Thursday, April 26, 2007

Thirteen Thousand

Well, there you go. It seems like American business is doing well. The Dow Jones Industrial Average swept past the "historic" thirteen thousand mark yesterday, much to the glee of the financial commentators on the news stations. And I guess it's hardly surprising, given the obdurately pro-business policies of the current occupant of the most powerful office in this country. They color everything, including, of course, the war in Iraq--a disaster for this country's reputation in the world as well as for its military and political well-being, but seemingly a boon for the American companies to whom a good deal of military and civil reconstruction work has been outsourced. The privatization of government responsibilities in every sphere--from war to health care to education, to the national infrastructure and the prison system--has surely generously lined the pockets of the profit-making world of business, but has demonstrably proved neither as efficient nor as cost-effective as its promoters dreamed.

Meantime, the ranks of the billionaires' club continue to swell in outrageous disproportion to the financial security of the average middle-class American. The trickle of the trickle-down theory of economics has proved to be just that--a trickle, which seems to dry up completely before it could address the needs of the truly poor and the unemployed. The senior Bush had it right when he called it, famously, "voodoo economics." The son apparently clings to a belief in magic, despite all evidence to the contrary in almost everything he touches. "Denial"--Sen. Harry Reid's word, this week--seems but a pale adumbration of the stubborn rejection of real world facts by this singularly obtuse individual.

Ah, well. Deep breath. May he find true happiness in his life... (Should he find it, remember, the rest of the world would all be better off!)


carly said...

P: The incredible documentary, America, Freedom to Facism address your concern.

To all things, turn, turn, turn

Whether Taoist or Buddhist, all will appreciate this artist as more evidence of the turn to nature in art and life:

by Alexandra Anderson-Spivy
Robert Kushner: On Location

Long accused of the sin of beauty, this exuberant artist has profitably ignored those critics who have confused the dazzling glamour of his work with frivolity or vulgarity. This basically puritanical attitude, which is now something of a mainstream art-world party line, resolutely rejects visual pleasure and condescends to devalue the "decorative." Begging to differ, let me emphasize that the decorative has been Kushner’s great and enduring source of stimulation as well as his connection to endlessly rich cultural traditions.

carly said...

Picked this up on my travels through

"Your Holiness," someone asked, "your Buddhist tradition has so wonderful a way of overcoming suffering. What do you have to say to the Christian tradition that seems to be preoccupied with pain?" With his compassionate smile the Dalai Lama gave an answer that went straight to the common ground the two traditions. "Suffering," he said, "is not overcome by leaving pain behind. Suffering is overcome by bearing pain for the sake of others."