In A Mood

Doing some research on the branch of the family that went from Scotland to Canada before making their way to the US.  That always reminds me of this song.

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Dona Nobis Pacem – Let Words Proclaim Peace

Today we try to nudge the world just a little bit more toward peace.

Of course it wouldn’t be this time of year without the Bear A Tones

Let there Be Peace on Earth and Let It Begin With Me

More and more, we live in global society.  Below has always been one of my favorite songs.  It won an Oscar back during WWII.  Now it should apply to the whole of people on earth as the house we all live in.

THE HOUSE I LIVE IN

What is America to me
A name, a map, or a flag I see
A certain word, democracy
What is America to me

The house I live in
A plot of Earth, a street
The grocer and the butcher
And the people that I meet

The children in the playground
The faces that I see
All races and religions
That’s America to me

The place I work in
The worker by my side
The little town the city
Where my people lived and died

The howdy and the handshake
The air a feeling free
And the right to speak your mind out
That’s America to me

The things I see about me
The big things and the small
The little corner newsstand
Or the house a mile tall

The wedding and the churchyard

The laughter and the tears
The dream that’s been a growing
For two hundred and forty years

The town I live in
The street, the house, the room
The pavement of the city
Or the garden all in bloom

The church the school the clubhouse
The million lights I see
But especially the people
That’s America to me

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Calling All Peace Bloggers

It is that time of year with peace flows from Bloggingham and all are called to send voice of peace out into the world.  Dona Nobis Pacem and the peace activism of Mimi Lennox is important.  Please join us with your own blog and message.  This year’s theme is the power of words.  You can get your globe here at Mimi Writes.

Gardens of Kindness … Leaven

Become ye not members of dread;
Those droplets of dark rain,
That shall scourge the land
And, water forgotten seeds of strife.

Choose thee,
To turneth away anger,
And denieth
Thy vengeful opportunities,

So that ye become a vessel
For the grace of forgiveness
And show unto the trespasser
divine mercy.

Raise up and nurture
Gardens of kindness
That their fragrance shall be sweet
Unto me.

And, that I might
Pierce those blackened clouds,
And, disburse them
With the rays of my good.

LEAVEN

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Equinox

Last Chances

Fall, even the name says down
Crushed into earth.
Leaves of autumn become
No more than mulch, sacrificing what has been
To a future spring.

Foot falls, damp, the lamps of
Twilight wash sidewalks
Already wet with fog
Old songs filter through
Air thick with might have been.

Low moaning of horns and whining of clarinets
Sing of places at the end of a bar,
Old movies, and mysterious women in black
A time when gravity finally wins
Taking hold of a year almost done.

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Might Have Been

Anyone who knows me knows that if Hugh Jackman is in a movie, don’t stand between me and the theater on opening day.  This year, he stars in a film that asks more questions than it gives answers that will be released on Election Day or as the promoters say, “Go vote, then go to the movies”.  This combines my two greatest obsessions:  Politics and Movies.   The Front Runner is based on Matt Bai’s book, All The Truth is Out:  The Week Politics Went Tabloid, about the week that Gary Hart’s campaign was destroyed by the rumors of an extra marital affair that may or may not have happened in this case (there were others as he seems to have had a zipper problem) but changed political coverage by media seemingly forever.  As Hart has said, “You can get awful famous in this country in seven days.”

While I lived through the events, I knew next to nothing about Hart, except for the positions he took and then of course, the scandal that ended the campaign.  In a desire to know more I read a few articles and then wondered what he had been up to since. As it turns out, he never really went away and that scandal may have cost us an excellent President.  Fortunately, it did not deprive us of a great thinker. He returned to law, acted as an advisor to other politicians, made speeches, and most of all, he wrote:

James Monroe, the 5th President
God and Caesar in America
The Courage of Our Convictions
Restoration of the Republic, The Jeffersonian Ideal
The Fourth Power, A Grand Strategy for the US in the 21st Century
The Shield and the Cloak, The Security of the Commons

Hart is now considered one of the foremost thinkers on national security.  On September 4, 2001, exactly one week before the September attacks Hart gave a speech warning that within the next 25 years a terrorist attack would lead to mass deaths in the United States.  Hart met with aviation executives in Montreal, Canada, on September 5, 2001, to warn of airborne terrorist attacks. The Montreal Gazette reported the story the following day with a headline, “Thousands Will Die, Ex-Presidential Hopeful Says.”  On September 6, 2001, Hart met with National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice to urge, “You must move more quickly on homeland security. An attack is going to happen.”  In a subsequent interview with Salon.com, Hart accused President George W. Bush and other administration officials of ignoring his warnings.

Recently I picked up his most recent (2015) book, Republic of Conscience  which is very much in line with Ben Franklin’s, “We’ve given you a Republic if you can keep it.” Hart provides an action plan. In about the clearest words I have read, this man now 81, has written a book that makes you want to highlight something on every page.   From the beginning of the Amazon introduction:

Going back as early as 400 BC, the idea of a true republic has been threatened by narrow, special interests taking precedence over the commonwealth. The United States Constitution was drafted to protect against such corruption, but as Gary Hart details in The Republic of Conscience, America is nowhere near the republic it set out to be almost 250 years ago, falling to the very misconduct it hoped to avoid.

Writing well before the 2016 campaign – “Conservatives have mounted a stealth campaign to produce barriers to voting.  There is an over-all domination of money, virtually all of it representing one special interest or another.  The political media even provide honors for those raising the most money.” I would quote more, but I would be rewriting the whole book.  Just go get it.

 

Hart and his wife Lee (now married for 60 years) were given a private showing of The Front Runner.  They both liked it and the questions presented.  Over hot chocolate afterwards, Hart asked, “Do I really talk like that?”  Lee answered, “Yes dear, just like that.”

Buy the books, go to the movie … Oh and don’t forget to vote.

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