To the editor:
The Law of Karma is a real law and comes in many forms. There is personal Karma, as well as National Karma. The Christians have put this simply as: What you sow, so shall you reap. Well this is the basic teaching of the Law of Karma. The citizens of the United States are now finding out what National Karma is.
This country was built on the genocide of it's original inhabitants, the Native Americans. Many of the Native Americans were ripped from their homes, butchered in their sleep, shot down like dogs. The biggest example of the brutality done to the Native Americans is the Trail of Tears, the forced relocation of the Cherokee tribe from their original lands in the south to the reservation in Oklahoma. Why did this evil happen? Because white man found a little gold in Dolenegha Georgia and decided in their greed there had to be more gold on the Cherokee lands and because the Cherokee would not give them their lands of their ancestors, the whites took it from them through our own government. On that forced march, in the dead of winter, 4,000 Native Americans, mostly children and the old, died on this trail. Most did not even have shoes on their feet and barely had a thin blanket to protect them from the bitter cold. They were rounded up in the middle of the night at rifle and bayonette point, herded into forts then marched 1,000 miles in the winter time. The reason it is caled the Trail of Tears is from the mothers who cried over the loss of their children and the humiliation they faced on this forced march. Their lands were stolen from them. Plain and simple, this country was founded on the blood of the genocide of the original inhabitants by the white man.
It was built on the backs of slaves, Africans and Chinese, and others whose brutal lives we were responsible for creating. Again, ripped from their homelands, treated worse than animals, thought of as non-human, they were exploited, beaten, and murdered when they sought to escape, to build this country and make white man rich. We even fought a bloody war to free them, yet even to this day, there are still those who believed we were right in having slaves.
The United States has a rich history of brutality, death, murder and mayhem. Look at the days of the Wild West. Now we are the war mongers, the torturers, the murderers. We invade other countries on false pretenses, but the basic truth is, it was done to protect the rich and the oil.
We send drones to kill people and in the process we kill innocent children, women and others, is this no wonder why we Americans are hated by some? We have men in Gitmo, who have been there for at least a decade, tortured, without any hope of having even a hearing about the charges leveled against them. Many do not even have charges against them and we call ourselves a system of law and justice? Many of them are there from what I understand, are not even guilty of crimes really, they are there because of "guilt by association" or because they happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. This does not mean we should not go after those who commit terroristic acts, but we are supposedly a nation based on a system of laws and justice and as such, we also must apply these same laws to those men, or they should not apply to anyone.
Again, we declare ourselves a nation of laws, that we are the true purveyors of truth, justice, equal rights, and protector of the weak and defenseless. This is just nothing more than a smoke screen actually. The United States has committed atrocities against others that are too numerous to count, but we claim we are innocent. Or that it was all done in the interests of national security.
Well Karma states that what ever you do, comes back to you. We are in a sense seeing this today. We built this nation on the blood of others, on the genocide of others and now we are reaping what we have sown. The innocent blood of millions are still screaming out for justice for what was done to them in the name of the white man and his system of invasion, decimation of the inhabitants, the rape of the land for their own gain and the true god they worship, the god of money and greed.
Well again, we are getting what we deserve. A nation founded on the blood of others demand we lose our own blood in repayment of our Karmic National Debt.
We as a nation spilled too damn much innocent blood. Now the innocents of our families are the ones who are paying for it and it is now we who are weeping for our slaughtered children just like the Native Americans and the slaves did. We now weep for the horror that we see each and every day, same as the Natives and slaves did when they faced daily horrors brought to them by the white man. A nation built on the blood of others, eventually comes home to roost. A nation built on slaughter must also face their own slaughters. Our children are being slaughter because we once slaughtered innocent children ourselves.
I remember reading how brave soldiers, to save bullets, would instead smash the heads of children and babies. I remember reading how to save bullets, soldiers would run through as many women as they could with their bayonettes. I remember reading that again to save bullets, they would make sure they could shoot two or three running old native men and women. Amazing isn't it? These same exact things are now coming back againt our nation?
We are now paying for our National Karmic Debt. Remember, as you sow, so shall you reap.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 23 April 2013 17:52
A shot rang out on this day. Who fired the shot has never been determined of a certainty. It may have been a red-coated British regular disobeying an order to hold his fire, or it may have been an overly nervous Massachusetts militiaman reacting to the steady advance of a highly disciplined unit of a world-class army. Regardless of who fired it, it would be forever known as the “shot heard ‘round the world.”
That first shot was fired on the 19th of April 1775, a day that in years to come would become known as Patriot’s Day. It would be remembered as the day of the first battle of the war for America’s independence from Great Britain.
Patriot’s Day became a day of great celebration for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Appropriately enough, the running of a marathon was added to the day’s events in 1897, one year after the race made its first appearance in the summer Olympics of 1896. The race was named for the effort of an Athenian soldier named Pheidippides, who made the physically taxing run from Marathon to Athens to bring news of the Athenians great victory over the invading Persians in 460 B.C. How appropriate it is then for a marathon to be run in Boston on this day!
Thousands now run in the Boston Marathon, training for months, even years, to make the effort. Most of them do so knowing full well that the victor’s spoils of actually winning the race will not be theirs. That is not why they run. Some run to challenge themselves. Some run in honor or remembrance of a loved one. Some run on behalf of a worthy cause. As sports writer Gerry Callahan wrote in this past Tuesday’s “Boston Herald,” it is these runners, those who give everything they have in the 26-mile effort to simply cross the finish line, who are the true winners of the race.
This past Monday, though, on a day that was said to be a perfect day for running, an act of unconscionable evil shattered the joy of the day and the lives of over 170 human beings, three of whom died in the bomb blasts, and dozens of whom had limbs torn from their bodies.
The venerable race will go on, we are told. Another marathon will be held in 2014. But the race will never be quite the same again. The specter of yet another day that will live in infamy will forever loom over the historic city. The bomber or bombers have seen to that.
Acts of unconscionable evil are always with us. Acts of terror occur on an almost daily basis. Man’s inhumanity toward his fellow man has a long history. From the beginning of time of which we have record, we have never ceased to kill, maim, torture, or destroy. Acts of violence are never far away. It does not matter where we live, whom we may know, what sort of work we may do, or at what we may play, a swift and sudden act of evil can bring our days to a horrifying end.
As I write this, the bomber or bombers have yet to be identified, although from the reports in the morning newspapers, the search is narrowing. Perhaps by the time you read this, an arrest or two will have been made.
There are the expected calls for the perpetrator or perpetrators to be given the death penalty. Vengeance is always the popular response and will almost certainly be applied in this case. But such a sentence will not end the killings and the wanton acts of destruction that take place on an almost daily basis in this country and around the world. Retribution may provide us with some sense of satisfaction, but it will not stop anyone else from committing another act of violence. Violence begets violence. It always has and it always will.
We go on with our lives. We have to. Short of committing suicide, there is no other choice. Perhaps, however, we will awaken each day with a different perspective on our lives. Perhaps we will be moved to learn to see more clearly, hear more distinctly, embrace more ardently, and give of ourselves more freely. Perhaps we will be moved to make our little corner of the world a little better than we found it. That would be the truest way to honor the victims of Monday’s horrific event.
Last Updated on Thursday, 18 April 2013 16:17
In my seventh decade of this great journey called life, volunteering has become my newest “occupation.” I can’t begin to tell you what joy this has brought me. I have made new friends, increased my social and relationship skills, and boosted my self-confidence. Volunteering has also helped me stay physically healthy, and has added so much fun and fulfillment to my life. And, it can happen to you! The great humorist, Erma Bombeck, once said, “Volunteers are the only human beings on the face of the earth who reflect this nation’s compassion, unselfish caring, patience, and just plain love of one another.”
Volunteering gives you an opportunity to make a difference in people’s lives. Using your skills and experience will not only help, but also enrich our community. And, you don’t have to be retired to volunteer. Volunteering can give you a chance to get experience in a field in which you would like to work. Many volunteer projects will include training, which will be useful both in the present and later in life. It can also give you an opportunity to test potential career choices.
Although there are many agencies in our community that can use more volunteers, there is one in particular that is in need of your help. RESPONSE to Sexual and Domestic Violence, a part of Coos County Family Health Services, helps victims living in an abusive situation. It helps victims discuss options, provides shelter and legal referrals, or as just a listening ear. RESPONSE also provides medical advocacy, support groups, information, referrals and crisis intervention.
Because of recent federal and state cutbacks, RESPONSE has had to reduce its number of staff, yet the need for its services has only been increasing. In 2012 RESPONSE served 899 clients, a 20% increase from 2011, and a 54% increase from 2010. With offices in Berlin, Colebrook and Lancaster, there are now only four paid staff members covering all three sites. It relies on volunteers to fill in where needed.
To be a volunteer for RESPONSE, one must undergo 40 hours of training. Although that may sound daunting, it really isn’t. Training can be held in the evenings or on weekends, depending on the availability of the volunteers. The group I trained with met on weekends, and I found the training informative, interesting and fun! Currently one of my volunteer responsibilities is as a crisis line volunteer; I am on call one evening a week – right from my own home.
The crisis line is just one of the many opportunities for RESPONSE volunteers. Another area of need for volunteers is as a direct service advocate. This involves responding to requests for in-person victim services, explaining legal rights and process to victims and families, providing emotional support and providing follow-up contact. An advocate might accompany a victim of sexual or domestic violence to court, or provide emotional support at the hospital.
Every volunteer direct service advocate at RESPONSE has staff back-up. Volunteers also attend various meetings throughout the year and have the opportunity to attend state-wide conferences. Some of the many benefits of volunteering at RESPONSE include working on a team dedicated to family safety, building your own skills, and knowing that you are making a difference. All RESPONSE asks in return is that the volunteer have good listening skills, is compassionate, committed to violence prevention and willing to learn court process. To learn more about volunteering at RESPONSE, call 752-5679.
The rewards of volunteering can best be summed up by a quotation from Ralph Waldo Emerson: “It is one of the most beautiful compensations of life, that no man can sincerely help another without helping himself.”
Now that I do know “what I want to be when I grow up,” I can proudly say, “I am a volunteer.”
Last Updated on Monday, 22 April 2013 18:05
Last Updated on Thursday, 18 April 2013 16:28
In 1876, the Reverend A. J. Benedict of Gorham began to hold services in Berlin. In that year, he invited the citizens to meet with him at the Berlin Mills Hall (across from today’s Brown Company House), to consider the organization of a Congregational Church. With this, there was established the first religious organization in town.
This new society had 23 chapter members and through their fervent efforts it grew rapidly. On November 22, 1877, the council of the Congregational Churches of Lancaster, Gorham, New Hampshire and Bethel, Gilead, Oxford, Rumford, Andover, South Paris, Lewiston and Portland Maine, voted “that persons in Berlin examined be formed into a church upon the submitted articles of faith”. This was the first regular organized church of which there is any record in this city.
On Sunday and Monday, November 21 and 22, 1897, a celebration for the 20th anniversary was held, with then pastor J. B. Carruthers giving an historical address. That building, although not in use as a church anymore, is now 131 years old.
On Saturday, December 11, Berlin's newest store called Wertheim’s had its grand opening and all roads lead there. Many of these roads were filled with people bound for the end of the route and that was to see this new establishment.
A short description of this event that took place was written in the headlines of both local papers. The arrangement of the stock was very attractive and the display of flowers, arches, evergreens and decorations, together with the music furnished by Burnham and Barney’s orchestra made an event that between 3,000 to 4,000 people remembered for a long time.
The reporter for this event took his place at 7:45 p.m. in the throng of people that gathered for this occasion on the corner of Main and Mason streets.
Entering the store on the left, his attention was drawn to the dry goods department. It was composed of four rows of shelving, 44 feet in length. A cashier's desk, raised slightly from the floor, commanded a view of the whole store.
Following along the same side, there was a fine 12 x 8' case for ladies garments. Across one side of the rear on the left of the back floor was a fine millinery case with French plate glass sliding doors.
The boot and shoe department was in the center of the rear part with a gentleman's department on one side and ladies on the other. There were many other features in this great store that amazed the throng of people on the opening night.
Something that I never heard of before was that on this special night, people could only see the store and greet the owner, Mr. Wertheim and his wife. There was a man, Maurice Auerbach, in a full dress suit who stood guard at the left entrance informing would-be purchasers that there was be no sales during this grand opening preview.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 17 April 2013 17:34