade Mountains set out to create the perfect apple. It would be lipstick red; broad-shouldered; uniform in size, color and crispness; a health food that would look as dazzling as an ornament on a Christmas tree. In time, they refined the Red Delicious apple into an American icon, fit for a teacher's desk, a child's lunch box, a dieter's dash out the door. The growers produced these apples like widgets coming off a factory line -- far more than they could ever sell. And while many people raved about the apples, other consumers complained that the fruit did not taste like the original Red Delicious. Losses piled up. And now the bill has come due. Last month, Congress approved and President Clinton signed the biggest bailout in the history of the apple industry, after the government reported that apple growers had lost $760 million in the last three years. But while apple farmers blame their woes on a variety of troubles -- unfair competition with foreign growers, oversupply, low prices paid by wholesalers -- many of them now talk openly about their own role in the collapse of one of the last sectors of American agriculture still dominated by family farms.
Comment: We like 'em. The U of Minnesota developed Honey Crisp is better but per the wife $ 4 per pound! Image source. Below looks like a Red Delicious. Source

J. Alec Motyer on the continuity between Old Testament and New Testament Saints

When J. Alec Motyer was questioned about the relationship of Old Testament Israel to the church, after saying something about the discontinuities, he insisted that we are all one people of God. Then he asked us to imagine how the Israelites under Moses would have given their ‘testimony’ to someone who had asked for it. They would have said something like this:

We were in a foreign land, in bondage, under the sentence of death. But our mediator – the one who stands between us and God – came to us with the promise of deliverance. We trusted in the promises of God, took shelter under the blood of the lamb, and he lead us out. Now we are on the way to the Promised Land. We are not there yet, of course, but we have the law to guide us, and through blood sacrifice we also have his presence in our midst. So he will stay with us until we get to our true country, our everlasting home.

Then Dr Motyer concluded: ‘Now think about it. A Christian today could say the same thing, almost word for word.’

Source: A Christian's Pocket Guide to Loving The Old Testament: One Book, One God, One Story, forward by Tim Keller, p x. Dr Motyer passed into glory this August. A tribute here.


The Senate Races

WSJ: The Senate Races to Watch

The 270toWin interactive map

Comments: Not predicting more than these: McCain in AZ & Rubio in FL

The GOP Hydra after the Trump Debacle

The Three-Headed GOP After Trump - Today’s Republicans are—like Caesar’s Gaul—divided into three distinct parts

  1. Establishment conservatives reflect the interests of corporate America. They favor free trade, immigration reform, and well-targeted public investment. They are broadly internationalist and mostly support the treaties and institutions through which the United States exercises global influence. They believe in climate change and can live with reasonable measures to abate it. They want corporate tax reform, but not at the expense of provisions in the current code that benefit their economic sectors. They would like individual tax reform but already can use the current code to minimize their effective tax rate. They believe in “entitlement reform” but would accept revenue increases along with it—the ever-elusive “grand bargain” at the heart of blue-ribbon commissions.
  2. Second come the small-town, small-government conservatives who channel the anxieties and antipathies of the National Federation of Independent Business and whose sentiments pervade the Paul Ryan-House Republican manifesto, “A Better Way.” They believe—passionately—that government is the principal obstacle to growth. They insist on major tax cuts, especially in the individual code through which their unincorporated businesses are taxed, and fervently reject any new taxes. They favor reductions in domestic spending (especially welfare), structural changes in Medicare and Medicaid, and an all-out assault on the regulatory state. Compared to their corporate brethren, their outlook is more nationalist. They mostly depend on the domestic market rather than exports and frown on institutions such as the Export-Import Bank, which they regard as corporate welfare. They are not invited to meetings at Davos.
  3. And lastly, we reach the populist conservatives, many of them working class, about whom so much has been written in this election cycle. They mistrust all large institutions, especially the federal government, but they do not have an ideological preference for smaller government. They depend on costly programs such as Social Security, Medicare, and Disability Insurance and stand to benefit from the expanded infrastructure investments that Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton have proposed. They see large corporations as indifferent, even hostile, to their interests and concerns. They view the world outside the United States more as a threat than an opportunity. So they oppose trade agreements as well as large immigration flows and are suspicious of the obligations that alliances such as NATO impose on the U.S. Like Mr. Trump, they regard such arrangements, on balance, as burdens rather than benefits. For them, “America First” is more than a slogan; it is a demand. ...
  4. The religious right – who sincerely oppose abortion and homosexuality.
  5. Plus, what about another set of culture warriors – the so-called "alt-right", the Breitbart gang, who reek of racial politics, white nationalism, and conspiratorial craziness? This group used to be ignored, but emerged when Trump hired Steve Bannon and Mike Roman. Having broken into the light of the mainstream media, they are unlikely to disappear soon.
Comment: 4 and 5 are from the comment section. I'm a blend of 1,2 & 4. As to the Trump Debacle: wait 15 days (see my prediction). My take is that the Alt-Right is toxic to the GOP



The Cult of Bottled Water

How the business of bottled water went mad


The global bottled water industry is in one of those strange and energetic boom phases where every week, it seems, a new product finds its way on to the shelves. Not just another bland still or sparkling, but some entirely new definition of the element. It is a case of capitalism at its most hyperactive and brazenly inventive: take a freely available substance, dress it up in countless different costumes and then sell it as something new and capable of transforming body, mind, soul. Water is no longer simply water – it has become a commercial blank slate, a word on to which any possible ingredient or fantastical, life-enhancing promise can be attached.

And it’s working. Over the past two decades, bottled water has become the fastest-growing drinks market in the world. The global market was valued at $157bn in 2013, and is expected to reach $280bn by 2020.

... Of water: a substance that, in developed countries, can be drunk for free from a tap without fear of contracting cholera.

...or a substance that falls out of the sky and springs from the earth of its own accord, water has always had an extraordinary commercial lure.

According to James Salzman, the author of Drinking Water: A History, monks at holy wells produced special water flasks for pilgrims to take away as proof of their visit – a medieval example of the power of branding. For centuries, wealthy Europeans travelled to spa towns to sample the water in a bid to cure specific ailments. The spa visit was a signal of health, but also of status: somewhere to be seen, an association of liquid and individual that broadcasted social elevation – a distant precursor to Kim Kardashian clutching a bottle of Fiji, if you like.

In 1740, the first commercial British bottled water was launched in Harrogate. By 1914 Harrogate Spring was, according to its website, the largest exporter of bottled water in the country, “proudly keeping the troops hydrated from England to Bombay”.

In the early 20th century, however, a water revolution nearly killed the nascent business. After early attempts in Germany and Belgium to chlorinate municipal drinking water, a typhoid epidemic in Lincoln in 1905 prompted the public health crusader Alexander Cruickshank Houston to try out the first extended chlorination of a public water supply. His experiment worked, and soon, chlorination of municipal water had spread around the world. In 1908, Jersey City became the first US city to use full-scale water chlorination, and the practice quickly spread across the country.

The bottled water industry almost collapsed as a result. In the past, buying clean water had been a necessity for the rich (the poor simply endured centuries of bad drinking water, and often died from the experience). Now it was freely available to all. Why would you continue to spend money on something that now came, miraculously, out of a tap in your kitchen?

The answer arrived in 1977, in the form of what must be one of history’s greatest pieces of television advertising narration. “Deep below the plains of southern France,” rumbled Orson Welles in a voice that sounded as if it were bubbling up from some unreachable subterranean cave, “in a mysterious process begun millions of years ago, Nature herself adds life to the icy waters of a single spring: Perrier.” As viewers watched the water descend into a glass, and admired the glistening green bottle, marketing history was made. The advert was part of a $5m campaign across America – the largest ever for a bottled water – and proved a major success. From 1975 to 1978, Perrier sales in the US increased from 2.5m bottles to more than 75m bottles.
Comment: CanO advertisement above is a screen snap of their website. We bottle our own (from our own tap) using Klean Kanteens.  See Minneapolis: Our water beats bottled water, In Praise of Tap Water; Bottled Tap Water

Not my Dad's AT&T

AT&T Is in Advanced Talks to Acquire Time Warner - Deal valuing Time Warner at more than $80 billion could happen as early as this weekend


AT&T Inc. is nearing an agreement to buy Time Warner Inc., a deal that would set a milestone in the converging media and telecommunications sectors and unleash a far-reaching reordering of the industry as rivals are spurred to attempt their own deals.

A deal, which could happen as early as this weekend, would unite AT&T’s wireless, broadband and satellite TV brands with Time Warner’s entertainment empire, which includes cable networks such as TNT, TBS, CNN, the prized HBO channel, and the Warner Bros. film and TV studio.

Talks toward a cash-and-stock purchase have come together quickly and could stall or fall through, said people familiar with the matter. The companies are negotiating a deal that would value Time Warner at between $105 and $110 a share, or more than $80 billion, people familiar with the discussions said.

It is possible other bidders could emerge, including traditional media conglomerates or technology companies. Apple Inc. approached Time Warner about a merger a few months ago and while those talks are no longer active, Apple continues to monitor the situation, a person familiar with the situation said. If a Time Warner sale occurs that could encourage other telecom and media companies to pursue their own combinations.
Comment: Skeptical of value. Dad joined A.T.&T. before WWII and retired in the early 80's with over 40 years of service. Recently we inherited some T stock. Related images below:


Evan McMullin takes the lead in latest Utah presidential poll

Evan McMullin takes the lead in latest Utah presidential poll


Evan McMullin, the Provo-born independent, has seized his first lead in Utah's fluid presidential race. The Emerson College poll, released Wednesday, found McMullin with 31 percent, followed by Republican Donald Trump at 27 percent and Democrat Hillary Clinton at 24 percent. The last 20 polls conducted in Utah had Trump either ahead or in a tie. In this survey, McMullin's advantage is at the edge of the 3.9 percent margin of error. "We are very excited. We are humbled by the support," McMullin said about the poll moments after accepting the endorsements of some Republican state lawmakers. "We believe this momentum will spill over into neighboring states both in advance of the election and beyond. We are building a new conservative movement and we believe it begins here."
Comment: I will need to update my Electoral Vote Map

The Path to Permanent US Residency

Bringing Spouses to Live in the United States as Permanent Residents


My FANG Missed Opportunity

Netflix' Earnings Show Its Giant Original Content Bet Is Paying Off in a Big Way


In its third-quarter report, Netflix disclosed its streaming subscriber base grew by 3.57 million sequentially to 86.7 million (83.28 million paid, the rest on free trials), easily topping guidance for 2.3 million net subscriber adds. In addition, Netflix guided for 5.2 million net adds in the fourth quarter -- 1.45 million in the U.S., 3.75 million elsewhere. It's all quite the change of pace from July, when Netflix plunged due to disappointing second-quarter subscriber adds and third-quarter guidance.
Comment: Perhaps readers will remember I was going to invest $ 2,210 back on February 24th. Well I did not; See also Netflix surges after hours



See Jim Cramer renames FANG as FAAA: Your key to long-term growth

Move over FANG, Jim Cramer has officially crowned FAAA as the new acronym for red-hot growth plays in the market. Cramer created the acronym FANG for Facebook, Amazon, Netflix and Google, now under the parent name of Alphabet. The new abbreviation of FAAA represents Facebook, Alibaba, Alphabet and Amazon. "We have to talk about how these FAAA stocks got their groove back in order to figure out what it means for them going forward as we head into the fourth quarter," the "Mad Money" host said. On Tuesday, JPMorgan raised its 2017 year-end price targets for FANG stocks, noting that investors have returned to the group in search of growth. While many investors may question why they should care about 2017 year-end targets when it's not even the end of 2016 yet, Cramer clarified why it's important for those seeking growth. "Real growth investors don't particularly care about this year's numbers because classic high-growth stocks always look expensive on the near-term estimates. But if things go right, they will turn out to be very cheap once we get to the out-years," Cramer said.

Trump could win by losing: Trump.TV

Trump Camp Explored Possible Trump TV Venture - The primary business model explored was a subscription online video service


People close to Donald Trump have made overtures to media executives in recent months about the possibility of launching a media venture to capitalize on the Republican presidential candidate’s appeal, people familiar with the matter say.

Jared Kushner, Mr. Trump’s son-in-law who is also a close adviser to the GOP nominee, reached out to prominent investment banker Aryeh Bourkoff within the past few months to discuss the prospect of creating such a business after the election, the people said.

Mr. Kushner, a scion of a real-estate family with his own holdings in both real estate and media, and Mr. Bourkoff, the chief executive of LionTree Advisors LLC, a boutique investment bank known for its work on big media deals, are friends. They met for a cup of coffee, but Mr. Bourkoff wasn’t interested and didn’t pursue the project, the people said.

An adviser to Mr. Trump’s campaign said the topic hasn’t been discussed. “Mr. Trump is only focused on the issues and winning the election on Nov. 8,” the adviser said.

The primary business model that was being explored was a subscription online video service similar to Glenn Beck’s GBTV, which later became TheBlaze, according to the people familiar with the matter. It might be possible to use such a venture as a launchpad for a cable-TV channel.
Comment: As for his campaign for President ...

2016 Electoral Prediction


Rebutting Trump's "large scale voter fraud"

Clinton camp pushes into reliable GOP states


In a Monday morning blitz of Tweets, Trump lashed out at Republicans who have tried to tone down his rhetoric, calling his own party's leaders "so naive" and claiming without evidence that large-scale voter fraud is real.

"Of course there is large scale voter fraud happening on and before election day. Why do Republican leaders deny what is going on? So naive!" he tweeted Monday. [source]

There is no evidence to back up Trump's claim of widespread voter fraud. A study by a Loyola Law School professor found that out of 1 billion votes cast in all American elections between 2000 and 2014, there were only 31 known cases of impersonation fraud.

The tweet was aimed at Republican leaders who in recent days have indirectly tried to soften Trump's claim. Both House Speaker Paul Ryan and Trump's running mate, Mike Pence, expressed confidence in the voting system.

Pence declared Sunday the ticket will "absolutely accept the results of the election." Republicans have suggested Trump's claims of a "rigged" election are in response to what he says is biased media reporting on the accusations of sexual assault and misconduct against him. The candidate continued to defend himself on that front Monday, saying the accusations are "phoney" and "pushed big time by press."
Comment: Seriously, Trump is an unhinged, illogical loser.

Update: Increasingly isolated Trump preaches election fraud, conspiracy theories and likes the echo
He is preaching to the converted. He is lashing out at anyone who is not completely loyal. He is detaching himself from and delegitimizing the institutions of American political life. And he is proclaiming conspiracies everywhere — in polls (rigged), in debate moderators (biased) and in the election itself (soon to be stolen). ... Departing from the norms of American democracy, Trump appears to be laying the foundation to contest the results, should he lose, and delegitimize a Clinton presidency in the minds of his followers.

Blockbuster - 1999

Source Quote: "Investor concern over the threat of new technologies is overstated." — Blockbuster analyst report, 1999

Didn't Exist in 2000

  • Source
  • YouTube was gobbled up by Google
  • Skype now a part of Microsoft
  • Facebook one of the gang of four FANG stocks
  • No one seems to want to buy Twitter

Health update - good report

Comment: The above image of a 1900 era x-ray machine has nothing to do with this update other than I find it interesting. Image source. I had both blood work and a CT scan last week. And we met with the urologist today. Details:
  • No change in the PSA levels from 6 weeks ago
  • The enlarged lymph node detected in imaging 3 months ago decreased in size
  • Next round of blood work and next appointment in 3 months (January 16th)
  • Radiation is being considered to suppress cancer cells.
  • Trusting the Lord, "Therefore let those who suffer according to the will of God commit their souls to Him in doing good, as to a faithful Creator" (1 Peter 4:19)
Prayers appreciated. Below is "Radiactive Man". Source


Jesus and the Sabbath Controversies

  • We used the harmony of the Gospels in the Zondervan NIV Study Bible pages 2200-2206
  • The NKJV is citied
  • Select images for larger

Remembering Dennis Byrd

Former New York Jets Defensive Lineman Dennis Byrd Killed in Car Accident - Byrd became inspiration to team after he relied on faith, family to recover from injury in 1992


Dennis Byrd, the former NFL defensive lineman whose career was ended by neck injury, was killed Saturday in a car accident. He was 51.

Byrd died in a two-vehicle collision on Oklahoma 88 north of Claremore, the Oklahoma Highway Patrol said. He starred at the University of Tulsa before playing for the New York Jets.

“We extend our sincere condolences to Dennis’s wife, Angela, their children and the entire Byrd family,” said Dr. Derrick Gragg, Tulsa’s athletic director. “Dennis exemplified true determination, tremendous heart and humility throughout his life. He had a tremendous playing career at TU and professionally with the New York Jets. He overcame great personal adversity after a life-altering injury on the football field. We know that Dennis touched numerous lives and will be missed by many.”

The crash happened around 11:15 a.m. between Oologah and Claremore, the highway patrol said. A 17-year-old Claremore driver in a 2000 Ford Explorer northbound on Oklahoma 88 veered into the oncoming lane, striking the 2004 Hummer H2 that Byrd was driving, the highway patrol said.

Byrd was pronounced dead at the scene, and the 17-year-old driver and a 12-year-old passenger in Byrd’s vehicle were taken to St. Francis Hospital in Tulsa, where they were in critical condition.

Byrd was midway through his fourth NFL season when he was briefly paralyzed during a game on Nov. 29, 1992, against Kansas City. He broke his neck after slamming headfirst into the chest of Jets teammate Scott Mersereau as Chiefs quarterback David Krieg stepped forward to avoid a sack.

The impact broke the C-5 vertebra in Byrd’s neck, leaving him unable to walk for a few weeks. After a vigorous rehabilitation, Byrd returned to the Meadowlands for the Jets’ opening game the following season and walked to midfield as an honorary captain.

He never fully recovered from the injury, walking with some difficulty and going through continuous rehabilitation during the years since. But Byrd, a devout Christian, wrote a book in 1993 called “Rise and Walk,” which detailed how he relied on his faith and family to push through his injury to recover and serve an inspiration to others who went through similar situations.

Byrd’s story was later made into a made-for-TV movie, with actor-director Peter Berg playing him.
Comment: An inspiration to me. Image below is screen snap of WSJ article

More on Dennis Byrd

Byrd's Spine Is Stabilized in 7 Hours of Surgery - Published: December 3, 1992
A team of six surgeons worked for seven hours at Lenox Hill Hospital in Manhattan today to successfully stabilize the fractured fifth cervical vertebra in the neck of Jets defensive end Dennis Byrd. But it could be as long as two years before Byrd will know if he will regain the use of his paralyzed legs, according to Dr. Elliott Hershman, the team's orthopedist. "The goal of the surgery -- to stabilize the spine -- was achieved," said Hershman, who was not part of the team that operated on Byrd. "The long-term prognosis has not changed. The overall amount of improvement that may occur will take some time to determine." Can't Flex Fingers Byrd, who fractured the vertebra in a collison with teammate Scott Mersereau in the Kansas City game last Sunday, still has no use of his legs, although he can sense when he is touched. He has partial use of his arms, but can't flex his fingers.
Byrd recovery more than just a physical one - May 16, 1993
Byrd had since made a remarkable recovery. He's now walking with hesitant steps. His mental attitude is even more remarkable. Instead of being bitter, Byrd, a devout Christian, sees his accident as a chance to help others. "I can touch more lives than I ever could have as a football player," he said last week during a speech to the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. He now realizes how wrong he was to feel so much despair on the field. "Six-foot-5, 277 pounds. This is how I identified Dennis Byrd. This is what I thought made me the love of my wife. This is what I thought made me the respected father of my daughter. This is what I thought people looked to when they saw Dennis Byrd. "Understand what this tragedy did to me. I was stripped of what I thought was my manhood. I was stripped of my physical prowess, of my speed and my strength and my physical ability. All this was gone. Looking back now, I was so completely wrong. Out of this lesson, I learned more about myself and about my God than I could have learned in a lifetime," he said.
Miracle? Byrd is the word - Friday, November 29, 2002
Recovery from spinal cord injuries is, however, gradual, and Byrd's is incomplete. Now 36, he still walks with great difficulty, lifting his legs like a man carrying concrete blocks on his shoulders. He estimates he has regained only about 20 percent of the strength and muscle capacity he had before the injury, which cut short his promising pro career 12 games into his fourth season.

But he's also able to hunt and fish and enjoy the ranch he purchased in Nowata County four years ago. And he carries a song in his heart. As miraculous as any aspect of his injury and partial recovery are his attitudes toward them. He seems never to dwell on the things he has lost, and talks constantly about the things God has given him.

"The greatest thing about Dennis is how he has chosen to carry himself in spite of all the physical limitations. I've never seen him have a down day," says Willie George, a good friend and also Byrd's pastor and founder of the enormous Tulsa-based Church on the Move. "I've worked with many people who had difficulties like the one Dennis had to overcome," George says. "Most of them recovered physically, but almost all of them carried emotional scars from their experiences that lingered for years. Dennis has recovered emotionally, better than anyone I've ever known."

Byrd attributes that plainly to the work of God in his life. He credits his parents with instilling the spiritual basis that sustained him through his darkest moments. Dan and Helen Byrd were raised in the traditions of the Pentecostal faith and passed it on to their five children. Daily prayer was common for Byrd, who won All-State football honors during his senior year at Mustang High School when he set a state record by making 39 sacks.

But he says his relationship with God was never as deep as it became on the day he was left with a lifeless shell for a body and had no one else he could count on for a way out. His prayer today remains what it was in the beginning. "My personal belief is that God is going to use me to be a continued witness," he says. "How he does that, I don't know. But what I have to do is just be faithful and continue to trust in him and trust in his word and claim his word in my life."

Byrd maintained a furious pace during the first several years of his recovery, speaking at Fellowship of Christian Athletes functions and being honored by groups all over the country. He worked an abbreviated gig as an NFL analyst for CBS, dabbled briefly in the oil industry, started a foundation with his wife to fund spinal cord research and even coached high school football on a volunteer basis during the 1995 season at Owasso, where he and his family have resided for the past dozen years. Dave Rader, who coached him both as an assistant and one year as head coach at TU, remembers Byrd's return as keynote speaker for the Tulsa-area FCA banquet at the Mabee Center in 1993 as an unforgettable experience. "He walked up the stairs to the podium on his own power. I can still see him climbing those steps," Rader said. "It was a tremendous night. There's probably still a tape of that somwhere. There's no telling how many FCA Huddle groups watched the video, all across the country."

For the last several years, Byrd has slowed down his life to a manageable pace. He closed down his foundation because he says, "the mere paperwork required to maintain a 501(C)(3) status was becoming a full-time, 9-to-5 job every day of the week." He has turned inward to his family and guards his privacy jealously. "I hate telling people, 'No,' but for the health of my family, I've had to do it. They are the physical priority in my life. If I'm off taking care of other people's children and letting my own children and family fall apart, that's a very poor leadership model," he says. "I have to first lead my wife and lead my children. Everything else comes after that. That's where I'm at and it shows in my family life. I have a tremendous relationship with my wife and I have an incredible relationship with my children. I'm thankful for that."

But Byrd still enjoys sharing his testimony. He loves children and loves talking to them about life and football. During the past two years, he's done his primary speaking through Church on the Move's oneighty youth ministry, as part of a program George calls "football squad nights." Various local high school football teams are bused to the church in East Tulsa for a night of food and fun. Byrd shows a highlight of his football career and then speaks briefly, but George says the best moment is when he drags his chair into a circle in the middle of the room and permits the young athletes to ask him any question they want to ask. At those moments, Byrd wouldn't be anywhere else. "I love kids, and I love football," he says.