April 12, 2005

A Time for Everything.

My father taught me this: there's a time to talk things through, and then there's a time to put your tongue behind your teeth and get busy.

I have always been rather conservative, even during my relatively liberal minded twenties. I had a talent for making heads explode on either side of the coin: I was pro-choice, and pro-gun. I have no problem saying the Pledge of Allegiance with the words "Under God" included, and I have no problem with the idea of people praying in public, or in school -- even though I'm a practicing Pagan who follows what most neos call "Celtic Shamanism".

Throughout the nineties, I kept a weather eye on the Middle East, mostly because of Operation Desert Storm and because of the fact that yet another generation of young men from my family had gone to serve. Before that, Saddam Hussein, Palestine, and the various "Arab militant" groups playing kill-the-camel games out in the middle of BFE were fairly low on my radar. I cried and got angry on the day that the images of dead Kurdish children were televised on TV, and I joined my voice to those of groups calling for investigation into human rights' violations in the Middle East and Africa. I was as outraged as any liberal when the Taliban destroyed the Bamiyan Buddhas in early 2001. (Why was the Left outraged by the destruction of the statues, but nonplussed by the revelation of rape rooms and execution by paper shredder in Saddam's Iraq? Anyway...)

I supported lobby groups working to reintroduce the wolves to Yellowstone National Park.

I had to go to the firing range following the press coverage of the Black Hawk Down events in Mogadishu. I had to deal with the fact that I voted for Clinton in 1996. I was registered Democrat until the 2000 election, because I admired Thomas Jefferson so. Clinton and Gore changed all that. The implosion of the DNC following the 2000 election signed and sealed it.

I spent the summer following my graduation from high school, and then afternoons during my first two years of college, serving as a range safety officer in my father's gun store/indoor firing range. I wore tie-dye, and grew my hair to my waist. In the range, I made cops cringe and swallow hard when they saw my groupings: high and clustered around the carotid of all the paper perps.

I desperately wanted to help those less fortunate than me, and actually did a pretty good job at it by volunteering my time to various programs. I studied psychology and anthropology in college after a brief and abortive love affair with the theatre.

I never once believed that raising taxes actually resulted in helping the poor. I always believed that individual good works, performed by people of good heart, who wanted to provide the unfortunate with tools to achieve success were most effective.

This made veins pound in the temples of classmates and professors -- and it amused me greatly. My enjoyment of pissing off "bleeding hearts" started young and continues to this day. I hope I can pass on my particular flavor of perversity to the next generation.

I have always believed that gun control involves a steady eye and firm grip.

I believe that every issue must be examined in context of itself. Sometimes, this makes me seem inconsistent to those who don't know how my mind works.

Through the nineties, and until September 11, 2001, I led a most tranquil existence.

9/11 changed that.

I sat in horror with so many other Americans that day, and watched the coverage of the deaths of thousands of my brother and sister Americans. The images are still fresh in my mind, and instead of asking why this could happen, I became angry.

That anger still burns within me today.

I don't give a shit what excuses Islamic extremists give. From personal experience, I know enough about the way the world works to be absolutely certain that "opening dialogues" with bullies is counterproductive. When a bully fucks with you, you break his goddamned nose, and proceed to slowly, methodically, leave him so sick at the mere thought of you that you need never fear him again.

It's a matter of preference. Some people really, truly believe that working to understand someone will defuse their anger and lead to lasting peace.

I worked in mental healthcare too long to continue entertaining that pleasant fantasy. I don't coddle people who bring violence to me.

As a Pagan, I believe in self-determination, "If that which you seek, you find not within yourself, you will never find it without." A Pagan doesn't need external forces to tell him or her what to think, or how to behave. The face of Divinity can be found internally, through focus and dedication. Every Pagan is a Priest or a Priestess. Real Pagans don't need intermediaries for interaction with God. There are few Pagan paths that don't demand that initiates know themselves well. Real paths will demand unblinking and savage self-knowledge of all your strengths and weaknesses. That requires accountability; responsibility.

That's pretty frickin' socially libertarian, if you ask me.

If you've been visiting this site for any length of time, it's because you've found something of value out here. I hope I've provided information of value, or at the very least, food for thought.

Civilization Calls was meant to be a call to arms. I wanted other Americans to look around and realize that, like it or not, our world has profoundly changed. There are people out there who want you and your children to die horribly, merely because you have the good fortune to live in one of the richest and freest nations on earth.

I wanted people to appreciate that: you're rich, you're free; there are no jack-booted thugs coming to take you away in the night, and if we can all work together and remain vigilant, there never will be.

Well, there are people who feel differently, and there are people who agree with me, and then there are the people who would just as soon go on playing ostrich because it's more comfortable, and then there are the contentious naysayers who tear everything and everyone down because their own souls are too small and impoverished to ever reach for something greater than themselves.

I have a dream in which my daughter smiles fondly out the window at her own grandchildren, who are running free and unafraid in the yard, playing in neighborhoods that are safe, and going to schools where history, rather than personal interpretation, is taught. She might have a firearm in reach; she might not, but at least she has the choice. Her body is her own, and she can save herself or send herself to hell according to her own lights, free of interference from authoritarians of any stripe.

As I wrote earlier: there's a time to talk about things, and a time to get busy and do them.

This blog has become a distraction from my doings.

Thank you all for stopping by. Thanks for the comments, the insight, the laughter, the education, and the frustration. I'll be maintaining a web presence in one way or another, probably for as long as the medium exists. But my political activities will be just that: active.

The grand and exasperating experiment I grandiloquently called "Civilization Calls" has come to an end. Civilization calls me to get busy saving it. I already know what I believe, and I'm going out to fight for it; to fight for those weaker than me. I'm going out to fight authoritarians and a runaway judicial system that's seemingly bent upon starving off the disabled and inconvenient. I'm going to go on defending the 2nd Amendment, and the Constitution in its purest form. I'm going to go out there and continue tangibly supporting the troops who are fighting to keep my daughter's future safe. I'm going to maintain my hearth, my heart, and my family. I'm going to be there for my friends. That's a promise.

It's all about tomorrow, folks. I'm going to do my best to make sure that it's free to spend in any way you please.

I'll be busy. I'll miss this. But you won't miss me -- I'll be visting your blogs, commenting, and exhorting you all to keep up the good fight.

With a glad heart, and high hopes for our future,
Linda

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posted by Linda at 11:02 PM : Comments (8)
Catscape links with: She Has A Dream