Enough is Enough

When is Humanity Going to Get That We’re All in This Together?

Archive for December, 2007

This is Why I’m in Poetry, Not Politics

Posted by honestpoet on December 27, 2007

Because I have children. And so did she, which is heartbreaking. They’ve assassinated Bhutto in Pakistan. Here’s the news story. And I thought our democracy was in trouble.

O, sons of Abraham, when are you going wake up and realize that we’re all one family? The human family!

Posted in freedom, fundamentalism, history, poetry, politics | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

World’s first poem written in python

Posted by majutsu on December 23, 2007


# This poem was generated from Python 2.5 using a series of list object operations.
# All output (including the output authoring it's own source code)
# was sent to the textfile using a virtual compiler during runtime.


Wise Remembrances


I am not the things I have.
	I am not the people I love.
		I am not the labors I do.
			I am not the perceptions I experience.
				I am not the thoughts I think.
					I am not the emotions I feel.
						I am not the rules I follow.

							But in this moment . . .

						The rules I follow become me.
					The emotions I feel become me.
				The thoughts I think become me.
			The perceptions I experience become me.
		The labors I do become me.
	The people I love become me.
The things I have become me.

 Rules I follow. 
	Perceptions I experience. 
		Thoughts I think. 
			Labors I do. 
				Things I have. 
					People I love. 
						Emotions I feel. 

							But I will be unhappy if I forget . . .

							I am not the things I have.
						I am not the people I love.
					I am not the labors I do.
				I am not the perceptions I experience.
			I am not the thoughts I think.
		I am not the emotions I feel.
	I am not the rules I follow.


# Like any good poet, I bare my own innards below:


import random, sys
fileout=open('Wise_remembrances.txt','w')
myinnards=open('wiseremembrances.py','r')
myinnards_exposed=myinnards.read()
sys.stdout=fileout
print '# This poem was generated from Python 2.5 using a series of list object operations.'
print '# All output (including the output authoring it\'s own source code)'
print '# was sent to the textfile using a virtual compiler during runtime.\n'
print '\n\nWise Remembrances\n\n'
global itemcounter
objectlist=[
    'the things I have',
    'the people I love',
    'the labors I do',
    'the perceptions I experience',
    'the thoughts I think',
    'the emotions I feel',
    'the rules I follow']
itemcounter=0
def denunciation(objectlist,itemcounter,grade):
    for item in objectlist:
        print itemcounter*'\t'+'I am not '+item+'.\n',
        itemcounter+=grade
    return itemcounter
def repunct(objectlist):
    for index in range(0,len(objectlist)):
        objectlist[index]=objectlist[index][0].swapcase()+objectlist[index][1:]
itemcounter=denunciation(objectlist,itemcounter,1)
objectlist.reverse()
print '\n'+itemcounter*'\t'+'But in this moment . . .\n'
repunct(objectlist)
for item in objectlist:
    itemcounter-=1
    print itemcounter*'\t'+item+' become me.'
copylist=[]
for item in objectlist:
    copylist.append(item)
random.shuffle(copylist)
newlist=[]
for item in copylist:
    newlist.append(item[4].upper()+item[5:]+'.')

    
for item in newlist:
    print '\n',itemcounter*'\t',item,
    itemcounter+=1
print '\n\n'+itemcounter*'\t'+'But I will be unhappy if I forget . . .\n'
objectlist.reverse()
repunct(objectlist)
itemcounter=denunciation(objectlist,itemcounter,-1)
print '\n\n# Like any good poet, I bare my own innards below:\n\n'
print myinnards_exposed


# This is software that composes a Buddhist sutra "renunciation poem" "on-the-fly". 
# It further displays it's own source code as above.  If you run the code above in a Python compiler, 
# you will get a different, but similarly-ruled poem.  Interestingly, the Artificial Intelligent "author" 
# reflects on her own process at the end of the poem by displaying her own innards (Including this commentary).

Posted in buddhism, poetry, Ubuntu | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

I’m Ashamed Somedays to Be an American; Thanks, Mr. President

Posted by honestpoet on December 19, 2007

I know that’s a sarcastic title, not exactly in the holiday spirit, but this just makes me sick. (Thanks to my friend Monte for this find.) It’s a clip (and an article to go with it) of an ex-CIA agent admitting that he participated in “enhanced” information-gathering techniques (read: torture), and that the order came straight from the White House.

I’m just sick at the thought of this being done in my name. I DO NOT ENDORSE THIS! And I can’t believe that anywhere near most Americans do, no matter how much they’ve been manipulated to do so by shows like 24 Hours that imply that it’s somehow “necessary” (or effective, for that matter) to stop terrorism. It’s neither. And even if it were, the ends simply never justify the means. Torture is always wrong. Good people, and good nations, don’t do it.

Posted in Amnesty International, freedom, impeachment, Islam, peace, politics, ridiculous beliefs, terrorism, torture | Tagged: , | 14 Comments »

Dominionism and the Religious Right: Somebody Save the Constitution!

Posted by honestpoet on December 13, 2007

Here’s an incredible article written by someone who managed to extricate herself from her fundamentalist upbringing. It’s published at The Dissident Voice, something new for the blogroll (and maybe a potential market!). This is the meaty part:

Today, as I witness the possibility of losing the last shreds of liberty to a fundamentalist theocracy, I am reminded once again of my college research paper and how “dangerous” research, critical thinking, and asking the right questions can be. All those years ago, I extricated myself from the fundamentalist Christian programming of my family and subculture, and now I am watching it threaten to engulf my entire country.

To even attempt to understand the religious right, which many are now naming “Dominionism”, one must grasp the mental duress it holds on its followers. I should know; I was one of them. Axiomatic in the worldview of the fundamentalist, born-again Christian is: “I have the truth, I’m right; you don’t have the truth, you’re wrong.” As a result, critical thinking, research, or intellectual freedom of exploration are not only unnecessary, they are dangerous and potentially heretical. Paul Krugman noted in a recent article that while the religious right bashes academia for its “liberal bias,” studies of the political persuasions of college and university professors indicate that persons who prefer academia as a lifelong career tend to be more liberal, just as those who prefer the military as a lifelong career tend to be more conservative. The halls of academia do not spawn the likes of Tim LaHaye or Pat Robertson. Remember, “a little knowledge is a dangerous thing.”

But simply shunning critical thinking does not make one a terrorist. What does, however, is the notion that because one “has the truth” and everyone else who believes differently is “wrong”, those individuals will be condemned to spend eternity in hell and must be incessantly reminded of their fate and their “inferior” status in the eyes of God. Moreover, because of one’s “superior” spiritual status, one has the so-called “divine authority” to subvert, by whatever means necessary, the very machinery of government in order to establish a theocracy in which one’s worldview is predominant.

When sufficiently pressed, Christian fundamentalists intractably argue that people are poor because they have not been born again. Like the Puritans of seventeenth-century America, wealth is a sign that one is following the will of God, and poverty indicates that one is not. People are poor because they are doing something to cause themselves to be poor, and whatever that may be, the underlying cause is that they do not have a “personal relationship with Jesus Christ.” Increasingly, one sees many faces of color in fundamentalist congregations, but those individuals are almost without exception, born-again Christians who tow the dominionist line with other people of color.

Dominionism deplores the mental health system. Like those who are poor, the mentally ill would not be so if they were born again Christians. After all, mental illness is a label given by the Dr. Phils of the world to people whose minds have been devoured by Satan. What they really need is Christian conversion and of course, a great deal of medication from the pharmaceutical lobby. The only valid therapist is Jesus; down with Oprah, God bless Joyce Meyer. Obviously, according to Dominionism, government should not be financing mental health programs.

And what about addictions? In case you haven’t caught on to the drill yet, Jesus is the answer to that one as well. Who needs a Twelve-Step program? There’s only one step: Accept Jesus Christ as your personal savior as soon as possible, and your addictions will be erased faster than those eighteen minutes on the Richard Nixon tapes. (Remind me to write another article on the religious right AS an addiction.)

Christian fundamentalism in “cafeteria style” has chosen which parts of Jesus’ teachings it chooses to honor and which not. Preference is always given to the “I am” passages such as those in the Gospel of John in which Jesus says, “ I am the door; the bread of life; the way, the truth, and the life; the light of the world; the living water,” and so on, supposedly claiming to be God and commanding his listeners to accept him as the only way to live forever with God in heaven and escape eternity in hell. Little attention is given to the Sermon on the Mount and the many passages where Jesus condemns the wealthy and the religious leaders of his time for their callous, hypocritical, mean-spirited absence of compassion. In fact, theologians who pay much attention to Jesus’ teachings on compassion are viewed as bleeding hearts, unorthodox, and not really Christian. For this reason, Pat Robertson stated on his 700 Club program, January 14, 1991: “You say you’re supposed to be nice to the Episcopalians and the Presbyterians and the Methodists and this, that, and the other thing. Nonsense. I don’ have to be nice to the spirit of the Antichrist.”

Let us not overlook the obvious: Dominionism is about dominion — over women, children, the poor, people of color, alternative sexual orientations, and the earth. It fits so nicely with fascist tyranny.

Christian fundamentalism is fundamentally UN-American. Dominonists clearly desire a revised United States Constitution that will institute a fundamentalist Christian theocracy. As Katherine Yurica has so assiduously reported, the Dominionist agenda would shred the Constitution and end the democratic republic our Deist founding fathers hammered out for five grueling months in 1787 in Philadelphia.

In fact, Pat Robertson believes that only Christian people should interpret and benefit from the Constitution. Again, on his 700 Club, December 30, 1981, he stated that, “The Constitution of the United States, is a marvelous document for self-government by Christian people. But the minute you turn the document into the hands of non-Christian people and atheistic people they can use it to destroy the very foundation of our society.” Never mind that most of the founding fathers did not consider themselves Christian and clearly, adamantly, and unequivocally defended the right of everyone in America to believe — or not believe, as he/she chooses.

I hope Americans outside the Bible Belt become more aware that reasonable people down here are being suppressed. It’s an insidious threat. A lawyer I enjoy at another forum calls it the American Christian Taliban. I think that’s not a bad label, with all the appropriate connotations. Except that they are really quite unAmerican, which is why I prefer Christianofascists.

Posted in anti-establishment clause, blogging, Christianofascism, freedom, fundamentalism, politics, religion, secular humanism, separation of church and state, the Bible | Tagged: , , , , | 2 Comments »

Majutsu sez…

Posted by honestpoet on December 11, 2007

“Americans want science confined to a money-making box, not wandering in church asking questions.” We had a big discussion about labels today, whether I ought to call myself an atheist or a secular humanist, or one of my own making, which I’ve been using and which my former mentor says he likes: agnostic secularist.

And it’s not that I’m not sure whether or not there’s a personal deity. I know that’s not so. Or at least I’m confident enough to consider people like Richard Dawkins to be perfectly reasonable, if somewhat impatient with people who value their heritage more than the need to feel 100% rational. Personally, for example, I think it’s just fine that some Christians and some Jews and even some Muslims have managed to pare away the extraneous BS of superstition and ignorance and cultural overlay to find the core of their faiths, which have enough truth to them (the smallness and insignificance of the individual as compared to the Whole, the importance of kindness and the other virtues, etc.) to be valuable when taken with a grain of salt (and never, ever insist that anyone agree with your take! enough evangelism, already, which ought to be called dominionism, at this point…let’s call a spade a spade). Heck, we even used the Bible recently to illustrate a point to our kids (the parable of the Good Samaritan, which has political connotations lost on most of us…). But I like using “agnostic” to say that I am not certain. That I’m not saying I know what happens when you die, or how the world came to be (I mean, I know life evolved, but I’m talking about what happened in the millisecond preceding the Big Bang), but that I do not know and further I don’t consider it important. What IS important is secularism. That religion and government remain forever separate. Religion is just too personal a choice to be legislated. Period. And the problems we all face together as one species on this beleaguered planet, problems of our own making that require solutions other than war OR prayer.

But back to Maj’s statement about science, it’s so true. These folk love science so long as it’s making them money. They gladly embrace it while it fills their coffers, but badmouth it if it seems to contradict the religious tenets that give them power. Another six weeks or so, and we escape the Bible Belt. I can’t tell you how eager I am.

Posted in atheism, Building a Better World, Christianofascism, freedom, fundamentalism, monoculture, politics | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Creative Loafing: a Blog Worth Reading

Posted by honestpoet on December 10, 2007

Peter Meinke is the man who taught me how to write poetry, the craft of it. He also, as my mentor, helped me understand the need for poets to have something to say, as well as the need to hang on to our sense of humor. He taught me how to work with form (and even play with it), and how to free myself from it. To him I will be forever grateful.

Through correspondence I read a great rant from him about that bizarre world inside the Beltway which has such a disastrous effect on the world outside it. And then I went looking for the blog where it had been posted, Creative Loafing, out of Tampa, FL. I’m happy to introduce it to you and to add it to my blogroll. I think I’ll be checking back there often!

In that same correspondence, btw, I answered the question he asks at the end of this glorious expression of outrage by this good man, as to which Democrat might lead us out of this quagmire that is the war in Iraq, with: Dennis Kucinich.

Posted in blogging, Dennis Kucinich, freedom, history, military, monoculture, peace, peace activism, poetry, politics, religion, secular humanism | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Good News, Everyone!

Posted by honestpoet on December 9, 2007

My husband entered into an agreement with a hospital up north today. We’re moving. Now it’s just pack up the stuff, fix up the house and garden, and get out of dodge, to a lovely coastal town in the great lakes region, with lots of cultural, academic, and recreational opportunities in gorgeous and historic environs. And lots of snow. My kids and our parents are all thrilled. So are we.

Still haven’t had full resolution regarding his license, but every day that nothing happens, hope gets stronger, and we have no choice but to move forward, anyway.

I’m going to be writing some fiction to purge my spirit. It’s becoming a novel somehow, all these short character pieces that have been percolating are coming together into one world.

Posted in beauty, freedom, history, national forests | Tagged: | Leave a Comment »