I often contemplate, particularly now, where our country would be without the influences of Rupert Murdoch and the state media he has created in the U.S. He began his residency in 1974 and became a U.S. citizen in 1985 after relinquishing his Australian citizenship, the legal requirement for US television network ownership. He established the FOX News Channel in 1996, the same year former president Bill Clinton signed the Telecommunications Act, overhauling 60 years of regulation. Murdoch thrived. And he is destroying us.
Astute and true:
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said her country doesn’t have to deal with the “rage of older white men” because “we’ve never allowed Rupert Murdoch to set up a media outlet here.”
The veracity of the quote is being questioned. Regardless, he shouldn’t have been able to start his media empire here, and Clinton shouldn’t have sold us out. Cue Roger Ailes and Newt Gingrich and Rush Limbaugh. And here we are.
Our existential soup. Could we please hold off on adding any more ingredients? Maybe let this batch simmer for awhile.
Gen. Mark A. Milley on the Russian invasion of Ukraine: “We are witness to the greatest threat to peace and security in Europe – and perhaps the world – in my 42 years of service in uniform.”
Anne Baring, The Dream of the Cosmos-A Quest for the Soul:
“Evil has its origin in this deeply unconscious predator-prey pattern of behavior. I think that, in relation to the harm we are capable of inflicting on the human beings, evil may be defined as the act of inflicting terror, suffering, humiliation, torture or yeah on an individual or group of individuals ranging in kind from the murder of a child to the atrocities currently taking place in Syria (2012) to the viciously cruel attacks on others on Facebook and Twitter. One of the most difficult things to recognize is that each one of us in capable of acting in a hateful cruel or evil way, or of being complicit in these ways of behaving, whether as an individual or as the member of a government, institution, corporate body or nation. […] The fact that an International Court of Justice now exists to try those who commit such crimes against human unity is evidence of collective progress in moral awareness. But this progress requires perpetual vigilance lest we slip back into old unconscious habits. 
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy spoke to the United Nations Security Council today. Here is the link to watch his speech and listen to the statements by various countries after he spoke. There were technical issues with the video he wanted to share with the council, at about 1:15:00 into their remarks, the video was shown. We want to look away, we can not. Ever.
From The Hill:
‘If Russia is not removed from the council, Zelenskyy said the body should just be dissolved.
“If there is no alternative and no option, then the next option would be dissolve yourself altogether,” he said.
The Ukrainian president proposed a global conference to convene in Kyiv to discuss reforms to the United Nations.
“It is now clear that the goals set in San Francisco in 1945 for the creation of a global security international organization have not been achieved, and it is impossible to achieve them without reforms,” he said.’
“I don’t know where we fall in the legacy of life.”
We crave leadership, and authenticity.
Matthew Fox, a spiritual theologian.
“Rabbi Heschel teaches that a prophet’s primary task is to interfere. Julian of Norwich, by calling us to interfere with patriarchy and heal the wounds that it has wracked upon human history and the human soul and the earth, beckons u from folly to wisdom. Are we listening?”
Fr Richard Rohr:
“Stage One people: At this level tend to be preoccupied with the pleasure, security, safety, and defense of their material state. And that extends to their morality: If it makes me feel secure, it is moral. Life is largely about protecting myself. This is seen in the endless need for war and guns, but little need for education culture, the arts, and spirituality. Stage One people are mostly dualistic, either/or thinkers, and frankly represent a rather sizable minority of humans. Their morality largely has to do with maintaining their group, and regarding their group as superior.”
“The chain reaction of evil — hate begetting hate, wars producing more wars — must be broken, or we shall be plunged into the dark abyss of annihilation.”
—Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
‘Extreme political polarization. Weaponized misinformation. Media incentivized to divide. And growing inequality. Our democratic experiment has seen better days. How do we reimagine it for the betterment of all?
Spiritual thought leader, activist, and political writer Marianne Williamson says it begins with love.’
John Perry Barlow, My Life in Crazy Times. Writing for Wired magazine, he traveled to Sarajevo to write about information and the Serbo-Croatian war in the early 90’s. He writes in his book:
“They wanted me to write about the relationship between information and the war and the way in which the mass media had created a hallucination that was destroying the ability of each side to see the other’s humanity.”
If he would have stayed well, what would he be writing now, about the United States of America.
“The truth is we come into the world from the other side, which is entirely made of love, where it’s all open and could not be more open, into this place of constriction and containment and closure and dogma and terror.”
“Love forgives everything.”
Barlow died right after he finished his memoir.
“In Cyberspace, the First Amendment is a local ordinance.”
Barlow was also a lyricist for The Grateful Dead.
‘In dangerous times like these we have to produce generations of dedicated, courageous, and creative contemplative activists who will join [the conscious collective] to bring radical healing and change to this damaged world, before it’s too late.’ -Fr. Richard Rohr
We are Quakers and friends changing public policy.
Rescue teams on January 8, 2020 at the scene of a Ukrainian airliner that crashed shortly after take-off near Imam Khomeini airport in the Iranian capital Tehran.
“The solitary is, first of all, one who renounces arbitrary social imagery. When his nation wins a war or sends a rocket to the moon, he can get along without feeing as if he personally had won the war or hit the moon with ar rocket. When his nation is rich and arrogant, he does not feel that he himself is more fortunate anymore honest, as well as more powerful, than the citizens of other, more ‘backward’ nations. More than this, he is able to despise war and to see the futility of rockets to the moon in a way quite different and more fundamental from the way in which society may tolerate these negative views. That is to say, he despises the criminal, blood thirsty arrogance of his own nation or class as much as that of the ‘the enemy.’ He despises his own self -seeking aggressively as much as that of the politicians who hypocritically pretend they are fighting for peace.”
-Actor Michelle Williams at the Golden Globes
All has been leveled to equal meaninglessness. But it is not quite the same. It is not that all is “one,” but all is “zero.”
Everything adds up to zero. Indeed, even the state, in the end, is zero.
Freedom is then to live and die for zero. Is that I want: to be beaten, imprisoned, or shot for zero?
But to be shot for zero is not a matter of choice. It is not something one is required either to “want” or “not want.” It is not even something one is able to freeze.
Zero swallow shudders hundreds of thousands of victims every year, and the police take care of the details.
Suddenly, mysteriously, without reason, your time comes, and while you are still desperately trying to make up your own mind what you imagine you might possibly be dying for, you are stalled up by zero.
Perhaps, subjectively, you have tried to convince yourself and have not wasted time convincing others. Nobody else is interested.
What I have said so far concerns execution for a “political crime.” But death in war, in the same way, is a kind of execution for nothing, a meaningless extinction, a swallowing up zero.
The Society of Zero
All will come again into its strength:
the field undivided, the waters undimmed,
the trees towering and the walls built low.
And in the valleys, people as strong
and varied as the land.
And no churches where God
is imprisoned and lamented
like a trapped and wounded animal.
From the Book of Hours II, 25
My passion has grown to encompass filmmaking, community storytelling and social media. The West’s mountains, deserts and forests are my office. My goal is to nurture, strengthen and empower connections with the natural world. Simply put, I want people to shut their laptops and turn off their iPhones and go live the life they daydream about.
V E T E R A N S D A Y
In moments that appear to be lucid, I tell myself that in times like these there has to be something for which one is willing to get shot, and for which, in all probability, one is actually going to get shot. What is this? A principle? Faith? Virtue? God? The question is not easy to answer, and maybe it has not answer that can be put into words. Perhaps this is no longer something communicable, or even thinkable. To be executed today (and death by execution is not all uncommon) one has no need to commit a political crime, to express opposition to a tyrant, or event to hold an objectionable opinion. Indeed, most political deaths under tyrannical regimes are motiveless, arbitrary, absurd. You are shot, or beaten to death, or started, or worked until you drop, not because of anything you have done, not because of anything you believe in, not because of anything you stand for, but arbitrarily: your death is demanded by something or someone undefined. Your death is necessary to give apparent meaning to a meaningless political process which you have never quite managed to understand
-Conjectures of a Guilty Bystander
Equal Justice Initiative
‘African Americans bravely served in the U.S. military for generations. But instead of being treated as equal members of society, thousands of black veterans were accosted, attacked, or lynched.’
Society of Professional Journalists
“Aside from deep understanding and technical knowledge of the military and veteran issues, vets bring with them objectivity, neutrality, and ability to work in crises—all valuable attributes for newsrooms.”
The new nonprofit Military Veterans in Journalism wants to bring more military knowledge and experience into the media
Since the attacks of 9/11, the United States has been in a perpetual state of fighting, in places like Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Somalia, and Libya. About 7,000 American troops have been killed and at least another 50,000 wounded. One study estimates the U.S. federal price tag of the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts at $5.9 trillion.
Despite more than 18 years of war, America’s newsrooms have been shockingly negligent in hiring reporters who know these conflicts and their impacts best—our veterans.
Only 1.1 percent of media workers in the U.S. are post-9/11 military veterans while about 7 percent of Americans have served in the military, according to U.S. Census Bureau data.
“God came to my house and asked for charity. And I fell on my knees and cried, ‘Beloved, what may I give?’ Just love’. He said. ‘Just love.'”
-Saint Francis of Assisi
Live in community, move from stillness to action, all the while loving our neighbor,encourage each other to BE and to DO good deeds motivated by love.
-Cindy Senarighi and Heidi Green
Look no further than the front page of Sunday’s New York Times, where the entire above-the-fold space was dedicated to articles on Saudi Arabia. It’s not as if there hasn’t been good reporting on issues like the war in Yemen and the Saudi leadership’s underhanded tactics in the past, but the Khashoggi incident has thrust those stories onto front pages and into national news broadcasts.
From the front lines in Yemen, where the Saudi-led war “has ground on for more than three years, killing thousands of civilians and creating what the United Nation calls the world’s worst humanitarian crisis. “It took the crisis over the apparent murder of the dissident Jamal Khashoggi in a Saudi consulate two weeks ago for the world to take notice.”
“Hollywood, Silicon Valley, presidential libraries and foundations, politically connected private equity groups, P.R. firms, think tanks, universities and Trump family enterprises are awash in Arab money. The Saudis satisfy American greed, deftly playing their role as dollar signs in robes”
— Maureen Dowd/NYTimes
Washington Post continues with an in-depth look at the “sophisticated Saudi influence machine that has shaped policy and perceptions in Washington for decades, batting back critiques of the oil-rich kingdom by doling out millions to lobbyists, blue-chip law firms, prominent think tanks and large defense contractors.”
The U.N. aid chief warned Tuesday, Oct. 23rd, that humanitarians are losing the fight against famine in Yemen and that 14 million people could soon be at risk of starvation.
“There is now a clear and present danger of an imminent and great big famine engulfing Yemen,” Mark Lowcock told a meeting of the U.N. Security Council. “Much bigger than anything any professional in this field has seen in their working lives.”
“With so many lives at stake,” he said, the warring parties need “to seize the moment” and engage with the U.N. envoy for Yemen “to end the conflict.”