Friend Joe just put me onto Dale Hansen. On Youtube his “Hansen Unplugged: Anthem Protest . . . ” articulates a feeling and belief with which I concur 100%. These young men walk in Martin Luther King Jr’s footprints. You may want to check it out.
Month: May 2018
Off-Again, On-Again Donny
North Korea talks on, off, on, off–again. Mexico will pay for “The Wall”. Now he wants taxpayers to. Cabinet people solidly in today out tomorrow. More dodge-and-weaves than Stephen Curry. With President Trump you don’t know from moment-to-moment, much less day-to-day. As my Grandma might have said, The man’s predictable as a fart in a hot skillet.
On April 12, 2018 PBS’s “Frontline” summarized Donald Trump’s path to the Presidency and hijacking the Republican party. This started me thinking about government, about politics! According to Webster’s New World Dictionary government is “the exercise of authority over an organization, institution, state.” Politics is “the science and art of political government.” Its root “politic” implies “practical wisdom; prudent; shrewd; diplomatic; hence, crafty; unscrupulous.” Why do I feel like shouting, “Lion , tigers and bears! Oh, my!”?
I’m told the philosophy of politics covers a spectrum reflecting our feelings and beliefs about government. As I see it, a significant part of this is how we view change in government.
On the Far Left Anarchists cry, “Every man for himself! Devil for the hindmost!” My counsel, Careful what you wish for; you might get it. To the Anarchists’ right, Radicals foment fundamental change in government. “Kick the bastards out!” Here lies the seedbed of revolution. Through human history folks fed up to the chin with a System have rebelled. We did. France. Russia. China.
To left of center, Liberals or “Progressives” seem to view change in government in light of our Constitution’s pledge to “promote the general welfare.” The Declaration of Independence not withstanding, these citizens recognize that “all men (and women) are (not) created equal.” Some are born healthy, wealthy, and gifted. Most slog along as best we can, earn a living, raise the kids, obey the law, coach Little League, deliver Meals-on-Wheels, go to church. At the bottom of the ladder causes and conditions kick the hell out of a legion born culturally, physically, or mentally handicapped, disabled, LGBTQ, or who just don’t fit in. Liberals view stewardship, caring for Earth’s atmosphere, water and resources, as critical to survival.
Perhaps more realistic than Left or Right, Moderates or Middle-of-the-Roaders, approach change in government with a view to compromise. So long as hard-liners on either side dig in their heels, change remains an exercise in waste and frustration.
Right of center, Conservatives resist change–conserve: to keep or preserve. If it ain’t broke–often even if it is–don’t fix it. As the storm builds, thunder and lighting threaten, and sharks circle, stay the course, never abandon ship! Right Wingers “Lobby” for strong National Defense, little or no taxes, no regulation of business, the least government possible at the cheapest price possible. When, through avarice, unrestricted Capitalism inevitably implodes: The Great Depression, Mutual Funds and Savings and Loan collapses, the home mortgage/banking meltdown, they run to Government crying for rescue: the New Deal, taxpayers rescuing Savings and Loans, Treasury Secretary Paulson’s proposed $700 bank bailout, saving General Motors and Chrysler. To me Conservatives seem conflicted. While shouldering family and civil chores alongside Liberals they echo the Anarchists’, “Every man for himself! Devil for the hindmost!”
Farthest Right, Reactionaries pine for change, back to “the good old days.” In The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump a woman is quoted, “I want my country back.” Sorry Sweetheart, so did the folks who met Columbus. From Cave Men to the Space Age; from the Chen dynasty to the Mongol, Roman, Ottoman, and British Empires; from the American, French, and Russian revolutions to the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany, cultures who are conquered, overrun, disposed, or absorbed yearn for their country back. What did the First Cave Man cry when the Second Cave Man tossed him out in the snow? “I want my cave back!” Today’s Reactionary motto: “Make America Great Again!”
When were we not?
The “coloring” of America is a fact. From 1620 to 1776 to 1865 to 1945 to 1975 to this instant incrementally, sometimes abruptly, the Land of the Free changes. A white sheet becomes a collage: black, brown, yellow, red. Not just skin color, ethnicity, and language, but Life Style. GLBTQs are “out.” Kids have two dads or two moms. More than half of cohabiting American couples are unmarried. Single parent families, more often than not a single Mom, are disturbingly common. Growing up without a Dad, I wonder where in hell are all the Fathers?
In the Big Picture, whether Left, Right, or Center, change is the only constant. And it is constant. Without change, if the Universe were suddenly a still photograph, time and existence as we know it would become meaningless.
Again, the quotes may not be exact. Close enough for an antique mind.
Whatever happens I will create no more problems.
I will create no more pain for myself.
The Power of Now
If we don’t look into hope and fear, seeing a thought arise, seeing the chain reaction that follows, if we don’t train ourselves to sit with that energy without being snared by the drama the we’re always going to be afraid.
When Things Fall Apart
Practicing mindfulness I can recognize what is happening in the present without grasping or aversion. I can practice mere recognition of what is going on within me and around me without judgment or reaction. This helps me to keep stability and freedom alive within myself.
Touching the Earth
Thich Nhat Hanh
The thought manifests as the word;
The word manifests as the deed;
The deed develops into habit;
And habit hardens into character;
So watch the thought and its ways with care,
And let it spring from love
Born out of concern for all beings. . . .
As the shadow follows the body,
as we think, so we become.
(Sayings of the Buddha)
The Rule of Law
Having expressed my disdain for President Trump’s wall, I should confess that despite being a longtime, hardcore Liberal I’m troubled and confused that millions of folks enter America illegally and remain here openly and notoriously–often for decades! Some even thumb their nose at American, “Yada! Yada! Yada! Can’t catch meee!” On TV one actually flipped us the middle finger.
My position is simple: The Rule of Law. Do the crime, do the time. Fish without a license, don’t feed the parking meter, exceed the speed limit, you pay a fine. If I break into your home and steal your laptop to sell to feed my kids and get arrested the judge says, “Go to jail.” Armed robbery or murder it’s prison or worse. But sneak into American? It’s just go back home. That’s all. No hard feelings. Just go back to your own home.
And what’s this “Sanctuary” nonsense? Cities and states where do-gooders frustrate Immigration Control and Enforcement (ICE) agents, making our law officers, American citizens, not the lawbreakers the bad guys? Is this crazy or what?
Kids illegally brought to America by parents (DACA) are victims. Let ’em stay. Much as it pains me to say, but to fair to other adults who crawled under the fence, their parents should have been, or be, sent home.
Hundreds of millions, “troubled masses yearning to be free,” would love to become Americans but respect our borders and laws or play by the rules, jump through the hoops: They fill out papers, wait–sometimes years–study our Constitution, laws, and history, are interviewed, pass a test, and pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America. As you coddle a handful of criminals, what do you tell these folks?
A word to non-Mexicans who refuse to do it right: Scrape up airfare to Juarez or Nogales, climb the fence, lay low. As things are, you may well enjoy the rights and privileges of real Americans the rest of your life.
Without borders and laws, laws you enforce, you don’t have a country.
What I’m missing here? Seriously, someone please explain!
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After I wrote this Raelene and Karen had their front yards landscaped. For four days three or four Hispanics never stopped chopping, digging, cutting, hauling, carrying and planting.
While the huge majority of Americans bust our butts to “earning a living,” my sense is, wither gainfully employed, on the dole, or sleeping under a tarp, too few Americas are willing to pick the oranges, pluck the chickens, gather the eggs, slaughter the hogs, dig the trenches, scrub the toilets, wash the windows, make the beds, flip the burgers, wash the dishes, cut the lawns, trim the shrubs, do the “back-breaking” tedious work crucial to our lifestyle. Not to sell American workers in any way short, but without dirt-cheap and slave labor, within and without our borders, this country, corporate and consumer alike, would go belly-up like a carp in a dry streamed.