There She Goes Again…

Random Rants from an Arizona Goddess

The Clutches of Time are Dark

Published by Just Me under , , , , , on Sunday, September 28, 2008

Early one morning, a little bird was sitting on the branch of a tree, singing sweetly its song.  Suddenly it fell silent.  It had seen Yama, the Lord of Death, go past and look towards it - in some sort of surprise.  The bird was convinced that Yama had come for it.

In panic, it prayed to Garuda, the vehicle of Lord Vishnu, to save it.

Garuda appeared.  Said the little bird: "Please save me.  Carry me across the seven seas, to that little island.  There I will be safe."  "Hop on," the gracious Garuda responded, "and hold tight."

With a mighty swoosh of his wings, he lifted off, and flew westwards.  The eight-foot span of his wings cleaved through the air, he climbed higher, and sped on, past the mountains, past the continents, past the seven seas.  He flew non-stop, for almost eight hours.

Finally, he banked, and the little bird saw, nestled in a sea the colour of Pangong Tsu, a jewel of an island.  Clothed in dark green, and rimmed by glistening white sand, the breakers danced on the sands in a great primordial rhythm.  Crashing in, rippling up the beach and seeping back into the sea.  In.  Out.  In.  Out. "There!" said the little bird.  "Let me off there."  Garuda came low over the trees, and the little bird spread its little wings and launched itself into the cover of the forest.  Safe, it thought.

When Yama returned from his morning round, he looked at the tree again.  No bird.  He said to his companion, "I was surprised to see the bird here this morning for I am scheduled to collect her this evening, at a place far, far away. In fact, it is a little island across the seven seas."

A person cannot control the "when" and "where" and "how" their physical life on earth might end.  And like the story above, only "Yama" knows where and when you are "scheduled" to be collected.

Evidence of this became abundantly clear to me and my family a week and a half ago when my youngest brother's car was hit by a city bus.  He has fortunately come a long way in a short time to recover since the accident, but the painful days after he came out of a coma and off life support caused many in our family to take time to pause and reflect.

My brother is one of those countless young men in the world who is full of potential.  He decided to forego attending college immediately after finishing high school (early, I might add) and, instead, entered the work force and worked his way into a very good job, easily earning certifications, increased wages and the respect of his coworkers and supervisors.   He is a bright and caring, quiet person, with much promise in store for him.

He left my home (where he rents a room from me) that evening, headed to work out at the gym after a long day at work.  No one in my house remembers seeing him either come home or leave.  It wasn't until a day and a half later that I received the call that he had been injured and that he was in the Trauma/ICU unit at the university hospital.  (My brother's "in case of emergency" plan had not been put down anywhere, and the police were able to contact his grandmother, but then his father's family did not have all our information either, so it took a day to get through to mom and me.)

The particulars of the accident are not important. What is is the here and now afterward.   There are a lot of details that will have to eventually be worked out to recover financially and logistically after the accident.  But the fact that my brother is now walking, talking, posting blogs, text-messaging, using the phone, and vocalizing his wants and needs for himself can only be described as nearing a miracle.  The human body's healing capacity is a wondrous thing to behold.

Don't be so proud and vain
for the clutches of time are dark
Nobody knows where it might strike
whether at home or outside!

Kabir ~ 15th century poet

In my life, I have learned a lot about life, and I am reminded:
  • Life as we know it is a fragile and brief existence.
  • In times of adversity, the human spirit is humbled by its own fragility, angry voices are silenced and cries of hope and love will be heard in the silence.
  • The balance of relationships can be tipped easily when not cared for and equalized when force and pressure is no longer applied.
  • Love is the ultimate defining and universal language.
My brother, in a moment of reflection, said to me, "I know it's not very manly, but I feel like I want to cry." My response to him was, "Of course you want to cry. It's only natural given what you've been through."

I personally will water the seeds of possibility for the future with my tears.  I will look to the future, embracing the loves in my life, welcoming every new challenge, and working to acknowledge, yet let go of the anger that lurks under the surface.

“Hope is important
because it can make the present moment less difficult to bear. 
If we believe that tomorrow will be better,
we can bear a hardship today.”
Thich Nhat Hahn

Another view on Iraq ~ An interesting movie

Published by Just Me under on Friday, September 19, 2008

Though there are certainly some graphics in the "Shock & Awe" portion of this video that I think were not appropriate for the narration that was being shown (and I certainly was impressed with the subliminal message they were attempting to convey simultaneously), I believe that some poignant thoughts, ideas and perspectives exist in the following video entitled, "Hijacking Catastrophe: 9/11, Fear and the Selling of American Empire", produced and created by Media Education Foundation.

I do not agree with everything that is discussed, necessarily, but you cannot help but ponder seriously the theories posited and the facts discussed.

Check it out and, as always, think and decide for yourself.

Solar-panel plant to open in Tucson

Published by Just Me under , , on Monday, September 15, 2008

Following is an article which appeared this last weekend in the Sunday edition of the Arizona Republic. To me, it's a positive step toward investigating alternative means of energy. But given the cost of the technology and the fact that the company is German-owned, what does this REALLY do for America, other than bringing jobs to the local economy? Do you think this product will be marked down for the underpaid workers who will work this plant?


On to the article I guess.

Solar-panel plant to open in Tucson
Subsidiary of German manufacturing company Solon

The Arizona Republic
Link to original article:

A Tucson subsidiary of a German solar manufacturing company says it will open a 105,000-square-foot factory in the southern Arizona city next month and create 200 green-collar jobs in Arizona by the end of 2009.

Solon Corp. , a subsidiary of Solon AG in Berlin, said it will manufacture individual photovoltaic solar modules that go on the roofs of buildings as well as larger systems the company says can operate as self-sufficient solar-energy power plants.

"We have been very low-profile," said Neil Shea, director of business development and marketing for Solon Corp. "Not a lot of people know about us yet. But this business is very growth-oriented. There are going to be a lot of good jobs in it in the future."

He said the factory will open at 6950 S. Country Club Road in Tucson on Oct. 17.

In June, the Greater Phoenix Economic Council said that Arizona would miss out on more than 3,800 new jobs, $2.3 billion in investment and $732 million in state and local revenues in the next decade because nine solar companies last year could have come here but elected to settle in other states.

Solar companies are coveted in areas that are losing semiconductor jobs. GPEC said the number of Arizonans working for semiconductor and related manufacturers has dropped from about 34,000 in 2001 to about 22,000 in 2007.

Both candidates in this year's presidential election are pushing alternative-energy sources. They also advocate creation of what politicians have been calling green-collar jobs.

Shea, who worked in the semiconductor industry before getting interested in solar, said Solon arrived in Arizona in 2007 and opened a smaller temporary factory in Tucson that spring. He said the company now employs about 100 people who make solar panels for use in Germany as well as in the U.S. He said he expected the new factory to employ 200 by the end of 2009.

Solon has owned part of Tucson-based Global Solar Energy Inc. since 2006. That company also makes solar panels, but uses a different manufacturing process to create lightweight flexible products said to be portable enough to be used by campers and the military.

Shea said Solon intends to target larger customers such as municipalities, schools and companies that want enough panels to be energy self-sufficient. He said Solon does not sell solar panels directly to individual homeowners but would instead supply them to a company that outfits homes with systems.

Shea said the Tucson factory's customers include the Salt River Project, Sulphur Springs Valley Electric Cooperative Inc. in southern Arizona, Tucson Electric Power Co. and Blue Ridge High School in Lakeside. The school ordered solar modules to generate power on top of a covered parking structure.

A Little Political Humor: Lewis Black's HBO Special - "Red White & Screwed"

Published by Just Me under , , on Sunday, September 14, 2008

Let's face it.... this political season (all TWO FREAKIN' YEARS OF IT!) has got even the sanest of Americans weary of the back and forth, the mud-slinging, the rhetoric and snippy sound bytes. So, I (being heavily among the weary) went in search of a little intelligent political humor. And it never fails, Lewis Black appeared on my radar. 

Herein I share the YouTube generation's contribution to the information highway. It'll take you about an hour to watch all six parts, and keep in mind that some of the breaks are a little awkward, but have fun watching. I did.

Then when you're done and have tired even further of political humor, do a search for Jeff Dunham's "Spark of Insanity" clips. You're guaranteed to laugh your ass off, sans the political humor.

Part 1 of 6

Part 2 of 6

Part 3 of 6

Part 4 of 6

Part 5 of 6

Part 6 of 6

Politics: Just another Animal Farm (in America)

Published by Just Me under , , , , , , on Wednesday, September 10, 2008

"Lipstick on a pig"
"Good ol' boys network"
The “Race” card
Swift-boat politics
Change is needed vs. Change is coming

It's just another day at the farm. The political farm, that is. From the left we get verbal gaffes, from the right you get shock and snappy retorts. From the right you get canned speeches, from the left you get more and more preached rhetoric. It's like watching mules play ping-pong at the local county fair. With all the muck-raking and mud-slinging going on, it's hard to smell the Kettle Korn. All that’s missing are some yodelers in lederhosen.

I recently played the audiobook of "Animal Farm" by George Orwell for my kids to listen to. All the while they listened intently to the entire story, forcing me to play it where we last left off every time we got into the car to go anywhere. I had originally read and analyzed the book when I was their ages, and so I felt they were old enough to possibly dig into the allegorical nature of the story. I am not sure they really did. Nevertheless, they were entertained, and they did get a bit of understanding of the concepts of utopia, equality and revolution, but it was difficult to for them to comprehend the underlying message of the short story as it relates the history of pre-WWII Soviet totalitarianism. How could they possibly understand the historical significance of Cold War and the related ideas of socialism or communism, when all the buzz words they've heard in the past five years have been about Hussein, bin Laden, war and terrorism, oil and global warming? In time, though, they'll learn more about world history, politics and world wars, and we'll re-visit the book again, if they don't get the opportunity in school.

And all that is going on today reminds me of that book. All this talk about "lipstick on pigs" and all the preaching and rhetoric of "change is needed" and "change is coming" -- I wonder what allegorical novella will be written about American politics in days to come. What farm animals will they come up with portray Kennedy or Nixon, Reagan or Carter, Bush Sr. and GW, and Ma and Pa Clinton? Or will it be more like a Disney cartoon or comic book? Obama with his big ears looking like Dopey of the Seven Dwarves, and Hillary with her pantsuits and big Batman-nemesis plastic Joker smile? Bill with his Big Mac and fat cat cigar in a big ol’ Boss Hogg style horned Cadillac and Dan Quayle with broccoli for a boutonnière? I can see Reagan and GW riding the prairie with ten-gallon Stetsons atop their heads, and Kennedy hot-rodding down the Mass Pike in a James Dean style Porsche Boxster, with Marilyn’s gold lamée dress caught in the door on the passenger side, with no sight of the rest of her body visible through the window.

And that’s no doubt just about exactly how the world sees the Hollywoodesque politics of America. And who can blame them? It’s almost too amazing to watch to not have been a work of fiction. Obama’s celebrity rise into the history books as the first black American candidate for president - McCain’s gut-wrenching real-life story of heroically surviving a harrowing Vietnamese POW camp – Sarah’s appearance from political nowhere straight to a shotgun tiara-wearing ride on the Straight Talk Express down the Alaska Highway to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue -- You can’t make up stuff better than this.

But what of the real issues of the American voters? Where has the real purpose of representative democracy gone? What has become of the talk of issues like economy and equality, education and health, employment and patriotism? In the middle of all the glitz and glamour, beyond Sarah’s signature specs and Cindy’s flashy bling, Michelle’s misspoken matter of pride and Joe’s “hot wife”, where is the talk about the stuff that really affects Americans?

Now, after 18 long months of celebrity appearances, snappy and rowdy speeches, and millions of dollars worth of banners and conventions and balloons, we know WHO is on the ticket now for each side. FINALLY we are where we should be getting to the meat of each candidate’s platforms. But we’re not. It’s more of the mud and ping-pong war between the “Truth Squad” versus “Obama-Nation.”

Enough already! I want to hear about WHAT “change” they each propose and what it will cost me, as a taxpayer. HOW do these candidates plan to change my life, and for the better? WHEN will all this change take place? And WHERE do they each envision we are going to be as a nation long after they’ve “changed” America and they’ve moved on to dedicating their Presidential libraries, filled with books and artwork and memoirs of their accomplishments? I don’t want to hear it from their speech writers, or read it on the propagandist websites or see it on YouTube, I want to hear it “straight from the horse’s mouth.” This animal is listening; So, Mr. Obama and Mr. Biden, Mr. McCain and Mrs. Palin – start your braying and let’s see if it sounds like “change” after all. Earn my vote with what counts, Real Answers.

Sarah Palin is the noose around McCain's political neck - AKA Insult Me Some More '08

Published by Just Me under , , , on Tuesday, September 02, 2008

I am smack dab in the middle of the demographic of middle-class, educated, independent-minded women that the Republicans (and Democrats) currently seek to court. And in response to their mistaken impression that the Hillary-loving masses have been slapped in the ass hard enough by the Obama-gods that these intelligent though oft-times vocally rabid voting women will about-face and turn their votes to the "dark side" in response to Hill's failure to win the nomination, the Republican "smarty-pants" have brought inexperienced, backwoods, Alaska Governor Sarah Palin to the ticket to fight the conservative fight alongside our infamous Arizona political maverick, John McCain? I, for one, am insulted. A vice-presidential candidate has never been a "make it or break it" deal for me, but the spit in the eye of what seems to be the "spoonful of sugar" to help the stale old Republican political "medicine go down", is utterly disgusting to me.

Now don't get me wrong... I am not on the front lines of the Democratic Party's political battle. I am not one to be counted among the flock of Kool-aid drinkin' Obama lovin' sheep. Even as eloquently as he spoke during his recent nomination acceptance speech at the DNC convention in Denver, I will never vote for Barack Hussein Obama (AKA "God/Allah's Answer to All Our Prayers"). His communist/socialistic tendencies are all too reminiscent of the early rantings from our island neighbor/dictator to the south, Fidel Castro, for my taste. Couple this with Obama's rise from relative political and managerial Nowhere-land, I can't stomach the idea of this radically liberal "poster boy for change" leading the American people, like Moses from the Bible stories, out of wandering from the desert of despair which has come to exist on the social, moral, legal, and economic landscape of today's American society. But Sarah Palin as our country's wingman to the president, face of American women, ambassador to the world, leader of our legislative branch?! Are you freakin' kidding me?!

Sarah Palin is proclaimed to be a skilled moose hunter and avid ice-fisherwoman. She is the high-school sweetheart wife to a "superstar" Alaskan snow-mobiler and a loving mother of five children: ranging from an adult son serving honorably in our military to a 4 month old newborn afflicted with Down's Syndrome. I have to admit she isn't all that hard on the eyes and I'll be damned if she doesn't look like she just walked off the set having nabbed the role of some "Hot For Teacher" babe in an 80s rock music video. But does Sarah Palin's résumé really do well to balance out the Republican argument against Obama's obvious lack of solid and proven experience to qualify himself to lead our nation, which has always been McCain's ringer retort?

Even Obama was smart enough to go along with the DNC money-wielding politicos to pick a VP candidate with experience. Joe Biden got his start in Washington politics while Obama was probably still a pimple-popping, wave-surfing, binge-drinking, pot-smoking preteen back in Hawaii (even if it does scream "bullshit!" at his own "time for change" mantra). And so, the RNC's response is what?! Our 70-something year-old straight-talking and venerated war hero is paired up with the gun-toting beauty queen with heart of gold and a redneck brood of kids to go with it. I'll bet the National Enquirer is standing in the streets of the town of Wasilla (a small town, east of Anchorage - population approximately 8500 – where, as mayor, Palin "cut her teeth on the political polls" before becoming governor) just drooling at the chance to pay a measly $10,000 to the first toothless wonder in exchange for any viable yet juicy tidbit about the virtually unknown Sarah "Annie Oakley" Palin.

Sarah Palin, though seemingly a well-rounded and well-spoken "All American Girl" from what little us "Lower 48-ers" know and have heard from her, is NOT my idea of a viable and experienced running mate to ANY candidate for president, regardless of party affiliation, nor should she be slated to be considered the voice of the intelligent, middle-class American woman.

I, too, lived in the Last Frontier for a time myself. After driving over 4,000 miles of treacherous road from my home in Arizona, I lived in Alaska long enough:
- to earn a decent wage, making nearly double in one year than I had in the previous year in Arizona doing the same job, and pay off some bills, even despite the increased cost of living;
- to take out a fishing pole and troll for salmon with my two daughters in a small boat along the glacial silt-filled rivers and fjords, surrounded by majestic snow-capped mountains;
- to wonder at the moose trolling around among the residential neighborhoods and city streets in Alaska's largest city (which swelled to a "whopping" 250,000 or so people during mid-summer);
- to be cautious enough when venturing out exploring into the vast forests and mountains to remember to bring along a shotgun and plenty of ammunition (aware of the presence of hungry bears);
- to endure (as a desert rat accustomed to 60-70 degree Christmases) one of the harshest winters the city of Anchorage had seen in years;
- to escape death just before Thanksgiving with only nine staples to my scalp and a cracked kneecap, injured when my vehicle slid backwards, downhill, about 100 yards, then rolled over and landed upside down in a ditch in the icy, snow-filled mountainside;
- to learn first-hand, working for a reputable law firm, about the ins and outs of the oil industry (as much from the big oil perspective as from the environmentalist's perspective) and fishing industry;
- and to get a literal "bird's eye's view" of the landscape and throngs of wolves, and caribou, and bears which outnumber humans so greatly in the vast and great last frontier;

But none of this translates to experience to stand toe-to-toe with political heads-of-state of foreign governments and to preside over our legislature or to possibly step in as Leader of the Free World and Commander-in-Chief of our military (should any ill fate happen upon our elderly statesman McCain, while possible serving as President), does it?

Picking Sarah Palin to try and bolster the conservative agenda is political suicide for the Republicans and for any chance that the so-called conservatives might have had to keep Obama from "preaching his way into the White House" with his socialist rhetoric, and letting the deep pockets of the MoveOn-type Libs get a final stranglehold over our nation.

The Dems are getting at what some people at first, undoubtedly, thought HAD to be a joke when "The Mav" made the announcement on Friday of "his" VP pick. The gossip train has been given all the fuel it needs to grind it's way right over McCain's pasty and war-scarred back, right on into the Metro station closest to Michelle Obama's freshly painted, pretty, new WhiteBlack House.

I sat at work today, surrounded by the jabbering of the liberal, elitist, cream-of-the-crop, well-educated and highly overpaid lawyers that I work with (actually for, since we "pee-ons" who actually do most of the work they take credit for are truly not, nor ever will be, equal to them). These same persons who sell their souls daily to represent big business all in the name of the mighty dollar that they earn as a result, while piously preaching and seething about their rich clients' injustices on the world and "everyday, little man" behind their backs, were giddy and excited today in their chatter about McCain and the RNC's choice of Sarah Palin for the Republican VP running mate. And who can blame them for their exuberance?

Palin has brought with her to the Republican stage:
- a political scandal of allegations of abuse of power while having only been Governor of Alaska since 2006;
- a very, very, very short list of political "accomplishments" before her current gubernatorial position, including beating out a Republican "political giant" who had faced some scandal of his own and being the mayor of a very small town;
- and a baby sadly afflicted with Down's Syndrome, which might not be hers, but actually her grandchild, born from her 17-year-old daughter, now pregnant (again?) out of wedlock.

I am sure the Enquirer will find something more for the Dems to complete their "wet dream" with. Regardless of what truth any of the produced gossip might actually bear, I cannot argue with the "oh-My-GOSH" truth of the fact that Sarah Palin has got to be the most ridiculous choice that the Republicans could have pushed McCain to endorse. Mitt Romney with his painted face, plastered hair and strict Mormon conservative base would have at least helped to lock in the conservative vote, regardless of any of the differences between the former presidential hopeful and his previous rival, now nominated candidate/victor, John McCain. But a "Beauty and the Beast" ticket? What the hell is the RNC thinking?

As a woman, I am insulted. I cannot and will not stupidly chant the party's spin on this one. I am an independent, intelligent and VOTING woman. I vote in every election cycle, even when there isn't a presidential position at stake. I take my daughters to stand in line at the polls while I wait, sometimes hours, to make my mark and complete my civic duty. I try to teach them of the importance of having a vote and in taking a stance on issues important to our everyday lives and putting people into office to represent the common good. But in thinking that Sarah Palin is the answer to bring in the "minority" woman's vote they are attempting to court in the wake of Hillary's sunken hopes for the first woman to steer the American ship from the helms of the Oval Office (well, from behind, not below the desk, anyhow) – the Republicans have got their read on American women all wrong this time, baby! They should re-draw the Republican Party's mascot elephant's ass with a big ole' Democratic Donkey hoof-print on it now. Shit! I'd even give Monica Lewinsky credit for more experience than I would Sarah Palin. (But Ms. Altoids wears blue, and not red, so I guess she couldn't have made it to the Republican short list, could she?)

Sarah Palin should gracefully bow out now while the "gettin' is good", and none of us would fault her for it. Sad as it is to say it, the rigors of a campaign trail, as they choke on Obama's dust in the polls and as the Obama lovin' media rips her and her family's still somewhat good name to shreds, will prove to be too much for the Alaska girl and her December romance hero in the end. Mrs. Palin needs to go home and earn her stripes before this intelligent, All American girl will even think to stand in line and consider her worthy of the No. 2 spot in my nation's government. She should go home and take care of that sweet baby who is going to be challenged enough in his lifetime, without the added difficulty of missing some very crucial bonding time early on, and go encourage that 17-year-old daughter to put down the fishing pole, and press forward, baby in tow, to complete a college education so that she can adequately support herself and unborn child in the future, head held high. Mrs. Palin, go sit down in the Governor's mansion and listen to your state's workers and citizens to learn about the challenges of governing from all angles, from top to bottom.

A pretty face and some pretty rhetoric, even if touted and paraded by the likes of Hannity and Rush, will not stupify this independent woman into "plugging my nose and voting McCain". I'll not be placing my vote for President this year - Not if I have the choice of Old Man McCain and his lovely assistant, What's Her Name versus Barack Hussein Obama and his unproud, American wife and white-haired friend Joe, who has a sad case of verbal diarrhea from time to time. I'd rather eat glacial silt for breakfast. I’ll let the dogs just fight this one out without me this time.

Now… where's my TiVo remote? That 30-second fast forward button might be just enough to bypass those "I'm Dodo Bird, and I approve this message" ads and get to those really cool Geico gecko and caveman commercials and the next season’s episodes of Heroes. That should keep the bile down and me entertained at least until it's time for the World Series, when I can start ranting again about overpaid, steroid-junkie athletes again.

“Youth ages. Immaturity is outgrown. Ignorance can be educated and drunkenness sobered, but stupid lasts forever.” - Aristophanes , 5th Century B.C., Greek comic


Message from the author

Why is it that we can find so many ways to communicate, that there is so much information out in the world, but yet, who really says anything important or worth listening to? Here, I (one of the many "Wonder Women" in America) join the masses in spewing forth random rants into the sea of intellectual spittle. Varied "editorials" about politics, relationships, sex, money, funny tid-bits, technology... you might find it all here.



Personal Blogs - BlogCatalog Blog Directory