Archive

Archive for October, 2016

Our lives mattered

My husband, Anthony, is a good man.

Anthony recently urged me to volunteer. He recognized that my heartbreak at the plight of refugees forced from their homes by American actions needed an outlet bigger than writing.

rocking-horses

My kids get home, food, water, relative security, and lots of toys. Refugee kids get temporary play on two little rocking horses.

I volunteered twice last week, and quickly understood that Anthony was right.

I told him I’ve wanted to delete this blog. “I wrote it when I was asleep!” I told him. “Now I’m no longer asleep and the whole blog just bugs me. What am I supposed to do with it?”

“Be patient,” he told me. “I think you’ll find you have things you want to say there. Different things than before. That’s okay.”

My birthday’s this weekend. Two particular pieces of news are all the birthday present I could possibly want.

“Hon,” I asked Anthony, “is it okay if I gloat just a little about today’s news?”

“No,” he replied swiftly. “Gloating turns you into Trump.”

I trust him, so I won’t gloat. I will, however, explain–and I’ll do it here, because (1) Anthony’s been right many times over and (2) this is outside the little bubble I’ve built on Learning to Speak Politics.

When I saw Hillary Clinton speak with Black Lives Matter activists a few months back, I recoiled from her transparent loathing.* While her words sounded respectful, every other facet of her demeanor screamed, “I don’t even see them as people.”

I tried explaining this to some of my Hillary-loving friends. Impressively enough given all they know about my turbulent youth, they indicated my privilege (and potentially misogyny) blinded me to the wonders of Hillary.**

I read more about the Clintons. As I read, I became more and more horrified. I saw that my fact-averse friends were acting out the same role as wives of predators I knew in childhood: denying because accepting would shatter their relatively comfortable worlds.

A few days ago, one of my friends posted a picture of herself in a sweatshirt proclaiming how it’s about time we had a woman in the White House.***

Immediately after I unfollowed her, Anthony got to hear a lot of really unpleasant reflections about my historically derived basis for translating the sweatshirt’s text to, “We need more poor brown-skinned people dead in this world–there’s too many alive already!”

(The rest is not fit for printing here. I’m trying to work through my rage about how these self alleged “enlightened” friends prop up violence worldwide, stealing countless lives as I type this, but acceptance is a slow process.)

I mentioned my birthday’s this weekend, right? And that today’s news was like a birthday present for me?

Two pieces of news in particular filled me with hope.

First, a 2006 recording of Hillary Clinton advocating voter rigging in Palestine came to light. That the words were spoken is horrible; that they were released, a gift to the future of democracy in the United States.

Second, the FBI indicated that it had received access to new Hillary emails requiring further investigation.

How exactly were those emails derived? Funnily enough, through the husband of Hillary’s top aide, Huma Abedin. Huma’s husband, “disgraced former New York congressman Anthony Weiner,” was being investigated for issues related to illicit messages he sent to a minor, investigation of which led him to hand over a laptop containing what one federal official described to The New York Times as “tens of thousands of [previously undisclosed] emails related to the Clinton case.”

You know what people don’t delete before handing over some portion of subpoenaed records? Yoga schedules.

Many who desperately want a woman in the White House have adamantly avoided any inspection of Hillary’s history. They’ve steered far clear of WikiLeaks, despite (1) its ten-year pristine track record and (2) ample confirmation outside invested Beltway punditry that Podesta Leak contents were not only valid**** and unedited, but not likely obtained via Russians. (Podesta fell for at least one phishing scheme, and used easily guessed passwords such as “p@ssword.” Indeed, after emails began being released, Podesta’s Twitter account was accessed by someone who gleaned his password from the leaks.)

There’s still a good terrible chance Hillary will become president, given how late this news is coming.

Still, I’m hopeful. Late is better than never, and if this news helps Americans see their votes for Clinton count as endorsement for her backing numerous murderous coups*****, past, present, and future, there’s hope that fewer people will be bombed or starved by our kindly Democratic leaders in the months and years ahead.

‘Cause, let me be clear: If I’d been born in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, or Libya, my mom, my siblings, and I would have been among those bombed or starved to death thanks to Clinton. We’d have had no resources to escape, and no hope … save the tiniest sliver of hope that Americans might, before me and mine died, learn to see and join together to speak up in a way that reflected their acknowledgment that

our
lives
mattered.

kids outside 792

* Hey, at least something about her is transparent.

** The same “privilege” also made me more receptive to documented historical fact, thank goodness.

*** Totally agreed if that woman is Jill Stein or Gloria LaRiva.

**** Some great articles have derived therefrom, including some highly damning ones about how the Clinton Foundation was a tool to personally enrich the Clintons. Since I didn’t make note of the articles that caught my eye, here’s a list of the 100 most damning situations uncovered so far.

***** So very, very happy to provide links to anyone interested. I’ve mostly omitted them here because they’re really time-consuming to add and only 4-5% of them ever get clicks here.
Read more…

Peace derived from truth

As I type this, militarized police are assaulting Native American water protectors. The protectors’ offense? Standing against oil interests while fighting for water, for earth, and for their peoples’ land.

If you still confuse Washington Post, New York Times, CNN, MSNBC, Huffington Post and their kin for news providers, this is quite probably news to you. If you have seen anything about this, it’s likely been vague allusions to hostile protestors–or, in short, a skewed representation of reality which helps you avoid seeing the many ways the U.S. government favors corporations over breathing citizens.

This isn’t anomalous. It’s part of the same system that criminalizes acts that don’t even warrant charges in other countries, the better to have cheap prison labor available for U.S. corporations, and the same that conceals from you massive prison strikes protesting such labor system.

It’s part of the same system that tells its people, “We want a no-fly zone over Syria for humanitarian reasons,” all while failing to explain that creating a no-fly zone is an act of war–one, in this case, that could bring the U.S. and prominent Syrian ally Russia to nuclear conflict. While conveniently failing to mention that its hostilities toward Syria began when Syria rejected a U.S.-beneficial oil pipeline that would have run right through the middle of Syria, or its non-humanitarian destruction of Yemen, where it helps starve those not killed by its bombs. While definitely not mentioning its decades-long history of forcing brutal regime change, or the fact it’s effectively committing genocide by bombing seven Muslim countries. Read more…

The could-have-been soul-kin of Anne Frank

I thought of Anne Frank while walking in the rain this morning.

I thought of how she might have lived, had the U.S. approved her entry into the country.

I thought of the final marches made by countless peoples Nazis deemed subhuman. Did each of those marchers know how few steps they had to walk in their lives? Or did they hold out some frail hope as they marched toward gas chambers that the worst was behind them?

I ached, but something in my heart told me I wasn’t only aching because of the past.

I turned toward the present, and my blood ran cold.

Over the weekend, I read further in Naomi Klein’s The Shock Doctrine.

I learned that the image of Iraq I’d had painted for me by U.S. media when the U.S. invaded Iraq  was wrong. Far from being a backward country in need of re-creation, it had a rich cultural, artistic, and intellectual history. Its literacy rate exceeded that of many U.S. states.

Then the U.S. invaded and destroyed Iraq, obliterating its universities, museums, and faith centers in addition to ending–through torture and killing–countless lives.

I’d had no idea what–or whom–my country destroyed, nor how completely it did so to open new markets.

After World War II, many ordinary Germans claimed they had no idea what was happening to the people forcibly removed from their communities. Even those with concentration camps in their backyards professed shock upon discovering the atrocities perpetrated–and suffered–by people who’d once walked among them.

To focus very narrowly upon a single city or community might make disappearances merely curious.

Pulling back and taking a wider view, we can see from temporal and physical distance that people disappeared from many communities.

Focusing on any one, it is easy to say it’s not such a big deal some people disappeared.

It would, of course, be wrong, for what happened in any individual community didn’t spring from such community. What happened in each was symptomatic of a much greater ill, which can only be seen from further back.

(The earth seems flat while standing upon it. You must view it from space to see that it is curved.)

I wrote recently about the U.S.’s indispensible role destroying Yemeni lives by bombing Yemen and by cutting it off from desperately needed humanitarian supplies.

Those not killed by bombs are killed by slow starvation.

When I wrote, I was troubled and perplexed by my country’s brutal acts, as well as by my fellow Americans’ apparent lack of concern with the same.

U.S. attacks on Yemen and, once again, Iraq might not seem that disturbing taken as two completely separate sets of actions.

Viewing it that way is viewing it too narrowly, for the U.S. has recently bombed and otherwise attacked three other predominantly Muslim Middle Eastern countries: Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Syria. (In the latter case, U.S. leaders roar for a no-fly zone they quietly acknowledge will kill countless civilians.)

Taking a slighty wider view, the pattern becomes even more sinister: The U.S. is also bombing two Muslim countries in northern Africa. Somalia is under U.S. attack, as is Libya, which was a true democracy until the U.S.’s Clinton-led  intervention a few years ago.

Having destabilized not only Iraq but many of its Muslim neighbors, my country destroys their paths to food, exit, and safety. It totals homes and livelihoods and then dooms entire regions by denying their people safe harbor here.

By Oxford’s definition of genocide, “the deliberate killing of large groups of people, especially those of a particular ethnic group or nation (synonyms: mass murder),” U.S. actions have a name.

Ask some members of certain American contingencies and they’ll tell you we’re bombing Muslim countries because violent Muslims have provoked us to it.

In addition to being a horrifyingly broad overgeneralization, this acontextual view ignores how U.S. attacks have fanned the flames of extremism. In one recent Robert Kennedy piece, he explains how  U.S. Department of Defense “data show a strong correlation between U.S. involvement abroad and terrorist attacks against the U.S.”

Indeed, Pulse Nightclub shooter Omar Mateen told a police negotiator, “You have to tell the U.S. government to stop bombing. They are killing too many children. They are killing too many women, okay.”

In a broadly bipartisan affair, my country has killed and continues to kill hundreds of thousands of Muslim families. To my heart, there is no difference between these families, Sikh families, Christian families, Jewish families, atheist families, or any other loving family.

I cannot stop my government from killing, but I can speak up that none around me may ever truthfully say, “I had no idea that was happening!”

To not know is one thing; to willfully not know, quite another.

As we go about our merry not-knowing, there is no telling how many soul-kin of Anne Frank we are destroying each and every day.

This 10/24/16 post transferred from L2SP 5/16/17

 

Love hard, y’all

I’m writing a post for my other blog, but it involves addressing a lot of complicated, dark history. Completing it will take a lot of time and energy I don’t have now.

I do have to say something now.

Y’all, love yourself. Love your neighbor. Don’t withhold that love–not for how someone is voting, for the color of their skin, for their unkind acts, for where they live in the world.

Just love each other. Hard.

This is a political message. It absolutely is. Because, see, our collective fear is being exploited. Right now, this very moment, the United States is preparing to take acts of war against Russia, all on pretense. 

This is not an ahistorical act. This is a profoundly historical act that has to do with power, a power that adheres to neither me nor you.

(If you’d like to understand more about where I’m coming from before I finish writing my next post, please, please begin reading The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism and understand that we’re witnessing the next shock being generated right now. Look into the TPP, TiSA, and TTiP to understand who benefits when we citizens consumers lose.)

Love is a revolutionary act. Truly. So please, for the love of god, listen. Love. Reach out, especially to those whom it’s hard for you to hear.

Don’t allow your fear to be exploited for destruction.

Please love each other. Hard. Unequivocally.

Love.

a hand hearts

Categories: history, Love, politics, Uncategorized Tags: , ,

We’ve lost Paul Curran, our master guest columnist and prolific comment-leaver

I loved Paul’s comments.

Though we never met face to face, I will miss him greatly.

In his last email to me, he wrote, “Sometimes we are only offered bad choices Deborah, but to refuse to choose is to loose the right to choose.”

Today I’ll make some loving choices in memory–and honor–of Paul.

Mark Bialczak

Those of us who’ve grown to love the lively words that bounced from the head and fingers of Paul Curran will never be the same.

The writer from Canada has died, according to his neighbor Steve Watson.

I received this email on the contact tab from my blog:

With great sadness I have to tell you that Paul Curran has passed away. Paul passed last week.

Our guest blogger, Paul Curran. Our guest blogger, Paul Curran.

Your Barrista -- Paul Curran Your Barrista — Paul Curran

Now Your Barrista – Paul Curran Now Your Barrista – Paul
Curran

A series of the column head shots Paul sent me since 2013 to just a month ago.

I found the email this morning. I arrived yesterday. Steve Watson was listed as the photographer in the If We Were Having Coffee Sunday column Paul had me post here on Sept. 11 after his emergency operation.

I could not find an obituary through search engines.

Paul lived in Ottawa, Ontario…

View original post 518 more words

Categories: Uncategorized

Prescribing Joy: Wild Is The Wind (2)

Anthony (And now and then an elephant all in white.) is my husband. He’s infuriating and delightful. I love him, else I wouldn’t have married him … even though he was on Survivor (gag!) and marrying him involved marriage (gag!, or so I thought, until I married him).

prescribing joy

Wild Is The Wind (2)

We all spend so much time
trying to find happiness in the world
that we are blinded to it
sitting there
like so much dross on a dusty shelf,
when there is gold to be found
in the everyday,
in the mundane,
in life:

The smell of fresh cut grass on a summer day
The smell of the dust, just as it starts to rain;
The laughter brought on a truly terrible,
ill timed fart;

The satisfaction of rescuing
that one piece of meat that’s
been stuck between two back molars
for the better part of the day,
after Sunday Brunch,
having only used the dexterity of your tongue,
and creative suction;

Home improvement shows;

Finishing the final brush stroke,
on a set of miniature fantasy soldiers
just as the movie you had playing in the background
resolves its audible crisis, rolls credits,
and plays music to exit a theater by;

Your dog coming over to you,
unbidden
on your lowest day,
and putting his head on your knee;

A kiss on your cheek in the middle of the night
from your love,
followed by a half murmured comment to
someone in a dream,
followed by stolen covers and soft snores;

A half naked child waking you up at 3:41 am
on a Tuesday morning,
to find solace in the warmth
that is buried somewhere
deep within the cavity of your nose–
so deep that only a child’s foot can free it;

Twenty-Five undisturbed minutes in the bathroom;

Handwritten correspondence in the mail,
your name scrawled across the front;
Clearing off a long littered desk;
A good cup of coffee;

Driving home in loud silence
after an overwhelmingly
Not Quiet day;

An Ice cold glass of water on a fall morning;

The moment of removing
sock, then shoe,
sock, then shoe,
and then flexing your feet;

Putting on a clean pair of jeans
that you’ve not worn for weeks,
putting your hand in the pocket
and finding a five dollar bill;

Hugs, and smiles, and laughs,
and memories of baby teeth;
tiny toes on children;

Music, played too loud,
from car speakers,
with the windows rolled up,
so no one hears your singing along badly to
Counting Crows,
Tony! Toni! Tone!
The Clash
L.L. Cool J
La Traviata;

Going to bed tired,
laying your head down on a cool pillow
and letting sleep devour you,
one molecule at a time,
only to have that one moment,
that singularity
of knowing the answer is–

Crying, sometimes;
Laughter;
Stillness;

Sitting on the porch,
on any given afternoon,
watching people going about their day,
their ordinary day.

Eyes looking at you with love;
and watching them close,
and flutter to sleep;

So many little things,
lying around our world
like so many wild horses
waiting to carry us off,
(holding on for dear life,)
cackling like school children
overflowing with tiny
triumphant
joy.

last : Reading Dreams | Casting On : next

By our acts of love — Learning to Speak Politics

Two months ago, a friend gave me a bracelet made from bomb fragments. She gave it to me, I wrote, because “she knows I appreciate beautiful things that are made from horrible ones.” My country, the U.S., bombed Laos half a century ago. We did this long after we had any defensible reason, for “we […]

via By our acts of love — Learning to Speak Politics

Categories: Uncategorized
%d bloggers like this: