Thursday, October 29, 2015

Social justice & advocating for those unable to do so has been the most significant part of my life force, energy & thought. Working towards effectuate positive change is my life & passing on what I know to my sons & my students.  Critical thinking & analysis - concepts & idea person- it defines me. A dose of good humor required in the mix.  jk cosmos

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Greece v EU & Germany, in particular!

Greeks attended meetings and went into negotiations to restructure the debt and original debt payments - to the disdain of Germany IMF & World Bank.  Initially, the talks seemed to have some 'pause' to revise & rework the debt & allow Greeks to have some hope & sense that they could live and meet basic needs.  Well, that was so short-lived, the question becomes whether or not Merkel and EU ever truly had good faith efforts and best interest of anyone beyond the interest rate and pay-out???

My sense, after reading and researching, is that EU has not only been paid the original debt from Greece, but continues to set up the nation to pay more and use predatory tactics to do so; while Greek consumers have little or no funds to purchase - thus the economy spirals downward.  Closed businesses, lack of food, shelter & medical care results and continues to be the outlook for Greece.

Greece is taking on refugees and continues to pay the debt; without any relief for native Greeks.  How can the EU be so inhumane to a fellow nation?  How can the leaders truly advocate this oppression?  The greed and lack of leadership to appreciate value in other than monetary terms has resulted in the breakdown.  The true leader finds more to analyze than numbers, interest and time for payments; truly the concepts of micro & macro economics includes other variables; none of which EU has considered.

My assessment of current events between EU & Greece is that the Greeks MUST vote NO / OXI.  The gravity of the NO vote is offset by the balance of Greeks being able to self-determine, to write off the debt and not pay one more Euro - nothing/ nada to EU.  Greeks may find a 'sweet' deal with Putin, who's on the sidelines ready to loan funds to this country.  I would say 'take the deal' & keep the faith.  Greece is quite able to succeed with tourism and to continue to restructure and revamp.  I am in support of Greeks, passing on any collaborative nexus with EU and being independent and of one mind; promulgating new legislature for the sole benefit of Greeks.

More on Greek Issue - Some Points as jk cosmos uses social media to respond!!

I cannot pull away from the Greek debate - nothing is getting done, as I think about the injustices of the 1% v 99% & people w/ little 'value' and no voice against the banking system. When activists in the sixties voiced concerns about society - myself included - wow, did we ever drop the ball- We should have pressed on for a fair system & accountability. How did the power become so very skewed, in favor of corporations and banks & the few running that system. Where is our humanity?

This is about Justice, Democracy & fair-play! How can the world stand by & watch one nation in the EU suffer w/ hunger, loss of jobs, lack of basic needs & high suicide. The humiliation and deprivation f/b/o banking system is unjustifiable. The Greeks will lead to the change that is required & my personal hope is that US will follow & provide more for people to avert a similar history. It is beyond an abomination that IMF, World Bank & all those Equity Firms - who are NOT elected & are NOT accountable to anyone - have so much power & sway on our lives!

"Since the euro crisis broke out in 2010, large swaths of the continent have fallen under the rule of institutions that find it almost impossible to deal with democracy. Most important are the European Central Bank – unelected and almost totally unaccountable – and Juncker’s European commission: neither directly nor even indirectly answerable to the Greeks, Portuguese, Irish and Spanish who have lost jobs, wages and benefits at its command." Aditya Chakrabortty /The Guardian

Response to Guardian Article Behr - 7/1 Greece & EU Issue

Response to one more uninformed Journalist - Behr in the Guardian - not credible reporting.

First, I would like to see Rafael Behr's credentials??? Who is he? The EU is certainly anti-democratic. Similar to US, EU has some of the verbiage of being democratic; however, the truth is it's an oligarchy (a small group of people having control of a country, organization, or institution). The banking system, IMF, World Bank got the funds bank triple-fold from Greece & still they refuse to deal in Good Faith.

OXI - Greece should exit & begin again as a democracy as they see fit; as they move forward - it would be in the best interest of Greece to restructure, to keep money from tourist industry & to take good care of pensioners. EU cares not for any of that & the stranglehold is prohibitive and not very humane.

This is the truth & my credentials & experience are on par w/ this journalist, if not more competent. In solidarity with Greeks & Greece.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Harris's Funeral - Presentation Parish/Brighton, MA - work in progress

Chapter 3 – Harris’s Funeral (Revised1)


            Driving to Presentation Parish, she could only see the road through her teary eyelashes and her fogged up sunglasses.  She drove quickly and wondered about Harris’s family.  She drove out of the city up Storrow Drive.  She didn’t ever want to be on Memorial Drive again. So far, she had avoided it and she thought she could cross the river and get almost anywhere from the other side of the Charles River.

 Her thoughts wandered to their first few weeks together and the constant laughter. The beginning, like most beginnings was glorious.  She kept driving and tried to stay on the road, at the speed posted.  She maneuvered the intersection of Storrow and the service road by the ice rink.  Harris took her skating there.  Kate wondered if everywhere she went, she would be reminded of things that they did together.  The sharpness of the day and the harshness of the sun surprised her. 

When grief strikes so close to one’s heart, the simple tasks, the routine tasks take such effort, she thought.  She couldn’t recall much since the news of his murder.  She had dream-walked through her days.

Kate wore a black skirt, a black lacey t-shirt and of course, black tights and high heels.  She had on a black tailored jacket.  She wore no makeup, no lipstick and her hair straight, hid her face.  She was apprehensive.  She thought his family might blame her for his murder.

Kate thought about Harris’s family and the grief-stricken parents and brothers.  She hadn’t eaten and was so skittish driving, her mind wandered to the times of Harris’s life and to his funeral.  He was too young to be taken from them.

Kate had decided against going to the wake.  She couldn’t imagine seeing Harris laid out and if he was in open view, how strange would that be.  She knew that she would not attend the wake and she didn’t.  The funeral home was in Brighton Center on Washington Street, very near the church that she was driving to from one community on the river to the other.  Brighton was part of Boston and infamous for the Boston College parties, where Harris attended and played Division One Varsity Soccer.

She arrived at Presie, Presentation Parish, just on the line of Newton and up the hill from the neighborhood of triple-deckers and blue-collar workers.  She was familiar with this area and hadn’t been in the Parish since her childhood.  She loved the nuns, who lived next door and who polished the brass and dusted the areas.  The nuns washed and polished everything. 

She found a parking spot on the street, for a quick getaway if necessary.  Kate hated to be bogged in.  That held true for parking spots, crowds and it seemed she felt that way in relationships.  Being at the funeral and at this parish was not something that she could have anticipated.  She didn’t know how she felt.  She thought later on in the day she might try to figure out more about herself.

The church was empty, except for the priest, who was at the alter preparing for the service.  The priest had on a plain white robe and sash.  Two assistants helped him and moved quietly at the alter.  She watched, as the men went about their routine.  She was impressed at their exactness in the preparations.  Harris would have liked it, too.

She decided to stand by the back wall and tried to think about where she would fit in without being noticed.  She was there to pay her respects, only.  She had decided not to attend the dinner reception after the funeral and not to sit anywhere close to the front on the church. 

Her attention was drawn to one of Harris’s friends, who had come along beside her.  He gave her his sympathy.  That isn’t why she was at the church, but his words surprised her.  He softly told her how sorry he was that Harris was gone.  ‘Peace be with you.’

‘And, with you.  Thank you.’

Kate kept her sunglasses on to hide her tear-stained face and her red eyes.  She pulled her hair forward to cover herself.

Another friend came in with his wife, and walked right over to the side of the church where she stood.  She felt that the messages of sympathy and kind words should be saved for the parents.  She felt sad and guilty that some people were holding her and kissing her, when the family hadn’t arrived yet.

The fellow by her side, Brian Mahoney, directed her with his arm around her waist and back.  He led her to the second row of the church.  It was too close to the front and to the family.  Kate just couldn’t be there.  She hesitated and then she balked.  Brian told her that she should be in the front few rows. 

“Please move me back a bit.  This is too public.  I just can’t.”

He led her to the fifth row on the left side of the church. She was on the aisle in the center.  Much better, she thought.  She settled in.  He moved to the back of the church.

A moment later, one of the Investigators from the State Trooper Office stopped at her aisle and took her hand in his.  His gesture was so tender and quiet, that she began to weep.  Her tears flowed freely down her face, but Kate did not make a noise.

Kate did continue to receive kind words of sympathy from their friends and co-workers. 

Harris’s parents and family came into the church.  She could hear the hush of the crowd.  As she cried for him, the church had filled with people.  The family was prominent and Harris’s college friends, as well as his associates, were in attendance.  The pianist played a chord.

Everyone stood.

The pallbearers carried him in, young, tall and handsome, like Harris had been.  The coffin was shiny and the wood reflected the light of the simple church.

As Harris was carried past her, her tears stopped.  She was surprised that she continued to breathe.  Harris, she knew, would become a memory and fade from her. Kate did think about how she would grow old and he would stay forever young.  In thinking about the ‘forever young’ she heard the song title.  She thought how trite some things become.  She thought how some truths become cliché and yet they are true.

She watched Harris’s mother, quiet and small.  She watched his father, who looked small, although he was not.  The music began and the priest spoke about the teachings of the Church.  The congregation stood and sat, prompted by the bells.  Kate also stood and sat.  She wondered if she should have come at all.

Harris’s older brother, Eddie, spoke about their childhood and spoke about their brotherly love and the life that they shared.  The churchgoers were held in the story.  Kate was held in the moment of hearing one brother talk about the other.  She felt the loss that Harris’s family must be feeling.

 She looked up.  The ceiling had a blue mural with the face of Jesus looking down.  Kate kept her eyes up to the mural and to the kind eyes and face of Jesus.  She felt better that Harris was with Jesus and that the sorrows of his life had come to an end.

The service ended with music and the slow procession of the pallbearers carrying Harris’s coffin out of the church.  Some in the crowd cried.  Kate had done her crying earlier and kept herself quiet.  She listened.

As the family walked out of the church behind Harris’s casket, walking behind their adored son and brother, she watched them.  She thought about returning home.  As she left the darkness of the church and went into the open sunlight of the day, Harris’s father approached her and told her how much she meant to his son.

“You meant so much to Harris.  He loved you very much. I wish you…”  His thoughts were not completed and his voice was strained.  Kate didn’t know how to help him.  She repeated how sorry she was and wished the family peace.

“Thank you, Kate.  I know everyone loved Harris.” His father said.

Kate didn’t know how to respond.  She started to give her sympathy again and she started to reply that she loved him, as well.  His Dad didn’t wait on the response, but quickly returned to his wife.  They were greeted by some relatives and got into the limo.  She could see Harris’s mother’s head bent over and her smallness became unbearable.  Kate decided to drive home.

The drive back was less anxious.  She thought about her decision to attend and was satisfied that it had been the right thing to do.

   Kate knew that this day, Harris’s funeral, would be the end of a major part of her life. 

She drove up to her apartment.  As she sorted out her things to go in, she thought about him.  She kept seeing his smiling face and his pale blue eyes.  She recalled his boisterous ways, his excitement about doing everything..  Kate looked up at the steep stairs, and remembered the times they walked up those stairs together.  She began to walk up the stairs, holding on to the rail and maneuvering herself to the landing and up again to the third level.  She hoped that being inside would give her some relief and repose.  It was not to be.

She thought she should read for the rest of the afternoon.  She could not read.  She could not cook for herself.  She could not talk to anyone.  She sat on her couch.  She sat on the edge of her bed.  She was unable to move or to do anything in particular.

Maybe she should have gone to the cemetery.  She was so at odds with everything.  She was at odds with herself.  No one came by and no one called her.

Time passed.  The day ended.

Night was upon her before she realized it.  Harris’s untimely death and his murder consumed her.  She was hopeful that his case would not become a cold case.  Kate would keep a good eye on the investigation and prosecution of this case.  She did regret having left the DA’s Office. 

Why did she quit the Office?  Why was her timing off?  Kate wondered if she could follow the case through the media, only.  She wondered if one of the victim-witness staff would keep her filled in.  She thought of Brian, who had assisted her at the church.  He was easy-going and apt to take pity on her and share the inner workings on this case.  Kate did think about how her personal feelings could flip to the lawyer side of her thinking, on this day.  She felt that she wanted to help and she felt that as a former lover, she had complicated attachment to Harris and to his murder. 

Kate needed sleep.  Tomorrow would bring answers, she thought.  If not answers, Kate would find people to help her and she would stay on top things because she had to.  She had to finish this for Harris.  She needed answers and retribution.  She needed justice.



Thursday, June 4, 2015

Minding My Own Business! Minding My Ps & Qs!

Minding My Own Business!  Minding My Ps & Qs!


I am an adult, a responsible and very nice woman.  A woman with a few graduate terminal degrees and a multitude of graduate studies; someone interested in society, fairness, value and fair-play.  I am patient and overall, able to discuss and be in the company of anyone and everyone. Some people would say that I am very nice.

So, why did the word “PRICK” scream out in my head when following a Tesla Car or whatever they’re called, on route 16 slow-mo traffic and the plate indicating “NotGas”  Yes, ballsy and prick-ish, I’d say.

The strong emotional hate, and yes, I’m going to say it like it is – Hate for the driver and passenger in that expensive, quite over-the-top car shocked me.  I hated them; the money, the arrogance of the plate and the slow motion drive of the people, so entitled tying up traffic, so non-challant in their jaunt in their expensive car; that the rest of us, maybe me, in particular, are superfluous.

Hateful, hating, hate and unable to calm down, to squelch the beast; if I could without repercussions, I would have punched the driver in the nose – hard, hoping to break his nose.

Oh my!  Is this what they mean by being on the edge of a Social Revolution?  My students barely squeak by, taking classes and working menial jobs to keep things together enough to move forward with college studies.  As Adjunct Faculty, I am in the same dilemma of figuring out who to pay, and the pressure to teach more classes and tutor takes away from my life; from quality of life.  I love teaching and the process of learning; the lit and the writing; otherwise, how could I commit to such a career decision that leaves me in a quandary of how to live a life that matters; not in terms of connecting to the lit and the discussions and the students; but how to decide whether or not to pay the electric bill or the rent. 

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Physicist - Hopeful

There was a physicist from Russia, no from Austria & educated in Russia, Moscow specifically.

He had such hopes to crack the theories that were, thus far, science fiction.  He loved the puzzles and the possibilities.  He was invited to the US to research the theories most challenging.  He accepted.  He found himself outside of Boston, living in Cambridge & researching north of the city in a cubicle, a very small isolate space.  He didn’t care that he was so isolated and that he worked alone and without collegial companionship.   He knew that his vision would become a universal truth.  He was grateful that he had the funds to pursue his dreams.

He was still hopeful.