Thursday, June 04, 2009

This one's for free

I was reading Rush Limbaugh's comments on a recent Barack Obama interview. Obama does not want America to impose our values on other cultures. Limbaugh responded that the value we're spreading is freedom, and freedom can never be an imposition.

Is freedom really the opposite of imposition? I would like to free Rush from the tyranny of his drug problem, so I'll incarcerate him in a socialist rehab camp. No complaining, now, it's for your own good.

It turns out feeling free is not the same as being freed.

This is not an original idea. It's the argument of the Free Tibet movement. Sure, we Tibetans are materially poor, but we are happy because of the riches of our traditions. Please don't liberate us from our schools, festivals, and culture. Memo to world: please liberate us from our Chinese liberators. A threat to Tibetan theocracy is a threat to theocracies everywhere. American Christians, take note.

Another synonym for "to free" is "to relieve". Here in California, for example: Relieve me of my property taxes, and relieve teachers of their duties.

Nationalists freed us from the Gypsies and Jews... Brittany is freeing Britons from a paucity of Brittany... Oh, spare me.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Earth Hour

Moxie and I left yummy Cugini Restaurant right at 8:30 and nudged the hostess to maybe dim the lights! She knew about it and had already talked to the manager, but wasn't sure about their decision.

When we got home we kept our lights turned on to a minimum.

I don't know whether this makes a miniscule difference or a gigantic difference. Either way, we'll keep on touting the virtues of low consumption, until we reach a tipping point.

Friday, March 27, 2009


I'm driving into Berkeley for the Wellstone Democratic Renewal Club but I find that I have the location wrong, and maybe the day too. Aha! A free evening. I start out for an unannounced visit to Stephen but I am sidetracked by a sign that says "Show Tonight!" and an arrow pointing to my right. So I think quickly: I am going in to see this show, whatever it is.

It turns out to be an improv comedy show by students of Willard Middle school. Pardon my language but I'm LMFAO. These kids are so raw and honest, what a blast. My face is in pain from the smiling and laughing. Take that, Greg Proops.

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Being analytical, or "the calculating self"

I'm reading and greatly enjoying The Art of Possibility on my new BART commute to San Francisco. It makes me smile! So I hold the book up high, and maybe my fellow commuters will see me smiling and want to buy the book, too.

This evening I got hypnotized for the first time. Or at least, the first time by a hypnotist. The deep relaxation is meant to last and last. Yet I remained fearful even while relaxed of actually feeling sadness. I'm frightened of that sadness. I'm afraid I'll drag others down with me.

Then I spoke with my father on the phone. After our nice visit for his birthday, he and I agreed to "put it in the calendar!" and talk every Wednesday. I realized while talking with him, all of a sudden, that I had been blaming his "over-technical" style as the reason for years of not-closeness. How convenient - and by the way I've been accused too, and very rightly, of being one of the most technically-minded people around. So I told him, I was just scapegoating the Mr. Fixit thing, as an excuse so I could remain stand-offish for years. Jeez, I'm such a piece of work!

So next time we talk we'll pick it up from there -- competitiveness and analytical-ness vs. warm, loving expression. And raising kids.

Friday, February 06, 2009

For me, for all, forever

What will my next work be?

Couple of days ago lunching with Christopher, I reflected whether I would become a city planner, or a teacher. Following the principle of "least regret" I chose Teacher. This is inspiring me! And last night on further reflection, I realized I already am a teacher. I teach my daughters all the time

So, early this morning I spent an hour reading up on how to become a teacher. I would make a good candidate for Oakland Teaching Fellows.

But then I found and I looked through their list of nonprofits. I assembled this list which would totally fulfill my vision of peaceful people...
* Urban Affairs
* Energy Conservation and Green Living
* International Cooperation
* Voting, Democracy, and Civic Engagement
* Social Enterprise and Economic Development
* Multi-Service Community Agency
* Network of Nonprofit Organizations
* Library or Resource Center

So the inquiry is still on. Library, Network, or Multi-Service is looking like a winner.

p.s. The blog title is a playful paraphrasing of a South African political slogan: Some, For All, Forever.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Opening up

Some astounding things happening right now. Yesterday 5pm I took my first dose of homeopathic sulphur remedy. I stayed up till 2am again, veeery tired in the early evening but pushed through so I could see Silke and Hannah on the webcam (they're still in Germany). Then I just was on autopilot finishing some mobile-browser testing.

This morning I woke up as usual without the alarm, but a little disoriented from the shorter night. I felt various forces of urgency -- "a full day" ahead -- had to start accomplishing minor tasks right away. Then I thought, this isn't working so great -- how about some meditation (Russell Simmons style)? Seemed like a *really bad* idea, which means it was a really good idea. :)

After just maybe 5 minutes I "woke up," mentally this time. Almost immediately I noticed that the eczema on my face had softened. I had to look in the mirror -- it almost felt like it had vanished overnight, though the appearance was the same. Now as I'm writing it's still the same. The burning itch has been replaced by a healing itch, like a wound healing.

After a great coaching session with Maria (more on this later), I was cycling home when I noticed another burst. I came out of the Solano Ave tunnel and I looked down at my gear shifter -- it was like my vision had suddenly gotten much clearer. Like those sports videos, where every frame is crystalline. I burst down the hill and raced home. As I approached home along Ashbury, I was two gears higher than I had been after work on Wednesday.

Why am I writing all of this here? I don't have any particular agenda. It's just a good exercise for me to get the words out, one word at a time, one step at a time. And I'm confronting fears of overexposure.

Measuring what?

On Tuesday I had lunch with Alan at Cocina Poblana. The things we do and talk about every day make a huge difference. Example: Barack Obama was not planning to be president when he was bickering with his friends in college. We're always preparing for the Big Thing we're meant to do.

Then on Thursday I sat down with Adam T., the building guard. He cautioned me that Obama is not going to clean house and make things right, because the system is already thoroughly set up to continue as it is. He's right. We won't see immediate results. But my conclusion is that the individual person with vision can in fact make a huge difference, in the longer term.

I have been preocuppied with measurable results. For example: the triple bottom line is supposed to make the right things happen, by changing the playing field. That may be necessary, but it's not sufficient. We still need leaders with vision. That includes presidents, teachers, and parents. I think I might be two of those things.

Sunday, January 04, 2009


Jetlag is a great time to start. So I'm writing down ideas and conversations here on this blog.

Right now I'm reading Do You! by Russell Simmons. (Can you tell?) And I'm reading The Audacity of Hope by Barack Obama.

I'm working on choosing a career where I can improve many people's lives. I'm working at a bank right now, which is actually a fantastic job. Money is not bad or evil, it is powerful, so my work is empowering for millions of people. It's just not the kind of good I am meant to give.