Friday, December 14, 2012

It's time to take some of the guns out of their hands--cold and dead or otherwise

President Obama:

If your heart is broken, and I do not doubt that it is, confront the National Rifle Association, the gun lobby, and congressional Republicans, and dare to demand new and tough gun control legislation immediately.

Another story of a mass shooting in the United States hits the news almost daily.  This cannot be allowed to continue.  Something must be done. You are in a unique position to do it.

You are in your second term and do not have to run for reelection.  Call for bipartisan support for sweeping new handgun and assault rifle bans.  Begin there.

Of course the NRA will demonize you.  They already do and you have never approached the gun control issue.  But do not permit the NRA to cower you.  You know what is needed and you know what is morally right.

Push for enactment of gun control laws that will curb gun ownership in the United States of America.  There is no other solution.  There are too many guns on the street and in the homes of Americans.  Period.

Call for legislation to be enacted in memory of the happy faced and innocent little children who died in Connecticut today at the hands of some mentally deranged nut with access to handguns.

D. Grant Haynes

Friday, December 7, 2012

Australian shock jock radio prank unforgivable

Several observations from my perspective about the unfortunate prank call from Australian shock jocks that apparently led to the suicide of a British nurse.  (See news story at URL above.)

(1) Characterize me as "dour" or humorless, but I never found any practical joke to be remotely amusing.

(2) Shock jock radio programs in which DJ's make prank calls representing others should be against the law in any society.

(3) Only in Great Britain would a loyal subject of the Crown be so mortified for being the unwitting victim of this dumb, stupid, and not at all amusing practical joke as to have taken her life in the aftermath. I don't think any American would have been that upset. Perhaps the nurse's ethnicity caused her to feel greater humiliation than would have an Anglo nurse in Great Britain. Bless her heart. She had done nothing wrong and certainly nothing warranting suicide. The British are too much in awe (a "favourite" expression of theirs) of their Royal Family. Members of that family put their pants on one leg at a time too.

(4) The guilty parties in this matter are the two young Australian radio personalities involved and the managers of their station that established an atmosphere condoning such a prank as entertaining or amusing.  It was neither.
D. Grant Haynes

Friday, September 28, 2012

Transcendental stirrings shore this writer up; beckon him onward

(In the final chapter of my 2007 book, The Neocon Aberration, I take liberties and go far afield by exploring briefly my spiritual belief system. While a critic might justifiably point out that this material belongs in a different book, I wished to end my often caustic political commentary on a slightly positive note by pointing out that, ultimately, all will be well in my opinion and according to my spiritual credo. -- D. Grant Haynes)

Our birth is but a sleep and a forgetting:
The Soul that rises with us, our life's Star,
Hath had elsewhere its setting,
And cometh from afar. -- William Wordsworth

Chapter 11

A divergence...

What follows represents a radically divergent facet of my belief system and thinking--certainly a change of pace from anything presented in this work previously.

My belief in the transcendental nature of existence--of the eternality of the soul and of the essential impermanence of all Earth life experiences--provides me solace and a welcome refuge from the storm occasionally.

An interest in the metaphysical and esoteric is long-standing in me. I was reared in such a tradition. For this priceless gift, I pay homage to my parents--humble people who dared to be different in an American Bible Belt community.

I have not always lived up to their or my highest ideals, but I’ve always maintained some tenuous connection to my roots and to an alternative view of reality--one that has deepened as I have sought to mold and embrace it--make it my own--in my maturity.

I believe that we as humans are more--much more--than frail physical organisms sentenced to toil for a brief span in an imperfect realm characterized by war, disease, disaster and mayhem, only thereafter to face extinction of individuality or, alternatively, timeless residency in an environment popularly imagined as heaven or hell.

Rather, I see us as wayfarers on a journey, the goal of which is attainment of a more perfect state of consciousness (i.e., life) as the dross of materialism with its inherent sense of separation from the source of all good is cast aside through lessons learned along the way.

So, a thoughtful reader may at this point ponder, why have I as a writer and thinker permitted myself to be drawn so deeply into the endless rounds of hypocrisy, machinations, lies, brutality, cruelty, genocidal wars and rumors of wars that have characterized American politics for the last decade?

If I am a transcendentalist, why didn’t I simply sit in the lotus position, om, and deny the reality of it all?

In answer to this valid question, I can only offer that my inclination has been to utilize my only talent of note at this time--an ability to write--to expose the injustices that are rampant in the energy system that largely constitutes my reality as I pass through it.

I trust that my efforts have not been entirely in vain--that I may have touched a few consciousnesses and altered a few outcomes through my writings, samples of which have been presented in this book.

I remain buoyantly hopeful that I can continue the good fight for that which is aligned most closely with the Light, as I am given to perceive the Light, in whatever situations and circumstances future venues may afford me.

D. Grant Haynes
May 2007

Above, the abandoned nymphal shell of a Cicada that emerged from years in the soil to transmute into a winged iridescent creature should serve as an object lesson for us all. Life is eternal and soul ultimately transcends the outgrown shells of its temporary expression. Emerson said, "Nothing is dead. Men feign themselves dead, and endure mock funerals and mournful obituaries, and there they stand looking out the window, sound and well, in some new and strange disguise." (Photo by D. Grant Haynes)

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Let them eat cake for that toothache

I have been both annoyed and amused by two dentistry ads appearing on the right side of my Facebook page recently. Those writing the ad copy are clueless about the reality of being poor in America.
The focus of one group's ad is that if you are avoiding the dentist because you are afraid of pain, they can help.
Excuse me, "let them eat cake" blind, deaf, and dumb private medical practitioner sycophants and toadies.
I do not avoid a dentist because I fear pain.  I avoid them because I cannot pay for their services and my nation will not help me pay for them, even in my maturity.

The other group is hawking dental implants.  They blithely write of their services costing from $500 to $40,000.  And they have an easy payment plan for you if you need it.  The only hitch is, the balance must be paid in six months.  Let's see ... $40,000 divided by 6 comes out to $6666 a month.
Gee, that's a bit more than my monthly income!

The point is, of course, that persons on modest retirement incomes who lack private insurance (because the monthly premium would be prohibitively high) are written off, abandoned, and not taken into consideration whatsoever in this nation of greed-ridden and selfish capitalists, many of whom pray and sing and cry each Sunday about Jesus' love for the blind, the halt, and the poor.

Jesus aside, either you made it in the USA playing the game in the manner prescribed, or you are hell out of luck at the upper end of your sojourn here.

Universal single payer health care should be a right of every citizen of this nation.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

The trouble with Prince Harry

Great Britain's Prince Harry has made worldwide headlines after multiple photos surfaced of him cavorting with Las Vegas showgirls while nude and, one can assume, drunk.  Prince Harry, now 27, has been making such headlines regularly since a teen.

The trouble with Prince Harry of Great Britain is the selfsame trouble often present in those possessed of excessive wealth, privilege and entitlement throughout human society, but most especially in the capitalist West.

Whether a manipulative Wall Street baron who drew down millions annually while dishonestly inflating a housing bubble that finally burst, destroying the dreams of millions of Americans, or Britain's young Prince Harry showing his drunken and disorderly arse (literally) in a Las Vegas hotel, these people feel their entitlement allows them to play by a differing set of rules than the rest of us.

What this world needs is a thoroughgoing socialist revolution in which wealth and privilege are leveled by as drastic measures as are necessary to achieve the goal of eliminating egregious cases of excess from the human scene.

The British royal family, a constitutional monarchy that serves no useful purpose beyond pageantry anyway, should be eliminated. Their vast holdings of real estate and other wealth, as well as their excessive entitlements, should be distributed amongst their long-suffering subjects.

The world of the 21st Century has no place for kings and queens and other societal leeches whose only charge is to party hardy when young and open parliament with boring prepared speeches when old.

Monday, February 20, 2012

HyFliers didn't cost $15

Well, I bought a kite today. I am hoping this bold action on my part will dissuade the seemingly endless rain from continuing to fall.

My last kite purchase before today's was probably in 1952 or 1953--certainly before I learned about girls and being cool in the late 1950's.

Kites of my Columbus, Georgia, childhood were made of tissue paper, string, and delicate wooden sticks. They were always... priced under $1 and a ball of cotton twine for lofting the kite would never have been more than another 50 cents.

By contrast, my parafoil kite purchased today is made of parachute nylon, has no sticks at all, and was a real bargain at $15! There were kites in that store for more than $100. I got off lightly.

But back to Columbus, Georgia, and 1953.

I bought many of my kites back then--always HyFlier quadrilaterals--(didn't think I knew such words, huh!) at F.W. Woolworth downtown, or at the Witt ten cents store (no, not five and dime!) on Wynnton Road across from Wynnton School.

Those kites of yesteryear had a high mortality rate in Middle Georgia. Firstly, there were trees everywhere and one's pride and joy--festooned with a tail from one of your mama's discarded bed sheets--often became snagged in the gnarly branches of an oak or sweetgum tree before achieving the ether or upon descending from it.

And then there were the problems of frequent rain, high humidity, and few windy days.

One could run up and down the drive all afternoon, but when the running stopped, that kite would settle gently back to the ground with the alternating motion of a falling leaf if there was no wind. March was kite month in Georgia because the likelihood of sustained wind and fair weather often came in late winter or early spring there.

Still and all, we did get kites up and had great fun, sending messages up the string and imagining the kite was in the stratosphere, at least.

Nothing in the world is as it was in 1953 for anyone, of course. Especially not for me in my role as a retired kite enthusiast living on a beach in the Pacific Northwest.

My $15 toy will encounter no trees of consequence anywhere close to the beach here. Nor will ever-present coastal humidity be a problem, since the kite in constructed of nylon.

And my kite will always encounter a breeze on the beach here at Long Beach, Washington. I’m counting on that breeze because I couldn’t run up and down anybody’s drive now to get a kite off the ground if my life depended on it!

I'll make a video of my first kite-flying session in more than 50 years some sunny afternoon soon--one when the rain has stopped and the temperature has risen above 50 degrees.

We might have to wait a while yet.

D. Grant Haynes