September 22nd, 2008

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A time to pause and blink -

I could see the financial crisis coming and I don't know how to fix it, but Krugman points out today that the situation may be dire, but let's not hand unlimited authority to those who caused it.  Isn't that why we are in Iraq, and why we tortured people and why the economy fell apart?  We need oversight, not continued trust.

Op-Ed Columnist

Cash for Trash

Published: September 21, 2008

Some skeptics are calling Henry Paulson’s $700 billion rescue plan for the U.S. financial system “cash for trash.” Others are calling the proposed legislation the Authorization for Use of Financial Force, after the Authorization for Use of Military Force, the infamous bill that gave the Bush administration the green light to invade Iraq.

There’s justice in the gibes. Everyone agrees that something major must be done. But Mr. Paulson is demanding extraordinary power for himself — and for his successor — to deploy taxpayers’ money on behalf of a plan that, as far as I can see, doesn’t make sense.

Some are saying that we should simply trust Mr. Paulson, because he’s a smart guy who knows what he’s doing. But that’s only half true: he is a smart guy, but what, exactly, in the experience of the past year and a half — a period during which Mr. Paulson repeatedly declared the financial crisis “contained,” and then offered a series of unsuccessful fixes — justifies the belief that he knows what he’s doing? He’s making it up as he goes along, just like the rest of us.


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barack obama

The candidate's schedule today -

I've been reading that the handlers can't let McCain speak alone because no one will come and so they have to put Palin with him, but then she is still in school so it is tough scheduling.  I look at the schedule today.  Even Michelle speaks alone, but McCain and Palin are paired, and there is no mention of Cindy or Todd.    Of course, we saw with Bush that the president has time to read to children in school, so maybe McPain can do the job, though from what I read, John was in Washington not reading to his children, and Sarah doesn't appear to be home much either.   Maybe Cindy and Todd could better handle the presidential job since they are the ones with the kids.

This is taken from the Daily Kos. 

Where are the candidates today?

Barack Obama

Green Bay, Wisconsin
Resch Center
12:00 pm (CDT)

Joe Biden

Baltimore, Maryland
Baltimore Convention Center
11:30 am (EDT)

Michelle Obama

Madison, Wisconsin
GAR Memorial Park at Camp Randall
10:00 am (CDT)

Wausau, Wisconsin
University of Wisconsin Marathon County
Main Campus Academic Building Theater
1:45 pm (CDT)

West Allis, Wisconsin
Field House - West Allis Central High School
Doors Open - 3:30 pm (CDT)

[Jill Biden has no public events scheduled]

Johnah McPalin

Media, Pennsylvania
Delaware County Courthouse
3:00 pm (EDT)

barack obama

freedom -

On Sept. 22, 1862, President Abraham Lincoln issued the preliminary Emancipation Proclamation, declaring all slaves in rebel states should be free as of Jan. 1, 1863.

That was a bold move and leads now 145 years later to a Black man running for president.   Actually, when I pause to consider, it seems a long time to have been led by only white men.

Last night, I watched Bill Maher say that the "elitists" are who founded this country, those on the East coast, those who looked to Europe, people who gathered in cities to create a great  nation.  

Let's celebrate the elite, those who work hard and rise, and let our president and vice-president be the best we can produce, no matter what color or gender.   That is when a country shows strength!!

barack obama


On this day in 1961, President John F. Kennedy signed the bill that created the Peace Corps.

Since that time, more than 190,000 volunteers have served in 139 countries.

The Peace Corps mission has three goals.

1.  Helping the people of interested countries in meeting their need for trained men and women.

2.  Helping promote a better understanding of Americans on the part of the peoples served.

3.  Helping promote a better understanding of other peoples on the part of Americans.

Now those are noble goals.

goldsworthy - branch

Humility -

We each have our own definition of and feeling about God so when I post from Thomas Merton,  I know you are finding your own  sense of movement within your heart around what God means or represents to you.

I post these words because I personally understand from a health viewpoint what not dealing well with the political situation means.   I allowed the stealing of the election to plop Bush in place to "get to me," and I dealt with nine months of medical treatment as a result.   Now, my challenge is to think loving thoughts about McPain and the threat they represent.   I started therapy a month ago to help me better expand around the idea of "right" and "wrong," to be more accepting and less judgmental.   This is not easy for me to do, and is my current challenge in life.   I am trying to bring my own weaknesses to light and gently cradle them as I hopefully see them go.  I offer my weaknesses flight, the bird hatched and released from the nest.

Thomas Merton:

Do you want to know God? Then learn to understand the weaknesses and imperfections of [others]. But how can you understand the weaknesses of others unless you understand your own? And how can you see the meaning of your own limitations until you have received mercy from God, by which you know yourself and Him? It is not sufficient to forgive others: we must forgive them with humility and compassion. If we forgive them without humility, our forgiveness is a mockery: it presupposes that we are better than they.

Thomas Merton. No Man Is An Island. New York: Doubleday and Company, 1955: 163.

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Is there no limit to their greed?

Alan posts this and I bring it over.

I want to say to these people, "Time out!" "Sit in the corner and think about what you've done."

You have behaved like greedy, spoiled brats with no parents in the room, house, or country. You've been living Lord of the Flies, and yes, some help is required so we don't all tumble down, but to see each one of these people now grabbing for more pie makes me sick.

See why I'm needing to work so hard on the subject of equanimity. Back and forth I go. My poor blood pressure thinks a bigger moon has been installed next to the earth. The tides go high and low.

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Dr. Jill Biden -

Zebulen suggested I watch Dr. Jill Biden, so I did. I appreciated her for her sweet and loving smile, but I had not heard her speak.

When I listened, I thought of the Cultural Revolution in China. I never understood how a country could go from reverencing education, philosophers, writers, poets, to a country that put those same people on the farms, in jail, or to death. It made no sense to me, but as I look at the difference in education between the candidates proposed for the Democratic and Republican party and the slanderous charge of elitism to those who want to help the whole rather than a few, I am shocked, and I fear we are seeing it here.

fish jumping


When I'm with two and a half year old Zach, I see the amount of construction going on, and realize the number of models of the Golden Gate bridge in the parks around here.  Zach is an expert and knows the name of every kind of construction vehicle and owns them in various sizes.  He helps me better appreciate the building that goes on around us.   This poem is a lovely tribute to the work of construction and those who build, enclose, and open the view of the space in which we live.  


Though it's a city job, Carlos isn't wearing
his orange vest and yellow hardhat,
but clomps around in tan ranchero hat
and washed-out denim shirt. The foreman
warns him once again, as he must, and Carlos
swears he won't forget again tomorrow.
He straps himself in to the motor grader,
skims a glove across the fat black knobs,
and eases forth with a mule-driver's patience,
leveling truck-dumped piles of raw fill
smoother than the sea of Cortez.
Maybe it's a gift, such effortless grace,
such seamless union of man and machine,
and maybe it's a sign how every morning,
punctual as the lunch truck with its
shave-and-a-haircut horn, he kills the engine,
clambers down, struts up close to a massive
chevron-treaded tire and just starts peeing,
as though the whole site weren't naked
as a soccer field, boxed along three sides
by green glass towers. Not that it matters—
the soil he darkens will be asphalted over
soon enough, and even now, here comes
the water-tank truck, spewing like a fire plug
wrenched open in the mid-city heat.
Small hot-pink pennants still mark
the heavy conduit we sank just yesterday,
and we've got planks on edge, framing
where the walkway's going to be.
The cement mixer inches up, its great drum
putting like a clock hand teasing toward the hour.
And Hector levers the crusty sluice above
the ready beds, the newsprint-colored mortar
plopping like horseshit to the ground.
And Manny makes quick work of it, his trowel
and squeegee broom drawing it so tight,
a dropped dime would roll to a standing stop
and never topple over. There is a thin line
between miracle and mastery. Even
Carlos stands, hat off with the rest of us,
nodding as with subtle understanding.

Gabriel Spera

Cimarron Review
Summer 2007

ocean by san base, searby friend

The brain -

I am reading two books on the brain today, because I have decided to probe my own to figure out what is going on with it, and how to handle the barrage of idiocy coming from McPain.  I don't want my brain to explode.

One book my son requested for his birthday and when it arrived today, I decided to check it out.  It is called Brain Rules, 12 Principles for Surviving and Thriving at Work, Home, and School by John Medina.

I am intrigued with this part, because I think it is useful information for Democrats.

The section is called The Brain needs a break.   This book debunks multi-tasking and proclaims the need for sleep.

It also proclaims the most common communication mistake.   "Relating too much information, with not enough time devoted to connecting the dots. Lots of force-feeding, very little digestion."   The speaker needs to go back to the level of the novice, and spoon-feed.

I realized people are responding to Sarah Palin because she is a novice.  She is not having to back-track or sift through a vast range of information to speak.   She sound-bites without a blink.  There is no need to think because she doesn't have anything to think about or sort through.  She and her audience are content with nothing actually being said.   If you believe in creationism, you are not asking for logic or fact.   

The book also points out that lectures are effective when delivered in ten minute segments.  What the author learned is that each ten minute segment needs to be explained in one minute, so a concept is presented and nine minutes are used to explain it.    Then, there needs to be a hook, an ECS, an emotionally competent stimuli.  The hook has to be relevant and it has to trigger an emotion.

What they are doing with Palin is using motherhood and apple pie by inference, since I don't believe birthing children and mothering necessarily go hand-in-hand.

I see that McCain is attacking the NY Times today because they report honestly.  Can't have that, can we?

William Blake - Jacob's Ladder

Jill Bolte Taylor -

The other book I am reading is by Jill Bolte Taylor, My Stroke of Insight.

If you haven't yet watched her on Tedtalks, she is a must-see.

When she had a stroke and her left brain shut down, she experienced herself as fluid, without boundaries. "I was no longer isolated and alone. My soul was as big as the universe and frolicked with glee in a boundless sea."

I think chemotherapy does something similar. I had so many people involved in my healing that I did not feel separate or individual. I felt like a communi
ty. My sense of time changed. I am still adjusting back.

I suggest you buy the book. It is a treat, and if you haven't watched the video, do that too.

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I had an incredible fright tonight.   All day I've been working on letting go, thinking if we do decide to leave the country if McPain wins, where would we go and what would we take.  I took a long walk, considering my steps and how little one really needs, and how when we die, we don't need anything at all.  I was thinking about Masahide's words.  "My house burned down.  I can now see better the rising moon," which really has to do with enlightenment, and tonight I was reading my magazines The Nation, Ode, and Shambhala Sun, and then, I went in the back for just a moment, and I heard a long bang and another, and I came out to the living room, and there are flames shooting up from the house down below and I run out on the deck to see all this flame shooting up in the sky as the house is burning and I hear the fire trucks and I am not sure they are going to make it before it catches our trees and deck.

My heart was thumping, and oddly what I did was call Steve who is now in Shanghai, but I was thinking if the house burns down, he won't know where I am.  How stupid is that!!   Anyway, the firemen came quickly - we are only three or four blocks from the firehouse and have been here for hours getting it out and making sure it is out.   The chain saws growl as I type.     

I walked around the block and watered all my trees, and the lights of the fire trucks reflected the leaves on the trees on the house.  The stars are out.  No moon yet though.  The saving grace is that there is absolutely no wind tonight.  If it had been blowing as it usually is here, I think my house might be gone.   It is sobering.  My heart was pounding and then I started crying thinking what if someone was in the house but it has been empty for awhile.  No one was hurt.  It is odd though standing there watching flames so close as they shoot up into the sky.   I see how territorial we are.  I somehow seemed to think my being here would save the house.  

Anyway, I won't be going to bed for awhile.  I think of how we connected we are, of how we pay taxes so we have fire and police protection.   It is what being civilized is about.   What part of civilized and civilization do the Republicans not understand.  We all drink from the same water supply and your fire is mine.  

I look around now at all that surrounds me.  We want to believe in permanence, in safety, and the point is to let go.  I have been trying to figure out the lesson of McPain as I know they are my teachers.  They are teaching me to let go.  The suffering I create, the anguish, is mine.   How do I want to live my last moments?   I think tonight gave me a huge clue as to what matters.  I called Steve, Jeff, and Chris.  We bought this house 30 years ago.   It is our home and, we can protect it, protect the land, and we also have to let go.