Sunday, November 25, 2018
Ildiko Valeria Miesler
December 20, 1925 - November 24, 2018
You were a most extraordinary mother,
sowing and nurturing the seeds of love, caring,
curiosity, family, and belonging.
Looking back from 63 I realize how you made us aware
of our connection to this Earth that created us,"Children breath deeply, savor that clean country air."
and the human spirit within us,
“Behold children what two hands have achieved.”
For navigating a challenging unforgiving world,
you instilled in us the gift of appreciating that substance matters more than facade.
You endured much adversity always retaining the deepest love for us five children and an infectious enthusiasm for our world and the good people in it.
Thank you with all our hearts!
_________________________________________One moment I think I have a lot I'd like to share, next moment it's all silence within. My dear mother passed away yesterday evening, nearly 93 she was ...
Thursday, November 22, 2018
No November 22nd has gone by without me thinking about President Kennedy and his untimely death with it's profound impact on the future direction of American and world politics. Not that he was a saint, but he was a capable intelligent Mensch, a beloved leader of men, someone who cared and loved learning and loved people. After rereading a little piece I wrote five years ago I got to thinking about how the world has continued to change for the worse these past five years.
Considering today's increasing anguish over the existential future of American civility, and since yesterday was the fifty-fifth anniversary of John Fitzgerald Kennedy's profoundly tragic assassination, I'm reposting it. My little way of honoring his memory.
NOVEMBER 22, 2013
Reflecting on November 22nd, 1963 and the assassination of our President John Fitzgerald Kennedy and the loss of a nation… and of the world.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Up until I was eight years old, life was a scattered recollection of emerging awareness of the world around me. Then, while climbing the stairs to the second floor of John J. Audubon Elementary school in Chicago, Illinois - I overheard an older guy descending the stairs telling his friend: "Did you hear? The President's been shot!"
The news meant something big, then and there. That feeling was reinforced within the minute it took to complete my trek to the classroom. The somber teacher, the being sent home early, the stunned walk home through a hushed neighborhood. Then the look of my mother and the tears she could not hide when we got home.
The following day we drove to my grandparents and spent the subsequent days in a vigil around their TV (since we still didn't have one) trying to absorb what had happened until our President was laid to rest. It's the earliest period of my young life where I remember a sequence of many days. A metaphorical brutal slap in the face letting me know that the outside world does make a difference to my own little world.
Tuesday, November 20, 2018
I myself have been in a hell of a struggle with hopelessness for many years. Its like the tide coming in, every wave hits a bit harder than the last, but then I shake off the hit and keep on keeping on, until the next one comes along that knocks me over. After all, hope is a survival strategy in hopeless times - I like that.
Unfortunately, the general public apathy, disconnect, along with the profound lack of appreciation for the complexity of our society and its utter dependence on relatively moderate and predictable weather patterns sustaining our robust biosphere that's been millions of years (and more) in the making, has been chopping away at my will power. Which then reminds me that simply curling up and hiding is another survival strategy (perhaps mental health strategy is more accurate).
But, then someone like Lizia comes along to remind me this isn't simply another political game, this one is for keeps. Lizia's impassioned response resonated with me and its worth sharing.
Wednesday, November 7, 2018
Robert Samuelson a columnist for the Washington Post echoed some of my feelings so well that I want to share some of it over here.
Considering the 2018 election results (not a complete disaster but, ...) it seems a fairly sure bet that the next two years will be filled with the Democratic House investigating our Russian obligate President and Trump’s all around lawlessness, while the GOP Senate continues focusing on completing their stacking of our Court system with ideological judges probably even more extreme than Kavanaugh.
On the "public dialogue" front Republicans will continue lathering-up their faithful with fear, hatred, and contempt for “others” while doubling down on their faith-based rejection of learning from objective facts and constructive dialogue - topped off by their all around placid acceptance of the malicious calculated lie as their best political weapon.
Democrats hold the key. Continue avoiding the deliberate brainwashing messaging of FOX News and what Trump-Republicans are force-feeding Americans and Democrats will continue losing the hearts and minds of rational people, as yesterday’s election demonstrated. It needed to be a clear landslide for American Pluralistic Principles and America's government of the people, by the people and for the people - instead it was a whimper.
Robert Samuelson, Washington Post, Nov. 6, 2018
Ducking hard questions, we all lost the elections
WASHINGTON – We all lost the fiercely contested midterm elections.
They were a referendum on President Donald Trump, which suited both Republicans and Democrats just fine. Democrats were betting that the public had increasingly tired of Trump’s lies and his vile style. Trump and his supporters believed that Democrats were again underestimating his popular appeal.
What was missing was any realistic engagement with the difficult issues facing the country. In democracies, elections serve not only to select the country’s leadership. They also aim to gauge public opinion on the hard issues and to see whether some sort of consensus is possible. The campaign featured very little of this constructive politics.
What are some of the hard issues? There’s no secret. …
… Under the best of circumstances, it would be difficult to achieve. Politicians want to win. By and large, they tell voters what voters want to hear, even if it is exaggerated, selective or dishonest.
But the fixation on Trump and his antics turned a longshot into an impossibility. It destroyed the prospects of anything resembling rational debate. Indeed, public opinion may be worse informed at the end of this campaign than at the beginning. In this sense, the campaign may have been wasted.
Robert Samuelson is a columnist for The Washington Post. © 2018 The Washington Post Writers Group
This is side two of the flier I handed out at the 2018 Colorado Democratic Assembly/Convention (side one). I notice I've improved a bit in subsequent writings, but will leave this version as it was. (Oh and it looked nicer formatted in two columns, but its the substance that matters so hope this will do.)
A few thoughts regarding Climate Science and our dysfunctional public dialogue
I’ve spent a couple decades attempting to debate climate science contrarians. This has given me insights into the faith-based mind in action and the games they employ to derail discussions. I’ve distilled my experiences into the following list of observations regarding our dysfunctional public dialogue. It’s incomplete and improvable. Still I hope it’s a useful effort, food for thought if nothing else.
Uncertainties vs. known Physical Certainties
Is it a disservice to constantly allow trivial uncertainties to become the focal point of the public discussion, to the exclusion of facing the known certainties.
In real life when we get overwhelmed and mired in increasingly complex problem, we stop. Back off a little, get reoriented with the big picture and what we do know with reasonable certainty, then move forward again.
I’m not saying ignore uncertainties! But keep reminding all of the overriding fundamental certainties! Thus putting those trivial pursuits into real world perspective.
Map vs. Territory Problem
Scientists are Cartographers mapping out the geophysical realities of our planet, the Territory if you will. They do the best they can with the data they have available.
Too often we assume that until our scientists can define all aspects with statistical certainty, we should assume it doesn’t exist. That’s getting lost in the Map and forgetting we actually exist within the Territory and had better beware, (which incidentally, doesn’t care if we get it or not.)
Sloppy usage of “Natural Variability”
Monday, November 5, 2018
Here we are election eve and I simply want to say hello and let folks know I'm still around. A bit battered but knowing I gave it a pretty good shot. Could have been better, but not stranded within this party of one, it is what it is. Nowadays, besides being crowded by work and obligations, I'm drained by the enduring general apathy, not just towards what I've written, worse towards our Democratic principles of pluralism, enlightened self-interest, and rational constructive dialogue over demagogic hate mongering and fantasy thinking.
Watching our inept Senators at the Kavanaugh's hearing knocked me off my pins (as Stephen Schneider would have said). I can't fathom their failure to seize the moment - then October 25th. Hello, this stuff has lasting consequences! The election campaigns seemed like the same tired old shit, with the same tire money pitches and nothing to really motivate, even Obama seemed more promise than substance.
For now, I'm going to take a stroll down memory lane and collect what, for me, were important efforts to enunciate my position, starting with side one of the pamphlet I passed out at the 2018 Colorado Democratic Assembly and Convention.
(Originally posted April 13, 2018)
Had a little practice during the short district assembly this evening. At first looking at the 350+ District 3 delegates it seemed the crowd of the usual old folks, and not that many young faces. But, then I started spotting them. Not in the numbers I had hoped. Then I heard a couple powerful speeches by young speakers. Followed by a few good conversations,
as in 'yippy, they get it.' I realized their small number way under-represented the energy and substance and power they possess.
It was fun. I'm feeling a little better already and I'm looking forward to tomorrow. Here's side one, a lifetime's distillation. I'll share side two tomorrow, now I'm going to bed, it's late and tomorrow will be a long busy day.
The Memes Courier
Colorado Democratic Assembly - April 13, 2018
Intellectually Confronting Faith-Based thinking and Dogma Driven Tribalism.
The opposing sides: Children of the Intellectual Enlightenment vs Faith-based dogmatism spearheaded by the evangelical movement (driven by wannabe oligarchs). Winning at the polls is only half our challenge when well over a third of our country fully supports this amoral president and his white supremest bullying and his attacks upon our government and democratic institutions.
Beyond winning in the 2018 elections, we need to nurture a massive grassroots movement of informed and engaged voters who are willing to confront faith-based delusional thinking on an individual level, while also standing behind those we elect to make sure they get their jobs done.
Faith-based thinking demands a rejection of serious science along with hostility towards learning from down to Earth evidence. This attitude is enabled and reinforced by a constant flow of contrived high pitched fear-mongering and paranoid machinations towards “the other” be it different people or ideas.
Why have we allowed their religion and God a free pass?