Sunday, November 21, 2010

Not a poem, but a heralding song
To gather audience, a hearty throng
Worthy of the artists' time --
An invitation set to rhyme

Look at the idiots with the plane bombs. They were not bombers. They were clowns. The point was not to bring the planes out of the sky, but to put the fear into the flyers.
Why did they fail? Not because of TSA. They were clowns, but they also were observed by the people around them to be acting inappropriately. My point is not that they are funny, but that they have won (not failed at all) when we act so inappropriately, unreasonably, and alarmingly idiotically. No one will get blown out of any sky, or not, because we did or did not humiliate, infuriate, and objectify the traveling public. We will be less as people if we continue to kneejerk ok any stupid ploy to make it look like something is being done. Spoiled brats insist on being impervious to harm, no matter what, refusing to acknowledge there is no such thing. There are much worse dangers than would-be plane bombers who can be focused upon and defused with so much less bad baggage for us all.
You want to be safe? Find a nice, well-protected hole, far from anyone. Fill it with the supplies you will need for the rest of your life and lock yourself in. No? How about developing good awareness skills and better intuition? Speak up if you notice something suspicious. Speak up if you feel abused.
What kinds of sensitivity training are agents given for people with such issues as rape survivors, for instance? How about everyone who feels violated by such treatment keeps account of mental health expenditures or other proof and find a sympathetic lawyer to put together a class action suit.
Overexposure to such rays is well known to be counterproductive to health. What about all the people with compromised immune systems, cancers, all kinds of health issues, who need to travel often (maybe for work, maybe even for medical reasons)? I don't think these policies were thought through at all. More like: "Hey, what can we do to show we're serious about fighting terror?"
But are we groping and raying the cargo?
Yes, of course, molest the passengers and let the cargo go free
You know what has been the best defense against these attacks:
public awareness.  Get rid of the machines and gropers. Let the public know how our input is appreciated. Maybe loudspeaker announcements thanking passengers for their help in keeping us all safe and these are the people to go to if you see something suspicious.
Because, you know, smugglers have used body cavities for millennia; the next step in "safety" is wholesale rape. And then there will be the pregnant women with explosives implanted or ... come up with your scariest scenario.
There is no absolute safety. All this insanity only keeps us from doing the things that do make sense.
When we dishonor each other, treat paying public like meat to be inspected, build up the fear of the people, we are working directly and with great loyalty for the terrorists.
Of course we can get rid of these intrusions. We have to demand to be treated respectfully or (just like with any bully) we will be derided and our concerns ignored

It wasn't Afghans who did the 9/11 acts. They were just jumped on because they were being oppressed by the Taliban, unleashed on them as an antidote to Soviet invasion. Kind of in the same vein that we promoted Saddam Hussein to help fight the Iranis. The enemy of our enemy is our friend, until they are of no more use as a friend and more useful as an enemy. Meanwhile we destroy people's lands/homes/lives to make some kind of erroneous point.
Instead of putting all these resources into destruction of war, wouldn't it be easier (and a big boon to the world economy) to say run contests and give big awards to people who organize peaceful businesses in communities at risk?
 Of course we are all feeling the effects of global warming. Of course the climate is already changing. It is far too late to put that back in the box. The urgent need now is to make the changes we need to in order to live in these changing conditions. We all know, we all complain endlessly, that Congress can't find its way out of a wet paper bag. Congress does not act on information; it acts on polemics. The only thing holding up clean energy is all of us. We need to demand it. Not from Congress, from those from whom we get our energy. Corporate money is not about destroying the world. It's about making more corporate money. If the market has spoken and demanded clean energy, you better believe they will fall all over themselves to provide it.
Those quietly moving and shaking behind the scenes are the plutocrats pushing an oligarchic agenda. They have the best that modern psychology can offer to pick off those below with lies and fantasies. People become so conditioned, they just move along in line. It is all very sad.
We have no idea what we are doing, not only to ourselves but to the environment on which we depend, in our mad drive toward profit.
well-regarded alternatives to big medical business are portrayed as quacks, scams, not allowed. This is not about "Obama-care" but has been the mainline paradigm for a very long time here. Why aren't the alternatives people want talked about?
As near as I can tell, they want to get us hooked on their products, then hooked on more of their products to counteract the "side" effects of the products they have already hooked us on and so on and so on -- fabulous business model until we're all sucked dry.
People don't generally seem to understand that "side effects" are just as much effects of the substance on your body as, not merely incidental to, the desired effects.
We should have clear, easily understood, write-ups of the research, of the various other remedies and their pros and cons, of various medical professionals and consumers giving their opinions, where questions can be raised and responded to in easy to access locations on the web and otherwise. As they say: "Sunshine is the best disinfectant."
If big business is really so socially responsible and the best way to get important projects done, why haven't these businesses taken on these projects. There is plenty of work to be done, and plenty of unemployed people to do it.
we don't need no stinking government to fix our economy
we do need to understand that freedom requires responsibility
It should be so obvious: If we don't want government interference in the marketplace, we need to be proactive and work out the problems in our communities that adversely affect our lives.
Politics is not about truth, but about persuasion. If the anti group can convince the people to make big noises, it matters not that it is merely noise. Those who dance to the tune of power through populism carry the day. No, of course, a majority in the House is not a license to repeal or even rule. That doesn't mean any of it is based on what is real in the world outside of hypeville.
There's always a trade-off. If we are informed, we can decide what we are willing to trade.
It is not only big government that can stimulate our economy. There are long religious and secular traditions of giving charity, providing within community, not to mention creative ideas such as contests in which small fees become a prize possibly based on developing clever ways to provide services or maybe starting small community-based enterprises through which people can earn money ad hoc or ...
There are easy ways to Win = Win in theory; but you get politics into it and all bets are off.   In reality, the economy is not a problem at all. The #1 problem in this country right now is angry cross-talk which keeps everyone at arms' length bickering rather than coming together to reasonably work out how to live together successfully.
What no one seems to want to say is that there is no possible way of saving ourselves out of the deficit. The only way out is up: growing the economy. If we want to survive this insanity we need policies that will encourage growth, like much more realistic education and encouragement of small businesses.
Social Security and Medicare are paid for independently of the other budget items. If we got rid of the cut-off, we could all pay a much lower percentage of income and save money for employers right where the employees' pay is concerned.
Get rid of all these unwanted foreign adventures, wars and rumours of wars and pushing around sovereign nations, and all those unfortunate weapons that mostly don't deliver as promised. Get rid of corporate welfare. Do real due diligence on making sure government agencies are administrated efficiently, including getting rid of overlaps. Spend to prime the pump, to encourage true government/private partnership in upgrading skills, promoting useful projects and providing sound infrastructure.
The good old days generally referred to are the post WWII times when we were full of vim and victory and most of Europe along with Japan were in shambles. Those were days of high taxation on the highest incomes, if you will recall. Also, it was a time when community philanthropy was expected and respected. The culture now is more about isolation and bifurcation. How do we bring ourselves together for our common good?
Kowtowing to big corp is exactly the wrong way to improve our economy. Many of those "regulations" businesses complain keep them from operating effectively are imposed by big business interests who buy themselves politicians to kill off competition. For a thriving economy we need small, local businesses providing for the needs and desires of customers in return for fair compensation, and so on, and so on, all around.
Don't cut programs that benefit people. But how do we know what is beneficial, what is merely politically expedient? Why not have a project: there must be Congressional oversight committees. Go through the budgets, piece by piece, not with an eye to cutting but an eye to efficiently administering programs to meet real goals. You know, like business executives are supposed to if they want their business to run well. Post the process online. Let us all see exactly what government spending is.
From a point of view with which you may be unfamiliar, government has no place in the free market. Free market forces, the invisible hand, if left to themselves will give everybody the shot they deserve. It is incumbent on the individual to produce appropriate goods/services to trade on the free market. If they do their job well and provide a product which sells, they deserve the reward. If they don't, they need to be told in no uncertain terms that they need to do better.
Let them find work they can do. Let the market provide entrepreneurs who can sufficiently monetize training and mentoring people without the ability to do it for themselves. [Or, maybe put together badly managed programs to give them too little to adequately live on while demeaning them with constant questioning of their deservingness, keeping them dependent, powerless, and miserable?]
 A major problem with this mindset, taken as an argument, is that we have never had a truly free market in the US. At this point the advantages to the advantaged are so intricately woven into the fabric that the only way to mitigate it is a radical realignment. People get so tightly wound into their ideologue fantasies they fail to actually look at the real situation and how their preconceived ideas don't fit it.  However, there is nothing wrong with postulating philosophies as an exercise in discovering possibilities.
Science slowly seems to be catching up with simple realities. The human response to the unsanctioned truth seems to be "No!" "No!" "No!" "Well, what do you know? Science has made it true."
Perhaps you honestly don't realize, or think that because you are so much milder than many of those antagonists on the "other" side that your belligerence doesn't matter. But it does. If you are to be an impeccable warrior, when it is pointed out that you have taken on characteristics that you demean in your opponents the response of defensiveness is no defense. Take the responsibility. Learn to be kinder. That does not mean to lessen the strength of your arguments. In fact, coming from a place of truth and honor strengthens them (and you) more. (However, if you decide consciously to enjoy a spell of bitchiness here and there, go for it. Just don't pretend you didn't.)
Ignorance and prejudice are not religiously based -- anyone can play.
Forgiving doesn't mean forgetting. It doesn't mean you welcome the mean spirit into your heart. It means you welcome love into your heart; allow the hate to fall off your back into the past. Forgive. Don't forget. Let the meanness be a lesson in how not to live.
Oh, my recent mantra: Never argue with a bigot. It will upset you and make the bigot madder.
What religion is is not about morality or rights. It is about a common understanding of the meaning of life that those who agree well enough can feel they are those in the know. Faith, spirituality, these are different from religion.
Religion, way back in tribal society, was a "yoke" of underlying tribal knowledge orally transmitted. As societies grew and took over further lands, ritual, ceremony, gathering for more formal teachings of collective knowledge became more and more formalized into what we now call "religion". Morality, spirituality, these are more individual relationships to what is beyond the individual. We are perfectly capable of living as moral beings simply because we understand that "morality" is about successfully living among others. Codification of morality is more likely to become oppressive and about hierarchical power.
There are Christians and Christians (as well as probably any other collective nouns).  Unfortunately, there are a great many seriously disturbed folks out there proclaiming Christianity as their cause.  They harass people mercilessly for not believing exactly as they believe their God commands.  Of course, there are a great many Christians (probably the vast majority) who are lovely people, living exemplary lives as their God commands, caring for those in their community no matter what the other states as belief because they understand in their hearts that the "One God" loves all of Creation.
There are a great many people who proclaim their love for their God and treat his Creation like a cesspool, and their brethren like mortal foes.
I believe there can be (perhaps will be) a paradigm shift such that we no longer need religion. It would have to be a true and overwhelming realization that we are all interdependent, among ourselves and with our environment.
It is a poem because of the evocative nature of the language, because it intends to speak with more than the prosaic words, but as a massage for the mind and heart. The line breaks are to make the reading easier, to put the phrases together as the poet's ear hears them, like stage direction.
Poetry throughout written history has been both an oral and visual art. There is a great deal of spoken poetry available, as well as more and more writing, experimenting, genre melding and overturning. Look for what speaks to you.
After many years of awareness introspection I have recently felt freed of the need to be bound by mislearned lessons of childhood. (Well, I hope I don't just fall back into those familiar but dreadful patterns.) It really is about accepting without blame, and realizing that the past can be let go to allow the present to be an adventure.

Speaking of folklore/fairytales/myth -- I am in the beginning stages of working
on a story (very soulful) in the style of an old folk legend. Perhaps some of
you here could point me toward useful online sources of such stories that I
might immerse in the flavor?