Restorative Justice New Home

OK. A new home for emotional home repair.

What a change form the old office and its sterile meeting room. The Restorative/Collaborative Justice group I volunteer for, has moved up to larger quarters. Tomorrow I get to do some painting of a particularly dirty room in an otherwise great house.

The home atmosphere will be better for the families who come in. Just moving from two box rooms, to a whole large house has done wonders. The meeting spaces can be more dedicated. Families who have had violence or other abuse, hardly need go to another place that seemed to treat them as an afterthought as well. Sometimes place and setting are quite important tools in enabling folks to feel more open to the kinds of changes required by this process of restoration.

Got the paint today, and brought most of the tools over.

Now the painting is done. The room had many pipes, that made “cutting in” longer than usual. Well, that and a lot of big stuff was put in there. Now the whole place looks quite acceptable.

From two smallish rooms like this;

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Which necessitated many meetings in church and community facilities-

To this big main room (once was a casino) with several satellite rooms for everyone to do their thing in Restorative Justice. This particular program is the only one of its kind in the nation, but may well become a prototype for other kinds of emotional restoration.

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A ROYAL RUSE: On the Subject of Subjects

Cultural commentary from a proud iconoclast.

Hey. You. Iconoclast guy. Didn’t you hear pride cometh before a fall?

Anyways…

We were watching a bit of PBS doing a British Monarchy thingy. They followed the queen around to show how important the Monarchy was to British subjects.

People do get all guffawed over the whole scene. Otherwise dignified folks prominent in their fields, get in a nervous titter over the Holy ones coming to bless them, more or less. Many seemed to become as children to a parent figure, seeking praise and respect, a fateful blessing perhaps.

Personally, I liked how the Queen seemed; She seemed a conscientious and thoughtful person. But being an iconoclast. I would not go out of my way to see her if she was in my little town.

The same for our soon to be ex President; His lowness; The Bush. A quarter to one fifth of our population thought he was good enough to lead our country, once. I never thought he was good enough to lead my dog for a walk on a leash. I would not have trusted that man with watching my home over a weekend, let alone the nation. That sensing was certainly not agreed to by all. Yet some did and still do treat him, well, like royalty. They would have followed him anywhere. And we are; down the economic meltdown ladder of anarchy capitalism, and might makes right morality.

I think that is the difference between folks like myself, who do not take titles and pronouncements of position as a true indicator of manifest human quality, and those whose knees get loose over them same exalted ones. I might just as well spend time with the guy or gal in the produce department in conversation, than with Bill Gates for instance.

The giddy pyramid schemers of ego association by need, with their constant self esteem perks offered by money, position, and fame, in other words status, do need wannabees to worship their wake. Unfortunately, it seems many do not know the difference between status, status seeking, and fraud, as well as the whole hierarchical concept of seemingly intrinsic superiority, again, offered by money, birth position, a crown, or cool badges and their uniforms with hat.

It could easily be believed that I am bitter with my own lack of status. But I have all the status I need; a connection to All Life. It does not get any better than that. And that is awe-inspiring to say the least. Every human is a wonder of Creation. I am not going to prop some up in intrinsic value just because an institution has embedded within itself that perceptual bias. Talk to me through your robes and riches, your titles and perfectly straightened teeth, and I still may think I just saw a clown. No undo offense intended. Clowns are often fine people I imagine.

I am a bit bitter over the waste that can be produced worshiping icons. Icons never are what they seem to be subjectively. They are living abstractions; often caricature’s of what we all project toward them to work with in the ,’You are the Best!’ department. That mall of attention allows some to feel propped up by others apparent opinion. This can all be a house of cards, yet one may never know. Whatever it is, in the existential self importance of attention sending and receiving; often in that department, quantity is more important than quality. The quality may not even be considered; a crowd is the proof of value, or a big paycheck.

They showed one woman subject of the queen on her perpetual journey to follow the queens coattails to seem important (hundreds of times?). She would bring various family members with her to get close to the queen, and then seem to have some kind of active report with her highness. While this woman was being interviewed, someone told her something to the effect that this greeting by the queen looked to be only for the children. She told the guy; ‘Well then, They’ll just have to make me move.’ How generous.

I appreciate the role that some spiritual leaders seem to fill as being a focus for other individuals symbolic attention to The Universal. It does seem that some actually think, as in cults, that this particular person actually is the one and only conduit to The Meaning. While down another aisle in the shopping mall, another store claims to have the one and only One, the True Source.

Yes, I am a bit bitter. If only these subjects of the icon could recognize a deeper connection to The Spirit of Life than a surface point power presentation assumed possessed by one, or a few earthy persons. The individual, you and I, we each have the same right of self association to what is Grand, Infinite, and all Loving. Once found within, Its obviousness is perceptible everywhere and in everyone outside of my own eyes. The queen and the subject are fundamentally the same.

Chasing after alleged icons becomes unnecessary. While being a subject of the the All of Life, or whatever you might think or feel has manifest Creation, makes ones mission relevant where ever I am. Saves a lot of time and expense on traveling to important spots. Might even save film and programing, being that to have meaning, one need not find the trail of sole meaning icon.


I have much respect for the nature some leaders have demonstrated. The Dalai Lama is a great example of someone both in a seemingly exalted role, yet persistently being as everyone else in apparent relationship equation. I do not notice, beyond the Tibetan Buddhist “look”, any sense that he feels superior to those in conversation with him. He does profess to know what he knows, allowing that to stand on its own. He utilizes reason.

Certainly, many leaders do not control how their followers treat them, nor seem to extend much opinion, that I know of, about the following. But this truth remains; if you are inspired by the words and actions of another, they are in some ways your own; they met with agreement in your own spirit. It is about time some of us stop worshiping other people, and instead, worship what is Divine and Royal in all things.

There is a vast difference in the nature and the limitations between symbol and reality. As much as I can appreciate tradition, being attached to my own rituals in life, rituals and symbols have the possibility of growing hollow yet remaining unquestionable. It is conscious life, where change and intention are most near to heart and mind.

And I trust you know how I feel; Do not take my word for it.

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Subjects in rebellion?

Feelings being extended by their absence to the president Bush?

One Weeks Food around the World

These photo’s are forwarded from an email that has traveled for a year at least.

FWD: What is eaten in one week around the world

Italy: The Manzo family of Sicily

Food expenditure for one week: 214.36 Euros or $260.11

Italy

German: The Melander family of Bargteheide

Food expenditure for one week: 375.39 Euros or $500.07

Germany

United States: The Revis family of North Carolina

Food expenditure for one week: $341.98

US

Mexico: The Casales family of Cuernavaca

Food expenditure for one week: 1,862.78 peses or $189.09

Mexico

Poland: The Sobczynscy family of Konstancin-Jeziorna

Food expenditure for one week: 582.48 Zlotys or $151.27

Poland

Egypt: The Ahmed family of Cairo

Food expenditure for one week: 387.85 Egyptian Pounds or $68.53

Egypt

Equador: The Ayme family of Tingo

Food expenditure for one week: $31.55

Ecuador

Bhutan: The Namgay family of Shingkhey Village

Food expenditure for one week: 224.93 ngultrum or $5.03

Bhutan

Chad: The Aboubakar family of Breidjing Camp

Food expenditure for one week: 685 CFA or $1.23

Chad

Mumbai India terrorist attack

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Lots of Mumbai news links at this site:

Mumbai, India News – Topix

Dec 24, 2008 Local news for Mumbai, India continually updated from thousands of sources on the web.

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{Post original beginning. Updates below…

The Taj Hotel in India is currently under attack. Another large hotel, as well as the huge train station were a few of 8-10 places targeted. More than 100 hostages are said to be held. Several terrorist were killed, a handful known to be captured. Some 11 police known to have been killed. Westerners are said to be prime targets. At least 78 dead and hundreds injured. Hostages are being held. No known demands.

Nine separate attacks are involved with the attack in Mumbai. Taj Hotel continues to burn. This area is a western hangout. Some released by terrorist stated that the hostage takers were looking for British and American citizens. These may be some of the hostages being held.}

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Update; News on Dec. 1 2008


BBC News
Mumbai Attack Undermines India’s Political, Economic Confidence

4 hours ago

The Mumbai attacks that took the lives of at least 195 people pose an enormous political challenge to the Congress Party-led coalition government,

Bloomberg

Update; Nov 29

Mumbai attack: British men ‘among the terrorists’, Bombay, India

Nov 29, 2008 http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/asia/india/3533075/Mumbaiattack– British-men-among-the-terrorists-Bombay-India.html

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Update; Nov 28

Two Va. residents missing in Mumbai attack | HamptonRoads.com

Nov 28, 2008 FABER Two members of the Faber-based Synchronicity Foundation are missing after a group they were part of was caught in the terrorist

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Update; 3:30pm ET Nov. 27

Last three terrorist reported killed in Taj Hotel

Gunmen reported still in Jewish center

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Update:11:30am ET Nov. 27

At least 225 people have been killed, 327 known injured.

1.5 hours ago, several gunshots and a loud explosion within Taj Hotel.

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Update 8:20pm EST Nov. 26 2008

Injured count is currently down to 120. Death toll 82. More shots heard at Taj Hotel. Most deaths were at the central train station.

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Mumbai Attack Aftermath Detailed, Tweet by Tweet | Danger Room

Nov 26, 2008 First-hand accounts of the deadly Mumbai attacks are pouring in on Twitter, Flickr, and other social media. Twitter has fresh news every few

Mumbai Attack Video

Nov 26, 2008 Mumbai Attack Video – The Huffington Post. Video From CNN on the Mumbai terror attacks: Embedded video from CNN Video.

THANKSGIVING

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We have this day to focus on what our lives mean to us; what everyone and everything adds to our life.

It is in some ways much like Christmas. It is often said, that the true Spirit of Christmas should be known all the other days of the year as well. So it is with Thanksgiving.

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The approach of winter seems to suggest that ends are near. Life seems to enter a suspended animation of a sort in the natural world, particularly in the 4 prominent season areas where these particular Thanksgiving Day traditions of honoring Life seem to have gained their current qualities.

I encourage myself to adopt these thankful and giving spirits for the days to come; To be thankful for what comes and goes in and around my life. These give me my experience, along with my connection to the world of Life, every day. Never a down time.

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(This photo of the annual Thanksgiving Day Parade from the back yard to the planting of the flag in the front entry of a grandmothers house in Texas. The marchers are beginning to gather, waiting other instruments and marchers.)

With giving thanks, I look to where I can give back to Life. I’ll look for need in others and the world. This act will encourage my closer connection to the life that is mine. May it grow through my gifts of love to the things of my life; the people and places I am with. These have no end of season. I may not have much to give in the material sense, but in the sense of giving the most valuable quality Life possesses; Love, the well is only as dry as I allow it to be.

The Thanksgiving Day forecast here, is for rain.

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(Thanksgiving dinner photo in Tubac AZ)

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CORNERS

Lonely stars all on their own

rolling through vast caverns of time

dripping cold echoing light

persistently immortal

suspended anticipation

collisions in this spacious

round about forever time

adds up and goes out

stalactites loosened

from a moments eager tear

crashing onto cavern floor

waters intruding fate

takes and gives away

comes and grows up

forgetting its last move

one molecule at a time left

all of this from sleeping light

from freeze dried firmament

and it from mystical

brittle stiff formula

a tabulation of thought

somehow soft and surreal

contemplating inside out

around the corners

Object Names: M74, NGC 628

Image Type: Astronomical

Credit: NASA, ESA, and the Hubble Heritage (STScI/AURA)-ESA/Hubble Collaboration

Acknowledgment: R. Chandar (University of Toledo) and J. Miller (University of Michigan)