A personal blog by a graying (mostly Anglo with light African-American roots) gay leftist leaning liberal progressive fit married college-educated former Baha'i NPR-listening Professor Emeritus now following the Dharma from California to Minas Gerais, Brasil.
When practicing and studying, it’s important to have a motivation that is free from affliction. Among the various pure motivations, the most important is the wish to help ourselves and others, the vast motivation of the Mahayana, which means acting for the sake of all sentient beings, who are as limitless as space.
is the celebration of an astrological moment when the mind becomes more
open to receive a power known as Lord Shiva, the great yogi. Shiva
symbolizes cosmic consciousness itself that manifests when the mind
becomes still. He also expresses himself as the power of change and
transformation; from lies to truth, from darkness to light, and from
fear to trust.”
“We are approaching the time prior to Mahashivaratri,
one of the greatest festivals of the Hindu tradition. The energy will
intensify and many portals will open. In this period, the moon’s
influence over the human mind diminishes increasingly until on the
‘great night of Shiva', it ceases to have any influence whatsoever. It
is a particularly auspicious moment to stay withdrawn from the external
world and be in meditation. The sages and yogis are accustomed to eating
very little or even fasting because these practices help to create the
proper field to experience totality.”
to relieve human suffering wherever you find it, in any way you can.
Whatever your skills or karmic predicament is, there’s always an
opportunity to relieve human suffering. The major way you are relieving
human suffering is by becoming a conscious being, and then all the rest
of your stuff should also be involved in relieving human suffering in
other beings. You should have enough money and right livelihood in order
to keep your body healthy, in order to allow you to do your sadhana, in
order to fulfill your social responsibilities that are existing, your
karmic responsibility, and all the rest of the money should be
distributed. Simple as that.
The enlightened being, or the person that’s awakened, realizes that the
game is to walk through the path and leave no footprint. Leave no
footprint because whatever footprint you leave is just more karmic
we continue in our process of purification, we are also freeing
ourselves from our fantasies about relationships. We let go of the idea
of finding a soul mate or the perfect person that was made especially
for us. Gradually, we understand that relationship is about the
integration between two complimentary parts that exist within us. This
is the deeper meaning of the word love - an internal alchemical fusion.
In order for this merging with the other to happen, we need to truly be
ready. Often, we think we love, but in reality, we are obstinately
trying to make the other an object to fulfill our whims and
expectations. This is not love, it’s selfishness.”
painting, as in any art, we can escape the prison of our minds and
connect with what transcends ordinary perceptions. And just as a body of
water stays still while a wave-form moves through it, consciousness
remains stable despite the constant motion and flow of our thoughts.
Soooo... this Trump thing has caused me to rethink my status here as a permanent resident. Brasil has been much more progressive re: GLBTq immigration than WTFistan has been (see my TEDx talk).
And now that things are schlepping to the evangelical right here as well, it is now or never… So my hubby and I had a long talk and decided it is best for me to be able to vote – since I pay taxes and enjoy all the other rights and responsibilities. And if things really go south (pardon the pun) up in WTFistan, I can sponsor my family down here in Neverland. So I reacted by the Trump coup, by applying for the Brazilian half of what will be dual citizenship.
Kinda complicated, but soooooooo much easier for me to become a Brazilian, than the crap my husband has to put up with (again a plug for my TEDx talk way back when). Went on line to the Brazilian Immigration (I am a permanent resident - like a green card), got a list of jobs/things I have to do to organize a file to get a Brazilian passport, etc. I talked to my lawyer bud here in Ouro Preto.
The worst is the FBI report, I asked around and I met folks who were stranded like I was 6 years ago up there for a month... no can do! So I contacted the US Consul in Rio and we talked/bantered back and forth for a while and he offered to write me a letter to get my fingerprints done here in Brasil, then mail the prints/forms to the FBI.
So yesterday I took the letter to the Polícia Federal (PF) in Belo Horizonte (BH), which is a cross between the FBI and the “migra” in the States. I got in the “foreigner line” strangely short, which faces the Brazilian (abandon the countryside of the waiting area – very full). Showed my letter, and the delegada (officer) was so apologetic, I know it says for you to come here, but you need to go to the office in… (The HEAD office for the PF – of course all the way across town on the top of a hill – think a very 1970’s collection of ugly buildings (Minas Gerais has a talent for building really ugly buildings – my campus is just one example) which forms a fortress/military/ Star Feet base complex next to a hospital… got there, went to the even more imposing gate, and went thru security (picture, badge, chatting up the security folks), all the time the Brazilians are looking at me like a strange flower, or lost puppy “why would you do this, I want to move to Miami” kind of look. I was directed to follow a blue line around a building (Which I did) just “follow the blue brick road” across a green space, a couple of “soldiers” greeted me and I felt even more like I was in Star Fleet, albeit a very “brega” one. I followed the blue line thru another lobby, and then upstairs in another building got lost, more Star Fleet delegados helped me, smiling… found the place, and the guy helping me was so surprised. The rest of the office was so happy to see me, and have something happy to do, just a dumb gringo who isn’t in a crisis. After a minor problem downloading the FBI form to BH Star Feet, I was inked and on my way in no time…
I left base and headed down the hill to a taxi stand, and called a dear friend from UFOP who is off for the semester while she finishes her doctoral thesis. She directed me to go to her house (across town) and we walked to lunch, and everywhere we went she just had to tell everyone, restaurant, museum, and her family… “Daniel is becoming a Brazilian!” Oi such a shunder…
When I got home (Neverland is a good 2 hour bus ride from BH over impossibly green mountains)I put all the docs together, and this morning on my way to campus SEDEX’d (we have our own DHL/UPS/FEDEX here in Neverland) them to West Virginia where you send stuff that allows you to get a criminal report. I walked back to campus all verklempt… and REALLY happy! It helped that a gentle breeze was blowing, the sun was out, the mountains are as green as green can be, and birds were singing… “Vem ti vi! Vem ti vi!”
So step one (of about 20) done… check!
Next step: The report I sent to FBI HQ needs to be “autenticado” in the Brazilian Consulate in San Francisco – a dear amiga in the California State Senate Int’l office will do that for me – she earns extra dharma points. Then it has to be translated and collected with the rest of the documents. This will take a few months at best. Which gives me time to do all sorts of other tasks… copies of the house contract, proof of my work as a federal employee, copies of the marriage certificate, etc. all authenticated and stamped and registered in “cartorios”.
So you can see why I get snarky at folks in WTFistan, who think “I’ll just move to Canada or France”, yeah good luck. I had to tell one guy, start with grad school and marriage… moving abroad ain’t like moving across WTFistan cowboy.
So to make this very long story short, keep me in your prayers and send lotsa love and light to all who I need to facilitate this… I am just so really fortunate and blessed – a great job, in a great little college town, in a funky state, in a more than dysfunctional but wonderful country. Despite all the problems here in Brasil, there are so many really, really fine people here and it will be great to be Brazilian in a few months!
September 7 is Brazilian Independence day... hoping to have it all done by then! Dedos cruzados!
Judgmental criticism is one thing; judicious criticism is actually a gift. That’s why the Buddha never formulated a precept against talking about other people’s faults or errors, because there are times when you have to speak up against harmful behavior.
“I have always been an explorer of consciousness. As a child, I wanted answers to the great questions of life: ‘Where did we come from? Where are we going?’ I started my quest in the field of science, but soon realized that the answers I sought could not be found there. I have passed through various spiritual traditions. I have prayed and called for God in his countless forms and names and these experiences taught me a lot. I learned about divine unity and the true meaning of the word religion that is the reconnection with the universal soul and the eternal source of love that inhabits us. So today, I say my religion is love.”
the simple and profound feeling of being thankful, is the foundation of
all generosity. I am generous when I believe that right now, right
here, in this form and this place, I am myself being given what I need.
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This is where I stand. Period.
I make no apologies to any or all of my FB friends for this. I know some are tired of political postings and rants. But apart from posts of recipes, grandchildren, meals, flowers, dogs, travel pictures,and drama, and even beautiful expressions of spiritual beliefs, FB is (until it gets taken away) a vehicle to express our outrage at how far our country has currently fallen on the humanitarian scale.
To me, FB is a useful vehicle for my passion and activism. The fevered Ego currently occupying our White House, his power hungry cronies taking positions of authority in his Cabinet and administration, and the majority of Republicans in Congress are a real and active threat to me, my way of life, and all the people I love.
And unless you are worth billions of dollars, they are a threat to you and your life, too. So I will resist and I will be part of the resistance, and proud of it. If you can join in or hang with it, fine. But if not, then you probably need to unfriend me now. I refuse to "play nice" in the face of what these people are doing. Our country's well-being demands that we stand and resist.
Some people are saying that we should give #45 a chance, that we should "work together" with him because he won the election and he is "everyone's president." This is my response:
•I will not say #45's name. •I will not forget how badly he and so many others treated former President Barack Obama for 8 years... •I will not "work together" to privatize Medicare, cut Social Security and Medicaid or repeal the ACA. •I will not "work together" to build a wall. •I will not "work together" to persecute Muslims. •I will not "work together" to shut out refugees from countries where we destabilized their governments, no matter how bad they might have been, so that we could have something more agreeable to our oligarchy. •I will not "work together" to lower taxes on the 1%. •I will not "work together" to increase taxes on the middle class and poor. •I will not "work together" to help #45 use the Presidency to line his pockets and those of his cronies. •I will not "work together" to weaken and demolish environmental protection. •I will not "work together" to sell American lands, especially National Parks, to companies which then despoil those lands. •I will not "work together" to enable the killing in any way of whole species of animals just because they are predators, or inconvenient for a few, or because some people want to get their thrills killing them. •I will not "work together" to remove civil rights from anyone. •I will not "work together" to waste trillions more on our military when we already have the strongest in the world. •I will not "work together" to alienate countries that have been our allies for as long as I have been alive. •I will not "work together" to slash funding for education. •I will not "work together" to take basic assistance from people who are at the bottom of the socioeconomic ladder. •I will not "work together" to allow torture and "black op" prison sites. •I will not "work together" to "take their oil." •I will not "work together" to get rid of common sense regulations on guns. •I will not "work together" to eliminate the minimum wage. •I will not "work together" to support so-called "Right To Work" laws, or undermine, weaken or destroy Unions in any way. •I will not "work together" to suppress scientific research, be it on climate change, fracking, or any other issue where a majority of scientists agree that #45 and his supporters are wrong on the facts. •I will not "work together" to criminalize abortion or restrict health care for women. •I will not "work together" to increase the number of nations that have nuclear weapons. •I will not "work together" to put even more "big money" into politics. •I will not "work together" to violate the Geneva Convention. •I will not "work together" to give the Ku Klux Klan, the Nazi Party and white supremacists a seat at the table, or to normalize their hatred. •I will not "work together" to deny health care to people who need it. •I will not "work together" to increase the profits of the insurance companies. •I will not "work together" to deny medical coverage to people on the basis of an alleged or actual "pre-existing condition." •I will not "work together" to increase voter suppression. •I will not "work together" to normalize tyranny. •Iwill not “work together” to eliminate or reduce ethical oversite at any level of government. •I will not "work together" with anyone who is, or admires, tyrants and dictators. •I will not "work together" with #45 or anyone who supports him, because I will not allow one man to feed upon the fears of the populace, blaming minorities for their condition or their inability to thrive. This is the line, and I am drawing it. •I will stand for honesty, love, respect for all living beings, and for the beating heart that is the center of Life itself. •I will use my voice and my hands, to reach out to the uninformed, and to anyone who will LISTEN for what's really so dangerous about #45, his friends and the Big Lie they spin to the world: That "winning", "being great again", "rich" or even "beautiful" is anything more than nothing... When others are sacrificed to glorify its existence. PS: If you agree, please copy and re-post (we understand this results in larger numbers of people seeing a post), and if you can, sign your name below ours. Also, if we have left anything out, feel free to add it to this list. Consider this an opportunity to make a declaration of commitment, in becoming part of The Resistance.
Patricia Rollins Trosclair
Andrea Dora Zysk
Rev. ELaura James Reid
Rev. Dollie Howell Pankey
Steven E Gordon
Maureen O. Betita
Fernie James Tamblin
Heather A Mayhew
Michael James Myers
Edward T. Spire
Dawn R. Dunbar
Laura Brown 💪🏼
Helen o Leary
Sherry Jo Williams
Deborah G Rogers
Sharon Pierce McCullough
Laura Phillips Dollieslager
Lynnette Fitch Brash ✊
Robin van Tine
John Paul Jones
Sharon Van Schaik Kale
Suzanne Hershey Ford
Daniel Clark Orey
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gotta remember that the ego is built on fear. It’s not built on love;
it’s built on fear. It’s built on the fear of non-survival, and so you
build a structure in order to make you safe. And it’s beautiful
instrument, but if you’re identified with it, you’re fearful all the
time. And because you’re fearful you’re always going to overcompensate
and make ego decisions that are a little inappropriate, because they’ll
be colored by your looking from inside this place.
When you’re outside of it you see that you use your ego as you need to
to make decisions. You come back into sombody-ness. You and I are
meeting back here behind this dance that we’re doing which is charming
and fascinating. And that’s really the beauty of playing with the ego
and the higher consciousness. And it’s only when those two planes work
that the ego becomes really functional, okay?
has its mysteries. One of these great mysteries is the way a romantic
partner shows up in our lives. The understanding of this mystery can
only be understood if we are open to the adventure of knowing ourselves
through the other. We need to really get to know the other understanding
how they act and function. We also need to be willing to reveal
ourselves to the other. This adventure is only possible through love.
Love is what opens the doors to this mutual revelation which unveils the
great mystery of life.”
“We have enough proof that our chosen model for society in which we live has failed. This model may have been effective at some point in our history, but no longer serves us today. This materialistic model based on the frenetic search for money and social recognition ignores the spiritual dimension of life and feeds competition, falseness and cruelty. As individuals and as a society, we find ourselves frustrated and tired, imprisoned by fear. Based on the belief that happiness comes from outside of ourselves, we stop doing what we really want to do in order to please the other. Thus we move further and further away from our essence and purpose. This is the root of our failure.”
moment arrives in the evolutionary journey when your heart is full of
joy and love. You feel so filled that you naturally desire to share this
with others. However, this phenomenon can’t be pre-meditated or
controlled because it is a flowering. When you are in this state, no
effort is needed to share because you are simply overflowing with these
a forest fire, anger tends to burn up its own support. If we jump down
into the middle of such a fire, we will have little chance of putting it
out, but if we create a clearing around the edges, the fire can burn
itself out. This is the role of meditation: creating a clearing around
the margins of anger.
can only give that which you already have. When you are afraid of
losing love, you force yourself to give that which you don’t have. This
false giving creates a series of psycho-emotional and physical
illnesses. True charity or selfless service is putting love in movement
that is not manufactured and has already been illuminated by awareness
and comprehension. You can try to pretend to be charitable and in
service, but the only one you fool is yourself.”
don't need to wait until we are enlightened before we act in the world,
and we don't need to withdraw from the world to become enlightened.
Conscious social action can be our own work on ourselves that becomes
the vehicle for our awakening.
“Often, you force yourself to do something you don’t want to do just to please the other and thereby getting some of their energy. Many times, you do seva or service only to please me. In this case, you have not understood what I have been transmitting. I don’t want blind followers. I don’t want robots doing things mechanically. What I want is for you to be free to follow your heart. When you work in order to experience freedom and happiness, self-less service will flower naturally.”
When you’re not entrapped by another person’s appearance or behavior, you can see behind all that to a deeper level of their being because your mind has tuned itself; you’ve shifted your focus just that little bit to see their soul. That soul quality is love.
When I look at relationships, my own and
others, I see a whole range of reasons we get together and ways we
interact. Some are transactional, but the deeper impulse of every human
relationship is to evoke the love and oneness that unites us. But what
actually happens is that many relationships reinforce our separateness
because of our misperception of ourselves as separate beings, and
because of our desire systems, which are based in separateness or ego.
Relationships only work in a spiritual sense when you and I really see
that we are one.
Relationships and emotions can reinforce our separateness, or they
can be grist for the mill of awakening. When it comes to love
relationships, we are like bees looking for a flower. The predicament is
that the emotional power of loving somebody can get you so caught in
the interpersonal melodrama that you can’t get beyond the emotion. The
problem with interpersonal love is that you are dependent on the other
person to reflect love back to you. That’s part of the illusion of
separateness. The reality is that love is a state of being that comes
The only thing you really ever have to offer another person is your
own state of being. When you’re not entrapped by another person’s
appearance or behavior, you can see behind all that to a deeper level of
their being because your mind has tuned itself; you’ve shifted your
focus just that little bit to see their soul. That soul quality is love.
This is a translated version of an article first published on February 12th, 2017. Read it in Swedish here.
Hans Rosling was said to be unable to deliver bad news.
That is a misconception.
Three years before passing away, he remarked that the one thing that had surprised him the most during his tenure as a global educator was that he became so famous – despite having so little influence over people’s real knowledge. He realized he was stuck in ”persona hell”, and that people remained ignorant at a level worse than random guessing when they took Gapminder’s tests. Not because of a lack of knowledge, but because of ”an actively upheld ignorance”.
He had discovered that people actively had set their minds to remaining ignorant.
Hans Rosling had devoted decades to try to throw out our Tintin-like perspective, but kept on having to say ”wrong, wrong, wrong” when the Swedish people answered the question of how many children are born per woman in Bangladesh.
So how do we let Hans Rosling rest in peace?
By forgetting that he sometimes swallowed swords in a heavy metal style tank top.
And by remembering that mothers in Bangladesh no longer give birth to five children on average, nor four, but TWO POINT TWO children.
How do we let Hans Rosling rest in peace?
By forgetting that he got more clicks than Lady Gaga online.
And by remembering that 80 percent of the children of the world now have access to the most important and most cost efficient of all vaccines: the one for measles.
How do we let Hans Rosling rest in peace?
By forgetting that Time Magazine put him on some list.
And by remembering that Hans Rosling was certain that the world, if it got it’s act together, can reach the goal that the United Nations set for the year 2030: to exterminate extreme poverty for everyone, everywhere.
How do we let Hans Rosling rest in peace?
By forgetting that he was a ”data rock star” at the lecture network website Ted.
And by remembering that life expectancy globally has skyrocketed, and now averages 72 years.
How do we let Hans Rosling rest in peace?
By forgetting false quotes, distributed by people who want everything for the world but Rosling’s humanism.
And by remembering that he spoke of the refugees on the Mediterranean by saying: ”Send a ferry to help them over, instead of saving them when they are about to drown”.
How do we let Hans Rosling rest in peace?
By forgetting that he once competed in ”På spåret”, one of Sweden’s oldest and most popular game shows.
And by remembering that Hans Rosling, the man, was a result of a political struggle that created a nation built on social security, that made it possible for him – who grew up in a home without a flushable toilet – to be the first in his family to study at a higher level. His dad worked in a coffee factory, his mother as an assistant at a library. And that he, thanks to that same nation state, was able to receive his first cancer treatment as a father of small children, at age 30. And that the treatment gave him another 38 years to live.
How do we let Hans Rosling rest in peace?
By – hesitantly – forgetting that he once turned some colleagues down when they wanted him to take part in a student comic theater celebration: ”got no time. gotta stop ebola. get something online.”
And by remembering that Hans Rosling sometimes was mistaken, or drew the wrong conclusions.
How do we let Hans Rosling rest in peace?
Perhaps by following his example, and whisper a quick ”thank you” when turning on the water faucet, to get clean, fresh, healthy water.
In the spirit and hope of his heavenly harmony, may we finally understand what his Lego blocks, his graphical bubbles and Swenglish accent were all about:
In this special section from the Spring 2017 issue of Tricycle, religion scholars, journalists, and laypeople share their thoughts on a phenomenon that is here to stay: the rising number of people who identify as spiritual, but not religious.
As Professor of Religious Studies at Rice University William B. Parsons says in his introduction:
“During a year of research among the religiously unaffiliated, for example, the American writer Kaya Oakes encountered many more people who dip in and out of various Buddhist traditions than people who actually identify as Buddhists. To help with background, historian Matt Hedstrom sheds some light on little-known Protestant educational trends that may have paved the way for contemporary mindfulness. Religious studies scholar Andrea Jain offers an example from the world of yoga that parallels some of the strongest critiques—familiar to Tricycle readers—of spirituality as a consumer product. And finally, Diane Winston, a journalist and historian of religion, relates her experience teaching an undergraduate class in which students seem neither religious nor spiritual.”
There is a way of shifting consciousness so that you see that we are all one in the form of many...You see that a starving person or a dying person or a frightened person is you. Then the whole trip of, 'What's good for me? What do I want? What do I need?' just becomes less interesting. And that's where the power is that changes the universe.
when I’m asked to describe the Buddhist teachings, I say this:
Everything is connected; nothing lasts; you are not alone. This is
really just a restatement of the traditional Three Marks of Existence:
non-self, impermanence, and suffering.
A huge hole was left in the world this week with the death of
the Swedish statistician Han Rosling. He was a master communicator
whose captivating presentations on global development were watched by
millions. He had the
ear of those with power and influence. His friend Bill Gates said Hans
‘brought data to life and helped the world see the human progress it
often overlooked’. In a world that often looks at the bad news coming
out of the developing world, Rosling was determined to spread the good
news, extended life expectancy, falling rates of disease and infant
mortality. He was fighting what he called the ‘post-fact era‘ of global
health. He was passionate about global development and before he became
famous he lived and worked in Mozambique, India and the Democratic
Republic of Congo using data and his skills as a doctor to save lives.
Despite ill health he also travelled to Liberia during the Ebola
outbreak in 2014 to help gather and consolidate data to help fight the
outbreak. On a personal level he was warm, funny and kind and will be
greatly missed by a huge number of people.
Presenter: Tim Harford Producer: Wesley Stephenson
The hallmark of a leader is
the promptness with which
they encourage others and
their earnest resolve to not
let time slip them by.
Be thorough when reporting
and communicating information,
and go to our members in need
with lightning speed!
the Blessed One addressed the monks, “If even a single monk has any
doubt or indecision concerning the Buddha, Dhamma, or Sangha, the path
or the practice, ask. Don’t later regret that ‘The Teacher was
face-to-face with us, but we didn’t bring ourselves to cross-question
him in his presence.’”
I listened as you called my President a Muslim. I listened as you called him and his family a pack of monkeys. I listened as you said he wasn't born here. I watched as you blocked every single path to progress that you could. I saw the pictures you made of him as Hitler. I watched you shut down the government and hurt the entire nation, twice. I watched you turn your backs on every opportunity to open a worthwhile dialog. I watched you say that you would not even listen to any choice for Supreme Court no matter who the nominee was. I listened as you openly said that you will oppose him at every turn. I watched as you did just that. I listened. I watched. I paid attention. Now, I'm being called on to be tolerant. To move forward. To denounce protesters. To "Get over it." To accept this... I will not. I will do my part to make sure, this great American mistake, becomes the embarrassing footnote of our history that it deserves to be. I will do this as quickly as possible, every chance I get. I will do my part to limit the damage that this man can do to my country. I will watch his every move and point out every single mistake and misdeed in a loud and proud voice. I will let you know in a loud voice every time this man backs away from a promise he made to you. The people who voted for him. Yes you, the ones who sold their souls and prayed for him to win. I will do this so that you never forget. And you will hear me. You will see it in my eyes when I look at you. You will hear it in my voice when I talk to you. You will know that I know who you are. You will know that I know what you are. Do not call for my tolerance. I've tolerated all I can. Now it's your turn to tolerate the ridicule. Be aware, make no mistake about it, every single thing that goes wrong in our country from this day forward is now Trump's fault just as much as you thought it was Obama's. I find it unreasonable for you to expect from me, what you were entirely unwilling to give.
I arrived at a more intimate knowledge, I came to the point where I saw
that mountains are not mountains, and rivers are not rivers. But now
that I have got its very substance, I am at rest. For it’s just that I
see mountains once again as mountains, and rivers once again as rivers.
Relaxing in the midst of chaos, learning not to panic—this is the spiritual path.
Disappointment, embarrassment, irritation, resentment, anger, jealousy, and fear, instead of being bad news, are actually very clear moments that teach us where it is that we’re holding back. They teach us to perk up and lean in when we feel we’d rather collapse and back away.
From Scott Mednick, when a Trumpster Facebook friend told him, "We suffered for 8 years. Now it’s your turn.”
Scott's reply: "There will never be a President who does everything to
everyone’s liking. There are things President Obama (and President
Clinton) did that I do not like and conversely there are things I can
point to that the Presidents Bush did that I agree with. So I am not
100% in lock step with the outgoing President but have supported him and
the overall job he did.
And, if you recall, during the
Presidential Campaign back in 2008 the campaign was halted because of
the "historic crisis in our financial system."
bailout negotiations intervened in the election process. The very
sobering reality was that there likely could be a Depression and the
world financial markets could collapse. The United States was losing
800,000 jobs a month and was poised to lose at least 10 million jobs the
first year once the new President took office. We were in an economic
freefall. So let us recall that ALL of America was suffering terribly at
the beginning of Obama’s Presidency.
But I wanted to look back
over the last 8 years and ask you a few questions. Since much of the
rhetoric before Obama was elected was that he would impose Sharia Law,
Take Away Your Guns, Create Death Panels, Destroy the Economy, Impose
Socialism and, since you will agree that NONE of this came to pass,I was
wondering: Why have you suffered so?'
So let me ask: Gays and
Lesbians can now marry and enjoy the benefits they had been deprived of.
Has this caused your suffering?
When Obama took office, the Dow was 6,626. Now it is 19,875. Has this caused your suffering?
We had 82 straight months of private sector job growth - the longest
streak in the history of the United States. Has this caused your
Especially considering where the economy was when he
took over, an amazing 11.3 million new jobs were created under President
Obama (far more than President Bush). Has this caused your suffering?
Obama has taken Unemployment from 10% down to 4.7%. Has this caused your suffering?
Homelessness among US Veterans has dropped by half. Has this caused your suffering?
Obama shut down the US secret overseas prisons. Has this caused your suffering?
President Obama has created a policy for the families of fallen
soldiers to have their travel paid for to be there when remains are
flown home. Has this caused your suffering?
We landed a rover on Mars. Has this caused your suffering?
He passed the Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes Prevention Act. Has this caused your suffering?
Uninsured adults has decreased to below 10%: 90% of adults are insured -
an increase of 20 Million Adults. Has this caused your suffering?
People are now covered for pre-existing conditions. Has this caused your suffering?
Insurance Premiums increased an average of $4,677 from 2002-2008, an
increase of 58% under Bush. The growth of these insurance premiums has
gone up $4,145 – a slower rate of increase. Has this caused your
Obama added Billions of dollars to mental health care for our Veterans. Has this caused your suffering?
Consumer confidence has gone from 37.7 to 98.1 during Obama’s tenure. Has this caused your suffering?
He passed the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act. Has this caused your suffering?
His bi-annual Nuclear Summit convinced 16 countries to give up and
destroy all their loose nuclear material so it could not be stolen. Has
this caused your suffering?
He saved the US Auto industry.
American cars sold at the beginning of his term were 10.4M and upon his
exit 17.5M. Has this caused your suffering?
The deficit as a percentage of the GDP has gone from 9.8% to 3.2%. Has this caused your suffering?
The deficit itself was cut by $800 Billion Dollars. Has this caused your suffering?
Obama preserved the middle class tax cuts. Has this caused your suffering?
Obama banned solitary confinement for juveniles in federal prisons. Has this caused your suffering?
He signed Credit Card reform so that rates could not be raised without you being notified. Has this caused your suffering?
He outlawed Government contractors from discriminating against LGBT persons. Has this caused your suffering?
He doubled Pell Grants. Has this caused your suffering?
Abortion is down. Has this caused your suffering? Violent crime is down. Has this caused your suffering?
He overturned the scientific ban on stem cell research. Has this caused your suffering? He protected Net Neutrality. Has this caused your suffering?
Obamacare has extended the life of the Medicare insurance trust fund
(will be solvent until 2030). Has this caused your suffering?
President Obama repealed Don't Ask Don't Tell. Has this caused your
suffering? He banned torture. Has this caused your suffering?
He negotiated with Syria to give up its chemical weapons and they were destroyed. Has this caused your suffering?
Solar and Wind Power are at an all time high. Has this caused your suffering?
High School Graduation rates hit 83% - an all time high. Has this caused your suffering?
Corporate profits are up by 144%. Has this caused your suffering?
He normalized relations with Cuba. Has this caused your suffering?
Reliance on foreign oil is at a 40 year low. Has this caused your suffering?
US Exports are up 28%. Has this caused your suffering?
He appointed the most diverse cabinet ever. Has this caused your suffering?
He reduced the number of troops in both Iraq and Afghanistan. Has this caused your suffering?
Yes, he killed Osama Bin Laden and retrieved all the documents in his
possession for analysis. Perhaps THIS caused your suffering?
an objective standpoint it would appear that the last 8 years have seen
some great progress and we were saved from a financial collapse.
Things are not perfect. Things can always be better. We are on much better footing now than we were in 2008.
I look forward to understanding what caused you to suffer so much under Obama these last 8 years."
only truly feel fulfilled when we offer our gifts and talents to the
world, which is synonymous with putting love in movement. Many are
unaware of their gifts and talents and therefore need to re-establish a
connection with themselves and with the very essence of who they really
are. This connection enables the memory of the soul’s purpose and that
is the greatest blessing a human being can receive.”