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Thursday, July 20, 2017

Days of Bafflement & Wonder

Days of bafflement and wonder. 

More walking. Less talking. That has been my modus operandi the last few days. Taking the world in through my senses five, and maybe, just possibly a sixth or seventh I don't know about too.

Clarity is front and center. I see clearly. But some of what I see looks like madness - Hurly Burly, Toil and Trouble.

It's the human thing x 7.5 Billion (and counting). That is a lot of "needing, wanting, grasping." A seething, throbbing ball of confusion.

Maybe it has always been so. There is just many more of us. Just in my paltry, infitesimal life-span, the population has increased by nearly 5 billion people. That's some serious propagating.

Think about the collective energy. The collective consciousness. No wonder we spend lots of time wondering...

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

"No other staff were present for the discussion."

I know we are all getting a bit numb and punchy from the onslaught of news and bombshells coming out of Washington D.C. 

Still, I almost fell off my chair yesterday when I read the news that Trump and Putin had 2nd hour-long meeting at the G20 Summit on July 7. Trump alone with Putin. No one else in the conversation, except Putin's translator.

"No other staff were present for the discussion."

WTF! I mean, come on! This is just freaking stunning. Blatant. It sure looks like the Russian Dupe was checking in with his Handler.

Talk about chutzpah! To do this at a Global Meeting. To think that no one would report back to the U.S. Press. God knows what was discussed but "making America great again," was probably not priority one.

It is so obvious that this man is not working for us. This is really happening... wow. I mean, holy shite!

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Finally Reality has a Way of Biting You in the Ass!

Whataboutism is killing us.

"Whataboutism is a propaganda technique formerly used by the Soviet Union in its dealings with the Western world, and subsequently used as a form of propaganda in post-Soviet Russia.[1][2][3] When criticisms were leveled at the Soviet Union, the Soviet response would be "What about..." followed by an event in the Western world.[4][5][6] It is a case of tu quoque (appeal to hypocrisy), a logical fallacy that attempts to discredit an opponent's position by charging them with hypocrisy without directly refuting or disproving their argument.[7][8][9]"

Try having a conversation with a Trumper. It is nearly impossible. You will immediately go down the rabbit hole of whataboutism.

My answer is always, "don't take the bait." Always debate your point. Don't be distracted by shouts of "Hillary!" "Obama!" Or "Liberal!"

Keep your eyes on the prize. And what is the prize? Knowledge. Intelligence. Facts. Truth. I still live in the world of facts and truth. How Old World!

Our current President and his supporters live in the land of post-fact, post-truth, where emotion and personal belief rule.

I don't think it's sustainable. Finally reality has a way of biting you in the ass.

Monday, July 17, 2017

"How to Talk to Your Teen About Colluding with Russia" - McSweeny's

Raising children is difficult. How do I know? I don't actually have any children. Haven't raised any myself, but, I was a child, the oldest of four. We were like a little lawless gang. I was the leader. I look back now and wonder how our parents made it through fairly intact.

Anyway, I can imagine raising children today is super-difficult. I don't envy today's parents. Every child today is walking around with a little device with the power of a supercomputer, connected to a global network. Lots of potential for trouble.

For instance, parents have to worry about things my folks never had to worry about. This week's hot topic: How to Talk to Your Teen About Colluding with Russia. You are thinking Donald Sr. probably wishes he had this special talk with Donald Jr. earlier in the game. A word to wise, you should probably read the whole thing...

"Even the best-behaved teen is likely to encounter a situation where he or she is tempted to collude with Russia. Unfortunately for parents, a teen’s natural tendency to test the limits of independence can often manifest itself in his or her exchanging sensitive information with Russian emissaries for material or other rewards. If not constructively addressed during adolescence, colluding with Russia can have much more serious consequences in adulthood."

And...

"Remember, any effort you make now to address your teen’s colluding with Russia is like an investment in their future. The last thing any parent wants is for the behavior to carry into adulthood when it can seriously hurt the parent as well as the child!"

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Digging a Hole. Beyond Logic. Beyond Rationality.

Republicans who support the current occupant of the White House are digging themselves into a deep hole. Beyond logic. Beyond rationality. There is some weird tribal loyalty going on. Loyalty to a deeply Malevolent and Disturbed Individual who clearly is not working for the betterment of the country. A Russian Asset lying his ass off at the drop of a hat.

Republicans are also aligning themselves with Vladimir Putin, a corrupt, anti-democratic, anti-religion, anti-free press, quasi-dictator. He is the leader of a hostile foreign power. Why? Seems Republicans just can't admit they made a terrible blunder by voting for the guy they voted for. Their hatred for that Democratic Woman, is greater than their love for their country.

And just who and what are the Republicans aligning themselves with? The horror. The horror.



Saturday, July 15, 2017

"The News is Real, the President is Fake." - Stephen King

Of course, some of us jumped to the conclusion way early. We are a bit ahead of the evidence. Ahead of the game. We are seeing the pieces of the puzzle fall into place and we know what the picture is, even if some of the pieces aren't on the table. We are just waiting for the evidence and the rest of the world to catch up.

There is a Russian/Dupe/Asset/Spy in the Oval Office. He's kind of the Swiss Army Knife of badness.

How did he get there? With some help from bad actors, dumb luck, bravado, stupidity, bad-blood, hubris. It all unfolded before our eyes. We kept doubting the story. What seemed impossible, became possible.

Now it is all unraveling. Unfolding. We have been hood-winked. We thought that America had stumbled into electing a Grotesque Fool, but he is not only a Grotesque Fool, he is an active Russian Asset, who was assisted by Putin's corrupt regime.

Did he really think he'd get away with it? 

Probably yes. Although maybe he didn't really think he'd get the job. He really did just bluff his way in, and then there was no turning back. Our Dupe was in so deep, after a lifetime of swimming in shit, he didn't and doesn't know shit from Shinola! Bad actors did what bad actors do. They acted badly.

An ex-CIA Officer explains how the Russians compromised the President:  "To me, it's clear that Russian intelligence has been involved with Donald Trump for years. I also believe it's clear, though it's harder to establish, that Donald Trump actively sought that involvement and has consented to it at some point.

It also seems certain that Trump is uncontrollable and would not ever consider himself a spy, but many spies don't consider themselves spies and often don't even know that they're spies. And intelligence services couldn’t care less about that."

Evil or Stupid? Both!

The mountain of lies is crumbling before our eyes. On a daily, an hourly basis. It is a bit awe-inspiring. Kind of a horror-show. Let's pass it over to Stephen King, horror-writer extraordinaire to sum it up in one simple, cogent Tweet: "The News is Real, the President is Fake."

Friday, July 14, 2017

All-Purpose!

I have found a new all-purpose answer for pretty much any topic consuming me, or for any situation in which I find myself. I thought as a public service I should share it with you all. Maybe you will find it useful in your life too...

Here goes:

"I am sure there is a perfectly simple and logical explanation... but at the moment, I have no idea what it is..."

Thursday, July 13, 2017

"Ride the Storm and Direct the Whirlwind!"

Don't you just love it when they pull those old "Founding Fathers" out to make a point? No. Me neither. But still there is wisdom in some of those old corpses: Franklin, Jefferson, Washington, etc.

And then of course there's that very dead, but very hot, of the moment, Broadway-smash, hip-hop Superstar Alexander Hamilton. And what does old, decrepit, big-time dead Hamilton have to say to us this morning? This seems so spot-on it's a bit eerie.

Love the language, those old-timers all seemed so much more literate: "flattering prejudices," "shelter in the arms of monarchy for repose and security."

Some of this almost seems like PROPHECY

 Alexander Hamilton - 1792

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

"A Seething Cauldron of Intrigue and Backstabbing..."

Oh, yes. We have talked about karma in the past. What is karma?   

"If you sow evil, you will reap evil in the form of suffering. And if you sow goodness, you will reap goodness in the form of inner joy. Every action, every thought, brings about its own corresponding rewards. Human suffering is not a sign of God’s anger with mankind. It is a sign, rather, of man’s ignorance of the divine law."

Yeah. Something like that! Why is karma on my mind this morning? 

"The White House is Not a Good Place To Be Right Now:"

"The White House is a seething cauldron of intrigue and backstabbing..."

"Circular firing squad..."

"President fumes against his enemies….senior aides circle one another with suspicion….President Trump…hidden from public view….enraged that the Russia cloud still hangs over his presidency….public relations disaster….infighting often seems like a core cultural value….have begun what could be an extensive campaign to try to discredit some of the journalists who have been reporting on the matter….research the reporters’ previous work, in some cases going back years."

What to say or think about all of this? Those folks in the White House are a grade A, super-hideous collection of beings. It's been apparent for quite awhile. All this present turmoil is pretty amazing, and, must say, couldn't happen to a more deserving group of people! Karma! It is awe-inspiring, and terror inducing. Be careful what you sow people!

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

A Big-Time Story - No Doubt!

Hey you know, this Russian Hacking/Dupe in the White House story is quite the firecracker of a tale. I do feel sort of like an amateur sleuth. I pore over the day to day drip of stories. Big time reporting going on, a wild cast of characters. I do think it is the political story of our lives. 

Some of us are totally engaged in this story. It's a little maddening to be so deep into every little detail. I guess it's just another weird obsession. But big things are at stake, and I do think a Presidency hangs in the balance. I know I am way ahead of the story. Lots more to come, but it is a real story, a real humdinger of a story with themes of treason, collusion, corruption, money-laundering, obstruction of justice, etc. Big-time story, indeed!

Monday, July 10, 2017

The Authentic Life!

You want to live an authentic life. "Being what it is claimed to be; genuine." There are many ways to short-circuit the genuine: To lie, to deny, to wear a mask. And sometimes wearing masks can be fun, and may actually be essential.

Living life to it's fullest. Living a real life, unfiltered. How to do it? What to know, what to let go? What protections do you need? When do you put down the shield, the barriers, and let it all flow?

How to be sensitive, feeling, and open, without being totally crushed, maimed or destroyed? It's a day to day thing, right?!

Sunday, July 09, 2017

Am I a Genuine Buddhist?

Tossing and turning in an early morning half-sleep. Sleeping, but not sleeping, aware of thoughts streaming thru my consciousness, most of them upsetting: unresolved problems, old unhealed wounds, a greatest hits collection of past failures, worries, doubts, regrets. Better to get up and make the coffee.

Fresh-brewed coffee in hand I take a short walk with my furry companions in the morning sunshine. The day is teeming with life. Little creatures running thru the gardens, across lawns, scurrying, rummaging for something good and nourishing.

There are large, white Buddha-head sculptures, in our neighborhood, the Buddha-head seems to be emerging from the ground, half a head, protruding into our world, unbidden, but not unwelcome. These heads can be found in parks, gardens, bike paths  throughout our town. I always assumed, without really thinking,"art project," but this morning I take the Buddha as Emerging Buddha.

I really see the Buddha. He looms up into my consciousness, and overwhelms me. Yes, Art, and Buddha-consciousness.

Funny. I wonder how many genuine Buddhists there are in this town. I wonder to myself, "Am I a genuine Buddhist?" There is something noble, and peaceful about the Buddha-head. It is a silent witness, an unmoving presence. It demands nothing, but opens a door to my open mind. A glimpse of a cool, healing, compassionate 
silence and strength.

Saturday, July 08, 2017

Alienated!

I am feeling quite alienated from the present moment. Disconnected. Disappointed. Disjointed. I have  a distinct feeling that my fellow beings are losing their shit. Goes against my usual sunny demeanor. Maybe there are just too many of us. All pulling in different directions. There is a darkness in us that never dissipates. What to do? Carry on and see what the next moment brings.

Friday, July 07, 2017

Terribly, Terribly Wrong...

Something is terribly wrong with the leadership of our country. Seriously. 



Thursday, July 06, 2017

Fear & Loathing Redux!

Of course, it's the guy in the passenger seat "driving" the car... this... is... not... normal!


Wednesday, July 05, 2017

Asset Visits His Handler!



Let's be clear. Clarity is essential. Make no mistake. The upcoming meeting between the US President and Vladimir Putin is not a welcome development.

We will be watching a Russian Dupe and Asset, meeting with his Big Daddy Handler. You wonder what Putin will demand from his Compromised Puppet.

Let's think clearly here. This is not normal. Not right. Not good. We can only hope and pray that the rule of law back in good old USA brings this show to an early close.

Tuesday, July 04, 2017

We Need a Strong, Beautiful, Wonderful Woman to Save Us!


We unplugged and went to the movies yesterday. We sat down in our theater seats and gave ourselves up to the movie gods. A classic "popcorn movie." We skipped the popcorn. 

Turns out my favorite, (I didn't know), Superhero, (by miles), is Wonder Woman - a young, beautiful, uncommonly strong, woman who comes from an island of Amazons, the daughter of Zeus, who is enticed to come to save humanity. 

And what of the humans she comes to save? We are pathetic, stupid, flea-ridden, badly-dressed, ill-mannered, prejudiced, out of shape, cowardly, selfish, conflicted, violent, and undeserving of any care or the help from a god. 

But help us she does. Why? Love?! It seems like a paltry thing, and a bit of a stretch, but it sounds good, right?!

Actually, I think she really enjoys kicking-ass. If you have amazing superpowers, and you look good in short pants, you want be sure you do the thing you are supposed to do. And she does. Beautifully, gracefully. It's all brilliant.

And it's a nice fantasy. What if a powerful, benevolent woman could come a save us in this moment of dire difficulty? That would be cool, for sure.

Monday, July 03, 2017

He is Not Worthy!

Thinking about tomorrow, July 4th 2017...

Our current President, makes you sort of question the whole enterprise. WTF? Don't think our "founding fathers" envisioned such a man running the country... the day to day drip of information is baffling, infuriating, embarrassing...

Doesn't really make sense that past events have led directly to this train-wreck of a man, but this is the sad reality of our present circumstances. Let's not let one man taint the whole thing. Maybe it's best to turn away, to think of other things, the man who embodies our nation is not worthy...

MAUREEN DOWD in the NYT: “Cruella de Trump”: “The 71-year-old president’s pathological inability to let go of slights; his strongman reflex to be the aggressor and bite back like a cornered animal, without regard for societal norms; his lack of self-awareness about the power he commands and the proportionality of his responses; his grotesque hunger for flattery and taste for Tony Soprano tactics; his Pravda partnership with David Pecker, the head honcho at The National Enquirer, which has been giving Trump the Il Duce treatment while sliming his political opponents, the ‘Morning Joe’ anchors and Megyn Kelly -- these are all matters that should alarm men and women equally.

“Trump has moved his shallow kiddie wading pool of gossip and ridicule from Trump Tower to the White House, where it is so outlandishly out of place that it often feels like we have a Page Six reporter as our president. … Before he got to D.C., Trump was used to media that could be bought, sold and bartered with. He is not built for this hostile environment and it shows in his deteriorating psychological state. Even though he’s in the safest space of all, he’s not in a safe space.” http://nyti.ms/2tye4rz

Sunday, July 02, 2017

Modern Day Presidential = Buffoon!

Ha, ha, ha. What a buffoon...

The loud, fat guy currently in the Oval Office tweeted this:

"My use of social media is not Presidential - it’s MODERN DAY PRESIDENTIAL. Make America Great Again"

Saturday, July 01, 2017

Respect?! Nope!

Dignity - "The state or quality of being worthy of honour or respect."

Yes, well, there were some people who were thinking the loud, fat guy would "rise to the dignity of the office." Nope. Not even fucking close...


Friday, June 30, 2017

Stupid Burning Questions!

I'm not even gonna "Google" it. Fuck the Oracle. My burning questions will have to just hang in the air, or reside in this blog, like a little cloud of unknowing...

Do Human Beings Enjoy Being Stupid?

Is Being Stupid Entertainment for these Stupid Beings?

Is there some kind of Evolutionary Advantage to Willful Stupidity?

You may be wondering why I am asking these questions. But really?! Come on! And well, I suppose, (as an essentially stupid person would surmise), we already know the answers.

Another thing that I was mulling over yesterday... take alcohol and drug use out of our lives and much of what consumes Human Beings seems so ridiculous!

Think of all the cultural pursuits of the Human Being and subtract  alcohol and drug abuse. Most of what we do day to day would be intolerable.

Those who choose sobriety, (it is a radical choice), find themselves in another land far far away from center of the Human Herd. Sober Strangers in a Strangely Stupefied Land.

Thursday, June 29, 2017

A Stress Test?!

Maybe this is all just a stress test? In this case the patient is the U.S. Democracy? A test of all of our major institutions. You'd think multiple choice or an essay would be better, less, well, stressful. But stress test it is...

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Being Optimistic Seems Sort of Radical.

Optimistic: "hoping or believing that good things will happen in the future." Yes! Why not?!

It may seem a bit naive: "(of a person or action) showing a lack of experience, wisdom, or judgement"

But maybe that "lack" can be useful. Let's say the "glass is half full, not half empty." 

As they say, "Perception is unique to every individual and is simply one's interpretation of reality."

Being optimistic seems sort of radical and out of step these days.

And those "interpretations" can get us into trouble. You hope to see the world with clear eyes. You want to listen to reality at all times. Still... I say... lean forward, and to the light.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

World Contempt!

They don't love us any more. The rest of the world. All those other countries out there. Maybe that's how our new President likes it. World Contempt!

According to Pew Research, only two countries have a more favorable impression of us from our last President to our current one. Israel, and, of course, Russia. Everyone else? They are reeling from the disaster that is the new America!


Monday, June 26, 2017

We are All Nancy Drew Now!

I have a good friend who is grouchy - easily annoyed and complaining. She's been grouchy since November 2016. Our new President has not made America Great Again, but he has made my good friend very grouchy. He has also captured our brains. It's not good, not fair, not a good use of a brain, but as Kurt Vonnegut wrote often in "Slaughterhouse Five," - "So it goes."

Anyway, Josh Marshall over at Talking Point Memo is one the finest brains in America that has been completely obsessed with the story of our last election. TPM's new Investigative Team starts business today. And just what will they be investigating? The story of our time. We still all want to know the answers to these questions...

1. What did Russia do during the 2016 election?

2. Why did Russia seek to elect Donald Trump?

3. Was Trump an unwitting beneficiary or did Russia’s help grow out of a relationship with the Russian government or Russian nationals in which President Trump or his close associates were active participants? Did Trump or his close associates have inside knowledge of Russian subversion campaign? Put most broadly, if Russia conspired to subvert the 2016 election, was Trump or his close associates party to that conspiracy?

4. What is the nature of President Trump’s current relationship with Russia?

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Age of Snark!

Snarky:  (of a person, words, or a mood) sharply critical; cutting; snide.
‘the kid who makes snarky remarks in class’


Right. We live in the Age of Snark. We are all so critical, cutting, snide. I think our Smart Phones feed this snarkiness, which is a sort of a corroded snakiness too.

It is so easy, to sit back on our couches (in our underwear), surf the known Universe, and snark on every little thing in our timeline. Especially snark on things we know very little about. Snarkiness and Unknowingness go well together.

We are all so childish. Biting. Cynical. As Marshall McLuhan once remarked "the medium is the message." In my lifetime we've gone from the TV to the PC to the Smart Phone.

In the olden days we used to sit in our living rooms and yell at, or shoot bullets at, the TV. It was sort of private thing, or if not alone, only your closest friends and family members were in the club. Now it all spills out online for all the world to see.

We used to sit stupefied in front of the TV, our twirling eyeballs taking it all in. Now we are in a dialogue with everything floating over and thru us. And we are getting expert at snark. It is a grand snark culture.

Can you build an economy on snark? Can you keep a Democracy in the Age of Snark? Can you live a full, well-rounded life snarking off? Me thinks probably not.

Maybe our only hope is to once in awhile to put the smart phone down. To do something with all our heart and soul. Fully engage in something. Give it our all. Fill ourselves up so there is no room for snark.

The radical rebellious pose: Be engaged. Love. Live. Devote yourself fully to everything you do. Always be onto the next thing. There is no time for snark, life is too short. The clock is always ticking...

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Intuition is a Thorny Subject!

Intuition: an ability to understand or know something without needing to think about it or use reason to discover it, or a feeling that shows this ability:

[ U ] You should trust your intuition in making your decision.
[ C ] Hank’s intuitions were right.

Intuition is a thorny subject. Do you trust your intuition? Or are you always second guessing? When is your intuition right or wrong? When does it lead you astray? When does it just confirm your own prejudices? When does it lead you off the cliff? When does it guide you to the light? When does it reveal the secret machinations of the Universe?

I don't know... but... I may have an inkling... maybe we call it a hunch?

Friday, June 23, 2017

A Brutal Bill!

Healthcare in America. What a mess. We are all just one catastrophe from catastrophe! Except, I suppose, the seriously wealthy ones. Of course, even they have to face the grim face of disease, accident, and death.

But if you are wealthy, you can, and will, get the best medical care known to man. And really if you are wealthy why should you possibly give a farthing for anyone else? 

And the party you support really is out to punish anyone not lucky enough to be wealthy. To understand the latest "healthcare bill" you must understand really it's just a "tax-cut for the wealthy."

It punishes everyone not wealthy. Krugman delves into the details here. It's a brutal bill, a brutal way of living & thinking & governing. What of the poor, the children of the poor, the sick, the old, anyone without? 

Eschaton puts it this way: "But Republicans don't think poor people should have health care. They think people who get sick should die if they can't pay for treatment. Sure it's "the free market" (to some degree, nothing in our health care system is really "the free market"), but only in the sense that if you can't pay you don't get to buy the product. Fair enough for Maseratis, but in this case the product is "living."

We are a better country than this, by miles. Wonder when we will all decide to live up to our own ideals? Universal, single-payer healthcare anyone?

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Silence in the Midst of Babel!

Sometimes, nothing to say, nothing to do, seems so right...

Silence -
1. Complete absence of sound.
1.1 The fact or state of abstaining from speech.
1.2 The avoidance of mentioning or discussing something.
1.3 A short appointed period of time during which people stand still and do not speak as a sign of respect for a dead person or group of people.

That's appealing. Especially in our present 24/7

Tower of Babel -

1. And the whole world had one language and one speech.
2. And it happened that as they moved eastward, they found a plain in Shinar and settled there.
3. They said to each other, “Come, let’s make bricks and bake them thoroughly.” They used brick instead of stone, and tar for mortar.
4. And they said, “Come, let us build ourselves a city, and a tower whose top is in the heavens; let us make a name for ourselves, lest we be scattered abroad over the face of the whole earth.”
5. But the Lord came down to see the city and the tower which the sons of men had built.
6. And the Lord said, “Indeed the people are one and they all have one language, and this is what they begin to do; now nothing that they propose to do will be withheld from them.
7. Come, let Us go down and there confuse their language, that they may not understand one another’s speech.”
8. So the Lord scattered them abroad from there over the face of all the earth, and they ceased building the city.
9. Therefore its name is called Babel, because there the Lord confused the language of all the earth; and from there the Lord scattered them abroad over the face of all the earth.

Wow. If this story is true, "the Lord" has some serious explaining to do...

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Reality & Pain!

Hope for the best. Expect the worst. Always envision the best case scenario, and plan for everything to fall to shit. Be strong. Resilient. Be ready to improvise, to think out of the box, to try new things.

Let reality and pain be teachers. They are relentless phenomena. Unforgiving. Always there, dangling over you. Don't let them get you down. It's just the way of the world. Try to navigate with intelligence, grace, and compassion. These are the best tools available to us.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Cheeky Monkeys!

People. Holy Shite. Can't live with them. Can't live without them. Let's just say, they are complicated. The Human Herd. You read things, see things, hear things about Human Beings and you just can't get your head around the scope of the topic. Humans can do amazing, wonderful things, but often they fall short, sink to the lowest of the low. It's not just what they can do, sometimes what they do is what they can get away with. Cheeky Monkeys. Some days you just don't want to be a member of a club like that. Clever. Deceptive. Double-Dealing. Liars. Cheaters. Crooks. Murderers. Bad actors. You name it. Every bad deed in the book. All part of the Human repertoire. Just pick up a newspaper. It's all there. Every day. I don't want to get all Misanthropic this morning, I realize, I am just part of the herd too. I have hope for myself and my other Human Beings, but if you are in the Human frame of mind, disappointment is always front and center.

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