Tag: anger

WOW! just WOW.

This morning on my way home from the Italian deli, I stopped in at a corner shop that sells cigarettes, milk, candy – that sort of thing.  Normally, I walk in get what I need and smile at whomever is around.  It’s a place where working class guys hang out and truth to tell, sometimes in the morning you can smell the liquor on their breaths.  But mostly, they stop for awhile to talk to each other and get back in their delivery trucks or construction trucks and move on.

I bought a 99cents bag of potato chips – it’s a real treat.  Salt is not good for me but occasionally I’ll eat a few chips and throw the rest to the birds.  I put a dollar on the counter and the female clerk (certainly not working toward any award for politness) said “That’s a dollar and nine cents, lady.”  (Okay, for one wild moment I forgot I lived in Cook County, Illlnois.) and I said:  “Oh right, got to pay for their Cook County pensions.”  Now there is nothing wrong with government pensions but there are such a slew of stories of how many Cook County employees abuse the system – it’s newspaper worthy at least once a week.  

And what followed was a chorus worthy of spectators at a wrestling match.  Three men in the back started yelling about their years of working and how they expect SS payments.  The woman clerk told me she tore up her voting card, mailed it to the WH and told the President to stick it up (well you know).  Another man grabbed my arm and told me he sure as hell was entitled and spelled the word for me “e.n.t.i.t.l.e.d.” after working since 1970.  The others in the back continued to yell about the Democrats – and some guys standing on the corner came inside and began a riff about government workers.  Now this is a Democratic suburb – a working class suburb, though it is showing signs of moving up and I’m sure the slimy developers will be here soon.  

I talked briefly to the guy who was hanging on to my arm.  He had sketchy information and I shared what I knew.  He was afraid Republicans would win elections because of the SS scare and they’d be worse than what we have now.  And boy did I learn some new words and/or phrases from the guys in the back as to the political class we have now.

All told, there were about 15 guys in there when I left yelling about the system and their SS.  

Okay – here’s what I want to know.  Where the hell is the Democratic Committee of my suburb and the Democratic Party of Cook County talking to its base about what is going on.  Giving them the proper information (if they even get it themselves) – making some sort of “plan.”  A sensible plan to get these people to take the right kind of action – instead of their endless golf outings, cocktail parties and general ennui.  Don’t they get it.  These people need to be educated.  I’ve sent a lot of material to the newspaper here in the hopes that a reporter I was dealing with on another matter would write a column about how it is going to affect our people here – elderly and boomers – and well, everyone.

Most of our elderly couples and women especially own their own homes outright and are making a serious effort to remain there ’til the end.  We are talking about a suburb known for its beautiful old brick bungalows.  That phrase: “They don’t build them like this anymore” – that phrase belongs in our suburb.  I have considered myself would that be considered an “asset” if they do means testing.  And from our Democratic Party here:  crickets.  (Caveat:  our City does do a good job with its older population on many matters but apparently education is not necessary to their way of thinking.)        

Addressing the Poisonous Root of Bitterness

I have written openly about my Christ-centered faith on numerous occasions.  I rediscovered it relatively recently after rejecting it out of hand earlier in life.  The best way to describe the experience is that, for whatever reason or another, it found me, rather than the other way around.  A belief in a higher power keeps me mentally supple and not fixated on the superficial.  My faith points me to the way to live in peace among other people, and also within myself.  So, when I observe yet again how easy it is for the mere mention of Jesus or God to provoke a nasty, negative response in many, I feel tremendously sad.

Confronting the inner teabagger

Read the article at HuffPo yesterday, got pissed and wrote something angry, then went to work. While at work I read some comments, though, admittedly, not all of them, and realized why so many people have a beef with HuffPo. I’m not trying to throw HuffPo under the bus, writing in anger leads to this, and I wrote in anger and put too much trust into a single source. Just because you are using a BIG NAME for a source doesn’t mean that source is right, they are just as likely to misinterpret something as you are. That is human. But there is a difference between misinterpreting and deliberately misconstruing, and since our political guard is always up about deception, and since many of us are partisans, we often frame things within our own pre-made narrative. All of these things I have been guilty of, but who among us can plead innocent among such charges?

More below the fold

The Redemptive Power of Healing

The stress of the past few weeks has reminded me of both the benefits and the drawbacks of being an adult.  Perhaps you yourself can relate.  Throughout the course of my daily existence, I expend a huge amount of energy attempting to navigate the world of interpersonal communication.  Often I have to take account for the frailties, neuroses, personality defects, and defense mechanisms of those with whom I regularly encounter.  It can at times be overwhelming and frustrating trying to not step on toes or to minimize conflict by means of damage control mode when I inadvertently do so.  And as cobble together an apology and take stock of the situation, I find myself resenting the cruelty and sadism of humanity, which gives many people ample reason to build walls around themselves by means of protection.  These attitudes only complicate crucial communication and trust and keep us separate from each other.

The anger of the Tea Party devotees upsets me, but what upsets me more is the degree of hostility and bitterness that has come to typify this entire process.  I recognize that expecting otherwise is probably foolish, but I mourn when our nation’s fabric is rent asunder for any reason.  Though this sentiment has long sense passed into platitude, we are all Americans, and moreover we are all human beings who share the same land.  I do not enjoy, nor particularly thrive in an atmosphere where a ceaseless war of words rages.  To be sure, I do not shirk away from these situations when they arise, but after a time the constant back and forth proves to be toxic and noxious, not just to me, but to everyone.  

I didn’t have an especially happy childhood.  Even when I was a child, I wished to be an adult.  Adulthood to me represented a time where I would be taken seriously and where everyone else around me would be more or less on the same page.  Now I find that this is true only up to a point.  Among some I am taken seriously and among other I never will be.  And as for my being on the same page with all, well, that’s a matter for debate.  What I have discovered that with age often comes a rapidly growing history of psychological damage, increasingly guarded personal conduct, and all of these manifestations a form of the many lingering effects of internalized pain.  Anger is really only a form of hurt, after all.

Then little children were brought to Jesus for him to place his hands on them and pray for them. But the disciples rebuked those who brought them.  Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.”

I understand why many people enjoy working with children.  They are unguarded, honest, vulnerable, and often endearingly sweet.  Their basic nature stands in great contrast to the games we play as adults.  When I still lived in Birmingham I would periodically take my turn to watch the children while the adults worshiped.  When I did, I often found solace in the company of little ones who were largely nonjudgmental and lived only in the present moment.  This isn’t to say that children can’t be just as cruel and vicious to each other as adults can, but that in conversing with them, one has less minefields to gingerly walk through and less need to plan for exit strategies.      

Forgive me this question, but, friends, why must it be this complicated?  What if we didn’t have to read the latest New York Times bestseller just to understand how to properly interact with each other?  What if it didn’t take hours of therapy and thousands of dollars just to be able to be honest with our own pain and ourselves, to say nothing of the pain of others?  What if we could bear to leave the armor down long enough to separate friend from foe?  While some find it fascinating to observe and note the ways in which we are twisted and wizened, noting the unique nature of our scars, I find the combined impact deeply unfortunate and tragic.  People to me are not a scientific experiment gone awry, they are individuals seeking love.  And by love I don’t necessarily mean romantic love, but agape—charitable, selfless, altruistic, and unconditional love for ourselves and for others.  If we are ever going to begin the slow, but necessary process of healing, we must commit ourselves to it, all the time recognizing that the best offense isn’t necessarily a good defense.

Let us resolve to be honest with that which is broken in all of us.  Throw open the doors wide.  Don’t automatically reach for cynicism and skepticism in all situations, nor expect the worst for fear of not attaining the best.  Don’t recoil and draw back at someone else’s immaturity or hurt directed in inappropriate ways towards inappropriate targets.  Consider being like little children in all the best ways.  Perhaps peace of mind isn’t so elusive after all.  What do we have to lose?  

Turning Point

I have reached a personal turning point at the beginning of 2010, a year when I was young, I was certain I would meet George Jetson. I’ve been involved in political blogging for about two years now. Certainly not long compared to the impressive seven or so years some can claim, but enough to have brought me to my turning point. I’m a pretty quick study and in some ways this whole experience, among my life experiences, is similar to my dabbling with Christianity in my twenties. A couple years of that and I was also saying, “OK, I get it, what’s next?”

Why have I reached a turning point? I guess the number one reason would be effectiveness. I like to be effective in what I do and I don’t like to waste my time. I don’t need these blogs as a hobby or to feel part of a community. Life is too short. Reason number two is that I am just not into electoral politics. I’ve never campaigned for a candidate, donated money, or been involved in electoral politics in any way other than this brief interlude on the toobs. Since my anti-establishment days in the late sixties to early seventies, I just never bought into the system. Donating money in particular has always seemed sacreligious to me in a way, in how it acquiecses to that system. That isn’t going to change for me.

Life took over since those days and family and career prevented me from investing much time in politics. For those that denigrate the hippies for losing their mojo and joining the establishment, I can just say, the times were a changing after the Vietnam war. The pace of society and the machinations of the political propaganda system simply didn’t allow for another common rallying point after the war, other than the environment. As with many, I got married and had kids. What then were my choices? Go live in a commune and name my kids Moonbeam and Sunshine, or go ahead and get my piece of the American pie. I chose the pie, not that I don’t have regrets.

Then, American dream accomplished, kids grown and out of the house, I had time to check out politics on the internet. From Atari Pong to political blogging in the blink of an eye. Quite an interesting experience for sure, and certainly very educational. Not just from what I learned from other people, but how it instigated me to learn more on my own.

My Head Asplode!!

It’s almost funny.  Here comes a bus.  Soon my fellow progressives and I will be thrown unceremoniously under it.  The last ten days it’s almost as if the purpose of going to a bus stop is to be run over by oncoming omnibuses: climate change, health care, Afghanistan.  You name it.  Name a progressive cause and it’s been squished in the past two weeks.  And if it hasn’t, if you can think of one that is not now looking like a beer can reconfigured by an oncoming locomotive, just wait tell next week.

I could react with anger to these developments.  Certainly not with surprise.  For example, I almost reacted in anger just a few moments ago when I read this in the New York Times:

Independent Connecticut Sen. Joe Lieberman says he expects to support the Democrats’ health care legislation as long as any government-run insurance plan stays out of the bill.

Lieberman has been a question mark on the health care legislation for months. To win him over, Senate leaders said late Monday they were backing away from a Medicare expansion Lieberman opposed. They already had dropped a full-blown government insurance program.

Lieberman told reporters Tuesday that if the Medicare expansion and government insurance plan are gone, ”I’m going to be in a position where I can say what I’ve wanted to say all along: that I’m ready to vote for health care reform.”

Senate leaders need Lieberman’s support to secure 60 votes necessary to advance the legislation in the 100-member Senate.

Isn’t that great?  We somehow went from single payer universal health care (that could never pass, they said) to a robust public option (that could never pass, they said) to a weak tea public option for the select few all of whom live down the block (that could never pass, they said) to a medicare buy-in (that could never pass, they said), to nothing (which evidently Uncle Joe approves and which can easily pass because, well, because it’s nothing and nothing is what we have now so it’s easy to pass).

Remind me if you can why I voted in 2006 and 2008 for Democrats?  Remind me, if you’re really creative, why 70% of the population wants health care and they’re just not gonna get it.  Maybe I’m forgetful.  As I said, I almost got angry about this.

I also almost got angry last night when I heard two Democratic Senators on Maddow and Keith explain how much progressives had helped with the HCR bill and how even if it didn’t have a public option or a medicare buy in or anything else of any value to people who actually need health care and insurance, it was still an enormous victory because, get this, it will provide a foundation for the future.  And in the future we can build upon the foundation (if you like this metaphor).  And soon on this foundation there will be a 1700′ tall, glistening sky scraper, a beacon to the nation if not the world, called Universal Health Care and you, my dear friends, can even go in an visit the lobby of this edifice.  Soon, of course, is a term of art.  It means a time between now and the next, distant ice age.  You can visit the magnificent structure for which you have provided the foundation if you can live to be 200 years old without adequate health insurance.  I personally am not taking this as a bet. Are you kidding me?  This is truly a case in which legislative nothing is claimed to be governmental something.  So I was almost getting angry.  And thinking of things I could do to get even (I’m like that.  I don’t apologize for being like that).  I’m a Buddhist, but revenge did cross my mind and perch on my eyebrows like a carrion vulture.

Then I recalled some recent pacifying remarks by Pinche Tejano.  His remarks were to the effect that it was all just a computer game and should be treated as such (his analysis was far more eloquent and intelligible than this very basic boil down of his very subtle and correct idea).  So I began to think about all of this electoral politics as just a game.  I couldn’t get mad about a game that was obviously rigged so that I couldn’t get to the next level, so that I would have an EPIC FAIL.  What’s to get mad about that?  It happens all the time.  Especially to people like me with no game skillz.  No game cred.  In a word, losers. Suckers.  I’m used to being pwned by games.  I don’t like losing, but I don’t get mad about it.  It beat the hell out of being almost angry about politics. Yeah.  All of a sudden all of this electoral politics and senate politics and astroturf movements and Joe Lieberman made sense.  It was all just like son of Pac Man.  It was finally sensible.  Even to me.

And that’s when my head asploded.

It’s just like this:

How did I know that Strongbad was so prescient?  How did I know that Home Star Runner was really equipping me for the future of politics?  My head asploded.


simulposted at The Dream Antilles

Fake Liberals: Why They Deserve Our Scorn

It’s no secret that the far right loathes anyone and everyone to the left of Adolf Hitler.  Just try to get into one of Sarah Palin’s Nuremberg-style rallies; you’ll find plenty of evidence for that statement.  But a certain branch of liberalism is hated even by unapologetic left-wingers.

In a 1996 column by Adolph Reed, reproduced this week on CommonDreams.org, the progressive writer summarized the reason for his hatred in one paragraph:

during the ’80s liberal opinion gradually accommodated to Reaganism by sliding rightward. Two rhetorical justifications emerged for this adaptation. The Democratic Leadership Council called for a new centrism, jettisoning egalitarian politics and the constituencies identified with it. Additionally, an excesses-of-the-’60s-as-fall-from-grace fable propelled this slide and justified the smug dismissal of those of us who didn’t want to go along. This new liberalism curtly demanded that we grow up and accept the realpolitik; Reaganism was all our fault for going too far anyway.

That evaluation is echoed this week by self-professed socialist and TruthDig.com writer Chris Hedges, who writes:

They talk about peace and do nothing to challenge our permanent war economy. They claim to support the working class, and vote for candidates that glibly defend the North American Free Trade Agreement. They insist they believe in welfare, the right to organize, universal health care and a host of other socially progressive causes, and will not risk stepping out of the mainstream to fight for them. The only talent they seem to possess is the ability to write abject, cloying letters to Barack Obama-as if he reads them-asking the president to come back to his “true” self. This sterile moral posturing, which is not only useless but humiliating, has made America’s liberal class an object of public derision.

Robert Scheer blasts Obama for wearing the mask of a reformer while continuing business as usual.  Glenn Greenwald reports on the creepy, cult-like devotion of Obama’s remaining supporters, exposing them for the false leftists they are.

Can one really begrudge these guys their bitterness?  John Conyers can bitch all he wants about everything from witnesses thumbing their noses at subpoenas to continual waffling by Obamacrats, but at the end of the day he still cannot be counted upon to actually follow through on his frustrated-sounding rhetoric.  The tired old man who had the power to start impeachment proceedings against George W. Bush and Dick Cheney for two years and refused sure as hell isn’t going to start playing hardball with Hopey McChangerton now.

The same holds true for the rest of the so-called liberals, who have proven as dangerous to America and the rest of the world as any right-wing, fascist Republican.  These are the same people who regularly denounce anyone to their left as “purists,” as though not selling one’s principles for access to power is somehow a bad thing.  These are the same people who promote half measures as the only reasonable things to push for, proceed to accept less and less when told no by the powerful, and then lecture us on the left for calling them on it as though we’re made up of children who can’t handle the grim realities of political activism.

Small wonder they earn the scorn of genuine left-wingers.  Perhaps it is time for all of us who haven’t thrown away our principles to look upon these pseudo-liberals for what they are: shameless phonies masking their true right-wing ideology.

about getting out and voting

We didn’t have anything to vote about

here in Carlsbad this round.

But 2010 will be different.

I could easily run for city council in Carlsbad, New Mexico, and win.

Last time we had a city council election, my ward had no formal candidate. One guy was a write in and he won with 90 votes or so. If I’d ran, and gotten my name on the ballot, I likely would have won because of name recognition, etc.

I thought about that for a long time after it went down. I had no idea that the level of involvement here was so slight.

I live in the north end of the barrio. My neighborhood is a mixed bag, racially. I’m not close to any of the people here, but they don’t give me any trouble, either. We’re all pretty good about keeping out of each other’s hair on my street.

There are maybe 25,000 people in Carlsbad.

The guy who has been mayor for many years finally has run into the term limit wall.

I know I should get off my lazy cowardly butt and get in these people’s faces and run for City Council.

But they scare the shit out of me. They are so indirect and weird and different and entrenched.

I think a lot of stuff is up for grabs in 2010. Not sure. They don’t like to advertise that sort of thing around here.

But I also know that I could become a member of the City Council of Carlsbad, NM, as a representative of my ward, if I put some energy into it.

There are people here would would ruin my life if it suited them, just to keep me out of the way.

But they could do it anyway, I guess.

Should I run for City Council next time the opportunity arises? I could easily win this, and if I won it, I know myself well enough to be very clear that I would get really ornery if I got some cats in my face about how I should just get along with the program.

Please give me advice. All of you. I’ve been thinking about this for a long time. They don’t pay city council members here more than a pittance. That doesn’t matter, it would not be about money for me. If I am to try to do this, how do I start?

Thank you.


97 Senators lead by Special Interests and the GOP, not progress

 The Jurassic Senate of the GOPosaurs and DINOsaurs is a fucking disgrace. Don’t blame Obama, blame these craven, weak kneed traitors to their nation.

   I only discount Ted Kennedy and Al Franken for obvious reasons, as well as Bernie Sanders, who votes more like I would than any other Senator. If you think your senator should get a pass here give me a good reason why,.

   The rest of the Senate can go fuck itself.

   That’s right. The Senate has sold out to the banks, the insurance companies, the special interests, anybody with a dollar gets their time.

    40 GOPosauars who say “No No!” , 55 DINOsaurs who say “Not Now!”, Arlen Specter trying to remember which side he is on today and whatever the hell Joe Lieberman is skittering across the wall.

   The Conservative status quo sets the tone in Washington and in the MSM. The GOP sets the obstruction agenda, plain and simple, and I hope you are with me when I say I have had enough.

(P.S. – thank you Buhdy for putting this on the FP, when I saw the words

the Senate can go fuck itself.

I had to laugh.)


ANGER — Writing in the Raw

I signed up to write this week’s “writing in the raw” segment because it is the week before the 63rd anniversary of the U.S. dropping atomic bombs on the civilian populations of two Japanese cities, Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

While thinking about this topic, one thought kept recurring – the idea of anger.  What is anger?  How does it come about?  What do we do with it?  How does anger become resolved?  And what purpose does anger serve?  This diary will be totally subjective, exploring my own feelings as I’m no scholar on the issue.  I’ve read a little about anger in Buddhist texts, but I’m relying mostly on my own personal feelings and development here.

Anger has been a constant companion throughout my life, always there, like a loyal dog following me about.  Sometimes it may be sleeping, not making a big commotion, but sooner or later it wakens and anger and I become like the proverbial dog chasing its own tail, round and round we go.  Sometimes the anger has lept ahead, dragging me along at the end of the leash, with little or no control over where the dog will take me.  

So please be pulled along beyond the fold…

The Outraged Left

I recently came across another of those simple-minded rightwing references to the outraged left offered as an epithet by those of limited cranial capacity.  Ignored is the larger context, that we may actually have good reasons for being a wee bit peeved, that our anger may in fact not be irrational but rather completely and indisputably justified.