Saturday, December 17, 2011

Thanksgiving, 2011

Thanksgiving Day.

Sitting in the yard,
Drinking Coffee,
Late afternoon.

Bathed in brilliant sunshine,
Watching turkey vultures soar effortlessly on thermals.


Sunday, October 9, 2011

Occupy Wall Street

Lots of news media coverage on the Occupy Wall Street protests. One has to wonder whether it can be a sustained effort, or if it is just a fad or the next new thing that lasts for a few months and then is forgotten. One also has to wonder whether it can shift from protest to influencing public policy.

In watching a lot of the coverage, it tends to go towards the idea that these people aren't "normal Americans" - that they are a bunch of socialists, or disorganized hippies, or even Nazis (I have actually heard that, and you don't really have to work too hard to guess which network that was on.......).

There is also a recurring theme that they are engaged in "Class Warfare", and that they want to take all the money from the rich and give it to the poor. As a Presidential Candidate recently said, if you are not rich, or working, it is YOUR fault, not the fault of Wall Street. Pretty interesting comments given the FACT that there are many more job applicants than there are available jobs.

Lastly, the idea that none of these protesters can really articulate what this is about, or that they don't really know what they are protesting for. It is true that there are those for whom this is the case. The media seems to be able to focus in laser-like on these people.

I think all of these ideas miss the point of the undercurrent of what these protests might really be about.

An idea that I got from William Greider several years ago in his book The Soul of Capitalism posits that we have ceded a lot of our "Self-Reliance" to big nameless, faceless organizations. This includes organizations that handle food distribution, fuel distribution, monetary distribution, logistics, infrastructure and a host of other things that it takes to survive in modern society.

When these systems are performing optimally, it is all transparent and not noticeable. When they are not performing optimally, or someone degrades the performance of the systems through greed or incompetence, that is when people try to start to think about looking in detail at the systems.

I believe these protests are about Rage. Impotence. Powerlessness. Insecurity. Fear. We've had to just take all of the things that have happened over the past 3 years.

No explanations, no apologies, no compensation. The people who did this to us are still working in the same places, making the same huge amounts of money, and now getting bonuses again, and for the most part they've never faced any kind of prosecution for what they've done.

Billions of dollars of wealth simply disappeared in a short period of time. Jobs and financial security disappeared, sometimes literally overnight. Homes were lost. Pensions were lost. While there has been minimal, incremental improvement, and statistically, at least for now the recession is over, a lot of those things have not improved in any large measure.

I believe these protests are about the inability to do anything when faced with a large, impersonal system, aided by it's protectors in Washington, that is not functioning optimally.

If you are one person sitting in your living room feeling the anger it is one thing. If you are one of thousands, that is quite another matter.

What fascinates me is a lot of reaction to the protests. A lot of people who are down on the protests and the protesters are people who've faced the same losses. They've faced same financial insecurity. The same impotence. The same fear. And, yet, they choose to face it stoically and without protest.


Why aren't we ALL not more angry about this?

Friday, August 5, 2011


I've been wondering,
how we got from a guy walking the dusty roads of Palestine
and teaching,
some of the most perfect ethical teachings ever,
on how to be a holistic, loving human being,
to, what we have today.

Thousands and thousands of Christian Denominations.
Each of them saying
If you don't follow my "brand" of Christianity,
to the letter,
you are doomed to the fires of hell.

Fragmenting, in Schism, Dividing,
breaking apart at the seams.

They can't all be right.
They can't all be wrong.
One group not orthodox enough for another, so they start a new brand.
One group too orthodox for the other, so they start a new brand.

Cries of "heresy" and "apostasy" and "infidel" as routine as doing the laundry.

A lot of energy,
and words,
and thoughts,

Seemingly very little of it having anything to do with any of what that guy taught.


Those on the outside,
looking in to see,
if the teachings of that guy,
and the life of the Christian,
and the love Christians profess for each other and their fellow man is for real


What the hell is going on?

Thursday, August 4, 2011


Just went back and looked and saw that this blog has been inactive for over a year.

A lot has happened over that year. A lot of it seemed to be important at the time that it happened, and some of it still does, and some of it still is important and ongoing, but, I didn't really feel compelled to write about any of it.

Because, it seemed like it was the same tape playing over and over and over and over. Bad economic news. War. Veterans in trouble. More bad economic news. More war. More veterans in trouble.

Still don't really feel compelled to write too much. A lot of things are sad and depressing.

There are plenty of good writers who are detailing these problems. One more or less is really not going to make any difference to anyone.

The economy is still not very good, and we are still in two, no wait, three (or more depending on what you count as a "war" - predator drone attacks in Pakistan, etc) wars.

Washington seems COMPLETELY dysfunctional. There seems to be no leadership there. No creativity. No vision. No audacious thinking. No servant spirit, or real care for their constituents. Only arrogance, anger and raging incompetence.

A lot of what I said through the years I wrote this blog, I still believe, and a lot of it still rings true to me, but, a lot of it sounds kind of hyperbolic and stilted to me now. When I read it, it seems like a different person wrote it.

When I wrote, I wanted to write what I thought was true, and I wanted to write not from the standpoint of trying to not be sensational. For the most part, I think I accomplished that.

On the plus side, I'm still alive. Relatively healthy. Still employed (for today anyway). Still in my house. In a little better financial shape than I was a year ago.

Maybe I'll write something again next year at this time.