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Thursday, December 28, 2017

Chinook River Reverie (video and poetry)

Along the highway is a river that empties into the sea.  I always admire it when I pass by.  It is a serene inspiring setting strongly affected by the tides that wash in and out.

One time when passing by I had my camera.  As a result I can share the experience with you.


Included in the video is a brief poem I composed while standing there watching the water twisting and swirling like taffy being pulled with invisible hands.

Saturday, December 23, 2017

All Things New: a plan for restoring American society based on Psalm 37






Something is going on.  Something is happening. Look around you. The entire world is responding in disapproval of the behavior of the United States.

At home the majority of folks have been struck down hard by Republican and Democratic lawmakers who have picked their pocket in yet another tax plan. This tax plan could very well be the most anti-human taxation proposed by the two ruling political parties. According to the United Nations the plan will create a greater economic equality gap in the U.S. with the poor becoming even more impoverished. While all poverty hurts it is poor children who are harmed the greatest. Whereas approximately 13 % of the general public is stricken with poverty, children are hit the hardest. According to the National Center For Children In Poverty 21 percent of children live in families that are impoverished.  


This means some kids don't have enough to eat.  I have volunteered at the food bank and helped pack boxes with food especially for kids to take in backpacks to school. It broke my heart to see so many people in need. It still does. It matters very little to our politicians who have the means to remedy the situation.  But they have other priorities.



With the passing of the healthcare legislation by the Republican and Democratic lawmakers it is finally evident neither party is acting with good will toward those who live on Main Street.

The American College of Physicians (ACP) has voiced fears that millions of Americans will lose the healthcare they need due to the legislative activities of the Republican and Democratic lawmakers who received from their corporate supporters  9.6 million dollars for their work on tax legislation during the first nine months of this year. (2017)  These statistics come from the website Open Secrets.Org. 


It should be apparent even to sheep with woolen cataracts that Republicans and Democrats both really just don't care for those who live on Main Street.  With friends like them we don't need any enemies, they'll do fine. 

Remember it has been Republican and Democratic lawmakers working together who have made America what it has become. Now it is what the people need to change if they are planning leaving behind a life worth living for those who come after. 
 


I'd say it's time to throw them out of office by electing people who value human life and want to transform the present social miasma into a society that operates on the basis of values originating from fairness and justice. That can be accomplished using the rules already in place if THE PEOPLE choose to do it.  

Why not choose to do it? Sounds like a good idea doesn't it? Otherwise, we're just victims of the fury.

The answer is blowing in the wind.  Or less poetically, questions are being asked and conclusions arrived at by Americans of every political persuasion. This unifying phenomenon has come about because most Americans are living in uncertainty and fear for what the future will bring as a result of the capricious anti-human legislative activities of the Republicans and the Democrats. 

Alternative news agencies, some helpful, some not, have brought startling and sometimes upsetting ideas into the political atmosphere. These are the voices blowing in the wind. It is the 'Spirit' of the present moment because it results from the anguish of our hearts, we are terrified of the future the Republicans and Democrats are determined to bring about.

So how are we to live and what are we to do to take control of the Ship of State from the profit crazed Ahab and his investors dragging us to our doom?

Well we can vote differently. We can stop voting for Republicans and Democrats, their plans are not the plans Main Street wants.  More importantly and more primary is the need to change our mind about how to accomplish bringing about a just society.

Arriving at a 'Just' society is in many ways a 'spiritual' endeavor. It is spiritual because it involves human beings interacting in ways that result in no one getting screwed and everyone getting benefited. 

Recently I read Psalm 37. It impressed me so much I made a video incorporating it into the themes of justice, fair play, environmental catastrophe and endless war.  

It is helpful, if not necessary, to understand our common existential condition from the perspective of our 'Bigger' picture. By that I mean the overwhelming mystery of the fact of existence. Something was smart enough to start the ball rolling, smart enough to direct things to become what we have decided to become.

If we look around it is not too difficult to understand a lot of bad choices have been made. If our problems are the result of the choices we have made what is stopping us from making different choices that will have different outcomes?

Here's the video I made.  It's titled "All Things New".





(Note.  In one in one of the images is a statement attributed to Benjamin Franklin.  It may not be correct.  However the sentiment is Franklin's sentiment.)

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Speak When The Spirit Says Speak: petitioning the government with my grievances











You'd think a nation which claims the most revolutionary figure in human history as it's spiritual identity would behave differently than American lawmakers make the government behave.  But it is not so, church and state merely changed the meaning of their revolutionary patron while calling it the same thing.

This PUBLIC figure is Jesus, from Nazareth a galvanizing figure of the first century of the common era. He was an unemployed homeless transient Palestinian teacher of spiritual wisdom who mandated, among other things: feeding, clothing and housing the poor as well as healing their illnesses without cost and seeing to it their lives were worth living. The common folk loved him because he was one of them. The government and the church hated him because he made them both look bad. Even as obscure as he was the momentous impact his teaching has had is difficult to comprehend. While Jesus of Nazareth is often referred to as the Son of God, what endears him to mankind is that he referred to himself as The Son of Man, or Joshua Ben Adam, highlighting his solidarity with the human race. 

That's what this revolutionary figure Jesus wanted us to do for each other in order to bring about a just society based on the brotherhood of man which is the family of God.  

A poor man understands this immediately, a rich man requires persuasion.

He, Jesus of Nazareth, called his vision "THE KINGDOM OF Heaven."


You can see those ideas are really revolutionary when spoken in a Capitalist society that values wealth, status and power above all else.

You see it... right?
It's as plain as the nose on your face.

But America, a self professed Christian nation, will have nothing to do with these ideas of serving humanity from the bottom of its heart. It'll do it half heartedly if a buck can be made from its efforts, but not if it can't make that buck.

By embracing this attitude America takes on the nature of an Anti-Christ and it should be required to stop referring to itself as a Christian nation... unless being a Christian means to disavow the teaching of Jesus of Nazareth, the homeless spiritual teacher from Palestine and eternity.

America's political choices are disparaging the Jesus brand on almost every point by its domestic and foreign polices.

America you're giving Jesus a black eye and painting a moustache on the face of God with all the mayhem and self-interested profit seeking you're involved in.
America it's time to repent and humbly follow your God's teaching of caring for your neighbor instead of exploiting your neighbor for profit.

However, whatever, I doubt you will change your mind and serve THE PEOPLE with a pure intention.  America, I wish you would.  But without a change of heart and mind...you won't, you cant. Without that change of heart such ideas are beyond your imagination.

In the beginning God said:

Later on Jesus said he was gonna be really pissed if people didn't go out of their way to help one another:

the lawmakers in America say:



We have to change that, right?

Written as a poem, a prayer, a lament and a plea   Even so, come Lord Jesus.  
Amen.




Democracy Now reports on the state of civil liberties in the land of the free and the home of the brave.  Chin up.  Now is the time to use all your civil liberties while you still have them.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

President Trump And The First Amendment




be sure to read the article at the link above


"Freedom of speech and of the press served one purpose in America: To remove the fear of the common law doctrine of seditious libel so citizens could freely speak or publish without license their grievances against public policy or conduct of public officials. One of the distasteful things found under the common law was the government practice of criminalizing or shielding itself through requiring license to publish of any criticism it felt made people dissatisfied with their government or government established religion."

It hasn't taken one full year for President Trump (previous link just added is a discussion on Democracy Now on the topic of the danger President Trump presents to America and the world) to reveal his sentiments about civil liberties, his plans for Americans and the constitution in general. His response to a vibrant and healthy free press is not what many in the free world expect to hear their leader say. Many are worried that their fate and that of the nation is in the hands of "A  Moron" as the Secretary of State is reported to have said.  




The President has savagely opposed the use of the first amendment urging restrictions and urging loss of employment for those who use their liberty contrary to his will. 

Anyone familiar with the protocols associated with the U.S. Constitution understands immediately his feelings about freedom and liberty and above all the freedom to speak ones mind are patently un-american. These attitudes of his do represent a clear and present danger to the practice and the concept of liberty.

Here are some of the things he has said regarding our constitution and our liberty just recently in the past several days. The cat's out of the bag. The President hates our freedom to speak our mind and so don't Muslim terrorists according to former President Bush. But no Muslim ever told me to shut-up.  

Slate.com has recorded the President's words for posterity to reflect on. 

“It’s frankly disgusting the way the press is able to write whatever they want to write,” Trump told reporters later in the Oval Office. “And people should look into it.” 

"With all of the Fake News coming out of NBC and the Networks, at what point is it appropriate to challenge their License? Bad for country!"


A President who disrespects the constitution is in the wrong occupation. He's supposed to protect and defend the constitution not dismiss it as bad for the country as the present office holder has done.
These statements by the President should be enough evidence for anyone in congress to conclude he is unfit to protect and defend the constitution. 

He does not like the way some people use their rights. That means he doesn't understand the nature of rights. That makes him unfit to be leader of anything but a gulag, certainly not the free world.

Some have concluded his savaging of the first amendment could be cause to remove him from office.

 What do you think?







Benjamin Franklin pipes up:


Benjamin Franklin, writing in The Pennsylvania Gazette, April 8, 1736, wrote of the American doctrine behind freedom of speech and of the press:

Freedom of speech is a principal pillar of a free government; when this support is taken away, the constitution of a free society is dissolved, and tyranny is erected on its ruins. Republics and limited monarchies derive their strength and vigor from a popular examination into the action of the magistrates.
The above quote is found in The Federalist Blog

Monday, September 25, 2017

Web Repair Meditation (video and essay)




While sitting in the yard I noticed a spider had attached a web to a potted sunflower I had recently moved. The spider was repairing it's web. Either that or it was building it from scratch. Whatever it was doing, it was  a fascinating process.

I set my camera on a tripod about 4 feet away using a telephoto lens and tried to frame the activity. The early afternoon sunlight was coming from behind the web. It made seeing difficult.




I noticed first off that the spider was working counter-clockwise. Then I began to take note of the dexterity and coordination of the spiders entire organism in relationship to the task at hand. 

I began to pay attention to all the little legs moving purposefully and smoothly in coordination. It was like watching an experienced dancer or figure skater or mime. The dance floor, if you will, took on the appearance of an old bicycle wheel with wire spokes. Each silken 'spoke' being attached to the rest of the 'spokes'. When you watch the video you'll see. It's quite amazing what this critter has done.



I took multiple video clips of the spider of various lengths. At the time I was photographing the light was blinding and I was unsure what the camera was seeing. It actually came out pretty good. The very last clip I shortened and changed to one quarter speed. The result is a crystal clear detail allowing the viewer to examine the web repair technique of the spider and hopefully find yourself a little in awe. Imagine having to do something like that yourself!

I was impressed with this little critter on many levels. It not only accomplished this amazing task, it appeared to do it while facing backwards and extruding the thread from its abdomen and attaching it to the existing structure while facing the opposite direction all the while in counter-clockwise movement.  

At some point I began to speculate on how the web design began. It appeared to me that the entire web was built utilizing a longer, possibly thicker thread. The thread extended from the sunflower on one side which appeared to function as an anchor, to another plant on the other side having the same function. The center of the web appeared to be in the center of this central thread.  


It was a fascinating few moments


Enjoy





Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Throwing Babies On The Floor (Poetry)


I wrote the poem below after taking stock of the last several years of American history. You may recall some of these events. I remember them all.

____________________________________

  Throwing Babies On The Floor

                            the President has been spreading lies

              A Poem Derived From Recent History

about throwing babies on the floor
to reap the profits
he adores.

Profit has always been this nation's God

and for profit we have toiled,
for profit the nation's life is spent
and for profit the nation's life 
is spoiled.

he said,
were thrown on the floor
and left for dead,

so he barred terrorists at the door
and resumed the making of profit
from the making of war.

In times like this
sometimes I think,

at other times
I need a drink

or a toke…


Because now I know
there were no babies on the floor…
but there really is
Tall tales?
N0!
it's time to say
"NO MORE".

NO MORE to fake news
and NO MORE millions
need die.

Shout to the hilltops…
the President
is the 'Father' of lies.   





(C) David H. Roche 2017

Thursday, September 07, 2017

From Bad To Worse

From Bad To Worse

(late edition.  Came across this documentary on the life of Pete Seeger and thought:  "This guy sees the world pretty much the way I do."  It's a documentary on his life with the discussion of some good ideas not often entertained in the Mainstream Media, but they are ideas which are useful to us at this time in our experience.)



It has slowly dawned on me that America is not on the mend. It's this climate change / break-down that is shaking the world and has woken me up.

Now, finally now, it is evident that the way of life chosen by industrial nations is responsible for this current blitzkrieg of climate revenge. We had declared war on nature, but eventually it was determined we were outmatched.


In other words we have been engaged in killing the planet and ourselves for a long time but we didn't know it. However now we do know. It's way past time to avert the calamity we as a species have produced. Nature, our opponent of choice, has chosen to react. But it is not too late to change our minds. 

I knew this before in an intellectual way. I had poetry published for the very first Earth Day in 1970. 

To the right is a photo
taken of the pages of
the Nickel Review which was 
published in Syracuse, N.Y. in the late 1960's and early 70's. 
It's not really a great poem.


This plight of the environment is an issue I've been aware of for a long time.  I've always spoken against poisoning the environment. However I think in the back of my mind I felt sooner or later people will see what they are doing, come to their senses and stop doing it. So far I was wrong.




Now I understand the attack on the environment as being a personal attack on every individual on the planet. Already 7 million human beings die prematurely every year from effects related to air pollution. You see, environmental pollution IS a violent physical attack on your well-being!  We all live 'downstream' of the pollution, so to speak. We all breathe the same poisoned air.




I consider those doing this kind of harm to the general living space of humanity to be eco-terrorists. However the ones trying to stop them from doing it are being arrested as criminals. The Corporate Media reports it as if the polluters are in the right. If the Corporate Media reported all the details the people who consume that information would make the attack on the earth stop. You would, wouldn't you? Such is the failure of the Corporate Media.

It is time to recognize that those political decision makers who have made the most primary decisions regarding the welfare of life on the planet have utterly failed those people who drink water and breathe air. However they have served Corporate People who do not need air and water with the greatest of faithfulness.

The failure they have produced is evident today in the condition of the environment. They have done it in support of the health of the economy which is defined by the prosperity of Wall Street and not by the ability of the planet to support life or for your ability to enjoy life.



This dereliction of duty by those in control has not gone completely unnoticed. Thanks to the Alternative Media such as Democracy Now, and the work of Chris Hedges and many others, this dereliction of duty has been explained in a way sure to appeal to those accustomed to making rational decisions based on humanist values.

However on the other hand there is the Corporate Media which functions as an information outlet for the State, (status quo) promoting the nation's wars and identifying its alleged enemies and providing topics for political wrangling to consume the mental energies of the populace. 

I regard the Corporate Media mainly as a means of misinforming the general public with the purpose of getting folk to think and talk about the same meaningless political topics which are designed to alienate one group from another.

It was corporate policy to build a pipeline which is destined to bring about the death rattle of Mother Earth. It has been the policy of the Corporate Media to explain to the viewer that those opposed to the pipeline were criminals. This has just played itself out and is still playing itself out. Just imagine if a flood takes out one of those tar sands pipelines, or a wild fire! Take a look around you.  Are you in a flood, a wildfire? Somebody is burning down the proverbial house out here on the West Coast. I suspect the dangers of a possible occurrence will not have much airtime in the Corporate Media until a couple of days after the disaster. But today we have big floods and large fires where before there were none.  It's happening in Houston, it can happen in a town near you too.

It is the Alternative Media which tackles these topics. The status quo is willing for you to bicker between left and right and Russia and emails and corruption in political places. But you get the feeling that the impending devastation of the planet by the products of manmade climate disruption isn't worth much time and space to the Corporate Media.  It seems they wish to keep political discussion at the 'panty raid' level.  And it seems to be working.

Which, again, is why the Alternative Media's role is so important. The Corporate Media has completely washed its hands of encouraging a serious discussion on the human caused environmental calamity which is upon us. The momentum in favor of proceeding on with climate devastation could be abated if the amount of time spent on Donald Trump's pomposity was substituted for in-depth rational appeals to abate climate death, and biocide. But don't hold your breath!




A society which will take away the quality of life on the planet in exchange for wealth is a spiritually dead society. To engage in such activity is the greatest disrespect that can be shown to the Creator. In the words of Alex Grey's World Spirit "America, you have sold your soul for a little capital."





Men have been told to fear the wrath of God and have imagined a fire breathing angry man in the sky hurling lightning bolts. And so they laugh at the idea. But the wrath of God is more like Karma. It's something we do to ourselves in defiance of the Creator; things like poisoning our air, food and water while burning the planet down around us or some other such foolishness. It is our presently chosen way of life which requires us to behave like this.  We're waist deep in the big muddy once again. The big fool is still saying to push on.

I made the video below in response to the corporate assault on the planet. 

Saturday, August 26, 2017

We're Watching You: surveillance with a twist

We're Watching you



Surveillance of the unexpected kind. 
A spiritual reverie 
inspired by an afternoon in the yard
and explored in digital art.







Summer's Day Serendipity
is another video I made.  
It is completely different 
designed to be relaxing,
meditative
and peaceful.





(C) 2017 by David H. Roche

Friday, August 25, 2017

Morning Meditation


Morning Meditation





Shortly after sunrise
I picked  five small tomatoes
to be sliced
added to rice and chicken
and served with bread, cheese and cranberry juice
which reminded me
to take a package of pork chops from the freezer
for tomorrow.

I don't even know if there will be a tomorrow.
Whenever I check it's always NOW!
Frankly I'm becoming suspicious
of this 'tomorrow' concept.

If NOW turns out to be
            tomorrow
what does that say about
           yesterday?

What does that say about NOW?



Whether it's now, yesterday or tomorrow 
      those pork chops will be eaten.

        That's the important thing.


art and poetry by David H. Roche 

(C) 2017

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

The Bupkis President





Bupkis is a colorful word with a variety of applications. The most common way it is used is to describe something as having no value or being useless.  

It does have a more descriptive meaning. The word is Yiddish in its origin and has to do with the value of animal feces. It usually means something that is completely unsuitable for the purpose to which it is applied.  A pungent and more animated meaning of the word is 'shivering shit balls' according to Wiktionary the free dictionary.

I've only heard the term used once and it was on the Dick Van Dyke television show from the 1960's. If memory serves me it was used to describe having been unable to get done what needed to be done.  He got bupkis..






That brings me to the thoughts on President Trump.


President Trump has been associated with a rise in racial problems due to his rhetoric involving White Supremacy and its adherents. Never one to back down the POTUS doubled down.  Inciting the incendiary forces of racial bias is something I've seen before in men with power like Governors George Wallace and Orval Faubus.  The two men used their words and position to bring out the very worst in the human spirit. From the response of President Trump it is apparent to some that he is treading down that same path and we, as a nation, are now seeing the fruit of his words and attitude.

That's the problem the American people are confronted with.

How to address this problem is a problem in itself. Americans are reflexively violent. Violence is a problem solving tool for many Americans. If they have a problem they go to 'War' with it. There must be a better way of problem solving.

My personal feeling is that our problems are indirectly caused by the way the economy has been managed by its Republican and Democratic caretakers.  This New York Times article by Eduardo Porter  shows how the mismanagement of the economy has left the Average American holding a bag of magic beans, such are empty promises. Empty promises are all the Republicans and Democrats are capable of producing. Service to Wall Street's brand of capitalism mandates that they behave this way. 

The indirect effects that afflict the Average American include a way of life that no longer offers a hopeful vision. There no longer is an American Dream we will wake up to find ourselves in.  All we have is a writ of empty promises from the Republicans and the Democrats. There never was a realized American Dream. Behind the scenes,like the wizard in the Wizard of Oz, this present nightmare was always present like a virus deeply embedded in the body politic. It has insidiously eaten away at the meaning of freedom so much that what passes for freedom is hardly recognized as freedom

I want to see the problem solved by a change in the national priorities which would correspond to a change in the human heart. If the reality of an ever shrinking quality of life is not arrived at damned soon, life in the U.S. will become completely unbearable. Perhaps we were seeing the first fruits of such a system of income inequality in the streets of Charlottesville. This is a harvest we must avoid at all costs.  Peter Joseph offers an alternative that deserves consideration if only because it is NOT the same old same old tried and failed way.

How do we avoid it?  We will not solve our problems by using violence. Violence is the tool of the oppressor.  We must change our mind.

What kind of changes can make Capitalism a People Friendly experience instead of the way it is now? We must change our mind. Continuing the way we are now cannot lead to a positive outcome.

When I look for a solution to this situation I begin with the human being and inquire into 'what is the human being'?  The Republicans and the Democrats define the human in terms of the economy and human life is valued in dollars.  They must do this because service to Wall Street requires they do so.  For Republicans and Democrats the human is not a human being, not a homo sapien, but an economic creature designated  homo economicus


We, however, are not homo economicus, ie economic creatures.  We are homo sapien(s), human beings.  By nature we are spiritual creatures for whom there is a destiny available by virtue of our being.  

I have no idea if things can be turned around. Americans have been driven to distraction by the media and political institutions of their own society.  The only way they can change their mind and then change their society is to come to a clear understanding of what is creating these intolerable conditions.  That understanding will not be spoon fed to them by the big time media.  

The understanding will come from the suffering masses and their prophets, men such as Chris Hedges.  

The change resulting from understanding who and what institutions are responsible for our rapidly deteriorating society, unless accompanied with a change in the way we understand ourselves, will fail.  


When we as a society no longer value human beings in terms of dollars and Wall Street profits we have the keys in our mind to view ourselves 'spiritually' as human beings. By repudiating the authority that labels us and treats us as homo economicus we are born again politically. 

By reclaiming our destiny as human beings we able to reclaim an identity that extends to the beginning of time and can be extrapolated to continue to go on forever. I've found that the work of physicist Tom Campbell has opened up vistas of understanding in this regard. If reality is the way he says it is violence and fear have no justification to exist.  A compelling synchronicity of ideas is revealed with the same conclusion reached concerning the meaning of Logos.  


It is this concept of Logos that is the 'ground of being' that provides a spiritual identifying marker on the human being. We are spiritual because of the identification we have with Logos and as such the future has no end.

There will be complications, of course, but if it is understood we are gonna keep on keeping on and that there is really nothing to lose but bad karma there is every reason to turn to love and peace instead of violence and greed and endless warfare and misery.  

The best way to deal with a bupkis POTUS is to ignore him and smile on your brother and sister. It's up to you and me to make the kind of world we as human beings want. Remember Trump is working for the Republicans and the Democrats and they are working for Wall Street and Wall Street will have nothing to do with peace and prosperity for you. We're pretty much going to have to solve these problems without that unholy trinity acting as project manager. 


I made a video of some of my art, didn't know what to do with it but now it seems to fit here.


A Far Country

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A practitioner of the art of living with the intent of learning how to die without fear.