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Nori's Peace Blog at Surrealist.org


Should America Run Like Walmart?
Posted on January 28, 2012

A right wing buddy of mine forwarded an inane chain letter touting Walmart as the model business plan, since they have opened so many stores and imported so much crap from China. Then the letter goes on to tell dirty lies about the United States Postal Service, Social Security, the secondary mortgage market, LBJ's War on Poverty, Medicare, Medicade, and the Department of Energy. You may have seen this chain letter. It has probably been circulating since the time of Adam. Of course, I immediately wrote back to my friend and told him that I do not want to live in the Walmart version of America.

Later, I kept thinking about it. Sticking with the retail metaphor, I worked in a shop in Glendale, California for six years. We were an independent import shop, solely owned by my boss. She depended on us to run the shop when she traveled to buy inventory, so she paid us well. New employees started at $8.50 and could get raises up to $10 an hour. Plus, we earned a ten percent commission on all sales over $400 per day. When she was about to leave for a long trip, she would treat the sales staff to dinner at a restaurant near the shop. She invited us to holiday parties at her home. We all worked together as a team and wanted to make the store successful. Once I got that job, I kept it because it was a great place to work.

Could you get those benefits as an employee at Walmart? No! Do you want to look at a national monument, or look at specials on junk you don't need in aisle five? Do you want a free and safe society, with a low crime rate, where people are invested in their communities? I say let's run America like a really happening small business, where everyone cares about each other.





A New Industry for the American South
Posted on January 19, 2012

As a longtime visitor and fan of the American South, I can tell you that the South's greatest natural resources are paddlewheel boats and swamps. The steamboats are great. Mark Twain made them a symbol of the South, and that has been a blessing for more than a hundred years. For more about the old boats, visit my other website, Steamboats.com. As for the swamps, this is actually a great asset, and the basis for a new industry: farming friendly microbes for wetland remediation.

Wetland bioremediation is a "growing" field these days. It has accelerated since the Gulf oil spill a few years ago, with new products going onto the EPA list, going public, and doing their part to heal the earth. Although this is a good start, and the plan is beginning to pick up speed, we need trillions more friendly microbes to harmonize the environment.

Microbes are simply bacteria, but they are positive, friendly bacteria that act as enzymes to break down oil and organic waste. Picture microscopic, organic Pacman bubbles floating into a polluted zone. They swim around and "eat" the pollution, turning it into a harmless dust.

The South has warm weather and wetlands, which would be fertile grounds for growing crops of friendly microbes. They could use the microbes to treat oil pollution along the Gulf Coast, and sell the rest worldwide. The American South could become the bacteria basket to the world and be proud of it. They could throw out the old slogan "King Cotton," and replace it with "Bacteria Basket," fostering peace, harmony, love, and organic cures to the world.

How to get started? One business model is to research the products available and become a bioremediation contractor. Another idea is for municipalities to partner with bioremediation product producers to provide bacteria farmland. If you are just starting out in college, consider a degree in microbiology. Right now, most of the field is focused on fear of bad microbes, but it is gradually shifting to focus on the benefits of good microbes. Become a scientist! Learn the habits of microbes so you can lead this earth-saving new field. Microbes have the potential to reduce global warming and create a sustainable atmosphere. To learn more about bioremediation using natural, friendly bacteria, bookmark the Organic Cures blog.





Surrealist.org Joins the Blackout to Protest SOPA and PIPA
Posted on January 18, 2012

To find out more about the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and Protect IP Act (PIPA), long on to these pages at Wikipedia.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stop_Online_Piracy_Act

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PROTECT_IP_Act





Evil or Stupid?
Posted on January 13, 2012

The age old question about our scary leaders: are they evil or stupid? A question to Europe: was it evil or stupid to band all your currency together in a big euro? Did you think about the consequences? If this was an evil plot to rob you, then you are faced with corporate raiders of international proportion. As soon as they break your countries, they will squeeze out every last relic of your culture and put it in their own purses. You have to stand up to these vulture capitalists and stop this before it happens.

If stupid, then just do the best you can to clean things up. In this situation, it would almost be better if your problems came from simple stupidity.





Vulture Capitalism
Posted on January 12, 2012

The term Vulture Capitalism swooped into our social conversation today. It is descriptive, since it explains the problem. It outs a diabolical financial scam called LBO, leveraged buyout. We already know what a corporate raider is, and venture capitalism and LBOs are an outgrowth of that. Rich people like Mitt Romney buy companies, leverage them, take the profits, and send them into bankruptcy. The Bush people did something similar to the entire country in the '00s. We now have a more vivid picture of what has happened to our economy, and who did it to us. Stay tuned as more details of this plot come to light.





A Complaint to MSNBC Journalists and Keith Olbermann
Posted on January 4, 2012

Dear fellow journalists, now that Iowa caucus day is over, can we stop following the Republican candidates? For about six months, MSNBC and Keith Olbermann have reported their every move. Not only that, but they interview talking heads to rehash every twist and turn, speculating on what might happen next. The candidates themselves are fairly interesting, since they seem so clownish. However, enough is enough.

Reasons for my complaint: 1) sure it is funny to watch their stumbles and gaffes, but then you turn around and they are shutting down the government again. I say ignore them as much as possible. Just report what happened, then move on. That leads to my second reason for complaining: 2) There are other things happening in the world that are more important to us. Please give us news we can use. That leads to my third point: 3) following the Republicans is just what they want us to do. You give a bully attention and he just wants more, even if it is negative attention. Whatever you focus on tends to increase. Plus, insecure humans tend to focus on their fears. That's why they say you attract what you fear. Therefore, all this focus is setting us up to be scared again. What if they suddenly stop being funny-clownish and become scary-clownish again?

So, dear MSNBC hosts and Keith Olbermann, would you please get out of this all-Republicans-all-the-time mode? I am begging you on hand and knee. If you have five segments, please confine coverage of the Republicans to one bang-up segment, and use the other four segments for real news.





Tax the Rich
Posted on January 1, 2012

FACTOID - Ironic Times, 12/26/2011
Top 1% of Top 1% Account for One Third of All Political Contributions
And they're brothers.






Merry Christmas
Posted on December 25, 2011

This morning on Gospel Classics, host and gospel star Edna Tatum told us to remember "If we never pass this way again, just remember how good it's been. I wish for you a merry Christmas and a prosperous and healthy new year." Then she played this song:

If We Never Pass This Way Again
lyrics by Rodena Preston

If we never pass this way, never pass this way again,
Let us remember this time.
And remember how good it's been.
And let's not forget God, because he made it all possible,
And remember he's so wonderful.
And as you go about, as you go about your day,
If you need something from the Lord,
Don't be afraid to ask.
Be careful what you say or do; what you send out comes back to you.
Try to stay in tune and pray.
Then you can say, God is so wonderful.
God bless you,
God bless you,
God bless you.





Carry On - Love is Coming
Posted on December 16, 2011

We are all tired of being abused by our politics. It seems the system is broken. Too much greed and money involved to be civil. However, if you can hold on, if you can learn the lessons of history, then we can break through this block. Keep on thinking about the ninety-nine percent. If we are ninety-nine percent, we are united, we are strong, and we are the majority. We do not have to let the one percent abuse us any longer.

The sky is clearing and the night has gone out.
The sun, he come, the world is all full of light.
Rejoice, rejoice, we have no choice but to carry on.






Ron Paul would be the Best Republican Candidate
Posted on December 14, 2011

Since the only thing we ever talk about on the news anymore is what the Republicans are doing, I want to officially endorse a candidate. Ron Paul is so far to the right that he's on the left on some issues. He is liberal on the legalization of marijuana, for peace in the Middle East, and has interesting thoughts about other issues. He's a wacky right-winger when it comes to the role of the government. He is one of the ungrateful, shallow entitled people who wants to kill off his own country's government.

Other than that, he's pretty good. His liberal credentials would make a more interesting campaign. We could discuss liberal issues like whether aging baby boomers may legally smoke pot and how much money it would save society if they could.

Instead, if Newt Gingrich gets the nomination, we are doomed to listen to an egotistical gasbag rant about how great he is. And we would have to witness his sycophants drool all over him trying to make him look good.

I am registered as a Democrat, or I would vote for Ron Paul in the primary (and President Barack Obama in the general). Ron Paul's slogan for the rest of the primary could be: "I am a little nuts, but more interesting than Newt." If you are a Republican, you still have time to turn this thing around. Nominate Ron Paul and pry your party out of the hands of the people who are in denial about who Newt Gingrich is and his role so far in recent history. What a spectacle this ordeal has been so far! It may as well end with Ron Paul as your candidate!





Why I Write Books
Posted on December 6, 2011

The question has occurred to me many times, so I have put a lot of thought into it. In my twenties, I went through a devastating spiritual betrayal, and have learned a lot from the experience. After several decades of distance, finally I am starting to see light around the edges. It's the ability to now see the blessings that came from the experience.

Today I had a long working lunch with another writer, a neighbor. She also writes books. Hers are illustrated children's books that she sells at art shows and book fairs. She said that when she sells a book, it makes her happy because a child will enjoy having the book read to them. I told her when I sell a book, I see it like a chink in the armor of the empire.

Truth is a difficult issue in these times, but we need the truth to make good decisions. Truth may be ugly or uncomfortable at first, but once you get to know it, it is possible to find peace with it.

Every time I sell a copy of Dreaming Peace, I feel the world getting stronger, braver, and more ready to embrace a positive future. Please check out Dreaming Peace at Amazon Kindle and consider whether dreaming a peaceful future is for you too.





Post Office Cry for Help
Posted on December 5, 2011

The Post Office is part of the commons, enjoyed by the 99 percent. The 1% wants to kill it. The Post Office would be making a profit, if not for legislation that forces it to pay into a high demand pension fund not expected of any other private or public institution. Free the Post Office. Ask your U.S. Representative to support H.R. 1351, the United States Postal Service Pension Obligation Recalculation and Restoration Act of 2011. click here to read the bill





Fox News Pawns
Posted on November 30, 2011

Everybody is starting to see what's going on, and acknowledge the 99 percent. Everybody, that is, except Fox News viewers. They see whatever their gurus Hannity, O'Reilly, et al, tell them to see, and they swallow the strategic disinformation. That could explain why Fox News viewers are so profoundly uninformed. They are brainwashed pawns in a grand scheme to enrich a small percent of the population. Now you know what it feels like to be in a dysfunctional religious group.

Who benefits? We could start with our legislators who are part of the top income percent. If you are a good cult member, you don't see it. If you are polite, you don't raise your voice. But we need to point this out. Living in a cultish system is a painful, unhappy ordeal.





60 Minutes Finding Homeless Families
Posted on November 30, 2011

This is too much. Why are so many more families with children living on the streets? Tax the rich. Help the homeless families. This is an outrage. Thanks a lot Grover Norquist. This is the real purport of an abusive father taking a bite out of his child's ice cream cone. The 60 Minutes segment "Finding Homeless Families," updated November 27, shows that the rich are taking bites out of formerly middle class families and spitting them out on the street.





Herman Cain Implosion
Posted on November 29, 2011

Dear friends, please pity poor Herman Cain. His sexual boundaries were most likely crossed up when he was too young to know what was happening to him. It is not always the case, but he exhibits the classic symptoms of an untreated child abuse victim. Rape would be scary for anyone of any age, but children don't have any idea of the heavy issues they are dealing with. In cases where nobody intervenes, a child may grow up thinking predatory behavior is normal. From the details coming out now, I fear this could be what we are witnessing.

Obviously, my politics are to the left of Herman Cain, but as a human being, I can only have compassion for him. If I was an academic researcher on his case, I would try to find a way to teach him that touching people is a privilege, not a right. No means no, and don't expect people to touch you in exchange for favors.

The harm to Herman Cain's family is a consequence that may teach him what he did wrong. The harm to the women is another matter, he is responsible for that too. He left a wake of destruction his whole life due to what may have been a single incident or scenario before the age of consent. Nevertheless, he deserves to suffer from all the consequences coming his way. The consequences will only help him, especially if he learns from the experience and changes his ways. Even better if he makes amends to those he harmed.

If you were never personally hurt by Cain, that makes you a bystander, a witness. He is not a threat to you. He is just a damaged spirit getting his karma.





Circle Mysteries
Posted on November 22, 2011

Crop circles are mysterious and controversial. Some people say aliens make them, others say humans make them; some think it is alien humans with super-human gardening skills. Now somoene has come up with the key to the mystery:

Jack Biesek (biesek.com) said:
Crop circles are evidence that someone (or some energy form) has the ability to communicate on a cellular level with living plants. To personally experience Sacred Geometry upon the landscape in such a huge configuration is all one needs to convince oneself that something magical and mysterious is going on. Apparently, we are now on the verge of developing abilities to communicate with forms of consciousness that heretofore we've never had. The crop circles are opening us up to a new communication in a most gentle manner. Only those who are ready to open up actually do so. It is a unique form of art that appeals to people who have opened their hearts to creative energy and those who allow themselves to be part of an exciting new dimension of life as we know it.






Tax the Rich
Posted on November 21, 2011

When we want to balance our personal budget, sometimes we need to cut spending, and sometimes we need to raise more money. It is a simple thing, but our federal legislators are pretending they don't get it. We need to balance our federal budget, and while there are a few things we can cut, that will not make it balance. We need to raise more tax money from those most able to pay.

The rich can afford to pay more, but some (especially the 1% richest in Congress) are greedy. Greedy millionaires may refuse, but patriotic millionaires who love their country are willing to pay more tax. Visit the Patriotic Millionaires to find out where they stand (patrioticmillionaires.org).





Regulated Democratic Capitalism is Good
Posted on November 17, 2011

"Regulated democratic" to me means that we have a say over how companies do business in our country. It's our country, so we decide the rules. The problem with capitalism is corruption. Lately, we have seen plenty of that! That is the seed of the 99 percent movement. Transparency and rational rules are key to capitalism's success. Socialism also looks good on paper, but when put to the test, corruption was even easier. We have seen all varieties of distortions lately. But, like unions, I believe that we all support them, but agree that they need reform. Honesty in business is the keystone of success. So we bless honest businesses, including honest banks, and honest insurance companies. They probably exist, so when we find them, we can feel confident about our future once again.





Chain Letter Compares Tea Party, 99% Protesters
Posted on November 18, 2011

One of my r-wing friends sent me a chain letter consisting of a series of photos comparing the tea party protests to the 99% protests. Naturally, the tea party protesters are shown to be adorable, shiny people waving flags. The 99% are depicted as the worst of humanity.

But anyone can wave a flag. Here is what they must cover up to make themselves seem more wholesome:

teaparty1

teaparty2  teaparty3  teaparty5  teaparty4

teaparty6





Regulated Democratic Capitalism is Good
Posted on November 17, 2011

"Regulated democratic" to me means that we have a say over how companies do business in our country. It's our country, so we decide the rules. The problem with capitalism is corruption. Lately, we have seen plenty of that! That is the seed of the 99 percent movement. Transparency and rational rules are key to capitalism's success. Socialism also looks good on paper, but when put to the test, corruption was even easier. We have seen all varieties of distortions lately. But, like unions, I believe that we all support them, but agree that they need reform. Honesty in business is the keystone of success. So we bless honest businesses, including honest banks, and honest insurance companies. They probably exist, so when we find them, we can feel confident about our future once again.





Occupy Your Window
Posted on November 17, 2011

With police breaking up Occupy encampments across the country, let's show our solidarity by occupying our own windows. Here is the Occupy sign my brother made for me when we attended Occupy Phoenix, October 15. Occupy is a state of mind, as well as demonstration. Recently, on the plane home, I sat next to a man from Kentucky. So I asked him, "What are your politics?" He looked overwhelmed for a moment, then said, "I am part of the 99 percent!"

310_4958





A Long Awaited Day for Penn State's Victims
Posted on November 15, 2011

With revelations of sexual child abuse in Penn State, the victims's stories are validated. They can finally speak out about what happened. In several of my recovery books, I have written about the psychological mechanics of child abuse in dangerous religious groups. Cult child abuse is similar to abuse in any authoritarian organization or family. I speak my mind on the subject in Cult Recovery Handbook, Part II: Abuse Recovery (available at Amazon.com). Following is an excerpt that I offer to the victims and their families, in the spirit of recovery, healing, and love.

Everyone, even adults, fear sexual molestation. Rape is a violent and frightening experience. It is even more so for children, who know nothing of sex and are too young to understand what is happening to them if someone molests them. It is one of the most unfortunate things that can happen to a child.

Children look up to adults and see them as the embodiment of all wisdom. This is natural because children are dependent on their parents and would be totally helpless without them. It goes against the ideal family archetype to think that something is wrong with the adults, so children tend to transfer the blame to themselves. Self-blame is a powerful element of the defense system, because children who are raised in abusive groups are trapped between hating the perpetrators and hating themselves. These adults are often their primary caretakers. In some cases, the incestuous sex is the only attention children may receive in a loveless environment. Children are naturally attracted to adults and crave their attention. Thus, the victims' own emotional needs set them up to receive the abuse and think it was their own fault.

Another reason victims may keep the secrets is because they are afraid of being ostracized. Perpetrators warn their victims that revealing the secrets will wreck things for everyone else and make them unpopular. Perpetrators sometimes beat their victims into silence. The perpetrators thus draw their victims into a reality of secrecy, shame, hopelessness, and guilt, where they feel isolated and vulnerable. The child must cope with a self-image that includes sins most adults are afraid to even talk about.

Thus, the most devastating effect of sexual abuse is to force children to deal with unfair, complex emotional issues. Abused children may have overwhelming emotional problems that include feelings of guilt, self-hatred, and broken trust.





Hello from the Rain Forests of New Zealand
Posted on November 9, 2011

310_4544





The 999999999999999 Plan
Posted on November 2, 2011

My own personal 999999999999999 plan consists of about fifteen phone messages from friends that I have saved on my voice mail. They are from five of my favorite friends in the world, wishing me happy birthday, asking me when I will be home, and even a few singing messages to me. It always makes me feel great to re-listen to their voices, and I press "9" at the end of each message to save them for a later time. That is where the fifteen 9's come from! Everyone needs to have excellent friends to make life beautiful, and although it would embarrass them to know that I save their messages, I do save them.





Cain Campaign Finance Scandal
Posted on November 1, 2011

In case you are paying attention to Herman Cain scandals today, the real one to watch is the campaign finance scandal. It is not just a scandal, but a possible crime. His history of paying off employees for sexual harassment is damaging, but will not land him in jail. It is already settled. Let's see what happens with this one.

Here's an article in the Milwauke Journal Sentinel that explains in detail what is going on: http://www.jsonline.com/watchdog/noquarter/state-firms-cash-to-herman-cain-may-breach-federal-campaign-tax-laws-132898423.html

Here's a bumper sticker from a series of bumper stickers one of my right wing friends fwd'ed along to me this morning. I selected this one because it was the least offensively racist in the bunch! Enjoy!

cain-bumpersticker





60 Minutes Interviews Madoff Family
Posted on October 30, 2011

People find it infuriating that the wife and surviving son of Bernie Madoff claim they did not know about the ponzi scheme. Watching the 60 Minutes interview, it becomes clear that Bernie Madoff was an autocrat. He ran an authoritarian operation. As often happens in such structures, the leaders become corrupt. Authoritarian systems allow dishonesty and abuse. The wife was taken in by Bernie Madoff to the extent that she could forgive his crimes and still love him and stay with him.

This is similar to the dysfunctional guru-disciple relationship. Some people continue to love their gurus even if the guru commits murder. In the case of Ruth Madoff, her behavior drove her sons insane. One of them committed suicide. The sons are like naive followers betrayed; and because of their upbringing in the authoritarian system, they cannot come to terms with what their father did. In the 60 Minutes interview, the son said he cannot forgive his father, and will never speak to him again. This is understandable given the situation.

We cannot say with absolute certainty whether she knew about it or not; whether the sons and other family members knew. However, if they were to go get an education in recovery psychology, they would be able to look back and see all the symptoms of the authoritarian system. The leader had absolute control, he ruled with an iron fist, he had a veneer of piousness (giving to charity, being a leader).

It is like the question of whether I knew about the crimes going on in ISKCON when I was a member. I definitely knew about the drug money, but not the full extent. As far as child abuse, there was one case of abuse in the L.A. nursery school, handled by the police. The perpetrators were apprehended and went to jail. As far as I knew, things were done correctly. I did not believe allegations of child abuse in the school system and rural communities.

However, after leaving ISKCON, I went to graduate school, where I studied child abuse recovery. Then, looking back, I could see all the symptoms of child abuse were present in the ISKCON cultures.

Traits of Families that Tolerate Incest and Child Abuse

Poly-abusive
Sexual child abuse is just one of a number of abuses taking place in an incest family. There may also be a history of family violence, substance abuse, and other criminal activity.

Duplicity, deceit, collective secrets
The incest family hides its embarrassing secrets.

Rigid and tightly controlled
Incest families have rigid rules to prevent revelation of their secrets.

Demand for blind, absolute loyalty
Incest families usually have a domineering head of household who rules the family through force.

Poor boundaries
Disrespect for each others' privacy, rights, and individuality is common in incest families.

Parents immature and inexperienced in life
Parents of incest families usually never become fully mature adults.

Conflictual marriage or troubled divorce
In incest families, this may refer to situations where children are pushed into the drama between a conflicted mother and father.

No childhood for the children
Incest families are somber and strict places, where the authority figure (usually one of the parents) dictates behavior for everyone else. Rather than let children run around and play, they force children into a regimented routine.

Chaotic situations, traumatic stress
Incest often takes place in chaotic households, with unstable roots. These families may move often and lack connections to any one community.

Low level of appropriate touch
In the most toxic incest families all touching is considered taboo. Parents do not hug, caress, or cuddle their children, as normal families do. This is perhaps the most telling symptom of incest.

Compensating veneer of religiosity
Incest perpetrators often hide behind an external show of religion.

(See surrealist.org for traits of healthy families.)

Although the family could not see it, the symptoms of the ponzi scheme permeated their lives. However, connecting the dots can be difficult. The man is a tyrant. He has a bad temper, you do what he says and don't ask questions. His floor of the building is top secret and he doesn't answer questions about what he's doing in there. His stock always goes up. If someone is dictatorial with a bad temper, those are the red flags. Something is wrong. Honest people do not have to be dictators. You can get to their nice side and they share their minds with those close to them.

Everyone who suspects the Madoff family members of lying, really what it appears is that they were lying to themselves. Further, we are all lying to ourselves in the same way. We overlook our authority figures' rough spots; we ignore their crimes. This is a lesson for all of us. The authoritarian system is the system in abusive families and abusive groups. We must find another way to operate. Dictators are bad. Mean, angry dictators are the worst.





History Repeats Itself
Posted on October 28, 2011

Like they say, you have to learn from history, or you are doomed to repeat it. For several years I was looking for an era in history to match our own. I kept thinking, maybe it would have been worse to live through the McCarthy Era, maybe it would have been worse to live through the siege of Edinburgh Castle. But finally, thanks to a Harper's magazine article, I found an era that seems to match ours exactly. Here is a description of that time, drawn from "Democracy 101: Mark Twain's farewell address," by Lewis H. Lapham (Harper's, April 2011, pp. 31-37):

Then as now, the situation was desperate, the economy in dire straits, democracy on its deathbed. The country was in severe depression, the rates of unemployment, bankruptcy, and business failure pegged to unprecedented levels of violence, poverty, and despair. The presidential election of 1876 had been thoroughly corrupted by fraudulent vote counts in favor of each candidate (the Republican Rutherford B. Hayes, the Democrat Samuel J. Tilden, both of them held captive by the banks). A number of Republican politicians had been murdered in the Southern states for their disagreement with the policy of lynching Negroes. The Lincoln County war in New Mexico encouraged the random shooting of Mexicans; mobs formed in the streets of San Francisco to beat to death the Yellow Peril as personified in Chinese laundrymen and shopkeepers. A railroad strike in West Virginia that began in July became the first national strike in the country's history, 500,000 workers walking away from factories and mines everywhere between New Jersey and California. Strikers in Pittsburgh set fire to the property of the Pennsylvania Railroad, destroying 39 buildings, 104 engines, 46 passenger cars, more than 1,200 freight cars. The disturbance moved Tom Scott, president of the railroad, to suggest that the strikers be given "a rifle diet for a few days and see how they liked that kind of bread." State militia and federal troops complied with the suggestion, killing more than a hundred strikers in Maryland and Pennsylvania.

Whatever you think about the nineteenth century, know that we now find ourselves living in a second Gilded Age. Mark Twain wrote his 1873 novel, The Gilded Age, as a satire of the times. Now we have a chance to learn from history and stop the cycle of violence and childishness. However, if we fail to learn better this time, our children will certainly have another chance in the third Gilded Age, sure to come.





Lakes History Interview
Posted on October 27, 2011

Ellen Calvert interviews Nori Muster, Lakes Women's Club historian and president. Last April, Nori, Ellen, and two other local writers formed a Lakes author's group, and they have been meeting regularly all year. Here, Ellen asks Nori to talk about her involvement in The Lakes.

Ellen: We have been friends and writing colleagues for almost five years, and during this time, I am continually impressed with your involvement in creating community and preserving history. How did this interest begin?

Nori: From 1966-1976, my father was president of the Delta Queen Steamboat, which was a cruise ship on the Mississippi River. So that was history; my interest in community started in graduate school, when I led art therapy classes for adolescents.

Ellen: Would you speak to your recent progress with the Lakes historical archives?

Nori: The jewel of the collection is the record that Lloyd Snook left in his scrapbooks. Pam Rector, our resident historian, scanned the contents into a computer last year. We are fortunate this collection came to light.

Ellen: When you and I first met, you had a number of ideas for creating community activities. How many of these have become realities?

Nori: As it turns out, the Women's Club has been the perfect avenue. Our unofficial motto is "Party on!" and it is a great collaboration.

Ellen: And your wish list for the future consists of?

Nori: I want to continue as the Women's Club historian after my term as president is up, and I would like to get to know the longtime residents better. My professional goal as a writer is to continue in my current vein of self-help psychology books.

Ellen: Finally, what do you enjoy most about living in The Lakes?

Nori: My little perch on the waterfront here is the perfect writers' retreat.

Ellen: Thank you, Nori, for taking the time to share your thoughts and views about The Lakes.





Benefits of Occupy Wall Street
Posted on October 26, 2011

One of the best things that Occupy Wall Street accomplishes is that it inspires the rest of us 99% to stand up for what we believe. We are the 99% but until now we were divided over issues like whether to legalize pot or allow women to abort their babies. These are issues we will work out later, but for now, we must investigate who blew up our economy approximately three years ago.

We need banks, insurance company, health care, and the street named Wall Street. We just need them to be honest and transparent in their dealings. The only reason these organizations have had to be so secretive is that they want to cover up crimes within the institutions. The biggest crime was the buy-out of our legislators, deregulation of everything, and a huge transfer of wealth to the 1%.

Occupy Wall Street creates a favorable atmosphere for demanding justice. We stand together. Our children are in the streets, and there are a fair number of older folks, too. We had our Occupy Phoenix demonstration ten days ago and can have anotherone. The second one should go even more smoothly. Just give us the word—we are here for the 99%.





Milestone for the Krishnas
Posted on October 24, 2011

A defining moment for the Hare Krishna movement today: their most notorious guru is dead at the age of seventy-four. Here's the obituary in The New York Times - click here.

The article is informative, and corrected a misunderstanding I had. Apparently he was convicted on both conspiracy to murder charges. I had been under the impression that one was dropped due to a hung jury. This article goes into detail about what was included in the conviction. This is what I wrote about him at this blog last month—click here.





Sunshine Superman: The Journey of Donovan
Posted on October 23, 2011

Just rented the bio documentary about Donovan, a welcome watch after just seeing Martin Scorsese's documentary on George Harrision, Living in the Material World. These two musicians are among my favorite in the world and for all time. In the Donovan doc he mentioned that when he met up with George in India one time, George suggested a new verse for Donovan's song about musicians: Hurdy Gurdy Man. Here are the lyrics, followed by George's verse. Enjoy! If you are on Netflix, be sure to watch Donovan's life story. He was one of the leaders of the hippy movement in the 1960s, even though he claims he is not a hippy because he dislikes the connotations the word acquired.

HURDY GURDY MAN

Thrown like a star in my vast sleep
I open my eyes to take a peep
To find that I was by the sea
Gazing with tranquillity.

'Twas then when the Hurdy Gurdy Man
Came singing songs of love,
Then when the Hurdy Gurdy Man
Came singing songs of love.

Histories of ages past
Unenlightened shadows cast
Down through all eternity
The crying of humanity.

'Twas then when the Hurdy Gurdy Man
Came singing songs of love,
Then when the Hurdy Gurdy Man
Came singing songs of love.

Hurdy gurdy, hurdy gurdy, hurdy gurdy, gurdy he sang.
Hurdy gurdy, hurdy gurdy, hurdy gurdy, gurdy he sang.
Hurdy gurdy, hurdy gurdy, hurdy gurdy, gurdy he sang.

George's lyrics (1968, Hrishikesh, India):

When the truth gets buried deep
Beneath the thousand years of sleep
Time demands a turn-around
And once again the truth is found

Awakening the Hurdy Gurdy Man
Who comes singing songs of love.





Mindset of U.S. Congressman Ron Paul
Posted on October 16, 2011

The following chart was published in Time magazine, Sept. 5, 2011, p. 42. It shows the workings of Ron Paul's mind. He has some good ideas, like legalizing marijuana and peace in the Middle East, but he also has some destructive notions. A friend commented, "I believe that the founding fathers felt that one of the roles of government is to help people-whether it be food, job training, disaster relief, education, health care—and it looks like most of the people who inspire Paul think the opposite."

ronpaul






Occupy Phoenix
Posted on October 16, 2011

Phoenix was one of nine hundred cities that held pro-99% demonstrations yesterday. Here are a few photos from the day.

occupy phoenix

occupy phoenix

occupy phoenix





A Crude, Cruel World
Posted on October 10, 2011

It is sad that, in this cruel world, the GOP candidates must strike down the poor and boo the gay soldier. The baddest, meanest bully gets the most cheers. There is literally a class of Americans who thrive on hurting others. At this moment, they have their time in the sun. What do you think of these people? They seem utterly confused. They better enjoy their empires of cruelty while they last, because only in upside down land does history respect childlike bullies.

Truly, I wish that the good that is within the financial institutions, insurance companies, energy companies, and all organizations would shine through. Everything has both good and bad within it. Nothing is all bad, Wall Street is not all bad. But we have let the major items in our social psyche sink down to their lowest levels. What are we going to do about it?

A note to people who want peace and a better future: let our words and deeds be gentle as we make our way through this imaginary world of cruelty. Remember that most people are suffering because of the economic times. We will probably never meet the perpetrators of the troubles in our institutions, but only the people who work for them, common people like ourselves. We can work things out better if we remain calm and compassionate. We are the ninety-nine percent. There is no need to hurt each other.





99%
Posted on October 10, 2011

People have finally found a cause. It feels better than being against this, against that; trying to stop this, stop that; defending ourselves from perpetrators' abuse all the time. Our 99% slogan is the basis of a positive discussion. Plus, it has a solution, such as the surtax on million dollar earners that Harry Reid has proposed.

To take the next step, we need to familiarize ourselves with what we mean by "Wall Street." Who is it specifically and what did they do? It was not a street, it was individuals ensconced within companies or institutions. Who has done this to our economy and how? Do we have laws in place to prevent the same thing from happening again?





California Travels
Posted on October 8, 2011

Just returned from a week in California to attend a UCSB Special Collections Library event. On the way, I found a paddlewheel boat docked next to a pirate ship. Enjoy!

scarlett belle

scarlett belle

scarlett belle

Website: Scarlett Belle





Good News Coverage
Posted on September 29, 2011

Thank you Keith Olbermann for covering the Occupy Wall Street movement over the last two weeks.

Thank you Ed Schultz for covering the GOP's campaign to destroy the US Postal Service. Thank you also to Rachel Maddow for covering the Post Office situation.

We need more good reporting, less yack yack yack.





Further Thoughts about God
Posted on September 26, 2011

In a previous post (below) I stated that I did not think God intervenes in human affairs. However reconsidering this, I do believe that God can intervene inside of individual humans, making each of us find our soul, improve our attitudes and beliefs.

What I meant was, I don't think He is on call for hitchhikers to find a ride, opponents making each other fail, winning a war or an election for one side or the other, and so on.

The worst thing one can do is to act dishonestly in the name of God. I went through ten years in a cultish religious group that did this, and it was ultimately worse to do something in the name of God than to just steal and hurt people for one's own benefit.

On Sep 27, 2011, at 5:01 PM, Chris wrote:

Hi Nori,

I believe I sent you a note a couple of years ago congratulating you on your achievement in writing your excellent version of the I Ching. I do appreciate it and use it frequently because it always gives a gentle way of viewing things and provides a positive possibility with each reading. Now, about the notion of God not intervening in our affairs. I am of the notion that God does answer prayers, although probably not the "buy me a Mercedes Benz" type. But those of a spiritual type, e.g., "Help me to get over my sorrow over ." Or "Please enter the space between myself and others and help us to be kind to each other." I have asked many times for this type of help and I do get this type of help every time. Now, you can attribute this effect to any variety of agents or mechanisms. I prefer the lovely image of angels sent by the Holy Spirit because it's gender neutral and maps nicely to The Tao or Cosmic Consciousness. I have come to believe that Consciousness is the purpose of the Universes. Whereever there is sufficient consciousness, there is the goodness of the Universes—the holy spirit. Well, that's what I have for you. I wanted to suggest a book for you to check out. It's called Ghost Hunters and it was written a couple of years ago by a science author whose last name is Blum. It presents a history of the Society for Psychical Research and the research they started in the late 19th century in England and the US. There are some astounding accounts in that book, many of which are suggestive of the reality of psi effects and further, of spirit survival after death. If you have read this book, I would be curious to get your take on it. Thanks again for putting up your site.

Chris
Bellevue WA

Hi Chris,

Good to hear from you again. I want to try that. I want to ask God to create constructive patterns of love, peace, and harmony between me and all my relations. Thank you for telling me about that.

Thank you also for your kind words about the I Ching. I also read it sometimes.

re. the late 19th century. Spiritualism and other new age beliefs were popular. Even more than today, in some respects, and there was less exploitation in it than nowadays. The transition from the 19th to the 20th century is the most intriguing era of history, as far as I am concerned. You had Mark Twain writing, you had the modern art movement starting in the 1910s with Kandinsky and Picasso. The most creative writers and artists were meeting in Paris. It was an amazing time.

Nori





Letter to a Friend
Posted on September 22, 2011

A friend who is going through a difficult time looking for work wrote to me today. I encouraged him to keep looking, but also wrote him a longer letter that sounded too much like a sermon. So I thought to myself, where am I usually writing out my thoughts for future sermons? Oh yeah, my upside-down world at surrealist.org.

Be safe and keep going. Maybe it is just a difficult astrological transition. You know I don't really follow astrology closely. In fact, I am changing the way I think about a lot of things and just wanted to share this with you.

Over the last couple of years I have learned not to blame myself for bad things on the world scene like depressions, natural disasters, problems in Washington, Hollywood, or whatever. My counselor (you met) said that when bad things happen, we just have to be with it. Let it be sad, painful, difficult, or whatever it is. Just accept that it is bad. Let it be bad.

She said all the speculations—omens, messages, fate, destiny, seeking lessons, assigning blame, feeling guilt, etc.—just block the pain.

In the last 2-1/2 years I have stopped attributing metaphorical implications to events. It has simplified my life, since I don't have to go through all these mental efforts to avoid pain. Now I can just feel the pain. There is a lot of pain in the world.

But I still believe in other things like astrology. Although nobody can really understand it exactly, I think the cycles of the planets are a good mirror for things happening in the world. They have been mirroring each other for eternity.

Lately I have started to believe in god again. Although I did always believe in god after about age twenty-one, I was starting to question whether he cares about human affairs.

My conclusion these days is that there is a benevolent loving father who cares about our souls.

However, I still don't think he intervenes in human affairs. I believe that we create our own problems on one level, and on another level problems are inflicted on us by the greater reality.

We get a choice over how we can think about what's happening.





Remember the American Dream
Posted on September 21, 2011

In the American dream, you can get a dream job. Suppose you have always wanted to fly. You can do it! You can get the education and secure a position at one of the up and coming airlines. Suppose you want to work in the movie business. There are many positions open. You have to start somewhere, so you get in, and then you have the same chance as everyone else to climb to the top of the ladder.

In the American dream, just about anyone with the know-how can open their own business and succeed. Have a better mousetrap? You can sell it. Always dreamed of opening a neighborhood coffee shop? If you have the skill and motivation, you can make your company a success.

To complete the dream raise a family if you want, see your children do as well or better in their lives, and afford a comfortable retirement. You can enjoy a hobby, live where you want, think and believe as you choose, and enjoy being part of your community. Is it too much to ask? What has happened to the American dream?





"Let us, you and me, pray for peace and let us make our hearts fit to accept it when it comes. Let us make our intellect, and our soul, and our will and our feeling ready to receive it and embrace it even before it comes. Let us in the stillness of our own soul go back to that ineffable Presence which is Peace and proclaim It even in the midst of confusion—that peace which is the power at the heart of God." - Ernest Holmes





Will Corporations Punish Us?
Posted on September 20, 2011

If we are successful in taxing wealthy corporations, will they punish us by raising their prices? With higher taxes, they may pass those costs along to their customers. It could happen, since we have allowed mega-corporations to monopolize the marketplace. If we had fair competition, customers would have the option of switching to a competitor who still charges a fair price. Therefore, the next question is, why have we allowed non-taxed monopolies to take over our economy?

Also, it is redundant to ask whether they would punish us, since they already are like bad babysitters punishing us all the time. First they sell us junk food that puts us in the hospital so they can cleanse us of our money. After that they feed us propaganda so we will blame the poor for our problems. They also prevent us from getting our own corner in the market because they are in every single mall in America and they have all the money. They have their reasons for wanting to crash the economy and destroy our jobs.

It's not that I don't like the system, and not that I am not grateful. I play along with it like everybody else. Things could be worse! However, we need to negotiate with them so they will stop abusing us all the time. These things can be worked out. One thing to remember is that it is usually the people at the very nexus of an organization that set the tone for the level of abuse. Also, remember that an abusive organization takes on a life of its own. The organization becomes the abuser, forcing any new leader to act just like the last one. That is a sure sign that an organization has morphed into an authoritarian system. Authoritarianism is dangerous and bad. That is what we are up against. Authoritarianism is what is preventing the American Dream.





Network Solutions SNAFU
Posted on September 19, 2011

Happy Monday—sometime over the weekend, my web hosts erased all my posts from August 10 to September 16. It was a blown sprocket in their data base. When I called tech support this morning, they had a pre-recorded announcement that they are aware of everyone's missing data. They are working to get it back. The missing posts covered the time of Hurricane Irene through the observation of 9/11.





Chain Letter
Posted on September 17, 2011

Here's a new funny going around the Internet today (present company tea bagger friends excluded):
Did you know that the words "race car," spelled backwards, still spells "race car"?
And that "eat" is the only word that, if you take the first letter and move it to the last, spells its own past tense, "ate"?
And, if you rearrange the letters in "Tea Party Republicans" and add just a few more letters, it spells: "Shut up you free-loading, progress-blocking, benefit-grabbing, resource-sucking hypocrites, and deal with the fact that you nearly wrecked the country under Bush and that our president is black, so get over it."

Isn't that interesting?





What's Good on TV News
September 16, 2011

This week the Rachel Maddow Show has had some good interviews, including Presidents Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton. I also saw President Obama speak several times. Signs of a good future—right there on TV news.





It is Good to Watch the News
Posted on September 16, 2011

If we want to be informed adults, it is best to tap into the greater reality on a regular basis. Back in the 1960s, when I was growing up, we had TV sets with nine stations. Everyone listened to roughly the same top forty songs on the radio. We all read Life, Time, and Look magazines. We had a smaller menu of movies, so most people were watching the same things for the most part. Life was multi-faceted, but Americans shared a common pop culture. By extension, the world, since America has always been a trend setter. Nowadays, everyone is in their own world. But still, pick a world you want to track, and tap into it. It is probably a lazy habit, or just the height of arrogance, to say you don't need to watch the news. "News" just means "what's new out there."

Last night (post below) I was fed up with the news and decided not to watch. But later in the evening, I logged onto msnbc.com and watched the Rachel Maddow Show. To my delight, she had a great interview with one of my favorite people, President Jimmy Carter. It was a great coincidence, since I had just been thinking about him. The interview uplifted my spirits tremendously. The final segment, Rachel's Best New Thing, made me laugh out loud and cheer. She reported that road builders and engineers in Vermont are ready to reopen Route 4, which was devastated in the floods of Hurricane Irene two weeks ago.

From that positive experience, I can conclude that watching the news is good if I am watching news from a world I appreciate. We are on our own in the Aquarian Age, freed from the school mentality that dominated the fish of the Picean Age. Now we can choose what media to follow, and which way is the best way to stay informed. Some people read books, other's listen on the radio and read a newspaper.

We can also choose where to put our focus, and I choose to focus on something that will take me to a better future. I am looking for a world that appreciates friendly bacteria and their potential to transform the environment for the good. That's why I set Google Alerts for the microbes and restoration processes I follow. It makes me look forward to the new day's harvest of Google Alerts, and when I find something interesting, I post it to my Organic Cures blog.* Happy travels everybody. May you achieve that which you focus your energy upon, as well.





Why I Can Skip the Latest in the 2012 Presidential Race
Posted on September 15, 2011

Tonight the news is about the presidential election that takes place a number of months from today. The talkers act as though it were happening tomorrow. Or, maybe they plan to continue to build the pressure in a steady ramp-up to the event. How much more pressurized could we be? I choose to skip the news tonight and I feel perfectly justified in doing so. Many important things are happening for sure, but unless it lightens my spirits or makes me laugh out loud, I will do without. I have already made up my mind who gets my vote and I doubt that anything will change my mind. My vote goes to President Barack Hussein Obama. I voted for the Democrat candidate in every race since the 1976, when we elected Jimmy Carter. Too bad for the economy, but forces that control the economy are sometimes not under the president's control, as we are now learning.





Farewell to a Guru
Posted on September 13, 2011

This is a farewell to the guru known as Bhaktipada, as he prepares to leave this material world from a holy place in India. His life hangs like a drop of water on a lotus petal, and death stands watch, reassuring his followers that he will die peacefully and soon. As he departs, I wonder if they will hear the yelp of a happy pirate returning to his once-sunken ship after a mutiny, perhaps. Maybe the ship of his past life drifted for months a ghost before meeting its watery end. But once it did, this old sailor took birth as Keith Ham in Peekskill, New York, on September 6, 1937.

His father was a Baptist preacher and Keith spent his entire life trying to be bigger, badder, and more powerful than his dad. He succeeded, rising through the ranks of the Hare Krishna movement to become a guru in his own domain in Marshall County, West Virginia. His followers built a palace of gold dedicated to the guru Srila Prabhupada, with a shrine room and throne for Bhaktipada. The followers draped a robe over Bhaktipada's shoulders, placed a crown on his head, and handed him a golden scepter. They worshiped him as a deity.

His main struggles in life were polio, which he contracted around his seventeenth birthday, and his 1990 federal inditement on five counts of racketeering, six counts of mail fraud, and conspiracy to murder two of his critics. In 1996, part of his indictments were dismissed and he was sentenced to only twenty years in prison, and was released in 2004. Another trial for him on earth was when an angry follower attacked him with a steel road building tool in 1985. He was hospitalized and almost died, but was finally released. Soon thereafter, ISKCON, the Hare Krishna movement's main branch, expelled him for his alleged involvement in the second murder.

Now Keith, Kirtanananda, Swami Bhaktipada will leave this life on earth in a flare of light that will take him back to his ship. There he will greet the captain and apologize for his rebelliousness. Once again he will travel on the open seas in the vast oceans of the spiritual world. Having completed his incarnations on earth, may flowers grow in the spots where his sins harmed others. God have mercy on our souls, let our spirits be healed.





Review of Countdown, Current TV
Posted on September 12, 2011

Countdown with Keith Olbermann is back, now on Current TV. As a loyal fan of Olbermann when he left MSNBC in January, I started to Tivo the show when it came on in June. His Worst Person in the World and Time Marches On segments are still good humor; he still reads from James Thurber on Friday nights. However, if you are a voter who supports the Obama administration, don't bother watching. In the first segment every night, he takes whatever negative thing people are saying about Obama and mulls it over with at least two talking heads. The remainder of the show he fawns over whatever the Republicans are up to. He also still does sports stories, recalling his years as a sportscaster at ESPN. Watching the show, one wishes that he would discuss more of what is going on in the world. If only he could get passionate about our immediate problems, instead of focusing almost exclusively on the presidential race that will take place approximately thirteen months from now. Many of us became bored with the Republicans long ago, plus we already know who is running for the Democrats. It is a boring story all around and not relevant. If that's all he wants to talk about, it is more of the Keith Olberman opinion show than news.





Join us in prayers for 9/11 - click here.

9/11 rose




USEOPWH_img_president_small.jpg


Good morning,

Tomorrow, on the tenth anniversary of the horrific attacks of September 11, 2001, we will mourn the innocent lives lost, honor the heroic first responders who rushed to the scene, and pay tribute to our troops and military families who have served over the past ten years to keep us safe and strong.

But, I also hope you'll remember how the worst terrorist attack in American history brought out the best in the American people. From giving blood, volunteering time, and donating clothing, food and money, in the weeks and months after the attacks, we were united as a nation, everyone doing their part to lend a hand and help the country move forward together.

With just a small act of service, or a simple act of kindness towards others, you can both honor those we lost and those who serve us still, and help us recapture the spirit of generosity and compassion that followed 9/11.


9_11_email_service_small.jpg


September 11th has been designated as a National Day of Service and Remembrance. Americans across the country will come together to honor the victims of 9/11 and to reaffirm the strength of our nation with acts of service and charity. In Minneapolis, volunteers will help restore a community center, in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, members of the community are building new homes for deserving families, and once again, Michelle and I will be joining a local service project as well.

There are so many ways to get involved, and every American can do something. You can join me in participating in the National Day of Service by finding a service opportunity in your area on Serve.gov.

A decade ago, our fellow citizens and first responders rushed up stairwells, into flames, and into that cockpit and gave their lives to save others. In the decade since, a new generation -- our military personnel, intelligence officers, and law enforcement -- has stepped forward to serve our country and keep us safe.

This weekend, I encourage all Americans to remember not only the innocent lives we lost on that day, but to remember the ordinary goodness and patriotism of the American people and the spirit of unity that brought us together during the days and weeks after the attacks of September 11th.

Sincerely,
President Barack Obama





Identification with the Aggressor Syndrome
Posted on September 9, 2011

People who bought into the megaphone of mass media hysteria over the last couple of decades now have chronic identification with the aggressor syndrome. Take this week for example. On Wednesday night we heard the Republicans debate about which one is the most eager to cut taxes for the wealthy. One of them called Social Security a ponzi scheme. That hurts the elderly and widens the gap between rich and poor. Tragically, the brainwashed true believers lap it up. Including the elderly and poor who will be hurt the most!

Opposite of that is the battered wife syndrome, which describes the victims of the aggressor-identified people. The Democrat party (he he, sorry) goes around criticizing itself for being wimpy, no spine, no nads, and so on. Actually, our fear is a symptom of learned helplessness. In a highly polarized situation, like we are in, we look up to the "strong" aka bullies, and condemn the "weak" aka the victims of abuse. The animal instinct is to side with the bully so you don't get hurt. That is one sick American society. And we call this modern civilization.





Editor's Note: Everything from here down was in the web host's back-up system, and has been restored on the Wordpress site at Surrealist.org.





Poor, Poor America
Posted on September 2, 2011

The country has gone downhill in the last decade or two, although it always had its problems. For those of you out there that are not American, please do not scorn America, do not ridicule us. Our country is overcome with dangerous aliens who have invaded to steal our wealth, log all our trees, and take all our natural resources. They do not care for the citizens or the earth. They are greedy, cruel conquerors. Their destruction of our country could drag down the whole world. So instead of hating the U.S., please help us get out of this predicament. Remember, if the greedy aliens are successful here, they will be after you next.





Oil Man from Texas
Posted on August 30, 2011

The GOP has identified its candidate for 2012, and guess what?! It is an oilman from Texas. It was inevitable that the party would pick someone nutty enough for the job, and they have found him.

I am reluctant to even speak his name. Since he is scary in many ways, my advice is: have courage. Keep up your strength, avoid burnout, remain confident. If we all become frightened Chicken Littles, we will bring upon ourselves the very thing we fear.

For more information on how to remain strong in the face of this terrifying character, please read my positive thinking books: Dreaming Peace, the Steamboats.com Affirmation Book, Positive Quotations of the Master Mind, and the newest book: Surrealist.org Dream Workshop. (Log onto Amazon.com or NoriMuster.com for book information.)

Wishing you creative, productive, and sweet dreams between now and November 2012. My thoughts are with our country to survive the coming storms.





If we must cut the budget somewhere to provide Hurricane Irene relief, let's cut the Bush tax cuts for the rich.





Thank You Readers
Posted on August 29, 2011

I want to thank the many people who have been buying my books at Amazon.com. Kindle, which is huge right now, was instrumental in helping us find each other. Even though I have been writing since 1980, it has been mostly for small publications. Kindle has opened up a whole new universe for me and I want to welcome you and say: "Where have you been all my life?! I love you!!" As always, I invite my readers to write to me through my websites. - Nori (contact)





U.S. Postal Service Serves America
Posted on August 28, 2011

The national postal service is essential to America, even in the Internet age. Further, the USPS maintains a huge market share of commerce, despite competition from services such as UPS and FedEx. The post office also makes money. It is profitable, based on the forty-four cent stamp. The greatest thing about the post office for small business is that you can send a letter door-to-door for only forty-four cents. Comparable rates from UPS and FedEx for the same service are $9 to $14 per letter. Can you imagine sending out your holiday cards or party invitations at $9 to $14 per letter? If you want to keep the post office strong, support H.R. 1351. Read the bill—click here.

If Congress does not act on H.R. 1351, the U.S. Postal Service as we know it may be over. So call your U.S. Representative and ask your representative to support H.R. 1351. Even if you have a right winger representative, this is a non-partisan bill that will save an American institution from destruction. Speak up. The only way we can save our country is if we take a stand.






Irene Bears Down Go Home Irene
Posted on August 27, 2011

As I watch the TV coverage of the hurricane this weekend, I think back on all the hypocrisy and anger flying around our country these days. In a situation like this, could we all come together? Could we decide to go back to "We the People" as one united country? Could we go back to honoring our government, including the support it can provide in situations like this? They say there are no atheists in a foxhole, and now we can realize there are no government atheists [don't believe in government] in the wake of a storm like this.

Irene goodnight, Irene goodnight
Goodnight Irene, goodnight Irene
I'll see you in my dreams

Sometimes I live in the country
Sometimes I live in town
Sometimes I have a great notion
To jump into the river and drown

Irene goodnight, Irene goodnight
Goodnight Irene, goodnight Irene
I'll see you in my dreams

Quit ramblin' and quit gamblin'
Quit stayin' out late at night
Stay home with your wife and family
Sit down by the fireside bright

Irene goodnight, Irene goodnight
Goodnight Irene, goodnight Irene
I'll see you in my dreams

I asked your mother for you
She told me you was too young
I wished to God I'd never seen your face
I's sorry you ever was born

Irene goodnight, Irene goodnight
Goodnight Irene, goodnight Irene
I'll see you in my dreams

I love Irene, God knows I do
I'll love her till the seas run dry
And if Irene turns her back on me
I'd take morphine and die

Irene goodnight, Irene goodnight
Goodnight Irene, goodnight Irene
I'll see you in my dreams

You cause me to weep, you cause me to mourn
You cause me to leave my home
But the very last words I heard her say
Was "Please sing me one more song"

Irene goodnight, Irene goodnight
Goodnight Irene, goodnight Irene
I'll see you in my dreams





Don't Do a Dystopian Visualization
Posted on August 26, 2011

If you have been expecting a surrealistic dystopian future, you are about to get it! Sorry. If you have been expecting the arrival of the kingdom of heaven on earth, you are about to get it! Yeah! Either way, you can expect Surrealist.org to continue providing words for your survival. Click here to see all the books written here, now available through Amazon.com. These books explain the dangerous cult mindset and how to break out of it and be happy.

"Happiness is not a matter of events, it depends upon the tides of the mind." - Alice Meynell (English poet, 1847-1922)

"Most people are about as happy as they make up their minds to be." - Abraham Lincoln (American statesman and president, 1809-1865)

"We either make ourselves miserable, or we make ourselves strong. The amount of work is the same." - Carlos Castenada (American author, nagual shaman, 1925 - 1998)

"Viewpoint is the deciding factor as to how you experience life." - Dick Sutphen (contemporary author)

"Beware of what you want for you will get it." - Ralph Waldo Emerson (American Transcendentalist, 1803-1882)

"Look at things, not as they are, but as they can be. Visualization adds value to everything. A big thinker always visualizes what can be done in the future." - David J. Schwartz, Ph.D. (author of The Magic of Thinking Big)






Antagonistic America
Posted on August 26, 2011

Have we become a country of morons? Do we just toss litter on the ground; throw our cigarette butts and beer cans on other people's yards? Have we become a country of angry white trash? If so, what is the cure for this condition?

It is human nature to look for scapegoats to blame for our own personal problems. If we have a big chip on our shoulders, throwing trash out the window seems logical. We want to get back at an unfeeling, uncaring world that has neglected us. "Nobody ever helped me, so I why should I care about anybody else? Yes, I will throw this beer can on the ground and they are lucky I don't do something worse."

In almost all cases, we have created the problems in our own lives ourselves. Since we cannot accept our own responsibility, we naturally look for someone else to blame, or we blame stereotypes, such as "people who get unemployment insurance," "politicians," "unions," "tea partiers," "science," or some racial or ethnic group. But is this any way to live? Is it possible to build self-respect and improve our self-image when we refuse to take responsibility for the state of our own reality? Actually, most of our personal problems are due to our own negative attitudes.

The consequences of projecting our faults on others is that we end up with a dysfunctional community, city, state, or country. We fall right into the arms of Jim Jones, David Koresh, or some other dishonest guru - anyone who claims to have all the answers. We become prey for violent fanatics who will lie, cheat, and do anything to get power.

It is time to call on our own higher power instead of looking for salvation outside of ourselves. If you believe in a helping god, call on your image of god. If you believe the power to heal your life is in the collective unconscious, call on that power. If you believe the power to create reality is within yourself, call on your higher self. It is time to face reality and improve our collective attitude as a country. The future is bright if the majority of us can get our attitudes unstuck and move to a higher level.






libya

August 23, 2011





Republo-celebrity Star Gazing
Posted on August 22, 2011

One of my favorite news anchors pointed out last week that Republicans run for office to draw attention to themselves, so they can sell books and make money on the public speaking circuit. They seem to be in a contest to out-crazy each other.

If this is true, then why are liberal political organizations and news anchors so enamored with them? The more we focus on them, the more they love it. They just want attention! Keith Olbermann, Ed Schultz, and other liberal news anchors fall into the trap of reporting on their every move to excess.

My message to liberal organizations is: you can mock the Repub-celebs, you can point out their lies, but don't make me fear them, and please don't batter me with constant discussion about them. Yes, they are dangerous, and yes, it would be a tragedy if another one were to get in control of the country.

However, the more you fawn over them, and make us fear them, the more power you give them. Take a lesson from the Stephanie Miller Show. SMS and the Sexy Liberal comedy show that grew out of it are great examples of sarcasm, the proper way to fete the right-wing political celebs.

Remember how great it was earlier this year when the media decided to boycott talking about Sarah Palin for a few days? Lo and behold, once she was off the breaking, breathless news cycle for a day or two, people did forget about her!






Jobs Love
Posted on August 11, 2011

People love this country. We are just getting old. What can we do to feel young again? The answer: put our young people to work rebuilding the country. Get our infrastructure up to date and we will get our vitality back. The America economy reflects our can do spirit.

We need a great public transportation system, for one thing. If you traveled around the world, you realize the blessing that is good public transportation. You walk a few blocks, hop on a train, tram, or subway, and (magic!) you arrive at your destination. Great cities like Toronto, Hong Kong mainland, and countries like Switzerland, Bermuda, Germany, England, and many others have this system.

Thank you Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.), for the budget outline you wrote that will put more than two million people to work.






Getting Along in the 21st Century
Posted on August 11, 2011
Is it impossible for us to now get along with one another? There is a sharp divide between what I see as neo-confederates, but which loosely group together as the tea party. They act as though they want to take the country back to the 1850s.

In the 1990s, America re-fought the Vietnam War. It was about the drug war, purported lax moral values, and censorship of films, abortion, artwork, etc. President Clinton exemplified what the conservatives hated about the sixties. Then we ended the debate after we were attacked on 9/11 and started two wars in the Middle East. War is good, sex and drugs are bad; end of debate. That is settled fact at this time.

Now we are re-fighting the Civil War. It seems that having our first African-American president ignited this new re-war. We see people in Texas wishing to secede, and they paint our president as being foreign and disqualified. People overcome with ancestral hatred are now ready to take up arms and fight over ideas. They will lie and cheat to fulfill their crusade.

I would like to see people get along better. We need a sense of community in our country so we can work together to make this a better place. We need a news media that is more responsive, although for now the media is wrapped up in the hate. I would like to see us do something great for our country, for the cause of freedom, so we can be truly free. If that were to happen, America would once again be a beacon of freedom for the world.

Each of us can do our part. For myself, I would like to heal the childhood trauma once and for all. This would make me more mature and poised under stress. (Many apologies if I ever took out my anger on you.) I would like to set healthy emotional boundaries and speak up for myself when I need to. As a symbol of all this, I would like to let go of the unneeded stuff I keep around in closets, and the to do piles and reading piles in my office. Overall, I would like to simplify my life for more reading and writing. What is your plan for culture peace?







How Do Crop Circles Get There?
Posted on August 9, 2011

Are crop circles made, or are they hatched? Skeptics think they are made by smart humans who program their plows with a handheld electronic device to operate somewhat like a computer controlled sewing machine, or 3D printer.

Other people believe friendly aliens make them.

What I believe is that a current of electricity is coming from solar flares (or another planet's electronic emissions, such as the moon). The flare comes out of the planet and shoots through space, crossing through grain fields in the UK, leaving an impression of the electronic wave.

Now look at this recent crop circle spotted last month.

crop circle

It seems to illustrate my theory. The white circle at the top represents the planet of origination. The arrow or serpent, represents the electrical emission. It goes through Earth (represented by the big circle with north and south poles). It comes in through the northern hemisphere and goes out through the ocean in the southern hemisphere, and continues on.

Also, notice how the circles inside the serpent are like small replicas of the original circle. Since the crop circles are intelligent and beautiful, one might conclude that the source of the crop circles is intelligent and beautiful.

One last symbol is the trident that appears to be the serpent's tongue. Let's see, Poseidon (Neptune) had a trident. Maybe I am wrong about sun/moon. Maybe these bursts of creative energy have something to do with Neptune.

Since the serpent (the flare) has a tongue, especially in the symbolic shape of a trident, it might indicate that the crop circles have something to say. I don't know if these communications are specifically meant for us, or if they are just sending out random transmissions. Even here on earth we used to have a science project set up to transmit a radio signal into space to try to contact whatever civilization may be listening. Maybe other planets do the same thing, and we are receiving their transmissions. Or maybe our transmissions are bouncing back to us in the form of crop circles.

To recap: my theory states that they are not made by aliens or humans, but by electronic flares from somewhere in space. Would anybody like to discuss further? The main reason I love crop circles is that my friend Suzanne Taylor made a movie about them, and is involved with the people who visit the UK to investigate them. Go to Suzanne's site: http://www.cropcirclemovie.com






Tax the Rich to Balance Budget
Posted on August 5, 2011

S&P lowered America's bond rating, and god that depresses me. To reduce the deficit, we must raise taxes. What do the experts say?

Senate majority leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said the solution would need to include increased revenues.

"The action by S&P reaffirms the need for a balanced approach to deficit reduction that combines spending cuts with revenue-raising measures like closing taxpayer-funded giveaways to billionaires, oil companies and corporate jet owners," Reid said.

(L.A. Times - click here to see original)

Update: In its August 5 statement, Standard and Poors noted that the failure to raise significant revenue failed, and that the process of trying to raise revenue would be too difficult, which is one big reason why we can't balance the budget. They said:

"It appears that for now, new revenues have dropped down on the menu of policy options."

It is only logical. If you can't balance your checkbook, you either stop spending or put more money in. It is small-minded to chop away at your budget until you are starving and living on the street. Better to find a way to add revenue so you can afford the good things about life. With our government, the good things include building bridges and infrastructure, keep the country running, and keeping a roof over your parents' and your children's heads.







Who is Playing Illuminati Now?
Posted on August 5, 2011

"Illuminati" is an archetypal theme. There may be, or may have never been, a group that called itself the illuminati. However, the idea has a definition, and everyone knows what it means. The idea exists because it is a natural facet of the theme of self-governance. It could be summed up as a word to describe those elites who want to take control of world events outside of, or above the law, or any democratic process. It is a theme of power and control, as well as great wealth. At times in world history, and in our American history, elites have sought to control history outside of the democratic process, and so let us take a look at who is doing it now.

These people are busy playing on everyone's worst fears to pin the blame on minorities, immigrants, public workers, "congress," and the president. However, let us unmask the individuals who are really behind the turmoil:

ALEC (http://www.alec.org) a right-wing lobby that drafts templates for legislation, it then gets Republican governors and legislators to enact. That's why they all seem to do the same backward, non-progressive bills at the same time.

Gover Norquist, the man who hates all taxes and wants to drown the government in a bathtub. All Republican legislators must sign his pledges for no new taxes on the rich.

The right wing media, including Rupert Murdoch's Fox News, and Rush Limbaugh. They lie, lie, and lie, creating an echo chamber. Using fear and patriotism as bait, they have a cult following that believes everything they say.

The tea party founders, including David and Charles Koch, Dick Armey, FreedomWorks, and Americans for Prosperity. These right wing activists and lobbyists started the tea party in conjunction with Fox News. Now they have their freshman Republican tea party in the U.S. House of Representatives that has just tried to destroy our economy. They will probably continue to try.

Well, that is what we are up against. It is a dramatic match-up, since their side follows only their own twisted set of ethical values. However, with truth and the people on our side, liberals will prevail. The future is on the way. The hands of time continue to move us forward, despite all the stubbornness and lies on the right.






Chain Mail
Posted on July 31, 2011

Hi friends, do you often receive chain letters from friends that you open and look at, and you just shake your head? One of those came through today from a friend who rarely forwards things. It was some r-wing cozy sounding new amendment to the Constitution that would limit pay for legislators, or something. It seemed recycled from the 1980s. Anyways, I always reply to friends who are smart enough to know when they are being taken. Like, if it is simply propaganda, it is easy enough to research it in a simple Snopes or Google search. If it is blatant pro-war or pro-empire propaganda, I write back and donate my two cents opinion. I encourage you to confront your racist pro-war pro-empire friends when they forward mindless crap.

Here is what I wrote back to Mary today:

Hi Mary,
My new amendment is:
"Whereby: anybody who does business in America must feel an obligation to do their part to help the country, especially in a crisis; let it be enacted that an automatic windfall tax goes into effect whenever large rivers of cash flow toward any individual (including corporate individuals). The money will be distributed to schools, shelters, food programs, and toward creating green infrastructure. The amount of windfall to be determined by an index tied to the average income of all employed people in the country."
See, my amendment would bring the ultra-rich back to earth, so that they are kept within the orbit of ordinary people like you and me. The really rich people control our politics, they determine who gets elected. It just isn't fair.

On Jul 31, 2011, at 2:21 PM, mary wrote:

I like your new amendment, too. Why isn't it that people who are rational and smart thinking aren't the ones in Congress instead of these idots!
Mary





Message from Crop Circles
Posted on July 31, 2011

Everybody has heard about the crop circles. But what are they trying to tell us? They are so beautiful it must be a kind message. We are going through such changes. Maybe the crop circles can give us something on which to focus our minds.

These are questions on my mind over the last few years. Now there are three new crop circles in England (these links from the Earth Rainbow Network of Canada have changed, but you can look up these and other crop circles at their site.):

The first one was reported on July 22 in East Kennett, near Avebury, Wiltshire, England, and can be viewed at http://www.cropcircleconnector.com/2011/eastkennett2/eastkennett2011b.html
http://www.cropcircleconnector.com/2011/eastkennett2/diagrams.html (Diagrams)
The second one was reported on July 25 in Roundway Hill, near Devizes, Wiltshire, England, and can be viewed at http://www.cropcircleconnector.com/2011/roundwayhill2/roundwayhill2011b.html
http://www.cropcircleconnector.com/2011/roundwayhill2/diagrams.html (Diagrams)
The third one was also reported on July 25 in Etchilhampton, nr Devizes, Wiltshire, England, and can be viewed at http://www.cropcircleconnector.com/2011/Etchilhampton/Etchilhampton2011a.html
http://www.cropcircleconnector.com/2011/Etchilhampton/diagrams.html (Diagrams)

Whether crop circles are made by rays going through the earth, underground rivers, or really smart people, they are magnificent. My theory is that some sort of magnetic force is hitting the earth. Maybe a solar flair.

Here is the message I get from them (quoted from Messages from Matthew blog):

"Only now, more than two and a quarter centuries after the signing of the Declaration of Independence, is freedom actually going to be achieved in the United States and all other countries. As the light revealed the darkness that was perpetrated and perpetuated by the Illuminati, it also has focused world attention on peoples long oppressed by dynastic and despotic rulers. When Earth reaches the threshold of her Golden Age at the end of your next calendar year, every soul on Earth shall be free, and the growing numbers of lightworkers are leading the way."

Thank you! I will take that under consideration. It is a better vision than "stop the gop," "stop this," "stop that." "End this," "end that," and all the other brilliant ideas liberals have come up with lately. Sorry to bitch you out, but your campaigns and petitions talk in double negatives all the time, then you turn on politicians and accuse them of lacking a spine, lacking balls, or whatever. Yet you fail to see that you are exactly the same as them, "no on this," "not that," etc. Negating something negative does not equal a strong vision for the future. Think big think about what you want. This is the rest of your life and your children's lives we are talking about.






Who to Blame
Posted on July 30, 2011

In this point in our psychological evolution as human beings, we are always looking to assign blame. A few great souls rise above that tendency, but as a whole, even in the new century, that's where we are at. Therefore, I will take a look ahead to see who history might blame for the current financial crisis of our inability to raise the debt ceiling in time to prevent financial worldwide catastrophy.

First, let us assume that we will somehow get through this without destroying our educational system, because without a good education, everyone will believe whatever Fox News says. The Murdoch empire is a propaganda machine and about twenty to thirty percent of Americans, and a similar percentage in other countries, fully surrendered to Murdoch like he is some crazy guru who dictates what they think. Okay, apart from that, let us look at what the educated, sane people will note about this crisis.

They say that whatever happens during a president's term is blamed on the president. The president also gets credit when something good happens. Thus, the main question we ask ourselves in this zero-sum game of lack is: who will get the blame, will it be President Obama. The answer is simply yes, if we have a disaster, the president will have to take responsibility. Simple math.

However, there are mitigating factors that history will note. First, the opposition, the Fox Newsies and the legislators they put into power, have been formidable. They have blocked everything the president has tried to do since he got into office. First, they handed him a stinking mess of an economy that was losing close to a million jobs a month. He stopped that. Next, they put all their energy into protecting the top two percent richest families in America, while doing everything in their power to destroy unions, public education, public institutions, the environment, and the unemployed.

It is obvious what has happened because it has been in the news every day. When historians go back to do the forensics on this crisis, it will be easy. Everything is there, recorded day by day by journalists and bloggers. We have audio and video of everything. Every step of the way, the Fox News legislators have worked to destroy America. Many people can clearly see this in real time, and they discuss it every evening on the news. Will all this evidence go away?

Therefore, history will show that President Obama will get the blame, but even more so, the Fox News legislators and media organ will get even more blame. At least President Obama has acted intelligently. That cannot really be said for the opposition. They seem hell-bent on destruction because they hate government, especially the American government.

In the future, if human beings evolve past the need to punish scapegoats, then the situation will not even be seen in terms of blame and praise. It will become an amazing lesson on what not to do if we want to create a peaceful and abundant world.






One More Benefit of Good Government
Posted on July 28, 2011

This crisis teaches us that one more thing the government can do for us is provide a good credit rating. If America goes into default, it will cripple all the high-flying financial market moguls because they depend on the good name of America to make their millions.

This is a grave moment in our history. If America defaults, or continues to act dysfunction, we could lose our good credit, forcing interest rate hikes on everyone who has debt. That includes our national debt, as well.






Boehner for Bourgeoisie; James Bond, & Hippies
Posted on July 26, 2011

Last night President Obama explained the need for raising the debt ceiling, while protecting the elderly, education, and the future of our country. On the other hand, Representative Boehner and the other, even more extreme Republicans, want to cut back social programs. They want to strangle, drown, and disable government programs, by reducing the amount of money rich people pay in taxes.

As we have discussed in this column many times, our tax dollars are meant for the common good. In a representative government, the people are the government, and we govern ourselves. We have a social compact to pay our taxes to make this a great country. We do things to promote ourselves into a better future. Such as NASA was meant to do. We build bridges.

Of late (at least in my lifetime, dating back to the 1950s), a larger share of our tax dollars have gone to promote warfare. As a hippy, I have always been against that. In fact, many people have, not just hippies.

Now the rich people have done quite well in the last few years, especially since the bailout. The rest of you, I dunno. As a real estate agent, I see people getting thrown out of their houses. Everyone's mortgage is upside down. Many more people are at the edge of the cliff, falling into poverty.

Where is the government? Well, the bourgeoisie hold our president hostage. They say, "We are going to pull the plug on this country, and then use our media machine to make sure everybody blames you!" Even though those in the Murdoch empire are limping along after their legal problems in the UK, they have kept their guard up in America. Media cover-up is in full ISKCON World Review mode (that's the rag I used to write for the cult to cover up guru murders, drug dealing, child abuse, etc.).

Last night, to research this topic, I watched Tomorrow Never Dies, a 1997 James Bond film. Evil media mogul Elliot Carver (Jonathan Pryce), tries to start a war between China and the UK through a series of false flag operations, which he then reports in his worldwide media empire. James Bond (Pierce Bronsnan) and Wei Lin (Michelle Yeoh) work on behalf of their respective governments to find out what's going on and prevent the war. The pair were under constant barrage from Carver's thugs, and it usually involved martial arts.

The thing that saved Bond and Lin was their love for each other, and of course with James Bond it included lots of petting. This James Bond had an Oedipus-like attachment to women that bragged about. Even his new car had a female GPS voice and he immediately learned to control her.

Besides their friendly attraction, Bond and Lin saved themselves from every danger by an intense, unshakable vision of accomplishing their mission. Pierce, as an actor, showed that despite his fatal flaws, James Bond was absolutely certain of his success. The movie was one long chase scene broke up by about five pages of dialogue. Still James Bond never had a scratch on him. His clothing got rumpled at times, but he was superhuman in his ability to survive.

Michelle Yeah played the heroine with complete confidence that she and James Bond were an equal match. She fended for herself, using Kung Fu to defeat bands of men at a rate of about one band each fifteen minutes. She and Bond made the perfect team when they fought together, each trusting the other as though they were one.

This may be the key to our survival. Trusting people who deserve our trust and using Kung Fu on the liars and rascals who don't want to pitch in to help America. We will free our president and expose what's going on.

Yes, they have Rupert Murdoch. The movie had Elliot Carver, modeled after every devious media tycoon in history. He's a good mirror to them, and anybody who practices journalism for ill. Journalism is a power that people can misuse. It's unethical to hurt people through lies, and being a journalist gives a person a megaphone, so to speak, to spread those lies. It is a terrible thing with the potential to harm many people. I have been there, when I was in the cult, and am still healing my wounds from that ordeal. Never lie for an abuser!

To get through the precarious situation we are in, I say we pass a clean bill to raise the debt ceiling and then work on fixing our economy. Let's unite along these lines: people who want to lift America up vs. liars and rascals who hate our government.

Another thing. Rachel Maddow of MSNBC often cites "some people" who use the term "punch the hippy." She says that's what politicians do when they want to move to the center of a debate. In a sense they are trying to show that they are moderate (not with the hippies), but in truth they are simply joining forces with the liars and rascals. Punching the hippy is a phony gesture to pretend they are something they are not, so that people they don't like will like them. It just makes things more complicated.

Punch the hippy is a terrible metaphor and I'm not just saying that because I am a hippy. And if you must punch me, just give me a friendly little punch on the shoulder, okay? I am a hippy! I get it! I can read. I was educated in the public school system when the schools were still great in America. I have a good education, including a master's degree from a public state college. I know history, geography, sociology, and counseling psychology well; and have a grasp of many other subjects.

People should embrace hippies. First of all, we have been right about a lot of things. We were campaigning for an end to war forty-four years ago. We were defending the environment. We started a movement toward natural organic food and natural health. We were always on the right side of the drug war argument. And that''s not just hippies, but all progressives, liberals, left wingers, or whatever you want to call us.

We were right about just about everything. We have been on the peace and love side of the equation the whole time. We do not want to sound arrogant! We want you to join us! We love you!! Please come on over to the side of peace and love. If everybody joins us here, the liars and rascals will stand out from the crowd. Therefore, mend a bridge, settle a feud, stop yelling and customer service agents (they just work for dysfunctional companies), and make your world a peaceful and loving place. Like James Bond and Wai Lin, believe in yourself and your future.


On Oct 30, 2011, at 3:05 AM, Coleen Miranda wrote:

I saw a lot of website but I believe this one contains something extra in it. "True friends stab you in the front." by Oscar Wilde.






Debt Ceiling Blame Game
Posted on July 11, 2011

Certain Republicans aim to let America default, thus shutting down the federal government, wrecking our credit, and raising everyone's interest rates. Children that they are, they then plan to blame it on President Obama. Their chances of success are beginning to slim, however. For one thing, the president is focused on the problem and appears overtly reasonable. He obviously, genuinely wants a solution. The radical Republicans' only hope of bluffing the public depends on the brainwashing machine that is Fox News. Unfortunately for the trouble makers, the power of Fox is now in question due to Rupert Murdoch's legal problems in England. The scandal could spill over into America, and Republicans may not be able to pull off their dream of blaming this pending disaster on anyone other than themselves. They must think this through and be reasonable. Otherwise, they will find out what it feels like when reality has a comeback.





S. 1323—a Cry for Love of Our Country
Posted on July 7, 2011

Call your two U.S. Senators and ask them to support S. 1323. You can find the bill online here: http://thomas.loc.gov This is the text:

A BILL

To express the sense of the Senate on shared sacrifice in resolving the budget deficit.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, SECTION 1. SENSE OF THE SENATE ON SHARED SACRIFICE.

(a) Findings- Congress makes the following findings:
(1) The Wall Street Journal reports that median pay for chief financial officers of S&P 500 companies increased 19 percent to $2,900,000 last year.
(2) Over the past 10 years, the median family income has declined by more than $2,500.
(3) Twenty percent of all income earned in the United States is earned by the top 1 percent of individuals.
(4) Over the past quarter century, four-fifths of the income gains accrued to the top 1 percent of individuals.
(b) Sense of the Senate- It is the sense of the Senate that any agreement to reduce the budget deficit should require that those earning $1,000,000 or more per year make a more meaningful contribution to the deficit reduction effort.





Glass-Steagall Reincarnates as HR 1489
Posted on July 4, 2011

Representative Marcy Kaptur of Ohio paves the way to security with a return to the safeguards of Glass-Steagall* through H.R. 1489, the Return to Prudent Banking Act of 2011.

See: http://thomas.loc.gov

*The Glass-Steagall Act of 1933 was the law that fixed the banking industry to prevent another depression. However, the Depository Institutions Deregulation and Monetary Control Act of 1980 dented it and the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act of 1999 totaled it out. We need these safeguards or the same thing will happen again.

Call your Representative to support HR 1498! Don't be a jerk. Let's fix it once and for all. If my HOA can fix something big, the government can do it too!





Where to Store Nuclear Waste
Posted on July 2, 2011

America has 80,000 tons of nuclear waste and doesn't know what to do with it. At this time it is stored in thirty-five states. The solution may be for states to deal with the problem on their own. It might teach the states not to have nuclear power plants, since they will have to store the waste eternally or until it is safe, which will be never.





Your Positive Dreams
Posted on July 2, 2011

Your positive dreams of the future are more vital than ever. This world will always be in turmoil with immature souls grasping for love and attention. The cry for love is basic to all the problems in the world: greed, abuse, and hypocrisy. It is difficult to face the news headlines these days, with our wealthy overlords callous to the suffering of ordinary, middle class working people. What to do in such circumstances, tossed in the waves of economic hardship and even loss of our own soul?

Do we become bullies like those we hate? Do we give in and die? These are the questions flooding the American psyche. However, every day it becomes more important to keep our faith and vision of a positive outcome. To this end, I have spent the last ten years writing books to help us find our way out of this mess. You can access my books at Amazon (http://www.amazon.com).

If you are in emotional pain, read Cult Recovery Handbook: Seven Paths to an Authentic Life. Even if you were never a follower of a dangerous religious cult, if you are suffering in this time, you may have many symptoms of a cult survivor, and this book will help you heal.

If you are riding the waves of turmoil, and doing okay, but want to help lead us out of the darkness, buy Dreaming Peace. The book is a synopsis of the twentieth century positive thinking movement. It discloses all the secrets of Think and Grow Rich, How to Win Friends and Influence People, Psycho-cybernetcs, and The Strangest Secret, the classics of American positive thinking.

If you already think positive, but you need inspiration, buy Positive Quotations: Wisdom from the Master Mind. It is a collection of inspiring quotations going back to Classical Greece.

Also, if you need some inspiration for the Fourth of July, re-read the Declaration of Independence. Nobody said it would be easy to break away from the monarchs of England, and it appears we have homegrown monarchs that continue to fill our nightmares. Find out how brave our founding fathers were and celebrate the American spirit of independence this weekend.





Who is "Wall Street"?
Posted on June 15, 2011

Today Senator Bernie Sanders said, "Wall Street drove us into a recession . . . They are unbelievably powerful, they have a limitless supply of money; they have control over both political parties." [interview with Ed Schultz, MSNBC]

But who exactly is "Wall Street"? It is like accusing "Hollywood" of corrupting our youth. Or cursing "Washington" for the problems in our government. What are Wall Street, Hollywood, and Washington? They are vague, misleading, and non-descriptive representations of what we are talking about. Wall Street is the financial district of Lower Manhattan, but is he accusing everyone in Lower Manhattan of being corrupt? Or is it just particular corporations, or people within those institutions?

It would clear things up and take a step in the right direction toward resolution if we could figure out exactly who is stealing from us. We have to narrow it down to specific people and tactics that led us into recession and all these other problems.

Here are a few suggestions (unfortunately as a Realtor since March 2006, I had to watch the market crash). Let's just look at default swaps—taking an insurance policy on a third party; and derivatives—pooling real estate loans into financial instruments and selling them on the secondary market.

These crimes were perpetrated at particular institutions, and paper trails exist to prove what happened. Let's be more specific about who did these crimes. Then we don't have to put forward terms such as "Wall Street" to describe what we're fighting.

Words are tools to get what we want out of life. If we are inarticulate, our message is unclear and we cannot unite around a plan to fix our problems. Some people really get it. On the radio today, Congressman Keith Ellison described his positive message, summed up on the website: The People's Budget (http://cpc.grijalva.house.gov - the 2011 People's Budget is offline, but you can check the latest one at Rep. Grijalva's site).

I appreciate Senator Bernie Sanders and the excellent work he is doing, however I urge him and other elected officials to use precise language when they talk about our problems. We are not mad at a district in Manhattan. We have been robbed and we want justice. Who did this to us? Bring the thieves out of the shadows.





Books from Surrealist News at Amazon.com
Posted on June 15, 2011

Books by Surrealist News blog author Nori Muster are now available on Amazon.com. If you appreciate the information you get from Surrealist News, please help us out by buying one of our books. Click here to link to Amazon.com and see what we offer: http://amazon.com. These are for Kindle, but will open on the browser of just about any device.





Bioremediation Products Transform America
Posted on June 15, 2011

We have to face it, our country's manufacturing base is decimated. We sit around unemployed, surfing the net, wondering what we can grow, make with our hands, or what creative service we could render to make a living. Here's a viable plan: make America the friendly bacteria basket to the world. We have proven that plants and microorganisims remediate petroleum pollution and other toxins. Our landscape is a wreck after more than a hundred years of the manufacturing industry's pollution.

If you live in an area with environmental damage, research the literature, beginning with Organic Cures [link: http://toxiccleanup911.steamboats.com/bioremediationblog-history.html], to find out what plants and bacteria will bring things back. Then set up a nursery to grow plants and microbes. You can sell these materials to remediate your community, and there is a growing need for them. Countries in Asia, especially, are catching on faster than here in the USA. Those might make good markets for bioremediation materials.

If we take the risk of turning America into the laughing stock of the world ("bacteria basket to the world") we will accomplish many things at once: repair our economy and our reputation as hard working, contributing members of the human race; and we will remediate our own land. As an added plus, we will create a legacy for our children and future Americans. Get on the bioremediation bandwagon.





Guantanamo War Crimes
Posted on June 11, 2011

On April 9, the Times UK reported that Colonel Lawrence Wilkerson, top aide to Colin Powell and former Republican Secretary of State in the USA, alleges Bush administration war crimes in Guantanamo. Colonel Wilkerson said that all but a handful of detainees were completely innocent, and that former President Bush, Vice-president Cheney, and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld knew it.

Colonel Wilkerson remembers Cheney saying, "If hundreds of innocent individuals had to suffer in order to detain a handful of hardcore terrorists, so be it."

Colonel Wilkerson told the Times: "I discussed the issue of the Guantanamo detainees with Secretary Powell. I learnt that it was his view that it was not just Vice-President Cheney and Secretary Rumsfeld, but also President Bush who was involved in all of the Guantanamo decision making."

Why is this not reported in the American news media? There is enough evidence to prove that Bush, Cheney, and Rumsfeld committed war crimes. Here at Surrealist.org, we sincerely hope the guilty parties will pay for their crimes before they die. Our country is living under the burden of a series of big lies, and we continue to suffer because we allow this abuse to go on and we never do anything about it. The burden of unresolved war crimes is just one aspect of the Bush administration's folly that has left America unable to recover.

To read the whole article, click here.





Trauma in the Air
Posted on June 1, 2011

When our leaders start acting like aristocrats, when it looks like they deliberately want to cause problems for the People, then we live in trying times. If our leaders love us and look out for us (for example, as a parent for a child, or children for elderly parents), we demonstrate trust, loyalty, and consideration. We need leaders who care about us.

Just to make it clear, I am a capitalist, and I believe the people have a say over the rules of capitalism in their society. For example, we have the right to tax and regulate business. We also have the right to say "no" if necessary, and to charge them for using our natural resources.

I further believe that the people are perfectly capable of managing the country's utilities and infrastructure. Certain things are not done for profit, so I am against privatizing the commons, because it just makes everything more expensive. For-profit companies must take their cut in order to pay their CEO millions of dollars, etc. Plus, they have little or no conscience and that is bad for people's health.

I am like a liberal libertarian when it comes to big government. I am against the government telling people who they can marry, what people can do in bed in the privacy of their own home, whether they can grow a plant or smoke the flowers of a plant, and so on. I also support an open social conversation. I am against psy-ops, brainwashing, and suppression of free speech. I am also against sexual harassment, such as posting people's private photos on the Internet, outing people's sex life to score political gains, or posing as super-conservative while carrying on a secret kinky sex life.

We have to be honest to succeed in our personal lives, and to feel proud of ourselves. It is time that our leaders act honorably too. Maybe if we expect the best to come, it will. We can be assistants to Jesus, who was called a fisher of men. If we untangle the knots within, pray and forgive, maybe the frightened people who run our Congress at this time will come around. Also pray that the earth survives the burning hate blowing in the air. If you are an atheist or don't believe in prayer, try to envision the higher nature of the human race and dwell on that.





How Was Your Apocalypse?
Posted on May 21, 2011

Nothing much happened today on the international scene that could be construed as an apocalyptic event. My day was quite monumental, however. First, I met some friends at a neighbor's house at seven a.m., and we made a picnic and went on her boat to watch the neighbors demo the house next door to her.

Her neighbor paid a premium for this house on the waterfront, lived in it for five years, and now he wants to tear it down and build a bigger one. It took one hour for the tractor claw to tear it down. There it was a pile of rubble by eight a.m. It certainly was an apocalyptic day for the house.

In the late afternoon I went outside to work on the property. Recently I bought a small shop vac and a one hundred foot extension cord. I vacuumed cobwebs in the parking lot for about two hours. Still more to do, but it was enormously satisfying. It's discouraging to look at those cobweb-covered walls day after day, and a good feeling to know that a shop vac cures the problem faster and better than a power washer.

As satisfying as it was for me, it was apocalyptic for the spiders. I decimated their dead bug supplies and probably raptured a lot of them. It made me think that on a small scale, we see change and apocalyptic change every day in the most ordinary things. It is probably best to open up to change and try to flow with it, since it comes whether we want it or not.





Make Stuff in America
Posted on May 20, 2011

What can we make here? That's the question everyone is asking.

Here are our suggestions to anyone who wants to start a small business or add new aspects to their current career or business:

Server farm. Invest in the latest server technology. We need servers (mainframe computers) for all. Any small business that wants a server should have one. We can make them here, buy them here, and have thousands of new options for hosting, ISP, connectivity, and storage! Sever Farms are the future. A diversity of server farms helps net neutrality too, since it frees up space for packets to move. We can also export state of the art business-friendly servers and software.

Bioremediation. A growing field is friendly bacteria. If we want to balance the ecosystem and remediate the pollution, algae and diatoms are the answer! Friendly microbes will play a bigger part in the chemistry industry in the future. Link to the Organic Cures page at this URL (http://toxiccleanup911.steamboats.com/bioremediationblog.html). America could become the friendly bacteria farm to the world.

Optical batteries. A recent scientific discovery in the field of solar energy could prove to be the biggest thing of the twenty-first century. Google "optical battery" and set a Google Alert for it like we did. This is sure to be big for America. We are already pioneering the technology and we could become the optical battery provider for the world.

Energy efficiency. A green-certified contractor can start a small business installing energy-efficient windows and doors, and tightening up properties to conserve energy. Just Google "green certification" for more information. Find out if your local community college offers certification. If America manufactures the doors, windows, and insulation we are going to need, we can conserve energy on shipping, too. Also, we can develop environment-friendly building materials, such as green insulation, alternative boards, plant-based plastics; and alternative eco-friendly solvents, glues, detergents, paints, etc. As we develop these products for ourselves, we could provide them to other countries, as well.

There is a lot we can do here in America to increase our exports. Let's do it!





World on the Brink of a Positive Future
Posted on May 19, 2011

Until now, humanity's story has grown from our inner feelings of doom projected onto the world: bombs bursting in air, exploiting nature for financial gain, and a general consensus that greed is good. Now, prodded by the suffering we have witnessed from the worst environmental disasters in history, we are forced to rewrite our story.

Our old story is about frightened children, tossed and turned in the waves of cruel nature, finally learning to turn the tables on her and exploit her for our own enrichment. Our new story will be to regret the harm men have done, care for what is left of her, and ultimately to work in harmony with nature and see to her protection and remediation. It may take time to get the ship of state going in a positive direction, but the story map has already been rewritten with the help of nature herself.





Why al Qaeda Has Porn
Posted on May 13, 2011

Obviously they were selling porn. There's a lot of money in it!

World be free. This is why it is so hard to manifest our desires. People are loaded with twisted desires. We all are to some degree. We all make bad decisions. That's human. At least be kind as you can, try to accept other people. Stay away from crazy leaders and psychopaths. Help the government do better, believe that things will get better.





"Few dream of a world of nonviolence. If we do, we are dismissed as naive or idealistic. Yet without the imagination for peace, the vision of peace, we will never get out of the downward cycle of violence that is destroying us."

- John Dear, contemporary philosopher





Blowin' in the Wind
Posted on May 9, 2011

Funny how nothing has changed since I was a kid. America still has dishonest, greedy leaders, wars, racism, and poverty. Why? Because a majority of our elected officials like it this way! As a kid in the sixties, I attended peace marches, the first Earth Day, and the war Moratorium protest. However, now the "no" people just try to demonize the sixties and make out like we were wrong. The elite leaders are the ones who are wrong. They are losing their humanity. As Bob Dylan wrote so many years ago:

Yes, how many ears must one man have
Before he can hear people cry?
Yes, how many deaths will it take till he knows
That too many people have died?
The answer my friend is blowin' in the wind
The answer is blowin' in the wind.





Osama Bin Laden Dead
Posted on May 2, 2011

Emotional weekend—first a hilarious White House correspondents' dinner Saturday night, then a breathtaking announcement Sunday night that Osama Bin Laden is dead. This is the tenth year since 9/11. Hard to believe it has been that long. It's about time America extracted revenge from its al Qaeda nemesis. Perhaps this will give us a sense of closure to whatever happened that sunny September day. Our president recommended that we remember the sense of unity in the days after 9/11. If we could just learn one thing, that would be a good lesson. Let's make it a more friendly, serious country.





The Future is on the Way
Posted on May 2, 2011

"Let us help the phoenix to rise from the ashes; let us help lay the foundation for a new renaissance; let us help to accelerate the spiritual awakening until it lifts us into the golden age which would come."

- Peace Pilgrim (American peace activist, 1908-1981)





You Can Fool All of the People Some of the Time
Posted on May 1, 2011

Up until recently, trickle-down economics (and the accompanying conspiracy to dominate the world) has successfully fooled a lot of people. However, as history confirms, "You can fool all the people some of the time, and some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time." Conmen learn the hard way that if you lie, kill, and steal—eventually people catch on.

Not only can you not fool everybody indefinitely, but the bad karma for cheating people is severe. When history has spoken, the people of the future will see that our leaders betrayed us, looting the treasury, and undermining the Constitution. Of course, denial is strong, and some people will refuse to see the glare coming from Conspiracy Corner for as long as they can humanly put it off. That is because some people can be fooled all the time.





What Shall Historians Call this Era?
Posted on April 30, 2011

In retrospect, historians make up names to characterize historical eras that have a recognizable theme or character. For example, there was the Age of Enlightenment, the Renaissance, the Victorian Era, the Industrial Revolution, and so on. I believe the turn of the century and first dozen years of the new century form an epoch of significance. All we did was go from years beginning with a "1" to years starting with a "2." It's an artificial boundary, but proved a difficult transition.

At the end of 1999 Americans were full of optimism. We had peace and the pursuit of happiness. We made it through Y2K! But all that optimism disappeared by the end of 2000, with that election. Then we had 9-11 and the rest of the decade seemed a series of disasters for the economy, the environment, the ideals of justice, and the cause of peace. It is proving difficult to simply fix such destruction.

Those years might go down in history as the "aughts," "aught-one," "aught-two," etc . Or, the "o-o's," in other words "two-o-o-one," "two-o-o-two," and so on. It makes sense that the years are pronounced like "uh-oh-something," because every time you picked up a newspaper, you thought, "Uh-oh, what now?!"

If we learn the lessons from the "double aughts," the "double-o's," and manage to change our ways and save the planet, perhaps historians will call this the Dawn of the Golden Era, or the Great Turning Point, where humanity finally hit bottom—"double zeros"—and started to face the problems. We have a lot to do.





Learning to Flow with the Tao at Surrealist.org
Posted on April 17, 2011

Ever since 2000, Surrealist.org has been the home of Learning to Flow with the Tao, an online place to read your I Ching. The I Ching is an ancient book of metaphors that has offered spiritual guidance throughout the centuries. This version of the I Ching is now available through Kindle for only $6. Click here to see this book at Amazon.com. You will always be able to read your I Ching at this site for free, but the Kindle version is selling well. To read your I Ching, click here.





Internet "Pull Switch" in America?
Posted on April 7, 2011

The power of the Internet belongs to he who owns the hardware. Packets travel through servers (what we used to call mainframes). As long as a server is on, packets will travel through it.

In countries like Egypt, the government controls the companies that own the hardware. They simply tell the companies what to do and they do it. Power down the servers, that's it for Internet in that country.

The best way to keep the Internet free, fair, and neutral is to encourage many small companies to own servers. You can get up and running on a server for less than $10,000, so it is the perfect small business.

Mergers of big corporations that own the majority of servers will make us more like Egypt.

Free and fair American-style competition will keep the Internet free.

Hand-held devices are a different story, since the corporations already control the content because they control the hardware.





New Book by Nori
Posted on April 6, 2011

Spiritual Summer and Other Short Stories, by Nori Muster

This book is a collection of short stories related to my years in ISKCON, written after leaving the organization. For more information and to order it on Amazon.com, go to [sorry, this book is currently offline].





New Book Explains our 2011 Symbolism
Posted on April 3, 2011

Thank god we have good authors out there who still study symbolism and how it acts in very real ways in our collective lives. The following essay is a synopsis of the new book, Back to Our Future, by David Sirota. To read more about the book, log onto Amazon.com: http://www.amazon.com

An Essay from Author David Sirota:

Five '80s Flicks that Explain How the '80s Still Define Our World

Back To Our Future posits that the 1980s—and specifically 1980s pop culture—frames the way we think about major issues today. The decade is the lens through which we see our world. To understand what that means, here are five classic flicks that show how the 1980s still shapes our thinking on government, the "rogue," militarism, race, and even our not-so-distant past.

1. Ghostbusters (1984): Peter Venkman, Ray Stantz, Egon Spengler, and Winston Zeddmore seem like happy-go-lucky guys, but these are cold, hard military contractors. Between evading the Environmental Protection Agency, charging exorbitant rates for apparition captures, and summoning a Stay Puft Marshmallow Man, the merry band shows a Zoul-haunted New York that their for-profit services are far more reliable than those of the Big Apple's wholly inept government. At the same time, the Ghostbusters were providing 1980s audiences with a cinematic version of what would later become the very real Blackwater—and what would be the anti-government, privatize-everything narrative of the twenty-first century.

2. Die Hard (1988): Though the 1980s was setting the stage for the rise of anti-government politics today, it was also creating the Palin-esque "rogue" to conveniently explain the good things government undeniably accomplishes. Hitting the silver screen just a few years after Ollie North's rogue triumphalism, John McClane became the '80s most famous of this "rogue" archetype—a government employee who becomes a hero specifically by defying his police superiors and rescuing hostages from the twin threat of terrorism and his boss's bureaucratic clumsiness. This message is so clear in Die Hard, that in one memorable scene, McClane is yelling at one police lieutenant that the government has become "part of the problem." Die Hard, like almost every national politician today, says government can only work if it gets out of the way of the rogues, mavericks, and rule-breakers within its own midst.

3. Rambo: First Blood Part II (1985): "Sir, do we get to win this time?" So begins the second—and most culturally important—installment of the Rambo series. The question was a direct rip-off of Ronald Reagan's insistence that when it came to the loss in Vietnam, America had been too "afraid to let them win"—them, of course, being the troops. The theory embedded in this refrain is simple: If only meddling politicians and a weak-kneed public had deferred to the Pentagon, then we would have won the conflict in Southeast Asia. Repeated ad nauseum since the 1980s, the "let them win" idea now defines our modern discussion of war. If only we let the Pentagon's Rambos do whatever they want with no question or oversight whatsoever, then we can decisively conclude the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan . . . and we can win the never ending "War on Terror."

4. Rocky III (1982): Before the 2008 presidential campaign devolved into cartoonish media portrayals of the palatable "post-racial" Barack Obama and his allegedly unpalatable "overly racial" pastor Jeremiah Wright, there was Rocky III more explicitly outlining this binary and bigoted portrayal of African Americans. Here was Rocky Balboa as the determined but slightly ignorant stand-in for White Middle America. Surveying the diverse landscape, the Italian Stallion could see only two kinds of black people—on one side the suave, smooth, post-racial Apollo Creed, and on the other side the enraged, animalistic Clubber Lang. Rocky thus gravitated to the former, and reflexively feared the latter, essentially summarizing twenty-first-century White America's often over-simplistic and bigoted attitudes toward the black community today.

5. The Big Chill (1983): This college reunion flick from Lawrence Kasdan is hilarious, morose, and seemingly nostalgic for the halcyon days of the past; but powerfully propagandistic in its negative framing of the 1960s. Over the course of the film's weekend, character after character berates the 1960s as an overly decadent age that may have been rooted in idealism, but was fundamentally destined to fail. Sound familiar? Of course it does. The 1980s-created narrative of the Bad Sixties can still be found in everything from national Tea Party protests to never-ending culture-war battles on local school boards. The message is always the same: If only America can emulate the Big Chillers and get past its Sixties immaturity and liberalism, everything will be A-okay.





Natural Bioremediation for Nuclear Waste
Posted on April 2, 2011

Log on to the Organic Cures blog to read the latest on natural bioremediation of nuclear waste. Go to: http://toxiccleanup911.steamboats.com/bioremediationblog.html





Reply to the World's Problems: Love
Posted on March 23, 2011

On Mar 22, 2011, at 7:45 PM, alma maglaya wrote:

No matter what happens, if we just keep the Love and Camaraderie in the forefront, we will fair better than without it. The Cosmic family is indeed BIG if we keep our heart open to its fullest expanse. There is always a YIN to every Yang.

Love always
Alma





Quoted on the News Tonight
Posted on March 22, 2011

Saw some footage of Martin Luther King, Jr. on the news. That's what I like, educational news. Rev. King paraphrased from the Bible:

The question is not, "If I stop to help this man in need, what will happen to me?" The question is, "If I do not stop to help the sanitation workers, what will happen to them?" That's the question.

With people like Martin Luther King behind us, we have a duty to move forward. God bless the unions and all Americans who try to be kind, and who believe in a better future for everyone.

On Mar 27, 2011, at 4:46 PM, WordPress wrote:

A new comment on the post "Quoted on the News Tonight":

Author : Lee Ann
Comment: Prince William came to New Zealand and attended the Christchurch earthquake memorial service. He said his grandma always told him that "the price of love is grief". Double-take HRH quoting the Buddha via his grandma in a judeo-christian commonwealth state. Chortle.

On Mar 29, 2011, at 4:09 AM, WordPress wrote:
A new comment on the post "Quoted on the News Tonight":

Author: lokanath swami
E-mail: lokanathswami007[at]gmail.com
URL: http://www.lokanathswamiblog.com
Comment: "If I stop to help this man in need, what will happen to me?"





How Many Countries Has America Bombed?
Posted on March 22, 2011

People say that Americans do not love war, but it is part of our national anthem, and our children grow up loving the idea of "bombs bursting in air." I am in favor of changing the national anthem to "America the Beautiful" or "This Land is Your Land."

Countries the U.S. has bombed since 1945:

Japan August 6 and 9, 1945
China 1945-46
Korea and China 1950-53 (Korean War)
Guatemala 1954
Indonesia 1958
Cuba 1959-1961
Guatemala 1960, 1967-69
Congo 1964
Peru 1965
Laos 1964-73
Vietnam 1961-73
Cambodia 1969-70
El Salvador 1980s
Nicaragua 1980s
Grenada 1983
Lebanon and Syria 1983, 1984
Libya 1986, 2011
Iran 1987
Panama 1989
Kuwait 1991
Iraq 1991-2009
Somalia 1993
Bosnia 1994, 1995
Sudan 1998
Afghanistan 1998, 2001-present
Yugoslavia 1999
Pakistan 2008-present





Japan Mandate
Posted on March 18, 2011

If the Japanese can make it through this challenging time, they could lead the world into a sustainable energy future. We have the technology, we just need the will to invest in it. Either that, or continue to subsidize coal, oil, and nuclear, and continue down our blind path toward destroying our planet. That is the valuable lesson humanity needs to learn from this and the Gulf oil spill.





Grief of Japan
Posted on March 14, 2011

The images on the news tonight are unbelievably frightening. God bless our fragile little planet. Our hearts go out to the families and the way of life. We tremble awaiting the outcome of the nuclear disaster underway.





Surrealist News Opinion: HAARP
Posted on March 11, 2011 / edited 5/19/2011

People say we make our own reality, and conspiracy theories like HAARP are a good example. It could cause earthquakes or it could be just an innocent research project. Same for Area 51. I went there on a tour in 2005 while visiting Las Vegas. What's it all about? To some people it's where they filmed the moon landings; to others it is just a super-secret weapons development site.

What is the bottom line? There is no bottom line. It's like asking whose god is real. Or who is the real solipsist? Solipsism holds that the self is the only existent thing; extreme egocentrism. So, both sides look ridiculous to each other, but each has a right to think what they want.

If you don't believe in conspiracy theories, great! If you do, remember that if conspiracies are true, then there are probably extra laws of nature that are unseen and unacknowledged.

Some ask why would god (if there is one) allow this to happen? Others jump to the conclusion that evil forces are purposely manipulating the weather for profit.

If you are a conspiracy theorist, or dabble in it, ask yourself if there are people so evil that they would purposely cause natural disaster like the tsunami we saw in Japan. It is too bad if they share the human race with us, but then they have darker karma than you can imagine.

If you are trapped in a struggle with an evil world where ruthless men purposely cause disastrous weather events, then you need a miracle. If you do not get a miracle, then you are out of luck. It's the end of the world.

For myself, having lived in a superstitious religious cult for ten years, I met a lot of conspiracy theorists. They believed the end would come soon after 1977 when their guru died. In fact, during my years in the cult, I believe in such things myself. Everybody did. I left the cult twenty-two years ago, so after much thought, here is how I see conspiracy theories now. Of course, each conspiracy is different, but let's specifically consider HAARP, Alaska, and any possible connection to what happened today in Japan.

It could be true or it could be false. It could be somewhere in between. It could be in how you look at a thing. It is a desperate moment in human history. We grieve, we feel anxious, but we meet the challenge with clarity. We get confused and upset. We don't know what to believe, so sometimes our imaginations get away with us. Other times our gut feeling is right. Maybe someday we will understand it. Meanwhile, we have the opportunity to learn to live in the ignorance of not having all the answers to every complicated question.





"Humanity is morphing from a collection of individual, fragmented and disparate elements into a unified symphony of harmonized colors shining brightly like a globe-circling rainbow of gilded Love after a long stormy history of war and destruction."

- http://www.earthrainbownetwork.com





America: Failed State?
Posted on February 28, 2011

We all need each other's thoughts and prayers at this time, when the American way of life hangs in the balance. If the right-wing reformers get their way, America will become a failed state. The symptoms of a failed state are non-provision of public services, widespread corruption and criminality, refugees, and sharp economic decline.

This is the mission of the C. Street Family, along with the Koch brothers, Rick Perry, Haley Barbour, and Karl Rove. We are not in their cult, but we bear witness to it.

On one hand we have Fox News et al. and on the other hand is the reality based community. Reality-based means that through scientific observation, we can know the world around us. The C. Street Family and other political cults tell their followers that they must be faith-based and believe whatever the leaders tell them. Their leaders also pick out people that the cult members will get busy hating. This is all part of the dysfunctional cult social structure: us and them, the evil outside world, the superhuman attributes of the leaders, and the cult world's superior paradigm.

The words "reality-based community" came into play after a 2004 New York Times Magazine article by Ron Suskind, when he quoted a character widely assumed to be Karl Rove thumbing his nose at the reality-based community:

"That's not the way the world really works anymore. We're an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you're studying that reality—judiciously, as you will—we'll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that's how things will sort out. We're history's actors . . . and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do."

Reference: Ron Suskind, "Faith, Certainty and the Presidency of George W. Bush." The New York Times Magazine, Oct. 17, 2004. ISSN 0028-7822.

Karl Rove is wrong. Reality is the future!





A vs. B = Life
Posted on February 22, 2011

I recently heard an Alan Watts lecture where he said that all our problems in life go back to the basic duality of A and B. We fight because I say a thing is A, you say it is B. That explains just about everything.

Lately with all this arguing in the media over unions, most people have chosen A or B. People born in the 1970s or later probably don't know what a union is, unless they have a union job. Somewhere along the line, the subject of civics was stripped from the public school curriculum. So without even knowing anything whatsoever about the issues, everyone has chosen A or B and we are having a big fruit fight over it!

Full disclosure, I favor collective bargaining, as well as fair treatment for all workers. I myself am a worker, but they don't have a union for real estate agents. Maybe someday I will be fortunate enough to have skills that would qualify me to join a union! Real estate sucks and banks blow, so it is an awful time to be in real estate right now, union or no union.

Have a nice day and remember to fight a lot over things you don't understand! Always take sides (A or B) on every subject and you will be doing the karma you came here to do. Here's a picture of Alan Watts (1915-1973). He is great. If you have never listened to his lectures before, go to the KPFK archives to hear him (http://archive.kpfk.org/).

photo





Note to the Future
Posted on February 18, 2011

In some places on earth, new democracies are taking birth. In other places, old democracies are fading. Pretty soon America will probably run as a dictatorship controlled by the corporate Republicans, and the honest, good people in Africa and Asia will be free. Too bad for us, but that's what we get for ignoring the creeping problems over many years. I for one am glad that I am old enough to remember the 1960s, when we were free here in America. Don't mind me if I live in the past: unions, public education, public television, public parks, weekends off work, inexpensive health care, retirement, and thousands of other freedoms future generations of Americans may never know.

So let it be a lesson to you young democracies: teach your children well so they grow up knowing that freedom rests in their hands.





Attitudes Toward Bullies
Posted on February 16, 2011

A couple nights ago on the TV news, I saw a man say that the best way to deal with bullies is to show them who is stronger. He was a conservative talking about colonizing Middle Eastern countries. After I thought about it for a while, I tried to page back in my Tivo to find it again, but could not.

As far as dealing with bullies, the best thing to do is to go on with your own beautiful life and ignore them. Bullies are looking for a fight, so let someone else do the honors. If a bully breaks the law, then they deserve consequences. If you engage a bully, then you lose your power. Often, once a fight starts, both people share the bad karma of whatever started it.

The professionals' advice is to ignore bullies and leave them hanging out to dry. The world will repay them in kind, but it may take longer than you would like. Bullies will always try to hurt you, scare you, and make your life miserable. That is what they do. Your job is to develop your life in a way that pleases you and makes it easier to resist the negative forces of the world. You to can get healthy emotional boundaries, just for the asking.

By the way, all of us act like bullies once in a while. If someone gets you mad and you breakdown and fight, don't beat yourself up on top of it. Here is something you can tell yourself to cheer yourself up:

"Too bad! I certainly behaved poorly this time. But that hardly makes me a stupid or incompetent person. Just someone who needlessly did myself in. Now . . . I am determined to do the best I can, and to be as effective and as happy as I can be." - Dr. Albert Ellis

Nobody can feel good about themselves for losing their temper. Deal with a bully from a good state of mind or risk being brought down to the bully's level. You become what you despise. They try to make you miserable, so they make you miserable, on and on. Please avoid that dark path.

Too bad! I certainly behaved poorly this time. But that hardly makes me a stupid or incompetent person. Just someone who needlessly did myself in. Now . . . I am determined to do the best I can, and to be as effective and as happy as I can be. - Dr. Albert Ellis

Listen to Dr. Ellis. He was the bomb in the world of positive psychology. Admit what you did wrong (perpetuated a verbal abuse cycle with a bully) and let it go. Picture what you want: life in a peaceful world. Not this nightmare that currently passes for life. Listen to the surrealists this one time, would you? Artists often lead the way into a better world. Just find this little door right here: redeem your soul and you will get a magic key to pass through the door. Then you can forgive yourself and learn how to stop being an a-hole. You too can join A-holes Anonymous right now. I have been a recovering a-hole since about 1997. Trust me, it is better not to fight. It is better not to stand up to a bully. For within the deep recesses of every bully's heart is a frightened child.





"There's Something In The Soul That Cries Out For Freedom."

- Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.





Egypt Real Democracy
Posted on February 7, 2011

Egypt has been in the headlines since the end of last month when President Mubarak shut down the Internet and cell phone service to stop progress. The people are still in Tahrir Square asking for freedom. Surrealist.org joins the demonstrators in their quest for freedom and self-determination. There are no masses of people, the world is full of people just like ourselves. It is a natural human instinct to want to be free and responsible for one's own destiny.





State of the Union Wrap-up
Posted on January 27, 2011

Well, a couple days after the President's January 25 State of the Union address, everyone is still talking about it. One of the most profound statements was everyone sitting together. This eliminated the partisan dueling ovations that were always divisive. Simply mixing it up was a big step in the direction of civility. Now everybody will go back to fighting, but knowing that peace is possible. We may have different opinions on how to fix the problems, but the real story is that we are starting to come together as a nation. Yes, everyone says it is impossible—except here at Surrealist.org. We of course have a skewed vision of reality, surrealists that we are. Please join us in our alternative universe!





"Nothing is impossible, if you want it badly enough, and if you have the imagination to dream and the energy to make your dreams come true."

- Osa Johnson (1894-1953) explorer





"You guys in Televisionland haven't figured it out, have you? When the pictures are powerful and emotional, they override if not completely drown out the sound. I mean it, Lesley. Nobody heard you."

- Ronald Reagan on television images as propaganda to Lesley Stahl, 1984.

Editor's note: This means we have to work smarter, not harder, to live by the truth.





"Let us, you and me, pray for peace and let us make our hearts fit to accept it when it comes. Let us make our intellect, and our soul, and our will and our feeling ready to receive it and embrace it even before it comes. Let us in the stillness of our own soul go back to that ineffable Presence which is Peace and proclaim It even in the midst of confusion—that peace which is the power at the heart of God."

- Ernest Holmes





Bomb Disarmed in Spokane
Posted on January 18, 2011

FBI special agents tell us that a bomb found yesterday along the route of an MLK Day parade in Spokane was an act of domestic terrorism. See article below for the Surrealist.org opinion that there is a dark horse, an evil dark horse, involved here. It is not a Republican or Democrat, conservative or liberal conflict. A true, responsible Republican and a true, responsible Democrat would find common ground on many issues. To begin with, none of us would want to kill our political adversaries. But we must open our eyes and acknowledge that there is a growing element in society who do want to kill over political differences. Wake up wake up wake up. This is the United States of America, not a banana republic, not an organized crime ring. So far it has been attacks on liberals, but if they come for the liberals and you don't speak up, then when they come for you, and there will be on one to defend you.

I was thinking about the meaning of rhetoric the other day. I tend to be somewhat overblown, which is why I took down all my blog posts from the Bush years. I admit, I was angry at Bush, and said some angry things on my blog. Someday I will edit that into a book, but for now I don't want to look back on those years yet. By the time I write it, the anger will be processed out and dissipated. I apologize for the angry things I wrote.

Rhetoric has many meanings, but one of the negative connotations is when a person talks too much and never listens. A rhetorical question is just a statement but formulated as a question so the questioner can pretend to be open to feedback. A rhetorical question is a one way street. That's the type of rhetoric people object to. Maybe as we go along, we can learn how to listen better. I have been working on it, and many people are trying. If we can disagree without being disagreeable, maybe we could fix problems.





KPFK Radio's Captain Beefheart Tribute
Posted on January 16, 2011

Today Michael Barnes played two solid hours of Captain Beefheart music, stopping only to read the playlist at the end of each set. You can hear it at Michael Barnes's site and the radio station: Melting Pot Blog and KPFK Archive, look under January 16, 2011. The show was to honor the Captain's birthday, which was yesterday. He would have been seventy.

Can anybody tell me why Captain Beefheart looked exactly like two of my best friends at Camelback High?





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This was one era, when the Captain looked like my friend Malcolm.

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Malcolm and Don and I are seen here. The photo is dated January 1973, but I think it was earlier. This looks more like 1972.

Don and I are still close friends, including on Facebook Malcolm still lives in Phoenix with his wife.





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Here's another look that Captain Beefheart assumed for the cover of The Spotlight Kid (1972).

high school

Jim, seen in this photo, left, had the exact same hair and goatee as Beefheart, and it was just a coincidence. He looked exactly like Beefheart on the album cover, although the photo may not show it because he is tilting his head.

There are not many photos surviving from that era. On the back of this one somebody wrote "New Year's Eve 1975 at Jim's apartment," but I think it looks more like the art room at Camelback High. This must have been more like 1972. Jim was the spotlight kid; the album could have been named for him.

KPFK did up Beefheart's seventieth birthday right, and for that I am grateful. I wish younger generations would discover Beefheart's work. It is just as relevant today as when he was recording, 1967-1982. After his last album came out, he dedicated himself to painting. If you search for Don Van Vliet paintings, you can see many of them. He was an abstract surrealist, like me. I love you Captain. Thank you for your music.





Are Both Sides Uncivil?
Posted on January 13, 2011

They say liberals blame the right wing for being uncivil; the conservatives say the liberals are uncivil. So which is it? Actually, most average right wingers and left winger Americans are both fairly civil. We may argue, but we are generally kind people who go about our business. None of us are advocating gun violence. Although most of us could improve, we are generally decent.

So where is all this incivility coming from? Wake up folks! There is a nut-case fringe in our political structure who think the government is out to get them. They are stocking up on weapons with the intention of using them to overthrow the government, or at least do their best to cause social upheaval. Who are they? Let us just call them anarchists for now. It is difficult to classify them as left or right, but in general they have a paranoid hatred of government and of people who are different from them.

These political anarchists see themselves as above the law. Perhaps they are on a mission for god, or they may just want to get those voices in their heads to go away. They respond to particular media personalities who trigger them with buzz words, called dog whistles, which appeal to political zealots' religious ideals, or anti-government sentiments. The media personalities are looking for hype, and although they may be decent people, they get paid to stir up emotion. Hype sells.

This is not a two way fight (liberal vs. conservative). The anarchists form a shadow party, a dark horse, gradually coming forward. They reject government and aim to destroy our institutions, especially the safety net, regulation of industry, and the commons. As they have gained momentum, they have influenced the debate between liberals and conservatives.

To rescue our society, we must recognize this disruptive anarchic force and refuse to participate. Resist the urge to forward violent jokes, stop bulling people who are less powerful, make amends with your relations, and turn off the tube if your talking heads advocate hate and fear.

As a liberal in a conservative environment (Arizona), I naturally meet many conservatives. I find them for the most part dignified, friendly, sensible, and kind. The wacko people I meet are like the juvenile delinquents and adult abuse perpetrators that I used to work with back in grad school and when I used to be a counselor. They are emotionally damaged and in need of help. Do not follow these people. Emulate honest and kind people for a better future.





Surrealist.org Announcement: The New Paradigm
Posted on January 10, 2011

The world is changing because we have unprecedented levels of communication. Our new electronic devices enable the exchange of information with previously unimagined ease. The speed of communication, as a metaphor for Einstein's theory of relativity, is collapsing time and space as we know it. For example, I can get news from South Africa, speak to my friends in Germany, and check the weather outside my door, all in a few seconds.

The transition to the new space-time continuum will be complete in a couple years, on or around the Dec. 21, 2012 date people cite as the end of the Mayan calendar. The changes you can expect if you shift into the same compassionate world as the rest of us are:

* Old friends reunited.
* New friends meet.
* Ideas spread rapidly.
* Secrets come out.
* More common ground between the world of the living and the dead, due to new writings and revelations coming out and being posted. It will seem like they are living.
* More equality between people. We will no longer need to know people's race, gender, age, physical limitations, or status in life. Nor will it matter. People will be judged on what they say and images that come from them.
* Past crimes solved.

There will also be negative effects, but systems will develop to track trolls, spammers, terrorists, criminals, and hackers.

In the light of these changes, people who are mostly honest and kind will benefit from the new paradigm. Their future is bright because they have little or nothing to hide. On the other hand, people who have harmed others to satisfy their own greed will face a judgment day. This will happen by itself because humanity is entering a new era where we communicate with what amounts to electronic ESP.

There will be a percentage of people who shift into a negative future reality. They are the souls who must face a judgment day, and their lives could become a living hell. If you choose to avoid that destiny, get with the honest kind people now, while there is still a large opening. Also, if you are angry at the dishonest people, you risk being dragged down with them by association. Decide now to rid yourself of feelings of hatred and self-pity, since these emotions magnetize you to the objects of your hate.

Our more enlightened destiny is inevitable because honest people far outnumber dishonest people. As the veils of secrecy lift, more people will see what is going on. Dishonest people will find it more difficult to hide their crimes. We now live in the world of Wikileaks, camera phones, the court of public opinion, and blogs.

However—and this is the bad news—from now until the paradigm is firmly in place, many innocent people will be running scared, and more could die like the victims in Tucson. This will happen because angry, violent souls will be running for their lives. They do not want to go to jail, of course, or suffer loss of reputation. With us running in one direction and them running in the opposite direction, many collisions are inevitable.

I am talking about the frightened bullies, who are also probably victims of abuse in childhood. They appear on TV and run for political office. We feel compassion for them, but many of them are in positions of power to hurt honest people, innocent bystanders. They advocate chaos motivated by fear.

To reduce the level of violence, please concentrate on the good that can come out of this. Between now and the end of 2012, we will choose peace one by one. Here are some affirmations to ease the entrance into the new paradigm from Mildred Lisette Norman (1908-1981), known as Peace Pilgrim for the last thirty years of her life, a genuine American sage:

"We don't need to reach out and tear down the things that are evil because nothing which is contrary to the law of love can endure."

"Ultimate peace begins within; when we find peace within there will be no more conflict, nor more occasion for war."

"When societies are out of harmony, problems develop within the society—collective problems. Their purpose is to push the whole society toward harmony."

"When we hear a prediction of some disaster we need to throw the entire weight of our positive thought in the opposite direction!"

"If the right thing is established the wrong thing will fade away of its own accord because all things that are out of harmony contain within themselves the seeds of their own destruction."

If you are or want to be a peaceful person, trust that the future will be better for you. Trust that the changes are inevitable because the veils of secrecy are lifting with our new technologies, and it is likely that all secrets will come out in time. Look into issues of debt forgiveness, and wether you might be ready to do some karmic debt forgiveness. We are judged for the debts we hold against others.

Welcome to the new paradigm.





Does Brain Size Matter?
Posted on January 6, 2011

Scientists at the University College London have announced their findings that people who hold conservative views have larger amygdalae, almond shaped areas in the center of the brain associated with fear, and a smaller anterior cingulate, an area at the front of the brain associated with courage. On the other hand, they found that liberals' brain scans show smaller amygdalae (fear) centers and a larger anterior cingulate (courage) center.

Their findings, to be published this year, support a study at the University of California that identified a "liberal gene," a neurotransmitter in the brain called DRD4. Thus, scientists are starting to look for evidence that political views may be grounded in our biology. Certainly this is an area of interest, so we can expect to see more research soon.

Supposing it is true, what does it mean? For one thing, it may account for people's attraction to Fox News and Rush Limbaugh, and the fears they develop from listening to those shows. Due to their biology, they may suffer more trauma from the tumultuous social changes we have experienced in the last ten or twelve years. Say a prayer for the fearful people and treat them as you would want to be treated.





Happy New Year 2011
Posted on January 1, 2011

"Let us help the phoenix to rise from the ashes; let us help lay the foundation for a new renaissance; let us help to accelerate the spiritual awakening until it lifts us into the golden age which would come."

- Peace Pilgrim





Merry Christmas from the Bayou Shack
Posted on December 24, 2010

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May your days be merry and bright!





Double Negatives Convey Lack of Conviction
Posted on December 18, 2010

Ever notice how nearly every liberal cause has a double negative slogan? Here are a few real campaigns that have come through the inbox in the last month:

Don't Let Salazar Sell Out Our Wolves and the Endangered Species Act
Tell Idaho Not to Condone Rape of Unmarried Women
Tell GOP leaders to stop censoring art at the Smithsonian
Urge This Congress to Stop the Next Oil Disaster NOW
Stop the crackdown on Wikileaks

Each of these state a double negative, the thing you don't want, negated. The problem with a campaign like this is that it leads to a dead end. The name does not suggest a solution, rather it gives you a threatening visualization of the problem. This could be counterproductive since we tend to attract whatever is most vivid in our conscious thoughts.

Here is an example of a positive slogan:

Help us bring passenger rail to Phoenix and Tucson.

Another example is what we now know as the Civil Rights Movement. If they had called it The End Discrimination Movement, we might be less far along. The words "civil rights" suggest the solution, the goal.

I get so tired of signing online petitions that emphasize the negative. Come on people! Let's stop being so frightened of what we want and just ask for it. Like, instead of saying, "End tax breaks to the rich," or whatever other double negatives we are all twisted up with now, how about a simple affirmative purpose statement like: "The wealthy pay their fair share to keep America a vibrant land of opportunity."





The Good Captain is Dead
Posted on December 18, 2010

Captain Beefheart album cover

Captain Beefheart album cover

Captain Beefheart album cover

Captain Beefheart album cover

Captain Beefheart album cover

Captain Beefheart album cover

Captain Beefheart, Don van Vliet, was born January 15, 1941, and died yesterday, just weeks before his seventieth birthday. He was the leader of the Magic Band, musicians who lived together in Topanga Canyon in a creative community back in the day that included actors, artists, and writers. The album covers pictured above are just a few of Van Vliet's recordings. Trout Mask Replica was his masterpiece.

Don Van Vliet was a gifted artist from the start, winning a children's sculpting competiton at the Los Angeles Zoo at age nine. He worked as an apprentice to Los Angeles artist Agostinho Rodrigues, and won several art scholarships, including one to study marble sculpting in Europe. However his parents discouraged his art career. They moved the family from Los Angeles to Lancaster, a remote town on the outskirts of Los Angeles County. However, it was in Lancaster at Antelope Valley High School that Van Vliet met Frank Zappa. They became friends, and later professional musicians who created their own style of surrealist, abstract music.

Editor's note: I was a big fan of Beefheart and Zappa and saw them play many times in concert in the 1970s. One time in about 1976, I met the good Captain backstage after a show at the Golden Bear on Pacific Coast Highway in Huntington Beach. It was one of the high points of my sad adolescence. None of my friends wanted to go, so I went by myself. One of my friends who could not go said she was friends with the owners of the Golden Bear, and told me to tell them. I did, and was quickly whisked up to the light box to watch the show from high at the back of the room. When Beefheart asked for requests, I jumped up and yelled, "On Tomorrow!" and the band played it without missing a beat. After the show, the club owner asked if I would like to meet Captain Beefheart. My idol was genuine and disarmingly friendly. I asked him if he had heard of the band "Tri-spud Matricide," my high school friends, who had recently sent a demo tape. He said he had heard of them and liked their music. I will miss you Captain! Best to you on your journey on the other side. I hope it is a better world for creative people than this one.





Give the gift of inspiration
Posted on December 11, 2010

Order now from Amazon.com and it will be there in time for Christmas. Click the link and support this site!

Give your friend one of the great little-known turn-of-the-century new age authors: Florence Scovel Shinn (1871-1940). Her collected works are available in one volume: The Writings of Florence Scovel Shinn. Included in the collection:

The Game of Life

http://surrealist.org/wordpresssureal/wp-content/uploads/2010/12/411SXBJGDXL._BO2204203200_PIsitb-sticker-arrow-clickTopRight35-76_AA300_SH20_OU01_.jpg

Your Word Is Your Wand
The Power of the Spoken Word
The Secret Door to Success
Click here to buy The Writings of Florence Scovel Shinn at Amazon.com.

While you're there, buy a pack of fifty affirmation cards drawn from The Game of Life, by Florence Scovel Shinn.

The cards affirm the Law of Prosperity, Divine Design, the Law of Nonresistance, Perfect Self-Expression, the Law of Karma, the Law of Forgiveness, Intuition/Guidance, Casting the Burden, The Game, Love, and the Power of the Word.

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Click here to buy the Game of Life cards at Amazon.com.

"Whatever one feels deeply or imagines clearly is impressed upon the subconscious mind and carried out in minute detail."

- Florence Scovel Shinn, The Game of Life





Hexagram Twenty-three
Posted on December 10, 2010

Your symbol is Hexagram 23, overthrow, shows that in the natural progress of societies, discontent will lead to upheaval. This is also true in personal affairs. Change is necessary and sometimes violent, but maintaining patience, know that things will change for the better soon.

The first line, yin, shows a person overturning a throne by destroying its legs. The change is abrupt, and carried out without forethought, therefore bringing misfortune.

The second line, yin, shows a person overturning a throne and destroying its frame. This signifies harsh criticism without suggesting a solution, which will bring only misfortune.

The third line, yin, shows anarchy. Individual members of the group act to obliterate the rulers, but in the end one among them becomes the ruler. This is the natural course.

The fourth line, yin, shows one who overturns a throne and injures the person who sat upon it. Unnecessary violence brings misfortune.

In the fifth line, yin, the emergent leader soothes everyone in society and restores order in the palace. This person's actions will bring good fortune in all spheres.

The sixth line, yang, likens the new leader to a decorative wreath of fruit, which is not meant to be eaten. Honorable people rejoice in the new order, while angry people carry on the war within their own households. Their discontent lies within themselves.

Editor's note: To read your iChing at this site, go to Learning to Flow with the Tao—click here. Since 1998, thousands of visitors have come to Surrealist.org for a free iChing reading.





Greetings on Dec. 7, the Date of Infamy
Posted on December 7, 2010

Pearl Harbor was bombed on this date in 1941 and President Franklin D. Roosevelt declared it "a date which will live in infamy." The event pulled America into World War II.

Looking back on dates like this, I often wonder how people will see our times seven decades from now. As someone living through the transition from the twentieth to twenty-first century, I can tell people of the future: it has been a roller coaster. Not some wimpy roller coaster, either. It has been the Hulk, the Raptor, or something equally spectacular. This moment in time is about as tumultuous as any.

"May all your desires be noble and high and your holidays be bright."





To be rich and stingy
Posted on December 6, 2010

Our aristocrats demonstrate that they love money more than anything else in this world. Actions have consequences. Fighting to never pay their fair share, they go down in history for what they are. This is how they behave, but hey, they're the Aristocrats!





Do we live in hell?
Posted 2010/12/04

Everyone likes to joke about whether we live in hell, or if we are gliding toward hell, going to hell in a handbasket, or just acting like we belong in hell. However, according to the Hindu scriptures and most other religions, Earth is said to be a middle ground. We live in between heaven and hell. Thus, we experience aspects of both. This can be taken metaphorically or literally.

Every soul is born under a set of circumstances that predestine a more heavenly or more hellish life. Due to free will, we have the power to make our lives twenty to eighty percent better, or twenty to eighty percent worse. Our choices in life determine the outcome.

Thus, here in this world, try to make it better. If something in the world disturbs you, meditate on the best that could happen under the circumstances. If you feel depressed about a situation, get active. Do something so you feel like you contribute to the solution. If you are victimized by circumstances or individuals, fight back, get help, get into recovery.

Here we have a choice whether to move humanity forward or backward. You may notice that our issues are resolved in cycles of approximately five hundred years. We are still learning the issues of empire, aristocracy, and slavery. We see aspirations of empire playing out in the Middle East. In terms of throwing off aristocratic tyrants, we see the rich class in America robbing the middle classes and wresting political control. As far as slavery, we still see literal slavery, now called human trafficking, and we see illegal immigration as a form of slavery.

Empire and rule by aristocracy leads to slavery. That is what we are faced with still today, even though it has been a long struggle to gain our independence. Collective bargaining, peace treaties, representative government, a free and fair media, community organizing, and regulation of industry are the tools to throw off slavery once and for all. When will we ever learn? Instead of complaining because it feels as hot as hell in here, do something today to learn from the past.





Stress Over the Fear of Getting Swindled
posted 2010/11/30

Well, the rich are about to swindle us again. That is adding to the holiday stress this season. What to do? I dunno, redux of the French Revolution? Only this time, without all the killing and mayhem, please. Make phone calls, blog, send email, and then go out in the streets to protest.





The Gift of Peace this Holiday Season
posted 2010/11/29

Guide to a peaceful future in the post-9/11 world.

BUY IT NOW as a Kindle book through Amazon.com $6. To learn how Kindle is compatible with your device, click here.

To see a preview of the book, go to norimuster.com.





While You're Waiting
posted 2010/11/24

Hey everybody, while you are waiting to see if President Obama will stand up for Democratic values, do something courageous in your own life. We have a lot of loose ends all the time, and we ought to put our money where our mouth is.





"A healthy strong ego, with plenty of self-esteem, does not feel itself threatened by every innocent remark."
- Maxwell Maltz, M.D., F.I.C.S., author of Psycho-cybernetics

Editor's note: Nor should we feel threatened to talk about real stuff with our Republican relatives. We can talk to each other about anything, just hold back if you feel it turning into a fight. Change the subject! That's all. See if you can convey your concern (at least about the New START Treaty!), but don't do it out of anger. Have a happy Thanksgiving. I will be blogging live from the Thanksgiving day party here at the Bayou Shack.





Gate Rape and Fear
posted 2010/11/23

This morning on the radio, someone called in to warn others against gate rape, which is what happens when you fly home for Thanksgiving and get an enhanced pat-down and body scan at the airport. As a researcher who studies sexual abuse recovery, I would say this is definitely invasive and intimidating. I for one will not travel on an airplane this Thanksgiving, thank god. This is also a genuine rip-off because we lost our good governor, Janet Napolitano, who has now become a sinister figure due to this and other blunders on the national scene. We are stuck with an idiot governor who is killing medical patients in the Jan Brewer Arizona Death Panel system. It is thoroughly embarrassing and disgusting. Happy Thanksgiving everyone! Protest your gate rape! Remember:

"Find out just what any people will quietly submit to and you have the exact measure of the injustice and wrong which will be imposed on them." - Frederick Douglass





Handbook makes a Perfect Holiday Gift
posted 2010/11/21

Cult Survivor's Handbook: How to Live in the Material World Again, by Nori Muster.

This book is a great gift for a loved one just getting out of a dangerous cult, or thinking about joining a cult. Anybody abused in any toxic system will benefit from reading this book! A perfect stocking stuffer!

THE FINE PRINT: The paperback is available now through Kindle. Click the title to buy a copy or find more information. Blurb order fulfillment may take a few weeks, so order now and avoid express shipping charges. Save money on shipping when you order more than one copy.





Why Democrats are Lame
posted 2010/11/20

What we have here is a cat and mouse game. The cat, being bigger and stronger, has the advantage. All the mouse can do is hide and run. After re-watching the Maddow-Stewart interview last night, it drives this point home. The Republicans have all the money and the media. They pay thousands and millions of dollars to slick and seasoned P.R. firms in Washington DC to defeat whatever the Democrats want. Then they point and make fun of them and all the meth-head followers join in. The meth-head people are getting screwed by the very people they support. It is a distorted, unhappy picture. It is like sliding toward hell. This is exactly what hell would be like whether you are the cat or the mouse.





"If you have a negative thought about a world situation, dwell upon the best that could happen in that situation." - Peace Pilgrim





Hypocrisy of the Day
posted 2010/11/15

One of the services here at Surrealist.org is to point out the hypocrisy of the day. Today's sad irony is that the Republicans complain about the size of the deficit and say they want to reduce spending. But at the same time, their number one priority is to extend tax cuts for those already in the upper class. To make these tax cuts, our grandchildren have to borrow billions.





Editorial: Words as War
posted 2010/11/14

Our country has a war of words ongoing for decades, if not centuries. Back in 1940, the Republicans started to refer to the "Democrat party," even though the Democrats call themselves the Democratic party. Anytime Republicans want to push emotional buttons in the opposite party, they can simply say "Democrat party," and then watch the angry reaction. "We're the Democratic Party, call us by our real name." This has gone on for seventy years.

Now, within the last year or two, a faction of the Republican party called themselves teabaggers and hung tea bags from their hats. They did not realize that "teabagging" is slang for a sexual act that can be used to bully or titillate. Now they prefer to call themselves "the tea party," not teabaggers. However, now Democrats have finally found a an emotional button to push that disturbs Republicans as much as Democrat party disturbs them.

Jon Stewart, host of the Daily Show, held his Rally to Restore Sanity in Washington DC about two weeks ago (Oct. 30) and then gave an interview to Rachel Maddow on her show last week. He said that to restore sanity, Democrats have to stop saying teabagger, just as Republicans have to stop saying Democrat party. However, are these insults on par? The Republicans have used Democrat party for seventy years and show no signs of letting up; Democrats just got teabagger two years ago.

Being a peaceful person myself, I believe that all Americans need to try harder to reconcile our differences. However, as an abuse recovery researcher, I see that it is not required to apologize to abusers who continue to abuse. The Republicans, fresh into control of the House of Representatives and many state governorships, plan to step up their abuse of the Democrats. Therefore, it would not be appropriate for Democrats to apologize and move on. We need the Republicans to stop their abuse first, and acknowledge the harm they have done, before we open our hearts to them.

Things will come around someday, but not yet. Meanwhile, we Democrats and liberals can hold onto our dignity and act fairly toward others. They won't notice it if we stop using teabagger, because they make up the facts as they go along. Until the other party decides to live in the real world, working from the same set of facts, there is not much we can do to reconcile. They are out for themselves, and they see everyone else, especially the least amongst us, as enemies. That is why we are in a stalemate with them: they want division and discord. Apologizing will not sway them in their mission.

It is never too late to learn common decency. Most Democrats are trying, and that is to their credit. However, the tea party and right-wing Republicans really seem to hate us. They want their words to hurt us.* That is another area where we are not on par, as Jon Stewart seems to think. We can be as nice as apple pie, but they will still call us n-words (or n-lovers), and bully with intent to hurt us. Therefore, simply forgiving and vowing to get along does not work. We have to take things in hand and provide consequences for bad behavior, and we must be on guard for their attacks.

*This may apply to some r-wing Democrats, and not all Republicans.





Petition for world peace
posted 2010/11/12

My cell phone company allows me to start petitions on the Internet. My first petition now has more than a hundred signatures. Please sign my new petition for world peace - click here.





Modern art as a hedge against totalitarianism
posted 2010/11/12

Back in the 1950s, powerful people within the CIA started Operation Long Leash to show that America was more open minded than the USSR. In other words: freedom to appreciate modern art GOOD; state repression of artists and intellectuals BAD. To make America look better than the USSR, covert operations poured money into modern art shows. (See "Modern art was CIA weapon" below.)





"The only thing we have to fear . . ."
posted 2010/11/11

On 11-11, 2010, at 11:11pm EST one million people across the globe will mentally project a unified vision of a new paradigm for our world - a new reality. The very real physics that connects human consciousness with molecular structure will be harnessed en masse during the largest scale simultaneous manifestation transmission in recorded history. This project was developed by mathematicians and physicists. http://www.newrealitytransmission.com/ please join us *I want to thank my friend Connie Fisher for sending this.





"If we fear nothing and radiate love, we can expect good things to come." - Peace Pilgrim





UK Independent: Modern art was CIA weapon
posted 2010/11/10

The Independent published a story today to confirm long-standing rumors that the CIA supported modern art. Apparently, it was to make America look more liberal in contrast to the Soviets. Strange. Well, read the article for yourself: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/modern-art-was-a-cia-weapon-1578808.html

*I learned of this on the Ustream chat this morning, see next post.





Hal Sparks Ustreams Radio Show
posted 2010/11/10

Every Wednesday, Hal Sparks brings cameras to the Stephanie Miller Show studios and live-streams the show on Ustream. Today there were 700+ people on the chat. Everyone should check it out. You can either go to ustream.com/halsparks or halsparks.com/ustream, Wednesday mornings 6-9 a.m. PST. It is a whole world in there.





New sites online 11-8-2010
posted 2010/11/08

This afternoon I decided to put the Wordpress sites online and continue to improve them. My domain host, Network Solutions, suggested that I change my DNS information to point to the Wordpress folder, but then the rest of the site went off line. I opted for posting redirect pages in the top level index.html files. Now Surrealist.org and Steamboats.com are online as Wordpress sites.

This all started at the SATW conference, October 10, 2010.





Website revisions progress
posted 2010/10/23

For most of the last week I have been revising all my websites: surrealist, steamboats, norimuster, and for my father, billmuster.com. I'm glad that I did it, because there were a lot of broken links. The new sites will have a unified look, thanks to the great Wordpress theme I found. It's great. Really has come together much easier than I imagined. As soon as I work out a few more things, I will premier the new sites to my friends. Looking forward.





Surrealist.org goes WordPress
posted 2010/10/21

Hi - earlier this month I attended the SATW convention in Germany (link to see photos & more info.). In the professional development workshops, everything was Wordpress Wordpress Wordpress. I was fortunate to meet blogger John Chow, our keynote speaker, and discuss the possibility of switching over to Wordpress. Now home, I found out that Network Solutions, my domain host, offers telephone tech support. Over the last few days I was on the phone a lot with the helpful technicians at Network Solutions. First I worked on Steamboats.com and now Surrealist. It helps to have good technical support. From what I understand, Wordpress has come a long way from that it was a few years ago.





Sept. 5, 2010 - my latest obsession is bioremediation. I believe microbes can clean up the Gulf oil spill, as well as other oil spills, toxic chemical contamination, and ultimately help us create a sustainable environment. Here is my bioremediation blog, where I am compiling links to bioremediation products and research - see Positive Energy Future.





Sept. 3, 2010 - Election results. My canddiate for governor, Terry Goddard debated current Governor Jan Brewer, and she had a little "cat's got your tongue" during her opening remarks. Terry Goddard is a good alternative, just saying. My candidate to run against John McCain did not win, so McCain will run against former Tucson City Councilman Rodney Glassman. He seems like an excellent candidate and I support him now.





August 7, 2010 - Just want to tell you about an amazing essay by Steven Gelberg. He first presented it at the ICSA conference in Beligium in 2007, then updated it for the ICSA conference in New Jersey this past Fourth of July. He read an excerpt from it for an audience and a monograph of the complete essay was for sale in the ICSA conference bookstore. Now, I am honored to publish it at Surrealist.org - click here to read it now.

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July 29, 2010 - This morning I heard an ad for John Dougherty, a candidate who can defeat John McCain or J.D. Hayworth for the US Senate. He sounds great!

Jon Dougherty


July 28, 2010 - Tonight after watching the news about the Arizona immigration bill being gutted by a federal judge, and watching the current governor, Jan Brewer, on TV, I decided it is time for a change. I joined the Terry Goddard for Governor campaign. We have a good alternative, an experienced person who is ready to lead. So hey!

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June 21, 2010 - This month I went to a few demonstrations, see photos, click here. Also, I became the vice president of the Lakes Women's Club (see photo below from the front page of the Lakes Log). Then the president resigned before the term even got started :-( So now I am the president. Well, I have been through worse times!! It will be an honor to lead this wonderful group that goes back to the early 1970s.

Lakes Log LWC fashion show

This is the closing ceremony of the Lakes Women's Club fashion show in May. I am second from the left, with the new secretary on my left and the now-resigned new president on my right. To the right of her is the just-past president and another active LWC member.





June 16, 2010 - Lately I have been researching alternative solutions to the Gulf disaster. Today I found a great video about a product NASA developed that is one hundred percent natural, biodegradable bees wax, which eats oil. Check it out: Petroleum Remediation Product

Another solution is adding probiotics supplements. I have collected all my research on alternative, green technologies here: Positive Energy Future.

Other than that, I just finished writing and posting my online, open enrollment real estate law class. It will be a requirement for the college's appraiser track, so I look forward to grading some papers.

I am on my way to the ICSA conference in New Jersey later this month. My books Betrayal of the Spirit and Cult Recovery Handbook will be on sale at the conference bookstore, and I will speak on a panel about what we learned from our cults. I will also hope to have the manuscript, Child of the Cult: Dangerous Group Dynamics and the Psychology of Recovery, completed before the conference.

Overall, I see this as a time of solutions and completion.





June 7, 2010 - Just returned from a fun Memorial Day Weekend in Humboldt County, where we witnessed the Kinetic Grand Championship race. See photos, click here.





March 16, 2010 - This week I published my second book at Blurb.com, Cult Recovery Handbook. I wrote this for excult members and plan to bring copies to the ICSA (International Cultic Studies Association) conference in July. See you there!

Click here to buy it now





March 9, 2010 - Over the weekend I published my new book, Dreaming Peace, and now it is for sale on the Internet! Please buy a copy! Support the site and let me share what I have learned about this compelling subject.

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Click here to buy it now for $17.94 ($10.95 + $6.99 shipping in U.S.)!

This is a great company that I found because a friend of mine used them to published a series of photography books.





February 26, 2010 - The Lakes of Tempe had its award dinner last night to recognize the volunteers who make the place run. As the Lakes Historian, I was called up to the front and handed a certificate along with the rest of the Women's Club. Some of us donate so much of our time it's almost silly. Who else loves there homeowner's association this much?! One more reason why The Lakes is unique. We love it here! We have water views and lots of friends!





February 5, 2010 - The Surrealist.org tea party is founded to bring about peace and love in the world. Please join our tea party! To read the Surrealist tea party platform, click here.





January 26, 2010 - New pages include:

Over the last few months since November, I have opened two real estate schools and started my LLC, which will be called, Nori Muster Schools LLC. I have written six of the eight classes I plan for my curriculum; four have been approved by the Arizona Department of Real Estate, two more are awaiting approval. The classes fulfill continuing education requirements for Realtors in the State of Arizona. I plan to travel all over the state, giving blocks of four or more classes on consecutive days. Here is my school website - click here.

I also made a trip to California in January to attend a memorial service for my oldest best friend's father, and tied it in with a visit to the Santa Barbara library, and to see a few friends in L.A. and visit relatives in Palm Desert on the way home. The best photos I got were of the Longbow house, where I stayed while in L.A. To see the photos, click here.





November 29, 2009 - New pages include:

The Lakes of Tempe One of the best kept secrets of the Phoenix East Valley is this beautiful manmade lake that offers water views, wildlife, and sports like boating and fishing.

Guadalajara! Photos from the 2009 SATW convention. Guadalajara, Chapala Rivera, and the Jose Cuervo home in Tequila.

New at NoriMuster.com:

Real Estate Classes I am now teaching classes to real estate agents, and is in the process of opening a real estate school that will be called Preferred School of Realty.

New at Steamboats.com:

The Dave Thomson Collection - Two hundred steamboat images are grouped by category: illustrations, photos, and specific subjects.

Jim Hale's City of Monroe - This exhibit shows master boat model builder Jim Hale's masterpiece, The City of Monroe, a radio controlled scale model. The exhibit includes an article from the Nautical Research Journal, December 1975, Vol. 21, No. 4, plus photos of this amazing model. Also in this exhibit, photos of Jim Hale and the late John Hartford piloting the Julia Belle Swain.

Mississippi Queen - A newly remodeled exhibit of historic Mississippi Queen Steamboat, including a March 2009 photo of the boat in a New Orleans boat yard.

King of the Mississippi - New photos from Ronald Simmons of his award-winning model, which is for sale.

Model Boats A new index for all model boat materials at Steamboats.com.

Belle of Louisville - Photos by Roger Hilligoss showing damage to the sternwheel after a collision with a barge in October.





August 30, 2009 - A few days ago I had a server emergency and had to move all my websites to a new server. Therefore Steamboats.com, Surrealist.org, and a few others were off line for a few hours on Thursday afternoon, then fully up and running again as usual by Saturday morning. Life throws you a few curve balls, and this was definitely one of them. I apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused.





August 20, 2009 - Lots of new steamboat exhibits at Steamboats.com. To find these, go got Steamboats.com Latest News - click here. Scroll down to August 12, 2009, "New Exhibits in the Steamboat Museum!" Back when I first built some of the pages at my sites, most people were on dial-up, so I only put one photo per page. Now that most people are on high-speed, I have been putting all the photos on one or two pages. Here are some examples of the doubled up exhibits - enjoy!
Photos of Los Feliz
Vault Gallery
Dream Drawings Book
The Story of NoriLand
The NoriLand Paintings
India Tour
Mansions of Camelback Mountain
Chile
Colorado
Utah
Denver Botanical Garden
Cool Pools of Hawaii
Switzerland
Historic Homes of Tempe
West Cornwall, Connecticut
More soon!





July 9, 2009 - So much happening. Starting to teach real estate classes, see my real estate curriculum, now posted on line. For three years I wondered why I got the real estate license, but it all ties in with my long-term desire to be a teacher.

Also was appointed to the Sandcastle board of directors, where I will be the secretary. This is something I feel strongly about, as our property is finally starting to turn around. People can say what they want about this thirty-five year old waterfront development, but it is unique, it is comfortable and beautiful, and it is home. You get to love a location after a while, and love the buildings like they were people. I made this page for The Lakes, of which Sandcastle is a part. I am honored to be more active now in protecting and promoting the place.

Lately I have added lots of new pages to Steamboats.com and the Capitol Records history site. Here is the latest page on Capitol (click here). Also signed up for the October trip to Guadalajara with the Society for American Travel Writers.





May 30, 2009 - Posted two things from the attic recently. One is an article from 1961, when my family lived in an Eichler in Sunnyvale. The subdivision newsletter did a story about our yard, see: Projex, the magazine of Eichler.

The other is an article from December 6, 1970, in the Arizona Republic Sunday magazine, My Daughter Dresses Funny. YES, my mother wrote it about me! Just grateful she still had it on file, and I cannot remember exactly what made think of it and decide to post it at the site, but it all ties in.

Another news item is that I earned my e-Pro designation in one week. I attended the e-Pro workshop on May 21 and completed the online course on May 28. [Editor's note: I left the Realtors at the end of 2012 and now teach real estate.]





The designation qualifies me as an Internet Professional. See: Why Use an e-Pro Realtor. My goal is to earn my broker's license by the end of this year and become a teacher. I also want to earn my Green Realtor designation (expert on environmentally green building design).

Other than that, I have been busy reforming my HOA and we are finally making progress. At the May 26 meeting, the board voted to dismiss the toxic pest control company and hire an organic company. I also cleaned up another area of the landscaping and will post the photos soon (maybe today). Here is where I post before and after photos and circulate them by email to our community: Sandcastle Landscaping Photo News and Sandcastle Deferred Maintenance Photo News.





April 17, 2009 - Today I took an SEO class that made me come home and rework all my meta tags. Wow! With hundreds of pages at each website, this could take three days. Anyways, if you have meta headers, it may be time to update them. Join the party. Since meta tags are not visible to viewers, I cannot give you a link, but rest assured that all tags will be updated.





April 12, 2009 - Last Monday I joined Facebook.com after much urging from friends who kept sending me invitations. Now I have friends there - mostly from the steamboat community and Eastern religious people - and have been posting videos, photos, and thoughts to my page. If you are on Facebook, please look me up and become my friend. It's a party.





March 31, 2009 - latest projects completed:

Over the weekend, I updated the Steamboats of the Fifty States page at Steamboats.com to show all the paddlewheel boats in the country. It had really gotten bad with broken links, dupicates, etc. Now it's ship-shape: click here. Here are two things published on steamboats. One is a letter to the editor, the other is an article. See:
CruiseMates.com
Pittsburgh Tribune

In the last few weeks, I have converted NoriMuster.com from my real estate website to a new home for my writing. When the market comes back, I will consider going back to residential resale. My license is good until 2012. Writing is really more important and so far I have made more money at writing than at real estate, especially over the last eighteen or twenty months. To see NoriMuster.com, click here.

I also added a photo of Stan Kenton from 1955 to the Capitol Records pages. The whole Capitol Records history is now at NoriMuster.com - click here (scroll to bottom to see Stan Kenton).





Surrealist.org - now Google Ad Sense advertisement-free! Full disclosure, in the several months that Google Ads were on the site, I earned $6.23. Here are some typical stats from the site during that period:

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Great Blue Heron, photo by Nori, Feb. 5, 2009, published in the March 2009 edition of The Lakes Log, Tempe, Arizona.





Graduate Work Now Online

In an ongoing attempt to make my research available to people, I have posted it here: click here.





HOAs at The Lakes

In February 2009 we had an election at our HOA where we were able to elect three good people. Two of the old board members remain, with a cumulative fifty years of experience between them. We are trying to save what we have here by pulling together. Our grounds were neglected over the years, and our place has gone to seed. Anyways, the thing that got me activated to do something about the situation here was the water damage. After a slow leak inside near my front door starting in July, on October 3 - 4, the condo upstairs had a series of three tremendous plumbing mishaps. Dealing with the HOA through all of this led me to get involved, and simultaneously, I got to design my own kitchen.

Over the last few months, it has really taken up a lot of my time and energy. Therefore, most of the website building I have done lately has to do with my kitchen, or the politics inside this HOA. I also put a "for sale by owner" sign in the window, just on whim. It is a good way to meet people and it keeps me optimistic because if somebody could come along and buy my condo, I could leave two HOAs behind. Even though two different parties have absolutely loved the condo and wanted to buy it, I believe that I am stuck here for a while. By the time I am done here, the HOA will be fixed up and new, too.

Things really will get better here, but they are stuck with me as their resident activist, but together we are peeling back the darkness to allow the light to come through.

I won't bore you with the html pages I have built for the HOA people, but check out the saga of the water damaged kitchen: click here.





Born in a Cult

Another thing I have invested my time in lately is the children of cults project. There will be more news on the way, but in the meantime, the areas of Surrealist.org for children of cults, and cults in general, still gets a lot of hits. The most popular page by far remains the child abuse symptoms page.* If you put "child abuse symptoms" in Google, the page will come up. The child abuse lawsuit against the Hare Krishna movement is over see timeline.





Delta Queen Steamboat

The Delta Queen is starting a new career as a hotel on the Chattanooga waterfront. Sad it will not go up the river this year, but Chattanooga is a a beautiful setting for our Queen, for now, until she can continue. Here is a link to the latest news on the boat: click here for Steamboats.com.





equal_education_unequal_pay

This infographic comes from the good folks at learnstuff.com.





Check out old blog posts and guestbook comments, going back to the twentieth century! Click here!





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