Monday, October 31, 2005

Halloween Horror

The Bush administration wears costumes all year long, so Halloween is just another day for them. The problem with dressing up and play acting is that real people are affected by their actions. Take the victims of Hurricane Katrina for instance. President Bush donned his good guy outfit and promised to help the thousands of people displaced by the floodwater. So, why then, several months later, are poor people finding themselves being evicted from their homes while the National Guard prevents them from returning?

The reality according to Mother Jones is that many of the people of New Orleans are living a nightmare:

"Fully armed National Guard troops refuse to allow over ten thousand people even to visit their property in the Lower Ninth Ward neighborhood. Despite the fact that people cannot come back, tens of thousands of people face eviction from their homes. A local judge told me that her court expects to process a thousand evictions a day for weeks.

Renters still in shelters or temporary homes across the country will never see the court notice taped to the door of their home. Because they will not show up for the eviction hearing that they do not know about, their possessions will be tossed out in the street. In the street their possessions will sit alongside an estimated 3 million truck loads of downed trees, piles of mud, fiberglass insulation, crushed sheetrock, abandoned cars, spoiled mattresses, wet rugs, and horrifyingly smelly refrigerators full of food from August."

Vast areas of New Orleans still lack electricity and water. How can people rebuild their lives in New Orleans if they're prevented from returning to their homes and they don't have basic necessities like water and lights? What a nightmare for thousands and thousands of people. Bush sure played the good guy role well, but in reality, his costume was just a cover for something more sinister and foreboding.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Gathering The Ingredients

Most cooks have their own way of doing things. I'm the type who likes to get all of my ingredients, utensils, and pots and pans out before I do anything. I figure there's no sense in getting halfway through and finding out that one indispensable spice I absolutely needed is missing.

I'm approaching this blog in the same way. Before I can start sharing my thoughts with the world, I need to make sure I have everything I need to make it gel. So, world, as soon as I get my act together, I'll share some stone soup musings with you!

The Stone Soup Legend

The Stone Soup Legend

There exists a tale, handed down from times long ago, of two travelers on a pilgrimage. Hungry and tired from a long day’s journey, they come to a small, impoverished, medieval village, where they decide to rest by the side of the road. One of the travelers builds a small fire, upon which he places a large pot, while the other, having drawn water from the town well, fills the pot and places into the vessel a simple stone. As the two men sit by the fire, bringing their "stone soup" to a boil, the local villagers become inquisitive of the curious antics of these strangers. Eventually, several townsfolk decide to investigate the matter and approach the two travelers to engage them in conversation.

Shortly thereafter, there is heard the sound of merriment, as the visitors, who turn out to be quite friendly, share their tales of the lands and people they have met throughout their journey and pilgrimage with the local villagers.

Finally, a young boy asks the travelers "But why, pray thee, are you boiling a stone?"

One of the pilgrims replies, "So we may eat stone soup."

"It must be terribly bland!" says an old woman. "But I have a cabbage, which will add some flavor!"

"And I, some carrots, which will add color!" says another villager.

"Some potatoes!", offers another, until, shortly, by the contribution of a little by many, a hearty stew was made, upon which the entire village and the weary pilgrims dined... and while doing so, shared their tales, talents, and camaraderie throughout the night.

The very next day, the travelers (who by now could be called "strangers" no more), continued their journey, leaving the little town, and its people, behind. But the villagers never forgot them, and the lesson they had learned. In fact, during the hardest of times, in such a time as this tale, that little village thrived, because the townsfolk never forgot how to make "stone soup".

Such is the legend of the "Stone Soup Story".