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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in Politics

Posted by on in Culture Blogs

After the terrible shootings in Aurora, Colorado, proponents of allowing mental patients to buy and carry assault weapons warned Americans in favor of gun control not to "politicize" the tragedy.  Similarly, after Hurricane Katrina, Bush administration officials insisted that "now is not the time to play the blame game."  It's become an expected response anytime something bad happens:  Don't Politicize the Tragedy!  

Which is odd, when you think about it, because, in a democracy, politics is how we go about trying to address national problems.  And when a tragedy brings some problem (gun violence, global climate change, underfunded relief agencies, etc.) to the forefront of our attention, that seems like a great time to start talking seriously about the problem.

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  • Constance Tippett Chandler
    Constance Tippett Chandler says #
    This why we need a strong central government with regulations. Can you imagine a privatised FEMA? We would be charged to be saved,
  • Makarios Ofiesh
    Makarios Ofiesh says #
    If I might venture to suggest a slightly different framing of the issue: talking like responsible adults about matters of demonstr
  • Hec
    Hec says #
    Byron, You are right; "tragedy" does have a diff meaning in theatre. I am grateful for your wise, womanly wisdom, as well. Bles
  • Byron Ballard
    Byron Ballard says #
    Yes! I will do my best to politicize this occurrence (after all these years in theatre, I have a different definition of tragedy).

Posted by on in Culture Blogs


Let’s take a look at the astrology of Election Day here in the U.S., and also revisit the Libra Ingress chart, which I posted about back in September. In that post, I noted that, with Neptune in Pisces in the 4th house of the chart, cast for Washington, DC, “there is the potential for some large-scale watery weather” in the last quarter of the year.

You’ll also note that Uranus rules the 4th in this chart, and is itself in the 5th — my guess is that Sandy will be, as advertised, an unprecedented and remarkably disruptive storm, I expect there will be particular problems in regard to school systems and educational institutions, and, quite possibly, technical problems within the NY Stock Exchange. I am concerned about health and sanitation issues in the aftermath of the storm, and we also can’t ignore the likelihood of lingering storm-related problems interfering with voting on Election Day.

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  • Diotima
    Diotima says #
    Here's a follow up to the comment I made about technical issues and the NYSE. Apparently, the technical issues were around a conti
  • Byron Ballard
    Byron Ballard says #
    Brilliant!
  • Diotima
    Diotima says #
    Thanks, Janet! Glad you found it helpful.
  • Janet Boyer
    Janet Boyer says #
    What a fascinating read, Diotima! I'm sharing everywhere.

Posted by on in Paths Blogs

Political and social activism form the core of many a Reclaiming witch’s practice. A main impetus of the tradition’s formation was the desire to reunite spirituality and activism, a union deliberately put asunder by many neo-Pagan traditions. From envelope-stuffing for local school board candidates to getting arrested at the RNC and DNC, activism is at the heart of what many of us do.

One of my day jobs is for the Minnesota Legislature. Not one individual legislator or party, but the body as a whole. Because ours is a nonpartisan office, and because I made certain agreements when I took the position, I am barred from overt political action. For the past several years, I’ve made my peace with this.

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  • Careswen ferch Madoc
    Careswen ferch Madoc says #
    Just catching up. I understand why you feel like you are in quite a pickle. I can't recall right now if I've ever been in a posi
  • Anne Newkirk Niven
    Anne Newkirk Niven says #
    Understood, Eli: sounds like the situation may be a bit less cut-and-dried that I initially understood it to be. May the Goddess o
  • Anne Newkirk Niven
    Anne Newkirk Niven says #
    If it's causing you that much torment, I'd say, look for a job that won't put you in this dilemma. It's a third way, and, IMHO, wo
  • Eli Effinger-Weintraub
    Eli Effinger-Weintraub says #
    I have considered it. But it's difficult to find another job where the work and the work environment are so well-suited to my temp
  • David Salisbury
    David Salisbury says #
    My first thought would be to take some long calculated breaths, drop into stillness, and ask the God-soul which way is best. While

Posted by on in Culture Blogs

Proposition 37 is voter-mandated proposal in California to label products that contain Genetically Modified Organisms. If you are still unclear about exactly what GMOs are, and why they are bad, let’s have an explanation.

GMOs should really be called transgenic organisms. Humans have been modifying plants and changing their genetics since the beginning of agriculture. We do this by choosing seeds from the healthiest, best producing plants and growing them. But this is not remotely what corporations like Monsanto and Syngenta are doing. These corporations take genes from two organisms that would never naturally reproduce together (because the equipment would not even match up) and combines them together into one Frankenplant (or Frankenanimal).

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  • Natalie Reed
    Natalie Reed says #
    Thank you for speaking out on this important issue. Even if one believes that GMO's are harmless, at least labeling allows one to

Posted by on in Culture Blogs

@BenjySarlin is right:  Although today Mitt Romney told a crowd in Las Vegas that, "I'm convinced that the path [Obama's] put us on is the path to Europe.  Or, I jokingly say...to California," it's difficult to imagine Obama telling a crowd, even jokingly, that, "I'm convinced that the path Romney would put us on is the path to Mississippi."  And if he did, the outrage would be unending.

Old Dr. Jung was onto something when he wrote about shadows and projection.  For decades, the political Right has loudly insisted that the political Left holds "regular Americans" in contempt.  (They've been admirably vague about precisely who is a "real" American; allows everyone to image that they must be insulting someone else.)  Spiro Agnew announced that Americans who opposed the war in Viet Nam were an "an effete corps of impudent snobs who characterize themselves as intellectuals."  The Moral Majority whipped up lower-income, white Christians by implying that an "immoral minority" of snobby liberals looked down on the "moral majority" as it eroded "American values."  George W. Bush, a child of generations of financial and educational privilege, ran as a brush-clearing Texas rancher with whom you'd love to have a beer, against John Kerry as a rich, "French," jet-skiing (apparently, only rich liberals jet ski) liberal.  (We'll just ignore the fact that Bush bought that ranch just before beginning his political campaign, cleared brush only in front of the media, and sold the ranch immediately upon leaving the White House.)  Despite decades of economic policies that hurt working-class Americans, the Right has been able to paint the Left as made up of arugula-eating, latte-drinking, snobs.

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  • Tom Terrific
    Tom Terrific says #
    Like old Dr. Jung, I think you’re onto something as you write about shadows and projection. As it happens, if Obama told a crowd,

Posted by on in Paths Blogs

Next Wednesday, the people of the Netherlands are going to vote on their new government. We have a slightly different system than some other countries. On wednesday we get to cast our vote on one of twenty-two parties. They range from Christian parties, to parties who fight for animal rights, the rights of workers or to parties who simply take a left or right wing approach to all issues. With our votes, the parties divide 150 literal seats in government. The biggest parties will try to come together and get a majority, or--and this has not really worked well in the past--the smaller parties come together to form a majority.

For weeks, my T.V., radio, roadside and randomly generated internet advertisements have been spamming me with messages of the various parties. All are trying to get my vote. One thing is sure; voting is difficult. Whomever we vote for will have to come to an agreement on staying or leaving the EU, on providing financial support to Greece, on putting together a way to minimize our economic deficit so the EU won't fine us, on fines for students who take more than the set amount of years for a study, and many, many, many other, difficult, issues.

I have been debating myself on which party to vote for. What I haven't been debating is the decision to vote. Because I will vote, no matter what. I strongly believe that the right to vote should not be wasted. As a young woman, I wouldn't have been able to vote even a hundred years ago... and if I lived in ancient Hellas, I most certainly would not be able to.

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Posted by on in Paths Blogs

A cross-post this week, if I may - between here at my first blog 'home', and the wonderfully eclectic 'Witches & Pagans' site (because if you can't 'moonlight' as a Pagan, then who can?).

I am very aware that I haven't written anything at either location for a couple of weeks. I could give excuses - ultimately, the days have flown past and life has been more important. I'm sure we all know how that goes. Instead, take a wander with me, if you will.

Regular readers know that one of my favourite places for inspiration is as I walk the dog across the hilltop where I live. This evening I wandered the streets, looking out at the fierce clouds parting after an intense rain and thunder-storm just a few hours ago, the remnants of a rainbow, and the slightly 'stunned' feeling of a normal, modern, country village after a violent and unavoidable incident of Nature. The grass is rich and green, the snails appear to have made a small bypass across the path outside one particular row of houses, and the occasional early bat is swooping overhead.

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