Friday, July 29, 2011

Reminders of US

A tragedy the magnitude of 9/11, the continuing wars and subsequent deaths of our young in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the economic hardship of high prices can force a tolerant democracy into a society of contentious non-compromising ideologues. i.e. Congress and the debt ceiling debate.

Uncompromising passionate certainties, wherever you find them, in politics, in business, in our neighborhoods and even in our families, are always dangerous. If we find ourselves heading that way, we might want to rethink our position for some thoughts always hardens into a shape that may not fit the future.

Our founding fathers demonstrated that all opinions are to be valued for their contribution to the whole, and by majority vote incorporated into the greater good, even though their singular intrinsic value may be suspect.

Shared ideals are the essence of collective growth, for they are not only the building blocks of freedom and liberty, they nurture hopes and wishes and encourage individuals to let go of demeaning and constraining beliefs and when that is done the value left is reason.

Despite our internal penchant for prejudice, profiling and pandering to our fears, America is still the haven for the oppressed, for the dreamer, for the builder, the scholar, the poet, the artist, and the idealist, even the mystic, for all know America is the place where the manifestation of great thoughts sustains the precious opportunities of freedom.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

The Good Ol' Days

New Hampshire is a gentle state. Unassuming, and bountifully peaceful. A leisurely ride along U.S. 302 through the White Mountain National Forest underlines that sense of peace and punctuates it with a tiny bit of history. It is called Bretton Woods. It was there in a rambling summer resort back in July of 1944, that 44-nations met to plan for the post-world War II economic recovery.

The Mount Washington Hotel where the conference took place is still a thriving resort today. It's wraparound veranda frames the magnificent Mount Washington and other peaks in the Presidential Range.

Financial leaders, back then, talked, an negotiated and discussed and simplified, a way to make international monetary policies fair and workable following the expense of World War Two. The conference lasted 20-days.

The Bretton Woods accord basically created a system of fixed exchange rates. The value of the Dollar was set a $35 per oz of gold. All other currencies were pegged to the dollar and respective countries were obliged to maintain their currencies value.

The agreement maintained an economic stability for twenty years, but eventually hugh balance of payments deficits shook its foundation and finally in 1971 President Nixon ended it by cutting the link between the dollar and gold.

The arrangement was so successful, 15 years after its collapse many economists and politicians today long for a return to Bretton Woods.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Another Puppy!

What were we thinking?

It happened. A little ten week old Yorkie needed a home and we are it.

Just about a year ago another puppy became ensconced in our home. Her nature over the last year and every day we have had her continues to teach us that the expectation of what a puppy is, is not necessarily what a former puppy was and each one is special and this one equals them all.

Both of these little ones are precious. Fibber is the name of the new puppy and McGee is the name of the one we got just a year ago. If you are old enough you will get the connection.

OK, why another puppy now? I’m not sure. We’ve had several great dogs throughout the years. We’ve had mutts and mixes and pure breeds and they were all both physical as well as spiritual companions. We realized that puppies need other puppies in order to be happy.

The new puppy is about two and a half pounds. He is a Yorkie and is active, playful and loves McGee. He will probably max out at around eight pounds. McGee is six pounds.

Companionship works for us humans why not for dogs too.

When McGee grows up I'm going to encourage her to run for congress. Fibber can be her campaign manager. I'm sure she will understand the human condition and needs better than all of congress today.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Red Letter Day

Red is a primary color that mankind has symbolized into different things and meanings and sayings.

In the past red has signified martyrdom for faith. In dress or costume it meant divine love. In Heraldry, the art or science of having to do with coats of arms, red was called gules and that probably came from the Old English meaning the mouth or jaws. The reference is due probably to the color of the open jaws or reddish. In Shakespeare's Timon of Athens there is a line that reads: "With man's blood paint the ground, gules, gules."

Yeats once wrote that " Red is the colour of magic in every country, and has been so from the vary earliest times., The caps of fairies and musicians are well-neigh always red."

Today the color red has taken on the meaning of revolution and radicalism. Tennyson in Guinevere wrote: " Red ruin, and the breaking up of laws". The Communists of the old Soviet Union were called "reds" There are the Red Chinese and a terrorists group who called themselves the "Red Brigade".

There are a number of expressions we use every day that have the word red in them.

If you are "in the red" it generally means you're overdrawn at the bank or your business is running at a loss. "Not a red cent" means no money at all and refers to the copper penny which looks reddish.

The expression "Red Tape" may have introduced by Charles Dickens. It means rigid adherence to rules and regulations. In the old days lawyers and government officials used to tie their papers together with red ribbon tape. And, of course, there is "seeing red", anger. Caught "red handed" In the act of a crime and "red-eye" a cheap whiskey. Oh yes...I hope you have a "red letter day". It's supposed to be lucky.

Monday, July 25, 2011


9:35 PM Monday

Very Interesting:

After President Obama addressed the nation on the debt ceiling debate in Washington and Speaker Boehner countered with remarks. I tried to reach my two New York State US Senators. I could not.  The government website for an email contact was down.

Here’s the message I received. I got the same notification for both Senators.

Very Interesting. Very disturbing.

This webpage is not available
The webpage at might be temporarily down or it may have moved permanently to a new web address.

What Congress?

Good Monday Morning.

The obstreperous of Washington continue to be obstinate, egotistic, and alleged representatives of what was once a country of compromise. The greatness of our democracy is its ability to come together, to reason, to legislate for the common good and for the good of the whole.

All sides know that the debt ceiling must be raised to avoid an embarrassing default in a global economic community.

Each side is playing with the lives of citizens. The idiocy of brinkmanship ended when the Soviet Union collapsed.

Yes, we need to cut spending. Each congressman should look at their own back yard for the pork they authorize in order to insure their reelection. Yes, we need to raise revenue on all economic strata and it needs to be done with civility and fairness.

To some of congress, compromise is a sign of weakness and a betrayal of the ad hoc groups that put them there. In their zeal few realize that the foundation of beneficial legislation is cemented with courtesy not confrontation and with compromise not conflict.

The absolutists of all political philosophies cannot see a future beyond their own beliefs and are seemingly willing to play with the stability of the country because they will not be affected by any of their actions.

Congress is immune. It has its own financial security. It has its own health system. It has its perks and pleasures and it has become an elite club of spoiled rich bureaucrats.

America’s future is being fractionalized and there are no statesmen or stateswomen in Congress to counter the iconic, the myopic and the temporarily powerful.

I’m tired of it.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Unaware Equals Inconsiderate

Most leaders, managers, bosses do not intend to be inconsiderate. They are often removed, protected, and uninformed about the potential effect of their decisions or desires.

A case in point came a number of years ago when President Clinton visited California. Before the President left Los Angeles he had a top hair stylist come on board Air Force One to cut his hair. The problem was not the haircut, but the fact it was done on the presidential plane parked at LAX. Two heavily used runways had to be closed, at a busy time, because anywhere the President is, a protective security zone must be established.

I don't know how many travelers missed their connections because of the hour long haircut, or how much revenue was lost by the airlines through delays, but it must have been sizable.

The message from the experience is courtesy. Not only from the top, but from those who guide and inform to the top. The misuse of power, however innocent, can only continue when those who serve the top don't speak up out of fear of telling the boss he or she is wrong.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Aberrational Violence

We all can acknowledge that there are mental, genetic or even social disorders that may stimulate some people to commit criminal and violent acts. We all understand and condemn the disturbances of life that drug abuse can cause or mental illness, but understanding aberrational acts of violence or despondent terrorism because one didn't get what they want or got what they didn't want is different and difficult.

There have been cases in point for years. Someone is fired from his job, get a gun, and kills his supervisor and several co-workers. This kind of story happen all too often.

Destruction, either of property or the taking of lives or even disturbing another's personal peace because one is feeling bad, or hurt, or feeling unloved is unacceptable behavior in any society. The social admonition could be, "grow-up" or "get-a-life". The spiritual one is we each create the reality in our lives by our thoughts and choices. So change your mind and change your life.

We need to teach our children that it is wrong to use the aberrations of our society as an acceptable model for action. When they ever feel unappreciated or hurt or depressed and everyone does at one time or another, the solution comes from tolerance and trust and service to others.

Just try feeling bad or unappreciated when you do something nice for another. It's impossible! The self  must appreciate the self first and all else fall into place.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Sheila and the Hawk

My long time and special friend Sheila Ryan DeBold send me one of her magnificent photographs yesterday. Sheila was my photographic partner in the production of the book "Encore - The Poetry of Nature."

Her photographic accuman continues to bring nature to all of us who are priviledged to see her photos.

This photograph was taken just after she pulled into a Starbucks for a coffee. There on the red pipe sat this beauitful Red Tail Hawk. Sheila slowly got back to her car and got her camera. The Hawk stayed in place.

In our Native American culure the Red Tail Hawk has deep spiritual powers and significance.

"The Hawk is a messenger. When it flies into you life, you need to pay attention to the subtle messages found in your surroundings and from those you come in contact with. Holding the key to higher levels of consciousness, this totem awakens vision and inspires creativity. It signifies union with The Great Spirit. The elements of Fire & Air are present in Hawk medicine. 

The Red Tailed Hawk will soar beside the one whose own gift of psychic vision my be exceptionally acute. They will be protectors of Mother Earth and tread softly upon her, encouraging others to do the same."

Here is one of her photographs. Look into the eyes of this spiritual creature and tell me there is not love for the human species and concern for the polluting degradation of our shared environment. Messages of need and warning come from many sources and in many ways.

Thank you Sheila Ryan DeBold for this profound visual connection to nature.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Lies and Innuendo

Some of my long time friends who are staunch conservatives continue to spread the rumors and innuendo about anything that President Obama does or says. Some of the thoughts are downright lies, distortions and deceptions. 

I support the first Amendment guarantees. Freedom of speech has always been part of my professional and personal ethic, and while I don't agree with spreading untruths, I acknowledge the right of any individual to cast them to all who choose to blindly listen. At the same time I have an obligation and a responsibility to point out the fallacy of the rumor or lie or innuendo. When I receive these false allagations I refute them with the truth.
My friends are intelligent enough to do the same thing, but they are mired in their political emotions and anything, whether it is a lie or innuendo they spread to all their contacts.

Hate is a dangerous and self destructive emotion. When directed toward another, either in internet rumors, verbal abuse or silent cowardly innuendo, it has a powerful negative effect.

Hate of a person or a philosophy or a religious belief does nothing to the intended recipient, but it destroys the hater from the level of the spirit. It is consumptive in nature and cancerous in its ability to obscure the hater from the light of truth and the joy of knowing the miracle of our oneness.

The great teachings of all ages caution us about the power of hate. It binds, and attracts to the hater what is seemingly directed at another. It is as strong in its ability to hold pain as the power of love is in releasing it.

Monday, July 18, 2011


George Creel was an old-fashioned Mississippi newspaper editor. Rugged, sometimes radical, but a man President Woodrow Wilson liked and trusted. That made Creel the President's choice for a job never done before.

When America entered World War One, the public was divided. To win public approval President Wilson needed unity, enthusiasm, a lust for enemy blood.

Creel was named to head a committee of public information. It was his job to shape public opinion for winning the war. Creel managed the war news. It had never been done before.

There was a little domestic propaganda during the Civil War and some excitement came from sensation seeking newspapers during the Spanish-American war, but it took George Creel to invent modern public relations, and until he did it, no one thought it possible for a central government to control the emotions of its citizens without force.

Creel created the Uncle Sam poster that says " I want You." It's still in use today. He rallied school children to donate dimes for a warship and he selected a preacher for the house of Representatives who prayed against the "wolfish Hun whose fangs drip with blood" and he had propaganda movies made showing the Germans plundering Belgium.

Creel and his team shaped history. It was only after the war that people saw the questionable use of such tactics. Public manipulation was loosed from Pandora's box and truth would never be that simple again. The government learned it well, but "We The People" have forgotten to question, to verify and to demand accountability.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Season of the Dry

I watched my evening news of choise last night and NBC's Brian Williams presented a piece on the drought in the Southwest. Texas was particularily hard hit. I remembered a piece a wrote several years ago when an earlier drought devestated the ranchers, farmers and citizens of Texas.

It seems appropriate today for this blog. I have pulled several photographs off the internet to illustrate the pathos of the pain experienced in Texas.

Season of the Dry
Rolland G, Smith

“They’ll die some more today,” he said, hitching up his overalls.
The dry steals life, leaf by leaf, when green bows to beige.
“Does the green go where it’s wet?” he wondered,
“Is heaven wet and green? Maybe it will rain today,” he thought,
and shook his head in disbelief at the season of the dry.

He stepped out on the porch and looked upon the field:
weakened stalks of corn, in amber tilting wilt,
a bending supplication to the sun.
A momentary tear welled within his eye
but passed just as quickly in the scorching dry.

“I’ll be with the corn,” he said, moving down the path.
Sarah watched him go, slowly, reverent, to the corn,
like walking to a coffin respectful of the dead.
She knew his heart was saddened, his step told her that.
Each seed, each kernel, a part of him, a planted child,
no given name, but Corn, yet nurtured, and loved,
even as the end came creeping in the season of the dry.

He moved, stepping gently, tender, softly between the rows,
his hands on either side, outstretched in touch,
feeling for the green of life suckled deep within each stalk
protecting root and source
from the searing, barren crust.
“The rain must come,” he said, “to end the season of the dry.”

Then he stood in middle field, surrounded by a leafy wail.
Each plant had spots and withered wrinkles,
long below their time, each holding to an expectation and reservoir of hope,
waiting for the irrigation that nature’s spirit springs
upon a season of the dry. When all that’s left is trust.

It might have been the heat or maybe something else,
but soon the farmer’s weathered heart
became the mendicant, pleading to a sentient earth,
“Let the water flow.
I know there is some moisture here, some hiding healing rain,
so needed in this parching scorch in the season of the dry.”

“Send the rain,” he prayed, “erase the baking scars,
the tempered cracks of heat that leave their open wounds
stretched long upon the arid fractured loam.
Corn and weed cannot compete,” he thought,
“weakness saps their strength.
They find a way to die together, in the season of the dry.”

Standing there, his waist above the waste, he sobbed.
No one could see his tears, nor his heaving sigh.
“Farmers aren’t supposed to cry,” he thought,
“just sow and reap, not weep.
If it doesn’t rain tomorrow, I’ll have to plow them under, deep,
underneath the dry.”

Later, coming home, he stopped, to find a masking smile.
“Sarah needn’t know,” he thought, only that he’d paid respects
to the corn he’d hoped to grow, before it went to ground.
She watched him through the screen and opening the door,
she smiled faintly in return, as she kissed him on the cheek
and wiped away a telling streak from the season of the dry.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

The Side Porch

I remember a porch from my childhood where the screens were a little rusty, pushed in or pillowed out and a single screened door had a heavy spring that slammed it shut. It was a strong spring that grabbed and pulled quickly to close the door challenging any wandering fly and me with a glass or plate to get inside.

Next to the back wall, facing the screen to the front was a squeaky glider with thin uncomfortable plastic green and yellow cushions festooned with cartoon sun flowers. When you sat down you’d hear the swoosh of captured air escaping from the constricted sponge within the pillow until your body was stopped by the metal frame underneath.

It mattered not, for I slept on that glider many a hot and humid night. Air conditioning? Who had that in those days?

The porch was small, simple and special. Inside were two wrought iron tables with etched glass tops, and a side chair with the same metallic construction as the glider and squishy cushions. A small glass coffee table created a tiny alter in front of the glider. It collected glasses, books, papers and an occasional crust from my sandwich.

Just outside the porch and to one side was a grape arbor and vine. Once the leaves spread in the spring and the tiny bunches of grapes formed pyramid like clusters you could watch the growth progression all summer. In the fall the clusters were as big as green marbles and rapidly turned purple and sweet.

Several feet off the front screen was a rolling lawn, quilted with asparagus and raspberry patches. At the base of the lawn was a line of tall blue spruces that kept a cattail Savannah from encroaching on the lawn. Along the side yard, next to the grape arbor, was a vegetable garden of dubious productivity.

The porch was my hermitage, my lair, my domain of quiet to hear the sounds of nature, and most of all, the wind. I became friends with the wind on that porch. Its always been an invisible companion, yet you know it's there. It comes in zephyred puffs, gentle breezes, playful gusts, tagging bursts and even in a stealth-like stillness as the silent breath of nature. The porch is gone, but I'm still friends with the wind.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Cecil Rhodes

I was listening to my favorite singer, songwriter of the 70's and 80's Kris Kristopherson last night and the fact that he was a Rhodes scholar brought this post to mind.

President Bill Clinton was one and so was Senator Bill Bradley of New Jersey. They are among a select group that since 1904 have been offered Rhodes scholarships.

It all started with Cecil J. Rhodes, A British colonial pioneer and statesman who died in 1902. He was a man with a vision and a loyalty to Great Britain that bordered on zealotry.

Cecil Rhodes made his fortune in South Africa by first supervising and then owning a diamond mine.
Over the years Rhodes concentrated on two things. Adding territory to the British Empire and controlling more and more diamond mines.

Rhodes became an elected official and through political power did more than any other person of his time to increase the territory controlled by the British.

He forced the annexation of what is now Botswana. He forced the Matabele tribe to surrender most of its land. Land, so vast, that today, that same territory comprises two countries. Zambia and Zimbabwe.

By 1888 Rhodes had combined all his diamond mines under the name of the De Beers Consolidated Mines. He was very influential and very rich and he had a vision. He wanted to strengthen the ties among English-speaking people and broaden their knowledge of one another by having the best of their young and potential leaders take degrees together where he went to school, Oxford University.

Approximately 90 Rhodes Scholarships are awarded each year.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Murdoch's Folly

Here is a clip from the Los Angeles Times business section about what’s happening to the Rupert Murdoch News Empire.

“With the phone-hacking scandal that took down News Corp.’s News of the World tabloid showing no signs of slowing down, media watchdogs and industry observers are starting to wonder whether the flames engulfing media mogul Rupert Murdoch’s ambitions in Britain could eventually spread to here and threaten his U.S. operations.”

 I hope so. I have never been a fan of Murdoch’s enterprises, any of them. His corporate news ethic is suspect at best and his corporate news gathering morality leaves much to be desired.

The mighty will always be brought to low when truth is not the rebar of foundation. Profit has never fortified the wet cement of information. Journalistic ethics are unenforceable when ratings are the only criteria.

Murdoch’s enterprises report only what is acceptable to his conservative criteria. We get to decide only from the information he deems presentable. That is not how it works, or should work in American journalism.

I trust that American journalism is stronger than that of some of our British counterparts and that News Corp’s. Holdings in America will be held to a higher standard.  I hope so.

Monday, July 11, 2011


I’m going do a series of personal “whys” for this post.

I don’t have the answers to any of the “why’s” I question, but it seems from my advanced age prospective that there ought to have been some answers forthcoming both long ago and immediately.

Why is it that cars and trucks that are rounding a curve always seem to creep across the double line and encroach on the oncoming lane? It’s like pilots busting altitude restrictions and encroaching on another aircraft’s airspace. Not a good idea.

Why is it that there always seems to be a train tragedy in India, or Bangladesh? There was one in India yesterday and twenty-one people were killed.

Why is it there always seems to be a ferry capsizing in Indonesia and the like and dozens are drowned? There was a river boat double decked that sank in the Volga River yesterday out of a Bulgaria. So far one hundred are missing. Why?

Why can’t the republicans and the democrats solve the dept issue in one conference? Why do they have to posture and puff and prolong the needed decision? I would vote them all out of office and will do so with my immediate representatives, both Senate and the House at the next opportunity.

Another big earthquake hit Northeastern Japan.  I can’t ask why because the answer lies in the tectonic plates and the volatile volcanic ring of fire that skirts Japan.

Why is it we have such interest and adoration in British royalty when nearly two and a half centuries ago we fought a revolution to get rid of them? I like William and Kate. I was just wondering.

Why is it that the United States of America professes and promotes peace, but we sell or give arms to friendly states or organizations that often turn around and fight us? I know this is an old memory and is not a case in point, but prior to World War Two we sold the steel from a torn down New York Third Avenue elevated to Japan. Guess what? We got a lot of it back in bombs.

Why is it that the might of many countries cannot stop the Somali pirates from hijacking unarmed merchant ships in the Indian Ocean? Seems to me a coordinated effort on the part of several countries would stop the piracy in its tracks or better yet, its wake.

Why are we as a country not moving into another phase of space travel and exploration? We started it, but now we are abandoning our expertise and technology and relying on the Russians to resupply the international space station. Perhaps all the money we are spending on suspect wars is one of the reasons.

Have a great Monday and don’t concern yourself about these “whys”. It’s another one of my rants.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Distorted Emails

My republican friend is at it again. Here is a gentlemen and I mean that, he is a gentleman and a proud retired US Navy high-ranking officer, a combat veteran, and very patriotic. I love him. He is a wonderful friend and companion.

He sent out an email that purports to be a letter from one of President Obama’s Columbia University  classmates in 1983.

The classmate is identified as Wayne Allyn Root. Root was a Libertarian vice-president candidate on Bob Barr’s ticket in the 2008 elections.

Wikipedia says that Root is an American politician, entrepreneur, television and radio personality and a political commentator.

With those very valid and focused credentials I would not be touting Root as the paragon of judgment for Obama.

Root says:

“He (Obama) is purposely overwhelming the U.S. economy to create systemic failure, economic crisis and social chaos -- thereby destroying capitalism and our country from within.”

Root also claims Obama is a devout Muslim.

Let me see now: devout Muslims don’t smoke, do prayers toward Mecca five times a day, don’t drink, don’t attend Sunday church services etc. Mr. Obama doesn’t seem very devout to me.

Root’s email says he didn’t know Obama and nobody else did.

( That’s a validation for devout if I ever heard one. )

But yet he (Root) claims Obama was his college classmate and he knows.

The email ends by saying that says Root’s statements were correctly attributed. Great…he said them, but the inference at the end of the email is that everything Root says is correct.

 Come on…my friend. All of us need a lot of  discernment in political beliefs these days.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

A Fire a Nation Forgot

The summer of 1871 was dry, around Peshtigo, Wisconsin. It was then a small lumber town on Lake Michigan's Green Bay; a booming town, but choaking dry. It had rained once in five months.

         Residents were unconcerned. Logging continued. Wood products were milled and made into barrels and broom sticks. The raw product was plentiful. Thousands of acres of pine and spruce grew to the towns edge.

         In early September fires began to break out close to Peshtigo. No wonder. It was parched. The land was hard and dry. By the end of the month some cabins and a lumber mill had burned.

         On October 8th another blaze. It seem like everything within miles burst into chewing flames. Peshtigo started to burn fed by the lumber at the mills, the wood products in the warehouses and the arid saw-dust that coated the town.

         Residents tried to run, but walls of fire attacked from all directions. Six villages were destroyed. A quarter of a million acres charred. 12-hundred people died in 25 hours of fire.

         There is little memory today of one of the worst fires in United States History. On the same day, October 8th, 1871, the nation learned of another fire. The great fire of Chicago happened on the same day. It nearly burned the city to the ground and Peshtigo was forgotton.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Hell or Not?

One of the questions always hanging around belief circles is: Is there a hell? I figured it out for me. It does not exists. 

Do we really think that a loving All That Is sits up there, out there, in there, wherever your mind can place a diety and looks at each of our actions and decides based on what we have chosen to do that Heaven is for one and hell for someone else?

I think the Divine, however you personify it, is truly All That Is and in that "isness" there is unconditional loving, and that means no judgment whatsoever. That does not mean there are no consequences. With every choice we make there are consequences. It is the immutable loving Law of divine balance.

I also think that our innate basic nature or spirit is also unconditionally loving, but we don’t choose to be it very often because we have forgotten that we are part of God along with the power that goes with that understanding.

I think the Divine created us out of love to be part of its glorious self; to be personalized expressions of All That Is so that the experiences we choose allow the Creator to experience itself as us.

I think that we are the individuation of the indivisible and that translates in street language to, “baby, we ‘is’ part of each other and part of All That IS.

I don’t know about you, but I am tired of one religion or another saying my God is the true God or my belief is better that your belief or my God’s name is the real name. God has every name that ever existed, including yours and mine.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011


A number of years ago I read an article in the New York Times about a wild Mustang round-up out west. It was a well written article about the history of the Mustangs and why the round-up was necessary and who was doing it.

The final paragraph talked about a wrangler who was at the end of the drive to bring the horses into a corral on the prairie. The reporter asked the wrangler what he did for the drive and his simple, laconic answer was, " Mostly I close the gate".

I've never forgotten that story for it was profound in its every-day-ness for most of us. Sure, some people have high profile jobs as executives, lawyers, doctors and successful businessmen and women. Many others are retired from those kind of positions, and others are aspiring to that elusive point of personal success, but when it comes down to it, on a day to day basis, what we all mostly do is close the gate.

When you close your computer down for the day and head home, mostly you close the gate.

When you lock up the house at night for a few short hours of rest, mostly you close the gate.

When you say goodnight or goodbye to your friends and colleagues for the day or even for a time of extended parting, mostly you close the gate. It's a mind corral in which to keep your thoughts and hopes and wishes and even worries until you have a chance to open the gate again.

What is perfect in the singular acknowledgement of "closing the gate" is its simplicity. There are no pretenses, no bragging, no social positioning, or aggrandizement of the egoic self, just the truth. I would love that kind of veracity from all of us, but especially from those in Congress.

Friday, July 1, 2011

The 4th of July

I trust this Friday will signal a fine holiday for all who choose to read this blog.

BTW I do thank you for that courtesy.

Having said that I am taking Monday off, so the next blog will be posted on Tuesday the 5th.

Way back when, long before the time of today’s conscious memory, an idea became the child of freedom and democracy. At its birth, on this day in 1776, they named her Independence and called her The United States of America.

It was a hard pregnancy. The energy of violence was prevalent until the last British ships sailed out of New York Harbor. Then came the task of tolerance and the faith of forgiveness for our British cousins. four-thousand, four hundred and 35 patriotic American citizens died before the birth of Independence was possible.

Independence was a normal child, with endemic growing pains and problems. She fought against the British again in 1812 and deep within her own family in 1860 as she struggled to keep herself together.

Through the years into maturity, Independence traveled many paths. Old tired ones of war and new jubilant celebrations of peaceful success. Along the way there was boom and bust in the quest for comfort. The persona of independence made her share of friends and enemies, but she always carried the olive branch of reconciliation.

So congratulations Independence on your birthday. May all your other names of Liberty and Freedom be forever tied to virtue, to tolerance, to honor, and to the God We Trust.
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