Darkness Cannot Drive Out Darkness

This title and powerful truth of course, a quote from the great Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. One of our most sacred rights in this country is our right to free speech, followed by freedom of assembly and freedom of association. These are called “unalienable rights”, rights so important that the government is forever banned by the constitution from taking them away. We in this country have the right to choose great beliefs or repugnant beliefs and we have the right to speak our minds about them and to try to convince others to believe the same. It is what makes our country great, it is what sets this nation apart from all others before it.

However we are also a nation of laws. Speaking our minds in public of course must be done within the limits of the law. Anyone has the right to apply for a permit and have a parade or a rally, whether it be for Columbus Day, Veteran’s Day, or Christmas or anything else. What we do not have is the right to not be offended. There is no constitutional right in this country to live life unoffended and being offended doesn’t give anyone the right to physically attack the offender. If someone holds beliefs that are repugnant to us, we do not have the right to beat their beliefs out of them, evil cannot drive out evil. That of course does not apply to our right to physical self defense… naturally if someone is attacking us with a knife or club we have the right to respond violently. It is also not freedom of speech to incite to riot or conspire to commit violent crimes.

We do however have the right to speak our mind, to try to persuade others to believe our way. Hopefully, if our beliefs are superior others will also believe and follow and by spreading our light we will be successful in driving out evil and those with inferior ideas will naturally become marginalized and rendered irrelevant. If we choose to take the other road by allowing one group of people to eliminate another’s right to say things that offend us, it will soon be followed by seeking out those who believe things that offend us in order to correct their beliefs. A huge and powerful segment of our population including the judicial branch of our government, the media and the Hollywood elite have already taken this country well down that path and if that course is not soon reversed it will be soon be followed by calls to physically eliminate people who believe things we find offensive. This has always been the progression in the evil empires, Rome, the Soviet Union, Nazi Germany and now with ISIS in the Middle East where “infidels” are beheaded.

Think it can’t happen in our time? One only needs to look to the Communist and Islamic countries. People of “incorrect” religious persuasion in those places meet in the darkness of night in private places in fear for their lives. They aren’t hurting anyone or even speaking of their beliefs in public. But never the less, if they are found out they are sent off to prison where they are tortured and often killed. Those who live in darkness  cannot stand even a pinprick of light.

A place where the state is allowed to determine who’s rights and speech are correct and allowed is a dictatorship. Is that what we want for our country? Do we really want an Orwellian “Ministry of Truth” enforcing the beliefs of the state, or do we want to continue the unprecedented high road this country has taken by allowing people the freedom to exchange ideas in a peaceful manner. Granted it hasn’t always worked out that way, the expression of new ideas has often been met with anger and violence but in the end the right to speak those ideas remained and evil has not prevailed. Darkness is not power, it is the lack of power and it cannot withstand light.

Matthew 5:16 ”Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.”

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Buddy

My best friend Buddy crossed Rainbow Bridge tonight. He was all heart, but his heart could hold on no longer. When he came to me the vet thought he was about 6 years old, which would make him 22 tonight. He has been faithfully sitting on my lap while I work at my computer or watch television, happy with nothing more than to enjoy my company for all these years. And I have so enjoyed every minute of this faithful and sweet soul, and he is on my lap yet tonight as I cherish the last bit of warmth and love his small frame can provide, as I write down my memories of him. He was my last living link to the good times in Parker, before my world imploded around me. My life will seem awfully empty without his eager company.

Buddy

Beloved Buddy

Many years ago he was hanging around my house in Parker, but  I didn’t realize it. A neighbor who had moved had abandoned a cat that looked just like him named Miles and we were taking care of him outdoors as he didn’t want to come in. Finally someone bought the house next door and we explained to them that the house came with a cat. Fortunately they were amenable, and Miles moved back into his former house. We stopped putting food out and life went back to normal. However one day Miles was in our driveway yelling at me for some reason, so I asked the neighbor what was up with Miles. She said, it’s not Miles, we think it is his twin brother, and he was some kind of upset that we weren’t feeding him anymore. So I got him some food and went back to feeding a stray black cat.

Our neighborhood south of Parker was pretty wild for a suburban housing development. We had plenty of fox and coyotes and even an occasional mountain lion roaming the forests. Once I heard a commotion and I went out to see what was going on and it was Buddy faced off in the driveway with a fox. The fox was clearly looking for a meal but it was obvious to him that Buddy had no intention of becoming a meal. The fox dared not take another step or I’m sure Buddy would have turned him into mincemeat! During one commotion I couldn’t find him, so I just turned Klondike my 90 pound Samoyed loose and the commotion stopped and never came back 🙂

Later on he got into a couple of cat fights and had to get patched up at the doctor, which was when the doc figured he was about six. Not too long after that one day, he came to our ground level sliding basement window, so I opened the side that didn’t have a screen and he sauntered on in. He strolled around the basement for a while locating the kitty box and the food and water… After a while he went back out, but it wasn’t long before he was spending his nights safely indoors on the basement couch. He still enjoyed going outside during the days to sun himself on our deck, but I guess he knew nighttime was not a good time to be out.

Finally our time in Parker came to an end and we packed up and moved to Woodland Park. Once we got Buddy moved here, he didn’t like going outside anymore and fully retired from his outdoor escapades. From then on he was content to spend every minute of his time sitting on our laps at the computer or watching TV with us. Turns out some old Sonny and Cher episodes were his favorite. He would never fail to return from his wandering through the house when he heard the familiar jingle of those old episodes playing.

So for six solid years I have had Buddy on my lap by day and on my chest by night. He is at peace now, it looks like he is curled up asleep. I’m sure he is basking in the warmth of Heaven tonight, eagerly awaiting my arrival. I will miss him terribly until that day.

 

Concept

I’ve been turning down writing jobs right and left these days… At first they sound good, write your favorite material from home and make money! So you apply and then find out you are going to get $5 per article and you are expected to write five articles a day. I’m like, no you don’t understand, I write when I want to and what I want to. If nothing comes to me I don’t write at all. Sorry, that’s not how we work, good luck.  At any rate, I haven’t had any thoughts lately worth putting on paper, until tonight 🙂

Needed some eats so I walked across the highway to my favorite road house. Green chili was the deal, so that’s what I had. The girl on the bar stool next to me was talking about putting money in the jukebox, something they don’t have at the Crystola and something I haven’t seen in a while come to think of it. So she asks me if I ever get stage fright at the jukebox when I’m  trying to think of a selection. I had to dig pretty deep into the memory box, but I couldn’t think of any incidence of said phenomenon. She gave me this annoyed look, not that I’m any stranger to annoyed looks from women, in fact I have a long history of annoyed looks from women… blog post running off the tracks again 😦

She turned away but I continued to ponder the concept. You go to the machine, look at the menu of selections and push the buttons, just like a vending machine. Nobody gets stage fright ordering a Snickers Bar. Then it started to come to me, no menu, infinite choices… And I’m thinking, the last time I put money in a jukebox was at the Purple Shanty in Bellevue, Nebraska, when I was in the Air Force. “Me and Bobby McGee” by Janice Joplin. Played it so many times I received death threats from Joanie the bartender. Lucky for me she was a gentle soul and the only repercussion from my inevitable subsequent indiscretion was that the 45 was removed from the machine and unceremoniously terminated on the sidewalk outside the bar 😦

So I turned to my bar neighbor and said, “But you have to understand, the last time I put money in a jukebox there were only 100 lighted and numbered choices to select from. Then a lever magically appeared from the depths of the machine that moved to the exact location of the 45 record to retrieve the vinyl copy of the song and precisely place it on the turntable while the tone arm moved over and dropped the stylus to convert whatever it is that is in those plastic grooves to music.”. Now the annoyed look was gone and at first she looked at me like I was some kind of alien, vastly preferable to the previous look of annoyance, which then turned into a much more desirable demeanor of amused intrigue 🙂  And enough interest anyway for sufficient conversation to lay another day to rest in the cold Colorado Rocky Mountain winter and give me something entertaining enough, to me anyway, to write another blog post 🙂