Wednesday, April 21, 2021

To our editors ---Missing central fact to Fedex killings--the weapon of choice.

So drones the headline on this 4-17-21 USA Today/Port Huron Times Herald article. Such headlines are becoming a murder mantra in the USA.

What is glaringly absent in this AP article is the identity of the specific weapon in this mass killing. The 19 year old shooter had been reported to police by his mom as a threatened “suicide by cop,” a year earlier. He did his killing of 8 people super fast—“the slayings took place in a matter of minutes.” We are told first, police “seized a gun,” later in the story called a “rifle.” Please come clean America, and identify the weapon! Any chance it was a military style large magazined assault rifle? Give the agent of destruction a name, whatever the caliber. Until we all are able to face our fascination with violently lethal weaponry, and its power grab, we’ll continue to commit societal suicide.

We must not make guns a false idol. Jesus teaches us a totally different way to combat violent powers. To be wise as serpents yet gentle as doves—the strength of unconditional love. A small part of this love is to ban assault weapons in the community at large, and limit the use of guns in our wounded country.
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The truth from Justin Cannon  different newspaper  -

Monday, March 15, 2021


This article was something I wrote soon after the attack on  our nation's capitol January 6th.  The issues remain the same.  A well-informed public is the absolute requirement for real democracy to survive.  We need to know the truth, each voter individually and equally responsible, and that sets us free to choose a practical politics providing fundamental liberty and justice for all--inclusive, not exclusive.  And then we must recognize and cultivate our interconnectedness with the rest of the world's peoples.

 “Police Outnumber Protestors” was our local 1-18-21 Times Herald front page headline, with large frontpage photo of Army Humvees out in force at our Michigan state Capitol in Lansing.  Over a week before this, “Trump Backers Storm Capitol” was the small format header with business card sized photo squeezed in at the top of the 1-7-21 Times Herald.  Small potatoes the day after a physical attack on our nation’s democracy and the violent invasion of our U.S. Capitol building.  There was no frontpage story on this historic Capitol crisis.  Instead, articles on marijuana facilities, postponing of downtown’s Chilly Fest, and Family Video’s closing.

The halls of Congress were under siege January 6th, and then occupied for 5 hours by right wing rioters, spouting talk of revolution and threatening our elected representatives, in the name of our ex-president.  People died and more were injured in this desecration of the place where the work of a civil democracy should be conducted.

The serious nature of this violent act, encouraged by an ego driven President Trump, rejecting the results of an election which has been validated by all state and federal authorities *, must be recognized and resoundingly repudiated.  It deserves much more attention by local press, and the politicians of every party.  That 139 Representatives, and 8 Senators, all Republicans, still voted against accepting the decision of some of the states’ electors for soon to be President Joe Biden, after such a debacle, is a great shame.  There are solid articles and editorials appearing in the conservative Wall Street Journal that outline our problem—we are a very divided nation in which too many pay very little attention to verifiable facts in our political discussions.  [see below for references].  The Wall Street Journal, as well as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, among others, have called for President Trump to resign.  Many of the banks who’ve done business with him are now putting a stop to his credit.

What we saw on January 6, 2021 was an organized riot meant to be chaotic and intimidating.  Certainly only a segment of the 30,000 that came to protest were invaders, but all led credence to a lie—that the 2020 election was stolen.  We must all do better.  Watch, listen to and read respectable, verifiable sources of news, agencies which have editors and producers who routinely check the facts, value and investigate their stories and commentaries.  Choose more than one or two news outlets, and certainly ones with some contrasting general political perspectives.  If we are to preserve our democracy we must become better informed. 

[For good worldwide vision, I look to the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal each with  divergent editorial bent, but each diligent in pursuit of facts.  The Times Herald gives me local news and perspective, with a USA Today focus on national and world news. The Drudge Report is a composite of news sources, tending conservative.  I watch and listen to NPR, Public Televisions PBS News Hour, and surf the other major TV networks news including Fox.  CBS’s 60 Minutes has merit.  Facebook and other such story spreaders are rarely to be trusted, unless they provide links to credible sources with fact checking content editors.  Electronic algorithms are no substitute for editors, providing only a bare minimum of oversight.]

Amid storming and looting the Capitol Building on January 6, pro-Trump rioters also attacked the press pool outside the building and destroyed their news gear. Photo by Michael Nigro--Getty Images

In our Catholic Church Jan 6th is recognized as the Feast of the Epiphany, when the Magi, kings of the world, came to pay homage to the Savior born in a stable—a humble place for the beginning of God’s birth into humanity.  This Jesus came to save us from our sins, teaching us that the truth, mercy, forgiveness, and loving our enemies is the way to eternal life.  The word epiphany means a revelation.

This past Jan 6th should also be a revealed warning.  If we continue to follow the leads of pride, greed, self-righteous hatred, and uninformed arrogance, we will ignore and miss the message of the newborn in the manger—that our true security and happiness comes from reconciling our differences, loving each other as God loves us unconditionally, despite the real difficulties of race, political party, or social class.  Blessed are the Peacemakers.   God does not discriminate, demands true justice, and is the healer of all pain. 

It’s time to put away our swords of division, conquer the pandemic, and share the good things we’ve been given with our neighbors, and the rest of the world.  Kings must bow before Truth, born in a stable.











Wednesday, November 25, 2020



ad, sad, that we have to watch President “in transition” Trump star as the Bamboozler in Chief sore loser in the Make Me Great Again post-election show.  God grant him the grace to exit to become an ex-president with some charitable character, perhaps even volunteering with Habitat for Humanity or at soup kitchens as others have done.  Use his billions to gainfully employ others in creative projects making life better those in need.  May his next national gig have as its theme and mission, “You’re Hired” not fired or dead from Covid – hiring to put some Americans to work for the common good, not personal profiteering forever padding one’s own wealth.

We should know by now there is danger in making a man with a mania for power and prestige our President.  May Mr. Trump be touched by the Sermon on the Mount.  This Thanksgiving I’ll be thankful for the arrival of a more presidential president—a man disposed to humility and truthfulness, difficult vital virtues for the job.  May God bless Joe Biden and make him faithful to the task.

Jesus healing the man born blind from birth.
May the blind no longer lead the blind
And the rest with vision have no excuse,
But to follow the lead of truth and justice, forgiveness and mercy.


From the conservative Wall Street Journal  Nov. 25, 2020

Illumination by Kathy Brahney

Monday, November 2, 2020

OUR SHIP OF STATE IN TROUBLE  -  illumination by Kathy Brahney

My article, Who to Choose, to Truly Respect Life? - as appears in the online Times Herald.

Monday, August 24, 2020


Reuters photo from the El Paso border detentions

Today I post updates to the immigration situation at our border, and how the Statue of Liberty has been turned on her head.   We close our gates and hearts to refugees at our own peril.  A gated community dies from within.  Joe Biden is not a perfect candidate, but read carefully the 8-24-20 Wall Street Journal article which contrasts his immigration stance against the current administration's policies that have appealed to racism and fear.

Joe Biden Would Likely Use a Familiar Tool—Executive Powers—to Reverse Trump Immigration Policies

And more links to articles with the details of the current immigration crisis --

Vulnerable Border Community Battles Virus on ‘A Straight Up Trajectory’ - The New

PBS video tells a difficult story.

Failed policies, even in their quest to be impervious.    After a Lull, the Number of Migrants Trying to Enter the U.S. Has Soared - The New York Times

Credit...Adriana Zehbrauskas for The New York Times

Hovering the cursor on a link turns it blue, and ready to go to the article indicated.

Monday, August 10, 2020


"The (nuclear) arms race is an utterly treacherous trap for humanity, and one which ensnares the poor to an intolerable degree.” 

- Second Vatican Council, Gaudium et Spes (The Church in the Modern World,) no. 81

Fr. Richard McSorley S.J., a respected Jesuit at Georgetown University, with whom my daughter Maura worked for a while there, wrote an article in 1977 Sojourners magazine,  "It is a Sin to Build a Nuclear Weapon."  Time is running out on our charge to heed his admonition, and free ourselves from these nuclear shackles, these occasions of mortal sin. There is renewed hope.

e've just past the 75th anniversary of the only, and devastating, uses of nuclear weapons in our world’s history thus far—Aug 6th and 9th in Japan.  Thanks be to God, and a good number of people’s common sense.  How much longer will political power hunger continue to subject us to the danger of mass self-destruction?  I hope you will spend some time with these references, and take action to support the initiatives that at minimum reinstate the treaties that now help hold back Armageddon.  and then further, to support the 2017 UN resolution [Treaty for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons] demands, ban all nuclear weapons, before resumed use ends life as we know it.  The Covid 19 pandemic is bad.  Nuclear war would be so much worse. 

A Pope Francis Holy Card

Pray and Act   --  Ora et Labora
What we can do to make a more peace filled future

The International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons, ICAN, won the Noble Peace Prize in 2017.  -- Join them..

A film to promote discussion - The Beginning of the End of Nuclear Weapons - {submitted by Marty         Habalewsky of our Blue Water Pax Christi group}

A video of Pope Francis' message that needs to be taken to heart, esp. here in the USA

Pope in Hiroshima: nuclear weapons are immoral

Current global status of UN nations' support for the Treaty for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons --two thirds. -- counting yet none of the world's nuclear weapons possessors.  

Don't let the world backslide on nuclear disarmament as our current administration intends - From the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops - Action Alert: Tell Your Members of Congress to Extend New START and Reduce the Nuclear Threat!

Illumination by Kathy Brahney

Hovering cursor on grey texts reveals links for click

Commemorate the 75 Years Since Nuclear Attacks: Tell Congress to Support Nuclear Nonproliferation.

Commemorate the 75 Years Since Nuclear Attacks: Tell Congress to Support Nuclear Nonproliferation.

Tuesday, August 4, 2020


When I was in 8th grade thinking of becoming a priest, I read a short book on the life of St. John Vianney, the Cure of Ars.  He was a simple parish priest in France, and a child at the time of the French revolution, who was a mediocre preacher, yet sought out by a multitude of pilgrims to his remote parish, for his compassion and advice in the confessional, and as a counselor.  He’d spend 12-16 hours a day giving absolution. 

That was all I knew of him, a good solid unassuming model for the priesthood.  Today I’ve learned on his feast day, that he was also a conscientious objector to war.  This wasn’t mentioned in the book, or any of the other articles I’ve read on him through the years.  Our Sunday Visitor [a national Catholic publication I’ve come to respect for its balance] has a short note on him as their saint of this week:  His studies were interrupted when he was drafted into the army to fight in the Napoleonic Wars.  Deserting, he returned home and when to Lyons seminary.

There are so many saints who’ve chosen to follow the way of Jesus out of the fog of war, “Put away the sword.”  We’re seldom told the full measure of their stories.  The duty of defending the countries of the world is redeemed by our God who comes to earth saving us by dying on a cross, rising  beyond all worldly kingdoms, defeating death by loving and forgiving the enemy.  Death is not the end.  Do you believe?  A young man, who was to become a small town priest in war torn France, visited by multitudes for his straight forward wisdom, knew the answer.

 More recent conscientious objectors

Jane Kopecky, author or "World War II Conscientious Objectors Germfask, Michigan, The Alcatraz Camp", next to the Camp Germfask CCC camp sign. (Photo: Susanne Barr

A recent article in Times Herald, and Detroit Free Press tells of a little known camp in the U.P. for conscientious objectors in WWII—and mentions there were 151 of these work camps throughout the country, with some 12,000 C.O.s interned.  

Sol Gadol, New York, hauls fuel wood into one of the buildings at the camp- Wood cutting was one of the important jobs at the camp- Photo Escanaba Daily Press handout.

Because of good example and encouragement by many, including a priest in a rural parish with farmers and migrant farmworkers, I became a C.O. during the Vietnam War. 

References   This is the usual biography, made more complete by the Our Sunday Visitor entry in their Aug. 2-8, 2020 issue.