May 8th, 2006

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Good Morning!!

It is a beautiful May morning, and I am imaging myself as a vivid purple violet living among the protection of the Redwood trees. I feel how interconnected we all are, and I like that feeling. Yum!! I taste and feast.

This quote comes my way today. I agree with Albert, and I don't believe that is the only reason we are good. We are good because it is so much fun!!!

"If people are good only because they fear punishment and hope for reward, then we are a sorry lot indeed."

ALBERT EINSTEIN

A joyful day to all. Kick up your heels and savor them. All our parts are meant to play.
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Today! Prepare for a Rant!

Jane and I are back.  It has been five weeks, most of my radiation time so far.  Amazing!!

This is the poem that comes to me after we have our morning talk, which came after reading this quote from Marjorie Cohn.  She writes,  "Now that the mission - whatever it was - has not been accomplished in Iraq, Bush is setting up a potentially bigger disaster in Iran. Last month, Seymour Hersh revealed that the US military is making preparations for an attack on Iran. Recent events confirm Hersh's report."

 
Here is my comment on that.  

 

 

Reaching into Awareness

 

A new study shows

“Our” people are sicker than those of England.

Yes, obesity might be a cause,

but isn’t it more the guilt we carry

over what is done in our name,

the arrogance of determining that we know better what another country needs,

the conceit that bombs and kills and maims.

And aren’t we suffering the environmental effects

of the bombs we tested in the desert,

where lizards watched and people drove by,

and the air was filled with poison,

that filtered down on us all?

We harm,

and where do we put such sorrow, such pain?

          We place it in our hearts, our breasts, our guts.

                    There is no half-life

                             on guilt that drains

                                      our life away.

          Chemo won’t replace it, nor radiation.

          We must wind this country back to a place of peace,

                   and ease where independent spirits once strolled and rode

                   on something besides vehicles called Tundra and Explorer,

                   in traffic jams that rarely get out of first gear,

                   where our brains and judgment seem to be stuck,

                             and our fears shorten our years.

                                  Our pack runs leaderless.

                                          Comfort is bound in tears.

 

 

 

Selling America down the drain

 

I feel the pain of the arrogant walk

of Bush,

and talk

draining our country of money,

as we continue to borrow

until there is no more,

and our soul is sold

down the drain

where arrogance

must always go,

as ego falls

and trees grow tall

knowing that roots connect,

and when those roots

are severed,

there is no hope for All.

 

 

Chris told me of a documentary that is coming out on the very wealthy of this country.  They never talk about money.  That would be crass and, of course, they don’t need to.  There is always money there.  These people are running and ruining our country.  We no longer have the resources, financial or people wise to run around hammering the world.  We do not have unlimited resources, like some of the wealthy of this country.  We, who understand that limits define our life, make it more worthwhile, need to speak now, before there is nothing left here to defend.  We are being sold down the river and we don’t even seem to know.  I don’t understand.

The more I read of horses and dogs who are pack animals like us, the more I see we need leadership, and that we do not seem to have that right now in any  form.   Where are our leaders?

So, a change of subject.  Here is a report of my day so far. 

I go to radiation, my last Biggie, which is good, as I am experiencing some discomfort.  Lara’s Theme is the song for today.  Tears come to my eyes, as I lie there looking up at the lily pond and seeing faces in the combination of water and water bugs.  It has been a long time, and I am weary. I make an appointment to see Dr. Laub, my dermatologist.  I will see him next Monday.  My schedule made it impossible to get in before that.  He will then determine whether the biopsy is necessary and then on I will go on a new adventure.

Today, there was an elderly woman in the radiation room.  She had just had radiation and was being taken upstairs for six hours of chemo.  She was concerned about food.  I told her husband he could bring food to her, though I didn’t say she might not feel like eating there.  I see how much we want to live.  I will probably step right back into chemo again if I have to, and yet, I wonder where it stops.   Because they are so sweet in the medical community, it is hard not to feel it is the right thing to do, to do what they say, and, yet, I wonder about it all.  Today is a day of wondering for me.  I want to live.  I have shown that to be true.  I learn something new each day, and today I watch my tears as I struggle to renew.

Great love and care to you all!   We will all make it through, though to what continues to be unknown, and maybe that is the joy, the mystery. 

 Paulo Coelho wrote:

 

"We will only understand the miracle of life fully when we allow the unexpected to happen."

 

and so we do!

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Our Seniors!

I know that each of you is probably a member of Move On and other organizations that are pushing this through, and just in case, I place this here. We have to speak now for our seniors, because we will soon be seniors, and our children will one day be seniors. We cannot let this pass through. I apologize to those of you whose email mailbox is filled with pleas to sign this petition, but, just in case, here it is.

I guess this feels especially personal to me today as I just watched this elderly couple struggle to understand the chemo-radiation regimen. She was hooked up to a tiny oxygen tank. If we are going to try and save the lives of our elders, let us at least make it as easy as possible for them. Please sign this today, if you haven't already. Thank you from me, and others.

Dear MoveOn member,

Have you heard about the May 15th deadline to sign up for the new prescription drug program? Most Americans haven't. But in less than 2 weeks, President Bush and Congressional Republicans are preparing to slap as many as 14 million seniors with heavy, lifetime penalties because they haven't joined the bewildering new program.1We need to stand up for our seniors.

So today, we're launching an urgent petition calling on Congress to cancel the May 15th lifetime penalty (also called the "senior tax") and to fix the Medicare drug program. It's time to put seniors' needs above corporate greed.

We'll rush your signatures and comments to Congress before the clock runs out next Monday. If enough of us speak up on this politically sensitive issue, we can help push Congress to act before it's too late. Please sign today:

http://www.political.moveon.org/seniorsfirst?id=7513-4099213-FQyXM3P2CEAlv9_CwbdG6A&t=2

Why are the top Republicans in Washington pushing this harsh deadline?

Big drug company lobbyists wrote the Medicare drug plan, and spent hundreds of millions of dollars to ram it through Congress.2 To maximize profit, they need as many seniors as possible to sign up, and pay in. But five months after the launch, as many as 14 million eligible seniors have been unable or unwilling to join the corrupt program. Why have so many seniors been shut out?

Cost: The government is forbidden to use its free market negotiating power to lower costs, so seniors have to pay more and the deficit explodes,3 while the big drug companies rake in an estimated $325 billion dollar profit over the next 10 years.4
Control: Drug companies can switch the drugs they offer at will, but seniors are locked into single plans for up to a year at a time—whether or not they are getting the drugs they need.5
Confusion: Because Medicare is forbidden to offer the drugs directly, seniors are bombarded with hundreds of different private programs and mountains of fine print.6
Adding insult to injury, the official Medicare hotline has consistently given out false information to seniors struggling to choose a plan.

Now, the drug companies need more seniors to pay in to their corrupt program. Seniors do need a drug program, and the right way to boost enrollment would be to fix the serious flaws that have kept seniors out. But instead, President Bush and Congressional Republicans are trying to intimidate reluctant seniors into joining by threatening them with severe, lifetime penalties.

But they don't have to get away with it. Democrats in Congress are standing firm against the penalties,8 and even some Republicans are breaking ranks.9 As the national spotlight turns this week to the looming "senior tax", we can help show Congress and the media that seniors—and Americans of all ages—are mobilized on this issue, and ready to act.

We'll deliver your signatures to your Representatives in Congress, and report our totals to the national media. The big drug companies will always have more money, but in our democracy real people can still carry the day.

Please join us, and encourage friends and relatives who are concerned about this issue to do the same:

http://www.political.moveon.org/seniorsfirst?id=7513-4099213-FQyXM3P2CEAlv9_CwbdG6A&t=3

–Ben, Natalie, Matt, Tom, and the MoveOn.org Political Action Team
Monday, May 8thth, 2006
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Dubai -

In case it was unclear, only Steve goes to Dubai, not me. It is a 20 hour flight each way, and I am not up for that right now, and I'm not sure that Dubai would be my first choice of vacation spot right now, though I hear wonderful things about it. My next trip will be to CT. to see my Katy, Jan, and Gar. I am waiting to make my reservations until I am more clear on what the future holds. May we all travel easily and lightly over the ground and through the air.
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Fellowship of Reconciliation!

William Stafford was a member of this organization for fifty years. I was unaware of them until I read his book, "Every War Has Two Losers."

I checked it out and joined. You can join for $35.00 and receive their newsletter. If you are interested in various ways to pursue peace, check them out at http://www.forusa.org/
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Social Security -

Don't listen to Bush as we know. Here is an editorial in the NY Times today.

Editorial
Social Security Endures

Published: May 8, 2006

Buried in the newly released 2006 annual report on Social Security, there is good news on the program's long-term health. But don't expect to hear President Bush talking about it. His main comment on the new report is that the system is "going broke." He apparently still wants people to believe that their only options are ending up with nothing from the government in old age or relying on financial markets. That's a false choice and Americans recognized it as such when they rejected his push last year for private accounts.

Projected "cost rates" in this year's report show smaller annual deficits in Social Security than had previously been assumed, starting around mid-century. The 75-year projection ends in 2080 with a shortfall that is less than last year's estimates by $57 billion, in today's dollars. That's important, because the smaller the deficit, the less drastic the reforms needed to keep the program going strong.

The deficit is lower because government statisticians now assume that American women will have two children, on average, versus an earlier estimate of 1.95. The happy result for Social Security is that more taxpayers make for a healthier system. That is not to suggest that increased fertility is the key to strengthening Social Security. It obviously helps, as would more immigration or stronger wage growth.

What the big impact of small adjustments shows is that Social Security is a dynamic system, adaptable to the 21st century. Currently, it is able to pay full benefits until 2040. Reforms that are enacted between now and then must be structured to take advantage of shifts that work in the system's favor, and to protect against those that don't. To that end, phasing in a modest package of benefit cuts and tax increases over the next several decades is the best way to ensure that the system won't come up short a generation from now.
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Blooming -

I bring fresh roses into the house, and fill it with scent. My Amaryllis is in bloom. The flowers are almost eight inches across. They come inside too.

I rest this afternoon. I told my brother this has taken the wind out of my sails, and he said maybe it is time for me to drift, and so I am. I think I never really understood what happened. I never felt I had cancer. Perhaps this is a way to get in touch with all I have been through.

I drift a bit this afternoon with the book Treehouse Chronicles. The author says, "I love solitude. I love quiet. I love when the bombardment of today's world winds down." I realize I don't need a treehouse to allow that. I can do it right here. He calls his treehouse his "Thoughtful Spot," a place where, like Winnie the Pooh, he can "work the fluff out from his head."

Spend the evening perhaps in a treehouse of your own imagination. There is always a place to soar, and ground. Be like the birds. Rise up and down.
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You all know this poem.

I know you all know this poem.  Elaine reminds me of it today.  We all know this poem, and there are times it sinks more deeply in than others.  This is one of those times for me.  I am exhausted.  I am in surrender.  I am worn out, and in that, perhaps I see those dear seams that hold the Velveteen Rabbit together.  I see the love as it careens over rocks,  like streams.  I see and I am evolved and involved.  I am so much part of this world, as are you.  Each one of us is so important and so supported and so cared for.  Feel how cared for you are. 

Today, Ellen tells me of a show on wolves, on the alpha and the omega, the string we all inhabit, and when the omega dies, the weakest perceived link, there is an incredible grieving by the wolves.  Each one of us is so very, very important.  Can you feel it?  How much you are loved?  I hope you do.

Wild Geese

You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
for a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body love what it loves.
Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting--
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.



MARY OLIVER
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Stewart Brand -

This Friday Chris Anderson (WIRED's editor) and Will Hearst (from Kleiner Perkins) take the "long tail" revolution into a new dimension--- time. They have good news for long-term thinking: the tyranny of the new is over.

"How endless choice is creating unlimited demand" is the description line on Anderson's forthcoming book (July), THE LONG TAIL. Thanks to plummeting costs of inventory and distribution on the Internet, best-sellers of anything (products, services, ideas) sell better than ever, but so does everything else, and that changes the world. Tiny-sellers to tiny niches now have aggregate power greater than the best-sellers that used to rule.

But what about old stuff? Google is a time machine, says Anderson. Old stuff, instead of vanishing the way it used to, now accumulates more links over time and thus more "authority." Search engines value relevance over freshness. The new is always provisional. The consequential old is perpetually on tap, its consequence always renegotiable. Internet time, long considered pathologically rapid, apparently contains its own cure.

"The Long Time Tail," Chris Anderson with Will Hearst, Palace of Fine Arts Theater (by the Exploratorium), San Francisco, 7pm, Friday, May 12. The lecture starts promptly at 7:30pm. Admission is free ($10 donation welcome as ever, not required).