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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…

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…

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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

Saturday Soliloquy: Seeking Sister Peace

Today’s soliloquy isn’t really a soliloquy, and I’m not even posting it on Saturday. Still, I did want to say something.

A couple of years ago, I wrote that “all injustice is bound together, perpetrated by like callousness and lack of compassion.” This is so much truer than I came close to understanding then.

But then, I don’t write these things simply to distress and dismay. I write these things to encourage you to seek truth beyond your comfort zone, the better to begin broadening vulnerable people’s comfort zones.

Right now, Saudi Arabia and the U.S.–among others–bomb parts of Syria under the guise of bringing peace to the country. The Syrian government and its most prominent ally, Russia, fight different contingencies within the country, leading Saudi and Syrian coalitions ever closer to outright warfare with each other.

Many in the U.S. have called for a no-fly zone over Syria. This may sound like a peaceful thing. I would like you to know, via analogy inspired by my two young sons, that it is anything but.

And when the U.S. government tells you it’s in Syria out of humanitarian goodness, I hope you’ll ask yourself, “Really? Why then, are we partnering with Saudi Arabia, which represses women and beheads more people than ISIS? Whose textbooks teach ‘hatred toward people, including Muslims, who do not subscribe to the Wahhabi sect of Islam’?

“Why do we sell Saudi Arabia billions of dollars of weaponsincluding cluster bombs–it uses to target civilians in Yemen, to which the Red Cross must now donate morgues? Why do we devastate ordinary Syrians by our sanctions?”

“Why does our president use fifteen-year-old authorizations for use of military force to bomb seven countries, excluding the one with–arguably–the clearest ties to the 9/11 attacks inspiring the AUMFs?”

After you have spent some time with these questions, I hope you will then contact your senators and representatives and ask them to seek not war but his much less profitable sister, peace.

You don’t have to say a lot. Each of “Stop selling weapons to Saudi Arabia,” “Get out of Syria,” and “Use diplomacy, not weapons, for change,” for example, say plenty.

If enough Americans speak, our elected officials will listen … to protect their own jobs, if for no other reason.

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