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The Old Lady Who Swallowed A Fly

December 28, 2016 1 Comment

My father used to play this on his guitar, and sing it to me throughout my childhood. Burl Ives made the song popular.  I vividly remember both my dad and Burl on television, singing the song.  I knew all the words and sang along with gusto.  I thought it was funny, but now I know it is also ironic.  This is a story about dependent arising. One thing leads to another. It may be a metaphor in a children’s story, but it applies to many circumstances in real life.

Many are suggesting that by unraveling the election and the campaign we will learn something to liberate ourselves.  I think not.  If we would, however, review the path taken to arrive at this political point in our national life we would have to admit that we, the people, are apathetic.  If the population pays no attention, and allows the much despised congress to have its way with us, they will surely continue to serve themselves more than they serve us.  There is an established trajectory now of the congressional mission.  They are allowed to campaign full time and serve the citizens very little.  They have been able to use lobbyists to write the legislation they will pass with little input for constituents at home.  Everyone complains about this, but nobody has voted it out of office. How do you think this ends?

The latest warning I have heard about was a big family argument over the holiday at my friend’s dinner table.  Her sister-in-law is Venezuelan, which is close to my heart because I lived there in the 60’s.  The Venezuelan lady was at odds with her own husband about how dangerous it is to normalize what seems to be extreme fascism.  She has lived in Tucson for a long time, but is still connected to her home.  My friend said the topic provided grist for the family anger mill all evening.  I relate to this because I still know some friends from my youth who are living in Caracas today.  Some have moved to the states to live a safe life.  What was once a prosperous country is completely out of toilet paper and food.  There is little security.  The position in which they find themselves now was the result of a series of actions taken in the distant past. I agree with my friend’s sister-in-law, who is much younger than I am, and witnessed the demise of the economy in person.  Perhaps Venezuela will swallow a horse and end the madness.  It would be very sad.  It would also be sad if we learn nothing from their history.  We have swallowed a fly…….what shall we do about it, gentle reader?





Authority, Use and Abuse

March 3, 2016 2 Comments

When we were in grade school it was obvious that we had little control over our circumstances. This is appropriate for children leaning to be part of a larger society. Still some of us questioned the system wondering where the teachers/parents/school officials got off being so threatening about some rules and regulations.  Some of us used our own immature logic to question authority.  Some of us even spoke up about what we considered to be abuse of our rights.  Others quickly conformed to fit in and get the brownie points for behaving the way we had been instructed to behave.  I was naturally part of the first group, those of us who felt oppressed unnecessarily by silly rules.

My nature was never very compliant without seeing the purpose of the rules.  One such rule was my mother’s idea of fashion for little girls. I fought tooth and nail over cutting my bangs, putting permanent waves in my otherwise fabulous hair, and, most of all, the wearing of white ankle socks.  The whole look was atrocious, but I was physically too small to fight off the stinky hair solutions or the bangs scissors.  All I could do was take of the hideous white ankle socks once I had left home for school. It was my only available form of resisting authority that I saw as fascism.  My parents were very strict, believed in beating children to a pulp with a belt, and fought back hard.  I saw this was obvious sign of weakness, the need to physically bully a child into wearing white socks.  If they had thought about what they were doing they might have made more reasonable rules and fought more reasonable battles, but they were out of their minds with power.  They belonged to the Republican Party.

They voted for Barry Goldwater for president and loved war and police brutality.  They were animated fans of the Viet Nam war, which was truly the last straw.  They saw America as entitled bully, and I saw them as entitled bullies. Our political paths would never cross once I was old enough to vote. There was no discussion because my dad would blow his top so wildly that it was out of the question to question his opinions.  I just wore a patch on the back of my jeans that said “War is not healthy for children and other living things” and they voted a straight Republican ticket.  I have a letter my mother wrote to my father when Kennedy was elected bemoaning the fate of the world.  They were truly nuts.

I now thank them for the training I had early in life to see that some authorities use power for evil (I still think permanents are evil and probably cause brian cancer).  Some authorities are just ignorant, and must be opposed in order to save the world from fascism.  The political scene we face today is clearly one of treacherous consequences.  I thought most of the violent crazy people were already dead, but I was completely off course.  This sentiment is alive and sick.  It has never been more important to vote and become aware of the rights we still have in this country to shape our future.  Please inform your self, gentle reader.  Consider the possibilities very carefully, and then VOTE!!!

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