This aged iconoclast has found a hauntingly apt adage, that appears in scriptures of all the world’s major beliefs, to flat-out decry the disgraceful sham by which the Cheney/Bush duet conspired to deliver the safety and security of this nation and its citizens, into the grip of corporate contractors, without a shred of conscience for consequence. They did this, not only to beat the rap for the bucks ultimately banked by them all but also for the venal viggerish, now available in lavish amounts shoveled into the coffers of shifty politicians, who lack the self-respect to refuse such shoddy blood-soaked sugar.
In frequent past circumstances, this currently dispirited paladin was moved to remind certain ‘Second Amendment’ advocates (who’ve had what more of us should believe are misdirected objectives), about its starkly restrictive preamble. Few of them seem, either to have read and /or correctly interpreted it. In his first inaugural address, after being elected the third American President, in 1801, Thomas Jefferson said that the sum of a good government is to restrain its citizens….”from injuring one another.” He said this was necessary, “…..to close the circle of our felicities.”
Hard to believe, ours is a nation literally founded on a principle of church/state separation, when most current political emphasis, especially that of evangelically driven single minded, religionist zealots, seems obsessively focused on the opposite. As this commentator noted in a two-thousand twelve essay, it was not hostility to Christianity that moved our founders to downplay it, it was the need to ensure religious neutrality. The Treaty of Tripoli, an agreement between the United States and the Muslim Region of North Africa, signed in 1797, by then President George Washington and approved by the Senate, under John Adams, states flatly: “The Government of The United States is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian Religion.”
There’s no denying the heat of resentment that prodded America’s colonial rebellion to its ultimate break with British rule and the formation of a new system of governance, controlled and administered by an elected body of its citizens. In retrospect, though, with the passage of several centuries for calmer contemplation, this should not condemn every aspect of the British system to infamy and avoidance. In fact, a thorough study of our current system of governance shows it lacking a mode of service, not completely available within our three traditional branches of government, into which it’s divided. Closer scrutiny in fact reveals a glaring need for its addition. A management branch could re-revolutionize our current system of three governmental branches, all of which are held hostage to the insidious influence of a continuous cycle of elective politics.
From the time of its purported discovery, this land’s status as a welcome destination for immigrants has been clouded in controversy. Its discovery, so-called, was preceded by a century and a half of episodic probes by Norsemen, in open boats, who leap-frog-ed down the Greenland coast leaving outposts of free-spirited Vikings, to warrant what their curiosity had found but their ancestral natures had left un-peopled.
Of all our country’s national observances, Veterans’ Day has always had a special importance, because wars have touched so many American lives, since the first Revolution, that changed our colonial-vassal status to an independent federated democratic republic, the continuity of which depends on all of its citizens. That continuity has been tested too often, at increasing costs in money, materials, and precious human resources, with depressing signs of higher costs to come. Sadly, the partisan pride at having survived the horror that claimed and maimed so many of their comrades has also compelled many combat veterans to be silent about the terrible dangers they escaped. Prodded by the prospect of greater, more painful sacrifice, combat veterans who’ve served in our armed forces should raise their voices against war, as a sequential ‘next-step,’ in any negotiated effort to solve a difficulty or a perceived threat by anyone. In our past service, what we WWII veterans saw of combat turned many of us into ‘soldiers against war!’
In the year 1900, in what this pundit believes to be one of the most cogent and powerful essays, Theodore Roosevelt claimed that no one is justified in doing evil for reasons of expedience. Alas, in little more than a century later, expedience is fueling a return to the most vicious and inhumane practices of this self-proclaimed ‘democratic republic’s’ self-scarred history, in a succession of prejudicial efforts, to deny African-Americans and others of similar color, access to the civil rights ostensibly enjoyed by everyone else. Conservative Republican officials and others of their ilk, at every level of government, from local through county, state and federal, are eagerly involved in this hateful denial, made even more detestable by their own outspoken claims of innocent ignorance.
On February 18th, 1860, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, a feminist founder of the first Woman’s Suffrage Congress, in the United States, said this in a speech to members of the New York State Legislature: “The prejudice against color, of which we hear so much, is no stronger than that against sex. It is produced by the same cause,…..The Negro’s skin and the woman’s sex are both prima facie evidence that they were intended to be in subjection to the white Saxon man.”
From the time of the American colonies’ declaration of independence from the Monarch-led Empire of Great Britain (on July 4, 1776), to the establishment of a democratic republic, with its first President, a Congress, Senate, unfinished draft of an as yet incomplete and un-adopted Constitution, nearly two decades would elapse. Still, their absolute belief in the certitude of their enterprise induced them to announce it to a then uninitiated assortment of nations.
Catching sight of a TV photo of conservative mischief-maker, Ralph Reed, (former anti-Indian tribes lobbying crony of the notorious Jack Abramoff) in the late news, recently, announcing that he was preparing once again to organize young Christians in a typical chapter of Ralph Reed chicanery, strongly reminded this pundit of the wisdom shared by Confucius, in his Analects, that: “Learning without thought is labor lost; while thought without learning is perilous.” In light of all the sudden public angst about this Nation’s seemingly unsuccessful efforts to establish a well-functioning system of public education, the last thing we need is any kind of input by the likes of the crafty Mr. Reed. Apparently, though, there is more than a little need of constructive concern, on the part of all of us, about how our young people are being educated and this brought to mind Marshall McLuhan, he of “The Medium Is The Message” fame.