Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Double Speak

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

Untying the Knot

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

Long Ago

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

Spare Me

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

Back to the Alleys

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

Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow

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

One Purely Liberal Principle

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

The Nature of Things

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.