Tag: commentary

Running on Empty

Not much going on here. Sad, in a way but I think we are all weary of politics after the election. We dodged a bullet in a way–the Obama win asserted that the majority of the voters and, I believe, a majority of the people prefer not to end Western Civilization yet which a vote for Romney clearly would indicate. I’m happy for that and feel I can now relax a bit.

Life goes on–nothing substantial changed there will be some different seating arrangements in the halls of power but the same basic actors will be there and the same permanent government is in power. There is an cannot be any significant change in those arrangements as any reasonably thorough examination of our institutions, regs, laws and economic/social arrangements would indicate. We will be the land of the con, the scam the hidden deals and the fine-print and the “gotcha.” We are a chaotic society that keeps getting curiouser and curiouser.

What strikes me is what few on the left want to confront–our political arrangements actually reflect who we are on a personal and community-level in an exaggerated way of course–but the general attitude of incoherence, superstition, and the inability to have dialogue may be even worse in the body-politic than in the actual halls of power.

As I have had discussions both online and verbal over the years I find less and less willingness of people to listen to each other, rather, everyone wants to be right and be justified–I can’t say I am that different other than I try to be observant but I like anyone can get on my high horse and hear nothing.

I see no cultural movement moving us into a more “enlightened” point of view politically though I’m happy that there is more acceptance of sexual minorities, a slight turning away from religious fundamentalism due to a real resurgence of “I’m an atheist and I’m proud” movement which I like even though I am a Christian–you know the old fashioned type that actually has read the Gospels–I’m also influenced by Buddhism and Yoga and Sufism and so on it’s all very similar to me–the Perennial Philosophy as Huxley called it.

We need a dialogue on philosophy and spirituality in this country–politics comes from these larger views. We are diseased as a culture because we have not come to terms with philosophy or theology (the Queen of the Sciences in my view) and I think that movement may slowly roll. Being able to admit I’m a Christian or an Atheist or whatever or just that I don’t know is the new liberation movement we need.

Politics has nothing to offer now–we no longer live in a Constitutional republic so we should stop complaining about a fact that has been a fact for a long time and shows absolutely no sign of changing other than allowing everyone an equal opportunity to kill peasants and so on.

As far as politics and whatever this site is about–we’re running on empty. Sad.

Marjah is not Iwo Jima

Hi, my name is Mike Gravel and I’m a former US Senator from the state of Alaska.  I’m standing in front of the Iwo Jima Memorial, and I’m blessed to live a block away, in fact, from my balcony I can look down at the Iwo Jima Memorial.

What this memorial represents is a sacrifice our young men have given for the safety of this country.  Today we are visited with threats to our safety, but they’re of a different kind.  They’re not of the kind of the Second World War, nor are they of the kind of the Cold War.  What we have today is global terrorism.

Welcome back, Joe the Senator.

Remember when?

Joe, you risked your political career to reach across the aisle.  You went so far as to allude to universal health care at the Publican Convention, a gusty thing to do after the warm and fuzzy welcome you received from the delegates.  And your opening comments on George Washington’s concern about party partisanship and what it could do to the smooth running of our government were so eloquent and so appropriate, too.  (In Washington’s day, white, male landowners really believed that they alone held the best interests of the country at heart and were, therefore, capable of designing a government for everyone.  You were certainly speaking to the right group.)

Even though you are an Independent, you were the Democrat’s representative at the Publican Convention, and the Publicans responded very well to you and to your reminder that the well-being of the country is more important than alignment with a political party.  Red, white, and blue hats off to you.  

The Latest from The Environmentalist

THE ENVIRONMENTALIST has had an influx of new writers, including the executive director of PCAP (Presidential Climate Action Project charged with the environmental agenda for the new administration’s first 100 days), the International Climate Policy Director from the NRDC and others.  Excerpts and links:

Struggling for Obama’s Soul

by William S. Becker, Executive Director, PCAP

Now that we know Barack Obama will become the 44th President of the United States, we can turn to the next critical question of national leadership: In this historic moment, how bold will President Obama be?


Restoring America’s Leadership in International Global Warming Negotiations

by Jake Schmidt, International Climate Policy Director, NRDC

We now have a new leader in the US that understands global warming and recognizes that it requires leadership both at home and abroad. Addressing this challenge (and opportunity) will be a key task of both President-elect Barack Obama (and his Administration) and Congress.


The 100 Day Action Plan to Save the Planet

On January 1st, 2007, the Presidential Climate Action Plan (PCAP), a project of the University of Colorado, Wirth Chair in Environmental and Community Development Policy, was launched to produce a 100 day action plan on climate change for the next President of the United States.


THE ENVIRONMENTALIST has more new posts.


Narratives Change

Narratives are used to describe and shape many aspects of our lives some are subtle while others are direct. But, they are always there pushing and pulling us in directions known and unknown.  

By August of 2001 a narrative was developing that George W. Bush would be a one term president as he seemed overwhelmed by his office and uninterested in governance . What’s unfortunate is that the attacks of September 11, 2001 not only saved his presidency but changed the narrative from one of hope and opportunity to that of fear. Fear of our neighbors, fear of those who did not share their religious beliefs, fear of those whose dress or fashion were not theirs and fear of their government which at its founding was meant to be answerable to the people. Fear became then means to invade people’s privacy to accuse people of crimes they would never be convicted of. To hold, people indefinitely both citizen and noncitizen.  Fear became the means by which a government meant to be open was suddenly shrouded in secrecy.

Fear wasn’t the only narrative foisted upon Americans by this administration and the Republican Party. It became fashionable to deny that Global Warming was adversely affecting the earth’s climate.  Corporate power became so pervasive that consumer rights and protections were trashed without thought or consequence.  People just didn’t matter especially minorities as the governments response to hurricane Katrina proved.  The narrative projected was, wealth and power mattered the rest need not apply that being the other 95% of Americans.

Narratives change not always as fast we would like but they do change.

With the opening of the Democratic National Convention today in Denver the process has begun can if successful change the narratives of fear and haterd, remove secrecy from government, to bring back the rights of the accused to a fair trial in a court of law and not a kangaroo court. To end the fear of government and its invasive practices which have decimated large portions of the American Bill of Rights.  Changes cannot take place in a few short weeks or months but they can take place if you allow them to and are patient with your new leaders. Remember they are not the only ones needed to change this narrative you are needed as well.  

Dead reckoning

I stepped out on the porch a few weeks ago and saw a Mexican wedding cookie moon, sliced gently in half and laid on the silent cool black table of the night sky. Gauzy high clouds formed a foggy backdrop scrim against an inky proscenium.

The straight-edge half of the moon was dialed down to east-nor’east, as a quarter hour of midnight drained away on the clock of the galaxy.

No Beast So Dumb As Man

a Docudharma exclusive

I woke up this morning recovering from the flu, still weak and vaguely feverish.  I haven’t written much lately and feel the need to do so.  Where to begin, the cold-blooded murder of peace-loving monks in Myanmar, the outrageous crimes of our own outlaw government, the shameful bastards in our do-nothing congress, the back-stabbing republican-lite democrats, the hot air from our ‘leaders’ on global warming, war profiteering as the new national pastime, the black-hearted evil of the military-industrial-congressional-media complex, the armies of lying blowhards on the TeeVee, the Halliburton detention centers being constructed across the country for the detention of ‘potential terrorists’ (such as bloggers, demonstrators, peace activists, and real democrats), national indignation at silly newspaper ads while the killing and dying goes on unimpeded – so much horror and madness, so little time.

Weakened and overwhelmed by the harsh realities of the day, I am reduced to communicating via art and poetry.