Tuesday, January 20, 2015


By trying to get rid of "negativity," by trying to eradicate it, by putting it into a column labelled "bad," we are throwing away our wisdom as well, because everything in us is creative energy - particularly our strong emotions. They are filled with life-force. There is nothing wrong with negativity per se; the problem is that we never see it, we never honor it, we never look into its heart. We don't taste our negativity, smell it, get to know it. Instead, we are always trying to get rid of it by punching someone in the face, by slandering someone, by punishing ourselves, or by repressing our feelings. In between repression and acting out, however, there is something wise and profound and timeless.
- Pema Chodron

Monday, January 19, 2015

The Dream Ticket

POTUS - Hillary Clinton
VP - Elizabeth Warren
Sec. of State - Michelle Obama
Homeland Security - Gabrielle Giffords
Health & Human Resources - Wendy Davis
Interior - Elizabeth Kolbert
Defense - Jane Goodall
Education - Rachel Maddow
DEA - Courtney Love

Just putting it out there for your consideration.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

The closer we look, the harder it is to find where "I" ends and "others" begin.

Monday, January 12, 2015

If you are remembering your second-grade teacher, that is memory. When you then become aware that you are remembering your second-grade teacher, that is mindfulness. If you then conceptualize that process and say to yourself, "Oh, I am remembering," that is thinking.
- Henepola Gunaratana

Wednesday, January 07, 2015


Look, I'm a progressive and I oppose the Keystone Pipeline for a number of reasons, but these "facts," widely posted on Facebook and going viral on other media as well, are just plain wrong.  In fact, they're so misleading and inaccurate that they risk winning the argument for the other side if the case against the pipeline is reduced to these incorrect points. Let's set the record straight:
  1. "ALL pipelines leak."  True, but not everywhere and not all the time and not in ways that cannot be corrected.  The leaks, when detected, can be sealed and the ground remediated,  And if someone argues "the leaks can't be detected," then ask them how they know, in that case, that all pipelines leak. Also, here's a map of the existing pipelines already crossing the U.S., including across the Ogallala Aquifer:

  2. "When KXL leaks, it will poison the Ogallala Aquifer."  Not necessarily.  Over most of its area, the Ogallala is 50 to 300 feet beneath the ground surface.  A leak would have to go undetected for a long period of time, many years. before it even reached the Ogallala Aquifer, and then for even longer before it seriously degraded water quality.  Meanwhile, if nothing else, the loss of inventory would have been noticed.  One other thought: approximately 30% of underground storage tanks leak, and most gas stations have 3 to 5 tanks.  I'll let you guess how many gas stations are located in the area of the Ogallala Aquifer, yet all those leaking underground storage tanks haven't managed to poison the aquifer.
  3. "When the aquifer is poisoned, we will lose 30% of our irrigation water."  Not true.  Even in a worst-case situation where a leak goes undetected for enough years without anyone noticing and has degraded water quality, it would be a highly localized event.  To poison the water to the point where the entire 174,000-square-mile aquifer is rendered useless would require tens of thousands of years, maybe millions, and possibly more petroleum than is found in the entire Alberta tar sands.
  4. "27% of the irrigated land in the U.S. will become useless."  Wrong, for the reason described above.
  5. "When poisoned, we will lose 30% of our crops." Wrong again, for the same reasons as in 3 and 4.
  6. "Millions of people will have to relocate once the aquifer is poisoned."  Another incorrect extrapolation of the mistake that began with Point Number 3.
  7. "Aquifers cannot be 'cleaned up.'"  I'm not sure why they put "cleaned up" in quotes, but it's simply not true - aquifers can be cleaned up, restored, and remediated.  I've been doing it for some 30 years now, and there's an entire industry devoted to aquifer restoration.  It's a common practice, due more to pollution from industrial mismanagement and commercial operations like gas stations and dry cleaners than from pipelines.  
The "facts" in the figure are misleading propaganda that are designed more to frighten than to promote an informed debate over the pros and cons of the proposed pipeline,  Again, for the record, I'm against the pipeline for a number of reasons, but I won't tolerate idiotic arguments that can easily be refuted to represent the case against Keystone.

We're better than that.  Leave those tactics to Fox News and the other side of the argument. 

Tuesday, January 06, 2015