Monday, October 27, 2008
Saturday, October 25, 2008
If this election 'goes wrong' we might have to head to the Outer Hebrides...if they'd have us...
Commentary: Republicans summon ugly old ghosts
By Joseph L. Galloway | McClatchy Newspapers
This is an autumn of great discontent as not just the United States, but the entire world trembles on the brink of an economic recession that may bring the kind of pain that's known only to the oldest among us.
With days to go before Election Day, the nation watches as a presidential candidate and his political party unravel, frantically dragging every ugly ghost out of the closet in an attempt not only to fool everyone, but also to scare everyone.
They appeal to the worst remnants of racism that cling like kudzu to a dying magnolia. Their robot phone dialers intrude on millions of uneasy citizens with messages of hate and fear and envy and greed.
They try to paper their opponent with guilt by association: He associated with a man who, decades before they ever met, belonged to a group of wild-eyed student revolutionaries.
They and their forces of darkness falsely claim that he's a Muslim at the same time they attack him for belonging to a Christian church whose black minister aimed angry sermons at white America.
They have presided for the last eight years over a stunning redistribution of wealth: They've turned Robin Hood upside down, taking from the poor and the middle class and giving to the very rich.
Yet they tar their opponent for daring to suggest that it's time to turn the tables and redirect some of that wealth to those who are jobless, homeless and hopeless, and to the millions of other hard-working Americans who are likely to join those growing ranks in the months and years to come.
They call him a socialist for embracing a principle that's rooted deeply in the teachings of the Christianity that they wear on their sleeves but cannot find room for in their hearts.
They promise to "correct the mistakes" of their own president, their own members of Congress, their own appointed overseers and regulators, if only we give them another chance.
They promise to punish the Wall Street tycoons and the big bankers who in their greed built this house of cards that's crashing down onto Main Street. Yes they will. Surely they will smite the robber barons who brushed a few crumbs from their groaning tables of riches into the laps of the very people who now vow to punish their benefactors of great wealth.
They say this even as the barons, fat with bonuses and commissions, pick over the carcass of a fallen economy, carving out another tasty morsel or two for themselves.
Is it any wonder that Sen. John McCain and Gov. Sarah Palin and the Republican Party are sinking like the Titanic? Do they take us all for complete morons?
Granted, they may have reason to think that. After all, not only did we (with some help from the Supreme Court) elect George W. Bush our president, we also re-elected him to a second term. Fooled us twice, they think, so maybe the third time is charmed.
That, however, doesn't seem likely as a cold, hard winter looms this November. Not likely at all.
Here's a prediction for you, for them: McCain and Palin will go down to defeat by 15 to 20 points, and they'll take a heap of Republicans down with them.
The financial collapse and the painful fallout that's stalking the nation won't be righted overnight, however. Putting Barack Obama in the White House and giving the Democrats a veto-proof majority in Congress won't mean that happy days are here again.
Hard work, sacrifice and suffering lie ahead. It could take a decade or more to repair all the damage that Bush, Dick Cheney and all their henchmen in prison, out of prison and on their way to prison have done to our economy, our military, our standing in the world, our Constitution and to civil discourse, common decency and competent governance.
In the meantime, we Americans would do well to try to remember all those things that our grandmothers told us about how to get by in hard times.
How to get by on a lot less.
How to grow a vegetable garden.
How to squeeze a nickel till the buffalo bellows.
How to appreciate the small joys of family and friends.
How to share what you have, no matter how little you have, with those who have nothing.
Someday we may be able to tell our grandchildren about the Election of '08 when we, the people, turned away from anger, hate and greed and once again embraced the better angels of our nature.
Friday, October 24, 2008
As I was driving down the road, looking at both thumbs in splints (as it appears I have come down with a case of arthritis) I realized my ever present option of choosing the proverbial 'glass half full or empty'. This choice is always out there for me. I started to laugh as I thought about my 'brokenness' vs. the other peoples 'brokenness' that were in the 'Extremity Clinic'. There was a young man that had the middle finger of his left hand bandaged up to be 3 " longer than his other fingers....I am sure that he has been relentlessly teased...and then the man that had his left arm in a sling and needed to retrieve something out of his left rear pocket as he totally twisted his right arm around his body to get whatever he needed out.
I am hopeful that with vigilance I will be able to build the muscles up around the joint in order to support the problem, it is not easy when your most important tools go 'on the blink'.....and aging becomes more evident. I need to readjust and proceed, what else am I to do?
Early this morning as I was having my coffee a pack of coyotes started their howl. It sounded like there were 20 of them. There is something so haunting about their call, so predatorily gleeful. Like some circus gone mad, sure wish I understood coyotese.
These vegetables came out of one our last CSA boxes from the Farm School, hail to the farmers! What is this most beautiful and intriguing broccoli/cauliflower/floret? Anybody know?
Saturday, October 11, 2008
Yesterday was a heartening look at a positive and holistic approach to education. The Putney School, its director and all of the educators and support staff are doing a remarkable job of indoctrinating the schools worth of 9th-12th grade students into a thoughtful and progressive approach to 21st century life. I love the context and format of the school. Our daughter is thriving....pretty much finished with her need for parents, which I have to adjust to...but my day at the school was lovely, the surroundings beautiful, the reports totally favorable. It is a weekend of family activities. Today I will travel to Cape Cod to visit with my brother and his wife and my father and tomorrow back up to Putney to spend the day and bring Lily home for a few days.
I love this quote, it is in the art gallery which has a faculty exhibit up presently. Art abounds on the Putney campus, 10 ft. iron centipedes climbing trees!
Friday, October 10, 2008
I was headed out to the studio early this morning to take pictures and was struck at the angle of the sun and the color all around me. 'Decided to take a walk on an abandoned road where I took this picture, it is perfection outside, the smell, the temperature, the color, the sound.
Shortly I will take a trip up to The Putney School where my youngest daughter has been since the first of September. We'll meet with her teachers and get a more complete taste of her experiences than we can get through email and phone calls, this 'Harvest Festival' goes on through the weekend and then we will bring her home for a few days, I am so excited!
All is well here, I don't have any long trips planned for a few weeks, Oakland, CA is the next big junket out. I will be teaching a feltmaking class, a light blossom bracelet class and faux enameling on metals.B.A.B.E. is where it is at! Come on over and take a class, it is sure to be fun! I love the bay area and the Marriot is one of my favorite hotels, the view from the high floors is unsurpassed!
Wednesday, October 1, 2008
So here it is, Fall already. Such a lovely time of year, made more so by it's brevity here in the Northeast. Yesterday I helped two baby turtles across the road to safety, one a small snapper like this one, the other a cute and colorful painted turtle.
The days snowball, one into the next leaving no time for blog type reflection. I am hoping upon returning home from Portland... which I leave for in a few hours..... I will have a bit more time to smell the leaves decaying. I find it remarkable how time slips by....there she goes again.....but I truly do find it astonishing how a day happens so quickly. Enough said.
I am headed out to lovely Portland for the second time in two weeks, this time to be part of the Art and Soul Retreat. I will be sharing two days of feltmaking, one entitled 'Felt as a Sculptural Vehicle". I have taught many things in the course of my life. Exposing new people to feltmaking is the best. So forgiving a material, you cannot ruin it, there is always a way to fix it!
Saturday night is a show and sale featuring many of the teachers and vendors coming in to share their lovely wares. It proves to be exciting for people like me that tend to mostly vend at bead shows and craft fairs, a whole new group! If you are available Saturday come on over to the Embassy Suites Hotel at the airport in Portland, the vendor list can be found at the Art and Soul website at the bottom of the page under activities.
I spent last Saturday in a one day workshop with Valerie Hector in Lexington, MA. What fun, she is a great teacher....and I am more than obsessed with volumetric beads. What a diversion from what is truly at hand....sort of like solitaire or sudoku, say? It was fun, though, and if you get a chance to join her at one of her workshops, treat yourself!