Posts Tagged ‘ Religion ’

MY ‘DIVINE’ MESSENGERS LET ME DO THE THINKING!

THE HUMAN RACE

 

MY  VERY OWN SOCRATES, PLATO, CONFUCIUS, MOSES?

Dear God. Dear Goddess. Oh, Great Spirit who

lives within the conscience of each and every

one of us. I am convinced that the Sacred

Three welcome my inquisitive and perhaps contro-

versial nature. They are my Socrates, Plato

and Confucius rolled into one. Because of them,

I think. I fail. I agonize. I degrade pomposity.

I am forever searching for answers. I live

with guilt. I respect the less fortunate.

I suffer from pride. I trust my wife.

Sometimes I am opposed to her truth.

Yet, she tolerates me. I make

strangers laugh or at least wonder,

“Who is this old guy that just

stuck his foot in his mouth?”

My spiritual icons must get a kick

listening to my prognosis about life as if

I know what the hell I’m talking about.

When I have these one-way conversations

with the Silent Ones. I am in search

of solutions that will help define

the path I am forever breaking.

Although at times I feel inadequate,

confused and indecisive, so what?!

The thoughts I harbor about survival

in this demonic environment bolster my

pseudo-narcissistic tendencies — whether

they are right or wrong. Yet, I am

convinced that humility is my virtue.

Speaking unfettered to my Holy Hearers gives

me an insight that allows me to dissect

my soul. Call it a prayer, a search for

inner-truth, an unforgivable sin, the one

way confession belongs to me alone. For

that kind of gift, I say: Hallelujah!

 

— Boots LeBaron —

 

WHO’D KILL DUMBO, SIMBA OR MAGILLA AND CALL IT SPORT?

THE HUMAN RACE

 

KILLING INNOCENT ANIMALS  IN WORLD JUNGLES IS A HUMAN DISGRACE!

 

     What if poachers in Africa and other countries of the world killed Dumbo, Ruby the Rhino, Tony the Tiger, Smokey the Bear, Magilla the Gorilla, or Peter Potamus the hippopotamus or Simba The Lion King? Wouldn’t that piss you off?

     Of course, the above names belong to cartoon characters. But what if they were true to life animals killed by poachers in the jungles of the world? For instance, let’s identify Cecil, a magnificent adult lion, recently killed in Zimbabwe, to a famous cartoon celebrity many of us might recognize as Simba The Lion King?

     Cecil reportedly was murdered by a 55-year-old dentist identified by Associated Press as Walter Palmer from Eden Prairie, Minneapolis. Armed with a crossbow and protected by armed

guides, he killed Cecil who at the time of death was wearing a collar and was lured from a protected area early this month (July) where he was assassinated.      So Palmer, a big game hunter, was identified by the Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force, the Safari Operators Assn. of Zimbabwe and police authorities as an American facing poaching charges for the crossbow incident.

     Cecil was more than a statistic. He was a beautiful animal who was denied the right to live in Zimbabwe by a dentist who AP reportedly paid $50,000 for the sordid trek to kill a defenseless lion. So, there goes another Simba The Lion King to the sport of death.

     What a trophy he would make for the wealthy dentist who in 2008 AP says pleaded guilty to making false statements to wildlife officials about fatally shooting a black bear in Wisconsin in 2006.

     For cartoon identification purposes, let’s call that bear, Smokey. For making false statements to wildlife officials about the bear (Smokey), Palmer was put on a year’s promotion and fined a couple of thousand bucks. Despite the two killings, old Walter will never wind up in The Big House.

     If he ever goes on a big hunt, authorities should demand that he must replace steel-tipped arrows with suction cups. That’d make the odds more even.

     Several months ago, I wrote another story about poachers, using Dumbo, Walt Disney’s adorable little elephant, as the main character. My intention was to make readers realize that the mass murders of wildlife creatures were heartbreaking realities.

     Ironically, another well written story by Robyn Dixon of the L.A. Times reported earlier this month that more than 1,200 rhinos were slaughtered last year in South Africa.   Remember Ruby the Rhino cartoon? So sad.

     Anyway, let’s focus on Dumbo, a story I labored on a number of months ago. Imagine that today he was a full-grown mountain bull with massive ivory tusks roaming the jungles of Africa’s plush Botswana or the tundra in Northern Kenya. He’s the same precious little rascal with the big heart we all remember as kids. He’s just grown up.

     Animal assassins armed with automatic weapons, poison-tipped spears, bow and arrows and even crossbows are killing beautiful animals throughout the world today. Not only are these animal hunters killing for cash, but describing their brutal, inhumane homicidal acts as sport.

     I know, I know. Humanity is a violent species. Humans kill each other motivated by racial bigotry, greed, religious extremism, poverty, war, terrorism, ignorant fury or murderous vindictive acts focused at some tenant who’s not paying the rent a hanky-pankiest playing with your soul mate.

     As people overpopulating Earth, we are something to behold. God only knows why individuals must complete such missions of mayhem. Yet, some poverty-stricken African men and women

can earning as much as $2,500 a kill. They hack off Dumbo’s massive tusks and leave his rotting carcass for the vultures and other predators. Loads of ivory tusks are shipped to China and other Asian countries where they are carved into small ornamental knickknacks, jewelry, priceless chess pieces, and religious symbols earning fortunes for their remorseless marketers. Are you going to buy one?

     Since premeditated murder of innocent animals for profit is a sin, how can those who worship various Supreme Beings explain why they are making fortunes selling or buying religious artifacts made from the tusks of endangered pachyderms or horns of rhinoceroses? And why in hell would God-fearing customers purchase such religious items carved from elephant tusks? I guess you can chalk it up to a classic case of greed, ignorance, pomposity or an unsavory act of spiritual apathy.    

     By now, an adult Dumbo would have his own breed of babies and leave behind a grieving widow. Elephants do grieve just like humans. Experts on the subject report that in Africa alone, about 30,000 these magnificent mammoths are slaughtered annually.      The reason I used Dumbo as a metaphor is to make this point: How many of you know of giant tusker named Sato? Not many, I’ll wager. The renowned 6-ton pachyderm who roamed Tsavo East National Park in Kenya was killed by poachers on May 30, 2014. Some reports say he “died a painful death” caused by poison-tipped arrows or spears. Another news story reported that he died suffering eight bullet wounds fired from automatic weapons.

     Since you might not know who Sato is, I substituted Dumbo’s name. The information I gleaned from a variety of sources: CBS-TV’s Sunday Morning News, National Geographic and The Los Angeles Times, among others.

     Paula Kahumbu, a Kenya-based wildlife conservationist for Wildlife Direct, said that Sato (like Dumbo) was a celebrity in his own right; that he was highly respected not only as a “magnificent pachyderm but as major tourist attraction.”

     A National Geographic story quoted Ms. Kahumbu saying, “All the killers wanted was his tusks so somebody far away can have a trinket on their mantelpiece.”

     The question to those who have never witnessed such an atrocity is: How deeply would you care if you learned that an elephant named Sato was slaughtered for his tusks? After all, Sato was only one of an estimated 100,000 elephants ruthlessly assassinated across Africa in recent years. If Sato’s mutilated carcass turned out to be an adult Dumbo, once revered by children as well as adults, wouldn’t that leave an emptiness in your soul; a painful feeling of remorse in the pit of your conscience? I hope so.

     I realize that our violent society breeds its own stalkers, killers, drive-by shooters as well as domestic and foreign terrorists like ISIS. So who is truly concerned about some big old thick-skinned pachyderm named Sato in an African reserve tens of thousands of miles from our shoreline.

     After all, there are an estimated 690,000 African elephants alive today. That’s a lot of Dumbos compared to 5 million such giants roaming free back in the 1930s and 1940s. Now their severed tusks, each with a monumental price tag, are shipped to places like China, Thailand, Korea and Vietnam.

     Foreign criminal organizations with sophisticated weaponry kill viciously, reported CBS-TV. A horrendous incident reported in a 2012, an estimated 300 elephants were gunned down inside a national park in Cameroon, a republic stretching from the Gulf of Guinea to Lake Chad in West Africa.  

     In recent years, says one report, “dozens” of rangers were killed fighting to protect wildlife from poachers in Africa. Is waging such a war against those who kill animals for profit so horrifying when humanity is hard at work killing its own kind by the millions? For God sakes, we’re even decapitating heads and burning people alive to make a political point; stoning women to death because they refuse to obey the demands of ruthless males who dominate their lives.  

     Since we’re talking about cartoon animals, let me ask one last question: If you were a poacher, how much would you charge to kill an adult Dumbo for his valuable tusks and his sturdy legs used occasionally for coffee tables, Ruby the Rhinoceros whose horns are made into dagger handles or ground into power used for medicinal purposes as well as an aphrodisiac, Peter Potamus the hippopotamus for his cute ears and big toothies, Maguilla the Gorilla using his powerful hands and feet for trophies, Tony the Tiger for use as a throw rug which includes his handsome head and sharp fangs, Simba the Lion King for his mane and mandibles, Smokey the Bear for his huge paws and claws?

     I feel so helpless trying to rewrite parts of this story. Helpless!! All I can say is: Think of these beautiful, defenseless animals. For their sake, please don’t buy ivory! And vote against the rampant growth of guns in our nation.

 

                        — Boots LeBaron —

A BROKEN PROMISE: CIVILIZATION’S MAJOR CRIME

THE HUMAN RACE

A BROKEN PROMISE AIN’T NO MISDEMEANOR!

 

A broken promise can scar the

soul of every individual who’s convinced

that trust is humanity’s cornerstone.

It’s capable of shattering the

confidence of any trusting person

whose confidence in another

has been desecrated.

In any court of

dignity where the indignant

act is exposed, the culprit

will either be exonerated,

mentally shackled with feelings

of guilt and anxiety for life,

stuck with a misdemeanor thanks

to the power of forgiveness,

labeled as a liar and a cheat,

or, depending on the severity

of the mental or financial anguish

inflicted on another. Of course, those

suffering from life’s broken-promise

syndrome, especially those whose lives

have been wrecked in the midst of a

lovey-dovey relationship, has every

philosophical right to reward that partner

with a seat on the electric chair.

Humanity consists of so many ridiculous

men and women in search of peace of mind

and a perfect life, which is never perfect.

No matter how benign or devious, a broken

promise can cause humiliation, hyperventilation

acute anxiety or psychotic short circuitry

despite the admirable intentions that kick off

any kind of human relationship. Yet, no matter

how intolerable the plight, a broken promise

should rightfully be labeled guilty as charged

on every victim’s shit list. Forever!

Boots LeBaron

BEWARE OF THE SMILEY-FACED OFFICE JACKAL!

THE HUMAN RACE

THE OFFICE JACKAL WILL EAT YOU UP!

 

Like the owl, the hyena, and

especially the office jackal,

they are out to get us! Comparing

these predatory creatures to people,

they are society’s bullies, workplace

maneuverers who feed on fellow employees.

Even brilliant CEOs have to defend themselves

against management subordinates who are

who are determined to devour their

executive bosses. Using disparaging

tactics, propaganda is the weapon

that keeps them on top of the

corporate and blue-collar heap.

They break hearts. They plagiarize.

Some are so brilliant, so creative,

they lure the naive, unsuspecting leaders

and fellow employees into a steel trap from

which there is no escape. These human

jackals exist because they are so

cunning. Many hide behind purity,

integrity, compassion. Even religion.

Some carnivores actually reward followers

who help carry out unscrupulous assaults

on others. So guys and gals who expect

to earn an honest buck at whatever

job level you are working, you’d

better beware that there are political

hyenas and other hungry predators who,

despite their hypocritical smiley faces,

see you as nothing more than tidbits. You

could wind up as carnage scattered across

that untamed concrete jungle you identify as

your World of Opportunity. Thank God,

that’s your problem. Not mine!

 

— Boots LeBaron —

 

 

SURVIVING LIFE’S INSURMOUNTABLE ODDS!

 

THE HUMAN RACE

TRUTH BE KNOWN:  THERE’S NO COUPON FOR MIRACLES

It’s the words that meld together

creating thoughts and fears reflecting

every person’s ongoing struggle to find

a semblance of peace of mind in an

over-populated world compacted by greed,

violence, desperate naivety, and a

a message of faith that inexcusably

guarantees the kind of miracles that will

fulfill our hopes, dreams and schemes.

In every conscience, such declarations

scour the most intimate corners of our

mind — not always in an enlightening sense.

To reach Valhalla, we must somehow find

strength as individuals to ignore our

fears and human flaws to reach that final

destination when Odin welcomes us to his great

hall. No matter how painful or debatably

misleading the promises, they are

convincing enough to satisfy any doubts

that linger before Odin’s final embrace.

All we need is a shred of truth

to fulfill our hopes and dreams

and fuel our trip to Valhalla.

Actors as well as other celebrities,

bless their charismatic and

artistic hearts, are members of a talented

gang of theatrical creatures capable of

articulating believable messages

that provoke self-examination.

Even Odin’s disciples must be capable

communicators. Otherwise, these

artists will anger the gods by not

bringing home the bacon.

The precious delivery of descriptive

observations, visual expressions, the

use of metaphors and similes, reach the

mind of those who are open to reason.

No person is honestly content with

what lurks in the dark regions of another

person’s mind. We all come equipped with

guilt as well as joy glands that

need massaging. Bullshit exists

in every member of the human race.

Literary craftspeople, essayists,

poets, TV talking heads or office moguls

who paint glorious promises they never

keep have been known to preach rewards,

then deliver nothing.

That’s their talent. They come armed

with words. And you are the target.

Never lose faith in strangers.

But be skeptical. Purity might be

believable, but is not always

attainable. Despite our self-disparaging

selves, the adventures we experience

en route to Odin’s palace, make life’s

challenges worth the aggravation.

Must we agonize over our questionable

wisdom? Should we ride with the anguish

we are spoon fed with daily doses?  

It’s up to you. Go figure!

 

— Boots LeBaron —

DESPITE WWII BATTLE WOUNDS, U.S. MARINE LIVED FULL LIFE

THE HUMAN RACE

 

WAR NEVER ENDED FOR CHIEF ‘TALL SUN’

     Despite a day of living hell and an adulthood surviving as a wounded World War II veteran with an atrophied right arm and a brace on his right leg, Chief George (Tall Sun) Pierre stood tall and courageously unrelenting against the unmerciful winds of life.

     The fiercely proud full-blooded Okonogan Indian and a longtime friend of mine, died in 2011 (suffering from prostate cancer). He was the hereditary chief of the 11 Colville Confederated Tribes, a 1.5 million-acre reservation on the Columbia River near Spokane, Wash.

     Our last conversation was on the phone. George, 85, told me he had prostate cancer. He was living in a condo in Redondo Beach, Calif. What troubled him more than the thought of death was that because of his disability he feared he would never return to the heavily-timbered reservation where he grew up and for many years visited frequently.

   Like his father Chief Edward Joseph Pierre, the stoic-faced George had always been a warrior at heart. When he was only 16-years-old he enlisted in the Marines. “I wanted to be like my ancestors,” he said, “I wanted to be a hero.”

     On November 23, 1943 (two days after his 17th birthday), he was the youngest member of the U.S. Marine’s 2nd Division assault forces. Against the Japanese-held Tarawa, a heavily fortified atoll in the northern Gilbert Islands in the South Pacific, he was one of thousands of leathernecks that stormed the beach.  

     “For most of us,” he recalled, “it was our first taste of battle. Bombs were exploding everywhere. Heavy machine-gun and rifle fire was tearing us apart. Bullets hitting the sand sounded like a hail storm. We were dangerously bunched together, pinned behind a seawall.”

     As George moved away from the group a bullet ripped through his helmet penetrating his brain. “I fell to the ground, conscious but completely paralyzed. I couldn’t talk. I couldn’t even blink my eyes. I could hear my buddies say, ‘Pierre got it!'”

     Had it not been for a Navy corpsman who “noticed tears in my eyes and dragged me to safety,” George would have been left for dead alongside his comrades whose bodies were scattered along the beach and floating in the water.

     “Here I was, a youngster, no different than the men and women fighting in Afghanistan today. A good kid. I hadn’t done anything wrong. Yet, God took away the use of my leg and arm for the rest of my life. It’s very difficult to rationalize.”

     Death on the battlefield, he had told me, “is a tragedy not only for the soldier but for their families. But when you have to live with wounds like this, that calls for a different level of courage.

     He was opposed to the “unjust” wars in Iraq and Afghanistan where “our kids were being killed and wounded. “The older I get, the more often I pray for our combat troops. Young people never think about being physically handicapped.

     “Maybe it was God’s will that I was struck in the brain, because I never experienced pain. Even lying there on the beach, I knew something was terribly wrong. So I learned early in life that nobody is invincible.”

     Since that fateful day in 1943, George has faced life like a true “Nez Perce Warrior” (the title of one of several books he has written and self published).

     “I love my country,” he said. “I’m proud to be a wounded veteran of World War II. But life has been painful. When I walk or ride in my wheelchair, sometimes people think I’ve been crippled by a stroke. There have been times when I’d like to wrap my body in an American flag.”

     It has been many years since George had worn his ceremonial war bonnet, ringed with black-tipped eagle feathers, and the white suit of leather stitched by his late mother, Mary Teresa, a medicine woman and tribal matriarch who played melancholy songs on a willow flute.

     Chief Pierre, a former Congressman (1964-67) from the State of Washington, a lawyer with a master’s degree in political science from USC, was never without a battle.

     One war he was constantly waging was against the silent prejudice he is intimately familiar with.

     “Our society has a tendency to discard broken toys,” he said. “Many give money to help the handicapped. Yet those same people find cripples grotesque and have problems coping with the reality.      “If people could look beyond our physical imperfections they might be surprised. Life is tough enough for a person with two hands and legs, let alone, a guy like me,” he said, a faint smile crossing his chiseled lips.      

     “In any war where the enemy is fanatically suicidal, our soldiers are all potential targets. They know they’re facing death or some form of mutilation the minute they step outside of a secure compound. That kind of inner-strength is hard to describe.”

     When Pierre was 12-years-old, he was sent out alone in search of his manhood into the Bonapart Mountain Range, a wilderness in North Central Washington. During the ritual, he was supposed to survive for two days, then return as a man.

     When he failed to return on schedule, his mother and uncle went searching for him. At high noon, they found him sleeping on a branch in a towering tree. Thus, he was given the Indian name Tall Sun.

     With a hint of whimsy, he proudly proclaimed that he was “the last living Native American warrior chief.” His niece, Dr. Tracey Pierre of Seattle, Wash., said that George, who was divorced with no children, was given a military burial on Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2011, at Arlington National Cemetery.  

     About 25 years  ago made me an “honorary chief” of the Colville tribes and his mother, Mary Teresa, a medicine woman and tribal matriarch blessed me and gave me a tribal name:  Walk in the Clouds.  With pride, I cherish the memory of that day.  The reason I ran this story about my friend is tomorrow is Armed Forces Day.

     — Boots LeBaron —

DESPITE THE ODDS, WOMEN REFUSE TO SURRENDER!

THE HUMAN RACE

HER MESSAGE:  “THE GOOD OLD BOY’S CLUB BE DAMNED!

     It wasn’t God who had women hanged or burned at the stake for witchcraft in the American colonies. It was Man.

     Decades before the 1692 Salem witchcraft trials, Mary Sanford, a 39-year-old mother of five, was condemned to death by colonists in Hartford, Connecticut. Her male prosecutors said she “deserved to die.” Their charge: “Consorting with Satan and using supernatural powers against unnamed others.”

     Unable to argue against God, the Devil and the holy scriptures, the free-spirited Mary was hung for celebrating her individuality as a human being. She was guilty of dancing around the flames of a bonfire and drinking wine. Whoop-de-do!

     Did she waltz with the Devil? Fly on a broomstick? Cast wicked spells on others? Cuss? Refuse to cater to the whims of her spineless hubby? Hell no!

     More than three centuries have past since the American Colonies version of Ye Good Ol’ Boys Club used the name of God laced with hysteria and based on dogmatic biblical babble to squelch the inherent rights of women fighting for their identity in a suppressive society.

     Today’s Mary Sanfords have found courage through independence, strength through sacrifice, wisdom through anguish, and the bond of sisterhood through freedom of speech, freedom of religion, and freedom to do what they damn well please.

     Yet women are still seeking equal rights in a world where man dominates in many instances with chauvinistic assertiveness.

                        — Boots LeBaron

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