Our Milky Way Galaxy
MAY IS NATIONAL MILITARY APPRECIATION MONTH here in the US, and today is Armed Forces Day. The sky is abuzz with jets flying overhead even as I write while the city celebrates the occasion with an Air Show. I’ll take it as celebrating my birthday. Much has happened historically in this month of a military nature, beginning in my day with the invasion of Europe by German troops in May of 1940. I was born a spark of light into a dark world on the brink of war, in the Gulf coast town of Port Arthur, Texas, where our father worked in a machine shop making bullets and mortar shells for the war machine. My mission would be to bring an increase of life and health to the sick and suffering of humanity . . . and to spike it with a bit of music! Here’s what was happening on my day in history leading up to this day.
I WAS BORN ON MAY 20, 1940, 83 years ago — the same month and week German troops invaded the low lying countryside of the Netherlands and Western Europe, overrunning Belgium and destroying the city of Luxembourg in its destructive path to Paris, France. Shortly after this, Germany and collaborating authorities initiated anti-Jewish policies and laws in occupied western Europe. Nazi Germany had been at war with Great Britain and France since September 3, 1939, but little fighting took place on the western front until May, 1940. The conquest of western Europe brought hundreds of thousands of Jews under German control. We know the atrocities this led to and where it tragically ended.
My early childhood and that of my two older sisters was spent under the dark clouds of World War II, which began for the USA on December 7, 1941 when Japan bombed Pearl Harbor on Oahu Island, Hawaii. The war in Europe ended in May of 1945, largely won by the Soviet Union’s defeat of Hitler on the Eastern Front with a death toll of over eleven-million soldiers. Fifteen months after the invasion of Normandy by Allied Forces on June 6, 1944, “D-Day,” suffering losses of only 183,000 Allies comparatively speaking, the war ended on the Western Front abruptly in Japan when the US dropped two atom bombs: one on Hiroshima on August 6, 1945, and a second three days later on Nagasaki, incinerating between 129,000 – 226,000 people (including 7 Dutch and 12 American prisoners of war) in the initial explosion, and killing many more by radiation poisoning later — not to mention hundreds born with birth defects over the years that followed. (Thanks to my friend Donald White for his historical clarifications.)
I was five years old then, hardly old enough to comprehend the gravity of the moment. The world changed drastically in that week as fear captivated the heart of humanity. America is now the most feared nation in the modern world . . . and we know from Job’s experience what comes about when fear plagues the heart and mind, In his own words, “What I have greatly feared as come upon me.”
BEWARE THE MILITARY-INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX
On January 17, 1961, in his farewell address, President and General Dwight David Eisenhower warned the world against the establishment of a “military-industrial complex.” I took this off of the web page of Milestone Documents:
In a speech of less than 10 minutes, on January 17, 1961, President Dwight Eisenhower delivered his political farewell to the American people on national television from the Oval Office of the White House. Those who expected the military leader and hero of World War II to depart his Presidency with a nostalgic, ‘old soldier’ speech like Gen. Douglas MacArthur’s, were surprised at his strong warnings about the dangers of the ‘military-industrial complex.‘
As President of the United States for two terms, Eisenhower had slowed the push for increased defense spending despite pressure to build more military equipment during the Cold War’s arms race. Nonetheless, the American military services and the defense industry had expanded a great deal in the 1950s. Eisenhower thought this growth was needed to counter the Soviet Union, but it confounded him. Though he did not say so explicitly, his standing as a military leader helped give him the credibility to stand up to the pressures of this new, powerful interest group. He eventually described it as a necessary evil.
A vital element in keeping the peace is our military establishment. Our arms must be might, ready for instant action, so that no potential aggressor may be tempted to risk his own destruction. . . . American makers of plowshares could, with time and as required, make swords as well. But now we can no longer risk emergency improvisation of national defense; we have been compelled to create a permanent armaments industry of vast proportions. . . . This conjunction of an immense military establishment and a large arms industry is new in the American experience. . . .Yet we must not fail to comprehend its grave implications. . . . In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.”
AMERICA’S UNPARDONABLE SIN
Some sins can only be forgiven by the sinner him or herself, because the “unpardonable sin” is committed when one stops caring. It’s a death-wish in that it often leads to a despair so deep that a person takes his or her own life — and too often these days several others with them. Self-forgiveness is the only salvation and remittance of such a sin.
America’s unpardonable sin was committed when the leaders in its governing body stopped caring for the people, especially the poor and the homeless, and started caring more about keeping the top one-per-cent happily wealthy . . . and about maintaining America’s status as the top autocrat on the world stage of nations.
As I write these ominous words — in which I take little pleasure — we are in the final days of decision-making that will end the so-called “debt-ceiling crisis” one way or another: either our leaders in Congress and the White House raise the debt ceiling or the nation defaults on its debts — including its debt to the elderly who depend on our Social Security checks to live our daily lives. In the balance of this decision weighs the creation of a national budget by Congress that includes cutting excess spending. For without a balanced budget, spending swings out of control. I say by Congress because President Biden has already submitted a budget, which House Leader/Speaker Kevin McCarthy and the Republican House has failed to consider and act on and send on to the Senate for approval.
All the fear mongering and hoopla over an approaching “debt ceiling deadline” June 1st is nothing but postering on McCarthy’s part in order to get what he wants, as David Brooks and Jonathan Capehart so plainly and matter-of-factly stated yesterday on PBS National News, both agreeing that there’s nothing for Americans to fret over. The debt ceiling will be raised, reportedly by 1.5 trillion dollars above last years debt ceiling — which hovers around $31 trillion.
The “sin” lies in the priorities toward which our leaders gravitate. In this country, “home of the free and the brave,” the priorities of our partisan leadership gravitates in large part toward defense and keeping the banking system afloat — and their oligarch constituents happy. Where their priorities DO NOT gravitate toward is the welfare of the little man and “we the people.” To the contrary, our congressional leaders look first in the direction of Medicaid and Social Security and other social-welfare programs, like food stamps, in their efforts to trim the budget.
God forbid that we even give thought to cutting the military budget, — currently proposed by the Biden-Harris Administration to be $842 Billion, a hundred billion over last year’s defense budget — because, after all, we “need” 750 military bases in 80 foreign countries to defend ourselves against . . . whom? Russia and China? Both of these nations feel threatened by the US and its NATO allies, who are closing in on them on all sides. I have a real question about who actually started the conflict between Russia and the Ukraine. The answer that comes to mind is “We all did,” because we all justify war as a legitimate way of settling our differences, especially where our very existence as a free nation is concerned. The irony of it all is that war, escalated to a nuclear level, threatens the existence of our entire species . . . and all the other species as well.
Let’s face it: war is big business . . . and apathy, along with lack of love, care and respect for one another and for life itself, create a vacuum into which we fall as a way of defending ourselves and the freedom our Democracy promises to afford.
Truth is that the Truth needs no defense. If we think that our Democracy needs the larger portion of our national budget to defend itself against its enemies, then there’s something not very truthful about the grounds upon which our nation was founded and stands today; and where there’s a lack of truth there’s a lack of freedom. The elements of truth are design and control, both of which together make us free.
We do not exercise true freedom here in America, because we do not accept the natural design of Life that brings Divine design and control into our living. What we exercise blatantly before God and humanity is a lack of control: a license to do as we please — without reference to a natural and orderly design — which sadly includes the license to own assault weapons that by design have only one purpose, and that is to kill as many people as possible in as short a time as possible. Without the design of laws that offer gun-control, we are all in danger of being shot and killed by people who are angry at the world and out of control of their rational senses. Mass shootings are far less frequent to non existent in countries like Australia where guns are outlawed and where at least assault rifles are not allowed to be sold or owned by the layperson. These are military weapons and have no place on the streets of our cities and in the hands of criminals and the mentally unstable. As far as the excuse that they are used hunting game, if you can’t kill a deer with a rifle or shotgun, then you need to spend time improving your marksmanship at a shooting range, and not default to using an assault rifle. In my view, the gun industry and especially the gun lobbyists are culpable in mass-shootings . . . and I am not open to discussion on the issue with anyone.
When we stop caring about the sacredness of life, we sin against ourselves, and no one, not even God, can forgive us. We alone can forgive ourselves . . . and repent of our sinful behavior. Otherwise we continue to carry out a death-wish. Without a radical shift in direction, this civilization will go the way of the lost civilizations of Atlantis, Lemuria, the Indus and Mayans, and the great Neolithic civilization of the Anasazi Indians, not to mention the Roman Empire, in whose footsteps we are currently treading.
What is needed in this country and in the whole body of humanity, but especially in America, the land of love, is the creation and sustained maintenance of an atmosphere of love, compassion, peace and harmony in the mass consciousness, out of which we create our world. I see such beginning to appear, but it needs to increase exponentially as time is no more. With such an atmosphere we invite a “Third Force” Gurdjieff spoke of to intervene and bring about a radical and unexpected shift in the direction we are currently headed . . . the topic of my next post.
Lao Tzu gave the world a heads-up when he penned these words of wisdom: “If you do not change direction, you may end up where you’re heading.”
I welcome any thoughts, insights and inspirations you may have and wish to share, either in the comment aspect of this post or by email. Until my next post,
Be love. Be loved.