Friday, November 11, 2011

Thank You

You cannot hear the shot and shell
That punctuate the battle hell
Nor the rocket roar or bullet wheeze
That cover screams amid the trees
Ground trembles from a mine's blast
And bodies and their parts are cast
Like the cordite smoke upon the wind
To sprinkle around where none have sinned
Save to stand and take that ground
From hand grenade and rifle round
Of those as determined to wrest it away
And hold it yet another day.

You cannot hear the silent scream
Of men boiled away in the steam
From a boiler burst by torpedo blow
Rending the hull so far below
While planes swoop down spitting lead
And you think all the while you are dead
But for comrades who rise up from the deck
To fight them off and give them heck
Till they succumb to a bursting bomb
Taking their death with stoic aplomb
Giving their last full painful breath
While you give some meaning to their death

You cannot hear those who fight
But in every sullen, starry night
The fight returns to haunt their dreams
Filled with unholy, painful screams
Sounds of battle, smells of blood
A quiet miasma, a rising flood
Drawing them back to a time long ago
When their life was not just so
When the enemy stalked and fire blazed
And the battle for life left them dazed
A 'thank you' seems a pittance for what we owe
But it's important we tell them, important they know

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Pater Familias

First, let it be said, because we need reminding: Jerry Sandusky is innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. That said, the mounting evidence and continual parade of child victims leads one to believe that this man abused a position of power to fulfill his sordid sexual appetite for young boys. Whether as Penn State's defensive coordinator for its football team, or as part of a group working with youth, this man apparently used his power and influence to perpetrate one of the more heinous crimes our society has to cope with: child rape. Anyone and everyone who had contact with this man, who had any information, evidence, or testimony to give, who did not pursue this matter to the fullest, is suspect.

That brings me to Joe Paterno.

Friday, November 4, 2011

My Values, Your Values, Our Values

What values do we share? Think on it for a minute.

Certainly, we could all agree that each of us, each human being, has an inherent right to be ourselves, to have our own thoughts, and our individual liberty... right? It was a guiding principle behind the founding of the nation.

Certainly, we could agree that, given the above, the right to that liberty should not be infringed upon by others, as individuals, organizations, or government. Again, another founding principle.

Given those things, and the moral history of human culture, there can be no argument that a human individual, secure in personal liberty, endowed with inherent rights, should be free of fear of malice or murder, correct?

Most importantly, given that every person is thus endowed with rights and liberties, does that not also mean that each is as precious as another, deserving of respect and decency to the same degree?

But wait...

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

I Am Not My Race... But I Am

Some things you should know:
  1. I am male
  2. I am Caucasian
  3. I am a reformed Catholic, which is to say I believe in the tenets of Jesus Christ, just not in the Roman Catholic Church
The most important thing you should know, is that my world view has evolved quite a bit over my lifetime. I have worked very hard to eliminate the vestiges of prejudicial thinking that pervade the normal human mind. I have sought out knowledge in a wide and extensive variety, to ensure that my personal ignorance is at a low ebb, though I admit I do not know everything, nor can I. I have done my very best to absorb the teachings of human history and learn the lessons of human frailty. I have made the personal determination that it is best for me to approach each and every person as a person, despite any differentiation society would have me make. I refuse to judge based solely on surface features or perceived/actual differences between myself and someone else. As I choose not to judge others, I would expect others to do the same in kind.

Therein lies the problem.