[Clicking on the image above brings it up for viewing.
To read the article in text, click: here.]
We’ve been royally tpp’ed — or TPP’ed on. Ignore the Trans–Pacific “Partnership” at your peril! Be informed! Click on “Royally TPP’d”
The GOP is preparing a trojan horse for 2016 in the guise of a good ol’boy you’d love to have a beer with. Remember C-student aw-shucks “W” (shudder!)? Click on: Watch out for Chris Christie!
I’ve added to a webpage I did a year-and-a-half ago. Damn pesky drones just won’t go away! Check out the ‘Above the Fold’ feature, “Been there, Drone that”.
The relevence of the great prophet and satirist, Mark Twain, has not diminshed with time. Read his “The War Prayer.”
I wrote this piece on the 47th anniversary of the assassination of JFK. This morning I heard of a regular meeting between an immigration task force and the Sheriff of Contra Costa County that has resulted in a radical change in attitude on his part regarding how immigrants are handled. Hearts and minds can be changed. So perhaps I should ammend my idea and make it a group, meeting with the President and one of his/her confidants (so as not to feel too ganged up on.) I believe the group dynamic could be beneficial is this instance, as minds together are greater than the sum of their parts. Read “Oz never did give nothing to the Tin Man …” , then, what think you?
If San Bernardino County were Afghanistan, our government wouldn’t have had to shut up the media, because no one would have given a shit. Not even if the guy had an innocent, hostage family of seven or twelve inside the cabin with him.
Is it no wonder, then, that a man was burned alive without benefit of defense counsel, judge and jury? Sure, he was a psychopath, a murderer and a terrorist. He was also an angry black man who was telling what many believe to be the truth about racism in the Los Angeles Police Department. We de-humanize a man, train him to kill without question, arm him to the teeth and tell him, “This is how America deals with injustice,” and order him to kill. And then he comes home, experience injustice and he responds, how? No mystery here, just a wonder why there are not more Christopher Dorners running around. Except there are, and if we’re lucky, they only kill themselves. So much for the rule of law. Read, “Burn, baby, burn.”
Jon Fromer, ¡Presente!
Please click on the image above.
Australia knows climate change! Click on the image below.
As Sandy Hook recedes below the fold, please keep it in your consciousness.
A powerful video. Click on: P.S.
Dear Visitor, I am not quite ready to push Sandy Hook Elementary School, its students and teachers and family and community below the fold, but another is rearing its ugly head. If you value your nation’s soul, click on Zero Dark Thirty.
As a nation mourns the tragedy at Sandy Hook of December 14, 2012, we must avoid reducing our response to gun control and mental health, but, instead, focus on the underlying, root causes. Here is an excellent précis that gets to the heart of it. A must-read, by Lucinda Marshall: “A Culture That Condones The Killing Of Children And Teaches Children To Kill”.
Some years ago, L.A. Times columnist Shawn Hubler wrote an essay a propos of Friday’s incident, about guns as pornography. Parenthetically, I am not a graphic artist, but there is one piece I’ve done of which I am proud, an illustration to “The Thrill Is Gone” (for the art, click here.)
Like many of you, I have been reading endless commentaries and rants. I tried including a number of them, then came across this e-mailed message and tossed them all out:
Date: Dec 16, 2012 12:00 PM
The World Can't Wait
Stop the Crimes of Your Government
News from the San Francisco
Bay Area Chapter
We Should Value The Lives Of All Children As We Do Those Of The U.S.
Our hearts go out to all the families of Sandy Hook Elementary School and to all victims of needless violence. We should be better able to intercede in troubled behavior before it escalates into the tragedy witnessed Friday.
It's a jump from this specific incident to the more generalized malaise we experience when we're asked to make relative judgment on the value of human life. It's easy to identify with those sharing cultural proximity. Yet it's hard to avoid the hypocrisy of ignoring responsibility for actions taken against "others" occupying different topography.
Which is why we have to pose the question of how "our" President can express condolence for the loss of life in Connecticut while finding exception for regular assassination of civilians around the globe.
A message to Obama: Ground the Drones!
"US military and CIA Drone attacks have killed thousands of innocent civilians, including women and children, in the Middle East, Somalia, Pakistan, and Afghanistan. In the name of combating terrorism against the U.S. we are terrorizing innocent people, and creating many more enemies and potential terrorists in the process."
– statement issued by Veterans for Peace, Code Pink, Chico Peace and Justice Center, Nevada County Peace Center, Peace Fresno, Women's International League for Peace and Freedom, and World Can't Wait
OCCUPY MILITARISM.....STOP KILLER DRONES....CREATE THE WORLD WE WANT TO SEE!
Promote Peace in the New Year: OCCUPY BEALE AIR FORCE BASE, Dec. 17-18th
While Americans are shopping and caroling in the holiday spirit, our government is killing people during their wedding parties, funerals, and jirgas (tribal councils). People in Pakistan, Yemen, Afghanistan, Iraq, and Somalia, are sleeping in their beds, walking down the street, cooking in their kitchens, playing with their children.......no battlefield in sight, never knowing when the next drone hellfire missile will strike? Thousands have been killed by U.S. robot drones.
Please join the monthly Occupy Beale Peace Encampment:
Dec. 17, 3pm to Dec. 18 9am
Come for one or both days, potluck and circle sharing Mon. night. Meet at N Beale Rd Main Gate Parking area.
Finally, because I cannot just shut up, here is my say:
I believe I have been heartsick most of my nearly 65 year on this planet. More and more, I understand my father, who once wept uncontrollably on the eve of the execution of one more of God’s misbegotten children; my father, who would not distinguish between the tortured, twisted soul, the innocent awaiting execution, and the one with the hand on the switch: all, all, children of the God of Abraham. That my father was named Abraham was not an accident, but a sign, the mark of a prophet.
How was Friday the 14th different from any other day? On any day when a child is killed by a drone operated by a teenager thousands of miles away? It is a difference only of quantity.
Who is more insane: the rampaging psychopath, or the young soldier acting like he’s playing a video game? Is the life of a Sandy Hook any less precious than that of an Afghanistan? And if I fail to weep on any day that a life is snuffed out by the madness, the human sacrifice that is war, then shame on me.
I have intended my large work, “Metanoia”, to be a call for radical transformation, to get over the notion of separation, the paradigm of ‘us versus them’.
But what of those who understand this, but still insist that there can be a ‘good war’, a ‘just war’? Of those who accept the legalism of ‘justified homicide’, which is only a slippery slope away from genocide?
I am a Jew because my father was a Jew, but I am not a practicing Jew. I am a practicing Christian, my atheism notwithstanding, as I identify myself as a Unitarian Universalist, which is historically Christian, its progressive history of acknowledging the validity of other religions notwithstanding.
And so I can only honestly speak as a Christian to other Christians, and this is what I say: Jesus was a pacifist. His followers were conscientious objectors. I am both, and so my Christian creds are pretty solid. What about you? Do you have the courage to be true to your faith tradition, or are you going to wimp out on me? Is your Jesus the Prince of Peace, or the avenging Christ of the Sword at the End of Days? Are you truly a spiritual descendant of the carpenter’s son, or of the Constantine who turned the Messiah into an instrument of Empire?
Make up your mind, or be forever damned in a hell of your own devising.
I am Pacifist Nation, and this is my challenge, to be all that you can be, the humble, the few, the Pacifists! NAMASTE
AND THE BEAT GOES ON ...
’Tis the season, and all that. Someone has been passing along a YouTube video, of Judy Garland and Mel Tormé, and Judy actually singing “… if rainbows really know how to fly,” and how precious is that! So I couldn’t help myself. Yes, Judy, rainbows really can fly!
“On a town in California, on a hillside off the highway,” the Crosses of Lafayette is arguably
the most iconic site in the world. “We will never lose another child to war. That’s not what a mother’s tears are for.” If you haven’t already, you must visit www.crossesoflafayette.org , and watch the opening video
So much has happened since Arab Spring co-mingled with Wisconsin labor.
Yeah, true. Here’s proof, in an old webpage I recently came upon when doing a local computer search for the phrase, “And the Beat Goes On (Wisconsin)”.
Today, as I write this, is September 11. On that day in 2001 I wrote a poem titled Bloody, Bloody Tuesday.
On September 12, 2002 a free concert titled “The Day After: a Time for Healing” took place at St. Joseph the Worker Catholic Church in Berkeley, California, where I was cantor for sixteen years.
Composed largely of music I wrote for the mass, it was the genesis of “Metanoia – a Universalist Mass”. One iteration of that was a form of jazz vespers. I combined my poem with a form of presentation that allows you to listen to the mass in sections without having to click on each track.
The enormity of the horror of 9-11, and our bloody, bloody response is beyond anyone’s ability to cope. We respond in small way. This is mine:
You’ve undoubtably seen the map of tiny Israel surrounded by humongous, hostile Arab states. I earnestly hope that you have also seen the map that puts it all in perspective. I am deeply saddened by the latest Israeli-Gaza conflict, and enraged by the lies-by-omission of the “Liberal, Lamestream Press”. Here is what I wrote to KGO: “Let Them Eat DU – a modest attempt at being Fair and Balanced”.
You may (or may not) be aware of the brouhaha surrounding the homophobic Chick-fil-A (chain owner and corporate CEO – the manager was really quite decent.) Well, here is YHS (Yer Humble Servant) on the front line with my good bud, Kermit.
“Every good man wants to go to hell. Only a bad man would want to go to heaven.”
Thus begins Uncle Frank’s provocative sermon. In 2014 both my John Fredreich violin and the famous sermon “Good Men in Hell” by my biological grandfather, the Rev. Dr. Frank Scott Corey Wicks, All Souls Unitarian Church, Indianapolis, Indiana, will celebrate their centennial! While I hope for a Sunday Service at my church featuring both, you can read Uncle Frank’s Finest
Please first listen to this audio clip by clicking on this website of mine: United 4 Healthcare Justice. You may recognize the theme to the TV show ER. I figure, with no real health care, the whole country is an emergency room! (By the way, I sought permission for the Wickline piece, but never got a response.) That all being said, note the line “…billions making war.”
We bemoan the sale of arm by Russia to Syria, akin to the pot calling the kettle …. Now check this: An Eisenhower warning intro to a scholarly rant by the immortal Major General Smedley Butler (followed by a great vid of Dennis Kucinich at his presidential finest): Eisenhower warned us; General Butler informed us. Now Kucinich exhorts us. Watch and read, but do not weep — ACT.
I didn’t exactly get to meet the First Lady of Haiti, but my friend, Pierre gave her my CD. Why was I so excited just to be in the same room with her? I created a website, www.BenefitHaiti.com, but I’ll save you the trip. First, read my piece, “Haiti Pour Haiti”, just to get an historical perspective, then “Reparations” to understand why we should be supportive of the Haitian people, and finally, “Pattiecake, Pattiecake, Yum, Yum, Yum” and you will never, never complain about being hungry ever again. Sorry, I’m going to be redundant here, but I really like this one, especially the totally appropriate use of the “f”-word: Eat dirt!
I want to say, it astounds me how many Christians are Republicans. But that would be unfair to my many Republican friends, many of whom came to know me through my music. But that the Republican Party has so lost its way that TR would never recognize it today. So it is fair to ask, What if Jesus were a Republican?
In a way, I was born and grew up in the civil rights movement. My parents met while on a civil rights march in 1943, while my mother was living in a pacifist, Christian, inter-racial commune called the Harlem Ashram. And so when the word ‘lynch’ is used as a noun in the context of the Israeli-Palestinian occupation, I sit up and take notice. Take Notice: Lynch in Zion Square.
By now, Romney’s pick for Veep is old news. But now is the time to be Very Afraid. Read this Daily Kos commentary on Ryan Rand
A tad weary of people claiming that Jesus was a Christian, I wrote this little (106 words, including the Yiddish) tale, “Jesus on the Balcony”
Read about those blood-thirsty, Islamo-fascist Pashtun and their prototypical Allah-loving spiritual ancestor, Badshah Abdul Ghaffar Khan (Bad shah! Bad shah!)
If you think that the civil rights movement began in the sixties (of course, you know it didn’t, smart person, you) … anyway, my mom and dad were walking the walk in 1943! Read all about it.
Corporate personhood, egad! How ’bout we Restore Democracy!
My motto is, “if it’s not, it’s not worth doing.” We serious people take ourselves way too seriously. Here’s an antidote: No Pun in Ten
“The Great Mississippi Bubble” Never heard of it? D’you think that the term ‘housing bubble’ was a twenty-first century invention? Read what old Washington Irving had to say about it ...
Hey, this old pacifist gets a lump in his throat, singing the Star Spangled Banner. Care to know why? Read “... O’er the Land of the Free, and the Home of the Just!”