Friday, September 25, 2009

Our Final Evolutionary Exam

What follows here is a text composed of reconstructed reading notes culled from a recent notebook. I noticed that the way they happened to fall together seemed to provide a set of provocative test questions as to whether or not the human race is likely to survive. I would suggest that people reading the questions answer them (giving a single point to each "yes" and to each "no"). Then add up each of the two separate scores, and report the final verdict back to Virgil.

A time of troubles and crisis points can make or break a civilization. At this juncture in history, our major crises--climate change, economic breakdown, and terrorism--can't be managed alone. They are systemic threats that demand global resolutions. Our success will be measured not by money or power, but by resilience: the ability to change and adapt. The line between our personal lives and the world has become ever more permeable. We are in a profound crisis that is going to demand radical changes, and require engagement, action, and personal responsibility. And the outcome is uncertain. Conformity to old ideas is now lethal; only radical rebellion can change the planet when everything that we cherish is under threat. Two hundred years of growth economy has destroyed the "steady state" of the ecosphere. Will we continue to recklessly pillage and not listen to our own warnings?

Democracies have often gone to war with totalitarian states, but never with each other. But is democracy in the U.S. now at war with itself? Democrats always break their word, and Republicans lie to begin with--but they stick to that lie and thus seem more honest. Are compromises crippling? Is compromise beyond a certain point a deal-breaker? Are the balance of forces biased against significant reform?

The essential skill of the next fifty years will be crisis management in an age of limited resources and instability, uncertainty, and unpredictability. These are the ideas on which we must base our policies if we are going to match conditions in the world around us. The qualities needed will be preparedness, readiness, alertness, vigilance, and the ability to teach ourselves to see differently. Do we have these qualities and are we likely to use them?

Can art help? In our compromised world, can art still be a catalyst for change? The economic boom times are over, and capitalism is flat on its face. But art is still trapped in the "dead objects" paradigm: "Damien Hirst's pickled shark nets $17 million in art auction." Changing our ways is proving difficult for mankind. Given the intensity of economic and environmental collapse, can art do anything in this, Barack Obama's, new "age of responsibility" to make itself more relevant? Certainly the path out of the crisis cannot be a return to the status quo. Or can it? The problem is that we do not look at the consequences of our acts until it is too late to deal with them. Will this ever change?

Is the human race a flawed species? Is the human race doomed? Is it fit to survive? Will our proclivities toward greed and fear do us in? Is there still any possibility left for not heading off into utter disaster? Can that "Green New Deal" for the twenty-first century save us, or will the credit crunch, the oil crunch, and the climate crunch lead to collapse? Does humanity have the will to reverse the damage it has done to the world--and is that damage even reversible any more?

Buckminster Fuller: "We are facing our final evolutionary exam."
Ronald Reagan (in 1981): "A trillion dollars would be a stack of thousand-dollar bills 67 miles high."
Norman Mailer (in a letter to his wife, Beatrice, August 8, 1945): "Really, Darling, the vista is horrifying...I believe that to survive the world, cities of tomorrow will be built a mile beneath the earth."
Morris Berman: "I am no longer convinced that the institution of some new paradigm can really save us."
God: "Please don't ask me to come down there."

Applying the American model of freedom and democracy to other cultures and religions outside America has very real limitations. To think otherwise is politically reckless. Anti-Western Islamism has only grown stronger because of our occupation of those lands. We have failed to win in these countries, and we will go on failing to win. Sending more Americans to die will not change that painful reality. Occupations are inherently humiliating. People prefer to run their own affairs. Keeping our troops in Muslim countries is the problem, not the solution. Our motives for being there are seen as suspect and predominantly imperialistic. Would it be better to spend less time on manipulating the world and more on appreciating it?

True or false? Science makes progress, humanity does not.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Weimar Moments (3): White Supremacy Is Out of the Closet!

There was something really strange in the air last week. Former President Jimmy Carter took to the air waves and denounced the vitriolic attacks being launched in President Obama's direction, declaring them mostly driven by racist feelings that an African-American should not be in the White House. Asked about his reaction to Carter's statement, Obama refuted it, saying he did not agree that this is what is motivating people. What is prompting so much unrest, Obama suggested calmly, is a historic, age-old disagreement about the proper size and role of government in people's lives. It's to be expected, he said. It's always been the case, especially over health care. Well, maybe.

But I was mystified, all the same. Not racism? I was feeling like a bit actor in the middle of a movie called "A Perceptual War of the Worlds," spitting against the Waste Land's implacable wind. My mind kept racing back to that memorable moment in August when Barney Frank said to a woman at a health care rally who was screaming in his face about Obama being a Nazi: "What planet are you living on, Madame?"

Hasn't he seen those placards? Is the President sleeping with the enemy? Or maybe a victim of Stockholm Syndrome? I love this man. As do most of the folks I know. I/we want to make sense out of everything he does. But denying the blatant racism? Will he be denying the Holocaust next? Everyone I know is on the edge of their seats about the extremeness of the racial hatred and threats towards Obama now rearing their ugly head:

"I just read your latest blog and printed it out for James," writes my long-time friend, artist, and activist, Margot McLean. She is married to James Hillman (post-Jungian, archetypal psychologist and writer). "Jimmy Carter, who seems to be the only one who is willing to tell it how it is, is absolutely right. It is about racism. It's as clear as black and white...The most frightening thing to me is that everyone seems to want to "move on" about race in this country, but we haven't even entered into facing it yet. How can we move on? As James has said more than once 'Americans always want to move on. It's our psychopathy--ignoring the past. No remorse. No learning.'..James also said when I showed him the protest sign on your latest blog "That's great. At least we can see it. It's much worse when it's hidden."

I slowly began to understand the President's weird response to all the irrefutable race-baiting after reading this cogent commentary by Ta-Nihisi Coates (who happens to be a black man as well), a regular blogger on

"Barack Obama, bourgeois in every way that bourgeois is right and just, will not dance. He tells kids to study--and they seethe. He accepts an apology for an immature act of rudeness--and they go hysterical. He takes his wife out for a date--and their veins bulge. His humanity, his ordinary blackness, is killing them. Dig the audio of his response to Kanye West--the way he says, "He's a jackass." He sounds like one of my brothers. And that's the point, because that's what he is. Barack Obama refuses to be their nigger. And it's driving them crazy."

That's it! I thought. I finally got it. Obama isn't dancing. He refuses to be "their nigger." Wow! This became even more clear on the Sunday talk shows when he was being interviewed. Obama does not intend to let the race-baiters--or the media--pre-empt the conversation about health care and turn it into one about race, or for that matter, about him. Like I've said many times already on this blog, this man's greatest teaching to our species is HOW NOT TO TAKE THE BAIT.

No sooner had I written this, then James Hillman, ever the maverick, e-mailed me his comments. I add them here with gusto:

Dear Suzi,
Mocking the upsurge of the "crazies" and exaggerating their sudden danger to res publica is altogether the wrong move. Exult! Show them off! Don't you see: white supremacy is fully out of the closet. They parade in the nation's capital, announcing their ideas on placards, their hidden hatred and fear and desperation in full view—no longer hidden behind small town sherifs and good old boys at Shriner's conventions and local Lion's clubs of business men, their confederates who murder in the dark and on the sly, burn churches in Mississippi, and drag gays to an ugly death. And, don't forget they do have a grievance: our system has always abused the ignorant and the poor. All their beliefs have capsized: the shibboleths of church honesty, the ideas of free market and equal chance to fulfill the American dream, the loyal breadwinner husband and the faithful wife. It crumbled and they know it; they just don't yet get who's really at fault. They still haven't seen through the hypocrisy of carpetbagging, freebooting capitalism that has been strangling their honest impulses ever since Nixon and Reagan and their cynical cohorts turned them into Republicans, and their religion offered salvation only in another world.

I expect there is a good case to be made that "sunshine is the best disinfectant!" But where is all this headed?

"I think we have two countries," writes my friend Bill Rutherfoord. Certainly that seems to be more and more the case, but surely it is an alarming prospect. How will it end? The closest thing I've found to a meaningful answer comes from an anonymous commenter on the Huffington Post:

"Everyone I know agrees, Obama's problem is his race. The Regressives ain't even trying to cover it up. Obama's biggest endeavor probably won't be health care or the wars. It's going to be leading our country through a cultural change, which will end up either isolating the bigots and their leaders or, the bigots will win--and the Republicans will continue to ruin our country."

Anyone care to place a bet?

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Weimar Moments 2: "Obama Derangement Syndrome"

We delude ourselves in this country if we think we're in the middle of a really nasty debate over health care. What is really happening is some sort of freak phenomenon that somebody has rightly called "Obama Derangement Syndrome." When, inevitably, we find ourselves looking back over all the unsavory events of this frenzied summer of 2009, I think Joe Wilson's disruptive "Liar!" moment will be recognized as the tipping point when (as Frank Rich put it so aptly in last Sunday's New York Times), "the inmates took over the asylum."

Catalyzed by hate, a Republican member of the Senate unexpectedly gives his secret audience an official "thumbs-up"--which declares that it is perfectly acceptable not only to derail the President, but also, by his own dramatic example, to show disrespect to the U.S. government and its institutions. This "liar!" moment was hardly the "spontaneous" welling-up of anger Wilson later proclaimed it to be. It was timed and aimed precisely as the words "undocumented immigrants" passed through the President's lips. And it signaled to all the growing "patriot" brigades out there--those groups whose vision of America is of an exclusively white, Christian country and who protest because "We want our country back!"--that the time has come for concerted, vehement action. The very next day, ordinary people took to the streets in Washington D.C., holding up signs that said "Liar! Liar! Liar! Liar!" affixed to pictures of President Obama. And, believe me, this was only the half of it.

Vicious invectives like these are being attached to political blogs everywhere:

"Nobody is afraid of the CIRCUS CLOWN Community Organizer."
"You're stupid if you take this BIG EARED AFRICAN FREAK seriously."
"Nobody. His stupid smile and his coa-coa skin just doesn't cause UTOPIA anymore."

Such slurs, resounding not just over the Internet but across Cable news and right-wing talk radio as well, are like an apocalyptic plague of locusts descending down upon the human race. They fill one with a tactile sensation of horror: an aspect of so-called "enlightened" society that has gone defiantly feral. And they are not going away any time soon.

The day after reading my previous blog (number one in an ongoing series of "Weimar Moments," which states that "socialist" is the new code word for "nigger"), my friend Jane wrote me:

"Last night I painted late into the wee hours, and I found an Atlanta radio station with Michael Savage, the late-night Rush Limbaugh. "Socialist" was the most composed word he used. He insinuated that Obama would soon gather up the Republican opposition into camps where they wouldn't be heard from again (genocidal maniac) and that he would dilute our national masculinity until, as he put it, we would all soon be "on all fours," praying to Allah...."

"I am hoping that the fearful brains of the furious men and women who see my President as a chimpanzee do not blow too hard with their blind force," she continued. "I am hoping that they do not flatten our landscape. But at the moment it feels like they are huffing and puffing at The White House (literally, protesters all but foaming in D.C. right now, castigating illegal immigrants, pro-choice supporters, gays, blacks, communists, socialists, Muslim sympathizers, god knows what other offenders). My painting is of a languid reclining Buddha with a turbulent indigo river swollen and racing behind him, and a downpour of rain and candy splashing against him. He seems to be enjoying the Candied Monsoon. Nowhere even in the background can you see those D.C. protesters in my painting. They have not gotten as far as this riverbank. They are never going to find some places."

Oh, how I wish my friend Jane was right! As far as I can tell, they are already massing in droves, quite near the riverbank. I've just finished reading the recently published "Intelligence Report" from the Southern Poverty Law Center, whose research indicates a radical resurgence of Klu Klux Klan and white nationalism movements. These groups are composed variously of neo-Nazis, white supremacists, teabaggers, tax protesters, Holocaust deniers, Oathkeepers, "birthers" (who question the legitimacy of Obama's citizenship), Swiftboaters, Survivalists, "Sovereign Citizens" (who declare themselves outside the jurisdiction of the police and the courts), and anti-government "Patriots" (who believe the Feds have set up 1000 internment camps and are storing 30,000 guillotines and caskets for when the government finally declares martial law and moves in on dissenters). Many of them are now banding together via the Internet and forming coalitions. These groups are well-funded and well-organized, and their goal is to push our entire society into a ditch and start a race war.

After their disappearance from public view for nearly a decade, there has been a huge and worrying uptick in these outlaw militia organizations and their propaganda, creating a milieu "where violence is a likely outcome," the report states. On the Oathkeepers' website, for instance, you will find the declaration "We will not fear our government. They will fear us." And should you feel inspired by this, you can purchase a tee-shirt with their logo: "I'm a Right Wing Extremist and Damn Proud of It." (Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!)

Meanwhile, I seem to have acquired a new blogging companion-in-arms in cyberspace, one Tom Degan. Please dont fail to check out his website, "The Rant," at I am now going to give the steering wheel over to Tom, and let words from his most recent blog finish this post and drive it home:

"The extreme right wing is at the moment having a collective, massive nervous breakdown. They just refuse to accept the nasty little fact that a black guy is now the most powerful human being on the face of the earth - and it is killing them....

Here's what's happening, boys and girls: The "party of Abraham Lincoln" (Imagine that!) has forever been exposed as morally and ethically bankrupt, and they are now in the process of implementing their "scorched earth" policy. In other words, if they have to go down, they have every intention of bringing the rest of us down with them.

If you thought for one minute that the loony right wing had lost all the marbles they could possibly lose - OH, BROTHER! - As the late Al Jolson used to say, "You ain't seen nothin' yet!" ...

Joe Wilson and the nincompoops on the far right have opened a Pandora's Box that may very well prove difficult to close. What they are now doing - consciously or unconsciously - is prompting their brain-dead masses toward violence and intimidation. And let's not forget the untidy little truism that a lot of these folks are armed and dangerous. Who can forget the asshole who showed up outside one of the president's Town Hall meetings in New Hampshire last month with a gun strapped to his leg? My biggest worry is that that little incident is merely a small illustration of worst things to come.

Listen, I really hate to be the bearer of bad tidings here, I really do. But if you can't foresee some kind of Timothy McVeigh-style domestic incident somewhere down the pike, you're a hell of a lot more optimistic than I am. Also, if you are not seriously alarmed by what is now happening to our beloved country, you're not paying attention."

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Weimar Moments

This has been an intense week, to say the least. It was not just the discovery that one of the steel radials on my aerial roof antenna had gone missing, but that after having the house power-washed, I find myself having to kick in the front door just to get inside. Then there were those skin thingies I had removed a couple of days ago. All of it pales, however, and is small potatoes, in comparison to those school kids who were hauled out of classrooms across the country to prevent them from hearing Obama's speech on Tuesday--because their parents think he is Hitler. That really did seem like the last straw in the department of outrageous insults and disrespect that now passes for political life in this country.

But so-called "last straws" at this point have become the unfortunate norm. Not only did Halloween hooligans (disguised as Republican members of Congress) boo the President the following night while he was giving his much-awaited public address to both Houses of Congress and the American public on health care, but one of them, Joe Wilson, shouted at him, saying "You lie!" It seems like we are having ever-escalating examples of what one columnist tagged as "America's very own Weimar moment."

The next morning Wilson mustered a phony apology to the President, but later that day, he used the incident not only to fund-raise on his website, but also to reassert his drivel. "I will not be muzzled," he announced. "I will speak loudly against this risky plan of government takeover of health care and giving health care to illegals." Joe Wilson, it turns out, is a card-carrying member of a White Supremacists group, and also belongs to the Sons of Confederate Veterans, a contemporary offshoot of the KKK. If it were up to Wilson, the Confederate Flag would be flying over the South Carolina State Capitol.

Wilson is now widely known for his absolute contempt for Barack Obama. Two anonymous reader comments I found on the Huffington Post summed it up pretty well, at least for me:

"The bigots of the Republican whites-only world are beside themselves with rage because a black man is in the Oval Office and he isn't there to polish the silverware."
"A black president and a white southern congressman. You do the math. I'm just glad he didn't say, 'You lie, boy.'"

The day after Obama's speech, my friend Liz forwarded me the following letter, written by Lou Pritchett, vice-president of sales and customer development for Proctor & Gamble. It was originally submitted to the New York Times, but did not get published. Now it is circulating in cyberspace, supposedly vetted by a fact-checking site, I've included about two-thirds of the full text.


Dear President Obama:

You are the thirteenth President under whom I have lived and unlike any
of the others, you truly scare me. You scare me because after months of
exposure, I know nothing about you.
You scare me because I do not know how you paid for your expensive Ivy
League education and your upscale lifestyle and housing with no visible
signs of support
You scare me because you did not spend the formative years of youth
growing up in America and culturally you are not an American.
You scare me because you have never run a company or met a payroll.
You scare me because you have never had military experience, thus don't
understand it at its core.
You scare me because you lack humility and 'class', always blaming others.
You scare me because for over half your life you have aligned yourself
with radical extremists who hate America and you refuse to publicly
denounce these radicals who wish to see America fail.
You scare me because you are a cheerleader for the 'blame America'
crowd and deliver this message abroad.
You scare me because you want to change America to a European style
country where the government sector dominates instead of the private sector.
You scare me because you want to replace our health care system with a
government controlled one....
You scare me because your own political party shrinks from challenging
you on your wild and irresponsible spending proposals.
You scare me because you will not openly listen to or even consider
opposing points of view from intelligent people.
You scare me because you falsely believe that you are both omnipotent
and omniscient.
You scare me because the media gives you a free pass on everything you do.
You scare me because you demonize and want to silence the Limbaughs,
Hannitys, O'Relllys and Becks who offer opposing, conservative points of
You scare me because you prefer controlling over governing.
Finally, you scare me because if you serve a second term I will
probably not feel safe in writing a similar letter in 8 years.
Lou Pritchett

Even if this letter were a proven fake, the sentiments expressed in it are bonafide; they are circulating widely on the Internet and on talk-show radio as a matter of course, every day. A short while after reading Lou Pritchett's letter, the same friend forwarded me another article, this one written by a senior writer at Tallahassee Democrat, Gerald Ensley. Ensley identifies the word "socialist" as the new racist slur. It replaces the old "nigger"-word, which it is no longer considered socially acceptable to use. "Socialist" has become code for expressing unrelenting contempt for the black man who was elected President of the United States. "This is hateful, ignorant, racist bile," he writes. Obviously not all people who oppose Obama are racists, he adds, but those people do not use buzzwords like socialist or communist or Nazi. They simply oppose his policies, not the man.

Honestly I wasn't planning to blog about this subject (yet again), until something else put me over the top. Almost immediately after receiving these two e-mails, I happened to read an article in Vanity Fair about the assassination of John F. Kennedy. The essay, by Sam Kashner, was actually more about the huge emotional upheavals undergone by the assassination's embattled chronicler, William Mancheste, in his subsequent relationships with certain members of the Kennedy family, most especially Jackie, who tried to stop the book's publication. "The Death of a President," finally appeared in 1967, and by 1970 had earned more than a million dollars, all of which was donated to the Kennedy library. But it is now out of print. All of which makes for a fascinating story.

However, it was a particular section of Kashner's article that jumped off the page at me, in light of this summer's tea-bagging health-care rallies and the two events (recounted above) of outlandish Obama-bashing that occurred this week. Kashner describes a period when Manchester went back to Dallas, to walk the five-mile motorcade route where Kennedy was killed, and to explore for possible clues to the assassination around the city. What he discovers is that such deep political enmities were simmering in the town that Kennedy had been warned not to make the trip--by people as diverse as Billy Graham and Senator William Fulbright, who both pleaded with him not to go there. Here is the relevant paragraph that made my hair stand on end, and has caused me write this huge, over-sized blog:

"Manchester also discovered that Dallas 'had become the Mecca for medicine-show evangelists...the Minutemen, the John Birch and Patrick Henry Societies, and the headquarters of [ultra-conservative oil billionaire] H.L. Hunt and his activities. In that third year of the Kennedy presidency' Manchester wrote, 'a kind of fever lay over Dallas country. Mad things happened. Huge billboards screamed, 'Impeach Earl Warren.' Jewish stores were smeared with crude swastikas...Radical Right polemics were distributed in public schools; Kennedy's name was booed in classrooms;...a wanted poster with JFK's face on it was circulated...[for allegedly] appointing 'anti-Christians...aliens and known Communists to federal offices.' " That day an ad had appeared in The Dallas Daily News accusing Kennedy of making a secret deal with the Communist Party. When it was shown to the President, he was appalled. He said to Jackie, "Oh, you know, we're heading into nut country today." Shortly after that he was shot.

Yesterday I received a copy of the Southern Poverty Law Center's "Intelligence Report: The Second Wave." The letter which accompanies the report starts off:

"Dear Suzi Gablik,

Nearly a decade after virtually disappearing from public view, the so-called 'Patriot' movement is back. These antigovernment extremists--right-wing militias, 'sovereign citizens,' groups and ideologically driven tax defiers--are being revitalized around the country, and authorities are reporting a disturbing increase in Patriot activities and propaganda....In this issue of the "Intelligence Report," we investigate the recent proliferation of potentially dangerous Patriot groups and examine an alarming new component. Previously, these extremists were motivated mostly by a paranoid hatred of the government. But with a black man now in the White House and high levels of non-white immigration, the movement has been infused with racism. Already we've seen a rash of domestic terrorism incidents largely in response to Obama's election....

Morris Dees, Founder"

I haven't read the report yet, but plan on doing so soon. Even Virgil finds himself at a loss for some kind of worthy punch line to offset the darkness of this blog and close it down. He's just as jumpy today as I am. So I'll let "joetheinformed" have the last word here: "The Republican party needs to be disbanded. They are a disgrace to this country."

"Indeed," Virgil does pipe up. "It's either disband, or take up Tantric Yoga: learn to sublimate those base instincts." The trouble with both of these suggestions is that neither will happen. Growing good human beings is definitely more difficult than growing good asparagus.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Bipartisanship with Snakes

If you happen to belong to the lately disempowered Republican party in the U.S., that is to say, if you are a Republican who is now out of power, what do you do to stay relevant? The answer can be found in a single word: you SWIFTBOAT.

This means that what you want, more than anything, is to cripple the President and to get rid of him, in whatever way works.

It can be done, you discover, by orchestrating public screamfests composed of your constituents--the racists, crazies, teabaggers, lynch mobs, and vigilantes who are all out for blood--and then by overwhelming the country with lies about how Obama is a closet socialist--or worse, a fascist--who intends to take away your freedoms via healthcare reform and who plans, sooner rather than later, to kill off everybody's grandma. You disburse enough anxiety and stoke enough panic into the marketplace of semi-illiterate sheep until your lies are actually believed. And then, as people's brainwashed thoughts turn unspeakably devilish, they will begin t to sound typically like this [comment posted by "eyeopener," September 6th, 2009, on]:

"He is stopping our economy,all his advisers are people who have either worked for or belong to Communist groups that want to harm the United States..He promise change he didn't specified the complete destruction from within under his agenda :destruction of jobs,closing down our farms under the guise of protecting an insect, guppy,etcs. attacks on the middle class, the small business owners, the wealthy, cuts from the medicare system saying that they should be dead instead of living in their golden years because they cost to much in the last years of their life. You know what they deserve every penny they worked hard all their life for this country. Has czars calling for sterilization, limits on how many children to have certainly no army for our future defense. Put another czar to stop media from telling us the truth on what going on similar to Fidel Castro and Hugo Chavez.. also cutting our defense at a time when we have N Korea with a trigger happy dictator itching to blow us to kingdom come.. and he is on our side.. and he is doing this for our benefits to improve how other countries view us as Americans. Wait a minute who side is he supposed to be on. He swore to protect our freedom, our liberty our country and the pursuit of happiness.. I don't think too many of us real Americans whether democratic or republicans are happy at all with his agenda at this point.. Stop this insanity before its too late."

If, on the other hand, you happen to be President Obama, and you are facing a nihilistic opposition party that is relentlessly determined to destroy your presidency rather than to govern in good faith, what do YOU do? Counterpunch? Come out of your corner fighting? More thunder and lightning? Or, do you simply opt out of doing business with fanatics and go it alone? Can you simply refuse to take the bait and just go on as before, even if it means seeking "bipartisanship with snakes?" As for me, I am obsessed with trying to figure it all out.

"I think Obama should just quit," says my friend Ray Kass, stunning me into silence. Not that I haven't had the same thought more than once, myself. Nobody, in my opinion, should have to submit to such abuse and disrespect, least of all a president of the United States.

As I lay on the massage table yesterday, my massage therapist, Hakuin Rose, had a different take. "If you are the President of the United States, you do your job, which is to uphold the two-party system, because that is the centerpiece of what our democracy is about. As President, there is an obligation and commitment to support the conventions of our democratic system." This certainly seems to be Obama's way.

Then I found it, a surprise blog by a surprise author (one of my old-time gurus), Carolyn Myss--in, of all places, the Huffington Post. Her books have been an inspiration to me for years. But she has never shown up on a political blog. The power lock down between Republicans and Democrats, she says in her blog, is not a problem that can be solved with legislation. It is a predicament. Predicaments are much greater than problems, because, by their very nature, they do not have solutions. (Aha! I thought, no wonder I'm having such difficulty figuring this thing out!)

"This nation," she writes about Congress, "needs its representatives to undergo a transformation of their egocentric power plays for the sake of the survival of our nation. They really do have to put this nation first and not their own careers. They really do have to pull together to make wise policies at this critical time because America's base of power is imploding. But are they capable of seeing that? Can you imagine these pride-driven individuals even grappling with the idea of this challenge?...They are laden with lobbyist obligations and old world ideas about 'problem solving'--namely that all problems can be resolved by spending more money, initiating new legislation, or by invading and bombing...If ever there was a time when this nation could use creative visionaries and leadership we actually respected instead of carnival barkers who offer nothing more than criticism of the opposite party, it is now."

Myss says she is still holding on to hopes that Obama has what it takes not to cave in to criticism and dilute his energies--even though he is up against a Republican force that is now convinced they have him on the run with this health care bill. "It would be more than refreshing to watch him come back to life again, having shed a bit of his "Team of Rivals" innocence in which he assumes he can work, like Lincoln, with his adversaries as well as his supporters. And though Lincoln was from Illinois, Obama needs to remember he's from the south side of Chicago."

So, Let's Go, Obama! It's time to climb out from under that dumb napkin!