Saturday, December 22, 2007

Thankful Sunday

Thank you for the darkness in our lives. I find in revelatory that I was watching Sweeney Todd as the Solstice came. Movies are lights in the darkness, I suppose. Let's hope that we can all make it to church and those of us celebrating Yule can make it to those celebrations. (The Ice has just started bouncing off the windows here at the commune)

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

Holiday Advice

Do not go to a 10pm screening of Sweeney Todd, and then, because you're sooooo close, just drop in at a wal-mart at midnight. Amazingly, the lines are still waitingforthepope long at that hour, and no one's in a hurry.

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.

Bad thoughts.

Here endeth the lesson.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Year End Bests

Since everyone else is doing one...I thought I'd throw one in too. Why not, eh?

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. 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

A note and a plug or two.

What a great ice storm.

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

Open for comments

Just a technical announcement. I have reopened the blog to all comments.
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

Thankful Sunday

Thanks to winter. It's exceptional beauty makes the miserable cold seem almost bearable, and makes the summer days twice as sweet.

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 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

64 is 25

no less than is marking the 25th anniversary of...

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.

Happy Birthday!

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

What are we afraid of?

We are taught to be afraid.

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.

Is there?

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Capitalist School/Hospital etc.

This time of year you see a lot of articles and bickering about the holidays and school.

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.

God Bless.

(Boy, you'd never guess I was in a good mood tonight. Which I am.)

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Thankful Sunday

What a great week it has been.

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 hate us.

They hate us, they hate our freedoms, they hate our ideas.

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.