Cat In The Box

By Jamie, a Trail Mix Contributor

Copies of this wonderful story by Dana Michel of the well loved little grey cat are very rare and you can’t have mine.  More than a half century ago, this was my daughter’s favorite book because it went up and down from the little cat in the box on a chair in the room in a house on a street with five trees in a city in a state in a country in the whole wide world and back down again to the box on a chair each trip going from the detailed & specific to faster and faster as adjectives and adverbs were omitted to speed the trip until finally you got to “Now Go To Sleep”.  She loved it for its view of the safety of the little box to all the places outside her door.

Little gray cat inside a square box. Square box on top of a big striped chair. Chair in the room. Room in the house. House on the street. Street in the city. City in the state. State in the country. Country in the world. Oh, where in the world is my little gray cat?

In the world a country. In the country a state. In the state a city. In the city a street. On the street a house. In the house a room. In the room a chair. On the chair a box and inside that box is my little gray cat.

So how is this political?  I’ve come to the conclusion that Conservatives, Libertarians in the US and the extreme right wing movements around the world, simply don’t have a clue how big anything is, and they really need to read this book.   Their views barely reach beyond the limits of their family to the street and colors every issue from employment to taxes to refugees.  They need to read this book.  The Liberals, Democrats and general left wing see the big big picture with a wide wide world of variables, possibilities and interests, but forget that many of those issues can feel like an alteration of all that is normal in a culture and that the majority of people live and look at a street with five trees.  They really need to read this book.

So where are you on the spectrum?  How to adjust to a globe that in communications and movement is shrinking almost by the second?  How does your view from the little box on the chair to the whole of the globe color your political attitudes?

More Posts By Jamie


Good Riddance, Filibuster … I’ll Miss You

Politicians volunteering to shut up? This can’t last.

Senate GOP leaders go “nuclear” to blow up that revered institution, the filibuster. A filibuster means if your political party doesn’t have the votes to get your way because the voters didn’t elect enough of you to justify it, you can just bypass majority rule and endlessly whine, bitch and moan until the majority party gives in like wimpy parents whose kids figure out that “no” actually means “OK, but don’t tell your father.”

I will miss Ted Cruz saying “green, eggs and ham” one million times to ban health care for the bottom 99 percent. Who can forget Strom Thurmond back in the 60’s reading phone books backwards to deport Rosa Parks.

This week Democrats just wanted to run their mouths without bathroom breaks for a losing cause, opposing Trump’s Supreme Court nominee. Democrats must get their loser fix regularly or the nation might just misplace them for good.

The filibuster might not be in the Constitution — don’t forget George Washington didn’t talk much, just raised an eyebrow now and then to signal his slaves to change shifts — but the talkathon’s venerable roots do go back to the Roman Senate. It was a last resort by the top 1% hoping to thwart Julius Caesars’s plans to spread wealth through land reforms.

Love it or hate it, depending on whether your party is in power, the filibuster seems about as healthy as tulips in Alaska (until the ice melts). It’s grip is eroding across the spectrum, not just for court nominations.

Just think Democrats, it’ll be a pisser for now, but get yourself some of those American voters the experts talk about and, armed with old-fashioned majority rule, you could one day make Republicans feel the fallout of this nuclear option.

[Cross-post via The Huffington Post, 4/5/2017]


Trump Attacks Syria: Our Security Interest? On What Authority?

What is our national security interest in attacking Syria? On what authority was it done?

A dictator gassing children is a horrible thing, but launching a $100 million slew of missiles without congressional authority or any clear threat to our national security is certainly questionable.

If our policy is now to attack dictators who do bad things, without any finding of a threat to our nation, then we’re on a slippery slope.

Congress faces a choice whether to let yet another president degrade its constitutional war powers.

Trump tossing bombs at Syria is like throwing rocks in a hornets nest. Just makes them more dangerous.

This attack is being defended as a need to “do something.” That’s not a strategy, just a hissy fit.