Bushville

Sure, cried the tenant men, but it's our land. We measured it and broke it up. We were born on it, and we got killed on it, died on it. Even if it's no good, its still ours. That's what makes it ours-being born on it, working it, dying on it. That makes ownership, not a paper with numbers on it.

We're sorry. Its not us. It's the monster. The bank isn't like a man. Yes, but the bank is only made of men.

No, you're wrong there-quite wrong there. The bank is something else than men. It happens that every bank in a bank hates what the bank does, and yet the bank does it. The bank is something more than men, I tell you. It's the monster. Men made it, but they can't control it.

John Steinbeck-The Grapes of Wrath-Chapter 5

So--This is Winston Salem

Yesterday afternoon I walked through our neighborhood to do an errand.

Apparently copious quantities of spores had blown through the area. Countless manicured lawns had sprouted McCain-Palin yard signs. They were all over the place.

In this neighborhood of more than a hundred homes, only one has displayed Obama signage, beginning prior to the Primary.

I finally found the opportunity to stop by and introduce myself.

I rang the bell.

A woman came to the door, simultaneously talking into a phone and attempting to restrain a friendly barking dog. She put the call on hold.

"May I help you?" "Uh, I just wanted to stop by and meet you," I stammered. "We're Obama supporters. We moved in six months ago."

She got off the phone and invited me in.

Primed for Passion

This time last week I attended a Bar Mitzvah ceremony in Chicago. I was struck by two passages read in the course of the ceremony. One attributed to Albert Einstein and another from poetry by Marge Piercy. These words found great resonance within me.

...we are here for the sake of each other...Many times a day I realize how much my own outer and inner life is built upon the labors of others, both living and dead, and how earnestly I must exert myself in order to give in return as much as I have received and am still receiving.

Albert Einstein (adapted)

We stand in the midst of the burning world; primed to burn with compassionate love and justice, to turn inward and find holy fire at the core, to turn outward and see the world that is all of one flesh with us, see under the trash, through the smog, the furry bee in the apple blossom, the trout leaping, the candles our ancestors lit for us.

From "Interpretive Nishmat Kol Hay" by Marge Piercy.

When Their Mouth Is Moving ...

Former Nixon staffer John Dean recently wrote a piece for FindLaw.com that pretty much captures the utter corruption of the Bush administration and the Republican party. The piece is on the separation of powers and how the Dick Cheney has pretty much ignored it and become a force unto himself. He writes about Cheney's Big Lie that, according to Dean, pretty much sealed our fate with regard to Iraq. It occurred in a meeting with Dick Armey.

How can I afford this? or, How to be a wanker

Let me see if I am clear on all this...

Me and my fellow taxpayers in Raleigh are already on the hook for $724.6 million in approved spending for the war on Iraq. That money could provide 345,581 children with health care for a year. That amount could more than cover the estimated 260,000 North Carolina children who are uninsured.

The total cost for this blunder of a war is likely to exceed. $3 trillion. That's $3,000,000,000,000, once you account for restocking our military, providing lifetime benefits to veterans and surviving families, and recovering our economy.

But now fiscally responsible Republicans are coming to a tax-and-spend liberal like me to ask for more money?

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