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Posts Tagged ‘essay’

My Word on “Being Cassandra”

September 28th, 2019 Comments off

In the Greek myth, Cassandra is granted the gift of foresight by Apollo, but when she resists his advances, Apollo adds a curse — although she sees the truth, no one will believe her.

Throughout this entire presidency, I can imagine there have been many — perhaps hundreds or thousands — who have felt like Cassandra from one day to the next. Thye tried to warn us about this man in the 80s and 90s. They tried to warn us before the election. They tried to warn us after the election and nearly daily since that time. Still, so many people did not believe it. 

“Cassandra and Ajax”, Greek Krater, 350-340 BC

Despite Cassandra’s warnings, they ignored each question, each failure, each exposure of wrong-doing, each hateful outburst, each attack on portions of the citizenry they were supposed to serve, until, finally, the curtain was dropped and we saw the machinations that hid behind it all.

Now, despite our disbelief, we must look back with clear hindsight and reevaluate how we failed to listen and how we victimized all those Cassandras who tried to warn us. We called them liars. We called them mad. We called them political hacks. We questioned their loyalty, their citizenship, and their very existence. We threatened them with jail, destruction of their reputations and, in some cases, barely veiled threats of death.

While it is impossible to make amends for how these people were treated, we can offer them some recompense by finally opening our minds and believing them. Even though they may have stated truths we did not want to hear, we must believe. We must see the truth that lies in front of us. We can deny it no longer.

The Me, Too movement has shown us how so many people have been assaulted, attacked and killed while those around them did nothing — because they did not, or could not, believe that these assaults happened. In each case, Me Too activists have shouted, “Believe Them!” It should be clear that this mantra needs to be applied to all such events. Start with belief, investigate and punish as necessary regardless of income, political power, race, creed or sexual orientation. Too often we tout the age-old exclamation “The Rule of Law”, but much too often the law is different for rich and poor, brown and beige, Christian and Muslim, male and female.

No one (should be) above the law, but often that is exactly the case. We see it in everyday dealings and the actions in the halls of national and international power. The Cassandras of our time speak out to warn us and just like their mythical namesake we refuse to believe. We must learn from the past — both mythical and historical — or we are doomed to repeat our mistakes or perhaps, simply doomed.

My Word on Impeachment

September 25th, 2019 Comments off

The impeachment of a President is a horrible thing. Impeachment is disruptive, contentious and one fo the most violent political acts that can be taken by one branch of government against another. Impeachment is a necessary evil, though, to prevent the co-option of our government by those who put self before country, profit before the gain of all citizens and lies in the place of truth.

Read How IMpeachment Works, Washington Post

Impeachment is to government as chemotherapy is to the human body. It is horrible in itself, but it just might suppress a cancer. It withers the body but restores a lifetime if it works. One person suffers most, but all around them suffer too with grief, the unknown future, and the day-to-day punishment of it all. It will be the same with the coming weeks as we march through seemingly endless interrogations, testimonies, and news reports.

Still, Impeachment is necessary. Impeachment is important. Impeachment is political chemotherapy for the ills that have infected our government. I absolutely hate that we must take these steps. It would have been better for everyone had we not had to take these steps, but when faced with no other choice we must steel ourselves and impeach.

Today, like many other trying times in my life, I think back to one of my favorite book series, The Lord of The Rings. In the first volume, The Fellowship of the Ring, Frodo and Gandalf have this short exchange.

“I wish it need not have happened in my time,” said Frodo. “So do I,” said Gandalf, “and so do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.”

The Fellowship of the Ring by J.R.R Tolkien

We are often faced with terrible situations not of our own creation. Just earlier this year, I had to watch my son barely escape death from a car crash and face the long, painful, road through stabilization, multiple operations, crashingly painful recovery and finally return home with us. Would I have rather avoided this? Of course, but often we are faced with situations that can only be faced day by day. There is no way to avoid them. The only thing you can do is do your best with the time you are given. This is how I envision the slow march of the impeachment process over the next several months. One day at a time.

Despite what might be said by some in government, there is a process to be followed here. The President has not been impeached. There is no immediate impeachment trial in progress. There is no rush to judgment. There is no “judgment” to be had. Rather, Yesterday’s announcement was only for the beginning of an impeachment investigation. 

This investigation is of the greatest importance. While there may be significant anecdotal evidence of wrongdoing, we are a country that believes in the rule of law. Law is carried out in specific, through specific actions and policies and no one is above the law. This investigation turns away from anecdotal and circumstantial evidence and burrows deep into the actions that may have taken place and the evidence that directly and clearly proves any malfeasance.

We need this desperately. The last few years have been filled with actions that have caused such accusations and rancor that we all need to be reassured that our government can work to the benefit of all its citizens. It is only by the application of this “terrible medicine” of law that we can all begin to clearly assess what has occurred and move forward with a mended heart and clear conscience.

Let us all move forward into this battle to determine the truth — no matter how that truth may stand — and preserve our democracy for ourselves, our future and future generations.

Cooper’s Hawk (Accipiter cooperii) – 1 in a series [Video]

June 21st, 2016 Comments off

Cooper’s Hawk (Accipiter cooperii) – 1 in a series

This Cooper’s Hawk (Accipiter cooperii) has become an almost daily visitor to the garden in the last few weeks, so I’ll be sharing a series of video clips of its behaviors for those interested in raptors.

In this video you can see the hawk spreading its wings when a squirrel on the ground approaches too closely. I have seen this behavior several times in the past. sometimes with the squirrel actively chasing off the hawk.

Cooper's Hawk (Accipiter cooperii) - 1 in a series

 

More information on Cooper’s Hawk (Accipiter cooper):

…and the heat arrives! – End of the Day for April 29. 2014

April 29th, 2014 Comments off

End of the day Logo

I wrote yesterday about the winds and today the heat joined them in force. Thankfully with our new windows in the back of house, it looks like we can hold the initial temperature for almost the entire day without having to resort to air conditioning. The internal and external temperatures have just equalizes, so I have opened all the windows and placed a fan to draw in some of the cooler wire of the garden. I’ll try to cool the house off overnight as much as possible in order to save on air conditioning tomorrow. We’ll eventually have to resort to using it, though. A prolonged string of high heat means we can’t cool the house down enough overnight and so have to do it mechanically.

It is never our goal got suffer with the heat, though. Since I work from home, it is important that I am at least comfortable enough to do my work and keep the computers from overheating. The goal is to reduce the costs involved as much as possible. This is goos for our pocketbook, but also good for everyone, as we put less load on the power gird and do our bit to curb a bit of the pollution used to generate it.

Uh...about that thermometer ...

These hot days are the least favorite of the year for me. I know that many others are very, very happy that summer has arrived in Southern California, but I don’t do well in the heat. I think I was built for more temperate climes. I am already looking forward to the June Gloom that arrives each year, giving us hazy, grey mornings that sometimes don’t clear until late afternoon. These are the days in mid-summer when I can still work in the garden, if I wish. Otherwise, I have to carefully plan to work under shade of wait until the sun falls low enough to let me work in peace while still providing another hour or so of light.

We never know how many 90+ days we are going to get each Summer, but I always wish for just a few or, several days with a break in-between to cool off and catch up. We shall see what the next few months bring. Based on my past 28 years here, I am expecting a lot of heat, though. Thankfully, I also have my plans in order to face the heat while staying as cool as possible.

Previously on End of the Day: