Monthly Archives: January 2009

Money, the root of…

 BILLIONS GO POOF AS MONEY-MANAGERS GO BAD

Where do we go from here? The very fabric of capitalism is coming unglued as the dominos continue to fall. Sadly, these financial-gurus-gone-bad have to be just the tip of the iceberg. The SEC was most definitely asleep at the switch, or worse, looking the other way for their bred’ren. Lives have been destroyed by these fakes, and frankly no punishment will fit the crime. 

Some of our “respected pillars of society” that were living the good life have been exposed as frauds or charged with some type of mismanagement…

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The kingpin, Bernie Madoff, who compels us to want to wipe that smug look offf his face. – $50 Billion (see the list of biggest losers here )

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New York financier Nicholas Cosmo turned himself in last night; I am sure he’s sorry. – approx $100 million

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Poor Florida hedge fund manager Arthur Nadel, who went missing for a couple of weeks and left his wife a suicide note – approx $300 million

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Indiana investment banker Marcus Schrenker – approx $1 million + sending an unpiloted plane to crash wherever it ran out of fuel.

***

Tao te Ching

Verse 49

Fame or integrity which is more important? Money or happiness which is more valuable?
Success or failure which is more destructive? If you look to others for fulfillment you will never truly be fulfilled. If your happiness depends on money you will never be happy with yourself. Be content with what you have. Rejoice in the way things are. When you realize there is nothing lacking the whole world belongs to you.

(Stephen Mitchell trans.)

Posted in Misc

whitehouse.gov

Change has come and it can be clearly seen at http://www.whitehouse.gov/

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Posted in Misc

Reporting live from….

…the home office, we’ll be commenting on the inauguration as it happens.

(all times eastern)

1039- celebrities and dignitaries continue to file in. Dustin Hoffman, Muhammad Ali, Magic Johnson, Arnold Schwarzenegger, the entire House of Representatives.

The scope of this is almost indescribeable- like wrapping your brain around the Grand Canyon upon first sight of it.

Hundreds of thousands of people gathering…. arguably the largest gathering of Americans ever…. almost third world in scope as we are more of a stay-at-home-watch-it-on-tv kind of nation.

more to come….

 1047- VP Cheney leaving the White House in a wheel chair… sad but symbolic? Kind of how he left us- crippled.

sightings: Dan Quayle, Al Gore, John McCain

Obama and Bush emerge smiling from White House as the transfer of power begins.

GOOSEBUMP MOMENT.

new presidential limo is described as a “rolling tank” by CNN.

1051- the convoy is rolling.

even the motorcade is bigger than life… long and wide, they roll along the crowded route of screaming supporters. flags waving, lights flashing, sirens, laughter, smiles, tears of joy, 40-50 deep along the street. armored vehicles.

1058- controversial rev rick warren takes his seat.

1059- the “presidents” are at the capitol.

1100- the “first ladies” enter the capitol.

1101- “43 & 44” walk the hall together, entering the capitol.

1102- the chief justice and supreme court judges arrive on the dais.

1104- the sense of history with this inauguration has not been missed by the networks.

1105- is there a better example to the rest of the world of the IDEA of a free democracy an d peaceful transfer of power than this? what a powerful message from a country that once considered a Black Man as 3/5ths of a person.

 

1107- The Quayles, Gores and Mondales enter.

1110- CNN says they requested an image of this scene from space and will have it soon. nice.

1111- seeing the rival politicos smiling and appearing genuinely happy or at least respectful of the event is a goosebump moment for sure.

1113- “LADIES AND GENTLEMEN PLEASE BE SEATED”

1114- Mr & Mrs Bush 41, the Carters, and the Clintons enter

1117- scenes of – dare I write – a million people

1118- watching Bill Clinton escort Bush the Elder who is hobbling was very touching.

1119- Chris Matthews takes my queue and comments on the Bill Clinton/HWBush relationship that is almost father/son-like. wow.

1120- The former Presidents and First Ladies are introduced and seated to the fanfare of the Marine Band.

1121- amazingly no one, not even his wife, is assisting HW as he hobbles down the stairs shaking hands.

1122- The Clintons emerge and are seated to a HUGE visible ovation.

1123- shot of a moving van behind the white house- the transition of boxes, momentos, photographs. out with the old…

1124- Sasha and Malia with their Grandma, enter… looking cute, happy and not nervous.

1126- Mrs. Bush and Mrs Cheney arrive.

1127- the daughters get a roar as they are seated with the First Grandmother.

1128- scanning the seated dignitaries…truly a goosebump moment of unity.

1131- Pres Bush ready to be introduced. 

1133- some disrespect to Pres Bush as some in the crowd decide to sing the nah nah nah nah song…. that’s a sad reflection on those few.

1135- while the cameras love the gorgeous Obama girls, VP Cheney is wheeled in with Pres Bush and the top politicos…. Hail to the Chief is played.

1137- The co-mingling of the most powerful politicians is an interesting sight indeed.

1138- first Barack sighting in the hall

1139- VP-Elect Biden introduced

1143- With the Marine Band trumpeting his arrival, President-elect Barack Hussein Obama is introduced to the crowd!

1145- the ceremony begins… and I am oughtta here to watch it.

Posted in Misc

#44

 Here’s the list until today…… (click on it)

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Today #44 breaks through, rewrites the rules, joins the club, redfines what it means to be an American.

“Give me your tired, your poor,

Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free…”

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“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

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There is not a liberal America and a conservative America – there is the United States of America. There is not a black America and a white America and latino America and asian America – there’s the United States of America.

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Posted in Misc

Inauguration

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Here on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, and on the eve of the inauguration, I see this week as a mark that future generations might look back to and describe as the start of a profound shift in human consciousness. I suppose I could be considered a philisophical taoist, and in President Obama I see the possibility of the embodiment of verse 17…in part…
 
The great leader speaks little,
He never speaks carelessly,
He works without self-interest
and leaves no trace.
When all is finished, the people say,
“We did it ourselves”.    
 

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Posted in Misc

World Music Video

Cesária Évora lost her father at the age of seven. After his death, Cesária’s mother struggled to support her on meager earnings as a cook, eventually entrusting Cesária to the care of an orphanage. It was in the orphanage choir that Cesária first learned to sing.

At 16, Cesária met a Cape Verdean sailor named Eduardo who taught her the traditional Cape Verdean styles of music called mornas. The mornas are songs of sadness, sorrow and yearning.

She began singing in local bars and hotels. With the help of local musicians, she would hone her skills and would later be proclaimed “Queen of Mornas” by her fans. She became famous in Cape Verde, but remained relatively unknown internationally.

Frustrated by personal and financial problems, compounded by the very difficult economic and political situation in Cape Verde, Évora gave up singing to support her family. She didn’t perform for 10 years, which she describes as her “dark years”. During this time she struggled with alcoholism.

A Frenchman of Cape Verdean descent named José Da Silva persuaded her to go to Paris where she recorded a new album, La Diva Aux Pieds Nus (The Barefoot Diva) in 1988. The song “Sodade” was her first international hit and marked the beginning of worldwide fame for Cesária Évora.

The Portuguese term saudade is complex and infamously difficult to translate, related to homesickness, nostalgia, longing, sadness, and regret. The expression of “sodade” is integral to Cape Verdean music. This album won critical acclaim and began for her a dramatic comeback. She became an international star at the age of 47.

Here is the “Barefoot Diva” performing in the video of “Sodade”….

Posted in Misc

The First First Friday

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Well that was fun. Got 2009 off on a positive note with the opening of the brick & mortar version of “Azjamon World View”. Because of my current 24/7 homecare of Avery – post surgery – it took a last minute set up with help from friend Dan to allow for the January 2nd opening. I’m likely going to have to make some improvements in the displays and especially in my work, but I did have a wonderful time last night. 

Here are some pics….

there’s Dan the man welcoming…(shooing/scaring people away?)…

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we did a quick set-up on Jan 1st… 

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Thus I continue my “marketing strategy”: Stay low and always humble; that’s the way of the Tao.

especially Verse 8…..

The supreme good is like water, which nourishes all things without trying to. It is content with the low places that people disdain. Thus it is like the Tao. In dwelling, live close to the ground. In thinking, keep to the simple. In conflict, be fair and generous.

In governing don’t try to control. In work, do what you enjoy. In family life, be completely present.  When you are content to simplify yourself and don’t compare or compete, everyone will respect you.

(-Stephen Mitchell trans.)

Posted in Misc

2009

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Happy New Year

A year ago, I decided that my mantra for 2008 would be Dignity & Purpose, and for the most part I kept that formula in my daily meditation and living. 

For this new year I want to go deeper and strengthen my connection to the Source. There is an unmistakable vibration of inspiration, calm and direction that comes in an unlimited supply, when that connection is clear.

One possible mantra would be to “Answer a Higher Calling“, but without that clear signal it could be a wrong number. And just where would I be looking or listening to get that calling?

Gurus, books, movies, etc, all are teachers but none can provide the answers. I want my mantra to be an instruction, a focus, a reminder of where the higher awareness lies.

So I am going to turn it around a bit and draw my direction, my inspiration and my answers from within.  My mantra for 2009 is…

“Look Inward”

The doorway to higher levels of awareness opens inward. We tend to look outside ourselves for the answers, but instead my intention is to look inward to that silent quiet space where the universal intelligence lies.

~namaste~

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Posted in Misc