Saturday, March 24, 2007

Resignations - Corruption in the Bush Administration

--- "I can not tell a lie. I have never lied." ---

Such a statement reflects my perspective on the basic tenets of the Bush adminstration.

Mr. Bush and his advisors seem to believe that they know what is best for all of us at least nearly all the time. Where we agree with them - great, where we disagree with them - we are simply WRONG - and they will do things the RIGHT way.

The pressures on Bush to force his Attorney General to resign are another example of someone being caught doing wrong and when the political pressures are too great, he'll be gone (assuming this happens which seems likely now).

When someone such as Colin Powell (it seems like an eternity ago) stands up for himself or wants to, s/he must decide whether to leave or to keep their mouth shut.

Fortunately - reality - The War in Iraq, the draconian changes in laws such as in the Patriot Act and many other things show clearly a few people who have created far, far more terrorists than they've weeded out and whose vision of the world leaves out many of us.

Most of us face a world where tax cuts for the wealthy primarily are not our highest priority. Most of us face a world where health care needs are not simply tax credits which do not take care of the needs of the poor and often are not helpful or unnecessary for the well off.
Most of us face a world where we increasingly see how veterans' care neglect is the norm, not an exception as "little people" don't matter and people with wealth already have the ins to get what they want.
Most of us see advisors like Karl Rove and Dick Cheney seeking a world where we are not important.

Sound bites and lies can delay the truth being told, but the truth will start coming out eventually. One can only hope that more Democratic politicians will start to develop a backbone (and some depth to their thinking) and some Republican politicians will see it in their own self-interest to begin to change.

The politics of deception are the norm today. Mr. Bush's "compassionate conservatism" and "faith" have been shown for what they are.

Hopefully more of us will do more to bring about substantive change!


Tuesday, March 20, 2007


Tears Under The Sea
- Surging Up - then
slowly sweeping ashore

Quiet - as Memories are Stirred
Images over many Years
Her Smile -
her Gentle - Strong
caring love
Her Inner Beauty - shared and Visible

No More -
The Cancer took her Away from Us
A full life she had

Giving to Many -
- her large family
- the students and others she counseled
- neighbors and friends
were Helped
in so Many ways.

In my childhood
her kindness wasn't as visible to me
She was different (in my image)
- seemingly simple - not fashionable
but kind and loving

Later on she Saved
one Important to Me
in So Many Ways

Taking a young, troubled Adult
- who hadn't made it through his childhood Intact

Accepting him -
when He was Weak,
Trying to help him
find his path

Becoming - over Time
His Surrogate Mother

A small, but vital part
of the many loving,
caring things she did
for all around her.

Most of her dreams -
She made real -
with children, grandchildren and great grandchildren,

caring for other Children,
Having - a house
Open to others
who Sought sustenance, advice and Learning -

Helping her Learn
the Yiddishkite
That was her life

Now - Others close to her
must move on -
saddened, but having taken in
a Rare gift
in many, many different ways.

Death is an awakening
Bringing individually
Our Spirits - more Alive
Teaching us - we are a little more
than we've seen and believed,
Helping our hearts - reopen
and Be.

I'm sad - but happy to have had my life
Touched and given such a gift
Lucky to have been able to
Say - My Farewell
a Month ago
and to now
Feel the loss and much more
in my life as I return home.

Words - fail -
Feelings - Memories
linger on
Now and Beyond

(My aunt - 77 - died early 3/17/2007 after nearly two years of facing cancer)

Friday, March 09, 2007

Rojo - with protection + Onyx (after his surgery)

Rojo has 5+ days of wearing the plastic cover after he was neutered yesterday.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Heroism - "Serving Our Country"

I'm having a lot of difficulty accepting the purported Heroism of our soldiers in Iraq and elsewhere. In saying this I'm not saying that our soldiers aren't necessarily sincere, nor questioning their feelings that may be called "patriotism" by themselves and others.

Though it is an exaggerated and not similar example, I think of a gang member who saves the life of his comrade through pulling him away from a bullet that might have killed him. Such a young man (or woman) is doing a good deed and saving the life of another.

One may argue that being in a gang isn't "patriotic" and that being in the military is. I will agree with the former statement, but disagree with the latter one.

One of the biggest problems our country has faced over many years is its irrational support of military, rather than diplomatic solutions to problems it sees. If Iraq (or for some Vietnam and Iraq) were the only "mistakes" and if "mistakes" weren't Simply because: "we didn't win", but rather because the cause was wrong, then I might see things differently.

The United States Government does do some good around the world. We also have a history of invading and otherwise controling the economic interests of others through the world where we have economic interests. For a long time this meant The Americas as we dominated in many smaller countries. Increasingly things like oil and other valuable resources become more and more important in other parts of the world.

I don't see the legitimacy of the current government in Iraq. It serves at the pleasure of the U.S. I don't see how we are "doing good" in our entire operation in Iraq. Certainly some good things are done for the people, however at least as many bad things are also done. I don't see how we can know who should legimately rule this country. Unfortunately we've created such a mess that the Iraqis may go through a lot more pain until they figure out how to run their own country, assuming that we even let them do that at some point in time.

We have a clear responsibility to do our best to make peace in Palestine - The West Bank and Gaza. The U.S. has interfered with peace efforts that the Israelis have made and helped make peace much more elusive. We could help end the losses of life and economic oppression as well as the lives of fear that both Israelis and Palestinians have today.

We aren't doing this now! The U.S. is clearly allied with the Israelis and against the Palestinians. A "neutral stance" and pressure could help both sides find peace.

I think that we have many heroes among us! Many incredible people help children, adults and elderly people be educated, be physically and mentally healthy, as well as doing many other things for others. Some famous people like like the actor Danny Glover help push for a society free of oppression.

For me a lot of the true heroes don't seek fame and often don't get it. Men like Paul Kivel of Oakland, California, commit themselves to issues of racism, sexism, and even progressive Judiasm and help all of us and our children. Far, far more women such as Alice Walker and Marion Wright Edelman have helped millions of people in the U.S. and elsewhere have better lives.

Our soldiers mean well. Far too many of them are in Iraq because they need the money from their service and because they have had a faith in the leadership of this country. I admire Ehren Watada and others who at least in part resist what they see as wrong.

Patriotism comes from building our country and the world to be a better place! I know that most soldiers want to think and some do think that they are doing this in the military.

I believe that building peace and love and caring and a world free of oppression is the true way we can serve our country and be a hero.

Thank you!

Thursday, March 01, 2007

"I didn't Mean it That Way"

Often in life we make statements that may not sound to the listener the way we think we intended the words to be heard:

I didn't mean that I don't love you but .....

Of course I respect you my child. What I said to you was for the best even though you may not see it that way now.

I have nothing against (take your pick): Arabs, Jews, Feminists, Black People ... Some of my best friends are (take your pick).

Upon hearing that my partner (Black Woman) is Jewish: "Oh, you and Sammy Davis Jr.

Frequently the statements are not as blatant. The person listening may have had a lot of painful experiences in their life related to what the other person is seemingly flippantly saying.

As a White Man I often don't realize how others who may be Female, of Color, or of a Working Class Background may be "translating" in their daily lives, making the dominant culture people such as me "comfortable" and living in a "foreign" world for themselves (at least in the area I'm talking about).

Listening and really hearing, feeling and thinking all can help a little at least!