November 26, 2006

If I were goddess

If I were goddess, I could traverse the universe, with only thought. Nothing to fear, just enjoying the view of Andromeda; as I leave this universe and leave loneliness, pain and desire behind. I could get as close as I want or view all that beauty from a distance. I could be there in an instant or leisurely watch the stars get closer. I have no boundaries or time either. I could expand my thought to include infinity or dissect the smallest particle in the plasma. If I were goddess, I could imagine everything and be satisfied.

November 23, 2006

How does one expect to be forgiven, when one does not acknowledge there has been blood on their hands?

The myths of America, give moral attributes to the ideas upon which the United States was founded. Moral contradictions are not very often discussed without the dissenter being accused of being a foe to America. The morality of the idea is often mistaken for the morality of the person associated with it. As with the presumption, that America has always been an ethical nation. You can assume that, if you only look at America beginnings in relation to Europe or its system of government. What happens when you look at ground level and the actual people involved? Most people would say that certainly some of our passed actions were horrible, but that’s OK now. We had nothing to do with it, not caring if those descendants can accept the invisibility derived from those actions. Their ancestors have been vilified and then slowly written out of history, even if they have made contributions. I believe in the future there will be no indigenous people, no slavery, no racism and no immigrant mistreatment in our history. Our country will seem like the “Lollipop Land” of the enlightenment.

I am asked to forgive and forget, because things have changed. How can change be permanent, if there is not any knowledge or interest of what happened before these changes? I would like to think you have at least thought about it. I had read a statement similar to this, “that westward expansion had expanded property rights.” Not getting into the argument of what this statement meant, I thought, didn’t the indigenous people have any property rights and weren’t our spoils from genocide? I would like the acknowledgment that our system can have failures because this is a government of men. We should understand, there has to be dissent, especially about the past. We shouldn’t make saints of our founding fathers or subsequent leaders or mistake them for their ideas. We have to keep the memory of the bad as an ethical reminder. I think without serious thoughts of our past, we will lose our conscience. When there becomes a lack of conscience, I feel the ideas of the nation will succumb and America will become a remnant of the past.

November 21, 2006

What is required?

I am troubled when people make a conscious choice not to vote. If you have read a previous post of mine, you will see why I think it’s important to vote, no matter the candidates. It also bothers me when people do not want to serve on a jury when it would pose no hardship. After forty years, I am beginning to change my mind about the draft. It seems so few of us want to do anything and we go to great lengths to give a philosophical rationalization.

Isn’t something required of us to maintain our freedom? It wasn’t a gift to begin with. We are not special people in which our system of government was bestowed by some higher power. There was effort, actually more than effort. Lives were put at risk and lost, so that we could decide how to govern ourselves.

Couldn’t we make an effort to find a candidate, get that person on the ballot and vote for him? Can’t we serve on a jury, so that a person might have a jury of his peers? Shouldn’t we give some service to our country?

November 16, 2006

Now, which is it?

I thought we were certain that contraception and sex education leads to sex, and now this too.
The Pakistan Parliament amends rape laws. Moves rape cases from Sharia courts to civil courts.
Islamist say this will lead to free sex.

November 11, 2006

Veterans Day

In appreciation and remembrance of veterans, I would like to share this poem. I found this at, this site publishes veterans’ stories, poetry and videos.

We Buried Another Veteran Today

We buried another veteran today.
He went to his God, from us, he went away.
This one was young, in the prime of his life.
He left twin children and a very courageous wife.

It wasn't a bullet, a plane crash or a bomb.
It was cancer, and he just finally, could not hold on.
He fought "it" like a military campaign.
But the time came to surrender, to end his earthly pain.

He knew he would be fine in the presence of his Lord.
But what about his twins, those children he adored?
Will they grow strong and at "life" win.
Please God, let them always remember him.

We buried another veteran today.
It seems, all my life, it has happened this way.
From my uncles of the WW II-time frame.
To the military friends, Vietnam would claim.

For me the number of dead, is always on the rise.
When I get a call another veteran is gone, it is never really a surprise.
From lost sub-mariners, in early days of my life.
To the forever gone, military-medical friends of my veteran wife.

I lost a Korean War veteran friend this year, to a crashed airplane.
I lost a Gulf War friend to cancer, a difference in their age, but still that pain.
I lost an Uncle to cancer who did Korea with the Navy, steaming off shores.
I lost my father-in-law who fought in Korea, from a "fox-hole" in the frozen outdoors.

We buried another Veteran today.
It seems in all my family's generations, it happens this way.
From my Revolutionary War Grandfathers who started this sad, but needed trend.
To the family members on both sides in 1861, who just would not bend.

Some of my family lived a long and happy life, after "their" war.
They died of old age in their bed, safe-behind a locked door.
They died in battle, buried where they fell.
They died years later, carrying emotional scars, in their own personal hell.

My family is no different than thousands who met our Nation's call.
They rose to the demands of this country and some gave their "all".
We have to continue doing this, to make America free.
But, it's that Veteran's twin-little children that keeps worrying me.

We buried another Veteran today.
It seems all my life it continues this way.
Now my only child is nine and we reside on a military installation.
My wife and I truly want her to live safe, in a free nation.

But what happens, when it is her-generation's turn to make a stand.
Do we lose our only child in some forsaken-foreign land?
Does she play it safe, stay home and say "that's boy's stuff".
Or does she join like her mother and go right into the ruff.

She has to be that one Veteran I don't see, make that final "call".
Let me go before her, let me first give this country my fighting "all".
Maybe if I go "out-there" and make my final stand.
She can stay safe-at-home, in this wonderful free land.

We buried another Veteran today

Copyright, Major Van Harl, USAF Ret.Columbus Air Force Base, Mississippi, 28 November 2001

November 08, 2006

A day late, I know; but anyway, another profound view on voting from holyoffice ; )

Link no longer works.

November 07, 2006

Obsession with Rightness

Tomorrow, many people will be writing about what the election results mean. The writers will try to extrapolate the future and the behavior of the government based on their view of rightness. Even if their party gets power or remains in power; their obsession will not diminish. The meanness continues, arguments repeat ad nauseam and rightness becomes the justification to assume moral and ethical superiority. The obsession with rightness will continue and when the next catastrophic event happens, either can blame the other for their obsession with rightness.

November 05, 2006

Three reasons to vote, then six and much more...

Other than doing ones civic duty, my reasons to vote have to do with the struggle of the civil rights movement and the lives lost. Michael Schwerner, James Chaney, and Andrew Goodman are pictured above; their murders are most remembered.

During the Sixties, college students, mostly white, from the North came South, along with several civil rights organizations to educate and help register blacks to votes. The Civil Rights Movement Veterans web site has documented The Southern Freedom Movement from 1960 to 1966. I think if you check out the entire site you will understand how dangerous this was. You may see some familiar faces, but mostly you will see unknown ordinary students and citizens challenging almost eighty years of Jim Crow. I am grateful for their sacrifice.

The next year in 1965, there were three more murders. This description is an excerpt from a Unitarian Universalist Association news article describing the commemoration of the 40th anniversary of those murders.
Jimmie Lee Jackson, an African American civil rights worker, died on February 26, 1965, after an Alabama state trooper shot him in the stomach at a voting rights march in his home town of Marion. Jackson's murder inspired the march from Selma to the State Capitol in Montgomery that was brutally turned back by lawmen. After the attack, the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. issued a call to clergy of all faiths to come to Selma to support the marchers. About 500 Unitarian Universalists, including about one fifth of all UU ministers, rushed to Selma. One of the ministers, James Reeb, was attacked on March 9 while leaving a restaurant with two colleagues less than a day after he arrived. Reeb died of his injuries on March 11.Viola Liuzzo, a UU lay person from Detroit, was shot to death March 25 by Ku Klux Klansmen after the Selma to Montgomery march was finally completed.

If the murders, beatings, and intimidation along with the loss of jobs and property did not stop the pursuit of equal citizenship and the vote; then it is, I feel, my obligation to vote.

I urge everyone to vote Tuesday. There is nothing to stop you and not having a desirable candidate is no excuse. You know what you would do if you had the office, write in yourself.


November 03, 2006

I ask
I am not ugly, nor pretty
I ask
I am shamed
I ask
I am not wanted
I ask
I am denied
I ask
I am alone
I ask
I am forgotten
I ask
I am not existent