What Does This Image Say?

ImageWhat does this image say to you?  Clint Eastwood’s bad boy westerns appeal to people because they’re full of the “take it into your own hands” machismo, the rugged individual, the “I don’t take nothin’ from nobody” images.

What this says about the current state of the Republican Party:  lawless, take things into your own hands (see vigilante), whatever we want at whatever cost.

I don’t believe in this.  I believe that we, as people, are bound by law, laws made of, by and for the people (corporations are NOT people, my friends).  I believe we do NOT take things into our own hands, but rather, if we want change we talk about issues with others and work within the system (as broken as it may be) to make changes.  That means that we must send politicians packing who don’t listen to us but listen to donors and lobbyists.  That means that we invite everyone to vote, not just those that we know agree with us.  We talk, we listen, we do NOT attack someone just because they don’t think about things the same way we do.

My problem right now is with those who organized the convention and chose this image to represent the  Republican Party.  Regardless of what Clint Eastwood said, or of what anyone said in response (he was shooting from the hip, took us all by surprise, he was improvising), the organizers selected the image to put up behind him and made a visual statement for the entire convention, the party and Mitt Romney, the Republican presidential nominee.  Shame on them.

Starting Up, a Reblog from Mountain Home Art

My son Jonathan, daughter Tiff and I opened this webshop, Mountain Home Art, for their work and now we are in the promotion phase so people can find it, know where it is, see their photography and the stationery products we’ve made using their photos, and pass the word, so to speak.  Besides Tumblr, we have also built a Facebook page for MHA and we could really use some help.  If you could please, it would help us if you would follow Mountain Home Art, reblog, “like,” “like” the Facebook page and anything else you can think of.  We’re trapped in the “startup” of it all and need all the help we can get!  THANK YOU!!!

A Reblog of a Letter to Ann Romney

This is the very BEST response I’ve heard or read to Ann Romney’s disdainful and whiney “you people” remark. Anyone who has bought a house, gotten any kind of large credit has to show more than these people are willing to show. They have no concept of what it means to be even “an American” let alone the “President of the United States.” Attacks you say, my dear? Attacks??? How dare you claim that the citizens of the country who you say you want to be the President and First Lady of are ‘Attacking’ you! We want you to be willing to represent the very best of us if you are elected to that position and instead, you are representing coldness, exclusiveness, and a stinginess of spirit that would demean those positions. Go back to your mansion(s) and sip your postum. You do not deserve to be anywhere near the White House.

Motley News, Photos and Fun

To Ann Romney:

First off, I would like to air my contempt for two words you chose to use in a statement a few weeks back… you referred to the public as “you people.” Very bad choice of words because this shows who you are from the inside – call it a Freudian slip, or don’t call it anything and shrug it off – which is what I am sure you have done. But I did imagine quite an elaborate visual image when I heard say you that. Allow me to share…

View original post 1,030 more words

World Views — God, Me, Environment

When the resources are gone....

Terry Tempest Williams is a favorite writer of mine, not only because she writes of the environment, the living and physical world we live in, but because the God-view that is woven through her writing is familiar to me, close to my own. Williams talks of the consciousness of being in the world in an article in the online The Progressive.  She then compares that consciousness to the “world view” held by many scornful of  environmentalism, specifically naming current GOP candidates Santorum, Gingrich and Romney. Williams quotes Santorum:

Consider Rick Santorum’s recent comments to Bob Schieffer on Face The Nation, when he said Barack Obama’s “world view” is different than that of most Americans. The day before, Santorum had said that the President believes in “some phony ideal, some phony theology . . . not a theology based on the Bible, a different theology.”

When Schieffer asked him to clarify his statements, Santorum said that he was referencing not the President’s faith but environmentalism.

“Well, I was talking about the radical environmentalists,” he said. “That’s what I was talking about: Energy, this idea that man is here to serve the Earth, as opposed to husband its resources and be good stewards of the Earth. . . . I don’t believe that that’s what we’re here to do.”

“The Earth is not the objective,” Santorum said. “Man is the objective. I think a lot of radical environmentalists have it upside-down.”

The most frightening thing about Santorum’s comments are that so many people have the same world view.   Many seem to have no consciousness of the reciprocity, the symbiosis in our existence in this world.   We have become parasites of the highest order, sucking the life out of all that has been supporting us.

Williams includes this from Gregory Bateson (1904-1980), an anthropologist who saw human beings as part of a system:

If you put God outside and set him vis-à-vis his creation and if you have the idea that you are created in his image, you will logically and naturally see yourself as outside and against the things around you. And as you arrogate all mind to yourself, you will see the world around you as mindless and therefore not entitled to moral or ethical consideration. The environment will seem to be yours to exploit. Your survival unit will be you and your folks . . . against the environment of other social units, other races, and the brutes and vegetables. If this is your estimate of your relation to nature and you have an advanced technology, your likelihood of survival will be that of a snowball in hell. You will die either of the toxic byproducts of your own hate, or, simply, of over-population and overgrazing. The raw materials of the world are finite.

I cannot say it better so will simply repeat Bateson’s pronouncement while thanking Terry Tempest Williams for her essay on the need for consciousness.

Life undisturbed

If this is your estimate of your relation to nature and you have an advanced technology, your likelihood of survival will be that of a snowball in hell. You will die either of the toxic byproducts of your own hate, or, simply, of over-population and overgrazing. The raw materials of the world are finite.

“It’s a new dawn… It’s a new day…” It’s Nirvana Day

“It’s a new dawn… It’s a new day… It’s a new life for me… And I’m feeling good.”
from “Feeling Good,” Anthony Newley and Leslie Bricuse

Did you know that February 15th is noted as the day Buddha achieved Nirvana by separating from his mortal body (usually called ‘death’)? According to Wikipedia, this is a day for readings and meditation on one’s own death and the death of loved ones.

This is especially timely for me personally as my good friend and boss has been gently easing the passing of his dear mother. He talks of her transitioning between the physical and spiritual spheres and the enlightenment that she is sharing with family around her. This is a beautiful, enriching and comforting experience for them.

In addition, my own eighty-three year old mother lapsed into a near-coma state Sunday, no food or water intake, fever, unable to stand, largely incoherent — a frightening experience. We nursed her throughout the day but by evening we called 911 to send an ambulance. She was given IV fluids and antibiotic and almost immediately became more alert. The test-based diagnosis of kidney infection was later confirmed and, three days later, she is home again.

Lesson learned from this experience:

  1. Prepare now; you never know (sounds trite and clicheish but it’s true).
  2. Know all medications and have documentation of the schedule and history.
  3. Realize that unless your loved one is a small child you will not be able to lift, carry, maneuver them.  They will have bathroom and clothing needs in addition to simply shifting them in bed for comfort and one average person alone cannot do this.  My stepfather and I together could not lift or transport my mother and she weighs 160 lb., certainly not obese.
  4. Don’t be afraid to call the doctor or 911 for an ambulance.

My mother purchased a long-term care plan that includes assisted living.  I have resisted this move for several months even though she (they) have brought it up occasionally, but I think it is time to seriously consider the move.  I cannot take care of my mother the way she needs.   That may sound cold and heartless for many, but it’s the truth.  I am not strong enough physically, am still low on energy from my own bout with breast cancer and treatments.  My stepfather is eighty-five and has plenty of his own physical (heart) problems.  If either of them falls, that’s it, they’re down.

We have the comfort of knowing that she has this plan available, many do not.  Unfortunately, one of the first things dropped from Obama’s Health Care Plan under extreme pressure from congressional Republicans was the long-term care provision.  This puts many, many people in the position of not being able to care for their aging parents in need without either giving up a needed job or spending their own retirement savings in the process.  Either way, society in general loses.

Death comes to us all, it’s part of life itself.  One step, then another….

Happy Darwin Day!

HT to Mother Nature Network

Just a couple of thoughts about all of this:
1. Science is not something you believe in; science is proven, tested fact.
2. Addressing what some view as a religion/science conflict: there is no conflict; Science answers the how, religion answers the why, two different questions asked of creation. If religion is not part of your life, there is no conflict; if religion is part of your life, again, there is no conflict. The conflict only comes when you try to make an explanation answer the wrong question.

Thank you Carl Sagan for this excellent (and short) description of the process of evolution.