Wilderness — A Meditation

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Qantas - The Flying Kangaroo - Is Grounded

What kind of crazy, self-centered, egotistical CEO would agree to be the spokesperson for a Corporate Board of Directors who would call a wildcat strike of one of the most successful airlines on the planet?

His name is Alan Joyce. He's an Irishman, a leprachan of the worst sort; a fellow who sends comely women out to report his dirty work with the media. He's a man who grounded six planes in Melbourne last week because he was in the midst of selling them to another airline and then blamed the grounding on the airline mechanics union. Grounding the planes was not an issue; canceling the transportation of thousands of Australians without any forewarning was.

Doesn't he sound a bit like his fellow countrymen who almost devastated Ireland's economic underpinnings by cheating those with savings deposits in their banks?

Actually, he sounds very American; corporate governance is NOT good for anyone except those who serve on corporate boards and are paid NOT to guard the investments of stock holders, but to make billions for themselves.

We'll see how it plays out. The Australian government is now engaged in the fray...not a good sign, I promise you.

btw..always a laugh behind every dark cloud. Check out this the famous Qantas advert

If you want to read the journo's point of view, click on the title to today's blog entry.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Overcast - Two Days in a Row !!!

The weather goddess..Jennie, in my world, needs to pull the plug on all this cloud cover.

Doesn't she realize I'm southern California raised. Not precisely a positive image, is it?

I know, I know. There were daily repetitions of smog in that crowded land, but the sun managed to sneak through more often than it has in the past two days here in Brizzie.

The low ceiling is beginning to create that hemmed in feeling. As a back drop all it lets me see are the shrubs growing right outside my window. I mean I can see them grow, extend their tendrils reaching for my office window - bridges on which ants travel to once again invade my computer screen.

Remember when we came home after being gone for a year, the damned ants had set up a colony inside my computer screen. Warm and cozy, dry and dark. Perfect for all those little white eggs.

To top it all off, I had the circular dizzies yesterday. The world swirled round behind my eyes, keeping me in a prone position most of the day. My tummy thought we were aboard a ship at sea in a cyclone.

Took my Boiron Oscilliccocconum and am better today, but it was a wild ride beneath the cloudy skies, I tell you.

Just thought I'd fill you in on what's most important today which includes my morning two kilometre walk back from Fundies, our local whole foods store, where I bought some non laural sulfate tooth paste.

I refuse to put industrial solvents in my mouth. Found a Kiwi brand, lemon-myrtle, botanical oral care toothpaste to use instead. Absolutely nothing without laural sulfates was available in my local pharmacy and my local supermarket.

Be well..I hope to join you in that happy state very soon.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Who Are YOU

David Brooks column in the New York Times today is worth your attention - that is, if you think your rational self controls who you are and what you do.

Brooks comments on Daniel Kahneman's new book Thinking, Fast and Slow, an intellectual memoir. Kahneman, according to Brooks, shares evidence of something I have thought to be true for quite some time. My subconscious is far more important than my conscious mind in determining my actions and positions on just about everything.

For this 'J' Personality, that's tough. I used to think I had the whole world in my know the song - However, in the past ten years I have discovered indisputably that I have very little if any conscious control over my world or the people in it, including myself. URGH!!

Check out the link. I'm gonna see if I can buy the book on my fav reading platform these days.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Rules for Everyday Senseless Joy

*1. *After all clumsy, embarrassing moments, you must curtsy.

*2. *Call up your best friend once a month—and play her favorite song,
anonymously without one word—making sure that you hear her rustle,
sit-dancing in her office chair.

*3. *Close your eyes when you drink orange juice. It makes it taste better.

*4.* Make up a lovable name for your least favorite body part. Like Irene.
Nobody hates a thigh named Irene.

*5.* While you're driving behind a school bus with kids at the windows
waving to everyone in cars, you must wave back—and honk three times.

*6.* When in doubt, add extra garlic, extra butter or extra bubble bath.

*7. *Always scan your dimes for the date. Dimes, unlike pennies and
quarters, do not tarnish. One that's three times your age gives you a whole
new perspective on how to get older—without losing your shine.

*8. *To-do lists and angry letters to the phone or electric company must be
written in silver glitter ink.

*9.* You may not leave the house without smelling the top of the head of
your child, partner or pet. Inhale their scent (even if it's unwashed) for
at least two breaths.

*10. *Once a year, take yourself out for a mandatory lunch at a restaurant
with fancy waiters. Sit at a table for four. Order three courses, including
wine and a dish that must be set on fire.

*11.* If you're watching a comedy, laugh. If you're watching a tearjerker,
cry. If you're watching a ballroom dance show, dance—preferably in some kind
of spangled, neon, rhinestone-bedazzled, midriff-baring outfit.

*12. *Keep your cat, childhood teddy bear or even one of those microfiber
cleaning cloths (which, by the way, do work better than plain old rags) in
reach at all times. Studies have proven that soft, fuzzy objects defeat the

*13. *Prior to visiting your parents, you are required to watch Bruce and
Esther Huffman from McMinnville, Oregon, test out their new

*14. *All stickers offered to you by someone under the age of 13 must be
accepted, slapped on and worn for at least one hour. Preferably on your

*15. *Never delete accidentally dialed voice messages from family. Listening
to your nieces and nephews sing "Jingle Bells" as they walk to school, for
example—complete with thumps and breathing and indecipherable muttering
about haircuts—turns a boring afternoon at work into a visit home.

*16.* Saying no to cotton candy 'fairy flosss' is strictly forbidden.

*17. *If you hear a person crying in the bathroom, pass them a wad of tissue
under the stall—without a word.

*18.* Each time you pass a street musician playing the instrument that you
quit as a child, place one crisp, full dollar in the cup and wait until the
absolute end of the song to applaud.

*19. *Always note how the foam on a cappuccino magically parts when you add
sugar, then closes right back up.

*20. *At least once in your life, pour a bottle of dish soap into a bubbling
outdoor public fountain.

*21.* Never go to bed without looking up at the ceiling and thanking it for
keeping out the rain.

-- Leigh Newman

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Whom Does Government Serve?

Written by, Ian, an Aussie of considerable acumen.

In the Arthurian cycle, there is the myth of the Fisher King who lies in bed, maimed by a wound that cannot be healed.

The land outside is blasted, the archetypal Waste Land.

The King will only be healed, and the Waste Land regenerated, by a knight who shall ask the question "whom does the Grail serve?"

In our context, the question needs to be "whom does the government serve?"

We know the answer that Lincoln gave - I've quoted it previously.

'If government is to serve any purpose it is to do for others what they are unable to do for themselves.'

Let's try "there shall be no exercise of government without the consent of the governed " - it's a paraphrase of thoughts going back to John Locke, to the rebellion that saw King John forced to sign the Magna Carta, and - noting that women were not allowed a voice - to the democratic nature of Athens.

Does the government act for the people?

To the extent that government allies itself with powerful sectional interests, no, it does not.

As Dwight Eisenhower pointed out in his famous speech, we see a shadowy alliance between the military and industry - his "Military-Industrial Complex". Eisenhower was speaking of America, but the Japanese Zaibatsu (including Mitsubishi) were instrumental in the 1920~30 industrial colonisation of Korea/China, and were very ready to demand that the Japanese Imperial Forces invade to protect Zaibatsu assets.

Even before that, Cecil Rhodes had manufactured a conflict with the Boer government in South Africa, and was able to call on the British Army to support him, leading to the Boer War.

C. Wright Mills, in his seminal "The Power Elite" describes how easy it is for powerful figures to journey between government, the military and industry. Mills spoke of America, but we see the same phenomenon in Australia.

To Mills' observations, we can add the Fourth Estate, giving us a cosy, shadowy society of military, industry, government and media. Australia has a former Labor power broker, Graham Richardson, occupying media as a political commentator, and with his own radio show.

Mining companies and timber companies here in Australia have done - and are continuing to do - great and long-lasting damage to farmlands and to ancient native forests. When they are shown to be clearly in breach of our weak laws, they are either exonerated, or slapped on the wrist with minor penalties.

At the local level, we hear stories of political parties "stacking" branches with their favoured type of member. Meanwhile, the politics of negative campaigning cause us to become more and more cynical about politics, and more and more unashamed about our voting for the least bad of a pack of bastards.

Idealism and vision are absent from Australian politics, and the notion of government acting for the people has been transformed into doing what is possible.

One of our large hospitals has an emergency department running at about 180% of capacity, treating people sitting in chairs due to lack of beds.

The hospital needs only about 30 million dollars to extent facilities. This money cannot be found, but we will blow some 50 million (the figure is never disclosed!) on a car race - the Australian Grand Prix.

I think the Occupy Wall Street movement is one part of that grand question, also being asked by Arab Spring protesters" "Whom does the government serve?"

Monday, October 10, 2011

Read the New York Times lead article today

The Rule of Law in the USA is dead in the water, a stinking corpse among the flotsam begun by George Bush and added to by the current President.

Narcissist - Perhaps

I can't give up knowing that I am important in the general scheme ofthings. After all, I'm a cell in the midst of a mighty organ, the organ ofhumanity. And, I know that one day I must slough off from the human maelstrom and mingle with thefibres of the flannel sheets in the dead of night.

However, right now I am important. I do serve a purpose. I do what mustbe done and a whole lot that probably ought not be done. I work in conjunctionwith all kinds of other cells. Together we make life more interesting,smoother, more energetic than life would be if we were not present.

I am not a cell in an organ like an arm or leg. More like a liver cell,I think. I am responsible for filtering out the flatulence, the fat, thealcohol, the stuff without which the body deals with reality in a fairlycomfortable manner.

My job is to assure that life flows smoothly, that the unit itselfdoesn't have to give much conscious thought about how to operate. I amself-directed and at the same time a genuine necessity.

However, I am decidedly not essential in and of myself.

If I were to decide tomorrow to sleep in, the organ would continue tosift through the detritus of life, but the other cells who did show up on timemight have to expend a tad more energy.

I am not narcissistic although sometimes it may seem so. On the otherhand, I do take credit when credit is due and I do whinge when things don't gowell. I hate it when the organ of which I am a part breaks down and I am notable to do the best job possible because someone else in the scheme of thingsfails in her duty.

And since I suspect my main motivating force is to do unto others as Iwould want them to do unto me, I will cooperate, even though often I think Iknow better than my peers and despair of their ever coming to terms with lifein the way that I have. Did I say I was not narcissistic? Well, obviouslythat's not true. My existence is essential and I don't mean to allow the organto forget that.


Sunday, October 09, 2011

Occupy the Centers of Power

I think FDR would support Occupy Wall Street.

"For there is nothing mysterious about the foundations of a healthy and
strong democracy. The basic things expected by our people of their political
and economic systems are simple. They are:

Equality of opportunity for youth and for others.
Jobs for those who can work.
Security for those who need it.
The ending of special privilege for the few.
The preservation of civil liberties for all.
The enjoyment of the fruits of scientific progress in a wider and constantly
rising standard of living.

school kills creativity - ken robinson

Take a look...this is so damned's funny and entertaining as well...

Confronting the Malefactors - Paul Krugman

Check it out! Great Op Ed article in the NYTimes. 

Saturday, October 08, 2011

Spring Thunder Storm

Saturday mornings, we rise early and head to the Kelvin Grove Farmers Market.  The fragrances of fresh bread baking, masses of veggies stacked along the walkways, and just brewed Merlo coffee filter under the brilliant colors of bouquets of flowers, only in Queensland fabrics made into flowing summer dresses and hats,  all of which are accented with just a bit of Chinese dumplings, Spanish Paella, Turkish sweets, and German sausages.

But, this morning as my sleepy head left the soft down pillow, rackets of rain stormed through the house.  Rain is a different commodity when it comes atop a metal deck roof, I promise you.  Thunder followed.

My thought were with the busy folks who must have just set up their stalls in the darkness of a spring morning in readiness for shoppers.  Hopefully, their goods stayed dry.
We'll wait til next Saturday to find out.  Such good gossip and stories await us for our next visit. 

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Looking for Blasts...

Sorry, folks, I've been missing in action.  Work on the manuscript has once again come to an end.  I have just completed the nth edition of DAS BOOK which is now entitled..

Crossing the Pacific: An Expat Love Story

But who knows, it may manifest in another form at some time in the future.

I am in search of an agent, but have been in search for the past year.

Soon perhaps I can finagle a third person into reading the entire manuscript.  Thus far only two folks have had that honor - the author and a fine fella named Robert, who kindly read the whole thing in about three days.

It now is 49,000 words and 262 pages takes that long to recount the adventure and create a healthful ending, you know..

Anyhow..I am feeling energized.

I would, could ask each of you to maybe send 'blasts' of encouragement into the cybersphere for recognition of my creativity, courage, and really hard work.

That means, you could stop for a moment before going off to sleep tonight and ask the universe to remind some really talented agent to say 'yes' to one of my QUERY get the drift..the more energy expended in a positive manner on my behalf, the better my chances of finding an agent.

love you all...farewell for now..

Sunday, October 02, 2011

U.S. Constitution - Article 2 and Amendment 5

No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.

U.S. Constitution  Article 2

Before he enter on the Execution of his Office, he (The President) shall take the following Oath or Affirmation: — "I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States." 

What happened?  How could the President of the United States condone and/or order the assassination of an American citizen?