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Archive for September, 2013

This CNN interview with one of my heroes, Bill Cosby, has been passed around the web in the last few days. In three minutes he expresses a lot of wisdom along with his frustration.

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16th_Street_Baptist_Church_bombing_girls
Fifty years ago today an African-American Baptist church in Birmingham, Alabama was dynamited by members of a Klan group.   Four girls died, ages 14 and 11, with many others injured.

Joan Baez sings this song written by Richard Fariña (her brother-in-law) to commemorate the attack.

Read more in this Wikipedia article:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/16th_Street_Baptist_Church_bombing

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Really trying not to get political on the blog.  Difficult.cruise_missile_launch_navy_photo

In early 2003, while the president beat his drums for Regime Change in Iraq, and made his case by citing Weapons of Mass Destruction, a friend dropped by in the evening while the news was on TV.  He asked me, “What’s your take on all this?”  I said that I had come to the conclusion that either the president is insane or I am.

I still have hope that it was I who was insane, in order to give that president a passing grade in history, but it’s ten years later, a different president, and the drum of war is beating again—and the drug of war is about to be injected.  I don’t think I was the madman then.  I may be now.

From George Orwell’s Nineteen-Eighty-Four, a book that may never out-date (sadly, and in spite of its unfortunate title) until Jesus comes again.  Winston Smith is reading here from the banned Emmanuel Goldstein:

‘In past ages, a war, almost by definition, was something that sooner or later came to an end, usually in unmistakable victory or defeat. In the past, also, war was one of the main instruments by which human societies were kept in touch with physical reality. All rulers in all ages have tried to impose a false view of the world upon their followers, but they could not afford to encourage any illusion that tended to impair military efficiency. …

Moreover, to be efficient it was necessary to be able to learn from the past…

But when war becomes literally continuous, it also ceases to be dangerous. When war is continuous there is no such thing as military necessity. The war is waged by each ruling group against its own subjects, and the object of the war is not to make or prevent conquests of territory, but to keep the structure of society intact. The very word ‘war’, therefore, has become misleading. It would probably be accurate to say that by becoming continuous war has ceased to exist. … A peace that was truly permanent would be the same as a permanent war. This – although the vast majority of Party members understand it only in a shallower sense – is the inner meaning of the Party slogan: War is Peace.’

Winston stopped reading for a moment. Somewhere in remote distance a rocket bomb thundered. The blissful feeling of being alone with the forbidden book, in a room with no telescreen, had not worn off.

‘Julia.’

No answer.

‘Julia, are you awake?’

No answer. She was asleep. He shut the book, put it carefully on the floor, lay down, and pulled the coverlet over both of them.

…[A]fter reading it he knew better than before that he was not mad. Being in a minority, even a minority of one, did not make you mad. There was truth and there was untruth, and if you clung to the truth even against the whole world, you were not mad.”

Write to your U.S. senators and representatives.  A quick Google search will take you to the homepage of each of them.  On their Contact page, a short message and a click of the “Submit” button is all it takes.  Phone numbers and mailing addresses are provided too.

One-More-Red-Line-to-Go

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