Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving

It's fast approaching, that day in which we give thanks for the bounteous feast we are about to receive. I think sometimes that we all need to pause more and think about that harvest of goodies heaped on the table in front of us, and what that represents in our world. We have talked a lot about the roughly 40 million people who had no regular access to health care, prior to that program --the ACA-- that republicans love to hate. But the other day, I saw the same number being reported, only this time it was people who don't have enough food. When I look at our healthy children grandchildren and yes great grandchildren, I am aware that they are probably exceptional in this world. They are healthy, well fed, and well cared for by parents who care deeply about them.

Whenever I do some minor thing for our local domestic violence shelter program, I become aware of how lucky we are. And when I read about children sold into sexual slavery, I become angry, but I always begin thinking once again about fortune and how we need to think more about the goodness in our lives.

So, when we pause, just prior to diving into the turkey, and the mashed potatoes, and the stuffing, and the cranberries, I plan to take a deep breath, partly to thank our whole family for being who they are, and our children and our grandchildren for being who they are, and our relatives near and far, for being such an important and happy part of our lives. And partly, I just want to say out loud that we are all fortunate creatures, alive and smiling on this globe spinning steadily in this vast, cold universe.  But there are others on this globe who will be denied the happiness we share with our loved ones.  Their lives are as precious as anyone's, but others will dictate their future.

So, eat on folks, but never forget just how fortunate we are to be living in this nation. And never forget the less fortunate among us. And let there be light . . . the light brought by careful thought. A light of essential goodness.

Saturday, November 14, 2015


So, Paris has been struck yet again—Je suis Charlie . . . Let us all yell, or cry, or pray for the Parisians. And then, when it happens here, we can all repeat the process. Apparently, we in the US are no better prepared to resist than are the French, or the Brits, or anybody else. ISIS need not be very clever. They simply need to turn loose the next gang of thugs and tell them where to launch their killing. And somewhere, here in the US of A is my best guess as to where, added cries of anguish will again arise. We are already filled with hate against one another (see Mizzou, see all the other places here wherein we are known to have killed one another with no serious justification).  And we possess adequate armaments to carry out an equivalent attack.

What does ISIS want? Well, they seem to want the same thing the kings in Saudi Arabia want, the same things the Koch brothers want, the same things our hedge fund managers want, the same things our republican clowns want—POWER.  And they have the same sense of morality as, say, the Nazis in 1939 . . . no probably worse, but not much.  ISIS does seem to like killing, but their killings seem to be motivated by an intent to instill fear. If they can kill so brazenly, and with such graphic awfulness, then perhaps they will finally convince us that they are an irresistible force. But, of course, we will never be so convinced—never. And so the killings will continue. 

And as the 12th century fades into oblivion, let the 13th century arise. Will we learn anything? No, we seem incapable of learning as a species. We love killing too much.