Entries from blogs tagged with “London”
I have always been a via media person myself; looking for common ground between two extremes, two contrary views always seemed a practical matter of living together. I probably learned that as a kid with a Catholic father and a Protestant mother, and that predisposed me to maneuver for the middle. But the middle has moved. As a conservative in a very liberal town, I have quietly held out hope that there could be a rational, reasoned approach to hot issues we face in this country, hoping for intermediary ways of grappling with the polarities, even if the truth of any matter is obfuscated by hyperbole from either corner. But the middle has moved. I am beginning to think it is due in part to undeveloped powers of discrimination. Now there is a loaded word! Discriminate. To someone my age, that word carries only one connotation: Black against White, White against Black—the kind of discrimination that led to segregation, race riots and the 60’s. It was not until recently that I redeemed that word from its singular connotation to include the valuable developmental faculty evident in the mature. This definition is glaringly absent from our social/political discourse. A word study from the online Webster dictionary:
- Discriminate • Verb: 1 he cannot discriminate between fact and fiction:
- To be biased against, be prejudiced against; treat differently, treat unfairly, put at a disadvantage, single out; victimize.
- To recognize a distinction—to differentiate
- To discriminate is to perceive the differences between or among things that are very similar; it may suggest that some aesthetic evaluation is involved (to discriminate between two painters' styles).
Without this faculty, we see in broad strokes, gross categories, and generalities. We view left versus right, democrat versus republican, conservative versus liberal with a one-size-fits-all simplicity that defies reality and belies our rationality. For example, as a conservative in Lawrence, I have suffered in silence over the misdirection of this country under the current administration. Then, not too long after the Scott Brown win in Massachusetts, I felt the boldness of new optimism that bubbled up to declare to a neighbor, “I love Glenn Beck! I love Sarah Palin! I love FOX News!” The response was a joke but telling, “Well then you won’t like this wine because it is organic!” I chuckled and said, “Hey, I recycle.”
Good neighbors, good humor, but still no middle ground because conservatives like me must all share the same characteristics, in this case not caring a whit about the planet like all the bad oil companies. See what I mean? How do we grow out of this? How do we grow-up in time for our kids to have a chance? I say the middle has moved because the political spectrum now blatantly includes Socialism and Communism as unabashed as the President’s inner circle. So, when the Left includes the Far Left, of course the Right needs to counter in loyal opposition--hence the ‘Tea Party’ movement.
Now after the Republican primary process, which at least has been a refreshing contrast to the media-endorsed status quo of a liberal agenda, we have an opportunity to research issues and engage our latent powers of discrimination, making certain to discriminate between the sound-bite presentations of a candidate and the actual man/woman, checking records against rhetoric, finding sources of contrary views to sift for the Truth—all vital responsibilities of citizenship that we accept if we intend to keep our republic. We are the government. If we abdicate, we deserve the tyranny that results. God forbid.
This is existential. Not just for Israel but for America. I will say it publicly because I believe it utterly. To the extent that this President does not maintain a pure policy of support for Israel, he misreads the irrevocable nature of the American commitment to Israel, he misreads history and he flaunts our national future. Eventually the lines will be drawn and all policy makers will be seen with no hiding place. Thankfully many legislators attended AIPAC to signal support for Netanyahu. I pray for a growing, vocal number of us who are not ambivalent about Israel and let it be known to powers that be.
Thanks to my friends and constructive comments, i have learned that all caps feels like YELLING when read. My apologies where needed. And now i know how to format a case change from yesterday's blog. For discussion sake, lets take this a topic at a time, shall we? (again, this is a borrowed list of questions for public discourse; source cited below)
QUIZ Part 1
'Who started Occupy Wall Street? "
'Who is the father of OWS?'
'How did this movement start? '
'Who planned this event?' 'Who is paying for the Madison Avenue marketing firm? The newspapers? The flyers? '
'What role did SEIU play in the planning of this event? '
'Who is Stephen Learner? Who is Van Jones? ' 'What is the Center for American Progress? '
'Who is George Soros? What is his relationship to cap? is he a crony capitalist? Does he pay his fair share? Is he getting rich off of the corrupt system of wall street speculation? How does he make his money? He made $7 billion dollars last year personally through his hedge fund and investments — is that okay? If yes, why? If no, why?'
EXERCISE IN CRITICAL THINKING ( Source cited below)
WHO STARTED OCCUPY WALL STREET? WHO IS THE FATHER OF OWS? HOW DID THIS MOVEMENT START? WHO PLANNED THIS EVENT? WHO IS PAYING FOR THE MADISON AVENUE MARKETING FIRM? THE NEWSPAPERS? THE FLYERS? WHAT ROLE DID SEIU PLAY IN THE PLANNING OF THIS EVENT? WHO IS STEPHEN LEARNER? WHO IS VAN JONES? WHAT IS THE CENTER FOR AMERICAN PROGRESS? WHO IS GEORGE SOROS? WHAT IS HIS RELATIONSHIP TO CAP? IS HE A CRONY CAPITALIST? DOES HE PAY HIS FAIR SHARE? IS HE GETTING RICH OFF OF THE CORRUPT SYSTEM OF WALL STREET SPECULATION? HOW DOES HE MAKE HIS MONEY? HE MADE $7 BILLION DOLLARS LAST YEAR PERSONALLY THROUGH HIS HEDGE FUND AND INVESTMENTS — IS THAT OKAY? IF YES, WHY? IF NO, WHY?
NAME THE TIME IN HISTORY THE GLOBAL ECONOMY COLLAPSED (AS IT IS SHAPING UP TO DO NOW) IF YOU CANNOT… PLEASE EXPLAIN TO ME… WHY NOT? IF YOU WERE TO PLAN A GLOBAL ECONOMIC COLLAPSE – HOW LONG WOULD IT TAKE BETWEEN THE CORRUPT SYSTEM WE CURRENTLY HAVE AND THE NEW SYSTEM YET TO BE CREATED? WOULD THERE BE UNINTENDED CONSEQUENCES? COULD PEOPLE DIE? IF NONE, WHY? IF YES, ESTIMATE HOW MANY — AND HOW DO YOU JUSTIFY THOSE DEATHS? BY COLLAPSING THE SYSTEM (WALL STREET) AND CAUSING ECONOMIC CHAOS – HOW DOES THAT MAKE YOU DIFFERENT THAN ONE OF THE CORPORATIONS YOU ARE PROTESTING?
AGREED: PEOPLE SHOULD PAY THEIR FAIR SHARE IN TAXES. QUESTIONS-- WHAT IS THAT NUMBER? WHAT IS FAIR? IF IT’S NOT ZERO – PLEASE EXPLAIN GE (AND WHY WASN’T IMMELT ON THE RICH HOMES TOUR?) WHAT ABOUT GEORGE SOROS? RUSSELL SIMMONS? KANYE WEST?? ARE THEY WALL STREET CRIMINALS? ARE THEY NOT AN EVIL CORPORATION IN BED WITH GOV? CAN THERE BE GOOD PEOPLE IN AN EVIL CORPORATION? IF SO, HOW DO YOU JUDGE WHO IS WHO? GE PAYS NO INCOME TAX, THEIR CEO IS ON THE PRESIDENTS ECONOMIC COUNCIL – WHY DO YOU NOT PROTEST GE? DO YOU SUPPORT THIS PRESIDENT OR ADMINISTRATION? EXPLAIN GREEN WEEK on NBC; IF YES IN ANY WAY…WHY? IF HE IS IN BED OR EXCUSES BEHAVIOR SO BAD THAT THE SYSTEM SHOULD BE COLLAPSED SHOULDN’T HE BE DEEMED GUILTY AS WELL? IF YES, EXPLAIN WHY. IF YES COMPARE GE GREEN WEEK ANSWER ABOVE
CAPITALISM IS DESTROYING AMERICA
ROCKEFELLER, ASTOR MELLON, AND CARNEGIE ARE KNOWN AS “ROBBER BARRONS” AND WOULD PROBABLY BE TARGETS OF OCCUPY WALL STREET. WHO BUILT THE LINCOLN CENTER FOR PERFORMING ARTS? WHO BUILT MOMA? THE NEW YORK PUBLIC LIBRARY, CARNEGIE HALL, CARNAGE MELLON UNIVERSITY, THE NATIONAL GALLERY OF ART? WHAT IS THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN ROCKEFELLER CENTER AND COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY? DOES THIS MEAN CAPITALISM HELPED COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY? HOW DID CAPITALISM HELP COLUMBIA? DOES CAPITALISM HELP OR HURT COLUMBIA TODAY?
DOES YOUR UNIVERSITY SUPPORT THIS ADMINISTRATION AND ITS POLICIES? DID YOU OR THOSE YOU ARE WITH VOTE OR CAMPAIGN FOR THIS PRESIDENT IN THE PAST? ARE YOU CAMPAIGNING FOR HIM NOW? IF SO, ARE YOU BETRAYING YOUR IDEALS BY HELPING SOMEONE WHO HAS COMPROMISED ON IMPORTANT ANTI-CORRUPTION PRINCIPLES? IF HE HAS NOT DONE ALL THAT HE PROMISED TO DO AND IN FACT BETRAYED HOPE AND CHANGE WHAT STOOD IN HIS WAY? COULD YOU NAME SPECIFIC EXAMPLES? HE CLAIMS THAT HE IS NOT IN BED WITH BANKERS AND BIG CORPORATIONS. IS HE LYING? IS HE JUSTIFIED FOR NOT TELLING THE TRUTH IF IT FURTHERS YOUR OR HIS AGENDA? WHAT ARE THE CONDITIONS A LEADER CAN LIE TO YOU AND IT BE JUSTIFIED?
WHY HAS THIS ADMINISTRATION NOT DONE INVESTIGATIONS ON BANKS AND BANKERS? WHY HASN’T THIS ADMINISTRATION DONE INVESTIGATIONS ON THE FED? WHY HASN’T THIS ADMINISTRATION DONE INVESTIGATIONS ON FREDDIE OR FANNIE OR SALLY MAC? WHY HAS NO ONE EXCEPT BERNIE MADOFF GONE TO JAIL UNDER THIS OR THE LAST PRESIDENT? WASN’T THE HOPE WE WERE LOOKING FOR AND PROMISED SUPPOSED TO COME FROM A PRESIDENT THAT WAS DIFFERENT? THAT WAS BEYOND POLITICS? WASN’T THE CHANGE THAT AMERICA WAS LOOKING FOR AN END TO CRONY CAPITALISM? WERE YOU WRONG ABOUT THIS PRESIDENT LAST TIME ELECTION? HOW ARE YOU SURE THIS TIME? DID AMERICA LEARN FROM ITS MISTAKE OF NOT DEMANDING A CLEAR DECLARATION OF WHAT HOPE AND CHANGE MEANT? SHOULD THERE HAVE BEEN A CLEAR PLAN TO ENSURE THAT THIS NEW PRESIDENT REMAINED ON COURSE TO DELIVER THE CHANGE PROMISED AND HOPED FOR OF AN END OF CORRUPTION AND CRONYISM? WHAT IS SOLYNDRA? WHAT IS LIGHT SQUARED? DO YOU THINK THOSE WHO HAVE DESIGNED THIS EVENT (COLLAPSE WALL STREET) SHOULD HAVE A CLEAR PLAN TO MAKE SURE AFTER THE COLLAPSE THEY WILL DELIVER THE CHANGE OF AN END OF CORRUPTION AND CRONYISM? DID IT DISCREDIT THE TEA PARTY MOVEMENT THAT IT WAS SAID TO BE FUNDED, ORGANIZED AND OR CO-OPTED BY THOSE WHO HAD DIRECT TIES AND INTERESTS IN THE REPUBLICAN PARTY? WOULD IT TAINT OR HURT OCCUPY WALL STREET IF THAT WERE THE CASE HERE?
EQUAL JUSTICE/SOCIAL JUSTICE
CAN SOCIAL JUSTICE AND EQUAL JUSTICE CO EXIST? IS EVERYONE ON WALL STREET PUNISHED FOR THE CRIMES OF THE GUILTY? IS EVERYONE ON WALL STREET GUILTY? IF NO, ARE YOUR ACTIONS TO COLLAPSE WALL STREET PUNISHING THOSE WHO ARE INNOCENT? IF YES, IS THAT EQUAL JUSTICE IN SEEING THAT YOU WOULD BE PUNISHING THE INNOCENT FOR SOCIAL JUSTICE? DO YOU BELIEVE IN FAIR TRAILS-- A JURY OF YOUR PEERS-- A CHANCE TO FACE YOUR ACCUSERS--GUILTY UNTIL PROVEN INNOCENT? SHOULD WALL STREET BANKERS A). LOSE THEIR JOBS B). HAVE ALL THEIR WEALTH TAKEN C). GO TO JAIL. IF YES, HOW LONG? DO THEY DESERVE A JUDGE AND JURY TO DECIDE, WHY? D) IF YES TO BOTH IN C, SEE EQUAL JUSTICE AND SOCIAL JUSTICE INCOMPATIBLY ABOVE. LYNCH MOBS THEN AND NOW DO YOU BELIEVE LYNCH MOBS (IN CIVIL RIGHTS ERA) ARE/WERE WRONG? IF SO, WHY? WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A LYNCH MOB AND WHAT YOU ARE BEING ENCOURAGED TO DO NOW? (LEWIS, HOMES OF WEALTHY)
ARE COPS GOOD OR BAD? ARE THERE GOOD COPS AND BAD COPS? IF THERE ARE BOTH GOOD AND BAD POLICEMEN HOW DO YOU TELL THE DIFFERENCE? IF YOU WERE A COP, A GOOD ONE NOT BAD, WHAT WOULD YOU DO RIGHT NOW IN THIS SITUATION ON WALL STREET? IF YOU WALKED AWAY (AS A COP) AND ALLOWED THE CROWD FREEDOM TO DO AS IT WISHED, WOULD YOU BE A HERO OR A COWARD? WOULD DAMAGE TO PRIVATE AND PUBLIC PROPERTY BE DONE IF THE POLICE WOULD LEAVE? DOES THAT MATTER? COULD INNOCENT PEOPLE BE HURT? DOES THAT MATTER? IF YOU OR ANYONE IN YOUR GROUP ANSWERED THERE ARE NO INNOCENT HERE — DOES THAT MATTER? IF NO, PLEASE CHECK ANSWER FOR CONSISTENCY ON LYNCH MOBS AND JURY TRIALS? DEFINE MOB RULE – IS THIS GOOD OR BAD? THERE ARE MANY PRISONERS THAT HAVE BEEN WRONGLY ACCUSED AND CONVICTED. IT HAPPENS THE WORLD OVER BUT ESPECIALLY IT SEEMS IN AMERICA. THE RECENT EXECUTION IN GA (ACCORDING TO YOU) IS MERELY ONE EXAMPLE. IN LIGHT OF THIS AND KNOWING WHAT WE KNOW, WHAT SHOULD BE DONE WITH THOSE WHO ARE CURRENTLY INCARCERATED? IF THE SYSTEM IS CORRUPT, HOW WILL YOU ASSESS AND FIX IT? IS IT FAIR TO LEAVE THE POSSIBLE INNOCENT BEHIND BARS WHILE THAT PROCESS IS GOING ON?
COLLEGE: Many of the signs on Occupy Wall Street complain about student loans.
WE AGREE: MANY HAVE STOLEN FROM US. NO ONE SHOULD PAY WHAT YOU ARE PAYING (HAVE PAID) FOR HIGHER EDUCATION. WHO IS RESPONSIBLE FOR THE PRICE OF EDUCATION? WHO IS RESPONSIBLE FOR THE PRICE OF THAT PRIVATE COLLEGE EDUCATION RISING 8 % JUST LAST YEAR? HOW MUCH MONEY IS IN YOUR UNIVERSITIES ENDOWMENT FUND? IS THERE NOTHING THEY CAN DO TO LOWER TUITION COSTS?
MOM & DAD
ARE YOU SINCERELY WORRIED ABOUT YOUR PARENTS AND WHAT THEY FACE AS WELL AS WHAT THE FUTURE HOLDS FOR YOU? HAVE YOUR PARENTS WORKED HARD FOR THEIR HOME AND WHAT LITTLE MONEY THEY HAVE SAVED DURING THEIR LIFETIME? IF YOU SUCCEED IN COLLAPSING WALL STREET, WHO IS HURT AND WHO IS HURT THE MOST? YOUR PARENTS? YOUR FRIEND’S PARENTS? UNION PENSIONS ARE INVESTED IN WALL STREET -- YOUR UNIVERSITY ENDOWMENT.THE AVERAGE AMERICAN (401K) IS INVESTED IN WALL STREET. WHAT HAPPENS TO THE LIFETIME OF WORK BY YOUR PARENTS IF YOUR ACTIONS CAUSE A COLLAPSE OF THE SYSTEM?
DO YOU BELIEVE THAT ANY GOVERNMENT ABROAD WOULD TAKE ADVANTAGE OF AN ECONOMIC COLLAPSE OF THE UNITED STATES THAT WOULD HAVE NEGATIVE IMPACT ON YOUR FREEDOMS? DO YOU BELIEVE THAT US TROOPS SHOULD BE CALLED HOME? DO YOU BELIEVE TOUR TROOPS ARE BABY KILLERS OR PEOPLE LIKE YOU WHO WERE EITHER MISGUIDED OR USED, OR . . .? WHAT HAPPENS TO THOSE TROOPS OVERSEAS IF THERE WAS AN ECONOMIC COLLAPSE? DO YOU BELIEVE IF YOU DON’T PULL THE TROOPS OUT BEFORE A COLLAPSE THERE WOULD BE A GREATER OR LESSER CHANCE OF MORE KILLING? DO YOU BELIEVE THAT FORCES ON EITHER SIDE COULD OR WOULD USE AN ECONOMIC COLLAPSE AS AN EXCUSE FOR MORE KILLING? WOULD YOU HAVE PLAYED ANY ROLE IN THAT POSSIBLE KILLING BASED ON YOUR ACTIONS HERE TO COLLAPSE WALL STREET? IF NO; DO THE ENDS JUSTIFY THE MEANS? IF YES; IF THE ENDS JUSTIFY THE MEANS… DOES THAT INCLUDE THE DEATH OF INNOCENTS IF NOT WHY? IF YES, EXPLAIN WHAT MAKES YOU DIFFERENT THAT GEORGE W BUSH, WHO ALSO THOUGHT HE WAS RIGHT.
HOW DID THE EGYPTIAN REVOLUTION TURN OUT? IS IT BETTER THAN WHAT THEY HAD? HAVE THEY ENJOYED FREE, FAIR AND DEMOCRATIC ELECTIONS THAT WERE PROMISED BY AUGUST OF THIS YEAR? WHAT DATE WERE THEY ACTUALLY HELD? WHO IS CURRENTLY IN CHARGE OF EGYPT? DO YOU BELIEVE IN MILITARY RULE? WOULD YOU WANT TO LIVE UNDER IT HERE? WHAT WOULD BE THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN MILITARY RULE HERE AND IN EGYPT? THE MEDIA CLAIMS YOU ARE THE SAME AND ARE STRIVING FOR THE SAME IDEALS AS THE YOUTH THAT OVERTURNED THEIR OPPRESSIVE AND CORRUPT SYSTEM. IS THIS TRUE? IF YES, IF YOU WOULDN’T WANT TO LIVE UNDER MILITARY RULE WHAT RESPONSIBILITY DO YOU HAVE TO CORRECT THE INJUSTICE OF THEIR SYSTEM? IF YOU ANSWER THAT YOU DO HAVE A RESPONSIBILITY, PLEASE EXPLAIN WHY. WASNT AMERICAN INSERTION INTO GLOBAL POLITICS WHAT CAUSED THE HATRED FOR THE WEST? HOW DO YOU KNOW THAT YOU ARE FIGHTING ON THE RIGHT SIDE AND NOT HELPING THOSE WHO WILL DEVELOP A REPRESSIVE REGIME? IS IRAN A REPRESSIVE REGIME?
IF THOSE WHO TAKE POWER, AFTER THE SUCCESSFUL OCCUPY WALL STREET COLLAPSE, BETRAYED THE REVOLUTION AND THE PEOPLE BY NOT FOLLOWING THE PLAN (THAT HAS NOT YET BEEN DEVELOPED) WHAT SHOULD THE PEOPLE DO? WOULD THOSE NEW LEADERS STEP DOWN OR WOULD AN EVENT LIKE THIS NEED TO BE STAGED AGAIN TO FORCE THEM OUT? IF THEY DIDN’T VOLUNTARILY STEP DOWN WOULD YOU SEEK TO HAVE THEM ARRESTED? IS VIOLENCE AN OPTION TO ACHIEVE THE GOALS OF REVOLUTION? CAN YOU SOLVE VIOLENCE WITH VIOLENCE? SHOULD THE PEOPLE BE ALLOWED TO HAVE A GUN IN CASE THOSE IN CHARGE DID BETRAY THE REVOLUTION? IF YES, WHY? AND WHY DOES THIS NOT APPLY TODAY? IF NO, WHO AUTHORIZES THE USE OF FORCE AND WHAT FORCE IS ALLOWED? WHO PROTECTS THE IDEA OR YET TO BE FORMED IDEAS OF THE NEW REVOLUTIONARY DEMOCRACY? WHO WOULD ARREST THOSE WHO BETRAYED THE REVOLUTION IF THE SYSTEM HAS COLLAPSED AND THE COPS WERE ALL EITHER FIRED OR JAILED? ARE JAILS NEEDED? IF YES, WHO RUNS THE NEW DEMOCRATIC JAILS FORMALLY KNOWN AS THE PRISON INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX? ASSUMING THERE WAS AN IMMEDIATE CITIZENS POLICE FORCE ENACTED TO REPLACE THE CORRUPT SYSTEM THAT WE CURRENTLY HAVE, WHAT SYSTEM OF TRIAL WOULD YOU ENGAGE? CHE SAID, “WE DON’T NEED A TRIAL TO CONVICT THE GUILTY”. DO YOU AGREE? IF NO, WOULD THERE BE A JURY? WHO WOULD BE THE JUDGE? WHAT WOULD THE RULES OF EVIDENCE BE? WILL THE PEOPLE HAVE RIGHTS? WHAT ARE THEY? HAVE THEY BEEN WRITTEN DOWN ANYWHERE? IF NO BECAUSE YOU WERE PLANNING ON DOING THAT AFTER THE COLLAPSE, AND THE ABOVE SCENARIO PLAYED OUT, WOULD YOU REGRET THAT DECISION? IF YES, WHAT WERE THEY BASED ON? WHERE DO MAN’S RIGHTS COME FROM? IF THEY COME FROM A COMMITTEE OR LEADERS, WHY THEN CAN’T THE LEADERS YOU NOW SAY BETRAYED THE REVOLUTION CHANGE YOUR RIGHTS AND DECLARE YOU A TRAITOR TO THE REVOLUTION? HAS THIS EVER HAPPENED IN HISTORY? IF YES, WHERE? WHAT WERE THE CONDITIONS? WHERE THERE WARNING SIGNS? DO ANY OF THOSE SIGNS EXIST NOW?
NOW THAT THE ECONOMY HAS COLLAPSED IN AMERICA BUT NOT SOMEHOW AFFECTED THE REST OF THE WORLD, HOW CAN WE AFFORD MIDDLE EASTERN OIL TO BUY GASOLINE? IF YOU SAY WE CANNOT AFFORD GASOLINE AND THAT IS A GOOD THING FOR THE ENVIRONMENT, LET’S FOR ARGUMENT SAKE AGREE: THEN HOW DO WE FUEL TRACTORS FOR FARMING ON THE SCALE NEEDED TO FEED THE CITIZENS OF THE UNITED STATES AND ELSE WHERE? HOW IS SAID FOOD TRUCKED TO STORES HERE IN NEW YORK IF TRUCKERS COULDN’T AFFORD FUEL? HOW DO YOUR PARENTS GET FOOD FROM THE STORE TO THEIR HOME? NOW THAT THE POLICE FORCE HAS BEEN REPLACED WITH A CITIZEN PATROL, ARE YOUR PARENTS SAFE WALKING THE STREETS WITH FOOD IN AN AREA AFTER THE CURRENCY HAS JUST COLLAPSED? IF ONE OF THEM WERE HURT OR KILLED DUE TO A SCENARIO LIKE THIS, WOULD YOU BE IN ANYWAY RESPONSIBLE? IF THEY WERE HURT AND COULDN’T RECEIVE MEDICAL TREATMENT IN TIME BECAUSE THE EMS COULDN’T AFFORD GAS FOR THE AMBULANCE WOULD YOU IN ANY WAY BE RESPONSIBLE? HOW WOULD THE HOSPITALS PAY DOCTORS AND EMS WITHOUT A CURRENCY? WHY WOULD DOCTORS OR NURSES BE AT WORK? TO ENSURE THEY DID GO TO WORK, WHO WOULD PROTECT AND FEED THEIR FAMILIES WHILE THEY SERVED? HOW DO THE DOCTORS AFFORD GAS TO GO TO WORK? WHAT SYSTEM OF ELECTRICITY IS RUNNING THE HOSPITALS?
DEFINE CRONY CAPITALISM. WHEN THE GOVT TOOK OVER GM, GAVE ALL THE BANKS TARP MONEY AND ALLOWED COMPANIES LIKE GE TO PAY NO TAXES WHILE MAKING BILLIONS AND SHIPPING JOBS OVERSEAS – IS THAT CRONY SOCIALISM, CRONY CAPITALISM OR CRONY STATISM? IS THERE A DIFFERENCE? IN ALL THREE SCENARIOS WHAT IS THE PROBLEM, THE SYSTEM OR THE CRONYISM? WHAT IS THE BEST WAY TO END CRONYISM? HAS YOUR APPROACH EVER BEEN TRIED BEFORE? IF YES, LIST ALL EXAMPLES OF ATTEMPTS FAILED AND SUCCESSFUL. WHY DID THEY FAIL? HOW DID THOSE THAT FAILED BEGIN? WHO LEAD THE WAY ON THOSE FAILED ATTEMPTS? HOW DID THOSE WHO BEGAN THE REVOLUTION FAIR IN THE NEW SYSTEMS? WHO IS THOMAS PAINE? WHAT WAS HIS ROLE IN THE FRENCH REVOLUTION? WHAT HAPPENED TO HIM? WHAT DID HE LEARN ABOUT REVOLUTIONS? HOW DID THE FRENCH REVOLUTION END? WHO TOOK POWER IN FRANCE? WAS THAT GOOD OR BAD FOR THE PEOPLE OF FRANCE? WHAT DOES THIS TELL US ABOUT THE CURRENT SITUATION WE FIND OURSELVES IN AMERICA? DO YOU HAVE HOSTILE FEELINGS ABOUT THESE QUESTIONS? WHY? IF YOU ARE READING THESE IN A GROUP OF LIKE MINDED, OPEN MINDED AND EDUCATED PEOPLE — TAKE NOTE – HAVE THEY PROVOKED ANY SERIOUS DISCUSSION. IF NOT WHY? IF SO, DID YOU DO EVERYTHING IN YOUR POWER TO GET THOSE IN WASHINGTON TO INVESTIGATE AND ARREST THOSE WHO WILL NOT “CHANGE” AND BEGIN TO DO BUSINESS IN A LEGAL AND NON CORRUPT WAY? WHY DIDNT THAT WORK? IF YOU ARE NOT PLANNING ON THEM HOLDING ON TO POWER PLEASE ANSWER THE FOLLOWING: A). WHO WILL BE IN CHARGE? WILL THEY BE YOU? OR THE LEADERS YOU HAVE NOT YET CHOSEN? B). HOW WILL YOU ENSURE THAT THOSE WHO DO TAKE POWER ARE NOT CURRENTLY PART OF THE PROBLEM? C). WHO WILL FUND THE UNIVERSITIES, HEALTHCARE, K-12 EDUCATION, HOMELESS, AND POOR WHILE A NEW SYSTEM IS DESIGNED TO STABILIZE THE POPULATION, REPLACE THE CORRUPT SYSTEM OF CORPORATISM, BIG MEDICINE, BIG OIL AND BIG FARMS? D). WHO IS IN CHARGE OF THE MILITARY AND THE MILITARY INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX?
Those of us who are willing to answer these critical questions will be far more likely to have informed discussions. Let's see how we do in Lawrence!
What I wish I'd said. . . but I best start with what was said in a respectful exchange over the patio fence at Hero's last Friday night in Wichita's Old Town. . .
I engaged a small parade of chanting protesters by asking them what it is they want. One twenty-something, former student said, "I did every thing right--I went to college, got a degree, now i can't get a job and i need my teeth fixed." I asked, "Do you expect someone listening to fix them, is that what you want? "No, i just want it to be equal in America--for it to be fair." "Revolution!" piped in the girl beside him with the sign about Justice. "What does that mean to you?" I asked her. "Do you want to replace capitalism?" Before she could answer the quiet boy behind her chimed in, "Yeah, Capitalism is evil!" To which the former student and sign girl, snapped in unison, "No it's not!" Ok, so they did not have the narrative in sync. And maybe some of the group had nothing else going on that Friday night, but something pulled them together--there was a plan to show up at least. So i asked, "Who is funding this protest?" "No one. This is a grassroots thing. And come tomorrow because we are going to have free food!" said the guy with no job.
I told them all I am worried about them because I do know who is funding them and they are being used. Big time in a small town. Well, we talked for about 15 minutes and my son who was sitting at the outdoor table with me took photos because we were getting more attention from the patio crowd than the local contestants of Dancing with the Stars
We parted with a hand shake and the young man who hopes for new dental work from the Revolution said, "I appreciate people like you who actually talk with us and express another point of view. I mean I want to evaluate what we are doing and if I am thinking right." Brilliant! And that young man gave me a little hope. However, i wish I had given him more than a conversation; I wish I had given him a list of books to read while he is unemployed, books he probably didn't read in college. And would recommend some research on Van Jones, Frances Fox Piven and Cass Sunstein to name a very few and what they have to do with the Wall Street protests and who indeed supports them.
The reading list would include:
The Shadow Party by David Horowitz and Richard Poe
5000 Year Leap by W Cleon Skousen
" Letter from Birmingham Jail" by Martin Luther King Jr.
The Black Book of Communism by Mark Kramer
Modern Times by Paul Johnson
History puts today's headlines in context. Research reveals the players and the pawns. In this country, we still have a choice who we side with. For good or ill.
Check out a fascinating interview of Wall Street Occupiers:
I was one of the live stream participants of the Day of Prayer-- an event in Houston that was true to the call—an opportunity to unite without party affiliation, ethnic consideration, age or ‘class’ to cry out to the God of all Creation to have mercy on our nation. I am glad I participated; it cheered me to see so many others who feel the earnest desire to seek God’s face and wisdom. But I could not help think about the resistance I felt when I invited friends and neighbors to join me in my home for such a time, even with new indicators of alarm warning us that things are not right nor are they getting better. It seems to me the idea of needing mercy is a foreign concept to a culture made grossly unaware of need by entitlements. Impoverished in spirit by instant gratification and self- sufficiency, we have allowed a calamitous disposition that prevents an awareness that we are teetering on a brink because we, the baby boomers and younger, have always known a country of prosperity; we can’t conceive of life otherwise. Lurking somewhere below the surface is the insidious belief that we are entitled to it. Who then needs mercy?
This administration has done nothing but inject our population with the false hope that the government is responsible for and able to maintain and expand entitlements. That is obviously not working out well. It is time for all conscientious Americans to abandon false hopes of government welfare, cry out to God for mercy to heal our land and return to sound principles of our founders and the faith of those fathers who unapologetically, turned to the Bible for Light in dark times. “His mercy is for those who fear him.” Luke 1:50 Perhaps, when we begin to fear Him appropriately, mercy will follow.
OK, now about the Royal Wedding, the reason for the trip, as Jane and I experienced it on Buckingham Palace grounds.
7:00 --Gloucester Road Underground was surprisingly vacant. Made me wonder if the rest of London was already in place. . . .
the answer was, oh yes! and then some.
Jane and i staked out a 2X4 patch on the grounds with a little picnic ascot i bought years ago at Winfield House at the Sidewalk sale. there we stood/sat from 8:20 until about 12:30--a good four hours of watching and talking to the English and her party guests. Later we moved for a better view of the the balcony moments until the crowd made us run for our lives. Hopefully the pictures will show more than my words:
as you see, these are all photos of the spectators, not the Royals. But that is all we could see. The fact is, i knew if we saw anything, it would be just a glimpse--but again, that is not why i came. I wanted to BE there--having that moment of history indelibly impress me; the sights, the sounds, and the swell of excitement in the crowd under the overcast sky that, as i later learned, gave way to the sun the moment that Kate stepped from her car.
Being there allowed us to follow along with the Order of Service printed in the newspaper. We joined in the prayers, and the hymns--i mean what a moment-- singing along outside Buckingham Palace a hymn written in the 1700s by Charles Wesley--"Love divine, all loves excelling/Joy of heaven to earth come down/ Fix in us thy humble dwelling/ All thy faithful mercies crown . . . till we cast our crowns before thee/Lost in wonder, love and praise." (what is it like to sing those words when you really do have a crown or two?)
i joined in the printed blessing prayer and added my own. i must say as a Christian, it was very heartening to experience the public, unapologetic Christ-honoring service, where the exalted of the land bowed in humble recognition of the One whose Kingdom will never end and before Whom we will all stand. it felt right-side up.
At the conclusion we could hear the famous fanfare while the London Chamber Orchestra played Crown Imperial. i imagined the processions and the new joy in that old chamber.
After the ceremony, there was a shift in the crowd from anticipation to pure celebration. Jane and i moved outside the premises to get some air. Then we found another spot in full view of the balcony where the bridal couple would appear in just another few hours. this time we were in the front row. Enjoy the pictures from there:
Balcony in focus:
Suddenly, they appeared!
Followed by the family and a particularly beaming Queen Elizabeth.
As if on que--three fly-overs thrilled the crowd
When the barriers were removed, a wall of people flooded the area from both sides.
in a blink, my camera shots were a blur of movement and i ran to a tree for cover.
Safe and smiling. it could not have been more spectacular.
A Week of Reflection The faces and conversations settle in my mind as i sit in my Lawrence home now one week after the Royal Wedding day--now a memory, a mosaic, but i am not quite ready to pack it all away. I think of the girl with the gold and white octagon hat box who took it out to show us while we waited in Canada. "I told myself i would not go home without a hat. So i went to Harrods and tried them on for an hour and had so much fun!" Her account of course prompted me to admit the same delight in the afore mentioned shoppe. So she went home with a hat in a box that will probably perch prominently on a closet shelf--as will mine--holding memories of the Royal wedding and our desire to play too.
Maybe that is what this was all about: it struck some deep but very latent desire to enter the fanciful, almost imaginary land of the lovely, the beautiful, from which our best childhood stories come. England is their seed bed after all. But to find them in fact, actual--not imaginary-- carriages, men in armor on horseback and a kindly prince and beautiful princess . . . it somehow validates the deep belief that the world was created with beauty in mind, or we would not all flock to it. Even the trees in Westminster Abbey, i am told were intended to evoke the Garden of Eden in our prelapsarian consciousness.
As one who sees the conflict of good and evil and feels the culmination of that conflict in my bones, it was a delightful break from the tragedy that swaths the earth in daily broadcasts. it encouraged my belief that even while dealing with real mortal enemies, we can seek and find the "goodness of the Lord in the land of the living."
My trip to London was also my attempt to link our national past with this present new chapter between England and America. Fascinated as i am with the parallels between the developmental stages of human beings and countries, in my year living there, England always felt familial. Like it or not, there is a parental element. But as in every adult parent/child relationship there is the potential to become adult friends. all in all, it seems like Britain and America enjoy the mostly mature stage of mutual respect. Brilliant. Well done.
I am also very interested in the formation (and collision) of world views and the eschatological ramifications, so I like to get outside the American bubble to evaluate my own viewpoint. Since i have a bit of an A-Z type brain, i process beginnings and endings but don't quite know what to do with the messy bit of daily living. This was a diversion from my tendency to sum things up. Instead, i just enjoyed the present.
That was the gift of it.
Besides my hat and souvenirs, I also bring home potential new friendships with others across the pond--a journalist/antropologist who is analyzing the effects of interactive media in community formation, both global and local and a newly married British couple who are on temporary military assignment in Kansas. i plan to have them over for Tea!
Lawrence, there you have it, as best i can give it---"Bob be your uncle!"
Thursday morning, my first wake up in Lawrence from my trip to London is a day later than planned because of an emergency landing in Moncton N.B. and what is affectionately called Camp Canada for those of us who enjoyed the local hospitality there for over 8 hours.
after we were let off the plane and released into the 'sterile' side of the terminal, we could see that the large plane had caused quite a stir--the outlining fence was populated by news crews and spectators, the tarmac with fire trucks and security vested personnel. I was just glad to finally move about. A large room was made ready for us with folding chairs against the wall, a truck load of beverages and the promise of pizza ; women with crayons and art pads greeted the travel-weary toddlers among us. Immediately people either opened a paper back or settled onto the floor with a laptop and camera. A kindly den mother type, opened her Duty-Free cookie tins of short bread from Harrods and moved around the room offering a snack of Royal Wedding cookies:
Later, there was pizza--a baggage carrousel full of The Works pizza from some lucky local business owner. and then we settled into a low chatter of talking with folks we would never have met otherwise and will probably never see again. I recognized the woman in front of me in the que to the restroom as the one porting a really big hat box; so I asked, " What is in the hat box?" That began a *show & tell feature of the afternoon.
all in all, quite congenial and i must say American Airlines did right by us. after the rescue plane got us to Chicago at 1:30 AM, they put most of us up in a hotel, gave us vouchers for breakfast and scheduled our connecting flight arrangements.
There is a reason that word is well used in the British vocabulary-- the best plan is certain to change; so in London, plan A, B, C and route A, B, and C must be worked out before setting off on an adventure because invariably one of the tube lines is closed upon arriving at the underground station of choice. Overground streets and bus routes are just as important to know. Landmarks are like friends in a foreign land!
internet access is not dependable either, even in a hotel where i pay for it, hence the lag in my blog. I have written 3 times and included many photos about the Royal Wedding day but the internet drops me and i completely lost the posts. I am beginning to think i should wait until i get home on Tuesday to write a summary in the security of my own home. For those of you who have followed this journey, i apologize but keep watching, i will finish the story it just may take me a few days! Cheers!
Two watches -- one set to CST and one to Greenwich MeanTime--that helps orient me, but I am still confused about meal time; so we eat when we are hungry here. That averages one meal and several snacks on the go. But coffee is not optional and I was so glad to find Starbucks across from the tube stop.
So while Jane had the hotel breakfast of eggs and fruit, I went to Starbucks and watched the morning commuters with a grande bold in hand. I did not have my camera ready in time to capture grade school children in costumes. Girls in princess garb and boys were indistinguishable royalty. I later learned from Dana, an American friend, mother of two, in honor of the Royal Wedding, today was dress-up day in the English class room.
Speaking of Dana, Jane and I met her at the V&A, and we all enjoyed an exhibit "The Cult of Beauty; The Aesthetic Movement 1860-1900." We saw breathtaking originals by Rossetti, Whistler, Watts, Burne-Jones and others and then walked to another favorite restaurant, Quarter Cafe on Brompton where we enjoyed light fare and deep conversation about life changes and the ways we either grow or stagnate, growing families, end of life issues and then finally, our need to go find a hat store. And we found it! Tucked away in Sloan Square is a designer hat shop, Gabriela Lienza, where we entertained each other with fascinators and large brim straw hats and talked to the owner about this particularly British fascination. And again, with that custom, I feel right at home.
After navigating the multiple areas in London to and from our hotel, I always feel like we've really accomplished something in just surviving it. Even the Ex-Pats can get lost:
But what a place to be lost!
A really cute car:
Big Day starts early tomorrow!
Michael at the Green Door came over to meet "the crazy Americans who came to London for the Royal wedding" and we talked with him for an hour about the contrast between the British celebration of this event and the American version.
He told us where all of the notable news organizations are camped out and the controversy with the Queen about her declaration that lights are out around Buckingham Palace at 1 a.m. Period. American, Canadian and Australian news groups didn't win that one.
We loved hearing Michael's non-pause account of all the details he has soaked up just living here and when I tried to tape his fun chatter, my device indicated no battery life in reserve. Hopefully tomorrow I will get in all on an audio file that I can post for the sheer accent and enthusiasm if not content.
For instance, Jane and I liked knowing that the kneeling bench the bridal couple will use Friday was previously used for the Queen's coronation. Just not sure of the name of said bench, Michael thinks it is a puffet and Jane thinks it is a tuffet the kind that Little Miss Muffet was sure to sit on. I will get back to you on that.
Mostly what we asked Michael about was where to best locate ourselves through out the wedding day. He was talking so fast and pointing to maps that I need more sleep to get it clear in my head. I just remember key words--Buckingham Palace, The Mall, Green Park, Hyde Park--and they all have to do with whether we can get close enough in the procession or if we think we better take a blanket and camp out for a big screen viewing in the park.
No matter what, it will be really crowded; and of that crowd, Michael said 90% will be tourists because the English are having street parties in their own neighborhoods. It is a Bank Holiday after all.
Evening. . .
After walking about to get our bearings in the Kensington area, we know how to get to the V&A tomorrow. among others here were a few of Jane's observations:
- "Older women wear the strangest shoes--that one was a pink and purple flat with dark sox!"
- "There sure are a lot of tall men over here."
- "You know, I just realized we haven't heard one siren the entire day."
To savor the day's events, we sat for 2 hours at Olives Restaurant and Bar, part of Bailey's Hotel, with a link below. A gorgeous old building with rich history. The waiter said it was a hospital at one point and one of the first hotels in London. Not sure, didn't check out the history but the ambiance was incredible--Jane and I had wine and olives and talked and watched pedestrians outside the window.
We asked the waiter who frequents the bar here. "Mostly hotel guests but many regulars from the area. It is quite a 'posh' neighborhood you know."
We are off to the V&A and to meet a good friend who lives in London now! Cheers!
Jane and i made it to the airport in plenty of time so we are making a plan: an itinerary sketch:
- WEDNESDAY morning arrive at 9. Walk to the Milliennium Gloucester from the tube
- poke about the area
- THURSDAY the V&A
- FRIDAY the Royal Wedding
- SATURDAY Westminster Abbey tour and Portobello Road
- SUNDAY open
- MONDAY Kew Gardens
Let's see how that works out actually.
WEDNESDAY: MADE IT TO LONDON
The trip was painless, people en route were entertaining, always eager to congratulate us on the adventure or add their tips. A foursome traveling to Ireland recommended the Express Train from Heathrow to Paddington -- and that was sure a good idea.
Off the train however, Jane and I faced several flights of stairs to mount with not-light luggage. A Brit to the rescue, I mean, out of no where this really big guy appears and up he goes with my bag in one fist and Jane's in the other, his son grinning behind him. He did this for 3 flights, got us on the right tube and off and was glad to do it. Jez and son Nathan made our London entry lighter! A perfect welcome!
So then to Gloucester Road exit and up to see our little corner of London for a week. Greeted by those lovely corner flower markets, breath taking architecture and cool air and warm sun. Love it already!
Our hotel just a block away, we clean up and find a good burger -- one of my favorite spots -- the Green Door -- I remember it from 2007 -- they have killer Chocolate Fondant but now we just want beef and British chips.
And a 'wee nap!'
A week ago, I was making plans to get up at 4 a.m. with maybe 8 other Lawrence residents (hey Cathy Swanson!) to start the marathon of Royal Wedding viewing -- but then I did something irrational -- I called to check on package deals for a week in London this week (thank you Dorothy Pogge!) There is only one person I know crazy enough to go, too; Jane Allen Vesper started packing that night.
That is why today I have an ironing board full of clothes and choices to make because wheels are up Tuesday at 3:30 p.m. from KCI and we will be on our way.
When asked why I want to go, I answer that i lived in London for a year while my husband worked there and I was thoroughly fascinated with all things British. Maybe it is my British Isle ancestry that was stirred, but I just could not get enough of the history and the culture.
So with history in the making this week, a flat screen view was just not enough. I want to BE there -- to hear the Westminster Abby bells toll, to feel the anticipation of the crowd along the procession route and catch a glimpse of the carriage -- in short, to participate in the moment and get a week's worth.
Also today, I agreed with LJW to blog the adventure. Never blogged before, so here goes. . . .
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