....it's not a theory.
Saturday, January 31, 2009
Friday, January 30, 2009
I stood in the post office today and couldn't help but notice the change.
Yet in spite of all that, the joy was infectious at the post office as everyone celebrated an adorable 3-month old child sitting in a carriage wondering what all the fuss was about (and growing up in a politically colorblind world).
Permit this writer of empiricism the lyrics of postulation...
I, too, have been unable to grab hold of depression. Try as I might, there's just too much potential being articulated day in and day out. The headlines are grim, but they are always overcome by the can-do spirit of our government now, which daily seems to have a new shoe to throw at the problem. There's something inspiring and uplifting about that.
I keep thinking about this historic campaign built on community and it strikes me too that for the first time in my life, people are genuinely proud of one another. They have a stake in this President, in this future we've all now invested in, and they are bound to each other like never before. Unlike the Bush years, where the citizen (and her or his rights) was the subject of scoffing, we are reminded not of a White House, but of a People's House; not of the government, but of our government.
I may be reading far too much into the nice California weather today.
I listened intently to a disgruntled professor from Yale today on the radio stirring up worry that these modern tools of communication were actually serving to drive us farther apart. I couldn't help but muse that someone must've said that about the telephone too.
This is one of those times in history that we'll tell future generations about. The seeds of nostalgia are being planted excitedly and I'm rushing to change my Facebook status accordingly...
For more, visit Rants, Raves and Rethoughts
They can cram down a stimulus package without Republican support, but if that happens, then when, as we believe, in six months or so, when the American people say, 'Wait a minute, we're not better off. In fact, we're worse off than we were six months ago. Who is responsible for this and what can be done to fix it?' Republicans then are going to be in a position to say, 'We didn't have the input in this and that's why it didn't work.' - Sen. John Kyl (R - Arizona)
But the No Vote on the stimulus in the House does highlight what appears to be a strategy of sorts: the "I Told You So". While politically smart (if they win, they can wag their fingers, if they lose, no one will likely remember), it's also cowardly and they should be called out on it.
For more, visit Rants, Raves and Rethoughts
Thursday, January 29, 2009
Wednesday, January 28, 2009
the group that controls Somalia. Come on people stop this almost "never ending spree of death and violence and hate" if you know your Offspring music you can name this song just post a comment if you know it sorry im kind of hyper. I think some people need to go over there and stop this fucking insanity come on we can't just sit around with our heads up our asses. In u.s. news john coleman left his marching band after he received a 6 month suspension after he nodded and waved at President Obama,come on people just because he broke a idiotic regulation
about breaking parade decorum whatever the hell that means. latters
Germaine Greer argues that scaring women is
"big business and hugely profitable."
It is fear, she wrote, that "makes women comply
with schemes and policies that work against their interest".
Sexism is indeed creating a second class citizen,
and fear works equally well on men,
don't be a slave to either.
(art by John Holmes)
Taking shelter from the bombs
Stand beside the rebel soldiers
And watch their daddies kill their moms
Haitian children live in huts
Don’t go to school, can’t read a book
Their parents cannot feed them - ever
But we can’t see if we don’t look
In Gaza, secret army soldiers die
For children shot, and killed, and terrified
So posters now display the losses
They’re peppering the countryside
Chinese teens have been detained
For remembering the fight
That failed to bring their honor back
That failed, again, to show what’s right
The Belgian painted killer who
Could hear the voices in his head
Rode his bike into a town
And left a score of toddlers dead
And when their lifeblood jobs were lost
A Californian man and wife
Knew desperation, thought long and hard
And then they took their children’s lives
These are the headlines – all today
Death, destruction, blood, and war
So when these kids grow up to hate
I’ll bet you’ll wish you had done more.
Tuesday, January 27, 2009
Job losses mount as downturn steepens
I know the economy is in trouble but is all this panic by large corporations and all these layoffs really necessary? I know a few companies are opting for employee pay cuts instead. Isn't that better than helping to worsen the economy by having more people out of work?
Call me cynical; I can't help but wonder if there are those who are taking advantage of the opportunity to let people go in order to safeguard their own inflated salaries. But that's just me!
You, who fight for freedom
Defend your tattered nation
Demand fair trade, a border crossing
Water, food, and band-aids for your kids
You all deserve to die
Never mind the fence around you
Look away from smoking craters
You don’t need a gun to save you
Nor vests to stop the bullets’ path
Bow down before our Lord
His vengeance is your death
You all deserve to die
No holy land for you
Sovereign nation you are not
We would enslave you if we could
Spit upon your open graves
Rid the world of your disease
You all deserve to die
We are the victims here, you see
Five soldiers dead
Nuisance dud-bombs tickling our empty land
Our allies give us guns
Then tell us not to shoot
Or, if we do, act like it was you, because
You all deserve to die
Sunday, January 25, 2009
Examples of well-known drugs that are considered hard drugs include heroin, morphine, cocaine, alcohol, nicotine, and methamphetamine. Drugs in this group are generally described as being physically addictive, easier to overdose on, and/or posing serious health and social risks, including death.
The term soft drug is most usually applied to cannabis (marijuana or hashish). The distinction between soft drugs and hard drugs is important because there is no evidence of physical addiction. Marijuana is far less dangerous than alcohol or tobacco. Around 50,000 people die each year from alcohol poisoning, not to mention the many thousands of alcohol related deaths from drunk driving. Similarly, more than 400,000 deaths each year are attributed to tobacco smoking. By comparison, marijuana is nontoxic and cannot cause death by overdose. According to the prestigious European medical journal, The Lancet, "The smoking of cannabis, even long-term, is not harmful to health. It would be reasonable to judge cannabis as less of a threat than alcohol or tobacco."
Marijuana is the third most popular recreational drug in America (behind only alcohol and tobacco), and has been used by nearly 80 million Americans. According to government surveys, some 20 million Americans have smoked marijuana in the past year, and more than 11 million do so regularly despite harsh laws against its use. Our public policies should reflect this reality, not deny it.
NORML supports the removal of all penalties for the private possession and responsible use of marijuana by adults, including cultivation for personal use, and casual nonprofit transfers of small amounts. This policy, known as decriminalization, removes the consumer -- the marijuana smoker -- from the criminal justice system.
Enforcing marijuana prohibition costs taxpayers an estimated $10 billion annually and results in the arrest of more than 872,000 individuals per year -- far more than the total number of arrestees for all violent crimes combined, including murder, rape, robbery and aggravated assault.
Friday, January 23, 2009
Secret space based weapon systems have been, and are being built by defense contractors.
If you have a good telescope you can see where your hard earned tax dollars are going to.
This is an image from the telescope of John Lenard Walson.
Union leaders at Coca-Cola's Colombian bottling plants have been murdered. Hundreds of other Coke workers have been tortured, kidnapped and/or illegally detained by violent paramilitaries, often working closely with plant managements.
Aspartame is the dangerous artificial sweetner used in Diet Coke. An examination of Aspartame, its history and its effects, is enough to shock anyone into really looking at their food labels next time they shop. Aspartame is a toxic food that came into the world as an investment by Donald Rumsfeld, while ignoring the deadly effects the tests showed. Reading all the stuff about aspartame could make your head explode. But what convinced me that aspartame is not safe are not just the studies that have found its link to cancer but also the efforts of Donald Rumsfield and Searle/Monsanto in ramming this product down our throats. Monsanto, as you know, is the world's leading producer of genetically modified products - another innovation that many are convinced has already wrought havoc on human life and the ecosystem - and uses not just money and influence but also threat and intimidation on those who go against it, as a Vanity Fair investigative report makes clear. Indeed, Monsanto's track record alone is enough to convince me that this product can kill.
The Coca-Cola Company has recently come under fire by the Food and Drug Administration for its reluctance to disclose exactly what the "Plus" in Diet Coke Plus really means. For starters, the FDA isn't exactly thrilled with the concept of fortifying an unhealthy snack drink. Couple that with the fact that the amount of vitamins and minerals added to Diet Coke Plus remains somewhat vague, and it becomes clear why the FDA deemed it appropriate to step in.
Residents living around Coca-Cola's bottling plant in Kala Dera, near Jaipur in Rajasthan, India marched and rallied demanding the closure of the bottling plant. Nearly 60 villages surrounding Coca-Cola's bottling plant in Kala Dera have complained of severe water shortages since the bottling plant began operations in the area.
The Coca-Cola company is also the target of intense community campaigns in Mehdiganj and Kala Dera in India for creating water shortages and pollution. The company was forced to agree to an assessment of its bottling operations in India as a result of a sustained international campaign. The assessment, released in January 2008, was a damning indictment of Coca-Cola's water management practices in India. The assessment recommends that Coca-Cola shut down its bottling plant in Kala Dera because the plant contributes significantly to water shortages in the area.
The council of Colombian capital Bogota fined the local unit of Mexico-based soft-drink bottler Coca-Cola Femsa SA (KOF) 201 million Colombian pesos, or about $110,000, for dumping industrial waste waters in marshes located in the city's outskirts...The council's environment secretary's office said Femsa had been polluting the wetlands with industrial waste waters since 2006.........(excerpts from killercoke.org)
This is a list of Coca-Cola products.
Thursday, January 22, 2009
The whole talk of global warming seems slightly misplaced to me... the concept seems alien and little to do with me...its a global problem and why should I be bothered, its certainly not my responsibility because I have been told that its everybody's responsibility.
I would rather put it as local warming and a local problem. It’s when things come to shove does one realize that the stuff we thought would never affect us is in fact right at our doorstep and can change the whole complexion of the game.
So the idea is to localize this problem, talk about local issues and how it is affecting local lives and we may see a much more concerted effort to root out this menace before it gets too late...
Wednesday, January 21, 2009
Festival of change
Parade of hopes
Honor our hero
He has come to save us all
Join in jubilant farewell to disgraced fallen leader
Mockery of honor
Spiteful c’est la vie
Good riddance and goodbye
Boo him as he goes
Blame him, now, for all that has gone wrong
Look for change in champion of hopes
Feed hungry mouths
Let freedom ring
It is time for tomorrow; watch him bring the sun
Curse the one who brought it on
Invade the innocent
Deplete world strength
Such sorrow reaped by one man
Can hero do it on his own?
Share money, oil men
Free slaves, banker-crooks
Build homes, Lockheed Martin
Heal sick and poor, Nazi-druggists
Quite the courage this will take; these are his friends: money-make
Our patriotic job is to be healthy so treatment developments would earn credit. Every BODY is a statical opportunity to develop health experience that could be submitted (to internet crypts) for credit. The administrative class of health insurance could expedite opportunities to access more teaching information through polling experience building. So many regulatory limits could be contrasted to offer support.
The bank bail-out needs to neutralize debt-forgiveness by forgiving all debts to hospitals, doctors, etc. so that that missing money just vanishes (gets cured.) Doctors are so educated, why can't they reward patients (pay them for listening to them, & waiting?)
The paradox of going into debt to study is another loss of credit to gambling. Education shares experience of responsibility values. Scholarship vehicles could allow for the creation of values that reward awareness as emerging properties (and create new forms of capital.)
Properties are physical (for profit maintenance), educational (for trustworthy information), and conceptual (for healthy wondering.)
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
Its probably not a good idea to present the scene of a death while celebrating the birth of a life but I think it may round things out.
This is a view of the the Lorraine Hotel where Dr Martin Luther King Jr. stayed in Memphis while trying to encourage the (mostly black) sanitation workers with their strike against the city for decent wages and working conditions. It is one of the few public places where blacks could stay in that city in 1968. Behind this facade is the newer 50's style motel structure which is seen in photos of his shooting. It still exists today and is transformed into a civil rights museum. This is about 5 blocks from Beale Street which is a blues center well worth visiting, as is Memphis.
Dr. King is one of my heroes. . . . and I do not pick my heroes lightly. If you are doing your job, flying a plane expertly into water as you have been trained to do or taken a bullet because you thought joining the National Guard was a good idea, you are not necessarily a hero to me; you may be cheapening the concept! A hero to me goes beyond the job, beyond what is expected, beyond unfortunate circumstance by creating his own circumstance. Looking for trouble, or at least expecting it, in the exercise of a principle and a stand against injustice. Engaging in an activity that you do not have to engage in, because it may result in a higher good--asking for trouble to prove a point.
And I do include those "freedom riders" who went south in the 60's to engage ignorant haters with non violent example and were shot and buried in levee soil to reward their efforts. And she willing to defy an easy life by tending to the sick of Calcutta; and those who deal with death each day and try to keep sane in an insane world. The fellow who stood in front of the tank in Tiannamin Square, 1989, and the soldier who says: "I refuse to kill for a government or anyone who expects that this will solve a problem".
These are my heroes. God bless them for they are our only hope for a better future; may we each aspire to be such.
Monday, January 19, 2009
Sunday, January 18, 2009
Did you know the bees are disappering?......
"Colony Collapse Disorder" they call it......
pollen collected and tested for poisons (insecticides)
found 40 different chemicals......
we're killing the bees......
the best thing that every happened to us......
what are you going to do without pollination?......
no more Lavender Honey.
This is the way the world ends
This is the way the world ends
This is the way the world ends
Not with a bang, but a wimper.
The end of the world will come for........"The Hollow Men".
as a bail-out participation credit for the redistribution
to those with obvious needs for support
as interviewer jobs expedite
the foundation of support allows
entitlement with patriotic contributions.
We need to pay everyone with a story
to contribute representation as polling
statistics design networks of sharing.
Trust will result from Information Age
attitudes that appreciate service generosity.
Health care means training everyone
with treatment extension potential
by encouraging the development of health monitoring
diagnosis education as a credit for experiences.
Those with debts to hospitals and doctors
get first redemption of victimizing costs.
This clears liabilities for the investment failures
to be rebooted as educational credits encourage
how to follow the trends that support, with the
treatment for desperation will allow generous patience.
Doctors distribute evaluation training (financial grants) by requesting
preferences that extend applications to diverse operating systems
to adapt administrative freedom for encouragement credits,
as comm-unity values reform Social-Security Assurance policies.
Service and information needs more centered integrity credits
than the profit gambling of production economics.
Money has turned into chips! So plastic health entitlement
is the better hygiene for (inter)national CARE.
Saturday, January 17, 2009
I woke up conflicted and relieved.
No doubt, I join countless other bloggers and commentators in writing parting thoughts about the departure of our 43rd President. Slate has posted the greatest cartoons drawn of Bush during the last 8 years and Andrew Sullivan leaves us with these parting thoughts.
There's no telling the track of history and so it's futile to guess at it. If Iraq is ultimately transformed into a functioning democratic state and serves as a buffer against Iran (a scenario looking less likely by the day) and if Afghanistan can help to defuse tensions with Pakistan by becoming a robust and healthy place devoid of poppy crops, who knows what will be written about the long term consequences of what now appears disastrous?
Only time will tell.
All we're left with are the intangible emotions that've wracked our bodies and minds for these long years: the tension felt as America re-elected a man who'd rewrite the Constitution to include discrimination against my family, the fear as he marched an entire nation to war on deceit and manipulation, the awe as he let an entire American city drown without blinking an eye or losing sleep.
A Shakespearean realization has crept up on me the past few weeks: it's the understanding that it's all been dream-like. The ideological warspeak that has dominated so much of our lives and terrified so many of us, the Christian talking points that evoked a frightening cultural holy war; none of it meant anything to these people at the top, who at the waning days of this Presidency seem wholly uninterested in belief and more concerned with not leaving a smoking pothole behind in the annals of history. Would an idealogue have agreed to the largest government take over of private financial institutions in American history? Would an idealogue have begun timid negotiations with the enemy in Iran? Would an idealogue have conceded the grim truth about Iraq and quietly drawn up a timeline for withdrawal?
The answer is clearly no.
Hence the dichotomy of the dream: who is this figure of conflict?
Bush is the aloof and spoiled American brat. He cares nothing about the cost of his mistakes and is perhaps tragically incapable of understanding the consequences of the choices he's made. We cannot label this without slight discomfort because we all know that on some level, a part of this is us. A part of this is America.
History may see him differently. We have no way to tell.
All we're left with is the sinking feeling that in order to unmake the America left to us by Bush, we'll have to unmake a part of ourselves; leaving behind the bloodiest century in human history in favor of the unknown.
At the end of A Midsummer Night's Dream, Bottom describes the "bottom-less" dream that words fail to quantify; as we pass from one set of dark days to another, made darker still by the shadow of the last, I'm reminded of those words as I shift in my bed, desperately trying to wake up.
For more, visit Rants, Raves and Rethoughts
Look at the shameless Arab kings, sheikhs, presidents, a million curses on you. They don't care for Islam, they don't care for Muslims, they don't care for Palestenians. They don't care for any human being except their dirty wealth and their seats of power. They are the ones who should be gas chambered.
This is a brilliant suggestion and only the USA can enforce it.
Food for thought for USA. But where will the criminal US Military Industrial Complex go? Thats the key. These sons of bitches would block it. They also need to be gas chambered in addition to the dirty ARAB Sheikhs, Kings and Presidents and Premiers.
Agha H Amin
Rabbi Michael Lerner Editor of Tikkun and National Chair of the Network of Spiritual Progressives Posted January 14, 2009 09:03 PM (EST)
Cease Fire Now in Gaza!
President-elect Obama:It's Time to End the Violence in the Middle East--Once and for AllConvene an International Middle East Peace Conference to facilitate a lasting and just settlement for all parties.The world's attention is focused on the Middle East for a fleeting moment. Let's seize this opportunity to insist on an end to this struggle in all its dimensions.
A Call for Lasting Peace
President-elect Obama: When you become president, please call for an immediate CEASE-FIRE in GAZA and for an International Peace Conference to implement a fair and lasting solution to all aspects of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The solution must also address the conflict between Israel and other states in the region. The international community must stop the violence and terror against Israeli civilians and against Palestinian civilians in Gaza and the West Bank. The international community must also stop the hidden but persistent violence of the Occupation itself.
Such a solution would be based on the following conditions:--
a. The creation of an economically and politically viable Palestinian state (roughly on the pre-1967 borders, with minor border modifications mutually agreed upon between Israel and Palestine).
b. The withdrawal of Israel from the Golan Heights, and simultaneously the full and unequivocal recognition by Palestinians and the State of Palestine and all surrounding Arab states of Israel's right to exist. Meanwhile Israel must offer full and equal rights to all of its non-Jewish citizens. Preferential treatment for Jews should exist only with regard to immigration, and that must be phased out when anti-Semitism in the world has disappeared. The same preferential treatment for Palestinians should exist in the Palestinian state as long as they face discrimination, reduced rights, or threats to their safety in other parts of the world.
c. The creation of an international consortium to provide generous reparations for Palestinians who have lost homes or property from 1947 to the present, and generous reparations for Jewish refugees from Arab states from 1947 to 1967.
d. The deployment of a long-term international peacekeeping force to separate Hezbollah and Israel in southern Lebanon and northern Israel, to ensure demilitarization of the Golan Heights, to protect Israel and Palestine from each other, to police the borders and the corridor that will need to be established linking Gaza with the West Bank, and to protect both Israel and Palestine from other forces in the region that might seek to control or destroy either state. In addition, treaty agreements must be made with the United States and other Western states to protect both Israel and Palestine from any assault by other countries (e.g. Iran, Pakistan, China, or Russia).
e. The quick imposition of robust sanctions against any party that refuses to sign or that violates these agreements.
It would be in the interests of Israel, the Palestinians, the Arab states, the Jewish people, the United States, and the world if this solution could be imposed on the parties now. It breaks our hearts to see the suffering of the Israeli people, the Palestinian people, the Lebanese people, and others in the region when we know how unnecessary it is. The basic issues can be resolved. No matter how maximalist the fantasies are on each side about eliminating their perceived enemies, and how enticing they seem when people feel powerless in any other way to stop the violence and oppression, the truth is that the majority of the people on all sides of the struggle would embrace peace if they thought it could be established in ways that provided for genuine security from military assault and terrorism for everyone, real justice for Palestinians, and acknowledgment of the wrongs that have been done to each side as a first step in healing the humiliations and huge psychic wounds suffered by Arabs and Jews throughout their histories.
A New Spirit of Openheartedness and Reconciliation
We know that no political solution can work without a change in consciousness that minimally includes an openheartedness and willingness to recognize the humanity of the other, as well as repentance and atonement for the long history of insensitivity and cruelty each side has shown toward the other side.
All sides must take immediate steps to stop the discourse of violence. Members of each side must stop the demeaning of the other in their media, their religious institutions, and their school textbooks and educational systems. They should implement this by creating a joint authority with each other and with moral leaders in the international community. The joint authority must be able to supervise and, if necessary, replace those in positions of power in Jewish, Islamic, and Arab societies who continue to use the public institutions of the society to spread hatred or nurture anger at the other.
Once the other parts of a lasting peace have been set in place, we call upon the parties to this struggle to launch a Truth and Reconciliation Commission, following the model used in South Africa.
We Affirm the Sacredness of All Human BeingsPresident Obama, your presidency might well be the last chance we in the advanced industrial societies have to avert international catastrophe (either environmental or nuclear). To do so, our way of dealing with the world must model something else besides brute military might, economic self-interest, and indifference to the well-being of others.
If not now, when?
It is time to overcome national chauvinism and arrogance. Instead we must build ethical and spiritual solidarity among the people of the world. Our well-being depends on the well-being of everyone else on the planet. So we need to build and strengthen those international institutions that can foster this sense of solidarity, which is the necessary foundation for global peace, social and economic justice, and ecological repair of the planet.
A Domestic and Global Marshall Plan--Starting with Israel/Palestine
The self-described "realistic" version of global politics asserts that we live in a world in which our safety can only be achieved through domination because others are always seeking to dominate us first. Of course, when we act on this assumption, it becomes self-fulfilling. We propose, instead, a strategy of generosity--to act on the assumption that people have an enormous capacity for goodness and generosity (without negating the truth that certain conditions promote fear, anger, and hatred, which sometimes are expressed in horribly destructive ways). For the United States and other G-8 countries, we call for a domestic and global Marshall Plan: for each of the next twenty years, the United States and other G-8 countries should dedicate between 1 percent and 2 percent of their Gross Domestic Product to eliminating hunger, homelessness, poverty, inadequate health care, and inadequate education both at home and around the world, to be paid for by a tax on international financial transactions and a reduction in the military budgets of these countries. We've developed the details of a domestic and global Marshall Plan at http://www.spiritualprogressives.org/.
If done in a way that emphasizes caring and solidarity, and not just the money, this strategy of generosity can help heal the angers and feelings of humiliation and abandonment that have been part of the psychological legacy that has made it easier for haters to recruit people into acts of terror or into extremist and fundamentalist consciousness. Just as a domestic Marshall Plan will help build a new sense of solidarity and hope in our country, so a global plan beginning in the Middle East (a plan that you, President Obama, introduce as part of the International Peace Conference) would reduce tensions there, not only by reducing physical suffering, but also by showing the people of the area, as well as people around the world, that selfishness is finally being challenged by a spirit of love and caring.
Israel's security would be greatly enhanced if the money spent on enforcing an occupation and protecting West Bank settlements went instead toward building a prosperous Palestinian economy. The "cynical realists" claim that others are entrenched in their hatefulness, and that war is the only way to confront them. This kind of thinking has led to 5,000 years of people fighting wars in order to "end all wars"--and it has not worked. It's time now to try a new strategy of generosity, both economic generosity and generosity of spirit. As stated above, there will first have to be a transitional period in which real military protections are available to people on all sides of the struggle. But by beginning now to simultaneously commit our economic resources and change the way that we talk about those whom we previously designated as "enemies," we can begin the long process of thawing out angers that have existed for many generations. Precisely at this moment, when our global economic meltdown requires a fundamental rethinking of how we've organized our global economy, we can now shift the funds from military spending and other wasteful production toward building a sustainable global reality. You, President Obama, could be the leader who teaches Americans this new way to understand America's self-interest.
Nothing can redeem the deaths and suffering that all sides have faced in this struggle for the past 120 years. But this very moment could also be the time in which the human race realizes the futility of violence and comes together not only to impose a lasting solution for the Middle East, but also to recognize that our own well-being depends on the well-being of everyone else on the planet. The International Middle East Peace Conference should be structured to achieve this end. In short, it should have an explicit psychological and spiritual dimension and a visionary agenda.
Unrealistic? Not at all. What has proved unrealistic time and again--whether we are talking about U.S. policy in Vietnam and Iraq, or Israeli and Arab policies in the Middle East--is the fantasy that one more war will put an end to wars. The path to peace must be a path of peace.Signed by: -- Rabbi Michael Lerner, Sister Joan Chittister, and Professor Cornel West,Co-chairs of the Network of Spiritual Progressives (NSP): email@example.com Zygmunt BaumanRabbi Haim Dov BeliakLawrence BragmanAnne BrownFritjof CapraClayborne CarsonNicandro CastanedaDeepak ChopraHoward CortPeter CoyoteJonathan DemmeAriel DorfmanRichard FalkPeter GabelDanny GoldbergRabbi Julie GreenbergMary GreyAshawna HaileyHazel HendersonRobert InchaustiRabbi David IngberRabbi Abie IngberMary Ellen IrvingRev. Jeff JohnsonMark C. JohnsonNancy KassBarbara KingRabbi Sharon KleinbaumJack KornfieldRev. Peter LaarmanAnnie LamottRabbi Mordechai LieblingJaime LonghiMichael MaccobyEverett MendelsonMichael NaglerMurray PolnerRabbi Peretz Wolf-PrusanMatthew RothschildDenis RutovitzSaskia SassenRichard SchwartzJeffrey ShapiroRabbi David ShneyerMark L. TaylorYi-Fu TuanJon Basil UtleyGenevieve VaughanRabbi Brian WaltAlyn WareRabbi Arthur Waskow
And more than 2,800 other religious, cultural, and community leaders, the full list of whom you can find by going to www.spiritualprogressives.org/article.php/gaza. You can add your name to this list at www.tikkun.org and donate so we can publish a shortened version of this message in other media.
• Yes, add my name to the list of signatories of the ad • To help get this message published in other media and to capture the attention of our policy shapers, I will donate: $__________I have enclosed a check (or am sending you my credit card info plus email and home phone) made out to TIKKUN for:• $5,000 •$1,000 •$500 •$300 •$100 •$75 •$25 •Other $ __________________You can also sign this ad and donate money online at www.tikkun.org.Name ______________________________________ Organization/Affiliation ____________________________Address ____________________________________ City/State/Zip ____________________________________Email ______________________________________ Phone __________________________________________•MC •Visa •Amex Credit Card No._______________________________Exp. date ______________Security Code (required)_________ (Last 3 digits on reverse of MasterCard or Visa; last 4 digits on front right side of American Express) Please make checks payable to TIKKUNand return this form to:TikkunAttn: Gaza2342 Shattuck Ave, Suite 1200Berkeley, CA 94704 Get InvolvedTikkun Community's Network of Spiritual Progressives (NSP) is an interfaith organization that seeks a New Bottom Line so that corporations, legislation, educational systems, legal and government policies, and our personal behavior get judged "efficient" or "rational" not only because they maximize money or power, but also to the extent that they maximize love, generosity, kindness, and ethical and ecological sensitivity, as well as enhance our capacities to respond with awe, wonder, and radical amazement at the mystery and grandeur of the universe. Please join at www.spiritualprogressives.org, become active with us, and donate to help us hire staff to expand our work throughout the United States. Our peace work flows from this goal. We also urge you to support other organizations doing important work for peace in the Middle East.
They include: J Street (www.jstreet.org), Brit Tzedek v'Shalom (www.btvshalom.org), Rabbis for Human Rights (www.rhr-na.org), Jewish Voice for Peace (www.jewishvoiceforpeace.org), Americans for Peace Now (www.peacenow.org), Gush Shalom (http://gush-shalom.org), and the American Friends Service Committee (www.afsc.org), and the Shalom Center (www.shalomctr.org).More info: RabbiLerner@Tikkun.org
Friday, January 16, 2009
The play is a quest for a solution.As in our dreams, the law of psychic economy operates. In dreams we do not seek answers which our conscious (rational) mind is capable of supplying, we seek answers to those questions which the conscious mind is incompetent to deal with. So with the drama, if the question posed is one which can be answered rationally, e.g.: how does one fix a car, should white people be nice to black people, are the physically handicapped entitled to our respect, our enjoyment of the drama is incomplete - we feel diverted but not fulfilled. Only if the question posed is one whose complexity and depth renders it unsusceptible to rational examination does the dramatic treatment seem to us appropriate, and the dramatic solution become enlightening.
I tend to think this is slightly inaccurate (though nonetheless instructive) in understanding what (to the extent we're able to) is moving in a particular work of drama. It's a quest within a quest, which is why Shakespeare's unfolding theatrical metaphors are so lasting: it's the heart of the question "what's the meaning of life?" The best way to tackle that question is through analogy and metaphor (life as theatre) though ultimately it obscures the specific truth (which is unknowable anyway). The comedy mocks this fact. The tragedy laments it. The rest fall somewhere in between or all over that spectrum.
The complexity Mamet refers to, I think, is only complex because of our humanity, our inability to know. It is, at the same time, rather simple and timeless, but we can only deconstruct through the lens of the complex.
The writer's search for words is the protagonist's quest for a solution.
Both end in failure.
For more, visit Rants, Raves and Rethoughts
The capitalist system is failing and causing untold suffering throughout the world, people are loosing homes, jobs, businesses, futures, but let’s not talk about that, let’s not examine why we are complicit in creating a system that is and always will be unfair and unkind to the majority of people in the world. Let’s not bring down a system that is destroying the very earth on which we walk.
What utter bollocks, words are words and although careless and bitter words may cause problems they will never cause the pain and suffering that a blow, a kick, a bullet or a bomb will do. How fucked up is the world that believes if we all stop swearing good may prevail over evil? Lets sugar coat all our words then, I would if I thought it would change anything at all.
Anglo Saxon English is a rich and beautiful language; the Victorians started all this crap in England, bloody hypocrites that they were, changing the name of Gropecunt lane to Lovers lane and selling young children into prostitution. Goodness knows there is enough reason to swear; every day we see obscenities committed in our names to young and old, rich and poor alike.
We censor our words at our peril, we must talk, write, discuss, if people are impassioned, they might let slip a swear word, so fucking what? Does that word really make them a lesser person? Does that word make their case less valid? I don’t think so. Swearing can cut through the crap, can break tensions and obviously has its functions in society or there wouldn’t be swear words.
Are people good because they don’t swear? Bad because they do? It takes more than that to be good or bad, much more, it takes the courage to act, and more and more people are too complacent to act to stop evil, it’s easy to tell someone not to swear much harder to stand up and tell people to stop bombing the crap out of places, stop hurting people in real physical ways and to begin to change things.
What the fuck are we gonna do about all this bollock?
Thursday, January 15, 2009
WHERE ARE THE HUMAN RIGHTS NOW-THE DEDUCTION IS THAT ONE EUROPEAN OR AMERICANS LIFE IS MORE PRECIOUS THAN 1000 PALESTENIANS
ZIONIST ATTACK ON GAZA GHETTO CONTINUES. NOT A SINGLE EUROPEAN OR US MAJOR LEADER CONDEMNED IT. THE UN LED BY ITS MOST SPINELESS AND SHAMELESS SECRETARY GENERAL IS TOTALLY IMPOTENT.
THE LESSON THAT THE USA AND WEST IS DRIVING HOME IS THAT IF SOMEONE IS WEAK HE WILL BE DESTROYED. THUS IT IS LOGICAL FOR ALL STATES TO HAVE MORE WEAPONS?
A BILLION SHAMES ON ARAB KINGS, PRESIDENTS, GENERALS..............DISBAND YOUR ARMIES, NAVIES AND AIR FORCES BECAUSE YOU ARE SHAMELESS. A BILLION CURSES ON TWO SHAMELESS ARAB LEADERS SADAAT AND ARAFAT FOR MAKING PEACE WITH THE ZIONISTS. MY QUARREL IS NEITHER WITH THE CHRISTIANS NOR JEWS AND I AM NOT A PRACTISING MUSLIM , BUT WITH ZIONISTS WHO ARE WORSE THAN THE KAMINSKI AND DIRLEWANGER BRIGADES OF WARSAW 1944. THE PALESTENIANS BEING KILLED ARE BOTH CHRISTIANS AND MUSLIMS.
THE LESSONS THAT THE ZIONISTS ATTACKING GAZA GHETTO ARE DRIVING IN THE WORLD IS THAT HITLER WAS RIGHT ! HOLOCAST WAS THE IDEAL FINAL SOLUTION. AN ERRONEOUS LESSON BUT A PERCEPTION THAT SEEMS CLOSER TO THE TRUTH THAN IT REALLY IS. SHAME ON ARAB LEADERS KINGS AND PRESIDENTS. SHAME ON EUROPE AND USA. WHERE ARE YOUR HUMAN RIGHTS WHEN STATELESS PALESTENIANS ARE KILLED?
SOME EUROPEANS MAY NOT KNOW THAT MANY PALESTENIANS ARE CHRISTIANS TOO. A PATHETIC STATE OF AFFAIRS.
EVEN IF ARABS KILL ZIONIST SOLDIERS, HALF THE 1000 PALESTENIAN WOMEN AND CHILDREN THAT THE ZIONISTS ATTACKING GAZA GHETTO HAVE KILLED, THE ZIONISTS WILL MAKE PEACE.
THE FAULT OF THE PALESTENIANS IS NOT THAT THEY ARE NOT RIGHT BUT THAT THEY DONT HAVE WMDS. THERE IS A LESSON HERE WHICH ADOLF BUSH HAS TAUGHT THE WORLD IN 2003. IF YOU DONT HAVE WMDS YOU WILL BE ATTACKED AND SLAUGHTERED LIKE COCKROACHES IN ABU GHARIB !
PS--remember my dear brigadier Simon my dear friend and teacher, my dear Roman Catholic Friend, neither americans nor europeans are anything near christians....here i am referring to their leaders....these are the stone age barbarians and huns at heart.....democracy is a farce...the average american has a golden heart but he is a sheep manipulated by pagans with christian names and crafty zionists.
I would've recommended more confetti. You can watch the whole thing here.
My gut reaction was why do this in the first place if not to force your way into history; to desperately grab at some iota of control over the narrative that he must now see is so ardently turned against him. His feeble attempts at citing "good things" his Presidency achieves reminds me of dealing with former student's who plagiarized papers but point to the accuracy of the spelling of their name.
Near the end of the address, Bush trots out "heroes" to cite their good deeds. Again, the message is: "you may not like me, but c'mon, if it weren't for Iraq, this hero wouldn't exist. If it weren't for my abysmal mismanagement of Katrina, this guy wouldn't've been able to open that school!"
How grateful I am to have these daily comparisons between old and new. Eric Holder's confirmation hearings today only strengthened the integrity and intelligence of those coming to govern while these pathetic appearances reinforce the atrocious incompetence of the leaving.
For more, visit Rants, Raves and Rethoughts
Wednesday, January 14, 2009
Tuesday, January 13, 2009
Monday, January 12, 2009
At the end of November 2008, I was riding around with my friend Huong in her car. We were going to go somewhere and recite a Sutra and talk about it, but first we picked up my paycheck and cashed it. Then while we were driving she said, “there is this Vietnamese temple, do you want to see it?” And I was like a little nervous because I am an American and I thought the people there would think I was pretty weird, but I said yes anyway. When we pulled up to the front of the temple, I could hear this wonderful sound, that was strange yet familiar to me all at once. The sound of wooden fish and chanting. So I jumped out of the car and I think Huong had to run after me... because that sound just called to me. So we were invited in and we sat down and listened. She doesn't read Vietnamese, and I of course was just totally clueless. Then after the recitation, the monks and the nuns invited us to have dinner with them. All the fear that I had about going there was completely gone because Thay said this is your home. And I felt completely at home because everyone was making jokes and smiling.
I couldn't stay away from that sound, so I started coming every day after my extremely boring job as a file clerk. The first weekend I stayed there for the whole weekend, it was so awesome. I had to learn how to say Amitabha in Vietnamese. At first I thought it sounded really funny, and I didn't have enough practice to fight off an extreme case of the giggles. I thought, “that Buddha! is just really a comedian!” I went around and asked like a dozen old ladies how to say it, and eventually I think I learned how to do it. After the first weekend, when I went to work, I was so sore in my legs that it was hard to bend over the filing cabinets, but I was so happy that my coworkers wondered what happened to me. On November 30th, 2008 at 6:00 a.m. My mother's 58th birthday, I took refuge at Chua Phat To and the old monk gave me the name Thanh Vi (miracle).
After that, I came all the time and I was really happy to hear that there was going to be a retreat at the temple. So I let go of the job that I had as a file clerk, and I started working my own schedule as an expediter for the Internet corporation Chacha.com. But it seemed like the new job was kind of progressing slowly, so put in more time to practice reciting the Buddha's name. A course of events happened that really took away every excuse I had for not attending the retreat. They might seem bad, but miracles always happen in the midst of (seemingly) unfortunate circumstances.
At the beginning of the retreat, I almost wanted to run away, but the monks kind of stopped me just as I was about to exit the stage. It was difficult being the person that stood out from the crowd, it was kind of like being in a fish tank or a tight rope walker with the spot light on me. But I just tried my best to be mindful of the Buddha and forget myself, and when I couldn't make it, Thay and the monks helped me out. I am extremely grateful to them. We had this Jingle Bells song we would sing so many times a day! It was slightly modified from the original, but I would always remind myself to stay single minded reciting the Buddha's name, like a sleigh with just one horse. And that it was really fun too!
The last night of the retreat was so awesome. So many wonderful things happened. It would be hard to explain them all. We started the evening by bowing around the temple. At first I didn't think I would make it, and I stood in the back of the room feeling really nervous. Suddenly felt like I had a lot of energy, so I decided to give it a shot. As I was bowing around the parking lot, I kept asking myself Why? Why? What am I doing here? As I listened to the sounds of the city around me I heard the cars, and the people walking by. I saw lights in the windows of the apartments around us, and I thought about the people inside the houses. I thought well, if I can do this, then anyone can, and maybe I can inspire others to try to learn this method of Dharma that has given me a lot of happiness. I remembered this poem written by Tsem Rinpoche, a Tibetan Dharma Master:
For all those who have never
even heard the word Dharma
I go on this journey, because I care,
and cannot bear to see their pain
To connect them with
the Buddha, Dharma and Sangha,
I rejoice in any difficulties and problems, and
absorb them for the benefit of all.
So by just reciting that over and over in my head, and by thinking about the kindness of Thay and the other Dharma Masters, I got through to the end of the prostrations. As we approached the door, I heard applause as people were entering the sanctuary. As people came in, everyone was applauding them for coming this far. How far and to where exactly I wasn't sure, it seemed like I had entered the Pure Land as I bowed through the door. As I bowed through the doors, everyone was applauding so loudly for me that I was moved to tears. Because I know that I could not have made it through that door with out all of their support and love as well. And I felt very grateful to them as well as the Dharma Masters. After the ceremony I told Thay “thank you, tonight my life had purpose.”
Sunday, January 11, 2009
Blame doesn't matter, and we are all responsible - to see that it ends.
Chardi kala to all.
Mai Harinder Kaur
Saturday, January 10, 2009
The chance of the PA [Palestinian Authority] establishing some post-war stability in Gaza certainly seems more remote. And the emergence of a poetntial terrorist training and recruiting ground in a failed and radicalized society in Gaza all the likelier. Friends and supporters of Israel should worry about this.
I have sympathy for Israel and it's efforts. A country coming under constant rocket fire has an obligation to protect it's people. But here we see the damaging psychosis of modern war: as we move to suppress the violence with overwhelming force, we only breed more of it.
It all sounds strangely detached till you consider the lost children of the Samounis family and countless others who's deep and horrible wounds will only fester into radicalism once more.
Solving this crisis requires the moral resolve to push back against the justifiable anger of so many constituencies tangled in this quagmire and to point to the only real solution: creating infrastructure, opportunity and secular education to the people of Gaza and like regions throughout the developing and destroyed world.
Only then might we all emerge from the shadows of these bloody decades.
For more, visit Rants, Raves and Rethoughts
Friday, January 9, 2009
The deciding moment defines symptomatic behavior of parasitic nature,
Bush is the example of no political interest accumulated.
because he was so obviously a corporate raider & oil price manipulator.
The extreme results focuses a larger agreement of who has to be held responsible for the changes that makes this country more socialistic than ever allowed. To make this a bigger injustice these victimizers will make us believe that it can be reversed. The only chance (for that) would be for The Supreme Court to declare as "unconstitutional" the propaganda style of totalitarianism Bush represented.
THEY should void their decision to give him access!
Maybe it's just the turn of the tide.
Perhaps it's being through with 16 years of frivolity.
Or it could be our new Commander in Chief takes the job really, really seriously.
I recently read a friend's Facebook status that said: "Free Palestine".
At first I tried to ignore it. Why even respond to such ignorance, I thought.
But as the day wore on; and as I kept coming back to Facebook (at least 75 times per day), the status remained and my bubbling frustration grew...
This was, after all, a Facebook status: meant to be read. Meant to be spread.
Why would someone post something about a situation so serious without offering serious thought? This is a serious year, after all.
I finally responded: "Where's Palestine?" To my knowledge, the sovereign nation of Palestine has not existed for sometime. I added "From what?" I suppose the implicit idea was that the Palestinians find themselves oppressed by Israel. Some people would certainly agree with that idea, but few would suggest that Israeli aggression is wholly unjustified in the face of constant terrorism. It seems the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict just can't be distilled in a single Facebook status. Who'd've thunk it?
Sorry, but I've had it with jingoism. "War on Terror", "Spreading Democracy", "Enhanced Interrogation Techniques"; I'm not sure any of these has done us any good.
And while they all fit comfortably into a Facebook status, I'm not sure how much they contribute to our serious start in 2009.
For more, visit Rants, Raves and Rethoughts
Thursday, January 8, 2009
I wrote this in response to a change that has come over me. In recent months, I have become so ugly, and angry, and bitter and callous and cruel! I have had not one nice word to utter, no kind smiles to bestow, and certainly not a warm hug or friendly kiss to share with loved ones. In fact, I'm shocked I still have "loved ones."
I've discovered something beautiful in the past week that I had forgotten about. Through the protests and the concerts and, of course, the Festival, I was introduced to so many good people that I'd never known before. I saw generosity in its purest form: people handing out box upon box of free, unopened water bottles to groups of protesters who had been tear gassed ; "free hugs," taken seriously and given earnestly in the middle of the night ; kind words exchanged between strangers ; a sense of true safety and security in the darkest, coldest, times of night because everyone knew that they were among friends.
It has reminded me that life is very much worth living, despite the sick, hard, dark, mean things that surround (and threaten to suffocate) humanity. I have been reminded that my purpose is humanity, is love, is freedom and peace for all. Forgiveness is not a privilege, not a "treat" to be handed out to the most enthusiastic trespasser – it is a way of life, a calm, peaceful state of mind that says, "the one who stole from me is the same one who stole from you, and from our fathers, and who will steal from our children – he is a sickness that has always plagued our people and always will, and the only cure is peace, and love, and forgiveness."
It was my hurt, which became my anger, which stole my heart, which was replaced by my cruelty, that suffocated my soul for all this time. And, it is YOUR love, which has become my forgiveness, which has restored my heart, which has replaced my cruelty, that has freed my soul again.
Hence, the poem "Magic." I do hope you enjoy.
And as glitter fell from the sky
Like particles of soul,
Or pieces of the sun,
And touched my glowing cheeks
And rained down into my mind
And dizzied my vision
And enchanted the beating of my heart,
And as the music played
And the children played
And the stars and the moon and the trees
All together, in the glittery midnight
And as the warmth of so much love
And so many bodies
And so many smiles
Came together in mass exaltation
And as the trees began to laugh
And the stars came out to watch
And the rain drip-drop tickled
The shining, upturned faces
Of the playing children
And as the kind, soft earth
Beneath clitter-clotter dancing feet
Sighed its slow, deep, kind approval
I looked around with soulful eyes
And they felt bigger than the sky
And took in more of my world
Than they could ever reach before
And I was loved.
And so began to love back.
Wednesday, January 7, 2009
Realism, for my money, should always be left to the cultural critics as they sift through the sad remnants of everyday life. Those of us tasked with telling stories get far more mileage out of the invited fiction our audience is willing to entertain.
The strength of all art lies in the imagination of those watching.
I can't wait to join in the fun in 2009.
Pictured Above: An image from Spike Jonze's Where the Wild Things Are, a film based on a much beloved children's book that I'm just about ready to pee my pants in anticipation for.
For more, visit Rants, Raves and Rethoughts
In kindergarten you learn that you can do anything
"What do you want to be when you grow up?"
"Good for you! You can do anything you put your mind to."
In high school you learn that to achieve, you must be educated
"Where are you going to school next year?"
"Good for you! You'll do great things."
In real ife you learn that it doesn't always work that way
"What are you up to now?"
"Well, I'm working a lot and I hope to go back to school soon."
"Good for you! You still have time."
In time you learn to adapt
"You in school yet?"
"It's not looking good, but I hope to find a better job soon."
"Well, life isn't always easy. Best of luck to you."
Sometimes adaptation doesn't work
"Where are you living now?"
"With some friends. I'm hoping to get my own place soon."
"That sounds like fun."
After adaptation fails you, you learn to survive
"How do you plan on getting to work today?"
"I figure I can make it there and back, and then I don't know."
"At least you're still trying, though, right? Good for you."
Survival isn't easy, either
"Have you eaten today?"
"No, not yet, but my friend works at Pizza Hut and I figure I can get something later."
"Well if you ever need anything, let me know."
But you can't always "let them know"
"How're ya doin today?"
"Eh, I'm alright. Just truckin' along, you know."
"Good for you. Good for you."
Eventually you learn that to let them know is to sell yourself
"Oh, hey, I got that twenty bucks you needed!"
"Gee, thanks. I really do appreciate that, and I'll pay you as soon as I can."
"Oh, don't worry about it. What kind of person would I be if I couldn't help a friend in need?"
And then you learn that a sold soul is a pitied life, and you ask a child
"What do you want to be when you grow up?"
And you smile, and you say, "Good. Good for you."
And you eat your free pizza and you make it to work and you think
"One day I will."
Tuesday, January 6, 2009
"Major Marcel saw alien bodies. Two witnesses are cited who claim that Marcel briefly mentioned seeing bodies, one a relative and another a tech sergeant who worked with Marcel's intelligence team. Eyewitness accounts of the site from Gerald Anderson provided vivid descriptions of both a downed alien craft and four aliens, of which at least one was alive".
The Big Picture......is this......extraterrestrials are real, advanced life forms from other worlds, and yes they've been visiting our world for some time now........The Disclosure Project.
Some of the first photographs from the early lunar probes revealed unusual and unnatural structures that could only be explained as buildings and bases............Sgt. Karl Wolf.
During the Apollo missions, photographs were taken of the moon from the orbiting Command Modules.........analysis of these photographs reveal extensive evidence of purpose-build constructions in the form of buildings, facilities, and bases........Lunomaly Research Group.
Apollo 14 astronaut, Dr. Edgar Mitchell, confirms what many have long known......that the events at Roswell in 1947 did happen and that we are indeed being visited by beings from other worlds.......Fox News.
The Travis Walton experience is unequivocally the best documented case of alien abduction ever recorded.....they study us, like we study frogs in biology class.......Fire in the Sky.
Secret space based weapon systems can be seen through the telescope of John Lenard Walson.........John Lenard Walson.
Astounding ultraviolet video footage from NASA space missions show an unbelievable view of huge alien spacecraft in the film, "Dan Ackroyd-Unplugged on UFO's"........Trailer.
Conspiracy Theory?....................................it's not a theory.