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Conscience and Conviction

(Crossposted from Orange, and also posted at Writing in the Raw.  buhdy, my friend, this one is for you, because you catalyzed this at least in part.)

This has been a hell of a year.

And I don’t mean that in a good way.  It’s been the culmination of four years of stress, grief, anger and pain.

A silver lining exists, though, and that has been the journey I began in late spring, trying to reconnect with my deepest self.  Recently, an exercise in my ethics class (UUF) really shocked open the vague sense of unease that had been nagging at me for a year or two.  The exercise was the selection and ranking of my ten most important values.

Another bank goes bust. This time, it’s personal.

Crossposted at Orange

On a few occasions in recent years, I’ve written about my mother’s death, the horrific relationship I had with my brother, and commented in various diaries about the status of healthcare, the financial meltdown, the state of the economy, etc.  In all of this, one common thread linking this has been my heartfelt relief that my mother died before the crash, before we had to rely on the sale of devaluing assets to care for her.  But she was not the only sick member of the family.  

The recent news of the SEC’s fraud case against Goldman Sachs coincided with other news of a much more personal nature.  The bank she invested in was taken over by the FDIC this past Friday, April 16, 2010.  Today, my estranged brother died of lung cancer.  He was 59, a longtime smoker.  

I don’t know what to think anymore

This isn’t going to be very long, nor even really a proper diary, but I need to get this off my chest.  I’m not inclined to put this up elsewhere, because I’m not in the mood for being flamed into oblivion.

The news of the health insurance reform bill being probably a done deal has me feeling very deeply torn.  To come out of the process with nothing wasn’t politically feasible.  To come out of this particular exercise with this piece of offal is enough to make me want to give up on the entire political system altogether.

Then, this afternoon, I got the following email.  Now, I get a lot of political junk email — from activist groups, from congresscritters, from organizations allied with the progressive movement.  Most of it I just delete, because most of it consisits of pleas for money I can’t spare.  I quote it in its entirety below the jump.  Some of what they say is true, some is pure bombast, and the overlap between the two is causing me real issues.  I pass it along not because I believe everything they say, or to hold it up for ridicule, but in the interest of a progressive community deconstruction of this text.

NYTimes: CIA destroyed interrogation tapes

I just love watching the news on Fridays.  The most interesting things come out at the very end of the week.  Like this story, broken by the New York Times today,:  

The Central Intelligence Agency in 2005 destroyed at least two videotapes documenting the interrogation of two Qaeda operatives in the agency’s custody, a step it took in the midst of Congressional and legal scrutiny about its secret detention program, according to current and former government officials.

Go read it, people.  It’s so Nixonian, I swear I think it’s 1974 again.  Cue the disco music, guys, it’s the perfect background music for this obscenity.

/shaking head in disgust…