Monday, August 11, 2014

Chopping Off Heads

Has the fact that ISIS is chopping the heads off of Christian children turned you into a terrorist?  Does it make you want to do the same thing to their children?

The answer is no, for sure, because people in the civilized world do not chop the heads off of children for any reason--religious or otherwise.  No matter how ugly it gets over there, chopping off heads simply will never be in our repertoire here.

Yet the argument constantly is made that we should not get involved in that part of the world because doing so only “breeds more terrorism”.   If their savagery in Iraq doesn’t breed savagery here, why is it that our involvement there is supposed to breed terrorism?  

The argument that American involvement “breeds more terrorism” is asininity pure and simple.  Nothing that the West did, nothing that the civilized world did, nothing that Bush did or that Obama did, makes these thugs chop the heads off children.  Atrocities are caused by the people who commit them.

The vast, vast majority of people around the world just want to live in peace, raise their kids, and generally be left alone.  This is true for Muslims and Christians; for Africans, Indonesians, and Iowans; true in the First World, true in the Third World.

The fact is that these ISIS folks are something other than civilized.  We didn’t make them that way and we can’t change them.  The only hope, short of killing them, is to scare them into inaction.  At some point they will have to be dealt with.  The savagery will spread until it meets resistance.

Just stop it with the “American involvement breeds more terrorism” argument.  Outside involvement certainly didn’t breed this horror.  And neither did we.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

The Coming of Spring

Moved into the new abode just a couple weeks ago.  Since then it’s been a steady regimen of cold and snow and gray and rain; brief and cheerfully sunny afternoons checked by fierce, cold winds as the long, cold, lonely winter stretched on and on and on.

Until today. 

It was that magical day today that happens once every year when one knows:  there’s no turning back.  Days are too long.  Buds are swelling.  Geese? --paired up, guarding the nest. 

Spent an hour or so late in the day today pulling weeds, pruning the dead and damaged, and raking up the litter.  Most grateful to be back amongst the ranks of the home owners after four years as renters.  Grateful, too, to inherit grounds that have been both planned and maintained by folks ignorant in the arts of landscaping.  It’s a beautiful mess.  Not a blank slate, more like a PC that needs to be swept clean.  It will be a pleasure transforming it into a showcase.

What’s important, tho, was that feeling of Spring.  Spring. 

My Ma got Spring.  In my high school years in Warrenton, she and I would “tour the estate” in the afternoons and early evenings in March and April.  For me, wrestling season was over and there was not yet enough to do on the farm across the road that demanded my full time labor.  For her, home from a long day teaching fourth graders.  We would walk around the yard together tracking Spring’s progress—blooming crocus and then daffodil and forsythia, swelling buds of the maples and dogwoods and pussy willows, creeping mint and phlox.

It came flooding back in a second this afternoon, along with the grief of her loss.  It’s been over a decade since she died and a spring never passes without fond memories of our “touring the estate” together.   Tears came this afternoon when I walked by her portrait.  Tears because I miss her still.  Tears because she left us so suddenly with no warning.  Tears because she’s not here to enjoy what she loved so—Spring.   

Death remains a mystery.  Is she in heaven?  Did she merge in with the Oneness?  Was her life simply snuffed out?  Where did she go?  Does she still enjoy the Spring?

Yes, the tears came.  I turned away to hide the tears, stepped to the window to look out at the back yard.  And at that very same second . . . a deer jumped the fence from the neighbor’s yard into mine. 

Go figure.