An Afterthought on the Meaning of Memorializing. Memorial Day is Especially for the Bereaved.

Yesterday I shared quotes about two dimensions of Memorial Day. One, as Lincoln exhorted, is to rededicate ourselves to the cause the fallen were defending—American independence, freedom, and security. Two is to ponder the value of lives that were “undiscovered,” the loss of associations and contributions and humanity because lives were cut short.
 
A third purpose also seems fitting and important—to comfort and appreciate those left behind. Every life touches family, friends, and loved ones. Honoring the fallen should also cause us to appreciate and comfort the bereaved. I thought of this as I remembered an honor ceremony some years ago at the Colorado State Capitol where I saw close up the cost borne by families of the fallen.
 
A young man from Thornton, a city near my home was one of Colorado’s early casualties in the Iraq war. His parents and family came for a special resolution honoring their son and expressing gratitude to them.
 
After the resolution was read and passed, and remarks shared, lawmakers walked single-file past the parents. I shook the father’s hand, and saw his wet eyes. I hugged the mother and saw her wet cheeks.
 
Fallen soldiers are not “American” losses or statistics; they are not news about a distant tragedy. They are friends, neighbors, brothers, children. They leave behind a life full of promise, hopes, and fears. They leave a large hole in the fabric of the lives of their loved ones.
 
Memorial Day is for the loved ones, too. Or maybe especially.

Taking Up the Cause of Undiscovered Lives; Two Reflections on Memorializing.

Of course, Lincoln penned his immortal words to dedicate a cemetery before Memorial Day formally existed. The thoughts he shared, however, capture the soul of remembering and honoring the dead who fell in battle:

 

Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.

 

Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.

But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate — we can not consecrate — we can not hallow — this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us — that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion — that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain — that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom — and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.

 

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Turning to meaning on a more personal scale, this poignant comment I saw on social media reflects a light on loss I hadn’t fully considered:
 
“On August 10, 1915, a Turkish sniper at Gallipoli killed his British target, 27 year-old Henry Gwyn Jeffreys Moseley, with a shot to the head. This event prompted Isaac Asimov to write, “In view of what he [Moseley] might still have accomplished … his death might well have been the most costly single death of the War to mankind generally.” Moseley had already discovered fundamental properties of matter and showed great promise in other areas as well. On this Memorial Day it is proper to honor in general our war dead. But as Moseley’s death highlights, whenever we honor the individual dead, we do not honor lives lived in full, and that is the source of the sadness of the occasion, the undiscovered life.”
~Bill Kaplan
Solemn Remembering Day, friends.

Trump Exposed. The Shocking Revelation That Ensures Impeachment. A Tribe Exclusive.

Been thinking. The Trump collusion story finally makes perfect sense. The New York real estate mogul was sure the DNC and Podesta had compromising dirt on their computers. So what did he do? Did he talk to a guy who knows a guy and hire a hack job here local for a couple million? (Put American hackers back to Work Again!) NO!
 
He let loose his campaign to negotiate with Russia over global cables that everyone knows are spied on by all the cool agencies from every nation and villain in the Bond movies.
 
“Hey, Vlad, the New York Times is being pretty rough on me. Do you think you could dig up some dirt on Hillary and could you see if you can, ya know, change the narrative? That would be yuge if you could counter her billion dollar campaign machine, and neutralize the full weight of America’s media and give me the presidency.
 
“If you could do that for me, you have no idea the things I’ll do for you! I’ll increase US energy production to torpedo your major global asset. I’ll increase US defense spending. I’ll badger NATO to increase its own defense spending. I’ll blow up your toy dictator’s planes in Syria. I’ll bash you at the UN. This is a deal you can’t refuse!
 
Vlad calls back on the red Bat Phone, assured of total confidentiality. “This sound good, Donald. I’ll give you election. I’ll take off shirt and flex pecks. Ladies go crazy. I’ll…
“Wait. No, not necessary. I got American voters under little finger. They do what I want. I’ll just leak few Podesta emails to show what weasel is Hillary. Then you win. Then you do all you promise. Da?”
 
“Wait, Donald…offer only include weasels DNC and Podesta. I’m not sharing stuff I got from bathroom server. That stuff too potent and sensitive.”

The Big News About Obama ABC NBC CBS and CNN Aren’t Telling You.

The National Security Agency under former President Barack Obama routinely violated American privacy protections while intercepting and analyzing internet communications. Circa news has obtained a previously classified order by the Foreign Service Intelligence Court which concludes that about 5% or 1 of every 20 intercepts violated Americans’ civil rights, and further, that the NSA failed to disclose the scope of violations to the FISC.

 

In other words, the worst suspicions of administration critics are confirmed. The Obama administration routinely conducted electronic surveillance of Americans. And not just any Americans. Other recent disclosures of CIA coordination with foreign intelligence agencies confirm how much of this stolen information was used: to try to damage the Trump campaign and swing the 2016 election. The administration did do exactly what it is alleging the Trump campaign did: hack and collude and try to steal the election.
 
In a sane world, this story would be massive. In a world with a serious media—that wasn’t the attack arm of the Democrat Party–this story would lead the news casts for days. In a society with better informed citizens, this story would be the subject of anger and concern even if the networks are trying to black it out.
 
We don’t live in that world. Since the news broke a few days ago, a Google search for “Obama National Security Administration surveillance” shows intense interest and alarm by conservative outlets, from Fox News to specialty websites, but not a single mention from any other national network or publication.
 
There are obvious reasons the national media would prefer to keep this story invisible. To say it makes the Obama administration look bad is an understatement. It reveals intelligence officials as partisan agents. It bolsters Trump’s allegations that Obama spied on him. It detracts from the fabricated frenzy against Trump and collusion with Russia. It raises the obvious question how an unheard of source like CIRCA broke the news of a major Obama scandal while the networks were too busy protecting the administration to cover it.
 
This story will stay out there. It will get legs. Some reporter who, through guilt or ambition wants to pretend to do real reporting, will ask Obama or former NSA head James Clapper or CIA Director John Brennan to comment or to deny the story. This could explode yet.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

 
 

You and I are Unspeakably Wealthy.

Every once in a while, I think about the incomprehensible material wealth of modern society. The way you and I live. That’s vague and lofty, so let me be more specific.
 
I had a bowl of beef stew for lunch. I sat reading articles longer than I intended so the bowl dried kind of brown and hard. I put it in the sink, turned on the hot water, let it flow and overflow, and then then grabbed the dishbrush to scrub away the crust. Simple.
 
But that quart or or two of hot water had to first come to me clean through delivered pipes, and then be heated, and sit in a tank, just waiting for me to turn a knob. Any impoverished waif could do it. But, how miraculous is that process?
 
Billionaire John D. Rockefeller would have had to expend far greater resources to get a clean-ish bowl placed in the sink. A servant would have had to draw water from the well. There would have to be a kettle boiling, or at least simmering.That would have taken another servant to relay some wood or load some coal to the iron stove. And smoke would filter through the house.
 
John D might have been the richest man in the world or close, but his life was a campout compared to ours. Would you rather be a billionaire in the early 20th century or a commoner today?

Trump Derangement Syndrome is an Equal Opportunity Affliction

Trump Derangement Sydrome comprises both anti- and pro- . The Mark of the Deranged is this: They can never–they are unable–to evaluate or comment on a word or deed of Trump objectively. Was it a good word? Good deed? Or bad word, bad deed? Will it have good or bad effect?
 
Their minds don’t work that way. It is always hominem first. Hominem good or hominem bad. They must find or contrive the worst possible thing to say about it. Or the best possible thing to say about it. They must ascribe it sinister motives, or saving power. They are bereft of the ability or the will to just call balls and strikes.
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