Who’s the Boss Around Here?
There are a multiple of levels of government. Starting from the bottom, they are:
The individual, the family, the town, the state, the nation, and the world.
These are followed by the warring partnes of possibility and probability, closely administered by time.
And then come the two big guys, population and environment. These control what happens in the levels below them. They can be sympathetic and helpful, but when they are aroused, they can become brutal bullies. Already, signs of their growing disgust with the rest of us is apparent in the suffering and hopelessness that is beginning to settle over us like a smothering blanket. They are our neighborhood hoods who like to think that they are entitled to sport with the rest of us, but are ready to wipe us off the face of the earth like broken toys if they get tired of our whining and lack of the guts and know-how that it takes to persevere.
Who’s the Boss Around Here?
The three words above designate the basic needs of all animal and plant life to survive and succeed. Somewhere along the line, human life (probably with the advent of the 20th century) lost its way. Rather than individual humans having to grow, invent, and provide the three basic needs for themselves, those became specialized to the care and provision of and by a select portion of the human community.
Parts of the earth continue to this day to take reponsibility for the basic needs by which they survive, but with the advent of money and time to spare, many nations have turned to amusement, frivolous consumption of bawbles, and travel involving new sights and relaxation at the expense of those nations and peoples still dependent on food, tools, and shelter. With the blindsided dependence on bawbles and service, as well as refusal to recognize that out-of-control population growth is a phenomenon which we have no ability to best, in the end they will destroy us all. If anyone is lucky(?) enough to survive, it will be the people who have known only how to provide their own food, tools, and shelter.
In response to the possible fall of Capitalism, the father of unnecessary consumption, it would be best that those who have founded businesses, and/or those who have been employed in businesses that depend on consumption of unneeded goods, look for more meaningful ways find a livelihood by which they can not only survive but also find a more complete and satisfying life. There is the possibility for home gardening, home-made clothing, and homemade art in many forms. Work such as these may, in response, cause the loss of jobs in the grocery business, clothing stores, and trucking as a result. And they, in turn, will also face possible loss of employment, and so on, and so on.
And the resources of the world are running out, under the pressure of Man, who is fast turning into an animal whose only lasting gift to the Earth will be complete consumption.
But if the worst should happen, it may lead to a much simpler life in which the Consumers either change or die out. This time of trial and fear should be a time for creative thinking and hope.
(Which is still very young...)
Every once in a while a book comes along that totally blows your mind and wakens you to the existence of frontiers and horizons you never before imagined.
You could say, I am grasping for captions on this.
Urgent Time for Another Reprint
An Agricultural Experiment
Especially for the well-to-do, and for anyone else who’s curious and has access to at least a small plot of land.
First, find a convenient plot to be your garden. This is to be strictly for fruits and vegetables of your choice, and YOU, not one of your employees, are to be the gardener. Anyone in your family is welcome to join you to work on this experiment. Plants that may already be there do not count.
Use stakes and cord to define the plot. A book on vegetable gardens should be very useful to you as you plan. Then choose the vegetable and/or fruits you wish to plant. If you are a beginner, it might be well to pick only one or two for a start.
Next, look over the tools in your garage or storage shed to see what you have on hand. Then go to an agricultural supply store for help with choosing other tools and soil amendment supplies you will need. (Be sure that you tell the dealer that you are only interested in environmentally friendly supplies.) He should be able to supply you with further literature on gardening, what insects are friendly, which are not, and how to get rid of them without destroying the earth, and what birds and animals may start coming to visit. You will find that there both insects and animals that will be gardening friends to your garden.
Watering is of paramount importance. You can water too much as well as too little, and drought and frost can be killers. Learn to know your seasons and what to expect where you live.
Unfortunately, there will be an exam, though there will be no monitors other than yourselves to see if you cheat and what your score should be. Here are some of the questions: Did your plants make it all the way to harvest time? Did they taste good? Will you try it again next year, and possibly increase the variety? Did your crops save you any money at the grocery store? Did any new insects, animals, birds, and people visit your garden? Any converts? Does your back ache from bending and stooping? Was it worth it? Did you learn anything new, like what it must be like to earn less than a living wage and work long hours at this kind of labor in a capitalist country? Did you give up on the whole thing halfway through and say the hell with it? Did you finish the job and have pretty good luck for a beginner? And finally, did you learn anything?
A Socialist Suggestion for a Solution – 2 Blogs Below, Second Time Around – Seems Appropriate Right Now
It should be fairly obvious to this over-populated world that things are running out of control. Much of the blame for this can be placed on religious addicts who believe that humans can go on forever reproducing themselves on a finite planet. If, on the other hand, you think that the problem can be solved by usurping other planets from their occupants, that’s a long way off. Even more important is that such a usurpation is sooo Human and immoral!
You true believers can now erase what I have to say, and I’ll talk to the rest. As for the rest of you, this plan might help a helluva lot of you without making anyone penniless.
To begin with, the economic experts must figure out how the wealth of the country can be divided up to make each of us comfortable. There must be a way to arrive at actual equations for this. Before this has been arrived at, the American citizens must be reeducated as to the new values. America is not a democracy, with freedom and the right to live a comfortable life. It is, instead, a Christocapitalocracy in which greed and religion join hands in excluding those who don’t fit their requirements.
The right to achieve enormous wealth at the expense of those beneath you, even to the point of extreme poverty, which exists in this country as well as in the rest of the world, is immoral. No amount of going to church and praying to God can change that. And the charity of some cannot make up for the stinginess of so many others. Those who are poor are not necessarily lazy or stupid, just as the rich often are lazy, stupid, and avaricious. Much of the difference in lives depends on who your parents were, what your education was, what jobs were available to you, etc., etc. Even presidents with wealthy families and a world of connections, reach the pinnacle whithout the intelligence to be where they got. (This time, by God, we hit the jackpot of luck.)
What I’m trying to say is that no one deserves to live in luxury, and no one who is able to work and does so deserves to live in poverty. Therefore, these are my suggestions:
1. A level of wealth beyond which a person needs to live a pleasant and valuable life should be determined by economic wealth and needs by an inclusive and highly qualified panel.
2. The level below which a person cannot live a sustainable life for which he receives recognition for his contribution by society must likewise be determined.
3. The panel must select one or more levels in between these two extremes to be determined on the basis of difficulty, physical danger, relocation, physical or mental ability, etc.
4. The excess wealth in the nation should be divided among any of those on the lower levels. Some on those lower levels may live comfortably as they are, thus allowing more funds to go to those most in need. And funds may change hands or levels as needs change.
5. This level is reserved for those capable of working at something, but unwilling to do so. This level should not include people who have been psychologically destroyed by circumstances, as are so many veterans.
After some semblance of equality has been reached, it will be incumbent upon all of the citizens on the first four levels to pay taxes to support the needs of the country as a whole, thus also rewarding them with pride in their citizenship.
These are not meant to be punitive suggestions. They are offered as a possible partial solution to the hole in which we find ourselves.
Further Thinking About the Stimulus
There’s one further thing that makes the good old days of Bush so missed by the Republicans, especially the rich CEO’s. Many of them saved money by paying their employees less than they deserved or needed.
Then, when things really started going downhill, the wisest thing to do was to unload the people at the bottom, those who really could not afford to lose their jobs. This, at least for a while, has kept the Uppers still up.
That’s good ol’ American nohow, you know, the America we all boast about having so much generosity and brotherly love for mankind. We’re the ones who have sent mostly poverty-stricken citizens to fight our wars because they could not find other work otherwise. (This is begining to come back to haunt us. Just wait until they come home, with only one skill—killing, and no place else to look. And increased access to education is a major cornerstone to their recovery.)
It may turn out that the Very Rich, and even the Rich will lose a lot if we don’t give Pres. Obama a chance. But not percentage-wise as those lower down. Not to worry. Those at or near the top have nesteggs, and really big nesteggs are really tough to crack.
So let’s all give a cheer for good ol’ unfettered free enterprise!
The Socialist Atheist
Still Socialist Atheist
Atheism for Beginners
No, you don’t have to become an atheist. This is just to try to explain to you what an atheist is. The religious right is so horrified by the words “atheist” and “socialist” without knowing the definition of either that I thought I would try to explain the true meaning of both to a person who describes herself (courtesy of LittleBill) by both.
This blog deals only with MY atheism. The religious right is wrong, and the words as epithets are way off center and unfair.
To the average church-going person, an atheist is someone who doesn’t believe in God, and more importantly, has no value system. To the contrary, this couldn’t be more misinformed. There probably are people who call themselves atheists because they don’t believe in anything and they think that is what describes atheism. Wrong!
A real atheist is someone who has chosen to call him-herself by that title as a result of considerable soul-searching and self-education despite also facing opprobrium by the general public. In addition, each atheist finds that what he believes is very probably singular to him. What atheists do share with each other—and probably many church-goers as well—is a strong set of values. The very strength of our values lies in the fact that we gather them to ourselves on our own.
It is generally accepted by most people that you will belong to and attend some sort of religious institution. As a teen-ager, I was sent to an Episcopalian boarding school. We attended some sort of religious service every day and took a required course on the Bible. And I find church liturgy, especially High Church liturgy, absolutely beautiful as an art form.
At the end of my senior year, the one question on the final exam was “Give three reasons for believing in God.” And that did it for me! Unfortunately, I can’t remember what I wrote, but I do remember that I did not answer the question as they expected. I wasn’t rude. I simply did not accept that belief was indisputable. And I remember going from the teacher’s office to the rector of the school. They couldn’t decide what to do with me, but they finally let me graduate with the rest of my class.
As I recall from boarding school—and I think this is common—people pray for other people, and for themselves as well. I do not wish to cast aspersions on those people who genuinely believe as they do and lead exemplary lives. Many pray, however, in the hope of getting themselves into Heaven. And the news is rife with stories of priest crimes against children, with very little, if any, mention of punishment other than being sent to another parish None of us is without sin.
My “god,” is my god only. It resides in my brain, governing my thinking and my actions. I am responsible to that god alone. If I have done well, it will let me know, and if I have made a mistake or done ill to someone or something else, my god will definitely let me know and punish me accordingly. I have written before that as a small child I stole a candlestick from a friend because I thought (incorrectly) that she stole my doll carriage. That was over 80 years ago, and the thought that she may not have taken it, and even worse, that I may not have returned the candlestick after all, still haunts me. (And no one else ever knew about it.)
What bothers me extremely for the sake of people who believe as I do is that our views on matters such as abortion, birth control, and death could be subjected to the demands of those who believe otherwise. I, for one, do not seek to control their beliefs on those subjects so long as they do not control mine. There are numerous valid reasons why non-believers, as well as many Christian believers, are very much against religion becoming a major tenet of the leading documents of this Democracy. Atheists would not seek to control your rights with regard to abortion, birth control, and death, although your views on those subjects are already leading to major, major problems on this earth.
The Socialist Atheist
- The U.S. has made a new weapon that destroys people but keeps the building standing. It's called the stock market.
- Do you have any idea how cheap stocks are? Wall Street is now being called Wal Mart Street.
- The difference between a pigeon and an investment banker? The pigeon can still make a deposit on a BMW.
- What's the difference between a guy who lost everything in Las Vegas and an investment banker? A tie.
- The problem with investment bank balance sheet is that on the left side nothing's right, and on the right side nothing's left.
- I want to warn people from Nigeria who might be watching our show: if you get any emails from Washington asking for money, it's a scam. Don't fall for it.
- Bush was asked about the credit crunch. He said it was his favorite candy bar.
- President Bush's response was to meet some small business owners in San Antonio last week. The small business owners are General Motors, General Electric and Century 21.
- What worries me most about the credit crunch, is that if one of my checks is returned stamped 'insufficient funds,' I won't know whether that refers to mine or the bank's.
CEO - Chief Embezzlement Officer.
CFO - Corporate Fraud Officer.
BULL MARKET - A random market movement causing an investor to mistake himself for a financial genius.
BEAR MARKET - A 6- to 18-month period when the kids get no allowance and the wife gets no jewelry.
P/E RATIO - The percentage of investors wetting their pants as the market keeps crashing.
BROKER - What my broker has made me.
STANDARD & POOR - Your new life in a nutshell.
STOCK ANALYST - Idiot who just downgraded your stock.
FINANCIAL PLANNER - A guy whose phone has been disconnected.
MARKET CORRECTION - The day after you buy stocks.
PROFIT - An archaic word no longer in use.
And, no, I'm not giving any credit here. (There is no credit!) The only credit for this I can think of goes to those who voted for Bush. Twice.
Many, many years ago, when I was just a little girl and religion was not so militant, I attended a service at the local Presbyterian church with a friend of mine. As we sat in our pew, a silver tray was suddenly passed down the aisle with small cookies on it. I thought to myself, “How nice! Refreshments,” and I helped myself to several. That tray was soon followed by another, this time with little glasses of something to drink. They were small, so I took two and added them to the cookies beside me. Then I sat back, made myself comfortable, and ate lunch.
Some ten years later, when I was a student at an Episcopal boarding school, I was watching communion, when suddenly that childhood memory came rushing back to me, this time, finally, with realization.
After all of these years, I am quite sure God has forgiven me, for I knew not what I did.
I HOPE HE SUCCEEDS!
At last we have a President of unusual intelligence, who has the needs of the citizens of this country on his mind and heart, who is calling upon our citizens to think and act on behalf of others, and who has laid his neck on the block for the sake of the nation from the day he took office.
And from that very day, the Republicans have instituted blocks and blames for all the trouble we’re in. I am listening right now to Republican representatives from southern states which lack good education, and therefore are more inclined to vote by what they are told rather than by what their minds have learned. The men now speaking, typically, are appealing to those who are less educated, earn less, and can think only about their own needs as opposed to others who also have needs. The chief emphasis is to arouse resentment on the part of each taxpayer for any money given to any other person or
program as being from THAT PARTICULAR TAXPAYER’S PERSONAL TAXES. (Wanna guess how many of these upright and outraged citizens are Christians?)
None of these people, including the men now speaking, are likely to know much about the economic stresses which are smothering this nation (as well as the rest of the world. ) And so they are encouraged to think only about the government as attacking them personally, rather than of the depth of the problems the whole world shares, and which we can only approach by and for all of the world together.
Most of us have trouble doing our weekly chores. How can we possibly pass the sentence of failure upon a man who has been in office for less than two months, who has inherited two wars (for which few of the men and women in this country have offered
their lives, including those in the previous White House)), and a huge debt to support those wars, the cost of which has yet to be revealed? !
But have a heart, you have two great pillars of comfort and succor for support—Lou Dobbs and Rush Limbaugh! And each has his own technique for adding to his army of hate for anyone who does not share his view. Dobbs uses the technique of the Smile, which seeks your support when he has said something scathing about the object of his ire.
He has a second technique, which is including both Republicans and Democrats on his panels. He uses the people (think Democrat) with whom he disagrees as foils, whom he either talks over when they are speaking, or cuts them short by announcing that the program has run out of time.
Rush Limbaugh is the other end of the bookends. I have seldom seen him, but got a very good look last week when he was rousing the Republican Political Action Committee to revolt against the new American president who had been elected by a huge majority of the American people. Limbaugh, I assume, believes that he, rather than the American majority, should determine who should lead this country when that president has been in office less than two months. Limbaugh might be protected by the right of free speech, but his preliminary assessment of Pres. Obama smacks of unwarranted defamation, and lacks any intellectual or political depth to support his famous rages.
Limbaugh’s only tools, by the way, consist almost entirely of a very loud voice, an extremely angry face, and a call to disloyalty without tryout or trial. Although he denied any lust for the throne, his approach was one of pure hatred, without any search for discussion or debate with any view but his own. And the appalling result is that he is the kind of person who can whip up the fury of a crowd which does not remember why it was whipped up. The saddest response was the response by the new leader of the Republican National Committee chairman, Michael Steele, who had not only attained a high office, but also one which was high in the Republican Party, which is not known for welcoming blacks to its open arms. Not only that, but Chairman Steele at first had the courage to refer to Limbaugh as an entertainer whose schtick was anger and hate. Sadly, when Limbaugh dressed him down, Mr. Steele folded-- a very bad blow, especially considering his color, for one more man who was on his way, for his party, as well as for his race.
Consider the merits of President Obama, on the other hand. Not only do his words and his plans speak of merit, meaning, and the relations of and between all nations of the world, but his wonderful smile and his beautiful eyes assure you of his personal strength and integrity and draw you right in. He is a man of intellect and education, as well as supreme courage, both for his venture and for his personal safety.
I’m 86 years old, and I am having a very tough time trying to think of anyone in this century who can compare.
Go, Obama, and God be with you even if I don’t believe in Him!
The Socialist Atheist
Poetry in Practice in Public – It’s Getting Better
RUB A DUB DUB, TWO CATS IN A TUB
I was sleeping in bed with the radio on,
My dreams darting from nightmares to fear,
When a sound much scarier entered my head,
And it turned out to be sounding right here.
I ran here and there in search of the sound,
Half awake, half unconscious with sleep,
As it usually happens in such cases, of course.
It was then that I heard a small peep!
I rushed to the tub, and there they were,
My two black cats, and in between,
A very small mouse, doing his best,
Jumping up and down, could be seen!
Rub a Dub Dub, two cats in the tub
With a poor frightened mouse between them.
Forward and back, like a Nascar track.
Oh, woe! If I hadn’t seen them!
So, girding my loins (do women do that?)
And stiffing my lip, I began intervening.
I grabbed each struggling cat in my hands.
(They knew that my gestures had meaning!)
Catching the cats, one after the other,
Away both went to a far distant room,
And I went in search of my have-a-heart trap,
Stored for when such emergencies loom.
I gently placed the trap in the tub
To rescue the scared little mouse.
It ran right in, and peeped in thanks,
Then I took it out of the house.
It’s as safe as it can be in the wild.
Tonight I’ll sleep when I lay down my head.
My cats can only watch through the screen,
A dear creature still alive and not dead.