Thursday, May 31, 2012

Facebook

It's been forty days since my last visit to The Facebook. I feel no sense of withdrawal nor emptiness in my life. I do, however, miss knowing that Sally Slanders in Des Moines loves her new puppy.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Question From A Friend















A good friend and careful reader of this blog asked last week how I was able to "get so riled up about issues enough to be articulate in a blog yet not have it ruin your day?" A good and timely question. My first answer was that perhaps getting it all out and into cyberspace was a way of working the venom out of my system. 

Upon further reflection I noticed that at least in the political realm this literary antidote may not be working as well as it once did. A recent post exposed a borderline defeatist attitude towards American politics and while I don't want to repudiate those feelings, I do feel there may be a more balanced course of action. 

Remember the slogan - "Think Globally, Act Locally". Well I am considering a similar motto for my own political participation - "Act Locally, Stop Reading the NYTimes." I'm not sure that's going to work but I do believe I may have to give it a try for awhile. Trying to turn the lumbering ship of state and encouraging others to do the same seems less and less like David vs. Goliath but more and more like - well see nuclear clown cloud up there - a bit like that.

In any case, tis nearly time to wash the politics out of the blog and get on to more uplifting and rewarding ponderings.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Something We All Can Agree On













"Patriotism is supporting your country all the time, and your government when it deserves it." -Mark Twain

Friday, May 25, 2012

Open Letter to Barack Obama



















I have had this Open Letter in one version or another queued up several times this year but never pulled the trigger. First, it was a idealistic suggestion that the president consider getting his heart and soul into line with his political actions.

But that will never happen. As the saying goes - 'anyone who aspires to be president, should be automatically disqualified from holding the office.' Politicians are politicians, which means they have embraced a profession which by it's very definition demands they lie and distort.

Somehow over the many decades we have accepted a system that turns good, wise, compassionate people into liars, spinners, garble-mouthed politicians and then we expect them to act honestly and fairly once they are in office. What the system does well is to dissuade anyone with a conscience from running for public office.

So no exhortation to Barack to be more than he can be. No three point plan to turn the country around "if only we had the vision and heart to . . ." The sad truth is we all suffer, the 99% both here and around the world because we have indeed let our system of governance be turned over to politicians and they have sold it to the highest bidders.

So whether Obama's team knits together a win in November or Romney gets his shot. Nothing is really going to change. We the people dropped the ball and Washington D.C. is so far removed from us now that they are not even listening anymore. Why should they, we aren't the ones paying the tab.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Holy Black Bigots

I had thought to leave this post out of my stream of political thoughts that festered while I was up in northern california and off-the-net. But it strikes me that while it is completely understandable why whites should never use the N word, by the same logic it is completely appropriate for me, a white indo-european man to call black ministers to task for their bigotry.

I speak, of course, of the reaction from the pulpits of black churches throughout the land after the president came out in favor of gay marriage. They dare wave their good book in the air and cry out that their lord was against gay marriage. Do they really need reminding of what this same book says about another topic close to their soul.

 Slaves, obey your earthly masters with deep respect and fear.  Serve them sincerely as you would serve Christ.  (Ephesians 6:5)


Christians who are slaves should give their masters full respect so that the name of God and his teaching will not be shamed.  If your master is a Christian, that is no excuse for being disrespectful.  You should work all the harder because you are helping another believer by your efforts.  (1 Timothy 6:1-2)


When a man strikes his male or female slave with a rod so hard that the slave dies under his hand, he shall be punished.  If, however, the slave survives for a day or two, he is not to be punished, since the slave is his own property.  (Exodus 21:20-21)


Let me be as clear as I can be. Any minister, priest, rabbi or preacher who stands up in front of a congregation and opposes gay rights is a bigot. No exceptions, no excuses. Yes, you are entitled to your personal opinion as a free citizen, but according to your own professed belief system - you are acting as a conduit for the voice of god. By your words you are suggesting that your deity is a small-minded, fearful, jealous bigot.


To my religious church-attending friends. Did a minister express such bigotry in your house of worship? Did you stand and walk out? Too much? Well then did you call the minister, did you express your outrage? or did you let the bigotry go unchallenged. 

Monday, May 21, 2012

Changing My Politics

While I was off the net for nearly a month during my recent visit to Mt. Shasta I conducted a little personal experiment. Using the multiple channels of DirecTv I immersed myself in the polar opposites of politically partisan television. I watched endless hours of Democracy Now and other liberal media and (un)balanced that with all the conservative offerings I could find. I added any Book TV episodes with an author espousing a political message and did the same with Charlie Rose and other talk shows when they had pure political content. Finally, I watched all the Sunday morning politico panel broadcasts.

I did this because of a very jaded perspective I had found myself in concerning all things political. I am not normally a sarcastic or didactic person. I was a bit concerned at the direction my political observations were taking and wanted to check in to see if somehow my worldview was shifting in a way that did not adhere to my core beliefs about life, the universe and penguins.

Today I offer a warning to my several readers who are not fond of my political postings. There will be a veritable thicket of such content over the next fortnight or thereabouts. I have interspersed these political missives with more of my comforting internet images and I promise - there is an end in sight. I have received renewed insight into my own political process and once that is shared here, we shall move on to less partisan musings.

I guess I already began this mini-series a few days ago when I posted Obama the Politician. Today I wish to bring a bit of order to what has been boiling about in my brain. I was taking notes while off-the-net and perhaps this entire process will be better for the time I had to contemplate and organize.

Specifically about political television I wish to make several observations. The liberal side of the aisle is soft. The message is soft, the defense is soft, the argumentative is nearly squishy. Liberal commentators nearly always "see" the points made my the other side and universally offer to debate and compromise. Conservatives have a completely different modus operandi - they attack, slander, slur and take no prisoners. Rush Limbaugh is the perfected model but they all do it. Right wing talking heads never concede a single point to those pointy headed liberals. They find their own 18th century positions to be universally correct and usually ordained by god or the free market, which often seem to be the same holy entity.

Liberals political commentators are simply too kind to ever survive in the contentious arena that American politics is today. Conservatives are just too mean spirited to represent any living person who considers themselves to possess even a shred of humanity.

Even CNN and Fox, the two networks most identified as representing the opposing sides of American politics, even these two have attempted to counter their own image. Fox now was at least one talking head who regularly challenges outrageous conservative statements made on her show. CNN actually employs several conservative guests to balance their two-headed conversations. The problem is that partisan commentators show up with a list of talking points and they spew they out without regard to what questions are put to them. They all spin, which in non-politico speak means they lie, distort and conceal.

At the end of each of these news shows everyone smiles, like this is the way it is supposed to be. We are all just doing our jobs. We all know where that justification leads us.

Enough for today, enjoy the visual relief tomorrow. More politics on Wednesday.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Obama the Politician

For me there exists a massive chasm between Obama the orator and Obama the politician. You see I want a president to be anti-war, yet Iraq and Afghanistan have been going on for over a decade. I want a president to not only say he is against torture but to do something about it, like close Gitmo as promised. I want a president to actually believe that all men (and women) are created equal no matter what the bible or any other book says. 

There is nothing wrong with abstract ideals when that list includes: freedom, equality and human rights. 

For me, words are not enough. You get four years to do something, I don't care if you fail because your actions are blocked by the other party or even your own democrats. But I expect you to act like you mean what you say. I don't care if you are running against liars, thieves, homophobes or all kinds of bigots and crooks. You see I measure you by what you do, by what you say and by what ideals you uphold.

Barack Obama the speaker of great words is an advertisement. Barack Obama the politician wouldn't know an ideal if he was staring at it in the mirror, which will never happen as long as he is a politician. 

Friday, May 18, 2012

Reconnected

Twenty Four long days and lonely nights without an internet connection. What did we learn?

1. the inability to immediately Google the facts means we only think the politician or news reader is lying, we can't be wikisure.

2. you don't really need to know who wrote that song.

3. nor is it imperative to real-time link the actor's face to his or her name; but it is difficult not to be able to answer the question: "What else were they in?" (Internet Move Database)

4. if you read and respond (and delete) email every day or twice a day, (OK, OK many times each day) then you really have no idea how much useless crap you have not already directed to your spam filter. Yes! I really do wish to unsubscribe.


5. People actually read my blog and apparently some feel deprived when I take a sabbatical. Apologies, I was taking notes and will be posting regularly in the present and near future.

6. I am very fond of my Kindle, those feelings have grown exponentially in the absence of net access.

7. Comcast mobile wi-fi customer service isn't.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

I Know I've Been Away










My apologies to any and all readers. I have been offline for two weeks now trying to resolve my mobile Wi-Fi issues with Comcast. I will not trouble you about my interactions with their customer service other than to say that they must be taking their corporate philosophy from the same help manual being used by the U.S. Congress.

Since I have been up in Weed, California I have had zero internet service. I will be here for another week or thereabouts, right now I am at the semi-local internet cafĂ© and will attempt to make the trek here more often for blog updates that are more than my queue of internet pictures and memorable art. For now it’s been an interesting respite from my blog mania, only minor withdrawal pains on this end. How about you?