Sunday, November 26, 2006

Clearing Clutter and Dreaming

Okay this should probably go on my other blog because of the topic. I am in the process of seeing for myself how much junk I truly have--yet so much of it is precious to me. Do other people have this problem? I suppose they do. However the move to a smaller place has forced me to see the need to give away many of the unneeded clothes, books, and other odds n ends. So far I've unpacked many of the moving boxes and left several boxes to hold some of the recycle materials.

When it comes to book, I'm the only one in my family in total love with them. I read most of the ones I have so there aren't many left with which I don't have at least a nodding acquaintanceship. I especially enjoy the biographies, political position books and of course my lovely mysteries.

In addition to those books already mentioned tipping through and engaging with theorists has elevated my thinking on things.

I think I'll wind up giving more clothes and teaching books away than the others. During the move Edward Said's Culture and Imperialism took quite a beating so now he's being handled with greater care. I can't find The Second Sex by Beauvoir and others.

Such is the plight of attempting to unclutter a large move.

Friday, November 24, 2006

The Other Politically Incorrect Word

Reading many entries to our discussions on the RFP listserv, we have been as split on the "I" word as it appears the politicians in DC and across the grassroots organizations that led them to win the last election. So it appears that another movement must take place--to get the congress to do its work while developing a decent, moral, and peaceful agenda.

I do hope that all members of congress take a look at the new movie Bobby to remember what true leaders looked like in the 60s. I don't know if I can sit through the entire film again but it could possibly do what Stone, Estevez, Grier, and Belefonte claim: reset the moral compass of our nation and return hope to its people. One review for future commentary.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Thanksgiving a Copy from my Write for Peace Blog

In order to combat that dark disease that troubles my life almost daily--but less so now that I'm back West, I thought it only fitting on Thanksgiving Day to find things for which to give thanks.

I'm thankful for life, work, and family. I'm thankful for the importance I and other members of my family are to one another. I'm thankful for my ancestors whose lives led the way; I'm thankful that I can still be pleasant when I talk to my grandson, newly enlisted and trained in the Army National Guard for Arizona, that we don't raise our voices in opposite camps concerning the war.

I'm thankful to accept the offerings of family even when they've no clue of the value of reading and ideas and how much I love them. I'm thankful for being able to truly help my students even when I'm not at my best. I'm thankful for my students for they lift my soul when it wants to droop and flounder.

I'm thankful for learning to handle my own problems as I once did. I'm glad to be alive and thankful that others seem to be thankful for my life.

I"m thankful for my love of learning and politics and life.
I'm thankful for the hundreds of people whose writings keep me alert and laughing if not screaming.


From Ariana Huffington

Friday, November 10, 2006

Finding Objects of Mutual Hate: Do Israelis and Palestinians Have a Common Ground?

Quite accidentally I found a story that gave me the idea of how to work for peace: find areas all parties can hate equally. The Seattle Times provides the story. Okay I am being ironic but it seems that "enemies" can unite under an umbrella of hatred if they have the same target to hate. As witnessed in the Seattle Times story out of Israel, one bigotry against gays, lesbians, and transvestites can lead to the unification of Israelis and Palestinians. I can almost hear some less humane people say--hey I may hate you to death but there are worse people than you--those g-d sodomites. Yes, those abominations can surely get us to tolerate one another.

As I indicate above, I am being facetious, but it really is sad to consider that hate can unite enemies for a day or two against a third group. Don't people think of the fact that treating other human beings as objects of hate will never really solve any problems? I guess not and so I close this in hopes that some people will stop and think before hating anyone or anything.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Post Post Election of 2006

I have been listening to the election results for the past two days. Now I really shouldn't be a cynic but it's hard not to be one. Democrats are patting one another on the back as if they've already done something fantastic. They haven't at least not yet. The real reason to celebrate will exist after they actually do something to make this country better. Lots of name calling must cease as well as the self-serving hypocrisy of not being straight talkers with the public. No more parsing of words to hide meaning, no more spending public funds on personal enrichment projects, and no more breaking the promises to end the war. Most of the news reports indicate that most of us want the troops home, politicians to earn the high salaries they give themselves, and changes in the economy that the middle class can benefit from. Of course, it would be fantastic if poor and working classes had some economic benefits. Our children sent to fight overseas must come home but we must provide strong educational and economic--jobs for them to go to.

Too many young men and women have lost limbs and lives for politicians' incompetence. While most of the folks talking in the past two days indicate working with the president to "fix" the problems with the running of the Iraq war, I fear there will be too many behind the scenes moves to prevent any real progress to get our troops safely home.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Dia de los Muertos

Today is el dia de los muertos. The day to remember those members of our families who have passed on to another realm.

In New York, my mother did not set up an altar for fear of creating a fire with the many candles she lit for her ancestors. Instead she would place the lit candles in the bathtub of our small bathrooms. She prayed in other rooms of the house but had her candles lit for her grandparents, aunts, cousins, and two brothers whom she loved and missed.

I've followed somewhat in Mom's footsteps by having small alters on the sewing machine or the tops of bookcases. In that way, the candles and Virgin Mary statues can be where I am.

I Get Another Language Lesson Reinforcement

Randy sent an interesting commentary from a CNBC commentator I had thought of as rather conservative. To my delight, I found the article from Crooks & Liars quite enlightening or rather a reinforcement of my studies of language use and misuse.

During this election cycle too many old and now transparent ploys of the current White House machine are out in full force. So it's as Orwell wrote Peace is War or War is Peace. If Kerry jokes about Bush's ignorance he must be putting down the intelligence of the troops. Yet there are many things that the Bush administration seemed to miss--Kerry's comment was about Bush's life and Bush's lack of intelligence. Kerry points to a fact of life for many members of the US military--not having the skills for a job or the money to go to college, the military is the only place where they (the young recruits) can get a hand with education. It is a shame that a lack of exposure to the power of language and the need to read beyond the surface leads many in the military to be too easily stirred up by Bushites who want to cling to power at any price. Once again too many of these young people become pawns by their commander-in-chief.