Thursday, October 28, 2010

Along the Androscoggin River in the 1970's

The Androscoggin River Flows between Lewiston (Eastern Shore) and Auburn (Western Shore) ... 06/1973
I came across this fascinating collection of pictures of the Lewiston/Auburn Maine area going all the way to the source of the Androscoggin river in New Hampshire. The pictures were taken by Charles Steinhacker for the EPA. At this time, 1973, the struggle was on to clean up the river, which had endured almost a century of industrial and municipal waste. The pulp mills deposited all their waste directly into the river. The towns along the shore did the same. The smell of the river was legendary.
At this time the Clean Water Act had just been passed with high hopes. It would take many years, but the river would eventually be restored. I was a student at Lewiston High School at the and remember the time and the issues well.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Christian America and the Kingdom of God

It's not often that we get authors visiting at Mont Alto. Yesterday I attended the presentation of Richard T. Hughes, the author of Christian America and the Kingdom of God and a large number of other books on religious topics. Hughes is a professor at Messiah College.

The subject of the talk was how the religious right has misrepresented the true meaning of the Gospel in their effort to make the USA turn back to God and proclaim itself a Christian nation. Hughes showed that although the nation was founded with a strong Judeo-Christian influence, the founding fathers never intended to establish a state religion. They knew too well the problems that had caused in Europe. Instead, they wanted a secular society where all religions would be respected.

Hughes touched on periods where fundamentalist leaders had tried to convince the country to accept their point of view. In the second Great Awakening in the first part of the nineteenth century their message included the plea for social justice that brought about many social reforms and led to the emancipation movement. In the fundamentalist movement in the early twentieth century they ignored social justice entirely. And in the fundamentalist movement that began after the 1960's they reject all claims of social justice that are found in the Bible.

According to Hughes, these lies are causing great harm to our country and leading to the political polarization that we have today. I thought his argument made a lot of sense. The fact that he is a strong Christian himself makes his argument even stronger. He is fighting from within, so to speak. I am eager to read the whole book. I was glad to get an autographed copy.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Bridge on a Sunday

I made this picture on a Sunday morning with the sun in the tree's crown. I liked the effect.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

George Washington

While on a business trip last week I picked up the new George Washington biography by Ron Chernow. I had previously read his biography of John D. Rockefeller. I really enjoyed it! I have gotten as far as the end of the French and Indian War. The account of Washington as a young man has been very revealing. I didn’t realize that Washington was so ambitious. He never hesitated to grab the advantage. I look forward to reading the rest of the story.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

John Lennon, numerology, and 10/10/10

This past Saturday was the seventieth anniversary of the birth of John Lennon. I heard a really fascinating interview on Weekend Edition Saturday with David Sheff, the journalist who interviewed John and Yoko for Playboy weeks before he was murdered. (I think I read that interview when it first came out.) Anyway, Sheff was a young man of 24 who had pursued the Lennons for months before they agreed to the interviewed. It seemed that his birthday was the ninth, the same as John's. This numerical connection convinced her the interview was a good idea.
Today is 10/10/2010, which is supposed to be a lucky day, and auspicious day according to numerology. I heard a numerologist interviewed on the BBC this morning. She described several other important connections in other cultures, where 10 is lucky. 
It's weird that people persist in looking for patterns of meaning in numbers. Yet, there is an infinite number of patterns in the numbers, any one of which could mean something, maybe the meaning of the universe.