When Nazi planes dropped bombs on London, Edward R. Murrow climbed to the rooftops. Despite personal risk & the fear his signal would lead bombers straight to him, he brought the horrors of Hitler’s war to the ears of listeners around the world.
Is our democracy in danger? Harvard professors Steven Levitsky and Daniel Ziblatt have spent more than twenty years studying the breakdown of democracies in Europe and Latin America, and they believe the answer is yes. Democracy no longer ends with a bang—in a revolution or military coup—but with a whimper: the slow, steady weakening of critical institutions, such as the judiciary and the press, and the gradual erosion of long-standing political norms. The good news is that there are several exit ramps on the road to authoritarianism. The bad news is that, by electing Trump, we have already passed the first one.
Drawing on decades of research and a wide range of historical and global examples, from 1930s Europe to contemporary Hungary, Turkey, and Venezuela, to the American South during Jim Crow, Levitsky and Ziblatt show how democracies die—and how ours can be saved.
“This is the often-quoted phrase engraved on the base of the Statue of Liberty. For more than a century, the statue with its inscription has been a beacon of hope for immigrants — many without “merit” — who have fled to our shores, seeking a better life in our country.
We would do well to reflect on what this inscription means to us and what the Statue of Liberty represents before we give our assent to building walls, limiting immigration to favored foreigners and kicking Dreamers out of our country.”
2018 is an 11 year which means it’s less about our own ego needs and more about what is the best for the collective. It is also a year of Justice so we can, and should, focus on balance. We need to balance our own needs with those of others. Balance between work and play will be a theme. And, perhaps Justice… in the cosmic sense… will help restore the balance that has been tipped way out of range this last year.
As the Moon increases in light, let your feelings surface, unjudged, to simply flow from you to the Youniverse. Remember, little acts of self care & nurturance become giants as our numbers grow. We Are healing the Divine Feminine through our be-ingness and She is in deep gratitude.
“If you’re in need of a session, I am still taking appointments for Fridays through Sundays. Give me a call to book a time.
Enlightening & educational interview with Dave Davies speaking to the importance of identity, community & purpose, combined with vulnerability. Excellent dialogue.
‘A Former Neo-Nazi Explains Why Hate Drew Him In — And How He Got Out’
“…after eight years as a neo-Nazi, Picciolini began to question the hateful ideology he espoused. He remembers a specific incident in which he was beating a young black man. His eyes locked with his victim, and he felt a surprising empathy.
It was a turning point. He withdrew from the movement and in 2011 co-founded Life After Hate, a nonprofit that counsels members of hate groups and helps them disengage.
So it was the fear rhetoric. … I can tell you that every single person that I recruited or that was recruited around the same time that I did, up to now, up to what we’re seeing today, is recruited through vulnerabilities and not through ideology.
In fact, I had never in my life engaged in a meaningful dialogue with the people that I thought I hated, and it was these folks who showed me empathy when I least deserved it, and they were the ones that I least deserved it from. I started to recognize that I had more in common with them than the people I had surrounded myself for eight years with — that these people, that I thought I hated, took it upon themselves to see something inside of me that I didn’t even see myself
Here we are in 2018 and we have a lot of hallmarks coming from political figures, the administration and policies that are very similar to what we espoused 30 years ago. … It is a white supremacist culture that is being pushed.”
[A couple of weeks before the end of President Obama’s White House, Life After Hate received a $400,000 grant to continue their work. After the new administration took office in 2017, the grant was rescinded. Comedian Samantha Bee brought awareness to the situation and helped raise $500,000 for the organization.]
The next day I left for the fields where silence reveals to the soul that which the spirit desires, and where the pure sky kills the germs of despair, nursed in the city by the narrow streets and obscured places.
‘I affirm that this is the day that God has made, that it is good, and that I find fulfillment in it.’ Psalms/Science of Mind
’The more spacious and larger our fundamental nature, the more bearable the pains in living.’ -Wayne Muller
’The pain of life is pure salt; no more, no less. The amount of pain in life remains the same, exactly the same. But the amount of bitterness we taste depends on the container we put the pain in. So when you ar e in pain, the only thing you can do is to enlarge your sense of things. Stop being a glass. Become a lake.’ -Mark Nepo
Even if we don’t get a thunderbolt to the mind, we can know that wisdom walks with us every step of the way. -Rev. Dr. Margaret Stortz
His last sermon, on the evening before he was shot down outside the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tennessee, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. offered a conclusion that serves well as starting point for 2018. After declaring that America was sick in 1968, facing troubling times, King made this resolution:
Now, let me say as I move to my conclusion that we’ve got to give ourselves to this struggle until the end. Nothing would be more tragic than to stop at this point in Memphis. We’ve got to see it through. And when we have our march, you need to be there. If it means leaving work, if it means leaving school—be there. Be concerned about your brother. You may not be on strike. But either we go up together, or we go down together.
Nothing would be more tragic than to turn back now, because we have seen the real possibility that, in the middle of this dark night of the American story, a Third Reconstruction is possible. “We made the world we are living in,” James Baldwin said, “and we have to make it over.” Imperfect though we are, we can do this work together in 2018 and move forward toward the more perfect union of our common creed.
Fifty years after Dr. King and many others launched a Poor People’s Campaign to demand a Marshall Plan for America’s poor, inequality in our nation has reached extremes we have not seen since the Gilded Age. As the Dow climbs and the wealthiest Americans get a massive tax break, 15 million more Americans are poor today than in 1968. In the same time period, the rate of extreme poverty has nearly doubled. Because of the systemic racism of voter suppression, which has been implemented in 23 of the nation’s poorest states since 2010, our political system is held captive by extremists who deny workers health care and a living wage, undermine the equal-protection clause of the constitution, attack public education, and encourage poor white people to blame people of color and immigrants for their problems. All the while, more and more of our collective resources are dedicated to a war without end.
“It was a curious thing. Robert had filled the bathtub and put the fish in the tub so he could clean their tank. After he’d scrubbed the film from the small walls of their make-believe deep, he went to retrieve them.
He was astonished to find that, though they had the entire tub to swim in, they were huddled in a small area the size of their tank. There was nothing to contain them, nothing holding them back. Why wouldn’t they dart about freely? What had life in the talk done to their natural ability to swim?
It makes me wonder now, in middle age, if being spontaneous and kind and curious are all parts of our natural ability to swim. Each time I hesitate to do the unplanned or unexpected, or hesitate to reach and help another, or hesitate to inquire into something I know nothing about; each time I ignore the impulse to run in the rain or to call you up just to say I love you–I wonder, am I turning on myself, swimming safely in the middle of the tub?”
If you want a new paradigm, first you must become it.
“Is it the innate desire of people trying to simply reconnect, driven perhaps by hostile environments? Is it simply missing the ease with which we used to greet one another? Is it the reconvening of safe, casual boundaries that were blasted away through manufactured fear and hatred? Whatever it is, count me in. I am making the effort to engage in the ‘kindness movement’. Something we can all do. We can all be more present to what goes on around us. One of the most wonderful ways to do this is when we serve, when we can help satisfy another’s needs, when we bring the natural healing element of love to a wounded situation. We can do this.’
-Science of Mind
The world, with all of its challenges, can feel overwhelming sometimes, as it may be feeling for many of us right now. And we may wonder if we are ready to meet these challenges and if we can meet the doubt and fear that naturally arise within us. Perhaps our own freedom and the freedom of others is wrapped up in simply realizing that we were born for such a time as this.
-Rev. Masando Hiraoka, Albuquerque, New Mexico
Depersonalize the issue and act from understanding, not agreement. Speak up, not from anger but from compassion. Take action, not from vengeance but from love.
I yearn for the day when I can watch the news and be immune to the negative energy I feel around the perceived absurdity of the actions of the unskillful in our society. I want to instead simply recognize the lack of skill and take all action necessary to ensure no further harm with only one movivation: love. This our practice, and it is our call.
-Dr. Kenn Gordon, Kelowna, British Columbia
We must shock this nation with the power of love.
We must shock this nation with power of mercy.
We must shock this nation and fight for justice for all.
We can’t give up on the heart of our democracy.
Not now, not ever.
–Rev. Dr. William J. Barber
We must in our own nature see the necessary reason for every fact…see how it could most be.
What we reach for many be different, but what makes us reach is the same.
Imagine that each of us is a spoke in an Infinite Wheel, and, though each spoke is essential in keeping the Wheel whole, no two spokes are the same. The rim of that Wheel is our living sense of community, family, and relationship, but the common hub where all the spokes join is the one center where all souls meet.
So, as I move out into the world, I live out my uniqueness, but when I dare to look into my core I come upon the one common center where all lives begin. In that center, we are one and the same. In this way, we live out the paradox of being both inique and the same.
For mysteriously and powerfully, when I look deep enough into you, I find me, and when you dare to hear my fear in the recess of your heart, you recognize it as your secret that you thought no one else knew. And that unexpected wholeness that is more than each of us, but common to all–that moment of unity is the atom of Gaia.
True love is…to accept those who are in need of our time, our friendship, our help.
Develop leaders with a clear progressive moral vision for leadership in the 21st century. Crate modern prophetic crate and consciences. Develop local leaders/clergy who can withstand the sirens of opportunism and neoconservatism while remaining true to a principled approach to eliminating poverty and racism.
Educate the public about the deep connections between shared religious faith traditions and public policy, deeply rooted in our Constituions and the moral values of justice, fairness and the general welfare.
[The Rev. Dr. William J. Barber, II is the president and senior lecturer of Repairers of the Breach. An author, preacher, and professor, he is the chief architect of the “Forward Together Moral Movement.”]
The grants, which came less than eight weeks after the groundbreaking Paradise Papers investigation by ICIJ, will go toward supporting investigative journalism and providing better protection for journalists.
‘“There’s never been a more important time to safeguard the truth by supporting investigative journalism,” said ICIJ director Gerard Ryle. “We are extremely grateful to the Hollywood Foreign Press Association for its great expression of support for the ICIJ and for the important work being done by the Committee to Protect Journalists.
“Truth is under attack, both politically and economically, and the brutal reality of recent years is that journalists routinely risk their lives just for doing their jobs, even in countries once thought safe.
“One of the main aims of the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists is to bring accountability on a global scale. We bring journalists together to safeguard the truth and to safeguard each other. Along the way, we bring a new kind of scrutiny to world events and complex problems – using data and document-supported facts that cannot easily be dismissed.
“By joining giant teams of journalists and news organizations from all over the world to work together on issues of global significance, we are able to achieve results and impact that no one outlet could achieve independently. “
This is the first time a donation announcement has been made during a live telecast of the event.’
What I know for sure is speaking your truth is the most powerful tool we all have.
“Thank you all. Ok, Ok. Thank you, Reese. In 1964, I was a little girl sitting on the linoleum floor of my mother’s house in Milwaukee, watching Anne Bancroft present the Oscar for best actor at the 36th academy awards. She opened the envelope and said five words that literally made history: ‘The winner is Sidney Poitier.’ Up to the stage came the most elegant man I had ever seen. I remember his tie was white and of course his skin was black, and I had never seen a black man being celebrated like that and I tried many, many times to explain what a moment like that means to a little girl, a kid, watching from the cheap seats as my mom came through the door bone tired from cleaning other people’s houses. But all I can do is quote and say that the explanation is in Sidney’s perforce in Lilies of the Field: ‘Amen, amen.’
In 1982, Sidney received the Cecil B. DeMille Award right here at the Golden Globes and it is not lost on me that at this moment there is some little girl watching as I become the first black woman to be given the same award. It is an honor and it is a privilege to share the evening with all of them and also with the incredible men and women who inspired me, who challenged me, who sustained me and made my journey to this stage possible. Dennis Swanson who took a chance on me for ‘AM Chicago’, Quincy Jones who saw me on that show and said to Steven Spielberg, ‘Yes, she is Sophia in The Color Purple.’ Gayle who’s been the definition of what a friend is and Stedman who’s been my rock, just a few to name.
I’d like to thank the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, because we all know the press is under siege these days. But we also know that it is the insatiable dedication to uncovering the absolute truth that keeps us from turning a blind eye to corruption and injustice. To tyrants and victims and secrets and lies. I want to say that I value the press more than ever before as we try to navigate these complicated times.
Which brings me to this: What I know for sure is that speaking your truth is the most powerful tool we all have and I’m especially proud and inspired by all the women who have felt strong enough and empowered enough to speak up and share their personal stories. Each of us in this room are celebrated because of the stories that we tell, and this year, we became the story. But it’s not just a story affecting the entertainment industry, it’s one that transcends any culture, geography, race, religion, politics or workplace.
So I want tonight to express gratitude to all the women who have endured years of abuse and assault because they, like my mother, had children to feed, bills to pay and dreams to pursue. They’re the women whose names we’ll never know. They are domestic workers and farm workers. They are working in factories and they work in restaurants and they’re in academia and engineering and medicine and science. They’re part of the world of tech and politics and business. There are athletes in the Olympics and soldiers in the military.
And there’s someone else: Recy Taylor. A name I know and I think you should know too. In 1944, Recy Taylor was a young wife and a mother. She was just walking home from a church service she attended at Abbeville, Ala., when she was abducted by six armed white men, raped and left blind folded by the side of the road coming home from church. They threatened to kill her if she ever told anyone but her story was reported to the NAACP where a young worker by the name of Rosa Parks became the lead investigator on her case. They sought justice. But justice wasn’t an option in the era of Jim Crow. The men who tried to destroy her were never persecuted. Recy Taylor died 10 days ago, just shy of her 98th birthday. She lived, as we all have lived, too many years in a culture broken by the brutally powerful men.
For too long women have not been heard or believed if they dared to speak their truth to the power of those men. But their time is up. Their time is up! Their time is up. And I just hope that Recy Taylor died knowing that her truth, like the truth of so many other women who were tormented in those years and even now tormented those marching on. It was somewhere in Rosa Parks’s heart almost 11 years later that she decided to stay seated on that bus in Montgomery, and it’s here with every woman who chooses to say ‘me too’ and every man who chooses to listen.
In my career what I’ve always tried my best do to, whether on television or on film, is to say something about how men and women really behaved. To say how we experience shame, how we love and how we rage, how we fail, how we retreat, persevere, how we overcome. I’ve interviewed and portrayed people who withstood some of the ugliest things life can throw at you, but the one quality all of them seem to share is the ability to maintain hope or pride of mourning even during our darkest nights. So I want all the girls watching here and now to know that a new day is on the horizon!
And when that new day finally dawns it will be because of a lot of magnificent women, many of whom are right here in this room tonight and some pretty phenomenal men fighting hard to make sure that they become the leaders who take us to the time when nobody never has to say ‘me too’ again.
[Oprah Winfrey, Cecil B. DeMille Award Acceptance Speech, 2018, Golden Globes]
The times in which we’re living are dramatic and unstable, yet pregnant with new possibilities for a future released from the shackles of fear.
At a time when fear and hatred have been turned into a political force, is it possible to harness the powers of love and decency for political purposes as well?
Our task is to create a new, whole-person politics, breaking free of a paradigm based on a decidedly outdated view of the world and embracing a more enlightened understanding of our relation to the universe. We need a deeper, multi-dimensional understanding of our national story: where we have been, where we are, and where we need to go now.
As with other extraordinary times in our history — from our Founding to Abolition to Women’s Suffrage to the Civil Rights era — it is time once again to break free of an old way of being and embrace a new story going forward. As in the words of Abraham Lincoln, “… we must think anew, and act anew. We must disenthrall ourselves, and then we shall save our country.”
I will be touring the country this year, discussing how a revolution in consciousness paves the way to both personal and national renewal. In the words of Martin Luther King, Jr., “Our goal is to create a beloved community and this will require a qualitative change in our souls as well as a quantitative change in our lives.” Let’s embrace the possibility of both.
‘Hope for me is deeply tied to the fact that we don’t know what will happen. This gives us grounds to act.’
“On January 18th, 1915, six months into the first world war, as all Europe was convulsed by killing and dying, Virginia Woolf wrote in her journal, ‘The future is dark, which is on the whole, the best thing the future can be, I think.’ Dark, she seems to say, as in inscrutable, not as in terrible. We often mistake the one for the other. Or we transform the future’s unknowability into something certain, the fulfillment of all our dread, the place beyond which there is no way forward. But again and again, far stranger things happen than the end of the world.
BOB GARFIELD: I want to read you a note from a father to his three daughters on election night, after the kids had pledged a compact to invest their next four years in looking inwards towards the family and relationships and the things that mattered to them the most. The note went as follows:
“Yes, we must look inwards and cherish one another, holding onto our precious love where our own values seem so under attack. But please, we must not retreat from the world, we must never stop believing in and fighting for what is just and sane. Loathe as I am to be a backseat driver in your lives, I do implore you, be courageous. Live your life fighting the fight.”
I’m intimately familiar with those sentiments because I wrote them, but notwithstanding my encouragement to my daughters, no matter what the scope of history one day will provide, in the foreseeable future we are likely as a society to go abruptly and maybe irretrievably backwards on civil rights, human rights, climate, sanity.
REBECCA SOLNIT: You’re talking about two different things, how do we feel and what do we do. And I’m not telling people how to feel, I’m telling people that there is scope for action. One of the great conundrums is that unless we believe there are possibilities we don’t act, but the possibilities only exist if we seize them. And so, a lot of what I’ve been trying to do is encourage people to recognize there is an extraordinary history of popular power in the US but also around the world. I’m not an optimist, as you said in your introduction. Optimism believes that everything will be fine, no matter what we do and, therefore, we don’t have to do a damn thing. Pessimism is the mirror image of that – that believes that everything’s going to hell in a hand basket, and it gets us off the hook. We don’t have to do anything.
Hope for me is deeply tied to the fact that we don’t know what will happen. This gives us grounds to act. And the Trump administration is such an amplifier of uncertainty. Will the guy have some kind of breakdown? Will he get impeached? Will he start World War IV? Will the Republican Party split? Will the Democratic Party find its backbone? So I think that there’s grounds to stay engaged, while being clear that terrible things are happening and we should mourn them.
You keep wanting to talk about despair and I’m just not very interested in it. The situation on climate, which I spent a lot of time looking at and trying to do something about as an activist, is really bleak but there’s wiggle room in there. You know, a lot of extraordinary stuff is happening and it’s happening in very complex ways. One thing that not very many people have noticed, because it’s a change so incremental, is that the technology of renewable non-carbon energy has evolved so dramatically over the last dozen years that we’re in a completely different place than we were at the beginning of the millennium. Bloomberg News ran a story yesterday that within the decade solar power is likely to be cheaper than coal, which is the cheapest fossil fuel. We actually have the energy solutions and they are being adapted pretty rapidly in a lot of places.
You know, we also are looking at the Antarctic ice shelf cracking. We’re looking at sea level rise. We’re looking at chaotic weather. We’re in a very deep crisis. You know, and I want people to be able to hold both of those things. We’re not talking about a future that’s already written.
What we get from the mainstream media over and over and over is a story that what we do doesn’t matter. We have had huge impacts. We have changed what constitutes what’s acceptable and ordinary in innumerable ways. You can tell the story of same-sex marriages, oh, the Supreme Court in its beneficence handed this nice thing down to us, but the Supreme Court decided that this was normal because millions of people had transformed our society in powerful ways over decades about what was normal, and so they did what seemed reasonable, but we defined what reasonable is.
The future is not yet written. What the story is depends on what we make it, and that’s really what I’m here to say.”
Rebecca Solnit is a writer, historian and activist. She’s the author of Hope in the Dark: Untold Histories, Wild Possibilities.
‘As night and day take turns on this massive Earth spinning nowhere, the song we share within takes turns with the catastrophes of living. When we go silent, the age goes dark.’
“We all have traveled this same pathway of experience – – the journey of the soul to ‘the heights above’ – – and always there has been a deep inquiry in our minds: What is it all about? Does life make sense? What is the meaning of birth, human experience, and the final transition from this plane, which we call death?
With the Koran we must realize that the Divine is closer to us even than our physical being. Nothing can be nearer to us than which is the very essence of our own being.
Our external search after Reality culminates in the greatest of all possible discoveries – – Reality is at the center of our own being. Life is from within out.
We must no longer judge according to appearances, but rather, base our judgments on the assumption that the Gaia-Mind dwells within us proclaimed or reflects Itself through us into every act.
I shall speak this Reality into every experience I have.”
[Science of Mind]
Mind is Brahma; for from mind even are verily born these beings–by mind, when born, they live.
The Mind, then, is not separated off from God’s essentiality, but is united to it, as light to sun.
Nothing is at last sacred but the integrity of our own mind.
Grace filled transitions to you, to us all. Ubuntu.
Spirit of Life
Giver of Life
Breath of LIfe
Tara & Lakshmi
Shirley goodness and mercy will follow us all the days of our lives…