Saturday, December 31, 2011
Sunday, October 16, 2011
So let's call the crisis what it is: the rise of privately held government.
It's happened in part because for decades Americans have been told, and too many got swept up in the fairy tale, that we have to turn over our fate to a force that works on its own without us: the market. It's "magic," Ronald Reagan assured us, is all we need.
Once we buy that notion, we're done for, for wealth accrues to wealth to wealth until we end up with a society that a 2005 Citigroup report famously dubbed a "Plutonomy," in which the top 1 percent control more wealth than the bottom 90 percent. And an America where inequality is now greater than in Pakistan or Egypt, according to the World Bank. ~ Frances Moore Lappé
I briefly visited the “We are the 53%” website, but I first saw your face on a liberal blog. Your picture is quite popular on liberal blogs. I think it’s because of the expression on your face. I don’t know if you meant to look pugnacious or if we’re just projecting that on you, but I think that’s what gets our attention.
In the picture, you’re holding up a sheet of paper that says:
I am a former Marine.
I wanted to respond to you as a liberal. Because, although I think you’ve made yourself clear and I think I understand you, you don’t seem to understand me at all. I hope you will read this and understand me better, and maybe understand the Occupy Wall Street movement better.
Saturday, October 15, 2011
Kahlil Gibran says it beautifully here: http://www.katsandogz.com/onjoy.html
Monday, September 12, 2011
Saturday, September 10, 2011
Friday, June 24, 2011
Time is the shop
Yet again God
(The Gift -- versions of Hafiz by Daniel Ladinsky)
Web version: www.panhala.net/Archive/Wise_Men_Keep_Talking.html
Saturday, May 21, 2011
Author, "Diet For A Small Planet"
Monday, May 16, 2011
For a long time it has watched your desire,
It watched you play with the seduction of safety
Then the delight, when your courage kindled,
~ John O'Donohue ~
(To Bless the Space Between Us)
Web version: www.panhala.net/Archive/For_a_New_Beginning.html
Sunday, May 15, 2011
Sometimes farm granaries become especially beautiful when all the oats or wheat are gone, and wind has swept the rough floor clean. Standing inside, we see around us, coming in through the cracks between shrunken wall boards, bands or strips of sunlight. So in a poem about imprisonment, one sees a little light.
But how many birds have died trapped in these granaries. The bird, seeing freedom in the light, flutters up the walls and falls back again and again. The way out is where the rats enter and leave; but the rat's hole is low to the floor. Writers, be careful then by showing the sunlight on the walls not to promise the anxious and panicky blackbirds a way out!
I say to the reader, beware. Readers who love poems of light may sit hunched in the corner with nothing in their gizzards for four days, light failing, the eyes glazed...
They may end as a mound of feathers and a skull on the open boardwood floor...
"We are motivated more by aversion to the unpleasant than by a will toward truth, freedom, or healing. We are constantly attempting to escape our life, to avoid rather than enter our pain, and we wonder why it is so difficult to be fully alive."
"Simply touching a difficult memory with some slight willingness to heal begins to soften the holding and tension around it."
"When your fear touches someone’s pain, it becomes pity, when your love touches someone’s pain, it become compassion."
"If there is a single definition of healing it is to enter with mercy and awareness those pains, mental and physical, from which we have withdrawn in judgment and dismay."
"There is nothing noble about suffering except the love and forgiveness with which we meet it."
"God is not someone or something separate but is the suchness in each moment, the underlying reality."
"That which is impermanent attracts compassion. That which is not provides wisdom."
"Our life is composed of events and states of mind. How we appraise our life from our deathbed will be predicated not only on what came to us in life but how we lived with it. It will not be simply illness or health, riches or poverty, good luck or bad, which ultimately define whether we believe we have had a good life or not, but the quality of our relationship to these situations: the attitudes of our states of mind."
The living economy frame shifts the focus from making money to making a living. This simple shift in perspective shines a spotlight on the many ways we can simultaneously improve the quality of our lives while reducing our human burden on the biosphere.
In a living economy, the rights and interests of living communities of living, breathing people engaged in a living exchange with the natural systems of their bioregion properly take priority over the presumed rights of artificial corporate entities that value life only as a marketable commodity and operate by the moral code of a malignant cancer. Protecting the boundaries of the community from intrusion by predatory corporations is an essential function of any responsible government. ~ David Korten
Monday, March 14, 2011
~ John O'Donohue ~
(To Bless the Space Between Us)
Web version: www.panhala.net/Archive/For_Lost_Friends.html
Sunday, March 6, 2011
The other day a young person asked me how I felt about being old. I was taken aback, for I do not think of myself as old. Upon seeing my reaction, she was immediately embarrassed, but I explained that it was an interesting question, and I would ponder it, and let her know.
Old Age, I've decided, is a gift.I am now, probably for the first time in my life, the person I have always wanted to be.
Oh, not my body ... the wrinkles, the baggy eyes, and the sagging butt. And often I am taken aback by that old person that lives in my mirror (who looks like my mother!), but I don't agonize over those things for long.
I would never trade my amazing friends,my wonderful life, my loving family for less gray hair or a flatter belly. As I've aged, I've become kinder to myself, and less critical of myself. I've become my own friend. I don't chide myself for eating that extra cookie, or for not making my bed, or for buying that silly cement gecko that I didn't need,but looks so avante garde on my patio. I am entitled to a treat, to be messy, to be extravagant.
I have seen too many dear friends leave this world too soon; before they understood the great freedom that comes with aging.
Whose business is it if I choose to read or play on the computer until 4 AM and sleep until noon?I will dance with myself to those wonderful tunes of the 60 &70's,and if I, at the same time, wish to weep over a lost love ... I will.I will walk the beach in a swim suit that is stretched over a bulging body, and will dive into the waves with abandon if I choose to, despite the pitying glances from the jet set.They, too, will get old.I know I am sometimes forgetful.But there again, some of life is just as well forgotten. And I eventually remember the important things.
Sure, over the years my heart has been broken. How can your heart not break when you lose a loved one, or when a child suffers, or even when somebody's beloved pet gets hit by a car? But broken hearts are what give us strength and understanding and compassion. A heart never broken is pristine and sterile and will never know the joy of being imperfect.
I am so blessed to have lived long enough to have my hair turning gray, and to have my youthful laughs be forever etched into deep grooves on my face.
So many have never laughed, and so many have died before their hair could turn silver.As you get older, it is easier to be positive. You care less about what other people think.
I don't question myself anymore. I've even earned the right to be wrong. So, to answer your question,I like being old — it has set me free.I like the person I have become. I am not going to live forever, but while I am still here, I will not waste time lamenting what could have been, or worrying about what will be. And I shall eat dessert every single day (if I feel like it).
Wednesday, March 2, 2011
I want to walk its azure perimeter
I want to stroll through the pale indigo light
I will scrutinize all the surprises of the future
A jaded traveler with an invisible passport,
~ Billy Collins ~
(The Apple That Astonished Paris)
Web version: www.panhala.net/Archive/The_Blue.html
Saturday, February 26, 2011
~ Mary Oliver ~
Web version: www.panhala.net/Archive/The_Poet_Drems_of_the_Mountain.html
Facing jail time for civil disobedience, Tim DeChristopher on why “we have more than enough power” to stop the fossil fuel industry.
Two years ago, in the waning days of the Bush administration, Tim DeChristopher was a 27-year-old college student who went to a protest. The rights to extract oil and gas from public lands in Utah were being auctioned off, and DeChristopher, concerned about the eventual impact of those fossil fuels on climate change, was determined to stop the auction. Someone mistook him for a bidder and offered him an auction paddle. He began bidding on land parcels, eventually winning 22,500 acres (for a total bid of $1.8 million, which he had no intention—or means—to pay) and calling attention to what the Department of the Interior later determined was an illegitimate auction.
On Monday, a federal court will convene to decide if DeChristopher is guilty of two felonies for his actions that day, charges that could land him in prison for up to 10 years and lead to fines of $750,000. You might think that kind of consequence would dampen someone's resolve, but DeChristopher is more convinced than ever that ordinary people have the power to stop even the most entrenched interests—provided we recognize that power.
Brooke Jarvis: From Tunisia to Egypt to Wisconsin, this is certainly a time when the power of people’s movements is evident—and particularly the quick, viral way they can spread as the success of one movement inspires another to begin. What can we learn from the uprisings of recent weeks?
Tim DeChristopher: Throughout the few weeks of the uprising in Egypt, there was never really any doubt that the protesters would eventually take out Mubarak. It was totally clear: They knew they had this level of power and were committed to exercising it. What we're missing is that commitment to exercising the citizen power that we already have. In Egypt, once they made the decision that they were going to be a powerful force, there was no stopping them.
I consider myself something of a prospective meditator—meaning that a serious meditation practice is always something I’m about to start… next week.
So for years, I’ve been making a mental note of new studies showing that meditation can literally change our brain structure in ways that might boost concentration, memory, and positive emotions.
The results seem enticing enough to make anyone drop into the full lotus position—until you read the fine print: Much of this research involves people who have meditated for thousands of hours over many years; some of it zeroes in on Olympic-level meditators who have clocked 10,000 hours or more. Pretty daunting.
Well, a new study offers some hope—and makes the benefits of meditation seem within reach even for a novice like me.
The study, published last month in the journal Psychiatry Research: Neuroimaging, suggests that meditating for just 30 minutes a day for eight weeks can increase the density of gray matter in brain regions associated with memory, stress, and empathy.
Thursday, February 10, 2011
God's presence is there in front of me, a fire on the left,
Saturday, February 5, 2011
This is a powerful article, well worth the read. Please consider passing on...
Even the Obama administration, which shunned outside groups in 2008, has opened the door to a covert spending war. The Democrats will now fight fire with fire. "Is small money better? You bet. But we're in a fucking fight," Democratic strategist and fundraiser Harold Ickes told me recently. "And if you're in a fistfight, then you're in a fistfight, and you use all legal means available."
The endgame here, of course, is non-stop war. No longer will outside groups come and go every two years. Now, such groups will be running attack ads, sending out mailers, and deploying robo-calls year-round in what is going to become a perpetual campaign to sway voters and elect friendly lawmakers. "We're definitely building a foundation," was how American Crossroads president Steven Law put it.
This is what nowadays passes for the heart and soul of American democracy. It used to be that citizens in large numbers, mobilized by labor unions or political parties or a single uniting cause, determined the course of American politics. After World War II, a swelling middle class was the most powerful voting bloc, while, in those same decades, the working and middle classes enjoyed comparatively greater economic prosperity than their wealthy counterparts. Kiss all that goodbye. We're now a country run by rich people.
Sunday, January 30, 2011
Love After Love
I share this on the 33rd anniversary of my twin brother's death....
Wednesday, January 19, 2011
What is the way to the woods, how do you go there?
Why must the gate be narrow?
~ Wendell Berry ~
(A Timbered Choir)
Web version: www.panhala.net/Archive/Sabbaths_1985_V.html