Sharing countercultural history. Investigating ideas on how to co-create sustainable community outside the box. Establishing said online resources content in one place. Thereby, mirroring the long process of what it takes to raise social justice, political and cultural consciousness collectively. Your mission, should you decide to join us, is to click on the yellow daisy on the left! All the best to you, in a world-wide affiliation!

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Along Those Same Lines

Your Money and Your Life is a manifesto for this year's woman voter and for male voters who care about the women in their lives. Martha Burk empowers the reader to cut through the doubletalk, irrelevancies, and false promises, and focuses directly on what's at stake for women not only in the '08 election, but also in the years beyond. Where women stand, what women think, and what we need, with tough questions for candidates to hold their feet to the fire. Your Money and Your Life should be carried to every political rally, every press conference, every precinct meeting and into the voting booth.

Conscious Awareness

I created this blog, to provide space for those who relish the reality of personal accountability for one's own conscious sense of self. One more support resource in the personal experiences of being, thinking, noticing and feeling one's aliveness in conscious action. The personally-made commitment to conscious participation in co-creating a more supportive world environment for waking up, with all just as it is.
It used to be, a VERY short time ago, the "place" called "coloring outside the box" of life, meant paying heavy consequences to going against institutionalized social, religious, political, etc., codes. Anymore, conscious being is and is not really, a definitive "place," depending where in history or present times, one points to its peaks of expression in human experience.
Today particularly, more literally everywhere, the social world roils in reactionary vehemence on one end of the human consciousness spectrum, to continued sleep-walking on the other end.

Literally right now, as human expression and experience is moving ever more rapidly into awakening, I find it intriguing! Intriguing to observe the middle-spectrum as it races and writhes, discovers and covets, competes and accesses, labels and judges, all manner of things, experiences and realizations as never before. All activity from dynamic to passive in human experience and human-made reality on this earth, and in the body.
We all are the revolutionary times of NOW, in human experience! Consciousness is, in and of its own desire to know itself as conscious, moving through everyone everywhere, right now. Consciousness is moving into mainstream human experience. Human experience that is awake and not awake. We are all arriving every moment (to) the same place_ awake or not awake, NOW.

The following article is but one good example of this "no-place" of arriving. In all its layered thought, understanding, misunderstanding and arrival, for the moment, to a quality of presence. This article is shared for the many hues of consciousness it reveals_ awake and not awake. Found in one place simultaneously... intriguing!

RetroWomen: The Rise of Gender Fundamentalism
by Sally Morgenthaler

January 4, 2008 |

Earlier this year, I provided a link to a video of a fundamentalist teacher in the UK. His comments about women and what he saw as their God-created role (little more than animals, created to serve and please men) were understandably shocking to many readers. Quite a few of those who responded wondered why I had bothered to draw attention to the perspectives of an isolated extremist. No one could possibly take him seriously. This kind of primitive thinking had been “dealt with” since the ‘60s, and there was no reason to spend time and energy on it now. We’re well into the new millennium. Now, Christian women believe that if they’ve been given gifts, they have a divine call to use them, wherever God leads. End of story.

I’ve mused about those responses the rest of this year. Were they right? Has the perspective that women are made solely for men’s pleasure and use truly been relegated to the annals of history?

This fall, The Los Angeles Times ran an article entitled, “Stubborn Stains, Cookie Baking on Syllabus.” Its opening lines:

“You hear that a lot (about gender) on the lush green campus of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. God values men and women equally, any student here will tell you. It’s just that he’s given them different responsibilities: Men make decisions; women make dinner. This fall, the internationally known seminary—a century-old training ground for Southern Baptists—began reinforcing those traditional gender roles with college classes in homemaking. The academic program, open only to women, includes lectures on laundering stubborn stains and a lab on baking chocolate-chip cookies.”

To sophomore, Emily Felts, the new curriculum comes as good news. Instead of studying pre-law, she has something she believes is more hands-on, more in sync with what she believes God had in mind for her in the first place. “My created purpose as a woman is to be a helper,” Felts said firmly. “This is a college education that I can use.”

Emily isn’t the only young woman rethinking what it means to be female in the 21st century. At MarsHill Church in Seattle (a congregation of mostly twenty and thirty-somethings), women are regularly encouraged to leave education and professional careers behind, embrace homemaking, and do their part to repopulate their godless city with Christians. In a recent Salon magazine article, one attendee, Judy, reflects on her choice:

“Judy no longer reads secular books or speaks to her old friends. She is now a deacon at Mars Hill and is responsible for planning the weddings held there, which always include a biblical explanation of marriage and gender roles; each year Mars Hill averages about one hundred marriages between couples within the congregation, all of whom must agree with (the doctrine of wifely submission). Between her marriage ministry, the women's Bible study she runs, her two small children, and taking care of her husband and her home, Judy says she doesn't have time for many relationships anyway, and when she starts to home-school her kids soon, her time will be even tighter. ‘It's not what I ever imagined…or even what I ever wanted, but it's my duty now, and I have to learn to live with that.’”

Evidently, Seattle isn’t the only city Mars Hill Church is targeting for its fundamentalist message about women’s roles. According to the article, Senior Pastor Mark Driscoll wants to take this message of extreme role-ism to the rest of the nation, and is using a large, influential church planting group to do it.

Maybe Salon magazine got it wrong. Maybe they’re exaggerating. Perhaps. But, recently, I was nosing around in some of Driscoll’s blogs and found this post about the feminization of the church:

“I’ve gotta think these guys [David, Paul, John the Baptist] were ‘dudes.’ Heterosexual, win a fight, punch you in the nose, dudes. And the problem in the church today is it’s just a bunch of nice, soft, tender, chick-ified, church boys. Sixty percent of Christians are chicks and the 40 percent that are dudes are still sort of chicks. I mean it’s just sad. When you walk in its sea foam green and fuschia and lemon yellow the whole architecture and the whole aesthetic is feminine and the preacher is kind of feminine and the music is kind of emotional and feminine and we’re looking around going ‘how come we’re not innovative?’ Its because all the innovative dudes are at home watching football.”

Well, I can tell you, I’m not into sea-foam green, fuschia, and lemon yellow. And I’ve been known to be critical of overly-emotionalized, manipulative worship services. But let’s not take the easy route and just blame stupid, poorly planned worship services for our lack of effectiveness. When 64 percent of the conservative church can only innovate in the kitchen, the nursery, and the bedroom, we shouldn’t be surprised that we’ve lost our edge. And when the 36 percent remaining spend so much of their time and energy making sure the 64 percent don’t invade their territory, well, what you have is a whole lot of nothing going on. And a culture that looks at us, and just laughs.

As one respondent to the Salon article writes: “Many Americans believe that Islam is the only world religion that treats women with disrespect. I find that laughable. When your purpose in life is reduced to childbirth and childrearing, you are nothing more than a piece of livestock.”

I’m sure am glad we’ve dealt with all of this already.

Morgenthaler_Sallysmall is a frequent speaker and writer, Christian educator, author of Worship Evangelism and other books, and innovator in Christian practices worldwide.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

The Davos Report

A Unified Earth Theory: Combining Solutions to Extreme Poverty and the Climate Crisis:
Posted: January 24, 2008

The material covered in the video, invites careful consideration for choosing the next US leader, and what WE are going to be willing to continue to tolerate with regards to the environment... all the dots are connecting whether one wants to wake up and notice or not.
Bono warns that weaving the three extremes have arrived at their moment in human history: extreme poverty, extreme climate change, and extreme ideology. The emphasis is cohesion folks_ in the NOW!

Empowering Creativity

This fascinating video: "World Economic Forum On The Middle East
Defining Global Citizenship: From Philanthropy to Activism," was filmed on May 20, 2007. I see this as a film to study and learn how to make the connection where the information presented here, scales down to and can be put to use in one's own life, no matter where one lives!

As the rest of the world already knows, it is time for America to elect a woman leader to run this country in the highest office in the land!

Listen to more of Queen Rania, as she was interviewed in 2007 be Diane Sawyer:

Making the case for balancing power in the world throughout the human family.

This Young Woman is as together and inspiring as her mother!

Another thought on the Obama campaign from the Huffington Post

Media Jump Ship From Obama To Clinton
April 24, 2008 10:02 PM

In a blink of an eye, the media has jumped ship from the Obama campaign and become a crucial Clinton ally, pressing just the message -- that Obama is a likely loser in the general election -- that Hillary and her allies have been promoting for the past six weeks.

The new tenor of media coverage is visible almost everywhere, from Politico, Time and The New Republic to The Washington Post and The New York Times.

For Hillary, the shift is a potential lifesaver as she struggles to keep her head above water; without it, she would, metaphorically, drown.

Until now, she, her husband, and her campaign aides have been trying, with little success, to make the case that Obama has potentially fatal flaws. For the first time, reporters working for magazines, newspapers and web sites have abruptly decided that she might well be right, and the results for Obama have been brutal:

The first hard punch was thrown by my friend and colleague John Judis in a widely distributed piece on The New Republic web site, filed sometime around 3AM Wednesday, seven hours after polls closed in Pennsylvania. In the article titled, "The Next McGovern," Judis wrote:

"[I]f you look at Obama's vote in Pennsylvania, you begin to see the outlines of the old George McGovern coalition that haunted the Democrats during the '70s and '80s, led by college students and minorities....Its ideology is very liberal. Whereas in the first primaries and caucuses, Obama benefited from being seen as middle-of-the-road or even conservative, he is now receiving his strongest support from voters who see themselves as 'very liberal.'...[H]e is going to have trouble in Indiana, Kentucky, and West Virginia, where he will once again be faced by a large white working class vote. He can still win the nomination and lose these primaries. Pennsylvania was the last big delegate prize. But if Obama doesn't find a way now to speak to these voters, he is going to have trouble winning that large swath of states from Pennsylvania through Missouri in which a Democrat must do well to gain the presidency."

Joe Klein, in his weekly column for Time magazine, noted that Clinton has taken a beating,

"But that was nothing compared with the damage done to Obama, who entered the primary as a fresh breeze and left it stale, battered and embittered - still the mathematical favorite for the nomination but no longer the darling of his party [ Klein could have added, 'no longer the darling of the press.'] In the course of six weeks, the American people learned that he was a member of a church whose pastor gave angry, anti-American sermons, that he was "friendly" with an American terrorist who had bombed buildings during the Vietnam era, and that he seemed to look on the ceremonies of working-class life - bowling, hunting, churchgoing and the fervent consumption of greasy food - as his anthropologist mother might have, with a mixture of cool detachment and utter bemusement."

Politico's Mike Allen describes the changed approach to Obama as a "paradigm shift," specifically citing the "seminal" [Allen is not one to mute his compliments] report of former colleague Chris "The Fix" Cillizza on, the headline of which undoubtedly brought tears of joy to the Clinton campaign: "How Clinton Can Win It."

"A path does exist for Clinton," Cillizza wrote. "The best argument Clinton has at her disposal right now is that Obama cannot win over blue collar, white voters who have been hit hard by the economic slowdown and are looking for a politician to look out for them."

The critical chorus is even resonating across the Atlantic. Under the headline "The Democrats must admit it: Obama would lose to McCain," London Times columnist Anatole Kaletsky wrote: "the conclusion would be fairly obvious, were it not for the political correctness that makes it almost impossible for American politicians or commentators to express such a view: Mr Obama may by unable to carry large industrial states with socially conservative white working-class populations simply because of his race."

The New York Times, never so declarative in a news story, poses the issues as questions. Adam Nagourney writes, "Why has he (Obama) been unable to win over enough working-class and white voters to wrap up the Democratic nomination? ... Is the Democratic Party hesitating about race as it moves to the brink of nominating an African-American to be president?"

While Nagourney raised questions reinforcing doubts about Obama's credibility as a general election candidate, his colleague at the New York Times, Patrick Healy was one of the few reporters to write favorably of the Obama bid in light of recent criticisms. Healy wrote:

"[E]xit polling and independent political analysts offer evidence that Mr. Obama could do just as well as Mrs. Clinton among blocs of voters with whom he now runs behind. Obama advisers say he also appears well-positioned to win swing states and believe he would have a strong shot at winning traditional Republican states like Virginia."

Healy, however, is the exception. While reluctant to speak on the record, Clinton supporters are very pleased with the overall switch in tone of the coverage, particularly the willingness of the media to explore the question of whether Obama could be a loser in November.

The Clinton critique of Obama, and now the critique of much of the press, was further reinforced from another source, Republican strategist Karl Rove, writing in the Wall Street Journal:

"Mr. Obama is befuddled and angry about the national reaction to what are clearly accepted, even commonplace truths in San Francisco and Hyde Park. How could anyone take offense at the observation that people in small-town and rural American are 'bitter' and therefore 'cling' to their guns and their faith, as well as their xenophobia? Why would anyone raise questions about a public figure who, for only 20 years, attended a church and developed a close personal relationship with its preacher who says AIDS was created by our government as a genocidal tool to be used against people of color, who declared America's chickens came home to roost on 9/11, and wants God to damn America? Mr. Obama has a weakness among blue-collar working class voters for a reason."

I'll take it a step further!

"What worries me is that he is seen as unifying by his race while she is seen as divisive by her sex."
Feminist icon Gloria Steinem, on Barack Obama's edge over Hillary Clinton:

Women Are Never Front-Runners

Published: January 8, 2008

THE woman in question became a lawyer after some years as a community organizer, married a corporate lawyer and is the mother of two little girls, ages 9 and 6. Herself the daughter of a white American mother and a black African father — in this race-conscious country, she is considered black — she served as a state legislator for eight years, and became an inspirational voice for national unity.

Be honest: Do you think this is the biography of someone who could be elected to the United States Senate? After less than one term there, do you believe she could be a viable candidate to head the most powerful nation on earth?

If you answered no to either question, you’re not alone. Gender is probably the most restricting force in American life, whether the question is who must be in the kitchen or who could be in the White House. This country is way down the list of countries electing women and, according to one study, it polarizes gender roles more than the average democracy.

That’s why the Iowa primary was following our historical pattern of making change. Black men were given the vote a half-century before women of any race were allowed to mark a ballot, and generally have ascended to positions of power, from the military to the boardroom, before any women (with the possible exception of obedient family members in the latter).

If the lawyer described above had been just as charismatic but named, say, Achola Obama instead of Barack Obama, her goose would have been cooked long ago. Indeed, neither she nor Hillary Clinton could have used Mr. Obama’s public style — or Bill Clinton’s either — without being considered too emotional by Washington pundits.

So why is the sex barrier not taken as seriously as the racial one? The reasons are as pervasive as the air we breathe: because sexism is still confused with nature as racism once was; because anything that affects males is seen as more serious than anything that affects “only” the female half of the human race; because children are still raised mostly by women (to put it mildly) so men especially tend to feel they are regressing to childhood when dealing with a powerful woman; because racism stereotyped black men as more “masculine” for so long that some white men find their presence to be masculinity-affirming (as long as there aren’t too many of them); and because there is still no “right” way to be a woman in public power without being considered a you-know-what.

I’m not advocating a competition for who has it toughest. The caste systems of sex and race are interdependent and can only be uprooted together. That’s why Senators Clinton and Obama have to be careful not to let a healthy debate turn into the kind of hostility that the news media love. Both will need a coalition of outsiders to win a general election. The abolition and suffrage movements progressed when united and were damaged by division; we should remember that.

I’m supporting Senator Clinton because like Senator Obama she has community organizing experience, but she also has more years in the Senate, an unprecedented eight years of on-the-job training in the White House, no masculinity to prove, the potential to tap a huge reservoir of this country’s talent by her example, and now even the courage to break the no-tears rule. I’m not opposing Mr. Obama; if he’s the nominee, I’ll volunteer. Indeed, if you look at votes during their two-year overlap in the Senate, they were the same more than 90 percent of the time. Besides, to clean up the mess left by President Bush, we may need two terms of President Clinton and two of President Obama.

But what worries me is that he is seen as unifying by his race while she is seen as divisive by her sex.

What worries me is that she is accused of “playing the gender card” when citing the old boys’ club, while he is seen as unifying by citing civil rights confrontations.

What worries me is that male Iowa voters were seen as gender-free when supporting their own, while female voters were seen as biased if they did and disloyal if they didn’t.

What worries me is that reporters ignore Mr. Obama’s dependence on the old — for instance, the frequent campaign comparisons to John F. Kennedy — while not challenging the slander that her progressive policies are part of the Washington status quo.

What worries me is that some women, perhaps especially younger ones, hope to deny or escape the sexual caste system; thus Iowa women over 50 and 60, who disproportionately supported Senator Clinton, proved once again that women are the one group that grows more radical with age.

This country can no longer afford to choose our leaders from a talent pool limited by sex, race, money, powerful fathers and paper degrees. It’s time to take equal pride in breaking all the barriers. We have to be able to say: “I’m supporting her because she’ll be a great president and because she’s a woman.”

Gloria Steinem is a co-founder of the Women’s Media Center.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Take a Break!

Check it out...
Then, click here.
Pen pals can make your whole day or week!

Thanks pen pal o' mine!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Are you reading "A New Earth?"

I had heard that negative responses were being left by SOME Christian authors on the blog that is
"attached" to this worldwide event. Then last Monday, Chapter 8 was opened with a blog reading written by a Christian, whose words are elevatingly beautiful for everyone:

Why A New Earth is OK for Conservative Christians
Feb 15, 2008 5:31 PM

"I have seen many, many posts by concerned Christians wondering whether this book is a threat to their faith. As a Christian, I don't think it is, and here is why.

Most Christians understand the concepts from the Bible of surrendering their lives to God, of living a loving life, and living in the peace that passes understanding. Christians can quote Jesus' sayings, such as "be perfect, as your father in heaven is perfect," or "judge (condemn) not, that you be not judged (condemned)," or "you must die to live," or "deny yourself, take up your cross and follow me."

Unfortunately, not all Christians have succeeded in following up the talk with the walk. This is because these quotes point to an internal transformation, which some Christians have not yet fully experienced.

That is why I strongly recommend this book. It provides very powerful tools for being able to successfully follow Jesus' teachings, rather than just quoting them. The book doesn't ask anyone to change their religion of choice, but it does help tremendously in successfully applying faith.

In a nutshell the book shows how to apply forgiveness to every person, and every situation. It shows how to shine the light of awareness on our unconscious hatred of this moment, and thereby "overcome the cares of this world." If you want to go deeper than knowing about God, at the level of thoughts, and experience God at the level of knowing, I welcome you to join us in reading A New Earth."

Blessings, Student99

It caused me to wonder about how many Muslim readers may be participating in this event around reading the book, "A New Earth." I would love to hear from you, from wherever that may be in the world.

Coincidently, I ran across this video today and post it here for those of us in the West who need more education about this part of the world:

Oprah interviewed Queen Rania of Jordan in 2006. I post the videos here two parts:

Part One:

Part Two:

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

You go girl!

H I L L A R Y! H I L L A R Y! H I L L A R Y! H I L L A R Y!

A 10% lead in general votes and only a 100 super delegate gap to close!!

A Rant on behalf of Earth Day (2008)

We ALL know that celebrations of this "nature" are about self, community, nation & world-wide EDUCATION, right? Self-education in order to evolve collectively as an entire species?! We DO KNOW this, don't we?

That Earth Day really isn't some holiday just for druggin' and dancin' hedonistically only self-servingly, and not very well. Because livin' is such an unconscious experience- wuh? We know Earth Day isn't some wasteful holiday for its own sake, right? That it is a complete contradiction to go out and waste oneself on such a day_ right?!
That Earth Day is really about raising one's own IQ about being human in the first place right?

An IQ that can recognize: "hey, I LIVE HERE on this planet. Maybe I would do well to take care of her. She does such an incredible job of taking care of me. Even supporting the polluted, slum-ridden environment that my family has been locked down in for generations now." Right?!
The dichotomy of slum denigration to a certain line in the earth and then green, healthy growing luscious earth just on the other side of some line we continuously blame others for its existence in the first place!!

Or on the other side, that the earth, my/our home, supports "my" self-indulgent avoidance day-after-day of unconsciously reactive material addiction and justification of all the green stuff I can gorge on, and call it a hip pseudo lifestyle to impress/actually compare/compete with my "friends".

A definite line, where the dimness of unconsciousness ends and the motivated activity of simple, natural abundance thrives...

Because "we" each have very motivatedly chosen to self-educate. Join together to spread earth steward education throughout our home communities. Education about what it might take for each one to consciously notice simplicity, profoundly every Earth Day.

Which day?

Which Earth?

Which day?

Everyone without exception, please wake up... this earth is not just yours.

Everything, everything, everything, each one of us chooses to do, impacts this planet and eventually each one of us. Everything.

Everyone. Subtly. Dramatically. Impacts.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

The Presidential Primary Debates

The Presidential Primary Debates are posted here in 10 parts.

Is it just me, or is there cause for concern that many people are voting their subconscious reactions again?
"Liberal" men seem to be predominantly voting for the liberal male candidate, the same men who can't bring themselves to see "Brokeback Mountain." Hm-m-m, just an observation I have made. Consider the possibility if it fits, or if you are interested.

Then, there are the numbers of women who are angry about the female candidate. Is that horizontal hostility? Do these women even understand what "horizontal hostility" means and why understanding may be important for them AND their families?

Is it just me or is unconsciousness dominating a very pivotal presidential campaign in this moment of human history in the United States of America?

Dear Carl Sagan (1934-1996)

Carl Sagan

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Searching for clean, unadulterated Hippie Organic references online, so I can clean myself out, livin in the dirty city and...

The Hippies Were Right!
Green homes? Organic food? Nature is good? Time to give the ol' tie-dyers some respect

By Mark Morford, SF Gate Columnist
originally published: Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Go ahead, name your movement. Name something good and positive and pro-environment and eco-friendly= that's happening right now in the newly "greening" America and don't say more guns in Texas or fewer reproductive choices for women or endless vile unwinnable BushCo wars in the Middle East lasting until roughly 2075 because that would defeat the whole point of this perky little column and destroy its naive tone of happy rose-colored sardonic optimism. OK?

I'm talking about, say, energy-efficient light bulbs. I'm looking at organic foods going mainstream. I mean chemical-free cleaning products widely available at Target and I'm talking saving the whales and protecting the dolphins and I mean yoga studios flourishing in every small town, giant boxes of organic cereal at Costco and non-phthalates dildos at Good Vibes and the Toyota Prius becoming the nation's oddest status symbol. You know, good things.

Look around: we have entire industries devoted to recycled paper, a new generation of cheap solar-power technology and an Oscar for "An Inconvenient Truth" and even the soulless corporate monsters over at famously heartless joints like Wal-Mart are now claiming that they really, really care about saving the environment because, well, "it's the right thing to do" (read: It's purely economic and all about their bottom line because if they don't start caring they'll soon be totally screwed on manufacturing and shipping costs at/from all their brutal Chinese sweatshops).

There is but one conclusion you can draw from the astonishing (albeit fitful, bittersweet) pro-environment sea change now happening in the culture and (reluctantly, nervously) in the halls of power in D.C., one thing we must all acknowledge in our wary, jaded, globally warmed universe: The hippies had it right all along. Oh yes they did.

You know it's true. All this hot enthusiasm for healing the planet and eating whole foods and avoiding chemicals and working with nature and developing the self? Came from the hippies. Alternative health? Hippies. Green cotton? Hippies. Reclaimed wood? Recycling? Humane treatment of animals? Medical pot? Alternative energy? Natural childbirth? Non-GMO seeds? It came from the granola types (who, of course, absorbed much of it from ancient cultures), from the alternative worldviews, from the underground and the sidelines and from far off the goddamn grid and it's about time the media, the politicians, the culture as a whole sent out a big, wet, hemp-covered apology.

Here's a suggestion, from one of my more astute ex-hippie readers: Instead of issuing carbon credits so industrial polluters can clear their collective corporate conscience, maybe, to help offset all the savage damage they've done to the soul of the planet all these years, these commercial cretins should instead buy some karma credits from the former hippies themselves. You know, from those who've been working for the health of the planet, quite thanklessly, for the past 50 years and who have, as a result, built up quite a storehouse of good karma. You think?

Of course, you can easily argue that much of the "authentic" hippie ethos -- the anti-corporate ideology, the sexual liberation, the anarchy, the push for civil rights, the experimentation -- has been totally leeched out of all these new movements, that corporations have forcibly co-opted and diluted every single technology and humble pro-environment idea and Ben & Jerry's ice cream cone and Odwalla smoothie to make them both palatable and profitable. But does this somehow make the organic oils in that body lotion any more harmful? Verily, it does not.

You might also just as easily claim that much of the nation's reluctant turn toward environmental health has little to do with the hippies per se, that it's taking the threat of global meltdown combined with the notion of really, really expensive ski tickets to slap the nation's incredibly obese ass into gear and force consumers to begin to wake up to the savage gluttony and wastefulness of American culture as everyone starts wondering, oh my God, what's going to happen to swimming pools and NASCAR and free shipping from Amazon? Of course, without the '60s groundwork, without all the radical ideas and seeds of change planted nearly five decades ago, what we'd be turning to in our time of need would be a great deal more hopeless indeed.

But if you're really bitter and shortsighted, you could say the entire hippie movement overall was just incredibly overrated, gets far too much cultural credit for far too little actual impact, was pretty much a giant excuse to slack off and enjoy dirty lazy responsibility-free sex romps and do a ton of drugs and avoid Vietnam and not bathe for a month and name your child Sunflower or Shiva Moon or Chakra Lennon Sapphire Bumblebee. This is what's called the reactionary simpleton's view. It blithely ignores history, perspective, the evolution of culture as a whole. You know, just like America.

But, you know, whatever. The proofs are easy enough to trace. The core values and environmental groundwork laid by the '60s counterculture are still so intact and potent even the stiffest neocon Republican has to acknowledge their extant power. It's all right there: is the new '60s underground hippy zine. Ecstasy is the new LSD. Visible tattoos are the new longhairs. And bands as diverse as Pearl Jam to Bright Eyes to NIN to the Dixie Chicks are writing savage anti-Bush, anti-war songs for a new, ultra-jaded generation.

And oh yes, speaking of good ol' MDMA (Ecstasy), even drug culture is getting some new respect. Staid old Time mag just ran a rather snide little story about the new studies being conducted by Harvard and the National Institute of Mental Health into the astonishing psychospiritual benefits of goodly entheogens such as LSD, psilocybin and MDMA. Unfortunately, the piece basically backhands Timothy Leary and the entire "excessive," "naive" drug culture of yore in favor of much more "sane" and "careful" scientific analysis happening now, as if the only valid methods for attaining knowledge and an understanding of spirit were through control groups and clinical, mysticism-free examination. Please.

Still, the fact that serious scientific research into entheogens is being conducted even in the face of the most anti-science, pro-pharmaceutical, ultra-conservative presidential regime in recent history is proof enough that all the hoary old hippie mantras about expanding the mind and touching God through drugs were onto something after all (yes, duh). Tim Leary is probably smiling wildly right now -- though that might be due to all the mushrooms he's been sharing with Kerouac and Einstein and Mary Magdalene. Mmm, heaven.

Of course, true hippie values mean you're not really supposed to care about or attach to any of this, you don't give a damn for the hollow ego stroke of being right all along, for slapping the culture upside the head and saying, See? Do you see? It was never about the long hair and the folk music and Woodstock and taking so much acid you see Jesus and Shiva and Buddha tongue kissing in a hammock on the Dog Star, nimrods.

It was, always and forever, about connectedness. It was about how we are all in this together. It was about resisting the status quo and fighting tyrannical corporate/political power and it was about opening your consciousness and seeing new possibilities of how we can all live with something resembling actual respect for the planet, for alternative cultures, for each other. You know, all that typical hippie crap no one believes in anymore. Right?

Mark Morford's Notes & Errata column appears every Wednesday and Friday on SFGate and in the Datebook section of the San Francisco Chronicle. To get on the e-mail list for this column, please click here and remove one article of clothing.

Mark's column also has an RSS feed and an archive of past columns, which includes another small photo of Mark potentially sufficient for you to recognize him in the street and give him gifts. He also has a raw Facebook page, but has little idea why.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Tibetans just want autonomy, Dalai Lama says

'Not seeking independence, nor separation,' from China, he insists_

The Dalai Lama addresses a news conference Sunday in Seattle, where he is headlining a five-day conference on compassion.

April 11: NBC's Ann Curry interviews the Dalai Lama during his first visit to the U.S. since the recent outbreaks of violence in Tibet.

updated 3:40 p.m. PT, Sun., April. 13, 2008

SEATTLE - The Dalai Lama said Sunday that Tibet cannot make any more concessions to China and renewed his calls for the government to cease suppression in his former homeland and withdraw troops.

The exiled Tibetan spiritual leader denied Chinese claims that he has called for Tibet to be split from China and that he is behind recent turmoil, saying instead that he is committed to pursuing Tibet’s right to autonomy.

“The whole world knows that the Dalai Lama is not seeking independence, nor separation,” he said at a news conference.

Recent protests in Tibet against five decades of Chinese rule have been the largest and most sustained in almost two decades and have fueled protests that have disrupted the global torch relay for this summer’s Olympic Games in Beijing.

“Our struggle is with a few in the leadership of the People’s Republic of China and not with the Chinese people,” the Dalai Lama said in a statement released after the news conference. “If the present situation in Tibet continues, I am very much concerned that the Chinese government will unleash more force and increase the suppression of Tibetan people.”

He said that if the Chinese stop such suppression and withdraw armed police and troops, he would advise all Tibetans to stop their protests.

Monks detained

A Chinese official said Sunday that the government had detained nine Buddhist monks and accused them of planting a homemade bomb that reportedly detonated March 23 in a government office building in eastern Tibet, according to China’s official Xinhua News Agency.

There were no known deaths or damage from the first reported bombing since anti-government demonstrations by monks began March 10 in the Tibetan capital, Lhasa.

Xinhua reported that the monks from the Tongxia monastery fled after a bomb exploded March 23. They later confessed to planting the explosive, Xinhua said. The agency did not explain why the incident was not reported earlier.

The Dalai Lama, visiting Seattle for the five-day Seeds of Compassion conference, told journalists Sunday that there have been some talks between representatives of his government-in-exile and Chinese officials.

The talks date to 2002 and some progress was made, but by July 2007 the discussions had deteriorated, he said. He did not elaborate.

The Dalai Lama repeated his promise to resign should the violence in Tibet continue. But he criticized China’s attempt to suppress demonstrations and encouraged any Tibetan protesters to conduct nonviolent demonstrations.

The Olympic torch is scheduled to pass through Tibet and India in a few weeks, and he said that if demonstrations are carried out, more hardship might come to the Tibetan people.

Superpower status and trust

The Dalai Lama said he supports China’s ambitions to become a world superpower, saying that the country has achieved the economic and military might to do so but lacks transparency. If China wants to be a superpower, he said, it needs the world’s trust.

The economic rise of China has widened the gap between the rich and poor, he said. Along with issues coming from a “totalitarian regime,” China is seeing problems not only in Tibet, but also throughout the country.

“Particularly in China, everything is state secret; I think these practices are outdated,” he said.

The Dalai Lama fled to India after a failed uprising in 1959 in Tibet, but he remains the religious and cultural leader of many Tibetans. He was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1989.

In Beijing, Xinhua on Sunday denounced the Dalai Lama and his supporters as "anti-human rights," and slammed top U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., as "the least popular person in China" for her stance on Tibet.

A Tibetan source with strong contacts in Lhasa said the city was also swirling with rumors of fresh clashes between monks and security forces at the important Drepung monastery. No one at the monastery or the local police station could be reached for comment.

Clampdown on Tibet Squeezes Tourist Destinations

Tibet Unrest Puts Tourism on Hold

In the wake of recent uprisings by Tibetans, the Chinese government has effectively shut down most tourism in Tibet.
By James Areddy, The Wall Street Journal

The prefecture of (Aba) Ngawa, located in China's Sichuan province, beckons visitors with the slogan "the hometown of panda." But these days, instead of the famously elusive black-and-white bears, the region's most hidden population may be its Tibetan community.

To visit (Aba) Ngawa is to come face-to-face with Beijing's tight grip on its Tibetan citizens, wherever they are. Beijing forbids outsiders to get near (Aba) Ngawa's hot spots, such as Kirti Monastery, Tibetan Buddhism's largest, with 3,000 monks. But pockets of the region remain accessible — including other touristy areas, back-country horse trails and Tibetan villages — and offer a glimpse of how Beijing's policies in the region are raising tensions with some ethnic Tibetans and generating support from others.

(Aba) Ngawa illustrates how the nation's toughest clampdown on dissent in years pushes far beyond Lhasa, 1,400 kilometers westward, where anti-China rioting started on March 14. Now, chunks of five Chinese provinces are cordoned off to most visitors. A heavy paramilitary police presence has left parts of Sichuan province under virtual martial law, including the heart of the lush region known officially as the Aba Tibetan and Qiang Minority Autonomous Prefecture.

Much like Tibet itself, (Aba) Ngawa is a sparsely populated, high-altitude region of rich forests, wooly yaks and golden-tipped Buddhist monasteries. Year-round, millions of tourists are drawn to the emerald-colored lakes and snow-capped peaks at a Unesco World Heritage Site in the area called Jiuzhaigou, which boasts the possibility — however rare — of spotting a panda in the wild.

Airplanes bound for Aba descend dramatically onto one of the world's highest-altitude runways, a plateau located 3½ kilometers above sea level and ringed by craggy mountains sprouting colorful Tibetan prayer flags. The airport terminal has an oxygen bar to help travelers overcome dizziness.

Yet, once visitors adjust to the intense sun and stunning scenery, the Chinese government's view of (Aba) Ngawa as a volatile place comes into stark view. Riot police wearing green fatigues and carrying plastic shields march through the airport and hold drills on its perimeter. On some stretches of highway, authorities search nearly every vehicle, including the dwindling number of tour buses that once represented (Aba) Ngawa's economic backbone.

The anxiety can discomfort visitors.

"A lot of American tourists traveling to China for the first time might be a bit taken aback," says 24-year-old Atlantan Eli Sweet. During a visit last week, he says, his parents were particularly unnerved by passport checks and probes into the trunk of their hired car by armed police.

No doubt (Aba) Ngawa is a flashpoint in the current crisis. Police seized guns, bullets, swords and explosives from Kirti Monastery, China's official Xinhua news agency reported last month. And last week, police fired on a crowd of rioters near another monastery in the area, Xinhua reported. (Aba) Ngawa and elsewhere in Sichuan account for the largest number of the about 50 locations in China where pro-Tibet demonstrations have taken place, according to tallies by human-rights groups.

Among Beijing's responses has been to lock out visitors from minority areas that form around half of Sichuan, plus parts of Qinghai, Gansu and Yunnan provinces that are also Tibetan homelands.

"For safety concern, foreigners and foreign media need to follow relevant regulations of China. We neither want to restrict media coverage nor have we anything to cover up," the chairman of the Tibet Autonomous Region government, Qiangba Puncog, told a news conference Wednesday in Beijing.

Since the unrest began, various Tibetan regions have been off-limits to reporters except on government-organized tours, including one Wednesday where news organizations visited Labrang Monastery in Xiahe, Gansu province. The visit for Chinese and foreign reporters was briefly interrupted by protesting monks carrying a banned Tibetan flag and calling for the return of the Dalai Lama, similar to an episode last month in Lhasa, the Reuters news agency said.

That style of control was once unique to Tibet.

Until the recent unrest, Tibet itself had been opening up. Encouraged by a two-year-old train line into Lhasa, a record four million tourists visited Tibet last year, including 365,000 foreigners. "There was incredible demand for tourism to Tibet," says Jeanette Neudert, U.K.-based tourism giant TUI Travel PLC's marketing director in China, who has seen a wave of cancellations.

Now Tibet is closed.

But to keep tourism dollars flowing and to offer visitors an alternative Tibetan destination at least until Tibet reopens, which the region's Bureau of Tourism says is planned for May 1, China has continued to allow visitors into portions of eastern (Aba) Ngawa, including Jiuzhaigou. Still, empty hotels, frustrated taxi drivers and the extraordinary solitude at Jiuzhaigou's famous waterfalls testify to how widely the crackdown is being felt by a tourism industry that trades on the Tibetan mystique. One recent evening, an Air China Airbus-319 that can hold more than 120 passengers took off from Jiuzhaigou's airport with just 32 people aboard, including the crew.

Other key spots in (Aba) Ngawa, including China's famed panda-research center, Wolong National Nature Reserve, remain open, but tour operators say visitors should expect police roadblocks and passport checks along the way. Monasteries in (Aba) Ngawa can feel unnaturally lifeless, including Gami Temple, which has a police station at its entrance and where the only person eager to talk on a recent day was a 14-year-old monk who wanted money "to buy a pen."

Robert Barnett, director of the modern Tibetan studies center at Columbia University in New York, says Beijing has long been anxious about the (Aba) Ngawa region, which he says may be due to a deep devotion within the Kirti Monastery to the Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama, rather than the Communist Party in Beijing. Mr. Barnett says Aba, which is known as Ngawa in Tibetan, remained off limits to tourists long after they were permitted to first visit other parts of China, including Tibet, through the 1980s and 1990s. "It was the last holdout," he says.

The controls are back. It proves fruitless to drive toward Kirti and the rest of the Buddhist heartland of (Aba) Ngawa on Highway 213, a key north-south artery in Sichuan province. At a junction to the highway near the airport, a police officer checks the car's trunk before dismissing a request to drive through by uttering a single-word reason: "laowai," or foreigner.

On a more-touristy route 50 kilometers north, the car is waved to the side of the road by a portly policeman wearing a pistol on his hip and a red light on his bullet-proof vest. Telephone calls are made as an American reporter's passport, which includes a foreign journalist visa, is scrutinized for 10 minutes, prompting just one question from the officer before the car is permitted to proceed: "what is your name, your Chinese name?"

A newly built mountain pass further north offers a possible route toward Kirti. But traffic police manning a checkpoint refuse entry, as one explains in halting English "the road bad" and in Chinese that the sedan is ill-equipped to traverse the snowy conditions. Despite turning the car around, the officers insist on making note of the reporter's passport details but don't mention its journalist-visa stamp — perhaps because restricting movement of foreign reporters is out of sync with Beijing's Olympics-related pledge to allow them unfettered access this year.

In the ethnically diverse trading town of Songpan, police cars pass through the gates of its 600-year-old wall far more these days than busses shuttling tourists, a reminder of how Songpan was a garrison town during the Tang Dynasty. One ethnic-Chinese restaurant owner says the government's tight grip has cost her "90%, if not 98%" of her business and, "Our worst fear is it will last until after the Olympics."

A horseback ride into pastoral (Aba) Ngawa offers a peek at how China's fast modernization is reaching some remote Tibetan communities — places that haven't experienced unrest. In the valley town of Bao Zuo, workmen are standing in mud installing new telephone lines, while a resident in adjacent Mu Ni Xiang turns heads with his newly purchased moped. Still, the massive stacks of hand-cut wood for cooking and heat that encircle houses in the area, plus the yaks and sheep, are a reminder of how disparate rural China, where Tibetans and other ethnic minorities tend to live, is compared with urban areas that are dominated by the nation's dominant ethnic group, Hans.

Inside the 400-person Tibetan hamlet of Shi Ba Village, controls are tight. One minute after a visitor crosses a small bridge into Shi Ba, a village watchman scurries over with a pad of paper to register passport details. And within a half hour, the village chief, Ze Wang, arrives to outline rules for an overnight stay, including avoiding the local monasteries after dark, promising not to explore the town's single dirt path alone and pledging to depart early in the morning.

Shi Ba, which translates as Stone Dam, is an agrarian community that appears far wealthier than many places in Tibet proper: food, a mix of Chinese steamed buns and red Tibetan yak-butter tea, is plentiful, and satellite dishes stick out from many houses, even though water is still drawn from a well and the electricity fails just after dark.

Through the evening, Tibetan farmers gather in one resident's living room, which doubles as a tavern. They warm themselves in front of a wood-fired stove and buy clear liquor by the shot glass, sticking to light conversation with an outsider such as whether watching basketball during the Beijing Olympics will be better in person or on television. Questions about rioting in Lhasa are dismissed with puzzled looks.

But even in Shi Ba there is the hint of discord. At one of the town's two monasteries, a monk appears to take a gentle political jab at the Communist Party's involvement in monastic affairs. He nods toward the hard-to-miss Chinese flag at the monastery entrance and asks with a wink "see the red flag?"

One Tibetan employed in (Aba) Ngawa's now-sagging tourism business says Chinese authorities are wary of outsiders due to fears they may be helping the Dalai Lama fan dissent. "They think you are part of the Dalai clique," he says.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Rise America! Rise!

Celebrating Women: A Note from Dr. Maya Angelou
by Dr. Maya Angelou
3/31/2008 11:45:30 AM

This entry is part of a series in celebration of Women's History Month.

You may write me down in history
With your bitter, twisted lies,
You may trod me in the very dirt
But still, like dust, I’ll rise.

This is not the first time you have seen Hillary Clinton seemingly at her wits end, but she has always risen, always risen, much to the dismay of her adversaries and the delight of her friends.

Hillary Clinton will not give up on you and all she asks of you is that you do not give up on her.

There is a world of difference between being a woman and being an old female. If you’re born a girl, grow up, and live long enough, you can become an old female. But, to become a woman is a serious matter. A woman takes responsibility for the time she takes up and the space she occupies.

Hillary Clinton is a woman. She has been there and done that and has still risen. She is in this race for the long haul. She intends to make a difference in our country.

She is the prayer of every woman and man who long for fair play, healthy families, good schools, and a balanced economy.

She declares she wants to see more smiles in the families, more courtesies between men and women, more honesty in the marketplace. Hillary Clinton intends to help our country to what it can become.

She means to rise.

She means to help our country rise. Don’t give up on her, ever.

In fact, if you help her to rise, you will rise with her and help her make this country a wonderful, wonderful place where every man and every woman can live freely without sanctimonious piety, without crippling fear.

Rise Hillary.


Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Cowork(ing) Spaces

I have discovered a very cool idea today! Read about it here!

This concept looks like one of the many enlightened work-culture environments of our children. Hybrid workers! Boarder-walkers! Creative culture of which I have been dreaming for a very long time, to one day be actively inspired by, as I re-emerge to help and participate in the world-at-large again.

Now that the child-raising years have shifted to greater independence for all within my family, there is new life-opportunity available for me at last. Time available to explore syngergizing areas of experience, thought and vision under which I have been building a longterm career foundation over parallel time.
A skill-set foundation to satisfy through meaningful responses, strong life-long intuitions for new forms of work: Somatic-centered studio work that benefits overall individual (particularly women & girls) well being, in community cultural well being! A continuation of parallel time perspective.

I am actively seeking investors! If you are the financially supportive type, of an innovative entrepreneur, you've come to the right place. Begin your contact with me here. Thank-you!

George W. Bush must listen to these voices _ Citizens the world over must NOT wait on the inaction of any national leaders!

In Israeli farm in the foreground looking toward Gaza


Please go to this blog address: and hear the voices of people living in their own lives!

Does it really matter when this "attack" occurred? What matters is really seeing the map of the two countries.

Let us take citizen action ourselves on ever increasing scale to support one another where we are living. No sides taken, only end violence. Just stop all violence. Whatever disagreements are, only end violence. No more violence. No more. No more. Stop violence. Just stop. Just stop.

A good son in any country...

A frequent scene on any given day in either country... where do the children play?

How far will we come, where the issue of war must evolve toward skillfully peaceful resolution of our differences, as citizens anywhere on this planet that is our home, in our lifetime that is right now?

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Links to views about how the Petreaus/Capitol Hill Hearings are a sham

I am American born, raised in military and civilian life and now in my fifties. All of my life, I have struggled with the social fabric of this country after living abroad in other cultures on other continents, as a child-representative of my country, (what every military child is raised to take responsibility for, when being stationed abroad
in a military family).
My views of reality in America in every minute in the now, involve pro-actively taking up a level of personal responsibility that most people here tell me is unrealistic... I will continue to disbelieve this perspective-as-reason as untested apathy on the part of many citizens, because I know that it is the simplest actions that truly do matter in the long run. There is nothing else to work toward; to ask oneself what everyday steps one can reasonably commit to on a daily basis in order to consciously know oneself as awake? Mundanely simple everyday steps that make a big and sublime radical difference in the long run.
Some of my own very simple commitment(s) have been to never engage in violence, to never own a gun, to raise an independent-minded human being who questions "authority" because EVERYONE has lessons to learn, knowing that sometimes the right teacher is the child.
To commit to the simplest consciousness evolution practice/experience, so that I am more and more fully awake_ not judging not projecting as much as I consciously understand and notice in myself, more and more in every minute of everyday of my entire life. Most importantly, to be of service in the world in ways that constructively facilitate proliferation of a world environment that invites more and more human beings to wake up. Mutual safety and mutual respect are key.

To be a gate-opener, not a gate-keeper because equal access to justice without condition, invests in the health of a nation. Yes, this means one group cannot always control "it" all, but rather is equally tested to TRUST in the robust state of overall well being and therefore intelligent response and ability of the citizenry. Responsibility on BOTH sides of the agreement: to lead (sometimes leading is by the small group, sometimes by the large will of the citizenry) and trust leadership (sometimes trusting is invested in the small group, sometimes invested in the large will of the citizenry).
Today I offer these two links, liberal perspectives to be sure, regarding today's hearings of the military staff in Iraq, and General Petreaus in particular.
One view personally offered, as first responses to watching a portion of the hearings this morning, is Senator McCain's clear personal behavioral maintenance that is invested in negative polarity, within the country he claims a patriotic elitism. This kind of behavior is a wantonly reckless manner of defining personal standard, the world can no longer indulge. This form of ego-centricity in anyone, deserves competent, non-judgmental confrontation. Behavior that deserves to be named for what it is, until that person can be lovingly witnessed into conscious awareness about their own negative, ego-centered behavior pattern(s). Behavior patterns that can come at the expense of people's very own lives. An example of this behavioral rationale is "protecting the interests" of one nation at the expense of the equally valuable interests of another nation. Really.
My hope and intention is that those who are ready and available to consciously show up in their own lives no matter what partisan view is believed in, may find this blog helpful and/or supportive in even the smallest way on their own journey to waking up.

Bless us all, everywhere in the world! We are all human in this life experience.

Monday, April 7, 2008

China jails outspoken activist over Tibet views

U.S. condemns 3 1/2-year sentence for dissident who criticized Communists

Greg Baker / AP

Protesters gathered outside a Beijing court on Thursday as activist Hu Jia was jailed on subversion charges.

updated 8:29 a.m. PT, Thurs., April. 3, 2008

BEIJING - An outspoken Chinese dissident was jailed for three-and-a-half years on Thursday over his remarks about Tibet and other sensitive topics.

Hu Jia, 34, was found guilty of "inciting subversion of state power" for criticizing the ruling Communist Party.

His conviction is likely to become a focus of rights campaigns ahead of the Beijing Olympics and the verdict drew quick condemnation from the United States.

"In this Olympic year, we urge China to seize the opportunity to put its best face forward and take steps to improve its record on human rights and religious freedom," the U.S. Embassy said in a statement.

The official Xinhua news agency said Hu, who is a Buddhist, had made a "confession of crime and acceptance of punishment," leading the court to issue a relatively light sentence. Hu's lawyers said he had acknowledged "excesses."

"In the end, I think that he came to accept that some of his statements were contrary to the law as it stands," said defense lawyer Li Jinsong. Hu has 10 days starting on Friday to decide whether to appeal, but Li said he was unlikely to do so.

Sentence denounced

The "inciting subversion" charge can attract a jail term of five years or longer, and before the hearing Hu's other lawyer, Li Fangping, said a long sentence was likely.

After the sentencing he denounced it as nonetheless unjust.

"It's the defense position that citizens have the right to free speech," Li Fangping told reporters outside the court.

"The law on inciting subversion of state power doesn't have a clear boundary, but the Constitution guarantees citizens freedom of speech."

China's Foreign Ministry defended the verdict and said critics were meddling in the country's internal affairs.

Another Chinese dissident, Yang Chunlin, who called for human rights to take precedence over the Olympic Games, was sentenced to five years in jail in late March for the same crime.

The court heard that from August 2006 to October 2007, Hu published articles on overseas-run Web sites, made comments in interviews with foreign media and "repeatedly instigated other people to subvert the state's political power and socialist system," Xinhua said.

Called a 'Hero'

Dozens of well-wishers gathered outside the court to express support for Hu and rowdily air their own grievances, milling around with the foreign reporters and diplomats who were excluded from entering the court.

"Hu Jia is a hero to us because he stood up to speak out, so we should also speak out," said one of the supporters, Li Hai.

United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Louise Arbour voiced concern at Hu's conviction.

"We continue to be concerned about a number of cases including Hu Jia, in which it seems national security issues are being used as grounds to curtail social activism by human rights defenders," said her spokesman Rupert Colville.

Mark Allison of Amnesty International added: "This verdict is a slap in the face for Hu Jia and a warning to any other activists in China who dare to raise human rights concerns publicly."

Vocal advocate

Starting with advocacy for rural AIDS sufferers, Hu emerged as one of the nation's most vocal advocates of democratic rights, religious freedom and self-determination for Tibet, recently shaken by protests and a security crackdown.

U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice raised Hu's case when in Beijing in February, and the European Union and other Western governments have also pressed China on the matter.

Hu's relatively rapid trial suggested authorities wanted to get it out of the way well before the Beijing Olympics in August, said Joshua Rosenzweig of the Duihua Foundation, a San Francisco-based group that works to free Chinese political prisoners.

Hu was detained by police in late December after spending more than 200 days under house arrest in a Beijing apartment complex.

His wife, Zeng Jinyan, who has also often criticized the Chinese government, and their infant daughter remain under house arrest and their telephone is cut off.

Zeng attended the hearing, emerging with her baby from the courthouse visibly upset before being whisked away in a police vehicle.

TEH ENG KOON / AFP/Getty Images

Zeng Jinyan (L), the wife of human rights activist Hu Jia weeps as she speaks to the media outside a courthouse in Beijing on April 3, 2008. Activist Hu Jia was on April 3 jailed for three years and six months for subversion, his lawyer said, amid what rights groups charge is a campaign by China to silence dissent before the Olympics.

State security criminal cases, such as Hu's, have been rising, with 742 last year, John Kamm of the Duihua Foundation told reporters in Beijing.

With mounting arrests in Tibet after protests and unrest there, Kamm said 2008 was likely to be "a bumper year" for such cases.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Hillary in Portland, Oregon

Talking about the environment AND the troops in the same place. Not only can Oregonians deal with it, these freedoms, motivations and commitments are why we live here!

Thursday, April 3, 2008

One Great Loving Teacher

Thich Nhat Hanh

on 9/11

on Burma

on Mindfulness

Sister Nhu Nghiem

The One True Home

Wednesday, April 2, 2008


I saw a bumper sticker the other day that really made sense to me about the state of confusion and false pride we are all complicit in these days, particularly after receiving a response letter from my state's more conservative senator. The bumper sticker said:

"Pro-life? Pro-war? Make up your mind!"

I will follow that 'bumper-philosophy' with these quotes:

'The world is very different now. For we human beings hold in our mortal hands the power to abolish all forms of human poverty, and all forms of human life."
- paraphrased from John Fitzgerald Kennedy

"I believe that as long as there is plenty, poverty is evil.
- Robert Kennedy

"The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have too is whether we provide enough for those who have too little."
- Franklin Delano Roosevelt

Find those quotes and more at this website: the Power of ONE

"Knowing what one is against is a potentially dangerous problem when one does not know what one is for." - anonymous

"Nobody grows old merely by living a number of years. We grow old by deserting our ideals. Years may wrinkle the skin, but to give up enthusiasm wrinkles the soul."
- Samuel Ullman

"It is at our mother's knee that we acquire our noblest and truest and highest ideals, but there is seldom any money in them." - Mark Twain

'Do not consider Collectivists as 'sincere but deluded idealists'. The proposal to enslave some human beings for the sake of others is not an ideal; brutality is not 'idealistic,' no matter what its purpose. Do not ever say that the desire to 'do good' by force is a good motive. Neither power-lust nor stupidity are good motives.'
- paraphrased from Ayn Rand

Who are you?
'For the power of my anger, transforming itself into love, for the beauty and integrity of all life-forms, and for the bright energy of my passion for justice and the health of all beings, I bow to you in gratitude and touch the Earth.'"
- Caitriona Reed