Saturday, July 05, 2003

Now that it's the Fifth of July, let's relax
with some easy reading -

The Declaration of Independence --

This is a pretty subversive and excellent document right here:

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed
--That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed.

But when a long train ! of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.

--Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States.........>more at site Thanks~~to Boing-Boing.net



The Little Old lady From Pasadena




Let America Be America Again
by Langston Hughes

Let America be America again.
Let it be the dream it used to be.
Let it be the pioneer on the plain
Seeking a home where he himself is free.

(America never was America to me.)

Let America be the dream the dreamers dreamed--
Let it be that great strong land of love
Where never kings connive nor tyrants scheme
That any man be crushed by one above.

(It never was America to me.)

O, let my land be a land where Liberty
Is crowned with no false patriotic wreath,
But opportunity is real, and life is free,
Equality is in the air we breathe.

(There's never been equality for me,
Nor freedom in this "homeland of the free.")

Say, who are you that mumbles in the dark?
And who are you that draws your veil across the stars?
I am the poor white, fooled and pushed apart,
I am the Negro bearing slavery's scars.
I am the red man driven from the land,
I am the immigrant clutching the hope I seek--
And finding only the same old stupid plan
Of dog eat dog, of mighty crush the weak.

I am the young man, full of strength and hope,
Tangled in that ancient endless chain
Of profit, power, gain, of grab the land!
Of grab the gold! Of grab the ways of satisfying need!
Of work the men! Of take the pay!
Of owning everything for one's own greed!

I am the farmer, bondsman to the soil.
I am the worker sold to the machine.
I am the Negro, servant to you all.
I am the people, humble, hungry, mean--
Hungry yet today despite the dream.
Beaten yet today--O, Pioneers!
I am the man who never got ahead,
The poorest worker bartered through the years.

Yet I'm the one who dreamt our basic dream
In the Old World while still a serf of kings,
Who dreamt a dream so strong, so brave, so true,
That even yet its mighty daring sings
In every brick and stone, in every furrow turned
That's made America the land it has become.
O, I'm the man who sailed those early seas
In search of what I meant to be my home--
For I'm the one who left dark Ireland's shore,
And Poland's plain, and England's grassy lea,
And torn from Black Africa's strand I came
To build a "homeland of the free."

The free?

Who said the free? Not me?
Surely not me? The millions on relief today?
The millions shot down when we strike?
The millions who have nothing for our pay?
For all the dreams we've dreamed
And all the songs we've sung
And all the hopes we've held
And all the flags we've hung,
The millions who have nothing for our pay--
Except the dream that's almost dead today.

O, let America be America again--
The land that never has been yet--
And yet must be--the land where every man is free.
The land that's mine--the poor man's, Indian's, Negro's, ME--
Who made America,
Whose sweat and blood, whose faith and pain,
Whose hand at the foundry, whose plow in the rain,
Must bring back our mighty dream again.

Sure, call me any ugly name you choose--
The steel of freedom does not stain.
From those who live like leeches on the people's lives,
We must take back our land again,
America!

O, yes,
I say it plain,
America never was America to me,
And yet I swear this oath--
America will be!

Out of the rack and ruin of our gangster death,
The rape and rot of graft, and stealth, and lies,
We, the people, must redeem
The land, the mines, the plants, the rivers.
The mountains and the endless plain--
All, all the stretch of these great green states--
And make America again!

From The Collected Poems of Langston Hughes,
published by Alfred A. Knopf, Inc.
Copyright 1994 the Estate of Langston Hughes.

--
Thanks! to Neil Jensen


The Cost of War

Be sure to check out The Cost of War

"Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired, signifies in the final sense a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed."

President Dwight D. Eisenhower
April 16, 1953

War affects everyone, not just those directly involved in the fighting. This webpage is a simple attempt to demonstrate one of the more quantifiable effects of war: the financial burden it places on our tax dollars.

To the right you will find a running total of the amount of money spent by the US Government to finance the war in Iraq. This total is based on estimates from the Congressional Budget Office. Below the total are a number of different ways that we could have chosen to use the money. Try clicking on them; you might be surprised to learn what a difference we could have made--







Friday, July 04, 2003

Here's my photoblog for the day -
Happy Fourth of July! - another year,
another parade in Small Town, USA -
New Mexico...


The shriners


Beautiful Fifty-five Ford!



Reflections...



Uncle Sam hitches a ride...

Tuesday, July 01, 2003

Recent Distractions
Here's a website I've been perusing, with amazement
and laughter : Don't miss this! - Link -
Thanks to bOing-bOing.net, this is an actual
Scientology recruitment manual from 1976 -
It's a shag-carpet-era hilarious staged collection
of Scientology's best....
...this 1970s-era Church of Scientology picturebook,
laughably written and lavishly illustrated with photos
of loinclothed enlightened souls who look suspiciously
like Jim Morrison....

Also, I've been enjoying the music of the Moylan Sisters,
two talented little girls who sang on the radio back in the '30s
and '40s.
When they made their network debut in 1939, they were 5 and 7 years old.
Listen to their recordings!

In case we forget about the accomplishments of our El Presidente,
check out his resume,as posted on michaelw.net's blog...

Another amazing site which must be seen is the SARS digital art project---




The Free Range Chickens


These are three hens, free-ranging out in the field after a long
hot day in the shade of my patio. They are supposed to be
next door, but have been here for about a week.

The New Yorker had a cartoon by Roz Chast this week,
which was all about my visiting chickens! The balloon-thoughts coming
out of their cockly pea-brains were something like, "There's a whole
world out there! Let's go take it on, girls!" ....my thoughts exactly,
watching this trio buck-buck around the yard. If I ran at them, to chase
them, they would turn toward me and run past me in the opposite
direction. If I led them, they would follow. If I wasn't paying any attention
to them, they scratched up my scrawny pansies and marigolds.

I wrote a story about my neighbor's chickens a few years ago...
It is called My Feathered Friend....