29 December 2014


The Crack Between The Worlds
I love these days, the time between festive gatherings and the new year. Of course the "new year" is a human construct, but these days feel like an invitation to pause, to step into shamanic dreaming, to feel the shape of what is to be carried forward and what is to be gently released and left behind.
I love the idea of perpetual creation, that all of this world- including us- is linked to and co-created in each moment by the Mystery that is both within and around us, by the Sacred Wholeness that is both what we are and greater than the sum of all the manifestations.
These are realities I explore in contemplation, feeling their embodiment. When I first wake up, or before I go to sleep, on the bus, or while walking through the park- I start with three deep breaths, watching the inhale, following the exhale, noticing how my attention slows my breath and makes it feel complete. And then, I let my body lead. . . . .feeling an inner and outer unfolding with each inhale . . . letting go into gravity with the exhale and then. . . . pausing at the end of the exhale. . . . dropping into stillness and waiting without straining, allowing the impulse to inhale to arise from deep within.
There, in the pause at the end of the exhale, I touch something, open to something that is always seeking to touch me: awareness of the crack between the worlds of spirit and matter that are not separate but simply two ways of seeing one wholeness that excludes nothing; the taste of an Infinite Love that welcomes and holds us all.
Perhaps in this inbetween place we can breathe and dance together, dreaming a new year of deepening love and life for ourselves, every other and the world ~Oriah (c) 2014 

26 December 2014

Reflections in a Crystal Wind

As I reflect, especially this time of year...as the sun is just beginning its movement up from the lowest point it has achieved on the horizon...the solstice has passed, the days are getting longer...if not noticeably so yet.

Thanks to my old friend, bookend...who passed in 1966...motorcycle accident.  Too soon taken.
  

If I don't know where I'm going
Perhaps I'll wait beside the pathway 
When no one's coming, and count the questions 
I've turned away from, or closed my eyes to
Or had no time for, or passed right over 
Because the answers would shame my pride

I've heard them say the word forever
But I don't know if words have meaning
When they are promised in fear of losing 
What can't be borrowed, or lent in blindness
Or blessed by pageantry, or sold by preachers

~Paraphrased from Richard Fariña, Reflections in a Crystal Wind

19 December 2014

The Fog of War

This may cause a stir, but... perhaps (IMO) few remember the reason for the Cuban revolution in the first place...a few holding all the wealth, in the grips of US mobsters and corporations...Bautista, casinos. The ones who fled were largely the elite...and the criminal element. Cuba was forced into the Soviet sphere, just as Nicaragua was, due to embargoes, mining of harbors, infiltration by CIA...we create enemies instead of friends and peace...because we are ruled by mobsters wearing suits and ties, owning the banks and corporations...Cuba sends doctors to help with ebola, we send military. Cuba is mostly organic, local and cooperative as far as crops are concerned...non mechanized. Perfect, of course not...but, look in our mirror.

18 December 2014

New Moon in Capricorn and The Solstice this Sunday

This Sunday is the new moon in Capricorn AND the Winter solstice. Energetically, it's the perfect time of the year to align with your goals for 2015. Rest is very important during this time...So, relax...breathe, breathe, breathe...exhale.

Observe the laws of nature, work in harmony with the energies of creation and you will conserve energy.

Rest and plan during the dark times when it’s difficult to do anything else.
(winter, the new moon, or nighttime.)

Plant ideas when the time is ripe for germination.
(spring, the waxing moon, or morning.)

Fertilize and bring ideas to fruition when things need nourishment.
(summer, the full moon, or daytime.)

Harvest when the fruits of your labor have finished growing.
(autumn, the waning moon, or evening.)

Then start all over again.

12 December 2014

Conserve and Decentralize Energy

There's no free ride when it comes to generating energy. Even the cleanest sources have environmental consequences. Materials for all power-generating facilities have to be obtained and transported, and infrastructure must be built, maintained and eventually decommissioned. Wind turbines take up space and can harm wildlife. Hydro floods agricultural land and alters water cycles.

That's why conservation is the best way to reduce energy-consumption impacts. Reductions in energy use and investment in energy-efficiency technologies are so significant that the International Energy Agency refers to conservation as the "first fuel".

No matter how good we get at conserving, though, we'll always need energy, so we must find ways to employ the least damaging technologies and reduce negative effects. We know the world's preferred, and currently cheapest, method to generate power — burning fossil fuels like coal, oil and gas — is the most destructive, causing pollution, global warming and massive environmental damage during extraction, transport, refining and use. And supplies are becoming more difficult to obtain and will eventually run out.

With the price of photovoltaic cells down below one dollar US per watt, in many places, (and that it even works in our latitude)...it's a very good investment in your path towards sustainability. I encourage the R and D which is being done on various battery storage techniques.

Conserve...then look to alternative energy. And De-Centralize...

07 December 2014

We learn more from mistakes we, and others, make

Before we built the straw bale in 1994 we were traveling from here to Mexico...we went on a networking tour of the 'straw bale community' along the way, including Bill and Athena Steen (who were writing the quintessential book at the time)...each one we met with and saw their works I asked "what would you do differently", which to me is more important in a way than, "what did you do right"...in that way I got to take advantage of and correct each of their mistakes in building our straw bale. I still tell people who visit here and ooo and awww to remember to ask what I'd do differently...We learn from our, and others, mistakes...more than successes sometimes.

14 November 2014

Rummaging through writings from 1988/89

11 Dec 1988
Riding on horseback up steep mountains and through ravines carrying UNICEF medical bags to a distant gathering village along the northern border with Honduras.  Our mission is to provide first aid, vaccinations and various medications to try to cover for clinics and medics who have been killed in Contra attacks.  Clinics and schools, medics and teachers are the primary target of US backed and advised Contra forces.  I accompany two Nicaraguans, a doctor trained in Canada and a nurse trained in Germany.
Beautiful country, Contra infested.  Parrots flutter from tree to tree.
12 Dec 1988
A four hour ride yesterday, one way into the cloud shrouded mountains.  The war (and its effects) is omni-present.  Visual manifestations of damage to objects and people, teachers...schools...first aid stations.  We were shadowed by a platoon of the FSLN, the Sandinistas...but that almost seems to ensure attack.  RPGs, AK-47s send me into flashbacks.
It was dark on our return. The moon just a sliver and the stars bright as bright can possibly be. The sounds of the jungle immensely powerful.  We left at 0800 and it is now past 1800.  The truck which was to pick us up at a rendezvous point wasn't there.  The horses had been taken to a way station and we waited.  The truck arrived an hour late, it had broken down in a ditch and had to be recovered by oxen.  I took the driver's seat.  The mud from the rain made the clay road slick as ice.  I said, "This is how we drive in a Minnesota winter"...The soldiers in the back hung on for dear life.  Slipping, sliding, careening from side to side...slowing then accelerating...we kept moving forward.  Someone banged on the roof of the cab.  The soldiers wanted out...there was a contra base very near.  They feared attack.  Fanning out, the doctor, nurse and I were left alone in the truck with the headlights still on, engine running.  We were apprehensive to say the least.  Time stood still.  Lights off, engine off.  Quiet was deafening.
The soldiers returned...no sign of the contras.  We continued our journey back to my tent by the river.  Back to a perimeter.




10 November 2014

Here's a snippet of an Op-Ed at The New York Times that got my attention: "...Today, however, 75 to 90 percent of the world’s natural sand beaches are disappearing, due partly to rising sea levels and increased storm action, but also to massive erosion caused by the human development of shores. Many low-lying barrier islands are already submerged. Yet the extent of this global crisis is obscured because so-called beach nourishment projects attempt to hold sand in place and repair the damage by the time summer people return, creating the illusion of an eternal shore..."
When despair for the world grows in me
and I wake in the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children's lives may be,
I go and lie down where the wood drake
rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
I come into the peace of wild things
who do not tax their lives with forethought
of grief. I come into the presence of still water.
And I feel above me the day-blind stars
waiting with their light. For a time
I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.
~ Wendell Berry
"A nameless song with a ghostly rhythm, simple and mysterious, that everyone had heard, yet each said they'd heard different versions. They said they'd listened to it every night and were finally able to follow the voice trail to where the singer was buried.They found a body wrapped in canvas in a shallow grave, its bones crumbled. Alongside the bones lay a hand-made guitar, intact. True or not? Who's to know. But the story went on to say that when the bones were lifted to be placed in a grave all those present heard the song again echoing through the forest. After the burial the song ended, and was never heard again”
~Bảo Ninh (Hoàng Ấu Phương), "The Sorrow of War"
Newton "revolutionized" physics and the so-called natural sciences by reducing the physical universe to a linear mathematical equation. Descartes did the same thing with culture. John Locke did it with politics, and Adam Smith did it with economics. Each one of these "thinkers" took a piece of the spirituality of human existence and converted it into a code, an abstraction...Each of these intellectual revolutions served to remove the wonderful complexity and spirituality from the universe and replace it with a logical sequence: one, two, three, Answer!
There is a conflict between being and gaining. Being is a spiritual proposition. Gaining is a material act.
(with thanks to Russell Means, whose power will never rest)

24 September 2014

The Senility Prayer


The Senility Prayer
God, Grant me the Senility
to forget the people I never liked anyway,
the good fortune to run into the ones that I do,
and the eyesight to tell the difference.
Amen
Now that I'm older, here is what I have discovered --
  • I started out with nothing, and I still have most of it.

  • My wild oats have turned into prunes and All Bran.

  • I finally got my head together, now my body is falling apart.

  • It's funny, but I don't remember being absent minded.

  • All reports are in ... Life is now officially unfair.

  • If all is not lost, where is it????

  • It is easier to get older than it is to get wiser.

  • Some days you are the dog. Some days you are the hydrant.

  • I wish the buck stopped here, I could use a few.

  • Kids in the back seat cause accidents.

  • Accidents in the back seat cause . . . kids.

  • It is hard to make a comeback when you have never been anywhere.

  • The only time the world beats a path to your door is when you are in the bathroom.

  • If God had wanted me to touch my toes, He would have put them on my knees.

  • When I am finally holding all the cards, why does everyone decide to play chess?

  • It is not hard to meet expenses . . . they are everywhere.

  • The only differences between a rut and a grave are the depth and one has the ends kicked out.

  • These days I spend a lot of time thinking about the here after.....
    I go somewhere to get something and then wonder what I am here after.......

  • If I wake up of a morning and nothing hurts, it may be a good indication that I have died during the night.
  • Oh, Well . . . I am lost!  I have gone out looking for myself.
    If I should return before I get back, PLEASE ask me to wait!!

Dedicated to Barefoot Bob

Barefoot Bob Hardison

Born: August 8th, 1933
Sobriety Date: February 28th, 1974
Died: January 31st, 2009


Commitment Three: Follow the Energy

The next crucial Commitment that comes onto our List here is a decision to attune ourselves to FOLLOW THE ENERGY, however it may present itself, thereby making our lives into a flow rather than a struggle.
On the surface, this may seem to be a confusing and nebulous approach. After all, we are all part of a world that is, literally, overflowing with potential "energies." How does a person choose which energy to follow? Therein lies the challenge of living.
There are no good or bad energies. All people and things are just energy ...... which is, essentially, neutral. However, some vibrations seem particularly useful and attractive to us. Other vibrations can repulse. The reason for our implied hierarchy in this study (the order of commitments), is to provide some criteria for weeding through the potential energies, and help us discern where our "home" is. In energy terminology, that "homing signal" is called a Signature Vibration.
At the primary level, living is very simple. We inhale, we exhale. We eat, we eliminate. We sleep, we work, we play, we make love. The urge to survive surrounds and encompasses all that we do, so that focus can be achieved in physical form. Anything that requires us to go beyond the primal instincts to discern our direction, in any circumstance, puts us at risk of dissociating from our physical body and becoming misaligned. In short, we lose our connection with SELF, and wander away from "home."
All progress takes place in a state of imbalance. Necessity is the mother of invention. We experience desire or need, and we move toward meeting that goal, filling that void. And even the most "set" breeds of animal can become susceptable to an infusion of alien energy (thought forms, ideas) if we determine that aligning with these new energies can assist us in being more efficient in our drive to survive. This we call evolution. If we add to that dynamic the corresponding inner urges --- the desire and curiosity to explore --- the velocity of the urge to evolve goes off the chart.
Herein lies the dilemma. At what point do we consider ourselves to have been "abducted" by "our aliens," and carried away from "home," without a way to get back? At what point do we (or did we, as a species), allow ourselves to move from being sentient, grounded energy forms ---- at one with our physical environment --- to being "talking heads" whose bodies and emotions often appear to be our enemy?
The answer to this question could fill several books. And that is not our purpose here, anyway. We have already evolved. We are no longer merely primal life forms. We have mated with the "Gods" and we are a whole new species. But how do we maintain a harmonious balance between our animal nature and our God self? How can we evolve to the point where we are truly, beautifully HUMAN?? (It often appears to me that "Mankind is the missing link between anthropoid apes and fully evolved human beings."
For our purposes here, our experiences suggest a simple, yet profound solution. In order to maintain a balance between both sides of our hybrid nature, we choose to LIVE as INSTINCTIVELY as possible, always moving forward according to the best impulses that our body can provide. In so doing, we will behave honestly --- as children do at play, fully feeling through the journey with all our being. Then, at regular intervals, we can choose to stop and evaluate our path --- based upon the best ideals and life lessons we have accumulated to date.
Plato once said that "the unexamined life is not worth living." This wonderful principle is fulfilled by the second part of this process. What Plato didn't tell us is the fact that a person cannot "examine" his life and live it at the same time. Too much analysis causes paralysis. And, indeed, that is what is running rampant in our society today.
A commitment to follow the energy involves three things
1. Do what you want to do, when you want to do it. If you are blocked from fulfilling that goal, carefully examine if your course of action is harming another, or if your current goal is truly what the core of you wants. If you are certain that you are not harming anyone, and that you really "want" what you are seeking, keep at it until you have attained your prize. Do it in the moment. If the desire dies, it's often best to let the goal die with it. (there are some exceptions to this, but they are few.)
2. Realize that we are the creators of our own reality. That means that everything about our universe is the product of our own design (at the more expanded level of consciousness). With this in mind, it can be very useful to own that it is "impossible" for us to really want something and not provide ourselves with a way to get it. Therefore, if our goal continues to elude us, there may be something wrong in the selection process for our activities. Perhaps we are being overly influenced by the "aliens," huh?
We are living in a time where heaven is being installed on the Earth. As a whole, humankind has made the determination that we don't want to have our "pie in the sky, by and by." Instead, we want to bring the pie (and the sky) down "here," so that we can fully experience the tactile joy of every bite. With this in mind, it naturally follows that any goal which involves too much STRUGGLE has probably somehow gotten misconstrued or misaligned. In such a case, the chances are that we have overlaid a lot of "like to's" onto our "wanter," and lost our own natural way. Or, perhaps, we are being operated from an IDEALISTIC PLACE that does not include compassion for our body and a healthy recognition of our emotional needs. Self-sacrifice is the result. Those days are also coming to an end.
3. Purpose to place your own body and your own emotions squarely in the center of the place where you formulate your ideals. This is called moving and deciding from an Integrated Self, rather than a consciousness that secretly holds natural desires and needs in a place of disdain. The Crusades are over. There is no one left to save. Anyone functioning on the Earth with what appears to be an "unhealthy," or "dysfunctional" state is probably doing so because their soul needs to log into that experience for its evolution. Why fight it? Why tilt at windmills? Go with the flow. It'll feel better all around.
Helping others and loving others can be a wonderful experience, when it comes from a place of DESIRE and JOY, rather than obligation and "social responsibility." Everyone reading this has probably received a gift from someone who bought it simply because it was "expected." How did it feel to receive that gift? Have we fully grasped the fact that much of life on the physical plane today is being run that way?
To sum it all up: A decision to follow the energy puts us fully in our body and allows us to be guided by the best feedback mechanism ever created --- the human body. If in doubt, we leave it out. Or, we initiate a time of evaluation that helps us overcome the doubt and move ahead. Having achieved that, we gleefully spend every Now Moment on the look-out for the intersection between our strongest desire and our nearest available opportunity to fulfill it.
Imagine what living like this would be like. If we have to imagine that, then we're already off the path! If this is the case, we must stop whatever we are doing and head for "home." We do not worry about passing "go," and we "certainly" do not worry about collecting that $200.
Choose life. If we don't, it will choose us. It will capture us and ride us mercilessly. After all, we are the ones who have given up our power, are we not? 

Commitment Two: Stay in the Now

The next major "Commitment" that is required, in order to effectively achieve Freedom, is a solid focus into the NOW MOMENT.
Someone once said: "Yesterday is history, tomorrow is mystery, but today is a GIFT (that's why they call it the PRESENT).
Also: "The Now Moment is a Multidimensional Vehicle that can take you anywhere and anywhen you wish to go. The only thing you must remember is to keep your hands and feet inside the car!"
Ranked solidly behind a commitment to inner (and outer) freedom --- thereby helping us gain clear access to what it is that we truly desire --- a focus into the NOW is the grand accelerator of the Multiverse. This is because it is, literally, the only time there is.
Many people talk about time travel. Many more swear that the government already has its own Time Machine (I am not among them, btw, and if they do, it is screwed up) --- but, as experience has taught us --- the present is NOT the product of the past. Both past and future are designed and manufactured in the Now Moment.
Each Now Moment is a discreet universe that is its own designer and director of cinematography. The past and future are variations of "clip-art" that are pasted on, so to speak, in order to give color and texture to the Now.
How do you think it is that a person can imagine the future with such clarity and accuracy? How, indeed, can a human being imagine what it's like to go somewhere he has never been? The answer is simple. In the Multiverse, everything is NOW. And we've all been there ......... already! Everything is happening simultaneously in one, fragmented, undulating Moment ........ divided and compartmentalized by a veil that allows for everything to maintain its sense of definition, regardless of how the sequencing is arranged.
Stephen Hawking blew everyone away when he asked: "Do you think it's possible for us to remember the future?" For the un-initiated mind, this sounded fantastic. For a seasoned metaphysician, it's first-level stuff.
If we haven't dealt with it before, we'd best deal with it now. We are where we are, doing what we're doing, because we each created it that way. And, even though it often appears as such, nothing happens by happenstance. It's all custom made to order!
Time Travel --- or Space Travel, for that matter --- is simply a case of skip-hopping from Now Moment to Now Moment, within an ultra-changeable continuum of possible/probable alternatives. Knowing that these exist, and piloting our "vehicle" with a reasonable amount of focus and intention, we have an excellent chance of being able to navigate ourselves anywhere.
The pitfall, of course, is a little thing called continuity. Once we invest ourselves, within a particular "version" or sequence of Now Moments --- and become attached to an outcome --- our consciousness decelerates itself until it becomes hardened into physical matter. In other words, what is happening in that universe "matters" to us, and we become stuck there.
To commit ourselves into the Now Moment is to, in essence, put our head down and WHIRRRRRRRRR through the Multiverse until our vibration locks on to our strongest desire. The word "desire" means "of the Father" --- "de" + "sire" (father). Once that connection is made, the journey is instantaneous. After all, there's really nowhere to go, eh? It's all here, it's all Now, it's all YOU.
I ask: "Do you know what you did yesterday?" "Everything."
"Do you know what you'll do tomorrow?" "Everything."
It's only TODAY --- it's really only NOW --- that you can do Something.
So here we have it --- Commitment #2. Being PRESENT in the NOW. Everything else is scenery. If it can't be done Now, let it be. Everything will stack itself up, exactly as you created it. Therefore, sit back --- relax. Climb aboard your nice, shiny, new NOW MOMENT --- arrive where you want ON TIME, and in beautiful style!

Commitment One: To Freedom

The commitment of greatest importance is a DEDICATION To FREEDOM at all levels of society, and in all dimensions of our existence.
By this I mean a true reverence for allowing life and reality to be as it is, rather than demanding it to be what our mind, or our experience, tells us how it should or should not be. The oneCommandment that is foundational reads: "Harm no one, then do what thou wilt."
In this one Law the whole of the Mosaic Law is contained (or any other law, for that matter). It allows for free expression in all aspects of life ......... and also begs for clear and unbridled reflection on our own individual immediate universe, once our commitment has been made. There can be no such thing as exercising MY freedom if another person's freedom is impinged or negated. That is a violation of the prime directive, yes?
We are beginning to wrap ourselves around the idea that there are many inner elements which have to be cleared, functional, and in motion, before any powerful, demanding outer elements can be installed. Otherwise, we are like a young lad who buys himself a car (and signs on for huge monthly payments) without really knowing how to drive. In fact, some of us barely know how to "walk" some of these personal areas. We may talk the talk, but walking our talk is an entirely different matter. Learning to do so is a momentous responsibility.
There are many inner commitments that must enacted before any external joining can breathe and be successful. We all arrange them in different order. And, indeed, the hierarchy of these elements quite often changes according to the life plan it supports, and their very diversity is absolutely essential to the FREEDOM and EVOLUION OF THE WHOLE.
This dance of Life is called "See Me/Show Me"........... and the administration of the dance steps begins and ends with the edict: Harm No One.
What would be the nature of harm in the context of this one universal law? Surely, it would be to "prevent someone from doing what he or she wants to do, mandating that they do or be what we want instead."
A commitment to freedom, at all levels, is automatically a commitment to Rigorous Honesty, theTruth of Reality. After all, once freedom is insured, why would one need to lie?
The need to distort our truth, our "reality," and thereby limit our freedom, in order to survive goes all the way back to our childhood and the family system. In fact, it goes back all the way to the myth of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. Remember what the core of the technique is? We withhold food (or other bodily necessities) in order to curtail or limit the freedom of others in society.
There is much we will discuss about this during the continuing course of time. How we handle children and families in this world today is a serious threat to the healthy continuation of both. At the core of this issue is a basic lack of commitment to freedom.
Any "security" that is gained through loss of freedom is a Commitment to Fear. Any nation that puts "national security" above personal freedom has lost its power base. In saying this, I am not suggesting that any individual, or this or any other country, should suddenly lower its guard against all enemies (both real and imagined) that we have amassed through the years. That would produce mental whiplash of grand proportion in the collective consciousness. And, again, that would be aninner element that must be changed before the outer condition can be corrected.
This is why politics is NOT the answer to what plagues the human condition. Politics is like a horse trainer who seeks to bridle up and train our collective energy so that it will function for the good of all. Inner freedom is like the horse whisperer who spends many long hours sitting quietly with our "animal" to discover what the burr is that is stuck under its tail.
Remember the famous line that Robert Redford spoke in the movie "Horse Whisperer?" The female character says to him: "I hear you help people with horse problems." He looks up and responds: "No, ma'am. I actually help horses with people problems."
I must state, once again, There are no political, economic, 'religious' or military solutions to what is primarily a spiritual problem in the world today, the "We-Them" syndrome, and the lack of commitment to Freedom and Rigorous Honesty. We, all of mankind, must learn and know that "We are all ONE."
Before we can see clearly to take the mote out of our neighbor's eye, we must remove the log that exists in our own. That takes lots of inner work, and lots of personal freedom to be and do and watch and feel.
We must ask ourselves honestly .... if someone doesn't want to give us something, why would we still be manipulating for a way to get it anyway? And if we really don't want to have, be, or do something in our lives, who do we think we're really kidding when we force ourselves to create an outward appearance that doesn't match our inward being?
Harm no one, then do what thou wilt. That's a tall order, and it takes guts to carry it out. It means simultaneously giving up control and opening to the good that longs to take us forward into our adventure.

31 August 2014

The Overturn of Citizens United is of the people, by the people and for the people.

There is a lot of propaganda being passed around the internet that the Democrats are trying to stifle the 1st amendment rights of free speech by getting rid of the egregious corporatist "Citizens United" decision by SCOTUS. In that decision money was equated with speech. Money is not speech. This is a nation where one person has one vote and one voice.
Under corporatism, most wealth and power is concentrated in the hands of giant corporations and big government is used as a tool by these corporations to consolidate wealth and power even further. In a corporatist system, the wealth and power of individuals and small businesses is dwarfed by the overwhelming dominance of the corporations. Eventually, the corporations end up owning almost everything and they end up dominating nearly every aspect of society. As you will see below, this very accurately describes the United States of America today. Corporatism is killing this country, and it is not what our founding fathers intended.
In an article that was posted earlier this year on Addicting Info, Stephen D. Foster Jr. detailed how our founding fathers actually felt about corporations....
"The East India Company was the largest corporation of its day and its dominance of trade angered the colonists so much, that they dumped the tea products it had on a ship into Boston Harbor which today is universally known as the Boston Tea Party. At the time, in Britain, large corporations funded elections generously and its stock was owned by nearly everyone in parliament. The founding fathers did not think much of these corporations that had great wealth and great influence in government. And that is precisely why they put restrictions upon them after the government was organized under the Constitution.
After the nation’s founding, corporations were granted charters by the state as they are today. Unlike today, however, corporations were only permitted to exist 20 or 30 years and could only deal in one commodity, could not hold stock in other companies, and their property holdings were limited to what they needed to accomplish their business goals. And perhaps the most important facet of all this is that most states in the early days of the nation had laws on the books that made any political contribution by corporations a criminal offense."
Don't be duped by the right winged corporatist agenda and propaganda. Read the senate bill.

Senate Joint Resolution 19

Section 1. To advance the fundamental principle of political equality for all, and to protect the integrity of the legislative and electoral processes, Congress shall have power to regulate the raising and spending of money 
and in-kind equivalents with respect to Federal elections, including through setting limits on –

(1) the amount of contributions to candidates for nomination for election to, or for election to, Federal office; and

(2) the amount of funds that may be spent by, in support of, or in opposition to such candidates.

Section 2. To advance the fundamental principle of political equality for all, and to protect the integrity of the legislative and electoral processes, each State shall have power to regulate the raising and spending of money and in-kind equivalents with respect to State elections, including through setting limits on –

(1) the amount of contributions to candidates for nomination for election to, or for election to, State office; and

(2) the amount of funds that may be spent by, in support of, or in opposition to such candidates.

Section 3. Nothing in this article shall be construed to grant Congress the power to abridge the freedom of the press.

Section 4. Congress and the States shall have power to implement and enforce this article by appropriate legislation.
***
There is one and only one faction that will not benefit from this, and that's the corrupt sitting political establishment and the people who pay them large sums of money to make our nation a corporate utopia at our expense.

18 July 2014

Starfish


Eleanor Lerman
This is what life does. It lets you walk up to 
the store to buy breakfast and the paper, on a 
stiff knee. It lets you choose the way you have 
your eggs, your coffee. Then it sits a fisherman 
down beside you at the counter who say, Last night, 
the channel was full of starfish. And you wonder,
is this a message, finally, or just another day?
Life lets you take the dog for a walk down to the
pond, where whole generations of biological 
processes are boiling beneath the mud. Reeds
speak to you of the natural world: they whisper,
they sing. And herons pass by. Are you old 
enough to appreciate the moment? Too old?
There is movement beneath the water, but it 
may be nothing. There may be nothing going on.
And then life suggests that you remember the 
years you ran around, the years you developed
a shocking lifestyle, advocated careless abandon,
owned a chilly heart. Upon reflection, you are
genuinely surprised to find how quiet you have
become. And then life lets you go home to think
about all this. Which you do, for quite a long time.
Later, you wake up beside your old love, the one
who never had any conditions, the one who waited
you out. This is life’s way of letting you know that
you are lucky. (It won’t give you smart or brave,
so you’ll have to settle for lucky.) Because you 
were born at a good time. Because you were able 
to listen when people spoke to you. Because you
stopped when you should have and started again.
So life lets you have a sandwich, and pie for your
late night dessert. (Pie for the dog, as well.) And 
then life sends you back to bed, to dreamland, 
while outside, the starfish drift through the channel, 
with smiles on their starry faces as they head
out to deep water, to the far and boundless sea.

14 July 2014

The 1912 US Presidential Election

Free Markets Killed Capitalism
If you want to understand political economics in America, study the election of 1912. Teddy Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson, and William Howard Taft, (with just a dab of Debs). That's the point where you clearly see the three main ideas that still sort of dominate how we think about political economics in America today.
First wasTaft with the idea that private feudalism is okay. The Republican Party’s message was pretty straightforward. It was, to paraphrase, “Just let us take care of business for you. We’re wise, we’re expert in it—“
The second idea was that of the Progressive's Bull Moose Party. Teddy Roosevelt’s basic stance in 1912 was to acknowledge that the capitalists had concentrated control over entire industries. What we needed to do, he thought, was make sure that system works for the public benefit. Regulate the monopolies.
The third idea in 1912 was that of Wilson's, that all concentrated power is dangerous. Power overly concentrated in public government is dangerous. And power concentrated in private corporate government is even more dangerous.
Wilson also acted to ensure that farms were not taken over by giant combines, that small businesses, small stores were not taken over by giant chains like Walmart or Amazon.
And then came WWI.

12 July 2014

Anniversaries of traumas can trigger vivid memories and more:


***
Bringing to mind Winslow Homer’s “The Veteran In A New Field”, Aaron Spangler's “Government Whore” portrays a shell-shocked war veteran amid the comforts of home, yet still clinging to his SKS rifle while in bed contemplating past sins. Flowers, bundles of sage, a Bowler hat, and a farm house are juxtaposed with a cow skull, animal claws, palm leaves, and an ascending soldier to create a dreamlike sequence of the rivaling environments of Vietnam and the United States....
...“The Valley Below” celebrates the peace, beauty, idealism, and magic of the undomesticated life “off the grid”, which has often become the destination of many in the hippie movement following wartime. A prominent Barn Owl, which is known to actively hunt for prey only under the cover of darkness, seems to beckon the viewer back to the land and its groves in search of a simpler way of living.
***
Selected writings of mine can be found at the link.  http://hortongallery.com/exhibition/57/government-whore


01 June 2014

Proportional Representation

I am one who would favor having a proportionally representative form of government...there are way too many disenfranchised people within our two party system...which is why our country is so divided, as badly as it was before the civil war...very nearly. I may align myself with only 5% of other people in the USA, but then we should have 5% of the representatives in government...all our voices need to be heard. So what if it's slow and cumbersome...it would be better than the get nothing done representatives we have now.

26 February 2014

Feeling overwhelmed by the Kochtopus? I know I am.

It may already be too late to avoid runaway global warming; and it’s certainly too late to avoid radioactive rain, shrimp without eyes in the Gulf of Mexico, and tap water that can be lit on fire. It’s too late to save 78 percent of the world’s old-growth forests or bring back the 200 species of plants and animals that went extinct today. The situation is extremely dire.

But we can’t give up – not without a fight.

Ecocide is accelerating with a constant need to expand into new areas. We have entered a period of extreme extraction, even in areas that were previously off-limits geographically and politically. We're now ripping up North America as wantonly as we've already wrecked other parts of the world, with fracking, oil from tar sands and deep-sea drilling, and mountaintop removal.

It can’t be reasoned with, escaped, reformed, redeemed, cajoled, abandoned, or rejected. It does not care what we want or how persuasively (or how nicely, or how rudely) we request it.

Elections won’t change this. “Less evil” politicians still serve and represent capitalist interests. It’s their job.

Personal lifestyle changes, though nice, will not make it stop. Protests and demonstrations won’t make it stop.

A better-regulated or reformed system would still kill the planet. So-called “green” capitalism and technotopianism are lies to make us believe an expansionist economy could be sustainable. We can’t buy our way out of it.

Feeling overwhelmed by the Kochtopus?  I know I am.

18 February 2014

WHOOO

Tonight the barred owls
ask their question upon
the chill of dusk;

one from the tulip poplar grove,
the other at creekside.

“Whooo?”

Is what they want to know.

“Whooo?”

It’s a dangerous inquiry.

A warrior’s initiation right
if you dare seek the answer.

Do you dare?

Do you dare to know
who you truly are?

Coyotes run the crest of the ridge,
yips and howls
formulating the collective voice
of the pack.

Don’t listen to them,

they are tricksters.

This is what I have to say:

If you go searching for the
answer,

you will Die.

And if you don’t go searching
for the answer,

you will die.

If you want to Live,

you must go searching
for the answer.

The moon will light the way in the darkness,
but only so much as to allow
you to take one uncertain step
at a time,

often, backwards.

You’ll find that what the sun illuminates,
is frequently outsized by its
shadow,

and that the shadow has a life of its own.

You are going to have to
befriend it,
as your fellow journeyman.

Be prepared to leave who you
think you are behind
in the quest for
authenticity.

It’s best if you put down the large bundle
of “what no longer serves”
at the trail head.

Do bring your most spectacular heartaches
and your deepest wounds;
these are the trail markers that
will help you stay on course.

And too, have within you
a most
beautiful verse.

You cannot fully understand who you
are until you have courted the
Beloved with such wild abandon,
that you become completely undone.

“Whooo?”

from the top of the tallest pine.

“Whooo?”

from the sycamore at the edge of the meadow.

“Who?”

from the moment you were born,

has been the question

gifted by those who

want you to find your way

Home.

© 2012-2014/Jamie K. Reaser
Published in "Sacred Reciprocity: Courting the Beloved in Everyday Life" (www.hirathpress.com)

11 January 2014

When The Angels Cried...

This is what we call a January thaw...certainly a bit warmer than the past week...70 to 80 degrees warmer. Definitely a day to think 'hot and spicy' when planning the evening meal...Perhaps a bit of Mana' assisting my cooking, and I'll remember that Francisco Alves Mendes Filho (Chico Mendes) must not have died in vain. He fought to preserve the Amazon rainforest, and advocated for the human rights of Brazilian peasants and indigenous peoples. He was assassinated on December 22, 1988.



04 January 2014

Unchecked Oil Wealth and Democracy Don't Mix

We, with our choices, have created despots in the middle east who have power due to oil...they become more and more entrenched as the revenue stream continues on and on...look at most of the middle eastern countries which are oil rich nations...despots all. My fear is, with the rush to become "energy independent" that North America is becoming a corporate oligarchy on the conservative side fueled by Koch brothers, et al...boom towns such as Williston, North Dakota and Fort McMurray with high paying temporary jobs, drugs, prostitution and violence...not to mention the environmental damage. Meanwhile that oil wealth is being used to fund the tea party, The Cato Institute, The Mercatus Center, The Institute for Humane Studies, Citizens for a Sound Economy (FreedomWorks), Americans for Prosperity, Patients United Now, American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), ad nauseum...as well as funding economic, scientific and other wings of some fairly powerful universities, even saying who can and who cannot teach there. Ramifications from The Project for the New American Century (PNAC) are still being felt in our economy. These tendrils all intertwine with our political system and can be found having infiltrated even our highest court. Oil can destroy a democracy unless its wealth is kept in check and not used to fuel these oligarchical structures. We, the people, have a choice to make...

The River

upstream from white sand beaches are hamlets, paddies and canyons bombshells unexploded, cratered land, cratered faces  mangled extremities...