Friday, August 30, 2013

Fort Hood Shooter and death

The Fort Hood shooter, Army psychiatrist Nidal Hasan has been sentenced to death in the killing of 13 army personnel.

In Hasan’s Islamic mind, if he dies, he dies a martyr.

Would it not have been better to deny him his martyr status and sentenced him go life in prison?

Or is that cruel and unusual punishment?

Thursday, August 29, 2013

MLK 50th

I've posted this poem a number of times over the years and given yesterday's 50th annivesary of Dr. King's "I have a dream speech," I think it is still appropriate.

To wit:


© 1995 Rolland G. Smith

I had a dream the other night
   And Martin Luther King was there.
He spoke in tones befit the wise
   And asked me if I’d share,
The news of how his dream came out,
   Since he had been away.

I told him times had changed somewhat
   But the dream was still a dream
And somewhere in these many years
   Was progress, or so it seemed.
Tell me, he said, what has happened,
   Since he had been away.

We’ve legislated out the hate,
   I said, but laws can’t touch the mind,
If bias reeks within the heart
   There cannot be a human - kind.
It’s still not true, he said,
   For he had been away.

And then he said, where he is now,
   There is no ONE color bright,
Not black or white, yellow or brown.
   There is only a loving light.
It’s the truth I lived, and live,
   He said, as he went away.


From the Washington Post:

"Dozens of activists, actors, boldface names, former presidents and members of the family of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. are speaking at events to mark the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington. But not one leader of the House or Senate is in attendance, on stage or speaking at the event. 

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

A Letter to Uncle Sam

Dear Uncle Sam.

You’ll forgive me if I have a little trouble believing your current government’s assessment of chemical weapons use by the Assad regime in Syria and then using that claim as an excuse to bomb and threaten, and otherwise expand the Syrian civil war.

Any involvement by our current government will certainly have unintended consequences. I am also very disappointed in the continuing support of President Assad by Russia and China. I guess that says a lot about their humanitarian character.

However, the last time I believed your government’s assessment of weapons of mass destruction it turned out to be a blatant lie and the government in power at that time led us into an unjustified war.

I’m sure you understand my reluctance to support any action until the chemical weapons use is verified by third party, non-belligerent and non-government sources.

I would like to add Uncle that if the chemical weapons use is verified then it would be a cruel and cowardly crime against humanity and Mr. Assad, like the Nazi’s before him, should be held accountable.

I do want you to know that despite my criticism you do remain my favorite Uncle and I do appreciate your guidance through the years.

With respect,


Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Regrets of the Dying

I read an article by Bronnie Ware on the AARP website that was very interesting.

It was entitled: Top five regrets of the dying.

1.   I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.

2.   I wish I did not work so hard.

3.   I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings.

4.   I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.

5.   I wish that I had let myself be happier.

The last line in her article was perfect.

“Life is a choice. It is your life. Choose consciously, choose wisely and choose honestly. Choose happiness.”

Monday, August 26, 2013


Yosemite is in trouble as CNN reported on Friday.

“A fast-moving California wildfire that is threatening thousands of structures has roughly doubled in size in a day -- to about 165 square miles -- and is now burning in part of Yosemite National Park.”

I hope not, but first a little history about Yosemite.

It would probably be a good question for the popular trivia games, for it is a good guess that very few people ever heard of Dr. Lafayette Bunnell. He was one of the first groups of white men to ever enter a valley of majestic beauty in the High Sierras of California.

He was there actually hunting Indians accused of raiding outposts catering to the miners of the 1849 gold rush, but what he saw assuaged his anger and nourished his appreciation of natures beauty.

Around a campfire in this valley on a cold and snowy night, Dr. Brunnell suggested the place be named as a memorial to the Indians they were trying to kill. The Uzumatis, it meant Grizzly bears.

 In time the name changed a little, but it is the origin of the name of the place today. Uzumatis became Yosemite.

The real name of the Indians, who had inhabited the valley floor for thousands of years, was Ahwahneechee. Today there is a stately old log hotel on the valley floor of Yosemite national park call the Ahwahnee.

Hundreds of thousand of touring Americans visit the magnificence, called Yosemite every year. It has been called one of the most glorious places on earth and it's not an exaggeration.

It was designed so mankind could visit and attune with the grandeur of nature and feel the oneness of all that is within the human spirit.

The parks layout beneath granite cliffs was conceived by Frederick Law Olmsted. The same man who designed New York City's central park.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Bradley Manning

Let me get this straight.

Bradley Manning, who gave away a multitude of United States secrets and was sentenced to 35 years in prison, now wants the government, us, to pay for hormonal therapy for him to become a woman.

Yep, I got it straight.

Why not! We waste 1.3 billion dollars a year on Egypt to help them kill their citizens. Why not! We send millions and millions of dollars to Pakistan whose leaders don't like us and would likely fight us in the event of a religious war.

Why not! We stand idily by as Syrian leaders bomb and chemically poison their citizens in a civil war of atrosities.

Why not! We've got a congress that is only concerned with contention and partisenship and not the nobility of being the righteous democracy they way we used to be as a country.

Yep, I got it straight.

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