Your Regularly Scheduled Program…

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I’ve traded in my 5 hours of evening programming a week, for 5 hours of progressive talk radio.

The result?

 Although I feel more in tune to the situation around me, I also feel more helpless and suffer from more anxiety.  I didn’t really realize this until I was walking from my make-shift study in the back room of my home to the kitchen to get a cup of tea.  On the television, Kelly and guest host were interviewing Michael Weatherly of NCIS, a weekly crime drama I used to watch faithfully.  It was one of 4 programs that I enjoyed snuggling on the couch for each week.  During that nightly 1-hour excursion, I’d experience a gamet of emotion and got to escape either the boredom of the day or the troubles, depending on the circumstances, but more importantly, it was safe.  When the regular season ended, I waited with baited breath on the new one, counting down the weeks.  T.V. makes it so easy to do that.  It is so convenient to find a program that grabs our interest.  It doesn’t even have to keep it because there are at least 50 other programs that can be switched to at any given time.  It isn’t any great wonder that a person could spend their entire lives in front of this magical box and not feel like they missed anything; maybe even at times feel better than they would if they hadn’t been sitting there.

When you leave that world to return to the one outside your window, the first thing you realize is that you feel so exposed and vulnerable.  With the voices hushed by the push of a button, the silence suddenly becomes truly deafening as your gaze leads you to that vast horizon.  There is so much standing between you and that one tiny point in the distance, including the potential to fail, as well as the potential to succeed; each possibility holds its own special brand of fear.  As if that wasn’t enough, you are also faced with the obstacles that present themselves on your way to that future point and let us make no mistake. There are obstacles everywhere; sometimes in places you thought contained hope for a future.  You soon realize that everything is a possibility, and nothing is inevitable.

That’s the reason for my anxiety. 

The reason for my helplessness lies in the state of the environment that we must face and cross in order to get to that desired point.  With the numbing effect of daily TV programming gone, and the interest in national and world events front and center, you can’t help but be swept up (in a multitude of direction) by all the things you hear, and if you are anything like me you get to a point where you say…

                …well, what can I do about it?  I’m only one person. 

And in the meantime you feel the fear and the hopelessness of the unemployed and the uninsured (both of which incidentally I am a member of) and the anger of many Humans.  My mouth wants to say Americans, but my mind and my heart know that it goes way beyond that.  This state so many of us are feeling is a world wide state of enormous proportion that too few are trying to hammer out in bits and pieces.  No wonder I feel helpless.  It’s the equivalent of building big beautiful sand castles only to see them washed away with the incoming tide.  And these too few people are like the voices of the life guards who blow their whistles of warning that are just barely audible above the crashing of the waves; much like the droning of the voices on the TV screen, the world and all its issues are calling us but we live unhampered in our minds in front of the beautiful world in these continually growing boxes that sit at the alter of our existence where there are countless beginnings and ends all neatly wrapped up. 

Before there was TV, there was community.  I feel rather blessed, in some way, to be able to say that I remember those times, and what I realized is that the issues that scare me today where the same issues that existed then as well.  The big difference was that you didn’t feel so alone when facing them.

I liken the movement of the 99% to this memory; this ideal of what and who we were.  It’s the members of the masses who have quieted the noise maker enough to hear the calls for help from the very communities we live in.  They are the brave souls who have looked out at the vast distances before them, who see the obstacles and who have, despite their fears, decided that the perils that exist in-between are well worth the effort it will take to get to that point in the distance; the point we all call collectively home and our future, which oddly enough should resemble so much like our past.

It doesn’t take an act of God to silence the beast that consumes a good portion of our time daily.  All it takes are a set of weak batteries or the press of a thumb.  One is out of our control, the other a choice.

Maybe the point you see in the distance will be one worth fighting the obstacles for…

 

Happy reading and may your thoughts be progressive!

 

~SLD~

 

 

 

Tolerating Hypocrisy

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If you are a fan of any of the social networking sites (and who isn’t) you probably see your fair share of all the posts in relation to the presidential race, debates, and up coming elections.  Regardless of which side you are on, some of them are pretty humorous; and some of them are just down-right scary.  I consider myself to be politically challenged and the people who know me without exception will tell you this, but that doesn’t make me dumb nor does it make me ignorant.  What would is if I believed everything I read.  So when I see certain things being said about no candidate in particular, I’m going to read it with the 10 lb bag of salt in tow.  This includes any mis/information about our president.

At this point, I want to beg others to do the same as well. 

For far too long, we’ve had the spin doctors of this nation spinning all kinds of tails about our politicians and I don’t know which ones are worse; the ones who spin straw into gold, or the ones who would sell you a broken and useless spindle.  It really isn’t surprising that so many people are confused.

When reading all things in regards to politicians or their supporters saying anything about another, I encourage everyone to do the research and to consider all the variables, not just the ones that are given to you in the sales pitch.  It is the job and the agenda of political advertisers to sell you their product and you will only ever see what it is they want you to see; always something that appeals to your sense of rightness or justness.  It sounds like common sense, but in the heat of emotion and on subjects we tend to take personally, we are all too willing to only consider the information given to us and not the source.   These messages are intentionally designed this way.  They are banking on the fact that you are too busy to put the effort into reading up or tuning into the real issues. 

It amazes me how they make appeals on collective moral issues when these issues are private matters.  It wasn’t that long ago dinners where eaten around a dining room table, and when the business of a neighbor came up for discussion, the head of that table would say something like ‘Now Susie, that isn’t any of our business, after all, they aren’t breaking any laws’.  But that’s just it, isn’t it?  They sell you these issues because they want to make it law; because it offends their sense of rightness.  Again, at one time not that long ago, it didn’t matter what the neighbors were doing because it didn’t interfere with us.

 Well…it still doesn’t.  But we have been suckered into believing it has.   We are all being made to feel different and to attack those differences.  It’s the land of the free, but only as long as you think, feel, believe and act like me.  That idea is absurd, but that is what they are selling us and we’ve been buying it hand over fist. 

I recently heard a man call into a progressive talk radio program online during a recent show debating gay marriage and candidates’ position on same sex marriage.  This man, who shall remain nameless, called in to complain about two men kissing in a public place and how this upset him because he was forced with the task of having to explain to his young daughter why that was, and he was uncomfortable with that thought.

Wow.  Really?  I take issue with 2 points on this.  Firstly, if that is how we vote, based on personal belief, are we really any different from the radicals in other countries who believe the rest of the world should believe what they do and KILL in the name of that belief?  It isn’t effective to fight one radical belief with another, but to fight it with tolerance for all beliefs.  I know that concept isn’t easy.  I’d be lying if I said that I never fought the urge to believe that my way was right and someone else’s was wrong.  I’d also be lying if I said I never gave into hateful thoughts or thoughts of either being discriminated against in some way, shape, or form or resenting someone who makes that very same claim.  Everybody has.  That’s the science of sociology and campaigns are run based on the knowledge of this science. 

Secondly, tolerance is just another life lesson, isn’t it?  The statement by the father implies that he has never had to explain a single thing to his child that made him feel the least bit uncomfortable, and if that is true then I pity that child.  What other issues is this father avoiding?

Intolerance could be so easily resolved in a generation’s time with the same effort it would take to explain to that child why two men were kissing (or even why they shouldn’t).  All we need to do is teach tolerance to our children despite how it is we feel, because let’s face it.  We all have our stories; things that have given us a reason to feel the way we do, and the only reason for feeling that way is because we were coached.  Our parents sat us down and taught us how to feel and shared with us their truth, and because that became our reality, we bought into it and we created the conditions that backed that belief up.  The change doesn’t have to start with us, but we can be the catalyst for it by biting our tongues, refusing to let the way that we feel reflect on the lessons taught to our children and then gift them with a world of tolerance instead of this world of hypocrisy we now live in.

In that spirit, we should consider this as we read all the political propaganda about each candidate and when the time comes to vote, our decisions should be based on rational thought no matter how hard it is.   That means to check our prejudices at the door, if only long enough to pull the lever for a candidate who is willing to see past their own prejudices and continue to help restore this country to its former glory.  If we can do that, then we can all give a collective sigh of relief knowing we will have proven that our system of government really does work, just as its original writers had intended.

Let’s make this and every other election about the issues, NOT about THEIR issues.  Beware of only partial truths,  misquotes, and loopy arguments that seem to always lead back to the same topic and look to make sure quotes have not been twisted or used out of context.

 

Happy reading and may your thoughts be progressive!

 

~SLD~

OH! Mitt Romney… {Shame shame}

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Did I hear you right?bridge

Did you just say the people promoting solidarity among the 99% of the American population are trying to divide America?

I’m speechless.

You obviously have not been paying attention.  Oh, but I understand.  You probably have lost touch with what’s been going on or what the 99% means on account of the lack of coverage by the popular news networks.  I understand that as well.  I also had the same problem.

Maybe you could unplug the wonder drug and power up your PC, laptop, smart phone, Ipad, or tablet, visit any search engine and type in ‘occupy, 99%’.  Any site you wind up on will be filled with pictures of people holding up all kinds of signs depicting just some of the complaints they have, but it all basically boils down to the same thing (big business in politics).  More importantly, you’ll see that among those people holding those signs in those very same pictures, there is a diversified gathering, all of like mind, bridging the many personal differences that have been slowly eroding the core of this country.  Groups that the 1% has tried to keep divided by whatever dubious and unscrupulous means necessary to justify a means to your…er…I mean their ends for far too long.

There are people of every sex, creed, race, class, education, and age -have I missed anyone?-  You name it, they are out there, and even those of us who support them, if not actually storming the streets in peaceful demonstration right along side them.

Like the original pioneers of any movement, they stand with their flags and their dreams, hope, faith and determination, but most importantly with their beliefs in doing the right thing, which is ensuring the continued freedom granted them/me/us in the drafting, signing and then implementation of a document you seem to want to forget exists, the American Constitution, and they make no distinction when doing so. (If you forget what that says, you can also find that online.)

Back in that time, members of a soon-to-be nation fought tyranny by banding, marching, and eventually fighting together, just like now; all the while sacrificing and pushing past their own boundaries of comfort for the sake of the other 99%.  There aren’t too many of us Americans who are going to think they are wrong, as a matter of fact I believe it is estimated to be only about 1%.

But don’t take my word for it.  Just turn on the new.. I mean the computer and partake of all the incredibly wonderful media outlets popping up, including the ones that have always been there, and see for your self.  And then afterwards, you can tell the journalists/reporters on the network news that they really haven’t been doing their jobs lately.  But don’t you worry; there are plenty of talented journalists who are more than happy to pick up the slack.

So Mitt, may I say…You’re wrong; America is right.

Romney Gets Agressive with ‘Occupier

Happy reading and may your thoughts be progressive

~SLD~

Yay or Nay to NDAA

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A few weeks back, I signed a petition from a link on facebook in regards to the National Defense Authorization ACT (NDAA).  It was basically a form letter that stated I was against the signing of the bill into law.  Everything I had been reading about the bill worried me.  It’s not everyday that Congress tries to push through a bill that would allow the equivalent of martial law on home soil.  According to some aspects of this bill, military presence would have the right to apprehend any individual (including any US citizen) suspected of terrorist activity and detain them indefinitely  and without a trial in prison camps.  I couldn’t help notice the timing of this bill.  It was soon after the Occupy movement in New York started to gain momentum, and even after the war in Iraq officially ended (December 15, 2011).  The bill was passed by congress the following day.

To be honest, I forgot about the petition I signed to my Senator after the bill was signed by President Obama on December 31, 2011 even though I continued to see facebook statuses regarding it mostly by various occupy groups I’d ‘liked’.  What I did not expect was a letter from the senator of South Carolina, where I live.  I almost didn’t open it, and the only reason why I think I did was because I was expecting my new voter’s registration card. 

You see, after hearing all about the occupy movement and the possibility of a bill called NDAA passing that appeared to be rushed into law due to the movement that was spreading not only nationally but globally, I wanted to be sure that when the time came, I could exercise my right and vote the person responsible out.  I quickly scanned the letter barely able to contain my distain and I could feel my pulse quicken and the systolic pressure in my arterial veins increase when I came to a part of the letter that made me feel less than patriotic to this country and the people who served this country in times of war and who continue to do so. 

After reading that letter over several times a few days later, I have no idea why I felt that way.  Maybe it was this sentence:

                 “I will continue to be a strong advocate for our soldiers so that they can complete their missions in a safe and efficient manner.”

I remember thinking that would be great if the enemy were right here, right now, and in my mind I was thinking ‘why on earth would she think we needed that?’  Another thought that came to mind was the fact that my own son served in Iraq as a marine a short time before he was injured and returned to me minus his left forearm.  Did she think I didn’t know what it meant to be patriotic? 

The rest of the letter was a blur as I contemplated my return correspondence in between images of me squeezing the breath from someone who pretended to have my best interest at heart while slipping through a bill that seemed to threaten those very same interests. So armed with Google, I set to work finding not only material to use in my correspondence to her, but also for the blog post that was sure to follow.

My first discovery?  My she was a he.  Oops!  I guess I had a lot to learn (and it probably wasn’t going to be as easy as I had dreamt either.)  It dawned on me that it would probably be a good idea to drop any preconceived notions about MR Lindsey O. Graham before I drew any more conclusions. 

Yeah.  That would be smart.  I decided to read any content I came to about this NDAA without bias and to try and look at it all objectively and in less than the state of panic that I’d previously felt.

The first thing I wanted to know was who Lindsey O. Graham was. I learned a lot.  I learned that although he’s a staunch republican, he has drawn the ire of his own party for less than conservative actions.  But what I’d learned didn’t give me the means I needed to vilify him as I’d wanted to.  In fact, in some circles it might be said that just the opposite is true.  But as a Democrat, I’m not going to say that… 😉

What I knew after reading about him was that I needed to know more about NDAA and what was being said about it.  And here’s the truth.  I’ve seen enough blogs and posts and read enough articles to know that NOBODY is telling the truth.  Half want you to believe that NDAA is absolutely nothing to worry about and the other half…well, you guessed it.  I read post after post of a page on the ACLU’s blog forum that swears that NDAA was passed as a means to stop Pro-lifers from terrorizing abortion clinics with their peaceful demonstrations.  I read posts from people who believe the bill was rushed to prevent the peaceful protests of the occupy movement; but, I also read that this is a bill that was started sometime in 2005 in response to the lack of action military personal  could take when dealing with terrorists in Iraq.  The specifics are a blur (ugh!  Short term memory be damned!), but for anyone interested, I will post a link to the page I read this on. However, my point is that despite what some would have one believe, I’m not left with the impression that this is a bill that was rushed into being to stop occupiers from invoking their 1st amendment rights, and this isn’t a movement to squash protests against abortion.

The fact is, I still don’t understand it all, and I’m still not sure if our rights are threatened. 

What I want is someone to actually address those thoughts, those fears that a good deal of people are feeling in an open and honest fashion.  If this bill isn’t anything for an American Citizen to be concerned about, I would like someone in authority to say so.  Just cut to the chase, otherwise you invite irrational speculation on both sides.

Any volunteers out there?  Senator Graham, if you’re reading this, I apologize for being not so informed.  I just wish I’d been able to get more than just your correct gender.  Can you offer anything?

**Side note:  I did find it interesting that behind every forum, blog or site I visited where the belief was that this was the beginning of the end with statements like ‘keep your powder dry’ and ‘arm yourselves’, there were ads armed to the gill, one lined up above and below the other for one candidate for presidency…And the winner IS

RON PAUL…come on down, you’re our next contestant in the Price is Right!!!

Coincidence?

Until next time,

Happy reading and may your thoughts be progressive.

~SLD~

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/2828762/posts

http://destructionist.wordpress.com/2011/12/14/the-indefinite-detention-bill-does-apply-to-american-citizens-on-u-s-soil/

Politics and…Wait for it…Religion!

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With the hardest part of blogging complete, that being the decision and creation of such blog, I sat back and thought ‘oh geeze…What am I going to write about now?’  Knowing the answer would eventually come to me, I decided to take a break and a walk.  It was a cold mid-evening, Saturday night, and I had just bundled myself in layers.  Armed with my smart phone and its connection to Pandora for my 3 mile walk, I stepped out of the door.  I didn’t have to wait long for an answer.

I was literally 2 steps out when a campaign ad for Rick Santorum streamed through my phone.  It was very brief; maybe all of 15 seconds, but it was enough.  In the ad, Mr Santorum appeals to religious followers by stating that all leaders stem from a religious background.   That got me thinking, really?!  So I took the phone from my back pocket and launched the handy-dandy, built-in note pad app and made a note to myself-“Rick Santorum, religious leaders, he supports this message” placed the phone back into my pocket and let my mind wander as my feet pounded pavement.

I noticed nothing of my surroundings as thoughts of past leaders flittered in and out of my mind.  All songs were banished to mere white noise.  To be honest, there were all the obvious ones at first, the biggest being Jesus.  Among the top were also names like Martin Luther King and JFK, Muhammad, and a favorite of mine Mahatma Gandi.  But then a curious thing started to happen.  Other names started to emerge; names like Albert Einstein and Carl Sagan, Bill gates, and a man named Protagoras, a pre-Socratic Greek philosopher whom Plato credits with having invented, of all things, the role of teacher of virtue.  That’s pretty impressive.  Interestingly enough, the last four are Agnostic.

Agnostics; what are they?   According to Webster’s New World Dictionary, an agnostic is someone who believes it is impossible to know if God exists; mind you, not someone who does not believe in God.  It’s a fair enough statement.  It isn’t known if their belief was the result of something that happened or if they were raised that way, but the point is, despite their lack of religion, they still managed to be leaders; great minds in the fields of science, technology, the arts and philosophy.

The fact that I had to do a little digging to get this information brings to light some home truths, and that is this: You either hear only of the ones (leaders) who are religious, or you do not hear of the religion of the ones who are not (religious).  I just can’t imagine why that is; maybe because if there is no religion, there is no fear and the issue(s) become the actual focus.  Me personally, I am not without my beliefs.  They may have morphed with the lessons I’ve been taught in life, and I’ve no doubt they will change again…and again, and again, but they will never be a rational reason why I vote for someone or not.  It will never be a reason why I choose to do something or not.

The only reason I could see it making a difference in this instance is if Rick Santorum said to the people, ‘As a peace loving Christian, I believe that it is the responsibility and duty of each person to keep in mind the needs of not only themselves and their own, but also the needs of their neighbor and it is the responsibility of the leader of this nation to continue with the programs and education that will afford every person  in every city, in every state the same amount of rights and opportunities regardless of their own belief, because I am not standing here as a religious leader of the world, but as a leader of a free nation.

This is Custodes Progressus and I think Jesus would approve this message. {Sarcasm NOT intended…yeah, well, maybe just a little ;-)}

It really is that simple.

Until next time…

Happy reading and may your thoughts be progressive!

~SLD~

Strive not to be a success, but rather to be of value ~ Albert Einstein.

A Word About ‘Occupy’

Being spiritual doesn’t make me religious or in any way necessarily interested in it.  It makes me transcend it.  It knows that for what-ever reason, we were placed here on this earth at this particular time in space and knowing that we need to make the best of it.  That means doing what ever is necessary to be at peace with everything else in it.  Any other definition is just the use of the term to justify some other means.

I was amazed to find that these thoughts, my thoughts, make me not only a progressive, but it would seem at least in the place I reside now, unpopular.

Most of my prior writings have been spiritually, insightfully based; but, in light of the situation we find ourselves faced with in this country today, to ignore the problem behind a façade of enlightenment would be avoiding the responsibility we have as human beings no matter what faith you are or are not.  This isn’t what our nation was founded on and it certainly cannot be what any God could have envisioned for us. 

‘Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses…’ so I can plumage and rape them isn’t how it was supposed to go.  The arms of freedom where always represented by the acts of this nation collectively in our communities and states based on the knowing that we didn’t all share the same backgrounds,  advantages or views, but yet we managed to conform and compromise enough to make it all work.  That system has all but broken down and we all claim to know the reason why.  There are tens of thousands of people marching in cities here and all over the world who can give you some of those reasons.  There are literally millions more still at home who can give you many more.  But the real reason is this.  Some people with more power and money who make most of the rules could care less about other people, and more about power, money, and themselves.  They care more about their issues and their own beliefs and views of what this world should be and not of the billions they share this planet with. 

This country and laws on which it is governed was supposed to protect us from people like this, and we trusted them to do that.  Today, looking around, it would appear that many have abused that trust.

I can’t begin to tell you how this is going to be fixed, but I can tell you that without the multitudes coming to grips with and dropping the inconsequential arguments that keep us mired to our differences, nothing will change.  In the state of this country right now, does it really matter that you are a Christian with Christian values, and your neighbor believes in the boogie man?  Does it matter that the man or woman down the street believes they should have the rights to marry someone of the same sex and you completely oppose it?  Does it matter that you and the woman at the local hair salon cannot agree at what point a single cell becomes more than just that?  It is possible for you to believe any of these things and have it not affect another person…ever.  But what is going on right now in our government does.  It is that simple.

If you were to strip away all the fancy language today’s politician uses to confuse us and keep us squabbling amongst ourselves, you would be able to see this.  It isn’t just the language they use either.  It is things like guilt and psychology.  They tell people exactly what they think they want to hear or they tell them what they know they fear.  It is manipulation.  It isn’t their views or values because on closer inspection, none of them live it. Their only job is to make you believe it.  They say what they have to, to reach the most amounts of people to make the most amount of difference at the polls.

Are they all like this?  No.  How do you know which ones are not?  You have to pay attention and do the research.  In short, you have to care.  In general, so many of us have stopped caring as a whole.  We’ve been conditioned to think selfishly and made to think that if others don’t think like us they need to be converted or crushed.   Issues like equality and basic human rights are being confused with enforcing a certain belief on others but the only rights that should and do matter are the rights our constitution provides.  The rights this country was born from; and yet for a good many years now we’ve seen laws that were created to ensure these rights diminish right before us, and if we are being at all honest with ourselves, it was allowed to happen because it most likely had nothing to do with or in anyway affected us.  Can we honestly say that with a straight face today? That’s the only thing we should all be concerned with.  I am concerned and I am the 99%.  Are you?

 

Happy reading and may your thoughts always be progressive!

~SLD~

Image

A New View!

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old console TV, reporterThis is no fun for me…

Don’t get me wrong.  Writing a blog is something I’ve wanted to do for a long time.  Before going back to school full time, being a stay at home mom afforded me the luxury of indulging my interest in writing and nerdy stuff like web design and coding, as well as art.  These are the things I wanted to (and I thought I would) be writing about.  More recently, however, I’ve found myself driven to write about things that are becoming increasingly more important to me and should be to you, the reader, as well. 

You see, when I’m not absorbed in doing what I love, I’m catching bits and pieces of the news and what I’m seeing  (or more importantly what I’m not seeing) is very troubling to me.  It has been for some time.  But in light of the growing occupy movement on our own door step, my concern has grown exponentially. 

With such a growing number of discontented people camping out in public parks and marching in city streets, voicing multiple complaints about the state of this country, why isn’t this being covered on every news station in the country?

When I first heard of the occupy movement, it was something I quite literally stumbled over; some small write-up on the internet.  The event in question seemed big enough to garner attention from the major news networks, and I started looking for the coverage on TV because watching something takes less effort than reading about it…right?

I couldn’t find it.  The occupy movement was not being covered on the news on ANY channel and according to what I’d read, this movement was coming up on its 2 month anniversary.  To be honest, I didn’t spend an awful lot of time looking. I just didn’t care to.  TV has always been low on my list of priorities, but I have family who love it, and they watch quite a bit of the news networks.  I asked them if they had heard anything about the occupy movement.  When they said they hadn’t, I became skeptical.  I thought maybe they had and just didn’t want to get into the details with me, so I got back on my computer to see it I could learn more.

Apparently, this movement was growing in droves in cities all over this country, and I couldn’t find ANYTHING about it on TV, where there is nothing short of a half dozen news programs on any given day droning on and on all day long about stuff that will never directly effect any one of us.

Does anyone else find this odd?  I thought the business of news was to tell it.  I remember a time when that was all they did. 

In fact, the news is one major reason why I never liked watching TV.  My father used to watch it all the time and when I was a young girl, it terrified me; coverage of the Vietnam War and Watergate…I remember one time hiding behind the couch as my father yelled at the image in the new color screen of a TV he’d actually built himself.  For the first time the images on the screen became more life like and real, bringing the content expressed so much closer to home.

A little later, about 30 years ago, when I was still quite impressionable, I would sit in front of the news and just shake my head.  Reagan was president and my father would have you believe that ‘That man is trying to destroy the middle class! Everything we’ve worked hard for HE wants to take away.”  As it would turn out, I believe he was right.  He was and still is right about a lot of things.

Listening to what my father feared the most not only worried me, but turned me off to what was going on around me; around everyone.  Even though I myself could see a point some place in the future where certain liberties and benefits Middle America enjoyed would no longer be there for others, it didn’t matter because it wasn’t affecting me then.  The thought of it only served to scare me.   So when my boyfriend and I heard “Let the next generation worry about it” from his beloved and respected grandfather…We did.  Only we were not thinking so clear.  WE were not only the next generation, but the one after that.

During those 30 years, I cringed and grabbed for the remote every time the anchor people started in with “President so and so said this, and so-and-so bill passed in the house affecting the…blah blah blah blah blah (this is me not listening; pick up a book, go get a snack, zone out, think about the exam you have coming up…Anything but this.  Don’t listen to this.  Close your eyes.  Go to sleep.)  The few times I was forced to listen, I SAW what was happening.  Conscious parallels were being drawn in my mind to what was going on at that time and to what I was learning about in history class in continents that our ancestors grew up on and I’d hear my dad saying ‘They’re trying to bust up the Unions by moving the jobs south…’ and again, he was right!  Maybe I could see this so clearly because I wasn’t so involved with listening about it all the time.

 I didn’t spend a lot of time watching TV.  I still don’t.  I could never understand why people would want to spend their time watching and then talking about what was happening on daytime soaps and night-time drama.  It wasn’t real, but they talked as if it were.  And then a curious thing happened.  I started to notice that the news was starting to look like those flashy programs everyone was talking about.  I remember hearing, too, that the evening news was losing viewers to evening programming. 

Nelson ratings were being talked about in regards to the news and I remember thinking GREAT!  That’s wonderful.  WHO CARES!  No…wait.  REALLY?!  If that were not enough, they were talking about adding a 24 hour news channel to cable.  The voice in my head was saying ‘That’s never going to fly.’ an all day music channel is something I would and eventually did TUNE into, but the news? It happened in 1980.  It was news, but not news we needed to hear; news about other places scattered all over the globe.  People watched anyway because this news didn’t affect them.  It wasn’t our economy, or our crime or our wars.  It was happening somewhere else to someone else and as long as it took our minds off of what was happening here, we were alright.  As long as we could turn around and say ‘and we thought we had it bad…’ we were willing to overlook the state of our own union and just be lulled into a false sense of security. 

And then suddenly we became a nation obsessed with the news.

When you anchor yourself to an environment, you don’t notice the subtle changes that occur, but when you leave and come back after having been away for a while those subtle changes suddenly seem drastic.  That being said, I watched as stuffy old stodgy mothballs sitting around in a room with dim lighting and clacking typewriter keys were replaced by young, attractive, well-dressed, and spirited individuals in soft lighting and bright shiny sets, and we all fell in love with them!   Even I enjoyed watching the morning news as I got my children ready for school.  They made us all laugh, didn’t they?

Suddenly, it became fashionable to put a TV in the kitchen JUST TO WATCH THE NEWS while dinner was being made, or while we emptied the contents of fast food bags down our throats (In yet another facet of the slow erosion of America…).

But, it isn’t news anymore people…it hasn’t been for a long time.  It’s ENTERTAINMENT and for some reason I can’t quite fathom, I need to have real news.  Not these horrible-yet-attractive ugly people dressed in the finest threads spewing venomous hate, telling me a bunch of bull they get paid to say…oh wait, I guess I do know.  My bad.

Step back from your couches and the present moment and revisit the past.  How do you remember it?  If that doesn’t help, imagine your life like a facebook timeline in increments of 5 yrs.  Park yourself mentally at each point and do a little reflecting.  Look around you.  What do you see?  What do you hear?  Now, forget about what you see and hear and think about the way you feel.   Are you seeing and hearing one thing and feeling something different or have you been permanently sucked into the abyss that is cable TV and News networks.  Are you hearing only one thing over and over again?  Is it because it is true or because that’s what they want you to believe? Are you hearing things that should be reported?  Are you not?

Our own nation is in the throes of something very important and we have a news media that is not covering it.  What else are they not covering?  This should be enough to make anybody, even me, sit up and listen. ..And it has.

Not only to the situation with the occupy movement, but also the politics of this nation.  I want all sides, and I want it unbiased.   Don’t you?

Here’s hoping we start seeing.

Happy reading and may your thoughts be progressive!

~SLD~

Taking the Plunge!

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sunken treasureMaking the commitment to finally blog about things I care about led me to a sort of epiphany just now. I suppose to some this would seem fairly obvious. In the way this blog is designed, it is in part a journal or log of daily, weekly, or monthly accomplishments that we all at times seem to take for granted. But, change comes in increments.

With some people it comes in giant leaps and bounds, and in others it’s the toe in the water. I happen to be a member of the latter. However, I have noticed that the more I test the water, the more accustomed I become to the variances in temperature, and I’m starting to notice the water at the deep end of the pool is the same temperature as the water in the shallow end, at least on the surface.

Although once you take the plunge, does it really matter? The body is met first with the gradient warmth of the sun soaked surface; only as deep as the rays are seen. At some point, the body becomes aware of the deeper, cooler sensations rippling through; that euphoric rejuvenating sensation that most seem to fear before contemplating the jump. But jumping can sometimes be the easy part, especially if we do not trust in our ability to swim.

Don’t fear the jump; just learn to swim, and don’t be afraid to go deep.  That’s where all the treasure is.

Happy reading and may your thoughts be progressive!

~SLD~