January 1st, 2008

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Welcome to 2008!

I wake and feel younger as though something dropped, like the ball in Times Square,  in the night.

I try not to be driven by expectation but instead guided and pulled forth by delight.

This short film is a lovely way to begin the new year.

Click and settle in and savor and know the wisdom in looking more deeply into the souls of those who share this life.


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On another note -

I am perusing the latest Book Passage newsletter, salivating over all the great books and author events.

In his editorial, W. Petrocelli brings something important to my attention.  I should have been aware, but let this slip through my consciousness.

How could CA have more money for schools, parks and potholes?

"$48,000,000 is the estimated amount of revenue that California loses each year by Amazon.com's refusal to collect and pay sales taxes in this state." 

The amount for the decade Amazon has not paid California sales tax the amount is probably well over half-a-billion dollars.

A sales tax taxes those who can afford to buy.  Also, those who are avoiding sales tax through purchasing on-line are those who can afford a computer.  It is a wee bit unfair.   Probably each one of us buys from Amazon and has enjoyed not paying sales tax, but when we think of the cost to our children, parks, and roads, perhaps we can re-think this and speak.

You can contact the members of the California Board of Equalization and take a swing at getting this changed.

Betty Yee is the chair.  916-445-4081.    Board.Member D1@boe.ca.gov

Bill Leonard - 916-445-2181.  Bill.Leonard@boe.ca.gov

Michelle Steele - 916-445-5713.  boardmembersteel@boe.ca.gov

Judy Chu - 916-445-4154

John Chiang - our state controller - 916-445-2636.

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Evening -

We walked down to the marsh today and watched all the cars lined up to go to the beach.  It was the perfect day to not get into a car.  Our neighbors were out walking, too, and Happy New Year floated through the air as people passed.

I came home and pruned some more.  These days are so amazing and the trees are thinking it is spring.  I'm sure the cold will come and I hope the trees aren't too shocked.  For now, it was the perfect New Year's Day, and we made and shared a perfect dinner.

Tonight, I put the Christmas decorations away, but not too far away this year, as it seems before I know it, Christmas will again be here, and this year I will be more prepared I say, as I said last year.

What am I with tonight?

I continue to feel great and deep peace. 

When I was at the Buddhist monastery of Tengboche at 13,000 feet in the Everest region of Nepal, I stood outside and heard the laughter inside.  I believe in that laughter, that joy.   Many Tibetans have been misplaced, and many have been tortured, and yet, they find laughter.

I had the experience on my 44th birthday of rising early and entering the monastery at Tengboche and being allowed to participate in a special service.  I wandered in straight from my sleeping bag and was given a special seat and a drink.  The monks chanted and I felt the beginning and end of space and time as one.  Each moment, for me, is that.

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Adlai Stevenson -

Joan brought up Adlai Stevenson a man I admire.  In looking for a quote of his on education, I came across some others.


ADLAI  E. STEVENSON, who lived 1900-1965

A hypocrite is the kind of politician who would cut down a redwood tree, then mount the stump and make a speech for conservation.

All progress has resulted from people who took unpopular positions.

Flattery is all right as long as you don't inhale.

Freedom rings where opinions clash.

He who slings mud generally loses ground.

I don't want to send them to jail.  I want to send them to school.

I have been thinking that I would make a proposition to my Republican friends... that if they will stop telling lies about the Democrats, we will stop telling the truth about them.

It's hard to lead a cavalry charge if you think you look funny on a horse.

Making peace is harder than making war.

There was a time when a fool and his money were soon parted, but now it happens to everybody.

We have confused the free with the free and easy.

On the plains of hesitation lie the blackened bones of countless millions who at the dawn of victory lay down to rest, and in resting died.

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"A man who has never gone to school may steal from a freight car, but if he has a university education he may steal the whole railroad."

- Teddy Roosevelt, 1907

"Every child must be encouraged to get as much education as he has the ability to take. We want this not only for his sake -- but for the future of our nation's sake. Nothing matters more to the future of our country: not our military preparedness -- for armed might is worthless if we lack the brainpower to build world peace; not our productive economy -- for we cannot sustain growth without trained manpower; not our democratic system of government -- for freedom is fragile if citizens are ignorant."

- President Lyndon Johnson, while declaring a national goal of full educational opportunity

"Men may be born free; they cannot be born wise; and it is the duty of the university to make the free wise."

- Adlai Stevenson, "What I Think"