Letter to Health and Human Services (HHS)

Is the Bush “Administration” (now there’s a kind term for you) attempting to redefine abortion to include birth control? It seems so. When MoveOn.org reported this matter I just couldn’t help myself and let fly. Too bad the HHS only allows 150 words per comment because I could only include the first two paragraphs from the letter below. However, you get to see it all.

August 28, 2008

Subject: New Abortion Rules

Birth control pills (pregnancy prevention) are abortion? You’ve got to be kidding! Does this apply to guys who wear condoms too? Why not shove “abstinence” down everyone’s throat and take away individual rights at the same time?

The level of hypocrisy and stupidity in this administration is beyond belief! What’s the next step, arrest women for ovulating and guys for masturbating and “wasting” their seed? Babies are innocent and need protection but so are the grown babies we call adults. Young men and women in their late teens are perfectly fine to use as gun fodder by ideologues and profiteers but zygotes (a woman’s egg immediately after fertilization) in the womb are to be protected at all costs and under any circumstances. Have I got that right? Isn’t it time for “God’s children” to grow up?

Before retiring from bus driving, when I drove through Oakmont, a large retirement community in northern California, I used to watch how quail families reacted to the approach of my bus. The babies would quickly run at a right angle away from the bus while the parents would run around in circles in front of it, until the last possible moment. Does this sort of confusion and dumbing down happen to adult humans too? I don’t like to be sarcastic but, boy, some folks sure make it easy.

Pete

evolution2

We are not human beings having a spiritual experience. We are spiritual beings having a human experience. – Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

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Letter to Barrack and Michelle Obama

August 5, 2008

Dear Barack and Michelle,

My wife and I believe in your ideals and want to do something to reflect the real issues people are concerned about in this presidential campaign and at this moment in human history. The enclosed brochure contains twenty two hard hitting ideas on t-shirts, buttons, hats and signs. Many reflect the consequences of continuing to have republican conservatism in the White House. The cynicism, greed and contempt for the public shown by big business and the Bush Administration is unacceptable and people who continue to reelect them need to see, clearly, what they are voting for.

One World

What would the world be like if, instead of competing for money, power and privilege, we cared more about becoming better people? To paraphrase Apollo 11 astronaut, Neil Armstrong, as he set foot on the moon, July 20, 1969, That would be one small step for a man and one giant leap for mankind.

What would life be like if we cared more about how we treat ourselves and one another than how much money, power and privilege we amass? Instead of a Lower, Middle and Upper Class with an “external” value system, we would have something like a Lower, Middle and Upper Way with an “internal” value system. If we made the jump from one value system to the other today, many in the Upper Class would fall to the Lower Way because of the way they treat themselves and others and many from the Lower Class would rise to the Upper Way because of the way they treat themselves and others.

This is not to say there’s anything wrong with money, power and privilege; like every form of energy, it’s how we use it that matters. We can use energy in constructive ways or destructive ways. Think what would happen to the crime rate if our cultural focus shifted from competing for money, power and privilege to becoming better people. The crime rate would drop dramatically because learning how to treat ourselves and one another better is something we can all do. We all want to be loved and valued. Think what would happen in education if our primary goal became learning how to be who we loved to be and do what we loved to do instead of being who we’re told to be and doing what we’re told to do. Think of the natural passion, love and appreciation that change would unleash and what it would do for us as individuals and the world.

Changing Ourselves

When creating good jobs and safe products for a healthy economy issues from our desire to change ourselves and the world for the better, our universe becomes a safer place. When jobs and goods are created to make us rich and powerful in a competitive world where life is seen as a matter of survival of the fittest, we feel unsafe and insist on strong regulation to protect ourselves from divisiveness, blind ambition and outright lies. Great business leaders, great philosophers and great political and spiritual leaders like you would still arise, given the need, but for different reasons. We would aspire to greatness out of love of self and public service, not fear, egotism and a drive for self-survival in a hostile world. We CAN change ourselves and the world for the better if we replace the acquisition of money, power and privilege as our primary goal with the goal of learning how to treat ourselves and one another better.

If we want to survive as a species, we must realize what we’ve done is not nearly as important as what we do now and in the future. Too often we waste time finding fault with ourselves and the world, instead of using our time to create a better self and a better world.

We are both one AND separate but many of us forget this fact and think of ourselves as separate only. As a result, we ask, what’s going to work best for me? This sets us off in different directions, which inevitably leads to conflict and the need for strong external controls.

To achieve balance and SELF-control, we must first ask ourselves, what’s going to work best for ALL of us? This becomes a moral imperative, like “survival of the fittest” only, instead of a command that produces mindless and often destructive behavior; it asks a question that engages our minds in creative soul-searching, which leads to self-discovery and personal growth. We can further ask, what’s going to work best for ALL of us in personal terms, and in terms of business, education, the environment and peace? All are questions to engage the creative side of man for we are both the product of creation and the process of creation, itself.

To success for us all, my friends!

Regards,

Pete and Sandy

Peace!

We are not human beings having a spiritual experience. We are spiritual beings having a human experience. – Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

Visit The LifeSong Store where the world comes to shop for inspirational and life-changing ideas on T-shirts, sweatshirts, hats, hoodies and more. Change the world for the better with POTS! (Philosophy On T-Shirts)

Saving Ourselves from Ourselves

“We have met the enemy and he is us!” – Pogo (an old comic strip character)

There are two types of fear. There is natural fear, which is life giving and unnatural fear, which is life destroying. Natural fear is how we react to an immediate threat, like removing our hand from a hot stove. Unnatural fear results when we fail to face up to fearful thoughts and emotions that have no basis in our immediate reality. One popular definition of unnatural “fear” is “False Evidence Appearing Real.” In the Middle East, fear is turning into anger and hate.

As we think, we create. We know this intuitively so when we imagine a frightening event growing out of something we’ve done or something we’re doing, we fear it might become real (what we give is what we get), especially when we feel guilt or shame as a result of our own actions or inactions.

For example, when we habitually eat more food than our bodies need, drink too much alcohol, take too many drugs, smoke, or refuse to exercise and develop skills that give us value to others, we know we’ll suffer somehow and at some point in our lives as a result of our own actions or inactions.

The same holds true when someone far away threatens to kill us and we don’t ask why. How can we resolve this situation peacefully by reacting to it with violence? Why would we choose to react this way unless we’re afraid to know why this person wants to kill us? Are we afraid to admit we’re doing something to piss this person off or that we’re too insensitive and uncaring to want to know what’s making him or her feel that way?

If we allow ourselves to live in a state of unnatural fear too long, we’ll become polarized and insane; oops, too late! We become dysfunctional. Eventually, dis-ease turns into disease and worse, as we can see.

The more we fear something, the more we give it power. To remove the source of unnatural fear from our lives and keep ourselves from stewing in our own juices, we need to face our unnatural fears, understand them, embrace them and move through them back to love and understanding. There are reasons why everything happens and we know that. Too often we don’t want to know what those reasons are because we may have to do something about them, like change how we think, what we do, and how we live.

There are two types of aggression in the world as well, “destructive” aggression and “constructive” aggression. What we see in our government today is destructive aggression. One of my old college physics instructors used to call this the “Brute Strength and Ignorance method” of solving problems. He discouraged us from using this method in solving physics problems. I suspect it was a shrewd way of telling us to find better ways to solve life’s problems as well.

The Bush administration falls into the Brute Strength and Ignorance category of solving problems and it scares us all because we know unpleasant consequences grow out of contempt and violent confrontation. When our own government tries to blind us with fear and invade our privacy, while shrouding their own in greater and greater secrecy; when it builds private armies to defend itself against us; when it uses our collective wealth and credit to build detention centers in our own country to disappear dissenters, we’re in grave trouble. We have become our own worst enemy and it’s time to save ourselves from ourselves.

As humans, we know we’re all going to die some day, some how. Why not focus on creating a pleasing reality so we can go out with dignity, knowing we’ve done the best job we can in creating it? Which self, which world do we want to create, and leave behind for our children?

Which Self

http://diaryofamystic.com

We are not human beings having a spiritual experience. We are spiritual beings having a human experience. – Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

Visit The LifeSong Store where the world comes to shop for inspirational and life-changing ideas on T-shirts, sweatshirts, hats, hoodies and more. Change the world for the better with POTS! (Philosophy On T-Shirts)

Divorced from Reality

Yesterday afternoon, on the Ed Schultz radio talk show, a man who described himself as a Conservative started talking about the Jena Six trial. He narrowed the framework of discussion down to the point where the Jena Six (six black high school students) beat a white student unconscious under the school tree where three nooses had been hung as a cruel joke or sinister warning. The caller was deliberately eliminating all other elements associated with this event as if they were not in any way connected.

Like a lawyer trying to win a case, he narrowed the focus of the discussion down to this one event then asked Ed and the listening audience, “Did these six black students beat this kid into unconsciousness?” He was trying to get us to say “yes” because it was true, the six black students did beat the white student until he was unconscious, and even after that, I understand. What this guy, and many of us forget or conveniently ignore, is that all things are both one and separate. Beating this white boy up cannot be separated from other events that led up to this action because they modify it. Nor can this event be divorced from the social environment we all grow up in. We, as individuals, and society, through the establishment of its laws and institutions, play a role in shaping others and their behavior. Life does not happen in a vacuum! 

We need to ask ourselves where the behavior of narrowing the field of discussion down to a single event, as if it were totally separate from everything else to gain consensus and shift opinion, comes from? What underlying beliefs make it okay for us to lie, cheat, distort, deny and manipulate the truth of reality? The belief that we are all separate and in competition for survival is the only belief I can think of that’s strong or compelling enough to make us deliberately betray the beauty and complexity of life by attempting to reduce it to a series of singular events. This is a narrow, limiting, and divisive view of reality that threatens peace and long term survival for all of us.

An old friend, now deceased, emailed me a clever little argument like this once that was circulating amongst his Republican friends. I was so angry and disappointed with him! I knew him to be smarter and more honest than that. Fear, mixed with guilt, makes us do strange things.

Speaking my mind – Pete 

http://diaryofamystic.com

We are not human beings having a spiritual experience. We are spiritual beings having a human experience. – Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

Visit The LifeSong Store where the world comes to shop for inspirational and life-changing ideas on T-shirts, sweatshirts, hats, hoodies and more. Change the world for the better with POTS! (Philosophy On T-Shirts)

Live Earth and Changing Ourselves for the Better

Wow, so many things to think about this morning! Last night Sandra (my wife) and I attended a Live Earth Party here in Santa Rosa, CA, at a large community room graciously provided by the Redwood Credit Union.

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