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Two by Aldus

Max, 2011/02/28 

From PoetryWar:

for hunter s.

wrecking ball
with wings
way too much
open sky
bound to
hit the ground
in a hard way
he had a gift
for soaring high
maybe with enough
adrenaline he
could forget
that he was
mortal like the
rest of us
i always wanted
to follow him
thru the clouds
but even as i
tilted upward
my feet got
tangled in the
web of words
he was a dark angel
a desperate raven
cruising thru
the night of
the human condition
he was a character
in his own book
and leapt off the page
until his pen
ran out of ink and
he came crashing down
with the rest of us
nothing left to say
let’s have a moment
of silence for he
who would have us
shake the rust
from our own wings
and leave the
wrecking ball
behind

the old oak tree

there is a fire within
that burns always
but is mostly
kept in shadows
i feel that fire now as i write
it provides the energy for my writing
without it i would have nothing to say
nor would i even try
i will write now
of a wish
of a will
of a way
or maybe wait till saturday
look beyond the green hills
to where memory
intercepts the moment
there are children at play
i suddenly understand
brilliant and beaming
is it really what i wanted to say?
did i tell you about
how i swept the floor today
and hung up bird feeders
and washed some dog blankets?
tomorrow i stretch
like a long bow
from the earth
to the sky
the arrow of my awareness
goes whizzing by
it lodges in
the old oak tree
which has watched me live
and will watch me die

Shenandoah…

SkyHarbor,  

Although I am often wont to over-analyse music (hell, I tend to over-analyse everything! ;-}). But just occasionally I am stopped dead in my tracks by a piece so simple and pure that it completely defies rational explication or analysis. Oh sure, I can give you the progression (it can be done with only 4 or 5 chords). But ‘explain’ it? I don’t think so! Can I ask YOU how to describe heartache and longing?

“Shenandoah” (aka “Across the Wide Missouri”) is one of those songs…

read more…

Oscar winner Charles Ferguson pulls no punches…

SkyHarbor,  

I generally detest awards shows, with all the gushing and false modesty, so I didn’t watch last night’s Oscars… But naturally the news followed the highlights and this item caught my attention…

read more…

Buddhism (as a religion) sucks

Max, 2011/02/26 

…according to Sam Harris – and I completely agree.

The ninth-century Buddhist master Lin Chi is supposed to have said, “If you meet the Buddha on the road, kill him.” Like much of Zen teaching, this seems too cute by half, but it makes a valuable point: to turn the Buddha into a religious fetish is to miss the essence of what he taught. In considering what Buddhism can offer the world in the twenty-first century, I propose that we take Lin Chi’s admonishment rather seriously. As students of the Buddha, we should dispense with Buddhism.

This is not to say that Buddhism has nothing to offer the world. One could surely argue that the Buddhist tradition, taken as a whole, represents the richest source of contemplative wisdom that any civilization has produced. In a world that has long been terrorized by fratricidal Sky-God religions, the ascendance of Buddhism would surely be a welcome development. But this will not happen. There is no reason whatsoever to think that Buddhism can successfully compete with the relentless evangelizing of Christianity and Islam. Nor should it try to.

More

More Than Just A Fight. The Fight.

byronius,  

Repent!!
( Illustration from Ellison’s ‘Repent, Harlequin, Said The TickTockMan’)

drm604

This is becoming more than just a fight over collective bargaining rights.

Not that the bargaining rights aren’t important. They are. They’re very important.

But this has become about more than just that. It’s about the right of people to run their own country and to not have to be servile to those who won the birth lottery.

It’s about making people who were born into wealth understand that they should have no more power politically than any one of us. And it’s about taking that power away if they refuse that understanding.

The kind of “freedom” the Koch’s are fighting for is not freedom for you and I. What they are fighting for is the least possible government interference in the dealings of large businesses. That may sound good in principle to some people. The problem is what it leads to.

Without anti-trust laws you end up with single parties controlling multiple industries. And controlling whatever parts of our lives depend on those industries. That is not freedom for us.

Without estate taxes you end up with dynasties stretching over generations and controlling more and more wealth and power. Power over the little guy. That is not freedom for us.

Without safety nets we all end up at the mercy of raw capitalism, where we can suddenly find ourselves with no income through no fault of our own. That is not freedom for us.

Without health care we can end up at the mercy of diseases that are no fault of our own. Diseases which will either kill us or bankrupt us. That is not freedom for us.

Without pollution laws you end up with the destruction of our lands and the pollution of our air and water. The fouling of things that at one time were pure and free for everyone. That is not freedom for us.

Without campaign finance laws you end up with the few ruling over the many. That is not freedom for us.

Without unions you have no protection from capricious firings and unsafe, unbearable working conditions. That is not freedom for us.

The freedom that people like the Kochs want is the freedom for themselves to become royalty in America. The freedom to tell the rest of us the way it will be.

THAT IS NOT FREEDOM FOR US!!!

Libya’s Gaddafi… tick-tock…

SkyHarbor, 2011/02/25 

Muammar ‘Bozo from Hell’ Gaddafi, who has the unmitigated gall to call himself the “Brotherly Leader and Guide of the First of September Revolution of the Great Socialist People’s Libyan Arab Jamahiriya”, is fast approaching his personal Waterloo. And I hope whoever finally takes out this delusional and extremely brutal clown doesn’t forget to remove his tailor from the gene pool while they’re at it!

But as with Mubarak in Egypt, the U.S. and Europe must bear a large responsibility for allowing these despots to continue for so long… all in the name of OIL and a paper thin illusion of ‘stability’. Great Britain in particular must accept guilt in trading Justice for Oil in their recent release of the Pan Am 103 bomber. Disgraceful.

We Yanks could take some pointers from the Libyan and Egyptian people who have displayed amazing courage and yet admirable restraint in the overthrow of their oppressive dictators.

Death to Despots Everywhere! (including HERE!)

Laurence Fishburne shines as “Thurgood”…

SkyHarbor,  

Oyez! Oyez! ALL RISE! Laurence Fishburne portrays Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall in a filmed version of the one-man play “Thurgood” on HBO.

Well, Thurgood Marshall has always been a hero of mine… long before his distinguished tenure on the U.S. Supreme Court, his landmark victory arguing the case of ‘Brown v. Board of Education’ overturned decades of precedent and finally put paid to the pernicious idea of ‘separate but equal‘. The (unanimous) decision made segregation in public schools ILLEGAL.
(However, many Southern states defied the ruling until they were forced at gunpoint to comply!)

Anyway, Mr. Fishburne turns in a riveting performance, by turns serious, touching, sly and funny… I was hooked! Without Marshall, there would have been no Martin Luther King or the Voting or Civil Rights Acts. He was a great man.

You can find out more about this remarkable play here:
HBO: “Thurgood”

My greatest regret is the feeling that half a century on, Marshall and King would be so disappointed in our current racial state of affairs… but then they would look at the White House and say… “Well, it appears that maybe we ARE making some progress after all!” ;-}

Walker, Koch Whore.

byronius, 2011/02/23 

Governor Walker took a phone call from a prankster claiming to be David Koch. This is the recording. Walker’s office has acknowledged that this is real.

Utterly damning. This is clearly criminal behavior on the part of a sitting official. Listen to the whole thing.

Part 2

When “Koch” proposes “planting some troublemakers” among the Wisconsin protesters, Walker says “we thought about that”. Not to mention that Walker agrees with “Koch” that Mika Brzezinski is “a real piece of ass.”

In the news; Watson, vaccines, and education

Cat eyes,  

hello NWers – a new post over at the GrayMatterGarage. For those so inclined see Immunizing Uncertainty.

‘Sell The Kids For Food…’

byronius,  

NYTimes

Emboldened by a Republican majority in the House of Representatives, manufacturers of toys and other children’s products are making a last-ditch effort to quash new safety regulations that they say are unfair or too onerous.

Among their primary targets is a new public database, operated by the Consumer Product Safety Commission and scheduled to go online in three weeks, that would allow the public to search for injury reports on products like cribs and strollers.

The manufacturers are also trying to scale back new regulations, drafted by the commission, that would require third-party testing to determine the safety and lead content of children’s products.

They have found a receptive audience among House Republicans.

Already, Representative Mike Pompeo, a newly elected Republican from Kansas, has succeeding in passing an amendment to an appropriations bill to strip financing for the consumer products database, arguing that the idea needed to be tweaked to protect manufacturers from bogus complaints and lawsuits.

Great snapshot of the internal world of the Republican. Profits rule, kids drool, end of story. If there were such a thing as Karmic Lashback, I wouldn’t want to be one of them.

However, it appears they do not fear their maker after all. Perhaps they do not really believe in god, and are just using the concept for social power and swindling purposes.

Ya think?

‘Bruises on the fruit…’

(that’s Kurt Cobain, if you didn’t know.)

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