Saturday, April 22, 2006

Earth Day

Earth Day will come and go today with little fanfare. That's okay, I suppose. As much as I liked Gaylord Nelson and wish he was around now, Earth Day was Earth Day is Earth Day. Trying to celebrate Earth Day isn't easy with the thick pall of gloom hanging over decency.

Still, I'll take a second to comment on the direct and important connection of food to the earth. Get to know a farmer today. I don't care if it's a farmer you meet at a local farmer's market or if you go out of your way to locate the owner /operator of a mega-commercial farm.

Make that an Earth Day goal. My humble opinion is that we can't make this connection fast enough. It's a re-connection, really. A fair number of people seem to be seeking this hook-up based on the growing popularity of direct farmer markets and the development of community supported agriculture (CSA).


Growing and raising things for yourself is rewarding, too. But doing it yourself is time consuming. That's why farmers are so important to our culture and unheralded in their contributions to the welfare of the world. Unfortunately, you can see examples everyday on the news of what happens when there's no food.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Loons in charge

The MALadministration of the BushCo is going through the contortions of making Iran out as the latest most dire threat to the world. Whether or not Iran is such a threat I don't know for sure. Iran probably would like nuclear weapons and may well have a program under way to build such horrors.

But who knows? I seriously doubt the BushCo knows either. If they do it wouldn't matter because that's not the point. Based on the last five years of performance of how our country is being run, somebody has a plan to benefit from whatever hell results from the tensions between Iran and the U.S.

Over on the Iranian side of things, I seriously doubt they know what they're doing either. Our leaders are clueless beyond seeking a profit motive and the ruler in Iran is operating from a platform none of us understands. Talk about a train wreak on the rails.

If our country is so damned powerful and strong, I can't see why there'd be any haste to just open up on Iran. What the hell is the harm in talking?

Oh, I forgot for a second. Bush family trust funds are far more important and the trust funds of the overly rich and famous. That you and I may get caught in the maw of some national disaster is beside the point as long as those uber rich kids get to keep theirs. They'll have the wherewithal to make it through and come out stinking like the swine they are.

Bomb Iran, seal up the oil flow, prices soar, profits continue to zoom. Simple sick little plan really.

Monday, April 17, 2006

Odds & ends

This humble blog is my corner from which I observe the world passing by. My observations often overwhelm any means of coherent explanation for what I know and feel. Maybe too much time elapses between posts.

Yesterday I left the Easter service feeling pretty good about my faith. There was a contemporary hymn with a line about our people "dancing on injustice." Our pastor's sermon spoke about the angel appearing to the women at the tomb. The angel told them to "return to Galilee."

Go back to the beginning. Take care of the poor. Love thy neighbor. Kindness. It's all God's gift, and that's my faith, baby. A lot of what I see being passed off as Christianity today is unrecognizable to my view of faith.

We all get a shot at this life and if it's spent in anger and hate and lashing out then you ain't much of a Christian in my book. Christianity is big enough and inclusive enough to embrace a huge range of diversity. That is its central strength.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006


There was a time when I could visit with people I knew to be "conservative" about politics, the world, the economy, social trends, and expect a rational and sometimes even enlightening discussion. As time passed, I felt myself become more "conservative" in my views about what I thought governments should do and probably shouldn't do.

Those discussions remained rational because the people involved were sincere and genuinely interested in the best for everyone. If I had a good point, it'd get a hearing and once in a while even an agreement. I responded in kind always listening for underlying reasons for the point of view.

Several years ago, I noticed a shift. Those discussions started to get edgy. The back and forth respect for what each person was saying started to fade. The underlying reasons I was always looking for began to take on a harder, more concrete, more absolute tone. Opinions were being stated now as truisms and came out as challenges.

The venue for explaining ones views shrank. Circles of friends and acquaintances shifted awkwardly and a whole lot of conversations just plain ended. Business still goes on pretty much as usual but you can find yourself in a two hour car ride with someone afraid to broach any subject where there is a chance of a disagreement.

Recently, I took a tour of some so called conservative blogs. What I learned is that I must not be a Christian even though I always believed I was, and that I'm a traitor even though I always thought I could freely hold my own reasoned opinions.

Somewhere along the line, the notion that total allegiance to the Republican party line is what defines citizenship became the standard. It seems like anything outside of what you're told by the Republican machine makes you dangerous and the object of scorn, ridicule, threats and gets you ostracized.

There's no reasoning with it.

I feel sorry for a lot of things related to this but I keep thinking about my friends and acquaintances I used to visit with about the world. Many of them were pretty excited about the rise of the conservative movement in politics because they felt they were getting a voice. That's why the shift didn't freak me out like it did more liberal people.

Now I'm freaked out. I know some of my friends are looking at the current situation and not recognizing the values they hold dear. What remains to be seen is if they'll begin an earnest effort to change the situation or continue to put up with what's happening. If this group of well-reasoned, disciplined, and principled "conservatives" is happy with what they are getting then we're going down the road with 'em and there isn't much that can stop it.

Radicalism is an ugly thing and absolute power in the hands of radicals like we have running the country now isn't something I wish for my kids. There's too much at stake for all of us to have a small group of people taking everything for themselves.

Just stating my opinion is enough to get me in trouble. Sad.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

New job

Last week I accepted a new job. I'd been at the current job for just over four years and it was a good gig. The biggest drawback was that the job was temporary. As long as the funding held out, the job could hold out. But every spring it was always a nagging worry whether or not the job would last another season.

The new job is a permanent position - at least as permanent as anything is in this day and age. The money and benefits are the same for now but there is more upside potential down the road than the temporary job could present.

I'm fortunate. Sure, I've worked hard all my life and I've always kept retooling skills. But I have to nod toward my good fortunes, too, with some prayers of thanks and such. I'm never sure what separates one person's luck with another person's. Something. And maybe we can't ever find the differences.