I became insane with long intervals of horrible sanity.
Edgar Allen Poe

The trouble with fighting for human freedom is that one spends most of one's time defending scoundrels. For it is against scoundrels that oppressive laws are first aimed, and oppression must be stopped at the beginning if it is to be stopped at all.
- H. L. Mencken

Many people would sooner die than think; In fact, they do so
-Bertrand Russell

What I have been telling you, from alpha to omega, what is the one great thing the sigil taught me — that everything in life is miraculous. For the sigil taught me that it rests within the power of each of us to awaken at will from a dragging nightmare of life made up of unimportant tasks and tedious useless little habits, to see life as it really is, and to rejoice in its exquisite wonderfulness. If the sigil were proved to be the top of a tomato-can, it would not alter that big fact, nor my fixed faith. No Harrowby, the common names we call things by do not matter — except to show how very dull we are ...
-James Branch Cabell

July 04, 2012 - 11:16 a.m.

Thank you Tom, Ben, John, Robert, and Roger

Welcome to the Independence Day edition of Wise Madness. Let's see if I can remember and fit in everything I want.

I of course did not get off to the fast start I wanted to yesterday and did not accomplish everything I planned. I have still not gotten to school or Bed, Bath, & Beyond. I did get over one psychological hump, I did my laundry for the first time since I got my apartment; thats over a month. I live on the fourth floor of a walk up, don't have a laundry in the building, and don't have a cart. I found that intimidating but of course the longer I went the more difficult it became. What I finally did was fill up my nylon laundry bag and dragged it to the Laundromat. Good thing they have one giant machine that could fit it all. I had so much I didn't bother to sort the whites from the rest. I'll do that next time. I was worried about how I'd get it back. Dragging the bag wasn't easy. I tried to buy a cart but they don't sell them at Target or Marshall's. Then I got inspired. I went home and got my big suitcase and my one piece of bungee cord. When the laundry was finished I put half in the suitcase and half in the bag. I then put the bag on the suitcase along the handle for pulling it and secured it with the bungee cord. That got it home easily and I carried up stairs in two trips. Unfortunately I didn't have time to fold everything and put them away so I just dumped everything on my bed where at least they weren't packed under pressure.

Then I was off to the meeting of the Christopher Street Coffee House booking committee. It has four members and two couldn't make it. It ended up being just Mark the Pastor of the church and me so we had a short meeting. But we got some things accomplished. I have actually booked one act for next season and are negotiating another that will be something of a project. I can't talk about it but I'm very excited. If we pull it off I'll be so proud of myself that my hand print will be permanently embedded in my back. If not I'll crawl back to my cave with Puff.

The meeting was short and I headed straight back to Brooklyn so I could make dinner. I stopped for food first. Of course I forgot my shopping bags. I started using the cloth bags to be green, now I do it because it's so much easier to carry things in them. I can put them over my shoulder. My fingers were sore when I got home.

I made Cajun chicken for the first time since I moved. I'm getting back in the swing of things. I couldn't find the jerk seasoning at Pathmark. That might be a good thing. Now I'm motivated to go to the Jamaican neighborhood one subway stop away and get the good stuff.

And now on to writing about the Fourth of July; Every year, if I'm home, I read the Declaration of Independence. It's amazing how most years it will stimulate new lines of thought. Often it is how the ideals expressed in it are not being followed. For much of this millennium I concentrated on the abuses of wartime powers. I speaks of so many wrongs done by the Bush Administration and some continued or at least not condemned by Obama. Certainly people haven't been punished for them.

This year I'm struck by what abuses committed by the Republicans in congress and state governments. I know I linked to it on Facebook already but if you haven't read it today go read the Declaration with that in mind. Follow the link: Declaration of Independence

Here is what leaps out at me.

  • He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.
  • He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.
  • He has obstructed the Administration of Justice, by refusing his Assent to Laws for
    establishing Judiciary powers.
  • He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries. (judicial recall)

Here are the abuses of war powers.

  • He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil power.
  • For depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of Trial by Jury: (Obama is continuing this)
  • For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences (extraordinary rendition)
  • For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies: (Guantanamo)

Don't despair when reading that. The Declaration is a list of ideals. It's hard to live up to ideals. We can never live up to all of them, we are people, not gods. The measure is not if we err but if we work on improving. We have to that as individuals and then urge the country to do it as a nation. To be apathetic or to say that things can't change is to be part of the problem. Those acting out of fear or greed are motivated. We need to be motivated too. The Revolution is over but the evolution never ends.

I'm off today to Madison Square Park with Chris, Seth, and their friends to hear Noam Pikelny and Friends (one is my friend too, Aoife O'Donovan), The Sweetback Sisters, and Spuyten Duyvil.

Here's an irony, we so often celebrate Independence day by not being independent but by sharing with our friends.

Brother Brothers in Arms - October 01, 2017
Late to Bed and Late to Rise - September 30, 2017
On Your Feet or On Your Knees - September 29, 2017
Why Life Doesn't End on Closing Day - September 28, 2017
Anna and King of I Am - September 27, 2017

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Horvendile July 04, 2012
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