Thursday, July 23, 2015

On the Brink of Enslavement

Many, if not all, of the Khruschchev's goals to change America from a Capitalist economy to one of Socialism or Communism, have been effectively implemented.  Over the past fifty-plus years, these changes have taken place as most Americans have blithely accepted them, bit by bit.  The chief instrument used has been the media:  television, radio, print, and internet.  Our consciousness has been subtly altered from the patriotic, religious, socially responsible people of our grandparents' and parents' generations to one that has been led to believe in globalism and equality.  The zeitgeist of America is now more Socialistic than what our founders had in mind.  We've been made to feel guilty about differences for which we weren't and aren't responsible.  Our young people have been educated to be good little socialists and they don't even realize it.

We are poised on the brink of losing our freedoms completely and irrevocably.  By the time those of us who were alive when the Communist Manifesto was presented are gone, those left will be subjects of a totalitarian government, living lives devoid of aspiration, inspiration, and hope.



Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Khrushchev's Plan to Bury America

Because our country has gradually been taken over by Progressives who desire we change from a Representational Republic to one that is Socialistic, Communistic, or Marxist, I am posting a complete list of Khrushchev's Plan to Bury America, from MrCBRIDD, April 23, 2010, in Conservative America.

Here are Khrushchev's 45 goals.

The communist goals as entered into the Congressional record in 1963:

1) US acceptance of coexistence as the only alternative to atomic war.
2) US willingness to capitulate in preference to engaging in atomic war.
3) Develop the illusion that total disarmament by the US would be a demonstration of ”moral strength.”
4) Permit free trade between all nations regardless of Communist affiliation and regardless of whether or not items could be used for war.
5) Extension of long term loans to Russia and Soviet Satellites.
6) Provide American aid to all nations regardless of Communist domination.
7) Grant recognition of Red China, and admission of Red China to the UN.
8) Set up East and West Germany as separate states in spite of Khrushchev’s promise in 1955 to settle the question by free elections under supervision of the UN.
9) Prolong the conferences to ban atomic tests because the US has agreed to suspend tests as long as negotiations are in progress.
10) Allow all Soviet Satellites individual representation in the UN.
11) Promote the UN as the only hope for mankind. If its charter is rewritten, demand that it be set up as a one world government with its own independent armed forces. (Some Communist leaders believe the world can be taken over as easily by the UN as by Moscow).
12) Resist any attempt to outlaw the Communist Party.
13) Do away with loyalty oaths.
14) Continue giving Russia access to the US Patent Office.
15) Capture one or both of the political parties in the US.
16) Use technical decisions of the courts to weaken basic American institutions, by claiming their activities violate civil rights.
17) Get control of the schools. Use them as transmission belts for Socialism, and current Communist propaganda. Soften the curriculum. Get control of teachers associations. Put the party line in text books.
18) Gain control of all student newspapers.
19) Use student riots to foment public protests against programs or organizations which are under Communist attack.
20) Infiltrate the press. Get control of book review assignments, editorial writing, policy-making positions.
21) Gain control of key positions in radio, TV & motion pictures.
22) Continue discrediting American culture by degrading all form of artistic expression. An American Communist cell was told to “eliminate all good sculpture from parks and buildings,” substitute shapeless, awkward, and meaningless forms.
23) Control art critics and directors of art museums. ”Our plan is to promote ugliness, repulsive, meaningless art.”
24) Eliminate all laws governing obscenity by calling them “censorship” and a violation of free speech and free press.
25) Break down cultural standards of morality by promoting pornography, and obscenity in books, magazines, motion pictures, radio and TV.
26) Present homosexuality, degeneracy, and promiscuity as “normal, natural, and healthy.”
27) Infiltrate the churches and replace revealed religion with “social” religion. Discredit the Bible and emphasize the need for intellectual maturity, which does not need a “religious crutch.”
28) Eliminate prayer or any phase of religious expression in the schools on the grounds that it violates the principle of “separation of church and state.”
29) Discredit the American Constitution by calling it inadequate, old fashioned, out of step with modern needs, a hindrance to cooperation between nations on a worldwide basis.
30) Discredit the American founding fathers. Present them as selfish aristocrats who had no concern for the “common man”.
31) Belittle all forms of American culture and discourage the teaching of American history on the ground that it was only a minor part of “the big picture”: Give more emphasis to Russian history since the Communists took over.
32) Support any socialist movement to give centralized control over any part of the culture – – education, social agencies, welfare programs, mental health clinics, etc.
33) Eliminate all laws or procedures, which interfere with the operation of the Communist apparatus.
34) Eliminate the House Committee on Un-American Activities.
35) Discredit and eventually dismantle the FBI.
36) Infiltrate and gain control of more unions.
37) Infiltrate and gain control of big business.
38) Transfer some of the powers of arrest from the police to social agencies. Treat all behavioral problems as psychiatric disorders which no one but psychiatrists can understand or treat.
39) Dominate the psychiatric profession and use mental health laws as a means of gaining coercive control over those who oppose Communist goals.
40) Discredit the family as an institution. Encourage promiscuity and easy divorce.
41) Emphasize the need to raise children away from the negative influence of parents. Attribute prejudices, mental blocks and retarding of children to suppressive influence of parents.
42) Create the impression that violence and insurrection are legitimate aspects of the American tradition; that students and special interest groups should rise up and make a “united force” to solve economic, political, or social problems.
43) Overthrow all colonial governments before native populations are ready for self-government.
44) Internationalize the Panama Canal.
45) Repeal the Connally Reservation so the US cannot prevent the World Court from seizing jurisdiction over domestic problems. Give the World Court jurisdiction over domestic problems. Give the World Court jurisdiction over nations and individuals alike.

I will be discussing these in coming posts.  I ask you consider each and think about how each "promise" has already been implemented in our once-free country.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Original woodcut print which displays how a person feels when ostracized or pushed aside by others, particularly by family members.  Giclee prints of this woodcut print can be had for $50.  There is but one original!  All prints of any particular piece of artwork on this blog are guaranteed to be first quality and the editions are limited to 100 prints, all signed and dated.

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Art for July 4th

In honor of the Fourth of July, I am offering this pencil drawing for sale. This is an abstraction of our American flag, and the original measures 26" x 20". The original is priced at $200, and Giclee prints can be purchased for $50. Please always remember this work holds a USA copyright and may not be duplicated.

Friday, July 3, 2015

Art

Being an artist with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree, as well as one who has created art most of my life, I have accumulated a large amount of artwork. Because I am becoming ancient, I need to find homes for my work. In today's world of social media and internet sales, the pursuit of a representing gallery seems too slow and very "iffy" for an aging artist. As I search for the right outlet for my work, I am going to begin to post it on this blog and would appreciate your feedback. If you see something you like, but you don't like the price, I can have a quality print made for you. I will even entertain the notion of printing my work onto t-shirts. If you are interested in purchasing the original, a print, or a t-shirt, email me at: smccollim@gmail.com and I will respond quickly. Please note, my work holds a USA copyright (meaning no one except me can copy or print the work). That being said, here is my first offering, a pencil drawing measuring about 22" x 29". As a print, it can be done smaller. Original is priced at $200. Original size print is $45, smaller sizes at varying lower prices. Tshirts coming soon.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Just a short post today, posing the following question: Where the heck is John Kerry? No photo-ops, follow-up stories, nothing. Main stream media silence. Administration mum on the subject. Sorry, but I think there is a concerted effort at hiding the real story. Some news opinions have come out of Europe, but nothing here in the USA. That along with the various bomb threats here in the homeland, and even at The White House, makes me think things are much worse than the government is admitting.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Sammy

Several years ago, I blogged about my brother's dog, Sammy, and an adventure we had. Sadly, Sammy passed away today and he will be sorely missed. He spent a vacation week with me last week, and seemed fine while he was here. I am reposting my piece from 2008 in memory of Sammy. Personal Commentary My Friend Sammy Since I've been holed up in my house writing for two days, I was determined to be outdoors today. The weather was perfect - low 70's and sunny - and I was missing it all. I called my sister-in-law to see if I could borrow Sammy, their elder dog. She said yes and added that Sammy loves to go in the car. I went to pick him up (I swear the dog is psychic - how did he know I was coming to take him somewhere? He ran right to my car and stood there til I opened the door) and off we went to Northmoreland Park. This is where I normally fish, though I haven't done any fishing lately, either. As soon as we arrived, Sammy was more than anxious to get out. My niece told me before we left to be careful because as soon as the door opened, he would jump out and take off. Sure enough, he pushed between me and the steering wheel before I could get the leash on. I pulled the door shut just in time, got the leash on, opened the door again, and out Sammy went. The leash wasn't too long, so out I went, as well, onto the concrete parking lot. The door shut with my car keys and cell phone inside! Although it wasn't completely shut, I couldn't open it, either. A half-locked door. I could see the darn keys hanging in the ignition, so near yet so far. I thought that we'd take our walk first and figure it all out afterwards. This is my Scarlett O'Hara persona. The brick paver path is 1.1 miles long, and is a lovely and fairly easy walk. Sammy was a happy little dog, smiling at everyone and wagging his tail. One lady said, "What a happy little mutt that is!" Sammy just smiled and looked back at me to see if I heard that. He was very obedient, didn't chase any other dogs, geese or ducks. Didn't growl or bark at anyone. When we finished and went back to my car, he stood there facing the door and looked back over his shoulder at me, as if to say, "Come o-n-n-n-n-n already!". Now I had to find a way to get the car open. I saw some fishermen nearby so we walked over to them and I asked if anyone had a coat hanger I could borrow? No one did, but they all came to my car to check it out. Another guy in the vehicle parked next to mine offered a pipe wrench to break the window. (*Gee, thanks, but no thanks!") Pretty soon, there were about twelve guys standing around my car! I asked, "Where are all the car thieves when you need them?" Everyone laughed, especially the teens. One of the guys divulged the info that he owns a used car dealership and has to get into cars almost every day. He just happened to have a broken fishing pole (I have one, too -- in the trunk of the car, along with a coat hanger). While one teenager held a tree branch between the door and roof of the car, the used car guy was able to hook the car keys, but they fell off the rod onto the floor before he could bring them out. He kept trying, and finally pushed the manual lock open and voila! The door opened. Sammy couldn't have jumped into the car any faster. He sat there looking at me as if he was saying, "What are you waiting for?" I thanked everyone and off we went. Sammy was happy when we reached his home! I may ask to take him out again one day, but he may refuse. He is good company, though. My niece told me before we left that walking with a dog is a good way to meet men. Yup, it sure was! But they were all teens or married. Just my luck! Previously published on Google Blogspot by Suellen McCollim, August 10, 2008

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Right Brain Drawing


When I drew the accompanying artwork (pencil on paper, about 19" x 28"), I had been thinking about how nature always attempts to take back what man and time and progress have altered. As always, I start by making a mark on the paper, usually somewhere left of center, and make the magical switch from the logical left brain to the subconscious right. When drawing this way, I never begin by thinking about what I am drawing. It is only after the drawing is finished that I can back off and view it for what it is. Frequently, I can see the influence of something I have been pondering or something I have read. Studying a lot of art history helps to inform my drawings, I am sure. The bottom line, however, is the interpretation of its subsequent viewers. Once the artist creates the art and shows it to another person, the intention of the artist no longer has much importance (unless the artist is a master and studied intensively by art historians and critics).

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

My Grandmother and the Orangutan

My grandmother, a very petite and attractive lady, was in her sixties when I came into the world. She was born on a farm in Armstrong County, PA, in 1880 into a very large and poor family. She managed to attend school through the eighth grade, and because she was a bright and excellent student, was permitted to teach in that one-room school house after she "graduated". I recall her telling me that she wrote poetry, though unfortunately, I never found any examples after she passed. What I distinctly recall was her penchant for correct spelling and grammar, and had computers existed when she was alive, she would have been one of the original "grammar police" so many detest. I can say as I went through school, my grandmother's determination that I should speak and write properly, not only was a great help but also set me up as a future "grammar cop", too. She also taught me that ladies do not raise their voices, but maintain a ladylike decorum at all times, and that probably wasn't a good thing for me. Mimmi, as everyone called her, was a woman who led an interesting life. She was married twice, and the first marriage ended in divorce-a rare occurrence at the beginning of the twentieth century. Her first husband worked in the oil fields in Vincennes, Indiana, and earned a lot of money which he spent lavishly on his beautiful wife. He gave her jewelry and fur coats, as well as two sons. Unfortunately, he also had a weakness for alcohol, and periodically would go on a "bender". When he ran out of money during his drunken binges, he would gather those expensive gifts and sell them for the cash he needed to purchase booze. My grandmother soon tired of his behavior, and after he came home drunk one night and passed out on the bed, my tiny grandmother tied his hands and legs to the bed. She waited until he awakened the next morning and literally beat him with a broom, took her two sons and the few belongings she could carry, and returned to Pennsylvania. For a time, she lived with and worked for a sister who owned a boarding house in West Virginia. The story goes that she eventually also operated a boarding house in Pennsylvania, and that is where she met and married my grandfather. Together, they had one son, my father. My grandfather was a plasterer, just like his Irish father and grandfather before him, and he built a very nice Craftsman-style home for them. Eventually, he joined the police department, and that is how I remember him. He was a good man and a good provider, though I often wondered how my grandmother was able to dress as fashionably as she did. I will never know. Perhaps because she was an avid canner of fruits and vegetables and was able to save the family a lot of money. You are probably wondering about the title of this piece, so I will end with the story of my grandmother and the orangutan. My grandparents often traveled with us to various venues around the greater Pittsburgh area. One summer, we all went to the Pittsburgh Zoo, and were having a grand time visiting all the exotic animals. My grandmother, dressed to the nines, had been making fun of all the primates. When we approached the outdoor pen of the zoo's only orangutan, she approached the bars and began to make faces at him. As she pointed at him, giving him the raspberries and laughing, he suddenly retaliated, with a remarkably accurate aim, by spitting at her. The spittle struck her directly in the face. It was one of those moments I have never forgotten. My grandfather pulled his hankerchief from his pocket and wiped her face with it while the rest of us struggled with conflicting emotions: wanting to cheer for the orangutan, trying to keep from laughing at the surprise and pure comedic nature of the moment, and feeling acutely embarrassed at the entire episode. I have attached a pencil portrait I drew from an old photograph of my grandmother with her sisters. She was about forty years old in the 1920 photo, and this would have been the year she first was permitted to vote.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Corrections on Art Websites

If you are reading some of my older posts and see references to other sites where my artwork can be viewed, at this time there is only one site to view. http://www.facebook.com/portraitsbysuellenmccollim

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Comparing Neil Young to Contemporary Artists

While watching Showtime's Neil Young "Band of Gold" documentary/concert, I began to consider how true artists, be they musicians, writers, or visual artists, develop their voices in much the same way. For Neil Young, the signature style combining original lyrics with very similar melodies and his so familiar vocals, are very comparable to contemporary artists such as Robert Rauschenberg, Cy Twombly, Jasper Johns, Amselm Kiefer, or the original original, Marcel Duchamp. Each of the latter developed their repertoire over many years of experimentation, study, and listening to their own internal, informed knowing. It doesn't come easily, certainly, but some find their way early in life and continue to develop. Others study and learn and practice for years, and see their own style when they are mature and look back over years of production. I suspect Neil Young's life was charmed in so far as he found early fame. What I especially respect in his case is that despite many forays into experiences that could have destroyed him, he kept his "eye on the sparrow" and kept his lyrics honest and simple. His heart is displayed in his music for all the world to hear, and one must be fearless to do that. Just singing or playing music written by someone else isn't the same (excepting his version of Four Strong Winds), just as copy-work by artists isn't the same as the work produced from the subconscious and informed by knowledge. Granted, Neil Young isn't John Cage, but he is an artist for the people, regardless. Personally, I particularly enjoy seeing how all the colors, notes, words, and lines come together into a cohesive and readily recognizable body of work. I am beginning to see some of that in my own work, though I certainly do not expect to ever be comparable to the greats!
Left to right: Robert Rauschenberg, Monogram; Neil Young.

Monday, May 4, 2015

Spare the Rod and Teach a Lesson

Psychologists and educators have debated for years about the most effective ways to mete out punishment to youngsters.  A man who operated a couple of businesses in our rural neighborhood had the best solution to correct the errant behaviors of  two teenagers, one of them my own.

One Sunday afternoon in the middle of winter, when about 3 inches of snow covered the fields and lay beneath the trees in the woods, my son Todd asked if he could go to visit a neighboring friend.  "Yes, but be home in time for dinner," I said, knowing I probably didn't need to give him a time because he was fifteen and growing and mealtime was very important to him.  Indeed, he was home by dark and before dinner.

The next day, I was talking with a friend and gazing at the scenery from the sliding glass doors in my dining room when I saw a man emerge from the woods down at the bottom of the steep hill behind our house.  He walked slowly, with his head down, and as he walked, I could see he was headed in my direction.  I told my friend, and when the man was obviously approaching my house, I hung up the phone.  I didn't recognize him, and frankly, I was alarmed by this stranger who came from the woods. When I heard him ring the doorbell, I decided not to answer the door because I was home alone.

He left, and I watched him travel back down the hill until he disappeared into the woods. I wasn't able to see his face, so I still didn't know who he was.

That evening, after dinner, the doorbell rang and when I opened the door, I recognized the visitor, Bill, and asked him inside.  He said he knew we had a son, and wondered if he had been home all day Sunday.  I said, "No, he went to a neighbor's house in the afternoon.  Why?"

"Is he home now?  I would like to speak with him."

My husband called Todd to come to the living room, and when he did, Bill said he followed tracks in the snow from his junkyard to our house, and that is why he was here now.  Todd looked alarmed (a mother can always tell guilt when she sees it on the face of one of her children).

Bill asked Todd if the boys took guns to the junkyard, and Todd said they had.

"You took a gun outside without permission?" my husband asked Todd before turning back to Bill and asking, "What did they do?"

My son hung his head and I knew the boys had done something very wrong.

"I collect antique Cadillacs and store them at the junkyard," Bill said, "and yesterday, every single one of them had the windows shot out."

We gasped, because it was difficult to imagine our son, who had never been in trouble, would do something so destructive.  My husband asked Bill what we could do to correct the damage, and how much would it cost. This was a concern for us, with four children, a large house payment, and one income.

Bill paused, and then said, "Well, I've been thinking about that. The damage is in the hundreds of dollars.  I know it would be a hardship for you to pay that, and it wasn't you who caused the damage, after all. I have thought of a solution.  I will go and see the other boy's parents after I leave here, and present them with the same plan.

"I want both of the boys to come to my house every Saturday morning for a couple of months and I will assign jobs for them to do in order to work off their debt. Don't worry about packing a lunch for Todd, because I will provide lunch."

Todd, ashamed of his wrongdoing, agreed with Bill's plan, though he knew he hadn't any choice.  My husband told Todd to get his rifle and bring it to us.  When Todd handed the rifle over, my husband said, "You will not get this gun back for a year.  No hunting, no target shooting. You now do not have a rifle or access to any gun for a year."

Thus began one of the most important learning experiences of Todd's young life.  Bill taught a lesson that any amount of money couldn't have done, and my husband backed him up.  When the boys worked for him around his home and junkyard, they were not only paying off their debt, but they were privileged to hear many wise words and life lessons from Bill.  I have felt grateful to him ever since, though he has long ago gone to his eternal rest. My son never got into trouble again.

All I can say is that the lesson Todd learned has served him well, and today he is the father of two fine sons and I assume he metes out punishment with the same kind of wisdom and kindness as Bill did.

Friday, April 17, 2015

Our Plastic Culture

"Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be prolonged in the land which the LORD your God gives you".   The New American Standard Bible, Exodus 20:12.  

Although I have never liked the generalizations that have been embedded into our collective consciousness via jokes about the maladies of aging, today people have turned those generalizations into their personal beliefs about senior citizens. Of course, they seem not to have the foresight to understand that, should they live long enough, the very deficits they make fun of in the old will be the same ones they themselves will experience on the most personal basis.

In most cultures, the aged are revered for their wisdom, perseverance, skills, talents, and knowledge. Today, in the United States of America, the elderly are pushed aside as useless and unattractive consumers of those things the young think only they deserve. The old are marginalized, especially if they are single females. They are placed in nursing homes or senior housing, rather than taken care of by their family members. The elderly are still, in this age touted as the most evolved ever, the butt of many jokes, some of which are cruel at best.

Our culture is obsessed with youth, and cosmetic surgery is seen as a way to escape the now dreaded wrinkles and sags of old age. The plastic culture reigns and women are offered breast lifts, butt lifts, botox injections, face lifts, and liposuction as ways to look younger. Young women are enticed to have breast enhancements or reductions and to purchase expensive wrinkle prevention creams. Aging men are encouraged to take erectile dysfunction medications to enhance virile performance and in the process, often incur serious health risks. Young men are told they must shave the hair from their bodies to be attractive to women.

Americans seem to be living in a pipe dream. The young are enthralled with pop icons and attempt to emulate those icons in every possible way, and although this has always been common for teens, it seems to be continuing longer than it once did. We have a Peter Pan mentality that doesn't permit people to age. How unreal and absurd is that? Plastic isn't real and isn't even possible for most seniors who not only cannot afford surgeries and expensive creams, but have a belief system that values the real over the phony.

The admonition from the Ten Commandments is valuable not only for aging parents, but also for the soundness of their children's souls.

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