Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Listen to the Earth, Mr. President

Most of you know that I am a master gardener. What you may not know is that in my world gardening isn’t just a skill or even a hobby. It is a spiritual path. Every flower, seed, tree, herb and shrub is my companion along that path. When my grandmother initiated me into the Celtic Witchcraft some 40 years ago she asked me a single question, "What will be your work – will you be a healer or a teacher or a defender of the faith." I answered, "I will tend the earth and in doing so will be all of these."

I have gained a great deal of wisdom on my path. The Earth teaches much that can be applied to our daily lives,indeed it is all part of the same thing or as the Pagans say, "As above, so below." Perhaps the most important lesson the Earth has taught me about gardening and living is to plant things where they grow. I can’t tell you how many idiots plant roses in the shade or impatiens in the blazing hot, high summer sun.

This single lesson has been of inestimable value in helping me to understand any one of a number of conundrums that have troubled me deeply. For instance, the lethargy of the Obama Presidency and his dithering White House. From dumping the public option to watering down the financial reform bill to kicking comprehensive immigration and energy reform under the bus, not to mention Afghanistan and that insipid foolishness of “don’t ask, don’t tell,” I find myself vacillating from disappointment to disgust to despondency. I doubt that I am the only Liberal in this country who feels that way.

Looking through the eyes of a gardener I have come to the conclusion that Barack Obama has planted his administration in the wrong soil. He planted it in the soil of bipartisanship and magnanimousness which is okay as far as it goes. However, today that soil has been sterilized even poisoned by the rancor of the opposing party. Men like Emanuel keep telling him to amend soil. Gardeners cannot amend sterile or poisoned soil. We can only wait until the Earth heals Herself. Obama hasn’t that kind of time.

I believe he must dig up his administration, clean off and trim the roots (he could start by washing Emanuel out of the White House)then replant it in a large pot filled with good Progressive soil. The Progressive media and blogosphere - which Obama seems inclined to ignore a good deal of the time - would be slow acting chelates to release nutrients into the soil as their levels begin to fall. This is what a good gardener would do to save a beautiful plant from bad soil.

Finally, if he doesn’t want to limp out of Washington in '12 dragging an anemic and mutilated legacy behind him, he needs to aggressively apply the insecticide and fungicide of sunlight and truth. The insects at Fox News and the systemic fungal infection that is the right wing media and blogosphere have dealt blow after blow to the immunity of his administration. Gardeners must be forceful in dealing with pests or infections and so must he.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

A Very Strange Irony

Submitted for your consideration: Al Capone was a brutal man, a stone killer, racketeer, pimp and bootlegger. However, in Chicago at the beginning of the Depression hungry people could get something to eat in one of his soup kitchens. They could find a bed in one of his shelters. My dad told me that if you could sneak into a Cubs' game and get up into the stands behind Al's box you could pick up a little milk money when his Lieutenants tossed bag after bag of coins up into the crowd. Men like Frank Nitti, called the Enforcer, known to be a psychopath, spent half the game throwing money to the hungry and the displaced. Now if men like this, violent, unstable, criminal men like Capone and Nitti had the compassion and the kindness to help their fellow humans suffering in the Depression, what in the hell is wrong with that tribe of “Christians” in the Senate?

Capone, Al "Scarface" - The Free Information Society

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

A Grand Dame

The Greatest Generation as Tom Brokaw called it produced some very remarkable women. They were born to the seclusion of home and family. However, during World War II they were pushed into the factories, foundries, railroads and orchards to do the jobs the G.I.’s left behind. When the war was over and the men came home there was an expectation that their cultural icon Rosie the Riveter would be retired, and they would be banished to their kitchen leaving the work-a-day world to the men once again.

I knew a woman who said, "Bite me!" or the equivalent of the day. She stayed out in the world and became a newspaper woman, a real estate woman, a political activist and a delegate to the 1960 Democratic Convention that nominated John F. Kennedy.

I used to enjoy talking politics with her - her stunning red hair flashing in the light, green gold eyes focused on a point somewhere over my right shoulder. Suddenly she would shout, "Good! We have it now, let’s go write to that idiot in the White House." Off we would go to write to the idiot in the White House, whatever idiot that might be.

She wrote thousands of letters, hundreds of editorials always speaking truth to power - local, national or international. She once wrote to Tony Blair telling him if he didn’t want to go the way of Colin Powell with his reputation in tatters he had better keep clear of George W. Bush and the turds in his administration. She got a charming letter back thanking her for her concern. She was right about that association you know. She was always right.

Her name was Fern Beryl Cook, and she died on July 14, 2010. There was no funeral or service. Fern hated empty rituals almost as much as she hated religion, particularly organized religion. She believed in the Almighty whom she perceived through her own eyes with her own special vision. No damned cheerleader reading from an old morality play was going to tell her differently. That’s a quote.

Fern was my aunt. I didn’t know her as well as I would have liked, but I am proud of her, proud that she was my aunt, proud of what she taught me and proud of what she and women like her did in this world.

I don’t know how many Grand Dames like my Aunt Fern are left, certainly none of my acquaintance. I suspect most of them have slipped into the heaven of their understanding past a society they neither recognized nor respected. The world is not liable to see their like again and is not a better place for it.

A New Justice, Maybe

The Rose above is Betty Boop. She is a shrub rose of the hybrid floribunda (many blooms on one stem) type. Very hardy and a prolific bloomer in most climates, heat notwithstanding, Betty is an ideal rose for a first time rose gardener. She does not require a great deal of pruning or shaping. Her color is white-gold tinged with red, and her parentage is Playboy x Picasso. Hybridizer by Carruth in 1999, Betty Boop is a tribute to the great cartoon siren of the 1930’s and 40’s. I placed the rose here not so much as an information tool for the rose gardeners who follow my Blog but as an acknowledgment of cartoons everywhere, including that brainless burlesque in Washington D.C.

Elena Kagan past out of the Senate Judiciary today and is headed for a vote of the full Senate. John Kyl, The Comedian from Arizona, in baggy pants and floppy shoes cracked foxy for the audience by stating that Ms. Kagan had been unwilling to be clear with him about her Liberal leanings. As if Liberal was a disease a kin to alcoholism, and leaning Liberal was a character flaw. It never occurred to him that she had told him all there was to tell. It takes a lot of nerve for this pond scum who has spent most of his career sucking hind tit in corporate America to question anyone else’s character.

Jeff Sessions (R - Alabama) apparently didn’t have anything to say. Of course he seldom has anything to say even when his lips are moving. They weren’t today.

The Republican from South Carolina, Lindsey Graham coiled in a corner with both eyelids open shocked the room by voting for Kagan. After the vote he hissed, and I am paraphrasing, that the Senate needed to take the partisanship out of the judiciary appointment process (da ya think, Senator?). He also said that he would not have chosen Kagan. However, the person who selected her, President Obama, chose well. If anybody knows what the hell that means I would love to learn.

The Hell You Say

I have studied politics most of my life. The first campaign I worked on was Robert Kennedy's. It broke my heart. I thought I had seen and heard it all until I read yesterday that Sarah Palin has compared herself to Shakespeare. Shakespeare sometimes wrote of fools, and Goddess knows that Mrs. Palin certainly is a fool, but is that a valid comparison? Particularly since Shakespeare’s fools were often wise men charged with being the only subject of the king who could tell him the truth, indeed must tell him the truth. Events have proven that Mrs. Palin wouldn't know the truth if it roared up her ass on a Harley. We seem to be inundated in this country with tiny, infant souls squalling to wear the mantel of glittering, transcendent souls. I have studied Shakespeare almost as long as I have studied politics, and this I know. He was either the first incarnation of Carl Jung or the greatest natural psychologist in the history of the human race. I have no doubt that Mrs. Palin has been reincarnated many times – no one could get that stupid in a single life. Still in all, her only greatness is an immense capacity for duplicity and self service.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

The False Prophets of the New Millennium

On this past Fourth of July I found myself thinking about the false prophets of freedom; the Glen Becks, Sarah Palins, Dick Armeys, John Boehners, Mitch McConnells, ad nauseum. These are the Bible waving, Constitution quoting - although not necessarily understanding - peddlers of a cheap salvation and an even cheaper liberty.

Like all false prophets before them these staggering idiot promise an easy way to live without the necessity of thought, taxes, or education. Subjugate your women, chain up your children, exploit the minority peoples and murder the gays. In other words, close the front door and back to the 1950’s.

Most of you who follow this Blog know that I am a proud and outspoken Pagan. As such I am unimpressed with the word evil and its common uses. Evil, like activist judge, currently means, "I don’t like you," or "You don’t agree with me." Therefore, the concept that evil is simply the word live spelled backward makes much more sense today. The backward thinking ideas of people like Beck, Palin, Armey, Boehner and McConnell work only to their elitist good and are completely destructive to the men and women of the working middle class who they are attempting to seduce to their cause and encourage to live in reverse. I am sure that they are fully aware of what they are doing. If that isn’t "evil" I don’t know what the hell is.

I have also come to believe that our persistent need to be told Fairytales is not just foolishness but another form of evil. It draws us back into a way of thinking that we have long outgrown. For instance, we can do away with public education so we don’t have to pay taxes and insist upon promoting "American Exceptionalism." We can live in the greatest nation in the world tax free and be safe in our person and property because our military and police will work for nothing. We can keep all of our toys - all of our money - and continue to enjoy the vast human resources of this country. That is to say enjoy, technology, medicine, clean streets, wholesome food, great universities, fire departments, first responders and it goes on and on. There are days when I want to stand on top of my house and scream, "Pull your head out of your ass and grow up!!!!"

False prophets serve no God and no country. They serve only themselves. The people drawn into their cause and sphere of influence are burned up like fuel and forgotten. To the extent that the media promotes, highlights or features a Beck, a Palin or any of the others the media lights the fire.

I have said and I believe that Democrats use money to take care of people. Republicans use people to take care of money. It follows then that the Glen Becks, Sarah Palins, Dick Armeys, John Boehners, and Mitch McConnells use both – with no distinction in value – to arrogantly and parasitically promote and take care of themselves. As the Bible of the Judeo-Christian tradition warns, "Beware of false prophets."