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The Promised Land is not a place you reach.  It’s a place you build.


— Allan Goldstein, San Francisco

If your car could travel at the speed of light, would your headlights work?

— courtesy of erudite scientist Steven Wright

“He who joyfully marches to music in rank and file has already earned my contempt. He has been given a large brain by mistake, since for him the spinal cord would fully suffice. This disgrace to civilization should be done away with at once. Heroism at command, senseless brutality, and all the loathsome nonsense that goes by the name of patriotism, how violently I hate all this, how despicable and ignoble war is; I would rather be torn to shreds than be part of so base an action! It is my conviction that killing under the cloak of war is nothing but an act of murder.”

“A human being is part of a whole, called by us the’Universe,’a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings, as something separated from the rest–a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circles of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.”

“If a cluttered desk signs a cluttered mind, of what, then, is an empty desk a sign?”

“Weakness of attitude becomes weakness of character.”

“Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius — and a lot of courage — to move in the opposite direction.”

via Einstein, Albert Biography –

Happy the Man

by Horace

Happy the man, and happy he alone,
He who can call today his own:
He who, secure within, can say,
Tomorrow do thy worst, for I have lived today.
Be fair or foul or rain or shine
The joys I have possessed, in spite or fate, are mine.
Not Heaven itself upon the past has power,
But what has been, has been, and I have had my hour.

A palindrome reads the same backwards as forward. This video reads the exact opposite backwards as forward.  Not only does it read the opposite, the meaning is the exact opposite.

This is only a 1 minute, 44 second video and it is brilliant, with over 8 million hits so far. Make sure you read as well as listen forward and backward.
This is a video that was submitted in a contest by a 20-year old.   The contest was titled “u @ 50”  by  AARP. This video won second place. When they showed it, everyone in the room was awe-struck and broke into spontaneous applause.  So simple and yet so brilliant. Take a minute and watch it.  Actually, you may find that you need to play it over again to make sure that what you heard was what you heard!

The so called voluntary military these days is substantially made up of the poor and unemployed, who have few other alternatives or opportunities in America. There is also a core of career professional military types, and together this is how we staff our wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The rest of us in the general population go on with our ordinary lives, largely and with great relief and personally uninvolved in these conflicts.

The last time we had a real draft, broadly impacting or democracy, was in the Vietnam era, a time when many families of young people of all walks of life were actually touched by the war, giving many more motivation to engage with the issues, to march in the streets, on campuses and in Washington and speak out on their views through the news media.

Some, like myself, even with degrees and good prospects in the workforce, served, and were lucky to survive, unlike the one in 32 who didn’t, at the height of the war in 1968, when 543,000 Americans soldiers, airmen and sailors served in Vietnam.

Now, as we sit on the verge of once again escalating our commitment of troops in Afghanistan, for a conflict with no clear end in sight, perhaps now is the time to again reconsider a military draft, with all its faults, so the people of this country would wake up and better recognize that we all have something at stake in the draconian decisions made on our behalf by today’s political and military leadership.

What are we fighting for? What is at stake, besides the lives of thousands of Americans, and some $65 billion, a year, plus now another $30 billion?  From 1970 on, when the Vietnam War was winding down, we lost an additional 10,000 Americans. What and when may we wind down or win in Afghanistan? How many more young lives will we spend before then? What will we have gained? Will we just send our troops on to the next war in Pakistan, or wherever, and throw more of our taxes into Eisenhower’s “military/industrial complex?”

If we really support the politicians in escalating Afghanistan, let’s implement the fundamentals of our democracy, support a military draft for the nation and show our resolve for this “cause.” Or???

August 2022

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