Drowning In A Bucket


January 8, 2021-

My parents taught us to pay attention to the small stuff- an untied shoe lace, a door left ajar when the baby was in the room, a whirling fan-under the same circumstances, a screw or nail left in the driveway. Such attention to detail caught me up short a few times, in my distracted adolescence, but has served me quite well, in adulthood-especially of late.

Would, that this were true of society-at-large. How often, in the past ten years or so, has someone loudly pointed everyone’s attention to an extraneous distraction, while helping self to public funds or quietly changing rules and regulations that impact the little guy, often severely? How often are people paying more attention to Twitter, Facebook Live or Instagram, than to the life that is right in front of them? How often has someone been doing a fairly complex task, only to let self be discombulated by a phone call or Instant Message pings, from someone who just wants attention?

The distractions in our lives, which have only become more numerous and more insistent, even as our ways of dealing with real problems have become more efficient, are akin to someone sticking their head in a bucket of water, and somehow not knowing enough to pull it out-until it’s tool late-or nearly so. Demagogues and tyrants know this, as do rapacious salespeople, pickpockets and all manner of con-men. I’ve used the analogy of shellfish in a pot of water, before, and it’s the same process.

The noises are going to get louder, the stories more outlandish, the threats more ominous-and the need for vigilance from ordinary citizens, more crucial, over the next two weeks. Let’s keep our heads out of the buckets. January 6 may well have been just a dress rehearsal.

The Javelins and the Olive Branches


May 3, 2020-

I will say a few things, straight out:  I am a regular user of natural medicines, certified therapeutic grade essential oils and organic foods (80 % of my diet is GMO-free. I also will accept only those vaccinations that are “clean”.  I recognize we need to start somewhere, in building herd immunity to COVID19, and whatever other diseases may surface, over the next many years.  We do NOT, however, need to start with 76 different vaccines, nor do we need our serums laden with mercury, arsenic or formaldehyde.  The shots I’ve taken, willingly, throughout my life, and those that were administered to my child, on our watch, were not more than 19 in number.  To the best of my recollection, they did not contain heavy metals.  The only other issue I would have with Corporate Immunization is the notion , so far just speculation, that authorities could ban people from engaging in commerce or travel, should they fail to have current immunization records on file.  Such a law would not end well , for those who enact it.

I am staying neutral in the present election cycle.  This has not endeared me to some on the Left.  So be it.  These are people who know my heart, and know full well that I do not support the politics of fear or hate.  They  cussed, fussed, fumed and walked out the door, anyway.  That door remains open, to anyone who does not threaten me, or my loved ones.  I would also recommend, to both sides, that no harm be done to any of the candidates for office, or their families-but that is a concern for law enforcement.

Fact is, ladies and gentlemen, we need one another.  Left, right, up, down and sideways-and those of us in the center, all have ideas and personal qualities that benefit everyone else.  Without the ideas of the progressive wing, we would not have the inclusion of diverse groups that make our society all the richer.  Only the usual characters would continue to dominate government, commerce and academia.  Without the due consideration of conservative values, we would have no rudder to steer this ship through some rather treacherous straits, and would very well risk being at the mercy of demagogues, for whom ideas are more important than people.

For both sides, though, there is a danger of demagoguery- as the recent histories of several countries have shown us.  There is also the classic mirror:  The French Revolution, which started with the overthrow of an incompetent monarchy, proceeded through a Reign of Terror, in which a free for all resulted in the executions of the very people who led the overthrow of the monarchy-and paved the way for Napoleon Bonaparte, followed by Louis XVIII, then the Citizen King, then Napoleon III.  How that worked out for the benefit of the French people is highly debatable.

I love and cherish friends and family at all points on the political spectrum.  All I ask is that there be a conscious effort to stop demonizing those opposite oneself, as well as those of us in between.


The Road to 65, Mile 270: Esperanza


August 25, 2015, Chino Valley- This part of August has often hung heavy on me, both weather-wise and emotionally.  This year, things are a tad different.  I have taken sage advice, from three of the people I trust the most in this world, and have set aside my own apprehension about one of the two most important people in my life.  She will be fine.

Today was the second of four days, working with a varied and somewhat troubled group of youth.  Time was, when I thought I had NO IDEA how to reach out to adolescents, and hung back, accordingly.  The time I spent as a counselor, on the Navajo and Hopi Nations, helped mightily in that regard.  Both the bonds I developed, and the criticism I got from others, worked to help my sense of proactivity, in helping all young folks.  Then, too, raising a child through turbulence smoothed many of my own rough edges.

The past two days have gone well enough, for me, and a fair amount of meaningful work has been accomplished.  Towards the end of the day, a student came in, sat down, and wept, in as private a manner as possible.  This is the human face of the whole immigration imbroglio.  It is too easy for those who “have theirs” to demand:  The Fence; the Military Force; No Dream; No Daylight.  There are those who are struggling, among the people who were born and raised among a long line of “True Americans”.  They are, quite often, being duped by the puppetmasters, who call for whatever it is they sense the public wants.  Demagogues have done this, across the globe and down the centuries, and so it goes.

The Fence will not end the struggles of those who look like me.  The young person who was surrounded by love in our classroom, this afternoon, has more than just immigration with which to contend.  There are the normal day-to-day matters of adolescence, which know no frontiers.  There are the hopes, the trust, and, yes, the dreams, which short-sighted people would squash.  Make no mistake:  This nation is not alone, in keeping up an “Us vs. Them” mentality.  The very nations, from which many new arrivals come, are themselves keepers of a draconian mindset, when it comes to “The Other”.  It is wrong, no matter where it is promulgated.

The young person left class today with some hope, esperanza.  I wish the same for any child or teen, anywhere.  There is so much to be done.