Calling All Stargazers and Kindred Spirits

 

Back in 1979, astrophysicist / author Carl Sagan and writer / producer Ann Druyan were both working diligently towards successfully launching their Sci-Fi film… Contact… off the Tinseltown storyboards and into our cineplexes.

Within six years, undue, unwanted, unproductive behind the scenes, Hollywood “drama” had begun to undo this dynamic duo’s momentum and, at one point, had even threatened to scrub their mission. As it turned out, it would take the transposition of 1979’s ending 7 and 9 digits before this film could be completed.

Sadly, mere months prior to that, Dr. Sagan, had succumbed to myelodysplasia (a pre-leukemic syndrome) and wound up shuffling off this mortal coil.

Had he survived, he certainly would’ve been on hand to high-five Contact’s screenplay writers James V. Hart and Michael Goldenberg, director Robert Zemeckis and the entire cast and crew. He’d have especially applauded the multifaceted actress, Jodie Foster, for her stellar performance… for her breathing so much life into the film’s protagonist… the multidimensional astronomer Ellie Arroway.

Seeing how Sagan and Druyan’s core principles / personae had become so thoroughly infused into the Contact script’s pages (in a sense, right down to the atomic structure of the ink toner and papyrus) it was inevitable that Foster would tap into their attributes throughout the film… especially during the emotionally charged denouement… i.e., where Dr. Arroway had so passionately addressed the conclave of her wholly skeptical and wildly infuriated adversaries… had spoken of the life changing, journey to the cosmos, which had further heightened her pre-existing, astronomer’s lofty outlook on life.

Said she…

“I… had an experience… I can’t prove it, I can’t even explain it, but everything that I know as a human being, everything that I am tells me that it was real! I was given something wonderful, something that changed me forever… A vision… of the universe, that tells us, undeniably, how tiny, and insignificant and how… rare, and precious We all are! A vision that tells us that We belong to something that is greater then ourselves, that We are not, that none of us are alone! I wish… I… could share that… I wish, that everyone, if even for one… moment, could feel… that awe, and humility, and that hope. But… That continues to be my wish.”

SIDEBAR: Ironically, in an earlier scene (set within this same venue) many of these same inquisitors had expected agnostic Arroway to take a leap of faith… to no questions asked / no skepticism allowed… believe in the existence of a Supreme Being. YET… by film’s end… they, themselves, flat-out refused to take a similar leap of faith… to no questions asked / no skepticism allowed… believe in the existence of the superior alien civilization she claimed to have made first contact with.

So… why have I opted to review a 21-year-old film?

Contact makes contact with the very hearts and souls of everyone who has ever given a damn about the survival of our civilization. It is the skywatchers of our world who, perhaps, feel this the strongest… be We the professional or the backyard variety… be We telescopically enhanced or relying solely on the naked eye.

We can feel an affinity with all who have ever seen… who still see… beyond the pure science… all who speak of the awe, humility and hope, which our viewing experiences conjur up. Such a state of mind endures whether We are virtually traveling thru our ethereal, vast starlit cosmos or are wandering about our hometowns, homelands and home world.

Although we do remain resolute re the awe and humility aspects, holding onto hope is not always so easy. You see, its just as the celestial images begin to fade into the daylight… just as we’re coming back down to earth… where / when the heavyhearted dismay tends to resurface. Once again, our worldly thoughts zero in on the godforsaken, power-hungry, posturing, avarice driven, dictator zeros who usually wind up calling all the shots… and… in that capacity… are to blame for our global, sociopolitical and ecological disarray.

The run-of-the-mill, disconnected from our universe autocrat could never, truthfully, claim to be the humble servant he is supposed to be… could not even begin to fathom / embrace Saganesque awe, humility and hope. His typical reaction to viewing celestial objects / events would not likely garner much more than his yawned out words…

These are just dots in the sky, what more do you expect Me to say?

Me oriented leadership is precisely the problem. That odious, oafish What’s in it for me, Me, ME? bad ‘tude is the driving force behind virtually all of our societal ills. Their tormented, subjugated victims, while (oft literally) crying out for some much needed liberation, seldom possess the power to empower alternative, We oriented leadership.

Indeed, it’s the We oriented philosophy, which is so harmonious with the stargazers’ awe, humility and hope. This is amply illustrated within that above Arroway quotation where she thrice uttered the word “We”. And let’s not forget to include her inclusive language such as “us”, “ourselves” and “everyone”. Were such sentiments fully taken to heart by our leaders, We would already be well on our way to saving humanity from ruin.

It is no accident that Founding Father / author Gouverneur Morris began the U.S. Constitution’s Preamble with the words “We the People”. He and his constitutional compatriot co-writers deemed those three words so crucial that even the likeminded calligrapher, Jacob Shallus, had so boldly pen stroked those three key words in an enlarged font.

“We the People

of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence [sic], promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”

When such a proclamation births such a great nation, one has to wonder how any electorate could ever tap into some lame, Donny-Come-Lately’s slanderous, spurious / fake claim that America is no longer great. Ironically, such an entity is usually the one who… in the end… winds up threatening the very greatness of all great nations.

Why oh why is it that the nations of our world suffer such a deficit of We oriented leaders? One would expect admirable attributes such as awe and humility to be innate. Even if advancing this attitude involves nurture more than nature it should still be easily attainable.

Metaphorically speaking, We are all participants in the human race… a relay race. In the course of running our laps… concurrently upon our planet’s orbital path and the more down to Earth race track… the intergenerational passing off of the baton of human decency should occur without a hitch… a simple matter of the hand-off from each awe-humility-hope-harboring elder trainer to each awe-humility-hope-hungering youngster trainee.

I do have my parents to thank, for they not only deeply encoded / embedded awe-humility-hope into my infinitesimal DNA during my conception but also reinforced these attributes by handing off that “baton” to me during my formative years.

What a pity so many, who fancy themsleves leaders, cannot make a similar proclamation.

I do suppose that Awe-Humility-Hope sentimets… that We trumps Me ‘tude… all being second nature to the stargazers and other kindred spirits of our world, this is what accounts for our expectations that the rest of humanity will be willing to follow suit.

Let us hope that such sentiments… such expectations… are not overly optimistic.

 

 

Advertisements

Yelling “Fire” In & Opening Fire On a Crowded Theater

 

Let’s talk Constitutional Amendments… starting with the 1st, which states:

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

To flesh out those above “talking points” a bit…

America’s Founding Fathers had known democracy and theocracy could never coexist… that freedom of religion must also be inclusive of freedom FROM religion. As for civil disobedience / political protest, they not only had viewed citizens calling out errant leadership as the height of patriotism, but they also recognized how such demonstrations do act as a societal safety valve / a preventative of revolutionary wars… especially when responsive, responsible leadership takes constructive criticism to heart and then rectifies the problem(s)¹.

They had also understood how freedom of the spoken / published word (and more recently the blogged word, too) could never be an anything goes proposition. In other words…

The 1st Amendment’s right to free speech was never intended to permit anyone to yell out “FIRE!” in a crowded theater… especially where and when no such conflagration exists. In other words, to get one’s jollies by victimizing innocent people… by maiming and murdering them… was never meant to be a protected, Constitutional right².

Let’s move along now to the 2nd Amendment, which states:

“A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”

Once again, to flesh out that above “talking point” a bit…

America’s Founding Fathers would’ve never equated “A well regulated Militia” with the present-day, too few rules and regs, gun sick society which the National Rifle Association has spawned… i.e., the bullets flying, blood splattered, pop-up, anytime / anywhere domestic war-zone.

They would’ve been appalled by the NRA’s hardliner sociopaths, who absolutely refuse to accept even minimal, common sense laws such as bans on military grade automatic weapons, raising the age for gun ownership and… last but not least… background checks to ensure weaponry is not falling into the hands of the criminals and the criminally insane.

The 2nd Amendment’s right to bear arms was never intended to grant carte blanche to gun nuts… i.e., allow them to open fire in a crowded theater… or for that matter… anywhere else. In other words, to get one’s jollies by victimizing innocent people… by maiming and murdering them… was never meant to be a protected, Constitutional right.

Yet, essentially, is not that very scenario exactly what the NRA’s stone hearted, hardliners have been lobbying their political puppets to perpetuate?

Equally deplorable is their MO for routinely targeting and marginalizing all who oppose them… and far worse yet… how they’ve been ridiculing and showing little sympathy to the still in deep mourning survivors of the mass shooting at Parkland, Florida’s Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

Targeting, marginalizing and showing little sympathy to society. Hmmm… when you really thing about it… that not only describes the overall attitude of the NRA but also each and every mass murderer who has ever open fired on innocents… the next mass murderers who will (someday soon) open fire once again.
 

Footnotes:

¹Such concepts are totally foreign to the present-day, unenlightened, Oval Office occupant.

²Hate speech must never be protected, either. It not only kills the human spirit and dignity of its targeted victims, but also incites the oft deadly, accompanying physical violence inflicted by lynch mobs.

 

 

A “Parked” Witch’s Broom Can Also Sweep Up The Dirt

 

A nation’s leader must be ethical, of sound mind and smart. Although possessing multiple college degrees encompassing a vast spectrum of disciplines would be an ideal and immeasurable asset… in lieu of that… minimally… said leader must be intellectually curious, a quick study and possess an above average attention span… be someone who is ready, willing and able to rely heavily upon an “A-Team” of well-qualified, principled and sane advisors. At all times, this brain trust must be staffed by bold, bona fide, book and people smart folks… must never be shaking in their own boots, boneheaded bootlickers. If they’re nothing more than butt kissers, why even bother keeping them on the payroll, right?

Exploring this matter conversely… here’s what happens when a clueless leader, who has no one respectable to clue him in, cannot cope with and resolve a (figurative and literal) world’s worth of problems. In short, on nearly a daily basis, he winds up creating more problems than he’s solving.

Factoring in mental instability and… well… sorry to say… our global community gets to take a firsthand glimpse at a pathetic, little man who prioritizes stroking his own, massive ego over establishing and sustaining good governance that should benefit everyone equally. He’s a greedy, predatory, undignified, unprincipled, misogynistic, xenophobic, homophobic, whiny crybaby, who can be counted on for one AND ONLY ONE thing: To create chaos… to constantly throw Tweeting tantrums just so he can dominate each and every last damned news cycle… always get his name splattered in print and online… trumpeted out up and down the radio and TV “dials”. Does anyone not know who we’re talking about?

Here’s only a partial rundown of his DC meltdown.

  1. He’s been bullying North Korea and Iran in his feeble attempts to prevent them from going nuclear. Not even for a fleeting moment has he realized that taunting them can only confirm their worst fears that the U.S. is out to get them… that his aggressiveness can only serve to speed up their timetable for acquiring such WMD. What else can we conclude but they’re defending themselves against the newest rogue nation “on the block”… namely… regrettably… post Obama America.

Consequences: Expect global nuclear proliferation (Round 2) and… in the end… a strong probability that he will provoke World War III.

  1. He summarily rejects how Russian cyber attackers (whose intent has been to muck up free elections worldwide) are an ever-present danger to democracy. He likely turns a blind eye just because their meddling just happened to benefit him politically.

Consequences: To pooh-pooh the seriousness of this situation is akin to granting carte blanche to Russia (and God knows who else). This is an open invitation to meddle again and Again and AGAIN! It’s entirely possible that they have already won their no-shots-fired, virtual overthrow of America Amerika… and… in the end… they’ll wind up calling all the shots… and freedom will be the first fatality. Any dissenters out there will suffer a similar fate.

  1. Putin’s puerile puppet has been hobnobbing with Russian hobgoblins and hooligans… thoughtlessly divulging secret, sensitive intelligence… just to cockily (and childishly?) crow and strut around the oval barnyard? One has to wonder WTF other secrets this man-child has been carelessly trotting out during “show and tell” time? Perhaps the nuclear “football” and launch codes? And what about that Russian TV crew covering that Oval Office meeting? Hooking up the cables to all of that audio/video gear could’ve afforded the technicians the perfect smokescreen for cleverly, covertly planting “bugs” on said premises.

Consequences: From now on, intelligence-gathering personnel, spying on behalf of freedom loving nations, everywhere, are now fully aware that they’ve been outed. Consequently, they’ll NEVER, EVER again, share their findings with a foolish, showboating blabbermouth. In our post 9/11 world… for America to wind up out of the loop… in the end… will be akin to sending out engraved invitations to terrorists (each envelope embossed with the showboater’s own monogram). Let’s hope and pray nobody RSVPs!

  1. On the domestic scene, he plots to deregulate corporations, banks, Wall Street, etc. AND revamp the income tax code… also lusts to repeal Obamacare and replace it with an anemic, sickly health insurance plan for the masses. In other words, he’ll be skewing everything to show favoritism towards his best buds… the richest of the rich… while screwing over the middle class and impoverished folks.

Consequences: To rip off and abuse the poor, just for the sake of lavishing more loot upon those who already wallow in wealth, will… in the end… cause staggering levels of financial hardship. And, once his wicked plot tanks out the economy and society, guess who… once again… will be expected to bail out his pals… a.k.a. “the too big to fail”? Hard hit will be none other than the “too little to survive” beleaguered, average Jane and Joe taxpayers.

  1. He loathes the free press… each and every reporters’ tough questions. He goes totally Orwellian each and every time he lambastes truthful reportage… bogusly branding each journalist, who refuses to suck up to him, as the disseminator of “fake news”. Whenever he’s confronted with and confounded by tough questions, he’s so full of himself he’ll never admit, “I don’t know. Let me get back to you.” Instead he’ll pivot by flat out lying and/or serving up word salad rendered even more unintelligible from all that thick, gooey, gobbledygook salad dressing (Russian dressing?).

Consequences: Any nation devoid of a free press… in the end… will be doomed to take the fatal plunge to the very depths of despotism’s fetid cesspool.

  1. He becomes incensed whenever the press corps and politicians, alike, start to point out how he appears to be excessively whoring around with the Russians… and, in response, he then makes himself look even guiltier. It’s almost as if he’s constantly asking himself, “What’s the worst possible thing I could do to appear cozier with the Russians?” And he then goes out and does precisely that. True, “know thy enemy” is not intrinsically a bad idea, but if he gets any closer to Putin, he’ll have to marry the bastard. Additionally, now that legislators, merely doing their constitutional duty, have begun their investigations into the inner workings of his only months old admin… and are perhaps getting too close to the truth… he’s whining about it… categorizing this a “witch hunt”. Well… he needs to be mindful that a witch’s broom, once parked, can also be used for sweeping up the dirt.

Consequences: If, at any time, any of his inquisitors catch even the slightest whiff of impropriety, they must behave like bold patriots… not petty partisans… and if the severity of the transgressions warrant it… punishment must be inclusive of impeachment and removal from office. If these inquisitors fail to do their duty and, instead, wind up sweeping whatever dirt they find under the rug… in the end… it’d be akin to laying waste to the U.S. Constitution and spitting in our Founding Father’s faces.

 

99 Word Blog (#065) SpotOn HuffPo Blogger Lucia Brawley

 

So… you say you’re voting for Donald Trump?

If yes… read Lucia Brawley’s Blog!

Even if no… read her true blue American sentiments anyway!

If, afterwards, anyone is still hell-bent on empowering Trump… know this…

It’s entirely possible that our Founding Fathers didn’t write sufficient safeguards into our Constitution to protect us/the U.S. from your alarming and appalling lack of wisdom.

In THE END… DONALD TRUMP and YOU would manage to obliterate everything good America represents… would FUBAR our precious nation… would succeed where Adolf Hitler and Osama bin Laden had failed.

Electing Hillary Clinton is our ONLY hope.

 

We’re Already Being Denied Our Voice

If there is such a thing as justice, the late SCOTUS judge Antonin Scalia is burning up in HELL… an apt punishment for his participating in the (figurative)  gang rape / murder of Lady Liberty.

You see… Scalia deserves that fire and brimstone fate for he had been among the 5-4 archconservative majority of black robed bastards who, in the matter of Bush v. Gore, had corruptly handed over the Oval Office keys to George W. Bush on 12-12-2000… thereby disenfranchising the Florida voters and screwing over Al Gore. As a result, a firestorm of wretched events unfolded.

A quoted passage from my 03-03-2016 blog will rundown the particulars… list all the crap that went down during W’s admin. We the People wound up with an…

“…Orwellian NSA and MSM, banana republic elections, corporate citizenship, too big to fail coddled big biz failures, an upward redistribution of wealth, a “no child left behind” spiritless “teach to the test”, backward public school system, misogyny, theocracy, homophobia, xenophobia, environmental rape, foreign oil dependence, clucking / crowing chickenhawks, warmongering / war profiteering, needless, endless no-win wars, terrorist attacks, zero gun controls and warzone municipalities where even elementary school kids get shot to death.”

You see… Scalia ALSO deserves that fire and brimstone fate because he had, once again, been among the 5-4 archconservative majority of black robed bastards who, in the matter of Citizens United v. Federal Elections Commission, had granted citizenship to soulless corporate entities on 01-21-2010… thereby opening the floodgates of corrupt money to bribe the candidates we see (by and large) listed on the GOP side of our ballots… thereby killing off free elections in America.

To summarize all the above… these are but two of the decisions where Scalia had “burned down” the America, which our Founding Fathers had intended for posterity… DOWN TO THE GROUND! That leaves me feeling P.O.’d… BIG TIME… and I’d certainly hope you are feeling that way, too.

These two Supreme Court decisions have far deeper ramifications, too. They’ve served to embolden present-day Righties who are now adamantly refusing to permit President Barack Obama to fulfill his Constitutional duty… to select none other than the late Antonin Scalia’s successor.

Our sitting President, in choosing Merrick Garland, a 63 year old political moderate, has demonstrated a level of compromise which one would think would appease Senate Republicans. Of course there can be no appeasement when dealing with tyrants, not even the facts that Garland is far past midlife and won’t likely see eye to eye with true blue liberals.

Call archconservative obstinacy and obstructionism a political conflagration or call it a political firestorm… but… we must… by name… call out the key, flagrantly partisan, posturing culprits. That’d be Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell R-KY and Sen. Chuck Grassley R-IA.

Those swaggering senators are giddy with their absolute power / gridlock over the Obama White House… indeed, the chokehold they exert over our entire nation. I’ll let both McConnell and Grassley dig their own political graves with their own words.

Be sure to hold your nose while McConnell takes this… his verbal bowel movement:

“The American people should have a voice in the selection of their next Supreme Court Justice. Therefore, this vacancy should not be filled until we have a new president.”

In the stall adjacent to McConnell’s, here’s what Grassley left in the bowl:

“A lifetime appointment that could dramatically impact individual freedoms and change the direction of the court for at least a generation is too important to get bogged down in politics. The American people shouldn’t be denied a voice.”

Here’s how 2016’s Democratic presidential wannabe Hillary Clinton responded… and believe me… she flushed that entire disgusting load of Republican verbal dung down into the figurative sewer… right where it belongs.

“We chose a president. We chose him twice. And now Republicans in the Senate are acting like our votes didn’t count and that President Obama is not, still, our nation’s leader.”

“He (Grassley) says we should wait for a new president because, and I quote, ‘The American people shouldn’t be denied a voice.’ Well, as one of the more than 65 million Americans who voted to re-elect President Obama, I’d say my voice is being ignored right now.”

Folks, in parting let me just state the obvious. Had Mitt Romney defeated Obama in 2012, by now, McConnell, Grassley and all the rest of their GOP senatorial brethren would’ve confirmed whatever monster the Mittster had handpicked to be Scalia’s black robed, bastard successor… and to borrow, modify and build upon a few of Grassley’s own words… that lifetime appointment would’ve negatively impacted individual freedoms and changed the direction of the court for at least a generation.

One final thing before I let you go…

Republicans are playing a dangerous game by flipping off the 65 million Americans who re-elected President Obama … that’s 65 Million with a capital M! Citizens may not vent their outrage this year… maybe not even in the lifetime of all who are alive today… but someday, when folks finally realize that they cannot effect change in an orderly manner… that’s when they’ll act in disorderly ways… and if necessary… that’ll rise up to and, perhaps, even be inclusive of a Second American Revolution.

True, our visionary Founding Fathers had thought they had covered all the bases necessary to permit a smooth transition of leadership within our representative form of government… but… then again… how could they have ever foreseen the likes of a Mitch McConnell and a Chuck Grassley?

Revisions posted 04/01/16 @ 12:34

VIDEO ADDENDUM… while the lyrics don’t enhance my message re Scalia… the imagery/instrumentation sure as Hell does. Enjoy:

This blog enhancer posted on 04/02/2016 @ 10:10