Saturday, December 22, 2007
Thank you for gifts. Making gifts is hard. Thinking about the perfect gift is harder. May there be forgiveness in your life from those who don't get what they want. May all come to realize what we don't need. Especially me.
Thank you for Christmas Carols. Believing or not, and when I did and did not, there were carols with me all the while. Take time and seek out my favorite, "The Cherry Tree Carol" if you get the chance. I loved it from the moment I first sang it in high school. An American carol in every way.
This is not my last xmas post. Be sure to tune in for more.
Happy last Sunday in advent all!
Be sure to share your thanks.
Friday, December 21, 2007
You see, after seeing Sweeney, bad thoughts go through your mind anyway and, trust me, the Wal Mart experience does little to slake them. Very little.
Very bad thoughts.
We try to be helpful here.
Go see Sweeney Todd, by all means. Right now.
Just watch, and then go home...straight away. Do not linger in public places. Especially, annoying, polluting, under paying, open 24 hours public places.
Here endeth the lesson.
Thursday, December 20, 2007
Best Show in QC: "Dracula" production by Ballet Quad Cities. This was the most awesome thing that I've seen on stage in the Quads, perhaps...ever. Wonderful movement and excellent use of the stage. Stunning. I had to keep checking to make sure that I was sitting in Davenport. Wow.
Best Movie: Well, "No country for old Men". Easy one there. Not that I get to see that many movies, but Cormac meets Coen...who could ask for anything more (perhaps Tim Burton and Stephen Sondheim)
Best Book: "How to Read the Bible" by James Kugel. An absolute must read for anyone interested in Biblical history or interpretation. Interesting, funny, infomative...what else can one ask?
Best News Website(s): Actually, most of them have gone downhill. Qconline and Qctimes have decided to make finding stories more difficult. Qctimes has picked up a great blogger in Art Pitz. However, they make me push a tab to find Melissa Coulter's stuff, and press another tab to get to the Letters to the Editor. No longer is this stuff right there on the front page.
Michael Romkey (Writing and Romkey) is probably my favorite blog...though Art Pitz is gaining. Both are intelligent and rarely visited by blather.
Cnn.com has gone WAY downhill. Their front page is starting to look like the National Enquirer. Nytimes, NPR, and BBC are all we got left for good news. Money and News seem not to mix to well.
anyway...I may have more of the year's roundup as time goes on.
Enjoy the holidays.
Check out some live music this weekend.
visit capitalist's corner for some last minute or late gifts.
Hare Krishna to all, and to all a good night.
Friday, December 14, 2007
The trees looked awesome, though it seemed rather dangerous walking around the neighborhood as everything melted.
It's Xmas. A very busy time of year for musicians.
If you have the time...check out one or both of the following:
December 16th at 3PM at St. John's Lutheran (off the one ways in Rock Island near the Moline Border) there will be a "Warm Winter" concert featuring Hersong and with the Bethel Wesley UMC, Moline Bell Choir as guests. Admission is free with a blanket donation. This is to benefit Churches United.
December 22nd at 3PM (popular time) at Bethel Wesley UMC (1201 13th street, Moline, IL)
There will be an "Informal Christmas Recital". An hour, or perhaps a little more, of Christmas music. All kinds. Sung and played. If there is time and the spirit...perhaps a sing-along. Come as you are. Admission is free. Refreshments to follow
and While we're at it:
The Prenzie Players will have a fund-raiser on January 4th 8-11PM at the Masonic Temple (420 18th Street) in Rock Island.
And the I've added new products to the Capitalist corner.
It's right where capitalists belong at the bottom of this page.
Sunday, December 09, 2007
I had some trouble with spam posts a while back, but I hate to shut down comments from those "just stopping by". So, I'll throw it wide open again, and try to handle the spam as it comes.
Thank You...regular programming will resume shortly.
Saturday, December 08, 2007
Thanks to all of those hostile and militant about celebrating Xmas. It reminds me how wonderful it is to meet and celebrate different faiths or no faith at all. It makes me explore my own strange faith and change something about it so I remember that it is impossible to know truth, God, or everything. I used to think I could. That existence is about as miserable as it gets.
Thanks to all those who help the consumerist machine run at its lowest levels. The Superstore Clerks, The Mall workers, the tellers...the service workers who have a busy Christmas, and see the underside of the holiday with a smile on their face. Commercialized, exploitative, maybe even the essence of a kind of evil...yet...it is Christmas. I love it. I find my own meaning in it. For all those who celebrate...whatever you celebrate...
Remember, there is a "Capitalist's Corner" at the bottom of this page for your shopping ease! Give a Socialist for XMAS!
Friday, December 07, 2007
THE Commodore 64!
Never had one. My best friend did though. I think it was around the same time that I was messing around with my favorite computer...the Timex Sinclair 1000.
My friend had hundreds of games. The C64 was fairly easy to hack, and, if you really needed to, you could go out and buy software that would pirate the disks you couldn't pirate yourself.
Nowadays, I can play Zork on my gametap account and marvel at what used to be the cutting edge.
Many summer afternoons were spent in my friend's basement playing the C64. Then at school I used to stay late in the computer lab with a bunch of friends and play on the TRS80 model IIIs that they had. Usually, the janitor would kick us out at 5 or 5:30.
I'm old, aren't I.
Wednesday, December 05, 2007
We are sold fear.
We refuse to help each other because we find fear useful.
Fear teaches efficiently.
We Buy fear.
We hope that the corporation will protect us from fear.
We have thousands of nuclear warheads for fear that ... well... I have no answer
I have no reason.
I am not afraid except of those who fear.
Suppose we lived without fear?
What great evil would befall us?
Perhaps evil itself is not there.
Then there is nothing to fear.
Tuesday, December 04, 2007
Which leads me to the capitalist conjecture as it applies to school.
School is about #1 Money, #2 Power (in some cases it is reversed), and #3 education ONLY as much as it gets you #1 and #2.
Now...Teachers are mostly lovely people who are, mostly, fairly altruistic. They have my sympathy. They are crushed between #1 and #2 without much to do with it or about it.
When the schools have a "Christmas" program. They are making their power known. When they have a "Holiday" program, they are again, making their power known. There are so many God/Secular fights at school primarily because they have taken what power they can from parents and desire to turn children into product.
Again, this is not even on a consious level, but when money is the goal, and power is the tool what is one to do?
Hence, the "socialist" in my blog name.
Look at the health system Socialized medicine was recently maligned in the River Cities Reader by a guest columnist.
But, capitalist medicine, uncontrolled, has led to the most inefficient and expensive delivery of medical care on the planet. Not to metion the increase in suffering the current system causes even in those it "cures" but burdens with debt.
The capitalist education system does the same thing at the University level. Our higher ed system is also the most inefficient and expensive in the world.
Our public school system only lags behind because of government mandates that it not charge disabling fees and educate "everyone" (which it patently does not, but that's another column).
Overall, money gets in the way. The church, the school, the hospital...none of them can deliver on their core promise because of money and the trend, unfortunately, is to turn these places into a "Business!"
Even this socialist is burdened with making the payments to keep the show on the air.
(see the fun stuff you can buy at the bottom of this page).
So lament, lament. Many of Jesus' teachings were taken up with money.
We're about to blow a load on Christmas (something that, I'm sure, embarrasses the namesake to no end).
Capitalism may be the lesser evil. Though, with its friend power along for the ride, it tends to be a great evil.
So let's give the school's to the students for Christmas, and the hospitals to the patients for Solstice. Maybe Santa can even bring Jesus to the Megachurch.
(Boy, you'd never guess I was in a good mood tonight. Which I am.)
Saturday, December 01, 2007
Thanks to my son, who had a birthday.
Thanks to the ice that made its own Christmas decorations on our trees and kept me indoors listening to Christmas music and writing.
Thanks for tiny moments. The smallest moments that I may have missed. Moments while standing in line. Moments when one is alive and not having to notice, just waiting.
Bless you all, again you may leave your thanks.
They will kill us if we let our guard down.
If you question us they will win!
Over and over again.
I don't know if in my 37 or so years on this Earth that I've had a day without that rhetoric being barked from somewhere.
Usually from people with guns who think more guns will stop the hate.
Oh, BTW, Putin, GW's buddy, has decided to start massing troops on his European border.
War on terror!
The US terrorizes me.
Tuesday, November 27, 2007
Buy the revolution!
Even socialists need a little $$$ come the holiday season.
Show your friends that you are part of the revolution!
Get some fun artwork, or cool pictures for the walls of your meeting house.
Why, you can even DRINK the revolution in the schqc.blogspot.com coffee mug.
Send a Socialist Christmas card to ring in the season.
New Items added every day.
Remember every $ you spend brings the revolution closer to the day when there will be no need to spend your $.
Rise up and buy! Just scroll down!
(Please use organic option for t-shirts)
Sunday, November 25, 2007
1. A good friend turned 38 yesterday. One of my longest standing friends. Happy Birthday guy.
2. No Country for Old Men . Great stuff all around. Not for the Forrest Gump croud.
3. Thanks to all those who challenge and chide and make me think a little more. There's been quite a bit of that this week in many different ways.
Enjoy your week and, as always, be thankful, grateful, and joyous.
Feel free to leave your thanks here.
Thursday, November 22, 2007
We will soon celebrate the coming of the one who blessed the world with a message of sacrifice and love by handing out multitudes of items made by or picked by those who work in misery.
I do it myeself.
It is the way of the world.
The richness of our table's bounty comes not from our hands alone, but from the hands of many unseen and unknown to us. Soon that richness may dwindle as the slave above all other slaves (the Earth) is stripped of its finery for simple lucre.
A truly grateful people would be mindful without ending of the sacrifice made of others, of economic injustice and of the destruction of forests, plains, and even mountains. Ripped from children's hands.
Who would work for such a rude master as we are to the planet?
How long before the exploited rise up to return what they have been dealt?
Are we truly thankful!
Let us strive to be so.
Enjoy the turkey.
Saturday, November 17, 2007
Just don't click on the thing.
Yes, this blog is officially Genius level.
We do not borrow, read, lease or rent the mind, we TAKE the mind!
Yes, I haven't been blogging too much lately. Photography and my novel have taken up time (is there a blogger who ISN'T writing a novel?).
There's a great article in Harpers about capitalism and the nihlism (see, "nihlism", that's mind taking) of belief in America.
Corporate capitalism sucks your soul!
Remember, if you can read this...
Tuesday, October 30, 2007
Sunday, October 28, 2007
Which is bad and good in its own way.
First thanks to the new 4H Magical Muggles Club. They let me be a guide on the trails at their Harry Potter themed ball, and I had a lot of fun as did my family.
Thanks to everyone in my children's choir at church. They did a superb job today.
Keeping with the spirit of the season, thanks to those who have come and gone back to the universe from which they came. Far too many to list here.
Again, you are invited to add your own, and to live your life in radically thankful way...and barefoot. Though it is starting to get too cold even for dedicated hippies to shed the shoes.
Have a great week!
Friday, October 12, 2007
Its like Abu Gharib. You let people have control over a powerless group, and they do silly things with them.
Silvis says they do it right before they recite the pledge of allegiance.
So they are doing two useless things just to prove that they can make a captive audience do what they demand.
We wonder why democracy rots when the first thing we teach is to do what the government tells you to!
Monday, October 08, 2007
I don't think Ayn Rand would put up with the pap that comes from her institute.
The blog, on the other hand, was discussing western thought.
Groucho Marx showed up in the middle of it.
As well he should!
The Marx brothers, especially in Duck Soup. Go about destroying western thought in rather neat ways. What bit of language cannot be turned against itself. What is power when all power can be shown to be ignorance.
Monty Python is another group that shows the end of western thought and civilization. The "Michael Ellis" episode and "Meaning of Life" are the best.
What ground is there to stand on, friends? What is great about "WESTERN CIV"!.
And yet, today, I cast about for an argument to support my "musical elitism". So called.
Isn't it amazing that those defending western ideas, and western civilization are nearly completely ignorant of the art and theater of the "WESTERN CANON"?
As if "WESTERN CIV" is some kind of indoctrination. Which is what "WESTERN" thought is against.
If there is western thought...
Whatever it is, I'm against it.
You'd better hope there's intelligent life
Somewhere out in space
'Cause there's bugger all down here on Earth.
Did Shakespeare say it better? Not that's there's anything wrong with that.
Monday, October 01, 2007
Bicycling at night...doubly so.
Bicycling at night during early fall...well, that's heaven.
Just in case you didn't know.
Thought that I might just...ya know...clue you in.
That, and I HATE cars.
I hate what cars have done to our society, to the Earth, and to my pocketbook.
I got to ride my bike to church tonight. It's a trend I've tried to keep up all summer. I think more peole should try it.
Saturday, September 29, 2007
It is hard to say.
I am an open, do your own thing type of Christian.
I am not envious, nor jealous.
I suppose I am slightly disturbed by "contemporary" churches in that they seem to promote a kind of "capitalist" Christianity that bothers me.
They remind of CCM magazine and Worship magazine. Two "Christian" periodicals that are about selling stuff more than getting me to love "Jesus".
Its also that I have a strong negative history with mega-churches. I was asked to leave one in Houston once because my 18 month old cried once. This could be picked up by the mics used to broadcast the service.
We could have left here in the "Children's Area" where we would exchange our child for a number, much like one does with one's coat.
That's not it either.
I mean, if they are introducing people to Jesus, and caring about each other, and working for peace and giving away their money and stuff...that is Great!
It is a difficult balance. Evangelizing, and talking about the Christian life.
Evangelizing is easy, trying to be a Christian is amazingly hard.
I don't presume to be judge, and my Christian life is quite the failure.
I probably would make a better Catholic, really.
I guess, that's it, though, at the bottom of it.
I don't believe in a successful church. There is no such thing. Churches are monuments to the failure of Christians. That is why I belong to one, work at one, even.
Working for the day when we realize that we don't need anything to get the message of Christ. CDs, TVs, Cars, money all tossed aside.
When does the pursuit of excellence replace the pursuit of the broken heart that Christ desires? When does support of the community surpass fellowship behind walls?
Thursday, September 27, 2007
The thing I most find frustrating about this ignorant war is the obviousness of its intention. Unfortunately, most people are missing it.
Who profits? Probably the first and only question in most wars. That has been mostly ignored in this one.
Who profits? Oil companies (the Bushes and Cheney's best friend). Halliburton (Dick Cheney's company). That's it. Pure and simple. All else is lies and cover.
That is the cover up. That is what we're going to learn in 30 years. Privatization of the military and endless war gives money to the rich and the super rich. The ultimate exploitation since it is primarily the poor and lower middle class who fight the war and suffer from the cost. Cost that puts profits in Exxon's hands, and Blackwater's and Halliburton's. Had they not been such fools, Enron would be reaping record profits along with all or Bush's cronies.
Get out of Iraq now.
That is called "individual mandates".
Requiring everyone to carry health insurance. This is like auto insurance, they tell us.
Except: One can always take away one's drving priviliges. Exactly what will happen if you don't get health insurance? What do you take away? Would every man, woman and child carry a card to prove coverage?
Then there's the idea of making a giant database of Health histories. A database, one would assume, the government would have access to.
As a user of "alternative" health services and as one who rejects the concept of mandatory vaccination, I am concerned that I could be punished for personal health care choices.
Single Payer could avoid these problems. That is why I still strongly support "single payer" coverage. Individual mandates, it appears to me, may even be unconstitutional.
Monday, September 24, 2007
Another local blog has chosen to celebrate.
Already, the Quad Cities is full of talented people who give so much time and energy to the arts. Few, if any of these people, are seeking to get rich on it. Many not only give away their time and talent, but also their money.
What do the Quad Cities get in return?
Renown! Exposure! Tourism! Big $$$.
As does the whole state of Illinois.
Artists need to complain to their legislator. Artists need to complain to the governor. Artists need to stand up for what they give to this state.
Comment on local blogs. Write letters to the paper (as I will). The arts in the Illinois Quad Cities need to come together on this issue.
Arts enliven the community at such a low cost already! Imagine if you had to pay the true cost to watch a musical, play, listening to WVIK or watching WQPT?
You couldn't afford to see a show if artists charged what they were worth.
We get so little from the state. Without that tiny support, though, see how many groups can continue to enrich the business of the community.
Sunday, September 23, 2007
The change in seasons. Fall is my favorite time of year.
Teachers and students at Audubon School in Rock Island. (Fight the good fight!)
For all those who will do one thing at all this week to help preserve the environment. Especially by NOT burning leaves. Let them rot! Give them to me! The world could always use more compost.
Have a great week.
Thursday, September 20, 2007
They are free now.
One hates to be terribly cynical, but there seems to be no way out.
Except to leave.
Already there are 1.2 million dead.
2 million displaced.
"If you leave, it will be terrible!"
What is it now?
We warned you.
Tuesday, September 11, 2007
The Yurt is DONE! (well, nearly, a few minor things to play with).
A Massive thank you to all who helped (you know who you are).
A huge thank you to all who took the time to read my column in the QCTimes. I can't believe how supportive they have been of me this year. I really appreciate it. I especially liked the commentary sent to me personally, put up on this blog or put up at the QCTimes web site.
Friday, September 07, 2007
Take your shoes off and relax!
I am pretty busy this weekend. Hopefully, we will be finishing building a yurt on my little piece of property. This was supposed to be done on labor day, but we had to answer the question "How many college degrees does it take to figure out a generator?". Thankfully, we have made good friends with the farmer up the road who was glad to quickly point out the error of our ways. (Insert rant about the school system here)
If you want any hippie living advice, or have any thing that's bugging you, are interested in socialist christianity, or just want to hang out...please go ahead and post.
I like to think of this page as a little commune. All are welcome.
Saturday, September 01, 2007
Thank you to Appalacian State!
Well, to be less evil,
Thanks to Michigan,
and Thanks to my new Dog Euripedes, and the old dog Hannibal who is no longer with us.
Again, you are encouraged to post your own!
Have a great weekend!
Thursday, August 30, 2007
1000s dying every year.
Bridges falling down.
New Orleans is still a wreck.
More people without health care.
Housing bubble collapsing.
These can wait.
Lewd Behavior in a public bathroom (is there any other kind of behavior in a public bathroom?)
and why, the machinery of the Republican party rolls as fast as anything.
God bless America*
(perverts don't count)
Here endeth the lesson.
Friday, August 24, 2007
I must say, that I have changed my mind. Having been an Obama fan for quite some time, I have already switched horses, jumped ship...whatever.
I have just been so impressed by what John Edwards has said and continues to say. Given that. I am strongly endorsing him for the Democratic ticket.
He seems to be the only candidate willing to fight corporate greed and environmental degredation head on. He is the only one who speaks for the lower classes and understands the fight we are in against the rich.
The government, and even the democrats are too beholden to business interests and not to We the People.
Please support his candidacy in any way you can. Especially at the ballot box.
Thursday, August 16, 2007
Harry Butter as promised.
Also, take a look at the following article:http://www.nytimes.com/2007/08/14/science/14tier.html?em&ex=1187409600&en=2599bf4760a9a447&ei=5087%0A
I've always suspected as much.
Sunday, August 12, 2007
Thanks to all my farming friends who have made the pasture hay a successful venture this year, thanks to the audiences that have supported community theater this summer, and thanks to the QCTimes, and all the bloggers who were at the meeting this past Tuesday. It was great having a face to face discussion and, although I disagree with some of the times policies, at least they let us come and offer our opinions on such things. Thanks (I know, I'm over the limit AGAIN) to those who mentioned reading this blog. I don't get tons of comments, and that's because I tend not to be so "in your face" about things, so the occasional feedback is very appreciated.
Have a good week. I'll save you an Elephant Ear or a deep fried twinkie! I'll try to bring back a picture of the butter Harry Potter.
Friday, August 10, 2007
Nearly 60 years ago this was done for me by A.S. Neill in a book called "Summerhill: A Radical Approach to Child Rearing". This book described a school in England that was based on radical Child Centered learning, and true Democracy. This school can be found at this http://www.summerhillschool.co.uk/ website. We have our own version in America. We call it the Sudbury Model. The American school can be found here http://www.sudval.org/.
These sites and A.S. Neill's book will cover the territory better than I ever could.
I just would also add, in passing, that we have had the same grade based, graded, Germanic style of Education for well nigh 100 years (if not more). Isn't it time to try something different?
We build New Schools, fill them with New Tools, give New Tests, Change the Curriculum and the Textbooks, yet we still teach, primarily, like the Prussians did in the 19th century.
I mean, if Summerhill is a little too Radical for you (shouldn't be, but there you go), then look at Howard Gardner's ideas. Or Montessori's. Let's decide whether education still needs to be about creating sheep to work in factories, or if it should be about leading children to lead fulfilling lives beyond that of "consumer".
Let's try Apprentice programs for kids who don't fit in the classroom. Let's try asking the kids what THEY want to learn. You'd be surprised. Let's try integrating students with the society around them, not locking them up in an artificial environment that has nothing to do with real life. Until we address the foundation of education, everything else is window dressing and lies to keep your jobs and wrest more money from taxpayers. More and more of whom are homeschooling.
Wednesday, August 08, 2007
We'll see what happens come winter.
Oh, I also had the joy of eating our own, home grown sweet corn last night. Finally, though the Japanese beetles did descend upon it, they were too dang late! The deed was done, the silks, by the time they were eaten, were no longer needed. Looks like we'll have some pumpkins and a watermelon this year too.
Anyone else for small town, and farm living? Let's leave the cities and head back to the country. A few good hippies could take over a town like Hillsdale.
Saturday, August 04, 2007
Those who made and maintain my biking roads, "Hearts of Space", and all those who have spurred me to anger and indignation (I wouldn't know how to waste my time without them)
I encourage visitors to add their three to the list. It's fun and easy and anons are always welcomed.
(How strange, "O Holy Night" just popped up on my CD player. A singer I don't recognize. Right after some Native American music I was listening to)
Ohhh, PS...Come see the Frogs at Genesius Guild.
Saturday, July 28, 2007
Anyway, it seems one way to go about these things is hoping that someone will come accross this post and know what I should do next. I am open to many different spiritual experiences. From my reading, and my own beliefs, I have not found Christianity and belief in the Great Spirit to be exclusive of each other. The more I've read about animism and the Native American belief in the spirit-ness of nature the more I've come to that point of view.
Yet, again, I urge that the turtle thoughts are out of nowhere.
Maybe its nothing, but it is nagging.
Serious responses encouraged.
Tuesday, July 24, 2007
What is the nature of the universe?
Zero and One.
At the beginning was there nothing.
Had to have been, eh?
Well, yes. Then...define nothing. What did it look like? What quality did nothing have?
No qualities, you say.
Then what is nothing? Was there one nothing? Or were there lots of nothings?
Then nothing is undefineable.
Was there everything? What is everything? Everything including nothing?
Everything that could be? or Everything that is?
Where did everything come from? Nothing?
Most people give up. Scientists push back the veil of the known and try to guess. Though there guessing just leads into new problems. Before the big bang, we were sitting on two different Branes that bumped into each other.
What's a brane? Space/Time itself. What made the branes? Where did they come from? Don't be silly, what kind of question is that?
So I believe in zero/one.
The universe, now, is just as much nothing as it was. The universe, now, is everything it is going to be. Which is very little.
There is no truth, only experience. That is...the universe is always becoming. This state of becoming is called "reality". However, that is a misnomer. I would say that we exist on a bubble where "something" happens. This something is connected, vaguely, to what went on before, and what is possible.
Space/Time is possibility. It is a canvas. Gravity is the paint on the canvas. A folding of space time. Wrinkles. A dynamic nothing would fold back on itself. Examine itself. Define itself. Become...
That's what we do. We are nothing examining itself, or everything that nothing can conjure from itself. Which of course is nothing.
We might exist.
This is why we get strange events on either extreme. Black holes where gravity rules! Black holes nearly are! It requires an infinite amount of nothing to make something. Something that is creating itself out of nothing. And it is defined as the most destructive thing of all in a way that almost describes nothing for it is the ultimate paradox. A great nothing. A nothing that exists!
The same thing happens at the other end. Particles that slip into nothingness. Impossible to define except by the fact that they move. One must guess where they are. Time and space seem to break down as they are barely defined.
In between, we live in reality. A "slow-motion" version of either extreme. We cannot flit through the universe, yet we are more defined. We do not "exist" but have an understanding of existence and live in a bubble, as it were, travelling through space time. Slowing things down so that we can grasp them.
The universe is an eye blink. All time is here and gone, but that geometry slows it down. Form is all there is. Form captures. Form defines. We are a geometry of nothing.
Sunday, July 08, 2007
2. Joseph at Music Guild! What fun it has been performing this year. And with my daughter to boot!
3. All those that have encouraged me to blog, those who helped diagnose and repair my old computer, and for biking at night. May it be allowed in the hereafter.
(I know, I cheated...cramming all those into number 3)
What a great day it has been! Hope yours has been the same.
Wednesday, July 04, 2007
Just would like to say that to day.
Not to dis the army (though I am a pacifist. To each their own)
I just hate the phrase "Freedom isn't free".
Of course it is.
Enjoy your freedom.
BTW, maybe we should look at the "alter or abolish" thing a little more closely. Who says we have to put up with 18 more months of King Dick and Defender of the faith George!
The last guy we declared independence from was named George too.
Then of course, we picked another George to be our first President.
Let's see...this Bush would be...George the Third, right? If you count Washington as George the First.
Down with George the Third.
I'm just being patriotic.
Peace to you, love and forgiveness.
Monday, July 02, 2007
According to the the Constitution: Congress shall make NO LAW (emphasis mine) abridging the right of free speech...or the free excercise thereof. *
(Unless you are under 18 and attend school)
Free speech for those with money.
Media costs a lot these days. Try excercising your right to freedom of the press, and see if anyone pays attention.
Then, there's the Quad City Times. A bastian of unbiased press.
From the Editor's blog:
Our policy starts off with the following: “Our journalistic ethics are treasured and should be above reproach. We must maintain our independence and avoid conflicts of interest to safeguard the public’s trust in us. That is why newspapers are given special constitutional freedoms.”
To me, these aren’t shallow words. I believe them and Suggested headline: Journalists and political donations don’t mix.
Journalists and political donations don't mix, eh? What about the owners? Can they donate to politicians? I asked, and have not received a reply.
What does it matter if individual journalists can't express their political leanings if the paper's owners are free to? What conflict of interest does that reflect? What if the paper's columnists are bought off by the government (as has happened)? What if news and advertising are subtly blended? Is that ethical?
What about civic boosterism? Maybe in order to get an unbiased view of the community we should only hire journalists from India.
Freedom of speech for them who can afford it, and who can pay to silence those they please.
Saturday, June 30, 2007
My complaints and fears are what get me up in the morning. My desire for novelty and for repitition.
Who would want to dwell in heaven, and have naught to seek, naught to care, naught to worry, and a full understanding of all awe and mystery?
I will lose this feeling, I am sure. Though, when it comes, it seems that to have these moments is worth any suffering I have had to get to this moment.
The thing that comes to me, though, the stick in the mud. It is what I do not do, and have not done that pushes me onward again. I gain advantage from those who must work, doing things that I would not, and could not stand.
My lifestyle is built on the desperation of millions in slums and in sweat shops.
Even, come the day, that I could call myself "self-sufficient". The country itself survives on the pain and suffering of others that we do not see, and so do not bother with.
That they could one day stand in a field, or sit in a warm apartment, or share their thoughts, hopes, and dreams on a network such as this.
I stand aghast. How can we bring them to this brink of heaven where we live? What is the secret?
That is what I would ask. Heaven is here for all. That is the kingdom. How can we make it?
Friday, June 22, 2007
The computer took a vacation, and staunchly refused to stay on for any decent length of time. So, an organ transplant occurred and we are back with much the same thing we started with. A little more fleet of foot, a little different, but here I am posting at the same spot.
We need things so desperately.
I wish one could solve the problem of money, but it is not to be. We live in a country where socialists must be at least decently paid.
One might as well bang one's head against the wall, but one does go on doing so.
This is not a sad thought, but a rather happy one that I hope says something about the nature of the universe itself.
It tries and struggles to be...and here we are...but, at the bottom of it all, it seems to be nothing. We must convince ourselves of our own lives on some level every day.
And so...life was quieter without a computer. Though, it seemed, more of a life.
Much more time to think.
Now I must share.
That is a life too.
Such as it is.
Friday, May 11, 2007
A blow has been struck against reproductive freedom. A midwife of our acquaintance has been accused of practicing medicine without a license.
What has she done? Delivered babies. Which is considered practicing medicine.
What doe this mean?
It means that birth options are being limited by the state. For many women there is no choice but a hospital. Birth=Sickness.
Choice means, now, abortion or birth. However, choice of provider for the delivery of babies is limited to OBs and their minions. Or, you can do it yourself. In Illinois, the choice is stark. In Iowa, apparently it is becoming so too. The Nytimes a while back had an article about the decline in VBACs. This is something that women can turn to midwives for that most OBs won't offer. Women are, in some cases, waiting until the baby is in the birth canal before entering a hospital to deliver so that OBs don't have a repeat c-section as a choice.
Should women not have the choice to have a baby ANY WAY they want?
Isn't that what Roe V. Wade was supposed to give women?
Yet, when lay practitioners, actively sought by clients can be charged with felonies, than we have less choice.
Had a C-Section before? Good luck finding a VBAC. The state will then let you terminate a pregnancy, have your abdomen ripped open again or let you have the baby on your own.
Yes, it is legal for you to have a baby at home, with no attendant, but ask for a midwife at home and...well...you're asking someone to break the law for you.
Which, thank goodness, many heroic midwives will do.
Just so women can have a natural, non-medicalized, safe birth.
Having help, though, is impossible. No one can do it legally. Unless we allow lay-midwives freedom to practice.
It is imparative that we seek a federal law allowing freedom of choice for pregnant women. Freedom to choose when, where, with whom and how they give birth. Only through federal law can true choice be gained.
Here is a link:
where you can donate to the legal defense fund of a local midwife. Also, if you are in Iowa, please right to the attorney general and your state reps so that these providers are not driven from the state or thrown into our overpopulated jails.
Saturday, April 28, 2007
Also, I've been very busy our at the farm.
This is our second year with the 6 acres. We have a wonderful pasture planted with help from "real" farmers. (There is nothing more embarrassing than having to pull a Craftsman garden tractor up next to a $100,000 John Deere.)
We are also going to try to get a jump on the Japanese beetles this year.
Our garlic wintered over very well, and has now been divided. We planted several potatos, five willow trees, lettuce, spinach, peas and our asparagas is coming up (although it is only in its second year). Our raspberries and strawberries look good. Looks like one of the apple trees is dead.
We're waiting for a Yurt to come from the Pacific Yurt company. It'll be a place to stay from time to time on the land, and give us a place to hang when we're working there.
I'm also thinking about rehab-ing the barn.
Good luck with your gardens all!
And since I probably won't get back before Sunday...
I'm thankful for the rain this week, the warm weather, and the Chicago Cubs.
Feel free to add stories about your garden, and your thanks.
Wednesday, March 28, 2007
How about a "Open Art" or "Free Art" area. Interactive, public works of art. Areas to display new art created by young and/or local artists. Allow everyone to help decorate the skate park. Build a small stage and allow cheap/free access to musicians/comedians and theater groups. Turn the length of the river into an art fair every summer. Performing artists, street theater, grafiti art, ever changing.
When Bix Festival starts, everything is Bix and Bix themed.
Blues Fest, Blues themes.
Sports/Human/Figure themes near the Ballpark. Invite young artists to compose pieces out in the open.
Start an art festival at some point to center the whole year around.
It would work great and enhance the farmer's market, everything that goes on down there. It would draw people from free public art displays into the museum. The skybridge could lead from one art zone to another, and art all the way through it. Not just colored lights, but use the sky bridge as a blank canvas. Artists could come and decorate it the way they like!
I am totally into this idea! Imagine hearing all types of performers and seeing all types of artists interacting with the river. That could put Davenport on the map!
Thank you QCImages.
Here is my positive input!
Sunday, March 25, 2007
When it comes to doom and gloom about local arts, I would add in the fact that Friends of Chamber Music has folded altogether.
On the bright side...as I often say...Prenzie Players has become one of the best theater groups in the area...if not the region.
A new chamber music group has opened up, but it is mostly...if not completely...Symphony run and organized.
One of the big things is generational. There aren't many people in the Baby boom generation taking on arts groups. Neither are there many younger people.
Artists, there are a-plenty. However, the race has gotten tougher. More people come from two career households. Often people work 50+ hours a week. The younger/wealthier people here (are there any?) aren't as interested in the arts. Those that are fly to Chicago and New York. The lack of a middle class, single career household has eliminated the "do it yourself" pulic artists from getting a foothold.
Some of the fault also lies wth people who have hung onto these art groups for way too long. People who haven't groomed a replacement to take over.
Then, the final blow is the professionalization of Arts leadership. Instead of looking for someone with passion, connection to the area, and knowledge of the area, we look for a degree in Marketing, or Arts Management or such the like. Someone who says what the board wants to hear and then uses us as a stepping stone to bigger and better things.
We need to go back to a local focus on arts. We need to support local arts groups. I think the media plays a big role in that (see previous posts). Artists need to reach out to a younger generation, but not pander to them. The community has to put their money into organizations and not buildings.
As always, would love to hear from you.
PS It is Sunday.
I am thankful for this weather, I am thankful for my children, I am thankful for the visitors who have stopped by this past week, and the time I've had to work on this blog (dang that's four. Oh well)
Thursday, March 22, 2007
I'm going to throw my voice in on the $500k bathroom whilst I'm here.
What a waste.
There still is no coherent vision for the River/Downtown Davenport etc. All this stuff does is force upkeep costs on those least likely to afford it; The property owners staying in Davenport. Mostly homeowners. Davenport puts up all this infrastructure and the people who use it come from the other side of the river, or LeClaire, Bettendorf, and Blue Grass. The main commercial growth in Davenport is actually occurring on the other side of town. Kick out the Casino and what kind of job base are we going to get in Downtown Davenport?
Galena has a wonderful downtown with shopping integrated with the riverfront. Davenport has very little in the way of Downtown Attractions that would feed off of the Stadium (abandoned 75% of the year) or the Art Gallery (not a huge draw), or the Band Shell (abandoned 95% of the year). The skate park, apparently, is a draw, but how much money do skaters have? That's not a slam on skaters, it's just a bit of truth. Having no money is pretty cool in my book.
So we have skaters, a bridge accross the river a usually abandoned Stadium, a usually abandoned bandshell, an actually abandoned freight house, an Indoor skating rink with no windows, and no ties to the river. Then a lot of parking for the Casino and the bandshell and the stadium that sit empty most of the year. A bridge that my kids like and is kind of fun, especially for the cost (free), but that makes no money and looks like its going to be a constant headache to maintain. Especially when the boat leaves and it really leads nowhere. Oh...we've got a bike path.
Now, we're going to add a $500,000 bathroom with treats. We hope the skaters will buy some nice treats. They'd have to be nice especially to pay for the upkeep. And when it does flood? What happens to the skate park then? What happens to the treats?
Who pays? The people too poor to get out of dodge. The people who will no longer have money to go to the Art Museum, or the Stadium because their taxes are too high.
Wednesday, March 21, 2007
Tuesday, March 20, 2007
See the introduction to the series http://www.qctimes.com/blogs/?p=299
I have tried to get a conversation going and have mostly failed. It appears to me that the trip was a waste of time and energy. It seems to me that time would have been better spent interviewing theater artists in the Quad Cities and finding out what their needs are. Instead, he went to see theater in California. What that will do to improve theater coverage in the Quad Cities I fail to see.
I've not been asked, but I'll put out some ideas that I think will help Quad Cities Theater/Arts coverage.
1. Support "classical" and "fine" arts as much as you support rock/country/pop acts.
2. Support local acts over national acts. When a national act is in town it dominates coverage getting front page coverage before and front page reviews after.
3. Educate critics (locally of course). There is one great critic and one or two good critics in the area.
4. The media should get more involved in local arts, and local arts more involved in the media. Again, 8am on Saturday isn't a big time slot to build an audience with, neither is page 3 or 5 in the Go section. Especially when theater shows are all mashed together under one headline.
There are other quibbles, but mostly the above 4 are a problem.
If the media would work with local artists we could build a nice "scene" in the area. We do have plenty of arts groups, but many are struggling. Excellence seems to be put down, not rewarded.
This can change. I enourage you to get involved in Mr. Burke's conversation. I encourage those bored newspaper writers/editors who may drift over here to spend some time going behind the scenes locally and asking/working with local artists to expand the arts scene which should reward the community and the paper equally.
A few good words is one thing. Media paired with artists is a driving force that we could use to promote the whole area and could be an engine for some economic expansion.
Anyway, just my rant for today, I suppose.
Friday, March 16, 2007
Thursday, March 15, 2007
Wednesday, March 14, 2007
A child died.
Now, the strange thing is: Which is more dangerous? A moving car on the highways and byways of our land? or A car sitting in a parking lot?
Do more kids die on the highways and byways of our land or in a parking lot?
In Iowa, it is child abuse, to leave your car in a stopped vehicle. Yet, I would bet, it is still much more dangerous to have your child in a moving car with both parents inside than leaving them alone in a parked car. I would bet. If it is not, please correct me. I would like to see the statistics. (I don't have the $$$ or the time that professional journalists have).
As George Carlin says: They want to ban toy guns...and KEEP the REAL ones!
Peace. Good job Walter Braud! The law is the law and it takes a good judge to stand up to the mob. Even with the law on your side.
Friday, March 09, 2007
I am taking time to bring up something that I have noticed recently, and something that I may write more on in some other forum. So I won't do much more than a summery here.
It is simply the beauty that we walk by every day. We pass by newness and beauty just because we refuse to look for it, and are drawn into recognition and "same old/same old" type of thought process.
Yet every day, every hour brings a new landscape whether you are flying to a new country or walking down the neighborhood street, or passing that house for the 30th time.
Take time to find something new, and relax. Same old/same old seems stressful, confining and boring. New beauty is relaxing and satisfying.
Again...more later. Would love to hear your thoughts.
Tuesday, February 27, 2007
I left a fairly long reply.
So let's talk cartoons:
1. Bloom County. None better. Nuff said.
2. Bob and Dave (see www.dailyillini.com)
3. Far Side
4. Calvin and Hobbes
Honorable: Get Fuzzy, Pearls before Swine, Fox Trot, Boondocks, Artsy Fratsy (just try to find it...I dare you...I double dare you...then tell me where you found it!)
There is obviously no debate here. No argument. No discussion.
I still do "Opus" sometimes but its methodone to the Heroin of true Bloom.
Wednesday, January 31, 2007
Yet, I'm sure she would not want us to mourn. She would want us to redouble our efforts to stop the madness that is our guv'ment.
Impeach the SHRUB!
She's probably up there telling God a thing or two about the way he should run the world.
Please, pleasantries only. Fond memories. Mourning thoughts.
Today, this is a no snipe zone.
Saturday, January 27, 2007
Not so, quite the opposite. You can find no more abiding love for this country among these groups.
We may not be patriotic, but we live in a great country where one need not be "patriotic". We love the constitution, and what else is this country if not the laws upon which we agree.
Which is patriotic, just not "PATRIOTIC".
I love the US of A. I also love all citizens of the world. I also love that I am not made to love the US of A.
Tuesday, January 23, 2007
The most important and obvious point takes place fairly early on, where in order to follow the projected line of CO2 increase, Al Gore gets on a lift in order to rise to the point where CO2 will be in fifty years.
In comparrison, we are given the difference between the temperatures that, nearly exatly, eerily, follow the CO2 level that would result in 2 miles of ice being on top of Manhattan. The difference is, about, 2 feet between this cold world, and the world we lived in when CO2 was in normal range. Now, he had to move up several feet on said lift to show where CO2 would be. At least 10 ft. up. About 5 times the difference that had occurred naturally over the past several hundred years.
This combined with the fact that in all peer reviewed articles ranomly sampled (I believe there were over 900), every single one accepted global warming as happening.
Now, for those who want to know...peer review means that it just isn't any old study, but one that has been looked at by other scientists and found to be goood enough to be put into a journal. So good, that these other scientists put their names behind it.
The movie overcomes any doubt, better than I could, so I simply encourage you to watch, before you dismiss it. Watch before you vote. Read other science journals. Read a science article on global warming, it is scary.
Remember, for 30 years + the tobacco industry told us that smoking was safe and did not cause cancer.
Saturday, January 20, 2007
My three things I'm thankful for:
QCMediaghost, QCTimes, and "Breakfast At Victory" (great book) from which I take this quote from the beginning of a chapter:
"I sought God for thirty years until I realized that I was the one being sought" -Anonymous Sufi (this is a paraphrase, I will check the book as soon as I found what I did with it)
I invite all to join in with their three (max) thanks for the week.
Blessings Peace Shalom
Friday, January 19, 2007
People profess themselves to be moral, loving, upright, Christians and then they go about denying every possible precept and shouting down those who speak up to say that the world could be more loving, accepting, caring and just.
I do not judge these people. They are quite welcome on the road to peace. They are worthy, excellent human beings.
One just wonders where the problem lies, exactly.
I am often told to live in the "real" world.
Yet, even science has yet to find this place. The world, as far as logic and science can take us, is just about as unreal and fanciful as it could possibly be.
This "real" world is also filled with people saying "Be true to yourself!", "Love one another!", "do the RIGHT thing".
We do not seek riches, we seek the "real" world. Many of us share what we have with others when we can.
We are not perfect people. Far from it. But many are open to all possibilities of life, and open to all different kinds of people; Fat, thin, rich, poor, injured, blind, ugly, pretty. Doesn't matter.
Stand up for these people! Stand for inclusion! Welcome all comers! Preach the gospel of PEACE!
And you're shouted at. Stolen from. Made fun of. Belittled.
Of course that's what the bible says would happen.
It's just weird seeing it come from people who claim to base their life on the book you got these ideas from in the first place.
Do any Christians agree? Disagree? How about other faiths? or Non-faiths?