These cartoons remind me of a favorite childrens book: The Emperor’s New Clothes.
This blog entry is an update to one in which I awarded a Nobel Prize in Consumer Electronics to an amazing device (Of course there’s no such category — but what fun !) Well, the earlier design has been cheapened in a pricing race-to-the-bottom — the result being shoddy quality-control, and premature failure: I can’t find the brand depicted in the earlier entry, but junky competitors abound. So I was delighted when I found a new version at a new store : MINISO, a Japanese retailer with seven outlets in Merida, including City Center, Centro, and Harbor. (We’ve visited two, and the mere experience of reviewing their wares is engaging, as the variety of unusual items is intriguing.)
The purchase confirms my suspicion that this is a superior design, including a lithium ion battery. One feature I really appreciate — the handle displays the charge as a sliding indicator, zero to full, so you are not swinging with a depleted battery. Take back your home space! $199 pesos.
Dear Democratic National Committee : I promise to stay home on election day if you nominate Sleepy Joe Biden, a slam-dunk loser, an instant replay of Hillary 2016. Please wake up!
From TheAtlantic [emphasis added by me] : This spring, Joe Biden, who entered the 2020 presidential campaign selling himself as the Democrats’ Trump-slayer, gave a speech in which he discussed the event that, nearly 30 years later, remains an open wound for many: Anita Hill’s testimony to the Senate Judiciary Committee alleging that Clarence Thomas had sexually harassed her. “She was abused through the hearing,” Biden acknowledged. “She was taken advantage of. Her reputation was attacked.” He paused. “I wish I could have done something.”
Biden failed to mention that he had been the chair of the Judiciary Committee during the hearing—that, in fact, the person in the best position to have done something to help Hill had been Joe Biden. But the kind of slippery nonapology he offered—at an event called the Biden Courage Awards—was standard rhetoric for Biden, so common that the Hill family had turned it into a joke. Whenever the doorbell rang unexpectedly, Hill said last year, someone in the house might shout, “Oh, is that Joe Biden coming to apologize?”
For a hard-hitting, but deeply-caring look at our governance problems, I invite you to read “The Enemy Within” – an essay from Truthdig by (NYT) Pulitzer winner, Chris Hedges, cautioning against more of the same from both parties.
BEWARE YE WHO ENTER HERE. I may be a heretic. (The original Greek sense of this word implies one who is free to choose.) But the evolved meaning is one who holds an opinion at odds with what is generally accepted. Thus, Jesus of Nazareth was a heretic who was guilty of choosing freely to oppose the mainstream religious practices at the Jerusalem Temple ; and of loving too much, getting himself crucified by those with whom he differed about how to worship — those who thought they owned the practice of worshipping “correctly.”
I hope I model myself after such contrarians as Moses, Socrates, Buddha, Jesus. But I may be very wide of the mark. It’s above my paygrade to know ; and above ours to judge. “Judge not, lest ye be judged” said Jesus. Yet so much of religion is based on the silly question of who’s in and who’s out? Who knows? Certainly not me. If you think you know, beware, for there are those who feel sent to kill the heretic. You might be drawn in to joining a murderous crowd.
Ok, about the title of my essay, The Internal God. The more common expression is eternal, forever-lasting. But most of our observations tell us that almost nothing is eternal — as even the Sun will eventually run out of energy, explode, or vanish into a black hole, whatever that is. Ah, but ideas can be both internal and eternal. — Just imagine going to the tool crib for a seven and being told they are all presently being used by other borrowers – sorry, wait your turn. “Seven” is eternally available to everyone. Your ability to grasp the concept of number, or beauty, or justice, entitles you to use it. But be careful — powerful tools often cut in two directions. For example, those who want justice when they’ve been wronged also want forgiveness when they have transgressed.
So where is this internal God? Let’s be clear — I am not God! But perhaps consciousness, the awareness of the presence of an ideal — the I AM — is God in us. This is an elusive concept. It can’t be possessed. But it can be beheld. Jesus said the kingdom of God is within you (Luke 17:20,21 see various renderings via pulldown menu). ¿ So, can you see God in me? (Probably not, if I choose not to see God in you!) Yep, words are slippery, and it’s our task to squeeze’em to get all the juice.
There’s a new book which speaks to such a broadened approach, titled THAT ALL SHALL BE SAVED: Heaven, Hell, and Universal Salvation. It is likely to draw fire from those who prefer “that old time religion” which crucified Jesus and his fellow heretics. An excerpt can be read here.
Dear Senator Sanders:
DO THE RIGHT THING, BY ENDORSING ELIZABETH WARREN.
RUN THE REPLAY, BERN !!!
Have you forgotten, Bernie? Just prior to the Democratic convention in summer 2016, WikiLeaks handed you the smoking gun : nearly 20,000 emails hacked from the Democratic National Committee (DNC) proving that there had been wholesale cheating to rig the nomination, “coronating” Hillary, even before the initial kick-off. Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz was “replaced” — translation : thrown under the bus to protect the bus owner’s enterprise.
So, you could have stood up at the convention and demanded from the podium that Hillary stand down, for cheating. Instead you choked. You apparently worried you would become “the goat” if you lost to Trump. You blew it. No do-over, sorry. (You know this, Senator.)
YOUR WORDS , BERN, at the convention — “By these measures, any objective observer will conclude that – based on her ideas and her leadership – Hillary Clinton must become the next president of the United States. The choice is not even close.” You endorsed a cheater, and she lost. You coulda beat him, populist versus populist, Bern, but you choked.
Bernie, you didn’t have the courage to own the possibility of a loss to Trump. And now, you are about to repeat the same mistake by spliting the vote, thereby handing the nomination to Joe Biden. It’s time to do the right thing. If you don’t stand aside, Sleepy Joe Biden, the man who gave us Clarence Thomas, will be the instant replay of Hillary’s loss — Obama’s Secretary of State, and next, Obama’s Veep? Don’t even go there, man!
Get real, Senator. By dividing the nominating pie with Elizabeth Warren, you are giving the nod to Biden, a Wall Street pushover, a corporate puppet. History will not smile on you. (And if DNC runs Biden, I will stay home, since merely defeating Trump is not an adequate goal.) Instead, we need real leadership from someone with courage and heart and vision, someone who has surrounded herself with the sharpest mind’s in the nation. Biden is over the hill. Trump will dine on his bones. Nostalgia for Obama’s days will not Make America Great Again.
But Trump will have a much harder time bullying a woman, especially someone as quick on her feet as Senator Warren. Voters will pummel him for bullying her — someone he’s actually afraid of — as are the banksters she has intimidated. But Joke Biden would be an easy target for Trump.
Bern, I donated to your campaign, I made calls for you, I wrote letters to friends and wrote blogposts for readers. Smell the coffee Bern. You must stand down, Senator. (Hey, thanks for making such a huge contribution to American political thought!) But now it’s time to pass the torch to someone unafraid of owning the possibility of a loss. She will dance around Goliath and sting him down, as could a yellow jacket. Yes, she can win, Bernie. And you missed your chance. Now get out of the way, and allow real leadership to flourish. Don’t make the same mistake twice!
Speaking of what a woman can get done, she points towards Francis Perkins, FDR’s Secretary of Labor (the very first woman cabinet member) :
“So, what did one woman — one very persistent woman, backed up by millions of people across this country — get done?” Warren said. “Social Security. Unemployment insurance. Abolition of child labor. Minimum wage. The right to join a union. Even the very existence of the weekend.”
Channeling her own campaign slogans, she added: “Big, structural change. One woman, and millions of people to back her up.”
source : https://www.politico.com/story/2019/09/16/warren-women-new-york-1499570
During “Nobel week” there will be three salas of art — opening Thursday evening, September 19, at 8:00pm at the Olimpo. In Sala 2 artwork by painter and teacher Stefanie Schikora will be featured. (I’ve enrolled in one of Stefi’s painting classes, and am enjoying it thoroughly.) We discovered her work while making the rounds on the Artist’s Studio tour in February.
One of the great things about living in Merida is there is so much free culture to be enjoyed. So come on out to the Olimpo @ Plaza Grande, corner of c.61 and c.62 in Centro (not to be confused with Gran Plaza, a shopping mall in the north of the city).
Yes, the world’s on fire, and it’s melting, and little
Dorothy, er, Greta, needs our help. And, as Smoky-the-Bear often said, “Only YOU can prevent forest fires.” Greta can’t save the world from melting, all by herself. “The responsibility resides in my shoes,” sez me.
So, our assignment, if you care for the future of the planet and its human children, is to read this > (HERE’S AN EXCERPT TO GET YOU STARTED) : “New coal plants built since the 2015 Paris climate agreement have already doubled the equivalent coal-energy output of Russia and Japan, and 260 more are underway.” READING INVITATION LINK.
Don’t get depressed, get angry enough to do something brave and bold : Get ready! Coming to a street corner near you this October is a life saving event worthy of great risk, called Extinction Rebellion. Bookmark it. (Don’t expect your elected officials to take action, as they’re all sold out to the corporatist state.) Like I said, get ready. Only you . . . ( ¿ If not me, who ?) PAY NO ATTENTION TO THAT MAN BEHIND THE CURTAIN, WHO IS GAMING YOU.
If you need further persuasion, here’s a quote linked to an essay by a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist : “The American political system is not salvageable. It will be overthrown in a mass uprising—a version of which we saw recently in Puerto Rico—or vast swaths of the globe will become uninhabitable and the rich will feed like ghouls off the mounting human misery. These are the two stark options. And we have very little time left.”
On a Sunday stroll we happened past Maternidad park, c.60 near the symphony theatre in centro. I was delighted to see Lobo showing his wares, along with many other artists. (He last appeared in my pages in July of 2012.) We have two of his paintings and a lacquered woodblock sculpture at home. His work is seen in homes around town. Here’s one owned by a British couple:
Lobo calls himself “el brujo” which variously can be translated as shaman, wizard, sorcerer. His English is good. He’s a Yaqui Indian, a philosopher, a musician, and a thinker engaged in the project of life : pondering that great question, ¿Who am I? – while still trying to feed and house himself by painting and selling on Sundays. (I don’t believe he has gallery representation, so you’ll need to visit the park if his work appeals.)
Merida is a lively art scene, with many galleries, and plenty to see on foot on Sundays along c.60 or a bit further north on Paseo Montejo between the remate (c.47) and the glorieta (traffic circle, circus) at c.27-a.
The above graphic, by Phil Hands, is copyrighted, and is not to be used commercially without arrangement with the owner(s). It appears here under fair-use doctrine — note that this site carries no advertising, and is incorporating the graphic into an educational essay. Tip o’ the hat to AAEC.
A mentor once observed that it’s not who is right or wrong, but what is real which is important. Honest discussion is essential. “Tribalism” or what the Founders (authors of US Constitution) termed factionalism, is the problem. And Newt Gingrich, the main factionalist of the day, actually declared war on dialog, across party lines. War kills. So we talk past each other, wounding and violating our community, signifying nothing with our warfare.
But your eyeballs don’t lie. So have a look at this satellite animation compiled by NASA and NOAA, and watch 25 years of polar ice disappear in one minute. NOT COOL! Not a hoax. Not fake.
And this brings us to a compelling speaker who is a professor of climate science with an amazing resumé. But get this: she’s also an evangelical Christian! She wants us to talk about the problem of climate change, even tho’ our tribalisms have gotten in the way so often in the past. Don’t miss it! We might learn a few things from each other.
What an amazing project this American journalist who is a practicing Jew has hatched and nurtured! He moved from Brooklyn to Israel in 1982, became an Israeli citizen, and sought dialog with open-minded, devout believers from the three Abrahamic faiths (Jewish, Muslim, Christian) for fellowship, and learning — even risking visits to a Sufi sheik’s mosque in Gaza.
The book was originally released in New York on September 11, 2001, and immediately vanished in the chaos of that day. Harper Perennial has re-introduced it this year. Krista Tippet, host of public radio’s weekly, On Being, calls it “One of the most important spiritual memoirs of our time.” Not to be missed!
The author’s journalistic skill, observational power, and clarity of language make this telling into an ineffable blessing for his readers. The beauty of his honest engagement with his chosen candidates brought tears to my eyes several times. Anyone interested in faith, peace, humanity, will find hope in this moving work. (Thanks to the Divine Librarian for placing this volume into my hands!)