Marshall in the Middle

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Evangelicals Finally Doing the "Right" Thing on Environment

By Chuck Marshall

     I was delighted to read an article yesterday morning in our local “bugle”, The Orlando Sentinel elaborating on a trend coming from the evangelicals to encourage our governor and the government to start taking climate change seriously.   It has always bothered how so many religious people are so ambivalent towards the environment.   Aren't they the ones that believe all the earth's bounty and life was designed and created by the Lord himself ?   Why would He then be OK with them to be so reckless about it by turning it into a part of our crass and never ending political debate ?   I have always been a bit of a tree-hugger as anyone who reads this blog is well aware.  (Lest the reader question my claim to always veer towards the middle.   The fact of the matter is I don't see protecting the environment as right or left….... I see it as common sense).  As I understand it this is and will be the only planet at our disposal for the foreseeable future.  Right?  Why test that fact  and risk  punching a hole in our lifeboat when any agreeable landfall is centuries away in technology?   Indeed, the Republican reluctance to address issues regarding the environment is the reason I left that party.  This is nothing to do with corporations or labor or democrats or republicans it's to do with the air we breath and the fresh water that will be available for our kids and their kids in the next century.  Finally,  yes, it has to do with our planet getting hotter because of our actions.  Global Warming, the much maligned moniker that the far right has had so much fun impugning is fast becoming an accepted fact much as the debate for the flatness of the world 500 years ago was overwhelmed by the reality that it is....... round.  

So, I was pleased to see others of my faith (I am a non-denominational Christian) stand up and move forward in defense of our planet despite the custom of fighting all things "left".   The Bible is very clear that mankind is responsible for the well being of our planet.  One thing that is never clarified is  any particular political persuasion we should all be choosing.   The hypocrisy and contradiction that comes from many "so called" Christians within the right leaning ranks of society is offensive.  Like so many other issues, these self proclaimed Christians are often the ones that least practice what Jesus taught us to do. They  judge, they're hypocrites, they covet money, they're materialistic and they neglect the poor.  So, I am pleasantly encouraged by this movement to start acting like real Christians in the battle to preserve our planet for all of mankind.   That's a lot of poor people we're helping by protecting the environment…… in fact if you think about it, it's ALL the poor people.... and the rich and the middle class and all the plants and all the animals., etc....

In Genesis from the lips of God, it's announced  this way:   "Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that hath life, and fowl that may fly above the earth in the open firmament of heaven". 

His opinion of it is put this way;  "And God created great whales, and every living creature that moveth, which the waters brought forth abundantly, after their kind, and every winged fowl after his kind: and God saw that it was good".

To me this holds much more water in the grand scheme of things than any other argument such as granting the corporations more levity in doing as they please to make a profit and bestow us with their low paying jobs.  In the end, all of God's creation is dependent on us to do the right thing here.  All religious affiliations from Muslim to Hindu to Buddhist should stop fighting one another and do God real honor by banding together to tackle all threats to our planet.  

In my humble opinion…..

Monday, August 11, 2014

ISIS Modern Day Nazis

Nazis 1940's Europe 

                                                                  ISIS 2014 Iraq

By Chuck Marshall

There is a lot of talk this week as the United States commences to bomb the terrorists that have overtaken large chunks of Iraq and Syria.  As the years have gone by, my opinions on the needs of the United States to be involved in foreign affairs have evolved.  I use to be of the mindset that we should not be involved in the affairs of foreign countries unless there are American lives at risk.  Today, after this tactic has been essentially engaged by our sitting President., I am coming to see the consequence of no strong leadership against evil in the world.  This group of murderers, known as "ISIS" (their goal of uniting Islamic extremists in a nation state is a non-issue in this particular blog) may as well be a group of SS Gestapo troops banging down the doors of Jews in Nazi occupied Poland or Russia., ready to mow down all human beings whether they be elderly or children or pregnant women.  They kill simply because these people are NOT THEM.  There is no greater evil, and that they invoke the name of God or Allah in their endeavors makes it that much worse.  Even the Nazis didn't pretend they were doing God's work..   Who will stop these butchers other than the USA.?  Nobody.  We must face up this group with great force and in whatever way is necessary simply because there is nobody else to do it.  The Russians ?  Read my previous blog about the Russians... Putin would join ISIS if  he thought it would benefit him a whit.  The European Union ?   They are splintered and bickering and weak in their resolve.    China?  There is no money in stopping evil and it certainly does not serve to help the communist leadership stay on their thrones of control and oppression.

      So...just as in WWII, it comes down to us and perhaps our allies in England and Canada to stand up to this modern group of Nazis before they grow any stronger.   I hearken back to the courage of England at the beginning of the war in the words of King George VI as he addressed the people of  the United Kingdom through radio telecast as he referred to Nazism and its inherent danger;

"It is the principle .....which sanctions the use of force,
or threat of force, against the sovereignty and independence of other states.
Such a principle, stripped of all disguise, is surely the mere primitive doctrine
that might is right; and if this principle were established throughout the world,
the freedom of our own country and of the whole British Commonwealth of
Nations would be in danger. But far more than this - the peoples of the world
would be kept in the bondage of fear, and all hopes of settled peace and of
the security of justice and liberty among nations would be ended."

Now, that's putting it all in perspective... In My Humble Opinion.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

A Common Enemy Brings Rare Bi-Partisan Agreement

                                                               A Very Small Man

By Chuck Marshall

In a previous blog I referred to the Ukranian-Russian conflict as none of our business but as is often the case... time has revealed a clarity that I think justifies far more severe sanctions against Russia and more accurately against Putin.  This guy is pouring gasoline on the internal affairs of the sovereign state that is Ukraine by supplying weapons and firing guns from within Russia itself.  Also, when the rebels  responsible for shooting down  a commercial airliner (probably a mistake, but so what?)  then have the audacity to prevent investigators from even going into the crash site...... then international outrage is warranted.  Nearly 300 innocent people are now dead because of Russian meddling.  Their determination that somehow that is defensible boggles the mind.  This is the consequence of a dictator whipping up nationalism within his own borders, nothing else.  He is no Hitler or Stalin (right now), but still he is a dictator because a tyrant always murders the innocents with little regard for humanity or common decency.  It is him, his ego, and the mongoloid sheep that follow him with blind faith in his "bo-peep" nationalism.  Picture the multitudes of Germans frothing at the mouth over the words of the maniac Adolf Hitler as he led their country straight over a cliff.

What a disappointment as I had felt for years that Russia had finally joined the rest of the world by wedding democracy.  When I was a kid they were always the bad guys, then they evolved in the 90's to a form of democracy and freedom that had been unthinkable to me as a youth.  Now, the Russian bear has awaken from its sleep and found the need to bludgeon Goldilocks Russia and her new found porridge of liberty.  The Russian need for control and order that comes with totalitarianism proved irresistible, I guess.  The Russian people are certainly within their right to embrace whatever form of leadership they want,  no matter how repulsive,  but when that leader sucker punches a neighbor struggling to steady its own boat of prosperity.... that's a problem.

So, as is often the case in the face of a common enemy., this week the two parties exercised a rare and elusive bi-partisan agreement.  They agreed that strong sanctions against an enemy of liberty must be enacted.  If only they could do this for the good of our nation in regards to the significant problems our country faces today such as health care, illegal immigration, and the national debt.  To them the porridge is always the too cold or too hot according to the bowl the "other side" is holding.    In domestic affairs it is the parties themselves that are the enemies of liberty.

In My Humble Opinion

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Black hole of Apathy

     I'm afraid that I'm falling into the apathy that is running rampant and is so contagious in our society.  I'm starting to "not care" about things. It's all so frustrating and seemingly hopeless.  I see no light at the end of the tunnel but a lot of darkness lurking in our future as our leaders continue to bicker with no offers to lead us but plenty of reasons to vaunt their own cause, to puff up their own party.  Their way of seeing things.

His Excellency, President Washington put it best;

The alternate domination of one faction over another, sharpened by the spirit of revenge natural to party dissension, which in different ages and countries has perpetrated the most horrid enormities, is itself a frightful despotism. But this leads at length to a more formal and permanent despotism. The disorders and miseries which result gradually incline the minds of men to seek security and repose in the absolute power of an individual, and sooner or later the chief of some prevailing faction, more able or more fortunate than his competitors, turns this disposition to the purposes of his own elevation on the ruins of public liberty.

"on the ruins of public liberty....".  How excellent is that., and how true though there is not obvious despot today (Obama, perhaps the "despot of incompetence"- but he's more a victim than a perpetrator),  in my humble opinion the parties themselves are despots in group form and they are assuredly dancing on the ruins of public liberty though with great irony many of them believe themselves the saviors of liberty.

I was thinking today that the Republican and Democratic leaders are traitors.  They are traitors to us all for their abject failure to lead and come to decisions for the betterment of our nation.  Whether it's Iraq, or Iran or illegal immigration or health care, or take your pick... there is no impetus to improve., only to point the finger.

We were once the example to the world.  Since WWII our country had been the "de facto" leadership of the world.  We haven't always demonstrated a lot of wisdom, and we've surely made a lot mistakes but I think we've always showed the world how a government should be run for the betterment of all its people.  I was proud of the leadership in Washington, DC.  No more.  This hasn't been true in a long time and it's  hard to care when we're lead by a posse of traitors.  So, I feel apathy for the news I read lately.  Who cares.  It's more of the same thing.  Nothing gets done but a lot of posturing.  Nothing gets done.  Traitors.

And I close with another excerpt from President Washington., brilliant and wise words regarding the political parties and their position in our government;

From his farewell address- 1796 in New York

“However [political parties] may now and then answer popular ends, they are likely in the course of time and things, to become potent engines, by which cunning, ambitious, and unprincipled men will be enabled to subvert the power of the people and to usurp for themselves the reins of government, destroying afterwards the very engines which have lifted them to unjust dominion.”

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Climate Change too Serious to Leave to the Parties

Ever since  Al Gore introduced the world to his self congratulatory book "An Inconvenient Truth" the two parties have  gone round and round over the Climate Change issue.   The far right believes it's a conspiracy.  The far left believes our planet will be dead in 100 years.  The truth is probably somewhere in the middle where it usually dwells.   I understand the need for political debate regarding the role of government and the distribution of wealth  but this has nothing to do with the philosophy of governing.   This is about our posterity and the planet we leave them.   Earth is neither left 'nor right leaning.  It tilts on its axis at the ideal angle to support us and the plants and the animals-  blissfully unaware of any potential harm we may be bringing to its inhabitants.   

 Suppose there was a meteorite streaking towards earth  that will arrive somewhere at the end of the century and it will hit the earth with such force as to leave only the roaches alive at the end of it all.   However, there's a 90% chance it will miss us altogether.   Wouldn't there still be a great urgency to do all we could to solve the problem even if there's only a 10% chance of calamity?  What would such a scenario have to do with the Democrats or Republicans?  Nothing.  The same should go for Climate Change.    

My opinion is that if the people most studied in that field say it's a problem then I need to trust their veracity and listen to their points.   It's hardly wise to have experts and proceed to ignore their advice.   Would you hire an electrician to rewire your house and tell him he's wrong once he found the problem?   I do understand the skepticism that comes from many people.  The facts and explanations coming from the scientific world are vague and not well presented.  Scientists are not sales people.   I think we must all consider that even if there is a 10% chance our activity will affect the earth for future generations then we have an obligation to discuss solutions and not debate whether the "meteorite" even exists.   Let's not leave such a mess to our kids and our kids' kids because we aren't 100% sure there is anything wrong to begin with.  We can't leave this one for the parties to debate into oblivion.   The stakes have never been so high.