There must justice for all or there is justice for no one.

Sunday, May 20, 2018

THOUGHTS AND PRAYERS

Looks like today is a triple header. I couldn't make out the name of artist.


Courtesy of Benjamin Corey's FB page. His blog can be found under Formerly Fundie.

AFTER THE SHOOTING STOPS

It's one of these double posting days.

For years I've been a fan of shows like Law and Order (the original, not the spin offs), Blue Bloods and the original Hawaii 5-O. And this didn't hit me until yesterday.

Another mass shooting. At a school. We focus on the victims and their families. And we should. These kids are dead. We will never know how these future moms, dads, cops, doctors, lawyers and Indian Chiefs would have done for themselves, their families, our country.

The other day a has been, right wing evangelical opined that there had been doctors who could have cured cancer. Sent by God. But they had been aborted before they had the chance. Hey gun lovers! Maybe one or more of those kids could have discovered a universal cure for cancer but they were brutally murdered by a nut with access to guns, ammo, and an attitude of heaven knows what.

And, sorry for the diversion, what about the men and women who respond to these terrorist attacks? The police officers, the sheriff's deputies, the EMT's, the forensics crew, the chaplains? The ones who separate the living from the wounded and the dead. The men and women who transport the wounded to the ER. And the ER crews who find themselves caring for kids whose biggest worry that mornig was a math test. The crews who mark where the dead fell, bag the bodies and take them to the morgue. The doctors who do autopsies on kids who just might remind them of their own families. the forensics crews who bag evidence and try to find all the bullets that didn't end up on a body.

Who gathers the names and addresses of the victims? Who works through the crowd on the other side of the crime scene tape asking "do you know this person?" Cell phones that can take pictures. Or can they get ID pictures from an office staff that is probably standing there with that thousand mile stare?

AND HOW IN BLOODY HELL DO YOU CONTACT THE FAMILIES OF THE DEAD AND WOUNDED? Forgive me for shouting. Do you send officers to homes and offices. Do you call and say, what the hell do you say?

How many more bodies and nightmares will it take to pull this piece of real estate between lines on  map back to something resembling sanity? I can't call it a nation. Because is sure as hell isn't.

THOUGHTS, PRAYERS AND INACTION? NO

The chief of the Houston, Texas police department posted this on his FB page yesterday. His name is Art Acevedo,

To all my Facebook friends. Today I spent the day dealing with another mass shooting of children and a responding police officer who is clinging to life. I’m not ashamed to admit I’ve shed tears of sadness, pain and anger.
I know some have strong feelings about gun rights but I want you to know I’ve hit rock bottom and I am not interested in your views as it pertains to this issue. Please do not post anything about guns aren’t the problem and there’s little we can do. My feelings won’t be hurt if you de-friend me and I hope yours won’t be if you decide to post about your views and I de-friend you.
I have never accepted the status-quo in anything I do and I’ve never accepted defeat. And I won’t do it now. I will continue to speak up and will stand up for what my heart and my God commands me to do, and I assure you he hasn’t instructed me to believe that gun-rights are bestowed by him.
The hatred being spewed in our country and the new norms we, so-called people of faith are accepting, is as much to blame for so much of the violence in our once pragmatic Nation.
This isn’t a time for prayers, and study and Inaction, it’s a time for prayers, action and the asking of God’s forgiveness for our inaction (especially the elected officials that ran to the cameras today, acted in a solemn manner, called for prayers, and will once again do absolutely nothing).
I close by saying, I wish those that move on from this page the best. May God Bless you and keep you.

Mr. Acevedo started his career in California, was chief of the Austin, Texas PD for several years and became chief in Houston a couple of years ago. I don't know what church, if any he attends and he is Hispanic. For whatever that is worth.

Thursday, May 17, 2018

BLOODY IGNORANCE

Rather than repeat the entry on the other side I'm just posting the link.  Arthritis kicking up.

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

TRUE THEN AND STILL TRUE NOW

Another repost from about a decade ago. Call it a blast from the past. 
This has been kicking around for awhile, but I’ve had trouble bringing all the threads together.  I’ve a got a picture. Now if I can just fit it in a frame
Harking back to my entries on canning and stuff.  It was work, but it wasn’t. There was time between batches to kick back, read a little, harass a little sister (or be harassed), pull a weed or three, to just be. That’s how I was raised. That’s what families do; or did. And that’s what they did for generations. What really bugs me is that when the work gets entered in the balance sheet for gross national product, all that ends up in the final total is the cost of the materials. There’s no line in GNP for the creation of the ties between friends and families.
The work was done within the family or with friends. Think back on all those stories of barn raisings and quilting bees. The work got done, but no money changed hands. More than likely everybody went home with tired bodies, full stomachs, the satisfaction of a job well done and enough juicy gossip to keep tongues wagging until the next get together.
No income was recorded. No taxes paid. Well, in our case, dad got paid by Pope and Talbot for managing one of their cutting crews, but that information got put on a different line on the balance sheet.
I’m sure it wasn’t some sinister conspiracy, but somehow we’ve been convinced that it’s more productive for both parents to work outside the home and pay someone else to provide the things we did for ourselves. Or try to squeeze all that “unpaid” work in around the edges.
And no, we didn’t do it all. No family could ever provide everything they needed from within the family. They always had to fill in with what they couldn’t do themselves. And no, I don’t want to live in a country where the only job for woman is in the home. I like having the choices.
But, I get the feeling it’s a giant shell game. The same work gets done. But, now the national economy recognizes the value of the work because a dollar value can be attached to it and taxes get paid. And somehow the parent that stays home is seen as being less productive than if they were in the paid job market.
And I guess you need to push to have both parents in the job market while the pressure keeps building to turn pre-school into kindergarten and kindergarten into the first grade. Can’t have those pesky children taking too much time to become employable for the jobs we’ve decided are worth paying for. There’s very little room anymore for clowns, dreamers, contemplatives or other square pegs.
I truly believe we’ve lost even more. There’s a knowledge that comes from having to manage things. You don’t learn that in a class room. There’s a knowledge that comes from knowing you won’t always get what you want the way you want it. You just might have to settle for something else. You may have to wait awhile. And you just might find out that what you get is so much more than you expected.

Monday, May 14, 2018

THE SLEEPING DRUNK

So. the current occupant has had his way and the US embassy is now located in Jerusalem. A move that all previous administrations back to Truman have avoided. Naturally the Palestinians are demonstrating and the Israeli army is shooting. I don't know what the toll in dead, dying and injured is at this point. I wrote the original post almost ten years ago. The situation has gone further down the road since then.

Oh, Thomas you were taken far too soon. And to be honest one of the few Christian writers I still read. 
A story retold by a man of deep, abiding and clear eyed faith.
A seventeenth century rabbi told this story. Two men were traveling through a forest. One sober, the other drunk. They were attacked by thieves who beat them and stole everything they had, including their clothes. When they finally reached the first village outside the forest the villagers asked them what had happened.
The drunken man (apparently still under the influence after all this time, but then this is a parable) answered first. “Everything was fine. Not a thing happened on the trip.” I suspect the villagers looked at him, each other, back to him and one of them shook himself a bit and asked the obvious question. “If nothing happened, why are you bloody, bruised and where in the name of all that’s holy are your clothes?”
The sober man broke in. “Don’t believe a word he says. There are outlaws in the forest. They attacked us. They took everything we had down to the last stitch of clothing. Be careful that what happened to us doesn’t happen to you”
Thomas Merton used this story in the preface of his collection of essays in Faith and ViolenceChristian Teaching and Christian Practice published in 1967 as the country entered the worst of the violence related to the civil rights movement and the Viet Nam War protests.
The drunken man was so blind drunk that he “slept” through the whole attack and didn’t realize he was naked. (heck I’m surprised he was able to move much less walk if he was that blasted: but this is a parable).
 In his essays Merton asked this question. Can faith, religious or political, act as blinders or an anesthetic? Do we see the violence, fear and anger in others while being blind to our own? Do we keep insisting that we must be free to defend ourselves by any and all means available while denying others the right to defend themselves? “Our violence is good, your violence is unacceptable.” Does this sound depressingly familiar?

Sunday, May 13, 2018

SPIRIT DANCING

By artist Barbara Kahn



“One who speaks for the tree roots and stones. Who speaks with the tree roots’ and stones’ voices. One who speaks as the grass and rivers. One who speaks as fields and woods and hills and valleys and the salt marshes and waves and tides. Yet who speaks as what is close to home. With the mouse’s voice or the seagull’s or the fox’s or the badger’s. One who speaks in cadences that go beyond the darkness and beyond stars, encompassing what is unmeasurable. One whose entire being vibrates to the spirits’ words in nature, like a reed at dawn in a pool where trout swim.

Picture a living world of tree roots, grass roots, little streams, big streams, great oceans, waters seeping into the deep rocks, recharging the headwaters of rivers and streams. The world is alive with whispers.

Wildwood mystic Rae Beth wrote of one of her familiars, an old cunning man who lived in Britain over a thousand years ago. He spoke to her of prayers. He said that we must know all the prayers of the world around us; of the birds, beasts or fish. I can understand the idea that a sparrow or a fox might pray; but the prayers of streams or stones?

What does water dream of and pray for? Does the drop of water in a tiny brook remember when it was part of a mighty ocean? Does it remember being a snowflake, a glacier, or a tiny drop of rain? Does it remember being another tiny rivulet? Flowing from rivulet, to stream, to mighty river and finally to the sea. Does it remember being caught up by the warmth of the sun only to become a new drop of rain. Does it remember the long fall from cloud to earth, the sinking into the soil, the slow drift into tree roots, the release from leaves into the air and back to clouds to fall again.

What does a stone remember? Does it remember when its atoms were part of the primal lava flows? Does it remember further back when the atoms were formed in the death throes of a super nova? Do the atoms remember their lives in a cliff face being ground down by relentless breakers? Does it remember the endless pressure as the sandstone was thrust again into daylight or carried down into the heart of the earth to return again as a lava flow?

Imagining the dreams of a bird, badger or fish is difficult enough for a human. Normally we see water, grass or stone as inanimate, unaware. To imagine their prayers; that is a mystery.