Saturday, January 15, 2011

How Does Your (Winter) Garden Grow?

Margaret Roach, who blogs at A Way to Garden, has an amazing slideshow of conifers, perfect trees at any time of year, but especially so during these dark Winter days. She doesn't include one of my favorites, Cryptomeria (beloved as much for the creepy name, as for the perfect shape and rapid growth), known as Japanese Temple Pines. I have three of them and they keep the deep Winter garden both interesting and alive. However, just Roach's one picture of weeping Alaska cedar (Chamaecyparis nootkatensis ‘Pendula,’) has thrown me into a deep fit of longing. I really, really, really need some of those. That tree reminds me of C.S. Lewis' comment in Surprised by Joy about seeing Rackham's illustrations of Wagner for the first time:
Pure "Northernness" engulfed me: a vision of huge, clear spaces hanging above the Atlantic in the endless twilight of Northern summer, remoteness, severity . . . and almost at the same moment I knew that I had met this before, long, long ago . . . And with that plunge back into my own past there arose at once, almost like heartbreak, the memory of Joy itself, the knowledge that I had once had what I had now for years, that I was returning at last from exile and desert lands to my own country; and the distance of the Twilight of the Gods and the distance of my own past Joy, both unattainable, flowed together into a single, unendurable sense of desire and loss, which suddenly became one with the loss of the whole experience, which, as I now stared round that dusty schoolroom like a man recovering from unconsciousness, had already vanished, had eluded me at the very moment when I could first say It is. And at once I knew (with fatal knowledge) that to "have it again" was the supreme and only important object of desire . . .

Well, it's a lot, but that's what trees can invoke in me.

Landscape Guy and I were talking earlier this week about a rather nascent notion of his to begin planting trees in blighted towns in America's South East. In Second Nature: A Gardener's Education, Michael Pollan has an entire section devoted to planting trees; one of his principal points is that trees are one of the things that we plant almost certain that they will outlive us, and that, on an anonymous basis, is what drives Landscape Guy towards this vision. And there is, for me, something both alchemical and magical about planting trees, fully aware that they will be here, giving shade, providing succor to birds and squirrels, and supplying oxygen long after this old Witch has shuffled off to the Isle of Apples to settle down on the warm grass with the other Ancestors, drink tea, and watch bemusedly as our progeny do their best.

What have you planted that you expect to live beyond you? What one tree do you really, really need?

Picture found here.

Who Is Choosing to Lose the Fight?

I've been musing all day about this v. good post by Theodora Goss. Goss is discussing, in particular, how one grows as a writer, but I think that what she says has broader applications to other areas of our lives, including our desire for spiritual and magical growth and our attempts to integrate Fire and capital-W-Will into our lives. Goss says:
I was thinking about the quality of courage today.

I suppose I was thinking about it because I’d seen some things recently that were not at all courageous. That were cowardly. I’m not thinking in terms of physical courage or cowardice. I’m thinking about how we all deal with our lives. The problem is that courage is a sort of muscle. If you don’t use it, the muscle becomes weaker, eventually atrophies. And then you can’t use it, you can’t lift what you need to, or even bend where you need to because it has become stiffer, less flexible.

Courage needs to be exercised.

. . .

Often, it seems to me, when you do something that requires more courage, it ends up being easier than the thing that requires less.

. . .

Each time you put yourself out there in some way, each time you do something that takes courage, you’re exercising that muscle so the next thing becomes easier.

. . .

On the other hand, if you routinely avoid what you fear, you start to believe that you really can’t do whatever it is. And you shrink from other things as well, thinking you can’t do them either.

. . .

And how, you may ask, do you build courage, if it really is a muscle, as I claim?

1. Find something you’re afraid of.

2. Do it.

3. Repeat steps 1 and 2, as many times as necessary.

That was the thought I had today, because what I saw instead was cowardice, which led to weakness, which led to more cowardice and weakness in a feedback loop. And none of us wants to be there, dying a thousand times before our death. Among other things, it’s no way to be a writer.

Goss' discussion reminds me of an October 2010 podcast by T. Thorn Coyle in which Coyle said:
And, where's the struggle? Is it a struggle of not believing in yourself? Is it a struggle of feeling like you don't have the resources you need? Is it a struggle of of lack of time, lack of energy? Is it a struggle of lack of support around you? Or lack of support from your daily practice? Is it the fear of success? The fear of failure? Where's that struggle?

My trainer, Carrie Rockland, with whom I do a trade that's very fruitful for both of us -- we end up teaching each other, which I greatly appreciate . That's one of the ways I keep fire in my life is to seek out teaching from those who have skills or experiences that I don't have -- but Carrie is coming up on a big competition in which she is having to fight someone that she fought many years ago in order to go up a level in the belt system in her martial art. And in talking about this, she wrote something that was so clear that I want to share it with you. Carrie wrote, "More often than not, the truth is I am the one choosing to lose the fight." I want us all to take that phrase in right now. "More often than not, the truth is I am the one choosing to lose the fight. "

We talk ourselves out of it before we even step on the mat, half the time. We talk ourselves out of it before we even gather the resources needed to see a project through. We talk ourselves out of it before we make that initial step or have that first conversation. We talk ourselves out of it before we even let ourselves brainstorm and dream.

Fire can help us with courage. That fire in the heart is that strong heart, that courageous heart. And that is something that our Gods can help us with, our friends can help us with. It's something that can help us face the necessary battles, if you will, or take those risks that we're less willing to take

Fire helps us push out of our comfort zone.

You know, some comfort is necessary. we need some ease in our lives and we need some rest, but we also need our comfort to be challenged.

I'm musing a lot about the roles of Fire, Will, and courage in my life. There's not a lot of Fire in my chart, but there's a whole lot of Earth. And, somehow, for the first half of my life, I wound up needing to work like hell to break away from a dysfunctional family, to raise Son on my own, to run educational programs with no money in a dysfunctional school system, to find a spiritual path for myself (which, you know, Sun in Pisces, was kind of important), to go to law school while I worked, to establish myself in a new field, to survive breast cancer, . . . well, you get the picture. And I think that I simply drew (about as heavily as one can draw upon any one account, I simply drew) from all of the stubborn, determined, not-going-to-give-up Earth in my chart and, somehow, thank the Ancestors, made it through.

And, then, suddenly -- finally -- I got a chance to slow down. I got a chance to experience some of that "comfort" and "ease in our lives" that Coyle talks about. And I've taken full advantage of it. But, lately, I'm feeling more and more of a need to begin to push myself again. Certainly, not as hard as I had to push myself for the first part of my life, but to begin, in Coyle's words, for my comfort to be challenged. This is where Goss' words come in: "On the other hand, if you routinely avoid what you fear, you start to believe that you really can’t do whatever it is. And you shrink from other things as well, thinking you can’t do them either." Goss is right and her metaphor about courage being a muscle is right.

Where are you challenging yourself? Where do you need to invoke Fire? Where do you need more ease and comfort? In what ways is being a Witch an exercise in constantly challenging yourself and invoking Fire? In what ways is it a move towards ease and comfort? What elements do you draw upon to make up for the lack of other elements in your make-up?

Picture found here.

Update: As Thalia notes in comments, the notion of forcing yourself over and over to face fear can have different meanings for those of us who grew up in dysfunctional families. Thalia discusses the very important notion of treating ourselves compassionately and not berating ourselves for being afraid. Thalia's right; we all have to find our own balance and our society often gives short shrift to the courage that it can take to NOT beat ourselves up, to give ourselves permission to create a zone of comfort and ease. Having compassion for ourselves is often one of the bravest things we do.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Be True to What You Said on Paper

Let America be America, again.

What Would It Take for You to Smile Before Your Ancesors?

As a part of my daily practice, I ground and make contact with the cold, red, Virginia clay upon which my little cottage is built. I twine my own roots around the deep roots of the ancient oaks, tall maple, triune river birch, crape myrtle trees, new magnolias, Japanese temple pines, gardenias, lilacs, lavender, rosemary, and sage. This part of my practice can actually take a reasonable amount of time. It's like checking in with a bunch of different family members; you wouldn't begrudge that time or try to rush it, would you? And I will go to my grave believing that it matters, that the Earth is healed when we spend time with her, touch her, send our love directly to her.

Lately, I am more and more aware of the way that a horizontal (about three-foot-tall (or deep))-layer of cold has spread not only over my bit of Earth, but of how it has, as well, spread for several feet underground.

I admit that, when I walk outside every morning to feed the birds (barefoot, if at all possible and reasonably safe, just to remind me that I am a priestess of the Earth and need to physically connect with Her), I examine the sunny protected Southern exposure near my deck for some sign that the crocus and daffodils (of which the tips are only now just barely visible) have grown a bit. I walk outside every morning to the car and scan the hellebores for a bud or two, scan the mulched, North-facing, cottage gardens for any sign that the Gallanthus, aka, snowdrops, are beginning to sprout, even though I know that they're a good 4 weeks away, at least.

And, yet, what my bit of Earth is telling me is that, until that layer of cold rises out of the red clay, there won't be any flowers. I'll know to really look for the flowers when I ground and find that the cold has stopped penetrating deep into my red Virginia clay. That's not what I expected to learn when, a novice, solitary Witch, I began, years ago, to daily practice grounding, but it's what grounding is teaching me, just now, all these years later. "Here, my dear, here's a deep revelation: Winter's cold seeps below ground and that influences when things bloom." Well, um, yeah, but I was thinking more, you know, dramatic revelations, lightning, dawn cracking thorough clouds, and, well, yeah, of course, cold/Earth/plants, yeah, ok, but, um deep insights? "Here, my dear, here's a deep revelation: "Winter's cold seeps below ground and that influences, when things bloom." OK, I learn, pace, Mr. Roethke, by going where I have to go.

And, then, I drive beside my beloved Spout Run and alongside my beautiful Potomac River and see the ice that has been there for weeks and weeks - unheard of here just South of the line that Mr. Mason and Mr. Dixon decided to draw. Last weekend, I was driving G/Son home, and we went over the bridge from Virginia into Maryland, across the Potomac River. Almost always, I tell him, "Now we're driving over the beautiful Potomac River," and then I call out, "Good morning, beautiful Potomac River!" This time, I said, "Now we're driving over the beautiful Potomac," and, before I could say anything else, G/Son said, "Good morning, Potomac!"

You know, I have been a good deal more lucky than I had any right to be. I raised an amazing, kind, gorgeous, good-humored, feminist Son, who married a beautiful, down-to-Earth, kick-ass-yogini of a hera, and who is an Earth-shatteringly-amazingly good Father. I've loved me some poets and priests of nothing. I've taught a lot of poor kids a lot of stuff and I've organized some educational programs to ensure that a lot more got taught. I've kicked a whole lot of law school ass, and I've written motions and briefs that have, if I do say so myself, been improbably successful. I've advised a number of wind and solar companies, thereby, in Lovelock's words, cushioning The Fall. I've taught one or two amazingly bright young lawyers how to think about legal issues and how to write good legal prose. I've been friends with a whole lot of amazing women. I've made a warm, welcoming home that frequently houses Witches and their rituals and provides an afternoon's succor for activists who need to sit on a porch. I've done magic for Code Pink, talked truth to power, and poured wine for wounded revolutionaries. I've worked with an inspired greenman to make a garden and ritual space. I've marched in every important march of the last half-century, handed out campaign literature, helped to get a woman on the ballot in VA and voted for her in the primary, done pro bono work to ensure voting rights, and fed people who were hungry. And if I were to die with nothing to proclaim to my ancestors beside the fact that my G/Son has a first-name, "say good morning when you pass" relationship with the Potomac River and that I know when my bit of Earth is still cold, well, I'll die happy and answer gladly, that's all I can say.

May you have a deep relationship with your own bit of Earth and may you find a river or mountain or moor to which your family may become tied.

Picture found here.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

It's Odd to Object to Native Americans Praying in, You Know, America

Not surprisingly, conservatives have been criticizing the inclusion of a Native American blessing at last night's program in Arizona. Media Matters has the whole story. Here's an example:
Examiner: "Rambling 'Native American Blessing'...Provided A Stark Statement Of Pantheistic Paganism." A January 13 Washington Examiner column said that while Gonzales has the "right to practice whatever faith he chooses," his invocation was "a rambling 'Native American Blessing'" that was a "statement of pantheistic paganism." From the Washington Examiner's "Beltway Confidential" column:

...[N]o Catholic priest, Baptist minister or Jewish rabbi was included in the program. What was included was a rambling "Native American Blessing" at the outset of the program. This blessing provided a stark statement of pantheistic paganism, including forthright declarations concerning "Father Sky," "Mother Earth" and the "Creator."

Regardless of one's view of Pantheism, its prominent inclusion at the opening of a memorial service on a state-run university campus featuring a lengthy list of public officials would seem, by the familiar expressions of liberal multicultural conventional wisdom, a blatant violation of separation of church and state.


No one, of course, should question Carlos Gonzalez' [sic] right to practice whatever faith he chooses and to display it in public as he thinks best, or deny that his invocations of his love for America were entirely appropriate and inspiring. We should all be thankful for the service of his son in Afghanistan as well.

That said, it ought to be recognized that his religious beliefs and practices were used by the few to send a message of exclusion to the many, thus illustrating the utter hypocrisy of at the heart of multicultural political correctness. [Washington Examiner, 1/13/11]

The program also included Christian prayers and bible passages read by, for example, Eric Holder, but apparently that's not enough for the Dominionists.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Manufactured Emotion, Managed Feelings

Got no patience tonight for the solomn vocal stylings of President Goldman Sachs, brought to you by GE and big agra, providing a great national catharsis so we can now go back to surrendering to the corporatists and Jebuzists, and don't forget to get a t-shirt on the way out, beside the metal detectors.

Sorry for my bad mood, but my bosom bud Karin, in comments at Eschaton, grocks me all the way home.

And my good friend stoat:

Well, It Might Not Be Quite as Bad as Season of the Witch, But

I've got a bad feeling about this, Toto.

Picture found here.


I was re-shelving some of the books in what passes for the library here at chez Hecate and came across (because who re-shelves books without re-reading at least a few passages?) this quote from George Lakoff's book Don't Think of an Elephant: Know Your Values & Frame the Debate. I think it's worth sharing.
Taxation is paying your dues, paying your membership fee in America. If you join a country club or a community center, you pay fees. Why? You did not build the swimming pool. You have to maintain it. You did not build the basketball court. Someone has to clean it. You may not use the squash court, but you still have to pay your dues. Otherwise it won't be maintained and will fall apart. People who avoid taxes, like corporations that move to Bermuda,, are not paying their dues to the country. It is patriotic to be a taxpayer. It is traitorous to desert our country and not pay your dues.

Perhaps Bill Gates Sr. said it best. In arguing to keep the inheritance tax, he pointed out that he and Bill Jr. did not invent the Internet. They just used it -- to make billions. There is no such thing as a self-made [person]. Every businessman has used the vast American infrastructure, which the taxpayers paid for, to make his money. He did not make his money alone. He sued taxpayer infrastructure. He got rich on what other taxpayers had paid for: the Treasury and Commerce Departments, the judicial system, where nine-tenths of the cases involve corporate law. These taxpayer investments support companies and wealthy investors. There are no self-made men! The wealthy have gotten rich using what previous taxpayers paid for. The owe the taxpayers of this country a great deal and should be paying it back.

Picture found here.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

My New Name for a Blog: What Gus Said

Pagan blogger, Gus diZerega has a post that you REALLY need to read. Gus responds to assertions that years of violent right-wing rhetoric had nothing to do with the murders and attempted murders this weekend in Arizona. As Gus points out:
For over a decade the radical right, beginning with Ann Coulter, Newt Gingrich and Rush Limbaugh have initiated a complete reframing of political debate into only dehumanizing attacks on their opponents as evil traitors who hate America and are any combination of Communists, Nazis, Fascists, Muslims, Gays, and Haters. Against them reference is made to times of violent resistance against oppression. Always. In public debate actual policies are rarely if ever discussed, and when they are, they are discussed in misleading terms such as "death panels." This is a pattern, a syndrome, a deliberate attempt to change a culture by dehumanizing opponents and destroying the tolerance that makes democracy possible.

. . .

When violent rhetoric is continually employed dehumanizing the other, and it is shouted from the roof-tops, and blared out hourly on a major media station, and on radios country wide, that shifts the moral center of gravity around which most people gravitate, and weakens cultural barriers on violent behavior. Those weakest in self-control and mentally least capable of acting responsibly, in other words the people most dependent on external signals for deciding what to do, those people will be the first to be affected. Jared Loughner fits that observation perfectly.

. . .

It's not as if this has not happened before. Rwanda once had Tutsis and Hutus living together amicably and intermarrying. Tensions existed, but Hutus did not suddenly puck up machetes and start hacking away at their fellow Rwandans, including moderate Hutus. But in time they did. Politicians and media figures figured prominently in undermining traditional toleration and gradually pushing culture towards civil violence, just as the radical right is today. Here is a brief account of Rwandan hate media that might be a description of Fox today, except that it has followed the logic of Fox's lies more literally. Two short discussions are on Wikipedia and in this paper by Kristen Landreville. There is also a BBC report.

The former Yugoslavia did not suddenly see Serbs and Croats and Bosnians wake up one day and begin slaughtering one another. That was the outcome of a longer period of cultural destruction pursued by politicians and media allies, principally Serbian ones, but not entirely. Chris Hedges War Is a Force that Gives Us Meaning is a eye opening and beautifully written account where while it is not the main issue discussed, the alert reader easily sees the role media played in what happened. Did I say it was beautifully written? Indeed it is.

Political assassination was a feature of the dying Weimar Republic. Assassinations were rarely the work of Nazis. They were often the work of the 1930s German equivalent of Loughlin, weakly autonomous people who reacted easily to the cultural atmosphere of growing violent rhetoric. The ideologues, right or left, were rarely the assassins. Often they were lone operators. Ultimately over 350 politicians were murdered in the Republic, so we have a way to go. But one depressing aspect of the linked discussion is how the good guys lose in these killings, even when everyone denounces the killers.

After the Nazi take over the Germans were not ready for the Nazis' true bestiality, and so German culture was continually softened up before and after through right wing use of the media in a way disturbingly similar to Fox News. If you think I am exaggerating, read Claudia Koonz, The Nazi Conscience. Then come back and discuss it. In this very important book for us today she documents a number of methods chillingly similar to those employed by the American right wing. The book is a real eye opener.

I have linked to another article depicting the striking similarities between the hate media in Germany, Rwanda, and Serbia.

(Gus's post has the mentioned links; head on over to check them out and to read the entire post.) I'll defend Gus against all cries of "Godwin!" Sometimes, the comparison is actually quite apt and, as Gus' post demonstrates, this is one of them. It's time to start being honest about what's been going on in America. I'll also note that the ever-brilliant Athenae is also correct: those who fund this sort of evil, mostly in order to keep the rubes distracted while they steal everything that's not pinned down, are every bit as much to blame as are the graspy little mouthpieces like Beck and Limbaugh and Coulter.

As Gus concludes, this issue is particularly important for Pagans, who not only get blamed for everything from 9/11 to Katrina, but who are also very likely targets of intolerant, Dominionist, right-wing violence. If you blog or twitter or post on Facebook, I urge you to link to Gus' post; I think it's that important.

Picture found here.

Update: Thanks to UNE in comments at Eschaton, here's a list of recent "incidents of insurrectionist violence (or the promotion of such violence) that have occurred since" June of 2008. In the last one-third of 2010, alone, we had the following:
September 16, 2010—Patricia Stoneking, the President of the Kansas State Rifle Association, tells Fox News, "People need to arm themselves, We have the right to put limits on our government, and that's what [the Second Amendment] does." Explaining why America's Founding Fathers drafted the amendment, she says, "They knew government could become tyrannical. We have the right to defend ourselves from a rogue government."

September 30, 2010—Kevin Terrell, a self-described "colonel" who founded a group of "freedom fighters" in Kentucky, predicts war with "the jackbooted thugs" of Washington within a year. Referring to the arrest of Hutaree militia members earlier in the year, Terrell says, "There was a lot of citizens out there in the bushes, locked and loaded. It's only due to miracles I do not understand that civil war did not break out right there."

September 30, 2010—Steve Kendley, a deputy sheriff running for sheriff in Lake County, Montana, threatens "a violent conflict" with federal agents if "they are doing something I believe is unconstitutional."

October 15, 2010—Conservative radio show host Glenn Beck lays out a hypothetical scenario on the air where the government is considering taking his children because he refused to have them receive a mandatory flu vaccine. Beck tells his audience that his response to the government would be "Meet Mr. Smith and Mr. Wesson."

October 21, 2010—Pastor Stephen Broden, the Republican candidate for U.S. Representative in Texas' 30th Congressional District, tells WFAA-TV in Dallas that the violent overthrow of the government is an "option" that remains "on the table." "Our nation was founded on violence," states Broden. "I don't think that we should ever remove anything from the table as it relates to our liberties and our freedoms."

October 22, 2010—Texas Department of Corrections officers searching for a missing person, Gill Clements, 69, are confronted by a neighbor while on Clements' property in Henderson County. Howard Tod Granger, 46, points an AK-47 semiautomatic assault rifle at one of the officers, who recalls, "He told us to get off the property or he would kill us all." Later that afternoon, officers return to Granger's home with a search warrant and an armored vehicle filled with 13 SWAT members. Granger opens fire on the vehicle, discharging at least 30 rounds before authorities shoot and kill him. Police find guns and "many rounds of ammunition" in Granger's house. They also find the body of Clements, buried in a shallow grave on Granger's property.

November 3, 2010—James Patock, 66, of Pima County, Arizona, is arrested on the National Mall in the District of Columbia after law enforcement authorities find a .223 caliber rifle, a .243 caliber rifle barrel, a .22 caliber rifle, a .357 caliber pistol, several boxes of ammunition, and propane tanks wired to four car batteries in his truck and trailer. Patock former neighbor in Arizona reported that, "He hated the president. He hated everything. He said if he got a chance he would shoot the president." Patock tells authorities he is a member of the National Rifle Association.

November 4, 2010—On his radio show, conservative host Glenn Beck fantasizes about President Obama being decapitated during a trip to India, saying, "If anybody thinks he was a Muslim over here, well God forbid, they think he was a Muslim over there because he left his religion for Christianity, death sentence, behead him.” Beck then tells his listeners that "God forbid" this should happen, as there would be a "New World Order" overnight in the United States.

November 4, 2010—Fox News host Bill O'Reilly fantasizes about killing a Washington Post reporter while on the air, saying, "Does sharia law say we can behead Dana Milbank?" O'Reilly also tells co-host Megyn Kelly, "I think you and I should go and beat him up."

November 9, 2010—U.S. Representative-Elect Allen West of Florida's 22nd Congressional District hires conservative radio talk show host Joyce Kaufman as his Chief of Staff. On July 3, Kaufman told a crowd of Tea Party supporters, “I am convinced that the most important thing the Founding Fathers did to ensure me my First Amendments rights was they gave me a Second Amendment. And if ballots don’t work, bullets will."

November 9, 2010—Concealed handgun permit holder George Thomas Lee, 69, of Walhalla, South Carolina, is arrested on the town's main street for disseminating and promoting obscenity by bearing signs "laden with expletives and taking aim at U.S. foreign policy, President Barack Obama, blacks in general, Jews and the nation of Israel." Officers also seize literature from Lee that details "the most expedient means of killing law enforcement officers." The November 9 arrest follows an October 19 arrest for assault after Lee kicked and swung his signs at a group of girls between the ages of 12 and 14.

November 10, 2010—Public schools in Broward County, Florida, go into lockdown after an email threat is received by WFTL 850 AM. The email is sent to conservative radio host Joyce Kaufman in response to remarks she made at a Tea Party event in July ("If ballots don't work, bullets will"). The email expresses support for her view of the Second Amendment and says that to further "their cause...something big will happen at a government building in Broward County, maybe a post office maybe even a school." A phone call is then received at the station, allegedly from the emailer's wife, warning that he is preparing to go to a Pembroke Pines school and open fire.

November 23, 2010—Larry Pratt, the Executive Director of Gun Owners of America, writes an editorial in The Register Citizen in which he calls for state and county sheriffs to organize large, armed "posses" as "a check on the unconstitutional exercise of federal power."

November 29, 2010—U.S. Rep. Joe Barton (R-TX), the ranking Republican on the House Energy and Commerce Committee, circulates a PowerPoint presentation to his colleagues in which he compares the Obama administration to the Nazi regime in Germany and likens himself to Gen. George Patton, bragging, "Put anything in my scope and I will shoot it."

December 3, 2010—At "Roe & Roeper's Miracle on Indianapolis Blvd. Holiday Extravaganza" promoting "Toys 4 Tots" in Chicago, Illinois, actor R. Lee Emery (famous for his depiction of Gunnery Sergeant Hartman in "Full Metal Jacket") tells those in attendance, "The economy really sucks. Now I hate to point fingers at anybody, but the present administration probably has a lot to do with that. And the way I see it, they're not gonna quit doing it until they bring this country to its knees. So I think we should all rise up and we should stop this administration from what they're doing because they're destroying this country. They're driving us into bankruptcy so that they can impose socialism on us."

January 6, 2011—John Troy Davis, 44, is arrested after threatening to set fire to the office of Sen. Michael Bennet (D-CO) and shoot members of his staff. The threat comes when Davis calls Bennet's office to complain about his Social Security benefits, telling a staffer that he is schizophrenic and "may go to terrorism." "I'm just going to come down there and shoot you all," he declares. Davis is charged with assault on a federal employee.

January 8, 2011—Jared Lee Loughner, 22, shoots U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ) and 19 others at a "Congress in Your Corner" event at a Safeway supermarket in Tucson, Arizona. He kills six, including federal judge John Roll, and wounds 14, including Giffords, who is shot in the head. Loughner has an extensive history of mental illness and substance abuse, yet is able to purchase two handguns and a high-capacity ammunition magazine legally at Sportsman's Warehouse on November 30, 2010. In a YouTube video posted in December 2010, Loughner states, "You don’t have to accept the federalist laws ... Nonetheless, read the United States of America’s Constitution to apprehend all of the current treasonous laws."

Monday, January 10, 2011

As God Is My Witness, I Thought Turkeys Could Fly

And I would have sworn for the 1st 90 seconds that this was parody.

Good Advice

Lackey's music is available here.