Friday, October 31, 2008

The Congo

Nobody is paying much attention because we’ve got far more local issues with which to deal: the election, the economy and all of its attendant problems.

But in the Congo there is trouble. People are being killed and displaced because of insurgent and rebel actions. The Congo you say, what’s that got to do with me? In subtle ways it has a lot to do with each of us.

We are a planet of divergent tribes on convergent paths. We meet in symbolic counsel every once in awhile at the United Nations in New York and try to work it out.

Part of the problem seems to be when we are not together trying to find pathways to the greater good, we seem to forget our humanitarian and spiritual connection and that we have the power to stop indiscriminate killing, ethnic cleansing, genocide and religious degradation. Never forget we have the individual and collective power to say “NO!”

There is a way to remember we are all part of each other. The next time you enjoy a candy bar think of this.

The chocolate may have come from Ghana, the peanuts from the Sudan, the corn syrup from Iowa, the sugar from Ecuador, the butter from Australia, the paper from Canada, the ink for printing from the Congo, the fruit from Israel, and if the candy bar is wrapped in tin foil, it probably came from Thailand and if it has coconut, it probably came from the Philippines.

Add to this all the people it took to bring those products to market for export, and you have millions of people all over the world who have in some way contributed to your enjoyment of a simple candy bar.

Simple people in the Congo, family people who only want to live in peace and raise their families, are being murdered, forced to leave their homes in an indiscriminate disruption that warring factions have constructed and we and the rest of the world are too busy with our troubles to say, “NO!”

I often wonder how much shame our karma can endure before…

You can fill in the ending.

Thursday, October 30, 2008


Here I go again...I often wonder from where these thoughts come, but they do and seek expression through the power of words.

How far back can you remember? Take a moment and direct your mind to find your earliest thoughts. Sweep all distractions from your mind and with some silent concentration you will be able to guide your memory to the time when your mind was new and unencumbered with intellectual illusions in boxes of time.

Once you are there get comfortable and will the mind to pass the gossamer barrier of illusion and you will know the splendor from which you came.

Poet William Wordsworth wrote:

"Our birth is but a sleep and a forgetting: The soul that rises with us, our life's star, hath had elsewhere its setting, and cometh from afar. Not in entire forgetfulness, and not in utter nakedness, but trailing clouds of glory, do we come from God, who is our home. Heaven lies about us in our infancy! Shades of the prison-house begin to close upon the growing boy, but he beholds the light, and whence it flows, - He sees in it his joy."

Wordsworth is poetically saying that before we came into this physical plane, we existed in glory as conscious beings whose spirits are enthused by the light of omniscient Love and each of us is encouraged to be that love in the density of matter through experiential choice.

I believe that life is eternal. Matter and physical form is not. Physical life is only one manifestation of temporary being. The Master Jesus said, "In my Father's house there are many mansions." Earth is just one of the many schools for learning. Some proclaim, it is the only one, but singular belief comes from the density of our form, not from the gnosis of our being.

In whatever worlds and realms we reside, we are the divine emanations of God's love, and perpetual life is His gift. We are the individuation of the indivisible. The reality of our life, the personification of God's gift, is our choice based on a direct precipitate of what we think.

Descartes hypothisized: "I think therefore I am."

The Buddha: "What we think we become."

It's not that we have lived before or that we will live again, it is that we never cease living.

I'm gonna go and think about ice cream for awhile. It's easier!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

True and False

Good Morning Friends,

I can’t wait for this election to be over. I said the same thing the last presidential election and the one before that. Rumor, lies and innuendo run rampant in our media outlets and especially on the Internet.

I was sent another false claim the other day. It was a fake receipt allegedly signed by Michele Obama from the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York City for over four hundred dollars for a lobster dinner for two including caviar and Champagne.

The New York Post ran a story about it. A couple of days later the Post ran a retraction saying it wasn’t true. They were duped by a Political Action Committee (PAC) who sent the false receipt to discredit the Obama campaign.

Political Action Committees are beholding to no one. They can say whatever they want, make up stories, tell lies and do. Their intent is to create damaging rumors for people to believe and pass on. Common sense would tell you check it out, but it is in the nature of human ignorance to believe what you want to believe whether it’s true or not. Why is it we’d rather transgress than transform and transcend?

My new book, Stone Wisdom comes out in a couple of days. One of the entries is a poem entitled Election Limerick which I wrote after the last Presidential campaign. It seems appropriate for this post and as a commercial plug for the book.

Thanks for the indulgence.

Election Limerick
© 2008 Rolland G. Smith

Some thinking today on the pain
Of this past election campaign-
A rhyming viewpoint
To scold, not anoint.
How negative drives us insane!

Notice it’s easier to breathe
With no more political sleaze.
The ads are all gone.
Let’s vow from hereon,
To demand politics that please.

Imagine what that would be like
Back to times of Stassen and Ike.
All words must be clean,
No phrase could be mean,
Commercials could only unite.

Start it with political speech
And the rule to follow for each:
Find something that’s nice,
That’s true and precise
With phrases that honor and teach.

Maybe we should make it a law
For parties to lead or withdraw.
All ads must be true-
Now that would be new-
All perfect, no lies, not a flaw.

Tell us truthfully, where you stand.
If you need it, bring in a band.
Keep it clear! Direct!
The truth in effect,
And politics would then be grand.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Doom and Gloom

Good Morning all,

My friend Bob said to me yesterday there is so much doom and gloom out there when we have so much for which to be thankful. How about writing a poem and post about that? OK, Bob, here it is:

Doom and Gloom
© 2008 Rolland G. Smith

Let’s choose some words and play a game
To fit our national mood.
For some it’s doom and some it’s blame;
A few are misconstrued.

But I am sad in what I read
For gloom is part of it.
Investors think the growing seed
Is tarred within a pit.

That may be true and times are tough
And loss does come to mind,
But don’t you think we have enough
And need not more entwined?

We really have a lot to count
For those who keep the score
And when it's bad we all surmount
The issues we abhor.

When global markets scrape the tanks
And numbers breach and fall
Let’s change our thoughts to giving “thanks”
For what we have at all.

We have so much, we’re spoiled kids,
Complaining all the time.
Comparing us to real skids
Our lot is most sublime.

Can we not go from East to West
And turn and then head back
Without a stop to even rest,
No border stops to track.

Do we not have a power source
Without a thought each day?
To me that is a gift perforce
And something we should weigh.

Do we not have a freedom’s grace
To say what all we please?
And let our thoughts then interface
With others in degrees.

We have a vote where some do not
And choice to make it so
Too many say, Oh, I forgot
To pull the lever row.

I’ll bet with thought a list would come
And blend within your mind.
So many gifts where we succumb
And be as if we’re blind.

There are so many things we need
To say we’re thankful for.
The sun is one and flower’s seed,
And mountains and the shore.

A gentle rain is in there too
As is an Eagles screech.
Let’s not forget the morning dew
And those who like to teach.

So when we say we’ve not enough
Complaining here and there.
Perhaps we need to call our bluff
And make the choice to share.

A thank you is oft hard to do
And some think it means weak,
But we should say it and pursue
This way to always speak.

So I will end this post this day
With lofty thoughts in mind
And hope that all who read will say
Tis gloom I leave behind.

Friday, October 24, 2008

The Mighty Oaks

Hello Friends and by the way, if I haven't said thank you for logging in from time to time, I do so now.

What a glorious day this has been in the east. I live in the mid-Hudson valley approximately midway between New York City and Albany, New York. The fall this year was spectacular. I say, "was" since most of it is now past peek and replacing it is the season of the "drab"; a place between colorful fall and white winter.

Being still and observing is one of my choice things to do and in doing so, I invariably muse and this time the result is...

Oak Sonnet
© 2008 Rolland G. Smith

Old rusted Oaks hold firm their foliage
While other trees have shed to silhouette!
Are leafy hoards, now dead, a sacrilege?
Or does the Oak hold leaves as amulet?
Soon Winter’s wind unlocks and leaves release
But still, we’ll not, know why, this is the way
For Oak’s have always had a staying peace
That knowledge cannot change or castaway.
The Druids saw their Oaks as sacred trees
And to them prayed for guidance and support,
But that meant not they must release their leaves
To be in fall the way most trees abort.
The mighty Oaks and man are much the same.
When ready we release what we became.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Where I Stand

I am not a liberal or a conservative or independent. I am not a registered anything. I am an American citizen and I, and every other citizen, have the franchise and constitutional right to choose where I stand, whom I support and how I will vote in each election.

In the past I have voted for republican candidates and I have voted for democrat candidates and I could vote for an independent depending on the candidate platform positions. Whether the candidate of any party is male or female is not an issue for me. It is an issue whether the candidate is sufficiently qualified for the office.

I am tired of my media pontificators and alleged journalists telling me that the detriment of Obama is that he’s black and a socialist and race is an issue and the extreme of McCain is that he’s ultra conservative and right wing and age is an issue. I am tired of distant and obscure connection extrapolations that suggest Obama is a terrorist or a Muslim and even putting those two words together in the same sentence, as some commentators do, is a disservice to the inherent and original grace of Islam and to my intelligence. I am tired of inferences and suggestions and innuendo that McCain will carry on “W’s” failed policies. I am tired of the un-truths and distortions of each campaign and the constant reiteration of false facts.

Each one of our current presidential candidates is qualified to be president. Race is not an issue unless you are personally prejudice, neither is age. Each one is an honest and good man and plans to be of service to America. Each one will be presented, if elected, with daily choices that require intellect, knowledgeable advisor input, innovation, compromise, compassion, and an understanding, if not implementation, of what is “the greater good”, not the partisan good.

Patriotism is the process of supporting the positive ideals of our government, not necessarily its policies. Policies can be wrong and often are. Ideals are the shared noble values by which one chooses to be governed and hopes to live by for the good of the whole. To equate patriotism as loyalty to a party or person or position is misinterpreting the word for the aggrandizement of partisan positions.

“My country right or wrong” is a prejudicial, ignorant and irresponsible belief. It undermines our past greatness and our future potential as a beacon for the oppressed of the world. It should be, “my country, let us have the will to do right and the grace to admit wrong”.

Our system of government is a good one. It has its flaws and as a participatory democracy it is our individual responsibility to find the flaws and root them out; if need be vote them out, and replace them with ideals and people who transcend politics and transform our republic into a beacon of light for all who seek to be heard and ask that the rule of law be fair and that opportunity be equal.

It has been a personal sadness of mine for many years as a broadcast journalist to report each Election Day that only a small percentage of eligible voters took the time to vote. We are in this life together, only a few can get by without the help of others, so the rest of us must work to encourage, support and honor the diversity within our oneness. We will not always agree, but in courteous disagreement comes a self-righting process.

You may believe that war is right and just and that is your right. You may believe that war is wrong and unjust and that is your right, but unless you participate in the election process you relinquish your right to critique and you mitigate the new and old warrior deaths that fought to sustain our system. Support for our troops is not the issue here, only the policies that sends them ill-equipped into harms way.

Do not let the few who have the public pulpit usurp your liberty of thought or your rights of reason. The politically glib may beguile and persuade, but private discernment and choice have always belonged to each of us.


Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Leaves and Spirit

Hello my friends on this early morning of frost and fall breezes. A gusty wind is pruning the late leaving leaves and the splendid colors of the tree spirits now festoon Gaia’s ground with a quilt of color.

On such a beautiful morning, my thoughts lean toward perceptions. Concretised perceptions limit the perceived wonder of life and cloud the light of living in the NOW, finding the joy in every moment and cements us to expectations that invariably disappoint.

We need to listen to our hearts for it is the only organ in the body attuned to the divine. You can never go wrong if you follow your heart, your bliss, as Joseph Campbell would say. Your bliss can never be compromised by the ego which will deceive, delude and demand in order to justify and perpetuate its existence. Each contraction of our hearts bares a powerful message of joy. If we listen.

Listen to your heart. Feel its divine onomatopoeic cadence. Infuse into your heart a verbal rhythm with the words "Love Is All.” In the truth of these words you have the mantra of miracles and the interconnection of spirits.

If we see the other only as a separate physical being struggling to live then we limit all of us. If we choose to see the divinity within each human being as an expression of the continuing divine unfoldment then we are all limitless.

To me the joy of earthly existence is to see all that is as All That Is and to recreate ourselves in every moment in the grandest vision we can image for ourselves and to learn that different is not lesser and "the other" is not separate from the self.

God cannot be unknown to himself. If we accept the premise that our spirits are divine then it follows there is divinity in all others. If we see all that is through the divinity within us, then we will see nothing, but the light of love personified. We are all one with THE ONE and therefore one with each other.

The miracle of life, however, is not the Oneness. It is the diversity within the Oneness. An ego-focused existence confuses different with diversity. Living, by choosing to see others as different, inhibits the ability to express the divine within us for we empower the ego-sustained illusion that believes we are separate. We cannot be separate from what it is we are. We can think we are separate and thereby choose to live in the illusion, but the reality is we are never separate from divine love that is us. We are always only a choice away from the abundance that is our creation gift. The ONE-der of diversity, encourages expression of the divine within us as us.

I started this post by watching the leaves fall and cover the sacred ground of earth. Isn’t it marvelous how the mind can wander in wonder?

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Thoughts on Power

I’ve been thinking about power recently what with the purported Wall Street antics and a change in Presidents coming up. There is a responsibility that goes with power for people, governments and businesses.

When used to oppress, to control without freedom and human rights, power is a negative condition called force and inevitably fails through the balancing principle of time and triumphant good.

When used to free the mind for other things besides survival, when used to feed and shelter the hungry and the homeless, power is nurturing and transforms. When used to encourage, to inspire the innate divine creativity within each human being, the gentle self limiting side of power is actualized and the world benefits.

Intent determines whether the use of power is positive or negative. Used for the greater good, power propels governments, business conglomerates or individuals out of their narrow image of self-interest into an expansive awareness of benevolent and global responsibility.

Power is energy, a radiating essence from the Source. It moves through us, as us. It is constantly available to all individuals as a catalyst to help define the creative self through appreciation and beauty in the manifestation of art, music, and literature.

All human beings have divine power, how they use it is optional. Those who actualize it on a personality level are said to be charismatic. Others choose to express their creative energy through service by responding instantaneously to the needs of humankind. Silent greatness is often the result.

Unlike people, governments do not have an innate, natural power, but each country if seen as a collective entity of its citizens does have an altruistic destiny determined by group incarnations within their alleged borders.

A collective positive energy is a distinct divine gift that includes sufficient power from its people to complete their destiny for the good of all. If a country does not respond to its positive side, to the inherent unselfish divine nature of its citizens, then the ability to complete its global mission passes to another country through the inevitable incarnation of enlightened leadership. Truth will have its expression one way or another. The Source is ever adaptive, adopting and changing and non-judgmental.

Governments, businesses and individuals who use their power for the greater good, create a vortextual renaissance that uplifts the human condition everywhere. Let us hold that thought and create the vision.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Arrows From Heaven and Tribal Lands

A personal note to John Tecumseh Shawnee. Thanks for the link. I did visit and it is now in my heart. Thank you. RGS

This post is for you.

Arrows From Heaven
© 1995 Rolland G. Smith

The heart drum throb of ancient tribes
Transcends in timbre’s pulse sublime
As cadenced rhythmic beat proscribes
A nature past, but still divine.

Shoshone, Ute and Navajo
Proud native hearts of desert west
Shawnee, Zuni, Arapaho
Beat sacred drums for vision quest.

From heaven then, come arrows gold
To find their set within the heart
So story old can then be told
By feathers stride ‘long sacred dart.

The cricket calls in night’s dark damp
To warrior and lunar light
That shows the way to dreamers camp
And wings our minds for freeing flight.

Arcadian shafts, fluted points
Painted ponies and shaman’s chant
Reprise the past and then anoint
The drumming with a stepping slant.

When beat of heart and those of drums
Transform the time of honor due
Ancestral rest then finally comes
And spirit heart is birthed anew.

Tribal Lands
© 1995 Rolland G. Smith

Some hardened stones are all that’s left
Of tribal lands of long ago.
Yet knowing tongues, now speak of times
When native hearts again bestow -
A sacred cleansing at earth’s breast
Of blue corn hallowed on the ground
And thanks go out from modern minds
Acknowledging a pulse profound.

Distant brother come share the blood
Of pale skin and ancient shame.
Trust, long has bled, as casualty
Of broken treaties that proclaim -
The word of some was as the sand
When empty wind would fly its course
And wipe the promise from the heart
When soldiers took with no remorse.

Gentle sister of grassy plain
Help calm the atavistic rage
That lingers as our history.
Release its curse with smudging sage -
And see the smoke then dissipate
The agony of saddened past
That hardened into crusted doubt
Then lands were taken that were vast.

Friday, October 17, 2008

A Wandering Mystic

My thought wanderings this morning are motivated by the current climate of fear that seems to permeate the economic realms of our magnificent world.

I have come to realize that fear and trust are inimical. They cannot co-exist. You cannot tie one to the other for trust is real and fear is an illusion. No matter how we let fear manifest in the mind, it is still a fiction, a false emotion precipitated by the ego and its need to justify and sustain itself. Trust, however, is a freeing gift from the benevolent and infinite Source that allows us to accept that things are as we create them on our path to enlightenment.

Throughout history humankind has been using fear as the great motivator, the great blindness not to see the serendipitous joy in living. Individuals, groups, societies and countries have used fear as the reason to react. I have come to believe that once we acknowledge the genesis of fear, and trace it honestly and lovingly to its creator, the ego, it can no longer instigate or be the catalyst of negative action. When fear does not exist, sacred and unconditional trust emerges.

In my sixty five plus years of shared emotions and blended tears in just the living of life, I have come to realize the importance of the truth of living in the moment, the “Now.” I have always felt its efficacy, but its slamming reality is always brought home through crisis, through experience, through meditation and through prayer and especially through joy. I believe we are eternal and each life is not only a physical concept, but a spiritual reality called spirit as we merge to the mystical Oneness in the far reaches of the inner universe.

So much for wanderings this Friday morning. Have a perfect day.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Just Words, No Vision

Vision is the process by which we construct the future. It is the substance of creation and the positive image of what we can be, but at the debate last night I did not hear the words that engender the enthusiasm to collectively co-create the structure of common hope on the foundation of realistic wonder.

I wanted more. I wanted something to hold on to besides the “aming” of their own “I”. I wanted each to be a statesman not a politician. I wanted to hear the reinforcement of American ideals. I wanted both to paint me a picture of the future and color it with ideas and then give it the fragrance of action. I wanted the genesis of solutions on Medicare, health care, education, the housing crisis, the economy and the litany of other issues entrained in our future.

From each, on occasion, I got a peek, a pinhole of light into their vision of a coming America, but mostly it was clouded with canned political speak. Every American knows we will all have to sacrifice and I want our leadership to acknowledge the coming tough times. Mostly what I gleaned from the debate was the darkness of past thought, the detritus of false words and the pain of personal hurt.

When Alexander the Great became ruler of the world, he came upon a philosopher who was lying upon his back in a meadow and mediating. Having become powerful and rich, Alexander became a patron of the arts and intellectuals. He stood before the philosopher and said, "Name your wish" it will be granted. "I am a patron of culture and will gladly underwrite any project you may select".

The Philosopher thought for a moment and said: "You may do one thing for me, your Highness. Please step aside, you are standing between me and the sun".

Our next President must step aside of partisan politics, step aside from the light of rhetoric and bickering and lead us to our grandest vision of ourselves.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

A Filthy Habit

I was always taught that spitting was unsanitary, unhealthy and a filthy habit. The only time it was acceptable was when a bug flew in my mouth or I got hit in the mouth while playing a game or just fooling around and you had spit blood. Spitting was never done in polite society.

Over the last few weeks I’ve been watching the baseball playoffs and in just one game I stopped counting at over two hundred spits by the players and that was only in the early innings. At first I thought the only one who doesn’t spit is the catcher because he has a mask on, but then I saw one lift the mask, spit and go back to signaling his pitcher.

I know this is gross, but can you imagine the collective accumulation of saliva in the dirt around home plate and the other bases and especially in the dugout. I’d hate to be the guy who has to swab the dugout floor after a game. And I’d hate to be the catcher who has to look at that stuff in the dirt and then catch a ball that’s bounced in a glob of body fluid. Yea, I know it’s gross, but look at what it teaches our Little Leagues.

Major League Baseball is big, big business. They bill themselves as wholesome family entertainment; they promote high moral and ethical standards among the players, yet baseball is one of the few sports where spitting is constant and the camera always seems to have a close-up of the player in the act.

It seems to me Major League Baseball could suggest and encourage its players to be a little more courteous to the fans who watch on television.

Spitting is a habit and habits can be eliminated with conscience effort.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Santa Ana Winds

Back in October of 1993, I was working in California and experienced my first Santa Ana winds. They are fierce and if there is a smoldering or worse yet, a burning fire in the canyons of southern California the winds bring destruction, tragedy and death.

I wrote a commentary then that seems appropriate to me this morning as I read about the fires and Santa Ana winds of sixty to seventy miles per hour now threatening areas around Los Angeles.

"Today began for me listening to the wind and saying its name.
Santa Ana!

It has the sound of a saint, but a sinister feel. A harbinger, an ill-wind known well to Californians. Santa Ana!

There is nothing we can do to change it, to stop it. 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.

This is a story not only of chewing flames and charred places, it is a story of hopes and wishes, shattered dreams and shock. It times of such destruction, values change rapidly. The acquired stuff of daily living 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 no tears. It is not possible to hold each hand of so many so hurting today.

All we can do, in this human family, is to be aware and to care. There is something powerful in that and it heals.

I'm still listening to the wind, knowing it brings a better day."

Monday, October 13, 2008

Grandfather Gap

As a grandfather, I am having the pleasure of spending Columbus holiday time with my soon to be thirteen year old twin granddaughters.

Oh my, am I out of touch. So far I’ve learned that Pink is not a color, but a popular singer, so is Rihanna as are the Jonas Brothers and they’ve all been number one on the charts. Hey, I’d never heard of any of them until a day or so ago.

I didn’t know that Victoria Secret has a kids division also called Pink. I did know about the adult Victoria Secret! I’m not that old.

I also learned that dressing up is not what it used to be. I learned that shirts hanging outside of shirts are fashionable and clothing makers have a number. Jeans can cost a hundred bucks or more; Hollister is the preferred brand and when I asked about Levi’s I got a blank look and a “huh”.

Boys are still persona non grata, but I figure that will change this year

I learned that seventh graders know a lot more than I remember learning in the seventh grade with the possible exception of sentence structure and word usage. I learned that language is simplified and texting is the way to communicate with friends. I learned the word “like” is inserted into conversation repeatedly when explaining something. “You know like Pop, like I really like that”.

I also learned that synchronized wiggling in unison, coordinated feet movement, flailing of arms, pointing of fingers, jumping side to side and moving one’s palms up and down and back and fourth to a loud noise called music is dancing. I learned that cool is out and sick is in even though it means cool and backpacks are the thing and those white strings hanging out of the ears can be removed and are not a genetic mutation.

I love this younger generation. I am, like, impressed with their enthusiasm, stamina, innocence and naïveté. Like, wow, they’ve got a lot more going for them than vocabulary, like you know what I’m saying. It’s totally awesome!

Friday, October 10, 2008

Drains! Mine and the Nations

A chromium drainpipe under my kitchen sink corroded and disintegrated and I had to replace it. Water from the drain leaked all over the place. I discovered the corrosion as I tried to fix a leak by tightening a connecting nut. The pressure of my turning wrench severed the already weakened connection. Now I had a bigger problem. As I looked at it I wondered what it had to teach me about current life events, then I called a plumber.

The parallels are amazing. Like the damaged drain, a corroded economy allow stock spills to go all over the place and then be wiped up and tossed with no more value than a wet paper towel.

The corrosion catalysts in both my sink and the nation’s sink are similar. Ill conceived design and then flawed raw material combined with inherent defects created a weakened product which in turn destroyed the integrity of the pipe.

It’s similar on Wall Street. Ill conceived desire, flawed procedure and operational defects allowed corrosion of the system and stock savings leaked onto the trading floor to be wiped up and discarded as false values of personal portfolios.

The plumber came to my home. Congress came to wall street.

My drain works perfectly now and will probably do so for a number of years. I looked at the drain after the plumber left. It was neat, clean, and pristine. A simple solution. Then I thought of how difficult it seems to be to solve the fiscal drain in the plumbing of the American monetary system.

I think I know an answer and perhaps a solution. My drain leakage could be solved with a new, clean plastic pipe. That’s fairly simple if you know how to do it. The American monetary system is a little more complex because it has several components my pipes did not have. Emotion, fear, and greed, without them we’d probably have a nice new clean pipe in which to flow our commerce.

Thursday, October 9, 2008


Perhaps it is time to talk about fear.

If you break it down fear is the process of not getting what you want and if you parse fear you come up with all sorts of reasons to panic, to attempt to control the situation, to escape from the seemingly inevitable, to get out with what you can and hide until it seems safe.

Yep…that’s panic all right.

There are many causes of today’s economic fear. One of them is greed, both corporate and individual. Greed is the omnipresent addiction of constantly wanting more even though the more means less for another or others. It’s a self-safe or selfish comfort zone that embraces the “I have mine attitude” and more wouldn’t hurt.

Fear will always seep from the hollows and shadows of our mind because we forget that abundance is our natural state. We co-create our existence and conditions of life. We participate in the creation in order to experience and grow spiritually in the awareness of choice and subsequent consequence.

I have come to believe that once we acknowledge the genesis of fear, and trace it honestly to our egos, and see it for what it is, it will dissipate and no longer instigate negative action.

When fear does not exist, sacred and unconditional trust emerges. Trust is the logical and natural exchange between people. It is what we want from others and what we would like to give, if we could let go of fear.

We are all in this thing called life together and for a very short time. Growth and success is not singular, it is collective. There is liquidity in our hearts and in the markets, in our hopes and wishes and in the banks, in our essence and in mercantile exchange, but without trust the ego releases the dragon of fear; panic transcends reason, greed precipitates volatile action and we all get hurt.

It is time to trust again and see the exponential results of peace, calm and economic grace.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Debate? I think not!

Did you watch last night’s gathering between Senators McCain and Obama? They billed it as a debate, but since very little debating took place, I am calling it a “gathering”.

Another name for it might be, “he said, he did”. If I were to design a debate discussion or disputation dialogue I would first eliminate the moderator. (I can’t believe I said that since I am broadcast journalist). And I would eliminate the audience.

I would have the two presidential protagonists sit close to one another and just let them talk to each other and to us about their vision for America. Besides being civil and courteous, the one rule would be no “he said, he did”. No attack, no finger pointing.

I want to hear their hopes for the future, not out of context accusations from the past. I want to be inspired, not mired in the morass of political speak. I want to hear how they hope to solve the great issues of our times. I want to know what sacrifices we all will have to make.

The candidates know what the predominate issues are. They know the concerns and the fears of the American people. They’ve been at this for over a year. Now talk to us. We’re smart enough to know you don’t know all the answers, but talk to us out of truth, be honest, be simple and be direct.

We’ve got difficult problems that need serious solutions. Most of us are tired of the bickering, the pork, the get mine attitude of government and Wall Street.

Let us feel the beat of your heart in direct words. Give us straight talk, not political or partisan poppycock and then each of you would truly be presidential and WE THE PEOPLE, would be energized, engaged and enthused and informed.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Fall Folliage

It's a colorful Fall here in the East so I thought this chilly October morning should have a little poetic tribute to the changing season.

I now know why we call them leaves;
Too soon they fall when frosted thieves
Lure their green to red and golds
In colors soft and dazzling bolds.

Leaves drop from age and sometimes breeze
To land on lawns by shrubs and trees.
They drift in circles to the ground
In crinkling, cracking, scrunching sound.

O' leaves of branch and bush, behold!
Your service lasts despite the cold,
As quilts of warmth for creatures low
Beneath the ground, before the snow.

Some leaves will sail to lawns serene
Where children's smiles can then be seen
Waiting for the rake and pile
To leap upon and lie awhile.

But soon the crumpled stems and flake
Are raked in rows for match to make
A downey flame and spired smoke;
Incense of honor to the oak.

Then barren trees stand naked, strong,
To slice the wind of winters song.
They lean and bow from bending blow,
When snapping, cracking, to and fro.

I know there is a message here,
Where trees with leaves at end of year
Do molt their husks of leafy sheen
So other seasons can be seen.

Thus trees and man are oft' alike,
In time each shed their aging haik.
What's left in silhouette pristine,
Is life below in spirit green.

Monday, October 6, 2008


Some thoughts on calls for justice.

Justice is defined in the dictionary as the quality of being just, impartial or fair.

In recent times we've seen one side or another in demonstrations or news conferences demanding justice, but the way it's said, and the meaning implied, has nothing to do with being impartial or fair.

It seems individuals or groups in seeking the quality of justice, get caught up in the phrase and use it as a rallying cry to address perceived wrongs.

When some cry "we want justice" their passionate cry seems to be for the opposite. They seek a validation of their viewpoint, their opinions, their expectations and they forget that justice is represented as blind for a reason.

If the noble call for justice only means an intolerant demand for punitive action or reversing a decision no matter what, then it is not justice that one seeks, but vengeance.

It is extreme justice and as Cicero once said, that's extreme injustice.

The positive action of justice is truth and that is discerned by careful analysis, patient communication and a willingness to unconditionally listen.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

John Denver

A friend sent me a link to a John Denver, Peter, Paul and Mary You Tube video of John’s song, “Leaving On A Jet Plane”. ( John joins them on stage as they sing his song. I loved seeing it for it was the genesis of John’s entrance into the world arena of global stardom. Sure he had many other public appearances with the Chad Mitchell Trio and then beyond into the expanded wonder of public acclamation. But Peter, Paul and Mary’s recording opened the public door of John’s writing and performing talent.

John Denver was a friend of mine and I do not use the expression loosely. We did not hang out on a regular basis, but we did share what friends share. Golf, hiking, private dinners, flying experiences since we were both pilots, a professional relationship through broadcast interviews, Windstar Symposiums, and most of all deep personal and spiritual conversations on what it would take to make our glorious planet sustainable, renewable and respected for its sentient awareness.

Through the years of being in the public eye, as a news broadcaster it has been my experience that people who meet you once, in a shake hands only arena or even sharing a few pleasantries over a chance encounter, are prone to say they are friends. And by virtue of being allowed into people’s homes on a nightly basis, to some of them, you become a defacto friend, family member, lover, and even enemy.

Friends! People use that term loosely in their description of acquaintances, casual or peripheral, and it’s usually to gently amplify their importance or stature, as they perceive it, or to impress others whom they think might then think better of them because they know someone who everyone else seems to know. One resonates with the name, but not necessarily the personality.

Being in the public eye is not all that it’s cracked up to be. It has more down sides than it does advantages, but that’s only known by the ones who are in the proverbial “eye”. Those who are not there can’t see it and never will understand the strain or tension fame brings to the individual private self. There are personal and professional responsibilities one cannot understand or embrace unless you have experienced notoriety on a protracted basis.

As I watched the video of John’s early entrance into public adulation I was again saddened, not only by his early passing in a plane accident in California, but too that our planet has lost an intelligent and entertaining voice through words and song to encourage all of us to acknowledge our connection to nature and to champion the truth that we are the nature we abuse.

Friday, October 3, 2008


Some thoughts today on teachers.

I listened last night to the Vice Presidential debate and heard very few references to education, to teachers and to the unwritten responsibility that all lawmakers have, local to national, to insure the sanctity of our educational system.

We all understand, with the possible exception of an earmarking Congress, that budgets are necessary, cuts are necessary and we must live within our means. Too often, however, education budgets and teachers' salaries receive a disproportionate amount of trimming and I suspect that thinking still persists.

If we spent on education subsidies the equivalent billions that we spend in fighting wars in just one month's time, America's educational system would be the envy of the world. Since that is not going to happen there is something else each of us can do to show our appreciation to teachers.

Teaching is the noble profession. How many of us cannot think of at least one teacher who influenced our choices, our careers, our character.

It is unfortunate, in our gifted society, that money is often the only form of compensation. What is blatantly missing from the education ledger is appreciation through praise.

Every parent should go to the nearest teacher and say thank you. Thank you for your dedication, for choosing a profession where hours are long and pay low, where influence is vast and gratitude minimal. Thank you for enduring the frustrations of bureaucracy and sometimes dispassionate parents. Thank you for your tolerance and patience in instructional repetition to the daydreamers, the slackers, the frightened, who forget they need an education just to get by, and thank you for your enrichment of the geniuses who may grace our society with greatness.

Teachers are special and blessed, for once they share knowledge with others, teach discernment, logic, ethics, reason and the love of learning, a piece of them lives forever.

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