Tuesday, November 17, 2015


    Twenty-six governors, of whom twenty-five are Republicans, have announced they will not allow any Syrian refugees to enter their states. Shame on them!
    They are afraid that ISIS and other terrorist organizations might infiltrate the thousands of Syrians refugees seeking safe haven in other countries.
    Immigration authorities are well aware of the need for tight security and careful screening of immigrants. I would think there is far more danger from “home grown” recruited terrorists than there is from Syrian immigrants. But the terrorists have won, when out of fear we abandon our American values.
    The governors face a serious legal problem, as the power to determine immigration policy rests with the Federal Government, not with the states.
    In the meantime, the Republican presidential candidates are politicizing the situation. They are using the recent attacks in Paris as one more excuse to attack President Obama and now Hillary Clinton. Why must they play the blame game, instead of working together to deal with what is an incredibly complex and challenge problem?
    They should have listened to and learned from the President’s Monday morning address and press conference at the Summit Conference in Antalya, Turkey, and Secretary of State John Kerry’s press conference with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov on November 14, following the foreign ministers conference in Vienna, Austria.
    Regardless of what Messrs. Rubio, Trump, Cruz et ali are saying, the responsibility for our nation’s foreign policy is in good hands.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015


We had a Veterans Day ceremony in our community this morning. There were many veterans of World War II, the Korean Way, and the Vietnam War in the gathering. I would like to share with all of  my blog readers the prayer I offered for the occasion:

       God of grace and God of Glory, we gather once again to honor the veterans, living and dead, of the many wars in which our nation has been involved.  We honor their service, their sense of duty, their sacrifice, their patriotism, their bravery, their esprit de corps. We pray for those who bear the physical, emotional, and psychological scars of war, and for their families and all who have shared their pain. Forgive our nation for the scandalous reality that thousands of our veterans are homeless and forgotten, and thousands more have been unable to get the health care they need.
        We lift up to you those for whom this day is a sad reminder of the terrible cost of war, and we pray that every member of our Armed Services may feel the gratitude and respect of all their fellow citizens, even of those who may have questioned the justification of any particular war.
        God of all nations, what a privilege it is to live in a land where people of good character and conscience may differ in their assessments of our nation’s foreign policy with equal loyalty to their flag and equal love for the republic for which it stands. What a testimony to the allegiance of our service men and women that they are ready to lay down their lives for their country, even when some of them may not fully understand the reasons for the war they are fighting.
        O Lord, as the rhetoric of the current presidential campaign heats up and the bitterness of the candidates and the electorate intensifies, we pray that you will help all of us to be more civil in our discourse, as we face the enormous challenges ahead. In your great mercy, heal the divisions in our land, and unite as a nation in our prayers for all who assume the risks of military service, and for those  bear the weight of public office, regardless of their party affiliation. Give to every office holder, at whatever level of government, the humility to acknowledge their limitations, the wisdom to discern the best solutions to the world’s problems, the good will to work in a spirit of non-partisanship to solve those problems, the integrity to put principle above expediency, and the commitment to live up to their campaign promises. In so doing, may they learn the fine art of compromise for the sake of progress.
        Most just and merciful God, we acknowledge  that we honor our veterans best by doing our best for them on the home front and by giving them the support they need during and after their time in the service. Keep us faithful to that task. 
        “We are living, we are dwelling in a grand and awful time.”  “Let there be light, Lord God of hosts! . . .  Let there be wisdom on the earth!  Let broad humanity have birth!  Let there be deeds instead of boasts!” And if it be your will, O God, "let there be peace on earth,” for your kingdom’s sake.


Monday, November 9, 2015


Here come Mike! Photo by J. E. Berry
     If you haven't already heard about either or both of these individuals, let me introduce you to two amazing men named Mike. They are to be admired for their athleticism as well as their patriotism.
Mike Ehredt
     Mike Bowen Ran a mile a day for each of the 58,282 service men and women killed in the Vietnam war. It took him 31 years, including a bout with cancer, to fulfill his mission. You can read his story here.
     Mike Ehredt's story may be even more amazing.  He ran from Minnesota to the Texas gulf coast, a marathon every day for 81 straight days, planting American flags along the way for each American killed in the Afghanistan war. In 2010 he ran from Oregon to Maine to honor Americans who had lost their lives in the war in Iraq. If you haven't seen this brief video of his remarkable tribute to our fallen heroes, clerk here. It is definitely worth watching. Click here to see the YouTube video.
     You will be equally impressed by the photos of Mike Ehredt's exciting odyssey. Click here.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015


    There have been 962 persons killed by police officers in the United States so far this year, according to an extensive project being conducted by the British newspaper The Guardian. The project, known as The Counted, has been tracking such killings in the US for several years. 
    As of the end of August police had killed 776 people, of whom 161 were completely unarmed at the time of their death. By far the majority of deaths (680) were the result of shootings, with another 39 deaths resulting from Tasers, and 26 after individuals were struck by police vehicles. Click here for further information.
    The interactive, continuously updated database maintained by The Counted is the most reliable source of information available. Photographs and information about every individual killed by the police is available on their web site (click here).
    With regard to the growing number of police shootings that have been taking place each year, am I being naive to wonder why law enforcement officers always shoot to kill (or so it seems), instead of seeking just to disable the person they are arresting, or who as often as not is running away from them?
    I’m not talking about situations involving a shoot-out, where there is an exchange of gunfire, or where officers’ and/or other people’s lives are in obvious and immediate danger. I’m thinking of the many cases where individuals have been needlessly shot and killed by police officers.
    So many times the victims of police shootings are unarmed and not dangerous. Even if investigating officers are fearful for their  own lives, why can’t their first shot be aimed at the suspect’s legs? 
    Does the police training manual say they have to shoot to kill?