The Price of Love

“Grief never ends, but it changes. It’s a passage, not a place to stay. Grief is not a sign of weakness, nor a lack of faith. It is the price of love.”  ~Unknown

A surprise crying session in the car this morning left me with this feeling that the sadness will never really go away. I think that’s okay though. Lately, there are more and more days where it lies dormant, allowing fuller engagement with life.
Tomorrow is the first anniversary of the death of my Uncle Mike. Two weeks ago I had a dream in which I was upset over something and I went to him and he kissed my head and hugged me. However frequently or infrequently I saw him throughout my life, I felt loved every time.

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Neocolonialism

Excerpted from an interview with Noam Chomsky conducted by David Barsamian for The Sun – Issue #462, June 2014

Barsamian: So if Israeli policies continue on the current trajectory, what do you see in that country’s future?

Chomsky: Almost uniformly, Israeli, Palestinian, and American commentators pose the issue as if there were only two possible outcomes: either the two-state option that the entire world has been supporting for thirty-five years and that the U.S. has been blocking, or else Israel takes over the whole region — all of the West Bank, all of the former Palestine. If that happens, Israel will have a demographic problem: too many Palestinians within a Jewish state. Then there will be a civil-rights struggle, an anti-apartheid struggle. It’s not even an option.
More important, the U.S. and Israel would never accept a one-state solution because they are currently pursuing a third option: Israel takes over everything within what’s called the “separation wall.” It’s actually an annexation wall that breaks up the West Bank into pieces. Israel is slowly seizing about a third of the West Bank And imprisoning whatever is left between the regions it’s effectively taking over. The Israelis are not taking over the areas where the Palestinian population is concentrated, however, because they don’t want the Palestinians. In fact, one striking difference between Israel and South Africa is that in South Africa the whites needed the black population to serve as their workforce. Israel just wants the Palestinians out, the way the U.S. did the Native Americans. Only these days you can’t just exterminate a whole group, as was done here. So Israel will drive them out. It will annex the territory it wants in the West Bank — the arable land, the water supplies, anything valuable — and leave the Palestinian population to rot outside those areas.
In the 1990s Israeli industrialists advised their government to move from a colonial policy to a “neocolonial policy,” which is what you now see all over the world in port-imperial states. A neocolonial policy maintains the basic structures of imperial domination while giving native elites a gift of some sort to keep them quiet. If you go to the poorest Central African country, there’s at least one place in it where people live in luxury. Or take India, where in the midst of horrible poverty a few live in huge skyscrapers with swimming pools on the fiftieth floor. That’s what Israel is creating in the remnants of Palestine. Ramallah is a modern city: restaurants, stores, theaters. You can go there and think you’re in London. But the rest of the West Bank is disintegrating. Israel is hoping that the Palestinians will just leave. Some peasants might stay on their land and survive somehow, but most will go. The process will continue as long as the U.S. supports it. Once the U.S. doesn’t support it any longer, it will change.

Posted in Peace, Politickery, PSA, Quotes, Social Politics, Some People are FUCKED UP, War | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

SAHMing

The president made some comments this week. I probably wouldn’t have even heard about them except that I have a number of conservative friends on Facebook and they were alllll wigged out. These were the comments:

“Sometimes, someone, usually mom, leaves the workplace to stay home with the kids, which then leaves her earning a lower wage for the rest of her life as a result. And that’s not a choice we want Americans to make.”

I would not have thought twice about this because it seems obvious that he is saying that this is not a choice we want Americans to have to make. It’s not awesome that there are women who stay home only because it’s cheaper than going to a job because daycare is so expensive and women make less money than men. It’s not okay that mom choosing to stay  home with her children for a while results in lower wages when she returns to work.
But of course conservative twitterverse is all in uproar. Well, this SAHM is not. You know what he meant and claiming otherwise is dishonest.

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Simple Smoothie

I don’t use this blog for much anymore so I think I will occasionally share recipes and ideas, things that are working or not working for us in our attempt to create better eating habits and hopefully live the longer, fuller lives we want. It’s an interesting balance. I love tv and spending time online and I love eating. But I also love hiking, dancing, biking trails and other activities. I’d like to be able to work those things in sometimes but we’ve grown used to sitting still and that leaves us missing out on things we like.
We are focused on diet right now, on creating new habits and re-training tastes. I’ve really been enjoying it for the first time and I think it’s having Jt as a partner in the endeavor that makes all the difference. Support is great but working together is so much better!

When I make smoothies I like to use some yogurt for protein but the family doesn’t really like it. I also don’t want to add sweeteners so you have to get the right balance of fruits to make it sweet. The whole family loved this one. Great way to get extra fruit in your diet.

Simple Smoothie

Nutrition Information via My Fitness Pal

Nutrition Information via My Fitness Pal

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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People Have Told Us

At home my mother and brother and I move in quiet orbits around one another in the heavy silence that filled the house after the flowers and family were gone. People have told us we need to move on. To get back to work. To go back to school. I’m told I should go to the next soccer game. Behind these words is the well-meaning but useless idea that routine breeds normalcy, that recovery is just around the corner. But this encouragement strikes me as being born of selfishness: these people cannot bear to see how grief has cleaved our lives.

~Rose Whitmore
from The Odds of Injury
published in The Sun (February 2014)

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The Difference Between a Cowboy and Urban Youth

Not an officer, a civilian. Taking aim at federal agents.

Not an officer, a civilian. Taking aim at federal agents.

Cliven Bundy,

You don’t get to be special. You don’t get to insist that others play by the rules while you flout them. You don’t get to point your high-powered rifle at federal agents because you want to continue stealing.
Let’s flip the story for a minute. Let’s say there is a young man living in a city. Let’s say he breeds dogs to help support his family. Maybe he uses an empty building owned by someone else to house his dogs. This man decides he doesn’t like the terms of his lease, a lease deemed fair by his state government and his federal government. He refuses to pay his rent. So police and federal agents come to the building to evict his dogs from the premises. He gets his friends together with their weapons and trains those weapons on the agents. He and his friends refuse to leave or to pay the rent owed. How would this play out on Hannity? How would the story read on Fox News? Would the cowboy militias be headed in to give aid to the renter?

Clive and his "militia"

Clive and his “militia”

The truth is, Mr. Bundy, the only difference is in the color of your skin and the way you dress. There is nuance to any story, of course there is and I’ll gladly admit I am not privy to all of it. The fact remains that the land is owned and protected by the federal government. We tasked the Bureau of Land Management with protecting wild lands, plants and animals. You can pay rent to graze a limited number of cattle on that land. You refuse. That is theft. Threatening agents with bodily harm by training rifles on them is thuggery.
The death of some of your herd as reported by those in attendance is a tragedy. One that rests solely on your shoulders. You move your cattle or the landowners will. I’ve seen friends evicted before, they don’t box your stuff up nice and neat, it goes into a dumpster.
I know people who bristled at Harry Reid referring to these so-called militia members as “domestic terrorists” but what else should we call people who threaten the lives of federal agents in order to support thievery? I’m okay with “domestic terrorist” but we can go with “gangster” if that suits you better.

Signed,
An Actual Law-Abiding American

The Daily Show takes on the story.
As usual, very much worth the few minutes it takes to watch.

Part One:
Apocalypse Cow

Part Two – Welfare Rancher:
Welfare Rancher

Posted in Crime, Politickery, PSA, Snark, Social Politics, Some People are FUCKED UP | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

You and Me and Hootie and the Blowfish

How can anyone know? Every major belief system, including so-called nonbelief systems such as atheism and nihilism, is built upon a fantastic premise: All matter exploded and congealed somehow into you and me and Hootie and the Blowfish. God inseminated a virgin whose child saved the world. A frog hiccuped and the prairies blossomed. I can’t come up with a better story than those, so I remain an astounded witness to a vast mystery arranged in remarkable order.

Through experience and skepticism I’ve arrived pretty much at what the conventional religions teach: A central moral code. A belief not only in forces creative and destructive but also regenerative. An embrace of sacrifice. Little in the way of wisdom and enlightenment came for Jonah until he was swallowed by that fish, and it was the same for me until I was swallowed by reality. Getting smashed to bits gave me humility, gratitude, and the ability to love and appreciate my fellow humans. Everyone gets smashed to bits; it’s your best opportunity to grow.

~Poe Ballantine
in an interview with Caleb Powell
published in The Sun (February 2014)

 

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