Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Then, there's Rush & Neocon friends

The following article was printed in the Four Corner's Free Press December 2008 issue:

The day after the Election, I was at work and found myself subjected to Rush Limbaugh on the radio. I heard Rush referring to the previous evening’s joyful masses at Chicago’s Grant Park as “ten thousand Bolsheviks.”

It floored me. The claim is (idiotic and) nothing but pure age-old, boiler-plate, hate mongering! As unjustifiable as using WWII to rationalize invading a country that was no strategic threat to the United States. Yet, he, and too many others, get away with spreading such incredibly twisted lies and re-fabricated versions of reality. Rush & friends have perfected an art form of grasping a 10 degree snippet of fact and transmuting that snippet into a sellable version of their desired whole truth and nothing but -- but, it totally ignores the other 350 degrees of vexing issues and facts.

It’s terrible and people need to stop letting them get away with dumbing down the national dialogue. I wonder how they can manage to continue projecting that sense of certainty given the collective neo-conservative record of disastrous world & future damaging actions?

Consider the 9/11 debacle when “God given certainty” coupled with far right-wing passions, fueled by powerful corporate interests, overruled cooler minds and the moments true imperative - to chase after a hellishly destructive and futile Iraqi lost grail misadventure.

A less ideologically blinded approach would have remained focused on the real issue. Namely, getting that group of thugs who perpetrated the heinous acts of 9/11. Instead, Bush’s approach turned that scum into a world hero for Islamic down trodden, even elevating Bin Laden’s wildest rantings about western intentions into fulfilled prophecies. All the while sowing seeds of hatred, squandering our precious resources and tearing USA’s world image into that of a bully.

May we ask: where does America profit in any of this Iraq mess? Sure some corporations are doing great, but what about America and Americans? What has this profited us? Why be so angry at Democrats for wanting to try another path? Perhaps one with less destruction? Why the anger and lies demonizing those dreams? Or has endless war become the goal?

Than, there is the great distraction: the Abortion Issue. Wendy Wright, president of Concerned Women for America says: "We face a president and Congress more hostile to unborn children, to marriage, to religious freedom, to free speech, to protecting our country than has ever existed in our history." All because Obama believes women do have a right to a certain autonomy over their bodies, offspring and health. Wendy is absolute, certain and just rarin' for a fight, yet oblivious to so much more. In the long ago words of Rachel Richardson Smith: “I wonder how abortion got to be the greatest of all sins? What about poverty, ignorance, hunger, weaponry?” Thirty years later we need to add: What about our steady escalation of world violence along with its grief and starvation, or the great crisis of health our planet Earth’s Biosphere is suffering?

On another front, is the right-wing’s shrill trumpeting of the sanctity of the Free Market. Where the heck is this “Free-Market” in today’s mega-corporate dictated economy? Free Market is a whole bunch of businesses competing with each other ~ who’s kidding who: “Free-Market” doesn’t exist in this teetering global economy of corporation giants.

President Bush says: "Whenever reforms are recommended we need to be guided by this simple fact: the best way to solve our problems, solve the people’s problems is for there to be economic growth. And, the surest path to that growth is free market capitalism."

The “best way to solve our problems” is to increase consumption? Think about it, that’s the recipe for cancer. Yes, unfettered free market capitalism does a wonderful job of exploiting and consuming resources at ever increasing rates, like there’s no tomorrow. But, there is a tomorrow. And, like it or not, we’re the ones waking up to it. And all the self deception in the world will not change the reality that Earth cannot sustain another century like the last.

Ignoring the world our children will inherit and misdirecting anger won’t help. Damn the Rush L. & friends approach of willful ignorance and contrived rage. Learn about what Earth monitoring data tell us. Get to know about the condition of our Biosphere, that biological web of life, land, water and air that is our life-support system. God gave us this Earth to live in, we have become its custodians. Wouldn’t it be good to start paying attention to this Earth? Why not try to learn from each other, rather than framing everyone else as an enemy? We can choose to stand United, or divided we’ll fail. It is that simple.


Recently, I was introduced to the BBC Video "EARTH: THE BIOGRAPHY"

One of our society's greatest (and most dangerous) short coming is its general oblivion to our Earth, its biosphere (and how our life depends on them.). This series is a good introduction into our incredible earth and its life sustaining processes - upon which our eonomy is dependent.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Regarding the Run on Guns

This letter is in response to an article written by a high school intern. The text can be found at

Dear Cortez Journal Editors,
{To begin with, hats off to your intern Emily Ketterer. Cortez High School has a student to be proud of.}

Regarding her excellent article "Election Triggers Gun Sales", it sounds like a hideous Y2K spoof, with a rage filled spin. It’s sad, this 2nd Amendment hysteria is nothing more than a few self-serving, for-profit hate-mongers who have learned how to manipulate the internet and media. Wait you’ll see.

America, relax. We elected a professor. A scholarly nerd, who’s a political genius and a tough guy too. A guy who came up by his bootstraps as much as anyone else in recent memory. Why all the self-righteous rage at his all-American success story? Doesn’t America deserve a smart “self-made” guy representing our country for a change?

Barack Obama is one of those historic individuals, whom providence and a vacuum (National need) created. America tried the down home self-certain good old Bush approach and it has been nothing but loss & heartache for America, and the world. Why not change?

Please, all you gun slinging, angry, if not hateful people - what if you hang on to your guns and give the guy a chance? Hang at ease, watch him for a while, you might be surprised.

Have you been watching how this man has gone about the early stages of his transition phase? OK, so he’s not hiring a lot of Republicans. He is a Democrat. But, besides that, Mr. Obama is giving off indications that he has the potential of becoming a President that most all of us could respect.

That’s if we give him a chance. And why shouldn’t we? Especially, if our true concern is remaining: The United States of America, home of liberty and justice for all.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

“Will Obama really mean the end of America”

As printed November 6, 2008
in the
Four Corners Free Press
Cortez, Colorado
(900 words)

It’s starting to look as though Barack Obama just might have won the election by the time this article gets to print. That would be a great triumph for progressive thinking people. Unfortunately, listening to my Republican friends, it would mean the end of America, if not the world for them.

They are convinced Obama: will take away their guns; turn our US government over to the United Nations; shut down our military & roll over for the enemy; open our national borders to all aliens; take all the money from the rich and give it to the lazy and the uninvited aliens; bring terrorist into the government; and worst of all turn America’s White House into the Colored House.

Why do these emotion ~ rather than fact ~ driven beliefs have such a deep hold? Subsurface racism probably has more to do with it than most care to admit. It’s only human. Our core tribal instincts remain in place no matter how small the world becomes. These tribal roots to our feeling/thinking aren’t such a bad thing ~ if we manage to retain some humility and humor about it. The poison comes in when our inner tribal instinct gets intoxicated with supremacist fervor.

Unfortunately, our country has been under the corrosive spell of that sort of fervor. Masterminded by Carl Rove and his Neocon compatriots the new Republican politics - which actually has nothing to do with true honorable conservatism - has sold too many Americans a false myth based on a self-centered presumption that God supports their own materialistic dreams above and beyond the shared dreams of all humanity.

They have attacked civil public discourse with such passion and success, that today millions of totally decent Americans believe that the only good progressive (or god-forbid liberal), is a dead one. And, they take themselves seriously! We hear Senator McCain screaming: “We will never give up against Obama: fight, fight, fight, fight!” If I had one question to ask McCain, it would have been: “Are your presidential dreams worth tearing our country apart?”

Look into history - it’s plain that though our Founding Fathers were all men of diverse passionately held and defensible beliefs. Each one knew they needed the knowledge and experiences of their ideological opponents. They allowed themselves the luxury of respecting their opponents and they appreciated that there was something to be learned from most everyone. They had the humility to understand that no one of them held absolute judgment. And, possessed the integrity to be able to alter perspectives when new information justified it.

To these American heros Free Speech wasn’t about talking. Free Speech was about dialoging. This form of speech requires an attuned receiver(s). The listener(s) suspend judgment long enough to absorb what is actually being said before returning to evaluation mode & judgment calls. The benefit is that it allows us to better understand why we should disagree - or, it might open up unexpected knowledge & potentials.

In dialogue once a speaker finishes, he/she reverts back to listening and thinking mode. It's an expression of respect... acknowledging our mutual humanity. Anything wrong with that? Why has that approach been demolished by the corporate media?

How can progressives (and god-forbid liberals), reach across to our right wing brothers & sisters, coworkers & acquaintances? How are we going to diffuse the right-wing rage that threatens to drag our country down an ugly slope of homegrown violence? Wouldn’t talking With each other, rather than At each other, be a good start?

What if the folks who think and worry about our world through the perspective of science and rationalism, actually tried to engage our right-wing brethren. A grass roots dialogue. To explain and listen. After all, it isn’t as though all sides don’t have many mistakes to account for ~ and much learning to do with an eye to the rapidly changing global reality our kids will be inheriting.

Our future isn’t all doom and gloom. Though, you can bet it will be extremely challenging ~ but challenges that can be met ~ if people commit to focusing on the actual problems. What spooks me is how many remain fully obsessed on their tribalism, while the truly important issues are ignored and festering. Why the willful ignorance?

Why the total commitment to a blind adherence to dogma considered “God given” - when in fact an examination of the history of religions clearly show that they are people made documents. Inspired by God, no doubt - but just as surely tainted by human power politics. As for morality and decency - it’s not owned by religions - it’s a humanity wide thing, when allowed to flourish.

If reading this Barack Obama is President-elect, it’ll be thanks to the efforts of a million citizen volunteers. I hope they realize this is just the first step - now the real struggle begins. That struggle being a quiet revolution of persuasion, one grass root at a time.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

1:30 AM the morning after (11-5-8)

what a night.

I went downtown to share election night returns with the Obama crowd.

Watching the evening unfold was a great show -
by the time of Obama's well worded acceptance speech.
Hope suddenly seemed like it was worth believing again.

I even found myself waving a US flag
like I haven't imagined doing since pre 9-11.
It felt really good to do.

Tough days will surely follow ~
and only time will tell if the promise of a thoughtful approach to world problems will prevail.

But, at least it seems within the realm of possibility ~
in a way that was impossible with the corporate driven cheney/bush crew

Monday, November 3, 2008

Election Eve 2008

Election Eve November 3, 2008

This one feels bigger because McCain and his campaign
have gone to such incredible lengths to malign Obama, and paint him as a down right threat.

It’s as though McCain (and company)
are purposefully trying to wrench this country apart.

It has been a frightening thing to watch.

How will we deal with the outcome?