Monday, December 31, 2012

New Year

Welcome 2013

Live in joy, 
In love, 
Even among those who hate.
Live in joy, 
In health,
Even among afflicted. 
Live in joy, 
In peace,
Even among the troubled, 
Look within.
~ Buddah

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Fiore's take on the Condolencer in Chief


"We reduced drunk driving accidents w/o a total ban on alcohol.

Then again, we didn't think more alcohol was the solution to drunk driving."

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Gun Logic

Check out this ad from the National Shooting Sports Foundation.

This guys' "a gun is a gun & it is an inanimate object- can't be good or bad"

Is like saying mild Ocean surf is the same as a Tsunami... they are all "just waves".

Sir, one causes mass death & destruction.

They are located right by Newtown, CT where they just buried 20 kids, ages 6 & 7.
Sir, might I suggest you get a clue.

Guns that can rapid fire & mass slaughter people have no place in a civilized society.

It's the guns

Hat tip to DK pointing out this great piece by Fareed Zakaria

Lets look at the facts. According to the U.N.'s office on drugs and crime, the U.S. gun homicide rate is 30 times that of France or Australia and it is 12 times higher than the average for other developed countries. Why is that?

Watch the video for the full take.

Yes, it is in the Constitution- the right to bear arms-- but back in the day when the Constitution was drafted, they were talking about single shot Muskets. I really don;t think the founding father's could foresee this coming... Americans gone mad w random shooting in schools, churches, theaters, etc.
Civilians have no need for military style weapons, which in fact out power the type of weapons most armed police officers carry.

The NRA has a conflict of interest-- they are not just promoting self protection freedoms, but the for-profit industry that sells expensive weapons & has big money backing to keep them profitable & buy politicians.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Keep the Peace

"And in despair I bowed my head
There is no peace on earth I said
For hate is strong and mocks the song
Of peace on earth, good will to men

 Then rang the bells more loud and deep
God is not dead, nor does He sleep
The wrong shall fail, the right prevail
With peace on earth, good will to men"

Monday, December 24, 2012

For a cold winter's night

Yes, we've thrown another log on the fire, so settle in for a cozy night.

Turn on the above & play the below @ the same time. Maybe put up your feet & drink a hot cuppa something.  Cheers!

Love & Joy to you & yours.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

NRA Scrooges

The week of silence from the NRA ended with an official response befitting Ebenezer Scrooge.

Armed Officers and or teachers in the schools is their *big fix* response.
According to the NRA mass shootings w assault rifles is the fault of:
• The gotcha media
• Violent Video games
• "Good guys" need to be armed with guns

The president got it right:

"We can't tolerate this anymore.
 These tragedies must end & to end them we must change."

Here is the bottom line. I wish those who think there is no problem with assault rifles had to attend every funeral & service for the people who died this year, and especially for those children of Newtown CT.  Go feel the absolute devastation of the families grieving the loss of their young children. 
Sit with the people sobbing because they can not contain the sorrow. See the small coffins for all those children, because this is not just a topical debate, it is the actual loss of lives, and having the bury 20 children is heavy heartbreak. 
It has never been acceptable ( high school kids being shot & killed is not more tolerable than elementary school kids being shot & killed). But we do have an epidemic with young white males, using assault rifles going on shooting rampages in schools, places of worship, malls, movie theaters. 
None of it has been acceptable, but this last incident has to be the damned wake up call. 

 It will never be acceptable to shrug our collective shoulders & simply declare that out-of-control mass shootings "a complex problem", too complicated to address. The parents having to bury their young, innocent children do not deserve & should not accept the standard "Oh well, too bad, so sad" response. If ever there were momentum to take real action to curb this madness, it is now.
What more fierce advocates could you find than parents who had their children massacred in school?
That could be any school, anywhere.

Although it is true, the assault rifle & large ammo clip magazines are already out there, the genie is already out of the bottle, making no changes, or no effort to address these issues, would add insult to injury. Yes a crime. The Constitution gives us the right to bear arms, the Declaration of Independence calls for us to be endowed with certain unalienable rights--Life, Liberty & the pursuit of Happiness.

Happiness aside, Life is necessary to pursue anything.

There seems to be a solid pattern now, mental health issues, guns in the house or easy access, and after the fact realization that the shooters were "troubled".

The NRA's Friday before Christmas news dump was classic.
Hat tip to Senator Diane Feinstein for calling out the NRA on the topic.
Columbine High school had two armed officers on campus when those shootings happened & 15 people died. Not only is the idea of upping the gun ante, wrong, schools are struggling to have enough teachers & books, let alone a budget for armed officers. This NRA response is wrong on all accounts.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

26 Acts & Winter Music

How do you fight evil in this world?
You fight it with good. 
This act of kindness is a memory of those 
who lost their lives in Newtown. 

In response to the Newtown tragedy, a new movement has emerged- 26 Acts of Kindness.
People have adopted the idea that the lives lost in the shooting, should inspire us to symbolically
keep their light shining, by doing random acts of kindness.

It can be anything-- from giving out hugs, to handing out care packages to people who are homeless.
Other random acts:

Hand someone a pre paid gift card in the grocery store

Serve at a soup kitchen in your neighborhood.

 Put a smile on a child's face by donating a toy.

Donate 26 toys to the Children's ward @ the hospital. 

Deliver something sweet to your local first responders.

 Share your knowledge by volunteering in the classroom.

Help someone stay warm this winter: Donate a coat, or hold a coat drive in your town to collect much-needed jackets.

 Left $26 with grocery store manager to help pay the bill of the next family with small children.

Donate to your local food bank.

Imagine the possibilities.....

Sunday, December 16, 2012

In Memoriam

Such heartbreak, the senseless shootings. 
We hold in the light, all the people, and their loved ones, friends, family & community
 mourning the loss of their lives in the most recent shooting spree in the U.S.
May we stop asking Why, and start serious work on How we can make it stop. 

With a heavy heart, posting the names of those who were killed. 

Friday, December 14, 2012

Nike GETS Corporate Welfare



The land called Nikeville is a special place-

Where common sense takes an about face!

While workers toil in Indonesia, China, Taiwan, India,Thailand, Vietnam, Pakistan, Philippines, and Malaysia (living in poverty, 3rd world)-

Stateside huge profits are unfurled!
No need to disclose the factory worker's condition--
Profits are coming to fruition!
In Nikeville, you can skirt all the rules-
like building an Arena with capacity for 12.541 fans, 
and parking for 377. Not sure who approved that path, 
but it looks like someone did not do their math!
Have a Nike exclusive track meet marketing fair-
who cares about graduation- it's about sports they care!
Uncle Phil owns this place, so it is no wonder they
pressured the Guv--
 If you want Nike jobs, show us special tax break love!
So special the favor could not wait, 
 Oregonians paid extra for them to hurry up & legislate. 
Give them a tax break & in a hurry- 
watch the politicians scurry. 
Bend the tax rules for 30 years
because Nike has tax fears. 
It's not corporate welfare the legislators proclaim-
It's about "methodology" by which taxes are calculated , they said-
But the corporation & the government are together in bed. 

They scrambled & shuffled & acquiesced 
giving Nike what they love best.
Being a corporation with $44 billion-
if you can get rid of taxes- Nike can make a Zillion!
Money in their pockets is what they love best, 
Oregonians can pick up the tab for all the rest. 

Nike needs a hand out.

That is what they told Governor John Kitzhaber of Oregon.

They might be willing to build more here in Oregon, but they want a 5 year corporate tax freeze.
and a 40 year special lock in on only being taxed for Oregon sales, not gross revenues.

Yes, Nike, the people who sell gym shoes that cost more than $100 bucks.

Nike's revenue in excess of US$24.1 billion in its fiscal year 2012 (ending May 31, 2012).
As of 2012, it employed more than 44,000 people worldwide.
The brand alone is valued at $10.7 Billion making it the most valuable brand among sports businesses.

The governor is buying this "we need tax breaks"- even going so far as to call a special session of the legislature to rush order this demand to the tune of $13,000 a day.

I'd like the Governor to ask how much the factory workers are paid in Asia- Indonesia, China, Taiwan, India, Thailand, Vietnam, Pakistan, Philippines, Malaysia

Nike has contracted with more than 700 shops around the world and has offices located in 45 countries outside the United States. Most of the factories are located in Asia, including Indonesia, China, Taiwan, India, Thailand, Vietnam, Pakistan, Philippines, and Malaysia. Nike is hesitant to disclose information about the contract companies it works with.

Read more by clicking here

Corporate welfare. Just DON'T do it 

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

RIP Ravi Shankar

Legendary Sitar player Ravi Shankar has passed away.
He introduced the western world to the Sitar & Indian Raga style music.
He displayed his mastery of music & played with ta full spectrum of musicians, from classical to rock-
he will always be known as a "musician extraordinaire".

With George Harrison (Beatles)

With his daughter Anoushka

Tuesday, December 11, 2012


As I flipped through the channels tonight, most of the "entertainment" involved shows with guns. Channel after channel either rapid fire in progress or running w guns in hand.
So whoever ever did the latest mall shooting in Oregon- I have to wonder what was his inspiration to be a madman firing shots in the mall? TV, violent video games? Our society is saturated with gun culture.
We don't yet know the age of the shooter, but witnesses seem to think it was a young male.
Legal or not, running into a mall & opening fire w an assault rifle, shooting innocent people is nothing short of psychotic.

What is with these shooters choosing to wear bulletproof gear for these "events"?
They want to kill, but not die?

Was fame the goal? We will never know....

At what point will the pro gun faction cop to the fact we have a serious problem?
2012 brought an armed neighborhood watch vigilante shooting a teen dead, even after he was told by police dispatch to back off. Then the Colorado movie theater massacre, & today's shooting.
With a Mall loaded w shoppers before X mas-- Santa had to dodge bullets.
After a mass exodus, the empty mall was silent, except for Christmas music playing in the aftermath.
Damned surreal. I guess the good news was this seemed to be an inexperienced shooter, because there could have been a lot more fatalities. Sadly, two people lost their lives, plus the life of the shooter.
What next? Will the Gun lobby simply recommend we have Santa & Shoppers wear  bullet proof vests?

Thursday, December 6, 2012

RIP Dave Brubeck

Dave Brubeck created a genre within a genre of music--West Coast jazz or progressive jazz.
Brubeck was the real deal- composer & performer.
I had the chance to see him live, He was in his 80-s @ the time. He could barely walk, shuffling slowly across the stage, but when his hands hit the piano keyboard, he was young again.

RIP Dave, I can only guess there is some kind of wonderful musical jam happening in the afterlife.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

something to behold

In this culture of instant gratification. Fast food, fast lane, multitask, power lunch, etc it is especially refreshing to have the opportunity to observe the visiting Monks from Drepung Loseling Phukhang Monastery, in S. India.

For 3 days now, they have worked on a sand mandala. Slow, laborious, done in silence. A blend of ancient art, and a meditation for Compassion.

Opening ceremony~ A Mandala of people

The mandala is dismantled in a formal ceremony, with chanting, traditional music,
 and a sweeping away of the mandala. 

In Vajrayana Tibetan Buddhism, it is said that whenever a Sand Mandala is created, all sentient beings and the surrounding environment are blessed.
The monks pour millions of grains of sand from a funnel shaped metal tool known as the Chakpur. , the funnel is rapsed (a small metal stick  is rubbed or rasped in order to release a fine stream of sand. 

During the closing ceremony, the monks dismantle the Mandala, sweeping up the colored sand to symbolize the impermanence of all phenomena. 

The sand is taken & released into the river 
as a symbolic worldwide prayer/blessing for compassion. 

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Sand Mandala

November 30th

The Monks of Drepung Loseling Phukhang Monastery, visiting from South India, will build a traditional Tibetan Buddhist Sand Mandala at the Downtown Eugene Public Library over the course of three days. 

An Opening Ceremony will be held on Friday, November 30, from 10:30 to 11:00 a.m., and a Closing Ceremony will be held on Sunday, December 2, from 4:00 to 5:00 p.m.  

The public is also invited to watch the process at any time on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, when the Downtown Library is open from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. 
The ancient art of creating Sand Mandalas is meant to inspire compassion and bring progress towards world peace. According to the monks, “it is said that wherever a Sand Mandala is created, all sentient beings and the surrounding environment are blessed, and that whoever views the mandala experiences profound peace and great joy. The colorfulness and harmony of the millions of sand particles in the mandala gives a powerful message that we all can live in peace if each of us work in creating a little more space for others in our hearts.”

The Opening Ceremony will consecrate the site with approximately 30 minutes of chanting, music, and mantra recitation. Then the monks will begin the exacting work of drawing the lines for the design of the mandala. Throughout the following days, the monks will skillfully pour millions of grains of brightly-colored sand from a funnel-shaped metal tool known as a “Chakpur,” creating an astonishingly detailed work of art. During the Closing Ceremony, the monks will dismantle the Mandala, sweeping up the colored sand “to symbolize the impermanence of all phenomena, teaching that everything that exists has a beginning, a middle and an end.”

His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama will be visiting Eugene in May 2013. 

Saturday, November 24, 2012

helping hands

Ironically, I just quit a job that paid a substandard wage, but they always hit us up to "give generously" to charity.  They even made this big push for United Way (top heavy in the amount taken for administrative costs)- during a year long WAGE FREEZE.
I always thought, I'd love to -- & will do so right after you pay a decent wage so I could afford to give.
Now I have a new job. My employer is not hounding me for donations, and all by myself, I decided this year I can do some donating (thank you new employer for paying me a living wage).
Request envelopes came from the Food Bank & Red Cross.
They do good work & the need is great (despite the media telling us the numbers are looking better).... I'm saying yes. I'm not going to be in the Big Donors Circle, but if everyone could throw whatever they can afford to such charities, what a difference that would make.
For instance the population in Eugene, Oregon is 156,929. Even if everyone gave a buck, that would be a chunk of change. Even $2 bucks each would equal $313,858 dollars.

So I'm encouraging us all to give whatever we can- because even small amounts add up. If cash is tight, you can donate your time, or blood.
So many good organizations are in need- be it the local animal shelter, soup kitchen, Vet support, Food Bank, whatever. Just do it. Feels great!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Moore's awesome letter to Pres. Obama

November 19th, 2012 8:46 AM

An Open Letter to President Obama

Dear President Obama:
Good luck on your journeys overseas this week, and congratulations on decisively winning your second term as our president! The first time you won four years ago, most of us couldn't contain our joy and found ourselves literally in tears over your victory.
This time, it was more like breathing a huge sigh of relief. But, like the smooth guy you are, you scored the highest percentage of the vote of any Democrat since Lyndon Johnson, and you racked up the most votes for a Democratic president in the history of the United States (the only one to receive more votes than you was ... you, in '08!). You are the first Democrat to get more than 50% of the vote twice in a row since Franklin D. Roosevelt.
This was truly another historic election and I would like to take a few minutes of your time to respectfully ask that your second term not resemble your first term.
It's not that you didn't get anything done. You got A LOT done. But there are some very huge issues that have been left unresolved and, dammit, we need you to get some fight in you. Wall Street and the uber-rich have been conducting a bloody class war for over 30 years and it's about time they were stopped.
I know it is not in your nature to be aggressive or confrontational. But, please, Barack – DO NOT listen to the pundits who are telling you to make the "grand compromise" or move to the "center" (FYI – you're already there). Your fellow citizens have spoken and we have rejected the crazed ideology of this Republican Party and we insist that you forcefully proceed in bringing about profound change that will improve the lives of the 99%. We're done hoping. We want real change. And, if we can't get it in the second term of a great and good man like you, then really – what's the use? Why are we even bothering? Yes, we're that discouraged and disenchanted.
At your first post-election press conference last Wednesday you were on fire. The way you went all "Taxi Driver" on McCain and company ("You talkin' to me?") was so brilliant and breathtaking I had to play it back a dozen times just to maintain the contact high. Jesus, that look – for a second I thought laser beams would be shooting out of your eyes! MORE OF THAT!! PLEASE!!
In the weeks after your first election you celebrated by hiring the Goldman Sachs boys and Wall Street darlings to run our economy. Talk about a buzzkill that I never fully recovered from. Please – not this time. This time take a stand for all the rest of us – and if you do, tens of millions of us will not only have your back, we will swoop down on Congress in a force so large they won't know what hit them (that's right, McConnell – you're on the retirement list we've put together for 2014).
BUT – first you have to do the job we elected you to do. You have to take your massive 126-electoral vote margin and just go for it.
Here are my suggestions:
1. DRIVE THE RICH RIGHT OFF THEIR FISCAL CLIFF. The "fiscal cliff" is a ruse, an invention by the Right and the rich, to try and keep their huge tax breaks. On December 31, let ALL the tax cuts expire. Then, on January 1, put forth a bill that restores the tax cuts for 98% of the public. I dare the Republicans to vote against that! They can't and they won't. As for the spending cuts, the 2011 agreement states that, for every domestic program dollar the Republicans want to cut, a Pentagon dollar must also be cut. See, you are a genius! No way will the Right vote against the masters of war. And if by some chance they do, you can immediately put forth legislation to restore all the programs we, the majority, approve of. And for God's sake, man – declare Social Security and Medicare/Medicaid untouchable. They're not bankrupt or anywhere near it. If the rich paid the same percentage of Social Security tax on their entire income – the same exact rate everyone else pays – then there will suddenly be enough money in Social Security to last til at least the year 2080!
2. END ALL THE WARS NOW. Do not continue the war in Afghanistan (a thoroughly losing proposition if ever there was one) for two full more years! Why should one single more person have to die FOR NO REASON? Stop it. You know it's wrong. Bin Laden's dead, al Qaeda is decimated and the Afghans have to work out their own problems. Also, end the drone strikes and other covert military activities you are conducting in Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia, Colombia and God knows where else. You think history is going to remember the United States as a great democracy? No, they're going to think of us as a nation that became addicted to war. They'll call us warlords. They'll say that in the 21st century America was so in need of oil that we'd kill anyone to get it. You know that's where this is going. This has to stop. Now.
3. END THE DRUG WAR. It is not only an abysmal failure, it has returned us to the days of slavery. We have locked up millions of African-Americans and Latinos and now fund a private prison-industrial complex that makes billions for a few lucky rich people. There are other ways to deal with the drugs that do cause harm – ways built around a sense of decency and compassion. We look like a bunch of sadistic racists. Stop it.
4. DECLARE A MORATORIUM ON HOME FORECLOSURES AND EVICTIONS. Millions of people are facing homelessness because of a crooked system enacted by the major banks and Wall Street firms. Put a pause on this and take 12 months to work out a different way (like, restructuring families' mortgages to reflect the true worth of their homes).
5. GET MONEY OUT OF POLITICS. You already know this one. The public is sick of it. Now's the time to act.
6. EXPAND OBAMACARE. Your health care law doesn't cover everyone. It is a cash cow for the insurance industry. Push for a single-payer system – Medicare for All – and include dentistry and mental health. This is the single biggest thing you could do to reduce the country's deficit.
7. RESTORE GLASS-STEAGALL. You must put back all the rigid controls on Wall Street that Reagan, Clinton and the Bushes removed – or else we face the possibility of another, much worse, crash. If they break the law, prosecute them the way you currently go after whistleblowers and medical marijuana dispensaries.
8. REDUCE STUDENT LOAN DEBT. No 22-year-old should have to enter the real world already in a virtual debtors' prison. This is cruel and no other democracy does this like we do. You were right to eliminate the banks as the profit-gouging lenders, but now you have to bring us back to the days when you and I were of college age and a good education cost us little or next to nothing. A few less wars would go a long to way to being able to afford this.
9. FREE BRADLEY MANNING. End the persecution and prosecution of an American hero. Bush and Cheney lied to a nation to convince us to go to war. Manning allegedly hacked the war criminals' files and then shared them with the American public (and the world) so that we could learn the truth about Iraq and Afghanistan. Our history is full of such people who "break the law" for the greater good of humanity. Army Specialist Bradley Manning deserves a medal, not prison.
10. ASK US TO DO SOMETHING. One thing is clear: none of the above is going to happen if you don't immediately mobilize the 63,500,000 who voted for you (and the other 40 million who are for you but didn't vote). You can't go this alone. You need an army of everyday Americans who will fight alongside you to make this a more just and peaceful nation. In your 2008 campaign, you were a pioneer in using social media to win the election. Over 15 million of us gave you our cell numbers or email addresses so you could send us texts and emails telling us what needed to be done to win the election. Then, as soon as you won, it was as if you hit the delete button. We never heard from you again. (Until this past year when you kept texting us to send you $25. Inspiring.) Whoever your internet and social media people were should have been given their own office in the West Wing – and we should have heard from you. Constantly. Need a bill passed? Text us and we will mobilize! The Republicans are filibustering? We can stop them! They won't approve your choice for Secretary of State? We'll see about that! You say you were a community organizer. Please – start acting like one.
The next four years can be one of those presidential terms that changed the course of America. I'm sure you will want to be judged on how you stood up for us, restored the middle class, ended the s***ting on the poor and made us a friend to the rest of the world instead of a threat. You can do this. We can do it with you. All that stands in the way is your understandable desire to sing "Kumbaya" with the Republicans. Don't waste your breath. Their professed love of America is negated by their profound hatred of you. Don't waste a minute on them. Fix the sad mess we're in. Go back and read this month's election results. We're with you.
P.S. President Obama – my cell number to text me at is 810-522-8398 and my email I await my first assignment!
Moore really nailed it. 
I too do not want to wait for change -- Obama now has the opportunity to be more radical & make  some breakthrough changes.... this letter/list is packed with great common sense items that restore balance to our country. 

Love that he calls BS on the fiscal cliff. 
Love the demand to cut the wars & covert actions & drone bomb dropping. 
I particularly love the go after Wall Street like you do medical marijuana dispensaries remark.
The deep debt students are enduring-- is preventing may students from even going to college at all. 
President Obama can;t be President for more than 2 terms. 
No more worries about potential future reelections.
 Time to roll up the sleeves & be the change we wish to see in the world.

No purchase necessary

Time again to think about the *Buy Nothing Day* movement.
Stampedes. People behaving badly. Jam packed parking lots & stores.
Long lines to check out. Debt. More stuff.

Just say no.

Sleep in. Relax. Hold hands. Visit nature. Meditate.
Contact someone who may need a companion.
Make a donation to the Red Cross or the local Food Bank or Shelter.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Hostess is serving up lies

Turns out the truth is less sweet than the myth they tried to serve the media. 
Looks like the Execs were taking more than a baker's dozen, cash wise, and thought they could give FOX newzzz types a cake walk, blaming the workers for being greedy "takers", with their hands in the cookie jar, or Ho Ho box , if you will. 
Now they are in a Twinkie mediation, trying to pull the business of mysterious confections out of the bankruptcy fire/oven. 
I seriously doubt anyone thought there was nutritional value in the Hostess product line,  but the reason they have such a long shelf life is some of the chemical magic in the ingredients. 
Mmmmmm polysorbate 60, Trans fats & high fructose corn syrup.

Much ado about this: 

Enriched wheat floursugarcorn syrupniacinwaterhigh fructose corn syrup, vegetable and/or animal shortening – containing one or more of partially hydrogenated soybeancottonseed and canola oil, and beef fatdextrose, whole eggs, modified corn starchcellulose gumwhey, leavenings (sodium acid pyrophosphatebaking sodamonocalcium phosphate), saltcornstarchcorn flourcorn syrup, solids, mono and diglyceridessoy lecithinpolysorbate 60, dextrincalcium caseinatesodium stearoyl lactylatewheat glutencalcium sulphate, natural and artificial flavors, caramel color, yellow No. 5, red #40

And! Good Nutrition they need!