I take the Korean situation personally. I’ve never been there, but I have friends and students who have served in Korea, and have stood at the DMZ, staring at the North Korean guard on the other side of that line. I have met students from South Korea, friendly, warm, curious, students. I have a father who served in the original conflict, either at or behind enemy lines as the truce took effect, that turning point in time that, with sixty plus years of diplomatic stalemate, has created the crucible that holds the animus between the United States and North Korea.
No, it is not OK. Violence begets violence. To needlessly hurt and abuse a person only reminds those who witness that abuse that their hearts must be made harder, rougher, and more angry for the next time they encounter law enforcement. It is a never-ending cycle of pitiful violence. It will do nothing more than further tear us down and tear us apart.
The President is calling this man a liar. Maybe he's right. Maybe Comey is a liar. And, I, as an American citizen want to get to the truth of this matter. As such, I ask that our President step forward, and, to insure fairness, place his hand on the Bible, and swear that "what he shall state shall be the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth."
But, at what point does our protection really become a barrier, a wall, if you will, that, with each added brick, with each new bomb or gun, sets up the conditions that makes it more difficult find peace with those who oppose us?
We do need to get to the bottom of this, and we need to do it on our time table, not that of a man who made his career on manipulating the legal system. And no amount of being “tired of hearing about Russia. You can’t go ten minutes without somebody bringing up the Russia incident” (Blake Farenhold)
We don’t have that now. Instead, we have a President ready to take from our children to build more weapons, ready to cast those in most need aside to earn another dollar for the wealthiest in our country. We have a Congress ready to follow blindly, to place party over people and profit over patriotism.
Once it’s gone, it’s gone. Once the ground has been pierced for one more oil well, cracked open for one more coal mine, or bulldozed flat for one more factory it can’t be put back to the way that it was. This development might not be bad if jobs are created, and if those managers and owners of drillers, miners, and development are also stewards for the land that they are scarring. That the suffering of the land, the dirtying of the skies, and the poisoning of the rivers leads to an improvement for our overall quality of life and a bettering of our natural world in the future. But I don’t think that this is possible right now. Because this is the time of blatant greed, of naked attempts at taking land by use of personal power. Of getting rid of any rule or regulation that hurts the bottom line, even if it destroys land, water, or air for others. Of paying many people much less so that a few can make a lot more. This is the time of tearing down the old because it’s old, without regard for the longevity of what will be put in its place. History has a record of what happens to growth under these conditions, and it usually doesn’t end well.
The act of witness doesn’t come easily. It takes a lot of work, a lot of patience, to serve as a witness. To observe. To not only look for those things that everyone sees in a new, a different way, but to have the courage and conviction to say it, or show it, or sing it, or to write it out loud. That’s hard. It takes a lifetime to learn. It has to start somewhere, and the Endowments can provide that starting point.
(T)his budget is little more than an opening shot by a little man with a chisel who is trying to scratch away the name and the deeds of his predecessor and all of those loyal to him. Trying, one hieroglyphic bird, snake, foot, and feather at a time to eliminate the successes of the last administration, regardless of the harm being caused to the Nation.
I know in my heart that every time our country strikes in vengeance, rather than reaches out in friendship, that our goals of safety slide farther out of reach.