And the war goes on in Iraq

Published 7:23 am Wednesday, September 2, 2009

“The worst sin toward our fellow creatures is not to hate them, but to be indifferent to them; that’s the essence of inhumanity.” — George Bernard Shaw

Austin had a celebration of music, life and artistry initiated by Sue Radloff and Karen Sundal this past Sunday as the Austin community presented Arts in the Park in the Bandshell area. The Bandshell stage was active from 11 a.m. until after 6 p.m. that included the storytelling of Mike and Beverly Cotter. At 6 p.m. the silent auction winners were announced. along with the Rush Hour music of Barry Rush and his group I suspect.

The Pavilion Stage housed an assortment of art inside and out that included Kindermusic, Jim Jayes Marionettes, Kevin’s storytelling and Poly Jelinek’s children’s stories. This was about the time I arrived to read some poetry along with Betty Benner and Dorothy Schultz, followed by Leland Bissinger’s story with the help of a microphone. The whole park was alive with activities, food, entertainment and neighborly conversation. The art exhibits impressed me the most. There is never enough of it.

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It was a beautiful prelude to fall. Next year I will try to arrive earlier.

Last week I read about another gathering called the Bohemian Grove, however, this is not a collection of Bohemians, it is a collection of wealth. Herbert Hoover called it “the greatest men’s party on earth.”

Mark Twain was an early member. Jack London, a socialist, describes it as “about a time when humanity was ruled by a small group of idiots who were destroying the world.”

In the Bohemian Club, “bohemian” means something completely different from the free-living, poverty-stricken artist or the ethnic Bohemians.

Unbohemian means being disloyal, betraying the pact, the global-dominant group. It’s the worst thing a member can be called.

Bob Johnson, will probably get after me again about bringing up “Bohemians.” Last week he called to let me know the two-month-old stop-and- go lights I mentioned were on Fourth Street NW not on Eighth Street NW as I had said. It’s nice to have them back up and running.

These days I try to begin the day by heading downtown for coffee. I particularly enjoy the walk, and I’m becoming more acquainted with the oak tree squirrels. Some run for their lives, others hide behind the tree, staying out of sight and a few just stop and stare. I can’t help but wonder what they’re thinking. Perhaps they’re wondering what we two-leggeds do for sleep. I’m sure they see us going into our houses, but they never see us carrying in leaves for bedding.

In Monday’s Trib Gen. Stanley McChrystal described the situation in Afghanistan as serious… “But, he says, success is achievable and demands a revised implementation strategy, commitment and resolve, and increased unity of effort.”

Those are fighting words or are they.  He’s thinking of requesting more forces to fight and increasingly deadly insurgency. In Iraq we were able to get the Iraqi soldiers dressed in military clothing, boots, camouflaged uniforms, helmets, body armor and M16’s. If I remember correctly we defeated the British without uniforms.

And the war goes on in Iraq and more so without us. We forced Saddam to give up his “castles” and now we occupy some of them. His statue was pulled down, but I’m not certain by whom. I think our military was responsible for bringing it down not the Iraqi’s and this left no one in charge. Eventually Saddam was captured in a “foxhole” similar to the one we dug out in the woods where we played army.

What was left were the Shiites and the Sunnis that now face each other off while we occupy space there that profits America. Someone reminded me today that there was a huge gulf between Sadam and Osama bin Laden.

The book, “Messages to the World: The Statements of Osama bin Laden,” states: “The Afghans have always been ‘lions of the holy law,’ and their courage and fortitude will mete out to the Americans the fate that overtook the Russians.”

At the coffee house I got to talk to Karleen, Ann and Dick Waldman’s daughter, back visiting from New York City. She and her brother I believe were in New York when 9/11 occurred and fortunately a safe distance from it. She works with children in a creative way, which is not surprising coming from her source.