Friday, January 23, 2004

I get a bit down in the heart sometimes when I think about the country and the planet it looks like I'll leave to my children. Sometimes I just think the human race is just plain suicidal, then I watch a George Bush sound bite and frankly I go from "think" to "know". When this happens, I go outside. I wanted to get a run in, but I had forgotten my ear bands and it was really cold. The wind was blowing off the lake in Kingston but I thought I could tough it out so off I went in my plodding way.

When people see me jogging they understand why my Indian name is not "Born to run", but is actually, "Runs like Camel". Still, like hitting yourself in the head with a hammer, it feels so good when you stop, so I do it. I usually prefer to suffer in private but events took me to town so I was running on the track the city fathers and mothers have installed around the lake in one of our downtown areas.

We have lots of downtowns in Roane County, Tennessee, and each one has a Mayor and City Council and Police Department. I think this is a kind of local jobs program since lots of the mayors and policemen have the same last name, but this is Tennessee, after all, and we really don't have an over abundance of last names to begin with. The towns are all small and this gives folks a focus for their arguments with each other. Every time one person tries to do something for the community, there will be two people who show up to stop them. This causes arguments. Usually the basis for argument has something to do with something someone did to someone else in grade school, but it will eventually manifest itself in a traffic light being installed on someone else's street to slow them down on their way to work. I think we have more traffic lights per capita than any other place on earth. We put traffic lights up for parking lots. We use lots of electrical wires going in all directions for these lights. At some point the electrical wires will blockout the sky. Speaking of jobs programs and arguments, just try saying something about our public electrical utilities around here. It doesn't matter if you say something good or bad, an argument will result.

Highway 70 is a very famous road that goes through several of our towns. A movie was made about it. The movie theme song is called "Thunder Road" and is one of the first ones I learned to play on guitar. The movie is about fast cars hauling moonshine back when Tennessee was supposed to be "dry" and before marijuana made whiskey stills obsolete. Our Thunder Road actually travels across most of the entire United States so people can come to one of our towns and sit in the middle of a road that goes a couple of thousand miles across America only to stop at a traffic light for a street that goes two blocks in the other direction. Highway 70 lies alongside my running track, lurching from traffic light to traffic light as I am running. Jim Mitchum must be turning over in his grave about now.

Sometimes our little town arguments get results that make this a great place to live and I am loping along on one of them. It has an absolutely magnificent view. So I'm "thundering" along thinking about stuff and coming to grips with the fact that I can't feel my ear on the windward side. The wind is whipping right off the lake and right into my left ear. I am used to pain when I exercise because things don't work as well as they used to because I have fallen down a lot over the years. This kind of pain is nature's way of reminding you that you have been really stupid at times in the past. If you have enough times past, you will have been really stupid a lot of times, and you'll hurt like I do. It ain't that bad though and I had put my hand over my ear thinking it would warm it up. Warm up it did and suddenly all the nerves in my ear started working again and let me know that once again I had been stupid. Dang it hurt!

At that point I was holding my ear with my hand, still trying to run, and the people driving by were seeing this and wondering what kind of cell phone I was trying to use and why didn't I just stop and talk to whoever it was instead of looking like a complete idiot in front of every one on Thunder Road? I tilted my head back in pain. As I looked up into the sky, a Bald Eagle soared twenty feet above my head. I stopped and stared up at it and the people around who had been looking at me in pity looked up too. Some folks pulled over and watched as the Eagle circled and rose higher. An older couple that had been walking along stopped and pointed at the bird. We all watched it circle higher and then glide away right over the top of our small town. Everybody smiled and went on about their way. My heart was lifted up by that bird. The Bald eagle is a symbol of recovery in America. We did things that almost killed them all and now they are back because we did some other things, liked cleaned up some of our poisons.

Things can get better, you see. We have to make them get better because we have children. What will be the focus that pull us together and make us change? I think the people in power right now want us to be against things, like terrorists and evildoers. I think we have to find something to be for, instead. We have to define our common goals and work hard toward them. I have tried to think about what these goals ought to be and here is something I ran across that lays it out pretty well. I couldn't have said it better I won't. This is from

"What are we for?

The themes were universal. Americans want true security based on working with allies and the rule of law – not an American empire. Americans demand corporate and individual responsibility – greed is not good and we’re all responsible to future generations. Americans want everyone to have a real opportunity to do well in our country and live the middle class dream – we will not be divided into haves and have-nots, or by race or gender or lifestyle. Americans believe that we are the beacon of freedom and democracy – the Bill of Rights is non-negotiable and democracy is not a partisan game. The themes that emerge are: Freedom, Opportunity, Responsibility and Security."

I want you to take a look at this. It is a graph of George Bush's disapproval ratings. It clearly shows that he can be replaced.

How long will we tolerate what Bush and his puppet masters have done to our country when we have such wonderful people to replace him with? We have nine months to get the Democrats to quit eating their own young and attack the true enemy of America.

What are you for?

Peace and courage!


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