Buck's Search for Meaning

Buck's search for meaning in this wonderful, though often puzzling life on Long Island, New York, USA, Earth, Milky Way, Universe.

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Monday, April 09, 2007

Wake me up when it's over...

Yes, gentle reader, I'm afraid that I haven't been staying tuned in enough regarding how the current administration is screwing its constituents and the rest of the world lately. Shame on me! And, yes, I have fallen into the attitude of "Wake me up when Bush is out of office."

Probably just a phase, and a side effect of many other urgent issues I've been dealing with.

My hopes & prayers go out to all good people who are trying to reverse the horrible direction that Bush & co. has moved us in. More power to you! And may the American people avoid getting sucked into any more stupid traps and lies like the ones that have caused us so much damage!

Saturday, February 11, 2006



I don't agree with everything on this site regarding impeachable offences. But they've got the key bits right -- here's a copy of the text of the letter I sent to my local US representative:

It's time for George W. Bush and his administration to answer and be accountable for his actions.

The Bush administration lied to the people and Congress about the justifications for going to war in Iraq.

It has now been revealed that Bush, like Nixon three decades ago, has carried out an illegal wiretapping program against the people of this country.

It is clear now that he has no regard for the Constitution and the laws of this land unless they suit him at the time: The process exists where he could have worked to change laws that he felt were hampering his efforts. But he blatently disregarded process and broke the law.

These are serious offenses which constitute High Crimes and Misdemeanors. I urge you to support impeachment immediately, in order to save our constitutional democracy and our good name in the council of nations.

The green text comes from an impeachbush.org template, and the blue text is my customization. The web site made it easy to compose the letter, and it automatically inserted my local congressman's name and address.

The pressure must continue, and this must remain in the spotlight. As stated before, in different ways, these times are presenting one of the toughest tests for our experimental democracy. Enough of us must wake up an stay awake long enough to make a difference!!

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

War on Christmas??

A War on Christmas??

I originally wrote a piece on this a couple of weeks ago, but preempted it to honor Mrs. K. In doing a quick Google search, it's starting to look like the "War on Christmas" media play is fizzling out. Please tell me if I'm wrong! Whether or not, here are my thoughts/rants. Read if you want to, but I'll guess you've heard it said better than this!:

This is one of the more ridiculous non-issues that has hit the media in some time. At best, it's a distraction from the real issues that, even before this took any prominence, have not received enough play in the press. At worst, it's a deliberate campaign to widen divisions in our nation that have become all too prominent over the last five years. [I've also theorized since then that the Religious Right was test driving the WoC as this election year's Gay Marriage lightning rod.]

There is no war on Christmas. When one doesn't know the religion of the person, saying "Happy Holidays" is a sensitive way to express yourself. In business, it's safest not to assume that every customer will be a Christian. As to a "Holiday tree," to a non-Christian there's no such thing. A Christmas tree is a Christmas tree. It's not a Holiday tree, it's not a Chanuka Bush. Christmas has claimed that symbol, and no rational non-Christian is vying for it. (Druids, folks following old Teutonic traditions, and other former claimants of the tree are, of course, the exceptions)

Now having said that, I am not insulted when someone says "Merry Christmas" to me. Just a little disappointed. It makes me feel better when someone says or writes "Happy Holidays" or "Seasons Greetings". (Of course, hearing "Happy Chanuka!" makes me feel great! As great as hearing "Happy New Year" at Rosh Hashona, and "Happy Passover" at Passover time.)

You would have to blind and deaf not to be bombarded with Christmas symbols during this time of year. Every year it gets more overwhelming for non-Christians. This creates a challenge for non-Christian parents, but not the biggest challenge we face!! All-in-all, I'm not complaining, nor demanding that Christmas be toned down -- to each their own! And, I do love enjoying the holiday with my dear friends. (And, I must admit, I do love catching the classic Christmas movies: Holiday Inn, A Christmas Carol (in almost all of its manifestations -- Alistair Sim, George C. Scott, Scrooge, Miracle on 34th Street, etc. And, of course, classic Christmas TV: The Twilight Zone's "Night of the Meek" for one -- Art Carney at his best!)

But don't tell me that there's a war on Christmas!!

PS -- This just popped into my Google news: http://edition.cnn.com/2005/US/12/09/paris.christmas.ap/ In my opinion, the neighbors have a lot more than Christmas to be worried about!!

PPS -- a Movie sidenote -- I almost didn't include Holiday Inn as a Christmas movie. IMHO this one is a bit tougher to classify as such. Yes, it has the Irving Berlin (nice Jewish boy) classic, "White Christmas". But it really is just an old fashioned movie musical. Very "American" in its celebration of holidays. Christmas does not play a central role in the movie, as it does in the other movies. Still, one rarely sees the movie on TV outside of the Christmas season, so I stand by my inclusion in the list above. If labeling it a "Christmas" movie ensures that it will be played at least once a year, then that's OK with me!! Same for Desk Set with Tracy & Hepburn.

PPPS -- Wishing all a Happy and Healthy Holiday Season!!

Friday, December 09, 2005

Our Eleanor

Our Eleanor

Sounds a bit presumptuous to say that, horning in on the K family like that. But this truly magnificent lady certainly made me and us feel like we were hers, and she was ours.

Eleanor will be missed by anyone who ever met her. Having known her since age four or so and having been a member of her hideaway for more than 35 years, there are so many warm memories. They all blend together, but some come out in clarity:

"Guys, Cool it" Generally heard from the top of the basement stairs. Most of the time due to the lateness of the hour and an attempt by Jim to sleep before waking up for an early morning shift. I have now had the chance to say similar things to my own teenage son when his friends are over.

Sitting with Mrs. K in the kitchen during a party, or in the living room, just hanging out. The conversation was always interesting. And Eleanor always made you feel that you mattered, and were yourself interesting and worthy of respect.

Her laugh.

There are more, of course. But I am a poor story-teller. And my memory blends too much together. But the feelings are there. Eleanor was warm, inspirational, intelligent, well-read, loving to her family and to those who felt lucky enough to feel that we were in her flock.

May she find peace in the afterlife, reunited with those that she loved who have also passed on. And may she watch over her Jim, Bill, Susan, Leah, Regan; and all those who love her and always will.

Zich-ro-nah' Lih-ve-rah-chah' -- Her memory is a blessing

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Timely Lessons from Hermann Goering??!!

I found the short version of this quote in Robert Reich's excellent book, "Reason: Why Liberals Will Win the Battle for America." (Now available in Trade Paperback, although I'm still listening to the book on CD).

A visit to Snopes.com, famous debunker of internet urban legends, revealed the entire quote and it's veracity. The words were taken down by Gustave Gilbert while the Nurenberg trials were going on. (see http://www.snopes.com/quotes/goering.htm for more on the background). The bold emphasis is mine:
[Gilbert] "We got around to the subject of war again and I said that, contrary to his attitude, I did not think that the common people are very thankful for leaders who bring them war and destruction.

'Why, of course, the people don't want war,' Goering shrugged. 'Why would some poor slob on a farm want to risk his life in a war when the best that he can get out of it is to come back to his farm in one piece. Naturally, the common people don't want war; neither in Russia nor in England nor in America, nor for that matter in Germany. That is understood. But, after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy or a fascist dictatorship or a Parliament or a Communist dictatorship.'

'There is one difference,' I pointed out. 'In a democracy the people have some say in the matter through their elected representatives, and in the United States only Congress can declare wars.'

'Oh, that is all well and good, but, voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country.'"

As a former member of the Coalition of the Duped (or Coalition of the Formerly Duped??), these words sting, and rightly so.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

A lofty title!

... for what will just be the occasional rant and blather. More to come!