Standing Rock water protectors

On Sunday night, Water Protectors were met with water hoses in freezing temperatures, shot with rubber bullets, and sprayed with pepper spray. Over a hundred were injured, some seriously. It is more important than ever to stand with Standing Rock and denounce this violence against the peaceful Water Protectors.
The Water Protectors at Standing Rock need to know we’ve got their backs. Add your name »

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The London Times in 1936

I take it you already know
Of tough and bough and cough and dough?
Others may stumble, but not you,
On hiccough, thorough, lough, and through?
Well done! And now you wish, perhaps,
To learn of less familiar traps?
Beware of heard, a dreadful word
That looks like beard and sounds like bird,
And dead: it’s said like bed, not bead—
For goodness sake don’t call it ‘deed’!
Watch out for meat and great and threat
(They rhyme with suite and straight and debt).
A moth is not a moth in mother,
Nor both in bother, broth in brother,
And here is not a match for there
Nor dear and fear for bear and pear;
And then there’s dose and rose and lose—
Just look them up—and goose and choose,
And cork and work and card and ward,
And font and front and word and sword,
And do and go and thwart and cart—
Come, come, I’ve hardly made a start!
A dreadful language? Man alive!
I’d mastered it when I was five!

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dialogue

DM: I want to be.
A: You lack focus, you´re a waste of time and energy.
DM: The creative part of the process of understanding is posing the right question.
A: There must be a systematic way to refine questions from disciplined work.
DM: Quantity as a source for quality
A: Not really, the praxis is the real teacher, not random ramblings by myself. Without interaction with reality, mental work is sterile. Even the greater minds are productive because of the interaction with reality.
DM: Well, yes but how do you connect perception with understanding? You need to connect with your inner self and brainstorming is maybe the only way.
A: Meditation and programmed sleep might be another better way. Brainstorming is noisy and understanding might drown among so much garbage.
DM: Relax my mean man. Until you relax, deep understanding will not come.
A: I see. But the idea is to concentrate in the process, regardless of consequences. Flow is a state of pure mind, one thing at a time.
DM: All these things you mention are necessary. It is a process. Some serendipity is essential, well, convenient, to find the right path in the darkness.
A: A good way to fall off a cliff.
DM: The end of life is always death. One must move forward to the end. Of course, a random walk might lead to oblivion, but most of the paths go forward.
A: Not true, empiric evidence is that most paths are paths of self-destruction.
DM: It is a matter of belief. You must trust your inner self; your inner strength, and wisdom. It is what you have and there is not use negating it.
A: You right. What about not getting distracted by what I think it should be vs what is?
DM: You must accept that at one point you would be wrong. You might or might not get a chance to recover and learn. Either way to play you cards is the objective of the game. Time is limited and you’re going to die whether you use your time to live or you sit to wait for time to be over.
A: Right. It is not a blind belief to always be right but the courage to act on what I have.

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Your internal writing critic, and one way to overcome it

Everything You Wanted to Know about Freelance Writing

Paul tackles the topics of your internal critic and creativity and writing in a number of his books. You can read about the books available online at paullima.com/books/.

Writing is considered an art by most fiction writers, one that involves a great deal of creative thought. For the rest of us—those who write business documents, articles, case studies, media releases, blog posts, social media content, web content and even non-fiction books—writing is a craft. However, even crafts involve at least a modicum of creative thinking, some types of non-fiction writing more than others, admittedly. Technical competency and understanding the structure of the document you are producing are important; however, unless you are producing a price list, it is difficult to imagine writing without a degree of creative ability. But before we look at creativity and writing, let’s look at something that can interfere with creativity, or what I call…

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flour tortillas

I have eaten flour tortillas like that in two places, at home when I was a boy, and in Beeville. Beeville is the county seat of Bee County, Texas, with a population around thirteen thousand. It is the birthplace of my Grandmother Clara but I have never been there before. I was driving back home from Houston by Route 59 and then there it was, Beeville.
Beeville is one of those one-street towns but it has character beyond its size. Many of the stately homes, commercial buildings, and schools in the area, including the Bee County Courthouse, were designed by architect William Charles Stephenson, who came to Beeville in 1908 from Buffalo, New York. Beeville is a National Main Street City.
It was noon when we passed by Beeville and decided to have lunch in Grandma´s hometown. We stopped at El Charro, a Mexican restaurant, right on Route 59. Lunch came with flour tortillas wrapped in aluminum foil. I was taking back to Memory Lane when I saw the thick flatbreads, pita-bread like. I only had seen tortillas like these when my mother used to make them for supper.
Googling Beeville, I see that it has, to some accounts, the best German restaurant in Texas. I must try that one next time I am in town.

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no way to go

There’s no avoiding it, Donald Trump is our next President. How did Trump trump the political establishment for the presidency? The System beat itself. On the one hand, The Democratic Party shenanigans disenfranchised many people that would have voted for a democrat ticket, and on the other hand, the republicans only had a bible-belt demagogue as a viable option. Trump won because, for some, he was a hope of change; for others, Clinton was worst; and the rest just gave up on voting altogether.

To start with, voting turnout in the US is around fifty percent and declining. Comparing the 2012 presidential election with this one in 2016 there is a sharp decline in participation. In 2012 around sixty-six million people voted for Obama, and sixty-one for Romney. In 2016 fifty-nine million people voted for Clinton, for a loss of seven million. Trump did better, he only lost two million people, probably because he attracted people that did not vote before to compensate the loss of ordinary republicans. The steady decline in voting participation is a symptom of the disconnect between the citizenry and the power elite.

The sharp decline in citizen participation is more telling if one remembers, that at the time of the primaries, the candidacy of Trump was expected to generate higher than expected voting turnout. At that time, the election seemed a likely slam dunk for the Democratic Party. Bernie Sanders was getting a lot of traction with young voters, and despite a socialist label, his poll numbers were impressive. What the Democratic Party did? Rig the Democratic Party primary in favor of Hillary Clinton.

Did Clinton reach out for Sanders´ base once she was nominated? No, she laughed out the dissidents and run on the slogan: I’m not Trump. That suited Trump just fine and the theme “I´m not Clinton” served him well. Now that the election is over, The Democratic Party, instead of accepting its faults, blames the FBI for a half-hearted attempt to do what the FBI is supposed to do. The political establishment must recognize that people are fed up with corruption and power plays and change or be changed.

Trump wants to dramatically expand the NSA to spy on each of us, he’s called for “closing parts of the Internet,” and he has a complete disdain for the most fundamental safeguard for an open Internet: Net Neutrality. Once inaugurated, Trump will inherit the power to severely harm our rights in the digital age. The results will be felt the hardest here at home. I fear what could happen to members of our society under an oppressive surveillance regime.

Steve Bannon, former head of the ultra-conservative website Breitbart, is now Trump’s chief strategist. He’s called climate scientists and activists “scum-sucking slime balls.” “Talentless low-lives.” “Abject liars.”

You’re going to hear a lot about him in the coming weeks. But it’s not just Bannon.

Myron Ebell, one of the nation’s top climate skeptics, will oversee the EPA transition. Sarah Palin is in serious contention to become Secretary of the Interior. The whole transition team is packed with climate change deniers and representatives from the dirty energy industry.

While Trump continues to plan for his Presidency, we need to know what our supporters think of his shocking political ascension. Trump seems to be getting into hyper-TV-reality-mode with unpredictable consequences for the whole World. In these times of change, we need more informed citizen participation, not less.

Will you chip in $3 to jump-start an all-out organizing drive to build the power we need to defend our rights under a Trump administration?

Fight back before it’s too late. Stand up against Trump, Bannon, Ebell, and Palin. Donate today and keep the environmental movement standing strong.

Footnotes:

[1] Donald Trump is about to control the most powerful surveillance machine in history. Source: The Verge
[2] Donald Trump Wants to Close Off Parts of the Internet. Source: Time
[3] How Donald Trump could dismantle net neutrality and the rest of Obama’s legacy. Source: Washington Post
[4] Trump: Black Lives Matter helped instigate police killings. Source: CNN

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Three Ways of Listening

Silvia Di Blasio

Kinship with all creatures of the earth, sky, and water was a real and active principle. In the animal and bird world there existed a brotherly feeling that kept us safe among them… The animals had rights – the right of man’s protection, the right to live, the right to multiply, the right to freedom, and the right to man’s indebtedness. This concept of life and its relations filled us with the joy and mystery of living; it gave us reverence for all life; it made a place for all things in the scheme of existence with equal importance to all.”
~ Chief Luther Standing Bear

mila-repa-1151719_1920

The first thing we learn in life coaching is to listen. Not the listening to get information while the focus is still on us (my opinions, my assumptions, my judgement, my curiosity, my anticipation of what’s said,my preparation of my response); nor even…

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SELF HATING JEWS

In the constant stream of accusations, mainly from Jews in the Diaspora, Israelis are labelled self hating, for daring to criticise their government or systems.  It is a betrayal they are told. 

Read more at:https://www.byline.com/column/36/article/1321

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liberation theology

Archbishop Oscar Arnulfo Romero

Monsignor RomeroA youthful Father Oscar Romero with Salvadorans
(Photo courtesy of the Archbishop Romero Trust)

Óscar Arnulfo Romero y Galdámez (August 15, 1917 – March 24, 1980) was a prominent Roman Catholic priest in El Salvador during the 1960s and 1970s becoming Archbishop of San Salvador in 1977. After witnessing numerous violations of human rights, he began to speak out on behalf of the poor and the victims of repression. This led to numerous conflicts, both with the government in El Salvador and within the Catholic Church. After speaking out against U.S. military support for the government of El Salvador, and calling for soldiers to disobey orders to fire on innocent civilians, Archbishop Romero was shot dead while celebrating Mass at the small chapel of the cancer hospital where he lived. It is believed that those who organised his assassination were members of Salvadoran death squads, including two graduates of the School of the Americas.

Gustavo Gutiérrez Merino, O.P. (born 8 June 1928 in Lima) is a Peruvian theologian and Dominican priest regarded as one of the principal founders of liberation theology in Latin America. He holds the John Cardinal O’Hara Professorship of Theology at the University of Notre Dame. He has been professor at the Pontifical Catholic University of Peru and a visiting professor at many major universities in North America and Europe. He is a member of the Peruvian Academy of Language, and in 1993 he was awarded the Legion of Honor by the French government for his tireless work. He has also published in and been a member of the board of directors of the international journal, Concilium.

The church has not formally embraced the progressive movement, but Gustavo Gutiérrez’s upcoming visit another sign of rehabilitation under Pope Francis


Gustavo Gutierrez and the preferential option for the poor

By John Dear SJ

Created Nov 08, 2011 by John Dear SJ

“I hope my life tries to give testimony to the message of the Gospel, above all that God loves the world and loves those
who are poorest within it.”

That’s the recent summation of his life by 83-year-old Peruvian theologian Gustavo Gutierrez, founder of liberation theology and its central tenet, “the preferential option for the poor.”

In his introduction, Groody reviews Gutierrez’s three bottom-line principles about life and death at the bottom.

First, material poverty is never good but an evil to be opposed. “It is not simply an occasion for charity but a degrading force that denigrates human dignity and ought to be opposed and rejected.”

Second, poverty is not a result of fate or laziness, but is due to structural injustices that privilege some while marginalizing others. “Poverty is not inevitable; collectively the poor can organize and facilitate social change.”

Third, poverty is a complex reality and is not limited to its economic dimension. To be poor is to be insignificant. Poverty means an early and unjust death.


The Pope’s Holy War Against Liberation Theology

The election of a left-leaning former Bishop in Paraguay, and the growth of left movements around Latin America puts Pope Benedict and the Vatican on a collision course with Liberation Theology.

Nikolas Kozloff

Recognizing the pressing need for social justice, Liberation Theology was minted by Pope John XXIII to challenge the Church to defend the oppressed and the poor. Since its emergence, Liberation Theology has consistently mixed politics and religion. Its adherents have often been active in labor unions and left-wing political parties. Followers of Liberation Theology take inspiration from fallen martyrs like Archbishop Oscar Romero of El Salvador and Dorothy Mae Stang, an American-born nun who was murdered by ranching interests in Brazil.

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Egeria

About Egeria
Egeria, one of the earliest documented Christian pilgrims, visited the most important destinations of pilgrimage in the eastern Mediterranean between 381 and 384 AD. She wrote an account of her travels, which is among the earliest descriptions of pilgrimage travel to the Holy Land and beyond.

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