This is a time to celebrate newness: a new moon cycle, a new spiritual cycle, a shift of energy.
Winter Solstice. Image from Indian Country Today.
“Od Yavo Shalom Aleinu / Ve al kulam / Salaam Aleinu
ve al kol ha olam / Salaam”
Sunday, December 21, is Winter Solstice, which you may also call Yule or Yuletide. Lady Moon is new on December 21; a new cycle is beginning. Fix a sprig of holly hear the front door; this invites good fortune for the coming year. Including holly, ivy, and mistletoe in your decorations also invites Nature Sprites to join your celebrating.
The longest night and shortest day of the year, this is a time to celebrate newness: a new moon cycle, a new spiritual cycle, a shift of energy, a welcome to more daylight time. This is a fire festival. Yule signifies the return of Lord Sun and fire reinforces his growth. Burn candles, have a Yule Log, cook over open flames outdoors, whatever is easiest for you to do to incorporate fire energy into your celebrations.
The embargo is going to be hollowed out from within, with American tourist and investment dollars permitted to flow.
Cubans celebrate. Image from AP.
No one in the mainstream media will acknowledge it, but the normalization of American relations with Havana, symbolized by release of prisoners today, is a huge success for the Cuban Revolution.
The hostile U.S. policy, euphemistically known as “regime change,” has been thwarted. The Cuban Communist Party is confidently in power. The Castros have navigated through all the challenges of the years. In Latin America and the United Nations, Cuba is accepted, and the United States is isolated.
It is quite legitimate for American progressives to criticize various flaws and failures of the Cuban Revolution. But the media and the right are overflowing with such commentary. Only the left can recall, narrate, and applaud the long resistance of tiny Cuba to the northern Goliath.
By noon Jesse and I were on the road, rolling west toward Durango, Colorado, to visit my ex-pro-football-playing friend David Meggyesy.
Truck and Arrow at Cedar Crest, Colorado, 1979. Photos by Michael James from his forthcoming book, Michael Gaylord James’ Pictures from the Long Haul.
[In this series, Michael James is sharing images from his rich past, accompanied by reflections about — and inspired by — those images. These photos will be included in his forthcoming book, Michael Gaylord James’ Pictures from the Long Haul.]
It’s late summer 1979; I’m on the road with Jesse James. He’s my first-born. Born into the organization and newspaper Rising Up Angry, his mom Stormy and I named him Jesse Hampton Nathanial William Floyd Robin James, after social bandits, insurrectionists, radicals, and revolutionaries. When we set out on our adventure, Jesse was nine and I was 37.
Posted in RagBlog
Tagged Coin, David Meggyesy, Durango, Jesse James, Mark Twain, Memoir, Michael James, nostalgia, Pictures from the Long Haul, Rag Bloggers, Rising Up Angry, Travel
Sluggish economy, drug cartel crime, controversial reforms, student murders and ensuing mass demonstrations mark Peña Nieto’s presidency.
Mexico’s Enrigue Peña Nieto: A troubled presidency. Reuters photo.
Philip Russell will discuss the state of Mexico and the Peña Nieto presidency on Rag Radio, Friday, Dec. 12, 2-3 p.m. (CT), on KOOP 91.7-FM in Austin and streamed live here. Joining Russell on the show will be Rag Blog Mexico City correspondent Johnny Hazard, who has been covering the demonstrations in Mexico.
Mexico’s president, Enrique Peña Nieto, took office in December 2012 after receiving 38 percent of the vote in a media-driven, copiously funded, one-round election. Media hype spilled over from sympathetic Mexican TV networks to the international press. The Economist coined the phrase “Mexico’s Moment,” declaring that Mexico’s time had come.
Posted in RagBlog
Tagged Drug Cartels, Educational Reform, Enrique Peña Nieto, Mexican Economy, Mexican Massacre, Mexican Politics, Mexican Student Movement, Mexico, Mexico City, Pemex, Philip L. Russell, Rag Bloggers
If Klein is half-right, most Democrats may choose climate justice over their irrational ties to corporate and confederate Democrats.
Naomi Klein doesn’t say much about California in her brilliant must-read, This Changes Everything, Capitalism vs. The Climate. Yet California may be the place which indeed “changes everything,” assuming that such a utopian goal is even possible. At the very least California is the laboratory of the solar, renewables, and conservation r/evolution of the last few decades, for better and for worse.
Klein’s book is a great correction to the recent drift of environmentalism — she calls it market environmentalism — but perhaps another correction is needed soon, given the California experience.
‘High Times’ has always had to walk a fine line because the cultivation, distribution, and sale of marijuana has been and still is illegal by federal law.
High Times: 40 years and still… smoking.
The High Times 40th-anniversary party took place at 95 Delancey Street in New York on the next-to-the last Thursday in October. I went because I’ve written for High Times since the early 1980s, under my own name and under an alias, too, including Joe Delicado. HT also published my paperback book, Marijuanaland: Dispatches from an American War, which might be called gonzo reporting in the tradition of Hunter S. Thompson, though I don’t claim to be anywhere near as good as Thompson.
By coincidence I was in New York at the same time as the party and close by, too; 95 Delancey was a 10-minute walk from the apartment where I was staying and where I’d smoked a pipe or two of New York State weed. To get into the party you had to be on the list.
Michael Kitchen is an unflappable British top cop who solves wartime crimes and post-war
Michael Kitchen is Chief Superintendent Foyle.
[In his weekly column, Alan Waldman reviews some of his favorite films and TV series that readers may have missed, including TV dramas, mysteries, and comedies from Canada, England, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand and Scotland. Most are available on DVD and/or Netflix, and some episodes are on YouTube.]
Set in the South English coastal town of Hastings during World War II, and in London shortly thereafter, Foyle’s War is a compelling crime drama that follows police inspector Christopher Foyle and his team as they solve a range of military and civilian crimes.
President Peña Nieto has decried incidents of inconsequential or fabricated violence by
protesters without mentioning government-perpetrated atrocities.
Graphic from La Pinche Canela / Tumblr.
“We have been tolerant — excessively tolerant, according to some critics. But everything has its limit.”
— then-president Gustavo Díaz Ordaz, one month before orchestrating the massacre of October 2, 1968
“We have worked through dialogue, but this too has its point of tolerance, and that is when the rights of others are affected.”
— Miguel Ángel Osorio Chong, lead cabinet official,
November 14, 2014
MEXICO CITY — The drama of the police murder of six students and others in Iguala, Mexico, the disappearance of 43 education students and the subsequent cover-up at all levels of government continues.
The federal government’s attempt to provoke a catharsis and an end to the controversy by releasing certain (unverified) details of the atrocity has not had the desired effect. The Friday afternoon (November 7, 2014) release, timed so that people would just go on with their weekend, didn’t work, either; supporters of the students in Guerrero responded by setting fire to the headquarters of various political parties and government agencies.
Posted in RagBlog
Tagged El Buen Fin, Enrique Peña Nieto, Guerrero, Instituto Politecnico Nacional, Johnny Hazard, José Luis Abarca, Mexican History, Mexican Massacre, Mexican Student Movement, Mexico, Mexico City, Official Oppression, Paro Nacional, Rag Bloggers
We’re talking really dangerous dumb decisions that continue to make me humble.
And then there’s this…
I’m talking here about seriously dumb decisions, not those minor regrets like that time in 1970 when Esquire magazine assigned me to fly to New Mexico where director Monte Hellman was filming Two-Lane Blacktop, about street-racing. Among the actors was a pair of musicians, James Taylor as a driver, and Dennis Wilson as a mechanic. They both agreed to be interviewed, besides screenwriter Rudy Wurlitzer and others.
During a conversation with Taylor about not laughing at jokes, he said, “My brother once told me a joke that made me laugh.”
Posted in RagBlog
Tagged Andrew Breitbart, Dental Care, Humor, Jan Kerouac, Magic Mushrooms, Paul Krassner, Police Brutality, Rag Bloggers, Saint Stupid's Day, Satire, White Night Riots