Happy Thanksgiving! I am quite looking forward to baking a bird & some fixin’s today, albeit somewhat overwhelmed…
I have the turkey soaking in brine (that has always struck me as such an odd word, brine) which is just water with salt and sugar. Of course there are many variations on the theme, adding herbs and seasonings is always welcome. However I woke up this morning to two sink-fulls of dirty dishes, and it was all I could really muster to fill up my biggest pot with water and add two parts salt to one part sugar. I didn’t actually measure either of them. & then I made a pot of coffee. The pot of coffee is key to a day long exodus of cooking!
So the menu for tonight is; The Bird, stuffing – with chanterelle mushrooms, French Fingerling potatoes, Acorn squash, gravy, and perhaps some green beans for good measure, or color, if needed. I plan to get birdie in the oven around noon, as she (?) will need a good 6 hours to cook. And in the mean-time I have plenty of snow to shovel!
It will just be Dad and I this year, not the first time it’s worked out that way. All the girls are down in the City with Ali, which would have been a ball, but like any good Cinderella, I have many chores to attend to! Which brings me to a whole new topic…I am going to switch gears here and discuss something that has been pretty heavy on my mind for some time now. Politics! Now I am not intending to make a habit of political blogging, but I have been mentally chewing on this idea for some time now. It is multifaceted, but I know there is some simple truth at the heart of it, and I am wondering how it remains so obscure, to so many in this current day…
So let’s talk turkey! (- yep, that was a pun, pardon me…)
I can’t recall if it was here or some other lil’ blog o’ mine, but I am pretty sure that I have complained before of the Republicans, and more recently the Tea Partiers, using Ayn Rand’s philosophies as their mascot, of sorts. Now when Rand’s name is invoked, the most common reaction is to think Capitalism… But it is my belief that her primary focus was a larger framework she called Objectivism. Now, as much as she and I have historically disagreed on the spiritual components of the philosophy, ( I hold that reality does indeed, hinge on consciousness – but from there one can debate what the premise of “consciousness ” truly is – i.e. are we talking about ego, or the sub-conscious? & perhaps more difficultly, might we ponder the possibility of a super-consciousness? & herein lies my inherent love of any & all philosophies, you never really do get the matter pegged, now do you? No philosophy, not even in the greatness of Einstein, has ever, fully defined truth…) I feel that an ideology, based in rationality is a pretty solid way to roll.
“Contradictions do not exist. Whenever you think you are facing a contradiction, check your premises. You will find that one of them is wrong.”
Even as I searched the Google for this exact quote, I came across an article in the Christian Science Monitor, saying that Rand is an unfit role model for the Tea Party, which I think lends my assertion some added credibility that this is simply not a good fit. When your opponent is even in agreement with you, you are probably on to something! – Here it is, if you care…
The case in point here, is that Rand was an elitist, and that is a four letter word among the Tea Party, who may or may not concern themselves with facts, proper spelling, and/or diction. Look, I’m not trying to be a jerk here, I actually esteem certain factions of the movement, and can see their point. People are scared, times are uncertain. Foreclosures are running rampant across the country, and the unemployment rate is hanging stubbornly in the double digits. People do not understand why this is happening, or how to stop it.
I perceive the actual grass-roots movement as a well founded, yet fear based reaction. However, the spine of the movement, and it’s true political applicability, is by and large, funded by true elitists (primarily the Koch brothers). I am going to hit the breaks right there on the political spin, and try to take this back to the simplest premise available. As Hunter S. Thompson liked to call it, “the nut of the thing”.
Tea Partiers and Republicans are both screaming that they want to get the deficit under control, and that they want to put Americans back to work. That is the rhetoric, versus the actual proposed policy, which seems to hinge simply around preserving Bush’s tax cuts, primarily the cuts to the top two percent of our fine country’s financial ranking, in the name of “trickle down economics”. This stale leftover of Regan-era economics simply does not work. In fact if you look back to the Great Depression, when the concept was first conceived, (or rather, called out, by humorist Will Rogers) the policy seems to have only managed to shrink the percentage representing the top-class of Americans over the decades – so that the bulk of us now struggle along in a state of semi-poverty! Awesome!
The fact of the matter is two-fold. One, these cuts will add 700 billion dollars to the federal deficit, over the next ten years. And that is the conservative number, (ABC, Madison Times) where others estimate the damage to be closer to 80 billion a year, or 800 big B’s for the decade (Tampa Bay Online, Center For American Progress). & the second part being, that these top earners aren’t giving anyone a damn job! They haven’t for the last decade, and they aren’t gonna in this coming one either! The rich are just as freaked out as the rest of us sorry saps, and they are hoarding all the wealth in their “coffers” or whatever the heck they use these days, bullion, Swiss accounts, I dunno. I don’t care. I am just saying that what we have here is a bona-fide contradiction!!
So let’s check our premises – conservatives are saying they want jobs and good economics. Their one proposal is that we give more money to the rich, although this approach rationally and historically does not work, ever – to help any of those grass-roots folk and their kin. Someone seems to be getting duped here, & it ain’t the Koch brothers. Meanwhile poor ol’ Ayn is being held up as some sort of monolith to represent the movement, or perhaps a the sacrificial lamb, depending on how you want to look at it. See, the element of her philosophy, that most appealed to me is the concept of the Prime Mover.
It’s not about throwing the rest of the community to the dogs. It is about creating, as big and as bold as you can dare to dream. It is about creating your own reality, and when the rest of the pack wants to pull you down, and take your fucking house, and your health care, and your money – refusing. The right of the individual is at the heart of the American Dream, and no concept has been more maligned, distorted, and perverted throughout this country’s history. I’m just wondering why so many still refuse to see, when this passion play is so clearly and dramatically performed, on center stage…
Yes there is an element of elitism at work here. I think for myself and I don’t take kindly to being lied to. I value myself, as an individual, and know that I can accomplish many good works in this world. On the other hand, when I go to wine tastings, I don’t spit out my taste – ever…& I don’t ski Squaw! (Which, incidentally, just sold, for 50 million! One perk of a shot-to-shit real estate market, is that you can now buy an entire mountain, with village, for dirt cheap!) So depending on how you want to look at it, I am a wannabe, intellectual top-bitch elitist, and on the other, I’m not even in the general vicinity of making enough dough to contend for the title. Pick yer premise.
Alright, well – in closing, I would like to call out one last big brain for the day, Lao-Tzu, who said of a utopian society:
“(To)…nurture the people fairly, authority is not commanding, the legal system is not complicated, education is spiritual. The laws are broad, the punishments are easygoing, the prisons are empty. The whole land has the same mores, and no one harbors treachery at heart. This is the grace of sages.”
Please note that this is the guy who pretty much founded Taoism, so when he calls for education to be spiritual, he certainly isn’t expecting anyone to teach creationism! I think that what we need to do now, is create a market for jobs, and housing (and, or possibly via – infrastructure!). Which is going to require an investment from the government, both in funding, as well as intellectual resources. We do not need to give anymore of our worth over to the rich, simply to appease a fear-based political agenda.
I give thanks today, for this land that I live in, and for it’s people. We are all blessed by God, who has many names, and many forms, some of which even come with a pretty nice set of tiddies. Open your mind, question authority, perceive reality, and be glad!
Now if you’ll excuse me, I have a big bird to bake…