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Restoring Sanity on the Washington Mall November 1, 2010

Posted by makingyourdashcount in intolerance, legislation, Ohio Politics, politics, Thoughts.
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“No problem, I am trying to quit, anyway.”  That response after a woman in line politely asked  the man in front of her to put out a cigarette was indicative of the experience at Comedy Central’s Rally for Sanity and/or Fear.  Young and old, probably more liberal than conservative, but as Jon Stewart pointed out “all with disposable income,” gathered on Washington’s Mall this weekend to… well, gather. We crammed onto the morning’s first metro train to get to the mall early enough to get a decent spot.  No problem.  We will get coffee and food once we get there. (Mistake)

Metaphoric sardines in a too small can, we got a great spot, in the second public section, by the Museum of the American Indian. The draw to DC to stop the bickering and shouting and have some intelligent civil conversation was a strong one for many.  Although the “official” estimate of the crowd was 215,000, the Washington Post reported

(DC) Metro officials said a new Saturday ridership record was set, with 825,437 trips taken. The average number of trips taken on a Saturday is about 350,000.

Hanging around the stage the day before, workers said that they planned for 150,000.  The permit was for 60,000, however the streets leading to the rally were filled with people who never got in, because there were just too many people. Gathered. For reasonableness.

I really did not have any expectations of this rally.  I knew it would be fun and entertaining;  it was Comedy Central.  It was not political, although there were smatterings of anti-teaparty and anti-CNN/MSNBC/FOX/ and even NPR news signs.  Peoples’ presence seemed to say,

We want our elected leaders to talk to each other to figure out solutions to our problems. There is middle ground on all issues; can’t we just find them?  And not yell?

Perhaps the root cause of this frustration is that we think we are electing leaders.  However to get reelected the politicians have to pander to groups who will financially support their next campaigns. To get re-elected politicians have to demonize their opponents because our society has become black and white with no one willing to commit to shades of grey until they are in their final term of office. Governance requires listening, consideration and compromise : all of which are missing from American politics.  Discussion means tuning out the 24 hours news talking heads and their name calling.

The signs seen at the rally seemed to reflect the desire to look past the emotional rhetoric, discuss facts and then work together to draw conclusions and make decisions.

Someone asked me how this rally compared to a rally that I attended in 2004 on the mall that was decidedly political.  My answer?  That one was empowering, it showed me the amplification of one voice when joined in harmony with others.  This rally?  It was reassuring.  I know that I can now sleep better tonight knowing that I stood with thousands of others for dialogue, that I am not the only one whose head feels ready to explode in this era of acerbic commentary and rash generalizations.  At the very least, it let me escape the cavalcade of meanness masquerading as politics until I vote on Tuesday.

As Jon Stewart mused,

If you amplify everything, no one hears anything.

It’s time for America to open her ears.

Postscript:

  1. Comedy Central:  next time plan for more people.    AND, instant coffee??    What were you thinking?  Ugh.
  2. There were lots of Ohioans there.  Wonder why.
  3. Of the thousands of people at the rally, I happened to stand in line for coffee with two women. Of these two friends, one grew up in Westerville, Ohio where I now live and the other knew someone that I did in her hometown of Casco, ME where I spent my childhood summers.  It is a small moderate world.

(Metro Statistics)  Maria Glod and Chris L. Jenkins, Malfunctioning escalator injures 4 at L’Enfant Plaza station ,Washington Post Staff Writers Sunday, October 31, 2010; 7:45 PM

Kenneth Krause- a daughter in law’s eulogy March 4, 2009

Posted by makingyourdashcount in Air Force, Life Journey, Mankato, memorials, Thoughts, Uncategorized.
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My father in law, Kenneth William Frederick Krause, died last week at 87 and was buried on Friday. For whatever reason there was no eulogy read at his funeral. No one spoke about Kenneth the man. However, of all the people I have ever known in my life, I feel as though his life is one of the most deserving to be celebrated. Consider this entry a daughter in law’s loving last gift to a father in law she cared for dearly. If you happen upon this and you knew Ken Krause, please add your thoughts and musings.

After reading my father in laws obituary, one of my friends asked: He was very Christian, very military and very republican, how did John EVER bring you home? This statement made me laugh, because on the surface, one could think that. But what the obituary did not mention is what a loving, accepting and giving person my father in law was.

He never wore his religion on his shirtsleeve; he lived it. He had a quiet faith that helped him through difficult things in his life and trust me he had his fair share. He was shot down over Burma in WWII, he nursed John’s mother through sickness before losing her to cancer, and he held my mother in law’s hand over the past many years as she has battled multiple melanoma. Through their health challenges and his he kept a quiet faith in God (and their doctors.) He never thrust his religion upon me or his grandchildren. Instead he embraced our lifecycle events joining us in them when he could. I never felt that he had anything but respect for the religion we followed; I think he just saw it as one different from his own: not better, not worse, just different.

Kenneth Krause loved life and lived it to the fullest. A self made man whose highest degree was a high school diploma, one of his greatest prides in life was that both of his sons hold graduate degrees. Even with many of his own, he was proudest of his sons’ achievements.
He was instrumental in everything aviation in Mankato, MN from serving on the airport commission to mentoring dozens of young men through participation in the Civil Air Patrol. He was a member of CAP for 62 years, serving as Commander for several of those. I flew with him one time, not really realizing his experience with aircraft.

As a young pilot in the Air Force, Kenneth flew C-47 cargo planes on a route known as “flying the hump.” He flew the treacherous 530 mile route through the Himalayas 72 times, a route that claimed 600 planes and 1,000 men. His plane was shot down and he was wounded on one of his passes through Burma. As he put it shortly before he died, it took one hour to fly in and 9 days to hike out. His tenure in the China Burma India war theater ended with a barrage of medals and honors He earned Distinguished Flying Crosses for service beyond the call of duty, four Bronze Stars and Air Medals, the Purple Heart, numerous theatre ribbons, and the Chinese Air Force Pilot Wings. I can’t even imagine what that must have been like. My husband, John, said that Kenneth didn’t really talk about his experiences in the war until John was an adult. And he did not dwell on them. I suppose that time is needed to temper many of the unseen wounds.

As one of his friends, who just happened to be a Democrat, said to me at the visitation,

“I may not have agreed with many of Ken’s views, but of all people, he surely earned the right to have them.”

So true. He was very active in Minnesota’s Republican Party; he bled republican. Think about it. It surely takes a man of conviction and tough skin to be as republican as my father in law was, in Minnesota! He worked as the campaign manager for Sal Frederick, Minnesota State Senator, who subsequently became a lifelong friend. Ken Krause became friends with just about everyone he met.

He regularly met old friends for coffee. In fact, one of his local longtime haunts, The Wagon Wheel Café, sent along a coffee cup to the funeral. Friends told us of practical jokes and good natured fun. He also took great pride in never missing Rotary meetings. Rotary was a huge part of his life and his many friendships. If he had any regrets in life it would be that neither of his sons are pilots and neither are in Rotary. He gained so much through the relationships grown there; he felt that his sons were missing out on a huge life opportunity. There is no question that Kenneth Krause was loyal to the friends fortunate enough to have him in their lives.

He was loyal to Standard Oil, his long time employer, which then became Amoco which was then purchased by BP. No other gasoline went into his lifetime of Fords and Lincolns. When Kenneth Krause believed in something or someone, there was no standing in his way. But through it all, he always kept a sharp wit. Even in his final days, Ken made fun of my political beliefs with humor and filled the room with stories and jokes.

From the time I first met him, my father in law felt bigger than life to me. He has left his mark on my heart and the hearts of his many grandchildren. He will be missed.

A tribute from CAP