Thursday, February 22, 2018

Good Grief

From where do these people come?

"A Florida legislator’s aide was fired Tuesday after claiming two survivors of the Parkland high school shooting were not students, but instead “actors that travel to various crisis when they happen.”"

Apparently he saw a clip on a YouTube conspiracy site.

We may be born ignorant, but you'd think that by the time you are an adult you'd have developed some discernment. Sensitivity might come in another lifetime.

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

The Path to Greatness

I had an extraordinary experience many years ago. I was on Ellis Island in New York harbor. If you haven’t been there, you should visit it and wonder.

It is a place that is energized by the resonant memory of the past.

It’s an exhilarating experience standing in what is now the Ellis Island museum. I felt the courageous spirits of our immigrant ancestors and profound respect for their courage to embrace unknown change. So many moved step by step through the great hall on their way to liberty.

When I was there amid the din of other people and soft conversation. I walked the path and steps that 18-million immigrants followed. I felt their hearts with each step and stop on the stairs. I sensed the pride at what they accomplished, and at what this country has become because of them and what we still can be.

These ghosts of greatness still linger there, not because they came through that portal of liberty so many years ago, but because they returned to stand watch. Their presence is everywhere, in old photographs, in hundred-year-old scribbled messages to loved ones on a passage wall, and in the descendants, who visit there and keep it hallowed ground.

Ellis island reminds us that it does not matter how or where or when potential greatness comes to this land, it only matters what one does with the manifesting dreams of freedom, opportunity, and responsibility.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Go, kids!

Go, kids!

#Neveragain

Rally, demonstrate, demand. We are behind you. We, the generations who have gone before, support you. We, your parents, your grand-parents know you are right to demand a stop to the automatic weapons of mass destruction.

The right to bear arms is sacred and the concrete credo of our granite foundations, that will always remain. It is not the issue. The right, however, to kill children in schools or anyone in a pubic assembly is not.

Slaughter can no longer be a path to infamy for the mentally deranged or the terrorist. The young of America will take their demands to the malleable weak and greed takers of Congress. It will echo in those marble halls until it vibrates through the rooms and offices of the people's house and change is made.

It is time for "never again." It is time for the youth of America to stand and band together. It is time for all generations to speak truth to power and end the carnage in our schools.

Go, kids! We are with you.

Friday, February 16, 2018

School Shooting!

I published the following post on Facebook yesterday and with some addendum I put out today on this blog.

How do we switch, so quickly, from acknowledging the tragedy that happened in Florida, to our everyday lives, or to watching the Olympics or enjoying a family gathering or doing homework or preparing dinner? It's an unreal transition. 
The school shooting in Florida in which so many innocents were taken from us so quickly and so violently is only the latest incident. Eighteen school incidents so far this year alone. We learn about them, we cry, we shake our heads, and then after we are informed, we try to get on with our lives. It's not easy; it is surreal, it is almost immoral to try.
I have lost a child and a spouse. Not to the violence of guns and hate, but to the insidious debilitation of cancer. I had time to say goodbye. The parents of Florida's victims did not. A kiss, a hug, an uttered "I love you," said in haste as the front door closed will never be enough. Rapid goodbyes with death as an ending will never have closure. 
The resulting emptiness of loss, the righteous anger, the wailed questions of why, the flowing wet tears will eventually decrease, but the lingering dry tears of the heart will last for years.
When children kill other children; it is an adult social pathogen that has infected them. We need to fix it.
Addendum:
All of us need to fix it. The gun-rights people, Congress, parents, students, liberals,  conservatives, independent, the religious, wall-street,  businesses, The President, everybody. It is time. Do not let it pass into yesterday's or last week's news, do not wait for the mourning to stop, it won't, NOW IS THE TIME.

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Continuing Questions

Another school shooting. Students and faculty dead.  It's the 18th school shooting this year, and it's only mid-February.

Congress does nothing.

Why?

The top spy agency heads warn that Russia will continue to influence the 2018 elections with lies, false news and more and the White House has not directed we do something to stop it.

Why?

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Be My Valentine

Some thoughts on this Valentines Day.

Could we possibly be victims of a manufactured holiday, perpetrated by the greeting card, florists, and candy companies?

It would be nice if all the expressions of affection bandied about today were to last more than just today. Imagine having less argument and more communication, more love and less selfishness every day.

Valentine's day wasn't started by the marketing merchants of hype; they only take advantage of our sentimentality. The early Christian church proclaimed this event to counter a pagan festival that had a little too much celebration and debauchery for the ascetic beliefs of that time.

Why the church leaders chose Valentine to be their champion of love, no one knows for sure.

Historically it may be a strange choice. The Valentine, who became the saint and iconic surrogate lover for this day was beheaded for his beliefs and became a martyr.

Maybe it is appropriate to name the day after him...people do tend to lose their heads when in love.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

The Dictionary and the hands of time.

As I watched the news from the White House tonigh, I picked up a dictionary to look up a word. As I held the book, I looked closely at my hands. A visual reminder that I am in the September of my seventh decade. Some wrinkles, some protruding veins, some blemishes outside, but inside all-over it doesn't feel any different than my thirties. My mind, however, is acute, discerning and curious.

I looked up my word and put the book down, but it opened to the "O's."

There on the page was the word, "obfuscation." My glasses fell off, and there I thought I saw in blurry clarity the meaning.

ob·fus·ca·tion
ˌäbfəˈskāSH(ə)n/
noun

1. the action of making something obscure, unclear, or unintelligible.

The second, third and fourth meanings were names.

Kelley Ann Conway
Sara Huckabee Sanders
Donald Trump

Under See Also: It listed the following agency

a. EPA



I put my glasses back on, and the book closed.

Monday, February 12, 2018

Rain

We had a big rain come through my neighborhood yesterday.

The skies darkened from solid clouds to a roiling gray. In some moments the wind intensified as it twisted, twirled, and gusted sending fallen leaves back up into the barren tree branches only to fall again. A pelting rain punctuated the perpetual passage. It lasted all daylight.

The sight through my picture window was mesmerizing and deeply spiritual in the ever-present portal to nature. It reminded me of a passage in The Immortal Wilderness, by the late naturalist John Hay.

He wrote: “There are occasions when you can hear the mysterious language of the Earth, in water, or coming through the trees, emanating from the mosses, seeping through the undercurrents of the soil, but you have to be willing to wait and receive.”

If you’ve never tasted the aroma of a pine forest after a summer rain, you are missing a Divine connection to the Source. If you’ve never sat in a scented blooming rose garden, or watched a stubble hay field fill up with snow or just listened to the wind in the silence of a moonlight walk. You are missing what Mr. Hay is talking about.

Friday, February 9, 2018

Celtic Comfort

I just listened to an old Irish folk tune that had the refrain of "the cares of tomorrow must wait 'til this day is done."

It had some beautiful verses and some mournful tones, but it always ended with, "the cares of tomorrow must wait 'til this day is done."

Several years ago I spent some time in Ireland since that culture was part of my upbringing. My mother played the piano, and when family and guest would gather, she played the old Celtic tunes, and everybody sang.

After I returned from the Emerald Isle, my muse required several poems. Here's one.

Ireland of My Youth
© 2006 Rolland G. Smith

I came to find the Ireland of my youth
When songs of troubled times and ballads sad
Were sung by family friends who knew the truth
In dispassion's glance and famine's hard bad.
Some tunes were lively songs of memories old
And others brought a tear from thoughts within.
But each was sung with strength of heart and soul
As gathered guests recalled their origin.
Now here I am today on Patrick's Isle
To see anew the Irish spirit bold
And still, the songs are sung in Celtic style
With tenor's pipes in singing rhythmic brogue.
The Ireland of my youth, I knew from song
But here, now aged, I know where I belong.


.

Thursday, February 8, 2018

The Morning Sun!

The morning orb of light ascends to all
Who choose to see its rays from deep within.
Beyond the clouds of doubt and evening's fall 
There shines a knowing thought that must begin.

So many times in life we tread the path
Below the canopy of spirit’s light.
How many times have we ignored the lash
Of truth to stay as dogma’s parasite?

Live in the now beneath the sphere of grace
And let all judgments go to where they end
And know that all we see, is in its place
Despite the fact we may not comprehend.

Rejoice my friends, the world’s bathed in love
We see it clearly, in the light above.

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Treason?

To state that Democrats not applauding  some aspects of his State of the Union address is treasonous is demagogic, dumbfounding, delusional and troublesome.

Where are the Berry Goldwaters of  this generation? Goldwater when to the White House as Watergate progressed and told Nixon it was time to go. 

If McConnell and Ryan won't speak reason to power; some Republican in Congress must have the integrity to put country over party. Republican Jeff Flake did a great job on the Senate floor yesterday, but his republican colleagues have yet to rally to his denouncement of Trump.

Democrats! You too are not immune to partisanship. It's country first, people second and party third. Trump's egocentric whines, whims and wants last, if ever.

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Superbowl 52

Some limerick thoughts on the Superbowl.

With pride, the fans come to the bowl,
thinking their team will control
the ball on the ground
in the air all around
to the other, the bell will toll.

The bowl is the ultimate game,
Teams getting their fortune and fame.
Bowl fifty and two
And sacks too few
Will next year the teams be the same?

The Eagles from Philly did fight
The Pats of Boston of might.
The temperatures fine;
Inside at this time
As Brady and Foles do excite

Now today with hindsight and woes
and healing of scrimmaging blows.
No media hype.
Here and there, a snipe.
The losers, their bragging, will stow.

In this life of struggle and fears,
In this time of laughter and tears.
We need this big game,
To help us stay sane
And Wisconsin sent us the cheers.

The season is over and done.
The fans celebrating who won.
The game is the thing
By hoping to bring,
A time of competitive fun.

Monday, February 5, 2018

New Nuclear Weapons?

A great disappointment!

From the Washington Post...

"The Pentagon released a new nuclear arms policy that calls for the introduction of two new types of weapons, effectively ending the previous administration's efforts to shrink the U.S. nuclear arsenal.

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said the changes reflect a need to “look reality in the eye” and “see the world as it is, not as we wish it to be.”

Mr. Mattis, the world is what you have created; what we have created. If we wish it to be otherwise, then it would be so. The energy of thought creates what we experience.

More weapons are not the answer. Fewer weapons everywhere is the solution. Shame on our blindness and your arrogance.

Friday, February 2, 2018

Lee Rolland Smith

Yesterday was the birthday of my third son, Lee Rolland Smith. He died of brain cancer. He would have been fifty years old.

It was not a sad day for me for I believe he finished what he came here to do and is now doing what he is supposed to do now.

It was a reflective and solemn day for me. I was not with him when he was born for I was reporting from Vietnam. I was with him when he died; a place no father or mother should ever be.
 
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