“Children in Charge”

Don’t miss this column on what went into the House of Cards that got sold as bundles of mortgages, the collapse of which has led to so much economic pain for all the but the wealthy bankers who believe they are the “best and the brightest” – those doom-hawking hoodwinkers – whose toxic products have been gradually infecting every nook and cranny of our world financial and monetary networks.  It’s important to know their nefarious slights of hand, so we can protect ourselves from the coming attractions, as the money works its way ever deeper into the political system, thanks to the “inJustices” – those supremes so in love with the free market, that they are willing to sell out the Republic to the highest secret bidder in our current electoral advertising Hoodwinkery, which is simply another form of bundling toxicity as straw-spun “gold”.

There!  I hope that piques your interest!  Read it. Or don’t blame me if you didn’t see it coming….

Chile is NOT a tea party nation

If there is one quiet lesson to be learned from the inspiring way that Chile pulled together to locate, care for, and rescue 33 miners, it is a lesson which flies in the face of Tea Party nostrums.

Chile has demonstrated how a society cares for those in need.  It did not spare “many millions” in organizing a world class relief and rescue effort, which went off not only without a hitch, but left the whole world in tears and hugs, with a sense of what human caring and solidarity and trust is all about.

Had the Tea Party been in charge, there likely would never even have been the initial efforts (20 probes or more) to locate the miners.  No, the tea party folk would have told us:  “If these folks want to be rescued, it’s up to them to find their own way to do it.”

Tea Party folk would then have comforted themselves with philosophical words about how the government has no business meddling in the private lives of others.   They would have waxed eloquent over how wonderful it is to ensure the safety of oneself and one’s family, perhaps heaping blame on the workers for not ensuring their own safety ahead of time, and advising the grieving family members to buck up, be strong, and each go their separate ways, firm in the knowledge that the government had not meddled in their lives.

Chile chose a different path.  And we know how the entire world watched in awe and wonder, with a common sense of humanity and decency and joy, at how humans care about each other and will do almost anything to save lives and promote health and welfare.

Think of these two ways of being.  The Chilean way.  The Tea Party way.  Which of them demonstrates the human spirit at its best? That is the way to go.

It’s a simple parable.  Go and do likewise….

Rent a friend?

Now I’ve heard everything!   Yes, you can rent a friend.

Commentary: Maybe people will think I am a snob, but honestly while I can chat with almost anyone, it isn’t every day that I run across someone with whom I can really talk, someone trustworthy, interesting, open-minded, empathetic, with a sense of curiosity, a sense of humor, a bit of wisdom.

Apparently some people need to impress others.  Impress with a rented stranger? Or they’re lonely – and almost anyone will do.  This is very, very sad.

Just think, civilization has arrived at a point where fire protection is optional and “friendship” is a business transaction!

I recall during the years of bushco thinking, what else don’t we know? Now I’m thinking, where is this all leading….???

Why I write

Cross posted from here.

I have these verses from Psalm 137 ringing in my head:

By the rivers of Babylon—
there we sat down and there we wept
when we remembered Zion.
2 On the willows* there
we hung up our harps.

3 For there our captors
asked us for songs,
and our tormentors asked for mirth, saying,
‘Sing us one of the songs of Zion!’

4 How could we sing the Lord’s song
in a foreign land?

5 If I forget you, O Jerusalem,
let my right hand wither!
6 Let my tongue cling to the roof of my mouth,
if I do not remember you,
if I do not set Jerusalem
above my highest joy.

“On the willows there we hung up our harps.”  That’s the dry land. In metaphor.  Context of today’s world.  The desert ~ if you truly care.  Where somehow the “heart” often seems to be missing.  If you are an exile as I feel I am.  (I’m speaking metaphorically.)

If you pay attention to what’s going on the world, and keep your ethical principles tuned up, it is a painful lot you have chosen.

You could join those singing the tune of whoever pays the piper. Or you can join the mourners.  Keeping your spirits up by remembering you’re not alone, that even the psalmist knew your sorrow.

Continue reading “Why I write”

Movie hits generational nerve (updated)

I read reviews for restaurants I will never eat in, ballets I will never attend, movies I will never see.  You could wonder about the meaning of that.  So could I – being a shrink and all.  But that’s not the subject of this post.

I was reading this movie review.  For a movie I’m sure I’ll never see.  Well, ok, “never say never” and all that, but trust me, I see very few.  I might go and see that new one by Julie Taymore with Helen Mirren.  Because I admire both women.  But I digress.

I love the freedom of digressing in a blog…

Ok, back to the review.  Something tells me this movie has hit upon a huge fissure in our society.  Generational.  Ethical.  Here’s the quote from the review that piques my interest:

Many older people will watch the movie, which was No. 1 at the box office last weekend, and see a cautionary tale about a callous young man who betrays friends, partners and principles as he hacks his way to lucre and fame. But many in the generation who grew up in a world that Mr. Zuckerberg helped invent will applaud someone who saw his chance and seized it with both hands, mostly by placing them on the keyboard and coding something that no one else had.

Yup.  I’ll never see the movie but I am an “older people” and I totally identify with the description.  Made me wonder about Josh Marshall… I hate to say that, but it did.  Especially this part:

“When you talk to people afterward, it was as if they were seeing two different films,” said Scott Rudin, one of the producers. “The older audiences see Zuckerberg as a tragic figure who comes out of the film with less of himself than when he went in, while young people see him as completely enhanced, a rock star, who did what he needed to do to protect the thing that he had created.”

Continue reading “Movie hits generational nerve (updated)”

A Little mystery…

Maybe no one has noticed.  Then again, maybe you have.  The NY Times appears to have put up new pictures of all their regular columnists.  It’s kind of interesting to see their faces now.  One has a beard but didn’t before.  Little things like that.  They all seem a bit older, maybe even a bit wiser.  That last part is harder to tell.

All except Maureen Dowd.  Her photo looks just about the same.  Maybe it is the same.  Or maybe she had her face and hair done ahead of time to try and look exactly the same.  Maybe she sat before the camera with the same tilt to her head and sly look in her eyes.  It’s impossible to know…

But, for whatever reason, it bothers me.  It bothers me that she either was able to convince the Times that she alone was exempt from a new photo.  Or… maybe worse, I’m really not sure – that she had this great need to try and look exactly the same.  As if time had no bearing in her life.  Or as if we, the readers, could not cope with her aging or looking slightly different in a new photo, new pose, wrinkles perhaps, maybe a little wisdom in evidence.  But no…..

Continue reading “A Little mystery…”

“inadequate fingerprints”

This is a true story.  The names are changed to protect the innocent.  It’s a story about Homeland Security:  Your taxes at work to protect you from a 71 year old person who spends time working on a 14th century manuscript – which is poetry.

The said individual, let us call him IF (for “inadequate fingerprints”), has been in the US for nearly 44 peaceful years.  However, due to allegiance to this person’s own nation, IF has never taken the trouble to go through the US citizenship process – thus has no little US flag.  Nor big one either.

Homeland Security is in the Federal Building.  Downtown.  To reach there you must have an appointment.  These are sent by mail.  You are given a time and only unless you have a medical problem can you change the date and time.  Even if you have a medical problem, their phone system makes it nearly impossible to reach them or arrange anything whatsoever.

IF has a medical problem.  Just going through security would help them see that.  They know that already.  For this is the second time IF has been summoned for “biometric” processing.

Continue reading ““inadequate fingerprints””

Taking “another trope’s” words of wisdom

I was urged to post anything here.  By our host.  And I’m taking him at his word.  Plus, this post has come into existence in large part due to his words.  It’s a crosspost:

Nailed to the Sacrament of the Present Moment

This blog is following allusions.  Taking side turns to consider turns of phrase and words that provided linkages from one thing to another, thus gradually deepening understanding of all of them.  Thus the circuitous route I am taking in tackling these subjects here.

Allusions to the title above:   I got the idea for this title from Pima Chödrön because of a comment by another trope, which was very helpful.  So I took the book off my shelf and started to read.  Pretty soon she mentioned, with regard to insight meditation (being aware of one’s thoughts and feelings, while accepting them), the words: “nailed to the present moment”.  That set off a lot of thoughts for me:  One blog.  Now this one.  Nailed, of course, made me think of Jesus.  The cross.  Suffering.  Redemption.  Lifting up, as prayer.  And the words “present moment” reminded me of a French spiritual writer, a very helpful one actually, whose book, published long after his death I think, is called:  Sacrament of the Present Moment. That title relates to the genesis of my new blogs and the reason for this post.  Sacrament.  Priesthood of the Faithful.  Our task in order to grow into that priesthood.

First, let me say right here and now how much I love Buddhism.   And how much I revere the Buddha.  Eastern traditions, and that includes the Orthodox, have long delved into the psychology of the spiritual path.  They’ve nailed it!  In my book.  Indeed the part of the early church that most interests me is the church that developed in northwestern Iraq.  Yes!  Where East meets West.  Lots of similarities in some ways between insight meditation and what the Orthodox call “guarding the heart”.  It’s practically the same thing – to me.  Though I find the word “guarding” to be a mistranslation.  Or maybe I’ve been too much influenced by Buddhism.  To be honest my interest in Buddhism seems never to have dissuaded God from radically breaking into my life.  So I take that as a comfort.  Unless the inbreakings have some other meaning… which I am missing.

Continue reading “Taking “another trope’s” words of wisdom”

TPM Reader Blogs dead forever?

With Al Shaw over at the Cafe giving directions now for how to transfer your blog there to elsewhere, it makes me think either they are certain they’ll drop the archive of past TPM reader blogs – or else it’s the total end of TPM reader blogs.  Because this has never been offered before.

Obviously this is speculation on my part.  Unless someone else has better information.  But it’s another sad chapter.  Kind of them to provide this last chance to people to save and transfer blogs.  But ominous nonetheless.