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Welcome to my blog, a quasi-weekly column on topics and issues that have my attention, or that are intended to inform or inspire--including the following reminder:

"Realize why you're here, and be about it!"

Fully armored

57 and fully armored

I pass through life victoriously

Towns washed away by tsunamis

I dismiss the news with a click.

Not me.

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Honoring the fallen

The earthquake and tsunami in Japan, compounded by potential nuclear catastrophe, have captured public attention for nearly two weeks.  The photos and video footage can be excruciatingly surreal to watch: towns, cars, boats, factories swept away like child’s toys; sticks and twigs in a gutter.  Seen from in a video shot from a helicopter, you have to remind yourself, “Wait, there are people in there.” 

The water overtakes a car racing along an empty freeway; a family, gone?  The water keeps rolling—from the air looking as harmless as water poured from a bucket, seeking low-lying areas and filling them.  A crowd of tiny people are gathered in a parking lot, surrounded on three sides by warehouse buildings.  The water rushes alongside the warehouses—the people, the people!  But the video cuts to a public official at a press conference.

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An urgent poem for Bradley Manning

A member of the San Francisco Insight Buddhist community sent out this poem on Friday night, just prior to the 8th anniversary of our invasion of Iraq...

It's a powerful statement of loss and hope...and I hope it will move you action.


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A contemporary allegory

Imagine a fetus dreaming contentedly in the womb…All needs met: warmth, comfort, food, the faint strains of distant music, soft murmuring voices, and all-encompassing love.  Suddenly, however, life as the fetus knows it begins to crumble.  Rumbling waves of contraction begin to squeeze and push her, headfirst, against a hard knobby wall—the cervix.  Again and again her head pushes hard against this barrier, which slowly gives way.  But this is not good news.

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All things are connected

Micheal and I spent the weekend at home in Ojai, planting our vegetable garden; spreading mulch between the rows of our rose garden; and giving our four young chickens their first taste of freedom.  (They liked it and clucked for more.)

Meanwhile, the Earth relocated the coastline of Japan by nearly eight feet, tilting the planet on her axis by 10 inches.  Untold thousands of people were lost in the earthquake and ensuing tsunami, and the country is now struggling mightily to contain a nuclear crisis greater than any seen in the history of the industry. 

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On the American Dream and cookies

Two Saturdays ago I participated in the MoveOn “Save the American Dream” rally in Los Angeles.

The fate of public service workers in Wisconsin wasn’t initially an issue I felt deeply about.  Nevertheless it was—and remains—an issue that has galvanized the long-slumbering American public.  For that reason alone I felt compelled to go.

And it’s not as if the battle going on in Wisconsin is unrelated to battles under way across the country.  The decisions to bail out Wall Street while starving the states and cities, to prosecute two wars, send the military budget through the stratosphere, maintain tax cuts, abandon promises on healthcare, Guantanamo, and habeus corpus…and now to attack environmental reforms, Social Security, and Medicaid…are part of a wholesale raiding of America’s treasure—financial, environmental, and social.  It’s not about holes in the safety net; it’s about ripping the social fabric apart.

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