Evolving Peace

A site that is progressing for the goal of everlasting peace within ourselves, our family, our friends, our country and our planet !

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

The Road Most Travelled


There was a place in Harriman State Park where I would climb the mountain and upon the top I would look down at the cars whizzing by on the New York State Thruway. From atop the Ramapo Torne the cars looked like ants scurrying around with no particular place to go. I wonder where is everybody going is it work, is to the mall or to grandma's house. I challenge you all to step back and look at the cars and wonder were they go.

Times have changed for me, where I am, I am infrequently inundated by the madness of a car-culture. Living in a town of 8,500 the streets are only flowing with traffic during the middle of the day. Rush hour is actually a mere ½ hour, unlike New York metropolitan area where traffic can exist all hours of the day. I wonder how much of today's problems are caused by tension driving around the asphalt mazes just to get to work.

This past weekend Sarah and I drove to New Jersey. Driving through Vermont is a pleasant relaxing drive. Due to the time frame, we choose the route through Connecticut. This time instead of looking down from a mountain, I came down from the mountain and immersed ourselves in the middle of the mayhem. Cars were weaving and swerving in and out of lanes to get that extra foot closer. Trucks were galloping down the road to get their precious cargo of stuff to the mall. Billboards broadcasted messages of consumption and the endless array of fast food restaurants were shining bright. Oh, America what has happened to your natural beauty. I wish you all can here our conversations about the pleasures and joys of the open road.

Timelessly we crossed the Chimpanzee Bridge (Tappan Zee Bridge) over the Hudson River, with Dar Williams's song "The Hudson" paying homage to its legacy. Ironically, just along the river General Electric had a plant in 1920's designing electric trolleys there. Imagine that in times not far ago business were designing methods of transportation that the world really needs now. Instead, while we crossed the bridge at nine pm, we were stuck to a crawl. I thought of the statistic that the average car will only drive 5mph in it is life time. Shocking that of all the driving we do at higher speeds in actuality it just averages out to 5mph. I guess that is what it means to being going nowhere fast.

We arrived into New Jersey and low and behold upon exiting the highway I had a car honk at me, apparently I was not quick enough for them. So, it reminded of that morning in Montpelier, I was standing out on a corner holding a sign to gain attention for the Lt. Governor candidate, Matt Dunne. The purpose was to give him greater name recognition and to get other supporters excited and honk thier horns in support. A discussion progressed on that Vermonters do not know where thier horns are, so we get a little less response, but in places like NJ horn use is part of drivers-ed.

The madness of the car culture, just keeps brewing. Over the weekend I visited some friends and of course I needed a car. How cute it is to see a three old child playing in his own imaginary world. But then things dawned on me, he was playing with his cars and trucks. Race cars, dump trucks and funny cars sprawled all along the floor. Then he looked at Sarah's car and was thrilled with it, asking questions like what is it? So, here I am looking at a three year old boy and I realized that this whole notion of cars has been ingrained into the heads of the youth. Yes, I do remember the days of my youth, playing with my matchbox cars and it was fun. But here I am in Vermont hoping that we as a populace will look for ways to reduce our uses of fossil fuels and cut back on causes of global warming, but I look and see the propaganda machine installing the love of cars into the mind of a child. Times like this I feel it is hopeless but we must move on and try.

So I continued my visits unfortunately by car, driving by shopping malls galore and at times I can barely see around me because half the vehicles are SUV's. It is shocking that I know live in a place where four-wheel drive vehicles are really needed but in New Jersey the land of asphalt and mild winters, everybody drives a SUV.

So we have come to a juncture where oil prices are high, wars are fought for oil and our planet is warming due to the burning of fossil fuels and the populace continues in it's endless pursuit of toys. This is where I hope that the rest of us will climb that mountain and look down and see. I returned home to Vermont and now hope…

Peace
Robb Kidd

"The civilized man has built a coach, but has lost the use of his feet." Ralph Waldo Emerson, "Self-Reliance," 1841

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Another Brick in the Wall



And the Walls keep crumbling down on the Republican House of Cards. As many in my circle of life already know the Republican Party is not a party of values, morality, fiscal responsibility, humanity or law. We are starting to see a major implosion of The Grand Old(oil) Party. There has been plenty of anti-Republican news arriving here in the Green Mountain State and it is starting to get interesting.

The Congressional race, the Democratic candidate Peter Welch has called for the return of American troops from Iraq. He has spoken against this war from the beginning and calls it and outright injustice. His opponent former Adjutant General of the Vermont Nation Guard, Martha Rainville stated just three weeks ago there are plenty of good things happening in Iraq and it is a shame the news media is not covering it. Commercials flood the airwaves paid for by the Republican National Committee stating that she is independent despite having Mommy Bush(Barbara) and Wiffy Bush(Laura) campaign for her here.

Another ad claims she stood up to the Pentagon when her troops were sent to Iraq without the proper protective gear, but nothing about sending them to war based on lies. She has refused to answer questions on whether she supports the war or not. Now, the latest words from Martha's mouth are that Iraq is a complete debacle. I wonder if those are really her words or not. A few weeks ago she was forced to fire a staffer who plagiarized policy positions from other politicians throughout the country, including conservative Hilary Clinton.

This is the same candidate that over the summer stated I do not necessarily believe that man is the sole cause of global warming. How things change she has now pledged to be a crusader for preventing global warming. She also has a lovely ad of her kayaking on a river claiming her interest in protecting the environment. Meanwhile her latest energy proposals call for more oil exploration and further usage of nuclear power. In addition she does not support the Wilderness Bill, which would have protected 46,000 acre. I should ask her what her stand is protecting the wild Chimichangas here in Vermont, there almost extinct. For those who are not aware of it a chimichanga is a deep fried meet burrito, which I'm sure Martha would not know. Election strategy: Lie, lie, Lie cheat and lie again…

The Senate race has become a mockery of politics. The Republican Rich Tarrant (one of the few multi-millionaires in Vermont) claims he can fix health care since he has made millions off the health care system by selling over priced medical software. People who have profited too much for the system are the reason health care cost so much, duh. Most of his campaign issues have centered on attacking Bernie Sanders or answering by "I have to look into that or I don't know. For Iraq, he claims that the American Military has done a good job and it is time to bring them back(well that is a good point), but on the other hand he just stated the other day that the US has given the Iraqis the freedom to have a civil war.(Huh)

Then the other day in a debate with Bernie Sanders he had to assault everyone's intelligence by demanding an apology from Bernie for a statement he said about President Bush. Bernie simply stated a fact that there are many people in the world who respect Osama Bin Laden more than they do President Bush, and that it is shocking that is the case in the world today. I wonder why. A president of a country that supports torture, illegal rendition of prisoners to secret prisons, removal of civil rights, preemptive war on a sovereign nation and had come to power by faulty elections sounds like one of those rogue nations to me. The truth of the matter is that Bush's standing in the world has fallen dramatically to levels so low that very few countries trust us. So, Mr. Tarrant's response was he should go to Venezuela. Maybe, after this election Mr. Tarrant can go back to his multi-million dollar home in Florida because truth of the matter most of Vermonters are to smart for his rhetoric.

The laughter just does not stop there. The governor made news this week as well. He finally stated that the Republicans in Washington including the President are a disgrace to the politics of the country. I ask why would a Republican Governor who was the state chair for President Bush's election campaign now finally question the President. Governor Douglass had no beef supporting his election, lays no fault in the War in Iraq, does not blame the spiraling national debt, does not question the non-funded No Child Left Behind or special education mandates, nor questions the exponential costs of health care. But what does perturbed him is the current atmosphere revolving around the Congressman Mark Foley affair. He does not like the leadership in Washington, but up until a few weeks he was fine with contacting anti-environment Congressman Richard Pombo to block the New England Wilderness Bill. I say he is scared and this career politician is sweating about loosing his job in the wave of anti-republicanism.

To top off the current trend, the President gets the most asinine award of the week. President Bush released a statement that said we are flexible in altering the course in Iraq. I guess the message is starting to hit home, that Americans do not like the war and that in a democracy the President must listen to the people. There goes that whole "Stay the Course" theme which he has said would remain for as long as it would take to achieve our mission. I recall that "Mission Accomplished" was on the aircraft carrier in 1993. The presidential staff claims that "staying the course" was never a term used by the administration. I guess they all think we are idiots.

The people are speaking and the politicians are starting to listen. The latest polls show that the Democrats are going to regain control of the House and Senate and the majority of state Governments. Hopefully we will begin to rectify all the mess that has been done by the Republicans. There is a fringe candidate here in Vermont named Peter Moss with the Anti-Bushist Party; he proposes a new government department called the Department of Un-Do to correct all the mistakes of the last six year. You got to love the idea, but what we need to do is remove every one of them who has supported this hostile regime, and that includes anybody who has supported the system from Vice-President to Town Clerk. After all they are just bricks in the wall…

Peace
Robb Kidd

"Mr. Jones, Please Tear Down that wall"

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Living in a Political World


Rolling through the hills of Vermont, I see the signs popping out of the grass. An old farm house proudly says Bernie for US Senate then miles down the road another sign painted in yellow and red like the MC Donald's colors hails the words Farm Country is Tarrant Country. Like flowers blooming, signs appear everywhere. Fear and Loathing on the campaign trail, what is the meaning of all this?

Campaign season brings out all the political jargon and buzzwords to broadcast the latest message. Slogans, like Affordability Agenda and "America' Needs a New Direction" all seem to have a message of some good, but when it comes down to it why does a person vote for such a platform. The governor here has been called "nice" while his opponent has been called "too nice." Is that what it comes down to or do people really care or understand? I would love it if people one day woke up and took a passion for understanding the political dynamics of the campaigns. A democracy is successful only when we have an informed populace, but lost in everyone's day to day life the populace just does not have the time.

In California, proponents of direct democracy have tried to engage the public in the voting process by placing critical issues on the ballots. Knowing how aware voters are of candidates I wonder how well voters are informed on the individual propositions. California voters are sent a booklet explaining the proposals but I fear that like other pieces of mail it is lost in the shuffle. While it is true that people's involvement is needed, we have seen how much people actively participate in the political spectrum, so just like the voting goes for candidates the interests with money are normally the successful ones. What is needed in campaigns, is it honesty, integrity or commitment to principles? As far as I can see it is none of those. Successful campaigns rely on positive recognition of the candidate or issue.

In the Vermont governor's race, a poll stated that when people were aware of the Democratic candidate, Scudder Parker they would vote two to one in favor of him over his opponent, Governor Douglass. On occasion, you will see campaigners standing on the side of the road hailing signs of support for their candidate. This tactic known as a "honk and wave" sole purpose is to gain attention for the candidate. On the surface, it sounds ridiculous to stand on the corner with a sign but statistics state that the average voter needs to see a name of a candidate at least seven times in order to have an affect.

In a non-political situation, I saw that theory first hand. Advertised throughout town recently were signs of an upcoming blood drive and I intended to be a good citizen and donate blood. The last blood drive I missed but this time I not only saw the signs, I received a note in the mail and a phone call to remind me. It was not until that morning I saw a big sign to donate blood did I remember. The repetitive process ingrained the notion to participate and I acted.

That same process holds true in the political world. Repetitiveness is the key. We have seen the public manipulated with catchy slogans and buzzwords to support issues that are contrary to their best interests. We were told daily that Iraq was in possession of WMD(weapons of mass destruction), even though it was a lie. Political pundits continually told us Iraq and Saddam Hussein were connected to the tragedies of 9/11, a further lie. This repetitiveness brought out an overwhelming public support for an illegal preemptive war on Iraq. The net result is thousands are dead, immense hatred for the United States has grown and the national debt is spiraling out of control.

Yesterday, I met a ninety year old man how stood on a corner of Nyack, NY and protested the war for the last three years. Why, I asked him. He replied that he knew deep down inside his heart that the war was wrong and after experiencing World War II he thought that "there has to be a better way than war." Likewise, throughout the years I have written extensively to newspapers and friends expressing my belief that the war is wrong. While actions like mine and Burnett has not stopped the war yet, over sixty percent of the population think the war was a mistake and now prominent Republicans are starting to speak out against the war. Things were tough having an unpopular belief, but many of us persevered over threats of bodily harm and being branded unpatriotic.

So while the war machine keeps rolling a long I and many others try to do our part and hope for a better day. The world keeps changing and things have gotten better but we all must do our part and participate in the ways we feel comfortable. Like a vote on Election Day, taking a stand an expressing yourself is politics. You may never obtain an office or a platform but your actions everyday can make a difference.

Peace

Robb Kidd

"We live in a political world, love don't have any place. We're living in times where men commit crimes and crime don't have a face" Bob Dylan.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Hopeful Democracy


Every falling leave brings us closer to the climax of the 2006 election cycle. The voices of democracy are sprawling for action. Engrained in our heads we are taught that is the fundamental right of the people. To some peoples in other lands, the right to vote is something to die for, but in America the great champion of democracy so few actual will turn out to vote. Statistics show that when higher numbers turn out to vote the great likely hood Democratic candidates will win, lower turn outs Republicans win.

This election is marred by a deep urge for drastic change in the direction of the country. There is hope from many that the Democrats will sweep the nation. Historically elections during non-presidential years receive lower turn outs. I hope this trend changes and Americans realize that every vote we make makes a difference. While the President is the predominant voice for the country, it is the other elected officials who have the power to shape the direction of our nation. The current Republican led Congress is nothing but a mere rubber-stamp for the President. We the people need to put a check on his power. The checks and balances of our system were set up to prevent over zealous use of the Presidency and it's time our government get on the same page as the population. We the people please get out and vote, our constitutional democracy is ridding on it.

Peace, Justice and Prosperity

Robb Kidd
Exiled in Vermont

"We in America do not have government by the majority. We have government by the majority who participate." Thomas Jefferson.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Melodious Voices of the Past


There is a deep chill in the air today. The seasons passed from summer into fall and onto the verge of winter. A lazy day for me today, but it was eventful. Sarah wanted to go to a folk music performance and so off we went. In my life I have seen live music in stadiums, on the sides of barns, on ships, and in churches so the performance of the day was not that new. A church for today to hear Deb Flanders perform collections of Folk Tunes from her great Aunts collection, Helen Hartness Flander. Helen a daughter of a Governor and wife of a Senator traveled throughout Vermont documenting and recording many of the folk songs played by early Vermont residents.

Unbeknown by me many of Vermont's first residents were of Irish decent so a lot of the songs were predominantly of Irish Origin. The early residents escaped Ireland during the potato famine and were able to acclimate well in Vermont. Not having today's forms of communication information was transmitted from generation to generation by song. Imagine, today's world trying to adapt to 19th century and early 20th century Vermont. On Friday, I heard the gubernatorial debate on WDEV and an elderly woman asked a question regards to broadband internet service in her community. There are people starving and struggling to pay their bills and a major issue is whether or not some one can have access to high speed internet service.

Internet access has become the latest form of television of the masses. Yes, I use the internet extensively, but to my defense it is to research and keep myself abreast of the news. Years ago in college, I was a computer science major but I transferred out of the major due to my hesitations of becoming a mere programmed machine. When the internet emerged I stated that it was just going to be another form of cable television. In fact the majority of internet users are either playing games, shopping or watching porn. Symbolically at that time was the first I read Henry David Thoreau's Walden, and he mirrors the same criticism to the advent of the telegraph machine. He states that so what about the latest invention; all people will want to know is what princess so and so is doing or what is going on in high society. The more things change the more things do not change.

The natural acoustics echoed harmonically through out the chamber of the Old Round Church of Richmond. The concert was a benefit for the Richmond Historical Society. Vermont has an avid interest in protecting and educating its citizens about the past. The Old Round Church has a remarkable history and was designed and built by the local residents in 1812. The church was shared by multiple religions and used as a town meeting hall. Imagine that, the various religious factions working together. It is a pleasant notion to realize that religions can work together, instead of the historical domination of killing. Although, it was nippy in the air; the performance warmed our hearts. The karmatic energy of the past connecting us to our futures. The key to the future is to understand the past and honor those from years past.

Peace

Robb Kidd
Exiled in Vermont

"Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it." George Santayana


Friday, October 13, 2006

RFK JR. and The Vermont Environmental Crew


Today, the sky is a glowing blue with white puffy clouds if you were on top of Camels Hump today you could see for miles with perfect clarity. Clarity in the world starts by understanding and educating. As in all my other days, politics are the forefront of my daily existence, so I drove to the Big City for an environmental campaign rally. Burlington, with its population dominated by the beautiful University of Vermont campus is a microcosm of most other American cities. But to the credit of their politicians Burlington has been rated as one of the best American cities to live in and recently The Economist magazine gave it one of the highest rankings for over all costs of business and living. A city ran by "Socialist" Bernie Sanders for years, Progressive Democrat Peter Cavelle and now Progressive Mayor Bob Kiss has been highly ranked by an extremely conservative publication, maybe the rest of America should watch what is happening here.

I arrived on to UVM campus while students were scurrying to get to their next class. I was on my way to the magnificent Ira Allen Chapel to hear Robert F. Kennedy speak on environmental issues and speak for candidate Peter Welch. Just for those who do not know the chapel was named after Ira Allen the founder of UVM and a founder of the state of Vermont. Crowds scurried in to hear the words of a political legacy, a champion in environmental issues. I assume over 300 people attended this event, but adding to the noise level was the bus load of elementary school children. Note to any political campaign, to rise the decibel levels just add children, instant noise.

Observing the crowd, I saw many familiar faces, from politicians to activists. Striking a conversation with Philip Baruth of the Vermont Daily Briefing Blog, http://vermontdailybriefing.com/ we discussed that comparative to other areas of the country the politicians in Vermont are so accessible. We do have a government by the people and for the people, so what good is government without public access? I have a lot of empathy for those politicians who have to endlessly sell themselves to obtain their position. A constant struggle, whether it is to raise money, get votes or just to broadcast their message.

Candidate Matt Dunne http://www.mattdunne.com circulated throughout the crowd. Matt is running for Lt. Governor and has an uphill battle, since the media is so enthralled with the other campaigns. Using an unorthodox campaign strategy Matt has incorporated service projects as a message of action. Throughout the state Matt has been connecting his campaign to volunteer groups that serve the community from homeless shelters, to vegetable picking for the Vermont Food Bank to river cleanups. Matt is showing what good can come about from the political spectrum. Meanwhile, his part-time opponent flies commercial airplanes and refuses to debate.

Sitting next to me was Rebecca Sobel of Greenpeace's Project Hot Seat, http://www.projecthotseat.com. She has been sent to Vermont to force the issue of Global Warming onto the forefront of the 2006 campaigns. Surprising enough she has made both candidates from the Republican Party agree to highlight this issue. Although, a few months ago candidate Martha Rainville was quoted that she does not necessarily believe global warming is being caused by human impact. Martha is the same candidate who had a staff member plagiarizes policies from quotes of other politicians, including Hilary Clinton. I guess whatever you can do to get elected is the name of the game.

The event began with a UVM student introduction and on a somber note for a moment of silence for missing UVM student, Michelle Gardner-Quinn. It is a horror that today's women have to be in fear of being stalked by crazed men. Police just think they found her body. My heart and condolences go out to her family and friends.

Former Governor Madeleine Kunin began the remarks by stating that she would always like to see a woman obtain office but in this election she would rather see the right man win. She stressed the importance of bringing out the change in Republican leadership, from the state all the way to Congress. Governor Douglass's action of contacting the worst environmental Congressman, Congressman Richard Pombo, shows completely the need to change the direction of Congress but also the leadership of Vermont. She promptly introduced Scudder Parker the next Governor of Vermont, http://www.scudderparker.com.

Scudder, the only major candidate to grow up on a farm in Vermont strongly asserted the need for leadership in guiding Vermont as a leader in environmental issues. The current governor has fallen behind in regards to environmental issues and has been dividing the populace instead of uniting. Following, Scudder needing no introduction Congressman Bernie Sanders (http://www.bernie.org) led the charge. His presence immediately brought a thunderous applause to the crowd. Bernie has the power to charge crowds like few others, like Moses parting the Red Sea crowds enthusiastically stand on their feet. Bernie rehashes the theme of an end to one party rule is a must to put this country back on track.

Up next, Senator Patrick Leahy tells the crowd he will be thrilled introducing Bernie to the floors of the Senate and will be honored to work with Congressman Welch. He showed the enthusiasm of a young child at a baseball game, consistently documenting this historic event by take snap shots. For those unaware Senator Leahy has a remarkable photograph collection highlighting his years of service to the State of Vermont. He proudly stated that the Vermont delegation said "NO, NO, NO" to the President's misguided war. Vermont shall be in the forefront in the charge to bring the country in a new direction.

The festivities of the day were to be a campaign rally for Peter Welch, http://www.welchforcongress.com, so it was Peter's turn to address the crowd. Peter said he was proud of his educational background and connection to the Kennedy family. Peter was a member of the Robert F. Kennedy Fellows. Peter attributes his learning the hope of social justice and the commitment to public service for the Kennedy's and was an honor to have Kennedy here. "America needs a new direction," he emphatically told the crowd. This election is so important for the whole purpose of changing the leadership of the House and Senate so America could look forward and protect our environment in a clean responsible way. Vermont shall have a voice in selecting a new speaker and new committee leadership.

Closing with Robert Kennedy Jr. the scene had been set for an educational sermon. Kennedy rattled of cases of corruption and distortion in regards to environmental policy. This President and Congress are the worst environmental leaders in the history of our nation he passionately addressed the crowd. Polluters run amok setting policy within the White House is mere criminal negligence, and that is what he called Presidential morality. The Healthy Forests and Clean Skies initiatives have made it easier for the industry of polluters while streams and lakes are polluted with mercury. According to Kennedy (and the Center for Disease Control) one in six Americans have toxic levels of mercury, which cause child birth defects and autism (including himself). Due to air pollution, cases of asthma are increasing. Criminal negligence in regards to corporate profits is the game of Washington.

Not withholding criticism to just the Congress and Bush, Kennedy blasted the lapdog media for failing to report the hypocritical rhetoric. The American public must know that the US as four percent of the world's population consume twenty-five percent of the fossil fuels. The duty of America is to take charge and restore hope to the world. Near to closing his speech, he called for stopping "Socialism for the Rich and Capitalism for the Poor." Sneering behind him, Bernie applauded with approval. Kennedy concluded with saying that in every case sound environmental policy supported sound economic policy.

Exiting, Ira Allen Chapel I realized in that room there were visions of hope. While people here in Vermont may understand, there are many people in the country that are just unaware of the crimes and degradation of our environment from the powers that be. I walked out in the crisp air loaded with sun and hoping that this message of hope is reverberated across the country, please let this message be heard…



Peace

Exiled in Vermont

Robb Kidd

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Crashing with the Dream of Baseball


A plane crashed into a New York City building yesterday, and I could feel the energy of fear vibrating from the New York Area. It was over five years ago that the planes collided into the World Trade Center buildings. I am sure yesterday that many recalled those horrific events. Thankfully this was an accident, and only a few killed in this tragedy. But as in any accident there are always victims and to the families involved I wish them peace.

So I begin today reflecting on what has transpired. As the news surfaced of this event we were told that New York Yankees picture Cory Lidle had been the pilot of the plane. Crashing his plane into a NYC building just days after the high priced Yankees were eliminated from Major League Baseball playoffs. Growing up in the NYC area I was a fan of the Yankees, I remember when Yankee's catcher Thurman Munson's plane crash and of course the events of 9/11. All those things have changed and now in Vermont my whole world spins on an alternate path,

Baseball, the great American pastime, takes center stage over most people's lives. I am not writing a critique from an outsider's perspective but as one who once was consumed on its enormous passion. Days of my youth were filled mimicking Reggie Jackson hitting a home run into the right field upper deck of Yankee Stadium. I collected every Yankee player's card and read the box score religiously. The fabric of my childhood was so ingrained that I would sneak my portable radio under the covers and listen for Phil Rizzuto's famed "Holy Cow" announcement of some spectacular play. The sounds of baseball were the sounds of summer and youth.

Oh how innocent baseball could be to a child, but a deeper look will reveal another side. It was there that I learned from famed Billy Martin who boisterously kicked dirt on the umpire, Ricky Henderson egocentrically placing his records over the spirit of the team and mad power hungry George Steinbrenner hiring criminals to discredit Dave Winfield. Life rolled on in the baseball world, but as ticket prices soared, birth of a new dimension grew, multi-million dollar players. Baseball was no longer a game, but of entertainment and that is all it is.

After my childhood, I began to distance myself from baseball, concurrently the Yankees began to "suck." I ventured off into other passions, studying of history, political involvement and following of the last great American Circus, The Grateful Dead. I guess within my mind there was a desire to see things differently, and boy did I. The Dead brought about a new dimension of living, living for joy and ecstasy of the moment. It was there that I learned to think differently about life. What is the meaning of life and its purpose? Was it to be a child, then graduate college, get a job, get married, have kids and then die? No way, to me it's about living.

Along came a flip of the axis, and the Dead were no longer. Where was my utopian world, was I just living a dream of youth or was I living an alternative reality? Well, reluctantly I joined the world, and got a "real" job. Hey, the job was fun and it lasted for nine years, eight months and nine days. When I took the job my friends had a pool how long it would last, I choose one month. I worked with AAA as a travel consultant, and things were not that bad. I continually got to travel and play, while it looked like I had a respectable job. The pay was not good but I was fortunate to have some money already and was able to own my home. Here I was working a real job, living in my own home but a foreigner in my own home. Carefree living was not the case. I did not enjoy the world of shopping malls and television. The woods or the road is where I really felt I should be, but times slipped by.

Reflecting on this time, I remember a Star Trek Next Generation episode, where an alien creature known as the Borg had been threatening societies. The Borg is an alien collective that assimilates all individuals into its own being, removing any individualized consciousness. The Borgs only dialogue is to say "resistance is futile." I ask, what is to be within a society of the free? Well, to make a long story short I was absorbed into the collective. Life was not going where I wanted it to, but back to baseball.

Fortunately, at those times the Yankees climbed atop the baseball world and I was wrapped up in it again. I found something I could relate with others in the American suburban dream. I could go to work, go to the bar or to family and baseball was a safe topic. Why not, it's America's pastime? Although, I consciously strived to keep my individuality, baseball gave me the opportunity to still live like a kid. I went to game after game, watched pitch after pitch and was crushed after a loss. The Yankees were the kings, the Red Sox and Mets were my mortal enemies. Socially accepted attacks on foes were the norm. But hey, I could talk to people about baseball, oh yeah and it was fun washing it down with $7 beers.

Things felt great, I would go to many games. I knew the beer vendors and bartenders and plenty of other characters. I was high with euphoria for the game. Then as the planes crashed into the World Trade Center and the buildings came crashing down, my life began spiraling out of control. As the country, began to change so did I. As our nation collectively followed the President and supported acts of war, I broke out and searched for my true calling. I continued living the life, but I searched for ways of an escape. Resistance is not futile but a key to unlock the door. The doorway of my life was waiting to fly free.

I have seen the stark madness of our times, on the brink of insanity a culture wasting away in its selfishness. The culture of greed and materialism leads to a path of destruction. Yesterday's news about the death of Corey Lidle brings me to the path of today. Although, I have not followed baseball for years, I can hear the NY sports radio talk condemning the multi-million dollar Yankees for failing to advance in the playoffs. Players like Corey Lidle being played as scapegoats for all those living in their shallow lives. Lost in the shuffle of madness, is the humanity. The players are just players; the teams are just teams, its entertainment, nothing more. It comes down to it the Yankees, Red Sox or Mets have nothing to do with your life. As the death of Corey Lidle comes about I hope that we can see that he was just a man, and that is all. May he in rest in peace and we all live free within our own lives.


Peace

Exiled in Vermont

PS: The Revolution will not be televised.

Exiled in Vermont

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

The times are a changin my friends.



There is a blanket of gray covering over the sky today and you have to look real close to see any glimmers of light today. The light is there, but so many of us are blinded by our own illusions. That is the way of the world today, but fortunately "the times are a changin." Just look real close and you will see.

A lot of things have passed since I last recorded to my evolving peace blog. Today is the day I am beginning a greater change as is everyday. As I awoke today with no job in hand, I took the dog (Ella our furry friend) for a morning stroll into Hubbard Park. Oh, how beautiful to be in a town with woods and trees so close and to be free. I'm not in NJ anymore, here they have not paved paradise yet, or built that parking lot. So Ella and I frolicked through the park without a care in the world, but as I returned home I realize I do have a care.

Politics: I have heard many words spoken about politics, but too often they are negative. One time in the country, President Kennedy told the nation, "Ask not what your country can do for you but ask what you can do for your country?" That is what I ask today. I have heard the lines that 'politics don't affect me', or even worse 'I know things are bad but that is just they way things are'. I ask did the founders of the country say that when they spoke out against King George and Great Britain or did the abolitionists say I know slavery is immoral but that is just they way it is?

Freedom is not free, without expression. I once saw a sign in a physical therapists office that has resonated throughout my life. The words "Use it or Lose It" howled at me. At that time, it was about regaining strength in my left hand after recovering from third degree burns, but to me those words mean freedom. We as a populace have a right to freedom, but only if we use it.

Having nothing productive to do today, I drove to Burlington to hear Congressman Jack Murtha speak in support of Candidate Peter Welch for Congress. For those who do not know, Murtha is a decorated Marine Veteran who has bravely served the country as a Marine and then since the 70's he has served Pennsylvania in the House of Representatives. Murtha was once known as a "War Hawk" Democrat who always advocated a strong military defense. Last year Murtha called for all US troops to return home from Iraq. He bravely stood up and declared that the war in Iraq is wrong and we as a nation have been manipulated by the Bush administration to support an illegal war. Moment's later Murtha had become the whipping post for America's conservative media, but for people like me he became a hero.

What bravery it is to stand up and say what is right, we all know the war is wrong, but unfortunately the GE's, The Rupert Murdoch's and the Sinclair Broadcasting Media corps' of the country profit to much from war. War is big business and profits, so it was fashionable to castrate Murtha's message. So today while I listened to Murtha speak in support of ending the war and advocate for Peter Welch's message for a new direction, I thought of a piece written by Daniel Ellsberg, "The Next War." Ellsberg's claim to fame was his responsibility of releasing the famed "Pentagon Papers." The Pentagon Papers from thirty years ago was vital on propelling the end to the US involvement in Vietnam. Ellsberg risked his own freedom and security exposing the lies of the Pentagon and President. We need more of that today, but until that time it all begins with a spark.

Congressman Murtha told us today that in his own mind he could not support this war on lies anymore and like Ellsberg of thirty years ago he changed his mind and is working for an end. That is where the courage is, to speak out when no one is else is there to speak out. Ellsberg just wrote in his piece that he still struggles within his own mind that he did not act quick enough, but in my mind it is never too late to speak out. To all those future Murtha's and Ellsberg's speak out, freedom use it or loose it.

Despite the gloom in the world and the gray sky today, I still see beacons of light. It is hopeful when we can see and hear that light. I hope and pray and do all that I can to foster that light.

Peace

Exiled in Vermont

Robb Kidd

"All that is necessary for evil to succeed is for good men to do nothing" Sir Edmund Burke