You know what?
I feel for the cops in Baltimore.
I feel sympathy for the cops who take arrestees on "rough rides" because the sumbitches did "whatever" to stress them out.
The cops who prolong the choke hold, or use the tazer a tad too early or too readily or repetitively.
Even the ones who habitually and falsely arrest prejudiciously and detain and abuse and batter.
I feel for them.
You want to know why?
Check below the fold.
You know what?
My Grandmother's Great-Grandfather was a political refugee.
He crossed over the border in his mother's womb. His family had held out for more than twenty years in the hope that the promised recompense and reparations would be paid for losses in the insurgency. Family land had been seized, houses and farms burned, government officials had been assassinated or sent into exile. His parents finally had had enough and made the fateful decision to cross the river, go over the frontier, and make their way to freedom under a system of government that was more to their liking and where they felt they could live free from tyranny.
They crossed into Upper Canada from Upstate New York around the time of the War of 1812.
When I was a kid, back in simpler and perhaps more pleasant times when Presidents were listed in the 30's, phones had rotary dials, and vast herds of moderate and even liberal Repubs roamed the North-East and Mid-West, I used to pray for things that I thought I needed.
Like champion sports teams.
My hometown had dynasties in hockey and football and a pretty good contender in baseball. I'd wear out the figurative rosary beads during the run up to playoffs and well into every championship run.
...and like political contests.
UPDATE: “I have long since come to believe that people never mean half of what they say, and that it is best to disregard their talk and judge only their actions.”
― Dorothy Day
Thank you for the Reccs. Keep hope alive.
I am of that strange tribe of left-wing social activist Catholics. The Pope has a pet name for us.
He calls us Protestants.
Paul Ryan, in his bumbling heavy handed way, has just called attention to one of the institutions of social-concious Catholicism that I hold dear.
Here are my thoughts.
"Personally, I think he’s a kind, decent man who says stupid things because he is pretending to be something he is not — some sort of cartoonish government-hater. But it scarcely matters. He’s running a depressingly inept presidential campaign. Mr. Romney, your entitlement reform ideas are essential, but when will the incompetence stop?"
au·then·tic adjective ə-ˈthen-tik, ȯ-\
Definition of AUTHENTIC
1 obsolete : authoritative
2a : worthy of acceptance or belief as conforming to or based on fact b : conforming to an original so as to reproduce essential features c : made or done the same way as an original
3: not false or imitation : real, actual
Mr. Brooks - don't bet the rent money on any time soon.
Back when I was a struggling new teacher, newly-wed, and newly returned ex-patriate I taught sessionally at a local Community College and University to make ends meet. I taught mostly subjects I was familiar with (English Lit., Business and Remedial Writing, ESL) and one or two where I was not. (Business mostly). One of these courses stuck with me because I had to do so much boning up of my own to prepare for the lectures and class activities.
It was a class in critical thinking models and processes that were supposed to help in business decision making.
I was reminded of some facets of the course by the performance of a Presidential candidate this last week... so I dug out my notes. Follow me below the fold.
The photos of Republican Party Head Honchos meeting in shady backrooms to get nekkid and roll their sweaty and corpulent bodies over helpless baby ducks may even now be getting developed...
I will pray for Dick Cheney.
I get old. I remember things. It comes in handy at times like these.
In my life in Canadian politics I have worked as a volunteer, scrutineer, and organizer for Federal and Provincial Liberal parties and for the NDP as well. I have never voted any farther right than the Grits.
I was once refused a ballot in an election in Alberta because the CRO thought I would "vote for the wrong party". (People who know the political history of Alberta will see the implications - I even LOOK like a lefty).
Yet I welcome the thought that this May 2nd, no matter how much the NDP is surging, the almost certain outcome is a Harper win. See on the flip why I feel this way.
Doug Henning made magic all seem so wonderful and accessible. The perspective exits that he also made it seem a bit jejeune, over earnest and cloying... but that is for another diary.
"The hard must become habit. The habit must become easy. The easy must become beautiful."
Wouldn't it be great if magic was an easy remedy in our civil society and body politic? Join me as I waste time on the other side of the fold.
There is a beach. One day a beautiful woman took me to this beach. We took a long bus ride from the city. We walked through a grove of tall pine trees. The tide was out and the wind was in from offshore. Rags of fog raced in - only a few metres over the surf and sand under a bright blue sky. Whenever the fog hugged us and hid us from the crowd, she would take my hand and smile.
Later, we walked along a dusty road a few klicks inland from the ocean. There was a temple, 1600 years old or so, with bodhisatvas carved into the cliff rock. The temple was on a low hill connected by a saddle of ground to a higher hill. The higher hill had missiles on it. There were pillboxes by the pathways. There were signs for land mines. There were signs expressly forbidding photography.
One of the monks greeted us and asked if we wanted him to take our picture. We pointed to the sign. He shrugged.
"Out there they have their rules; in here we have ours."
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