October 11, 2010

Dear Mr. Paladino: Not One Kneels To Another

Photographs taken by Stellar Year Photography 

We've just recently returned from an inspiring trip to Grand Teton National Park and Yellowstone National Park and, lo and behold, here's the toxic sludge that we walk back into. A large number of the wealthy as well as the "elite" members of the Republican and Tea Parties continue to strategically pit different groups against one another in a calculated program of hate and intolerance. No need to fill all the bowls with food and water when your subjects can be conditioned to fight one another for table scraps. No need to talk about real change and progress when a regressive American society and a nation of obedient nincompoops are really what the ruling "elite" is after.   

As Elizabeth A. Harris reports in her article titled Paladino Laces Speech With Antigay Remarks from the October 10, 2010 edition of The New York Times:

"The Republican candidate for governor (of New York), Carl P. Paladino, told a gathering in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, on Sunday that children should not be "brainwashed" into thinking that homosexuality was acceptable, and criticized his opponent, Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo for marching in a gay pride parade earlier this year.

Addressing Orthodox Jewish leaders, Mr. Paladino described his opposition to same-sex marriage.

"I just think my children and your children would be much better off and much more successful getting married and raising a family, and I don't want them brainwashed into thinking that homosexuality is an equally valid and successful option - it isn't," he said, reading from a prepared address, according to a video of the event.

And then, to applause at Congregation Shaarei Chaim, he said: "I didn't march in the gay parade this year - the gay pride parade this year. My opponent did, and that's not the example we should be showing our children." Newsday.com reported that Mr. Paladino's prepared text had included the sentence: "There is nothing to be proud of in being a dysfunctional homosexual." But Mr. Paladino omitted the sentence in his speech."

Ms. Harris continues in the article:

"Brian Ellner, head of the marriage initiative for the gay advocacy group Human Rights Campaign, said that the Republican's remarks were insensitive given a recent swirl of news about suicide in the gay community and antigay violence.

The New York City Police Department announced on Friday that nine men in the Bronx had lured three men they believed were gay and then tortured them. Last month, a student at Rutgers University jumped off the George Washington Bridge after two classmates broadcast his sexual encounter with a man over the Internet."

Excerpt from Song of Myself by the poet Walt Whitman:

I think I could turn and live with animals, they are so placid and self-contain'd,
I stand and look at them long and long.

They do not sweat and whine about their condition,
They do not lie awake in the dark and weep for their sins,
They do not make me sick discussing their duty to God,
Not one is dissatisfied, not one is demented with the mania of owning things,
Not one kneels to another, nor to his kind that lived thousands of years ago,
Not one is respectable or unhappy over the whole earth.

From an interview with the writer "Digger" Jerry George in Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks by Brian Kevin, published 2009 by Fodor's Compass America Guides:

Brian Kevin: Given all your park experience, what makes Yellowstone stand out?

Jerry George: All life in Yellowstone has been extinguished five times in the last two million years - maybe six. And look at what it is today. Yellowstone does more to renew our faith in the ability of the planet to persevere than any other place.

It's humbling. And yet, the humbling that Yellowstone does is not a debilitating humbling. It's actually an empowering humbling. It leaves you feeling comfortable that it's not all on your shoulders. In fact, it doesn't give a damn about your shoulders at all. And that's a healthy thing for people to realize.

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