Todays Thought #2**

April 24, 2006

picture by Imagechoes (link)

Who has broken a vow to you? Another life lesson to be sure….and journey necessary to face tendering of the heart and for the mind to make proper choices. Yes, to live without trust is to sacrifice one spiritual nature to the demons of doubts and curry their favor within insecurities.

Yes, the world is full of deceit and deception but if this is all one sees then the opportunity for enlightenment is lost and darkened.

To see the world as merely black and white, to expect perfection and not to see the "flaws" as the aspect of one's beauty and inateness, sets us a part from ourselves and the Universe.

Yes, trust is never the same once perceived as broken–but we are not the same because one has allowed to be "conditioned." To be naive is not a blindness but an unexpected gem that shones the error of our ways to those we touch.

And yes, the trust one had may not be the same, but the journey of reparations, if forgiveness has not been forsaken, can be redeemed through salvation of ones heart.

To allow the ashes of betrayal to foster is to reinvite darkness–thus trust must be given wholeheartedly it is the only way to penetrate core of existence and to find our true spiritual path to the Universe and to ourselves.

-gks** Todays second thought is also a response to Maldita, Bratinella posting "Broken Vow" (link). These two thoughts of the day are tied together in that ultimately it is our own personal resposnsibilty to find our way in the Universe as well as our own spirituality.


Today’s Thought #1

April 24, 2006

Image by JC from Maldita, Bratinella site.

"Everyone is a victim of circumstance…"

"Duty is heavier than a mountain, Death is lighter than a feather"
– Robert Jordan*

One can see themselves as a victim, or as a person that did the best they could. To see duty as heavy as a mountain is failing to see the opportunities, and choices that are opened to them. To see death as relief to duty is inanity unto self and misses the point Living in the "now" are the triumphs, the failures, and life's lessons that are learned and shared with those who have touched us.

To see duty this way is self-centered at best, but certainly delusional at its worse.

The "living" moment is certainly the duty that we all share. To be with our friends, family, husband, wives, boyfriend, girlfriend, or simply a person we make a connection with 10,000 miles away on the Net are to be cherished. For good or ill life's duty is not the burdensome mountain but an oportunity to heralded.

To seek such solace to be lighter than a feather before the course of life has been fulfilled is another form egocentrism that is short sighted. It may be understandable, but it only signals that, one desire to shortens their role in the Universe and not wanting to touch those they can and to have those who can touch them is failing to fulfill the reciprocity of life's journey.

Today may be good to die, to be as light as a feather, but today is also good day to celebrate and pass on the treasure's of ones duty, honor, and knowledge to the next generation and beyond.

* This quote I found on a weblog at Maldita, Bratinella (link) and the above commentary is my response that I left. After re-reading it, I thought I should post it here, to indicate where my train of thoughts my going in the next few weeks.

The Eye of Tranquility

April 13, 2006

Sometimes mere words are not enough to impress, express, or convey the sublte changes one's life can go through. Such events have occurred these past couples of weeks for me and for this nation has illustrated this point. A culture shock, over the next few weeks I will address this, but for now I will leave you the above image. Indeed! We are in the eye of the storm….

The War in Focus

March 29, 2006

Introduction: As you peruse this commentary, keep in your hearts and mind our soldiers in the field. In this website—and other you will see Soldiers’ Angels click on this and adopt a soldier today—thank you.

It has now been about a week since the third anniversary of the start of the Iraq War, and my sentiment remains the same: Be patient America the “War on Terror” will end soon enough. How soon depends upon us. The message we send the planet during the course of it is dependent on how we face our past, present, and prescient legacy—and our taking responsibility for those “items” we deem laudable.

Dateline: March 20th, 2006, marked the third anniversary of the invasion of Iraq. What I mean is this: Although, the following may be a critique of American governmental foreign policy, this is not a direct criticism of the citizenry say for one, personal responsibility.

In the every day world of life, one’s duty ought to include the acceptance of consequences for ones action. A cliché – true enough, but accurate; in essence, to accept our own person’s action in how I, or we delegate our authority of subsistence to the government “we” portend to surrender the “rule of law” in order to organize rule. Of late, the citizenry, understandably, here in the United States, has been shrouded in shadows and fear. This darkness of emotion was and is the result of the one fateful day, September 11, 2001.

This day has sent the United States morale and self-esteem in the crevices of despondency. In so being that, emotionalism has charted the course of American policy. Ever since America and Americans (there is a difference) loss their sense of vulnerability; the sleeping giant had awaken into the world groggily, stumbling about the path of retribution. Initially, the “War on Terror” sought out those directly responsible for perpetrating the violation of our space and sovereignty. The mission was just and resolute. Then one day, certainly not over night, a mutation began in America and Americans angst and anger descended into paranoia.

Terrorists were seemingly in the dark shadows of every alley way. Alerts were sanctioned; our emotions palpable, uncertainty underscored the uneasiness of our nerves. Our fears were intangible and the lack of clarity shunted our most rational thoughts.

A new culture of fear permeated the skins of American hearts. Our leaders, albeit, for the sense of security, sowed the seeds of mistrust prior and after to the war in Iraq. By adjoining the “War on Terror” to the “War in Iraq” that Saddam Hussein and his regime were responsible for September 11th attacks. In addition to that, the drumming of fear set American against one another, suspicions turned to rumors, rumors turned to the authorization of laws, which restricted our participation to due process (see the PATRIOT Act as earliest example).

On the one hand, the message by our leaders advocated patience, tolerance and knowledge of those who were not our enemy. In essence, that not all “Arabs” or people who practice the “Islamic” faith were our enemy. In fact, they wanted to be free as well in their own variant definition of it, of course. But on the other, with tacit approval of our “governmental representatives,” by their silence and their implicitly announced similar faith, in that, and I paraphrase “It is all of Islam that is our enemy in this “War on Terror,” at least, this is the perception being present by the Christian fundamentalist.

photo by Lana

By tacit approval of “governmental representatives,” I mean that, and this is not direct criticism on the president’s faith, George W. Bush’s has been seen by the two perspectives: either as a comfort or as destructive. I find his faith both reassuring and also disturbing. In the sense that, my hope in his ethical, moral, and principals are guided by a worthy philosophy. My concern is the “orthodoxy,” the fundamentalism of it; essentially, the nature of it. It is, Christian fundamentalists, unwillingness to adapt, to change, or rather selectively change, or admit errors, in spite of facts being presented. It is the rigidity and dogmatism of the faith that can be oppressive at times (see the Catholic Church history; or, James Dobson).

Nevertheless, his focus, Bush’s, governmental policy has left the impression with public that all Islamic state (from their governments pundits view) or “Arab” states are at war with us (see Syria, Lebanon, Iran, and to some degree Saudi Arabia). So, it is not surprising when the public decries a “trading” relationship with another Islamic nation-state and wonders what the administration was thinking (see Dubai debacle). Thus, once again, appears that America, and more specifically Americans are fearful and intolerant.

Appearances, and images matter. It transmits the initial perception of reality. This perception or perceptions misshapes; and, represents the counter to what America is suppose to be. The shining beacon of liberty, in which, freedom, religion, expression, and choice are the rules not the exception. The ability of the minority to dissent, to have the right to argue, enables us to bring an idea, an experiment really, to reality. This is the message of America: individuals who are willing to be governed by the “rule of law” and in order to extend to those politically, ethnically, and racially equality for everyone that wishes to obtain them. In simple terms: “All men are created equal”; if you chose—people.

Unfortunately, this message has been lost in translation in the execution of this war, and according to some, this war was blundered from the start: materials, mission statement, and troops needed were bungled. First, it was eminent threat of “weapons of mass destructions”, “liberation of the Iraq,” and then, “democratization” of it—Iraq.

Now three years later, with supposed recriminations, abuses, and accusations of incompetence (see CIA faulty information) for the war in Iraq, and the “war on terror” (see border or ports issues) by the United States has dejected the morale of the American public (see recent polls) even more. Say for the administration’s core base—religious ideologues—the image of America’s has been tarnished and corrupted—even.

Americans are now apathetic. As a result of the screaming extremes, those in the middle, who believe that security is a necessity, desirable, but not at the sacrifice of our liberty, have been left wanting. Too much contradictory information bombards those who wish to determine the accuracy of our foreign policy for themselves, thus, the numbness Americans feel.

However, in the last three years—and for sure beyond, there is one certainty: our troops in the field from Iraq, Afghanistan, Bosnia, South Korea, Germany, Dubai and so forth need our unconditional support. This is despite the competency of the leadership in office of the moment and their reflective foreign policy that sends them in harms way. Our soldiers are our children, our sisters, our brothers, our friends and their children, and of course, our extended family represents us around this vast globe yet small community. They are the make up and representative of the best of America and of humanity.

It is their concern for humanity, and all of us, we, the planetary citizens, that they sacrifice themselves. So, let us all support the soldiers in the field, here at home and those abroad. For they are the soldiers of the light, after all, when it is said in and done—it just another day in paradise for us in the land of milk and honey….

Sunday Afternoon Distraction

March 26, 2006

It has been a while since I had done something completely for myself. So, this will be it before I get to the task of my usual political commentary. Sometimes, I forget that there is something more than just grinding one's life into small arbitrary moments of sanity and rationality.

Some of you may have noticed in the side bar, that I have link called One Paradise View. This is a place where everyone is allowed to comment on the everyday mundane. Or, tell a story that is universal to a community. In this place, a virtual world can be created. This link, this page, will be diary, a narrative, a place to blow of steam. So, send me your emails, and add to the story, or whatever quirk of the day.

One final point, the rent-a-blog, also inside the side bar, is another form to be seen by other bloggers, and to givemore exposure on the Internet. I recently joined a site called, (BE), it is for everyone who wishes their blog was seen more. I will have a review/commentary on BE later in the week.

So, their you are folks, have great day! Here is the link,

One Paradise View

The Patriotic Voice

March 25, 2006

pictures by Lana

Talk radio, earlier this month, locally and nationally, had been in an uproar for a couple weeks, because of one teacher and one student: Jay Bennish and Sean Allen, the emotions of which had run high to highest vitriol and to the lowest of the bigoted haters.The controversy spewed through over the air waves on whether the teacher had the right to “banshee” an overtly bias political opinion to the “young” impressionable minds (they are high school students). In other words, when Jay Bennish, the teacher, in a seemingly endless tirade, in his high school geography, although, there is a question whether or not, if it was an advanced placement, or a simple elective high school curriculum course, have the right to use free speech. At any rate, the young idealistic teacher skewered the United States foreign policy, past and present, and likened George W. Bush, with over used Adolph Hitler comparison. His tirade began, in which some say, due to the prompting of his student Sean Allen, while the class writing down definitions from the blackboard.

This all began, when the topic of the State of the Union address came up. In the middle of his “instruction” trying to “illustrate” the folly of the United States government foreign policy error, he became animated, or at least his voice on the MP3 recording did.

This is how it began; Sean Allen recorded his teacher, Mr. Bennish, as he taught the Advance Placement Geography course, for the purpose of “studying notes,” at least that is what Sean says, as his teacher began to foment; and, now his teacher’s MP3 recorded voice echoes in the ears of conservatives. Sean and his father brought this teacher’s escapade to financial guru, sometime columnist, and fill in for Rush Limbaugh—Walt Williams—eyebrows rose but hardly a voice murmured.

Apparently, as this story was being posted on Mr. Williams’ website, Sean and his father were also in discussion with Mike Rosen, a local talk show host here in Denver, columnist, and also a sometime fill in for Rush, and they brought their MP3 recording to him.

A furor erupted, as Rosen serendipitously played sound bites of the “liberal” teacher’s rants. The disdain from Mike—and the folly from the other conservative hosts emanated with venomous glee.

Some said, and I paraphrase,

• “This is why we need vouchers!”
• “This is what we mean about the educational system!”
• “Liberal teachers indoctrinating our kids!”
• “Subversives!”

And then the hate and intolerance really began, one Jon Caldara, another local talk show host in Denver, advocated for Jay Bennish’s termination, never the mind the procedures to oust this “hater of America”. But he alas, Jon Caldara, surrendered to the fact that, it would not happen because of the apparent “corruption” of the educational system. Condemning the minutia of the educational system, the administrators, from the principal on up, in sweeping shrill emotionalism of apocalyptical dimensions. “He should be fired!” Jon Caldara emoted because of Jay Bennish’s overt disdain for capitalism (which is not a crime by the way) and politics. Caldara continued “The fact that these kids,” meaning high school students “are captive,” to “this teachers’ vitriol is abominable!” No doubt, this is partially true, because of the requirement of law.

However, a child is only captive if the parents allow them to be. In this go-go fast-paced world, parents are far too busy playing the role of keeping up with the “Joneses” than paying attention to what is going on in their own child’s school, PTA, or school board or with their own child for that matter (see the Columbine example). It is far too easy to blame the fanatic, than face our own capitulation, tolerance, and acceptance of values, in which we find divergent views from our own.

So, when the “conservative” attack jocks underscore the “miserable state of education” it fulfilled our a need to prostrate not only our own guilt—but also “enable” the continuation of the source of the distress and demonization.

The immaturity and imbalance of Mr. Bennish reminded the extremists, the conservative radio jocks of the right; correction, the shrill voice of the right that, they feel there is an indifference to their own inequity and inadequacy, and they felt, or “perceive” a lack of control of their child’s own interests.

The problem with this perception, however, is that the first educator of the child is the parent. Oh yes, there are Jay Bennish type teachers in school system, but it is the parent who has twenty four hour access, if they wanted to “indoctrinate” their own children of the legacy they wish to forward (see Pastor Fred Phelps of Kansas). And, if the child is lucky they have the quality “ideal” parents of Rob and Laura Petrie (The Dick Van Dyke show), or Howard and Marion Cunningham (Happy Days), or even the parents from the Cosby Show. It is the parents, some would say, responsibility, duty to teach their child discernment, or at least guidance to good judgment (before stepping a foot in school) so that they can understand the difference between right and wrong, and understand to some degree between to opine—and fact.

Picture by Lana

Fact, Mr. Bennish failure was and is his inability to see beyond his own intolerance—and to present a non-bias perspective of political discourse of American politics, in that, as his duty as an instructor is not be moralist or advocacy for or against a particular forum. In the case of Sean Allen, failure to foresee the consequences of his own actions (as a teenager one would expect him to know a little about this). For instance, he was repored as saying, Sean that is, “He did not expect the reaction from the media attention that received.” Hmm? Okay. An interesting comment, in that, this is from a young adult who wants to be a stand-up comic. His failure to see the brush fire of the moment only emphasizes his “turning in” of an “American hater,” “a liberal,” a “left wing nut” would not only explode but also implode on to him as well. Moreover, it seems particularly naïve with the present day environment of the “war culture” that Sean, and at least his parents, must have surely thought such a reaction to occur.

During such times, any contrarian opinions are “nuked” and considered treasonous even the messenger is shot. Sean—was the messenger. He might have been held up as the “hero of the day,” (for the right—anyway) but the political opposition will and sees him as a Judas and need to dissemble his voice. This is also true of Mr. Bennish as well; forever the two are tied together.

And then, there are Sean Allen’s parents and their failure to follow the rules, which is also a damning factor: accusations of failing to follow the chain of command only sullies their son’s “apparent” hero of the culture war of the moment (at least for the right anyway). And, the presumption of the father that the political fray would not dare touch his son in vile threats and repudiations was naïve, at the least. Sean Allen seemed far better equipped to handle the recriminations than his own parents (a masterful spin doctor he was). Ultimately, Sean Allen’s parents’ failure was their inability to protect, to participate, and to anticipate as well as counsel their own message for their son. Yes, the mother is a democrat, “a liberal,” and tried to defend her son aptly, while the father is a conservative, a conservative republican, and a party that stands for the “truth” (humph).

One other point, by participate I mean that the parents of Sean Allen, their own son seemed to make better choices than themselves. When listening to the MP3 recording Sean challenged his teacher, and critically thought out his questions. He seemed, Sean, to understand, at the least, perceptively, that the differing perspectives are essential to discourse. The question is, however, how much of this was his doing or his parents guidance, their overwrought emotionalism of Jan Bennish (or his father’s actually) rants seem to refute their credibility, and how much of this desire by Sean is to seek out fame.

And then there is the hypersensitive right and left shrills, and what my musings are really about: the patriotic voice. Lost in translation, in all the screaming, accusations, and finger pointing is the fact: the voice of dissent is drowned, demonized, and demoralized. To disavow one’s “obligation” as Roy Rappaport, the anthropologist from the University of Michigan might have said, to go against the ritual of “acceptance and conformity” to the hegemonic society (the majority of masses) is a betrayal of patriotism, God, and country—not necessarily in that order. To subvert any ideal of the majority is considered treasonous—and in this country, un-American. What is fascinating, however, is the “cognitive dissonance” that is America.

A country, the United States, born of individuality, of revolution, of independence—and pursuit of happiness—liberty that is, and yet our desire to suffocate, obscure, delineate—and yes, to destroy a differing perspective that is a necessary to our “free spirit.” Essentially, one must obey the “current” version of the “truth”; after all, truth is subjective; truth is what is defined by the hegemony, and the ritual of the moment. If it is in a “state of war” certain rules and principals are inviolate—and never to be “breached” (Rappaport) by the individual. If they do, these voices of dissent, condemnation to them with all the dispersion of Hell, “For they must have succumbed to an agent of madness; they are imbalanced and insane.” Needless to say, the damning of this individual is counter to our revolutionary past.

In the past, to dissent was one’s duty and meant to bring argumentation and rationality to the majority; the minority was a tempering a hand. This also is what means to be an American, or so we were told as children. But the conditions of war change the voice of dissent; it condemns it; it is not allowed. The concern, now with this war, is that this is not a “traditional” war being executed. The ending is ineffable, and the days of battlefield follies and traditional nation-states are gone. The hubris of “manned” terror-nations now reigns; and, to have a possible incredulous voice of dissent is to mean cowardice in the face of national pride. In spite of this conservatism, even liberals seem to desire (and have been relegated) to the formation of “acceptance” and “conformity” in order not to appear un-American, unpatriotic, and unworthy of citizenship—so in the early days of 9/11 they capitulated.

Now, the far left and right play politics and certainly betray the people they represent. Their disingenuousness and selfishness of gamesmanship that play into to the smallness of fear. Nevertheless, despite all these vessels and roads of separation, there is still time to set the course of conservation and pragmatism. This nation needs to return course of civility, and in spite of itself, it needs to “break” the “obligation” of the war mentally paranoia. Certainly discern, argue, dissent, and have well thought out rationality, but to be lost in emotionalism—no. After all, it is just another day in paradise, and this country is the tocsin and the beacon of humanities hope….

A Pragmatist View: It’s alRight to be Left

March 4, 2006

Traditionally, the Washington Post columnist are viewed as left leaning liberals that aim to demonstrate “error of our ways” with political correctness (Whew!). From some viewpoints they are ideologues whose motives must be suspected, because, after all, the Washington Post and their ilk are saboteurs to the American way of life. In so being that, the liberal left obfuscates and blinds Americans from the truth. In essence, papers such as the Washington Post, New York Times, and LA Times have agendas to shroud the public from its personal liberties, freedom of speech, and selfish intolerances; or at the least, that is what one is to believe.

So, when I see two diametrically oppose pundits virtually agree on the same topic, George Will and Richard Cohen and diatribe on the issue of free speech and to advocate for, in a fashion, David Irving’s oration and writings on the “faux” holocaust is tantamount to the mountain coming to Moses…Well, maybe not. But their points in their recent columns and their rationality within them are well taken. It is a mistake in a “free society” and I will add even during a time of “war” obscure liberties, such as “free speech.” To do so, is to defeat the example of our greatness and our inclusiveness. Admittedly, this may sound like a big tent moment, but it is not. Our democracy must not give in to our own insecurities, our greatest virtue and principle, the First Amendment, must not be relegated to the extremes of political correctness, from either side, it must be held up as our greatest asset.

By doing so, we must continuously live the example, if we are to maintain to be the “Golden City on the Hill,” we must stand proud and advocate with all fury that we shall overcome the hate, the desperation of fear. Fear makes us small. Fear places us in darkness. Yet, some would still excoriate and vilify those who questions our government’s secrecy, and its many faces of manipulation, or the laws that have been touted in the “people’s best interest.” In this “War on Terror,” I do not demonize, demean, or deny such critics, I applaud them. Why? Simply, because it takes courage to doubt, to challenge, to speak out, and not to succumb to one’s fear. Yes, some of their motives may not be virtuous, but in their suspicions, they have allowed us to examine and find the truth and to be on guard against the many demons of the fearful.

On the other hand, it shows our enemies, real and imagined, our resolve to control our own destiny. It also forewarns our government that, they must continue to earn our trust and that they may “execute,” with our blessing, “our” government, with the “rule of law.” And it is us, the citizen, and the citizen representatives that control, at our sufferance, the government. However, when we tolerate inane platitudes such as the restoration of speech on and off college campuses, high schools, or special corporate interest groups, then we are one step closer to the denial of the dream—of the freedom we have, seek, and desire.

Some of the capriciousness of this great experiment of freedom, which has evolved for more than 200 years, in which the preamble of civil discourse, argumentation was and is the allowance of the debate. It has grown into our symbol for humanity; we were argued into existence. And, such an experiment should not be vanquished into the realm of obscurity—but celebrated and held up as the enlightenment to the individual.

This is what I mean, I agree with George F. Will and Richard Cohen that the odious messages of David Irving, Ku Klux Klan, or a ranting liberal or social conservative must be heard. No to be obscured, to do so give them validation for those who wish to roll in the muck of ignorance and fear; we must as a civilization remain open with all our warts for all the world to see, in order to swallow the disarray and confusion of the majority of the moment. So, that not only the vast ocean of indifferences, of ignorance, can be stemmed—but their relevancies can be extenuated so that we can be there for our moments of pertinences.

These pertinences are for humanity’s aspiration, inspiration, and the continuation of the human condition’s better angels. In so being that, the grand leaders of our time, past and present, can act. These who were and are worthy would have had sacrificed in vane their messages and their lives (think Jesus, George Washington, Gandhi, Martin Luther King, and Ronald Reagan). Yes, even for persons such as David Irving’s denial of the Holocaust, Jay Bennish’s proselytizing, Ward Churchill’s intolerance, Pat Robertson’s condemnation, James Dobson’s demonizations for individual’s choices are examples of the cost of an open society, even in the minacious moments, such as 9/11. In fact, such moments should mettle our resolve. To sanction speech is to cower and to surrender to the enemy from within and to give into the enemy from the outside. Some of us may not always agree with our polar opposite, but it is alRight to be Left. And, lest we forget that, after everything is said and done, it is just another day in paradise. After all, we live together in the greatest city and we are the beacon for humanity and it is our burden to bear….

Bipolar America

February 25, 2006

Dateline: February 22, 2006. Yesterday, I was perusing my local newspaper, the Rocky Mountain News, here in Denver, when I came across two articles juxtapose from one another; perhaps due to a mischievous editor’s eye. Nonetheless, these two articles illustrated the state of education and the state of the American condition, or at the least, the state of education within my local community. One had to do with a junior, in a Littleton high school, a suburb of Denver metropolitan area, and the other, an elementary school in Bennett, Colorado—approximately 35 miles outside of Denver.

The latter story had to do with a teacher “on leave” due to showing the “highlights” of the video opera “Faust” to her 1st, 2nd, and 3rd grade classes. Let’s begin here: Tresa Waggoner, 33, showed her students the allegorical drama, of sin, temptation, and of excessive pride. She did this in order to prepare her students from a visit from Opera Colorado, but as fate had it, she received a call from a parent who chastised her, saying “'I basically do not understand why do you not let the kids sing Christmas songs at their winter concert, but you would teach them about the devil. Are you not a Christian?'” She, a first year music teacher, naturally informed her principal, Mark Reinsbach and gave him the video, which she had found on the shelf in her music room, it was titled Who’s Afraid of Opera. He later instructed her to write apology letters to the parents.

As a result, she is now on “permanently paid administrative leave,” and according to the by-line reporter, Tillie Fong, a substitute teacher has been hired to finish teaching the semester at the elementary school, and for the fall 2006, a new teacher has been hired. So, in effect, the Tresa Waggoner has been boxed in. This is known as being caught between a rock and a hard place. Clichéd—yes, but aptly situated. The district is afraid to “terminate” her because of a potential lawsuit, which there had been mention of a possibility if she was, but they also decide to curry the favor of the hypersensitive parents, just because the “devil” was mentioned (ooh) in an operatic instruction of music appreciation. Admittedly, I myself am not a connoisseur of the music, but I do have an admiration of great classical music. Good music is good music. The universality of music is the tie that brings communities together, whether they are small town Americana, or a ritual tribal dance, or a classical opera using a metaphor for love, hate, temptation, and life. Music speaks to our narrative heart. But in this case, for this teacher, the impact of classical exposure for her students seemed to rear the ugly head of ignorance and fear, which resulted in the co-option of the better angels of understanding. The conservative nannyists have stepped in to save the children from the “lesbian, devil worshipper.” E-gads! And, now she has been sent to her own version of purgatory; her options for searching for other employment are shunted until there’s resolution with Bennett school district.

The late social critic of education, Neil Postman, felt that the state of public schools lacked the perspective of the instructive narrative. To teach through narrative, metaphor, and allegory made for a better rounded student; and also, the element to a critical thinking person. However, apparent this may not be a desired result for Bennett, Colorado schools.

As a person, Tresa Waggoner, who has made a couple Christian music albums, sang in her church more than her half life, and taught choir at the middle and high schools, and yet she was and is not Christian enough. So, now she sits awaiting her fate. But it is okay the non-judgmental, accepting, and loving Christians will come to her aid, won’t they?

On the other hand, there is the case where the ACLU (American Civil Liberty Union), defended successfully, under the threat of a lawsuit, of course, the rights of a 16 year old, a junior, at Littleton High School. The school and the district decided to suspend the young man, Brian Lopez, for making “mocking comments” of the school, the district resources, and acquaintances, on his website, on his personal computer. They were even tried to expel the student for “violating” the Student Code of Conduct (pdf page 4), according Tillie Fong, who filed the initial reporting of the student’s suspension. It basically states that, the students are required to follow school policies on and off school grounds are not discriminate, harass, or intimidate others, or disruptive of the “educational process of the school.” If the student has a committed a criminal act, suspension and expulsion can be allotted, obviously. But what is interesting, the school and district deems themselves guardian over all student behavior, and this includes student using their personal computer.

Apparently, Brian Lopez sin was lampooning, again, on his personal computer, his school and students in a “crude and inappropriate fashion.” The site, unfortunately, has been taken down, but according to reports, and observations that this was satirical “prank.” If not for the hypersensitivity of a parent (sounds familiar doesn’t it?) Brian would not have been suspended. In fact, both stories reflect the hypersensitivity of one parent (or minority number of parents), one from left, and other from the right. Some have made the case that these mirror the conservative perspective, but I disagree, if one is willing to see the dialogue of the school policy of zero tolerance. In the school system earnest to protect all, it has sacrificed the educational process of the student’s individual narrative.

In preparing for this story, I realized that America was and is in crisis. The inability of Americans to recognize cautionary tales such as the opera Faustus or the inability to respect the principalities of freedom of speech has my faith wondering if we are reverting to a time irreparable polarization. The hypersensitive schools are being plied by both the right and the left of the political extremes. And, although we live in a time of crisis, the “war on terror” has relegated us to an overwrought paranoia that is crippling this country’s sense of community and trust. As friend stated, “There use to be a time, when we respected each other ideological perspective, and did not question one’s loyalty, or for that matter the motive…now the parties, individuals are so split, polarized, that it is difficult to have a dissenting opinion without be called a traitor, unpatriotic, or worse yet a liberal.” In other words, if you do have a different ideology, your motives are suspected.

Such suspicion has created a bipolar America, where the political extremes find themselves meeting at the same place——authoritarianism; a place where freedom of expression, ideals, and beliefs are demoralized, demonized, and demeaned. The Littleton student learned that, if you are critical, or criticize (there is a difference), even satirically, the price one might have to pay is their own liberty. And as for the teacher, she learned that sometimes directing young souls is troublesome when trying to open a child’s mind to discovery, especially when their parent’s mind is narrow and closed.

Nevertheless, the nannyist’s closed minds from each side are tearing down our children, dissembling their ability to find themselves, and destroying their capability in finding their own personal narratives. In so doing, the future is being sabotaged by the political correct police extremes by limiting the opportunities, choices, and discovery of our kids in which our next generation of artists, poets, leaders, and heroes will come. And so it goes, the next generation will face the uncertainty of the story, let us hope they are able to complete tale.

After all, it’s just another day in paradise, even if they succeed or …..

Something Different versus Something New

February 19, 2006

Introduction:This particular site will receive an introduction, for the following reasons: it is simply an explanation of moods, feelings, and empathy of the circumstance surrounding the angst that I am feeling within myself, my friends both liberal and conservative, a fin de siecle, a sickness of the heart, which cannot be explained away by rationality. It is a compulsion of time, or lack there of, in which the anxiousness of fear, the smell of conspiracy, and the rancor of the inviolate leadership of one’s country. To never have doubt, or never to express them, brings sickness and schizophrenia to the mind and suffocates history. This leads to blindness and unnecessary suffering of the spirit, the heart, and the mind. This essay, for me, is another form of expression. Simply, it is a release, for all the activity in my life, from school, from work, from relationships, and the anxiety that has been pounding my soul. And, to never forget that this is just another day in paradise, and that for all of us, where else can I be free to explain my ideas, beliefs, or the insanity of the moments….And, so it begins….

Okay, here I am searching for the something different in the world of the Internet and once again I find myself depending on Microsoft. Oh, do not get me wrong, planet Microsoft is comfortable, reassuring, and mostly fits into nice little boxes, or drop down boxes, where everything is compartmentalized. This is special, and unique. Okay, maybe not. To blog or not to blog one's ideas, opinion, or aspirations has been a bit of quagmire for me. If I do, what does this say about me, and if I do not–what does that say about me, as well. Understand, in this Age of Information, accessibility to oneself and others has brought us a new level of intimacy. Some say this has erased the lines of privacy, others say that this the next step in our civil evolution: an era of openness and clarity has been transfixed upon us.

In a sense, this clarity may be considered as fomenting a new level of trust among the planet's citizenry, but it can also be used as an opportunity to create dissension. Or, at least that is the perception: To be restricted by two choices, when we live in the world of variety, of discourse, ideology, and beliefs. We as a species, as humans, have found many ways to exists, but have found many ways not to co-exist together. This is what I mean, in the US; we are presently living in a culture of fear. The world of the "Others" has consumed our waking moments and has haunted our dreams.

Unfortunately, our dreams and passions are currently being blinded by the restriction of fear. A great American once said, "There is nothing to fear, but fear itself." He spoke the truth. To see the truth of it, all one has to do is to examine human history. It is replete with examples, and before anyone suggests that I am implying only the Western-American culture has this failing, I am not. History of violence, and the current definition of it, has shown that all humanity is left with this frailty. But it is our aspiration for some, and for most, that attend to our angels, desires, and ascend to the next step. It is the defining of what's next in which we find ourselves. What must not happen, albeit compelling from the anxious among us; is to be defined by our own fear. Fear is limiting, it shunts growth and openness for new opportunities.

So, what does this have to do with Microsoft? Everything and nothing, I was just noticing as I was going through the limitation of choices as I was doing my profile. I noticed that this was suppose to convey the how, the who, and the what I am. To define me with drop down menus, and give freely the information, so later they, being Microsoft, or whomever, could appeal to my interests. For example, my choice for music is varied, and bit eclectic. Music appeals to me to culturally, orally, and instrumentally. It, music, in many ways, communicates who and what we are through emotion or the lack of it, and yet it has the ability to insinuate the differences among us so that on a intuitive level one can transcend and accept those differences. Music is the human equivalent of the universal translator, the narration in which we define ourselves. In essence, it has the ability to shape, and sometimes manipulate, the us within the community. So to be classified by a drop menu is a bit restrictive, in order to define oneself musically. At the least, its brevity leaves us in circumspect, uniformed and incomplete, and at the flip side, it leaves oneself in isolation and limiting. In time, I will, of course, reveal all. It is as always a matter of time, and in the American experience just another day in paradise. The question remains, however, for me and all of us, am I, or we just afraid of something different versus something new, or vice-a-versa? Are these interesting times a preamble for the next step? And what is the step to be define? And, can we trust we divine when the time comes? Of course, that is truth of it, to trust our own divinity. So, what do you think, is there something more?

It’s Just Another Day in Paradise

February 14, 2006

Okay, I am sitting here working on the computer, doing homework, listening to music, emailing, and reading the textbook from my astronomy class, yes–I am a multi-tasker, when I realize that it was three in the morning and I had not slept for at least for twenty-four hours. So, this is not an earth shattering discovery, or discovery the universe is 14 billion years old, or that Kenny keeps getting killed on South Park, or that the sky is blue, or water is wet, but it has been a trend lately, reflecting my insomnia and that every time put my head to pillow the brain will not shut off. So I have a few questions, is it possible to grow brain cells after your dead? Why did Johnny Cash always wear black? Where did General O'Neill disappear to on SG-1? And, who is the idiot who thought up the concept of work, anyway?

Oh, I don't mind working, its part of my addictive personality. I am here to confess, I am a workaholic. The only time, I fear, I will relax is when I die, but I pray, (Yes, agnostics pray! were just not sure which religious entity will receive the message–so we pray to them all; like sending a universal email, if you will allow). Anyway, I pray that if I go, it is in the arms of fiery dynamo, with long legs wrapped around me, and of starry emerald eyes encompassing my soul and passion at my moment of embarkation….

However, the question remains when that time comes: which voice will I hear, male or female, or will the universe be a cruel mother and reveal no voice at all? My hope is that it will be female. Why? Because, it’s the perfect payback, and the fact that Alanis Morrisett is the actual voice of God (reference Dogma) and it will teach certain fundamentalists a lesson. Also, the hope is that she will grant my wish of a certain number of concubines (I just want 36 not 40) so that I know all the emotions of life, love, lust, empathy, fear, joy, passion, compassion, and much more….

The other thoughts that I have: Why are tatter-tots called tatter-tots? Why is the answer to the universe, to life, and everything 42? Is that when women reach their sexual penultimate peak? Or is it the number of times one is reincarnated to reach nirvana? I also want to know, whose bright idea to decide what black look like, or white for that matter? Additionally, does anyone know why the sky is blue, while water is considered wet?

Furthermore, I want to know are women breasts, the pair of them, are the exactly they same size? And, why do men have nipples, anyway? Did we actually nurse at one time? Or was it mother nature way of giving women a method to torture us and pleasure us, men that is, at the same time?! I let you more restrained folks think about that one. Oh yeah, baby, think about it indeed….

And speaking of babies, are they not amazing?! No, this does not mean, I am ready to settle down, or have one. I recently saw a friend's kid, the child was ooh soo cute, but had the deepest soulful brown eyes I have ever seen, that one’s heart could not help but melt; one could see the observable universe within them. I guess it made me wonder about the wonders of life, universe, and everything. It also made me appreciate with all the turmoil in the world, hate, violence, bigotry, and that we will be okay. And so it goes, it just being another day in paradise that life will go on, no matter how much we get in our own way…