Tuesday, July 31

The Getaway

"There is nothing like returning to a place that remains unchanged to find the ways in which you yourself have altered." - Nelson Mandela

Thursday, July 26

Another Reason to Fight the Fat..

"Obesity can spread from person to person, much like a virus, according to researchers. When one person gains weight, close friends tend to gain weight too."
- Reported in San Francisco Chronicle

This is alarming and strange news. It does not explain why I am overweight though, since most of my friends and family are fit. The best explanation for my weight problem is overeating and underexercising. My youngest and very fit brother also offers the insight that I overthink (i.e., do nothing) about this problem and insists that regular exercise is the solution. *sigh* The truth hurts sometimes.

Time to renew the eternal battle of the bulge.

Wednesday, July 25

Watching the System Work

"WASHINGTON - The House Judiciary Committee approved a contempt of Congress citation Wednesday against White House Chief of Staff Josh Bolten and one-time Counsel Harriet Miers, setting up a constitutional confrontation over the firings of federal prosecutors." - Yahoo News

Earlier today, my husband commented that Congress was getting ready to cite White House officials for contempt of Congress.

My first reflex was to sneer, "Oh yeah, that's gonna work," while I gave the coffee beans an extra grind or two.

The citations seemed like such a wimpy response to the corrosive bile spewed by the GW Bush Corps on the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights, that I was dismissive and spewing bile, myself. I really do admire hubby for keeping up with the many scandals, misspeakings, presidential directives, presidential signing bills, and proclamations of executive privilege all of which circumvent or weaken our government's checks and balances. We watch the system work or not work and by keeping informed, we push for action. This is a painful process but necessary to maintain a free nation.

So right now, we are witnessing the usefulness of "the system." Congress is flexing its underused and flabby oversight muscles without much success, in my opinion, but the muscle is still there. The courts continue to restrain the GWB government in key areas, and while I complain about the gutless press, there is good info being reported (and not reported unfortunately) that keeps us alert and informed.

The system is working and it needs to work harder. Every oversight and restraint, including impeachment must be used, soon, to reign in GWB/Cheney and make them earn the public trust and the salaries we pay them.

Wednesday, July 11

Feelings...Nothing More Than Feelings....

Our local news/radio station, KFWB, broadcast a report this morning that the head of the U.S. Homeland Security Department, Michael Chertoff, had a "gut feeling" that terrorists will attack America this summer. His statements were made in Chicago with the intention of explaining or justifying the draconian measures he plans to put into place this summer.

So... based on his knowledge of past terrorist activities, his "gut feeling" and some other "plan" that the public has or has not approved, the DoHS is gearing up to arrest people, close borders, and restrict the rights of American citizens. The White House has downplayed Chertoff's comments and at the same time is promoting the second "phase" of it's Iraq "surge."

Gut feelings about violence and mayhem are worthless. Broadcasting these feelings under the guise of public service is disgusting and stupid.

Just image if Jesse Bullhar of CalTrans, Office of Traffic Safety, blurted out his "gut feelings" that travel this summer will be more dangerous on California's highways, resulting in increased traffic accident fatalities. Oh, and because of his "gut feelings" anyone suspected of unsafe driving habits would be arrested. Oh!!! ... and travel to and from certain "unsafe" areas would be restricted, and, ah, don't be alarmed if your neighbors' civil liberties are violated. Would we thank Mr. Bullhar for his feelings and allow him to violate our basic civil rights in the interests of "safety?" Jesse would be out on his nervous, quaking ass for blatant fear mongering and creating chaos in an already chaotic environment. He would not be thanked by anyone for creating fear while promoting partisan politics.

Why is Chertoff still Secretary of Homeland Security? Didn't hurricane Katrina and it's continuing disastrous aftermath illustrate the dark, paralyzed place this man inhabits?

May all fearmongers know love and peace.

Friday, July 6

The Upward Way

"For all there are two stages of the path, as they are making upwards or have already gained the upper sphere.

The first degree is the conversion from the lower life; the second — held by those that have already made their way to the sphere of the Intelligibles, have set as it were a footprint there but must still advance within the realm — lasts until they reach the extreme hold of the place, the Term attained when the topmost peak of the Intellectual realm is won."
- Third Tractate, "On Dialectic - The Upward Way" of "Six Enneads" by Plotinus (205 -270)

There are many things I love about the web. It is a source of endless learning. Today, I googled the word "emanation" and stumbled onto Plotinus, an Egyptian-Roman philosopher who had the audacity(?), inspiration(?), intellect(?) (possibly all three qualities and more) to explain the divine and how to attain unity with it.

I hear echoes of his philosophy in the writings of Thoreau, Emmerson, Ernest Holmes and even in the pop-culture mega-hit, "The Secret." The concept of energy emanating from a powerful source in a circular fashion and eventually making its way back to the source resonates with me and with my experiences in life.

"What goes around, comes around."

Might as well put out positive, uplifting wishes and thoughts and know that they will neutralize thoughtlessness and create the good we all deserve...

May all beings know love and peace.

Thursday, July 5

Thinking of My Dad Today

Vincent Ryan
(4-2-1921 to 7-5-2003)

Wednesday, July 4

The Trickster on the Fourth of July

There were not many flags flying in our neighborhood celebrating American Independence Day. Neighbors were just as friendly, just as busy and ready to party, but not ready to brag about America as "the greatest country on earth."

Years of outrageous and ugly Bush scandals have taken their toll. The "bring it on" fantasy of empowerment and triumph in a world at war is exposed. Kicking over that rock and really looking at the dangerous reality of tricky George is not what Americans want to do on their day off. So, we went for a walk this morning.

Lurking among the few flags that were waving in the morning heat was Wile E. Coyote, a comically ineffectual predator whose hunts always end in disaster. He strolled down the sidewalk, took a dump on someone's front lawn, grabbed a drink or two from a garden hose, ignored the traffic, the neighbors, the barking dogs and me. No one chased him away or even acknowledged his unwanted existence. He and his growing pack of predators are thriving while we all look the other way.