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Archive for September, 2013

beverlyanna

 

By Beverlyanna

Did you ever  go for a walk  and listen to your heart?
Did you ever  feel  your soul  desperately  trying to  get you to pay attention?
I have…

You  really have to find the time
It’s not an easy task

The sound of hearts and souls

Are always hidden in  the clutter of your  day
Their moans and groans often longing to be heard
They make demands that you pay attention
Most days  you are tone deaf
Your heart and soul … smothered in despair

But once in a while   you venture outside,
On a  radiant, crisp, cool, Autumnal day
When the wind knows your name

And dusts  off the clutter and confusion  of  your life
And  the leaves flutter about  like colorful confetti
Celebrating  those memories that bring smiles and some tears

That’s when you  can hear  your heart sing its amazing song of life

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Fauxllibuster

Ted Cruz, the junior Senator from Canada (no insult intended Canadians) launched a filibuster last evening in an effort to kill Obamacare. Per Ted, he will speak until he can’t stand.

Actually, the minute he started talking I couldn’t stand it. The Walking Dead seemed more appropriate.

The odd thing about Cruz’s mission is that he will go where no man has gone before. He will talk and talk for no apparent purpose because a filibuster according to Senate Rules is applicable only to delay a vote or prevent a vote entirely. Since no vote has been scheduled until later today, he has expelled a lot of limpid air to no effect.

Some talking heads have theorized that he may be talking and talking to bring attention to himself. But isn’t that self-evident? Politicians talk. And talk. And talk. And so on ad infinitum. He’s just doing what comes naturally.

I’m wondering if his real purpose is to mask his own enrollment in Obamacare? Now, wouldn’t that be the bee’s knees.

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Where are the Democrats?

Is there a national Democratic Party?

I mean, a political party of real live registered card carrying members?

A party with a platform and members with the guts to speak in defense of Obamacare?

If there is, would its members please hold up their hands?

Let’s see, one, two…anymore?

You may think I’m being facetious. But I’m not. I’m trying to figure out what happened to a party so vibrant and active that whole states, entire regions of the country were once solidly Democratic.

Even many influential Republicans once supported popular Democratic programs and initiatives.

Richard Nixon, for instance, supported the Equal Rights Amendment. That he may have been insincere or hypocritical isn’t the point. Had he not, he would have borne the brunt of a voting public overwhelming in favor of civil rights.

Today, we have a public that has apparently switched sides. Moves are afoot by Republicans to sabotage many popular Democratic programs, programs such as Social Security, Medicare, and the aforementioned Obamacare.

Worse, a seemingly ignorant segment of the voting population has driven the Democratic Party into virtual seclusion. Suddenly, Democrats everywhere fear even the most minor criticisms.

What accounts for this amazing swing? The Democrats hold the Senate and the Presidency. Where is their voice?

That is the question. No one has offered a logical explanation other than the oft-repeated statement that whites just hate Obama. That may be so, but, still, it’s a rather simplistic observation.

But in a land of ignorance, sometimes the simple equation is the only one we understand.

But there may be one more. The Democrats may be laying low while the Republicans self-destruct.

Who knows? If you have the answer, let us know.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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(This is a reprise of an article I wrote on Open Salon in 2007. Although I shouldn’t be, I am nonetheless amazed at the appropriateness of my observations almost seven years ago to the most recent mass murder yesterday in Washington D.C. in which 12 innocent Americans were murdered. The more things change, the more they stay the same).

This morning I was chatting with a Facebook Friend about finding a suitable blog platform. She’s a professional writer, so she’s a little pickier than me. She’s looking not just for an audience but for the right audience. Professional writers need the exposure that could lead to a paid gig. And, of course, all professional writers write to be read widely. Otherwise, why write.

I’m not a writer myself. I write basically for my family and friends. A blog is a good way to reach them beyond the bounds of E-mails and letters. Oh, sure, it’s nice when others write nice comments about the things I write, and I have met some fine people through my blog. Can’t deny that, and I hope to meet more good folks with interesting things to say.

My own approach to blogging is simple. I am not at all good at writing about myself. My inner feelings are boring even to me, and I am sort of bored right now. That’s why I tend or have tended to write about external events. And since my interests are quite broad, I am inclined to write according to no particular pattern. Today, I might write about a political event, tomorrow a blurb about an article I ran across in GQ magazine. Whatever strikes my interest at the moment will likely be the topic for the day.

I also like to add a humorous touch to most of the topics I am interested in. That doesn’t mean everything is funny. Some topics are absolutely without humor, child abuse, domestic violence, murder, and suicide, for example, are devoid of laughter.

That’s why the current run of murders in this country is disturbing. Thirteen soldiers murdered at Fort Hood, Texas, one murdered and maybe 15-plus wounded in Orlando, Florida; these are just two of the most egregious examples of recent violence in America today.

Of course, the perpetrators of these crimes will always have an excuse. The guy in Orlando was fired from his job two years ago and he was mad at the company. Oddly, the individuals he murdered are not, “the company.” But somehow in the mind of this deranged individual, the employees who worked for “the company” became “the company.” So, he decided to murder as many human beings as he could. Not surprisingly, he didn’t get his job back.

He may or may not have known or cared that he was shooting individuals rather than “the company.” Is this insanity, or is it a failure of the ability of some people to understand distinctions?  One individual is dead but “the company” lives on. Similarly, thirteen dead but the United States Army survives.

In addition to the damages done to the survivors of these monstrous acts, the perpetrators have harmed the United States in more ways than one. Globally, they’ve added to the perception that this is the most violent country in the world. Say what you wish, but the perceptions of other nations are important within the global system when it comes to the achievement of the vital national interests of the U.S.

Domestically, the current rash of violence has exacerbated the feelings of fear and paranoia among ordinary Americans.  Who among us might be the next mass murderer? That guy down the street who looks odd with his little round glasses and close-set eyes? Or a respected Army psychologist? 

The most disgusting cipher in the equation is society’s failure to deal with the violence that seems to be a part of our cultural DNA. Why are we as a country so reluctant to tackle the issue? Is it because we feel helpless? Maybe we think someone else is responsible. Or have our leaders failed us? We have a justice system that often excuses criminal behavior and a penal system that has become a breeding ground for violence and gang activity.

Whatever the answer may be, it’s a puzzle. As far as solutions go, my own personal impression is that the violence has largely missed the elites of our society. As long as people below the elite level murder each other, as long as the elites do not find themselves the targets of random and mass violence they will continue to largely ignore the issue, appearing on television and uttering meaningless words after a mass shooting or an especially egregious murder.

Somehow, in America, we tend to look at the moment and at the situation. Broader ramifications seem beyond our comprehension.

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There is no Humor in Death

When I write, I like to inject a little humor in my work. That’s easy when the topic is politics.

But there is no humor in a mass shooting, and today America witnessed another, this time in our nation’s capital. Not just within the boundaries of Washington D.C. but inside the headquarters of the Naval Sea Systems Command.

A 34 year old man managed to gain entrance to the building and kill 12 innocent people before he himself was killed.

The authorities still have no clear motive and no firm evidence of an accomplice or accomplices. At this moment, we appear to be faced with another disgruntled American who had easy access to a weapon.

There is no humor in this latest American massacre. There is no humor in over 2,000,000 homicides in our country, most by gun, since statistics have been kept.

There is no humor in death. There is misery. There is grief. There is horror. But there is no humor.

 

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Become an Informed Voter

We don’t often think about this but it bears remembering from time to time: we the people have no constitutional right to elect the President. Our Chief Executive, the head of government and the symbol of our nation in the world at large, is elected by “electors.” Electors are selected by the legislators of each of the 50 states. When we cast a ballot for President we are voting for those electors even though the name of the presidential candidate rather than the names of the electors appears on the ballot. It is only at the sufferance of the state legislatures that we are permitted by state law, not by the Constitution, to vote. Constitutionally speaking, a state legislature could choose other means of selecting electors if it so chose.

Many readers are shocked when I write about the realities of our electoral system. They ought to be. It’s an archaic system developed over 200 years ago, before the Industrial Revolution, in an era of poor communication and an equally poor understanding of popular participation in the governmental process. Although our Founders were brilliant men who designed a then-radical system, they designed it for the elites of the day and excluded women, blacks, Indians, and any white male who wasn’t a property holder over the age of 21. Sufferance has expanded to include all of these and more, but our knowledge and comprehension of the electoral system occasionally needs refreshing.

Today, most of us either possess enough information to make informed decisions before casting a ballot or have access to the resources needed to be a knowledgeable voter. At this moment in history, we thus deserve the right to cast direct ballots for the presidential candidate of our choice without fear of hanging chads and a one vote majority in the Supreme Court which, in essence, invalidates the votes of millions of Americans and makes a travesty of our system of representative democracy.

A change in the American manner of electing a president would require a Constitutional amendment. That’s a massive undertaking. Since our country’s founding, the Constitution has been amended only 27 times. However, in this instance, an amendment to allow the popular election of our President is warranted.

The President and the Vice President are the only two elected officials who represent the entire nation. Other elected officials such as Senators and Representatives represent the constituencies that elected them. It makes sense, then, that the President and Vice President should be elected by the national population of voters as a whole rather than have their votes filtered through small districts subject to the whims of local election officials who may be influenced by provincial interests.

There have been attempts in the past to change and streamline our archaic presidential election laws but those attempts failed because entrenched power structures with vested interests in retaining their influence have prevented change. Such is the nature of power. Power does not easily acquiesce.

For a more detailed explanation of the Electoral College system, click on this link.

 

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I’ve noticed that many people regard the Syria caper as an international matter. That may be true beyond the borders of the United States but inside, it’s strictly homegrown. Many years ago the renowned Tip O’Neill, former Speaker of the House of Representatives, observed, “All politics is local.”

His grammar may not have been top flight, but he knew what he was talking about.

When a politician says something, anything, votes on a bill, writes something, or passes gas, he does so with only one objective in mind: will it get him or her elected or reelected?

That’s why it’s necessary to know a politician’s constituency if you want to understand with reasonable certainty his or her crazy utterances.

For example, suppose Ted Cruz, the junior Senator from Texas, says, “Obama is a Muslim.” What can you deduce about his constituency from this brief statement?

One interpretation is that Texans meant to call Obama “muslin,” a piece of soft cloth.

But that’s crazy, isn’t it? No one could make a mistake like that. Could they?

But let’s try another interpretation.

Cruz says, “Obama is a really nice guy,”

Right away you know his constituency consists of dissemblers, a very polite synonym for “lying through their teeth.”

Let’s try one more.

Cruz says Obama is a foreigner who isn’t qualified to be President.

What does this tell us?

Cruz’s constituents wish he would change his name to Cruise and become a Hollywood actor.

So what good does it do to know a politicians constituency?

Never make a deal with a dissembler.

(This is just a practice run to see if I can publish a blog using Word.)

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