It's time to break out of the cocoon being ill creates and re-enter the political arena. One gets so involved with oneself when illness strikes and depleted energy leaves you unable to see the bigger picture. It is too easy to think at such moments politics doesn't matter, but politics is involved in all facets of life whether it's health care, jobs, war, torture, even mundane things like where to park your car, or as in the case in Berlin yesterday where they voted about whether religion should be taught equally next to ethics in the school plan. The majority voted no to organized religion and opted for having all students, independent of their religious background, being taught values in a secular way. Those students who want lessons in their religion can, of course, do so outside the mainstream plan.
On the other side of the pond there are two enormous themes burning brightly. What to do with torture, in particular to those who willingly agreed to it use and why. Should they be held accountable? Perhaps the better question should be: how could they not be held accountable? Frank Rich in The Banality of Bush White House Evil sums it up in perspective at www.commondreams.org/view/2009/04/26-0
'President Obama can talk all he wants about not looking back, but this grotesque past is bigger than even he is. It won't vanish into a memory hole..... Congress and politicians of both political parties should get out of the way. We don't need any Capitol Hill witch hunts. What we must have are fair trials that at long last uphold and reclaim our nation's commitment to the rule of law.'
The other theme is the economic crisis and how it is affecting the common person, the forgotten one in the huge sums of money being thrown around daily in the media. Tomgram: Nick Turse, Hungry and Without Options in New York at www.tomdispatch.com/post/175064
'Here, on a quiet, tree-lined section of 116th Street in Manhattan, it's possible to see the financial crisis that has the planet in its grip up close and personal. The new working poor, as well as more families with young children, are threatening to overwhelm New York City's last hunger safety net.'