Archive for the ‘Hatebusters 2002’ Category

Planting Seeds in the Building of God’s House

May 15, 2008

CALLING ALL FOLLOWERS OF JESUS CHRIST
to
BARKER MEMORIAL CATHEDRAL OF PRAISE
11401 E. 47th St.
Kansas City, MO
Sunday, November 3
from 2-4 PM
For Fellowship and
PLANTING SEEDS IN THE BUILDING OF GOD’S HOUSE

Elder John Mark Johnson, Pastor of Barker Memorial Cathedral of Praise and Maxine “Queen Mother” McFarlane, a member of Barker Memorial and Ed Chasteen, Founder of HateBusters, invite members of all churches in Greater Kansas City to join us for fellowship and celebration. Stirring music, inspiring words and Christian fellowship will lift us together.

Join us on Sunday afternoon, November 3 at Queen Mother’s church for a time of singing, praying, talking, laughing and eating. Bring others from your church. Meet the faithful from other churches across the Greater Kansas City community. We will all be inspired and encouraged. Our circle of friends will be enlarged. Our sense of hope will grow. The network of people available to help us will expand.

PLEASE COME
Call Queen Mother at 816-333-1884
or Ed Chasteen at 816-803-8371
or email: hatebuster@aol.com

HateBusters
Box 442
Liberty, MO 64069
Phone: 816-803-8371
e-mail: hatebuster@aol.com

No Boundaries On Our Soul!

Web Site Development and Service provided by TakeCareOfMyWebSite.com.
Copyright (c) 2000-2008 http://www.hatebusters.com and TakeCareOfMyWebSite.com.
All rights reserved.

September 2002 Human Family Reunion

May 15, 2008

by Ed Chasteen

From around the world and across the country good people come to Greater Kansas City to make it their home. Drawn to the Heart of America by our hospitality, they come with their courage and their wonderful ways. Together each day we then move toward a full-fledged demonstration of all that is envisioned in those noble documents that gave birth to us as a nation. When the world sees that that we turn to each other and draw together as one, drawing strength and inspiration from our many languages and faiths and colors and foods and styles of dress and points of view, then the world will know beyond doubt that we are indivisible and invincible.

To our Human Family Reunion Greater Kansas City has come tonight. Red and yellow, black, brown and white, Christian, Buddhist and Jew, Hindu, Baha’i and Muslim too-an all American sight. We have all brought our favorite foods. We are wearing something comfortable. We have come to visit with our neighbors. We have come also to honor some of those people and places that work every day of the year to bring us together and make us strong. HateBusters this night bestows the DQ Award upon these noble organizations. When Don Quixote’s friends tell him that wickedness wears thick armor, he replies-“And for that you would have me surrender? Nay, the enchanter may confuse the outcome ten thousand times. Still must a man arise and again do battle, for the effort is sublime.”

These good places do battle with all the dark forces that would turn us against one another. They dream The Impossible Dream. They fight the unbeatable foe. They run where the brave dare not go. They try though they’re weary, to reach the unreachable star. They live with their heart striving upward, to a far, unattainable sky. Our honorees-in alphabetical order-are Catholic Charities, Christ Church Unity, Center for Islamic Education in North America, CRES, Don Bosco Center, Heart of America Indian Center, International Relations Council and Jewish Community Relations Bureau.

The heart of the nation beats as we enter. Native-American Gayl Edmunds stands in the doorway and sounds his drum in a steady beat. Pastor Richard Maraj welcomes us to Christ Church Unity, his church and our host for tonight. Then comes David Nelson, Associate Minister of CRES to recognize in words the sacred in all life. The round tables for six where we sit make it easy for us all to see and hear one another. The delightful aromas that fill the room remind us at once of home and of mysterious places we have gone on vacation and seen in pictures.

In our turn we move from our individual tables to the long serving table near the kitchen. As we fill our plates, we feast our eyes on the eclectic assortment of enticing dishes spread before us. We exchange pleasantries with those before and behind and across the table from us. With laden plates we navigate our way back to our table, nodding and speaking to those at tables near us. For the ensuing hour the room is filled with a bewitching assortment of conversations that meld and merge into a babble of soothing sounds that could not be deciphered by an objective ear, but that to participants in the dozens of conversations is as soothing as a child’s blanket.

With dinner over, I come to the mike to deliver a three-minute history of HateBusters. I tell how we started at William Jewell College in 1988 when a klansman was elected to the Louisiana Legislature and my Race Relations class decided we should go there to help the state redeem itself. How we became a 501 C-3 non-profit in 1995 and I left the college to do it full time. How we help people who have been hurt because someone hates them. How we never go unless we’re invited and never say no when asked to help.

Brother John comes now with his boom box and his spirited directing to lead us in our HateBusters theme song. Jos Linn and Lance Veneable were William Jewell students and original HateBusters. They morphed Ghostbusters into HateBusters. John Anderson is a professional storyteller and our official song leader. We are soon all on our feet and shouting “HateBusters” to his “Who you gonna call?”
Then we turn our attention to the eight organizations we have come to honor with HateBusters Don Quixote Award. Early in Man of LaMancha, Don Quixote comes upon an old house he mistakes for a castle. Inside he spies a woman he thinks is the most beautiful he has ever seen. “My lady, what is your name?” “Off your knees, you fool. My name is Aldonza, and I’m no lady.” “No, my lady, your name is not Aldonza. Your name is Dulcinia.” She curses him. He leaves. But several times in the story he returns, each time treating her as a lady and calling her Dulcinia. Near the end of the story, Don Quixote is dying. The woman learns of it. She goes to him, a great distance away. She takes his hand. “My lord,” she says. He is delirious and doesn’t know her. “Who is it?” He asks. “You know who I am. You called me by name and changed my life.” “No, my lady, who is it?” And she says, “My name is . . . Dulcinia.

Now comes Steve Weitkamp, Director of Immigrant and Refugee Services for Catholic Charities, to receive their Don Quixote Award. Catholic Charities understands that wickedness in our world wears thick armor. People are driven from their home countries by war and pestilence and mindless violence. The immigrant and refugee services provided by Catholic Charities to these wandering souls does much to ease their pain and make them welcome. By making immigrants and refugees at home in America, Catholic Charities breathes life into those words from our Declaration of Independence, our Constitution and our Holy Scriptures. Those words that call us to our higher selves and make possible our life together in community.

Catholic Charities knows we live in an Aldonza world, but it treats the world’s victims as Dulcinia. By its work, Catholic Charities helps these homeless ones who are coming to America. Helps them to discover their own worth and helps America value the strengths and talents which they bring. The good work done by Catholic Charities inspires and encourages all of us to open our hearts and minds and to welcome as neighbors those who have been driven from the country of their birth. By adopting them we become a stronger national family.
An emergency developed today and Tanweer Papa, Director of the Center for Islamic Education in North America is not able to be here as he planned. I will go sometime soon to the Center to present their award. The Center for Islamic Education in North America understands that wickedness wears thick armor. Religious and cultural misunderstanding and distrust threaten to pull our world apart. CIENA works tirelessly to aid Islamic-Americans in their pursuit of a sound education. CIENA works equally hard to help Americans of other faiths and cultural traditions to understand and interact with their Muslim neighbors. CIENA is a resource of inestimable value in helping all citizens of Greater Kansas City live together as neighbors in peace and prosperity.
The Center for Islamic Education in North America knows we live in an Aldonza world, but it treats the world as Dulcinia. By its work, CIENA helps all of us to live above and beyond the ordinary limits of small hearts and minds, making it possible for us to become friends and neighbors.

The good work done by The Center for Islamic Education in North America inspires and encourages all of us to open our hearts and minds and to welcome as neighbors those of other faiths and traditions. CIENA helps us to become a stronger national family.

Richard Maraj is a native of Trinidad. He comes now to speak to us. As pastor of Christ Church Unity he welcomes all people. Christ Church Unity understands that wickedness in our world wears thick armor. The humanity and dignity of each individual person is ignored and attacked. Minorities are mistreated and overlooked. Wide gulfs separate us by color and creed and culture. We learn to be afraid and suspicious and defensive.

Christ Church Unity knows we live in an Aldonza world, but it treats everyone as Dulcinia, as a wondrous soul with infinite capacities for goodness and greatness. Christ Church Unity welcomes all people and values all people and loves all people. The compassionate work done by Christ Church Unity inspires and encourages all of us to open our hearts and minds and to welcome as friends those who have been hurt and disappointed by life.

On behalf of Vern Barnet, founder of CRES, David Nelson accepts their award. The Center for Religious Experience and Study understands that wickedness wears thick armor. Religious and cultural misunderstanding and distrust threaten to pull our world apart. CRES works tirelessly to aid-Greater Kansas Citians of all faiths in their efforts to understand and appreciate one another. CRES is a resource of inestimable value in helping all citizens of Greater Kansas City live together as neighbors in peace and prosperity.

CRES knows we live in an Aldonza world, but it treats the world as Dulcinia. By its work, CRES helps all of us to live above and beyond the ordinary limits of small hearts and minds, making it possible for us to become friends and neighbors. The good work done by CRES inspires and encourages all of us to open our hearts and minds and to welcome as neighbors those of other faiths and traditions. CRES helps us to become a stronger metropolitan family.

Mary Brown is Director of Don Bosco’s Refugee Resettlement Program. She comes to the mike to accept their award and to talk to us for the three minutes every speaker is granted. Drawing our inspiration from President Lincoln’s three minute address at Gettysburg, we have since our first Human Family Reunion in 1976 asked all speakers to plan for three minutes. Don Bosco Center understands that wickedness in our world wears thick armor. People are driven from their home countries by war and pestilence and mindless violence. The immigrant and refugee services provided by Don Bosco to these wandering souls does much to ease their pain and make them welcome. By making immigrants and refugees at home in America, Don Bosco breathes life into those words from our Declaration of Independence, our Constitution and our Holy Scriptures. Those words that call us to our higher selves and make possible our life together in community.

Don Bosco knows we live in an Aldonza world, but it treats the world’s victims as Dulcinia. By its work, Don Bosco helps these homeless ones who are coming to America. Helps them to discover their own worth and helps America value the strengths and talents which they bring. The good work done by Don Bosco inspires and encourages all of us to open our hearts and minds and to welcome as neighbors those who have been driven from the country of their birth. By adopting them we become a stronger national family.

Justin Orr comes. Justin is Director of the Heart of America Indian Center. The Heart of America Indian Center understands that wickedness in our world wears thick armor. Native-Americans have been badly treated. Promises made to them have been broken. Their way of life has been misunderstood and misrepresented.

The Heart of America Indian Center knows we live in an Aldonza world, but it treats its victims as Dulcinia. The thousands of Native-Americans drawn to Kansas City are helped by The Heart of America Indian Center to find work and housing and assistance. Cultural traditions are kept alive by the Center.

The good work done by The Heart of America Indian Center inspires and encourages all of us to open our hearts and minds and to welcome as neighbors those who have come to Greater Kansas City to find a better life. By welcoming them we become a stronger community.

Alice Edson Grady is Executive Director of the International Relations Council She comes now. The International Relations Council understands that wickedness wears thick armor. Knowing the heavy toll on our hearts and minds imposed by ignorance and apathy, the IRC extends every effort to bring world leaders to Greater Kansas City so that we might all know and understand one another. By bringing world policy makers to inform us so that we might more knowingly interpret and influence our country, the IRC breathes life into those words from our Declaration of Independence, our Constitution and our Holy Scriptures. Those words that call us to our higher selves and make possible our life together in local, national and world community.

The International Relations Council knows we live in an Aldonza world, but it treats the world as Dulcinia. By its work, the IRC helps all of us to glimpse the world as it should be while living in the world that is. The good work done by The International Relations Council inspires and encourages all of us to open our hearts and minds and to welcome new ways of seeing and living in this world.

Marvin Szneler is Director of the Jewish Community Relations Bureau. He comes now. The Jewish Community Relations Bureau understands that wickedness wears thick armor. Religious and cultural misunderstanding and distrust threaten to pull our world apart. JCRB never tires in its unending struggle to help Greater Kansas Citians of other faiths understand how our life together appears to the Jewish community. Those inevitable conflicts that arise when people of different faiths and traditions live together are addressed openly by the Jewish Community Relations Bureau, giving us all the opportunity to revisit those ideals in our Constitution and our Holy Scriptures that spell out for us how we should live together.

The Jewish Community Relations Bureau knows we live in an Aldonza world, but it treats the world as Dulcinia. By its work, JCRB helps all of us to live above and beyond the ordinary limits of small hearts and minds, making it possible for us to become friends and neighbors. The good work done by The Jewish Community Relations Bureau inspires and encourages all of us to open our hearts and minds and to welcome as neighbors those of other faiths and traditions. JCRB helps us to become a stronger national family.

As always at the conclusion of our Human Family Reunions, Mom “Queen Mother” McFarlane comes to lead us in her signature rendition of the rousing and inspiring, “Pass It On.”.She glides around the room giving and getting hugs as she sings. Then she has us on our feet and in a giant circle filling the room. With hands joined, we sing with her. Then lift our hands high as the song ends and our Camelot moment together ends.

“Let it never be forgot, that once there was a spot, for one brief shining moment, known as Camelot. Having come here tonight for this brief time, strangers to one another when we arrived, we now are eager to get back to our homes and duties in far flung regions of Greater Kansas City, yet reluctant to leave this place where we have been reminded of Don Quixote’s observation that “Too much sanity may be madness, and the greatest madness of all may be to see the world as it is and not as it should be. Having seen it as it should be for this too brief time, we now go back to the world as it is. But this reminder of what could be goes with us. Will others notice in the coming days, weeks and months?

HateBusters
Box 442
Liberty, MO 64069
Phone: 816-803-8371
e-mail: hatebuster@aol.com

No Boundaries On Our Soul!

Web Site Development and Service provided by TakeCareOfMyWebSite.com.
Copyright (c) 2000-2008 http://www.hatebusters.com and TakeCareOfMyWebSite.com.
All rights reserved.

Flat Stanley Had No Flat

May 15, 2008

A Story of the 2002 MS-150

By Ed Chasteen

Six flats and two blowouts in the two weeks leading up to the MS-150! I’ve gone years without a flat. I have had only one blowout in the previous 15 years. I once rode from Georgia to Oregon without a flat. Now from Liberty to Excelsior Springs and Lawson flats and blowouts are coming in bunches. Biscari Brother’s Bicycles to the rescue. I am practically a daily visitor. Dave Biscari drops whatever he is doing to get me immediately back on the road. By Thursday before the Saturday when the MS-150 is to begin, I have new tires and new tubes front and rear.

I’m thinking that Don Geilker’s Law of Short Intervals can not possibly apply. Don is Professor of Physics at William Jewell College where we were colleagues for 30 years. Don tells me that the most likely time for a rare event to occur is soon after it just happened. This makes no sense at all to my non-physics mind, but I believe everything Don says. Surely, though, six flats and two blowouts in 14 days has satisfied Don’s law. But when Katie’s letter comes, I wonder if some hidden and unwelcome message has just arrived. Katie is my wife’s sister’s daughter. She’s in the third grade in Humble, Texas. Katie’s class has read a story about a boy who had an accident. A bulletin board fell on him and mashed him really thin. Now he is being mailed around the country by all the students to friends and relatives who are instructed to take him places and send back reports telling of his travels. The little boy’s name is Flat Stanley.

So when I sit to fuel up on Chris Cakes at 6:45 Saturday morning, Flat Stanley is there with me. I’d left home about 5:30-291 to 210 to 435 to 71 to 155th Street. By 6:15 I have parked with hundreds of other cars in a field at Richards Gebaur. I’m rider number 16 this year. That number is stuck on the front of my helmet and pinned to the back of my shirt. It’s tied with twistees to my handlebars and to the tube. It’s on the yellow wristband I wear. That number announces that I was a top fundraiser last year and entitles me to start in the first wave of riders to leave.

I prefer to wait. My high school yearbook said that if the race between the hare and the tortoise were run, I would be the tortoise. My nickname back then was Speedy. (My classmates understood sarcasm.) By 7:30 the hares are off and I mosey up to the starting line and amble off. A cool breeze has me thinking that our hundred mile ride to Sedalia will be the awesome high that such days typically are for me. That Peculiar Optimists sign I see early in the ride endorses the euphoria I feel. Mark was to have met me for breakfast. We always plan to meet for breakfast. Last year it was the end of the day before we met. Neither of us ever worries when our early morning rendezvous fails to happen. We always make contact before the day is over.

It’s almost 11 when I get to Chillhowee. And the ride has taken on a different character. Heat and humidity have come uninvited to ride along with us, enveloping us all in their plastic sauna. I sit for long minutes at the rest stop. Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and watermellon and lots of water. Some to drink. Some to pour over my head. Without enthusiasm I climb back on my bike. From last year I’m remembering those roller coaster hills that rise and fall between Chillhowee and Leeton, where lunch is scheduled.

Most every Saturday for years in pleasant weather, Rich Groves and I have biked from our homes in Liberty to small towns 15 to 20 miles away for breakfast. Rich has no fondness for hills, so I never acknowledge their existence. I kid him and pretend not to notice. But, Rich, these are hills! It’s after one o’clock when I get to Leeton. I sit hollow-eyed at the table, too tired to eat or talk. No way I can ride 40 more miles to Sedalia. I’ll find the sag. My head is swimming. My legs are rubber. I had picked up some plastic wrapped food as I entered this school cafeteria. I manage to get the plastic off and mechanically eat.

I stagger outside to my bike. I lean against the wall holding up my bike. I’m weak. I want to rest. My water bottles are empty. I drag myself and my bike over to the water truck. I’ve just filled a bottle when Dave slaps me on the back. Dave Rich is a dentist in Lexington, a Jewell alum and an ardent biker. His joyous spirit buoys mine. He has just ridden in and hurries away to lunch.

I turn. And there’s Mark. He had gotten to breakfast at 7:30. “Things got hectic this morning,” he says. Mark’s booming laugh and boisterous presence give me a boost. And maybe my listless lunch is kicking in. I get on my bike. Dave and Mark boost my spirits, but there’s another reason I can’t quit. I have missed only one MS-150. That was the first one. I didn’t hear of it. Sixteen consecutive times now the weekend after Labor Day has drawn me to this ride: 2400 hundred MS-150 miles I’ve ridden; many thousands of dollars my friends have given in support of my rides. And I have never sagged. Not when my handlebars broke. Not when my gear cables broke. Not when I had a flat. I’m still thinking I’m too tired to make Sedalia. But I can turn those pedals one more time. Until I fall off and can’t get back on, I’m not beat.

Those monster hills are behind me now. The road out of Leeton for a few miles toward Windsor is not as flat as the one from Sinton to Corpus Christi in Texas where my mother lives, but it’s close. And drawing that favorable comparison puts my mind in a better frame.

Flat Stanley is safely folded in by billfold and riding in the bike bag behind my seat. Imagining that he can hear me and maybe even see the sign, I announce in a loud voice, “No, we can’t stop. We’ve had lunch. We’re gonna be late getting to Sedalia.” The sign says FLAT CREEK RESTAURANT. I see that sign after I’ve just ridden through Windsor. And after I’ve just stopped at the official rest stop and then at Casey’s General Store.

If Flat Stanley could smell, he might have gagged a few miles later when we come to two farm houses across the road from each other. I see a big sign in front of the house on the right that I assume refers to an industrial strength hog farm somewhere about. The sign reads:

HORRIBLE SMELL

POLLUTED WELL
HOUSE WON’T SELL
LIFE GONE TO – – – –

Several teenage boys stand in the road handing out Century Pins as we ride into Green Ridge. We’re still 10 miles short of a hundred, but every rider coming through Green Ridge has ridden the American century and not the metric century. The first is 100 miles; the second is 66. When we all reach Sedalia no one will know which century we rode. At every rest stop since lunch I’ve poured water over my head. Good Samaritans along the way have squirted me with water guns. Some have doused me with garden hoses. It’s seven o’clock by the time I ride into the State Fairgrounds in Sedalia. A few diehard greeters are still on duty to make me feel like Rocky. My longest and toughest first-day MS-150 is finally over. I’m too tired to feel good. Too tired to feel anything. Nine times today an ambulance came to aid riders: cramps, chest pains, exhaustion, dehydration.

Mark appears. Our usual accommodations with a friend are not available tonight. Mark has found an alternative. I have not. The MS headquarters building is air conditioned. They say we can sleep on the floor. I left my air mattress and sleeping bag in my car back at Richards Gebaur. Walking for me is never fun or easy. And I couldn’t ride my bike from my car to the truck carrying my sleeping gear. Anyway, I expected to find a place to stay. A major reason I make this ride every year is to see the other people who come. We talk at all the rest stops and along the way. A place for the night would come up in conversation. But I was too tired to ask.

The floor in the headquarters building is concrete. Nice and cool concrete. I can sleep here. I can sleep anywhere. But sleep won’t come. I move into the arena. Seat 12 in row N has no seat directly in front of it. I can stretch out my legs. I can never find a comfortable position. I doze. I look at my watch: 11:30, 1 AM, 2:30. By three o’clock Chris Cakes breakfast crew is setting up. Sunday morning has come early.

Friday evening in Lee’s Summit I turned in $3075.00 that friends had given to support my ride. My Sunday School class at Second Baptist Church in Liberty has pledged another $100.00, and I have promised to call them from the road at 10 o’clock as they meet in class. Julie Ahle will take my call on her cell phone. She will tell me who is in class and will relay my comments to them.

Friends like these dear ones and all of you to whom I’m sending this story keep coming to my mind. When thoughts of surrender overtake me, I think of you and from somewhere comes an irresistible reluctance to give in. I don’t think I would mind admitting failure to my friends if I thought it would reflect only on my weakness and inability, but I’m afraid you would also feel defeated. I long to inspire and encourage everyone. You do that for me. I want to do it for you.

It’s a little after five o’clock in the morning when I go to breakfast. Tables are set up on the floor of the arena as they were last night for dinner. Three pancakes and a glass of orange juice. Just like yesterday. By 5:30 I’m ready to go. Still dark. I’m midway back in the hundreds lined up for the seven o’clock start. My balance has never been good enough to drink from my bottle as I ride. I have to stop. Before long nearly everyone has passed me.

Usually after an hour on my bike, I’m in a zone for a while, and on these rides in the past I have made up lost ground from a slow start and I would call out loud “On your left” as I passed whole bunches of riders. Not today! Nothing aches. I don’t hurt. But I’m a zombie. I can’t muster any energy or enthusiasm. I stop many times to get a drink. To make notes. To look around. I keep telling myself to push it. But I’m not listening.

Out of Sedalia by a different route we make our way back to Green Ridge and on to Windsor en route to the high school in Knob Noster where we will shower and have lunch. Our bicycles will be loaded on trucks. We will get on buses and return to Richard Gabaur. As I approach Windsor I spot the back of the smell sign I saw yesterday. It reads:

PETTIS COUNTY FARMERS
HAVE RESPECTED THEIR
NEIGHBORS FOR 163 YEARS
FACTORY FARMS RESPECT NO ONE

I am standing beside this sign at 10 o’clock when I call Julie. The sign is to my left. To my right I can see the Katy Trail. Before the track was taken up it was a railroad. Now it’s a bike trail. Some of our riders are going that way for some of the trip. I prefer the highway. And just up the road I come to another intriguing sign. This one says Boyd’s Body Shop. As a one-time English teacher I’m fascinated by combinations of words. Surely there is a name for a combination like Boyd’s body, different words made by rearranging the same letters. If anyone reading this knows a name for this word play, I would be grateful if you would tell me.

No one has passed me for a while and when I come to Flat Creek Restaurant about 11 o’clock I ask Flat Stanley if he would like to stop. I can’t make out what he says, but he must be as eager as I am to go where it’s cool. I push my bike across the sparkling white gravel parking lot. One car sits in front of the building. I open the door into a brand new place. They just opened last Friday, the young woman waitress says. She smiles when I introduce her to Flat Stanley and tell her about Katie back in Humble. They’re still serving the breakfast buffet, but I tell her Stanley is not very hungry. She brings us a glass of orange juice and we sit for a time at the table. The parking lot as yet has no oil stains from leaky cars and no ruts from churning tires, giving the place a pristine look. While inviting, it also announces that no customers have come.

Back on the road. Still no rhythm to my ride. A man dressed as a clown takes my bike at the next rest stop and parks it beside the water truck. I’m unsteady on my feet as I approach the empty lawn chair beneath the canopy where watermelon and water await. “You have MS?” The clown asks. “I do,” I say. At my invitation another man blasts me with a water gun and gives me a power bar. I collapse into the chair. I notice I’m the only rider here. “Eleven point two miles from here. You want to sag in?” “No way. I’m riding.” I say this with an abruptness I don’t intend. That question has come several times today. My answer will always be the same.

Four or five miles down the road a pickup with a revolving light pulls up behind and follows me in, a distinction always accorded the last rider. A motorcycle policeman waits where I turn right onto Business 50. “Just over the hill,” he calls. Then a final turn to the right. I see the balloons and the cheering crowd. I’m dead last. And they’re cheering. When I cross the finish line they give me a medal.

I want a shower more than I need food. No one about. I have all the showers to myself. I turn on several. When I am finished, the cafeteria has closed. Two departing servers tell me the bus is waiting. Living for decades with MS I have discovered that if I ride, I can run. If I don’t, I can’t walk. Having just ridden 150 miles, I sprint to the bus, thinking they’re holding the last seat for me, maybe with room for Flat Stanley. To my complete surprise the bus is totally empty. The driver takes my panniers I have taken from my bicycle and stows them beneath the bus. I board and take a seat.

I’m writing this story in the 5.5 by 4 inch spiral notebook I’ve had with me on the ride. Taking notes along the way is one of the reasons I’ve finished last. After a few minutes the driver takes his place behind the wheel and we pull out. How many times does a last place finish earn a private bus ride home? “Just you and me, Stanley, on this 48 passenger bus. ” WOW!

The driver and I get well acquainted. For 38 years he drove 18-wheelers all across the U.S. and Canada. This is his third day as a bus driver. He and his wife have adopted their grand daughter. She’s now six. The daughter they had late is eleven. “The two of them act like sisters. Driving a bus, I can be home more for them,” he says.

When my private bus pulls into Richard Gebaur, I have no trouble spotting my car. Only one other one remains in the field where we parked. Sometimes when I have finished there have been hundreds of bikes just unloaded from the trucks. Today there are half a dozen. I see mine as I depart the bus. I attach my panniers and the bag behind my seat and pedal away to my car. Flat Stanley and I roll down the windows to let the hot air out and crank up the air conditioner.

Reversing the route that brought us here 33 hours ago, we are soon back in Liberty. Bobbie is away at a baby shower for a couple in our church. Flat Stanley and I collapse on the living room carpet. When Bobbie comes at five, we drive to the Pizza Hut to meet our daughter, Debbie, and grand daughter, Laura. This is grand parent’s day, and Laura has made a present for us. I had phoned our two sons from the bus. Now our daughter and grand daughter. And pizza. I may have finished last. But I won the grand prize.

And I had no flat. Flat Stanley and I escaped the law of short intervals. We found that the last can be first. A law that comes not from physics but from scripture.

HateBusters
Box 442
Liberty, MO 64069
Phone: 816-803-8371
e-mail: hatebuster@aol.com

No Boundaries On Our Soul!

Web Site Development and Service provided by TakeCareOfMyWebSite.com.
Copyright (c) 2000-2008 http://www.hatebusters.com and TakeCareOfMyWebSite.com.
All rights reserved.

The Day the Nazis Came

May 15, 2008

By Ed Chasteen

With Fred Phelps, that disbarred lawyer, self-proclaimed Old Testament prophet and foul-mouthed, mean-spirited picketer of innocent victims, Topeka has problems enough. They didn’t need the Nazis. But not having learned they should go only where they are invited, these self-proclaimed Storm Troopers descended upon Topeka today. This beautiful Saturday, this 24th day of August, this Norman Rockwell Mid-America day made for picnics and swimming holes, this wondrous day was hijacked by a few Neanderthals whose ossified minds and shriveled hearts steal joy and deaden souls.

By fax a few weeks earlier the Nazis had announced their intentions. The city had granted them a permit for their two-hour rally on the State House steps. Beneath a banner put up by the State proclaiming diversity at home in Kansas, five brown-shirted men with swastikas on their arms strutted and shouted to the handful who stood before them. On horseback, bicycle, motorcycle, squad car, foot and helicopter, police by the hundreds kept watch. With orange fencing stretched across green lawns and barricades blocking all roads, the city had reduced all entry to foot traffic. The orange fencing formed holding pens; one for the Nazis and one for those who came to shout them down. The two pens were about a football field length apart. Entry to both was a single opening manned by many police. Backpacks and cell phones and all things that might become weapons were not allowed inside.

Across the street and up the block in front of another state building, the NAACP held a counter demonstration. The Governor’s representative read a proclamation. Candidates for office spoke. We sang the National Anthem and the Negro National Anthem. We said the Pledge of Allegiance. Presidents of local NAACP chapters spoke.

I don’t live in Topeka. But I was invited. Twice before I have been invited. Once to bring a team of HateBusters to town so we could by twos go into all the schools and teach our book, How To Like People Who Are not Like You. The second invitation had come when the KKK had a rally on the State House steps several years ago. Today I have been invited by Jewish friends and NAACP friends. My rule for HateBusters is that we never go anyplace unless we are invited, and we never say no when we are invited.

That fax from the Nazis promised that storm troopers would descend on Topeka. The resurrected specter of goose stepping mindless Aryans marching through the streets sprang to life with the arrival of that fax. When only five uniformed Nazis appeared it might have seemed to some onlookers that the massive police presence and the micro management put in place by the city was a gigantic waste of time and money. On the other hand, this threat of massive disruption provided city, state and federal authorities a real life opportunity to test their emergency response plan.

The Nazis and their few sympathizers were outnumbered five or six to one by those who came to oppose them. City police, State police, capital police, Washburn University police, KBI agents, FBI agents: all together hundreds in number. Men and women in police uniform on every corner. At every window. On every roof top. So it seemed to me.

I can not help but wonder how these five Nazis understand what they are seeing and hearing. Only a handful of the 350 or so who are drawn here by their presence hold any sympathy for them. Only the police presence keeps some in the crowd from doing them harm. Where do they draw the support that sends them repeatedly out to face a hostile audience? Do they ever doubt what they are saying? What kind of private lives do they lead? If these Nazis ran our country they would not allow free speech. They would do away with the very rights that caused the City of Topeka and the State of Kansas to protect them today.

I disagree with everything these neo nazis stand for. But I will defend their right to speak. To the death if necessary. I know they would not protect my right to speak. They would, in fact, silence me if they could. I will work all my life to see they never have that power. Unlike them, I believe that all people have a right to be heard. We are a weaker people when we silence people whose words and ideas we do not like. A strong people will give everyone a hearing. Then they will follow those who invite everyone to the table and offer them peace and purpose.

By their coming to Topeka this summer day, these Nazis remind us of the long winter of discontent their kind brought not long ago to our world. By their coming they rouse us from our contented state and refocus us on our never ending quest to make more perfect this union of diverse peoples known to the world as Americans and to ourselves as neighbors.

HateBusters
Box 442
Liberty, MO 64069
Phone: 816-803-8371
e-mail: hatebuster@aol.com

No Boundaries On Our Soul!

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Copyright (c) 2000-2008 http://www.hatebusters.com and TakeCareOfMyWebSite.com.
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Unity In The Community

May 15, 2008

Sharing Home-Country Cookin’

A Human Family Reunion
Planned by HateBusters

Held at Christ Church Unity

1000 NE Barry Road

Kansas City, MO

Tuesday, September 10 at 6:30 PM

From around the world and across the country good people come to Greater Kansas City to make it their home. Drawn to the Heart of America by our hospitality, they come with their courage and their wonderful ways. Together each day we then move toward a full-fledged demonstration of all that is envisioned in those noble documents that gave birth to us as a nation.

By the unspeakable tragedy of 9-11 we have been given a window of opportunity. When the world sees through that window that we turn to each other and draw together as one, drawing strength and inspiration from our many languages and faiths and colors and foods and styles of dress and points of view, then the world will know beyond doubt that we are indivisible and invincible.

To celebrate UNITY IN OUR COMMUNITY, all of Greater Kansas City is invited to come at 6:30 in the evening of Tuesday, September 10 to Christ Church Unity at 1000 NE Barry Road in Kansas City, MO. Bring a dish of your favorite food, wear something comfortable and come visit with your neighbors. Come also to help us honor some of those people and places that work every day of the year to bring us together and make us strong. HateBusters will this night bestow the DQ Award upon these noble organizations. When Don Quixote’s friends tell him that wickedness wears thick armor, he replies-“And for that you would have me surrender? Nay, the enchanter may confuse the outcome ten thousand times. Still must a man arise and again do battle, for the effort is sublime.”

These good places do battle with all the dark forces that would turn us against one another. They dream The Impossible Dream. They fight the unbeatable foe. They run where the brave dare not go. They try though they’re weary, to reach the unreachable star. They live with their heart striving upward, to a far, unattainable sky.
Our honorees-in alphabetical order-are
Catholic Charities
Christ Church Unity
Center for Islamic Education in North America
CRES
Don Bosco
Heart of America Indian Center
International Relations Council
Jewish Community Relations Bureau

BRING YOUR FAVORITE FOOD AND COME
Let’s eat together and get acquainted
Call or email to let us know you’re coming

HateBusters
Box 442 ph. 816/792-2272 cell 816-803-8371
Liberty, MO 64069 e-mail: hatebuster@aol.com
http://www.hatebusters.com
HateBusters Help People Who Have been Hurt Because Someone Hates Them

Driving Directions to
Christ Church Unity 100 NE Barry Rd KCMO
for Human Family Reunion
Tuesday, Sept. 10, 2002 at 6:30 PM
Bring a dish of your favorite food and come
to honor eight organizations that help to make us neighbors

From Blue Springs/Independence Area: Take I-70 West to I-435 North. Stay on I-435 (past split to I-35) to Highway 152 West exit. Take 152 West to North Oak. Exit at North Oak and turn left (north) to Barry Road (about 1 mile). Turn left (east) on Barry for ¼ mile. Christ Church Unity is on the left (north) at the intersection of Barry and North Troost.

From Raytown Area: Take Missouri 350 West to I-435 North. Stay on I-435 (past split to I-35) to Highway 152 West exit. Take 152 West to North Oak. Exit at North Oak and turn left (north) to Barry Road (about 1 mile). Turn left (east) on Barry for ¼ mile. Christ Church Unity is on the left (north) at the intersection of Barry and North Troost.

From Johnson County: Take I-35 North to I-635 North. Stay on 635 until it ends, then follow I-29 North (towards KCI). Just past shopping center and AMC movie theater complex, exit at Highway 152 East (towards Liberty). Stay on 152 to North Oak. Exit at North Oak and turn right (north) to Barry Road (about 1 mile). Turn left (east) on Barry for ¼ mile. Christ Church Unity is on the left (north) at the intersection of Barry and North Troost.

From Liberty Area: Take 152 West to North Oak. Exit at North Oak and turn left (north) to Barry Road (about 1 mile). Turn left (east) on Barry for ¼ mile. Christ Church Unity is on the left (north) at the intersection of Barry and North Troost.

HateBusters
Box 442
Liberty, MO 64069
Phone: 816-803-8371
e-mail: hatebuster@aol.com

No Boundaries On Our Soul!

Web Site Development and Service provided by TakeCareOfMyWebSite.com.
Copyright (c) 2000-2008 http://www.hatebusters.com and TakeCareOfMyWebSite.com.
All rights reserved.