A Time to Pause and Ponder

Fright provoking  news abounds these days. Some of it blatant, some of it highly subtle and invisibly demented. 

For one example, according a trustworthy and knowledgeable source, the pilot of  Flight 564 (Washington Times, September 19, 2001, Article ID: U00691730106), who received cheers of support from the passengers on his plane for bringing a "new standard of realism" to air-travel safety by encouraging them to take pro-active measures in the unlikely event of hostile moves to take-over the flight, is now "under investigation" by his employer who has, in a politically correct  PR move, chosen to vilify and discredit his clear-headed leadership as the result of "stress." 

Say what?????

I mean hey, let's gather up all the folks who encourage us to behave like thinking beings
and self-responsible adults and cart them off to the loony bin. After all, the KGB in Russia did stuff like that in the name of their "national security" for years... right???

But seriously, it is the proliferation of such mindless gobbledy- gook like this that frightens me more than any overt act of terrorism or war. I mean, I'd rather die "doing something" than live "doing nothing" and I had this rather sacred notion that, at baseline, this is what American liberty is (supposed to be?) all about.

The greatest danger we face right now is our own fear and the knee-jerk reactions propelled by it. So, since fear can only be abated by knowledge and knowledge can only be gained through study, application and the assimilation of ideas, I offer a list of links, provided courtesy of Share International Media Service, for you to indulge your own edification:

United Nations News  and PBS, re: Kofi Annan

Jimmy Carter

His Holiness the Dalai Lama

Mikhail Gorbachev

Nelson Mandela and PBS, re: Nelson Mandela

World Health Organization re: Dr. Gro Harlem Brundtland -- Director-General of the WHO and former prime minister of Norway

Benjamin Creme -- editor of Share International magazine

Susan George -- Associate Director of Transnational Institute, Amsterdam, and Vice President of ATTAC, France.

Hazel Henderson -- Development policy analyst, worldwide syndicated columnist, and author of eight books, including "Building a Win-Win World"

Mary Robinson -- U.N. High Commissioner on Human Rights and former president of Ireland.

Jeffrey Sachs, PhD -- Professor of International Trade and director of the Harvard Center for International Development

Mark Sommer -- Executive Director of the Mainstream Media Project in Berkeley, CA, and nationally-syndicated columnist 

State of the World Forum, re: Federico Mayor Zaragoza

Stockholm Peace Research Institute

With respect, my fellow Ameri-kins, consider the above an assignment. Think of it as homework for an ongoing and vitally important "World Studies" program. And yes, there will most likely be a pop quiz.

Now, getting back to our VBC homefront,  take a stroll through Holleyfest 2001 for a tantalizing and thought provoking taste of Ozark Mountain majesty.

 To The Editor:  The dove and scripture at the top of gozarks said what I have been thinking since this began. Right after what about all the poor children that will not see a parent tonight. Seeing more of this attitude as opposed to "They need to pay" makes me feel better. I hope the nation persists with the "we need  God back" in one nation under God. Take care have a good week.


To read the most recent batch of letters and commentaries on this subject, please click the following links:

September 18, 2002

The Deeper Wound
September 18, 2002

What Does Revenge Accomplish?
September 18, 2002

From Nelson....
September 18, 2002

Deep Feelings
September 18, 2002

Where Do We Go From Here?
September 18, 2002

We Are Waking Up!
September 19, 2001

And, in the interest of appropriate levity, without which we all would quite literally go insane, have a gander at this pass-along goodie, which came to us via Mary Alice....

The Physics of Hell

Dear Readers... Much has changed since my eldest  daughter, Patty,  phoned early Tuesday morning, saying "Mom, you better turn on the TV." The reeling whirlpool of nausea, anger and fright is subsiding. Grief, indignation and a resurgent sense of altruism are filling in. 

The emails coming from you since Tuesday reflect and engender these emotions. Calling for prayer vigils and pledging patriotism, they convey a common coming together. A dizzying like-minded kinship swirling around a black hole of hope and despair.

Like all of you, I am overwhelmed.  Terror, compassion, empathy, condolence... words fail to convey the utterance of my soul. But I find myself wanting for one thing more than anything else... That the lives unwittingly  surrendered to the tragedy will be revered and forever honored as the virtuous bedrock upon which the people of the world build everlasting peace.

In this interest, I share with you an exquisitely thoughtful letter to the editor which I and my family  wholeheartedly accord. Please click here.


For news on the aftermath of the  horrors in NY/DC, visit CNN.


VBC Ordinance 31, which would have permitted the purchase of the old Wal-Mart building on US 65 in Clinton for the proposed "new home" for county government offices, met with emphatic defeat last Tuesday. 

With roughly 29% of the county's registered voters going to the polls, the unofficial tabulation being reported by the VBC Clerk's Office is 812 for, and 2349 against. 

Also of local interest...

At long last... the Fairfield Bay News has returned to Gozarks pages. And just to be totally honest about this, they've actually been with us for quite some time. However... 

Back in March some technical difficulties caused them to stop doing updates temporarily. Then, as business things sometimes happen, an old editor left and a new editor came on board. During this  transition process, new postings to their Website had to be temporarily put on hold. 

Thankfully, however, all this is now history. The News is back and better than ever. In addition to an expanded selection of weekly news and  feature stories (with photos) and their "speak your mind" forum board, you'll now find their Classified Ads and Church Directory online, too!!! 

So, what are you waiting for? Scoot on over there and give The News a read. You'll always find a link to their Website in our left index column (under "Community News," of course), but to make it even easier on you this time, just click here


This little mushroom caught my daughter's eye. It stuck its head up from the middle of nowhere to greet the kiss of dawn, then quickly shriveled in the full light of day. 

Mushrooms are funny creatures. Did you know that, according to some folks,  the largest living thing in the world is a mushroom? The below-ground connectivity of the plant can be acres long and wide.

And I say "below ground connectivity" rather than "root system" because mushrooms are actually "fungi" and, technically speaking, they don't have "roots." But  like an iceberg, they have a whole lot more going on below the surface than above it. 

The part that we see is actually the reproductive portion of a somewhat vast subterranean body, making the mushroom something like what an apple is to an apple  tree. And in Kansas's flatlands, Colorado's alpine meadows, and around the ruins of England's Stonehenge, some mushroom plots (which are called "fairy rings") date back 400-650 years.


This all got me thinking about how much of life really happens at the "subterranean" level... below, beyond and outside of our "conscious" attention. And that we are, each of us, very much like a pretty little mushroom: Dependent upon a kind of pervasive yet unseen connectivity that lives and grows without us ever really thinking about its existence, yet at the same time enabling that connectivity to exist by and through every action we take. 


Anyway, this all seemed somehow to tie-in to an email pass-along I received, titled "A Reason, A Season, or A Lifetime." If you've never read this friendly note, just click here.

Now, as usual, I've got to mosey. But not before I again say thanks...

Thanks to all you wonderful readers and for the warm-fuzzy emails you send me. Truly it gladdens my heart to know you find the stuff on these pages useful and uplifting. 

Thanks to all our feature columnists. Your well turned  words and phrases are what make this publication great.

And thanks, most of all, to my family... for refilling my coffee cup, fixing my lunch, and otherwise tending our homefront so that I can sit here at these computer keys and share this little e-zine with all the rest of you. 

Christine Weiss

(Hey! Come visit us at SassafrasWilds!)

Special Feature
The Darkenings
 by Herschel Raney
"It was not an act of war. It was a sideshow of inhumanity. An inhumanity that takes the pins out from under your legs."


Click Here
for results of 
VBC Public Schools Elections
September 18, 2001


Great Family Project!!!  Learn how to build a model of a geodesic dome with instructions provided by:


Surf our pages!