THOU SHALL NOT GLOAT
Hi again, from the shores of the Salish Sea. Well, perhaps the biggest headline in America is the preservation of the Affordable Care Act and I think all concerned deserve a standing ovation for that one. No system created by human beings is perfect because we ourselves are not perfect. But that one’s been working and in my house, when it’s working, you don’t fix it unless you know how to make it better.
I was also glad to read that America’s chief executive has decided to turn war-making over to the professionals. There was some initial concern about relinquishing civilian oversight but since this president has no military training or experience, while the decision to send in the Marines remains his, how they get there and what they do when they arrive remains in the capable hands of the people in the Pentagon.
I caution both Democrats and Republicans to watch the language they use. A two party system was not created for ideological competition. It was designed to be a cooperative enterprise, blending the best of both sides. It rightfully dismissed this absurd and historically unsupportable notion that one side is always correct and the other side is always in error.
What happened with the Affordable Care Act was not a victory for liberals and a defeat for conservatives. It was a response to the national constituency and that’s what Congress is supposed to do in the first place. It is what, among other things, we pay them to do.
While it is gratifying to see them once again doing this, in my house, you don’t get praised for simply doing your job. You get recognized for going above and beyond. It will be interesting to see if this administration is capable of that.
Have a great week, gang, and thanks for the ear. Rusty Miller
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HEADLINE NEWS AT A GLANCE
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London Attack – See Under Topical News Below
CLIMATE CHANGE & THE WEATHER
ESPIONAGE, TERRIORISM & WAR
TRUMP & COMPANY
HACKSAW RIDGE REVIEWED
Recently I was asked about what film has made the most impression on me. It is the 2016 movie Hacksaw Ridge, directed by Mel Gibson. It is biographical story of Desmond Doss, an American soldier during WW II. A Seventh-day Adventist Christian, because of his religious beliefs, he refused to even handle weapons.
At first, no one in the army understood his attitude and many considered him simply a coward. But as story unfolds and he helps those who treated him unfairly, Desmond gains the respect and then the admiration of his mates and commanders by saving 75 men under fire on Hacksaw Ridge during the Battle of Okinawa. For this, he became the first conscientious objector to win the Medal of Honor.
Things that impressed me so much were like even in the tensest situations, he stayed loyal to his faith and his religion, summing it up with devastating simplicity. “I don’t know how I’m going to live with myself if I don’t stay true to what I believe.”
I was also very moved when it showed him helping Japanese wounded in addition to his own men. It was a dramatic embracing of the idea that all men were his brothers and no man was his enemy.
The most stunning was to see documented a real hero as fortunately Mel Gibson shoot the film in time, while Desmond Doss and some of his comrades whom he helped to survive still were able to share this amazing story in person.
By highlighting courage and consciousness and the power of belief, this film definitely inspired a lot of people. I read recently an article about another American soldier who left the military last year upon influence of the film when he understood that the moral principles he believed in are incompatible with supporting war and the inevitable “collateral damage” of innocents.
While these moral questions are to be answered by persons individually, if we look into history, no one who started wars with weapons in hands thrived. Neither Hitler with the most proficient military for his time, nor Soviet Union that tried to prepare unexpected stroke to him in early 1941.
The Soviet government starved millions of her own people in the 1930s from the Urals to Ukraine, in order to exchange the grain they produced for weapons and the money to construct military plants in preparation for a big war. And all the sacrifices just led to a major disaster and all those superior weapons falling into German hands when Hitler broke his non-aggression treaty and invaded the Soviet Union.
In the second decade of the 21st Century, we have only to look at the wars in the Middle East to see the destruction, waves of immigration now flooding western countries and terrorists attacks.
It seems that humanity started to forget the lessons of WW I and WW II ~ that all wars are unjust and weapons could be easily captured and redirected; that what is needed instead is to be found non-aggressive solutions. The works of authors of so called after war “lost” generations are a reminder. Hoping this message of Ernest Hemingway “A Farewell to Arms” retold by Desmond Doss refusing taking weapons into his hands will be heard.
That’s it for this week, Mishka. Stay safe, cousin mine,
All religions have the potential to create better human beings, but since 1 billion of the 7 billion human beings alive today have no interest in religion, and frequently even believers don’t take their faith that seriously, we need a more universal approach to developing inner values without relying on this or that religious tradition.
OUR SCIENCE SECTION, ABRIDGED
This is a “heads up” to our readers on the American Atlantic coast. Atlantic Subtropical or Tropical Storm May Form Next Week For Just the Second Time In March Since Records Began
This definitely left us thinking. Shaking Up The Dinosaur Family Tree
These little dudes are totally awesome. How A Water Bear Survives, Even When It’s Dry
THE GREEN BEAT
BEST OF THE NET
THOUGHT OF THE WEEK
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ALL CREATURES, GREAT AND SMALL
This is extremely informative. Marine Protected Areas Work — Here’s Why
Happy spring, everybody. Waking From Hibernation, The Hard Work Of Spring Begins
FOLKS WE FOLLOW
The monthly Cornel Elab newsletter is now online. This excellent avian monthly is a ‘must read’ for the casual and the consecrated bird lover alike. Please go here.
YOU GUYS THINK WE MAKE THIS STUFF UP
Olya, who was born in the Soviet Union, now lives in Ukraine and is fluent in English, Russian and Ukrainian. She is a degreed psychologist with a background in international marketing and personnel management. Rusty is an author, editor, writer and photojournalist in Seattle, Washington.
The Northstar Journal reaches readers in 22 countries. As demographically diverse as they are, they have in common a sincere and extremely proactive desire to help make our world a better place. We are both proud and honored to serve them as a resource in that regard.
Until next week, take care, stay well and God Bless. RM/OB