Monday, April 21, 2014

Patriots' Day

A sparkly Patriots' Day here in Massachusetts. It promises to be as toasty as, well, toast, and the Boston Marathon, which is rife with remembrances of last year's bombing, will see good conditions and a patriotic increase in the amount of security provided.

The day commemorates the Revolutionary War battles of Lexington and Concord in 1775 and the valor of those who participated.

It's not quite clear to me why a latter-day patriotism would not include a serious investigation into the root causes of the bombs that killed three and injured 264 during last year's marathon race. I guess, as with the Sept. 11, 2001, bombings, it is easier to raise the flag and wave it than it is to consider what that flag might actually stand for.

Things today seem to be a bit muddled.

Yesterday, a nice young man came and offered his teaching in the zendo and we had a nice gab later in the sunshine that spilled onto the deck. This morning I sent a note to my older son saying I thought it was better if I didn't attend his college graduation next month: On the one hand, I would love to honor his hard work and accomplishment by being there; on the other, I do not want my slowness to hamper the family excitement that will invest the event. As I wrote to him, "Old age has its drawbacks. I advise you not to get old. :)" How I dislike conceding what cannot be avoided!

At the Vatican, the current pope, Francis, is preparing (next Sunday) to make a saint out of one of his predecessors, Pope John Paul II, a man politely said to have been unaware of the priest sexual abuse that oozed out from under Vatican skirts during his reign. Absolving any pope of such malfeasance is a pretty tough sell since the pope is CEO of the wealthiest corporation in the world. Like it or not, the plaque that former U.S. President Harry S. Truman had on his desk obtains: "The buck stops here." Perhaps the broad brush of saintliness is a little like the broad brush of patriotism ... just wink and nod and enjoy the sunshine.

The latest delay (Friday) in the construction of the Keystone pipeline that would transport oil from Alberta in Canada to the Gulf Coast in the United States is a political assist for Democrats seeking election later this year. The vocal environmentalists who oppose(d) the project were crucial to President Obama's re-election in 2012 and it would not do to alienate such a group. At least not until after the elections in November.

Nothing much going on ... no hot button topics in mind. Guess I'll eat breakfast.

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