You've stated you're a priest, can you explain?
Yes, I have an Irish and Hebrew lineage. My Hebrew lineage is of a special line - the literal name is High Priest. In the Hebrew tradition as outlined in the Torah/Old Testament Priests are born. No matter what I do - good or evil I remain a priest.
The lineage is that of King David and Solomon - my literal ancestors. Born a Priest and a Prince is a blessed heritage as stated in the scripture. As I read the Bible it has special earthly meaning to me - more than a sacred text it's the history of my ancestors. According to the Bible my line is blessed forever. Having relatives that escaped to America from the Holocaust and wicked ruler led Holocuasts throughout the ages I feel both blessed and reminded of what a great heritage and priveldge I have as I walk the earth.
My religious affiliations are separate from my Hebrew heritage - I'm fortunate enough to have been saved through Grace and all of us that are have a special responsibility to be ambassadors of God. I've also been ordained by other churches - you could say I'm a priest times 4.
Are you really in Kansas City ?
Yes, I'm currently in Kansas City serving the homeless. I've committed to spending 40 days and nights with the homeless - a challenge from a friend. Before leaving Branson I was threatened several times by the Branson Police Department for making Sunshine Requests (information requests) that the Branson Police Department didn't like. I first left in fear for my life.
The city of Branson is experiencing a period of extreme corruption and many of the citizens are afraid to speak up - when I remember the plight of my relatives I become more committed to seeking truth even if I"m in danger for it. I've sought help from other media outlets to restore the rights outlined in the Missouri Constitution in Branson. We live in a Republic and have protections in the Constitution that dictate how government can behave. The current Branson administration has suspended many of these rights won by the blood of our nations ancestors. Thus far I've tried to reason with leaders into having these rights restored but this has proved ineffective.
How are you surviving during these 40 days and nights with the homeless ?
I've been blessed in ways that have really strenthened my testimony in the God of Abraham - the God of my ancestors. The first four days I didn't know what to do - I didn't have a phone or ability to get a hold of my friends. I called two people whose numbers I had. Both really let me down. One of them owed me a large sum of cash and chose to gossip with the other friend instead of send the owed money - I felt truly alone - angry - scared - helpless.
I think God uses these times to humble us and force us to prayer - when we have no where else to turn. The first four days I walked and prayed until I passed out. The shelters were closed. The only person that offered help was my father. I went to a hotel room and he called in a credit card. The hotel wouldn't take it because I didn't have an ID - remember I had nothing - 1 cent a t-shirt - shoes and a pair of shorts. I remained without a place to rest.
I rolled with it. On the fifth day - under serious pressure the friend that owed me money wired part of it. I purchased "the tools of the trade" a laptop - small camera - gear and sought the homeless. These are neccesary tools for a journalist - to record what is happening - to share the truth. I started organizing resources for the homeless and each day the amount of food and resources grows.
Last week a church asked me for blankets. I laughed with joy - people are now asking me for help. God is amazing and I'm tickled that I'm able to be in the position I'm in. I'm even grateful that Branson has crooked cops, that my friends abandoned me, that Branson has a corrupt government. If it wasn't for the rejection I'd never have seen the miracles that I've seen. It's changed my life and my strenthened my faith. It's helping me become a better man and servant to my fellow man.
Your blog changed format pretty drastically for a few days - people were shocked - What was going on?
The Associated Press (AP) format keeps the dialogue moderated - in extreme circumstances this doesn't give the true story of what is happening. I was in danger and needed help from a dedicated journalism community - we don't have that in Branson right now and the Springfield media has chosen to abandon us. I currently reach one of three Branson residents but needed more voice to hear a cry for help to ensure my safety under the circumstances.
Under Missouri Law the Chief of Police is defined as a government body. They are subject to the same types of "Sunshine Law" requests as any other government body. The Branson Government is in a very wasteful spending patern which includes the construction of a new police facility which no one has reported yet. Branson Police Chief Carroll McCollough threatened to have me "arrested" in an alternative court if I pursued the story and attended meetings. As a journalist I need access to city hall - public postings and the meetings that occur. In Branson I've attended more meetings than any other "practitioner of the journalism craft". McColloughs threats - one of many he's made since Decemeber - threatened both my livlihood, personal safety and the safety of the citizens of Branson. When I posted notice of what he'd done - no one responded so I shouted louder.
I've won the Sprinfield Bloggers Best News Blog award two years in a row and am known as the only journalist in the area who produces core documents. McCollough's actions threatened my livlihood and my life. The shout was to get attention of the news media as to what was going on. Needless to say, I've lost a lot of faith in the broader media community. In Branson the media isn't functioning properly. It's unfortunate - but instead of serving a common cause of truth they've lent themselves to serious corruption promoting personal businesses before the public.
The change was also to show the citizens the value of the resource I provide. Citizens know they'll have the full story without bias when they stop by this "News Scratchpad". I try to facilitate voice instead of controlling dialogue - everyone deserves this - we're all children of a common God and deserve to have our voices heard. The break caused a massive jump in traffic - a leap of several thousand increased viewers - but no one got the hint even though the back dialogue explained what was happening. The most corrupt journalist in our area is actually a political operative directly undermining my activities for over a year with misleading and intentional ommissions. The man is a living example of why we need to abide by a code of ethics - fortunately, the deception of the man is coming to the surface - hopefully before the city of Branson is bankrupt. He's created a "brand" in his image instead of purveying truth. Since he sees my "truthiness" as a threat - he's actively worked to undermine it. The citizens of Branson are beggining to understand this as they're being forced to personally pay for the corruption and payouts made by the current government body. The posts I made were outlandish on purpose - easy to identify as sarcastic and parody. Because my reputation for true report is so great - people reacted differently than I'd hoped.
You've had some nasty comments and challenges to your credibility through comments lately - explain.
This year alone my materials are being used in lectures at a minimum of three Universities. My integrity honor and credibility are unmatched as an innovator in the industry. The comments came from four individuals that were instucted to do so - in another case an angry person that didn't understand the situation, method and intent of personal communications lashed out.
I kept the comments to track the users. One of them was from the Branson Police Department another a "Worshipper" of the aforemetntioned pretend journalist. As a journalist the public often thinks they own you. It's not uncommon for me to get yelled at for not covering "x" on my way to a coffeeshop. I always back up my work often with core documents and videos. This is an imperative that I believe is even more important at times then what I have to say about it. My competitors in the field have a lot of questions to answer as they don't follow even the basic tenants of the journalistic code of ethics. Local politicians and judges see me daily seeking a firsthand account of the truth. My reputation is in tact.
A good example is the wasteful spending practices of the current Branson administration which I've been shouting about for nearly a year. Now that the citizens of Branson are being forced to pay higher taxes it's hard for "The Dirty Bird" to continue decieving the citizens. When it hits peoples pocketbooks they begin to wake up. The nastier comments are being removed after tracking and verification of source is proved. People aren't as anonymous as they think on the Internet. The tools I use to track are very sophisticated. A simple tool on the sidebar was placed this week. The widget has really slowed down the three individuals that were regularly posting nasty and blatantly false commentary. The tools I have installed are far more sophisticated but it takes time to utilize them - at this point - knowing what I already know - It's becoming less important to me to track users.
If people behaved as if there was a God watching us - we'd have a better society. Unfortunately, people don't believe in God - this is where tracking and cameras come in handy. I'm glad people question - and readers should always question the authors intentions - In my case - I've helped facilitate the opinions of both Republicans and Democrats - believers and athiests - I've actively worked to create windows instead of mirrors and have a reputation throughout the state of being unbiased in my reports. As far as my detractors go - I've challenged them and continue to challenge them in public and they cowar - I'll keep doing that until they get it or it becomes obvious to the public.
My ancestors invented debate - seeking and exploring truth in public settings is a personal passion I'll continue to pursue. This is an important and vital component to creating and preserving a free society. Those that refuse don't deserve leadership roles.
I'm in prayer and meditation on the topic as we speak. I'm very concerned about what is happening in my hometown and want to help as a cataylst for positve change. I also feel moved towards the call of ministry which is a very different task. As a journalist I often privately tell leaders - when I see corruption - to fix their path and do the right thing. I'd rather see a better society than get a good story though I'm not afraid to speak up when I see a problem leaders aren't willing to fix. I'll likely write in new formats - perhaps books , produce more videos and enable more interactive elements to my websites. I'm not exactly sure but I'm excited about the future.