Saturday, October 29, 2005

Special Edition: Our Private Devastation

(P1,2,3) Poetical, Philosophical, Political


All The Trees Gone

All those great welcoming trees behind our house,

How Like Gerard Manley Hopkins’
Binsley Poplars felled in 1879,

They so suddenly have cut them, chipped them
Carted them away in big-bellied hearses,

Cremains hurtling down the diesel-smelly highway
To be mixed with glue and particle-boarded

To become somebody’s cheap cabinets and end tables.

“O if we knew but what we do
When we delve or hew”

Nothing is ever lost – except the grandeur, the life,
The peace, the birds, the oaks,

Our neighbors, our teachers, the parts of us they were,
What paid silent witness to us, our lives

“When we hew or delve:
After-comers cannot guess the beauty been.
Ten or twelve, only ten or twelve
Strokes of havoc unselve
The sweet especial scene”

Such needless phantom pain each time
We gaze out windows to where they stood,

Where the red-tailed hawks clutching tall eucalyptus
Calculated the scurrying prey. All gone

Gone the hawks, the occasional osprey,

Gone the small birds, the colonies of fourteen
Woodpeckers gathering and storing acorns.

We learned they colonized, two breeders
And a dozen other screeching flying flames.

Gone the deer that came to us for apples,
Some limped from brushes with the traffic,

Gone the big racked bucks that watched
Over fearlessly foraging fawns.

Gone forever the foxes, the rodents, the skunks.

This is where, armed with our Audobons,
We learned of migration from towhees,

Bluejays, juncos, and swifts.
Are we to lose our family –

The hummingbirds, vultures, the mourning doves
Awakening us each day with plaintive love songs?

The quail?
Each year when a new family marched single file

Along our back fence, each year and again
They were “Dan, Marilyn, and Kids.”

I never imagined this poem might be
The most difficult for me to sit through its writing.

Its necessity invades as a matter of duty.
How simple next year or in centuries hence

To retain no image of what stood for so much.
Such a sin of omission I will not commit

In spite of the pain and the tears and the memory.
All that we’ve had. All that we’ve lost.

“Not spared, not one”

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Sunday, October 23, 2005

Who Cares?/Things Seen & Obscene/Ball 4

(P1) Political

Who Cares About The Individual Citizens?

It has become increasingly evident to me that the Bush Administration cares not a single whit about the individual citizens of this nation. To be fair, Bush and the Cronies (interesting rock and roll band possibility) may not be accurately characterized as "anti-people" so much as "pro-billionaire." So I guess that if you view a billionaire as an "individual," perhaps it was unfair of me to write that he doesn't care about (at least a very few) individuals.

Seriously, I think most of us can agree that the administration associates with a stratum which blinds it to the interests and needs of the common folk.

Here are a few examples:

1. The total blindness to Poverty which was brought forcefully to their attention in New Orleans.

2. The effort to eliminate Social Security in favor of privatized accounts.

3. The constant emphasis on Tax Cuts and especially attempts to eliminate the cynically disguised "death tax," an inheritance tax elimination which really would benefit only the 3000 richest people in America. Why are other tax cuts anti-people? Because people need vital services and infrastructure improvements, and all of this must be paid for.

4. The current recommendation to Reduce many categories Mortgage Interest Deductions for Homeowners.

5. The recommendation to Reduce Popular Deductions for Employer Sponsored Health Plans.

6. Although the right to declare Individual Bankruptcy has been severely curtailed, corporate bankruptcy allows United Airlines to Gut Employee Pension Plans. Virtually eliminating Individual bankruptcy enables the banks and credit card companies to continue to try to get 20 credit cards into everybody's hands, milk them dry, and then, when their "customer/cadaver" faces divorce or a catastrophic disease or injury, the predator can take everything they have.

7. The ongoing disinterest in Health Care and Elder Care priorities.

8. The degree of debt America has entered into with China (among others) holding the note. No payments are being made. The entire burden has been shifted to our children and grandchildren (who, after all, are also "people").

9. Then there's the entire issue of "Voodoo" Supply-Side Economics (Anybody experiencing any trickling down?). This seems to imply that our so-called "conservative" administration can spend, spend, spend on foreign wars, massive hurricane relief, and corporate tax cuts (a type of "expense") without raising the money to pay for all of this. (I suppose that it's too much to ask such gutless politicians to raise taxes, but, for God's sake, cease this nonsensical reducing of taxes!).

10. The recent poll showing only two percent (2 %) ! of black/African-American voters approving of George Bush's performance. What happened to his care for these people?

11. And finally, lest we forget, every single day in our local communities, another young man or woman dies in Iraq in a war which has nothing to do with our national security and everything to do with corporate welfare of the most extreme sort.

(P2) Philosophical

Of Things Seen and Obscene

I was both amused and horrified watching the Today Show on October 12th. They were doing a bit of a puff piece about Exorcism. It borrowed from the obvious movies and discussed how the last pope had participated in 3 exorcisms while he was in power. The handsome movie-star-like priest who has become Today's spokesman for the Catholic Church explained, in defense of the Church's practice of exorcism, that it is better to err on the side of believing in the devil rather than dismissing the notion. Faith is said to be a belief in things unseen. Interesting then that the Catholic Church would trot out the unseen devil in the midst of the very much visible child molestation issue. Why then are they not performing exorcisms on their own staff on this very day when the headline was, "Files Show The Long History of Abuse by L.A. Priests - At Least 8 Priests Allowed to Remain in Contact With Children Despite Allegations"?

(P3) Poetical

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Wednesday, October 19, 2005

American Hero #2/Oprah Candidacy Update/Nuthatch

(P1) Philosophical

Who Is This Bright, Funny, Insightful, Gutsy New American Hero?
Register your answer by hitting the link.

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(P2) Political

Oprah-For-President Update

Most of you will recall that, on September 13th, I named Oprah Winfrey as my presidential choice for the November 2008 election.
The reason I know that you remember is that the number of responses to that posting were voluminous and virtually unanimous in support. I also gave you a website for the most coordinated current campaign to get Oprah to run (convincing her to run will be the biggest challenge. Her winning chances are obvious). Please scroll down to the Sept. 13 piece.

Anyway, you've asked for updates, and here is an interesting one including background from Willy Chaplin founder of the Dream Magic website.

I've also sent for the tee shirts for my wife and me. Here's a link to The Oprah For President 2008 Website

Here's what Willy wrote to me about his background and the Oprah campaign

...My formal training is as a psychologist and mathematician, but I have spent the last 30 years as a computer consultant. I turned 69 on October 2nd...
It was nice to see that you are close to being a contemporary. Probably younger, since baldness gives a false impression, but at least you are not of the cohort of our fifteen children who are charter members of the "me first" generation. It's hard to blame them, since we spent so much seems futilely in retrospect...trying to change the world for the better when they were growing up, often neglecting thtm in the process. Our grandchildren (29 of them) are a different story. Perhaps us old dudes and dudettes can inspire them to change the world for the better. We sure failed! But, it is never too late to try, and electing Oprah could be a good start.
By the way, we are libertarians (small "l"...the Libertarian Party just can't tell the difference between politics and religion). We abandoned the Demidupes in 1964 when LBJ conned us into believing that they would save us from the madness in Vietnam, while Bad Barry would lead us all to Perdition and nuclear annihilation.
Another friend of ours and we started an Oprah for President movement in 1999. The response was so overwhelming that we were on CNN within a week. Patrick Crowe, our new partner, did the same in 2003 and received much the same response. We did it on the Net (prematurely), he on conventional media, mostly TV (also obviously prematurely). He too got royal treatment from the starved-for-entertainment media, partly as a joke, partly as a serious matter because of the incredible popularity of this woman.
But, alas, Oprah declined both times. So Patrick and we partnered up for the next contest. If at first...
Love and peace,
Willy Chaplin

P.S. With your permission, I will add a link to you on our Oprah site as a "friend of Oprah."

Hey, I (Ed) also just realized that an Oprah and Obama ticket would constitute "O2" or Oxygen, in other words a big breath of fresh air! - Eddie C

Oprah for President 2008 is a serious consideration. The following is not. Its funny though!

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(P3) Poetical


I've yet to see
a nuthatch
hatch a nut
a nuthatch hatching
nuts would
surely also be
a nut.

(Ed Coletti in Light Year '87, (Bits Press, Robert Wallace, Editor)

Monday, October 10, 2005

Where Did Eddie Go?/Chicken Soup/Fear of Death

(P1) Political

A. Where Did Eddie Go?

Have you been wondering where I've been since the Sept. 27th posting? Well, I found that my inspiration for political comment had dried up in the blinding sunblaze of national events. I was completely overwhelmed by my competitors at the White House. Irony, humor, indignation were rendered impotent by the sheer weight of absurdity and surprise coming from Washington. Not only did Bush nominate a rank amateur to the Supreme Court, but, once again (as he did with Vladimir Putin), he looked into her heart and liked what he saw. His power in this regard is virtually supernatural. This "fact" is amplified by the revelation that he had told a group of Palestinian ministers that God had directed his invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq, and that God was now directing him to establish a Palestinian state. At about the same time, we learned that House Majority leader Tom DeLay was indicted TWICE including for money laundering. Additionally Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist was under investigation for stock manipulation. And let us not forget that Bush's Puppet Master Karl Rove is expected to be indicted for destroying CIA operative Valerie Plame's cover (an offense which the first President Bush once equated with treason.) Then, on top of everything, the very Base of Bush crumbled when no lesser pillars than Coulter, Krauthammer, Will, and Limbaugh turned on him.

So, dear readers, you can appreciate and forgive my brief absence. I had been rendered speechless. Then it also began to feel like any additional comment from me would be like piling on.

B. Have You Heard This One?

Monday October 10, 2005 "...Judiciary Committee...said Sunday that they were considering calling James Dobson to testify...Dobson the influential founder of the conservative evangelical group Focus on the Family, has said he is supporting (Harriet) Miers' nomination in part because of something he has been told but cannot divulge.

"He has not disclosed the source of the information, but he has acknowledged speaking with Karl Rove, the president's top political adviser, about the president's pick before it was announced.

"On his radio program last Tuesday, Dobson said, 'When you know some of the things that I know -- that I probably shouldn't know -- you will understand why I have said, with fear and trepidation, that I believe Harriet Miers will be a good justice.' " ( NYT)

(P2) Poetical

Farm County (by Mary Oliver)

I have sharpened my knives, I have
Put on the heavy apron.

Maybe you think life is chicken soup, served
In blue willow-pattern bowls.

I have put on my boots and opened
The kitchen door and stepped out

Into the sunshine. I have crossed the lawn,
I have entered

The hen house.

(P3) Philosophical

"Our fear of death is directly equatable to our fear of life."

"If we examine our fear of death we see in it a fear of the moment to follow, over which we have no control. In it is a fear of impermanence itself, of the next unknown changing moment of life."

- from "Who Dies" by Stephen and Ondra Levine

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