Do you know what I noticed the other day? The light on the speedometer right above 45 mph is dimming. Coming home from the protest to protect Mueller, to remind anyone who would listen that no one is above the law, the light in the speedometer is dimming. “Oh no,” I thought, and gently patted the dashboard. D’s truck. 1994 black Ford Ranger…24 years old. My son is 24. I don’t want D’s truck to stop. Ever. It was my brother’s. The “Biter End” pin from the Gaslamp bar in San Diego is right where you left it, on the visor.
I walk through the world because I love it.
I walk through the world because I love it.
That’s what I read on a wall as I walked by thinking of you. I think you loved it. The world. And it broke your heart. And it breaks mine.
-Dayle Ohlau, Santa Sabina Center
There is in all things
an invisible fecundity,
a dimmed light,
a meek namelessness,
a hidden wholeness.
And I dreamed a dream.
I dreamed I saw a land. And on the hills walked brave women and brave men, hand in hand. And they looked into each other’s eyes, and they were not afraid.
And I saw the women also hold each other’s hands.
And I said to him beside me, “What place is this?”
And he said, “This is heaven.”
And I said, “Where is it?”
And he answered, “On earth.”
And I said, “When shall these things be?”
And he answered, “In the future.”
Dedicated to the women of Nov. 6, 2018
We must. Democracy, we’ve learned, is fragile. Together we rise to protect it.
“When power leads men towards arrogance, poetry reminds him of his limitations. When power narrows the areas of man’s concern, poetry reminds him of the richness and diversity of his existence. When power corrupts, poetry cleanses. For art establishes the basic human truths which must serve as the touchstone of our judgment.”
Unrest in Baton Rouge
“Our bodies run with ink dark blood. / Blood pools in the pavement’s seams. // Is it strange to say love is a language / Few practice, but all, or near all speak? // Even the men in black armor, the ones / Jangling handcuffs and keys, what else // Are they so buffered against, if not love’s blade / Sizing up the heart’s familiar meat? // We watch and grieve. We sleep, stir, eat. / Love: the heart sliced open, gutted, clean. // Love: naked almost in the everlasting street, / Skirt lifted by a different kind of breeze.”
Poet Laureate Tracy K. Smith
‘Love is a language/Few practice, but all, or near all speak’
Idahoans keep electing the same party and politics and expect different results. There’s a term for that…not important. Here’s what is: ‘D+’ and holding. In 2018, again, Idaho remains 48th in education. Only three school districts were considered ‘best’, ours (Blaine County), Boise Independent, and McCall-Donnelly. We’re tied with North Carolina for a minimum wage of $7.25 (women earn less). Idaho teacher salaries rank the lowest…lowest…in the nation. Idaho has one of country’s highest suicide rates, receiving a solid ‘F’for mental health care. For six years Otter/Little turned their GOP backs on Medicaid expansion that would have insured more than 62,000 working Idahoans. Days before the election? Sure, they say, let’s do it. Knowing it’s the biggest divide between Little and Paulette Jordan we could probably agree it was a political move. But, will they, though? When PROP 2 passes, and if Little is elected, any bets on him saying, “Don’t have the money—let’s try this.”Without any check/balance in leadership, we’ll continue on the same destructive path. We have a chance this year, Idaho, for new leadership. The Idaho Mountain Express may have dangerously encouraged voting party for governor, not endorsing Little or Jordan, yet on her policy platform for our public lands alone should have been more than enough to endorse her for governor. (You know, IME, Obama was a community organizer…not a lot of experience…he did ok.) If we want more of the same for Idaho, vote the same. If we want something better for Idaho, for our kids and their kids, schools, health care, mental health, our public lands, teacher salaries, then let’s just go crazy and put one in the column for Paulette Jordan. What do we have to lose? Seriously, we’re at rock bottom. We can do so much better. Together, beyond party politics, we can do the right thing. “The future of Idaho belongs to all of us.”–Paulette Jordan
Jane Adams co-founded with Ellen Gates Starr an early settlement house in the United States, Chicago’s Hull House that would later become known as one of the most famous settlement houses in America . In an era when presidents such as Theodore Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson identified themselves as reformers and social activists, Addams was one of the most prominent reformers of the Progressive Era. She helped America address and focus on issues that were of concern to mothers, such as the needs of children, local public health, and world peace. In her essay “Utilization of Women in City Government,” Jane Addams noted the connection between the workings of government and the household, stating that many departments of government, such as sanitation and the schooling of children, could be traced back to traditional women’s roles in the private sphere. Thus, these were matters of which women would have more knowledge than men, so women needed the vote to best voice their opinions. She said that if women were to be responsible for cleaning up their communities and making them better places to live, they needed to be able to vote to do so effectively. Addams became a role model for middle-class women who volunteered to uplift their communities. She is increasingly being recognized as a member of the American pragmatist school of philosophy, and is known by many as the first woman “public philosopher in the history of the United States”. In 1889 she co-founded Hull House, and in 1920 she was a co-founder for the ACLU.
The moment I let go of it
Was the moment I got more than I could handle
The moment I jumped off of it
Was the moment I touched down
How bout no longer being masochistic
How bout remembering your divinity
How bout unabashedly bawling your eyes out
How bout not equating death with stopping.
Will we ever be able to forgive you?
A human being is a part of the whole, called by us “Universe,” a part limited in time and space. [One] experiences [oneself] . . . as something separated from the rest—a kind of optical delusion of [one’s] consciousness. . . . Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty. —Albert Einstein
“If your eye is healthy, your whole body is full of light” (Luke 11:34). That’s why the Buddha and Jesus say with one voice, “Be awake.” Jesus talks about “staying watchful”, and “Buddha” means “I am awake” in Sanskrit. —Richard Rohr
David Axelrod said to Wolf Blitzer on CNN after the massacre:
“We Should…pause…to honor these people by reflecting on where we are as a country.”
I have stopped.
You have not.
What had a man not stopped that enabled him (Angulimala) to murder?
And what had Buddha stopped that enable him to be enlightened?
Though we will never know, we can suggest that the thing not stopped might be any form of running from the risk and pain of being alive, such as denial, hiding, projection. For any form of running from the truth of ourselves can lead to such a numb existence that one can become violent in order to feel. If we don’t stop running, we can murder ourselves again and again by taking the lives of others, either physically through violence or sexually through conquest or emotionally through dominance and control or professionally through power. We repeatedly need to have this conversation with ourselves in order to stay compassionate and real.
‘Be swift to love, make haste to be kind.’
“God came to my house and asked for charity. And I fell on my knees and cried, ‘Beloved, what may I give?’ Just love’. He said. ‘Just love.'”
-Saint Francis of Assisi
Live in community, move from stillness to action, all the while loving our neighbor,encourage each other to BE and to DO good deeds motivated by love.
-Cindy Senarighi and Heidi Green
Look no further than the front page of Sunday’s New York Times, where the entire above-the-fold space was dedicated to articles on Saudi Arabia. It’s not as if there hasn’t been good reporting on issues like the war in Yemen and the Saudi leadership’s underhanded tactics in the past, but the Khashoggi incident has thrust those stories onto front pages and into national news broadcasts.
From the front lines in Yemen, where the Saudi-led war “has ground on for more than three years, killing thousands of civilians and creating what the United Nation calls the world’s worst humanitarian crisis. “It took the crisis over the apparent murder of the dissident Jamal Khashoggi in a Saudi consulate two weeks ago for the world to take notice.”
“Hollywood, Silicon Valley, presidential libraries and foundations, politically connected private equity groups, P.R. firms, think tanks, universities and Trump family enterprises are awash in Arab money. The Saudis satisfy American greed, deftly playing their role as dollar signs in robes”
— Maureen Dowd/NYTimes
Washington Post continues with an in-depth look at the “sophisticated Saudi influence machine that has shaped policy and perceptions in Washington for decades, batting back critiques of the oil-rich kingdom by doling out millions to lobbyists, blue-chip law firms, prominent think tanks and large defense contractors.”
The U.N. aid chief warned Tuesday, Oct. 23rd, that humanitarians are losing the fight against famine in Yemen and that 14 million people could soon be at risk of starvation.
“There is now a clear and present danger of an imminent and great big famine engulfing Yemen,” Mark Lowcock told a meeting of the U.N. Security Council. “Much bigger than anything any professional in this field has seen in their working lives.”
“With so many lives at stake,” he said, the warring parties need “to seize the moment” and engage with the U.N. envoy for Yemen “to end the conflict.”
Senator Bernie Sanders: “I very much hope we will finally end our support for the carnage in Yemen, and send the message that human lives are worth more than profits for arms manufacturers.”
HOUSTON CHRONICLE EDITORIAL BOARD
“With eyes clear but certainly not starry, we enthusiastically endorse Beto O’Rourke for U.S. Senate. The West Texas congressman’s command of issues that matter to this state, his unaffected eloquence and his eagerness to reach out to all Texans make him one of the most impressive candidates this editorial board has encountered in many years. Despite the long odds he faces – pollster nonpareil Nate Silver gives O’Rourke a 20 percent chance of winning – a “Beto” victory would be good for Texas, not only because of his skills, both personal and political, but also because of the manifest inadequacies of the man he would replace.
Ted Cruz — a candidate the Chronicle endorsed in 2012, by the way — is the junior senator from Texas in name only. Exhibiting little interest in addressing the needs of his fellow Texans during his six years in office, he has kept his eyes on a higher prize. He’s been running for president since he took the oath of office — more likely since he picked up his class schedule as a 15-year-old ninth-grader at Houston’s Second Baptist High School more than three decades ago. For Cruz, public office is a private quest; the needs of his constituents are secondary.
Voters don’t send representatives to Washington to win popularity contests, and yet the bipartisan disdain the Republican incumbent elicits from his colleagues, remarkable in its intensity, deserves noting. His repellent personality hamstrings his ability to do the job.
“Lucifer in the flesh,” is how Republican former House Speaker John Boehner described Cruz, adding: “I get along with almost everyone, but I have never worked with a more miserable son of a bitch in my life.”
There’s one more reason O’Rourke should represent Texas in the U.S. Senate: He would help to serve as a check on a president who is a danger to the republic. Cruz is unwilling to take on that responsibility. Indeed, the man who delighted in calling the Texas senator “Lyin’ Ted” all through the 2016 presidential campaign, who insulted Cruz’s wife and his father, is bringing his traveling campaign medicine show to Houston next week to buoy the Cruz campaign. The hyperbole, the hypocrisy and the rancorous hot air just might blow the roof off the Toyota Center.
While the bloviations emanate from the arena next week, imagine how refreshing it would be to have a U.S. senator who not only knows the issues but respects the opposition, who takes firm positions but reaches out to those who disagree, who expects to make government work for Texas and the nation. Beto O’Rourke, we believe, is that senator.”
‘Perhaps everything that frightens us is, in its deepest essence, something helpless that wants our love.’
Rainer Maria Rilke
NPR/Morning Edition with David Green and Actor Melissa McCarthy discussing her new film, “Can You Ever Forgive Me?”
GREENE: Did you learn anything about yourself in this role, in this film?
MCCARTHY: I think, for me, it made me really try to remember more like to look up and see people. Here’s this amazing, ridiculously talented, interesting, difficult, fascinating woman, and most people passed her by on the street. And she was invisible. So I do feel like I look differently as I’m passing people. And I think, what is your story, or what are you amazing at? Like, who loves you? Who do you love? What do you miss? What breaks your heart? I try to like – is – I don’t know if it sounds strange but make more eye contact.
And I do really think that there is an effective – if one person really looks at you in a day, that can change the whole trajectory of your day and then maybe your week. And maybe you look at one other person and connect that you’re humans. And to have someone know they’ve been seen, I think, can do a lot more than I had remembered it can.
Reporters who knew Jamal speak of his energy for, and being energized by, writing freely in the United States. He was a full-time resident, living in Virginia. He is not defined as a radical, but as a believer in Freedom of the Press, and in Free Speech. Also, he had a vision to create an NPR (National Public Radio) like program, or platform in Saudi Arabia, and reportedly, had the investments needed to get it started.
The Washington Post, who Jamal reported for and who published his columns/articles in Arabic for the Arabic speaking world, published what is reportedly his final column, on Wednesday night, October 17th. Jamal filed the report with the Washington Post the day before he entered the Saudi Arabia consulate in Turkey.
In his words.
“My publication, The Post, has taken the initiative to translate many of my pieces and publish them in Arabic. For that, I am grateful. Arabs need to read in their own language so they can understand and discuss the various aspects and complications of democracy in the United States and the West. If an Egyptian reads an article exposing the actual cost of a construction project in Washington, then he or she would be able to better understand the implications of similar projects in his or her community.
The Arab world needs a modern version of the old transnational media so citizens can be informed about global events. More important, we need to provide a platform for Arab voices. We suffer from poverty, mismanagement and poor education. Through the creation of an independent international forum, isolated from the influence of nationalist governments spreading hate through propaganda, ordinary people in the Arab world would be able to address the structural problems their societies face.
The Arab world was ripe with hope during the spring of 2011. Journalists, academics and the general population were brimming with expectations of a bright and free Arab society within their respective countries. They expected to be emancipated from the hegemony of their governments and the consistent interventions and censorship of information. These expectations were quickly shattered; these societies either fell back to the old status quo or faced even harsher conditions than before.
NPR/All Things Considered [10.18.18]
A tender and pointed reflection with NPR’s Mary Louise Kelly speaking with Fred Hiatt, editorial page editor from The Washington Post, about the publication of what seems to be Jamal Khashoggi’s final column and the Post’s effort to get to the bottom of Khashoggi’s disappearance.
“Hollywood, Silicon Valley, presidential libraries and foundations, politically connected private equity groups, P.R. firms, think tanks, universities and Trump family enterprises are awash in Arab money. The Saudis satisfy American greed, deftly playing their role as dollar signs in robes”— Maureen Dowd/NYTimes
“Be ye diligent that ye may receive the mysteries of Light.”
-Pistis Sophia [Gnostic]
‘A word of counsel to people who are seeking to demonstrate about great big things: shut up about it. Don’t talk. The world does not believe, and they reflect their doubt. Keep your power within yourself. Insulate yourself, encompass yourself with it, protect yourself with it, surround yourself with it. That is putting on the armor of faith against the false thought of the human race. Get that big consciousness if you want to do something that takes a great deal of money to do it, takes a lot of understanding, takes a lot of people engaged in it…something that [is] an awful big thing. That is the point: Do something new.’
-Love & Law: The Unpublished Teachings (2001), pp. 114-115.
‘It is the world that is enlightened and we who are intermittent.’
Like radios, we struggle through our static to receive wavelengths that are always there, and, being human, we are unable to sustain the clarity necessary to apprehend the magic inherent in everything.
So we vacillate from the extraordinary to the ordinary, time and time again, and most of us blame the world.
It is not surprising, then, that though we feel intermittently gifted, our gifts are ever-present. For if enlightenment stems from a clarity of being, then talent is no more than clarity of doing, an embodied moment where spirit and hand are one.
The chief obstacle to talent, then, is a lapse in being. It is not that people have no talent, but that we lack the clarity to uncover what it is and how it works.
Talent, it seems, is energy waiting to be released through an honest involvement in life. But so many of us check whether we have power with the main switch off…the switch being risk, curiosity, passion, and love.
Our purpose is life and our talent is living it in its most immediate detail, be it drying the dishes or raking the leaves.
So when I can’t find my purpose, I beg myself to sit in a field. And in a tremor of faith, I know if I don’t try at all, it will all return as surely and softly as light fills a hole.
Our life experience will have resonances with our innermost being, so that we will feel the rapture of being alive.
A social inheritance based on the U.S.’s extraordinary wealth.
America is the richest civilization in history. Why, then, are our living standards so low compared to those of other wealthy democracies?
Why the U.S. Should Provide Universal Basic IncomeVideo by The Atlantic
America is the richest civilization in history. Why, then, are our living standards so low compared to those of other wealthy democracies?
“There’s a big idea out there that could help solve this,” says The Atlantic writer Annie Lowrey. “It’s called a universal basic income.” In a new animated video, Lowrey argues that UBI—a concept that has existed for more than 500 years—would help close the income inequality gap, eliminating poverty and increasing mobility and opportunity for all American citizens.
Read more about UBI in Lowrey’s new book, Give People Money: How a Universal Basic Income Would End Poverty, Revolutionize Work, and Remake the World.