Tarot Daily Dot Decoder, September 19, 2014

providence industrial roof photoshop

Nice night out at a rooftop meeting of Providence Green Drinks. The old Providence Gas Company has an outdoor bar and a downstairs pub. I know where I will be watching the sun set before the cold sets in.

In other news, The Jorge Elorza sign I put on my front porch ‘fell down’. But when it happened twice I knew this was no accident. So now it’s on the second floor porch.

Although I do not like the giant ‘Buddy’ sign a neighbor put in their yard, I shall not molest it.

I always think of a family story. My sister-in-law was running for judge in Kentucky, where judges are elected. Lawn signs were mysteriously vanishing, so her husband decided to drive around and see why. Sure enough, he caught a man in the act– “Put it back, you motherf-ker’, he said.” That is protected political speech.

For the sake of our lovely city, keep it civil.

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Tarot Daily Dot Decoder, September 18, 2014

Queen of Swords

Today’s Tarot is the Queen of Swords. Sometimes nice won’t suffice. Some days you have to cut through the nonsense.

Japan is re-shuffling its nuclear power agency to replace safety-minded board members with pro-nuclear ones.

The Air Force is trying to decide if you need to swear on the Name of God before you can go to war. God has so far refused comment.

And The Providence Journal editorial says one of the mayoral candidates is ‘Lying for Votes’. Three guesses which one.

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Tarot Daily Dot Decoder, September 17, 2014


Today’s Tarot is from the Major Arcana, XI Justice. Justice holds the scales to measure competing claims and balance them fairly, and a sword to cut short wrongdoing. In the mundane world, unfortunately, law is a blunt tool, not a sword, and the scales are never even.

As far as rewarding the deserving, artist Alison Bechdel just won a McArthur genius grant. All those ink-stained decades of writing comic books were not wasted.

As far as another example of why having the money to buy your own ‘choice’ of medical care does not guarantee a good outcome, CNN reports that Joan Rivers’ ‘personal doctor’ took a selfie over her unconscious body. Will it be just a lawsuit, or is prison in the future? My first thought when hearing of her medical crisis in the outpatient clinic was that such a delicate surgery should have been done in a hospital. Remember Jahi McMath?

As far as demanding the secular law conform to religion, a Missouri lawmaker is demanding that the Affordable Care Act be re-written so that his adult daughters, who are on the family plan, will not have access to birth control coverage. I sense a communication issue in that family. The parents can’t, like, talk to their children? How about re-routing the highways so they can’t drive to places they shouldn’t go?

And again, as far as Justice, George Zimmerman seems unable to settle down to a quiet life. Perhaps someone is haunting him. Not much justice in this world, not yet, but time will tell.

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Tarot Daily Dot Decoder, September 16, 2014

7 of swords

Today’s Tarot is VII of Swords. This is the season of push polls, wild claims, emotions and slogans. In other words, election season.

In times like these, Google is our friend. Politicians have to bend the truth like dogs have to bark, but we have an unprecedented ability to check them out. Make the best choice you can and don’t let the trickster sneak off with your power. Votes count, yours most of all.

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Tarot Daily Dot Decoder, September 15, 2014

the emperor

Today’s Tarot is from the Major Arcana, IV The Emperor.

In hard times people crave authority. Corrupt leaders are transformed in short memory into strongmen who will make the trains run on time. Or just fill the potholes.

Any bully can be successful by choosing his victims. Displaying the power to crush opposition can make the favors he bestows all the more valuable, all the more valued. We all, at some point, want the Big Man to take care of us.

It takes a reversal of perception to see that it is actually us who take care of him. He’s nothing without us. We have the power, not so much individually as collectively.

And, by the way, 50 days until November elections.

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Tarot Daily Dot Decoder, September 13, 2014

blue kali

Credible rape allegation and conviction for kidnapping and assault is not a disqualifier.

Today’s Tarot is Blue Kali, because I don’t like bullies and sometimes righteous anger is better than misplaced forgiveness.

Maybe a change in the weather, instant Autumn with that slant in the sun and ghosts strolling around downtown. I just couldn’t settle down yesterday. Even after Friday night dinner I was revved. I was leaving a restaurant and I saw my City Councilman, Kevin Jackson, talking on his cell phone.

It was not polite, but I had to ask him. I stood in front of him until he saw me standing there and put his call on hold.

“I’m one of your constituents. I saw you in a Facebook post standing in front of a big poster of Buddy Cianci. Do you support him for mayor?”

He answered that he does. He said that the potholes were not filled, the city was not run well under David Cicilline or Angel Taveras. Buddy would get things in shape. “The people have forgiven.”

I said that the rape allegation against Cianci in 1966 had a similar pattern to the 1983 assault on Raymond DeLeo that lead to Cianci’s felony conviction. “He’s evil.” I said, “You’ll see.”

New Times newspaper reported that in 1966 Cianci used a deceptive job offer to lure a young woman to his house and then raped her at gunpoint. In 1983 he was indicted for luring Raymond DeLeo to his house and assaulting him for hours. This time he didn’t need to hold a gun, he had his personal police bodyguard.

The myth of Buddy is that he was a betrayed husband who just lost his temper. It could happen to any man. Never mind that he was charged with attempted extortion, for demanding a $500,000 payoff from DeLeo. That distracts from the romance that he had a sudden flare of passion for his estranged and soon-to-be ex-wife.

‘Any man’ couldn’t get a Providence police officer to act as his muscle. ‘Any man’ couldn’t credibly threaten to ruin his victim afterwards. This is corruption. Both Cianci I and II terms were marked by corruption, which= stealing the people’s money. Cianci is not good with money, not trustworthy or responsible.

And speaking of money- it takes money to fill potholes and keep the city going. Cicilline and Taveras inherited the debts Cianci ran up. No wonder the party is over. It was all on our credit card and we are still paying it off with interest.

How is he going to spin gold out of thin air now? We’re still in a recession. Federal grants are not as easy to get as when Cianci was a rising young Republican. He’ll have to raise taxes unless he can con his way into more loans and kicking the can down the road. Or maybe he’s hoping we are so deluded with this talk about ‘job creators’ that we really think that some magic people can create something from nothing.

The people have forgiven him a lot. He did some good things as mayor, he was a big city booster, he supported the arts. He’s got a fan base on the radio and he’s entertaining if you like his style.

But forgiveness without acknowledging the damage done is just asking to be taken again. The Bad Buddy can’t be trusted with the City of Providence. Faith-based thinking is not what is needed here. Let him be Good Buddy on the radio, but don’t give him the key to the safe again. We have a right to expect honest and competent leadership in the 21st Century.

Thanks to Mike Stanton, whose book ‘The Prince of Providence’ is source material for this post.

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Tarot Daily Dot Decoder, September 12, 2014

4 of cups

Political hangover from Tuesday. Now it’s the Buddy Show on all channels. I saw his big signs in yards all up Smith St., but did notice that his fans were cramming 3 or 4 signs in a yard. I think that his support runs deep. There are voters who are just plain in love with him and he can do no wrong. Plunderdome? Forgive and forget. Still paying it off? Blame Cicilline and Taveras for not printing money in the basement. Using the cops as personal thugs? That somehow passes for manliness.

His latest incarnation– an evil little gnome, but Pat Robertson still pulls in the money and he’s even more grotesque.

Anyway, today’s Tarot is the IV of Cups. Looking for inspiration within. May we find it today, and after all, it’s Friday.

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Don’t Scare the Good Man With a Gun

Today’s news, 9/11/14 proves that there is nothing more dangerous than a good man with a gun, money and a sense of entitlement. Don’t make them mad, or make any sudden moves.

UPDATE: Carl Pistorius, Oscar’s brother, is facing homicide charges for a motor vehicle accident that killed a woman in 2008.

An appeal to fear in a country more gun-loving and divided than our own may be a winning defense. Cathal Kelly in the Toronto Star explains why Oscar Pistorius might become South Africa’s O.J.

On my first night in Johannesburg, I accidentally shut the rape door behind me, trapping myself in the bedroom.

Most middle-class homes in South Africa feature “rape doors” — sliding jail doors that compartmentalize a house so that no intruder can get at you if — and this is the phrase commonly used — “your perimeter is breached.”

It was funny for a minute. Then I realized that since all the windows in the bedroom were barred, I had no way to get out in case of a fire.

We phoned the couple we’d rented our pleasant bungalow from and explained the situation. The owner laughed a long time, and then said he’d be by in the morning to release me.

South Africans are afraid of many things. Fire ranks very low on the list.

Read the rest here.

Cathal Kelly makes a convincing case that politics may prevent justice for Reeva Steenkamp.

South Africa’s culture of fear feeds a ‘fear industry’ that markets guns, security systems and gated ‘communities’…

Gated communities, often called “golf estates,” are enclosed spaces protected by a number of security measures such as electrified fences, razor wire, patrols and enhanced biometric and technological measures that continue to be developed by a “fear industry” that flourishes in South Africa. This fear industry emboldens a fear culture that is obsessed with crime and its avoidance. While we may see this as an irrational fear, as the majority of crime occurs in concentrated spaces among the black population (not unlike in the United States), one has to respect the nature of crime in South Africa. Despite a murder rate that has begun to decline in recent years, South Africa still has crime levels that are astronomical, with a homicide rate approximately four times that of most industrialized nations. Still, it is unlikely that this type of crime would have touched people like Oscar Pistorius or Reeva Steenkamp, especially within a gated community.

The assertion that Mr. Pistorius believed there was an intruder in his home may seem unlikely in a secured home in the middle of a gated community, but it is a perception that many in South Africa will relate to. A segment of the South African psyche will understand the fear and the reaction allegedly spurred by it, despite any evidence to the contrary.

In the US we have a gun industry that is so aggressive in marketing guns that no toll of accidents and murders will budge them from their message– guns make you safe, more guns are better, you’re never safe enough.

Peace is not won by finally building high enough walls or buying big enough guns. South Africa can decide that Reeva Steenkamp is an acceptable loss for preserving their way of life, or to examine its culture of violence that her death not be in vain. There are 20 children gone in our own country who should not be forgotten.

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Tarot Daily Dot Decoder, September 11, 2014

peace wall providence

Since 2001, September 11 will never be just another day. I was downtown, just got in to my office at the Providence Housing Authority. The phone rang on my supervisor’s desk and I picked it up. It was his wife saying the Twin Towers had been attacked. I knew that more than the Towers, more even than 3,000 irreplaceable human beings, had been destroyed. All of our life now is post 9/11.

The image is of the Wall of Peace at Waterplace Park downtown. Tiles painted by children and adults all over our state express the deep sorrow and hope for a better world.

The photo is from the Occupied Providence Journal, published by some of the citizens who kept a nonviolent presence in Burside Park for almost a year.

Today, like then, I’m going to work and grateful that I have the privilege of doing something I care about.

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Tarot Daily Dot Decoder, September 10, 2014

three of wands

Today’s Tarot, III of Wands, represents patriarchal woman, not for nothing but Gina Raimundo looks set to be our next governor. I’m proud that Rhode Island is ready for our first woman governor, but wary. I did not totally go for the campaign spin that Gina is in the pocket of Wall Street, because at this time no one wins an election without making deals with big money– the bigger the office the more deals.

I don’t see her opponent, Alan Fung, as representing my interests as a woman and as a Rhode Islander, so I will support her and hope that she will support working people as she has promised to do.

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