Saturday, January 26, 2008

It’s time for Congress to bring impeachment charges

The list of impeachable offenses that long ago should have summoned Congress to uphold its responsibilities and bring charges in the House continues to grow.

Some suggest the answer to the insults to the Constitution is silence — because the end is near. They may get their wish when the last nail is driven into a Bill of Rights that no longer protects any American.

Is it inconvenient that this particular hot potato would drop in their timorous laps? We must ask, when is the best time to begin to correct the course of the ship of state and bring to trial the outlaws currently hiding out in an undisclosed location in the executive office.

Again and again, they lie, obstruct, break the law (national and international), and violate the United Nations’ human rights and Geneva Conventions, as well as the bedrock principle of western civilization, habeas corpus. Refusing to answer lawful subpoenas, politicizing the Justice Department, spying on Americans and violating the limited constraints of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. Then there is torture and secret prisons — no charges filed, and no attorneys for Americans or foreign nationals.

Timing and scheduling are not the issue; the Constitution is at risk. If President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney have forgotten that they have sworn to protect the Constitution, then it is up to Congress and the courts — the other coequal branches of the American government — to remind them this is a nation of laws, not of men.

While some might argue the timing is not ideal, what’s the ideal time to protect the Constitution? Simply, when it needs protecting. We cannot let ourselves off the hook with arguments that this isn’t the best time to protect our civil liberties.

Was frostbitten Valley Forge an appropriate time to defend American rights? Why isn’t today the right time? 

Richard W. Spisak Jr.

Hobe Sound

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

A Response: How does one justify funding the arts and humanities?

How does one justify funding the arts and humanities? a response

When all the materialists have bought their last trinket. And the social engineered have modeled their last data set. They will begin to wonder, as humans have when after feasting on mammoth, they leaned back and stared at the fire. Why are we here? Is this the sum today of life? And they will day-dream. And they will see visions.

When the dreamers imagine some solution, or their brain phantasms bring them some new insight (carbon rings) and they bring it back from dreamland, this is the stuff of the Humanities. When we are intoxicated by a poem, or a song get's stuck in our heads, and we are lifted to inspired heights to bridge the apparent gap between these silly skin bags
we seem to inhabit. These interior vistas are the stuff of the Humanities. When we read Homer's tales of Ulysses, Hector and Achilles and the fall of Troy are hearts not inspired? When you listen to John Coltrane's "Love Supreme" are you not lifted up?

When inspired by the view of some smile, some sparkling eye, we reach out with a metaphor, with a poem, with a rhapsodic and felicitous phrase. That enticement that reaches out across the miles or inches, that too is enriched by Humanism. When you took your love to the movies, quoted that song, or paraphrased that poet' to win your love, and later you brought babies and homes into the world, Can you say yet your world wasn't build on poetry and the arts?

If you have never been touched by a melody of Mozart or the poetry of John Lennon your heart not your hard drive needs nourishing. When you praise the universe of technology, did you fail to notice that there is MUSIC on your IPOD. There are story-tellers filling the HIGH-TECH Blue Ray DVDs. Technology is a delivery system, but the content is what even the tired materialists turn to when the long days toils are done. Whether you have been slaving over a spreadsheet, or coding in c# or designing tools of mass destruction.

The poetry of the Bible, the Koran, the Torah, the Upanishads, the very foundations of the belief systems of millions of materialists are enriched by the dreamers, the poets and storytellers. Even androids dream of electric sheep.

RW Spisak Jr.
poet, artist, storyteller