Thursday, December 29, 2011
I often think of Mozart. He wrote some of the greatest operas ever heard, even though he was not Puccini. My father said that he was really Italian and writing under a penname – why was never explained. My father also said that one pound of pasta broken in half yields two pounds of pasta – go figure.
One of my favorite operas by Mozart is the “Magic Flute.” He wrote it for the common people. However, tickets to see it performed today would be prohibitively expensive for many of us. Mozart belongs to the rich – like Shakespeare. Never mind the fact that at the time of his death he was a pauper, discarded by his wealthy patrons and left to the not-so-tender mercies of his arch rival, Salieri, who some say killed him. After his death he was tossed into a common grave somewhere in Vienna. Such are the fickle sensibilities of the affluent.
Mozart’s genius was exploited and abused in his time. Today I fear that genius is neglected and even loathed. One wonders how many brilliant and talented people labor their life away for a pay check that barely meets expenses. While they live without the resources to go to school or the time to embrace their destiny. A waste of such a person is a travesty for society.
With the Middle Class shrinking, the income disparity growing and the increasing animosity of the haves toward the have nots, I ask two questions for our modern times. Shall we continue to accept the assignment of value and meaning to our humanity, dignity, passions and gifts based upon criteria that we can’t meet like large stock portfolios and immense aggregate wealth? If not, how will we stop it?
I often think of Mozart these days. Perhaps, I am desperate to keep the memory of genius, of brilliance alive in a world where mediocrity is fast becoming the only thing the common people are allowed.
Tuesday, December 27, 2011
It will be interesting to see who the Republicans select from their produce section to run against Obama in November. I am certain that no one proffered on the right can beat him. It is one thing to pander to the base in the great city of Ass Wipe somewhere in the Mid-West with talk of overturning child labor laws for poor children or theorizing that some ethnic groups produce criminals with greater regularity than others. However, that crap does not play on the national stage. The moderate Republicans who could have given the president a run for his money have long since been drummed out of the party – myopia thy name is office seeker. With any luck they will drift toward the Democrats. In fact, I have had reason to believe that one did and we elected him in 2008.
Wednesday, December 7, 2011
There are two ways to view the world, with respect or with avarice. The respectful perceive Mother Earth as an indispensible and nurturing source of all life and their fellow creatures as beloved siblings. The avaricious see our sacred planet as merely useful and their fellow humans and all other species as expendable. The latter destructive and nihilistic thesis has become the formula for success in this country. It is the road to the American Dream and the central defining principle of American Exceptionalism. Like a slow growing, flesh eating bacteria this grotesque paradigm, wrapped in patriotism and spouting holy writ, dismantles and dissolves the best and most beautiful expressions of our freedom and national character. All this while the people of the United States are distracted – by design – with two-hundred and sixteen ways to play with a ball, Kim Kardashian’s ridiculous romance, Lindsey Lohan’s police record, Charlie Sheen’s immense capacity to poison himself, the Duchess of Cambridge’s new dress and millions of idiotic, inane and insipid television programs masquerading as art, theater and entertainment. We must wakeup and grow up before our collective suicide is achieved and we no longer remember who we once were.
Tuesday, December 6, 2011
There is a distinct difference between the noun and the adjective form of a word in the English language. A noun is a person place or thing. An adjective modifies, describes or clarifies a noun. Take the word Democrat for instance. A Democrat is a person who subscribes to a particular political philosophy. The word Democratic on the other hand is an adjective that ascribes specific properties to a person, place or thing. Thus, we speak of the Democratic Party or the Democratic platform. It is all too common to hear a Cain or a Gingrich refer to the Democrat President or the Democrat Congress. While it has long been the practice in the sewer of American politics to bastardize the language for gain and profit, we have to ask ourselves if we really want some worm who doesn’t know his nouns from his adjectives leading the free world?
Tuesday, November 22, 2011
The clamor for ever smaller and smaller government gets louder every day. The hullabaloo over a freer and freer free market, without regulations or constraints, storms across the land with all the subtlety of a tornado on the High Plains. The presumption here is that the money-hungry little shits who caused the meltdown in 2008 – or for that matter in 1929 – aren’t degenerate gambles and moral invalids. The assertion here is that the government of these United States is solely responsible for the nightmare we find ourselves living. Accordingly, if we could only eliminate government we would all be so much happier, the sky so much bluer and the world so much easier to negotiate.
One truly fascinating aspect of all of this is the fact that the same people squealing about shrinking government to the point of impotence are indicting the Occupy Movement for having ties to the anarchist community. It does not seem to resonate with these Neanderthals that a society with a government too small and weak to make and enforce its laws IS an anarchy.
Tuesday, November 15, 2011
I track Obama’s dismal approval ratings – why I don’t know. Regardless of the poll, Rasmussen, Gallup, MSNBC, etc, it seems to me that they are all contacting the same 1,500 people over and over again. I have been a registered voter in Colorado for forty-plus years. I have never been called by any of them. I don’t know anyone who has been called. I don’t know anyone who knows anyone who has been called – ergo, they must have a pasteurized population uncontaminated by facts.
For instance, to spite what the polls and the clowns in the Beltway media suggest, President Obama is not an absolute ruler solely responsible for the failure of our domestic policy and economic substructure. He shares power with two other branches of government – one of which, Congress, sits on Capitol Hill like a necrotic and malignant mushroom almost never to be seen to contribute anything toward the improvement of our lot.
Accordingly, the president purposes and the Congress disposes. In particular, the House of Representatives which holds the purse strings. If the House doesn’t allocate funds to pay for the president’s proposals they don’t reach fruition. If the House won’t pass the legislation that contains the president’s proposals they can’t be funded. Currently, this president is paralyzed by an ideologically perverse, constitutionally corrupt body of “lawmakers” who are intent upon pandering to a shrinking and belligerent minority – not to mention the likes of the stingy Grover Norquist who demands absolute compliance with his tax policy, yet has no legitimate standing in government.
Don’t get me wrong, I have had my problems with Mr. Obama’s policies. I have said before, I will say again that I voted for a Liberal and got a Centrist. It has been my experience that people who spend too much time in the middle of the road get hit by trucks. Still in all, it isn’t the president’s policies or stupefying and terrifyingly inept advisors like the bully Rahm Emanuel or even the creepy Mr. Daily that has done the most damage to the American people’s cause and democracy. It is the Tea Party freshman, the vote whoring ideologues, the old guard pimping the legislative process to Wall Street and the banks. All of whom need to be unseated; be they Right or Left.
We must circulate this information. We must let people know that replacing the president in ’12 is not the answer. Congress needs to be drained like a stinking pipe full of bacteria and stagnant water. Obstructionism has made it impossible for President Obama to lead in any meaningful way. The petulance, political grandstanding, and obfuscation that is a backdrop for the nihilistic political theater aimed at destroying one man, is destroying us all. This is unreasonable, and not to be suffered or pardoned.
Please tell your friends on Facebook, on MySpace, in your blog. We can’t count on the corporate controlled media who, with very few exceptions, have their head so far up their ass they are singing the “Star Spangled Banner” through their navel. People have to understand that it isn’t winning or losing in Washington that destroys a presidency; it is playing the game. The game needs to come to an end.
Sunday, November 13, 2011
I am sixty-two years old. I was part of the counter-culture generation. I was a hippie. People bantering that word about now as if it were a foul insult, never met or don’t remember the hippies.
We lived in converted Victorian houses chopped up into apartments with archways, huge windows full of plants, tapestries on the walls and incense in every corner. We drank herbal tea sweetened with honey, ate brown rice and listened to Bob Dylan. We talked and read politics – not to mention poetry, law and ethics – while the sunlight played over the faded colors on old floral rugs. We marched for peace, social equality and economic justice. We believed in those things; most of us still do. Sex, drugs and Rock N’ Roll notwithstanding, we were deadly serious in our purpose.
Those people who berate Occupy with the word hippie are doing them a great service without knowing it. Those people who insist that Occupy is an unfocused group of rabble-rousers would do well to remember that my generation of rabble-rousers stopped the War in Viet Nam.
Saturday, November 12, 2011
I hear a good deal about the persecution of Christians in this country. Since fundamentalist Christianity is attempting to insinuate itself as a state religion, in as much as men and women who may not follow the Christian doctrine are being expected to live by the tenets of that faith via laws, one has to wonder who is persecuting whom. In state houses all over this country, and in the US Congress one sees an increasing acceptance of religious interference in government. It is not only unconstitutional it is unacceptable. If saying that amounts to persecution, so be it.
Tuesday, November 8, 2011
Today, November 8, 2011, Mississippi’s draconian abortion law goes to referendum. If past it will make abortion illegal, many forms of birth control illegal, a woman’s right to save her own life during pregnancy questionable and miscarriage potentially grounds for investigation. Sleazy politicians, using women’s bodies for campaign fodder, are waiting. Bible thumping egotists, wishing to drag women back to the cave by their hair, are waiting. However, there is another group of people waiting. These folks were tossed out of medical or nursing school – if they ever got in – lost their licenses and right to practice. Their equipment is makeshift – up to and including the coat hanger. Their operating theaters are in the back of dirty garages or warehouses and unequipped for emergencies. They work in alleys. They work in the dark. They charge all the market will bear – they are entrepreneurs, after all. Standing and waiting they are like nothing so much as great vultures anticipating death. If I didn’t know better, I would think that they were organized and had a lobby. They wouldn’t be the first monsters to own part or all of our government.
Monday, November 7, 2011
I have never been able to fathom the world ending in fire and carnage. Perhaps that is because my Goddess is not in the world or of the world, She is the world. She is every spring leaf on every branch of every tree; every mother robin feeding her young; every snow-dressed mountain stream chasing itself through lacey whitewater; every sunset and sunrise. She is the moon and the oceans; the wind and the Earth itself. She is all seasons, all times and all of us. It is incomprehensible that my Goddess would commit suicide.
That is not to say that I don’t believe worlds end. Eras slip gradually into Jung’s collective unconscious never to be seen in the material world again. In great leaps of consciousness new worlds take their place. The Feudalism, church authority and despotism, religious persecution, Crusades and enforced ignorance of the common people that defined the Middle Ages commenced to wear away in the birth of the Renaissance – one driving force of which was the concept of Humanism.
An intellectual, secular and cultural movement based upon the values, behavior and characteristics believed to be the best part of the nature of human beings, independent of supernatural authority, Humanism was to form the bedrock of nearly two centuries worth of leaping achievements in art, science, politics and philosophy. If genius can be said to be fire, than this period burned with the heat of a thousand volcanoes.
By the time that the Renaissance slipped into Jung’s collective unconscious to be replaced by the Enlightenment, the Italian Masters – Michelangelo, Donatello and Raphael to name but a few – had taught the world the beauty of chiaroscuro and form in dimension. The printing press had been invented by Gutenberg. Henry VIII, of lascivious and murderous memory, hard on the heels of Martin Luther and the Protestant Reformation, had kicked the first giant hole in the Papacy’s iron wall of control over monarchs with his Act of Supremacy separating the Church of England from Rome. Galileo, father of modern astronomy, had discovered new worlds among the stars and was condemned by a nervous Catholic Church for his trouble. Dr. William Harvey had described the circulation of the blood. Shakespeare had written his “Hamlet” and Cervantes his “Don Quixote.”
Politically in 1558 a girl came to the throne of England, signaling the beginning of the Golden Age of the Renaissance. A heretical girl, the Pope called her, even as his successors would grudgingly call her the greatest monarch in Christendom. Elizabeth I would teach the world something about religious tolerance. She had both Catholics and Protestants among her subjects. A Protestant Queen, she did not object to the Catholics practicing in her England, saying that she had no desire to make windows into men’s souls. However, any attempt to come after her throne would bring swift and merciless retribution – as the Catholic Queen of Scotland learned. Further, if the fanatics on either side brought Holy War to her people she would destroy them all. Her thinking was that there was one God in England, the method of worship was trivial. Such is the wisdom of a great queen.
It is easy to imagine that a poor, oppressed serf from the Middle Ages dropped into the milieu of the Renaissance would have thought that their world had been destroyed as if by fire. However, the power of the monarchy, of Elizabeth, would have been familiar to them. For all her tolerance, distaste for war, love of peace and refusal to marry because she considered herself married to England and mother to her people, Elizabeth I was an absolute ruler. She had a parliament which she could have disbanded and beheaded at any time. She didn’t. Nonetheless, her word was unquestioned law for the 40 odd years that she reigned.
As the Renaissance in its turn gave birth to the Enlightenment the Catholic Church’s authoritarian power over the crowned heads was withering. Yet, religion still played an inordinate and deleterious role in the affairs of state. The absolutist reign of monarchy in England – then the richest, most powerful nation in the world – would end with James I, Elizabeth’s successor. However, the institution itself would limp along in Europe until the Czars fell in 1917.
The crumbling of the old guard – religious intrusion, absolute power vested in the hands of a very few – was a function, in many ways, of the deepening appreciation and understanding of Humanist ideals. If people were moral, reasonable, cogent and intelligent, independent of any higher power, then why were they not capable of self governance?
By the end of the Enlightenment, Adam Smith had published “The Wealth of Nations.” Voltaire had published “Candide,” and Kant his “Critique of Pure Reason.” Thanks to the printing press anyone with the price of a book, the ability and/or desire to read could open their mind. Mozart had composed Don Giovanni and the Requiem. The first volume of the Encyclopedia had been produced, and the American Revolution had been fought and won.
Politically, Jefferson and his contemporaries had given the world the Declaration of Independency – from England and monarchy. The Constitution, wonder of wonders, had synthesized a way to rid ourselves of meddlesome clergy. Freedom of religion was to prevent religious wars, many of which still raged during the Enlightenment. Separation of church and state was to mean no more sticky fingered clerics torturing nations and draining national treasuries, in the name of God of course. One must imagine that Elizabeth’s courtiers transported to Philadelphia in 1776 would have thought that their world had ended as if by fire.
It seems to me that we have, over the last three decades or so, walked back in time through the Enlightenment and past the Renaissance to a time when science is ignored if not hated; to a time when religion is not a matter of personal solace so much as an instrument of general aggravation, subjugation and torment; to a time when education of the people is regarded as an extravagant luxury, and the working person is valued lower than the work they render.
Corporations are our new found and supreme sovereigns. Their word is unquestioned law and written for them by their serfs and courtiers in our government. The ultra rich, rich and greedy politicos, who have long since forgotten who elected them, are the ruling aristocracy. It is the purpose of the working person to honor and support their divine right to rule. To paraphrase Elizabeth there is only one God in America, money, everything else is trivial. We don’t want to cut windows into people’s souls, we want to strip them bare and hold them for ransom.
I believe that we are racing toward the end of one world and the beginning of another. There are others who must believe it too, for their desperation to stop it grows daily. The people gathered out on the street under the Occupy banners seem to be prophets of that new world. With no violence and no chain of command they embody mission without malice, expression without ego, determination without destruction. They have reached back in time to grab the principles of Humanism by the hair and drag them into the second millennium. Perhaps their cooperation and cohesion is a prognostication of a way of living that takes those ideals to the next step in the evolutionary process.
I hear the criticism that the people of Occupy have no leaders and no clearly defined demands. What they have is a new way of thinking. No hierarchy means no monarchy of any kind. No prescribed agenda means the freedom to think, believe and create. Just as Michelangelo, Galileo, Shakespeare, Kant, Mozart and Jefferson thought, believed and created in their eras. This innovation in thought should not be held against them. We must not allow that. Particularly, considering the mess the old way of thinking has made of the only world we have to stand in.
Sunday, November 6, 2011
The American people are, in many ways, living in a drug induced coma. The drug is consumerism. The dealers in and pushers of the drug are predatory lenders, predatory banks, predatory credit card companies, predators on Wall Street and most despicable of all the predatory colleges and universities that pray on our children. We have been completely commercialized; deeply and digitally desensitized; persistently pimped and spiritually vandalized.
We are so far in debt as a people that we can’t tell our ass from our elbow. It is not because we feed the hungry, house the homeless, care for the sick, or even because we condescendingly and graciously allow retirees to collect the Social Security they own. No, it is because the narcotic poisoning from which we suffer is one of the great driving engines of the unfettered, unrestrained, unregulated Free Market – which is getting freer every day. Laissez-faire Capitalism, in all its glory, elevates the liberty of the Market above the liberty of the individual.
While under the influence of a raging consumerism stupor, acquisition becomes a survival imperative and greed a catalytic mechanism. Thus, the Free Market enjoys its liberty while the individual stumbles blindly into the captivity of addiction.
One purely Liberal principle: our materialism is not going to save us. Only our humanity can save us, and that is not to be found on any market – free or otherwise.
Saturday, November 5, 2011
In the plant world, “Them that works, eats.” Their work is done in the light; when their light is obstructed they starve and die. A beautiful garden is predicated on the knowledge that every plant must have an equal opportunity to stand in the light they need. This is a perfect economic system. Somewhere between the shadows of greed-twisted Capitalism and the dark tyranny of power-distorted Communism, there is a place in the light for each of us to stand and work.
Tuesday, October 25, 2011
I am not a fan of Mr. Obama’s policies. I voted for a Liberal president and got a Centrist. It’s my belief that people who spend too much time in the middle of the road get hit by trucks. He has been hit by several, some driven by advisors.
Nonetheless, I want to meet the person who can clarify how the head of Godfather’s Pizza is any more qualified to sit in the Oval Office than President Obama. I would like to know how anyone can think that the slippery Mr. Romney, sliding between positions like a whore between parked cars on Saturday night, demonstrates a level of integrity superior to Mr. Obama’s.
I need to understand why 234 gleeful executions and the creation of many hundreds of minimum wage jobs qualifies Governor Perry to be the Chief Executive. I am sure that the Governor and the employers in Texas think, or would like us to think, that they are doing the workers a great favor. However, you don’t raise a family very well on minimum wage. Hell, you don’t take care of yourself very well.
Even though Congressman Paul is the darling of the Libertarian rant, I don’t see how he is a greater champion of freedom than our sitting president. He wants government to die a quick and painless death, yet remain viable enough to invade every uterus, GYN office and OB/GYN surgical suite in America. I find Paul particularly irritating because it sounds to me like what he is saying is simply this, “The full rights and enfranchisements of Libertarianism are the exclusive privileges of men.” Well, good luck with all that dumpy.
The Republican field is like a day in the Denver Zoo, except that the animals there are usually beautiful and almost always endearing. You have to wonder if the Right isn’t suicidal relying as they appear to be on the same old slanders, misrepresentations, obfuscations and distortions. Flying in the face of public opinion on most major issues of the day, they just keep jacking their jaws. Hopefully next year will be the year that they learn the limits of propaganda. After all, when you have nothing to offer but blame the party line gets damned old.
When Ronald Reagan sent his assault on the Middle Class “trickling down,” Mr. Obama was in his twenties. When Clinton shoved NAFTA up the Working Class’ ass, Mr. Obama wasn’t in government. When Wyatt Earp and Darth Vader stormed the White House under the banner of the Neo-Conservatives and other assorted nut jobs, then bent the American people over a table, Senator Obama did not enter office until their second term. He was a Junior Senator, mark me, Junior – that and a dime will get you a cup of coffee. After three years in the White House, obstructionist Congress and Blue Dog, Fun House Democrats notwithstanding, he is being held responsible for every rape ever perpetrated against the American people and all the resulting social diseases.
I don’t know why any intelligent person wants that filthy Presidential gig – if you don’t think Obama is intelligent you’ve spent too much time on the pipe. We lay-out millions and millions and millions of dollars electing a guy president, only to lay-out millions and millions and millions more trying to drive him out of his bloody mind. I think that we should just announce to the world that Baseball is no longer our National Sport; Ceremonial Human Sacrifice has taken its place. The persistent, mind numbing sacrifice of the extraordinary for the mediocre, the luminous for the lackluster and the profound for the trivial.
Saturday, September 24, 2011
“Christie for President,” only the Republican Right could think of such a thing. Gov. Christie’s approval rating has been falling steadily, particularly with women voters who he doesn’t seem to understand have the franchise, since he began to gut education. His disapproval rating is neck and neck with Obama’s. He got a bump from his handling of “Irene.” However, as we learned from Rudy “a subject, a verb and 9/11” Giuliani, that and a dime will get you a cup of coffee. Oh happy days, compared to the sleek, smooth, smart Mr. Obama, Christie will look like just what he is – a thug with all the sophistication and charm of a cop beating up a drunk, as Raymond Chandler once said.
Thursday, September 15, 2011
I hate politics and most politicians. I follow them out of a sense of self preservation. Yet, I hate them because they ruin people’s lives, twist and distort reality to promote a world view that serves the few over the many.
Millions are out of work in this country through no fault of their own. They are treated like leaches when they need unemployment, while politicians inveigh for deregulation of the institutions where the fault lies – pleading job creation.
Home ownership has gone up in smoke – granted some people took out mortgages they couldn’t afford – that does not take the peddlers and frauds off the hook. Although, we hear very little about them these days.
Republicans, who can’t win a fair fight, go about gerrymandering districts, shutting poor people out of the voting booth, and changing the rules of the Electoral College. That is when they aren’t destroying unions.
Tea Party trolls sit in audiences applauding the death penalty and squealing, "let him die.” Just before they trot off to church and bath themselves in the salvation of a poor working man they would spit on today.
Children are slipping below the poverty line at a dreadful rate. Their health care is dissolving. Their education is evaporating into the old political payback system. Replace public education with a fee-for-service-free-market-fiasco, add a healthy dose of religion, and call it, “school choice.” Good for the kids, hell no. Good for wealthy, contributing special interests, you bet; much like privatizing the military and the prisons.
While all this misery boils up from the American People like poisonous fumes the politicians stand around on the Hill and in the White House pissing on each other’s shoes, or supporting lamp posts on the corners of Pennsylvania Avenue with their partisan slip showing, soliciting any lobbyist that will toss them a dime.
This is the state of American politics. These are our political leaders up to their tits in legalized corruption.
You are on the other side of the looking glass now, Alice. What are you going to do about it? What are any of us going to do about it?
Sunday, September 11, 2011
Brad and I were in Washington D.C. ten years ago on this day. He had a training in Falls Church, and I decided to go sightseeing in the District. I had an appointment to tour the Capitol and was hoping to see Tom DeLay. They hadn’t arrested him yet, and I wanted to thumb my nose at him. Half way down the Mall I heard a sound. It was loud, everywhere and nowhere, an explosion but not an explosion. A minute or so later a guy came out of a building to my left.
“Someone flew a plane into the Pentagon,” he whispered.
“You're nuts? The Pentagon is the most secure building in the world. That is like pissing on Zeus’ shoes.” I was a little harsher than I intended.
In exactly the same tone and exactly the same words he repeated, “Someone flew a plane into the Pentagon.” He walked away.
I knew I had better get back to Falls Church – Papa would be worried. I went to several Metro Stations that were closed before I boarded a train that let me off about 10 miles from my destination. Thanks to the kindness of a stranger, as Tennessee Williams said, I got a lift.
My dear husband was standing on the portico in front of our hotel. He was smoking. Brad is cardiac and has no business smoking. In my befuddlement I start toward him to raise hell. As I reached him, he took hold of my hand and said with tears in his eyes, “I thought I had lost you. We heard the Capitol was hit.”
“No,” I said. “Just the Pentagon.”
“Barbara, the Trade Towers are down in New York.”
“What, they just laid down?”
He turned and led me into the bar where a number of people gathered around a big screen T.V. looking at the ash and rubble which had once been one of the jewels in New York’s crown. I ordered a double bourbon - neat. I don’t drink, so I gave it to the guy next to me and told him to drink it for me. He did. He’d had several.
I bought a package of smokes and went outside to sit on a bench near the door. The color of the sky, of the trees and flowers had muted, gone flat and surreal like the world of Rod Serling’s Twilight Zone or an Ingmar Bergman film. Now and then, and particularly on this day, those colors return like the lingering heartache for a lost loved one.
Wednesday, September 7, 2011
It has long been customary in American politics to impersonate not Jefferson, or Lincoln, or Roosevelt, but rather the itinerant peddlers of the 19th and early 20th centuries. These people roamed the country in wagons selling “patented medicines” that were collectively known as Snake Oil. A growing and organizing medical community along with a burgeoning public health system eventually put them out of business, since their concoctions were generally useless and often dangerous.
Their modern day counterparts in the body politic are not so easy to contain since the Snake Oil they are peddling – patriotism, God, guns and gluttony – are not tangible. Wrapped in the red, white and blue, thumping the Bible and screaming about the evil government while sucking off its tit, these swindlers are dismantling or poisoning Democracy in the same way the scammers of the previous two centuries deceived or poisoned an unsuspecting and naïve populace.
By far the most dangerous of these con artists is the politician who ruthlessly flogs religion. As in the case of the old remedies, many alcohol based, the hooks in the religion scam are solace and immortality. People terrified of being alone in the universe, of their extinction after death, of simply living a pointless life without miracles, magic and meaning, stumble up to the wagon of any two-for-a-nickel Elmer Gantry and lay down their money, political allegiance, free will and common sense for an empty bottle labeled hope.
The most insidious, the most pernicious aspect of this idiocy is that in order for the God of the medicine wagon to be real everyone must follow Him or at least the tenets of the religion He represents. Even though faith cannot be regulated or spirituality mandated. Thus, there will be no abortion; no gay marriage; no labor unions since God is a free market aficionado. Climate change is a lie because man is powerless to affect the earth. Evolution is a perjury, and only Creationism can be taught in the schools. God is an American, and we can kill anyone we like. All of this would become the moral imperative of any ship of state unfortunate enough to find a Perry, Bachmann or Palin at the helm through the grace of the God they have promulgated and the infinite dependency of their followers.
Just as the peddlers who made their elixir in the back of a wagon seldom drank it, the God of the extremists is a tool and not an article of faith. I have to believe this, otherwise why would self professed Christians follow an agenda anathema to the teachings of Christ? As did the power lusting popes who used scripture to attempt to control the known world via devout monarchs; so too with the land grabbing abbots and bishops bent upon amassing wealth on the foundation of holy writ. Murderous, crusading kings slaughtering in the cause of the Almighty and at will setting the standard for all military madmen. The inquisitors and Witch hunters were simply predatory thieves in the name of God. All of their shadows are falling across the land today, rising out of the darkness of history like a foul stench. To see many modern politicians without their historical antecedents is becoming more and more difficult because as Sherlock Holmes once said, “The parallel is exact.”
Even though religion scamming politicians have always been with us, today their resources are vast and their ability to reach many millions of people devastating. Now more than ever, their masks must be stripped away. They must be put back in their box and relegated to the fringe where they belong. This is the civilian work of people like Reverend Weldon Gaddy of the Interfaith Alliance who have grown disgusted with the perversion of the best of their faith to serve the worst of motives.
We will never accomplish the unmasking of these holier-than-thou, right wing apparatchiks with the soft phrases and sweet words of an Obama speech. The maddening insistence by this president that bipartisanship can be achieved with religion pandering fanatics on the right is analogous to Elliot Ness attempting to attain a bipartisan ceasefire with Al Capone on the streets of Chicago. They had nothing on which to base an agreement. Capone’s God was crime; his savoir was money. Yet, this most brutal mobster in the history of American lawlessness took time out from bootlegging, prostitution and staging massacres to feed people during the Depression which is more than I can say for many of our “Godly” leaders in Congress then or now.
If Obama hasn’t the chutzpa to face down these new age scoundrels then he must step aside and allow Biden, Brown, Sanders, Frank or Grayson to help us all do it. This is a matter of National Security, for the cabal on the right, hiding behind the Bible and spewing greed like a faucet churning out filthy water, will surely destroy our way of life.
Monday, August 15, 2011
This weekend I was reintroduced to the Rahm Emanuel School of Chicago Style Party Politics. That is to say, anyone who doesn’t follow the leader blindly, mouth the party line unthinkingly will be stood up against the proverbial wall and figuratively shot. I don’t know when the Democratic Party lost sight of the sanctity of free speech, particularly political speech, but then they have lost sight of so many things. I don’t know when the Democratic Party forgot that free thinking is a moral imperative in a free society. I don’t know when the party of Franklin, John and my beloved Bobby decided that the best way to win the war is to impersonate the god-damned enemy with all the vitriol, slander and cruelty that implies – questioning the loyalties, commitment and honor of people who disagree as if any s.o.b. had the right. I do know that I am sick of the Democratic Party. They look just like the Republican Party – pandering to special interests and whoring for votes. Along with many other Liberals of my acquaintance I have left the party and changed my affiliation to Independent. There is no place in the party for people like me anymore. Contrary to the blather in the media, all Independents are not centrists. Notwithstanding that same blather about the orgasmic joy of the center, one must ask the question: the center of what? If anyone bothers to read this please don’t write back and ask me if I am supporting Romney. The question is stupid on its face, and I am more than a little tired of the implication that I am a collaborator.
Wednesday, August 10, 2011
What bloody percentage can Middle Class people see in voting for Republicans? Why would those people consider it in their best interests to return a codependent enabler like Alberta Darling - whose only talent appears to be in knowing what to kiss and when - to the state Senate? Can these workers be delusional enough to think that when Field Marshall Walker finishes with the unions he won't begin to diminish their prospects? It is a true thing that masters seldom invite servants to take a place at the table, no matter how loyal the servant has been.
Delusion is rampant today. Take the media for instance. Every large grin, small brain pundit on cable has been squealing about Labor's great loss last night. Really? Perhaps the idiots didn't pull all the news up on the wire service. The Democrats gained two seats last night after retaining a seat in an earlier recall election and with two elections coming up next week in fairly safe districts.
Labor got two-thirds of what they wanted. In the bargain taking one-third of what the Republicans had and reducing their majority to one vote. It was a great night because meaningful change often comes in increments. The Middle Class struck a blow for fairness last night. There are at least two Republicans in Wisconsin today who wish they had never screwed with us.
Monday, August 1, 2011
Today while various members of Congress go scurrying about like rabid squirrels trying to whip up votes for the debt ceiling compromise, I am more than a little apprehensive about what these weird brothers and sisters are about to do to this country.
A trillion or more dollars in cuts, with more to come, is not the prescription that economists of any political bent recommend for a struggling economy. In 1937 President Roosevelt was advised to make spending cuts as America recovered from the Great Depression. In mid-1937 the economy declined sharply. During a thirteen month period through much of 1938 the unemployment rate jumped from 14.3% to 19.0%. Today in addition to these penny-pinching cuts, there is no revenue engendering mechanism either in terms of tax reform or job creation to help reduce the deficit – if that is what they are really trying to achieve.
Between the infantile and moronic mantra of the Right, cut spending/no new taxes, and the impotent, faint hearted and posturing leadership of the Left, the majesty of Liberal values is sliding down the toilet. These are values such as: a belief in social and economic justice; a belief in the social safety net; a belief that all people have a right to a living wage, a home, food, health care and education.
I realize that Liberals are out of fashion - so out of fashion in fact that many of us hide behind the alias, Progressive which I don't use myself. Out of fashion or no, we still have a right to our cherished philosophy and a right to expect a president who ran on that philosophy to respect, if not cherish, it as well.
In my estimation, President Obama is not a Liberal, not a Democrat. He is, as Ezra Klein said, a moderate Republican. He has been telling the Left to sit down and shut the fuck up for three years. All the while moving farther and farther Right. As if snuggling up to John Boehner would make the 86 clinically insane tea baggers in the Republican House like him. Call me out of fashion, out of date, out of touch. Call me stupid – nobody has ever dared but hey, give it a shot – the excuses for this president are wearing thin. The idea that anyone who is losing or has lost faith in him is somehow betraying a Liberalism he does not appear to share is worn-out. People keep saying that we will have a Republican president if he doesn’t win. We have a Republican president now. It is just a matter of degree.
Sunday, July 3, 2011
My grandmother believed as I do that St. Francis of Assisi – featured above – was an incarnation of the Horned God Cernunnos – the Celtic Lord of the Wild Places. The early Christians reviled Him as a symbol of the devil, but to us He is a symbol of fertility and love of the Earth and Her children. Even though Francis took the cowl and walked the path of the monk his love of our planet and all creatures on it expresses a Pagan’s soul.
In my tradition the God is not the equal of the Goddess. He is Her Son and consort, all power comes from Her. The Wiccans believe in the duality of the God and Goddess, and while this belief is both beautiful and profound it has no spiritual timbre for me. The idea that a Wiccan would condemn me or I them for what we believe is unthinkable. Don’t get me wrong there are jackasses in all faiths. However, by in large, it is the Pagan way to understand that the Goddess shows us each a different light, and we must follow that light toward our destiny. It is all we can do – it is all we have a right to do. Thus for us to engage in murder, mayhem or malicious treatment of another whose belief differs from ours is forbidden in the strongest possible way.
Like Frances we try to live with gentleness, love and tolerance toward all. Like Frances we are living in the Dark Ages. Heresy, a real or perceived refusal to accept Christian doctrine, deprived many of my maternal ancestors of their life at the stake during the first Dark Ages. The new heresy of today, a real or perceived refusal to accept a modern day perversion of Christian doctrine and/or to live according to certain restrictive standards, threatens to relegate a large number of people to the status of second class citizen by depriving them of their Civil Rights.
This has nothing to do with Marriage Equality – certainly not abortion since we are content to let children starve in this country – or any of the other sham social issues of the so-called Culture Wars. The real problem here is the frightened, ignorant people who must shove their God down the throats of others because He only appears in crowds. These individuals are incapable of waging a crusade. They are pawns. Like the soldier pawns of the first crusades they are being directed by the rich and the powerful bent upon becoming richer and more powerful. In Frances’ day it was the abbots, the bishops, the popes, the kings and the warlords. Today it is the corporatists, the free market pirates, the corrupt politicans and the malignant capitalists. They are all on the same line, centuries notwithstanding.
I am the last of my bloodline and can trace the Old Faith back in ribbons of glory through the Burning Times, the persecutions and on to be lost in the mists of antiquity. I do not celebrate secular holidays – that is my faith, and my faith is my freedom which has nothing to do with the founding of nations. To all of you who will be celebrating the 4th tomorrow with hot dogs, the smiles of children and fireworks in the cool of the evening I wish you a happy holiday and much happiness on the path before you. There is an Enlightenment up ahead, and this Dark Age will fade into history as its predecessor did long ago.
Tuesday, June 28, 2011
I don’t vote for Popes. I don’t vote for Saints. I don’t vote for ethereal, mindless demigods with a pronounced inability to mind their own business. I vote for Democrats when they stand four-square on the Democratic platform. That platform used to be firmly grounded in the idea of a social conscience. The God of the Christians said it best, "Whatever you do for the least of them you do for me."
The Republicans and their “Christian Base” long ago gave up the charity, humility and decency that Christ spoke of in favor of the symbolic stoning, judgment passing and ritualized hate that He abhorred. The Democrats on the other hand seemed to have lost their taste for the social and economic justice that He appears, at least to this Pagan, to represent.
They are terrified of the word that used to identify the best of us - Liberal. Even more terrified are they at the possibility of being perceived by the Republicans and their “Christian Base” as doing for the least of us. For the Republicans have hung the word Socialism on the best wisdom of the religion they have usurped, and the Democrats hide from that word like hookers hiding from the Vice Squad on Saturday night.
It takes courage to speak truth to power. It takes dedication to fight money armed only with morality. I no longer believe that the Democrats have either, and I grow tired of spinelessness passing for compromise. I grow tired of moral cowardice passing for righteousness. I grow tired of the double-speak and slide-of-hand that passes for accountability. Mostly, I grow tired of being told that if my Democratic President or my Democratic Party fail to behave like Democrats it is my fault for noticing.
I am sixty-one years old and have followed the Liberal ideal all of my life. I come from good Liberal stock. My father was first generation Italian, working poor. My mother was Irish, working poor. They were union organizers. I am proud to say that I am a child of the ‘60s. I went to college at a time when a premium was placed on the intellectual life and the activist lifestyle. At my age and level of commitment I don’t whine. I shout. Crawl out from under your rock, pull your head out of your ass and act like Democrats – Roosevelt, Kennedy, Johnson Democrats! If you are Democrats.
Friday, June 10, 2011
We no longer have a body politic in this country. We have a bloody circus. There are lions and lion tamers, clowns and hawkers, freaks and trapeze artists flying high above reality with nothing but a thin net of lies below. Dogs dance, horses prance and monkeys chatter throwing peanuts at the crowd. We have become Barnum’s quip – the one that is born every day.
Yesterday I had a conversation with a man – if you can call it a conversation – in which I quickly realized that his idea of common cause, of finding the middle ground was to simply scare hell out of me and then engage in verbal battery. I am old now and after having seen many scary things in my life I don’t scare easily anymore. My vocabulary is six or seven times the size of his so it was difficult for him to land a punch. Finally, in desperation he lobbed the only insult he had left in his arsenal. He informed me that I am a far left Liberal. Well gee sparky, da-ya-think? That is when I realized that I was talking to an imbecile, and that I was an even bigger imbecile for talking to him. But, if we are all imbeciles and can’t talk to one another how do we solve our big, ugly, mutant problems?
Anthony Weiner’s penis is not one of those problems – it is a diversion. Don’t get me wrong his behavior was asinine. When Teddy Kennedy died several people had to pick up his mantel – it was too heavy for any individual. The raging Liberal, Anthony Weiner was one of those people. I did not expect him to drape it over the end of his organ, sending that image slip-sliding down the electron highway to Internet immortality. Still, Anthony Weiner’s penis is not our problem, and we are drowning in diversions.
It has been coming for a very long time in a vague and nebulous way. Yesterday’s trip to Stupidville – a place I know but slenderly as the Bard said – gave it form. I am losing my faith in humanity and in happy endings. I am having trouble believing in the a priory principles of right and wrong, honor and dignity, justice and truth. I don’t know how to be a Liberal without them.
Sunday, May 15, 2011
This country suffers from a chronic, degenerative spiritual disease. Like cancer it has a first cause and then a series of symptoms. In particular the symptoms are hate, narcissism, cruelty, bigotry, deceit, fraud, misrepresentation and elitism. The first cause is greed. I believe without exception that every single one of these symptoms is born of a need to exploit and manipulate for gain. How else can you explain people on the right insisting that Christ was a Free Market Profiteer? That he did not believe in helping the poor, the outcasts and the sick.
Cancer is caused by a cellar disruption of one kind or another. Greed is the result of obsession. I once had a man tell me that he had a right to be greedy in America. I answered that he could exercise his right providing he did not trash my life or my planet. He looked at me like I was out of my mind. That’s when I got it – the man was a bloody junkie. The more greed gets, the more it wants. The more it has, the more it needs. Heroin has a similar effect on people. After the first blissful pop the heroin addict is on the same treadmill – the more they get, the more they want. The more they have, the more they need. As Sherlock Holmes said, “The parallel is exact.” There is only one way off the treadmill, save death, you give up the Jones.
Considering the fact that heroin addicts are primarily engaged in killing themselves, but greed addicts are killing the world we might be much better off with heroin users in Congress and heading corporations. It is appalling and despicable that we are in the hands of lawmakers sick with greed and gluttonous corporations that daily devour our economic freedom only to crap out public policy that works for them alone.
I am told that greed is one of the Seven Deadly Sins. Pagans don’t believe much in sin. We believe in stupid, and greed is stupid. I am not talking about wanting to earn a decent living and provide for your children. I am talking about taking one-half out of the middle to earn a gargantuan living while leaving little or nothing for anyone else. Even though greed is supposed to be a sin, in this most Christian of all countries it is venerated, extolled and worshiped as a cardinal virtue. Like a heroin addict who has five-thousand reasons why they can’t get off the needle, the greedy in this country have five-thousand and one reasons why greed is a good thing. It keeps the Free Market running, creates jobs, gives us the edge internationally, provides incentive for entrepreneurs, whitens our teeth and will replace Viagra.
I am a student of the English language. I have studied it all of my life from its grammar to its syntax to its literature to my beloved Shakespeare. I am disgusted and horrified with the fog of flimflam and trickery that passes for civil discourse in our society. English is a powerful and beautiful instrument that can in its plainest and most unadulterated form sweep away cobwebs and build bridges all in the same moment. It is time that we begin to use it the way it was designed to be used – to make clear our world view and our personal reality unambiguous and succinct. What follows is plain English.
Greed is not good. Whether you view it as a sin or just stupid, it is not good. It destroys lives. It hurts people. No matter what some two-for-a-nickel-Elmer Gantry-sleazy-politician or carnivorous corporate executive tells us, it is not a virtue. Greed is killing this Planet and her children. There is such a thing as right and wrong. Profit cannot make wrong right.
In many religious traditions, including mine, Christ is the bringer of compassion not commerce. To an outsider it seems that he is being crucified all over again by people who use the Bible like a bludgeon and his teachings to shackle millions. He has been spun, sold, bought, bartered and bargained. He is big business and good politics. He is a curtain of righteousness for the wicked to hide behind. He is, in point of fact, everything but what he was a good and decent man who healed bodies and souls. I won’t speak to his divinity because I am not a believer. I will say this, it is time for Christians of good faith and conscious to stand up and fight back openly and loudly and stop letting the children of Mammon costumed as holy warriors hijack and maim their religion. Pagans have been doing it for centuries. We’ll be glad to give them some pointers.
This assertion that greed makes holy the acquisition of wealth is putrid. No face of any Deity is seen on U.S. currency, unless you consider the eye of Horus, which the Christians call the eye of Providence. It is the All Seeing Eye. It could be the eye of Jehovah, or Osiris I suppose. Then again it might be the eye of the Security and Exchange Commission, or even Ralph Nader. Whoever is watching they haven’t been watching very well. It is up to us to cure our disease and realize that wealth is not the only indicator of success – it isn’t even the most important. Money is certainly not more valuable than people or than the Earth. It is not more precious than integrity, dignity or veracity. Faith for hire is no faith at all. Anyone who doesn’t understand these principles should check into rehab like any other junkie – and quickly.
Monday, May 2, 2011
I give you Virginia Foxx, North Carolina, 5th District, I.Q. two points above plant life. This creature vehemently denies the phenomenon of climate change, but then again she hates science like so many members of her cabal. I have come to suspect that their distrust of all things scientific stems from a primordial stupidity. That is to say that they are genetically too thick to understand anything other than their own self-interest.
I don’t pretend to clearly understand aberrations like Virginia Foxx or how she got into office. What I do understand is air, wind, sun, soil and water. I am a master gardener. It is May, but the air is not May air - cool and sweet. It is Rocky Mountain cold like the end of November. The sun is weak, barely able to compete with the intermittent heavy clouds. A furious wind gusts from cold to frigid. I stood in my tulip bed this afternoon and watched ice crystals scatter across the ground. Ice crystals - not the soft, wet snow of May. I am Witch. The practice of the Craft of the Wise goes back in my maternal line farther than anyone can remember. I know the Earth. She is a friend of mine. I know the air, the sun and the water as well as I know the touch of my husband’s hand. Something is wrong, very wrong. So, who the hell do we see about that, Virginia?
Sunday, May 1, 2011
During the Bush Administration, just following 9/11 and beyond, it was proffered and understood by the Republicans that anyone who questioned the president was engaged in treason. Anyone who doubted the wisdom of one of his policies was aiding and abetting the terrorists. The Left gave them hell for this nonsense – as well we should. It seems now, however, that some Lefties are engaged in pretty much the same thing. This is extremely disturbing to me.
I have found while writing online that anyone who questions Mr. Obama runs the risk of being accused of serving the Rightwing agenda at best and/or racism in the worst case scenario. When a Liberal questions the policy of keeping Gitmo open they are whining. When a skunk like Rahm Emanuel tells the Liberal base to sit down and shut up, or go “F” themselves, and the President does and says nothing, anyone who notices is somehow disloyal.
My loyalty is to Liberalism. I grew up in the world of Kennedy. My parents were working people and union organizers. We didn’t have much, but we had our principles and our principles were Liberal. I have taken my faith in the Liberal cause to the streets, to jail, to the courts and once or twice to the Emergency Room. I have paid my dues. I will not be expected to forfeit the doctrine I have held and cherished all of my life for any politician. I wouldn’t have done it for Bobby Kennedy who I worshipped. When President Obama supports Liberal policies, I support President Obama. When he does not, I study, read and think. Then I speak out. That is my right. I have found that people who do the most squealing about their free political speech are only too happy to object to mine. That appears to be a bipartisan trait.
The idea that disagreement with the policies of President Obama constitutes latent conservative leanings, childish temper or hatred for the color of the man's skin is on its face dim-witted. It is an insult to both the accuser and the accused. Do I respect Mr. Obama? Yes, I do. Am I proud of him and his election? Yes, I am. Do I think that he deserves better treatment and protection? I do. Do I or will I blindly agree with everything he says and does? I most definitely, emphatically, indubitably do and will not. I reserve the privilege to exercise the sacred Right to Dissent.
Friday, April 15, 2011
Paul Ryan is a Randite. Alan Greenspan was a Randite. Many members of the rightwing Conservative and Tea Party Caucus are Randites. That is to say that they subscribe to the ideas of an American novelist, Ayn Rand. Her philosophy known as Objectivism is based largely on selfishness, greed, egotism and an unwillingness to see all human beings as equal and worthy.
I was required to read Rand in college. In the manner of all fine educators, a very liberal Jesuit priest who detested her ideas insisted that her literary style was worthy of study. The book he assigned was the “Fountainhead” about an architect who blows up a housing development for the poor because it hasn’t been built to his aesthetic specifications.
Some years later I read Rand’s opus, “Atlas Shrugged.” I had to disagree with Father. Her style was stilted, her use of the conventions of writing juvenile. Now, I am a Shakespearian and my standards are high, but still in all it seemed to me that she used the English language as nothing more than a battering ram to force her philosophy into print. As a statement of that philosophy let me quote John Galt, her hero in “Atlas Shrugged.”
“In proportion to the mental energy he spent, the man who creates a new invention receives but a small percentage of his value in terms of material payment, no matter what fortune he makes, no matter what millions he earns. But the man who works as a janitor in the factory producing that invention, receives an enormous payment in proportion to the mental effort that his job requires of him. And the same is true of all men between, on all levels of ambition and ability. The man at the top of the intellectual pyramid contributes the most to all those below him, but gets nothing except his material payment, receiving no intellectual bonus from others to add to the value of his time. The man at the bottom who, left to himself, would starve in his hopeless ineptitude, contributes nothing to those above him, but receives the bonus of all of their brains.”
My sister tells me that she believes that John Galt is a metaphor for all people trying to “shrug” off an oppressive system. I disagree. I think he is a metaphor for how to establish one. He speaks of the top of the pyramid which he must know cannot exist without a base. Rand had to understand that an elitist class is meaningless without a lower class. When she speaks of “the man at the bottom” contributing nothing she is saying in essence that the work of the ordinary man or woman has no value.
In large part Ayn Rand’s disciples are running the House of Representatives. The spawn of this malignant, twisted, cruel, sadistic harpy are crafting budgets, setting social policy and dismantling institutions such as education and Medicare. Not a single man or women now serving as Rand’s surrogate could have won their election if they have laid out her Objectivism in their party’s platform, and they know it.
One other thing, Ayn Rand detested religion. She considered blind faith in anything that could not be proven to be detrimental to life because it contradicts reason. Yet, her philosophy is how some so-called Christians can justify stealing from the poor. They are not Christians, and when they bow their head in prayer or wax righteous about abortion, gay marriage, or school prayer they expect to get something out of it other than salvation.
Thursday, April 14, 2011
This is a very important link. I love this guy. This is the most intelligent thing that I have heard since this whole budget sham heated up. Please call your congressman or woman and endorse this. Call the Republicans in your area too, they can't read so don't bother to write.
Wednesday, March 23, 2011
Elizabeth Taylor died today. Many women of my generation considered her to be the most beautiful woman who ever lived. With her violet eyes, double thick lashes, jet black hair, perfect skin and at one time perfect figure, she held the Twentieth Century mesmerized as she lived a creative life of independence, passion and joy on her own terms. Taylor wasn’t like her colleagues – Monroe, Mansfield, Dee – she was not a celluloid reflection trying to live in the real world. She was a whole person and a damn serious actress with three academy award nominations and two academy awards, not to mention the BAFTA and the Golden Globe to prove it.
This morning I was watching some puppy on MSNBC attempting to report the news and talking about Taylor. He did not mention her humanitarian work, academy and other awards, or her great movies like "Butterfield 8" and "Cleopatra," but by the Goddess he was quick to mention her prescription drug and alcohol abuse which took place years and years ago.
We are people who love to watch our fellow humans twist on the noose of humiliation. We are sadistic and petty little voyeurs with a taste for the salacious. It seems to make us feel better to know that someone else is miserable and in peril. The media and our political culture feed this for monetary gain and political advantage. They don’t much give a damn what they say about anybody. What isn’t covered by Freedom of the Press, is covered by Freedom of Speech and the beat goes on. So, praise God and pass the Inquirer, Taylor is dead and that ought to give some of us fresh meat for many a day.
Tuesday, March 15, 2011
John Boehner is a pig. Eric Cantor is a pig. In fact all of the Republican House members are pigs. They go oinking through the Halls of Congress trying to turn back the clock on Women’s Rights. However, the real criminals are the women who enable them – like Michele Bachman and Virginia Foxx. These two eunuchs are content to consign American women to the 1950’s. They must not think that this will ever affect them, their daughters or granddaughters. They must not realize that if it were 1950 neither of them would be in office. Clearly, they don’t understand that they are not just threatening the rights of women, they are threatening their dignity.
Those of us who remember the 50’s look back on a time when women were little more than chattel. They were owned body and soul by the significant men in their families; their work undervalued, their appearance overvalued, their opinions dismissed, their economic security doled out to them in nickels and dimes, their obedience compelled. In other words, they were children. This regression on the part of our rightwing lawmakers isn’t just about the availability of safe abortions or equal pay for equal work. It is about returning to a toxic and pervasive social paradigm that rendered half the human race powerless and subservient.
Whenever I think of the 1950’s I think of the actress Sandra Dee. She was the preferred feminine image of the day – a soft, fluffy kitten with a lovely face and body and a sweet willingness to please. Indeed, she was a perpetual child, just what the era demanded, and on some level expected to remain sixteen for the rest of her life. When she married, had a child of her own and was deemed more or less past her prime as an actress it must have been horrific for her. You see the kitten never became a cat with proper claws. Dee began to drink, and her drinking ruined her marriage. After her husband left, her drinking escalated. When he died in the early seventies she sunk into chronic alcoholism. I have to wonder if in her isolation and drunkenness she ever came to realize the madness of a world that demanded women view themselves exclusively through the eyes of other people.
The tragedy of Sandra Dee is not unique. It is in part the product of stereotyping, marginalizing, forcing people to draw their self-image from someone else’s consciousness. This can only be done to people who don’t enjoy parity in a society. The Suffragettes gave us the vote. The Feminists gave us access to our souls and the right to define our future on our own terms. Sandra Dee didn’t have these things – most women didn’t in the 50’s.
The feminist reality and the rights of women were hard won by those of us who fought the war. I am old now and battle scared. Like a lot of people who have many fewer years to live then they have lived I see with precision the tapestry of existence. If one thread is cut in the weave all the others are weakened accordingly. If the rights of Labor are compromised in Wisconsin, then Civil Rights, Women’s Rights, the Rights of Gay and Lesbian People grow systemically fragile in turn. I doubt that the myopic pigs, criminals and their assorted appendages around the country have a clue nor give a damn what they are doing when they disturb the delicate fabric of Freedom that so many men and women have stitch together. Just as Bachmann and Foxx haven’t a clue nor give a damn when they aid their male colleagues in forcing women back to a time of physical, intellectual and spiritual oppression.
Elected officials of either party who are afflicted with this level of stupidity or apathy aren’t fit to govern. Not only are they unworthy of representing a free people in a free state, but they are to our very democracy as AIDS is to the human lymphatic system.
The rose featured above is “Rainbows End.” She is a miniature landscape rose that glows golden in the sunlight. I put it here in honor of Sandra Dee and all the women whose chains prevented them from following their rainbow to its end.
Wednesday, March 9, 2011
Henry James wrote: “We work in the dark, we do what we can, we give what we have, our doubt is our passion, and our passion is our task …” James was speaking of art, but he could have been speaking of anything today. We are all living in the New Dark Ages, doing what we can, giving what we have, our passion is the truth and finding it is our task. By the Goddess it is not easy. Between the media gone round the bend on trivia - Sheen, Lohan, blah, blah, blah - and a political establishment with a greater than ever vested interest in keeping the American People in the dark, it seems that the Dark Ages have come back around to collect us with all the trappings of greed, tyranny, scapegoating, religious zealotry and repression aimed at a Working Class some of whom are only too willing to accept it.
Now contrary to the opinion of some of my former nursing students, I was not present for the first Dark Ages. So I have no personal knowledge of the political or economic climate. However, I have a pretty good idea of what is going on today. Our political institutions have become conclaves of whores. I am not talking about prostitutes; they work for a living – no matter how shabby or pathetic that living might be. Our politicians on the other hand peddle their influence, power, principles and integrity so they won’t have to work at all and can serve for life. Unfortunately this is a bipartisan occupation and is prevalent in all the halls of power across the country. Accordingly our body politic is always open for business. They sell women’s rights, civil rights, worker’s rights, children’s rights. They sell God. That’s a big one; unless it is the God of the Muslims then they sell hate, bigotry, cruelty and a free flowing fear and stupidity. It is past time that we began to call these people what they are. They are not leaders, public servants, elected representatives, men and women of the people, they are WHORES.
Of course all of this is largely facilitated by our nearly brain dead media that itself is open for business 24/7 and when not selling nonsense, tomfoolery, and celebrity flimflam is out-and-out lying. Take for instance this morning. I was listening to MSNBC (although I am beginning to wonder why anymore) and a man who calls himselve a White House correspondent, told a young anchor man that there had not been a revolution in this country since the Republicans took the House. Giving the man the benefit of the doubt perhaps he can’t spell Wisconsin or has never seen a map of the United States. Then again it could be that he has spent so much time in the Beltway that his cerebral cortex has shrunk. In any case, I looked everywhere for this man – Twitter, MSNBC, Google, Yahoo. I wanted to enlighten him; I couldn’t find him. Maybe there is a reason he hides.
Monday, March 7, 2011
When did our public servants, our elected officials, become our superiors? When did our legislators, supposedly accountable to the electorate, become ruling nobility with the same contempt for the working men and women who put them in office as Louie XVI’s court had for the French peasantry of his day? This isn’t just about the moral invalids in the Republican held U.S. House, but about governors and state and municipal leaders. It is the modus operandi of the New Right to denigrate and demonize the American people - particularly the Working Middle Class and their children, the Poor and their children, the Elderly, the Disabled, the Unemployed, Wounded Veterans and Women of almost every class. We are slobs, parasites and destroyers of the American Dream. What they can’t or won’t do for themselves they fear-trip their troglodytes into doing for them – example, the Tea Party mess during the health care debate. They project a belief that as members of a newly minted aristocracy they will never have to face us at the ballot box again.
There can be no question that a perverse calculus is at work - a Machiavellian and highly organized movement designed and driven by a first-rate mind. I believe there is a single intelligence orchestrating all of this because of the precision and seamlessness of the process we are seeing. I believe it is a man’s intellect owing to the demonstrated fact that from John Boehner to the most obscure Republican city council person in the smallest city in America these people, male and female, suffer from advanced misogyny and profound penis envy.
It is not the brainpower of that bloated buffoon in New Jersey or the Dog Faced Boy in Wisconsin. It isn’t the mental apparatus of the Koch brothers at play – they are bankers, appendages like the Tea Party Movement which couldn’t organize a trip to the toilet without their money. It is inconceivable that this acuity and mental power could belong to one of the aphid-like sub-literates who infest the legislative process across this land with an overwhelming need to see women die at the hands of butcher abortionists while they nonchalantly promote gun violence through countless sins of legislative omission. All of this is diversion, akin to several shows going on simultaneously under one of P.T. Barnum’s Big Tops. The ringmaster, the man who would be king draws back and lurks in the darkness like the ghost of Hamlet’s father. He may be hidden away on Wall Street or in some great corporation. Perhaps he is buried deep in the Republican Party Machine. Of one thing I am certain – we have never seen him.
Call me paranoid or just plain crazy, but this is the only explanation that I can find for how every political rummy, dimwit, nimrod, dull knife and numb nuts in the Republican Party got into office and is pursuing a flawless agenda that none of them are smart enough to conceive, direct or pursue on their own. This is the only explanation I can find for why these same politicians spit in the face of their voters at every possible opportunity showing no respect for our franchise or power. Do they anticipate a time when we will have neither, or do they just think, à la Bush, that this is the best path to reelection because reminiscent of physically abused children we will come to protect our abusers out of terror?
In the works of Shakespeare three of his darkest plays involve agents plotting behind the scenes. The three Witch in Macbeth, Iago in Othello and of course the ghost in Hamlet. Nefarious or not their machinations enable total destruction. The moral of these brooding tales is wake the hell up. Had Macbeth heeded the warnings of the three Witches, had Othello paid more attention to Iago’s behavior, had Hamlet made a damn decision of his own one way or the other, these anecdotes would have ended very differently.
The American people must wake up. The warnings are all around us. The behavior of our so-called leaders is increasingly deviant, arrogantly corrupt and growing more threatening every day. The American people need to make a decision about what is important to them – the future of our government and country or J Lo’s underwear, the Super Bowl and our innumerable toys? The question becomes while we are watching the celebrity de jour biodegrade what pseudo patriot, false prophet or budding dictator dismantles our liberties behind our back?
Thursday, February 17, 2011
The toads in Washington talk about entitlement reform as if it will solve our fiscal problems. It will not, not even close. Thugs like Walker in Wisconsin or Christie in New Jersey insist that crippling the public employees’ unions will solve their state budget shortfalls. It will not, not even close. Years and years of government mismanagement, corruption and stupidity in addition to years and years of criminal behavior, malfeasance and unprecedented greed on Wall Street has brought this country to its knees. After this orgy of amoral behavior the Middle Class, one of the only groups that didn’t benefit from it, is being punished and expected to pick up the tab.
CNN has not covered the workers struggle in Wisconsin at all, that I can tell. MSNBC has ignored the protests except for Maddow and Schultz who have covered them fairly extensively. I must admit that the mealy-mouthed-sorta-kinda-wanta-be journalist Chris Jansening gave the demonstrators a nod this morning saying that about one thousand people were on the street. There are thousands on the streets in Wisconsin. Fox is insisting that the demonstrators have been infiltrated by Muslim radicals - by the Goddess I wish someone would write them some new material.
Every time a member of the Tea Party breaks wind four thousand, six hundred and twenty cameras are on him. To paraphrase the Bard, the media hangs about Michele Bachmann and Sara Palin like a new married wife about her husband’s neck hardly to be shaken off. Yet, when working people take to the streets for their benefits and the long settled right to collectively bargain the whole press establishment, like the three monkeys, is deaf, dumb and blind. What is the overall message here?
Chris Christie is a political anomaly. Red faced and bloated, he has the same crude manner as a surly detective in a 50's movie. I suspect he is a coward and would crumble if anyone growled back at him. This jerk told some Tea Party organization that he wanted to reduce the size of government to the point where he could go upstairs in the governor’s mansion, put his feet on the desk and have a beer. His approval rating is 51%. What in the hell is going on in this country?
According to MSNBC Obama has selected a bipartisan group of law makers to consider entitlement reform. Of course their pensions will never be at stake. I didn't work 48 years in this country so that a covey of self promoting politicians could break the contract I came in under; or take any part of what I earned in the name of reform; or force my 30 year-old nephew into the toilet of Wall Street. I didn't vote for Obama so that I could watch him hand my interests over to the anti-humanist Republican greed machine.
No one will give us a straight answer as to what entitlement reform means. Paul Ryan and Jeff Sessions get angry when someone tries to pin them down. They want a blank check. Ryan wants a better haircut more. They don't see the need to reform the tax code and stop giving the rich and corporations billions. No, take it away from the elderly, the Working Middle Class and Working Poor. People are accepting this excrement. What the bloody hell is going on in this country?
The worst thing of all is what these right wing pustules are trying to do to education. Consider this: the same people who are trying to deny women the right to choose are cutting education funding. What do we take away from that? The fetus, abandoned by the righteous in the birth canal, is brought into the world so the child can be educated on the cheap and the adult can work for minimum wage. God's law my ass - a larger, ignorant serving class is more like it.