I am re-publishing this column in observance of Veterans' Day, and in honor of my Dad, a veteran of World War II and D-Day. They must never be forgotten, especially now that fascism, the very plague my dad and his comrades fought and bled to exterminate, is gaining power in Europe and even in the United States.
"For at any price, we must keep those who have too clear a conscience from living and dying in peace." -- E. M. Cioran, "Thinking Against Oneself" in The Temptation to Exist
Given how short Americans’ collective historical memory has become, many people – and it may be all “millennials” – would be hard-pressed to attach any significance to today: 6 June 2017. But before someone cues up the theme music from “Final Jeopardy”, please allow me to enlighten you: as of today, it has
OK ... understand up front: I have no use whatsoever for Chelsea Manning and her practice of publishing the contents of confidential diplomatic cables between American and foreign embassies. In one professional incarnation, I and people who worked with and for me depended vitally for our security on the very confidentiality Manning so cavalierly violated. President Obama made a mistake in commuting her sentence. However … I did learn something from her, albeit second-hand. I copied certain techniques and practices from Manning -- trust me, the following is not a “Snowden job” -- and was thus able to download an advance copy of the new rules the NFL and NBA will soon be publishing for how players are to comport themselves during the playing of the National Anthem. In abbreviated form,
“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
for they will be filled.
What does it mean to “hunger and thirst” for righteousness? What Jesus was saying is better understood if we understand how the 1st century audience understood righteousness. A person listening to this scripture in the 1st century would have heard righteousness as justice; so those who “hunger and thirst for justice “will find justice. However, at least if you listen to the news media, it doesn’t seem as though justice is a priority today.
In this land of so much abundance there are too many who are hungry, homeless, and lost in a world of mental disability and addictions. Last Tuesday I volunteered at Common Ground in Everett. About 40 homeless and hungry people and one swee