“Unless good people stand up to be heard then fear and cruelty will always dominate the world. So it’s time for those people to stand up and lift their heads.”
‘The Golden Rule is so basic, so logical, so easy to agree with, yet so utterly difficult to practice! One way to start is to simply put ourselves in the other’s shoes, to practice empathy and sympathy. Practice is really the operative word, for empathy does require practice. It takes many intentional efforts before we can make it a habit.’
Day by Day with St. Francis, by Peter A. Giersch 
If we just keep hold of each other, you grasping the young one and I the old, we could revolve together like ´*.¸.• .¸. ¸.☆¨ .¸.¸¸.☆’s.
New Poems, by Rainer Maria Rilke
‘Florence will be yours, and Pisa’s cathedral, Moscow with bells like memories, and the Troika convent, and the monastery whose maze of tunnels lies swallowed under Kiev’s gardens.’
-Rilke, The Book of Hours II, 10
‘Therefore, the meaning of my life is not to be looked for merely in the sum total of my own achievements. It is seen only in the complete integration of my achievement and failures with the achievements and failures of my own generation, my own society and time.’
-Thomas Merton, No Man Is An Island
I’m a (big) fan. Rutger Bregman is a historian and author of Utopia for Realists. He writes for The Correspondent, an independent, inclusive, ad-free journalism platform founded in the Netherlands, soon to have an operation in the U.S.
“Greta Thunberg and Alexandria are often dismissed as ‘radical’ or ‘out of touch’. But the reality is: their radicalism is the future. While the planet is heating up, it’s the so-called ‘moderates’ who are out of touch.” pic.twitter.com/kVw10f76sh
“By the way, the biggest waste of our time is the waste of talent. Many bankers are way too smart to be working on Wall Street. Many coders are way too smart to be working for Uber or Amazon. They should be solving climate change, poverty, disease, etc. “Most populist radical-right voters are *not* working class
–> The majority of the working class does *not* support the populist radical right.
–> If social democracy is to survive, we need to return to its core values.” pic.twitter.com/eAap5e7dBb
Post from Rutger: “So this is Rupert Murdoch reading my book on universal basic income, the 15-hour workweek, and open borders around the globe. I’m sure he’ll love it.”
Why copying the populist right isn’t going to save the left
Social democratic parties have been losing ground for more than two decades – but pandering to rightwing anxieties about immigration is not the solution.
By Cas Mudde
Most populist radical-right voters are not working class, and the majority of the working class does not support the populist radical right.
These errors are based on a larger misunderstanding about the history of social democratic parties. Social democracy is an ideology that supports egalitarianism and social justice through the framework of liberal democracy and a mixed economy. Inspired by the Marxist concept of class struggle, social democracy aims to uplift all marginalised groups. But those who argue that centre-left parties need to pander to white anxiety about immigration are essentially saying that social democratic parties are first and foremost an interest group for “the working class” – which is always, in these accounts, assumed to be white.
This misdiagnosis of the decline of the centre-left – and the rise of the populist right – leads to the wrong prescription for reviving social democracy. In fact, centre-left parties have been trying to “act tough” on immigration for decades, and have often supported policies to limit immigration, but it has not prevented their decline.
Better Schools Won’t Fix America
Like many rich Americans, I used to think educational investment could heal the country’s ills—but I was wrong. Fighting inequality must come first.
Love, the attraction of all things toward all things, is a universal language and underlying energy that keeps showing itself despite our best efforts to resist it. It is so simple that it is hard to teach, yet we all know love when we see it.
After all, there is not a Native, Hindu, Buddhist, Jewish, Islamic, or Christian way of loving. There is not a Methodist, Lutheran, or Orthodox way of running a soup kitchen. There is not a gay or straight way of being faithful, nor a Black or Caucasian way of hoping.
We all know positive flow when we see it, and we all recognize resistance and coldness when we feel it. All the rest are mere labels.
When we are truly “in love,” we move out of our small, individual selves to unite with another, whether in companionship, friendship, marriage, or any other trustful relationship.
For Pierre Teilhard de Chardin (1881–1955), a French Jesuit priest who trained as a paleontologist and geologist, love is “the very physical structure of the Universe.” That is a very daring statement, especially for a scientist to make. Yet for Teilhard, gravity, atomic bonding, orbits, cycles, photosynthesis, ecosystems, force fields, electromagnetic fields, sexuality, human friendship, animal instinct, and evolution all reveal an energy that is attracting all things and beings to one another, in a movement toward ever greater complexity and diversity—and yet ironically also toward unification at ever deeper levels. This energy is quite simply love under many different forms.
(Please, use another word..energy…flow…Gaia…if it works better for you.)
-Fr. Richard Rohr, Center for Action & Contemplation
[Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, “Sketch of a Personal Universe,” Human Energy, trans. J. M. Cohen (Harcourt Brace Jovanovich: 1962), 72.]
‘Her presence will give Democrats and all others a different view of America’s problems.
As you read through her positions on issues you will be taken how she digs deep to find the roots of the problem.
Marianne Williamson may be a game changer.’
-Dave Bradley, Blog for Idaho
“We rise, rise, rise.
We’re bursting with press coverage.
There’s a reason for the media we’re getting, and for our rise: you.”
“We were hitting grassroots fundraising benchmarks before some pollsters would even say my name. And for that, I thank you. More people every day get to know this campaign. Our task is to generate a massive wave of energy, fueled and navigated by we the people, so powerful as to override all threats to our democracy.”
Recently, Marianne Williamson joined Pod Save America host Jon Favreau (former Barack Obama speech writer) to discuss her bid for president. The conversation brilliantly synthesizes Marianne’s platform into 47:03 of intelligent, riveting dialogue diving deep into some of her most sacred issues. She and Jon discuss moral outrage v. anger, spirit, getting money out of politics, and why she wants to establish a Dept of Peace.”
Here are some highlights:
[00:01:21] I’ve worked up close and personal with people for over 35 years who are dealing with crises in their lives, seeking to navigate those crises to transform them into opportunity and I have recognized particularly over the last 20 years, how many of those crises are at least indirectly and often directly a result of bad public policy. So not only do I have a real visceral sense of how bad public policy affects people’s lives and which bad public policy affects people’s lives, but also a deep passion for what needs to change. I think that that’s what it’s all about. It’s about human suffering. How to address it and how to ameliorate it, that’s what politics should be. Politics should be a conduit for making people’s lives better. Securing our rights, not thwarting them.
[00:12:36] Well, there are two kinds of Democrats, aren’t there? And that’s being played out in this campaign. There are two categories here. The two categories is the incrementalist who say we can have it both ways. We can take [corporate] money. We can take tens of thousands from some security investment firms. We can take tens of thousand from Big Pharma. We can take tens or even more thousands from oil companies, but we’re going to go and be an instrument of change. Yeah, right. There’s that, and they’re saying well, we’ll make these incremental changes and then there are those of us who say this has got to stop. We need a fundamental pattern disruption of the American political and economic status quo.
“How do you prepare yourself when you don’t know what’s coming?”
This is more than about AOC. It’s about hope in American politics.
The new Netflix documentary is worth a watch, no matter your political persuasion.
’Knock Down the House is the rare documentary about today’s American political landscape that might make you shed happy tears. After a triumphant festival run — including winning the Audience Award for US Documentary and Festival Favorite Award at its Sundance premiere in January, now streaming on Netflix.
It sounds a broad note of hope: It’s not just blowhard billionaires with media expertise who have a chance to represent “real America.” Plain old shoe-leather canvassing and showing up in your community can make a real difference.’
[Hurry! See this one. Invite folks who don’t have Netflix—you’ll be cheering!]
“Partly insulated from the rest of the Islamic world, the Uyghurs constructed a local history that is at once unique and assimilates elements of Semitic, Iranic, Turkic, and Indic traditions–the cultural imports of Silk Road travelers. Through both ethnographic and historical analysis, The Sacred Routes of Uyghur History offers a new understanding of Uyghur historical practices, detailing the remarkable means by which this people reckons with its past and confronts its nationalist aspirations in the present day.”
Journalist and MSNBC host Chris Hayes:
“Did you know there are roughly one million people currently held in internment camps in China? One million people detained against their will, facing no criminal charges, cut off from the outside world. This is the story of the Uyghurs, a small insulated ethnic minority in Western China. The predominantly Muslim group has faced growing levels of Islamophobia and paranoia from the Chinese government. Right now, roughly ten percent of the Uyghur population has been ‘disappeared’, held indefinitely in re-education camps where they are subjected to totalitarian indoctrination in an attempt to erase their identity, their language, their religion and their culture. Rian Thum, who has spent his career studying the Uyghurs, joins us to explain everything we know about the camps and how they came to be – including the prison-like surveillance state that Uyghurs outside of the camps are forced to live in.”
CHRIS HAYES: That’s the thing that I keep thinking about, that keeps haunting me. The reason I’ve been wanting to talk to you is I know this is going on. It’s sort of in the corner of my head, what if the Chinese state just said, “Well, you know what? The indoctrination’s not working. We’re just gonna execute 1,000 of these folks a day.”
RIAN THUM: Yeah, that really worries me, too. I think at some point, they are going to confront a failure of indoctrination. There’s … You can make people submit, but it’s very difficult to make them think differently. It might have some success, but there’s bound to be a large percentage of this million or so people who they determine to be failures and irredeemable, and I’m worried about what happens to those people.
You’ve brought up the Holocaust a few times, and I think there’s one place where that analogy is really important, and that is in examining intent and plans for the future. The German concentration camps, it was something like four of five years before the majority of the population in them was Jewish, and it was eight or nine years before they were connected to a program of mass killing. The reason I bring that up is that goals can change, and the function of these things can change, especially when you’re looking at such a massive system that has no appeal system, no regulation, no oversight. Who knows what the future holds? And we’ve already seen that the rest of the world’s reaction to this has been rather slow. I don’t think there will be time to react if it does take an uglier turn.
CHRIS HAYES: What chills me to my bones is, as far as I can tell, they’re doing it in plain sight and getting away with it in plain sight, and by that, I mean the camps, not something beyond that. But this totalitarian surveillance state they have erected on the backs of the Uighurs, outside the camps and the camps themselves, which are, I think … the largest internment camps that exist in the world at the moment.
New York Times:
KASHGAR, China — Muslim inmates from internment camps in far western China hunched over sewing machines, in row after row. They were among hundreds of thousands who had been detained and spent month after month renouncing their religious convictions. Now the government was showing them on television as models of repentance, earning good pay — and political salvation — as factory workers.
China’s ruling Communist Party has said in a surge of upbeat propaganda that a sprawling network of camps in the Xinjiang region is providing job training and putting detainees on production lines for their own good, offering an escape from poverty, backwardness and the temptations of radical Islam.
But mounting evidence suggests a system of forced labor is emerging from the camps, a development likely to intensify international condemnation of China’s drastic efforts to control and indoctrinate a Muslim ethnic minority population of more than 12 million in Xinjiang.
Accounts from the region, satellite images and previously unreported official documents indicate that growing numbers of detainees are being sent to new factories, built inside or near the camps, where inmates have little choice but to accept jobs and follow orders.
After awareness? Boycotts. Products, like tomatoe used from Xinjiang make most brands of ketchup. Also, refusal to participate In Beijing for the 2022 Winter Olympics.
”I think we need to consider very carefully whether we want to support an Olympics that will be held in China in 2022 when they’re doing this to one of their ethnic groups. I can’t support it, and I would hope that people involved in the Olympics would consider this.”
Releases March 26th.
I’m 10. And I Want Girls to Raise Their Hands.
By Alice Paul Tapper
“Last year on a fourth-grade field trip, I noticed that all the boys stood in the front and raised their hands while most of the girls politely stayed in the back and were quiet. It made me upset.
On the car ride home I told my mom about what happened. We talked about how it seemed unfair and how boys and girls should be equal. My mom talks to me a lot about women’s rights and how women are treated differently.
I told my mom that I thought girls weren’t raising their hands because they were afraid that the answer was going to be wrong and that they would be embarrassed. I also think they were being quiet because the boys already had the teacher’s attention, and they worried they might not be able to get it. My mom and I decided that we should take the experience to my Girl Scout troop.
We talked about it as a troop. All 12 girls in our troop said this was a problem they also noticed and we talked about how we could improve it. I suggested that we create a Girl Scout patch that would encourage girls to raise their hands in class and be more confident about using our voices. The other girls loved the idea, and they had other suggestions. As a troop we decided to go the local council, Girl Scouts Nation’s Capital, which represents more than 62,000 girls in the Greater Washington, D.C., region, to present our idea.
We decided to call it the Raise Your Hand patch. Its message is that girls should have confidence, step up and become leaders by raising our hands.
As with every patch in Girl Scouts, you have to earn this one. To get it, a scout needs to pledge to raise her hand in class and recruit at least three other girls who promise to do the same. As of this week, troops across the country can order the Raise Your Hand patch. I’m proudly wearing mine.
People say girls have to be 90 percent confident before we raise our hands, but boys just raise their hands. I tell girls that we should take the risk and try anyway, just like the boys do. If the answer is wrong, it’s not the end of the world. It’s not like answering a trivia question to win a million dollars on live TV.
Since our patch launched, Girl Scouts Nation’s Capital has received phone calls from troops all over the country who want to get involved. I’m so excited that girls in other troops that I don’t even know will soon sew the patches onto their vests or sashes.
On their first date, when my mom found out that my dad’s middle name was Paul, she instantly knew that if she married my dad and had a baby girl she would call me Alice Paul. Alice Paul was one of the women who led the movement for women to have the right to vote. Having Alice Paul’s name makes me feel special. For women to be equal to men, we have to fight for it.”
Alice Paul Tapper with a “Raise Your Hand” Girl Scout patch.
[Artwork by Jim Carrey]
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 
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 
The 23 most unforgettable last sentences in fiction.
Ron Charles, for the Washington Post
“The Bernards and Abelards of our time will be, perhaps, not people but machines: great, brilliant, temperamental computers. One of these days the most brilliant computer will take offense. Then watch!”
-Thomas Merton, 1953
Overheard at the World Economic Forum in Davos:
“The speed of advanced technologies, in particular artificial intelligence and automation, is already making the transition more disruptive than prior epochal shifts — and may prolong it. Shifts rivaling “modern social, political and economic transformations, such as the post-Gilded Age of the early 1900s, the global Great Depression of the 1930s, and the Reagan-Thatcher revolution of the 1980s.”
“Three-quarters of people living in developed countries feel they are not getting a fair shake, according to the Edelman Trust Barometer.
Real pay for all but the richest people has been almost flat for at least three decades. And when Americans have lost a job, nearly half have moved to a lower-paying one, jeopardizing their place in the middle class.”
As a hedge fund CEO described the zeitgeist: “We need to get in front of this problem or it’s going to get in front of us.”
St. Bernard represented the settled, orthodox, traditional teaching of the Church, which was an impregnable fortress for him, while Abelard was the very embodiment of a bold, outspoken, albeit exceedingly plausible, rationalistic spirit. Indeed he is called by the distinguished French writer, Cousin, “the father of modern rationalism.”
“Underlying most of the protests were old grievances that took on new forms and a new urgency. There was a widespread feeling that something is working with our economic system, and the political as well, because rather than correcting our economic system, it reinforced the failures. The gap between what our economic and political system is supposed to do–what we were told that it did do–and what it actually does became too large too be ignored…Universal vales of freedom and fairness had been scarified to the greed of the few.”
2012, Nobel Laureate Economist Joseph Stiglitz
Introduction: The World Wakes,” in Anya Schiffrin and Eamon Kircher-Allen, eds., From Cairo to Wall Street: Voices from the Global Spring (New York: The New Press, 2012), 2.
Follow-up, 24 minute update with Dale Ho, head of the ACLU Voting Rights Project, running litigation against the Commerce Department and DT administration about adding a citizenship question that Wilbur Ross of the Commerce Dept…the “let them eat cake guy”…for, well, basically, a distribution of political power that would benefit Republicans. It was determined that Ross lied to congress about motivations for adding the citizenship question. A very big deal. And it isn’t over, because DT has “5 friends” who sit on the Supreme Court (Republicans), and those “5 friends” are very interested in this case.
6.5 million people, it has been determined, would not answer the question. And that’s a very big deal.
“One guy, he had nothing to do with the movies, but I’ve taken a lot of direction from him. That’s Bucky Fuller. Bucky, he’s most famous for the geodesic dome, but he made a great observation about these oceangoing tankers. And he noticed that the engineers were particularly challenged by how to turn this thing, you know? They got this big rudder, it took too much energy to turn the rudder to turn the ship. So they came up with a brilliant idea. Let’s put a little rudder on the big rudder. The little rudder will turn the big rudder, the big rudder will turn the ship. The little rudder is called a trim tab.
Bucky made the analogy that a trim tab is an example of how the individual is connected to society, and how we affect society. And I like to think of myself as a trim tab. All of us are trim tabs. We might seem like we’re not up to the task, but we are, man. We’re alive! We can make a difference! We can turn this ship in the way we wanna go, man! Towards love, creating a healthy planet for all of us.”
-Jeff Bridges, accepting his lifetime achievement award at the Golden Globes.
“It’s often he small acts of ordinary people that
define the American identity.”
We are excited to announce that the United Shades of America episode we worked on with W. Kamau Bell just won an Emmy! It is the first cable episode on Sikhs in America — the first time the nation has seen Sikhs tell our own stories, in our own voices, for an hour on television. And now it has received the highest honor in the industry!
Let this win be a little beacon of light.
Today, as we mark seventeen years since 9/11, we believe that the best way to honor the thousands who died on this day and in its aftermath is to hear the STORIES that help us reckon with the past. The most brutal policies and rhetoric that drive hate in America today were first forged in the wake of 9/11. Our stories help us understand how to stand in solidarity with Muslims, Sikhs, and immigrants — and how to birth a new future.
So on this anniversary, we invite you to hear a story you have never heard before.
Watch the Emmy-award winning “Sikhs in America” on DIRECTV here. Then scroll down for a list of films, books, and toolkits that help us understand 9/11 and hate in America today. Some we produced, others we curated, all center Sikh American stories the nation needs to hear. Starting with this episode of United Shades:
Our award-winning film Divided We Fall explores hate, bigotry, and belonging in America in the aftermath of 9/11. For the last decade, the film has been used on 300+ campuses to spark dialogue and reflection. It is now available online for free and comes with up-to-date teacher´s guides and dialogues questions to use in your classroom, house of worship, or even your living room.
meditation for healing
‘One of the most painful barriers we can experience is the sense of isolation the modern world fosters, which can only be broken by our willingness to be held, by the quiet courage to allow our vulnerabilities to be seen. For as water fills a hole and as light fills the dark, kindness wraps around what is soft, if what is soft can be seen.
Prayers without words that friends, strangers, wind, and time all wrap themselves around.’
No one ever died saying, I’m so glad for the self-centered, self-serving, and self-protective life I lived.” Offer yourself to the world–your energies your gifts, your visions, your spirit–with open-hearted generosity.
“Life has set the stamp of individuality on your soul. You are different from any other person who ever lived. You are an individualized center in the Consciousness of God. You are an individualized activity in the Action of God. You are you, and you are eternal. Begin to live today as the immortal being you are and all thought of death, all fear of change will slip from you. You will step out of the tomb of uncertainty into the light of eternal day.”
We are here to live out loud. -Emile Zola
“Imagine if birds only sang when heard. If musicians only played when approved of. If poets only spoke when understood.”
“Remove your human hesitation. As you inhale, feel what rises in you. At the top of your breath, blink the mind shut like an eye. As you exhale, let the feeling sound from you, no matter how softly.