I like to walk every day. I’m fortunate today to be walking on one of my favorite trails along the Allegheny River near the campus of St. Bonaventure University. Ten days ago it appeared as though we’d have an early onset to our winter here in southwestern New York State. Now we’re having a respite from the snow and cold and I can easily stroll along with it fear of slipping or losing my balance on ice or snow. I love coming here and sitting next to the river. There’s a lot more water in the river today than the last time I was here three weeks ago.
I’m drawn to peaceful spots like this. It’s a tonic for my soul.
Most of the folks who are virulently anti LGBTQ are unsure of their own sexuality. I’ve found gay people to be twice gifted with unique contributions to make. Indigenous people in the Americas referred to gay folks as the people of two spirits.
Taking away a woman’s right to choose is also profoundly wrong. Imposing your narrow religious beliefs on the rest of us is fucked up.
The real existential threat facing our world is climate change. If you aren’t concerned about that you ought to be. I’ll be long gone when the worst happens but our children and especially our grandchildren’s lives will be cut short by a mass extinction happening within the next 100 years.
Yesterday on Vietnam Veterans Day I had the privilege of listening to a lecture from a guy who’s pissed that Joe Biden is president and that gas prices are high. In the spring of 1972 I registered for classes that coming fall. I went home like all the other kids expecting to see them in August or September. When I got home there was a notice of pre induction physical for the draft. There was no sophomore year nor junior and senior year either. In August when my former classmates were slapping each other on the back and shaking hands I was in recruit training at Great Lakes, Illinois.
I don’t regret my naval service. I’m proud to have served this country. I still have my dress blues even though they don’t fit. There was a time I prayed that my brother and later my son wouldn’t have to serve in the armed forces but I’ve come to believe compulsory national service would be a good thing. A recent poll of Americans revealed that only 55 percent would come to the aid of the country if we were invaded.
We’ve spawned several generations of folks who think they’re entitled to life on their own terms no matter what. On the world stage we’re witnessing the brave people of Ukraine fend off invaders and the disruption of life as they knew it by a bunch of lawless thugs led by the man who tried to subvert our democracy. I’m sure they’d be willing to endure high energy prices for some peace and freedom.
Freedom isn’t free. Doing what you want when you want how you want with no regard for others isn’t citizenship. It’s lawless and childish. If you’re still driving a gas guzzler 50 years after the energy crunch we lived through in the 1970s then you’re not too bright. End of rant.
Acceptance is the key to life. Those who cannot change cannot survive. Those who can wear masks and get vaccinated are likely to flourish in our new environment. As I sat watching a basketball game at St. Bonaventure University’s Reilly Center I was surrounded by people. Young and old alike. Some wore masks as requested by the university to keep us all safe while others were wearing chin straps or at least that’s what they looked like. Last week parents in Franklinville had an impromptu protest in front of the school that was anti-mask.
Everyday we read the news of angry folks decrying mask and vaccine requests and mandates. We read too of those whose inflexible reaction has cost them their health and in some cases their lives. Wearing a mask is annoying especially when one has hearing aids and glasses too. I’ve been contemplating a response and today I’m reminded of the wisdom of the Tao that was written twenty-five-hundred years ago.
The living are soft and supple;the dead are rigid and stiff.In life, plants are flexible and tender;in death, they are brittle and dry.Stiffness is thus a companion of death;flexibility a companion of life.An army that cannot yield will be defeated.A tree that cannot bend will crack in the wind.The hard and stiff will be broken.The soft and supple will prevail.
I first saw this quote from a framed poster at Mount Irenaeus over twenty years ago. It’s as meaningful now as it was then. In fact I find myself more and more attracted to solitude the older I get. Sitting in church or anywhere for that matter never really turned me on. I find God or if you will the higher power in the silence of the woods, the babbling of a brook, the gentle lapping of waves along a lake shore or anywhere that silence abounds.
If you are wondering what God may be, Looking for a purpose in life, Craving company, or seeking solitude, Come to our Meeting for worship. We shall not ask you to speak or sing, We shall not ask you what you believe, We shall simply offer you our friendship, And a chance to sit quietly and think. And perhaps somebody will speak,
And perhaps somebody might read, And perhaps somebody might pray, And perhaps you will find here That what you are seeking. We are not saints, We are not cranks, We are not different- Except that we believe That God’s light is in all persons, Waiting to be discovered… Author Unknown
Excellent book with lots of keen insights and interviews with individuals involved in presidential politics in the past five years. The book confirmed for me the grave danger our republic is in from the forces of evil that have come to dominate the Republican party in the United States. I wasn’t initially in favor of a Joe Biden presidency. I didn’t think he was progressive enough to lead the country forward. Now, however after seeing him in action of the past nine months and learning much more about his history and character through this book I am convinced that he is the right person for the job.
I read today that a poll conducted recently that a majority of voters of both persuasions believe that the time has come for secession from the United States of America. Are these folks living in a vacuum? Who do they think provides the fuel for the economy that provides for the common defense and the common good? Forces of the extreme right wing of the Republican party who care nothing about the common good of the country and for that matter, the world are espousing this wrong headed approach to the body politic.
These separatists who decry socialism and advanced society fail to realize that the roads we drive on, the sewer and water systems that support our day to day lives and most of the infrastructure that supports our daily lives is paid for by tax dollars. Many of the so called red states are full of military installations which provide thousands of jobs and no doubt contribute mightily to the wealth of the communities that surround them. If they secede from the union then those jobs go to other states.
Nearly seven hundred twenty thousand Americans are dead from a deadly virus primarily because this same bunch of idiots are interfering with roll-out of the vaccine to mitigate the effects of the virus.
It’s October 1 and where I live the trees are still mostly green. That’s unusual. When I was a boy most of the trees were bright orange on the first day of October. It was common to have a ‘killing frost’ by mid-September. We have had one overnight when the temperature dipped to 38 degrees fahrenheit. The forecast for December this year is for warmer weather than normal. That’s all becasue the climate is changing. The gulf coast of our country has been ravaged by record breaking hurricanes which have left unheard of destruction in their wake.
We need thoughtful leadership from intelligent people. I encourage you not to listen to talking heads spreading lies and misinformation that put the lives of all the world at risk. Be a uniter not a divider.
VoteVets had a poignant post on Instagram earlier today. That resonated with me. In the past twenty years since 9/11 we’ve been thanking active duty military and veterans for their service to the country. That’s great and truly appreciated by any veteran that received that thanks. At the same time however it has allowed the general public to perform a perfunctory service that made them feel as though they were part of the war effort.
This hasty quip is part of the feel good culture that at the same time has largely ignored the plight of military service personnel who have been called on to serve multiple tours of duty in the war zones of Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere without a shared sacrifice by the folks on the home front.
The transition from conscripted service to the all volunteer military in the United States has created an unfair situation where those who volunteer for military service are forced to serve multiple tours of duty in dangerous environments. During Vietnam most soldiers and marines served a maximum of twelve or thirteen months in combat areas before being rotated stateside or to non-combat areas.
As a veteran whenever I thank another veteran or active duty person for their service I have empathy and connection with what I’m saying. I wonder how many other folks seriously reflect on their greetings.
“War is not the answer,” is a bumper sticker I’ve frequently posted on my car. It’s from the Friends Committee on National Legislation. Never was that slogan nor the bumper sticker more appropriate than now. In the middle of our frantic withdrawal from Afghanistan we were horrified to learn that another terrorist attack had claimed the lives of twelve United States Marines and one United States Navy Hospital Corpsman. These thirteen lives are a postscript to the war on terror which of course has not ended terrorism. War can never end terrorism. War only enriches war profiteers and there are many of those folks in our own United States who are using the tragic deaths of the Marines and Corpsman to call for another invasion of Afghanistan.
Not surprisingly the call for more war is being led by Republican members of the US Congress. These are the same folks who got us in this mess in the first place. It was a Republican president and his administration who initiated this twenty year bloodbath of travail which has only exacerbated the world’s problems. I wish we had invested the trillions of dollars we’ve blown in Afghanistan and Iraq on peaceful purposes. Imagine the goodwill we could have created for the United States and the people of those war torn countries.
More broadly, it is far past time for the United States to acknowledge that peace and real security can never be achieved through military force, and to therefore abandon the failed endless war paradigm completely.
— Read on www.fcnl.org/updates/2021-08/holding-afghanistan-light
The horrific attacks at Kabul Airport must not be used as a pretext for more war. The military industrial complex and its supporters have kept the United States in a wartime footing since 1939. The present war in Afghanistan has depleted our National treasure long enough and has done nothing to end terrorism nor advance the cause of world peace.