A Re-blog (“JFKs Peace Speech — just months before he was gunned down”)

(Relax note: [Johnny, we knew ye well enough and we loved ye dearly.] Peace is not impossible, still. It just has to be wanted more than it’s not. When we eldsters speak of what could’ve been, it’s because of JFK’s America — and his worldview as President. And because of his successful initiatives. I’m particularly thankful for the transcript, as my tablet freezes up after 3 minutes or so of viewing videotape, but go to the link and listen to the video if you can. There’s so much life in it, so much hope — and so much respect. For everyone.)

In the alternative

JFK’s Turning Point: American University Peace Speech, June 1963. Text.

SH Note: JFK began as a hawk. But the Cuban Missle crisis in 1962 brought the world a trigger-hair away from the end of civilization as we know it. According to James Douglass and many other scholars, this made both JFK and Khrushchev tremble for what had very nearly happened. And it was the generals both here and in the Soviet Union who thought a First Strike just might give their side the slight edge. General Curtis Lemay even argued that we should accept very high casualties in this risk. Kennedy thought he was mad and, with Khrushchev, sought through hair-raising negotiations to avert the ultimate disaster.

When it was over all the protagonists knew this must never be allowed to happen again. JFK delivered his American University Peace speech just months before he was cut down. And he sought…

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Stationary journey..

What a surprisingly evocative prompt today: Unmoored.

I always (for decades) think I’d prefer to be unmoored — that I’m better, happier, more alive when drifting free. However, a) I haven’t taken much time to think on this;  a-and-a-half) it’s not something one can think on — it is, rather, something that one undergoes flailingly; and b) I have seen the unmoored pier rowboat or sailboat dinghy flying free in these currents just up around the bend, about to encounter whirlpools known worldwide to be some of the worst.

Though I will always pity the nearby buoy who had no real idea of what it would be to grow old with me, I’m glad one of us is always moored to land, rain or shine, so that one, two or many can more safely navigate.


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Too much, mostly

Maybe it’s just me, but I’ve noticed a real benefit to cell phones for that segment of the population who might once have been thought vulnerable outer-casts, most especially awkward teens who haven’t yet found the muscles and beautiful gender attributes still hiding under their food-medicating results; those who would be alone on the street, if not for the cell. Now, waiting for a bus is not so much a problem. Or walking home, one is not alone. One fits in, now.  Everyone’s on their cells, texting or checking Facebook or whatever social site(s). No one’s looking at them with mean-sport ideas.

I knew people long ago who developed an over-toughness to such unwanted attention, after they went through many hells. Cell phones would’ve been a Godsend to them.. so, for that much, we all must be grateful.  However, cells (or similar screens) seem to also have an addictive quality — a drug-like addiction — because it negates real communication even when two or more are face to face in the flesh!

There will have to come a mandatory deprogramming/regulatory effort by 7th or 8th grade, I think, because it’s not healthy to prefer the virtual over the real, and because we don’t want to end up looking like aliens (big head from big brain from too much constant info, big eyes to track 84 screens at the same time, tiny nostrils from reduced breathing/never working up a panting sweat from physical activity, and a slit of a mouth because of no verbalized communicating for so long).

As I say, maybe it’s just me, but I’d rather none of us end up that way. Texting is great — it gets to the heart of the matter, but it can also be a quieter, easier weapon that works against both parties far more grievously than we might guess. We need to see and use eyes (truly, windows to a person’s essence, if not understood to be windows to the soul) as well as hear each other’s voices, and laughter, and singing, and sweet sounds of togetherness. Much of our inner lives are so alone already.

None of us will ever unplug all the way, now, but I think many of us would opt for an unplugged day — announced or not. We have to be the bosses of our lives. And we have to interchange and meld for real.  We were not created to be bots (nor even bumblebees who dance out locations). We were created for love. That’s a verb. Love cannot be texted; it cannot be virtual. After all, we are not descended from angels. We are descended from far greater than the angels. For a reason.  Technology always moves us away from the Reason.  (Yes, sort of Luddite, here, but only because there’s a Good reason.)  Social media always makes the grass seem greener on the other side. That should send up a warning flag for us think-ers and love-ers, always!

We are love-able, as is.


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M-m-m-mild to the b-b-b-bone

I was an inner city average white girl, but there was one night I wanted to be notorious.  Yes, maybe “Notorious AWG” — though there was no cool coolness about the ‘hood back in the day — plus, I was sickly and Toni-permed up until I was 15…

I’d wanted to steal a car shortly after that ridiculous milestone.

Just to be bad. It would’ve been a convertible — just to be outrageously bad.

I was that tired of being good. Tired of being poor, stiffed, dismissed, unfeared but worse, disrespected; tired of being limited, tired of being stopped at every edge of every dream, and tired of being me.

Then, the pilfered Schlitz wore off past the teenaged crying jag — but the pain of being trapped was real. I talked it over with someone who wasn’t about to stop me. As usual, I stopped me.  Total loser. (Plus, there were no convertibles anywhere near my neighborhood, and I would need some car thief to hotwire it for me.  A lose-lose night entirely.)

We do have what it takes to break out. One doesn’t have to be bad to be badass. Should anyone think of stealing a car (or a Schlitz, or worse… well, there’s nothing worse than Schlitz), or thinking of stealing one’s own life or one’s own future, one must keep thinking.  Answers come. They just need time and hope. Find someone with hope — be it Jesus or Grandma or the butcher (all of whom understand feeling trapped) — and stay close and open to suggestions until you are your own hope-ster.

There is no point in stealing anything, nor in harming or ruining life.  You can have life properly, even abundantly, if you think first. It takes a little time… and zero Schlitz.

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Runs-with-paper-towels

For a Mothers Day post, I had tried –and again today– to upload a nice photo that DH took of daughter and me in front of our combined bouquets, in which I had finally applied her wilder’n’crazier Spartan race sister’s selfie trick of oversmiling. That rendered it a likeness of me and not some poor sad sack dragged from a funeral for a photo shoot.

Well, tomorrow’s another day to let technology confound me because now, I’m busy with preparing for the onslaught of sudden summer. That’s how it happens here — a high of 52, of 57, and then 92! I’ve dug out the fans, after making spots to put them, and have gotten some hot-weather clothes ready for the kids and myself for school and work. That meant finding some.

I’ve also planned heartily to get to some store before I pick up both little kids and before work, to try the ants-don’t-like-peppermint-oil thing. The only thing more fun than watching people freak out over ants, is spitting one out with a mouthful of coffee (one survived the shorter-than-usual microwaving the other dark-kitchen evening and was as surprised as myself to find himself healthfully baleened).

With that done (well, not, but I’ll try peppermint tea bags first), it’s onward and onward to preparing for Spartanite daughter’s visit for the week, kicking off her arrival with a yearly canoe/kayak race in which this family has participated for years. This visit, she’s bringing her new dog, a 13-pound abandonee now named “Finn,” which is why I’m washing a dog bed and blanket and getting human bedding ready as well, though for the sofa. Our *guest* room is full.

I’d be surprised if I’m back here before Friday morn.  The hours in which one must accomplish much seem to shrink in proportion, don’t they?

Happy summer-spring!!

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Yes, but..

Somewhere, there’s a photo of me in silhouette standing on the very last dozen inches of one of the peaks of the Presidential Range, only good wishes and one misstep away from kissing one of those bad boys all around me for as far as the eye could see.

I loved showing the Dad-snapped photo around when I was young, “Look here, am I intrepid or what?” (I certainly hadn’t planned to be, lol, but facts is facts!)

Later, it became a bittersweet photo/memory, as did the days of my being dragged out to high seas in a tiny rowboat with him, to do some fishing away from land entirely.

My mother, even prior to their divorce, had always worried during those times when I was finally living life, that they were perfect opportunities for himself to dispatch-via-tragic-accident someone he’d considered the middle-man between them.

It was nearly impossible to defend him — he had done horrendous things — but I wanted to say (and would’ve, could I have found the unhurtful, unthreatening way to say it), “Sometimes, he has been a father.” I think she (and others) attributed my safe return solely to her frantic prayers being answered in the Affirmative.

But none of them saw his face on that mountain day, or those sea days, or on farm or extended family days. These were the only things he could give me, sometimes delivered with a gasp of his own — both of us overwhelmed by peace and health and beauty for a while. Together. On the precipice of family.


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