Tuesday, June 29, 2004

(Since the election was yesterday...)

[noticed at Paradoxology in this post]

Ours is a culture obsessed with blame. And it's everywhere -- in our schools, our courts, our homes, and yes... in our churches. The overly litiguous nature of American society in particular is one of the many ways we "practice" blame and even seek to benefit from it financially.

Now, I would want to immediately distinquish here between the pursuit of justice and the self-absolving transference of blame. It's this later type of blame that troubles me most -- the blaming of individuals or groups or institutions or entities RATHER THAN the thoughtful self-examination and owning of personal responsibility when called for. Observing an inappropriate "victim-mentality" in people does not in any way suggest that "victimization" isn't a serious societal problem. It's a both-and reality. I believe the same is true with blame -- the fact that there is a place for the appropriate assigning of blame in no way excuses the self-absolving, immoral blame that seems to ever be on the increase in popular culture.

"You may lack knowledge. You may not know the accepted answer. But you are not ignorant. Ignorance describes the one who thinks he knows and therefore will not learn.The learned person is the one who is not afraid to say(shout if he has to), "I don't know".

-Mike Yaconelli

[noticed at TrewLife]

Monday, June 28, 2004

"Devestation creates opportunity"

heard in the documentary "The Corporation"

Saturday, June 26, 2004

Voting Irregular

An exercise for the voter:

Suppose ballots had the option of "none of the above" that docked one vote from each other party.


Friday, June 25, 2004

Here's something people may not have considered in determining your choice (if you're a Canadian) before you vote:

Consider this---

Martin (Liberals): Appointed, not elected PM

Harper (Conservatives): Coasts easily, eh?

Layton (NDP): Passionate yet no seat

Duceppe (Bloc): Broadly appealing, yet just in Quebec

Davis (Green): Growing, like nonvoters

Just a thought...

Bitter and Biased

From a fwd I received today:
"Hello. My name is Alan Robberstad. I am a Canadian. One voter out of millions of Canadian voters. Paul Martin is no friend of mine. Liberal governments have not made my life any better. Liberal governments have made the future worse for my children. Jean Chretien and the Liberal Party became Prime Minister many years ago. Guess who was the Liberal Finance Minister.....Paul Martin...LEST WE FORGET

Since 1993:
(1) My taxes have increased.
(2) My family's share of the national debt has increased.
(3) My personal expenses have increased.
(4) My waiting time to see a doctor has increased.
(5) My concerns for my family's safety have increased.
(6) My costs to educate my children have increased.
(7) Government interference in my life has increased.
(8) My personal debt has increased.
(9) My income has stayed more or less the same.
(10) My savings have decreased.
(11) The buying power of my dollar, in Canada, has decreased.
(12) The value of my dollar, in the U.S., has decreased.
(13) My trust of elected officials has decreased.
(14) My trust in the justice system has decreased.
(15 )My trust in the immigration system has decreased.
(16) My hope that a Liberal won't waste my tax dollars has decreased.
(17 )My dreams for a better future for my kids, in Canada, have disappeared.

That is my story since the Liberals came to power.
I am not voting for Paul Martin's Liberals.
I am voting against Paul Martin and his Liberal Party on June 28, 2004.
I am voting for Stephen Harper and the Conservative Party.

Do I like the Conservatives?
Not particularly......I don't really like Politics.
I am not political by nature.
I am not passionate about politics.
I am a middle age guy (48).
I live in a small house on a fairly quiet street in Edmonton.
I have a wife, Kathy, and two children (ages 19 and 17).
I have no pets.
I am a middle class man.
I don't usually say too much.
Until now.

Now I am going to say something!

In 35 of the past 37 years, Canada has been ruled by:
(1) Pierre Trudeau - a multi-millionaire lawyer from Quebec.
(2) Brian Mulroney - a multi-millionaire lawyer from Quebec.
(3) Jean Chretien - a multi-millionaire lawyer from Quebec.
(4) And now we are going to vote for Paul Martin???? - a
multi-millionaire lawyer from Quebec???
The leader of the Conservative party, Stephen Harper, is:
(1) Not a lawyer.
(2) Not a multi-millionaire.
(3) Not from Quebec.
Stephen Harper says that the Conservative party will:
(1) Reduce my taxes.
(2) Pay off the national debt as fast as they can.
(3) Shrink the size and influence of the federal government.
That's good enough for me.
I'm going to give the Conservative party a chance with my vote.

But wait!

Paul Martin is now saying the same thing.
My mother told me forty years ago:
"Fool me once - shame on you.
Fool me twice - shame on me!"

The Liberals have had 34 years to be financially responsible.
Remember, Jean Chretien was Trudeau's Finance Minister.
Remember also, Paul Martin was Jean Chretien's Finance Minister
These people have been raising my taxes for thirty four years.
They have been mis-spending my tax dollars for 34 years.
34 years!
And now Paul Martin says he'll stop taxing and spending.
No way.
Thank you for reading my story so far!
Why am I telling my story to you?
Although I feel alone, I know that I am not alone.
Your story may be similar to mine.
And you may also feel alone.
One small voter in the midst of millions of voters.

Thursday, June 24, 2004

Divergence: A Generative Friendship of Otherness

[noticed at TheyBlinked]

on that note [also from TheyBlinked]:

If four basic conditions are met, a crowd's "collective intelligence" will produce better outcomes than a small group of experts, Surowiecki says, even if members of the crowd don't know all the facts or choose, individually, to act irrationally. "Wise crowds" need (1) diversity of opinion; (2) independence of members from one another; (3) decentralization; and (4) a good method for aggregating opinions.
---quoted from Publisher's Weekly by Biz Stone about this book

Tuesday, June 22, 2004

There are things you do because they feel right & they may make no sense & they may make no money & it may be the real reason we are here: to love each other & to eat each other's cooking & say it was good.

----Brian Andreas

[noticed by ...seeking serenity]

Saturday, June 19, 2004

Survival is the tension between the worst and best orientation of death.

Friday, June 18, 2004

sorrow is complicated. it bends you, moves you, shapes you against your will. you forget the days you had no cares. you forget all the reasons why.

---Jen Lemen in this post

To Hair is Human

Recently, Wendy Cooper cut off her hair, which made me reflect again about another blogger who had her hair cut for Locks of Love.

See her account of that here. An excerpt:

For me, long hair has been a symbol. I have worn my hair long all of my adult life because I was not allowed to have it that way as a child. My growing hair has symbolized my growing freedom from an oppressive childhood.

Let me make this clear. My hair was the least of my worries. It just happens to be something I have control over now as an adult.

...But I can grow my hair. My hair has been a viable, tangible symbol that the adults who mistreated me in my growing up years no longer have the power to do that. Growing my hair for this reason has been rather subconscious though. I've always just thought I liked and wanted long hair.
[inspired by the journeys of emerging sideways, Wendy Cooper and Been There...Still There]

Thursday, June 17, 2004

Nothing Much...

[found here at lone xylophone]

Nothing Worth Mentioning

November house on the road to nowhere
its rusted sign for vacancy
a Northstar to compassless
young people chasing every nightmare
they never bothered mentioning.
Nine volt voices grow static
in the crackle snip snap darkness
while endlessly rehearsing
the first six verses of nothing
new under the sun.

Old people stare out of sightless
eyes at nothing--
well, nothing worth mentioning
in asphalt forests where everything
falls without sound.
Rocking chairs wear ruts
like the Oregon Trail acorss
front porches, in living rooms
with insomniac zombies
drunk on the late, late, late show.

November house on the road to nowhere
beckons with echoed chantings
and captivates fading consciousness
that comprehends
only a sinuous cycle of
death and life a single cry.
Winnowed minds gone amoebic
flinch dark flinch bright
to the shifting light of a mythic lie
and Carl Jung, a macabre-masked face,
dances around the pyre.

Under Entanglement






Tuesday, June 15, 2004

Too Much Information...

[noticed at grrrl meets world in this post]

Yet part of me still can't help wishing that I didn't have all this information. It would be so much easier to ignore what's going on elsewhere in the world and still go out and buy my jeans dirt-cheap. I could then drink a tall glass of milk, without thinking of all the Bovine Growth Hormones and other nasty artificials that are present within it. I could read the Bible and not question its validity or the way it's parsed pieced together as canon. I could just not think.

But that won't happen -- and despite my pitiful laments above, I really would not want it. I like the fact that I can question and not take things at face value. While it's frustrating, it also makes reaching that decision or belief all that more meaningful.

Death is elementary; the death of all...is not.

Monday, June 14, 2004

each of us sharing our own struggles, pain and hope. all of it would be 'lost' if it had to wait for a book to be published, or trapped only within the small community of our influence. but now, now it crosses time, location, language, prejudice and preconceived notions.

i'm sure if you dumped us all in a room together our own brokenness would keep us from forming a community - he's too weird looking, she's too fat, wow, i didn't know he was that old, ewe, she looks stuck up. but here none of that happens, our words are all that is needed to show our hearts.

i like that.

[noticed at emerging sideways in this post]

I'll Need This After I move this month...

The Freehouse is getting together on Canada Day, July 1st to enjoy the day off, celebrate being Canadian, and get together. We aren't sure about the details but it will be outside (weather permitting), there will be food, and we will still be complaining about the call the denied Calgary the Stanley Cup.

--quoted from The Freehouse Blog (formerly The Worship Freehouse)

Silence is golden...until it's not a choice anymore and then it haunts you.

Friday, June 11, 2004

Update on moving:

Tentatively, I have a new place...just have to deal with the details now... (hopefully, it will be less sporatic soon. )

Wednesday, June 09, 2004

This For That

[noticed here from this blog, via Jordon Cooper]

In the same way that others need to come to grips with my uniqueness and special gifts, so I also must grow up in my conversations and relationships. Marginal leaders know better than most that feelings are easily hurt and we don't have the luxury of trampling over the feelings of others with a 'damn them all', 'love me or screw you' attitude. Restraint is called for. Maturity is not optional. It is a lesson that I continue to learn, often suffering the consequences of my extreme temperament. I cannot expect people to understand my heart when I damage with my mouth.

Tuesday, June 08, 2004

Fate is Kind

[an excerpt of a poem found here at Smile at Me]

Fate is kind. To live
when two so far
apart by time, age
and so many things
can for a moment

Two birds
let down their guards
trust in the moment.
Then fly away
the better for knowing.

Fate is kind.

Saturday, June 05, 2004

Friday, June 04, 2004

Speaking of the Canadian Election...

I've also noticed some who stir the fire to kick up smoke. The cut and run fellow who wishes to get his licks in and retreat, or argue for hours with nothing to say. Life is too short to waste time with such disagreeable individuals. Debate is a wonderful thing. It informs and gives insite into how the other side thinks. Arguing with someone who has already made up his mind that you are wrong, you were born wrong, you will die wrong, and he will never change, well that's a waste of time and effort. I'm not interested. I doubt any of you are either. Patience is great, but that can be wasted to. How many times can someone say their sorry and then come back to hit you again before you just ignore them? I think the term is shunning. I think it came from an old religious order that used it as a punishment.

[noticed at Smile at Me in this post]

To Be Engaged...(including elections?)

"There are some things in life, and they may be the most important things, that we cannot know by research or reflection, but only by committing ourselves. We must dare in order to know. Life is full of situations to which I can respond not with part of myself but only with commitment of my whole being."

--J.H. Oldham, Life is Commitment (1953)

[noticed at the kedge via Unedited Ravings]

Thursday, June 03, 2004

[from Grey Matter in her May 29 post-- no permalink]

One of the benefits of failure is, you get to see who you really are and what your heart looks like. I'd recommend this experience like I'd recommend a coffee colonic. It is a grotesque and painful experience. But in the end, the shizznit comes izznout. It's a horrible relief.

Then you get to ask yourself some things. Like, of the persons places and things you relied upon, how necessary were they? How did your expectations exceed the capability of the person place or thing?

[referred via Eric from The Door Magazine's Chat Closet]

Crib-notes for the Canadian election

[from The Blogging of the President in this article]

Liberals - status quo - continued deficit payment, a little bit of money for Medicare and occasional tax cuts for the rich and corporations.

Conservatives. A massive tax cut aimed at the poor and middle class and at corporations and a promise to get out of the subsidy business. The Feds will basically let the provinces set the agenda on most items, hopefully choosing locally appropriate solutions.

NDP. A lot of federal intervention through subsidies and legislation. Want an active federal government trying to solve energy problems, increasing immigration, health problems and challenging the US and the WTO actively? Then the NDP are for you. The NDP is for those who aren't cynics - those who believe the Federal government can do things right if run right and can make a difference.

[referred here via scottyd]

Wednesday, June 02, 2004


If the posts are a little sporatic in the next three weeks, it's because I'm looking for another place to live by the end of the month. I'm stressing somewhat, and that's not good for my health. (Partly because price and time are scarce and inflexible.)

The Scurf of Yesterday...

[noticed at grrrl meets world]

Without you, today's emotions would be the scurf of yesterday's.