War Genie

February 10, 2018

genie
The Big Vacancy does so love the trappings of war and power, although he himself avoided its brutality in his “own Vietnam” (as he once quipped). So, instead, he said, he had put himself in harm’s way during those bloody years heroically avoiding deadly STDs trolling female waters in calm seas suffering bone spurs.
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By all means give him his war-toy parade, a moment to satisfy his imagination, a road crewchance to see himself an Alexander, a Napoleon, his  troops passing, honoring him with salutes, his missiles partially erect rolling by on caissons, his tanks chewing up pavement, inevitable road crews behind, covering his damage …his base applauding, applauding, applauding.
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Trump is not the first Un Delirio to bask in visions of grandeur with a following:

……. history has seen at least one fool uncork a bottle thinking 
……. he could tame a genie only to end up shooting himself
……. in the head in a bunker after having created a losing proposition
……. producing 1. his corpse and 2. a continental Armageddon

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Jim Culleny

2/6/18

 

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Night Terrors

January 5, 2018

trump lincoln

Donald Trump’s response to a question from Bob Woodward on why president Lincoln was a successful president:

BW: And why did Lincoln succeed? Thought about that at all?

DT: Well, I think Lincoln succeeded for numerous reasons. He was a man who was of great intelligence, which most presidents would be. But he was a man of great intelligence, but he was also a man that did something that was a very vital thing to do at that time. Ten years before or 20 years before, what he was doing would never have even been thought possible. So he did something that was a very important thing to do, and especially at that time.

In case you think this is fake it’s not. It should be fake. It sounds like it has to be, but no, it’s real. If it were fake I’d sleep better at night, but as it is —since it’s real— I wake with night terrors.

This is our president.

This is how little he has to say about everything …anything. Oh, he uses many words, little words, short ones, like dung beads strung on a thread of gossamer, flimsy, fragile, a thread of nothing, really.

His little word-beads snake from his mouth on their gossamer thread and fall apart in mid air like blank thought bubbles.

Fascinating.

Terrifying when paired with another short word: nuke.

 

Jim Culleny
1/4/17

generosity in the age of trump

I’ve been reading a new translation by Emily Wilson of the Odyssey  —language straightforward, down to earth despite the ever- presence of Zeus, Athena and Poseidon et. al. Not to mention Olympus or Mar a Lago. I’m enjoying it and am reminded once again how much things change yet remain the same.

In fact I found in that 3000 year-old tale in a few lines about midway through the rationale for the smug cruelties of congressional Republicans (the governmental arm of the unconscionable rich) and the far right in general. We may have come far in many ways but in matters of who gets what of all there is Republicans can claim a long, classic tradition.

At one point in the Odyssey King Alcinous offers the wandering Odysseus hospitality with a bon voyage accompanied by many gifts. The gifts came from Alcinous himself and other of the rich elites in Alcinous’ kingdom. In his appeal to the others to give generously Alcinous says:

“Our guest has clothes packed up inside a trunk.,
and other gifts that we have given him.
Each of us now should add a mighty tripod
and cauldron.
……………………… I WILL MAKE THE PEOPLE PAY
A LEVY, SO THAT NONE OF US WILL SUFFER
FROM UNREWARDED GENEROSITY.”

Right there, from 3000 years in the past, echoing through the ages, you have the engine that has driven the earth’s millennia of poverty. It has also given us the just-signed Republican “tax reform” bill which has showered even more riches upon the rich and will be paid for by the people by means of a “levy so that none of (the rich) will suffer from unrewarded generosity.”

To wit: cuts to Medicare, SS, health care coverage, public education and on and on and on…

Jim Culleny
1/2/18

Congratulations!

November 4, 2017

CONGRATULATIONS US Citizens!! The 2018 ACA (Affordable Care Act) enrollment period is just 45 days (Nov 1-Dec 15). You’re not seeing advertising about the enrollment window online or on TV because the Affordable Care Act’s advertising budget was cut by 90 percent. Fortunately, your friends are posting this and using the word “congratulations” so it gets posted more frequently in Newsfeed by FB algorithms. Many of my friends depend on the ACA marketplace to get affordable health insurance.
REMEMBER TO COPY AND PASTE INSTEAD OF SHARING SO IT CAN BE SEEN BY MORE PEOPLE (sorry for the caps, but it’s important!!

Massachusetts: November 1, 2017 – January 23, 2018
New York: November 1, 2017 – January 31, 2018

but I personally don’t trust this, so I’m doing it before 12/15 if not sooner.

A truth to consider:

October 31, 2017

chief seattle 2 . Chief Seattle

Chief Seattle speaking at the signing of the Medicine Creek Treaty …recognizing how it doomed his people.

“It matters little where we pass the remnant of our days. They will not be many. A few more moons; a few more winters—and not one of the descendants of the mighty hosts that once moved over this broad land or lived in happy homes, protected by the Great Spirit, will remain to mourn over the graves of a people once more powerful and hopeful than yours. But why should I mourn at the untimely fate of my people? Tribe follows tribe, nation follows nation, like the waves of the sea. It is the order of nature, and regret is useless. Your time of decay may be distant, but it will surely come, for even the White Man whose God walked and talked with him as friend with friend, cannot be exempted from the common destiny. We may be brothers after all. We shall see.”

Decay so distant? We shall see.

Unlikely we’ll listen and actually do, but nevertheless, here is Chief Seattle’s poignant address in 1952 (a truer, less destructive view of Man’s relationship to the earth that that of Christian myth and theology):

http://a002-vod.nyc.gov/html/embedplayer.php?id=3728

Wilderness

October 19, 2017

Creation 01

I’m reading an excellent book I happened upon at Boswell’s Books in Shelburne Falls (great bookstore BTW). It’s title is God is Red, which I found intriguing. Long story short: the author, Vine Deloris Jr., explores the divide between native American religious ideas and those of Western European Christianity. The excerpt quoted below is from the chapter, The Problem of Creation, which examines how native American and Western European attitudes about nature lead to certain outcomes. Deloria makes a case that the western Christian view of Man over nature, Man apart, Man at war with nature, is integrally bound up with a theology that pits man against nature from the very beginning (from the Bible’s Genesis). He shows how Man’s fall (into nature) is woven into a theology of salvation and fundamentally necessary to it. This brought many things into focus for me. It helps explain (especially) American capitalism’s virtually complete self-destructive disregard for the damage it does to the ecosystem of which we are integral. Underneath it all is a centuries old, deep-seated doctrinaire religious myth.

“We did not think of the great open plains, the beautiful rolling hills, and winding streams with tangled growth as “wild.” Only to the white man was nature a “wilderness” and only to him was the land “infested” with “wild” animals and “savage” people.. To us it was tame. Earth was bountiful and we were surrounded with the blessings of the Great Mystery.. Not until the hairy man from the east came and with brutal frenzy heaped injustices upon us and the families that we loved was it “wild” for us.. When the very animals of the forest began fleeing from his approach, then it was that for us the “Wild West” began.”
…………………………………………………………………………… —Chief Luther Standing Bear

Jim Culleny, 10/19/17

God is Red: here, herehere