Remember November 4


November 4 is the tenth annual Blog Blast for Peace spreading Dona Nobis Pacem globally through more than 214 countries.  Please join us.


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Last Chances

Vettriano Cocktails

Cocktails and Broken Hearts
Jack Vettriano

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

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

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

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I’m Sorry I Was Wrong

We are all taught to apologize when we offend someone else.  We are all taught to honor our father and mother.  What we aren’t taught is that either condition is a totally selfish act necessary to turn us into better persons.  You are not responsible for the actions or ethics of others.  You are only responsible for your own.

If the ethics aren’t internal, they aren’t real.  Outside “should” and obedience to what you have been taught by others doesn’t count.  That is the lockstep of polite convention, not the reality of your soul.

Robert Heinlein said it best with his description of “Duty”

“Do not confuse “duty” with what other people expect of you; they are utterly different. Duty is a debt you owe to yourself to fulfill obligations you have assumed voluntarily. Paying that debt can entail anything from years of patient work to instant willingness to die. Difficult it may be, but the reward is self-respect.

So what is this thing about the parents?  Let’s face it, most of them made mistakes.  Well the one mistake they didn’t make was YOU.  So you damn well better honor them or you wouldn’t be here.  So how do you honor them?  Find the you in you that they gave you either by genetics or actions.  In my case, mama was a singer and daddy was a dancer and both of them had darn good brains.  Whatever else they might have done wrong (you really don’t want to know), they gave me a love of music, dance, and theater and the ability to become a researcher, writer, and editor.  How much more reason to honor do you need.

How does this reflect on today’s political climate?  We have one candidate in Donald Trump who doesn’t seem to have an ethical center.  He reacts totally on the surface to whatever the latest event might happen and only responds to whatever petting of his ego that might make him feel better about himself.  He is sad and because he is sad he is dangerous.

On the other side we have the good Methodist girl.  in decades of action, she hasn’t changed.  Her core is solid and decent.  She is inner directed.  She can be trusted to do what she says she will do.  Even if you disagree with her beliefs and/or actions she can be trusted.

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Liberal Republicans


Jessie Ann Benton Fremont
John C. Fremont

During the present campaign, it has become aggravating that Republicans keep wanting to lay claim to Abraham Lincoln as a Republican.  What they always fail to mention is that at the time, the Republicans were the LIBERAL party in the two-party system having split off from the Whig party.  While Lincoln was their first successful Presidential candidate, the very first man nominated by the party was almost equally as interesting since so much of his life created the coast to coast expanse of the United States.  Long before Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation, the first Republican to run for the Presidency and his wife freed their slaves.

While most people know of John C. Fremont as an explorer and instigator of California statehood, he probably never would have risen to political heights without his wife. If you like historical novels, pick up a copy of “Immortal Wife” by Irving Stone, but Jessie Benton Fremont was bigger than fiction. For that you need to get a copy of “The Letters of Jessie Benton Fremont”. Despite being raised in an era when most women were not well-educated she was an anomaly.

Daughter of a U.S. Senator
Fluent in Spanish and French acting as translator for official Washington
Pioneer traveling extensively between Virginia and California
Political Force within the new Republican Party
Campaigned for the Presidency with her husband
Following husband’s death supporter of her children through her writing.

Without the Fremont’s pioneer work, the establishment of the Bear Republic and later the State, the Gold Rush if it happened at all would have been a part of the history of Spain not the United States. Gold Discovery at Sutter’s Mill.

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Omran In Aleppo


Omran Daqneesh’s brother Ali dies from wounds suffered in Aleppo airstrike

These are the children of war and W. H. Auden has already told us where it leads:

A ragged urchin, aimless and alone,
Loitered about that vacancy, a bird
Flew up to safety from his well-aimed stone’
That girls are raped, that
two boys knife a third,
Were axioms to him who’d never heard
Of any world where promises were kept
Or one could weep because another wept.

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