March 31, 2008

In Sickness and in Wealth

Health care in what 'used to be' the most powerful and advanced nation in the world is not good. Here is an article more specific than I can be at the moment. It is too infuriating to be at the mercy of whether you actually have a job with health benefits. It is stifling. It is dangerous economically to strike out on a new career path. It is even dangerous changing jobs because last hired=first fired in this country.

March 27, 2008


Sometimes I find what I need when I am looking for something completely different. Yesterday was no exception. I was looking for articles on FiV in cats and discovered an article on grief more profound for me than anything I have read so far. It is applicable to letting go on all levels.


The stages of grief ... from houses sold to relationships left to death.

Death of the physical body or death of the assured understanding that everyone reads English as well as I do. Case in point is the article with the New York Times. Each word in there is linked to a dictionary which defines it for readers who don't know how to read English or who read but don't understand the word they see on the page. But dictionaries, while good, do not give a whole story. They can't. They only define and pin a word to a page like a butterfly to a display board. Words live in the culture. And without context, all that anyone writes are just ... words. Shakespeare said it best in MacBeth....

There would have been a time for such a word.To-morrow, and to-morrow, and to-morrow,Creeps in this petty pace from day to dayTo the last syllable of recorded time,And all our yesterdays have lighted foolsThe way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle!Life's but a walking shadow, a poor playerThat struts and frets his hour upon the stageAnd then is heard no more: it is a taleTold by an idiot, full of sound and fury,Signifying nothing.

SCENE V. Dunsinane. Within the castle.

March 13, 2008


I thought at the time we went into Iraq it was a monumentally bad idea. I thought at the time of the door to door fighting that this was an even worse idea. I thought the failure of the Veterans Administration to treat the returning soldiers for post traumatic stress disorder or other psych problems to be criminally negligent. And now I read that a returning soldier who served in the Iraq theatre is accused of murdering a girl in Georgia. Georgia - Mother of Student Murder Supect Offers Apology COLUMBUS, GA (AP) -- The mother of the man charged in the killing of Auburn University student Lauren Burk has offered an apology to Burk's family for the ...
Why do I care? Because there are tons of stories about the murder of the North Carolina coed and hardly any mention of the murder in Georgia. Why? I find that disparity oddly reminiscent of "spiking" a story that copy editors do when they know it will be unpopular for their readers. Is it because of the Iraq connection? Is it because the victim is Jewish? Is it because the murder is in Georgia? Is it because it isn't a 'sexy' story. Murder does sell but uncomfortable facts don't. Nothing can convince me that the victims' families wishes can keep the reporter vultures away after a murder. So that probably isn't why it isn't getting much coverage. I think it is because the alleged murdered is an Iraq vet and the victim a Jewish girl in her freshman year at college. She hailed from a Jewish family in Georgia. As a Jew, as a Buddhist and as a antiwar 'watcher', I am not surprised by this fallout. I am surprised that the coverage is so bad and that the situation is so sad. Peace please!


I meet so many remarkably wonderful people who care deeply about the way the world is going. There seems to be an Ozone Hole in the Soul - not only in the sky above us. So I worry for all of us who are sensitive to what is going on in the world today. How much psychic scarring happens in a soul before despair sets in? That is such a deep well for me and often I dance on the edge of it when I am tired and just want to give up. So the best I can do is talk with others like me, talk with cat rescue people, admire my girls, and write in my blog. I am trying as well as I can to keep myself centered and grounded in this world using buddhist readings and other spiritual practices. Even got back into meditation more since my flirting with it in the 1970s with the wave of Transcendental meditation that swept through the college scene. I often wonder whether I opened chakras back then that are rampaging about now with the fibromyalgia because I didn't know I needed to shut the meridians down after meditation and do other after care like grounding myself. Sigh. We live and we learn (if we are lucky). I guess Dickens' comment "it was the best of times, it was the worst of times," will be my mantra today to maintain perspective. Because truly duality is all over the place. It just depends on whether we are looking up the mountain and are stuck at the trees we see or we are looking down from the top and can see all the horizons and richness around us.
May we all be blessed as we follow our hearts today.

March 12, 2008


The shortest one for me would be
Hugs from Down Here.

Longer ones ...

An Elegy for Trees and Me...
Bury me near the gumdrop tree so sweetness falls nearby
Though a snowball tree would be nice for fun
or a dogwood to keep me warm,
But best of all is the pussy willow which grows straight and tall
and Fluffy like my thoughts which to wander around in the month of May
... Hugs from Down Here

How to be a Swan

Shucks! Sitting pretty is easy, acting pretty is hard. And it is in the execution where the duckling becomes a swan.

So always reach out to help the ones who fall on their backs.

March 10, 2008

C-Span and USAToday Report More Failures

I write today to discuss a childhood memory about the fluoride scare of the 1950s and 1960s. Jan. 25, 1945: Fluoridation — Better Teeth, or Commie Plot?
Grand Rapids, Michigan, fluoridates its water, beginning a controversy that remains unsettled to this day.

Fluoride was added to the water supply to deal with cavities. However, it was the height of the "red" scare and every time it was proposed for water supplies, we had lectures about how it was a commie plot. Well, ve don't need no stinking commies these days. We have lax water inspections, lax laws and lax cleanup so that prescriptions for Joe down the street are getting into the water for Jane who lives in another town or for drugs to get into the water supply of feedlots. USDA and FDA claim they don't have enough inspectors to make foods or drugs safe. They blame the lack of inspectors on the Congress. I say, nay. It is the job of the USDA and the FDA to make sure we have enough competent inspectors to check on the quality of water and slaughter houses. And that is not what is or has been happening. Third party investigators from the Humane Society and AP are the ones who alert the public to these irregularities and outright abuses. I find this even more troubling than the fact that now the water can kill me because I am deathly allergic to penicillin. And yet, the Administration claims that if we want a safe society, we must and give up our rights to phone privacy, email privacy and general privacy. If that is the case, then for that sacrifice, don't we deserve a safe society that isn't potentially being poisoned by these chemicals that are in our water? When security isn't secure, can the phrase freedom isn't free make any sense at all?

March 7, 2008

Mom-nesia and the Lasagne Effect

I was listening to a pop station this morning and heard the term "Mom-nesia" for the forgetfulness that occurs after women have children. I have lived with this for many years -- it is not a short term condition. Thank god for google because I have a fighting chance to type in a word that I remember that may be tangentially related to the nagging fact lurking in the shadows of my mind. This week's fight, for instance, was about Abraham. IDK why I was reminded of him precisely. All I know is that it had to do with picking up stakes and going to a new land. There was some really good parallel I planned to use in a blog entry. Gah.

Mom-nesia, indeed. I used to call it the lasagne pun on the many layers of the mind a parent needs to have. There is only so much storage in a brain, after all. So the way my mind stores facts is in layers. If I ping one layer with Abraham, then eventually I will remember why I wanted to use him in a blog entry. It is just a question of getting through all those other useful layers held together by that cheesey substance called the Mind.

March 5, 2008

Bush League Government

I hail from the Great Lakes region and just discovered this information on line when I was looking for who is in charge of the recent ricin incident in Las Vegas, Nevada. This is more important though because it is just so typical of the Bush Administration to keep information away from the public eye. More than 10 years ago, a group was organized to take a good look at the water quality of the Great Lakes. Their report was issued last July and was not released for 7 months. Suppressed is the exact word used in the report. It still hasn't been published into the public realm. The Washington Post wrote an article about it 2-29-08.

Here is the link from which has portions of it on their website. I urge you to take a look and then download the report because I don't know how long it will be available.


In the interest of yesterday's election results, I feel we all need a good laugh. Feel free to use this with candidates, political parties or just generally when feeling bugged. Enjoy!

The caption of this photo is mine, the photo was emailed to me:

The following folks are deemed Duck:
Write names here:




March 4, 2008

New Cool Word Alert

BBC Scotland just used this word "Gazumps" in their top story out of Edinburgh.

According to the it means to fleece, cheat or otherwise deceive folks. We need words like that here for the political process.