Reconciliation May Well Happen After All

UPDATE: I lost all manner of Twitter followers for posting this. I guess the bilious anger out there is real. Blend of media mindlessness, false narrative and where is David Plouffe when you need him?

Back in August, 2009, I wrote the following:

When all is said and done, if we have to go to reconciliation, we will do so to get the public option. But then people will have a very good idea why. And they will reward the perps who try to defeat it accordingly.

In 2010 the laws of the past may well change. The voters will reward those who hung in with the man they elected in 2008.

I still believe that this is a possible scenario. The Republicans were never going to do anything but obstruct. And through an amazingly inept Democratic performance in Massachusetts, this truth has been underlined.

I have always believed that we needed David Plouffe at the very helm of the Obama political operation and I believe that still. But this has gone unheeded.

So here is how this goes down. We do not do the onerous things in the Senate bill. We do what the House says we do and we pass it in the Senate with a simple majority.

I used to think that the Obama folk realized that this was the likely outcome and were playing a highly sophisticated political game. Now I am not so sure.

Regardless, any effort to allow the Senate Bill with its deleterious compromises and special interest side deals to somehow sneak through before Mr. New Massachusetts Senator arrives, will merely stoke up anger for the midterm elections.

Let the Senate pass what the House decides with a simple majority. And let the committees that must fall in line do so.

I do NOT concede that the President is wrong to seek bipartisan support, but I do concede that without Plouffe we have operated at half strength. And this has been close to intolerable. History should note it.

It is time for the right reconciliation. It is not far from what is in the House bill.


Annotated Lyrics to “New Rain” — One “See The Crowds”



John’s Song

See the crowds
See how they love to be told
That the end is at hand


Crowds remain most folks’ definition of success, certainly on-line! The more the better we might win over the few. It’s a numbers game. In John’s song, his attitude toward this becomes a classic put down of the concept and where it leads.

The current offering of Christianity on television is almost a parody of what we are discussing. The preoccupation with end times is a seizing on the suppositions of creedal Christians who absolutely love anything to do with apocalypse, doom and the capacity to transfer to the deity anything that might approach human responsibility.

But of course loving to hear that the end is at hand is not to be compared to actually experiencing it! In Haiti today hundreds of thousands are in the very grip of an entirely explicable apocalypse. Explicable with twenty explanations, but all of them salient, from the island’s heroic beginnings, through the punishment it has received from various powers, including the United States, to the fact that it, like California, sits upon a formidable fault.

“New Rain” was written in the 1970s at a time when I understood theology to be best expressed by attempting to turn the Biblical texts into music. There is no soupy praise music in “New Rain”. It is an open-eyed look at the reality that exists now and existed then.

I find most amusing the way Christian academics are used by NatGeo and the History Channel and other outlets, including, have mercy on them, public tv. Their little sound bites are orchestrated to make whatever point the program wants to make. Generally it points to supposition, superstition and the turning of shaky traditions into live possibilities. It makes no difference whether we are trying to celebrate the role of women or the effusions of Nostradamus or the subject matter of Revelation. TV goes for the crowds and they know what the crowds love.

If the end is at hand, it has nothing to do with supposition and everything to do with the idiocies we have wrought and with our own lack of humility in the face of things.

pattern language, politics

COMMENT ON: Obama Foreclosure Plan Falling Far Short Of Targets

Sad but true, I believe. Dispersed homes will never recover their “value”.

Economic viability in the future will be five times greater for those living in close proximity in communities that integrate a good deal of what is now all over the map. Another way of saying this: Energy costs are five times greater in dispersion than in denser areas.

Both the dispersed (metrosprawl) model and the commute-by-car, do-everything-by-car models are unsustainable. Ultimately it may be less expensive to redesign and rebuild communities from scratch, than try to continue propping up today’s default sprawl.

This is the underlying reason for the crisis we are in. Remember we said we needed to move to a post-oil economy?

Current efforts to tie recovery to the resuscitation of the automobile and housing markets are unlikely to do more than sputter. Meanwhile the vision of a truly sustainable economy can be found in the thought of thinkers like Christopher Alexander.


Read the article I’m commenting on at HuffingtonPost

Permalink for the comment.


Sonnet for K on Our 24th Anniversary

Why does your beauty grow with age
As other beauties seem to fade
You dance upon my center stage
All laws of nature disobeyed
You captivate me with a smile
And pirouette across the room
What youth what joy what lissome style
I call myself the lucky groom
Your fount of generosity
Yields not to hardship or to time
It seems to have no boundary
We live in providential rhyme
The years go their predestined way
As you grow younger every day

music, theology

The Story of Job — Part One


I am convinced in a time like this, penitence of the suffering is next to impossible. But penitence is essential, even for the non-religious. There is a form of guilt that is real, not pathological.

It is the guilt that exists because suffering is a portion of life. And our typical reactions are anger and an alienation from life itself.

This morning as I did my mandatory walking, I tried to remember parts of my Job project, something I did at the close of the 1970s. The massive conclusion of this is Job’s penitence at the very end. It is to my mind an authentic repentance. It is the result of his actual confrontation with the deity.

I no longer subscribe to the notion of a deity separate from our capacity to imagine and embody him/her in what we might call our higher selves. From there the reality of G-d becomes experiential. We do not force it on anyone else. We do, however, share our experience.

My experience today is an urge to share this work. The sense I have is that G-d suffers as a creator even as the creation is defaced by our massive inversion of the values we are called, I believe, to embody. The link above goes to the first part of my “demo” of this.

The link below is to the conclusion of this. It leads to Job’s penitential motion.


pattern language

Rebuilding Haiti — Two


Nietzsche is salient on the downside of charity. It can humiliate. Everyone knows this. There is nothing hidden about the effects of being brought low and then suffering the consequences of feeling that one must beg for one’s very life.

So my proposal is that if we (by implication, all helpful forces aiming to help Haiti long-term) wish to avoid the “charity-syndrome”, we decide that what we do in Haiti will be the very model of what we need to be doing everywhere else.

In other words, we would do well to create living options in Haiti that follow the very procedures that ought to accompany any effort to create living options anywhere else.

The first principle of such an approach is to place design in the hands of the people.

My earlier post suggests that rebuilding Haiti should involve a 21st Century approach that assumes there will be similar quakes in the future since Haiti is on a fault similar to the one that runs through California. Ideally a settlement would float, literally. It would not be anchored to the ground.

Ideally, rebuilding would involve the introduction of modular elements — my suggestion for the transformation of our automobile industry into an industry focused on building modules that enable people to essentially have their “own” room/s wherever they go.

Security and flexibility.

To comprehend what I’m suggesting, please investigate my posts on new settlements and pattern language.

If truth be told, such a rebuilding of Haiti would serve the whole world by enabling a pattern that makes sense for the future.

The idea that a house should be anchored to the ground is obsolete. A house should be able to withstand the worst nature can throw at it.


Today’s Sonnet

Wake me up when all the wars are over
Wake me up when hatred does not kill
And I’ll give everyone a four leaf clover
If not I’ll keep on dreaming on until
Come on by when nations have stopped lying
Come on by when fairness is the rule
And children are not born to end up dying
‘N I’ll have no more need to play the fool
Hanging out with my imagination
Too far gone to say or do a thing
If I could I’d gladly change the station
And try to find a happy song to sing
But in my mind there’s just one song holds on
And it goes Kyrie Eleison