Monday, February 28, 2011


Why did the chicken cross the road?

SARAH PALIN: The chicken crossed the road because gosh darn it,
he's a maverick!

BARACK OBAMA: Listen to me, the chicken crossed the road
because it was time for change! To be clear, the chicken wanted change!
Look, the chicken was ready for a change.

JOHN MC CAIN: My friends, that chicken crossed the road because
he recognized the need to engage in cooperation and dialogue with all
the chickens on the other side of the road.

HILLARY CLINTON: When I was First Lady, I personally helped
that little chicken to cross the road. This experience makes me uniquely
qualified to ensure right from Day One that every chicken in this
country gets the chance it deserves to cross the road. But then, this
really isn't about me.

GEORGE W. BUSH: We don't really care why the chicken crossed
the road. We just want to know if the chicken is on our side of the
road, or not. The chicken is either for us, or against us. There is no
middle ground here.

DICK CHENEY: Where's my gun?

COLIN POWELL: Now to the left of the screen, you can clearly
see the satellite image of the chicken crossing the road.

BILL CLINTON: I did not cross the road with that chicken. What
is your definition of chicken?

AL GORE: I invented the chicken.

JOHN KERRY: Although I voted to let the chicken cross the road,
I am now against it! It was the wrong road to cross, and I was misled
about the chicken's intentions. I am not for it now, and will remain
against it.

AL SHARPTON: Why are all the chickens white? We need some black

DR. PHIL: The problem we have here is that this chicken won't
realize that he must first deal with the problem on this side of the
road before it goes after the problem on the other side of the road.
What we need to do is help him realize how stupid he's acting by not
taking on his current problems before adding new problems.

OPRAH: Well, I understand that the chicken is having problems,
which is why he wants to cross this road so bad. So instead of having
the chicken learn from his mistakes and take falls, which is a part of
life, I'm going to give this chicken a NEW CAR so that he can just drive
across the road and not live his life like the rest of the chickens.

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN: We have reason to believe there is a
chicken, but we have not yet been allowed to have access to the other
side of the road.

NANCY GRACE: That chicken crossed the road because he's guilty!
You can see it in his eyes and the way he walks.

PAT BUCHANAN: To steal the job of a decent, hardworking

MARTHA STEWART: No one called me to warn me which way that
chicken was going. I had a standing order at the Farmer's Market to sell
my eggs when the price dropped to a certain level. No little bird gave
me any insider information.

DR SEUSS: Did the chicken cross the road? Did he cross it with
a toad? Yes, the chicken crossed the road, but why it crossed I've not
been told.

ERNEST HEMINGWAY: To die in the rain, alone.

JERRY FALWELL: Because the chicken was gay! Can't you people
see the plain truth? That's why they call it the 'other side.' Yes, my
friends, that chicken is gay. And if you eat that chicken, you will
become gay too. I say we boycott all chickens until we sort out this
abomination that the liberal media whitewashes with seemingly harmless
phrases like 'the other side.' That chicken should not be crossing the
road. It's as plain and as simple as that.

GRANDPA: In my day we didn't ask why the chicken crossed the
road. Somebody told us the chicken crossed the road, and that was good

BARBARA WALTERS: Isn't that interesting? In a few moments, we
will be listening to the chicken tell, for the first time, the heart
warming story of how it experienced a serious case of molting, and went
on to accomplish it's lifelong dream of crossing the road.

ARISTOTLE: It is the nature of chickens to cross the road.

JOHN LENNON: Imagine all the chickens in the world crossing
roads together, in peace.

BILL GATES: I have just released eChicken2010, which will not
only cross roads, but will lay eggs, file your important documents, and
balance your checkbook. Internet Explorer is an integral part of
eChicken2010. This new platform is much more stable and will never

ALBERT EINSTEIN: Did the chicken really cross the road, or did
the road move beneath the chicken?

COLONEL SANDERS: I missed one?

RUSH LIMBAUGH: It's Obama's fault.

Friday, February 25, 2011


I choose this moment, then forget, find myself being bothered or annoyed with something in my body, or my spouse, or my work – nurturing a grievance - hurting, angry, in pain and fearful and must choose again. It’s a minute-to-minute thing. My grievances hide the light of spirit in me. Miracles and grievances are mutually exclusive states. When I’m annoyed, pissed, angry, fearful I’m with ego, grieving.

The choice is to not trade miracles for grievances; to not trade the big Self, spirit, for the small self, ego. The miracle – accepting my oneness, forgiving my uncomfortable choices and seeing everything new and born again in spirit, is the correction for the ego and is already present within us. To experience it, I’ve got let go of ego’s distractions, the problems I perceive in my body and the world, the fear, anxiety, hate and blame, and return my focus to my soul and the choice I made for the ego, release that choice and choose again.

No matter how it seems, the problem is not something outside, but the mistaken choice within. To attempt to solve problems in the world is like going up to the movie screen to correct a focus problem. The solution and the problem are together, both in the projection booth. So it is with the grievances that I have. The solution and the problem are within me. Answers in the world merely raise other questions. In going within, centering, choosing again and turning from ego to spirit, I bring the problem to the answer – which, like the out of focus movie projector, was there all along.

Easy to say, difficult to do…moan and groan, grieve and complain. Along with choosing all the time, I’ve also got to remember all the time that it’s a process; it’s not a one time choice, not going to happen all at once and be done forever, it’s a constant, step by step thing. Yet the more I do it, the more I’m able to do it and the more progress I feel. But along with this progress, the crashes, even the little ones, are all the more painful.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

A New Day

The last line in yesterday’s post was, act in the world from that place – from the place of soul connection, lightness, grace and ease, even with joy. To do this is to understand that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts, that my being is more than what I think, feel and do. It is to let go and let God, appreciating what I think, feel and do, even if my ego doesn’t, and see it as feedback and as an opportunity to allow my soul to choose again. It is to embrace the shadow and accept the darker motives like revenge, hatred, anger and fear without judgment, but to not act from them. “The spirit contains all and to grow in spirit is to receive all,” Christian Larson said.

I want to be happy to begin right where I am, warts and all, hate, fear, lust and love. Let me consider myself as a newborn, and as one is with a newborn, let me be loving, compassionate and non-judgmental. After all, each day is an opportunity to celebrate new possibilities; we are constantly being born again into our daily lives. This day is an opportunity to recognize that yesterday is over and today we are new. What couldn’t be understood or even seen yesterday, probably will jump right out at us and be understood today. We can have a breakthrough today.

It is the ego that thinks today is simply a continuation of yesterday, that the way we are today is the way we’ve always been. This is the past defining the present. To think in this way would be to miss one of spirit’s greatest gifts; life’s constant unfolding. Moment by moment we are born again and I choose this moment to get my bloated nothingness out of the way; to allow the eternal newness in my soul to burst forth, and to be grateful for the grace and forward momentum of my reality as spirit.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Soul Guidance and "Charlie the Chooser"

According to the Course and most metaphysical/mystical traditions both East and West, what I’m experiencing, and always experience, is the difficulty of choice, of choosing between the ego and spirit. Even tho, deep down, I know I’m always with spirit and gradually awakening to my reality as spirit, choosing is an on-going, difficult process and I often lose my way. Even tho I attribute my vision of a compassionate, inclusive world that works for everyone, to spirit, if I were to see clearly, I’d have to admit that my deep investment in that vision is of the ego, not of spirit. Uh! Ow! – that hurts. The ‘investment’ part is ego, the needing it to be true, the feeling exposed, naked and vulnerable part if it isn’t happening, is ego, but the inspiration and the vision itself are of spirit.

Spirit is never exposed, naked and vulnerable; so if I’m feeling those things, I’m not with spirit and need to choose again. I’ve got to take the conditions that horrify and terrorize me as an ego, more lightly. I’ve tot to see it’s not about fixing the conditions my ego judges to be so fierce and terrible, it’s about understanding that I see them that way because I’ve chosen to identify with ego and then, realizing that, choose again to identify with spirit and from there work to change the conditions I fear and am uncomfortable with.

Both ego and spirit are there in my mind, not my physical brain, but my mind - the wholeness of spirit that I and you, truly am. A big part of the process is to forgive myself – look without judgment, guilt or blame, for having chosen the ego, the illusion of reality as a substitute for reality - the never-ending, unconditional Love of God.

What is it that is choosing between ego and spirit? Ken Wapnick of the Course calls it ‘Charlie the Chooser.’ I think of it as the soul, the essence of us that can never be extinguished, that which is eternal, has never been born and will never die. When I fully appreciate this idea of eternity and of eternally moving toward my reality as spirit, I can take a deep breath and relax and take my current experiences which seem so heavy and life and death, more lightly. I can appreciate their importance, but also realize there’s more. The soul uses all experiences to move us toward enlightenment, oneness and connection, regardless of our human judgments of good or bad. I want to be aware of this broader context for my life in the light of eternity and be grateful for every experience, whether the ego labels it bad or good, as an opportunity to lighten-up, choose spirit and act in the world from that place.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Shifting is hard work

I’m feeling kind of raw, vulnerable and exposed, endangered, really; many of the things I counted on to protect me – inclusive, compassionate ideals, political relationships and institutional arrangements - might be slipping away, leaving me vulnerable, exposed, endangered. For instance, I’m a VietVet, 100% disabled and also receiving Social Security – a double dipper. A Federal Gov’t shutdown would wipe out 55% of my monthly income. I’d be alright, wouldn’t have to re-mortgage the house or go on food stamps, as so many of my brothers and sisters have had to do during these rough times, but the idea that it might happen worries me and makes me angry.

I’m worried about Israel, too. The same type of holier-than-thou, narrow-minded, hard-line, right wing extremists are running that country as are running the US. As the wave of Islamic assertiveness sweeps the Middle East with the great potential for anti-Israel sentiment and worse - with the potential for active aggression, I worry. I am for the elimination of Arab despotism and the emergence of popular rule, I only hope such ‘popular rule’ doesn’t go the way of Iran. I’m also concerned that the US has lost a great deal of its influence in the region, both on Israel’s behalf and our own. America and Israel also seem to be losing influence in Latin America, as China, Iran and many other Arab countries become more assertive.

Oh, so many opportunities to practice! I want to know that what I fear need not materialize. I want to know that the ideals, structures and relationships which I have relied upon are not the only way to go, the only ones to rely on, or the Source of my peace and security. I want to know that ‘things’ are evolving, that how I’ve understood and related to these ideals, structures and relationships can shift without endangering me. I want to make peace with how I’ve used these things in the past, acknowledge that they have served me well, release them, and be with Source unfettered, free, and open to today’s revelation. Yes!

But doing this is painful, so painful! My very identity, and with it my sense of self and well being, are so bound up in the ideals, economics, politics and world view. Being with source “unfettered, free and open to today’s revelation,” is the goal, the ideal. But getting there won’t happen all at once. It will involve a process of reflection, re-thinking, and a gradual shifting; an increased trust in God’s love and Source’s beneficence and a release of my investment in my own small self’s knowledge, skills and abilities. Hard work, very hard; but worth it.

And really, what’s the alternative to doing the work and shifting? To become embittered, mean, cruel and radicalized; nasty, blaming, always anxious and fearful; to lose my compassion, vision and sense of wholeness? If I did that, I’d be a Republican, or worse, a Tea Party Republican.

Monday, February 21, 2011


Living a conscious, spiritually attuned life takes continuous practices especially in today’s world, see below:
Top 10 Shocking Attacks from the GOP War on Women
1) Republicans not only want to reduce women's access to abortion care, they're actually trying to redefine rape. After a major backlash, they promised to stop. But they haven't.
2) A state legislator in Georgia wants to change the legal term for victims of rape, stalking, and domestic violence to "accuser." But victims of other less gendered crimes, like burglary, would remain "victims."
3) In South Dakota, Republicans proposed a bill that could make it legal to murder a doctor who provides abortion care. (Yep, for real.)
4) Republicans want to cut nearly a billion dollars of food and other aid to low-income pregnant women, mothers, babies, and kids.
5) In Congress, Republicans have proposed a bill that would let hospitals allow a woman to die rather than perform an abortion necessary to save her life.
6) Maryland Republicans ended all county money for a low-income kids' preschool program. Why? No need, they said. Women should really be home with the kids, not out working.
7) And at the federal level, Republicans want to cut that same program, Head Start, by $1 billion. That means over 200,000 kids could lose their spots in preschool.
8) Two-thirds of the elderly poor are women, and Republicans are taking aim at them too. A spending bill would cut funding for employment services, meals, and housing for senior citizens.
9) Congress voted to approve a Republican amendment to cut all federal funding from Planned Parenthood health centers, one of the most trusted providers of basic health care and family planning in our country.
10) And if that wasn't enough, Republicans are pushing to eliminate all funds for the only federal family planning program. (For humans. But Republican Dan Burton has a bill to provide contraception for wild horses. You can't make this stuff up).
Now, I guess if you’re one of the people who approve of the above ten actions, all’s right with the world and God’s in his heaven. But if you’re like me and have any compassion or see the world differently than our Republican friends, what you’re practicing is the awareness that life is much bigger than any appearance – tho this is not an appearance, this is what they will do, if they can. We are practicing to identify more with the divine source and essence of our lives than with any human circumstance. We are practicing the idea that maybe all this will work out for the best….

I know I need the practice because what confronts my physical senses moment by moment, especially in the US political arena seems to be more real than the invisible presence of spirit at the center of each person. I want to understand and practice that God – love, compassion, inclusiveness, justice and a world that works for everyone, is closer than hands and feet, closer than breath, even in those who’s narrow values and beliefs are full of hate, exclusion, punishment and injustice. Boy do I want to know that and want that to be true!

I practice to know that this power, this God, this presence of love within everyone, even within the most radical, fundamentalist, American ayatollahs, is much more powerful than the conditions that seem to loom so large. With practice, and boy are these people giving me plenty of opportunities to practice, I will know how to evoke the love and compassion in myself and all humanity, that will transcend appearances and I will know, and help others know, the peace, love, compassion and justice that exists without dependence on events or circumstances; and see this peace, love, compassion and justice manifest in events and circumstances.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Drug addicted newborns

Headline from Monday’s Miami Herald: “Cases of drug-addicted newborns skyrocketing in Florida Hospitals.” My lesson for today from the Workbook of the Course in Miracles: “The light has come.” “Beyond the clouds of illusion – the complexity of our anger, judgments, suffering and anxiety – there is a light.” The subheading in the Herald story: “The number of babies born with drug withdrawl symptoms has spiked and healthcare workers are saying prescription pills are to blame.” And from the Workbook: “It is the light of the real world, the truth that shines outside the ego’s darkened dreams of separation and madness.” It’s not so much that the light comes for it has always been there within us, but that we have come to the light. Our experience is that the light has come to us, but in truth it never left, for it is always present in our minds. Since we are the ones who left the light, we are the ones who must return.

“Florida’s prescription drugs epidemic, already responsible for nearly seven deaths a day, is taking its toll on the youngest and most vulnerable in the state: newborns. In 2009, nearly 1,000 babies born in Florida hospitals were treated for drug withdrawal syndrome. They’re irritable. They don’t eat well. They can spend days, even weeks, detoxing. And the number is skyrocketing” “Since, we are the ones who left the light, we are the ones who must return.”

“Janet Colbert, a registered nurse in a neonatal intensive care unit at a Broward County hospital, witnesses with alarming frequency the physical trauma these newborns endure. ‘I kept seeing the torture these babies are going through,’ said Colbert, 59. ‘This one baby, he couldn’t even feed. He was screaming, his face was just quivering so badly he couldn’t even get his face around the nipple to feed.’” We are the ones who left the light by clinging to the ego’s illusion; we are the ones who must realize our wrong choice, that the darkness of our ego illusions does not make us happy. If we were to realize we did not sin but simply made a mistake, took the wrong turn because we listened to the wrong guide, that there must be another, better, way we could remember the guide who could truly help us.

“From 2006-2009, there was a 173% increase in newborns treated at Florida hospitals for drug withdrawal syndrome. The most recent data show no signs of a slowdown. During the first half of 2010, 635 cases were reported.” We can be saved from the prison of our own mistaken choice, the pain and suffering. Wherever we go, whatever we do – our right minds are filled with the light that is always there. There is another thought system in our minds that is totally separate from the ego. All we have to do is access it.

“Perscription drug abuse has become the number one public safety threat to Florida,” said former state Senator attorney Dave Aronberg, now leading the Attorney General’s anti-pill mill initiative. The newborn drug addiction statistics are ‘horrifying,’ and to Colbert, the numbers seem low.” This is a complex problem with the drug addicted newborn at the end of a long chain of terrible, ego-centered decisions. “Ego” means more than self-centered, selfishness, although that is included. Here ego means something much larger like original sin, the small self, the self cut-off from Source because it has sinned, the guilty, defensive, lonely self.

What made the parents abuse the drugs in the first place? How responsible is society for helping them overcome that addiction and to prevent it in the first place? What can be done to deal with the physicians that allow this abuse and the pharmacies and the enforcement officials who look the other way? But whatever we do, we must do it from that centered, non-ego place of connection with the light, without blame, fear and horror (horrible as this is), knowing that the light is within everyone of us, perps, enablers and active ‘evil’ doers as well, and go from there.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Hearing and Being Heard

Yesterday afternoon, I went to a student forum on “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” at FIU. The exchanges were quite useful, but after listening for nearly an hour I became frustrated and spoke my piece with a bit more heat than I intended. Many agreed with what I said, but a few were turned off, probably not by what I said, but by the way I said it.

I was agitated for the rest of the day, but when I meditated before dinner, I was grateful for both the experience of speaking out and the agitation and this morning doing my tai-chi, I think I finally got the message the agitation was pushing me towards - the importance of compassionately acknowledging others’ POVs, before speaking my own, then inviting listeners to consider another way of thinking about things. Hopefully, I’ll do this from now on. If not, I’ll forgive myself and do better next time. At least I’m clear and have a way to practice combining head and heart, ego and spirit.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Pogo 2

But of course, as yesterday’s post pointed out, not only are we the enemy, we are also the hero, the savior and the salvation. Right there in our own hearts and minds where the hate, fear and blame is, is also the love, joy, compassion, creativity and respect. We are both the problem and the solution. We’re the problem when we’re disconnected from Source and the solution when we re-connect with Source. Source being God, the spirit within, always present and available, here and now. We can be one with spirit and be as spirit right now; it’s not necessary to wait for a miracle or to die and go to heaven. We make heaven and hell right here, right now, by who/what we choose to identify with and believe in.

As long as we identify with our small self, our egos, and not our large Self, our God-connection and the spirit within; as long as we think we’re alone without recourse to creativity, compassion and love, whatever we do, whatever action we take will create problems. It has to because we’re not seeing the big picture, the interconnections and the wholeness. But when we take the time to center and re-connect with Source and act from that place, we are one with the wholeness, guided, guarded and protected and our actions can be effective, gracious, compassionate and creative - embodying all the virtues, wonder, miracles and wholeness of spirit. We can’t get there from here, from ego; we can only get there by letting go of ego and embracing spirit.

Here are a couple of things from the current Sierra Club magazine that we need to be aware of and deal with from the centered place of connection:

“During the Vietnam War, the United States flew 580,000 bombing runs over Laos – an average of one every eight minutes for nine years. Today, Laotians live and die among 80 million unexploded munitions, some valuable as scrap metal or turned into flower boxes, many as dangerous as the day they dropped from the sky.” Did we do this in Iraq, are we doing this or something similar in Afghanistan? This was or is being done with our tax dollars and in our name. Are the military/industrial jobs created by this horror worth the price? Do we really need this to continue or happen again? Is there really no other way? What can we do about it, from a centered, connected space?

“Two million plastic bottles are used in the United States every five minutes.” Where do all of these go? How does this impact the planet? Are the jobs created by this worth the price? Must we continue to do this? Is there really no other way? What can we do about it, from a centered, connected space?

Sixty thousand plastic bags are used in the United States every five seconds. Are the jobs created by this worth the price? Do we really need this to continue? Is there really no other way? What can we do about it, from a centered, connected space?

We want to act from the centered, compassionate, loving and creative space, without fear, blame and guilt first as individuals, then as groups, communities, states, nations, and as planetary citizens. Acting alone only as individuals is useful, but not as useful as cooperative community-wide and nation-wide political and economic activity. Both individual and group effort will work best.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011


We have met the enemy and they is us, Pogo said. How true and how sad. True because if you change and I change and our families, friends and co-workers change, soon our communities would change, then the nation, then the world. Sad because we don’t believe it, or are afraid to try, or don’t think there’s a need to change. In fact, there’s a whole mass of us who not only don’t want to change, but want to go back, to a “better, kinder, gentler time.” Like the 1950’s perhaps? To the heart of the Cold War and Korea? To open racisim and lynching blacks and having quotas for Jews at colleges and having not that many Spanish speakers? Perhaps the 1970’s and the oil shortages, long gas lines, inflation, and Watergate? Besides being unable to do it, going back is not a good idea.

But this is not about going back, tho it is, sort of; it’s about us, our own attitudes, fears, hates, ignorance and superstitions which are the enemy. The enemy’s not out there or over there in Iraq and Afghanistan, where we’re fighting them so we won’t have to fight them here, we’re the enemy and we’re already here. It’s not someone else, either, it’s you and me, we are the enemy.

It’s not the other party, race, sexual persuasion, religion or age group, it’s our own selfish, stubborn, ignorant, outmoded, impractical and unworkable beliefs, attitudes and behaviors. This is good news, because it means just as soon as you and I are willing to take responsibility for what we think, feel and do and its impact on ourselves, others and the planet, we can stop doing it, if we need to, if its not working for us others and the planet. We are the enemy, and we can stop being the enemy anytime we want to. We can stop overeating, overspending, hating, blaming and being afraid. We can stand up for ourselves, brothers, sisters and the flora and fauna we share the planet with and act like the love and loving stewards God created us to be.

Do we need to change? Hell, yes! Let’s get those illegal aliens out; let’s seal off our borders; let’s walk around carrying our passports, and our weapons – we need to strap on our automatic, noise-supressed, extra clip dum dums – nobody will fuck with us then, being armed is the best deterrent to violence; let’s de-regulate business and get the government (that evil force) off our backs! Didn’t that work well for us all during the Bush years? That financial collapse was really a socialist trick, having nothing to do with Wall Street excesses and the million dollar bonuses which are still going on. Let’s eliminate the nanny state and let all those people on food stamps, social security, medicare, and that new horrible Obamacare stand up for themselves and quit making us carry them.

Talk about needing an attitude change…! But that’s the blaming, fear-mongering attitude that seems so prevalent today. What about community? What about our ideals? We do not need to change them to solve our problems. We can take care of ourselves, communities, the nation and the world without all this blaming and fear-mongering. Can’t we? We didn’t ‘win’ the Cold War with Russia, by out russianing or out communisting them. We won by sticking to our ideals of community, trust, compassion, mutual respect and decency. We have to look clear-eyed at what needs changing then, working together without blame and fear-mongering, with respect and compassion, go forward and deal with what needs to fixed and changed.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Valentine's Day

Happy Valentine’s Day! Let the spending and the materialistic monetized expressions of romantic love flow forth! Another day like Mother’s Day and Father’s Day and all the rest to spend money and boost the economy and business profits. Will any love, appreciation or gratitude really be expressed and shared? Perhaps. Will a card do, or must there be flowers and candy? And what about for the guys – cigars, whisky, certainly not roses or a card. Gifts and or dinner out seem so much better than a heart-felt “I love you,” supported by actual loving behavior – kindness, consideration, respect, and compassion.

Did you know that dinner out, for example, might actually be an unloving even dangerous thing to do? A report released today by the Restaurant Opportunities Center of Miami, a local chapter of a national workers’ organization says with “long hours, few benefits, and exposure to dangerous and often-unlawful work place conditions,” Valentine’s Day is a hazard to restaurant employees. Imagine that! What whimply bleeding heart liberal crap! Those wet-backs ought to be grateful they’ve got jobs, right?

So what if based on surveys of 580 Miami-Dade restaurants 39.9% of restaurant workers struggle to survive on wages below the poverty level? Hell, let ‘em go to college and get educated so they can get better jobs. This is America, isn’t it? 89.6% don’t receive healthcare benefits. Too bad, but not on my dime – we’re gonna repeal that socialist Obamacare crap. 65.2% worked when sick – ech! Coughing, mucous and germs in my food!! Call the cops, arrest the terrorist bastards!

45.5% have suffered overtime waqge violations and 27.1% have worked off the clock without pay. So what if they don’t get to see their families or take care of their kids, they’ve got the internet and TV to amuse them and gangs to give ‘em that sense of belonging. Also, and this is really hard to believe, the research shows a pattern of discrimination with people of color relegated to the lowest paying jobs. What? How could that be in America? Didn’t we just elect a black President [get the bastard out, so we can get our country back again and give it to the corporations].

Yet in spite of all this, Joel Goldsmith, a wonderful practical mystic says, “The only relationship that exists is a relationship of (loving) oneness, and there can be do division or separation in that oneness.” Hard to hold this idea and the plight of the restaurant workers in the same mind, isn’t it? To me, when we mistreat and abuse our brothers and sisters, as in the case of the restaurant workers, or allow them to be mistreated, either directly or indirectly – directly by voting for and supporting those with a fear-mongering, dog-eat-dog philosophy and indirectly by denying or ignoring the problem, it shows that we have forgotten our oneness and who we all – even the fear-mongering, dog-eat-dog folks, truly are, children of God.

The expression of love, not romantic love, but the love of God for Its creation -compassion, kindness, consideration and respect, is the expression of God’s love through and to us. It is seeing the world through spirit’s eyes; seeing as spirit sees. Feeling and expressing this love, this agape, is a gift; it is a communion that allows us to know spirit directly as both giver and receiver. Each time we give and receive love, we have touched the love of God Itself. And, really, giving is enough. It need not be reciprocated. Love is sufficient unto itself, requiring no outcome or result; because if you change and really feel love, as Scrooge found in the Christmas Carol, everything else changes, too. Feel love, identify with it, share it and each time you do, you make a contribution to a world that works for everyone and everything.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Fear Mongering and Scare Tactics Connect Social Security, China and the National Debt

So who benefits from using China to scare us into cutting and even eliminating Social Security? Before answering, one more scare tactic – the national debt - these people are using, that also seems to be exaggerated. The fear mongers want us to think we’re at the mercy of liberal, Jewish socialist George Soros and his ilk, and other hateful foreign powers, so cutting or eliminating Social Security to reduce the deficit is an issue of national security.

The truth is 53% of the national debt is held by Americans – pension funds, mutual funds, state and local governments and other domestic investors, including the Fed” – another right wing whipping boy. T Bills are still one of the best investments available. “47% is held by foreigners. Chinese investors hold 9.8%, Japan, 9.7%, Great Britain, 5.1% and Saudi Arabia and all the other rich Arab states hold, 2.6%.”

So put this all together: China is not an immediate economic threat to us; foreign interests holding our national debt are not a threat to us, the deficit is a problem but not as critical as many like to say, plus Social Security is the best anti-poverty program we have, so what’s the real reason it has to be attacked, reduced and dismantled? Right wing extremist rhetoric.

From the time FDR set up Social Security right up till the present moment, the same people, many of whom are actual family descendants of the original anti New Dealers, have been trying to kill it. Why? They just don’t like it or believe in it. It’s against their values and ideals. After all, didn’t Jesus say, “the poor you will have with you always”? It doesn’t matter that Jesus didn’t mean fuck ‘em, the way many who take his name in vain do.

But perhaps if you look at who stands to benefit economically from dismantling Social Security – the insurance companies, big banks, stock brokers you’ll see the real reason for being against it. A world that works for everyone and everything is a fools pipe dream to them. Get real! It’s a dog-eat dog world and they’re gonna make sure they eat and are not eaten. So they use rhetoric and fear to reinforce their world view, scare us away from compassion and community and maintain the status quo. Since the recent economic crash, corporate profits and bonuses are the highest ever – that from a black, socialist President.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Joe Wilson and Valerie Plame

Part two of the China/Social Security post will be up tomorrow. Miami-Dade College hosted a breakfast discussion with Joe Wilson and Valerie Plame yesterday and I went. They have become heroes to me, insiders, public servants who chose to stand for something larger than their careers. They knew the risks of speaking out, suffered mightily for it and now in grand American style, have been richly rewarded. Too bad most whistle blowers are not so well received and rewarded.

I was very moved to see them in the flesh after so many years of photos and TV clips. Very moved. I am so grateful to them! And perhaps a little jealous. They did what I seriously doubt I’d have the courage to do. I like to think I’d do it, but I don’t know. But as both of them pointed out, in spite of everything they went thru and it was a lot, it turned out well for them. Their twins who were three, eight years ago when the Bushies leaked Plame’s identity, are now eleven and fine; both Plame and Wilson wrote best sellers, had a movie made about them and are reimbursed for their speaking engagements.
Their messages were many, but primarily they emphasized the need for each of us as citizens, to exercise our own judgment and intelligence and hold our elected leaders and ourselves to a high standard of integrity; to not be fear driven sheep and allow ourselves to be stampeded into irrational actions with deep and lasting ramifications, many of which, are still unfolding. Listening to them, I felt a sense of shame for the horror we unleashed in Iraq, Afghanistan and on ourselves, and a deep sense of sadness that we seemed not to have learned or taken responsibility for what was done in our name. The culture of fear, blame and irrationality is more alive and well in the USA than ever.

Yet, it doesn’t have to be this way or continue. As both Wilson and Plame pointed out, if insider, establishment types like them had done what they did in other countries Russia, China, perhaps even some Western democracies, they’d have been put in mental institutions, jailed or silenced in some other way. But here, they’ve become media celebrities, heroes to people like me and millionaires. God bless America. People are still dying and being maimed in Iraq and Afghanistan, as are our soldiers, but Bush, Rumsfeld and Rove are also best-selling authors, and all’s well that ends well.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Fear Mongering and Scare Tactics Connect Social Security, China and the National Debt

Two articles in the current Monitor have me thinking about a connection between our current obsessions with China and the need to cut social security to reduce the national debt and deficit that I hadn’t seen before.

“China’s power shouldn’t be exaggerated. If you pick a global superpower, its still America. Measured in dollar value of output, the US economy is still more than twice the size of China’s. And since the US population is about one-quarter that of China, the typical person in China has a living standard far below US norms.” No doubt, China, India and Brazil are catching up, but we are in no danger of being overtaken soon.

We still have to do the right things, tho, and can’t rest on our laurels. We need to invest more in the future: better education and retraining of less-skilled workers, find energy alternatives to reduce our dependence on foreign oil, improve infrastructure, health care and support basic research. If we do these things, all of which the President proposed in his State of the Union Speech, we will maintain our place in the world.

So, we’re not as bad off as some leaders and politicians would have us believe. Why do they want us to be worried and afraid? What has this got to do with Social Security? Some facts about Social Security first.

It “remains the nation’s most effective antipoverty program. Without it, official poverty rates would rise from an already embarrassing [embarrassing for liberals and compassionate conservatives but a criminal shame for coddling the lazy for tea party and extreme right Republicans] 14.3%, to a horrendous 23.7%. Social Security administrative costs are about a tenth that of private insurance companies.

Benefits are low compared with other advanced countries with the US ranking 26th out of 30 among advanced countries. An average worker earning $43,000 in 2010 dollars will find that Social Security will replace only 37% of her income when she retires.” Yes there could be a shortfall in 2037, but “the best remedy, economists agree, would be a thriving economy that would automatically boost payroll taxes and, if needed, Social Security taxes could be boosted a bit.”

So who benefits from using China to scare us into cutting and even eliminating Social Security?

Monday, February 7, 2011

The so-called News

Who decides what’s news? Who decides what makes it onto your TV screen, into your newspapers, magazines, radio, Iphone, and yes, even onto the internet [there’s still some freedom there but as Comcast takes over and consolidation increases, which it will…]? Do Rush and Rachel have the ‘final’ say so about what goes on their shows?

There are numerous factors contributing to what’s news among them: popularity - # of hits, clicks, ratings, eyeballs, ears, etc. But how do we know the people who report those stats are really honest – don’t they work for someone else, usually a large for-profit corporation? The popular myth in the US is that this factor, popularity, is the ultimate determiner of content, not so much the so-called news, tho this is getting to be so more and more, but of everything else.

So-called ‘market’ forces determine what gets published on all forms of media. If people didn’t want it, we wouldn’t put it on, the story goes. But think about it, how many really popular ideas, events, programs and shows never get covered? A lot. So yes, popularity and the so-called ‘market’ - the ultimate arbiter of all in contemporary American society even of morality, justice and truth, does have an impact on what’s ‘news.’ What else?

How about the for-profit corporate sponsors and corporate owners of the media? Do they have something to say about it? Some would say not, going back to the ‘popularity’ idea, that sponsors want to sell things and if what ever they’re sponsoring and selling isn’t popular, they won’t sell as much. Sounds reasonable, yet there’s another side to that coin.

If owners and sponsors even suspect something will offend even a small segment of the market [but only a segment with money to spend; poor people often don’t count] then they won’t sponsor and we won’t hear about it. That means that the status quo tends to get locked in, a ‘don’t rock the boat’ attitude, and if its not broke, don’t fix it perspective rules. This limits creativity, innovation, real improvement and change. It also explains why all, to use Sarah Palin’s words, ‘the lame street media,’ cover the same ‘top three’ stories, endlessly, all day long.

To me, bottom line, we have for-profit corporations deciding what’s news and how to pitch it so that it will not rock the boat and appeal to a large audience. Is this the way it has to be? Is this contributing to a world that works for everyone and everything, or to a world that works best for, for-profit corporations? Similarly, who decides who gets health care? Is it the evil socialist federal government or the wonderful, freedom-loving, for-profit health care/insurance companies?
For-profit is not a dirty word. Profits are important and vital. But if profit alone, without compassion, morality, truth and justice are all that’s involved in making decisions, we have a dog-eat-dog world, with the richest, biggest dogs eating all the smaller dogs. Have you noticed, do you think that’s happening? We need a referee, someone to level the playing field and stand for truth, justice and the American Way so that profit alone doesn’t determine what’s news, what we think about and do.

Friday, February 4, 2011


I’m between a rant and a blessing this morning. Perhaps the rant will lead to a blessing. Perhaps if I get more into the blessing, I won’t want to rant. That’s kind of where I am right now. Anyhow what I wanted to ‘rant’ about is belief.

I hear people say, “I don’t believe in global warming.” Or “I don’t believe in evolution,” as if their disbelief in these things makes them unreal or untrue. I wonder if these people, and there are a lot of them, believe in gravity? Or electricity? Would the gravity and electricity cease to function and impact our lives if these people didn’t ‘believe’ in them?

I kind of get why some people disbelieve in global warming and evolution, but that, like the reality of gravity and electricity, doesn’t change the impact of these forces on them and the rest of us. I’m angry and worried because I see the attitudes of these skeptics and their growing political power, nurtured by powerful special interests like coal, oil and gas and religious institutions, will impact me and mine when its too late, when the ‘belief’ issues are finally resolved.

What to do? Who knows? I only know that if I come from anger and fear, I beget more anger and fear. I’m going to try and stay centered and when opportunities arise, I will say and do things from that centered space, with the knowledge that evolution and global warming are the same as gravity and electricity, and operate in our lives whether we ‘believe’ in them or not. That feels woefully inadequate from my angry, fearful ego perspective, but it’s what I’m going to do anyhow.

Thursday, February 3, 2011


Michael Beckwith said, “we are here to learn how to swim together in an ocean of love, peace, joy, selflessness, integrity, cooperation, and collaboration, in short – oneness.” How true, how cool, how different from the conventional wisdom that surrounds us! “What we need is not some greater power, but a greater consciousness, a deeper realization of life, a more sublime concept of Being, a more intimate concept of an already indwelling God.” SOM Text p. 141.

Spiritual discontent, the sense that something is lacking or missing [which is true – our sense of connection with spirit is missing, we think we are here, not safely asleep with God watching over us], that we are called to be more and do more; to fulfill some divine destiny, to do our part in the divine plan [for me, to make a contribution to a world that works for everyone and everything] is, real in our worldly experience. What are we to do with it?

We can try to fill what we imagine to be this hole in our souls, this sense of lurking guilt that some call original sin, with material things – sex, food, drugs, booze, suffering, duty and hard work. Or we can see spiritual discontent as an inevitable part of thinking we are living in a world apart from spirit, and deal with it by asserting and manifesting our reality as spirit, by living ‘normal’, balanced, healthy lives while allowing ourselves to be guided by spirit/intuition and following our bliss.

Even in the midst of fear, the compassionate spirit is present. “Deep calls to deep,” always. Not only in calm and peace, but also in the exuberant, uninhibited out-pouring of creative energy. Go for it! Let it all hang out. The soul knows that there is a place within that can never be hurt, harmed, nor endangered. Have the courage to live, love and share from your bliss. Feel the spiritual discontent and know it is urging you forward to make your own unique contribution to a world that works for everyone.

“It doesn’t matter how long we’ve had a negative pattern. The point of power is in the present moment.” Louise Hay. Ernest Holmes says the answer to prayer is in the prayer, and the prayer that carries power, is the one with conviction behind it. A prayer with conviction and congruence - with the mental, emotional and physical aspects of our being aligned with the spiritual, is the recognition and acceptance of our oneness with spirit and the realization that spirit is in an through everything, ready to respond to what we’re praying for now, no matter how long the negative pattern has persisted.

Prayer can be a way of actively listening to the still small voice within, and choosing it instead of the ego. Before we even call, God will answer. Going within, accepting and encouraging our spiritual reality and power, shows the ego to be the poor substitute it is. Jesus said if you live in me, ask what you will, and it will be done. The prayer backed by conviction and congruence, enables us to establish closer contact with universal peace, love and wisdom so that we are less influenced by appearances to the contrary.

“Greater things than this shall you do also,” Jesus said. “Know ye not that ye are Gods?” Isaiah said. We need not endure, and by enduring perpetuate, suffering, pain, hate and disease. These are not God’s will for us. These are the consequences in our false belief in duality, in the separation of God and man, spirit and matter. Dissolve the fear, hate and blame now, and with them the disease and suffering by becoming still, going within and praying with conviction and congruence.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

They were people, too

I had forgotten how attractive and beautiful and full of life and love they were. As I write that, I realize ‘forgotten’ is not the right word, “never knew” is more accurate. I’m talking about my parents, aunts, uncles and grandparents.

My cousin who’s the family archivist, was visiting from Chicago. We had lunch together. After lunch he opened his lap top and showed me some very old home movies his dad had taken. There I was at ten. That was interesting, but the real revelation was how his mother and father, my aunt and uncle looked. He was handsome and she was beautiful, actually sexy and attractive. Same was true for my mother and father. All of them were attractive and beautiful and full of life and love.

I don’t remember them that way. I never really knew them that way. They were always the parents, aunts and uncles – not people. Of course I’d seen pictures of all of them as children, young adults and parents, and I knew they were different. But yesterday, seeing those movies on the lap top, I got viscerally, perhaps for the first time, that they were people, just like the ones I work with, see in the grocery store and in restaurants.

How sad and how cool. I remember my dad, 83, dead in his chair in the living room. I remember mom, 82, dead in the hospital bed. I remember them in other ways too, of course. But now I will also remember them as people, attractive and beautiful and full of life and love, raising me and my brothers to be the fine people we are.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Deep Calls to Deep

Michael Beckwith said, “we are here to learn how to swim together in an ocean of love, peace, joy, selflessness, integrity, cooperation, and collaboration, in short – oneness.” How true, how cool, how different from the conventional wisdom that surrounds us! “What we need is not some greater power, but a greater consciousness, a deeper realization of life, a more sublime concept of Being, a more intimate concept of an already indwelling God.” SOM Text p. 141.

Spiritual discontent, the sense that something is lacking or missing [which is true – our sense of connection with spirit is missing, we think we are here, not safely asleep with God watching over us], that we are called to be more and do more; to fulfill some divine destiny, to do our part in the divine plan [for me, to make a contribution to a world that works for everyone and everything] is, real in our worldly experience. What are we to do with it?

We can try to fill what we imagine to be this hole in our souls, this sense of lurking guilt that some call original sin, with material things – sex, food, drugs, booze, suffering, duty and hard work. Or we can see spiritual discontent as an inevitable part of thinking we are living in a world apart from spirit, and deal with it by asserting and manifesting our reality as spirit, by living ‘normal’, balanced, healthy lives while allowing ourselves to be guided by spirit/intuition and following our bliss.

Even in the midst of fear, the compassionate spirit is present. “Deep calls to deep,” always. Not only in calm and peace, but also in the exuberant, uninhibited out-pouring of creative energy. Go for it! Let it all hang out. The soul knows that there is a place within that can never be hurt, harmed, nor endangered. Have the courage to live, love and share from your bliss. Feel the spiritual discontent and know it is urging you forward to make your own unique contribution to a world that works for everyone.