Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Taxes and Tea Parties

I've been trying to work on this one since April 14th when I first saw the border promotion on Fox news.

It's an interesting thing to see people protesting taxation and government bailouts at this time. And it says a lot, that we have the freedom to do it! I don't remember such protests during the previous eight years, however. And I don't remember any organized, or publicized, protests against the War in Iraq.

But my mother watches Fox News, so I naturally have to see it as I enter her room. I was struck by how they were promoting the coverages of these Tea Parties and wondering what influence they had had on the grass roots movements. Was Fox a participant, or not? I can understand someone not wanting to pay taxes, and a logical concern is that their children will have to pay the taxes. And I certainly did not like the idea of corporations, and even hedge fund investors taking risks, without any worry that they were making risky investments, with inflated and fraudulant earnings. They weren't taking a risk, because they new that someone would have to bail them out. It wasn't a risk. It was a distribution.

But getting back to the Fox thing. I can't see why any conservative would not want to see these tea parties happen. And it would make perfect sense for such a Fair and Balanced news channel, to report on the mishandling of the economy by a liberal administration.

Why? Because a revolt on taxes is going to benefit them, just as much as it will the middle class. Actually more, since they already have tax loopholes and government-subsidized lifestyles. And what's more, the lack of taxation will mean a lack of services to those in need. It will mean less money to support utilities, water, sanitation and protection. It will mean a reduction in the protection of our borders and homeland. A rich person may be inconvenienced by some of this, but my hunch is that they will more likely fly off to another country, and bask in the sun there on some isolated beach. They probably have an offshore savings account, as well.

"Let those filthy plebes wallow in the detritus of American society."

It's a shame that our financial sector got so out of hand with promotional spending, bad lending practices, and just plain irresponsibility with money. Do you ever wonder why there are so many new bank buildings going up? There are new buildings going up for banks I've never heard of.
Where'd they all come from and where'd they get all that money to spend on brand new buildings? Is our bailout money paying for these new buildings, as well? Or is it just residuals from high credit card interest rates?

Sunday, April 12, 2009

What a screwed up weekend!

This just wasn't the kind of weekend I wanted to experience. I contacted my ex-girlfriend, Michele, from three decades ago (that sounds better than 30 years, doesn't it?), but that may have been a mistake. It brought out memories, of not the good things, but of how stupid I acted. I had all the good memories, all the time. The love I felt for her, and the love I still feel for her. but I dredged up all the stupid things, as well. Maybe not ALL the stupid things. I'm going to let the Akashic record hold onto them for awhile and try to get by. . . maybe deal with that guilt when it's time to pay the piper. Bless her for being her. She did a great job of growing up, and I'm sorry for all the trouble she had, but I'm more than proud for how she has grown up. May the sun & stars shine upon your life, Michele.

I have an additional complication. I searched for Beth, whom I dated about 3 years earlier than Michele, and found her, just coming back from a year-and-a-half in China! (What an adventure!) But I had been unfaithful to Michele, at one point in our relationship, and my communicating with Beth at this time makes it so bizarre! What is going on? Is Mercury retrograde? Is Saturn making a square or quincunx aspect to one of my planets, and why am I questioning this with astrology which I gave up over 30 years ago?

Also, I really don't like what I started in my Sangha. Our leader asked what each of us could do to be of benefit to our Sangha. Well, I happened to be the only one to suggest something. I suggested I could try to start a study group, or book club. The response was positive.

But it's been far from smooth sailing.

The communications between the Sangha is driving me nuts. First off, faulty email addresses are making it difficult for everyone to receive information, and when I try to correct the email distribution lists, someone will go right back and start a new thread on an old header. Other people who don't want to be involved with the bookclub, want to be off the bookclub's email list, even though a bookclub email list hadn't been created. Members of the sangha were communicating about the bookclub on the sangha distribution list. Then, when I sent out corrected lists and asked people to be conscious of which list they were using, they ignored what I had written and started the whole screwed up mess over again.

And some people who seemed receptive to the bookclub idea, really don't want to participate. Some would rather have it as a way to get to know others better. And then some really don't want to get to know others better, but want to learn more about the buddhist way of life. Well, maybe I'm one, if not the only one, of the latter.

I hope this week turns out better.

Something to Hope For

"The grand essentials of happiness are: something to do, something to love, and something to hope for." - Allan Chalmers

that is a quote found on a letter from Tom, today. The given name Allan may actually be Alan, I haven't found the source.

When I took a human actualization course called Lifespring in 1986, one of the slogans was "There is no hope". Hope just won't cut it. You've got to DO, not hope. And I wish I could still remember everything that was said about that slogan. But I'm sure it had a lot to do with being in the now, and doing what you can do at this moment rather than waiting for what you hope for in the future.

But sometimes you have to have hope, because things aren't going right at the moment, and there's always a possibility some kind of opportunity for action will open up at any time. And you have to have some kind of dream for the direction you want to go.

The interesting thing was that after I saw that I went to my My Yahoo! page and found this horoscope for me:

April 12, 2009

Capricorn (12/22-1/19)

So how do you keep hope alive? Just keep going. If you think you're losing your grip on something you want, stop thinking! It's time to be irrational. Go ahead! Just ignore reality. Things won't seem possible, but they will be if you persevere. Forget about what other people are saying and close your ears to the discouraging comments people are making. They are coming from a place of jealousy and petty thinking. You can rise above it if you just look forward and move on.

Never mind the part about jealousy. That's just a distraction. Stop thinking! That's being in the moment. If there is something you can do right, now, do it. It doesn't matter if it's going to work out anymore, because if you feel there's no hope, the results are insignificant. So why care?

Just be present with things. Observe, take action, and stop thinking.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Kickbacks to Congress for the Bailouts?

I have a lot of faith that President Obama will pull us out of this economic mess we are in. But there are always those little fears that Obama is just another tool in a concerted effort to transfer all wealth to an elite aristocracy. After all, Economics is just how we (or whoever controls the money) decides to distribute it.

It only adds to my apprehensions when I learn that after the Treasury Department disburses billions of dollars to our "failing banks", the banks' respective Political Action Committees (PAC) graciously started rewarding (or maybe continued to reward) the campaign coffers of key members of Congress.

Is that like a kickback?

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Not the first attempt at blogging

I've tried blogging once or twice, and didn't keep up with it either because I forgot my password, couldn't get back in to the site, or just didn't have anything to say because of my dull life.

I've done a little bit of travelling. A lot of driving around the United States, into Canada, and a summer spent in Leningrad, Russia before it reclaimed the name St. Petersburg. Hence the title 4762 Miles to St. Petersburg, Russia. I haven't travelled as much as many other travellers and business people and, to some extent, I envy them. Some travellers never get to see much of where they've been, and others learn and enjoy so much from their journeys. I envy those who can absorb their environs.

My political views are liberal but I am not a Commie. I practice Theravada Buddhism. I am fascinated with the occult, but fall just as much in love with the more practical sides of life, and the observation of our economy. I love rock 'n' roll and the blues, and I love playing my guitar. I love beautiful women, but become utterly speechless when in their presence, awed by their beauty and guilt-ridden by the way I either unintentionally ignore them, or am too afraid, for some reason or other, to maintain a relationship. These days, I seem to be content with just admiring them.

I'm just like millions of people. There are millions with each of those traits, and I'm just another one of them. God, what a dull guy!

Hopefully this blog will develop into something interesting. If anything, I want it to turn into an experience of self-discovery and a vehicle by which I can share my thoughts, and it will resonate with others. Maybe someday I will say, "Hey! I'm not that dull, after all!"

This post may start out as the simple ramblings of just a simple man. But hopefully it will develop into the interesting ramblings of a simple, BUT interesting man.