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My Pride is Showing

Americans are not a resigned people.  We have never gone sheepishly into that dark pit of oppression – be it monarchy, corptocracy, or any other thug.  Those brave individuals who took that dangerous step of cutting ties with the empire of England, were, I believe, very much like the best of us today.

On July 4th, as they set pen to Thomas Jefferson’s masterful declaration of Independence, each one was painfully aware of his signature’s significance.  Yes, they were proclaiming their beliefs in their compatriots in this land – and the people of all lands.  Yet they also realized the personal sacrifice involved.  This paper proclaimed their willingness to immerse themselves in an undeniable declaration of war.  Their families, their lands, their holdings would all come under attack, and life as they knew it would never be the same.  And they signed it boldly all the same.  And the war did come.   It was a war that marked this people’s – this new nation’s – zero tolerance of oppression.  It demonstrated to a weary world their instant willingness to gather and kick back against those who would trample their freedoms for the benefit of English merchant princes.

This day, as in every age, oppressors rise up among us.  There seems to be never any shortage of conniving people who place personal enrichment over the common good.  And once more, my fellows in this America take aim at the oppressors and fight the injustices as they see them arise.  So on this July 4, 2018, I am grateful to be an American, grateful for the freedoms that were won for me by our nation’s founders, and ever after.

But much more, I cannot but help feel a powerful surge of pride to be part of those Americans of today who, as we speak, are continuing to set their pens to Mr. Jefferson’s Declaration.  No, not all Americans join this fight.  Even during the American Revolution, nearly two thirds of colonials remained loyal to the British monarch.

Yet by the millions Americans continue to set their muscle, time and resources in the fight to sustain a just society.  Their methods and causes are numerous.  You can find them everywhere.  Our zero tolerance for oppressors continues.  And that, my compatriots, makes my heart soar with hope on this Independence Day. 

– Bart Jackson

 

 

This Glorious Easter Morn

I have risen with the sun and lifted my arms high in appreciative salute to Helios as he pushes through the clouds and over the trees.  Soon my bride and I will head off for Nassau Presbyterian Church, don our choir robes and I, with more gusto than talent, will bellow forth my favorite hymns, with such treasured lyrics as: “…bid the grim demonic chorus Christ is risen, Get you gone….”  Oh yeah.  Today the good guys are winning.

Sweet Spring has drawn our weary heads out of the winter of our discontent and her first teasing perfumes resurrect new hopes in all of us.  ‘Tis the season that has prodded poets’ pens throughout the ages.  (You will not be subjected to my Persephone’s Return poem conjured for my bride this morning.) But allow me, if you will, to pass on to you one fervent seasonal wish:  May you resurrect Hope within your own life.

There are indeed more people who want to help you than hurt you.  Our own culture bulges with public servants and private donors and good-hearted souls who are contributing to their planet and fellows.

Why not find and celebrate them?  Whether you join them or not remains, of course, your choice.  Yet, may you be aware of all the good that the fellows of your species are doing.  As always, there is great money and great sources of power to be had by stirring up our fears.  Those who lay out an array of threats are legion.  But in the end, despair is simply an inaccurate vision.  Hope has the majority on its side.

So as the season comes into full flower, may we all bid the grim, demonic chorus Hope is risen, get you gone.

Oh, and to my atheistic buddies who will doubtless greet me on this particular Easter with, “Christ is risen – April Fools!” I get the joke.

Wishing you every success,

 Bart Jackson

 

An Invitation to Walk

I would like to invite you this Friday, March 30th to take a walk – but not with me, and not with anyone else.  For many of the Christian faithful, today is Good Friday, a culmination of the Lenten season.  For us, these previous 40 days have served as a period of thoughtful reflection.   Time set aside to take stock: look at what we have done, discover what has driven us to do it, and decide which path in heaven’s name do we want to take now.

Four hundred years before the itinerant Galilean preacher Jesus took his path to Jerusalem, Socrates, another great and compassionate thinker also facing death for his disruptive ideas, stated, “The unexamined life is not worth living.”   It is with that goal of reflective self-scrutiny that I invite you to set aside some time and take this very vital walk with the most important person on your life – yourself.  Leaving devices, notebook, and pressing responsibilities behind, why not walk a little deeper into your life.  With the innocence of you the child, and the accrued wisdom of you the sage make that solitary stroll.

Spring everywhere makes hints of new hope and high promise.  Signs of new life emerge all around us.  Might this not be time to resurrect some old dreams, fashion some new ones, and plan for more fulfilling days ahead?

Wishing you every success, Bart Jackson

The Maker of our Presidency – President’s Day 2018

He saw himself as the people’s lion.  In 1829 Andrew Jackson mantled the immense responsibility of seventh President of these United States.  And under his powerful leadership, the Presidency was reshaped forever.  Tough and battle-scared from defending this nation, Old Hickory stepped into office devotedly believing that the President, as the sole individual elected by all the people, was  mandated to ferociously protect their lives and interests above all else.

He battled avaricious bankers, self-serving and special interest congressmen, and secessionists who would rend our democratic republic apart.  Andrew Jackson stood as the prowling, fiercesome lion ever ready to claw the greedy few seeking to enrich themselves by oppressing the many.  In this moral quest, Jackson engaged his blunt personal force and every political trick in the book.  He established the presidential veto as political tool, employing it more than all his predecessors combined.  He expanded the lawmaking role of the nation’s chief executive.  He launched the tradition of the presidential road-trip as a tool to gather public consensus.  In short, Jackson believed in democracy and the American people – a belief that won him the title of “King Mob” from many a wholly-owned congressman.

It is a marvelous thing to witness any person motivated by firm moral conviction.  And Andrew Jackson opened the doors for all future United States’ presidents – opened them to build roads, clean our air and water, expand pubic education, preserve our parks, protect the drugs sold to our people and make secure the investments made by them.  Such is how many of Andrew Jackson’s succeeding Presidents have used their expanded role.

Promulgated by the self-serving within this nation, there currently grows the myth that all government is bad government.  True freedom, they assure us, may only be achieved by doing away with all government – the less the better.   Alas, Jackson knew, and we have seen, that the destruction of our protective government affords freedom only to those greedy few, ever waiting to enslave and grow rich from the citizen many.

So on this Presidents’ Day may we all pause to honor those American Presidents who have defended the people of this nation.  We applaud these leaders who have struggled to preserve our “democratic experiment” and place the interest of the people as their foremost driving conviction.    May the women and men who hold this presidential office in the future mantle on Old Hickory’s legacy and his resolve.

Wishing you Every Success,

– Bart Jackson

 

 

 

 

Hooray for Word Power

Hooray for Word Power! Last night, I attended a marvelous celebration of the written word at my alma mater U.S. 1 Newspaper where Publisher Rich Rein gathered all the contributors (amateurs & professionals) to laud and expound on their Summer Fiction Issue’s poems and short stories.  Writing enlightens both she who creates and he who reads.  Good for you Rich!.

Hooray for Word Power

It was a marvelous celebration of the written word.  Last night, as U.S. 1 Newspaper’s  first freelance writers, I attended founding publisher Rich Rein’s celebration of their Summer Fiction Issue.  One of Rich’s brilliant editorial brainchildren, the Summer Fiction Issue invites amateurs and semi-pro writers to submit a short story or poem which he and his dedicated staff publish in this absolutely delightful, 60-page anthology.

You could feel the passion in every submission.  Rich stood before all those assembled, calling up the poets to share their words aloud, and then invited each short story contributor to give the details behind their tales, while he followed with praiseworthy points and anecdotes.  Boy, do we writers need more of this. Writing warms and enlightens both she who writes and he who reads.  Lyrical words poignantly reveal the human mind and soul at its honest utmost.

Amazed, I listened to tales of brick walls scrabbled over, blizzards bringing stormy contemplation, glimpses of real desires laid bare in diners, offices, and at the end of a bayonet.  In an age when the pen and the creative mind driving it get crammed continually from broad avenues to ever-briefer alleyways of expression, Rich’s Summer Fiction Issue stands as welcome relief.  So allow me to add my personal hip – hip – hooray to this unleashing of the grand power of the printed word.  And as a post script, if any editor or media host is really seeking what concerns lie most prominently in people’s minds, you have only to scrutinize this paper.

Wishing you every success,

          – Bart Jackson