...and they lived happily ever after. Smith & Lady: poets, artists, photographers & adventurers.
Our relationship was forged to the soundtrack of Yoko Ono's magic,
frenetic, love-laden song, "Walking On Thin Ice." ( play song )
Archive for the ‘Politics’ Category
Tuesday, April 9th, 2013
I don’t like the idea of foolishness in the sense that someone would be seen as disempowered, disrespected by virtue of having done something stupid. I feel that some sometimes write people off too quickly. I feel that some–many–want solid exemplars to lead in various domains, yet people are people.
It is interesting that everyone seems to be oriented towards acknowledging that personal and professional and ethical and spiritual growth is good. Yet in order to grow from a less perfect state to a more perfect state, one has to have been in the less perfect state to start with. (This being where the meaning of growth is beneficial progress.)
And certainly we want people to be able to change such that they are making better decisions and doing better things.
Quite often I have seen some politician make a good decision only to be decried by some people for having made bad decisions in the past–the people sometimes say, “Well, he or she is just doing that in order to appear good and for political reasons.”
But what would beneficial change look like, what would beneficial actions look like, what would authenticity look like when it happens? Why have so many decried beneficial happenings just because of the person who has done them?
It’s like there are these little stepping planks, and everyone says, “Look, there’s a river we must cross to get into a better future.”
And so there are all these people complaining about no wire being strung across the river, no posts being put down, no planks being put down.
But then someone does put a post down in the river and many of the people demonstrating on the bank say, “Oh, well, don’t fool yourself. He or she’s just doing that because it looks good.”
There’s got to be some momentum when you put down enough posts in that river. Everyone can see the posts. All you have to do is put down the planks then. And then people can walk over it to the other side. Indeed, this has happened on many social issues, and even some environmental ones.
There’s a spiritual component to this. If you truly take to heart the ramifications of physics, of the observer being part of the system that is being observed, then you have to acknowledge your perception helps create this whole big Thing.
So faith comes into this. Faith is applied perception, applied good will, applied openness toward receiving the good will of others, applied openness toward seeing others improve and be good.
So when we see that politician enabling the post being put in the metaphorical river to build a bridge to the better future, let’s encourage her or him.
Thursday, October 4th, 2012
Mandycat – foto Smith
Stopping grass has restarted my heart skipping beats. A doctor in Croatia said she thought it was caused by stress and I told her it couldn’t be because I was living the life of Riley in a beautiful foreign land and loving it. But it kept on skipping for two more years and seven more countries until we returned to the U.S. in 2009 and it went back to normal. Turns out living in lands where I couldn’t speak or understand the language was indeed stressful to my psyche — it took my two strongest gifts away: words and analysis. It’s ironic that returning to the extremely stressful USA made my heart relax because it was familiar stress. Go figure.
When I quit grass for a week or two 6 days ago to give our finances a break, my stress levels with the world’s problems and this insanity of greed called the Republican party caused my heart to start skipping every 10th or 12th beat, which didn’t bother me because overseas it was skipping every 3rd, 4th, or 5th beat. It was almost like an old friend had reappeared. Plus one of my closest longest friends has had a skipping heart for decades now and he’s still motivating over the hill.
This morning while telling Lady how frustrated I was with the Presidential debates last night because Mitt Romney kept lying, denying facts, flip-flopping, cheating, interrupting, violating the rules he’d agreed to, dissing the moderator, repeating the BIG LIE over and over and over like some sick insane evil robot, I felt my blood pressure flash up and took my pulse and it was skipping every three beats, so I listened to some Was (Not Was) music and whammo, calmed down, smiled, eased off.
So here’s a kittycat haiku and some adorable animal fotos to soothe the savage breast in this beast of me.
down on side, swishes tail,
glances at me, yawns
— Smith, 10.4.2012
In fact it’s 2-for-1 day here at the Smiths Pavilion of the Possible & Improbable.
cute, cuddly, comfortable,
— Smith, 10.4.2012
Ratcat – foto Smith
Wednesday, September 5th, 2012
I’ve been wrangling with wondering who to vote for for President on election day. At this point, I think I’m voting for President Obama even though I have been donating to Jill Stein of the Green Party (see its progressive platform here).
The reason I am wrangling is because I believe that the policies of the U.S. have been unethical, particularly with respect to people, animals and the environment, and President Obama has not always chosen the ethical path in the decisions he’s made.
Presidency of the United States is not supposed to be an imperial position. Yes, we can be great, but as peaceful global participants who follow the rule of law and the innate law of universal ethics.
President Obama has not closed Guantanimo Bay even though he has made that promise. And he has not gotten us completely out of Iraq and Afghanistan, militarily speaking. Many private military contractors have remained in Iraq. And in a large percentage of his public statements he continues to unquestioningly use military rhetoric about honoring troops, etc. Potential war with Iran has been floated at various points, too, thankfully always stopped.
In addition, the state of the U.S. economy has been largely determined by our military aggression and harmful “free” trade agreements. “Free trade” sounds nice, right? Freedom being free & all? But as many people found out on both sides of the border between Mexico & the U.S., the NAFTA free trade agreement only served to weaken domestic protections of various markets in both countries to the benefit of elite “players.”
I remember when President Clinton continued pushing NAFTA (President Bush Sr. initiated the process). I blindly thought that President Clinton was just another nice Democrat like Jimmy Carter and that he was working on an agreement to benefit the people of the U.S. I remember reading about Pat Buchanan, of all people, railing against NAFTA and I so I immediately felt that it was OK to support it due to my distaste for Buchanan. I was incorrect.
NAFTA harmed Mexicans so much that millions of them had to leave Mexico to try to find work up here in the States. I stayed with a Mexican coffee farming family in Tanetze, Oaxaca, and they were affected by this for a while. Many of the men of the village had to leave because the price of coffee went down to a couple cents a kilo. Also the U.S. sent its subsidized corn down to Mexico, undermining the domestic corn producers, a significant cost. These are a couple anecdotal facts to serve as heuristic indicators of the types of damage a “free” trade agreement has tended to cause.
NAFTA was huge, had a huge impact on the way we live. A lot more Mexicans live in this area of the United States now and a lot of this was due to NAFTA. Not that I’m against immigration, but it did have an impact and there was a reason for it.
You’d think we would’ve learned not to have so much trust in these types of agreements but President Obama’s administration has been working on scores more “free” trade agreements.
In October 2011, President Obama signed three more agreements with Korea, Columbia and Panama.
And tomorrow through September 15, representatives from nine countries are working on the fourteenth round of negotiations for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).
Critics of “free” trade agreements have tended to believe that the agreements are just negotiations that help transnational corporations and not the vast majority of people they affect–that the agreements tend to strip away the rights of people and the environment.
It’s important for us to ask questions of our President and to have long memories and really dig around and find out what the facts are. I don’t know of a single person in my casual circles who now thinks NAFTA was a good idea. So can we start asking about this tentative Trans-Pacific Partnership and find out what it would really mean for us, for people around the world, and for the environment?
I’m thinking that by voting for President Obama yet donating to both Jill Stein and President Obama, I am perhaps helping President Obama move towards the left by giving him some competition. This will move him and future Democratic presidential candidates to become more progressive, less warlike, and to better serve the broadest base of people and the environment.
Thursday, May 3rd, 2012
In unity is strength – foto Smith
FBI is just lie misspelled
— Smith, 2003
Rather weird to go to online to national news and see FBI mug shots of three people Lady and I have been feeding breakfast to off and on for the past seven months down at the Occupy Cleveland info tent on Public Square, especially when the headline says “FBI watched as 5 men planned Ohio bridge bomb plot.”
The three we know always seemed nice, polite, gentle, friendly, helpful. One of them was putting together an Occupy Cleveland poetry anthology which Lady and I were to be in.
Unfortunately these five folk cost us our occupation tent permit. Cleveland had the longest continuous outdoor occupation in the country until Mayor Frank Jackson seized on the bomb plot to revoke it yesterday — he’s been trying to shut us down from the beginning.
But revoking our permit won’t do him any good because we simply walked across the street and occupied the northwest quadrant of Public Square, thanks to a court decision last year allowing this (although no sleeping or tents allowed).
So we’ll see what happens.
Here is the media statement which Occupy hashed out May 1st in an emergency meeting.
~ ~ ~
Occupy Cleveland Statement concerning May 1st events in Cleveland
While the persons arrested Monday evening by the FBI have participated in Occupy Cleveland events, they were in no way representing or acting on behalf of Occupy Cleveland. Occupy Cleveland has affirmed the principles of non-violence since its inception on October 6, 2011. Occupy Cleveland has spoken out and worked against violence in all its forms, including:
– Wars and occupations
– Economic violence of financial inequality, unemployment, debt and foreclosure
– Social violence of racism, sexism and homophobia
– Environmental violence of global warming and fracking
Occupy Cleveland believes the only way to respond to a violent federal and corporate state is through active non-violence. It is unfortunate that this occurred on the eve of May Day, the day the Occupy movement and workers around the world have taken to the streets, demanding justice. What has happened in no way discredits the issue and the non-violent methods of Occupy Cleveland and the Occupy movement world-wide.
~ ~ ~
Power to the peaceful.
Make them hear you – foto Smith
Tuesday, April 17th, 2012
Cosmic Lady – foto Smith
This is a roundabout invitation to an open mic poetry and talk potluck get together this Saturday afternoon.
My wife is trying to save the world. And all Her inhabitants. Literally. And Reality knows Mother Earth could use some help.
But Lady figures to handle the big problems — global warming, health, hunger, happiness — we’ll need everyone involved regardless of class color gender nationality or power to make it work . . . which is hard to do when we’re all pointing fingers and yelling at each other.
So she started from the bottom up.
She changed her self in basic be the change you want to see belief. She became a vegetarian; walks or bicycles whenever possible so not to use gas and pollute; buys used goods at thrift stores; supports local business and unionized stores, buys cage-free eggs, moved our money from bad Big Bank to local one which invests in the community; she’s become an avid activist, has fed the Occupy Cleveland Public Square info tent breakfast-for-four every morning since last October, donates time to the Sierra Club and IRTF and multiple others, got the homeless newspaper to publish again . . . (I could go on but she hasn’t paid me yet).
Now she’s debugging the next step of the problem: how to get folk to stop shouting and start talking to each other . . . getting all the various factions fractions frictions frissons of the 99% as well as the 1% to realize it’s going to take 100% of us to stop befouling our nest beyond redemption.
So Lady K is starting a monthly poetic dialogue to try to heal the rift in our communities between the citizens and its leaders. It is to be a monthly gathering, everyone welcome, possibly changing venues each month from from community to community.
Her basic premise is if we don’t start talking, we won’t start solving.
Here’s the P.R. for her first gathering.
Saturday April 21, 2012 from 2-5 PM
BEING AT PEACE IN OUR COMMUNITY
2555 Euclid Heights Blvd.
(in basement of St. Alban Episcopal Church)
Open mic poetry, refreshments and roundtable introductions. Theme of the evening: “Introducing Ourselves”– however you might wish to interpret this.
Please feel free to bring some food and poetry to share. We will meet again in May; stay tuned for venue and theme info!
WHAT IS THIS SERIES ABOUT?
How can all become less estranged, and more part of the community?
We welcome you to participate in a series of events featuring poetry, discussion and food. The impetus for this series is a drive to improve the relationship and understanding between people who are leading and policing our communities and all people who live in the communities to minimize violence and to work better together on solving problems.
Here are some of the immediate problems we’d like to work on solving/discussing:
1 — Incidents have occurred such as misuse of force/misuse of authority/improper training on the part of some police officers and other members of the community. Some in our community have been stopped and harassed by for no apparent reason, and like in the case of Trayvon Martin, some children have even been harmed.
2 — Too much polarization, not enough togetherness
3 — Not enough working together on common community issues
Addressing and helping solve these social issues can help us work together on some of the other big issues–economic and environmental–at which we will be more effective addressing together. We hope to see you here!
Lady on today’s Tax Day Protest March – foto Smith