Tag: karma

Both Sides of the River

(Cross-posted at Wild Wild Left)

In the aftermath of a tragedy 50 years ago, Woody Guthrie wrote a song about the deaths of migrant workers in a plane crash in Los Gatos Canyon.  They were being deported, and when they died, the newspapers didn’t consider it necessary to mention their names.  They’d been born on the other side of the Rio Grande River, which rendered them inferior to white, church-attending Americans and negated the need for any respect.  

The skyplane caught fire over Los Gatos Canyon,

A fireball of lightning that shook all our hills.

Who were all these friends all scattered like dry leaves?

The radio said they were just deportees . . .

Woody Guthrie didn’t consider them to be just deportees.  They were human beings, their lives mattered, so he honored them with a eulogy, he said goodbye to them.  

He knew a river runs through this land of capitalism.  The wealthiest one-percent of Americans live on one side of that river.  The rest of us live on the other side.  To the wealthiest one-percent, we have no names.  Our lives don’t matter, we’re just migrant workers in their fields, we’re just miners in their mines, we’re just numbers on a balance sheet, and unless we cross that river and scatter them like dry leaves on the wind, workers in their fields and miners in their mines is all our children will ever be.


Quiet Storms

Four score and twenty betrayals ago, when Barack Obama was posturing as a transformational leader, when he was promising government of the people, by the people, and for the people, he spoke of the core values progressives have always believed in as the solution to America’s problems . . .  

That spirit of looking out for one another, that core value that says I am my brothers keeper, I am my sister’s keeper, that spirit is most evident during times of great hardship, but that spirit can’t just be restricted to moments of great catastrophe.  Because as I stand here and look out at the thousands of folks who have gathered here today, I know that there’s some folks who are going through their own quiet storms.

Hurricane Ike had just hit the gulf coast of Texas, Wall Street was about to implode, the foundations of the economy were crumbling, Americans everywhere were losing their jobs, their homes, their last remnants of trust in the government . . .

All across America there are quiet storms taking place.  There are lives of quiet desperation. People who need just a little bit of help.  Now, Americans are a self-reliant people, we’re an independent people.  We don’t like asking somebody else to do what we can do ourselves, but you know what we understand is that every once in awhile, somebody’s going to get knocked down.

Every once in awhile . . .

Yes, and every once in awhile, the sun comes up.  Then, every once in awhile, it goes down again.  

Low income Americans get knocked down every day, middle class Americans get knocked down every day, seniors on fixed incomes get knocked down every day.  Republicans knocked them down for 30 years, and now Barack Obama and that gang of corporate enforcers that used to be the Democratic Party are doing it.  A punch in the face is a punch in the face.  Analyze that, Beltway Republicrats.  When Americans are flat on their back all the time, they don’t give a damn whether the fist that knocked them down was a Republican fist or a Democratic fist.  A corporate fist is a corporate fist.  Whistle past that graveyard, Obamabots.  Have an “ideologue” diary contest, fill that wreck list of yours with “ideologue” ravings and let’s all see who can clap the loudest.

Afghan girl killed by RAF leaflet drop

It’s the little things in life that turn out to be the big things.  By that I mean — as the cliche goes — what breaks the camel’s back is usually a mere straw.

I remember realizing one day that I would move back to Los Angeles when I was driving up into the Hollywood Hills after a rain, and smelled the Eucalyptus trees.  I realized I was going to move back there.  It just hit me.

I realized one day that I was finally going to escape from a bad relationship when my girlfriend made a very unusual but weirdly insignificant demand of me that she claimed would “fix” the entire relationship.   Later I was sitting out on the porch watching the sunset and it hit me — I had to get out.  

And in Afghanistan, what do we make of a leaflet drop killing a young Afghan girl?

No one likes a Bully!

Bullying is the act of intentionally causing harm to others, through verbal harassment, physical assault, or other more subtle methods of coercion such as manipulation.


In colloquial speech, bullying often describes a form of harassment perpetrated by an abuser who possesses more physical and/or social power and dominance than the victim.


The harassment can be verbal, physical and/or emotional.


Bullies hurt people verbally and physically.


There are many reasons for that. One of them is because the bullies themselves are or have been the victim of bullying.


Bullying can occur in any setting where human beings interact with each other.


Bullying can exist between social groups, social classes and even between countries.


It’s called Karma.

Reading this MyDD analysis of Obama’s rhetorical flub about rural Pennsylvania voters, which would be 100% excellent if not for the writer’s insane devotion to ignoring the apostrophe whenever trying to condense ‘it is’ — which is a shame because otherwise the piece seems well written (for that it’s earned a mere 99% for its grammatical apathy), I couldn’t help but feel that the senator supposedly representing Illinois is facing a bit of Karmic justice.

Dharmathon 2 ! ! !

Calling all Dharmateers!

The Time Has Come Again.

The Call Has Gone Out and Shall Not Go Unanswered!

Welcome to Dharmathon 2, where you are the star.

You! Yes you, you bioquantum computing sentient amalgam of water and carbon and nitrogen and heavy metals spawned in supernovae of eons past…the Universe was designed to bring you to this moment….to this virtual place, where the I meets the Thou in a Raucous Volleyball Mud-slinging and Daquiri Party of Epic Proportions, Now with Extra Karma!

And All We Ask Is This:

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