Before I get started, I have a personally significant "News Brief." As of yesterday (September 28, 2002), this little ezine achieved a new benchmark, having had over 10,000 visitors in less than a month. And whilst I'm certain that the folks at MSNBC aren't shaking in their boots, I am humbled, amazed and compelled to share this moment of celebration with all of you readers... Pausing to say thanks for having somehow given me hope.
Hope is a priceless commodity in a world seemingly run amok with ugly confusion, which brings me back to what started this writing today. Late last night I watched the CSPAN re-broadcast of the thousands and thousands of individuals who gathered in Washington D.C. yesterday, protesting the politically correct (yet definitively warmongering) effects of World Bank & International Monetary Fund (IMF) policies, making demands to "quarantine corporate greed."
"Most of the world's most impoverished countries have suffered under IMF/World Bank programs for two decades: they've seen debt levels rise, unemployment skyrocket, poverty increase, and environments devastated. Urged to export, they focus on cash crops like coffee instead of food for their own people, and allow foreign governments to build sweatshops - which also puts pressure on jobs in the US." ~ GlobalizeThis.org
And it wasn't just our own bratty college kids doing the protesting against what has been described as "a world war on the people of the planet." Far from it. In the global scope of events, the D.C. rally represented only a bucketful of the flowing tide.
"In the largest peace
demonstrations in the U.K. since the Vietnam era, up to a half million
in the streets of London on Saturday,
against war in Iraq. This
powerful output of opposition to U.S. and U.K. support for war focused
particularly on PM Tony Blair's singular support for a war of
Assessing the magnitude of these events in an Associated Press (AP) report, David Levy, spokesman for Mobilization for Global Justice, said, "The situation was demonstrated in the streets today that the people are very angry and upset with the wrongheaded and pernicious policies that are being pushed by corporate elites and furthered by international institutions."
In response to all this, I must say two things: First, I and my family stand in solidarity with these activists. Though our physical bodies are here in the Ozarks, our spirits soar with them. The magnitude and overall Gandhi-esque behavior of these great masses of individuals soothes our haggard soul.
Of course it would be far more soul soothing to live in a time and place where demonstrations and protests of this ilk were unnecessary. Precluded by the effervescently permeating sensations of attainment: Personal ownership of liberty and justice for all, deployed with a unilateral endowment of egalitarian prosperity and emotional good will.
And in light of current events, I sincerely feel that a "history bridge" of "magilogical" proportions has been crossed here. That perhaps as quickly as a decade from now we'll socio-culturally look back and recognize the benchmark of a turning point. That in the scant lub-dub of a global heartbeat, the peoples inherent to the diverse cultures of the Earth shall be living harmoniously... forever finding new and better ways to make all our dreams complete. And maybe (eeek! Am I actually about to publish this on the Internet?) we will even be doing this without any thoughts about money!!!
(Oh my God... Has she gone totally insane?!?!?)
But then, you know, I'm an idealist. However there is also a determined pragmatist side to my personna. Which brings me to that second item of business I feel compelled to bring to light.
I am appalled at the dismal and (to my eyes) lopsided "main stream media" coverage these unfolding "we the people" actions are garnering world wide. One comment, posted to a rapidly growing "alternative media" website, capsules my own personal perspective rather precisely. Referencing "Typical CNN reporting on antiwar marches," the message reads:
"CNN reported at 12:05PM Eastern Standard Time that there was a demo/march in London. The report lasted a good 8 seconds without informing viewers on how many people are actually demonstrating."
I mean really folks... when an uncountable number of PEACEFUL people swarm the streets of London making civilized claims about anything and my local/national evening news completely ignores it or mentions it only in passing, well it makes me seriously wonder... What in the name of good journalism is going on?
Crystallizing the matrix of this x-rated "blind ignorance and self-indulgent fervor run amok," another contributing "alternative news" journalist shared kindred thoughts:
Television News (aired a) 5.30 bulletin today, where over half the programme was taken up with "news" that former-PM John Major was screwing ex-minister Edwina Currie back in the mid-80s... I watched with increasing annoyance and concern.
As I am sure you are aware, the possibility of a war on or in Iraq
is the primary news story at the moment. On Saturday, in addition to
various attempts by the US government to persuade other powerful states
to support its position, a small matter of at least a quarter of a
million people marched from the Embankment to Hyde Park in London to
protest possible moves towards war.
Get the picture? I mean -- and I do sincerely say this with heartfelt respect -- is this pure and simple blind ignorance run amok... or what?
Puts me in mind of something I wrote to the Editorial Board of the Arkansas-Democrat Gazette a few months back, asking why there seemed to be some sort of prejudice against investigating and reporting the (imho) "real" issues, willfully (from my perspective) turning a blind eye to a multitude of "facts" and thereby redundantly perpetuating an environment of public ignorance.
Respectfully, I told them that I was reluctant to believe that any media professional would willfully fail to report in-depth on any legitimate ground-swell of public opinion. Especially when forwarded by clear-headed, plain speaking, modestly well organized and PEACEFUL leagues of independent thinkers whose opinions are backed by several decades of scientific proofs and, in support of this shared enlightenment, are working diligently within the system for the revision of offensive policies and laws.
I told them that the issues I saw brewing had knotty tentacles which infiltrate every aspect of social living, including education, healthcare, and community well-being, inclusive of personal liberty, individual dignity, aggregate tolerance, mutual respect, organizational propriety, civic justice and reverence for human life.
I told them that to NOT "headline" reports about such historic events with a mind to reason and inform does a grave disservice to our society by prejudicially weighting the “media exposure = public opinion x10” rule of thumb to the “anti-” and "hopeless" side of the scale.
And I also told them, politely mind you, that my hope was for this Berlin Wall of ignorance to fall.
So that's the long and the short of it here in my backyard this bright and sunny Sunday morning. You now have an insider's view of the thoughts abounding in my head. Except to note in closing that in a likeminded way we had our own little activist meeting here in the Ozarks yesterday (which you'll learn more about as you continue reading down this page AND you may also follow this link)... but the thumbnail was that "something happened" and the consensus was "it was great."
Add all this on top of Gozarks breaking the 10,000 visitors per month mark for the first time ever yesterday and I'd say that all us Gozarkians, no matter where we hang our respective hats, have been blessed with a mightily deliciously helping of superbly frosted cake!!!
ALLIANCE -- OLA!!!
According to organizers, the agenda of the conceptual Ozark Liberty Alliance (OLA for short) will include a word-by-word review of the group’s proposed Constitution and the first election of Officers to the Executive Committee.
“Several of us have been talking, since the Primaries earlier this year, about the need for there to be some sort of grassroots nonpartisan voter alliance,” said Lula Holeman of Formosa. “And I do feel that this has been a very inclusive organizing effort.”
“Quite a few folks have been kicking around these ideas since last May when a number of concerns were voiced about local electoral practices and other governmental functions,” said Christine Weiss, editor of Gozarks.com, who is acting as media liaison for the conceptual effort until the formal organizational meeting is held. “But what it really boils down to is taking these ideas public and finding out what the people of our community have to say and whether they care enough to get involved.”
Precursors are that this type of effort may be just what local citizens seek. “I’m fascinated by this, and commend the hard work that’s been done,” said Larry Williams of Bee Branch. “I find the idea exciting,” said Alice Chambers of Clinton. “It’s looking good so far,” said Roger Campbell, Republican candidate for VBC Clerk. “Go for it.” said Robert Reed, Vice Chairman of the Arkansas Libertarian Party.
One of the key topics on the organizational agenda will be making a decision about whether the group should or should not “endorse and campaign for” specific political candidates. “There seems to be a difference of opinion here,” said Weiss. “And the way the Proposed Constitution is written, this type of activity would be prohibited.” A draft of the document is posted on the Internet at www.gozarks.com/ola in the hopes of generating informed public comment.
“However,” Weiss continued, “several of the folks involved with this effort feel very strongly that a group like this should take a more outspoken stand about candidate eligibility and qualifications, so this is a key issue to be decided by those who attend the organizational meeting.”
Weiss emphasized that the meeting is open to the public. She said that people of all Party affiliations, Independent voters, and media representatives are encouraged to attend. “We are doing our best to put this together as a legitimate ‘we the people’ effort,” Weiss asserted. “Everyone in attendance will have the opportunity to be heard, vote, and be elected to office.”
Weiss also noted that a supervised indoor playroom will be available for young children, free of charge, however parents are requested to bring their own crayons, coloring books, snacks and “quiet” games and will be responsible to help with playroom clean-up when the meeting is done. For more information, contact Christine Weiss, 501-723-4322, firstname.lastname@example.org
I've never been much on conspiracy theories, at least not in the vein purported by so many "at-odds" sources today. I just don't see that any group of human beings is smart enough to orchestrate the magnitude of global conspiracy outlined therein... which is NOT to say that large scale "covert" events are NOT planned and carried out by groups of people. Evil doers have, quite factually, been masterminding the thickening of nefarious plots since the dawn of time.
But when it comes to stuff like my friend referenced -- the details of which, in the interest of "being part of the solution," I have purposefully left out of this little diatribe -- when it comes right down to proving or disproving anything about this kind of stuff, I simply do not know that it can be done.
Obviously all such
powerful allegations are someone's "truth." And certainly, these
allegations are strewn with facts that can be substantiated. However, as
someone once said "the safest place to hide a lie is between two
truths." And when the way that facts are "added up" to draw conclusions
does nothing to "solve" the purported problem it is my opinion that the
raising of the allegations does absolutely nothing to forward any cause
"for the good."
"Black ops" in the
name of "national security" is a poster child of this mindset, which
stems from the all encompassing belief that "we" (no matter who we are)
are *the good guys.* We (alone) wear the white hats. And, as Jesus
said, if they are not with us they are against us... so let's blow their
asses to bits!!!
"Love your neighbor as you love yourself; if your neighbor offends you, go to him (or her) seeking reconciliation," (and do be aware that I've paraphrased here, yet I stand willfully accountable to the inherent truth). Notice that the onus is "on us"... the "offended individuals," to take righteous "peacekeeping" action.
And "if they hear NOT
what you have to say, brush the dust from you feet and move on."
And this, of course,
provides the rationale for our saving (self sanctimonious) grace. "An
eye for an eye" vindication fuels the battle to rage on.
And about those folks who see things differently, well... Maybe it's time we walked our own talk, enlivened the virtue of the beliefs we claim as sacred and actually trust God to take care of everything else.
To the Editor,
I would like to take this opportunity to try and answer some of Mary Kay's questions regarding the ownership of the new Van Buren County hospital and nursing home (see VBC Democrat, August 14, 2002).
According to the new lease recently approved by the Van Buren County Quorum Court, section 1.5 of the lease states that Van Buren County will construct and own the new building and property.
Section 1.6 of the lease states that Ozark Health will own the equipment, furniture, and fixtures less the fixtures and equipment salvaged from the old hospital and nursing home already owned by the county. The lease isn't clear to me as to what may or may not constitute a fixture.
Section 1.7 of the lease states that Ozark Health may take all equipment, furniture, and property they own with them if they go, leaving the taxpayers of this County with nothing more than an empty building.
We all saw a ballot that listed 4 subjects to consider when we voted:
I can't for the life of me figure out why the taxpayers of this County will not own the equipment, fixtures, and furniture. According to the information approved by the voters on the ballot, this new hospital and nursing home should have been a turn-key operation for anyone wishing to lease it.
It gets stickier as time goes on. According to the VBC Democrat (August 28, 2002 pg. 3) Ozark Health is planning to finance the heating and air conditioning for the new Van Buren County Hospital and Nursing Home. I suppose this is included in the fixtures mentioned in the lease that Ozark Health may take with them if they decide (as Mary Kay put it) to leave town.
If this happens, the citizens of Van Buren County will be left with frozen pipes in an empty building. Whether this plan is or isn't a real commitment by Ozark Health, this plan is light years from what the tax-paying citizens of Van Buren County were presented with when they sat and cast their ballot for the NEW Van Buren County Hospital.
EDITOR'S NOTE: Added emphasis to the above text is mine. Also, the VBC Democrat does not publish an online edition, thus no links to the referenced articles are available. Furthermore, as a resident of VBC I'd like to know: Since VBC citizens are paying for this facility, where is the clause in the lease that entitles us to receive free health care in the event of personal needs? I mean, it is OUR hospital, right?
Recently I was at a meeting and was so offended by one of the "uninvited" speakers that I could have screamed (or thrown rotten tomatoes, if I had them).
By "uninvited" speaker I mean at the end of the meeting, he decided he had things to say. It wasn't so much that he was an "uninvited" speaker but what he said that got me so riled up.
The room was filled with adults and a young teen girl who came with her mother. At some point during the ramblings of self promotion, this pompous ass decided to make a joke and in very bad taste he ridiculed the young teen in his joke, which is where my blood started boiling!
It wasn't just a joke but a sexual joke. And not once but twice he used the young teen as the butt of his innuendos.
My first thought was 'what a jerk' - my thoughts about him went down hill from there. And then I saw the look on his wife's face. How embarrassed the poor woman was. The fact that he could say something so unforgivable to a girl who was just barely past childhood was beyond my comprehension.
Then I thought a little more about what he had said and was even more offended that he would tell his distasteful joke at a public meeting or anywhere but in his private space, maybe with friends who may think it humorous.
I heard many people laugh politely at his joke, there were few sincere laughs and many who didn't laugh at all. I didn't make a sound. By now you know how I felt about the situation.
I spoke with the mother later, she was as appalled as I was and had thought about walking out. I am not sure what I would have done in that instance but I know that would have been my first instinct also. I am quite sure it took all her strength to remain in the same room with the idiot.
What gave that man the right to make a sexual joke about any woman! What must a young girl think about someone like that? I was taught to respect my elders but my belief is - only if they deserve it.
I am sorry if that offends anyone but that night brought me back to some situations when I was young and I do not think anyone should respect someone who puts children or anyone else in that kind of situation.
When I was much younger, women didn't have much say when it came to sexual harassment. I was told once that it was just something women had to put up with to be in the workforce. Thank God those days are gone and women can be in the workforce or anywhere else and (at least in theory) not have to deal with that kind of thing.
I was never one to sit still in those kind of situations and honestly lost a couple of jobs when I was young because of my views toward inappropriate advances. It still happens but now something can be done about it.
Some of you may be applauding my stance and some may be thinking I am a radical, but either way I believe that sexual jokes about young girls, women, boys and men - everyone - are inexcusable!
Read more Essays by Alice
So here's the thing, boys and girls... what are we to do about stuff like Alice identifies? That is, when someone commits the kind of irresponsible and disrespectful act that Alice describes, is there any appropriate action that any of us can take?
I wonder... but I have no answers. Yet I know (because I have experienced first hand) the truth of what Alice describes. And I also know (again from experience) that it is the "whistle blower" who will be condemned, penalized and ostracized, because the folks who so gleefully commit this type of dehumanizing behavior are -- bluntly put -- most often the "shakers and movers" among us.
They are "people of position" -- aka: they have lots of money, and thus are cosmetically sanctioned to play by a different set of rules. No one will take them to task for fear of losing their job or (worse still) becoming a persona non grata in the territory these "social elites" have claimed as their own... even though this territory is, de facto, everyone's backyard.
Worse still, this undisciplined type of behavior, left unreprimanded, escalates and compounds unfettered. It grows like prickly-thistle weeds in our collective garden, choking out every good seed, and the next thing you know, one of these egotistical chumps does something tremendously stupid like pitting one sovereign nation against another with threats of war.
Reading this, some of you may think that I've gone bonkers... comparing the sexual harassment of a child with the ongoing escalation of militarism that has been brewing for the past 12 months. But I'm telling you, with sincerity, wisdom, and integrity, that all the "big" stuff gets its power from little roots that spread out everywhere.
Thus I'll end this note right where I started, with the question: Sincerely, what are "we the people" to do?
(HINT: If you're wanting to find answers and solutions to questions like this, have a look at Gozarks special LJD section!)
Hey! Come visit us at SassafrasWilds!!!
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