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Sat Oct 11, 2014, 08:07 AM

The Lost Hosts Awaken

“Oh say, can you see it’s such a mess;
Every inch of Earth is a fighting nest;
Giant pencil and lip-stick tube shaped things
Continue to rain and cause screaming pain …”
-- Jimi Hendrix

The 2014 elections are almost upon us. The very least that all citizens should do is vote. Never take the right to vote for granted, because as we have witnessed over the past decades, there are forces at work that seek to deny people the right to vote. Voting is more than a “right,” it is a responsibility. We should vote in each and every election.

Vote your conscience. Vote based upon your values. If you believe in voting the straight party line, good. If you vote, based upon each individual candidate, good. Vote for democracy, vote for social justice. Vote in every national, state, and local election.

Yet informed voting is the minimum of the rights and responsibilities we have as citizens. If we are indeed “informed,” than we recognize that while voting is important, it is surely not the solution to the many problems facing our culture. It is of value in terms of many of the individual issues that are important -- from voting rights to reproductive rights, from marriage equality to public education. The advances made in these areas are as significant as the right-wing reaction to them is dangerous. We can not afford to take them for granted.

Still, within our own life-times, we are witnessing a negative transformation of our nation, from an admittedly imperfect constitutional democracy, to a high-tech feudal state. The symptoms of our social pathology range from never-ending wars, the destruction of the living environment, to economic injustice, to hundreds of commercials for medicines to ease the pain of existence.


“Seraphim, the lost hosts awaken.”
-- James Joyce

Frequently, when I discuss “systems” on DU:GD, I use the model of a mobile, like those that hang over an infant’s cradle. If we think of the United States as a mobile, it certainly isn’t one that we should hang over the heads of future generations. It isn’t a balance of bright Sesame Street characters. Rather, it is a military-police state, which consumes massive amounts of energy, and emit’s the toxins of anxiety, depression, fear, and hatred.

Individuals and sub-groups definitely do contain human goodness: an obvious example is found in the medical community’s ability to cure disease. Still, the economic system creates inequity in people’s ability to access healthcare. More, when the greed of the few relies upon the defiance of Natural Law, not only is “preventative healthcare” snatched away from much of the public, but the life-support systems are poisoned.

So long as “war” is the central organizing force in our nation, it will remain impossible to institute social justice. There are certainly advances that have been made -- for example, the Civil Rights movement of the 1950s and ‘60s made real progress. Yet, it seems like every week, there are news reports of another murder of a young black man, by either a police officer or a George Zimmerman fantasy cop. The war mobile, by definition, demands an “us versus them” mentality. Indeed, this was what Dr. King spoke of in his April 4, 1967 address at the Riverside Church. He took a holistic approach to the war in Vietnam, racism, and poverty. He noted that unless America underwent a radical revolution in values, wars like that in Vietnam would continue to take place in other regions of the world.

When one piece attempts to shake the mobile, the other pieces become entrenched; if the single piece continues to threaten the balance of power, it is removed from the mobile. King, of course, understood his fate. But he believed his sacrifice could awaken the sleeping giant, and motivate thousands of the little pieces on that mobile to create a shift in its balance.

If that radical revolution in values was important in 1968, it is a thousand times more urgent today. Again: none of the serious problems we are confronted with can be fully resolved, so long as we remain a military-police state. For such a state must create an “us versus them” level of consciousness, that saturates large portions of society. We are divided by sex, sexuality, “race,” economics, religion, and political and social ideology, among others.

The external mirrors the internal: this country fears and hates; it is feared and hated by others; and it literally becomes fear and hatred in essence.

We have been lied to since our early childhood. You and I have been taught to believe in “leaders.” Hence, we continue to believe that those in Washington, DC, can change the direction our culture is headed in. This, despite the sad fact that, as the pace builds momentum, the overall quality of elected “leaders” drops in quality, ethics, morals, and conscience. Indeed, as long as we head in that direction, this cannot be otherwise. Still, despite the evidence that is daily shoved in our faces, we expect otherwise.

Real change -- the absolute transformation required to begin to move our nation in a different, healthy, life-sustaining direction -- can only come from the “bottom” up. From the grass roots. From putting into practice our “inner-Dr. King.” For while Dr. King was a powerful man, the measure of his power’s ability to institute meaningful change was found in the masses of people who stood with him.

Birmingham, for example, did not change because one inspired human being told the Truth. It changed, because hundreds and thousands of people understood the Truth he told, and internalized it, and then acted accordingly. These people were willing to sacrifice, to make change. This required more than a willingness to face the brute force of Bull Connor, and his thugs, dogs, and fire hoses. It was more than their willingness to go to jail. For in order to be willing to take those brave steps, they had accepted King’s teachings that they had to be willing to sacrifice their feelings of anger, resentment, and hatred of their oppressors and the system that sought to dehumanize them. Indeed, King taught that these negative emotions dehumanized them.

We can change America. We can create that revolutionary transformation that Dr. King spoke of. But we cannot accomplish this by investing all of our energies in the same manners that fuels the negative, that builds the momentum that is hurling us in the wrong direction. It is a human potential, on the individual and group levels. And it takes the exact same amount of energy to add to the positive force, as to the negative.

That said, the only real question is: how far are you willing to go?

Thank you,
H2O Man

42 replies, 3704 views

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Arrow 42 replies Author Time Post
Reply The Lost Hosts Awaken (Original post)
H2O Man Oct 2014 OP
ann--- Oct 2014 #1
postulater Oct 2014 #2
ann--- Oct 2014 #3
H2O Man Oct 2014 #10
H2O Man Oct 2014 #9
ann--- Oct 2014 #14
H2O Man Oct 2014 #16
Autumn Oct 2014 #4
H2O Man Oct 2014 #11
stillwaiting Oct 2014 #13
H2O Man Oct 2014 #17
ann--- Oct 2014 #15
H2O Man Oct 2014 #18
Fred Sanders Oct 2014 #5
Doctor_J Oct 2014 #6
Fred Sanders Oct 2014 #8
Doctor_J Oct 2014 #21
Fred Sanders Oct 2014 #22
Jackpine Radical Oct 2014 #31
H2O Man Oct 2014 #37
Bluenorthwest Oct 2014 #39
H2O Man Oct 2014 #19
Fred Sanders Oct 2014 #20
Skidmore Oct 2014 #23
Fred Sanders Oct 2014 #28
H2O Man Oct 2014 #29
Fred Sanders Oct 2014 #30
H2O Man Oct 2014 #34
Fred Sanders Oct 2014 #38
Bluenorthwest Oct 2014 #24
H2O Man Oct 2014 #25
Bluenorthwest Oct 2014 #40
H2O Man Oct 2014 #42
PeoViejo Oct 2014 #7
H2O Man Oct 2014 #26
world wide wally Oct 2014 #12
H2O Man Oct 2014 #27
scarletwoman Oct 2014 #32
H2O Man Oct 2014 #35
Louisiana1976 Oct 2014 #33
H2O Man Oct 2014 #36
librechik Oct 2014 #41

Response to H2O Man (Original post)


Response to ann--- (Reply #1)

Sat Oct 11, 2014, 08:53 AM

2. You are America.

And so am I.

Voting is akin to the sensory feedback to your brain, without which your body is useless.

So go vote.

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Response to postulater (Reply #2)


Response to ann--- (Reply #3)

Sat Oct 11, 2014, 10:20 AM

10. Yet that shows

the quality of politicians running, rather than a problem with voting per say.

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Response to postulater (Reply #2)

Sat Oct 11, 2014, 10:19 AM

9. Thank you!

In four sentences, you nailed what this old man babbled on and on about. We are America. And America is what we make of it.

If, for example, we want a compassionate society, we must be compassionate.

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Response to H2O Man (Reply #9)


Response to ann--- (Reply #14)

Sat Oct 11, 2014, 12:01 PM

16. I don't know.

I have never said it was.

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Sat Oct 11, 2014, 09:08 AM

4. Many of us have awoken, but those in our party we have elected are choosing

wars and austerity over the needs and the wishes of the people who elected them. We no longer have Democrats who are willing to stop the erosion of our Constitutional rights. Our people go without basic necessities like health care and shelter, our young go off to war and come home in a coffin or maimed physically or mentally and have to jump through hoops to get the care they need. Our young men lie dead and bleeding in the streets because those we pay to protect and serve have a soldier mentality and equipment and see us as the enemy and suffer no repercussions for their actions. Our elected leaders see to the needs of corporations and the wealthy while talking and enacting cuts to programs that benefit the poor and elderly. When I hear the Democrats in my party I have voted for and supported giving those actions merit it makes me sick to my soul. Do I want to hold my nose and vote? No, these people do not represent me in the things I consider to be important. But to tell the truth, I don't think I'm strong enough to sit home and not vote.

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Response to Autumn (Reply #4)

Sat Oct 11, 2014, 10:31 AM

11. Right.

You have expressed -- very well -- what myself and many others feel. Our current system of government is discouraging, to say the least. And I definitely understand why so many people ask, "What is the use?" I'd be lying if I said that I've never felt that way.

Our activities, including voting, really have to be not because of the system so much as despite it. That system is wholly incapable of instituting truly meaningful change from the top down. That's not to say that it never did so in the past; rather, because it has become a corporation, it no longer can. For so long as government equals corporation, it can only act as a corporate state.

Just as it has taken a long time to reach this low ethical level -- one in which amorality is required for promotion -- it will require a long-term effort to change it. But it will change: the only question is if it gets better or worse. And, again, the momentum is hurling us in the wrong direction.

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Response to Autumn (Reply #4)

Sat Oct 11, 2014, 11:33 AM

13. There is value in harm reduction though.

It's THE reason to vote Democratic. However, we can't be foolish enough to praise the state of the current Democratic Party. Things have been getting worse economically and for our civil rights CONSISTENTLY over the past few decades, and Democrats absolutely deserve some of the blame. Not to mention our continuing militaristic foreign policy. It IS enough to drive a progressive or liberal quite mad sometimes.

Far right-wing Republican Presidents, Congress Critters, and judges WILL be worse for everyone except for the oligarchy.

We will need to build a strong and lasting movement to raise the awareness of the people of the need to elect progressives and not 3rd Way Democrats to change the direction of our country. TPTB will do EVERYTHING they can to discredit that movement, and we will have to find a way to overcome them in order to be successful. It is daunting, and it will take quite a long time to achieve, but I hope I'm around to be a part of it over the next few decades...

In the meantime I vote Democratic to hopefully lessen the casualties. There will be no celebrations from me when 3rd Way Dems are elected though, and I won't get crushed when they act like 3rd Way Dems. I know that they are scorpions by nature (who are not really even in much of a disguise; their speeches are transparent). I will call a spade a spade.

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Response to stillwaiting (Reply #13)

Sat Oct 11, 2014, 12:14 PM

17. Great points.

Thank you.

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Response to Autumn (Reply #4)


Response to ann--- (Reply #15)

Sat Oct 11, 2014, 12:17 PM

18. That's good.

I know that many DUers sincerely believe we should all be voting straight party line. I don't believe that. There have been many instances, over the decades, when I've either voted "third party" or a mere protest vote. I respect everyone's right to vote their conscience.

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Sat Oct 11, 2014, 09:21 AM

5. As Obama has been telling us idiots since the beginning, if you want change then you have to start.

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Response to Fred Sanders (Reply #5)

Sat Oct 11, 2014, 10:10 AM

6. And how are we to do that, when the DC dems are the ones enacting these policies that are killing

 

the party and with it the nation?

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Response to Doctor_J (Reply #6)

Sat Oct 11, 2014, 10:16 AM

8. How did the civil rights movement do it, when the same could have been said?

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Response to Fred Sanders (Reply #8)

Sat Oct 11, 2014, 12:54 PM

21. I didn't think you would be able to answer the question

 

And BTW the civil rights movement had friends like the Kennedys in government. Obama decided to hire Geithner, embrace a health care plan cooked up by Newt Gingrinch and the heritage foundation, leave DOn Siegelman in prison, and let Bush and Cheney walk. I sincerely doubt that he didn't know this was exactly what his voters DID NOT want. So when 70 million citizens vote for a set of ideals, and the person entrusted to enact them turns his back on those voters, it would be moronic to believe no backlash would ensue. He was given a second chance to embrace a different path when Occupy took off, he ignored them and had them arrested.

His presidency has been a failure on a grand scale, at least for millions of his voters.

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Response to Doctor_J (Reply #21)

Sat Oct 11, 2014, 01:08 PM

22. Nonsense. Your ignoring of the teabag blockade and the media deflection is why you say that.

And how dare anyone note that Obama did for the unemployment rate in 4 years what Mittens promised in 6.

How dare Obama single handily has not created a workers paradise of rainbows and unicorns.

If you have had enough of Obama, whatever your rational, perhaps you may recall he is President for another two years. Perhaps DU is not your place.

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Response to Fred Sanders (Reply #22)

Sat Oct 11, 2014, 04:52 PM

31. While unemployment numbers are down,

this was accomplished in large measure by replacing moderately well-paying employment with 29-hour-a-week McJobs that come with no benefits. Just as we now have some millions more of us with health insurance, but that health insurance not only remains unusable for many because of huge deductibles and copays, but because of the built-in giveaways to the insurance companies, still costs us twice as much per capita as the rest of the First World pays out.

I do not believe we should be forbidden to point out harsh realities such as this just because we have a Democrat in the White House.

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Response to Doctor_J (Reply #21)

Sun Oct 12, 2014, 06:05 AM

37. The "Occupy" Movement

was (or, is), in my opinion, not only one of the healthiest expressions of democracy, but its call for social justice mirrored Dr. King's greatest plan: the "tent city" that he imagined occupying Washington, DC, in the summer of 1968.

"Occupy" did get significant media attention. By its very nature -- not having identified "leaders" -- its media coverage was mixed. In that sense, it again mirrored the Civil Rights Movement.

That said, you are correct in that Occupy did not have a White House advocate. And that's a shame.

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Response to H2O Man (Reply #37)

Sun Oct 12, 2014, 09:38 AM

39. Gee, weren't there some actual large civil rights advances made by people who had organized

 

very well, very long and strong? To omit the LGBT advances from a discussion about civil rights is an interesting choice to make.

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Response to Fred Sanders (Reply #5)

Sat Oct 11, 2014, 12:23 PM

19. Right.

There is no better example to illustrate what happens when a movement stops being active, and places the responsibility on a single person to achieve change.

The 2008 brought about a great energy, a powerful force. We elected an unlikely president. Then, people sat back.

It created a huge vacuum, which was rapidly filled by republican rats and tea party snakes. That never should have happened.

I do note that, in one of the early biographies of Obama's presidency, it was documented that President Obama came to recognize that his staff had failed to attempt to harness that energy, post-election. Thus, it is fair to say it was an overall failure, and we have surely paid a price for it.

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Response to H2O Man (Reply #19)

Sat Oct 11, 2014, 12:35 PM

20. Why the energy of 2008 got so quickly lost is not a mystery....the media embraced the tea baggers

and Birchers and attacked Obama at every turn....the oligarchs in control of the media were not going to let that continue.

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Response to Fred Sanders (Reply #20)

Sat Oct 11, 2014, 02:20 PM

23. And what stopped you, in particular.

Did you cease to be able to speak out or to sit in or write? It does start with the individual and scapegoating one person for the sins of many is not the answer. Stepping up and taking responsibilty for choices, including those at the ballot box, is a good place to begin.

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Response to Skidmore (Reply #23)

Sat Oct 11, 2014, 04:27 PM

28. I do not answer personal questions to anonymous questioners.

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Response to Fred Sanders (Reply #20)

Sat Oct 11, 2014, 04:29 PM

29. That was definitely

a factor. The tea party went into "high" (or "lowest"?) gear, and disrupted numerous town hall meetings. The media covered it, as it made for the type of theater the media prefers. Let a few thousand peaceful protesters gather, and there's rarely coverage. (That suggests that our side needs to learn more about how to use the media.)

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Response to H2O Man (Reply #29)

Sat Oct 11, 2014, 04:32 PM

30. The media can not be used by us, it has been sold to the highest bidder, the corporations and RW

political monied folks.....it is time for resistance and exposure of their corruption.

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Response to Fred Sanders (Reply #30)

Sun Oct 12, 2014, 05:51 AM

34. I respectfully disagree.

For over 40 years, I have had success in using the media to convey my messages in things political and social. Obviously, the larger the media source, the more "corporate" it is in nature. But by carefully studying the media, people can make very good use of it.

(By no coincidence, in my "hand-book" on grass roots organizing, I included a chapter on how to make use of the media. I'd also recommend that people study others' examples; for instance, both Malcolm X and Abbie Hoffman had keen understandings of the media, and how to use it.)

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Response to H2O Man (Reply #34)

Sun Oct 12, 2014, 09:02 AM

38. My point is that your hard work and knowledge, sweat and tears, you heroes of organization and

liberal messaging, can be swamped by money flooding the system in quantities so copious we will
need many more Hoffmans and Malcolm X's.

Now it seems one step forward and two steps back.

The current political milieu is not the milieu of the past.

The disgust we all feel for the distorted media and the deformed GOP has to be translated to anger, mass anger, and translated to mass voting....if the tea bags can be made angry enough, can not liberals?

I think that is the route now.

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Response to H2O Man (Reply #19)

Sat Oct 11, 2014, 02:52 PM

24. Maybe you stopped. My community pressed on. Oh, how the moderates wailed at us to stop wanting

 

that pony. Oh, how Obama himself waxed dogmatic, 'sanctity. God is in the mix, one man, one woman I am against equality'. And most straights did nothing to assist. Instead they hounded us for not being sufficiently cowed by the system. 'Change takes time' they would demand and we'd say 'been plenty of time wasted already' and pressed on.
DU hated the gay community for doing just exactly what you now claim no one did. And did we make progress? Most certainly did.
You all threw insults, Rick Warren, the Bible, 'ex gay Donnie McClurkin' at us. Called us poutragers and lecture us endlessly that we must stop this quest. 'This will cost us the election, Obama will lose to Mitt if he supports equality!!!!!!' But we pressed on, and got Big Checkbooks to take a stand one night. Obama 'evolved'. He came out for equality. Then he beat the stuffing out of Mitt.

So those of us who remained active and working for political goals under Obama achieved many goals along with him. Those of you who did not did not reach your own objectives and also did not help us reach ours.
No, we did not make world peace nor universal equality as yet. But we did get them to stop harassing LGBT in the military and we got far along on Marriage Road. We did this while the rest of you were, according to you 'sitting back'. Honestly we could have used the help.

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Response to Bluenorthwest (Reply #24)

Sat Oct 11, 2014, 03:22 PM

25. Me, personally?

No, I surely didn't. I'd be willing to compare notes with anyone -- on DU or anywhere else -- with full confidence that my accomplishments compare to anyone's.

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Response to H2O Man (Reply #25)

Sun Oct 12, 2014, 09:50 AM

40. No mention of the biggest civil rights victories of recent days in a discussion about civil rights

 

and activism? Omitting huge victories is an interesting choice. It speaks volumes.

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Response to Bluenorthwest (Reply #40)

Sun Oct 12, 2014, 10:40 AM

42. Perhaps your reading skills

are failing you. Or the chunk on your shoulder is blocking your view.

Re-read the OP. That will do -- no need to apologize for your blatant error.

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Sat Oct 11, 2014, 10:15 AM

7. Take the anger, rustration and feeling of hoplessness and direct that energy in a positive direction

 

Last edited Sat Oct 11, 2014, 07:17 PM - Edit history (1)

Thank You H2OMan

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Response to PeoViejo (Reply #7)

Sat Oct 11, 2014, 03:23 PM

26. Thank you.

All of those energies can be put to much better use!

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Sat Oct 11, 2014, 11:11 AM

12. If you don't vote, you are in reality voting Republican.

This is exactly what Republicans want and they spend a lot of time and effort making it so that people can not vote. There is no difference to them between "will not" and "cannot". it stops being Language or politics and becomes math.

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Response to world wide wally (Reply #12)

Sat Oct 11, 2014, 03:24 PM

27. Yep.

That's a good way to look at it.

Thank you!

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Sat Oct 11, 2014, 04:54 PM

32. Vote so they know we're out here. You aren't counted if you don't vote. nt

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Response to scarletwoman (Reply #32)

Sun Oct 12, 2014, 05:56 AM

35. Right.

I also think in terms of the minority experience in America. People struggled for the right to vote, often going to the ER,to jail, or to the cemetery as a result of the opposition to their accessing the ballot.One doesn't have to be a woman, or black, to honor their effort. Nor, for that matter, does one need to be a genius to see the connection between current efforts at voter suppression, and the right & responsibility to vote now.

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Sat Oct 11, 2014, 05:29 PM

33. I mailed in my absentee ballot last week. I voted Democratic all the way.

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Response to Louisiana1976 (Reply #33)

Sun Oct 12, 2014, 05:56 AM

36. Very good!

Thank you!

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Sun Oct 12, 2014, 10:07 AM

41. I am a hopeless romantic: I will show up in person at the polls & celebrate democracy

unfortunately I fear we lost the fight against the MIC long ago, and if we struggle the noose will only grow tighter. If I ever have the opportunity to do something more, I will seize it like an attack dog. However, I doubt we will ever get that opportunity with the new style of Invisible Iron Curtain totalitarianism.

If you complain, you get complete denial that the US is anything but the exceptional nation of glorious freedom--not the modern surveillance state of vicious inequality that it is. Who can revolt against an invisible tyrant? Or worse, how to fight tyranny if half of US has made the other half into "the enemy," as I heard a better conservative spit out against John Fugelsang last week on the Stephanie Miller Show.

There can be no justice if we don't organize, and we can't organize with the designed divisiveness we suffer under. Especially with a captive congress interested only in their own careers.

I don't have any control over the mass of deluded right wingers. We know that the lies are kept on the boil by the most successful--and impenetrable-- propaganda program in history. I don't think humanity has learned how to overcome these novel conditions. We must figure something out quickly. The old methods have been checked.

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