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It was fantastic to attend Peter Yarrow’s benefit concert here in Corvallis. Peter had co-authored a song that reminded me of an American folk singer and social activist, Pete Seeger.

One that came to mind (not the one co-authored with Paul) was “Waist Deep in the Big Muddy.” The true story tells of a platoon captain leading his patrol on a practice patrol across the Louisiana River in 1942. The captain drowns and the sergeant instantly orders all back to shore.

The song was symbolic of the Vietnam War widely seen as pushing us deeper into an increasingly unpopular war. Because of its political tone it forced Lyndon Johnson to abandon plans for re-election in 1968.

Each verse in the song ends with a line noting that “the big fool said to push on.”

I hope that our nation is not being lead into similar peril by an authoritarian fool. Taking authoritarian powers to threaten war or assist the nations in conflict to escalate war can backfire on us and cause more deaths and destruction worldwide. We need to help escalate peace instead of escalating war. Speak out for peace and conflict resolution.

Fred E. Shaub

Corvallis (May 28)

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