Friday, April 29, 2022

Today is Arbor Day 2022

It most certainly is and I look forward to it each year. I’ve been a supporter of the Arbor Day Foundation for years and it’s one of the things I do each year — more often than that, actually — that I look forward to with anticipation and excitement.

To learn more about the work of the Arbor Day Foundation, follow this link.

It’s well known that our Planet is in dire straits now and has been for a long time. And although we can’t pursue only one or two courses of action to help her in her time of urgent need, the planting of more trees is one very good action we can easily take.

Planting or helping to plant a tree today would be a wonderful thing to do. Contribution to an org like the ADF would be marvelous.

Watering, pruning or otherwise caring for a tree in your corner of our Planet would be, as well.

Best of all is to cultivate the habit of taking these actions all through the year.

“Bulldog Ben” Basile

© 2022 Ben Lawrence Basile

Sunday, April 10, 2022

The Struggle Against Rising Authoritarianism

It's no surprise that so much of the World's attention is focused on the war in Ukraine right now. It's a very big deal and it would be shocking if it were not receiving so much coverage and attention.

The Ukrainians continue to fare way better in their campaign to thwart putin's attempts to murder their Nation, snuff out their identity and culture and re-assimilate them than anyone could have predicted. It's the silver lining in the horribly dark cloud of rising Authoritarian and Nationalist movements everywhere. 

Although the outcome is far from clear, the Ukrainians have a good shot at thwarting putin and preserving their democracy.

There are a dozen Nations or more where ultra-nationalist movements and governments are threatening their citizens' liberties and trying to consolidate power. Power with none of that pesky "messiness" that comes with people choosing their leaders in free and fair elections. Turkey, Hungary and Brazil come to mind. 

And now France is looking very vulnerable to their own home-grown Nationalist and far-right movements. Marine Le Pen has tried hard to overhaul her party's extremist image and at this writing, stands a good chance to send France's Centrist Premier, Emmanuel Macron, home and institute a right-wing government in France.

Here in the US, trump's cult followers, White Supremacists and Neo-Fascists are gaining strength. The fight to preserve our democracy in the face of their assault is very daunting and we're losing ground, truth be told. 

These threats to democratic institutions in so many places are very serious, whether or not they're accompanied by an actual armed invasion. The crisis in Ukraine is merely the most tragic and sensational example of a widespread problem.

Sad to say, there are no easy solutions on the horizon for those of us who're are committed to the efforts to defend and preserve democracy.

There is only recommitting ourselves to the work. The work of truth-telling, of organizing, voting, community building, and staying engaged in the fight.

"Bulldog Ben" Basile

© 2022 Ben Lawrence Basile