Arms And The Man

by Richard Kovac

I want to tell the powers that be that I'm harmless, that I was and am entranced by the 1953 Studebaker and Mickey Mantle, am crazy about pretty young women - including my own wife - and have nothing terribly bad to say about mom, apple pie, or the constitution.

But they will not believe me because I stand in firm opposition to the military state. I have gone on record as saying we should cut our "defense" spending to ten percent of its current incredible amount.

We spend more on weapons of war than all the other nations on the planet put together. I do not know if we are preparing for an invasion from outer space. Maybe. Because otherwise our rate of spending for the military is absurd. Not to mention criminal and insane.

I know I have a hefty subversive file for things going back to the sixties, and have made it easy for detractors to sneer at my avowals of non-violence with my own lapses. But nevertheless, forty years later, I oppose the barbaric mess in Iraq as much as I opposed Vietnam.

From my experience there is an equal and opposite push back when you oppose war and violence (including abortion). There are forces inimical to utopia loose in our world (witness Rwanda) - what a primitive Christian would have called "demonic" forces! Don't you secretly agree with me that the Third Reich and Stalin's Soviet Union were demoniacally controlled?

Before you write this off as coming from the lunatic fringe, consider how irrational war with its body counts as a way of deciding who is right. Such decisions - whoever kills more is correct - are blatantly more lunatic than me.

War (and killing generally) is not a sensible way to resolve disputes. This seems obvious to me, and I think most Vulcans would come to concur, but we are creatures of erratic but persistent emotion. We kill (and war) in a white heat, and decide centuries later it was stupid.

I say our lack of rapport with our fellow humans has intrinsic and extrinsic causes. The intrinsic cause is our close relationship with the dumb brutes, from whom we are supposed to be evolving into "gods". The extrinsic cause is "evil spirits" who assault us in our ascent to some semblance of divinity. You may think this is insane.

I know you would rather like me to talk about baseball. Maybe sometime.

Yogi Berra is another Guru, and I followed Casey Stengel from the Yankees to the dismal Mets (until 1969). I mourned the death of Billy Martin. In short, I am just like you, except that I realize we in this country now have enough nuclear weapons to destroy mankind. I think this should not happen, and am of such a persuasion that I believe only hitching on to Jesus - quite pragmatically - is our only recourse to survive.

Reggie Jackson played in the last Yankee game I saw in person. I was with people from work in 1981. The last minor league game I saw was in Wausau ten years ago (the Wausau Timbers), here in Wisconsin, with my wife and daughter. Admittedly, it has been too long since I have indulged what was once, along with science fiction, a passion which distracted me out of medical school.

My point is this: if baseball is to survive, the earth must survive. And if the earth is to survive, we must immediately turn our swords into plowshares and our spears into pruning hooks. This is not impossible. Work for it, even if it costs you the compliment of landing on somebody or other's subversive list.

Make love not war.
Live and let live.

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