The value of truthfulness.

March 20, 2019

A liar no longer needs to feel that his lies may involve him in starvation. If living were a little more precarious, and if a person who could not be trusted found it more difficult to get along with other men, we would not deceive ourselves and one another so carelessly.

But the whole world has learned to deride veracity or to ignore it. Half the civilized world makes a living by telling lies. Advertising, propaganda, (politics) and all the forms of publicity that have taken the place of truth have taught men to take it for granted that they can tell other people whatever they like, provide that it sounds plausible and evokes some kind of shallow emotional response.

-Thomas Merton, No Man Is an Island [1955]

Humbly, we are asked to keep the flow real between what is taken in and what is let out. We have only to breathe to remember our place as al living inlet. Experience in, feelings out. Surprise and challenge in, heartache and joy out. In a constant tide, life rushes in, and in constant release, we must let it all run back off. For this is how the earth was made magnificent by the sea and how humankind is carved upright, again and again, by the ocean of spirt that sets us free.

-Mark Nepo, The Book of Awakening [2011]

There is something in me that knows what to do. It not only knows what to do, It impels me to act upon what It knows. This very acceptance flows forth into action through me. Always there is an inner, quiet, persistent confidence, a nonresistant but complete acceptance, an inward flowing with the stream of Life, knowing that It carries me safely and surely to my destination and to the accomplishment of every good purpose.

-Ernest Holmes, Science of Mind [2001]

We are guided continually. We choose to follow what is good, and right, and just.

 

 

Straws into waves.

This Artist Turned Thousands of Plastic Straws Into Stunning Ocean Waves

Plastic straws have become one of the great scourges of the ocean, and in a massive installation by artist and activist Benjamin Von Wong, they’ve been transformed into majestic waves with all the verve that entails.

The “Stawpocalypse” features green, blue, and black straws for water, clear straws for the surf’s froth, and yellow straws for sand. Von Wong came up with the idea after learning more about the problem of plastic waste in the world’s oceans. He wanted to create a dramatic scene that conveyed the scale of the problem.

“Numbers, statistics, and facts hit the mind, but art has the potential to hit the heart,” Von Wong told Global Citizen. “I personally see my role as an artist to give people convenient excuses to talk about the problem.”

https://www.globalcitizen.org/en/content/plastic-straw-wave-artist-profile/?utm_source=Iterable&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=US_Mar_20_2019_content_digest

Love laughs.

March 19, 2019

But love laughs at the end of the world, because love is the door to eternity; and, before anything can happen, love will have drawn her over the sill and closed the door, and he won’t bother about the world burning because he will know nothing about love.

-Thomas Merton, The Sign of Jonas [1953]

Without method.

March 18, 2019

[Artwork by Jim Carrey]

King of the Surf Guitar

From The Beach Boys’ Brian Wilson:

I’m sorry to hear about Dick Dale passing. Dick’s guitar playing was a big influence on all of us, and we covered “Misirlou” on our Surfin’ USA album in ‘63. Love & Mercy to Dick’s family.

Dick Dale, “the King of the Surf Guitar,” has died at the age of 81.

California Rocker first reported that Dale died Sunday. His bassist Sam Bolle confirmed Dale’s death to the Guardian. No cause of death was revealed, but the guitarist suffered from health issues in recent years.

“I can’t stop touring because I will die. I have to raise $3,000 every month to pay for the medical supplies I need to stay alive, and that’s on top of the insurance that I pay for.”

#UniversalHealthcare

Jimi Hendrix, like Dale, would play his Stratocaster left-handed. Eddie Van Halen would later cite Dale and surf music as one of his prime inspirations, with the Van Halen guitarist modeling his method on Dale’s quick-picking. Stevie Ray Vaughan, another disciple, would team with Dale on a cover of the Chantays’ surf classic “Pipeline” in 1986; the rendition would be nominated for Best Rock Instrumental Performance at the 1987 Grammys.

In addition to influencing a generation of guitar gods, Dale enjoyed a resurgence in popularity in the Nineties thanks to the placement of “Miserlou” in Pulp Fiction.

“Dick Dale was truly the King of Surf Guitar. Before the Beach Boys gave this new genre lyrics, Dick Dale was providing the instrumental soundtrack to the surfing experience. He influenced everybody!” Stevie Van Zandt said in a statement.

Rolling Stone

Dick Dale, King of the Surf Guitar, Dead at 81

Greta.

“I believe the children are our are future, teach them well and let them lead the way.”

 

16-Year-Old Climate-Strike Leader Greta Thunberg Has Been Nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize

 

Greta: “Since our leaders are behaving like children, we will have to take the responsibility they should have taken long ago. We have to understand what the older generation has dealt to us, what mess they have created that we have to clean up and live with. We have to make our voices heard.”

 

 

Environmentalists & the 9th Circuit

March 12, 2019

An environmental group is launching a campaign to defend the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals which has been a target for President Trump. The court hears some of the most important environmental and other cases in our region.

“Well you go to the 9th Circuit and it’s a disgrace and I’m going to put in a major complaint, because you cannot win if you’re us, a case in the 9th Circuit,” he told reporters in November of last year.

Because the 9th Circuit covers much of the Western U.S. it hears a lot of cases about public lands and endangered species. It’s currently considering Juliana vs. United States, the case where kids are suing the federal government for failing to act to combat climate change. The 9th Circuit recently rejected challenges to a 2012 Department of Interior decision to withdraw, for up to 20 years, over one million acres of land near Grand Canyon National Park from new uranium mining claims.

The League of Conservation Voters is launching a campaign to fight for neutral judicial nominees on that court.

“It’s so important that that court remains fair and objective and has qualified judges sitting on it who make decisions that impact our clean air and clean water,” says Ben Driscoll, Judiciary Program Director with the nonprofit.

President Trump has nominees for four out of the five vacant judges seats. Those nominees still have to go before the Senate before being confirmed.

Find reporter Amanda Peacher on Twitter @amandapeacher.

Listen:

https://www.boisestatepublicradio.org/post/trump-eyes-9th-circuit-environmentalists-fight-neutral-nominees

The Middles Class Declines…Again

March 10, 2019

But the billionaires and millionaires…their profits…continue to rise.

AP/AXIOS/NYTimes

More than $30 trillion: That’s the amount of wealth generated by stocks’ 10-year bull run, per the N.Y. Times’ Matt Phillips.

  • “Adjusted for inflation, that is the most created during any bull run on record, edging out the $25 trillion in gains during the epic streak from December 1987 to March 2000, which ended with the bursting of the dot-com bubble.”

The fruits went mostly to the rich, per The Times:

  • The net worth of the wealthiest 10% of American families grew by double-digit %s.
  • Median American family wealth dropped 34%.

Why it matters: “In the past, such episodes of wealth destruction cast long shadows. For much of the 20th century, the financial habits of the American public were heavily influenced by memories of the Great Depression.”

W G R E

March 9, 2019

 “WGRE first went on-air April 28, 1949 as the first FCC licensed educational radio station.”

DePauw University

WGRE: The First 50 Year Anniversary [2009]

 

Deep Doo-Doo

Russian internet trolls appear to be shifting strategy to disrupt the 2020 elections, promoting divisive messages “through phony social media accounts instead of creating propaganda themselves,” Bloomberg’s Alyza Sebenius writes.

  • Russian hackers are trying to circumvent protections put in place by Facebook and Twitter after the 2016 election.
  • “Instead of creating content themselves, we see them amplifying content,” hiding behind someone else, said John Hultquist, director of intelligence analysis at FireEye.

Be smart: Hacked devices “are used to create many legitimate-looking users as well as believable followers and likes for those fake users.”

[AXIOS]

Fake users combined with emerging deep video and we could be in deep doo-doo if we are not hyper-aware as news and information consumers. -dayle

“Fake videos and audio keep getting better, faster and easier to make, increasing the mind-blowing technology’s potential for harm if put in the wrong hands. Bloomberg QuickTake explains how good deep fakes have gotten in the last few months, and what’s being done to counter them.”

#InternationalWomensDay

March 8, 2019

“Today, we stand at a crossroads: we can continue to live by the blade, risking global annihilation, or we can rediscover the partnership ethic and spirit of co-operation, and use the chalice to transform our culture and our future.” 

1987

Riane Eisler

“Some books are like revelations, they open the spirit to unimaginable possibilities. Eisler proves that the dream of peace is not an impossible Utopia.”

-Isabel Allende

“Until I read books like Eisler’s I assumed men ran churches because men run everything…now I realize it goes a lot deeper than that; it is a matter of male mana threatened by female magic.”

-Katherine Whitehorn, The Observer

‘Hold fast to hope.’

March 6, 2019

 

‘Survival Math,’ Is A Memoir About Growing Up Black In Oregon

‘NPR’s Mary Louise Kelly talks with author Mitchell Jackson about his second book, Survival Math, which details the calculations he made to survive as a young black man growing up in Portland, Ore.’

MITCHELL JACKSON: He knew that we – you know, we had an issue, and he pulled a gun on me and was like, are you looking for me? And in that moment between my answer and him asking the question, a lot of thoughts went through my head.

KELLY: Mitchell Jackson thought about whether he could get away, whether there were any witnesses, whether he could survive a gunshot wound, what he should say to make sure he walked away alive.

JACKSON: I ultimately said, no, I’m not looking for you and probably ended up saving my life because he did murder someone not too long after that. So I took that kind of calculations and then asked myself, well, there must be some men in my family or others who also had to make those calculations.

KELLY: Calculations that he calls survival math. That’s the title of Mitchell Jackson’s new book. It’s his story, his family’s story. The opening chapter describes how he started dealing drugs back when he was 14 or 15 years old.

[…]

JACKSON: Yeah, my novel, “The Residue Years.” But I was also a little frustrated with the way that reviewers and other readers were portraying it as if I was just telling a story and there was no kind of craft or art to it or intellectualism. And I was like, oh, well, I know how to force a reader to kind of confront the way that my mind works, so I’m going to put these in essays.

And then the other thing is I want you to know that there were a community of people in Northeast Portland that struggle but ultimately are survivors. And a lot of us are thriving. And so that’s really important to me because I – when I ask – tell people I’m from Portland, Ore., they say, oh, my God. Like, I didn’t even know black people live there. And it’s true, really, because we’re only, you know, 2, 3, 4 percent of the population, but we’re a community. And I think that we deserve to have a kind of public persona.

KELLY: This is the predictable question, but what would you tell 14, 15-year-old Mitchell Jackson if you could go back and talk to him?

JACKSON: I would tell him, hold on. It’s going to get better. I don’t know if I would take back the mistakes that I made because you take back one mistake and I’m not here speaking to you right now. But I do think, you know, you have to hold fast to hope, especially in moments where you think it’s close to hopeless.

https://www.npr.org/2019/03/06/700873567/survival-math-is-a-memoir-about-growing-up-black-in-oregon

The Uninhabitable Earth

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

The Uninhabitable Earth hits you like a comet, with an overflow of insanely lyrical prose about our pending Armageddon.”—Andrew Solomon, author of The Noonday Demon

‘David Wallace-Wells is a national fellow at the New America foundation and a columnist and deputy editor at New York magazine. He was previously the deputy editor of The Paris Review. He lives in New York City.’

“This is only a preview of the changes to come.

And they are coming fast.”

Like An Inconvenient Truth and Silent Spring before it, The Uninhabitable Earth is both a meditation on the devastation we have brought upon ourselves and an impassioned call to action. For just as the world was brought to the brink of catastrophe within the span of a lifetime, the responsibility to avoid it now belongs to a single generation. [Amazon]

An immediate and moral responsibility to engage in this conversation…an entry point being Wallace-Wells’ book & podcast, hosted by Chris Hayes. Here’s the link:

A young climate activist, Greta Thunberg, in this piece talks about learning the severity of Climate Change, being inspired by Rosa Parks.

Rolling Stone

The First Time: Climate Activist Greta Thunberg

Wilderness of neurosis.

The history of our own time has been made by dictators whose characters, often transparently easy to read, have been full of repressed guilt, self-hatred, and feelings of inferiority. They have managed to enlist the support of solid masses men moved by the same repressed drives as themselves. The wars they have waged with one another have been the sacrifice which the cases, degraded by totalitarianism, have offered up in fanatical self-idolatry, which never completely manages to assuage the nausea brought about by the self-hatred.

-Thomas Merton, The Living Bread [1956]

The whole mechanism of modern life is geared for a flight from God and from the spirit into the wilderness of neurosis.

-Thomas Merton, No Man Is an Island [1955]


neu·ro·sis
/n(y)o͝oˈrōsəs/

noun

Synonyms:
mental illness, mental disorder, psychological disorder, mental disturbance, mental derangement, mental instability, psychological maladjustment, psychoneurosis, psychopathy.

Back to the sun.

March 4, 2019

“Feel the warmth from both stone and flower. See how both are covered differently with the same light. Now trace the light of each back to the sun.

We are all just small stones and little flowers searching for our sun. What you have seen under words, behind many eyes, and beneath all cries is the one direction.”

Mark Nepo

 

Yannis Behrakis, 1960-2019

March 3, 2019

Reuters

“My mission is to make sure that nobody can say: ‘I didn’t know’.” Award-winning Reuters photographer Yannis Behrakis dies aged 58 after a long struggle with cancer.

After joining the news wire 30 years ago, Behrakis covered many of the most tumultuous events around the world, including conflicts in Afghanistan and Chechnya, a huge earthquake in Kashmir and the Egyptian uprising of 2011.

In the process, he won the respect of both peers and rivals for his skill and bravery. He also led a team to a Pulitzer Prize in 2016 for coverage of the refugee crisis.

Colleagues who worked with him in the field said Reuters had lost a talented and committed journalist.

“It is about clearly telling the story in the most artistic way possible,” veteran Reuters photographer Goran Tomasevic said of Behrakis’s style.

“You won’t see anyone so dedicated and so focused and who sacrificed everything to get the most important picture.”

That dedication was striking. His friend and colleague of 30 years, senior producer Vassilis Triandafyllou, described him as a “hurricane” who worked all hours of the day and night, sometimes at considerable personal risk, to get the image he wanted.

“One of the best news photographers of his generation, Yannis was passionate, vital and intense both in his work and life,” said US general news editor Dina Kyriakidou Contini.

“His pictures are iconic, some works of art in their own right. But it was his empathy that made him a great photojournalist.”

“My mission is to tell you the story and then you decide what you want to do,” he told a panel discussing Reuters Pulitzer Prize-winning photo series on the European migrant crisis.

“My mission is to make sure that nobody can say: ‘I didn’t know’.”

A Syrian refugee kisses his daughter as he walks through a rainstorm towards Greece’s border with Macedonia on September 10, 2015. (Reuters/ Yannis Behrakis)

A Syrian refugee holds onto his children as he struggles to walk off a dinghy on the Greek island of Lesbos, on September 24, 2015. (Reuters/ Yannis Behrakis)

A starving Somali child is given water near a refugee camp in Baidoa, Somalia, on December 14, 1992. (Reuters/ Yannis Behrakis)

An ethnic Albanian man places the body of two-year-old Mozzlum Sylmetaj into a coffin next to the coffins of three other family members killed by Yugoslav army troops. (Reuters/ Yannis)

Rebel fighters run for cover inside a building on the frontline in Tripoli street in central Misrata, April 21, 2011. (Reuters/ Yannis Behrakis)

Migrants and refugees beg Macedonian policemen to allow passage to cross the border from Greece into Macedonia during a rainstorm, near the Greek village of Idomeni.

A red sun is seen over a dinghy overcrowded with Syrian refugees drifting in the Aegean sea between Turkey and Greece after its motor broke down off the Greek island of Kos.

Frantic Kurdish refugees struggle for a loaf of bread during a humanitarian aid distribution at the Iraqi-Turkish border.

http://english.alarabiya.net/en/media/digital/2019/03/03/Pulitzer-winning-photographer-Yannis-Behrakis-dies-at-58.html

https://widerimage.reuters.com/story/yannis-behrakis-award-winning-reuters-photographer-dies-aged-58?utm_medium=Social&utm_source=twitter

Songs to be sung.

‘Daring to enter, we are humbled to discover, again and again, that the act of living itself unravels both the answer and the question. When we watch, we remain riddles to be solved. When we enter, we become songs to be sung. When life feels far off, remember that a flute is just something hard with holes until it’s played. So, too, the heart. In this way, the life of every soul waits like sheet music to be played. What good are we if never played?’ -Mark Nepo

︶⁀°••°⁀︶

Blessed are you God of the universe.

You have created us, and given us life.

Blessed are you, God of the planet earth.

You have set our world like a radiant jewel in the heavens,

and filled it with action, beauty, suffering, struggle and hope.

Blessed are you, God of Aotearoa New Zealand

in all the people who live here,

in all the lessons we have learned,

in all that remains for us to do.

Blessed are you because you need us;

because you make us worthwhile,

because you give us people to love and work to do

for your universe, for your world and for ourselves.

  • A New Zealand Prayer Book/He Karaikia Mihinare Aotearoa. (1989).  p.142

 

March 2, 2019

Wing.

[Remastered for the film, Roma.]

 

I was a wing in heaven blue

soared over the ocean

soared over Spain

and I was free

needed nobody

it was beautiful

it was beautiful

I was a pawn

didn’t have a move

didn’t have nowhere

that I could go

but I was free

I needed nobody

it was beautiful

it was beautiful

and if there’s one thing

could do for you

you’d be a wing

in heaven blue

I was a vision

in another eye

and they saw nothing

no future at all

yet I was free

I needed nobody i

t was beautiful

it was beautiful

and if there’s one thing

could do for you

you’d be a wing

in heaven blue

and if there’s one thing

could do for you

you’d be a wing

in heaven blue

and if there’s one thing

could do for you

you’d be a wing

in heaven blue 

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