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A vision of global healing.

September 22, 2019

And a new paradigm for center-based spirituality for all of our guiding institutions.

Imagine, for a moment, living in a world born from spirituality. Visionary Matthew Fox embraces a concept of a creation-centered spirituality, in which all that exist are a blessing and bring ancient wisdom to solve current issues.

Fox embraces a sacred relationship between humanity and the Earth.

“Fox’s prophetic vision of good for all people everywhere, combined with an experience of mystical unity, became the hallmark of his work.” [Science of Mind/October]. He embraces the ancient wisdom of Creation Spirituality, adapted to present-day concerns.

Creation Spirituality affirms a common ground among all the world’s faith traditions. Juline explains: “It is a theology that respects the sacredness of nature and the holy relationship humanity has with it. Centuries-old mysticism melds with current concerns about damage to the environment, social injustice, and all forms of destruction and exploitation.”

Radical compassion [mine], ‘where the harvest is compassion, unity, love, inclusion, creativity and good for everyone.’

-Kathy Juline is an author and former editor of “Science of Mind” magazine.

Fr. Richard Rohr: “When we carry our small suffering in solidarity with humanity’s one universal longing for deep union, it helps keep us from self-pity or self-preoccupation. We know that we are all in this together. It is just as hard for everybody else, and our healing is bound up in each other’s. Almost all people are carrying a great and secret hurt, even when they don’t know it. This realization softens the space around our overly defended hearts. It makes it hard to be cruel to anyone. It somehow makes us one—in a way that easy comfort and entertainment never can. Some mystics go so far as to say that individual suffering doesn’t exist at all and that there is only one suffering. It is all the same…”


 

Be the change.

We have more power than we know. We must collectively harness our power for change.

A X I O S

Walmart, which first banned assault weapon sales and now vaping products, is providing a template of how CEOs can move beyond a monomaniacal focus on profits, Axios CEO Jim VandeHei writes.

  • Why it matters: It’s one thing to sign an unenforceable pledge to think more about employees and society, like most members of the Business Roundtable did. It’s another to take specific action while politicians dither.

In conversations with a half-dozen CEOs this week, we were stunned by how much pressure business leaders are feeling to take social action. If so, here’s what they can do:

  • JPMorgan Chase, Starbucks, Walmart, Amazon and many others increased their minimum wage to $15. Every CEO has the power to do this.
  • Delta Airlines returns billions in profits to employees — this year, a bonus equal to 14% of their annual pay — and has grown since making this change. Every company can do this.
  • Amazon this week became the first to sign The Climate Pledge to be net-zero carbon across its businesses by 2040 — a decade ahead of the Paris Agreement’s goal of 2050. An individual company can’t put a dent in overall pollution — but a bunch might.
  • Stripe, the online payments platform, announced last month that it plans to spend at least $1 million a year to pay for direct removal of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. Stripe said in its emissions announcement: “For other companies: Please reach out to Stripe to join our commitment.”
  • Bank of America last year stopped lending money to makers of military-style assault weapons.
  • Dick’s Sporting Goods paid a price in its earnings after it initially made it harder to buy firearms in its store, but then went even further this year.

What else can be done:

  • They could also limit CEO pay if they wanted to narrow the gap in their own shop.
  • All retailers control what’s on their shelves, so if they want to eliminate AR-15s, or vaping, or whatever — free enterprise permits it.
  • All companies control child care, family leave and health policies and can be as generous as they choose.

The big picture: The new public assertiveness by corporations follows an earlier wave, after President Trump took office, of CEOs taking stands on immigration, climate, gender equality and other issues that their predecessors avoided.

  • Apple’s Tim Cook, who has become increasingly vocal, said at a Fortune conference last year: “Apple is about changing the world. It became clear to me some number of years ago that you don’t do that by staying quiet on things that matter.”

The bottom line: The pressure on CEOs from employees, customers and communities seems to only be intensifying.


 

Community.

September 21, 2019

It is not more bigness that should be our goal. It must be to bring people back to … the warmth of community, to the worth of individual effort and responsibility … and of individuals working together as a community to better their lives and their children’s future. -Robert F. Kennedy

Each of us must rededicate ourselves to serving the common good. We are a community. Our individual fates are linked; our futures intertwined. And if we act in that knowledge and in that spirit together, as the Bible says, ‘We can move mountains.’ -Jimmy Carter


 

Darkest Money

August 26, 2019

Today, August 26th, the U.S. president who called himself an environmentalist, addresses climate change:

“I feel that the United States has tremendous wealth. The wealth underneath its feet. I’m not gonna lose that wealth on dreams, on windmills, which frankly aren’t working too well.”

#DreamsAndWindmills

Jane Mayer [Staff Writer at The New Yorker/author of Dark Money]:

“Lee Fang, who was the first to report on the Kochs’ covert Tea Party role, argues that far more than appreciated, David Koch’s legacy includes electing Trump.”

DAVID KOCH’S MOST SIGNIFICANT LEGACY IS THE ELECTION OF DONALD TRUMP

Many obituaries published in recent days examine Koch’s history of polluting the environment and political system, how the donor network he helped lead mobilized opposition to addressing climate change, transformed our election laws to allow unlimited secret spending by the very rich, and systematically fought any regulation, labor reform, or tax viewed as a threat to the corporate power elite.

Yet Koch’s most visible accomplishment is the current occupant of the White House — a legacy largely unrecognized, and one that goes well beyond any other single triumph in his life.

https://theintercept.com/2019/08/26/david-koch-donald-trump/

 

 

College Journalists speaking up for Free Speech

August 25, 2019

Society of Professional Journalists

[Founded as Sigma Delta Chi at DePauw University in 1909]

“The real crisis of campus speech lies elsewhere—in the erosion of student newspapers…. Today, these outlets are imperiled by the same economic forces that have hollowed out local newspapers from coast to coast.”

Bureaucrats Put the Squeeze on College Newspapers

The corporatization of higher education has rendered a once-indispensable part of student life irrelevant, right when it’s needed the most.

In this this, Sunday, April 22, 2018 photo, while pushing up against a deadline, students collaborate to put out the upcoming edition of the Washington Square News, New York University’s independent, student-run, newspaper in New York. College journalists are speaking up for themselves in a coordinated campaign to combat some of the same forces that have battered newspapers across the country. More than 100 college newsrooms across the U.S., including the Washington Square News, are using social media campaigns, public awareness events and editorials Wednesday, April 25 to call attention to the important roles they play. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)

The Atlantic

August 23, 2019

When professional pundits talk about dangers to free expression on campus, they typically refer to a handful of incidents in which colleges have revoked invitations for controversial speakers. This, however, is a fringe issue, confined to a small number of universities. The real crisis of campus speech lies elsewhere—in the erosion of student newspapers. These once-stalwart publications have long served as consistent checks against administrative malfeasance, common forums for campus debate, and training grounds for future professional journalists. Today, these outlets are imperiled by the same economic forces that have hollowed out local newspapers from coast to coast. And unlike their professional peers, student journalists face an added barrier: The kind of bureaucratic interference Liebson met at Stony Brook is becoming the norm for student journalists.

Few school newspapers are financially independent from the institutions they cover, says Chris Evans, president of the College Media Association. As a result, college administrators hold powerful leverage over student journalists and their faculty advisers. The need for aggressive student news organizations is as acute as ever. But image-obsessed administrators are hastening the demise of these once-formidable campus watchdogs.

The AAUP report notes a “growing tendency” for administrations to conduct important business matters “behind closed doors.” Administrators slow-roll student journalists’ requests for public records. At some schools, newspaper advisers have been instructed to conduct “prior review” of student articles before publication, a precaution intended to ensure that anything that could gin up bad publicity never makes it to print.

The decline of college newspapers has taken place against the backdrop of a decades-old power shift in the American university. As the Johns Hopkins University professor Benjamin Ginsberg chronicles in his 2011 book, The Fall of the Faculty, administrative bureaucracies at American universities have grown much faster than the professoriate, a trend that Ginsberg decries. 

“University administrators are no different than any other corporate executives or heads of government agencies,” Ginsberg said in an interview. “They’re engaged in constant spin designed to hide any shortcomings that they or their institution might have.”

Full article: https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2019/08/death-college-newspapers/595849/?utm_sq=g6a9ilb3eb&utm_source=API+Need+to+Know+newsletter&utm_campaign=b39eb6eb5c-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2019_08_23_01_56&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_e3bf78af04-b39eb6eb5c-45915123&utm_content=Articles

 

 

Ultimate Reality

August 16, 2019

Fr. Richard Rohr, Center for Action & Contemplation:

Rami Shapiro, a rabbi, teacher, and author on Judaism and spirituality reflects on the enriching, powerful experience of interspiritual dialogue initiated by Fr. Thomas Keating (1923–2018).

In 1984 Father Thomas Keating invited a small group of contemplatives from eight different religious traditions—Buddhist, Hindu, Jewish, Islamic, Native American, Russian Orthodox, Protestant, and Roman Catholic—to gather at St. Benedict’s Monastery in Snowmass, Colorado, to engage in what he called “a big experiment.” [1]

The experiment was to see what would happen when meditators from different traditions meditated together and shared the spiritual insights they gleaned from their meditation. Within a few days it became clear to the attendees that while their religious vocabularies were different, their experiences were not. As one attendee put it:

I enter into meditation as a slice of American cheese: thick and solid; my egoic self intact and feeling apart from both God and creation. I return from meditation as a slice of Swiss cheese: thin and filled with holes. I know myself and all others to be a part of God. Indeed, there is no other at all, only the One, the Whole, the Ultimate Reality I am calling God. And with this sense of wholeness comes a sense of holiness, a sense of love from and for all beings. . . .

During the first few years of the Snowmass Conference, a series of agreements arose among the attendees. Father Thomas compiled the first eight and brought them to the group for consideration. With lots of conversation and some editing, the Snowmass Conference Eight Points of Agreement came into being. We include them here as a way of sharing a contemporary expression of perennial wisdom arising not from ancient texts but from the lived experience of contemporary mystics—women and men who, while coming from specific traditions, dare to step beyond them to see what is on its own terms.

The Eight Points of Agreement

1.  The world religions bear witness to the experience of Ultimate Reality, to which they give various names.


2.  Ultimate Reality cannot be limited by any name or concept.
Ultimate Reality is the ground of infinite potentiality and actualization.

3.  Faith is opening, accepting, and responding to Ultimate Reality. Faith in this sense precedes every belief system.

4. The potential for human wholeness—or, in other frames of reference, enlightenment, salvation, transcendence, transformation, blessedness—is present in every human being. 

5. Ultimate Reality may be experienced not only through religious practices but also through nature, art, human relationships, and service to others.

6. As long as the human condition is experienced as separate from Ultimate Reality, it is subject to ignorance and illusion, weakness and suffering.

7. Disciplined practice is essential to the spiritual life; yet spiritual attainment is not the result of one’s own efforts, but the result of the experience of oneness with Ultimate Reality. [2]

It took us until the late 20th century to say such things, and now we almost see them as obvious. There is indeed an evolution of consciousness and a convergence of consciousness that does not need to dismiss or dilute any one tradition.


[1] The Common Heart: An Experience of Interreligious Dialogue, ed. Netanel Miles-Yepez (Lantern Books: 2006), 1.

[2] Thomas Keating, “The Points of Agreement,” Introduction to The Common Heart, xvii-xviii.

Beholding.

August 13, 2019

‘The divine encounter is something of a pure or direct encounter because there are no appropriate words or concepts through which to interpret it. Maggie Ross refers to the encounter with the divine as “beholding.” [1] 

Beholding is the antithesis of ordinary experience in that the self, which usually processes the data of our experience through an understanding inherited from our history, culture, and language community, is suspended, and we change our focus in order to be open to an engagement that defies whatever understanding we bring to it. . . .

What makes the contemplative experience universal and perennial is that contemplatives suspend the understanding through which their minds actively process and assess the data of their experience. . . . The prejudice of the modern mind is that knowledge must be something we can possess, but the knowledge that comes from our encounters with the divine possesses us and infuses an ineffable knowing within us. . . .

The prayer of the contemplative is, essentially, an attention to the omnipresence of God. God is omnipresent not as a theological doctrine, but as the great silence that is present in every moment—but from which we are usually distracted by an overactive mind that refuses to wait in a humble unknowing for a pure wisdom from above [James 3:17]. [2]’

-Richard Rohr, Center for Action & Contemplation


[1] Maggie Ross, “Behold Not the Cloud of Experience,” The Medieval Mystical Tradition in England: Exeter Symposium VIII, ed. E. A. Jones (Boydell and Brewer: 2013), 29-50.

[2] James P. Danaher, “What’s So Perennial About the Perennial Philosophy?” “The Perennial Tradition,” Oneing, vol. 1, no. 1 (Center for Action and Contemplation: 2013), 50-51, 53. No longer in print; a Kindle version is available from Amazon.

Strong, and barely controllable.

August 10, 2019

“You know the Greeks didn’t write obituaries. They only asked one question after a (wo)man died: ‘Did (s)he have passion?’”

-Marc Klein/Serendipity

☆҉❥☆҉

“There is no passion to be found playing small – in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living.” 

-Nelson Mandela

 

 

Energy channeled through manifold expressions.

August 3, 2019

Finding beauty in a broken world is creating beauty in the world we find.

-Terry Tempest Williams

We live in a time of great change. Racial, economic and political polarities continue. Climate [destabilization] contributes to record wildfires, drought, floods and other natural disasters across the globe. And mass shootings are sadly becoming normative in our daily lives in the United States.

We have much to grieve as we bear witness to our changing world…the “great unraveling”…in the birth of a new evolutionary consciousness.”

-Amy Livingston, Science of Mind

There are but two fundamental principles in nature. One is unity of the whole. The next is the variety. The diversity. The manifold expressions of that unity.

-Ernest Holmes

Only in prayer do we achieve that a complete and harmonious assembly of body, mind, and spirt which gives the frail human reed its unshakable strength.

-Alexis Carrel

[Alexis Carrel was a French surgeon and biologist who was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1912 for pioneering vascular suturing techniques. He invented the first perfusion pump with Charles A. Lindbergh opening the way to organ transplantation.]

 

 

Perhaps, when we change careers or relationships, we are trying to free ourselves of all that has covered us, even if it has helped us grow. Altoughth, we may come to realize that it may be our way of loving that needs to be shed and not who or what we care for. 

-Mark Nepo

We Generation Manifesto

We are difference-makers.

We respect all beings in all cultures.

We believe int he right of all life to live in freedom and peace.

We support human rights, civil rights, equal rights, gay rights, religious rights, animal rights, children rights, elder rights and the ecological rights of this place (and beyond).

We believe in helping each other.

We believe in energy channeled, vibrant, enthusiastic and strong.

We are passionate about peace through people.

We care for ourselves and each other.

We participate.

We make a difference.

╰ღ╮╭ღ╯

 

 

Lead on.

August 2, 2019

On the centennial of the Nineteenth Amendment’s passage, it is worth considering what suffragists were fighting for, why they had to fight so hard, and who, exactly, was fighting against them.

-Margaret Talbot, The New Yorker

The Imperfect, Unfinished Work of Women’s Suffrage

A century after the passage of the Nineteenth Amendment, it’s worth remembering why suffragists had to fight so hard, and who was fighting against them.

In 1872, Susan B. Anthony’s attempt to vote and her subsequent arrest got the lion’s share of publicity, but Ware uses a carte de visite of the black activist Sojourner Truth to tell the story of how she, too, tried to vote in the Presidential election that year. A cookbook published as a fund-raiser by the Washington Equal Suffrage Association leads Ware to the story of one of its contributors, Cora Smith Eaton King, a physician and avid climber, who, with a recreational group called the Mountaineers, planted a “Votes for Women” banner at the summit of Mt. Rainier. Ware prefaces a reading of Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s feminist writings with a photograph of Gilman’s death mask, whose ghostly visage haunts a discussion of her lesser-known anti-immigrant and pro-eugenics politics. Alongside a front page of the Woman’s Exponent, one of the first women’s-media outlets west of the Mississippi—it was published, in Salt Lake City, from 1872 until 1914—Ware recounts the life of a contributor, Emmeline Wells, who advocated on behalf of women’s rights and the Mormon doctrine of plural marriage. (“Polygamy gives women more time for thought, for mental culture, more freedom of action, a broader field of labor,” she wrote.) A ballot box from Illinois appears with an account of the pioneering black women’s Alpha Suffrage Club, whose founder, the investigative journalist Ida Wells-Barnett, forcibly integrated the Woman Suffrage Procession—the original Women’s March—in 1913, after her white colleagues tried to segregate their protest of Woodrow Wilson’s Inauguration. “Either I go with you or not at all,” Wells-Barnett declared.

“I am not taking this stand because I personally wish for recognition. I am doing it for the future benefit of my whole race.”

The idea that women were always going to get the right to vote in the United States ignores the reality that they only got that right in Switzerland in 1971 and in Saudi Arabia in 2015. It also fails to explain why the right was granted to American women in 1920, as opposed to 1919 or 1918, or, perhaps more pointedly, 1776. Worse, the feeling of inevitability also conveys a sense of irreversibility, as if history always advances, and never stalls, or regresses.

Disenfranchisement can take many forms, and its most insidious manifestations are regrettably common: purging voter rolls, passing voter-identification requirements, understaffing or closing polling places, gerrymandering voting districts. Under the circumstances, perhaps the best way to celebrate the anniversary of the passage of the Nineteenth Amendment is to remember all those who cannot vote, not only those who can. ♦

https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2019/07/08/the-imperfect-unfinished-work-of-womens-suffrage

Cat.

June 27, 2019

“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.”

Shoes & Practice

June 25, 2019

‘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 [2015]

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

Collective failure.

June 10, 2019

‘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.

He posts:

“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

dailymail.com

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.”

The Guardian

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

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.

https://www.theguardian.com/news/2019/may/14/why-copying-the-populist-right-isnt-going-to-save-the-left


The Atlantic

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.

One love.

June 4, 2019

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.]

Marianne update. ❁

June 3, 2019

‘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

From Marianne:

“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.

Full interview:

2020: Marianne Williamson on big truths and moral outrage

 

Knock Down the House.

May 1, 2019

 

“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.

VOX

’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!]

 

“The first part of doing anything is letting people know it’s happening.”

“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.

https://www.stitcher.com/podcast/msnbc/why-is-this-happening/e/60217354

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.

Rian Thum:

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.” 

 

 

Raise your hand!

March 23, 2019

Releases March 26th.

NYTimes

OP-ED CONTRIBUTOR

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.


https://www.ellentube.com/video/jake-tapper-questions-the-presidents-branding-mojo.html

March 18, 2019

[Artwork by Jim Carrey]

Wilderness of neurosis.

March 6, 2019

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.
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