Where Are We Headed?

Spend a few minutes reading the comments in just about any news article on-line these days, and you will see one of the things that is very wrong with America. Person A makes a comment that Person B doesn’t like, and the fur begins to fly: “You’re a douchebag!” “Up yours!” “Your an idiot!” “How come you never learned to spell, asshole.” And so it goes.

These are mild examples. But when the f-bomb is used by one stranger against another, when the hatred that is deep within so many Americans begins to spill out, I despair of our society’s future. The Online Etymology Dictionary tells us that the word “society” comes from the Latin words for fellowship, alliance, union, community, and companion. Our society is doomed if we do not regain a sense of fellowship, of the feeling that fellow Americans are, after all, our companions in life and country, to be treated with respect even if we disagree with them, even if sometimes they have not acted toward us as respectfully as we would like.

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Not Only Those Who Vote

Democracy means that the will of the people – as reflected in elections – shall be implemented, for better or worse. Only the voting citizens of this country decide what is in their best interests, so it is incumbent upon all of us to realize that, if we sleep on our right to vote, those who do not sleep will prevail. The will of the voting majority – with due modifications to reflect the Electoral College process – will affect everyone, not only those who vote.

And yet, I hear people say “My vote doesn’t count.” Don’t be one of these people in the American presidential election of 2016, or you may end up getting what you don’t want and won’t survive. A failure to vote against a hater makes one complicit in his hatred. A failure to vote against a bigot makes one complicit in his bigotry. A failure to vote against a lunatic with his finger on the button makes one complicit in World War III.

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Democracy Can Fail

Democracy, like any other form of government, like any other human endeavor, can fail, and, when democracy fails, the result can be devastating. The worst example in modern history of democracy fai…

Source: Democracy Can Fail

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Democracy Can Fail

Democracy, like any other form of government, like any other human endeavor, can fail, and, when democracy fails, the result can be devastating.

The worst example in modern history of democracy failing is Germany’s election of 1932, which installed the Nazi party as the largest party in the Reichstag. As a result, Adolf Hitler became Germany’s Chancellor, orchestrated the Second World War, and murdered six million Jews and many millions of others. This spectacular failure of democracy led to Germany’s destruction and the destruction of most of Europe.

The lesson to be learned from democracy’s failures is that we Americans cannot simply assume that our democracy will continue or that our nation will survive any given election. This year, we expect to be presented with a Republican presidential nominee who, like Hitler, preaches nativism, who, like Hitler, promises to make his nation “great” again, who, like Hitler, despises minorities, gays, the disabled, immigrants, who, like Hitler, promises to round up and relocate millions of “undesirables,” who, like Hitler, is a narcissist and boor.

Every vote has a consequence, and it can be for good or for evil. This election, more so than any other in my lifetime, there is a stark choice to be made against evil. Those who say they will vote for the presumptive Republic nominee despite his evil – because, for example, he will “shake things up” – won’t get to take that vote back when his policies cause riots in the streets, a second Great Depression, and a nuclear war. Those who vote for Adolf Trump will sadly get what they deserve if he wins, and it may be our last election for generations. Ask the Germans who voted for the Nazi party in 1932.

 

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With Rights Come Responsibilities, But the NRA Doesn’t See It That Way.

With rights come responsibilities, and no right is absolute. Yet, those who would challenge any effort at reasonable gun laws based on the Second Amendment repeatedly demonstrate their lack of responsibility. The NRA, which claims to appeal to “great Americans,” recognizes on its website that the confiscation of semi-automatic firearms in Australia led to the elimination of mass shooting murders. It’s pretty simple: the NRA, the Republican party, and their supporters would rather have those guns in general circulation regardless of the death they cause.

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From the Pacific Crest Trail 

Muted palette of grey playing before me

The browns of shadow fallen to narrow path

The blues of rock-broken boulder bled and dry

The greens of pine praying the wooden tower

Each true color holding its grey for all time

 

The crusted stump of fire-torn forested life

The soot soft skin recalling all to hazard

Its ash giving nutrient to wild flower

Red trumpets bend, round and lovely, in homage

Their chorus of song swelling in sweet caverns.

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Overheard Conversations

“Turkey was beautiful”

“What page is he on?”

“We need two folding chairs up there.”

“When my partner died …”

“They sent you a plaque?”

“No, that’s not right!”

“Oops!”

“Where are the kids when we need them?”

“up on the wall …”

“We need two folding chairs up there.”

“Oops!”

 

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