Whirled Musings

Across the Universe with Cosmic Connie, aka Connie L. Schmidt...or maybe just through the dung-filled streets and murky swamps of pop culture -- more specifically, the New-Age/New-Wage crowd, pop spirituality & religion, pop psychology, self(ish)-help, business babble, media silliness, & related (or occasionally unrelated) matters of consequence. Hope you're wearing boots. (By the way, the "Cosmic" bit in my moniker is IRONIC.)

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Musings on the Presidential race

Okay, I admit it: Over the past few days I have been touched, even to the point of tearing up on occasion, as I've watched footage of the jubilant celebrations in the streets and parks and on college campuses across the country – and indeed across the world – in the wake of Barack Obama's election. While I agree with those who say the United States needs to work towards a post-racial society, I really can't fault anyone for wanting to "linger over the moment" as long as possible before reality sets in and the real work begins.

For Obama the real work has already begun, of course, but even on election night he appeared to have deliberately chosen to err on the side of seriousness rather than triumphant giddiness. He has said repeatedly that change isn't going to come overnight, or even within his first term, but that memo has yet to reach the cheering masses.


The media are having a field day with the historical and symbolic significance of this Presidential election. Martin Luther King's famous 1963 "I have a dream" speech in Washington DC has been invoked repeatedly, and the talking heads have mentioned a few times that Barack's next residence, the White House, was built partly by slave labor.

It has also been noted more than once that for over a century after slavery was abolished in the US, black people in this country were, in countless ways, shamefully regarded and treated. I mentioned in a previous post that I'd recently begun reading William Manchester's massive 1974 work, The Glory And The Dream: A Narrative History of America 1932-1972. I was struck by this snippet from Manchester's description of Washington D.C. in 1932, the year the country hit "rock bottom" in the Great Depression:

The District's five daily papers were crowded with news of social unrest in 1932, but none of it was about Negroes. Although 26 percent of Washington was black (the highest ratio of any American city), Negroes accepted their appalling lot with remarkable unanimity. "Dark-skinned children of the South," a government guide explained, were confined to domestic service and "manual work." Department stores, movies, and government cafeterias were closed to them. Black workmen digging the foundations of the new Justice Department building on Pennsylvania Avenue either brought their lunches or went hungry; even if they wanted a glass of water they had to walk two miles out Seventh Street to find a restaurant which would serve them. The president of Howard University, a Negro college, was a white man. When President Hoover sent Gold Star mothers to France, black mothers were assigned to a second (and second-class) ship. And the most popular radio program in the country, Amos'n'Andy, was a nightly racial slur, with its Negro parts played by two white men affecting minstrel show accents ("I'se regusted"; "Dat's de propolition")....

Our nation's capital was indeed built on the sweat and blood of thousands of black laborers. And although I'm not literally a believer in spirits, I find that it is not too difficult to imagine the ghosts of those nameless multitudes lining the streets of Washington on the day of the Inaugural Parade.

It has, indeed, been a long time coming.

Race is alluded to in Leonard Cohen's song "Democracy," the video of which I linked to in my post the other day, as did numerous other bloggers in a celebratory mode:

It’s coming from the sorrow in the street,
the holy places where the races meet;
from the homicidal bitchin’
that goes down in every kitchen
to determine who will serve and who will eat.
From the wells of disappointment
where the women kneel to pray
for the grace of God in the desert here
and the desert far away:
Democracy is coming to the U.S.A.
The lyrics reflect the fact that this song was released while the country was still reeling from the shattering events of the early 1990s, such as the first Iraq war and the LA riots. Now, of course, we're in yet another war in "the desert far away," one which has dragged out considerably longer than the first effort, and the sad fact is that even today there is an appalling amount of racism of various types in the USA. It surfaces here and there in ways that always dismay but rarely surprise me. While I think it's safe to say that most people who were against an Obama presidency simply didn't care for his politics, I've heard some actually say that when it comes right down to it, they "just don't want a n----r in the White House."

Yet as Steve Salerno pointed out numerous times on SHAMblog, anyone, black or white, who supports Obama BECAUSE of the color of his skin is also indulging in a form of racism. (And by the way, I recommend that those who dislike Obama for racial reasons (or any other reasons) read Steve's November 5 blog post. Among other things, Steve points out that because his mom was white, Obama will be not only our first black president but our 44th white one.)

It's time to get past all of the racial stuff, and I like to think we're on our way. But even though I'm sure that eventually I'll get sick of hearing the talking heads natter on about the momentousness of it all, I am, like so many Americans of all colors, savoring it for now.

I'm not some starry-eyed cultist, as some have accused "Pro-bamas" of being.* My eyes are open and free of stars...well, other than those billions I see when I gaze up into the clear night sky here at The Ranch. To tell the truth, I was automatically a bit turned off by Obama at the beginning because of the famous "Oprah connection." While I admire Oprah's taste in contemporary fiction (though not in "nonfiction"), I've never been able to get over her wholehearted endorsement of The Secret, not to mention her gushing over Esther and Jerry Hicks and their imaginary pal(s) Abraham. She has shown poor judgment in the past in other ways as well (can you say, "James Frey," boys and girls?). Notwithstanding my long-time support for Presidential candidate Dave Barry and, more recently, my support for my friend Lana Walker-Helmuth's Presidential race, I actually thought Ron Paul had the most sensible ideas to get our country out of its slump.

But I came around to Obama, not because of Oprah but in spite of her, and not because of the throngs of his frenzied admirers shouting slogans at rallies, but because in the end, he seemed to me to be the best of the available choices. I know that I have several friends, some of whom are regular readers of this blog, who disagree vehemently with that opinion. But they are still my friends, and I'm still theirs.

I don't look upon our new President-elect as the savior of our nation. And I know that if Obama lives up to all or even most of his promises it will be because he is a truly exceptional man. If he fails to meet our expectations, it will no doubt be because he is just another politician after all, and, of course, the detractors will be out in force to say, "We told you so!" Odds are that Obama is somewhere in between "exceptional" by the definition above, and "just another politician," though right now my opinion is that he seems to be closer to the "exceptional" end. Either way, from a practical standpoint the color of his skin isn't relevant, and I think most of us know that.

But from a symbolic standpoint...well, that's something altogether different. Obama may be half white, but he "looks" black. And the symbolic significance of this is huge. We know it. The world knows it too, and much of the world is excited for us. I wonder if it's too much to hope, at this point, that Obama represents just enough of a "face for change" to give pause to even our enemies, some of whom might actually gain, or regain, some respect for America.

I know the euphoria will wear off, that at some point it will dawn on some of the idealists that Obama's election is really not "proof" after all that anyone can be President. It still takes, more than anything else, boatloads of money, a genius for marketing, a considerable ego and yes, a certain amount of ruthlessness, to reach that lofty position. (In Obama's case it also helped, as has been discussed elsewhere, that he is youngish, nice-looking, educated and eloquent.) Still, I do hope the momentum that was begun during this campaign – the energy that brought out younger voters as well as older, disillusioned ones in unprecedented numbers – can continue, and that it will translate into something truly good for all of us.

I am also more than aware that the pundits and hatemongers are poised at their keyboards and microphones and cams. One can feel their sharp eyes and hot breaths on Obama. They're not going away any time soon, because there is an enormous market for what they have to offer. (There's a good reason that Rush Limbaugh recently nabbed a $400 million contract from Clear Channel!) But look, we need those folks around too, for balance, or at least comic relief.

Besides, if Barack and the Democrats really screw up, I am not above switching parties. I've done it before and I will do it again if I have to.

For now, though, I find myself smiling over this election the way I haven't smiled over a Presidential election since, oh, 1996 or so. I find myself exhilarated in a way that I haven't been since the fall of the Berlin Wall (an exhilaration that, I must admit, is somewhat tempered not only by some of the events since then, but by thinking about another prescient Leonard Cohen song, The Future). As I mentioned in the "comments" section of my previous post, I have suspended my normal cynicism long enough to allow myself to feel a new kind of hope for the US – and maybe even for the world.

Oh, but don't worry, Dear Ones. I will be back to snarking in no time. I'm already simmering the ingredients for my next snarky soup. But for the moment, I am, as a friend of mine put it, still "basking in the afterglow."

* Yes, yes, yes, I do see that Obamamania has its cultish aspects, although the same could be said of, say, the recent mania for Sarah Palin (remember her?). But you won't catch me chanting slogans or hanging huge posters with Obama's likeness. Regarding Sarah, I have to agree with Steve Salerno when he wrote that selecting her as a political candidate/role model represented a setback for true feminism. As Steve put it, " It says that if you look right and dress right and wink and smile and have a nice shape--and have shown your ability to pump out babies by the handful--that's really all that matters in a woman/candidate. Very unfortunate."

Labels: , , ,

97 Comments:

Anonymous Lana said...

You still have an open invitation to serve on my cabinet when I become President the next time around :-) I've even signed up a Secretary of Common Sense!

I totally relate to your post. I voted Libertarian (because my man RP wasn't registered as a write-in in Arizona), but I'm truly enjoying this historic moment. Thank you for pointing out who helped build our nation's capitol -- I hadn't remembered that fact.

I wonder if the so-called Generation Jones helped Obama to win, as was predicted? The Millennials played a big role too.

I'm very nervous about the current dangerous state of our nation and world. But for a few days at least I'm going to put my fear aside and hope for the best!

Saturday, November 08, 2008 12:51:00 PM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

Hey, Lana, thanks for the open invite! I do think that Gen Jones and the Millennials had a big effect on Obama's victory, but so too did the baby boomers.

Let's hear it for historic moments...may this be one that even the doubters will be able to find something good about.

Saturday, November 08, 2008 7:19:00 PM  
Blogger Jeff Y. said...

The Cult of O! is disturbing. I agree that the Millennials had a big effect, but it proceeded from a predictably naive, unhistorical intellectual posture. It's like manipulating the noun 'policy' without regard for the logical limitations of its referent. Language loosed from the bounds of the concrete world. Allowed to float in the abstract. A waft of changiness to tussle our hair.

This was an historic event from unhistoric origins. Rortian irony at its finest.

Eh, maybe I'm a rabid intentionalist, and anyway you can't trust a guy who rejects youth worship. Right? And yes, my photo is cheesy. But it's aged to perfection.

Sunday, November 09, 2008 11:05:00 PM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

Hi, Jeff Y, and welcome to the party!

Yes, I'm aware that a significant portion of the "youth vote" comes from a position of naivete as much as anything else -- change (or changiness (shades of Steven Colbert)) for its own sake. I’m sure that many were “for” Obama just because they thought he was cool and something different. That generation, like those before it, will grow and change (for real); they will inevitably become both more realistic and more disillusioned. And the human race will most likely keep slogging along for decades or perhaps centuries, until something Really Big happens to end it. "Same old human story," in the words of the old song by Johnny Clegg and Savuka ("Human Rainbow").

Lyrics: http://tinyurl.com/59jmvt

Video: http://tinyurl.com/6xejko

Even so, I don't underestimate the Millennials or Gen Y. They're far more than their multi-colored iToys and ceaseless texting and Internet-ready bad behavior and annoying catch phrases. There’s some real substance to these generations, and that’s a good thing, because they’ll be taking over before too long. (It’s my hope that they’ll know how to function, at least marginally, if some major catastrophe hits and knocks out all the satellites and cell towers and the stuff that runs the machines and toys on which they – and all of us – have become so dependent. Heck, even I hardly knew what to do without email for a couple of days when Hurricane Ike knocked out our power.)

But hey, you know what, Jeff? You need to be blogging. I’ll read you for sure. And by the way, photos that are intentionally cheesy are A-OK in my book. I've been thinking of doing a cheesy late-1980s style "Glamour Shots"-type photo for my profile pic, but for now, I'm sticking with the cheap trick of turning myself and everything around me blue, just because I like to.

PS ~ Links for those interested in pursuing “Rortian irony”:

http://tinyurl.com/5g4mhj

http://tinyurl.com/6lk92p

Monday, November 10, 2008 10:40:00 AM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

OMT, though... really, Jeff, when you think of the available choices, doesn't the prospect of a Sarah Palin presidency scare you just the tiniest bit? I'm talking about the Sarah Palin of today, not the one who might possibly get groomed (and educated) for a run four years or eight years from now. I would ask the same question of Peter Hitchens, the bloke who wrote the article to which you linked in your comment. According to him, at least if I'm understanding his article correctly, the US has until now represented the "last best hope" for a (white) Christian nation (theocracy?), and Obama's election marks the true beginning of America's "long slow descent into the Third World."

Or was Hitchens also being ironic?

Monday, November 10, 2008 10:57:00 AM  
Blogger Mary Anne said...

What I loved about this last presidential race were the voting numbers. We cannot have our government without voters and for so long, voters stayed home. Obama was very much a part of that movement and that is no small feat. Whatever anyone's reasons for voting, they still voted in record numbers.

Actually, most people were not too influenced by the Big O's endorsement, if the pollsters were honest. It was Obama they liked and responded to, with or without the Big O.

I must say, on election night, I was proud of our country and most of the world was too. The United States was the first "melting pot" nation. What we have been dealing with for decades, other countries are just beginning to taste. If we could do this, the rest of the world can to.

Monday, November 10, 2008 3:45:00 PM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

Agreed, Mary Anne (and I'm glad that at least people are *denying* the Big O (Oprah) factor). I have to admit my first thoughts about Obama's victory were along the lines of Maya Angelou (whom I normally find a bit annoying, though I liked a lot of her earlier stuff) -- to wit, this country is FINALLY starting to grow up.

And it's about time.

Monday, November 10, 2008 5:08:00 PM  
Blogger RevRon's Rants said...

jeff - Throughout history, each emerging generation has bristled at the constraints placed upon them by the previous generation(s). They have routinely been dismissed as naive, destructive, and hopelessly deluded. The curmudgeonly elders have repeatedly proclaimed that the sky would fall upon the upstarts' heads, and that all the noble efforts of generations past would be for naught.

As it turns out, the sky somehow remained intact, and the very naiveté so reviled by the old folks became the impetus for change and - dare I say it - progress.

By the same token, the "intellectuals" have also been dismissed, with the warning that their untested ideas were doomed to failure when applied to the harsh realities of experience. And yes, a goodly portion of those ideas did fail... Yet within those "foolish" ideas and ideals were the seeds of the next generation's greatest accomplishments.

It is so easy to write off any movement as being a "cult." We've seen contributors here who saw dangerous cults in every shadow, and took it as their personal mission to alert the world to the dangers. Ultimately, such people are so marginalized that they are rendered irrelevant and left to stew in their own fears, while the rest of the world moves along quite nicely.

While we need to be aware of the implications of history, it is myopic to so constrain our efforts that our past becomes the rigid boundary of our future. The only people who never fail are those who never strive to do more. And every example of human progress is built upon not only our proven successes, but upon a multitude of our failures, as well.

Bottom line: No matter how scary we might see our "kids'" adventures, we're best served by allowing them their chance to screw things up, just as we've had our chance. They'll make their mistakes, just as we made ours. But from what I've seen, those naive "cultists" of each generation manage to make life richer than it was before.

Obama will fail at some things. Of that, I am certain. He'll learn some hard lessons, as will the rest of us. But I think he's a rare intellect, graced with a core decency that has been missing from American politics for a long time. It is my hope that the next 4 or 8 years will be spent supporting the strengths he brings to the office, rather than attempting to tear him down. He - and we - deserve better.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008 9:19:00 AM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

Beautifully said, Ron. This passage in particular struck me:

"But I think [Obama is] a rare intellect, graced with a core decency that has been missing from American politics for a long time."

That, in a nutshell, is the main reason I am happy about the outcome of this election, despite my own doubts and cynicism.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008 2:13:00 PM  
Anonymous Thom King said...

Y'all are still confused and deluded.
Nobody intelligent voted for Obama. Everyone intelligent voted AGAINST McCain. Everyone was desperate to get rid of the current EVIL, so were forced to endorse a new one.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008 2:20:00 PM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

Hi, Thom, it's good to see you back here. When it comes right down to it, my vote was a combination of a "Pro-bama" and "Anti-McPalin" statement. So I guess that makes me half-intelligent. ;-) But I still hold out hope that Obama is not just another "evil."

Tuesday, November 11, 2008 7:42:00 PM  
Anonymous HHh said...

It is so easy to write off any movement as being a "cult." We've seen contributors here who saw dangerous cults in every shadow, and took it as their personal mission to alert the world to the dangers. Ultimately, such people are so marginalized that they are rendered irrelevant and left to stew in their own fears, while the rest of the world moves along quite nicely.

...That'll be me.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008 8:17:00 PM  
Blogger Jeff Y. said...

Revron wrote, As it turns out, the sky somehow remained intact, and the very naiveté so reviled by the old folks became the impetus for change and - dare I say it - progress.

Well, progress sure. Youth take the ideas they learn from their elders and do stuff with them. That's progress.

But seriously, don't confuse my refusal to worship at the alter of youth for a contempt of youth. Be careful. straw men are a fire hazard, and can lead to flames.

I am complaining about how youths deride experience. They find an "answer," but it was tried a thousand years ago. Youths seem to have a false belief in the originality of their ideas, as though they just popped into being with no historical precedent. On the positive side, this trait is also the source of youthful energy and risk-taking.

Modern youths seem also to have great difficulty taking criticism, while dishing it out in huge helpings. Unsurprisingly, having never made policy, the don't grasp how policy is really made. A policy with problems, even serious problems, can still be the best policy. How? Because all other policies have even more serious problems. Practical decision-making requires prudence, and that can only be gained from years of experience.

These two traits, a lack of prudence and a prickly rejection of criticism, combine into a smelly solution that stinks of arrogance. Sure, there's a corresponding inflexibility among the older crowd. But that's uncontroversial. Everyone knows about that. Youths will be the first to point it out. But there's problems with lionizing inexperience and unearned rewards.

I keep hearing of change. What change, though? When O! starts crafting policies, you're going to be surprised how similar they will be to Bush's. I think that false belief in originality is going to let you down rather hard. I remember it happening to me twenty years ago.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008 9:27:00 PM  
Blogger Jeff Y. said...

Revron wrote, But I think he's a rare intellect, graced with a core decency that has been missing from American politics for a long time.

What's your evidence for this? His choice of associates, perhaps? His church of twenty years, maybe? His treatment of his extended family?

Other than glib television appearances, what makes you believe these things?

Tuesday, November 11, 2008 9:30:00 PM  
Blogger Jeff Y. said...

cosmic connie wrote, I don't underestimate the Millennials or Gen Y

Hey, I don't. I'm Gen X, and people were saying stuff about us. In retrospect, most of it was right. We ignored the Boomer's valid criticisms. I think that hurt me personally a few times. I was arrogant. I shouldn't have been.

One of the age old characteristics of youth is hubris. One of the age old duties of the aged is to soften hubris with wise counsel.

It's not crazy to ask you to listen, is it?

Tuesday, November 11, 2008 9:34:00 PM  
Blogger Jeff Y. said...

cosmic connie wrote, at least if I'm understanding his article correctly, the US has until now represented the "last best hope" for a (white) Christian nation (theocracy?), and Obama's election marks the true beginning of America's "long slow descent into the Third World."

Hmm. That word, 'theocracy,' is thrown about too easily. A theocracy is a government by religious offices. This is far from the practice of US governance. I'm also surprised how easily some Americans will deny other Americans their religious identity and their place in public life.

Charging someone is a theocrat has become the new McCarthyism. It's exactly analogous to calling a liberal a communist.

With regard to the "last best hope," I will be happy to defend American exceptionalism, if you want.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008 9:43:00 PM  
Blogger Jeff Y. said...

thom king wrote, Nobody intelligent voted for Obama. Everyone intelligent voted AGAINST McCain.

Yes, this is true.
So consider this, my fellows in arms: On Tuesday, the Left — armed with the most attractive, eloquent, young, hip, and charismatic candidate I have seen with my adult eyes, a candidate shielded by a media so overtly that it can never be such a shield again, who appeared after eight years of a historically unpopular President, in the midst of two undefended wars and at the time of the worst financial crisis since the Depression and whose praises were sung by every movie, television, and musical icon without pause or challenge for 20 months . . . who ran against the oldest nominee in the country's history, against a campaign rent with internal disarray and determined not to attack in the one area where attack could have succeeded, and who was out-spent no less than seven-to-one in a cycle where not a single debate question was unfavorable to his opponent — that historic victory, that perfect storm of opportunity . . .

Yielded a result of 53 percent.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008 9:46:00 PM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

HHh said...

"[Quoting RevRon:] It is so easy to write off any movement as being a 'cult.' We've seen contributors here who saw dangerous cults in every shadow, and took it as their personal mission to alert the world to the dangers. Ultimately, such people are so marginalized that they are rendered irrelevant and left to stew in their own fears, while the rest of the world moves along quite nicely."

"...That'll be me."

LOL, HHH, but no, something tells me you weren't the person Ron had in mind when he wrote that.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008 9:18:00 AM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

Jeff Y...you wrote:

"But seriously, don't confuse my refusal to worship at the alter of youth for a contempt of youth."

Got it. Sounds like we're on the same page there.

If, however, when you speak of "lionizing inexperience," you're referring specifically to the regard in which Obama himself is being held (rather than to the general phenomenon of "youth worship"), I think that's giving short shrift to him as well as his supporters.

Besides, although I hate to keep invoking poor Sarah P (well, no I don't)...wow, wasn't her popularity in many ways also a lionization of inexperience?

You also wrote:
"I keep hearing of change. What change, though? When O! starts crafting policies, you're going to be surprised how similar they will be to Bush's. I think that false belief in originality is going to let you down rather hard. I remember it happening to me twenty years ago."

Hey, it happened to me with the New-Wage almost that long ago (hence my book, "Cosmic Relief," and, ultimately, this blog), and it's happened to me more than once in politics as well. Fear not: I've got my snarky pen ready to write if needed with O.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008 9:38:00 AM  
Anonymous hHh said...

Still an apt description.

If you want to get a measure of Hitchens-Peter, have a look at his debate with his brother. If their parents gave them one Tonka toy EACH, maybe they wouldn't want to throw it at each other. They look too posh for Tonka, mind, that would be prepping them for manual work, and they are thinkers! Funny bunch.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008 9:41:00 AM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

Jeff, I'll let Ron answer for himself about what makes him believe in Obama's intellect and core decency.

But as for me, I've read most of the positive spin as well as the "dirt" on both major presidential candidates. Since I don't personally know either one of them, all I had to depend upon is what they said about themselves and what others said about them. That's the case with most voters. In the end, Obama just came up more on the side of "decency" to me. Your mileage may vary, as they say (and obviously did). :-)

Wednesday, November 12, 2008 9:49:00 AM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

Jeff wrote:
"One of the age old characteristics of youth is hubris. One of the age old duties of the aged is to soften hubris with wise counsel.

"It's not crazy to ask you to listen, is it?"

Well, even though I personally am not one of those hubris-filled youths, I am listening. I listened to both sides, and still am, and I remain satisfied with my choice of Obama.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008 9:52:00 AM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

Jeff wrote:
"Hmm. That word, 'theocracy,' is thrown about too easily."

Guilty as charged. However, to me the word is kind of a shorthand way of expressing my real concerns that the separation of church and state in the US is threatened by the Christian right.

Depending upon whom you ask, religion is either egregiously undermined or unfairly elevated in this country (and elsewhere in the world). It's an interesting phenomenon. I'm no Christopher Hitchens myself -- just another agnostic/Jewish-wannabe who lives with a non-ritualistic Buddhist -- but I believe in both freedom of religion and freedom *from* religion...know what I mean, Vern?

OMT: I think people on both sides of any argument, particularly political arguments, have a tendency to misuse certain phrases. A couple of other misuses that come to my mind are "far-left Socialist" and "associate of known terrorists" when describing Obama.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008 10:16:00 AM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

Jeff, re the article you quoted from and linked to...

Good points about the "perfect storm" and all that. Really. But I couldn't help noticing that the article itself is dripping with contempt for the poor misguided souls who voted for Obama and his far-left policies.

Consider this snippet:
"There is much to do. That a man with such overt Marxist ideas and such a history of association with virulent anti-Americans can be elected president should make it crystal clear to each of us just how far we have let fall the moral tone of this Republic. The great lesson from Ronald Reagan was simply that we can and must gently educate as well as campaign, and explain our ideas with smiles on our faces and real joy in our hearts. For unlike the far-left radical who gained the presidency on Tuesday, we start with 150 million of the most free and intelligent and hard-working people in the history of the Earth at our backs, with a philosophy that — unlike theirs, which has resulted in 100 million dead in unmarked graves — has liberated and enriched more people and created more joy than any nation or combination of nations in our history."

(See my comment above, re misused terms/accusations.) The thing is, there is plenty of contempt and, yes, elitism, on both sides. You could say that I am marginally more comfortable with the elitism of the so-called "left" rather than that of the "right."

The sensible thing for both sides to do would be to quit the name-calling. But the blogosphere wouldn't be nearly such an interesting place then, would it?

Wednesday, November 12, 2008 10:49:00 AM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

hHh said...

"If you want to get a measure of Hitchens...have a look at his debate with his brother [Peter]."

Hitchens' bitchin's, in other words... It is pretty interesting.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008 11:30:00 AM  
Blogger RevRon's Rants said...

I can't help but be amused at the derision being heaped upon a man who hasn't even moved into the White House yet. It truly looks like the cheerleaders for the defeated candidate/party are prepping themselves for a replay of their Clinton-era witch hunts.

One need only listen to the reflections of those who have known and worked with Obama to come to the conclusion that he is an inherently decent man. Of course, if one is motivated to see a different picture, there will always be sources of derision with which to support that negative image. I, for one, tend to avoid sources that attempt to color their reportage with their own agenda, whether that agenda be one of adoration or derision.

As one who spent several years attending and working in a church whose minister's behavior was not in sync with the faith's spiritual principles, I know that there is much more to a church than the minister's words; often enough to keep people around who actively dislike what the minister has to say.

By extended family, am I to assume the reference is primarily to Obama's half-brother, who lives in poverty? The one sired by Obama's father, years after the father abandoned Barack and his mother and disappeared? I think it's kind of a stretch to try to lay the responsibility for the father's actions or the half-brother's fate at Obama's feet. But if blame is what one is seeking, I guess you work with what you can find.

Finally, I can only laugh at the incredible arrogance inherent in the assertion that no intelligent person voted for Obama. One need only look at those highly-respected figures who chose to endorse his candidacy to find complete refutation for such a statement. I make no claim to be a genius, but do believe that real intelligence is manifest in a degree of pragmatism that is wholly absent from the dismissive statements so often posted on forums such as this one. Same goes for the "oh, wow" statements that proclaim Obama to be the political equivalent of the second coming. Somewhere in between is the balance point where truth can be found.

When the citizenry as a whole matures sufficiently to seek that balance, rather than cling to unrealistic expectations or disproven pejoratives, we will see real and positive change. My sense - and my hope - is that a groundswell of such pragmatism is occurring, and that the agents of partisanship are seeing their sphere of influence shrinking dramatically. It comes as no great surprise that they mark their shrinking relevance with shrill cries and ever more ludicrous derision, knowing that as fewer listen, that relevance must be replaced by higher volume.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008 11:47:00 AM  
Blogger RevRon's Rants said...

Before I walk away from acknowledgments of arrogance...

Jeff wrote, "Youth take the ideas they learn from their elders and do stuff with them. That's progress."

So... there are no new ideas, no fresh perspectives in the minds of youth? Only a rehashing of the things the elders have taught them? Such a statement is perhaps to be expected from an elder who feels his or her contributions no longer worthy of consideration. I sincerely hope that if I ever reach such a point in my own life, I'll have the grace to merely accept that my own time has passed, and enjoy what I have left without attempting to diminish the value of those who come after me.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008 11:55:00 AM  
Blogger Jeff Y. said...

cosmic wrote, Besides, although I hate to keep invoking poor Sarah P (well, no I don't)...wow, wasn't her popularity in many ways also a lionization of inexperience? .

Well, actually I was referring to youth. There's a reason the Constitution puts a bottom age limit of 35 on the office.

But in regards to Palin, governorships are perhaps the best kind of experience for the Presidency. She was popular because she was the only conservative on the ticket.

cosmic wrote, to me the word [theocracy] is kind of a shorthand way of expressing my real concerns that the separation of church and state in the US is threatened by the Christian right.

What are those concerns? I'm not religious, and I don't have such concerns. I keep hearing about these concerns, so what are they?

cosmic connie, But I couldn't help noticing that the article itself is dripping with contempt for the poor misguided souls who voted for Obama and his far-left policies.

True.

revron wrote, I can't help but be amused at the derision being heaped upon a man who hasn't even moved into the White House yet.

Oh you can help it. Just remember it's always been that way.

revron wrote, One need only listen to the reflections of those who have known and worked with Obama to come to the conclusion that he is an inherently decent man. Of course, if one is motivated to see a different picture, there will always be sources of derision with which to support that negative image. I, for one, tend to avoid sources that attempt to color their reportage with their own agenda, whether that agenda be one of adoration or derision.

I see. Those people reflecting on their friend Obama don't have an agenda. Liberals often want to priviledge their views as being unsullied by an "agenda." Not so. Best to admit we all have an agenda, and get down to the more difficult business of determine whose is best. An if we can't do that, then at least we can discover the relative strengths and weaknesses the diverse policy positions.

I have to ask: are you, revron, free of an agenda?

revron wrote, I know that there is much more to a church than the minister's words; often enough to keep people around who actively dislike what the minister has to say.

Even overtly racist remarks? Overtly seperatist remarks? Overtly anti-American remarks? I dunno. That beggars belief.

revron wrote, By extended family, am I to assume the reference is primarily to Obama's half-brother...But if blame is what one is seeking, I guess you work with what you can find.

And his aunt, and the rest of them. And as for blame, you're dodging the ball. You made the claim about Obama's "decency" not me. I'm surely not in a place where I can speak of McCain-Palin as "decent" or "nice." I dunno. I know what policies they advocate, and that's about it.

If you're going to make claims, don't start getting pissy by down shouting "blame" at people. Just support your views. If you make claims, people are going to ask you to give reasons. You can't blame them, can you?

Switching the burden of proof is usally considered a pretty dirty dishonest tactic.

You want "pragmatic policies" so you better get used to this: conservatives are the loyal oposition now. Liberals have to advance a positive agenda and defend it. Conservatives need not prove a negative. It's a transition, I know. I'm patient, though. Age does that for you.

revron wrote, [if we don't] cling to unrealistic expectations or disproven pejoratives, we will see real and positive change

Asking you to defend claims of Obama's benevolence isn't a "disproven perjorative" it's a case of you failing to provide reasons.

revron wrote, o... there are no new ideas, no fresh perspectives in the minds of youth? Only a rehashing of the things the elders have taught them?

Nice staw man. I didn't say that. In fact, if you look at the words just following the quote you cited, you'll read the words "But seriously." For most people that colors the intent of the preceding words. You've got the rhetoric wrong. Nevertheless, I'll take you seriously here.

The ideas of youth spring from the ideas of the past. Those ideas are imparted by older people. No idea is ahistorical. I basically agree with T.S. Eliot and Michael Oakeshott on this point.

revron wrote, Such a statement is perhaps to be expected from an elder who feels his or her contributions no longer worthy of consideration.

Hey folks, we have another Internet mind reader. I think comments like that are to be expected of people who can't demonstrate their claims. Hows that tit for tat?

revron wrote, enjoy what I have left without attempting to diminish the value of those who come after me.

Wow, you're good at insunuating motives that don't exist. Let me try that. I hope I never have to cover my lack of knowledge, my inability to back my claims, with the "incredible arrogance inherent in the assertion" of another's unknowable motives. Pretty good, huh?

But this does explain how you, revron, know so much about Obama's inner life. You can read minds across the Internet! Cool.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008 3:38:00 PM  
Blogger Jeff Y. said...

I think Joan Didion is one of our greatest living writers. She has some carefully measured thoughts on the election.

"We were getting what we wanted," she continued, meaning, a smart, qualified, decent candidate the Eastern elite could get behind. And yet the frenzy surrounding Obama made her uneasy — both the sense that he was a young person's candidate, "a generational thing we couldn't understand" and the unthinking embrace of "naivete transformed to hope, partisanism as consumerism." Didion bridled at the wanton use of "transformational" and said she couldn't count the number of times she heard the 60's evoked "by people who apparently had no memory that the 60s" didn't involve decking babies out in political onesies.

Didion was at pains to say that she did not think any of this was Obama's doing, nor to his tastes.


And that's why you don't see me saying anything bad about Obama. I don't know the man. I think his neo-marxist policies are crazy, even destructive of liberty, but for all I know his motives are good. People do bad things for good reasons, all the time.

But the youth vote, with it's obvious naivete about Change and Hope and all that, betrays an impractical idealism that's in need of a check.

I suggest: (1) specific policy proposals, (2) an explanation of why those policies are better than the status quo, and (3) an explanation of why those policies are allowable under the Constitution.

What are the policy positions of the Obama administration?

Wednesday, November 12, 2008 4:06:00 PM  
Blogger RevRon's Rants said...

"What are the policy positions of the Obama administration?"

You mean aside from what you erroneously describe as his "neo-Marxist policies?" You bemoan the lack of answers, even as you claim to know those answers, obviously failing to recognize the incongruity of your own statements.

My initial reaction was to address each of the points you made, but I quickly realized that this isn't about anything more than a game of word tennis to you, and I have neither the time nor the energy to engage in a prolonged discussion with someone who simultaneously espouses his own version of strawmen, while accusing others of creating theirs.

We each make our determinations as to a candidate's qualification and fitness, based upon the information available to us. My own "agenda" has been to do my small part to elevate this country from the ethical cesspool in which it has been immersed of late.

I take what I read and hear - from either side - with a grain of salt, and give more credence to those who have least to gain from their comments. Those whose agenda comes across as nothing more than sour grapes, I discount entirely. Their goals are obvious and frankly, unachievable. And they simply aren't worth the time spent participating in what is essentially a game of mental masturbation. The ball - as well as rights to the last word - are in your court. Do with them as you will... It makes no difference to me.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008 5:14:00 PM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

I'm distracted with work and with recovering a crashed email program right now, so I don't have the time to respond in detail to all points in most recent comments, but I did want to acknowledge, Jeff, that I agree Joan Didion is a great writer and a provocative one. I understand her reservations about the whole Obama thing.

Just one point, though... I am wondering precisely what it is about Obama's policies that is "neo-Marxist" and/or "destructive of liberty." 'Splain, please. And speaking of liberty, it seems to me that under the present administration we've had more and more of our civil liberties eroded in the name of "security."

Wednesday, November 12, 2008 5:21:00 PM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

OMT (Jeff Y): Regarding concerns about how the Christian right threatens to compromise the separation of church and state -- I think a good summary appears on the Americans United for Separation of Church and State web site:

http://tinyurl.com/6pwl2t

Wednesday, November 12, 2008 6:22:00 PM  
Blogger Jeff Y. said...

revron wrote, You mean aside from what you erroneously describe as his "neo-Marxist policies?" You bemoan the lack of answers, even as you claim to know those answers, obviously failing to recognize the incongruity of your own statements.

Oh no. I've investigated Obama's history rather thoroughly, at least as one can in the near total absence of media scrutiny. My observation is that the youths who voted for Obama haven't done this. IS that a generalization instead of a universalization? Yes. Many, many people voted for Obama on the basis of either (1) a dislike of the current administration and its ilk(as thom king wrote), or (2) an unwarranted belief in Obama's benevolence. Perhaps (1) is valid, most likely (2) isn't. Young people need to grasp that point, IMHO.

As you can see there's no incongruity, I'm just asking a question to which I'm pretty confident I already know the answer, or at least a good approximation to the answer.

revron wrote, My initial reaction was to address each of the points you made, but I quickly realized that this isn't about anything more than a game of word tennis to you,

Really? You mean I'm not convicted in my positions? You really need a TV show. Even Chris Angel can't do this kind of mind reading.

revron wrote, I have neither the time nor the energy to engage in a prolonged discussion with someone who simultaneously espouses his own version of strawmen, while accusing others of creating theirs.

Ah, your running from supporting your claims and casting caltrops after your pursuers. Fear not. I will not pursue you.

revron wrote, We each make our determinations as to a candidate's qualification and fitness, based upon the information available to us.

Shocking. Have you been told that you use fancy language to dress up claims everyone already agrees with. At least this is one claim we can agree upon. Heh.

And thank you for not using the pretentious third person form of address.

revron wrote, My own "agenda" has been to do my small part to elevate this country from the ethical cesspool in which it has been immersed of late.

And here's where you go wrong, revron. That claim is not stipulated. It up for dispute whether this country is in an ethical cesspool, what kind of liquids and floaties are in it, and whether it's an immersion or a mere splashing.

I'm glad to read you admit of an agenda. Welcome to the human race. Now try to grasp that your agenda might be subject to misinformation, a lack of information, incompleteness, or plain old contradiction. Once you get that, you'll be a full fledged citizen ready for rational debate.

Assuming facts about the status quo is probably the least best way to start a decent discussion.

revron wrote, Those whose agenda comes across as nothing more than sour grapes, I discount entirely. Their goals are obvious and frankly, unachievable.

I've never encountered such a deeply felt defense of the psychological fallacy. Still, it's illogical.

revron wrote, Their goals are obvious and frankly, unachievable. And they simply aren't worth the time spent participating in what is essentially a game of mental masturbation.

Interesting. So, you presume unachievability. Well, with that view to the questions, I cna see why you think a discussion is pointless. Wait. Wasn't that one of the criticisms of Bush? That he felt he was in possession of the truth, and so he didn't think he needed to consult with anyone.

Well, I'm not running after you. Cheers.

Thursday, November 13, 2008 10:44:00 AM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

I have just four words:
Dave Barry in 2012.

I'm glad this isn't (normally) a political blog.

Thursday, November 13, 2008 11:44:00 AM  
Blogger RevRon's Rants said...

"I'm just asking a question to which I'm pretty confident I already know the answer"

Excellent synopsis. And consistent with my reasons for disengaging from an obviously futile discussion. Have a nice day!

Thursday, November 13, 2008 12:02:00 PM  
Anonymous hhH said...

So, Jeff, what do you think of the new age and wotnot?

Thursday, November 13, 2008 1:49:00 PM  
Blogger Jeff Y. said...

cosmic connie wrote, I am wondering precisely what it is about Obama's policies that is "neo-Marxist" and/or "destructive of liberty." 'Splain, please.

Both Obama amd Clinton were followers Saul Alinsky. Alinsky called himself a "transformational Marxist." Indeed, the Marxist appeal of revolutionary change and redistribution of wealth is what attracted both Obama and Clinton. Alinsky was the architect of the radical Leftist takeover of the Democratic Party.

When I learned of this, I bought Alinsky's book Rules for Radicals. On the first page Alinsky quotes Dolores Ibarrui of the Bolshevik-supported Loyalists in the Spanish Civil War. He advocates violence, lying, voter fraud, and even dedicated his book to Lucifer. Why, I don't know. Alinsky advocated that activists preach "change" but never specify it in too much detail to avoid criticism. OBama himself has written that he is a "blank slate" upon which people write their own aspirations. This was Alinsky's recommended rhetorical strategy.

Alinsky is the proximate ideological connection. But there's lots of history too. I went through Obama's books, books he wrote about himself. Obama's mother hooked up with a teacher who lead readings from Marx, and later she met Barack Obama Sr. in a Russian language class around 1960. OBama's father didn'st stick around, but he was mentored in his teenage years by Frank Marshall Davis, an fairly well-known Communist. In Obama's book Marshall is just called 'Frank.' Well, Frank bought into the Frankfurt School's neo-marxist ideas about the destruction of the traditional family to pave the way for marxist redistribution of wealth. Frank wrote a book about this stuff called Sex Rebel which defended pedophilia.

Obama left Hawaii to attend Columbia University and then to Chicago. Interstingly, Bill Ayers, an admitted domestic terrorist, moved from Columbia University to Chicago at the same time. Obama has written fairly extensively of attending socialist conferences and studying Marxism at this time. During this period he was also trained and taught by Alinsky.

In Chicago, Obama met his wife at the law firm of Sidley & Austin, where Bill Ayer's convictied terrorist wife worked. They joined Jarimiah Wright's church, which espouses Black Liberation Theology, a racist version of Liberation Theology. Liberation Theology was developed in South America as an attempt to resolve contradictiosn between Christianity and Marxism, allowing MArxist ideas to spread by the clergy. One of the slogans of Liberation thelogy is "our individual salvation depends upon our collective salvation" to provide theologigical justification for collecitivst economic policies. Obama has repeatedly used the same slogan.

Obama shared an office with Ayers and Michael Klonsky, a self-described Maoist Communist, as part fo the Annenberg Foundation. They routed funding to Alisnsky-style insurgent-socialist community organizations fitting the terrorist Weathermen model. Ayers was a member of the Weathermen Underground and exhorted young people to "kill their parents." The Weathermen Undergroaund wanted to ignite a race war in the US to bring down Capitlaism. The Annenberg funding goal was to raise political consciousness among black school kids. You do the math.

Obama became a member of the openly Marxist New Party in the 1990's while maintaining membership in the Democratic Party. Soviet apologist Alice Palmer hand-picked Obama to replace her as Illinois State Senator. During this time he also developed relationships with Islamist, anti-Israel groups.

Obama campaigned in Kenya (!) for Raila Odinga, an openly communist Kenyan imprisoned for an attempted political assisination. Odinga allied himself onenly with Islamists and advocated the establishment of shari'a law in Kenya. Knowing all this, Obama campaigned for him in Kenya. Odinga lost the election and led a protest that killed 1,000 to 1,500 Kenyans, mostly Christians killed by Muslism. OVer 500 rapes were comitted during the riot. Chhurches were burned. Obama raised over $1 million for this man, Odinga.

OBama admits openly that he wants to redistribute wealth. Lots of people actually believe that. Lots of black people now think they are going to get reparations for slavery and not have to work.

Facts, associations, and stements made by Obama himself ought to be mroe persuasive than glib television soundbights. I see no reason to think Obama is benevolent. I see lots of reasons to thik he's a brilliant political opportunist in the Saul Alinsky mold.

That probably answers the first part of your question. The seocnd part about bieng "destructive of liberty" is important. It's a fundamental difference between conservatives and liberals. Note I didn't say Democrats and Republicans.

Liberals think it is possible to guarantee social freedoms while curtailing economic freedoms. Conservatives don't. For conservatives, economic rights are social rights. The ability to use property in non-violent cooperation with others is about as fundamental as a social right gets.
Wealth redistribution is a direct restriciton on social activities. In fact, the rationale for wealth redistribution is precisely that it allows people to take unearned wealth and expropriate it for their social pruposes.

All redistributionist schemes are abusive of liberty.

Thursday, November 13, 2008 2:28:00 PM  
Blogger Jeff Y. said...

hhh wrote, So, Jeff, what do you think of the new age and wotnot?

Well, New Age is tough to define. For this post's purposes, I'll take it to mean a revival, or more positively, a Renaissance of Eastern religious traditions into a non-religious society.

In general, I think the Eastern answers to the philosophy of man are basically wrong. I don't think the key problem is the existence of the self, but rather the relation of the self to the world.

Brief, and blog postyiness. But there you go.

Thursday, November 13, 2008 2:33:00 PM  
Blogger Jeff Y. said...

revron wrote, And consistent with my reasons for disengaging from an obviously futile discussion.

Sure, if you define futility as, 'I can't support with reasons my claims about the benevolence of Obama.'

It's totally consistent with your reasons for disengaging. Well done.

Thursday, November 13, 2008 2:35:00 PM  
Blogger Jeff Y. said...

cosmic connie wrote, Dave Barry in 2012.

I'll drink to that. Wait. It's still work hours.

Thursday, November 13, 2008 2:46:00 PM  
Blogger RevRon's Rants said...

Actually, I define futility as the realization that the other party to a dialog has less interest in the exchange of ideas that in proselytizing and hammering his beliefs into those who don't share them. But you choose whatever definition makes you happy. Costs me nothing.

Thursday, November 13, 2008 4:20:00 PM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

Ron wrote:
"Actually, I define futility as the realization that the other party to a dialog has less interest in the exchange of ideas [than] in proselytizing and hammering his beliefs into those who don't share them."

Amen.

That's pretty much why I don't engage in political arguments too often or too extensively. Actually, it's why I have all but disengaged from the political part of this particular discussion.

You know the old saying, "Simply because you have silenced a man, that does not mean you have changed his mind." Well, one could also say, "Simply because a snarky blogger withdraws from a discussion, that doesn't mean you have changed her mind."

And I do have to say that with all of the arguing back and forth here, I don't think anyone has changed anyone else's mind.

More importantly, however, I apologize for allowing this discussion to take a rather acrimonious turn. I know it's probably tame by the standards set elsewhere on the Net, but I like to keep things a little more civil here.

Yeah, I know that sounds weird and maybe hypocritical coming from someone who likes to get so snarky about New-Wage gurus and the like. But they're fair game, as far as I'm concerned. (Politicians are fair game too, on both sides of the aisle.)

On the other hand, when it comes to participants on this blog being snarky about other participants -- and making it personal -- that's when I have to start drawing the line.

I do appreciate the time and effort everyone has taken to contribute to this discussion.
But please, find a way to state your case without deriding your fellow participants. Otherwise, much as I hate to do this, and much as it goes against my grain, I will have to close the discussion to further comments.

Thursday, November 13, 2008 5:52:00 PM  
Anonymous hHh said...

Jeffy said-

'Well, New Age is tough to define. For this post's purposes, I'll take it to mean a revival, or more positively, a Renaissance of Eastern religious traditions into a non-religious society.'

Well, maybe not that difficult. I agree about the renaissance of eastern traditions, but the addition of western science and spirituality, and a notion of evolution.
It seems to me that you could pretty well encompass everything that you would call new age within the teachings of the theosophical society. That would be more of an attempted blending of religion and science. At least that's what they pretend it is. Really it's a blending of bogus versions of religion and science.
I'm sure that here is a real blending of religion and science, as well as the mass marketed one Cosmic Connie likes to play with.

As for where the term comes from, I think it finds an early expression here-
http://tinyurl.com/5hegkb

So maybe a definition for the New Age would be- 'A projected historical era characterised by the mass following of a synthesis of bogus science and bogus religion, promoted from within freemasonic organisations'

Why they want to do that, I'm not sure, but it may be something to do with the boring old lust for power of those that already have it, and the befuddling of people who might get in the way and screw things up. It may also act as a filter to keep the unworthy away from the true levers of power.

What part does Obama have to play, if any, in the grand New Age plan, as he sits in a building built by the FM's, which was helpful of them wasn't it?

http://tinyurl.com/6l52sl

Jeffy also said-
"In general, I think the Eastern answers to the philosophy of man are basically wrong. I don't think the key problem is the existence of the self, but rather the relation of the self to the world."

There's a lot of hot air blown in from the east, for sure. Fortunately, the West invented air conditioning.

How did I do?

Thursday, November 13, 2008 7:20:00 PM  
Anonymous hhH said...

"cosmic connie wrote, I am wondering precisely what it is about Obama's policies that is "neo-Marxist" and/or "destructive of liberty." 'Splain, please."

I have the feeling that Cosmic Connie will not be picking you up on this, so I want to know- what about the actual policies, not the bio (which is interesting).

Thursday, November 13, 2008 7:39:00 PM  
Anonymous hHh said...

There was another magazine called the New Age, by the way, edited by an eventual disciple of Gurdjieff.

http://tinyurl.com/5kegza

Friday, November 14, 2008 1:40:00 PM  
Anonymous Beautiful Bald Believer said...

The heathens and atheists which frequent contribute to your blog make me sick with their godless, soulless anti life whitterings. You should be ashamed of yourself for giving people like that a space to air their sad little opinions and ingratiate personalities. At least one of your contributers shows some wit, even if it is sycophancy of the most feeble kind. As you are so fond of being lauded in verse, to make up for the deep soul connection you lack with our saviour and Lord, perhaps you can try to fit your self worshipping God denying personality around this. I hope it shocks you out of your worldly ways and back to righteous path. I will be praying for you.


Un-ode.

Blackest hearted odious hagwitch,
Nightmare minded devious hell-bitch,
Cursed brooding death savouring she-lich,
Your craving for nihilism is your unreacheable back itch.

Like the echoing screams from hells deepest abyss,
Like soul devouring demon's lingering death kiss,
Like grave-rotten banshee's blood coloured death bliss,
Bare no more those knees of knobbliness!

Sunday, November 16, 2008 10:20:00 PM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

BBB, what a lovely poem. You have a style strangely similar to HHH. Marvelous work!

Monday, November 17, 2008 6:45:00 PM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

Re New Age...

Jeff Y, if you're still here (and I wasn't trying to chase you off; just trying to set a few ground rules for more civil discourse)... Just in case you haven't figured it out, I believe that the main reason HHH asked about New Age was that New-Age/New-Wage stuff is normally the topic of this blog. Perhaps HHH was trying to keep me "on message." :-)

You (Jeff) said:
"In general, I think the Eastern answers to the philosophy of man are basically wrong. I don't think the key problem is the existence of the self, but rather the relation of the self to the world."

I think we need both Eastern & Western perspectives, and IMO neither one is 'right' or 'wrong,' but I admit to being grateful that I was born into Western culture. Quality of life and all that. And yes, I realize that this quality of life is in fact a result of the Western mindset. But that doesn't mean that Eastern perspectives have nothing positive to offer.

Monday, November 17, 2008 6:59:00 PM  
Blogger RevRon's Rants said...

Connie, I think you know pretty well where I stand on the whole East vs West argument. While we in the west have acquired infinitely more wealth than the typical easterner, one need not look too closely to see that it hasn't necessarily resulted in a significantly higher satisfaction quotient. As you noted, I think that a synthesis of both mindsets is most satisfying... We have more, and recognize that we have enough.

Monday, November 17, 2008 7:08:00 PM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

I couldn't have put it better myself, Ron. Thanks!

Monday, November 17, 2008 10:08:00 PM  
Anonymous Lana said...

I want the best of all worlds, whether old or new, East or West, up there or down here.

Can HHH write a poem about that?

Tuesday, November 18, 2008 7:28:00 PM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

Yeah, I'm with you, Lana. And I'm sure that HHH could come up with a great poem about it. If not, then maybe his righteous alter ego, Beautiful Bald Believer, could come up with a poem about how wicked and evil and self-indulgent it is to want the best of all worlds. :-)

Tuesday, November 18, 2008 8:30:00 PM  
Anonymous hhH said...

As wise men say,
things return to their source,
Lo! the source of East and West
Rode out on a horse.
Riding East to write the Vedas
went proto-indo-european
cultural seeders.
Riding east to become proto-greeks,
went early scientists,
proto-geeks.
In the East they chilled out and explored their own mind,
in the west they tinkered with anything they could find.
Tinkering around with metal and rock,
The West extended the lifespan of the product of the cock.
"Look at all these folk milling around,
What a confusion, what a sound!
We need new games to keep them busy,
let's spin some stories to make them dizzy.
Rugby and cricket just aren't enough,
let's give them masters, auras and stuff.
We'll promise them all a new wonderland,
It's easy, they have their heads in the sand."
So they found a young boy
Who they thought seemed just right,
Assured him that for the whole world he'd bring light.
They said he would be the teacher of the world,
around him a thick fog of prophecy swirled.
But life blew a wind and the fog cleared away,
It gave him some wisdom and folk heard him say,
"Masters and auras and all of that stuff,
It's just a pretense, silly old guff.
The truth is much simpler,
like it or not,
Though it seems to evade you, with all the games that you've got"
This didn't deter them from making stuff up,
they just cranked it out and folk lapped it up.
The tinkering continues at such a brisk pace,
and people still seek to see Gods naked face.
Does East meet with West?
One way to know, Lana,
is go do some Yoga and
stick your head in a scanner!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008 5:19:00 PM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

Bril, HHH, simply bril. That's the whole East-West conundrum in a nutshell, operative syllable being "nut."

Lana, isn't it fun to be a Muse (and a Whirled Muse, no less)?

Wednesday, November 19, 2008 8:54:00 PM  
Anonymous HHHo said...

I pander to the masses like a filthy art whore, eh?

Wednesday, November 19, 2008 8:59:00 PM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

We are all whores, HHH, and we all pander to someone or something.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008 10:27:00 PM  
Anonymous Hhh said...

As Kucinich said to Kashkari,
"Boy, you know what? That statement you just made? You will hear about for the rest of your career"

Wednesday, November 19, 2008 11:32:00 PM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

So, HHH... d'ya think I should seal the deal by writing a book called, "We're All Whores"? :-)

For those who may have missed it, here's a link to the Kucinich bit:
http://www.cnbc.com/id/27721157

(I might have considered supporting Kucinich for president but he lost me with all of that alien stuff.)

Thursday, November 20, 2008 11:02:00 AM  
Anonymous HHh said...

I couldn't possibly comment.

Thursday, November 20, 2008 11:22:00 AM  
Anonymous Hhh said...

The internet makes it easy to watch American affairs, and I've been watching that committe hearing. When I saw kash 'n' kari I thought,
"I tawt I taw a puddy tat!"
When I heard him oiling and slithering I realised
"I did, I did taw a puddy tat!"
It's the feathers sticking out of his mouth that gets me

UFO's?

I shall investigate.

Thursday, November 20, 2008 11:30:00 AM  
Anonymous HhH said...

I have investigated.

This is an easy mystery, by the way.
He saw the UFO over Shirley Mcleans house. Obviously, Shirley doesn't want to own up to her unlicensed, unregistered, untaxed transdimensional starcraft. Would you?
Or maybe she has illegal aliens cutting her lawn.

Thursday, November 20, 2008 12:03:00 PM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

Shirley, you jest! I know, that was lame.

But if he saw UFOs while he was in her presence, that explains a LOT.

Thursday, November 20, 2008 12:29:00 PM  
Anonymous hhh said...

"But if he saw UFOs while he was in her presence, that explains a LOT."

How so?

Thursday, November 20, 2008 3:45:00 PM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

Just a facetious reference to the magical, mystical vibes that I imagine Shirley emits.

Thursday, November 20, 2008 3:58:00 PM  
Anonymous hHh said...

--"It was 1982, well before Kucinich became a congressman and presidential candidate. Staying at the Washington state home of MacLaine, who was a mutual friend, the trio saw three charcoal-gray, triangular craft, according to the recollections of Costanzo and his then-girlfriend. The girlfriend, now 50, spoke to the Journal on condition that her name not be published."--

'Three charcoal grey, triangular craft' sounds that three pieces of prototype military kit to me.

--"The girlfriend remembers each triangle having red and green lights running down the edges, with a laser-like red light at the tail," the Journal reports. "Mr. Costanzo recalls white lights, but no tail."

The human trio heard a quiet, throbbing sound, nothing like an airplane engine. "There was a feeling of wanting to communicate something, but I don't know what," Costanzo told the Journal."--

As for the emotional and psychic effects, there could easily be the technology for that too.

Pity he doesn't or can't say more.

Thursday, November 20, 2008 3:58:00 PM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

Hey, I'm not one to totally discount UFOs. Ron and I did a book project on Roswell and got to know the guy whose dad was the first military officer on the scene of the wreckage. This guy himself got to see and handle some of the debris that his dad brought home. I'm open to "alien" explanations, but am still inclined to attribute mundane causes for most so-called UFO phenomena.

Thursday, November 20, 2008 4:18:00 PM  
Anonymous HhH said...

Oh aye?
Let's have a look then...
'The Roswell Legacy' from $89.90 to $1,200.
What's it printed on, gold leaf?

What else you got?....
'Financial Truths for the 21st Century' from $7.88

More like it, what else...
'Cosmic Relief' from $15.77
OK

'Family Recipe Collection' from $8.75
UFO's to pasta sauce. Hmmm. What else?....

'Implementing a Records Management System in Small to Medium-Sized Cities- One Woman's Journey into Spirit' from £?.??

'Stay in Mallorcan Monasteries' trans. Connie Schmidt.
Can you speak Spanish?
Muy Bueno

What else?
'The Heart of News' from $?.??

Well.

Thursday, November 20, 2008 5:24:00 PM  
Anonymous Hhh said...

'still inclined to attribute mundane causes for most so-called UFO phenomena.'

Yeah, it's a glorified cargo cult.

http://tinyurl.com/6a4un2

Thursday, November 20, 2008 5:31:00 PM  
Anonymous Lana said...

Wow! ROTFLMBO! (good exercise)

Connie, can I post the poem on my blog?

Friday, November 21, 2008 6:57:00 PM  
Anonymous Lana said...

Uh oh. Word verification is...

worions

Sounds like ET stuff to me.

Was the book published?

Friday, November 21, 2008 6:59:00 PM  
Anonymous hhH said...

Look at that, I pimped my poetic skills out for Lana, and I didn't even get $20 stuck in my garter for my trouble!

I feel dirty and used.

But on the down side...

Friday, November 21, 2008 7:08:00 PM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

Lana said...
"Wow! ROTFLMBO! (good exercise)
Connie, can I post the poem on my blog?"

If HHH doesn't mind, I sure don't! HHH?

Saturday, November 22, 2008 11:48:00 AM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

Lana, in answer to your question about whether the book was published or not -- I am assuming you are talking about The Roswell Legacy. Yes, the first edition was self-published (that's the one with the starry background cover), and then a small publisher picked it up for the second edition (the one with the "vintage military" cover).

More info at the author's official web site, www.theroswelllegacy.com

Whatever one may think about Roswell, the Marcels themselves are great folks and Ron and I are proud to know them and call them friends.

Saturday, November 22, 2008 11:58:00 AM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

HHH wrote:

"Look at that, I pimped my poetic skills out for Lana, and I didn't even get $20 stuck in my garter for my trouble!

"I feel dirty and used.

But on the down side..."

Wow, role reversal! Usually it's the Muse that gets the raw end of the deal, and the poet who gets the glory. (I am thinking now of the tale of one of my favorite songwriters, and the woman who inspired his most famous song...but I think that may be something for one of my "thoughtful" blog posts.)

In any case, I am sure Lana didn't mean to cheat you. But times is tough here in the US of A, and we have to hang on to our hard-earned $20 bills.

But hey, thanks for the poem!

Saturday, November 22, 2008 12:08:00 PM  
Anonymous hHH said...

Lana said...
"Wow! ROTFLMBO! (good exercise)
Connie, can I post the poem on my blog?"

If HHH doesn't mind, I sure don't! HHH?

--Yeah, ok.

Saturday, November 22, 2008 12:27:00 PM  
Anonymous HHh said...

You're talking about 'Susanne', I expect.

Saturday, November 22, 2008 12:29:00 PM  
Anonymous hHH said...

I thought Redfern's take on Roswell was the most plausible.

Saturday, November 22, 2008 12:32:00 PM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

Thanks for the poetry permission, HHH. And yes, it is the story of LC and Suzanne that I had in mind.

Re Redfern on Roswell... just for the sake of argument, here's Stan Friedman's take on it:
http://tinyurl.com/6q6jke

(Stan is the guy who wrote the Foreword to Jesse Marcel's book.)

Saturday, November 22, 2008 1:01:00 PM  
Anonymous Lana said...

HHH, when I become President, I will appoint you to my Cabinet. What position do you prefer?

Saturday, November 22, 2008 7:47:00 PM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

Ha, ha, Lana, you should know better than to ask HHH a question like that. (But HHH, keep in mind that Ron has dibs on the intern position. Of course, I guess there could be more than one intern...)

Saturday, November 22, 2008 8:45:00 PM  
Anonymous Lana said...

Oh yes, I do know better!

Saturday, November 22, 2008 9:35:00 PM  
Anonymous hhH said...

I'd keep your lawn neat for a living wage.

Sunday, November 23, 2008 1:48:00 AM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

hhH said...

"I'd keep your lawn neat for a living wage."

That's a lot of lawn, HHH. Would you be handling the Rose Garden too?

Sunday, November 23, 2008 10:37:00 AM  
Anonymous hhh said...

I would be honoured to tend the presidential thicket.

Sunday, November 23, 2008 10:54:00 AM  
Anonymous Lana said...

This should help you get started, HwHH (Head whiteHouse Horticulturist)

http://www.whitehouse.gov/ask/20081016.html

Sunday, November 23, 2008 11:23:00 AM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

hhh said...

"I would be honoured to tend the presidential thicket."

As you yourself said earlier, "I couldn't possibly comment." So I won't.

Sunday, November 23, 2008 11:47:00 AM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

Lana said...

"This should help you get started, HwHH (Head whiteHouse Horticulturist)..."

Isn't there an old saying, "You can lead a horticulture, but you can't make her think"?

Sunday, November 23, 2008 11:51:00 AM  
Anonymous Lana said...

Hmmm, my comment is REALLY interesting now that it appears to follow HHH's.

My stomach hurts from laughing!

Sunday, November 23, 2008 12:09:00 PM  
Anonymous hhh said...

"You can lead a horticulture, but you can't make her think"?

heh heh, 's good.

Sunday, November 23, 2008 3:52:00 PM  
Anonymous HHh said...

As your post is under Obama's change, how is the type of change currently visiting Iceland going to be avoided in the US?

http://www.iceland-dori.blogspot.com/

Sunday, November 23, 2008 4:40:00 PM  
Anonymous hhh said...

That Cohen song... I don't get it.
If he is worried about the future, why doesn't move to China and make a few investments?

And by the way, Jesus wasn't a sailor when he walked upon the water, he was a pedestrian.

Monday, November 24, 2008 2:53:00 PM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

Don't mess with sacred lyrics, HHH. Okay, go ahead, mess with 'em. :-)

LC apparently chose to deal with his worries about the future by entering a Buddhist monastery a couple of years after that song was released. He stayed there a few years but he's out now and has a new girlfriend. He doesn't look terribly worried any more. But I don't think he's really done anything superb since "The Future."

Now get busy and analyze the lyrics to "Don't Go Home With Your Hard-On."

Monday, November 24, 2008 3:39:00 PM  
Anonymous hhh said...

I never leave home without one.

Monday, November 24, 2008 5:43:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Connie, I guess I am a little confused? How is your opinion formed about all of this stuff?? I really want to know?
I mean to you actively practice the LOA or any of the stuff you go on about??
Because to try it and then not like it, or disagree with it, or prove it does not work is one thing, but to just go on about something when you have not tried it is a bit 'stupid' really. Thats like saying you HATE cheese when you have never tried cheese!! I am not saying this is what you do, I am asking because I wander to you just blow hot air from your mouth (or keyboard!) or is it based upon your TRYING it all out?
It makes no sense to me, its like you talk a million miles an hour, yet you never say anything. Is that because you have never tried any of this?? Or does it sound so far out there to you that it scares you so you cover it with sarcasm?
You seem to be a right fighter, and surely this attitude of yours just adds to the crap in the world, because you can take all this crap away that all these people are getting rich from and you can still know that love and respect is what brings the most raged full man to his knees. So to end all this crap in the world,and that is a HUGE amount, then we need to have love and respect... surely?
So what if someone made up a load a crap and is now rich from it... at least his contribution is helping others, what is yours doing?? It is helping the rage stay in a world that needs some help.
Just wandered!!

Saturday, February 07, 2009 4:55:00 AM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

Anon 4:55 AM wrote:

"How is your opinion formed about all of this stuff??"

I have explained this many times before, but since you seem to be new here I'll do it again. I'm just guessing, but I'm thinking your comment is really a reaction to what is currently my most recent post, "The Mini-Madoff of Melbourne." Perhaps you meant to respond directly to that post. The post you responded to is the one that currently appears at the bottom of the opening page on my blog. Unless I change my settings, that post will move to the archives once I publish a new post.

But anyway....

The short answer to your question about how I formed my opinions is that I have long years of firsthand experience with much of the stuff I snark about, and with the people involved in it.

If you really are interested, read my blog post from July 28, 2006, "How I got so cosmic (or not)."
http://cosmicconnie.blogspot.com/2006/07/how-i-got-so-cosmic-or-not.html

In this post you'll also find links to pieces on my old Cosmic Relief web site that further explain my point of view.

I also hear quite frequently from other people who have very negative firsthand experience with some of the people or techniques or belief systems I snark about.

Of course, I also hear from those who have positive experiences about same, and I gladly publish their thoughts too when they send them as public comments.

You also ask, "So what if someone made up a load a crap and is now rich from it... at least his contribution is helping others, what is yours doing??"

Many of these people have hurt others with their crap, both emotionally and financially. Melbourne's Mini-M is just one example.

As for what I am contributing...well, quite frankly, I began this blog mainly for my own entertainment, with no great purpose in mind about contributing to the world or helping people. Yet over the two and a half years this blog has been up, numerous people have said I *did* help them, by sharing insights and opinions that kept them from making potentially expensive mistakes. Many others say they have found me entertaining. (I'm sure I am unintentionally entertaining at times, but that's the risk one takes.)

And if you'll pardon a little pop-psychology (well, fair's fair), it sounds to me as if *you're* the one who's a little scared -- maybe scared that I just might be right about some of these people.

Saturday, February 07, 2009 10:59:00 AM  
Blogger RevRon's Rants said...

Hi Anon 4:55 (Whose writing "style" is remarkably similar to David Schirmer's) - While I haven't tried the LOA techniques, per se, neither have I tried Drano enemas to clear out all the unenlightened foods I've eaten throughout my life. Why? Because plain old common sense tells me that a Drano enema would be pretty damaging, and that wishing upon a star won't bring me everything and anything my heart might desire. If that's stupid in your book, I'll also decline the opportunity to read that book. :-)

I've seen first-hand how some LOA gurus have no problem harming others for their own profit, and have heard from many others whose experience was similarly negative. Ironically, the feedback I get from LOA believers and cheerleaders never seems to detail any measurable benefit they've received, beyond the ludicrous claims of getting great parking spaces or starting their own "abundance" blogs. Virtually the only ones who achieve abundance from the LOA schtick are the ones who get in early on their pyramid schemes. And far too many of those people are being pursued by law enforcement for defrauding investors.

The only "crap" being put out there is the building of false hopes for desperate people, and large bank accounts for the hucksters. There's a BIG difference between good common sense and "negativity." The hucksters like Schirmer and other self-proclaimed Secret "stars" are banking on their ability to convince people otherwise.

BTW - What does this have to do with President Obama? I'm apparently as curious as you are confused.

Saturday, February 07, 2009 11:24:00 AM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

Many thanks, Ron... I couldn't have said it better myself. XXX000

Saturday, February 07, 2009 1:46:00 PM  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home