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