Archive for March, 2013

31
Mar
13

compost

People talk all the time about what depressing work this youth justice stuff must be, but I reject it. There is something positive, a silver lining, in every unpleasant thing.

But you’ve got to be looking for it, or all you will ever see is the problem–and that’s depressing!

Even if a situation is, by most people’s estimation, hopeless, there is the hope for something positive–but you’ve got to be looking for it, or you’re sunk before you’ve even begun. If you look hard enough, if you’re creative, you will find a way to be “realistic.”

Paul Henry at Study (photo Indy Star)The first lawyer in Indiana that I talked to about Paul Gingerich’s situation said it was impossible, and that I shouldn’t waste my time on it. But I then found Monica Foster and the whole picture changed.

We have won an appeal in the Court of Appeals, successfully defended the appeal at the Indiana Supreme Court against the Attorney General, and now–and this is an announcement–we have gotten a change of venue of Paul Henry’s new waiver hearing to Whitley County. All “impossible” and yet we tried and succeeded.

Maybe Paul Henry will yet be tried as the child he was at the time of his terrible act. This is our hope.

This is Easter, the one day of the year that we allow ourselves to believe–as a matter of faith–that the “impossible” is possible. My Easter message to you is that the “impossible” will remain such as long as we fail to try.

Half of what happens to us in life is pure shit. The only thing that makes it good is if we remember that the same stuff can also be compost. Look for composting opportunities. You will find no shortage of working material.

It’s everywhere.

۞

Groove of the Day 

Listen to Compost performing “Compost Festival”

30
Mar
13

ditto

tumblr_m109lzZngd1r10l7so1_500

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Groove of the Day 

Listen to Hanson performing “Mmm Bop”

29
Mar
13

more bubblegum

bubblegum 2

Last heard at a little beer bar in 1972 in Nkhata Bay, Malawi.

۞

Groove of the Day 

Listen to the Archies performing “Sugar Sugar”

28
Mar
13

contrasts

Four eyes

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Groove of the Day 

Listen to the Cowsills performing “I Love the Flower Girl”

27
Mar
13

nada

I have recently learned that in the two weeks that my computer was down, the world has a new pope and one less president (of Venezuela). Both these developments have come as a complete surprise to me, but in no material way affected my life.

Which has gotten me to thinking… which other world events matter nada?SPENCER_HERBERT

I re-read Herbert Spencer’s essay The Right to Ignore the State, and cannot help but agree that an individual has the right to drop out “provided he infringes not the equal freedom of any other man, then he is free to drop connection with the state—to relinquish its protection, and to refuse paying toward its support.”

Just because a state passes a law does not make a thing right. The denial of rights of citizenship to Germans of Jewish descent was perfectly legal after 1935. The demand from the IRS of nearly $400,000 in estate taxes of an 83-year-old woman for being married to a person of her own gender is sanctioned by law. The right of the state to confiscate portion of a person’s savings to secure a bailout of private banks is legal in Cyprus, if not right. The persistence of prosecutors to try children as adults undermines the defensibility of all laws of a state.

Majority view can be easily manipulated by politicians and advocates backed by copious amounts of cash and access to the media, and cannot be used as a justification for an unfair law. Objective standards of morality (and legality) are required.

Such objectivity is beyond me, and unless I am able to make a total break with the world to assert my personal sovereignty, I am doomed to make use of pieces of the world which demand my inherent contract. For example, one’s involvement with the banking system (a transactional necessity today) involves agreeing to an unseen (and unknown) contract with the state. The use of Federal Reserve notes by an individual for commerce (whether or not a banking relationship is created) establishes a contractual relationship. If you look into this, you will see that what I say is true. The state does not allow for selective participation. It’s all or nothing.

This, it seems to me, is a tyranny. I don’t know what to do about it except to remain below the state’s radar as best I can.

If you have a better idea, I’m all ears.

۞

Groove of the Day 

Listen to Mason Jennings performing “Nothing”

26
Mar
13

hospitality

dan at desk

I have been at a crossroads, and until this morning I just didn’t care about anything. I had figured all this out before the stroke, yet in a way I’d forgotten. This has to be it.

It was such a crisis for me not to care and not know why. Now it has come back, and I have Nathan Ybanez and Derek King to thank for that. Derek reminded me by phone that I have been successful as a “Yoda to his Skywalker,” and that I must continue with this calling. He told me I would spend money more efficiently than he and that I should refrain from sending money his direction. Nathan asked me by letter to elucidate the future of Estrella Vista, and I began with the mission of the place, which is to provide spiritual hospitality to visitors.

The idea of spiritual hospitality is actually quite radical and not much a part of modern life (though it has been an important component of spiritual thinking for thousands of years). It essentially is all about recognizing the “godness” exhibited in other human beings–even people you don’t like–and serving it. Namaste.

It is also about uniting with otherness, which is what gives us the ultimate transcendence. Kadosh.

It is taught with ancient myths retold by Ovid and others that the gods used to disguise themselves as beggars to test the hospitality of humans. A thousand doors were slammed in the faces of the gods until hospitality was granted, usually by people too poor to give. And then came the miraculous. Simple water poured as wine. Modest food offerings became a feast. Wishes were granted. Hospitality was rewarded.

In Buddhism it is taught that the separation between host and guest is dangerous illusion, that we are connected in ways not easily seen. The connectedness is the reality. Separateness is illusion. Nathan would understand this better than me.

The meaning I have taken from this day is that I must take my direction from the young people in my life. They know. I don’t.

۞

Groove of the Day 

Listen to Sir Neville Mariner & the Academy of St, Martin In-the-Fields performing Jacques Offenbach’s “Barcerolle”

24
Mar
13

last stand

buffalo skulls

It was genocide.

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Groove of the Day 

Listen to the Band of the Princess of Wales’ Regiment performing “Garryowen”