Month: November 2015

In Thanksgiving for the Memories

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Before the night-terrors began, dreams were in play – dreams of racial and gender equality, even equal pay.Bird of Ice 250

Healthy dreams of affordable care for mind, body and soul; Dreams of an Equal Rights Amendment, a livable minimum wage, single payer and Medicaid extended.

Dreams prioritizing support for our troops, when Veterans, sustaining their defense against traumatic mental and physical damage, unemployment and homelessness descended.

 I remember it well:  our cornerstone of rockets’ red glare bursting into the fresh air of Freedoms ensconced forever in the firm grip of a French Lady promising Liberté to masses yearning to breathe free – until we slammed the Golden Rule door.

   I remember it well.  We met at the 1621 treaty signing between the Wampanoag tribe and the Pilgrims of the Plymouth colony.  I was on time.

No, you are remembering too late.

I remember it well.  We dined with New World discoverer, Columbus and friends.

We dined alone, in Rio de Janeiro until that Italian explorer, Amerigo Vespucci sailed ashore like some travelling troubadour.

A tenor sang

No, a baritone

Ah, yes, I remember it well.  The New World Order called, America, created under God’s moon.

There was no moon nor America that night, and it was South America

That’s right. That’s right.

It warms my heart, to know that you, remember still, the way you do.

Ah, yes, I remember it well:  How often I’ve thought of that first summer night

It, was a brisk March evening.

I remember it well:  surviving a long ocean voyage and hostile winter in Thanksgiving to God!

Perhaps Christians with more guts, owe thanksgiving too, to Wampanoag who befriended us;

Showing strangers in a strange land how to fish, plant corn and gather berries and nuts.

I remember that night when we had our last rendezvous, and somehow I foolishly wondered if you might be thinking as I do.  I rode all night, just me alone to warn, the Red Coats are coming in just a few.

No not alone, not you.  Before the dawn of Valley Forge, while Congress slept behind closed doors, women too rode out to warn Minute Men of the coming Red horde.

Ah, yes, I remember it well.  We men, better than most…

Not so exceptional to boast.

Those Russian songs

From Muslim sailors at a mosque on Cuba’s coast?

Ah, yes. I remember it well.  You wore a gown of gold.

Not quite Red, White and Blue?

Am I getting old?

Oh, no, not you.  How strong you were, how young and gay.  A prince of peace, in every way.

Ah, yes, I remember it well.

It wasn’t King Ferdinand nor Queen Isabell, who launched a thousand ships in 1492, but rather Muslims in 1178 who, sailed the ocean blue – introducing Islam to Latin American hue.

In the early fall of 1621, Thanksgiving was a happy accident:  Pilgrim Edward Winslow wrote, “we exercised our arms!”  Think more Open Carry than gymnasium event.

There was so much Iraqi-like celebratory firing in the air, neighboring Wampanoag, thinking the foreigners were under attack, rushed to defend them, loaded for bear.

In thanksgiving, the Pilgrims invited the Americans to stay for dinner, and both English immigrants and native born agreed, Lincoln’s idea a winner.

Inspired invaders and their Good Samaritan neighbors, proclaiming we reap what we sow, more gun play was the order of the day, for unsuspecting doe.

Natives provided Venison; foreigners first harvest farmers’ market, and voilà it’s done.

There was land and water fowl aplenty, seafood, pumpkin and, of course, cornbread for ill-mannered sopping, with no hint of the foul play of treaty flip-flopping.

Yet, in time, inter-cultural bridges were squashed, by the craven craving the land of the free braves and labors of the unwashed.

When only fear and hate abide between truth and lies, the tie that binds the middle to East and West is compromised.

Our promise lost to the dark side when love is denied and open arms giving refuge succumbs to prejudicial pride.

I remember it well:  Dallas, Watergate, Trickledown, Pre-emptive Iraq invasion, and Patriot Act betraying American Exceptionalism.

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The Last Time I Saw Paris

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Kindness Mother & ChildHaving learned from the mistakes of Shock and Awe, is it not possible that President Obama has chosen the strategy of applying military air power when needed to eliminate specific targets, intelligence to allies, and training to Syria’s regional neighbors?  These are parallel and simultaneous short and long term strategies, that seem to make two things clear:  Barack Obama is a reluctant warrior, reluctant to put troops in harm’s way – yet he’s better than most at waging war.

Perhaps media talking heads and their military analysts need view 2015 extremists in the Middle East as, more desirous of an ISIS Ottoman Empire imitation, and less likely to follow Pentagon Rules of Engagement.

Attacks of any kind, from any extremists, foreign or domestic, ISIS or Ann Coulter, Putin or Cheney trumps our reason, common sense and character, just as using religion or a political power grab as justification for terminating another’s point of view, is the lowest form of humanity.

Following a street gang turf war model, somehow expecting a different counter from the enemy, is ultimately a self-defeating strategy.  The truly strong are powerful enough to say, enough.

Like family feuds and personal political attacks, we have allowed an unnecessary war with a pre-emptive attack on a country that had nothing to do with 9/11, to prelude us, if not into World War III, then a global acceptance of, Good Kill.

However, this is not a worthy Revolutionary War for our Independence; not an understandable Civil War to preserve our union and free it from slavery; not a necessary World War II to save humanity from a maniacal master race mind set, but a multi-sided conniving set of egos, filling their respective war chests with multi-national maimed, brain damaged or dead.

Understandably, in the wake of the murders in Paris, few of us can hear our inner love for peace and respect for reason, nudging us toward anger management, and away from the oil profiteers that got us into Global War as easily as Global Warming.  However, we need summon our cooler heads with a Global View that can both accept a limited strike while the iron is hot, but also pause to access and internalize the new Global Reality.

Like Climate Change, ISIS is a global truth we can’t afford to deny or ignore, for it is a formidable 21st century internet savvy enemy. However, it is neither invincible nor without something to lose, and that is its Achilles Heel.

Nonetheless, evil is not a man we can kill or acts of violence we can bomb out of existence.  Evil is an idea at war with the ideas of united cultures working together for the good of all life on earth.

Evil manipulates, An Eye for an Eye and a Tooth for a Tooth into Global Conflict between an imbalance of interests, values and beliefs.  The only winning strategy is providing a foundation of global balance through international cooperation.

As we counter the profanity of Freedom Fries, by joining our French allies and friends in mourning the loss of life in Paris, let us consider what connects all on earth to this tragedy:

  • the history of invasions, enslavement of indigenous people
  • the Robber Barons and We Built That
  • Remember The Maine and The Great White Fleet
  • Archduke Franz Ferdinand’s assassination by Bosnian Serb nationalist
  • the Lusitania and Pearl Harbor
  • the Bush/Cheney pre-emptive strike on Iraq
  • the nationalism of a few exploiting the heroic patriotism of too many
  • the ambition of politicians and greed of Corporatism
  • the rape of earth’s natural resources

On September 12, 2001, I drove to Gettysburg.  Both journey and destination filled with tears for murdered Americans.  Now in 2015, we truly are an Out of Many, One, village, with every act, kind or evil, having Global ramifications.

We are indeed at war.  Short term strategy:  limiting the proliferation of evil in the world, knowing it will take more than prayers, lip-service and bombs.

Long term:  realizing the greatest gift we can give is peace – replace the evil in ourselves, with kindness.