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Last Chance to Submit

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The submissions period for our 2018 issue of Sin Fronteras Journal (#22) ends in one week, on Friday, June 30 (by 12:00 midnight, mountain time, to our email, or postmarked on June 30 for snail mail.

If you’ve been thinking about sending us something now is the time to act.

See the Submissions page at http://www.sinfronterasjournal.com for instructions on what and how.  We’ve seen some good material coming in, but we are eager for more.

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Summertime

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The local tv station which we watch for the weather has been doing a countdown until summer.  Whoever decided summer starts with the solstice either lived in the north or was an astrologer who only went out at night.  That reckoning makes no sense in the southwestern desert.  School wound up in May and will begin again in August.  100 degree days are already appearing.

John Emerson Roberts took four months off, from early June to the first of October.   It was a point of honor for him that he returned to the farm each year.  In fact, he considered returning to the farm a cure for much of what was ailing society, including high prices.  In 1916 he said,

JERB. . . the farm is being made more unattractive to boys and girls by the reformers who would even prohibit billiard balls and bowling alleys.  We have to get down to the fundamental thing and have got to make the farm laborer’s life more attractive, as the experiment stations and agricultural universities are trying to do.

“Men and women must be persuaded to see that the only life in on the soil,” Roberts said.  But all he could promise was that “they will have the consciousness of living their own way.”

Roberts was able to live his own way by lecturing eight months of the year, and leaving town for four.  Kansas City must have been pretty uncomfortable in summer’s heat.  Who would relish getting dressed up for a lecture at 11:00 a.m. on a July Sunday morning?  It was good business to close for the season.

I write in comfort thanks to my swamp cooler.  Air conditioning has spoiled us. Yet even air-conditioned churches find that attendance, and therefore receipts, go down in the summer.

So much has, and so much has not, changed in 100 years.

Photo and Poem

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Actually, the poem came first.  The photo is an illustration.  It shows approximately the view through the window by my desk, which inspired the poem.

P1000959

Rest

Rock walls bound my back yard,
the gray of weathered wood
or a sensible suit, the no-color
of dust on the long disused.
At first, planting my garden,
I thought the walls dull, conceived
a plan to paint their flat stones
southwest yellow or Mexican red.

My limited skill prevented me
from adding such loud color.
The company of a young tree,
tall grasses, suits this border;
I’d have ruined a place of rest,
the calm of gray without pretense.

 

Freethought Giveaway on Goodreads

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The Biography

On June 9, 1897. John Emerson Roberts left the Unitarians to join the freethought movement, founding his own Sunday lecture program called “The Church of this World.”  In honor of the 120th anniversary of that event, I am offering two copies of John Emerson Roberts: Kansas City’s “Up-to-date” Freethought Preacher in a Goodreads Giveaway, now until June 9.

Here’s the link:

https://www.goodreads.com/giveaway/show/238082-john-emerson-roberts-kansas-city-s-up-to-date-freethought-preacher

If you don’t win, you can buy a copy via the Books page here at http://www.freethoughtandmetaphor.com

Business Opportunity: What Business?

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Was it WordPress?  Somebody has put together blog names with the owner’s address and sold the list.  I am now receiving junk mail addressed to Freethoughtandmetaphor.com.  Sometimes the . is missing.

So far it’s about banking.  I can offer my employees a business American Express card.  I surely need a Square to “accept every way your customers want to pay. ” At first I wondered if the credit card company was behind this.  But why would a banking company offer such a list to their competitors?

I don’t know how many blogs actually represent businesses.  It’s only been a small percentage of what I’ve run across.  To me this seems to be an example of corporate-thinking overreach and waste.  Even the gremlins we picture lurking in our big social systems should have more sense than this!

I know a little about buying mailing lists from working for non-profits.  Somebody made some money selling what looks like a very unproductive list.  What made the buyers gullible?  People who need business credit cards can afford real websites, not WordPress blogs.

Is John Emerson Roberts becoming more relevant?

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There has been a rise in visits to my face book page for John Emerson Roberts: Kansas City’s “Up-to-date” Freethought Preacher.  I’d like to think that there is a new yearning for JERBreason and its positive effects in the current political climate.  This is not to say that Roberts has any real answers for us.

In l898, Roberts said: ““Deeper upon enlightened minds grows the conviction that progress is the world’s supreme law. To contribute to that progress, to obey that law, is the cosmic business of everyone and of everything that is.”

He doesn’t tell us what to do about the fact that so many people are shirking this responsibility.

Many, of course, have not been trained for it.  I heard today that New Mexico now ranks 50th in education among the United States.  There is much work to be done.

One Day in Spring

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Not just on one day, but on one trip into the yard with the camera this past week, these different flowers all smiled at me, asking to have their picture taken.

P1000957Purple mat is a small flower which, this year, is here, there and everywhere in my yard, after some years of scarcity.

P1000954The iris came with the house.  That is, a few flat leaves showed up in unexpected places.  I’ve transplanted and fed them.  They seem to like being against the wall.  They take much more work than native flowers, and don’t last as long, but they were an accidental gift, so I keep caring for them.

P1000955No, these are not the same poppies I’ve shown before.  It’s a good year for them, they keep appearing in new spots.

With so little to smile at on the news these days, it’s a good thing we still have flowers.

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