Archive for the ‘politics’ Category

There are choices to be made

October 11, 2010

Election Day is coming quickly. There are choices to be made.

I can vote for:

those spreading fear or those spreading hope

those displaying selfish indifference or those who see and support those in need

those who preach American exceptionalism or those who see us as a global neighbor

those favoring the monied interests or those favoring each American’s interests

those who want to obstruct or those who want to govern

those who diminish and exclude or those who welcome and include

those who believe in a God of judgment and condemnation or those who believe in a God of forgiveness and love

those who believe the Founding Fathers wanted us to stay with them or those who believe the Founding Fathers wisely guided us toward the future

those who see the Constitution as a rigid handbook for a privileged few or those who see the Constitution as a living document and road map for all

There are choices to be made.

I sure wonder what has happened

September 17, 2010

I sure wonder what has happened to the Republican party I grew up with. The dumbing down is mystifying. But then fear and misinformation needs no metric of competence especially when fueled by selfish indifference to what happens to our country and those in need.

All it takes is a little spark

May 15, 2010

“Eyes on the Prize” episodes 3 and 4 aired last Sunday. We recorded them for viewing during the week. 5 and 6 air tomorrow at noon in Saint Louis. Still can’t shake two dominant feelings as I watch the retelling of the civil rights struggle: embarrassment and sadness.

The fact that I tended to be somewhat oblivious to the magnitude of what was happening at the time illustrates, to me, how we are historically and culturally conditioned to interpret what we see and hear. Our conditioning also influences what we even bother to pay attention to. All I remember at the time was how mindless I thought the behavior was of those in the southern states. I hadn’t had enough inter-racial experiences to have the visceral reaction I have today.

It was a sad time in our history, and there are vestiges of that same fear and hatred deeply imbedded today. All it takes is a little spark to light the fuse for them to coalesce and bubble to the surface. And there are plenty of folks who still know how to play the game and get those sparks started.

Economic strife, the drum beat of xenophobia, demonizing those who need help, having one of “those people” in the White House, seeing a terrorist behind every bush, imagining that someone is taking our country away from us … all of that creates the perfect storm for foolish, thoughtless, and reckless actions.

How long it will take?

May 10, 2010

So, if Kagan is confirmed, who will feel unrepresented among the sitting justices on the U.S. Supreme Court?

Let’s see how long it takes for the undercurrent to surface among the opposition. Somebody’s nose is going to get bent. And the coded language will be interesting to watch.

Isn’t that right Wall Street?

May 6, 2010

Today IS a better day. Open windows, a cleaned off patio. The first semblance of feeling normal since April 25. My partner is still not feeling well, however.

The situation in Greece is not good. Their debt structure and inability to create enough of a revenue/spending gap makes their recovery look like a very long-term exercise. Default, I assume, remains a real possibility with their having little capacity to repay lenders over the long haul. Even keeping up with interest charges will be tough.

I can’t blame the Greek populace for being upset. Much of what is happening to them on an individual basis resembles what happens here: The party is over, the shiny limousines have pulled away from the curb with their tipsy and self-satisfied cargo, and the check has been handed to those busing the dishes and sweeping the floor. Whether Greece’s socio-economic policy has been healthy and realistic over the years is beside the point. The little guys shouldn’t have to foot the bill. Isn’t that right Wall Street?

The British elections are today. The Diane Rehm Show this morning had an excellent panel to discuss some of the dynamics. One thing of note was the main distinction between their conservatives and our Republican party. They don’t have a religious right so the conservatives are able to be more responsive to the signs of the times and diverse constituencies … I guess, rather than being stuck in the Old Testament. The panel also noted that the disaffected conservatives in Britain have a leader whereas the Tea Party movement has no leader, (nor sees any need for a message rooted in reality, I say).

It will be fun to see what happens.

I’m staying in!

May 3, 2010

Being under the weather for more than a week following our trip to Italy has had a tendency to tarnish a wonderful experience. Upper-respiratory infection aggravated by allergies, energized by the exhausting 27-hour day coming home, and the effects of jet-lag on any attempts to rest,  have come together to create a unique way for really feeling crappy.

Early this afternoon, we wondered where the plume was coming from as it stretched across our backyard. It turns out that a sudden breeze had lifted oak pollen off of our roof as well as the neighbor’s. I’m staying in!

Sunday at noon, here in St. Louis, “Eyes on the Prize” is being shown in three two-hour segments – one segment each Sunday.  I can’t recall how many times I’ve watched many of the six segments, but the whole thing remains gut-wrenching.  Watching the series is well worth being kept aware.

I’m hopeful for a program on the middle passage where anywhere from 16 to 60 million Africans died during their transport on slave ships. Their was apparently indifference in the record keeping to have an accurate number.