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Monday, April 25, 2016

QUESTION, KUDOS & SCOURGINGS

If anyone is still my friend when I've finished this, God bless you. You are truly a special person. I have some hard things to say to many people, including many of my fellow liberals and progressives. One thing I need to say to my brethren is, can we develop a different approach when sharing our information with those who, at least, haven't heard it as often as they need to? I mean, right now too many of us, male and female, approach those who, f'r instance, cling to the racial superiority myths (and as I come from the same stock as they on dad's side, I've REALLY hard words for them coming up!) as if they're--well, suffice it to say we ARE the Judge, the Shrink, the Social Worker the Jets lampoon in 'Gee, Officer Krupke'. Our overall attitude towards those who Aren't Getting The Message seems to be that of an irritated schoolmarm Still Determined To Be Enlightened--one who'd like to use the stick but refuses to, but the kids can feel that desire seeping out of us on all sides and try to get us to be honest about it. So far, kids of color have caught a lot more of the explicit verbal stick than whites have, at least to my knowledge. You know the kind of nastiness that says none of you will do anything but clean toilets anyhow.
And I wonder: does Bernie project some of that? Could that be why he really hasn't gained much traction among lower-income people of any color? Hillary's shown flashes of that but flashes are just that, as opposed to something more consistent.
I'll say this right now: I support Bernie because I see him as abler to get the serious and far-reaching changes we need to make rolling. I also think he expects more of us to participate in the nuts and bolts of that change, which is at least part of the reason why he himself is sketchy on them. If you respond better to someone with a not-so-irritated style and who is more articulate about the nuts and bolts, I can see why you'd support Hillary. In any case, both Bernie and Hillary have said that each is an infinitely better choice than ANY Republican. So let's keep that in mind.
Which brings me to those of my people who, rather than make common cause with those darker people who have LONG been ground down the way you now also are, would rather DIE with their cherished lying myths of racial superiority. Y'all are in BIIIIG trouble both with me and in reality!
Let me say right off that I do understand your irritation with the schoolmarmishness of too many liberals: it gets under my skin too. But, GodDAMMIT, are you all so FUCKING immature you can't get past that and hear the truth in their message?! If some of you bothered to either ask questions or even share your feeling about that manner with blacks and Latinos, you might be pleasantly surprised by the response! And what would that be? Well, they might have slightly different words for it, such as, "We don't want no 'help', but if they realize they needs to git free too, that's different" you might catch onto that you are both saying much the same thing. A Native American woman put it thus to her white liberal allies: "If you are here to help me, you're wasting your time. But if you're here because you realize your liberation is bound up with mine, then let's march together."
See, that's the big lie from the super-rich who have long ground others down and who now grind you: that freedom is a zero-sum deal, THAT'S A LIE--the more freedom others have, the more YOU will also have! NOW is the time to THROW AWAY the remnant rags of Jim Crow which never did anything real for you anyhow and start the honest dialogue with blacks and Latinos which can and, if you persist, will bring forth a better life for all of you, your children and grandchildren.
The end to growth is always death. So there you have it: choosing to grow is to choose life. You stick with Jim or Jane Crow, you and yours will die. Throw them away, so that you and your children may live, as Scripture says!

Monday, March 7, 2016

A COMMON PATTERN & AWKWARD CONNECTION

I'm sharing this particular post for more than one reason. Not only is this post's subject pivotal to the campaign this year; I believe it's also at the bottom of the Arab/Israeli conflict.
It looks to me as if the Arab fellahin have been, and still are, in a situation very like those of our 'poor whites'. And lately they, too, have been coming down hard on their 'n***ers'--that is, their 'dhimmis', in this case Christians and Yazidis for the most part. And without Israel, Jews would be on that list too as almost the lowest of them--rather like 'common n***ers', to use an old phrase. But if anyone thinks that, in such a situation, the persecuted would be getting more help and attention, I have two words: DREAM ON! All we need do is remember the world's non-response to the Shoah to put that idea into smithereens. But in any case, imagine how poor whites would feel if Southern blacks had put together, through purchases and sweat equity, a contiguous stretch of land where they lived, worked and governed themselves and even had some whites living peaceably among them. Imagine refugees resorting thither after an annihilation attempt on them elsewhere. (Michigan, anyone?) Imagine further that the blacks took them in and declared their own state shortly after, to have the poor whites swarm in to put this 'abomination' DOWN! And to top it all off, let's say the blacks successfully defended their new state and even received recognition of it from the Feds! Is the shape of a common 'trauma' clear?
I have no idea whether the election of a black president is comparable to this as a 'trauma' to poor whites; perhaps it is.
Another, related, question occurs to me, brought forward by, of all things, reading some 'Mein Kampf' quotes in another post. I wrote above that Jewish involvement in universalist and pacifist movements are no guarantee of their success; at least I implied that. One of these quotes mentions the 'Jewish element' as a 'universalistic and pacifistic element' and, in Adolf's viewpoint, a strength-sapper to any nation. (Recent science has shown that cooperation is better than success at killing, but except to say that the difficulty arises here when YOU'RE willing to cooperate and THEY are not, I'll leave more on that for another time)
And since the resurrection of Israel, even the 'Jewish element' is no longer reliably 'universalistic and pacifistic' and I can already hear some Leftist voices grumbling or moaning how Israel's resurrection is Hitler's greatest victory and why did they give up on the Far Nobler Dream of Universal Peace as rhapsodized over by John Lennon? Well, pal, how 'bout YOU see a third of your people annihilated and the world just whistling and observing its fingernails while it happens?! You won't say, "FUCK Universal Peace; I want a place where we can defend ourselves!!"?
Israel has not, and never will, give up entirely on making peace; the Israeli left runs on more than the fumes of pre-1945 universalism. The Tanakh is full of urgings to make peace, never mind the New Testament. But they don't 'live' there anymore since it became untenable and I think quite a few on the doctrinaire, or semi-doctrinaire, Left are still hurting over that. If anyone thinks I'm off-base, feel free to say so--but not without saying why and how! So here we have, imho, a nearly common trauma and another related to it. Let all read this and then let it simmer awhile, then tell me if you think I got something here or not, but if not, don't forget why and how not.
America incentivizes racism in working class white people, and if we fail to understand this, we will fail to fix it.
medium.com|By Emma Lindsay

Monday, January 25, 2016

ANATEVKA=/=ISRAEL!

I think a BIG part of making Zionism a positive word needs to be the active 'deblanching' of it. Look at the contrast between how liberal Israel has been in welcoming the return of the Russian Jews, many of whom are non-observant and/or married to non-Jews (also welcomed with open arms) and the magnifying glass under which the Ethiopians, nearly all of whom are observant and have remained so under sporadic persecution, have been put.
Israel needs to stop behaving like a transplanted Anatevka (Btw, is there a Mizrahi version of Anatevka?) and give more credit to the claims of Jews or, to use the broader term, Hebrews or Israelites of color such as the Lemba and the Igbo. Already the Bnei Menashe are returning from Assam in India; let the Israeli government seek out and encourage other hidden Hebrews to return!
And here's something for both all of African and/or Hebrew heritage in the Americas to mull over: let's suppose the Igbo, who number 32 million strong in Nigeria with God knows (literally) how many cousins from Toronto to Buenos Aires, are indeed Israelites. Doth not the mind boggle at how many of Am Yisrael the world might now have?! I'm willing to bet a hefty percentage of the 11 million of human cargo brought to the Americas were Igbo and that their descendants in the Americas might well number more than those still in Nigeria!
And Israel is the first resurrected indigenous nation of the world, but it needs to work on being the herald for the resurrection of other indigenous nations, both in its home area and around the world! And part of this needs to be a turning away from a hypocritical Europe still caked with Israel's blood and towards other Asian countries such as India, China and Japan.
Leave that internal Anatevka behind, O Israel! Acquaint yourself with your offshoots of 'color' now grown numerous and powerful and form bonds of brotherhood with them and actively hold out the hope of resurrection to nations long suppressed and repressed, for whom your God has appointed you the herald!

Thursday, December 31, 2015

GOOD CITIZENS

As this year endeth, I think of what sort of people many of us are. Despite the crazies and reprobates who grab the headlines, there are still a very large number of Good Citizens out there. At least, so I believe. What do I mean by Good Citizens?
For starters, I mean those people who are actually repelled by injustice and cruelty across the board, regardless of the race or religious labelling of both victim and perp. I mean those people who are careful to stay inside the law not only because it's less troublesome; they may actually have an understanding of the law as a common benefit to all, whether consciously articulated or not.
This is a time when the Good Citizens need to articulate, to themselves and others, the benefits of law, reasoning and other ways of thinking with one's head as opposed to the heart or, worse, the gonads. They need a good deal less of Going With The Flow and other excuses for not examining things and thinking them out and a good deal more of asking questions and following the money trails!
Another worthy trait which marks Good Citizens is their general detestation of any kind of bullies. Indeed, I think it safe to say that bullies' toadies and Good Citizens are pretty much mutually exclusive. The problems arise when bullies cringe and whimper and do all they can to look and sound like their own victims. This confuses many Good Citizens--as do all the bright and shiny objects which the Corpo Media, at the bidding of their masters who are so wealthy as to make sultans look beggarly, toss in the Good Citizens' general direction. This is done, at least in part, to distract the more venturesome among the Good Citizens (I hope I'm one) from following the money trails. I hardly need say that those masters know those trails lead right to them!
What Good Citizens need to do more of is 1) create longer information strings which lead further back into history and 2) observe less of one's complexion or religious label and watch the patterns of behavior. Some might find a remarkable similarity between the behavior of Southern whites fighting against integration and Arabs repeatedly refusing to make real peace with Israel, for example. They also might gain more understanding of how our society has a 'default' setting for POCs marked 'Guilty for Being Other'.
Of course, once this happens then the REAL fun will begin. Then the benign masks may well come off of 'authority' and the SWAT teams may be on constant duty as it becomes clearer how much of an occupied country we now are. Then Good Citizens will have a serious decision to make: how much does the second word in the designation I give these people mean to them? Because this will be a moment of decision such as sung by Enjolras at the barricades in 'Les Miz'. This will be the time to decide, will you put your lives on the line to stay free citizens and renew that citizenship? Or will you decline into increasingly abject subjecthood? This may be a necessary component of a renaissance of Western civilization and values. Wasn't it we of the West who gave the world the very idea of citizenship as opposed to being simply obedient subjects? Good Citizens need to use their natural anger against bullies and cheats so as to make things difficult if not utterly impossible for such anti-democratic characters!
And when we do, that will be the time to decide: are we ready to put our bodies on the line? Despite the fact that I'm quite capable of writing like Marat, I hope it won't come to bloodshed although the chances of that happening are actually alarmingly good.
Because I know history to some extent, I cannot but agree with the words of Frederick Douglass: "Power never concedes anything without a demand. It never has and it never will."
God bless you all, brothers and sisters, in this coming year of decision.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

REPUBLICAN CANDIDATES' SONG

Some things to remember about the newly-written song that follows: First, I think this is for the whole stinkin' crop of 'em. Second, if anyone takes exception to any language herein, remember this is being written from THEIR viewpoint. Third, the tune is from the hymn, 'Hail To The Lord's Anointed', which is hymn 616 in the Episcopal 1982 Hymnal.


I am God's own anointed! I am the only one!
The truest, best,most faithful, I swear by Cross and Gun!
I shall uphold my churches, compel all to support
The churches that we favor, which are our shining forts!

When the crown is on my head, white men shall rule supreme
All women and all coloreds shall not be heard nor seen!
No protections for workers, consumers or the poor
As we return to feudal times and rip up today's floors!

And we will feed our military forces more and more
We'll have much more cannon fodder because we'll force loose whores
To bear their shameful urchins and give them only smacks
Till they put on uniforms, for troops they'll be right cracks!

What's this? Asking ME questions? That's gross pre-sum-tee-ion!
I shouldn't have to answer 'cause I'm a holy one!
OH! All those EVIL questions you dare ask--how uncouth!
And now you have the nerve to say I can't handle the truth!

Oh God! PLEASE rain down thunderbolts on such impiety!
Look on me, your chosen one! O Lord, do you not see?!
They mock me, Lord, and call me a hypocrite to boot
And with their boots they serve me and tell me off to scoot!

God, how could you allow this--for me to be disgraced?
They laugh at me, O Lord my God, me from my seat they chase!
And now they'll pay me no more except to go on home
There to say to you, "Lord! Lord!' and leave them all alone!


Hope y'all enjoy this. Please don't record for commercial purposes without my leave.

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Sunday, October 25, 2015

SERIOUS CHURNINGS

http://www.thedailybeast.com/…/…/the-real-power-of-isis.html
This article has my mind churning seriously. Do we need 'struggle and self-sacrifice, at least intermittently'? I'd say we do, although not necessarily violent struggle, etc., Chris Hedges to the contrary. But the poor dupe of Arab imperialism is right about one thing: war can and does give our lives meaning. But there's a legion and a half of laudable causes for which to struggle and sacrifice something of ourselves; killing each other is stupid and wasteful at best. Here's a short list of some: good and loving homes for all the poor unwanted animals in shelters or on the streets. Cleaner air, water and land along with renewal and 'greening' of our infrastructure (worldwide) including switching to renewable energy sources. Aren't these ADULT ways of giving greater meaning to our lives, giving voice to the voiceless? Allow me to point out to my gentle readers that hankering after martial glory and super-power is something done by children of a certain age and mostly boys at that. Men know how hollow those things are and they should also have some creative ideas about better ways to put the need to struggle and sacrifice oneself to better use than killing each other!
While the West still has time, let us look to the spiritual 'underpinnings' of our freedom. While it was, and still is, a prerequisite for a free society to separate religion and state, let's not forget that liberating movement began in lands where the 'default' religious setting was Christian and Protestant (of one variety or another) at that. Today, let's be thankful that our R.C. brethren have learned to live with, yea even appreciate that separation. Let's hope the Muslim world, as a whole, learns it too. But in the meantime, let Europe remember that, when Muslims claim to be offended by this or that European tradition or show of Christian devotion, to STAND FIRM as too many of them are still where they equate willingness to compromise with weakness. Show NOTHING that may be so interpreted. If Muslims don't like it, let them return whence they came!
Most of us find meaning in our relationships--with each other, other creatures and with Creation as well. The medieval mystic Meister Eckhart wrote, "The world is all relationships." And so it is. Has anyone noticed that the current Islamist unrest is fueled by old men who don't seem particularly close to anyone and acted out mostly by young men in their late teens and twenties--that is, those with the fewest and weakest relationships with other beings?
While keeping religion and state separate, we need to LIVE OUT the love we claim to be at the heart of our own traditions with as much resolve and passion (silent but none the less ardent) as we can--and remember, and make clear to others, whence it comes! And make it clear we're not ripe for anyone's takeover because we both know the bad, and appreciate the good, in our own societies with as much passion as anyone--and direct that passion primarily to ends of life, not death. Don't many Muslims agree that the jihad within is the greater struggle? Let's see if we can turn those who aren't doing that yet to where they are. Let our struggle and self-sacrifice be directed toward life (including defense of our own ways when and while necessary) and maybe we can turn most of our possible enemies that way too!

Sunday, September 13, 2015

ROSH HASHANAH REFLECTION

As Rosh Hashanah begins, I reflect upon a number of things. Mostly, I reflect on the near-universal biped need for someone to demonize and dehumanize someone else. And yes, sometimes individuals, groups or nations dehumanize themselves and deserve all they get. Most times, though, such a thing is entirely spurious and we all know which people have been thus demonized and dehumanized on the most sickeningly consistent basis over the last two millennia or so.
As long as Am Yisrael understands more about real holiness than their current neighbors (which isn't hard as those who claim the Temple Mount is theirs and theirs ALONE show by that very action they understand NOTHING of real holiness! If they did, they'd invite the world to bring their prayers to the Mount!) they will remain in the land and on the Mount.
But I see two things eating into Israel's understanding. The first looks like an increasing desire to ignore or circumvent the stricture of Exodus 23:9, where God forbids Israel to harass the strangers. (And NO, it does NOT only mean 'proselyte'!! And to those who suggest that, I say, get thee behind me, Satan!) The second is the muting of the voices of the poor and of all the children that go to bed hungry in Israel. That this should happen anywhere is bad enough, but to have it happen in Israel feels like a serious shonda indeed!!
To take an earlier paragraph a step further, I suggest that anyone, or any people, who claim to be the only FULL humans or the only TRUE worshippers of their god show by those very attitudes that they understand nothing of either real humanity or real holiness. Holiness is not something of which any human can say 'mine'; that is always 'ours' when humans are entrusted with any real portion of it at all. So far, the resurrected Israel has avoided this trap. And yes, it lives in a dangerous neighborhood and needs to stay strong, smart and watchful. But it has a tightrope to walk between its physical safety and keeping its soul green and growing.
I know this is nothing new; find me an Israeli or Diaspora Jew who doesn't know it. And when I see how some Israelis treat those they see as 'strangers', I worry for the probable effect on Israel's soul and about God's probable reaction to it. In Scripture, grinding the faces of the poor and injustice to the stranger were two things among others that got first Israel and then Judah sent into exile.
Bibi is right about one thing: racism has no place in Judaism or in Zionism. Let's do all we can starting this new year to realize that as fully as we can and also to honor the stranger and hear the poor children as the Scripture commands us to do.