Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Link All You Want Senator McCain

You can link the economy and national security till the cows come home. The failed Republican national security policy and our economy have both blown up in our faces already. They are both broken! We need someone with the vision for change. We need someone who can fix them, not link them!

Friday, October 24, 2008

McCain, Driving Joe-the-Plumber & Other Lies Home!

There he goes again! Senator McCain is accusing Obama of spreading the wealth. And that's a bad thing? I can't believe that we middle class Americans are going for this ridiculous scheme of McCain’s that somehow Joe the (middle-class idiot) plumber, who earns but $40,000.00 a year will somehow be negatively affected by Obama’s tax plan to increase the taxes of the rich corporations who have so greatly contributed to the economic collapse that continues on it’s hyperbolic curve to oblivion even as I write.

Joe the working-class-plumber-being-fooled-by-Mr.-“Joe”-the-Rich-guy-McCain into thinking he’s better off with these super-rich-folk staying in charge even after causing the collapse of the world economy needs his head examined. And, so do any others of us who think we need to add another 4 years of a new Republican administration in Washington so perhaps even more of us can loose our homes and jobs. And, yes, I’m not working because I’m retired, so instead of worrying about loosing my job, I have to worry that my retirement fund will collapse due to these very same rich “BLEEPS!”

I’m on a rant here. I’m so tired of these (BLEEPING BLEEPS) thinking that they can lie to us, cheat, and screw the middle class “ad infinitum, ad nausium” and get away with it, that I could spit acid coated nails. I do have to admit that these BLEEPS are indeed a minority of the wealthier classes. However, these particular rich folk have to go.

Ah well, keep spewing those JOE-guy lies Senator McCain, and maybe, just maybe we'll actually all begin to figure out that your just making things up as you go along.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Yes to Colin Powell's endorsement of Senator Obama!

Once again I am doing national politics instead of Art. I refuse to apologize!

As I listened to Colin Powell this morning on Meet the Press I sighed with relief because he addressed all my fears about the possible outcome of this election including those I discss below.

It depends on which news service and / or pundit you are following at any given moment, however, it does appear that McCain is managing to chip away at Obama’s lead a fraction of a point at a time with each new diversion or divisive slur. Today’s new slur is that Barack is a European style socialist, which seemed absurd to me until I realized that not everyone was listening forty-seven years ago in my high school “American Democracy” class when our teacher held forth on the similarities and differences between communism and socialism. And, I realize that because of my all to human tendency to forget over time I would also be hard pressed to compare and contrast the two in detail today. Never the less, I will look them up and reacquaint myself with both terms instead of confusing them. I also know that not everyone of my fellow citizens has the perseverance or desire to do as I will. Thus, another fraction of a point in Obama’s advantage is chipped away. It’s sort of like Plymouth Rock, hewn away flake by flake over many generations until it is little more than a pebble imprisoned safely today in its Roman Doric Portico.

Part of my answer to the communism v. socialism question was found on YouTube in this very bizarre piece created by three exuberant college students as part of a class assignment in “American Government.”

A Question and an Answer

Thus, I have arrived at a question for Obama’s campaign. How does Obama defend Obama from such devious propaganda?

However, it would also appear that Colin Powell and my attempt to compare and contrast communism v. socialism have answered my question.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Racism Against Barack Obama!

I know. This is way off target for an Art Journal. However...

I found this posted by Johnnyb098 on the CNN Website. It is a most reasonable and clearly reasoned request that all of us “get our facts straight” in this election.

Amen, brother!

I’m looking forward to the debate tonight with some trepidation because I think Democrats have gotten over confident since the economic problems became visible. I say “became visible” because I date the beginning of the economic downturn to September of 2005. True, the current recession/depression/whatever didn’t begin until about nine to six months ago. Never the less, the big-bird with a damaged wing has been headed for a bumpy landing since the downturn in the housing market back in fall 2005. The over-stuffed turkey-luky of an economy had to be lurking in the nation’s subconscious for a long-long time, blocked because of some willful fear on the part of those who should know better, lack of knowledge on the part of many of us, stupidity by some, and greed on the part of still others, or any combination of the above. I think fear is a huge part of this equation, and fear needs a scapegoat. I think some in the Republican base, running on fear and anger have decided to make Barack Obama the (scapegoat) target of their fear and anger. We have all been watching the attempt to paint him as The Other, “that one,” foreigner, Muslim and terrorist by the McCain-Palin campaign. The result has been abusive, hate filled language in their audience such as; “off with his head,” “kill him,” “He’s an Arab” (And when did all Arabs become evil?). As a retired educator, I know that I did not – reads could not afford to- accept fear and hate filled language in my classroom, because it always was the mark of something much more ugly hiding just beneath the surface. I suppose my personal fear is that these Republican folks can use our baseless fears and anger about the run-away world economy as a place to deposit American fears of the other, our Caucasian bigotry against those of color. If they succeed in such a scheme, Barack Obama becomes the scapegoat target and he either looses the debate and election or, finally, some maniac fanatic on the far right assassinates him. There, I’ve put into words the exact fear I’ve heard expressed by so many friends. It’s even been expressed by some of my conservative friends as the reason they can’t vote for Barack Obama. How bizarre is that?

Damn! I can’t wait for this election to be over.

I hope whoever wins the election is able to put all the broken pieces, and nudge all the broken people back together again.

God bless us all, each and everyone.*

*I know I'm paraphrasing from Tony Kushner here, possibly quoting directly from Angels in America, and that Tony Kushner was quoting Charles Dickens.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Blow-up Garbage Bag Creatures

Look at these sculptures by Joshua Allen Harris. We should all buy a small air pump, and start playing with our old plastic grocery bags.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Part II: Gomes’ The Scandalous Gospel of Jesus, my past and future

The last entry about the Presbyterian Church Sunday school of my youth was preamble to Gomes’ “Scandalous Gospel,” because that book brought so many wonderful memories flooding back. I was fourteen in 1958, so I was receiving religious instruction during a period of perhaps enforced American innocence, and a time when the liberal church was still in the ascendancy. JFK was yet to be elected much less assassinated. Martin Luther King was beginning to cause a stir, and McCarthyism was a thing of the past. Hope was palpable. It was in the air - and our church was teaching us to breath that air. That religious instruction is the reason I am a liberal Democrat today.

Last week I bought Gomes’ book because of the title. I foolishly wondered how the Gospel could be so outrageous. I should have known better, and reading The Scandalous Gospel of Jesus made me feel as though I had come home. For instance on page 79 Gomes writes the following.

“The love of God is not just a sentimental obligation but the incorporation of a worldview that we respond to God as God acts toward us. To be created in God’s image – a view from Hebrew scripture that is reiterated in the Gospels – is to realize that we have been made worthy by one who is worthy. There is something of the divine, of God, in everyone of us” (Gomes, p. 79)

As I read that statement, it was as though I had been transported back in time to that Sunday school classroom. I realized that that classroom and the religious training I received there has been at the center of my life ever since. My belief in that scandalous Gospel has allowed me to do things I might not have done otherwise. It is the reason I do volunteer work. It is the reason I work with all my heart and mind not to be prejudiced against any kind of human being or for that matter to classify human beings as to type. It is the reason I have tried to give a decent percentage of my salary away to charity (not institutionalized religion) each year of my adult life. It is the reason I have pursued my ability as a teacher and talent as an artist (though not always successfully). The alternative would have been to ignore an accidental but fortuitous piece of God that dwells within. It is the reason I took on extra activities in career and life that at times threatened my health. Jesus’ teaching is the reason that I am not defenseless when faced by those who would do harm to me, including those who use their religion as a tool against me. When I have been selfless, generous, kind, and caring toward others than my family and closest friends it is in large part because of those Sunday School classes.

No, I don’t believe I’m some kind of saint. I’m a BIG TIME sinner, and I know it. However, God loves me anyway. And I do pick myself up every time I fall, and promise once again to try to do better. In fact, I’ve gotten rather good at forgiving myself because the world kicks me often enough for sins I have and haven’t committed.

Strangely enough all of this is the main reason that I believe this election year to be extremely important. It is increasingly apparent to everyone that the nation has arrived at a crossroad. Each of us must decide not only for which candidate to vote, but also each of us must decide whether to continue down the well-trodden road paved with greed, fear and hate of the past 8 years. Or do we decide to turn down the poorly paved but well marked alternative road and reaffirm the lessons learned at parents knee and our places of worship. Do we choose the road less traveled in which Jesus’ very real teaching of love and inclusion is applied to the ordinary world in which we live? Can we accept that practitioners of the world’s other great religions might travel alternate routes to the same destination? Can we create hope and change? Can we make a human planet in which we perceive the world as God’s loved creation? Can we each begin to expect all of us to demonstrate love for one another no matter what race, ethnicity, creed, religion, sex or sexual preference? Dare I hope for such a thing?

Gomes, Peter J., The Scandalous Gospel of Jesus: What’s so Good About the Good News? Harper Collins Publishers (New York) 2007.