Friday, June 17, 2011

So I've really nothing to say right now, but seems if I don't post something, I risk losing the blog. Stay tuned though. Lots of things swirling around inside right now, and some of it is going to come out soon.

Friday, January 19, 2007

Dear Mr. President:

Please let's take a walk, just as the song from Pink says. But whatever you do, do not walk behind me. You see Sir, I no longer trust you or respect you, and though I fear you, there is much that must be said.

Last night on C-SPAN, your Attorney General when speaking with Senators explained why he believed that though the constitution prohibits denying the Right to Habeas Corpus, he believes that right does NOT extend to every citizen, and therefore the President with his powers can deny it after all.

He went on to explain that he "understood" that removing Federal Attorneys who were building cases against corporate fraud and war profiteering could put a damper on investigations, but he does it anyway.

Mr. President, do you realize that your undercutting of our very Constitution makes you a traitor? How dare you sir!

Mr. President, virtually all of the bona fide experts have told you expanding this war will serve no good. So why in the hell are you doing it? Sir, you are destroying our nation, but hear me well, we will NOT go down without a fight.

Sir have you ever seen what happens when the American people become angry? We are slow to anger, but when it happens, I can only say may Godde have mercy upon your miserable soul.

Mr. President, you have a reputation for listening to phone calls, opening mail, reading emails, and generally minding everybody's difference. Sir I pray you are reading this email. For you have betrayed the American Dream, and you need to know that we know that. Wrap yourself in your presidential cloak of empire and presidential privilege, and soon it will be betrayed that the emporer has no clothes at all.

Mr. President, during your ivy league education, did you perchance read the great philosophers? Or the great writers such as Shakespeare? If you did, then you must have encountered concepts like pride, arrogance, hubris, and the tragedy that ensues as a result of those too human conditions.

Open your eyes Mr. President. Your days are numbered and soon the people will speak. I predict for you many many years of court appearances, Congressional inquiries, and the dubious role of having been the worst President ever. If you are lucky. Open your eyes Mr. President. For the American People are growing angry. I am growing angry.

Sir, there is precedence for responding today in the light of your oppressive ways. I truly hope you had somewhere along the way a chance to read this document. It is pertinent today just as it was pertinent in 1776. Here is but one excerpt:

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness."

Finally, I am reminded of the words of a songwriter from the 60's by the name of Phil Ochs. Here is one of his songs, or part of it, rewritten for your benefit.

"And here's to the laws of Dubya Bush
Where the wars are fought in secret, Pearl Harbor every day
He punishes with income tax that he don't have to pay
And he's tapping his own brother just to hear what he would say
But corruption can be classic in the Dubya Bush way
Oh, here's to the land you've torn out the heart of
Dubya Bush find yourself another country to be part of

And here's to the churches of Dubya Bush and James Dobson
Where the cross, once made of silver, now is caked with rust
And the Sunday mornin' sermons pander to their lust
All the fallen face of Jesus is chokin' in the dust
And Heaven only knows in which God they can trust
Oh, here's to the land you've torn out the heart of
Dubya Bush find yourself another country to be part of

And here's to the government of Dubya Bush
In the swamp of their bureaucracy they're always boggin' down
And criminals are posing as advisors to the crown
And they hope that no one sees the sights and no one hears the sound
And the speeches of the President are the ravings of a clown
Oh, here's to the land you've torn out the heart of
Dubya Bush find yourself another country to be part of"

Mr. President. Heed the cry of your people.

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Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Death of the American Democracy

On October 17, 2006, the U.S. Constitution died. After repeated efforts to preserve it’s vital liberties, the death went unnoticed by most of an American public, more concerned it seems with other matters. Terrorism was blamed as the cause, but others close to the deceased felt the real issue had more to do with an ideology that could not co-exist with democratic principles. After all, they proclaim, liberties impede the ability of of the benevolent leader to protect it’s people.

When the bill, known as The Military Commission Bill quietly undermines personal liberty and a host of rights, some going all the way back to the Magna Carta. Torture is illegal, but the president only defines what is torture save extreme examples like those causing death or rape. So much for checks and balances. The President determines who is considered to be “aiding and abetting the enemy” and those people, citizens or not can be arrested and held without charges for indefinite periods of time and without rights of Habeas Corpus, that is they cannot sue to question either their incarceration or their treatment.

So, one may say, I am a good citizen, and have nothing to worry about. Yet we have heard this administration accuse anyone who disagrees with them as aiding and abetting the enemy. I heard a Republican representative today saying that if Nancy Pelosi were to be elected Speaker of the House, then that act alone would be aiding and abetting.

Bill Clinton today in a speech at Georgetown University spoke of the difference between a philosophy and an ideology. A philosophy is a system of belief which is always open to questioning and input and capable of change. Ideas are considered and debated and valued. On the other hand, ideology involves a set of beliefs that are not debatable, and other opinions are not valued but rather discredited and devalued. It is counterproductive to growth or compromise. Today a distinctly American version of fascism is in place now, with a strong central authority with diminishment of basic Human Rights that are critical to the survival of a representative democracy.

We have gone the way of the Roman Republic, and while we still have the right to vote etc, if these liberties to date have been so compromised, the rest cannot be far behind.

What are the chances it will be overturned? The deciding vote on the Supreme Court hinted previously that if Congress passed this bill, he would go along. Therefore either the justices have to be convinced to revisit this issue, or Congress must pass a law rescinding this one and it must be signed off by the President or a veto override successfully concluded.

The reality is that unless the American Public awakens out of it’s slumber and heeds the call of Thomas Jefferson when he said:

"The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants. It is it's natural manure."

If we continue to sit quietly by and do nothing, then all hope will disappear, leaving a very violent future for our children and grandchildren. Where is the rage? Does anyone give a damn? I can only pray that the love of liberty by Americans who believe in the nation envisioned by our forefathers will awaken soon. It is time for a revolution, to overturn the despotism in DC today. There is still a chance to do this peacefully, but the time for peaceful change is running out quickly.

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.” excerpt from the US Declaration of Independence

Monday, September 25, 2006

On Life, Mortality, and Dying

It has always been amazing how often a confluence of events can come together to focus my thoughts in a particular direction. This post is about just that sort of circumstance.

For the last 3 years or so, I have battled illness and it has not been easy. So in July, I will be 60, and I can no longer pretend that I am not growing old. I have lung problems, recently had a knee replacement, and recovered from a series of ailments beginning with viral meningitis due to a compromised immune system. Only now can I exercise and start to rebuild. A couple of nights ago, I awoke unable to breath, and tumbled out of bed believing that something terrible was wrong, and perhaps it was, but the act of jumping out of bed restarted the old motor and it was ok once again.

This weekend my partner/spouse and I had very long talks about life and what it meant to have lived it fully. Our mortality clearly was on both our minds. Then this morning I learn of a friend who's partner passed away, and I know that feeling, or at least I know my own feeling having lost my own love/soul mate back in '97.

And so here I am. I think I live as fully as I can considering the health issues. There is my writing and my gardening and the animals are a source of neverending joy. There is the sleep disorder, but that just permits more quality time in the evening for the things that I love.

What happens after death is of no great concern, for I am quite comfortable knowing that I will never know until that time comes. And part of my belief system is one that speaks of a continuity in life where like the rest of nature, has a beginning, middle, and end, and what is left behind is the love offered while here. All in all, as a life goes, I am particularly happy, especially considering the fact that life was particularly brutal when younger.

But there is the realization that this life I love so much is growing shorter. It is reasonable to assume considering the health issues that another 10 to 20 years may be it if I am lucky, and though the time of passing is as uncertain as ever, it is clear that it is at the point where it will be sooner rather than later.

I think what I fear is the dying itself. And the loss of something I hold so very dear. Now certainly these fears and concerns are not anything new in this world. But they are my feelings now. And I know I am powerless over what is to come. Still I wonder out loud if the fear is meant to endure for the rest of the journey, or if somehow I will come to grips with that as well? I thought I had, having nearly died when I was younger. I thought wrong. I wrote this awhile back. Perhaps it is as close as I can get to any resolution:


At moment of birth’s breath we scream
Vision focuses on death’s door.
Life contained in finite dreams
Dark day comes, here no more.

Growing, reaching for what can never be
Life’s vision expands becoming forever
And we are brash and bold, gods of all we see
And time slips away for immortality that is never.

And we seek immortality through thoughts and deeds
Isolating from our connectedness, specializing in denial
And build and conquer and quietly our lives breed
The fear with which to destroy as is our style.

Amidst humanity’s bombasts and bomb blasts
Wars of conquest, power, and control
Wars of nations, wars of neighbors always they last
Running from fear residing in soul.

Searching for solution, solution in which to trust
Clinging to hope of different ending
Despite frantic search we shall return to dust
And we become angry at fate’s sad sending.

And then, older still; bargain and negotiate
And gradually reconcile and enjoy
Life’s gift knowing end soon is life’s fate
Focus now on our piece of a greater story.

Contentment becomes ours with each and every day
And live each moment, it might be the last.
Understanding the price soon enough will be paid
Loving life more for each breath passed.

And then that day comes, quietly we scream.
We have seen the vision of coming death’s door
Life lived, with unfulfilled dreams
Dark day is here, and we are no more.

And yet a blessing indeed for love and soul
Love living on, in mystery so sublime
And our memory becomes part of the whole
Even as finite body recycles into the Divine.

And if we see Earth as living and being
And if we accept we are all part of whole
In all of creation we are seeing
Nothing lost, and love rooted at heart of soul.

Jessica Wicks
Copyright June 8, 2004

Monday, September 11, 2006

9-11, A Not Made For TV Rant

Now I run the risk of offending some, which is not my intent, but only am stating my feelings. I have had it with the constant refrain from media mouths that "our lives have changed forever" or "9-11 was the day the world changed". No it did not! Disasters both man made and natural have happened throughout history. If we have been living in a bubble thinking somehow we were immune from the bad things that happen in this world, then that is no one's fault but our own.

About 3 weeks ago, CNN became "The Terror Network" it seems. Non-stop it could happen, it will happen, where will it happen, discussion of the "war on terror." I for one have had it.

First, there is no such thing as "a war on terror" and I wish the myth would end now. One can declare war on a band of terrorists such as Al Queda, or on a nation, or on a group of nations, but not on terror, for terror is a part of the human condition. Do I not feel terror when walking down a back alleyway in a high crime area? Are the people who would do me harm enemy combatants, or just plain on hoodlums? Once I was surrounded by would be gay bashers, and only my wits preserved me to tell the story. I felt such a violation in my heart, but still, they were not terrorists, only idiots and criminals. Rather a war on terror is nothing more than an excuse to use wartime powers to strip personal liberties in true 1984 fashion and I am fed up with that crap.

9-11 was a horrible occurrence and there must be a special ring in hell for the folks who committed this act. But I wonder to myself, would I not feel the same way if I were an ordinary citizen in Afghanistan or Iraq when bombers I could not even see dropped cluster bombs and killed countless thousands of people who were not military, just ordinary folks? Were we the terrorists when we created the firestorms in Dresden, or brought mass destruction to Nagasaki and Hiroshima? Does the term "collateral damage" really apply in such instances?

I am reminded of a saying from the Viet Nam days. "Fighting for peace is like f**king for chastity." I have made some decisions for myself. Of course everyone who knows me knows I am a pacifist and will use any forum to encourage a day when peace rather than war will be the priority. But beyond that there is more. I must state my opinion that the so-called war on terrorism is but a sham to consolidate power. I can grieve the loss of innocents at 9-11 or the failure to act resulting in senseless deaths in New Orleans without reaching out to conquer the world or steal resources to do so. I can demand and indeed DEFY every effort to curb personal liberties so important to our fore fathers and fore mothers who founded this nation on the principles of freedom and liberty.

And I can refuse to provide advertisers with one more viewer of their crap that is thinly veiled propaganda rather than historical or honest in any sense. Question: How many knew that when you TIVO something, the cable company sends that information to the various networks so they can make programming decisions? So everyone who tivo'd (is that a verb yet?) the 9-11 show so filled with distortions, told Disney and ABC that they were going to watch that film, and any increase in numbers due to the controversy only encourages them. My tv will mostly be off today, because there is enough out there to fear without the countless talking heads telling me I must be afraid.

And I write to the networks and inform them of my programming decisions. And I talk about it to my friends and people I come in contact with. I am tired of the networks using the airways that belong to all of us as a base for blatant political propagandizing. Shame on them, and in the face of the criticism and proof that they had misrepresented the facts, ABC went ahead and broadcast anyway. My vote is simple. ABC is now being boycotted by this one viewer.

And ultimately it comes to a question that has worried me more than a little. Why must I go to Comedy Central to get tv news worth listening too? Something really is terribly wrong in this picture.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

We went out for a walk today. Since my surgery, my knee works so much better, and as Robin and I walked Lucy, I was almost bursting with energy. The air was cool, the neighbors had all poured out of their homes as we walked, then visited, then resumed walking again.

I love cool weather! It leaves me so energized and exuberant. Their was a soft breeze, and I reflected how this was the first day of the season that I could wear something besides a t-shirt. It brought back memories living in Texas, when hot weather would last so much longer, and on that first hint of fall, there would be a thrill that ran within.

As we walked the squirrels ran busily, gathering acorns and preparing for cold weather to come in another month or two. Tuesday are primary elections and I get my chance to cast a vote for change. In only two months, the general elections will be upon us. More immediately, Monday will be the fifth anniversary of 9-11. But I will not be preoccupied with fear, nor succumb to the negativity of these times. Rather, I shall focus on life, being alive today, and marvel at the creation which surrounds me and of which I am a part and parcel. All life is fleeting and temporary, and the best we can do is the best we can do, and immerse ourselves in this most precious passing moment. The most amazing things so often are the most basic and simple things after all, like a kiss from the one I love, or a sunrise, or a gentle breeze filled with the smells of seasonal change.

This morning I awoke, and lying next to me curled in a small ball formed against the curve of my body where the legs and torso meet, our small dog lay quietly asleep with a peace any human could only desire for themselves. My legs twitch and stir, and she stiffens her body, then turns over with paws up, the very tip of her tongue sticking ever so slightly out front and with lips curled in a way that she could only be experiencing the same exstacy of life itself. I softly rub her belly, and the smile becomes more pronounced, then she stretches, and the day begins. That puppy's love trumps terror any day of the year.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

I step outside in the early morning and there is an ever so faint chill that was not here a week or two ago. My heart skips a beat in expectancy knowing that in a few weeks, the colors will change, and each step will be reflected in crunching leaves below my feet. Lucy the Wonder Dog knows too, and she uses the full length of her leash to run about, sniffing the new scents and smells that come with the changing seasons....

Meanwhile, the garden is still productive as it is harvest time, and yet I begin to plan for next year's venture. The wood chip mulch will be replaced with cocoa beans I think, and with the perennials and annuals, some tomatilla plants and basil would be nice. .... Light is fading, and soon it will be another Minnesota winter. But today, there seems to be as much expectancy as during the beginnings of spring. I shall cheer the coming of the Autumn leaves, and embrace the snows that follow. Another cycle is coming to a close, and a new one is coming soon. But a cool breeze softly caresses, and a gentle shiver and my plans are set aside for the exquisite experience of simply being. Life is good today.