Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Just a Thought

In reviewing the performance of Mr. Romney and his apologists over the past days I am reminded of the words of National Lampoon, “A walk through the ocean of most souls would scarcely get your feet wet.”  The man, his advocates, party and platform are proudly vacuous, smugly superficial, insipidly insensate and intolerably impertinent.   The brilliant E.J. Dionne reminded us on Monday night on Shultz’s show that our government puts greater value on capital then it does on labor.  Mr. Romney is the poster child for this mentality.  He goes through life glibly looking down his patrician nose at the laborers who made it possible for him to amass his capital.  Like an 18-wheeler crashing through a school yard he leaves our broken national values and the damaged reputations of many of his fellow citizens on the ground behind him, some of them still twitching. 

Friday, September 14, 2012


I am going to tell you a story; this is not an X-file.  Last night I was standing out on my front porch to decompress as I often do after Ms. Maddow has ended her broadcast.  I felt something fly past my ear, then into it.  Suddenly there was a pounding against my tympanic membrane with the rhythm of fluttering wings and the amplified concussions of several drummers on speed. 

The sensation was paralyzing.  Predictably, I quickly became dizzy then nauseous.  Unable to stand or to hold my head up because any movement caused the trapped winged creature to panic and pound against my ear drum with increased speed and force, I called my husband. 

He came to my aid and promptly realized that there was very little he could do to help, having neither the light source to penetrate the auditory canal nor the willingness to probe blindly into that narrow and heavily vascular space.  So, we called an ambulance. 

I expected to see two, perhaps three, paramedics respond.  Instead, Fire Rescue came.  Within minutes five firemen/first responders were standing in my living room totally focused on what by the standards of their profession was a very minor complaint. 

Realizing that none of them had a pair of tweezers in their kit – I understand that will be corrected today – and after dispatching my Bradley to fetch mine from the medicine cabinet the senior responder began to patiently and gently probe my auditory canal within a breath of the easily ruptured tympanic membrane.  After what seemed a day or more he retrieved a tiny moth which he passed to a colleague who carefully carried it to the front door and released it back into the night.

I would remind you that these five men are representative of the people who ran into the crumbling Trade Towers and charged the Pentagon on 9/11.  At the same time our esteemed leaders in Washington and elsewhere were looking for someplace to hide.  Ironically, it is some of the same political hacks who today advocate relegating these people to the dustbin in the name of fiscal responsibility.  Realizing that the firemen in my home last night brought the same focus, care and concern to what was merely an interesting call as they would bring to a ten car pileup on the interstate or to a mass shooting it is time that we took a page out of the Conservative playbook and examined the value we are getting for our taxpayer dollars.  Wouldn’t it be wiser to insist that before a single firefighter/first responder is rendered unemployed that those who have spent most of their tenure doing nothing but helping their coconspirators at the federal level undermine a president and interfering with the rights of women be paid nothing for their trouble?

Pagans believe that the dust on the wings of a moth is wisdom.  I believe therefore that the uncomfortable and irritating experience of last night served to grace my thinking with a little insight.  This morning it came to me in a flash that amid the terror of world events this week, Romney’s insistence upon returning to the blustering and bullying policies of the Bush administration is once again a display of that fastest-gun-in-the-West, cowboy diplomacy and tone deafness with regard to the message he is sending to the rest of the world.  It is worth noting that from Wes Hardin to Doctor John Holliday no gunman of the Old West ever rode into a town, walked down a dusty street or passed through the swinging doors of a saloon without the certain knowledge that within arm’s reach one or more people would gladly kill them for the dubious privilege of being the fastest of fast guns.  They had no peace.  They were not peace makers; they were killers.  To the extent that we embrace their blood soaked legacy of fear and death we too will have no peace.  Thus, from the Soul of the Goddess to my ear came a bit of wisdom on the wings of a tiny moth.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Two Women:Two Worlds

“To get Bill Clinton to speak at the convention, Obama had to agree to carry his bags.”  Ann Coulter September 5, 20012

Ann Coulter is an example of what is ailing our body politic and of the cancer that has invaded every cell of our political discourse.  I have long believed that in an attic somewhere Coulter keeps a picture of herself, scared and twisted by all the cruelty and fatalist fantasy she has propagated, desiccated and decaying under the burden of the harm she has done. 

In the tradition of Oscar Wilde’s malevolent Doran Gray, her poison seeps into the world around her like mercury into groundwater.   Words have consequences, and hers are often devastating if by nothing other than the malicious ideas she and others like her continue to breed in the manner of maggots on a rotting corpse.  She is never to be taken lightly.  

Ms. Coulter is a disgrace, even to the Rightwing.  She rose to prominence during the Clinton impeachment era.  For anyone who doesn’t remember this fiasco it was a $42,000,000, taxpayer funded, small government proponent’s panty raid.  She was the most acidic and over the top critic of the president.  Her vehemence against Bubba and her obsession with his sexual conduct reminded me of Gertrude, Hamlet’s mother, who did protest too much.  Then as now I couldn’t help but wonder if the real source of her fury was the knowledge that at the height of his lascivious behavior Bill Clinton wouldn’t have touched her had she been the only female on earth – for the same reason he wouldn’t have put his hand in a canister of liquid nitrogen. 

By contrast the Left has Rachel Maddow who wouldn’t for love or money consider abusing the much abused convention of protected political speech with slander, venomous attacks or pitiless vilification.  She resembles no one so much as Edward R. Murrow who made it a habit of showing up, paying attention, telling the truth and not being vested in outcome.  This is the sage’s road to enlightenment and the path by which they lead others.

Today, MSNBC enjoys some of its highest ratings owing to Rachel’s extraordinary work as anchor of both conventions.  While Ann Coulter states that women should not have the vote and we struggle with people attempting to roll back the rights of women, can there be any greater testament to what a strong, brilliant and empower woman can achieve then Rachel Maddow.  She is a credit to her sex, her profession and to women like me who stood up for women’s rights in the days when the motto of feminine success was, “tits up girls, public relations.”  She is a credit to women like my grandmother who were beaten and jailed for the right to participate in the political process.

In a very real world way Ms. Maddow is representative of the stark contrast that President Obama elucidated in his speech last night.  It isn’t just the difference between a gifted and socially conscious president and an inane elitist who thinks the world stops at the tip of his dick.  It is also the difference between a decent and illuminated society where people like Maddow set the tone of political discourse and the fetid cesspool where filth purveyors like Coulter swim.  It is the difference between the world being offered to us by the Radical Right’s bigotry and fear mongering and a world where greatness is admired rather than maligned by mediocrity; where honesty is a fixed value and thoughtfulness not ignorance informs the conscience of a nation. 


Wednesday, September 5, 2012


Myopia is a defect in vision that results in the inability to see objects at a distance.  In a pragmatic and nonclinical sense it has reached epidemic proportion in this country.  Consider the Republican Governors who are doing their best to block mostly democratic voters of color, poor men and women, the elderly and the young from voting in 2012 by demanding birth certificates, car registrations, medical records, a grandfather’s naturalization papers or whatever else they have pulled out of their ass.  Has it not occurred to them that these voters will have time to register by 2014 when they come up for reelection, will vote and put them out of work?  They can’t see that far. 

Think about Romney and Ryan who are peddling enough bullshit to fertilize the Gobi Desert all the while smiling as if a growing number of media outlets, not to mention Ms. Rachel Maddow, hasn’t exposed their lies.  Does it not enter their tiny minds that the electorate will view them as frauds by November?  They can’t see that far.

What of the good citizens who have elected people like Christie, Walker, Kasich, Snyder, Scott and the idiot with the ultrasound probe in Virginia, and still support them.  Is it not within the realm of these taxpayer’s considered possibilities that too few teachers means too many of their children will never become college eligible adults; that the only people too few cops serve is the criminal element; that the firefighters and first responders were the people who saved lives on 9/11 running into burning and unstable builds while politicians all over the country ran like rats from their Capitols?  In another national emergency those valiant public servants would do the same, as would the politicians. They can’t see that far.

Clinically speaking an elongation of the eyeball or excessive curvature of the cornea causes nearsightedness.  Accordingly parallel light rays come to focus in front of the retina rather than on it and vision is shortened.  If we consider a world view to be the eyeball or the cornea, the various ideologies and partisan agendas to be the light rays and the retina to be the common good – we as a people have been shortsighted for a long time.   

There are many treatments for myopia today.  The oldest, some say the most tried and true, is corrective lenses.  The corrective lens for the body politic is compromise; that is to say, bringing as many ideas, beliefs and orientations as possible to bear on the problems pertaining to the common good, and reaching a synthesis of resolutions converging like light rays on the appropriate part of the retina.

It pains this old Lefty radical more than you can know to say this, but only those who can come to the center, or who are temperamentally and ideologically moderate, as I believe President Obama is, can save us.  The Republican Party has driven most of their Moderates out of office, preferring it seems to elect those who will not wear the corrective lens of compromise either out of vanity, greed, avarice or flat out stupidity.  The Democratic Moderates have been stained with the Blue Dog’s obsequious tribute to big money and big religion.  It is down to the electorate to demand that our candidates are capable of understanding common cause.  The first question asked of any of them should be, WILL YOU COMPROMISE on behalf of the good of the nation.

A myopic driver who refuses to wear their glasses will sooner or later have a crash.  The size of the vehicle, the speed and momentum will determine in large part the severity of that crash.  Politicians who refuse to compromise will sooner or later smash this nation on the rocks of foolhardy stubbornness and pigheaded spitefulness.  The size of their egos, the speed with which their partisan lies travel through the population and the momentum with which their self serving schemes engender fear, racism, envy and selfishness will determine the severity of the damage done to the Republic – will it be maimed or destroyed.  As Sherlock Holmes said, “. . . the parallel is exact.”