Thursday, July 20, 2017

California Infernos

There is nothing anyone can do to change it, to stop it. We can fight it, and the fire fighters do so with skill, daring, courage and a danger to themselves, but still, it chews the dry brush into a soft ash.

Lightning starts most of them. The drought to hurts and so does an ill wind called Santa Ana or Chinook or other local names. It flows quickly from the mountain tops and reminds us of our vulnerability. The tears of loss and smiles of safety on the same face parallel our conflict and appreciation of nature.

The stories of neighbor helping neighbor, confirm our desire for community. There are hundreds of stories not only of crushing flames and charred places, but stories of hopes and wishes shattered dreams and shock.

In times of such destruction, values change rapidly. The acquired stuff of daily living is no match for the loss of a treasured family picture or the ache of not knowing if a pet survived.

There is never a quick end to tragedy. No easy answers to the wailed questions of why and no relief when cries have run out of tears.

It is not possible to hold each hand of so many so hurting from these fires. All we can do, in this human family, is to be aware and to care. There is something powerful in that, and it heals.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017


The obstreperous of Washington continue to be obstinate, egotistic, and alleged representatives of what was once a country of compromise. The greatness of our democracy is its ability to come together, to reason, to legislate for the common good and the good of the whole.

Each side is playing with the lives of citizens. The idiocy of brinkmanship ended when the Soviet Union collapsed.

Each member of Congress should look at their back yard for the pork they authorize to ensure their reelection. Yes, we need to raise revenue on all economic strata, and it needs to be done with civility and fairness.

To some of Congress, compromise is a sign of weakness and a betrayal of the ad hoc groups that put them there. In their zeal, few realize that the foundation of beneficial legislation is cemented with courtesy, not confrontation and with compromise, not conflict.

The absolutists of all political philosophies cannot see a future beyond their own beliefs and are seemingly willing to play with the stability of the country because they will not be affected by any of their actions.

Congress is immune. It has its financial security. It has its health system. It has its perks and pleasures, and it has become an elite club of spoiled rich bureaucrats.

America’s future is being fractionalized, and there are no statesmen or stateswomen in Congress to counter the iconic, the myopic and the temporarily powerful.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

John McCain

Bravo to Senator John McCain!

He suggested last night that republicans should work with democrats in passing a bipartisan health bill.

Finally someone has had the courage to break the partisan deadlock.

Monday, July 17, 2017

The Health Bill

Ah, It’s Monday, again and again, Congress is delaying a vote on the health care bill. The votes are not there. Senator McCain is recovering from surgery, so the vote will be delayed until he gets back to Washington.

Skullduggery seems to be the operative word to get this bill passed.

Check this; some are calling it the Polar Payoff. To get Alaska’s Republican senator to vote for the bill, the newly written legislation sends multi-millions more to Alaska. It seems that the bill’s provisions only apply to Alaska to get the money.

How about this one, Texas Senator Ted Cruz has included a provision that would allow insurance companies to offer a simplified plan that would require ill people to pay more than healthy ones.

Whatever happened to representative government? Are we so calloused against the indigent, the poor, the weak, the elderly, the needy that we cannot see a way to help?

Do we care more for bombers, weapons, defeating our fears, then we do for hungry children, the elderly and the ill?

Look, we are all going to die of something someday, but does it have to be accelerated by congress?

Thursday, July 13, 2017

The bane of Noice

Noise! You know the kind that spills onto your sanity and disturbs your inner peace because it grates upon the divine din of your connection to the Universe. What triggered this was a walk with my spiritual advisor, a nine pound Yorkie and Shih Tzu mix. We were both listening to the welcoming warble of nature when an overbearing truck shattered the tranquility of a peaceful walk.

 She cringed, and I turned my hearing aids down.

The world today is filled with noise. It used to be filled with melody and the music of nature. It used to have harmony and tonal pleasantries, with the profound interstitial presence of quiet. It now has the unfiltered and the unadulterated noise of shouts, argument, discords, and the screeches of contentious life, punctuated by the grind of motors, horns and mechanical equipment.

I’m not sure how noise usurped the thing we once called “peace of mind,” but it did, and we suffer its loss with every fleeting moment of quiet that instantaneously reminds us of our natural state.

Occasionally, I get to re-experience the calm that comes from quiet. Meditation often leads to that experience. It is an excellent calming balm that holds me in a moment of peace.

I know there is more, I just must stay quiet long enough to get there.

Global Civility

I’ve been wondering lately if the world has been flooded by some alien ray that eliminated civility from humankind.

I look at the contention stories permeating the global and even the local press in all regions of the world.

Wouldn’t you think that all people alive today would have some experience of or observation of hate, prejudice, violence or anger and not like it or want in or near their lives?

The poor attack the poor because they see what they don’t like in others in themselves and can see no way out of what they don’t like.

The rich belittle the rich because others have more or less than themselves and they live under the illusion that success, security, and safety is having more.

Democrats criticize Republicans because that’s what those out of power do even though partisanship relinquishes their elected responsibility to seek the greater good for the whole.

Religions contend with other beliefs saying my way is the only way to worship the one God of All That Is.

The old besmirch the young because that’s not the way they did it and they can’t remember their youthful enthusiasm for the zest of life.

The Young disrespect the elderly because they see their passage in the old and cannot accept vulnerability and decay.

Race diminishes race because few understand the sacredness of culture, traditions, and family is the same for all.

This stuff has been going on since the beginning of humankind.

Perhaps it is just remembering what civility is and then practicing it because it is the right thing to do.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

McConnell's Gambit

Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell is a shrewd politician. He has now said he will extend the Senate’s legislative session by two weeks into their scheduled August recess. His purpose is to get the Senate to pass the Health Care Bill.

In my opinion, his real purpose is to pressure reluctant Senators to vote for the bill so they can get home to SCHEDULED family vacations, events and personal time, so precious for many national politicians. Those of us who are parents know you don’t want to disappoint or break a promise to the kids.

It’s a cruel way to try to get your way.

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