Thursday, September 23, 2010
Sunday, September 19, 2010
A lot of press is being given to the primary victories of Tea Party-endorsed candidates in states like New York and Delaware. Somehow, the exponential surge of the Tea Party is being painted as a serious threat to the Democrats' congressional majorities in this mid-term election cycle. Say what?
Personally, I think this is a spin job being perpetrated by a desperate Republican Party, which is trying to hold itself together at the seams as the Tea Party tears the ultra-right-wing ideologues away from it. Those same ultra-right-wingers who were nodded and winked and placated for eight years by the Bush/Cheney/Rove political machine. The machine that understood it needed the votes of the ultra-conservative nutjobs to keep its stranglehold on the political power in this country. The power that was going to allow them to advance their "build wealth, protect wealth" agenda. The agenda that, in the end, didn't effectively accomplish either of those things. Which is why they are no longer in power.
So tell me: How is the rending asunder of the Republican Party going to threaten the Democrats? Isn't it traditionally so that when an independent party splinters away from one of the two major ones, the party from which that upstart splinters becomes weakened? These Tea-Partiers, with their ultra-conservative agenda, their "birthers" and their altered definitions of socialism, are not the folks who put Barack Obama in office. They are not the folks who threw the bums who had spent eight years leading this country to the brink of economic, intellectual and moral collapse, out on their ears.
THEY are the ones who fell in love with Sarah Palin.
And in case you hadn't noticed…Palin lost.
It's indeed a pity that she hasn't gone away into Losing Candidate Oblivion. But still. Ubiquitous and strident and seemingly popular as she is—she's a loser.
And it's unfortunate that she has become the mouthpiece for a group of discontented loud-mouths who, in my humble opinion, gave up the best thing they ever had when they ripped themselves away from the mainstream Republican Party. Because I think they are going to find that they need the Republicans as much as the Republicans needed them. Together, they are a block to be reckoned with.
Apart…not so much.
Sunday, September 12, 2010
The "Tea Party" thing makes me crazy. But I just can't have any hope that the progressive answer to that hideous noise--the "Coffee Party"--will have any effect other than feeding the fire of divisiveness and "Us vs Them." I don't want to be an "Us." I don't want there to be a "Them." I just want us all to figure out a way to live in peace.
Still, every once in a while, something comes along that makes sense and I need to endorse, regardless of where it comes from.
The following comes from the "Coffee Party" website. I was led to it by Cynthia on Facebook. Here is the link:
But for those of you who don't click on links in blogs, here are my favorite parts: On second thought, here's the whole thing. It's all my favorite part:
Sat, 09/11/2010 - 9:08am — AnnabelPark
The building was on fire and there
was no way down the stairs. She was calling to say goodbye. There was really
only one thing for her to say, those three words that all the terrible art, the
worst pop songs and movies, the most seductive lies, can somehow never cheapen.
I love you.
She said it over and again before the line went dead. And
that is what they were all saying down their phones, from the hijacked planes
and the burning towers. There is only love, and then oblivion. Love was all they
had to set against the hatred of their murderers.
-- Ian McEwan's op-ed
in the Guardian UK on September 15, 2001
British noveist Ian McEwan wrote this essay soon after reflecting on those extraordinary messages left for their loved ones by the victims all saying "I love you." In those terrifying days right after the Towers fell, I looked for guidance on how to understand what just happened. Reading this essay helped me to understand not only 9/11, but something important about life.
The simplicity of the truth stunned me: In the end, love is what matters.
Instead of being consumed by fear in the last moments of her life, this woman -- the caller, the victim -- was consumed by love. When we fear death and destruction, love is what gives us strength as individuals.
When we need to summon courage for a dangerous operation or to pull ourselves together after we get into a car accident, we think of the ones we love and want to talk to them. We don't think of the ones we hate. Hate doesn't give us the strength to live.
Imagine a whole society consumed by hate. All too well, we can imagine this. Now imagine a whole society consumed by love. It's much harder to imagine.
So, why do we indulge in hate when it weakens us as individuals and a society? There is an illusion of power when we hate, when are we are angry. There is a burst of
energy when chemicals are released into our brains that we mistake for power. We
also feel a sense of unity and camaraderie with our fellow haters. We don't feel
so alone when there is organized hatred. We feel like we are part of a group.
But it is a bond that ultimately weakens us as individuals.
Imagine the same bond based on mutual love, not mutual hate.
Let's again try to imagine a society driven by love for humanity and country. By compassion for those suffering. To want to care for people who need care. Whether they are breathing in toxic chemicals in the Gulf, trapped in a mine is Chile, displacedand hungry in Pakistan, still homeless in Haiti or unemployed in Rockford, IL.Yes, it makes us cringe. It's painful to care when we feel that there is little
we can do to help.
But think of the trapped miners in Chile. Knowing,that the world is watching and their loved ones are holding vigil in amake-shift tent just above and not leaving them, strengthens the miners. Theyknow that they matter, that they are loved, that around the world, we care. Thismutual situation of concern and love makes the miners stronger. It strengthensus as well to see the awesome resilience of the human spirit.
Love strengthens us. Hate weakens us. For at least today, let's imagine a world
driven by the politics of love, not hate.
Wednesday, September 8, 2010
Monday, September 6, 2010
Mike and I spotted this billboard on I-35, just south of Waco, as we were driving to Austin on Sunday. We stopped to take a pic of it on our way back on Monday night, and we weren't the only ones who did.
A young friend found it funny but I find it disturbing.
Sunday, September 5, 2010
(a poem by Wendell Berry)
1. How much poison are you willing to eat for the success of the free market and global trade? Please name your preferred poisons.
2. For the sake of goodness, how much evil are you willing to do? Fill in the following blanks with the names of your favorite evils and acts of hatred.
3. What sacrifices are you prepared to make for culture and civilization? Please list the monuments, shrines, and works of art you would most willingly destroy.
4. In the name of patriotism and the flag, how much of our beloved land are you willing the desecrate? List in the following spaces the mountains, rivers, town, farms you could most readily do without.
5. State briefly the ideas, ideals, or hopes, the energy sources, the kinds of security for which you would kill a child. Name, please, the children whom you would be willing to kill.
My thanks to a fellow member of the Creation Spirituality Communities for letting me know about this poem. And my thanks also a relative who shall remain nameless who appears to be far more fundamental than I am for her pro life comments regarding a progressive voting link.
I’m aware that not all so called pro lifers seem to lose their concerns for unborn as soon as they are born.
For me, being pro life means supporting all life. We have to support an unpolluted environment so that children have access to clean water, food, housing and air. Pro life means supporting jobs that pay enough to provide at least basic access to the above mentioned water, food, housing and air. Pro life means access to basic education. The ‘Pub candidate running for Peter DeFazio’s seat calls public education “socialistic” and I really believe he’d like to see the public schools closed.
Pro life means preserving as much of the natural world as we can so kids can dig in the dirt; plant a seed and watch it grow. We all need to at least know that the green is out there for the sake of our sanity.
Pro life means the support and protection of all Creation. It is in Creation that we see the face of the Creator.