Monthly Archives: May 2010

Memorial Day

Memorial Day is the traditional kick off for Summertime, even though the official first day of summer is not until later in June. For many, Memorial Day means picnics, trips to the lake,  baseball games, horseshoes, pool parties, kids out of school, barbecues and the Indy 500.

And, yes, it means all those things, but there is a greater meaning.

The loss of a loved one in war must be a horrible burden to bear, one that I have not personally felt, but one that I can empathize with completely.

Our great nation, however imperfect she may be, has stood the test of time and our brightest and best have stood up for her and defended her throughout history, some with the forfeiture of their lives.

The shot heard ’round the world. The Battle of New Orleans. Gettysburg. The Hundred Day Offensive. Pearl Harbor, Normandy, the Battle of the Bulge and Iwo Jima.  The Battle of the Chosin Reservoir. The Tet Offensive.  The Mother of All Battles. Kabul. Baghdad.

No matter your thoughts on these wars, you have to respect those that fought them for us, and those that made the ultimate sacrifice. They deserve no less.

Today, when you sit down with your family, friends or even alone, take a moment to reflect on those that stood tall to protect our freedom and liberty.

But I would also suggest that you remember those that lost their lives, but not in uniform, but for a cause greater than themselves.

Medgar Evers. Dr. King. Rachel Corrie. James Chaney, Andrew Goodman and Michael Schwerner. Matthew Shepard. Harvey Milk. Rachel Corrie. Tom Hurndall. The Kennedy’s. And many, many more.

Today is the day we set aside to honor those that have come before us, blazing a trail so we all may have a better life. As you celebrate the day, stop to remember and honor those that have made this day possible.

It’s the least we can do.


William Stephenson Clark

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Filed under Celebration, History, President Barack Obama, Tributes, WAR

Monday, 5/31/10, Public Square

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Filed under The Public Square

Female Marines

Forty female Marines have arrived in Afghanistan with a mission impossible for their male counterparts: connecting with the war-torn country’s women. In groups of twos and threes, they’ve been sent throughout the country, into homes, where over cups of tea they dispense medical help and encourage women to become involved with Afghan society. “We know we can make a difference,” Capt. Emily Naslund told The New York Times. The female marines are not just running into the country’s cultural barriers but also those of the military as male commanders prove reluctant to send the women on some dangerous patrols. However, the men know the impact having women soldiers in their midst can have on the Afghan population. Without them, one said, “It’s just a bunch of guys with rockets and machine guns trying to hand out a bear to a kid, and he starts to cry.”

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Filed under Afghanistan, Woman Power

Sunday, 5/30/10, Public Square

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MARY ANN IS A LESBIAN

( this is part of a short I have been working on. Still dressing up and rewriting, combing the hair on and the like)

Mary Ann walked from the bathroom into her bedroom, her shower and a cursory applying of makeup done.  She had brushed her hair and was pleased with its style, though it might be time for a new one maybe a little shorter?

She stood at the foot of the bed then announced out loud ….. “I am a Lesbian!”  There she had said it; the outburst was a realization, recognition, and an affirmation!  Words that had been whirling in her head for years but never allowed to be expressed.

She had a date tonight, a real date with an advance call asking if she would like to go out.  Planned and thought about, before it was always the happenstance meeting at a club.  Encountering another woman, a conversation would start and it would begin.  The awkward dance around, looking for clues and interest.  Talking is a sign of interest, but women talk anyway.  But unlike when a man and a woman talk, a woman just suddenly talk to another woman does not mean she wants anything sexual. In fact quite the opposite, women talking to each other is safe.  A woman talking to a man is often taken by the man that she is expressing she want to strip him naked and throw him on the floor. The mating rituals, smile, talk and then go.  But talking to another woman is more like a sister -ship, they have an understand that a man could not.  Some of the same experiences that only another woman would have.  And women like to talk while few men truly do want to at least not in great detail.

So the simple fact a woman talked to another woman is not a sign of interest.  Besides Mary Ann in the back of her mind always wanted a level of deniability.  She was not there looking for another woman to have sex with, it just happens every so often!  Never wanting to be too forward on the chance she had misread a clue or interest in talking to her.  Fighting the awkward impulses, taking moving closer as a sign of interest but it may have been the woman was simply moving so someone else could pass.  She listened for those hints of interest, never sure exactly what the hint would be.  But all the time she kept telling herself that was not what she wanted.  But the reality was it always seemed more natural to her to be with another woman then a man.

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Filed under Original writings

Saturday, 5/29/10, Public Square

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Filed under The Public Square

The Progression of a Society

Of late, there has been a great deal of talk about the intent of the Founding Fathers of our country, particularly as it relates to the Constitution. To some, the Fathers were infallible and divinely inspired.

While I have great admiration and am grateful that those Patriots brought to birth our nation, I do not share in the deification of the Founding Fathers. When this nation was born, women were still second class citizens and non-whites weren’t even citizens at all. Slavery and the genocide of the Native Americans were the law of the land. All men were not created equal.

The progression of a society is a slow process and sometimes that progression is accompanied by violence and even war.  Some of the progress is prompted by court decision, other by courageous and principled legislative activity and more yet by seminal changes in attitudes within society.

Sometimes, the leadership that is required to facilitate progress is not recognized as such at the time. Today, we celebrate Martin Luther King, Jr., but in the Sixties, he was vilified by a good portion of society. The FBI had an extensive file on him and many were convinced that he was a communist. MLK did not change – society’s attitude towards him changed.

Most take for granted the progression of society wrought by the Civil Rights Movement, but that progression came with a horrible price tag and virtually split the country in half once again.

It is said that opposition to Gay Rights is the last “acceptable” form of bigotry.  I feel for those that are hurt by the lack of progress towards equality for our gay brothers and sisters, but I also remember that it was just a half century ago that racial discrimination was rampant.

That is scant consolation for those damaged by sexual orientation discrimination, but with time comes progress and time is greatly compressed in this age of high speed communication. I am not preaching patience, I am preaching hope.

The day will come when, truly, all men and women are created equal.

William Stephenson Clark

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Filed under GLBT Rights, History, Marriage Equality, Progressive Ideals, Uncategorized