peace

peace


The Scientist & the Segregationist: Henry A. Wallace & George C. Wallace

Henry A. Wallace May 2nd, 2020

George C. Wallace, the multi-term governor of Alabama, ran for president of the United States repeatedly. He was shot and he was the victim of skullduggery by the Democrats to keep him off the ticket. He never did quite get traction enough to win, but that didn’t mean he wasn’t supported by 15-20% of the populace. He was virtually indefatigable, and quite transparent. Though, apparently, he wasn’t a white supremacist through-and-through, like politicians David Duke, or Patrick Buchanan. He was an opportunist; a changeling.
Henry A. Wallace, Franklin Roosevelt’s three-term vice-president, scientist, man of peace, and economic progressive, can quite clearly be compared and contrasted to the notorious racist and political opportunist, George C. Wallace. Neither man is much-spoken-of nowadays, but both can teach the careful observer about the rise of Donald Trump and his noxious brand of showmanship mixed with populism and white grievance. In a time of racial divisions, economic stress, and lies-vs-truth, to compare Henry and George Wallace is no mere academic pursuit.

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Dignity as an Antidote to Partisanship and Economic Despair

dignity February 11th, 2020

E. J. Dionne of the Washington Post suggests that dignity is an antidote to partisanship and economic despair, and can be the best way to beat Donald Trump. Dionne indicates that dignity is the urgent need in the United States now. His most recent book is indeed entitled: Code Red: How Moderates and Progressives Can

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Seize Happiness, Peace and Prosperity

peace and prosperity September 17th, 2019

Most of us are obese, smoke, drink to excess, don’t have $10,000 in our bank accounts. Cancer and autism are grave threats. Heart attacks, car accidents, and opioid addiction/overdoses plague us. Stress-related illness plagues us. Like our arteries, we don’t have the flexibility and resilience to absorb many more problems. Indeed, “The Doomsday Clock” now indicates we are two minutes to midnight. The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists call this state of dysfunction and dystopia “the new normal.” I don’t think Obama wrought the decay and dismay we see reflected on CNN and Fox, but nevertheless we are mired in it. It sometimes seems all-consuming. I reject the materialism, speed, unfulfillment, anxiety, and restlessness that plagues me. I don’t want to be Type A; I don’t want to die of a stress-related illness; I don’t want to see another child in a border detention camp. I want to make the most of the time I have left. I wish for peace and prosperity, health and well-being, relationships and charity, joy and security to be my goals, and it probably involves realigning my life to be less tuned in to social media, news, and money. This blog is about a modern urge to, as Timothy Leary put it, “turn on, tune in, and drop out.”

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Values: Do You Really Know What Yours Are?

values August 8th, 2018

Do You Know What Your Values Are?  Are You Enthusiastic About Them?  How Can You Improve Yourself and Your World? Thought leader and author Jason Merchey weighs in on how you can find more happiness, success, meaning, fulfillment, and virtue in life through wisdom.

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A Life of Value: Mindfulness Training in Prison

mindfulness July 27th, 2018

I recently spent a weekend at San Quentin prison learning mindfulness, sharing meditation, and holding space, I came to a deep understanding that when one travels across a long personal Spectrum, their experience and wisdom is so bright and so full of light. GRIP (Guiding Rage into Power) is a year-long training program for inmates

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Is MLK’s Dream of Social Justice Actually Possible?

social justice June 25th, 2018

It might sound odd or indefensible to claim that Martin Luther King Jr.’s wonderful speech known as “I Have a Dream” was determined by MLK to be more of a nightmare than a dream of peace and tranquility. In fact, if you think about it, the phrase “the American dream” refers not to racial or social justice, but striking it rich. Indeed, American values (the dark ones) dashed King’s buoyant optimism present when he wrote about his dream, and he knew this before he died. Will social justice and racial integration ever be realized? Your guess is as good as mine.

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A Poem About Wistfulness: “The Still Small Voice”

poem about wistfulness March 20th, 2018

This is a poem about wistfulness. Wistful is clarified by Vocabulary.com: “People who appear wistful often show a longing for something or a look of serious reflection. One way to describe the adjective wistful is as the sad appearance of someone looking back and thinking if only… A thoughtful or pensive mood centered on something good in the past that is missed or something not so good in the present that could have been better if only something had gone differently — these things make for a wistful outlook.”
This solid piece was written by the long-dead writer, John Rollin Ridge, reputed as the first American Indian novelist. It speaks of wistfulness, regret, selfhood, memories, pain, remembrance, meaning, and peace. It’s amazing not just for its stylistic excellence, but for how well it has lasted, considering it was written by a Cherokee Indian almost 75 years ago. Enjoy.

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Martin Luther King, Jr. Quotes

Martin Luther King, Jr. quotes February 5th, 2018

I was watching the Superbowl tonight, and was really moved by a wonderful quote by Martin Luther King, Jr. It got me thinking about what a powerful leader he was, how many obstacles he faced, and how educated he was. I would imagine that 24 out of 25 Americans know at least a little something about the reverend, and that is saying a lot, considering our spotty record of educating our youth here in America. There are many powerful, interesting, and wonderful Martin Luther King, Jr. quotes, and I present a couple dozen of my favorites, and connect them to the virtues the quotation represents. 

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Oliver Stone and Peter Kuznick on V.P. Henry Wallace

Henry Wallace January 14th, 2018

Henry Wallace was truly a remarkable American. He really cared about people and their economic condition. He was also against racism, colonialism, imperialism, and war with the Soviet Union. He grew from an Iowa farmer to be a very influential progressive statesman. Not only did he serve three terms with Roosevelt and play a huge role in politics for a vice-president, he was widely respected both at home and abroad. He co-founded the magazine The New Republic, became a millionaire based on the genetic improvements of corn he pioneered, and ran on the Progressive Party ticket for POTUS. Oliver Stone, Peter Kuznick, and Matt Graham tell the story of his rise and fall in their Untold History of the United States. Here is a brief summary of the man, and his political assassination.

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“Will Star Trek Forever Remain Fiction?”

Star Trek November 29th, 2017

A big fan of Gene Roddenberry’s Star Trek, this poem asks if we will ever reach the level of development as a planet that humans do in the 23rd century. Here is a stanza:

How can we engender a bright future as a global society,
When millions of children are hungry, sick, and poor?
We are swimming in greed, intolerance, bigotry, and anxiety;
Must
Star Trek forever remain nothing but lore?

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