The cat, named Bunky, had to be put down today. He was Kate’s cat and I was fond of him because he was so big and funny and pretty. At the same time Hosni Mubarak flew to his seaside Red Sea resort, 250 miles from Cairo which immediately burst into a wild sea of celebration. I said goodbye to Bunky this morning by stroking his fur and talking to him which got his attention. Now he is no more, cremated. Mubarak too is no more, not cremated, but no more is he in charge of anything in Egypt. The generals are now in command. We’ll see what they do. They promise to give the people what they want, democracy. Promises, promises.

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Methodius has an excellent post on the false neutrality shown by much of the media. His post, False Neutrality, links to an Egyptian blog coming from one of the few locations in Cairo with an internet connection. There are also quotes from “one of the most lucid and clear eye-witness accounts of what was happening in Egypt at Robert Fisk: Secular and devout. Rich and poor. They marched together with one goal – The Independent.

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The Nines of Open Mic
January 28, 2011
by Mardy Seavey

We’re all dressed to the nines tonight.
Its nine years of the Open Mic!
We’re up on cloud nine tonight.
Its nine years of the Open Mic!
We want the whole nine yards tonight.
Its nine years of the Open Mic!
The nine worthies are here tonight,
One for each year of the Open Mic.
So we gotta swing to the nines tonight,
‘Cause its nine years of
Heather Pierson’s great Open Mic!

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Was depressed driving there. Expected only a few people and that turned out to be true. However, the service went well; there were 15 there in all. Bernice did a good job with it. Ann read the Stone Soup story very well. My high point was singing “I’ve Got a Dream” by Gene Navias. Shared the singing with Bernice (the only two in the choir) but I stood out and improvised and got some applause afterward. Bernice asked after Ann’s reading if people had things to present or say. Several did. I did Yeats’ “Had I the heavens embroidered cloths”. Had some turkey soup afterward and then came home. Called home twice from church. Heather talked to Mom about dropping in sometime to play music.

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First Snow

Looks like winter is here. Night before last we got about a half inch of snow. In a brief walk I tried to find some tracks. Nothing but squirrels…. Crick, Sean, and Nye will be leaving today. The Mommy was stimulated by their presence which was good. The food Crick prepared with some help from Kate was all good, including the two large turkey breasts. Crick had planned on taking the Mom to church on Sunday but Mom suddenly announced she didn’t want to go. As I was in the bathroom finishing the brushing of my teeth I heard the conversation which was over quickly. Crick said she can visit Nick on Sunday now. This is all for the best… Looked at a few of the videos on brain structure that I’ve had for a long time. These are conducted by a charming and humble guy named Walid Aziz. My goal is to get better picture of hippocampus and the so-called temporal horns. That’s it for now.

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Here’s a humorous poem my wife Cynthia wrote back in March 2004. It’s purpose was to stimulate people to gather together their plants for the upcoming spring plant sale at the Norway UU church in Norway, Maine.

Plant Sale / Church Garden
(A Reminder)

Garden lover, garden lover,
Lend to me your ear!
Soon your long lost, joyful plants
Will flaunt beloved cheer.
Even as you inhale each bloom,
Pray appraise just what is there!

For May the 29th’s the date
When our surplus shoots,
Potted, labeled, and arrayed
(care taken for the roots)
Will once again with pride be placed,
For eager shopping groups.

Dig and separate your extras
Daisy, iris, herb;
Hostas, pansies, lilies. asters –
All you may disturb;
Such hardy, lush perennials.
And it’s for the church!

Now ponder this as ‘mongst your jewels
You putter and pot up:
How now a greeting U.U. plot
Before the steps wend up?
Color, texture; summer, winter.
Hello! We’re here! What’s up!

Thus may church reach out to Main Street,
With love and beauty say:
“We welcome all, we value all.
Come in, from out the fray”.
Oh gardeners list’, consider well,
Your plants may pave the way!

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MAINE BEYOND WAR

Introduction to Maine Beyond War’s free online seminars on taking the first steps in a plan for world peace:

There are millions of groups and agencies world-wide working for peace. For the most part their goal is to end war. Certainly ending our current wars is a good thing. However, ending wars will not produce a peaceful world. All wars end eventually. Throughout history the period following the end of one war has been simply an interstice between wars. A culture of war exists and always has where the use of violence to resolve conflicts or to gain profit has been a preferred mode of goal achievement.

A culture of war is one in which materialism prevails, where there must be winners and losers, where fear is a prominent means of maintaining control of others. As long as that culture is allowed to persist, wars will persist.

Cultural change can occur as a response to a major crisis or it can occur as a result of planning. Given the mounting destructiveness of modern war with the risk of nuclear annihilation a real possibility, it makes sense to plan for change.

Change needs to begin with our attitudes, beliefs and values. If we can allow ourselves to be known, if we can be afraid only when we are in actual danger, if we can experience our uniqueness and find it good, then we may be at peace. If we can learn to trust, to forgive, to love and respect each other, then we may be at peace.

If we are at peace within ourselves it is easier to be at peace with others. Being at peace with our selves, others will be drawn to us and find comfort in our peace.

At peace, we can look at our culture and avoid its relentless drive for dominion over the earth’s human and physical resources. We can reject our knee-jerk choice of violence in favor of life enhancing human fellowship.

At peace, we can help build a world that is at peace. Starting with ourselves, we can take the first step in a plan for world peace.

Sample topics for Maine Beyond War’s Seminars in Inner Peace

Introduction to deep peace: the emotional basis of peace

The power of peace in daily life – hope is key

Safety – an emotional cycle: need for equilibrium, boredom, need for stimulation, reach a point of stress, need for equilibrium

Source of emotions and their effects

Emotions and the power therein – faith, compassion, mutuality, love, respect, forgiveness

Personal responsibility in a life of peace

Peaceful communication – Speaking from the heart

Family and community – mutually supportive networks

Making your personal peace public – advocacy

To register for the seminars:
e-mail Bert Kauffman at [email protected]

If you have questions about the program, contact Richard Beal at [email protected] or Bert Kauffman at [email protected]

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Wild Geese and Goose

I’ve memorized this poem by Mary Oliver:

Wild Geese

You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees for 100 miles through the desert, repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body love what it loves.
Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile, the world goes on.
Meanwhile, the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain are moving across the landscapes.
Over the prairies and the deep trees
The mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile, the wild geese, high in the clean blue air, are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
The world offers itself to your imagination.
Calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting –
Over and over announcing your place in the family of things.

Why does this poem remind me of Frankie Laine?

Cry of the Wild Goose
By Frankie Laine
My heart knows what the wild goose knows,
I must go where the wild goose goes.
Wild goose, brother goose, which is best?
A wanderin’ fool or a heart at rest?

watch?v=Nq9Gzc0KkxE

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Paul Krugman hits the nail on the head again with his Op-Ed this morning, This Is Not a Recovery. He points out we need 2.5% GDP growth just to keep unemployment from rising, and instead, the latest figure out this morning for the second quarter is 1.6%! Instead of treading water with a 2.5% growth we’re being swept backwards, as though in a Pakistan flood, with a mere 1.6% growth.

Here’s the most popular comment, twice as many votes as the next most popular, on Krugman’s article:

As enlightening as your commentary always is, it assumes that policy makers have the interest of the average American, and in particular the unemployed, at heart.

The name of your blog is quite revealing here: you indeed appear to have a conscience, and as a liberal (and further as one freely admitting to the same) you possess a small healthy dose of naivete about your fellow man, generally believing in good intentions. I’m afraid the same can not be said about the majority of those at the Fed or otherwise controlling the reigns of the broader economy.

As an economist, you really should know better than anyone: whenever an inexplicable behavior arises, the best way to find an explanation is always to simply “follow the money”. So who stands to benefit from high unemployment?

If you look at the last ten years of US economic history, you see repeated rises and falls that all follow a similar pattern: when the economy is growing, the average worker fails to benefit. When the economy falls, the worker always loses the most, in terms of both buying power and job security. The benefit to large business owners, who control the majority of wealth and political power in the US, is substantial. The shakier the labor market, the more workers worry about their job security and the less compensation they are willing to work for. Eventually most workers are simply happy to have a job at all and are forced to settle for less and less.

What other explanation, for example, in the government’s complicity in allowing US jobs to be shipped increasingly overseas?

The political and the wealthy in the US are well enough intertwined to form a well-oiled machine. The working class is increasingly powerless. The federal officials you seem to hope for see things in terms of what is most beneficial for them, and increasingly this is to work in alignment with the very wealthy, who contribute most to their election and who stand to offer most in the private sector when they cycle back out of government.

As long as labor is weak and nervous, with the promise of better times always around the corner, unrest is kept at bay enough to permit the rich to keep getting richer with little or no downside.

As nice as it would be to believe in a government with the interests of the little guy at heart, it’s about as much based on hard evidence as Santa Clause. Let’s grow up and either decide to stop complaining about it or talk about some way to fight back.
Recommended by 548 Readers

Yes, this is a pretty cynical comment, but unfortunately it may in very large part be true. The question is, How do we fight back?

Thanks to “Klark, New York, NY” for the comment in red.

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