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Archive for the ‘Questions’ Category

Stop The Killing

When I see stats like these:

45 Palestinians dead; 3 Israelis dead.

I have to wonder at the obvious imbalance of it all.

The Buddhist and Quaker in me is mortally offended at any war at all, and my compassion for the injured dead and dying on all sides hurts me to the bone.

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I knew that there would come a time when our hand-in-glove relationship with Israel would have to come up on a reckoning.

Shame on you President Obama with your backing of “right to defend” nonsense. You know good and damn well Israel “defends” itself by being the aggressor and raining down death on Gaza.

But I guess you are used to that what with all your drones you got going on.

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Where is the United Nations? What about Human Rights?

Are we just to stand by and watch people kill each other? How are we “civilized” nations that we cannot deal with our problems in any other way?

“The United States has given us full backing to take whatever measures are necessary to defend our citizens against Hamas terror.”

Thank you Michael Oren. Yet another reason for me to be embarrassed to be a US Citizen.

In early 2009, a ground war in Gaza left some 1,400 Palestinians dead, the vast majority civilians, in a conflict that was similarly intended to stop rockets from being fired from the region. Thirteen Israelis were also killed.

Again, I hate to bring up numbers but LOOK AT THAT!! What on The Good Green Earth do think is going to happen if there is a continuation and a repeat of hostilities?

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Somebody has to do something. I am brought to mind the picture of that lone Chinese man standing in front of those tanks. Enough is enough. What is it going to take?

I leave you with this statement because maybe my words have little weight. Who am I but an ordinary human being who simply wants the killing to stop?

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That Being Said…

Our own DNC is looming on the horizon.

We’ll have our share of oops moments too I’m sure.

Like I’ve said before: Lesser of Two Evils. Sometimes it comes down to just that.

Now I know we’ve enjoyed the historical (and faboo I might add) presence of having a Beautiful Black First Family for four years, buuuut the Dems are still a bastion of older White males – so stuff isn’t going to always be comfy for me.

But dang ok see this right here??

Go ahead and read it. I’ll post the first paragraph to get you on your way:

“Fresh from giving the leading prayer at the Republican National Convention, Cardinal Timothy Dolan will also be giving the closing prayer at the Democratic National Convention. Given Dolan’s record though, which includes staunch anti-women’s choice positions and allegations that he paid off sexual abusers in the clergy, should he really be on the bill at all?”

Yeah. I have that question too. First of all why go catholic in the first place? (I have personal issues with catholics already) but still – Aren’t the Obama’s Lutheran or something? Or why THAT particular dude? I’m sure there are a few progressive cardinals out there if you simply must.

Well its TOO LATE now cuz kicking homeboy to the curb at this late date would have all sorts of political headaches happening. Big mistake to have had him on the roster in the first place. Like I said. The lesser of two evils. My Dems certainly aren’t perfect, but they aren’t actively waging war on my gender and race neever. So I just deal. But STILL! Wasn’t there a Buddhist Monk available? SOMEONE?? Anyone??

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I had a rant about the catholic church scheduled for right here but I think I won’t. I was raised a Quaker and because or that I have a healthy dose of religious tolerance.

However.

The second that whole thing broke about the child abuse, the cover ups, the moving priests around without reprimand or facing justice: my tolerance went straight out the window. (And now this ish about the kids seducing their abusers???)

You hurt kids you don’t get one ounce of tolerance from ME. What that whole thing showed was that there was a knowledge of that “sort of thing happening” and the reason why I know this is because of the system set up and in place to “deal with” the priests who get caught.

/end mini rant I just can’t go on. My upbringing bone is hurting and my Buddhist karmic sensibility is getting a cramp.

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Hey Soul Sister

Sometimes I just ruin everything for myself because I’m so goshdarn web savvy and inquisitive and I just have to KNOW everything about everything.

You’ve probably heard that song Hey, Soul Sister by that band Train. When I first heard it burbling out of my car radio I thought awww how cute izzat? Sounds like a Nerdy White Boy Band singing about well.. ME! (Nerdy you say? How so? Well cuz just who tosses in a ukulele into their song? its fabulous! But a tad nerdy all the same IMHO).

So I came to love this song and well just in case you thought I was being silly, the lyrics really do sound like they are uttering a paean to Black women. Some might find that offensive or just a tad racist/fetishist – but I thought the whole thing was utterly adorkable and really you can only bliss out to Drop It Like Its Hot for just so long.

Hey soul sister 
Ain’t that mister mister 
On the radio stereo 
The way you move aint fair you know 
Hey soul sister 
I don’t want to miss 
A single thing you do 
Tonight 

The way you can cut a rug 
Watching you is the only drug I need 
You’re so gangster I’m so thug 
You’re the only one I’m dreaming of 
You see, I can be myself now finally 
In fact there’s nothing I can’t be 
I want the world to see you’ll be with me 

Awwww so cute! So here comes the ruin it for myself part. I just had to google up the song and find out if for real they were singing about well, you know, ME.

Turns out: NOT!
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Oh gosh ok so I totally cracked up when I found out our USA Olympic Team uniforms are made in China. Everyone seemed so surprised and upset. I’m not sure what world they thought they were living in, really people. Just about every damn thing in my apartment (and I’m sure your house too) sports the Made In China label from most of my clothes, electronics, widgets and doohickeys to the keyboard I’m typing this blog post on. As a consumer if I was actually interested in buying only Made In America stuff: I’d be hard pressed to find any. Hence me cracking up at everyone having conniption fits over our US unis. And really, shouldn’t they have done their homework before signing up Ralph Lauren? Just where do you think all of our main American top designers get their stuff manufactured at?? China China China. Wake up and smell the ginseng already.

The only thing I agree on is that the style of the uniforms are FUGLEE. And we really need to not ever again bust out with berets. Its just not us. Baseball cap or sporty Kangol or even a fedora straight out of Smooth Criminal: SOMETHING! Personally speaking I love berets. And I’m a francophile to the max but berets are just not representative of America, they just aren’t. I just hope the sweat suits and other competition wear look better.

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That tweet that sent an Olympic athlete home.

Was it racist? Really I’m way too tired to tell. It was in poor taste that much I’m sure of. And I do know that chica was unrepentant of said poor taste up until she figured out she was going to get booted off her team. Then the eloquent apologies started up. Not exactly making points for having good character, racism or no.

Here’s some of my thinking on the subject. I think that po chile done forgot where she was for a sec and thought she could continue on as per usual. Many are saying her punishment was too harsh. Again, I’m way too tired to try and sort that out. I think she backed the Greek Olympic committee into a corner, and whether or not they felt otherwise, I think they ended up having no choice but to send her packing.

I also think that if her Olympic journey had meant so much to her, she’d have been putting her nose to the grindstone and concentrating on her athletics and not sitting around tweeting whatever popped into her head. The second she made it onto her country’s team she was no longer “just herself” and should have been adult enough or smart enough or whatever enough to realize that she needed to adjust her behavior accordingly.
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While my computer (Old Betsy III) was down for the count for awhile, I had plenty of time to think about a subject that has been curling around my brain and my heart for all of my life and becoming increasingly to the forefront these days.

Religion.

And what the heck are we gonna do about it.

As soon as I was able to Netflix again, I treated myself to a lecture from His Holiness the Dalai Lama called Compassion in Emptiness. While I am a Buddhist, I’m not a Tibetan Buddhist, but when the Dalai Lama throws down, I’m always there to listen. I always learn something.

Interestingly enough, this teaching he gave was about how to maintain compassion and achieve inner (and outer!) peace in these modern times. (I believe this was filmed during a 3-day symposium somewhere in New York back in 2011.) I was struck dumb when here was this religious leader talking – with some urgency – about how the secular path was the way to go for us to achieve peace in our time and to ease conflict with dialogue. He was very clear about why he was saying secular instead of the religious path.

You see if we try to have a sit down with people (or someone) from differing faiths, it takes a whole lot of effort and sometimes drama to even get to the starting point of having a dialogue – sometimes never – due to the conflicts that arise – already proven my dears – between differing religions.

So instead if we go the secular route – seeking dialogue, and end to conflict, an achievement of peace outside the realm of religion – we have much better opportunities for success.
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I’ve always been a feminist. I had to. I was the only girl with three male siblings. I was rocking the Girl Power thing before it was hip and cool and mainstream. So I have a very acute “spider sense” when it comes to discovering all things misogynistic in the world I live in. Right now, sorry to say that particular world is physically narrow – meaning I don’t go anywhere, don’t do nothin – but on the flip side my mental world has several expansive outlets. Books and Film mostly right now. For this article, I’ll stick primarily to movies and TV shows.

First let me set the scene. Little things add up to a lot. That’s why I can’t dismiss the little things. Those are actually the things that set my spider sense tingling the most actually. They are the gateway to things most horrible and wrong. Some of you might laugh at some of the next things I’m going to say – maybe dismiss them as the rantings of some rabid feminazi or whatever that word is. A word I find rather distasteful to put it mildly. When we fight for the lives of our daughters, sisters, and mothers and dare to raise our voices and our opinions we automatically become fascist genocidal dictatorial jack booters? Donne moi une Grande BREAK s’il vous plait, ok?
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Why must we be the ones to do all the teaching? I’m struggling through some tough stuff right now and I tell you I’m just plain tired. I’ve asked myself this question often enough during my life and I’m officially figuratively – and literally perhaps too – stepping down from the teaching pulpit.

See its always women who have to do the teaching about how people are supposed to treat women. Its always the brown people throwing multicultural seminars and events. I think its high time and well past the time that those that are doing the mishandling and oppression step themselves up and start taking responsibility for teaching what is the right thing to do.

I know there are puh-lenty of men out there who don’t mistreat women, who don’t consider women to be second class citizens, who don’t agree with policies like unequal pay for equal jobs etc and so on. But that is NOT enough. You need to step up and take it further. It is not enough to simply exist on the side of what is good and right. It is time to actively teach your sons these things and make sure they understand them, and know that they too need to stand up in turn and keep the cycle of education and action going forward.
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We sometimes forget that the March on Washington (1963) culminating in Martin Luther King Jr.’s speech,was primarily about economic equality. Civil rights and freedoms yes, but what good is freedom when you can’t put food on the table?

So I ponder these things today and wonder (like I always do) if my Birth Mother was there on that historic day.

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My previous post was a last ditch effort to keep me from completely losing it. It worked for the most part. You know, keep busy, do some research, try to ignore you feel like hibernating for 6 months etc.

Well in continuing on with my personal quest for knowledge, I watched this documentary: GasHole (2010).

I just want to weep for the Tragedy Of It All, I really do. I had known a lot of what this film talks about, but really I didn’t have the whole picture. Now that I do, I’m going to try to work some of the madness out for myself, so I can actually consider sleeping instead of staring out of the window and wondering if we are going to make it.

So this post is a personal journey, but also one I hope you can take with me. But I’ll say it again: Watch, Buy, Rent, Netflix WHATEVER that documentary. What I cover here will only be bits and pieces (the ones that affected me the most), and you need to (like I did) to see the complete picture.

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I wish my first post of the New Year could be a different one. It seems that current and local events have thwarted that. I suppose I guess thats what I get for procrastinating. But then again, I’d still be writing this post anyways.

I thought my self well escaped when I narrowly missed having “The Governator” preside over my State when I ditched Cali for AZ. For some years although personally harrowing, the political scene was not much to write home about. (Not that I had my finger on its pulse or anything, but you know).

Then Barack said he was running for President, and I turned into a CNN-addict, and began to see some hope on my previously agnostic horizons. I tell you, I literally CRIED when Dubya stole his 2nd term in office. Tucson is a Democrat Town, no matter what the color of the state, and I was fooled into thinking there was Hope.

But THIS time, I dared again and I started to become more aware of all sorts of things going on. California is a border state, like Arizona, yet there is a big difference. My brush with Mexico was contemplating a few times during college going to Spring Break in Porto Vallarta. (I never did, it just seemed an awful idea.)

My first few months here I strolled over the border with my best friend J to celebrate my birthday weekend in the cute (exept for that horrid WALL right thru it) town of Nogales, Mexico. Its much closer, and consequently AZ came into national focus with what I call The Lets Pull Over The Brown People Law And Ask Them For Papers Like It Was Apartheid. Oops how embarassing!

Now its freaking me out to have this lil one-horse town’s name on everyone’s lips and top of the hour discussions on CNN. I’ve since calmed myself down from my 24-7 CNN watching – I ditched my cable TV – and I listen to it streaming over the internet now, from time to time.

One of those times was the memorial service that took place just up the road at the U of A. Barack was there and spoke. I listened to his words, and I mourned for more than those that had died. My heart was lifted at the news that Gabby opened her eyes, and seems to be improving.

I’ve been wishing, hoping and trying (sort of) to pull myself up with my bootstraps and keep moving East to New Mexico. I dont think I’ve ever been embarassed to live in a particular State before. I mean really. I’ve been a California Girl, and then I was hanging in AZ, and now I’m re-girding my loins to ditch out of her to NM – Finally. I have no clue WHEN that will happen. I have about THREE huge things to take care of before I move anywhere – but it IS for sure high on my agenda.

I’m not naive enough to think that NM is going to be all roses, but I was happy to see in the past presidential election, they turned that state from republican to democrat – from the grassroots on up. Whatever happens, happens, and I get to use a catylizing moment in our nation to light a fire under my own butt. Why not? Whatever works.

Happy New Year, 2011 you started out with a bang indeed.

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Ok so I’m a little late but oh well ;)

I’ve been a tad busy (will post about that at some later point).

Right now some things to let you know:

1. This is my official THANK YOU to everyone for the fabu pressies, cards, well wishes and blessings sent my way over the holiday season.

All VERY much appreciated and please accept my Blessings and Well Wishes for a fabulous New Year :)

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QOTW: What Does The Al-Qaeda Want?

Okies…
I been doing some thinking about this whole Obama scaling up the war in Afghanistan.

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The End Result

Been doin a lot of thinking lately. Usually I think a bit, then write a bit and so on. But I’ve been thinking a lot, and writing notsomuch, but also reading a bunch too.

What I’m trying to figure out is really nothing new:

How in the sam hill did we get to where we are now, and what the heck are we going to do about it?

I fear to tip my hand in this post, but you know what, I don’t really care if I offend. The time for sitting idly by and being polite and politically correct has long since passed.

We are at a point in our human history where it comes down to live or die.

I’m pretty sure it wasnt the polite fish who hauled itself out of the ocean and decided to take a stroll on the beach. Just saying, like. Live or die. Live or die. Live or die. Evolve or drown in the sea of forgotten history.

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QOTW: How Much You Pay?

I’ve decided to add a new feature to my blog.
Question Of The Week.

This is not to say there will be a weekly question. Or just one question only during any given week. It will be a question that pops up like whenever.

So here goes:

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While I might or might not one day reach the pinnacle of poetic stylings such as MutaBaruka, who penned the original Dis Poem, I find that this is the only way I can express myself to today.

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