Sunday, August 30, 2009

"Truth, like gold, is to be obtained not by its growth, but by washing away from it all that is not gold." – Leo Tolstoy

How difficult is it for us to break free of conventional wisdom and allow the wisdom from within to drive our forces? Why is it we use our eyes to determine how much intimacy we will allow ourselves. Why is that we, for the most part, feel compelled to categorize-to keep our feelings "safe"? I mention that fact that I believe that the heart has many, many rooms....some are filled, but most are empty. There is enough room to love many-why is so hard for our society to grasp. It feel so natural. And, as I have learned, ALL relationships are assignments. So may be short-lived,while others may be life-long assignments. There is a symmetry to this and balance for our spirit. And, as Maude says, "Go out and love some more."

Friday, August 28, 2009

Your job

The number one thing is to decide what it is you want to do...precisely. If it requires more education, then sign up today and get started. The secret behind it all, is that you will be led to your may not look like you envisioned, but it will. As you evolve, so will your work. There is nothing outside of yourself that will bring you is an inside job. It is what you "give" is the most important, --your time, your talent, your willingness....give with NO expectations other than your willingness to do so. Toxic people are full of fear---that is all. You do not have to participate in their fearfulness but you do need to have compassion and empathy for their struggle. You cannot save anyone expect yourself.....this is a hard lesson - simply, be the example...that it your ultimate job.

Being certain

"No great deed, private or public, has ever been undertaken in a bliss of certainty."
Leon Wieseltier

Thursday, August 27, 2009

The lessons we teach....

As I sat with woman yesrterday at lunch, someone whom I have great respect for, and discussed what possible opportunities she has as she has left working for the county and wants more adventure in her life. I thought what possible roads she might pursue and then she asked how do I do what I do. After a long pause I said that I did not know why things happen the way they do for me, but I do know that I have to get myself out of the way when thinking about the future. Somehow my intention is manifested through my ability to organize and follow through. I do know that it is ALL about the "giving" and not the receiving. There is nothing out there that will make me whole and complete. That is an inside job and thankfully, through the many women in my life, I have learned that lesson. I say that one needs only to have the willingness for things to change and not h=to have an attachment to the way you think things out to be. It's what work for me. What about you?

The lessons we teach are the ones we need most to learn. -Richard Bach, Illusions

Sunday, August 23, 2009


Spent three hours at the Beverly Hot springs today....longing to soak in the only natural hot springs in LA....get a body scrub and does so much for the body as well as the spirit. Try it and give yourself plenty of time to relax and meditate while there.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009


Monday, August 17, 2009

Current mood: cantankerous
Category: News and Politics


The following essay was written by Michael Mooney, a colleague of mine in social activism. Mooney is best known for his work in HIV/AIDS and nutrition. He's got a brilliant, sometimes recalcitrant perspective on a whole variety of issues.

Here's his take on the public option, written just prior to our getting word that Obama may drop his push for the public inclusion and focus on the private options.

I love what Michael has to say:


Yeah – the ....US.... government can’t run anything right, especially something so complex as health care. And of course, they can’t do it as well as Blue Cross, Blue Shield or ..Aetna...

But think about it …......

This morning I was awoken by my alarm clock powered by electricity generated by the public power monopoly regulated by the U.S. Department of Energy.

I then took a shower in the clean water provided by a municipal water utility.

After that, I turned on the TV to one of the FCC-regulated channels to see what the National Weather Service of the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration determined the weather was going to be like, using satellites designed, built, and launched by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

I watched this while eating my breakfast of U.S. Department of Agriculture-inspected food and taking the drugs which have been determined as safe by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

At the appropriate time, as regulated by the U.S. Congress and kept accurate by the National Institute of Standards and Technology and the U.S. Naval Observatory, I get into my National Highway Traffic Safety Administration-approved automobile and set out to work on the roads build by the local, state, and federal Departments of Transportation, possibly stopping to purchase additional fuel of a quality level determined by the Environmental Protection Agency, using legal tender issued by the Federal Reserve Bank.

On the way out the door I deposit any mail I have to be sent out via the U.S. Postal Service and drop the kids off at the public school.

After spending another day not being maimed or killed at work thanks to the workplace regulations imposed by the Department of Labor and the Occupational Safety and Health administration, enjoying another two meals which again do not kill me because of the USDA, I drive my NHTSA car back home on the DOT roads, to my house which has not burned down in my absence because of the state and local building codes and Fire Marshal's inspection, and which has not been plundered of all its valuables thanks to the local police department.

And then I log on to the internet -- which was developed by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Administration -- and post on and Fox News forums about how SOCIALISM in medicine is BAD because the government can't do anything right.

.. ..

Michael Mooney....

"Behold the turtle. He makes progress only when he sticks his neck out."
James Bryant Conant

Riding ourselves of the right's DEATH PANEL

How To Kill Those Death Panel Rumors

Just shut up about them.

By Farhad Manjoo

Let's say you're one of the millions of Americans who believe that Barack Obama wants to kill your grandma. You've heard various Democrats refuting the claim that the health care bill encourages euthanasia, but you simply don't believe them—after all, nearly every pundit and health care wonk you've seen on Fox News or read about on the Web says that the "death panels" are real and something to fear. Now you see the president on TV claiming otherwise. At a town hall event in Colorado on Saturday, Obama called the euthanasia claim "simply dishonest." He explained that you'd bought into "misinformation" and that, in reality, the legislation only called for Medicare reimbursements to doctors for providing "end-of-life" counseling. So now that Obama's out there personally defending himself, do you believe him?

Of course you don't. Here's a man you suspect of the worst possible motives—you think he's contemplating putting old people out to pasture in order to realize his dream of socialized medicine. You're not going to change your mind just because he says the facts prove otherwise.

OK, so maybe Obama's not trying to convince people who already hold a firm opinion about his health care plan. Instead he's going after folks in the middle—people who've heard about the death panels but aren't sure what to believe. Will his defense work on those people? Perhaps a few of them. He'll probably convince some Americans that death panels are a myth—but at the same time, Obama's very public refutation of the story is bound to raise its profile. Death panels have now become front-page news. They're on the lips of every politician and every late-night host, a trending topic on Twitter and the blogs. The phrase—like government takeover or socialized medicine—is now one of the chief buzzwords of the health care debate. And as several studies in psychology have shown, people often mistake familiarity for veracity. That's why fighting a rumor can sometimes backfire: If we hear something often enough—even if it's in the context of a refutation—we're likely to think it's true.

That's the dilemma Obama faces in trying to debunk the lies surrounding the health care debate. In True Enough, my book published last year, I argued that despite techno-utopians' many high hopes, modern communications technology—talk radio, cable TV, and the Web—have fractured society along ideological lines. Because we can now get our news from sources that reflect our political views—and we can avoid sources that we find suspect—lies and misinformation tend to proliferate and linger. I examined several case studies—the Swift Boaters, the conspiracy theories surrounding 9/11, and claims that George W. Bush stole the 2004 election—and concluded that it's now easier than ever before for people to live in worlds built entirely of their own facts. We're becoming impervious to rational opposition. Once a substantial minority of the population believes a lie, it achieves the sheen of truth and becomes nearly impossible to debunk.

Now we're seeing that dynamic play out in the health care debate: Myths have taken root, and the White House is having lots of trouble fighting them. Over the last couple of weeks, the administration has tried various efforts to stem the spread of misinformation. It has made videos, sent e-mails, had its spokespeople go on TV, and asked supporters to report "fishy" claims. Now Obama himself is on the stump calling out the lies. Nothing has worked. During the last few years, I've spoken to many experts on the proliferation of rumors. Based on those conversations, I've got some simple advice for Obama: Shut up about the death panels already. Don't keep fighting this rumor. You've lost—and the more time you spend trying to make things better, the worse off you'll be.

I understand this is hard medicine to swallow. Whatever you think about health care reform, it's hard to abide complete fabrications. There isn't a shred of evidence to support the idea that Obama's proposals create any mechanism to send old people to an early grave. Lots of other claims about the administration's health care plan are also patently false—see this roundup by the nonpartisan Politifact that thoroughly debunks a laundry list of lies that have been going around through chain e-mails. Responding to lies seems only natural. How could the White House stand by in silence while opponents make outlandish claims?

But there are two problems with trying to correct misinformation. First, once people buy into a set of facts, they're unlikely to change their minds, even if presented with evidence to the contrary. In True Enough, I describe a famous study (PDF) by psychologists Charles Lord, Lee Ross, and Mark Lepper about people who hold rigid views on the death penalty. The researchers asked both fierce supporters and opponents of capital punishment to look at a stack of empirical studies that presented a mixed picture of the death penalty—some studies indicated that capital punishment deterred crime, while others suggested it didn't. After looking at the data, a rational person would have moderated her view of the death penalty—after all, the facts seemed to indicate that it was hard to know what effect capital punishment had on crime.

But people with extreme views on the issue had a different reaction: When shown data that suggested they were wrong, they concluded that the data was in some way faulty—and they became even more fixed in their original ideas. Thus after looking at research that presented a mixed picture on the death penalty, activists on each side became more polarized. More recent research seems to confirm this view; studies have shown that when people are presented with an unassailable correction of misinformation, they tend to believe the myths even more fervently. (One study by Brendan Nyhan and Jason Reifler showed that conservatives are more likely than liberals to respond this way.)

The other problem with fighting misinformation is that you risk spreading the myths beyond the groups of people who already believe it. We get a lot of our news these days through social networks—not just online social networks like Facebook but networks of friends, family, and co-workers. The mainstream is drying up. Fewer and fewer people watch network news or read newspapers, and instead we indulge in nonobjective sources like cable news, talk radio, and the political blogosphere. When rumors spread virally, they tend to stay in select circles. For instance, polls showed that during last year's presidential campaign, only a few demographic groups believed the claim that Obama was secretly a Muslim. The rumor didn't really hurt Obama because the claim only took root with people who were never going to vote for him in the first place.

In taking on these death panel rumors, the Obama people are pushing them beyond these cloistered networks. The White House has put out a series of bland videos in which buttoned-down wonks calmly refute misperceptions about health care. The administration wants people to send the clips around as a truth-squadding viral chain message. Guess who's going to do that? People who already support health care legislation. And who are they going to send the clips to? Their friends—other people who already support health care legislation. The upshot: A whole lot of people who didn't know about the rumors are now getting schooled in them.

So if fighting rumors directly is a bad idea, what should Obama do? He should talk to his opponents. One consequence of our fractured media is that it has become easy to dehumanize our political opponents. When I spoke to rumor experts about the Obama-is-a-Muslim myth last year, some gave Obama high points for an interview he granted with the Christian Broadcasting Network. The appearance worked because he'd taken his message to people most likely to believe the rumor, and he'd answered their questions directly and honestly. He didn't simply dismiss the rumors as lies; instead, he talked about his churchly ways and tried to show why he should be considered worthy of their trust. (This was before the Rev. Wright controversy.)

That appearance provides a template for how he can handle health care rumors—he should go to Glenn Beck, Sean Hannity, and Bill O'Reilly and answer all their questions. He can address the death panel rumor if asked about it, but he shouldn't make that the main thrust of his argument. Instead, he should aim merely to get his opponents to listen to him. If he can at least come off as a human being, he might be able to convince even the biggest Obama haters that he's not out to kill granny.

Farhad Manjoo is Slate's technology columnist and the author of True Enough: Learning To Live in a Post-Fact Society. You can e-mail him at and follow him on Twitter.

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Monday, August 17, 2009

from Marianne Willliamson

Every person you meet enters your life by divine assignment. What they bring you will be determined by what you choose to bring to them

Foolish things....

It was once said that if 50 million people say a foolish thing, it is still a foolish thing.

My first thought is how the extreme right, who have never shown me to have an intelligence quota higher than 7th grade, have screamed like 7th graders about not having their way. For all the complaining about a government run health care system, the forget to and just don't realize that Medicare is a government run health care system. Are they really that stupid not to understand this? How is it possible that there are so many that are so ignorant in the year 2009? I sometimes feel that I fell asleep and have woken up before education was a requirement in order to speak intelligently about a subject. If this does not change, what will become of America?

Sunday, August 16, 2009

– Warren Buffett

"The Noah rule: Predicting rain doesn't count; building arks does."

I think this guy operate s from a very simple premise. And, he keeps it simple? How complicated do we make our lives?

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Living yur life.

There are two ways to live your life. One is though nothing is a miracle. The other is though everything is a miracle.-Albert Einstein.

So, how's life?

august 15

Does anyone have the feeling that everyone is just a bit on edge? I notice it mostly in driving situations out here in rural California. I never feel it when I am in New York or any other major city for that matter. I don't have an explanation for it. Do you?

Thursday, August 13, 2009

August 13

Watched "Away from her" with Julie Christie tonight-(still think she was robbed of the Oscar-an amazing performance.)....I understand that every 70 seconds another person develops the symptoms of Alzheimer's. How does one process this change in a loved one...?

Monday, August 10, 2009

August 10

There is a pervasive feeling that things ae not well in the world. Do you think that is true or is it that we are able to take in so much information so quickly from everywhere in the world? There has never been a tme when we had access to to so much-then perhaps, things have always been like this....we just didn't know.

Sunday, August 9, 2009


I overheard someone say, "what is point of all of this effort to get everything right when it life goes so quickly anyway, no one really cares at the end of the day." I suppose that there is an element of truth to that. It would mean that everything we have been taught is just a series of ideas that someone made up at one point to keep everyone in line -culturally speaking, that is. Do you think that this is true?