Monday, October 31, 2011

SNOW? It's October for God's sake.

And while we wait for the snow to melt....some time today probably in Asia the world's population will reach seven billion.


Friday, October 28, 2011

It Makes You Wonder


It’s no wonder so many folks are negative about the future and think nearly everything is haywire in business and politics.

Here are some headlines from yesterday’s papers.

China has a debt crisis. (Great another financial crisis)

Taxpayers on hook for 74 Million dollar loan. (Bankruptcy again)

Exxon profit tops 10-BILLION. (Ten Billion!!!!! Profit? Unbelievable)

Madoff is happy in prison.  (Wonderful. What about those he duped?)

Small businesses fear going under. (It’s OK, Exxon made 10-billion profit)

Freddie Mac executives to step down. (Probably with big parachutes)

And here’s one of the books:

The Kaddafi family to sue NATO for war crimes in world court for contributing to his death. 

Have a nice weekend everyone

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Blame the Media

Governor Rick Perry now says debates were a mistake for him, but, as he told Bill O’Reilly, “what can I do?”


(Try preparing Mr. Perry)

Mr. Perry forgets that forensics or the art of debate and public discussion is as old as anyone can remember.

Governor Perry basically screwed up. He was not prepared in his own mind to explain his ideas in a cogent and succinct manner to the various questioners in the debate formats.

Perry blames the media calling them, “they.” Mark Sapperfield of the Christian Science Monitor reported what Perry said to O’Reilly.

These debates are set up for nothing more than to tear down the candidates," he said. "It’s pretty hard to be able to sit and lay out your ideas and your concepts with a one-minute response. So, you know, if there was a mistake made, it was probably ever doing one of the [debates], when all they’re interested in is stirring up between the candidates instead of really talking about the issues that are important to the American people.”

O’ contraire, Mr. Perry, important life issues are the fodder of the media and their responsibility. Do not blame the questioner. Blame yourself for not being prepared for a diligent press and an astute public.
Many of the questions asked during the debates came from everyday citizens who are interested in what you would do if you became President. Nobody is trying to set you up or any of your candidate compatriots.

Many of those in governmental politics do not think the American public is intelligent. They think we will believe anything that sounds intelligent or reasonable or solves a complex problem with simplistic reasoning.

We, the public, are far more experienced in everyday life and all we need to know is why and how and we will make the collective choice through our franchise in the voting booth. We know what needs to be done far more so than the myopic elites of congress. We are the ones who make the sacrifices, not congress who have voted themselves out of the constraints with which we have to live.

Speaking of voting out……….

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Twins tortured and starved

Sometimes a story grabs your attention and pulls you into a sadness and anger that you cannot shake or dismiss.

The imprisonment and starvation of twins in Vancouer, Washington is one of them.

Maybe you’ve heard the story by now. Jeff and Sandra Weller adopted phillipino twins, a boy and girl, when they were two years old. The twins were locked in a room with no door nob and an alarm if they tried to escape. They were staved and beaten. The twins are now 16 years old. They managed to slip a note to someone and the authorities found them.

The law will decide the fate of the Wellers. They are due in court tomorrow, but what of the children? They are now in foster care.

I want to believe that there is a place of cuddling comfort and dancing peaceful wonder. A place where toys and crayons never break, and scratches, cuts and bumps do not exist.

A place where teddy bears talk in happy colors, and puppies always wait to play. A place where candy is for breakfast and presents fill the room. Where no one knows what fear is and no shadows hide in halls.

I want to believe that in this special place, every mother who ever lived and loved her children, is waiting with open arms to hug, to love and comfort any child that has ever been abused.

I want to believe it, for when I do, anger and judgment fade and sadness takes its rightful place and I can cry without the want of vengeance.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Expectoration

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 watched the baseball playoffs and now the series. They spit in the dougout, they spit at home plate, they spit everywhere. 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. 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.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Pakistan


Beware of Pakistan!

The United States and Pakistan have never really seen eye to eye. They like our money however. The United States gives them more than two billion a year in military aid and assistance.

We close one eye to their suspected duplicity because we think we need them to win in Afghanistan. We count Pakistan as a nominal ally. Some ally.

Recently one of our top military officials indicated the Pakistan’s spy agency plays a direct role in undermining American efforts in Afghanistan. That may have included protecting Osama Bin Laden when he was hiding there although the official did not refer to that operation.

Pakistan publically criticized the covert America raid to get Bin Laden and threatened a break in US/Pakistani relations. So things have not been hunkey dory between our two countries.

Now, over the weekend, Afghan president Hamid Karzai said if war ever broke out between the United States and Pakistan, Afghanistan would support Pakistan. Hey, Hamid, your bread is not buttered on both sides.

The United States is spending lives and treasure in insure the Taliban do not get control of Afghanistan; maybe it’s time we rethought our ill conceived commitment to be there in the first place. Every other country that tried to either control or help Afghanistan has left the country with lives wasted.

Are we next? 

Friday, October 21, 2011

Gadaffi

Gaddafi is dead.

I wonder how a dictator gets power initially? Somebody and probably many “somebodies” have to support him or her so that the consolidation of power is strong enough to coerce others to acquiesce either out of fear or for the promise of comfort. Kaddafi had guns and bullies behind him and that was his beginning.

I also wonder where the strength and courage to oppose tyranny is at the beginning of a dictatorship? You find at the end of a cruel rein where citizens are willing to give their lives to fight against a corrupt regime.

You would think that these same courageous people would oppose the culprit before the sycophants and misfits who inhabit all societies solidify absolute control.

I  wonder too what draws common people to support tyrants like a Gaddafi, or a Hussein or a Hitler.

Is it because of a personal charisma or is it the rhetoric tyrants preach blaming common troubles on another race, or ethnicity or religion or is it the false promises of treasure?

Crowd mentality is always willing to believe somebody or something else causes lack. It’s unfortunate, but a crowd nature is quick to blame others for one’s troubles rather than accept responsibility for personal choices and the consequence that results from that choice.

It may be human nature to blame others in times of weakness and want, but it is also human nature to live and let live. It is more human to love than it is to hate. It is our innate nature to create and not destroy. Our global community must choose to embrace principle in these times of change or all of us will reap what we collectively sow.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Peepers


For those of you in the northeast, did you notice how the fall colors festooned this year in a matter of days?

I thought for sure two weeks ago that we were not going to see the brilliance we usually see in the waning days of October, but all of a sudden the yellows, reds, oranges and browns popped and we have a peepers paradise.

“Peepers” are what we call the city folks who drive a few hundred miles north to see the colors in the Catskills. They do it on a weekend and clog the rural roads with slow traffic and photographers poking their cameras out the car windows.

I don’t blame them. There is something atavistic and comforting about seeing first hand the changing seasons. The colorful sights resonate and rejuvenate a knowing inside us that holds our attention to change and says it’s OK; it’s normal.

Poetically I would put it this way:

O' fleeting, splendid bright, October's dazzling light
     Long hidden in the buds of birth below the green.
     An ecstasy of eyes ability to see,
     What nevermore and ever will again be seen.
    
     Tiara wreaths of crimson reds and sienna.
     Robes of rusted browns, ensigns tanned in saffron hue,
     Waving standards of the Oak, the Birch and Maple,
     The Ash and Aspen, just before their leafs adieu.

     Blowing in a pruning breeze, colors drop away
     Not to die, but to decorate the frosted fall
     And celebrate the shedding cloak of summer's sheen
     Before the dancing flakes of snow will white enthrall.

     Colors are the chorus, the season’s change in sound.
     Scarlet, a crispy snap, Jasmines much more frail,
     Maroons rustle in the breath of a bounding wind
     And lingering greens help the harmonies prevail.

     The leaves of fall, the garland crowns of wooded land
     Attune to the life of man by the breaths we share.
     The exhale of one, the inhale of the other,
     A symbiotic natural grace within the air.

     Keep they palate bright, October, drop no more leaves,
     Least not until appreciation passes by
     And then, the comfort of your flower quilt will warm
     A winter day with thanks the way you beautify.



Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Truth and Consequences

It is not often that I share a link that has come through the Internet. Too many of my wonderful conservative friends send me political crap laced with prejudice, innuendo and distortions. I look at them, but I will not share them with the readers of this blog.

Some of you know that on Sunday nights from seven to ten in New York City, I co-host a talk radio program on www.am970theapple.com. This coming Sunday, I plan to use the link below on the program for it echoes a consensus in America whether you are black or white.

It is a speech given by Michael Nutter the mayor of Philadelphia to a black church congregation.  I think it is wonderful.

video

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

The Stars


I did something last night not too many people do either because they live in cities where it is more difficult and mostly impossible because of ambient artificial light or they live in rural areas, but are not aware of the profound experience that awaits them in a few short steps from the door.

I walked out of the house and clear of the trees and looked up.

It was a Macy’s window at Christmas clear night. Speckled stars of light bedecked the cosmos. Galaxies swirled in their pins of brilliance and the Milky Way shone a path to the universe that only the eye can translate into the mind of wonder.

Emerson once wrote: “If the stars should appear but one night every thousand years how man would marvel and stare.”

I did.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Poitical Positions

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.

Patriotism is the process of supporting the positive ideals of our government and 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.

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.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Vic Miles


Many years ago I was interviewing the great writer director, producer Garson Kanin and his wife actress Ruth Gordon.

At one point in the interview I asked, “What is the hardest thing about growing older?”
In unison, they said, “loosing your friends.”

I did not understand the profundity of their truth at the time for I was younger and not thinking about those things.

I am today.

A fine gentleman, a dignified and diligent journalist, a colleague and a co-anchor of mine for a few years on WCBS-TV in New York, Vic Miles died Wednesday.

I don’t know the details of his passing, but I do know the eternal light is now brighter for his presence and persona now graces another world.

Requiescat in pace my friend. There are many still here, in this density, who remember your courtesies and your earthly talents in the vineyard of journalism and friendship.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

The 12th and Thoughts

On most days we go through a myriad of thoughts and never think about the fact that they are either related or intertwined with other thoughts we deem important or they just seemingly wander through our minds as we let go of the day’s cares.

Last night, for example, I had a nice dinner of spaghetti and mushrooms along with toasted garlic bread and a fine glass of red wine. In conversation with my wife we talked of life and living and the fact that October 12th is our oldest son’s birthday.

My mind digressed into a multi-logue that it was also the day that John Denver died in a plane crash off the coast of Monterrey, California fourteen years ago.

I thought about birth and dying and if there was any significance that it was the same day. The fact that one’s anniversary for birth and another is for dying led to a rhetorical question. Does a date have significance or value in the collective of individual thought and if so what is it?

Probably not, but it was a peaceful compilation as I sipped the wine.

I remember sipping a number of glasses of fine wine with JD. I hold those memory moments in my heart as I honor his accomplishments and still listened to his talent.

I can also give a litany of my son’s accomplishment in his life so far and I honor those too.

I am proud that my son’s birthday shares this date with JD’s passing and that this is also the date we celebrate Columbus’s alleged discovery of America.

Regarding Columbus, such poppycock we are fed from our early history from teachers in grade school and beyond. How do you discover something that is already inhabited with numerous indigenous cultures; they forgot to tell us that in the early years.

As I remember Jd and I wish my son a very happy birthday, I hope your 12th was positive and that the rest of your life is created in your grandest vision of your spirit’s hopes and wishes.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Morning Wonders

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.

We need to listen to our hearts more often 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 of all is as it should be.  In the truth of these words you have the mantra of miracles and the interconnection of spirits.

If we see others only as a separate physical beings 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 imagine and to learn that different is not lesser and "the other" is not separate from the self.

The miracle of life is not the Oneness. It is the diversity within the Oneness. An ego-focused existence confuses different with diversity. Choosing to see others as different inhibits the ability to express the divine within us for we empower the 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 the divine. 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 because it's a great morning here in the Hudson Valley. I am watching the leaves fall and cover the sacred ground of earth. Isn’t it marvelous how the mind can wander in wonder?

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Beyond Thought

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 to each other. 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 it is still a fiction, a false emotion precipitated by the ego and a 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 attainment.

Throughout history humankind has been using fear as the great motivator, the great blindness so as not to see the serendipitous joy in living. Individuals, groups, societies and countries have used fear as the reason to react to any condition. I have come to believe that once we acknowledge the genesis of fear, and trace it honestly and lovingly to its source, the ego, it can no longer motivate or be the instigating catalyst for negative action.


When fear does not exist, sacred and unconditional trust emerges.

In my decades 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 as we merge to the mystical Oneness of the inner universe.



As my Dad use to say: "put that in your pipe and smoke it." My translation of my Dad's admonition would be, have a great Tuesday just living in the now of life.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Bad Times

I finished my radio program tonight and got thinking about the negative items we talked about. Congress, the economy, jobs, mortgage foreclosures. It was kind of doom and gloom stuff and then I thought of a poem I wrote a couple of years ago. Despite all our problems as a nation we still can be thankful.
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 this is a remind?

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 7, 2011

Poetry In The Garden

Good Morning All,

If you have a few minutes take a look at this new video my friend Ellen Mann put together.

Thank you Ellen, you are terrific.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=shIufIp6OGI

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Steve Jobs

Steve Jobs died yesterday and we celebrate his life. The Apple Corporation made the announcement.

Celebration is probably the way it ought to be.  We come into this world, make choices, make sacrifices, laugh a little, love a little, cry a little and when we're done we're called home; in many ways that is a time to rejoice.

Steve Jobs, a college dropout. An adopted child whose vision and success is yet unequaled and who has been described as a man who changed the world has been called home.  He finished his work. And now his work is left for others to continue and begin anew for creative souls exist that there may be greater creativity.

I didn't know Steve Jobs. I wish I had. Many of us never had that privilege, and yet, by his fruits, we did know him.  He was many things, but most of all he was a visionary, perhaps even a mystic.

By his actions in life, by his leadership in business, by his courage in dealing with and fighting his cancer he set an example for all of us and provided a lesson. Good health cannot be purchased it can only be enjoyed.

When you acknowledge, with creative action the resonate truths within you, as Steve Jobs did, you honor all life and a piece of you lives forever for only the body dies.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Raising Cain to the Nines

Governor Christie isn’t going to run for the GOP nomination nod. So be it! Although I did not hear in his speech that he would not accept an acclamation nomination at a deadlocked convention.

The GOP is tossing out flavor after flavor these days in hopes that someone will sit and stay on top of the crème de la crème candidate cone. First it was Bachman, then Perry and now Romney is back on top.

Herman Cain is tied for a second scoop position.

He may have an edge though with his nine, nine, nine proposal.

Nine has a strange magic to it. 9 planets, 9 orders of angles and 9 daughters of Zeus, the Muses. There are the nine earths of Milton, nine crosses and nine days of wonder, nine crowns in heraldry and 9 judges on the Supreme Court.

9 members on a baseball team that have nine at bats in 9 innings.

Golf has two nines to make an eighteen-hole game. And one and eight is nine.

9 is an endless aid to merchants, who will always charge $9.99 for something.
 
The Egyptians were devoted to the Enneads, groups of nine gods. The legends of northern Europe have 9 bards, 9 dragons, and 9 stones in a circle.

We all know of Dante's 9 circles of Hell, which were merely the inversion of the 9 he associated with Heaven.

In the Middle Ages, 9 was the angelic number.  Milton divided his Nativity ode into 3 sections of 9 stanzas each.

In old China, there were nine buttons of rank and not too long ago the Emperor would ascend the Altar of Heaven—a perfect circle inside a perfect square and his 9 grades of Mandarins performed a 9-fold bowing before him.

That’s not going to happen in this country and culture, but the 2012 election year is going to need nine times the patience, nine times the tolerance and nine times the intellect to get through the rhetoric, the distortions and the distractions that politics engenders.





Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Lessons of the Fall

Another fall has arrived and once again the season provides numerous lessons of life and passage if we but choose to see them.

In human life we are born, grow, blossom and pass and hopefully we do it with the fulfillment and graceful intention of our spiritual purpose.

In nature, plants are born, albeit emerge, from a hibernation. They grow, blossom and seemingly pass leaving their gifts of beauty and sustenance.

In general, we humans have decades before our passage. So does the earthly flora, but they give the illusion of passage each fall and return in the spring so that we can remember that life never ends. We are eternal.

Would you like proof?

Take an early morning walk as the sun begins to rise.

Listen to your heart in the silence of your room.

Hear a child laugh and know that God is not discouraged with humanity.

Let go of a personal fear and begin to laugh.

In a mirror, stare into the center of your eye and ask, “Who am I?” and then listen to the answer.

Monday, October 3, 2011

tele-vision


A few years ago I spoke at a conference with the title “The Awakening of Humanity.” My opening remarks then have value to today.

I said to a gathering in San Francisco who wanted the media to change:

“I will tell you an ancient story of the present.  Oh yes!  There was light then, but it was mostly the shadow light of fear. And when the storytellers of this time, told their stories, it made people afraid of life and living and unaware of the abundant choices they had at each precious moment. The people were smothered with tales of pain and greed, of violence and victims, of worry and fear. There was little enthusiasm for life and few claimed the abundance that was their right.

       Yes, the stories of this time were told and told well, with pictures and words and sounds, they were told sometimes as they were happening and often recorded to tell over and over again around the tribal fire of the tube.

At the time no one realized that the constant bombardment of negative images and words without the balance of love and the continuity of context, lowered the vibration of awareness and the frequency of understanding and the interconnection of each to the other was hidden.

       Instead of the gentle story greeting of “Once upon a choice,” each day of stories would begin with, “Good Evening Everyone - here (hear) now the news.”  People listened, they were informed, but they were not transformed.

       Then, there came a time, a moment in the now, when the collective spirit of many people spoke in a clarion voice of love, and said, “Enough!” There is more to us than what you say. We are not fear based bodies, we are love based spirits and we choose it now.

       And it came to pass that the storytellers of that time, stopped and listened, listened to their hearts for they were attuned to the divine. And when they did humanity awakened to the essence and reality of balanced information.”

       Certainly my remarks were metaphoric, but it is my belief that the television news programs that include the many diverse spiritual and metaphysical undertones being expressed in today's global cultures will be an immense success.  
 
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