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Thursday, November 17, 2011

Something to Shoot For -

Something to Shoot For -

'via Blog this'

They told me "Cheer up, things can't get any worse" so I cheered up and they passed HR822. Do we need any further proof that we now have a "Rogue legislature, that the members of Congress are completely out of control? Their willful disregard of the rights and needs of American citizens has reached a point where mass impeachment is urgent. These guys will do anything to for money and I do mean anything.

Thursday, November 03, 2011

The Dissent's Dilemma

American Crisis Politics | Dissident Voice:

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When you can't vote for Obama and you won't vote for any of the possible candidates on the Republican slate, what do you do?

Obama has betrayed our trust and demonstrated his intractable dedication to "business as usual". He has totally ignored virtually all of his campaign promises and allied himself solidly with Wall Street and the bankers. He has ignored the people like me and thousands of others who worked the phones and knocked on doors to get him elected. The idea of voting for him in 2012 is the farthest thing from my mind and yet it would take a command from heaven to make me vote for any of the people who have thus far presented themselves for the Republican ticket. Barring something miraculous from "Americans Elect" or another third party movement, I'm stuck. Right now it looks like abstention is the only possible solution and yet that seems like a cop out. What's a poor guy to do?

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Addicted to Exercise? -

Addicted to Exercise? - "On the basis of the latest brain research, as well as practical experience, let’s acknowledge this profound truth: altruism and generosity can be hedonistic pleasures.


'via Blog this'

"On the basis of the latest brain research, as well as practical experience, let’s acknowledge this profound truth: altruism and generosity can be hedonistic pleasures." Evidently the Dalai Lama "nailed it" when he said "If you want to be really selfish, make others happy"

Saturday, October 29, 2011

The American Dream is a Myth

storyimages_1319223516_screenshot20111020at11.27.19am.png (702×479):

'via Blog this'

"Go to school, work hard, get a degree and you'll be a success" Maybe, once upon a time that was what people believed in America but it was a myth. Today,the son of a poor farmer will be lucky to farm, let alone become head of ConAgra and for 99% of us, "downward mobility" could be the latest trend. What was the
land of the free and the home of the brave" could soon become "the land of a few rich and the home of the slave"

Not surprisingly our ranking among the developed nations of the world in terms of social justice (poverty prevention,Overall poverty rate, Child poverty, senior citizen poverty, income inequality, education and health) is at 27th place only marginally ahead of Greece, Chili, Mexico and Turkey.

It is time for this country to reverse the politics and economic policies that have led to fall and take the steps that will put us back among the Scandinavian and other European nations where we belong.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Americans Staying Put More Than At Any Time Since WWII: Census

Americans Staying Put More Than At Any Time Since WWII: Census:

'via Blog this'

"A Nation on the Move" has evolved into "The Stay at Home Nation" If you "Go West Young Man" You could end up in California which seems to in total meltdown. Our cities are in chaos, we are now witnessing the beginning of the end. The socio/economic model that served so well in the 20th century (especially the early year) has outlived its usefulness. We need a new model for the 21st

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Exercised Will Power Lately?

Will power is perhaps just another of 10,000 synapses in our brain wiring. There may be some genetic predisposition towards making (and breaking) good/bad habits or behavior and if we make the synapse early in life and exercise it regularly like jogging or compassion, it will remain strong and available when needed. If we do not exercise will power, it will eventually atrophy and vanish from our cerebral toolbox.
So it's vital that we exercise it frequently with daily "presses" (not heavyweights) and ocasional "gutbusters" like quitting smoking or being nice to our mothers-in-law.

Think of something really challenging: if you're a user, give up pot or booze (for at least ninety days to reap the benefits), bike or walk to work etc. MAKE SURE IT'S REALLY CHALLENGING ("no pain...") and you'll be sure that your will power is ready and waiting when you really need it.

Monday, October 10, 2011

The Wall Street Occupiers and the Democratic Party | AlterNet

The Wall Street Occupiers and the Democratic Party | AlterNet: "Obama has been extraordinarily solicitous of Wall Street and big business – making Timothy Geithner Treasury Secretary and de facto ambassador from the Street; seeing to it that Bush’s Fed appointee, Ben Bernanke, got another term; and appointing GE Chair Jeffrey Immelt to head his jobs council."

'via Blog this'

"Obama has been extraordinarily solicitous of Wall Street and big business – making Timothy Geithner Treasury Secretary and de facto ambassador from the Street; seeing to it that Bush’s Fed appointee, Ben Bernanke, got another term; and appointing GE Chair Jeffrey Immelt to head his jobs council."

Can or will Obama lead the country out from under the thumb of the Wall Street Fat cats. If he won't then we must find someone who will.

Friday, October 07, 2011

Confronting the Malefactors -

Confronting the Malefactors -

'via Blog this'

The Politicians together with the media kept hoping that if they just ignored the Wall Street Protestors they would go away but as usual the politicians and the media were
They could not comprehend how these young, often ragtag people, camping in a park near the financial center of the world, without any apparent vertical organization, could be of any real significance. These chaotic manifestations of discontent completely outside of traditional political boundaries, have already toppled two oligarchic regimes and will soon knock off a few more. They might even shake the foundations of the anachronistic and impotent political systems in the U.S.

Friday, September 30, 2011

There Really Are Genetic Monsters in Our Midst

An Icy Political Vision -

'via Blog this'

Perhaps we are looking at the most dangerous evolutionary trend the human race has ever undergone. That is the "depersonalization" of significant portion of the population. Maybe there are non-persons among us who exhibit most of the superficial characteristics of human persons but the genetic predisposition towards empathy and compassion are not present in their DNA and (most disturbingly) their descendants will continue and even further this genetic disorder in successive generations. When they cheer at execution statistics, defile military heroes because of their sexual orientation and display other forms of inhumane behavior, they are demonstrating seriously anti-social, perhaps even sociopathic tendencies. How do we this situation? It should not be ignored but most of the alternatives seem at this point, too horrible to consider.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

The Lost Decade? -

The Lost Decade? -

'via Blog this'

Mr. Brooks recommends that we "End corporate taxes and create a consumption tax."
That certainly clarifies which side "his bread is buttered on". It's a short hop to full-fledged Tea Party membership. Maybe he'll come out of the closet and start openly campaigning for Rick Perry. I've been an admirer Brooks' journalistic skills and occasionally his insight but this time he's stepped a bit too far. Note how he and his employers have studiously avoided the subject of the Wall Street Protests

Monday, September 26, 2011

NYPD, Unprovoked, Peppersprays Women Behind Barricade at Occupy Wall Street Protest | AlterNet

NYPD, Unprovoked, Peppersprays Women Behind Barricade at Occupy Wall Street Protest | AlterNet:

'via Blog this'

Is this just a preview of a conflagration that could envelope the entire country ? With police and eventually the National Guard and Homeland Security on one side of the barriers and the people on the other?

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Small Donors Are Slow to Return to the Obama Fold -

Small Donors Are Slow to Return to the Obama Fold -

'via Blog this'

Many people, like me, gave money, time and passion for Obama in his last run for the presidency but this year, I'm going to wait for "a sign" not from heaven but from Obama. A sign that he will deliver on at least some of the promises he made in the last campaign. A sign that he will not always act like a pragmatic college professor weighing all the pros and cons until the issue at hand is dead, trying to create bipartisan legislation with a totally polarized Congress matching our passion for true democracy and fair and just government with some of his own and most importantly, standing up to bullies in Congress and Big Business for average Americans who have been screwed over too much and too often.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Free to Die -

Free to Die -

'via Blog this' During the last Presidential elections, when Barack Obama was challenging John McCain, some of the rallies hosted by VP candidate, Sarah Palin seemed to attract what I thought of as the "lunatic fringe" of the American electorate. They shouted things "Tell the government to keep their hands off my Medicare" and other inanities that made me wonder if they'd been released from local mental hospitals. They also shouted "kill him" from time-to-time when Sarah Palin mentioned the Democratic candidate's name. I would never imagine that I would see these "right wing-nuts" act as the foundation for an apparently significant caucus of the Republican Party. Shouting "Yes,yes" when the moderator of the last Republican debate asked if a young man who had not obtained health insurance and was now suffering from a life-threatening condition should be just left to die. Call them "Goons" "Ghouls" or Right-Wing Terrorists, these are the people who support Rick Perry, who might possibly (God forbid) be the next president of the United States

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Why Are the Corporate Media In Denial About the Right-Wing Terrorist Threat? | Tea Party and the Right | AlterNet

Why Are the Corporate Media In Denial About the Right-Wing Terrorist Threat? | Tea Party and the Right | AlterNet:

'via Blog this'

It is unlikely that the average American would connect Jihad Terrorists like Al Qaeda, the Taliban and similar MIddle Eastern political activist groups, with the Norwegian Islamophobic Christian fundamentalist Anders Behring Breivik, or Jared Lee Loughner who failed in his attempt to assassinate Senator Gabrielle Giffords and yet there is in fact, a strong connection these right wing terrorists and with those who support and promote the ideas that have inspired them. Certainly people like Ann Coulter, Rush Limbaugh and the Fox News Network have been instrumental in the inspiration of the current right-wing rhetoric that is now even common[lace on the Republican campaign trail.

The question is "How did we get to where we are"? and how can we reverse direction before it foments mob hysteria and wholesale violence. It seems counter-intuitive to suggest that the "powers that be" like the Wall Street bankers, the Hedge Fund Managers and other leaders of the "Military Industrial Complex" that Dwight Eisenhower warned us about more than fifty years ago and yet it is becoming increasingly likely that "Big Money" is indeed fomenting the right-wing revolt, working towards the dissolution of our already seriously flawed democratic system. Obviously, Homeland Security and the FBI are not interested in biting the hands that feed them, so who or what will stop our home-grown terrorists?

Friday, September 02, 2011

Oh, Grow Up -

Oh, Grow Up - "The contemptuous reaction from the House speaker, John Boehner, to the president’s request to address a joint session next Wednesday — the day Congress returns from its summer recess — was appalling."

'via Blog this'
One more nail in the coffin of a fatally flawed governmental system. Ours just doesn't work anymore and we must do something very soon to repair or replace it or the future of America is very bleak indeed.

Monday, August 29, 2011

City of Austin Might Close Our Pool

City of Austin: " Ned Smith
Your e-mail address:
Subject: Winter Closing of Dick Nichols Pool
Categories: parks
I have recently heard from several of my fellow swimmers that closing of the swimming pool at Dick Nichols Park is under consideration. The apparent reason for the discontinuance of services is purported to be the costs of heating the pool during the winter.

The majority of my neighbors in the area immediately adjacent to Dick Nichols Park are not aware of the possible closure and I only learned about it today (Aug. 29, 2011) . The use of the pool throughout the year is of major importance for many reasons including health, social interaction and recreation.

If such an action is under consideration it should be examined in open forum since it does concern a fairly wide swath of the community.

Please provide full information about this possible curtailment of services at your earliest convenience.

Thank you,

Ned Smith


'via Blog this'

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Check out my magazine!

Check out my magazine!

Fame comes to those that deserve it? Not in the 21st century where we have proven as And Warhol suggested "everyone is famous for ________ minutes

Friday, August 12, 2011

Post Political "Activism"

From "Prospect", a British monthly covering politics, economics and culture:
"The nihilistic grievance culture of the black inner city, fanned by parts of the hip-hop/rap scene and copied by many white people, has created a hardcore sub-culture of post-political disaffection. The disaffection is mainly unjustified. It’s as if the routine brutalities and racist humiliations of 30 to 40 years ago have been lovingly preserved to provide a motor of real anger for what is really just a kind of adolescent pose. But this disaffection is lionised in popular culture and feared and admired—and mainly simply ignored—by white Britain. It’s time the rest of the country took more notice.

The shooting of Mark Duggan does give the original rioting a link to the more political disturbances of the 1980s. There clearly was a problem with the handling of the Duggan case, and there is still a problem between young black people and the police with stop and search. But by all accounts relations with police are vastly improved on the 1980s, and Operation Trident, the police operation to combat the hugely disproportionate gun crime in the black community, was requested by the black community itself and is generally regarded as a success..."

Thursday, August 04, 2011

The Games We Played

 Back in the old days, when I was a kid...
 Radio was our main source of “home entertainment” (the expression wasn’t even coined until more than 30 years later) It was News and “Arthur Godfrey”* in the morning, “Jack Armstrong- All American Boy, The Lone Ranger, The Shadow” et al in the evening. Late at night, (10:00) I’d listen to the baseball games and jazz on the portable in my bedroom until my mother turned it off when she checked on me on her way to bed.
; During the day, after school, we’d play in the yard outside the kitchen. My first playmates were mainly my cousins, Patsy, Kathleen and Billy.

We’d play School: I’ll be the teacher and you’re the kids... 
 Doctor: OK what’s wrong with you? Here’s a prescription, take it to the drugstore... 
 House: I’ll be the daddy. Kathleen, you’re the mom and Patsy you’re the daughter...
 Store: Good morning Mrs. Smith, what can I get for you today...
 War: (When Billy was playing with us or with some of the boys in the neighborhood)
Cops and Robbers (with Billy and /or neighborhood boys)
 Cowboys and Indians (“Whoever heard of girl cowboys?”)
 We gave our imaginations full workouts every day in our play and visualizing the people, places and action we heard on the radio. Saturdays we gave our imaginations a rest when we went to the Children’s Show at the neighborhood movie theater. Eleven cents for admission to a four and a half hour extravaganza. Three or four serials (Lone Ranger, Superman, etc.), a few cartoons like Donald Duck, Bugs Bunny and Mickey Mouse, “Stooges” or “The Ritz Brothers” and two full-length features. Plus a comic book and three cents worth of penny candy. Besides taking a break from our imagination-training, Saturdays gave us a chance to verify or modify our imaginative images of our radio heroes - sometimes. Or sometimes we thought “Tonto doesn’t really look like that at all” 
 In some ways, reading was my favorite entertainment. When I read, it was all in my imagination and I could return to important events in a book any time I wanted to.
 The earliest reading experiences I can remember were comics. First, the “funnies” in the newspapers (we got the morning and evening papers every day and they all had “funnies”. ) “Lil Abner” “Dagwood” and “Donald Duck” were my early favorites and then I discovered comic books - that I devoured almost insatiably until one day, when I was about eight, I decided that they were a waste of time and money and I switched to real books. A friend of the family had given me her sons childhood library and I soon became obsessed with “The Boy Allies” Dickens’ “Tale of Two Cities” , “Tom Sawyer”, Huckleberry Finn, later “My Friend Flicka”, “Call of the Wild” and more 
> Whenever I think of my childhood reading, the book that comes first to mind is “Scaramouche” by Rafael Sabatini. The book opens with these lines “ He was born with the gift of laughter...and with a feeling that the whole world was mad... and this was his entire inheritance” 
> The events that were taking place in Europe and the Pacific were frequently in the News and on our minds and many kids like me dreamed of being war heroes- fighting the Nazis in Europe and the “Japs” in the Pacific.
> Our uncles and cousins were in the Army or Navy and many of the kids were secretly disappointed when the war came to an end in 1945 and I was eleven. We hoped to join join up as soon as we were old enough but World War II ended before we had a chance. Little did I suspect that I’d have an opportunity to live out my fantasies before I was 20.
> The thing I’ve been wondering about for a long time is how do kids develop their imaginative muscles today when almost nothing is left to the imagination. They watch “Cops and Robbers”, “Doctor” “House” “War” etc. on 40 inch TV screens or play it on their Xboxes. When do they exercise their imaginations, flex their poers of visualization and build-up their mucles of creativity. Their grandparents, the baby-boomers or “flower-power” people as they were known in the ‘sixties, had at least one imagination-expanding exercise, they watched TV with the sound turned off, supplying dialogue for the images on the screen, frequently inspired by and facilitated through the use of recreational drugs i.e. marijuana and sometimes (rarely LCD or “acid”). Please note:
> “Don’t do this at home” or anywhere else for that matter. The side effects (including arrest and detention) aren’t worth the “trip”
> So please tell me, how do you insure that the imaginative/creative synapses are connected? What pratctices or devices can you think of that might help develop those intellectual and emotional qualities that will help make your creative juices flow and your empathetic feeling develop and thrive. Or doesn't that matter anymore?

On the Road with My Shadow

It was in the early forties, during WWII and somehow my dad got hold of a car with gas and we drove from “the City” (NYC) to Rockaway Beach, via the causeway that is now part of JFK. As we drove towards Rockaway, we had a panaromic view of a half dozen beaches. Each beach was known by the street that led to it.
 116th St. was the main drag of Rockaway Park with arcades,Irish bars and custard stands lining both sides of the street. The Boardwalk separated the beach from the street and the wide, sandy beach was well-covered with bathers and condoms from Memorial Day to Labor Day. Dad and I approached the beach from Far Rockaway, whose center was around 25th St. about four miles east of Rockaway Park. As I looked at the beach from the car, I noticed that some of the beaches were dark blocks and others were almost pure white.
I asked my dad why some beaches were dark and others weren’t. He explained that the dark beaches were crowded with people and the others were empty. I wondered why so many people would choose the crowded beaches and avoid the empty ones. My Dad, told me that most people inevitably would gravitate towards places where other people were- that they felt “safety in numbers” he said. We found a great beach with plenty of space- away from the “maddening crowd” 
Throughout the rest of my life, I have consistently avoided the crowds and rarely regretted it. If something, a beach, a book, a movie or place  was “Top of the Pops” I found an alternative. As a result, I discovered some wonderful people, places and things and often found myself solitary in my explorations. Certainly no one can dispute the fact that man or woman is a gregarious animal but perhaps some are more gregarious than others. 
In the time of our prehistoric ancestors, it was probably only after the emergence of agriculture that our ancestors begin to show a marked tendency towards what I’ll call “crowding” for want of a better term. Hunters might work in small groups to facilitate the capture and kill the larger prey but it was not carried over to other activities and the gatherers worked primarily on their own. Yet, there appears to be a genetic predisposition toward “crowding”: seeking out opportunities to commune with others, often complete strangers. None the less there are some of us who eschew large parties, stadiums, rallies and any congregation of more than twenty (‘is plenty”)  individuals. Perhaps, we missed an evolutionary step?
Or perhaps as Emily Dickinson wrote: “The heart knows...”
In this, my second road trip of the 21st century, I have been a solitary traveller, going from place-to-place without much of a planned itinerary, on my own for the most part.
In comparison last year, I had a number of pre-set destinations: from Austin to Iowa where I picked up my new camper and from there to Madison where I picked up my youngest daughter who had completed her studies for her Master’s degree. Together, we travelled to Montreal for my granddaughter’s graduation from the University of Montreal. Then my daughter Amelie went back to Madison and I drove south to Hudson, NY to visit with my sister who I hadn’t seen in about 20 years and attend a reunion of her family including our brothers and assorted nephews.
Then, it was to Albany, NY to pick up my wife Danielle at the airport and drive to the Green Mountains where we spent a week together. Danielle then returned to Austin and I headed south to Okracoke Island, NC where I fished for bluefish, flounder and other fish for a week and then headed back north to Charlottesville, VA and then back to Madison where  I picked up Amelie complete with furniture and her personal belongings and returned to Charlottesville where I deposited my daughter and her belongings, spent some time with my son Matthias and his family and drove west to the mountains of West Virginia where I did some white water rafting and then headed home to Austin via Nashville, Memphis Hot Springs, Arkansas, and Oklahoma. During my odyssey, I spent as much time in the company of family as I did alone, or perhaps more with family than alone.
Summer 2011 has been a very different trip. Aside from 1 week in July, with my wife in Wyoming (mostly in Yellowstone, National Park, where we ogled the elk and beheld a lot of buffalo.) I was completely alone in my travels and that was good - up to a point until I began to tire of my own company. Like the old song “Me and My Shadow” ... “And when we climb the stairs, we never knock ‘cause nobody’s there. Just me and my shadow- all alone and feeling blue”
I do believe that solitude is good for the soul - and the mind but even I, not the most gregarious of men, need a little company once in a while. In an email she posted to me at the start of my trip in late June, my elder daughter wrote to wish me “happy trails” and
said that she thought I’d meet some interesting people on the way. I’m afraid the interesting ones were few with hundreds of miles between encounters. If I hadn’t given up drinking a few years ago, I might have met a few in the watering holes along my route but “I quit, so I didn’t” and besides, they probably wouldn’t have proved truly “interesting” in the cold light of day.
So, here’s one [ice tea] for the road, hoping that there’s a cool fellow traveller at the next campground.

Nature, Nurture?

Thanks to recent breakthroughs in brain research and DNA technology, what has been until now a major controversy is no longer in serious dispute. As an example, brain research has identified a plethora of concrete indicators pointing to clear evidence of inherited indicators of many of the traits and tendencies that were previously concerned “learned” or somehow absorbed from the environment.
  “_ _ _ _ _ _ are made not born” (Fill in the blanks with virtually any qualification or acievement: “musical genius, star athlete, creative writer, painter, serial killer, drug addict etc.”) and you’d probably be wrong. As an example, a 40 year study of Korean war orphans adopted by American parents at the end of the Korean war, indicated quite clearly that the effects of “enlightened or ‘serious’ “ parenting by college educated upper middle class couples who adopted one of a pair of Korean infant twins, produced no better results than the other twin who was adopted by a couple without advanced education who were fairly “casual” or “hands-off” parents. It is clear from the Korean Orphan Study and most other research on the subject, that it is our genetic inheritance,   our DNA, that is the determining factor in potential success as a pro basketball player, a classical musician or composer , or sculptor. With the “wrong” DNA you might become a drug addict, a “gang banger” or a “serial killer” Your success will very much depend on the amount of time you devote to developing the skills you inherited, but without the necessary genetic predisposition, “practice, practice, practice” will not get you to
Carnegie Hall.
The implications of these findings has obvious effects in many areas, including philosophy, education and the law. In the area of moral philosophy, we are returning to a serious controversy that was raised by Calvin and became the foundation for the protestant sect that he founded. This was the concept of “predestination” the idea that from birth, your life and its outcome was already decided by God. Prayer, good works, sacrifice - nothing you do would change your destination. The successful merchants of early New England were obviously blessed by the almighty, the slaves they transported in their ships were not. So, perhaps Calvin and his followers were on the right track and those who questioned predestination were not.
Education? If a child is born without the intellectual equipment to indicate probable success in school, should the state spend funds on traditional academic training or should she be channeled into a vocational educational track?
The Law? 
If someone lacks the DNA that creates the synapses for moral judgement or conversely a predatory “killer instinct”, can we convict him of homicide if he kills. If the argument is “My genes made me do it” how can we incarcerate the perpetrator? Or execute the serial killer?
How should society deal with this truly revolutionary information? 
It could just ignore it and hope it would all go way
Accept some of the implications and “stonewall” those that conflict with our Judeo-Christian ethical system
Leave it all to individual choice and provide no official guidelines. 
Control reproduction by “ carriers of anti-social genes”
What do you think?

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

25 Body Hacks to Supercharge Yourself

25 Body Hacks to Supercharge Yourself

Some very good ideas. Check it out!

Why Meditation Relieves Chronic Pain and Stress - Lifehacker

Why Meditation Relieves Chronic Pain and Stress - Lifehacker

Recent reports from several different sources clearly indicate that sitting whether on a chair at your desk or on a cushion in an ashram for more than 15-30 minute intervals can be dangerous for your health (Surgeon General take note). So I now try to do most of my meditating in an upright position, usually in motion. My favorite and most profitable is while playing tennis. I concentrate my total attention on the seams of the tenis ball and as Emeril might say "wham" I'm in the zone and my inquisitive, questioning brain is temporarily "off-line". My tennis game has improved dramatically as a result of this innovation. Now I'm looking for opportunities to apply the principle to other endeavors.

Sunday, May 08, 2011

Mind, Brain & Meitation

“The brain has a fixed location. The mind has no such definitive location, mainly because it can't be ascertained what it is. Though some might say the mind is around the head area, but then there is a question as to what is there. Absent content what is mind? The brain needs nourishment. Does the mind? The mind doesn't have blood flowing through it.”

“We have no experience of what it's like to be a brain, unless this is what it's like. Though I don't feel wet in the head.”?

“If mind is equated with consciousness then mind is the aware aspect of being. This aware mode may be an epiphenomena or the foundation of all that is
It has been commonly accepted by the majority of experts in the fields of neuroscience, brain research and other related fields that the mind exercises significant influence over the brain and also can affect actions and behavior independent of the brain.

In her book “Train Your Mind, Change Your Brain”, Sharon Begley provided a clear and well-researched description of the mind and it’s potential. More recently, Jeffrey M. Schwartz and Ms. Begley have greatly expanded on the topic and related it to many facets of quantum physics and the latest developments in brain research in their recently published “The Mind & the Brain”.
The fact that we are endowed with a mind as well as a brain isn’t exactly hot news. There is a clear differentiation between the two dating back hundreds of years. In Latin we have “mens” as name for the mind and “cerebrum” for the brain. Although up until very recently, the scientific community ignored the existence of the mind and its functions, my father explained how the mind was the only source of answers when it came to complex, non-mathematical problems over fifty years ago (he said the brain was just a calculator or adding machine) .

My own exploration of the mind, its functions and capacities began with my study of Buddhism. Then, a few months ago after my wife suffered a ruptured brain aneurysm, I started reading everything I could find about the brain and the mind. In parallel with this, I had almost accidentally discovered a way to use my mind to sharpen my tennis game. The major problem most club players experience in tennis sooner or later is a failure to watch the ball and like many others, I recognized my weakness but couldn’t correct until I started focussing my attention on the seams of the tennis ball rather than the ball itself and this simple maneuver put me straight into “the Zone”, an experience very similar to meditation exercises I’d practiced in India two years ago. Suddenly the brain dropped into a passive secondary position and the mind took over. As a result, I was hitting the ball with the center of my racket (the “sweet spot”) getting to the ball much faster and making shots I never before had even attempted.
Now, the big question is “If I can do this with a tennis ball, what else can I do to focus the amazing power of the mind?

Mind is much bigger than brain. Mind includes talking to other folk, it includes typing stuff, reading, and doing things generally. To think is to do.

If so how do you measure the mind?By intelligence? From what I understand, the mind is abstract, more or less like our consolidated experiences since birth. Perhaps at death it is the mind that lives on. Maybe the mind is the soul.

Friday, May 06, 2011



The pond is murky indeed and it looks like we may never get to the bottom of the Administration's "virtual reality show". The valiant force of 12 (or was it 37?) Seals or was it really the Pakistan Army who breached the Bin laden Compound. No pictures?
Because we don't want to offend the sensibilities of the guys who brought us 9/11?

To say that the whole story raises far more questions than it answers would be a huge understatement.
Could it be that Obama's "Shining Hour" may turn into his Waterloo a deja vue of the Carter disaster?

Monday, March 21, 2011

Naomi Klein "tells it like it is". There is no question about the fact that the real agenda of the RNC is to bring down the U.S. Government and create a new system, an Oligarchy an instrument for the super rich to take complete control.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Let's Make it Easier on the Rich

How about a one-time "Emergency Surtax" for the uber-rich. 1% of income for the disaster victims in Japan and libya

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Ode to My Mind

In the wee small hours of the morning is the time I miss you most of all
At 4:30 AM in the middle of my 76th year, it seems as if the world is imploding around me. Memory is slowly fading - yesterday was a low point. Forgetting stalked me at every step I took and later I woke about an hour ago - in that time when we are completely disconnected. Alone with our thoughts and memories, searching for something or someone to relate to. Perhaps this is some sort of post-traumatic reaction. I have survived the events of last December when my wife suffered brain injuries and lingered on the edge of life for a few days. She has survived and is now sufficiently recovered to return to work, drive a car and resume most normal activities.

Ode to My Mind

"In the wee small hours of the morning is the time I miss you most of all.

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

TSA, DHS plan massive rollout of mobile surveillance vans with long-distance X-ray capability, eye movement tracking and more

TSA, DHS plan massive rollout of mobile surveillance vans with long-distance X-ray capability, eye movement tracking and more: "mobile surveillance technologies at train stations, stadiums and streets."

Maybe the DHS is worried that our unemployed young people might start protesting the government's failure to do anything about the unemployment situation, even going so far as to eliminate a lot of the government jobs that might be open to recent graduates

Sunday, February 20, 2011

C L O S E R » Blog Archive » Egypt’s Revolution 2.0: The Facebook Factor

C L O S E R » Blog Archive » Egypt’s Revolution 2.0: The Facebook Factor: "As a septuagenarian FB and Twitter user and someone who has participated in the growth and development of the internet about 30 years, I am thrilled and excited about the newest developments in cyberspace. The birth and meteoric development of the social media have taken many of us completely by surprise but the author's generalizations concerning the post-thirty somethings misunderstanding and misinterpretation of the significance and portent of these new developments is unfortunate and misleading.
What is truly significant is not just their contribution to the cause of real democracy today but what it could mean in the future.

The majority of politicians in the U.S. and the rest of our global village will shudder to learn that their days are indeed numbered. These middlemen of democracy are already redundant, perhaps archaic. With the further development and growth of social media, real democracy without the interference of incompetent go betweens, dedicated exclusively to the enhancement of their own personal power, influence and wealth, can be replaced with direct vote of the people.
Real 'Power to the people'!"

Friday, February 18, 2011

WHAT THE FUCK HAVE YOU DONE?: Why Obama's Budget Sell-Out to Republicans Threatens Our Economy

WHAT THE FUCK HAVE YOU DONE?: Why Obama's Budget Sell-Out to Republicans Threatens Our Economy
Dr. Reich's comments are salient but a bit "over the top" (as usual)

It would be wonderful if the occupants of both houses of our national legislature would try to discuss the current fiscal crisis like mature, intelligent adults instead of posturing and lying like the overpaid and under-informed politicians that they are.
Their total disregard for truth and real facts is truly remarkable, their continued power over the fate of our country is unacceptable.
When are the American people going to wake up and throw the bums out?